Presentation on theme: "Essay Writing Basics Learning how to make and win an argument."— Presentation transcript:
Essay Writing Basics Learning how to make and win an argument
Write and answer the following 10 questions: 1.What is an essay? (Write all 5 points) 2.What is a thesis? 3.What is a Concrete Detail? (Definition & 5 examples) 4.What is Commentary? (Definition & synonyms) 5.What is the magic formula for a Chunk? 6.What is the formula for a body paragraph? 7.What is the Lead-in? 8.What are personal pronouns? Can they be used in a formal essay? 9.What should you use instead of personal pronouns? 10.What type of verbs should you use?
An essay is… An answer to a teacher-given question Your opinion Supported by evidence to prove your opinion At least three paragraphs long Always focused on what it is proving
An essay is not… A story Off-topic Written in slang A hurried assignment (unless you are asked to do a timed-essay) Easy--but will become easier with practice
Thesis A thesis is your answer to the question the teacher has asked you and is what you’re proving in your essay. It is your argument.
Concrete Detail Concrete Detail (CD for short)--A CD is a piece of evidence that you use to prove your argument. It might also be called: A quote An example A statistic Evidence A fact Much like the concrete outside, a concrete detail cannot be changed.
The Concrete Detail has a partner that it always works with… Commentary (CM for short)--is your opinion. It explains how the CD proves your argument. There are always at least two sentences of commentary following each CD. CMs are sometimes called: Interpretation Explanation Opinion Justification
There is a “magic formula”: It’s a ratio. 1 CD:2 CM This means that for every Concrete Detail, there needs to be two commentaries to explain how the CD proves the essay’s argument. One piece of this formula in an essay is called a chunk.
Who’s the better superhero: Spiderman or Superman?
The better superhero is Spiderman. This is my thesis (argument) and I will prove this with a combination of CDs and CMs.
What are some reasons Spiderman is better? He started as a human. He can climb walls. He has a better costume. He can cast webs. He has better powers.
Remember, Concrete Details are always facts. Therefore, we can only use the following: He started life as a human. He can cast webs. He can climb walls.
Now, I’ll want to use the “magic formula” to prove my thesis. One reason Spiderman is a better superhero is because he started off human. This shows that he can understand human nature and relate to those he helps. This makes him better because he will always want humans to win. This is one chunk.
Now you try by answering the following question: What type of music is the best for studying? Once you have an answer, list five reasons why. Once you have your reasons, cross out any that are opinions.
Now try to write a chunk. Let’s share. What did you come up with?
Formula for a paragraph… Topic sentence Lead-in Concrete Detail Commentary Lead-in Concrete Detail Commentary Closing Sentence
Before each CD, you must include a lead-in. A lead-in introduces the Concrete Detail and makes the writing smooth. In the Spiderman chunk, there’s already a lead-in. One reason Spiderman is a better superhero is because he started off human. This shows that he can understand human nature and relate to those he helps. This makes him better because he will always want humans to win.
Oops…Just one more thing… Even though an essay is your opinion, you should never use the personal pronoun “I” in your essay. If your name is on the paper, then I know the opinions in the paper are yours. The other word to avoid is “you”. Don’t talk to your reader; just write your essay. You could replace “you” with words like “one” or “an individual” All verbs need to be in the present tense; the piece of literature is still alive!
Don’t worry! Everyone feels stressed when learning to write essays. It’s difficult, but you’ll get better with practice. I promise!