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Presentation on theme: "STEPS TO WRITING A CRITICAL RESPONSE The Novel Essay."— Presentation transcript:


2 Interpret the task Write a thesisConstruct a plan Collect evidence to support thesis Write the introduction Write the body Write a conclusion Proofread and edit Writing a critical response to a novel requires careful planning. Following these steps will help you to organise your essay effectively.

3 Interpret the task In order to understand what the question requires, you need to be able to identify and understand key words in the question. Look for the task words and the topic words Task words = what you are required to do. They are always verbs Topic words = what aspects of the novel should be discussed

4 Write the thesis A general response to the question or statement. A statement that sums up your answer and becomes the focus of the essay Because it is central to the response to an essay question, it should serve as a constant reference point during the planning phase.

5 Constructing a plan Contains the evidence that supports the thesis 1. Arrange ideas around the thesis 2. Develop ideas in more detail 3. Arrange ideas in descending order or importance (base this decision on which piece of evidence is most persuasive and well developed) Thesis Point 1 Point 2 Point 3 Point 4

6 Supporting evidence Evidence to support the thesis can include: Developments/events in the plot Aspects of the setting Characters’ actions or words (which will be quotes)

7 Using Quotes Short Quotes: …which is evident when Kylie says to Tom, “tell someone who cares, Tom” (Burke, 2005, p. 15). Long Quotes (approx. more than 30 words): -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------which is demonstrated by the quote: “We will leave these words with all of you, the words of a respected citizen of this town, words that seem to represent what so many of us feel – Daniel Brennan was an accident waiting to happen. What a shame his accident happened to others. Our family will be there in court next week, yet no sentence will be long enough” (Burke, 2005, p. 123). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8 Introduction paragraph General introductory topic sentence State your thesis Provide an outline of your main points that will be discussed in support of your thesis Clinch the ideas by referring back to your thesis in the last sentence

9 Body Paragraphs The body of the essay consists of a paragraph on each point made to support the thesis Each paragraph should have: A topic sentence that gives a clear indication of the topic and how it helps to answer the question 2-3 sentences that further explain your point Evidence (e.g. quotes or examples from the novel) Ends with a phrase which links it to the next paragraph or back to the thesis

10 Conclusion paragraph Restate thesis Summarise main points from the body Amazing clincher sentence

11 Proofread and Edit The final stage of writing an exposition is the editing phase A useful checklist: The introduction states the thesis and gives an outline of the support Each paragraph has a topic sentence Each paragraph clearly links to the thesis The conclusion restates the thesis and summarises the evidence Quotes have been included as evidence and are formatted correctly Personal pronouns have not been used inappropriately There are no headings, dot-points or lists There are no colloquialisms or slang Spelling is correct

12 Things to avoid!!!! Avoid personal pronouns – instead of ‘I think...’ state items as fact ‘It is clear that...’ Avoid using words that show gender bias Avoid colloquialisms or slang Use the author’s full name or surname, not their first name The title of the novel should be distinguished in some way (‘inverted commas’ or italics) Do not use headings, sub-headings or dot-points


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