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Process Essay Writing Staring into the Abyss

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1 Process Essay Writing Staring into the Abyss
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes the master” - Ernest Hemingway

2 Essay Writing Overview
Types of Essays Why We Write Methods of Instruction Basic Elements of Successful Essays Grading, grading, and more grading?

3 California Assessment Program*
Types of Essays California Assessment Program* Autobiographical Observation Interpretation Evaluation Reflection Controversial Issue * Source: California Department of Education

4 Traditional College Rhetorical Modes
Types of Essays (cont.) Traditional College Rhetorical Modes Narrative- “What happened and when?” Definition- “What is it?” Division/Classification- “What kind is it? What are its parts?” Process Analysis- “How did it happen?” Cause and Effect- “Why did it happen?” Argumentation/Persuasion- “Why should I want to do or think that?” Comparison/Contrast- “What is it (not) like?” Example/Illustration- “For example?”

5 Why We Write- Student Reasons
Writing is hard, but “hard” is rewarding Writing helps you sort things out Writing helps to persuade others Writing helps you get into and through college Writing helps you in the real world The girl had the making of a poet in her who, being told to be sure of her meaning before she spoke, said, “How can I know what I think until I see what I say?”- Graham Wallas, The Art of Thought

6 Why We Write- Teacher Reasons
Writing helps to make better readers “Reading and writing are intertwined and inseparable language tools”- Nagin Writing helps to make better thinkers “Analytic writing leads to deeper reasoning about less information”- Langer and Applebee

7 Methods of Instruction
C-SEE “C-SEE, I told you so” Jane Schaffer Method “Chunks”: BT-CD-CM-CS We shape our dwellings and afterwards our dwellings shape us- Winston Churchill

8 Methods of Instruction- C-SEE or Evidential Block
C = Claim S = Set-Up E = Evidence E = Explanation

9 Methods of Instruction- C-SEE: C = Claim
Topic sentence for the paragraph NOT summary or quotation Proves / supports your Thesis Statement Can be more than one sentence Ex.: Jack represents the id.

10 Methods of Instruction- C-SEE: S = Set-up
Gives the context for your quotation / evidence Can be more than one sentence Must be punctuated properly “,” after dialogic set-up “:” after independent clause set-up Ex. When the boys are arguing about the fire going unattended, Jack demonstrates his views through violence:

11 Methods of Instruction- C-SEE: E = Evidence
MUST NOT be merely summary “Ralph sat down.” MUST relate to your thesis statement and/or claim MUST have page or line reference Ex.: “Jack smacked Piggy’s head” (71).

12 Methods of Instruction- C-SEE: E = Explanation
$$$ You do the work of explaining how the quotation PROVES your claim Should be 1:3 to 1:5 ratio with quotation Ex.: Jack’s actions demonstrate that he is becoming more violent, giving in to his anger, a classic representation of the id. His animalistic impulses appear to dominate and overcome his higher nature. In this situation, Piggy represents the super-ego, the voice of reason and order.

13 Methods of Instruction- Example of Evidential Block*
C: Mr. Kortman dominates on the basketball court. S: I talked to one of my friends this morning who tried to play defense against him, and he said, E: “Mr. Kortman scored 43 points off me yesterday, draining threes, slamming on my head, and faking me out of not only my shoes but my socks, too!” E: Anyone who can score 43 points in one game is pretty good. My friend has always been recognized as a great defender, so if anyone scores off him, they’re doing pretty well. Furthermore, we can agree that any player who can fake his defender out of his socks and his shoes clearly dominates. [etc.] * Examples courtesy of Kevin Leal

14 Methods of Instruction- Example of Evidential Block*
C: Simba matures physically, but, more importantly, he has grown emotionally over the course of the story. S: At the end of the story, E: Simba confronts Scar and the evil hyenas. E: Though it is significant that Simba confronts his enemies physically, it is more important that he no longer runs from his problems but faces up to his mistakes of the past. He admits to the truth of his father’s death, accepting responsibility in a new and healthy manner. Furthermore, he demonstrates his inherently heroic nature by confronting the enemies of his civilization in a way others have been unable to.

15 Methods of Instruction- Jane Schaffer Method
Schaffer preferred to break the writing process down into discrete “chunks” This method is most effective when applied to literary analysis or response essays Any given body paragraph would contain 2-3 chunks

16 Methods of Instruction- Schaffer: Body Paragraph
BT - Body Thesis (or TS - topic sentence) Chunk #1 Lead + CD (concrete detail – evidence from the text, usually in the form of a direct quotation) CM – commentary (student’s opinion) Chunk #2 Transition + Lead + CD (2nd piece of evidence) CM CS (concluding sentence)

17 Methods of Instruction- Schaffer: Benefits
Easy to make Shaping Sheets Repeatable format that students can master Makes assignment expectations clear (i.e. 2 Body Paragraphs, 2 Chunks apiece) Clear what CM should answer How does the concrete detail prove your body thesis? To what extent does it provide proof?

18 Methods of Instruction- Schaffer: Example
As we begin our journey, through the Odyssey by Homer, we are shown throughout that Odysseus is an effective leader because he is clever. Odysseus and his men stop on an island and meet the Cyclopes where Odysseus fools a Cyclops by proclaiming, “my name is Nohbody : mother, father, and friends, everyone calls me Nohbody” (906 l ). This shows that Odysseus is an effective leader because he uses a clever trick to trick the Cyclopes when he calls for help. This is because an effective leader should be able to get his followers out of a tough situation. However there is more trickery on Odysseus’ part when he clears the great hall of weapons so that the suitors would not be able to attack him; “wildly they turned around and scanned the walls the long room for arms; but not a shield, not an ashen spear was there for a man to take and throw” (956 l ). This shows Odysseus as an effective leader because he gains the element of surprise which is one of the most important things. This is because he is clever and knows how think before the enemy in case any other problems occur. Overall The Odyssey shows the main character Odysseus as a clever and effective character.

19 Basic Elements of Successful Essays-
Turning  This into This 

20 Basic Elements of Successful Essays- Introduction
Presents the subject of the essay Responds to the prompt Proceeds from general to specific 3-6 sentences Ends in thesis statement Strong, academic diction

21 Basic Elements of Successful Essays- Thesis Statement
Central focus for essay Argumentative Responds to prompt Not a list or formula Goes beyond classroom discussion

22 Basic Elements of Successful Essays- Body Paragraphs
Logical steps in a complete argument Solid topic sentence Smooth transitions, when necessary Concrete details (quotation/evidence) set up correctly Profound and insightful analysis of evidence

23 Basic Elements of Successful Essays- Conclusion
3-6 sentences, reversing the funnel of the introduction. Specific to general Profound insights Rewording of the thesis Hardest paragraph to write Least important

24 Basic Elements of Successful Essays- The Perfect Essay
Skill Practice Forward-looking perspective thinking, planning, and practicing Remember P.O.W.E.R. Sentence variety Vocabulary growth Philosophical and academic maturity

25 Questions Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little- Tom Stoppard

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