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Organizing an Essay First Timed Writing: Wednesday, th October 7
Framework of an AP Essay • Assertion-Evidence and ApplicationConclusion
• Assertion=Intro. Paragraph which includes the full thesis with the “answer” in it (topic + opinion about topic+ elements that will support/prove opinion)
• Evidence: concrete details, examples, reasons, facts from the work (quotes, paraphrase, etc.) • Application: commentary on how the assertion and evidence connect/are appropriate/work in the literary piece (Commentary is the heart of the paper because it’s there that students demonstrate their understanding of the literature and their analytical skills.)
• Conclusion: insightful, strong ending made up entirely of commentary; definitely NOT a boring summary of the literary work itself or of the essay • Concrete Detail (CD): specific details that prove or support the point of your body paragraph. Other common names for concrete details are fact and, most often, examples.
• Commentary (CM): your opinion or comment on a subject or point. It is not a concrete detail. Other common names for commentary are opinion, insight, and analysis.
Thesis • Thesis: a sentence with a subject and an opinion that usually comes at the end of the introductory paragraph; it also conveys the point of the entire written piece. • An effective thesis statement has two parts. One part presents your paper’s limited subject; the other presents your point of view, or attitude, about the subject.
Writing a Thesis Statement • 1983 Open-Ended Essay Prompt: From a novel or play of literary merit, select an important character who is a villain. Then in a wellorganized essay, analyze the nature of the character’s villainy and show how it enhances meaning in the work.
Example Thesis: Things to Include • • • •
Literary Work: The Scarlet Letter Villain: Chillingsworth Nature of villainy: secretive, deceitful, vengeful Meaning/theme: Hidden guilt destroys; public penance purifies • How enhances: He contrasts Hester; echoes Dimmsdale
Thesis Statement: In Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Chillingsworth, who is secretive, deceitful and vengeful, contrasts Hester and echoes Dimmsdale to show that hidden guilt destroys and public penance purifies.
Building the Essay
• Carefully read the prompt. • Underline words which give specific, direct, important instructions/topics to address. • Pull out and bullet words/directions underlined. • Brainstorm answers for the bullets. • Use these answers to develop the thesis. • Based on the prompt, you decide how many paragraphs to use to address the prompt. • Pre-write (no more than 10 minutes) • Begin Writing
• Introduction • Includes an “attention grabber” and a thesis statement • Make sure you include the name of the work and the name of the author. • Body Paragraph • • • • •
Topic Sentence Concrete Detail #1-Commentary-Commentary Concrete Detail #2-Commentary-Commentary Concrete Detail #3 (optional)-Commentary-Commentary Concluding Sentence- the point of this sentence is to go back and wrap up the point of the topic sentence without repeating the same words; reiterate the subject.
• Conclusion – Use all commentary. Keep it short. – Address a real world application with a broader sentence. DO NOT REPEAT THESIS! – Do not use: “…Shakespeare is a great author…”, “This essay uses great diction…”, “I have told you all about…”, etc.
Pre-writing • The process of getting your concrete details down on paper before you organize your essay into paragraphs. There are many types: bubble map, outline, columns, or listing.