Reading and Responding Attacking the essay When you write an essay you should be attacking the big themes and ideas of the text rather than merely demonstrating you understood the narrative. Starting approach
Thesis contention (essay question answer = contention; main point you wish to convince the reader of) Assertion (3-4 assertions; big contestable statements; claims to support your contention) Examples
(brainstorm examples for each assertion) Sort (which example works where; dont repeat/reuse examples) Order (order your assertions; think about the logical progression of the
points of your essay) And again 1.Keywords 2.Thesis contention (essay question answer = contention; main point you wish to convince the reader of) 3.Assertion (3-4 assertions; big contestable statements; claims to support your contention)
4.Example (brainstorm examples for each assertion) 5.Sort (which example works where; dont repeat/reuse examples) 6.Order (order your assertions; think about the logical progression of the points of your essay) What is the function of the topic sentence? (or
assertion) It is your key idea for the paragraph It relates directly to the essay topic It must be thought provoking It should provide a solid basis for discussion
A TOPIC SENTENCE NEVER Describes an event. If you do, then you become trapped into retelling the story. NODONT GO THERE! Effective topic sentences Are about ideas Set you up to make a point You then use the rest of your paragraph to develop the point made in
your topic sentence by explaining further and giving examples. Topic sentences are complex sentences Complex sentences are made when you join two or more sentences
together with a conjunction. The second clause gives extra detail and makes a sentence more sophisticated and explicit. A complex topic sentence enables deeper discussion of the topic.
A GOOD INTRODUCTION A well written introduction is the key to a successful essay. It should deal closely with the topic and the issues you are intending to deal with. It must provide a definite response to the topic. An introduction includes you are writing about essay topic key words Puts forward your contention
States the author and text Signposts the IDEAS of you body paragraphs (but these are GENERAL IDEAS not character specific) Is 5-8 sentences long: 1-2 sentences to introduce the text 1-2 contention 3-4 sentences IDEAS To reiterate:
AN INTRODUCTION NEVER Repeats the topic in the opening sentence Does not ignore the topic. Uses phrases like: In my opinion or I agree NODONT GO THERE! A GOOD CONCLUSION
A well written conclusion ties off all the threads of your ideas. A conclusion Wraps up your essay/ties off all your arguments Does not include specific examples Contains no new ideas Presents a resolution of the contention Is best when it finishes with the perfect quote.
To reiterate: A CONCLUSION DOES NOT Introduce new ideas End with In conclusion or To sum up Just summarise your points. NODONT GO THERE! Formula
(1 x topic sentence) + details/supporting arguments + textual evidence = Very good paragraph (1 x topic sentence) + details/supporting arguments + textual evidence + = linking
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