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Writing

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Ellen Cavanaugh

on 15 January 2013

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Transcript of Writing

How to write the
PERFECT PARAGRAPH Read the following paragraphs.
Rate each on a scale of 1-5
(1 = F, 5 =A.) The question is....

Is the republican sniper static or dynamic?
How do you know? Dynamic because he changed. He was a bloodthirsty killer but after he found out that he killed his own brother, he changed his ways and decided that war is bad. The republican sniper is a dynamic character because he undergoes mental and emotional change. In the beginning of the story, he is described as "used to looking at death." Not only is he used to seeing people around him die, he is also excited to kill any enemy that crosses his path. After finding out that the enemy he has killed is his brother, he changes his opinion of war. The republican sniper is a dynamic character because he undergoes mental and emotional change. In the beginning of the story he is portrayed as a bloodthirsty predator who is not only "used to looking at death" (5) firsthand but who is also anxiously awaiting an opportunity to strike a Free Stater dead. In the beginning, it seems that for him, war is a fun game of strategy. However, after killing the third of his three victims, his opinion of war drastically changes. He appears to awaken from a nightmare and snap back to reality when, "The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse...His teeth chattered, he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody" (9). No longer is he the hungry, barbaric predator. He momentarily transforms into a civilized being. The republican sniper is a dynamic character because he changes his opinion on war. In order to undergo such a drastic change, the republican sniper had to learn that war is dehumanizing. It can turn even the most civilized into savages. 1. 2. 3. Step 1: Take a stance (topic sentence - top bun) The first sentence of your paragraph should ALWAYS address the question and state your position.
-What are you arguing?
-What statement will you defend with evidence from the text? Practice writing topic sentences using these sample questions. 1. Is Rainsford a static or dynamic character?
2. Which story was more suspenseful - Lamb to the Slaughter, The Most Dangerous Game, or The Sniper?
3. Is NFA the best school in CT?
4. Which superhero is the greatest of all time? Step 2: Support your stance (THE MEAT) 1. Provide at least two examples to support your stance.
2. ALWAYS Use quotations to back up your examples.
3. Be sure to INTRODUCE your quotes:
The author says, The character says, etc., etc.
4. Be sure to EXPLAIN your quotes (especially explain how they support your example and stance! A strong paragraph will have AT LEAST two reasons and at least two quotations for support.

The stance should be supported by examples.
Examples should be supported by quotations. Step 3: Wrap-it-up! (bottom bun) The last sentence of your paragraph should not only summarize your stance but should also provide your audience with a new thought or idea.
-This sentence should answer why and how questions. How does the republican sniper change? He learns a lesson. Paragraph Writing Pointers: 1. Avoid writing in 1st person:
"I think the theme is...." Instead, write as if you are an expert sharing facts
"The theme is..." 2. Use transition words to move from one point to another:
-First of all
-Secondly
-In addition
-Also 3. ALWAYS introduce quotes and explain them before moving onto a new thought.
The author states/claims/explains, ".............."
The character says/exclaims/asks, "..............." "I believe he is a round character...." "The author tells us...." "My opinion is that this is a good piece of literature...." "He is a round character because...." "The author tells the reader...." "This story is a good piece of literature because" 1. In the beginning of the story he is portrayed as a bloodthirsty predator

2. He momentarily transforms into a civilized being. 1. "used to looking at death" (5)

2. "The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse...His teeth chattered, he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody" (9). The republican sniper is a dynamic character because he undergoes mental and emotional change. + In the beginning of the story he is portrayed as a bloodthirsty predator who is not only "used to looking at death" (5) firsthand but who is also anxiously awaiting an opportunity to strike a Free Stater dead. In the beginning, it seems that for him, war is a fun game of strategy. However, after killing the third of his three victims, his opinion of war drastically changes. He appears to awaken from a nightmare and snap back to reality when, "The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse...His teeth chattered, he began to gibber to himself, cursing the war, cursing himself, cursing everybody" (9). No longer is he the hungry, barbaric predator. He momentarily transforms into a civilized being. + The republican sniper is a dynamic character because he changes his opinion on war.
In order to undergo such a drastic change, the republican sniper had to learn that war
is dehumanizing. It can turn even the most civilized into savages.
STANCE/
TOPIC SENTENCE SUPPORT/
EXAMPLES &
QUOTES WRAP UP STANCE/
TOPIC SENTENCE
SUPPORT/
EXAMPLES &
QUOTES
WRAP UP Writing in Response to Literature CAPT Question 1: Initial Understanding What are your thoughts and questions about the story? You might reflect upon the characters, their problems, the title or other ideas in the story. The Basics: -A state mandated (enforced)
standardized test -Taken in March of the sophomore year -Must meet "Goal" in order to graduate Assesses basic skills in all four core subjects
(English, Math, Science, Social Studies.) English 1. Response to Literature A. Read a story
B. Answer 4 questions 2. Reading for Information A. Read 3 pieces of non-fiction
B. Answer 12 multiple choice questions
C. Answer 6 short answer questions Response to Literature How should we go about
answering this question? Both responses were rewarded high scores.
What do you think scorers are looking for? CAPT STRATEGY #1 Annotate the Text a-NOTE-ate Make notes to yourself
while reading. What kinds of things
should you note? -Figurative Language:
Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Allusion, Symbol Literary Devices:
Irony, Suspense, Imagery, POV Anything that the author repeatedly inserts Italicized, bold-faced, underlined text Strange, unfamiliar, or foreign words ANYTHING that you want to
be able to go back to later. Develop a system For instance... Circle figurative language Underline modes of suspense Square irony Question #2 Developing an Interpretation: Choose one of the following quotations from the story. Explain what you think the quotation means as it relates to elements of the story, such as the character or the theme. A. I hate lugging my homework back and forth, and always having to remember what clothes are where and what bus I should take home from school and what I can and can't tell each parent. But--"I don't want to make things worse by complaining. B. Victor Maximilian Bonaparte Lincoln Rothbaum is anxious, antsy and constantly gnawing his fur. My dad bought some chewie toys, but the dog never knows where they are. At my mom's, he keeps peeing on the throw rugs in the living room. He's totally stressed out. C. I wipe my eyes and tell my dad how the one-week-here/one-week-there is for Victor Maximilian Bonaparte Lincoln Rothbaum. How a dog needs consistency, a stable home, routines. (page 7) This author provided valid interpretation: 1. Meg is considerate Meg needs stability Interpretation: Meg as an adult Interpretation: Meg as a child Score: 5 What could have made this response a 6? Plausible interpretation Score = 4 How could this response be strengthened? Basic/literal interpretation
of the quotation. Score: 3 How could this response be improved upon? Very basic interpretation of quote:
Parents act like children. Score = 2
What could it do better? What does this response do well? Basic interpretation:
Dog represents Meg Score = 3 How could this response be bumped up to a 4? Interpretation: Meg is considerate Interpretation: Meg needs stability Score = 6 What makes this response better than all the others? Pointers: 1. Make one/two CLAIM(s)/STANCE(s)/ INTERPRETATION(s) "The dog is a symbol for Meg's feelings about the marriage." 2. Choose to interpret the literal meaning of the author's use of something figurative (an allusion, metaphor, simile, personification, symbol) BETTER NOT-SO-GREAT "Even though Meg can handle going back and forth each week it isn't good for the dog." figurative literal 3. Support each claim with textual evidence. QUOTES AND EXAMPLES. 4. Explain quotes and examples thoroughly. Tell how they support claim/stance/interpretation. 5. Don't forget to wrap up! STOP Read:
"Victor Maximilian Bonaparte Lincoln Rothbaum" 1 2 3 4 5 6 What is an interpretation?
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