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The College Essay

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on 14 March 2016

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Transcript of The College Essay

Components of a Body Paragraph
The body paragraph includes:

1 Topic Sentence (TS)

1 Concrete Detail (CD)

2 Commentary (CM)

1 Concrete Detail (CD)

2 Commentary (CM)

1 Conclusion
The College Essay
The college essay includes the following paragraphs:

Introduction
3 Body Paragraphs
Conclusion
Topic Sentences
The Topic Sentence (TS) is the first sentence of the paragraph. It shows the main idea. It is something that you will prove in the paragraph.
Concrete Details
The Concrete Details (CD) are facts, quotes, and examples from the text.

Concrete details cannot be argued with - they are evidence that support your point.
Commentary
Commentary Sentences (CM) are your analysis, interpretation, explanation, or insight into the text.

Commentary should NOT just be the quote written in your own words.
Weak Commentary
Quote:
After an incident where a stranger entered the home and tried to molest Jeannette, she describes how, "I asked Mom and Dad if we should close the doors and windows when we went to sleep. They wouldn't consider it... it was essential that we refuse to surrender to fear" (103).

Commentary:
Jeannette asks her parents to close the doors and windows in the house while they sleep, but they refuse to. They think it is more important not to give in to fear.
The College Essay - Body Paragraphs
The Body Paragraph
The body paragraphs are where you will incorporate evidence from the text to support your thesis statement. The textual evidence must be explained and you must show how it supports your thesis statement.
One of the best ways to come up with your Topic Sentences is to take them directly from the Thesis Statement.
Example Commentary
TS 2: The children's lives are put in danger due to the parents' lifestyle choices.

Quote:
After an incident where a stranger entered the home and tried to molest Jeannette, she describes how, "I asked Mom and Dad if we should close the doors and windows when we went to sleep. They wouldn't consider it... it was essential that we refuse to surrender to fear" (103).

Commentary:
Because the parents refuse to compromise their ideals, they put their children in danger. Even after the children have been victimized by a dangerous intruder, Rex and Rose Mary prioritize the importance of being fearless over protecting their children from future attacks.
Example:

Thesis Statement
: Rex and Rose Mary Walls are unfit parents because they are selfish, they put their children's lives in danger, and they neglect their children.
TS #1: Rex and Rose Mary are selfish.

TS #2: The children's lives are put in danger due to the parents' lifestyle choices.

TS #3: Rex and Rose Mary neglect their children.
You MUST introduce a quote; you should never put a quote in your essay without introducing it.

There are several ways to introduce a quote.
Make sure that when you introduce a quote, you give the context (situation) so the author understands what's going on.

Example:

When the family rents a U-Haul to move towns, the kids have to ride in the back, and Jeannette describes how "it got cold and uncomfortable in the back of the dark U-Haul. The engine made the floor vibrate, and we'd all go tumbling whenever we hit a bump. Several hours passed" (49).
The commentary sentences will be similar to what you write in the "response" column of your dialectical journals.
Concluding
Sentence
A concluding sentence (CS) wraps up the paragraph. It rephrases the main idea that was stated in the topic sentence.

Topic Sentence:
The children's lives are put in danger due to the parents' lifestyle choices.

Concluding Sentence:
The parents repeatedly put their children in harm's way, and they justify these situations by claiming they are helping the kids overcome fear.
What's wrong with this commentary?
Example Body Paragraph
The children's lives are put in danger due to the parents' lifestyle choices.

After an incident where a stranger enters the home and tries to molest Jeannette, she describes how, "I asked Mom and Dad if we should close the doors and windows when we went to sleep. They wouldn't consider it... it was essential that we refuse to surrender to fear" (103).
Because the parents refuse to compromise their ideals, they put their children in danger. Even after the children have been victimized by a dangerous intruder, Rex and Rose Mary prioritize the importance of being fearless over protecting their children from future attacks.
When Jeannette is three years old, she burns herself while making hot dogs, and when the nurse in the hospital questions her, she explains, "Mom says I'm mature for my age...and she lets me cook for myself a lot" (11).

Rose Mary cares more about Jeannette's ability to learn to feed herself than the fact that Jeannette was too young and could have been burned alive. This just shows how irresponsible Rose Mary is, because teaching a child to feed herself is a good lesson; however, it is not a good lesson when the child is three years old and not being supervised.
The parents repeatedly put their children in harm's way, and they justify these situations by claiming they are helping the kids overcome fear.
Thesis Statement
: Rex and Rose Mary Walls are unfit parents because they are selfish, they put their children's lives in danger, and they neglect their children.
Full transcript