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Writing an Essay in English 10 Honors

For use with "How Elie Changed" Essay

Laura Grissom

on 3 September 2015

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Transcript of Writing an Essay in English 10 Honors

English 10 Honors -- "How Elie Changed" Essay
Writing an Essay
Types of Paragraphs
Formatting & General Rules
Introduction Paragraph
Do not write "In conclusion." Of course it is your conclusion; it is your last paragraph; anyone can see that. Also, unless you are really good at writing conclusions, please only write two sentence conclusions for the next couple of essays. Many people use the conclusion to simply retell. This is a waste of writing, time, and energy. Odds are your essay wasn't so long that the reader can't remember your main points.
Font: 12 pt. Times New Roman, Courier, or Arial
Overview of Essay Structure
Body Paragraph
Conclusion/Concluding Paragraph
This takes the reader (audience) out of the world (hook) and into your essay. This should introduce the reader to the work being discussed (complete title), the general ideas (bridge) behind your essay, and then ultimately the introduction should end (usually) with your thesis statement -- the main claim of your essay -- as the final sentence.
Introduction Paragraph
Global (the world outside of the essay)
Essay Specific (via thesis statment)
You will usually have two (2) to four (4) body paragraphs in most of the essay that you write over the next few years. Only write five (5) paragraphs total if that is what you need to write. The body paragraphs provide the crux (main or central feature) of your essay. Body paragraphs require a mini claim (topic sentence), which is usually the first sentence.
Body Paragraph
Stay inside the world of the essay.
You do not simply want to repeat what you've already said in the conclusion. The reader has already read the main points, so it would be unnecessary for them to hear everything again. For the purposes of essays in this class, I only want two sentences in your conclusion (unless you really have something more to say). Remember too that you don't want to introduce any new ideas. You want to restate your thesis statement in a different way. Then you want to try to end on a global statement that takes the reader back into the world outside of the essay.
Stay inside the world of the essay.
This takes the reader (audience) out of the world (hook) and into your essay. This should introduce the reader to the work being discussed (complete title), the general ideas (bridge) behind your essay, and then ultimately the introduction should end (usually) with your thesis statement -- the main claim of your essay -- as the final sentence.
Introduction Paragraph
Global (the world outside of the essay)
Essay Specific (via thesis statment)
Introduction Paragraph
thesis statment
You want to somehow grade your reader's attention. When I collect
a 10th grade essay, I have over a hundred to read. What is going to
make me want to read your essay? How are you going to get me interested
in your paper? Please make sure that your hook is related to your top ic
and make sure that it leads into your thesis.
Your bridge needs to get the reader from the hook to the thesis smoothly. At some point during the bridge, you want to introduce the full name of the text and the author.
Global (we are leaving the world and entering the world of your essay)
Thesis statement (specific to essay) = main claim of entire paper
There are some pieces that every essay needs in order for it to be considered successful writing in the academic world; however, you want to avoid being formulaic when you are writing for an English class. That being said, you want to avoid five (5) paragraph essays unless you absolutely need to have a total of five (5) total paragraphs (note: this would be three (3) body paragraphs). This would be the type of essay that contains the following thesis statement:
Elie changed spiritually, physically, and mentally.
This makes the writing too predictable. While the reader want to know where to go -- thanks to the thesis statement -- knowing the path too well is BORING.
Topic Sentence -- Mini Claim : While the thesis statement maps out the entire essay for the reader, the topic sentence merely maps out the paragraph. Nothing should be discussed in the paragraph that implied by the topic sentence. This is usually the first sentence of a paragraph.
Body Paragraphs
Concrete Detail (a.k.a. Evidence): This is evidence from the text that supports your topic sentence (and ultimately thesis statement). The best type of c.d. is direct quotes (embedded), then paraphrase, and lastly summary.
An essay without a thesis statement is like a boat
without a rudder -- it can go nowhere. Your thesis
statement is your main claim that will govern the
entire essy.
Commentary & Warrants: It is important to explain to your reader why your concrete detail is significant to the discussion. You cannot just leave a reader alone with a quote to decide for herself what it demonstrates. You must provide the connection between the evidence and the claims.
"Although some students will try to cram the essay writing process into an hour, truly good writing takes time."
Elie arrives at his first concentration camp claiming that "[he] was still the spoiled child [he] had always been" because he refused to eat the soup that was given to him (39); however, he three days later observes of himself that "[he] was eating any type of soup hungrily" (40).
With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) setting the cost per barrel of oil and with different environment groups like Green Peace blocking oil resources in Alaska, it seems ludicrous to blame high gas prices on the anyone in the White House.
Stylistically, it is a good idea to have the last sentence of your body paragraph smoothly transition into the next paragraph. This of course means that your last body paragraph should transition into your conclusion.
Your first sentence should restate (not repeat) your thesis statement. If your original thesis statement was this:
"Considering the legal system as it stands today, the death penalty is costly and immoral."
Then the first sentence of your conclusion could be this:
"Perhaps in history there was a time when capital punishment worked because the system was not as flawed as it currently is."
Think globally on your second sentence in your conclusion. You brought the reader in from the outside world with your hook; now lead them back out into the world outside your essay with something insightful yet not cliche.
The world outside of your essay
The bottom line about the cost of health care should not
be about the amount of money that taxpayers spend; it
should be about providing for America's children who cannot provide for themselves. If their parents cannot or even will not sacrifice for the sake of the children, then perhaps it is about time that the rest of us do.
Global Statement:
Afterall, the children are our future.
MLA heading, spacing, page numbering, and parenthetical citations.
Third-person-present-tense is the most academic.
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