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Beyond the five paragraph essay
Transcript of Beyond the five paragraph essay
"Beyond the 5-¶ Essay"
Mr. Cameron Turner
Let's begin with the big picture...
"But wait... why is the 5-¶ Essay so terrible?"
There is another way! A better way!
come to the light, children... the light of...
Then why did Mrs. Brigman/Dindinger/whoever make me learn it? I want my tuition dollars back, Mr. Turner!
Rhetoric: "using all available means to persuade an audience; the art of persuasion"
How to set up a Classical Argument
DISCLAIMER: Think of the following as
sections of a paper, each of which performs
a function. Each section can have MULTIPLE
Early in the evening of August 14, 1945 in the living room of her yellow clapboard house in Grandview, Missouri a small spry woman of 93 talking to a guest excused herself to take a long distance call in another room. “Hello, hello,” the guest heard her begin. “Yes, I’m all right. Yes. I’ve been listening to the radio [...] I heard the Englishman speak [...] I’m glad they accepted the surrender terms. Now you come to see me if you can. All right good – bye."
(David McCullough –
The Pentagon has twice as many bathrooms as necessary.
A quote (but make sure
to introduce it)
Seek controversy: Position your
argument as bold, new,
and in conversation with others
Most "serious" readers of literature might be tempted to write "Catcher in the Rye" off as whiny teenage fiction--good to read when you're a self-obsessed 14-year-old, but of no serious consideration for educated, sober, mature, and oh-so-serious literary critics. These readers fail to consider, however...
Toulmin-style thesis: "Although z, x because y"
z = counterargument (perspectives you're arguing against)
x = what you believe to be true/the argument you're advancing
y = why that argument is valid (without forecasting your points)
Although many readers are quick to dismiss Ho
Caulfield as a whiny, entitled adolescent who is overly judgmental of the world in which he lives, these readers fail to notice Catcher in the Rye's commentary on the hollowness of mid-century America, as Caulfield's commentary exposes an adult world even more narcissistic, materialistic, and spiritually bankrupt than he is.
II: Narration - Summarize the topic you're discussing, being fair, objective, and clear (whether that's when and why the Puritans came to the New World or just how much freedom Jane has in "Jane Eyre"...)
III: Confirmation: "Firstly.... subsequently.... furthermore.... ultimately..."
Make your case, going from strongest point to weakest, making rational and logical use of evidence.
IV: Refutation: "Some skeptics might object that..." or "Doubtlessly, the objection might be raised that..." or "It is tempting to think that..."
But be FAIR when you deal with
opposing viewpoints, or you won't be
doing yourself a favor...
V: Summation: "So what?"
... please avoid "In conclusion..." or "In summation..." and copy/pasting your thesis.
Where can you use this?
*Any essay you write for college, especially
in the humanities (English, philosophy, history,
art history, communications, etc.)
*Any presentation you ever have to give
*Job interviews and cover letters
*Heated arguments you get in with your parents (Mr. Turner is not responsible for any consequences of your decision-making here, BTW)
*Law school (if you're going to law school)
*If you ever have to go to court to fight a speeding ticket because you like to drive fast like Mr. Davenport
*Wedding toasts, funeral eulogies, and other speeches
*Strange, other conflicts you somehow get into (I dunno, maybe you run into some sketchball on the bus and he starts arguing with you about how reptilian aliens are controlling Congress. It could happen?)
I. N. C. R. S.
"Inkers is for college-bound thinkers!"