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You Can Write an Essay: Romeo and Juliet Argumentative Essay

Assisting freshmen with writing an argumentative essay. Sources: Rick Millican and They Say/I Say by Graff & Birkenstein
by

Anthony Devine

on 16 May 2014

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Transcript of You Can Write an Essay: Romeo and Juliet Argumentative Essay

A Thought Process for Good Writing
Text: Introduce the quotation/paraphrase.
You: Begin the paragraph (topic sentence).
So, the steps are like a thought process?
You-Text-You: The Steps
Step 1
Step 2
Begin the paragraph (topic sentence). Introduce the subject/topic/point you want to make. For this essay, the topic sentence will introduce who/what is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. If you have something to say, go on with your own thinking. If it will help to use a source immediately, bring it in. This is your thinking and must come from your brain.
For this essay, see some possible sentence starters for topic sentences:

There is evidence to show that ___________ is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Some people may blame _____ __________________ for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Many people agree that the deaths of Romeo and Juliet should be blamed on_________.
Here are several sentence starters to help with this:

X states “ _________” (parenthetical note).
As X puts it, _________” (parenthetical note).
According to X, “ _________” (parenthetical note).
X himself (herself) writes, “ _________” (parenthetical note).
In her (article, editorial, etc.), __________, X maintains that “ _________” (parenthetical note).
Writing in the journal Commentary, X complains that “ _________” (parenthetical note).
In X’s view, “ _________” (parenthetical note).
X agrees when he/she writes, _________” (parenthetical note).
X disagrees when he/she writes, _________” (parenthetical note).
X complicates matters further when he/she writes “ _________” (parenthetical note).


$1.25
Friday, May 9, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Body Paragraphs
For Reals
"Writing is hard," cry teens.
Students Suffer Under the Weight of RJ Essay
El Cajon, CA-- Distraught teenagers across the classroom are realizing that they actually need to try to write their Romeo and Juliet Essays. When reached for comment, Mr. Devine stated, "Hey, I gave them a rubric with all the expectations in writing and in video. It's up to the students to do their part."

In fact, reports do indicate that students received a clear rubric with all of the assignment's requirements. When confronted with this information most freshmen were not sure what to say. One teen finally admitted, "We just thought he was joking that we had to write an essay. Writing is hard and we're just not sure how to do some of the things Mr. Devine is telling us need to be in the essay."
The introduction paragraph is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is introduce the title, author, 3 possible answers to the question (who's to blame?), and your thesis statement (where you say one answer is the best).

The body paragraphs are where you are going to do most of your writing. Luckily, there are easy to follow steps to make sure you have good body paragraphs.
You Can Write an Essay
Text: Explain the meaning of the quotation/paraphrase.
Step 3
Choosing the right quotation (step 2) is important. Explaining or paraphrasing what you just quoted helps the reader see that you understand the meaning of the author’s idea and why the author's idea supports the main idea of your paragraph.

Here are a few sentence starters showing how to begin your explanations:

Basically, X is saying _________.
In other words, X believes _________.
In making this comment, X argues that _________.
X is insisting that _________.
X’s point is that _________.
The essence of X’s argument is that _________.



You: Sentence Starters for agreeing, but with a difference
Step 4 cont.
I agree that _________ because my experience _________ confirms it.
My claim is similar to X’s; however, it differs in that _________.
X’s theory of _________ is extremely useful because it sheds insight into the difficult problem of _________.
X documents his point extensively, and I would say _________.
I agree that _________, a point that needs emphasizing because so many people believe _________.
Those unfamiliar with X’s argument that _________ may be interested to know that it boils down to _________. There may be other factors involved as Author Y takes into account. For example...
You: Sentence Starters for disagreeing, with reasons
Step 4 cont.
I think X is mistaken because he/she overlooks _________.
X’s claim that_________ rests on the questionable assumption that _________.
I disagree with X’s view that _________ because, as Author Y shows, _________.
X contradicts herself/himself (or, "can’t have it both ways"). On the one hand, she/he argues ________. But on the other hand, she also says _________.
By focusing on ________, X overlooks the deeper problem of _________.
X claims _________, but we don’t need him to tell us that. Author Y answers that idea by saying _________.
You: Sentence Starters for agreeing and disagreeing simultaneously
Step 4 cont.
Emphasizing Agreement more than Disagreement ; a “no, but . . .” move:
Although I agree with much that X says, I don’t fully endorse his/her final conclusion that _________.
Emphasizing Disagreement more than Agreement: a “yes, but . . .” move:
Although I disagree with much that X says, I fully endorse his/her final conclusion that _________.
Other versions
Though I concede that _________, I still insist that _________.
X is right that _________, but he/she seems on more dubious ground when she claims that _________.
While X is probably wrong when he/ she claims that _________, she is right that _________.
Whereas X provides ample evidence that _________, Y and Z’s claims that _________ convinces me that _________ instead.
You: Original Thinking (this part is all you).
Step 4
Analyze/comment on the quotation. Create an original argument using the source. Make sure it is clear how the text and your thoughts connect. This should be the longest step because you are explaining your thoughts.


You: Sentence Starters for agreeing, but with a difference
Step 4 cont.
Agreeing asks for more than just agreeing with an author’s claim. You are seeking to extend, to clarify, or somehow move beyond the author’s ideas. The art is to add something fresh and unique to the conversation surrounding this topic:

I agree that _________ because my experience _________ confirms it.
My claim is similar to X’s; however, it differs in that _________.
X’s theory of _________ is extremely useful because it sheds insight into the difficult problem of _________.
X documents his point extensively, and I would say _________.
I agree that _________, a point that needs emphasizing because so many people believe _________.
Those unfamiliar with X’s argument that _________ may be interested to know that it boils down to _________. There may be other factors involved as Author Y takes into account.
You: Sentence Starters for disagreeing, with reasons
Step 4 cont.
One of the most persuasive ways to argue is to show how others’ arguments are weak or wrong. You will need persuasive reasons (usually more than one) as to why Author X has it wrong and you have it right. Often bringing in another author to answer the first helps you counterargue.
I think X is mistaken because he/she overlooks _________.
X’s claim that_________ rests on the questionable assumption that _________.
I disagree with X’s view that _________ because, as Author Y shows, _________.
X contradicts herself/himself (or, can’t have it both ways). On the one hand, she/he argues ________. But on the other hand, she also says _________.
By focusing on ________, X overlooks the deeper problem of _________.
X claims _________, but we don’t need him to tell us that. Author Y answers that idea by saying _________.
You: Sentence Starters for agreeing and disagreeing simultaneously
Step 4 cont.
We often recognize valid points on both sides and want to combine a little from one side and a little from the other. Depending where you lay your stress, you can agree more with one side and less with the other.
Emphasizing Agreement more than Disagreement ; a “no, but . . .” move:
Although I agree with much that X says, I don’t fully endorse his/her final conclusion that _________.
Emphasizing Disagreement more than Agreement: a “yes, but . . .” move:
Although I disagree with much that X says, I fully endorse his/her final conclusion that _________.
Other versions
Though I concede that _________, I still insist that _________.
X is right that _________, but he/she seems on more dubious ground when she claims that _________.
While X is probably wrong when he/ she claims that _________, she is right that _________.
Whereas X provides ample evidence that _________, Y and Z’s claims that _________ convinces me that _________ instead.
Text: Introduce the quotation/paraphrase.
Step 2
X states “ _________” (parenthetical note).
As X puts it, "_________” (parenthetical note).
According to X, “ _________” (parenthetical note).
X himself (herself) writes, “ _________” (parenthetical note).
In her (article, editorial, etc.), __________, X maintains that “_________” (parenthetical note).
In X’s view, “ _________” (parenthetical note).
X agrees when he/she writes, " _________” (parenthetical note).
X disagrees when he/she writes, "_________” (parenthetical note).
X complicates matters further when he/she writes “_________” (parenthetical note).


Text: Explain the meaning of the quotation/paraphrase.
Step 3
Basically, X is saying _________.
In other words, X believes _________.
In making this comment, X argues that _________.
X is insisting that _________.
X’s point is that _________.
The essence of X’s argument is that _________.



You: Begin the paragraph (topic sentence).
Step 1

There is evidence to show that ___________ is responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Some people may blame _____ __________________ for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
Many people agree that the deaths of Romeo and Juliet should be blamed on_________.
Sources
Mr. Millican (an excellent ECV English Teacher)
You: Reconnect to your claim.
Step 5
Reestablish how the source supports, clarifies, extends, illustrates, or complicates your claim.

Then...
Transition. Connect to your next thought sequence.

Possible sentence starters:
In conclusion, _______________________.
Finally, _____________________.
Overall, __________________________.
Clearly, ______________________________.
The point is ________________________________.
You: Reconnect to your claim.
Step 5
Reestablish how the source supports, clarifies, extends, illustrates, or complicates your claim.

Then...
Transition. Connect to your next thought sequence.

Possible sentence starters:
In conclusion, _______________________.
Finally, _____________________.
Overall, __________________________.
Clearly, ______________________________.
The point is ________________________________.
Full transcript