More Lessons Like This...
Random Five More New
Grade:
Subject:
Middle
Reading/Writing
Grade: Middle

#1174. How to Write A+ Essays! This REALLY WORKS!

Reading/Writing, level: Middle
Posted Fri Jul 16 21:50:56 PDT 1999 by Alyson Schenker (bigfatslob@prodigy.net).
Alyson's Educational Home Page for English Teachers
Deerfield Beach High School, Deerfield Beach, USA
Materials Required: Print this out for overheads
Activity Time: 4 days, 1 day per concept and 1 to edit
Concepts Taught: Thesis, Introduction, Body, Transitions, Conclusion, FloridaWRITES!

THIS WILL IMPROVE YOUR STUDENTS ORGANIZATIONAL AND ANALYTICAL SKILLS!

PREWRITE FIRST!!! Choose a trio topic: three of may favorite things, three goals, etc. Develop 3 signifigant details for each trio topic. Develop 1 example for each signifigant detail. (3 details + 1 example + 1 transition= 5 sentences per body paragraph!)

MINI LESSON: Print the overhead material below. Make student take ver betum notes as the minilesson.

ACTIVITY:Each day, assign students a part of the essay to draft after mini-lesson. They should write each part of the essay (intro, body, conc) on seperate sheets of paper. Pair them up for editing, and MONITOR the groups to help them proofread. Assign the 2nd draft for HW on a Friday. Rewrite until it's right!

ASSESSMENT:E-mail me for the INCREDIBLY EASY & QUICK grading rubric for 5-paragraph essays.

Writing Essays


INTRODUCTIONS


1. "Clincher" statement that catches the reader's attention

2. Overview of what you plan on discussing in your essay

3. Thesis statement - state your POSITION

4. Transitions smoothly into first paragraph


THESIS STATEMENT

1. Main idea of your entire paper

2. Expresses your position in a full, declarative sentence

3. Controls the focus of the entire paper

4. Points forward to the conclusion

5. Conforms to your reasons, examples, and evidence


A WORKING 3 PART THESIS

Opinion and Fact

Dracula was one of the better films this summer because if its setting,
action
, and philosophy.

Consequence

Social ostracism, great expense, and personal hardship are three of the
unfortunate results of the most dangerous disease of the century - AIDS.

Autobiographical

From my personal experience, I know that poor preparation, alcohol consumption, and insect infestation can cause most family picnics to fail.


AVOIDING MISTAKES IN YOUR INTRODUCTION


  • Avoid a purpose statement, such as "The purpose of this..." "Now I shall prove", "in this paragraph I will tell you" SHOW -DON'T TELL

  • Avoid repetition of the title or text

  • Avoid complex or difficult questions that may puzzle your reader

  • Avoid simple definitions - EXPLAIN

  • Avoid artwork or cute lettering



A BEAUTIFUL BODY



PARAGRAPH


  • A group of sentences that presents and develops one MAIN IDEA about a topic

  • These sentences work together to communicate one MAIN IDEA
.



MAIN IDEA


  • the overall POINT of the PARAGRAPH that is conveyed in the TOPIC SENTENCE



TOPIC SENTENCE


  • USUALLY the first sentence of the PARAGRAPH that states the MAIN IDEA stated in each part of the
    THESIS

  • This sentence CONTROLS the ENTIRE PARAGRAPH
  • It tells the READER what the reset of the paragraph is ABOUT

  • This helps the WRITER focus on the MAIN IDEA and not stray from the MAIN IDEA


  • This is more GENERAL than the SUPPORTING DETAILS that follow.



SUPPORTING DETAIL SENTENCES

  • Other sentences in the PARAGRAPH that give INFORMATION that SUPPORTS the MAIN IDEA that was stated in the TOPIC SENTENCE

  • A paragraph with only 1-2 supporting details is NOT EFFECTIVE and UNACCEPTABLE

  • At least THREE details are NEEDED to provide STRONG SUPORT for the MAIN IDEA:


    descriptions

    definitions

    examples

    elaboration

    exploration

  • Paragraphs should be AT LEAST 6 sentences, including TRANSITIONS


*WARNING*

Sentences that DO NOT SUPPORT the TOPIC SENTENCE

DESTROY
the UNITY of the paragraph



SMOOTH TRANSITIONS

The last sentence of each paragraph should reflect:


  • what you have just discussed in the paragraph

  • signal the change into the next paragraph


CONCLUSIONS


  1. Restate the thesis

  2. GO BEYOND the thesis by stating something worthwhile:

    reach a judgment

    endorse an issue

    discuss findings

    offer directives

  3. Leave the reader with a thought provoking
    statement


AVOIDING MISTAKES IN YOUR CONCLUSION


  • AVOID presenting new IDEAS

  • AVOID stopping at an awkward spot or trailing off into meaningless or irrelevant information

  • AVOID questions that raise new issues

  • AVOID fancy artwork or cute lettering