Effective Writing. Highlights followed by a review Ritchie English 11 H. Most Important Highlights. A strong essay starts with an original idea (analysis not expository)…I often call this a “kernel of insight”
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Highlights followed by a review
Ritchie English 11 H
+ Blueprint-map of specifics
A.) surprising, or very original, statement
C.) famous quotation
D.) short anecdote
The Heart is Mightier than the Head. It’s a common scenario on the many police or crime scene investigator shows that play on television, a woman finds out her husband is cheating on her and in a jealous rage, grabs a gun and shoots him or maybe a man grabs a statue and fatally hits his business partner after finding out he has been stealing money from him. People commit “crimes of passion” due to a powerful emotional impulse. These people do not think before they act, but follow their passion and make a quick decision that will lead to horrible consequences. They never had a moment to think, their actions were a result of their emotions. People cannot rely on reason as Iago from William Shakespeare’s novel Othello, claims. He states to the heartbroken Roderigo, “Virtue! A fig! ‘Tis in ourselves are we thus or thus. Our bodies are gardens, to which our wills are gardeners...It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will” (1.3. 320-331). Although reasoning does play a part in people’s decisions, emotion is really the one pushing people’s actions. Emotions stir up forceful feelings from excitement to furiousness. These feelings makes it difficult for people to think clearly and effectively in making judgments, therefore they do what their emotions tell them to. People’s usual common sense and judgment are blinded and overrun by the sudden feelings they have. When people have powerful emotions, it is the predominate force behind human’s decision- making, and causes people to disregard their logic and reasoning and make rash choices.
Context of Quote #1
Analysis for Quote #1
Transition and Context for Quote #2
Analysis for Quote #2
The first sentence of a body paragraph. This sentence states what you will prove in your paragraph in order to support your thesis. This should be a clear, complex, and insightful sentence (no plot summary)
The reasons that you give within a paragraph to back up your topic sentence. Your supporting ideas need to connect directly to your topic sentence.
The evidence that demonstrates your supporting ideas. Be sure you pick the best possible evidence.
Specifically states how and why the quotation demonstrates the supporting idea.
Sums up what you have proven in the paragraph.
Topic Sentence Examples (Rank these in order of strongest to weakest if the topic is regarding whether or not the doctor is a positive or negative authority figure)
Most humans act impulsively on their short-term emotions despite knowing the logical repercussions of their actions; they cannot dependently rely on their reasoning to control their emotions. For example, women’s tennis pro Serena Williams recently lost her composure at the US when a line judge made an erroneous call at a crucial point in the semifinal match. In the heat of the moment, she angrily threatened the line judge using profanity and shook her racket menacingly at the judge. As a result, she was fined a point that cost her the game and criticized nationwide by tabloids and fans alike. She had received an earlier warning for breaking her racket out of anger, so Williams undoubtedly knew the consequences of her actions; although her reason probably told her to stay calm instead of start a ruckus, the sudden anger that possessed her at that moment was much too strong to override with sheer willpower Ideally, humans would be able to consider all their actions in a logical context before making any decisions. In an imperfect world, however, this is simply not the case. Most people, when excited by emotion, revert to their primal instincts and momentarily abandon their reason because it seems like the easiest road to take, but such personal irresponsibility can cause people to act rashly just as Williams did in her recent match. Most people have trouble taming their emotions with reason, and even on the occasion when people are able to manage their outbursts of emotion, the emotions behind the actions remain.
Excellent Body paragraphs need excellent evidence!
A couple of rules of thumb:
Your quotes cannot just be “plopped” into your paper, they must fit and flow with your paragraph.
Quote Analysis 101:
Quote Integration Quote Quote Analysis
Quote Analysis: Additional Strategies
Consider the diction (word choice) of the author and draw attention to the exact words and phrases that generate your ideas.
Point out if the author seems to be using any figurative language (metaphors, similes, personification, symbols, etc.) and explain why you think he or she is doing this.
Discuss the tone or mood of the passage and the language that creates this atmosphere.
Explain how the syntax (sentence structure) of the passage influences ideas – what is the effect of having a long sentence or a short sentence, of arranging words in a certain order, of using active or passive verbs, etc?
In “Use of Force,” the doctor is a negative example of an authority figure because he does not treat the people he is serving with proper respect. A good authority figure has power over other people, but does not look down at them. The doctor, however, thinks of his patient as an inferior being. When the doctor sees the little girl for the first time, he proclaims that she is “an unusually attractive little thing, and as strong as a heifer in appearance” (Williams 2).
He proclaims that she is “an unusually attractive little thing, and as strong as a heifer in appearance”
Not only does the doctor negatively force his patient into doing what he wants, he also enjoys seeing the little girl squirm in pain. The doctor forces the girl to open her mouth and sees it as winning a challenge instead of helping out a patient. The doctor states, “I could have torn the child apart in my own fury and enjoyed it.” The doctor likes to have the power that he exerts over others, and he especially enjoys over-powering Matilda. The doctor also says, “It was a pleasure to attack her.” This shows how the doctor actually took pleasure in inflicting pain on other humans because it makes him feel strong and powerful. The pleasure the doctor obtains from hurting a young girl shows how he is abusing his power.
Wrapping it up
Most stories have some element where strong emotions overcome reason, whether a love story like Romeo and Juliet, or a story with a man bent on revenge, even if the revenge is against a whale, like in Herman Meilville’s Moby Dick. Perhaps, Blaise Pascal summed it up best when he stated that, “The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of.”
Humans have relied on reason and will to control their emotions for centuries. That is the only way a community could exist and prosper in the past as well today in the modern world. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error.” Being controlled solely by emotion can only lead to complications and escalation of those complications. Relying on our reason and will to control our emotions and use them in unity to make our judgments is the only effective way to go about living. Emotions should never be the sole motivator in someone’s actions and have proven in the past to be devastatingly damaging like in the case of Othello. We must rely on our reason and will to control our emotions, and allow for reason to be dominant in our lives over emotion.
Mary Anne explains, “I want to eat this place. Vietnam. I want to swallow the whole country” (O’Brien 111).
Eddie Diamond prophesized her descent into madness, “there’s the scary part. I promise you, this girl will most definitely learn,” but he had not idea of the extent that she would fall (97).
Azar explains what happened that night, “the six greenies did not speak…then they filed off to their hut at the edge of the compound”(102).
O’Brien writes, “Rat said, ‘the days aren’t so bad, but at night the pictures get to be [scary]’”(250).
O’Brien explains Rat Kiley’s deterioration:
Win some and lose some, he said, but he’d tried hard. Briefly
then, rambling a little, he talked about a few of the guys who
were gone now, Curt Lemon and Kiowa and Ted Lavender
and how crazy it was that people who were so incredibly alive
could get so incredibly dead. (O’Brien 250)
This quote shows how Rat Kiley had become obsessed and quite fearful of death.