The Freshman Essay. The Granite Hills High School English Department utilizes The Jane Schaffer Essay Writing Program to help prepare Students for the California High School Exit Exam, Golden State Exams, SAT II, and Advanced Placement Exams.
The Freshman Essay
The Granite Hills High School English Department utilizes
The Jane Schaffer Essay Writing Program to help prepare
Students for the California High School Exit Exam,
Golden State Exams, SAT II, and Advanced Placement Exams.
To advance this program, click the left mouse button. Students
might want to take Cornell notes in case their teachers give a quiz on
Steps in the Writing Process
2. Shaping the essay
3. First draft and student revised second draft
4. Editing conference
6. Final draft
Freshman Essay Format
The basic freshman essay is composed of four paragraphs:
1. Introduction: 3 sentences40+ words
2. First Body Paragraph:8 sentences 100+ words
3. Second Body Paragraph:8 sentences 100+ words
4. Conclusion:3 sentences40+ words
The introduction is composed of three sentences:
1. The first sentence introduces the literary selection’s theme.
2. The second sentence introduces the literary selection’s
title, author, plot, setting, and characters.
The order of these sentences may be varied.
When students get to the conclusion, we tell them to write a
paragraph that fulfills three requirements:
1. It is all commentary.
2. It does not repeat key words from anywhere in the essay
3. It gives a finished feeling to the paper.
Essay:A piece of writing that expresses thoughts
(commentary) about a subject. At GHHS, freshman
essays will be composed of at least 4 paragraphs: an
introduction, 2 body paragraphs, and a concluding
Introduction:The first paragraph in an essay. It includes the thesis,
most often at the end.
Thesis:A sentence with a subject and opinion. This sentence
comes somewhere in your introductory paragraph and
most often at the end.
Paragraphs:Develop logical, well supported arguments
that support the thesis statement. Body paragraphs include both specific textual examples (CD) andinsightful analysis (CM).
Sentence:The first sentence in a body paragraph. This must
have a subject and express an opinion. It does the
same thing for the body paragraph that the thesis
statement does for the whole essay.
Details:Specific details that form the backbone or core of
body paragraphs. Synonyms for concrete detail
include: facts, specifics, examples, descriptions,
illustrations, support, proof, evidence, quotations,
paraphrasing, or plot references.
Commentary: Student’s commentary about the importance and meaning of examples used in CD sentences.
Synonyms include: opinion, insight, analysis,
interpretation, inference, personal response, feelings,
evaluation, explication, and reflection.
Sentence: The last sentence in a body paragraph. It is all
commentary, gives a finished feeling to the
paragraph, and makes a transition to next paragraph.
Paragraph:The last paragraph in the essay. It may reflect on what student wrote in the essay, provide more commentary, or express a personal statement about the subject.
Essay: The step that is done after prewriting and before the
first draft. It is an outline of the essay’s thesis, topic
sentences, concrete details, and commentary ideas.
Chunk:One sentence of concrete detail and two sentences
of commentary (CD, CM, CM)
Weaving:Blending concrete details and commentary in a body
paragraph. Students can do this after they master the
Ratio:The ratio of 1 part concrete detail to 2 parts
Counts:The minimum length per paragraph to earn a “C.”
Building the Freshman Essay
To continue building the freshman essay, open the
Building the Freshman Essay (Mitty) PowerPoint