Essay Format- Concrete Details and Commentary Statements
Concrete Detail (CD) stuff from the story –the what ;it can be quotation or paraphrase facts; examples; illustrations; evidence; support; plot references; citations; What really happened in the story? ; play-by-play announcer TERMS TO KNOW-
Commentary – (CM) stuff from your head- the “so what?” - words with feelings behind them that you can describe to someone else; analysis; interpretation; a character’s feelings; opinion; inference; insight; reasons; “color commentator”
Ratio – the amount of CD:CM in a body paragraphIn Standard English, the essay ratio is 1:2+
Specific details that form the backbone or skeleton of your body paragraphsSynonyms for concrete details include: facts, examples, quotations, specifics, descriptions, illustrations, support, proof What ARE “concrete details”?
WHEN should concrete details be written? -Concrete details must be included in every essay -Include enough concrete details to support each point (in general, three separate detailswill be the minimum needed to support one point) WHY should concrete details be written? -To support your thesis -To give reasons for your audience to agree with your position
HOW should concrete details be written? For beginners, include a minimum of two concrete details to support each point you are trying to make. Introduce your concrete detail with transition words (workbook p.7), such as - For example… - Furthermore… - Finally… For intermediate writers, include a minimum of three concrete details for every point
Young children are difficult to teach, but they still like learning. Their minds have not yet developed the necessary skills to solve complex or even simple problems. Even so, they live surrounded by unbounded mysteries and wonder. We could learn about life from children. - http://www.uoflife.com/wc/creative/concrete.htm Sample paragraph WITHOUT concrete details-
Same piece WITH concrete details Young children are difficult to teach, but they still love learning. For example, when a toddler will experiment with a model tool bench, he cannot grasp that the square peg will not fit into the round hole. He must try to fit the peg himself, which results hours of fun. This means that while he may not grasp a concept quickly, he wants to understand it. Even when they are frustrated by what they don’t understand, toddlers live surrounded by wonder.A young child will reach out his arms to grab everything within reach at a store, and those objects are immediately placed in the mouth. This shows that toddlers have incredible curiosity. Even when they don’t understand the use for something, their instinct is to learn as much about it as possible. These examples show a love of knowledge that comes through experimentation rather than formal learning. Thesis pointConcrete detail(s)Commentary statement(s)
Why can writing concrete details be SO HARD? You have to have a purpose – know your thesis and understand it. Each detail you choose should help support that thesis You have to do some research. If you’re writing a research paper, this is obvious. If you’re writing a literary analysis, this means you go back to the text and look for your specific examples.
What concrete details ARE NOT- • Abstract – you can find them, see them, touch them on a page or take a photograph of them, etc. • General – you should be as specific as possible in your writing
Sentence #1 -Topic Sentence – TSSentence #2 – CD –starts with “For example”Sentence #3 – CM - (This shows that)Sentence #4 – CM – (This also show that; This is because; This is important because)Sentence#5 – Concluding Sentence – CS – Sums it up and ties back to the thesis (As a result) One-Chunk Body Paragraph
Chunk Paragraph with 3 details Sentence #1 -Topic Sentence –TS Sentence #2 – CD 1Sentence #3 – CM Sentence #4 – CM Sentence#5 – CD 2Sentence #6 – CM Sentence #7 – CM Sentence #8- CD 3 Sentence #9 – CM Sentence #10 – CM Sentence #11- Concluding Sentence
Without homework on weekends, students would be able to spend quality time alone. For example, someone could use the time to read what she likes to read. This could broaden her knowledge of a specific subject or just provide a relaxing activity. She could also spend time alone pursuing a hobby, like crafting. Personal hobbies enrich life and provide opportunities to do for others, such as creating crafted gifts for friends and family. In addition, time alone could provide a chance to catch up on much needed sleep- to rejuvenate mind and body. As a result of having time alone, a student could feel more positive about and be better prepared for the next week of school responsibilities