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Critical Essay Workshop. Effective Topic Sentences. For today’s lesson you are going to need: Your notes on P.Q.E. Your notes on all three texts studied. Your generic essay plans. Your example P.Q.E paragraphs.

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critical essay workshop

Critical Essay Workshop

Effective Topic Sentences

slide2
For today’s lesson you are going to need:
  • Your notes on P.Q.E.
  • Your notes on all three texts studied.
  • Your generic essay plans.
  • Your example P.Q.E paragraphs.
slide3
It is very important to ensure that each P.Q.E paragraph in your critical essay has an effective and detailed topic sentence.
point topic sentence
Point (topic sentence)

You write one sentence and you do 3 things:

  • Make a point about the text which indicates what you will be focusing on in your paragraph.
  • Refer to the essay question (try to paraphrase).
  • Refer to the theme of the text (directly or indirectly).
slide5
You should also:
  • Avoid listing techniques.
  • Vary your vocabulary.
shooting stars example
“Shooting Stars” example

The atmosphere of death that permeates the poem is made apparent to the reader throughDuffy’s depiction of the pain and suffering that the Jews were forced to endure inside the concentration camp as a result of the inhumanity of their Nazi captors.The speaker would have been constantly reminded of her imminent death as she informs us that she was forced to live “beneath the gaze of men with guns”. Duffy’s use of emotive language with “guns” clearly demonstrates the persistent threat of violence and aggression that…

3 minute task shooting stars
3 minute Task- “Shooting Stars”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph about Duffy’s portrayal of the Jewish prisoners inside the concentration camp.

Essay question:

Choose a poem in which the tone is sinister.

Show how the poem creates this tone and discuss its relative importance in your appreciation of the poem.

slide9
The sinister tone that permeates the poem is made immediately clear to the reader through Duffy’s depiction of how the Jewish prisoners maintain their dignity and self-respect despite being exposed to such brutal and humiliating inhumanity inside the concentration camp.
2 minute task shooting stars
2 minute Task- “Shooting Stars”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph about Duffy’s portrayal of the barbarity of the Nazi soldiers.

Essay question:

Choose a poem in which the tone is sinister.

Show how the poem creates this tone and discuss its relative importance in your appreciation of the poem.

slide11
The inhumanity of mankind is represented through the brutal and horrific actions of the Nazi soldiers and how they abuse, torture and murder their prisoners and this enables the poet to effectively establish a sinister tone throughout.
1 5 minute task shooting stars
1.5 minute Task- “Shooting Stars”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph about Duffy’s portrayal of the pain and suffering that the Jewish prisoners were forced to endure.

Essay question:

Choose a poem in which the poet explores the emotion of anguish.

Show how the poet explores the emotion and discuss to what extent he or she is successful in deepening your understanding of it.

slide14
The intense anguish of the speaker is made apparent to the reader as she vividly describes the pain and suffering that she had to endure at the hands of the Nazis while imprisoned inside the concentration camp.
jean brodie example
“Jean Brodie” example

Jean Brodie’s flaws as an educator are abundantly clear from the beginning of the novel and the reader is made aware of howher fascist philosophy has such a dramatic influence on her conduct in the classroom.Brodie’s extremely close relationship with the six favoured young women in her “set” means that they are “immediately recognisable” in the school, mostly as a consequence of being “vastly informed on a lot of subjects irrelevant to the authorised curriculum”. This effectively demonstrates the extent of Brodie’s dereliction…

3 minute task jean brodie
3 minute Task- “Jean Brodie”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph about Brodie’s relationship with her “set”.

Essay question:

Choose a novel in which friendship or love is put to the test.

Explain briefly how this situation arises and go on to discuss how the outcome of the test leads you to a greater understanding of the central concern(s) of the text.

slide18
The loving relationship between Brodie and her “set” is put to the test at numerous points throughout the novel as she attempts to win their loyalty and devotion through deception and manipulation and, ultimately, she betrays the girls through her exploitation of them.
2 minute task jean brodie
2 minute Task- “Jean Brodie”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph about Brodie’s relationship with her colleagues.

Essay question:

Choose a novel or short story in which one of the main characters is not in harmony with her/his society.

Describe the character’s situation and go on to discuss how it adds to your understanding of a central concern of the text.

slide20
Brodie’s fascination with fascism means that she has a fractured relationship with her colleagues as this political philosophy would not be in harmony with the British political climate at this time.
1 5 minute task jean brodie
1.5 minute Task- “Jean Brodie”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph about Brodie’s betrayal by Sandy and its aftermath.

Essay question:

Choose a novel in which a confrontation between two characters is of central importance in the text.

Explain the circumstances of the confrontation and discuss its importance to your understanding of the novel as a whole.

slide22
Brodie’s reaction to being dismissed leads to a revealing confrontation with Sandy in which she reveals the true extent of her arrogance and self-delusion and how she becomes obsessed with discovering who betrayed her.
the crucible example
“The Crucible” example

The nature of Proctor’s heroism is put to the test in Act Two as he is faced with a dilemma over whetherhe should continue redeeming himself by revealing the lies of Abigail, or stay silent in order to protect his reputation. Proctor is aware that Abigail is making false accusations of witchcraft and his wife, Elizabeth, tries to persuade him to go to court in order to expose her lies; yet he is reluctant...

3 minute task the crucible
3 minute Task- “The Crucible”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph focusing on Act 1.

Essay question:

Choose a play in which a character has to exist in a hostile environment.

Briefly describe the environment and discuss the extent to which it influences your response to the character’s behaviour and to the outcome of the play.

slide26
As the play opens, the audience is immediately made aware of the extent of Proctor’s self-hatred as he loathes himself for being a sinner and a hypocrite in such a religious society and he is determined to redeem himself for his un-Christian conduct.
2 minute task the crucible
2 minute Task- “The Crucible”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph focusing on Act 4.

Essay question:

Choose a play in which the dramatist creates tension at the beginning or at the end.

Explain how the tension is created and discuss how it contributes to an effective introduction or conclusion to the play.

slide28
The tension in the play gradually builds to a climax in Act four as Proctor is faced with a dilemma over whether to sign his confession to witchcraft and live as a liar and hypocrite, or refuse and so die a man of honesty and integrity with his reputation intact.
1 5 minute task the crucible
1.5 minute Task- “The Crucible”

Write a topic sentence for a paragraph focusing on Act 3.

Essay question:

Choose from a play a scene in which you consider a character makes a significant error of judgement.

Briefly explain the nature of this error of judgement and discuss how this error and its consequences influence your understanding of character and/or theme in the play as a whole.

slide30
As Act Two draws to a close, Proctor makes another crucial error of judgement by relying on the testimony of Mary Warren in order to undermine Abigail as her inability to convince Danforth of Williams’ lies in Act three ultimately leads to Proctor risking his reputation by being forced to reveal the affair.
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