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The Foundation for the Expository Paragraph

The Foundation for the Expository Paragraph. Let’s review your reading homework! Working as a team, discuss the differences between level one, two, and three. As an individual, diagnose where you feel that your analysis typically lands on those levels. Tell your group what you think.

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The Foundation for the Expository Paragraph

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  1. The Foundation for the Expository Paragraph

  2. Let’s review your reading homework! • Working as a team, discuss the differences between level one, two, and three. • As an individual, diagnose where you feel that your analysis typically lands on those levels. Tell your group what you think.

  3. This is Actually a Simple Concept. Observe… • Level one: What color is this flag? • What is the center image? • Level two: When you think about the color black what comes to mind? • When you think about the image in the middle, what comes to mind? • Level 3: How do the two images work together? • How do the two images contrast? • Why are they used together?

  4. Now that you can navigate through the three levels, let’s come up with Some common Definitions • Subject: This is a broad concept that could include a play, a character, a novel, a poem, a theme, etc, that is assigned by the teacher. • Topic: A topic is a more specific, and could have any number of possibilities. It can center on an image, setting, situation, language of the author, or a single character trait. • Thesis Statement: This is the writers approach to how they will approach the topic. This is the writers distinct viewpoint. • It follows this formula: Thesis statement = Topic + Debatable Opinion • Topic Sentence: The body paragraphs of an expository paper are the subdivisions of the thesis statement’ argument. The topic sentence of a body paragraph states the key idea of the thesis.

  5. What is an Expository Paragraph? • The expository paragraph is the building block of an argument. In this kind of a paper, all paragraphs are connected to the thesis statement; therefore, it must be clear. • There are two types of paragraphs: • One idea paragraphs: This paragraph begins with a clear topic sentence and elaborates, or develops a single aspect of the thesis statement. • Subordinate paragraph: This paragraph begins with a topic sentence connected to a preceding paragraph. This paragraph is an extension of the idea introduced in the previous paragraph because one element of the prompt may require more than one example to prove the point.

  6. What Do These Paragraphs Need? • Unity: In a unified paragraph, each sentence provides evidence and analysis for the idea in he topic sentence. • Topic Sentence: Introduces a specific conceptual idea whose focus serves to unify all the sentences that follow it. • You will need to know which organizational method you will use + the aspect of the thesis you will cover. • Elaboration- Is the evidence that you will use to prove your points. They come from: • Direct quotes from the text that are blended with the writers analysis of individual words that reflect the idea present in the topic sentence • Paraphrase of the details and situations from the text blended with your interpretation. • Additional explanations of an idea • A discussion of a contemporary or literary comparison

  7. What do these paragraphs need? • Coherence: A coherent paragraph is one in which the relationship of one sentence to another is apparent to the reader because it follows logical and grammatical connections. • Style: A lucid, compelling writing style is a style that includes variety in sentence structure and syntax as well as diction that is precise and appropriate to the occasion. • Let’s look at E1 for these four elements on page 54 of the Elmo • As a group discuss things that you noticed, using the words of the previous slides.

  8. Crafting the Expository Topic - Thesis

  9. Question of Upmost Importance! • How does the writer generate a topic for a thesis statement?

  10. Option One • Ask and Answer questions about the literature in one of these formats: • Theme • Character • Plot Setting • Style • Symbol • Allusions • POV • Exact Words • See the hand out of page 94 for the definitions here.

  11. Now the problem with the previous page is nothing. There is nothing wrong with writing this way; however, there is a more advanced technique that I am going to have you use this year to get your writing ready for the AP exam in May.

  12. Option Two: The Use of Aristotle’s Topics • Aristotle’s topics provide a way for a writer to generate a topic for the paper as well as to create an actual thesis statement. Aristotle suggests that these topics align with the natural way we think and argue about any subject.

  13. Definition: True Statements • When writers argue by definition, they assert that the details of the text provide examples for the definition of a concept. • Example: Thesis: In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Roger Chillingworth mirrors various characteristics of evil. Then, your topic sentences are extensions of that true statement. TS1: Chillingworth practices deception, the attribute of evil that conceals its identity. TS2: Chillingworth, like evil, manipulates the most vulnerable human characteristic – the heart. • Basically, definition means that you are making true statements.

  14. Classification: Grouping elements • When making an argument by classification, writers recognize that several examples or pieces of evidence within a text have like characteristics and therefore, these examples belong to a distinct category. • Example • Thesis: Harry Potter demonstrates that the hero must overcome a variety of personal obstacles regardless of the physical powers of evil. • TS1: One of Harry Potter’s challenges involves controlling his fear when confronting dangerous situations. • TS2: Harry’s own psychology must contend with memories of a painful past, which frequently prevent him from taking immediate action. • In these examples, I have decided to group all of the challenges of Harry Potter and write about them.

  15. Similarity or difference or degree • When making an argument by comparison, writers place two items side by side. This side by side placement may yield any of three possibilities: • Items that are similar • Items that are different • Items that are within degrees of one another.

  16. Similarity • Similarity makes the case that the writer believes the two items placed next to each other are analogous (similar). The key here is that the two items are clearly equal. • Example Thesis: The characterization in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein mirrors several qualities found in the characters created by John Milton in his epic poem Paradise Lost. • TS1: Victor, like Satan, challenges God’s omnipotent role as master of creation. • TS2: Shelley borrows from Milton’s Satan as she molds the character of the monster.

  17. Differences • Differences explore contrasts between two items within the same group. The key here is that they are clearly different. • Example Thesis: Harry Potter and Hermione Granger reflect distinct sets of wizardry skills that demonstrate their uniqueness. • TS1: Hermione possesses the ability to learn from situations in the past. • TS2: Potter relies on his internal instincts when responding to danger.

  18. Degree (A Level 3 Response) • Sometimes writers examine two items in juxtaposition not to demonstrate they are completely different but that they differ by degrees. One character, for example, may be better than the other, worse then the other, more beneficial than the other, etc. The key here is that they are both similar but one pulls out a little more ahead of the other. • Example Thesis: Hermione Granger demonstrates more potential as a young wizard than does Ron Weasely during their first year at Hogwarts. • TS1: Hermione, unlike Ron, understands the importance of studying a variety of spells and potions. • TS2: Hermione’s ability to think quickly in dangerous situations surpasses Ron’s ability to react to threats. • This example doesn’t say that Ron doesn’t study or think quickly it puts forward that Hermione does it better.

  19. Degree and Juxtaposition Example • Observe the opening of World War Z, identify images that are given, the audio that the newsmen do, the shots that are included, etc. • As a team, identify what juxtaposition the director intended in the opening of the movie. What element of degree was intended.

  20. Contraries • When writers argue a contrary relationship, they identify polar opposites of items within a category. Just as the desert is the opposite of the rain forest, the key here is that two things being evaluated are incompatible. • Example Thesis: In the play Twelve Angry men, Juror Three and Juror Four spotlight the clash between the ethical and unethical conduct of jurors in the justice system. • TS1: Juror Three recognizes that the ethical approach to jury duty requires evidence. • TS2: Juror Four responds to the details of the case with emotional responses, frequently demonstrating a series of fallacies in reasoning.

  21. Cause and Effect (The most Difficult yet the Most Rewarding) • When writers construct arguments by cause and effect relationships, they argue the presence of a clear correlation between two or more events under consideration, a connection so essential as to suggest that one event would have been unlikely to occur without the prior or simultaneous existence of the other. • This is accomplished by observing patterns emerging in literature that we read in class, the history of the world that you study, and the issues of the day that are being debated. Because literature does not come out of a vacuum, writers who are able to look at the world as a big picture will be able to craft very convincing arguments. • Perhaps every time a character acts in X manner or makes X choice, Y results. • This level of writing requires reflection and not rushing. A common mistake that young writers make is by isolating one example of a cause-effect relationship in the text and use that single incident for their thesis. This can be avoided by remaining universal. • Bad: Bernard, the Alpha minus, proves that it is important to not go on vacations or one could become a societal outcast. • Good: Bernard, the Alpha minus, proves that an inability to conform to societal expectations will lead one to being a social outcast.

  22. Cause and Effect (Two options) • The writer can first begin with the cause, formulating a thesis that contends that Event A (was or will be) the cause of Event B happening. Now a warning, not all effects are created from a signal cause. • The second way is to look at an effect and then work backwards to determine its causes. Using this method, the writer develops a position that Event B happened because of the prior Event A.

  23. Cause and Effect with your Team • Read the poem “Convergence of Twain” and as a team, identify elements of cause and effect. Write a cause and effect thesis and then two topic sentences that explore that thesis. • Example Thesis: Thomas Hardy argues in his poem “Convergence of the Twain” that human pride resulted in the destruction of the Titanic, a ship emblematic of man’s arrogance. • TS1: The initial section of the poem explores images of wealth and beauty now decayed, the effect of human pride. • TS2: The second half of the poem introduces the primary symbol of human pride, the Titanic inevitably destined for tragedy.

  24. Now What? • When you have a topic you need to decide how you will support it. • There are three steps for doing this: • Search out for the information you are looking for • List everything out. (The problem that I see with students is that they stop after they find two quotes; as AP students, I expect you to keep listing quotes out until you have exhausted the evidence for the topic.) • Evaluate the evidence you find and pick and choose the ones that will serve you best. • Finally, look for patterns in the evidence.

  25. Steps for the Thesis – Broad to specific • Broad Subject: Brave New World • Specific Topic: John the Savage • Questions about the topic: How is John different by degrees to Mustafa? • Pattern in the evidence: Both men understand information the others do not • Thesis: John the Savage and Mustafa Mond both understand things that the others in the society do not, but Mustafa’s position allows him to use his information nefariously.

  26. How to Write the Expository paragraph

  27. The Body Paragraph – The steps before you put pen to page • ToGOis the acronmy that I want you to remember for writing body paragraphs • Topic + Gather Evidence + Organize= Clear Paragraph • Create the Topic sentence. This is in response to the question of the prompt • Gather evidence that supports the topic sentence. • While gathering information that supports your topic sentence, consider the following questions AND answer them before you write your paragraph: • Where does the evidence occur in the plot o poem • What actions of a character support the topic? When do these actions occur? Why do they occur? • What words or images reflect and are associated with the concept in the topic sentence and howdo you know those words or images show what you think they show? • What does a character say that supports the topic? When does the character say it? Why is it said? • What is reveal by the narrator that provides supporting evidence? • What words or images reflect, or are associated with, the concept in the topic sentence?

  28. The Body Paragraph – The steps before you put pen to page • When writing about UNITY, I gave you this equation: • You will need to know which organizational method you will use + the aspect of the thesis you will cover. • Pick your Organizational method. • There are three organizational methods • Time: You use this method when you are organizing your essay around the chronology of the work. • Use the following transitional words when you write this kind of essay: first, second, next, later, after, afterward, at first, as, before, finally, immediately, now previously soon, and then. • Take a look at example 2 to see how this is achieved

  29. The Body Paragraph – The steps before you put pen to page • Place is the second method and is uses diction indicating location or setting. • Use the following words when writing about place: above, ahead, among, beyond, down, elsewhere, farther, here, in front or in the background, near, nearby, next to, there. • Look at example three to see how this is done • Idea divided into its specific components. • In this method you look at the ideas introduced in the topic sentence and prompt. You then use the words of the those two and extend them into your body paragraph. • This method requires you to know if you are writing a definition, analogy, comparison/contrast, a classification, or a cause and effect. • Look at the examples for each of these elements and bold the transitional words. Once you have met all three requirements, write the paragraph Now, some of you will say to me, “that will take too long or I don’t do it that way.“ I say to you, “well you have gotten into some bad habits and it is time to break them. “

  30. Let’s Take a Look at two Examples • Read the poems Helen and The Chimney Sweeper and make any and all notes that you feel is important or ways that you would break down the poems for an essay. • Now, let’s read two essays that do what I have been showing you. • Let’s work backwards from the essay to its creation by identifying the ToGO

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