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Formal Essay Workshop The Introduction. How to approach and succeed in writing a formal essay. Adapted from: http://supporting-ela.wikispaces.com/file/detail/The+Dreaded+Formal+Essay+Handbook+(Tulp).docx. What is a Thesis? .

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formal essay workshop the introduction

Formal Essay WorkshopThe Introduction

How to approach and succeed in writing a formal essay.

Adapted from:

http://supporting-ela.wikispaces.com/file/detail/The+Dreaded+Formal+Essay+Handbook+(Tulp).docx

what is a thesis
What is a Thesis?
  • The thesis statement is a statement of belief expressed as fact and is what you are trying to prove in your essay.
  • This is a strongly worded statement that is full of confidence yet must be free of personal allusion. (Do not use I, We, You or “One”)
where is the thesis located
Where is the Thesis Located?
  • For a standard formal essay, the thesis is the LAST SENTENCE OF THE INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH. It should not appear anywhere else in the introduction and it should be restricted to ONE SENTENCE.
  • By having it as the last sentence of the first paragraph of the essay, it provides a clear focus for the essay as it is the last statement read before the arguments begin.
how to write a thesis
How to Write a Thesis
  • Examine your topic. Generally, the writer takes the thesis directly from your topic question. For example, if the topic is: “Is Macbeth a tragic hero?” at least part of your thesis must address this question. Seeing how this is a “yes” or “no” question, the options are clear and the thesis must identify your position on this statement. A very basic thesis statement resulting from this topic question could be “Macbeth is a tragic hero.” It is, however, somewhat incomplete, especially for a standard five-paragraph essay because your thesis MUST concisely list your 3 main topic sentence ideas.
the thesis structure
The Thesis Structure
  • When formulating your thesis, you should also provide as much directions as possible for your reader. Thus, state that Macbeth is a tragic hero, but briefly outline in what THREE (for a basic five paragraph essay) ways he is heroic:
  • Macbeth is a tragic hero because he ___________________, ___________________, and _____________________.
  • You simply need to fill in the blanks with specific examples that prove your point and your thesis is complete.
be aware of
Be Aware of…
  • One thing that you do NOT want to do in a formal essay is create a thesis that does not take a stand. Do not argue that Macbeth is both heroic and not heroic. While this may work for the start of a dialectic essay in History, English compositions require you to fully persuade, in a formal fashion, that your thesis is valid. An example of a poor thesis statement: “Sometimes Macbeth acts heroically, while other times he does evil things.”
  • You may use converse arguments to highlight your position, but not to the extent that is becomes unclear what you are actually trying to prove. Be as specific as possible in your thesis. An example of a good thesis statement: “Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him.”
introduction structure
Introduction Structure
  • Hook or Lead to the essay. This will be your essay quotation prompt.
  • Indicate the name of the piece (s) of literature you are using and the author (s). In the Macbeth formal essay, we will only use the play.
  • A BRIEF summary of the content of the literature. This should be no more than a sentence or two just to set up the premise of the story or an important theme. Note, however, that the summary should lean toward the topic; it should not be random information about the novel that has nothing to do with your essay.
  • A brief explanation or definition of important concepts that may need clarification in order for the reader to fully understand the direction or content of the essay.
  • The thesis statement.
introduction exemplar
Introduction Exemplar

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions to his death. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

lead or hook essay prompt
Lead or Hook (Essay Prompt)

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions to his death. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

play and author
Play and Author

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions to his death. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

connection to prompt
Connection to Prompt

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions to his death. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

relevant general context
Relevant General Context

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions to his death. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

specific connection the topic
Specific Connection the Topic

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions to his death. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

further explanation of topic
Further Explanation of Topic

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions to his death. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

the thesis
The Thesis

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions to his death. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

introduction 6 sentences
Introduction – 6 sentences

Mason Cooley believed, “The tragic hero prefers death to prudence.” In the dramatic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist struggles with his conscience as he pursues his royal ambitions. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth falls deeper and deeper into the mad schemes of the Weird Sisters and contemplates actions to which he was previously impervious. As he faces this conflict and is mired in treachery, he becomes an anti-hero; the antithesis of heroic behavior. While heroes are selfless and risk themselves to help others, Macbeth’s purpose persuades him to commit vile acts of treason and betrayal. Thus, Macbeth is an anti-hero because he commits treason, subscribes to witchcraft, and loses all compassion for those around him, ultimately resulting in his untimely death.

introduction 6 sentences1
Introduction – 6 sentences

It is far, far better to write 6 well-organized, well-articulated, and clear sentences than 12 vague and unorganized ideas.

Do not waste words, they are limited on a five-paragraph formal essay with a cap of 1200 words.

“Macbeth is afraid of the witches. He is afraid of the witches because he’s cowardly. His cowardice leads him to commit violent acts to achieve his dreams…”

“Macbeth’s cowardly fear of the witches compel him to commit violent acts towards his family and kinsmen.”

use of language
Use of Language
  • Sentence structure (syntax) needs to be varied and effective. Not all sentences should be simple sentences and compound simple sentences. You need to use complex, compound sentences and ensure that they are grammatically correct. These can be interspersed with simple sentences for impact.
  • Use varied and effective vocabulary choices. This does not mean that you need to use the biggest possible words, however, be sure to use the vocabulary that is necessary in regards to literature. Think about the language used in class during lessons and discussions. Do not use a thesaurus on every other word to ‘enhance’ the language, often, these words are not used correctly and affect your communication marks.
today
Today
  • Read all of the essay prompts
  • Choose one to develop your essay
  • Construct a rough draft of your thesis statement in class
  • Have a peer edit your work and then make revisions
  • Submit your handbook and your first draft of your thesis
  • Homework: A draft of your introduction. Must be eight sentences or less. You MUST bring your introduction paragraph to you next class.