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Help with Topic Sentences. Short Story Paper. Where to begin. Start by identifying the main point of the paragraph. Body Paragraph One: Conflict and Character Body Paragraph Two: Climax and Theme Body Paragraph Three: Resolution and Theme Body Paragraph Four: Symbol and Theme.

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help with topic sentences

Help with Topic Sentences

Short Story Paper

where to begin
Where to begin
  • Start by identifying the main point of the paragraph.
    • Body Paragraph One: Conflict and Character
    • Body Paragraph Two: Climax and Theme
    • Body Paragraph Three: Resolution and Theme
    • Body Paragraph Four: Symbol and Theme
sample construction paragraph one
Sample Construction: Paragraph One
  • Sample Thesis: In the short story “The Princess and All the Kingdom” Par Lagkervist implies that avoiding responsibility only leads to unhappiness.
  • Paragraph One: Character and Conflict
  • First I identify the major character I’ll be speaking about (the prince).
  • Next I identify the conflict (the prince and his lust for happiness vs. the wise chancellor and his call for responsibility).
  • Now that I have all my info I can begin formulating a topic sentence
topic sentence help
Topic Sentence Help
  • I want to start with a transitional phrase. I think of some good words that are often used in transitional phrases (at, after, starting, beginning, at the beginning, etc.)
  • I come up with the following: After conquering the kingdom…
  • I like this transitional phrase because it clearly sets up the major conflict.
  • I continue by thinking about what the prince is like as a character and thinking about his specific conflict.
  • Final Product: After conquering the kingdom, the prince initially only wants to enjoy his victory but is prevented from doing so by the wise chancellor.
  • Conflict identified: “only wants to enjoy his victory but is prevented from doing so by the wise chancellor.”
  • Character identified: “the prince only wants to enjoy his victory”
  • Transition: “After conquering the kingdom”
body paragraph one
Body Paragraph One
  • I again start by identifying my major points (Climax and Theme).
  • Climax: The prince reaches for his sword during the argument
  • Theme: avoiding responsibility only leads to unhappiness.
  • Now I want to develop a transitional phrase. The easiest way to do this would probably be to include plot leading up into the climax in the transitional phrase. Hint: plot is usually the best way to go in terms of transitional phrases.
  • Again I think of some generic transitional phrase words (At first, At the beginning, Since, etc.)
continued
Continued…
  • Combining plot with my transitional phrase I come up with the following: As his argument with the wise chancellor intensifies….
  • Here I have set up the climax with a nice transitional phrase that is purely plot based.
  • I continue now by moving onto climax (reaches for his sword) and theme (responsibility is a part of happiness)

Final Product: As his argument with the wise chancellor intensifies, the prince reaches for his sword, willing to resort to violence to avoid responsibility.

-Transitional Phrase: “As his argument with the wise chancellor intensifies”

-Climax: “the prince reaches for his sword”

-Connection to the theme: “willing to resort to violence to avoid responsibility.” (note: this is a great connection to my thesis because now I can spend the rest of the paragraph explaining how the prince’s reaction shows that his rejection of responsibility caused him unhappiness. I can discuss how the violence in his demeanor suggests that he is not at peace and thus not truly happy.)

third paragraph
Third Paragraph
  • Again, I identify my main points (Resolution and theme)
  • I identify the resolution: The prince accepts the crown
  • The theme: Avoiding responsibility leads to unhappiness.
  • I think of basic transitional phrase buzz words: At first, As the story progresses, Towards the end, At the end…)
continued1
Continued….
  • I decide on the following transitional phrase that includes plot: After his argument with the wise chancellor comes to an end…
  • I now turn to my main points:
    • Resolution: He accepts responsibility
    • Theme: Avoiding responsibility leads to unhappiness
continued2
Continued…
  • Final product: After his argument with the wise chancellor comes to an end, the prince finally accepts responsibility and is able to enjoy true happiness.
  • Resolution: “the prince finally accepts responsibility”
  • Connection to the theme: “is able to enjoy true happiness.” (Note: This is a great connection to the theme because now I can spend the entire paragraph discussing how the prince was only finally truly happy after he accepted the crown. I can make arguments using quotations from the text to prove that he was now peaceful and calm and thus happier than he was at the start of the story. To do this, I’d compare his serenity at the end with his violent and hasty demeanor toward the end of the story and argue that without this new found calmness he could never be truly happy.)