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Writing an Essay. Let’s try this again. Why Start with a Body Paragraph?. It’s easier to start with the “meat” (tofu). When I want to order a sandwich, the most important question is what kind of sandwich it is, not what the bread is.

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Writing an Essay

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writing an essay

Writing an Essay

Let’s try this again.

why start with a body paragraph
Why Start with a Body Paragraph?
  • It’s easier to start with the “meat” (tofu).
    • When I want to order a sandwich, the most important question is what kind of sandwich it is, not what the bread is.
    • You choose the bread to go with the sandwich, not vice versa.
  • It’s the most important part, after all.
  • How can you introduce something without writing it first?
topic sentence
Topic Sentence
  • Explain what this paragraph is going to be about.
    • Don’t say, “I am going to write about ____.”
  • A good way to start is to explain how Oedipus relates to your thesis:
    • In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, pride is the title character’s downfall.
    • In the Greek tragedy Oedipus, Teiresias proves that physical sight is not the only way to see.
explain yourself
Explain Yourself
  • What evidence do you have to support your idea?
    • Tell the reader!
  • Explain why it is significant that this happens in the play.
    • Remember, authors make conscious choices.
  • For example:
    • Ancient Greeks believed that hubris, or excessive pride, was the worst of all sins against the gods. Anyone committing this sin was believed to be punished severely. Oedipus’ hubris only further pushes on his fate.
    • Since Teiresias is a blind prophet, he cannot physically see, but he has a sense of the past, present, and the future. He sees with his mind – specifically, he sees with his mind what ordinary seers are blind to.
show evidence
Show Evidence
  • Quotes are extremely important in literary analysis essays.
    • Data :: lab report; quote :: literary analysis.
  • For example:
    • Upon his first entrance, Oedipus claims that he is “whom everyone calls the great,” informing the audience of his status in Thebes.
    • Teiresias explains to Oedipus, “You have your sight, and yet you cannot see,” making the point to him that mental, rather than physical, sight is important.
comment on your evidence
Comment on Your Evidence
  • You can never leave a quote untouched.
    • You always need to follow it up with a comment.
    • Think of it this way: you are co-writing an essay with Sophocles – you are using his ideas, but you need to use your own, too!
  • For instance:
    • It is interesting the Sophocles chose to put this quote at the beginning of the play because the audience is already aware that “great” Oedipus will fall. This served as a warning to the Ancient Greeks against hubris.
    • At this point, of course, Oedipus is not aware that soon, the truth will be brought to the light, and his seeing abilities will change; where he can physically see now, he will soon be blind.
transitional sentence
Transitional Sentence
  • Make this sentence lead into the next body paragraph.
    • In this case, it is most likely going to be a conclusion.
    • If you want to write more body paragraphs, GREAT!
  • For instance:
    • In the end, Oedipus is no longer proud; rather, he is ashamed. Some types of pride are, indeed, evil.
    • Once Oedipus is made to understand the truth, he promptly gouges out his eyes, proving that it is not possible to see physically and mentally simultaneously. He is left to wonder which is better: to see with his eyes, or to see with his mind.
  • We are going to divide up the class.
  • One half is going to stay in the room and work with Ms. Fabello on creating an introduction.
  • The other half is going to go to the computer lab with Ms. Jordan to find out which circle of Hell they should find themselves in. THEN, we’ll switch!
now can i introduce myself
Now Can I Introduce Myself?
  • No. Please don’t introduce yourself.
  • But can you introduce your paper? YES.
  • Remember, an introduction is where you explain what it is you’re going to discuss!
  • You don’t want to give everything away just yet – so DON’T summarize your paper.
    • If you summarize here and then write about your topic in length, it’s going to start to sound redundant.
  • You only want to give your reader a basic idea of what you’re writing.
start off with a bang
Start Off with a BANG!
  • Your first sentence should be really catchy.
    • You want your reader to hooked in.
  • Try:
    • The Ancient Greeks were pawns, used by the gods for entertainment.
    • Would you rather be blind or blind?
explain yourself1
Explain Yourself
  • You want to lead your reader into your thesis.
    • Be quick and be effective.
  • For instance:
    • Unfortunately, some heroes did not have respect for the gods.
    • This question is more difficult to answer than the usual “would you rather be deaf or blind,” and it becomes even more convoluted when you look deeper and understand the meaning.
thesis time
Thesis Time!
  • Remember: your thesis is the crazy idea you’re trying to prove.
    • It’s your topic.
    • In this case, it’s already written for you.
  • Insert theme here:
    • Some types of pride are evil.
    • There is more than one way to see.
end simply
End Simply
  • Introductions can be short.
    • They are not long and drawn-out.
    • They get to point, and then they’re done!
  • Try:
    • In the case of Oedipus, his hubris helps bring about his destruction.
    • The characters in Oedipus seem to be only allowed one way of seeing – either with their eyes, or with the minds.
  • Ew, yes. I said the dirty word.
  • For homework, outline your conclusion.
  • This will be due Monday when you walk into the room.
  • Start now!