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Argumentative Essay Writing “Flowers for Algernon” Model

Argumentative Essay Writing “Flowers for Algernon” Model

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Argumentative Essay Writing “Flowers for Algernon” Model

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  1. Argumentative Essay Writing“Flowers for Algernon” Model 8.5

  2. Introduction with claim (thesis statement)* Body Par. #1 Body Par. #2 Body Par. #3 Conclusion Counterargument & Rebuttal

  3. Start with a “hook.” Mention the title, author and genre (TAG) and add a couple of focus sentences that lead to the claim/thesis statement. The thesis statement is a debatable claim or point you wish to prove. Introductory Paragraph -- Like a funnel, start with a broad connection to the topic and then hone in on your point (claim/thesis statement). Diagram

  4. INTRODUCTION: the first paragraph in your essay. Hook -- a creative beginning, meant to catch your reader’s interest (NO QUESTIONS, PLEASE!) TAG -- an acronym for title, author, and genre of the work Set-up/follow-up-- provides essential background about the literary work and prepares the reader for your major thesis Claim/Thesis Statement -- a sentence or two in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader, usually at the end of the paragraph

  5. HOOK: a creative beginning, meant to catch your reader’s interest. Ways of beginning creatively include the following: A startling fact or bit of information 2) A bit of dialogue between two characters 3) A meaningful quotation (from the work or another source) A universal idea 5) A rich, vivid description of the setting An analogy or metaphor DO NOT ASK A QUESTION!!!

  6. Hook examples: “No pig ever had truer friends, and [Wilbur] realized that friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world.” -- E. B. White from Charlotte’s Web Eager, determined and motivated are the three words that best describe… The power of knowledge is a dangerous thing. “Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men,” writes Charlie Gordon in . . .

  7. TAG -- acronym for title, author, genre “No pig ever had truer friends, and [Wilbur] realized that friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world” (E. B. White from Charlotte’s Web). Like Wilbur, Charlie Gordon discovers who his true friends are in “Flowers for Algernon,” an award-winning short story by Daniel Keyes.(TGA)

  8. TAG -- acronym for title, author, genre Eager, determined and motivated are the three words that best describe Charlie Gordon in Daniel Keyes’ short story “Flowers for Algernon.” (AGT) “Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men,” writes Charlie Gordon in the short story “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. (GTA)

  9. Set-up/follow-up-- provides essential background about the literary work and prepares the reader for your claim * Keep in mind that your audience (your teacher or classmate) has read the literature; however, they have not analyzed it in the same way you have. * Keep your set-up BRIEF! (a sentence or two)

  10. Set-up Example of a set-up: “The power of knowledge is a dangerous thing. In the short story “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes, Charlie Gordon, a mentally challenged thirty-seven-year-old man, is chosen to take part in an experiment to improve his intelligence. Although the operation is a success and Charlie’s IQ rapidly improves, the experiment has an overall negative effect. -- student, 8th grade, RSM

  11. CLAIM (thesis statement):a sentence in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader, usually at the end of the paragraph * Note -- Some thesis statements are explicit, hinting at what the two or three body paragraphs will be about. These hints are called the ‘prongs’ of the thesis.

  12. THESIS STATEMENT General thesis statement: The experiment to increase Charlie’s intelligence was a bad idea. Two-pronged thesis statement (explicit): The experiment to increase Charlie’s intelligence has an overall negative effect because he loses all his friends and suffers severe depression.

  13. Thesis with 2 major reasons Introduction with claim (thesis statement)* Body Par. #1 Body Par. #2 Body Par. #3 Concluding Paragraph Reason #1 discussed in this paragraph Reason #2 discussed in this paragraph Counterargument & Rebuttal Final thoughts

  14. BODY: the support paragraphs of your essay. These paragraphs contain supporting examples (concrete evidence) and analysis/explanation (commentary) for your topic sentences. • Each paragraph in the body includes • a topic sentence that supports the thesis. • integrated concrete details/examples. • commentary/explanation for evidence/details/examples. • a concluding sentence.

  15. Body Paragraphs - two minimum Begin with a topic sentence that supports the major thesis statement from the introductory paragraph. Be sure to include: Concrete details (quoted passages or paraphrased facts from the story) Commentary -- interpretation/elaboration/ analysis Concluding sentence -- to sum up or transition to the next paragraph

  16. TOPIC SENTENCE: the first sentence of a body paragraph. It identifies one aspect of the major thesis and states a primary reason why the major thesis is true.

  17. Charlie made the wrong decision to have the surgery because, as the operation changes his personality, Charlie loses the only people he's ever come to know and love. For example, when Charlie told Mrs. Flynn, his landlady, to call in sick for him, he wrote, "Mrs. Flynn looks at me very funny lately like she's scared of me" (34). Mrs. Flynn knows that Charlie has never missed a day of work for any reason, so she knows that something has been wrong with him. Because of this, she becomes . . .

  18. Besides losing all of his friends, Charlie begins to go through depression when his intelligence begins decreasing again. For instance, when Algernon dies and Charlie did a dissection on him, he found that the beloved mouse had died because of complications with his brain, and he wrote, "I guess the same thing is or will be happening to me. Now that it's definite, I don't want it to happen"(48). Charlie knows now . . .

  19. TRANSITIONAL/LEAD-IN: phrase or sentence that prepares the reader for a concrete detail by introducing the speaker, setting, and/or situation.

  20. CONCRETE DETAIL: a specific example from the work of literature used to provide evidence for your topic sentence/support thesis. Concrete detail can be a combination of paraphrase and direct quotation from the work.

  21. T Transition:For example, Lead-in: When Charlie told Mrs. Flynn, his landlady, to call in sick for him, he wrote, L Concrete Detail: "Mrs. Flynn looks at me very funny lately like she's scared of me" (34). CD *** QuoParPunc = Quotation Mark, Parentheses, Punctuation

  22. Because the operation changes his personality, Charlie loses the only people he's ever come to know and love. For example, when Charlie told Mrs. Flynn, his landlady, to call in sick for him, he wrote, "Mrs. Flynn looks at me very funny lately like she's scared of me" (34). Mrs. Flynn knows that Charlie has never missed a day of work for any reason, so she knows that something has been wrong with him. Because of this, she becomes scared of him and starts to avoid him, which leaves him even more alone than ever. In addition to losing Mrs. Flynn, Charlie also begins to lose Miss Kinnian, his teacher and the love of his life. When he begins to surpass her with his knowledge, he says, "The thought of leaving her behind makes me sad" (38). Miss Kinnian can no longer teach Charlie anything because he is gaining so much knowledge so quickly. This thought pains Charlie deeply and makes him very upset.

  23. Transition:In addition to losing Mrs. Flynn, Lead-in: Charlie also begins to lose Miss Kinnian, his teacher and the love of his life, when he begins to surpass her with his knowledge. In his journal he says, Concrete Detail: "The thought of leaving her behind makes me sad" (38). ***QuoParPunc!!! No Floating Quotes!!

  24. Because the operation changes his personality, Charlie loses the only people he's ever come to know and love. For example, when Charlie told Mrs. Flynn, his landlady, to call in sick for him, he wrote, "Mrs. Flynn looks at me very funny lately like she's scared of me" (34). Mrs. Flynn knows that Charlie has never missed a day of work for any reason, so she knows that something has been wrong with him. Because of this, she becomes scared of him and starts to avoid him, which leaves him even more alone than ever. In addition to losing Mrs. Flynn, Charlie also begins to lose Miss Kinnian, his teacher and the love of his life. When he begins to surpass her with his knowledge, he says, "The thought of leaving her behind makes me sad" (38). Miss Kinnian can no longer teach Charlie anything because he is gaining so much knowledge so quickly. This thought pains Charlie deeply and makes him very upset.

  25. COMMENTARY: your explanation and interpretation of the concrete detail. Commentary tells the reader what the author of the text means or how the concrete detail proves the topic sentence and supports the thesis. Commentary may include interpretation, analysis, argument, insight, and/or reflection.

  26. Because the operation changes his personality, Charlie loses the only people he's ever come to know and love. For example, when Charlie told Mrs. Flynn, his landlady, to call in sick for him, he wrote, "Mrs. Flynn looks at me very funny lately like she's scared of me" (34). Mrs. Flynn knows that Charlie has never missed a day of work for any reason, so she knows that something has been wrong with him. Because of this, she becomes scared of him and starts to avoid him, which leaves him even more alone than ever. In addition to losing Mrs. Flynn, Charlie also begins to lose Miss Kinnian, his teacher and the love of his life. When he begins to surpass her with his knowledge, he says, "The thought of leaving her behind makes me sad" (38). Miss Kinnian can no longer teach Charlie anything because he is gaining so much knowledge so quickly. This thought pains Charlie deeply and makes him very upset.

  27. TIPS FOR WRITING COMMENTARY These sentence starters put the writer into commentary-mode: This scenario shows that. . . The reason for X conflict lies in . . . X in essence means . . . X reveals . . . This act of kindness illustrates . . The contrast between X and Y highlights the difference between . . .

  28. TIPS FOR WRITING COMMENTARY continued: This scenario shows that the doctors knew all along that the surgery would not be permanent, yet they chose to hide this important fact from Charlie and Miss Kinnian. The reason for this conflict lies in both doctors’ selfish and unethical medical practices; they are willing to risk Charlie’s life for personal gain. This act of kindness illustratesthe difference between Miss Kinnian and the doctors. She truly believes the operation will benefit Charlie, and the doctors know it will not. **Note: As you become a more sophisticated writer, you will not need these starter words.

  29. CONCLUDING SENTENCE/CLINCHER: last sentence of the body paragraph. It concludes the paragraph by tying the concrete details and commentary back to the topic sentence and/or thesis statement.

  30. Also, Charlie loses all of the people that he knows from the factory. When they all sign a petition to have him fired, he writes, "They've driven me out of the factory. Now I'm more alone than ever" (39). After leaving behind both Mrs. Flynn and Miss Kinnian, the only people he knows are the people at the factory where he works, but they all want him fired. They basically kick him out of the only place he knows that he can go to, and now he's left alone in the world, with no one to turn to or seek help from. The same thing is happening to Charlie as Robinson Crusoe now that he has been deserted and abandoned by everyone he's ever known. -- 8th grade student, RSM

  31. Suggested Outline for Body Paragraphs: Topic Sentence -- a major reason of support for thesis statement. (TS) Transitional/Lead-in to Concrete Detail #1 (TL) Concrete Detail #1 (CD) Commentary for CD#1 (CM) Commentary for CD#1 (CM) Transitional/Lead-in to Concrete Detail #2 Concrete Detail #2 Commentary for CD#2 Commentary for CD#2 Concluding sentence -- summarizes and transitions to next paragraph

  32. Suggested Outline for Body Paragraphs: Topic Sentence -- a major reason of support for thesis statement. (TS) Transitional/Lead-in to Concrete Detail #1 (TL) Concrete Detail #1 (CD) Commentary for CD#1 (CM) Commentary for CD#1 (CM) Transitional/Lead-in to Concrete Detail #2 Concrete Detail #2 Commentary for CD#2 Commentary for CD#2 Concluding sentence -- summarizes and transitions to next paragraph

  33. Because the operation changes his personality, Charlie loses the only people he's ever come to know and love.For example, when Charlie told Mrs. Flynn, his landlady, to call in sick for him, he wrote, "Mrs. Flynn looks at me very funny lately like she's scared of me" (34).Mrs. Flynn knows that Charlie has never missed a day of work for any reason, so she knows that something has been wrong with him. Because of this, she becomes scared of him and starts to avoid him, which leaves him even more alone than ever.In addition to losing Mrs. Flynn, Charlie also begins to lose Miss Kinnian, his teacher and the love of his life. When he begins to surpass her with his knowledge, he says, "The thought of leaving her behind makes me sad" (38).Miss Kinnian can no longer teach Charlie anything because he is gaining so much knowledge so quickly. This thought pains Charlie deeply and makes him very upset. The same thing is happening to Charlie as Robinson Crusoe now that he has been deserted and abandoned by everyone he's ever known.

  34. Counterargument Acknowledge opposing arguments. The counterarguments are the most compelling arguments against the claim.

  35. Concluding Paragraph Echo your major thesis without repeating words verbatim. Then, broaden from the thesis to answer the “so what?” question for your reader. Reflect on how your topic relates to the story as a whole, give your opinion of the novel’s significance, or connect back to your creative opening.

  36. Thesis with 3 major reasons Intro. Paragraph with thesis statement* Body Par. #1 Body Par. #2 Body Par. #3 Concluding Paragraph Reason #1 discussed in this paragraph Reason #2 discussed in this paragraph Counterargument & Rebuttal Final thoughts

  37. Based in part on: Poway Unified School District “A Guide to the Literary-Analysis Essay” which was based in part on: Cobb County’s “A Guide to the Research Paper,” Upland High School’s “Student Writer’s Handbook,” and the MLA Handbook for Writer’s of Research Papers.