FORMAT FOR WRITING THE ESSAY Based on Teaching The Multiparagraph Essay: A Sequential Nine-Week Unit, Third Edition, by Jane Schaffer http://riceroom.net/UNIT%20J%20Writing%20One%20Paragraph%20Essays.pdf Essay A coherent piece of writing that gives your thoughts about, and educated analysis of, a subject Jane Schaffer Formulaic Writing Method
A method for teaching basic essay writing A method of writing essays that addresses the basic requirements of most essays required for school One-Paragraph Jane Schaffer-style 1. Topic sentence 2. Concrete Detail 3. Commentary 4. Commentary 5. Concrete Detail 6.Commentary
7. Commentary 8. Concluding Sentence One-Paragraph Jane Schaffer-style Topic sentence (EDUCATED OPINION) Main Idea Mildly controversial Something you have to prove Las Vegas is one of the most surreal cities in the world. (T) TOPIC SENTENCE
One-Paragraph Jane Schaffer-style Concrete Detail (FACT) Support for your topic sentence Fact Cant be argued with For instance, the center of the city is full of different kinds of buildings including a twothirds scale Eiffel Tower, a giant black glass pyramid, a scaled-down replica of the New York skyline, and a faux Medieval castle. (T) TOPIC SENTENCE (CD) CONCRETE DETAIL One-Paragraph
Jane Schaffer-style Commentary Your explanation of the concrete detail Your personal insight Your analysis The whole place reminds me of a big amusement park like Disneyland with its different lands. Its as if each building was constructed in isolation without any consideration of the other buildings. (T) TOPIC SENTENCE (CD) CONCRETE DETAIL (CM) COMMENTARY (CM) COMMENTARY (CS)CONCLUDING
SENTENCE One-Paragraph Jane Schaffer-style Concluding Sentence Wraps up the paragraph Rephrases the main idea Las Vegas is such a strange city, it is hard to believe it actually exists unless you actually go there and experience it for yourself. (T) TOPIC SENTENCE (CD) CONCRETE DETAIL (CM) COMMENTARY (CM) COMMENTARY
(CS)CONCLUDING SENTENCE One-Paragraph Essay Jane Schaffer-style How Many Chunks in a Paragraph? (T) (CD) Las Vegas is the most surreal city anywhere in the world. For instance, the center of the city is full of different kinds of buildings including a two-thirds scale Eiffel Tower, a giant black glass pyramid, a scaled down replica of the New York skyline, and a faux Medieval
castle. (CM) The whole place reminds me of a big amusement park like Disneyland with its different lands. (CM) Its as if each building was constructed in isolation without any consideration of the other buildings. (CD) In addition, this center is surrounded by a sprawl of suburbs housing close to two million people and stretching out into the desert. (CM) I always wonder what made so many people want to live in such an inhospitable place. (CM) All those people and houses almost seem as if they traveled across the wasteland and gathered to pay homage to the weird buildings in the center. (CS) Las Vegas is such a strange city, it is hard to believe it actually exists unless you actually go there and experience it for yourself
While we read this together, annotate your copy to identify: Topic sentences (find 4) Concrete Details (find 4) Commentary (find 4) Concluding sentences (find 2) This skilled writer is not using the Jane Schaffer format, so look for the characteristics of each item. This exercise is worth 28 points (2 points per correctly identified element)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Label each of these sentences and REWRITE them in order
according to theJane Schaffer 8-sentence paragraph format (10 minutes) In addition, my mother also believed that I should hang my shirts in the closet so the fronts faced left and hanging them any other way was morally wrong. I now have a tendency to question the validity of almost any rule I am required to follow. Her beatings for what was not my fault helped me understand that people in authority are not perfect. How I react to authority today is partly a result of learning to cope with my mothers volatile and irrational behavior. When I entered the Air Force, we were required to hang our shirts the opposite way and this showed me that rules were often arbitrary. My mother would call to me from the backyard while I was too far
away in the front yard to hear her and then beat me for not responding. These early experiences, coupled with an adult perspective, have helped me recognize people who enjoy power for powers sake and those who are genuinely trying to create an orderly environment for the betterment of all. These irrational beatings made me question most authority figures. Literary Response What is the difference between reading a story, thinking about a story, and responding to a
story? Literary Response What is the difference between reading a story, thinking about a story, and responding to a story? Why do so many of us know the story of the Three Little Pigs? Why do so many children like to hear it over and over again? Why are we reading such a simple story in a high school classroom? What universal human truths are expressed in the story? What human characteristics are reflected in the storys
characters? Literary Response What is the difference between reading a story, thinking about a story, and responding to a story? Who are the characters in The Three Little Pigs? What do we know about them? Why? One-Paragraph Literary Response (Character) In the fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs, the third pig is very wise. For example, he remembered his mothers advice to always do the best job he
could and to watch out for the wolf. This demonstrates his willingness to consider other viewpoints. His respect for his mothers advice also indicates his awareness that those with more experience can potentially help one avoid mistakes. Furthermore, he acted on his mothers advice by building a house made of brick. This took far more effort than building a house of straw or sticks, as his brothers did. His dedication resulted in a much stronger house, frustrating the wolf and saving his brothers. In conclusion, the third pig is wise enough to outsmart not only his brothers, but also the big, bad wolf. Literary Response Rubric The first sentence is the topic sentence (T) addresses an aspect of conflict, setting, or
character. The second sentence is a factual concrete (CD) detail that supports the topic sentence. The third and fourth sentences are (CM) commentary on the first sentence and show the writers critical analysis of the text. The fifth sentence is an additional concrete detail that supports the topic sentence. The sixth and seventh sentences are (CM) commentary on the fifth sentence and show the writers critical analysis of the text. The eighth sentence concludes the (CS) paragraph by rephrasing the topic sentence
and does not add any new information. (CD) 5 points per sentence for a total of 40 points. Incomplete sentences count zero.
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