writing an analytical essay

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Writing an Analytical Essay. Writing an Analytical Essay about a Literary Work. Makes an argument: You are arguing that your perspective—an interpretation, judgment, evaluation of the literature—is a valid one. Proves a thesis: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Writing an Analytical Essay

Writing an Analytical Essay1Writing an Analytical Essay about a Literary WorkMakes an argument:You are arguing that your perspectivean interpretation, judgment, evaluation of the literatureis a valid one.Proves a thesis:You must have a specific, detailed thesis statement that reveals your perspective, and like any good argument, must be one which is debatable.

Taken from http://www.owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_lit.html

2The Format of an Analytical Essay Introduction Body Paragraphs Conclusion3The Function of an IntroductionAn introduction:

captures your audience's attention. gives background on your topic. develops interest in your topic. guides your reader to your thesis statement.

(Taken from http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/intro.html)

4Developing a Thesis StatementA thesis statement must be:

An opinionnot a factSignificantworth spending the time developing into an essayProvableable to be supported with quotes from the textFocused on one ideamust be a single idea

5Developing a Thesis StatementA thesis statement must be:

Valid/logicalbe sure you have interpreted the piece of literature correctlyClearyour readers should have no doubt what you are provingSpecificfocus on a particular aspect of your topicA declarative sentence written in the active voiceUsually the last sentence of the introduction.

6Writing a Thesis StatementSample thesis statements:

1)Shakespeare uses character foils to emphasize important qualities in his hero.

2)Fairy tales send young girls the wrong message because in these stories the woman always needs rescuing by the man.

3)The characters of The Great Gatsby distort the American Dream through the means they use to obtain it. Myrtle Wilson, Jay Gatsby, and the Buchanans corrupt the American Dream through the extreme and immoral measures they employ to achieve their goals.

7Writing a Thesis StatementWhats wrong with these thesis statements?

1)To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb, Alabama.

2)Shakespeares Hamlet is a play about a young man who seeks revenge.

Scout changes from a child to a young girl and Jem begins to grow up, too.

4)Harry Potter has the qualities to conquer his enemies and he does and then he goes on to find something else to do.

8Deciding How to Prove the Thesis StatementThe thesis statement may include your proofs.OR

The thesis statement may be followed by a sentence which contains your proofs.9Deciding How to Prove the Thesis StatementThesis statement + proofs in the final sentence of introduction:

Shakespeare uses character foils to emphasize important qualities in his hero. To provide a clear picture of the hero, Romeo, Shakespeare effectively uses three different foils, Mercutio, Friar Lawrence, and Tybalt.

Thesis statement + proofs in the same sentence:

Although John Smiths and William Bradfords firsthand accounts of early colonization are similar, they differ significantly in purpose, content, and tone.10The Format of the IntroductionThe introduction begins with a broad statement about the main idea. This statement might suggest background or the general category to which the thesis idea belongs. The next sentences are more specific, moving closer to the actual thesis of the essay. The final sentence of an introduction often contains a fairly specific version of the main idea; it is the thesis statement.

(Adapted from http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/intro.html)

11The introductory paragraph must include:A general statement brief summary of the storyThe title and author of the storyA brief summary of the storyA clear thesis statementThe Introduction

(Adapted from http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/intro.html)13Writing the IntroductionSentence 1: The general statementIs a general topic sentenceIntroduces the topic of the essayCaptures the readers attention through a quote, observation, definition, or anecdoteSentences 2-4: The summary sentencesIncludes the title and authorBrief summary and relevant background information of novel or short storySentences 5(-6)Contains the thesis statement and proofs

14Sample Introduction Is hunting really a civilized pastime? This is the question that the author Richard Connell asks as he keeps his readers on the edge of their seats in his famous short story The Most Dangerous Game. Connell creates a situation in which a famous hunter becomes anothers mans prey. When the hunter, Rainsford finds himself marooned on Ship-Trap-Island, he discovers that, as a hobby, the owner of the island hunts men instead of animals. Rainsford must outsmart his opponent in order to stay alive, and so he experiences all the fears that an animal feels when it is hunted. By putting a hunter in the role of prey, Richard Connell demonstrates his belief that hunting is a cruel sport. To illustrate this theme, Connell uses irony and suspense. 15Writing the Body ParagraphsEach body paragraph:Contains a clear topic sentence which identifies the connection between your examples/explanation and your thesis . Demonstrates that the topic sentence is true by giving evidence.Includes quotes from the short story or novel to show that you didnt make up the evidence.Reminds the reader of the connection between your evidence and the thesis.

16Sample Outline of a Four-Paragraph EssayI. Introduction A. Opening sentence(s): B. Brief summary: C. Thesis statement: D. Proofs:

Body Paragraph #1A. Topic sentence:B. Supporting details: 1. 2. 3. 4.III. Commentary

17Sample Outline for a Four-Paragraph EssayIII.Body Paragraph #2A. Topic sentence:B. Supporting details 1. 2. 3. 4.

IV.ConclusionA. Topic sentence:B. Restatement or summary of thesis C. Evaluation of topic D. Closing statement18Fairy Tales: Enduring Lessons or Wrong Messages?I. Introduction A. Topic sentence: Fairy tales are some of the oldest and time-honored pieces of literature in the world. B. Brief summary: 1. Found in almost every culture. 2. Read by or to young children. 3. Simple storieseasy to remember 4. Children impressed by moral or lesson. C. Thesis statement: Fairy tales send young girls the wrong message because in these stories the woman always needs rescuing by the man. D. Proofs: Popular fairy tales that demonstrate this theme are Cinderella and Snow White19Fairy Tales: Enduring Lessons or Wrong Messages?Body Paragraph #1A. Topic sentence: Poor Cinderella is a helpless victim of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters until the prince arrives to take her away.B. Supporting details: 1. 2. 3. 4.

20Fairy Tales: Enduring Lessons or Wrong Messages?Body Paragraph #2A. Topic sentence: Snow White, hated for her beauty by her own mother, is poisoned and made comatose until a handsome prince falls in love with her and breaks the spell.B. Supporting details: 1. 2. 3. 4.

21Fairy Tales: Enduring Lessons or Wrong Messages?IV.ConclusionA. Topic sentence:B. Restatement or summary of thesis C. Evaluation of topic D. Closing statement

22ResourcesMaplewood Writing Centerhttp://www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/maplewoods/writeplace/MWHandoutsIndex.htmlConcepts of Critical Analysishttp://www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/maplewoods/writeplace/CriticalAnalysis.html

Writing a Thesis Statementhttp://www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/maplewoods/writeplace/thesisstatement.htmlhttp://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/thesistatement.html

Writing Effective Introductionshttp://www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/maplewoods/writeplace/writingintros.htmlhttp://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/intro.html

Writing Effective Conclusionshttp://www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/maplewoods/writeplace/conclusions.htmlEvaluating a Paragraphhttp://www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/maplewoods/writeplace/EvaluatingParagraph.htm23

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