Last Name 1
Feb.4 , 2013
What NOT to do:
- The five paragraph essay from high school does not work in English anymore
o Yes there is an intro, body, and conclusion. However the problem is that there is
no flow, there are 3 “essays” in paragraph form
o Your main purpose is 1 high level claim
o Writing an essay is not a formula. Your thinking comes predetermined based on
the formula A = B, C, D
o Try to convince your audience about your argument
- The inverted triangle
o What happens is that people make a general claim such as “In society today…”
o Do not make generalizations; always be specific
o More detail will help to convince your audience about your argument
- DO NOT summarize the plot
o Provide a gist amount of context as to where in the book it is happening
- GET RID OF FIVE PARAGRAPH ESSAY FORMAT
o It is too constraining
o You will be able to make a better argument without the A = B, C, D formula
- 3 major grammatical errors that will reduce your grade
1) The cat ran away, it was very fast. This is a comma splice! When you have two
independent clauses separated by nothing but a comma. Correct form: The cat ran
away; it was very fast.
2) The cat ran off into the dark it was midnight. This is a run on sentence! When two
independent clauses are fused together. Correct form: The cat ran off into the dark. It
was midnight. OR The cat ran off into the dark; it was midnight.
3) The cat, running into the dark woods where rain water dropped from leafy Boughs
onto the loamy soil. This is a sentence fragment! This is missing a predicate. The
cat…what? Correct form: The cat, running into the dark woods where rain water
dropped from leafy Boughs onto the loamy soil, fell into a hole and died.
- 3 grammatical errors that won’t impact your grade as much. Last Name 2
1) Split infinitive. Ex: to quickly look. Correct form: to look quickly. You want to keep the
infinitive together “to look”.
2) Learn the apostrophe!
a. Its possessive (should only be the one used in your essay)
b. It’s contraction (Contractions should not appear in formal essays!!)
c. Its’ this does not exist!
d. They’re contraction (Again should not be used in formal essays)
e. Their possessive
f. There a place
3) Oxford comma
a. With a list of three or more a comma should be before the “and”
b. Ex: _____, ______, and _______.
- The reason why your essay exists
- Rule of Thirds: one third spent writing essay, one third spent revising, and one third
spent devising your argument
- Must be debatable
o King Lear is and old king.
o King Lear’s concern with his age produces an anxiety that requires the
unconditional expression of love and devotion, even if that expression is false.
- Make sure your argument passes the “so what” question. Ask yourself so what?
o Essays on literature require analysis or interpretations. Not every reader will read
a text the same way. It is your job to interpret the literature in a way that is
convincing, valid, well-reasoned, and well-argued.
o DO NOT SUMMARIZE THE PLOT
o Who cares if you relate to the book or identify with the author
o Do NOT disc