The Accordion Essay Simple Rules for Organizing an Essay that Argues a Point Writing and Expository Essay Thesis 1. Support A 2. Support B 3. Conclusion Support C Writing and Expository Essay Thesis 1. Support A Support a1 Support a2 Conclusion A 2. Support B Support b1 Support b2 Conclusion B OVERALL CONCLUSION Support C Support c1 Support c2 Conclusion C Writing an Essay Is Like Playing an Accordion • An accordion can be squeezed or stretched • And so can an essay Thesis 1. Support A 2. Support B 3. Conclusion Support C Thesis 1. Support A Support a1 Support a2 Conclusion A 2. Support B Support b1 Support b2 Conclusion B OVERALL CONCLUSION Support C Support c1 Support c2 Conclusion C Expository Structure • Paragraph – – – – – Topic sentence Support sentence 1 Support sentence 2 Support sentence … Conclusion— implication—transition sentence • Section – – – – – Introductory paragraph Support paragraph 1 Support paragraph 1 Support paragraph… Conclusion— implication—transition paragraph The sentence • Active sentences: – Subject, action verb, object – The meaning runs downstream • Simple declarative sentences – Divide your argument into sentences – Don’t put the whole argument and its support into one sentence • Break the rules from time to time The Last Shall Be First • “I never know what I think until I write it.” • Putting arguments down on paper forces you to clarify and sharpen your ideas. • You will know more about your argument when you are finished. – So go back to the beginning and always, always rewrite your introduction – Then go back to the end and rewrite your conclusion The Hook • Finally, put some pizzazz in your writing with a first sentence designed to capture your reader and a last sentence to make what you have said memorable. • This is a creative step— not easily subject to rules of thumb • “Call me Ishmael” • “It was the best of times: it was the worst of times.” The first and the last sentences in the Bible: • “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” • “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” – Thesis--Conclusion First Sentence in the Gettysburg Address • Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. – Subject—forefathers – Verb—brought – Object—nation • Direct, active sentence Last Sentence in Gettysburg Address • “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Breaking the Rules • Lincoln disguises four declarative sentences as one sentence: – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve – that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and – that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth • Lincoln gets away with this complexity because all these sentences have the same simple structure – These are actually simple declarative sentences held together by “that’s” Conclusion • Yes—every argument must have a conclusion – Summary – Consequences – Implications • And it needs a punch line, something – surprising, – memorable, or – Meaningful An Example of a Hook & a Thesis • The creditor-predators have ripped open the soft under-belly of American society. • By offering easy and deceptive credit to home buyers, they have exposed millions of Americans to massive economic insecurity. • The hook • The thesis Example of Support • Banks have developed a plethora of “teaser loans,” interest only loans, balloon payment loans, flexible rate loans designed to hide the true cost of getting a home mortgage. • Banks have also developed homeequity loans which lure homeowners into “taking the equity out” of their house to pay for vacations, new cars and other luxuries instead of paying off their house. Example of Conclusion and Punch Line • Now millions of Americans are facing the loss of their homes as “introductory” and “flexible” interest rates rise, balloon payments come due, and home equity disappears with falling housing prices. • Red of tooth and claw, the creditor-predators are now set to profit on America’s misery by loaning more money at higher rates to sinking households. Perfect! American households are drowning and the banks are going to throw them a rock! How Is This an Accordion Essay? • The last three slides could be – Just one paragraph – The topic sentences of 6 paragraphs – The beginning sentences in six sections of a long paper.