Teaching Jane Schaffer’s Multiparagraph Essay A Step-by-Step Guide Terminology for parts of an essay • • • • • • Essay Introduction Thesis Body paragraph Topic sentence Concrete detail • Commentary • Chunk • Weaving •Concluding paragraph • Concluding sentence Essay • A piece of writing that gives your thoughts (commentary) about a subject • All essays should have at least four paragraphs: introduction, body paragraphs (also called the body of an essay), conclusion Essay Form • Paragraph #1: Introductory Paragraph (at least 4 good sentences) • Paragraph #2: First Body Paragraph (811 sent) • Paragraph #3: Second Body Paragraph (8-11 sent) • Paragraph #4: Concluding Paragraph (at least 4 good sentences) Introduction • The first paragraph in an essay • It includes the thesis at the end. What is a thesis? • A sentence with a subject and an opinion (also called commentary), and two arguable prongs (ideas, topics, reasons why) • The thesis provides the focus for your essay. • Example: California is the best state of all for a vacation because of the fabulous beaches and the excellent variety of restaurants. Introduction Paragraph • Sentence #1: all commentary. Starts with a theme or themes. Sentence #2: says more about sentence #1. Is all commentary. • Sentence #3: says more about sentence #2, narrowing the subject closer to the thesis • Sentence #4: the thesis. Has subject, opinion and at least 2 prongs (reasons why…) • There is no concrete detail in this paragraph. Body paragraph • A middle paragraph in an essay • Develops a point you want to make in supporting your thesis Body Paragraph Format • • • • • Sentence 1 Sentence 2 Sentence 3 Sentence 4 Sentence 5 • Sentence 6 • Sentence 7 • Sentence 8 TS CD CM CM CD Topic sentence First sentence of concrete detail Commentary on sentence two More commentary Second sentence of concrete detail CM Commentary on sentence five CM More commentary CS Concluding sentence • The first sentence in a body paragraph • Focuses on main idea of paragraph and the first prong of thesis statement • Provides direction for the paragraph Concrete Detail (CD) In an Essay about a book: CD is a quote or a paraphrase For an SAT-type prompt: CD is an example Commentary • Commentary means your opinion, interpretation, insight, analysis, personal response, feeling, evaluation, explication, and reflections about a concrete detail in an essay. Conclusion Paragraph • The conclusion is the last paragraph in the essay. • It is all commentary. • It does not repeat key words from anywhere in the essay. • It gives a finished feeling to the paper. • The last sentence should connect to the theme of the work—the “so what?” OR be a universal statement. Terminology for writing the essay • • • • • • • Pre-writing Shaping the essay First draft Word counts Peer response Revision Final draft Pre-Writing • Bubble Clusters • Spider • Line Clustering Diagrams • Columns • Outlining Why do a Prewrite? • • • • Organize your thoughts Make sure you’re not repeating Get your CDs clearly stated Help you write the entire essay faster because you will already have your CDs.