Step 1 – Always address the
 Prompt: Write a 3 page essay in
which you
Challenge/Defend/Qualify the
following statement:
 “Transcendentalism is alive and
well in popular culture today”
So what’s wrong with this?
 “Transcendentalism
is alive
and well” is a statement with
division in the world today.
Challenge/Defend/Qualify – Which position
is this author taking?
Many people have different beliefs regarding nature
and in today's society transcendentalism is fading
because more and more people are shifting away
from nature and more towards trends such as
fashion. I don't understand why people are shifting
away but they are. But on the other hand there is
always going to be artists who are going to paint
nature and writers who are going to write about
nature because society is always going to have those
two kinds of people.
Popular Culture TODAY???
“I’ve gotta be me” by Sammy Davis JR. it is
said that, “Whether I'm right or-whether
I'm wrong-Whether I find a place in this
world or never belong-I gotta be me, I've
gotta be me-What else can I be but what
I am”
Step 2 – Support your thesis with
details and tie all examples/details
back to the prompt!
And please never forget – anything you
take word for word (or almost word
for word) from the internet or any
other source must be QUOTED and
The performances in “Frasier”, while popularly
appreciated, serve to degrade the public’s idea of
intellect and self-achievement. In the world of
graphic novels, he points to iconic DC Comics
nemeses Lex Luthor and the Joker, who both fit
the “evil genius” stereotype. Do those who
actually make use of their talents have to do so
in destructive, malignant ways? Of course not,
and yet this notion, in popular media, prevails;
and when we as a population are so constantly
fed these sorts of stereotypes, those who are
theoretically more susceptible to new ideas
(children) start to carry these presumptions
from the screen out into real life.
what’s missing?
What is missing here?
Like I mentioned before, Transcendentalist
philosophy can still be noticed in music. And what
best example than Michael Jackson who was known
as the “King Of Pop” and whose songs still have an
impact in today’s world. Although apparently Justin
Bieber has replaced him, but that discussion is for
another time.Generally Michael jackson’s songs have
impacted people all over the world. One of his songs
called “Earth Song”, specifically talks about the
importance of nature and it’s importance in our
lives. In one part of the song he sings, “ Did you ever
stop to notice. All the blood we've shed before. Did
you ever stop to notice. This crying Earth this
weeping shores?”
Step 3 – Add
1. Add style/voice by using figurative language,
parallel structure, rhetorical questions etc. Warning
– too much of any strategy can actually detract from
the overall impression.
 2. Add voice/style through syntax – vary your
sentence lengths to emphasize key ideas. Use
common sense – why am I using a short sentence
here or a long sentence here etc.
 3. Add voice/style through diction – the words you
use makes an impression on the reader. You must
use words correctly and they must fit the rest of
your style!
 4. Use more sophisticated transition words/phrases!
Can’t you just feel their words slithering
around your ears? The insane irony of this
situation is that if you buy their products
and become “unique,” eventually more
people will as well. If I’m wearing Vera
Bradley’s line, and you’re wearing Vera
Bradley’s line, and your neighbor is wearing
Vera Bradley’s line then who, honestly, is
living up to the campaign’s true underlying
Varying your sentence lengths can
add style and emphasize key ideas
Most people would answer no to this
question and maybe that’s because we try
too hard to impress those that are around us
and keep ourselves busy, forgetting to take it
slow so that we are able to take a good look
at what’s around us and appreciate it.
Something like, Nature.
Consider your body paragraphs. Do
you use any of these phrases?
To begin with,
To conclude,
My first, second,
third/last reason…
 One reason is…
 Another example . . .
Let’s PUMP UP our Writing!
These common transitional phrases do not add
strength to our writing; they make our writing
sound like we are listing off our ideas rather
than explaining them.
 Good writers consider how the reader will progress
through our writing by considering sturdy
transitional words and phrases.
Purpose of Transitional Terms
Transitional words and phrases are
included in the work of successful writers
to help bridge and connect:
◦ Paragraphs
◦ Supporting Ideas
Transitional words help your reader to
follow your writing ideas
Where Can I Place Transitional Words and
Phrases in My Writing?
Transitional words and phrases may be
◦ At the beginning of paragraphs to help
transition from paragraph to paragraph
◦ Inside paragraphs to help transition from one
supporting detail to another
◦ Inside paragraphs to help elaborate upon
supporting details
Watch Out for Transition Overload!
Be specific in the placement and
application of your transitional words and
phrases. Not every idea or sentence
needs to begin with one of these terms.
Can you tell how these two
paragraphs go together?
Therefore society and pop-culture can’t
always follow the transcendental beliefs
but Unitarianism is alive and well in our
Air. Earth. Water. Fire. The basic
elements that we need in order to
survive but we go on without
acknowledging their existence.
Here we at least have a transition
but it is at the basic level
Grylls has even said that “scouting gave
me a confidence and camaraderie that is
hard to find in everyday modern life.”
Another transcendentalist theme
found in pop culture is individuality.
More sophisticated - repeat key
words but move on to the next
Music, books, poems, movies, and art
contains aspects of what we least expect,
reforms towards man and nature, selfreliance, and unitarianism.
The relationship between man and
nature is slowly waning away.
the individual of today is portrayed as an
egoistic, advantageous being, with piles of
wealth shining around him, but encased in
an empty shell that cannot be satisfied.
An empty shell cannot hold much for a
long time, as The Dark Knight, one of the
most spectacular films of popular culture
You can also tie ideas together by
using synonyms
Emerson strongly believed,
“Whoso should be a man must be
a nonconformist”
Lady Gaga definitely does not
follow the crowd, she is the
essence of a true individual.
Your Turn
Take any copy of the New Yorker
 1. Look at 3 different articles (not the short
letters to the editor or the fiction pieces.)
 2. Pay attention to how the author
transitions from one paragraph to the next –
jot down the words/phrases etc. that tie
everything to the main idea of the article
 3. Now look at your piece of writing –
Write the last sentence of each paragraph
and then create a new, stronger, better
transition to start the paragraph that follows.