Introductory Paragraph Your introduction should introduce the reader to both the text you are analyzing as well as the argument you are making. As such, you should: Introduce the name of the text State the author’s name Briefly state what the text is about Transition into your thesis statement, which is your argument. This comes at the very end of the paragraph. What is a thesis statement? An argument, which is a complete sentence and NOT a question, at the end of your introductory paragraph. The thesis clearly and concisely indicates what your paper is about, the main points that will be argued in the paper and the order in which they will be argued. A thesis statement should: Be precise (Say exactly what you are arguing and nothing else) Be concise (Don’t be wordy! Get right to the point) Be provable (*You will prove the thesis in the remainder of your essay) Provide support (Briefly state the support to your argument) A thesis statement should NOT: Be a question Begin with phrases such as “In this essay I will argue...” Rather, just get right to the point you are arguing. A thesis should be an answer to a question Question: Does Mickey Mouse Monopoly thoroughly and accurately analyze Disney films? Answer: No Support: The interviews are staged and only certain scenes from certain movies are shown Put your answer and support together to form a thesis … Mickey Mouse Monopoly gives an incomplete, onesided analysis of Disney movies as the filmmakers use staged interviews and only certain, carefully-selected scenes from the movies. Body Paragraphs The body paragraphs are used to prove your thesis statement. Each paragraph should: discusses ONE specific aspect of your thesis statement have a topic sentence which clearly states what the remainder of the paragraph is about provide support to your argument by inserting quotations have a concluding sentence that ties up the paragraph Quotations Each paragraph must also have direct quotations from the text to support your argument. You must always: Make an argument 2. Provide evidence (quotation) 3. Explain your evidence and its relevance to your argument 1. *Not following the above format results in a “quote bomb”. You can’t just drop a quotation in out of nowhere and not explain its relevance to your argument. For example … John Patrick Shanley creates doubt about Father Flynn’s innocence through the use of language. The reader is often told about conversations, but does not get to read the exact exchange of dialogue. For example, Sister James tells Sister Aloysious that “[Father Flynn] took Donald to the rectory … for a talk” (21) yet Shanley does not provide this conversation between the two characters. Leaving out this dialogue creates doubt because the reader is unsure of what truthfully happened between Father Flynn and Donald during this meeting. ARGUMENT John Patrick Shanley creates doubt about Father Flynn’s innocence through the use of language. The reader is often told about conversations, but does not get to read the exact exchange of dialogue. For example, Sister James tells Sister Aloysious that “[Father Flynn] took Donald to the rectory … for a talk” (21) yet Shanley does not provide this conversation between the two characters. Leaving out this dialogue creates doubt because the reader is unsure of what truthfully happened between Father Flynn and Donald during this meeting. EXPLAIN Other notes about quotes Do not use two quotes in a row without having some of your own writing in between Never start a paragraph with a quote Never start a sentence with a quote Never drop a quote bomb. Always: make an argument; provide your evidence; and then explain yourself Do not use too many quotes. You don’t want the quotes to overshadow your own opinion. Quotes are meant to support your argument. How to insert a quotation in the MLA format In brackets, after the quote, place the author’s name and page # where you found the quote. Ex: Sister James feels that “it’s so unsettling to look at things and people with suspicion” (Shanley 20). Note the period comes after the bracket. If you introduce the author’s name earlier in the paragraph, you need to include only the page # in brackets. Ex: Shanley creates Sister James as a very nice character. For example, she feels “it’s so unsettling to look at things and people with suspicion” (20). If you add or change any part of the quote, you must indicate the change by putting the text in square brackets The original quote says: “He took Donald to the rectory.” To be clear for the reader, I changed it to: “[Father Flynn] took Donald to the rectory” If you cut out a part of the text and add it to another part, you must show this by using ellipses dots (…) The original text looks like this: Sister James: He took Donald to the rectory Sister Aloysious: What for? Sister James: A talk. So I changed it to: Sister James tells Sister Aloysious that “[Father Flynn] took Donald to the rectory … for a talk” Your conclusion should: stress the importance of your topic by placing it in a larger context. In other words, it should answer the question, “So what?” that your reader might ask; give the essay a sense of completeness; and leave a final impression on the reader. Your assignment: Essay Question: How does John Patrick Shanley use literary and/or dramatic techniques to sustain the reader’s doubt about what really happened in the story and whether or not Father Flynn is innocent? Your essay will be 5 paragraphs. This means you will have an introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. You must choose 3 literary and/or dramatic techniques used to sustain your doubt. Each body paragraph will therefore analyze 1 of your chosen techniques. How to begin: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Choose which 3 techniques you will analyze Write your thesis statement Find quotations to support your thesis. Be sure to also write down the page number. *Using 2 quotes per paragraph should give you a solid argument. Draft an outline of your essay Write a first draft of your essay Revise your essay, making sure you followed the proper structure and correctly inserted your quotations Hand in your final draft!