VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 16 POSTED ON: 3/4/2012
The Rough Draft Writing Process OR How to write a rough draft whether you want to do it or not. Determine your topic. Read the directions. Read the prompt. Paraphrase the prompt—put it in your own words to better understand what it is asking. You might have to write it out. If the assignment requires you to choose a position, you must make a choice. Clearly state your position by writing it beneath the prompt for your own reference. Brainstorming This is not optional. You can’t follow through with a plan that doesn’t exist; and based on your own past performance, you can’t write an essay well without a plan. Your plan cannot be something scribbled on the paper so that you can hold it up and say “See, Mrs. Kuhn, I did it.” It has to be something that you can use and follow as you construct your rough draft. If it isn’t, you have wasted your time, and probably your grade on the assignment is going to be a glaring reminder of that wasted time. Brainstorming continued Left-brain learners: the traditional outline format is your best option, but a list will work, too, if you do a bulleted one with subcategories. Right-brain learners: graphic organizers are your best friend because they allow you to see the big picture rather than one paragraph at a time. Use a Venn Diagram, a Frayer Model, a Web or Idea Map. However you do it, just do it. The excuse “But I never brainstorm before I write” might be part of your low-grade problem. Your “Plan” for Success on the Rough Draft Thesis: The Puritans of The Crucible and the Munchkins of The Wizard of Oz are far more dissimilar than they are similar in so far as the motivators of the Puritans involve more than fear, while the only apparent motivator of the Munchkins is fear. Similarity #1: Evidence: Source Citation: Similarity #2: Evidence: Source Citation: Similarity #3: Evidence: Source Citation: Your “Plan” for Success on the Rough Draft Puritans Munchkins Similarities Your “Plan” for Success on the Rough Draft Similarity #3 Similarities Between Puritans and Munchkins Similarity #2 Similarity #1 Initial Rough Draft Notice that the title of this slide says “initial”? That’s because you have to write more than one rough draft! Begin with the lead-in statement. Write one. This is a sentence that states the topic, only, of your essay. It should not be commentary; and it must clearly connect to the first part of the thesis statement. No highway option. Write a thesis statement. You can’t write a thesis essay if you don’t have a thesis statement. Now write information that will connect the lead-in (which is fantastic because it states your topic without making the reader say “So what?”) to the thesis statement. This is your background info. for the INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH. Put this background info. between the lead-in and the thesis and, ta-dah!, you have an introductory paragraph! Thesis Statement Formula TOPIC + ARGUMENT + REASON WHY = THESIS STATEMENT Example: Topic: Puritans and Munchkins Argument: There are more differences between them than there are similarities. Reason: The actions of the Puritan characters in The Crucible were driven by other motivators than fear; whereas the actions of the Munchkins demonstrate that they have structured their lives around their fears of the Wicked Witch of the East. Final Product (In third person voice with present tense verbs, ONLY!) The Puritans of The Crucible and the Munchkins of The Wizard of Oz are far more dissimilar than they are similar in so far as the motivators of the Puritans Involve more than fear, while the only apparent motivator of the Munchkins is fear. The Body of the Essay Re-read that thesis a few times. What did you just tell the reader that you were going to prove? Go back to your brainstorming piece. Do you have examples, connections, quotes, commentary that relates to your thesis? If you don’t you will need to make some adjustments to your brainstorming piece because this is the plan that you are going to follow, and you need to make sure the plan fits the thesis expectation that you have just created. Body of the Essay continued Somewhere other than on the paper where you intend to write the rough draft (I recommend on the same paper as the brainstorming piece), you need to write out at least four topic sentences that could be aligned with your thesis statement. Topic sentences should be the main points of your essay; so what are you trying to prove? You might need to do a little more pre-planning and add to your “plan”. Body of the Essay continued Do you have a concrete, relevant, points-to-the-text/film example for each of those topic sentences? Do your examples have anything to do with your thesis argument or reasoning? What is the connection? If there is no connection, get rid of the example and create a new one. Do you have a page number, a scene reference statement, a lead-in to the quote, a PARENTHETICAL CITATION for each of your examples? If not, don’t write the essay before you get this information. Once you figure out what your evidence is to support, prove, and defend your thesis, put them in a specific order. Which one logically needs to come first? Which one should come next? Which one will send the paper out with a bang? Body of the Essay continued Once you have your examples ordered, write some transitory statements to connect your ideas. The points of your topic sentences need to be connected together through the final statement of each body paragraph. Transitory statements have a formula: Transition Statement Formula Formula: In addition to ______________, it is also important to know that _____________________________. Topic of body paragraph #1 + Topic of body paragraph #2 = Transition Topic of body paragraph #2 + Topic of body paragraph #3 = Transition Topic of body paragraph #3 + Topic of body paragraph #4 = Transition Sample Body Paragraph The Puritans and the Munchkins have different primary motivators; the Puritans are motivated by greed and the Munchkins are motivated by fear. in The Crucible, the character Roger Putnam demonstrates a particular interest in the ownership of John Proctor’s property; and, later, when John Proctor is accused of witchcraft, the opportunity of obtaining this land becomes apparent. (Miller 1252) The Munchkins, however, never present a concern about the ownership of property and are perceived as having communal ownership of their village. (Fleming) In addition to the motivation of greed, the Puritans also differ from the Munchkins in their concern for social position. Concluding Paragraph Restate your thesis, either by re-writing it word-for-word or by rephrasing it (don’t lose the topic, argument, and reason why if you restate it!) Summarize your main points Main points are found in your topic sentences. Just re- word them, putting them in the same order that they appeared in your essay. Leave the reader with a statement to think about, if you can, that relates to the point you are making in your thesis statement. DO NOT give your opinions about the topic or the reader in the conclusion!!!!
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