Support #1 Support #2 Support #3
A Brief Example
Books That Don't
"The Little Engine
That Could" Does Not
The words are easy to It has a positive
The story is short
quick read don't have to look up
Inspires me to keep
I have no time words
Power of positive
can share it with little
easy to carry thinking = overcome
How does this translate into my essay?
The topic is the theme of your paper – the assignment your teacher gave you. This
helps you not get off-task.
Narrowing your focus helps you create your thesis statement to make your task
The three support statements become your “fact” sentences – the topic sentences
for each of the three body paragraphs.
The “details” boxes help you remember things you want to include in your essay –
but since they’re organized under each “support” box, you’ll remember which
paragraph those details belong to, and you can work on one little piece at a time.
During timed writing especially, this graphic organizer is so helpful.
It should only take 2 – 3 minutes to create.
It organizes your thoughts so you don’t forget anything important.
It shows you right off the bat whether you have enough to talk about or not.
If you can’t fill up all the boxes, you can re-think your thesis & start over. If
you found this out halfway through writing your essay, you’d already have
eaten up most of your time.
It breaks the essay up into bite-sized pieces so the task isn’t overwhelming.
You can arrange and re-arrange your boxes during this step to find the best
order, instead of crossing out or rewriting your paragraphs. This saves you
time in the long run, and makes your final copy neater and easier to follow.
If you turn your one- or two-word reminders into full sentences, the essential
parts of your essay are basically done.
You can modify this for any essay – you can add or subtract “support” boxes
to fit the # of claims your teacher wants you to have, and use the “details”
boxes to record information that’s relevant to a particular assignment – like if
a History essay asks for quotes from primary documents, you can jot down
the citation in the box while you’re still in the library so you don’t have to
look it up all over again.