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					                       The Flowchart



                  Topic


       Narrow your
      Focus (Thesis)


Support #1      Support #2        Support #3


                                       Details
     Details           Details
                             A Brief Example


                         Books That Don't
                              Suck



             "The Little Engine
           That Could" Does Not
                   Suck



                       The words are easy to           It has a positive
The story is short
                            understand                     message



       quick read           don't have to look up
                                                          Inspires me to keep
                                                                 trying
    I have no time                 words
                                                            Power of positive
                            can share it with little
     easy to carry                                        thinking = overcome
                                    sister
                                                                the odds
                       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
more manageable.

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.

				
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