How to Write a Literary Analysis using the ABCs by fxs21421

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									How to Write a Literary Analysis using the ABCs of Writing (using a paragraph as
practice)

       Use a topic sentence
       A = introduction of evidence (this functions as a transition sentence)
       B = evidence (direct quotes and/or very specific situations from the story)
       C = explanation of evidence (at least two sentences)



ABCs of writing on the setting of Asimov’s “The Machine That Won the War:”

Topic Sentence: How do you come up with a topic sentence? Think about why the topic is
important to the story, in your now expert opinion. For instance, how does the setting of “The
Machine…” impact the overall story? Does it contribute to the tone or mood? Does it help you
to understand the story in a particular way? How does it contribute to the story as a whole?

Possible topic sentences:

   1. The setting of Asimov’s “The Machine that Won the War” clearly establishes it as a
      science fiction story.
   2. The setting of Asimov’s “The Machine That Won the War” motivates the plot of the
      story.
   3. Despite the fact that Asimov’s story “The Machine That Won the War” takes place
      during a celebration, the setting makes the story feel sad/bleak/etc..
   4. (One of your own – I like these best!)

Evidence (the B of the formula): Next, decide what evidence you have collected actually fits
your chosen topic sentence. For the purposes of this paragraph, I want you to be able to use at
least three pieces of evidence. One piece generally isn’t enough to draw a conclusion from (it
looks like an isolated instance in the story if you only can site one thing). Two is just starting to
make your case, but three is pretty solid. If you get to four you may want to separate them into
two paragraphs, pairing them logically. Then you would be starting to write a paper.

Introduction of Evidence (the A part of the formula): This is the first step of actually
constructing the paragraph. After you have written your topic sentence, the next sentence
should tell us what part of your big idea (topic) you are going to address or prove first. For
instance, if my topic sentence about Amy Tan’s “Rules of the Game” is, In her short story “Rules
of the Game,” Tan helps us to fully understand the character of Waverly by showing us how she
is influenced by both her mother’s Chinese culture and her own American culture, I would need
to follow that with a sentence that introduces my first piece of evidence. Perhaps it would be
something like this; As a young girl, Waverly learns from her mother the art of keeping her
needs or desires secret in order to get what you want. My next sentence then will be my actual
evidence. “’Bite back your tongue,’ scolded my mother when I cried loudly, yanking her hand
toward the store that sold bags of salted plums.” Do you see how my first sentence set me up
to put my evidence into my paper?

Explanation of Evidence (the C of the formula): After you have introduced your evidence you
must explain to your reader what exactly is happening and how you think it supports your topic.
This is why it takes at least two sentences. For instance; Mrs. Jong denies Waverly the plums
and scolds her to be quiet about what she wants. The lesson is further reinforced on a later
shopping trip where Waverly “bites back her tongue” and her mother buys her the plums as a
reward. The idea of women being quiet and using other means to get what they want or need is
a very traditional Asian value. This explanation took me three sentences.

You would then follow with the process again, introducing your next piece of evidence, stating
the evidence and explaining it. Follow up with one more time, and you have a complete
paragraph for this assignment.



Sample

        In her short story “Rules of the Game,” Tan helps us to fully understand the character of
Waverly by showing us how she is influenced by both her mother’s Chinese culture and her
own American culture. (topic) As a young girl, Waverly learns from her mother the art of
keeping her needs or desires secret in order to get what she wants. (intro of evidence) “’Bite
back your tongue,’ scolded my mother when I cried loudly, yanking her hand toward the store
that sold bags of salted plums.” (evidence) Mrs. Jong denies Waverly the plums and scolds her
to be quiet about what she wants. The lesson is further reinforced a week later when Waverly
“bites back her tongue” and her mother buys her the plums as a reward. The idea of women
being quiet and using other means to get what they want or need is a very traditional Asian
value. (explanation of evidence) But Waverly isn’t always so discreet about her needs or
desires, showing more of the American influence. (intro of evidence) “’Want to play?’ I asked
him…. I quickly put the box (of chess pieces) down next to him on the bench and displayed my
retort.” (evidence) After Waverly looses her brothers as opponents, she challenges a stranger
in the park to play against her. He is surprised at her, both for her desire and forwardness, but
she does get what she wants from him. (explanation of evidence)

       (This paragraph still needs one more piece of evidence and the final explanation of
evidence should sound like you are done.)
Rubric: You must have a classmate edit this for you using this rubric. If you are missing any of
the check marks, it is an automatic rewrite. If you receive any three (3) or more “emerging”
ratings it is an automatic rewrite. Rewrites are due tomorrow and should have this rubric
attached (as well as all of your previous work). If you don’t like your first reader’s evaluation,
you may solicit a second opinion.

       _____Must mention the title of the story and author in topic sentence.
       _____Must be about “The Machine That Won the War”, specifically focused on setting
       _____Must have a topic sentence
       _____Must have used the ABCs three times
       _____Must NOT be a summary of the story or the setting of the story

                          Very successful (3)      Meets standards (2)       Emerging (1)
Intro of Evidence (A)
present for each
piece of evidence and
functions as a good
transition
Explanation of
Evidence (B) present
for each piece of
evidence and
successfully explains
the evidence in at
least two sentences
Three quotes used as
evidence; quotes are
accurately copied
from the story
Quotes used
successfully support
and develop (stay
focused on) the topic
sentence
Organization is logical
Spelling and
mechanics


Peer Editor _______________________________________________ date ________________

Peer Editor _______________________________________________ date ________________

								
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