Essay Question

    PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: (the answer will become your
    In what way does Bradstreet’s belief in Predestination impact the message of her poem, “Verses
    Upon the Burning of My House”?

    Bradstreet’s belief in Predestination made it much easier for her
    to give up all of her material possessions and focus on God

                                         KEY IDEA NOTES
    Predestination: Belief that God has already chosen who will go to
    Elect: Those chosen to go to Heaven
    Message: don’t focus on material things, focus only on God
    Bradsteet thought she was one of the elect, therefore she was
    guaranteed a spot in Heaven which means she didn’t have to do
    anything special to get into Heaven, so why did she? Because she
    believed that that is what God wanted her to do and if she thought
                       INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH

Hook (focus on the big ideas of the paper –no specifics):

Faith can sometimes make people take the strangest actions;
sometimes these actions seem incomprehensible to outsiders.

Transition statement (includes author and title, be more specific):

Indeed, Anne Bradstreet’s belief in God as illustrated in her poem
“Verses Upon the Burning of my House” allows her to make the most
extraordinary sacrifices.

Thesis (answer the essay question (1st box) and makes an argument)

Bradstreet’s belief in Predestination made it so much easier for
her to give up all of her material possessions and focus on God.

Structure Statement: (Give 3 reasons WHY your argument makes sense)

She could focus on God alone because she had absolute faith that
God existed and loved her enough to reserve a spot in Heaven for
her, so that her material possession when compared to God’s love
and Heaven became valueless.

                                 BODY PARAGRAPH ONE
 Topic Sentence (Reason #1 from Structure Statement)

 First, Bradstreet’s faith allows her to focus solely on God.

 Point 1 (One idea, in your own words, which helps to pinpoint the idea in the topic sentence)

 Her conviction can be seen throughout the poem, even before she
 comes to accept the loss of her possessions.

 Context (In what stanza did you find this quote OR at what point in the poem)

 When she first realizes that her house is on fire, Bradstreet
 immediately prays to God to,

 TE 1(Back up your point with a evidence from the text, not in your own words)

 “Straighten [her] in Distress and not to leave [her] succourless.”

 Analysis (IMPORTANT! Explain why this quote proves your point – use specific words or ideas
 from the quote- AT LEAST two sentences – CONVINCE THE READER)

 The very first action Bradstreet takes is to pray to God who is a
 very active, loving God. The use of the word “straighten” suggests
 that God is going to help her face the difficulties ahead. With
 this kind of God in her corner, it is not difficult to understand
 how Bradstreet is able to eventually surrender her material
 possessions in exchange for a guaranteed eternal life with such a
 caring God.

 TRANSITION WORD and Context for TE 2

 Likewise, the next morning when Bradstreet could no longer look at
 the ruins of her house, she

 TE 2 (Back up your point with a evidence with another quote from the text, not in your own words)

 “blest his grace that gave and took,                     That laid [her] goods now in
 the dust.”

 Analysis (IMPORTANT! Explain why this quote proves your point – use specific words or ideas
 from the quote – AT LEAST two sentences - CONVINCE THE READER)

 Once again, Bradstreet’s unshakable faith makes her ultimate
 rejection of material goods easier to understand. As the above
 line implies, God gave her her house and then took it away because
 he has even more extraordinary glories to give her in eternal
 life. Since she believes she has guarantee for this eternal life,
 why worry about the loss of these temporary items?

2TRANSITION WORD and Clincher (Reviews ALL ideas in paragraph. Make your final argument)
  Frankly, Bradstreet’s faith is impressive because she loves him
 when she is in trouble and when he causes her pain, so it is not
                             The Conclusion Paragraph

    Rewrite Thesis (try to expand a little from the original thesis – do not repeat any words!)

    Anne Bradstreet clearly has a Puritan’s belief in Predestination,
    and it is that belief that allows her to sacrifice all of her
    worldly goods in exchange for spiritual contentment.

    Review Structure Statement Ideas (reviews main ideas presented in the paper)

    It is her firm faith in God’s existence and his love for her that
    enables her to recognize the utter worthlessness of her earthly

    Parting comment (Try to make an important point about the BIG Ideas you wrote about – do not
    mention any specifics from the text)

    Faith can move mountains, according to scriptures, and it can make
    people believe almost anything.


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