How to Write an Essay Commentary by ema17445

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									The Well Organized Essay
                                          Six Steps of the Writing Process
  1.        Prewriting
  2.        Shaping of the Essay
  3.        First Draft
  4.        Peer Response
  5.        Revision
  6.        Final Draft

                                  Terms for Essay Writing
Write these definitions on another sheet of paper and staple them to this packet.
These definitions will help you understand what we are talking about over the next few weeks!
1. Essay
2. Introductory paragraph
3. Body paragraph
4. Concluding paragraph
5. Thesis
6. Pre-writing
7. Concrete detail
8. Commentary
9. Chunk

How to Identify and Write a Thesis Sentence

       1.     A thesis is a general sentence with a subject and an opinion (also called commentary).

       EXAMPLE: Australia is the best country of all for a vacation.

       In this sentence, Australia is the subject. The rest of this sentence tells the writer’s opinion, or commentary, about it—that
       it’s the best country for a vacation.

       2. REVIEW:
       A thesis is a general sentence with a ________________ and an _________________ (also called _________________).

       3. PRACTICE:
       For each of the following thesis sentences, underline the subject once and the opinion (commentary) twice.

       EXAMPLE: Mission Viejo is a wonderful place to go to school.
       a) Fishing is fun to do when I’m with my dad.
       b) English is my favorite class.
       c) It’s exciting going to a new school.
       d) Tacos are my favorite food.
       e) I like radio station Q106 the most.

       4. Review:
       What are the 2 parts to a thesis?
       _________________ and _________________ (also called __________________________).

       5.     Now you will practice writing thesis sentences of your own. First you need to think of some subjects you know
              something about.

Here are some subjects students have used in the past:
             - getting braces
             - bicycling
             - homework
Think of a subject of your own and write it here:

_____________________________________________________________________________________
6.   The next step is to write a thesis for your subject. Here is an example about the subject getting braces.

Thesis: Getting braces was one of the best things that could have happened to me.

This is a thesis because it has a subject (getting braces) and an opinion, or commentary (was one of the best things that
could have happened to me).

Now think of a thesis for the subject you chose in #5 and write it here:

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

Underline the subject once and the opinion twice.

7.   You will do some more thesis practice here. First, think of 4 more subjects that you know something about. Write
     them in the blanks below:
                     a) _____________________

                     b) _____________________

                     c)   _____________________

                     d) _____________________

8.   Now, write a thesis for each of your subjects:

a) _________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

b) _________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

c) _________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

d) _________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

Go back and underline each subject once and each opinion twice.

9.   FINAL REVIEW: Fill in the blanks to review the parts of a thesis.

A thesis is a general sentence with a __________________________________ and an ______________________
(_____________________________________).
Thesis Sentence Identification Practice

Identify each of the following sentences by writing a YES if it is a thesis and NO if it is not a thesis. Remember that a thesis
has a subject and an opinion (commentary).

Examples:
A. _____YES________ Today the cafeteria is serving the most disgusting food I’ve ever seen.

This is a thesis because it has both a subject and an opinion (commentary).

B. ______NO_______ Today the cafeteria is serving pizza.

This is not a thesis because it has a subject but no opinion (commentary).

             1.    _______ My high school is the best one around.
             2.    _______ I have gone to Mission Viejo High School for two years.
             3.    _______Our football team is better than last year’s/
             4.    _______ I hate going to the mall for Christmas shopping.
             5.    _______My family went to Disneyland last summer.
             6.    _______ Australia is a very large country.
             7.    _______ Little Women was a fascinating book.
             8.    _______ My bedroom is a pigsty.
             9.    _______School is a cool place to be.
             10.   _______ We have four required courses to take this year.

How to Write a “Chunk” Paragraph

    1.   Commentary means your opinion, interpretation, insight, analysis, personal response, feelings (in a literature paper),
         evaluation, explication, and reflection about a concrete detail in an essay. When you write commentary, you are
         ―commenting on‖ a point you have made. Commentary echoes the focus in your thesis and topic sentences.

         Commentary is a difficult skill to master because all the thoughts must come from you. Your teacher will not supply
         the information you will need to write commentary. It is up to you to think of some original statements to make
         about your concrete details.

    2.   To show you what commentary sounds like, read the following paragraph that describes an experience. This
         paragraph has a topic sentence, three sentences of concrete details, and a concluding sentence., It has commentary in
         sentences #1 and #5 (underlined) but not in sentences #2, #3, #4.

                             1) Driving in the fog to Sacramento was a frightening experience. 2) For example, no signs were
                   visible from the freeway, so I couldn’t see if there were any gas stations nearby to fill my near-empty tank.
                   3) In addition, it was 12:00 noon, and the fog was so think that I couldn’t read the exit signs until I started
                   passing them. 4) Furthermore, a police car suddenly appeared ahead and drove at forty miles per hour for the
                   next thirty minutes, and none of us was allowed to pass him. 5) When I finally reached Sacramento that day,
                   a great sense of relief permeated my body and mind.

    3.   The paragraph below is rewritten version of the one above. It has commentary sentences inserted after each sentence
         of concrete detail. The commentary is underlined.

                             1) Driving in the fog to Sacramento was a frightening experience. 2) For example, no signs were
                   visible from the freeway, so I couldn’t see if there were any gas stations nearby to fill my near-empty tank.
                   3) I panicked at the thought of being stranded alone in a strange place. 4) I kept hoping to see a station
                   materialize in the fog and felt incapable of making a decision. 5)In addition, it was 12:00 noon, and the fog
                   was so thick that I couldn’t read the exit signs until I started passing them. 6) I realized I had driven on for
                   hours dreading the never-ending blurring lines on the horizon. 7) I was afraid that the weather would never
                   lift and let me get back on schedule. 8) Furthermore, a police car suddenly appeared ahead and drove at forty
                   miles per hour for the next thirty minutes, and none of us was allowed to pass him. 9) It was as though an
                   invisible force field had been thrown up behind the patrol car., 10) No one felt brave enough to dare go
                   around him, and so we lingered behind for what seemed like hours. 11) When I finally reached Sacramento
                   that day, a great sense of relief permeated my body and mind.
    4.   The original sentences are still there, but we have added commentary after each concrete detail. You will notice that
         for every sentence of concrete detail there are 2 sentences of commentary.

    The ratio of concrete detail to commentary is (CD:CM) is very important. It is 1:2+.

    We write it as:
                                       CD:CM
                                        1:2+


    5.   Here is another example of a paragraph that has commentary in the first and last sentences but no in the middle. The
         commentary is underlined.

                  1) Saturday morning cartoons are often criticized by public officials because of their violence and themes.
         2) For example, critics describe coyotes jumping off cliffs, dogs and cats blackening each other’s eyes, and Martians
         planning to destroy Earth. 3) In addition, these same animals try to capture birds, carrots, or territory.
         4)Furthermore, when the fights are over, these same animals get food, toys, and candy as reward for their behavior.
         5) Children’s programming needs to be changed to avoid the messages that do nothing but harm those who watch
         them every week.

6. The paragraph below is rewritten version of the one on the previous page. It has commentary sentences inserted after each
sentence of concrete detail. The commentary is underlined

                   1) Saturday morning cartoons are often criticized by public officials because of their violence and themes.
         2) For example, critics describe coyotes jumping off cliffs, dogs and cats blackening each other’s eyes, and Martians
         planning to destroy Earth. 3) This violence may be realistic, but there is no accompanying realistic blood, pain or
         mutilation. 4) These scenes emphasize destruction and winning through physical harm to others. 5) In addition, these
         same animals try to capture birds, carrots, or territory. 6) The theme of these actions – greed and selfishness – is not
         appropriate for young children. 7) The wrong values are encouraged, and children do not see any examples of
         peaceful resolution to problems. 8)Furthermore, when the fights are over, these same animals get food, toys, and
         candy as reward for their behavior. 9) The idea that showing greed or inflicting pain is rewarded in any way, large or
         small, is subtly distasteful message. 10) If children see this behavior being successful on television, they have no
         reason not to try it themselves. 11) Children’s programming needs to be changed to avoid the messages that do
         nothing but harm those who watch them every week.

7. Here is an example of a literature analysis paragraph on Animal Farm by George Orwell. The concrete details are examples
from the story. There is commentary in the first and the last sentence but not in the middle. The commentary is underlined.

                   In Animal Farm, Clover represents a caring and motherly figure to the other animals. For example, she talks
         to Mollie, the horse, when others will not. In addition, Clover warns Boxer to slow down and nurses him when he
         collapses. Furthermore, she sees the changes in the Seven Commandments and in the pigs at the end. She works hard
         to help the other animals regardless of what the negative consequences may be.

8. The paragraph below is rewritten version of the one on the previous page. It has commentary sentence inserted after each
sentence of concrete detail. The commentary is underlined.

                  1) In Animal Farm, Clover represents a caring and motherly figure to the other animals. She talks to Mollie,
         the horse, when others will not. 2) She cares about keeping the animals together. 4) She isn’t mean to Mollie but
         wants her to understand how her decision to leave may affect the farm. 5) In addition, Clover warns Boxer to slow
         down and nurses him when he collapses. 6) In her concern for him. She models the kind of behavior that the animals
         wanted for Mr. Jones but did not get. 7) She sees the injustice of the system and understands the punishment of hard
         work. 8) Furthermore, she sees the changes in the Seven Commandments and in the pigs at the end. 9) The
         knowledge that something is wrong leads her to speak out. 10) Her commitment to Animal Farm is most important in
         her mind, and she wants to put her beliefs into action. 11) Clover works hard to help the other animals regardless of
         what the negative consequences may be.
Personal Commentary Practice
    1.   Now that you have seen what literature concrete detail and commentary look like, you will practice personal concrete
         detail and commentary next.

Personal commentary follows the same format as literary commentary. The sequence is as follows:


                                             Sentence #1:      topic sentence (TS)
                                             Sentence #2:      concrete detail (CD)
                                              Sentence #3:      commentary (CM)
                                              Sentence #4:      commentary (CM)



As you write, you need to have at lest 2 points of commentary (CM) for every point of concrete detail (CD). This will help you
write essays that are well developed and thoughtful.

    2.   Here is an example:
             Sentence #1 (TS): I hate shopping for Christmas.
             Sentence #2 (CD): For example, the lines always have five or six people waiting for one cashier.
             Sentence #3 (CM): It takes forever to pay for something.
             Sentence #4 (CM): By the time I’m finished, I’m exhausted from the frantic running around.


    3.   A topic sentence is given below. Write one concrete detail sentence foe #2 and two commentary sentences for #3 and
         #4.

    Sentence #1 (TS): The walls in this classroom are dull and boring.

    Sentence #2 (CD): For example, ______________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    Sentence #3 (CM): ________________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    Sentence #4 (CM): ________________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________________________________


                                                        Transitions

For most essays all sentences that are ―concrete detail‖ are required to begin with a transition.
Please copy the list of transitions from the board.
                                  Structure of a Five Paragraph Essay

PARAGRAPH #1                        Introduction
                                    H- Hook
                                    S- Setup
                                    FI - Focusing Idea
                                    TH – Thesis Statement

PARAGRAPH #2                        TS – Topic Sentence
                                    CD #1 – concrete detail starts with Transition
                                    CM – commentary
                                    CD #2 – concrete detail starts with Transition
                                    CM – commentary
                                    CS – concluding sentence, all commentary

PARAGRAPH #3                        1st Body Paragraph
                                    TS – Topic Sentence
                                    CD #1 – concrete detail starts with Transition
                                    CM – commentary
                                    CD #2 – concrete detail starts with Transition
                                    CM – commentary
                                    CS – concluding sentence, all commentary

PARAGRAPH #4                        2nd Body Paragraph
                                    TS – Topic Sentence
                                    CD #1 – concrete detail starts with Transition
                                    CM – commentary
                                    CD #2 – concrete detail starts with Transition
                                    CM – commentary
                                    CS – concluding sentence, all commentary

PARAGRAPH #5                        Concluding Paragraph (no repeats of key words)
                                    R- Reminders
                                    C- Connections
                                    TH – Restate thesis using different words
                                    FT – Final Thought




Elements of an Introductory Paragraph
             H- Hook
             S- Setup
             FI - Focusing Idea
             TH – Thesis Statement

Here is an example of an introduction that follows this format:

         Sibling rivalry can drive brothers and sisters to commit reprehensible acts. They may feel anger, resentment, or
jealousy and want to lash out at anyone nearby. In ―The Scarlet Ibis,‖ Brother wanted to create the brother he never had, even
though it meant sacrificing Doodle to achieve this goal.
Elements of a Concluding Paragraph
           R- Reminders
           C- Connections
           TH – Restate thesis using different words
           FT – Final Thought


A conclusion is all commentary. It does not include concrete details. It is usually sums up the writer’s feelings, but does not
repeat key words used previously. Besides this, a conclusion gives a finished feeling to the whole essay.

Here is an example of a conclusion that follows this format.

         Three women started on separate roads with different dreams, Beneatha, Ruth, and Lena all had different paths, but
they ended up at a crossroads of sorts. As their dreams changed, they realized they all wanted the same thing – happiness.
Their roads all ended up at the same destination, 406 Clybourne Park –home.




Shaping the Essay
As you write you essay make sure you identify all the parts of a well organized essay.
Label each sentence in your paper with the following letters:

H- Hook
S- Setup
FI - Focusing Idea
TH – Thesis Statement

TS – Topic Sentence
CD #1 – concrete detail
CM – commentary
CD #2 – concrete detail
CM – commentary
CS – concluding sentence

R- Reminders
C- Connections
TH – Restate thesis using different words
FT – Final Thought
            Check off each step as you go.
            You are required to know the following:
      _____ 1. Six Steps of the Writing Process              _____ 7. Determining Concrete Details for TKAM Essay
      _____ 2. Terms for Essay Writing                       _____ 8. What is a Shaping Sheet?
      _____ 3. How to Identify and Write a Thesis Sentence   _____ 9. Elements of an Introductory Paragraph
      _____ 4. How to Write a ―Chunk‖ Paragraph              _____ 10. Elements of a Concluding Paragraph
      _____ 5. The Structure of a Five Paragraph Essay       _____ 11. Revision
      _____ 6. Transitions                                   _____ 12. MLA format

                       10.

                                     Prewriting - Determining Concrete Details for Essay




                       MAIN TOPIC:


                             1st Main Point:            2nd Main Point:                 3rd Main Point:
Add Concrete Details
Here.
INTRO Example #1
    The world is filled with people who discriminate against others because

of their differences. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Tom

Robinson’s trial and its outcome was viewed from many different perspectives.

Atticus, the children, and the townspeople each had their own unique opinion

of the trial and its outcome.



INTRO Example #2
    In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, three different views of Tom

Robbinson’s trial and its outcome were vastly different. Compassionate and

profound, the novel shows readers the depth of human behavior as seen by

Atticus, the children, and the townspeople.
INTRO Example #1
    Throughout The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros, the young

narrator, Esperanza, tells about the lives of other women who live near her in

an impoverished Chicago barrio. Esperanza contemplates how she would or

wouldn’t want to be like them. She learns from the mistakes and the successes

of her peers, and envisions a better future for herself.



INTRO Example #2
    In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, three different views of Tom

Robbinson’s trial and its outcome were vastly different. Compassionate and

profound, the novel shows readers the depth of human behavior as seen by

Atticus, the children, and the townspeople.

								
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