Aec writing: An Introduction



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AEC Writing: An Introduction
Why AEC?

—AEC stands for:



  • ASSERTION

  • EVIDENCE

  • COMMENTARY

  • The AEC model is the basic formula for writing an academic paper.

  • We will use the AEC structure to organize our thoughts and opinions about the literature that we read this year.

What is an ASSERTION?



  • An assertion is a statement that offers an opinion about a subject or something to prove about a subject.

  • For example, here is a writing prompt about a well-known fairy tale:

    • Describe the queen’s attitude about herself in the fairy tale “Snow White.”

    • An ASSERTION statement will answer that prompt:

      • In the fairy tale “Snow White,” the queen is vain.

    • What is the subject of the assertion?

What is EVIDENCE?



  • The evidence sentence offers an example that supports the ASSERTION statement.

  • This evidence, or CONCRETE DETAIL, is a specific example from the text that proves the opinion offered by the ASSERTION.

  • The evidence sentence contains a TRANSITION, CONTEXTUAL LEAD-IN, and CONCRETE DETAIL.

    • Think of it as TLC!

  • Here is an example of an evidence sentence that proves our thesis about the queen in Snow White:

    • ASSERTION: In the fairy tale “Snow White,” the queen is vain.

    • EVIDENCE: For example, when she wakes up every morning, the queen looks into her magic mirror and asks, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

      • Where is the transition in this sentence?

      • Where is the CLI (contextual lead-in)?

      • Where is the concrete detail?

What is COMMENTARY?



  • A commentary sentence explains why the EVIDENCE supports the opinion given in the ASSERTION.

  • It further explains the thinking behind your example.

  • Here is an example:

    • ASSERTION: In the fairy tale “Snow White,” the queen is vain.

    • EVIDENCE: For example, when she wakes up every morning, the queen looks into her magic mirror and asks, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

    • COMMENTARY: Looking in the mirror daily and praising her own beauty is self-centered.

    • COMMENTARY: The queen is more concerned about her own appearance than anything else in her life.

A few more notes:



  • The ratio of evidence to commentary is often 1:2 (one evidence and 2 commentary sentences)

  • In AEC Writing, never use:

    • “I” “me” or “my”

    • “you”

    • “this shows” or “this proves”

AECCC?


  • We will also add a conclusion sentence to finish out the body paragraph chunk:

    • Sentence #1 –Thesis/ Assertion Statement (A)

    • Sentence #2 – Evidence (E)

    • Sentence #3 – Commentary (C)

    • Sentence #4 – Commentary (C)

    • Sentence#5 – Concluding Sentence (Summarize / Wrap up what you said)


ASSERTION (What do you believe about indifference? What ideas do you have about the topic?)


EVIDENCE

(Where is it in the text?)

Cite the page where it appears.


COMMENTARY

(Explain why the evidence supports your assertion. Defend your assertion!)












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