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6B- _____ Writing: “BDC” Theme Essay: Practice Editing 1




Directions: USE RED or GREEN PEN. Read the essay aloud, quietly, to yourself. Then answer the questions that follow. Finally, make any additional comments or corrections on the essay, itself.

The poet, E. E. Cummings once said, “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.” In “Biderbiks Don’t Cry” by Avi, a teenage boy, Charlie Biderbik gets into a fight and doesn’t fight back, his father is ashamed. As the Biderbiks go through this troubling experience, the author examines the theme of standing up for yourself. In the climax of the story, when Mr.Biderbik holds a meeting about the fight, the author expresses a clear understanding of the theme.

The author introduces the theme when Mr.Biderbik forces Charlie to attend boxing lessons at the church. Charlie Biderbik is a teenage boy. After attending a school dance, Charlie walks home. He finds himself in the middle of a gang, threatened to fight. This results in Charlie coming home because he didn’t stand up for himself. Mr.Biderbik is ashamed of his son not resisting the fight. After Charlie comes home, Charlie and his father exchange words, “‘Boxing lessons? Charlie said incredulously. Mr.Biderbik nodded. ‘Right. Twice a week. Seven-thirty. Till nine...’ ‘But… I don’t want to.’ ‘Why?’ ‘I hate fighting.’ ‘Charlie, my boy, you don’t have a choice.’ ‘Don’t you care how I feel about a meeting.’ ‘Frankly, no. Charlie, the meeting is going to happen...’” Essentially, Mr.Biderbik signing Charlie up for boxing lessons represents that he thinks that Charlie is a

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coward and he does not accept the way that his son deals with physical violence.

Avi reinforces the theme in the climax, when Charlie bravely confronts his father. Mr.Biderbik calls a meeting for the neighborhood regarding the fight and proceeds to lie to everyone about Charlie’s reaction. Charlie then realizes that his father is the cowardly one. Charlie actually stands up for himself at the meeting and says, “‘My father… he thinks I was a coward. He thinks I should have… fought. It doesn’t… matter to him that I could… have been hurt. Or killed. That’s why my father called this meeting. It’s not to protect the neighborhood. It’s because my father is ashamed of his son. This meeting is for him. He’s afraid that people will think badly of him. Because of me. But I think… he’s the coward.’” Ultimatley, in the climax of the story, Charlie realizes the true coward, his father. Mr.Biderbik was so ashamed and scared of what people were going to think of him for raising a spineless son. Charlie was the brave one, standing up to his father in front of everyone in the meeting. There is a lot of irony in this story. You would expect Charlie to be the coward, not facing the gang, but on the contrary, Mr.Biderbik is the gutless one because he’s ashamed that his son was not brave enough to fight back.

In review, the way that Mr.Biderbik deals with Charlie’s fear to fight, demonstrates how fearful he himself is. Charlie standing up to his father, shows how he is not a coward in the end. Essentially, when Charlie stands up to his father, he illustrates that sometimes speaking out for yourself verbally can be more impactful than physical violence and that fear is nothing to be ashamed of.

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Questions:

1. Highlight the essay:



COLOR 1: Hook; IS

COLOR 2: Thesis, both TS’s, Review

COLOR 3: Evidence in both Body ¶‘s (including tags)
2. Label each part of the essay: H, L, S, TS, Sum, Ev, Exp, R, IS
3. Label on the essay, itself, at least one comma splice. (Just write “CS.”) Then revise the comma splice on the space below:

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4. The line includes the title, author, and a summary of the entire text. The summary is a bit too specific, but the line has another problem. The author hasn’t really “tied” the hook to the line. To do this, I suggest you copy key words from the hook in your line, making an obvious link between the two.

Re-write her line on the spaces below, using this strategy to create flow:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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5 A. What’s wrong with the thesis? _____________________________________

B. Give this writer advice on how to fix the problem: ___________________

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6 A. In her summary in Body ¶ #1, this writer needs to vary sentence beginnings. She starts 4 out of 5 of her sentences here with a subject-verb pattern. (Ex: subject: she; verb: starts.) List on the spaces provided below just the subjects and verbs that start these 4 subject-verb sentences:

1. subject: ___________________ verb: __________________

2. subject: ___________________ verb: __________________

3. subject: ___________________ verb: __________________

4. subject: ___________________ verb: __________________

B. On the spaces below, re-write any one of the subject-verb sentences in such a way that the sentence has a different sentence beginning. As a result of your revision, the sentence should flow with the sentences around it.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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7. This writer’s quote is unnecessarily long and complicated. Put a sideways line through the part of her quote that is too complicated. The remaining quote should be simpler but still powerful and revealing.

After Charlie comes home, Charlie and his father exchange words, “‘Boxing lessons? Charlie said incredulously. Mr.Biderbik nodded. ‘Right. Twice a week. Seven-thirty. Till nine...’ ‘But… I don’t want to.’ ‘Why?’ ‘I hate fighting.’ ‘Charlie, my boy, you don’t have a choice.’ ‘Don’t you care how I feel about a meeting.’ ‘Frankly, no. Charlie, the meeting is going to happen...’”
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8. This writer needs to develop her explanation in Body ¶ #1. It’s too short, and it needs richer ideas. Suggest a rich idea she might add to her explanation:

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9. While the writer’s explanation in Body ¶ #2 is better than her first explanation, it, too, would benefit from further development. Name another idea she might discuss in this explanation, one that is rich and observant:

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10. As with the hook and the line, the writer should make a connection between the hook and the insight statement (HIS). She’s done this, but the connection is subtle. To make this connection a bit more obvious, the writer could quote key words from the hook in the insight statement, spinning these words to add a new layer of meaning to her argument, a layer that is richer and more thought-provoking. Re-write her insight statement in the spaces below, revising it according to the guidelines above:

Essentially, when Charlie stands up to his father, he illustrates that sometimes speaking out for yourself verbally can be more impactful than physical violence and that fear is nothing to be ashamed of.
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Now edit or revise anything other issues you notice on the essay, itself.


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