Step 1: In order to write the first paragraph



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Critical Lens Essay Worksheet
STEP 1: In order to write the first paragraph of a critical lens essay about literature, be sure to:

  • Read the statement and make sure you understand the general idea.

  • Brainstorm about the topic on scrap paper. Write a sentence about the topic that will serve as a valuable opening to your essay.

  • Quote the critical lens, and give your interpretation of the statement.

  • Say whether you agree OR disagree with the statement, and explain why. You CANNOT/MUST NOT agree AND disagree.” Remember: in a literary essay, avoid using “I” or “me” or “you.”

  • Mention the titles (and authors of two works of literature you have read that you think illustrate your point of view about the statement.

  • Mention the literary elements/techniques used by the authors which help support your interpretation.

  • Remember to underline the title of a novel or a play in several acts; use quotation marks for a short story or one-act play.


Fill in your critical lens quote here:


You may use the following template, and insert the necessary information accordingly:

According to______________________________ , “_________________________

(author) (quote)


______________________________________________________________________.“

This means that___________________________________________________________



(your interpretation and analysis in your own words!)
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

This statement is shown to be true (or false) in ____________________________

(Work 1 title)
by _________________________ , and in _____________________________________

(author) (Work 2 title)
by _________________________ . The authors demonstrate the quote by using

(author)
_________________________________ (and __________________________________.)

(Literary element) (Possible element 2)

STEP 2: A) Now, you’re ready for the BODY PARAGRAPHS. Use at least one for each literary work.

First, make a transition. That is, use a word or phrase that joins what came before to what is coming next.


Here are some examples of transitions:



In the first work, ___________ , for example…

(title)


The character ___________ , from the novel ___________ , …

(name) (title)

For example, …
As you continue this paragraph, BRIEFY explain the plot—just enough so that your reader will understand why this is a good example to illustrate the critical lens, but NOT a plot summary. Then, refer to SPECIFIC events in the story that show the point you want to make.

In the first work, _______________________________________, for example, the

(title)

author’s use of____________________ provides evidence for _______________________



(literary element) (your interpretation, point)

of the critical lens. In this work, ______________________________________________

(brief background of plot point)

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________ .

When ___________________________________________________________________

(evidence proving author’s use of the literary element chosen supports your point about the statement)

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Clearly, __________________________________________________________________

(Refer clearly again to the critical lens and how this first work supports your interpretation)

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________ .


B) Now discuss the second work in the same way as you discussed the first work. Again, make a transition, such as:

In a similar way,…

Another character who shows this is…

A character who experiences this in a different way is…
Another example of how the critical lens is true/untrue can be found in ___________________________________. The author’s use of_____________________________

(title) (literary element)


provides evidence for _______________________________________________________________________________

(your interpretation, point)

________________________________________________________________________

of the critical lens. In this work, ______________________________________________

(brief background of plot point)

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________ .

When ___________________________________________________________________

(evidence proving author’s use of the literary element chosen supports your point about the statement)

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Clearly, __________________________________________________________________

(Refer clearly again to the critical lens and how this first work supports your interpretation)

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________ .


STEP 3:

You have now spent 3 paragraphs proving your point. In the CONCLUSION, you should:



  • restate the main point (paraphrase the critical lens as you have interpreted it

  • briefly restate the point you’ve made about each work

  • add some insight about how the critical lens is true/not true, but NOT new information

  • write a graceful concluding sentence

_______________________________________________________________

(your restatement or paraphrase of critical lens)

_______________________________________________________________________ .

As __________________________shows, ______________________________________

(the first work)

_______________________________________________________________________ .

This is shown also in ___________________________through ______________________

(the second work)

________________________________________________________________________

(your support and analysis)



________________________________________________________________________

(Concluding sentence including some useful insight on the topic of the critical lens.)


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