The Essay Kuny/Borys 2009 English 20-1 The Introduction

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The Essay

  • Kuny/Borys 2009
  • English 20-1

The Introduction

  • The Introduction

1) The Motivator

    • Is your first sentence and should therefore grab the reader’s attention.
    • It should touch on the topic to be discussed, but not give away your argument.
    • It must relate to the topic
    • It can be a quote, joke, question, definition, statistic, shocking statement, accusation, etc.

2) Transition

  • - This is meant to explain, clarify, or extend your motivator.
    • Is still a general statement and does not mention the literature to be discussed.
    • Does not give away your thesis.
    • Should express how the topic is relevant to ALL PEOPLE or provide an explanation of your motivator.

3) Synopsis

    • Is meant to provide a brief summary of the piece of literature that you will be discussing.
    • Focus your summary on the topic you will be addressing, but do not give away the key idea in your thesis

4) Blueprint

    • Is meant to present the reader with your main arguments in the order in which you will present them. Be brief.

5) Thesis

    • This is the most important sentence of your entire essay!
    • It should guide your entire essay.
    • It should directly answer the question presented in the topic.

Body Paragraphs!

  • Body Paragraphs!

Topic Sentence

    • Is meant to tell the reader what/who the paragraph will be about.
    • Should be straightforward and specific about what the focus of the paragraph will be.

Developing Sentences

    • Develops the topic and provides more detail.
    • Gives appropriate, DETAILED examples to support your thesis.
    • Explains evidence in great detail and connects EXPLICITLY to your thesis.


  • You must back up ideas with evidence.
  • Evidence is a direct quote from literature or paraphrased statement of a specific episode within the literature.
  • Avoid summarizing the literature. Remember that the reader has read the literature you are discussing.
  • Evidence

Concluding Sentence

    • - meant to remind your reader of the topic discussed in the paragraph
    • similar to your topic sentence, but in different words
    • reconnect to your thesis…that is the idea you should be focused on throughout your writing
    • Your concluding sentence should sum up what you have written and also make the transition into the next paragraph.
    • .


Restate Thesis

    • meant to remind the reader of the statement you made in your essay about the topic you were assigned
    • must be in different words than the thesis in your introduction

Summarize Main Ideas

    • meant to give a brief overview of the way you supported your thesis
    • describe briefly how each of the three examples you discussed in your essay serve as to prove that your thesis was, in fact, correct

Reference to Motivator

    • meant to tie everything in your essay together, from the first sentence to the last
    • reread your motivator and make a comment that repeats the key words you used
    • do not repeat the motivator word for word


Integrating Quotations

  • Each of the following slides will have a quotation integrated in a different way. Your task is to write this down and determine the rules for each manner of integration.

Technique #1

  • The town of Maycomb did not approve of the Radley family: “The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb” (8).
  • Introduce the quotation with a complete sentence and a colon (:)

Technique #2

  • According to Scout, “Mrs. Dubose was plain hell” (10).
  • Use an introductory or explanatory phrase, but not a complete sentence, separated from the quotation with a comma.

Technique #3

  • The mention of “nothing to buy and no money to buy it with” (6) suggests that this is a time of economic depression.
  • Boo Radley is described as a “malevolent phantom” by the narrator.
  • Make the quotation a part of your own sentence without any punctuation between your own words and the words you are quoting.

Final Advice

    • Avoid contractions (don’t, won’t, can’t)
    • Use the Present Tense
    • Avoid dead words (get, got, nice, very, just, a lot, lots, bad, fine, good, so, fun, well, stuff, things etc…)
    • DON’T EVER USE: I, You, We, Your, My,
    • Be specific! Say what you mean with sophisticated vocabulary. Avoid repetition.
    • Titles of novels and films are either underlined or italicized.
    • Every paragraph must be indented and there should be no spaces between paragraphs.

Quoting Shakespearean Text

  • Lady Macbeth expresses her guilt while she sleepwalks: “Out, damned spot! out, I say!” (5.1.34-35).
  • In 5.1, Lady Macbeth’s guilt is evident.
  • Macbeth’s evil ambition is now alarmingly out of control: “Seize upon Fife; give to the edge of the sword / His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls / That trace him in his line” (4.1.150-53).

Quoting Shakespeare Continued

  • Lady Macduff and her son discuss the departure of Macduff:
  • Lady Macduff: Yes, he is dead: how wilt thou do for a father?
  • Son: Nay, how will you do for a husband? (4.2.38-39).
  • Macbeth’s evil ambition is now alarmingly out of control:
  • The castle of Macduff I will surprise;
  • Seize upon Fife; give to the edge of the sword
  • His wife , his babes, and all unfortunate souls
  • That trace him in his line (4.1.150-53).

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