Literary Essay [CCSS.ELA.W.6.1, CCSS.ELA.W.6.4, CCSS.ELA.W.6.5, CCSS.ELA.W.6.6, CCSS.ELA.W.9, CCSS.ELA.W.10]

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1 Name: Hour: Literary Essay [CCSS.ELA.W.6.1, CCSS.ELA.W.6.4, CCSS.ELA.W.6.5, CCSS.ELA.W.6.6, CCSS.ELA.W.9, CCSS.ELA.W.10] A literary essay is a nonfiction piece of writing that is about the writer s ideas in response to reading a narrative (short story, novel, etc.). The ideas can be about the characters or the themes in the narrative. They are then supported by specific details that create a connection between the narrative and the writer s line of thinking (reasoning). What makes a good literary essay? 1. A focused main idea - The writer should reveal the main idea that they realized after reading the narrative (short story, novel, etc.). This claim should be found at the end of the first paragraph (introduction). 2. Strong reasons - Usually given in the middle of the piece of writing. Gives specific examples of how the idea is shown in the text that support the main idea. 3. Provides text evidence - Each body paragraph contains evidence from the narrative (direct quotes, keywords) that proves there is a direct connection between the idea and the text. 4. Explains connection - After presenting the evidence, the writer then explains how their ideas connect to the text. 5. Attention to cohesion - Ideas are presented in a logical manner, in chronological (time) order or by priority. Transitions are used to connect the introduction, body, and first conclusions, next, then, such last, as most important,, furthermore and. 6. A personal connection to the reading - Describes the overall lesson that the writer learned by reading the narrative (short story, novel, etc.), or explains the narrative s overall importance. When you plan your writing, you should first consider your purpose, or why you are writing. In your literary essay, you are carefully examining your ideas about a work of literature and then creating an argument about why your ideas about the reading are valid. Anyone who reads your essay will have already read the short story or book, so you are trying to convince them to agree with your opinions. 1

2 ASSIGNMENT DETAILS ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco Rough Draft Due: Final Draft Due: Requirements: The literary essay must be five paragraphs (introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion) and each paragraph must contain five-six complete sentences. The literary essay must be typed, using size 14 Times New Roman font. The literary essay must be double-spaced with a header in the left hand corner. Please have title on top (capitalized) with plain font. The literary essay must be turned in on Google Classroom. The literary essay will be graded on the following Six Plus One Traits categories: Ideas & Content Organization Conventions Presentation fic details about grading. 2

3 Lucy Calkins Mrs. Rea ELA 6 1/25/17 Literary Essay Example ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco Eleven Down to One Have you ever wanted to become invisible and run away like a tiny, tiny balloon? In the short story Eleven by Sandra Cisneros, the main character Rachel has an embarassing experience. When some people read Eleven, they think it s just about a girl who has to wear a sweater she doesn t want to wear. But I think that it is really about a shy girl who wishes she was more confident. First, the author shows Rachel s character by showing the way she thinks. For example, Cisneros writes, When I open my mouth nothing comes out. This shows that Rachel wants to speak up for herself to her teacher Mrs. Price, but she is too frightened. She wants to tell Mrs. Price that the sweater is not hers, but she is too shy to find her voice. It is important that the reader knows that even though Rachel wants to speak up for herself, her shyness prevents her from doing so. Next, the author Sandra Cisneros also shows what type of person Rachel is by her actions in the story. She writes, That s when everything I ve been holding in this morning, since when Mrs. Price put the sweater on my desk, finally lets go, and all of a sudden I m crying in front of everybody. This proves that Rachel is so afraid to talk to Mrs. Price that she cries instead of defending herself to her teacher. Since Rachel is shy, she does not speak up for herself and is so upset that she breaks into tears. In Eleven, Rachel s shy personality ruins her day. She doesn t feel special on her birthday and instead she feels powerless. It is clear that Rachel wants to be more outspoken. I used to think that when people turn eleven, they are old enough to have the confidence to stand up for themselves. Through Rachel s story, I learned that sometimes when you are eleven, you are also 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. 3

4 Brainstorming ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco Consider the characters in by Roderick Philbrick and the traits that the author reveals about them. List as many character traits as you can think of to describe each character. Kevin ( Freak ) Killer Kane Max Gwen Loretta Lee Grim Gram Choose ONE character from above and write a literary essay based on the importance of his or her character traits. Your writing must use examples and evidence from the reading to support your opinions. 4

5 Pre-Writing ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco Now that you have selected a character to write about, you must gather all the details. Here are some examples from the story that illustrate the character trait: Example #1 Example #2 Example #3 5

6 Mini-Lesson: Collecting Evidence ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco Directions: Re-read the literature to find textual evidence to help prove your claim. CLAIM: The character shows the trait. DIRECT QUOTE(S) Pg. DIRECT QUOTE(S) Pg. KEY EVENTS Pg. 6

7 Mini-Lesson: Identifying Reasons ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco Directions: Push your thinking based on what you know about how the characters develop toward your chosen theme. A character trait is a descriptive word used to describe how a character acts during certain situations or the type of person he or she is. Write a response to all three questions. Consider how your character acts, speaks to other characters, and thinks. You may re-read your text to help you with your responses. CLAIM: The character shows the trait. 1. How did people or situations influence the character I m writing about? 2. How does he or she change? 3. Explain what causes the character to struggle. 7

8 Mini-Lesson: Identifying Reasons (cont.) Directions: Using the questions you just answered about your character, push your thinking to explain why your claim is true. This is separate from the evidence that you have found in the literature. Each explanation become a reason, which could later serve as the topic sentence of each body paragraph. CLAIM: My claim is true because... Reason #1 Reason #2 8

9 Organization ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco Organization is the structure of the writing: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The overall writing should be well organized and easy to follow. There are two ways to organize a literary essay: chronological order or by importance. INTRODUCTION Identifies the topic and the focus of the essay Gets the reader s attention. You can do this by: Asking a question Presenting interesting information about your topic Making a comparison (simile or metaphor) Providing a definition Give a brief summary (1-2) of the literature to provide a background Provides a claim (main idea) BODY Uses either time order (chronological) or by priority to organize argument. Uses transitions to create cohesion (, ). Gives reasons to support the claim. Provides text evidence (direct quotes, key words, key events) Explains the connection between the claim and the text evidence (connections) CONCLUSION Reminds the reader about the claim (main idea) Reviews the main points Describes how the literature impacted you as a person, or the impact on society in general 9

10 Literary Essay Organizer - Chronological Introductory Paragraph Hook: Title and brief summary connecting hook to claim: Claim: Early in the text [REASON] Supporting Paragraph For example [EVIDENCE] This shows that [CONNECTION] Later in the text [REASON] Second Supporting Paragraph Another example [EVIDENCE] This proves that [CONNECTION] Third Supporting Paragraph At the end of the story [REASON] For instance [EVIDENCE] This illustrates how [CONNECTION] Restate your Claim: Concluding Paragraph Connect the Claim to Your Life or the World: 10

11 Literary Essay Organizer - By Priority Introductory Paragraph Hook: Title and brief summary connecting hook to claim: Claim: Supporting Paragraph Most importantly [REASON] For example [EVIDENCE] This shows that [CONNECTION] Next [REASON] Second Supporting Paragraph Another example [EVIDENCE] This proves that [CONNECTION] Furthermore [REASON] Third Supporting Paragraph For instance [EVIDENCE] This illustrates how [CONNECTION] Restate your Claim: Concluding Paragraph Connect the Claim to Your Life or the World: 11

12 Create an Outline I. Introduction jot down a few general ideas about your topic: Claim: _ II. Body Paragraphs A. Reason #1: 1. Text Evidence: _ 2. Connection: 3. Connection: 4. Concluding Sentence: B. Reason #2: 1. Text Evidence: _ 12

13 2. Connection: 3. Connection: 4. Concluding Sentence: C. Conclusion 13

14 Literary EssAy - Introduction ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco The introduction (beginning) of your literary essay must catch the reader s attention and clearly state the main idea of your essay. You must include a hook, a brief summary of the literature to provide context, and a thesis statement. The first sentence of your literary essay should grab the reader s attention and show the reader how clever you are so that they can t stop reading. This is called a hook, or an attention grabber. Suggestions for starting with a Hook : Question - What does it take to be a hero? In the novel by Roderick Philbrick, the character Kevin proves to be an unlikely hero when he is put to the test. Piece of Information - Kevin, a main character in the novel by Roderick Philbrick, is a fun and odd combination of brave, funny, and intelligent. Despite his disability, he can conquer beasts and slay dragons, or in this case a bully named Tony D and a criminal named Killer Kane. Simile (comparison using the words like or as ) - The character Kevin is such a faithful friend, he is like a faithful dog. He is always there for his best friend Max in the novel by Roderick Philbrick. Definition - According to the word hero means a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. This definition describes Kevin, a main character in the novel by Roderick Philbrick. Write a hook to grab the reader s attention: Although the reader of your essay will have already read the literature, it is important to give them a brief summary of the short story or novel and how it relates to the topic of your essay. The first three sentences of the introduction should also include the name and the author of the literature you are writing about. See the second sentences in the examples listed above for examples of how to provide important background information about the literature for the reader. 14

15 Provide a short summary (1-3 sentences) that relates to the chosen theme: A claim describes the main idea that you are trying to get across in your paper. It states what the entire essay is going to be about. Example: Write your claim below: 15

16 Literary Essay - Conclusion The conclusion (end) of your narrative provides a sense of closure in their reader. The ending will summarize what you ve written about in your paper. When you re writing a good conclusion paragraph, you need to think about the main point that you want to get across and be sure it s included. Here are some points to remember: A conclusion is similar to your introduction. It wraps up your essay. It demonstrates to the reader that you accomplished what you set out to do. It shows how you have proved your claim. It provides the reader with a sense of closure on the topic. Use your introductory paragraph as a guide. This will bring your writing to a smooth close and creates a well-written piece of work. 16

17 Literary Essay - BODY The body (middle) of your narrative gives reasons that your claim is true. Your body paragraphs must contain three things: A topic sentence that explains how your claim will be supported, based on your reason or example from the text. A direct quote word for word from the book that proves your claim is true. Be sure to include the page number, and don t forget to put quotation marks around the direct quote. A connection that are 1-2 sentences that explain how the evidence from the text proves the claim. A closing sentence that restates your topic sentence in a new way. It reminds the reader of your main idea. PARAGRAPH #1 What is the example from the text that supports your claim? 17

18 Write a direct quote from that part of the book that will support your claim. Don t forget the page number where the quote is located. Now explain why this quote proves that your claim (main idea) is true. Next, you must choose how to organize your ideas. You will use transitions to connect your ideas and give the essay cohesion. There are two ways to organize your essay: Chronological - Present the reasons by time or sequence. Reasons and supporting examples to support the claim are given in order from the beginning of the book, to the middle, and to the end. Common Chronological Transitions : First, Next, Then, Lastly At the beginning, Near the middle, At the end Initially, Later on, Finally By Priority - Present the reasons and examples by importance or significance. This structure is considered when evidence can be ranked from more compelling to less compelling. Common Priority Transitions: Most importantly, In fact, Accordingly Besides, Further, Furthermore, Moreover 18

19 Most significantly, Next, Further, Less Importantly Transitions are a must (first, next, later, finally. etc.)! PARAGRAPH #2 19

20 20

21 Literary Essay Checklist Directions: Review your literary and make sure that it has all of the items on this list. If you are missing anything on this list, it will negatively affect your grade on this assignment. 1. _ The beginning (introduction) of my literary essay contains: Hook (grab your reader s attention) Title and author of literature Short summary (1-2 sentences) Claim / Main idea (your message to the reader) 2. _ The middle (body) of my literary essay has paragraphs. 3. _ In each body paragraph, I have one piece of evidence - a quotation with the page number in parentheses. 4. _ I explain the importance of each quotation and my reason for choosing it. 5. _ All of my paragraphs contain sentences. 6. _ The end (conclusion) of my literary essay contains: Restatement of claim / main idea (your message to the reader) Connection from literature to my life 21

22 7. My narrative is size 14 Times New Roman font (no fancy script) and I indented each paragraph. ELA 6 - Rea / Blanco 8. I have a creative title at the top that is capitalized and centered in plain font. 9. My narrative is 10. I have a header in upper left hand corner that has my Name, Teacher Name, Class and Date. 11. I included transition words to develop time order in the body paragraphs (first, next, then, last) or order of importance (most importantly, furthermore, also). 12. I referred to the 6+1 Writing Traits Chart for details about grading. PEER REVIEW CHECKLIST [CCSS.ELA.W.6.3] Directions: Read your partner s literary essay and ensure that all of their ideas are clear and coherent. Then take your time to thoughtfully complete the following checklist. CATEGORY: GRADING CRITERIA: Format Font, Size, Spacing Title Paragraphs Introduction Attention Grabber 1. 22

23 Author and Title of Literature Claim 4. CATEGORY: GRADING CRITERIA: Body Paragraphs Evidence Reasoning 4. Organization Transitions Conclusion Restate Claim 1. Make Connection 2. 23

24 Conventions Spelling 1. Grammar

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