Analysis: Topic Sentence

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Timed Writing Preparation – Before, During, and After

Before:

Marking the prompt
Marking the passage
Class or small group discussion
Practice connecting device to meaning
Practice incorporating text
Examine Sample essays or similar topics

During:

Read prompts and passages aloud together
Discuss prompts before students write at the beginning
Students work in small groups to discuss prompt and passage before writing Provide rubrics at the student’s desk
Provide a hints or notes page
Begin with more time and slowly decrease time to 40 minutes

After:

Examine sample essays and review the rubric
Compare student essays to rangefinders
Allow time for peer evaluation
Debrief individually, with partners, or as a class
Students highlight elements in their essays
Students revise portions of their essays
Organizer III – Debrief, Revision, and More Practice

The goal of Organizer III was to move you away from discussing each of Capote’s rhetorical choices in isolation and toward a more cohesive analysis. This is all in preparation for a timed writing you will complete individually. Today, we will review the work you have completed and practice writing body paragraphs one more time.

THINKING ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE…
Consider the following prompt for a timed writing:
Read the following chapter from the end of Part III of Truman Capote’s nonfiction work In Cold Blood. Then write a well-organized essay in which you discuss the rhetorical strategies Capote employs to achieve his purpose for including the scene. In your analysis, consider such strategies as: organization, point of view, selection of detail, figurative language, and syntax.

BRAINSTORMING and PREWRITING…
Remember the Easter Egg Analogy:
BIG question?
little question?
What is…
?
What…
?
Capote may seek to…
criticize the townspeople for their _____________ behavior
suggest an impression of the criminals that is both ominous and sympathetic question the possibility of justice in this community
challenge the notion that capture may bring closure.
Capote employs…
Organization
Point of view
Detail
Figurative language
Syntax

WRITING YOUR THESIS STATEMENT FOR THE ENTIRE ESSAY
As you think of writing the essay, you will need a clear and concise thesis statement articulating the purpose for the whole passage. Writing this statement is often challenging because of the difficulty of including so many elements into one sentence. You will likely need to write a complex or compound-complex sentence. As you construct this sentence, you should make sure the independent, or main clause refers to the purpose and the subordinate clause refers to author’s technique [this keeps the BIG question BIG]. Consider the following template:

In this passage from In Cold Blood, Capote ______________________________ [identify purpose] by/through _______________ ___________________________________________________________________[specific reference to his rhetorical strategies].

Note the example below:
Model Purpose Statement
Strengths…
In Part III, chapter 24, Capote challenges the notion that capture will bring closure to the small community around Garden City by contrasting the early excitement and jubilation of the large congregation to the solemnity and disappointment of the few who remained to see the jailhouse door slam shut. + begins with reference to purpose [challenges the notion…] + makes reference to overall technique [contrasts ….]

+ does not necessarily “blueprint” every device
+ includes precise language
The following purpose statements are from student organizers. While some represent a solid effort, there are still issues of content and/or fluency to be addressed. Purpose Statements needing further revision

Notes…
In Part III, chapter 24, Capote’s purpose was to reveal the townspeople’s anticipation to disappointment toward the convictions of Hickock and Smith. + shows contrast of attitudes
– need...
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