Being able to write a text response essay is a key skill. So what exactly does a text response essay do and why do we write them?
Imagine that you have been given the following topic: In the novel Parvana, the characters experience a number of changes. What are these changes and how do they come about? Planning the essay: Planning your essay is crucial* as it enables you to have clear, concise* and structured approach to your response. (*crucial-very important or significant,*concise- using as few words as possible to give the necessary information) In this case the topic is asking you to decide which of the characters change, in what ways they have changed and what has caused this to happen. The topic implies that they change from something to something. Your turn! To find out what your essay question is asking, try to deconstruct it by defining the meanings of the key words. 1. Circle the key words in the topic
2. Look up the definition in dictionary and think of synonyms for they key words Key word| Dictionary definition| Synonyms|
experience| knowledge and skill that is gained through time spent doing a job or activity| Knowledge, skill, understanding| | | |
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3. List the characteristics of characters or concepts described by the word Key word| Character| Characteristics (from… to ….)|
Experience| Mrs Weera| Changes form coach, leader, bossy, motivational to nurturing and supportive| | | |
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4. If the topic is not a question, turn it into one.
5. Tick the appropriate response to the question
Agree completely Agree partly Disagree completelyDisagree partly
6. Once you have worked out exactly what the topic is asking you to do, make a list of all your ideas/quotes/opinions/evidence that might be relevant. Character| Evidence changes from….to…| Quotes (use your reading log/chapter tables)| Parvana| | |
Nooria| | |
Fatana (Mother)| | |
Mrs. Weera| | |
7. The sample essay question is asking you to discuss the changes in the characters, so you need to identify what they are. You might like to structure your analysis in the following way: Theme| Character/evidence| Quote|
Family relationships| A number of characters have to assume leadership roles in order to ensure their survival. -Parvana has to become the father figure and works in the market to earn money and food-Mrs. Weera becomes a leader and an organiser.| “we stood in a graveyard and dug up bones to sell so that our families could eat”“Fetch the bucket girl. Do your part for the team. Here we go."| Courage| | |
Hope| | |
Introductions: Introductions are an important part of the essay as they set the tone for your piece. They are also the first opportunity that you have to impress/persuade your reader. Paragraphs in the body of the essay are where you develop your main ideas. Each paragraph has a main idea/major argument. This major argument is discussed in detail and proved with evidence (key events and quotes from the text). Conclusions: Conclusions are very important as they are the last chance you have to win your reader over. They leave a final impression on your reader. Introductions: Introductions are an important part of the essay as they set the tone for your piece. They are also the first opportunity that you have to impress/persuade your reader....