- Learn about essays
and strategies for writing good essays. Understand the basic
elements of a good literary analysis essay.
- To help you organize your ideas,
organizer may be just what you need.
- There is a basic
pattern to this kind of essay. Remember the acronym CSE
to remind you to state a claim, support
what you say with proof from the book, and explain
what you mean.
- Remind yourself
about how to integrate quotations into your essay. You have had
practice with your Scarlet Ibis paragraph and all your Moodle responses
- See sample
paragraph for help with numbers three and four.
- Saving your document: Save
a Word document in your CE9 folder as "speak_first name."
Ex: Emily would call hers speak_emily. This
naming style is VERY IMPORTANT. You will be exchanging
documents with another student for peer review, and this file name
will help eliminate problems.
one of the following topics (the
first two are from Mrs. Tigner-Rasanen):
- Find as many references to speaking
in the novel (when people speak, when they don't). What are the
consequences for not speaking? What about for speaking up (saying
what's important)? What is the author saying about speaking?
- How does the development of Melinda's
art reflect her process of healing and recovering?
are one of the main symbols in the novel. What does Melinda learn
from/through her interaction with trees throughout the novel.
of the main motifs of the novel is mirrors. Find as many instances
of mirrors (or any reflective surface) and think about what Melinda
is doing, thinking, or learning. How does she grow or change throughout
the book as she continues to consider her own reflection?
Mirror images: 17, 21, 25, 40, 50, 82, 101, 124, 125, 136, 145,
Don't forget to consider the value of the mirror at the end of the
novel as well.
escapes: Look at all of the places Melinda goes to avoid being "in
school." How are these places similar or different? What are
the benefits of each place for her? Are there any detrimental effects?
- The Marthas seem like great girls.
The teachers and the administration think they are. Contrast Melinda's
view of the Marthas with the adults' view of them.
- Show how the character of Andy Evans
develops through the story. Be sure to include various perspectives,
not just Melinda's.
- Melinda's teachers: who are the
best/worst and why? Which teachers help Melinda grow, and which
ones do not?
- Melinda's home life: how does Melinda's
homelife and relationship with her parents serve as a parallel to
her dysfunctional year?
- Write about Melinda's closet, how
it functions for her in her 9th grade year. How does that function
change throughout the year?
up with your own topic. You must get your topic approved before
you begin writing.
Planning the essay: Getting ready to
- Read all the passages
from the novel that are relevant to your topic. You will have to
do some serious re-reading.
- You will be citing
passages from the novel, so take notes on passages that will help
you prove your point. Use post-it notes on important
pages to mark important places.
your ideas. Use a graphic
organizer if you like (not required). Graphic organizers can
help in several ways:
- They help you organize your
thoughts and ideas.
- They can help you see what you're
missing: not enough information, missing support, etc.
- They can help you see if your
ideas are too similar or overlapping.
- They can help you see connections
- They can help you generate new
model from Falcon Skills and Style Handbook
Writing the essay
- Consult the essay
elements below and make sure your essay complies with these
- Write in third person. Do not use
“you” or “I.”
- Do not lose track
of your thesis, your guiding idea. Stay focused on your purpose,
which is to prove what you think about your topic.
- Be sure to use effective transitions
also. Transitional phrases help you connect ideas.
- Carefully weave in your support;
introduce quotations with context information.
- Use quotation marks around passages
that you use directly from the book to support your main ideas.
Put the page number at the end of that passage showing what page
you took it from. For example: Sentence begins and then "there
is a passage from the book" (72). See how the period goes after
the parenthesis? Use this model. For more help, see pages 42 and
43 in your Skills
and Style Handbook to see how to weave quotations into your
- See a sample
paragraph for a color coded visual guide to CSE, weaving in
support, using partial quotations, etc.
- Sample Essays: from Jessica;
- Proofread your own essay first for
conventions errors (especially spelling and sentence faults), coherence,
and development of ideas.
- Send your essay to your cyber partner
as an email attachment. The subject line of this email is
- Open your cyberpartner's essay file
by right clicking on the Word icon in the
email and choosing 'Open With' and then Word.
- Save this file in your H:/drive.
DO NOT change the file name (if your cyberpartner named the file
wrong, see your teacher before you save the file).
your cyberpartner's essay using Word. You are to make five
comments in all (minimum).
- See the peer
review guidelines for this assignment. Develop your comments
fully. One or two words is not really a comment. If you say something
that needs explaining, explain.
- Send the reviewed and saved document
back to your cyberpartner as an attachment. CC: your teacher
The subject line for this email is also speak.
- When you get your essay back, consider
your feedback carefully and then revise and make final edits.
You will be posting your essay on your blog as a page.
1. Click “Add New” under the Page drop down bar
on the left side of your dashboard.
2. Title the new page Speak Essay.
3. Copy and paste your essay into the text box. Use the tool for
pasting from Word.
4. Go through your essay and delete any indents. Paragraphs should
have a space in between them.
5. At the conclusion of your essay you need to cite the book as
your source using MLA format. Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak.
New York: Puffin Books, 1999.
6. When you have ensured that your essay is free of all spelling,
grammar, and punctuation errors, submit the page for review.
of a basic literary analysis essay
Your introduction needs a few basic elements.
- You must give the author's
name and the title of the book.
- You must draw your reader
in with an attention getting opening. There are several strategies
for engaging your reader.
- You must state your thesis
in your introduction. Many times, the thesis sentence comes
at the end of the introduction.
This is the body of your essay and it's where you develop your
ideas. Remember that the typical pattern to follow is CSE:
- Claim: make
a statement (something you believe, that you intend to prove
support your statement with evidence from the book (prove
explain what you say, expand the idea, or connect to another
See a sample
color coded paragraph that shows you each part.
Connect back to your thesis. You can restate it, but not in
exactly the same words. You can also extend the ideas by making
a statement about what is important to remember. What are the
key ideas that readers should remember after reading your essay?
Do not address the reader directly. Remember never to use first
or second person in an essay like this. More