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What Is A Hero?

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Provides an introduction for writing a definition essay using the 4-square organizational method. Prompt: What is a hero?

Provides an introduction for writing a definition essay using the 4-square organizational method. Prompt: What is a hero?


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  • 1.  
  • 2. What does it mean to be a hero? Paine College, Augusta, GA Mack Gipson, Jr. Tutorial & Enrichment Center rev. 10/2006
  • 3. Dictionary definition: “ a person of distinguished courage or ability…admired for brave deeds and noble qualities…role model, ideal…” (excerpts, Webster, Unabridged, 2nd edition, 2001)
  • 4. Joseph Campbell defines heroes as those who have given their lives to something bigger than themselves.
  • 5. Who are heroes?
    • Fictional Heroes
      • Greek mythology
      • King Arthur
      • The Lord of the Rings
      • Star Wars
      • Comic Book Characters
      • Video Games
    • Political Figures
    • Astronauts
    • Firemen/Police officers
    • Soldiers
    • Survivors/Victims of the Holocaust
    • Sports Figures
    • Civil Rights Activists
    • Everyday persons
  • 6. 2 Types Heroic Deeds
    • Physical deeds
      • hero risks his/her life and makes great sacrifices
      • hero overcomes great obstacles to succeed
    • Spiritual deeds
      • hero has a supernormal/spiritual experience and comes back to share a message, lesson, gift, or idea
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  • 34. What Makes a Hero?
    • First, list as many heroes as you can think of…
    Next, choose three heroes from your list.
  • 35. What Makes a Hero? Now, list characteristics they have in common. Finally, circle the three most important traits.
  • 36.
    • Write your definition
    • of a hero.
    What is a Hero?
  • 37. Structure of an Essay
    • Introduction
      • Must contain a thesis statement
      • Must catch the reader’s attention
    • Body Paragraphs
      • Provide evidence
        • 3 levels supporting details
    • Conclusion
      • Provides closure
        • Summarizes main points
        • Makes connections
  • 38. Thesis Statement (3 elements)
    • Topic
      • What the essay is about
    • Controlling idea
      • Must be provable
      • Hawaii is the best vacation spot.
      • Dress codes should be banned.
    • May also reference the three supporting details
  • 39. Body Paragraphs
    • Supporting Details
      • Level 1: Topic Sentence
        • Controlling sentences name and control the topic
      • Level 2: Clarifying Sentences
        • Help make the topic clearer—explain
      • Level 3: Completing sentences
        • Add specific details that explain or describe the topic
  • 40. From Broad to Specific
    • Animals (essay level)
    • Dogs (paragraph level)
    • Poodles (clarifying)
    • Fifi (completing)
  • 41. To begin… Fold your paper into four squares. Darken in the lines. Write your basic thesis statement above the line in the middle to remind you of what you will be proving.
  • 42. A hero is one who exemplifies the following characteristics:… Now we have to answer the question—Why? Provide reasons , examples , incidents , facts/statistics to support your thesis.
  • 43. Basic Thesis Statement ( because ) + the three reasons, examples, facts, or incidents in Box 1 of each section A hero is one who exemplifies the following characteristics: courage, self-sacrifice, leadership. A hero is one who exemplifies the following characteristics: courage self-sacrifice leadership
  • 44. A hero is one who exemplifies the following characteristics. Now we need to clarify what we mean by each reason. In other words, why/how do the people you chose as heroes exhibit these characteristics? Paint a picture with words. courage self-sacrifice leadership Luke Skywalker Karen Silkwood Martin Luther King
  • 45.
    • For each of your heroes, think of a time when he/she exhibited each of the characteristics you circled.
    Supporting Evidence
  • 46. A hero is one who exemplifies the following characteristics. Now we need to clarify what we mean by each reason. In other words, why/how do the people you chose as heroes exhibit these characteristics? Paint a picture with words. courage self-sacrifice leadership
    • Luke Skywalker
      • Facing Darth Vader one on one
    • Karen Silkwood
      • testified to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) about safety issues at nuclear plant
    • Martin Luther King
      • Spent the night in B’ham jail
  • 47.
    • How do each of these examples support your definition of a hero?
    Supporting Evidence
  • 48. Pick the main points
    • For each of your examples, only include the main points
    • You don’t have to tell the whole story
  • 49. A hero is one who exemplifies the following characteristics. Add Transition Words Connect Paragraphs Connect Ideas within Paragraphs Sequence, Illustration, Addition, Cause/Effect courage self-sacrifice leadership
    • Luke Skywalker
      • Facing Darth Vader one on one
    • Karen Silkwood
      • testified to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) about safety issues at nuclear plant
    • Martin Luther King
      • Spent the night in B’ham jail
    First, One reason, In the beginning Next, Second, Not only…but also Most importantly, Finally, Third
  • 50. Now, it’s your turn
    • Take the Thesis Statement and each main supporting detail (characteristic)
    • Turn it into your topic sentences
    • Remember, your topic sentence must have the topic and a controlling idea
    • Your paragraph will include only one topic but numerous supporting details

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