Presentation: Basic Features
Discussion: Ways to begin your concept
Focusing your Concept
You have 15 minutes
May the odds be ever in your favor
Review: The Basic Features of
the Concept Essay
S A Focused Concept
S An Appeal to Readers’
S A Logical Plan
S Clear Definitions
S Appropriate Writing
S Process Narration
S Comparison and Contrast
S Cause and Effect
S Careful Use of Sources
A Focused Concept
S Concepts can be approached from many perspectives
(for example, history, definition, known causes or
effects), and you cannot realistically explain every
aspect of any concept, so you must limit your
explanation to reflect both your special interest in the
concept and your readers’ likely knowledge and
Remember, choose your concept, and then limit it. For example, if you are
writing your essay about the concept of games, focus on one kind of game,
like playground games.
Then split your limited concept into two or three categories: Using the
games example, we might say games with a ball and games without a ball.
Then identify two or three types that fall under each of the categories. For
example, you might use kids games with a ball, teenager’s games with a
ball, and adult games with a ball. You could use the same three type for
“games without a ball.”
Focusing your Concept
Limiter: Playground Games
S Kids’ games with a ball
S Teenagers’ games with a ball
S Adults’ games with a ball.
S Kids’ games without a ball
S Teenagers’ games without a ball
S Adults’ games without a ball.
Then provide an example of each kind.
Games: Playground games:
With a ball (kids, teens, adults)
Without a ball (kids, teens, adults)
S A kids game played with a ball
(kick ball; four square; tether ball)
S A teen game played with a ball
(basketball, soccer, baseball or
S An adult game with a ball (slo-
pitch or lawn bowling).
S A kids game played without a
ball (tag, hide and go seek)
S A teen game played without a
ball (kick the can, red rover)
S An adult game played
without a ball (cribbage,
chess, checkers at the park)
Find examples of each type:
S Make a list of two or three aspects of the concept that could become a
focus for your essay, and evaluate what you know about each aspect.
S Under each possible focus in your list, make notes about why it interests
you, what you know about it already, and what questions you want to
answer about it.
S Consider your readers: answer these questions to help clarify your
S Who are your readers likely to be?
S What do they already know about the concept or about related concepts?•
S Are they likely to be interested in the concept or related concepts? If not,
how could you interest them?
S What would be useful for them to know about this concept—perhaps
something that could relate to their life or work?
Testing Your Choice
Get together with one or two other students to find out what your readers
are likely to know about your subject and what might interest them about it.
Take turns briefly explaining your concept, describing your intended readers,
and identifying the aspect of the concept that you will focus on.
Briefly tell the presenter whether the focus sounds appropriate and
interesting for the intended readers. Share what you think readers are likely
to know about the concept and what information might be especially
interesting to them.
S Read: HG through chapter 22
S Post #26: Finish and post your in-class writing: A focused concept
S Follow the example on slide #7
S 1 Concept
S 1 Limiter
S 2-3 Categories
S 2-4 Types
S BRING THIS POST TO CLASS WITH