AGENDAS Vocabulary TestS Presentation: S Friedman: Anecdotes; Compare and Contrast S Holmes: Illustrations and ExamplesS Basic FeaturesS Discussion: Ways to begin your concept essay.S In-Class Writing: S Focusing your Concept S Writing your Thesis S Comparing S Anecdotes
You have 15 minutes May the odds be ever in your favor S
“Born to Be Happy, Through a Twist of Human Hard Wire” Richard A. FriedmanSGet into groups of three or four to discuss this essay and answer questions.
Take 10 minutes to discuss the following among yourselves.• First, briefly summarize the story• What is the concept about which Friedman writes?• Which anecdotes does Friedman use to help explain the concept to his readers?• What other concepts does Friedman compare and contrast to his concept? Why does he do this?• How does he focus his concept?• Which terms does he define?
“In The Blink of an Eye” Bob HolmesS Get back into your groups to discuss this essay and answer questions.
Take 10 Minutes to Answer These QuestionsS First, summarize the story.S How does Holmes focus his concept?S Which terms does he define and why?S How do the pictures and graphs work to enhance his explanation of his concept?
The Basic Features of the Concept EssayS A Focused Concept S Appropriate Writing StrategiesS An Appeal to Readers’ S Classification Interests S Process NarrationS A Logical Plan S Comparison and Contrast S Cause and EffectS Clear Definitions S Careful Use of Sources
Get Back Into Your GroupsS Read Aloud “Basic Features: Explaining a Concept” pages 164-65S When you finish, discuss each feature, noting how you will integrate each one into your own essay.S Take notes about your own writing while you discuss.
A Focused ConceptS 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 interest.
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 Take a few minutes to write about your readers.S Ask the following questions to help clarify your thinking: 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?
Testing Your ChoiceGet together with one or two other students to find out what your readers arelikely to know about your subject and what might interest them about it.Presenters:Take turns briefly explaining your concept, describing your intended readers, andidentifying the aspect of the concept that you will focus on.Listeners:Briefly tell the presenter whether the focus sounds appropriate and interesting forthe intended readers. Share what you think readers are likely to know about theconcept and what information might be especially interesting to them.
Formulating a Tentative Thesis StatementS Anastasia Toufexis begins her essay with this thesis statement: O.K., let’s cut out all this nonsense about romantic love. Let’s bring some scientific precision to the party. Let’s put love under a microscope. When rigorous people with Ph.D.s after their names do that, what they see is not some silly, senseless thing. No, their probe reveals that love rests firmly on the foundations of evolution, biology and chemistry. S Toufexis’s concept is love, and her focus is the scientific explanation of love—specifically the evolution, biology, and chemistry of love. In announcing her focus, she forecasts the order in which she will present information from the three most relevant academic disciplines—anthropology (which includes the study of human evolution), biology, and chemistry. These discipline names become her topics.S In his essay on cannibalism, Linh Kieu Ngo offers his thesis statement in paragraph 6: S Cannibalism can be broken down into two main categories: exocannibalism, the eat-ing of outsiders or foreigners, and endocannibalism, the eating of members of one’s own social group (Shipman 70). Within these categories are several functional types of cannibalism, three of the most common being survival cannibalism, dietary cannibalism, and religious and ritual cannibalism.S Ngo’s concept is cannibalism, and his focus is on three common types of cannibalism. He carefully forecasts how he will divide the information to create topics and the order in which he will explain each of the topics
Write your ThesisS As you draft your own tentative thesis statement, take care to make the language clear. Although you may want to revise your thesis statement as you draft your essay, trying to state it now will give your planning and drafting more focus and direction. Keep in mind that the thesis in an explanatory essay merely announces the subject; it never asserts a position that requires an argument to defend it.S Write one or more sentences, stating your focused concept, that could serve as a thesis statement You might also want to forecast the topics you will use to explain the concept.
BrainstormingS Write down some ideas for what kind of anecdote you might include in your essay.S Write down what examples you might use from your own experience or reading.S Note what kinds of pictures or graphs you could use to help explain your concept.
Doing Research on your TopicS Having chosen a concept and a focus for your explanation of it, begin your research to find at least one more credible source for information on your concept.S You will want to keep careful records of all sources you believe will contribute in any way to your essay. If possible, scan or make photocopies of print sources, and save other sources electronically. If you must rely on notes, be sure to copy any quotations exactly and enclose them in quotation marks. Since you do not know which sources you will ultimately use, keep careful records of the author, title, publication information, page numbers, and other required information for each source you gather so that you can acknowledge your sources. You should follow the documentation style of the Modern Language Association (MLA),
How to Approach Doing ResearchS To find comprehensive, up-to-date information on your concept, locate relevant articles, books, and encyclopedias through your library.S Chapter 21, Library and Internet Research, has general information that will help you do research productively. When you find potentially useful information, take accurate notes, make a photocopy, or save the information electronically, always being sure to record exact source information for your works-cited list. Depending on your topic, you might also consider consulting experts on campus or in the community, and visiting other potential sources of information such as museums or research centers.
Doing a General Internet SearchS Do an Internet search to help you find a focus for your essay.S Try entering the word “overview” or “definition” together with the name of your concept, in order to confine your results to introductions and overviews. Bookmark Web sites you find that invite more than a quick glance, and copy or save any potentially useful information—making sure to include the URL, the title of the site, the date the information was posted (if available), and the date you accessed the site. As always, if your first searches do not turn up much of use, be sure to try variations on the search terms you use.
HOMEWORKS Read: HG through chapter 22S Write: Finish and post your in-class writing: Focused concept, thesis, anecdotesS Do some research to find at least one more source. Find four examples of your concept in HG. Endeavor to find examples to represent your classifications or categories.S Blog Prompt #9 Choose another concept to compare and contrast with yours for the purpose of demonstrating differences.S Study: Vocab (1-22)S Bring: SMG; Laptop; the bibliographic information for all of your planned