Concrete Detail And Commentary

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Concrete Detail And Commentary

  1. 1. CONCRETE DETAIL AND COMMENTARY
  2. 2. Notes about Concrete Details (CD) <ul><li>They must be facts—provable through observation, if not general information. </li></ul><ul><li>You must state them STRONGLY; if you are prefacing it with “maybe” or “perhaps” or “could,” then its not specific or concrete enough </li></ul><ul><li>You need at least two per paragraph to reinforce your point </li></ul><ul><li>Think: “For example…” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Notes about Commentary (CM) <ul><li>It is your opinion, interpretation, insight, analysis, personal response, feelings (your own in a personal paper, a character’s feelings in a literature paper), evaluation, explication, and reflection about a concrete detail in an essay. </li></ul><ul><li>It echoes the focus in your thesis and topic sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>It should always strengthen and extend the concrete detail—explaining what you mean, reinforcing the truth of the fact, showing how or why it is important and not straying off of the main thought. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Notes about Commentary continued… <ul><li>You must have more commentary than you have fact. Ideally, two per fact. </li></ul><ul><li>State it strongly, as if it were un-debatable . No “maybe” or “perhaps” or “possibly” etc. </li></ul><ul><li>No “I think”—we already know that; you’re the one writing the essay. </li></ul><ul><li>Think: “This shows that…” </li></ul>
  5. 5. What does CM look like? This paragraph has a topic sentence, three sentences of CD, and a concluding sentence. The only CM is underlined. <ul><li>Driving in the fog of Sacramento was a frightening experience. For example, no signs were visible from the freeway, so I couldn’t see if there were any gas stations nearby to fill my near-empty tank. In addition, it was 12:00 noon, and the fog was so thick that I couldn’t read the exit signs until I started passing them. Furthermore, a police car suddenly appeared ahead and drove at forty miles per hour for the next thirty minutes, and none of us was allowed to pass him. When I finally reached Sacramento that day, a great sense of relief permeated my body and mind. </li></ul>
  6. 6. This sample has CM inserted in the paragraph. Which sentences are CM or contain CM? <ul><li>Watching a high school football game outside in winter is insane. For example, the cold temperatures make steam rise from the football players who have gotten hot playing the game. All you have to do to realize the extent of the freezing temperatures is watch the steam rising from their heads when they take off their helmets on the sidelines. When they get set on the line of scrimmage, they make it look like a fire was just put out on the field. In addition, everyone who comes to the game is bundled up so that they can keep warm throughout the game. Although this is the goal, it rarely works. The cold has a way of seeping in and settling into your bones, despite the amount of clothing and blankets you are wrapped in. Furthermore, when there are lots of people out for a game, lines start to form everywhere. If you want a warm hot dog or cup of coffee, it is ages before it is your turn to get your food. By the time you get back to your seat, everything is cold and therefore, lost most of its purpose. In winter, I prefer to watch the games on TV and laugh at the crazy people sitting in the stands. </li></ul>
  7. 7. This sample has CM inserted in the paragraph. The underlined sentences are CM or contain CM. <ul><li>Watching a high school football game outside in winter is insane . For example, the cold temperatures make steam rise from the football players who have gotten hot playing the game. All you have to do to realize the extent of the freezing temperatures is watch the steam rising from their heads when they take off their helmets on the sidelines . When they get set on the line of scrimmage, they make it look like a fire was just put out on the field . In addition, everyone who comes to the game is bundled up so that they can keep warm throughout the game. Although this is the goal, it rarely works . The cold has a way of seeping in and settling into your bones, despite the amount of clothing and blankets you are wrapped in . Furthermore, when there are lots of people out for a game, lines start to form everywhere. If you want a warm hot dog or cup of coffee, it is ages before it is your turn to get your food . By the time you get back to your seat, everything is cold and therefore, lost most of its purpose . In winter, I prefer to watch the games on TV and laugh at the crazy people sitting in the stands. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What Commentary IS NOT or DOES NOT DO: <ul><li>Generic: </li></ul><ul><li>(LIT-BAD): “Brother was cruel to Doodle when he was growing up. For example, he made him touch the coffin in the loft. This was mean of him. He wasn’t being very nice.” </li></ul><ul><li>(LIT-GOOD): “Brother was cruel to Doodle when he was growing up. For example, he made him touch the coffin in the loft. He didn’t care about hurting Doodle’s feelings by forcing him to face a symbol of his own death. All he cared about was not feeling ashamed of an invalid brother.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Drift from the topic sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>(PER-BAD): “I like camping more than anything. For example, the air is clean and clear. It feels good to breathe it after the smog of New York City. I wonder if the Native Americans appreciated the clean air they had.” </li></ul><ul><li>(PER-GOOD): “I like camping more than anything. For example, the air is clean and clear. It feels good to breathe it after the smog of New York City. My lungs always feel healthier after some time in the mountains.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Disguised as Concrete Detail: </li></ul><ul><li>(LIT-BAD): “Brother was cruel to Doodle when he was growing up. For example, he made him touch the coffin in the loft. They were in the barn when he touched it. The parents had kept the coffin even though they didn’t need it.” </li></ul><ul><li>(LIT-GOOD): “Brother was cruel to Doodle when he was growing up. For example, he made him touch the coffin in the loft. He didn’t care about hurting Doodle’s feelings by forcing him to face a symbol of his own death. All he cared about was not feeling ashamed of an invalid brother.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Repeats itself: </li></ul><ul><li>(PER-BAD): “Football is a fun sport. For example, we get to play in front of lots of people. It’s fun to do that. I like to play in front of a crowd a lot.” </li></ul><ul><li>(PER-GOOD): “Football is a fun sport. For example, we get to play in front of lots of people. I like the feeling of having my friends and classmates cheering me on. It’s exciting when the crowd encourages us to do our best to win.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Contradict the topic sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>(LIT-BAD): “Brother was cruel to Doodle when he was growing up. For example, he made him touch the coffin in the loft. Brother was just embarrassed by Doodle. He didn’t really mean to hurt his feelings.” </li></ul><ul><li>(LIT-GOOD): “Brother was cruel to Doodle when he was growing up. For example, he made him touch the coffin in the loft. This was a mean and heartless thing to do to his little brother. All he cared about was not being ashamed of an invalid brother.” </li></ul>

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