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Paragraph responseParagraph response
to literatureto literature
A response to “Little Things” by Raymond
Carver
FIVE MINUTES--prewriting
Write for five minutes about the
different implications and ideas
presented in the short story “L...
STEP 1
Write a sentence from the story
that best captures the main
idea. Remember to put
quotation marks around it with
a ...
STEP 1 Example:
“…it was getting dark. But
it was getting dark on the
inside too” (Carver).
STEP 2
After the quote, write in your own
words the significancesignificance of the quote
in reference to the story. This ...
STEP 2 EXAMPLE:
“…it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on
the inside too” (Carver). The story’s imagery of
light a...
The conversation…
If you want your writing to make a point, you
must do more than make a statement: You
must also indicate...
STEP 3:
 Scroll up to the quote. You will now write
BEFORE the quote.
 Introduce the purpose of the quote or
introduce t...
STEP 3 Example:
The narrator uses imagery to introduce both the
setting and mood of the story. “…it was getting dark.
But ...
STEP 4
Is there another line in the reading that says
something similar to the first quote? If so, put
this quote at the e...
STEP 4 Example:
The narrator uses imagery to introduce both the setting and mood
of the story. “…it was getting dark. But ...
STEP 5
After the second quote or
example, write a short
explanation of HOW it relates
to the first quote and WHY it
is sig...
STEP 5 Example:
The narrator uses imagery to introduce both the setting and
mood of the story. “…it was getting dark. But ...
STEP 6
 Read through your paragraph so far….Think
about the main idea. Do you see a general
theme or idea in your message...
Raymond Carver’s short story “Little Things,” focuses on themes
of marital discord and the children who are ultimately tor...
STEP 7
 Read the entire paragraph…does it make
sense? Is it clear? Does it support your main
idea?
 Compare it to the pa...
STEP 7 Example:
Raymond Carver writes about marital discord and the consequences of
divorce in his short story “Little Thi...
Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say/I
Say: The Moves That Matter In Persuasion.
N.p.: Norton, W. W. & Company, ...
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On little things

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On little things

  1. 1. Paragraph responseParagraph response to literatureto literature A response to “Little Things” by Raymond Carver
  2. 2. FIVE MINUTES--prewriting Write for five minutes about the different implications and ideas presented in the short story “Little Things.” What is the author’s purpose or broader significance? Jot down any and all thoughts for five minutes.
  3. 3. STEP 1 Write a sentence from the story that best captures the main idea. Remember to put quotation marks around it with a page number in parenthesis.
  4. 4. STEP 1 Example: “…it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too” (Carver).
  5. 5. STEP 2 After the quote, write in your own words the significancesignificance of the quote in reference to the story. This is where you can explain it in relation to the theme or events that follow.
  6. 6. STEP 2 EXAMPLE: “…it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too” (Carver). The story’s imagery of light and dark reveals an internal conflict and foreshadows the physical struggle at the end. The darkness indicates a threatening tension brewing between the couple. While the reader may wonder the source of the fury, he or she is more likely to focus on the battle that quickly turns violent.
  7. 7. The conversation… If you want your writing to make a point, you must do more than make a statement: You must also indicate what larger conversation your point is responding to. This is the context for an argument or circumstances leading to your response. You may want to indicate this BEFORE you make your point, because this is how your reader processes information.
  8. 8. STEP 3:  Scroll up to the quote. You will now write BEFORE the quote.  Introduce the purpose of the quote or introduce the speaker or narrator.  Tell WHAT the narrator is trying to achieve and HOW.
  9. 9. STEP 3 Example: The narrator uses imagery to introduce both the setting and mood of the story. “…it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too” (Carver). The story’s description of light and dark reveals an internal conflict and foreshadows the physical struggle at the end. The darkness indicates a threatening tension brewing between the couple. While the reader may wonder the source of the fury, he or she is more likely to focus on the battle that quickly turns violent.
  10. 10. STEP 4 Is there another line in the reading that says something similar to the first quote? If so, put this quote at the end of all the writing you have done so far. OR Is there another line in the reading that further shows the point of the first line?
  11. 11. STEP 4 Example: The narrator uses imagery to introduce both the setting and mood of the story. “…it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too” (Carver). The story’s description of light and dark reveals an internal conflict and foreshadows the physical struggle at the end. The darkness indicates a threatening tension brewing between the couple. While the reader may wonder the source of the fury, he or she is more likely to focus on the battle that quickly turns violent. “The kitchen window gave no light. In the near-dark he worked on her fisted fingers with one hand and with the other hand he gripped the screaming baby up under an arm near the shoulder” (Carver).
  12. 12. STEP 5 After the second quote or example, write a short explanation of HOW it relates to the first quote and WHY it is significant to the story.
  13. 13. STEP 5 Example: The narrator uses imagery to introduce both the setting and mood of the story. “…it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too” (Carver). The story’s description of light and dark reveals an internal conflict and foreshadows the physical struggle at the end. The darkness indicates a threatening tension brewing between the couple. While the reader may wonder the source of the fury, he or she is more likely to focus on the battle that quickly turns violent. “The kitchen window gave no light. In the near-dark he worked on her fisted fingers with one hand and with the other hand he gripped the screaming baby up under an arm near the shoulder” (Carver). The light and dark imagery further indicates the escalation of the conflict. The bleakness is apparent by the dimming of the light represented in the environment and symbolic of the couple’s temper. The reader is left with little hope for a happy outcome.
  14. 14. STEP 6  Read through your paragraph so far….Think about the main idea. Do you see a general theme or idea in your message?  Write one or two sentences that grab the general idea of the paragraph. Your sentence should be large enough to cover both quotes and ideas, but small enough for your audience to have a good idea about the paragraph. This paragraph MUST support your thesis from the introduction.
  15. 15. Raymond Carver’s short story “Little Things,” focuses on themes of marital discord and the children who are ultimately torn apart during divorce. The narrator uses imagery to introduce both the setting and mood of the story. “…it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too” (Carver). The story’s description of light and dark reveals an internal conflict and foreshadows the physical struggle at the end. The darkness indicates a threatening tension brewing between the couple. While the reader may wonder the source of the fury, he or she is more likely to focus on the battle that quickly turns violent. “The kitchen window gave no light. In the near-dark he worked on her fisted fingers with one hand and with the other hand he gripped the screaming baby up under an arm near the shoulder” (Carver). The light and dark imagery further indicates the escalation of the conflict. The bleakness is apparent by the dimming of the light represented in the environment and symbolic of the couple’s temper. The reader is left with little hope for a happy outcome. STEP 6 Example:
  16. 16. STEP 7  Read the entire paragraph…does it make sense? Is it clear? Does it support your main idea?  Compare it to the paragraph you wrote the first time. What are some differences?  Make any revisions necessary.
  17. 17. STEP 7 Example: Raymond Carver writes about marital discord and the consequences of divorce in his short story “Little Things.” Carver focuses on the effect divorce has on the children who are ultimately torn apart. The theme is supported by the setting description in which the narrator uses imagery to introduce both the setting and mood of the story. “…it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too” (Carver). The story’s description of light and dark reveals an internal conflict and foreshadows the physical struggle at the end. The darkness indicates a threatening tension brewing between the couple. While the reader may wonder the source of the fury, he or she is more likely to focus on the battle that quickly turns violent. “The kitchen window gave no light. In the near-dark he worked on her fisted fingers with one hand and with the other hand he gripped the screaming baby up under an arm near the shoulder” (Carver). The light and dark imagery further indicates the escalation of the conflict. The bleakness is apparent by the dimming of the light represented in the environment and symbolic of the couple’s temper. The reader is left with little hope for a happy outcome.
  18. 18. Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter In Persuasion. N.p.: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc, 2005. Print.

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