Essay #2 Planning Worksheet Instructions
Planning is a crucial step in essay writing because it helps organize your thoughts and prevents you from jumping around or repeating yourself.
To begin, you need to develop your thesis statement.
A thesis statement for an essay should be one sentence only, and you should be able to back it up with evidence from the literary text and scholarly criticism.
To develop your thesis statement for Essay #2, you will need to first select one of following literary texts we have read:
Susan Glaspell, Trifles
Sandra Cisneros, “Woman Hollering Creek” Edgar Allan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado” James Dickey, “The Leap”
Lewis Carroll, “Jabberwocky” (from Through the Looking Glass)
Once you have selected the literary work you wish to write about, you will need to select one of the following elements of literature:
Now that you have chosen both the literary work and the element of literature, it is time to consider your opinion. For example, let’s say that you have chosen Trifles and you want to write about the relationship between the three female characters: Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Wright. What do you think about their relationship? Is it just their gender that ties them together? Do they relate to one another, and if so, why? What prompts Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale to feel empathy for Mrs. Wright? Why do they hide the evidence?
You may not have been asked to give your opinion on literature before, but a good collegiate-level thesis statement contains your opinion stated as if it were a fact. For example:
I think that the experience of living life in the early twentieth century as a married woman in rural New England binds Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Wright together in sisterhood.
If we delete “I think” from the above sentence, we have a pretty good thesis statement:
The experience of living life in the early twentieth century as a married woman in rural New England binds Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Wright together in sisterhood.
Here are some possible topics you can consider if you don’t know what to write about:
Write your thesis statement in the box labelled Thesis.
Next, consider what you need to discuss in the body of your essay to properly support your thesis statement. You want to decide what each body paragraph should be about.
Let’s consider an example. Here is our pretend thesis statement: In Sandra Cisneros’ “Woman Hollering Creek,” Cleòfilas’ expectations of love are skewed; she believes real love has all the passion and drama of telenovelas, creating tension between fantasy and reality.
What body paragraphs would we need to back up what we are saying in our thesis? We would need to discuss how the telenovelas portray love, how or why the telenovelas influence Cleòfilas, and contrast her expectations with her reality as a married woman with an abusive husband.
From here, we can plan out our body paragraphs. Write a topic sentence describing how telenovelas portray love. Remember, a topic sentence tells your readers what the paragraph is about and how it connects to your thesis statement.
Once you have written a topic sentence for the paragraph describing how telenovelas portray love, enter it into the first box labelled “Topic Sentence.” Continue writing topic sentences for each body paragraph and entering them into the following “Topic Sentence” boxes. Consider how many body paragraphs you might need for length. A 600 – 750 word essay needs three – four body paragraphs.
Next, it’s time to select evidence. In the first box labelled “Evidence,” write down any details or quotations from the story that demonstrate how Cleòfilas views love. For example, you could quote the passage where Cleòfilas is watching telenovelas before she is married. Don’t forget to include an in-text citation for each piece of evidence. Continue selecting evidence for each paragraph and filling out the boxes labelled “Evidence.”
Now that you have evidence from the literature, you need to select evidence from your scholarly sources. Remember, you must actually use (quote, paraphrase, or summarize) each source somewhere in your essay to receive credit for that source. Add evidence from your scholarly sources into the Evidence boxes. Be sure to account for each source you are required to use. Essay #2 requires two scholarly sources.
Finally, double-click on the Conclusion box. Brainstorm what you might say in your conclusion and makes notes in this box. Try to avoid over-used, cliché endings. One great option for the conclusion is to answer the question, “So what?” Why is it important that “Woman Hollering Creek” creates tension between expectations and reality in marriage? We could say that this contrast is why Cleòfilas suffers Juan Pedro’s abuse for so long.
Once you have notes on your conclusion, develop a creative title for your essay (not Essay #2) that suggests what your essay is about.
To submit your Essay Planning Worksheet, please follow these directions:
Planning Worksheet Rubric …