Assignment To Kill A Mockingbird

Presentation on theme: "Writing Assignment To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Assignment To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2 Important Dates December 13: Thesis Statement uploaded to thesis statement wiki page by 10:00 pm December 14: Graphic Organizer brought to class for grade December 17: Rough Draft, uploaded to by 10:00 pm Peer Review: In-class—December 20 Final Draft: Uploaded to by 10:00 pm December 22.

3 Writing Assignment During the next week of class we will be working on your final essay for To Kill a Mockingbird. Your essay must analyze how three incidents illustrate a theme of the novel and how that theme is relevant to a 2010 audience.

4 Requirements An introductory paragraph that captures the attention of the reader takes a position about your theme and names two or more related issues. Body paragraphs that have clear topic sentences two quotations from the text properly blended and cited transitions from one paragraph to the next A concluding paragraph that makes a statement related to your topic, but different from what you’ve already covered. makes your topic relevant to a 2010 audience

5 How to write the introduction: The purpose of any introduction is to state the reason for the essay. You must always include the following information within your introduction: 1. A broad opening statement that establishes the GENERAL TOPIC of the paper. In this case it relates to your theme. 2. You must then move toward tying the topic to the piece of literature. It is best to introduce the title and author at this time.

6 More on introductions: 3. Always give a bit of a summary, which will help tie the topic of the paper to the thesis. It doesn’t have to be much, but enough information to let the reader know you understand how the two relate.

7 Your thesis statement The last sentence of your introduction is your thesis. A thesis is the specific topic of your paper tied to your opinion. You do not however, state this in first person. Never write a statement that begins with, “I think…” It is understood that this is your opinion and from your point of view. Your thesis statement should state what you believe the role of your chosen theme in To Kill a Mockingbird is.

8 Sample Introduction When most people are asked where they learn things, the typical response is school. There are however other places people gather knowledge, skills, etc. For example, where do we learn to ride a bike? How do we know that lying is wrong? These things are modeled and taught by parents, mentors, and even strangers. In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the narrator Scout details two years of events that took place during her childhood, in her hometown of Maycomb. It is through these events that Scout and her brother Jem learn valuable lessons, which eventually help them understand the people around them and the choices they make. Broad opening statement. Introduce title/author Brief summary to tie topic to thesis Thesis statement

9 Essay/Body Paragraph Topic Sentence: This sentence tells the reader what your paragraph is about and it must also connect back to your thesis statement. It should not contain evidence/support from the text. The second and third body paragraphs should begin with a transition. This can be a word or phrase.

10 Essay/Body Paragraph Support: These sentences present examples from the text which prove/support your thesis statement. They should be a blend of paraphrased text and direct quotations from the text. Direct quotes are in quotation marks. Dialogue should have single quotation marks around it. All support, paraphrased or direct, should be immediately followed by a citation, which indicates which page(s) the information came from. In a 5-paragraph essay your citation should look like this (42).

11 Essay/Body Paragraph Personal Commentary: This is where you explain the support. You must not assume that the reader is making the same connection between the support and your thesis. It may seem obvious to you, but the person reading may not understand. This is your chance to clarify your argument. Concluding Sentence: This sentence is a continuation of your commentary, but it helps bring closure to your paragraph.

12 Sample Body Paragraph Scout’s “life lessons” begin almost immediately; the first comes, ironically, during her first day of school. The precocious six-year old encounters Maycomb newcomer Miss Caroline Fisher. Miss Fisher has her students’ best interests at heart when she offers to lend Walter Cunningham money for lunch, but clearly doesn’t understand the unspoken hierarchy and history among the Maycomb residents. The dutiful Scout attempts to step in and clarify that folks like the Cunninghams, ‘never took anything off of anybody, they get along on what they [have]’ (20). Her good intentions quickly land her in trouble, of which she complains to Atticus. It is then that Atticus explains that Miss Caroline is new and she needs to see things through her perspective and once she does, she’ll ‘get along better with all kinds of folks’ (30). This lesson becomes the central focal point of the story and is echoed through the remaining chapters. As Scout begins to understand it, she begins to grow as a person and does begin to get along better with others.

13 Conclusion The purpose of the concluding paragraph is to restate the ideas in the essay and remind your reader of the controlling idea. It should never include new supporting evidence. Your concluding paragraph should contain the following: 1. Restate the thesis: The emphasis is on restate. You do this to remind the reader of the controlling idea. You want to avoid repeating the thesis verbatim (word for word). 2. Summarize: Include a summation of the main points addressed in the body paragraphs. The order of these should mirror the order of your body paragraphs. 3. Close: Move toward a broader statement about the topic, much like you presented in the introductory paragraph.

14 Sample Conclusion The early events in the novel teach Scout valuable lessons, which enable her to better understand people and the choices they make. Scout soon learns to walk in other people’s shoes and does begin to get along better with all sorts of folks, from Miss Caroline to the more elusive Boo Radley. This perhaps, is one of the most valuable lessons anyone can learn. If everyone did, then just maybe the Boo Radleys of the world might not want to stay inside. Restate thesis Summation Closure

The fictional Maycomb, the setting for To Kill a Mockingbird, bears more than a passing resemblance to the landscape of Monroeville, the town where the novelist Harper Lee grew up during the Depression. “Monroevillians who read the book will see familiar names. Some events and situations are tinged with local color,” said an editorial in the Monroe Journal in June 1960.

Monroeville is set on a square with a courthouse in the middle. That is where Harper Lee has said that she, as Scout did in the novel, spent time in the balcony watching her own lawyer father, Amasa Coleman Lee (often called A.C.) at work. “Few people live to be 80 years old and then have their name changed,” the Journal reported. “That is what has happened to a prominent Monroeville attorney. A. C. Lee is now being called Atticus Finch.” Finch was the maiden name of A.C.’s wife and Harper Lee’s mother, Frances.

In 1961, when she was photographed in the balcony of the Monroe County Courthouse by Life, Lee told the magazine, “The trial was a composite of all the trials in the world—some in the South. But the courthouse was this one. My father was a lawyer, so I grew up in this room and mostly watched him from here. My father is one of the few men I’ve known with genuine humility, and it lends him a natural dignity. He has absolutely no ego drive, and so he was one of the most beloved men in this part of the state.”

While Nelle Harper Lee was growing up, her lawyer father also was a state legislator (1926–1938) and the editor of the Monroe Journal (1929–1947). This was the Deep South, where cotton was plentiful and sharecropping the norm. Monroeville was a farming community, hard-hit during the Depression. The Hoover carts of Maycomb—mules or oxen hitched to a car because gasoline was unaffordable—were on the real-life streets of Monroeville.

--adapted from Mary Murphy’s book Scout, Atticus, and Boo


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