o Figure out your topic, your audience, the type of writing (genre) you are going to do, and the purpose of your writing (the WHAT, the WHO, and the HOW).
o When you are done pre-writing, you should have a THESIS.
o A THESIS is a SPECIFIC ARGUABLE OPINION.
5 steps of the Writing Process:
Step 1 – Brainstorm
o Come up with ideas that support or help prove that your THESIS is true
Step 2 – Organize
o Choose your best ideas from your brainstorm. These will become your TOPIC SENTENCES in your essay.
o Come up with DETAILS and EXAMPLES that support/prove your TOPIC SENTENCE ideas are true.
o Come up with a HOOK that is related to your topic and that will generate interest in your essay.
Step 3 – Draft
o Combine your HOOK and your THESIS to create an INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH.
o Create BODY PARAGRAPHS by writing a TOPIC SENTENCE followed by DETAILS and EXAMPLES.
o End each paragraph by clearly explaining how your BODY PARAGRAPH is CONNECTED to your THESIS.
o For the CLOSING PARAGRAPH,
A) Flip your THESIS and reword it.
B) Summarize your TOPIC SENTENCES in one sentence
C) Give a FINAL THOUGHT that explains how your essay connects to REALITY.
Step 4 – Review
A) Revise your work by reading to see if your ideas are connected to each other, if they make sense, and if they FLOW. [IDEAS & FEELINGS]
B) Edit your work, going sentence-by-sentence BACKWARDS through your writing to check the MECHANICS --- spelling, punctuation, grammar, capitalization, etc. [MECHANICS & RULES]
NOTE: Repeat steps 3 and 4 at least three times. Get other people to review your work --- fresh eyes often find mistakes we miss by ourselves. Reading out loud can also help you catch errors.
NOTE: A well-written piece is going to be interesting, unique, and original - this can be accomplished by integrating compositional risks into your writing.
Step 5 – Publish
o Create a CLEAN, CLEAR final copy of your work.
o Share it with your audience.
Hook – Gets the reader’s attention
Thesis – Main idea you will try to prove in your essay
Each body paragraph starts with a TOPIC SENTENCE. A TOPIC SENTENCE should help support or prove your THESIS. Follow the TOPIC SENTENCE with EXAMPLES and DETAILS that show that the TOPIC SENTENCE is correct. The paragraph should end with a simple, clear explanation of how the EXAMPLES and the TOPIC SENTENCE help support or are connected to the THESIS.
EXAMPLES AND DETAILS
CONNECTION TO THESIS
EXAMPLES AND DETAILS
CONNECTION TO THESIS
A) Reword your THESIS (change the order of the words and replace the words with metaphorical phrases or synonyms).
B) Summarize your TOPIC SENTENCES in one sentence.
C) Leave the reader with a FINAL THOUGHT that connects your essay to reality; it’s even better if you can get the reader to see a connection between your writing and their own personal life. You can give a piece of advice or a lesson one could learn from reading your essay, you could point out how a particular part of your essay could happen in real life, or you could come up with something completely different that ties the topic of your essay to real life.
Thesis: Poe’s narrators are insane.
On Halloween, most people wouldn’t think a guy dressed in a Grim Reaper costume is unusual. Imagine, however, if that guy actually planned to kill someone. This figure of Death walks through the streets, stalking his prey, until, finally, the unfortunate victim is found. Does this sound like a modern Hollywood horror movie? Edgar Allen Poe came up with this idea over one hundred years ago. Many of Poe’s stories could easily become horror movies, because almost every one of Poe’s narrators are insane.
Poe’s narrators seem to exhibit, or sometimes tell us they have, “supernatural” senses that can detect things no one else can. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator claims to be able to hear voices from Heaven and Hell, in addition to having his other senses heightened. Roderick Usher of “The Fall of the House of Usher” makes a similar claim, saying that his senses are sharper than those of other people, to the point where even the feel of his clothing on his skin causes him pain. The narrator in “The Black Cat” claims to see a cat-shaped burn on the wall of his house, and later says he thinks the shape on his cat’s chest changes into a gallows, which is impossible. In “The Raven,” the narrator claims to feel the weight of the raven’s shadow. Normal people do not claim to have such “supernatural” sense. Obviously, these narrators are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Body paragraph 2 – Topic Sentence, examples, connection to thesis
Body paragraph 3 – Topic Sentence, examples, connection to thesis
A trip to the asylum could easily become a visit with Poe’s narrators. They claim to see, hear, and feel things no one else can, they murder people, and then they brag about it. These stories are fictional, but such beliefs and events are all too real. Bear this in mind the next time someone offers you wine, or you may end up like Fortunato.