Friday, October 25, 2013

Writing about "On Seeing England for the First Time"

Write an essay analyzing the rhetorical strategies Kincaid employs to convey her attitude toward England. (1200-2000 words, 12-point font, double spaced, MLA heading)
Self/Peer Assessment of Rhetorical Analysis Essay (Q2) on Jamaica Kincaid’s “On Seeing England for the First Time”

Does the introduction end with a clear, bold, nuanced insight into Kincaid's attitude? _____  Does the introduction include a precise, accurate statement of the rhetorical strategies that Kincaid uses to convey her attitude? _____
In your draft both parts of the thesis should be identified.

Introduction. (The purpose of the introduction is to engage the reader with a big idea essential to the thesis and to let the reader know what the essay will be about.)
Is there a big idea that leads into the essay? _____  What is the big idea? _____  Is it clearly stated? _____  Is it relevant to the thesis? _____ 
Is there an effective transition between the big idea and the thesis? _____  Where? _____ 
In your draft the big idea and transition should be identified.

Plan. (The purpose of the plan is to give the essay a provisional structure.)
Have you organized your essay by strategy (strategy 1, strategy 2, etc.) or by working through sections/passages of Kincaid's essay (the beginning of the essay, the next section, etc.)? _____  Have you outlined the strategies you think convey the attitude? _____  Have you found the evidence that shows how each of the strategies conveys the attitude? _____  Have you briefly explained how the evidence shows that the strategy conveys the attitude? _____ 
The parts of the plan should be evident in the plan you turn in.

Body Paragraph Draft. (The purpose of a body paragraph is to develop and support a part of the thesis.)
Have you kept all the promises made in your thesis? _____  In other words have you developed each part of the thesis in a particular body paragraph? _____ 
Mark your draft to show where you’ve developed each part of the thesis (the attitude and the strategies)?
Is there a statement at the beginning or near the beginning of each paragraph that indicates exactly what part of the thesis (the attitude and the strategies) that paragraph will develop? _____  These statements are called “topic sentences” or “mini-theses” or “body points”. It’s likely that each of your body paragraphs will either show how a particular strategy contributes to conveying Kincaid’s attitude or will show how several strategies within a particular section contribute to conveying Kincaid’s attitude. In the rest of the paragraph have you kept the promise made in your topic sentence/mini-thesis/body point? _____ 
Mark your draft to show the “topic sentences” / “mini-theses” / “body points”.
Within each paragraph you need evidence (including direct quotation) that shows how the strategy conveys the attitude. Is the evidence specific? _____  Is it precise? _____  Is it thorough? _____ 
Mark the evidence.
You also need to explain clearly and convincingly how each piece of evidence shows how a strategy conveys the attitude. Is the explanation clear? _____  Is the explanation focused on supporting the thesis? _____  Is the explanation accurate? Is the explanation well-developed? Is the explanation convincing? _____ 
Mark the explanation.

Conclusion. (The purpose of the conclusion is to drive home the point of the essay and to drive home the significance of that point.)
Do you return to the big idea? _____  Have you woven the big idea together with your thesis? _____  (Consult the example essay JJ1 if you have questions.) Have you given the reader a sense of why the ideas explored in your essay matter? _____ 
Mark where you see the big idea and the thesis in the conclusion.

Style. Have you created a title that indicates the essay topic and your take on the topic? _____  Have you created logical transitions between the paragraphs? _____  Have you varied your sentence structure? _____  (I forgot to write this next one on the board.) Are all your word choices precise and nuanced? _____ 

Conventions. Does the essay have any run-on sentences, incomplete sentences, or homophone errors? _____  _____  _____  Does the essay use third person and present tense when analyzing the text? _____  Does the essay handle all quotations, including block quotes, correctly? _____

Write questions and comments in the space below.

Notes on conventions: (1) In the introduction make sure you mention the author's full name and title of the piece you are analyzing. (2) Use present tense when writing about literature: "Kincaid implies..." or "The author illustrates...."(3) When a quotation ends in a period, place the period inside the last quotation mark: "like this." (4) Avoid stand alone quotations: "Consider using a colon after a complete thought to introduce the quotation."

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