Summarizing, Storytelling, and Quoting
In the previous class you learned that once you have tested out your claim, it is time to plan how the whole essay will go so that the claim at least hints at what the plan for the essay will be. To make this plan for the essay, essayist who write about characters often try to see if this template will work:
A character is (trait) because (reason A), (reason B), and (reason C).
Sometimes this template does not work there are others to try.
A character is (this way) (with person A) and (with person B).
A character is (this way) (in this situation) and (in that situation).
A character is (this way) and (that way) as a (role).
A character is (this way) at the start, the middle and the end of the story.
The important thing is that once this structure work is underway, writers collect evidence to support their thinking.
Today I want to teach you that when writing a literary essay, after developing a text-based claim, essayists reread the text through the lens of the claim, searching for the most compelling evidence that can support it.
Essayists do the following:
- quote some parts of the text
- story-tell other parts
- summarize other parts
To do these they need to collect evidence.
How do essayist collect evidence to "back up" their claim?
Your claim is as follows: Squeaky is fiercely protective of both her brother and herself.
Use 'Raymond's Run to teach students how to skim.
- Looking at portions of lines and recalling what that part of the story says
- For example the portion where Squeaky keeping Raymond on the inside part of the sidewalk as they walk down the street. That's being protective.
- Mark the evidence and keep going because you will need evidence from the beginning, middle and the end.
- You have to find the most compelling and convincing evidence.
- Point out the scene where the girls are on the street and Squeaky starts being rude to the girls before any of them actually say anything at all to Raymond. More evidence that Squeaky is protective of Raymond.
- Reread closely, and annotate the passage, underlining the words that show exactly what they want to show as evidence.
- A lot of the passage won't, be perfect. For example, does the fact that Squeaky keeps Raymond on the inside part of the sidewalk really show that Squeaky is fiercely protective?
- For more evidence examples refer to pay 48.
How do you bring the evidence into the essay?
- Story-tell the evidence (using your own words and what you know about narrative writing to re-create the portion of the story).
- Use example on the top of page 49
- Summarizing the background of the story and quoting just the key parts of the text. You weave in important phrases or lines of dialogue that work to support your point
- Use example in the middle of page 49
- Refer to Key details from the text in passing by writing something like this...
- Use example at the bottom of page 49
Active Engagement: It is your turn to work on your structure plan and to reread your story through the lens of your claim, collecting evidence.
If extra time: Mid-Workshop Teaching
Use page 52 to help teach
Homework: Continue to grow evidence that fits your claim. You need to be like a cook. Think ahead about what you will be making tomorrow (an Essay!) and whip up a quick shopping list of all the ingredients that you need to produce that essay tomorrow.
Here is what you need:
- You need to introduce the text. Usually this means you will write some background information about it-almost a little tiny report. The background information needs to include the author and the genre, and sometimes in includes a tiny summary of the story.
- You need a structure so you can write a claim, early in your essay and then have a plan for how you will organize the evidence you bring in to support your claim. Will you be talking about the reasons for your claim, the ways it is true, the situations in which it is true, the way it is true in the start, the middle, the end of the story-or what?
- For each part of your essay, you will need compelling evidence. Some of the evidence will be told in micro-stories, some in lists, some in quotations-and sometimes the evidence is told through a combination of those.
- The evidence needs to come from all portions of the story: beginning, middle and ending.