Section 35: Workshop—Revisiting Essay 2

Skills Focus: Sentence Style More on Wordiness

HW Bring a hard copy of Essay 2 to class for a new peer workshop. If you’d like, revise your essay ahead of the workshop and print out your latest version.


Essay Organization and Presentation of Evidence and Analysis

  1. Topic Sentences: Do body paragraphs begin with a strong analytical claim? (as opposed to a descriptive claim about the evidence the paragraph discusses).

  2. Evidence and Analysis
    • Are there claims that need supporting evidence?
    • Is there evidence in need of an interpretive claim—places where the writer presents evidence (e.g. a scene is described or a piece of dialogue is quoted), but doesn’t explain the significance of the evidence?

  3. ¶ Unity: Are there long paragraphs that make more than one main point and should be broken up?

  4. Development
    • Does each new paragraph build on the one before to further develop the argument?
    • Do two or more paragraphs make the same point? Should any ¶s be combined or cut?
    • Are there body paragraphs whose main point isn’t clearly related to the essay’s overarching thesis?

  5. Flow
    • Transitions: Is it clear how each new body paragraph relates to the one before?
    • Sequence: Is the sequence of body paragraphs logical? Do you have ideas about how the writer could or should rearrange points to make the argument clearer or more persuasive?

Thesis and Introduction

  1. Compare the essay’s initial thesis statement with the claim as stated in the last page or so—with the writer’s fullest statement of the essay’s insight. Note if you see a sentence that sums up the main claim more precisely and effectively than the initial thesis statement.

  2. Consider the introduction as a whole. Does the writer convey the purpose of the essay—the puzzle it addresses, the question it seeks to answer, the discussion it seeks to contribute to? That is, does the introduction indicate why the writer’s thesis is an arguable claim?