The Wonder of . . . The Writing Heuristic (Embedding 101) A Mrs. Rachwal Production English 10
The Writing Heuristic • There are three basic steps to writing an analytical paper about a work of literature: • 1. Find the details (self-evident). • 2. Make inferences based on the details (problematic but accessible). • 3. Come up with conclusions based on your inferences (problematic and difficult). • The following is an example:
Details (Self-Evident) • This is our friend Tom.
Details (Self-Evident) • This is Tom’s situation.
Details (Self-Evident) • Details are . . . • Incidents or items that are totally factual. No opinion or interpretation is involved. • What are the details in Tom’s situation?
Analysis (Problematic but Accessible) • Okay, now we know that Tom is sweating and there is a lit bomb next to him. Analysis involves inferences that can be made from the details we just discussed. There may be more than one inference per item. • What are the inferences in Tom’s situation?
Conclusion (Problematic but Difficult) • Now we must take everything to the next level by developing some conclusions. • What is going to happen to Tom? How do we know this?
The Heuristic (Reviewed) • Details (Self-evident) • Analysis (Problematic but Accessible) • Conclusion (Problematic and Difficult) The idea is to embed both detail and analysis in a single sentence, working toward your final conclusion. • Let’s try to apply this to our writing.
Aspect One: DETAILS • Think back to a work we have read this year, such as “Old Milon,” All Quiet on the Western Front, 12 Angry Men, A Doll’s House, or Julius Caesar • What were three details you can recall from any one of these works?
ANALYSIS • What inferences can be made from these details? (examples: How do the details you just named from All Quiet show that “war is all hell”? How do the details you just named from “Old Milon” show that he is cunning?)
Embedding • Your sentence structure should reflect two of the steps of the Heuristic. • Example: • Detail: Paul and his comrades receive the windfall of a second set of rations because hundreds of men in his company have died in a recent battle. • Analysis: The conditions of war are so unceasingly dire that Paul can describe the death of hundreds of men as a “windfall.” • To be continued on the next slide . . .
Embedding • So a sentence that transitions from detail to analysis should look like this: • The conditions of war are so unceasingly dire that when hundreds of men in Paul’s company die in battle, Paul calls the resultant extra set of rations received by him and his comrades a “windfall,” barely acknowledging the tragedy of so many lost lives. • What type of phrase is the italicized portion of the sentence? • What would be the conclusion of this paper?
Embedding • To fully understand and practice embedding, we are going to embed at least five quotes into our own sentences on this week’s PSSA #4 essay.
The Writing Heuristic THE END Thank you!