Writing About Literature Mr. Pyne ENG IV
Assertion, Evidence, Relevance • These three elements of your writing formulate a strong structure for good writing…
Assertion • Also known as your thesis, claim, statement, position, etc. • It is a statement which needs to be proved. • An assertion can be just a simple statement as well, such as “I like the color blue.” • In literary analysis, it might be something like “Beowulf is the epitome of the Anglo-Saxon heroic ideal.”
Assertion (Continued) • Let’s take a look at the King Arthur excerpt. • What would a possible assertion be for this essay? Hint: use the essay question to guide you, and don’t over-think! • Write this possible assertion down on your paper.
Evidence • Using proof to back up your argument. • In literature, this is usually in the form of a quote, a summary, or a detail gotten directly from the story. • Or, with regard to our “Blue” example: “Every piece of clothing I own has some blue in it, such as my jeans, shirts, sox, and sweatpants.”
Evidence (Continued) • Back to the King Arthur story: • In our assertion, we may be stating that Arthur’s dream reveals that his time as ruler or king might come to an end in a horrible way. • What details in the text back this up? Under your assertion, write a list of those details you think matter.
Relevance • The most important part of your writing- this is your statement’s significance or importance. It answers the “Who cares?” question. • From our “blue” example, the relevance might look something like this: • “Therefore, when Friday comes around, you know I really enjoy Orange and Blue Day.”
Relevance, Continued • In literature, this is when we often • make connections to other events • or use inference • or show relation to theme • Reader response • Author’s intention
Relevance, Continued • What is the relevance of your King Arthur assertion? • Take some time to come up with a statement of relevance with regard to your assertion and evidence about King Arthur.
Honors homework: Writing Prompt #5: Opening of Manalive by GK Chesterton. • Come up with a possible assertion for the excerpt from the opening chapter “How the Great Wind Came to Beacon House.” • Supply specific evidence for your assertion. The more, the better. • Emphasize the relevance of the evidence to strengthen and expand your assertion. • Write a paragraph with all three of these elements, labeling each.
Regular homework: Writing Prompt #5: “An Unexpected Party” Ch. 1 of The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien • Here’s your assertion: “Bilbo Baggins is wealthy and likes to live comfortably.” • Supply specific evidence for this assertion. The more, the better. • Emphasize the relevance of the evidence to strengthen and expand your assertion. • Write a paragraph with all three of these elements, labeling each.