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Writing a Personal Essay

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  1. Writing a Personal Essay Topic 5 Thesis 10 Brainstorm 10 Outline 10 Rough Draft 10 Editing 5 MLA Style Final Draft 50 100 points

  2. Topic • Generate at least 5 potential topics about which you could write. • With a partner- think aloud. (We will do this activity in class) Discuss for 30 seconds why you chose this topic and some of the ideas you will touch upon for your essay. • Narrow down the topic to one.

  3. Thesis • Write your thesis. • Definition: a statement of the purpose, intent or main idea of a piece of writingflwi.unl.edu/resources/glossary.html • Example: My scar reminds me of my careless behavior as a child that led to the injury but also a crazy hospital adventure and acceptance by my cousins because they finally found me interesting. • Example: I want to join the Army because of the leadership opportunities, the chance to serve my country, and to learn how to program computers. • (Make sure the points you are trying to make are easy to identify in the thesis.)

  4. Brainstorm • Brainstorm your ideas. This can be done using www.bubbl.us or by just making a list. • Try to come up with at least 3 points for each of your three ideas.

  5. Outline • Turn your three points into an outline. • Each point must have at least 3 supporting details you could include in the essay. • Use a pattern: Roman numerals, Capital Letters, numbers, small letters. You can also use dots and dashes. • Indent each time. • The more details, the better.

  6. Rough Draft • Use the outline to make the draft. • The outline is the skeleton. The draft is the skin on top of the bones. • Write the draft on notebook paper. NOT IN YOUR RESPONSE JOURNAL!!!! • Skip lines. • You may write on the back. • You may also word process your draft.

  7. Introduction • Make the introduction interesting- FRIES? • Facts • Reasons • Incidents, Inferences • Examples • Statistics • Questions or Quotations

  8. Hamburger Check • Organization- Beginning, middle, end- bun, meat, bun • Supporting Details- lettuce, pickles, onion, ketchup, mustard, etc. • Focus- It is a hamburger, right? Make sure you are answering the writing prompt. • Conventions- Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation, Audience, Purpose, Tone- Someone else would find it tasty and attractive. Yum!

  9. Peer Edit • Give your draft to a peer, parent, or guardian to do a hamburger check. • Use a different color pen or a highlighter. • Your peer should use proofreading marks on your paper and sign his/her name that it has been proofread. • Ask your peer to write one positive comment about your paper.

  10. Final Draft-MLA Style • Name, date, and course in the upper left hand side of the paper. • Title of the paper centered • one inch margins all around • black 12 standard font • double spaced

  11. Due Date • The paper is due on August 18, 2009. • Submit your essay to a page in the blog that I will designate on Monday August 18th.

  12. Rubric • Essays will be scored on the College Board's SAT Writing Rubric. Students will have multiple opportunities to revise the draft. • http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/about/sat/essay_scoring.html • SCORE OF 6 (an A paper) An essay in this category demonstrates clear and consistent mastery, although it may have a few minor errors. • A typical essay - • effectively and insightfully develops a point of view on the issue and demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using clearly appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position • is well organized and clearly focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas • exhibits skillful use of language, using a varied, accurate, and apt vocabulary • demonstrates meaningful variety in sentence structure • is free of most errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics