For this assignment you will submit an Outline of your Essay 2. The outline should include a thesis, three topic sentences, and evidence (a quotation or paraphrase of an exact line from the book and/or article) to support each topic sentence. Please label each of your sentences using this format:
Topic Sentence 1:
Evidence for Topic Sentence 1:
Topic Sentence 2:
Evidence for Topic Sentence 2:
Topic Sentence 3:
Evidence for Topic Sentence 3:
Need help figuring out what you want to say? From reading the Essay Process Lesson you know that when you’re given an essay topic or prompt, the first thing you should do is start to brainstorm in order to generate ideas. Here’s a list of steps to take in order to come up with a strong outline:
1. Review the Prompt for Essay 2.
2. Brainstorm. Based on the prompt question, what thoughts do you have about this topic? Here are various methods you may find helpful for generating ideas:
Freewrite, or write down whatever comes to mind when you think about the topic.
Make lists or notes of ideas. You can also use an online interactive tool like the ReadWriteThink Notetaker, which allows you to organize your lists by layer or level of information.
Draw a diagram or a web, drawing lines to show connections between ideas. You can also use an online interactive tool like the ReadWriteThink Webbing Tool. Or try a similar service, Coggle.
Use the Essay Map at readwritethink.org. It uses slightly different language than we’re using in this class (for example it talks about “ideas” instead of “topic sentences”), but it’s the same thing.
3. Review the Thesis and Topic Sentence Lesson for a reminder of how to narrow down your ideas into a strong outline. (Feel free to expand your essay beyond the 5-paragraph format if you have more than three topic sentences in mind; it’s fine to include more body paragraphs in Essay 2 if you want, but it’s not required).
4. Review the Paraphrase and Quotation Lesson for a reminder about the difference between paraphrasing and quotations (you can include either in your outline).
5. Submit your Outline as a .doc or .docx file and take a look at the rubric for this assignment to see how it will
Should juvenile offenders ever be sentenced to life without parole?
Recently you’ve read Chapters 4-8 in Just Mercy and Samantha Melamed’s article, “Why Philly DA Krasner could let 180+ juvenile lifers out of prison early.” According to the ACLU, approximately 2,570 children, some as young as 13 years old, have been sentenced to life without parole in the United States. Do you agree with Stevenson that incarceration affects children differently than adults? In your opinion, should juvenile offenders ever be sentenced to life without parole? Why or why not?
In Essay 2, you should include what “they say,” by providing a brief summary in your introduction of the Stevenson chapters (4-8) you’ll talk about later in the essay (and/or the Melamed article if you use it), and also by using direct evidence – paraphrases and direct quotations – from those chapters (and/or article) in each of your body paragraphs, surrounded by an Evidence Sandwich. Remember, no outside research in this class (which means your evidence should come from the class book and article, not any other source). You should also, of course, include your own thesis, or “I say.” Think about Ch 4 in They Say, I Say, and, if it fits, try to incorporate one of the three different ways to respond by either agreeing, disagreeing, or doing both.
Overview: introduce the essay’s topic
Summary: sum up the book, article and/or news clip
Thesis: present the main idea and makes a strong argument
Topic sentence: make a strong argument to support the thesis
Reasons: further explain your topic sentence and argument
Context: explain what’s happening in the text so the evidence makes sense
Evidence: a quotation or paraphrase of an exact line from the text, with correct signal phrase and citation
Restate: repeat the evidence in your own words to make sure it’s clear
Connect: tie the evidence back to your argument
Ending sentence: tie it all back to the larger picture
Wrap up: restate the key arguments (thesis and topic sentences) of the essay
Concluding thought: final thoughts that dig deeper, show why it’s important
Grammar, Language, and Formatting:
Grammar: sentences should be free of fragments, run-ons, comma-splices and subject-verb agreement errors. Few other errors should be present.
Language: language should be strong and engaging and include strong vocabulary
Format: essay should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, no extra spaces between paragraphs, and include a correct heading and title on the first page.
Works Cited: a Works Cited page should be included at the end of your essay (you will read the Works Cited Lesson In this class we will use something called the TREE Formula for writing strong body paragraphs. You can follow this formula to lengthen your body paragraphs and strengthen the arguments you’re making in them.
The topic sentence opens your body paragraph and makes a strong argument in support of the essay’s thesis.
Tip: Use language that mirrors the thesis to make sure you’re on-topic and making an argument that’s clearly linked to and supporting your essay’s thesis.
Reasons explain why you’re making this argument (your topic sentence). They are your chance to explain why you believe that this argument is true.
Tip: Your Reasons should start right after your topic sentence, with a statement that shows you’re about to explain the argument you just made, something like “This is because…” Aim for 2-5 sentences of reasons explaining your argument.
Evidence gives examples to support your topic sentence and back up what you’re trying to say; evidence helps you prove that the argument you’re making is true. For Essay 1 you’ll use evidence and examples from your own experience and knowledge. For Essays 2-4 you’ll use evidence from texts and readings.
Tip: One way to signal that you’re switching from the Reasons to Evidence is by using a phrase like, “For example…” or “For instance…” A phrase like that helps show your reader that you’re about to get more specific.
An ending sentence connects your evidence back to your topic sentence and brings the whole paragraph full circle and reminds your reader what you’re saying overall. This should be the very last sentence of your body paragraph.