(Your marked-up essay is below this form.)
HOW THIS WORKS: Your e-structor has written overview comments about your essay in the form below. Your e-structor has also embedded comments [in bold and in brackets] throughout your essay. Thank you for choosing Smarthinking's OWL; best wishes with revising your paper!
*Strengths of the essay: Hi Jennifer! My name is Sandy S., and I am going to help you to strengthen your essay. Your essay is already strong because you use very effective descriptive words, such as in this example: “Our home had worn floors, a wood burning stove, a worn yellow sink and a family slowly growing up and growing old.” This description brings a texture to your writing that helps to draw the reader into your story.
*JENNIFER 6108755 has requested that you respond to the Main Idea/Thesis:
Let’s begin by developing your essay’s main idea/thesis, Jennifer. A main idea/thesis statement is the main topic of your paper that usually appears near the end of your introduction. Here is a how a main idea/thesis might read for a similar paper discussing a book:
In the novel Up Island by Siddons, when the main character, Molly, becomes aware of her husband’s affair, she realizes that she had known this all along, acknowledgement which resulted in extreme personal growth.
See how this one sentence presents all of the information that a reader needs to understand the main topic of the paper?
These sentences are a strong start to your main idea/thesis because they summarize your paper’s main topic and your response to it:
As a child I grew up in a similar situation depicted in the short writing by Phillip Levine, “A Story”.
Now as an adult, I am asked if I agree with a quote about life and how it changes.
However, your main topic is spread over multiple sentences, at different places in your introduction, which can make it difficult for the reader to understand the main topic that you are developing. To strengthen this main idea/thesis, consider that the main idea/thesis involving a literary analysis usually presents this information in one comprehensive sentence:
The title(s) of the literary work(s) that you are discussing.
The author(s) of the literary work(s)
The theme that you are addressing through discussing these literary work(s)
To revise, how can you address all of these questions in one sentence? How can you position this main idea/thesis at the end of your introduction so that the reader knows how your paper will progress going forward? This sentence is your new revised main idea/thesis which will give your reader a comprehensive picture of the main topic of your paper and your reasons for writing it!
Jennifer, in a literary analysis such as you are writing, the structure of your first paragraph introduction provides information that helps to describe your essay’s main idea/thesis. An introduction is usually one paragraph that is often structured in a series of steps that involve:
1. Hook: An interesting statement to grab your reader’s attention.
2. Related background information: This builds off of the general topic of your hook.
3. Main idea/thesis: A connection of this background information to your paper’s main topic, as well as the ways in which this main topic will be developed (subtopics).
In your introduction, you begin your first paragraph with an interesting “hook” that effectively captures your reader’s attention. But then your “introduction” is actually spread over the first three paragraphs, before you begin discussing specific content related to your main topic in your fourth paragraph.
To revise, Jennifer, how can you consolidate these three paragraphs into a one-paragraph introduction that supports and leads up to the statement of your revised main idea/thesis?
A strong, summarizing, general introduction enables the reader to have an understanding of the information that will be covered in the