Writing a Body Paragraph

Hey all! I hope the writing is coming along well this evening. I just wanted to send out a quick update about the assignment and some tips for writing a body paragraph.

As we all know, this essay explores the writing of one poet and two of her/his poems. You have researched all of your sources and are ready to start writing (or finish writing). The most important thing to remember is to BE SPECIFIC. Here are some quick tips for how to do that:

  • do not say ‘the poem’ or ‘she/he’ unless you have already used the name of the poem/writer at least once
  • give a generalization in your topic sentence (tell briefly what it is that you are trying to prove — the work is autobiographical because ___)
  • give specific examples and quotes from the poem to support your ideas in your supporting sentences
  • ALWAYS explain those quotes
  • read through your paragraph at least twice (out loud), and ask someone else to read it for you. If the other person has to ask questions, make sure to answer those questions in the paragraph
  • assume your reader is an idiot who knows nothing about the poem, the poet, or much of anything. Explain yourself ALWAYS.

Don’t forget a topic sentence and concluding sentence. Here is my sample for you to use as a template. The topic and supporting sentences are bolded. I hope you enjoy this exploration of writing and reading!

“Sommer Browning’s poem “Sideshow” incorporates a lot of elements from growing up in Venice Beach, California. The poem is about the carnival sideshow that the narrator is going to see. In the poem, the narrator talks about “The Snake Man,” “Electra,” and “The Smallest Woman In the World,” which are all capitalized. This tells me that they are likely acts from a carnival sideshow. The narrator’s experience is about the difficulty of growing up. She knows that “The Snake Man/was a sham,” but meets The Smallest Woman In The World and is disappointed when she is a normal person. This shows that the narrator knows some things but is still disillusioned like a child. Sommer Browning grew up in Venice Beach, California, and loved carnivals and sideshows. This poem reflects experiences she has had because she grew up in a place with lots of carnivals and was “very interested in the concept of the sideshow freak.” She had a deep interest in this because she never felt normal herself, and discovered that no one is really all that normal. Sommer Browning’s poem is autobiographical because it reflects her childhood in Venice Beach.”



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