For much of the writing we do in this class, the following, schematic model should be used in writing body paragraphs, not introductory paragraphs, or paragraphs you would write in the conclusions of your essays. But paragraphs in the BODY or your essay where you are doing most of the analytical work in support of your overall thesis/argument.
Keep in mind that this is only a model, and can be amended or altered in various ways, but not in its overall scheme. When writing a coherent body paragraph that uses a quote from the text, simply do the following.
When finding quotes from the texts for this paragraph assignment, keep the upcoming ESSAY #1 ASSIGNMENT question in mind. In other words, find quotes that respond/answer the upcoming Essay #1 question:
“What is the role or significance of ‘reading’ in either MX or Douglass text?”
THE PERFECT PARAGRAPH—5 PARTS
1. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence (1-sentence: this is the main idea in the paragraph that you want to convey to your reader, and that you will pursue throughout the paragraph as a whole.
2. Then, introduce the quote you wish to cite. Keep it brief, just giving your reader a general sense of the passage to follow (1 or 2 sentences).
3. Cite the passage you have in mind–a passage that provides evidence for the claim you’re making in your topic sentence. Your quote should be long enough for you to develop some form of analysis, so rule of thumb, between 2-4 sentences.
4. Then, explain the quote in your own words. Go into as much detail as possible; that is, don’t let the quote speak for itself. This is where you begin to analyze the quote and show how it, again, helps elaborate and develop the major claim/topic in your paragraph. Also, to develop your analysis/commentary on the quote make your explanation of the quote longer than the quote itself.
5. End the paragraph with a transition sentence (1 or 2 sentences) to the next paragraph that gives your reader a sense of where you’re headed in the next paragraph. That is, this will be a 1- or 2-sentence transition into the next topic sentence of the next paragraph.
This brief model can be amended by, perhaps, adding a secondary quote (and subsequent commentary/analysis) after the 4th part. That is, perhaps you want to develop your claim in the paragraph by citing another passage. In other words, you can continue to develop and support your idea by citing another quote as evidence for you claim.