Archive for August 19th, 2011

The FAVORS Step-by-Step Process for Correcting Mismatched Chronology

To correct problems with mismatching and logic within your essays, use the following steps to guide you through the revision process.

This process falls under Task #2: Number. See the “Analysis Revision Tasks” category for more information. You may also click on the link.

Step #1:  Numbering the Body Paragraph in the Student Essay

Number the sentences within the paragraph that summarize events from the primary source.  Actually write #1, #2, #3, #4, etc. Circle the numbers. You may want to highlight them in a different color ink, preferably red.

Step #2:  Studying the Author’s Narrative/Essay/Argument

Study the section of the primary source that corresponds to the summary of events in your paper.  Number the description of events within the author’s source that correspond to the description of events in your essay. Actually write #1, #2, #3, #4, etc. Circle the numbers. You may want to highlight them in a different color ink, preferably red.

Step #3:  Repositioning the Numbered Sentences in the Student Essay

Cut and paste these numbered events into a separate Word document. Put the numbered events on separate lines. Double space between each line, so you can clearly see the different events on the page without confusion.

Step #4:  Transcribing the Numbered Sentences in the Author’s Narrative/Essay/Argument

Either type or take out a sheet of paper and type or copy down the events you have numbered.  Put the numbered events on separate lines. Double space between each line, so you can clearly see the different events on the page without confusion.

Step #5:  Mirroring

Place the cut and pasted numbered events of the student essay side-by-side with the numbered events of the author’s narrative/essay/argument. Be sure that your chronology matches the events of the author’s work. In essence, your summary should mirror the author’s presentation of events in the work.

Step #6:  Scanning and Copy Editing

Perform a quick scan of the wording of your summary. Correct any discrepancies, contradictions, and unvalidated assumptions in terms of wording. Change wording to reflect accuracy.

Step #7:  Recording

Correct the mismatched chronology in the body paragraph of your essay as if you are a chronologist. A chronologist is an expert in time sequences. Add transition wording such as first, next, and then. Point out actions that are simultaneous. Make sure actions that happen before something are beginning with “before.” Add actions that happen directly “after.” Use “in addition” sparingly if the action is not simultaneous. Make distinctions. If one action is in addition to either a previous or the same action, make this clear to the reader.

This step-by-step process is primarily for body paragraphs that present a chronology, not for the whole essay. In other words, your analysis as a whole doesn’t have to be chronological. However, it would be beneficial to the reader if you present an accurate chronology in those body paragraphs that present a series of events so the reader is not left confused.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Task #2: Number

Number

“Number” falls under the Analysis Acronym (Revision) category.

Number the events in the story.  Within a single paragraph, make sure the events are chronologically presented in your paper.  Here’s an example from the student essay on “Chrysanthemums.”

Figure 75: Essay Excerpt Reference to Conclusion in “Chrysanthemums”

“They both leave and Elisa notices the visitor as they pass him on the road. She tried not to look, but did anyway. She failed to tell Henry that he’d stopped by. She comments that their outing would be good tonight; Henry instantly noticed that she had changed again.  Elisa notices the plants on the side of the road that the visitor throws out. She immediately feels rejected and defeated” (Favors 4).

Before getting into a discussion, let’s number the actions of the student essay.

  1. They both leave.
  2. Elisa notices the visitor as they pass him on the road.
  3. She tried not to look, but did anyway.
  4. She failed to tell Henry that he’d stopped by.
  5. She comments that their outing would be good tonight.
  6. Henry instantly noticed that she had changed again.
  7. Elisa notices the plants on the side of the road that the visitor throws out.
  8. The visitor throws out the plants.
  9. She immediately feels rejected and defeated.

Let’s bring in the context either to confirm that this order is correct or refute the order altogether.

Figure 76: Sample Passage from Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” (Conclusion)

 

“Elisa went into the house. She heard him drive to the gate and idle down his motor, and then she took a long time to put on her hat. She pulled it here and pressed it there. When Henry turned the motor off she slipped into her coat and went out.“The little roadster bounced along on the dirt road by the river, raising the birds and driving the rabbits into the brush. Two cranes flapped heavily over the willow-line and dropped into the river-bed.“Far ahead on the road Elisa saw a dark speck. She knew.“She tried not to look as they passed it, but her eyes would not obey. She whispered to herself sadly, ‘He might have thrown them off the road. That wouldn’t have been much trouble, not very much. But he kept the pot,’ she explained. ‘He had to keep the pot. That’s why he couldn’t get them off the road.’“The roadster turned a bend and she saw the caravan ahead. She swung full around toward her husband so she could not see the little covered wagon and the mismatched team as the car passed them.

“In a moment it was over. The thing was done. She did not look back.

“She said loudly, to be heard above the motor, ‘It will be good tonight, a good dinner.’

‘Now you’re changed again,’ Henry complained.

Let’s number the actions of the author’s narrative.

  1. They both leave.
  2. Elisa notices a dark speck far head on the road.
  3. Elisa tried not to look as they passed it, but she looked anyway.
  4. She saw the caravan ahead as the car passed them (the little covered wagon and the mismatched team).
  5. She said, “It will be good, tonight, a good dinner.”
  6. Henry complains that she has changed again.

Now let’s compare and contrast the student’s presentation of chronology in the essay and the author’s presentation of events.

Table 13: Outline of Character Actions in Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums

Actions Student’s Essay Author’s Narrative
 First Action 1.  They both leave. 1.  They both leave.
 Second Action 2.  Elisa notices the visitor as they pass him on the road. 2.  Elisa notices a dark speck far ahead on the road.
 Third Action 3.  She tried not to look, but did anyway. 3.  Elisa tried not to look as they passed it, but she looked anyway.
 Fourth Action 4.  She failed to tell Henry that he’d stopped by. 4.  She saw the caravan ahead as the car passed them (the little covered wagon and the mismatched team).
 Fifth Action 5.  She comments that their outing would be good tonight. 5.  She said, “It will be good, tonight, a good dinner.”
 Sixth Action 6.  Henry instantly noticed that she had changed again. 6.  Henry complains that she has changed again.
 Seventh Action 7.  Elisa notices the plants on the side of the road that the visitor throws out.
 Eighth Action   8.  She immediately feels dejected and defeated.

Let’s approach the interpretation of this table carefully. Only those actions that clearly illustrate discrepancies or those events out of order in contrast to the author’s narrative are represented within Table 14.

Table 14: Outline of Discrepancies in Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums”

Actions Student’s Essay Author’s Narrative
 Second Action 2.  Elisa notices the visitor as they pass him on the road. 2.  Elisa notices a dark speck far ahead on the road.
 
 Fourth Action 4.  She failed to tell Henry that he’d stopped by. 4.  She saw the caravan ahead as the car passed them (the little covered wagon and the mismatched team).
 
 Seventh Action 7.  Elisa notices the plants on the side of the road that the visitor throws out.

The order of events in the student’s essay is a complete mismatch to the order of events in the author’s narrative. Not only is the student’s essay filled with discrepancies but it also includes events that don’t even happen in the narrative.

The student’s assessment of these events also indicates that the student hasn’t thoroughly studied the dialogue and the narrator’s views. In other words, the student has worked primarily from memory. In writing the essay, the student did not consult the primary source to make sure to present the events chronologically. Observe the following from the student’s essay:

Discrepancy: The student essay reads that Elisa failed to tell Henry that he’d stopped by.  However, there is nothing in the narrative itself to suggest that Elisa not telling Henry of the visitor represents a failure.

Discrepancy: The student essay reads that Elisa feels dejected and defeated. The quote actually reads, “She whispered to herself sadly, ‘He might have thrown them off the road.  That wouldn’t have been much trouble, not very much. But he kept the pot’ ” (Steinbeck 261).  Elisa feels sad.

Discrepancy: Elisa doesn’t notice the plants on the side of the road. She notices a dark speck.  The narrative doesn’t indicate if the dark speck is the plant.

Discrepancy: Elisa never sees the visitor as both Elisa and Henry pass the visitor on the road. Elisa sees the caravan as both Elisa and Henry pass them, the little covered wagon, and the mismatched team.

As you can see, it is important to develop an analysis that correlates with the events of the literary work. You must present information chronologically. This idea only applies to those areas of your paper where you recite specific events. You must ensure that the reader has a sound understanding of what comes first, second, and third.

To correct problems dealing with mismatching, follow The FAVORS Step-by-Step Process for Correcting Mismatched Chronology, which is a guide you can use during the revision process.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Task #1: Account

Account

“Account” falls under the Analysis Acronym (Revision) category.

Account for discrepancies and contradictions. Read the following excerpt from my student essay on Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums.”

Figure 72: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums (2nd Paragraph)

The narrative starts out with Elisa working in her flower garden. She looks down across the yard and sees Henry, her husband, talking to two businessmen; they are making a proposition to Henry for his thirty heads of three-year old steers. Elisa takes several glances at the men as they smoke cigarettes and talk; her “face was lean and strong and her eyes were as clear as water . . . her figure looked blocked and heavy in her gardening costume, a man’s black hat pulled down over her eyes, clod-hopper shoes, a figured print dress almost completely covered by a big corduroy apron with four big pockets . . .” (Steinbeck 220). Steinbeck clearly shows Elisa’s habitual activity; it is implied that she even wears the exact same thing everyday.

Although every part of this body paragraph appears to be in order, there is a discrepancy. The word “discrepancy” means a distinct difference between two things. There is a difference between what the student writes in this paragraph and what the actual story reads. The following is an excerpt from the first paragraph of Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums.”

Figure 73: Sample Passage from Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” (1st Paragraph)

“The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world. On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot. On the broad, level land floor the gang plows bit deep and left the black earth shining like metal where the shares had cut. On the foothill ranches across the Salinas River, the yellow stubble fields seemed to be bathed in pale cold sunshine, but there was no sunshine in the valley now in December. The thick willow scrub along the river flamed with sharp and positive yellow leaves” (Steinbeck 254).

First Discrepancy

We do not need to add the rest of the paragraphs that follow because we have made our point.

The first line of the topic sentence uses the following: “The narrative starts out with Elisa working in her flower garden” (Favors 1). However, as you can read, the narrative starts with Steinbeck’s description of the setting. We call this type of discrepancy an “unvalidated assumption.” The topic sentence of the body paragraph represents an assumption and we cannot validate its truthfulness.

Remember that any statement you write represents an assumption until you incorporate credible evidence in the forms of a quote or any other type of evidence sufficient to support your ideas. It is always important to be accurate. You must accurately convey the ideas expressed within the primary source.

Second Discrepancy

There is another discrepancy within the student’s essay. The student writes, “She looks down across the yard and sees Henry, her husband, talking to two businessmen; they are making a proposition to Henry for his thirty heads of three-year old steers” (Favors 1).

Here are the actual quotes. We only include those quotes and dialogue that relate to the student’s belief that the two businessmen are making a proposition to Henry for his thirty heads of three-year-old steers.

Figure 74: Sample Passage from Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” (2nd Paragraph) 

“Elisa Allen, working in her flower garden, looked down across the yard and saw Henry, her husband, talking to two men in business suits. The three of them stood by the tractor shed, each man with one foot on the side of the little Fordson. They smoked cigarettes and studied the machine as they talked… . “Elisa cast another glance toward the tractor shed. The strangers were getting into their Ford coupe. . . . “ ‘Henry, who were those men you were talking to?’“ ‘Why, sure, that’s what I came to tell you. They were from the Western Meat Company. I sold those thirty head of three-year-old steers. Got nearly my own price, too’ ” (Steinbeck 254-255).

First, there is nothing in the narrative that reads the two businessmen are making a proposition to Henry.

Second, we do not know if these two men are “businessmen.” The quote reads that they are “two men in business suits.”

Last, by rereading the quote, Henry’s words in particular, it is possible to deduce that it is Henry who makes a proposition to the two men, considering that he gets the price he wants. A proposition is an idea, offer, or plan put forward for consideration or discussion. The fact that Henry gets the price he wants suggests that the two men in business suits receive Henry’s proposition. You may debate this suggestion within your analysis, but be sure to make the point and distinguish clearly between what is implied and what is directly presented (as you see it on the page).

Third Discrepancy

The last discrepancy from the student’s essay is this: “Steinbeck clearly shows Elisa’s habitual activity; it is implied that she even wears the exact same thing everyday” (Favors 1).

Steinbeck doesn’t directly write that what Elisa is doing in the story represents “habitual activity.” He doesn’t clearly show this. Because Elisa wears a “gardening costume” and not a regular dress and because she is “cutting down the old year’s chrysanthemum stalks with a pair of short and powerful scissors,” we can infer that Elisa habitually works in her garden; that this is an everyday activity for her. We can only infer this. Nothing in the author’s presentation suggests that we can imply that Elisa works in her garden everyday. There is a difference between how something or some idea is implied and how we can infer. Observe the difference.

Imply:

  • to suggest
  • to make something understood without expressing it directly

Infer:

  • to conclude something on the basis of reasoning
  • to suggest or lead to something as a conclusion
  • to imply or suggest something
  • to make a reasonable guess at something

At first glance, it may appear that both the words “imply” and “infer” are the same considering that “infer” has as one of its definitions to suggest.  Let’s go one step further.

Implication:

  • indirect suggestion, something that is implied as a natural consequence of something else

Inference:

  • a conclusion drawn from evidence or reasoning

A suggestion is an idea or proposal put forward for consideration. A conclusion is a decision made or an opinion formed after considering the relevant facts or evidence, the final part of something.

Do you see the difference? The greatest distinction between the two words is that when you “infer” something or you make an “inference,” you reach a conclusion; the conclusion is final or it represents a decision. The conclusion you reach is not the same as when you imply something. Your implication is not a conclusion; it is an opinion. Notice the difference.

Inference

We can infer that Elisa works habitually in her garden because she wears a gardening costume and not an everyday dress; and we read of her “cutting down the old year’s chrysanthemums stalks with a pair of short and powerful scissors” (Steinbeck 254).

Implication

We can infer that Elisa works habitually in her garden because she wears a gardening costume and not an everyday dress; and we read of her “cutting down the old year’s chrysanthemums stalks with a pair of short and powerful scissors” (Steinbeck 254).  The words “old year’s chrysanthemums” imply that Elisa may have planted these chrysanthemums in the previous year.

In the example that represents an inference, we reached the conclusion that Elisa works habitually in her garden by analyzing (studying) the author’s description of Elisa (i.e., gardening costume, man’s black hat, clod-hopper shoes, figured print dress, big corduroy apron with four big pockets to hold the snips, the trowel and scratcher, the seeds and the knife she worked with).  This is the only evidence we have to use in our efforts to reason and reach a conclusion.

In the example that adds an implication, we are able to make something understood without expressing it directly. The something that is understood is Elisa’s part in planting the old year’s chrysanthemums.

Therefore, when we put all of the pieces together—Steinbeck’s description coupled with the words “old year’s chrysanthemums”—we can now infer. Each piece represents evidence necessary to make an inference. When we notice certain words—“old year’s chrysanthemums”—without necessarily studying the description of Elisa, we can imply that the chrysanthemums belong to Elisa and that she is the one who plants them in the previous year.

Suggestions

Always live in your dictionary. Reread the definitions of words, even if you know their definitions. Always be accurate in your presentation of the author’s ideas; and be accurate in how you present your definition of a word. If you are defining a word, check with the dictionary first.  Then match the dictionary’s meaning of the word with the word in context in the author’s work.

Ask yourself these questions: 1) What is the author’s definition of the word? What context does the author provide? 2) Does my definition, my understanding, of the word match the author’s definition?

If it doesn’t, remove the discrepancy or revise your definition to ensure that it complements the author’s ideas.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Proofreading Symbols Key

THIS POST AND ITS CATEGORY “Proofreading Symbols” IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT.

Future posts will consist of examples and the application of proofreading symbols.

Proofreading Symbols Key

frag (fragment)

shift (sentence shift)

ro (run-on)

cs (comma splice)

// (faulty parallelism)

dm (dangling modifier)

mm (misplaced modifier)

lc (use a lower case)

cap (use a capital letter)

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 12: The FAVORS Analysis Checklist

Once you 1) have endured the process of understanding what you are doing (i.e., exploring, evaluating, explaining, persuading, convincing, describing, etc.), 2) have developed a pre-analysis thesis and topic sentences, and 3) have structured your body paragraphs, you must do one last thing before submitting the final paper to your professor.

You must perform a quality check of your analysis by using An, Aly, and Sis of The FAVORS Analysis Checklist.

Table 12: The FAVORS Analysis Checklist provides insight into the process of evaluating your analysis. This will help you perform the tasks that fall under the “Analysis Revision Tasks” category.

Table 12:  The FAVORS Analysis Checklist

Initials Acronym Explanation  Check mark
 A Account Account for discrepancies and contradictions.
 N Number Number the events in the story. Within a single paragraph, make certain to present the events chronologically within your paper.
 
 A Abbreviate Remove plot summaries and extended explanations that distract the reader.
 L Level Balance viewpoints. Match the cause to the effect.  Present the pro and the con.
 Y Yank Yank irrelevant data and support. These are statements that have no connection to the ideas within the essay.
 
 S Sample Take a quote and examine it against your own statement to ensure that your statement complements the quote.
 I Integrate Integrate the thesis throughout the paper.
 S Sand Correct grammar. Correct these particular issues: frag, ro, cs, //, mm, dm, shift, lc, cap*

Proofreading Symbols Key

frag (fragment)

shift (sentence shift)

ro (run-on)

cs (comma splice)

// (faulty parallelism)

dm (dangling modifier)

mm (misplaced modifier)

lc (use a lower case)

cap (use a capital letter)

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Separating the Analysis Sections into Separate Paragraphs

Separating the analysis sections into different paragraphs will be a helpful alternative to developing paragraphs that exceed at minimum two pages. The only concern here is to make sure that whatever you write in the body paragraphs correlates to what you write or propose in the introduction.

Make the point of including what you will do. In other words, explain your method in your thesis. You will discuss Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums.” Okay, this is good. Now what will be your method? I will discuss Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” by conducting a context analysis of Elisa’s relationship with other characters. Now you have told us what your method is and what kind of analysis you will perform.

This analysis method serves as a guideline for how to develop the body paragraphs of your paper.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Developing Only Two Topic Sentences

Don’t be concerned with the length of this one body paragraph. You can choose any of the analysis methods you feel will be most suitable to supporting your thesis and to supporting the other ideas within the paper. Your body paragraph will not go on for four pages. However, you can elect this method for a seven- to ten-page paper. The main thing to remember is that quality is more important than quantity.

You don’t need five to seven topic sentences when two to three lengthy body paragraphs could easily serve the purpose, which is to develop a thesis and support it with evidence. When you develop five topic sentences, you run the risk of developing sentences that contradict your thesis. Keep this option in mind.

This analysis method serves as a guideline for how to develop the body paragraphs of your paper.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Outline Analysis

This can be a separate paragraph or part of one body paragraph. Provide an outline of the author’s ideas. What is the outline? Describe the outline. Analyze the structure of the outline.  Follow up with an explanation of how this outline analysis fits within the scheme of what you are discussing. Follow up with an evaluation of the usefulness of this supporting evidence, whether good or bad. Develop a transition statement.

This analysis method serves as a guideline for how to develop the body paragraphs of your paper.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Context Analysis

This can be a separate paragraph or part of one body paragraph. Provide the context. Analyze the context of the story, narration, argument, essay, or any other type of literary or writing piece you are discussing. Is the context historical? Is the context literary? Is the context biblical? Does the context include a year? What is the year? What is the date? What are the dates? What are the dates in range? Does the author provide a time period? What is the time period? Does the author provide the age of a character? What is the character’s age?

Who are the primary characters? Who are the secondary characters? What is the date of composition of the literary work? What is the relationship of the character’s age to the date of composition for the piece? In considering the year and date of composition, what happens during this time historically? What are some of the major social and cultural events that parallel the year of composition? What are some of the major social and cultural events that happen on the date of composition?

Make a distinction between the two types of historical contexts: 1) the historical context that the author provides within the piece and 2) the historical context you choose to research. What are the parallels between the author’s presentation of information and the historical context you have researched?  Does the author analyze the context he or she provides? What is the author’s analysis? Does the author evaluate the context he or she analyzes? What is the author’s evaluation?

Follow up with an explanation of how this context analysis fits within the scheme of what you are discussing. Follow up with an evaluation of the usefulness of this supporting evidence, whether good or bad.  Develop a transition statement.

This analysis method serves as a guideline for how to develop the body paragraphs of your paper.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Evaluation Analysis

This can be a separate paragraph or part of one body paragraph. Provide the author’s evaluation of either the author’s argument, the author’s analysis, or the evaluation of who the author is discussing. What is the evaluation? Is the author evaluating himself? Or is the author evaluating another character within the work?

Analyze the structure of the evaluation. Judge how the author judges. Now judge the usefulness, the benefit of the author’s evaluation. Does the author make sense? Is the author logical in his or her evaluation? Does the author lack sufficient description, examples, comparisons and contrasts, definitions, or analysis in his or her evaluation?

Is the author’s evaluation flawed? What is the flaw? Define the flaw. Break down the flaw into parts.  Address each part. Follow up with an explanation of how this evaluation analysis (i.e., the author’s evaluation and your evaluation of the author’s evaluation) fits within the scheme of what you are discussing. Follow up with an evaluation of the usefulness of this supporting evidence, whether good or bad. Develop a transition statement.

This analysis method serves as a guideline for how to develop the body paragraphs of your paper.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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