The FAVORS Body Paragraph Analysis Structure: Pre-Analysis Process

The FAVORS Body Paragraph Analysis Structure is based upon the ten composition principles discussed earlier. The following represents a typical pattern for developing the analysis prep statements for a single body paragraph. This post also includes a link to a discussion of how to apply composition principles separately to individual body paragraphs, depending upon your own objectives.

This post includes and links two (2) sub-posts:

1) Pre-Analysis Sentences

2) Analysis: Integration and Synthesis Process

Our discussion begins with Pre-Analysis Sentences.

Pre-Analysis Sentences

You should make your point quickly in the first one to five sentences. The reader should not read your topic sentence in the last sentence of the whole paragraph or in the middle of the paragraph. Think about what you want your thesis to be, what you believe; and then come up with three reasons why you feel the way you do or three ways of outlining your method for teaching the reader. Consider the following example of how you would develop a thesis and topic sentences:

Figure 71: Sample Pre-Writing Outline

ThesisIn this paper, I will discuss how Steinbeck provides a character description of Elisa, the method he chooses to describe this character, and how he uses the structure of “Chrysanthemums” to convey his characterization of Elisa.Topic SentenceSteinbeck begins his description of Elisa at the beginning of the short story.

Topic Sentence

Steinbeck chooses two methods to describe Elisa. The first method he chooses is that of 3rd-person omniscient; he doesn’t allow Elisa to describe herself. The second method he chooses is that of allowing Elisa to assert some confidence with the visitor. When the visitor challenges her ability as an individual, Elisa stands her ground.

Topic Sentence

Steinbeck doesn’t present the structure of the story with chronological wording and transition words such as first, second, third, or next.

 Always keep it simple. How you present the information should be simple. Once you are able to present the information as simply as you can, you will not have a problem with the analysis. Briefly, this is the outline of the structure for the pre-analysis sentences of a single body paragraph.

First Sentence: Topic sentence supports thesis.

Second Sentence: Explanation of topic sentences in the form(s) of description, example, definition

Third Sentence(s): Supporting evidence for topic sentence

Direct quote or Paraphrase (cited)

Fourth Sentence: Follow-up explanation of quote

Fifth Sentence: Follow-up evaluation of quote (Analysis begins here.)

You should always prepare the reader for a quote in the first two sentences. How you introduce the author and the literary work is important to understanding the points you make after the fifth sentence. Incorporate the quote according to the standards your teacher requires. Immediately provide a follow-up response to the quote.

The greatest problem for students is they tend to incorporate a quote and leave it by itself without adding accompanying sentences to help the reader understand the purpose of why they are using a particular quote. After you have described the quote by highlighting its significance within your paper, then evaluate it. Weigh it against another quote. Analyze its qualities. Tear it apart and use criticism as a tool for getting to the root of the quote. Explain to the reader why it is a good or bad quote and why it is applicable to the ideas you express within your analysis.

Before you can tackle the quote, the topic sentences you construct must support the thesis. The topic sentence begins your analysis process. How you construct the topic sentence will have significant impact upon your reader, because the topic sentence is the guiding force for each body paragraph. The topic sentence tells all of the other elements within your paper what to do, how to act, and who to support.

In other words, if your topic sentence is “All dogs are nice,” then every element after the sentence knows to support or oppose this topic sentence. There should be more sentences within a body paragraph that support this topic sentence than the ones that don’t. By default, the topic sentence informs the elements of the body paragraph that a quote such as “All dogs are nice, if they lick your face” opposes the goal of the topic sentence. Keep all of this in mind as you create and develop all of the elements of each body paragraph. For now here are some additional tips to consider for developing the first five sentences.

Topic Sentences

The objective of a topic sentence is to support the thesis. Topic sentences do not provide support for any other sentence within the paper. A topic sentence may function as a description, an example, a definition, or as a transition. How you construct it depends upon the goals you develop for your paper. Just remember never to start a topic sentence with a quote, because a quote represents a foreign element to your paper. You must introduce foreign elements. Introductions represent prep statements.

Explanation of Topic Sentence

After you insert a topic sentence, don’t rush to add a quote. The topic sentence is only one sentence. Use it to expand upon your purpose for using the topic sentence. For example, if you are using a topic sentence to inform the reader about the literary work, then provide an additional sentence or two to help your readers understand what you will use to inform them about the literary work. You may reference statistical data or any type of literature you will use for the body paragraph. The objective here is to provide as much direction for readers in these first sentences so they will know what to expect.

Supporting Evidence for Topic Sentence

Supporting evidence may represent a quote from the literary work or any other type of information not a part of the work. For whatever you claim in the topic sentence, you must be able to provide textual support from the literary work. If you write that Elisa in “Chrysanthemums” loved her husband, then you must locate this evidence and insert the quote to support your claims. You must validate every assumption and your professor must be able to verify the quote. Don’t forget to follow the guidelines of your citation manual when inserting a direct quote or paraphrasing the author’s work.

Follow-up Explanation of Quote for Topic Sentence

Once you insert the quote, follow it up with an explanation. Describe the quote to the reader. Is the quote a statistic? Does it derive from the literary work? What are its external qualities? Readers need to know why you are using a quote. The follow-up explanation represents one or more sentences you will use to convey your purpose for using the quote.

Follow-up Evaluation of Quote for Topic Sentence

This is where analysis begins. When you explain a quote, you are not evaluating it. When you describe a quote, you are not evaluating it. However, when you judge its suitability or break down the quote and examine its parts, then you are evaluating it. Although to evaluate is not the same as to analyze, in terms of sharing the same meanings, both serve to help you craft your analysis. Never let the quote have control over your paper.

When you leave a quote in your paper without an explanation or an evaluation, you essentially permit the quote to have full control of the paper. However, when you provide follow-up explanation and follow-up evaluation statements, you maintain control from the thesis sentence to the concluding paragraph.

Click here for “The FAVORS Body Paragraph Analysis Structure: Integration and Synthesis Process.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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