Archive for August 22nd, 2011

Table 16: Keep, Revise, Remove Suggestions for Body Paragraphs

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Third Part: Abbreviating Analysis (Task #3: Abbreviate)” within the paper.

You may print the table for class discussions.

Table 16: Keep, Revise, Remove Suggestions for Body Paragraphs  

Actions Body Paragraph Analysis Sentences
 Keep It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders.
 Revise At the sound of his voice is when she can start.Henry never included her in any of his business.
 Remove(Abbreviate) It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa.Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers.

Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity.

No one could get close or converse with Elisa.

She was best seen and not heard.

Group Activity

Step #3: Keep, Revise, and Remove analysis sentences falls under “Third Part: Abbreviating Analysis (Task #3: Abbreviate).”

To keep a sentence means that your sentences correlate with the events in the story. To revise a sentence means that you may have some parts that will be misleading to the reader, but you can easily rectify the problem with a word change, for example. To remove a sentence means that your sentence is filled with contradictions about events and implications that have no relation to the narrative itself.

1) For an in-class group activity, separate into groups of two to four students and exchange papers.

2) Evaluate the student’s paper.

3) Use the keep, revise, and remove techniques.

4) For each student’s paper, keep sentences that accurately convey the author’s point view, revise sentences that may might mislead the reader, and remove sentences that reflect contradiction.

5) Return the student’s paper and provide an explanation.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Figure 80: Abbreviating Quote Exercise (Remove Quotes)

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes (Task#3: Abbreviate)” within the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Figure 80: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Removing Quotes)

Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where. There is an anxiousness in Elisa. Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221). Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden. She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil. She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. No one could get close or converse with Elisa. At the sound of his voice is when she can start. Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

Group Activity

1) Remove everything before the topic sentence, which represents the first underlined sentence.

2) Keep the topic sentence.

3) Keep the quote that supports a statement the student makes directly before it.

4) Remove the lines after the underlined quote.

5) Locate the analysis. Abbreviate the analysis.

Click here for “Third Part: Abbreviating Analysis (Task #3: Abbreviate).”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 15: Exploration of Option #3, Outline of Body Paragraph Sentences (Table Format)

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes (Task#3: Abbreviate)” within the search box.

You may print the table for class discussions.

Step #6 falls under the Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes, which is section of Task #3: Abbreviate.

Step #6: Choose one option.

  • Option #1: Choose to keep the topic sentence and remove the quote and the follow-up explanations.
  • Option #2: Develop a different topic sentence for the quote and the follow-up explanations.
  • Option #3: Sort the sentences that appear to express the same ideas into sections. Think about the main idea of each sentence. What is the subject of the sentence doing? What is the subject of the sentence. Ask these questions during the process and provide an explanation for each section that details the main idea of each section.

Use this in-class activity as a guide for revising your own academic essays.

Table 15: Exploration of Option #3, Outline of Body Paragraph Sentences (Table Format)

Sections Main Idea Explanations (for Sections) Body Paragraph Sentences
 #1 This body paragraph sentence centers on a discussion of Elisa’s need to know what Henry is talking about with the two men in business suits. Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where.There is an anxiousness in Elisa.
 #2 These body paragraph sentences center on a discussion of Elisa’s work with the chrysanthemums. Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221).Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden.  She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil.  She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed.
 #3 These body paragraph sentences center on a discussion of Elisa’s husband’s voice. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. At the sound of his voice is when she can start.
 #4 These body paragraph sentences center on a discussion of the wire fence. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221).It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa.  It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders.  Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers.No one could get close or converse with Elisa.Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity.  Henry never included her in any of his business.  She was best seen and not heard.

Option #3 is a much longer process. It may be too long for a five- to seven-page paper.  However, for a paper that runs ten to twelve pages or more, you will need this option. It is much more difficult to sustain the thesis throughout longer papers.

Group Activity

Rewrite the student’s body paragraph sentences.

Refer to Steinbeck’s work for guidance.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Figure 79: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Sample Student Passage)

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes (Task#3: Abbreviate)” into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Figure 79: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Sample Student Passage)

Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where. There is an anxiousness in Elisa. Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221). Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden. She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil.  She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. No one could get close or converse with Elisa. At the sound of his voice is when she can start. Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

Group Activity

Step #1: Highlight the quotes by adding shading. Use a highlighter.

Step #2: Determine which of the sentences represents the topic sentence.

Step #3: Determine if the quote supports the topic sentence of the paragraph.

Step #4: Analyze the sentences that follow after the quote.

Step #5: Choose one option.

  • Option #1: Choose to keep the topic sentence and remove the quote and the follow-up explanations.
  • Option #2: Develop a different topic sentence for the quote and the follow-up explanations.
  • Option #3: Sort the sentences that appear to express the same ideas into sections. Think about the main idea of each sentence. What is the subject of the sentence doing? What is the subject of the sentence. Ask these questions during the process and provide an explanation for each section that details the main idea of each section.

Use this in-class activity as a guide for revising your own academic essays.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Third Part: Abbreviating Analysis (Task #3: Abbreviate)

The third and final part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Process: Abbreviating Plot Summary, Quotes, and Analysis involves removing analysis that does not support the topic sentence, that does not support a quote, and that appears to be off topic in the forms of general rambling, gobbledygook, and/or circumlocution.

Step #1: Highlight the analysis. If you are working from a hardcopy, use a highlighter. If you are working on the computer, then add shading, or bolding, or cut and paste the sentences to a separate Word document. The analysis should represent those lines that are not plot summary, that are not quotes and that are not the topic sentence. Within your paper, the analysis should represent an extended viewpoint of the ideas you are expressing in the body paragraph. We have cut and pasted the quote, the statements that support the quote, and the analysis sentences below.  The analysis sentences are underlined.

“He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders.  Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. No one could get close or converse with Elisa. At the sound of his voice is when she can start. Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

Step #2: Validate your assumptions. Any statement you make within your paper represents an assumption until you provide evidence from the primary source to validate the assumption. Therefore, take each sentence one at a time and examine the ideas expressed within the sentence. Ask yourself this one question: Can this statement be found in the text, whether directly or implicitly? Provide an explanation. Provide a solution.

Analysis Sentence #1: It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. 

  • Explanation: Nothing in the story suggests that the fence has been put there to protect Elisa. Here is the quote: “Elisa started at the sound of her husband’s voice. He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs and chickens” (Steinbeck 255). The word “evident” means easy or clear to see or understand, obvious. No connection can really be made between the two ideas: 1) that the fence protects the flowers and 2) that the fence also protects Elisa. No connection can be made because we don’t know who erected the fence and placed it around the flower garden. The only thing we know from reading this quote is that the purpose of the fence is to protect the flower garden.
  • Solution: Remove this analysis sentence. Abbreviate.

Analysis Sentence #2: It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders.

  • Explanation: It is possible to make this assumption without a quote to support it. It is common sense to suggest that the fence is necessary to protect the chrysanthemums from the animals. If Elisa doesn’t use a fence, the animals will mess up her hard work.
  • Solution: Keep this analysis sentence.

Analysis Sentence #3: Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers.

  • Explanation: Nothing in the quote or the story suggests that Henry feels a need to protect Elisa. We only read of Elisa concerned about the chrysanthemums.
  • Solution: Remove this analysis sentence. Abbreviate.

Analysis Sentence #4: No one could get close or converse with Elisa.

  • Explanation: This sentence contradicts what actually happens in the story.  We read of Elisa conversing with the stubble-bearded man while Henry and the two men “ride up the pale yellow hillside in search of the steers” (Steinbeck 255).
  • Solution: Remove this analysis sentence. Abbreviate.

Analysis Sentence #5: At the sound of his voice is when she can start.

  • Explanation: Elisa does start at the sound of her husband’s voice, but this assumption is misleading. The use of “when” connotes “condition.” In other words, if Henry doesn’t speak, Elisa can’t start; or Elisa can only start working in her garden when her husband says so. These assumptions and the conditions are misleading. The quote from the story is simple. It reads, “Elisa started at the sound of her husband’s voice” (Steinbeck 255). She didn’t necessarily need Henry’s voice to permit her to start tending the garden. She was already in the process of gardening when Henry approached her.
  • Solution:You have two options.
  • Revise this sentence so that it correlates with the ideas expressed within the narrative. Paraphrase and insert citation information after the sentence.
  • Incorporate the actual quote. This will help to prevent you from misleading the reader.

Analysis Sentence #6: Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity.

  • Explanation: This sentence contradicts the events in the story. On the first page of the story, Steinbeck presents Elisa as watching Henry talk to the two men in business suits while simultaneously “cutting down the old year’s chrysanthemum stalks with a pair of short and powerful scissors” (254).
  • Solution: Remove this analysis sentence. Abbreviate.

Analysis Sentence #7: Henry never included her in any of his business.

  • Explanation: This sentence is misleading and true at the same time.
  • The true part of this statement centers on how Steinbeck presents the characters. Henry is talking to two men and Elisa is working in her garden.
  • There are two misleading parts. The first misleading part of this statement centers on the student’s assumption that Elisa is not  worthy enough of an individual for Henry to include her in the business transaction between him and the men. The second misleading part centers on the student’s assumption that Elisa and Henry don’t communicate about Henry’s business dealings. This is not true. We read on the second page of the story a dialogue between Henry and Elisa about the former’s business dealing. Here is the dialogue to validate our assumption.

“ ‘Henry, who were those 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.’ “

  • Solution: Revise the analysis sentence for clarity. Remove misleading parts.

Analysis Sentence #8: She was best seen and not heard.

  • Explanation: Nothing in the narrative suggests that Elisa was best seen and not heard. In addition, this sentence is a cliché. It is too general to be meaningful. In other words, this cliché could mean a different thing to different people in different contexts. This analysis sentence also contradicts the narrative, because Elisa was seen and heard by the visitor.
  • Solution: Remove the analysis sentence. Abbreviate.

Here is a summary of the process:

Table 16: Keep, Revise, Remove Suggestions for Body Paragraphs

Actions Body Paragraph Analysis Sentences
 Keep It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders.
 Revise At the sound of his voice is when she can start.Henry never included her in any of his business.
 Remove(Abbreviate) It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa.Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers.Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity.No one could get close or converse with Elisa.She was best seen and not heard.

Step #3: Keep, Revise, and Remove analysis sentences.

To keep a sentence means that your sentences correlate with the events in the story.

To revise a sentence means that you may have some parts that will be misleading to the reader, but you can easily rectify the problem with a word change, for example.

To remove a sentence means that your sentence is filled with contradictions about events and implications that have no relation to the narrative itself.

Step #4: Remember the changes you need to make. Outline the changes as a to-do list.  Then examine the paragraph after the changes. Here is a recap of the changes.

    1. Remove everything before the topic sentence.
    2. Keep the topic sentence.
    3. Keep the quote that supports a statement directly before the quote.
    4. Keep one of the analysis sentences.
    5. Revise two of the analysis sentences.
    6. Remove five of the analysis sentences.

The following paragraph only reflects the changes not the revision of sentences.

Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden. She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil. She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. At the sound of his voice is when she can start.  Henry never included her in any of his business.

Step #5: Revise.

    1. Revise for clarity.
    2. Revise for chronology.
    3. Revise for wording and sentence structure. You may have to reposition some wording or some sentences.

Enduring the process of abbreviating the analysis of your paper will help you understand what to keep, remove, and revise. This process will prepare you for revising the rest of the sentences to ensure your paper represents a balanced view of all ideas.

Click here for “Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes.”

Click here for “First Part: Abbreviating Plot Summary.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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First Part: Abbreviating Plot Summary (Task #3: Abbreviate)

The first part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Process: Abbreviating Plot Summary, Quotes, and Analysis involves removing plot summary.

Step #1: In order to determine what needs more detail, or what needs revision in terms of grammar or quality, or even what you need to remove completely, you must examine the types of sentences you have. Analyze them carefully.

    1. Quotes: How many quotes do you have in this body paragraph?
    2. Analysis: How many sentences represent analysis?
    3. Plot Summary: What is the total number of plot summary sentences?

Step #2: Address the plot summary. From the sentences that represent a summary of the story, determine which ones are necessary to support your topic sentence.

Step #3: Determine if the rest of the summary is necessary to support your topic sentence.

Step #4: If the rest of the plot summary is unnecessary, then abbreviate. To abbreviate means to shorten a word or shorten a piece of text by cutting sections or paraphrasing it.

Remove those sentences that will not sufficiently support your topic sentence. Although it is painful to remove something that you have worked hard on and have developed a relationship with, remember that you are removing parts of the body paragraph that are not serving the function necessary to your paper, which is to support the topic sentence. The body paragraph evidence supports the topic sentence; the topic sentence supports the thesis.

Just because you know how to construct a detailed plot summary and incorporate it with much skill doesn’t mean that portions of the summary or the summary itself are necessary. Get in the habit of becoming skilled at editing and revising to ensure effectiveness. Just remember that you are ensuring that each body paragraph aids in keeping the reader’s attention.

Sometimes incorporating the wrong plot summary can contradict your thesis. Even more so, sometimes incorporating the wrong quote can affect how the reader understands your points.  Consider the following example below from the student essay. Immediately following the excerpt is a step-by-step process to analyzing the excerpt.

Figure 79: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Sample Student Passage)

Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where. There is an anxiousness in Elisa. Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221). Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden. She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil.  She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. No one could get close or converse with Elisa. At the sound of his voice is when she can start. Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

The step by step process is accessible via the following link.

Click here for “Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes (Task #3: Abbreviate).”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes (Task #3: Abbreviate)

The second part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Process: Abbreviating Plot Summary, Quotes, and Analysis involves removing quotes that do not support the topic sentence. Figure 79: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Sample Student Passage) begins our discussion.

Figure 79: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Sample Student Passage)

Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where. There is an anxiousness in Elisa. Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221). Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden. She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil.  She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. No one could get close or converse with Elisa. At the sound of his voice is when she can start. Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

Step #1: Highlight the quotes by adding shading. If you are working from a hardcopy, use a highlighter. In Figure 79, we have applied bolding to direct quotes.

Step #2: Determine which of the sentences represents the topic sentence. Underline the topic sentence. Remember you should know the topic sentence that supports the thesis.

Step #3: Cut and paste the topic sentence and the quote that you are using to support the topic sentence. The example is below. (We will address the first sentence that appears to be the topic sentence in another step-by-step process later.)

Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden.  She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil. She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221).

Step #4: Determine if the quote actually supports the topic sentence of your paragraph.  There will be quotes that you use to support other statements you write. Worry about them later. This exercise primarily helps you to abbreviate those particular quotes that do not support your topic sentence. The above quote does not support the topic sentence.  For example, the topic sentence prepares the reader for a discussion of Elisa’s habit of tending her garden; but the quote doesn’t embody the ideas expressed within the topic sentence.  However, the quote does support the sentence directly before it. Before determining what to do in a case where the quote does support a statement you have made but not the topic sentence, continue going through the steps to reach a final decision about what to do.

Step #5: Analyze the sentences that follow after the quote.

a. Identify only those sentences that specifically provide a follow-up explanation or evaluation of the quote.

b. Number those sentences. If you are working from a hardcopy, just number the sentences in different color ink. If you are working on the computer, separate those sentences from the body paragraph by cutting and pasting them into a different Word document.

c. Compare the quote and the supporting sentences that follow. Scan for differences and contradictions.

The topic sentence, the quote, and the sentences that follow are below. They all have been separated into a list also.

Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden.  She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil.  She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed.  She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice.  “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221).  It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa.  It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. No one could get close or converse with Elisa. At the sound of his voice is when she can start. Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

Topic Sentence: Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden.

Quote: “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221).

Follow-up Explanation #1 (Pre-Analysis): It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa.

Follow-up Evaluation #1 (Analysis): It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders.

Follow-up Evaluation #2 (Analysis): Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers.

Option #1: Choose to keep the topic sentence and remove the quote and the follow-up explanation. For this option, you can keep the quote, but you cannot keep the follow-up explanations. The quote supports a sentence before it. The rest of the follow-up explanation/evaluations support the quote, but not the topic sentence.

Option #2: Develop a different topic sentence for the quote and the follow-up explanations. Everything that you write in the body paragraph must support the topic sentence.

Option #3: Sort the sentences. This option is only necessary if you cannot come to a decision about what to do for option #1 and option #2. Consider the following steps during this process.

Step #6:  Choose one option.

  • Sort the sentences that appear to express the same ideas into sections.
  • Think about the main idea of each sentence. What is the subject of the sentence? What is the subject of the sentence doing? What is the sentence about? Ask these questions during the process to figure out how to separate the sentences into different sections.
  • Provide an explanation for each section that details the main idea of the section.

You can choose any method to help yourself during this process. You can choose to outline the sentences or cut and paste them into a table. It may be helpful to perform an outline in order to know how many sections you may have to create a table. There are two examples for Option #3: an outline and a table.

Exploration of Option #3: Outline of Body Paragraph Sentences (Outline Format)

Section #1: This body paragraph sentence represents a discussion of Elisa’s need to know what Henry is talking about with the two men in business suits.

Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where.  There is an anxiousness in Elisa.

Section #2: These body paragraph sentences represent a discussion of Elisa’s work with the chrysanthemums.

Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221).

Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden.  She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil. She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed.

Section #3: These body paragraph sentences represent a discussion of the voice of Elisa’s husband.

She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice.

At the sound of his voice is when she can start.

Section #4: These body paragraph sentences represent a discussion of the wire fence.

“He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). 

It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers.

No one could get close or converse with Elisa.

Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

Table 15: Exploration of Option #3, Outline of Body Paragraph Sentences (Table Format)

Sections Main Idea Explanations (for Sections) Body Paragraph Sentences
 #1 This body paragraph sentence centers on a discussion of Elisa’s need to know what Henry is talking about with the two men in business suits. Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where.There is an anxiousness in Elisa.
 #2 These body paragraph sentences center on a discussion of Elisa’s work with the chrysanthemums. Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221). Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden.  She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil.  She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed.
 #3 These body paragraph sentences center on a discussion of Elisa’s husband’s voice. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice.At the sound of his voice is when she can start.
 #4 These body paragraph sentences center on a discussion of the wire fence. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa.  It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders.  Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers.No one could get close or converse with Elisa.Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity.  Henry never included her in any of his business.  She was best seen and not heard.

Option #3 is a much longer process. It may be too long for a five-page to seven-page paper.  However, for a paper that runs ten to twelve pages or more, you will need this option. Remember that it is much more difficult to sustain the thesis throughout longer papers.

Step #7: This step is only necessary if you want to remove sentences that happen to be before the actual topic sentences. Let’s bring forward the whole paragraph.

Figure 80: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Removing Quotes)

Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where. There is an anxiousness in Elisa. Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221). Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden. She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil. She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. No one could get close or converse with Elisa. At the sound of his voice is when she can start. Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

1) In the case of this example, we can remove everything before the topic sentence, which is the first sentence underlined.

2) We can keep the topic sentence.

3) We can keep the quote that supports a statement the student makes directly before it.

However, the lines directly after the quote (underlined), that are supposed to support the quote, may have to be removed. Therefore, we have to consider abbreviating the analysis.

Click here for “Third Part: Abbreviating Analysis.”

Click here for “Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes.”

Click here for “First Part: Abbreviating Plot Summary.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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The FAVORS Step-by-Step Process: Abbreviating Plot Summary, Quotes, and Analysis

To correct problems with abbreviating, or deleting, plot summary that is lengthy, quotes that don’t support the topic sentence, and analysis that doesn’t support the topic sentence or the quote, follow the links below to guide you through the revision process.

This process falls under Task #3: Abbreviate. See the “Analysis Revision Tasks” category for more information. You may also click the link.

This is a three-part process. Click any one of the links below to access tools and solutions.

First Part: Abbreviating Plot Summary

Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes

Third Part: Abbreviating Analysis

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Figure 78: Removing Quotes Exercise

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Task #3: Abbreviate” into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Figure 78: Removing Quotes Exercise

Steinbeck shows Elisa startled by her own whisper; she ran back into the house and prepared for Henry’s arrival and their departure into town. In this part of the narrative, Elisa is exhaustively making preparations. After her shower, “she puts on her newest under-clothing and her nicest stockings and the dress which was the symbol of her prettiness.  She worked carefully on her hair, penciled her eyebrows and roughed her lips” (Steinbeck 226). Before, as stated earlier, Steinbeck shows Elisa as representing a man through her attire. Now the dress symbolizes, as the author states, her prettiness; or the more appealing, attractive part of Elisa. Henry comes in and comments on how nice she looks. She questions his motive and he returns dumbfounded.  He comments again on how strong she looks and she replies, “I am strong?  Yes, strong . . . I never knew before how strong . . .” (Steinbeck 226). It is clear that even though she concludes that she is strong, she still doesn’t feel it because she had to question first and answer later.

Group Activity

Figure 78 represents an excerpt of a student’s essay. Read the excerpt. Refer to Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” when necessary.

1) Count the number of sentences within the excerpt. Separate the sentences by categories:

  • quotes
  • analysis
  • plot summary

2) Total the number of quotes.

3) Total the number of sentences that represent analysis.

4) Total the number of sentences that represent plot summary.

5) Evaluate the sentences that represent analysis and plot summary.

6) Rewrite the plot summary sentences by developing an analysis.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Figure 77: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Plot Summary Critique)

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Task #3: Abbreviate” into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

Steinbeck shows Elisa startled by her own whisper; she ran back into the house and prepared for Henry’s arrival and their departure into town. In this part of the narrative, Elisa is exhaustively making preparations. After her shower, “she puts on her newest under-clothing and her nicest stockings and the dress which was the symbol of her prettiness. She worked carefully on her hair, penciled her eyebrows and roughed her lips” (Steinbeck 226). Before, as stated earlier, Steinbeck shows Elisa as representing a man through her attire. Now the dress symbolizes, as the author states, her prettiness; or the more appealing, attractive part of Elisa. Henry comes in and comments on how nice she looks. She questions his motive and he returns dumbfounded. He comments again on how strong she looks and she replies, “I am strong? Yes, strong . . . I never knew before how strong . . .” (Steinbeck 226). It is clear that even though she concludes that she is strong, she still doesn’t feel it because she had to question first and answer later.

Figure 77: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Plot Summary Critique)

Problem

The student provides ample plot summary, but little to no analysis.

Questions

1) What is the context of the whisper?

2) Why does Steinbeck present so much detail about Elisa as she prepares for her husband’s arrival?

3) What is the difference between Steinbeck’s presentation of Elisa at the beginning and the presentation the reader now experiences of her?

4) Does the dress only symbolize prettiness or indicate the separation of gender roles within the context of the literary work?

5) Elisa likes comments. Why?

6) Think about two contexts: the visitor’s comments and Henry’s.

Group Activity

Answer the questions above.

Develop an analysis based upon the questions.

Refer to Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” for textual evidence.

Click here for “Figure 78: Removing Quotes Exercise.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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