Archive for August 24th, 2011

Task #8: Sand

Sand

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

In reference to revising your analysis, sanding refers to making sure that all sentences within your paper are grammatically correct. There are some common grammatical mistakes that students make. When evaluating and revising your essays, check first for the following:

Comma Splices

Fragments

Run-ons

Parallelism

Dangling Modifiers

Misplaced Modifiers

Verb Tense Shifts

Subject-Verb Disagreement

Capitalization

Spelling

For more information about these concepts, consult your course grammar and writing handbook.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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The FAVORS Definition of Thesis (Task #7: Integrate)

The FAVORS Definition of Thesis falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment),” “Case Studies,” and “Analysis Revision Tasks” categories or by typing “Task #7: Integrate” into the search box.

You may print the information for class discussions.

The thesis is a vision statement where the student is both author and visionary for the paper.

The thesis expresses the goals and plans of the paper. It establishes an overall general objective for the topic sentences (the troops) so that the objective can be divided into manageable and actionable parts to produce a measurable outcome.

To put it simply, the thesis is the order, in whole form. Each subsequent paragraph represents an extension and/or a part of the thesis.

To best understand how to integrate, or maintain, the thesis throughout the body of the paper, let’s bring in a military analogy.

Level 1: The captain of the thesis receives the thesis (order) from the student, divides it into manageable parts, and gives instructions to the lieutenant commander of body paragraphs.

Level 2: The lieutenant commander of body paragraphs receives the thesis, divides it into manageable parts, orders body paragraphs to support the thesis, and gives instructions to the first lieutenant of topic sentences to develop topic sentences that will support the thesis.

  • Body Paragraph #1 will incorporate a quote under three lines from author #1 to support the topic sentence (the lieutenant commander of topic sentences).
  • After each quote, Body Paragraph #1 must follow up with an explanation and an evaluation of the quote.
  • Body Paragraph #1 will prepare a transition statement for Body Paragraph #2.

Level 3: The first lieutenant of topic sentences receives the order for body paragraphs, divides the order into five manageable parts, defines what will be in the topic sentences, creates topic sentences, and gives instructions to the second lieutenant of examples, descriptions, definitions, explanations, and evaluations to create supporting evidence for each topic sentence in order to support the thesis.

  • Topic Sentence #1 will need examples to support the thesis.
    • Topic Sentence
  • Topic Sentence #2 will need a description of the character to support the thesis.
    • Topic Sentence
  • Topic Sentence #3 will need a definition within the context of the narrative to support the thesis.
    • Topic Sentence
  • Topic Sentence #4 will need an explanation of the definition to support the thesis.
    • Topic Sentence
  • Topic Sentence #5 will need an evaluation of the examples, description, definition, and explanation to support the thesis.
    • Topic Sentence

Level 4: The second lieutenant of examples, descriptions, definitions, explanations, and evaluations receives the order from the first lieutenant of topic sentences to create supporting evidence for each topic sentence so that it supports the thesis, divides the order into five manageable parts, creates supporting evidence, and gives instructions to the other noncommissioned officers of supporting evidence to support the evidence.

  • Topic Sentence #1
    • Supporting Evidence
  • Topic Sentence #2
    • Supporting Evidence
  • Topic Sentence #3
    • Supporting Evidence
  • Topic Sentence #4
    • Supporting Evidence
  • Topic Sentence #5
    • Supporting Evidence

Level 5: The other noncommissioned officers of supporting evidence receive the order from the second lieutenant of examples, descriptions, definitions, explanations, and evaluations; divide the order into five manageable parts; develop support for the supporting evidence; and give instructions to the petty officer of transition statements to end each body paragraph, prepare for the next body paragraph, and prepare to desist all activities.

  • Support Team Alpha: Support for Supporting Evidence
  • Support Team Beta: Support for Supporting Evidence
  • Support Team Charlie: Support for Supporting Evidence
  • Support Team Delta: Support for Supporting Evidence
  • Support Team Echo: Support for Supporting Evidence
  • Transition Team Ford 1
    • Body Paragraph #1: End with Transition Statement for #1
  • Transition Team Georgia 2
    • Body Paragraph #2: End with Transition Statement for #2
  • Transition Team Hawk 3
    • Body Paragraph #3: End with Transition Statement for #3
  • Transition Team Iris 4
    • Body Paragraph #4: End with Transition Statement for #4
  • Transition Team Jane 5
    • Body Paragraph #5: End with Transition Statement for #5
  • Conclusion: Prepare to desist.

Level 6: The petty officer of transition statements receives the order from the other noncommissioned officers of supporting evidence to end each body paragraph, prepares for the next body paragraph, and prepares to desist all activities; divides the order into manageable parts; and gives instructions to the enlisted men of revision support to confirm and check the accuracy of each instruction that supports the thesis (order).

Level 7: The enlisted men of revision support confirm and check for accuracy of each instruction that integrates and supports the thesis (order).

Here is a quick outline of the different roles the thesis plays within this example.

Table 25: Outline of Roles for the Thesis (The FAVORS Definition of Thesis Exercise) 

Officer Role 
Captain of the Thesis Gives instructions to the lieutenant commander of body paragraphs
Lieutenant Commander of Body Paragraphs Gives instructions to the first lieutenant of topic sentences to develop topic sentences that will support the thesis
First Lieutenant of Topic Sentences Gives instructions to the second lieutenant of examples, descriptions, definitions, explanations, and evaluations to create supporting evidence for each topic sentence to support the thesis
Second Lieutenant of examples, descriptions, definitions, explanations, and evaluations Gives instructions to the other noncommissioned officers of supporting evidence to support the evidence
Other Noncommissioned Officers of supporting evidence Give instructions to the petty officer of transition statements to end each body paragraph, prepare for the next body paragraph, and prepare to desist all activities
Petty Officer Gives instructions to the enlisted men of revision support to confirm and check the accuracy of each instruction that supports the thesis (order)
Enlisted Men of Revision Support Confirm and check for accuracy of each instruction that integrates and supports the thesis (order)

Murphy’s illustration of the command structure represents a way in which the initial order (the vision) trickles down the military command chain as individual mission objectives for different parts (people) of the whole group. Each person has an instruction (mission) from the initial vision objective and is responsible for his or her job, which is to achieve the mission successfully.

All throughout Murphy’s illustration, the order is integrated from one person and divided into different parts. Although the command order may be different for different groups who are a part of the same platoon, the order doesn’t represent a deviation from the initial vision objective.  The order is integrated at every level.

The same is true for the example I have provided above. The thesis (order) starts with the student and is integrated within the body paragraphs, topic sentences, examples, explanations, evaluations, and other supporting evidence. In essence, no paragraph should deviate from the path the thesis has set. Whichever method the student chooses for the thesis, every subsequent paragraph must consistently adhere to the mission and objective of the thesis.

Click here to print out a copy of Murphy’s excerpt.

Click here to return to “Task #7: Integrate.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Task #7: Integrate

Integrate

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

Integrate the thesis throughout the paper.

To best understand how to integrate your ideas within the paper, let’s deviate from the student essay and include an excerpt from James D. Murphy’s book titled Business is Combat:  A Fighter Pilot’s Guide to Winning in Modern Business Warfare.

Murphy discusses how the vision from a commanding officer must be divided into manageable parts in the section entitled “Command Structure: The Vision is not the Mission.”

A vision does not produce actionable results until it has been divided into individual missions.  Here is an excerpt from the book. The excerpt is subject to U.S. copyright and is displayed here for “educational purposes.” 

Figure 86: Sample Excerpt from James D. Murphy’s Business Text (Whole Form)

As a fighter pilot, I care very much about the overall objectives laid out by the general officers of the United States Air Force. . . . But I don’t operate in a generalized world.  My world is very specific.  I’m an F-15 air superiority fighter pilot.  I don’t drop bombs.  I don’t have a thirty-millimeter tank-killing gun like the A-10. . . . I do one thing well, and that’s provide air cover for ingressing bombers by taking out airborne threats.  I do not operate under the same rules as an F-117 Stealth pilot, or an F-16 pilot.My mission objective is very specific, tied totally to my individual capability and my training.As such, it’s imperative that the mission I’m assigned is specific and precise, not vague or general.  Imagine if I went up in the air with only the following orders:  ‘Murphy, your objective is to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.  Good luck—let’s go kick some ass.’  It’s okay for Norman Schwarzkopf to say that; in fact, that’s what he’s supposed to say.

His job is to establish an overall objective for the troops, and to do it in such a way that all participants understand it and get behind it.  He probably doesn’t even know how I do what I do.  But he doesn’t need to know.  He simply needs to lay out a straightforward overall objective that can be divided into manageable parts that, when activated, will lead inexorably to the achievement of his objective.How does this happen?

The military command structure underneath Schwarzkopf has to take his general vision and push it down through the ranks and into the cockpits, subs, and trenches—where it is presented not as a vision, but as a mission.

Directly underneath Schwarzkopf, the brigadier generals break the vision down into its individual parts—the Army does this, the Air Force does that, and so on.  Next, the commanding generals evaluate their individual assets and create an overall operations plan.  This called the frag, short for fragmentary order, the overall battle plan broken down into the relevant parts.  The bombers, fighters, and ground forces are all commanded to converge on a certain target at a certain time and in a certain sequence.

One level down, other officers convert the frag into even smaller parts.  The 1st Fighter Wing and its F-15s do this; the F-117 guys from Holliman do that.  The KC-10s will be waiting to give gas here, the A-10s will attack tanks there.

Yet another level down, wing commanders divide the frag again.  For example, they might decide that twelve F-15s will be responsible for providing air cover over a specific piece of ground, so that thirty-six bombers can come in under them and pound enemy targets that our ground troops will then secure.

With the group objective stated for the F-15s, the individual flight leaders, who might be young captains or lieutenants, will look at the airspace they need to sanitize and organize the F-15s with altitude blocks and lanes of responsibility so that we can absolutely, positively do our job—which is to make certain no one hops on the tails of the bombers.

At this point Schwarzkopf’s vision has become a mission for me, the individual pilot.  I don’t set my sights on something as personally unattainable as kicking Iraqis out of Kuwait, but I am ready to give my life to protect an important lane of airspace with my F-15.  I’m ready to give my life in the execution of a clear, measurable, attainable mission that supports the overall vision of my commander. . . .

How often do companies ask their employees to execute their jobs under the banner of a ‘mission statement’ or a generalized corporate goal?  A mission statement is fine, but like an overall objective, it isn’t specific enough to lead anybody anywhere.  Mission statements aren’t marching orders.  They sound good, they make sense, but they have zero effect until the organization breaks them down into finer and finer pieces, from rank to rank, presented clearly to each and every employee as a specific task with a measurable outcome that is his and his alone to perform. . . .

Like the Air Force, your company should use its command structure to filter a general vision down to the level of the individual employee.  And it shouldn’t be a great leap from the general vision to the individual missions, either.  There should be a logical, sequential breakdown of the vision, so that each group can responsibly accomplish its human-scale goals.

Source:  Business is Combat by James D. Murphy, pages 42-25

Before I get into a discussion of how this excerpt relates to integration, let’s outline Murphy’s structure first.  All we need are key points he makes about how the vision needs to be broken down into manageable parts.  We don’t need to summarize his words.  The exact wording suffices.

Outline Form

1) “Directly underneath Schwarzkopf, the brigadier generals break the vision down into its individual parts—the Army does this, the Air Force does that, and so on.”

2) “Next, the commanding generals evaluate their individual assets and create an overall operations plan. This called the frag, short for fragmentary order, the overall battle plan broken down into the relevant parts.”

3) “The bombers, fighters, and ground forces are all commanded to converge on a certain target at a certain time and in a certain sequence.”

4) “One level down, other officers convert the frag into even smaller parts.”

  • “The 1st Fighter Wing and its F-15s do this;”
  • “the F-117 guys from Holliman do that.”
  • “The KC-10s will be waiting to give gas here,”
  • “the A-10s will attack tanks there.”

5) “Yet another level down, wing commanders divide the frag again.”

  • “For example, they might decide that twelve F-15s will be responsible for providing air cover over a specific piece of ground, “
  • “so that thirty-six bombers can come in under them and pound enemy targets”
  • “that our ground troops will then secure.”

6) “With the group objective stated for the F-15s, the individual flight leaders, who might be young captains or lieutenants, will look at the airspace they need to sanitize”

  • “and organize the F-15s with altitude blocks and lanes of responsibility”
  • “so that we can absolutely, positively do our job—which is to make certain no one hops on the tails of the bombers.”

7) “At this point Schwarzkopf’s vision has become a mission for me, the individual pilot.”

  • “I’m ready to give my life in the execution of a clear, measurable, attainable mission that supports the overall vision of my commander. . . .”

I chose to present the excerpt as a whole and in parts (outline) so you can examine the whole; and afterward the different parts each individual has to assume.

Whole Form: The excerpt in whole form represents symbolically a typical vision; this is how a vision statement looks (or a typical mission statement). It hasn’t been broken down. It isn’t measurable. There aren’t any instructions.

Outline Form: On the other hand, the same excerpt in outline form represents symbolically how the whole has been divided into individual, measurable parts. You could take each idea represented by a bullet point and give the idea as an instruction to the person responsible for a particular job. Now the vision has become measurable. The instructions will ensure a measurable result.

I know you’re thinking, “How does this excerpt relate to integration? How does this excerpt relate to how you need to ensure that you integrate your thesis throughout the essay?”

Before we can answer these questions, let’s review our definition of what “thesis” means.

Click here for “The FAVORS Definition of Thesis (Task #7: Integrate).”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Task #6: Sample

Sample

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

Take a quote and examine it against your own statement or the whole body paragraph to ensure that your statement complements the quote. Let’s bring forward an example from the student essay.

Figure 85: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Sampling Body Paragraph Exercise)

Steinbeck presents Elisa as inquisitive and strong-minded when it comes to thoughts, but fails on her actions.  Elisa questions the visitor as to whether or not he sleeps in the wagon; she tells him that it must be nice and wishes that women could do such things.  He replies that it isn’t the kind of place for a woman.  On the defensive, she questions his knowledge on his stated opinion.  He responds in protest that he doesn’t know and hands over the saucepans hurriedly.  He didn’t want to argue with her.  Elisa paid him for his time and replied, “You might be surprised to have a rival . . . I can sharpen scissors . . . I can beat the dents . . . I can show you what a woman might do” (Steinbeck 225).  Instead of say what a woman can do, she said might.  The whole objective of the visitor was to get what he wanted and be on his way.  He never concerned himself with the chrysanthemums.  It was apparent, because when he gathered up his things to leave, he had forgotten about the chrysanthemums; and Elisa failed to notice.  She was so preoccupied with the compliments made to her about her flowers she played into his deception.  As he left, she mumbled aloud, “That’s a bright direction.  There’s a glowing there”(Steinbeck 226).

Step #1: Highlight the quotes. Apply shading by using a highlighter; if you are working in Word, use shading or bolding.

Step #2: Underline the statements. Underline the statements before and after the quote. Underline only those statements that have a direct relationship to the quote.

Step #3: Mirror the quote and the statement. If you are working in Word, cut and paste the quote and the statement(s) into a separate Word document. If you are working from a hardcopy, make sure the paragraph you are working on is free from any correction marks from a previous activity. You may want to print out a new copy of the page with the paragraph. Let’s bring forward the example.

Table 24: Sentence/Quote/Follow-Up Explanation Comparisons (Sampling Body Paragraph Exercise) 

 Prep Statement
Elisa questions the visitor as to whether or not he sleeps in the wagon; she tells him that it must be nice and wishes that women could do such things.  He replies that it isn’t the kind of place for a woman.
 Quote Elisa paid him for his time and replied, 1 “You might be surprised to have a rival . . . 2 I can sharpen scissors . . . 3 I can beat the dents . . . 4 I can show you what a woman might do”(Steinbeck 225).
 Follow-up explanation Instead of say what a woman can do, she said 1 might.

Step #4: Number the parts.

  • Number the part(s) of the quote first.
  • Number the part(s) of the statement(s) before the quote.
  • Number the part(s) of the statement(s) after the quote (follow-up explanation).

Step #5: Outline the parts of the quote. List the parts.

  • “You might be surprised to have a rival.”
  • “I can sharpen scissors.”
  • “I can beat the dents.”
  • “I can show you what a woman might do.”

Step #6:  Choose an option.

Option #1: Revising the statement(s). Keep the quote and revise any statement(s) that does not have the same parts as the quote. How and where you incorporate the quote is important, but how you support the quote is a skill that many still lack. People typically only support the ideas they perceive are important in the quote, failing to consider the quote as a whole with different meanings and parts.                                                       

  • Use the quote as your guide and number the parts of your statement(s).
  • Square the statements with the quote.

Option #2: Deleting the statement(s). Keep the quote and delete any statement(s) that does not sufficiently support the quote. This includes deleting either the prep statement or the follow-up explanation or both. Statements that do not support the quote become the greatest stumbling blocks to the reader. They are distracting. Therefore, search specifically for statements that will hinder learning.

Option #3: Deleting the quote. This is rare, but it is possible that the quote doesn’t fit. Don’t make something fit that doesn’t have any relation at all to the ideas expressed within your statements.

Option #4: Deleting the statements. This is not rare. Oftentimes, there is nothing wrong with the quote. Sometimes the quote functions well without the prep statement, for example. Each case is different.

Option #5: Deleting both the quote and the statements. If you discover that both the quote and the statements do not fit within your discussion, then you must garner up the courage to delete them both. Never depend on a quote so much to the point that you feel loss without it. The quote is your tool, not the other way around. You determine if a quote will be viable to your discussion or not. Get in the habit of deleting quotes, statements and sometimes whole paragraphs, when necessary.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Sample Student Paper on “Chrysanthemums”

The Sample Student Paper falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing the title in the search box. We use the student paper as sample excerpts for tasks under the Analysis Acronym (Revision) category.

For teaching purposes, we do not change the wording, formatting, and structuring of the student essay. We also do not change the grammar of both the essay below and the sample excerpts of multiple glossary comments.

Our mission is to teach you that multiple drafts are necessary before submitting the final version to your instructors. The student’s essay below represents the first and last draft. The student, in essence, just proofread for grammar, albeit unsuccessfully, and for MLA formatting rules.

Use the essay as a method for teaching drafting and establishing revision objectives. Some of these objectives must include references to thesis, accuracy, logic, cohesion, wordiness, structure, grammar, and supporting evidence. We believe the essay will not only be useful for discussions on “Chrysanthemums,” but also for all literary works and writing objectives.

You may print the student paper for class discussion.

Figure 89: Sample Student Paper on “Chrysanthemums”

Regina Y. Favors

Professor Cost

English 208

23 February 1999

“Chrysanthemums”

          In “Chrysanthemums” John Steinbeck, the author, focuses on Elisa Allen, one of the main characters.  She is presented as weak in that her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums; Steinbeck focuses on how they provide insight into Elisa and how she relates to them, religiously.  He implies that even though she fits a weak character, there are places in the narrative at the beginning that suggest some strong points and her longing towards the end.  There are a number of inferences that Steinbeck clearly illustrates how she is presented as weak and should therefore be discussed.

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.

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.

Henry follows, after Elisa starts gardening, by commenting on how well she’s done.  He recognizes that she does have a gift and she replies in a tone unheard as very sure of herself.

Elisa continues gardening when she is approached by a visitor in a wagon off his usual road.  They both exchange words and humor and Elisa gives him the directions back onto the road.  The visitor claims he’s in no hurry to leave and leans over her fence.  He asks her if she noticed the writing on his wagon; “I mend pots and sharpen knives and scissors . . .” (Steinbeck 223).  He told Elisa that he hadn’t had anything to do all day.  He reminds her that he’s off his general road and that normally he would have work today.  Elisa became annoyed at his request.  It wasn’t until he looked down at her chrysanthemums and commented on them, that she let down her guard.  “The irritation and resistance melted from Elisa’s face” (Steinbeck 223).  In order to get what he wanted the visitor told Elisa exactly what she wanted to hear; he changed his tone quickly and agreed with whatever she said.  He even went as far as telling her that there was a woman down the road who had everything in her garden except for chrysanthemums; the woman, he referred to, told him if he ever came across anyone with some chrysanthemums, to get her some seeds (Steinbeck 224).  Elisa instantly grew eager.  It never dawned on her that he had said not once, but twice that he was off his general road.  Since he was off is general road, he couldn’t have known which way or the other if there was a woman down the road.

Elisa, inadvertently, let the visitor through the picket gate.  She ran to her flower bed gathering the necessary seeds for the pretend woman down the road.  She gives the visitor a complete description of how to plant the seeds and the daily activity that goes along with it.  After he tells Elisa that it’s not nice to see the stars and listen to the quiet without dinner, ashamed, she is forced to find something for the visitor to do.  The visitor’s manner changes and he becomes professional when Elisa brings him two old aluminum saucepans; “Good as new I can fix them. . . . His mouth grew sure and knowing” (Steinbeck 225).

Steinbeck presents Elisa as inquisitive and strong-minded when it comes to thoughts, but fails on her actions.  Elisa questions the visitor as to whether or not he sleeps in the wagon; she tells him that it must be nice and wishes that women could do such things.  He replies that it isn’t the kind of place for a woman.  On the defensive, she questions his knowledge on his stated opinion.  He responds in protest that he doesn’t know and hands over the saucepans hurriedly.  He didn’t want to argue with her.  Elisa paid him for his time and replied, “You might be surprised to have a rival . . . I can sharpen scissors . . . I can beat the dents . . . I can show you what a woman might do” (Steinbeck 225).  Instead of say what a woman can do, she said might.  The whole objective of the visitor was to get what he wanted and be on his way.  He never concerned himself with the chrysanthemums.  It was apparent, because when he gathered up his things to leave, he had forgotten about the chrysanthemums; and Elisa failed to notice.  She was so preoccupied with the compliments made to her about her flowers she played into his deception.  As he left, she mumbled aloud, “That’s a bright direction.  There’s a glowing there” (Steinbeck 226).

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.

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.

Elisa is clearly painted as a weak character.  She is a lonely and detached woman.  The chrysanthemums created a distraction from her loneliness, her isolation because of the fence around her, and the feelings of inadequacy.  Towards the end she questions whether or not she is strong.  Steinbeck provides a clear insight into Elisa and her garden of chrysanthemums.  Henry places a protective hold on Elisa, just as she is possessive over her chrysanthemums.  Elisa started out as strong, but ended up as weak and somewhat resentful to the fact.

 

Click the link below to download the document.

The Favors Glossary Sample Student Paper on Chrysanthemums

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Analysis Acronym (Revision)

The Analysis Acronym (Revision) represents the following:

A: Account

N: Number

A: Abbreviate

L: Level

Y: Yank

S: Sample

I: Integrate

S: Sand

The acronym falls under particular tasks designed to help you revise areas of your essay. The tasks include the following:

Task #1: Account

Account for discrepancies and contradictions.

Task #2: Number

Number the events in the story. Within a single paragraph, make certain to present the events chronologically within your paper.

Task #3: Abbreviate

Remove plot summaries and extended explanations that distract the reader.

Task #4: Level

Balance viewpoints. Match the cause to the effect.  Present the pro and the con.

Task #5: Yank

Yank irrelevant data and support. These are statements that have no connection to the ideas within the essay.

Task #6: Sample

Take a quote and examine it against your own statement to ensure that your statement complements the quote.

Task #7: Integrate

Integrate the thesis throughout the paper.

Task #8: Sand

Correct grammar. Correct these particular issues: frag, ro, cs, //, mm, dm, shift, lc, cap*

Click here to print The FAVORS Analysis Checklist (Table 12).

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Task #5: Yank

Yank

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

Yank irrelevant and relevant supporting evidence. There are two types of supporting evidence that require yanking.

  • Irrelevant Supporting Evidence: These are statements and quotes that do not match the ideas expressed within the paragraph or topic sentence or the thesis. This is the type of information that has no relevance at all.
  • Relevant Supporting Evidence: These are statements and quotes that do match the ideas expressed within the paragraph or topic sentence or the thesis. This is the type of information that has relevance, but is unnecessary. The rest of the paragraph or the ideas can function sufficiently well without it, but the information doesn’t hinder learning.

Yanking is revision on a higher scale. Yanking is extreme. With revision, you hope to keep parts; and sometimes you keep parts even if they are not working well within a paragraph. However, with yanking, you can look at a sentence and reason that it shouldn’t be there or you can look at a sentence and reason that although the statement is helpful, it is unnecessary to the rest of the ideas in the paragraph.

In other words, the reader will not die if he or she doesn’t know this piece of information. You can lose a reader when a paragraph is flooded with conflicting information, distracting summaries or quotes that don’t support a topic sentence, analyses that deviate from the path of the thesis, or other information that serves no real purpose.

Let’s bring in some examples to illustrate this process. The first example, from the student essay on “Chrysanthemums,” should be familiar to you.

Figure 84: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Yanking Supporting Evidence Exercise) 

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.

Previous Determinations Associated with This Paragraph

Topic Sentence: We determined in an earlier process that the topic sentence for this paragraph was the following: Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden.

Quote: Throughout the process, we determined that the following quote supported a statement directly before it: “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).

Supporting Evidence: We also determined that the following sentences had to be completely removed, or abbreviated.

  • Sentence #1: It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa.
  • Sentence #2: Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. 
  • Sentence #3: No one could get close or converse with Elisa.
  • Sentence #4: Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity.
  • Sentence #5: She was best seen and not heard.

Topic Sentence Setup: Last, we determined that everything before the topic sentence could easily be removed.

What we did above is not yanking. These previous exercises represent the revision process. This is copyediting at its best. On the other hand, yanking requires courage. First, to determine if supporting evidence is irrelevant or relevant, we must use the thesis as a tool, as an instrument to measure ideas expressed within the body paragraphs.

Second, even if the thesis is weak and contradictory, most of what we write and read in the body paragraphs must still have some connection to the thesis. Therefore, let’s bring forward the thesis and the first body paragraph of the essay to determine if we need to yank the body paragraph.

Table 23: Thesis-Body Paragraph Comparisons (Yanking Theses Exercise)

 Thesis 1 She is presented as weak in that her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums; Steinbeck focuses on how they provide insight into Elisa and how she relates to them, religiously. 2 He implies that even though she fits a weak character, there are places in the narrative at the beginning that suggest some strong points and her longing towards the end. 3 There are a number of inferences that Steinbeck clearly illustrates how she is presented as weak and should therefore be discussed.
 1st Body 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.

Let’s examine the step-by-step process.

Step #1: Mirror. Mirror the thesis against each body paragraph, one-by-one.

Step #2: Highlight. Highlight parts of the thesis with a highlighter (hardcopy) or apply underlining (within a Word document).

Step #3: Number. Number the parts of the thesis. Number the parts of the body paragraph that correspond to the parts of the thesis.

Step #4: Yank. You have three options.

  • Option #1:  If you do not have any numbered parts in the body paragraph that correspond to the thesis parts, then you must yank the whole paragraph. The paragraph is dead weight. Dead weight usually represents plot summary.
  • Option #2: For those parts that are numbered in the body paragraph that correspond to the thesis parts, keep them. Yank the rest of the paragraph sentences.
  • Option #3: If there are parts in the body paragraph that are not numbered, but appear to be viable if revised, revise these parts so that they are congruent with the thesis parts. If you still cannot make these parts function in the way that the thesis dictates, yank them.

Click here for “Task #6: Sample.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 22: Theses Comparisons (Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs Exercise)

Table 22 falls under the comment “Analysis” and “The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process.”

You may access the table by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion” into the search box.

You may click the link to access the full discussion.

Table 22: Theses Comparisons (Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs Exercise)

Parts Introduction Thesis Conclusion Thesis 
 #1  Refers to title of the story  No reference to title of the story
 #2 Refers to name of author Refers to name of author
 #3 She is presented as weak in that her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums; Elisa is clearly painted as a weak character. She is a lonely and detached woman. The chrysanthemums created a distraction from her loneliness, her isolation because of the fence around her, and the feelings of inadequacy.
 #4 He implies that even though she fits a weak character, there are places in the narrative at the beginning that suggest some strong points and her longing towards the end. Towards the end she questions whether or not she is strong.  . . . Elisa started out as strong, but ended up as weak and somewhat resentful to the fact. 
 #5 There are a number of inferences that Steinbeck clearly illustrates how she is presented as weak. No reference to the word “inferences” 

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Table 21: Paragraph Comparisons, “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs Exercies)

Table 21 falls under the comment “Analysis” and “The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process.”

You may access the table by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion” into the search box.

You may click the link to access the full discussion.

Table 21: Paragraph Comparisons, “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs Exercise)

Introduction Paragraph Conclusion Paragraph 
In “Chrysanthemums” John Steinbeck, the author, focuses on Elisa Allen, one of the main characters.  She is presented as weak in that her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums; Steinbeck focuses on how they provide insight into Elisa and how she relates to them, religiously.  He implies that even though she fits a weak character, there are places in the narrative at the beginning that suggest some strong points and her longing towards the end.  There are a number of inferences that Steinbeck clearly illustrates how she is presented as weak and should therefore be discussed. Elisa is clearly painted as a weak character.  She is a lonely and detached woman.  The chrysanthemums created a distraction from her loneliness, her isolation because of the fence around her, and the feelings of inadequacy.  Towards the end she questions whether or not she is strong.  Steinbeck provides a clear insight into Elisa and her garden of chrysanthemums.  Henry places a protective hold on Elisa, just as she is possessive over her chrysanthemums. Elisa started out as strong, but ended up as weak and somewhat resentful to the fact.  

Group Activity

1) Critique the paragraphs.

2) On a separate sheet of paper outline the differences between the theses of both paragraphs.

3) Number the theses.

4) Determine if the parts of the introduction correspond to the parts of the conclusion.

5) Discuss your rationalizations.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion

The third and last part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process” is “Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion.”

Within both “Squaring the Author’s Text Within Your Analysis” and “Squaring Your Analysis,” we have given much attention to developing the body paragraphs, but little focus to the introduction and conclusion paragraphs of an essay. These, too, are very important sections, so let’s focus more on their significance to an essay.

In the essay on “Chrysanthemums,” the student develops two different types of theses: one for the introduction and one for the conclusion. The student did not do this on purpose; but because of a lack of preparation and careful planning, the student ends up with this type of problem.

Let’s bring forward the introduction and conclusion paragraphs of the student essay on “Chrysanthemums.”

Table 21: Paragraph Comparisons, “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs Exercise)

Introduction Paragraph Conclusion Paragraph 
In “Chrysanthemums” John Steinbeck, the author, focuses on Elisa Allen, one of the main characters.  She is presented as weak in that her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums; Steinbeck focuses on how they provide insight into Elisa and how she relates to them, religiously.  He implies that even though she fits a weak character, there are places in the narrative at the beginning that suggest some strong points and her longing towards the end.  There are a number of inferences that Steinbeck clearly illustrates how she is presented as weak and should therefore be discussed. Elisa is clearly painted as a weak character.  She is a lonely and detached woman.  The chrysanthemums created a distraction from her loneliness, her isolation because of the fence around her, and the feelings of inadequacy.  Towards the end she questions whether or not she is strong.  Steinbeck provides a clear insight into Elisa and her garden of chrysanthemums.  Henry places a protective hold on Elisa, just as she is possessive over her chrysanthemums. Elisa started out as strong, but ended up as weak and somewhat resentful to the fact.  

Here are some steps to consider as you revise the introduction and conclusion paragraphs of your essays.

Step #1: Highlight the thesis or theses of each paragraph. If you are working from a hard copy, use a highlighter. If you are working from a Word document, either apply shading or cut and paste both paragraphs into a different Word document.

  • Highlight those parts that appear to represent a thesis.

Step #2: Compare and contrast the introduction thesis with the conclusion thesis.  Determine if each thesis has parts.

  • Question #1: How many parts are in each thesis?
  • Question #2: Does each part of the introduction thesis correspond to each part of the conclusion thesis?

Step #3: Number the parts. If you are working from a hardcopy, use a different color ink. If you are working from Word, just apply underline to highlight the parts. Outline the different parts.

Introduction Thesis: These are the parts of the introduction thesis.

  • Thesis Part #1: She is presented as weak.
  • Thesis Part #2: He implies that even though she is weak, there are places in the narrative at the beginning that suggest some strong points and her longing towards the end.
  • Thesis Part #3: There are a number of inferences that Steinbeck clearly illustrates how she is presented as weak.

Conclusion Thesis: These are the parts of the conclusion thesis.

  • Thesis Part #1: Elisa is clearly painted as a weak character.
  • Thesis Part #2: Steinbeck provides a clear insight into Elisa and her garden of chrysanthemums.
  • Thesis Part #3: Elisa started out as strong, but ended up as weak and somewhat resentful to the fact.

Step #4: Outline the thesis rationalizations. Identify the reasonable explanations that support each thesis. Then outline them on a piece of paper or highlight them on the hard copy.

  • Rationalization for Introduction Thesis: her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums;
  • Rationalization for Conclusion Thesis: She is a lonely and detached woman.  The chrysanthemums created a distraction from her loneliness, her isolation because of the fence around her, and the feelings of inadequacy.

Step #5: Conduct a Paragraph Assessment. Look for gaps. Table the parts. Develop two columns. Place the introduction thesis parts in one column and the conclusion thesis parts in the second column. Fill in the gaps. An example table is below.

Table 22: Theses Comparisons (Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs Exercise)

Parts Introduction Thesis Conclusion Thesis 
 #1  Refers to title of the story No reference to title of the story
 #2 Refers to name of author Refers to name of author
 #3 She is presented as weak in that her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums; Elisa is clearly painted as a weak character. She is a lonely and detached woman. The chrysanthemums created a distraction from her loneliness, her isolation because of the fence around her, and the feelings of inadequacy.
 #4 He implies that even though she fits a weak character, there are places in the narrative at the beginning that suggest some strong points and her longing towards the end. Towards the end she questions whether or not she is strong.  . . . Elisa started out as strong, but ended up as weak and somewhat resentful to the fact.
 #5 There are a number of inferences that Steinbeck clearly illustrates how she is presented as weak. No reference to the word “inferences”

Step #6: Parallel the sentence lines. For rows #1 and #2, you can easily and quickly rectify apparent gaps by developing sentences that are similar to each other. Add these types of references to paragraphs that lack them.

  • For where there is no reference to the title in either the introduction thesis or the conclusion thesis, add a reference.
  • For where there is no reference to the author in either the introduction thesis or the conclusion thesis, add a reference.

Step #7: Square the theses. Make sure that the conclusion thesis is congruent with the introduction thesis.

The conclusion thesis must have the following:

  • the same shape of ideas with no deviation
  • the same angle in reference to approach and method
  • the same parallel lines in terms of thesis sentence structure

Sub-steps

Choose a thesis. If your introduction paragraph has more than one thesis, then choose one thesis that will be the best guide for your paper. In the case of the student essay, row #3 introduction thesis appears to be the most suitable in contrast to row #4 introduction thesis. The row #4 thesis represents a contrast within its thesis; it doesn’t set boundaries. The following is the most appropriate thesis.

  • She is presented as weak.

Keep the thesis rationalization. Doing this is dependent upon the explanation. As long as the explanation is not ambiguous, then keep it and continue through the process. However, if the explanation is ambiguous, either change it or continue through the process and change it later.

  • Ambiguous? If the explanation is ambiguous, change the statement. Examine each word to make sure that a double meaning cannot be derived from the word. Be certain that the explanation is also suitable to the thesis.
  • Unambiguous? If the explanation is not ambiguous, then consider examining each word to make sure that a double meaning cannot be derived from the word. Be certain that the explanation is also suitable to the thesis.
  • The student essay explanation is not ambiguous. Therefore, we can keep it.
  • Explanation: her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums;                      

Number. Number the parts of the thesis you have kept. Outline them on a separate sheet of paper. The thesis we are keeping is three-part.

  • Elisa is presented as weak.
  • Elisa is presented as weak by the author (implication).
  • Elisa is presented as weak because her daily activity consisted of tending her garden of chrysanthemums.

Define the word. Define how you will apply a particular word to a character. For example, if you write that the author’s thesis is strong, then define how you will use or apply “strong” in your paper. Consult a dictionary for each type of word or the word you use to classify a character, idea, statement, or opinion. Then develop an explanation that either confirms your perception of the character or an explanation that prompts a need to substitute a different word. A standard dictionary defines “weak” in the following ways:

  • not strong or fit
  • easily defeated
  • lacking strength of character
  • lacking skills or abilities
  • not working to full capacity
  • synonyms: feeble, frail, debilitated, decrepit
  • Question #1: How will you use the word throughout the body paragraphs? What will be your method?
  • Question #2: How will you use the word to characterize a character in the narrative, essay, or argument? What will be your method?
  • Question #3: Is this the most appropriate word to characterize Elisa, based upon how the author presents this character?
  • Explanation: Elisa is not the type of character who is not strong or fit, who is easily defeated, who lacks strength of character, who lacks skills or abilities, who doesn’t work to full capacity; who is feeble, frail, debilitated, or decrepit. Therefore, who is Elisa? It is not clear that you cannot use this thesis. You must reexamine the character or your focus.

Reassess the Character. Perform a character reassessment by reexamining sections of the narrative. Restudy your annotations. Search for deeper meanings that you didn’t see before. Here is a character assessment of Elisa, which will possibly lead to a revised thesis.

  • Elisa is an expert in the art of gardening.
  • Elisa is a diligent gardener.
  • Elisa is a teacher. She can teach gardening.
  • Elisa’s relationship with the other characters in the narrative is centered on her relationship with the chrysanthemums.

Locate the evidence. Since you are revising the thesis, you will either continue using the support you already have or use new support. Make sure that the support, whether old or revised, matches each part of your thesis.

  • Narrator’s Presentation of Elisa: Elisa is an expert in the art of gardening: “Elisa watched them for a moment and then went back to her work. She was thirty-five. Her face was lean and strong and her eyes were as clear as water. Her figure looked block and heavy in her gardening costume, a man’s black hat pulled low down over her eyes, clod-hopper shoes, a figured print dress almost completely covered by a big corduroy apron with four big pockets to hold the snips, the trowel and scratcher, the seeds and the knife she worked with. She wore heavy leather gloves to protect her hands while she worked.”
  • Elisa is a diligent gardener: “Elisa cast another glance toward the tractor shed. The strangers were getting into their Ford coupe. She took off a glove and put her strong fingers down into the forest of new green chrysanthemum sprouts that were growing around the old roots. She spread the leaves and looked down among the close-growing stems. No aphids were there, no sowbugs or snails or cutworms. Her terrier fingers destroyed such pests before they could get started.”
  • Elisa is a teacher: “While the man came through the picket gate Elisa ran excitedly along the geranium-bordered path to the back of the house. . . . The man stood over her. ‘I’ll tell you what to do,’ she said.  ‘You remember so you can tell the lady.’ ‘Yes, I’ll try to remember.’  ‘Well, look.  These will take root in about a month.  Then she must set them out, about a foot apart in good rich earth like this, see?’ She lifted a handful of dark soil for him to look at.  ‘They’ll grow fast and tall. Now remember this: In July tell her to cut them down, about eight inches from the ground.’ ‘Before they bloom?’ he asked. ‘Yes, before they bloom.’ Her face was tight with eagerness. ‘They’ll grow right up again. About the last of September the buds will start.’ ”
  • Elisa’s Relationship with the chrysanthemums and other characters: ‘ “ ‘You’ve got a gift with things,’ Henry observed.  ‘ “ ‘Some of those yellow chrysanthemums you had this year were ten inches across. I wish you’d work out in the orchard and raise some apples that big.’ ” ’ “Her eyes sharpened. ‘ “Maybe I could do it, too. I’ve a gift with things, all right. My mother had it. She could stick anything in the ground and make it grow. She said it was having planters’ hands that knew how to do it.’ “

Rewrite the thesis (introduction). In many cases, you will only have to rewrite the thesis. In this case, we have to create a new thesis. Consider the following.

  • In my paper, I will discuss how Steinbeck presents his character Elisa as an expert in the art of gardening. Steinbeck presents Elisa as a diligent gardener; she also has teacher-like qualities as she explains to another character the process of rooting the sprouts.  Elisa’s relationship with the other characters in the story is centered on her relationship with her chrysanthemums. I will present evidence that supports each part of my thesis. 

Develop topic sentences.

  • 1st Topic Sentence: Steinbeck presents Elisa as an expert in gardening.
  • 2nd Topic Sentence: Steinbeck presents Elisa as a diligent gardener.
  • 3rd Topic Sentence: Steinbeck presents Elisa as having teacher-like qualities.
  • 4th Topic Sentence: Steinbeck presents Elisa’s relationship with other characters in the story as centered on her relationship with the chrysanthemums.

Square the introduction thesis with the conclusion thesis. Make sure that the conclusion thesis has this four-part structure. Do the following:

  • Remove the present conclusion thesis.
  • Type your new introduction thesis at the end of the Word document.
  • Type the new topic sentences at the end of your Word document.
  • When it is time to write the new conclusion, let the new thesis and the new topic sentences be your guide for creating the conclusion. 
  • Do not repeat word-for-word the thesis and the topic sentences in the conclusion thesis.

The most important thing to remember is to ensure that the ideas expressed within the conclusion thesis are congruent and parallel to the ideas expressed within the introduction thesis. The introduction paragraph is the guide, not the conclusion. A conclusion only concludes ideas.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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