Archive for category Analysis Revision Tasks

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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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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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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Squaring Your Analysis

The second part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process is “Squaring Your Analysis.” This squaring process is different from the previous process where you have to square the author’s argument within your analysis.

It is much easier to annotate the author’s text and identify the inconsistencies. However, it is much more difficult to examine your own writing, to examine your inconsistencies.

Today, as a teacher, I am better able to identify my own gaps, errors, inconsistencies, misrepresentations, and unvalidated assumptions, but I couldn’t as a student. Therefore, I will teach you how to recognize those places in your analysis where your ideas lack balance.

You have written your paper. You already know how to present both sides of a topic and how to square the author’s square. Now you must examine your paper for both balance and wording.

Before getting into the discussion, let’s bring forward a section from the student’s essay on Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums.”

Figure 82: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

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).

The keyword in this paragraph is “inadvertently.”

The word “inadvertently” means in a careless manner; without intending to or realizing; not focusing the mind on the matter. I have highlighted the word by adding shading. If you are working from a hardcopy, use an actual highlighter on the text. Consider the following steps as you revise portions of your essays.

Step #1: Highlight. Highlight the keyword in the paragraph.

Step #2: Consult the dictionary. Don’t rely on your guess of what you think the word means. Get the exact definition of the word. The definition above comes directly from the dictionary, not from personal memory or interpretation.

Step #3: Test. Test the word against your summary, explanation, quote, or evaluation.  Test the word line-by-line. You may create a table or a handwritten outline. Continue to ask this question: Does Elisa inadvertently do this or that? Examine Table 20.

Table 20: Assessment of Student Essay Body Paragraph Sentences (“Chrysanthemums”) 

Questions  Student Essay Body Paragraph Sentences
Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to? Elisa, inadvertently, let the visitor through the picket gate.
Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to? She ran to her flower bed gathering the necessary seeds for the pretend woman down the road.
Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to? She gives the visitor a complete description of how to plant the seeds and the daily activity that goes along with it.

Step #4: Locate. Locate the source of your summary or analysis. Go back to the main source, the immediate text itself. Highlight the text on your hardcopy. For this exercise, I will type the text so you can visualize Elisa’s personality.

Figure 83: Sample Passage from Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

“While the man came through the picket gate Elisa ran excitedly along the geranium-bordered path to the back of the house.  And she returned carrying a big red flower pot.  The gloves were forgotten now.  She kneeled on the ground by the starting bed and dug up the sandy soil with her fingers and scooped it into the bright new flower pot.  Then she picked up the little pile of shoots she had prepared.  With her strong fingers she pressed them in the sand and tamped around them with her knuckles.  The man stood over her.  ‘I’ll tell you what to do,’ she said.  ‘You remember so you can tell the lady.’”

Step #5: Compare. Compare your essay with the source text.

  • Identify where your summary or analysis is similar to the ideas expressed within the source text.
  • Identify where your summary or analysis is different from the ideas expressed within the source text.
  • Remember that the source text is the primary authority, not your analysis.

Step #6: Square. You have various options. Each paper is different.

  • Revise and change the keyword so that it squares with the rest of the paragraph.  We have to assume that the content within the rest of the paragraph squares with the source text.
  • You may choose to change your summary or explanation or evaluation or other type of analysis so that it squares with the keyword. We have to assume here also that the content within the rest of the paragraph squares with the source text.
  • You may change your keyword so that it squares with the source text.
  • You may change your summary so that it squares with the source text.
  • You may change your keyword and summary so that they both square with the source text.

Step #6: Retest. You have various options. Each paper is different.

Retesting the Keyword: Once you have changed the keyword so that it squares with the rest of the paragraph, test the keyword against the paragraph. Make sure that if a keyword has parts that the rest of the ideas expressed within the paragraph match the meaning of the keyword.

Retesting the Summary/Analysis: Once you have changed the summary, explanation, evaluation, or other type of analysis, test the revised summary, explanation, evaluation, or other type of analysis against the keyword. Make sure that your revised summary, explanation, evaluation, or other type of analysis matches the keyword you have already.

  • Special Note: Remember that in this instance you have not changed the keyword; it is assumed that the keyword is fine, but that the analysis doesn’t support the keyword. Think about the student essay and how the student uses “inadvertently.” The ideas expressed within the rest of the paragraph do not match this word. The student would have to either change the keyword or change the analysis. In other words, look for areas within the narrative where Elisa inadvertently does something.

Retesting the Keyword Relationship with the Source Text: If you use a keyword that doesn’t apply to any of the ideas expressed within the source text, then you must change the keyword. Once you have researched another word, examine the meaning of the new word. Determine how many parts the new word has (i.e., different meanings). Once you are satisfied and have changed the word in your analysis, test the meaning of the new word against the main theme of the text. Locate an example to test that you think would best fit the keyword. The example could be a quote, a summary, or analysis. Make sure that the word fits.  Don’t try to make it fit.

Retesting the Summary: How you perceive the text is important to the reader.  Whatever you believe, the reader will believe. The same idea is true for what you don’t believe. Therefore, it is important to retest your summary. Locate the source of your summary. Reread the source for understanding. Once you have changed your summary, retest it against the source text.

  • Check to make sure that you have the right verb tenses in your summary.
  • Check to make sure that you have the right character or characters.
  • Check to make sure that you can validate the assumptions you make.
  • Check to make sure that you have the right context, time period, etc.
  • Think like a journalist. Don’t create a lie.

Retesting the Keyword and the Summary: In the case where both the keyword and the summary do not accurately convey the ideas expressed within the source text, throw both of them out. Start over. Rewrite. Once you have rewritten this portion of your essay, do the following:

  • Retest the keyword against the source text to make sure that you have the right meaning in mind.
  • Retest the summary against the source text to make sure that you have the right meaning in mind.
  • Make sure your new keyword matches your summary, in all parts.
  • Make sure your summary matches your keyword, in all parts.

Click here for “Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Squaring the Author’s Text Within Your Analysis

The first part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process involves squaring the author’s text within your analysis. Consider the following steps as you revise your own analysis.

Step #1: Analyze. Analyze the text. Study it. Determine two things.

  • Determine if the content within the whole paragraph maintains the topic.
  • Determine if the body paragraph sentences support the topic sentence.
  • Locate the topic sentence. (King’s topic sentence states, “Now, what is the difference between the two?”)
  • Locate the supporting evidence. (King defines what a “just law” is and what an “unjust law” is.)

Step #2: Annotate.  Annotate the text by underlining and numbering. For example, do the following:

  • Apply a number one to all those sentences that King defines as a just law.
  • Apply a number two to all those sentences that King defines as an unjust law.

Step #3: Table. Arrange the information in table or graph form. Type or write all of the sentences that define “just law” and all the sentences that define “unjust law” into a table or on a piece of paper. Tables 18 and 19 represent examples.

Step #4: Perform a Gap Analysis. Study the gaps in the author’s evaluation. Remember that after King’s definition of the terms, he evaluates the relationship of the defined terms to the examples of segregation. Therefore, study the inconsistency within his evaluation.

  • Study the structure of the excerpt. Identify the breaks (the gaps).
  • Identify the missing parts. What are they?
  • Study the common denominator between each side.

Step #5: Square. Within your analysis, square the author’s argument by filling in the gaps. For example, in the case of King’s discussion of just law and unjust law, inform the reader that the author, in this case King, does not present a balanced discussion. In contrast to segregation statutes, King does not provide an example of “just laws” on the same ground. Examine the quote:

  • “All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.”
  • Where is the counterpart? King doesn’t provide a counterpart that discusses just (law) statutes. As you square the discussion, you must become the counterpart. Otherwise, your discussion will appear to have gaps also. 

Squaring Sub-Steps

Become the counterpart. If the author doesn’t provide a counterpart, then you fill in this gap within your analysis. Inform the reader of the author’s inconsistency.

  • A simple statement such as this will suffice: Although the author provides a lengthy discussion of “unjust laws,” adding examples also, he does not provide the same level discussion of “just laws.”
  • Then evaluate the significance of this gap. Why is it important to you, as the reader, to have a balanced discussion?

Square the author’s square. Consider the following examples from King’s excerpt.

Table 17: Comparison of Just and Unjust Law References in King’s Letter

 Just Law  Unjust Law
Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.

These two columns represent a brief example of a balanced discussion. Therefore, since the author squares the ideas, you should also do the same. For the second column, the base of King’s discussion centers on “human personality,” which is the common denominator between both columns.

In one column, a just law “uplifts”; in the second column, an unjust law degrades. In your analysis, present both sides of the topic. In other words, do exactly what the author does. Square the author’s square.

It is easy to develop an analysis from this one row. You can clearly see that King offers definitions for both types of laws. The question that we have to ask is this: Does King balance his discussion from beginning to end? It is one thing to offer both sides of the topic, but it is quite another to endure the goal.

To determine if King presents a balanced view within his letter, we have placed all of his definitions for both “just laws” and “unjust laws” within two tables. Table 18 begins our discussion. Read the sentences. Refer to Figure 81 for a full view of King’s excerpt. King’s work falls under U.S. copyright law is it displayed here for educational purposes.

Table 18:  King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form

 Just Law  Unjust Law
“A just law is a manmade code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.” “An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
“To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas:  An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
“Any law that uplifts human personality is just.” “Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”
“All segregation statues are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.”
“It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.”
“Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things.”
“Hence segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful.”
“Paul Tillich” has said that sin is separation.Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?”
“ . . . and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.” “Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; . . .”

As you can see there are gaps within King’s discussion. On the one hand, King provides a simple view of “just laws.” On the other hand, his view of “just laws” does not equally parallel his discussion of “unjust laws.”

Table 19 provides an extended view  of Table 18. Let’s continue evaluating King’s discussion.

Table 19:  King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form (continued)

 Just Law
Unjust Law
“An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself.”
“This is difference made legal.”
“By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself.” “This is sameness made legal.”
“A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.”
“Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected?”
“Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered.”
“Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?”
“Sometimes a law is just on its face . . .” “ . . . and unjust in its application.”
“For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit.”
“Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade.” “But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.”

Table 19 mirrors Table 18. With this in mind, when the author doesn’t provide a balanced view of the topic, then developing an analysis becomes equally difficult. For example, it is difficult to present a balanced view of King’s work if he, in fact, doesn’t do what he is claiming.

Therefore, when confronted with this issue, use the author’s work as an opportunity to highlight the gaps that clearly exist within the text. Present what he presents. In other words, if King minimally discusses “just laws,” then highlight this fact within your analysis. As one method, you could count the number of sentences and examples he uses to prove his case for both types of laws.

In addition, as another method, you could bring in historical evidence. For example, within the context of the letter there was social injustice toward a particular minority group and “unjust laws” that perpetuated the cause of racial intolerance. To fill in some of the gaps within each table, locate the statutes and public policy for both types of laws. Use the information as additional evidence to maintain the integrity of King’s work. This will allow you to balance King’s views within your analysis.

Now that you have learned how to square the author’s text within your analysis, you must learn also how to square your own analysis, which is the second part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process. We return to the student’s essay on “Chrysanthemums” to evaluate phrasing. Our objective is to determine if the student presents a balanced view based upon the types of wording she uses within her analysis. Follow the link below to access the discussion.

Click here for “Squaring Your Analysis.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process

To correct problems with balance within your analysis, follow the links below to guide you through the revision process.

This process falls under Task #4: Level. 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.

This squaring process is three-part:

Squaring the Author’s Text Within Your Analysis

Squaring Your Analysis

Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Task #4: Level

Level

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

Balance viewpoints. Match the cause to the effect. Present the pro and the con. Don’t ever present one side of a topic or an essay. When you compare or contrast, you need two things, two ideas, and/or two people at a minimum to compare. When you compare or contrast, make sure that your presentation is equal on all sides. Don’t present an unbalance where one side is more developed than the other.

Before addressing some issues with balance within the student essay on Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums,” let’s first examine a section within Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Our purpose here is to determine if King presents a balanced view of the topic.

Figure 81: Sample Excerpt from “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

       Now, what is the difference between the two?  How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust?  1 A just law is a manmade code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.  2An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.2 To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas:  An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.  1Any law that uplifts human personality is just.2 Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.  2 All segregation statues are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.  2It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.2Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things.

2 Hence segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful.  2 Paul Tillich” has said that sin is separation.  2 Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?  1 Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; 2and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws.  2 An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself.  2 This is difference made legal.  1 By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. 1 This is samenessmade legal.

Let me give another explanation.  2 A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. 2 Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected?  2 Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. 2Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is 1 just on its face and 2 unjust in its application.  1 For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit.  1 Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade.  2 But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

Within the excerpt, we have placed a #1 by all sentences where King discusses “just laws.” We have placed a #2 by all sentences where King discusses “unjust laws.” The purpose of this exercise is to determine if King presents a balanced view of both types of laws within the context of his letter. King appears to present both sides of what an unjust law means and what a just law means. However, is King’s presentation balanced? The keyword in King’s text is “squares.” Therefore, let’s determine if King “squares” his views.

Click here for “The Favors Step-by-Step Squaring Process.”

To view a full version of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” click here.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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