Topic #1 from essay #2 in the instructions.

These paragraphs serve several purposes.  Most importantly, they give  you a chance to start working out a specific reading of Things. They  also keep you practicing

focusing on a single topic;
smoothly integrating a secondary source;
transitioning from one paragraph to another on the same topic;
In sum, this assignment will help you understand the novel by narrowing  down to a specific reading/interpretation and exposing you to different  scholarly viewpoints.

TOPIC #1 from essay #2 – In an interview, O’Brien writes that “If there  is a theme to the whole book it has to do with the fact that stories can  save our lives” (qtd. in Publishers 202). How does the novel show this?  Trace out this theme in the novel by showing that, indeed, the novel  does argue that “stories can save our lives.”

USE THIS LINK FOR SECONDARY SOURCE FROM “ASSIGNMENT” SECTION :[email protected]&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=44309669&db=aph

Write two body paragraphs focused on a single topic. This topic should  be based on a possible division from one of the topics for essay #2. Use  one of the topic sentences from below to set up and focus your  paragraph.  You’ll have an implied thesis and a specific division to  argue.  See the student examples below to get an idea of the kind of  writing required for this assignment.

Remember that this is a body paragraph, not an introduction: you can  refer to the author as “O’Brien,” etc. because it’s assumed you already  mentioned the author’s full name and the title of the novel in your  introduction (which again, you don’t have to write).

While the focus will be on the primary source (the novel), for this  assignment you’ll incorporate one of the two secondary sources that  you’ll be reading and bringing into class on our third day of discussing  Things. Choose one from the “General” or “Coping” or “Truth” section,  and one from the “Biographical” section.  

Think of these paragraphs as body paragraphs for an essay — in other  words, you’ll develop one particular division that could work in an  essay.  
Since you’re citing sources, you will need to include the works cited.

Grading will be based on the following criteria:
Content: Paragraphs focus on a specific point and use specific quotes  from the sources; they also includes an explanation of why and how a  particular quote or word  from a source proves the point of the  paragraphs. The depth and insight of the explanation will be the main  basis of the grade.
Proofreading: Correctly documented in text documentation and works cited  entries. Sentences that are clear and no more than 2 major errors.
Major errors: Sentence fragments, run-on sentences, verb-tense error,  subject-verb agreement error, unclear phrasing/tangled wording, words  that I cannot decipher, and spelling/wrong word error.

Suggested steps to writing a paragraph

First, review the student sample paragraphs below to get a clear idea of  the level and kind of writing required for this assignment. To focus  your paragraph, start off with a clear topic sentence.  This will  provide you with a point to argue. Try using one of the fill in the  blank examples below.

Sample topic sentences
____ suggests the novel is really about love.
____ is one way the novel shows the importance of love.
_____ is one of the coping mechanisms used by the soldiers.
Another way the soldiers cope is through ______.
The emphasis on ______ in ___’s essay suggests that history is a construct.
By focusing on ______, the novel reveals the importance of storytelling.
A story’s role in creating reality is also shown by/through _______.
___’s essay suggests that ____ is one way the relativity of truth is addressed in the novel.
The idea that truth is based on perception is also shown by ________
____, from ____’s essay, helps readers understand that for O’Brien truth is _______.
The idea that stories create reality is shown by _____.
Another connection between these works on the Vietnam War is _____.
The ____ of modern American shows the novel’s continued relevance.
____ is another way the novel remains relevant.

After your topic sentence is set:

Make a list of sentences (quotes from primary and secondary sources) to use for evidence
Define any ideas in topic sentence
Provide context to set up quotes: see also the “Introducing Quotes” page.
Make sure quote is connected to topic sentence
Explain how a quote is connected to the topic sentence
Repeat focus/argument word from topic sentence to keep readers focused on your argument.             

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