By Kristin Dombek, Scott Herndon
This useful guide examines the distance among highschool and college-level writing guide, proving lecturers with assistance for assisting their scholars to make the transition from the five-paragraph pyramid to the considerate essay.
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Additional info for Critical Passages: Teaching the Transition to College Composition (Language and Literacy Series)
Then ask them questions to help them reflect on the patterns they see: Are you a cumulative or a periodic thinker? What effect does it have when the controlling sentence, with the most important information and thinking, comes at the beginning of a paragraph? At the end? sentence at the beginning of the paragraph, and add and modify in the following sentences. But a quick glance through any anthology of professional essays reveals a problem, for professional essayists tend to write their paragraphs in the periodic style, leading up to the most important thought in their paragraphs in their final sentences.
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children . . And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you” . .
But Cassie, the person, died when the story of her “Yes” reached an America waiting, eager to make meaning of a terrible tragedy. And it was that second martyrdom, a martyrdom of abstraction, which killed her more completely than any bullet could. Cassie has been mythologized; she has been canonized; she has been commodified. Kerri uses parallelism in this last sentence to condense into one location in her essay the three ideas that provide its structure. This excerpt is from a final draft, but as the following exercise shows, we also can work backwards, with the help of parallel sentence structures, to get students to make the multiple interpretations that working with parallelism can demand, and then work outward toward essay structure.