Today, we will prepare for the exam by quickly reviewing Macbeth. Each group of four will need to choose one of the following, and brainstorm any relevant ideas (make sure you grab a few copies of the play to help you!):
- Key characters
- Key events
- Key theories/concepts/themes
- After 10 minutes or so, Ms. Sheeler will ask you to choose one person to write all of the ideas for your group on the board.
- Each group of four needs to come up with a question based on the ideas on the board. While your question does not have to reflect everything on the board (how could it?), it should be a question that gives you lots of potential material to work with from the board.
- Once your group has decided on a question, you need to work together to create a skeletal outline for your response. Please see the notes below…
- use the first 5-10 minutes of the time to create an outline. Quickly identify a thesis, your topic sentences, and your proof. Don’t waste too much time on word choice and language; get your ideas on paper!
- Aim for three (at most, four) sub-topics. Writing less will make it difficult for you to develop your ideas; creating more will lead to either short paragraphs or, worse, an incomplete essay!
- Quickly double-check your thesis and your topic sentences. Do they give you something to prove? Do your topic sentences connect to your thesis?
How to Write an Introduction for an Essay Exam
- aim for 3-4 sentences, including your thesis
- choose the general to specific approach. This is the safest (and easiest) method. To write this intro, apply the basic topic to the world at large, and narrow it down to your text, and then finally your thesis. For example, if the topic is betrayal, do this:
- write your first sentence about betrayal as a bigger issue (why it is bad, or what it does to people generally)
- write your second sentence about betrayal as an issue in your text
- write your thesis
How to Write Your Body Paragraphs
- make sure your topic sentence gives you something to prove! (this is usually where students go off track)
- dedicate the rest of the paragraph to proving your topic sentence is true
- include 2+ specific examples to support your claims. Make sure you explain the examples fully; 2 sentences or so for each should work.
How to Write Your Conclusion
- aim for 3-4 sentences, including your restated thesis
- choose the specific to general approach. This is the safest (and easiest) method. Again, if the topic is betrayal, do this:
- restate your thesis about betrayal in your text
- write your second sentence about the consequences of betrayal in the text
- write your last sentence about “big picture” betrayal. This could include the consequences of betrayal on a large scale (or perhaps even a personal scale). Whatever strategy you use, focus on the human consequences.