M Train

M Train (written by Patti Smith)How do Smith’s themes (just pick one or several) relate to her quest for meaning or understanding? To put it another way, what does she seek to understand? What is her deeper quest in this journey? How does your close analysis of one or several related themes help to reveal this quest?This prompt asks you to analyze one or more themes in order to support a claim for Smith’s quest. What meaning is she seeking? How does a theme help to reveal that? How do several themes reveal the essence of this quest? The answer will not be obvious, but it revealed through the unfolding of the memoir as a whole. And -the answer will be yours- your sense or your interpretation- not a “fact” in the book. If you choose several themes, you will want to compare or align them. Your understanding of how one or more important themes work in this book (across the entire book) should help you to interpret her quest. What does she seek on this train of thought? What does she want? What is most meaningful to her? Again, the answer is not obvious or overtly stated; it must be discovered by you, the reader. then, your idea must be defended and demonstrated so another reader can see what you see. In literally interpretation, the answers we find might surprise us. Great literature is revelatory and unexpected. It shows us what is hard to see or look at. How you chose to answer this prompt should be based on a lot of close reflection and careful rereading. Your answer will offer your own reader an original interpretation. This interpretation will be uniquely yours. And it will be strong if you defend it using concrete evidence from the text, thoughtful analysis of these details, and clear explanation of your ideas.All good writing is planned out. Gather your themes and ideas about them. Collect good quotes or details to support these themes. What is your “theory “ about Smith’s quest? Can you support it? Once you have your evidence. It will be much easier to articulate your interpretation.Create topics for body paragraphs. Visualize how these topics fit together. See how the parts can create a whole idea. Formulate topics into topic sentences. How do these topic sentences come together as a singular idea, a thesis?It is almost never a good idea to sit down and try to write a paper from begging to end. That is a time-consuming and often frustrating process. Instead, plan the paper first, and collect the points and quotes you think will serve you, then begin to develop the ideas in paragraphs. It is not necessary to write the introduction first or conclusion last.“Introduction and argumentative thesis “The introduction briefly summarizes the work, sets up the terms of your argument, and narrows the focus of your interpretation. One way to narrow your focus and establish a sense of argument is to acknowledge that the work can be read in another way, but assert that your reading is stronger. A good introduction also begins with a “hook” to get your audience’s attention. Writers often use the title to begin establishing the position of the paper. Create a title that reflects your argument or leads into your “hook”. The intro ends with the argumentative thesis statement. A strong argumentative thesis is specific, narrow, and debatable. It doesn’t sound like a factual statement about the book or the author. Instead, a thesis will make a claim for a meaning that is not obvious, maybe even surprising. NOTE: Your thesis is always the last sentence of the introduction paragraph.“Development of evidence and analysis in paragraphs “Each body paragraph aims to demonstrate and argue in a unique way for your thesis using concrete evidence and analysis. Body paragraphs develop the thesis in greater detail and complicate or deepen our understanding of the work. Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentences that connects its topic to the thesis. The sentences that develop this topic should include interpretation and support. Use a few concrete details and/or short quotations to back up your argument. Don’t overdo the quotation. However, the emphasis in each paragraph should fall on your interpretation of the details, not the details themselves. Each body paragraph should conclude with a conclusion sentence that reinforces the thesis. Conclusions are drawn from evidence. Therefore, each conclusion sentence should draw from the evidence presented in the paragraph.“Conclusion “ the last paragraph is the MOST important statement of your argument about the works. Think of the last paragraph not as a repetition of your points but the opportunity to draw the most significant conclusion for your audience. based on the ideas explored in body paragraphs, what must your audience conclude? Return to your “hook” in some way to round out and provide closure.

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