Skellig essay ‘playlist’

1)   Choose the theme you will be exploring.  Turn this word into a sentence explaining what David Almond is trying to say about that theme and how he is doing so.  This will be your thesis.  For example, you could use this sentence:

_________________________ is an important theme in the novel Skellig.  David Almond explore this theme through …(how)… He shows us that ….(what)…

An example from ‘Two Weeks with the Queen’:

Growing up is an important theme in the novel Two Weeks with the QueenMorris Gleitzman explores this theme through the maturation of the protagonist, ColinHe shows us that difficult events help us mature, and as we do so we become less self-centred and more thoughtful about the needs of others.

2)   Select three supporting points from the novel that help show us this idea.  You could focus on symbols, events, characters and their actions, relationships and so on.

 An example from ‘Two Weeks with the Queen’:

  • Colin’s behaviour at the beginning of the story
  • Colin’s actions to help Ted
  • Colin’s decision to return to Australia to be with Luke

3)   Topic sentences for body paragraphs.  For each of your three points, write a topic sentence connecting the topic of that paragraph with your thesis.

An example from ‘Two Weeks with the Queen’:

  • Colin’s whining, selfish behaviour and treatment of Luke at the beginning of the story are characteristic of an immature person, desperate for attention.
  • Colin’s actions to help Ted show a shift in thinking; instead of acting out to satisfy his own needs, he begins to do things to help others instead.
  • Colin’s decision to return to Australia to be with Luke shows his ultimate change into a more empathetic young man.  He has given up his futile quest for glory and instead accepted the reality of the situation; something we all have to do as we mature.

4)   Order your ideas.  These points need to be placed in a logical order.  Here are three options:

a)    Simple -> Complex: Basic information first, followed by increasingly specific and/or complex ideas

b)   Order of importance:  going from least important to most important, or most important to least important.

c)    Chronological: are events in a time sequence?  What comes first?  What comes next?

 An example from ‘Two Weeks with the Queen’: Since he is growing up, going from immature brat (at the beginning of the novel) to mature and caring young man (by the end), it make sense to put the ideas in chronological order.

  • Colin’s whining, selfish behaviour and treatment of Luke at the beginning of the story are characteristic of an immature person, desperate for attention.
  • Colin’s actions to help Ted show a shift in thinking; instead of acting out to satisfy his own needs, he begins to do things to help others instead.
  • Colin’s decision to return to Australia to be with Luke shows his ultimate change into a more empathetic young man.  He has given up his futile quest for glory and instead accepted the reality of the situation; something we all have to do as we mature.

5)   Find illustrations / evidence.  Now, you need to find illustrative quotes from the novel to help show/support your topic sentence.  Look for interesting descriptions, character actions, dialogue and so on.  You should find at least one for each topic sentence.

6)   Next, explain each quote.  How does that example prove your point?  Might there be any other examples?  What else could you say about this topic?

7)   You have finished your body paragraphs.  Now all you need to do is create an introduction and a conclusion.

Introductions

Conclusions

* Have attention grabbers, ‘hooks’* Include your thesis

* May outline points you will discuss

* May link to your first paragraph

* Refocus on main idea / thesis* Summarise points of essay

* Leave the reader with a challenge or poignant thought; link to the future?

8) Draft the essay in Google docs.  Don’t forget to proofread and edit (read aloud when doing this!)

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