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Interpretive Writing


For example, In his novel, A Separate Peace, John Knowles examines life at an all-boy boarding school. _____ Next, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Interpretive Writing

Interpretive Writing
  • Our _____ _____ reactions to a new text of any
    kind are often a jumble of impressionistic
    thoughts, feelings, and memoriesseldom are they
    fully realized _____.
  • To write an interpretive essay, you must take the
    time to _____ this jumble and _____ a reasonable,
    systematic _____ of what the text means and why.
  • Since all _____ are open to more than _____
    interpretation, an interpretive essay _____ that
    one specific _____ and one particular _____ is
    especially good and worthy of attention.

Writing Interpretive Essays
  • A fully _____ interpretation _____ what the text
    says as reasonably as possible. It also argues
    for a particular interpretation of the texts
    meaningwhat the text _____ or _____ about
    something beyond itself.
  • Like any _____, an interpretive essay should be
    as _____ as possible, though it can never be an
    _____ proof. You will _____ passages and _____
    how they _____ in the text.
  • You will argue for one meaning by stating a _____
    and _____ it with sound _____ and convincing

Choosing a perspective
  • You will interpret a text _____. Focus on the
    _____ (text) under study instead of the _____
    (yourself) doing the study.
  • When adopting an objective stance, write from the
    _____ _____ point of view. When you are
    discussing the text, write in the _____ tense.
  • Keep references to _____ out of your writing, and
    use language that is _____ and _____. An example
    to avoid The author brilliantly writes an
    emotionally provocative piece that will wet the
    driest eye.

State your thesis
  • To write an interpretation from any point of
    view, you need to _____, _____, and _____ what
    you consider to be the texts _____ meaning.
  • It is customary to respond to a prompt, and make
    sure you are _____ the prompts question or _____
    every aspect of the prompt in your thesis.
  • Your thesis is a _____, _____ statement of your
    interpretation, _____ to your readers your _____
    for what the text means. Your argument should be
    _____ and _____.

Provide support
  • An interpretive thesis should be _____ tightly
    enough so that you can _____ your argument with
    _____ from the text itself.
  • When you draw on the text itself or bring in
    additional sources to support your view, you will
    have to _____ _____ and quote _____ from the
  • Your explanation of the quotes _____ should
    _____ the body paragraph, as it is what will
    largely _____ your argument.

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What belongs in an essay?
INTRODUCTION Now, I would like to introduce the
content of my essay Heeeeres my
  • You will begin your introduction with a
    __________ sentence including the __________ of
    the piece youre writing about and its
    __________. For example, In his novel, A
    Separate Peace, John Knowles examines life at an
    all-boy boarding school. __________
  • Next, you must provide your reader with relevant
    __________ to the text a basic __________.
  • Your topic sentences should be briefly __________
    or __________ before your thesis. __________
  • Your __________ should appear last.
  • Any generalities and summary will be at the
    __________ of your intro. Once you reach the
    __________ of this paragraph, you will be well
    into the land of the __________.
  • Consider your introduction a __________, guiding
    your reader on a __________. Your thesis is the
    __________ - dont lose your reader!

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THESIS Just what are you trying to prove?
  • Your thesis statement is the __________ of your
    essay. __________
  • It is the __________/ __________ you will be
    __________/ __________ throughout your entire
  • It should be __________, __________, and
  • Thesis statements should be __________ and
  • A thesis statement should not be __________ ask
    yourself whether or not your thesis is
    __________. For example, Gene knocked Finny out
    of the tree vs. Genes blind impulse caused him
    to knock Finny out of the tree.

TOPIC SENTENCES And your point is?
  • Each body paragraph will have a topic sentence
    that will present the paragraphs __________ and
    __________. This will be your readers signpost.
  • Your topic sentence should be a __________ to
    your thesis these terms will be used
  • Make a __________ assertion that directly
    __________ back to your __________.
  • Never __________ in the topic sentence because
    evidence doesnt belong in the sub-points to your
  • It should also avoid __________.

BODY Who doesnt want the perfect body?
  • Your body paragraphs should be __________ by the
    __________ of your quotes __________, aka,
  • You cant present a piece of __________ without
    an ample analysis, which will help to __________/
    __________ your argument.
  • You will begin with your topic sentence, provide
    context to your quote __________, quote
    __________ ,then support __________.

CONCLUSION I must bid thee farewell
  • Your conclusion is your readers last __________
    of your essay.
  • You must __________ your thesis in the beginning
    of the paragraph, __________ what you have gone
    over in your paper, and __________ with a
    general, yet meaningful ending that conveys your
    essays message.
  • Voila!

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  • Entire paper double spaced (including the
    heading), with one-inch margins
  • Heading four lines consisting of your name, your
    teachers name, the class, and the due date.
  • Font twelve point, Times New Roman
  • Titles Center your original title right above
    your introduction paragraph.
  • Italicize titles of plays, novels, movies, and
    publications. Put titles of short stories,
    articles, songs, and poems in quotation marks. 

Developing your STYLE
Be Yourself! Use words and images that are
natural to you.
  • When you write about literature, you may find it
    appropriate to use a slightly more __________
  • Nevertheless, your purpose is to share ideas, not
    to prostrate your reader by the capaciousness of
    your verbal arsenal nor by the baroque
    felicities, or, as it were, the architectural
    symmetries of your sentential configurations.
  • Fancy or __________ language that distracts the
    reader from meaning is poor style. Just be

Be Honest Write what you believe.
  • You cannot concentrate on developing your style
    if you are __________ with trying to __________
    what your reader wants.
  • You wont always have your choice of topics, nor
    will every assignment ignite your interest and
  • Figure out your __________ perspective on the
    topic, and take it from there.

Be Direct Get straight to the point!
  • Say what you mean __________ and in the
    __________ possible words

Review for Style Whenever you review and
evaluate a draft of your work, keep matters of
style in mind.
  • The following questions may help you 
  • Ø      Do the sentences and paragraphs express
    your own voice?
  • Ø      Do the opinions expressed in the paper
    represent your true convictions?
  • Ø      Is your language strong, direct, and

The Journey!!
Tips on how to be concise
Avoid Fillers
  • Wordy He said that there is a storm approaching.
  • Concise He said that a storm is approaching.

Eliminate Unnecessary Phrases
  • Wordy I am going to discuss artificial
    intelligence, which is an exciting new field of
  • Concise Artificial intelligence is an
    exciting new field of research.

Eliminate Words That Will Not Improve Clarity
  • Wordy The book that was lying on the piano
    belongs to her.
  • Concise The book lying on the piano belongs
    to her.

Use Active Rather Than Passive Voice
  • Wordy An account was opened by Mrs. McDonald.
  • Concise Mrs. McDonald opened an account.

Avoid Pretentious Language
  • Wordy Concise
  • Incarcerated felons Prisoners
  • Client populations Customers
  • Voiced concern that Said, worried
  • Range of selections Choice
  • Minimizes expenditures Saves money

  • More Style Tips

Avoid Plot Summary
  • In an English paper, you can generally assume
    that your readers are __________ with the work
    you are discussing.
  • If you find yourself writing, first this happens,
    and then that happens, youre __________ the
    plot, not __________.

  • You should of course refer in detail to
    particular __________, __________, and __________
    that have a direct bearing on your thesis, but
    you dont need to tell the reader what happened
    to Abigail Williams at each stage of her life.

A Paper Without Quotations
  • is a scary thing. Not to mention, __________.
  • No matter how brilliant your analysis, it is
    __________ without quotes.
  • They serve as __________ to support the claim
    youre making, and as illustrations of your main

  • Quality quotes will lead to quality analysis, so
    be __________ when you are selecting your
  • Quality analysis is the result of taking time
    with your quotes and explaining them in
  • That does not mean __________ the quote or
    summarizing the plot or using part of the quote
    to analyze the quote.

  • It is crucial that you pay full __________ to
    each quote you provide before you jump into
  • You neednt write, This quote is
    saying/showing/etc., as quotes are __________.
  • You also neednt write, This quote means that,
    as this is a given.
  • Get directly to your __________ after your quote.

Avoid Looking Careless
  • Consistently misspelling an authors name, a
    title, or a major characters name is going to
    prove to me that youre not taking time with your
  • Making serious errors in describing a scene in a
    novel or part of a poem or mistaking one
    character for another doesnt bode well for your
  • When in doubt, look it up!