Introduction: Literature and Composition

Introduction: Literature and Composition

The Task: Your expository essay should inform or explain. It should share knowledge or convey an idea. It might describe, interpret, evaluate, or report. Think of your essay as an opportunity to teach your reader about a subject that interests you.Starting Points: You have broad leeway to choose a topic to write about. It just must relate in some way (even if it is only remote) to one or more of the books you have read so far this year: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Call of the Wild, The Red Badge of Courage.

Topic examples—**these are not required topics**—only food for thought to get you started thinking about the kinds of things you might like to investigate, learn about, and write about:
 What were Mark Twain’s professions (in addition to writing)?
 Who were the people and what were the experiences that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was based upon?
 What is satire?
 What breeds of dogs were used in Alaska during the Gold Rush?
 How was gold extracted during the Gold Rush?
 What is Naturalism?
 Who were the military leaders at the Battle of Chancellorsville?
 What is a regiment and how is it organized?
 How does Stephen Crane use sensory detail (imagery: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) to capture the Civil War in a vivid and realistic way?
 How did the uniforms differ between the North and the South?
 What were the medical conditions like in the Civil War?
 What is Realism?

A Framework: Once you have zoomed in on a topic, you will need to narrow the scope to three main ideas, organizing and planning your paper in a manner similar to this:
I. Introduction
II. Sub-Topic 1
III. Sub-Topic 2
IV. Sub-Topic 3
V. ConclusionYou will need a succinct, 1-sentence thesis statement that will be the last sentence in your introduction. It will offer a roadmap for the three sub-topics you will be covering in your paper. You will also need three 1-sentence topic sentences. Those will be the first sentence in each of your three body paragraphs. They will reassert and expand on each of the subtopics, and they will establish the purpose and focus for each body paragraph.

 Thesis statement: __________________________________________________
 Topic sentence 1: __________________________________________________
 Topic sentence 2: __________________________________________________
 Topic sentence 3: __________________________________________________

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