2/8/2012 – Class notes – X-1-2-3

In class today, we began work on the 1st paper: Define fable.

We created a set of “X-1-2-3” sentences using the 1st two steps of William J. Kerrigan’s 6-step method for writing a 5-paragraph essay:

STEP 1. Write a short, simple declarative sentence that makes one statement.

STEP 2. Write three sentences about the sentence in Step 1—clearly and directly about the whole of that sentence, not just something in it.

An X-1-2-3 set from Kerrigan’s text:
X Power corrupts.
1 Power corrupts the weak.
2 Power corrupts the strong.
3 Power corrupts every relation between the two.

NOTE: In the X-1-2-3 set above, the subject remains the same; the predicate changes.

X Power] [corrupts.
1 Power] [corrupts the weak.
2 Power] [corrupts the strong.
3 Power] [corrupts every relation between the two.

Your X-1-2-3 stack becomes the “spine” of your essay:

X Power corrupts. THESIS STATEMENT
1 Power corrupts the weak. TOPIC SENTENCE #1
2 Power corrupts the strong. TOPIC SENTENCE #2
3 Power corrupts every relation between the two. TOPIC SENTENCE #3

Last but not least:

Thesis statements usually work best when placed at the end of the introduction.

Topic sentences generally work best placed at the beginning of a paragraph.

Writing to the Point Fourth Ed. by William J. Kerrigan and Allen Metcalf

The Six Steps

STEP 1. Write a short, simple declarative sentence that makes one statement.

STEP 2. Write three sentences about the sentence in Step 1—clearly and directly about the whole of that sentence [i.e. the subject and the predicate], not just something in it.

STEP 3. Write four or five sentences about each of the three sentences in Step 2—clearly and directly about the whole of the Step 2 sentence, not just something in it.

Step 4. Make the material in the four or five sentences of Step 3 as specific and concrete as possible. Go into detail. Use examples. Don’t ask, “What will I say next?” Instead, say some more about what you have just said. Your goal is to say a lot about a little, not a little about a lot.

STEP 5. In the first sentence of each new paragraph, starting with Paragraph 2, insert a clear reference to the idea of the preceding paragraph.

STEP 6. Make sure every sentence in your theme is connected with, and makes a clear reference to, the preceding sentence.

Source:
Kerrigan, William J. and Metcalf, Allen. Writing to the Point. 4th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1987. Print. (197.)
ISBN-10: 015598313X
ISBN-13: 978-0155983137

One thought on “2/8/2012 – Class notes – X-1-2-3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s