Formal Essay on Passing
Directions: Please respond to the following prompt in a thesis-driven essay, and please drop it in the WARB: PASSING Formal Essay drop box on PowerSchool under ACTIVITIES / ASSIGNMENTS. Your essay will have a concise introductory paragraph, one or two body paragraphs (two if you are completing the Honors option), and a concluding paragraph. YOU MAY USE THE COMMA USAGE HANDOUT UNDER READING/WRITING RESOURCES / WRITING TOOLS! ON POWERSCHOOL TO GUIDE YOUR COMMA USAGE. HOWEVER, YOU ARE NOT TO CONSULT ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES, HUMAN OR OTHERWISE, REGARDING THE NOVELLA. I AM HAPPY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.
At the conclusion of Nella Larsens Passing (1929), Clare Kendry falls to her death from an apartment window during a party. Based on textual evidence, what seems to be the most likely cause of Clares fall? Also, So What? How/why might Clares death be significant in/for the novel?
So, there are two questions here: First, what seems to be the most likely reason/cause of Clares fall? Second, how might Clares death contribute to the novel? What might Larsen be conveying to readers, intentionally or not, by having Clare die?
Structure/Content: Students completing the College Prep option will write a three-paragraph essay (3), and students completing the Honors option will write a four-paragraph essay (4).
1.) Short Introductory Paragraph: Use the terms of the question (including title/author/date of publication) to articulate your response to the prompt in three to five sentences. This is clear and concise! Briefly clarify the most likely cause and two reasons (2) for why you believe this to be so. [Honors option will also clarify, briefly, a less likely cause of Clares fall and two reasons (2) for why you believe this is a less conceivable or convincing possibility.]
2.) Body Paragraph: Provide and explain textual evidence to defend your response to the first portion of the prompt: What seems to be the most likely cause of Clares fall, and what two reasons can you offer in defense of this claim? BEGIN YOUR PARAGRAPH WITH A CLEAR TOPIC SENTENCE TIED TO YOUR THESIS. OFFER AND DEFEND TWO COMPELLING REASONS (2) FOR YOUR CLAIM REGARDING THE CAUSE OF CLARES FALL, USING A COMBINATION OF PARAPHRASED TEXTUAL EVIDENCE AND 2-4 PIECES OF QUOTED MATERIAL (TOTAL) IN SUPPORT.
3.) HONORS OPTION ONLY: Body Paragraph Two: Provide and explain textual evidence to defend your claim regarding a less likely cause of Clares fall: What is a less likely cause of Clares fall, and what two reasons can you offer to demonstrate that this cause is less conceivable or convincing than the cause you presented in your first body paragraph? BEGIN YOUR PARAGRAPH WITH A CLEAR TOPIC SENTENCE TIED TO YOUR THESIS. OFFER AND DEFEND AT LEAST TWO WEAKNESSES IN THIS COUNTER ARGUMENT REGARDING CLARES FALL, USING A COMBINATION OF PARAPHRASED TEXTUAL EVIDENCE AND 2-4 PIECES OF QUOTED MATERIAL (TOTAL) IN SUPPORT.
4.) Conclusion (So What?): Defend your response to the second portion of the prompt: How/Why might Clares death contribute to the novel? What might Larsen be conveying to readers (intentionally or not) by having Clare die? Does Clares death reinforce a central theme(s) or issue(s) regarding racial passing in the early 20th century? Does her death illuminate more about Clares character or the characters of others in the novel? Explain. BEGIN YOUR PARAGRAPH WITH A CLEAR TOPIC SENTENCE TIED TO YOUR THESIS. THIS PARAGRAPH MAY NOT REQUIRE QUOTED MATERIAL, BUT YOU MAY NEED TO DISCUSS SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL.
PLEASE HIGHLIGHT ALL INTRODUCTORY ELEMENTS: After Clare Falls, the party guests are stunned.
PLEASE HIGHLIGHT ALL COMMAS USED WITH COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS: I love Nella Larsens novel Passing, but its a challenging read.
HERES AN EXAMPLE SENTENCE WITH BOTH ASPECTS HIGHLIGHTED: While I love Nella Larsens novel Passing, its a challenging read, and I need to look up definitions for words constantly.
HERES AN EXAMPLE WHERE TWO SENTENCES (EACH WITH AN INTRODUCTORY ELEMENT) ARE COMBINED INTO ONE SENTENCE: While I love Nella Larsens novel Passing, its a challenging read, and despite having a fairly robust vocabulary, I still need to look up definitions for lots of words.
HERES AN EXAMPLE OF A COMMA SPLICE (WE CANT DO THIS!): I love Nella Larsens novel Passing, its a challenging read. I wake up most mornings at 6:00am, I hate getting up early.
As in all of your formal writing this year, I will be looking for you to answer the question/prompt immediately, to express yourself clearly (in complete sentences, avoiding run-on sentences and comma splices), to defend your claims with specific/relevant textual evidence, to lead into all quoted material smoothly and effectively (using MLA citations), and to utilize transitional elements and paragraph breaks effectively.
HERES AN EXAMPLE AN INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH (THIS IS FICTITIOUS, BUT IT FITS THE FORMAT IM ASKING FOR) FOLLOWED BY THE 3-PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE REQUIRED FOR THE COLLEGE PREP RESPONSE:
INTRODUCTION: At the conclusion of Nella Larsens Passing (1929), Clare Kendry falls to her death from an apartment window during a party. The most likely cause of Clares fall is that Dave Freeland, host of the party, pushed Clare out the window. Throughout the novel, Freeland made clear that he resented Clares close relationship with Irene, and his jealousy likely compelled him to kill Clare. Moreover, Freelands behavior during and after the party is incredibly suspicious, leading readers to believe that he likely pushed Clare to her death. Clares death at the end of the novel serves to reinforce a central theme in Larsens novel: jealousy is a powerful, destructive emotion.
BODY PARAGRAPH: Craft a topic sentence linking Dave Freelands jealousy to Clares death, then show: 1.) Freelands jealousy as demonstrated at multiple points in the novel; 2.) Walk me through textual evidence showing/proving that Freelands behavior during and after the party was highly suspicious, thus suggesting that he is the culprit for causing Clares death.
CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH: Craft a topic sentence, then, Show me how Freelands likely killing of Clare at the end of the novel fits with a pattern of destructive jealously demonstrated at other times in the novel.
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