Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Golden Compass Essay

Question: How does The Golden Compass differ from a prototypical classic fantasy novel?

Most readers would classify The Golden Compass as fantasy.  It certainly shares a lot of characteristics with works from the fantasy genre.  However, The Golden Compass differs from works in the fantasy genre in some key ways.  Your job with this essay is to explore the ways The Golden Compass differs from prototypical works in the fantasy genre.

Your essay will be 5 paragraphs in length.  It must be typed.  It must have a title.  Use 1.5-line spacing and size 13 font.  It must have an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.  The introductory paragraph must end with a thesis statement.  Each body paragraph must begin with a topic sentence.  The essay must include a quote from the book.  Finally, you must complete an outline before writing the actual essay.

Introductory Paragraph:  Start with an interesting sentence.  This paragraph introduces The Golden Compass and discusses the characteristics the book shares with classic fantasy novels.  At the end of the paragraph it transitions to answer the essay question.  The final sentence in the essay is the thesis statement.  The thesis statement is a direct answer to the essay question.  The rest of the essay will be an attempt to prove the thesis statement is true.

Body Paragraphs: Each body paragraph focuses on one significant aspect of The Golden Compass that differs from classic fantasy.  This difference should be stated in the topic sentence of each paragraph.  The paragraph should then explain in detail how The Golden Compass is different from classic fantasy in this area.  Refer to specific characters, events, and passages when making your case.

Quote: At least one of your body paragraphs needs to include a direct quote from the book.  You can quote Philip Pullman’s narration or you can quote dialogue from the book.  The quote should be placed in the middle of a paragraph.  Do not place a quote at the beginning or at the end of a paragraph.  After the quote is used in the paragraph, explain how the quote is relevant to the argument you are making.  Do not let the quote speak for itself.  Use quotation marks around your quote.  After the quote put the page number(s) on which the quote is found in parentheses.

Conclusion: In the Conclusion, you need to wrap up your argument.  Re-state your thesis statement and key supporting details from your essay.  Then leave the reader with something new to think about.  There is no single way to end an essay.  You can end the essay creatively.  One way to end your essay would be to answer the following question: What makes The Golden Compass unique and worth reading?

Underline all book titles in your essay.

Avoid statements referring to the essay itself (i.e. “This essay is about The Golden Compass and how the book differs from classic fantasy…”).

Avoid referring to yourself in the essay (i.e. “I think The Golden Compass is about…”).

Outline: The outline includes the main ideas and supporting details for each paragraph in your essay.  You must create an outline before starting to write your essay.  You do not need to use complete sentences in your outline, but each main idea or supporting detail must be presented as a complete thought.  It is not required the outline be typed.  However, it must be neat and legible.

Main Ideas: Represent each main idea with a capital letter.  You will need 5 main ideas/capital letters in your outline.  The main idea should encapsulate what the paragraph is about.

Supporting Details: Below the capital letters in your outlines, you need to number your supporting details.  You need at least 3 supporting details per paragraph.  When writing your paragraphs, you will flesh out these details to form complete paragraphs.

Monday, November 18: Outline due 
Tues, Nov. 19: Intro Paragraph due
Wed, Nov. 20: Second Paragraph due
Hebrew Book Cover
Thurs, Nov. 21: Third Paragraph due
Mon, Nov. 25: Completed draft of essay due in class for peer editing.  Draft must be printed prior to start of class.
Tues, Nov. 26: Revised draft of essay due

Custom Cover by Taylor Stone, Edgartown, Massachusetts

British Book Cover

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