IntroductionAlignmentYou will have an opportunity for this assignment to practice your writing skills, focusing on communicating how the literary devices of characterization are used by Zora Neale Hurston to convey truths about human nature. If you wish, you may use revised versions of this thesis and characterization paragraphs as the foundation for your final, complete paper due in workshop five.Upon successful completion of this assignment you will be able to:
Identify examples of characterizationExplain how characterization is used to communicate truths about humankind in a work of fiction.Construct an organized, coherent, specifically supported literary analysis.Resources
Textbook: Pearson Custom Introduction to LiteratureFile: Characterization Paragraphs: Structural Outline File: Characterization Paragraphs: Writing Process Instructions
Using the steps in the Characterization Paragraphs Writing Process document and following the outline and principles in the Characterization Paragraphs Structural Outline, write two paragraphs demonstrating how the two main characters in “Sweat” can be used to prove the thesis you will develop for Hurston’s story. https://www.enotes.com/topics/sweatFocus on Delia exclusively in one paragraph and Sykes exclusively in the other. (Think of these two paragraphs as body paragraphs which you may choose to revise and use in your final paper for Workshop Five.) The finished product should be one to one and a half pages long.Start this assignment with a separate sentence labeled “Thesis,” followed by your two characterization (body) paragraphs. (This assignment will not have an introductory paragraph: only a thesis; and it will not have a concluding paragraph.)Revision: Be sure you complete your first draft early enough in the workshop so that you can let the paper rest and then come back and use the Writing Process document to revise and proofread your assignment before you turn it in.When you have completed your assignment,
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CHARACTERIZATION PARAGRAPH: STRUCTURAL OUTLINE
Use this document to guide you in two important steps in the writing process: drafting and
revising. After you have done your pre‐writing (reading the story, gathering themes, drafting
a thesis, gathering quotations) and planning (deciding what order to use your quotations in),
sit down with your thesis and list of quotations and this structural outline, and use this
outline as a guide so that you always have a sense of what you need to be writing next. If you
have time, let your first draft rest for at least one hour (ideally, at least one day); then revise
it. When you revise, you should pull out this structural outline again and see if you can
identify (and even highlight) in your own draft each part of this structural outline in the same
order as it appears in this outline. If the order is off or there is a piece missing, you have
some important revising to do before posting this assignment, revising that will likely
significantly improve your grade.
Structural Outline for Characterization Body Paragraph:
1. Topic Sentence: A topic sentence should always be the first sentence of your body
paragraph, and it should identify which part of your thesis position you intend to
prove in this paragraph. In this case, you have constructed a thesis which focuses only
on the character of Goodman Brown, so you can simply use your entire thesis as your
topic sentence. Specific: Whereas your thesis probably promised you would generally
use the method of “characterization,” this topic sentence should specifically identify
the characterization of Brown as the method you intend to use for this paragraph.
2. Support: The focus of your support is to use quotations to prove each theme in the
message part of your topic sentence. You should not be trying to do anything else in
this paragraph. You should also think of your audience as someone who read “Brown”
once about a year ago, so you should not give plot summary between quotations to
orient the reader. The reader remembers the basics of the plot.
a. Support Example 1:
i. Introduction: In one sentence or less, introduce your first support quotation.
(You can do usually do this best by identifying when it comes in the story or
who the speaker is.) The goal is to get to the quotation, the meat of your
example, as quickly as possible.
ii. Quotation: The heart of each support example should be a 1‐2 sentence
quotation from the short story proving one or more of your thesis themes.
(Don’t paraphrase; quote word for word, and include a page number at
the end using APA style documentation.)
iii. Application: This may be the most important part of your paragraph. You need
to explain the support connection you see between the quote you just gave
andone or more thesis themes. This is usually most effectively done by pulling
key words from the quotation and key thesis terms and weaving them together
to explain the connection. You should be able to do this application in a
SINGLE sentence; then, move immediately to introducing your next quotation.
(Don’t forget to use transition words as you move from topic sentence to your
first example and between examples.) (See bottom of this document for a tip
on how to develop good applications.)
b. Support Example 2:
c. Support Example 3:
d. Support Example 4: (You need a minimum of three quotations; if you happen to
have more, they should all follow the same three‐part formula.)
3. Concluding Summary Sentence: Restate your topic sentence as a way of wrapping up
your body paragraph, attempting in the process to remind your reader of how you
proved your topic sentence, ideally by using a key word or two from each quotation
that you have used for support.
Application Tip: A really good process to use to develop good applications is to highlight in your
list of quotations the actual words/phrases that most explicitly prove each theme and write that
theme in parentheses right after the highlighted words. Then, when you write your application
make sure you use forms of the highlighted words side by side with the theme they prove.)
Let us say, for example, that you are trying to prove that Goodman buys into the doctrine of total
depravity, and the following quotation was one you intended to use in your paragraph. Notice
how I have highlighted in blue the words that most explicitly express the concept of total
depravity and noted in square brackets for myself the theme those words prove.
“’My Faith is gone!’ cried he, after one stupefied moment. ‘There is no good on earth [total
depravity]; and sin is but a name. Come, devil! for to thee is this world given [total depravity]’”
(Hawthorne, 1835, p. 37).
Make sure you don’t leave any of the colored highlights or the themes in square brackets in your
quotation in the final draft of your paragraph. ☺
Now, note how I weave together the key phrases from the quotation with the key thesis theme
they prove to make it explicitly clear how in my mind I think the quotation proves a portion of
Here Hawthorne clearly characterizes Brown as believing that there is no goodness left on earth,
only depravity and that the entire world has totally given their depraved hearts to the devil.
It is very likely that your reader will not be able to see the same connection between the quote
and your thesis that you see in your head unless you put it on paper using
CHARACTERIZATION PARAGRAPHS: PROCESS GUIDE
If you are someone who loves to follow detailed guidelines when you write, then have the
structural outline in front of you as you draft each piece of this assignment, and try to follow the
outline as you write. If that kind of detail gives you writers block, set aside the structural outline
when you do your first draft; then, once you have all your thoughts on paper in a first draft, pull
out the template, and revise your first draft to make it follow the structural outline as closely as
1. Gather at least three quotations which characterize Delia and at least three which
characterize Sykes. Make sure you have at least one quotation for each character which
describes who they are near the beginning of the story and at least one quotation for each
which describes what happens to them at the end of the story. You may find it helpful to
use a searchable version of the text (such as the following) to search for, copy, and paste
your quotations: Searchable “Sweat” Text.
2. Take time to highlight the key phrases in each quotation which most directly prove the
themes (or character traits) you would like to prove.
3. Take time to write in the margins the theme which each key phrase that you highlighted
proves (preferably using MS Words comment bubble system, available on the Review tab).
4. Thinking about the cause-effect relationships between the themes you have just put in the
margins, draft a full thesis using as many of those themes as you can in the message portion
of your thesis.
5. Draft topic sentences for your body paragraphs, making it clear which character will be the
focus of each paragraph and including only those portions of the thesis message which can
be proven with the quotations you plan to use for that character. (Often a great method for
developing the first draft of a topic sentence is to copy and paste your entire thesis, delete
those portions of the message which you do not intend to prove in that paragraph, add in
the specific character you will focus on, and make sure what is left makes sense as a standalone sentence.)
6. Before drafting the rest of the paragraphs, arrange support quotations for first body
paragraph in ideal order—often following the order of any lists in your topic sentence or
starting with any quotations that represent initial causes and ending with those that
represent final effects are helpful organizational approaches.)
7. Draft the two characterization paragraphs. When you reach the application for each
quotation, attempt to use both the key words/phrases that you already highlighted (in step
2 above) and the key thesis themes that you already associated with those phrases (in step 3
above) within each application.
8. Allow your draft to rest, ideally for a full day or two.
9. Revise: Use the Structural Outline document as a self-guide and carefully check to see that
your draft is fulfilling each and every part of the Structural Outline. If you sense that you
have not chosen a particularly strong/explicit quotation to prove one or more of your thesis
themes, now is the time to find a better one.
Use all the skills and knowledge you gained from ENG 140 and 141 to improve the word
choice and sentence style of your paper.
Use the spelling and grammar check in MS word on the Review tab.
Proofread your final draft on your own, looking for errors in grammar, punctuation,
spelling, and APA documentation or formatting.
Do a final proofreading of your paper, preferably printing it out and reading it out loud to a
family member or friend.
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