Of Mice and Men essay notes
An essay is a writer’s opinion on a single topic.
To support this opinion the writer provides evidence and explanation of the evidence.
Good organization helps the reader of the essay understand the thoughts of the writer.

  • Starts with broad ideas that lead the reader toward the focus of the thesis.
    • May start with a little story (anecdote), with a general idea, or with a well-known example.
    • In a literary essay you include the title of the work and the name of the author.
      • A book title is in italics.
      • A poem or article is put in “quotation marks.”
      • Finish the introduction with your thesis.
        • A thesis must include
          • a topic and
          • an opinion
  • The thesis must be arguable.
Each body paragraph
  • Starts with a transitional phrase
  • May be part of the topic sentence
    • Helps the reader move along
    • Has a topic sentence that makes clear the purpose of that paragraph
    • Provides two examples to support the topic sentence
      • First example from the text
        • Use MLA format!
        • All one sentence
        • Signal phrase
        • “textual example”
        • (page number)
        • . period.
  • First explanation of the example.
    • How does this tie to the topic sentence.
  • Second example
  • Second explanation
  • Other body paragraphs (2 more)
    • follow the same example
Conclusion –
  • Start with a restatement of your thesis.
    • Don’t use exactly the same words; phrase it differently.
    • So What?
      • Why does this matter?
      • How does it relate to now?
      • Or how does it relate to more people?
      • Move beyond the scope of your thesis.
Basic essay rules:
  • Leave yourself out of an academic essay.
    • No I, me, you, your, etc.
    • No contractions: can’t, etc.
    • Use formal language – no slang
    • Be sure to use correct MLA format
      • Refer to the Purdue OWL

  • Write an outline.
  • Need to choose your thesis.
  • Choose your organization.
    • 3 body paragraphs
      • one character per paragraph?
      • One mood per paragraph? Place?
      • Which examples will support each paragraph?