Prompt: How does Orwell portray society in “Shooting an Elephant”?
Could you please use these three claims in each paragraph as well as try to prove each claim in the paragraph. Work hard to prove each claim through your writing.
1. Orwell describes the local people as worthless. He describes the lives of the Burmese people as “squalid” and impoverished.
2. Orwell uses metaphor and symbolism to describe society. The elephant being the symbol of the British empire.
3. He describes the dynamic between the British and the Burmese. The whites are trying to save face and appear strong and the Burmese are trying to find a way to humiliate the British imperialist.
- Two pages double-spaced max
- Mechanical and grammatical perfection
- 5 paragraph essay—one intro, 3 CEW body, one conclusion
- 2 pieces of evidence per CEW paragraph
1. Start with the thesis.
Good theses lead to complex and thorough papers, papers that write themselves. A thesis is just a giant claim for the whole paper; rather than focusing on one point that a paragraph is proving, it focuses on the points being proven in the essay.
How to judge a thesis:
· Does it fully answer the prompt (most prompts have multiple points that need to be addressed)?
· Is the claim merely rewording the text (if so, this is not a claim)?
· Is the claim arguing something interesting (the more unlikely the answer, the easier the paper will be)?
The dead Burman, the butchered elephant and the manipulated Orwell demonstrate that society, whether Burman or British, demands sacrifice.
2. Next, find your evidence.
Once you’ve found a starting thesis, find 1-3 pieces of evidence (quotes) that support EACH portion of the thesis.
Note: Here’s the chance for revising your thesis. If the evidence doesn’t seem to support the thesis, change parts of the thesis. Also, the thesis can become even more precise here because now you know what exactly you can prove.
How to judge evidence:
- Does it actually prove what it’s supposed to prove?
- Does each part of the thesis have at least two feasible quotes?
3. Now, compile this info to create the mini outline:
Intro—thesis about A, B, C
Body Paragraph 1—Claim about A
List evidence for A
Body Paragraph 2—Claim about B
List evidence for B
Body Paragraph 3—Claim about C
List Evidence for C
With this outline you can turn the pieces of the thesis into CEW paragraphs. Write the body paragraphs by simply using the claim that was already generated for the outline, then lead into the evidence, and finally warrant the evidence. Each quote gets its own lead in and its own warrant. End each body paragraph with a concluding statement or transitional thought.
4. Write your Intro Paragraph.
Start broad. Make a philosophical observation or open with a quote that connects to your topic. Slowly funnel down to your thesis. Think of writing as if each sentence were a Lincoln log; the end idea of one sentence should lead you into the beginning idea of the next sentence.
5. Write a Concluding Paragraph.
Transition from the topic of your last body paragraph back to the larger topic of your paper. Try not to merely restate your thesis. At this point, you can actually address the significance of your topic in general; connect the topic to life in general without being cliché or awkward (still no first or second person, okay?).