Define peer pressure

Breaking Down a Student-Written Definition Essay to Better Understand the Assertion, Evidence, and Evaluation Body Paragraph Construction

I am annotating a student essay to better assist you in applying the Assertion, Evidence, and Evaluation (A, E, E) body paragraph construction.

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First, in the Definition Essay folder, find this document and open it: Summer 2020 Good Example Definition Essay. I will use it as the annotation example, and you will have to read the sentences and make observations as I mention the parts of the essay in generic and specific terms.

The Introductory Paragraph

When you open the essay, its page format is perfect and follows the How to Format a Page in MLA 8, the first YouTube video in the MLA folder.

Next, the title is inventive and creative; it is not a spit back of the assignment topic, such as, Defining an Athlete. That is a spit back title. Again, think like you are writing a headline for a magazine or journal. Show your creativity.

This writer starts with a rhetorical question, which is one of the other methods of starting an essay. The writer then follows with a quotation, which is not a requirement of placing a quote in the introductory paragraph as was the case in the narrative and description essay folder, but this writer does so.

The sentences that follow the rhetorical question and the quotation are “set up” sentences that answers the question and perhaps explains the quotation. They lead into the thesis, which is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.

The thesis states the topic that is being defined, and it is a complex sentence that has a purpose statement to it. That purpose statement is a because, if, why idea that answers the purpose of essay/topic. It should be noted that this introductory paragraph follows the Top-Down approach for writing essay introductory paragraphs, and I hope you will model this process in all future essays you are required to write in your college career.

The Body Paragraphs

The next paragraph is the first body paragraph of the essay, and it follows the Assertion, Evidence, and Evaluation process.

The first sentence of the paragraph is the assertion or topic sentence of this paragraph. It states the focus of the paragraph and restates the topic that is being defined or discussed.

Following the topic sentence, you find a quotation; this quote is the Evidence for the paragraph. NOTE: EVERY BODY PARAGRAPH MUST HAVE A QUOTATION IN IT. Also, please note the quote’s in-text citation with the period AFTER the in-text citation NOT inside the quotation. (Periods do not appear inside quotes when an in-text citation is used.)

After the quotation, the writer discusses the connection or explains the connection between the topic sentence or assertion and the use of the quotation, the evidence. This explanation qualifies and holds the reader’s hand on understanding how the assertion and the evidence link together.

Now, this paragraph could conclude here if the writer produced a concluding sentence. However, in this case, the writer has a second point to make in the paragraph, and the writer writes: Fitness has been a way for people to keep themselves healthy and live longer.” In this sentence, the writer is making another assertion and will follow it up with another quote (the evidence) and the explanation of the quote and the assertion (the evaluation). Ideally, there should be a concluding sentence to this paragraph.


The Concluding Paragraph

The writer brings the essay to an end with the last paragraph states why the topic is important and valuable to readers along with a caution to be careful and informed regarding the topic and its engagement.

The Works Cited Pages

The writer uses library sources for all the quotations and follows proper MLA 8 citation construction for the citations and the page itself. Please note that the first two citations are written by the same author, so the writer alphabetizes the two, making the distinction with the second item in the works cited entry and alphabetizing with it. Again, works cited pages are in alphabetic order, not in order of use. As for in-text citations, the writer copies the first item in the source and uses it as the in-text citation.

Concluding Thoughts

Two other definition essays in the definition essay are titled Good Definition Essay Sample and Second Definition Essay Sample as well as others. These model the A, E, E construction.

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