Below are the instructors instructions, I will also upload the essay to be responded to as a source document
The Five Paragraph Close Reading Essay
The five paragraph Close Reading essay asks more of the student than a mere proof that they have moved their eyes over the text and can synopsize what has been written. It asks the student to engage with the author in one side of a dialogue whose subject is the writing in question. It asks the writer of the analysis to conceptually evaluate the likelihood of the text to succeed in its aim of achieving communication or supportable agreement with its audience. It considers the subject of the text, its aim/purpose, its intended audience, its perspective, and the method or methods the author uses to achieve sympathy with the writer/reader. Finally, it asks the writer of the Close Reading to evaluate the success or failure of the author to create community with its intended reader(s).
The five paragraph Close Reading essay presupposes that its readers (in this case, the class instructor) have already made themselves very familiar with the text being analyzed. This presupposition eliminates the need for anything but a very brief synopsis, or recounting, of the events or ideas contained within the reading in question. It assumes its reader already understands the subject, the tone, the aim, the method, and the audience. This is what makes the Close Reading essay different than the ?book report,? whose lowly aim is to prove that the writer has indeed read over the text. It asks its writer to take apart each element of the writing and examine it carefully, and to fully engage him or herself with the separate parts in a freestanding way with the object of the analysis. (Please note that it is NOT an invitation for you to discuss YOUR views of the topic discussed in the reading. It evaluates the author?s success or failure in his or her presentation of the subject). It is conceptually based in that it asks the student to reconstruct the text in an individualistic way, a way unique to the individual analyzing the text. It represents the best efforts of its student to communicate his or her considered response and reaction to the object being analyzed. It demonstrates that an aptitude for considered thought is being developed and, for this reason, it is hard work, but hard work that elevates the perception, critical faculties, and the problem solving abilities of the writer. This ability is universally applicable to tasks required of literate adults in a serious minded and serious hearted world.
The Five Paragraph Close Reading Essay
Introductory Paragraph -- Locating information
Include author; date of composition; date of publication; discourse convention (narrative, chronology, process analysis, compare/contrast, analogy, etc.); aim/purpose (inform, define, persuade); target audience; support strategies; level of formality; tone; method of appeal; brief synopsis of main points; author?s thesis (direct or implied? Where?); Your thesis (your evaluation of author?s success or failure to gain sympathy with target audience and reason(s) for that evaluation (underline your thesis).
The following components act as suggestions only of the types of questions you should be asking?if a particular prompt does not apply, then ignore it.
Body Paragraph #1 -- Content. (What paragraph)
What is author saying or implying to audience in text? (Support by quoting or paraphrasing the text); Does author make more than one point? What and where are they? Is author?s aim/purpose informative, definition-based, persuasive, or a combination of these? What primary point or points does the author want the audience to understand and/or apply?
Body Paragraph #2 -- Method. (How paragraph)
What method(s) does the author use in essaying the primary point(s)? What level of diction is used? (academic, formal, conversational, informal, slang?) What tone is used (serious? humorous? ironic? calm? excited? hysterical? combinations of above?) What form does the author employ? (chronological? narrative? dramatic? monologic? enumerative? comparative? analogous? analysis? definitive? use of examples? (local? global? historical? contemporary? a combination of the above?)
What is the author?s primary method of appeal? (logical?, ethical?, emotional?) A combination of above? (cite, paraphrase, or quote text for support, keeping support brief by using ellipses or brackets. Use block quotation form only if necessary).
Body Paragraph #3 -- Evaluation. (How well paragraph)
Given target audience and aim, does author choose appropriate tone? What could have improved it and why? (Explain and support).
Does author choose most advantageous form? What could have improved it and why? (Explain and support). Does author insult or patronize audience? Where? How? (Explain and support). Does author truly convince, or just seem to? Look for logical fallacies. (Explain and support). Does author use the most honest method of appeal? Is a simple aim made too difficult? Are any points oversimplified? Does audience have to do any unnecessary work? Do new and/or unnecessary elements come crashing in at inappropriate places? (Explain and support). Are any unnecessary or dishonest distractions/evidence/other elements evident? Does the essay succeed? Completely? Only partly? Not at all? Why or why not? What could have improved it for its target audience? (Explain and support).
Final paragraph -- Conclusion. (Wrap up paragraph)
Review the main points of your supported thesis, with proper explanation and support. What are your final thoughts/feelings/reactions to the assigned text? What, finally, causes these?
SOURCE MATERIAL (ESSAY TO BE RESPONDED TO)
Look at Your Fish ? Samuel Scudder
It was more than fifteen years ago that I entered the laboratory of Professor Agassiz, and told him I had enrolled my name in the scientific school as a student of natural history. He asked me a few questions about my object in coming, my antecedents generally, the mode in which I afterwards proposed to use the knowledge I might acquire, and finally, whether I wished to study any special branch. To the latter I replied that while I wished to be well grounded in all departments of zoology, I purposed to devote myself specially to insects.
"When do you wish to begin?" he asked.
"Now," I replied.
This seemed to please him, and with an energetic "Very well," he reached from a shelf a huge jar of specimens in yellow alcohol. "Take this fish," he said, "and look at it; we call it a Haemulon; by and by I will ask what you have seen."
With that he left me, but in a moment returned with explicit instructions as to the care of the object entrusted to me.
"No man is fit to be a naturalist," said he, "who does not know how to take care of specimens."
I was to keep the fish before me in a tin tray, and occasionally moisten the surface with alcohol from the jar, always taking care to replace the stopper tightly. Those were not the days of ground glass stoppers, and elegantly shaped exhibition jars; all the old students will recall the huge, neckless glass bottles with their leaky, wax-besmeared corks, half-eaten by insects and begrimed with cellar dust. Entomology was a cleaner science than ichthyology, but the example of the professor who had unhesitatingly plunged to the bottom of the jar to produce the fish was infectious; and though this alcohol had "a very ancient and fish-like smell," I really dared not show any aversion within these sacred precincts, and treated the alcohol as though it were pure water. Still I was conscious of a passing feeling of disappointment, for gazing at a fish did not commend itself to an ardent entomologist. My friends at home, too, were annoyed, when they discovered that no amount of eau de cologne would drown the perfume which haunted me like a shadow.
In ten minutes I had seen all that could be seen in that fish, and started in search of the professor, who had, however, left the museum; and when I returned, after lingering over some of the odd animals stored in the upper apartment, my specimen was dry all over. I dashed the fluid over the fish as if to resuscitate it from a fainting-fit, and looked with anxiety for a return of a normal, sloppy appearance. This little excitement over, nothing was to be done but return to a steadfast gaze at my mute companion. Half an hour passed, an hour, another hour; the fish began to look loathsome. I turned it over and around; looked it in the face -- ghastly; from behind, beneath, above, sideways, at a three-quarters view -- just as ghastly. I was in despair; at an early hour, I concluded that lunch was necessary; so with infinite relief, the fish was carefully replaced in the jar, and for an hour I was free.
On my return, I learned that Professor Agassiz had been at the museum, but had gone and would not return for several hours. My fellow students were too busy to be disturbed by continued conversation. Slowly I drew forth that hideous fish, and with a feeling of desperation again looked at it. I might not use a magnifying glass; instruments of all kinds were interdicted. My two hands, my two eyes, and the fish; it seemed a most limited field. I pushed my fingers down its throat to see how sharp its teeth were. I began to count the scales in the different rows until I was convinced that that was nonsense. At last a happy thought struck me -- I would draw the fish; and now with surprise I began to discover new features in the creature. Just then the professor returned.
"That is right," said he, "a pencil is one of the best eyes. I am glad to notice, too, that you keep your specimen wet and your bottle corked."
With these encouraging words he added --
"Well, what is it like?"
He listened attentively to my brief rehearsal of the structure of parts whose names were still unknown to me; the fringed gill-arches and movable operculum; the pores of the head, fleshly lips, and lidless eyes; the lateral line, the spinous fin, and forked tail; the compressed and arched body. When I had finished, he waited as if expecting more, and then, with an air of disappointment:
"You have not looked very carefully; why," he continued, more earnestly, "you haven't seen one of the most conspicuous features of the animal, which is as plainly before your eyes as the fish itself. Look again; look again!" And he left me to my misery.
I was piqued; I was mortified. Still more of that wretched fish? But now I set myself to the task with a will, and discovered one new thing after another, until I saw how just the professor's criticism had been. The afternoon passed quickly, and when, towards its close, the professor inquired,
"Do you see it yet?"
"No," I replied. "I am certain I do not, but I see how little I saw before."
"That is next best," said he earnestly, "but I won't hear you now; put away your fish and go home; perhaps you will be ready with a better answer in the morning. I will examine you before you look at the fish."
This was disconcerting; not only must I think of my fish all night, studying, without the object before me, what this unknown but most visible feature might be, but also, without reviewing my new discoveries, I must give an exact account of them the next day. I had a bad memory; so I walked home by Charles River in a distracted state, with my two perplexities.
The cordial greeting from the professor the next morning was reassuring; here was a man who seemed to be quite as anxious as I that I should see for myself what he saw.
"Do you perhaps mean," I asked, "that the fish has symmetrical sides with paired organs?"
His thoroughly pleased, "Of course, of course!" repaid the wakeful hours of the previous night. After he had discoursed most happily and enthusiastically -- as he always did -- upon the importance of this point, I ventured to ask what I should do next.
"Oh, look at your fish!" he said, and left me again to my own devices. In a little more than an hour he returned and heard my new catalogue.
"That is good, that is good!" he repeated, "but that is not all; go on." And so for three long days, he placed that fish before my eyes, forbidding me to look at anything else, or to use any artificial aid. "Look, look, look," was his repeated injunction.
This was the best entomological lesson I ever had -- a lesson whose influence was extended to the details of every subsequent study; a legacy the professor has left to me, as he left it to many others, of inestimable value, which we could not buy, with which we cannot part.
A year afterwards, some of us were amusing ourselves with chalking outlandish beasts upon the blackboard. We drew prancing star-fishes; frogs
in mortal combat; hydro-headed worms; stately craw-fishes, standing on their tails, bearing aloft umbrellas; and grotesque fishes, with gaping mouths and staring eyes. The professor came in shortly after, and was as much amused as any at our experiments. He looked at the fishes.
"Haemulons, every one of them," he said; "Mr. ____________ drew them."
True; and to this day, if I attempt a fish, I can draw nothing but Haemulons.
The fourth day a second fish of the same group was placed beside the first, and I was bidden to point out the resemblances and differences between the two; another and another followed, until the entire family lay before me, and a whole legion of jars covered the table and surrounding shelves; the odor had become a pleasant perfume; and even now, the sight of an old six-inch worm-eaten cork brings fragrant memories!
The whole group of Haemulons was thus brought into review; and whether engaged upon the dissection of the internal organs, preparation and examination of the bony framework, or the description of the various parts, Agassiz's training in the method of observing facts in their orderly arrangement, was ever accompanied by the urgent exhortation not to be content with them.
"Facts are stupid things," he would say, "until brought into connection with some general law."
At the end of eight months, it was almost with reluctance that I left these friends and turned to insects; but what I gained by this outside experience has been of greater value than years of later investigation in my favorite groups.
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