Discussion: Student Essay

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Your initial post should respond to all three questions below and should be around 300 words. In your response, be sure to include reference to specific moments, language, and details from the essay.

1. What do you notice about the student’s selection, incorporation, and/or explanation of textual evidence that relates to his key words and thesis?

2. What writing moves that the student writer makes do you admire? In other words, what do you notice about how he writes that you would like to try out in your own essay?

3. What is one insight that you arrived at when you mapped out the student essay that you would like to point out?

Note on the Student Essay:

Here is some context to help you to understand the student essay. The student is writing about a play entitled Doubt. The playwright wanted to put readers and viewers in an uncomfortable position in which they do not know for sure whether one of the main characters, Father Flynn, is guilty of molesting a young boy. Some of the characters in the play believe he is guilty, and other characters believe he is innocent.

The prompt the student is responding to asks: What reason does the play provide for Sister James’ ability to believe in Father Flynn’s innocence? The student’s thesis conveys his response, which he supports throughout the essay.

Here is a trailer from the film version of Doubt, which the playwright himself directed, to give you a feel for the characters that are mentioned in the student essay. Father Flynn is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sister Aloysius is played by Meryl Streep, and Sister James is played by Amy Adams. I think it would help if you watched this clip prior to reading the student essay.

As you read the student essay, pay attention to:

–the student’s use of key words; circle the key words or key phrases that the student uses throughout the essay.

–the student’s incorporation of textual evidence that relates to his key words/thesis

–the student’s explanation of evidence in a way that relates to his key words/thesis


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