Common Core Essay Writing Vocabulary

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Essay
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A piece of writing that gives your thoughts (commentary) about a subject. All _______s you will write in this unit will have at least 3 paragraphs: an introduction, body paragraph(s), and a concluding paragraph.
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Introduction
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The first paragraph in an essay. It should “hook” the audience, introduce the topic, and include a thesis statement.
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Hook
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A device used at the beginning of a piece of writing designed to grab the reader’s attention.
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Thesis
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A sentence with a subject and opinion that is the central unifying idea of an essay. It should be at the end of the introduction.
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Body Paragraph
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A middle paragraph in an essay. It develops a point you want to make that supports your thesis.
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Topic Sentence
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The first sentence in a body paragraph. This must have a subject and opinion (commentary) for the paragraph. It does the same thing for a body paragraph that the thesis does for the whole essay.
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Concrete Details (CD)
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Specific details that form the backbone or core of your body paragraph. Synonyms for _______ include facts, specifics, examples, descriptions, illustrations, support, proof, evidence, quotations, paraphrasing, or plot references.
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Commentary (CM)
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Your opinion or comment about something; not concrete detail. Synonyms for ______ include opinion, insight, analysis, interpretation, inference, personal response, feelings, evaluation, explication, and reflection
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Concluding Sentence
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The last sentence in a body paragraph. It is all commentary, does not repeat key words, and gives a finished feeling to the paragraph.
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Quote Sandwich
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One sentence of concrete detail and 2 sentences of commentary (introduction/support for thesis). It is the smallest unified group of thoughts that you can write.
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Transition
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A word/sentence that smoothly connects two ideas or sections in a piece of writing.
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Conclusion
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The last paragraph in your essay. It may: sum up your ideas, reflect on what your ideas, reflect on what you said in your essay, say more commentary about your subject, or give a personal statement about the subject.
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Works Cited
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A list of books/articles referred to in a piece of writing (MLA citation).
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In-text citation
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Crediting a source within the paper.
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Prewriting
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The process of getting your concrete details down on paper before you organize your essay into a/an paragraph(s). You can use any or all of the following: bubble clusters, spider diagrams, outlines, line cluster, or columns
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First Draft
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The first version of your essay.
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Peer Response
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Written responses and reactions to a partner’s paper.
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MLA
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Modern Language Association. A type of formatting protocol used by many educational institutions.

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