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                                                        Explore Essay Writing: Clarity

This study sheet will help you to write a rough draft of the writing assignment that you will revise later on. Answer the following questions as you work through your study to build a strong and successful essay.

Your Assignment

In this assignment, you'll write an explanatory essay about how Edgar Allan Poe creates suspense in his chilling gothic tale of murder and madness, "The Black Cat."

You will . . .

  • Write an explanatory essay about suspense in "The Black Cat."
  • Use details and quotations from the story to support your essay.
  • Write a strong conclusion to your essay.

1. What's the topic you'll be writing about in your assignment?



2. What tools (that is, narrative choices) can an author use to create tension or suspense in a story?








3. What is character development?








4. What tools (that is, narrative choices) does Poe use to develop the character of the narrator?








5. In "The Black Cat," how does Poe develop the character of the narrator to create suspense and tension?








6. You now have identified narrative choices that Poe made to build tension and suspense and to develop the character of the narrator. Choose two to three of these narrative choices that you want to focus on in your explanatory essay and write them below.




7. What will your thesis or controlling idea about how Poe develops the narrator's character and creates suspense be?






8. Look through the story again and write down at least three instances where Poe uses a narrative choice you want to focus on. Make sure to cite specific quotations or details as evidence.
1.




2.




3.




9. You've got a thesis or controlling idea and three pieces of evidence now. Choose the two strongest pieces of evidence and make an outline.
















10. Try writing an introduction paragraph. Remember to use an attention-getting first sentence and to state your thesis or controlling idea to your reader clearly.











11. Write a body paragraph around your first piece of evidence. Make it clear to the reader that you're providing the evidence to support your controlling idea or thesis from your introduction.
















12. Do the same thing with your second piece of evidence.

















13. Write a conclusion paragraph. Remember to remind your reader of your controlling idea or thesis and the evidence you have used to support it. Also, state why your thesis matters and leave your reader with something to think about.










14. You've written four paragraphs, so you're almost finished. Go through your essay and make sure that you are using transitions to connect ideas and paragraphs.































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