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Paragraph by Paragraph
Take the next 10 minutes to review your notes and

Identify the topic you will write about for your Application Essay.
Identify your significant truth and give a detailed explanation about how
this truth changed you.
Describe the setting of the story. Where does it take place? Come up with at
least three sensory images that you will use to show the reader how you
came to your significant truth.
Remember: if youre lost or confused, refer to the Fish Cheeks story for
examples. After that, ask questions.

Today were going to break down your story into its
component parts
Opening paragraph/Thesis
(at least) Three Body Paragraphs
Closing/Conclusion Paragraph
Youre going to use Fish Cheeks as a model to begin
writing your own story.

THE OPENING, the first paragraph, addresses the prompt
without stating it, and gets the story going at the same time. It
introduces us to the theme of the story. In an essay, this is where
you write the thesis.
THE BODY is the narrative, or story. This is where you focus on
those important detailsthe sensory information that helps the
reader understand the experience. Use imagery and sensory
details to make the prose live on the page.
THE CLOSING is where we talk about our significant truth. This
is where you REFLECT upon your experience, and explain how
the details from THE BODY have effected* you for the better.
This is where you introduce your story, and address the prompt
that you chose to write about. This paragraph sets up the entire

Here, you want to associate the reader with what theyll be
reading. You can clue them in by addressing

Look back at the story, Fish Cheeks: what details address the
theme? How do we know the topic of the story?

This is where you tell your story by focusing on the important details.
This is where you get show the reader why your topic is important.
Reflection should be scattered throughout your body paragraphs.

Identify Tans significant truth and circle it. Then, look back at Fish Cheeks and
circle three details that set up Tans significant truth; also, note moments of
Take 10 minutes to think about some details that you could use in your own story.
They should come naturally from the setting.
The conclusion is where your reflection belongs.
This is where you definitively tell the reader what youve learned.

Be sure that your reflection is answering the topic that you addressed in the first
Be sure to reflect upon the details you use in the previous, body paragraphs. The
reflection needs to be about what came before it; not about a random idea.

Look back to Fish Cheeks: draw a line from the statements in the reflection to the
details in the body paragraph that the author is reflecting upon.
The remainder of the time is for you to write. This is your time to put your ideas
into words and use those words to tell a story. I am here. Your group leaders are
here. Your classmates are here. Were all here to help each other. So get to work, and
take advantage of the time you have.

Your goal is to have a working rough draft that you can hand to me at the end of
the week for the long weekend.