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Name: __________________________________ Block: ______

African Literature Mastery Work #2: Theme Analysis Essay & Socratic Seminar for Things Fall Apart

The theme of a work of literature is the comment the author makes about his subject matter or a
revelation about the behavior of human beings or the conduct of society. In other words, it is what we learn
after thinking about what we have read.

Task: For your Mastery Work assignment you will determine one of the many thematic messages about a
specific topic for the novel Things Fall Apart. After deciding on your theme, you will write a six paragraph
essay that discusses the ways in which Achebe builds his message. Additionally, you will participate in a
Socratic seminar about your topic.

What must be included in your paper:


 An introductory paragraph that has a precise thesis statement that is derived from your reading.
 Evidence from the novel across four TE/EA paragraphs.
 A concluding paragraph (total six paragraphs).
 An MLA style works cited page.

Standards for the paper:


 Your essay must be written in academic language.
 You must explain your evidence with detail and context! Write as though your reader has no
background information about your topic.
 Follow formatting standards. If you have the improper format, you will lose points on the essay.

Format:
 Typed, Size 12, Times New Roman font, double spaced.
 Include a heading with your name, date, block, and teacher's name.

Guidelines for Socratic seminar:


 Come prepared. Bring notes and info that are relevant to the discussion.
 Participate, participate, participate!
 Back up your comments with evidence/ facts.
 Try to comment on someone else's previous statement before you give yours.
 Keep discussion alive by asking open-ended, thought-provoking questions.
 Disagree with comments, not individuals. NEVER put anyone down.
 Use your speaking time fairly (contribute but do not control).

DUE DATES:
 First Draft: ____________________________ Final Draft: ____________________________

DO NOT LOSE THIS SHEET!!!


You must also submit this handout with both your FIRST DRAFT and FINAL DRAFT.
The rubric must be facing FORWARD.
ESSAY RUBRIC
4 3 2 1
-Introduction paragraph has -Introduction paragraph has -Introduction paragraph has -Introduction paragraph is
a captivating hook, provides an interesting hook, provides a weak or confusing hook, missing a clear hook, lacks or
Introduction

detailed and relevant relevant background provides poor background has poor background
background information and information and has a information and has an information, thesis is
has a strong, unique thesis. strong, clear thesis. unclear or weak thesis. unclear, confusing or
-Shows a strong -Shows a good -Attempts to show an missing entirely.
understanding of the theme. understanding of the theme. understanding of the theme. -No clear understanding of
the theme.
-TE/EA format followed -TE/EA format followed TE/EA format followed with TE/EA format followed with
Body Paragraphs

precisely. Two pieces of precisely. Two pieces of some errors (missing multiple errors (missing
relevant evidence per relevant evidence per evidence, unclear topic evidence, unclear topic
paragraph and a detailed, paragraph and a detailed sentence, etc). Analysis is sentence, etc). Analysis is
sophisticated analysis. analysis. weak and/or confusing. weak, confusing, or absent
-Context clear throughout - Context mostly clear - Context unclear/missing entirely.
throughout -Context unclear/missing
Demonstrates proper & Demonstrates consistent Demonstrates inconsistent Does not make appropriate
consistent citation of sources citation of sources when citation of sources when use of citations when dealing
Command of Evidence

when dealing with direct dealing with direct quotes dealing with direct quotes with direct quotes and
quotes and paraphrased and paraphrased material. and paraphrased material. paraphrased material.
material.
Presents ideas sufficiently Presents ideas briefly, Presents little or no evidence
Present ideas fully and and accurately, making making use of some from the texts
clearly, making effective use adequate use of specific and evidence.
of a wide range of specific relevant evidence.
and relevant evidence
Conclusion recaps all of the Conclusion recaps all of the Conclusion fails to recap all Conclusion fails to recap all
relevant points from the relevant points from the of the relevant points from of the relevant points from
Conclusion

essay without sounding essay. Leaves reader with a the essay, is repetitive and the essay, is repetitive and
repetitive. Leaves reader relevant question or idea. unoriginal. Value of essay is unoriginal and/or conclusion
with a profound and Shows the value of reading unclear. is missing.
interesting question or idea. the essay.
Shows the value of reading
the essay.
0-3 errors in spelling 4-6 errors in spelling 7-9 errors in spelling 10 or more errors in
Conventions

(including capitalization) and (including capitalization) and (including capitalization) and spelling (including
grammar (including subject- grammar (including subject- grammar (including subject- capitalization) and grammar
verb agreement and verb agreement and verb agreement and (including subject-verb
punctuation) punctuation) punctuation) agreement and punctuation)

First Draft  RUBRIC SCORE: _________ = ____________/100

Final Draft  RUBRIC SCORE: _________ = ____________/100

*Rubrics for the Socratic seminar will be given out at a later date.
African Literature Mastery Work #2: Theme Analysis Essay & Socratic Seminar for Things Fall Apart

The theme of a work of literature is the comment the author makes about his subject matter or a
revelation about the behavior of human beings or the conduct of society. In other words, it is what we learn
after thinking about what we have read. At times, the author’s theme may not confirm of agree with your own
beliefs, but even then, if it is skillfully written, the work will still have a theme that illuminates some aspects of
the human experience.

The theme of a work of literature is the comment the author makes about his subject matter or a revelation
about the behavior of human beings or the conduct of society. In other words, it is what we learn after
thinking about what we have read.

Task: For your first Mastery Work assignment you will determine one of the many thematic messages about a
specific topic for the novel Things Fall Apart. After deciding on your theme, you will write a six paragraph
essay that discusses the ways in which Achebe builds his message.

Additionally, you will participate in a Socratic seminar about your topic. In crafting your paper, include a
precise thesis statement that is supported by relevant and sufficient evidence and valid reasoning. Use the
rubric, graphic organizers and peer comments to guide the creation of your final draft.