Pictures rely on assumptions, those the author holds and those we make. Today’s exercise has two purposes: to observe (explained in Section I below) and to write about our observations (explained in Section II below).
In class, we will be looking at Foundations of America, where we examine some of the essential promises of the American Experiment. 250 years into this experiment, we see those promises differently, so we are going to try and recapture some of them in their glory.
Above, you see a picture that tells you something about yours and the author’s assumptions. You have already done an OPTIC Exercise. Return to it and pay close attention to the foreground and background. Pay attention to color and gesture. Look for irregularities. Read it as deeply as you would a written text.
In order to understand what a good paragraph looks like, you have to understand what a basic paragraph looks like. As freshmen, you learned the 5-Function Paragraph (Topic Sentence, Proof, Cause and Effect, Theme, Hook/Transition). These were designed, as the name implies, to teach you something about structure. Hopefully, as you have gotten older, your paragraphs might be stronger due to word choice, syntax, and sentence structure — but, even with 5-Functions, they will be basic.
Unlike Freshman year, however, you need to come up with your own argument (Topic Sentence) and develop your argument. Examine your OPTIC and turn it upside down; start with your conclusions and write a 5-function paragraph that develops your case (using details from the picture — which ones best help tell the story?). As you do, you will be writing a microscopic feature answering the following promt:
How do the elements of the picture contribute to the story being told?”
As a warm-up, complete Exercise 1 of Device #23 (Antanagoge), and start the paragraph with that device – When you use this device, WRITE THE SENTENCES IN ALL CAPS — that will show me you understand the concept.
For an example for a 5-Function Paragraph, click here for Paragraph Writing Samples to make your paragraph more fluid, take a look at AP Language Stems and this Topic Sentence Cheat Sheet.