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Old 08-19-2010, 11:12 PM   #1
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Essay Help

I have a really hard time making Introductions, and closers to my essays. I have summer reading books for my Honors English class and this is what I have. (The essay is on "The Hobbit")

INTRO

"In The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien, the true hero of this novel would be Bilbo Baggins from under The Hill and across The Water. There are many events that take place throughout his adventure where he saves the dwarves from death, specifically Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Dwalin, Vagina, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Ori, Nori, and none other than Thorin Oakenshield. At the beginning of the novel, Bilbo was afraid to leave his Hobbit Hole under The Hill, but by the end he became courageous."

Closer

"These are all of the examples and quotes from the novel, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by J.R.R. Tolkien that explain why I think Bilbo would be titled Hero of the novel. Bilbo Baggins was the only person that really had an impact on the dwarves, since he saved them from death and imprisonment. Without the help of this Hobbit, Thorin Oakenshield and his men would have never have gotten to the Lonely Mountain at the end of the story and obtained the treasure. Bilbo Baggins’ courage and heroism throughout the book, is what gives him the title of hero."

Please if someone could help me edit them so they are not cookie cutter, much would be appreciated. If anyone can offer advise on how to do it better, that too will be appreciated.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:10 AM   #2
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What type of essay are you writing? The introduction will we different depending on what type of essay you are trying to write. Is it a summary of the book, analyzing a certain theme, character development? Your introduction gives little information as to what your essay is about which means it isn't good.

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
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The essay is about "who is the real hero and what makes him heroic? Select the character you think is the most heroic and defend why he deserves that title using examples and quotes from the text."
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:17 PM   #4
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All right.
Introduction:
First off, be bold in your introduction. Don't say that Bilbo would the hero, say that he is. That will tell the audience you are confident in your selection. Don't describe who Bilbo is in detail (where he lives, what he did, who he talked to, etc) in your introduction unless you are doing a character analysis, which you aren't. So get rid of all the information about what he did in the story. Depending on the topic of your paper, your introduction should only be between two and four sentences. Your introduction should not explain anything other than two or three broad points that you will be discussing in your topic, and a brief sentence or two about who Bilbo is so the reader understands what book he's from and from what author. Also, avoid making long lists about people he's saved in the introduction. I would caution against doing so in the body, too, and just using the most significant points as examples. Two strong paragraphs are a lot better than three decent ones. Your introduction is supposed to introduce your ideas and give your audience a small amount of detail, not a summary of the plot in a nutshell.

Conclusion:
Your first sentence needs to go completely. Either that or rephrase it. The conclusion is supposed to be a summary of your points. Depending on how long the paper needs to be, you can fill up space with things such as restating your thesis statement, but reworded so it doesn't look like you copy and pasted. Don't summarize plot at all in the essay. If you must summarize, do no more than one or two sentences. You are explaining why and how you think Bilbo is the hero of the novel, not giving the audience a Spark Notes-esque rundown (Why and how, not what). Like the introduction, it should only be two to five sentences, depending on the amount you have written.

Additional Notes:
These don't have to do with what you wrote, but these are just general rules of writing:
  • Don't use words like I think, you see, etc. Never use first person unless it's specifically requested by your teacher.
  • Only refer to the author's first name once. For example, you would say J.R.R. Tolkien in the first paragraph, and the rest of the essay you can just write Tolkien, because it is assumed that you are talking about J.R.R Tolkien if you just mention his last name.
  • NEVER make a direct quotation in either the introduction or conclusion.
  • Italicize titles of books, do not put them in quotations or underline them. More information on this and citing sources can be found here. [hawaii.edu]
  • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/02/ is a good read for you to get additional information about how to write an expository essay, which is what you are doing. I don't know what grade you are in, but judging by the fact you are reading The Hobbit you should be able to understand the concepts they are trying to explain in this article.
Please note that what I have said should be taken as personal advice and not a suggestion or recommendation. You should follow your instructor's rules before anyone else's. Write your essay the way whoever is grading it wants you to write it, as they have final discretion over what deserves an A and what deserves an F.

If you need any additional help, please let me know. I want to refrain from writing your paper for you, but I can help you with the writing process. I haven't read The Hobbit myself, so plot questions would be better addressed to someone either than me.

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Last edited by Lukario; 08-21-2010 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Adding information
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:05 PM   #5
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Thanks man, that helped a ton. So from you information you gave me, this is what I have
INTRODUCTION-
Bilbo Baggins is the irrefutable hero in The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by J.R.R. Tolkien, for many reasons. Bilbo gets dragged into countable adventures in which Bilbo proves himself to be a hero. This will be explicitly explained. Bilbo was interrupted one day by Gandalf and thirteen dwarves who dragged him into a once in a life time opportunity to travel across the Wilderland, the setting of the story, and obtain treasure within the Lonely Mountain guarded by the vicious Smaug, a dragon who guards the treasure against robbers.


CONCLUSION-
By the information provided, it is obvious why Bilbo Baggins is the hero of this story. From Bilbo going into Gollum’s cave, he gained confidence in himself to overcome just about any hindrance. This confidence is what brings him into saving the dwarves from death and allowing Bilbo to achieve things he never thought possible. Without the magical ring at hand, Gollum would have eaten Bilbo and the story would end with Gandalf as the Hero. Although Bilbo survived, received his share of treasure and returned to The Hill as a hero.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Looks a lot better. I'll give you some more suggestions, too.
  • Your thesis statement is very weak. It's too wordy, too specific, and doesn't really tell the audience what your paper is going to talk about. The thesis statement is the last sentence in the first paragraph and should only be about a line or two long at most. Use it to explain very briefly why Bilbo is the hero. It should start off with something like, "Bilbo is the hero because point 1, point 2, point 3. It's a little formulaic, but your teacher will appreciate a concise, understandable, and reasonable thesis statement.
  • Don't use "dead words/phrases". These include things like it's apparent, it's obvious, as you can see, etc. It's frowned upon when you are writing because if it's explicitly stated in the first place, it will be apparent, obvious, the audience can see it, etc.
  • There's no need to tell your audience that you will be telling them something, just tell them.
  • Again, your writing still seems to hint at you summarizing too much of the plot. I have this problem, too. My advice is that you remember that you are explaining why Bilbo is the hero, not what he did. I know it's hard to not want to summarize, but if you feel the need to summarize, only explain the most key points that are relevant to Bilbo himself, not other characters. This is greatly evident in your conclusion.
  • For your conclusion, just restate your thesis statement (last sentence in the first paragraph), and a brief overview of your paper's essential points. That's all.
  • Make the implicit explicit. This means to take what the author, or anyone for that matter, is implying, and make is visible. Let your audience know that Bilbo is leaving on a journey if the Tolkien writes, "he was preparing to wander to places unknown". It will help assert your authority on the topic.
Hope this additional information helps and feel absolutely free to post what you've updated if you want me to look over it.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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Okay, thanks. I've successfully completed my The Hobbit essay. Now I'm stuck on another essay but in a different way. Has anyone read "The Metamorphosis"? The question is what is the meaning of Gregor Samsa's change and I'm not quite sure what that means. Does it mean like list themes and explains them?
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