3. Time Travel Discussion
Describe the type of time travel that is enabled by
the “time turner”:
How far back can you travel?
What are the “rules”?
Why does it have to be secret?
How does this version of time travel differ from
other versions you are familiar with? (Think about
books, movies, TV, etc.)
Come up with specific examples to compare.
Why are Harry and Hermione only allowed to
save Buckbeak and Sirius? Why are they not
able to intervene in the past in other ways?
Are there rational reasons for this?
Assuming you have to abide by the rules and
limitations of the “time turner,” what would you
use it for? In what kinds of situations would it be
Discuss in your Houses and then be
prepared to share in full class discussion.
4. How will you focus
Take a look at what you have so far:
Do you have a focus for your concept?
If not, do you have another
5. How do you limit and focus?
Your limited concept must include the
categories in it.
Ex: Can ”Defense Against Dark Arts”
include “protection spells,” “unforgivable
curses,” and “dark creatures”?
Your categories should be reasonably
exhaustive of examples that people could
Categories of beverages: Soda vs.
Divination: palmistry and tea leaves.
Categories and types must be reasonably
Magical creature categories:
Green, flying, and friendly.
Types are not the same thing as
examples. Each type must be able to
include multiple examples.
Type: birds; Examples: owls, ravens,
6. Formulating a Working
Let’s refer to our model essays in
The St Martin’s Guide to see how
others handle a thesis for this kind of
7. In his essay on cannibalism, Ngo offers his
thesis statement in paragraph six:
Cannibalism can be broken down into two main categories:
exocannibalism, the eating of outsiders or foreigners, and
endocannibalism, the eating of members of one’s own social group
(Shipman 70). Within these categories are several functional types of
cannibalism, three of the most common being survival cannibalism,
dietary cannibalism, and religious and ritual cannibalism.
Ngo’s concept is cannibalism; his focus is on functional cannibalism.
He has two categories: Endo and Exocannibalism
He has three types: Survival, dietary, and religious/ritual cannibalism
In his thesis, he carefully forecasts both how he will divide the
information to create topics and the order in which he will explain each of
8. O.K., let’s cut out all this nonsense about romantic love.
Let’s bring some scientific precision to the party. Let’s put
love under a microscope. When rigorous people with
Ph.D.'s after their names do that, what they see is not
some silly, senseless thing. No, their probe reveals that
love rests firmly on the foundations of evolution, biology
Toufexis’s concept is love, and her focus is the scientific explanation of
love—specifically the evolution, biology, and chemistry of love. In
announcing her focus, she forecasts the order in which she will present
information from the three most relevant academic disciplines—
anthropology (human evolution), biology, and chemistry. These
discipline names become her topics.
Anastasia Toufexis begins her essay with her
9. Draft your thesis statement
As you draft your own tentative thesis statement, take care to
make the language clear. Although you may want to revise your
thesis statement as you draft your essay, trying to state it now
will give your planning and drafting more focus and direction.
Keep in mind that the thesis in an explanatory essay, such as a
concept essay, merely announces the subject; it never asserts
a position that requires an argument to defend it.
Write one or more sentences, stating your focused concept, that
could serve as a thesis statement Forecast the topics you will
use to explain the concept. Look at the next slide to see
examples to use as models as you write.
10. Write your thesis now!!
Cannibalism can be broken down
into two main categories:
exocannibalism, the eating of
outsiders or foreigners, and
endocannibalism, the eating of
members of one’s own social
group (Shipman 70). Within these
categories are several functional
types of cannibalism, three of the
most common being survival
cannibalism, dietary cannibalism,
and religious and ritual
O.K., let’s cut out all this
nonsense about romantic love.
Let’s bring some scientific
precision to the party. Let’s put
love under a microscope.
When rigorous people with
Ph.D.'s after their names do
that, what they see is not some
silly, senseless thing. No, their
probe reveals that love rests
firmly on the foundations of
evolution, biology and
11. Your Thesis is a Map to Your Essay
Once you have your working thesis written,
you can make a tentative outline.
Extended Anecdote? Or?
Repeat if Necessary
12. Take a moment to briefly fill in/write out the
parts of your outline that you already know
Extended Anecdote? Or?
Repeat if Necessary
13. Make sure to use these writing tools to explain
your concept. There are examples of each in the
See the St. Martin’s Guide, “Basic Features” in the Concept Essay
chapter for more information about how to use each strategy.
14. The Introduction:
Extended Anecdote: Ngo
Fifty-five Vietnamese refugees fled to Malaysia on a small
fishing boat to escape communist rule in their country following
the Vietnam War. During their escape attempt, the captain was
shot by the coast guard. The boat and its passengers managed
to outrun the coast guard to the open sea, but they had lost the
only person who knew the way to Malaysia, the captain. The
men onboard tried to navigate the boat, but after a week fuel
ran out, and they drifted farther out to sea. Their supply of food
and water was gone; people were starving, and some of the
elderly were near death.
Cannibalism, the act of human beings eating
human flesh (Sagan 2), has a long history and
continues to hold interest and create controversy.
Survival cannibalism occurs when people trapped
without food have to decide “whether to start or
eat fellow humans” (Shipman 70).
16. Examples: Ngo
Another case of survival cannibalism occurred in
1945, when General Douglas MacArthur’s forces cut
supply lines to Japanese troops stationed in the Pacific Islands.
In one incident, Japanese troops were reported to have
sacrificed the Arapesh people of northeastern New Guinea for
food in order to avoid death by starvation (Tuzin 63). The most
famous example of survival cannibalism in American history
comes from the diaries, letters, and interviews of survivors of the
California-bound Donner Party, who in the winter of 1846 were
snowbound in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for five months.
Thirty-five of eighty-seven adults and children died, and some of
them were eaten (Hart 116–117; Johnson).
19. Writing Opportunity:
What will you use?
Write out the following:
Will you begin your essay this way?
Discussion #13: Make an outline for
your concept essay.
Include a preliminary idea for what kind
of anecdote you might include in your
Include your thesis
Name at least two categories
Include at least two or three types you
will discuss under each category
Use the format from the slideshow if
you need help