Like Water for Chocolate Argumentative Essay Notes

Like Water for Chocolate
Argumentative Essay Notes
December 11, 2012
• Aim: How do you select and incorporate evidence
into an argumentative essay?
• Do Now: Based on the text that you selected for
your essay, paraphrase the following:
• 1) Foster’s claim
• 2) Vogler’s claim
• Homework: Your selection of evidence to support
your essay is due tomorrow (4 pieces to support
your stance, 2 pieces that contradict your stance)
Foster’s Argument
• A hero’s journey does not have to be a physical
journey as long as it has these key aspects:
• 1) journey involves personal growth; selfknowledge is gained
• 2) quester
• 3) a place to go
• 4) a reason to go there
• 5) challenges
• 6) A purpose for the quest (self-knowledge)
Foster’s Argument
A trip is a quest if:
1) quester
2) a place to go
3) a stated reason to go
4) a challenge/ dangerous route
5) Real reason/ purpose for the quest = selfknowledge
Vogler’s Argument
A hero goes through a journey:
1) ordinary world
2) Call to adventure
3) Refusal of the call
In each step the hero (he/she) experiences a crisis and
a climax, and the mentor guides the hero through
these challenges.
• Resurrection and Return: Hero returns to the ordinary
world and the hero brings back an elixer, or treasure
from the special world
Vogler’s Argument
The archetypal journey involves a quest
1) ordinary world
2) call to adventure
3) refusal of the call (etc..)
Every quest matches the archetypal steps: can
be physical or an inner journey
• Steps do not have to be completed in order
How to Select Evidence
• 1) Decide which aspects of Foster or Vogler’s argument
are most relevant to your interpretation of Like Water
for Chocolate.
• 2) Look for portions of the text that are thoughtprovoking: moments in which Tita’s character
undergoes a significant change, or when she is tested,
or when she overcomes a challenge.
• 3) Use an archetypal lens! Reread the annotations in
which you noticed parallels to the hero’s journey.
Selecting Appropriate Evidence
• When is it appropriate to paraphrase? When is
it better to cite text directly?
• 1) Cite textual details when the writing itself
is revealing or important:
• 2) Paraphrase when the action of the story, or
what happened is relevant, not the writing
• “As Tita was putting the napkin over the
container where she had set the dough to
rest, a strong gust of wind banged the kitchen
door wide open, causing an icy blast to invade
the room. The napkin flew into the air and an
icy shiver ran down Tita’s spine. She turned
around and was stunned to find herself face to
face with Mama Elena, who was giving her a
fierce look” (Esquivel 173).
• Nacha became a mentor figure to Tita: she
taught her the art of cooking; she helped her
to feel at home in the De la Garza household;
and she continued to be guiding and
comforting presence long after her death. For
example, when Tita is seeking refuge in John
Brown’s home, Nacha appears to her as she
eats soup. As Titas is revived by the warm
broth, Nacha’s presence indicates how much
Tita has recovered from her trauma (Esquivel
Embedding Evidence into Your Writing
• Whenever you incorporate evidence into your
writing, it’s important to provide the proper
context, or set up, to help your reader
understand where the evidence comes from and
how it is relevant to your argument.
• Use transitions to indicate who is speaking and to
• Esquivel writes, “
• Tita explains to John Brown, “
• It becomes clear from her interactions with
Mama Elena that the traditions of the household
are inflexible:
• MLA citations are required whenever you
incorporate evidence.
• When paraphrasing and when citing
quotations directly:
• “Quote” (Esquivel 125).
• Paraphrased sentence (Esquivel 125).
• “Quote” (Foster 3).
December 12, 2012
• Aim: How do you create an effective
introduction and claim in an argumentative
• Do Now: Take out your selection of evidence
and your outline of the essay assignment. Be
prepared to take notes.
• Homework: Write an introductory paragraph
for your argumentative essay.
What are the qualities of an effective
• 1) Introduce the topic, the texts and the authors
• 2) Set up the premise for your claim
– This essay is about the extent to which Tita is or is not a
hero. Therefore your introductory paragraph must
• Tita, Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel, and
Foster OR Vogler
• You need to explain the concept of a hero or a quest
according to Foster or Vogler
Proper Formatting and Citation
• Remember that when referring to the title of a
novel, you must underline when handwriting,
and italicize it when typing.
• Capitalize all words except for articles and
• Like Water for Chocolate
• When citing the title of an essay, you should
put it in quotation marks:
• “Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It’s Not)”
• “Mapping the Hero’s Journey”
Providing Proper Context
• You should provide a one- to two-sentence
summary of the novel that properly
introduces Tita and the focus of the novel.
• You also need to provide a brief description of
Foster or Vogler’s argument (use the notes
from yesterday and your own paraphrasing of
their work)
Creating a Claim
• Your claim must answer the task and respond to
all key words:
• To what extent requires you to think about Tita’s
heroism, or lack thereof, in a complex way:
• 1) You could argue that she completely matches
Vogler or Foster’s descriptions of heroism and/
or quests
• 2) You could argue that she is a hero to some
Analyzing Evidence to Formulate a
• 1) Look at the evidence you selected
• 2) Next to each piece of evidence note which
aspect of Vogler or Foster’s argument is
• 3) Evaluate what your evidence reveals: which
aspects support or contradict Tita’s heroism?
To what extent?
Dependent and Independent Clauses to Create a
• Begin your claim with a subordinate
conjunction: Because, Since, Although,
Despite, Even though …
• Creating a claim that uses both a dependent
and independent clause
• 1) Creates a complex statement that reflects
the complexity of the prompt
• 2) Enables you to address counterclaims
within your claim
• Since Tita’s life follows Vogler’s aspects of the
hero’s journey, specifically the ordinary world,
the mentor, and the resurrection….
• Because the ultimate purpose of Tita’s quest is
not self-knowledge…
• Even though Tita does gain self-knowledge
from her quest…
• Despite the fact that Tita does not venture far
from the De la Garza household…
December 13, 2012
• Aim: How can I improve my introductory
paragraph? What do effective topic sentences
look like?
• Do Now: 1. Self-evaluate your introductory
• Homework: Revise your introductory paragraph
and create an outline for your body paragraphs
that contains the topic sentences for each.
• 1) Peer review of introductory paragraphs
• 2) Self-evaluation and planning of next steps
• 3) What does an effective topic sentence look
Qualities of Effective Topic Sentences
• Serves as a “mini-claim” that sets up the
premise for your body paragraph:
• It answers the question: what will this paragraph focus on,
and how does this relate to my claim?
• It focuses on one part of your claim
• May also serve as a transition between
– It answers the question: how is this paragraph
related to the one that came before it?
Ineffective Topic Sentences
• For example, Tita relies on Nacha.
• “Quote” (Esquivel 14).
• Tita is often challenged by Mama Elena.
Exemplar Topic Sentences
• Tita’s heroism is demonstrated by her call to
• Another aspect that shows that Tita does not
fit the archetypal hero according to Vogler is
her lack of a call to adventure.
• Finally, Tita’s heroism is clearly shown when
she experiences a resurrection and returns to
the De la Garza household and disrupts its
repressive traditions.
Exemplars (continued)
• Despite the fact that Tita’s quest ends in selfknowledge, her lack of independent
movement from Mama Elena’s influence
suggests that her journey may not live up to
Foster’s definition of a quest.
– This topic sentence would lead into a refutation
• Create a topic sentence based on the
following claim:
• Because Nacha helped Tita to learn to love
cooking, and appeared to her when she was
most needed, it’s clear that she acts as a
mentor figure in the novel.
• Create an outline of the body of your essay
Affirmative 1. Topic sentence
– Evidence (who is speaking?) + MLA citation
– Evidence (who is speaking?) + MLA citation
Affirmative 2. Topic sentence
– Evidence (who is speaking?) + MLA citation
– Evidence (who is speaking?) + MLA citation
Affirmative 3. Topic sentence
– Evidence (who is speaking?) + MLA citation
– Evidence (who is speaking?) + MLA citation
Refutation 4. Topic sentence
-Evidence (who is speaking?) + MLA citation
December 14, 2012
• Aim: How do I write analysis for affirmative
and refutation paragraphs? How does the
analysis differ?

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