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Body Paragraph of Essay Halp?

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:13 am
Cspr says...

Hey, so first time here. Don't really know the rules, but . . . yeah . . .

Basically, I have this essay. I only had to do the first body paragraph, but I'm not sure if it's okay. Anybody want to comment? [You can give me suggestions, but please don't try and edit for me (teacher would say "cheating"). Anyway, thanks so much in advance!]


Atticus is a heroic character in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird because he is wise, self-sacrificing, and he realizes people are gray areas.

Atticus shows sign of being an intelligent and generally respectful man throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. He shows his wisdom in small, everyday ways, from treating Calpurnia with respect, to doing his best to win Tom Robinson’s case. He’s wise to show his children what a good man should be and that wisdom pays off in the long run. At his peak, he tells Scout and Jem, after giving them guns, that “[they can] shoot all the bluebirds [they] want [. . .], but [to] remember that] it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” (119). He isn’t saying that everyone is innocent and good, that there are some bad people in the world; but he does say that innocence should be protected. If only more people followed that logic.
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Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:24 pm
Kale says...

It's a bit difficult to help since no editing is allowed, but I will say that this reads as a mini essay all its own. It's fine if you're writing a single body paragraph solo, but if this is a group project, you might have some trouble incorporating it smoothly with your groupmates' contributions.

I noticed you also used certain general words like "wise" quite frequently, which makes the writing feel a bit immature.

Also, your second-last sentence apparently contradicts itself due to its structure. According to it, Atticus is saying that everyone isn't innocent/good, even as he says that there aren't some bad people in the world. Try rewording so that things are a bit more specific and clear. Breaking up that rather long sentence might help.

Lastly, your last sentence comes out of nowhere. It is personal opinion whereas the rest of the paragraph is objective observations that are drawn directly from the book. Perhaps focus more on how his actions affect Scout and the other characters (like the Cunninghams). I'm also surprised there's no mention of him talking down a lynch mob single-handedly. That would be a powerful example of how strong his moral character is.

P.S. - It wouldn't hurt to look up the usage rules for semicolons, either, and ensure that all your brackets are closed.
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