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Jane Schaffer Essay Example

Below are two Schaffer-model paragraphs students wrote together as a class. The legend at right is for the abbreviations at the beginnings of sentences.

Example One
  1. Topic Sentence (TS)
  2. Concrete Detail 1 (CD 1)
  3. Commentary (CM 1A)
  4. Commentary (CM 1B)
  5. Concrete Detail 2 (CD 2)
  6. Commentary (CM 2A)
  7. Commentary (CM 2B)
  8. Concrete Detail 3 (CD 3)
  9. Commentary (CM 3A)
  10. Commentary (CM 3B)
  11. Concluding Sentence (CS)

TSSchool lunch at Beck can be gross. CD1For example, I got a piece of cold, slimy pizza the other day. CM1AThe cheese was falling off the pizza. CM1BI absolutely didn’t want to eat it. CD2Another reason lunch is gross is the milk, which is sometimes lumpy and chunky. CM2AWhen you open the milk, it stinks to high heaven. CM2BSometimes, it even looks like butter! CD3Finally, the chili can be so greasy that you see the grease floating. CM3AThere’s no way to eat it like that. CM3BYou have to strain it. CSFrom these examples, it’s clear school lunch can be nasty.

Example Two
  1. Topic Sentence (TS)
  2. Concrete Detail 1 (CD 1)
  3. Commentary (CM 1A)
  4. Commentary (CM 1B)
  5. Concrete Detail 2 (CD 2)
  6. Commentary (CM 2A)
  7. Commentary (CM 2B)
  8. Concrete Detail 3 (CD 3)
  9. Commentary (CM 3A)
  10. Commentary (CM 3B)
  11. Concluding Sentence (CS)

TSAlthough I generally don’t like it, cafeteria food can sometimes be quite good. CD1To begin with, their fries are tasty. CM1AThey’re good and salty like fries should be. CM1BIf you’re lucky enough to be at the end of the line, you could get some really fresh, crunchy fries as well. CD2The best cafeteria food is during Thanksgiving, when they make turkey and ham. CM2AThe turkey is tender and juicy; CM2Bthe ham tastes just like my grandmother’s. CD3Finally, there’s nothing better than baked spaghetti, and the cafeteria makes this perfectly. CM3AThe cheese on top is at least half a mile thick, and the sauce is better than my mom’s! CM3BThat’s saying a lot, because my mom is Italian. CSSo while you might not take your date there, the cafeteria can cook some tasty meals!

EQ: How do we organize our thinking and writing into effective paragraphs that utilize textual evidence?

Click HERE For Common Core/AKS (Learning Standards)

The Schaffer Paragraph Model is a five-sentence paragraph developed by Jane Schaffer used to write essays.

Did you know that in the Schaffer model, paragraph structure is like a good burger?

Here's how you STACK it:

• Topic sentence (TS)
• Concrete Detail (CD)
• Commentary (CM)
• Commentary (CM)
• Closing/Concluding sentence (CS)

TS: Topic Sentence/statement (The Top Bun)

A good topic sentence (TS) does three things:

Example 1 (Cinderella): Cinderella leads a miserable life.

Example 2 (Global Warming): Global warming is a world problem and needs to be stopped.

Example 3 (Archetypes): The Greek creation story and the Genesis creation story are similar because they both use the hero archetype.

CD: Concrete Detail (The Meat)

Example 1: For example, she does all the cooking, cleaning, and sewing.

Example 2: If it is not stopped, statistics show that the world will be drastically hurt.

Example 3: Zeus, at the end of the Greek story, defeats his evil father in a giant battle.

CM: Commentary (The Fixings)

There are two or three commentary sentences (CMs) supporting each concrete detail (CD).

Commentary sentences (CMs) ARE NOT FACTS themselves; they COMMENT on the fact already presented: your concrete detail (CD).

PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CD AND CM!

Signal Words For Commentary Sentences:

Example 1:
CM1: This shows that she feels taken advantage of by her selfish stepmother and stepsisters.
CM2: This is important because her horrible life gives her a present, her fairy godmother.

Example 2:
CM1: Global warming should be man's greatest worry.
CM2: This is because the Earth can become negatively and drastically affected world wide.

Example 3:
CM1: Zeus' victory in the epic battle proves that he is the hero.
CM2: Cronos eating his own children shows that he is a bad father and ruler, thus resulting in a father/son rivalry archetype with Zeus.

CS: Concluding/Closing Sentence (The Bottom Bun)

The Concluding Sentence (CS) is the closing sentence that wraps up the TS and sums up the paragraph. It closes up the thoughts and gives insight to the next paragraph. Emotional or connotative words are preferred here usually beginning with "As a result" or another concluding sentence.

Example 1: As a result, she becomes a princess.

Example 2: Therefore, global warming is top priority and cannot be ignored.

Example 3: Thus, both stories make use of the hero archetype.

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