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Name ______________________________ English 1A

Gaston” Essay Assignment



Due Date: ______________________

THE ASSIGNMENT:

In William Saroyan’s short story, “Gaston”, we learn that the father shares many similarities with a bug who lives in a deformed, rotten peach. The story ends with the quote, “He watched the huge car drive off, and then he went around the corner where he took his coffee every morning, feeling a little, he thought, like Gaston on the white plate” (Saroyan 131). Using this quote and your knowledge of “Gaston”, write a 5 paragraph essay comparing the father to the bug, Gaston. Make sure to use direct evidence and quotations from the story to provide examples and prove your main idea.

*GUIDED SUGGESTION *

Before you begin your essay, come up with a strong thesis statement that will guide your writing. For example:



Thesis Statement: Gaston and the father share many similarities. Both Gaston and the father:

  1. _____________________________________________________________________

  2. _____________________________________________________________________

  3. _____________________________________________________________________

HELPFUL HINTS:

  1. Once you have chosen a topic and narrowed down your thesis statement, make sure to support your main ideas in each body paragraph.

  2. Use examples, sensory details, and quotations from the text to make your points more effective.

  3. Use a total of 3 quotes (1 for each body paragraph)

  4. Use proper in-text citations: At the end of your FIRST quote, include the author’s last name in parenthesis followed by a space and the page number. Ex: “Quote” (Saroyan 127). For each quote after the first, include the page number only. Ex: “Quote” (128).

  5. Never use personal pronouns: I, me, mine, you, your, etc.

  6. Instead, try “one may think”, “it is evident that…”, “one can see”, etc.

  7. Use transitions to begin each body paragraph (p. 365 in Grammar book).

  8. Use the present tense to discuss literature. * Don’t write, “The story was about a father who was like a bug” even though the story took place in the past.

  9. Make sure to put the short story title in “quotes” “Gaston” not Gaston. (Only underline novels, plays, and other lengthy works).

  10. Proofread your work by waiting a day or two and then reading it over for errors. Try reading your essay aloud to hear awkward wording or sentences.

Citing “Gaston”

*Remember: Citations ALWAYS occur at the end of the sentence- not immediately after your quote.

Use the following examples as a guide when incorporating a quote from “Gaston”.

  1. The father wanted his daughter to have “the biggest and best-looking peach [so he] removed the skin” for the girl (Saroyan 127).

*Use square brackets when you add words or phrases to a quote.

  1. When asked about Gaston’s whereabouts, the little girl replied, “I squashed him” (Saroyan 131).

  2. He watched the huge car drive off, and… feeling a little, he thought, like Gaston on the white plate” he went for breakfast (Saroyan 131).

*Use an ellipsis when you remove words or sentences from a quote.

Use the following outline to organize your essay:


  1. Introduction: Start with an attention- getter! Include the “title of short story”, author, brief summary of story, and a strong, concise thesis statement at the end of your intro.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Body Paragraph #1: Use a transition before jumping into your main idea. Then use supporting details, examples from the story, and a quote to support your main topic of this paragraph. Make sure to end this paragraph with a smooth transition to the next idea.

Main Idea 1: _________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Quote: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Body Paragraph #2: Use another transition to further your next main topic. Follow with strong supporting details, examples, a quote with analysis, and a solid ending before you move on to your next point in body paragraph 3.

Main Idea 2: _________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Quote:________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Body Paragraph #3: Start off with another transition that connects with your previous paragraph’s main idea. Make your third paragraph’s main idea strong to leave an impact on the reader. End with a strong clincher before moving on to your conclusion.

Main Idea 3: _____________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Quote: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Conclusion: Restate your main ideas from the introduction of your essay in different words. Make your conclusion forceful and strong to leave a lasting impression. Your conclusion should end with a strong clincher that is meaningful and proves your thesis statement.

Writing Rubric

___/10 Introduction:



  • Opens with solid attention getter

  • Includes the title of short story, brief summary of story, character names, main idea

  • Strong thesis statement at end of introduction is evident

____/ 20 Body Paragraph 1




  • Opens with transition sentence and main idea

  • Includes strong supporting details, examples, sensory details, etc.

  • Has ONE quotation that supports main idea and uses proper citation rules

  • Transitions to the next main idea

____/ 20 Body Paragraph 2




  • Opens with transition sentence and another main idea

  • Includes strong supporting details, examples, sensory details, etc.

  • Has ONE quotation that supports main idea and uses proper citation rules

  • Transitions to the next main idea

____/ 20 Body Paragraph 3




  • Opens with transition sentence and strong main idea

  • Includes strong supporting details, examples, sensory details, etc.

  • Has ONE quotation that supports main idea and uses proper citation rules

Has strong clincher that leads to conclusion
____/10 Conclusion


  • Thesis is restated

  • Includes at least 2 sentences that support body paragraphs

  • Concludes with a clincher sentence that leaves an impact on reader

____/20 Overall Content




  • Utilizes correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation

  • Maintains unity, organization, and coherence




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