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It would help to have a little more direction to whatever the prompt is that your teacher gave you to write about, but if I was to write about chapters 16 and 17, I do have an idea about how I would organize.
Having a five paragraph essay to write, I would use my first paragraph to set the stage by providing the details of the trial: who is on trial, who is defending who, what the charge seems to be and what I know about the society watching the trial take place.
At the end of my intro paragraph, I would state my purpose which is likely to show that To Kill a Mockingbird clearly illustrates a society's impulse to watch a drama play out.
Then, in my 1st body paragraph, I would write about 3-4 types of groups who intend to watch the trial and what their interest must be in the trial.
In my 2nd, I would analyze what specific detail Heck seems to notice. Note that Heck asks Atticus a question. The witness doesn't ask questions, the laywers do! This is important, so try to figure out what Heck's testimony and offer to give more information might be about.
In my 3rd body paragraph, I would write about Bob Ewell's testimony and what I believed.
By my conclusion, I would try to note what was common in my three body paragraphs and I would note how the body of viewers is reacting to the court as issue play out.
Not sure where you are supposed to go with this essay, but here is one idea, I'm sure a couple of other editors will post some others so you can have ideas to choose from!
A typical five paragraph essay involves an introduction, three supporting paragraphs and a conclusion (introduction restated in a similar way).
In the case of the chapters you mention about the trial, consult both the book itself and the eNotes summary linked below. Find three main points about the trial - how did it proceed, what evidence or testimony was involved, what was the result or main arguments, etc. and make these the basis for your three main paragraphs.
If it helps, write the three main paragraphs first, then describe/summarize them in your introduction second, then restate that summary a slightly different way for the conclusion.
The best method for writing an essay is to set up an outline. The trial has several sections; the beginning, the middle, and the end. Look at the two chapters and define where each part would break off.
The Beginning of the trial includes the following:
- People from all over coming to town
- Picnicking on the grass
- Festival like atmosphere
- Selection of the jury
- Children sneak in to sit with Black people
- Introduction to the district attorney
- Introduction to the Judge
The Middle of the trial:
- Heck Tate's testimony
- Bob Ewell's Testimoney
- Mayella Ewell's testimony
- Tom Robinson's testimoney
The trial is not concluded but the end of chapter 17:
- Dill's reaction
- Jem's hopes
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