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Care to help me out

  1. Apr 3, 2010 #1
    Care to help me out :)

    I was just wondering if someone could read this for me and tell me if it sounds 'ok'? Maybe even give suggestions on how to make it GREAT! :tongue:. It is just my introduction paragraph but it's causing me a lot of grief, I'm not exactly sure how to word everything.

    I need to write an analysis essay on a 'monomyth' that I had to read.

    Thanks ahead of time for anyone who reads this and comments, and if this isn't allowed then I'm sorry and you can just lock the post. :smile:
    Anyways, here it is:
    When you live in the hustle and bustle of a big city, it is important to keep up with the fast-pace and go with the flow. This can lead to conformity within the society which is not always most desirable, or even justifiable. The essay, “The Step Not Taken” by Paul D’Angelo, is about a man on a personal journey to discover how to rightly respond to others’ suffering. The way that the essay is structured can easily be used to demonstrate what a monomyth is. The monomyth, also known as the hero’s journey, is a plot pattern used in many narratives. The narrator is seen as the hero of the story and by the end of the story he gains great wisdom which will stay with him for the rest of his life. Prior to this however, the narrator goes through what is known as the separation phase of the monomyth.
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  3. Apr 3, 2010 #2


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    Re: Care to help me out :)

    Hmm I had never heard the term monomyth...learn something new every day!

    I like how you started it, but I'd suggest a segue between the first two sentences and the rest of it. Like, a link between city living/conformity and learning of others' suffering.

    I often find the first and last paragraphs are the hardest to write!
  4. Apr 3, 2010 #3
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    Yeah, introductory paragraphs are always the most difficult. I agree with you entirely, lisa.

    I'll read now, zomgwtf and tell you what I think in an edit.

    Okay, again, I'm totally with lisa, here. zom, you have a complete disconnect between your ideas. I don't know how your two opening lines relate to the balance of the paragraph at all or how they have any relevance. (I'm certain they do, or you wouldn't have written them, you just didn't tell us what that is.)

    What level of school are you writing for, here?

    Quick notes: there isn't a dash between fast and pace

    The words "How to rightly respond" are awkward and a weird verb use

    "The way the essay is structured" needs different, more specific terminology. "way" is too vague. Even "the essay's structure" would be preferable.

    Too much passive verb usage overall.

    "great wisdom THAT will stay with him" not "which" (it's not distinguishing between various items nor is it being used in exposition and it's not asking a question either)

    Anyhow, rework a transition/connection between your initial idea in your opening lines to the balance of the paragraph, and we'll see what we've got, 'kay?
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  5. Apr 3, 2010 #4
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    Wow, thanks both you guys :smile:. I'll it up right now.

    The connection between the the first two sentences and the rest of the paragraph is based on the story that I had to read. This is for a grade 12 university english course that I am retaking to try to boost my mark again and prepare my writing skills for potentially going to school in September.

    Basically in the story a man (the narrator) is on an elevator in downtown Toronto with a young man. When the doors close the young man falls to the ground and begins to cry. The narrator looks at the young man and the young man looks back then hides his face in shame. The elevator stops and the narrator gets off leaving the young man to cry. The rest of the story is the narrator describing how he felt about leaving the young man on the elevator crying and suffering. His friends all think he did the proper thing though, leaving this young man there. He felt that he should have offered him assistance or advice, even if he thought the young man would have rejected his offers. In the end he apologizes and admits that he was wrong for leaving the young man.

    The essay needs to show how this story is a monomyth and you have to use the narrator as the hero of the story. It works quite nicely with the monomyth pattern (also known as the hero's journey) but I have to agree the opening paragraph in my opinion is the most difficult. The conclusion I don't have nearly as much difficulty writing :tongue:.

    The reason I chose to start off my essay with those sentences was to drag interest into the essay. I'll work on transitioning into the other ideas though. One problem is I have to write it in under 500 words. I hate having to write such short essays.

    Thanks again and I'll post my edits once I've completed them maybe you could peruse over it again.
  6. Apr 4, 2010 #5
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    Sounds fascinating. "Hero" in what sense of the word, though? Given your explanation of the short story, your opening lines make much more sense. Remember that your opening paragraph is supposed to, essentially, outline the points you intend to make in the body of your essay. Then you fill out the ideas associated with your short points in the essay proper, then summarise with how you evidenced what you set out to do.

    When you've only got 500 words worth of space, pick one or two of your strongest ideas -- I might even go with one and work it with a lot of detail. You don't have much room to cover a whole bunch of different areas of ground with 500 words, so explaining one really strong idea within an inch of its life is a good way to go.

    Your current opening lines really do catch attention, but then we get lost because I don't know if you want to talk about hustle and bustle leading to conformity or how the story illustrates the concept of a monomyth. You've got to decide what your focus is or make sure that you follow the instructions for the exercise. If you're supposed to demonstrate how this story is a monomyth, then do that. If you'r supposed to discuss ideas about how this relates to contemporary life, then do that. Whatever you've been told to do, do it. If you are free to discuss how this affected you, then pick a narrow point to focus on and do that.

    Edited to add: okay, I re-read your post. You're supposed to show how this story is a monomyth. Or, the hero's journey, as you said. Can I assume it's not necessarily the entirety of his journey? Maybe just a portion of a larger one? Anyway, your opening lines are good and will likely fit well somewhere else in your piece. In your opening paragraph, concentrate on the main idea that you're going to present and argue to prove that the story is a monomyth.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing what else you come up with. And, if you like, I'll point out grammar and punctuation stuff too, if that helps.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  7. Apr 4, 2010 #6


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    Re: Care to help me out :)

    I totally read that as Paul Di'Anno and was going to use this thread to praise Iron Maiden.

    Oops, I just did. =)

    What's the separation phase?
  8. Apr 4, 2010 #7


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    Re: Care to help me out :)

    Georgina and lisa have given excellent advise. You're in good hands. :smile:

    One thing that I'd like to add; A clear, strong thesis is invaluable, and is usually placed at the end of your introduction. I say usually because I have, on a few occasions, stuck my thesis between my opening "grabber" and my points/arguments.

    Also, don't just look to add transitional phrases between paragraphs, but also between thoughts and/or sentences. The entire essay should flow. I'll usually read through my papers multiple times after I'm "done" and look for things that I could add or remove that would help my thoughts/sentences dovetail with one another.

    Hopefully that made sense! :rofl:
  9. Apr 4, 2010 #8
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    You're right, Dembadon, that's precisely the word I ought to have used when I said "focus" and "main idea". You present your thesis statement in your opening paragraph. That's all rigid and formal, though, and when I tell myself I have to write my thesis statement, I tend to choke. So I say to myself, I say, "Self, listen up. What's your main idea, here? And how do you intend to support it?" Sometimes I even listen to myself. :biggrin:

    How's it coming along, zom? I'm off for faraway lands tomorrow. (Actually probably pretty close to you and the fellow with the razor fetish.) I'm gone for a week, so I might not be able to help out beyond later this evening or early tomorrow morning.
  10. Apr 4, 2010 #9


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    Re: Care to help me out :)

    If you are going to write about a monomyth, it is important to address the motivation of the protagonist to deviate from the norm, the gathering of knowledge and wisdom, and the return. If you can, pare it down and make these processes relevant to the essay that was assigned to you.

    This plays out over and over again in our histories. Sages isolating themselves in caves or mountaintops, mystics entering wastelands and staying there for extended periods, or perhaps staying near their homes, but engineering social isolation from their neighbors and relatives... Lots of variations. Best wishes for your project.
  11. Apr 4, 2010 #10
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    Ugh, sorry it took soo long. :rofl: I passed out last night while editting and was kind of busy today, went out and played tennis and then had Easter dinner. Have been on my laptop but not really in 'down to work' type of way. :tongue:

    Here's what I came up with after reading the suggestions, is it better or am I just getting worse. :smile:

    When you live in the hustle and bustle of a big city, it is important to keep up with the fast pace and go with the flow. This can lead to conformity within the society which is not always most desirable, or even justifiable. The essay, “The Step Not Taken” by Paul D’Angelo, is about a man on a personal journey to discover how to rightly respond to others’ suffering. The essays’ structure can easily be used to demonstrate what a monomyth is. A monomyth, also known as the hero’s journey, is a plot pattern used in many narratives. The hero of the story goes through three main plot sections, during a monomyth: the separation, the initiation and finally the return. Each section is further separated into specific events but not all events need to be used to classify a narrative as a monomyth. In the essay “The Step Not Taken” the narrator is seen as the hero of the story. By the end of the story they experience the classic epiphany which is an integral part of most monomyths.

    The separation stage of the monomyth deals with the hero prior and up to their adventure.

    The thesis of my essay is just that the essay can be seen as a monomyth and that the narrator is the hero of the story. I've included part of the next paragraph to see if it will transist ok.

    Also about the usage of 'rightly respond', I used it because rightly means specifically 'to act in a correct manner or properly'. I think I've dealt with most of the suggestions, plus I tried to cut down using 'the' at the beginning of my sentences, kind of got annoying after reading it a few times :tongue:
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  12. Apr 4, 2010 #11
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    The seperation phase of the monomyth deals with the hero prior to accepting his 'quest'. It is followed by, initiation and the return. Each of the phases is even further seperated into specific events, but there are WAY too many to list and explain fully here. :tongue: Besides not all monomyths have all of the events, some may even only have one yet still be categorized as a monomyth.
  13. Apr 4, 2010 #12
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    There are much more stages then this, 17 in total. Not all are part of every monomyth though, this is only a short story so it doesn't have every stage. I am going to attack it in sections instead and just name the stages as I go along and the hero completes them.

    The main problem I'm having though is that this essay can only be a max of 500 words, so it's very difficult to do everything which is included in the marking scheme. It includes explaining the hero's actual journey, how it reminds me of other journeys in other stories, discuss the epiphany in detail that the hero has, clearly discribing each section of the monomyth and identify specifically how the occur in the essay.
  14. Apr 4, 2010 #13


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    Re: Care to help me out :)

    I still don't think the first two sentences have any obvious connection with the rest of the paragraph. If you live in a city, you may have to conform too much...so what? That doesn't seem related to the "man's personal journey" or to "others' suffering". When I write essays, I always jump directly to the point. It's very tempting to try to grab the reader's attention, but more often than the attention-grabbing sentences are horribly screwed up and end up having no relationship to the rest of the essay.

    Also, if you're writing an essay about how a story is a monomyth, you can assume the writer knows what a monomyth is and what components it's supposed to have. The introduction should concisely describe why this specific story is a monomyth, not what a monomyth is.
  15. Apr 4, 2010 #14


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    Re: Care to help me out :)

    You won't be able to examine all 17, and if you try, your essay would be way too shallow. Just focus on the main criteria that a monomyth must have and explain, in detail, with as many examples and quotes as possible, how the story satisfies each one. Don't even name all 17 stages; that's unnecessary and way too distracting.
  16. Apr 4, 2010 #15
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    'others' suffering while living in a big city' I've added so it shows more of a connection.
    I would if the marking scheme didn't specifically say that you needed to describe what it was.
  17. Apr 4, 2010 #16
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    I never said I was going to examine all 17 I said I was going to break it into sections and then name the stages as the hero progresses through them. This essay is fairly short and possibly doesn't even have half of the stages.
    As well the marking scheme specifically asks for these stages to be explained and how they relate to the essay.
  18. Apr 4, 2010 #17


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    Re: Care to help me out :)

    Perhaps it would help to post the rubric here. I'm very surprised that the rubric would ask you to explain what a monomyth is, what stages it has, and how the short story is a monomyth all in the same essay.
  19. Apr 5, 2010 #18
    Re: Care to help me out :)

    Well I did read Geroginas response she left for me and I am taking all things said into consideration. I disagree with what you think a thesis is though, a thesis does not have to be in the introduction or specifically in a sentence, it doesn't even have to be directly said in an entire essay. I think that the introduction does convey the point of the essay in that it is analyzing the story and breaking down it's plot pattern to demonstrate it has the characteristics of a monomyth.

    The first two sentences I'm thinking about taking out completely and possibly reordering the entire paragraph to help with the flow, that was the main purpose of asking for help here.

    As well with the word choice on rightly, I didn't 'make it up' at all.
    Merriam-webster defines rightly as an adverb:
    1 : in accordance with right conduct : fairly, justly
    2 : in the right or proper manner : properly, fittingly
    3 : according to truth or fact : correctly, exactly

    and that is what I believe makes the narrator of the story a hero. Because he specifically sets out to treat others in such a way. The other words don't really fit because he's not looking to act 'just' or 'fair' just with honesty with proper morals. (right manner)

    No I wasn't intending to argue anything with the posts I made previously. In fact I took everyones suggestions and considered them all and I made many changes after the considerations. Some of the suggestions did conflict with what the marking scheme requires me to write so I'm kind of stuck with those, although I do agree with what has been said. (for instance what ideasrule said).
    However your post Georgina came out sort of attacking me simply for stating what my thesis was and why I chose to use 'rightly respond'. In this case rightly, the adverb is altering the verb, respond. I didn't understand how it was an awkward use of the verb. So now I'm defending my original post.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  20. Apr 5, 2010 #19
    Re: Care to help me out :)


    Identifying and describing stages of the monomyth is a content mark worth 6.

    Supporting relevance of the stages from the text and answering these questions:
    -What is the hero's starting point and end point in the journey that he takes?
    Starting point is his 'call to adventure' in the elevator when the young man breaks down. His end point in the journey is the realization that he was wrong and his apology to the young man in the essay
    -How does this remind you of journeys taken by other characters in literature?
    I can pretty much pick any monomyth which uses a persons own concious as a benelovent guide to compare with.
    -Do you think the protagonist completes his journey or quest? Why or why not?
    Yeah because he has an epiphany which causes him to change his view on the world and face his quest/conquer it.
    -Do you think a benevolent guide assists the protagonist on his journey? Why or why not?
    Yes the protagonists guide is his conciousness.
    This is all worth 14 content marks.

    The epiphany part is worth 5 marks.
    The rest of the marks come from style which altogether makes up 10 marks.
  21. Apr 6, 2010 #20


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    Re: Care to help me out :)

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/01/" [Broken] is the best explanation of a thesis statement that I've ever found. In my opinion, that (Purdue) website is also one of the best available online resources for writing. I use it often.

    Are you saying that a (thesis) statement isn't something that needs to be clearly stated? I think your understanding of a thesis statement is incorrect.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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