Tag Archive for lead-ins

Brainstorm Thursday


  • ELAGSE9-10W1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Learning Target: I will begin brainstorming and collecting quotes for my argumentative essay on The Metamorphosis.

Opening Session: Finishing Alien from yesterday!

Work Session: Ok y’all, let’s get into writing your essay for this unit! Yaaaaay…..

Here’s the skinny:

Metamorphosis Close Reading Essay


Throughout the unit as we have read The Metamorphosis, we have discussed two possibilities for what is going on in the story: either Gregor has really transformed into a monster, or it is all in his head. For this essay, you will choose either “Team Transformation” or “Team Insanity” and argue your side using evidence from the story (quotes) to support your point. You must use at least four quotes from the story. As a reminder, all quotes must have a lead-in (no quote should stand on its own!) and your paper should focus on a single argument (do not switch sides!).


  • MLA Format (MLA heading, size 12 Times New Roman, double spaced)
  • 4 quotes from the story with MLA parenthetical citations
    • All quotes need a LEAD-IN!
  • MLA Works Cited (we will go over this in class)
  • At least 750 words

The first thing we need to do for this essay is write a thesis statement. This is one clear, strong sentence where you state what you’re arguing about and what side you’re on. You can use this stem to help you:

  • In Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, it is clear that the character Gregor (has/has not) actually transformed into a monster, and in fact he is _________________________ ____________________________________________________________.
    • (Examples for the blank:
      • “a giant monstrous vermin, as he is described in the book.”
      • “insane and his troubles are the result of extreme stress.”
      • “nothing more than an overworked and deranged man who has not transformed at all.”
      • “truly experiencing a great, mysterious, and tragic transformation that his family must now learn to cope with.”

Of course, you’re not required to use that stem at all!

After you have your thesis statement, I want to talk about lead-ins. This was an issue with our last essay! I saw a lot of this:

  • Dissatisfaction plays a major role in why communism has reached its high. “When any form of government, whether capitalist or communist, fails to meet the basic needs of its people, civil unrest is bound to follow.” (Why Didn’t Communism Work in Eastern Europe?). The quotes simplifies the basic reason why dissatisfaction from society prevents any form of communism to takeover completely in America.

The problem with that excerpt is that the quote is just sorta hanging out there. There’s an explanation after it, which is good, but it would be a billion times BETTER if we used a proper lead-in:

  • Dissatisfaction plays a major role in why communism has reached its high. Simply put, the basic reason why dissatisfaction from society prevents communist takeover in America is that “when any form of government […] fails to meet the basic needs of its people, civil unrest is bound to follow” (Why Didn’t Communism Work in Eastern Europe?).

Here is a super cool guide that should refresh your memory:


One more thing for today: We need to do our MLA Works Cited!! It should look like this, everyone copy it down…

Kafka, Franz, and Stanley Corngold. “The Metamorphosis.” Prentice Hall Literature: World Masterpieces, Penguin ed., Pearson Education, Boston, MA, 2007, pp. 1066–1108.

For the rest of class, we’re going to collect your four quotes and write the lead-ins for them. Tomorrow you’ll be actually drafting your essays – we’re going to be downstairs in room 203 (that’s Ms. Gelston’s room!) using the laptop cart!

Closing Session: Share a lead-in with a partner and check that they’re doing it correctly!

Assessment: Formative checks for understanding, essay brainstorming grade

Differentiation: Process (modified/scaffolded essay); product (varied length of essay, modified quote requirements).