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MEAT-Con Writing
A guide to help teach students how to write better developed, clearer, more organized paragraphs in response to essay questions or any written assignment which requires explanation or persuasion.
Overview of MEAT-Con MEAT-Con Step-by Step Paragraph Organizer  PDF
Overview of MEAT-Con
M = Main Idea

*         "Answers" the question
*         Sets up the paragraph
*         The first sentence of the paragraph

E = Evidence or Examples

*         Information from sources such as books, lectures, readings etc. that support the main idea
*         The "stuff" you learned or found out about the topic.
*         Evidence can be quotes, statistics, facts
*         Evidence is something that is common - anyone can find it or use it

A = Analysis

*         Analyzes and explains the way the evidence you used supports the topic
*         Tells what you think and the way you relate the evidence to the topic
*         Your analysis is unique - it shows your thought process and why you chose that particular evidence

T = Transitions

*         Separates each of your pieces of evidence
*         Organizes your paragraph and makes it easy for the reader to follow

(Ex. Even more importantly, Moreover, A great example is, The first good reason is etc.)

Con = Concluding statement

*         The last statement of your paragraph which summarizes your answer, your evidence
*         Mentions your 3 pieces of evidence again in a new, short way
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MEAT-Con Step-by Step
Did Odysseus deserve his final loss? Why or why not?

Step 1: Answer the question with a statement.

*         Do not start with "I think" or "I feel" or "I believe"
*          Do not start with YES or NO

Odysseus deserves the final loss of his entire crew and his ship.

Step 2: Identify the key idea in the statement that you will refer to in your    analysis to make it most effective.

         Odysseus deserves the final loss of his entire crew and his ship.

Now for each example you give, you must focus on the fact that he deserves his tragedy. (explain)

Step 3:  Identify the first example that you think supports the statement.

         Odysseus is warned by the gods that he must not allow his crew members to touch the cattle of the sun god, Helios, yet they are not supervised and they take the cattle.

Step 4:  Analyze your example by providing a reaction to it.

         In this example, Odysseus shows us why he deserves what he got.  He knows from the gods how important the cattle are, yet he is careless enough to leave his men unattended.  He neglects to fill his role as a responsible leader, so he deserves his tragedy.

 

Step 5:  Repeat the previous two steps; find another example and analyze it.

 

Step 6:  Make sure that you use transitions between each example.

         The first example in the story that supports this is that Odysseus is warned by the gods that he must not allow his crew members to touch the cattle of the sun god, Helios, yet they are not supervised and they take the cattle.

 

Step 7:  End your paragraph with a concluding statement to wrap up your ideas.

         Therefore, it is clear that Odysseus gets what he deserves.  He neglects his role as responsible leader by not supervising his men; he tempts fate when he does not take the gods’ warning seriously, and he shows some arrogance when he chooses to keep the warning a secret from his men.
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Paragraph Organizer  PDF
(form will download to your desktop)