U.S Department of Education | Blue Ribbon School District

MEL-Con

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 MEL-Con process
Step-by-Step MEL-Con process
samples of Melcon paragraphs
Overview of MEL-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 your 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

L = Link

  • Links the evidence you used to the key idea in your topic sentence
  • Explains how the evidence supports your topic
  • The link is what you think or how you relate the evidence to the topic
  • Your link is unique --- it shows your thought process and why you chose the evidence you chose

Con = Concluding statement

  • The last sentence of your paragraph which summarizes your answer, your evidence
  • Mentions your three pieces of evidence again in a new, short way
Don't forget to use
TRANSITIONS!
  • Separates each of your pieces of evidence
  • Organizes your paragraph and makes it easy for the reader to follow
Even more importantly
Moreover
A great example is
Third but most important
The first good reason is
A final good example

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MEL-Con Step-by-Step
Did Oedipus deserve his final fate? 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
Oedipus deserved his final fate of being exiled from Thebes and living his life as a blind man.
Step 2:
Identify the key idea to which you will link your evidence so your link will be effective
 
key idea you're trying to prove
Oedipus deserved his final fate of being exiled from Thebes and living his life as a blind man.
Now for each example you give, you must link it back to the fact that he deserved his tragedy. (explain)
Step 3: Identify your first example that you think supports this
 
Oedipus was warned by the gods that he would marry his mother and kill his father, yet he tempted this fate by getting married to Jocasta and killing some men on the road to Thebes.
 
Step 4:
Link your example back to your key idea
In this example, Oedipus shows us why he deserved what he got. He knew from the gods that he was headed for this fate, yet he went ahead and killed men and married a woman he barely knew anyway. He tried to run away from fate, but he never followed through completely and did these things anyway, so he deserved his tragedy.

Step 5:

Repeat the previous two steps, find another example and link it

Step 6:

Make sure you use transitions between each example
The first example from the play that supports this is that Oedipus was warned by the gods that he would marry his mother and kill his father, yet he tempted this fate by getting married to Jocasta and killing some men on the road to Thebes.
 
Step 7:
End your paragraph with a concluding statement to wrap up your ideas
So, it is clear that Oedipus got what he deserved. He tempted his fate when he killed and married anyway, he made the law to be exiled in the first place, and he promised to save his people from the plague and that was the only way he could keep his word.


 
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