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How to do the 'C' in ACE? - August 16th 2009, 07:32 PM

Well, I'm sure that many of you have heard of the ACE rubric (Answer, Cite, Explain/expand/elaborate). My English teacher had us do a written-answer test on Animal Farm the other day, and she said to answer with one paragraph for each question, using the ACE format. I'm not sure if I'm doing the 'C' right, though. How do YOU cite information? Do you just use examples to back up your answer and include specifics like names? Do you quote from the text? And then when you explain, do you just back up your statements with a little more insight?

My previous teachers have never said that my answers were insufficient or formatted incorrectly, but this is different because it's an honors class. I want well, but I have a feeling that I'm going to have a lot of questions like this, and I want to make sure I'm answering them correctly. So if you have any advice or ideas to offer me, that would be brilliant. Also, if you have any advice on how to survive an honors class with B or higher, that would be good too.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and thanks in advance to anyone willing to help.
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Re: How to do the 'C' in ACE? - August 16th 2009, 08:08 PM

At my school in English we use things called PEE chains. It stands for Point Example Explain. I've never heard of ACE before but it could be along the same lines. So for an example we'd use a quote from the text.
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Re: How to do the 'C' in ACE? - August 16th 2009, 11:40 PM

We have a different way of saying it in my school, but I think it's basically the same thing.

We use PQE. Point, quote, explain. Basically, you state the point you making- The point that answers the question. Then you find a quote from the passage/poem and stick it in. Then you explain your quote and how it relates to your point. I hope that made sense- it does in my head, anyway.

I find with honors English, the main thing is just to write loads, but it also has to be good quality. Practice a lot- even if you're not given much homework on a certain night, take out some other questions and do them. The more you get used to elaborating, the easier it gets. You should ask your teacher for some pointers, I know I'm always doing out practice answers, and getting my teacher to grade them, just to see how I'm getting on. I'm sure they'd be more than happy to give help to a willing student.
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Re: How to do the 'C' in ACE? - August 16th 2009, 11:41 PM

You want to give in-text citations to Animal Farm, that is, take direct quote from it. Make sure that you use all the information from the quote, so if you want only one sentence from a paragraph, then only take that one sentence. If you take the entire paragraph, then it's implied to the reader that the entire paragraph is relevant. If it's not all relevant then the reader is going to be confused and you're going to get a bad mark.

In addition to in-text citations, you must give your view or argument. You don't want the quote to be your argument, that's not good as it doesn't show you actually understand the topic. You also want your quote to agree with whatever the point is that you're making. You want to explain how the quote fits with your argument and not to have it just hang there.

Without looking over your answers I don't know what the exact problems were but it could be that your argument wasn't strong, you didn't show the relevance of the quote (even if it is obvious, explain it anyways), etc... .

Most importantly, keep it short and concise. Get to the points you're making without lots of unneeded introductions to it and such. Generally you can do this after you've got the answer the first time, re-read it and see what is excess baggage and re-write the answer. Keep doing it and it should get more to the point.

When you quote there are different types of formatting, such as MLA and APA. Quoting from the text has various rules, such as how long the text is (if it's beyond a certain length then you quote it differently), etc... . But you don't want to simply quote a character's name. You want to quote either the dialogue or some other text.

So an example would be:

It is obvious that Ralph has desires for Melissa when he says [put the quote].

After you have the quote then you give your argument and make reference to the quote. Don't just make reference to the quote and then give your argument without the quote. You need evidence for your argument.

Also, don't simply give the quote with no argument; the quote should never be used as your argument. It shows poor understanding on your part. Remember, the goal is to try to convince the reader of your view and show direct evidence from the book to support it. You want to give as much insight as you can without creating a wall of text and without putting so much information that it obscures the point, so don't just toss all the information you have on the page. See what is strong evidence and strong arguments.

Lastly, read the question. Make sure you're answering the entire question and not just part of it. So after you've answered the question, re-read the question and your answer to see if you've answered everything. If it fits then re-read and possibly re-write it to make it more and more concise. Remember, it's not just about quantity, it's about quality.

If you could post your answer then it can be easier to see where you went wrong.
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Re: How to do the 'C' in ACE? - August 17th 2009, 12:31 AM

I use what's called MLA Formatting. There's an outline online if you type "MLA citation format" into google. But it's for citing sources, and not quotes, so I'm not sure if it will help you.

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Re: How to do the 'C' in ACE? - August 17th 2009, 01:22 AM

Hi! Well, for English papers, MLA is typically used. There is another style called APA but that's used on things like Psychology papers or scientific papers (even they use MLA pretty often though).
MLA is strict and it's like a language. You get used to it.
My teacher reccomended this website from my AP Lang class: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/ for MLA questions and stuff. It's very informative and accurate.
As to how to survive...well. English classes at this point (up until you hit AP) are really about reading comprehension. So, if you have trouble, just get Cliffs and work it out. You should defin get an A that way =D

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