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. You should read a small text and then

answer those three (3) questions fully which provided lover in a document “Says-Means-Matters practice”

Name _________________________________________________________ Date ______________________
Says-Means-Matters Practice
DIRECTIONS: Read the short excerpt from the passage of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl
Strayed below. Then, using the two quotes I have selected, answer the questions to explore what those quotes mean and
why they matter. Finally, use that information to write a paragraph that follows the says-means-matter format. Make sure you
have a topic sentence to start the paragraph and use the Says-Means-Matters handout as a guide.
Excerpt of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed
When we were done with the wine, I went to Monster and pulled out the ziplock bag that held
my books. “You need something to read?” I asked Doug, holding The Ten Thousand Things up to
him, but he shook his head. I’d finished it a few days before, though I hadn’t been able to burn it
because of the rain. Unlike most of the other books I’d read on my hike, I’d already read The Ten
Thousand Things when I’d packed it into my resupply box months before. A densely lyrical novel
set on the Moluccan Islands in Indonesia, it had been written in Dutch and published to critical
acclaim in 1955, but mostly forgotten now. I’d never met anyone who’d read the book, aside
from the college writing professor who’d assigned it to me in the fiction workshop I was enrolled
in when my mother got sick.
The title hadn’t been lost on me as I’d sat dutifully reading it in my mother’s hospital room,
attempting to shut out my fear and sorrow by forcing my mind to focus on passages I hoped to
refer to in the following week’s class discussion, but it was useless. I couldn’t think of anything
but my mom. Besides, I already knew about the ten thousand things. They were all the named
and unnamed things in the world and together they added up to less than how much my mother
loved me. And me her. So when I was packing for the PCT, I’d decided to give the book another
chance. I hadn’t had any trouble focusing this time. From the very first page, I understood. Each
of Dermoût’s sentences came at me like a soft knowing dagger, depicting a far-off land that felt to
me like the blood of all the places I used to love.
ARGUMENT: Relationships with parents/mentors are complicated, even when we are adults.
1. The title hadn’t been lost on me as I’d sat dutifully reading it in my mother’s hospital room, attempting
to shut out my fear and sorrow by forcing my mind to focus on passages […] but it was useless. I couldn’t
think of anything but my mom. (Strayed 172).
What does the evidence mean? How do you interpret this quote in your own words?
Why is this passage important as related to the argument being presented? How is it helpful in supporting the
argument, and what might it teach the reader about the topic?
2: Besides, I already knew about the ten thousand things. They were all the named and unnamed things in
the world and together they added up to less than how much my mother loved me (Strayed 172).
What does the evidence mean? How do you interpret this quote in your own words?
Why is this passage important as related to the argument being presented? How is it helpful in supporting the
argument, and what might it teach the reader about the topic?
3: Draft your paragraph using this information that follows the says-means-matter format. Be sure to use
your handout as needed.
Says-Means-Matters
When you write about a topic or claim, you will need to use supporting evidence/details. To demonstrate that you are knowledgeable
about your topic or claim, you will need to use analysis. Says-Means-Matters is a strategy to help you create an analysis of the evidence
within the body paragraphs of your essay.
Says
Means
Matters
What does the text
actually have to SAY?
What does the evidence you
selected MEAN?
WHY is the passage you
chose important?
• Introduce the quote with either a
complete sentence and a colon or
an explanatory phrase with a
comma.
• Write the exact words from the text
surrounded by quote marks using
an embedded format. Make sure it
is clear who the speaker of these
words is – you or your cited author.
• For longer passages, choose short
phrases to embed in a
paraphrased sentence of your own
creation.
• Explain the embedded
evidence/quote from the Says
column in your own words.
• You may need to write a few
sentences that further elaborates
or explains the evidence – this is
your context.
• Be sure to be through and detailed
in the elaboration so you explain
every part of the evidence you are
analyzing and using to support
your topic.
• Write what the passage you chose
has to say about the topic of the
paragraph and/or the overall topic
of the paper.
• This may provide details about a
bigger life issue, a solution to a
problem, or some other insight
into the topic being discussed.
• DO NOT just write what the
evidence is about; make sure you
connected it back to your thesis
statement as what you select for
your paper should work to address
or answer the prompt/questions
of the essay.
OF NOTE: You will need to repeat your Says-Means-Matters pattern more than once in each body paragraph as there should be
multiple pieces of evidence or quotes that you will used in each body paragraph.
Example: Here is evidence used to answer the question on whether success can be passed down through generations.
Says
“Perhaps the two work together, one boosting
the other, so that those remarkable genes give
rise to the remarkable talent only if those skills
are suitably nurtured” (Bradley 12).
“Hard work is not just an easy catchphrase but a
reality for those who want to get ahead” (Bradley
14).
Means
David Bradley describes why some people are
more successful than others. Some argue that
genes are responsible for excellence; others
argue it is an individual’s environment that leads
to success. Here, Bradley is suggesting that one
can have inherited skills, but they only lead to
success if they are practiced regularly.
Matters
Bradley’s argument is important because it
implies that being excellent at anything requires
dedication and effort. His conclusion suggests
that only those individuals who are willing to
dedicate themselves to hours of practice will be
truly great. This builds on the old adage of
whether nature or nurture work best and he
argues it needs to be both
How to Use Say Mean Matter to Write a Paragraph:
Use the following outline for a body paragraph.
Step 1: Topic sentence
• Summarize the mean and matter in one sentence. This should
be the main idea that you are trying to prove in your
paragraph.
Step 2: Signal phrase/context + “say”
• Start with a signal phrase or sentence/colon combo. Then,
write your quote from the say column.
• You might need a sentence of context before the quote. This
can usually be found in your mean column.
Step 3: “Mean”
• Write this directly from the mean column. Be sure that it
thoroughly explains what the quote means, referring to
specific ways that meaning is created. You may quote specific
words or phrases as well.
**As you will need to add additional evidence, simply repeat steps 2
and 3 before writing step 4**
Step 4: “Matter”
• Write this directly from the matter column. Be sure you
have returned to the ideas in your topic sentence.
Sample Paragraph
In the essay “Why Gladwell’s 10,000-hour Rule is Wrong,” David Bradley argues
that excellence is only attainable through a long-term commitment to practicing
a skill. Bradley describes why some people are more successful than others.
Some argue that genes are responsible for excellence; others argue it is an
individual’s environment that leads to success. He writes that there is a
possibility that “the two work together, one boosting the other, so that those
remarkable genes give rise to remarkable talent only if those skills are suitably
nurtured” (Bradley 12). Here, Bradley suggests that inherited skills only lead to
success if they are practiced regularly to build up that skill. He continues by
reminding others that hard work is the key and not just “an easy catchphrase”
when it comes to being successful (Bradley 14). Just because you are the son of
Michael Jordan doesn’t mean that you are going to be able to move on the
basketball court as he did. It is going to take dedication, desire, and fortitude to
channel those skills to even get close to emulating Jordan. Bradley’s argument is
important because it implies that being excellent at anything requires
dedication and effort. His conclusion suggests that only those individuals who
are willing to dedicate themselves to hours of practice will become truly great.

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