Writing a body paragraph for an essay about a novel

Here is a sample paragraph that I wrote for an essay on “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer (our summer reading).

Topic 1: Matt has a risk-taking, courageous personality.

Outline  examples to show:

  1. When he was a baby, his Mom told him never to interact if there were any people who came to see him at their shack in the middle of nowhere.
  2. When he was considered an animal, he interacted with Rosa the maid and Maria.
  3. When he had his birthday which El Patron celebrated in a party, he asked for a kiss  from Maria.
  4. Even though he had to alone, he went to the Eejit home area, even though he was warned not to go there.

Here is the FIRST DRAFT:

Matt has a risk-taking, courageous personality. A lot of his behavior in the book shows that he is able to take risks without feeling afraid, and that is a courageous behavior, especially in light of the fact that everyone in the El Patron household first treated him as an outcast in the beginning. WE first see Matt’s courage even before he began to speak, when he was a baby living with his surrogate mom in a shack in the middle of nowhere. His mom had told him not to answer the door or to interact with anyone if anyone knocked, while he was alone. But when Maria, her sister Emily, and her sister’s friend Steven stumbled upon the shack, and they knocked on the window, Matt did not really hesitate to show himself to them (10). This shows that he was risk taking even as a baby. Later when he finally came to the El Patron house, he was treated badly as a clone, kept in a pigpen like an animal. But this did not deter his courage. He interacted with the maid Rosa (47) and with Maria (48), who later became his close friend. After he was accepted by the community as the clone of El Patron and therefore special, he ventured to go to the eejit home area (168), even though he was warned not to go there. He was curious to see what the eejit life looked like, and this later encouraged him to change how the country dealt with their laborers. This later change that Matt tried to start became his goal in life and the beginning of his leadership. This shows that Matt is a courageous character who takes risks for the benefit of others.

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