How to use Jane Schaffer Paragraphing method to write Essays

How to write an essay using the Jane Schaffer method

Have you heard of the Jane Schaffer paragraphing model? Do you know how to use Jane Schaffer Method to write an essay? Well, let’s explore this model ad know how to use it. But who is Schaffer in the first place?

Jane Schaffer is a lecturer and educator in the United States. Schaffer came up with a writing formula to assist students in learning how to think critically and write better using a prescribed structure. The method involves the use of logical paragraphs, where ideas are well connected.

Basically, the Schaffer paragraphing structure helps you to analyze, interpret, and assess ideas as well as textual material. The approach is helpful in helping students to enhance their writing. It forms a basis followed by our essay writing experts when writing short essays and papers.

What is the Jane Schaffer paragraphing method?

Also called the Schaffer paragraph or the Jane Schaffer paragraph, the Jane Schaffer writing formula is taught in many middle schools and some early high school classes in the United States. It is a research-based writing strategy used to write essays.

Jane Schaffer developed the multi-paragraph essay structure in an attempt to offer students and teachers a consistent and proven model for constructing articles.

The Jane Schaffer approach is a five-sentence paragraph model that is thought to help students who experience challenges with paragraph structure. The writing strategy is particularly suitable for starters, but there are questions about its effectiveness on more advanced writers.

How to apply Jane Schaffer paragraphing method to write essays

The Jane Schaffer method is writing a formula that can be summarized as TS, CD, CM, CM, CD, CM, CM, SC. Below is an explanation of the above variables or abbreviation:

1. Develop the TS (Topic Sentence)

TS stands for Topic Sentence. It should state the main point of the paragraph. It should focus on saying the topic and a relevant opinion about the subject.

The topic sentence should have two or more emotional or connotative words.

2. Develop the CD (Concrete Detail)

CD stands for Concrete Detail. It is the substance sentence and is factual. It is a real detail that comes straight from the text under discussion.

The CD can be a direct quote, paraphrases, facts, examples, illustrations, citations, evidence, support, or summary of the book.

After the sentence and before the period, one should write the page number in parentheses, where they acquired the text. The citation should also include the original authors’ names.

The CD sentence should start with a transition, e.g., therefore, for example, either, etc. You will use two of these sentences.

3. Include three CM (Commentary Sentences)

CM means Commentary Sentence. Each paragraph has at least two commentary sentences, which are comments and often contain not facts.

They may have an interpretation, insight, analysis, opinions, character feelings, inference, reasons, or color commentator. The commentary should outline how the CD helps to support the topic sentence. 

The general practice is that CM starts with a transition like:

  • Also
  • Besides
  • Either or
  • Therefore
  • In addition
  • Because of
  • In particular
  • For example
  • Neither….nor
  • Furthermore,
  • Not only… but also
  • This (also) shows that
  • This is (important) because

4. Add the CS (Concluding Sentence)

CS stands for the Concluding or Closing Sentence. It is the sentence that sums up the TS and closes up the paragraph. It gives a summary of the thoughts and, sometimes, offers a clue or insight into the topic in the next section.

Often, the CS uses emotion or connotation words to encourage action. The sentence usually begins with a concluding phrase such as “As a result of,” “In summary,” etc. The CS can be more than one sentence.

The Schaffer paragraph starts with the topic sentence, followed by a concrete detail, then two commentary sentences, and ends with a closing sentence. It is referred to as a one-chunk body paragraph. This is the most basic Schaffer model.

5. Apply the Ratio

Ratio, which is the amount of CD in a paragraph compared to the amount of CM supporting the Concrete Detail.

The basic Schaffer paragraph has a ratio of 1:2. It means there must be at least two Commentary sentences for each sentence of Concrete Detail. 

A typical Schaffer paragraph consists of eight sentences. The number of sentences can go up, but one has to maintain the same ratio of two commentary sentences to every Concrete Detail.

  • It should not be written in the first person.
  • Each variable (TS, CD, CM, and CS) should only be written in the present tense and avoid past tense.
  • Each variable is only one sentence in length.

Applying Jane Schaffer paragraphing method in an essay

Introduction;

It is an abbreviated or shorted form of the main ideas of the essay. The opening sentence can begin with a question, an anecdote, quotation, a hook, an image, or a power statement.

The introduction includes a thesis statement. The introductory paragraph should clearly state the key objective of the essay. 

The body paragraphs;

The paragraphs address the topic or ideas of the essay. The three or more paragraphs are in chunks. Each chunk paragraph has a transition word, a topic sentence, a concrete detail, two commentaries, and a closing sentence.

Point 1;

  • TS -Topic sentence 
  • CD – Concrete Detail 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CD – Concrete Detail
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CS – Concluding Sentence 

Point 2;

  • TS – Topic sentence 
  • CD – Concrete Detail 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CD – Concrete Detail
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CS – Concluding Sentence 

Point 3;

  • TS – Topic sentence 
  • CS – Concrete Detail 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CD – Concrete Detail
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CM – Commentary 
  • CS – Closing Sentence 

Conclusion

The conclusion restates the thesis in different words. It is a summary of the main points discussed in the essay. It also does not include any new information.

Jane Schaffer essay outline and template

Jane Schaffer essay outline and template include the following sections:

Introduction Paragraph

1. Topic sentence: this can be a hook, question, an anecdote, quotation, an image, or a power statement.

2. Thesis statement: it is a single sentence summary of the essay.

3. Body paragraph 1 information.

4. Body paragraph 2 information.  

5. Body paragraph 3 information.

Body Paragraph 1

It is stated in sentence 3 in the introduction paragraph. 

1. Topic sentence

2. First Concrete Detail: illustrations, fact or evidence.

3. Two Commentary sentences explaining the Concrete Detail and how it relates to the topic/ thesis.

4. Second Concrete Detail: illustrations or evidence.

5. Two Commentary sentences discussing the Concrete Detail and how it supports the topic/thesis.

6. Closing sentence wrapping up the topic sentence and summing up the paragraph.

Body Paragraph 2

It is stated in sentence 4 in the introduction paragraph. 

1. Topic sentence

2. First Concrete Detail: illustrations, fact or evidence.

3. Two commentary sentences explaining the Concrete Detail and how it relates to the thesis/topic.

4. Second Concrete Detail: illustrations, fact or evidence.

5. Two Commentary sentences discussing the Concrete Detail and how it supports to supports thesis/topic.

6. Closing sentence wrapping up the topic sentence and summing up the paragraph.

Body Paragraph 3

It is stated in sentence 5 in the introduction paragraph. 

1. Topic sentence

2. First Concrete Detail: illustrations, fact or evidence.

3. Two Commentary sentences explaining the Concrete Detail and how it relates to the topic/thesis.

4. Second Concrete Detail: illustrations, fact or evidence.

5. Two Commentary sentences discussing the Concrete Detail and how it supports the topic/ thesis.

6. Concluding sentence wrapping up the topic sentence and summing up the paragraph.

Concluding paragraph

  1. Restate the thesis in different words.
  2. It summarizes the main points discussed in the essay. 
  3. Closing sentence summing up the essay.

Note: No new information is included at this stage. 

If you want the above Jane Schaffer essay outline in a Word document file, click here to download it. Once you use it well, the model will help you solve some of the essay problems that you may face in your writing.

Is Jane Schaffer writing model good for your essay?

Yes, the Jane Schaffer model is good to write your essay since it offers a clear guideline for presenting points into well-written arguments and paragraphs. For example, the method is good for history essays among all types of essays.

The writing method teaches students how to organize their thoughts. It will help you to analyze, interpret, and assess ideas and textual material. You will learn to think critically and deductively.

Therefore, you will be able to examine facts to determine the meaning of the text. When you begin to think analytically, you begin to think independently and to be a better writer.

Conclusion

Whether you are a beginner or a pro in writing essays, you will find it good to use the Jane Schaffer paragraphing method to write an essay because it is unique and detailed. It forms a good guide and I am sure the model will help you put your ideas together.

You can bring universal truths and your knowledge of life to bear on the situation. Moreover, the essay writing skills you gain from learning to write analytically will also prepare you well for college. If you need help with writing essays, you can contact us for assistance or press the button below.

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Alicia Smart
Alicia Smart
With over 10 years in academia and academic assistance, Alicia Smart is the epitome of excellence in the writing industry. She is our chief editor and in charge of the writing department at Grade Bees.