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Five-Step Method Notes and Example

The Five-Step Method:

  1. Introduce you claim and mention the author, work, theme, or topic you are writing about.
  2. Present evidence from the text in the form of a direct quote, paraphrase, or summary.
  3. ((Translate)) the evidence by putting the main idea in your own words to ensure clarity.
  4. Interpret the significance of the evidence by explaining how it proves your claim.
  5. Synthesize ideas within your argument by connecting your claim and evidence to the author’s purpose or the audience’s experience.


Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart to shatter the misinterpretations that Europeans have spread about his culture, and to influence them in a way so that they would venerate the African culture.  He takes responsibility to prove the Europeans wrong by setting straight the twisted rumors about native African culture.  The truthful knowledge Achebe possessed about Nigeria influenced him to write a book portraying his culture as realistically as possible.  In “An Interview with Chinua Achebe” by Patrick Samway, Achebe shares his opinions and personal experiences that have developed his overall conclusion of the Igbo people.  In this interview, Achebe shares that growing up, he was exposed to the Christian faith as well as the religion of the Igbo people.  ((As he read books written by Europeans, he realized the books were wrong. They portrayed the Africans as exotic creatures and stated that they couldn’t successfully sustain a civilization.)) In the interview on page 191, he states, “…it was when I realized the implications of these stories that I finally came to the conclusion that something had to be done.” The inaccurate interpretation of his culture contributed to his realization that the stories of Africans were told in a way that made them have little importance and cultural value.  This gave him the desire to take a stand and tell the true story of his people from his perspective.  By writing this story, he hopes that his culture would be respected.  Through the character of Okonkwo, Achebe is able to represent his emotional perspective on the cultural issues between Africans and Christians.