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READING AND WRITING
1-What is a paragraph? A Paragraph is a basic unit of organization in writing in which a group of related, sentences develops one main idea. A paragraph can be as short as one sentence or as long as ten sentences. The number of sentences is unimportant; however, the paragraph should be long enough to develop the main idea clearly. A paragraph has three major structural parts: - a topic sentence - supporting sentences - a concluding sentence 2- Length of a paragraph Often there are questions from almost all students about how long a paragraph is and how many sentences a-paragraph contains.There are no appropriate answers for those questions. However,you should keep in mind. that a paragraph should be neither so short that the main idea of the paragraph is not developed and sufficiently expanded, nor so long that it tends to break down into so many sub-ideas that it would be better to organize them into separate paragraphs. In other words, how long a paragraphwill be depends on how clearly a topic sentence is discussed or explained. 3-parts of a paragraph A paragraph is made up of three kinds of sentences that develop the writer’s main idea, opinion, or feeling about a subject. These sentences are: a. A Topic sentence b. Supporting sentences c. A Concluding sentence
The first line of a paragraph is usually indented. This indentation of a paragraph indicates where the paragraph begins. In a composition that contains many paragraphs, there will be several indentations to make it easy for the reader to see where each new paragraph or idea in the composition begins. One paragraph, however, contains only one indentation because there is only one beginning point. Remember that you must capitalize the first word in each sentence and end each sentence with a punctuation mark, most often a period (.). The chart below shows how the example paragraph is organized.
PRACTICE Read the following paragraph and identify its three main parts as indicated below There are three reasons why I prefer jogging to other sports. One reason is that Jogging is a cheap sport. I can practise it anywhere at any time with no need for a ball or any other equipment. Another reason why I prefer jogging is that it is friendly to my heart. I don’t have to exhaust myself or do excessive efforts while jogging. Finally, I prefer this sport because it is safe. It isn’t as risky as other sports like gymnastics, racing or horseback riding. For all these reasons, I consider jogging the best sport of all. I. TOPIC SENTENCE: ........................................................................................................................... II. SUPPORTING DETAILS */ First one: .................................................................................................................. Example: ....................................................................................................................... */ Second one: ............................................................................................................. Example: ...................................................................................................................... */ Third one: ............................................................................................................... Example: ...................................................................................................................... III. CONCLUDING SENTENCE: ........................................................................................................................
3.1 The TOPIC SENTENCE
A-what is a topic sentence? The topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. It not only names the topic of the paragraph, but also limits the topic to one or two areas that can be discussed completely in the space of a single paragraph. The specific area is called the controlling idea,or focus. Notice how the following topic sentence states both the topic and the controlling idea. 4
If they are interested in the topic. Controlling idea Topic Readers most often greatly rely on what the topic sentence says so as they can decide if the paragraph is worth reading or not. that is. Thus. Therefore. Artistic talent and mathematical ability are two qualities of a good architect. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. as a beginning writer. Moreover. the controlling idea may come first. However.Gold is prized for two important characteristics. Using this approach to placement of the topic sentence. if not. It gives them a broad view of what you are writing about because the topic sentence is meant to state the main idea of the paragraph. In the paragraph above. the topic sentence has given them guiding clues that help them be selective in their reading. it may be placed at the beginning. As result. the controlling idea is encouraging them. parents can encourage them to study by buying story books with pictures. or at the end of a paragraph. That’s why your topic sentence should be a sort of clincher. Generally. they will continue reading. My parents gave me a gift when I got ‘A’ in my math lesson. no information that cannot he summarized by the controlling idea can be included in a paragraph. It helps readers save time as it tells them what the reset of the paragraph is all about. Children Topic Controlling idea usually enjoy playing games instead of studying. The topic sentence serves the special purpose of announcing the paragraph's topic. a sensible plan is to tell readers what the paragraph is intended to discuss before it is discussed. 5 . the common practice in writing a paragraph is to begin with the topic sentence and to follow it with supporting sentences.a tempting statement that catches the readers’ attentions and entice them to carry on with the reading of the paragraph. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. Topic Controlling idea B. the controlling idea is the summary of all the information contained in its paragraph. Consider the following paragraph: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. Therefore. however. A. They should also remind their children to do their homework at home after school. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. Thus. the topic comes first and the controlling idea comes second in the topic sentence. The topic sentence in each paragraph is the short cut that helps the readers economize the amount of time and effort when they are skimming for gist or scanning for specific information. may be stated or placed anywhere in a paragraph. However. the topic sentence is the following: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. the controlling idea is a restricting idea because it limits the information that can be included in its paragraph. Gold : topic two important characteristics : controlling idea The controlling idea is the central idea that is developed in a paragraph. in the middle. I experienced this.The topic sentence. that is . As a child. the reader can more easily identify the central point that the writer is making. parents should take the responsibility to monitor their studying. you should place the topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph. A good architect is both an artist and a mathematician. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. Consequently. I was very excited. The topic of the sentence is how parents can help children succeed in school. The reader might ask the following questions and expect the paragraph to answer them: How can parents encourage their children? What specific things should parents do to encourage their children? How will this encouragement lead to success? B-Placement of the Topic Sentence In general.
A further advantage is that there is much less traffic. Therefore. In conclusion. 2.200 gallons of blood. compare the following pair of topic sentences 6 . Is there any other engine capable of carrying on such heavy work over such a long period of time without needing to be repaired? Obviously the human heart is a small yet highly efficient piece of equipment. In this way. Limited. In addition. Study the following: 1. There are many advantages to living in a village. it must express one and only one controlling idea which will be expanded into a complete paragraph. which defines the controlling idea clearly and precisely. 2. Compare the following sentences. you will have many advantages. Being limited: In addition to being complete.and Specific. Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the end. it is not a sentence at all. a topic sentence must be a complete sentence: that is. but rather a sentence fragment or a part of sentence. Complete. in a single day it pumps 2. life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly.Characteristics of a good topic sentence A good topic sentence. Being complete: Like any other sentence. It must be 1. Fragment: If you know English Complete: If you know English. it can be seen that village life is suitable for retired and those who want to have more peace and less stress. The heart weighs about 11 ounces and is the size of a clenched fist. In fact. At each beat it takes in nearly a quarter of a pint of blood. A: A good student must have Idea 1 idea 2 B: A good student must have at least two learning habits and he should be responsible for his studies. it must consist of a subject and a predicate. C. a topic sentence must also be limited: that is. In a year it beats some 40 million times. First of all. The heart of a man performs at about 60 to 80 beats a minute. 3. whereas sentence B has two ideas ("have at least two learning habits" and "should be responsible in his studies"). Fragment: Ways to learn English Complete: There are many easy ways to learn English.Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the beginning. you will not have either too much or too little to write about. one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. sentence A is a better topic sentence because sentence B has more than one idea and is not a good topic sentence. must meet three requirements. if it is not a complete sentence. 3. and in the course of a single lifetime about 56 million gallons. It must be clearly limited in such a way that it is neither too broad nor too a narrow. Note that sentence A contains only one idea ("have at least two learning habits"). Again. Fragment: Learning English Complete: Learning English is useful for everyone. and as a result it is much safer place to bring up young children.
For example.S. 2.Two controlling ideas A : Kairouan is famous for traditional artefacts and it has beautiful landscape. students. such as university. Playing a musical instrument helps children to develop in discipline and self confidence. The reader can also expect learning more in this paragraph about the specific benefits of organic foods. Topic Sentence: "An increasing number of people in the world are enjoying the benefits of organically grown fruits and vegetables. Still too general: Watching a soccer game keeps me involved. there are many specific things about university. Too general: My neighborhood is a nice place to live in. Computers are a necessary part of modern life." This topic sentence indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will cover the trend in the world toward eating organic foods. Computers are unnecessary and make our life complicated. Topic Sentence: "Many television cartoons contain an unhealthy amount of violence. teachers. Television gives free and interesting entertainment to people of all ages. 2. or nuclear power. Being specific: A topic sentence should not be too general. Television advertising is far more effective than advertising in magazines or newspapers. Too general: Sports are exciting. B. PRACTICE 1: Read the following topic sentences and decide on the best topic sentence. 3. 7 . you must narrow it down to a limited topic that can be discussed in one paragraph. University-dormitory living-roommates. vacations. _____________________________________________________________________________________ B-MUSIC 1." Notice that this sentence clearly identifies that the key topic of the paragraph is violence in television cartoons. Computers save us time and make our lives easier. It also indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will discuss how much violence cartoons typically contain. Music can teach children to understand their own culture.my roommates –Jane Samples: 1. 2. and the campus. A. Remember that a topic sentence must have one single controlling idea A-COMPUTERS 1. 2. You should narrow down your subject to be more specific. One controlling idea B: Kairouan is famous for its Islamic architecture. such as classes. or too vague.T kept me on the edge of the chair. that you can discuss. and how/why this violence is unhealthy for viewers. When you start to write about a very general topic. _____________________________________________________________________________________ C-TELEVISION 1. Much better: Watching the Tunis derby between CA and E. A good topic sentence: My neighborhood is fascinating because people from many countries live in it. You may narrow down the subject of college to the more specific subject of a roommate.
Topic: Using Internet _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______.…………………………………….3. VACATIONS………………………………. Firstly. SPORTS . 1. you can share your hobbies and special interests. 4.individual sports ……………………………………………………………. Getting married Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 6. _____________________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 2: Write specific topic sentences for possible paragraphs on the following topics.rock singer – superstar . Finally. Also. e-mail is popular because it is faster than sending a letter and cheaper than a telephone conversation. ENTERTAINMENT-singers .MUSIC………………………………. University Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 4.…………… 6.………….. in your home. 8 .Madonna 1. Learning a foreign language Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 3: Narrowing Subjects from General to Specific Fill in the space in each funnel until you arrive at a specific subject. Write a topic sentence for the following paragraphs. 5. Television has enormous influence on politics.……………………………………..………… 3.….……………. Television Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 3.…………………………………. FRIENDS .DIVORCE–children……………………………….. on-line shopping makes it possible to search through catalogues to find exactly what you want at the best price.. so you can save both time and money. Technology Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 5.…………………………… PRACTICE 4: A. 1. Animals Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 2.. all of the latest information is available to you...……… 2. Try to add at least three or four ideas to each group.my best friend……………………………………………………………. and perhaps make friends all over the world.……………………………………. Example: Teenagers and drugs Topic sentence: Drug addiction has caused a huge increase in crimes of violence which is committed/done by teenagers. at any hour of the day or night.CLASSES – my best/worst class …… ……………. By joining a newsgroup or chat group.
and then become accustomed to it eventually! Just like the addiction of taking drugs. my loneliness was so great that I often dreamed that my father would miraculously return. the third. 3. telecommunication satellites have greatly improved global communications. the loss of my father caused me to develop a greater sense of responsibility. We need tourists’ money in fact they provide more jobs for all of us. Topic: Space Technology _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. elaboration and exploration. I was afraid of losing someone else whom I loved. Furthermore. The number of supporting details required in a paragraph depends on what the writer is trying to show. Whenever my mother was away from home. In addition. throughout the rest of my childhood.2 THE SUPPORTING SENTENCES The body of every effective paragraph consists of ideas or details that support and explain the topic sentence. Topic: My Father’s Death _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. Firstly. Thus the students are strongly advised to provide at least three strong details which can support the main idea. some special satellites register the earth’s resources and military information. Topic: Tourism _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. it will break the unity of the paragraph. people are more aggressive towards each other. 9 . In addition. examples. The students can use all the writing techniques necessary to make the paragraph sustainable and eligible: descriptions. sake: cause) 5. Nearly three million people depend. frightened. I was nervous until she returned. and responsible – a young child with adult feelings. definitions. They smoke for the sake of knowing how it feels. They want to earn money and spend it as they wish. Unfortunately. First of all. left me lonely. they would have the second. Teenagers tent to be curious about new things. (mere: only. The supporting sentences must give information that reinforces the main idea stated in the topic sentence. Meteorological satellites also provide advance information. My father’s death. some regard divorce as the best way to get this independence. Couples do not tolerate a few mistakes. I felt great sadness and loneliness. For example. directly or indirectly. They hope to be free and stand without one’s help. once they started to smoke their first cigarette. and earns four as much money as agriculture. Scientists are working to develop space technology to use in different areas.2. Topic: Teenagers Smoking _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. women think that life is always difficult unless they have their own economics independence. If any of the supporting details doesn’t correlate with the main idea or does not support it. As a result. So there should at least be three supporting details because one or two make the paragraph less convincing and not worth the effort done to build it. therefore. I believed that with my father gone I was responsible for helping my mother with her chores. 4. there are many women working outside their homes and are independent. 7. Topic: Divorce _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. 3. For the firs few months. Tourism employs twenty times as many people as the car industry. Finally. upon tourism for their jobs. Due to difficult life conditions. Being economically independent is the desire of many women. Nowadays.
It directly support its major support sentence by making it more easily understood. which is very wide and beautiful. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away.Supporting sentences may be classified into one of two groups: major support sentences or minor support sentences. It directly supports the controlling idea by making that idea more easily understood. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. climbing this hill is not dangerous. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. Also. On either side of this river. a minor support sentence must be closely related both to its major support sentence and the controlling idea of the paragraph. which is unusual because it is very steep. MAJOR SUPPORT SENTENCES A major support sentence has only one function: it develops the controlling idea of a paragraph by telling the reader something new or different about that idea. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. Practice 10 . My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. This tree stands two hundred feet tall. Even though it is steep. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. and (II) At the same time it helps its support sentence develop the controlling idea. which is unusual because it is very steep. it is noted for the Wheaton River. Also. There are no trees around this hill. It indirectly supports the controlling idea of the paragraph by helping its major support sentence make that idea more easily understood. are many willow trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. First. MINOR SUPPORT SENTENCES A minor support sentence has two functions: (I) it develops its major support sentence by telling the reader something new or different about that sentence. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. which is 175 feet wide. which is very wide and beautiful. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. First. Therefore. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. it is noted for the Wheaton River.
PRACTICE 11 .
in a way. A hamburger has a top bun (a kind of bread). Similarly. Consider a hamburger that you can buy at a fast-food restaurant. The top bun.THE CONCLUDING SENTENCE In formal paragraphs you will sometimes see a sentence at the end of the paragraph which summarizes the information that has been presented. Both buns "hold" the meat. lettuce. and the bottom bun is like the CONCLUDING SENTENCE. This is the concluding sentence. onions. and other elements in the middle of the hamburger. meat. You can think of a concluding sentence as a sort of topic sentence in reverse. is like a TOPIC SENTENCE. and a bottom bun. Note how the top bun and the bottom bun are very similar. the topic sentence and 13 . cheese. You can understand concluding sentences with this example. and so on.
In brief. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. 3. which were not specifically stated in the topic sentence. Notice also how the concluding sentence is similar to. For example. Synonyms. the topic sentence. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. Gold. First of all. STEP 3 Add a good concluding sentence to each. and ornamental purposes. do not always have the same emotional meaning. gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. The second example summarizes the two main points of the paragraph. to call a person stingy is an insult while the word frugal has a much more positive connotation. Practice STEP I Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph. Second. In conclusion. For example. words that have the same basic meaning. Therefore. Let's see how a concluding sentence (in bold font) might look in our sample paragraph about Wheaton: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. Similarly a person wants to be slender but not skinny. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. Canada has a high standard of education. These examples show that Thus. We can see that Therefore. Indeed . Finally. It summarizes the main points of the paragraph. Canada has an excellent health care system. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. coins. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. It signals the end of the paragraph. a precious metal. the concluding sentence repeats the main idea of the topic sentence in different words. In conclusion. A concluding sentence is helpful to the reader because it signals the end of the paragraph and because it is a reminder of the important points. The first one paraphrases the topic sentence. Therefore. that is. Use one of the following end-of-paragraph signals to introduce your concluding sentence: END-OF-PARAGRAPH SIGNALS These are followed by a comma These are not followed by a comma Finally. and aggressive but not pushy. it is suitable for jewelry. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. It is clear that In summary. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. but not exactly the same as. is prized for two important characteristics. Canada is a desirable place to live in . 14 . 2. There can be no doubt that The evidence suggests that The examples that follow demonstrate two different types of concluding sentences. you should be careful in choosing words because many so-called synonyms are not really synonymous at all. Notice how the concluding sentence summarizes the information in the paragraph. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. First. A concluding sentence serves three purposes: 1. You may either paraphrase the topic sentence or summarize the main points. As a result.concluding sentence "hold" the supporting sentences in the paragraph. the words stingy and frugal both mean "careful with money" However. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. As a result. STEP 2 Determine the main idea of each paragraph. For many years.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 15 . For instance. In addition to telephone calls. it can affect your communication whether you are the speaker or the listener. managers receive an average of 100 messages a day. pay close attention to the speaker's words while looking at his or her face. Be relaxed and bend your body slightly forward to show interest in the person and the conversation. In one company. don't sit slumped in a chair or make nervous hand and foot movements. it is common for them to do so in the evenings or on weekends at home. They feel buried under the large number of messages they receive daily. Because they don't have enough time to respond to these messages during office hours. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Paragraph 2 Modern communication technology is driving workers in the corporate world crazy. Show your interest by smiling and/or nodding. watch your body language. If you have a good story wait until-the speaker is finished. Paragraph I You can be a good conversationalist by being a good listener. When you are conversing with someone.STEP 4 Begin each concluding sentence with an end-of-paragraph signal. office workers receive dozens of E-mail and voice mail messages daily. in fact. Furthermore. don't interrupt while someone is speaking. it is impolite to do so. Also.
There are four ways to achieve coherence. Each sentence should flow smoothly into the next one. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. is prized for two important characteristics. For example. The first two ways involve repeating key nouns and using pronouns that refer back to key nouns. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. which is unusual because it is very steep. climbing this hill is not dangerous. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. and ornamental purposes. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. a precious metal. it is suitable for jewelry. as too much repetition of the same words can be distracting and even irritating to a reader. it is noted for the Wheaton River. Even though it is steep. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. There are no trees around this hill. are many willow* trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. that is. go gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. Therefore. Key words are the words carrying most significance in a paragraph. First. On either side of this river. from one paragraph to the next) must be logical and smooth. Circle gold pronouns that refer to it. The key noun in this paragraph is gold. The third way is to use transition signals to show how one idea is related to the next. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. In conclusion. coins. which is 175 feet wide. First of all. For many years. There must be no sudden jumps. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. key words are those words a writer wants the reader to focus on as the paragraph progresses. Echo words are actually synonyms for the key word. the movement from one sentence to the next and in longer essays. Echo Words & Phrases: Echo words and phrases allow writers to remind the reader of the topic being discussed without becoming repetitive. Repetition of Key words The easiest way to achieve coherence is to repeat key words frequently in your paragraph. Look at the model paragraph about gold to see how it uses this technique to achieve coherence. You should have circled the noun gold seven times. A. Second. which is very wide and beautiful. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow." In order to have coherence in writing the sentences must hold together. The Latin verb cohere means "hold together. but they can also be phrases. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits.UNITY and COHERENCE in PARAGRAPHS: COHERENCE Another element of a good paragraph is coherence. The fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in a logical order. the pronoun it twice. Consider the echo words in the following paragraph about tourists and souvenirs: 16 . Consider the following paragraph: My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. Gold. and the pronoun its three times. The above paragraph is easy to read and understand because (1) the supporting sentences are in some kind of logical order and (2) all the ideas in the paragraph flow smoothly from one sentence to the next (3) appropriate transition signals are used to connect the different ideas.
Except for Chinese. They push it to the surface of the water so that it can breathe. Use of Consistent Pronouns When you use pronouns instead of key nouns. they help each other when they are in trouble." Echo words and phrases are far more desirable than general pronouns like "this" and "it" because they do add so much clarity to the sentence. Replace the pronoun it with the key noun English wherever you think doing so would make the paragraph more coherent. the good news is that the tablecloths. although French used to be the language of diplomacy.The steady production of souvenirs throughout the mid-20th century has created a well that collectors can tap. too." Note. and others in the area swim to help it. that the U. In international business. however. that the author adds adjectives and modifying phrases to the echo words to further clarify her meaning. but more countries have it as their official or unofficial second language. it has displaced it throughout the world. Dolphins are interesting because they display almost human behavior at times. The objects that have proved the most desirable in recent years are ones dating from the 1920s through the 1960s. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred. make sure that you use the same person and number throughout your paragraph. however. Furthermore. if you hope to compete in an Olympic sport. as in "other objects from this period. an aspiring Olympian must train 17 . unless you plan to spend your life alone on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. and it is the language of airline pilots and air traffic controllers all over the world. In fact. they squeal excitedly and race toward their trainer. More than 70 percent of the world's mail is written in it. Don’t change from you to he or she (change of person). English English has almost become an international language. in fact. Correct them to make this paragraph more coherent. the pronouns are not consistent. it is used more than any other language. they display the human emotions of joy and sadness. For collectors. PRACTICE A-In the following passage about dolphins." To avoid repetition of this word. Olympic athletes must be strong both physically and mentally. Moreover. Spanish is the official language of more countries in the world. and other objects from this period were produced in such large quantities that surviving examples are still easy to find and affordable.S. Navy is training them to become underwater bomb disposal experts. so an echo word or phrase is a far better choice for a subject. using these general pronouns can often get developing writers into trouble with pronoun reference problems. they droop noticeably and mope around their pool. the key noun is never repeated. B. the author uses substitutes: "objects" and "examples. It is the primary language on the Internet. They stay with it for clays or weeks-until it recovers or dies. During training. ashtrays. you must be physically strong Furthermore. They have also helped trapped or lost whales navigate their way safely out to the open sea. more people speak it than any other language. or from he to they (change of number). In the following paragraph. For example.Therefore. snow globes. it is a useful language to know. replace some of the pronouns with appropriate singular or plural nouns. B. PRACTICE In the following paragraph. it sends out a message. If one is sick. tumblers. When they make a mistake. First of all. when they do something correctly. They are so intelligent and helpful. charm bracelets." and "surviving examples. with many falling between $20 and $40. The key word in this paragraph is "souvenirs.
similarly first. consequently To connect two contrasting ideas. Another way of saying this is that this paragraph has three main points which are indicated by the major connectors. admittedly. in conclusion. 18 . in contrast). meanwhile. on the other hand. and stop. therefore. For the most demanding sports. Using such major connectors is an important way of providing coherence in a paragraph. in brief. PRACTICE A-Compare paragraphs 1 and 2 that follow. so they must possess the inner strength to live with defeat.rigorously* for many years. subsequently. Transition Signals Transition signals are words such as first. next. This paragraph has three main parts: (1) a part about the Wheaton River.or phrases such as in conclusion. naturally. second. to on the other hand. Minor Connectors What about the other words in bold. at the same time To add an illustration or explanation for example. they tell the reader when you are giving a similar idea (similarly. slow down. furthermore. Major Connectors Look at the words in bold font in the paragraph about my home town. Being mentally strong also means that he or she must be able to withstand the intense of international competition with its media coverage. when you write about your main points. not everyone can win a medal. accordingly. certainly.. nonetheless. Purpose To add another idea To arrange ideas in order or time Connecting Word/Phrase furthermore. of course. Finally. yet one paragraph is easier to understand than the other because it contains transition signals to lead the reader from one idea to the next. finally. however. Think of transition signals as traffic signs that tell your reader when to go forward. and social life. turn. an example (for example). plainly Be careful. on the contrary To emphasize or confirm indeed. five or six days a week for ten or more years. a result (as a result). (2) a part about Wheaton Hill. in addition. in addition). finally. consider the words. and (3) a part about the Big Old Tree. or aconclusion (in conclusion). not to overuse transitional expressions. such as those appearing in the phrases "these trees" and "this hill"? We can call these minor connectors. next. Save them for significant connections between ideas that you want to call special attention to. thus. they train several hours a day. C. moreover. Which paragraph contains transition signals and is more coherent? Circle all of the transition signals that you can identify. likewise. also. and however. therefore. Overuse can be distracting. In other words. In addition to being physically strong he or she must also be mentally tough. for instance. although. differeniate ideas nevertheless. an opposite idea (on the other hand. Minor connectors provide coherence to a paragraph by connecting sentences within each of the main parts of your paragraph. rather. Here are some of the most commonly used connecting words and phrases and the purposes they serve. We can call these words major connectors. ultimately. That is. Major connectors help organize the main parts of your paragraph. often giving up a normal school family. and as a result. in other words To conclude or sum up hence. undoubtedly. Do you see how they help guide the reader? For example. you can use minor connectors to link your details to each main point. First. moreover. however. conversely. This means that you have to be dedicated to your sport. Both paragraphs give the same information. Second. however. yet. and The third amazing feature. eventually.
while working on the project. Each kind of order has its own special words and phrases to show the relation ships among the ideas. Paragraph 2 Another difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. in contrast. B. consequently. depend on your topic and on your purpose. similarly. on the other hand. (however. The important point to remember is to arrange your ideas in some kind of order that is logical to a reader accustomed to the English way of writing. (however. therefore. of course. you would find these expressions: the most noticeable difference.000 miles from the Earth than when he is only 5. (however. in contrast. on the other hand water evaporates slowly. etc. For example. in 20 10. in a piece of writing using chronological order you would expect to find a lot of time expressions: first. after that. 19 . for example) 3. Your choice of one kind of logical order over another will. they encounter friction because the water is shallow ____________the waves Increase in height and can cause considerable damage when they finally reach land.000 miles away. furthermore it suggested that the government reduce federal. therefore. differ from In a paragraph showing similarities (comparison). In cold climate zones. the runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. as expensive as. For example. The runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. the concentration of salt is greater. Logical Order In addition to using transition signals and repeating key words and pronouns. water evaporates rapidly. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. There are two reasons for this. (on the other hand. for example) D. In warm climates. the Baltic Sea in North Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. this means that the earth pulls him down with a force of 150 pounds.The waves are very long and low in open water. for example) 4. in warm climate zones. Write the signal in the space. since then. a fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in some kind of logical order. therefore) 2. after 1990.Add punctuation and change capital letters to small letters if necessary. and local taxes. the less the gravitational force of the Earth _________a man weighs less when he is 50. You may even combine two or more different logical orders in the same paragraph. Some common kinds of logical order in English are chronological order. as a result. therefore. state. furthermore) 1. The farther away from the Earth a person is. Furthermore. (in conclusion. before the last war. you would find these expressions: similarity. Second the surrounding land is dry and. for example. The same article said that the causes of inflation were easy to find ________ the cure for inflation was not so easy to prescribe.Paragraph 1 A difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. (moreover. The surrounding land is dry and does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water.Choose the transition signal that best shows the relationship between the sentences in each group from the choices given in parentheses. next. but when they get close to land. In physics. just as. water evaporates rapidly. The concentration of salt is greater. in comparison. The article suggested that the president reduce the federal budget. compare with. There are reasons for this. just like. In cold climate zones. logical division of ideas and comparison/contrast. Example: A recent article in Era magazine suggested ways to reduce inflation. First of all. water evaporates slowly. Era also suggested that rising wages were one of the primary causes of inflation _______________the government should take action to control wages. In a Paragraph describing differences (contrast). therefore. finally. however) 5. the weight of an object is the gravitational force 2 with which the Earth attracts it_________ if a man weighs 150 pounds. A tsunami is a tidal wave produced by an earthquake on the ocean floor. unlike. larger than.
You may use the transition signals suggested for each topic. all the sentences -.are all telling the reader about ONE main topic. Unity means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph. so we can say that the paragraph somewhat lacks unity. and (sometimes) the concluding sentence -. a reader might ask "What are these stores like?" or "What is distinctive about these stores that draws Asian-Americans?" The next sentence supplies an acceptable answer to that question. Several weeks later. but the sentence. the Soyuz project. The cosmonaut to do this was Alexei Leonov.Unity is another very important characteristic of good paragraph writing. supporting sentences. Add other sentences without transitions if you need to in order to explain the topic completely." or that the sentence is "off-topic. Does it have perfect unity? Try to find the sentence that is off-topic: Each of the Russian space exploration projects had specific major goals. Topic Suggestions Drinking laws The effects of divorce Working mothers UNITY Like coherence. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U.Often sentences have implicit logical connections that help the reader follow the thread of a discussion or argument. Given the first sentence in the passage above. we should omit this sentence. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. It is clear that the writer is continuing a discussion of grocery stores in Chinatown. astronaut Ed White. Finally. does not have anything to do with the major goals of the various Russian space projects. offering an interesting an distinctive detail about these stores.Consider the example below: Chinatown offers one of the largest Asian American grocery districts in the country. In order to improve the paragraph.S. which is similar to the paragraph that we have studied above. Use transition signals to connect the supporting sentences smoothly. astronaut Ed White. For example. Several weeks later. the Voshkhod project was intended to find out whether people could work in the weightless environment of space. That is.S. Though no transitional expression is used. For another example. This paragraph is generally good. One Voshkhod cosmonaut experimented with weightlessness by taking a "spacewalk. practice Choose one of the topic sentences below and write a paragraph that develops it. or you may use others not listed. PRACTICE 20 . even though it is historically accurate. it is an "off-topic" sentence. connected to it by a tether." That is. the Vostok project was designed to test whether or not human beings could survive and function in outer space. and so the passage is coherent. then we say that the paragraph "lacks unity. the passage is coherent. he floated in a spacesuit outside his Voshkhod spacecraft. Skinned animals hang in windows of butcher shops here like clothes hang in the windows of suburban department stores. the detail sentences. A good way to test the coherence of your paragraph is to examine each sentence and ask yourself what your reader would expect you to say next based on that sentence.the topic. with three cosmonauts." Look at the following paragraph. had goals of testing spacecraft and space flight skills so that people could fly long missions in Earth orbit. If your paragraph contains a sentence or some sentences that are NOT related to the main topic. That is.
for example. Another important factor is the height of a region above sea level. the warmer its climate will be. the less dense the air is. This is why it takes longer to heat a pound of water through one degree Centigrade than it does to heat a pound of earth the same amount. If mountains block the passage of cold winds. 21 . nearby regions become warmer than unsheltered regions in the same latitude. the closer a region is to the equator. physical features such as high mountains influence the temperature of nearby regions.B-Study the following paragraph and decide whether there are irrelevant sentences and then revise it. throughout the cold months of winter the sea warms the nearby land just as a radiator warms a room. but other factors also have an influence on temperature. The higher you go up a mountain. it retains it longer. If mountains cause rain to fall frequently. the nearby regions become cooler than other regions in the same latitude. distance from the sea is important because although water absorbs heat more slowly than land. Consequently. In general. Finally.
supporting sentences. topic sentence 1 not only indicates the point to be contrasted but also reveals that the purpose of the writer is not just to show the difference but to reveal a source of amusement. their intelligence. a well-organized paragraph consists of topic sentence. topic sentence 1 acknowledges the obvious similarity of the two pet cats. a writer stresses how two or more things are alike or how they are different. their attitudes toward life.Comparison and Contrast Paragraphs When writing comparison or contrast paragraphs. they fondly refer to Jack as the “absent-minded professor”. The points to be compared or contrasted are usually indicated in the topic sentence. introductions to the sciences. in contrast. and the topic sentence tells the controlling idea. Our two pet cats are quite different. 2. Also. Paragraph samples • Comparison paragraph The educational systems of Europe and the United States are similar in a number of ways. mathematics. Compare the following two topic sentences and see which one is better. Obviously. Very commonly if you are comparing two rather dissimilar things. and the classes are coeducational. Jack usually plods along silently. topic sentence 2 is too general to be developed in one paragraph. To begin with. often too lost in deep thoughts to even return a greeting in time. the emphasis is usually on one or the other. and then indicates the differences a s the focus of the paragraph. and the majority of elementary school teachers are women. If you were asked to compare and contrast two people. Jack is simply “skinny” with sunken cheeks and a sharp chin. music. While relatives and family members call George a friendly “public relations officer”. acknowledge the obvious differences but emphasize the similarities. their lifestyles. sports. elementary school classes look the same everywhere. Although both our pet cats look lovely. topic sentence 1 is better than topic sentence 2 for three reasons: First. acknowledge the obvious similarities but focus on the differences. their differences in temperament is constant source of amusement. His twin brother Jack. is a boy of few words and loves to read books in solitude rather than going out to enjoy parties. and so on. backgrounds. The topic sentence should also indicate the emphasis of the paragraph. usually the topic introducer tells the two things to be compared or contrasted. George is a chubby looking boy on the verge of being overweight. but most American children do not. the ways they treat people. Second. however. Contrast paragraphs explain how two or more things are dissimilar or different. it does not restrict the controlling ideas as to what points of the two cats to contrast. there is one teacher for all subjects for each grade (except in Scandinavia). and concluding sentence. It is almost impossible for George to sit still for more than 30 minutes at a stretch and he is the chattiest person among his groups of friends. The topic sentence In a comparison or contrast paragraph. American and European educational systems differ in some ways You can hardly imagine George and Jack are actually twins. philosophies. and art. As a result. either similarities or differences. There are about twenty to twenty-two pupils per class. • Contrast paragraph PARAGRAPH STRUCTRE As you have learned in previous lessons. In a comparison or contrast paragraph. Comparison paragraphs explain how two or more things are similar or alike. Even their parents can hardly understand why the two brothers are so different. Unlike George. In addition. the subjects which are taught at the elementary level are basically the same everywhere: reading and writing. Then it is best to 22 . The two do not even look alike. who has a ready smile on his face and is quick to greet everybody he knows on his way. you could compare their looks. 1. Third. If you are comparing two obviously similar things. The only major difference in the elementary curriculum is that most Europeans study a foreign language in elementary school.
it would be irrelevant. you must be sure to make your points of comparison clear and actually develop them. If you were comparing two politicians in order to show that one is more diplomatic. otherwise. The points or items to be compared or contrasted should be parallel or of the same category. For instance. Also. to develop in your paragraph. transmission. suspension. too. for example. Furthermore. probably no more than three or four. you must organize your paragraph in such a way that your reader does not have to jump about from one point to another. you would not bother with comparing and contrasting their tastes in food. Emphasis in comparison or contrast Supporting sentences Items to be compared or contrasted should be comparable. you must include a discussion of each thing being compared or contrasted with each point of comparison. For example. After deciding which points to cover. to show a cautious attitude. You can’t. The Concluding sentence No matter whether it is a comparison or contrast paragraph. You couldn’t possibly develop all of the points in your brainstorming list in one paragraph. the concluding sentence is usually a restatement of the topic sentence or a summary of the points compared or contrasted in the development of the paragraph. and brakes handling gas mileage color and upholstery choices You must then pick several of the points of comparison or contrast that seem most important. you might come up with the following points of comparison after brainstorming: Features to Be Contrasted exterior styling colors seats and interior comfort instrument panels sound systems tires navigation systems air bags and safety features cupholders and compartments price and discounts performance and handling options engine. talk about the Ford’s engine without talking about the Toyota’s.restrict the points of comparison to two-four points and choose the most significant points for comparison or contrast that would support the controlling idea. the items would be incomparable. the writer may mention little of exceptions. 23 . if you were contrasting two new models of automobiles.
our birthdays are in the same month. we are thirty-two years old. my wife and I are alike in several ways. Helene was born and raised in Paris and I come from Yokohama. For one thing. _________ is that we both grew up in large cities. our hobbies are alike _________. A more important similarity concerns our values. In fact. _________. in the same way likewise another similarity similarly whereas too while both however Even though we come from different cultures. Our children should receive a good education and also have strong moral training. Helene has strong opinions about educating our children and raising them to know right from wrong. Topic sentence Point 1 Detail A Detail B Point 2 Detail A 27 A -. My wife devotes a lot of her free time to playing jazz piano.B . Third. For example. hers on July 10 and mine on July 20. I feel _________. I like to spend time after work strumming my guitar.PRACTICE CHOOSE an appropriate conjunction from those shown below to finish the paragraph.
B Details about Subtopic A Subtopic B Details about subtopic B 28 .Detail B Point 3 Detail A Detail B Conclusion Topic sentence Subtopic A A --.
Students also drop out of college because the work is harder than they thought it would be . but they never go camping. Therefore. such as Why did it happen?" or"What". For example. In college. or to draw a conclusion. They do not want to take dull required courses or spend their nights studying. however they may have to prepare for two hour exams. When they find out that college is often routine. belief or assertion. they quickly lose interest. advertisements force people to buy things they may not need. television influences everybody’s behavior in negative ways. lonely.Cause and Effect Paragraphs 1-DEFINITION A cause and effect paragraph is a paragraph that indicates the cause (or reason) that produces an effect (or result). write fifteen page term papers or make detailed presentations to a class. Perhaps the most common reason students drop out is that they are having personal or emotional problems. Cause/effect models can be found in many kinds of writing and can be used for any of the writer's purposes: to justify or condemn some action. They may not be able to understand right from wrong and think that violence is ok. The most important negative effect is that television may lead to violence. family. Students drop out of college for many reasons. those who buy campingequipment. friends or girlfriends. That is. First of all. The hard work comes as a shock and students give up. they begin with a topic sentence and this sentence is followed by specific supporting details. the cause/effect paragraph explains why a condition occurs or the effect that this condition brings about. people should consider those effects before they start to watch television programs. These students may enter college expecting non stop fun or a series of fascinating courses. First of all. Younger students especially. or the paragraph that points out the effect (or result) produced by a cause.someone who buys a new computer even though his or her old computer works fine. to prove or disprove an idea. or depressed. Someone who buys a new car but can't really afford it. For example. 2-STRUCTURE OF CAUSE/EFFECT PARAGRAPHS Cause/effect paragraphs generally follow basic paragraph format. some students are bored in school. if the topic sentence introduces an effect.These students may have made decent grades in high school simply by showing up for class. the supporting sentences all describe causes. For many types of students dropping out seems to be the only solution they can imagine. to explain or to give an account of something or situation. In conclusion.Also. These students may have problems with roommates. and so they drop out. The function of cause/effect is usually to answer the questions 'Why". When children see terrible things on TV and sometimes act them out. Television negatively influences people's behavior in a number of ways. Here is an example: 29 . such as 'What are its causes?" or 'What are its effects?" In short. may be attending college at an age when they are also feeling confused. to convince. They become too unhappy to deal with both hard academic work and emotional troubles. Consider the following example paragraphs.
attracted many people from rural areas. in the sentence Sally closed the window because the weather outside was cold. such as sports stadiums. Finally. entertainment. people established places of leisure. In the chart below are the main ideas of the above paragraph. Notice how each supporting sentence is a cause that explains the effect mentioned in the topic sentence. For example.) 3. First. (Cities have grown very large.Cause and Effect Conjunctions Here are some common conjunctions that can be used to express cause and effect: since because consequently as a result therefore for this reason because of + noun phrase due to + noun phrase so There are two things you must be careful of when using these conjunctions. There are several reasons for this occurrence. to help you understand the relationships better: EFFECT (Topic Sentence) Cities have grown very large. Better schools attracted families to move to the city. even though the subordinate clause because the room was cold is now at the beginning of the sentence. Sally closed the window. (Note that the first letter of the conjunction is now capitalized. The conjunction because is placed in the correct position here. and culture. the conjunction because is correctly placed before the part of the sentence that expresses the cause. even though it is grammatical. For many people.] (Cities have grown very large. and therefore drew them away from rural communities. the CAUSE is the fact that the room was cold. the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs.) However. in the sentence Because the weather outside was cold. First. [There are several reasons for this. Places of leisure. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. as the cities grew. cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas. which tended to be located in cities. you must order the cause and the effect corerctly. there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers.) CAUSES (Supporting Sentences) Factory jobs attracted people. in this sentence: ??The weather outside was cold because Sally closed the window. Similarly. these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm. with their promise of a better material life. and the EFFECT is Sally's closing the window. and culture made city life appear more interesting. it does not make sense because a person's opening or closing a window does not influence the weather. 30 . entertainment. and museums. Second. which is right before the cause. These jobs. theaters.In recent decades.
The comma here is placed at the end of the subordinate clause. So Jim turned on the air conditioner. as in the example above. as in these examples: The weather was cold. and for this reason are usually followed by a comma. so may not be used at the beginning of a sentence (although you will often see it in informal writing): The weather was warm. as in this sentence: The weather was warm. The coordinating conjunction so is also different from the ones above. The adverbial clause conjunctions since and because are exceptions.Second. the schools were closed.avoid this usage) B/ 31 . The weather was cold. These are attached directly at the beginning of CAUSE-sentence without a comma. Conjunctions such as therefore. Sally put on her scarf. Sally put on her coat. However. Sally closed the window. Sally closed the window. therefore. as a result. consequently. Therefore. As a result. you should be careful when using commas. This conjunction has a comma before it. so Jim turned on the air conditioner. Consequently. Because the weather outside was cold. A blizzard hit the town. The weather was cold. (too informal -. in formal academic writing.
With one eye shut to keep the road from blurring. and Night Lights. viewing gory films of accident victims with their bodies crunched under tires and heads wrapped inside bumpers. Whatever story you tell. I had a fake ID. Out with a girlfriend for a wild night on the town. it tells about a series of events that happened to the narrator. Where and when did the events take place? Who is telling the story? Who are the characters in this story? What happened exactly? In what way did the story end? What message is the writer sending ? 1-Elements of a Narrative Paragraph Narrative paragraphs contain several regular elements:. fingerprinted. the police took me to jail.THE NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH A narrative paragraph ‘tells a story’. tipsy by midnight. we made stops at such popular hangouts as Studebaker's. that is. You may choose to tell how your grandfather influenced your desire to become an scientist. where I was photographed. just two days after my high school graduation. it seemed--they gave me a breath test even before asking to see my license. Of course. (Yes. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). as I hollered farewells to my friends and poured myself into the car. When the police arrived--instantly. Naturally I registered drunk. I weaved down Monroe Avenue. After filling out pages of forms and checking to see that nobody was injured. One minute there was not a soul on the road in front of me. I had to pay a $2. and at each of these spots I drank a margarita or two. and flat out soused by the time we shut the bars down at three. and the next--crash! I had plowed into the back of a big green Buick.000 fine and attend driving school for three months. Read the following paragraph and answer the question that follow One Saturday last June. I was dead certain that I was sober enough to drive home safely. or perhaps you’ll relate the story of the time you didn’t make the cut for the basketball team. It was there. Baggy Drawers. that I made a promise not to drink and drive ever again. Underline the topic sentence and the concluding sentence . 33 . a night of celebration turned into a costly and embarrassing lesson on the dangers of drinking and driving.) I was giggly by 11:00. you share with the reader some personal experience of your own in order to make a point or convey a message. In writing a narrative paragraph. your purpose is to share with others some experience that has taught you something or changed you somehow.
a story may begin in a particular city in England. • • • Plot. which eventually builds to a climatic moment. the emotional quality that the story gives to the reader. Climax. the insight you offer. The force with which the protagonist is in conflict is called the antagonist. establishes the setting. two or even three main characters). This is where the events in the story become complicated and the problem in the story is revealed. By the middle of the story. works best for your narrative. you might ask yourself. the character(s) may find themselves in other locations within England. Most personal narratives are written in first-person.e. and other essential elements of the story. If the story begins in the midst of a hurricane. The plot is a synopsis of the storyline in chronological order. Refers to people. a gloomy atmosphere. your writing is merely a series of unconnected events. society or an internal struggle within the main character. the mood may change throughout the novel. This is the mood or feeling of the story. it may be set in the future. The plot usually arises out of the conflict in the story. Time. Problem/Conflict. The story may move from one place to another. This is an aspect of setting which can be important to the novel. it is significant to the story. you must decide whether to reveal your point explicitly (stated directly) or implicitly (suggested but not stated). • Organization of narrative paragraphs The narrative paragraph consists of three basic parts: The orientation. if the story is set in the past." If it is a science fiction story. You might say that a novel opens with a mysterious atmosphere. month. we say that it is "contemporary. A novel can have more than one protagonist (e. the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. The setting refers to the background in which the story takes place. this refers to the period of history. • • • The protagonist is the main character throughout the novel. animal. robots. the message. and even time of day. First-person tends to be more subjective.. Time also refers to the season. The force can be a person or persons. This usually refers to the geographical location of the story. Focus • Narrative effect is the main point of your story—the moral. If the story could happen now or at some recent unspecified time. The complication (supporting sentences)involves rising conflict that leads up to the climax (the point of highest action in the story). etc. There are several components necessary to create a setting: • Place. 34 . Without a specific narrative effect. If you are unsure what your main point is. will the problem get solved or not?) Solution/Conclusion – This is the point in the story in which the problem is solved Characters.. Like the setting. first-person or third-person. This is the turning point in the story in which the reader wonders what will happen next (i. Refers to the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are presented. Atmosphere. For example.Setting. Point of view • Decide which point of view. The basic plot is comprised of the following: • • • • Introduction. characters. First. who play parts in the action of the story. but third-person can be effective as well. The setting of the story is usually responsible for creating the mood or feeling of the story. “Why am I telling this story? Why should someone else be interested in reading about my experience?” In addition.g. Climate/Weather.
in the resolution.Then. The techniques of flashback and flashforward can also be part of your narrative’s time structure. events are described according to the connections between them. as they might be arranged in someone’s memory. In chronological time. in psychological time. The order in which the events are presented in the narrative paragraph is very important to the overall unity of the paragraph. events are described in the order in which they happened. (concluding sentence)the conflict is resolved and the narrative effect is revealed or suggested. You must decide whether chronological time or psychological time best suits your story. Use flashback to recall an event from the past that has a significant impact on the present. 35 .
before.Use Sensory Details It is important to remember that human beings learn about the world through using the five senses. especially when you are writing a highly detailed scene. readers quickly grow uninterested. if used well. In other words. If your paragraph consists merely of dry facts. how the birds sang in the trees. Don’t just tell us that spring was in the air—describe how the sun felt on your skin. Both of these techniques. . Therefore. Also make use of sensory language (language that appeals to the senses). Your goal is to make the scene come alive for the reader. how the dew sparkled on the grass. smell. They are our primary source of knowledge about the world. and taste the scene you’re writing. sensory detail is more likely to engage and effect the reader. use clear. can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of your narrative. precise language that keeps your reader’s attention. Use very detailed. hear. .Use flashforward to jump to the future and show a possible outcome for the events in the present. Make the reader see. Complete this paragraph using. evocative description to immerse the reader in the situation or place you describe. feel. writing which incorporates vivid.after.Using Dialogue 36 .when The most common transition words used in narrative writing is are: Time Relationship Transitions after afterwards before during eventually first in the meantime later meanwhile next now once second soon sooner then today until when Language and style Details add depth and color to your narrative.
use appropriate metaphors and similes." All activity stopped in the restaurant as we waited for his reply. the use of dialogue will definitely make the event more vivid to your readers." the voice was thick guttural. Whenexpands on the time the event took place. or even get angry over a remembered insult once hurled your way? When writing a narrative paragraph about one event in your life. Be sure to make the conversation lifelike by using slang. B How to Finish . Astonishment puckered his dimpled jowls to be replaced by a red infusion. Another good method for starting the narrative paragraph is to use an anecdote. serious intent. "Sir". do you sometimes smile at remembering what a person said or did. to say that the police officer who gave you that first ticket was “really tall” doesn’t convey the sense of terror you felt as well as “he towered over me like Mt. you are inhaling your soup in such a manner as to distract your fellow diners. furrowed her white brow. where. but one of the easiest is to use the 5W’s – who.” Metaphors and similes can be very helpful in revealing your narrative effect to the reader. The most common method for ending a narrative paragraph is to refer back to your topic sentence. interjections and other ‘real’ speech patterns.Finally. Figurative language can add to your narrative by suggesting to your reader how you felt in a particular situation.? What introduces your event to the reader. For exampleif the topic sentence is. "Listen. child. lady. use it to tie up the loose ends of the paragraph." Practice Practice1 37 . the Queen of bloody Sheba?" . like a soldier on a mission. Secretly I hoped she would do something to stop the obscene slurping coming from his fat lips. There was a grunt in return from the grazer. when. which spread from the greyish collar of his neck. Everest. but she had his attention. what. Wherehelps establish the mood and atmosphere for thsetting of the event you are re-telling. This is your chance to use fragments. Is this an adult. etc. "Sir. re-word the idea into something lik"That is how I learned that the outside does not always reflect the inside. and by rewording it. and Why is a brief explanation of the circumstances leading up to the event.When you recall an experience that you had. Make sure your characters talk like people in real life. "Appearances can be deceptive". why – to ensure reader understanding of what you have written. Real people do not use full sentences when they speak. I watched her rise majestically from her seat. Who should clearly introduce the character. a brief amusing or interesting story about a real person or event. For example. "who do you think ya are. slowly gliding to the stark blinking eyes. The lady at the next table to the slob could take it no longer. she enunciated clearly to the huge slurping hulk. How to write narrative paragraphs A How to Start There are various ways to begin a narrative paragraph.
__________ she left she wanted to contact her neighbour. Later I realised how foolish I had been to drive with the doors unlocked. She decided she would have to walk into town to pick up some fresh spring water. Practice 2 Try to unscramble the following paragraph by numbering the sentences in the order they should appear. Jack.__________ Jyll had gone to fetch the pail for water.then . It seems that when Jyll threw the pail up in the tree. and was stopped by the red light across from the York Hotel. Next he leaned ominously into the car blowing toxic liquor fumes across my face. Finally I was able to calm down long enough to understand what the man was saying _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ In downtown Calgary it can sometimes seem quite dangerous when the sun goes down. Example: Instead of. 2.__________ she left the cabin. 10. to let him know she would be out of the area for the day. During the rush hour one evening after work. This was a safety measure. 12. it was discovered what had happened.afterwards Let me tell you the story about a woman named Jyll and a friend of hers called Jack. She tied a rope around the handle of the pail and 5.first. Now I started to panic as his hands fumbled on the car seat because I thought he wasgrabbing for my purse.eventually.__________ she would use it as a signal to Jack that she was absent from the cabin.today. 3. Jyll 6. 11. High up there it could be seen by Jack while he stood on the porch of his cabin down the road. my sense of safety in Calgary was destroyed. "It happened while I was standing in the shower. This danger became very real to me one summer evening. but Jack won’t go near the water pail.The following narrative paragraph lacks time transitions.__________ that day. and backed out othe car.later. vivid words to relate your story instead of passive language. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate transitions to give the paragraph coherence.in the meantime. Before I knew what had happened an old man had grabbed my door handle.__________ was able to toss the pail up into the air and over the giant arbutus tree next to the cabin.after.before. Don’t just relate the series of events because this creates a boring list.then .__________ thing that happened was that Jyll was running out of fresh water at her cabin. Using Connotative Language in Narrative Writing The language used in narrative writing helps the reader imagine himself in the events you tell about.when. I drew back even further against the driver’s door. he took two smokes and my lighter.__________ the doctor and police were able to reconstruct the scene of the crime.__________ Jyll has been known to giggle at Jack’s disaster which sometimes gets her in trouble with his mother. 4. – The 1. it hit Jack’s crown on its way down. 8. After this experience.__________ Jack has had his nob patched. she hadn’t noticed Jack coming around the bend in the forest path. He would know she was away from the cabin. Use specific. and gingerly I extended the pack to him When he started muttering.__________ Jack and Jyll still play at being neighbours. 7. I was driving down Centre Street.__________ went off to town for the spring water not knowing that Jack had gone tumbling down. 9. Then I realised all he wanted was a cigarette. so I 38 . she grabbed the old wooden pail. When. After snarling. "Darn light stuff". but he hasn’t seemed the same fellow.
As we were driving on the freeway. 2. We pulled over to the side of the road onto the shoulder. and it was 1 p. The girl hit her knee on the stairs. 10.m.Write. we heard a pop followed by a hissing of air escaping with great force. 1. I was sweating and kept looking at my watch.m." The man walked down the street. by Elizabeth Alvarado (Fall 2005) The worst day in my life was July 21. Every two to three minutes I checked Answers 1. We left so we could have enough time to look for the address. 5. The baby cried in her crib. The man told me he had made an appointment for me with a potential employer and that my interview was at 1: 30 p. On that day. 2004. hiding the deadly hiss of gas. my stomach was upset. 6. My husband went to the trunk of the car and pulled out the carjack and the spare tire to fix the car. couldn’t hear the gas leaking "The blast of water from the shower deadened the other house noises. punctuality is something employers look for. 2. first before 5. We started feeling the car jumping. The child ran out the school doors. 3. after afterwards 39 . I got ready and told my husband to drive me to the interview. The cowboy fell off his horse. The front tire had popped and lost all of its air. I received a call from a staffing company. eventually then 9. It became like a ritual. I looked at my watch. By this time. 4. After all.
steep staircase. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. through adding visual detail. Without the inclusion of sensory detail. and bit his lip. The scene seems simple enough. As they slowly climbed the long. like the bloated. 40 . A visual description allows readers to place themselves within a text. 4. For example. when then 7. 8. He was nervous because the staircase was so steep. Example Text: Add Sound Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck.3. but it leaves the reader with many unanswered questions. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. vague receptacle. later when 11. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. like the bloated. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. and action. oblong room with peeling maroon wallpaper and cracked ceiling tiles. His mouth filled with the sweet. and bit his lip. Details which appeal to our sense of sight ensure that the reader is able to give faces to characters. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. How might the author use descriptive detail to make the scene more vivid? Example Text: Add Sight Gandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. Comment These are the beginning sentences of a paragraph which describes a boy helping an elderly woman up a flight of stairs. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. As they slowly climbed the long. steep staircase. In the sample text. His mouth filled with the sweet. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. It becomes a small. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. visual details help accomplish this through encouraging the reader to create a mental image of the characters. a room can become more than just a blank. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. 12. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. the writing seems vague and non-specific. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. but she leaned against him and they began to climb. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. setting. or add concrete details to a setting. in the meantime today Example Text: Paragraph Without Sensory Detail Grandmother Workman reached over and grabbed her grandson's arm. Comment Visual details are often successfully incorporated into writing.
steep staircase. through recalling familiar tactile sensations the writer encourages the readers to put themselves in the place of the characters. the writer has incorporated references to sounds which allow the reader to infer the state of the old staircase. Sounds can remind us of personal memories. and bit his lip. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. As they slowly climbed the long. Next to visual details. Our sense of smell has an uncommonly strong power over our feelings. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. Tactile images can be powerful sensory triggers. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. Sounds recreate personal. The receptors in the brain which are responsible for processing smells are very close to the area of the brain responsible for the storage of memory. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. thoughts. and size of things. it is the human sense of smell that is most closely linked to the brain. His mouth filled with the sweet. They allow a reader not only to visualize a scene. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. Comment The sense of smell is commonly overlooked in writing.Comment The human sense of hearing is an important means of communication. shape. sensory experiences. Therefore. His mouth filled with the sweet. auditory details are most commonly included in writing. the sense of touch has been engaged through allowing the reader to recreate a primary sensation: the feel of a person's breath on the back of his or her neck. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. In the sample text. like the bloated. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. This is because sounds give us a primary experience of the world. texture. scents are able to cause vivid sensory re-creations of memories. Haut du formulaire Bas du formulaire Example Text: Add Touch Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. or of a tour of duty in the military. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. as well as the physical condition of the grandmother. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. and emotions. Example Text: Add Taste 41 . layered. Because of this link. As they slowly climbed the long. For example. and bit his lip. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. However. Inclusion of the sense of touch prevents the reader from remaining distanced or detached from the writing. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. the sound of a ship's whistle might remind a person of a summer's night in New England. Example Text: Add Smell Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. or can create images in our minds. The addition of auditory details gives the writer the opportunity to create a more detailed. This is a sensory experience that most people have encountered. In the sample text. steep staircase. In the sample text. Comment The sense of touch encourages us to investigate the world around us by feeling it and learning the texture. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. the addition of olfactory details helps set the mood of the paragraph by triggering our senses. like the bloated. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. but to experience it. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring.
steep staircase. and places can all be suggested through the sense of taste. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. feelings. Memories.Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. As they slowly climbed the long. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. 42 . His mouth filled with the sweet. There are four familiar tastes: Sweet Salty Bitter Sour By appealing directly to any of these tastes. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. like the bloated. people. and bit his lip. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. Comment The human sense of taste allows a person to do much more than simply select and enjoy food. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. a writer has the unique opportunity to affect a reader's senses.
developing this idea with details in the rest of the paragraph. . a place. Model Descriptive Paragraph On the third finger of my left hand is the pre-engagement ring given to me last year by my sister Doris. Whether we're describing a person. focus your paragraph and gain the interest of your readers with a complete topic sentence: one that expresses an attitude or a reason as well as identifies the object you are about to describe. slim neck. 43 . Analyzing the Model Description Notice that the topic sentence in this paragraph not only identifies the belonging (a "pre-engagement ring") but also implies why the writer treasures it (". The ring is neither very attractive nor valuable. such as. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. As a result. a gift that I will pass along to my younger sister when I receive my own engagement ring this Christmas. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. a bit tarnished by time and neglect. circles my finger and twists together at the top to encase a small white diamond. The 14-carat gold band. . but now clogged with grime.THE PARAGRAPH DESCRIPTIVE The purpose of descriptive writing is to make our readers see. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. The strings are stretched down a long. The four prongs that anchor the diamond are separated by pockets of dust. all scuffed and scratched and fingerprinted. color. you should stick to it. intended to let the diamond breathe. The writer of "My Tiny Diamond Ring" has done just that. feel. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. This kind of topic sentence is more interesting and revealing than a bare announcement. given to me last year by my sister Doris"). It's nothing fancy. like a sliver of glass found on the kitchen floor after a dishwashing accident. and condition." Instead of announcing your topic in this way. but I treasure it as a gift from my older sister. all of the supporting sentences relate directly to one another and to the topic introduced in the first sentence. slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play. "The belonging I am about to describe is my pre-engagement ring. just a Madeira folk guitar. our aim is to reveal a subject through vivid and carefully selected details. and heard. providing specific details that describe the ring: its parts. and hear what we have seen. Once you have introduced a topic clearly. The diamond itself is tiny and dull. Just below the diamond are small air holes. or a thing. the paragraph is unified--that is. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. size. The model paragraph: My most valuable possession is an old. felt. its frets tarnished.
locating each building where you think it belongs in relation to other buildings . The strings are stretched down a long. and eight). In the following paragraph. it's not a beautiful instrument. and for that I will always treasure it. just a Madeira folk guitar. 2. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. slightly warped.The classroom buildings 3. 6. covers its ears but is parted above the 44 . one that was slightly damaged in shipping.The administration building. This sentence not only identifies the prized belonging ("an old. 4. but it still lets me make music.The gymnasium and athletic fields. 4. observe how the writer moves clearly from a description of the head of the clown (in sentences two. The clown's short yellow hair. its frets tarnished.particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago. all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed. particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago • The concluding sentence concludes the paragraph and emphasizes the personal value of the item.The refectory room. 5. Topic sentence: On Maria’s first visit to the college campus. Add spatial transitions to introduce each of the eight buildings according to their order of location. It's nothing fancy. 1) A Friendly Clown On one corner of my dresser sits a smiling toy clown on a tiny unicycle--a gift I received last Christmas from a close friend. sketch out a map of a college campus. No. she saw many buildings. 3. it's not a beautiful instrument.Underline the spatial transitions in this paragraph. but it still lets me make music. 1. slim neck. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. blond guitar") but also suggests why the writer values it ("the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play"). 2. 7. slightly warped. to the unicycle underneath (sentence nine). No. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. Activities: 1. Supporting detail: 1.Below is a topic sentence for a spatial paragraph. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. blond guitar--the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play. three.The faculty offices. made of yarn. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. On a sheet of paper. and for that I will always treasure it. to the body (sentences five. and four). Then write out a paragraph beginning with the topic sentence below.How are the details arranged. followed by supporting detail to develop the paragraph.The bookstore. • The supporting sentences support this topic sentence with specific descriptive details. seven.The student centre and cafeteria. Structure of a descriptive paragraph • The topic sentence for a this descriptive paragraph is: My most valuable possession is an old.The library. . six.Identify the topic sentence. Notice also how the concluding sentence helps to tie the paragraph together by emphasizing the personal value of this gift.
but endearing. this colorful figure greets me with a smile every time I enter my room. Essays Essay Writing Overview The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English. Therefore. befriending some and repelling others. You may move from the top of the item to the bottom. we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere. His pride. which means ‘to examine. but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. The two colors merge in a dark line that runs down the center of the small outfit. performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. There are various ways to organize the details in a descriptive paragraph. and its broad grin disappears into the wide. habits. It has cherry-red cheeks. You may start with the outside of the item and move in. The blue eyes are outlined in black with thin. students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres within essay writing. two-tone nylon costume. before delving into its various genres. His familiarity with cat food commercials has led him to reject generic brands of cat food in favor of only the most expensive brands. or go from inside to out. test. However. However. As a cherished gift from my good friend Tran. and then stick to that pattern throughout the paragraph. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory. What is an Essay? Though the word ‘essay’ has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English. or (literally) to drive out’. and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious. for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training. After my guests have fled. or from the bottom to the top. 3) Gregory Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay. we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic. and the right side is red. I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set. however. Choose the one pattern that seems best suited to your topic. The white spokes on the wheels of the unicycle gather in the center and expand to the black tire so that the wheel somewhat resembles the inner half of a grapefruit. He walks with pride and grace. The clown wears a fluffy. begging to be petted. its origins provide us with some useful insights. 45 . or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers. especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. dark lashes flowing from the brows. or go from right to left. He enjoys TV commercials. Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned both in class—which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student—and as homework. white ruffle around its neck. Surrounding its ankles and disguising its long black shoes are big pink bows. as many cat experts think. Through the excavation of this ancient word. and lips. nose. does not extend to his appearance. tracing it back further. You may start at the left side of the item and move right.eyes. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats. The clown and unicycle together stand about a foot high. The left side of the outfit is light blue. He may snuggle up against your ankle.
persuasion. numbers. Think of a topic and a controlling idea that will narrow the topic enough to support it well in one paragraph. have been criticized by some composition scholars. names. which means that all sentences in the paragraph directly support the topic sentence. • Unity. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. logically ordered and easy to follow. and require clarity in purpose and direction. It is the purpose of this handout to help students become familiar and comfortable with the process of essay composition through the introduction of some common essay genres. which means that all the information of the paragraph is well-organized. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. narration. examples. and senses give details for and further explain the supporting ideas. which includes the topic and a controlling idea. exposition. Compose your topic sentence. conciseness. she must be deliberate and interesting. We hope these resources will help. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing. and exposition. Brainstorm supporting ideas.6).6 supporting ideas that do a good job supporting your topic sentence. Contributors:Jack Summary: This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. which leaves the reading with something to think about and may summarize the supporting ideas if the paragraph is long. Process of Writing a Paragraph: 1. 46 • • • . essays are (by nature) concise. Narration. Supporting ideas (usually 3 . 2. • Optional concluding sentence. clarity. The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper). Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. This handout will include a brief introduction to the following genres of essay writing: • • • • The Expository Essay The Descriptive Essay The Narrative Essay The Argumentative (Persuasive) Essay Baker. analysis. Choose 2 . Therefore. Exposition.Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading. As is evidenced by this list of attributes. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from her purpose. TIPS FOR WRITING A PARAGRAPH CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PARAGRAPH Topic sentence. which support the topic sentence Reasons. comparison and contrast. o Coherenence. also known as the modes of discourse. Allen Brizee. Although these genres.
A. 2. In order to get a good job. names. numbers. Study environment 2. except for the topic sentence. B. CHOOSING A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY Choosing a college or university can be difficult. examples. examples. Use the coherence strategies to make your paragraph easy to follow. Good Location. Good Location 1. Put your supporting ideas in a logical order. names. Good preparation for major We decided to order these supporting ideas according to importance as shown in the outline below. Hard curriculum 2. Supporting idea 2. and senses for each supporting idea. the curriculum that is taught must be 47 . Now we put this information into outline form and added some reasons. Write your paragraph in topic outline form as follows. Topic sentence: A.3. 1. 6. we wrote the paragraph using sentences and trying to make the paragraph coherent using different coherence strategies. Think of a concluding sentence. examples. and senses. think of reasons. C. and senses that further explain the idea. Possibility of scholarships C. 3. numbers. Here is an example: We came up with a good topic sentence and supporting ideas: Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult. Possibilities of part-time job in your major Concluding sentence: You should consider these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you. 7. 5. Supporting idea 1. Affordable 1. 1. For balance. Concluding sentence: 4. numbers. Supporting ideas: 1. Don't actually write sentences in the outline. Write your paragraph using sentences. For each supporting idea. The most difficult part is finding a university that prepares you well for your future career. Supporting idea 3. 1. 3. 3. be able to pay tuition and living expenses 2. Affordable. each supporting idea should have about the same amount of reasons. Finally. Qualified professors B. Good preparation for your major 1. 3. names. Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult.
4. so you can get some practical work experience. Moreover. 5. In addition. Note: You don’t need to use all notes A. The Value of a University Education _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 48 . It will give you more self-confidence 10. the professors must be highly qualified and respected in their fields. It will likely make you more successful. It provides you greater economic strength and security 7. 6.thorough and up-to-date. It will give you the power to change the world. You need to be able to pay the tuition fees and living expenses. It will give you more money and greater quality of lifer. there should be possibilities near the school for parttime or summer jobs in your major. The environment should be safe and quiet to facilitate studying. please write a well-organized paragraph. PRACTICE 2: By using information. It will be something you can pass on to your children. A good location is also very important when choosing a school. Another difficulty in choosing a university or college is affordability. It will give you greater knowledge of the world events 9. 3. Some institutions might be able to offer you scholarships if you cannot afford the fees. You should consider all of these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you. Topic: The Value of a University Education Questioning whether you should go to university? Here are five ways that a college education will make you a better person: 1. It will give you more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction 8. 2. It will give you a better quality of life. It makes you a major contributor to the greatest nation on earth.
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B. TOPIC: BASKETBALL Basketball is attractive. Basketball is fast, exciting, and unpredictable Basketball team has few members; you can become familiar with each player's personality. Basketball is a fast moving game that can be played on both indoor and outdoor courts. Basketball is an excellent conditioning sport that can be enjoyed by both boys and girls alike. Participation in athletic sports like basketball, improves physical fitness, coordination and selfdiscipline 7. Basketball gives children valuable opportunities to learn about teamwork. 8. Basketball games can be played on school playgrounds, home driveways, and indoor gyms. 9. One major advantage about basketball is that the skills needed for the game can be practiced individually. Many families purchase portable basketball nets for home use. 10. Jumping rope at home is another great way to prepare to play basketball. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
PRACTICE 3: Choose three of the following topics and write well organized paragraphs. PARAGRAPH TOPICS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Attending summer courses. Custom union Using mobile phones Being single Getting married Having a job while attending college Shopping by TV. Learning a foreign language Boys and girls should attend separate schools. 10. Tourism 11. Being wealthy 12. Using nuclear energy. 13. Computers in the workplace 14. Being a famous person 15. Technology 16. Credit cards 17. Benefits of being young 18. Benefits of watching TV 19. Owning a car
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MORE PARAGRAPH SAMPLES Copy and write… Read and copy the following paragraphs exactly… A. ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES 1. Advantages Advantages of Using Computers There are several advantages of using a computer. First of all, it is especially beneficial in the workplace, where employees can do their work far faster that they could in the past. In addition to this, computers can be educational and fun. From a very young age, children can gain basic computer skills by the help of programs which help them to learn, draw, paint, and play. As a result, in today’s technological world, this knowledge can only help them in the future. To sum up, computers are useful for our fast-fast moving world of high technology. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 51
_____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. Disadvantages Disadvantages of Using Computers There are various negative aspects to using computers. Primarily, many jobs have been lost because computers can do a lot to tasks more efficiently than humans. This has led to high unemployment in many countries. What is more, computers can actually cause health problems. Endless hours in front of a screen can cause eyestrain and headaches. These are serious side effects. As a result, computers should be used carefully and they should not replace people. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Advantages 7. Advantages of Living in a Village There are many advantages to living in a village. First of all, one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. In addition, life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly. A further advantage is that there is much less traffic, and as a result it is much safer place to bring up young children. In conclusion, it can be seen that village life is suitable for retired and those who want to have more peace and less stress. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 52
For example. the fact that there are fewer shops and services often means that there are fewer employment opportunities. and where they are available. six cylinders. In addition. When consumers see these ads. particularly in the evening. Advantages Advantages of TV Commercials Ads on television give consumers a lot of information._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 5. and this can be extremely expensive. They let consumers know what products look like. The dealer’s ads will show the new Camry over and over again and tell the consumer that the Camry has power windows. The ads may also tell where to buy the Camry. the ads may compare the Camry with the Mercedes. Firstly. is difficult to find. they think about all this information about the Camry. As a result. Furthermore. Therefore. one has a smaller number of friends. Disadvantages 53 . and so on. Disadvantages of Living in a Village There are certain drawbacks (disadvantage) to life outside the city. Disadvantages 1. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. Then they can decide if it is the car they want. because there are fewer people. They may say that the Camry runs as well as the Mercedes but the Camry’s price is much cheaper. entertainment. a Toyota dealer wants to sell the Toyota Camry. one may have to travel long distances to work elsewhere. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 6. how much they cost.
Therefore. you see that people eat simple food. there were many kinds of learning programs. for example Sesame Street and Tarchın and his friends. it causes people’s eating habits. Mostly. most American movies. For that reason most countries life style can be changed by movies. Furthermore. For example. thedre are some programs for adults about how to garden. When people watch this kind of movies. These programs help students with their studies. They also have interesting characters that they tell stories and sing songs. science fiction movies have full of imagination. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 54 . These are well-organized programs that teaches children to count and to say the alphabet. people use movies in order to change history. Disadvantages Disadvantages of Watching Television w Watching movies especially American movies cause to change people’s life views and life styles for number of reasons. They easily change an event which occurred in the past in the direction of their ideas. Advantages Advantages of Watching Television w TV is a good teacher for everyone for several reasons. they think whatever they watched it could be in real life. Another example would be science fiction movies. how to make delicious dishes. you may want to be a monster or a murder. They do not have any eating culture. Moreover. As we know. television has programs for students. In conclusion nowadays. because of its some bad effects people should choose movies carefully and they should never forget that they are not just watching a movie _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 8. As a result. television teaches us all kinds of things.Disadvantages of Watching Television w Watching movie can destroy human’s psychology and imagination in some ways. What is more. When I was a high school student. how to fix things around the house and so on. Almost in every American movie you can easily see a beautiful house which has a garden or it is constructed seashore. There are several programs for preschool children. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 9. like foreign language and math education programs. Also.. when you watch a horror movie your psychology is affected by this movie badly.
sometimes people’s language can suffer. it can be bad for a country. Also. As a result. if tourism is not controlled properly. tourism often brings more air. water and noise pollution. uniforms give identity. To begin with._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 10. uniforms give students equality. Firstly. Moreover. we should give enough importance to tourism. uniforms make it more equal among the rich and poor students. Disadvantages Disadvantages of tourism There are some disadvantages to tourism. in many cases the natural beauty of a place can be spoilt. if there are a lot of tourists in the area. Advantages Advantages of Wearing the Same Uniform Wearing uniforms give all students equality. 55 . it makes the locals stay rather than leave to get jobs elsewhere. identity and pride. Primarily. All students do not have the same financial resources and can't afford expensive clothes. Advantages Advantages of Tourism There are several advantages to tourism. student may want to wear designer clothes which some can afford but others can't. tourism brings a lot of money into a country and it also creates a lot of employment for people of the area. Apart from this. tourism helps people to learn about other cultures and ways of life. In addition. Lastly. For example. As a result. Secondly. places sometimes lose their character and traditions. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 11. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. Therefore.
First of all. It not only affects the alcoholic. They may also feel more anxious. if a student is a good musician. friends. Students can tell who is from their school and who is not according to the uniform. others will know which school that person is from. students can feel proud together of that accomplishment. Others can tell which students are from which schools and if someone is not behaving well. the dormitory is usually very safe since almost all dormitories have security guards. Moreover. In addition to this. and confused. CAUSE and EFFECT PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. Effect 1. students can "advertise" their school just by wearing their uniforms and be proud of the school they attend. sad. Students can feel equal to one an other. Alcoholics may become angry and argumentive. Advantages Advantages to Living at a Dorm I would prefer to live in an apartment for a number of reasons. Overall. you don't have to cook for yourself. As a result. and co-workers strangers. Alcoholism Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the world today. there is usually a laundry room in the basement so you don’t have to go anywhere else to do laundry. I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. I prefer to live at a dormitory because I do not need to cook and wash my clothes for myself and there will be a lot of people around me. or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person's life. we should help the number of alcoholics in Turkey and all over the world. The most important one is that there are always a lot of people around so you won't feel lonely.Students feel a sense of belonging when everyone has the same uniform. Overall. others can feel proud that they are his/her classmates. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 13. Furthermore. tense. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ B. but also their family. Moreover. Hence. Therefore. uniforms give pride. They can fee[ a sense of identity and pride that they wouldn't be able to feel as well if they didn't wear uniforms. If a sports team does well. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 56 .
children may take alcohol later on. First of all. I experienced this. Effects Effects of Parents on Children Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. For example. the cause of alcoholism can be biological. it is extremely important that whatever the reasons are we should avoid drinking alcohol. It is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. there is conflict between refusing and accepting the use of alcohol to be a social person. As a child. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. As a result. The second reason is alcoholism has psychological reasons. Some of them also want to reduce strong negative feelings. so parents have to take the responsibility to monitor their studying and to remind them to do their homework at home after school. If parents are alcoholics. It can be related to emotional changeability. alcoholics often drink hoping to drown their depressed feelings. Cause Alcoholism There are some reasons of using alcohol. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. Children usually enjoy playing games instead of studying their boring lessons. social and cultural factors play important roles in development of alcoholism. Parents should also encourage their children to study by buying story books with pictures. In some cultures. Moreover. My parents gave me a gift if I had 57 .
In short. some students may get scholarships to study abroad. To get a college degree from a university outside their home country may be prestigious for students. Effects _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer. Furthermore. Therefore. 5. Most students get a good education wherever they go if they are strong-minded to achieve something in their studies. Many people think that students may get a better education outside their home country. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 4. and then I was very excited. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. Causes Studying Outside There are many reasons students choose to do this why students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. So. students may get more money in their job if they have a degree from outside the country. students study abroad for a number of reasons. they may pay less to study abroad and the programs can be better abroad.studied well. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 58 . Moreover.
Furthermore. 7. Causes Watching Movies There are many reasons why people all over the world enjoy watching movies. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. animals depend on it for survival. watching movie is one of the important activities of people. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. such as forests. all over the world. Explain why movies are so popular. forests are natural resources that must be saved because they provide so much good for so many people and animals. . nature is a home for animals. such as forests. you can take exciting photographs. There are thousands of species that live in forests and when the forests die. walk through. and look at all the flowers. If you are poor. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 59 . As a result. or dean water. movies provide entertainment. it is a way to escape that life for a few hours. they offer an escape. Finally. Moreover. Movie theaters can be found in almost every town. hike in the forest. rain forests also are habitat of many insects. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. forests are beautiful to look at. Finally. For that reason. movies are available everywhere. To begin with. there is usually a video store with movies. Next. 6. they die too. Because. In short. First of all. If there is no theater. birds. or clean water. some people go to the movies to see how others live. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. Causes World is in Danger Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. animals. they are fun to watch andlet you imagine what other people's lives are like. animals._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Movies are popular all over the world.
in my country students have the right to ask questions. Similarity and Differences Classroom Behavior Rules There are some similarities and differences in the classroom behavior rules between North America and my country. COMPARE and CONTRAST PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. without friend) and nobody wants to be unpopular. Next. Turkey. We do not look into their eyes. In contrast. my present teacher sends the troublesome student to a counselor. Although my teachers have these similarities. This makes the student unpopular (alone. my old teacher would go to the parents because my school is small and everybody would know each other in the city. in my country. Both my teachers know their subject well. they can only ask questions at the end of the class. they also have differences on these same points. when a teacher asks us to speak we look down to show respect. my present if we need a rule we work it out from the examples. If a student makes trouble in the classroom. students respect teachers. Turkey. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. when the teacher asks them to speak they must look into the teacher’s eyes to show respect. My teacher back home would teach us a rule of grammar and then give examples. however. the way my two teachers teaching method of English is different._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. students respect their teachers. In conclusion. Then the counselor sends the students to the assistant principal and so on. However. both my English teachers with their similarities and differences are excellent teachers. Similarly. there is the student’s right to speak. When a student is always troublesome in class. Compare and Contrast Two English Teachers There are both some similarities and differences between my old English teacher in high school and my present English teacher. They both make sure we know the rules of the language very well. In conclusion. teacher gives us examples first. 60 . there are both similarities and differences in the way students behave toward their teachers in the classroom. In contrast. Both my English teachers control the class well. First. For example. Likewise. In North America students look up to teachers and respect them. Also. we are all responsible and had extra work. In North America. They can even ask questions when the teacher is giving a lesson. students can ask the teacher questions.
Students also may feel a sense of success by learning new things. Compare _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. First of all. ARGUMENTATIVE PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. They learn about a particular subject in depth there. one can make more money in the job market. to attend for personal fulfillment and to make more money in the job market. some attend in order to make more money in the job market. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 61 . Adults may attend university just for the joy of learning. some attend for personal achievement. If one has specialized skills. Finally. Secondly._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. employers want employees who have very specific knowledge. personal fulfillment and financial rewards. Because. Argumentative Importance of University Education People attend university to prepare for a career. In short. some attend university in order to prepare for a career. people attend college for many reasons some of which include desire to prepare for a career. In addition to this.
. Besides. you do not get this same kind of experience. Therefore. television makes passive. Seventy percent of communication is through gestures.then you would wait for another time. That means you can change your conversation to fit the situation. You see them. and their feelings. such as letters. Moreover. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication. Although many people watch television in order to relax. 3. When you talk to a person face-to-face. body language is more effective than spoken language. their actions. they give less time to family and friends. more effective and more honest. when you write a letter or email. Television is such a passive activity that family and friends often forget what meaningful communication is. Argumentative Face to Face Communication I believe that face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication.. face-to-face communication is usually more effective because you can easily see the other people’s expression and feelings about a topic. People spend less time with family and friends and more time with TV this is destructive. but forget that communication is important. Not only family members argue about what to watch on TV but also friends do. Television often causes arguments. children argue with their parents to buy them toys they see advertised on TV. Argumentative Enemy of Communication Communication between friends and family has been destroyed due to television. Furthermore. e-mail. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. television has destroyed communication between family and friends. or telephone calls. People do not communicate in the same way as they did before television was invented. it is more personal. 62 ._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. People also enjoy the relaxation of watching television. When people watch television. Moreover. you want to ask your boss or a raise. For example. In conclusion. 2. but you can see that he is in a bad mood or he is distracted. they do not talk with one another. In addition to this. It is more personal.
Canada is a desirable place to live. effective. In short. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. First. and honest conversations when they meet face-to-face. Canada has a high standard of education. As a result. Canada has an excellent health care system. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. First. Most people have more personal. Canada has a high standard of education. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second. Second. face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. details. What do they do? They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. How do I write them? You should give supporting facts. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed.You can't get this with email. Canada is a desirable place to live. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. and examples. Supporting Details What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence. Finally. letters and telephone conversations. making up the body of a paragraph. Finally. Canada has an excellent health care system. As a result. 63 . Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world.
as Example: As well. Finally. Sinop has rainy spring season. Second. 64 well . places. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. HELPER WORDS COMPARE AND CONTRAST PARAGRAPH In a compare and contrast paragraph. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. too. or ideas. both Example: Both Trabzon and Rize have rain in the spring. Canada is a desirable place to live. Example: Write a paragraph comparing the weather in some cities in Turkey. also Example: Samsun also has a rainy spring season. too Example: Artvin has a rainy spring season. you write about the similarities and differences between two or more people. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph.Conclusion Sentence What is the closing sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. As a result. Canada has a high standard of education. The following words can help you to write a good compare and contrast paragraph: Helper Words: SIMILARITIES is similar to both also too as well DIFFERENCES On the other hand however but in contrast differs from while unlike to SIMILARITIES is similar Example: Spring weather in Trabzon is similar to spring weather in Rize. How do I write one? Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words. things. First.
who are very eager to purchase and enjoy products from countries around the world. Lately ______the consumer market has been changing. Attempts to give equal treatment to masculine and feminine pronouns in English have led to the search for a new pronoun form to replace he (such as he/she or s/he) when referring to neutral nouns like student and manager.________ young people. the protein staples in Japan has been fish products. A mailman is now a mail carrier. however Example: However. and Australia. __________ they have acquired a taste for imported beverages. __________Japan is Importing eels (fish) from Taiwan.. It will certainly increase international trade. annual per capita consumption is expected to be about seven kilos in the next decade. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. Singapore.DIFFERENCES on the other hand Example: On the other hand. you can use Ms. H. Erzurum has a cold winter. milk. koku-saika. but Erzurum has a cold one. English pronouns may also change as a result of women's desire for equality. which will definitely be advantageous to many countries of the world. I." is influencing young Japanese consumers. mainly because they are very selective and will only purchase high-quality products. Germany. ____________the Japanese trend toward internationalization should become even greater as we approach the twenty-first century. to address a woman when you don't know if she is married. In fact. while Example: While Ankara has a mild winter. New words have been added. and brantype cereals imported from the United States. the Japanese have been consuming more beef. and mangoes (fruit) from the Philippines. Switzerland. 65 . but Example: Ankara has a mild winter. Fill in each blank with an appropriate transition signal from the list provided. Use each only once. Some of the new words such as Ms. __________ they enjoy fruit. differs from Example: Erzurum differs from Van by having a cold winter. are quite useful. winter is much colder in Van. which is often used in place of both Miss and Mrs. Traditionally. Improve the coherence of the following] paragraph by adding transitions at key places Women’s Liberation and English The -women's lib' movement toward greater equality for women has produced some permanent changes in the vocabulary of English. are eating Western-style breakfasts. sexist. winter is much colder in Erzurum. The greatest access into the Japanese market has been by the food Industry. Then use correct punctuation. a waiter/waitress is now a waitperson. for instance moreover furthermore in conclusion however but for example such as 38 International on of Japan For many years Japanese consumers have been very slow in accepting foreign goods. Taiwan. both of the nonalcohol or low alcohol varieties. Not only Western countries but also Asian nations __________South Korea. and male chauvinist have become common during the past thirty-five years or so. In time. and a high school or college freshman is now a first-year student. which is defined as "internationalization. A change is that sexist titles of many occupations have been neutralized. in contrast to Example: In contrast to Ankara. _______in the last decade or so. A chairman is now a chairperson (or sometimes simply chair). Another new word is the title Ms. like beer drinks and "light" wines imported from England. the United States. and Thailand have been benefiting from the changing diet of the Japanese consumer. Erzurum has a cold winter. The lack of a clear neutral pronoun can lead to awkward sentence construction. asparagus (vegetable) from Thailand. The words feminist. and an airline stewardess is now a flight attendant. especially women who are aware of the Importance of health and fitness.
Another beneficial application of gene splicing is in agriculture.B-Circle all of the transition signals in the following paragraphs and punctuate the transition signals if necessary Genetic Engineering Genetic research has produced both exciting and frightening possibilities. flavorless tomatoes in grocery. scientists have now developed a way to manufacture it inexpensively in the laboratory. A laboratory accident for example might cause an epidemic of an unknown disease that could wipe out humanity. In addition genetic engineers have created larger fish. to use a cloned. Consequently tomato farmers can now let the tomatoes ripen on the plant and develop full flavor and color before they are picked-no more green. CLASSIFICATION PARAGRAPH When writing a classification paragraph. Some people feel that it could have terrible consequences. a researcher at George Washington University Medical Center cloned human embryos' by splitting single embryos into twins and triplets. For example it is very expensive to obtain insulin from natural sources. Example: Write a paragraph discussing two types of energy resources. and more productive cows. On the one hand the ability to create life in the laboratory could greatly benefit humankind. 66 kind divided of into . Genetic engineers have created a new tomato that doesn't spoil quickly. but through genetic research. be Energy resources can be divided into two types. The following words can help you to write a good classification paragraph: Helper Words: is a kind of can be divided into is a type of falls under belongs to is a part of fits into is grouped with is related to is associated with is can a Coal is a kind of non-renewable resource. On the other hand not everyone is positive about gene-splicing technology. you group things or ideas into specific categories. frozen embryo to give birth to its identical twin. Because human embryos can be frozen and used at a later date. Scientists are now able to create new forms of life in the laboratory due to the development of gene splicing. These embryos did not develop into babies but it is possible that they could do so in the future. frost-resistant strawberries. it could be possible for parents to have a child and then. years later. In 1993. Furthermore the ability to clone human beings is a possibility that frightens many people.
is related Coal is related to other non-renewable resources. The following words can help you to write a good choice paragraph: Helper Words: Point of View Personal Opinion in my opinion like/dislike belief hope idea feel understanding I think that I consider I believe it seems to me I prefer POINT OF VIEW in my In my opinion. is associated Coal is associated with other non-renewable resources. Example: Write a paragraph stating whether you would prefer to play basketball or football. 67 opinion . fits Coal fits into the category of non-renewable resources. is grouped Coal is grouped with non-renewable resources. you will need to give your opinion on a choice of actions or events. Often. CHOICE / OPINION PARAGRAPH In a paragraph where you have to make a choice. idea.is falls a Coal is a type of non-renewable resource. basketball is more fun than football. belongs Coal belongs to the category of non-renewable resources. or action that you prefer. type of under to of into with to with Coal falls under the category of non-renewable resources. is a part Coal is a part of the category of non-renewable resources. you need to choose which object.
I I prefer basketball over football. second. recently in the beginning previously before afterwards then when after after finally at last subsequently ORDER first. etc. The following words can help you to write a good sequence paragraph. your party must have a majority of seats. you need to become a leader of a political party. you need to win a seat in the House of Commons. understanding My understanding is that basketball is more fun than football. third. 68 . that consider believe me prefer SEQUENCE PARAGRAPH In a sequencing paragraph. Usually. I I consider basketball to be more exciting than football. I I believe basketball is more exciting than lacrosse. Third. you are writing to describe a series of events or a process in some sort of order. etc. idea My idea is that basketball is more fun than football. second.belief My belief is that basketball is more fun than football. First. PERSONAL OPINIONS like/dislike I like the sport of basketball because it is fast and exciting. Second. I think I think that I would prefer to play basketball and not football. Helper Words: ORDER TIME first. third. this order is based on time. Example: Write a paragraph outlining how a person becomes the prime minister. feel I feel that basketball is my favorite sport. it seems to It seems to me that basketball is more exciting than football. hope I hope that I can play basketball in the future.
you need to explain how or why something happens. she worked as a lawyer in Toronto. afterwards Example: She won the party leadership last year. after all these steps. . you must make sure you have a majority of seats. Before becoming the prime minister. Example: Write a paragraph explaining why so many Europeans moved to Canada during the nineteenth century. you must win a seat in the House of Commons. beginning then Then. you need to become the leader of a political party. EXPLANATION PARAGRAPH In an explanation paragraph. Previously. you will be asked to explore causes and effects of certain events. you must make sure you have a majority of seats in the House of Commons. you can call yourself the prime minister. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. you can call yourself the prime minister. she won the election. she was still working as a lawyer. Afterwards. at Example: At last. TIME recently She was recently elected prime minister. after Example: After winning a seat in the House of Commons.in before the In the beginning. then last 69 . Very often in social studies class. . when Example: When she won the party leadership. you need to become a leader of a political party. previously She is the new prime minister. after After winning a seat in the House of Commons. finally Finally. subsequently Subsequently. The following words can help you to write a good explanation paragraph: Helper Words: Cause because since as a result of is due to Effect therefore thus consequently hence it follows that if .
since Example: Since living conditions in Europe were terrible.CAUSE because Example: People moved to Canada from Europe during the nineteenth century because they had poor living conditions in Europe. if . Describe where Canada's industry is located.. of to EFFECT therefore Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. consequently Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. many people moved to Canada for a better life. then fewer people would have moved to Canada DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH In a description paragraph. Thus. Consequently. many people moved to Canada for a better life. Sometimes. hence Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. Hence. It follows that many people moved to Canada. many people moved to Canada. place. The following words can help you to write a good description paragraph: Helper Words: PROPERTIES MEASUREMENT ANALOGY LOCATION size length is like in colour width resembles above shape mass/weight below purpose speed beside 70 . or thing is like. it follows that Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. many people moved to Canada. Examples: Write a paragraph describing what a polar bear looks like. then Example: If living conditions were better in Europe. you are writing about what a person. you may describe where a place is located. Therefore. as a result People moved to Canada from Europe as a result of poor living conditions in Europe.. many people moved to Canada. thus Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. is due to / was due Example: The large influx of people to Canada was due to economic pressures in Europe.
purpose Example: The purpose of the polar bear's fur is to keep it warm. You need to make your evaluation based on certain criteria that you develop. north / east / south Example: Ontario is west of Quebec. colour Example: Polar bears are usually white in colour. you make judgments about people. speed Example: Polar bears can swim at a speed of 40 km per hour. In the paragraph. beside Example: Quebec is located beside Ontario. near Example: Many companies are located near Toronto. below Example: Most of Ontario is below Hudson Bay.near north/east/south/west PROPERTIES size Example: Polar bears are big in size. Example: Write a paragraph evaluating whether pesticides should be used on farms. / west EVALUATION PARAGRAPH In an evaluation paragraph. ANALOGY is like Example: A polar bear is like other bears in shape. width Example: The width of a polar bear's head is about 50 cm. The following words can help you to write a good evaluation paragraph: Helper Words Criteria for Evaluation Recommendation good / bad suggest correct / incorrect recommend 71 . you will state your evaluation or recommendation and then support it by referring to your criteria. resembles Example: A polar bear resembles other bears in shape. mass / weight Example: Polar bears weigh up to 650 kg. LOCATION in Example: Most of Canada's manufacturing is located in Ontario and Quebec. MEASUREMENT length Example: The length of a polar bear's claws is 20 cm. above Example: The ceiling is above us. ideas. shape Example: Polar bears have a special shape. and possible actions.
on the other hand. First Steps in Academic Writing. 1995.1september. advise Example: I would advise farmers not to use pesticides if possible. Writing Academic English. Ann Hogue.html 2. and so on. Transitional words and phrases may be conjunctions. SOURCE: 1. but principally by the use of transitional words and phrases. http://www. correct / Example: The belief that pesticides must be used is incorrect. 5. Ann Hogue. Longman. Connections Between Sentences A good paragraph has unity: All the sentences have a relationship to one another and to the main idea. 72 . http://www. right / Example: It is wrong to use pesticides because they harm the environment. Longman. argue Example: I would argue that pesticides should not be used because they harm the environment. recommend Example: I recommend that pesticides should not be used because they are harmful to the environment. http://archive.com/inner/about_us. wrong trivial RECOMMENDATION suggest Example: I suggest that pesticides should not be used to control pests.ru/eng/1999/eng35-2.htm 3.htm 4. important / Example: The issue of pesticides is an important one because it affects the environment. Alice Oshima.uottawa. such as and. or explanatory expressions. bad incorrect moral / immoral Example: The use of pesticides to control pests is immoral because it harms the environment.paragraphorganizer. and however. The connection between sentences in a paragraph can be shown in several ways. but.moral / immoral right / wrong important / trivial advise argue CRITERIA good / Example: The use of pesticides such as DDT is bad for the environment. such as for instance.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic. 1980.
X and Y are both purple. many students would suggest the classroom. close observation reveals regional variations across this country. the lab or the library. equally important. finally. Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs A paragraph is unified when every sentence develops the point made in the topic sentence. in common. "environment. activities. Look at the following paragraph (you may have encountered it before): Work tends to be associated with non-work-specific environments.Transitional words and phrases act as signals. In order to determine whether a paragraph is well developed or not. activities. some after it sets. and most important. the logical development chosen for the paragraph can be made very clear to the reader by the words used to connect one sentence to the next. Finally. for example. distinguishing the East Coast from Central Canada and the West as surely as dominant dialects or political inclinations. ask yourself: "What main point am I trying to convey here?" (topic sentence) and then "Does every sentence clearly relate to this idea?" There are several ways in which you can build good. or expanding the topic sentence. because. and otherwise may be used to emphasize comparison or contrast. the following paragraph: Although the interpretation of traffic signals may seem highly standardized. clear paragraphs. and therefore. They give directions. You may choose to compare either point by point (X is big. Some students work quickly and efficiently. however." enumerated in the topic sentence. It must have a single focus and it must contain no irrelevant facts. Although most classes are scheduled between 8:30 and 22:00.). some students do their best work before the sun rises. Some need a less flexible schedule than others. In this sense. What about the kitchen? The bedroom? In fact. but not everything. just as. Paragraph Development by Comparison and Contrast You should consider developing your paragraph by comparison and contrast when you are describing two or more things which have something. They are organised around the three categories. Order of importance may be emphasized with transitional words and expressions such as first. Being sedentary seems to inspire others. despite. This section will discuss three of the most common types of paragraph structure: development by detail. Some people need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully. furthermore. and schedules. a second factor. while others cannot produce anything without much dust and heat. Each organizational pattern has its own logical connectives. of major concern. If asked what space is reserved for learning. The topic sentence makes a general claim: that school work tends not to be associated only with school. a flashing red traffic light instructs drivers to careen even more wildly through intersections heavily populated 73 . similarly. Consider. They tell where the paragraph is going. Every sentence must contribute to the paragraph by explaining. or a place associated with thinking. consequently. Transitional expressions such as equally. achieving unity. exemplifying. Y is little. Words particularly suited to writing about causes and effects are as a result. and schedules. In Montreal. while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed. and process. any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space. transitional words and phrases also act to hold sentences together. Logical Connectives Additionally. The details provide the concrete examples which your reader will use to evaluate the credibility of your topic sentence. on the other hand.) or subject by subject (X is big and purple. comparison and contrast. least important. Y is small and purple. These words are often referred to as logical connectives because they make clear not only the order but also the meaning of the writing. The rest of the sentences provide various illustrations of this argument. it will suggest that most paragraphs are built of a combination of development strategies. Paragraph Development by Detail This is the most common and easiest form of paragraph development: you simply expand on a general topic sentence using specific examples or illustrations.
he or she could almost certainly orient him-orherself according to the surrounding traffic patterns. she says. A process analysis might include a brief history of the process in question. This should be about half-way up the cork handle." Among the "qualities considered distinctive of manhood" listed in the entry for man. in order to make a point about how attitudes in various places inform behaviour. and in Calgary. superficiality. Process description often follows a chronological sequence: The first point to establish is the grip of the hand on the rod. "Fly Casting") The topic sentence establishes that the author will use this paragraph to describe the process of establishing the "grip of the hand on the rod. and always removes his wristwatch. third finger and middle finger contributing most of the firmness by pressing the cork solidly into the fleshy part of the palm. The forefinger supports and steadies the grip but supplies its own firmness against the thumb. My secretary. which together account for most vehicles on the road. traffic lights (along with painted lines and posted speed limits) do not apply to tractors. process. they drive differently according to the area in which they live. Paragraph Development by Combination Very often. Those of you in the sciences will recognise it as the formula followed in the "method" section of a lab experiment. In fact." and this is exactly what he does. According to this dictionary. It contrasts the behaviour of drivers in the Maritimes. comparison and contrast. and domesticity or on the other hand fickleness. Many paragraphs include lists of examples: The broad range of positive characteristics used to define males could be used to define females too. In my home town in New Brunswick. the little finger. all terrain vehicles. in Montreal. or combination? 1. were any observant Canadian dropped from an alien space vessel at an unspecified intersection anywhere in this vast land. and folly. says a true gentleman "knows instinctively when I prefer to light my own cigarette. but not tense or rigid. which should be along the upper side of the handle and somewhere near the top of the grip. point by point. near the heel of the hand. finally. If you wanted to consider two or more aspects. It is important to note that the paragraph above considers only one aspect of driving (behaviour at traffic lights). Bob 74 . All four fingers are curved around the handle. a single paragraph will contain development by a combination of methods. affection. (from Roderick HaigBrown. Paragraph Development by Process Paragraph development by process involves a straightforward step-by-step description. incorrigibly English. but they are not. absolutely firm and solid. an amber light in Calgary warns drivers to scream to a halt on the off chance that there might be a pedestrian within 500 meters who might consider crossing at some unspecified time within the current day. This paragraph compares traffic patterns in three areas of Canada. never serves aces at me on the tennis court. and move on to provide detailed descriptions of the subjects being compared. It may begin with a brief comparison. "Captain Horatio Hornblower. In startling contrast. for example. in contrast. you would probably need more than one paragraph. no negative attributes detract from the "courage. with little abstraction. strength." Among the few true gentlemen extant.with pedestrians and oncoming vehicles." This paragraph is a good example of one which combines a comparison and contrast of contemporary notions of "manliness" and "womanliness" with an extended list of examples. which type of development best describes the following paragraphs: detail. or pickup trucks. People in these areas have in common the fact that they all drive. Review: Paragraph Development Although most paragraphs contain a combination of development techniques. At its entry for woman Webster's Third provides a list of "qualities considered distinctive of womanhood": "Gentleness. and vigor" the definers associate with males. womanish means "unsuitable to a man or to a strong character of either sex.
the game they play is more tarted-up and sissy than the one I knew. Development by Process 75 .Dylan and Pierre Elliott Trudeau come to mind. gloves for every fielder -. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. "The Softball was Always Hard") 1. you had to walk through six miles of snowdrifts just to get to school? Will I tediously lament the passing of the standing broad jump. "What is a Gentleman") 1. Development by Process 4. Development by Detail 2. and of this they were both inclined to boast. The molestation is so great and so persistent that the tarantula often rises on all eight legs. dugouts. Development by Process 4. (from Hugh MacLennan. with the rich farmlands and cities of England just below her. "Canada is the Scotland of North America. Combination of Development Methods 4. The tarantula shows an amazing tolerance to this exploration. It also gave them both a heritage of spectacular beauty uncrowded by cities and towns. when hockey was an outdoor art rather than indoor mayhem and at decent yacht clubs. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3." Only recently did it occur to me that it might be worthwhile considering the extent to which this is true. (from Harry Bruce. Combination of Development Methods 2. Development by Process 4. Development by Detail 2. men were gentlemen and women were persona non grata? No. To identify the species the wasp apparently must explore the spider with her antennae. Am I one of those geezers who's forever jawing about the fact that. It may stand this way for several minutes. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. When I tell young softball players I played the game bare-handed. manicured diamonds. but I will tell today's softball players that -with their fancy uniforms. Canada's Lesson" [edited]) 1. and the glorious old days when the only football in the Maritimes was English rugger. as if it were on stilts. "The Wasp and the Spider") 1. (from Alexander Petrunkevitch. they regard me warily. "Scotland's Fate. guys to announce who's at bat over public address systems and. so is Canada to the United States. When I was young I often heard people say. Both countries were gouged by the retreating glaciers. As Scotland is the hard northern cap to the British island. in his day. Joe Namath and Front Page Tom don't. above all. batters' helmets. Development by Detail 2. which left them on the subsistence level as far as good farmland was considered. Richard Burton." (from Allan Fotheringham. The wasp crawls under it and walks over it without evoking any hostile response. Development by Detail 2. Combination of Development Methods 3.
Commas should be placed before and after a non-essential element in the middle of a sentence 4. presenting addresses. In most situations. dates. citing sources.. In this module you will learn how to use commas correctly. use a comma to follow conventions of naming. or phrase 5. Quick Comma Rules. five general rules for comma use will help students use commas correctly.” It is easy to know when someone has finished a sentence: we see a period there. Lessons will cover rules for comma use and common comma mistakes. It is not as easy to know where a writer’s thoughts are going inside a sentence. commas are necessary for others to understand what we have said. 76 . use a comma to set-off non-essential elements such as a phrase or clause. etc.4. 2. to “get it. Combination of Development Methods Written by Dorothy Turner punctuation Commas Students often place commas throughout their papers as if they are sprinkling raisins on their oatmeal. use a comma to separate items in a series. Commas cause the reader to pause and better understand the elements that make up the sentence. Although you shouldn’t use a comma unless you know a rule for it. word. use a comma with a coordinating conjunction to separate two independent clauses 3. use a comma after an opening clause.. 1. Some special situations for comma use are discussed toward the end of this module.
together to show a close A useful way to tell if items are "like" is to try placing the word "and" relationship between every item. nor does he like broccoli. We will be going to the mountains again this summer. or a comma and a Felix dislikes spinach. Maya is going to travel throughout Southeast Asia for a year. washing the clothes. For example. and mopping the floor are the This chores I hate most. or prepositional phrases. then they are unlike items and should not be separated by commas. but not really essential to understanding the basic assertion. MLA format rules do require a comma together need before the last item in a series of three or more elements. the error is a "comma splice" (for more detail." if the coordinating conjunction is provided and the comma is omitted. ers join Haunted by the memory of last year's painful knee surgery. independent Many grammarians would argue in this situation. a comma should not be used between the items. conjunction. To signal the reader that a word. broccoli. writers set these elements off 77 . if the sentence makes sense. however.Rule 1: separate items in a series Rule 2: use a comma to Separating items in a series signals to the reader that the items are "like" in separate two some respect. The series may be a series of adjectives describing independent something. or a series of adjective. for. and to vary the rhythm in the sound of their sentences. leaving out the last clauses joined comma is acceptable. And the coordinating conjunctions—and. explore the module on run-on sentences). and brussels sprouts—any coordinating vegetable that's green. she protected clauses her knee with a strong brace during the tennis match. and I will be staying home flipping burgers and going to school. green beans. examples: Felix does not like spinach. punctuation tells the reader Finding healthy. Doing the dishes. complete sentence. and so—also help writers identify the relationship between ideas and create coherence in their writing (take a look at the module on coordination and subordination for more information about using conjunctions effectively). nor. that the clause could stand on Note: Sometimes a series seems to be "like" when it is not. if between ideas not. but this time we will bring mosquito repellant. strong punctuation: a examples: semi-colon. then the items are like. yet. After graduation. phrase. there is some debate Two or more about whether the last item in a list of three items should take a comma. In this its own as a situation. Rule 3: use a comma to set off non-essential elements A non-essential element is information that is added to the core of a sentence to add further information— information that is useful. the sentence will be a "run-on sentence": if no punctuation is included between independent clauses. Without adequate punctuation. However. or dependent clause is non-essential information. Writ She left her beautiful black leather handbag on the bus. A series of two or more clauses items should be separated by commas. the error is a "fused sentence. appetizing fast food is difficult. but. a series of things to pick up at the market. infinitive.
construction of the new highschool will take an additional six months. Jake brought his best friends from school. as you can probably tell. the speaker could have more than one sister—this particular sister is fun to hang out with. Watch out. the problem is much bigger than we imagined. however. 78 . the speaker must have only one sister—my sister. whose name. Maria. I thought you were going to study tonight instead of come with us to the movies. pretty nervous about public speaking. Referring to what others have said shows that you are participating in an ongoing conversation about a topic. the names of Jake's friends are non-essential information: Jake has only two best friends. is pretty fun to hang out with. Once upon a time. If the phrase occurs at the beginning or end of the sentence. is Maria. by the way. before television. examples: She is. In the first sentence. John and Alex. John and Alex. she is pretty nervous about public speaking. or phrase Introductory Clauses: When beginning a sentence with an introductory clause (as in this sentence). home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. In the second sentence. before computers. the names should not be set off from the sentence. people read books for fun.by commas before and after the addition. one should never separate a subject from the verb of the sentence: example: What she has always wanted is now within her reach. My sister. because the name of the sister is included as necessary to the meaning of the sentence. Consider how the meaning changes with the presence or absence of enclosing commas in the following sentences: My sister Maria is pretty fun to hang out with. for clauses used as the subject of a sentence. The information is thus enclosed by commas. only the comma separating the phrase from the rest of the sentence is needed. mild exclamations or interjections: Hey. However. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. Introductory words: Sometimes a sentence begins with a single word that needs to be set off from the rest of the sentence. Because we have had so much rain this year. because the name of the sister is non-essential information. word. As you can probably tell. if the names are essential to identifying the person. a comma is typically necessary to signal the reader as to when the introductory phrase or clause is complete. Jake brought his best friends from school. Note: In the last example above. Rule 4: use a comma after an opening clause. examples: As you can see. is fun to hang out with.
California. Examples of sentence adverbs include moreover. . do you want another cup of coffee? a sentence adverb: these are special transition words that always take a comma. they are enclosed by commas. and introductory appositive phrases that are essential to the sentence should never be separated from the subject by a comma. 1979. and unable to host his television program. times. names. arguing that it is ambiguous—the writer could mean a hopeful prediction. Without a doubt. I would love a new plasma television. but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how we look at it). . however. Use commas to surround titles or degrees: 79 . Never use a sentence adverb to connect two independent clauses unless you use a semi-colon before the sentence adverb. Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year. . No. Ebert & Roeper. Rule 5: use a comma to follow conventions What follows reads a bit like a laundry list of comma use rules. At the restaurant we all ordered burgers and fries. . All phrases should be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma with two exceptions: short prepositional phrases do not need a comma unless it is necessary for clarity. . frankly. sadly. but these conventions allow us to quickly share and process information. Sadly. or if they occur in the middle of a sentence. . I drew a diagram. furthermore. many conventions for the presentation of dates. or "I am hoping. for most of my life. a name in a direct address: Miguel. In San Francisco one finds plenty of good restaurants. and after the year before continuing with the sentence: The twins were born in June. Note: Grammarians disagree about the word "hopefully" used as a sentence adverb. she has the flu and will have to skip the concert. . I don't want pineapple on my pizza.Ok. and mercifully. then show me how you do it. nevertheless. . Use a comma to separate a city from a state. examples: To help him understand how an internal combustion engine works. Troublesome they may be. one month before my 30th birthday. and after the state before continuing with the rest of the sentence: I have lived in San Francisco. I cannot afford one. The acclaimed critic Roger Ebert has been ill recently. . and quotations have risen up over time." Introductory Phrases: Introductory phrases add information to the sentence and create interest in and anticipation for the information to follow. citations. she is the nicest person I have ever met. Most hate this construction. however.
Tears were streaming down her face because she was happy. or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object. When introducing a quote with a short introductory phrase like "He said." the phrase should be set off from the quote by a comma. not sad. kings is kings. . Huck says. Don't sprinkle commas throughout your writing to try and imitate a speaking voice. corrected: She walked out of the room and started screaming about the grade on her essay. wrong: I am not going to work today. and you got to make allowances. However. Twain's short story "Hunting the Deceitful Turkey. Don't place a comma between two sentence verbs or verb phrases. is human. after all. corrected: I am not going to work today because I am sick.. after an independent clause." It is also important to note that a comma used after a quote to separate it from the rest of the sentence goes inside the closing quote. wrong: She walked out of the room. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. they're a mighty ornery lot. . furious even. corrected: I told my boss that I was sick and that I would not be coming to work. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. "All I say is. wrong: To err. Don't place a comma between two nouns." Huck embraces life in the wild to the extent that a raft moving down a river can provide all the home he really needs: "We said there warn't no home like a raft. noun phrases. It's the way they're raised. . Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery. Ph. Take a look at a parody of this kind of comma abuse by blogger fandomcommahate 80 . . and started screaming about the grade on her essay. He was angry. received his doctoral from Amherst College a year before taking a teaching job at Yale. Take them all around. You are going to make the cake for the party.Professor Pete McSeed. Don't put a comma after the main clause when a dependent clause follows it. and an occasional well-placed comma to create voice." or "As Huck puts it. ." is wildly funny." "Twain argues. aren't you? When Not to Use a Comma Here are some quick "don'ts" that may help you break any bad habits with comma use. Don't use a comma to separate the subject from the verb. and that I would not be coming to work.D. because I am sick. Use a comma to emphasize a shift or to cause the reader to pause before an important contrast or point of emphasis. a colon should be used instead. . but a raft don't. Commas used with quotations are a bit tricky. corrected: To err is human. wrong: I told my boss that I was sick. Rely instead on language and logic.
hate. she said. however. Writers use quotation marks to signal the reader that the text within opeining and closing quotes is not the writer's original material. comma abuse. double-spacing is maintained throughout the essay). however. it must be offset and indented (the way the examples on this page are offset and indented). whether or not it is Ok to use quotes to identify a new term. So good for you. who. though it is important to provide a citation letting the reader know the source of the information. Also? Everyone else. If you are writing an essay in MLA format. students don't usually sit down and read about how to use quotation marks properly. and question marks when they finish with a quote and move back to their own writing. The rules governing the use of quotation marks are specific. Direct quote: After finishing the entire sundae. which spawn them. seriously. Quotes within the quote still take punctuation marks. who hate comma abuse. the comma.I. who. students are often confused about when to use single or a double quote. "And that's what I'm talking about!" Indirect quote: After she finished her chocolate sundae. and hate. the people. In an indirect quotation. Block Quotes: When the quoted material is longer than four lines of your own text. However. the people. the people. the people. fandoms. the quote should be double-spaced (in MLA format. who. and you may well be driving your English instructor up the wall if your commas are out of place. she said that she wanted another one. periods. how to use quotation marks to express irony. hate. there are rules that govern the placement of other punctuation with quotation marks. and the. quotation marks are not used. and how to use quotation marks with direct quotes. when the writer paraphrases another person's words. do not use quotation marks with an offset quote as the offsetting substitutes for the punctuation. hate. students will learn the rules governing the use of quotation marks in the situations outlined below: • • • • • with direct and indirect quotes for irony & emphasis to identify new terms to identify titles in dialogue Quotation Marks With Direct & Indirect Quotations Short Quotes: Quotation marks are important in an essay which uses sources as evidence. 81 . them. love. love them. Quotes & Quotation Marks Quotation marks are probably the most incorrectly used element of punctuation. Using Other Punctuation With Quotation Marks: Here is where things get tricky: students often just guess where to put commas. for being here! In this module. love comma abuse. Like. the perpetrators. however.
"Love is like a rose: it blooms and grows and creates joy. "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. If the omitted material is after a complete sentence. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. Brackets are also used to indicate a single word omission. (Edwin Bryant." For example. use ellipses (three periods with a space between each period. when you need to make the quote fit the grammatical structure of your own sentence." A comma should be used before a quote begins to separate a lead-in phrase from the quotation." A Quote Within a Quote: 82 .Commas and periods after a quotation go INSIDE the closing quote: "I was so tired that I fell asleep in the library. "The future of stem cell research [see definition] is in doubt. or the addition of words to clarify meaning: In "Like a Fox. if the sentence itself is a question or exclamation. Then he made School Boards"? When omitting words in a quotation. for example. . The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. and to walk to school rather than ride with her dad. Mark Twain once said. . What I Saw in California) Ellipses may also be used to indicate a pause or an unfinished thought: "The details of my life are quite inconsequential. What is the context for Twain's comment. and a space before beginning the ellipses). You do not need to change a letter to or from a capital to fit it into the structure of your sentence. keep the period then add the ellipses: Walker ." said Donna. . She argues that "nobody understands [her]" to anyone who will listen. Brackets: Brackets are used within a quote when you need to change a word. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start." A question mark or exclamation point goes inside the closing quote if the quote is a question or exclamation. ." the 10-year-old protoganist repeatedly tries to break away from her parents and childhood. "In the first place God made idiots. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) Capital letters: Basically. for example. Very well. to choose her own clothes. If the lead in is an independent clause. use a colon: An analogy helps explain something complex by way of comparison with something that is easier to understand. . but it also has thorns. One exception would be when you begin a sentence with a quotation: here you would capitalize the first letter of the sentence. . Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark or exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. however. She asks his mother to let her go alone to the lake to join her friends. Scientist Gail Monroe said. . This was for practice. where do I begin?" (Dr. the author of the essay on the Novato Train Station might employ a statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. . place the punctuation outside the closing quote. stick with the actual text of the quoted material.
" Dr. quotes can be construed as a sign of the author's laziness or inability to indicate irony in language. PA) "Fresh" Fish (Byward Market. Evil in the Austin Powers movies uses air quotes. one is calling attention to the fact that the term is slang.' he demanded. In this case. I handed over the amount to him. Today.When quoting text that itself includes a quote." and so does Joey in a classic episode of Friends (click here to see this bit on YouTube)." (Weiner World Restaurant. Often it is better to rely on the logic of the sentence to indicate the irony. he is cheated by a man pretending to be a conductor when he takes a bus for the first time: "We both got into the bus. thereafter. the use of italics is preferred. Using quotes to express irony is tricky. the terms should appear as regular. 'How much?' I asked. as in "I just 'love' waking up at 6:00 am to catch a plane. 83 . Pittsburgh. Neither of the sentences below needs quotation marks to make the irony clear because the logic reveals the irony. he is sometimes taken advantage of by strangers." comes from the Old English word for "wimple. I took a seat and he put my luggage on the overhead rack. quotation marks were used around words and phrases meant to be read as words or terms rather than for their content. Ontario) You must be "21" to enter this bar! (a fan's local bar) "Parents" No candy sold on this aisle. In his book Free From School. For example. '25 rupees. around familiar terms like "laser. Slang: Quotation marks may be used around a word to indicate that a word is a slang term.' he replied. Free From School) Quotation Marks for Irony and Emphasis Irony: Ever seen someone use air quotes? People make air quotes when they want to express irony. New terms should be placed in italics the first time they appear. Rahul Alvarez takes a year off from school to pursue an education of his own design. Take a look at the following emphasis quotes taken from the hilarious Gallery of Misused Quotations: You'll "love" our food! (menu in a diner in Hattiesburg. I just love telephone solicitors. which means "to be timid or cowardly. Ottawa. use single quotation marks to enclose the internal quote and distinguish it from the primary quote. but my guess is that she wasn't being kind. She called me a "garden tool". (Weis Supermarket. but incorrectly. Quotation Marks for Terms Before computers took the place of typewriters. however. The English word wimp. Mississippi) Help Wanted." (Rahul Alvarez." which refers to the cloth women wrapped around their heads in medieval times. unitalicized text. 'Ticket. PA) It is probably best to avoid using quotes for emphasis in college writing. Must have cash register experience and be "willing to work. but people do it all the time. At sixteen. Emphasis: Most grammarians will tell you that using quotes to denote emphasis is incorrect. Those telephone solicitors are so kind and thoughtful to call during dinner time. I had no idea what she meant.
then include the closing quote. 1862) correct incorrect 3. “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr. "pay me one hundred dollars. italics (or an underline. magazines and newspapers. Works of art are also italicized. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June.” returned she. Quotation Marks in Dialogue There are a few important rules for using quotations marks in dialogue. “for Mrs." correct incorrect 2. full-length plays. (Robert Luce. Long has just been here. Pride and Prejudice: “My dear Mr. Bennet made no answer." correct incorrect 4.” This was invitation enough. “But it is. She has long been interested in the "woman question. "The Present Hour. use a quote at the beginning. when italics are not available) are used to identify longer works. 2007. the writer must begin a new line. and she told me all about it. Bennet. “Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. and I have no objection to hearing it. a chapter in a book. • • • The words of each speaker need to be enclosed in quotes In quotes that go on for more than a paragraph. He advised me by letter that he would. “You want to tell me. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West.” said his lady to him one day. Longer works include books. full-length records (or cds). films. TV series. Take a look at this dialogue from Jane Austen's novel. The Writer. or a song or poem." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. 1." 84 . Bennet replied that he had not. 2007.” Mr.Quotation Marks and Titles Quotation marks are used to set off the titles of short works. an article in a magazine. but not at the end of the paragraph until you reach the end of the quote. such as an episode of a TV series. A short work is a work within a work. Every time a new speaker talks. on the first day of June.
" by Pierce F. dude?" makes me crazy. Geography is a science of observation. . She said. expression. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow." correct incorrect 7. correct incorrect Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. She said. I just love surprise quizzes. . 392-393)." 1988) 85 . In some manner. She ought to know. He correct incorrect 6." 11. Lewis. correct incorrect 10. Sauer writes." correct incorrect 8. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. I just "love" surprise quizzes." "She ought to know. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. The correct incorrect 9. .correct incorrect 5. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. "What's up.
yes indeed. I knew it before I got out of bed. Mr. Cooking. a whispery voice at best: If you please. Oh. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. His eyes tilt more. he does have scars. No. Footsteps. 86 ." by Truman Capote. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. he glowers at us through Satan-tilted eyes and demands to know: What you want with Haha? For a moment we are too paralyzed to tell. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. Mr. 1966) 13. too. Haha.12. she says. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making fruitcakes. And there were no birds singing. they've gone to warmer country. Haha. Buddy. Our hearts overturn. Help me find my hat. We've thirty cakes to bake. he doesn't smile. The door opens. It's Mr. (from "A Christmas Memory. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant.
" Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. 1862) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 3." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. 2007. "What's up. She said. 2007." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 2. "pay me one hundred dollars. "The Present Hour. The Writer. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June." by Truman Capote. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. He advised me by letter that he would.(from "A Christmas Memory." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. on the first day of June." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5." "She ought to know. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 87 . 1966) Correction 1. The expression. dude?" makes me crazy. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. She has long been interested in the "woman question. She said. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West. She ought to know. (Robert Luce. He said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift.
Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. Objectives: • learn to use semicolons and colons between independent clauses 88 . 1966) Answer given: 13. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. as well as how to use colons and semicolons effectively in their writing. a whispery voice at best: If you please. he glowers at us through Satan-tilted eyes and demands to know: What you want with Haha? For a moment we are too paralyzed to tell. Capote. In some manner. Geography is a science of observation. he does have scars. they are also important symbols. Truman Cooking. . And there were no birds singing. in computer code. by Haha. Memory. The rules governing semicolon and colon use in English writing are quite specific. the semicolon is used to indicate a question? And the colon in Finnish and Swedish is used like the English apostrophe? The semicolon and colon are also used in mathematics. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 10. I knew it before I got out of bed. too. 11." by Pierce F. Oh. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. Our hearts overturn. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. His eyes tilt more. Buddy." by Truman Capote. The door opens. Help me find my hat. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. yes indeed. Footsteps. These symbols really get around. It's Mr. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making Christmas fruitcakes. they've gone to warmer country. (from "A Christmas Memory. Sauer writes. Lewis. 1966) (from "A Answer given: Total Total Total Percentage correct: 0 % Semicolon & Colon use questions: machine graded graded: correct: 13 10 0 Balloon: thing to take meteoric observations and commit suicide with. and have been since before the 17th century. I just "love" surprise quizzes. In the English language. ." Mr. she says. Haha. he doesn't smile. and in emoticons : ). the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. Mr. 392-393)." 1988) Answer given: 12. No. I just love surprise quizzes.9. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape.—Mark Twain Did you know that in Greek. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. In this module students will learn these rules. . We've thirty cakes to bake. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing.
sometimes. however. exactly the opposite. For example. In this case. For example. and none of my good friends is here. soon. she made the cannolis herself! Below is a list of words typically used as sentence adverbs: to indicate time: then. so to speak. For example. on the contrary. what each comma in the list is being used for can be unclear. moreover.then to indicate addition: likewise.• • • learn to use semi-colons with commas in a list learn to use colons with items in a list learn the other conventions of colon and semicolon use Semicolon Use Between Independent Clauses A semicolon is used between two independent clauses to indicate a close relationship between ideas. also. thus. as a result to indicate condition: otherwise Note: On either side of the semicolon.. when the items themselves require commas. at least not to me. for one thing . It is not acceptable to connect a phrase to a clause with a semicolon.partly. however. meanwhile. hence. Maria made a big Italian dinner for the family. moreover. the sentence must be an independent clause. henceforth. Using a quote also shows that you are informed. who you quote says something about your point of view —great minds think alike. therefore. Writers often use a semi-colon when they want to state an idea in more specific terms. in addition..sometimes. later. sometimes she wakes up ready to bite my head off. then.. . Usually she wakes up with a smile on her face. one the one hand. A semicolon is stronger separation than a comma + coordinating conjunction.for another (thing). and so they cannot be used to connect clauses." and "even so" to connect two sentences.at the next.. semicolons are used to separate the items in the series. what is more to indicate contrast or concession: however. Semicolon with Sentence Adverbs: A semi-colon (or a period) should also be used with sentence adverbs such as "however.. at one moment. still. instead.. This party is really boring: the music is terrible. rather. accordingly. nobody is talking. afterward.. nevertheless. . then too. but not as strong as a period. Sentence adverbs are transition words rather than conjunctions. at least to indicate a result: consequently. furthermore.. items in a list are separated by commas." "at least. partly.." "moreover. 89 . besides.. on the other hand. now." "therefore. Semi-Colon Use With Commas in a List Typically.
and the second clause as the movement(s) of a symphony. One could think of the first clause as a kind of overture. 10:30 p. bring the following: pencils. Chicago. (Ten Great Events in History." It is not acceptable to use a colon after an incomplete sentence to begin a list. I am going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for fajitas: chicken.m. New York. I agree with the statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. two-headed men and men with no heads at all. a pencil sharpener. a calculator. 3:00 p. In the first version. Massachusetts. correct: When you come to take the exam. men with only one foot.m. however. and others whose favorite beverage was human blood. and a dictionary. The sentence begins with an independent clause. many academics urge students to avoid creating titles in the "title colon subtitle" format because such titles can sound a bit 90 7:00 a. so be very careful to ensure that the clause is complete: incorrect: When you come to take the exam. even if the list includes only a single item. men whose only food was snakes. The Bible When referring to passages in the Bible. and in one island a valley where only devils dwelt. This mistake is corrected in the second version. and so the sentence is incomplete. Colon Use With Items in a List A colon is used after an independent clause to preface a list of items. Wisconsin. "The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived.m. These days. Colon Use Between Independent Clauses A Colon can be used after an independent clause to introduce a list. tortillas." the rest of the sentence. the independent clause lacks a direct object. onions. bring the following items: pencils. illustrates the idea in that first clause: The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived: one-eyed men. Take a look at the following example. but it can also be used to introduce another independent clause that illustrates or elaborates upon the idea in the first clause. men with a lip long enough to cover their whole face. green and red peppers. woolly hens and sheep that grew on trees. Madison. a calculator. cumin. and hot sauce.This summer on our road trip we will visit Fargo. New York. dragons and unicorns. . Illinois. but that so large that they held it over them like an umbrella when they lay down in the sun to rest. James Johonnot) Other Conventions of Colon Use Colon in Stating Time Use a colon between the hour and the minute. use a colon between the chapter and the verse. a pencil sharpener. and Boston. and a dictionary. North Dakota. which takes up the entire paragraph. John 11:35 Job 3:2 Titles and Subtitles A colon is used between a title and subtitle of a book or article.
a colon is placed after the salutation rather than a comma (used in informal letters). The title-colonsubtitle format is very popular in newspapers and popular magazines. To Whom it May Concern: 1. The earth has two motions-a daily rotation upon its axis. Spiegler semicolon used in a sentence? 2.com) Salutations In a business letter. semicolon 91 . Colons: Annoying Convention or Useful Tool? (just made this one up) Art/Sci Collision: Of Human-Robot Bondage (title of a new lecture series at the American Museum of Natural History) Smarts in a Bottle: UK Government Evaluates Cognition Enhancers (title of article at Wired. How is Dear Sir: the Dear Mr. How is the colon used in a sentence? For each sentence below. 3. however: this type of title enables the journalist to frame the subject and the angle the journalist will take on the subject in a single.pretentious. and a year revolution around the sun. short sentence. or even inappropriately humorous for the content of the essay that follows. decide whether the dash should be replaced with a colon or a semicolon.
semicolon colon 5. liberty. add a second sentence. semicolon colon For each sentence supplied below. 7. Helen Keller's world is built of touch sensations. joined to the first with either a semicolon or a colon. devoid of color and sound—but. died without speaking—others spoke without dying.colon 4. without color and sound. Some semicolon colon 6. it throbs with life. Make sure that your choice reflects correct semicolon or colon use. (Rabelais) 92 . that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. that among these are life. and the pursuit of happiness. I watched the sun pass below the horizon. We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal.
Contexts for Colon & Semicolon Use As mentioned in the lesson on colon use between independent clauses. a colon can be used to great effect when a writer wants to illustrate or elaborate on an idea.8. When you complete your sentence. The park was full of people. Try out this technique in the text boxes below. you connect several illustrations together with semicolons. In at least one of the exercises. A starting sentence is provided for you. check out our version of the sentence. She w as a kind old w oman: See our version Having pets does not prepare a person for parenthood: See our version Money talks: See our version 93 . The colon can even set up a kind of mini-essay within your essay if after the first clause. All you need to do is add sentences that illustrate or elaborate on that idea. try to connect several illustrations with semicolons.
Consider the following balanced sentence: “What we have we Whiles we enjoy it.” flourisheth.Semicolons in Context A semicolon is a useful tool for connecting two closely related ideas. and clippers. It is also useful for creating balanced and smooth-flowing sentences since good balance comes from the repetition of similar structures or ideas. to create balance. fertilizer. (The Babies Speech. then we (Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing. . and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection. A cup of coffee w akes me up in the morning. a salad. See our version We acquire our highest ideas in childhood. 1. As in the colon exercise above. w e hurry. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. a starter sentence is provided for you. as a he Twins amount to a permanent riot. iv. Bring to the picnic: a blanket 94 to sit on. Why. prize but not being rack flower of the to lack’d the field so the and worth lost. See if you can think of a sentence to place on the other side of the semicolon that is closely related to the idea before the semicolon. and drinks. check out our version of the sentence. Mark Twain) Now give this technique a try yourself.) As for man his days are (Old Testament. Remember. good garden gloves. correct incorrect 2. When you complete your sentence. repeat structures and ideas. value. Psalm 103:15) as grass. 1. See our version Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. See our version In America.
The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. 11. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. (Coco Chanel) can't ignore politics.correct incorrect 3. Possibly now we are now entering a third era in which the movies will be sounding a note of cautious optimism: You know it just might work. no matter how much you'd like to. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. stop digging. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. Fashion correct incorrect 9. I don't want to make money. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 4. You correct incorrect 7. (Joan Rivers) correct incorrect Write sentences demonstrating your understanding of correct semicolon and colon use according to the directions below. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 5. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. 95 is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. (Molly Ivins) first rule of holes. I just want to be wonderful. and let the air out of the tires. The correct incorrect 6. (Molly Ivins) . when you're in one. Use a semicolon to connect two closely related ideas about places you like to visit. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. (Marilyn Monroe) correct incorrect 8. (Dorothy Parker) correct incorrect 10.
Use a colon to introduce a list of activities you enjoy.12. Use a colon to introduce an in-depth explanation or elaboration of something. 13. 96 .
a salad. stop digging. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6. Correction Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 2. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. (Marilyn Monroe) Answer given: 97 . You can't ignore politics. and drinks.14. and clippers. fertilizer. no matter how much you'd like to. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. Bring to the picnic: a blanket to sit on. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. when you're in one. The first rule of holes. Possibly now we are now entering a third era in which the movies will be sounding a note of cautious optimism: You know it just might work. good garden gloves. I don't want to make money. 1. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. Use a colon to introduce a list of items a student needs to be prepared for the first day of classes. I just want to be wonderful. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 3.
such as "She laughed at my joke. one may choose instead to use a question mark. In this module. (Coco Chanel) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 9. an exclamation mark.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. advice: You should not be swimming so soon after eating. gives advice.? ? ? The Period A period. and to use end punctuation correctly and effectively in writing. 98 . . and so. . ! ! ! . . and placenames. a period is used in titles. also called a "full stop. A period." An imperative sentence: a period is also used to conclude a sentence that issues an order. or a question mark. One almost never sees a question mark or an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. on the other hand. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. (Dorothy Parker) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 10. order: Children will stay within school grounds during recess. or makes a request—though with requests. such as "I believe it will rain today. the period at the end of a sentence: A declarative sentence: a period is used to end a sentence that states a fact. a period is seen in the middle of a sentence. (Joan Rivers) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct End Punctuation T he end of a sentence is signalled by a period. abbreviations." or an opinion. and let the air out of the tires. They will discover the problem for themselves. has many uses in addition to ending a sentence: for example. Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions." is used to signal the end of most kinds of sentences . . in these situations. students will learn the rules for correct use of end punctuation.
Ph. use a question mark. M. Hilary asked us if we wanted to go swimming this afternoon.1. .150 $1. where do I begin?" (Dr.D. other uses of the period Periods and Money A period is used between dollars and cents.00 $. Please send her my congratulations on getting the promotion. unless the number or letter is enclosed in parentheses: I. use brackets ([ ]) to indicate the ommission. I wondered why she asked us if we had our bathing suits. Ms. No period is used when money is rounded to dollars: $45. Very well. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start.89 $45 $1. but is itself not a question. Col. Periods are also used after numbers or letters in an outline.2. . and states do not take periods: CIA FBI BBB AAA KFOG AIDS BART EBMUD CA Nor are periods used in abbreviations that have become widely accepted as replacment words for the full version: exam memo dorm web cell Periods are used in abbreviations used for titles and unfamliar institutions and organizations: Dr. or a series of three periods (with a space between the last word or the period at the end of a sentence). . What I Saw in California) Ellipses may also be used to indicate a pause or an unfinished thought: "The details of my life are quite inconsequential. 1. long terms. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) 99 . a period expresses this polite tone. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. . If a single word is ommitted.D. A.We should go to the party tonight.A. (a) (iii) Ellipses An ellipses. . request: Would you please change the oil for me. (Edwin Bryant.150.67 $1 Periods and Abbreviations Periods are not used in the abbreviations of familiar institutions. . M. organizations. radio stations. Note: a good way to determine whether a request should end with a period or a question mark is to say the sentence out loud. .D. . The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. If your voice goes up at the end of the sentence. Little rise in your voice indicates a level of formality and polite hesitation. Mr. An indirect question: a period is used in a sentence that includes a question. 1. is used to show an ommission of words in quote. Walker .D.
and died in 1854. Wow! Did you really get an A+ on that exam? Let's take a road trip! Listen! I think I hear something. Be careful. The captain was born in 1799 (?).The Question Mark Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. What is the context for Twain's comment. Are you really coming? For two weeks? Really? The Exclamation Point The exclamation point is believed to have its origins in the Latin exclamation io. overuse of exclamation marks make it seem as if a writer is relying on symbols rather than language to convey meaning. This was for practice. do not use question marks after indirect questions or polite requests. or use it as a substitute for explanation when an explanation would be useful. There is a world of difference between "No. As discussed above. I can't believe you got your nose pierced! Note: In a quotation. if the sentence itself is an exclamation. Then he made School Boards"? Use a question mark in parentheses to express doubt or uncertainty. a term used to express joy. In a series of questions. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. it is acceptable to abbreviate questions after the initial question if the structure is clear. an exclamation point goes inside a closing quote if the quote is an exclamation. "In the first place God made idiots." 100 . Will you have milk with your tea? Can I dance with your date? What is your problem? A question mark goes inside the closing quote if the quote is a question. exclamation points allow writers to quickly let a reader know that a statement is emphatic. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark by adding in the usual comma or a period. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. Do not double up punctuation when using a an exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period." and "No!" for example. In the English language. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. But be careful not to overuse this technique. "Wow! It's lucky we caught this in time. if the sentence itself is a question. Skip the additional punctuation: His doctor exclaimed. however. to use an exclamation mark for strong emotions.
asking yourself the following questions may help you quickly figure out where you went wrong. þÿ Mrs Henley brought me a basket of muffins when I was sick last week 4. mild exclamations do not take exclamation marks. þÿ Don't forget to pick up your prescription 6. In this passage. Read through the passages and decide where you think the exclamation 101 . I can't believe I flunked English 10.) Supply 1.Fixing Common End Punctuation Mistakes If you discover the comment "EP" (for "faulty end punctuation") in the margin of a paper you have received back from your instructor. þÿ I am never going to get this project done on time 3. but these have been replaced with periods. Twain uses many exclamation marks and question marks.) Did I forget closing punctuation altogether? (Seems unlikely. þÿ Please do not use cell phones in our restaurant 8. þÿ What are all of these candy wrappers doing all over the floor 7.) Did I over-do it with the exclamations? (Use exclamation marks sparingly. Will you have time to finish writing the memo about the new schedule before you leave The passage below is taken from Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. but sometimes this happens. I haven't seen you for ages 9. needed but (including now he in works abbreviations). þÿ Jenny. Did I confuse a direct question with an indirect question? Did I forget about the rule against double end punctuation? (No expressions like"??!!?" are allowed. for NATO He 2. þÿ Is there time to finish desert before we need to get to the movie 5. þÿ end used punctuation to work wherever for the it is FBI.
and that butterfly. "What!" I said. "What. Why. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. Scatter. Clarence. if you prefer. a light flashed in my eyes. my breath almost got away from me. Copy the passage into a word processor for revision and then paste your corrected version in the text box." But he only laughed in his light-hearted way and fell to making fun of my sorry plight." "What dream.a person who never existed. I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something.answer me that!" 102 . indeed! and is it a dream that you're to be burned to-morrow? Ho-ho -. Or. My first thought was." I said resignedly. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -.." "Prithee "What dream? Why. and that I am talking to you. "All "Tell right." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts.. my breath almost got away from me." -33"Oh. I'm in no hurry.points and question marks belong. "Are you here yet. me. I gasped with surprise. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -." I said resignedly. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. "let the what dream go on. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. "All right. Clarence.a person who never existed. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. stood before me. la. what an astonishing dream I've had! I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something. and that I am talking to you. My first thought was. When I next came to myself. "Well." Answer given: Total Total Total Percentage Correct questions: machine graded correct: versions of graded: correct: -text: 1 0 0 % When I next came to myself. what "let the dream go on.. and fell to making fun of my sorry plight. Go along with the rest of the dream. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. a light flashed in my eyes. in his light-hearted way. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. and that butterfly. "you here yet? Go along with the rest of the dream! scatter!" But he only laughed." I said." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. dream?" I'm in no hurry. stood before me! I gasped with surprise. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. 1. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. what an astonishing dream I've had. "Well." dream. copy and paste the text into the text box and do the editing there.
be kind to me. Clarence. they ones? say -oh. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was.hesitatingly: "and there be other reasons -and weightier. idiotic. "Oh." After a pause -. by any means. I hope?" "Full a score. certainly a superior man like 103 . that I could contrive. be there brave. Clarence? Not many. Oh call them back before it is too late!" Now this strange exhibition gave me a good idea and set me to thinking. and with all the cowering apprehension of one who was venturing upon awful ground and speaking of things whose very mention might be freighted with death. in his malice. be merciful to a poor boy who means thee well.don't fail me. and was a thing to be avoided. good boy. forsooth! That cheap old humbug. and there bides not the man in these kingdoms that would be desperate enough to essay to cross its lines with you! Now God pity me. help me to devise some way of escaping from this place!" "Now do but hear thyself! Escape? Why. that maundering old ass? Bosh. for an thou betray me I am lost!" I laughed the only really refreshing laugh I had had for some time. So I said beseechingly: "Ah. -. man. the other way by fear. the silliest bosh in the world! Why. aren't you? -. in sooth. that to be burned to death. listening. a but good -" lad!" there's He hesitated. chuckleheaded. even in a dream. and finally crept close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news in -34a whisper. One may not hope to escape. no doubt. chicken-livered superstitions that ev -oh. the corridors are in guard and keep of men-at-arms. beware! These are awful words! Any moment these walls may crumble upon us if you say such things. "Come. I have told it! Ah. and shouted: "Merlin has wrought a spell! merlin. for I knew by past experience of the lifelike intensity of dreams. fair or foul. then he stole to the door and peeped out. But how many.for you ARE my friend." "No doubt. would be very far from being a jest. is be need! a I man do -want speak to out. "Merlin. I now began to reason that my situation was in the last degree serious. it does seem to me that of all the childish. pulled one way by desire. only friend I've got. come. and he was like to go out of his mind with fright. they?" indeed daren't!" "Why. what is the matter? Why do you blench? Why do you tremble so?" "Oh. pure bosh. What but I are daren't. has woven a spell about this dungeon. dream or no dream. damn Merlin!" But Clarence had slumped to his knees before I had half finished. tell you." "Other "Well. poor lad.The shock that went through me was distressing.
Dependent clauses begin with subordinating words (relative pronouns. they do not always pay close attention to the stops and starts of thoughts." "Well. do it no more. because it will help you tell the difference between sentence fragments and complete sentences. 104 . The arrangement of the words follows the rules of English grammar. Because I'm a magician myself. Definition 2: A sentence is group of words that begins with a capital letter. and worked out a plan. what professional writers do that many beginning writers do not is to carefully proofread their work to make sure that before publication. each sentence passes the test for completeness. As a result. has a subject and a complete or finite verb. By themselves. Complete sentences are also sometimes called independent clauses. look me in the eye. Pull yourself together. By the end of this module students should be able to • • • recognize sentence fragments and their causes correct sentence fragments by revision and sentence combining use sentence fragments intentionally for special effect What is a sentence? A sentence fragment? What is a sentence? Here are two definitions that may be useful: Definition 1: A sentence is a group of words arranged to express a complete thought. Keep the distinction between dependent and independent clauses in mind. Then I said: -35"Get up.me ought to be shrewd enough to contrive some way to take advantage of such a state of things. Groups of words that modify part or all of an independent clause are called dependent clauses." Grammatical sentences Correcting Sentence Fragments A sentence must be able to stand on its own as a completed thought. and ends with a period. writers often end up with sentences that are not complete—"fragments" of thought that need something more to stand on their own. or adverbs). prepositions. However. dependent clauses form sentence fragments. I'll tell you why I laughed. Do you know why I laughed?" "No -but for our blessed Lady's sake. However. I went on thinking. when writers are caught up in the flow of their ideas and are trying to capture those ideas on the page. In this module you will learn to spot fragments in your work and to turn those fragments into complete sentences.
the common sources of sentence fragments are identified. 1) Simple sentences. In each paragraph. and he became a real boy. the last sentence is a fragment. In the rest of this module. We wonder what the scientist finally did. Consider the following passages to see if you can locate the sentence fragments: She didn't want to be on vacation anymore. Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Verb: After years of searching for a cancer cure. The downtown takes you back to the time when there was a single sweet shop. the scientist finally gave up. other examples .) 4) Compound-Complex sentences. The clouds drifting in the sky. Note that the thought can be completed in a number of different ways: Corrected: After years of disappointment in her search for a cancer cure. and post office in every city. It has a subject--“the scientist”--but not a verb. You need to fix them. students will learn how to correct sentence fragments. which combine types 2 and 3. and other groups of words that lack a subject or a verb. (“After the Blue Fairy granted his wish” is a dependent clause.. When people knew the shopkeeper by name and knew about each other’s lives.It is useful to group sentences into 4 types. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. Her things that meant so much to her.. The two puppies. and examples are given to help you identify and correct fragments in your own writing. and in the second paragraph. the word "when" turns the clause into a subordinate clause. Below. Dependent clauses. Example: After the Blue Fairy granted his wish. the Blue Fairy granted his wish. Correcting Sentence Fragments. Example: After Pinnochio saved Gepetto. “After” is the subordinating word. The last sentence in the first paragraph lacks a sentence verb. . Think of them as broken or incomplete thoughts. so that your reader can understand your thoughts. A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence punctuated as if it were complete. My favorite flavor of ice cream. . This thought feels incomplete. the scientist finally. Pinocchio lived happily ever after. which join a dependent clause to an independent clause. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. (“Pinnochio” is the subject. “hoped” is the verb. or After years of disappointment in her search for a cancer cure. 105 . which have one subject and one verb. the scientist finally made a breakthrough. ) 2) Compound sentences. 3) Complex sentences. and the Blue Fairy granted his wish. baker. She wanted to be back with her things. in which a conjunction links two simple sentences. are called sentence fragments.
a proper and demure mother. (subject: “I”) Tess and her mom went to the video store.” Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Subject: Zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. Hoping to be free. are not complete by themselves. fragments are sometimes quite difficult to spot. (complete verb: “were drifting”) Verb forms that end in “ing. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. Corrected: I zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. After I changed my fuel filter. 106 . and so they seem like correct sentences even when they are not. In the last example above. Take a look at the paragraph below and see if you can spot the fragments: The “nuclear family” has been the model for American home life since at least the 1950s when shows such as Leave It to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet were popular.” or participles. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. In each of these shows. a little rascally boy to take after the father. “were” is the helping verb that completes “drifting. At this point. Moses was the prophet who led the slaves to freedom. Who led the slaves to freedom. you may be thinking these fragments are pretty easy to identify. In the real world. (verb: “is”) The two puppies chased each other. They are often closely connected to a point in a previous sentence. Went to the video store. a steadfast and masculine father. however.Corrected: My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip. my mother decided not to go skydiving with us. (subject: “Tess and her mom”) The slaves were hoping to be free. After I changed my fuel filter. (verb: “chased”) The clouds were drifting in the sky. all living in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. my car’s gas mileage improved. Goldilocks dreamed of flying. (subject: “The slaves”) Sentence Fragments Made up of Dependent Clauses: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. They need an auxiliary or “helping” verb. Corrected: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother.
The most American of sports is experiencing a real return to popularity. Yeah. Waiting for the sound of an approaching car. eating. The initial assumptions and the definition of human nature being totally ambiguous. With this technique. a steadfast and masculine father. it is acceptable to use a sentence fragment for a special effect. so that the sentences can be seen more clearly . What is a Answer given: 2. For example. A fragment can be used to present an answer to a question: How did we win the tournament? Nerve. Is either of the following sentences a sentence have fragment? to Why be or why fragment? complete? not? I don't understand the basic details of the argument.. be very careful here. A sentence fragment can also be used to express a strong emotion: Selma told her dad she finished her homework. Answer given: 107 . Ozzie & Harriet's house. Answer each question below as best you can. The verb "living" is not complete. Answer given: 4. Is either of the out following to eat.. Listening. if possible. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. Is either of the following sentences a fragment? Why or why not? I love going Answer given: 5. To correct the sentence. and eating. Baseball. you use a simple command to quickly separate each sentence onto its own line. right! She didn't even open her math book. She wants a home with a white picket fence. and so the sentence is a series of phrases. Occasionally. In each of these shows. Your reader may assume the fragment is unintentional if the rest of your writing is not polished and free of errors. A fragment can create emphasis on a single word or phrase: He stood stock still. the subject must be located. —Mark Twain You will not regret it. Wow! I never knew that you could play soccer so well. However. Get a bicycle. a little rascally boy to take after the father.The last. One technique for spotting fragments is to reformat your essay. If you live. all live toether in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. Using Sentence Fragments for Special Effect. and the correct form of the verb provided: The “nuclear family” has been the model for American home life since at least the 1950s when shows such as Leave It to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet were popular. a proper and demure mother. sentence a Especially fragment? for Why or Thai why food. temporarily. as a worksheet. What must a sentence Answer given: 3. long sentence is actually a fragment. not? There are many wonderful things to do in San Francisco. eating. 1.
however. however. Make sure your paragraph is free of sentence fragments. or." "these. coordinating conjunctions and sentence adverbs appropriately Correcting Comma Splices A comma splice occurs when a comma is used without a coordinating conjunction to join two independent clauses together. that a period creates stronger separation between ideas than the other options. as in the following sentence: comma splice: There is time to finish the project. Write a paragraph explaining what "freedom" means to you." "that. If a writer wants to be heard. but. but we won't finish it if we go to the beach. however. We can also use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and. however. she must be able to tell the reader how her ideas go together." sentences without any punctuation at all connecting independent clauses. pay close attention to your sentence structure whenever you see these pronouns in your writing: comma splice: The drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-seven hours. 108 . Often comma splices occur when the second clause begins with "this." and sentences that are simply joined by coordinating conjunctions like "and. In this module students will learn • • to recognize and correct run-on sentences to use colons. or "comma splices. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. There are three variations of run-on sentences: sentences that use only a comma to join independent clauses. semi-colons. This is a good choice if the relationship between the clauses is unclear or needs emphasis: corrected: There is time to finish the project. We can use a semi-colon if the logical connection between the statements is clear: corrected: There is time to finish the project. nor. Readers look for punctuation to signal the end of one independent clause and the beginning of another. for.6. or else abandon the text altogether out of frustration. or "fused sentences. Separating the two clauses into two independent sentences with a period is always an option. or yet) to connect two independent clauses. corrected: There is time to finish the project. Without appropriate punctuation readers are forced to determine the correct relationships. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. we won't finish it if we go to the beach." without a comma. so. Note. Stronger punctuation is needed to connect two independent clauses. We won't finish it if we go to the beach." or "those". Rewriting the sentence to turn one independent clause into a dependent (or subordinate) clause is another option: corrected: There is time to finish the project although we won't finish it if we go to the beach. Answer given: Run-on Sentences Run-on sentences are sentences with "signal" problems.
Being located in a prime spot along Columbus Ave. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD. this bakery hardly goes unnoticed and people from a variety of cultures stop in to experience what it is it has to offer. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids. and they were the best days of the whole vacation. it’s a whole community center. The theater alone is not what makes it so unique. I'm going to see Gwen Stefani this weekend. We don’t make the trek down to the city often enough but over the past couple of years but I have made it a point to start bringing my two children in to Stella’s to experience what this café has 109 . we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids and they were the best days of the whole vacation. but without an accompanying comma. The Phoenix is more than just a performance center. but you can borrow it any time. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD but you can borrow it any time. it was excellent. Use the same techniques for correcting fused sentences as you would use to correct comma splices (as described in the previous section). too. greet you and buzz around like honeybees to help you obtain whatever treat it is you are craving. Answer given: 3. Answer given: 6. Answer given: 2. On our trip to Los Angeles. people. Answer given: 4. A somewhat tattered vintage coat rack that looks like its on its last leg sits empty near the door and a combination of smells from freshly brewed coffee and pastries baking is enough to make you salivate the minute you step inside. colorful fruit tarts. the friendly clerks behind these cases. Correcting Fused Sentences Sentences are said to be "fused" when there is no punctuation connecting independent clauses. Two large display cases adorned with a variety of different pastries. A coordinating conjunction may be present in a fused sentence. Answer given: 7. it is the colors. Answer given: 5. some with subtle Italian accents. examples: fused sentences: I ate the whole pizza it was excellent. 1. the punctuation is still inadequate. and city surrounding the theater that are most important. Danielle is going. corrections: I ate the whole pizza. On our trip to Los Angeles. Answer given: 8.corrected: This drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-to seven hours. There is an “old world charm” about the café as you enter and it feels as if you are entering the home of an old friend or neighbor. cakes and cookies sit proudly toward the back of the cafe and if its not terribly crowded (which about 99% of the time it is). this is a long and boring drive all by yourself.
and them. This is the problem in the following sentence: "Everyone has their share. doctor." or "it" is used to refer to an idea in a previous sentence. I. grab a muffin and coffee and run. Hoping to get some work done before school. it.to offer. pronoun-antecedent agreeement is about parts of a sentence fitting together so that the reader does not stumble over mixed messages. we. etc. it." In addition. he. you. us. who. right? However. Write a paragraph about a favorite holiday memory. the issue gets more complicated when you are dealing with collective nouns (the crowd. Answer given: Problems with Pronouns Like Subject-Verb agreement. the noun replaced by the pronoun is called the "antecedent" of the pronoun. this is a place where locals (or anyone for that matter) can come to enjoy the delicious treats and delightful atmosphere that Stella’s has always been known for. These include. In this module you will learn the following • • • • to recognize different types of pronouns to identify and correct mismatched pronouns and antecedents as well as pronoun reference problems in written text. Answer given: 1. and opened her notebook. object pronouns are pronouns used as the target of a verb in a sentence.) or with indefinite words (person." "this. Simple to fix. etc. A common problem in writing is that the writer does not always take care to match the pronoun to the antecedent (an "antecedent" is a fancy word for "the thing to which the pronoun is supposed to refer). what. men. Object pronouns include me. you him. students. then she realized she had brought the wrong book. There are many different types of pronouns used in many different situations: subject pronouns are pronouns used as the subject of a sentence. 110 . she. problems arise when the antecedent for a pronoun is unclear. whom. or two antecedents joined by "and" "or" or "nor. to write text free of pronoun-antecedent and pronoun reference mistakes. Stella’s is not just a place like Starbucks to stop in. Proofread to ensure that there are no run-on sentences. example: Janet and I had a great dinner last night. as in John gave me the book. These "pronoun reference" problems often arise between sentences when a general pronoun such as "that. Answer given: 10.). Helena went to the coffee shop." where "their" (plural) is not matched in number with "Everyone" (singular). got a large latte. Answer given: 9. put on her headphones. to avoid gender bias when using pronouns. Pronouns: A pronoun refers to or stands in for a noun. her. and they.
and salads. Note: sometimes "they" and "you" are used as indefinite pronouns. anybody. its mine. Johnny. fresh fish and seafood dishes. sombody." or "some. whom. example: Mediterranean dishes are good for your heart. none. She will be reimbursed for the pizza by the Club. theirs. and when possessive pronouns are used before a noun to establish ownership. which." There are many different indefinite pronouns. The relative pronoun stands in the for the noun antecedent." or "They say that Brittney Spears is crying out for help with her recent antics." acceptable form: Anyone can come to the event this evening. Gabe and I. Possessive pronouns are mine. both. These include pasta dishes." then the pronoun must be we or us. who. demonstrative pronouns are used to refer to ideas or objects rather than people. and that. each. their. hers. or thing. 111 . yours. either. and I hauled three loads of trash from the fraternity to the dump yesterday. For example. as in "The tan chihuahua is the dog that I want. Confusion often arises with indefinite pronouns. all. No invitation is required. if the antecedent is "Johnny. your. not born. his.possessive pronouns are used to indicate a state of ownership by a subject referenced in the possessive pronoun. everybody. his. however. they take an adjective case: my. For example. interrogative pronouns are used to begin questions. anyone. example: Who is up for game of football? Pronoun Antecedent Agreement Problems arise when the pronoun that is used in a sentence does not "agree" with its antecedent. Next year. agreement in number: the pronoun and antecedent must both be plural. "You should always remember that heroes are made. Somebody in the Women's Club will have to bring the pizza to the party tonight. several. For example. but here are a few of the most common: one. agreement in person: the pronoun and antecedent have the same subject. "Agreement" means that the pronoun is consistent with the "person" "number" and "gender" of the antecedent. No. we will let someone else do the annual clean-up." Relative pronouns include which. as in "anyone. indefinite pronouns are used to refer to an indefinite person. Gabe. Be careful in academic writing with these pronouns. that. Demonstrative pronouns include this. or they. or both singular. and those. these. whom. many. her example: I believe that is his book. what. because they can create an unacceptable tone. ours. The interrogative pronouns are who. For example. as opposed to you. relative pronouns are used to signal the beginning of a relative clause in the middle of a sentence. our. place.
it is considered an adjective. personal pronoun. . For more on eliminating gender bias in writing. Examples of Pronoun Antecedent Agreement: Take a look at the following sentences showing agreement problems and their corrections: error: Everybody correct: Everybody has faults. . . error: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. as in Dickens'.agreement in gender: the pronoun and antecedent. . third-person. even when made to agree. or (as a last resort): A student can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: she or he can enroll online or in person at the administration building. should not promote a gender bias. Gender bias is often a problem in English because the English language has no genderneutral. or: Enroll in classes in one of two ways: online or in person at the administration building . or to use a plural pronoun: wrong: A student can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: she/he can enroll online or in person at the administration building. blame. better: Students can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: they can enroll online or in person at the administration building. you has has that is shows their their to that . and so a pronoun cannot use it as an antecedent! Which or That? Students sometimes have trouble deciding whether to use "which" or "that" as a relative pronoun. but this pronoun can sound a bit formal. . Note: Be careful when a noun is in possessive case. . . "Would you please pick up the flowers that I ordered today?" and "I watched Grey's Anatomy last night. For example. which I really should not have done since I had so much work to do. . can be used. faults solution. . he correct: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. also Ok: One can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: one can enroll online or in person at the administration building . use "which" when the relative clause is just a detail. The best course of action is to avoid pronouns altogether. . because when a noun is in possessive case. error: Every problem correct: Every problem has its solution. error: It is correct: It is you who is to blame." 112 . . Use "that when the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence (when the clause is "restrictive"). "One. visit the module on shifts. Dickens shows that . ." an indefinite pronoun. . .
Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they 4. The more people know about plants and flowers the more ____ enjoy ____ Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they them 5.(What does it refer to?) correct: When you live in a rural area. Every man who does wrong knows that _____ should suffer the penalty. and it requires planning and much consolidation when it comes to making trips to town. Pronoun reference mistakes usually occur between sentences. Experienced writers make pronoun reference mistakes. 1. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: he 2. Supply a pronoun to go in place of the underline. stores can be very far away. Whatever you ask of me. This feeling can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. This can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. (What does this refer to in the second sentence?) correct: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. What a charm there is about great mountains! How the purple haze loves to envelop ____ on their snowy summits! Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: them 3. too. Aesop's fables are still read. though. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 7. You. error: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. Mary. Take a look at the following sentences with pronoun reference problems: error: If I took that bug out of her hair. but they know to proofread their work to check for such mistakes. though _____ were written many hundred years ago. though. stores can be very far away. Make sure the pronoun is grammatically consistent with the antecedent and the rest of the sentence. and ___ have always been good friends.Pronoun Reference Problems Pronoun reference problems are very common in the work of developing writers. particularly when modifiers and clauses distance the antecedent from the pronoun. and going to the store requires planning and much consolidation. (I/me) Answer given: 113 . or when a sentence contains several nouns. I will do ____. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: it 6. do you think she would find it embarrassing? (What does it refer to? the bug? the action of taking the bug out of her hair?) correct: Do you think she would find my removing that bug from her hair embarrassing? error: When you live in a rural area. You and ___ shall go.
whom. The river is dangerous. _____ do you think I am? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 13. that) so as to form complete sentences. Answer given: 19. Answer given: 18. The Swiss revere the name of William Tell. 11. Were both you and (I/me) invited? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 10. 21. _____ did you see at the party? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom 14. Spare the birds.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 8. They cheer us by their songs. which. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me 9. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me In the following sentences. supply the missing word: "who" or "whom. Everybody was invited except you and (I/me). _____ began the argument? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 15. _____ do you think I met today? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom Join each of the following pairs of simple sentences by means of a relative pronoun (who. Be careful to place each subordinate clause as near its anteccedent as possible. Goodness is the only thing that never fails. Answer given: Find the antecedent for the relative pronoun used in each sentence below. We reached the mountain top. Answer given: 17. It is full of floating ice." Write your answer in the text box. You have read of him. To _____ were you speaking? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: whom 12. From it we had a wonderful view. He said that he saw you and ____ at the mall. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. Answer given: 114 . Thomas Jefferson was an intimate friend of Washington's. 16. Answer given: 20.
Answer given: Subject-Verb Agreement When people agree about something—a movie to see. Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: chain 24. Answer given: 27. and overcame them by her great courage. Without this agreement. Neither of the children ate their carrots. certain sentence structures can lead to confusion about the actual subject of the sentence and cause a writer to choose an inapropriate verb form for that subject." on some level anyway. who to elect for president—they are in accord. Objectives: By the end of this module. the reader gets conflicting messages. However. and We enjoy soccer (not We enjoys soccer). Answer given: 30. Answer given: 29. Most of the time. when people do not agree. Answer given: 26. you should be able to: • • write both simple and complex sentences showing agreement between subject and verbs proofread to find and correct errors in subject-verb agreement Agreement with Singular and Plural Subjects. plural with plural. Every person in the class made their complaints to me. and stumbles over the text rather than gleaning your message. or I hate okra (not I hates okra). the correct subject/verb combination is easy for writers to figure out. the individuals become aware of being at odds with others.. In a sentence.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: thing 22. 25.) and in person (gender). She met each difficulty and danger. and a plural subject takes a plural verb form. Marcos or Pete will give us their help. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: time 23. but none whom he knew. Answer given: 28. This module covers these confusing situations. etc. Conversely. or in "sync. what to have for dinner. as in Kate dances well (not Kate dance well). what constitutes a good book.. the subjects of the sentence must agree with the verb in the sentence in both number (singular with singular. 115 . Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: none Correct the pronoun antecedent error in each sentence or group of sentences below. The administration is proud of their policies. a singular subject takes a singular verb form. No one knows what the future has in store for them. As he approached the village. and provides helpful strategies for locating the subject and choosing the appropriate verb form. In this module we will cover the basic and the not so basic rules for creating sound subject-verb agreement. Jack met a number of people. Time that is once lost is always lost.
if the subjects joined by "and" refer to a single person.. or as well as: The new oak tree." "or.. most. item or simultaneous action. Consider the following sentences: The mountain bike with the red frame and the fat tires is the one I want." and therefore. To determine the 116 . Some of the cake is still on the table. the verb will be plural. not "the red frame and the fat tires." or "either/or" In most situations. it does not make the subject plural. In the first example. Some indefinite pronouns. along with. "Mountain bike" is the subject of the sentence. Another source of trouble is a modifying phrase beginning with together with. and some. was delivered to my house this morning. if both subjects are singular. Coffee and dessert were served in the living room. subjects connected by "and" are going to be plural: David and Jesus are always late. Agreement When Subjects are Joined by "and.Agreement When Words Come Between Subject and Verb. Subjects joined by or or by either/or or neither/nor may take singular or plural verbs depending on the form of the subject. along with three bags of planting mix and a box of fertilizer. Agreement With Indefinite Pronouns. are confusing because they can be singular or plural depending on the nouns to which they refer. and so the verb is plural. the subject is singular: Spaghetti and meatballs is the only thing Mary ever orders when we go out to eat. My best friend and confidante is always there for me when I need her. Rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time is almost impossible to do.. Because the phrase is non-restrictive (or not necessary to the sentence).. Indefinite pronouns cause a lot of confusion." These items are part of the prepositional phrase that begins with "with. even if sometimes this structure feels counter-intuitive. Watch out for modifying phrases that come between subject and verb! And especially be on the lookout for prepositional phrases. "some" refers to individual persons. "cake. the verb is singular. it is not part of the subject. the verb will be singular. and so should not be considered when deciding on the appropriate verb form for the sentence. none. Neither the teacher nor the students know how to solve this math problem. in the second example "some" refers to an "uncountable" noun. any. such as all. An apple or a banana is a good afterschool snack. in addition to. If both subjects are plural. If one subject is singular and the other is plural." The phrase is there to tell us more about the mountain bike. However. as the object of a preposition can easily be confused with the subject of the sentence." "neither/nor. the verb agrees with subject it is closest to. Some of us are going skiing this weekend.
. word order is inverted and the subject is delayed.. One signal of a delayed subject is the expletive "there" at the beginning of a sentence: 117 . everyone. as in the example above. Generally. but you don't know what it is. everything. anybody." The crew hope their grog won't run out before they reach port. Agreement With Collective Nouns as Subjects. No is just one of the villains who have come up against James Bond. Oddjob is the only one of the villains who throws a razor-edged hat as a weapon." sounds a bit better. the antecedent is "one" (the phrase modifies "one" rather than "villains"). When the relative pronouns "which. nothing. it is easy to confuse a noun in an opening phrase with the true subject of the sentence. somebody. Agreement When Subject-Verb Order is Inverted. someone. however. squirrels and other small animals. Dorleen and Claire joined the volleyball team this semester. Agreement With "Which" "Who" and "That" as Subjects. the antecedent for the pronoun "who" in the adjective phrase "who have come against James Bond. and so the verb is singular." and "that" are used in an adjective clause (relative clause).. it is better to name a plural subject rather than use a collective noun as a plural. each.number for a verb used with these indefinite pronouns. Something is happening." so the verb in the adjective clause "that drop fruit" should be plural. Each of the new interns is assigned to work a twenty-four hour shift this week. few. When word order is inverted. several. the verb in the clause should agree in number with the subject of the sentence (the antecedent for the pronoun). but occasionally. check to see if the noun is "countable" (made of up of individual elements that can be counted). Some indefinite pronouns are always singular: for example. birds. Some sit around and wait for happiness." "who.. anything. and many." is "villains. everybody. Some indefinite pronuns are always plural: for example. anyone. and something. Usually. In this sentence. many go out and find it.. Most of the time the subject comes before the verb.." and so the verb in the phrase should be plural. and both are going to be starting players. "the crew members hope.. In this sentence. At a Rolling Stones concert the crowd always sings along to "Satisfaction.. Trees that drop fruit will attract bugs. or "uncountable" (not countable by individual elements). Collective nouns used with a plural form of a verb tend to sound a bit awkward. collective nouns will take a singular verb unless the writer wants to emphasize the individuals in a group: The group stands firm on this issue. The antecedent for the pronoun "that" is "trees. nobody. both. Everything is going wrong today. Dr.
with the exception of Tiffany.When your parents get home. building.. þÿ 4. or work of art is the subject of a sentence. even when there is a plural subject in the title: The Twin Towers was an important New York City landmark. the number of the verb should correspond to the number of the subject and not the predicate nominative.. Her protection is her dogs. there is going to be trouble over the broken vase. 3. Each þÿ to of the options be: _____ unacceptable. When linking two nouns with a linking verb.. institution.. film. How many rides have you been on at Disneyland today? Are there going to be many people at the party tonight? Agreement When the Words are a Title. In addition. Terms of Endearment is a sad film. Her dogs are her protection. it should be treated as a singular subject. the phrase should be treated as singular subject: "Slowly I turned" is the key phrase in a famous vaudeville routine popularized by comedians Abbot and Costello. When a title of a book. Everyone þÿ to in the class _____ the find: video to be entertaining. Often the subject appears between parts of a verb phrase. Word order is also inverted in questions. 2. there is little I can do to help them. when a phrase is referred to in terms of the language itself. Make the subject and the verb in each sentence below agree by writing the correct form of the verb provided (in PRESENT tense) in the text box. 1. Agreement When the Verb is a Linking Verb. to feel: All of the people at the party. as in "Has she arrived yet?" The subject must match the first auxilliary verb (first verb form) in number. If Jenny and Mark won't listen. ______ it is a good idea. to 118 need: .
Three-fourths þÿ to of the cake be: _____ gone. Another þÿ to of my brothers live: ________ in Florida. 11. 13. Two þÿ to bottles of wine be: ____ enough. Success þÿ to ________ reward: hard work. 119 .Everyone. þÿ 5. Time þÿ to _______ pass: quickly. including the people of conservation-conscious California. My þÿ to aunt as well as my be: cousin _______ single. ______ to do more to recycle. 14. The þÿ to wind and fog _______ reduce: the mosquito problem. to move: In an earthquake furniture ______ around. 12. so be sure to strap heavy objects down. 6. Neither þÿ to of the hotel rooms be: _______ available. 9. The þÿ to team ___ going to be: play on Saturday. 7. 10. 8.
to time and enough money
make: _____ a great vacation!
to or Audrey ________
know: where to find him.
to dog with the white spots and the pointy
sleep: ears _________ all the time.
to testimony that she gave before the
be: court _____ unbelievable.
The president, as well as the cabinet members, ______ no time for sleep these days.
to president and the cabinet members ________
have: no time for sleep these days.
Make the subject and the verb in each sentence below agree by writing the correct form of the verb provided (in PRESENT tense) in the text box. 1. to find: Everyone in the Answer Result: Correct answer: finds 2. Each of Answer Result: Correct answer: was 3. class _____ the given: video to be entertaining. Incorrect to the options given: be: _____ unacceptable. Incorrect to feel:
All of the people at the party, with the exception of Tiffany, ______ it is a good idea. Answer given: 120
Result: Correct answer: feel 4. to need:
Everyone, including the people of conservation-conscious California, ______ to do more to recycle. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: needs 5. to reward: Success Answer Result: Correct answer: rewards 6. The wind and Answer Result: Correct answer: reduce 7. Neither of Answer Result: Correct answer: is 8. the ________ given: Incorrect to fog _______ given: reduce: the mosquito problem. Incorrect to hotel rooms given: be: be: _______ available. Incorrect to hard work.
My aunt as well as my cousin _______ single. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: is Feedback for this answer: the answer is "is" because the subject of the sentence is "my aunt." The phrase "as well as my cousin" should be treated as a modifier, additional information, but not as an addition to the subject. 9. to be: Two bottles Answer Result: Correct answer: are 10. Another of Answer Result: Correct answer: lives 11. Three-fourths Answer Result: Correct answer: is of my of wine given: live: brothers given: Incorrect to the given: Incorrect cake be: _____ gone. ________ in Florida. ____ enough. Incorrect to
12. The team Answer Result: Correct answer: is 13. Time Answer Result: Correct answer: passes 14. ___
to going to given:
be: play on Saturday. Incorrect
to _______ given: to
pass: quickly. Incorrect move:
In an earthquake furniture ______ around, so be sure to strap heavy objects down. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: moves 15. to make: Enough time and Answer Result: Correct answer: make 16. enough money given: _____ a great vacation! Incorrect to ________ given: Incorrect sleep: and the pointy given: ears _________ all the time. know: where to find him.
Jenny or Audrey Answer Result: Correct answer: knows 17. to The dog with the Answer Result: Correct answer: sleeps 18. The testimony Answer Result: Correct answer: is 19. white spots
Incorrect to she gave before the given: be: court _____ unbelievable. Incorrect to have:
The president, as well as the cabinet members, ______ no time for sleep these days. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: has 20. to have: The president and Answer Result: Correct answer: have the cabinet members ________ given: no time for sleep these days.
Clear sentences Parallel Structure Lesson By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
o o o o o
Recognize faulty parallels in their writing. Balance parallel items in a series using conjunctions Create parallel structure between phrases and clauses Use parallelism to create coherence and balance in writing Use the principles of parallel structure to organize an essay and develop a thesis
What is Parallel Structure? Parallelism means using the same pattern of words to show that two or more elements in the sentence have the same level of importance. A good writer uses parallelism to create clear and concise sentences, and also to reduce the work that the reader must do to understand the author's meaning. For example, Doris went shopping and bought a pair of high heels, a new CD and a new pair of glasses. Because each item on Doris' list is presented in the same form, the reader perceives that each item is of equal importance. If, on the other hand, the sentence were to read as follows, the reader would have difficulty following the writer's ideas: Doris went shopping and bought a pair of high heels, a new CD, and she found a new pair of glasses. Here, the balance is thrown off and the sentence becomes more difficult for the reader to process. Having parallel structure becomes even more significant when two or more ideas are to be presented as having equal importance; for example, Dorothy survived a tornado, crash-landed in a foreign land, travelled across a vast countryside, and defeated an evil witch. With parallel structure, the reader can quickly process information and see relationships between ideas. Strong writers use parallel structure to organize words, phrases, clauses, and even whole essays to guide readers through their ideas. 123
Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). or paragraphs in an essay. (parallel elements are adjectives. phrases. if one element is a noun. for instance. clauses. and verbs) It is important to note that one need not make all elements in a series exactly parallel. if one element is a verb. (parallel elements are proper nouns) Broke. some of the elements might also be accompanied by other words to complete an idea as in this example: Joe and Jerry both fall for "Sugar" Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe).. (adapted from Wikipedia.org) Note that only one of the parallel nouns ("vocalist" and "player") is accompanied by an adjective ("ukulele"—an adjective here because it modifies the noun "player") When items in a series do not have the same form. follow the trunk line to each of the branches directly. The reader is forced to do much more work to figure out the author's meaning than is fair. whether that structure is between words. An easy way to check for parallel structure in a piece of writing. If one element is an adjective. who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929. and so forth. then all elements should be verbs. Consider the following problematic sentences and their corrections: 124 . then all elements should be nouns. well-written. and desperate..Revising to create parallel structure. (all parallel elements are adjectives) Some Like It Hot tells the story of two musicians. then all elements should be adjectives. once you find the trunk. when all elements are nouns. nouns. the sentence will sound awkward and out of balance. checking to ensure that the trunk connects strongly (and correctly) to each branch as illustrated in the diagram below: Parallel Words. Joe and Jerry disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band headed to Florida. All items in a series should have the same structure to help the reader quickly process information. and each parallel item as a branch off that trunk. and daring for its time. frightened. Take a look at the examples below: The film Some Like it Hot is funny. the band's ukulele player and vocalist. is to think of the core idea in the structure as the trunk of a tree... and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises.
article. If one item in a series is a prepositional phrase. not because he wanted to be artistic.Faulty Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and security. (parallel infinitive phrases) Director Billy Wilder filmed Some Like it Hot in black and white. and easy to read.. Thelma wore a new dress. Consider the following examples demonstrating good parallel structure: To escape the mob and to solve their financial problems. modifier. and her favorite briefcase. Joe and Jerry join an all-girl band.) Parallel Phrases and Clauses. a captain's cap. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. balanced. but because a greenish tint in Lemmon's and Curtis' heavy make-up could not be hidden on color film. Corrected: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's atttention: He wears a white sport-coat and captain's cap. and modifiers with each item in a series: Be very careful to ensure that the preposition. the sentence will be illogical. The initial items are going to govern every item in the series. (parallel verbal phrases) Common Trouble Spots. if one item in a series is a verb phrase (beginning with an -ing or -ed verb). unless you write the appropriate item into each phrase: Faulty On her first day at work. and going to school. but she loves partying. (parallel subordinate clauses) Marilyn Monroe had two big problems during filming: remembering her lines and hiding her pregnancy. or auxialliary verb is appropriate to each item in a series. Parallel structure is created by joining the first two wardrobe elements into a single element. In the previous version. then every item should be a relative clause. shoes. appropriate use of prepositions. then every item should be prepositional phrase. Corrected: She hates studying. Phrases and clauses also need to be parallel if the sentence is to be logical. and going to school. Corrected: Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and finding security. When revising your work. articles. Parallel: Faulty Parallel: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's attention: He wears a white sportscoat. each element begins with a verb.. to work. mimics Cary Grant's accent. but she loves partying.. if one item is a relative clause. mimics Cary Grant. Parallel: Parallel: 125 . look out for these common sources of trouble with parallel structure: shifts in type of phrase or clause: Be sure to stay consistent with the types of phrases you use. working. (In this version. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. then every item in the series should be a verbal phrase.. while others began with nouns. hat. Shifts in phrase type create confusion: Faulty She hates to study. some elements began with verbs. otherwise.
that someone was lonely. Answer given: Some critics of fortune-telling suggest that trained psychologiests could also notice personal traits such as nervousness. Answer given: Gypsies are famous for their traditions of fortune-telling by reading Tarot cards. Earthly laws are not understood by him. 126 . In this module students will learn to . and carried her favorite briefcase. and the prominence of the mounts. change. or number. interpreting dreams. You will have to add. shoes. mood. the gypsy shuffled the deck. verb tense. Your reader looks at your writing to be dressed one way. Make a list of things you hate then transform the list into a short paragraph (or a couple of sentences). concise sentence in which parallel elements appear in parallel structures. person. adn rearrange words. Answer given: In the beginning of the novel. Michael Valentine Smith. verb tense. but elements of the sentence just don't fit. and hat. —and proofreading your writing to ensure that this consistency is maintained. and number in their writing. The key is consistency—of voice. and they also look into crystal balls. the protagonist kills people innocently. Answer given: Palm readers examine lines on the palm. delete. Answer given: Part 2 Combine each of the sets of sentences below into a single. Robert A. Later in the novel he becomes a minister. voice. voice. There may be more than one possible answer. person. Answer given: The protagonist of the novel. write a short paragraph with good parallel structure in the space provided. Answer given: Shifts A shift is a confusing change in person. which would also let them make reasonable predictions about a client's future. identify and correct shifts in verb tense. . cut the cards. But he is also considered Martian becaues his birthplace was on Mars. Part 1 Using the topic below. mood. and mood. or cheerful. He then runs away with a traveling circus. it is kind of like wearing two different shoes.Corrected: On her first day at work. is classified as a human by birth. Heinlein's classic Stranger in a Strange Land has captivating characters. fingers and their lengths. and was laying out a selection of ten cards from which the client was supposed to choose three. . Its plot is appealing. Answer given: The protagonist continues on his quest to understand human behavior by reading all of the books he can. Thelma wore a new dress. Answer given: At the carnival.
Consider the emphasis in these active and passive sentences: Passive: The Active: Marla made the cake. from present to past. however. "And" suggests simultaneous actions) Incorrect: I liked him because he always says what Correct: I like him because he always says what he thinks. Active Voice A sentence is said to be in active voice when the subject performing the action is emphasized: John visited the Smithsonian Institute on his last trip to Washington D. I had more homework in math than in all my other classes combined. and readers are captivated from beginning to end. Passive: Equality is encouraged Active: Democratic governments encourage equality. as in the following sentence: Incorrect: The football team was good. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. (the suit continues not to fit) is too small. (I continue to like him) Shifts in Voice: Passive vs. But sometimes. Sometimes such shifts make perfect sense. I had more homework in math than I have in all my other classes combined. Passive: The bitter cup of destiny must Active: All humankind must taste the bitter cup of destiny. (Inadequate transition provided. it is too small. The way to avoid inappropriate shifts in verb tense is to visualize the actions described: Does one event really occur before another. Correct: The football team is good. he thinks. Problems arise. 127 . as when one describes an event that takes place before another event: At the first Fall concert. government. the choir will sing a few spirituals that they learned over the summer. and is still improving. Incorrect: Though I admired her persistence. (I continue to admire her persistence) Incorrect: The wind died down and the waves roll gently. cake was by be made a by democratic tasted by all Marla. Most often writers use active voice in order to emphasize agency—a subject performing some action. writers slip up and shift tense when there should be no shift. Correct: Though I admire her persistence. and is still improving. or are they simultaneous? Apply this technique in the following sentences: Incorrect: The suit didn't fit me. and to make writing energetic. or past to future tense. writers want to emphasize the object in a sentence rather than a subject's actions. Occasionally. humankind. for example. A sentence is in passive voice when the subject performing the action is de-emphasized: The Smithsonian Institute was visited by John on his last trip to Washington D.Shifts in Verb Tense A verb tense shift is a shift in time. Incorrect: Last semester. Correct: The wind died down and the waves rolled gently.C. however. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. it Correct: The suit doesn't fit me.C. Correct: Last semester. when a writer shifts from active to passive or from passive to active voice within the same sentence: Incorrect: Patrick O'Brien writes exciting stories of life on board the tall sailing ships of the Royal navy in the early 19th century.
captivating readers from beginning to end. Note: In general. I am getting wiser. Correct: I used to think school wasn't important. it is very common to see an "if" clause. irritable. Shifts in Number A shift from singular to plural. A sentence in the subjunctive mood indicates that something is conditional. These shifts confuse the reader and break the coherence and unity of your writing. . you get a lot wiser. or "If I was you ." "He. in the subjunctive mood. If they were not so kind. where he discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. especially when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase such as "of us" or "of the students. melancholy. who have emotional moods—joyful. Shifts in Person There are three forms of narrative voice in writing: 1st person: "I" or "We" 2nd person: "You" or "You" (plural) 3rd person: "They. Correct: If fans of the Harry Potter films would read the Harry Potter books." Take a look at the following sentences in the subjunctive mood: If I were rich. In addition. In a sentence in the subjunctive mood. etc. or doubtful. Incorrect: I used to think school wasn't important. because in everyday speech. an assertion. "I was" becomes "I were. In writing.Correct: Patrick O'Brien writes exciting stories of life on board the tall sailing ships of the Royal navy in the early 19th century. for example. Incorrect: We had better arrive early because you never know Correct: We had better arrive early because we don't know what might happen. where it was discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. It is not correct to write "If I was rich. what might happen." and "It was" becomes "it were. The personal "you" is a bit too informal and too direct for academic writing. If it were not for you. . such shifts are common. ." "One" "People" "Anyone" "Persons" etc. they will discover that the books are far better than the films. Correct: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. but as I get older. lazy. therefore." "She. there are two moods: indicative and subjunctive. hypothetical. One source of shifts in number is an indefinite pronoun such as "anyone" or "none" or "all. I would buy a ranch far away from everybody. Incorrect: If one reads The Harry Potter books. Incorrect: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. they would discover that the books are far better than the films. These mistakes are considered shifts in mood. or vice versa is a definite no-no." 128 . A sentence in the indicative mood is a statement of fact. it is better to avoid "you" constructions altogether in academic writing. Shifts in Mood Mood in sentences is not like mood in people. etc. I never would have made it this far. I would have been deeply embarrassed. but as you get older. . It is common for students to shift person in written sentences.
1. letting readers know which one as well as how Ann felt about the bag. is doing their best. The masts of the ship were down. In the distance I see the port. Review the paragraph you just wrote for any instances of passive voice. have evidently "nothing in them. for example. making sure your writing is free from shifts and does not contain any gender bias. it is therefore saiad of such a man that he has a particular talent for such and such a trade." however latent the talent may be. When it quiets down a little the sailors look to see if the ship is damaged very badly. and to all appearance. What is a disconnected modifier? Lets look at a few examples of sentences with disconnected modifiers: 129 . —some men possessing it in a very general way. by Bernard Stuart." Most of the descriptive modifiers call the reader's attention to the handbag. from How to Become a Successful Engineer. revise the verb tense shifts in the paragraph. The deck is crowded with people. or their parents for them. 1901." Now. Modifiers add descriptive information to a sentence and call the reader's attention to what the writer feels is important. it becomes young men. as we believe that every man endowed with reason at all has "something in him. however. For some of these. was stolen last night. the one she always carries. 2. All men are not alike endowed with natural talent and ability. Almost any man with the ordinary capacity for instruction can be taught to do certain things. he may exhibit a greater aptitude than for others. Answer given: 4. unifying time as past or present. Correct: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because each of them has had excellent training. other men only in one particular channel.Incorrect: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because they have had excellent training. The sky is murky and the wind is blowing hard. Answer given: Revise the following paragraph so that it is free of gender bias. The storm rages on furiously for about an hour. "Always" is an adverb describing the verb "carries. Incorrect: Every student Correct: All of the students are doing their best. The tempestuous waves dash up on the side of the ship. we find several modifiers: Ann's favorite black handbag. The furious lightning tears the sky and the thunder roars. Everybody was horror-stricken. to set about discovering in what direction such talent lies." And "last" is an adjective describing "night. The storm was so bad that it is indescribable. Write a paragraph about a time when you turned out to be wrong about someone or something. Without modifiers our sentences would be pretty bare. Why did you choose to use or not use passive voice in your paragraph? Answer given: Disconnected Modifiers What is a modifier? A modifier is any word or phrase in a sentence that describes or “modifies” some other word in a sentence. They find out that the prow of the ship is damaged. Answer given: 3. "Ann's favorite black" is a cluster of adjectives describing the handbag (the possessive form of a proper name is an adjective because it describes a possession). In the sentence below." The sentence also includes a descriptive appositive phrase: "the one she always carries. while many other men may be said to possess scarcely any.
and to lose track of the overall meaning of the writer’s text. They also know where to look for mistakes. or worse. How does one identify and correct a disconnected modifier? The first step in finding disconnected modifiers. I saw a traffic accident right in front of me. the sweat pouring down his face." and the phrase on TV tonight. Matt and Allison are coming with us to the movies. Sentences written in passive voice can be a source of trouble. to get stuck. your reader will. (William Faulkner is renowned for layering modifiers in his sentences to produce great depth of meaning with little forward movement in the action of the story.. the matador stared at the bull. quiet as doves. Each sentence above has a similar problem: each sentence is unclear because of a problem with the connection between a modifier and the word the modifier is supposed to apply to. Such disconnects cause the reader to stumble a bit trying to follow the logic of the sentence. they are concerned with organizing their thoughts and developing their ideas rather than with correct grammatical expression of those ideas. i. Instead. disconnected modifiers happen because when writers put their ideas on paper or a computer screen. gaudy motionless and alert.” Typically. the one who performs the action of the sentence (Amanda “wants”). the subject." 130 . We will look at all of these scenarios next. Give it a try in the following sentence: Amanda wants to watch that new show on TV tonight. even experienced writers make sentence mistakes. Matt is coming with us to the movies along with Allison. While waiting for the bus. Revised to connect the modifiers to their logical subjects. also to modify "show" (telling us when the show is on). as with finding most any sentence level mistake.e. modifiers in a sentence add information to one of the elements in the core sentence.To make sure there would be enough for everyone. too. deadly as rattlesnakes. assume that faulty sentences are hidden there in the text. Scan each sentence to locate the core of the sentence: i. “Amanda” is the subject in this sentence. wild as deer. In the sentence above. and that you will need to engage in a seek-and-destroy mission to find them out. Don't assume that because you understand your ideas.. The sentence verb is “wants” (what the subject is doing). The direct object of the sentence is actually the whole phrase “to watch that new show on TV tonight. While I was waiting for the bus. How do problems with modifiers arise? Typically. the writer calls our attention to what Amanda wants to watch by adding several modifiers: the adjectives that and new to modify "show. experienced writers assume that their prose is going to need to be revised for correctness and that revision is a necessary part of writing." or sentences that begin with long modifiers. is to be suspicious of your own writing. the sentence verb(s). Consider the following sentence: "Calico-coated. The sweat pouring down his face. they huddled. there was a traffic accident right in front of me. though occasionally modifiers add information to other modifiers rather than to the core (see note below). these sentences are much easier to follow: To make sure there would be enough for everyone. with delicate legs and pink faces in which their mis-matched eyes rolled wild and subdued. The matador stared at the bull. calling attention to what the writer thinks is important or needs further description. as can sentences with limiters like "only" and "sometimes. However. And for this reason.e. small-bodied. and any direct or indirect objects so that any modifiers in the sentence become easy to identify. Paul ordered three pizzas. three pizzas were ordered.
Typical Trouble Spots • tapes. General transitional phrases like “in conclusion. concert in in the my mile car.Misplaced modifiers Things go wrong when modifiers are not well connected to their subjects. under.” The sentence is longer. Amanda wants to watch that new show. The opening modifier "when buying a new cell phone" suggests a person as the subject (people buy cell phones). it appears as if the writer is saying Amanda is on TV tonight. I have to say that I am not sure when I can come. Take a look at the following example: When buying a new cell phone. correcting this disconnect is “In response to your question about my coming to visit. As you come across the bridge.” “thus.” etc. Not so clear. The rule is that modifiers should be placed next to the word they modify. and the subject of the sentence is a person. Make sure that the phrase actually modifies the word next to it. Here are a few more examples of sentences with dangling modifiers and their possible solutions: My French improved dramatically by listening to the French language corrected: My French improved dramatically after I listened to the French language tapes. many factors should be considered. A better sentence. The modifier should be next to “new show” to make the sentence logical. consumers should consider many factors. there are two main towers corrected: As you come across the bridge. get rid of the phrase (often these phrases are unnecessary anyway) and rewrite the sentence another way. Such modifiers are said to be “dangling” because like a dangling thread in a blanket. 131 • . Dangling modifiers Another problem with modifiers arises when the modifier refers to a subject that is not actually named in the sentence.” “in terms of. and the rest of the sentence points to the writer’s thoughts about that letter. if not. For example. but much more logical. Here are a few more examples of misplaced modifiers: Isaac went to the REM corrected: Isaac went in my car to the REM concert. The sentence needs to be revised so that the modifier and the rest of the sentence fit together logically: corrected: When buying a new cell phone. race." That combination is not logical: factors do not buy cell phones. the modifier implies a person who makes a response.” the introductory phrase points vaguely to a letter.” “from what I can see. One source of trouble is misplacement of a modifier. and confusion results when modifiers are in another place in the sentence.” “regarding. are often used improperly. Watch out for shifts from active to passive voice between an opening modifier and the rest of the sentence. you pass Use of passive voice can lead to modifier problems (as in the last example in the previous section). Rochelle almost beat everyone in the class corrected: Rochelle beat almost everyone in the class in the mile race. Consider the above sentence with a modifier presented out of place: On TV tonight. right? With placement of the modifier “on TV tonight” next to Amanda. I don’t know when I will be coming to visit. in the sentence “In terms of your letter. the reader expects writers to follow the rule. the subject of the modifier in this sentence is “many factors. you pass under two main towers. they are not woven into the fabric of the sentence. however.
you will not even be able to tell that the stain was there. Rewrite each sentence below to correct any dangling or misplaced modifiers. Approaching the town from the ocean. revised paragraph into the text box. restaurant. Last summer while spending a few weeks in Wyoming. Be sure to check the subject implied by the modifier against the actual subject the modifier refers to. or Maria wants only a salad. Seattle is the most active. • Long modifiers at the beginning or end of a sentence can be a source of trouble. then run it through the dryer. doing nothing except enjoying the peace of the morning. Going out through the front door. When sleeping at night. 11. Consider the ambiguity in the sentence below: Wrong: Maria only wants Right: Only Maria wants a salad. Answer given: 4. 1914. correcting any dangling or misplaced modifiers. a expensive salad. After we rise and have coffee and eggs. Answer given: 3. Answer given: 5. Our mule brays out in the pen. You may prefer to copy and paste the paragraph into a word processor for editing and then paste the finished. When a few years old. The ocean breeze chilled us through. Answer given: 6. Answer given: Adapted from Lomer. Passing through the different cities. after having been in the heat in the city just a few hours earlier. 1. the annual rodeo was held. the family moved to Chatham. When I wake up in the morning. the kids laughing as they help their mother with the dishes are noticed for the first time. Wrong: Justin occasionally likes to go to a really Right: Occasionally. Justin likes to go to a really expensive restaurant. I often lie in bed for an hour. Answer given: 2.• Problems can arise with placement of limiting modifiers between subject and verb. 132 . the breeze gently enters through the numerous open windows. Answer given: 9. The Study and Practice of Writing English. the salaries should be identical. The birds sing somewhere deep in the forest. my fears went away. We cut down some of the trees making a path through the woods and built our cabin in a clearing about one mile from the main road. Houghton Mifflin. The cabin is snug and sound. Answer given: 10. When doing the same work. Answer given: Rewrite the following paragraph. When tucked into bed. Dickens' father was sent to prison for debt. a busy scene meets our eyes. Dickens always remembered this time as the happiest days of his life. Answer given: 7. A rug adds to the warmth of the cabin and also deadens the sound when walking around the room. Answer given: 8. When a boy. the first thing we see is the Patterson Diner. so many striking things about the forest are seen that it is difficult to determine what to attend to. Wash out your shirt with soap and cold water. till the sun is well above the horizon. Out of the dryer. And paying attention to the sounds immediately inside the house. Gerhard Richard.
our sentences should also be varied. and the mood behind our thoughts. or terse and even irritable. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. and was in conversation with her. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. compound sentences." Notice how he varies his sentences to create a distinctive mood: BENEATH the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood. and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures. Charlotte tried to console her. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. inquisitive and full of wonder. the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley. He walked away again immediately. was assembled a merry party of little folks. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. Coordination and Subordination Coordination: Coordination between clauses and between sentence verbs." allows writers to show thoughts or actions which follow one another. above which. and to use sentence variety effectively to communicate their thoughts to a reader: • • • • • coordination and subordination cumulative sentences length transitional expressions colons & semicolons Hawthorne. with a tall youth in the midst of them. To reflect this variety of thought. however. Take a look at the following passage by Nathanial Hawthorne from "Tanglewood Porch.Sentence Variety Objectives: Our thoughts. and of hearing that he was universally liked. rambling and reflective. Darcy. drawing the reader into the scene. on a gently sloping eminence. There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and comfortable world. Using sentence structures effectively to reflect our thoughts and feelings takes practice and and appreciation of how form relates to perception. can be quick and inspired. and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. They had planned a nutting expedition. students will learn to use the techniques below to create sentence variety in their writing. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. In this module. one fine autumnal morning. Nathanial. Subordination: 133 . and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes. His thoughts ebb and flow. As yet. (Hawthorne) Hawthorne uses a variety of sentence forms in this paragraph— periodic and loose sentences. without knowing what she did. complex sentences. "Tanglewood Porch. she accepted him. one by one." A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. for example with the coordinating conjunctions "and" and "so. the mansion stood. 1852. Notice how coordination is used in the following passage from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. that. to show a quick succession of events: She danced next with an officer.
They are rarely used in speech. and was in conversation with her. or set the stage for an action to occur. and arranged them in a glass pitcher. greatly irate at his downfall in the waltz. Pen. while she and Adam sat at breakfast there--came twinkling through the branches of the peartree. which made him look ridiculous in the eyes of the nation. and murmuring in a wonderful calm. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. she accepted him. possessing either scent or beauty. Darcy. Consider the following description of breakfast preparations in Nathanial Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables. (Austen) Subordinate clauses tend to slow down the forward momentum of actions or a sequence of ideas. general and specific versions of experience. 134 Prejudice. was endeavoring to get some coolness of body and temper by looking out of the window towards the sea. 1851. as English speakers typically prefer the loose sentence style. Nathanial. .--but what other guest did her cousin look for? (Hawthorne) In addition to subordinate clauses. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. which was sparkling in the distance. the twists and turns of cause and effect. having long ago lost its handle. and whilst Mr. How to Use Coordination and Subordination for Variety: For more information on writing sentences using coordination and subordination. Shortly after Strong had quitted the room. or the relationships of events in time. (Thackeray) The second sentence is an extreme example. and fell quite across the table. without knowing what she did. . . Pride and Hawthorne. He walked away again immediately. please read the lesson in the Coordination & Subordination module. The House of Seven Gables. how to use phrases is discussed in the sections on periodic and loose sentences. Take a look at the same passage from Pride and Prejudice used above. A chair and plate for Hepzibah. as in the following sentences: Without hesitating or looking back at his mom.Allows writers to show the connections between thoughts and events. Jason got on the bus. perhaps that he had acted in a very absurd and peevish manner during the night. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. and by Miss Amory's behavior to him. and of hearing that he was universally liked. All was now ready. The early sunshine--as fresh as that which peeped into Eve's bower. Hawthorne uses phrases to elaborate on the scene and slow the forward action. Periodic Sentences: Sometimes writers want to create suspense in writing. The reader looks forward to the fulfillment of an expectation. and so periodic sentences stand out in your writing. Austen. which had still further insulted his dignity. The sentence begins with a series of subordinate clauses and phrases that create the background information—the frame of mind of the main character—for the action that will occur:f "he felt a hand on his shoulder. for example. Adding phrases and/or subordinate clauses to the front of a sentence allows us to create this effect. 1813. that. but it is still correct grammar. Phoebe gathered some roses and a few other flowers. —he felt a hand on his shoulder . and owning to himself. noticing how the subordinate clauses slow down the actions and elaborate on the scene: By way of contributing what grace she could. was so much the fitter for a flower-vase. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. which. Jane. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind.—whilst he was really trying to compose himself. being about the length of a paragraph. They ask a reader to reflect on an idea or even in greater depth before moving on. There were chairs and plates for three." Use periodic sentences infrequently in your writing.--the same for Phoebe. this time noticing the subordinating conjunctions Austen uses to show the way events and thoughts are interconnected: She danced next with an officer. Charlotte tried to console her.
loose sentences are easy for readers to follow. suggests that some outside force is acting upon the subject. for example. Gabe walked up to the front of the class to give his presentation. and the invariable (for a fairly prosperous man) high hat. you can decide on the most effective placement. (Dreiser. haunted by the memory of his last. (Hawthorne. so as always. however. smooth head rather bald. 135 . Below are examples of loose sentences: I betook myself away. The History of Pendennis.—any store that ever received a penny of our money. light-colored frock-coats. a round. and then modifying phrases and clauses are tacked onto the end of the sentence. as in the following sentence: Slowly. It is useful to note that "ing" verbals indicate an action that is being performed by the subject. A verbal phrase includes a verb form—a verb ending in -ing or -ed that is not the sentence verb. like an exorcised spirit that had been driven from its old haunts. it is important to vary your patterns. Garnet Hill. so that sometimes I would not get that she was telling a joke until a minute or two after she told it. The Financier) How to Create a Loose Sentence: idea 1: repeat a word that was mentioned in the main clause as the beginning of a modifying phrase. "Haunted. unctuous. Hold Everything. indulging in flowered waistcoats. We receive dozens of catalogs every week from companies like Pottery Barn. hoping that today would be a better day than yesterday. The sentence verb in the main clause declares the action of the sentence. idea 3: use a verbal phrase. after a mighty struggle. and wandered up and down. a humor that was a bit satirical and a bit dry at times. perhaps. a clear. ruddy complexion. "running very fast" or "confused by the instructions. and so in written texts. A Blithedale Romance) He was a brother of Mrs. Loose Sentences Loose sentences are the opposite of periodic sentences: the main clause appears at the beginning of the sentence." These techniques are the same for modifiers used at the beginning of a sentence. with a big. Thackeray. She had a wonderful sense of humor. can get boring. five feet ten in height.How to Write a Periodic Sentence: Several techniques for creating modifiers are discussed in the next section on "Loose Sentences. idea 2: use a noun phrase to rename something discussed in the main clause and begin a modifier with this phrase. 1848.C. and what little hair he had of a sandy hue. causing the reader to refer back to the main point. She walked out the front door. Penney. J. round body. a memory. For example. Once you learn the techniques. verbal phrases add detail about what is happening during this action." We use verbal phrases to indicate simultaneous actions. Loose sentences are common in speech in English. "Hoping" happens while she walks out the door. etc." for example. Too many loose sentences in a row. blue eyes. Bed Bath and Beyond. William Makepeace. For example. long. for example. He was exceedingly well dressed according to standards prevailing in those days. Cowperwood's—Seneca Davis by name—solid. humiliating speech when he forgot half the material. and "ed" verbals indicate an action that happens to the subject.
forget it forever. his heart full of dread. Just remember. He remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. Prepositions such as "without. he summoned his courage and went to work. His mood took a turn for the worse.m. It is easy for readers get familiar with a sentence pattern. He walked out the front door without looking back. or suggesting simultaneous actions. Varying the length and style of sentences keeps readers awake. providing background information. and the repetition of a key word ("truths . The Hawthorne. . Some useful transitional expressions are shown below. She believed in being honest above all else. . as when one gets sleepy driving down an unvarying freeway late at night. He ate breakfast without appetite.m. John dressed slowly. This technique is very effective for refining ideas. . For example. Nathanial. We cleaned the house before picking up mom at the airport. such as "John woke at 6:00 a. 1852 Vary Length & Style Financier. the meeting that would decide if the company died or became successful beyond imagination. The modifying phrases allow the author to add information that fills in the scene. so familiar that they start falling asleep. Notice that Faulkner uses a verbal phrase ("leaving ." punctuate the sentence. temporal. The second paragraph ebbs and flows. Compare the above paragraph with the following one that uses a variety of sentence styles and sentence length: John woke at 6:00 a. He went to work full of dread. Here is an example of a loose sentence by Faulkner from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech: [A writer] must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and. Use Transitional Expressions Transitional expressions signify the relation between ideas.idea 4: use a prepositional phrase. idea 5: use a combination of phrases. Also note that the repetition is of a key word in the first modifying phrase rather than the main clause. as in the following example: John woke up at 6:00 a. Dreiser. explore the module on subordination. One pattern in particular—the simple sentence presented with few (or no) modifying phrases—can get really boring. the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice." "with. that the more space you devote to a topic." "after. teaching himself that. ") to begin a phrase. however. . Do not feel that you need to stop at one phrase if you have more to say. Hesitating at the door. as a drummer punctuates a drum rhythm. "). The Blithedale Romance. Suddenly. or logical relationships between ideas. he remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. 1912. either showing the subject's thoughts. And the short sentences. leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart. His mood took a turn for the worse. For more information. They can also help writers vary the opening structures of sentences." and "before" establish spatial. the more you tell your reader that it is important. Subordinating Conjunctions: 136 . He dressed slowly and ate breakfast without any appetite.m. Theodore.
first. Meanwhile the noble design spoke for itself upon the wall. despite. in the first place Consider the way subordinating conjunctions and sentences adverbs break up the subject first pattern in the following paragraph: He looked at us. For example. Jason took out the trash. after all. It is by his poetry that Milton is best known. Answer given: 137 . Soon. "Chiefly About War Matters by a Reasonable Man. for example. The crowd hurries toward home along the streets. consequently. stared at the bull. thus exemplification: for instance. Use at least one prepositional phrase. exception: however. before. as soon as. second. we admire Ariella. Megan blacked out. as. if. Answer given: 8. provided that. when Sentence Adverbs: effect: consequently. eventually. though. as long as. nevertheless. however. though outvoted. with keen and somewhat guarded eyes. similarly. in the first place. the matador stared at the bull. Answer given: 7. "Chiefly About War Matters") Hawthorne. Because she is loyal and brave. although. Nathanial. while. one verbal phrase. Deep red through the fog." might become "Hoping to end the fight quickly. except upon sure ground of observation. since. Answer given: 2. as long as. as only a man of true genius can speak of his own works. but only reserved). on the other hand. and talked about it unaffectedly." Relocate the modifying phrase(s) in each sentence. firstly. in the same way. so that concession: although. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the beginning of each of the following 5 sentences. Answer given: 4. indeed. as. The conversation ended. even though. as though condition: even though. Answer given: 9. afterward. His detractors. as if it were not his practice to vouchsafe any great warmth of greeting.cause: because. have not been silenced. the sun sets. (Hawthorne. on the whole time: meanwhile. shortly. 6. whenever. and Leutze allowed us to gaze at the cartoon of his great fresco. moreover summary: in sum. Answer given: 5. amplification: what is more. similarity: accordingly. white with snow. unless time: after." 1. Answer given: 3. Brian loved to sail. even though. hoping to end the fight quickly. "The matador. and one subordinate clause. though. even if. his look grew kindly and genial (not that it had ever been in the least degree repulsive. regardless addition: in addition.
10. Dorothy dropped her iPod. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the end of each of the following 5 sentences. Use at least one phrase beginning with the repetition of a key word from the main clause, one noun phrase renaming a subject or idea in the main clause, one verbal phrase, and one subordinate clause 11. She became angry. Answer given: 12. There was something else mingled with his pain. Answer given: 13. Our dreams do not really die. Answer given: 14. Fear can overcome the senses. Answer given: 15. The President spoke privately to the Vice President. Answer given: 7. Write a paragraph using good sentence variety on the following topic: Coping with Answer given: pain (or hardship, if you prefer).
Coordination & Subordination Objectives: To learn appropriate and effective use of coordinating and subordinating conjunctions to combine sentences, phrases, and words. To learn how to revise paragraphs for coherence, rhythm, and movement by combining sentences using coordination and subordination. Coordination and coordinating conjunctions... Coordinating conjunctions allow us to connect independent clauses of the same level of importance in a single sentence and avoid paragraphs composed of many short, repetitive simple sentences. Seven different coordinating conjunctions allow us to create distinct relationships between clauses: and (the most common coordinating conjunction), is used to combine two similar ideas together: The mechanic fixed the broken tail-light, and he replaced the brakes, too. Note that the above sentence could also be written as a single clause by leaving out the pronoun "he" and using the coordinating conjunction "and" to connect, or coordinate, the two verbs in the sentence as follows "The mechanic fixed the broken tail-light and replaced the brakes, too." A coordinating conjunction can connect words, phrases, and clauses. but is used to join two contrasting ideas together: I thought my tail-light was broken, but it was simply disconnected from the plug. yet is similar to "but," in that it is used to join two contrasting ideas; however, "yet" is used instead of "but" to really emphasize a contrast: She finally booked a trip to Paris, France, yet she only plans to stay four days. or joins two alternative ideas together: We can go out to dinner with my parents, or we can go to the movies with Mike and Sumi. 138
nor joins two negative alternatives together: My boyfriend does not want to go out to dinner with my parents, nor does he want to go the movies with Mike and Sumi. so is used to join clauses in a cause and effect relationship, and is similar in meaning to the subordinating conjunction "hence." Both words indicate an effect or result of something. However, "hence" has a more formal tone and subordinates one idea to the other, while "so" is more casual in tone and maintains equal importance of the clauses. At the ticket counter, Manny discovered he had forgotten our concert tickets, so we had to miss half the show while we went home to get them. for is also used to join clauses in a cause and effect relationship and indicates a reason why something happens. Thus, "for" is similar in meaning to "because," "as," or "since." However, "because," usually suggests that the reason is the most important part of the idea: "I got rid of my television because it was destroying my brain cells." "As" and "since" are usually used to show that the reason why something happened is not as important as the main clause, or that the reason is well-known already: "As you have a television and I don't, how about I come to your house to watch the NBA playoffs?" "For" is usually used to indicate that the reason is an afterthought, an idea that emerges once the first idea is stated. I hated listening to her talk, for she spoke in a high nasal voice. She refuses to admit she hates her boss, for she dislikes conflict with anyone. Coordination creates rhythm and balance, and improves coherence in a writer's sentences. Compare the following paragraphs to see how coordination improves the writing: The realities of the land and its inhabitants obviously color the fiction of any area, but there is also a literary style that thrives on exaggeration. The exaggerations of the Texan comprise a distinct body of folk material, but nowhere has exaggeration been more artfully cultivated than in contemporary fiction. (Max Apple, from his Introduction to Southwest Fiction, 1980). Without coordination: The realities of the land obviously color the fiction of any area. The realities of the people color the fiction as well. There is also a literary style that thrives on exaggeration. The exaggerations of the Texan comprise a distinct body of folk material. Nowhere has exaggeration been more artfully cultivated than in contemporary fiction. Coordination in a series... Coordinating conjunctions are also used to connect items in a series. These items can be phrases or single words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs). In any series the items must be parallel, or coordinate (like) items. For example, Mark brought steak, lettuce, tomatoes, and charcoal to our bar-b-que. To surprise her mom, Nellie washed the dishes, took out the trash, and vacuumed the living room. Michelle liked to eat well but hated to exercise. Coordination shows that each item in a series is of equal importance and similar structure. Coordination also makes the writing easy to follow; having read the first one or two items in a series, a reader assumes the writer will follow the established pattern until the conclusion of the sentence. Notice how coordination makes the sentences below easy to follow: Whether the chase involves a car, a horse, a wife, or a fortune, the quest itself often sbustitutes in Southwestern literature for the close observation of manners that is characteristic of a more settled society. And in the following example, notice how coordination is used effectively throughout the paragraph to develop the main idea that Southwestern fiction has its own peculiar "rhythms and cadences" influenced by Spanish culture: 139
The story is told in repetitious rhythms and cadences that are peculiar to the area. There is a touch of the Southern in this rhythm but the Southwest is, on the whole, remarkably separate from the literary territory of the South. The South has the Civil War and slavery as its unique heritage; the Southwestern motif is distinctly Spanish. The Indian occupies the tragic center of Southwestern history and fiction, but it is the Spanish culture that marks the area with its particular regionalism. Spanish words are a part of Southwestern language; Mexican food is almost as pervasive as pizza and hamburgers. "Remember the Alamo" is still the ringing phrase of the Southwest, and school children in Texas celebrate the victory over Mexico on San Jacinto Day, but the Mexican culture has not been destroyed. . . .(Max Apple, from his Introduction to Southwest Fiction, 1980). Subordination... A subordinate clause depends upon another clause, the independent clause, to complete its meaning. For this reason, the subordinate clause is sometimes called a "dependent" clause. The subordinate clause is identifiable by the presence of a subordinating conjunction such as after, although, before, once, and whenever, although there are many more to choose from. Each subordinating conjunction establishes a specific relationship between the clauses, often with subtle and important distinction. In addition, a subordinate clause can create movement and style in a piece of writing by directing the reader's attention ahead in anticipation of the main clause, as in the following sentence: Once Simone finishes the final exam, she will join us at the graduation party A subordinate clause can also direct the reader's attention backwards, as in this sentence: I ate the Col. Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken, extra crispy, for lunch, although my doctor recommends that I avoid fried food. This ebb and flow movement adds variety and emphasis, helping a writer get away from repetitive and boring sentences. Common subordinating conjunctions... Some common subordinating conjunctions are shown below and on the next few tabs, along a description of how they are used: Cause "Because," "as" and "since," can all be used to begin a clause giving the reason for something happening. However, subtle differences between these words should shape how you use them: "Because" should be used when the reason is the most important part of the sentence: I arrived late because I had a flat tire and had to call AAA to come and fix it. "As" and "since" are used when the reason has already been established: Since you don't like scary movies, then you probably shouldn't come with us to see Sawz. "So that" is used to indicate the effect or outcome of something: So that she wouldn't be late for work, she set her alarm clock for 6:00 a.m., giving her an extra half hour to get ready. 140
because, as, since
Subordinating conjunctions: concession and comparison...
Concession and Comparison "Though" is the most casual of these terms used to show contrast. Use "even though" when you want to show strong surprise (the word "even" adds emphasis and is used in combination with subordinators like "when," and "if") although, though, Even though the particular causes of global warming even though, as are not clear to me, I do understand the consequences. though "As though" is used to suggest that something is highly unlikely to happen, or should not even be considered reasonable. It is used in casual rather than formal writing: Gabriel asked me out last night, as though I had shown any interest in him at all. "As" is used to show similarities between things: as As sand falls through an hourglass, so fall the days of our lives. As a thesis is the controlling idea of an essay, a topic sentence is the controlling idea of a paragraph. "While"and "whereas" can both be used to show contrast, but not contradiction. For example, I have always liked the Rolling Stones, whereas T.J. only likes their old stuff. while, whereas While white wine is good with fish and chicken, red wine is better with meat. versus Though I like to go out to eat, I don't like to go to crowded restaurants. Subordinating conjunctions: condition
Condition even though, Each of these three subordinating conjunctions is used to though, indicate a contrasting condition. "Though" is the least although formal of the three. "Even though" means "despite that fact that" and is stronger than "though" and "although" in emphasizing a condition for something. 141
for something happening: as long as As long as you pay your own way. "As long as" is a slightly less formal version of "provided that. you are welcome to come along. (after "a. even if unless Place where wherever Time "After refers to an event or action that occurs after another event or action has occured. "Even if" points to particular conditions and means "whether or not. Even if you were rich. you will abide by my as soon as.means no matter where: "Wherever we went. It is usually used with verbs in the present tense to discuss a future conditional: We will meet at the soccer field." This subordinator is interesting in that it suggests a hypothetical situation as a condition. you are under arrest. long as "As soon as" is used to point to something that will happen upon the completion of something else: As soon as you finish your dinner. we could find a MacDonald's.Even though I am exhausted.. unless it is raining. "Unless" is used to specify a negative condition." Both subordinators are used to indicate a condition provided that.. 142 "Where" identifies the place ." . you may have desert. Subordinating conjunctions: place and time if. unless at the beginning of a clause describes a condition that would prevent something from happening. in other words. be sure and call to let me know you have arrived safely. "as long as" is used to emphasize a particular duration of time: As long as you live in this house. as rules. I have to study for my biology exam tonight. I would not go out with you. her head felt much better. Unless you can provide an alibi for your actions at 10:15 last night." then "b"): after After you arrive in Hawaii. After Angela took the ibuprofen.
"Whenever. while. It is not often used in introductory clauses: Bush said today that we will stay in Iraq till the war is won. I get a headache. If I need advice. (before "a" happens. "While. We often use "just" in combination with "when" and "as" to describe events happening simultaneously. You cannot watch television until you clean your room. "Until" means up to the time. you had better stop delivery on your newspaper. For example. my boss called to tell me the meeting was cancelled. 143 . he apologized profusely. I was home cleaning the house." "as. you get wiser.before "Before" refers to an event or action that must occur before another event or action can take place. I will be sure to visit you. when as." is used to indicate a repeated occurence of something when certain conditions arise. or almost simultaneously: Just as she turned to yell at him for knocking her groceries out of her arms. I will be sure and call you. "Till" is similar to "until. As I was printing out my notes for the meeting. till I didn't know who the bad guy was until the last scene of the movie. "As" and "when" are used to describe short events: The phone rang as I was on my way out the door." though less formal. until. Whenever I drink red wine. I was in the tub. "While" is used to emphasize long duration: While you were out celebrating. When you called. We also use "as" to show that one thing is the consequence of another: As you get older." and also sometimes "if" and "when. whenever When I am in Berkeley. "b" must occur) Before you leave for Hawaii. or until a certain event has taken place." and "when" indicate that things are happening simultaneously.
Note also that with "while" and "when. 144 ." it is perfectly correct to leave out the subject and the "to be" verb form. as in the following sentences: While walking the dog. where would you go and why? Answer given: Paragraphs Creating Unified Paragraphs In this module. students will learn to create unified paragraphs having strong topic sentences and supporting details that clearly relate to and develop the topic sentence. Students will also learn to revise their work to improve paragraph unity. Proofread your paragraphs before you press the "submit" button to ensure that you have used coordination and subordination to good advantage. Assignment Write a paragraph or two answering each question below using coordination and subordination to connect ideas effectively and create good rhythm in your writing. he listens to his iPod. Mrs. Thompson likes to knit when travelling on the train. Why are you in college? Answer given: What would you like to do after you finish school? Answer given: If you could go anywhere for summer vacation this year.
it is easy to fall into the sequence trap. Transitional expressions and patterns of development. I go into a small living room with a fireplace which almost always is vacant. such as comparison and contrast. the dining room rarely is used. Coherence must also be created between paragraphs to help the reader make the transition from one paragraph to the next. it is easy to slip into plot summary. and describes what he observes there. Every night the family eats dinner at the round wooden kitchen table where I usually notice a lingering scent of vanilla candles. a paragraph is the communication of a single assertion or thought. This paragraph lacks a controlling idea. or viewing movies in the family room. Completeness: (or development) Enough specific supporting detail should be provided in the paragraph to make the controlling idea convincing. They are unsure how long a paragraph should be. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Development Module. In narrative paragraphs. in the adjacent family room. Writers should select the type of details—description. A small hallway connects the dining room to a laundry room and one car garage where I occasionally notice my aunt loading laundry into the washer or dryer. etc. when one paragraph should end and the next one begin. and a new thought begins. For further instruction on paragraph coherence. for example. In descriptive paragraphs. often is perched on the couch begging for food or running around. watching MTV. or paragraphs in which a writer tells the story of events. Rules govern the organization and development of paragraphs and provide useful checkpoints for revision: Unity: All sentences in a paragraph must be unified around a central point or controlling idea. A kitchen and large formal dining room are adjacent to the family room. Coherence: Sentences in a paragraph should progress logically to develop the controlling idea. then this" of the story being analyzed. but it is difficult to tell what we are to make of these observations. a descriptive paragraph that needs work for unity (the controlling idea is underlined): 145 . the problem is similar: a writer may get caught up in describing aspects of something without having a sense of purpose. I also regularly find my cousins playing computer games. Unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs Creating unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs can be difficult. I frequently notice my aunt and uncle seated on one of their tan leather couches watching the news or Comedy Central.—that best illustrates the controlling idea. then this" structure without any real point or purpose other than moving through events. narration. This controlling idea is usually declared in a topic sentence. A new paragraph begins when one thought is fully developed. cause and effect. Peanut. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Coherence Module. In a literature analysis essay. wherein the writer focuses on a "this. What should the reader pay attention to? What is important here? It is the writer's job to create clear direction. The family’s Jack Russell Terrier. In brief. The writer narrates his entry into his aunt and uncle's home. Take a look at an example of a narrative and a descriptive paragraph that need work for unity: a narrative paragraph that needs work for unity: As I enter my aunt and uncle’s house. recounting the "this.What is a paragraph? Many beginning writers are not exactly sure what a paragraph should look like. and what logic controls the clustering of sentences together in a paragraph. comparison and contrast. For further instruction on paragraph development. help create coherence. However. instead of focusing on how aspects of the story support an interpretation. Supporting sentences contribute information to help the reader see the validity of the controlling idea. with enough detail or explanation to make that thought clear to a reader. Like the living room.
The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. doesn't quite meet the expectations created by the topic sentence. the paragraph is not unified. this idea does not fit. take a look at a few strong. and have a museum added. The topic sentence does not really lead the reader to expect this content. or reshape the controlling idea here. Sentence Unfortunately. the reader would expect the rest of the paragraph to be about what (little) the City of Novato has done to preserve the old Novato train station. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. The first supporting sentence does support the main idea. and so meets the reader's expectations.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. With the recent failure of “Measure R. however. The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. unified narrative and descriptive paragraphs.The City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. the train station would be refurbished. The writer may choose to write another paragraph about why the site should be preserved. each supporting sentence is analyzed in detail for how it does (or does not) support the controlling idea of the paragraph. and have a museum added. The writer focuses on a rationale for why the City of Novato should preserve the site. a description of the state of disrepair of the train station would also be appropriate. but as is. However. Even though the idea here is closely related to the controlling idea of the paragraph this sentence does not belong in this paragraph. With the recent failure of “Measure R. In the table below. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. the train station would be refurbished. it is beyond the scope of the controlling idea. 146 . Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. in this paragraph. Discussion Given the controlling idea as stated in the topic sentence. Now. Speculating about what might bring about change is probably a worthwhile thing to do in this essay.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. The author describes the neglected site. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. the City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. This second supporting sentence. Practice this process of analyzing each and every sentence in a paragraph to help you identify sentences that break the unity of your own paragraphs.
and conclusion. the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument. The reduction in income caused the sale of my first home and initiated the cycle of unrest in my father. Without logical progression of thought. etc. and baggage cars. He had no time to be with his family. sleeper cars. and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. Answer given: 1. You learn behavior by experience—like don’t fool around with the ticket packet—let them do it. concise. towels. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. as Ward Cleaver did. Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Write a unified descriptive paragraph about a local park. Find out what is free in your car (drinks. Eventually. body. 1. Write a unified narrative paragraph about a time you turned out to be wrong about someone. Alternatively. the analysis of cause and effect. Everyone has an address. Answer given: 2. evaluate evidence. the stress and strain of running two companies and trying to have a family caused him to sell the businesses and return to retail. Always tip. Assignment Use the techniques for creating good paragraph unity that you have learned in this module to write paragraphs on the topics below. 147 . etc. His home was a place he stored his stuff. Figure out who you can ask for what. If the student does not master this portion of the essay. Write a unified paragraph about the problems caused by giving kids cell phones before they are teenagers. Clear and logical transitions between the introduction. Instead. pillows. lounge cars. Answer given: The Expository Essay What is an Expository Essay? The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea. newspapers. or a scene at a local event. my father found himself sleeping through the moments he was home.a unified narrative paragraph: The home [my father] provided his family was not truly his. you may choose to write a paragraph about why Spring Break should remain a part of the Spring semester schedule in college (assume you are writing to a school board that would like to do away with Spring Break). Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats. downtown street scene. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast. it is your seat or compartment number. Fill out your meal card when you sit down in the dining car. a place he went when he wasn’t working. and the structure will collapse. example. There is a hierarchy of staffing—just like a government.) Wear shoes or lose a toe. You may choose to write the paragraphs on a word processor and then copy and paste your finished work into the text boxes below. such as a farmer's market. dining cars. and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. And so forth. definition. The cars are the city blocks. engines. The train has its own culture and rules. a unified descriptive paragraph: The train is like a small town on wheels. it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. expound on the idea. The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following: A clear.
Remember. This is. Exposition.Body paragraphs that include evidential support. If it sounds straightforward. Although these genres. Therefore. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. also known as the modes of discourse. there would be a beginning. A bit of creativity! Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing. exposition. students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation. the method consists of: 1. though you may not be crafting the next great novel. a conclusion Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. in fact. and logically so. Narration. or anecdotal). you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. 148 . If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. an introductory paragraph 2. synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay. In fact. however. such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. narration. Allen Brizee. statistical. that is because it is. It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point. logical. three evidentiary body paragraphs 3. Evidential support (whether factual. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. Often times. What is more. rather. Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis. it is an art form nonetheless. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. We hope these resources will help. but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore. therefore. have been criticized by some composition scholars. This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. it must be effective and logical. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. and end to the conversation. the expository essay must be complete. such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. middle.
Sample argumentative essay A few decades ago, many families had half a dozen or more children.Nowadays,more and more families are choosing to have only one or two children. Are smaller families better than larger ones? Why or why not? State your position and support it with specific reasons and examples. I grew up in a large family—I am the oldest of six—and I have many wonderful memories from my childhood. I am very close to most of my siblings and I treasure my relationships with them. But when I have my own family someday, it won’t be as big as the one I grew up in. As much as my large family was full of love, and as much as I learned about sharing, giving, and patience, I think having too many kids puts too much pressure on the parents, both in terms of time and money, and on the oldest children. When I think back on my childhood, I remember playing with my siblings or grandparents. I don’t remember spending a whole lot of time with my mother and father. They were always around, but they were always busy. My mother was always cooking, cleaning, nursing, changing a diaper, shopping, or taking someone to baseball practice, and my father was always working. He needed overtime whenever he could get it, and weekends were always full of projects around the house. Money was also a constant worry for my family. With so many children, our budget was always tight. Back-to-school shopping was always a stressful time; we all wanted the latest fashions, but we could only get a few things. My younger siblings lived in hand-me-downs. We shopped at bargain stores and often got clothes that we didn’t really like because they were on sale. Our house always needed repairs, and there was never enough money to keep up. Another problem with large families is that the older siblings always end up being babysitters. Like it or not (and most of the time I didn’t like it), I had to watch my younger brothers and sisters. At age six, I could change a diaper like a pro. I was getting my brothers and sisters dressed, giving them breakfast, helping them get ready for bed. I don’t want to give the impression that I didn’t have a happy childhood. I most definitely did; I was loved as much as my parents could love me, and I had wonderful fun with my brothers and sisters. But I always wanted a little more time with Mom and Dad, and I often resented having so much responsibility. I wished my mom wasn’t always so tired and my dad didn’t have to work so much. Because I want to be there more for my kids, because I want them to be kids throughout their childhood, I plan to have a much smaller family.
The Descriptive Essay What is a Descriptive Essay? The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe an object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal of which is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader). One might benefit from keeping in mind this simple maxim: If the reader is unable to clearly form an impression of the thing that you are describing, try, try again! Here are some guidelines for writing a descriptive essay: Take time to brainstorm 149
If your instructor asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you jot down some ideas before you begin describing it. For instance, if you choose pizza, you might start by writing down a few words: sauce, cheese, crust, pepperoni, sausage, spices, hot, melted, etc. Once you have written down some words, you can begin by compiling descriptive lists for each one. Use clear and concise language. This means that words are chosen carefully, particularly for their relevancy in relation to that which you are intending to describe. Choose vivid language. Why use ‘horse’ when you can choose ‘stallion’? Why not use ‘tempestuous’ instead of ‘violent’? Or why not ‘miserly’ in place of ‘cheap’? Such choices form a firmer image in the mind of the reader and often times offer nuanced meanings that serve better one’s purpose. Use your senses! Remember, if you are describing something, you need to be appealing to the senses of the reader. Explain how the thing smelled, felt, sounded, tasted, or looked. Embellish the moment with senses. What were you thinking?! If you can describe emotions or feelings related to your topic, you will connect with the reader on a deeper level. Many have felt crushing loss in their lives, or ecstatic joy, or mild complacency. Tap into this emotional reservoir in order to achieve your full descriptive potential. Leave the reader with a clear impression. One of your goals is to evoke a strong sense of familiarity and appreciation in the reader. If your reader can walk away from the essay craving the very pizza you just described, you are on your way to writing effective descriptive essays. Be organized! It is easy to fall into an incoherent rambling of emotions and senses when writing a descriptive essay. However, you must strive to present an organized and logical description if the reader is to come away from the essay with a cogent sense of what it is you are attempting to describe. Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker, Allen Brizee.
This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description, Narration, Exposition, Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres, also known as the modes of discourse, have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. We hope these resources will help. The Narrative Essay What is a Narrative Essay? When writing a narrative essay, one might think of it as telling a story. These essays are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal—allowing the student to express herself in a creative and, quite often, moving way. Here are some guidelines for writing a narrative essay: 150
If written as a story, the essay should include all the parts of a story. This means that you must include an introduction, plot, characters, setting, climax, and conclusion. When would a narrative essay not be written as a story? A good example of this is when an instructor asks a student to write a book report. Obviously, this would not necessarily follow the pattern of a story and would focus on providing an informative narrative for the reader. The essay should have a purpose. Make a point! Think of this as the thesis of your story. If there is not point to what you are narrating, why narrate it at all? The essay should be written from a clear point of view. It is quite common for narrative essays to be written from the standpoint of the author; however, this is not the sole perspective to be considered. Creativity in narrative essays often times manifests itself in the form of authorial perspective. Use clear and concise language throughout the essay. Much like the descriptive essay, narrative essays are effective when the language is carefully, particularly, and artfully chosen. Use specific language to evoke specific emotions and senses in the reader. The use of the first person pronoun ‘I’ is welcomed. Do not abuse this guideline! Though it is welcomed it is not necessary—nor should it be overused for lack of clearer diction. As always, be organized! Have a clear introduction that sets the tone for the remainder of the essay. Do not leave the reader guessing about the purpose of your narrative. Remember, you are in control of the essay, so guide it where you desire (just make sure your audience can follow your lead). Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker, Allen Brizee.
This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description, Narration, Exposition, Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres, also known as the modes of discourse, have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. We hope these resources will help. The Argumentative Essay What is an Argumentative Essay? The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic, collect, generate, and evaluate evidence, and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner. Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, 151
detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the GED or GRE. Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that s/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning. The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following: A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important (exigence) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion. Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section. Body paragraphs that include evidential support. Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis (warrant). However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date. Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal). The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided. It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and 152
Hawaii truly is a paradise.logical. however. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. middle. In fact. sparkling sea. Consider these openings lines from three different essays about Hawaii. This is. the method consists of 1) an introductory paragraph 2) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and 3) a conclusion. Longer Argumentative Essays Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point.. The very first job before you in an essay is to capture your reader's interest and attention. İntroductions Opening Lines. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. rather. it is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. Without a concrete image or idea. review the main points. sources of information and their credibility. and end to the conversation. there would be a beginning.. palm trees. Restate why the topic is important. More than 6 million people visit Hawaii each year. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. in fact. The third introduction is also effective because of the element of surprise: the author provides a concrete and interesting statistic about the level of tourism that suggests one conclusion. and review your thesis. With so many tourists on such a small land mass. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. In the case of Hawaii. Readers are asked to picture themselves in the scene. the sun warming your weightless body. the travel brochures do not lie: Hawaii is paradise. that Hawaii would be too crowded for a satisfying vacation. If it sounds straightforward. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. but then surprises the reader by suggesting that in spite of this problem. Therefore. synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. The second introduction is far more effective at creating interest because of the numerous sensory and concrete details. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. 153 . readers will rarely make a strong connection with the topic. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. perfect weather. a vast array of wildlife. and logically so. it would seem that any pleasures to be had at Hawaii's beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts would be spoiled by overcrowding. The first introduction is the least interesting because it offers so many broad generalizations. This is the picture of a typical day in Hawaii. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment. and a mixture of cultures. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic. But this is not the case. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. Which lines do the best job of capturing your interest? The tropical islands of Hawaii are known for beautiful sandy beaches. tropical fruits. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. the argumentative essay must be complete. that is because it is. as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. The reader is engaged by the promise of unexpected and surprising information in the essay to follow. Hawaii can still be paradise. and so are called upon to engage deeply with the topic at hand.
or kids arguing. Hollywood films like "Waikiki Wedding" featuring scenes shot on location. and then assert a new approach or direction for your essay. That said. "Traveling is a fool's paradise. if only temporarily. An analogy: 154 . Although 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year.How do you go about writing an introduction that is going to get your reader's attention? To start. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. shaping them to your own purposes: A short anecdote: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. drew thousands more tourists to the growing number of hotels along Waikiki Beach. And since you know your own idea intimately. but also distractions. An interesting fact or statistic: This technique is used above. under what conditions will my reader pick up this essay? Imagine your reader having a general interest in your topic. like the freedom Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. it is possible to go to Hawaii and feel like you are way off the beaten path. You need to break through these distractions by providing a compelling reason to read. "Since the beginning of time. And by the 1940's. Broad generalities merely distract the reader and postpone what is really important in the essay (for example. Hawaii is the number one American tourist destination. in a short trip to Hawaii. Today. A question or several questions to be answered in the essay: Why would anyone want to spend their hard-earned money on a Hawaiian vacation? Definition of a key term in your essay: Avoid dictionary dictionary definitions! This method is over-used in the college essay. Don't include background material that does not have a direct bearing on your topic. and nothing to do but to enjoy the beauty and bounty of life and each other. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. Ask yourself. In the early days. More than 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. A concession: Start with a commonly held belief or opinion. Try for a more extended definition that is keyed into your essay topic. Relevant background material: Be careful here. Paradise for many of us in the 21st century is having freedom from care and worry. put yourself in the place of your reader. sparkling sea." He was wrong. try to capture for your reader what drew you in and made you passionate about this topic. Hawaii is anything but indifferent. or loud music next door." or "Throughout American history") Hawaii has been a popular tourist destination since the 1920's. such as laundry needing to be done. there are a few specific strategies that you may adopt. A short narrative: This technique is also used above. tourists travelled to Hawaii aboard steamships to experience first hand the romantic beauty that had been popularized in Hawaiian songs of the teens. the sun warming your weightless body. Paradise can be found.
. Others prefer their vacations to be more like the ride on a ferris wheel. If. The reader takes in your words in the thesis and says. but others do not (e. Some writers find a clear question keeps them focused as they are developing their ideas. but I will do the best I can. Given the thesis below (or something similar). on the other hand. Of course. examine it carefully for the language in your thesis statement because the language will determine what you can do in your essay from here on out.Don't begin with a huge generalization like "Throughout history civilizations have grown and died.Don't over use rhetorical questions. the writer settles on a focusing question. write an introduction using an interesting quote to draw the reader in.. Some essays naturally fall into clear and equal divisions (e.g. where the joy of the ride comes more from the scenery and new vistas." You will have to take too many steps to get from such a broad generalization to your specific argument.. stay within your topic area. ." the reader will expect to be shown why Hawaii is a great place for families to take a vacation. and little time to catch one's breath.. San Answer given: Francisco is 155 a great city. but you could not include a discussion of why Hawaii is a paradise in this essay because such a discussion is outside the scope of the thesis. Statements like "As I was exploring ideas for this topic. "Life without my husband was going to be difficult. In addition to capturing the reader's interest and establishing the topic of your essay.. Once you have your thesis.Some people desire a vacation to be like a non-stop rollercoaster ride." detrract from your topic by redirecting the emphasis to you and your methods. ok. What not to do.. If you say.Don't feel you must describe the structure of your essay in your thesis (unless your instructor requires such description). with this second thesis.. If you like working with rhetorical questions to help you stay focused. A thesis is a promise. the introduction should focus the reader's attention on what you will be arguing in the essay itself about your topic... .") Assignment 1. than from heart-pounding new experiences. Instead.. Moving into your thesis. show me. and/or you could describe the many different activities for families on the Hawaiian Islands. instead of going the extra distance to figure out what the argument actually is. "Why is their such an obesity epidemic in America?" The answer to this question makes a much stronger thesis: "The obesity epidemic in this country has several causes.... "It is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. "There are three good methods for strengthening the body after muscle injury").g." the reader will expect to be shown how one can experience paradise in Hawaii. be sure to turn that question into a statement in your final draft." "I am no expert on . between you and the reader. you could compare Hawaii to other destinations as family vacation spots. or within a theme tightly connected to your thesis. your thesis is "Hawaii is a wonderful place for a family vacation. you still have options for development with any thesis.. . Instructors don't much like them because they are a often a kind of cop out. . .Don't describe your writing or thinking process. for example." On the other hand a rhetorical question is actually a good focusing device for a draft.. showing why Hawaii is the better choice." or "Words are not enough to really explain... for example. or contract.. but the worst is our fast-food culture. The argument is typically captured in a single sentence we call the "thesis sentence. full of excitement with a new thrill around every turn. for example." The diagram (right) helps illustrate the way an introduction should focus the reader's thought: The thesis as a promise.
or the next Great American Novel. you should be able to do the following: • • • analyze writing assignments for meaning use prewriting techniques and other strategies to discover and shape a topic generate and revise thesis statements for effectiveness 156 . Objectives By the end of this unit. 4. and how to focus on a central theme or thesis (a specific. Whatever the writing task. The truth is. Thesis Development Discovering and Developing a thesis: Overview Love notes.2. e-mail to friends. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. Given the thesis below (or something similar). San Answer given: Francisco is a great city. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. sooner or later. essays for class. job-related documents. Given the thesis below (or something similar). Answer given: 3. write a conclusion in which you look to the future or provide an analogy. Although they may experience the rest of that process in different ways. virtually all writers encounter these kinds of questions: What will I write about? How can I get past my “writer’s block”? What can I do when I’ve run out of things to say How should I organize my ideas? What’s the best way to get my point across? As writers gain experience in working through such questions. Relationships demand a lot of work. given that you did not actually write the essay). By learning how to discover a topic worth writing about. given that you did not actually write the essay). write an introduction using a short narrative or useful background material to draw the reader in. Relationships are a lot of work... or as best you can. write a conclusion posing a question or challenging your reader to action. how to gather ideas to write about. or as best you can. Given the thesis below (or something similar). identifying the purpose and audience is the first step in the writing process for most writers. you’ll gain confidence in your ability to handle the writing tasks that come your way in college and in the rest of your life. most come to recognize this activity as part of the process of finding and shaping their ideas—not as evidence that they can’t write. significant idea). even successful writers often use these kinds of questions as a strategy for guiding and evaluating their progress at various points in the writing process.
giving examples from the story. those students who have paid close attention to the ideas and language in the reading. etc. students often worry about "what the teacher wants. analogies demonstrate to make clear through reasoning recommend to present as worthy of acceptance analyze synthesize to separate into constituent parts in order to determine the critical features of the whole to combine elements into a meaningful whole 157 ..) in terms of their differences to present reasons for or against something to make clear through examples. or We have read several essays on global warming by various scientists and global leaders. places. Support your thesis by discussing examples of Faulkner's characterization techniques. to talk over to hold up to make something clear to make clear the meaning of a word or term to examine two or more objects (people. describe Emily's character.) in terms of their likenesses to examine two or more objects (people." as well as "support" the argument with evidence. Support your argument with evidence from the readings. There is almost never a "right" answer a teacher is looking for in an essay. what the teacher most often wants is to hear what the student has learned. In the above assignment on "A Rose for Emily. the instructor asks students to "take a stand.." for example.Analyzing Writing Assignments for Meaning ." "discuss. "support. and who pay close attention to the language of the assignment." In the second essay assignment. Where do you stand? Write an essay of 1500 words in which you define the problem of global warming and recommend solutions. After receiving assignments like these." and "give examples. and how the student's thinking has evolved based on the reading. the causes. Below are typical action verbs used in writing assignments and their definitions: describe narrate discuss support explain define compare contrast argue illustrate to represent by providing a picture (with language) to tell a story to consider or examine. the actions are "describe. Action verbs are key in writing assignments: what the instructor actually wants a student to do is carried in the verbs. etc." "define a problem" and "recommend solutions. on the other hand. and the solutions. Most students write their first essays in response to an instructor's assignment. In a 1000 word essay. will generally write better essays. places. A typical assignment in an English class looks something like this: In his short story "A Rose for Emily. These authors have different takes on the severity of the problem." William Faulkner uses many techniques of characterization to paint a portrait of the title character." Frankly.
idly. . you may end up with some material that you can actually use in the essay itself. but little idea about what it all means. You may be surprised at the ideas you come up with. and often say that they end up jotting down their best ideas on gum wrappers and napkins. . and more connected to one's own voice. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. After clustering. however.com) freewriting: Writing non-stop about whatever comes to mind. clustering: Clustering emphasizes the relationships between ideas and is useful in exploring various angles on a topic. whether you are a beginner or a professional writer.. These prewriting techniques are described in detail below: brainstorming: Simply tossing around ideas. 158 . Using Prewriting Techniques and Other Strategies to Discover and Shape a Topic. one ends up with categories of information on a particular topic. how much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my hands on a pen).. in that one writes non-stop. you may have a pretty good sense at the outset of how Faulkner describes Emily. until you find a groove and ideas start to flow. Focused freewriting is similar to freewriting. Also be sure that your thesis is narrow enough or broad enough to develop in an essay that fits the instructor's word count requirement. I didn't have a functioning pen with me. There is even a term for a severe form of being stuck: writer's block.apply to put to use Take the time to reflect on the language in the assignment itself to determine what it is your instructor actually wants you to do. I think. What can you do about it? There are several techniques for getting going. and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one. To my immense frustration. (j. and all the details bubbled up in my brain. you're stuck. The point of all of the strategies. rather than sitting down at a desk "to write. The search engine "clusty. Plus. And one of the most difficult parts of writing is finding what you want to say. Given the assignment on global warming above. Many writers use this technique for developing ideas. brainstorming. When the topic is up to you . etc. K. Rowling tells of how a long. on the computer or on paper. getting unstuck: freewriting. a student might use clustering to compare the readings on particular topics of discussion.k. I think that perhaps if I had had to slow down the ideas so that I could capture them on paper I might have stifled some of them (although sometimes I do wonder. in traffic. Make sure that you understand how much freedom you really have. either in one's head. then jotting down a few key ideas that may be useful. clustering is quite useful. bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me. is the same: to let words flow freely on the assumption that out of this unpressured writing will come an idea. these ideas having arrived when they were just musing about things. —Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith It isn't easy to write an essay. listing. Freewriting is particularly effective in making writing seem more natural and familiar. or in discussion with a friend. But feeling stuck is a normal part of the writing process. but the topic is defined. Focused freewriting is effective when one has a topic but is unsure about what one wants to say about that topic. for four (delayed train) hours. and this scrawny. clustering. because I simply sat and thought. For students who are trying to decide the angle to take on a particular topic. There's nothing to writing. now. Given the "Rose for Emily" assignment above. on a long car ride. that this was probably a good thing. black-haired. Write a tentative thesis on a piece of paper and run it by your instructor during office hours. And so." Try brainstorming about an assignment when you have nothing else to occupy your mind: in a waiting line.com" will even cluster most any topic for you. J.rowling. In a brief biography on her website . boring train ride led her to develop the story of Harry Potter: I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before.
in an unordered list.For example. Mr. Take a look at the variety of angles on global warming that professional writers have come up with. at least one thing seems constant: the sun. It is a bit like shorthand freewriting and is quite useful to students having trouble putting pen to paper. Washington Post.. The next step is to decide what you will say about your topic. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. Generating and Revising Thesis Statements for Effectiveness. . Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community 159 . Also important is the language of the assignment: if your instructor asks you to "describe." "illustrate. a search on "bananas" brings up the following clusters—some of them useful. and the prewriting techniques described in the previous section will help you here. which Mr. 2006. Generating a thesis statement: The first step in developing a thesis is defining a topic. October 9." or "explain. That statement. lies. as you see it. and determining where the truth. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC." Richard S. some of them a bit odd: • • • • • • • children recipes plantains tropics plants film comedy listing: is simply writing down key words and phrases on a topic. As mentioned above. Could such tiny fluctuations be responsible for changes in climate? from "Don't Believe the Hype: Al Gore is wrong. WSJ." Naomi Oreskes. It's time to lay that misapprehension to rest. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. . There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason.. July 2. Many angles on a given topic are possible. We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it. which range from nine to 14 years. December 26. or you may have the freedom to define a topic for yourself.com. What exactly is this debate that Mr. Thesis statements are underlined: from "Undeniable Global Warming. But satellite measurements show that our local star dims and brightens slightly in concert with sunspot cycles.". finding one that works for you is just a matter of analyzing your evidence and your assignment. this topic may be defined for you by your instructor. 2005: In the debate over global warming. Lindzen. There's no "consensus" on global warming." your thesis should reflect this purpose. 2004: Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change.) from "Setting the Record Straight: Blame the sun?" Seattle Times.
one that does not need more than a paragraph of support: It was hard to call a ship home. Subordinate clauses are attached to the main clause via a subordinating conjunction. But is the “American Dream” really such a dream? What does it really cost us to achieve that dream. but don't worry too much about the exact sentence structure until you revise your essay. Richard Lindzen. in drafting her article. because when a writer is unsure about direction." And Naomi Oreskes. age of parents. Some of the most common problems are described below: weak argument: When the argument is weak." may well have started with a working thesis like "Contrary to what Al Gore says. The key words should be there which focus your work. the thesis focuses on a seemingly insignificant or minor point. . may well have begun with "scientists do agree that global warming is occurring.that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over. helping you to focus on your reader's needs). multiple directions: The language of the thesis suggests that the writer will explore several topics. but the connection between these topics is not clear: TV families often confront issues such as gender. in drafting his article. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. unity problems. and not with the specific content of the argument. which is really concerned with drawing the reader into the argument. Every good essay begins with an argument: something the author believes to be true and worth proving. . but a statement of what you will argue in the essay. problems with a thesis lead to big problems in the essay: lack of focus. rewriting the sentence to include a subordinate clause might help (see our module on coordination/subordination for more detail." A working thesis is not a perfectly refined piece of writing. nor do you need to write your introduction. Common Thesis Statement Problems: A solid thesis is the foundation of a good essay. and a list of subordinating conjunctions). and these 160 . it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. and even sentence-level problems. Unfortunately. "Don't believe the hype. ready to be read by a reader. development problems. and is that price worth it? Revising Your Thesis: When your thesis lacks clarity. A much stronger tactic is to turn that question into a statement (though the question may work quite well as working thesis. the content suffers on all levels. but after living on the ship for three years. no argument: A thesis that states a topic without an angle on that topic is just information. there has been no debate among scientists about global warming. thesis as a question: Instructors frown on this strategy for beginning an essay. it became difficult to think of it as anything else. A reader wonders what is the point? What does the writer want me to think about this situation? The qualities and the atmosphere of the two households can be very different based on various factors like age of kids. and circumstances of the times they grew up in. A working thesis: You do not need to worry about finding the perfect langauge for your thesis before you begin writing your essay.
for example. we feel there is no justice in the universe.conjunctions identify specific relationships between ideas. you can just cut them out. . and not three or four things. . our belief that something is true or right is not proof that it is right. they do not reflect the real day to day problems American families face. the subordinator can give you a sense of what you want to do in the essay. Other human beings. prove to others that our truths are valid truths." "I will first. however. Arugments in written form have been around since ancient Greece. such as for a newspaper or magazine. All of us have had an encounter with a policy or practice that seems to go dead against what we know to be right. If the thesis appears to be going in many directions. the subordinator "because" suggests the writer will be concerned with the causes for something. however." The content of the essay will not need to be dramatically altered. and in writing for a popular audience. Providence protect me from fool as adversary. . the subordinator "if" suggess the writer will be concerned with conditions for something happening. a more subtle approach is called for. calls conviction prejudice prejudice —Phyllis McGinley come. Fortunately." actually takes attention away from the argument itself and weakens your voice in the essay. don't draw a map for development unless your teacher requires it. a common thread is found between the seemingly disparate topics of the original version: the topic becomes "how well TV sitcoms succeed at being real. or no God to ensure that there is good in the world. repairing these mapping statements is easy. Revise your thesis so that you are proving just one thing. and then. for the most part. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. and so we must argue. do not necessarily see truth and righteousness as we do. . See if the content of your thesis might actually fit under a broader umbrella. 161 . Argumentative essays When Though May The Whose Where Who And blithe to argument I armed with facts. . In such moments. An argument is an attempt to convince others of a truth as we perceive it. say one thing. the reader will not be able to follow you (you probably won't stay focused as you write the essay either). it is the angle on the content that shifts—how the writer spins the content. essay structures are often pragmatic. In these disciplines. revised thesis: Even though contemporary TV sitcoms try to be real by confronting social problems such as ethnic stereotyping and gender inequality. Sometimes. we expect arguments to have particular features: a claim. but in the humanities. As much as we would have it be otherwise. Some instructors will ask for a map. and merry. A thesis that begins with a phrase like "In this essay I will argue. Consider the revision of the problematic thesis below: original thesis: TV families often confront issues such as gender. particularly in the biological or social sciences. In the revision. " or "I hope to show that. and so today. mind to him a kingdom is reason lacks dominion. designed so that information can be processed quickly. . opinion.
all studies agree that pollution is a problem. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. The broader your claim is. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars. what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does 162 . and a conclusion. the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. students will learn to construct a strong argument that has these features. First. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. a refutation of opposing arguments. In other words. First. The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start. in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. Objectives: In this module students will learn to • • • • state a clear claim provide convincing evidence to support a claim refute opposing arguments write a strong conclusion Developing Strong Thesis Statements The Thesis statement or main claim must be debatable An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In this module. should be paying to limit pollution. not the government. the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. Still others could argue that corporations. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. Further. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money.evidence to support a claim. Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. This thesis statement is not debatable. the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use. or all uses of medication in general? Second. recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes).
Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Example: What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal. yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge on the topic. Claims about value: These are claims made about what something is worth. This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national antipollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus. Qualifiers such as "typically. This is a much more manageable topic. and the context of your paper. Example: Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption.the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. your audience. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above. is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of you broader topic. This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution." "usually." or "on average" also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule. Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to 163 . and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence. long-term cycles of climate change." "generally. such as researching renewable energy sources. Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person. Narrowed debatable thesis 2: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars because it would allow most citizens to contribute to national efforts and care about the outcome. or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example: The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase. researching renewable energy sources. In this example the the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way: Narrowed debatable thesis 1: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on helping upgrade business to clean technologies. in other words what type of claim you want to make. Types of Claims Claims typically fall into one of four categories. how we would rate or categorize something. thing. whether we value it or not. Example: Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be.
periodicals. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia. Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. your sources must be reliable. which are collaboratively developed by users. Karl Stolley. or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes. Karl Stolley. however. and websites. government program or department. surveys. What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience. credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written. they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. unless the site is associated with a reputable institution such as a respected university. accurate. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to use. experiments. Regardless of what type of sources you use. or well-known non-governmental organizations. objective view of a topic? Or is the author advocating one specific view of a topic? Who is funding the research or writing of this source? A source written from a particular point of view may be credible. Second hand research is research you are getting from various texts that has been supplied and compiled by others such as books. While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information. Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined. need to be much more current. a credible media outlet.) How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources. you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate. sources on information technologies. Is the author presenting a neutral. they must be credible. How do I know if a source is credible? You can ask the following questions to determine if a source is credible: Who is the author? Credible sources are written by authors respected their fields of study. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. Weida. (This is also a good way to find more sources for your own research. the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research.utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper! Contributors:Stacy Summary: Using Research and Evidence What type of evidence should I use? There are two types of evidence: First hand research is research you have conducted yourself such as interviews. Responsible. and trustworthy. or personal experience and anecdotes. In other words. such as Time or Newsweek. you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown. 164 . Because anyone can add or change content. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be.
produces 90 percent fewer harmful emissions than a comparable gasoline engine. which still encourages a culture of driving even if it cuts down on pollution. or for people who must commute to work. The Toulmin Method of logic is a common and easy to use formula for organizing an argument. Rebuttal: While mass transit is an environmentally sound idea that should be encouraged. include the opposing side as a counterclaim. it is not feasible in many rural and suburban areas. as opposed to industry produced. the nation should focus on building and encouraging use of mass transit systems. Data: Evidence gathered to support the claim. Data 2: Each vehicle produced is going to stay on the road for roughly 12 to 15 years. made by Toyota.Organizing Your Argument How can I effectively present my argument? Use an organizational structure that arranges the argument in a way that will make sense to the reader. Find out what the other side is saying and respond to it within your own argument. Counterclaim: A claim that negates or disagrees with the thesis/claim. Rebuttal: Evidence that negates or disagrees with the counterclaim. air pollution switching to hybrid cars should have an impact on fighting pollution. This is important so that the audience is not swayed by weak. Including a well thought out warrant or bridge is essential to writing a good argumentative essay or paper. Warrant 3: This combination of technologies means that less pollution is produced. but unrefuted. Warrant 2: Cars generally have a long lifespan. Warrant (also referred to as a bridge): Explanation of why or how the data supports the claim. Including counterclaims allows you to find common ground with more of your readers. Instead. You may want to include several counterclaims to show that you have thoroughly researched the topic. 165 . It also makes you look more credible because you appear to be knowledgeable about the entirety of the debate rather than just being biased or uniformed. The basic format for the Toulmin Method is as follows: Claim: The overall thesis the writer will argue for. the underlying assumption that connects your data to your claim. According to ineedtoknow. Warrant 1:Because cars are the largest source of private. Backing (also referred to as the foundation): Additional logic or reasoning that may be necessary to support the warrant. thus hybrid cars are a better solution for much of the nation's population. arguments." Counterclaim: Instead of focusing on cars. Don't avoid the opposing side of an argument.org "the hybrid engine of the Prius. Example: Claim: Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution. Data1:Driving a private car is a typical citizen's most air polluting activity. Data 3: Hybrid cars combine a gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor. If you present data to your audience without explaining how it supports your thesis they may not make a connection between the two or they may draw different conclusions. meaning that a decision to switch to a hybrid car will make a long-term impact on pollution levels.
hunger. Also. Example: Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffee producers. X. So. basically equating A and Z. Logos Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason. so we should not ban Hummers. then eventually through a series of small steps. or persuasive strategies. Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. the facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population. so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well. or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on. In this example the author is equating banning Hummers with banning all cars. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. that genetically modified seeds have been problematic everywhere. if we don't want Z to occur A must not be allowed to occur either... The generalization you start with must have been based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. Logos often depends on the use of inductive or deductive reasoning. C. Y. In other words. Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them. and a decline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced. so there is no reason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds are introduced in Mexico. talk to the professor. and from this draws the more localized or specific conclusion that Mexico will be affected in the same way. watch out for these slips in other people's arguments. used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. In this example the author is basing their evaluation of the entire course on only one class. and possibly even examine the textbook. Karl Stolley. In this example the author starts with a large claim. Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case. 166 . Because these agreements have worked the author concludes that it could work for other farmers as well. In this example the specific case of fair trade agreements with coffee producers is being used as the starting point for the claim. Example: Even though it's only the first day. and on the first day which is notoriously boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses. Inductive reasoning must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. which is not the same thing.Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case. I can tell this is going to be a boring course. too. In other words. Avoid Logical Fallacies These are some common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Slippery slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens. Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion There are three types of rhetorical appeals. Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars. you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts. Z will happen..Example: Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty.. through B. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend several classes.
There is no reason. In this example the author equates being a "true American. or worth. But the very conclusion that should be proved. nature. is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as "filthy and polluting. or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed to prove either half of the sentence. Example: Green Peace's strategies aren't effective because they are all dirty. or better community planning to discourage daily driving. a flu bug that had been working on the body for days. that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use. Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want. 167 .' Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick." a concept that people want to be associated with. the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group. yet the author ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleaner technology. Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. to assume the water caused the person to be sick. so the water must have made me sick. In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car. In this example the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused the second. particularly in a time of war. lazy hippies. In this example the conclusion that Bush is a "good communicator" and the evidence used to prove it "he speaks effectively" are basically the same idea. without more evidence. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before. Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments.Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connection between the two. much less evaluate those strategies on their merits. idea. car sharing systems for necessities and emergencies. breaking down complex problems." Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it. Example: George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively. Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. Example: The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler's army. In this example where two choices are presented as the only options. or a chemical spill across campus. religion. Instead. Specific evidence such as using everyday language. Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism. Example: We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth. In this example the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested. Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. institute. or theory determine its character. democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand. Genetic Fallacy: A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person.
this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument. the livelihood of those catching fish. Most of the time. • Pathos Pathos. Ethos Ethos or the ethical appeal is based on the character. appeals to an audience's needs. "The difference between exposition and argument is the difference between peace and war. and emotional sensibilities. Argument emphasizes reason. While one issue may effect the other. or emotional appeal. As Arlo Bates writes in Talks on Writing English (1894). most general to most detailed example. Establish common ground with your audience.Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues. Making a Claim A "claim" is like a thesis for an essay in that it is a promise to the reader about what will be supported or proved in the essay. etc. but used properly there is often a place for emotion as well. Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe. Emotional appeals can use sources such as interviews and individual stories to paint a more legitimate and moving picture of reality or illuminate the truth." In an argument. If appropriate for the assignment. disclose why you are interested in this topic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic. often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them. Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately. Organize your argument in a logical. not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. but what will fishers do to support their families. it does not mean we should ignore possible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a few individuals. values. a claim is usually a stronger and often more emotional proposition that a thesis in an expository essay. An argument should never use emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people. For example. Only use an emotional appeal if it truly supports the claim you are making. earliest to most recent example. however. You can use the Toulmin method of logic or a simple pattern such as chronological order. There are many ways to establish good character and credibility as an author: • • • • • Use only credible. easy to follow manner. credibility. Proofread the argument. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt on your character as a writer. the writer is 168 . In this example the author switches the discussion away from the safety of the food and talks instead about an economic issue. telling the story of a single child who has been abused may make for a more persuasive argument than simply the number of children abused each year because it would give a human face to the numbers. or reliability of the writer. reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly.
great or small.". the reader will never accept the writer's claim. What exactly is this debate that Mr. but . In using quotes and paraphrase effectively. If there is to be any hope of resolving these issues. Otherwise. because it does not deal with his fundamental belief that human personhood begins at conception.. the reader knows what to expect in the essay that will follow." etc. is true. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Similarly.. a student might write a case study of an individual with Parkinson's to show how devastating the disease is. Then. you risk appearing unsure of yourself. If you let others speak for you. Refuting Opposing Arguments If one fights a battle in an argument. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. Sometimes writers like to "do away with the opposition" right away after the opening paragraph and then get into the position that the writer wants the reader to adopt in the rest of the essay. Without solid support. your opposition will come away from the essay with a lot of "Yes. and writes to convince those who disagree to change their minds. . Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. articles by medical groups that promote stem cell research are not helpful. Evidence In argument. however. Note the way the authors respond to opposing arguments: Cal Thomas' article against stem cell research. we must debate when 169 . . however. Take a look at the following claims that set up argument essays: We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it. Who you side with can go a long way to establishing the validity of your argument. That statement. which Mr.is not particularly useful. in your own writing you can discuss these arguments with phrases like "While . there is an opposition that must be dealt with. on real lives. Anecdotal evidence & Case Studies: Though case studies are not very effective if a study is the only evidence one has (not a large enough sample to be valid). . you show that you have done your research and that you are able to distinguish expert from amateur authorities. not to hide behind these quotes. It is not effective to write an argument without acknowledging opposing arguments and showing why those arguments are not valid. Mr. ." or "X would seem like the answer. A good way to handle opposing arguments is to look for what makes sense in the argument—find something you can agree with—and then find where the position falls apart. . there are many problems with this position. however. . . evidence is key. In each of these essays. In an essay on Parkinson's Disease and the importance of stem cell research to find a cure. well explained. . With this clarity established up front. Below are examples of the kinds of evidence that you might use to build a strong argument. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. Take a look at the following arguments for an against stem cell research. such studies can be very effective in showing readers the way more abstract or general principles have an effect in the real world. " thoughts. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over. Read the module on Working with Sources for more help with using sources in your writing. Cite authority on a topic: quotations from experts used to back up (not replace) your points work very well. Be very careful. because they do not touch on their fundamental belief that embryos are not human persons. the author makes a strong and clear claim at the beginning of the essay. They work especially well as a complement to anecdotal or narrative examples to support an argument. . . Cite statistics or research: Often solid research findings or statistics can complement a more theoretical argument. or fails to be substantial enough to support a particular position..generally ready for disagreement.
Ad Hominem: "against the man" or "against the person. Since person A is doing it (believes it). It is obvious he feels devastated by what he has done. It might be useful to print these out and have them handy when checking your work." (Religious Tolerance) Audience It is very important to understand one's audience when making an argument. B was caused by A. immigration policies. is controversial. Damnation of your soul is completed with the first one. even a topic outside of the field of expertise. because of this. once you decide to become a child-killer. then abortion. stem cell research. a bit of humor.human personhood begins. (Religious Tolerance) ". in order to know how to talk to the reader. I will not be eating there anymore. It is useful to know what these fallacies are so that you can check your own work to ensure that it is free from logical fallacies. therefore. or conversely. A writer needs to try and empathize with the reader. man." False Dilemma: Occurs when two options are suggested." Post Hoc: means "after this. Why should we punish him unfairly?" Bandwagon Appeal: Peer pressure. in-vitro fertilization." In other words. passionate angle. Below is a list of the most common logical fallacies. "Just look at this poor man. to avoid using too many terms the reader does not understand. I think old people. everything he has to say about anything. such as abortion rights. genetically modified foods. don't like to go to the movies." 170 . or a more serious." Hasty Generalization: occurs when a general conclusion is drawn from too small a sample: "Margaret is over eighty and she hates going to the movies now.. their ages no longer matter. and what it would be best to talk about. is true. or we die tomorrow. Or the numbers. and also to check the arguments made by others for errors in logic. If we can reach a near consensus on this. to understand the reader's biases and concerns. For example. Begging the Question: A fallacy in which the conclusion is claimed as being true in the premise: "God exists because the bible says he exists and the bible was written by God.it is ridiculous for people who have already decided that it is moral to kill babies in the womb to show some squeamishness about destroying human embryos in a petri dish." Appeal to Authority: Suggests that because someone is an expert (or claims to be) on something. generally. Would an objective. it is the assumption becuase B follows A. Logical Fallacies Logical fallacies are logical mistakes that fall into particular categories. stem cell research and other debates will neatly resolve themselves. For example. particular when the issue. when others may be available: "Either we do away with the automobile now. we all should do it (believe it). it is important to know the knowledge level of one's audience in order to not waste time defining terms the reader already knows. Tone is a factor as well with readers: Would the reader respond to a more lighthearted tone. scholarly tone work best? The answer depends largely on who one is writing to. "Brittney got sick right after eating at the Bon Thai. Appeal to Emotion: This is an attempt to persuade by soliciting an emotional response such as pity or sympathy rather than evidence. In addition.. Hell.
" "she. forceful effect. as stories. to find relevance in that incident. writers must dredge up details which will make the incident real for readers. the narrative approach. more than any other. writers first need to select an incident worthy of writing about and. the writer should keep three principles in mind. men. should include these story conventions: a plot. keep the following conventions in mind. Remember to involve readers in the story. third person ("he. it can concern the writer. and enhance the story. Comparison/Contrast Essays Though there are many little. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage. explain. 2. To do this. a dominant impression. 1. Finally. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole. • • • Narratives are generally written in the first person. you are going to end up in debt!" Narrative Essays As a mode of expository writing." or "it") can also be used. second. Conventions of Narrative Essays In writing your narrative essay. women. offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. in the United States. including setting and characters. Narratives rely on concrete. a climax. writers might ask themselves what about the incident provided new insights or awareness. Find a generalization which the story supports. there are also major ones that destroy vast areas and take many lives. using "I. or children of various ages and backgrounds." However.Slippery Slope Argument: Assumes that doing one thing will automatically lead to doing other things: "If you get a credit card. details must be carefully selected to support. sensory details to convey their point. More information on sensory details is available. In this stage. These details should create a unified. We all have experiences lodged in our memories which are worthy of sharing with readers. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it. that is. 3. Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story. and an ending. almost unnoticeable earthquakes that happen all the time. very 171 . Narratives. Principles of Writing Narrative Essays Once an incident is chosen. Two of them happened here.
so comparing and contrasting the unfamiliar with the familiar is one of the most important techniques for writing. almost any kind of writing. to make an argument -. their magnitudes are different. and around 7 billion dollars to repair the Loma Prieta quake. there are also some not as well-know differences. We can really understand only those things that are familiar to us or similar to things we already understand. The name of this fault line is the San Andreas Fault line.757 injured.000 injured. and are caused by the San Andreas Fault line. The epicenter for both of these earthquakes was the Northern segment of the San Andreas Fault line.close to each other. These types of earthquakes are life changing. two ideas. When they are comparing and contrasting. usually not for the better. along with the obvious ones like the date and location. Both earthquakes toppled buildings and houses. but the San Francisco earthquake might have taken a little less money to repair. Both of them very destructive and had major impacts on society. buildings and lives. like corsets and footbinding. Obviously. Even though they both happened on the same fault. you show their differences. runs across different parts of California. over 3.8. and about 3. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are two of these majorly destructive earthquakes. these earthquakes are similar in some ways that you may not have known. but the Loma Prieta earthquake was weaker. This is because the fault line. and probably do. In the San Francisco earthquake. They destroyed many houses. These were very life changing events to anyone that was in either one of them or that had family in them. use comparison and contrast to describe things. for example. Both of these even though caused major damage. to analyze things. the number of people killed was also different. When you compare things. at about 7. The San Francisco earthquake and the Loma Prieta earthquake have may differences. This segment runs from Hollister. It taught people how to be prepared when there is a major earthquake. Both of these earthquakes are horrible disasters. Along with the strength of the earthquakes.5 billion dollars to make repairs for the San Francisco quake. In the Loma Prieta earthquake. It was very costly to pay for the repairs that were to be made due to the damage. The San Francisco earthquake was around a 7. you show their similarities. through the Santa Cruz Mountains.1.000 people were killed and about 225. you can never be too prepared. only about 63 people were killed. on which both the earthquakes occurred. Both of these earthquakes also had subsequent fires. most writers structure their essays one of four ways. Though these quakes are both very different. in fact. Both of these powerful earthquakes happened in California. properties. and the Loma Prieta Earthquake happened in 1989. when you contrast things. there is also some good that came out of this. they also have many surprising similarities. It took 6. to define things. First off. But.7. lasted under a minute. 172 . Now scientists have more education about how to build earthquake proof buildings and bridges. the San Francisco earthquake happened in 1906.25 magnitude. the dates are different.to do. Most earthquakes in the United States tend to occur in California. You can.
First A: point 1 (plus support) Then B: point 1 (plus support) Then A: point 2 (plus support) Then B: point 2 (plus support) Then A: point 3 (plus support) Then B: point 3 (plus support) ►Guidelines for a Successful Comparison-Contrast Essay: . Comparison and Contrast Essays A comparison and contrast essay may discuss only similarities.Subtopics should be discussed in the same order in both parts. . . The essay may be organised in one of two patterns. First compare.Compare according to a single organized idea. then do the other. Review the two patterns below carefully. Present one point about A. This pattern tends to work better for shorter papers. take note of the following guidelines: .Subtopics in Part II should generally include reminders of the point made about the same subtopic in Part I.Choose a method of development that works well with your organizing idea. noting the differences in structure that each presents.Choose items that are related in some way so they can be compared or contrasted. both comparison and contrast is used. only differences. First do one idea. 3. . and then present parallel information about B. Use this pattern when you have only two principal similarities or differences. . but mixing patterns is not. This pattern tends to work better for long papers and those with many subtopics.Use transitional words or phrases to help the reader understand the similarities and differences in your subject. To insure unity. ►Pattern A: The Block Method. Only compare or only contrast. and give the reader the final ‘so what’ of the major similarities and/or differences that you discussed. First: All of A: Second: All of B: point 1 (plus support) point 1 (plus support) point 2 (plus support) point 2 (plus support) point 3 (plus support) point 3 (plus support) The danger built into Pattern A is that the writer can end up with two separate essays instead of one unified comparison and contrast essay. 2. Either is acceptable. .Each subtopic in Part I must also be discussed in Part II. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. but more often than not. Present all the information about A.Conclude your paper by restating your thesis. and those with few subtopics It can be used when you have three or more principal similarities or differences.Give equal treatment to both elements that you are discussing . Move to the next point.Use specific and relevant examples for support. then contrast (or vice versa). and do the same thing.1. . . ►Pattern B: The Point-by-Point Method. and then go to the parallel point about B. ►Outlines of Sample Essays: 173 . summarizing the main points. 4.
dogs need baths. 4 Unlike cats. Point 2: Cats can exercise by themselves. cats make more convenient pets. 1: Cats can clean themselves. For a more detailed list of transitions. introduction Corsets and footbinding are similar.. Para. 5 Cats do not require training. 3 Cats can exercise by themselves. whereas) emphasise the distinction being made between cats and dogs. 2: In contrast to cats. I. IV. Point-by-Point Method Outline: Point 1: Para. II. Point 3: Para. dogs must be trained. corsetry and footbinding) being compared and contrasted. Point 3: Whereas cats need no training. Corsets and footbinding are different. dogs need baths. First compare. III. dogs must be walked regularly. unlike. then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different. Point 2: Para. This method is probably the one used most commonly. dogs must be trained. see the Transition Signals handout in the Writing Centre.Thesis: Although dogs are often called man’s best friend.g. dogs must be walked regularly. conclusion A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. then contrast (or vice versa). This structure focuses on the comparison and contrast instead of on the two ideas (e. 174 . Point 3: Cats do not require training. Point 2: Unlike cats. Para. Block Method Outline: Part A Point 1: Cats can clean themselves. Note that the transitions used in each outline (in contrast to. Para. Part B Point 1: In contrast to cats. 6 Whereas cats need no training. Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding.
conclusion A quick outline that compares and contrasts only relevant aspects of corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. If you begin with the comparison. to write an essay that treats only the similarities or differences between ideas. This method is probably the one most students try first. 1. introduction similarities (or differences) differences (or similarities) conclusion A quick outline that treats first corsets and then footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. The similarities and differences between the ideas do not begin to emerge until the writer gets to the second idea. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by taking important specific elements and looking at their similarities and differences. then do the other. A comparison/contrast essay like this one would probably focus only on those elements of the ideas that are explicitly comparable or contrasting. of course. but many evolve past it into something more flexible.the logical movement is from thinking about similarities to thinking about differences. then the contrast will get emphasis . It is always possible. introduction element #1 element #2 element #3 . 3. This method requires real control over your subject. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. If you begin by contrasting the ideas (and then move toward a comparison). Writers might compare and contrast ideas by treating one idea thoroughly before taking up the second one. 175 . the similarities get emphasis.. First do one idea.Clearly. 2.. the sequence is important. Only compare or only contrast. instead of corsetry and footbinding to each other. A structure like this one seems more focused on the ideas being compared and contrasted than on the comparison and contrast itself. It is as if the writer is comparing and contrasting (for example) footbinding to corsetry.
o o Other.with what they should. comparison/contrast is also useful as a technique • • to structure a paragraph to work within other techniques or modes o to define a complex idea (by comparing to something similar and contrasting it with its opposite) to think about one thing in terms of another (like the present in terms of the past or the past in terms of the future or humans in terms of primates) to make an argument. Writers who only contrast ideas sometimes briefly summarize similarities in the conclusion so they don't leave the impression that they are thinking in opposites. o Comparison/contrast is useful for more than an essay topic. related concepts to think about and places to look Analogical and metaphorical language: like and as Using lists in your writing: parallelism An Overview of the Writing Process Developing an Introduction Conclusions Essay Organization: The Flow Chart Approach Paragraph Development When Do I Begin a New Paragraph Cohesion Brainstorming Focused Freewriting Invention Questions for Argument and Persuasion Invention Questions for Writing about Cause and Effect Invention Questions for Comparing and Contrasting The various rhetorical modes and types of writing Narrative Description Definition Process Description Reaction Papers 176 .o Writers who only compare two ideas sometimes briefly mention the contrast in the introduction and then move on so that they don't lead readers to think they can't make relevant distinctions. Many teachers assign topics that ask writers to write an essay comparing and contrasting two or more ideas. but besides its value in organizing an essay. first describing what people shouldn't do and then ending .with a bang! .
Footbinding o o o Earliest references. though most people imagine tight-lacing and footbinding were limited to the upper class. 1. Survival rates and the effects on health. Our misconceptions about class -. 177 .Abstract of a report or an article Summary of an article or a book Literary Essay Return to the discussion of how comparison and contrast can be used beyond structure for an essay. 1. when women were looking at the possibilities of real contributions to the political debate. and into the 20th. Both practiced by women of all classes. Corsets and footbinding are similar o o o Both practiced in the far past. 1880s and 1890s. Introduction 2. Dress Reform movement. 3. o o 3. Corsets trivialized by everybody since the end of the dress reform movement. Both practiced by women on women.women plowing fields in mud up to their ankles. Corsetry o o o o o o Practiced in Sumaria. o 4. Corsets and footbinding are different o o Chinese culture is radically different from that of western Europe and America. Crete. millennia ago. Effects on health: tight-lacing vs stays. A quick outline of how a paper treating one topic and then the other might look. through the 19th century. Henri II's queen: 15-inch waist with the help of the King's armorer. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Both restrict women's movement and impair health. Women laced corsets. both enhance man's value in the culture to be responsible for women who were too delicate to work. only most extreme cases of tightlacing did permanent damage. focus in Western world. Corsetry not exactly the same as tight-lacing. A quick outline of how a paper comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding might look. To use Veblen's argument. Introduction 2. Every Chinese woman so bound was deformed for life. women bound feet.
how women whose feet had been bound couldn't really unbind. and disappeared into the night with a fellow conspirator. A quick outline of how a paper treating only comparable and contrasting elements might look. an actor named John Wilkes Booth. but broke his leg when he leaped from the president’s box seat to the stage. 6. 10. Lasting into 20th century. at four o’clock in the morning. Cultural movements against tight-lacing and footbinding. Effects on women's health. Simone de Beauvior saw some. 7. Mudd knew nothing about the assassination of the president. 8. Mudd On the night of April 14. 11. Life magazine's photos. Economic and cultural value of a helpless female to a powerful male. Before anybody could stop him. o o 4. When the government made it illegal. D. slipped into the presidential box and shot the president. 178 . Dr. most women. 9. Five hours later. mounted a waiting horse. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Restrictions on women's movements. Extreme cases vs. Conclusion Narrative essays The Story of Dr.o Any girl whose female relatives thought she might be able to marry up would bind her feet. In the middle of the performance. 1865—five days after the Civil War ended—President Abraham Lincoln was attending the theater in Washington. 1. Women's contributions to their own weakening. 4. 5. Booth and his companion arrived at the home of Samuel Mudd. a doctor living in southern Maryland. Eastern and western cultures. 3. seeking to avenge the defeat of the South. he limped out the back door.C. Socio-economic class and tight-lacing and footbinding. Also. Introduction 2. Booth escaped the theater. Acting as any doctor would with a stranger in distress.
5.” and treated him very badly. But the military courts. The military courts wanted someone to pay for Lincoln’s death. –PRETEST– 5 Because of this merciful act. Good Doc Gone Bad. Mudd insisted that he knew nothing of the plot. she secured a pardon for him—for a crime he never committed. A Prison Abandoned. Today. the one-time prison is accessible to visitors as part of Dry Tortugas National Park. He helped Booth assassinate Lincoln. Fort Jefferson was abandoned. sentenced the unfortunate doctor to life imprisonment. using false names. What was the cause of Dr. his wife was working heroically back in Washington for her husband’s cause. Dr. these pests spread yellow fever germs to prisoners and guards alike. Dr. He had to fight the disease. d. What sort of doctor was Dr. Mudd was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson. Mudd returned to Maryland to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. he worked hard to fight the disease. even after he was infected himself. Mudd’s release. an island fortress about 120 miles west of the southern tip of Florida. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. Mudd’s conviction? a. An alternative title for this passage might be a. Mudd volunteered his services. Soon after Dr. angry at the president’s death. When the fever struck. humid climate was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. and tried on the charge that he was a friend of Booth’s and therefore helped plan the assassination. Questions 4. The next morning. Lincoln’s Assassination. Mudd? 179 . He lied to the military courts. The warm. b. 6. paid the bill and departed. taken to Washington. c. An Unfair Trial for a Fair Man. After a four-year struggle. Dr. He helped Booth get away. b. Dr. Meanwhile. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. c. In spite of the fact that the guards and other inmates called him “that Lincoln murderer. d. Mudd was arrested.he set the leg and persuaded the two travelers to stay in his house for the rest of the night. Dr. because he was the only doctor on the island. Again and again. Booth and his friend.
g. 1. the point you have stated in your topic sentence. unfeeling 7. comparison and contrast: The method of development that you choose shou!cl be the one that will most effectively put across the point that you want to make. the topic and the kind of reader you have in view. When a writer gives examples he helps the I reader to understand a rather difficult and abstract generalization which may be contained in the topic sentence. Read this sentence from the essay. greedy. The different meihods of paragraph developme~lt can be considered in terms of two broad categories: i) those which stay strictly within the scope of the topic. Summing up: This is done by stating that there is a common bond between man and other creatures. 2. come in contact with animals in one way or another and have to deal with them. he was forced to by the prison warden. e. there was no one else to treat the sick prisoners. c. careless. Example 3 (Development of a paragraph by illustration) 180 . he thought it would help get him a pardon. definition. caring c. illustration. depending on your purpose. Let's first look at this illustration. I 1 Giving examples is one of the easiest ways of developing of topic. We often introduce examples of illustrations by using expressions like for example. There are no rules about the kind of development to be adopted in any writing situation.g. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. etc. Now. Now look at the paragraph given under example 1 again.a. that you can combine more than one technique in composing a paragraph. He is also able to persuade the reader that the generalization is correct'because there are examples to support it. wherever they live and whatever their occupation. however. Examples also add to the reader's interest. an example. generous. Mudd fought the yellow fever outbreak at Fort Jefferson because a. Dr. money-hungry d. read example 3 given below. cold-hearted. Let us analyse the paragraph. ILLUSTRATION In order to develop the central theme of a paragraph.e. Examples given to develop the paragraph: i) the hunter ii) the farmer iii) ihe fisherman iv) the city-dweller 3. by the technique of illiustration. although some topics lend themselves more readily to certain kin$ of development than they do to other kinds. ii) techniques which itlvolve a second topic: e. sloppy b. This can be done in a number of ways. d. Topic sentence: The vast majority of people. You will notice that this paragraph is developed mainly by adding examples. and cause and effect. It must be realized. he didn’t want to get sick himself. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. 8. you have to expand the idea contained in the topic sentence. description. It is an example of the development of a paragraph by using the technique of illustration. b. i. for instance.
the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how birds sing without instruction.. iii) ................. but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification........ instinct: ways of behaviour which are not based on learning or thinking............ will take to Development of hunting.................. v) . each example should be logically related to your main idea.............. It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for... for example. hears or touches something.. it gets in his way and seems more of a hindrance than a help until his parents show him what to do with it..... ....g........... B............ For example.) :able to keep the temperature of the body rather high whetner the outside temperature is high or low in credible : to a degree that is difficult to believe I seal: a large fish-eating animal living mostly on cool seacoasts and floating ice sea lion: a type of seal found in the Pacific Ocean and having large ears flipper: a limp of certain large sea animals with a flat edge used for swimming adept (adj....... and only attain perfection in their art in course oftime".. ii) ..... if deprived of their spinnerets............. When you write a paragraph where you have to give examples to support your topic sentence. Insects.................. but are there from birth.. ................ e. a bird flies by instinct...... Thousands'of yeung seals and young sea lions are drowned every year.. ... "begin by making quite primitive little webs.....g columns in the manner shown here: Names of Animals Skills to be developed i) Young birds and bats learn to fly...................): highly skilled hindrance (n): something that prevents an activity reflex: an action or movement of the body which happens by itself when one sees.ed) The Natural Hisrocl of Nonsense.. Read the paragraph again and fill in the fo1lowi1.... you remove your finger on touching something hot.......... . for they improve their talents with practice............. indeed seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes. iv ' ........) ! i ........! Glossary warm-blooded(adj....... Ana!yse this paragraph.... Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly.... I....... Ir?c.... Young spiders....... 181 ....... Base yourself on the analysis done for Example I in 10 lines................. but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species. and older spiders............. vi> .......... They never learn to swim naturally.................... ....... you should keep in mind that there should be enough examples to support your point.. .. Paragraphs (From Evans...... Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners......... Alfred A Knopf.All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first..... What are the topic sentences in this paragraph? 2. modification: change web: a net of thin threads spun by the spider spinneret: an organ of certain spiders which produces a silky thread used in spinning a web Check Your Progress 3 This exercise will help you to understand how the paragraph has been developed...
you can follow any of these patterns.. which causes D. the results of' their helplessness and how they become self-sufficient. 6. but there may also be a chain of causes going back into the past. of deforestation. You may trace a chain of events in which A is the cause oPB. etc. a daughter's rebelling against her father and leaving home may have an apparent immediate cause. all contributing to the same result. i. By far the greatest cause of erosion. For example. You may discuss one or more causal connections between events. the organization is predetermined. and so on.. But sometimes the reasons or causes may be parallel.4 CAUSE AND EFFECT Besides using illustration to develop the topic of your paragraph you may in some cases need to use the technique of cause and effect.) the examples should represent a reasonable cross section of the group you are dealing with. and A in turn by B. Usually your topic will determine it. Millions of years in the future. or the effects or consequence of taking drugs.. Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth. We often have occasions in our lives to ask "Why did it happen" or "What will happen if. frost which causes small cracks on rock sides. you face the problem of arranging them in a significant order.each example should be developed with interesting details. Thus. if the main event is caused by A. When you work with several causes or reasons. there are likely to be many causes. Rainwater fallin: on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. Cause Analysing the cause can be quite a complex task. is the action of water on rocks. (Adapted from Geogrpl~yby Dougal Dixon. You may. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it.?' and then try to find the cause or effect of an event. to account for all the links in the sequence of causes. If the reasons follow a logical pattern. Then. which is the cause of C. but tells us in what way each of these animals is helpless. a good strategy is to begin with the least important cause and conclude with the most important. want to know the cause of your poor grades. to consider multiple causes. and B by C.(Note that the writer of the paragraph above does not merely list the examples. or of a bus accident. that soften rocks. however. I When developing a topic which is supported by reasons or causes. not just one. This softening is the first stage of erosion called weathering. a direct cause or an indirect cause. Franklin Watts in Science World) Glossary worn away: caused to disappear erosion: the action of wearing away 182 . There are several forces of erosion: glaciers which cany rocks weighing \ thousands of tons. and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. When you write. strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in desert. for instance. 11 Example 4 (Development of a paragraph by listing the causes) Hills. The choice between one cause and several causes is often not a free option.e. and to write about all the causes or reasons with details. your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion. remember to make it clear whether you are dealing with an immediate cause or an earlier cause.
dams burst........ huge tidal waves sweep inland.. If several consequences are listed.. think of your own life.. Check Your Progress 4 1 .. one must be careful to distinguish between the major and the minor ones. But now the main idea is regarded as causing the consequences discussed in the rest c?f the paragraph.... Topic sentence: "Hills and mountain are-slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion"...glaciers: masses of ice which move vely slowly down a nio~rntain valley frost: a white powdery substance formed on outside surfaces from very small drops of water when the temperature of air is below freezing point Analysis of the paragraph: I 1 . (From Can We Stop Earthquakes? in World of Wonder) Glossary Development of Paragraphs warning : the act of giving earlier info~mationo f danger immense : very great gasmains: pipes bringing gas from the source of supply to. the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village......... Gas mains burst.. Now... sliding down a mountain side terrifying: filling with terror In earlier sections we analysed some of the paragraphs for you..... / 2. whole buildings collapse. Underground railways are wrecked. If it strikes a modern city... Cause: The power of .. On land 183 . Whtn it does. Effects Effects or consequences can be handled in much the same way as reasons or causes... Summing up: In a million years... For instance. explosions are caused and fires are started. even your favourite hills will be worn away by erosion. If the quake strikes at sea. capital of Portugal--the city destroyed entirely and 450 killed: 1970: Peru --50...... its power is immense. The following exercise will help you understand the organization of the paragraph abcve..... Consider the terrifying statistics from the past..000 killed. Bridges fall. avalanches roar down into the valleys. Main effect: The great .. Fill in the blanks..... (i) .. a) Causes of Erosion: glaciers frost strong wilds water b) Process of erosion by water 3. followed by the most important cause..( ii) . In the year 1755: Lisbon.... If it strikes in mountain regions.... You have just read and analysed a paragraph. It follows a sequence where the less important causes are mentioned first. The paragraph may deal with only a single effect or refer to several effects... what were thp_ reasons which led you to join the IGNOU Computer Programme? Jot down your reasons.i t causes.... which lists the causes of erosion. Gaping caves appear in busy streets.... Example 5 (Developing a paragraph by listing effect) An earthquake strikes without warning. the houses and building gaping caves: wide openings or cracks tidal waves: very large ocean waves avalanches: large masses of snow and ice.
. Cause and Effect We have discussed a paragraph which gives reasons to support a topic.i. for the heat of the sun causes the damp air over the seas to rise and form clouds which cool at a high altitude and consequently fall as rain.. B is both a consequence of A and the cause of C. ........ Jtainfall Rainfall formatio... Example 6 (Paragraph developed by stating cause and effect) Without sunlight there could be no form of life as we know it and all man's basic needs can be ultimately traced back to the sun..v .Effect.. I 1 Gas mains burst Summing up: Reinforcing the idea of the damage caused by an earthquake by quoting statistics from the past and the present..... Check Your Progress 6 1... together with sunlight..... The paragraph below illustrates such a chain... Effect Cause . of consequences of your joining this program....... forming a chain where A gives rise to B. In Check Your Progress 4 you noted the reasons foi joining the IGNOU Computers programra. and .. At the same time. you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph..... In the first place....... Now write down what you think will be'the results....... In such a link. Secondly the sun indirectly provides man with water... 111 ......] Glossary ultimately: in the end survival: the fact of continuing to live high altitude: great height Check Your Progress 7 Development of Paragraphs in ~xample5 . [from Anita Debska: IJpgrade your English.. cause and effect are more closely related.. which are themselves another source of food for man.. IX Effect the sun Man's .. .......... 184 . Cause Effect ...... by its light and warmth the sun directly creates rhe necessary conditions for man's survival.. and plants provide food for inan and also for animals.... and a paragraph which deals with effects..... Oxford University Press..... of .. B to C and to C and so on. I1 ... ...n. blain Cause Main Effect Indirect effect : .... the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect... iv .. By filling in the gaps below. from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power.. Often however.. enables plants to grow. One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers. rain....
... Maps have been used since the earliest civilisations. This generally happens when we use technical terns or when we want to give our own meaning to an ordinary word. "democracy" etc...C.. i ............ and for this purpose extended definitions are useful. which relates to concepts such as "freedom"....... ...... For example Term Class Ilifferentiation Widow surgeon a woman Whose husband has died a doctor Who performs medical operations Such definitions are rather formal in style and are generally found in dictionaries.ay find some of the following words/phrases useful in developing your paragraph: because (of) Resulting in Since Leading to on account of Causing thanks to Consequently With the result that 6............ and a canal with crocodiles and a bridge over the canal.......v ii .....Lakes and rivers water and . . The simplest way to define a term is by giving a synonym or by placing the word in a general class and then distinguishing it from others in that class.... component parts.. we need to explain what something is or means... xii ......... One of the earliest such maps dates from about 1400 B........... ...... In fact... or sky.... but also lakes with fish... For example.. examples.... i Example 7 (Paragraph developed by definition) A map is a representation of anarea of land.. .. for man and . and explorers find that they are used in rather primitive societies at the present time by people who are accustomed to travelling...... Topic sentence.... and stating what it is not.... Plants .. Check Your Progress 8 1... and sometimes the definition itself Study Skills becomes the focus of a piece of writing.... being different from something else.. Now write a paragraph of about 150 words combining both'the reasons and the consequences of your joining IGNOU......... You have already noted the reasons for your joining the JGNOU Computers-programme and the effect it will have on your future career.........v..... xi .. both in our thinking and writing.... need the support of specific examples...5 DEFINITION Often when we write..x. viii.... The concept "bride" cannot be defined in such a manner....... It shows not only roads.. This is somewhat similar to 185 ..... drawn by Eskimo people.. Occasionally maps show not only the roads.. sea....... You Ir. being similar to something else.... but pictures of other features.... .. This is done by adding details like uses... . we often require extended definitions... Arctic explorers have obtained considerable help from maps of the coast lines showing settlements.... Rain + ......... especially if we feel that our readers may not be familiar with it. Composition and Sopetimes a definition is used in the rnjdst of other forms of writing..
and so on. Hence comparison and contrast are a continuous process in our 186 . Sometimes a topic can be developed by showing how two things are alike or how they are different. In fact comparison and contrast are common devices in writing. You will need.C. the cities we have been to. for example.. when we choose a career or a job. the blue Whale which is 150 tons. Use the sentences given beiow to write a paragraph on Mammals. who are accustomed to travelling. and even when we buy a particular brand of tooth paste. to replace some of the nouns with pronouns and avoid unnecessary repetitions. sea or sky.. Glossary vertebrates (n. our neighbors. mainly because we tend to think that way.the modem maps of a state which show for each large town some feature of interest or the chief products of 'that town. which weigh only a few grams. but pictures of other features Example: Maps of both ancient and modern times Check Your Progress 9 1. iv) A mammals is a warm-blooded vertebrate that has four limbs and a hairy skin. We often compare our teachers. The paragraph should be arranged in the following order: Definition Generalization by differentiation Examples (2 examples) 4 i Generalisation iI I You may make any changes in the language and introduce any connectives you feel are required to write a smoothly flowing passage. (C.6 COMPARISON AND CONTRAST So far we have been discussing ways of developing paragraphs which deal with only one topic. V) Mammals are an extremely varied group. I I I I i) Mammals differ from the other vertebrates in their system of reproduction. For instance. to shrews. Wylie) Glossary representation: a picture civilisation: stage of human social development accustomed to: used to explore: one who travels in unknown in lands for the purpose of discovery Analysis of the Paragraph Definition: "A ]nap is a representation of an area of land." Example: Arctic explorers Generalisation: Occasionally maps show not only the roads. ii) The young mammals are protected within the mother's body I iii) After birth the young mammals are nourished with milk secreted by the milk glands of the mother. the food served at different restaurants. comparison and contrast dominate our thoughts when we decide to join a particular college or university." Generalisation: "Maps have been used .): animals which have a backbone secreted: produced varied: of different kinds shrew: a very small mouse-like animal with a long pointed nose 6. ranging in size from the largest mammal. Our decisions are often based on comparison and contrast.
. Reason: Subject I : People Subject 2: Monkeys . for example There are two ways of arranging information when comparing or contrasting things. One is to write down all the main points about one of the things to be compared or contrasted and then to take all the main points about the other. Personlthing I Personlthing 2 I Point 1 I The other way is to take each point in turn and to compare the two things in respect of each point like this: Personlthing I Personlthing 2 Point 1 . which direction it shall follow. Check Your Progress 10 Write a paragraph on the following topic. Every jury needs its foreman. predators: animals that live by killing and eating other animals infighting: fighting or disagreement within the group Analysis of the Paragraph Topic sentence: The existence of a hierarchy helps to assure order and discipline. Some forin of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly. Time-life Series) Con~positiona nd. a ball of rock 12. Example 9 (Developing a paragraph by contrast) We live on the planet Earth. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. consequence of total equality. the making of quick decisions.. They permit. Both are extremely dependent on others. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move. S. I. ii) We wish to clarify the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar. Like all the planets the Earth rotates on its 187 . Summing up: 'Sorne form of leadership is essential . first.people are brought together. what action it shall take to avoid predators.750 km in diameter. (Adapted form "The Primates" by Eimerl. We generally compare or contrast two items for three basic purpose: i) We wish to point out distinctions in order to give information about the two things. and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans.Point 1 7 Point 2 -b Point 2 Developruent of Paragraphs + Point 3 -b Point 3 Example 8 (Paragraph developed by comparison) The existence of a hierarchy helps to assure order and discipline. You may ! develop these points and add any others that you wish. and De Vors. Whenever. iii) We wish to show the superiority of one thing over another when we compare two cars.. The points to develop the paragraph are given below. every cricket team needs a captain.lives. Glossary Study Skills hierarchy (n. ! There are a lot of similarities between an infant and a very old person's dependence on others. they will only be able to reach decisions quickly if some kind of hierarchy is established.): the organisation of a system into higher and lower ranks foreman: the leader of the 12 people (jury) appointed to decide whether a person on trial is guilty or not. The same is true of monkeys.
.... especially relating to rock......... The Moon is a dead planet. on the other hand has fascinating erupting volcanoes since it has no atmosphere to protect it.... It has a companion on its travels ....... on the other hand. Analysis of the Paragraph: 1 .... the Eaith is covered by an atmosphere.. 5 very hot during th'e day.... 2 has volcanoes 3 . The Earth. The first sentence and some points describing the two regions are given below. birds... escape from time to tinie with great force from inside the earth... What is the topic sentence? 2.... ......... which we can breathe.... It supports millions of living things ......... I 1 lush and fertile 1.. Fill in the gips in the following table to show the contrast between the moon and the earth........ waterless and lifeless 4 . it is airless. Its surface is heated to 105 C during its day...axis and orbits the sun....... gases.. .. .. It has no volcanoes or geological activity.. More rainful less rainfall 188 . Glossary rotates: turns around a fixed point axis: an imaginary line around which a spinning body moves.. Northern (Arctic) region Southern (Antarctic) region Ice-covered sea surrounded huge continent-surrounded by ocean by land Varied climate climate less varied: cold throughout the year........... and which also keeps the temperature quite constant.. But the two worlds are very different.. very cold during the night First sentence: The northern and southern poles are different in many ways......... The moon Check Your Progress 12 The earth 1 .the moon . waterless and lifeless. 4 has atmosphere 5 .. 2 ... etc...... and cools to .... insects..... soil......... is lush and fertile.!.... The moon........... This exercise is to help you analyse the paragraph....... 3 airless... orbits: goes round volcanoes: mountains with large openings at the top through which melting rock. In contrast.... the paragraph in Example 9 has been organized by talking about the earth and contrasting it with the moon.. Write a paragraph of your own contrasting the Arctic and the Antarctic regions.. But the earth is not alone...plants. The expressions of contrast 1isted. animals and human beings.155 C at night.here mzy also help you in developing the paragraph............ geological activity: activity which relates to the physical changes in the structure of the earth.which orbits the Earth once a month. steam... etc lush: thickly and healthily growing (especially plants) erupting: expleding and pouring out fire 4 Check Your Progress 11 Unlike Example 8.....
definition. cause and effect. . LET US SUM UP In Unit 6 we have introduced you to the elements that go into the organisation of a good paragraph. such as illustration. and comparison a. .om.Much plant life empty desert. . can be distiiiguished from. although.ld contrast. Exploited for trade no trade at all . whereas. We have also discussed different techniques of developing paragraphs. effect illustration the most southern part of the world the most northern part of the world something that produces an effect examining one thing against another to show the points of likeness or difference comparing two things or people to make the differences clear giving the meaning giving a picture in words a result giving examples paragraph a division of a written piece made up of one or more sentences topic a subject for talk. ! i b KEY woms Antarctic Arctic cause comparison contrast definition description . on the other hand. yet. such as the topic sentence and the development of the topic. . writing. but. 189 . while. etc. despite the fact that. Development of Paragraphs Expressions of contrast: different ti.. You i should now be able to use these techniques in writing paragraphs on iifferent'topics.
playing soccer. the focus of this chapter is on those errors that occur most frequently. Incorrect: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. Adjectives add information by describing people. or things in a sentence.Mechanics 39 The majority of grammar. They should: 1. If you learn these common errors and how to avoid or correct them. they. they sometimes confuse even professional writers. we. Correct: When a person comes to class. she. the inability to express yourself clearly and accurately through the written word will hinder the success of your essay. adverbs. Incorrect: If the student passes this course. them Incorrect: When a person comes to class. him. it). First person pronouns: I. These words. more than any others. However. her. they will graduate. C-ADVERBS 190 . and capitalization mistakes are just a few dozen common ones. in fact. she. Be a specific reference to a noun It should be obvious to your reader to which noun the pronoun refers. Use them to describe people. punctuation. Therefore. they. and prepositions. me. too. and we took Nancy’s laptop. Incorrect: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. No matter how original an idea you come up with. and situations to make the reader understand your point of view and see things the way you have seen them. 2. Incorrect: It has been years since they spent money on new textbooks. Agree in number A singular pronoun must be used for a singular noun. he should play some basketball. but it isn’t good for him. Who is they? Correct: It has been years since the school board spent money on new textbooks. (Whose laptop?) Correct: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. your writing will greatly improve. (What isn’t good for him? Reading. Correct: If the student passes this course. you do not need to become a strict grammarian in order to write well. 1-PARTS OF SPEECH Some parts of speech are more difficult than others. make your essay a unique piece. places. Too few adjectives will make a personal statement a boring play-byplay that doesn’t tell the reader anything about the writer. A-PRONOUNS Pronouns refer back to or take the place of nouns. Following are the four most challenging ones as they pertain to your writing: pronouns. us Second: you Third: he. 3. Agree in person Do not switch back and forth in your writing from the first person (I) to the second (you) or third (he. she will graduate. or both?) Correct: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. you should have your homework ready. 41 B-ADJECTIVES Adjectives describe or modify nouns or pronouns. The rules of mechanics are complex. he/she should have his/her homework ready. with usage explanations and examples. Too much soccer isn’t good for him. adjectives. objects. and we took her laptop.
Good form: They looked outside the house for the lost cat. quickly. The correct word to use in such instances is the adverb well. good is used to describe nouns. chances are at least one is unnecessary. are easily spotted because most of them end in -ly. Good form: She likes all sports except soccer. On your desk and after your birthday are prepositional phrases. especially in your essay. good. the adverb that causes the most errors is not a typical-ly form. the sentence would read. it is not an absolute. none is more famous than: Never end a sentence with preposition!While this rule holds true for many situations. Well is commonly confused with its adjective counterpart. Common prepositional phrases: account for agree upon angry with argue about compare to correspond with differ from different than identical to independent of interested in speak with Alternate Endings Of all the rules governing prepositions. The holiday that follows immediately after your birthday is Valentine’s Day. It is perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition. in popular speech. The second sentence uses the preposition after to describe the time relationship between holiday and birthday. which s incorrect: I played good in the basketball game. They are often used to show a relationship of space or time. The meal consists of eight separate courses.Adverbs.” 191 . Common Prepositions aboard about above after among around at before behind below beneath beside between by except for from in inside into like of off on outside over to under up upon until with within 42 The two most common problems with prepositions are: 1. Examples The box on your desk is your birthday present. good describes the noun pasta: The pasta ume last night was good. Using them unnecessarily Because it is so important in your essay to get to the point concisely. good describes the verb played. unnecessary prepositions should be avoided. abruptly. It is important to remember that they must always be used together: You must account for every item in your club’s budget. Poor form: She likes all sports except for soccer. Poor form: I cleaned up under the kitchen cabinets. Below are two examples of required prepositions—the preposition is in italics and the supported word is underlined.” PREPOSITIONS Prepositions are connecting words that link a noun or pronoun to another word in a sentence. These necessary prepositions are always used in combination with their respective supported words. “I played well in the basketball game. Written correctly. if it makes the sentence flow better. which describe verbs. As an adjective. Confusing prepositional phrases Certain words must always be followed by certain prepositions. it sounds much more natural to say “That’s all I can think of” than “That’s all of which I can think. Good form: I cleaned under the kitchen cabinets. 2. Poor form: They looked outside of the house for the lost cat. For example. However. Remember that when two or more prepositions are used together. In the following sentence. The first sentence uses the preposition on to describe the spatial relationship between the box and the desk. In the following sentence. such as slowly.
as with dangling modifiers.Tony’s computer crashed.What would the statement sound like if you kept—or dropped—the preposition? Does it sound like you. Incorrect: Tim and Fran is a great couple. 44 A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. are easily fixed by rearranging word order. I had to have the cafeteria unlocked. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. the noisy construction job distracted Jim. Here are some acceptable and unacceptable examples. (Was the computer working on the assignment?) • Correct: While Tony was working on his English assignment. and then pair it with the correct verb form. Correct: While Jim was practicing outside with the soccer team. A dangling participle is a phrase or clause with a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies.The best technique for deciding to keep or remove prepositions at the end of sentences is to use your ear. is that they confuse meaning. • Incorrect:While working on his English assignment. Did the cafeteria meet with student government? To say exactly what is meant. Note that correcting a dangling participle involves adding and/or rearranging the words in a sentence to make the meaning clear. he was distracted by the noisy construction job. It isn’t dangling. his computer crashed. Incorrect: I had to have the cafeteria unlocked meeting with student government this morning. • Incorrect:While practicing outside with the soccer team. the modifying phrase “meeting with student government” should be moved to the beginning of the sentence. Correct: Tim and Fran are a great couple. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 43 Many times short questions are ended in prepositions. or does it sound like a college professor? Prepositions should not be used in an attempt to add importance or weight to your writing. first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT Nouns and verbs must agree in number. (plural subject takes plural verb) 192 . the modifier is just in the wrong place. Note that the unacceptable sentences could be improved simply by dropping the preposition at the end. no extra words are needed. Since it is so critical that your reader understand your point easily and exactly. though sometimes difficult to recognize. Good Form Does he have anything to worry about? What did you use to make it with? What is the report comprised of ? Poor Form Is the extra-credit project over with? Where is the stadium at? Where do you want to go to? • _ DANGLING PARTICIPLES AND MISPLACED MODIFIERS Dangling participles and misplaced modifiers. The danger of misplaced modifiers. dangling modifiers (and indeed any ambiguous language) must be avoided. To achieve subject-verb agreement. Correct: Meeting with student government this morning. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. OR The noisy construction job distracted Jim while he was practicing outside with the soccer team.
the more difficult it is to determine noun/verb agreement. Fragments are often missing a subject or verb. Not only is the active voice clearer and more direct. (Both the 10-speed and the hybrid are appropriate for the bike race. (Neither the 10-speed nor the hybrid is appropriate for a trail race. and may be dependent clauses. and expresses a fully developed thought. Passive: Another helping was asked for by my friend. written in the passive voice. For these reasons. Passive:My wallet was misplaced by me. When we finished the game. Correct: One of my friends is going to yourt school. the verb agrees with the closest subject. or cause. are clunky and noticeably longer.Common examples include sentences that begin with there is and there are. Compare these sentences: Active: My friend asked for another helping. and here is and here are. Incorrect: There is too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. _ SENTENCE STRUCTURE A complete sentence requires a noun and verb. (singular subject takes singular verb) Agreement may be difficult to determine when the noun follows the verb. remember to first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. the verb must be singular. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 45 NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT CHECKLIST The more complex the sentence. RUN-ON SENTENCES A run-on sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses or complete sentences 193 . Here are some guidelines that may help you: ✔ If a compound. you literally become the source. Sentences written in the passive voice tend to be too wordy. or lack focus. Can’t go to the store. Incorrect: Here are the report you asked me to write. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS A sentence fragment is a group of words that. it should be used only when necessary. In the passive voice. the verb must be plural. Correct:There are too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. they include two complete clauses or sentences.) ✔ If one plural and one singular subject are connected by or or nor. Passive: Three finalists for the open position have been selected by the administration. singular subject is connected by and. The good news is that passive-voice errors are easy to omit from your writing. In the active voice.Run-on sentences don’t stop soon enough. they are phrases that are not whole thoughts. but it conveys your meaning more easily. Correct: Here is the report you asked me to write. singular subject is connected by or or nor. the subject (most often you) is acted upon. does not express a complete thought. Active: I misplaced my wallet.) ✔ If a compound. The two most common mistakes at the sentence level are extremes.When editing your work. Cried a lot. Fragments also can be phrases or parts of other sentences. of the action. and then match it to the correct verb. Sentence fragments stop too quickly.The second sentences. Note the simplicity and directness of the first sentence in each pair. Active: The administration has selected three finalists for the open position.Incorrect: One of my friends are going to your school. (Neither a fast bike nor perfect trails are going to help you to win if you do not train. however. Examples At the zoo. although punctuated as a sentence.) _ ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE The active voice is much more effective in conveying your personality through your essay.
TAKE NOTE There are more negatives than just the obvious no. too. Add a dependent clause (use words such as because. As with verb tense shifts. for. but. Use a dash to separate parts of the sentence. and will convey your voice more directly. yet) to set apart an independent clause. Correct: When we finished our lunch. neither. so. Here are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. Examples Incorrect: When we finished our lunch.With proper punctuation your writing will be more polished and technically correct. Correct: Last year the governor said he would campaign for our candidate. not. 3. when describing an event in the past. If you are using those words. Correct: Vegans don’t eat dairy products or meat. Incorrect: Mary doesn’t like neither of those books. Correct:We hardly ever see movies. those covered in this section are the ones that present the most challenges to their users. or.While the information may seem simple. we decided to take a walk. and obscures meaning. _ DOUBLE NEGATIVES The use of double negatives is unnecessary and incorrect. all verbs should be in the past tense. Incorrect:We hardly never see movies. Patty took flying lessons every Saturday so she couldn’t go to the picnic and she couldn’t go to the graduation party either but she has already signed up for another group of flying lessons because she likes it so much. you have a negative. never. we decide to take a walk. and nor.placed together into one sentence without proper punctuation. 46 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 47 _ VERB TENSE SHIFTS Unnecessary shifts from one tense to another sound unskilled. THE APOSTROPHE Apostrophes (’) are used to indicate ownership and to form contractions. 4. and may obscure meaning. so you do not need to double up. nor. it pays to review it. OR Last year the governor said he was campaigning for our candidate. 5. This seems like an obvious point. and while). since. and has been taught to you numerous times during your education. Incorrect: Vegans don’t eat dairy products nor meat. Eight rules cover 194 . Correct: Mary doesn’t like either of those books. Break up the run-on sentence into two or more complete sentences. Break up the sentence by inserting a semi colon between two clauses. 48 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics _ PUNCTUATION There are dozens of different punctuation marks in the English language. 2. Examples We were hungry and John was tired so we had to stop at the first rest area that we saw. Remember that hardly and barely are negatives. Incorrect: There aren’t no tickets left. Kim studied hard for the test that’s why he got an A. Incorrect: Last year the governor said he is campaigning for our candidate. Correct: There aren’t any tickets left. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent. For instance. after. Eliminate them from your writing. Use a comma and a conjunction (and. but tense shifts account for a large share of grammatical errors. 1.
you should be using the contraction. 4. its does not contain an apostrophe. If they make sense. Perkins’s persuasive essay was very convincing. Good form: We are going out of town next week. 7. The Future Farmers of America’s meeting was moved to Monday. Consider the difference in tone of the following example: Sentence A: During my junior year. 2. 3. The drummer’s solo received a standing ovation. The project was the result of a year’s worth of work. My street address contains three 5’s. Good form: My supervisor was in the class of 1989. The line for the women’s restroom was too long. Your garden is beautiful. Use an ’s to form the plurals of letters. Good form: She is going to write the next proposal. I attended a conference in Washington. Poor form: My supervisor was in the class of ’89. Mr. without an apostrophe. The expressions of time and money do not indicate ownership in the usual sense: Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 49 She has a hard time pronouncing s’s. I went to visit my great-grandfather’s alma mater. If they don’t. Apostrophes form contractions by taking the place of the missing letter or number. THE COMMA Correct usage of commas (. The second i is removed.However. Add ’s to form the singular possessive. even when the noun ends in s: The school’s lunchroom needs to be cleaned. Indefinite pronouns show ownership by the addition of ’s: Everyone’s hearts were in the right place. The students’ grades improved each semester. 1. It was no one’s fault that we lost the game. Poor form: We’re going out of town next week. 195 . Possessive plural nouns already ending in s need only the apostrophe added: The customers’ access codes are confidential. you need the possessive form. The flight attendants’ uniforms were blue and white. 8. and in joint ownership: Sam and Janet’s graduation was three months ago. say the words it is when you come across it’s or its. Show possession in the last word when using names of organizations and businesses. A few plurals not ending in s also form the possessive by adding ’s: The children’s toys were found in every room of the house. they can be used to convey your voice as they speed up or slow down the pace of your sentences. even though some may end in s: Our car is up for sale. ITS VERSUS IT’S Unlike most possessives. His handwriting is difficult to read. He packed a week’s worth of clothing. Somebody’s dog was barking all night.) is not as critical to the meaning of your sentences as it is with other punctuation marks. and replaced by an apostrophe. as well as certain expressions of time and money. 6. Poor form: She’s going to write the next proposal. Possessive pronouns never have apostrophes. its. in hyphenated words. figures.all of the situations in which they may appear. and numbers used as words. Men’s shirts come in a variety of neck sizes. Do not use contractions in highly formal written presentations. 5. The word it’s is instead a contraction of the words it is. When revising your writing.
giving a little more information with each clause. ■ A restatement or elaboration of the previous clause Incorrect: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she is also the mother of two children. you should use it consistently whenever writing a list. In the sentence. apples. after the word and. I bought bananas. you can either: ■ replace the comma with a period. THE COLON Colons (:) appear at the end of a clause and can introduce: ■ A list when the clause before the colon can stand as a complete sentence on its own Incorrect: The classes he signed up for include: geometry. and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. Correct: He signed up for four classes: geometry. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. forming two sentences ■ replace the comma with a semicolon ■ join the two clauses with a conjunction such as and. Cindy. OR Our school received an award. We raised the most money for the local charity.we raised the most money for the local charity.. we raised the most money for the local charity. There are two common errors that all college-bound students should be aware of: the comma splice. Correct: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she attends a seminar each month and has been a professional for over twenty years. American literature. Ann and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. or so Comma splice: Our school received an award. 196 . the message is straightforward. Comma Splice A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to connect two complete sentences. Sentence B reads quicker. conveying the information faster and with equal weight on each part. and religion. American literature. OR Our school received an award because we raised the most money for the local charity. To correct a comma splice. the serial comma clarifies the meaning of sentences. and the serial comma. in the following example. Therefore.C. But if the serial comma is dropped. it could be understood as Cindy being told that Ann and Sally were hired. Cindy. Serial Comma A serial comma is the one used last in a list of items. The lack of a serial comma can cause confusion. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 51 While its use has been debated for centuries. Sentence A sounds more deliberate. For instance. In addition to helping to convey your voice and personality. and religion. 50 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Sentence B: During my junior year I attended a conference in Washington. physics. Incorrect:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Ann. Corrected sentence: Our school received an award. because. commas are often misused. It creates a run-on sentence. and oranges. Correct:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. D. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas.C.D. physics. the comma after apples is the serial comma: At the store.
He had to fly to Houston to present a paper. therefore. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. and prepositions are the most challenging parts of speech.Colons have the effect of sounding authoritative. The first example. she received a low grade. adverbs. _ CAPITALIZATION Capitalization is necessary both for specific words and to start sentences and quotes.“I know why this happened. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses joined without a conjunction. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. dirty. ■ The active voice is not only clearer and more direct. Examples: The dates for our meetings are Monday. the pronoun I. January 10. October 11.” It sounds more authoritative. July 7.Massachusetts. Example: Four people worked on the project. languages 6. Both create ambiguity and can change the meaning of a sentence. They present information more confidently and forcefully than if the sentence were divided in two other types of punctuation marks. and Pensacola. even if the clauses are joined by a conjunction. the first word of a sentence 2. There are just six occasions that require capitalization: 1.and to separate the items in a list when those items contain commas. THE SEMICOLON Semicolons (. My teacher wasn’t in class today.However. Case: Use a semicolon to show which sets of items go together. Consider the following: My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. and thus appear overly casual. and things) 3. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that contain commas. She has lived in Omaha. ■ A dangling participle is a phrase or clause. many writers overuse it. but it conveys your meaning more easily. only one received credit for it. ■ Avoid the two most common mistakes at the sentence level: sentence fragments 197 . has the tone that conveys. 52 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics ■ Use semicolons to separate independent clauses.Monday. and any contractions made with it _ FOR YOUR REVIEW ■ Pronouns. Amherst. places. Example: The strays were malnourished. so she adopted them all. last.) may be used in two ways: to separate independent clauses. and I am going to tell you. but because you never want to appear pompous. but Liz had a weakness for kittens. Florida. ■ Nouns and verbs must agree in number. the first. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb.with the colon. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that are connected with a conjunctive adverb that expresses a relationship between clauses. Tuesday. New Jersey. but not a partial quotation 4. Nebraska. the first word of a complete quotation. accounting for a majority of usage errors. Learn the common errors to eliminate them from your writing. Use it instead of the passive voice whenever possible. adjectives. and ill. This can be effective in your essay. and Tuesday. ■ Use semicolons to separate items in a series that contain commas. proper nouns (names of people. April 14. using a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies. it should be used sparingly. A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. Example: Victoria was absent frequently. and any other important words of a title 5. Nutley.
students will learn techniques of good paragraph development. yellow or white lines glowing on a background of blacktop. To see the difference good development makes. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. exemplification. The parking lot always has a prominent place right in front of an establishment and sometimes even surrounds the building. etc. What does a well-developed paragraph look like? A well-developed paragraph is a complete paragraph. or even sloppy. definition. is made interesting by details like "[a parking lot] is a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business.and run-on sentences. everyone who has a car will inevitably use a parking lot. It isn’t like anyone would mistake a parking lot for anything else. The thoughtful detail in the first paragraph shows a much more engaged writer than the writer of the second paragraph. Most visitors to San Francisco will list Chinatown as a must-see “tourist” destination." become concrete and specific in the well-developed paragraph. or Mediterranean cooking is healthy. like "Volleyball is a great sport”. Paragraph Development Good paragraph development is a mark of a writer's investment in a topic. They’ll probably notice the area is crowded and dirty. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. whether that idea is declared in a topic sentence in the beginning. ■ The use of double negatives is unnecessary and redundant. a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business. Do not shift from one tense to another unless it is necessary. just take a look at these example paragraphs. or whether the idea is implied. explanation. ■ Be consistent with verb tenses. Rows upon rows of boundaries for individual driving units lined up one after another. The reader learns why the writer believes in an idea. You would never look at a parking lot and think to yourself that maybe it is a park or a playground or an airstrip. Using capitalization in any other way can make your writing appear too casual. or end of the paragraph.—taking a general concept and making it real. And more than likely the vacation photos will include a picture of them standing at entrance to China Town. and it helps to convey your voice. such as determining when and where more development is needed. ■ Proper punctuation makes your essay more polished and technically correct. When visiting the area they will be inundated with shops. A parking lot is a parking lot." The author. the writer then explores the significance of that topic through one or more methods of development—reflection. middle. parking lots. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent and can obscure meaning. Everything else in the paragraph is there to show the reader the validity and significance of that idea. ■ There are six occasions that require capitalization. In this module. General statements. As with verb tense shifts. The tourist will eat lunch or dinner in one of several Chinese Cuisine restaurants. A seemingly empty topic. Be certain each sentence contains one complete thought. one welldeveloped and the other not so well-developed: At one time or another. With the main idea established. below the traditional Chinese arch. and when to add more evidence versus greater depth of explanation or detail. Rich 198 . It has a controlling idea. The features of most parking lots are not so different.
for example. In making decisions about development. a quick break-down of the chart to explain distribution of funds is all that is really needed here. stays at the surface of the topic. and we can agree on what dogs are generally like. and detail that brings that idea to life. How much development is enough? How does a writer know when development is complete? A writer's decision about completeness will depend on the audience and on the controlling idea for the paragraph. San Francisco. As Hayakawa points out.." we can talk about dogs as companions.Motherwell. even before people had cars! The author of the second paragraph. Try and think like your reader. Who knows what the politician is really thinking of in terms of concrete actions? Perhaps the candidate intends to increase Medi-care coverage for prescription drugs. When trying to decide on length. without ever getting specific or concrete.. and another for massage therapy professionals. or if there is already enough information to make the controlling idea seem valid and interesting. helps readers re-see a familiar space in passages like this one where he gets readers to realize that we have always needed parking. what the candidate is thinking is anyone's guess. they learn nothing new. S.. a good writer asks. talks about a "ladder of abstraction" as a tool for thinking about good communication. A well-developed paragraph has a clear controlling idea. providing cliché generalizations about what the tourist will find to do in Chinatown. A welldeveloped paragraph also reflects the mind of the author who is engaged by the topic and who is concerned with communicating his or her own unique way of seeing to the reader. Hayakawa. With the word "dog. a politican might (quite intentionally) say "If elected. "A Pie chart help us see where company money is going". As a result. and the biting Dachsund to drop away. etc. the controlling idea determines how much development is needed and how long the paragraph is going to be. as in this example. But other ideas can be developed in a sentence or two. I. we need the word "dog" in order to communicate and to find common ground. readers are only reminded of what they already know. The politician relies on such abstract statements." Health care benefits is a phrase at a fairly high level of abstraction: it can refer to anything from coverage of hospital expenses. on the other hand. Bandit. A useful way to think about developing paragraphs is to think about levels of detail. dogs as pack animals. each of us has our own image of "dog" in our minds. receive no insight. Without abstractions and generalizations. and supporting sentences having more specific and/or concrete development. to co-pay expenses. two paragraphs with identical arguments can have radically different development plans if the audiences are different: A paragraph discussing the ways massage therapy can help a person recover from muscle injuries will have one kind of development for patients. even if the word causes the particularities of Bandit. Some paragraphs are composed of only a single sentence. and no sense of a writer's mind and voice behind the words. On the other hand. the controlling idea "Democracy is the foundation of a good community" will need extensive explanation and exemplification to be a convincing point. in his influential book Language in Thought and Action. or make emergency care free to everyone over 65. Some ideas are complex and will need extensive explanation and/or exemplification. And so. In addition. another of his family's German Shepherd. one person may think of her Chihuahua. another individual may associate all dogs with the vicious Dachsund that bit his ankle. and an 199 . we risk leaving our communications wide open for interpretation. Ask yourself if a reader would benefit from hearing more about a particular point. while some paragraphs are up to a page long. Brutus. dogs as descendents of wolves. we need both abstract and concrete language for communication. to coverage of prescription drugs. For example. I will increase health care benefits for seniors. in the abstract statement. General to Specific & Abstract to Concrete Development. A paragraph should include sentences at varying levels—the topic sentence or controlling idea being the most general or abstract. we would have a hard time sharing ideas: for example. if we stay at a general level. "How much does my audience know about this topic?" "Am I introducing new terms that will be unfamiliar to my audience? The audience will need to have unfamiliar terms defined and new concepts explained in enough detail so that the concepts become clear. Brutus. Examine every sentence to see if it might deserve further explanation or exemplification. And so.
in hindsight) by "Haircut" bands like Flock of Seagulls ("I ran") and the Thompson Twins ("Lies"). take a look at a paragraph that goes down through all of the levels of abstraction above: As a teenager in the eighties. 1." and "Rock Lobster.unquestioning public. To write well-developed paragraphs.K. a reader will rarely accept a series of generalizations as text worth reading." "Anarchy in the U. Some of it was great." "New Wave" also emerged as a kind of toned down. doing great numbers like "Jump. as Hayakawa points out. a more humorous and satirical version of punk. words should be "referable" to lower levels of abstraction. think in terms of levels of detail. In an abstract statement. When you show someone how to make an omelette. Now. radio-acceptable. the Sex Pistols. or change a tire. however. I was exposed to exciting new movements in rock music. Students sometimes have the mistaken idea that to develop a paragraph they just need to keep adding more examples when what they really need is to take an existing idea to greater depth. headbanging punk music took off with bands like the Ramones." and "Psycho Killer. and this voice comes out in the details rather than in the broad generalization." by the Talking Heads. you already use patterns of development to express yourself. a reader expects to get concrete information and a new perspective or new insight. 80's rock included real extremes: big-hair metal bands like Van Halen and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts arrived on the scene. Everyone knew the words to "Burning Down the House. when you describe what your roomate looks like when she gets up in the morning you are using "description". to win elections. you are 200 ." were played at every party. Yet there was some pretty bad new-wave music as well (at least I see that now. and to hear a person's unique voice." And edgy. Write a paragraph that is complete and developed with concrete detail on the following topic: a holiday memory Patterns of Development A pattern of development in writing refers to the particular strategy writers use to develop ideas. The figure to the right demonstrates how one might go down the ladder of abstraction and provide such references in a discussion of music. and B52's songs like "Planet Clare. Whether you are aware of it or not. In a written text. you are using a pattern of development called "process analysis"." and "Bad Reputation." and "Lost in the Supermarket. and The Clash pruducing amazing off-the-radio tracks like "Blitzkrieg Bop. A good paragraph goes down the ladder of abstraction to provide these references. when you offer several reasons why you are late for an appointment. synthesized version of punk music. Write a paragraph that is complete and developed with concrete detail on the following topic: why cell phones are so popular 2.
you are using narration. 201 . Objectives: By the end of this module students should be able to • • Identify common patterns of development used in written works. and when you tell the story of your first date. Learning to use these patterns of development in writing is not difficult: you will need to familiarize yourself with key transitional expressions that send a signal to the reader that a particular pattern is being used. and you will need to make conscious decisions about which strategies best develops your ideas. Use common patterns of development effectively in their own writing.using cause and effect.
description.longleaf. the following paragraphs are narration. process analysis. classification. paragraphs can be developed into well focused What follows is an (imaginary) article invented to illustrate many of the "modes of discourse"--the © 1999. narration frequently includes description.everything in short. The result is somewhat artificial--you would not normally write an article containing one each of seven types of paragraphs!--but I hope it is more memorable than a series of unrelated illustrations. journalism Development students sometimes develop the habit of writing Annotated examples of narration. these modes are mixed in natural combinations. Available at: analysis paragraph has been broken into a bulleted http://www.net/ggrow/ list. and persuasion. The following paragraphs have been devised in an attempt to emphasize the characteristics of each mode of writing. PhD Division of Journalism Florida A&M University presentations of single units of thought. choppy paragraphs that are exposition. reprinted elsewhere withoutexposition. definition.) Contact. In most writing. description. 202 . In nonprofit educational use. by Gerald Grow. concise writing.unrelated to one another.Seven Types of ParagraphIn their pursuit of clear.school writing handbook will remind you that process analysis. May be used by teachers fortraditional methods by which writing is developed. andconsiderable thought has been given to how longer persuasion. for example. (The process permission. Reviewing any good high classification. definition. May not besuccession. in typical "how to" style.
He lay in the dark listening. Time and place and person are normally established. Specific details always help a story. you point them in the direction of a story. and a resolution (leaving). It was too quiet. a setting (the park). too. A narrative differs from a mere listing of events. an obstacle (nature). she was awake. You don't just lay the words on the page. At home in New Jersey. Wanda. the "story" components are: a protagonist (Hanson). It was gone. something rustled in the leaves right outside the window. and a resolution. something woke Charles Hanson up. And much too dark. Something felt wrong. but so does interpretive language. Narration usually contains characters.m. It was then he decided to pack up and move to a motel. Comments on narration: • • • Normally chronological (though sometimes uses flashbacks) A sequential presentation of the events that add up to a story. Even starlight failed to penetrate the 80-foot canopy of trees the camper was parked beneath. This narrative serves as the opening anecdote that illustrates the topic of the story • • Top 204 . as he felt the pockets for a box of matches. the nights are filled with the busy. stifling them. Across the distant forest floated two muffled hoots from a barred owl. It was the darkest dark he had ever seen. And light: At home he can read in bed by the glow of the streetlight. He found where his pants were hanging and. crickets sang. and the huge silence of the night seemed to come inside the camper. Outside. a conflict. whatever. You always have the comforting knowledge that other people are all around you. a climax (his panic). inches from his face. tree-frogs chirruped. It was too quiet. He heard his wife. comforting sounds of traffic. Then. hold her breath. He felt for the flashlight beside his bunk. In this paragraph. was outside in the darkness also breathed.Narration Around 2 a. a goal (to camp). a setting.
" ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said. after an indirect opening. This paragraph also happens to serve as the justifier or "nut graf" for the little article: the paragraph that. why it is important. writers solve this problem by citing authorities who have good credentials and good reason to be experts in the subject.Exposition This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that. What makes your explanation believable? Normally. the key problem with exposition is credibility. "people get scared and leave the park in the middle of the night. or it can be the heart of an article Aside from clarity. "Several times a month. and what is to come. But it just wasn't the kind of place the couple from New Jersey had in mind when they decided to camp out on this trip through Florida. Not that there was anything wrong with the park: The hikers camped next to them loved the wild isolation of it." Those people picked the wrong kind of park to visit. specifies the topic of the article. • • Top 206 . If they had known about the different kinds of parks in Florida. they might have stayed in a place they loved. Comments on exposition: • • Exposition is explanatory writing Exposition can be an incidental part of a description or a narration. according to Florida park rangers. hundreds of visitors suffer each year.
to impenetrable mangrove wilderness. ranging from acres of RVs ringed around recreation halls. but make a strong effort to say what it IS. Basically.Definition "Park" is difficult to define in Florida." and even the ones called "parks" come in several varieties. To make things more complicated. camp. not in the dictionary. because there are so many kinds of parks. Comments on definition: • Never define anything by the "according to Webster's" method. not all of them are called "parks. a park is a place to go for outdoor recreation-to swim. Florida has a rich variety of parks. • 208 . Meaning is found in the world. hike. Bring the world into your story and use it to define your terms. Saying what something is NOT can help readers. in some places take rides in miniature trains or swish down a waterslide. paddle your canoe. play tennis. and. walk the dog. picnic.
Comments on description: • Description is not what you saw. Portray. from that gap arises a spark of engagement. object. Use sensory language. the Santa Fe River disappears in a large. Adopt a strategy that makes your description into a little story: move from far to near. then continues on to meet the Suwannee and the sea. The success of a description lies in the difference between what a reader can imagine and what you actually saw and recorded. like watching an actor put on a 210 • • • • • . but what readers need to see in order to imagine the scene. old to new. the river rises three miles downstream in a big boil. and canoeing up this dark river is like traveling backwards in time in the direction of original Florida. you find 65 campsites. etc. 18 rustic cabins. use these when you can. Description requires you to record a series of detailed observations. Think of what pieces readers need. to give your description a natural flow. Farther from the river. Think of description as a little narrative in which the visual characteristics unfold in a natural. slowly swirling. In the midst of this lovely setting. Also evoke.Description O'Leno is a good example of a state park in Florida. interesting. A diving platform marks a good place to swim in the soft. Try making the description a little dramatic revelation. down a river. tree-lined pool. person. sudden sinkholes open in the woodlands-rich with cool ferns and mosses. Look for ways to describe action. Think that your language is not so much describing a thing as describing a frame around the thing--a frame so vivid that your reader can pour his or her imagination into it and "see" the thing--even though you never showed it. cool waters of the Santa Fe. as in this example. in what order. Pay special attention to the sound and rhythm of words. Surrounded by the tall. stands of cypress mirror themselves in the still waters. to construct a scene. The key problem in description is to avoid being static or flat. and a pavilion for group meetings. dramatic order. Be especially careful to make real observations. or. Nearby. walls of dense river swamp rise before you. left to right. Go light on adjectives and adverbs. shaded woods of a beautiful hardwood forest. After appearing intermittently in scattered sinkholes. expanses of longleaf pinelands stretch across rolling hills.
At night. O'Leno wraps itself with the silence of crickets and owls. then the next category. you have to be careful to step over the picnic baskets. or take the first category. Lloyd Beach is a place of boisterous activity. Comments on comparison: • There is a helpful technique for writing a comparison." Once you commit to a "down" or "across" strategy. stick with it till the end of the comparison. your comparisons will benefit. forest type beach fish and seabirds • Criteria noise people water resources natural features wildlife • Then choose whether to to "down the columns" or "across the rows" in writing your description. Either describe all of O'Leno and compare it to all of Lloyd Beach by working "down" columns two and three. umbrellas. and browning bodies. near Fort Lauderdale. If you do not make such a chart. If you want to fish near town. When you walk at Lloyd Beach. and so on "across the rows. draw up a chart and fill it in. O'Leno is the park to visit. and the criteria by which they will be compared. "noise" and compare the two parks in terms of it. 212 • Top . is dominated by the oily bodies of sun-worshippers who crowd into it every summer weekend. By contrast. Lloyd Beach is busy with fishermen till well past midnight. Before writing a comparison. You can walk a few yards in O'Leno and pass beyond every sign of human civilization. Where O'Leno gives you so much quiet you can hear the leaves whispering. to make certain you have all the elements necessary to write a comparison. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area. jam boxes. But if you want to stand at the edge of civilization and look across time into an older natural world. there is a chance you will have a hole in your comparison. Lloyd Beach is the place to go.Comparison Forest and river dominate O'Leno State Park. As in the model below. list the two items being compared. If you follow it. or dive into the busy bustle of an urban beach. O'Leno Lloyd Beach quiet noisy solitude busy crowds available river to swim Atlantic beach and canoe forest abundant.
Next. so that the pole is held up by the guyrope and the pegs on opposing sides of the tent bottom. clear a 9 by 9 foot area of snags. pretend you are reading an article on how to put up a particular brand of tent. use bullets. Unfold the tent so that the corners of the waterproof bottom form a square. Finally. snAP Test. and anything that might pierce the bottom of the tent. Together all four external tentpoles (they are held together by shock cords to ake sure you get the pieces matched up). yet almost impossible with three or more. After you have all four poles in place. Here's how: • First. Then isolate the steps: number then. Comments on process analysis: • In describing how a process happens or how to perform a series of actions. To form an awning. For the next paragraph. lift one of the poles. limbs. • • • • • • Now you are ready to move in. Peg down the corners of the bottom. One person can set up the FamilyProof Tent. fit it into the upper end of the standing pole before securing its guywire. unroll the front flAP Test. though it is easier with two.] When you find the park you are looking for. Assemble the two remaining tent poles in a similar manner. While holding the pole up. Lift the pole on the opposite side of the tent in the same way. Put the steps into sequence. pull its guyrope tight and peg the guyrope down. but this time. put them in separate paragraphs Use illustrations keyed to the steps when appropriate: people can often read diagrams better than they can read lists of steps Always 214 an outsider to read your process ask • • • • .Process Analysis [Note: I couldn't think of a way to write the following paragraphs that followed naturally from the previous material. Thread each pole through the two loops leading toward the top of the tent. Prop up the awning with the two remaining poles and secure them with guyropes. Place a pole near each of the pegs. you will need to make camp. always think of your readers: can they follow this? Analyze the process into a series of steps.
plan ahead. • • • Top Gerald Grow's Homepage at <http://www. This can make all the difference in the quality of your vacation.net/ggrow> Description Subjective Description: Writers use descriptive paragraphs most often in fiction. Description of characters. mannerisms." or "The mountains loomed above them. now get up and act!" To persuade people to change their minds or take an action. Comments on persuasion: • This paragraph is but a small example of the kind of writing used widely in editorials and columns. or Sister Carrie.Persuasion Before you go camping in Florida. Warm with the fancies of youth. helps us imagine what people are like. If you can help them formulate and deepen that opinion. analysis. and take action. as in this description of Caroline Meeber by Theodore Dreiser in his novel Sister Carrie: Caroline. more is needed than your opinion or sense of conviction. Get good information on what to expect. and what your options are. but not strong.longleaf. "OK. and utterances. Find out what parks are available. was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis. exhortatory approach: Believe Me and Do It! This persuasive paragraph also serves as the ending to this little article and brings a sense of closure in the form of. their appearance. as she had been half afffectionately termed by the family. Just think of lines like "It was a dark and stormy night. and it uses a direct. and context they need to form their own opinions. pretty with the insipid 215 . It was nevertheless. Don't wind up in the wilds when you want to be near Disney World. her guiding characteristic. Remember: Readers are interested in only one opinion--their own. they will be glad they read your article. and don't wind up on a concrete RV pad when you really want the forest primeval. Self-interest with her was high. You need to supply them with the information." Description of time and place draws readers into other worlds and sets the stage where a story can unfold. make their own judgments. and what they are like.
. as a video camera records a scene. the details must be organized in a meaningful way on the page. 216 .) tall when mature. unlike those of red maple (Acer rubrum) which are sharply Vshaped. scene. your paragraph should have a clear controlling idea so that your reader knows what to do with your descriptive details. at the beginning of an essay on the problems caused by excessive instant messaging by young teens. "It was a gloomy morning. What a writer notices and chooses to describe as well as what a writer leaves out of a description is influenced by many factors: the purpose for writing. storytelling can be very effective for the simple reason that people love to hear stories. . In both subjective and objective description. deciduous tree usually ranging from 15–25 m. she was a fair example of the middle American class . the author is describing an impression of what is observed. The leaf sinuses are rounded. if your reader is to understand what your observations mean.prettiness of the formative period. Writing Description: Whether your goal is to write objective or subjective description. that controlling idea should be a dominant impression of a particular scene or person. For instance. tapering to the tip. You may experience a scene or a person as a holistic impression. a narrative paragraph can be effective at drawing the reader in and establishing your voice in the essay." In an objective description. Supporting details should help the reader understand the dominant impression. too. the writer's age. For example. Good supporting details could include "The morning air felt damp and cold. Therefore. is being aware of one's own biases. ethnic and cultural background. Objective Description: Description is also used in reportorial and scientific writing. however. In subjective description. Even when your purpose is to write an essay that is primarily to inform. how the writer feels about the subject. possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence. the sides of terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel. the writer attempts to stay away from emotional impressions or responses. or person to be described as objectively as possible and the descriptive details of the paragraph should add substance to the main point. " (Dreiser 1) In this type of description. Nothing should be included in the paragraph that does not support the controlling idea. Leaves are opposite and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed. ." is an example of a dominant impression. with a few blunt teeth but no serrations. or other writing in which the goal is to present an objective picture of an object or scene. and will tune in to a story when their eyes glaze over at other styles of writing. as in the following example: The Acer barbatum is a small to medium-sized. organizing details around clear controlling ideas is essential. and instead report what is seen. What is described is subjective: the reader experiences the world as it appears to the author or the narrator in a story and learns what is important to the person recording the description. getting past biases can be difficult. In these writing situations. (Sieberling) It is important to note that while being objective may be a writer's goal. Bark is light gray and smooth on younger trees. (50–80 ft. part of writing good objective description. . and gender. Narration A narrative is a story. . Also. cultural contexts for writing. People huddled inside their coats. As a method of development. a writer might tell a brief story about the limited options she had for socializing outside of school in the 1970's to illustrate how substantially socializing patterns have changed. becoming ridged and furrowed with age. while those of red maple are widest at the base. the controlling idea should identify the object. analyze or argue.
also. etc. I worked along under the trees. second. too These phrases do call attention to themselves. so it is wise to use logic most of the time to show sequence. finally. Concrete and Specific Detail: Descriptive details in a narrative paragraph are essential to a good story. 217 . . Consider the difference between the general and specific. in addition. Therefore. However. because it gives the reader information about what to do with the details that follow. A new paragraph will begin when the scene changes. / He loved her. For example. For the most part. or when our attention is directed toward a new event —which in the case of Huckleberry Finn is the arrival of the men with guns. Good writers. here and there. and abstract and concrete expressions below to see what a difference the right words can make: Specific / General blue hamster / pet banana squash / vegetable red and white umbrella with a broken spoke / rain gear Concrete / Abstract He kissed her and smiled into her eyes. but maybe it was luckier I didn't. therefore. There was a wood-rank four foot high a little ways in front of the tree. rather than abstract or general ones. . running." What follows is what happened when he took off and went up the river road—he hides in a tree from the men with guns. and watched. I heard guns . The Controlling Idea in Narrative Paragraphs: The controlling idea in a narrative paragraph presents some difficulty for developing writers in that they think of a story as a series of events without natural breaks. the reader assumes the actions take place in sequence. When I came in sight of the log store and the woodpile where the steamboats lands I worked along under the trees and brush till I got to a good place. soon. furthermore. a controlling idea is important. moreover. Details help readers to connect to the world the author envisions. choosing concrete and specific expressions. . spend a lot of time trying to find the right words for their meaning. Consider the folllowing narrative paragraph from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Further shots take the reader into the scene emphasizing details and actions that will take place in that scene. talking. and the controlling idea as a kind of wide angle shot on the scene. later. logical sequence of actions supplies the narrative sequence: "I took off." Below are some of the common transitional expressions used in narrative writing: meanwhile. However." By virtue of the linear arrangement of these sentences on the page. paying particular attention to the action verbs and transitional expressions to show sequence: I took up the river road as hard as I could put. in the previous paragraph from Huckleberry Finn. then. In a narrative paragraph it is useful to think of paragraphs as scenes. transitions are needed to emphasize important time relationships. even in a narrative paragraph. eventually.Writing a Narrative Paragraph: Action Verbs and Transitional Expressions: A story takes place over a period of time and is built around people doing things—thinking. the controlling idea for the scene is "I took up the river road as hard as I could put. By and by I begin to hear guns a good ways off. narrative paragraphs are characterized by words that show action and words that show sequence. and then I clumb up into the forks of a cottonwood that was out of reach. as in the phrase "by and by. besides. and first I was going to hide behind that. first. .
Process analysis paragraphs also depend on transitional expressions such as "first." to indicate the sequence in which steps are to be taken. Some process analysis writing is intended for an audience that needs to learn how to perform a process themselves. what to leave out." "then. this is for "all wet behinda ears" Newbies. The concrete and specific expressions get a reader's attention far more effectively than the abstract and general expressions do. and rays of brighter gold fanned across the sky into the high clouds above. and so are presented in chronological order. and how to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I must warn you though. the sky turned hot pink and gold. As the sun passed under the horizon. then you really are newbie!! Take a quick detour for a few ramblings on the subject)." and "finally.html or . Other process analysis writing is informative rather than instructional.htm. examples of this type include how to resolve the healthcare crisis. how technical to be. You'll be happy to learn that it's really pretty simple. / She was scared. Process Analysis A process analysis is a discussion of the steps one must take to achieve a particular end. the reader reads such texts for understanding as well as instruction... A web page is nothing more than a file. Asking questions before beginning writing is key: What does my audience already know about this topic? Which key terms and concepts might they already be familiar with? Which terms will I need to define? Consider the difference in these two descriptions of how to build a web page: Example 1: Hello. Audience: Audience awareness is extremely important in process analysis writing. The basic idea is this. finding a good job. quitting smoking. a discussion about how to respond to global warming will probably be both instructional and informative: individuals can take many steps to control global warming. Some process analyses work on both levels. for example. It's called HTML because web page documents have the file extension . HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language.Her hands were shaking and she was afraid her knees would not support her. Part of your revision process should included finding concrete and specific expressions for your ideas. you'll probably find this tutorial a bit of a yawner. A reader can imagine specific things far more readily than general concepts. for example. the steps in the process being described happen in sequence over time. fixing a bent bicycle wheel. but other steps must be taken by corporations and governments as well. / It was a beautiful sunset. (If you are unclear about this file extension stuff. Writing a Process Analysis Sequence: Typically. My name is Joe and I'm going to give you a few simple lessons on how to make a Web Page." "second. (Barta) Example 2: 218 . The writer must have a clear sense of the audience in order to know what to include. and how formal or informal to be. a HTML file to be exact. If you're at all experienced at this sort of thing.
you must first have a strong sense of purpose. etc. soundtracks. For example. knowing your goal is also important. noise. by dividing cancer into more than 100 different types. world music. If you are asked to write a classification paragraph or essay. For example. the authors take different tones with the reader. Division & Classification Division and classification are related methods for organizing objects or information. be sure to examine the writing prompt to see if your instructor is looking for you to develop a complete classification system that allows one to evaluate items according to specific criteria. dance music. If you are creating your web page(s) offline. and by looking at different groups suffering from poverty—for example. you save it as a "text". The first author is very informal and friendly (even including a smiling cartoon of himself). but the author of the second example assumes his audience has a great deal more starting knowledge on the topic than the author of the first example. Consider your favorite music store: the compact discs are organized into many subcategories such as country. a student might write an essay about the problems created in society by the cell phone." "Telnet. if you have one. We understand that Garth Brooks recordings will be in the country music category because we know that Garth Brooks' music shares certain characteristics with other music in the group: a guitar as the main instrument. Classification sometimes refers to a ranking system by which things or persons are evaluated. rock. but these organizational methods are also useful for understanding complex problems or issues: For example. or uncomfortable street shoes to hike in rather than hiking boots. etc. jazz. take the time to decide who you think your audience is going to be. classical. we develop criteria for the items in a subcategory based on relationships between the items. Without this sense of purpose. crime rate. The second way is to create your web page(s) online using a Telnet program by accessing your UNIX account. medical professionals are better able to analyze the disease. the second author is formal and more detached. and hotels are ranked and classified according to quality. country life. and traffic congestion. you could have sleepwear suited for a warm bed rather than a cold forest floor. a country twang in his vocals. Make sure that when you save your document. you could end up with all the wrong things. themes of heartache. Using Division and Classification in Your Writing: To use division and classification successfullly. Neighborhoods are ranked by prospective home buyers according to criteria such as schools." and "server. the sick. if you pack for a camping trip without taking the context of your trip in mind. cleanliness. Otherwise it will not be read properly by a web browser. for this student. homesickness. In writing an essay involving division and/or classification. The first way is to create the page(s) offline and then upload them to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) via FTP. When writing your own process analysis paragraph. and those who are unable to find work—we are better able to combat the crisis." In classification. etc. you will need to contact your ISP about how to go about uploading them to your server. In division. and other features. we divide a general category of things into smaller subcategories. The second author assumes the reader is familiar with terms like "FTP. In addition. and write for that audience. hip-hop. do so in any text editing or word processing document. Division and classification make it easy for individuals to locate what they are looking for. your system for dividing and/or classifying information may not meet your needs. For example. For example.There are basically two ways to make a web page. the elderly." The first author assumes his audience has no knowledge of key terms. (Web Page) Both examples show how to build a web page. trash. and cell phones as a cause of accidents and physical 219 . Once you have created your page(s). "There are three main problems associated with living across from a highschool: noise. a classification system is used in the military to rank officers. dividing these problems into categories—cell phones as a social problem. "plain text" or "text only" document.
) Illustration You may associated the word "illustration" with images that accompany a story in a picture book. ever-ascending. convenience. is that it sheds light on the general idea. We assassinate microbes with hand soap. or it may be several short examples. . 220 . It may be a story. What do you want. " or "We can proceed in one of three ways. You know you will never get to the end of the journey." Checklist for division and classification paragraphs: • • • • Have you clearly identified your purpose for writing and using the division and / or classification techniques of development? Do the categories suit your topic sentence or thesis? Is each category distinct and separate from the other categories? Are you using parallel structure to create categories? That is. or the criteria that chacterize items in a group. a quotation. price.and equally foolish. Classifying cell phones according to size. as in "There are two main problems associated with . Writers use examples to make a general idea clear—to illustrate an idea. extended example. for example. an anecdote. . as in the following example. an adorable pancreas? (Jean Kerr) Using illustration in your writing: Once you have a clear sense of an idea you want to illustrate. But this. Yet as Einstein says. only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. no matter which form it takes. The illustration may be one long. Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. so far from discouraging. (Winston Churchill) I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. the picture helps to illuminate or clarify the meaning in the text. Every step may be fruitful. Topic sentence in division and classification paragraphs: Typically. got so crazy last night. "Before God we are all equally wise . Illustration also refers more generally to clarification through exemplification.injury—will help the student develop a clear argument. It feels clean and right." Every day you may make progress." or "Ponds have several characteristics that differentiate them from lakes." In a classification paragraph. you need to decide on the form of illustration you will use: A series of examples or statistical information can be persuasive. who never lets her hair down. Consider the following examples: I am surprised that Margot. in illustrated books. The key to a good illustration. or a statistic. in the topic sentence of a division paragraph (or in the thesis of an essay that relies on division as the primary method of development) writers will use enumeration to prepare the reader for the content. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening. and appearance would not be an effective system for this argument. are the categories of the same kind and at the same level of generality? (See our module on Parallel Structure and the page on using coordination to outline an essay in the module on Coordination and Subordination for more information. ever-improving path. but the emphasis is likely to be on the ranking of the different divisions. however. the topic sentence might also involve enumeration. That's deep enough. "Most states recognize two types of murder. mouthwash and bathroom cleaners.
" Harris said. making the idea clear and real. . and the skin." Harris said. voting activist Bev Harris was holed up in the basement of her three-story house in Renton. "I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. searching the Internet for an electronic voting machine manual. Diebold hadn't password-protected the file or secured the audit log. In defining scientific terms. . where the terminology is extensive and discipline-specific. on the other hand. . definitions can be more subjective. long illustration allows you to get in depth and explore facets of an idea. "I was thinking we have an immense problem here that's much bigger than me. the main idea is developed through a list of concrete examples. This technique is useful when you are writing a literary analysis. and when impressions are essential. is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria. Definition is very important in the sciences. irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. they say. doubts about the accuracy and integrity of e-voting equipment have been growing. Compare the following scientific definition with a highly subjective definition: Scientific Definition: Bacterial endocarditis occurs when bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia) lodge on abnormal heart valves or other damaged heart tissue. election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line -. when she made a startling discovery. the intestinal and urinary tracts. or a biography. "It was getting scarier and scarier. Consider this paragraph about Caeser Chavez from Wikipedia: Chávez was an ethical vegan and vocal advocate of animal rights. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves. dog fighting and cock fighting." He also said. economic deprival. (Zetter) You may also choose to use quotations to illustrate an idea.and change votes without leaving a trace. bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence.could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence. This technique is useful if you are exploring a complex idea. so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election -. Certain bacteria normally live on parts of your body.But some scientists say we're overdoing it. . as in the following illustration from an essay on e-voting. ." (Wikipedia) Definition In a definition paragraph. a writer should be as objective as possible. A writer may wish to define complex terms such as "heartache. (Keim) In each paragraph." Over the past year. such as the mouth and upper respiratory system. . "There was a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been there. "Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. thanks to Harris' discovery. or to come to new understanding of terms they may be familiar with.a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office -. the writer should strive to use analogies and impressions that the reader can readily identify with. Washington. Some surgical and dental procedures cause a brief bacteremia. Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access -. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema. The answer. A single. but only certain bacteria commonly cause endocarditis. . In the humanities. Racism. The writer uses the story of Bev Harris' discovery of easy vote database access to illustrate how hackable computer vote databases can be: In January 2003. He stated.Diebold employees." "luck. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings. ("Bacterial") 221 . the writer's goal is to help the reader understand new terms or concepts." or "democracy" in a personal way. Bacteremia is common after many invasive procedures.
and I find myself asking. Look at the examples below: paragraph emphasizing causes: Several factors contributed to the instability of the economy today. . I have had to struggle to keep from thinking of myself in the limiting way that word implies. Nobody knows what it is like to deal with crippling bouts of idiocy while trying to lead a normal life. in an essay on global warming. The method(s) you choose should be determined by the term you are defining. sir?” Throughout my life. one or the other will be emphasized. we can get a pretty good sense of what something is like. or what it is lacking. “[I]diot” is not a nice word to call somebody. Below are some common methods of definition: By characteristics or features: Scientific definitions typically rely on this type of definition. for now he is really in trouble. a definition of CO2 emissions emphasizing the consequences of these emissions to the environment would be important. A paragraph emphasizing the causes of something typically begins with an effect. By function: how something works. (Frazer) The second paragraph is taken from an essay-length definition of "idiocy" by Ian Frazer. 222 . paragraph emphasizing effect: Jack should never have quit his job. “Have you no sense of decency. and then provide clear detail to support the definition.Subjective Definition: ." By its origins: Providing a history of what a term has meant can help us understand its current meaning. then explores the consequences or effects of this cause. Writing Definitions: To write a definition paragraph (or essay). By what it is not: Ironically. a writer begins with a particular cause. He goes on to give examples of his idiocy and then conclude that his idiocy is just not his fault. provide a basic or general definition. as Mr. or what it does can be an important part of definition. By example: Giving examples illustrating what the term means can be highly effective. for the record. Exploring the evolution of the term could yield interesting insight into the connotations of the contemporary term. The last thing I need is for somebody to make it harder by pointing out what an “idiot” I am. a writer must identify the term being defined. in a particular paragraph. Welch did of Senator Joseph McCarthy. I would like it known that I am not an “idiot. By its effect: Discussing what effects the subject produces is important with certain subjects or in certain contexts. the purpose of the paragraph is to explore how that effect came to be—to show what caused it. .” I am a person who suffers from idiocy. as in the above definition of "idiocy. For example. In a paragraph emphasizing the effects of something. For example. A definition can be developed in a number of ways. By what it is similar to: Comparison and analogy help us understand things that are unfamiliar to us. So. However. by learning what it is not. Cause & Effect A cause and effect development techniques are typically discussed together. Physical features as well as behaviors (as in animal or cell behavior) may be a part of this type of definition." which refers to a head scarf women wore in mediaeval Europe. the slang term "wimp" comes from the term "wimple.
Writing a cause & effect paragraph or essay: In a cause and/or effect paragraph. mad elephants. dismal factory town. of course. Yet. and. or a detective might write an analysis of evidence found at a crime scene to support a conclusion about the perpetrator of the crime. the goal is to understand a subject by examining its parts. Charles Dickens suggests that everything in the sooty. however. all analogies break down at some point. doing research. For example. if one chooses to emphasize the thorns of the rose. solid evidence. Analogy Analogy can be highly effective for extended definitions because in analogy. evidence must be selected that best supports the interpretation or conclusion. . A rose blooms. the stuff of strange dreams: the lights of factories make the factories seem like fantastic fairy palaces. there are moments when the city becomes fantastic and disorienting. Take a look at the following example of an analysis of setting in the novel Hard Times. the writer needs to present the evidence in an orderly way and provide enough explanation of the evidence for the reader to understand how it relates to and supports the writer's idea. and eventually dies. The writer presents several examples as evidence for this interpretation. one explains something that is difficult to understand through comparison with something that is more readily understood. taking notes. for this reason. the writer needs to know which factor to emphasize: causes or effects. To get to this point of confidence takes hard work: rereading a text or examining a subject several times to become familiar with the contents. Rather a cynical view of love in the end. The overall argument here is that Charles Dickens wants readers to see 19th century factory towns as strange. in the moonlight the steam-engines cast shadows on the walls which seem like the shadows of the Titans. and then deciding what the evidence suggests. " A controlling idea like this merely establishes a fact. a complex experience like falling in love might be explained in a rose analogy. the looms in the factories seem a forest. The first thing a writer must do in writing the analytical paragraph is develop a sense of confidence about what should be asserted about a subject. There are no perfect analogies. but it also has thorns. The author analyzes scenes from the text to support an interpretation of their significance in the larger context of the novel: In Hard Times." is severely workful and practical. analogies are quite 223 . Writing an Analysis Paragraph: Strong analysis depends on a clear sense of purpose. and the smoke from the chimneys is like coiled serpents. then. since. and why it is important to discuss a cause and effect relationship in the first place. the steam engines themselves. lumbering up and down are melancholy. and careful explanation of the significance of the evidence. . consequently. or a student in an anthropology class might write an analysis of broken pottery shards found on the site of an 18th century dwelling to support conclusions about the wealth and status of the family who lived on the site. Using transition words to emphasize cause and effect relationships between ideas is useful. a writer might analyze the setting in a short story to better understand the theme of the story. Words and phrases showing cause: because. no purpose has been identified for discussing the cause and effect relationship. Analysis In an analysis paragraph. is due to. disorienting places. it is delicate and beautiful. it follows. therefore. For example. in spite of this fact. Finally. mythological giants. a rare beauty in nature. is caused by Words and phrases showing consequence: as a result. Once a writer has developed an interpretation of or conclusion about a subject. "Coketown. It is not Ok to write "There are several causes and effects for .
if your paragraph is about the advantages of owning a compact car. The parable is highly useful in explaining the stress such television commercials cause the viewer. and he forgives her with an adoring smile. for she is the source of his shame. we should draw the proper conclusion. and an end. Being born is like being kidnapped. it 224 . Take a look at the famous analogies below to see how the process works . —Andy Warhol No matter how much Bill Gates may claim otherwise. A good way to get started is to use the phrase (subject) is like . every analogy eventually breaks down. indeed. sneers with cold contempt. As demonstrated in the Ring Parable. And then sold into slavery. . intimations of the way to redemption. Do not discuss the disadvantages. . But in lost parables. . . The man is humiliated and glares at his wife with scorn. —Jim Clark Finally. Furthermore. to be sure. and announces to all within hearing the nature of his transgression. The first requires that you be open to advice or social criticism from those who are more enlightened. and aspirin commercials. comfortably traditional. Writing an analogy: Writing analogy is one of the more difficult forms of writing. in turn. This is the parable's end: the moral. he missed the Internet. But then a waitress approaches their table. or the analogy won't work.useful. She. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using illustration to develop your idea. Every good paragraph has a unity. Answer given: 3. mouthwash. although she is. . we are shown the couple in the restaurant once again. there is a path to redemption. . which means that only one main idea is discussed. In some parables. A married couple is depicted in some relaxed setting—a restaurant. but it can also be a lot of fun. the advisers are amiable and sympathetic. discuss only that. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using analogy to develop your idea. the exegeses. Answer given: Another important element of a good paragraph is unity. shampoo. Finally. . exacting and very close to unforgiving. make sure that there are no key features of the items being compared that are obviously incompatible. but this time they are free of the waitress's probing eyes and bitter social chastisement. as for example in all sanitary napkin. From this. As mentioned earlier. like a barreling freight train that he didn't hear or see coming. assumes an expression of self-loathing mixed with a touch of self-pity. The parable continues by showing the wife at home using a detergent that never fails to eliminate dirt around the collars of men's shirts. notices that the man has a dirty collar. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using narration to develop your idea. This is the parable's middle: the solution of the problem. The story has a beginning. the adviser is rather more sarcastic than severe. Answer given: 2. and that is to be expected. but key features of the items being compared should be present in both subjects. when developing your analogy. a middle. This is the parable's beginning: the presentation of the problem. the waitress serves the function of counselor. In the Ring parable. Consider Neil Postman's analogy between a certain kind of preachy television commercial and religious parables that "put forward a concept of sin. Search your brain for the features of your subject and see if you can think of other subjects that share these features. She proudly shows her husband what she is doing. and a vision of Heaven": The narrative structure of the Parable of the Ring around the Collar is. stares at it boldly. 1. say—in which they are enjoying each other's company and generally having a wonderful time. the explication. but it can be entered only on two conditions. perhaps all too aware of their own vulnerability on other matters. For example.
For example. In China. there were an estimated 10. unprotected sex. II. to 100. of course. the rate is 40 percent. Zambia. Uganda. In Central and Eastern Europe. new medicines are available that prolong the lives of people with HIV. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. There is evidence that in the United States." These are called irrelevant sentences For example. All of them discuss the same topic in which paragraph has unity and which two do not? Which paragraph discusses more than one topic? Which paragraph has irrelevant sentences? Paragraph 1 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. These statistics illustrate with frightening clarity that HIV/AIDS is still a major health problem in most areas of the world. Study the three paragraphs that follow. start a new paragraph. If you begin to discuss another advantage. Uganda. you are getting off the topic. In Kenya. but you should not discuss both gas economy and easier parking in the same paragraph because they are not closely related. in each paragraph. but 225 . you could discuss gas economy and low maintenance costs in the same paragraph because they are closely related. PRACTICE A. In China. Tanzania. Malawi. Uganda. Rwanda. Malawi. and this total grew ten-fold. and New Zealand. if you write several sentences about inflation. HIV infection rates are declining. by the end of 1995. HIV infection rates are skyrocketing among sex workers. In Kenya. In Central and Eastern Europe. Rwanda. and Zimbabwe. Tanzania. The second part of unity is that every supporting sentence must directly explain or prove the main idea that is stated in the topic sentence. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. and Zimbabwe. In China. However. by the end of 1995. there were an estimated 10.000 HIV IV infected persons at the end of 1993. the rate is 40 percent. This is a result of a combination of prevention methods. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. For example. virus to their children during pregnancy and childbirth or when breast-feeding.000 HIV-infected persons at the end of 1993. and in Vietnam. 80 percent of sex workers are infected. The following short essay has not been divided into paragraphs. drug users who share needles may become infected. Australia. by the end of 1995. and in some areas. Paragraph 2 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world." In Kenya. Paragraph 3 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. to 100. and your paragraph will not have unity. Zambia.is a good idea for beginning academic writer to discuss only one advantage. Tanzania. if you are writing a paragraph about the high cost of college tuition. and this total grew ten-fold. Zambia. Malawi. and this total grew ten-fold. the United Kingdom. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV and in some areas. Do not include any information that does not directly support the topic sentence.000 HIV infected persons at the end of 1993. to 100.000. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya. such as gas economy.000. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. In the countries of sub Saharan Africa.000. The virus is also transmitted through blood and blood products. Sometimes students write supporting sentences that are "off the topic. the rate is 40 percent. In Central and Eastern Europe.' In Nairobi. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. Around the world. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. the rate of infection climbed from 9 percent to 38 percent between 1992 and 1995. at least among males. 23 B. The main method of transmission is. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. you could mention inflation' as a factor. and in some areas. which accounts for 75 to 85 percent of infections. Rwanda. and Zimbabwe. there were an estimated 10. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. Mothers can give the HIV. Sometimes it is possible to discuss two or even three aspects of the same idea in one paragraph if they are closely related to each other.
In this kind of writing. Rhetoric. but also irrelevant sentences.and risk. Spanish rhetoric. which are based on Anglo-European cultural patterns. People of all ages axe choosing educational study tours for their vacations. More and more often. Both of the following paragraphs break the rule of unity because they contain one -or more irrelevant sentences-sentences that do not directly support the topic sentence. in which people jump out of airplanes with graphite boards attached to their feet. hiking through steamy rain forests. a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digressions. but it is different. use an indirect approach. In English. One of the riskiest new sports is skysurfing. The topic is never analyzed directly. D Both of the following paragraphs have not only two or more topics. Skysurfing rivals skydiving and bungee jumping for the amount of thrills. Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. does not follow the English rule of paragraph-unity. climbing the world's highest mountains. Culture. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence. STEP 1 Read the entire essay once or twice. however. C. on the other hand. STEP I Decide where each paragraph should be divided into two or more paragraphs. and Rhetoric Logic. 226 . comes from culture. maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination.(Where does the author begin to discuss a different topic?) STEP 3 Underline the first sentence of each paragraph. which is basis of rhetoric. with their emphasis on coordination. A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. Paragraph 2 Daredevil sports are also becoming popular. a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive. A good English paragraph may also use just the reverse sequence: It may state a whole series of examples and then summarize those examples in a single statement at the end of the paragraph. backcountry snowboarding. therefore. they axe choosing to spend their vacations rafting down wild rivers. four body paragraphs. a good English paragraph begins with a general statement of its content and then carefully develops that statement with a series of specific illustrations. or traversing slippery glaciers. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic. the flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. are linear . Paragraph I Adventure travel is the hot trend in the tourism industry. the student may have difficulty reading an essay written by the rules of English rhetoric unless he/she understands the "logical" differences from those of his/her own native tongue. Again. In either case. such a development in an English paragraph is awkward and unnecessarily vogue to an English reader. Logic. Young people especially are increasingly willing to risk life and limb while mountain biking. or high-speed skateboarding. Some Asian writers. it is not universal. Ordinary people axe no longer content to spend their two weeks away from the office resting on a sunny beach in Hawaii. Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but. Furthermore. seem awkward and immature to an English reader. the Arabic and Persian styles of writing. is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. the topic is viewed from a variety of angles. and a concluding paragraph. STEP I Locate and underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. The rhetorical system of one language is neither better nor worse than the rhetorical system of another language. Soccer is also becoming popular in the United States.that is. Therefore.it should contain six: an introductory paragraph. English logic and English rhetoric. In summary. Whereas English writers use a linear sequence. the writer often digresses into areas that are not directly related to the topic. Also. STEP 2 Decide where each new paragraph should begin. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. where it was not well known until recently. a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea. therefore. it is referred to only indirectly.
His company spends $200 million a year translating software into other languages. "dropping by" is a friendly.Underline the topic sentence of each. The question is-which language? Because the Internet grew up in the United States. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. Paragraph 2 Even when you try to be polite. machine translation is totally useless. you could become very hungry and thirsty. For example. If you say "No. the largest percent. However. It is useful if all you are trying to do is understand the general idea of something you see on your computer screen. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. Topic Sentence identifies the topic and the intention to compare and/or contrast X and Y. Support Sentences describe and compare features. however. Computer spelling checkers also exist for various languages. If an American says. neighborly gesture idioms are often difficult for newcomers to understand. thank you" because it is polite to decline the first one or two offers in your culture. it's easy to do the wrong thing inadvertently in a new culture. Teaching & Learning Centre Fact Sheets The University of New England Paragraph types: Comparison and/or contrast A comparison and/or contrast paragraph is required if you are asked to examine similarities and/or differences. the value of having a common language is greatly increased. however. Comparison focuses on similarities. because flawless machine translation is a very tough problem." he may or may not want you to visit him in his home. PLAN A Feature 1 — Describe X. That day is decades away. age of its content is now in English. there are a few occasions when they are not. "Unless you read English passably well. Americans do not expect you to visit them unless you have an invitation for a specific day and time. Contrast focuses on differences. accept it the first time it is offered. He says. software may be available to instantly translate both written and spoken language so well that the need for any common language could decline. 227 .” In some areas of the United States. "Please drop by sometime. Your clue that this may not be a real invitation is the word "sometime. Although Americans are usually very direct in social matters. Microsoft's president. 24 Paragraph I Because the Internet makes the world a smaller place. In other areas of the United States. believes that English will remain valuable for a long time as a common language for international communication. describe Y — identify similarities and differences Feature 2 — Describe X. when someone offers you food or a beverage in America. An American thinks that "no" means "no" and will usually not offer again. you miss out on some of the Internet experience. and the times of meals may be different. Software that does crude' translations already exists. if you are trying to negotiate a contract or discuss a scientific subject where details are important. comments on the degree of similarity or difference. Bill Gates." Someday. American meals are usually more informal than meals in other countries.
like. is a system of medicine based on the treatment of a given disease by administering small quantities of a drug which produces the symptoms of that disease in a healthy person. describe Y — identify similarities and differences.Feature n — Describe X.au/interactive/workshops/writing/index. but Teaching & Learning Centre Fact Sheets The University of New England Examples of questions requiring a compare and/or contrast paragraph Compare and contrast the grain characteristics which determine quality in wheat and barley. also. again. equally. see http://tlc. while. too For contrast in contrast. in contrast. however. unlike. in the same way. Sample paragraph 1 (using Plan A) Sample paragraph 2 (using Plan B) What is the difference between allopathy and homeopathy? Allopathy and homeopathy are quite different.une. Concluding Sentence summarises and interprets differences and similarities. similarly. PLAN B Describe X — features 1–n Describe Y — features 1–n Describe and discuss points of similarity and/or difference. Allopathy is the treatment of disease of one kind by exciting a disease of another kind or in another part.edu. What characteristics distinguish plants from animals? What is the difference between allopathy and homeopathy? Notice that the words compare and/or contrast do not always appear in the question.php 228 . Homeopathy. different from. Useful transitional words and phrases For comparison similar to. For more information and practice in paragraph types. It is sometimes incorrectly used as a name for orthodox medicine. on the other hand. whereas.
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