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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
a sensible plan is to tell readers what the paragraph is intended to discuss before it is discussed. That’s why your topic sentence should be a sort of clincher. in the middle. 5 . If they are interested in the topic. may be stated or placed anywhere in a paragraph. They should also remind their children to do their homework at home after school. they will continue reading. The topic of the sentence is how parents can help children succeed in school. if not. or at the end of a paragraph. you should place the topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph. however. 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. The topic sentence serves the special purpose of announcing the paragraph's topic. Thus.The topic sentence. 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 good architect is both an artist and a mathematician. parents can encourage them to study by buying story books with pictures. the topic sentence has given them guiding clues that help them be selective in their reading. the controlling idea is a restricting idea because it limits the information that can be included in its paragraph. the controlling idea may come first. it may be placed at the beginning. Using this approach to placement of the topic sentence. Thus. As a child. 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. Generally.a tempting statement that catches the readers’ attentions and entice them to carry on with the reading of the paragraph. Consequently. that is . Therefore. parents should take the responsibility to monitor their studying. In the paragraph above. Consider the following paragraph: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them.Gold is prized for two important characteristics. A. as a beginning writer. Artistic talent and mathematical ability are two qualities of a good architect. However. no information that cannot he summarized by the controlling idea can be included in a paragraph. 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. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. the reader can more easily identify the central point that the writer is making. As result. It helps readers save time as it tells them what the reset of the paragraph is all about. I experienced this. that is. Children Topic Controlling idea usually enjoy playing games instead of studying. the controlling idea is the summary of all the information contained in its paragraph. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. However. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. the topic comes first and the controlling idea comes second in the topic sentence. Moreover. Therefore. Gold : topic two important characteristics : controlling idea The controlling idea is the central idea that is developed in a paragraph. the common practice in writing a paragraph is to begin with the topic sentence and to follow it with supporting sentences. the controlling idea is encouraging them. Topic Controlling idea B. I was very excited. the topic sentence is the following: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. My parents gave me a gift when I got ‘A’ in my math lesson.
Being limited: In addition to being complete. Study the following: 1. you will have many advantages.Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the beginning. it is not a sentence at all. 2. The heart of a man performs at about 60 to 80 beats a minute. First of all. sentence A is a better topic sentence because sentence B has more than one idea and is not a good topic sentence. Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the end.200 gallons of blood. you will not have either too much or too little to write about. 3. Being complete: Like any other sentence. a topic sentence must also be limited: that is. if it is not a complete sentence. A further advantage is that there is much less traffic. Again. There are many advantages to living in a village. Fragment: Ways to learn English Complete: There are many easy ways to learn English. In conclusion. must meet three requirements. The heart weighs about 11 ounces and is the size of a clenched fist. It must be 1.and Specific. Fragment: Learning English Complete: Learning English is useful for everyone. in a single day it pumps 2.Characteristics of a good topic sentence A good topic sentence. Limited. In a year it beats some 40 million times. a topic sentence must be a complete sentence: that is. and as a result it is much safer place to bring up young children. it can be seen that village life is suitable for retired and those who want to have more peace and less stress. which defines the controlling idea clearly and precisely. life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly. In addition. it must consist of a subject and a predicate. At each beat it takes in nearly a quarter of a pint of blood. it must express one and only one controlling idea which will be expanded into a complete paragraph. In fact. 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. 2. Fragment: If you know English Complete: If you know English. but rather a sentence fragment or a part of sentence. In this way. Complete. compare the following pair of topic sentences 6 . It must be clearly limited in such a way that it is neither too broad nor too a narrow. 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. Therefore. C. Note that sentence A contains only one idea ("have at least two learning habits"). Compare the following sentences. and in the course of a single lifetime about 56 million gallons. one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. whereas sentence B has two ideas ("have at least two learning habits" and "should be responsible in his studies"). 3.
B. You should narrow down your subject to be more specific.S. Still too general: Watching a soccer game keeps me involved." This topic sentence indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will cover the trend in the world toward eating organic foods. Remember that a topic sentence must have one single controlling idea A-COMPUTERS 1. Topic Sentence: "An increasing number of people in the world are enjoying the benefits of organically grown fruits and vegetables. 3. such as classes. One controlling idea B: Kairouan is famous for its Islamic architecture. University-dormitory living-roommates." Notice that this sentence clearly identifies that the key topic of the paragraph is violence in television cartoons. 2. Computers are a necessary part of modern life. Television gives free and interesting entertainment to people of all ages. or nuclear power. _____________________________________________________________________________________ C-TELEVISION 1. Music can teach children to understand their own culture. teachers. 2. The reader can also expect learning more in this paragraph about the specific benefits of organic foods. students. A good topic sentence: My neighborhood is fascinating because people from many countries live in it. Topic Sentence: "Many television cartoons contain an unhealthy amount of violence. such as university. and how/why this violence is unhealthy for viewers. that you can discuss. 2.Two controlling ideas A : Kairouan is famous for traditional artefacts and it has beautiful landscape.my roommates –Jane Samples: 1. _____________________________________________________________________________________ B-MUSIC 1. Television advertising is far more effective than advertising in magazines or newspapers. For example. Computers are unnecessary and make our life complicated. you must narrow it down to a limited topic that can be discussed in one paragraph. 7 . A. Much better: Watching the Tunis derby between CA and E. PRACTICE 1: Read the following topic sentences and decide on the best topic sentence. It also indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will discuss how much violence cartoons typically contain. Being specific: A topic sentence should not be too general. Playing a musical instrument helps children to develop in discipline and self confidence. You may narrow down the subject of college to the more specific subject of a roommate. there are many specific things about university. When you start to write about a very general topic. and the campus. Computers save us time and make our lives easier. Too general: My neighborhood is a nice place to live in. vacations. Too general: Sports are exciting.T kept me on the edge of the chair. 2. or too vague.
.…………………………………….my best friend……………………………………………………………. e-mail is popular because it is faster than sending a letter and cheaper than a telephone conversation. in your home. Getting married Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 6.. 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.………… 3. Television has enormous influence on politics.……………………………………. University Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 4.……… 2. Animals Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 2. Technology Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 5.CLASSES – my best/worst class …… ……………. Write a topic sentence for the following paragraphs. Try to add at least three or four ideas to each group.DIVORCE–children……………………………….3. at any hour of the day or night.. so you can save both time and money. Example: Teenagers and drugs Topic sentence: Drug addiction has caused a huge increase in crimes of violence which is committed/done by teenagers. you can share your hobbies and special interests.…………………………… PRACTICE 4: A.……………. VACATIONS……………………………….…………………………………. Finally..Madonna 1.…………………………………….…………… 6. 8 . and perhaps make friends all over the world.individual sports ……………………………………………………………. Firstly.. on-line shopping makes it possible to search through catalogues to find exactly what you want at the best price. 1..rock singer – superstar . all of the latest information is available to you. 4. 1. Topic: Using Internet _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. FRIENDS . SPORTS . Television Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 2: Write specific topic sentences for possible paragraphs on the following topics. By joining a newsgroup or chat group.. Also.…. ENTERTAINMENT-singers .MUSIC……………………………….…………. 5.
they would have the second. 4. 9 . They want to earn money and spend it as they wish. 3. some special satellites register the earth’s resources and military information. frightened. They hope to be free and stand without one’s help. I was afraid of losing someone else whom I loved. First of all. If any of the supporting details doesn’t correlate with the main idea or does not support it. 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. The supporting sentences must give information that reinforces the main idea stated in the topic sentence. therefore. Due to difficult life conditions. (mere: only. Finally. left me lonely. my loneliness was so great that I often dreamed that my father would miraculously return. Tourism employs twenty times as many people as the car industry. Nearly three million people depend. Topic: Divorce _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. Unfortunately. Topic: Tourism _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. 3. Whenever my mother was away from home. women think that life is always difficult unless they have their own economics independence. Scientists are working to develop space technology to use in different areas. Being economically independent is the desire of many women. They smoke for the sake of knowing how it feels. Meteorological satellites also provide advance information. upon tourism for their jobs. Topic: Space Technology _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. Furthermore. I felt great sadness and loneliness. the loss of my father caused me to develop a greater sense of responsibility. 7. throughout the rest of my childhood. I believed that with my father gone I was responsible for helping my mother with her chores.2. there are many women working outside their homes and are independent. people are more aggressive towards each other. As a result. definitions.2 THE SUPPORTING SENTENCES The body of every effective paragraph consists of ideas or details that support and explain the topic sentence. telecommunication satellites have greatly improved global communications. For example. Nowadays. In addition. examples. I was nervous until she returned. and responsible – a young child with adult feelings. and earns four as much money as agriculture. and then become accustomed to it eventually! Just like the addiction of taking drugs. Firstly. Couples do not tolerate a few mistakes. the third. The number of supporting details required in a paragraph depends on what the writer is trying to show. Thus the students are strongly advised to provide at least three strong details which can support the main idea. directly or indirectly. Teenagers tent to be curious about new things. sake: cause) 5. once they started to smoke their first cigarette. it will break the unity of the paragraph. some regard divorce as the best way to get this independence. Topic: My Father’s Death _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. In addition. elaboration and exploration. For the firs few months. Topic: Teenagers Smoking _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. My father’s death. We need tourists’ money in fact they provide more jobs for all of us. The students can use all the writing techniques necessary to make the paragraph sustainable and eligible: descriptions.
This tree stands two hundred feet tall. which is very wide and beautiful. climbing this hill is not dangerous.Supporting sentences may be classified into one of two groups: major support sentences or minor support sentences. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. First. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. First. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. are many willow trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. Also. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. On either side of this river. which is 175 feet wide. There are no trees around this hill. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. It directly support its major support sentence by making it more easily understood. Therefore. Practice 10 . It indirectly supports the controlling idea of the paragraph by helping its major support sentence make that idea more easily understood. 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. It directly supports the controlling idea by making that idea more easily understood. which is unusual because it is very steep. which is very wide and beautiful. Even though it is steep. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. 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. and (II) At the same time it helps its support sentence develop the controlling idea. Also. which is unusual because it is very steep. a minor support sentence must be closely related both to its major support sentence and the controlling idea of the paragraph. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. it is noted for the Wheaton River. it is noted for the Wheaton River.
PRACTICE 11 .
and other elements in the middle of the hamburger. Consider a hamburger that you can buy at a fast-food restaurant. Similarly. in a way. meat. You can understand concluding sentences with this example. and so on. and a bottom bun. The top bun. onions. is like a TOPIC SENTENCE. lettuce. and the bottom bun is like the CONCLUDING SENTENCE. You can think of a concluding sentence as a sort of topic sentence in reverse. This is the concluding sentence. A hamburger has a top bun (a kind of bread). the topic sentence and 13 . Both buns "hold" the meat. Note how the top bun and the bottom bun are very similar. cheese.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.
Practice STEP I Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph. and ornamental purposes. it is suitable for jewelry. As a result. STEP 3 Add a good concluding sentence to each. STEP 2 Determine the main idea of each paragraph. 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. the topic sentence. It is clear that In summary. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. the concluding sentence repeats the main idea of the topic sentence in different words. It summarizes the main points of the paragraph. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. First of all. which were not specifically stated in the topic sentence. but not exactly the same as. Indeed . In brief. A concluding sentence serves three purposes: 1. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. Canada has a high standard of education. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. 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. Canada has an excellent health care system. For many years. 14 .concluding sentence "hold" the supporting sentences in the paragraph. For example. 2. There can be no doubt that The evidence suggests that The examples that follow demonstrate two different types of concluding sentences. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. do not always have the same emotional meaning. These examples show that Thus. Canada is a desirable place to live in . Finally. Notice also how the concluding sentence is similar to. Gold. We can see that Therefore. to call a person stingy is an insult while the word frugal has a much more positive connotation. coins. First. 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. It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. As a result. For example. you should be careful in choosing words because many so-called synonyms are not really synonymous at all. the words stingy and frugal both mean "careful with money" However. Synonyms. gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. and aggressive but not pushy. Second. The second example summarizes the two main points of the paragraph. a precious metal. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Similarly a person wants to be slender but not skinny. that is. You may either paraphrase the topic sentence or summarize the main points. Therefore. Therefore. In conclusion. The first one paraphrases the topic sentence. words that have the same basic meaning. Notice how the concluding sentence summarizes the information in the paragraph. 3. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. It signals the end of the paragraph. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. is prized for two important characteristics. In conclusion.
it is common for them to do so in the evenings or on weekends at home. it can affect your communication whether you are the speaker or the listener. it is impolite to do so. If you have a good story wait until-the speaker is finished. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Paragraph 2 Modern communication technology is driving workers in the corporate world crazy. managers receive an average of 100 messages a day. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 15 . Because they don't have enough time to respond to these messages during office hours.STEP 4 Begin each concluding sentence with an end-of-paragraph signal. They feel buried under the large number of messages they receive daily. in fact. When you are conversing with someone. don't sit slumped in a chair or make nervous hand and foot movements. pay close attention to the speaker's words while looking at his or her face. In one company. Furthermore. Paragraph I You can be a good conversationalist by being a good listener. don't interrupt while someone is speaking. Also. office workers receive dozens of E-mail and voice mail messages daily. watch your body language. Show your interest by smiling and/or nodding. In addition to telephone calls. For instance. Be relaxed and bend your body slightly forward to show interest in the person and the conversation.
Echo words are actually synonyms for the key word. climbing this hill is not dangerous. it is noted for the Wheaton River. Second. 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. Look at the model paragraph about gold to see how it uses this technique to achieve coherence. go gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. There are four ways to achieve coherence. The third way is to use transition signals to show how one idea is related to the next. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. The fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in a logical order. the pronoun it twice. but they can also be phrases. Even though it is steep. which is unusual because it is very steep. There are no trees around this hill. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. The first two ways involve repeating key nouns and using pronouns that refer back to key nouns. is prized for two important characteristics. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. Gold. which is 175 feet wide. Key words are the words carrying most significance in a paragraph. Consider the echo words in the following paragraph about tourists and souvenirs: 16 . There must be no sudden jumps. key words are those words a writer wants the reader to focus on as the paragraph progresses. which is very wide and beautiful. Repetition of Key words The easiest way to achieve coherence is to repeat key words frequently in your paragraph. First of all. Therefore. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. it is suitable for jewelry. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. For many years. Echo Words & Phrases: Echo words and phrases allow writers to remind the reader of the topic being discussed without becoming repetitive. In conclusion. Consider the following paragraph: My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. You should have circled the noun gold seven times. The key noun in this paragraph is gold. are many willow* trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. the movement from one sentence to the next and in longer essays. that is." In order to have coherence in writing the sentences must hold together. On either side of this river. For example. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. and the pronoun its three times. coins. a precious metal. from one paragraph to the next) must be logical and smooth. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. A. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. Circle gold pronouns that refer to it. First. Each sentence should flow smoothly into the next one. as too much repetition of the same words can be distracting and even irritating to a reader. and ornamental purposes. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. The Latin verb cohere means "hold together. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility.UNITY and COHERENCE in PARAGRAPHS: COHERENCE Another element of a good paragraph is coherence.
Except for Chinese. when they do something correctly. you must be physically strong Furthermore. as in "other objects from this period. Moreover.Therefore. an aspiring Olympian must train 17 . the pronouns are not consistent. they display the human emotions of joy and sadness. and it is the language of airline pilots and air traffic controllers all over the world. or from he to they (change of number). if you hope to compete in an Olympic sport. B. it sends out a message. They have also helped trapped or lost whales navigate their way safely out to the open sea. they help each other when they are in trouble. The key word in this paragraph is "souvenirs. charm bracelets." Note. Navy is training them to become underwater bomb disposal experts. If one is sick. ashtrays. replace some of the pronouns with appropriate singular or plural nouns. During training. Don’t change from you to he or she (change of person). For collectors.S. More than 70 percent of the world's mail is written in it. They are so intelligent and helpful. make sure that you use the same person and number throughout your paragraph. snow globes. In fact. too." To avoid repetition of this word. however. Replace the pronoun it with the key noun English wherever you think doing so would make the paragraph more coherent. Spanish is the official language of more countries in the world. with many falling between $20 and $40. When they make a mistake. it has displaced it throughout the world. they squeal excitedly and race toward their trainer. although French used to be the language of diplomacy. in fact. They push it to the surface of the water so that it can breathe. In international business. tumblers. Correct them to make this paragraph more coherent. PRACTICE In the following paragraph. First of all. It is the primary language on the Internet. PRACTICE A-In the following passage about dolphins. and others in the area swim to help it. using these general pronouns can often get developing writers into trouble with pronoun reference problems. so an echo word or phrase is a far better choice for a subject.The steady production of souvenirs throughout the mid-20th century has created a well that collectors can tap. it is a useful language to know. that the author adds adjectives and modifying phrases to the echo words to further clarify her meaning. it is used more than any other language. Olympic athletes must be strong both physically and mentally." 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. more people speak it than any other language. English English has almost become an international language. Use of Consistent Pronouns When you use pronouns instead of key nouns. They stay with it for clays or weeks-until it recovers or dies. the good news is that the tablecloths. Furthermore. In the following paragraph. but more countries have it as their official or unofficial second language. they droop noticeably and mope around their pool. B. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred. unless you plan to spend your life alone on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. For example. however. that the U. the key noun is never repeated. 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. and other objects from this period were produced in such large quantities that surviving examples are still easy to find and affordable. the author uses substitutes: "objects" and "examples." and "surviving examples.
plainly Be careful. therefore. next. on the contrary To emphasize or confirm indeed. We can call these words major connectors. finally. likewise. often giving up a normal school family. In other words. in conclusion. and (3) a part about the Big Old Tree.rigorously* for many years. in addition). consider the words. 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. in addition. differeniate ideas nevertheless. furthermore. such as those appearing in the phrases "these trees" and "this hill"? We can call these minor connectors. moreover.or phrases such as in conclusion. Minor Connectors What about the other words in bold. not everyone can win a medal. Both paragraphs give the same information. (2) a part about Wheaton Hill. of course. Do you see how they help guide the reader? For example. however. Major connectors help organize the main parts of your paragraph. meanwhile. Finally. or aconclusion (in conclusion). Being mentally strong also means that he or she must be able to withstand the intense of international competition with its media coverage. Major Connectors Look at the words in bold font in the paragraph about my home town. they tell the reader when you are giving a similar idea (similarly. First. certainly. undoubtedly. moreover. a result (as a result). therefore. Think of transition signals as traffic signs that tell your reader when to go forward. C. conversely. turn. naturally. 18 . and social life. PRACTICE A-Compare paragraphs 1 and 2 that follow. second. not to overuse transitional expressions. and however. Which paragraph contains transition signals and is more coherent? Circle all of the transition signals that you can identify. and stop. Second. For the most demanding sports. Save them for significant connections between ideas that you want to call special attention to. Using such major connectors is an important way of providing coherence in a paragraph. Transition Signals Transition signals are words such as first. and The third amazing feature. In addition to being physically strong he or she must also be mentally tough. Minor connectors provide coherence to a paragraph by connecting sentences within each of the main parts of your paragraph. so they must possess the inner strength to live with defeat. thus. Another way of saying this is that this paragraph has three main points which are indicated by the major connectors. ultimately. similarly first. in other words To conclude or sum up hence. however. subsequently.. also. rather. yet. Here are some of the most commonly used connecting words and phrases and the purposes they serve. in contrast). slow down. when you write about your main points. accordingly. nonetheless. This paragraph has three main parts: (1) a part about the Wheaton River. finally. to on the other hand. next. Purpose To add another idea To arrange ideas in order or time Connecting Word/Phrase furthermore. they train several hours a day. in brief. for instance. on the other hand. consequently To connect two contrasting ideas. although. This means that you have to be dedicated to your sport. eventually. you can use minor connectors to link your details to each main point. five or six days a week for ten or more years. an example (for example). at the same time To add an illustration or explanation for example. admittedly. however. and as a result. Overuse can be distracting. That is. an opposite idea (on the other hand.
There are two reasons for this. of course. on the other hand. consequently. water evaporates rapidly. however) 5. therefore.The waves are very long and low in open water. B. There are reasons for this. In warm climates. for example. (however. does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water.Paragraph 1 A difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. Some common kinds of logical order in English are chronological order. The same article said that the causes of inflation were easy to find ________ the cure for inflation was not so easy to prescribe. For example. (moreover. Second the surrounding land is dry and. you would find these expressions: the most noticeable difference. 19 . after that. Write the signal in the space. In a Paragraph describing differences (contrast). depend on your topic and on your purpose. finally. a fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in some kind of logical order. for example) 3. since then. A tsunami is a tidal wave produced by an earthquake on the ocean floor. water evaporates rapidly. therefore. unlike.Choose the transition signal that best shows the relationship between the sentences in each group from the choices given in parentheses. differ from In a paragraph showing similarities (comparison). Example: A recent article in Era magazine suggested ways to reduce inflation. furthermore) 1. as a result. Each kind of order has its own special words and phrases to show the relation ships among the ideas. just as. etc. Era also suggested that rising wages were one of the primary causes of inflation _______________the government should take action to control wages. after 1990. next. the less the gravitational force of the Earth _________a man weighs less when he is 50. In cold climate zones. (on the other hand. you would find these expressions: similarity. similarly. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. furthermore it suggested that the government reduce federal. compare with. in comparison. in a piece of writing using chronological order you would expect to find a lot of time expressions: first. just like. logical division of ideas and comparison/contrast.000 miles away. but when they get close to land. therefore. The concentration of salt is greater. in 20 10. the Baltic Sea in North Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. state. The farther away from the Earth a person is. water evaporates slowly. the weight of an object is the gravitational force 2 with which the Earth attracts it_________ if a man weighs 150 pounds. for example) D. The runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. while working on the project.000 miles from the Earth than when he is only 5. In cold climate zones. In physics. larger than. in warm climate zones. for example) 4. Logical Order In addition to using transition signals and repeating key words and pronouns. this means that the earth pulls him down with a force of 150 pounds. on the other hand water evaporates slowly. as expensive as. therefore) 2. they encounter friction because the water is shallow ____________the waves Increase in height and can cause considerable damage when they finally reach land. First of all. (however. You may even combine two or more different logical orders in the same paragraph.Add punctuation and change capital letters to small letters if necessary. therefore. 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. the runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. Paragraph 2 Another difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. and local taxes. For example. Your choice of one kind of logical order over another will. The article suggested that the president reduce the federal budget. (in conclusion. Furthermore. The surrounding land is dry and does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. in contrast. before the last war. in contrast. the concentration of salt is greater. (however.
the topic. Unity means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph. which is similar to the paragraph that we have studied above. connected to it by a tether. The cosmonaut to do this was Alexei Leonov.Unity is another very important characteristic of good paragraph writing. It is clear that the writer is continuing a discussion of grocery stores in Chinatown. Several weeks later. it is an "off-topic" sentence. Finally. supporting sentences. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. the Voshkhod project was intended to find out whether people could work in the weightless environment of space. If your paragraph contains a sentence or some sentences that are NOT related to the main topic. Skinned animals hang in windows of butcher shops here like clothes hang in the windows of suburban department stores.Often sentences have implicit logical connections that help the reader follow the thread of a discussion or argument. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. That is.are all telling the reader about ONE main topic." or that the sentence is "off-topic. or you may use others not listed." That is.S. This paragraph is generally good. In order to improve the paragraph. had goals of testing spacecraft and space flight skills so that people could fly long missions in Earth orbit. astronaut Ed White. the passage is coherent. all the sentences -. he floated in a spacesuit outside his Voshkhod spacecraft. For example. then we say that the paragraph "lacks unity. 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.Consider the example below: Chinatown offers one of the largest Asian American grocery districts in the country. but the sentence. so we can say that the paragraph somewhat lacks unity. with three cosmonauts. and (sometimes) the concluding sentence -. You may use the transition signals suggested for each topic. 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. we should omit this sentence. Though no transitional expression is used." Look at the following paragraph. astronaut Ed White. 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. Topic Suggestions Drinking laws The effects of divorce Working mothers UNITY Like coherence.S. offering an interesting an distinctive detail about these stores. That is. the Soyuz project. Given the first sentence in the passage above. even though it is historically accurate. For another example. Use transition signals to connect the supporting sentences smoothly. practice Choose one of the topic sentences below and write a paragraph that develops it. PRACTICE 20 . does not have anything to do with the major goals of the various Russian space projects. Add other sentences without transitions if you need to in order to explain the topic completely. Several weeks later. One Voshkhod cosmonaut experimented with weightlessness by taking a "spacewalk. the detail sentences. 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.
the closer a region is to the equator. but other factors also have an influence on temperature. Finally. Consequently.B-Study the following paragraph and decide whether there are irrelevant sentences and then revise it. 21 . Another important factor is the height of a region above sea level. the warmer its climate will be. If mountains block the passage of cold winds. nearby regions become warmer than unsheltered regions in the same latitude. throughout the cold months of winter the sea warms the nearby land just as a radiator warms a room. the nearby regions become cooler than other regions in the same latitude. for example. distance from the sea is important because although water absorbs heat more slowly than land. The higher you go up a mountain. it retains it longer. If mountains cause rain to fall frequently. the less dense the air is. In general. physical features such as high mountains influence the temperature of nearby regions. 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.
Comparison and Contrast Paragraphs When writing comparison or contrast paragraphs. The only major difference in the elementary curriculum is that most Europeans study a foreign language in elementary school. philosophies. Paragraph samples • Comparison paragraph The educational systems of Europe and the United States are similar in a number of ways. Jack usually plods along silently. 2. While relatives and family members call George a friendly “public relations officer”. Although both our pet cats look lovely. and art. The two do not even look alike. In addition. and then indicates the differences a s the focus of the paragraph. the ways they treat people. Unlike George. backgrounds. 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. topic sentence 2 is too general to be developed in one paragraph. it does not restrict the controlling ideas as to what points of the two cats to contrast. Then it is best to 22 . introductions to the sciences. topic sentence 1 acknowledges the obvious similarity of the two pet cats. acknowledge the obvious differences but emphasize the similarities. there is one teacher for all subjects for each grade (except in Scandinavia). mathematics. their attitudes toward life. and concluding sentence. and so on. you could compare their looks. Contrast paragraphs explain how two or more things are dissimilar or different. Even their parents can hardly understand why the two brothers are so different. in contrast. American and European educational systems differ in some ways You can hardly imagine George and Jack are actually twins. usually the topic introducer tells the two things to be compared or contrasted. their lifestyles. The points to be compared or contrasted are usually indicated in the topic sentence. Third. however. Comparison paragraphs explain how two or more things are similar or alike. George is a chubby looking boy on the verge of being overweight. acknowledge the obvious similarities but focus on the differences. music. The topic sentence should also indicate the emphasis of the paragraph. but most American children do not. often too lost in deep thoughts to even return a greeting in time. topic sentence 1 is better than topic sentence 2 for three reasons: First. The topic sentence In a comparison or contrast paragraph. the subjects which are taught at the elementary level are basically the same everywhere: reading and writing. Jack is simply “skinny” with sunken cheeks and a sharp chin. who has a ready smile on his face and is quick to greet everybody he knows on his way. 1. Our two pet cats are quite different. Obviously. the emphasis is usually on one or the other. Very commonly if you are comparing two rather dissimilar things. To begin with. There are about twenty to twenty-two pupils per class. His twin brother Jack. Compare the following two topic sentences and see which one is better. Also. If you were asked to compare and contrast two people. their differences in temperament is constant source of amusement. and the classes are coeducational. In a comparison or contrast paragraph. As a result. 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. Second. supporting sentences. they fondly refer to Jack as the “absent-minded professor”. and the topic sentence tells the controlling idea. is a boy of few words and loves to read books in solitude rather than going out to enjoy parties. If you are comparing two obviously similar things. and the majority of elementary school teachers are women. • Contrast paragraph PARAGRAPH STRUCTRE As you have learned in previous lessons. sports. their intelligence. elementary school classes look the same everywhere. either similarities or differences. a writer stresses how two or more things are alike or how they are different. a well-organized paragraph consists of topic sentence.
too. 23 . the items would be incomparable. If you were comparing two politicians in order to show that one is more diplomatic. you must include a discussion of each thing being compared or contrasted with each point of comparison. 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. for example. it would be irrelevant. After deciding which points to cover. to show a cautious attitude. talk about the Ford’s engine without talking about the Toyota’s. probably no more than three or four.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. You can’t. 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. For example. Also. otherwise. Furthermore. if you were contrasting two new models of automobiles. to develop in your paragraph. suspension. For instance. transmission. you must organize your paragraph in such a way that your reader does not have to jump about from one point to another. The points or items to be compared or contrasted should be parallel or of the same category. you must be sure to make your points of comparison clear and actually develop them. You couldn’t possibly develop all of the points in your brainstorming list in one paragraph. The Concluding sentence No matter whether it is a comparison or contrast paragraph. 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. 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. the writer may mention little of exceptions.
My wife devotes a lot of her free time to playing jazz piano. in the same way likewise another similarity similarly whereas too while both however Even though we come from different cultures. For example. my wife and I are alike in several ways. Topic sentence Point 1 Detail A Detail B Point 2 Detail A 27 A -.PRACTICE CHOOSE an appropriate conjunction from those shown below to finish the paragraph. I like to spend time after work strumming my guitar. I feel _________. _________ is that we both grew up in large cities. Helene was born and raised in Paris and I come from Yokohama. A more important similarity concerns our values. In fact. Third. hers on July 10 and mine on July 20. For one thing. our hobbies are alike _________. our birthdays are in the same month. 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.B . we are thirty-two years old.
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 --.
Younger students especially. 2-STRUCTURE OF CAUSE/EFFECT PARAGRAPHS Cause/effect paragraphs generally follow basic paragraph format. family. The hard work comes as a shock and students give up. 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. For example. but they never go camping.Also. the cause/effect paragraph explains why a condition occurs or the effect that this condition brings about. they begin with a topic sentence and this sentence is followed by specific supporting details. such as Why did it happen?" or"What". These students may enter college expecting non stop fun or a series of fascinating courses. or to draw a conclusion. Someone who buys a new car but can't really afford it. such as 'What are its causes?" or 'What are its effects?" In short. Television negatively influences people's behavior in a number of ways. Perhaps the most common reason students drop out is that they are having personal or emotional problems. television influences everybody’s behavior in negative ways. They become too unhappy to deal with both hard academic work and emotional troubles. The most important negative effect is that television may lead to violence. or the paragraph that points out the effect (or result) produced by a cause. These students may have problems with roommates. or depressed. When children see terrible things on TV and sometimes act them out. For example. belief or assertion. Students also drop out of college because the work is harder than they thought it would be . the supporting sentences all describe causes. advertisements force people to buy things they may not need. Students drop out of college for many reasons. First of all. some students are bored in school. Here is an example: 29 . They may not be able to understand right from wrong and think that violence is ok. they quickly lose interest.These students may have made decent grades in high school simply by showing up for class. That is. They do not want to take dull required courses or spend their nights studying. may be attending college at an age when they are also feeling confused. lonely. if the topic sentence introduces an effect. those who buy campingequipment.someone who buys a new computer even though his or her old computer works fine. to prove or disprove an idea. Consider the following example paragraphs. people should consider those effects before they start to watch television programs. The function of cause/effect is usually to answer the questions 'Why". and so they drop out. however they may have to prepare for two hour exams. Therefore. When they find out that college is often routine. First of all. In conclusion. to explain or to give an account of something or situation. For many types of students dropping out seems to be the only solution they can imagine. friends or girlfriends. to convince. In college.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.
] (Cities have grown very large. and culture made city life appear more interesting. Second. the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs. people established places of leisure. even though it is grammatical. you must order the cause and the effect corerctly. [There are several reasons for this. in this sentence: ??The weather outside was cold because Sally closed the window. as the cities grew.) However. in the sentence Sally closed the window because the weather outside was cold. (Note that the first letter of the conjunction is now capitalized. these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm.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. which is right before the cause. such as sports stadiums. The conjunction because is placed in the correct position here. the conjunction because is correctly placed before the part of the sentence that expresses the cause. in the sentence Because the weather outside was cold. which tended to be located in cities. There are several reasons for this occurrence.In recent decades. These jobs.) 3. and therefore drew them away from rural communities. Notice how each supporting sentence is a cause that explains the effect mentioned in the topic sentence. Finally. 30 . First. (Cities have grown very large. First. Better schools attracted families to move to the city. it does not make sense because a person's opening or closing a window does not influence the weather. to help you understand the relationships better: EFFECT (Topic Sentence) Cities have grown very large. the CAUSE is the fact that the room was cold. theaters. entertainment. cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. attracted many people from rural areas. and culture. For example. entertainment.) CAUSES (Supporting Sentences) Factory jobs attracted people. For many people. with their promise of a better material life. even though the subordinate clause because the room was cold is now at the beginning of the sentence. there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers. Sally closed the window. In the chart below are the main ideas of the above paragraph. Places of leisure. and the EFFECT is Sally's closing the window. Similarly. and museums.
in formal academic writing. These are attached directly at the beginning of CAUSE-sentence without a comma. As a result. Sally closed the window. and for this reason are usually followed by a comma. So Jim turned on the air conditioner. so Jim turned on the air conditioner. as in the example above.Second. The weather was cold. The weather was cold. Because the weather outside was cold. Consequently. The comma here is placed at the end of the subordinate clause. (too informal -. Sally put on her scarf. as in these examples: The weather was cold. A blizzard hit the town. Sally put on her coat. The adverbial clause conjunctions since and because are exceptions. Conjunctions such as therefore. However. Therefore.avoid this usage) B/ 31 . Sally closed the window. therefore. as in this sentence: The weather was warm. consequently. The coordinating conjunction so is also different from the ones above. the schools were closed. This conjunction has a comma before it. you should be careful when using commas. as a result. so may not be used at the beginning of a sentence (although you will often see it in informal writing): The weather was warm.
Baggy Drawers.000 fine and attend driving school for three months. It was there. as I hollered farewells to my friends and poured myself into the car. that is. fingerprinted. just two days after my high school graduation. Whatever story you tell. I was dead certain that I was sober enough to drive home safely. it tells about a series of events that happened to the narrator. When the police arrived--instantly. I had a fake ID. (Yes. You may choose to tell how your grandfather influenced your desire to become an scientist. Underline the topic sentence and the concluding sentence . In writing a narrative paragraph. I weaved down Monroe Avenue. a night of celebration turned into a costly and embarrassing lesson on the dangers of drinking and driving. I had to pay a $2. and flat out soused by the time we shut the bars down at three. One minute there was not a soul on the road in front of me. After filling out pages of forms and checking to see that nobody was injured. Read the following paragraph and answer the question that follow One Saturday last June. tipsy by midnight. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). you share with the reader some personal experience of your own in order to make a point or convey a message. Of course. or perhaps you’ll relate the story of the time you didn’t make the cut for the basketball team. it seemed--they gave me a breath test even before asking to see my license. the police took me to jail.) I was giggly by 11:00.THE NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH A narrative paragraph ‘tells a story’. and Night Lights. where I was photographed. and at each of these spots I drank a margarita or two. 33 . Out with a girlfriend for a wild night on the town. 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:. we made stops at such popular hangouts as Studebaker's. viewing gory films of accident victims with their bodies crunched under tires and heads wrapped inside bumpers. that I made a promise not to drink and drive ever again. Naturally I registered drunk. and the next--crash! I had plowed into the back of a big green Buick. your purpose is to share with others some experience that has taught you something or changed you somehow. With one eye shut to keep the road from blurring.
if the story is set in the past. The force can be a person or persons. The plot usually arises out of the conflict in the story. 34 . The force with which the protagonist is in conflict is called the antagonist. a story may begin in a particular city in England. “Why am I telling this story? Why should someone else be interested in reading about my experience?” In addition. Most personal narratives are written in first-person. Atmosphere. This is the turning point in the story in which the reader wonders what will happen next (i. month. a gloomy atmosphere. Time also refers to the season. establishes the setting. By the middle of the story. and even time of day. society or an internal struggle within the main character.g. This usually refers to the geographical location of the story. Focus • Narrative effect is the main point of your story—the moral. The basic plot is comprised of the following: • • • • Introduction. the insight you offer. it is significant to the story. the mood may change throughout the novel.. the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. will the problem get solved or not?) Solution/Conclusion – This is the point in the story in which the problem is solved Characters. • Organization of narrative paragraphs The narrative paragraph consists of three basic parts: The orientation. Climate/Weather. Without a specific narrative effect. you must decide whether to reveal your point explicitly (stated directly) or implicitly (suggested but not stated). Problem/Conflict. First-person tends to be more subjective. This is the mood or feeling of the story. it may be set in the future. For example. This is where the events in the story become complicated and the problem in the story is revealed. this refers to the period of history. Refers to the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are presented. who play parts in the action of the story. If the story begins in the midst of a hurricane. robots. If you are unsure what your main point is. characters.. Point of view • Decide which point of view. There are several components necessary to create a setting: • Place. Climax. The complication (supporting sentences)involves rising conflict that leads up to the climax (the point of highest action in the story). A novel can have more than one protagonist (e. This is an aspect of setting which can be important to the novel. we say that it is "contemporary. the character(s) may find themselves in other locations within England. • • • Plot. the emotional quality that the story gives to the reader. your writing is merely a series of unconnected events. If the story could happen now or at some recent unspecified time. two or even three main characters). The setting of the story is usually responsible for creating the mood or feeling of the story." If it is a science fiction story. The setting refers to the background in which the story takes place. • • • The protagonist is the main character throughout the novel. First. you might ask yourself. You might say that a novel opens with a mysterious atmosphere. first-person or third-person. but third-person can be effective as well. the message. and other essential elements of the story. Refers to people. works best for your narrative. Like the setting.e. etc. The plot is a synopsis of the storyline in chronological order. The story may move from one place to another. which eventually builds to a climatic moment. Time. animal.Setting.
in psychological time. events are described in the order in which they happened. In chronological time. 35 . The techniques of flashback and flashforward can also be part of your narrative’s time structure. (concluding sentence)the conflict is resolved and the narrative effect is revealed or suggested. Use flashback to recall an event from the past that has a significant impact on the present. events are described according to the connections between them. You must decide whether chronological time or psychological time best suits your story.Then. as they might be arranged in someone’s memory. in the resolution. The order in which the events are presented in the narrative paragraph is very important to the overall unity of the paragraph.
Both of these techniques. writing which incorporates vivid. Use very detailed. . especially when you are writing a highly detailed scene. precise language that keeps your reader’s attention.after.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 flashforward to jump to the future and show a possible outcome for the events in the present. In other words. Complete this paragraph using. They are our primary source of knowledge about the world. how the birds sang in the trees. how the dew sparkled on the grass. can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of your narrative. smell.before. readers quickly grow uninterested.Use Sensory Details It is important to remember that human beings learn about the world through using the five senses. feel. if used well. .Using Dialogue 36 . Also make use of sensory language (language that appeals to the senses). Don’t just tell us that spring was in the air—describe how the sun felt on your skin. use clear. and taste the scene you’re writing. Your goal is to make the scene come alive for the reader. evocative description to immerse the reader in the situation or place you describe. If your paragraph consists merely of dry facts. sensory detail is more likely to engage and effect the reader. hear. Make the reader see. Therefore.
I watched her rise majestically from her seat. use appropriate metaphors and similes. use it to tie up the loose ends of the paragraph. B How to Finish . 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. the Queen of bloody Sheba?" ." the voice was thick guttural. The most common method for ending a narrative paragraph is to refer back to your topic sentence. do you sometimes smile at remembering what a person said or did.? What introduces your event to the reader. and by rewording it. but she had his attention. when. Is this an adult. a brief amusing or interesting story about a real person or event. Be sure to make the conversation lifelike by using slang. but one of the easiest is to use the 5W’s – who. you are inhaling your soup in such a manner as to distract your fellow diners. serious intent. For example. Secretly I hoped she would do something to stop the obscene slurping coming from his fat lips. Who should clearly introduce the character. For exampleif the topic sentence is. Real people do not use full sentences when they speak. etc. or even get angry over a remembered insult once hurled your way? When writing a narrative paragraph about one event in your life. why – to ensure reader understanding of what you have written. "Sir. "Sir". "who do you think ya are. Make sure your characters talk like people in real life.” Metaphors and similes can be very helpful in revealing your narrative effect to the reader.Finally. Whenexpands on the time the event took place. "Listen." All activity stopped in the restaurant as we waited for his reply. The lady at the next table to the slob could take it no longer. re-word the idea into something lik"That is how I learned that the outside does not always reflect the inside. How to write narrative paragraphs A How to Start There are various ways to begin a narrative paragraph. child. interjections and other ‘real’ speech patterns. Everest. the use of dialogue will definitely make the event more vivid to your readers. Figurative language can add to your narrative by suggesting to your reader how you felt in a particular situation. slowly gliding to the stark blinking eyes. what. "Appearances can be deceptive". lady.When you recall an experience that you had. furrowed her white brow. which spread from the greyish collar of his neck. There was a grunt in return from the grazer. This is your chance to use fragments." Practice Practice1 37 . Wherehelps establish the mood and atmosphere for thsetting of the event you are re-telling. like a soldier on a mission. Another good method for starting the narrative paragraph is to use an anecdote. and Why is a brief explanation of the circumstances leading up to the event. where. Astonishment puckered his dimpled jowls to be replaced by a red infusion. she enunciated clearly to the huge slurping hulk.
Then I realised all he wanted was a cigarette. He would know she was away from the cabin. but he hasn’t seemed the same fellow. and was stopped by the red light across from the York Hotel. Using Connotative Language in Narrative Writing The language used in narrative writing helps the reader imagine himself in the events you tell about. 8. After this experience. Use specific. She tied a rope around the handle of the pail and 5. Don’t just relate the series of events because this creates a boring list. 2. This was a safety measure. it was discovered what had happened. High up there it could be seen by Jack while he stood on the porch of his cabin down the road. Before I knew what had happened an old man had grabbed my door handle.__________ Jack has had his nob patched. It seems that when Jyll threw the pail up in the tree.__________ Jyll has been known to giggle at Jack’s disaster which sometimes gets her in trouble with his mother.__________ thing that happened was that Jyll was running out of fresh water at her cabin. and backed out othe car.__________ Jack and Jyll still play at being neighbours.in the meantime. 10. 11.__________ the doctor and police were able to reconstruct the scene of the crime. "It happened while I was standing in the shower.eventually. to let him know she would be out of the area for the day. During the rush hour one evening after work.The following narrative paragraph lacks time transitions. I drew back even further against the driver’s door. – The 1.then . he took two smokes and my lighter.__________ was able to toss the pail up into the air and over the giant arbutus tree next to the cabin. I was driving down Centre Street. This danger became very real to me one summer evening. 7. Example: Instead of. so I 38 .later.today.__________ she would use it as a signal to Jack that she was absent from the cabin. She decided she would have to walk into town to pick up some fresh spring water. and gingerly I extended the pack to him When he started muttering.when. she grabbed the old wooden pail. After snarling. Practice 2 Try to unscramble the following paragraph by numbering the sentences in the order they should appear. Later I realised how foolish I had been to drive with the doors unlocked.__________ she left she wanted to contact her neighbour.__________ she left the cabin.__________ that day. 4. Next he leaned ominously into the car blowing toxic liquor fumes across my face.afterwards Let me tell you the story about a woman named Jyll and a friend of hers called Jack. she hadn’t noticed Jack coming around the bend in the forest path. but Jack won’t go near the water pail.after. When. Jack. 12. "Darn light stuff".first. Jyll 6. 3.then .__________ went off to town for the spring water not knowing that Jack had gone tumbling down. 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. Now I started to panic as his hands fumbled on the car seat because I thought he wasgrabbing for my purse. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate transitions to give the paragraph coherence. it hit Jack’s crown on its way down. my sense of safety in Calgary was destroyed.__________ Jyll had gone to fetch the pail for water.before. vivid words to relate your story instead of passive language. 9.
After all. The baby cried in her crib. I got ready and told my husband to drive me to the interview. By this time. We left so we could have enough time to look for the address. 6. 2.Write. We started feeling the car jumping.m. The child ran out the school doors. My husband went to the trunk of the car and pulled out the carjack and the spare tire to fix the car. after afterwards 39 . 2. 1. punctuality is something employers look for. 10. I looked at my watch. As we were driving on the freeway. 4. It became like a ritual. we heard a pop followed by a hissing of air escaping with great force. The front tire had popped and lost all of its air. 2004. hiding the deadly hiss of gas. my stomach was upset. 3. I was sweating and kept looking at my watch. The cowboy fell off his horse. Every two to three minutes I checked Answers 1. I received a call from a staffing company. eventually then 9. On that day.m. and it was 1 p. We pulled over to the side of the road onto the shoulder. first before 5. by Elizabeth Alvarado (Fall 2005) The worst day in my life was July 21. The man told me he had made an appointment for me with a potential employer and that my interview was at 1: 30 p. The girl hit her knee on the stairs. 5. couldn’t hear the gas leaking "The blast of water from the shower deadened the other house noises." The man walked down the street.
later when 11. a room can become more than just a blank. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. vague receptacle. setting. As they slowly climbed the long. His mouth filled with the sweet. It becomes a small. the writing seems vague and non-specific. 12. The scene seems simple enough. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. visual details help accomplish this through encouraging the reader to create a mental image of the characters. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. 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. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. steep staircase. Example Text: Add Sound Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. 40 . Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. 8. or add concrete details to a setting. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. Without the inclusion of sensory detail. Details which appeal to our sense of sight ensure that the reader is able to give faces to characters. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. Comment These are the beginning sentences of a paragraph which describes a boy helping an elderly woman up a flight of stairs. like the bloated. through adding visual detail.3. oblong room with peeling maroon wallpaper and cracked ceiling tiles. A visual description allows readers to place themselves within a text. Comment Visual details are often successfully incorporated into writing. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. and bit his lip. and bit his lip. His mouth filled with the sweet. 4. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. in the meantime today Example Text: Paragraph Without Sensory Detail Grandmother Workman reached over and grabbed her grandson's arm. and action. He was nervous because the staircase was so steep. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. but it leaves the reader with many unanswered questions. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. like the bloated. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. but she leaned against him and they began to climb. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. steep staircase. As they slowly climbed the long. when then 7. In the sample text. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. For example.
Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. Sounds can remind us of personal memories. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. like the bloated. 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. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. Comment The sense of smell is commonly overlooked in writing. or of a tour of duty in the military. Example Text: Add Taste 41 . or can create images in our minds. thoughts. Therefore. the writer has incorporated references to sounds which allow the reader to infer the state of the old staircase. As they slowly climbed the long. steep staircase. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. auditory details are most commonly included in writing. but to experience it. Tactile images can be powerful sensory triggers. Our sense of smell has an uncommonly strong power over our feelings. In the sample text. 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. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. and bit his lip. and emotions. For example. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. The addition of auditory details gives the writer the opportunity to create a more detailed. Because of this link. and bit his lip. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. However. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. In the sample text. His mouth filled with the sweet. sensory experiences. texture. the addition of olfactory details helps set the mood of the paragraph by triggering our senses. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase.Comment The human sense of hearing is an important means of communication. through recalling familiar tactile sensations the writer encourages the readers to put themselves in the place of the characters. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. Example Text: Add Smell Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. This is because sounds give us a primary experience of the world. Inclusion of the sense of touch prevents the reader from remaining distanced or detached from the writing. like the bloated. layered. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. and size of things. scents are able to cause vivid sensory re-creations of memories. As they slowly climbed the long. Comment The sense of touch encourages us to investigate the world around us by feeling it and learning the texture. Sounds recreate personal. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. shape. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. it is the human sense of smell that is most closely linked to the brain. steep staircase. They allow a reader not only to visualize a scene. His mouth filled with the sweet. as well as the physical condition of the grandmother. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. 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. In the sample text. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. This is a sensory experience that most people have encountered. the sound of a ship's whistle might remind a person of a summer's night in New England. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. Next to visual details.
His mouth filled with the sweet. There are four familiar tastes: Sweet Salty Bitter Sour By appealing directly to any of these tastes. Memories. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. and bit his lip. like the bloated. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. As they slowly climbed the long. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. Comment The human sense of taste allows a person to do much more than simply select and enjoy food. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. and places can all be suggested through the sense of taste.Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. feelings. people. 42 . a writer has the unique opportunity to affect a reader's senses. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. steep staircase.
This kind of topic sentence is more interesting and revealing than a bare announcement. all scuffed and scratched and fingerprinted. Whether we're describing a person. developing this idea with details in the rest of the paragraph. but now clogged with grime. or a thing. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. the paragraph is unified--that is. Just below the diamond are small air holes. 43 . just a Madeira folk guitar." Instead of announcing your topic in this way. 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. its frets tarnished. The strings are stretched down a long. The 14-carat gold band. such as. feel. like a sliver of glass found on the kitchen floor after a dishwashing accident. As a result. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. It's nothing fancy. slim neck. our aim is to reveal a subject through vivid and carefully selected details. circles my finger and twists together at the top to encase a small white diamond. The writer of "My Tiny Diamond Ring" has done just that. a gift that I will pass along to my younger sister when I receive my own engagement ring this Christmas. 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. . The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play. and hear what we have seen. "The belonging I am about to describe is my pre-engagement ring. given to me last year by my sister Doris"). Once you have introduced a topic clearly. and heard. providing specific details that describe the ring: its parts. The four prongs that anchor the diamond are separated by pockets of dust. but I treasure it as a gift from my older sister. felt. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. a bit tarnished by time and neglect. all of the supporting sentences relate directly to one another and to the topic introduced in the first sentence. The ring is neither very attractive nor valuable. a place. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. you should stick to it. 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 model paragraph: My most valuable possession is an old. size. intended to let the diamond breathe. The diamond itself is tiny and dull.THE PARAGRAPH DESCRIPTIVE The purpose of descriptive writing is to make our readers see. . At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. color. and condition.
2.The classroom buildings 3. No. Add spatial transitions to introduce each of the eight buildings according to their order of location. 4. observe how the writer moves clearly from a description of the head of the clown (in sentences two. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. covers its ears but is parted above the 44 .The gymnasium and athletic fields. sketch out a map of a college campus. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed. In the following paragraph. but it still lets me make music. and for that I will always treasure it. It's nothing fancy. blond guitar--the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play. 1.The faculty offices. and for that I will always treasure it. 3. but it still lets me make music. she saw many buildings.How are the details arranged. Then write out a paragraph beginning with the topic sentence below.The refectory room. 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. it's not a beautiful instrument. 2.The bookstore. made of yarn. and eight). blond guitar") but also suggests why the writer values it ("the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play"). slightly warped. This sentence not only identifies the prized belonging ("an old. slightly warped. 7. followed by supporting detail to develop the paragraph. Notice also how the concluding sentence helps to tie the paragraph together by emphasizing the personal value of this gift. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. 4. • The supporting sentences support this topic sentence with specific descriptive details. 5.Below is a topic sentence for a spatial paragraph. six. Supporting detail: 1. its frets tarnished.The library.The administration building. it's not a beautiful instrument. seven. slim neck.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. Topic sentence: On Maria’s first visit to the college campus. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. No. The clown's short yellow hair. locating each building where you think it belongs in relation to other buildings . On a sheet of paper. . particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago • The concluding sentence concludes the paragraph and emphasizes the personal value of the item. to the body (sentences five. The strings are stretched down a long. and four).Identify the topic sentence. to the unicycle underneath (sentence nine). the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. Activities: 1. three. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. 6.Underline the spatial transitions in this paragraph. just a Madeira folk guitar.particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago.
As a cherished gift from my good friend Tran. which means ‘to examine. we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. but endearing. its origins provide us with some useful insights. it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training. however. which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. The left side of the outfit is light blue. or go from right to left. begging to be petted. His familiarity with cat food commercials has led him to reject generic brands of cat food in favor of only the most expensive brands. 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. tracing it back further. or from the bottom to the top. befriending some and repelling others. 45 . The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English. two-tone nylon costume. students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres within essay writing. You may start at the left side of the item and move right. 3) Gregory Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats. and the right side is red. white ruffle around its neck. His pride. this colorful figure greets me with a smile every time I enter my room. After my guests have fled. especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. Through the excavation of this ancient word. The clown wears a fluffy.eyes. Surrounding its ankles and disguising its long black shoes are big pink bows. as many cat experts think. and lips. we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere. before delving into its various genres. Essays Essay Writing Overview The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. What is an Essay? Though the word ‘essay’ has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English. The clown and unicycle together stand about a foot high. However. The two colors merge in a dark line that runs down the center of the small outfit. or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers. habits. let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay. and then stick to that pattern throughout the paragraph. or (literally) to drive out’. You may start with the outside of the item and move in. but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. Choose the one pattern that seems best suited to your topic. for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. There are various ways to organize the details in a descriptive paragraph. He may snuggle up against your ankle. or go from inside to out. Therefore. You may move from the top of the item to the bottom. nose. 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. test. I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set. However. He enjoys TV commercials. performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. does not extend to his appearance. and its broad grin disappears into the wide. It has cherry-red cheeks. and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory. dark lashes flowing from the brows. He walks with pride and grace. The blue eyes are outlined in black with thin.
and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. o Coherenence. 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. Choose 2 . Therefore.6). essays are (by nature) concise. clarity. she must be deliberate and interesting. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from her purpose. which means that all the information of the paragraph is well-organized. Although these genres. logically ordered and easy to follow. Note: The Modes of Discourse: 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. Think of a topic and a controlling idea that will narrow the topic enough to support it well in one paragraph. As is evidenced by this list of attributes.Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading. 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. have been criticized by some composition scholars. there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing. which support the topic sentence Reasons. which leaves the reading with something to think about and may summarize the supporting ideas if the paragraph is long. names. which means that all sentences in the paragraph directly support the topic sentence. Allen Brizee. which includes the topic and a controlling idea. Compose your topic sentence. We hope these resources will help. and require clarity in purpose and direction. Narration. • Unity. conciseness. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. 46 • • • . persuasion. Brainstorm supporting ideas. and exposition. • Optional concluding sentence. TIPS FOR WRITING A PARAGRAPH CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PARAGRAPH Topic sentence. Process of Writing a Paragraph: 1. exposition.6 supporting ideas that do a good job supporting your topic sentence. Supporting ideas (usually 3 . analysis. 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). 2. Exposition. also known as the modes of discourse. narration. numbers. examples. comparison and contrast. and senses give details for and further explain the supporting ideas.
C. Supporting idea 3. In order to get a good job. 6. Affordable. Qualified professors B. 3. 7. 3. Topic sentence: A. Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult. except for the topic sentence. examples. Affordable 1. 5. and senses for each supporting idea. Hard curriculum 2. numbers. Supporting idea 2. For each supporting idea. examples. CHOOSING A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY Choosing a college or university can be difficult. 1. 3. 3. Don't actually write sentences in the outline. examples. Concluding sentence: 4. Study environment 2. names. Put your supporting ideas in a logical order. names. 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. Good preparation for major We decided to order these supporting ideas according to importance as shown in the outline below. and senses. Now we put this information into outline form and added some reasons. each supporting idea should have about the same amount of reasons. and senses that further explain the idea. Use the coherence strategies to make your paragraph easy to follow. 2. Possibility of scholarships C. 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. the curriculum that is taught must be 47 . 1. 1. Good Location 1. we wrote the paragraph using sentences and trying to make the paragraph coherent using different coherence strategies.3. think of reasons. be able to pay tuition and living expenses 2. B. For balance. A. Good preparation for your major 1. Finally. numbers. Think of a concluding sentence. Supporting idea 1. Good Location. Write your paragraph using sentences. Write your paragraph in topic outline form as follows. names. The most difficult part is finding a university that prepares you well for your future career. Supporting ideas: 1.
the professors must be highly qualified and respected in their fields. there should be possibilities near the school for parttime or summer jobs in your major. PRACTICE 2: By using information. You need to be able to pay the tuition fees and living expenses. The environment should be safe and quiet to facilitate studying. 6. It makes you a major contributor to the greatest nation on earth. 5. It will give you the power to change the world. It will give you more self-confidence 10. so you can get some practical work experience.thorough and up-to-date. 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 money and greater quality of lifer. It will give you a better quality of life. 3. Note: You don’t need to use all notes A. It will give you greater knowledge of the world events 9. Another difficulty in choosing a university or college is affordability. A good location is also very important when choosing a school. It will likely make you more successful. Some institutions might be able to offer you scholarships if you cannot afford the fees. In addition. It will give you more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction 8. Moreover. It provides you greater economic strength and security 7. The Value of a University Education _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 48 . 4. please write a well-organized paragraph. It will be something you can pass on to your children. 2. You should consider all of these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you.
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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
Therefore. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 6. and where they are available. When consumers see these ads. the ads may compare the Camry with the Mercedes. a Toyota dealer wants to sell the Toyota Camry. Disadvantages 53 . Furthermore. Advantages Advantages of TV Commercials Ads on television give consumers a lot of information. and so on. They let consumers know what products look like. For example._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 5. one may have to travel long distances to work elsewhere. how much they cost. Disadvantages of Living in a Village There are certain drawbacks (disadvantage) to life outside the city. and this can be extremely expensive. one has a smaller number of friends. the fact that there are fewer shops and services often means that there are fewer employment opportunities. The ads may also tell where to buy the Camry. Disadvantages 1. The dealer’s ads will show the new Camry over and over again and tell the consumer that the Camry has power windows. They may say that the Camry runs as well as the Mercedes but the Camry’s price is much cheaper. they think about all this information about the Camry. is difficult to find. In addition. As a result. Firstly. because there are fewer people. Then they can decide if it is the car they want. particularly in the evening. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. entertainment. six cylinders.
when you watch a horror movie your psychology is affected by this movie badly. These are well-organized programs that teaches children to count and to say the alphabet. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 54 . Also. In conclusion nowadays. When people watch this kind of movies. Mostly. television has programs for students. they think whatever they watched it could be in real life. science fiction movies have full of imagination. how to make delicious dishes.Disadvantages of Watching Television w Watching movie can destroy human’s psychology and imagination in some ways. Advantages Advantages of Watching Television w TV is a good teacher for everyone for several reasons. When I was a high school student. Moreover. for example Sesame Street and Tarchın and his friends. Therefore. Almost in every American movie you can easily see a beautiful house which has a garden or it is constructed seashore. thedre are some programs for adults about how to garden. 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. What is more. most American movies. 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. it causes people’s eating habits. how to fix things around the house and so on. For that reason most countries life style can be changed by movies. Another example would be science fiction movies. They also have interesting characters that they tell stories and sing songs. As a result. like foreign language and math education programs. As we know. For example. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 9. There are several programs for preschool children. you see that people eat simple food. They do not have any eating culture. They easily change an event which occurred in the past in the direction of their ideas. These programs help students with their studies. there were many kinds of learning programs. Furthermore. people use movies in order to change history. television teaches us all kinds of things. you may want to be a monster or a murder..
_____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. As a result. we should give enough importance to tourism. identity and pride. tourism helps people to learn about other cultures and ways of life. places sometimes lose their character and traditions. All students do not have the same financial resources and can't afford expensive clothes. in many cases the natural beauty of a place can be spoilt. uniforms give identity. tourism often brings more air. Moreover. Therefore. Apart from this. Disadvantages Disadvantages of tourism There are some disadvantages to tourism. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 11. 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. Secondly. uniforms give students equality. 55 . if there are a lot of tourists in the area. uniforms make it more equal among the rich and poor students. water and noise pollution. if tourism is not controlled properly. it makes the locals stay rather than leave to get jobs elsewhere. As a result. it can be bad for a country. To begin with. Advantages Advantages of Tourism There are several advantages to tourism. In addition. Lastly. Advantages Advantages of Wearing the Same Uniform Wearing uniforms give all students equality. Firstly. sometimes people’s language can suffer. Primarily. For example. Also._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 10.
CAUSE and EFFECT PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. Overall. I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. Hence. there is usually a laundry room in the basement so you don’t have to go anywhere else to do laundry. 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. and co-workers strangers. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ B. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 56 . In addition to this. Overall. uniforms give pride. if a student is a good musician. If a sports team does well. others will know which school that person is from. you don't have to cook for yourself. Students can feel equal to one an other. the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person's life. Alcoholism Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the world today. Others can tell which students are from which schools and if someone is not behaving well. As a result. First of all. The most important one is that there are always a lot of people around so you won't feel lonely. Therefore. Moreover. sad. Alcoholics may become angry and argumentive. students can feel proud together of that accomplishment. Furthermore. and confused.Students feel a sense of belonging when everyone has the same uniform. or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. Moreover. 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. friends. They may also feel more anxious. Effect 1. tense. It not only affects the alcoholic. others can feel proud that they are his/her classmates. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 13. the dormitory is usually very safe since almost all dormitories have security guards. Students can tell who is from their school and who is not according to the uniform. Advantages Advantages to Living at a Dorm I would prefer to live in an apartment for a number of reasons. students can "advertise" their school just by wearing their uniforms and be proud of the school they attend. we should help the number of alcoholics in Turkey and all over the world. but also their family.
so parents have to take the responsibility to monitor their studying and to remind them to do their homework at home after school. As a result. there is conflict between refusing and accepting the use of alcohol to be a social person. Some of them also want to reduce strong negative feelings. Cause Alcoholism There are some reasons of using alcohol. It can be related to emotional changeability. children may take alcohol later on. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. It is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. Children usually enjoy playing games instead of studying their boring lessons. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. I experienced this. The second reason is alcoholism has psychological reasons. My parents gave me a gift if I had 57 . social and cultural factors play important roles in development of alcoholism. Effects Effects of Parents on Children Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. If parents are alcoholics. For example. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. Moreover. it is extremely important that whatever the reasons are we should avoid drinking alcohol. Parents should also encourage their children to study by buying story books with pictures. First of all. alcoholics often drink hoping to drown their depressed feelings._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. As a child. In some cultures. the cause of alcoholism can be biological.
Moreover. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. Many people think that students may get a better education outside their home country. Causes Studying Outside There are many reasons students choose to do this why students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 4. and then I was very excited. To get a college degree from a university outside their home country may be prestigious for students. Therefore. 5.studied well. So. some students may get scholarships to study abroad. students may get more money in their job if they have a degree from outside the country. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 58 . Most students get a good education wherever they go if they are strong-minded to achieve something in their studies. they may pay less to study abroad and the programs can be better abroad. In short. Furthermore. students study abroad for a number of reasons. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. Effects _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer.
Moreover. 7. walk through. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. they are fun to watch andlet you imagine what other people's lives are like. To begin with. hike in the forest. you can take exciting photographs. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. birds. In short. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. they offer an escape. If you are poor. Causes World is in Danger Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. movies provide entertainment. animals depend on it for survival. animals. First of all. Finally. 6. As a result. animals. For that reason. Next. it is a way to escape that life for a few hours. watching movie is one of the important activities of people. Movie theaters can be found in almost every town. Finally. Because. Explain why movies are so popular. all over the world._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Movies are popular all over the world. and look at all the flowers. rain forests also are habitat of many insects. Causes Watching Movies There are many reasons why people all over the world enjoy watching movies. they die too. or dean water. movies are available everywhere. or clean water. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. nature is a home for animals. there is usually a video store with movies. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 59 . Furthermore. forests are natural resources that must be saved because they provide so much good for so many people and animals. . There are thousands of species that live in forests and when the forests die. If there is no theater. some people go to the movies to see how others live. forests are beautiful to look at. such as forests. such as forests.
when the teacher asks them to speak they must look into the teacher’s eyes to show respect. However. Then the counselor sends the students to the assistant principal and so on. however. Both my English teachers control the class well. Also. the way my two teachers teaching method of English is different._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. my present if we need a rule we work it out from the examples. This makes the student unpopular (alone. In conclusion. 60 . Turkey. they can only ask questions at the end of the class. In North America. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. we are all responsible and had extra work. students respect their teachers. when a teacher asks us to speak we look down to show respect. For example. First. my present teacher sends the troublesome student to a counselor. students can ask the teacher questions. my old teacher would go to the parents because my school is small and everybody would know each other in the city. they also have differences on these same points. When a student is always troublesome in class. Although my teachers have these similarities. 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 can even ask questions when the teacher is giving a lesson. there are both similarities and differences in the way students behave toward their teachers in the classroom. in my country students have the right to ask questions. In contrast. In North America students look up to teachers and respect them. Both my teachers know their subject well. Similarly. there is the student’s right to speak. without friend) and nobody wants to be unpopular. Similarity and Differences Classroom Behavior Rules There are some similarities and differences in the classroom behavior rules between North America and my country. students respect teachers. Turkey. COMPARE and CONTRAST PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. Likewise. in my country. teacher gives us examples first. My teacher back home would teach us a rule of grammar and then give examples. In conclusion. We do not look into their eyes. They both make sure we know the rules of the language very well. Next. If a student makes trouble in the classroom. both my English teachers with their similarities and differences are excellent teachers. In contrast.
some attend in order to make more money in the job market. In short. They learn about a particular subject in depth there. Adults may attend university just for the joy of learning. personal fulfillment and financial rewards. Students also may feel a sense of success by learning new things. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 61 . Secondly. people attend college for many reasons some of which include desire to prepare for a career. In addition to this. Argumentative Importance of University Education People attend university to prepare for a career. Finally._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. some attend university in order to prepare for a career. Compare _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. to attend for personal fulfillment and to make more money in the job market. ARGUMENTATIVE PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. some attend for personal achievement. employers want employees who have very specific knowledge. one can make more money in the job market. Because. First of all. If one has specialized skills.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. Not only family members argue about what to watch on TV but also friends do. but you can see that he is in a bad mood or he is distracted. face-to-face communication is usually more effective because you can easily see the other people’s expression and feelings about a topic. when you write a letter or email. more effective and more honest. It is more personal. e-mail. such as letters.. body language is more effective than spoken language. Although many people watch television in order to relax. it is more personal.. In conclusion. Television often causes arguments. television makes passive. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. 2. You see them. you want to ask your boss or a raise. Argumentative Enemy of Communication Communication between friends and family has been destroyed due to television. they do not talk with one another. When you talk to a person face-to-face. When people watch television. Seventy percent of communication is through gestures. or telephone calls. they give less time to family and friends. television has destroyed communication between family and friends. Besides. Television is such a passive activity that family and friends often forget what meaningful communication is. 62 . 3. and their feelings. Moreover. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication. That means you can change your conversation to fit the situation. you do not get this same kind of experience. Argumentative Face to Face Communication I believe that face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. People do not communicate in the same way as they did before television was invented._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. For example. Moreover.then you would wait for another time. People spend less time with family and friends and more time with TV this is destructive. their actions. In addition to this. Therefore. but forget that communication is important. People also enjoy the relaxation of watching television. children argue with their parents to buy them toys they see advertised on TV. Furthermore.
First. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. effective. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. 63 . Canada has an excellent health care system. Most people have more personal. Canada has an excellent health care system. Finally. Second. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Supporting Details What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Finally. Canada has a high standard of education. How do I write them? You should give supporting facts. First. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. What do they do? They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. As a result. letters and telephone conversations. details. making up the body of a paragraph. Canada has a high standard of education. Canada is a desirable place to live.You can't get this with email. In short. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. As a result. Second. Canada is a desirable place to live. and examples. and honest conversations when they meet face-to-face. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication.
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. Canada has an excellent health care system. First. too. Canada is a desirable place to live. Finally. too Example: Artvin has a rainy spring season. How do I write one? Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words. as Example: As well.Conclusion Sentence What is the closing sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. things. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Sinop has rainy spring season. Canada has a high standard of education. or ideas. places. 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. Second. 64 well . also Example: Samsun also has a rainy spring season. HELPER WORDS COMPARE AND CONTRAST PARAGRAPH In a compare and contrast paragraph. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph. you write about the similarities and differences between two or more people. As a result. both Example: Both Trabzon and Rize have rain in the spring. Example: Write a paragraph comparing the weather in some cities in Turkey.
in contrast to Example: In contrast to Ankara. The lack of a clear neutral pronoun can lead to awkward sentence construction. Germany. and Thailand have been benefiting from the changing diet of the Japanese consumer. the protein staples in Japan has been fish products. and mangoes (fruit) from the Philippines. both of the nonalcohol or low alcohol varieties. Use each only once. winter is much colder in Erzurum. __________Japan is Importing eels (fish) from Taiwan. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. the United States. especially women who are aware of the Importance of health and fitness. A change is that sexist titles of many occupations have been neutralized. differs from Example: Erzurum differs from Van by having a cold winter. and an airline stewardess is now a flight attendant. Taiwan. are eating Western-style breakfasts. __________ they enjoy fruit. and a high school or college freshman is now a first-year student. Singapore. Lately ______the consumer market has been changing. koku-saika. winter is much colder in Van. Another new word is the title Ms. but Erzurum has a cold one. which is defined as "internationalization." is influencing young Japanese consumers. H. which is often used in place of both Miss and Mrs. A chairman is now a chairperson (or sometimes simply chair). Switzerland. and Australia. In fact. _______in the last decade or so. __________ they have acquired a taste for imported beverages. but Example: Ankara has a mild winter.DIFFERENCES on the other hand Example: On the other hand. asparagus (vegetable) from Thailand. mainly because they are very selective and will only purchase high-quality products. and male chauvinist have become common during the past thirty-five years or so. a waiter/waitress is now a waitperson. milk. to address a woman when you don't know if she is married. The words feminist. sexist. ____________the Japanese trend toward internationalization should become even greater as we approach the twenty-first century. are quite useful. while Example: While Ankara has a mild winter. you can use Ms. Some of the new words such as Ms. New words have been added. Erzurum has a cold winter. annual per capita consumption is expected to be about seven kilos in the next decade. English pronouns may also change as a result of women's desire for equality. The greatest access into the Japanese market has been by the food Industry. Erzurum has a cold winter.. like beer drinks and "light" wines imported from England. which will definitely be advantageous to many countries of the world. Not only Western countries but also Asian nations __________South Korea. however Example: However.________ young people. I. In time. 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. and brantype cereals imported from the United States. 65 . It will certainly increase international trade. 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. who are very eager to purchase and enjoy products from countries around the world. the Japanese have been consuming more beef. Fill in each blank with an appropriate transition signal from the list provided. A mailman is now a mail carrier. 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. Then use correct punctuation.
In addition genetic engineers have created larger fish. frost-resistant strawberries. Scientists are now able to create new forms of life in the laboratory due to the development of gene splicing. flavorless tomatoes in grocery. years later. scientists have now developed a way to manufacture it inexpensively in the laboratory. These embryos did not develop into babies but it is possible that they could do so in the future. On the one hand the ability to create life in the laboratory could greatly benefit humankind. A laboratory accident for example might cause an epidemic of an unknown disease that could wipe out humanity.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. be Energy resources can be divided into two types. 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. and more productive cows. Because human embryos can be frozen and used at a later date. On the other hand not everyone is positive about gene-splicing technology. Example: Write a paragraph discussing two types of energy resources. it could be possible for parents to have a child and then. frozen embryo to give birth to its identical twin. CLASSIFICATION PARAGRAPH When writing a classification paragraph. In 1993. Genetic engineers have created a new tomato that doesn't spoil quickly. you group things or ideas into specific categories. For example it is very expensive to obtain insulin from natural sources. but through genetic research. 66 kind divided of into . 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. Another beneficial application of gene splicing is in agriculture. Furthermore the ability to clone human beings is a possibility that frightens many people. to use a cloned. 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.
is falls a Coal is a type of non-renewable resource. CHOICE / OPINION PARAGRAPH In a paragraph where you have to make a choice. is grouped Coal is grouped with non-renewable resources. or action that you prefer. you need to choose which object. fits Coal fits into the category of non-renewable resources. idea. 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 . 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. Often. is related Coal is related to other non-renewable resources. type of under to of into with to with Coal falls under the category of non-renewable resources. belongs Coal belongs to the category of non-renewable resources. basketball is more fun than football. you will need to give your opinion on a choice of actions or events. is a part Coal is a part of the category of non-renewable resources.
The following words can help you to write a good sequence paragraph. second. etc. Helper Words: ORDER TIME first. you need to become a leader of a political party. feel I feel that basketball is my favorite sport. it seems to It seems to me that basketball is more exciting than football. First. this order is based on time. you need to win a seat in the House of Commons. 68 . understanding My understanding is that basketball is more fun than football. I I consider basketball to be more exciting than football. your party must have a majority of seats.belief My belief is that basketball is more fun than football. Usually. second. PERSONAL OPINIONS like/dislike I like the sport of basketball because it is fast and exciting. etc. I I believe basketball is more exciting than lacrosse. recently in the beginning previously before afterwards then when after after finally at last subsequently ORDER first. hope I hope that I can play basketball in the future. that consider believe me prefer SEQUENCE PARAGRAPH In a sequencing paragraph. Third. third. third. I I prefer basketball over football. Example: Write a paragraph outlining how a person becomes the prime minister. Second. you are writing to describe a series of events or a process in some sort of order. I think I think that I would prefer to play basketball and not football. idea My idea is that basketball is more fun than football.
you need to explain how or why something happens. after After winning a seat in the House of Commons.in before the In the beginning. previously She is the new prime minister. you need to become a leader of a political party. you need to become the leader of a political party. you can call yourself the prime minister. you must make sure you have a majority of seats in the House of Commons. Before becoming the prime minister. you can call yourself the prime minister. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. Previously. at Example: At last. Very often in social studies class. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. Afterwards. she worked as a lawyer in Toronto. she was still working as a lawyer. TIME recently She was recently elected prime minister. afterwards Example: She won the party leadership last year. when Example: When she won the party leadership. after Example: After winning a seat in the House of Commons. beginning then Then. then last 69 . finally Finally. EXPLANATION PARAGRAPH In an explanation paragraph. after all these steps. 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 . subsequently Subsequently. you will be asked to explore causes and effects of certain events. . 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. she won the election. .
many people moved to Canada. Thus. then fewer people would have moved to Canada DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH In a description paragraph. 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 . as a result People moved to Canada from Europe as a result of poor living conditions in Europe. then Example: If living conditions were better in Europe. is due to / was due Example: The large influx of people to Canada was due to economic pressures in Europe. of to EFFECT therefore Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. or thing is like. Hence. Describe where Canada's industry is located. place. you may describe where a place is located. many people moved to Canada. Sometimes. it follows that Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. you are writing about what a person. Examples: Write a paragraph describing what a polar bear looks like. Therefore. many people moved to Canada for a better life. consequently Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. Consequently.. many people moved to Canada.CAUSE because Example: People moved to Canada from Europe during the nineteenth century because they had poor living conditions in Europe. many people moved to Canada for a better life. since Example: Since living conditions in Europe were terrible. thus Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible.. It follows that many people moved to Canada. hence Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. if .
below Example: Most of Ontario is below Hudson Bay. 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 . Example: Write a paragraph evaluating whether pesticides should be used on farms. In the paragraph. 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. mass / weight Example: Polar bears weigh up to 650 kg. MEASUREMENT length Example: The length of a polar bear's claws is 20 cm. shape Example: Polar bears have a special shape.near north/east/south/west PROPERTIES size Example: Polar bears are big in size. above Example: The ceiling is above us. resembles Example: A polar bear resembles other bears in shape. north / east / south Example: Ontario is west of Quebec. ANALOGY is like Example: A polar bear is like other bears in shape. you will state your evaluation or recommendation and then support it by referring to your criteria. you make judgments about people. / west EVALUATION PARAGRAPH In an evaluation paragraph. LOCATION in Example: Most of Canada's manufacturing is located in Ontario and Quebec. and possible actions. width Example: The width of a polar bear's head is about 50 cm. near Example: Many companies are located near Toronto. colour Example: Polar bears are usually white in colour. beside Example: Quebec is located beside Ontario. speed Example: Polar bears can swim at a speed of 40 km per hour. ideas.
ru/eng/1999/eng35-2.htm 3.htm 4. First Steps in Academic Writing. 1995. bad incorrect moral / immoral Example: The use of pesticides to control pests is immoral because it harms the environment.html 2. right / Example: It is wrong to use pesticides because they harm the environment. recommend Example: I recommend that pesticides should not be used because they are harmful to the environment. on the other hand. Writing Academic English.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic. Longman. 72 . correct / Example: The belief that pesticides must be used is incorrect. 1980. Ann Hogue. wrong trivial RECOMMENDATION suggest Example: I suggest that pesticides should not be used to control pests.moral / immoral right / wrong important / trivial advise argue CRITERIA good / Example: The use of pesticides such as DDT is bad for the environment.uottawa. and so on. or explanatory expressions. http://archive. but. http://www. such as and. but principally by the use of transitional words and phrases. advise Example: I would advise farmers not to use pesticides if possible. Alice Oshima. http://www. and however. 5.com/inner/about_us. Longman. Connections Between Sentences A good paragraph has unity: All the sentences have a relationship to one another and to the main idea. important / Example: The issue of pesticides is an important one because it affects the environment. SOURCE: 1. The connection between sentences in a paragraph can be shown in several ways.paragraphorganizer. Ann Hogue. argue Example: I would argue that pesticides should not be used because they harm the environment. such as for instance.1september. Transitional words and phrases may be conjunctions.
In order to determine whether a paragraph is well developed or not." enumerated in the topic sentence. and therefore. on the other hand. "environment. consequently. some after it sets. Words particularly suited to writing about causes and effects are as a result. of major concern. distinguishing the East Coast from Central Canada and the West as surely as dominant dialects or political inclinations. clear paragraphs. Finally. Transitional expressions such as equally. a second factor. You may choose to compare either point by point (X is big.Transitional words and phrases act as signals. some students do their best work before the sun rises. The rest of the sentences provide various illustrations of this argument. Being sedentary seems to inspire others. the following paragraph: Although the interpretation of traffic signals may seem highly standardized. They give directions. Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs A paragraph is unified when every sentence develops the point made in the topic sentence. In this sense. exemplifying. If asked what space is reserved for learning. despite. and schedules. while others cannot produce anything without much dust and heat. These words are often referred to as logical connectives because they make clear not only the order but also the meaning of the writing. it will suggest that most paragraphs are built of a combination of development strategies. a flashing red traffic light instructs drivers to careen even more wildly through intersections heavily populated 73 . They are organised around the three categories. Consider. Some people need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully. 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. any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space. finally. furthermore. and otherwise may be used to emphasize comparison or contrast. transitional words and phrases also act to hold sentences together. Order of importance may be emphasized with transitional words and expressions such as first. many students would suggest the classroom. achieving unity. similarly. Each organizational pattern has its own logical connectives. activities. It must have a single focus and it must contain no irrelevant facts. Although most classes are scheduled between 8:30 and 22:00. equally important. while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed. activities. Y is small and purple. and most important. and process.). comparison and contrast. Logical Connectives Additionally. 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. however.) or subject by subject (X is big and purple. for example. Some need a less flexible schedule than others. Every sentence must contribute to the paragraph by explaining. 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 tell where the paragraph is going. and schedules. The topic sentence makes a general claim: that school work tends not to be associated only with school. Y is little. Look at the following paragraph (you may have encountered it before): Work tends to be associated with non-work-specific environments. least important. or expanding the topic sentence. Some students work quickly and efficiently. In Montreal. or a place associated with thinking. X and Y are both purple. in common. just as. because. the lab or the library. close observation reveals regional variations across this country. What about the kitchen? The bedroom? In fact. 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. The details provide the concrete examples which your reader will use to evaluate the credibility of your topic sentence. This section will discuss three of the most common types of paragraph structure: development by detail. but not everything.
and folly. were any observant Canadian dropped from an alien space vessel at an unspecified intersection anywhere in this vast land." and this is exactly what he does. It contrasts the behaviour of drivers in the Maritimes. In my home town in New Brunswick." Among the "qualities considered distinctive of manhood" listed in the entry for man. says a true gentleman "knows instinctively when I prefer to light my own cigarette." Among the few true gentlemen extant. for example. which type of development best describes the following paragraphs: detail.with pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. According to this dictionary. It may begin with a brief comparison. and move on to provide detailed descriptions of the subjects being compared. The forefinger supports and steadies the grip but supplies its own firmness against the thumb. Many paragraphs include lists of examples: The broad range of positive characteristics used to define males could be used to define females too. no negative attributes detract from the "courage. with little abstraction. in Montreal. in contrast. If you wanted to consider two or more aspects. and always removes his wristwatch. a single paragraph will contain development by a combination of methods. but they are not. All four fingers are curved around the handle. In fact. Those of you in the sciences will recognise it as the formula followed in the "method" section of a lab experiment. absolutely firm and solid. At its entry for woman Webster's Third provides a list of "qualities considered distinctive of womanhood": "Gentleness. affection. This should be about half-way up the cork handle. "Captain Horatio Hornblower. My secretary. never serves aces at me on the tennis court. Bob 74 . incorrigibly English. or combination? 1. comparison and contrast. finally." 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. This paragraph compares traffic patterns in three areas of Canada. which together account for most vehicles on the road. People in these areas have in common the fact that they all drive. superficiality. Review: Paragraph Development Although most paragraphs contain a combination of development techniques. which should be along the upper side of the handle and somewhere near the top of the grip. they drive differently according to the area in which they live. you would probably need more than one paragraph. Process description often follows a chronological sequence: The first point to establish is the grip of the hand on the rod. but not tense or rigid. she says. in order to make a point about how attitudes in various places inform behaviour. Paragraph Development by Process Paragraph development by process involves a straightforward step-by-step description. and domesticity or on the other hand fickleness. "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 vigor" the definers associate with males. third finger and middle finger contributing most of the firmness by pressing the cork solidly into the fleshy part of the palm. Paragraph Development by Combination Very often. womanish means "unsuitable to a man or to a strong character of either sex. (from Roderick HaigBrown. traffic lights (along with painted lines and posted speed limits) do not apply to tractors. 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. process. near the heel of the hand. he or she could almost certainly orient him-orherself according to the surrounding traffic patterns. strength. all terrain vehicles. In startling contrast. A process analysis might include a brief history of the process in question. It is important to note that the paragraph above considers only one aspect of driving (behaviour at traffic lights). or pickup trucks. point by point. the little finger. and in Calgary.
Combination of Development Methods 2. above all. (from Hugh MacLennan. as if it were on stilts. Joe Namath and Front Page Tom don't. Development by Detail 2. It may stand this way for several minutes. The wasp crawls under it and walks over it without evoking any hostile response. in his day.Dylan and Pierre Elliott Trudeau come to mind. Am I one of those geezers who's forever jawing about the fact that. Richard Burton. dugouts. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. When I was young I often heard people say. 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. manicured diamonds. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. and the glorious old days when the only football in the Maritimes was English rugger. when hockey was an outdoor art rather than indoor mayhem and at decent yacht clubs. Canada's Lesson" [edited]) 1. men were gentlemen and women were persona non grata? No. "Canada is the Scotland of North America. "Scotland's Fate. "The Wasp and the Spider") 1. Development by Process 4. The molestation is so great and so persistent that the tarantula often rises on all eight legs. Development by Detail 2. (from Alexander Petrunkevitch. To identify the species the wasp apparently must explore the spider with her antennae. (from Harry Bruce. and of this they were both inclined to boast. The tarantula shows an amazing tolerance to this exploration. Both countries were gouged by the retreating glaciers. which left them on the subsistence level as far as good farmland was considered. Development by Detail 2. they regard me warily. "What is a Gentleman") 1. "The Softball was Always Hard") 1. with the rich farmlands and cities of England just below her." Only recently did it occur to me that it might be worthwhile considering the extent to which this is true." (from Allan Fotheringham. It also gave them both a heritage of spectacular beauty uncrowded by cities and towns. but I will tell today's softball players that -with their fancy uniforms. guys to announce who's at bat over public address systems and. so is Canada to the United States. As Scotland is the hard northern cap to the British island. When I tell young softball players I played the game bare-handed. Development by Process 4. Development by Process 4. gloves for every fielder -. Development by Detail 2. batters' helmets.the game they play is more tarted-up and sissy than the one I knew. Combination of Development Methods 4. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Combination of Development Methods 3. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Development by Process 75 .
use a comma with a coordinating conjunction to separate two independent clauses 3. use a comma to separate items in a series. 2. Although you shouldn’t use a comma unless you know a rule for it. or phrase 5.. 1. dates. It is not as easy to know where a writer’s thoughts are going inside a sentence. use a comma to follow conventions of naming.4. In most situations. presenting addresses. Lessons will cover rules for comma use and common comma mistakes. Some special situations for comma use are discussed toward the end of this module. to “get it. commas are necessary for others to understand what we have said. 76 . In this module you will learn how to use commas correctly.. word. five general rules for comma use will help students use commas correctly. Commas should be placed before and after a non-essential element in the middle of a sentence 4. Commas cause the reader to pause and better understand the elements that make up the sentence. use a comma after an opening clause. use a comma to set-off non-essential elements such as a phrase or clause.” It is easy to know when someone has finished a sentence: we see a period there. etc. 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. citing sources. Quick Comma Rules.
leaving out the last clauses joined comma is acceptable. Without adequate punctuation. Writ She left her beautiful black leather handbag on the bus. phrase. or dependent clause is non-essential information. then they are unlike items and should not be separated by commas. there is some debate Two or more about whether the last item in a list of three items should take a comma. complete sentence. 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. Doing the dishes. writers set these elements off 77 . examples: Felix does not like spinach. for. however. if between ideas not. that the clause could stand on Note: Sometimes a series seems to be "like" when it is not. if the sentence makes sense. the sentence will be a "run-on sentence": if no punctuation is included between independent clauses. conjunction.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. broccoli. green beans. or a comma and a Felix dislikes spinach. she protected clauses her knee with a strong brace during the tennis match. and mopping the floor are the This chores I hate most. The series may be a series of adjectives describing independent something. 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). and to vary the rhythm in the sound of their sentences. Maya is going to travel throughout Southeast Asia for a year." if the coordinating conjunction is provided and the comma is omitted. yet. punctuation tells the reader Finding healthy. And the coordinating conjunctions—and. strong punctuation: a examples: semi-colon. To signal the reader that a word. but not really essential to understanding the basic assertion. independent Many grammarians would argue in this situation. 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. and brussels sprouts—any coordinating vegetable that's green. the error is a "comma splice" (for more detail. infinitive. MLA format rules do require a comma together need before the last item in a series of three or more elements. ers join Haunted by the memory of last year's painful knee surgery. or prepositional phrases. For example. and I will be staying home flipping burgers and going to school. washing the clothes. nor. However. a series of things to pick up at the market. then the items are like. In this its own as a situation. but. A series of two or more clauses items should be separated by commas. We will be going to the mountains again this summer. nor does he like broccoli. the error is a "fused sentence. a comma should not be used between the items. but this time we will bring mosquito repellant. After graduation. appetizing fast food is difficult. explore the module on run-on sentences). or a series of adjective.
I thought you were going to study tonight instead of come with us to the movies. John and Alex.by commas before and after the addition. Rule 4: use a comma after an opening clause. the speaker must have only one sister—my sister. 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. the names should not be set off from the sentence. by the way. pretty nervous about public speaking. word. as you can probably tell. the problem is much bigger than we imagined. because the name of the sister is included as necessary to the meaning of the sentence. because the name of the sister is non-essential information. Watch out. Because we have had so much rain this year. examples: As you can see. In the second sentence. the names of Jake's friends are non-essential information: Jake has only two best friends. 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. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. In the first sentence. or phrase Introductory Clauses: When beginning a sentence with an introductory clause (as in this sentence). mild exclamations or interjections: Hey. whose name. 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. is pretty fun to hang out with. However. Note: In the last example above. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. Jake brought his best friends from school. for clauses used as the subject of a sentence. is Maria. Jake brought his best friends from school. she is pretty nervous about public speaking. construction of the new highschool will take an additional six months. people read books for fun. before television. Introductory words: Sometimes a sentence begins with a single word that needs to be set off from the rest of the sentence. however. Maria. As you can probably tell. Referring to what others have said shows that you are participating in an ongoing conversation about a topic. Once upon a time. is fun to hang out with. the speaker could have more than one sister—this particular sister is fun to hang out with. 78 . John and Alex. before computers. examples: She is. If the phrase occurs at the beginning or end of the sentence. only the comma separating the phrase from the rest of the sentence is needed. The information is thus enclosed by commas.
. times. many conventions for the presentation of dates. 1979. names. frankly. examples: To help him understand how an internal combustion engine works. . Rule 5: use a comma to follow conventions What follows reads a bit like a laundry list of comma use rules. furthermore. and unable to host his television program. however. and mercifully. At the restaurant we all ordered burgers and fries. Use a comma to separate a city from a state. . however. she is the nicest person I have ever met." Introductory Phrases: Introductory phrases add information to the sentence and create interest in and anticipation for the information to follow. Examples of sentence adverbs include moreover. a name in a direct address: Miguel. nevertheless. citations. . one month before my 30th birthday. . or "I am hoping. sadly. Never use a sentence adverb to connect two independent clauses unless you use a semi-colon before the sentence adverb. Without a doubt. In San Francisco one finds plenty of good restaurants. but these conventions allow us to quickly share and process information. Note: Grammarians disagree about the word "hopefully" used as a sentence adverb. and after the year before continuing with the sentence: The twins were born in June. for most of my life. then show me how you do it. I drew a diagram. but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how we look at it).Ok. she has the flu and will have to skip the concert. they are enclosed by commas. arguing that it is ambiguous—the writer could mean a hopeful prediction. Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year. . Sadly. I don't want pineapple on my pizza. Use commas to surround titles or degrees: 79 . do you want another cup of coffee? a sentence adverb: these are special transition words that always take a comma. California. No. 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. I would love a new plasma television. Troublesome they may be. The acclaimed critic Roger Ebert has been ill recently. and after the state before continuing with the rest of the sentence: I have lived in San Francisco. . I cannot afford one. and quotations have risen up over time. Ebert & Roeper. and introductory appositive phrases that are essential to the sentence should never be separated from the subject by a comma. . or if they occur in the middle of a sentence. . Most hate this construction.
Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery. noun phrases. He was angry. corrected: She walked out of the room and started screaming about the grade on her essay. . Rely instead on language and logic. "All I say is. Don't place a comma between two nouns. 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. . corrected: I am not going to work today because I am sick. When introducing a quote with a short introductory phrase like "He said. Twain's short story "Hunting the Deceitful Turkey.D.. after all. received his doctoral from Amherst College a year before taking a teaching job at Yale. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object. . corrected: I told my boss that I was sick and that I would not be coming to work. Don't use a comma to separate the subject from the verb. and you got to make allowances. they're a mighty ornery lot." "Twain argues. because I am sick." the phrase should be set off from the quote by a comma. wrong: To err. and an occasional well-placed comma to create voice. You are going to make the cake for the party. not sad. Don't place a comma between two sentence verbs or verb phrases. Use a comma to emphasize a shift or to cause the reader to pause before an important contrast or point of emphasis. Don't put a comma after the main clause when a dependent clause follows it." 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. Huck says. wrong: She walked out of the room. wrong: I told my boss that I was sick. and that I would not be coming to work. Ph. a colon should be used instead. . after an independent clause. Take them all around. kings is kings.Professor Pete McSeed. It's the way they're raised. Take a look at a parody of this kind of comma abuse by blogger fandomcommahate 80 . Tears were streaming down her face because she was happy." or "As Huck puts it. Don't sprinkle commas throughout your writing to try and imitate a speaking voice." is wildly funny. is human. wrong: I am not going to work today. However. corrected: To err is human. and started screaming about the grade on her essay. Commas used with quotations are a bit tricky. but a raft don't." 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. furious even. . .
Quotes within the quote still take punctuation marks. when the writer paraphrases another person's words. however. comma abuse. which spawn them. So good for you. students are often confused about when to use single or a double quote. However. there are rules that govern the placement of other punctuation with quotation marks. the people. the people. though it is important to provide a citation letting the reader know the source of the information. she said that she wanted another one. and hate. who. double-spacing is maintained throughout the essay). the comma. Using Other Punctuation With Quotation Marks: Here is where things get tricky: students often just guess where to put commas. hate. how to use quotation marks to express irony. for being here! In this module. who. In an indirect quotation. love them. who. If you are writing an essay in MLA format. love. quotation marks are not used. students don't usually sit down and read about how to use quotation marks properly. hate. love comma abuse. do not use quotation marks with an offset quote as the offsetting substitutes for the punctuation. 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. fandoms. them. Quotes & Quotation Marks Quotation marks are probably the most incorrectly used element of punctuation. the perpetrators. and how to use quotation marks with direct quotes. periods. "And that's what I'm talking about!" Indirect quote: After she finished her chocolate sundae. hate. the people. Direct quote: After finishing the entire sundae. and you may well be driving your English instructor up the wall if your commas are out of place. 81 . however. whether or not it is Ok to use quotes to identify a new term. however. and the. seriously. the people. Also? Everyone else. it must be offset and indented (the way the examples on this page are offset and indented). who hate comma abuse. The rules governing the use of quotation marks are specific. and question marks when they finish with a quote and move back to their own writing. Writers use quotation marks to signal the reader that the text within opeining and closing quotes is not the writer's original material. she said. Block Quotes: When the quoted material is longer than four lines of your own text. Like. the quote should be double-spaced (in MLA format.I.
The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. Then he made School Boards"? When omitting words in a quotation. . . What is the context for Twain's comment. She asks his mother to let her go alone to the lake to join her friends.Commas and periods after a quotation go INSIDE the closing quote: "I was so tired that I fell asleep in the library. . and a space before beginning the ellipses). Scientist Gail Monroe said. . Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked." said Donna." the 10-year-old protoganist repeatedly tries to break away from her parents and childhood. use a colon: An analogy helps explain something complex by way of comparison with something that is easier to understand. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) Capital letters: Basically." A Quote Within a Quote: 82 ." For example. or the addition of words to clarify meaning: In "Like a Fox. if the sentence itself is a question or exclamation. when you need to make the quote fit the grammatical structure of your own 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. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. She argues that "nobody understands [her]" to anyone who will listen. and to walk to school rather than ride with her dad. This was for practice. If the lead in is an independent clause. keep the period then add the ellipses: Walker . "In the first place God made idiots. use ellipses (three periods with a space between each period. Brackets are also used to indicate a single word omission. "The future of stem cell research [see definition] is in doubt. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. the author of the essay on the Novato Train Station might employ a statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. Very well. Mark Twain once said. Brackets: Brackets are used within a quote when you need to change a word. however. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific." A comma should be used before a quote begins to separate a lead-in phrase from the quotation. One exception would be when you begin a sentence with a quotation: here you would capitalize the first letter of the sentence. for example. You do not need to change a letter to or from a capital to fit it into the structure of your sentence. for example. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark or exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. . where do I begin?" (Dr. "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. . . If the omitted material is after a complete sentence. "Love is like a rose: it blooms and grows and creates joy. (Edwin Bryant. . to choose her own clothes. but it also has thorns. stick with the actual text of the quoted material." A question mark or exclamation point goes inside the closing quote if the quote is a question or exclamation.
I took a seat and he put my luggage on the overhead rack. She called me a "garden tool". 'How much?' I asked. use single quotation marks to enclose the internal quote and distinguish it from the primary quote. Ontario) You must be "21" to enter this bar! (a fan's local bar) "Parents" No candy sold on this aisle. Must have cash register experience and be "willing to work." (Rahul Alvarez. (Weis Supermarket. 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. quotation marks were used around words and phrases meant to be read as words or terms rather than for their content. which means "to be timid or cowardly. around familiar terms like "laser. In his book Free From School.' he replied.When quoting text that itself includes a quote. 'Ticket. 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." (Weiner World Restaurant. Emphasis: Most grammarians will tell you that using quotes to denote emphasis is incorrect. At sixteen. as in "I just 'love' waking up at 6:00 am to catch a plane. In this case. Ottawa. the terms should appear as regular. '25 rupees. PA) "Fresh" Fish (Byward Market. Today. For example. The English word wimp. Pittsburgh. unitalicized text. Neither of the sentences below needs quotation marks to make the irony clear because the logic reveals the irony. Using quotes to express irony is tricky. but my guess is that she wasn't being kind. Those telephone solicitors are so kind and thoughtful to call during dinner time. New terms should be placed in italics the first time they appear." and so does Joey in a classic episode of Friends (click here to see this bit on YouTube)." comes from the Old English word for "wimple. PA) It is probably best to avoid using quotes for emphasis in college writing. Slang: Quotation marks may be used around a word to indicate that a word is a slang term. Mississippi) Help Wanted. I had no idea what she meant. I handed over the amount to him." which refers to the cloth women wrapped around their heads in medieval times. 83 . Quotation Marks for Terms Before computers took the place of typewriters. thereafter. but people do it all the time.' he demanded. Often it is better to rely on the logic of the sentence to indicate the irony. but incorrectly. Rahul Alvarez takes a year off from school to pursue an education of his own design. the use of italics is preferred. Evil in the Austin Powers movies uses air quotes." Dr. 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. one is calling attention to the fact that the term is slang. he is sometimes taken advantage of by strangers. quotes can be construed as a sign of the author's laziness or inability to indicate irony in language. however. I just love telephone solicitors.
TV series. and I have no objection to hearing it. use a quote at the beginning. 1. magazines and newspapers. an article in a magazine. Every time a new speaker talks. Bennet replied that he had not. “for Mrs. “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr. Longer works include books. Works of art are also italicized. “Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently. "The Present Hour. (Robert Luce.” returned she. Bennet.” said his lady to him one day. A short work is a work within a work. • • • The words of each speaker need to be enclosed in quotes In quotes that go on for more than a paragraph. but not at the end of the paragraph until you reach the end of the quote. films. a chapter in a book. or a song or poem. 1862) correct incorrect 3." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. full-length plays. the writer must begin a new line. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. “But it is. Bennet made no answer.” This was invitation enough. Take a look at this dialogue from Jane Austen's novel. and she told me all about it. full-length records (or cds). when italics are not available) are used to identify longer works. 2007. Pride and Prejudice: “My dear Mr." correct incorrect 4. Long has just been here. She has long been interested in the "woman question. "pay me one hundred dollars. The Writer. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West. He advised me by letter that he would. 2007." correct incorrect 2.” Mr. such as an episode of a TV series.Quotation Marks and Titles Quotation marks are used to set off the titles of short works. “You want to tell me. on the first day of June. italics (or an underline." 84 ." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. Quotation Marks in Dialogue There are a few important rules for using quotations marks in dialogue. then include the closing quote.
correct incorrect Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph." 1988) 85 ." 11. Geography is a science of observation. I just "love" surprise quizzes. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b." correct incorrect 7. She said. dude?" makes me crazy. She said. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. ." correct incorrect 8. "What's up. I just love surprise quizzes. She ought to know. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. . Lewis. 392-393). expression. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. Sauer writes.correct incorrect 5." "She ought to know. The correct incorrect 9. He correct incorrect 6. . "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. correct incorrect 10. In some manner." by Pierce F. said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift.
we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. Haha.12. I knew it before I got out of bed. Our hearts overturn. Mr. they've gone to warmer country. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. yes indeed. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. Mr. he doesn't smile. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. The door opens. Buddy. too. And there were no birds singing. 86 . she says. (from "A Christmas Memory. Help me find my hat. His eyes tilt more. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making fruitcakes. 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. he does have scars. a whispery voice at best: If you please. 1966) 13." by Truman Capote. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. Oh. Haha. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. No. Footsteps. It's Mr. Cooking. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. We've thirty cakes to bake.
dude?" makes me crazy." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 87 . "The Present Hour." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 2. "What's up. (Robert Luce. 2007." by Truman Capote. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. 2007." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West. He said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. 1966) Correction 1." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women." "She ought to know. "pay me one hundred dollars. She said.(from "A Christmas Memory. She has long been interested in the "woman question. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. on the first day of June. He advised me by letter that he would. She ought to know." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. The Writer. 1862) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 3. The expression. She said." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6.
The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. Help me find my hat. . Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. In this module students will learn these rules. 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. Geography is a science of observation. These symbols really get around. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. 11. I just "love" surprise quizzes. The rules governing semicolon and colon use in English writing are quite specific. too. Footsteps. she says. I knew it before I got out of bed. he doesn't smile. I just love surprise quizzes." 1988) Answer given: 12. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 10. he does have scars. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making Christmas fruitcakes. 392-393). We've thirty cakes to bake. The door opens. as well as how to use colons and semicolons effectively in their writing. His eyes tilt more. Buddy. And there were no birds singing. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow.9. Our hearts overturn. a whispery voice at best: If you please. and in emoticons : ). the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. 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. Memory. (from "A Christmas Memory. Objectives: • learn to use semicolons and colons between independent clauses 88 . Capote. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing." Mr. Sauer writes." by Truman Capote. Lewis. Mr. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. In some manner. 1966) Answer given: 13. they've gone to warmer country. . in computer code. by Haha. No. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. Truman Cooking. Oh. they are also important symbols. It's Mr. 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. Haha. ." by Pierce F.—Mark Twain Did you know that in Greek. and have been since before the 17th century. In the English language. yes indeed. Presently my friend half-finds her voice.
A semicolon is stronger separation than a comma + coordinating conjunction. partly. . she made the cannolis herself! Below is a list of words typically used as sentence adverbs: to indicate time: then." "moreover. henceforth. still. however... exactly the opposite. what each comma in the list is being used for can be unclear.. . for one thing . and so they cannot be used to connect clauses. now. Using a quote also shows that you are informed. therefore.for another (thing). soon. accordingly. instead. 89 . hence. who you quote says something about your point of view —great minds think alike. so to speak. one the one hand.." and "even so" to connect two sentences. For example.then to indicate addition: likewise. then. Usually she wakes up with a smile on her face. nevertheless.at the next. This party is really boring: the music is terrible. semicolons are used to separate the items in the series. at least not to me. and none of my good friends is here.. Semicolon with Sentence Adverbs: A semi-colon (or a period) should also be used with sentence adverbs such as "however. moreover. sometimes. on the contrary. Writers often use a semi-colon when they want to state an idea in more specific terms. as a result to indicate condition: otherwise Note: On either side of the semicolon. when the items themselves require commas. In this case. rather.. It is not acceptable to connect a phrase to a clause with a semicolon. besides. thus. meanwhile. but not as strong as a period. sometimes she wakes up ready to bite my head off." "therefore. at least to indicate a result: consequently... however. the sentence must be an independent clause.sometimes. furthermore." "at least. what is more to indicate contrast or concession: however. Semi-Colon Use With Commas in a List Typically. Sentence adverbs are transition words rather than conjunctions.• • • 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.partly. afterward. then too. nobody is talking.. also. Maria made a big Italian dinner for the family.. on the other hand. in addition. items in a list are separated by commas. moreover. For example. For example. later. at one moment.
and Boston. men with only one foot.m. 3:00 p. correct: When you come to take the exam." the rest of the sentence. Madison. Chicago. 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. onions. woolly hens and sheep that grew on trees. a calculator. I agree with the statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. cumin. and in one island a valley where only devils dwelt. however. use a colon between the chapter and the verse. North Dakota. I am going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for fajitas: chicken. a calculator. but that so large that they held it over them like an umbrella when they lay down in the sun to rest. The sentence begins with an independent clause. and a dictionary. tortillas. Take a look at the following example. illustrates the idea in that first clause: The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived: one-eyed men. Wisconsin. (Ten Great Events in History. and hot sauce. New York. the independent clause lacks a direct object. dragons and unicorns. One could think of the first clause as a kind of overture. This mistake is corrected in the second version. In the first version. two-headed men and men with no heads at all. and others whose favorite beverage was human blood. even if the list includes only a single item. . and the second clause as the movement(s) of a symphony. 10:30 p. New York. green and red peppers.This summer on our road trip we will visit Fargo." It is not acceptable to use a colon after an incomplete sentence to begin a list.m. Colon Use Between Independent Clauses A Colon can be used after an independent clause to introduce a list. Illinois. men with a lip long enough to cover their whole face. and so the sentence is incomplete. Massachusetts. The Bible When referring to passages in the Bible. a pencil sharpener. "The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived. so be very careful to ensure that the clause is complete: incorrect: When you come to take the exam. bring the following: pencils. bring the following items: pencils. but it can also be used to introduce another independent clause that illustrates or elaborates upon the idea in the first clause. men whose only food was snakes. which takes up the entire paragraph. These days. a pencil sharpener. John 11:35 Job 3:2 Titles and Subtitles A colon is used between a title and subtitle of a book or article. James Johonnot) Other Conventions of Colon Use Colon in Stating Time Use a colon between the hour and the minute.m. Colon Use With Items in a List A colon is used after an independent clause to preface a list of items. and a dictionary.
com) Salutations In a business letter. How is the colon used in a sentence? For each sentence below. To Whom it May Concern: 1. or even inappropriately humorous for the content of the essay that follows. and a year revolution around the sun. How is Dear Sir: the Dear Mr. The earth has two motions-a daily rotation upon its axis. Spiegler semicolon used in a sentence? 2. The title-colonsubtitle format is very popular in newspapers and popular magazines. a colon is placed after the salutation rather than a comma (used in informal letters).pretentious. 3. 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. short sentence. decide whether the dash should be replaced with a colon or a semicolon. 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. semicolon 91 .
liberty. without color and sound. that among these are life.colon 4. it throbs with life. died without speaking—others spoke without dying. We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal. add a second sentence. 7. semicolon colon 5. Make sure that your choice reflects correct semicolon or colon use. semicolon colon For each sentence supplied below. 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. (Rabelais) 92 . that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. I watched the sun pass below the horizon. and the pursuit of happiness. Some semicolon colon 6.
The colon can even set up a kind of mini-essay within your essay if after the first clause. 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 . A starting sentence is provided for you. In at least one of the exercises. All you need to do is add sentences that illustrate or elaborate on that idea. 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. When you complete your sentence. try to connect several illustrations with semicolons. The park was full of people. check out our version of the sentence.8. you connect several illustrations together with semicolons. Try out this technique in the text boxes below.
to create balance. a starter sentence is provided for you. Why. value. prize but not being rack flower of the to lack’d the field so the and worth lost. As in the colon exercise above. Consider the following balanced sentence: “What we have we Whiles we enjoy it. iv. . 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 clippers. (The Babies Speech. as a he Twins amount to a permanent riot. A cup of coffee w akes me up in the morning. 1. Psalm 103:15) as grass. See our version In America. a salad. and drinks. When you complete your sentence. good garden gloves. See our version We acquire our highest ideas in childhood. See our version Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. Bring to the picnic: a blanket 94 to sit on. repeat structures and ideas. check out our version of the sentence. It is also useful for creating balanced and smooth-flowing sentences since good balance comes from the repetition of similar structures or ideas. w e hurry. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. 1. then we (Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing. fertilizer. and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection. correct incorrect 2.” flourisheth. Mark Twain) Now give this technique a try yourself.Semicolons in Context A semicolon is a useful tool for connecting two closely related ideas.) As for man his days are (Old Testament. Remember.
(Coco Chanel) can't ignore politics. when you're in one. stop digging. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. I just want to be wonderful. The correct incorrect 6. (Joan Rivers) correct incorrect Write sentences demonstrating your understanding of correct semicolon and colon use according to the directions below. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. I don't want to make money. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant.correct incorrect 3. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 5. 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. (Marilyn Monroe) correct incorrect 8. no matter how much you'd like to. (Dorothy Parker) correct incorrect 10. (Molly Ivins) . (Molly Ivins) first rule of holes. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 4. and let the air out of the tires. Fashion correct incorrect 9. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. You correct incorrect 7. 95 is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. 11. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. Use a semicolon to connect two closely related ideas about places you like to visit.
Use a colon to introduce an in-depth explanation or elaboration of something. 13. Use a colon to introduce a list of activities you enjoy. 96 .12.
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. a salad. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. You can't ignore politics. Use a colon to introduce a list of items a student needs to be prepared for the first day of classes. and drinks. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4.14. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. good garden gloves. when you're in one. (Marilyn Monroe) Answer given: 97 . Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 2. Bring to the picnic: a blanket to sit on. The first rule of holes. no matter how much you'd like to. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. 1. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 3. fertilizer. Correction Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. stop digging. I just want to be wonderful. I don't want to make money. and clippers. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend.
. also called a "full stop. a period is used in titles. (Joan Rivers) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct End Punctuation T he end of a sentence is signalled by a period. (Coco Chanel) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 9. order: Children will stay within school grounds during recess. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant." is used to signal the end of most kinds of sentences . has many uses in addition to ending a sentence: for example.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. abbreviations. advice: You should not be swimming so soon after eating. and to use end punctuation correctly and effectively in writing. such as "I believe it will rain today. in these situations. A period. (Dorothy Parker) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 10. and so. They will discover the problem for themselves. or makes a request—though with requests. One almost never sees a question mark or an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence. a period is seen in the middle of a sentence.? ? ? The Period A period." or an opinion. on the other hand. and let the air out of the tires. such as "She laughed at my joke. Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. 98 ." An imperative sentence: a period is also used to conclude a sentence that issues an order. or a question mark. . the period at the end of a sentence: A declarative sentence: a period is used to end a sentence that states a fact. students will learn the rules for correct use of end punctuation. . gives advice. ! ! ! . one may choose instead to use a question mark. In this module. an exclamation mark. . and placenames. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know.
Ms.D. but is itself not a question. . (a) (iii) Ellipses An ellipses. The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. Little rise in your voice indicates a level of formality and polite hesitation. . This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. where do I begin?" (Dr. Hilary asked us if we wanted to go swimming this afternoon. request: Would you please change the oil for me. Mr.67 $1 Periods and Abbreviations Periods are not used in the abbreviations of familiar institutions. An indirect question: a period is used in a sentence that includes a question.1. 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. M. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) 99 . use brackets ([ ]) to indicate the ommission. 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. No period is used when money is rounded to dollars: $45. Col. Periods are also used after numbers or letters in an outline. 1. If your voice goes up at the end of the sentence. 1. unless the number or letter is enclosed in parentheses: I. .00 $.D.D. If a single word is ommitted. . . Ph. . 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. Very well. long terms.150 $1. organizations. or a series of three periods (with a space between the last word or the period at the end of a sentence). A. (Edwin Bryant. . use a question mark.150. radio stations. M.D.89 $45 $1. is used to show an ommission of words in quote. a period expresses this polite tone. Please send her my congratulations on getting the promotion. other uses of the period Periods and Money A period is used between dollars and cents. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start.We should go to the party tonight. . Walker . I wondered why she asked us if we had our bathing suits.2.A.
a term used to express joy.The Question Mark Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. if the sentence itself is a question. Do not double up punctuation when using a an exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. 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. The captain was born in 1799 (?). "Wow! It's lucky we caught this in time. I can't believe you got your nose pierced! Note: In a quotation. Be careful." and "No!" for example. do not use question marks after indirect questions or polite requests. This was for practice. But be careful not to overuse this technique. Skip the additional punctuation: His doctor exclaimed. There is a world of difference between "No. Then he made School Boards"? Use a question mark in parentheses to express doubt or uncertainty. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. overuse of exclamation marks make it seem as if a writer is relying on symbols rather than language to convey meaning. exclamation points allow writers to quickly let a reader know that a statement is emphatic. to use an exclamation mark for strong emotions. however. or use it as a substitute for explanation when an explanation would be useful. it is acceptable to abbreviate questions after the initial question if the structure is clear. if the sentence itself is an exclamation." 100 . What is the context for Twain's comment. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. "In the first place God made idiots. In the English language. an exclamation point goes inside a closing quote if the quote is an exclamation. and died in 1854. As discussed above. 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. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark by adding in the usual comma or a period. Wow! Did you really get an A+ on that exam? Let's take a road trip! Listen! I think I hear something. In a series of questions.
þÿ end used punctuation to work wherever for the it is FBI. for NATO He 2. but these have been replaced with periods.) Did I forget closing punctuation altogether? (Seems unlikely. þÿ Don't forget to pick up your prescription 6.) Did I over-do it with the exclamations? (Use exclamation marks sparingly. þÿ Is there time to finish desert before we need to get to the movie 5. þÿ Please do not use cell phones in our restaurant 8. asking yourself the following questions may help you quickly figure out where you went wrong. In this passage. needed but (including now he in works abbreviations). þÿ What are all of these candy wrappers doing all over the floor 7. þÿ Mrs Henley brought me a basket of muffins when I was sick last week 4. I haven't seen you for ages 9. þÿ Jenny. I can't believe I flunked English 10. Twain uses many exclamation marks and question marks. but sometimes this happens. Read through the passages and decide where you think the exclamation 101 .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. mild exclamations do not take exclamation marks. 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. þÿ I am never going to get this project done on time 3. 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.) Supply 1.
I seemed to have been asleep a very long time." I said resignedly. "All "Tell right. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. "let the what dream go on.a person who never existed. a light flashed in my eyes. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. Clarence. My first thought was." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. stood before me! I gasped with surprise. indeed! and is it a dream that you're to be burned to-morrow? Ho-ho -.a person who never existed. My first thought was.. my breath almost got away from me. "Well. and that I am talking to you. and that I am talking to you. if you prefer." dream. "you here yet? Go along with the rest of the dream! scatter!" But he only laughed. dream?" I'm in no hurry." -33"Oh. and that butterfly. "What!" I said. Go along with the rest of the dream. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. "What. Why." I said resignedly.answer me that!" 102 . stood before me. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. in his light-hearted way. me. what "let the dream go on. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. When I next came to myself." I said.. copy and paste the text into the text box and do the editing there..points and question marks belong. 1. I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something. Copy the passage into a word processor for revision and then paste your corrected version in the text box. "Are you here yet. what an astonishing dream I've had. Clarence. la. Or." But he only laughed in his light-hearted way and fell to making fun of my sorry plight. I'm in no hurry. my breath almost got away from me. Scatter. I gasped with surprise. who are nothing but a work of the imagination." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. "Well." "What dream. 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. "All right. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. and fell to making fun of my sorry plight." "Prithee "What dream? Why. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time." 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. a light flashed in my eyes. and that butterfly.
the other way by fear. But how many. What but I are daren't. come.The shock that went through me was distressing. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was. it does seem to me that of all the childish. in his malice. I have told it! Ah. by any means. "Oh.don't fail me. Oh call them back before it is too late!" Now this strange exhibition gave me a good idea and set me to thinking. in sooth. no doubt. they ones? say -oh. damn Merlin!" But Clarence had slumped to his knees before I had half finished. chicken-livered superstitions that ev -oh. and shouted: "Merlin has wrought a spell! merlin. be kind to me. 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. a but good -" lad!" there's He hesitated. man. would be very far from being a jest. "Merlin. beware! These are awful words! Any moment these walls may crumble upon us if you say such things. pure bosh. and he was like to go out of his mind with fright. tell you. the silliest bosh in the world! Why. help me to devise some way of escaping from this place!" "Now do but hear thyself! Escape? Why. poor lad." After a pause -.hesitatingly: "and there be other reasons -and weightier. forsooth! That cheap old humbug. I hope?" "Full a score. what is the matter? Why do you blench? Why do you tremble so?" "Oh. certainly a superior man like 103 ." "No doubt.for you ARE my friend. that maundering old ass? Bosh. chuckleheaded. "Come. be merciful to a poor boy who means thee well. dream or no dream. So I said beseechingly: "Ah. and was a thing to be avoided. pulled one way by desire. Clarence? Not many. fair or foul. the corridors are in guard and keep of men-at-arms. be there brave. is be need! a I man do -want speak to out. that I could contrive. then he stole to the door and peeped out. good boy. listening. for an thou betray me I am lost!" I laughed the only really refreshing laugh I had had for some time. I now began to reason that my situation was in the last degree serious. they?" indeed daren't!" "Why. has woven a spell about this dungeon. and finally crept close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news in -34a whisper. that to be burned to death. only friend I've got. aren't you? -. One may not hope to escape. 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." "Other "Well. even in a dream. for I knew by past experience of the lifelike intensity of dreams. Clarence. -. idiotic.
" "Well. 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.me ought to be shrewd enough to contrive some way to take advantage of such a state of things. do it no more. has a subject and a complete or finite verb. each sentence passes the test for completeness. Dependent clauses begin with subordinating words (relative pronouns. However. writers often end up with sentences that are not complete—"fragments" of thought that need something more to stand on their own. or adverbs)." Grammatical sentences Correcting Sentence Fragments A sentence must be able to stand on its own as a completed thought. Because I'm a magician myself. and worked out a plan. when writers are caught up in the flow of their ideas and are trying to capture those ideas on the page. they do not always pay close attention to the stops and starts of thoughts. In this module you will learn to spot fragments in your work and to turn those fragments into complete sentences. As a result. Groups of words that modify part or all of an independent clause are called dependent clauses. Then I said: -35"Get up. Complete sentences are also sometimes called independent clauses. and ends with a period. Keep the distinction between dependent and independent clauses in mind. because it will help you tell the difference between sentence fragments and complete sentences. dependent clauses form sentence fragments. However. prepositions. Definition 2: A sentence is group of words that begins with a capital letter. 104 . I went on thinking. what professional writers do that many beginning writers do not is to carefully proofread their work to make sure that before publication. Do you know why I laughed?" "No -but for our blessed Lady's sake. The arrangement of the words follows the rules of English grammar. Pull yourself together. By themselves. look me in the eye. I'll tell you why I laughed.
“After” is the subordinating word. Consider the following passages to see if you can locate the sentence fragments: She didn't want to be on vacation anymore. which combine types 2 and 3. ) 2) Compound sentences. baker. The last sentence in the first paragraph lacks a sentence verb. My favorite flavor of ice cream. 1) Simple sentences. You need to fix them.) 4) Compound-Complex sentences. (“After the Blue Fairy granted his wish” is a dependent clause. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. the scientist finally made a breakthrough. This thought feels incomplete. Example: After Pinnochio saved Gepetto.. . and post office in every city.It is useful to group sentences into 4 types. Below. 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. Think of them as broken or incomplete thoughts. It has a subject--“the scientist”--but not a verb. the scientist finally. the last sentence is a fragment. and examples are given to help you identify and correct fragments in your own writing. the word "when" turns the clause into a subordinate clause. Correcting Sentence Fragments. The two puppies. and other groups of words that lack a subject or a verb. The downtown takes you back to the time when there was a single sweet shop. the common sources of sentence fragments are identified. or After years of disappointment in her search for a cancer cure. in which a conjunction links two simple sentences. other examples . In the rest of this module. Example: After the Blue Fairy granted his wish. and the Blue Fairy granted his wish. Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Verb: After years of searching for a cancer cure. A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence punctuated as if it were complete. 105 . and he became a real boy. She wanted to be back with her things. are called sentence fragments. “hoped” is the verb. which join a dependent clause to an independent clause.. 3) Complex sentences. the scientist finally gave up. In each paragraph. which have one subject and one verb. the Blue Fairy granted his wish. Her things that meant so much to her. . Dependent clauses. so that your reader can understand your thoughts. We wonder what the scientist finally did. Pinocchio lived happily ever after. students will learn how to correct sentence fragments. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. When people knew the shopkeeper by name and knew about each other’s lives. and in the second paragraph. (“Pinnochio” is the subject.
Corrected: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. are not complete by themselves. you may be thinking these fragments are pretty easy to identify. 106 . While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. and so they seem like correct sentences even when they are not. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. Corrected: I zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. my car’s gas mileage improved. (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. At this point. my mother decided not to go skydiving with us. (subject: “I”) Tess and her mom went to the video store. Went to the video store. Hoping to be free. a steadfast and masculine father. “were” is the helping verb that completes “drifting. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. (subject: “The slaves”) Sentence Fragments Made up of Dependent Clauses: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. Moses was the prophet who led the slaves to freedom. all living in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence.” or participles. fragments are sometimes quite difficult to spot. a little rascally boy to take after the father. however. In the last example above. In each of these shows. (complete verb: “were drifting”) Verb forms that end in “ing. (verb: “is”) The two puppies chased each other. 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. They need an auxiliary or “helping” verb.Corrected: My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip. After I changed my fuel filter. They are often closely connected to a point in a previous sentence. Goldilocks dreamed of flying. a proper and demure mother. Who led the slaves to freedom.” Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Subject: Zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. In the real world.
Yeah. A fragment can create emphasis on a single word or phrase: He stood stock still. eating. The initial assumptions and the definition of human nature being totally ambiguous. Ozzie & Harriet's house. so that the sentences can be seen more clearly . all live toether in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. 1. Answer given: 4. Your reader may assume the fragment is unintentional if the rest of your writing is not polished and free of errors. if possible. Listening. However. A fragment can be used to present an answer to a question: How did we win the tournament? Nerve. sentence a Especially fragment? for Why or Thai why food. Is either of the following sentences a fragment? Why or why not? I love going Answer given: 5. a steadfast and masculine father. For example. With this technique. What must a sentence Answer given: 3. What is a Answer given: 2. Waiting for the sound of an approaching car. One technique for spotting fragments is to reformat your essay. be very careful here. not? There are many wonderful things to do in San Francisco. temporarily. In each of these shows. a little rascally boy to take after the father. and eating.. The verb "living" is not complete.The last. and so the sentence is a series of phrases. Answer given: 107 . A sentence fragment can also be used to express a strong emotion: Selma told her dad she finished her homework. eating. 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. To correct the sentence. Occasionally. right! She didn't even open her math book. Answer each question below as best you can. a proper and demure mother.. The most American of sports is experiencing a real return to popularity. —Mark Twain You will not regret it. Is either of the out following to eat. Get a bicycle. Baseball. If you live. the subject must be located. as a worksheet. long sentence is actually a fragment. it is acceptable to use a sentence fragment for a special effect. Using Sentence Fragments for Special Effect. you use a simple command to quickly separate each sentence onto its own line. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. Wow! I never knew that you could play soccer so well. She wants a home with a white picket fence. 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.
108 . There are three variations of run-on sentences: sentences that use only a comma to join independent clauses. she must be able to tell the reader how her ideas go together. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. Separating the two clauses into two independent sentences with a period is always an option. that a period creates stronger separation between ideas than the other options. Stronger punctuation is needed to connect two independent clauses." "that. or "comma splices. semi-colons. Write a paragraph explaining what "freedom" means to you. Note. Readers look for punctuation to signal the end of one independent clause and the beginning of another. or else abandon the text altogether out of frustration. Make sure your paragraph is free of sentence fragments. 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. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. however. 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. however." without a comma. so." and sentences that are simply joined by coordinating conjunctions like "and. 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.6. We can use a semi-colon if the logical connection between the statements is clear: corrected: There is time to finish the project. Answer given: Run-on Sentences Run-on sentences are sentences with "signal" problems. for. If a writer wants to be heard. We can also use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and. nor. or. but we won't finish it if we go to the beach. In this module students will learn • • to recognize and correct run-on sentences to use colons. as in the following sentence: comma splice: There is time to finish the project." or "those". we won't finish it if we go to the beach." sentences without any punctuation at all connecting independent clauses. This is a good choice if the relationship between the clauses is unclear or needs emphasis: corrected: There is time to finish the project. or yet) to connect two independent clauses. however. We won't finish it if we go to the beach. corrected: There is time to finish the project. Often comma splices occur when the second clause begins with "this. however. Without appropriate punctuation readers are forced to determine the correct relationships." "these. or "fused sentences. but.
too. Answer given: 8. 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). Use the same techniques for correcting fused sentences as you would use to correct comma splices (as described in the previous section). but you can borrow it any time. and they were the best days of the whole vacation. this bakery hardly goes unnoticed and people from a variety of cultures stop in to experience what it is it has to offer. 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. but without an accompanying comma. greet you and buzz around like honeybees to help you obtain whatever treat it is you are craving. the friendly clerks behind these cases. On our trip to Los Angeles. Answer given: 5. corrections: I ate the whole pizza. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids. The theater alone is not what makes it so unique. people. Two large display cases adorned with a variety of different pastries. A coordinating conjunction may be present in a fused sentence. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD. the punctuation is still inadequate. Answer given: 2. Answer given: 6. some with subtle Italian accents. it is the colors. I'm going to see Gwen Stefani this weekend. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD but you can borrow it any time. Correcting Fused Sentences Sentences are said to be "fused" when there is no punctuation connecting independent clauses. colorful fruit tarts. Answer given: 7. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids and they were the best days of the whole vacation. Danielle is going.corrected: This drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-to seven hours. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. On our trip to Los Angeles. it was excellent. 1. Answer given: 4. and city surrounding the theater that are most important. 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. it’s a whole community center. 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 . examples: fused sentences: I ate the whole pizza it was excellent. Answer given: 3. Being located in a prime spot along Columbus Ave. The Phoenix is more than just a performance center.
and opened her notebook. 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. who." or "it" is used to refer to an idea in a previous sentence. example: Janet and I had a great dinner last night. Proofread to ensure that there are no run-on sentences. men. and them. right? However. to write text free of pronoun-antecedent and pronoun reference mistakes. I. Answer given: 1. then she realized she had brought the wrong book. grab a muffin and coffee and run. Object pronouns include me. whom. and they. us. you.) or with indefinite words (person. Hoping to get some work done before school. 110 . problems arise when the antecedent for a pronoun is unclear. to avoid gender bias when using pronouns.). her. he. Write a paragraph about a favorite holiday memory. got a large latte. etc. Pronouns: A pronoun refers to or stands in for a noun. These include. 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). you him. etc. put on her headphones. Helena went to the coffee shop. There are many different types of pronouns used in many different situations: subject pronouns are pronouns used as the subject of a sentence." "this. Answer given: Problems with Pronouns Like Subject-Verb agreement. object pronouns are pronouns used as the target of a verb in a sentence." where "their" (plural) is not matched in number with "Everyone" (singular). we. doctor.to offer. or two antecedents joined by "and" "or" or "nor." In addition. it. the noun replaced by the pronoun is called the "antecedent" of the pronoun. she. as in John gave me the book. students. what. Simple to fix. These "pronoun reference" problems often arise between sentences when a general pronoun such as "that. Answer given: 10. Stella’s is not just a place like Starbucks to stop in. it. Answer given: 9. the issue gets more complicated when you are dealing with collective nouns (the crowd. This is the problem in the following sentence: "Everyone has their share. pronoun-antecedent agreeement is about parts of a sentence fitting together so that the reader does not stumble over mixed messages. 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.
Possessive pronouns are mine. No invitation is required. For example. Next year. These include pasta dishes. relative pronouns are used to signal the beginning of a relative clause in the middle of a sentence. Note: sometimes "they" and "you" are used as indefinite pronouns. which. both. and those. his. they take an adjective case: my. and when possessive pronouns are used before a noun to establish ownership." acceptable form: Anyone can come to the event this evening." then the pronoun must be we or us. as opposed to you. none. Be careful in academic writing with these pronouns. example: Mediterranean dishes are good for your heart. whom. interrogative pronouns are used to begin questions. No. She will be reimbursed for the pizza by the Club. fresh fish and seafood dishes. as in "anyone. ours. agreement in number: the pronoun and antecedent must both be plural. each. For example. who. because they can create an unacceptable tone. demonstrative pronouns are used to refer to ideas or objects rather than people. what. theirs. Gabe. several. as in "The tan chihuahua is the dog that I want.possessive pronouns are used to indicate a state of ownership by a subject referenced in the possessive pronoun. not born. place. these. your. indefinite pronouns are used to refer to an indefinite person. and I hauled three loads of trash from the fraternity to the dump yesterday. or thing. 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. their. Gabe and I. anybody. Somebody in the Women's Club will have to bring the pizza to the party tonight. however." There are many different indefinite pronouns. or both singular." or "They say that Brittney Spears is crying out for help with her recent antics. its mine. The relative pronoun stands in the for the noun antecedent." or "some. hers. agreement in person: the pronoun and antecedent have the same subject. Johnny. yours. many. we will let someone else do the annual clean-up. his. For example. anyone. sombody. "Agreement" means that the pronoun is consistent with the "person" "number" and "gender" of the antecedent. and salads. but here are a few of the most common: one. The interrogative pronouns are who. that." Relative pronouns include which. Confusion often arises with indefinite pronouns. For example. and that. all. our. whom. everybody. either. her example: I believe that is his book. Demonstrative pronouns include this. "You should always remember that heroes are made. 111 . if the antecedent is "Johnny. or they.
or: Enroll in classes in one of two ways: online or in person at the administration building . 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. he correct: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. . . ." 112 . better: Students can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: they can enroll online or in person at the administration building. error: It is correct: It is you who is to blame. "Would you please pick up the flowers that I ordered today?" and "I watched Grey's Anatomy last night. . For example. even when made to agree. third-person. . 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. The best course of action is to avoid pronouns altogether. you has has that is shows their their to that . but this pronoun can sound a bit formal. faults solution. . Use "that when the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence (when the clause is "restrictive"). "One. personal pronoun. can be used. because when a noun is in possessive case. blame. . use "which" when the relative clause is just a detail. Note: Be careful when a noun is in possessive case. . Examples of Pronoun Antecedent Agreement: Take a look at the following sentences showing agreement problems and their corrections: error: Everybody correct: Everybody has faults. 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. . also Ok: One can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: one can enroll online or in person at the administration building . error: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. . For more on eliminating gender bias in writing.agreement in gender: the pronoun and antecedent. error: Every problem correct: Every problem has its solution. should not promote a gender bias. . . . Dickens shows that . as in Dickens'. visit the module on shifts. Gender bias is often a problem in English because the English language has no genderneutral. which I really should not have done since I had so much work to do. it is considered an adjective." an indefinite pronoun. .
stores can be very far away. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: it 6. Experienced writers make pronoun reference mistakes. though _____ were written many hundred years ago. Pronoun reference mistakes usually occur between sentences. I will do ____. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: he 2. Whatever you ask of me. (I/me) Answer given: 113 . but they know to proofread their work to check for such mistakes. and going to the store requires planning and much consolidation.(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. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they 4. though. error: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. (What does this refer to in the second sentence?) correct: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. or when a sentence contains several nouns. Make sure the pronoun is grammatically consistent with the antecedent and the rest of the sentence. Take a look at the following sentences with pronoun reference problems: error: If I took that bug out of her hair. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 7. You and ___ shall go. particularly when modifiers and clauses distance the antecedent from the pronoun. Mary. stores can be very far away. though. 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. This can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships.Pronoun Reference Problems Pronoun reference problems are very common in the work of developing writers. You. The more people know about plants and flowers the more ____ enjoy ____ Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they them 5. Aesop's fables are still read. This feeling can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. too. Supply a pronoun to go in place of the underline. 1. 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. and ___ have always been good friends.
To _____ were you speaking? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: whom 12. It is full of floating ice. Answer given: Find the antecedent for the relative pronoun used in each sentence below. Goodness is the only thing that never fails. You have read of him. Answer given: 19. Were both you and (I/me) invited? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 10. Answer given: 17. supply the missing word: "who" or "whom. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me 9. He said that he saw you and ____ at the mall. The Swiss revere the name of William Tell.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 8. which. Spare the birds. Answer given: 18. They cheer us by their songs. 11. that) so as to form complete sentences." Write your answer in the text box. whom. _____ did you see at the party? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom 14. Everybody was invited except you and (I/me). Thomas Jefferson was an intimate friend of Washington's. Be careful to place each subordinate clause as near its anteccedent as possible. Answer given: 20. The river is dangerous. 16. 21. _____ began the argument? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 15. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. _____ 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. Answer given: 114 . _____ do you think I am? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 13. We reached the mountain top. From it we had a wonderful view. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me In the following sentences.
the individuals become aware of being at odds with others. Marcos or Pete will give us their help. No one knows what the future has in store for them. Answer given: 29. when people do not agree. In this module we will cover the basic and the not so basic rules for creating sound subject-verb agreement. Time that is once lost is always lost. and overcame them by her great courage. plural with plural. Most of the time. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: time 23. Answer given: 28. Without this agreement. Every person in the class made their complaints to me. Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: chain 24. and provides helpful strategies for locating the subject and choosing the appropriate verb form. Answer given: 26.. The administration is proud of their policies. In a sentence. the reader gets conflicting messages." on some level anyway. what to have for dinner. She met each difficulty and danger. 115 . Objectives: By the end of this module. a singular subject takes a singular verb form. Answer given: 27.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: thing 22.) and in person (gender). Answer given: Subject-Verb Agreement When people agree about something—a movie to see. 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. 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. and stumbles over the text rather than gleaning your message. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: none Correct the pronoun antecedent error in each sentence or group of sentences below. and We enjoy soccer (not We enjoys soccer). 25. who to elect for president—they are in accord. Conversely. as in Kate dances well (not Kate dance well). Answer given: 30. the subjects of the sentence must agree with the verb in the sentence in both number (singular with singular. what constitutes a good book. As he approached the village. and a plural subject takes a plural verb form. or in "sync. However. Neither of the children ate their carrots. Jack met a number of people. etc.. This module covers these confusing situations. but none whom he knew. the correct subject/verb combination is easy for writers to figure out. or I hate okra (not I hates okra).
it does not make the subject plural. Watch out for modifying phrases that come between subject and verb! And especially be on the lookout for prepositional phrases. Indefinite pronouns cause a lot of confusion. An apple or a banana is a good afterschool snack. In the first example. and some. Consider the following sentences: The mountain bike with the red frame and the fat tires is the one I want. most. the verb will be plural.Agreement When Words Come Between Subject and Verb. "Mountain bike" is the subject of the sentence. item or simultaneous action. Subjects joined by or or by either/or or neither/nor may take singular or plural verbs depending on the form of the subject. Some of us are going skiing this weekend. it is not part of the subject. even if sometimes this structure feels counter-intuitive. such as all. any.. if both subjects are singular. My best friend and confidante is always there for me when I need her. or as well as: The new oak tree. Agreement When Subjects are Joined by "and. To determine the 116 . Agreement With Indefinite Pronouns. subjects connected by "and" are going to be plural: David and Jesus are always late. along with three bags of planting mix and a box of fertilizer. "some" refers to individual persons. was delivered to my house this morning.. Rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time is almost impossible to do. the verb is singular." These items are part of the prepositional phrase that begins with "with." or "either/or" In most situations. Some of the cake is still on the table. along with." The phrase is there to tell us more about the mountain bike. as the object of a preposition can easily be confused with the subject of the sentence. none. the verb will be singular. "cake. if the subjects joined by "and" refer to a single person.. Coffee and dessert were served in the living room. Some indefinite pronouns. in the second example "some" refers to an "uncountable" noun. in addition to. If both subjects are plural.. Another source of trouble is a modifying phrase beginning with together with." "or. the verb agrees with subject it is closest to. are confusing because they can be singular or plural depending on the nouns to which they refer. Neither the teacher nor the students know how to solve this math problem. and so the verb is plural." "neither/nor. and so should not be considered when deciding on the appropriate verb form for the sentence. Because the phrase is non-restrictive (or not necessary to the sentence). not "the red frame and the fat tires." and therefore. If one subject is singular and the other is plural. However. the subject is singular: Spaghetti and meatballs is the only thing Mary ever orders when we go out to eat.
it is easy to confuse a noun in an opening phrase with the true subject of the sentence. "the crew members hope. Agreement With "Which" "Who" and "That" as Subjects. At a Rolling Stones concert the crowd always sings along to "Satisfaction. Dr. however. Each of the new interns is assigned to work a twenty-four hour shift this week. anything. Some indefinite pronuns are always plural: for example. everybody. and both are going to be starting players." is "villains.. both. Usually.. but occasionally. the verb in the clause should agree in number with the subject of the sentence (the antecedent for the pronoun). or "uncountable" (not countable by individual elements). Trees that drop fruit will attract bugs. everything. anyone." "who. Collective nouns used with a plural form of a verb tend to sound a bit awkward. it is better to name a plural subject rather than use a collective noun as a plural. each. Everything is going wrong today. the antecedent is "one" (the phrase modifies "one" rather than "villains").. someone. In this sentence." sounds a bit better. Generally. Most of the time the subject comes before the verb. few. Agreement When Subject-Verb Order is Inverted. as in the example above. birds. somebody. Agreement With Collective Nouns as Subjects. No is just one of the villains who have come up against James Bond. nothing. the antecedent for the pronoun "who" in the adjective phrase "who have come against James Bond." so the verb in the adjective clause "that drop fruit" should be plural. word order is inverted and the subject is delayed. Dorleen and Claire joined the volleyball team this semester. and so the verb is singular. Oddjob is the only one of the villains who throws a razor-edged hat as a weapon. many go out and find it. everyone." The crew hope their grog won't run out before they reach port.. In this sentence.. squirrels and other small animals. Some indefinite pronouns are always singular: for example. One signal of a delayed subject is the expletive "there" at the beginning of a sentence: 117 . When word order is inverted. The antecedent for the pronoun "that" is "trees. and many. check to see if the noun is "countable" (made of up of individual elements that can be counted). but you don't know what it is.. 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. nobody. Something is happening. anybody. and something." and "that" are used in an adjective clause (relative clause)." and so the verb in the phrase should be plural... When the relative pronouns "which. several. Some sit around and wait for happiness.number for a verb used with these indefinite pronouns.
. When a title of a book. institution. Often the subject appears between parts of a verb phrase. þÿ 4. there is little I can do to help them. Her dogs are her protection. as in "Has she arrived yet?" The subject must match the first auxilliary verb (first verb form) in number. it should be treated as a singular subject. ______ it is a good idea. when a phrase is referred to in terms of the language itself. Word order is also inverted in questions.. If Jenny and Mark won't listen. there is going to be trouble over the broken vase.. the number of the verb should correspond to the number of the subject and not the predicate nominative. 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. 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. 2. In addition. 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.. to 118 need: . Agreement When the Verb is a Linking Verb. even when there is a plural subject in the title: The Twin Towers was an important New York City landmark. Each þÿ to of the options be: _____ unacceptable. Everyone þÿ to in the class _____ the find: video to be entertaining. 1. building. film. or work of art is the subject of a sentence. with the exception of Tiffany. 3. Her protection is her dogs. Terms of Endearment is a sad film. When linking two nouns with a linking verb.When your parents get home. to feel: All of the people at the party.
______ to do more to recycle. The þÿ to wind and fog _______ reduce: the mosquito problem. 10. The þÿ to team ___ going to be: play on Saturday. þÿ 5. Success þÿ to ________ reward: hard work. so be sure to strap heavy objects down. 119 . 13. Time þÿ to _______ pass: quickly. Another þÿ to of my brothers live: ________ in Florida. 11. Three-fourths þÿ to of the cake be: _____ gone. 12. to move: In an earthquake furniture ______ around. 7.Everyone. 14. 6. 8. Two þÿ to bottles of wine be: ____ enough. My þÿ to aunt as well as my be: cousin _______ single. 9. Neither þÿ to of the hotel rooms be: _______ available. including the people of conservation-conscious California.
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
and daring for its time. well-written. All items in a series should have the same structure to help the reader quickly process information. (adapted from Wikipedia.Revising to create parallel structure.. If one element is an adjective. or paragraphs in an essay. clauses. and so forth. (parallel elements are adjectives. once you find the trunk. nouns. then all elements should be verbs. (all parallel elements are adjectives) Some Like It Hot tells the story of two musicians. follow the trunk line to each of the branches directly. then all elements should be adjectives.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. who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929. and desperate. 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). then all elements should be nouns. when all elements are nouns... and verbs) It is important to note that one need not make all elements in a series exactly parallel. (parallel elements are proper nouns) Broke. The reader is forced to do much more work to figure out the author's meaning than is fair. Joe and Jerry disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band headed to Florida.. Consider the following problematic sentences and their corrections: 124 . the sentence will sound awkward and out of balance. for instance. if one element is a noun. is to think of the core idea in the structure as the trunk of a tree. Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). and each parallel item as a branch off that trunk. the band's ukulele player and vocalist. Take a look at the examples below: The film Some Like it Hot is funny. An easy way to check for parallel structure in a piece of writing. and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises. checking to ensure that the trunk connects strongly (and correctly) to each branch as illustrated in the diagram below: Parallel Words. frightened. if one element is a verb. phrases. whether that structure is between words.
balanced. and going to school. article. if one item in a series is a verb phrase (beginning with an -ing or -ed verb). mimics Cary Grant. Corrected: She hates studying. (parallel verbal phrases) Common Trouble Spots. hat..Faulty Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and security. each element begins with a verb. while others began with nouns. shoes. then every item should be prepositional phrase. Shifts in phrase type create confusion: Faulty She hates to study. Joe and Jerry join an all-girl band. if one item is a relative clause. appropriate use of prepositions. but because a greenish tint in Lemmon's and Curtis' heavy make-up could not be hidden on color film. unless you write the appropriate item into each phrase: Faulty On her first day at work. 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. but she loves partying.) Parallel Phrases and Clauses. Phrases and clauses also need to be parallel if the sentence is to be logical. working. articles. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. then every item in the series should be a verbal phrase. modifier. Parallel structure is created by joining the first two wardrobe elements into a single element. and easy to read. Corrected: Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and finding security. and going to school. When revising your work. The initial items are going to govern every item in the series. or auxialliary verb is appropriate to each item in a series. (parallel infinitive phrases) Director Billy Wilder filmed Some Like it Hot in black and white. mimics Cary Grant's accent. (In this version. (parallel subordinate clauses) Marilyn Monroe had two big problems during filming: remembering her lines and hiding her pregnancy.. then every item should be a relative clause. and modifiers with each item in a series: Be very careful to ensure that the preposition. In the previous version. the sentence will be illogical. Parallel: Faulty Parallel: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's attention: He wears a white sportscoat. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. to work. Corrected: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's atttention: He wears a white sport-coat and captain's cap. but she loves partying.. Consider the following examples demonstrating good parallel structure: To escape the mob and to solve their financial problems. otherwise. Thelma wore a new dress. some elements began with verbs. a captain's cap. and her favorite briefcase.. not because he wanted to be artistic. If one item in a series is a prepositional phrase.
Make a list of things you hate then transform the list into a short paragraph (or a couple of sentences). delete. Later in the novel he becomes a minister. and was laying out a selection of ten cards from which the client was supposed to choose three. and carried her favorite briefcase. person. Answer given: Gypsies are famous for their traditions of fortune-telling by reading Tarot cards. write a short paragraph with good parallel structure in the space provided. and the prominence of the mounts. Answer given: Part 2 Combine each of the sets of sentences below into a single.Corrected: On her first day at work. that someone was lonely. it is kind of like wearing two different shoes. or cheerful. . You will have to add. Robert A. mood. fingers and their lengths. In this module students will learn to . the protagonist kills people innocently. and hat. Thelma wore a new dress. shoes. —and proofreading your writing to ensure that this consistency is maintained. Answer given: Shifts A shift is a confusing change in person. and they also look into crystal balls. mood. identify and correct shifts in verb tense. The key is consistency—of voice. interpreting dreams. But he is also considered Martian becaues his birthplace was on Mars. cut the cards. Answer given: Palm readers examine lines on the palm. change. concise sentence in which parallel elements appear in parallel structures. . Earthly laws are not understood by him. Answer given: Some critics of fortune-telling suggest that trained psychologiests could also notice personal traits such as nervousness. Answer given: At the carnival. but elements of the sentence just don't fit. person. Its plot is appealing. Answer given: The protagonist continues on his quest to understand human behavior by reading all of the books he can. voice. Part 1 Using the topic below. Michael Valentine Smith. verb tense. Answer given: The protagonist of the novel. Heinlein's classic Stranger in a Strange Land has captivating characters. voice. the gypsy shuffled the deck. He then runs away with a traveling circus. adn rearrange words. There may be more than one possible answer. Answer given: In the beginning of the novel. and mood. or number. is classified as a human by birth. 126 . and number in their writing. Your reader looks at your writing to be dressed one way. verb tense. which would also let them make reasonable predictions about a client's future.
and is still improving. Incorrect: Last semester. Correct: The football team is good. as in the following sentence: Incorrect: The football team was good. (the suit continues not to fit) is too small. Passive: Equality is encouraged Active: Democratic governments encourage equality. government. I had more homework in math than I have in all my other classes combined. writers want to emphasize the object in a sentence rather than a subject's actions. (Inadequate transition provided. 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. or past to future tense. and is still improving. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. Occasionally. "And" suggests simultaneous actions) Incorrect: I liked him because he always says what Correct: I like him because he always says what he thinks. writers slip up and shift tense when there should be no shift. The way to avoid inappropriate shifts in verb tense is to visualize the actions described: Does one event really occur before another. the choir will sing a few spirituals that they learned over the summer. or are they simultaneous? Apply this technique in the following sentences: Incorrect: The suit didn't fit me. he thinks. however. 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. as when one describes an event that takes place before another event: At the first Fall concert. from present to past. (I continue to like him) Shifts in Voice: Passive vs.C. Correct: Though I admire her persistence. 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. But sometimes.Shifts in Verb Tense A verb tense shift is a shift in time. Consider the emphasis in these active and passive sentences: Passive: The Active: Marla made the cake. for example. I had more homework in math than in all my other classes combined.C. (I continue to admire her persistence) Incorrect: The wind died down and the waves roll gently. however. Most often writers use active voice in order to emphasize agency—a subject performing some action. and to make writing energetic. Passive: The bitter cup of destiny must Active: All humankind must taste the bitter cup of destiny. and readers are captivated from beginning to end. Incorrect: Though I admired her persistence. Problems arise. cake was by be made a by democratic tasted by all Marla. 127 . humankind. Correct: Last semester. it Correct: The suit doesn't fit me. Correct: The wind died down and the waves rolled gently. it is too small. Sometimes such shifts make perfect sense.
Shifts in Number A shift from singular to plural." 128 ." "One" "People" "Anyone" "Persons" etc. it is better to avoid "you" constructions altogether in academic writing. but as you get older. In addition. It is not correct to write "If I was rich. what might happen. there are two moods: indicative and subjunctive. especially when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase such as "of us" or "of the students. Correct: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. lazy. It is common for students to shift person in written sentences. for example. irritable. etc. Shifts in Mood Mood in sentences is not like mood in people. . "I was" becomes "I were. I would have been deeply embarrassed. or "If I was you . melancholy. . etc. I never would have made it this far. Incorrect: We had better arrive early because you never know Correct: We had better arrive early because we don't know what might happen. or vice versa is a definite no-no. who have emotional moods—joyful." and "It was" becomes "it were. These mistakes are considered shifts in mood. Incorrect: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. 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. I am getting wiser. such shifts are common. In writing. One source of shifts in number is an indefinite pronoun such as "anyone" or "none" or "all. Correct: I used to think school wasn't important. If it were not for you. Incorrect: I used to think school wasn't important." "He. but as I get older. they will discover that the books are far better than the films. ." Take a look at the following sentences in the subjunctive mood: If I were rich. A sentence in the indicative mood is a statement of fact. The personal "you" is a bit too informal and too direct for academic writing. If they were not so kind." "She. . These shifts confuse the reader and break the coherence and unity of your writing. you get a lot wiser. hypothetical. or doubtful.Correct: Patrick O'Brien writes exciting stories of life on board the tall sailing ships of the Royal navy in the early 19th century. Incorrect: If one reads The Harry Potter books. where it was discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. captivating readers from beginning to end. it is very common to see an "if" clause. I would buy a ranch far away from everybody. in the subjunctive mood. because in everyday speech. In a sentence in the subjunctive mood. Note: In general. Correct: If fans of the Harry Potter films would read the Harry Potter books. an assertion. A sentence in the subjunctive mood indicates that something is conditional. where he discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. therefore. they would discover that the books are far better than the films.
have evidently "nothing in them. as we believe that every man endowed with reason at all has "something in him. however." Now." And "last" is an adjective describing "night." The sentence also includes a descriptive appositive phrase: "the one she always carries. For some of these. The deck is crowded with people. the one she always carries. was stolen last night. —some men possessing it in a very general way. All men are not alike endowed with natural talent and ability. other men only in one particular channel. we find several modifiers: Ann's favorite black handbag. Answer given: 3. Incorrect: Every student Correct: All of the students are doing their best." Most of the descriptive modifiers call the reader's attention to the handbag. unifying time as past or present. Modifiers add descriptive information to a sentence and call the reader's attention to what the writer feels is important. When it quiets down a little the sailors look to see if the ship is damaged very badly. letting readers know which one as well as how Ann felt about the bag. Without modifiers our sentences would be pretty bare. "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). for example. it is therefore saiad of such a man that he has a particular talent for such and such a trade. Almost any man with the ordinary capacity for instruction can be taught to do certain things. The storm rages on furiously for about an hour.Incorrect: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because they have had excellent training. Answer given: Revise the following paragraph so that it is free of gender bias. while many other men may be said to possess scarcely any. making sure your writing is free from shifts and does not contain any gender bias. What is a disconnected modifier? Lets look at a few examples of sentences with disconnected modifiers: 129 . revise the verb tense shifts in the paragraph. he may exhibit a greater aptitude than for others. to set about discovering in what direction such talent lies. 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. Answer given: 4. is doing their best. from How to Become a Successful Engineer. The sky is murky and the wind is blowing hard. by Bernard Stuart. or their parents for them. 1. it becomes young men. The tempestuous waves dash up on the side of the ship. They find out that the prow of the ship is damaged. 2. In the sentence below. The masts of the ship were down. The furious lightning tears the sky and the thunder roars. 1901. In the distance I see the port." however latent the talent may be. Everybody was horror-stricken. Correct: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because each of them has had excellent training. and to all appearance. "Always" is an adverb describing the verb "carries. Review the paragraph you just wrote for any instances of passive voice. 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.
" and the phrase on TV tonight. your reader will. three pizzas were ordered. these sentences are much easier to follow: To make sure there would be enough for everyone. The direct object of the sentence is actually the whole phrase “to watch that new show on TV tonight.e. the matador stared at the bull. the sweat pouring down his face. or worse.” Typically. the subject. as with finding most any sentence level mistake. there was a traffic accident right in front of me. Instead. I saw a traffic accident right in front of me. though occasionally modifiers add information to other modifiers rather than to the core (see note below). How does one identify and correct a disconnected modifier? The first step in finding disconnected modifiers. Revised to connect the modifiers to their logical subjects. they huddled. calling attention to what the writer thinks is important or needs further description. The matador stared at the bull. They also know where to look for mistakes. as can sentences with limiters like "only" and "sometimes." or sentences that begin with long modifiers. Consider the following sentence: "Calico-coated. with delicate legs and pink faces in which their mis-matched eyes rolled wild and subdued. However. And for this reason. How do problems with modifiers arise? Typically. deadly as rattlesnakes.To make sure there would be enough for everyone. assume that faulty sentences are hidden there in the text. We will look at all of these scenarios next. to get stuck. Sentences written in passive voice can be a source of trouble. 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. small-bodied. quiet as doves. In the sentence above. Matt is coming with us to the movies along with Allison. too. The sweat pouring down his face. experienced writers assume that their prose is going to need to be revised for correctness and that revision is a necessary part of writing. the writer calls our attention to what Amanda wants to watch by adding several modifiers: the adjectives that and new to modify "show. Give it a try in the following sentence: Amanda wants to watch that new show on TV tonight. gaudy motionless and alert." 130 . Don't assume that because you understand your ideas. While waiting for the bus. “Amanda” is the subject in this sentence. the one who performs the action of the sentence (Amanda “wants”). the sentence verb(s). even experienced writers make sentence mistakes.. they are concerned with organizing their thoughts and developing their ideas rather than with correct grammatical expression of those ideas. i. modifiers in a sentence add information to one of the elements in the core sentence. wild as deer. Paul ordered three pizzas. While I was waiting for the bus. The sentence verb is “wants” (what the subject is doing). and any direct or indirect objects so that any modifiers in the sentence become easy to identify. Scan each sentence to locate the core of the sentence: i. also to modify "show" (telling us when the show is on).e. is to be suspicious of your own writing. (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. Such disconnects cause the reader to stumble a bit trying to follow the logic of the sentence.. Matt and Allison are coming with us to the movies. and to lose track of the overall meaning of the writer’s text. disconnected modifiers happen because when writers put their ideas on paper or a computer screen. and that you will need to engage in a seek-and-destroy mission to find them out.
I don’t know when I will be coming to visit. 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. For example. One source of trouble is misplacement of a modifier.” “in terms of. race. The rule is that modifiers should be placed next to the word they modify. the modifier implies a person who makes a response.” “from what I can see. under. Such modifiers are said to be “dangling” because like a dangling thread in a blanket. A better sentence. however. correcting this disconnect is “In response to your question about my coming to visit. Typical Trouble Spots • tapes. they are not woven into the fabric of the sentence. Take a look at the following example: When buying a new cell phone.” The sentence is longer. As you come across the bridge. Dangling modifiers Another problem with modifiers arises when the modifier refers to a subject that is not actually named in the sentence. consumers should consider many factors. concert in in the my mile car." That combination is not logical: factors do not buy cell phones. you pass Use of passive voice can lead to modifier problems (as in the last example in the previous section). Watch out for shifts from active to passive voice between an opening modifier and the rest of the sentence. are often used improperly. get rid of the phrase (often these phrases are unnecessary anyway) and rewrite the sentence another way. General transitional phrases like “in conclusion. Consider the above sentence with a modifier presented out of place: On TV tonight. Rochelle almost beat everyone in the class corrected: Rochelle beat almost everyone in the class in the mile race. Amanda wants to watch that new show. in the sentence “In terms of your letter. Here are a few more examples of misplaced modifiers: Isaac went to the REM corrected: Isaac went in my car to the REM concert.” “regarding. it appears as if the writer is saying Amanda is on TV tonight. The opening modifier "when buying a new cell phone" suggests a person as the subject (people buy cell phones). if not. 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. The modifier should be next to “new show” to make the sentence logical. and the subject of the sentence is a person. but much more logical.” the introductory phrase points vaguely to a letter. Make sure that the phrase actually modifies the word next to it. Not so clear. and confusion results when modifiers are in another place in the sentence. many factors should be considered. you pass under two main towers. I have to say that I am not sure when I can come. the subject of the modifier in this sentence is “many factors. there are two main towers corrected: As you come across the bridge.Misplaced modifiers Things go wrong when modifiers are not well connected to their subjects. and the rest of the sentence points to the writer’s thoughts about that letter. right? With placement of the modifier “on TV tonight” next to Amanda. 131 • . the reader expects writers to follow the rule.” “thus.” etc.
When tucked into bed. or Maria wants only a salad. After we rise and have coffee and eggs. doing nothing except enjoying the peace of the morning. a busy scene meets our eyes. then run it through the dryer. revised paragraph into the text box. Gerhard Richard. The ocean breeze chilled us through. Answer given: 8. Approaching the town from the ocean. after having been in the heat in the city just a few hours earlier. Answer given: 4. Justin likes to go to a really expensive restaurant. 1. Dickens always remembered this time as the happiest days of his life. And paying attention to the sounds immediately inside the house. Our mule brays out in the pen. Answer given: Adapted from Lomer. restaurant. Consider the ambiguity in the sentence below: Wrong: Maria only wants Right: Only Maria wants a salad.• Problems can arise with placement of limiting modifiers between subject and verb. 132 . Answer given: 6. Answer given: 7. Passing through the different cities. Answer given: 2. the first thing we see is the Patterson Diner. till the sun is well above the horizon. the salaries should be identical. a expensive salad. the family moved to Chatham. Seattle is the most active. You may prefer to copy and paste the paragraph into a word processor for editing and then paste the finished. Going out through the front door. When I wake up in the morning. Wrong: Justin occasionally likes to go to a really Right: Occasionally. 1914. Dickens' father was sent to prison for debt. Wash out your shirt with soap and cold water. When sleeping at night. Last summer while spending a few weeks in Wyoming. Answer given: 3. When a boy. The Study and Practice of Writing English. correcting any dangling or misplaced modifiers. my fears went away. The birds sing somewhere deep in the forest. The cabin is snug and sound. Out of the dryer. Answer given: 9. the breeze gently enters through the numerous open windows. Rewrite each sentence below to correct any dangling or misplaced modifiers. A rug adds to the warmth of the cabin and also deadens the sound when walking around the room. • Long modifiers at the beginning or end of a sentence can be a source of trouble. 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 kids laughing as they help their mother with the dishes are noticed for the first time. 11. so many striking things about the forest are seen that it is difficult to determine what to attend to. Answer given: 10. I often lie in bed for an hour. When doing the same work. When a few years old. the annual rodeo was held. Answer given: Rewrite the following paragraph. Be sure to check the subject implied by the modifier against the actual subject the modifier refers to. Answer given: 5. you will not even be able to tell that the stain was there.
with a tall youth in the midst of them. Coordination and Subordination Coordination: Coordination between clauses and between sentence verbs.Sentence Variety Objectives: Our thoughts. was assembled a merry party of little folks. and was in conversation with her. that. Charlotte tried to console her. 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. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. Notice how coordination is used in the following passage from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. (Hawthorne) Hawthorne uses a variety of sentence forms in this paragraph— periodic and loose sentences. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. complex sentences. As yet. Darcy. To reflect this variety of thought. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. He walked away again immediately. on a gently sloping eminence. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. one by one. without knowing what she did. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. the mansion stood. inquisitive and full of wonder. and of hearing that he was universally liked. above which. our sentences should also be varied. students will learn to use the techniques below to create sentence variety in their writing. and to use sentence variety effectively to communicate their thoughts to a reader: • • • • • coordination and subordination cumulative sentences length transitional expressions colons & semicolons Hawthorne. to show a quick succession of events: She danced next with an officer. and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes." A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. or terse and even irritable. Nathanial. They had planned a nutting expedition. and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. can be quick and inspired. Subordination: 133 . His thoughts ebb and flow. compound sentences. and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures. rambling and reflective." Notice how he varies his sentences to create a distinctive mood: BENEATH the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood. 1852. she accepted him. for example with the coordinating conjunctions "and" and "so. the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley." allows writers to show thoughts or actions which follow one another. one fine autumnal morning. In this module. however. and the mood behind our thoughts. drawing the reader into the scene. Take a look at the following passage by Nathanial Hawthorne from "Tanglewood Porch. "Tanglewood Porch.
Pride and Hawthorne. They are rarely used in speech. (Thackeray) The second sentence is an extreme example. Darcy. 1813. perhaps that he had acted in a very absurd and peevish manner during the night. this time noticing the subordinating conjunctions Austen uses to show the way events and thoughts are interconnected: She danced next with an officer. and was in conversation with her. Periodic Sentences: Sometimes writers want to create suspense in writing. and of hearing that he was universally liked. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. and owning to himself. general and specific versions of experience. that. as English speakers typically prefer the loose sentence style. Jason got on the bus. and murmuring in a wonderful calm. Nathanial. Shortly after Strong had quitted the room. . possessing either scent or beauty. for example. They ask a reader to reflect on an idea or even in greater depth before moving on. All was now ready. which. The reader looks forward to the fulfillment of an expectation. being about the length of a paragraph. please read the lesson in the Coordination & Subordination module. how to use phrases is discussed in the sections on periodic and loose sentences. Phoebe gathered some roses and a few other flowers. . The House of Seven Gables. she accepted him. Pen. Consider the following description of breakfast preparations in Nathanial Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables. . Hawthorne uses phrases to elaborate on the scene and slow the forward action. The early sunshine--as fresh as that which peeped into Eve's bower. having long ago lost its handle. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. Charlotte tried to console her. or the relationships of events in time. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. but it is still correct grammar. A chair and plate for Hepzibah. as in the following sentences: Without hesitating or looking back at his mom. was so much the fitter for a flower-vase. which had still further insulted his dignity. 134 Prejudice. Austen. without knowing what she did. (Austen) Subordinate clauses tend to slow down the forward momentum of actions or a sequence of ideas. while she and Adam sat at breakfast there--came twinkling through the branches of the peartree. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. 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. was endeavoring to get some coolness of body and temper by looking out of the window towards the sea. or set the stage for an action to occur. and so periodic sentences stand out in your writing. and arranged them in a glass pitcher. and fell quite across the table. Take a look at the same passage from Pride and Prejudice used above. noticing how the subordinate clauses slow down the actions and elaborate on the scene: By way of contributing what grace she could. the twists and turns of cause and effect. 1851. Jane." Use periodic sentences infrequently in your writing. which made him look ridiculous in the eyes of the nation. He walked away again immediately.—whilst he was really trying to compose himself. and by Miss Amory's behavior to him.--but what other guest did her cousin look for? (Hawthorne) In addition to subordinate clauses.--the same for Phoebe. which was sparkling in the distance.Allows writers to show the connections between thoughts and events. greatly irate at his downfall in the waltz. and whilst Mr. There were chairs and plates for three. —he felt a hand on his shoulder . How to Use Coordination and Subordination for Variety: For more information on writing sentences using coordination and subordination. Adding phrases and/or subordinate clauses to the front of a sentence allows us to create this effect.
Garnet Hill. (Dreiser. blue eyes. Bed Bath and Beyond. The sentence verb in the main clause declares the action of the sentence. suggests that some outside force is acting upon the subject. humiliating speech when he forgot half the material. haunted by the memory of his last. William Makepeace. It is useful to note that "ing" verbals indicate an action that is being performed by the subject. 1848. unctuous. For example. Too many loose sentences in a row. etc. so that sometimes I would not get that she was telling a joke until a minute or two after she told it. for example. you can decide on the most effective placement. as in the following sentence: Slowly. and the invariable (for a fairly prosperous man) high hat. Below are examples of loose sentences: I betook myself away. He was exceedingly well dressed according to standards prevailing in those days. verbal phrases add detail about what is happening during this action. "Haunted. indulging in flowered waistcoats. idea 3: use a verbal phrase. round body. Cowperwood's—Seneca Davis by name—solid. Once you learn the techniques. A verbal phrase includes a verb form—a verb ending in -ing or -ed that is not the sentence verb. and then modifying phrases and clauses are tacked onto the end of the sentence. long. for example. Loose Sentences Loose sentences are the opposite of periodic sentences: the main clause appears at the beginning of the sentence. can get boring. Thackeray. a clear. smooth head rather bald. and "ed" verbals indicate an action that happens to the subject. "running very fast" or "confused by the instructions. Gabe walked up to the front of the class to give his presentation. idea 2: use a noun phrase to rename something discussed in the main clause and begin a modifier with this phrase. a memory. a round." These techniques are the same for modifiers used at the beginning of a sentence. so as always.How to Write a Periodic Sentence: Several techniques for creating modifiers are discussed in the next section on "Loose Sentences. A Blithedale Romance) He was a brother of Mrs. perhaps. hoping that today would be a better day than yesterday. and what little hair he had of a sandy hue. causing the reader to refer back to the main point. with a big. loose sentences are easy for readers to follow. J. after a mighty struggle. She walked out the front door. Penney. 135 . (Hawthorne. light-colored frock-coats. and so in written texts. and wandered up and down. however. The History of Pendennis. Hold Everything. like an exorcised spirit that had been driven from its old haunts. She had a wonderful sense of humor. Loose sentences are common in speech in English. We receive dozens of catalogs every week from companies like Pottery Barn. ruddy complexion. a humor that was a bit satirical and a bit dry at times. For example. five feet ten in height.—any store that ever received a penny of our money. 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.C. it is important to vary your patterns." We use verbal phrases to indicate simultaneous actions. "Hoping" happens while she walks out the door." for example.
Just remember. as when one gets sleepy driving down an unvarying freeway late at night. The modifying phrases allow the author to add information that fills in the scene. Hesitating at the door. . and the repetition of a key word ("truths . Nathanial. His mood took a turn for the worse.m. He dressed slowly and ate breakfast without any appetite. She believed in being honest above all else. One pattern in particular—the simple sentence presented with few (or no) modifying phrases—can get really boring. They can also help writers vary the opening structures of sentences. Some useful transitional expressions are shown below. He ate breakfast without appetite. the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.idea 4: use a prepositional phrase. Prepositions such as "without. He went to work full of dread.m. Dreiser. . the more you tell your reader that it is important. he remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. . his heart full of dread. either showing the subject's thoughts. 1912. The second paragraph ebbs and flows. forget it forever. 1852 Vary Length & Style Financier." "after. ") to begin a phrase. that the more space you devote to a topic. It is easy for readers get familiar with a sentence pattern. 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. however. providing background information. Notice that Faulkner uses a verbal phrase ("leaving . Suddenly. or suggesting simultaneous actions. He remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. as a drummer punctuates a drum rhythm. he summoned his courage and went to work. teaching himself that. Use Transitional Expressions Transitional expressions signify the relation between ideas. Subordinating Conjunctions: 136 . such as "John woke at 6:00 a. Compare the above paragraph with the following one that uses a variety of sentence styles and sentence length: John woke at 6:00 a. We cleaned the house before picking up mom at the airport. temporal. John dressed slowly. The Blithedale Romance. Theodore. . "). He walked out the front door without looking back. as in the following example: John woke up at 6:00 a. the meeting that would decide if the company died or became successful beyond imagination. Do not feel that you need to stop at one phrase if you have more to say." and "before" establish spatial. leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart.m. The Hawthorne. And the short sentences. explore the module on subordination. Also note that the repetition is of a key word in the first modifying phrase rather than the main clause." "with. His mood took a turn for the worse. For more information. so familiar that they start falling asleep. idea 5: use a combination of phrases. or logical relationships between ideas. For example. Varying the length and style of sentences keeps readers awake." punctuate the sentence. This technique is very effective for refining ideas.
cause: because. "Chiefly About War Matters by a Reasonable Man. as soon as. consequently. while. if. though." 1. as though condition: even though. on the other hand. (Hawthorne. afterward. Answer given: 8. as long as. however. in the same way. but only reserved). It is by his poetry that Milton is best known. though. though outvoted. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the beginning of each of the following 5 sentences. similarly. "Chiefly About War Matters") Hawthorne. and Leutze allowed us to gaze at the cartoon of his great fresco." Relocate the modifying phrase(s) in each sentence. thus exemplification: for instance. despite. Jason took out the trash. Brian loved to sail. firstly. even if. 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. indeed. the matador stared at the bull. when Sentence Adverbs: effect: consequently. regardless addition: in addition. hoping to end the fight quickly. except upon sure ground of observation. whenever. Meanwhile the noble design spoke for itself upon the wall. one verbal phrase. Megan blacked out. the sun sets. unless time: after. since. 6. second. The crowd hurries toward home along the streets. similarity: accordingly. even though. Deep red through the fog. stared at the bull. Answer given: 4. in the first place. so that concession: although. Answer given: 137 . Answer given: 7. His detractors. nevertheless. as. as long as. provided that. "The matador. have not been silenced. amplification: what is more. first. and talked about it unaffectedly. exception: however. Because she is loyal and brave. white with snow. Soon. moreover summary: in sum. after all. as only a man of true genius can speak of his own works. with keen and somewhat guarded eyes. Use at least one prepositional phrase. Answer given: 3. as. even though. and one subordinate clause. as if it were not his practice to vouchsafe any great warmth of greeting. For example. his look grew kindly and genial (not that it had ever been in the least degree repulsive. The conversation ended." might become "Hoping to end the fight quickly. Answer given: 9. for example. Answer given: 5. we admire Ariella. on the whole time: meanwhile. Answer given: 2. shortly. although. before. Nathanial. eventually.
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
Even if you were rich. unless at the beginning of a clause describes a condition that would prevent something from happening.Even though I am exhausted. you will abide by my as soon as." then "b"): after After you arrive in Hawaii.means no matter where: "Wherever we went. you are under arrest. for something happening: as long as As long as you pay your own way. It is usually used with verbs in the present tense to discuss a future conditional: We will meet at the soccer field. Unless you can provide an alibi for your actions at 10:15 last night. "As long as" is a slightly less formal version of "provided that. we could find a MacDonald's. you are welcome to come along. "as long as" is used to emphasize a particular duration of time: As long as you live in this house. unless it is raining. be sure and call to let me know you have arrived safely. you may have desert. her head felt much better. 142 "Where" identifies the place . After Angela took the ibuprofen." This subordinator is interesting in that it suggests a hypothetical situation as a condition. "Unless" is used to specify a negative condition. 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. I have to study for my biology exam tonight. Subordinating conjunctions: place and time if.." . "Even if" points to particular conditions and means "whether or not. in other words. as rules. (after "a." Both subordinators are used to indicate a condition provided that. I would not go out with you.. even if unless Place where wherever Time "After refers to an event or action that occurs after another event or action has occured.
he apologized profusely. When you called. "While" is used to emphasize long duration: While you were out celebrating." though less formal. when as. "Till" is similar to "until. As I was printing out my notes for the meeting. It is not often used in introductory clauses: Bush said today that we will stay in Iraq till the war is won." "as. my boss called to tell me the meeting was cancelled. you get wiser. or almost simultaneously: Just as she turned to yell at him for knocking her groceries out of her arms. We also use "as" to show that one thing is the consequence of another: As you get older. "While. till I didn't know who the bad guy was until the last scene of the movie. I will be sure and call you. 143 . For example. You cannot watch television until you clean your room. I will be sure to visit you." and also sometimes "if" and "when. I was home cleaning the house.before "Before" refers to an event or action that must occur before another event or action can take place. "b" must occur) Before you leave for Hawaii. If I need advice. Whenever I drink red wine. or until a certain event has taken place. We often use "just" in combination with "when" and "as" to describe events happening simultaneously." and "when" indicate that things are happening simultaneously. "Until" means up to the time. "As" and "when" are used to describe short events: The phone rang as I was on my way out the door. you had better stop delivery on your newspaper. until. I was in the tub. "Whenever. I get a headache." is used to indicate a repeated occurence of something when certain conditions arise. whenever When I am in Berkeley. while. (before "a" happens.
Note also that with "while" and "when. Mrs. where would you go and why? Answer given: Paragraphs Creating Unified Paragraphs In this module. as in the following sentences: While walking the dog. 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. he listens to his iPod. 144 . Proofread your paragraphs before you press the "submit" button to ensure that you have used coordination and subordination to good advantage. 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." it is perfectly correct to leave out the subject and the "to be" verb form. 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. Thompson likes to knit when travelling on the train.
The family’s Jack Russell Terrier. What should the reader pay attention to? What is important here? It is the writer's job to create clear direction.What is a paragraph? Many beginning writers are not exactly sure what a paragraph should look like. often is perched on the couch begging for food or running around. In a literature analysis essay. Every night the family eats dinner at the round wooden kitchen table where I usually notice a lingering scent of vanilla candles. or paragraphs in which a writer tells the story of events. etc. a paragraph is the communication of a single assertion or thought. for example. help create coherence. In brief. then this" structure without any real point or purpose other than moving through events. Supporting sentences contribute information to help the reader see the validity of the controlling idea. The writer narrates his entry into his aunt and uncle's home. then this" of the story being analyzed. but it is difficult to tell what we are to make of these observations. it is easy to slip into plot summary. For further instruction on paragraph coherence. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Development Module. with enough detail or explanation to make that thought clear to a reader. recounting the "this. A new paragraph begins when one thought is fully developed. In narrative paragraphs. 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. narration. This paragraph lacks a controlling idea. such as comparison and contrast.—that best illustrates the controlling idea. Writers should select the type of details—description. the problem is similar: a writer may get caught up in describing aspects of something without having a sense of purpose. However. Coherence: Sentences in a paragraph should progress logically to develop the controlling idea. and what logic controls the clustering of sentences together in a paragraph. For further instruction on paragraph development. when one paragraph should end and the next one begin. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Coherence Module. Like the living room. I frequently notice my aunt and uncle seated on one of their tan leather couches watching the news or Comedy Central. instead of focusing on how aspects of the story support an interpretation. 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. In descriptive paragraphs. Peanut. They are unsure how long a paragraph should be. Coherence must also be created between paragraphs to help the reader make the transition from one paragraph to the next. it is easy to fall into the sequence trap. I also regularly find my cousins playing computer games. cause and effect. Transitional expressions and patterns of development. watching MTV. I go into a small living room with a fireplace which almost always is vacant. Completeness: (or development) Enough specific supporting detail should be provided in the paragraph to make the controlling idea convincing. A kitchen and large formal dining room are adjacent to the family room. the dining room rarely is used. 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. in the adjacent family room. and a new thought begins. a descriptive paragraph that needs work for unity (the controlling idea is underlined): 145 . or viewing movies in the family room. comparison and contrast. This controlling idea is usually declared in a topic sentence. Unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs Creating unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs can be difficult. and describes what he observes there. wherein the writer focuses on a "this.
unified narrative and descriptive paragraphs. this idea does not fit. or reshape the controlling idea here. Sentence Unfortunately. 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.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. 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 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. a description of the state of disrepair of the train station would also be appropriate. Discussion Given the controlling idea as stated in the topic sentence. In the table below. doesn't quite meet the expectations created by the topic sentence. The first supporting sentence does support the main idea. take a look at a few strong. The topic sentence does not really lead the reader to expect this content. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. This second supporting sentence. Now. The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. it is beyond the scope of the controlling idea.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. Even though the idea here is closely related to the controlling idea of the paragraph this sentence does not belong in this paragraph. Speculating about what might bring about change is probably a worthwhile thing to do in this essay.The City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. The writer focuses on a rationale for why the City of Novato should preserve the site. However. and have a museum added. With the recent failure of “Measure R. The writer may choose to write another paragraph about why the site should be preserved. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. 146 . however. in this paragraph. the paragraph is not unified. and so meets the reader's expectations. The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. the City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. The author describes the neglected site. With the recent failure of “Measure R. the train station would be refurbished. the train station would be refurbished. but as is.
lounge cars. and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. sleeper cars. the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument. Find out what is free in your car (drinks. There is a hierarchy of staffing—just like a government. it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. Eventually. my father found himself sleeping through the moments he was home. body. expound on the idea. and the structure will collapse. Without logical progression of thought. such as a farmer's market. 1.a unified narrative paragraph: The home [my father] provided his family was not truly his. The train has its own culture and rules. The cars are the city blocks. Instead. Always tip. The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following: A clear. downtown street scene. Answer given: 2. evaluate evidence. as Ward Cleaver did. The reduction in income caused the sale of my first home and initiated the cycle of unrest in my father. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast. and conclusion. 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). concise. towels. Assignment Use the techniques for creating good paragraph unity that you have learned in this module to write paragraphs on the topics below. Clear and logical transitions between the introduction. His home was a place he stored his stuff. and baggage cars. Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. etc.) Wear shoes or lose a toe. and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. engines. Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats. Everyone has an address. it is your seat or compartment number. 147 . You may choose to write the paragraphs on a word processor and then copy and paste your finished work into the text boxes below. Write a unified paragraph about the problems caused by giving kids cell phones before they are teenagers. Write a unified descriptive paragraph about a local park. He had no time to be with his family. dining cars. Answer given: 1. a unified descriptive paragraph: The train is like a small town on wheels. the analysis of cause and effect. Alternatively. Write a unified narrative paragraph about a time you turned out to be wrong about someone. example. Figure out who you can ask for what. And so forth. 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. pillows. If the student does not master this portion of the essay. etc. a place he went when he wasn’t working. definition. or a scene at a local event. Fill out your meal card when you sit down in the dining car. You learn behavior by experience—like don’t fool around with the ticket packet—let them do it. the stress and strain of running two companies and trying to have a family caused him to sell the businesses and return to retail.
leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. Therefore. students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation. 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. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. logical. you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay. and logically so. if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point. also known as the modes of discourse. have been criticized by some composition scholars. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. though you may not be crafting the next great novel. In fact. Narration. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. statistical. it is an art form nonetheless. rather. three evidentiary body paragraphs 3. A bit of creativity! Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing. that is because it is. Evidential support (whether factual. it must be effective and logical. Therefore. 148 . an introductory paragraph 2. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis. in fact. the method consists of: 1. exposition. narration. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. therefore. synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay. such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. there would be a beginning. Remember. We hope these resources will help. middle. What is more. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. a conclusion Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker. Although these genres. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. or anecdotal). It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. Allen Brizee. such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. the expository essay must be complete. however. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. and end to the conversation. Exposition. This is. 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. If it sounds straightforward. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. Often times.Body paragraphs that include evidential support.
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
Longer Argumentative Essays Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. Without a concrete image or idea. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. middle. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic. and a mixture of cultures. 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. as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. In fact. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. the travel brochures do not lie: Hawaii is paradise. rather. Hawaii truly is a paradise. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. In the case of Hawaii. and review your thesis. This is the picture of a typical day in Hawaii. Hawaii can still be paradise. With so many tourists on such a small land mass. İntroductions Opening Lines. This is.. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. however. The first introduction is the least interesting because it offers so many broad generalizations. and so are called upon to engage deeply with the topic at hand. perfect weather. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. and end to the conversation. the argumentative essay must be complete. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. 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. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. sparkling sea. The reader is engaged by the promise of unexpected and surprising information in the essay to follow. and logically so. the sun warming your weightless body. Restate why the topic is important. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. that Hawaii would be too crowded for a satisfying vacation.logical. The very first job before you in an essay is to capture your reader's interest and attention. that is because it is. but then surprises the reader by suggesting that in spite of this problem. a vast array of wildlife. tropical fruits. it would seem that any pleasures to be had at Hawaii's beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts would be spoiled by overcrowding. in fact. More than 6 million people visit Hawaii each year. if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point. If it sounds straightforward. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. sources of information and their credibility. it is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. Consider these openings lines from three different essays about Hawaii. 153 . Therefore. readers will rarely make a strong connection with the topic.. Readers are asked to picture themselves in the scene. The second introduction is far more effective at creating interest because of the numerous sensory and concrete details. palm trees. there would be a beginning. review the main points. But this is not the case. the method consists of 1) an introductory paragraph 2) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and 3) a conclusion. synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment.
More than 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. Try for a more extended definition that is keyed into your essay topic. tourists travelled to Hawaii aboard steamships to experience first hand the romantic beauty that had been popularized in Hawaiian songs of the teens. That said. it is possible to go to Hawaii and feel like you are way off the beaten path. such as laundry needing to be done. and nothing to do but to enjoy the beauty and bounty of life and each other. Hawaii is the number one American tourist destination. In the early days. and then assert a new approach or direction for your essay. A concession: Start with a commonly held belief or opinion. sparkling sea. shaping them to your own purposes: A short anecdote: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. And by the 1940's. there are a few specific strategies that you may adopt. try to capture for your reader what drew you in and made you passionate about this topic. An interesting fact or statistic: This technique is used above. in a short trip to Hawaii. but also distractions. You need to break through these distractions by providing a compelling reason to read. or kids arguing.How do you go about writing an introduction that is going to get your reader's attention? To start. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. Broad generalities merely distract the reader and postpone what is really important in the essay (for example. like the freedom Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall." He was wrong. An analogy: 154 . Hollywood films like "Waikiki Wedding" featuring scenes shot on location." or "Throughout American history") Hawaii has been a popular tourist destination since the 1920's. 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. Today. Paradise can be found. Hawaii is anything but indifferent. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. "Since the beginning of time. Ask yourself. if only temporarily. under what conditions will my reader pick up this essay? Imagine your reader having a general interest in your topic. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. A short narrative: This technique is also used above. drew thousands more tourists to the growing number of hotels along Waikiki Beach. the sun warming your weightless body. And since you know your own idea intimately. Although 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. or loud music next door. put yourself in the place of your reader. Relevant background material: Be careful here. "Traveling is a fool's paradise. Don't include background material that does not have a direct bearing on your topic. Paradise for many of us in the 21st century is having freedom from care and worry.
If you say. San Answer given: Francisco is 155 a great city.Don't over use rhetorical questions. instead of going the extra distance to figure out what the argument actually is. on the other hand." or "Words are not enough to really explain. What not to do. or within a theme tightly connected to your thesis... In addition to capturing the reader's interest and establishing the topic of your essay. or contract. full of excitement with a new thrill around every turn.. ." detrract from your topic by redirecting the emphasis to you and your methods. Others prefer their vacations to be more like the ride on a ferris wheel.. A thesis is a promise. . The argument is typically captured in a single sentence we call the "thesis sentence. . If. The reader takes in your words in the thesis and says.") Assignment 1. where the joy of the ride comes more from the scenery and new vistas.. you still have options for development with any thesis." The diagram (right) helps illustrate the way an introduction should focus the reader's thought: The thesis as a promise." the reader will expect to be shown why Hawaii is a great place for families to take a vacation.Don't begin with a huge generalization like "Throughout history civilizations have grown and died.." "I am no expert on ." You will have to take too many steps to get from such a broad generalization to your specific argument. for example. showing why Hawaii is the better choice." the reader will expect to be shown how one can experience paradise in Hawaii. ." On the other hand a rhetorical question is actually a good focusing device for a draft.Don't feel you must describe the structure of your essay in your thesis (unless your instructor requires such description). you could compare Hawaii to other destinations as family vacation spots. "Life without my husband was going to be difficult. Some essays naturally fall into clear and equal divisions (e. and little time to catch one's breath. but I will do the best I can. Instead.. "There are three good methods for strengthening the body after muscle injury").. 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. 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. Of course.g. Instructors don't much like them because they are a often a kind of cop out. "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. your thesis is "Hawaii is a wonderful place for a family vacation. but others do not (e. "It is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. Given the thesis below (or something similar). and/or you could describe the many different activities for families on the Hawaiian Islands.. between you and the reader.Don't describe your writing or thinking process.. Statements like "As I was exploring ideas for this topic..g. Moving into your thesis. with this second thesis. than from heart-pounding new experiences. the writer settles on a focusing question.. for example. ok..Some people desire a vacation to be like a non-stop rollercoaster ride. for example. show me. Some writers find a clear question keeps them focused as they are developing their ideas. Once you have your thesis.. If you like working with rhetorical questions to help you stay focused. . write an introduction using an interesting quote to draw the reader in.. the introduction should focus the reader's attention on what you will be arguing in the essay itself about your topic. be sure to turn that question into a statement in your final draft. stay within your topic area.. but the worst is our fast-food culture...
Thesis Development Discovering and Developing a thesis: Overview Love notes. how to gather ideas to write about.2. significant idea). sooner or later. job-related documents. San Answer given: Francisco is a great city. and how to focus on a central theme or thesis (a specific. identifying the purpose and audience is the first step in the writing process for most writers... Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. By learning how to discover a topic worth writing about. given that you did not actually write the essay). 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. Whatever the writing task. Objectives By the end of this unit. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. write an introduction using a short narrative or useful background material to draw the reader in. essays for class. Given the thesis below (or something similar). Given the thesis below (or something similar). or as best you can. 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. Answer given: 3. 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. Although they may experience the rest of that process in different ways. or as best you can. The truth is. Given the thesis below (or something similar). 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. write a conclusion in which you look to the future or provide an analogy. e-mail to friends. 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 . 4. Relationships are a lot of work. or the next Great American Novel. Relationships demand a lot of work. given that you did not actually write the essay). write a conclusion posing a question or challenging your reader to action.
A typical assignment in an English class looks something like this: In his short story "A Rose for Emily. After receiving assignments like these. Where do you stand? Write an essay of 1500 words in which you define the problem of global warming and recommend solutions. places. the actions are "describe. "support. and the solutions. In the above assignment on "A Rose for Emily." In the second essay assignment. what the teacher most often wants is to hear what the student has learned. In a 1000 word essay. Action verbs are key in writing assignments: what the instructor actually wants a student to do is carried in the verbs." "define a problem" and "recommend solutions. or We have read several essays on global warming by various scientists and global leaders. etc. places." for example. There is almost never a "right" answer a teacher is looking for in an essay." "discuss. 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. Most students write their first essays in response to an instructor's assignment. 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 ." and "give examples. Support your argument with evidence from the readings. etc..Analyzing Writing Assignments for Meaning . giving examples from the story. and who pay close attention to the language of the assignment." Frankly. Support your thesis by discussing examples of Faulkner's characterization techniques. describe Emily's character. These authors have different takes on the severity of the problem..) in terms of their likenesses to examine two or more objects (people. on the other hand. 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. those students who have paid close attention to the ideas and language in the reading. will generally write better essays. the instructor asks students to "take a stand. the causes.) in terms of their differences to present reasons for or against something to make clear through examples." as well as "support" the argument with evidence. and how the student's thinking has evolved based on the reading. students often worry about "what the teacher wants." William Faulkner uses many techniques of characterization to paint a portrait of the title character.
that this was probably a good thing.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." Try brainstorming about an assignment when you have nothing else to occupy your mind: in a waiting line. and all the details bubbled up in my brain. I think. bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me. Write a tentative thesis on a piece of paper and run it by your instructor during office hours. clustering: Clustering emphasizes the relationships between ideas and is useful in exploring various angles on a topic. When the topic is up to you . until you find a groove and ideas start to flow. these ideas having arrived when they were just musing about things. black-haired. on the computer or on paper. (j. then jotting down a few key ideas that may be useful. one ends up with categories of information on a particular topic. Using Prewriting Techniques and Other Strategies to Discover and Shape a Topic. idly. Rowling tells of how a long. You may be surprised at the ideas you come up with. a student might use clustering to compare the readings on particular topics of discussion. but little idea about what it all means. J. 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. but the topic is defined. Given the assignment on global warming above. What can you do about it? There are several techniques for getting going. There is even a term for a severe form of being stuck: writer's block. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. . you may end up with some material that you can actually use in the essay itself. K. —Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith It isn't easy to write an essay. whether you are a beginner or a professional writer. rather than sitting down at a desk "to write. There's nothing to writing. and often say that they end up jotting down their best ideas on gum wrappers and napkins. clustering is quite useful. you may have a pretty good sense at the outset of how Faulkner describes Emily. Many writers use this technique for developing ideas. now. because I simply sat and thought. brainstorming. 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. is the same: to let words flow freely on the assumption that out of this unpressured writing will come an idea.. etc. Make sure that you understand how much freedom you really have. and this scrawny. either in one's head. I didn't have a functioning pen with me. These prewriting techniques are described in detail below: brainstorming: Simply tossing around ideas.com) freewriting: Writing non-stop about whatever comes to mind. The point of all of the strategies. in that one writes non-stop. And so. Given the "Rose for Emily" assignment above. in traffic. how much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my hands on a pen). In a brief biography on her website . clustering. getting unstuck: freewriting. and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one. Freewriting is particularly effective in making writing seem more natural and familiar. But feeling stuck is a normal part of the writing process. For students who are trying to decide the angle to take on a particular topic. Focused freewriting is effective when one has a topic but is unsure about what one wants to say about that topic. 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.com" will even cluster most any topic for you. .. you're stuck. or in discussion with a friend. for four (delayed train) hours. Plus.rowling. To my immense frustration. After clustering. listing. and more connected to one's own voice. 158 . however. on a long car ride. And one of the most difficult parts of writing is finding what you want to say.k. Focused freewriting is similar to freewriting. The search engine "clusty.
Many angles on a given topic are possible. . That statement. The next step is to decide what you will say about your topic.) from "Setting the Record Straight: Blame the sun?" Seattle Times. Mr. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community 159 . There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason.. We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it. 2005: In the debate over global warming. December 26. this topic may be defined for you by your instructor. There's no "consensus" on global warming. . ought to have been followed by an asterisk. as you see it. which Mr. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. July 2. WSJ. 2004: Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. 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.com. Washington Post. It is a bit like shorthand freewriting and is quite useful to students having trouble putting pen to paper. Generating a thesis statement: The first step in developing a thesis is defining a topic. Thesis statements are underlined: from "Undeniable Global Warming." "illustrate. October 9. finding one that works for you is just a matter of analyzing your evidence and your assignment. in an unordered list. Generating and Revising Thesis Statements for Effectiveness.. and determining where the truth. What exactly is this debate that Mr. a search on "bananas" brings up the following clusters—some of them useful. or you may have the freedom to define a topic for yourself. at least one thing seems constant: the sun." or "explain. 2006."." Richard S." your thesis should reflect this purpose. But satellite measurements show that our local star dims and brightens slightly in concert with sunspot cycles.For example. lies. which range from nine to 14 years. Take a look at the variety of angles on global warming that professional writers have come up with. Also important is the language of the assignment: if your instructor asks you to "describe. Lindzen. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. As mentioned above." Naomi Oreskes. It's time to lay that misapprehension to rest. Could such tiny fluctuations be responsible for changes in climate? from "Don't Believe the Hype: Al Gore is wrong. and the prewriting techniques described in the previous section will help you here.
and a list of subordinating conjunctions). 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. but after living on the ship for three years.that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over. problems with a thesis lead to big problems in the essay: lack of focus. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. in drafting her article. thesis as a question: Instructors frown on this strategy for beginning an essay. in drafting his article." may well have started with a working thesis like "Contrary to what Al Gore says. . and these 160 ." A working thesis is not a perfectly refined piece of writing. nor do you need to write your introduction. there has been no debate among scientists about global warming." And Naomi Oreskes. but the connection between these topics is not clear: TV families often confront issues such as gender. and is that price worth it? Revising Your Thesis: When your thesis lacks clarity. the thesis focuses on a seemingly insignificant or minor point. "Don't believe the hype. The key words should be there which focus your work. because when a writer is unsure about direction. unity problems. and circumstances of the times they grew up in. ready to be read by a reader. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. but don't worry too much about the exact sentence structure until you revise your essay. A working thesis: You do not need to worry about finding the perfect langauge for your thesis before you begin writing your essay. may well have begun with "scientists do agree that global warming is occurring. . the content suffers on all levels. and not with the specific content of the argument. development problems. Common Thesis Statement Problems: A solid thesis is the foundation of a good essay. no argument: A thesis that states a topic without an angle on that topic is just information. multiple directions: The language of the thesis suggests that the writer will explore several topics. A much stronger tactic is to turn that question into a statement (though the question may work quite well as working thesis. Unfortunately. age of parents. But is the “American Dream” really such a dream? What does it really cost us to achieve that dream. Richard Lindzen. one that does not need more than a paragraph of support: It was hard to call a ship home. helping you to focus on your reader's needs). which is really concerned with drawing the reader into the argument. Some of the most common problems are described below: weak argument: When the argument is weak. but a statement of what you will argue in the essay. Subordinate clauses are attached to the main clause via a subordinating conjunction. and even sentence-level problems. rewriting the sentence to include a subordinate clause might help (see our module on coordination/subordination for more detail. Every good essay begins with an argument: something the author believes to be true and worth proving. it became difficult to think of it as anything else.
calls conviction prejudice prejudice —Phyllis McGinley come. designed so that information can be processed quickly. repairing these mapping statements is easy. and so today. we expect arguments to have particular features: a claim. In these disciplines. All of us have had an encounter with a policy or practice that seems to go dead against what we know to be right. do not necessarily see truth and righteousness as we do. 161 . the reader will not be able to follow you (you probably won't stay focused as you write the essay either). An argument is an attempt to convince others of a truth as we perceive it. Some instructors will ask for a map." actually takes attention away from the argument itself and weakens your voice in the essay. it is the angle on the content that shifts—how the writer spins the content. say one thing. Consider the revision of the problematic thesis below: original thesis: TV families often confront issues such as gender. and not three or four things. such as for a newspaper or magazine. prove to others that our truths are valid truths. Fortunately. As much as we would have it be otherwise. the subordinator "because" suggests the writer will be concerned with the causes for something. for the most part. . don't draw a map for development unless your teacher requires it. for example." "I will first. A thesis that begins with a phrase like "In this essay I will argue. essay structures are often pragmatic. " or "I hope to show that. the subordinator can give you a sense of what you want to do in the essay. and merry. If the thesis appears to be going in many directions. you can just cut them out. revised thesis: Even though contemporary TV sitcoms try to be real by confronting social problems such as ethnic stereotyping and gender inequality. . 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. opinion. however. or no God to ensure that there is good in the world. Other human beings. In such moments. Revise your thesis so that you are proving just one thing. See if the content of your thesis might actually fit under a broader umbrella. Arugments in written form have been around since ancient Greece. we feel there is no justice in the universe. . . and in writing for a popular audience. Providence protect me from fool as adversary. and then. In the revision. our belief that something is true or right is not proof that it is right." The content of the essay will not need to be dramatically altered. a more subtle approach is called for. . but in the humanities.conjunctions identify specific relationships between ideas. mind to him a kingdom is reason lacks dominion. the subordinator "if" suggess the writer will be concerned with conditions for something happening. particularly in the biological or social sciences. and so we must argue. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. they do not reflect the real day to day problems American families face. . Argumentative essays When Though May The Whose Where Who And blithe to argument I armed with facts. Sometimes. however.
First. recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes). or all uses of medication in general? Second. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars. should be paying to limit pollution. they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem.evidence to support a claim. In other words. students will learn to construct a strong argument that has these features. Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. Further. generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use. In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does 162 . The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start. This thesis statement is not debatable. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good. 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. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. a refutation of opposing arguments. In this module. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. The broader your claim is. Still others could argue that corporations. First. and a conclusion. the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. 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. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. all studies agree that pollution is a problem. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. not the government.
or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example: The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase. 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. Example: Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption. and the context of your paper. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic. Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. 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.the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. long-term cycles of climate change. 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. Types of Claims Claims typically fall into one of four categories." or "on average" also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule. yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person. Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. your audience." "usually. This is a much more manageable topic. researching renewable energy sources. thing. whether we value it or not. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to 163 . Qualifiers such as "typically. Example: What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal. 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. such as researching renewable energy sources." "generally. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence. how we would rate or categorize something. Example: Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today. in other words what type of claim you want to make. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above. 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. 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. 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. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution.
sources on information technologies. surveys. you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate. Because anyone can add or change content. experiments. Karl Stolley. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown. Is the author presenting a neutral. they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources. or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes. you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. such as Time or Newsweek. 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. they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. Responsible. Weida. 164 .) How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be. In other words. need to be much more current. credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written. and websites. Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. a credible media outlet. and trustworthy. Second hand research is research you are getting from various texts that has been supplied and compiled by others such as books. periodicals. What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience. which are collaboratively developed by users. unless the site is associated with a reputable institution such as a respected university. 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. the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research. government program or department. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. Karl Stolley. Regardless of what type of sources you use. however. or personal experience and anecdotes. or well-known non-governmental organizations. What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to use. they must be credible. While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information. (This is also a good way to find more sources for your own research. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. accurate. Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined.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. your sources must be reliable.
the underlying assumption that connects your data to your claim. produces 90 percent fewer harmful emissions than a comparable gasoline engine. Including counterclaims allows you to find common ground with more of your readers. Data: Evidence gathered to support the claim. Find out what the other side is saying and respond to it within your own argument. This is important so that the audience is not swayed by weak. Backing (also referred to as the foundation): Additional logic or reasoning that may be necessary to support the warrant. Don't avoid the opposing side of an argument. Warrant 1:Because cars are the largest source of private. thus hybrid cars are a better solution for much of the nation's population. include the opposing side as a counterclaim.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. Rebuttal: Evidence that negates or disagrees with the counterclaim. Example: Claim: Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution.org "the hybrid engine of the Prius. arguments. the nation should focus on building and encouraging use of mass transit systems. which still encourages a culture of driving even if it cuts down on pollution. Warrant (also referred to as a bridge): Explanation of why or how the data supports the claim. Including a well thought out warrant or bridge is essential to writing a good argumentative essay or paper. 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. Rebuttal: While mass transit is an environmentally sound idea that should be encouraged. Warrant 2: Cars generally have a long lifespan. but unrefuted. it is not feasible in many rural and suburban areas. Instead. made by Toyota. According to ineedtoknow. Data1:Driving a private car is a typical citizen's most air polluting activity. Warrant 3: This combination of technologies means that less pollution is produced. meaning that a decision to switch to a hybrid car will make a long-term impact on pollution levels. air pollution switching to hybrid cars should have an impact on fighting pollution. You may want to include several counterclaims to show that you have thoroughly researched the topic. as opposed to industry produced. 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. Data 3: Hybrid cars combine a gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor. or for people who must commute to work. Data 2: Each vehicle produced is going to stay on the road for roughly 12 to 15 years. The basic format for the Toulmin Method is as follows: Claim: The overall thesis the writer will argue for." Counterclaim: Instead of focusing on cars. The Toulmin Method of logic is a common and easy to use formula for organizing an argument. Counterclaim: A claim that negates or disagrees with the thesis/claim. 165 .
To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend several classes. Logos often depends on the use of inductive or deductive reasoning. C. and on the first day which is notoriously boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses. watch out for these slips in other people's arguments. So. too. Because these agreements have worked the author concludes that it could work for other farmers as well. In this example the author is equating banning Hummers with banning all cars. and possibly even examine the textbook.. In other words.Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. Also.Example: Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty. you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars. talk to the professor. Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. and a decline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced. Avoid Logical Fallacies These are some common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. then eventually through a series of small steps. so we should not ban Hummers. Y. hunger. In this example the author is basing their evaluation of the entire course on only one class.. so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well. basically equating A and Z. through B. Karl Stolley. so there is no reason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds are introduced in Mexico. or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case. 166 . that genetically modified seeds have been problematic everywhere. I can tell this is going to be a boring course. Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion There are three types of rhetorical appeals. Logos Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason. the facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population. Example: Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffee producers. Z will happen.. In this example the specific case of fair trade agreements with coffee producers is being used as the starting point for the claim. The generalization you start with must have been based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case. Slippery slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens. In other words. In this example the author starts with a large claim. if we don't want Z to occur A must not be allowed to occur either. which is not the same thing. Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them. used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. and from this draws the more localized or specific conclusion that Mexico will be affected in the same way.. X. Inductive reasoning must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. or persuasive strategies. Example: Even though it's only the first day.
car sharing systems for necessities and emergencies. to assume the water caused the person to be sick. Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. yet the author ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleaner technology.Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A. In this example where two choices are presented as the only options. or theory determine its character. or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed to prove either half of the sentence. a flu bug that had been working on the body for days. Example: The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler's army. In this example the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused the second. Instead. Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism. institute. Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments. without more evidence. Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want." Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. Example: Green Peace's strategies aren't effective because they are all dirty. with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connection between the two. religion. There is no reason. 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. Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as "filthy and polluting. Example: George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively. 167 . Genetic Fallacy: A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person. In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car. But the very conclusion that should be proved. Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. so the water must have made me sick. In this example the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested. breaking down complex problems. or better community planning to discourage daily driving. idea. lazy hippies. Example: We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth. particularly in a time of war." a concept that people want to be associated with. or a chemical spill across campus. In this example the author equates being a "true American.' Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before. Specific evidence such as using everyday language. that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use. democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand. the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group. or worth. much less evaluate those strategies on their merits. nature.
appeals to an audience's needs. a claim is usually a stronger and often more emotional proposition that a thesis in an expository essay. etc. • Pathos Pathos. 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. While one issue may effect the other. 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. There are many ways to establish good character and credibility as an author: • • • • • Use only credible. An argument should never use emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people. As Arlo Bates writes in Talks on Writing English (1894). and emotional sensibilities. or emotional appeal. In this example the author switches the discussion away from the safety of the food and talks instead about an economic issue. "The difference between exposition and argument is the difference between peace and war. Only use an emotional appeal if it truly supports the claim you are making. Most of the time. Establish common ground with your audience. but what will fishers do to support their families. or reliability of the writer. Argument emphasizes reason. earliest to most recent example. You can use the Toulmin method of logic or a simple pattern such as chronological order. the livelihood of those catching fish. For example. but used properly there is often a place for emotion as well. often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them. it does not mean we should ignore possible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a few individuals. Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe. easy to follow manner. 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.Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues. Organize your argument in a logical. reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly. Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately. Ethos Ethos or the ethical appeal is based on the character. the writer is 168 . not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument. credibility." In an argument. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt on your character as a writer. Proofread the argument. If appropriate for the assignment. most general to most detailed example. disclose why you are interested in this topic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic. however. values.
great or small. Note the way the authors respond to opposing arguments: Cal Thomas' article against stem cell research. . or fails to be substantial enough to support a particular position. . and writes to convince those who disagree to change their minds. Cite statistics or research: Often solid research findings or statistics can complement a more theoretical argument. 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. If you let others speak for you. evidence is key. . . . ought to have been followed by an asterisk. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. the author makes a strong and clear claim at the beginning of the essay. . 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. Without solid support. . the reader knows what to expect in the essay that will follow. on real lives. That statement.is not particularly useful." or "X would seem like the answer. Take a look at the following arguments for an against stem cell research. Similarly." etc. In an essay on Parkinson's Disease and the importance of stem cell research to find a cure. In using quotes and paraphrase effectively. however. articles by medical groups that promote stem cell research are not helpful. but . . which Mr.. Evidence In argument. in your own writing you can discuss these arguments with phrases like "While .. not to hide behind these quotes. Otherwise. a student might write a case study of an individual with Parkinson's to show how devastating the disease is. well explained. there is an opposition that must be dealt with. What exactly is this debate that Mr. however. They work especially well as a complement to anecdotal or narrative examples to support an argument. With this clarity established up front. . If there is to be any hope of resolving these issues. 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. Then. . 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). Read the module on Working with Sources for more help with using sources in your writing. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. 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. because they do not touch on their fundamental belief that embryos are not human persons. Refuting Opposing Arguments If one fights a battle in an argument. is true. " thoughts. however. the reader will never accept the writer's claim. Cite authority on a topic: quotations from experts used to back up (not replace) your points work very well. there are many problems with this position. Be very careful. you show that you have done your research and that you are able to distinguish expert from amateur authorities.generally ready for disagreement. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Below are examples of the kinds of evidence that you might use to build a strong argument. your opposition will come away from the essay with a lot of "Yes. we must debate when 169 .. because it does not deal with his fundamental belief that human personhood begins at conception. Who you side with can go a long way to establishing the validity of your argument. In each of these essays. such studies can be very effective in showing readers the way more abstract or general principles have an effect in the real world.". you risk appearing unsure of yourself. It is not effective to write an argument without acknowledging opposing arguments and showing why those arguments are not valid. Mr.
Damnation of your soul is completed with the first one. Appeal to Emotion: This is an attempt to persuade by soliciting an emotional response such as pity or sympathy rather than evidence. Below is a list of the most common logical fallacies. Tone is a factor as well with readers: Would the reader respond to a more lighthearted tone." False Dilemma: Occurs when two options are suggested. generally. because of this. "Brittney got sick right after eating at the Bon Thai." 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. It might be useful to print these out and have them handy when checking your work. (Religious Tolerance) "." Appeal to Authority: Suggests that because someone is an expert (or claims to be) on something..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. therefore.human personhood begins. in-vitro fertilization. when others may be available: "Either we do away with the automobile now. immigration policies. passionate angle. or we die tomorrow." In other words. It is obvious he feels devastated by what he has done. and what it would be best to talk about. such as abortion rights. to avoid using too many terms the reader does not understand. Hell. B was caused by A. even a topic outside of the field of expertise. Would an objective. Logical Fallacies Logical fallacies are logical mistakes that fall into particular categories. "Just look at this poor man. Ad Hominem: "against the man" or "against the person. or conversely. we all should do it (believe it). man. in order to know how to talk to the reader. Since person A is doing it (believes it). In addition. their ages no longer matter. Or the numbers. stem cell research. stem cell research and other debates will neatly resolve themselves. For example. it is the assumption becuase B follows A. For example. particular when the issue. Why should we punish him unfairly?" Bandwagon Appeal: Peer pressure. it is important to know the knowledge level of one's audience in order to not waste time defining terms the reader already knows. then abortion." Post Hoc: means "after this. and also to check the arguments made by others for errors in logic. 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.. to understand the reader's biases and concerns." (Religious Tolerance) Audience It is very important to understand one's audience when making an argument. scholarly tone work best? The answer depends largely on who one is writing to. If we can reach a near consensus on this. a bit of humor. A writer needs to try and empathize with the reader. once you decide to become a child-killer. everything he has to say about anything. genetically modified foods. is controversial. I will not be eating there anymore. 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. don't like to go to the movies. is true. or a more serious." 170 . I think old people.
This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole. writers might ask themselves what about the incident provided new insights or awareness. To do this. you are going to end up in debt!" Narrative Essays As a mode of expository writing. the writer should keep three principles in mind. in the United States. or children of various ages and backgrounds." "she. More information on sensory details is available.Slippery Slope Argument: Assumes that doing one thing will automatically lead to doing other things: "If you get a credit card. We all have experiences lodged in our memories which are worthy of sharing with readers. Narratives rely on concrete. 3. 1. details must be carefully selected to support. keep the following conventions in mind. Finally. and an ending. explain. including setting and characters. a dominant impression. Conventions of Narrative Essays In writing your narrative essay. Two of them happened here. writers first need to select an incident worthy of writing about and. writers must dredge up details which will make the incident real for readers. almost unnoticeable earthquakes that happen all the time. • • • Narratives are generally written in the first person. it can concern the writer. Comparison/Contrast Essays Though there are many little. women. second. should include these story conventions: a plot. forceful effect. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it. that is. to find relevance in that incident. there are also major ones that destroy vast areas and take many lives. and enhance the story. using "I. In this stage. the narrative approach. as stories. more than any other. offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. a climax. third person ("he. Narratives." or "it") can also be used. Remember to involve readers in the story. very 171 . Principles of Writing Narrative Essays Once an incident is chosen. sensory details to convey their point. 2. men. These details should create a unified. Find a generalization which the story supports. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage. Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story." However.
Both of these earthquakes are horrible disasters. Now scientists have more education about how to build earthquake proof buildings and bridges. the number of people killed was also different. Obviously. It took 6. We can really understand only those things that are familiar to us or similar to things we already understand. and the Loma Prieta Earthquake happened in 1989. to make an argument -.7. and are caused by the San Andreas Fault line. Most earthquakes in the United States tend to occur in California. the San Francisco earthquake happened in 1906. the dates are different. when you contrast things. on which both the earthquakes occurred. in fact. When they are comparing and contrasting.1. lasted under a minute.5 billion dollars to make repairs for the San Francisco quake. Both of them very destructive and had major impacts on society. but the San Francisco earthquake might have taken a little less money to repair. to analyze things. You can. to define things.000 injured. This is because the fault line. properties. and about 3. so comparing and contrasting the unfamiliar with the familiar is one of the most important techniques for writing. In the Loma Prieta earthquake. over 3. almost any kind of writing.to do. use comparison and contrast to describe things. you show their similarities. at about 7. and around 7 billion dollars to repair the Loma Prieta quake. The San Francisco earthquake was around a 7. These were very life changing events to anyone that was in either one of them or that had family in them. But. When you compare things.8. Even though they both happened on the same fault. you show their differences. runs across different parts of California. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are two of these majorly destructive earthquakes. along with the obvious ones like the date and location. these earthquakes are similar in some ways that you may not have known. Both of these even though caused major damage. Both of these earthquakes also had subsequent fires.000 people were killed and about 225. most writers structure their essays one of four ways. there are also some not as well-know differences. Along with the strength of the earthquakes. for example. Both of these powerful earthquakes happened in California. they also have many surprising similarities. only about 63 people were killed. through the Santa Cruz Mountains. their magnitudes are different. It taught people how to be prepared when there is a major earthquake. Though these quakes are both very different. two ideas. This segment runs from Hollister. Both earthquakes toppled buildings and houses. usually not for the better.25 magnitude. The name of this fault line is the San Andreas Fault line. The San Francisco earthquake and the Loma Prieta earthquake have may differences. 172 . They destroyed many houses. First off.757 injured. In the San Francisco earthquake. there is also some good that came out of this. like corsets and footbinding. buildings and lives. you can never be too prepared. and probably do. It was very costly to pay for the repairs that were to be made due to the damage. The epicenter for both of these earthquakes was the Northern segment of the San Andreas Fault line.close to each other. but the Loma Prieta earthquake was weaker. These types of earthquakes are life changing.
then contrast (or vice versa). . Review the two patterns below carefully. Either is acceptable.Subtopics should be discussed in the same order in both parts. and give the reader the final ‘so what’ of the major similarities and/or differences that you discussed. . take note of the following guidelines: . 4.Conclude your paper by restating your thesis.Use specific and relevant examples for support. ►Pattern B: The Point-by-Point Method. ►Outlines of Sample Essays: 173 . . 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. Present one point about A.Give equal treatment to both elements that you are discussing . Only compare or only contrast. Use this pattern when you have only two principal similarities or differences. both comparison and contrast is used. This pattern tends to work better for shorter papers. .Choose items that are related in some way so they can be compared or contrasted. 3. 2. and those with few subtopics It can be used when you have three or more principal similarities or differences. . only differences. First compare. This pattern tends to work better for long papers and those with many subtopics. 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. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. Present all the information about A. Move to the next point. . To insure unity.Use transitional words or phrases to help the reader understand the similarities and differences in your subject.1. but more often than not. then do the other. noting the differences in structure that each presents.Compare according to a single organized idea. .Choose a method of development that works well with your organizing idea. summarizing the main points. and then present parallel information about B. and do the same thing. First do one idea. The essay may be organised in one of two patterns. and then go to the parallel point about B. ►Pattern A: The Block Method. but mixing patterns is not.Subtopics in Part II should generally include reminders of the point made about the same subtopic in Part I.Each subtopic in Part I must also be discussed in Part II.
II. 5 Cats do not require training. dogs must be trained. I. then contrast (or vice versa). introduction Corsets and footbinding are similar. Para. corsetry and footbinding) being compared and contrasted. Point 3: Whereas cats need no training. 3 Cats can exercise by themselves. cats make more convenient pets. Point 2: Para. see the Transition Signals handout in the Writing Centre. This structure focuses on the comparison and contrast instead of on the two ideas (e. First compare.g. dogs need baths. Point-by-Point Method Outline: Point 1: Para. 174 . Part B Point 1: In contrast to cats. dogs must be walked regularly. dogs must be trained. whereas) emphasise the distinction being made between cats and dogs. 1: Cats can clean themselves. III. Para. Block Method Outline: Part A Point 1: Cats can clean themselves. Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding. Point 2: Cats can exercise by themselves. Corsets and footbinding are different. Point 2: Unlike cats. Para. Note that the transitions used in each outline (in contrast to. Point 3: Para. 6 Whereas cats need no training. For a more detailed list of transitions. dogs need baths. 4 Unlike cats.. This method is probably the one used most commonly. Point 3: Cats do not require training. 2: In contrast to cats. conclusion A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. dogs must be walked regularly. IV.Thesis: Although dogs are often called man’s best friend. unlike. then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different.
First do one idea. If you begin with the comparison. but many evolve past it into something more flexible. A structure like this one seems more focused on the ideas being compared and contrasted than on the comparison and contrast itself. This method requires real control over your subject. then do the other. This method is probably the one most students try first. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by taking important specific elements and looking at their similarities and differences. Only compare or only contrast. If you begin by contrasting the ideas (and then move toward a comparison). of course. The similarities and differences between the ideas do not begin to emerge until the writer gets to the second idea. 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. 2. then the contrast will get emphasis . the similarities get emphasis. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by treating one idea thoroughly before taking up the second one. 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. to write an essay that treats only the similarities or differences between ideas. It is as if the writer is comparing and contrasting (for example) footbinding to corsetry. introduction element #1 element #2 element #3 ... the sequence is important. It is always possible. A comparison/contrast essay like this one would probably focus only on those elements of the ideas that are explicitly comparable or contrasting. instead of corsetry and footbinding to each other.the logical movement is from thinking about similarities to thinking about differences. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. 1. 175 . 3.Clearly.
with a bang! . 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. 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 . 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.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.with what they should. first describing what people shouldn't do and then ending . Many teachers assign topics that ask writers to write an essay comparing and contrasting two or more ideas. o o Other. o Comparison/contrast is useful for more than an essay topic. but besides its value in organizing an essay.
Introduction 2. only most extreme cases of tightlacing did permanent damage. through the 19th century. Dress Reform movement. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Both practiced by women on women. Henri II's queen: 15-inch waist with the help of the King's armorer. A quick outline of how a paper comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding might look. Both restrict women's movement and impair health. Crete. Corsets and footbinding are different o o Chinese culture is radically different from that of western Europe and America. Our misconceptions about class -. Every Chinese woman so bound was deformed for life.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. o o 3. Women laced corsets. both enhance man's value in the culture to be responsible for women who were too delicate to work.women plowing fields in mud up to their ankles. focus in Western world. women bound feet. 177 . 3. millennia ago. 1880s and 1890s. Corsetry o o o o o o Practiced in Sumaria. Footbinding o o o Earliest references. when women were looking at the possibilities of real contributions to the political debate. Survival rates and the effects on health. and into the 20th. Corsets trivialized by everybody since the end of the dress reform movement. A quick outline of how a paper treating one topic and then the other might look. Corsetry not exactly the same as tight-lacing. though most people imagine tight-lacing and footbinding were limited to the upper class. Effects on health: tight-lacing vs stays. Corsets and footbinding are similar o o o Both practiced in the far past. 1. To use Veblen's argument. o 4. Introduction 2. 1. Both practiced by women of all classes.
at four o’clock in the morning. he limped out the back door. When the government made it illegal. Mudd knew nothing about the assassination of the president. Economic and cultural value of a helpless female to a powerful male. D. Also.o Any girl whose female relatives thought she might be able to marry up would bind her feet. o o 4. Life magazine's photos. mounted a waiting horse. but broke his leg when he leaped from the president’s box seat to the stage. a doctor living in southern Maryland. 5. Effects on women's health. Eastern and western cultures. 6. 9. Simone de Beauvior saw some. Extreme cases vs. 11. 4. Lasting into 20th century. 1865—five days after the Civil War ended—President Abraham Lincoln was attending the theater in Washington.C. an actor named John Wilkes Booth. Before anybody could stop him. seeking to avenge the defeat of the South. how women whose feet had been bound couldn't really unbind. 1. 8. Women's contributions to their own weakening. slipped into the presidential box and shot the president. Introduction 2. Socio-economic class and tight-lacing and footbinding. Dr. Cultural movements against tight-lacing and footbinding. and disappeared into the night with a fellow conspirator. most women. Mudd On the night of April 14. 10. 7. Acting as any doctor would with a stranger in distress. Five hours later. In the middle of the performance. Restrictions on women's movements. A quick outline of how a paper treating only comparable and contrasting elements might look. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Conclusion Narrative essays The Story of Dr. 3. Booth and his companion arrived at the home of Samuel Mudd. 178 . Booth escaped the theater.
paid the bill and departed. using false names. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. He helped Booth get away. humid climate was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Questions 4. But the military courts. c. He lied to the military courts. an island fortress about 120 miles west of the southern tip of Florida. b. 5. In spite of the fact that the guards and other inmates called him “that Lincoln murderer. Dr. because he was the only doctor on the island. Dr. Mudd’s release. he worked hard to fight the disease. c. The next morning. An alternative title for this passage might be a. Lincoln’s Assassination. these pests spread yellow fever germs to prisoners and guards alike.” and treated him very badly. angry at the president’s death. Good Doc Gone Bad. After a four-year struggle. Dr. 6. d. Mudd was arrested.he set the leg and persuaded the two travelers to stay in his house for the rest of the night. and tried on the charge that he was a friend of Booth’s and therefore helped plan the assassination. Mudd volunteered his services. sentenced the unfortunate doctor to life imprisonment. b. An Unfair Trial for a Fair Man. –PRETEST– 5 Because of this merciful act. she secured a pardon for him—for a crime he never committed. taken to Washington. Fort Jefferson was abandoned. Mudd was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson. Mudd’s conviction? a. his wife was working heroically back in Washington for her husband’s cause. d. Mudd returned to Maryland to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. The military courts wanted someone to pay for Lincoln’s death. Mudd? 179 . Dr. the one-time prison is accessible to visitors as part of Dry Tortugas National Park. What sort of doctor was Dr. Booth and his friend. What was the cause of Dr. Dr. When the fever struck. A Prison Abandoned. He had to fight the disease. Again and again. The warm. He helped Booth assassinate Lincoln. even after he was infected himself. Meanwhile. Soon after Dr. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. Today. Mudd insisted that he knew nothing of the plot.
Read this sentence from the essay. This can be done in a number of ways. Now. wherever they live and whatever their occupation. careless. an example. 8. Examples also add to the reader's interest. by the technique of illiustration. the topic and the kind of reader you have in view. Let us analyse the paragraph. he was forced to by the prison warden. It is an example of the development of a paragraph by using the technique of illustration. Dr. cold-hearted. illustration. He is also able to persuade the reader that the generalization is correct'because there are examples to support it. ILLUSTRATION In order to develop the central theme of a paragraph. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. unfeeling 7. and cause and effect. there was no one else to treat the sick prisoners. description. you have to expand the idea contained in the topic sentence.g.a. We often introduce examples of illustrations by using expressions like for example. etc.e. Examples given to develop the paragraph: i) the hunter ii) the farmer iii) ihe fisherman iv) the city-dweller 3. come in contact with animals in one way or another and have to deal with them. There are no rules about the kind of development to be adopted in any writing situation. e. ii) techniques which itlvolve a second topic: e. he didn’t want to get sick himself. depending on your purpose. d. money-hungry d. 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. greedy. 1. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. It must be realized. that you can combine more than one technique in composing a paragraph. sloppy b. You will notice that this paragraph is developed mainly by adding examples. b. Let's first look at this illustration. i. Topic sentence: The vast majority of people. however. for instance. 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. Mudd fought the yellow fever outbreak at Fort Jefferson because a. 2. generous. c. caring c. read example 3 given below. although some topics lend themselves more readily to certain kin$ of development than they do to other kinds. definition. Now look at the paragraph given under example 1 again. Example 3 (Development of a paragraph by illustration) 180 . I 1 Giving examples is one of the easiest ways of developing of topic. he thought it would help get him a pardon. 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. the point you have stated in your topic sentence. Summing up: This is done by stating that there is a common bond between man and other creatures.g.
.... Read the paragraph again and fill in the fo1lowi1.. Thousands'of yeung seals and young sea lions are drowned every year............. e. you should keep in mind that there should be enough examples to support your point.. for example........ you remove your finger on touching something hot...... Young spiders....... .. It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for....... vi> ........ ... When you write a paragraph where you have to give examples to support your topic sentence...............ed) The Natural Hisrocl of Nonsense.. B.. "begin by making quite primitive little webs........! Glossary warm-blooded(adj... hears or touches something.. .................... They never learn to swim naturally......... indeed seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes....) :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......) ! i . Insects... ii) ...... ... Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners....... but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification........ For example......... 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.. each example should be logically related to your main idea............ and only attain perfection in their art in course oftime"........... ...... 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...... Paragraphs (From Evans....): highly skilled hindrance (n): something that prevents an activity reflex: an action or movement of the body which happens by itself when one sees.... will take to Development of hunting...... instinct: ways of behaviour which are not based on learning or thinking... 181 .........................................................All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first...... iv ' . for they improve their talents with practice....... I........... Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly...................... Ana!yse this paragraph.. but are there from birth.. Base yourself on the analysis done for Example I in 10 lines. if deprived of their spinnerets... iii) ..... but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species....... a bird flies by instinct. v) .......... Ir?c... ............. and older spiders. What are the topic sentences in this paragraph? 2. Alfred A Knopf..g columns in the manner shown here: Names of Animals Skills to be developed i) Young birds and bats learn to fly. the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how birds sing without instruction.
By far the greatest cause of erosion. etc. and so on. For example.e. and A in turn by B. you face the problem of arranging them in a significant order. to account for all the links in the sequence of causes. want to know the cause of your poor grades. and B by C. or the effects or consequence of taking drugs. There are several forces of erosion: glaciers which cany rocks weighing \ thousands of tons. of deforestation.. We often have occasions in our lives to ask "Why did it happen" or "What will happen if. which causes D. is the action of water on rocks. strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in desert. When you write. not just one. 6. (Adapted from Geogrpl~yby Dougal Dixon. and to write about all the causes or reasons with details. a good strategy is to begin with the least important cause and conclude with the most important. the results of' their helplessness and how they become self-sufficient. to consider multiple causes. Cause Analysing the cause can be quite a complex task. Then. all contributing to the same result.) the examples should represent a reasonable cross section of the group you are dealing with. You may. Franklin Watts in Science World) Glossary worn away: caused to disappear erosion: the action of wearing away 182 . You may discuss one or more causal connections between events.each example should be developed with interesting details. frost which causes small cracks on rock sides. but there may also be a chain of causes going back into the past.. and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. When you work with several causes or reasons. for instance. If the reasons follow a logical pattern.?' and then try to find the cause or effect of an event. remember to make it clear whether you are dealing with an immediate cause or an earlier cause. Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth. or of a bus accident. i. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it. This softening is the first stage of erosion called weathering. but tells us in what way each of these animals is helpless. there are likely to be many causes. Millions of years in the future. Usually your topic will determine it. I When developing a topic which is supported by reasons or causes. You may trace a chain of events in which A is the cause oPB. Thus. however. But sometimes the reasons or causes may be parallel. if the main event is caused by A.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. you can follow any of these patterns. Rainwater fallin: on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. which is the cause of C. The choice between one cause and several causes is often not a free option. the organization is predetermined. that soften rocks.. a daughter's rebelling against her father and leaving home may have an apparent immediate cause. your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion.(Note that the writer of the paragraph above does not merely list the examples. 11 Example 4 (Development of a paragraph by listing the causes) Hills. a direct cause or an indirect cause.
.. (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.. which lists the causes of erosion. You have just read and analysed a paragraph... avalanches roar down into the valleys. dams burst... huge tidal waves sweep inland. Effects Effects or consequences can be handled in much the same way as reasons or causes.000 killed. followed by the most important cause. Summing up: In a million years..... capital of Portugal--the city destroyed entirely and 450 killed: 1970: Peru --50.... On land 183 .. (i) ....i t causes.... If it strikes a modern city. Consider the terrifying statistics from the past.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 .. Bridges fall. one must be careful to distinguish between the major and the minor ones. It follows a sequence where the less important causes are mentioned first. Gaping caves appear in busy streets.. even your favourite hills will be worn away by erosion.( ii) . what were thp_ reasons which led you to join the IGNOU Computer Programme? Jot down your reasons... sliding down a mountain side terrifying: filling with terror In earlier sections we analysed some of the paragraphs for you. The paragraph may deal with only a single effect or refer to several effects.. Main effect: The great .... Whtn it does. the houses and building gaping caves: wide openings or cracks tidal waves: very large ocean waves avalanches: large masses of snow and ice. If it strikes in mountain regions. Check Your Progress 4 1 ..... Example 5 (Developing a paragraph by listing effect) An earthquake strikes without warning. / 2... Fill in the blanks..... Underground railways are wrecked. Topic sentence: "Hills and mountain are-slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion". think of your own life... The following exercise will help you understand the organization of the paragraph abcve.. If the quake strikes at sea... explosions are caused and fires are started... In the year 1755: Lisbon. For instance. whole buildings collapse... Now..... its power is immense.. Cause: The power of .. Gas mains burst...... a) Causes of Erosion: glaciers frost strong wilds water b) Process of erosion by water 3. If several consequences are listed.. But now the main idea is regarded as causing the consequences discussed in the rest c?f the paragraph.. the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village.........
..... cause and effect are more closely related.....n. 111 .... The paragraph below illustrates such a chain.......... Cause Effect . the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect.. Often however. together with sunlight.. which are themselves another source of food for man.... B to C and to C and so on.. 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.. IX Effect the sun Man's .... enables plants to grow. In Check Your Progress 4 you noted the reasons foi joining the IGNOU Computers programra.. Jtainfall Rainfall formatio... by its light and warmth the sun directly creates rhe necessary conditions for man's survival.. At the same time.... Cause and Effect We have discussed a paragraph which gives reasons to support a topic...... ... By filling in the gaps below...... 184 ... and . rain. Now write down what you think will be'the results.. of ....v ...Effect. iv .... I1 .. and a paragraph which deals with effects. Oxford University Press. you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph. [from Anita Debska: IJpgrade your English. In such a link.i.. One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers...... from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power... 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. blain Cause Main Effect Indirect effect : ..... and plants provide food for inan and also for animals..... . forming a chain where A gives rise to B. B is both a consequence of A and the cause of C.] 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 . Check Your Progress 6 1.. of consequences of your joining this program...... 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... Secondly the sun indirectly provides man with water......... ..... Effect Cause .. In the first place...
.. viii....... .... drawn by Eskimo people...... You have already noted the reasons for your joining the JGNOU Computers-programme and the effect it will have on your future career.. It shows not only roads... 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... examples........ and explorers find that they are used in rather primitive societies at the present time by people who are accustomed to travelling............. being different from something else.... which relates to concepts such as "freedom"...... or sky. i Example 7 (Paragraph developed by definition) A map is a representation of anarea of land.. Check Your Progress 8 1......... and for this purpose extended definitions are useful. "democracy" etc.C.... Now write a paragraph of about 150 words combining both'the reasons and the consequences of your joining IGNOU. Rain + . sea. This generally happens when we use technical terns or when we want to give our own meaning to an ordinary word. . This is somewhat similar to 185 .. Arctic explorers have obtained considerable help from maps of the coast lines showing settlements........ we need to explain what something is or means...... ........ One of the earliest such maps dates from about 1400 B..Lakes and rivers water and ... The concept "bride" cannot be defined in such a manner. Maps have been used since the earliest civilisations. xi ....... for man and .... This is done by adding details like uses... and stating what it is not........x. .v ii . In fact.... need the support of specific examples....... and sometimes the definition itself Study Skills becomes the focus of a piece of writing.. component parts... . especially if we feel that our readers may not be familiar with it..... both in our thinking and writing.. but pictures of other features...... Composition and Sopetimes a definition is used in the rnjdst of other forms of writing.. i ..... but also lakes with fish...5 DEFINITION Often when we write......... Occasionally maps show not only the roads.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.. For example... Topic sentence. Plants .. 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..... You Ir.. being similar to something else.... xii . we often require extended definitions.......... ...........v.. and a canal with crocodiles and a bridge over the canal............
iv) A mammals is a warm-blooded vertebrate that has four limbs and a hairy skin. to shrews. sea or sky. We often compare our teachers. Glossary vertebrates (n. ranging in size from the largest mammal. Hence comparison and contrast are a continuous process in our 186 . which weigh only a few grams. comparison and contrast dominate our thoughts when we decide to join a particular college or university.. our neighbors. 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. Our decisions are often based on comparison and contrast. V) Mammals are an extremely varied group. for example.C.the modem maps of a state which show for each large town some feature of interest or the chief products of 'that town.): animals which have a backbone secreted: produced varied: of different kinds shrew: a very small mouse-like animal with a long pointed nose 6. the food served at different restaurants.6 COMPARISON AND CONTRAST So far we have been discussing ways of developing paragraphs which deal with only one topic. mainly because we tend to think that way. and so on. 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. who are accustomed to travelling. when we choose a career or a job. the blue Whale which is 150 tons. You will need.. the cities we have been to." Example: Arctic explorers Generalisation: Occasionally maps show not only the roads. (C. and even when we buy a particular brand of tooth paste. but pictures of other features Example: Maps of both ancient and modern times Check Your Progress 9 1. to replace some of the nouns with pronouns and avoid unnecessary repetitions." Generalisation: "Maps have been used . For instance. I I I I i) Mammals differ from the other vertebrates in their system of reproduction. 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. 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. Use the sentences given beiow to write a paragraph on Mammals.
lives. for example There are two ways of arranging information when comparing or contrasting things. and De Vors. they will only be able to reach decisions quickly if some kind of hierarchy is established. consequence of total equality. Reason: Subject I : People Subject 2: Monkeys . Example 9 (Developing a paragraph by contrast) We live on the planet Earth. I. Whenever.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.. a ball of rock 12. Glossary Study Skills hierarchy (n. what action it shall take to avoid predators. ! There are a lot of similarities between an infant and a very old person's dependence on others. ii) We wish to clarify the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar.): 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. every cricket team needs a captain. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. 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 . The same is true of monkeys. Like all the planets the Earth rotates on its 187 .people are brought together. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. Check Your Progress 10 Write a paragraph on the following topic. They permit. iii) We wish to show the superiority of one thing over another when we compare two cars. which direction it shall follow... 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. The points to develop the paragraph are given below. Every jury needs its foreman. (Adapted form "The Primates" by Eimerl. the making of quick decisions. Some forin of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly. and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality. Time-life Series) Con~positiona nd. first. Both are extremely dependent on others. S.750 km in diameter. You may ! develop these points and add any others that you wish. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move. Summing up: 'Sorne form of leadership is essential . 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. 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.
...axis and orbits the sun... the paragraph in Example 9 has been organized by talking about the earth and contrasting it with the moon. steam..... escape from time to tinie with great force from inside the earth.. The expressions of contrast 1isted.. and which also keeps the temperature quite constant..here mzy also help you in developing the paragraph.... 5 very hot during th'e day..... insects... What is the topic sentence? 2. This exercise is to help you analyse the paragraph.. Its surface is heated to 105 C during its day........ etc... .. But the earth is not alone.... Write a paragraph of your own contrasting the Arctic and the Antarctic regions... etc lush: thickly and healthily growing (especially plants) erupting: expleding and pouring out fire 4 Check Your Progress 11 Unlike Example 8.. The moon Check Your Progress 12 The earth 1 ......plants... which we can breathe. on the other hand.. especially relating to rock. orbits: goes round volcanoes: mountains with large openings at the top through which melting rock................... The first sentence and some points describing the two regions are given below. birds...... It supports millions of living things ...the moon . Glossary rotates: turns around a fixed point axis: an imaginary line around which a spinning body moves. I 1 lush and fertile 1. gases... soil. The moon. 4 has atmosphere 5 . waterless and lifeless... the Eaith is covered by an atmosphere........... 3 airless...........155 C at night. it is airless... .... But the two worlds are very different..... waterless and lifeless 4 . The Earth..... very cold during the night First sentence: The northern and southern poles are different in many ways. ... 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. 2 has volcanoes 3 ... It has no volcanoes or geological activity.... and cools to . is lush and fertile.. More rainful less rainfall 188 .. on the other hand has fascinating erupting volcanoes since it has no atmosphere to protect it. geological activity: activity which relates to the physical changes in the structure of the earth.!............... The Moon is a dead planet........... animals and human beings...... 2 . In contrast...... Fill in the gips in the following table to show the contrast between the moon and the earth...... It has a companion on its travels ....which orbits the Earth once a month.. Analysis of the Paragraph: 1 ....
on the other hand. . while.Much plant life empty desert. LET US SUM UP In Unit 6 we have introduced you to the elements that go into the organisation of a good paragraph.. etc. although. 189 . We have also discussed different techniques of developing paragraphs. whereas. Exploited for trade no trade at all . yet. . 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. You i should now be able to use these techniques in writing paragraphs on iifferent'topics. ! i b KEY woms Antarctic Arctic cause comparison contrast definition description . but. . can be distiiiguished from. and comparison a. writing.om. despite the fact that. definition. .ld contrast. cause and effect. such as illustration. Development of Paragraphs Expressions of contrast: different ti. such as the topic sentence and the development of the topic.
1-PARTS OF SPEECH Some parts of speech are more difficult than others. and prepositions. Adjectives add information by describing people. he/she should have his/her homework ready. Agree in person Do not switch back and forth in your writing from the first person (I) to the second (you) or third (he. Following are the four most challenging ones as they pertain to your writing: pronouns. Incorrect: If the student passes this course. (What isn’t good for him? Reading. you do not need to become a strict grammarian in order to write well. or things in a sentence. Too few adjectives will make a personal statement a boring play-byplay that doesn’t tell the reader anything about the writer. Therefore. and we took Nancy’s laptop. Correct: If the student passes this course. Too much soccer isn’t good for him. they will graduate. he should play some basketball. 2. Incorrect: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. the focus of this chapter is on those errors that occur most frequently. Correct: When a person comes to class. Who is they? Correct: It has been years since the school board spent money on new textbooks. you should have your homework ready. Incorrect: It has been years since they spent money on new textbooks. Use them to describe people. more than any others. 3. and we took her laptop. punctuation. we. and capitalization mistakes are just a few dozen common ones. or both?) Correct: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. and situations to make the reader understand your point of view and see things the way you have seen them. A-PRONOUNS Pronouns refer back to or take the place of nouns. Be a specific reference to a noun It should be obvious to your reader to which noun the pronoun refers. her. C-ADVERBS 190 . she. they. places. These words. If you learn these common errors and how to avoid or correct them. adjectives. too. (Whose laptop?) Correct: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. them Incorrect: When a person comes to class. she will graduate. she. objects. Agree in number A singular pronoun must be used for a singular noun. us Second: you Third: he. your writing will greatly improve. 41 B-ADJECTIVES Adjectives describe or modify nouns or pronouns. The rules of mechanics are complex. adverbs. but it isn’t good for him. No matter how original an idea you come up with. However. him. with usage explanations and examples. First person pronouns: I. They should: 1. the inability to express yourself clearly and accurately through the written word will hinder the success of your essay. me.Mechanics 39 The majority of grammar. in fact. they. playing soccer. it). make your essay a unique piece. they sometimes confuse even professional writers. Incorrect: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer.
The correct word to use in such instances is the adverb well. good. which describe verbs. On your desk and after your birthday are prepositional phrases. However. As an adjective. “I played well in the basketball game. Examples The box on your desk is your birthday present. The first sentence uses the preposition on to describe the spatial relationship between the box and the desk. In the following sentence. Good form: She likes all sports except soccer. 2. if it makes the sentence flow better. In the following sentence. Poor form: I cleaned up under the kitchen cabinets. it sounds much more natural to say “That’s all I can think of” than “That’s all of which I can think. Using them unnecessarily Because it is so important in your essay to get to the point concisely. Poor form: They looked outside of the house for the lost cat. especially in your essay. it is not an absolute. The holiday that follows immediately after your birthday is Valentine’s Day. The meal consists of eight separate courses.” 191 . the adverb that causes the most errors is not a typical-ly form. which s incorrect: I played good in the basketball game. Good form: I cleaned under the kitchen cabinets. These necessary prepositions are always used in combination with their respective supported words. in popular speech. Remember that when two or more prepositions are used together.” PREPOSITIONS Prepositions are connecting words that link a noun or pronoun to another word in a sentence. 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. Written correctly. good describes the noun pasta: The pasta ume last night was good. unnecessary prepositions should be avoided. the sentence would read. none is more famous than: Never end a sentence with preposition!While this rule holds true for many situations. Below are two examples of required prepositions—the preposition is in italics and the supported word is underlined. Poor form: She likes all sports except for soccer. Well is commonly confused with its adjective counterpart. 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. For example. good describes the verb played. chances are at least one is unnecessary. It is perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition. Confusing prepositional phrases Certain words must always be followed by certain prepositions. quickly. are easily spotted because most of them end in -ly. The second sentence uses the preposition after to describe the time relationship between holiday and birthday. good is used to describe nouns. Good form: They looked outside the house for the lost cat.Adverbs. They are often used to show a relationship of space or time. such as slowly. abruptly. It is important to remember that they must always be used together: You must account for every item in your club’s budget.
Since it is so critical that your reader understand your point easily and exactly. (Was the computer working on the assignment?) • Correct: While Tony was working on his English assignment. dangling modifiers (and indeed any ambiguous language) must be avoided. 44 A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. It isn’t dangling. Incorrect: Tim and Fran is a great couple. 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. • Incorrect:While practicing outside with the soccer team. is that they confuse meaning. Correct: While Jim was practicing outside with the soccer team. OR The noisy construction job distracted Jim while he was practicing outside with the soccer team. Incorrect: I had to have the cafeteria unlocked meeting with student government this morning. 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. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. (plural subject takes plural verb) 192 . are easily fixed by rearranging word order. Note that correcting a dangling participle involves adding and/or rearranging the words in a sentence to make the meaning clear. 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.Tony’s computer crashed. Note that the unacceptable sentences could be improved simply by dropping the preposition at the end. his computer crashed. first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. The danger of misplaced modifiers. • Incorrect:While working on his English assignment. To achieve subject-verb agreement. as with dangling modifiers. the modifying phrase “meeting with student government” should be moved to the beginning of the sentence. Here are some acceptable and unacceptable examples. NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT Nouns and verbs must agree in number. the modifier is just in the wrong place. no extra words are needed. the noisy construction job distracted Jim. I had to have the cafeteria unlocked.The best technique for deciding to keep or remove prepositions at the end of sentences is to use your ear. Correct: Meeting with student government this morning. though sometimes difficult to recognize. Did the cafeteria meet with student government? To say exactly what is meant. or does it sound like a college professor? Prepositions should not be used in an attempt to add importance or weight to your writing. and then pair it with the correct verb form. he was distracted by the noisy construction job.What would the statement sound like if you kept—or dropped—the preposition? Does it sound like you. but is in the wrong place in the sentence.
Correct: One of my friends is going to yourt school. but it conveys your meaning more easily. (Neither a fast bike nor perfect trails are going to help you to win if you do not train. it should be used only when necessary. When we finished the game. are clunky and noticeably longer. you literally become the source.Incorrect: One of my friends are going to your school. the verb agrees with the closest subject. of the action. In the passive voice.) ✔ If a compound. For these reasons. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS A sentence fragment is a group of words that. Fragments also can be phrases or parts of other sentences.) _ ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE The active voice is much more effective in conveying your personality through your essay. Not only is the active voice clearer and more direct. Passive: Another helping was asked for by my friend. or lack focus. Correct:There are too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. they are phrases that are not whole thoughts. Passive: Three finalists for the open position have been selected by the administration.Common examples include sentences that begin with there is and there are. remember to first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. the verb must be plural. Active: The administration has selected three finalists for the open position. the subject (most often you) is acted upon. does not express a complete thought. Here are some guidelines that may help you: ✔ If a compound. or cause. Sentence fragments stop too quickly. and may be dependent clauses. In the active voice. although punctuated as a sentence. Examples At the zoo. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 45 NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT CHECKLIST The more complex the sentence. the verb must be singular. _ SENTENCE STRUCTURE A complete sentence requires a noun and verb. RUN-ON SENTENCES A run-on sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses or complete sentences 193 . singular subject is connected by or or nor. The good news is that passive-voice errors are easy to omit from your writing. Active: I misplaced my wallet. and expresses a fully developed thought. (Neither the 10-speed nor the hybrid is appropriate for a trail race. Incorrect: There is too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. written in the passive voice. the more difficult it is to determine noun/verb agreement.When editing your work. Sentences written in the passive voice tend to be too wordy.Run-on sentences don’t stop soon enough. singular subject is connected by and. they include two complete clauses or sentences. and here is and here are. The two most common mistakes at the sentence level are extremes. Cried a lot. Can’t go to the store. and then match it to the correct verb. Note the simplicity and directness of the first sentence in each pair.The second sentences. Correct: Here is the report you asked me to write. Fragments are often missing a subject or verb. (Both the 10-speed and the hybrid are appropriate for the bike race. (singular subject takes singular verb) Agreement may be difficult to determine when the noun follows the verb. Passive:My wallet was misplaced by me. Incorrect: Here are the report you asked me to write.) ✔ If one plural and one singular subject are connected by or or nor. however. Compare these sentences: Active: My friend asked for another helping.
48 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics _ PUNCTUATION There are dozens of different punctuation marks in the English language. Correct: Mary doesn’t like either of those books. Eliminate them from your writing. Incorrect: Mary doesn’t like neither of those books. If you are using those words. Incorrect: Last year the governor said he is campaigning for our candidate. neither. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent. never. THE APOSTROPHE Apostrophes (’) are used to indicate ownership and to form contractions. OR Last year the governor said he was campaigning for our candidate. This seems like an obvious point. we decide to take a walk. Examples We were hungry and John was tired so we had to stop at the first rest area that we saw. or. TAKE NOTE There are more negatives than just the obvious no. For instance. and will convey your voice more directly. for. 2. Correct: There aren’t any tickets left. so you do not need to double up. Correct:We hardly ever see movies. after. Correct: Last year the governor said he would campaign for our candidate. and nor. As with verb tense shifts. we decided to take a walk. you have a negative. 3. when describing an event in the past. 4. Remember that hardly and barely are negatives. but. Use a comma and a conjunction (and. Examples Incorrect: When we finished our lunch. yet) to set apart an independent clause. so. Break up the run-on sentence into two or more complete sentences. and has been taught to you numerous times during your education. but tense shifts account for a large share of grammatical errors. 1. Here are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. 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. Incorrect: There aren’t no tickets left. and obscures meaning. Use a dash to separate parts of the sentence. nor. 5. all verbs should be in the past tense. Incorrect:We hardly never see movies.placed together into one sentence without proper punctuation. not. it pays to review it. Break up the sentence by inserting a semi colon between two clauses. too. Kim studied hard for the test that’s why he got an A. Incorrect: Vegans don’t eat dairy products nor meat. and while). since. 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.While the information may seem simple. Add a dependent clause (use words such as because. _ DOUBLE NEGATIVES The use of double negatives is unnecessary and incorrect. Eight rules cover 194 . Correct: Vegans don’t eat dairy products or meat. those covered in this section are the ones that present the most challenges to their users. Correct: When we finished our lunch. and may obscure meaning.With proper punctuation your writing will be more polished and technically correct.
The second i is removed. The project was the result of a year’s worth of work. 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. Poor form: She’s going to write the next proposal. Your garden is beautiful. say the words it is when you come across it’s or its. My street address contains three 5’s. The drummer’s solo received a standing ovation. When revising your writing. 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.all of the situations in which they may appear. its does not contain an apostrophe. Good form: We are going out of town next week. even though some may end in s: Our car is up for sale. He packed a week’s worth of clothing. 5. 7. in hyphenated words. and numbers used as words. 1. If they make sense. Poor form: My supervisor was in the class of ’89. Possessive pronouns never have apostrophes. Somebody’s dog was barking all night. Use an ’s to form the plurals of letters. 8. ITS VERSUS IT’S Unlike most possessives. I attended a conference in Washington. The Future Farmers of America’s meeting was moved to Monday. Indefinite pronouns show ownership by the addition of ’s: Everyone’s hearts were in the right place. without an apostrophe. and in joint ownership: Sam and Janet’s graduation was three months ago. Show possession in the last word when using names of organizations and businesses. The students’ grades improved each semester. Do not use contractions in highly formal written presentations. you should be using the contraction. 2. Apostrophes form contractions by taking the place of the missing letter or number. If they don’t. I went to visit my great-grandfather’s alma mater. even when the noun ends in s: The school’s lunchroom needs to be cleaned. Add ’s to form the singular possessive. Men’s shirts come in a variety of neck sizes. and replaced by an apostrophe. The word it’s is instead a contraction of the words it is.) is not as critical to the meaning of your sentences as it is with other punctuation marks. they can be used to convey your voice as they speed up or slow down the pace of your sentences. The flight attendants’ uniforms were blue and white. Possessive plural nouns already ending in s need only the apostrophe added: The customers’ access codes are confidential. The line for the women’s restroom was too long. 4. Good form: She is going to write the next proposal. THE COMMA Correct usage of commas (.However. figures. 195 . Consider the difference in tone of the following example: Sentence A: During my junior year. 3. Perkins’s persuasive essay was very convincing. 6. Mr. It was no one’s fault that we lost the game. as well as certain expressions of time and money. Poor form: We’re going out of town next week. His handwriting is difficult to read. you need the possessive form. its. Good form: My supervisor was in the class of 1989.
To correct a comma splice. Correct:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. Therefore. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. The lack of a serial comma can cause confusion. apples. In addition to helping to convey your voice and personality. OR Our school received an award. 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. Comma Splice A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to connect two complete sentences. the comma after apples is the serial comma: At the store. I bought bananas. Cindy. Incorrect:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he graduated Summa Cum Laude. the serial comma clarifies the meaning of sentences. Sentence B reads quicker. In the sentence. 196 . physics. and religion. ■ A restatement or elaboration of the previous clause Incorrect: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she is also the mother of two children. and religion. forming two sentences ■ replace the comma with a semicolon ■ join the two clauses with a conjunction such as and.C. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. Ann. in the following example. Cindy. American literature. But if the serial comma is dropped. Correct: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she attends a seminar each month and has been a professional for over twenty years. after the word and. conveying the information faster and with equal weight on each part. giving a little more information with each clause. you can either: ■ replace the comma with a period. we raised the most money for the local charity. because. or so Comma splice: Our school received an award. Ann and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office.we raised the most money for the local charity. OR Our school received an award because we raised the most money for the local charity. the message is straightforward. it could be understood as Cindy being told that Ann and Sally were hired. D. For instance. and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. 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. American literature. It creates a run-on sentence.C. Sentence A sounds more deliberate. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 51 While its use has been debated for centuries. physics. Corrected sentence: Our school received an award. Serial Comma A serial comma is the one used last in a list of items. you should use it consistently whenever writing a list. and the serial comma. 50 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Sentence B: During my junior year I attended a conference in Washington. and oranges. commas are often misused. Correct: He signed up for four classes: geometry.D.
so she adopted them all. languages 6.and to separate the items in a list when those items contain commas. Amherst. July 7. Example: Victoria was absent frequently. dirty. Nebraska. My teacher wasn’t in class today. ■ The active voice is not only clearer and more direct. There are just six occasions that require capitalization: 1. and thus appear overly casual. and Pensacola. therefore. last. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. ■ Nouns and verbs must agree in number. but Liz had a weakness for kittens. 52 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics ■ Use semicolons to separate independent clauses. ■ Avoid the two most common mistakes at the sentence level: sentence fragments 197 . Use it instead of the passive voice whenever possible. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that are connected with a conjunctive adverb that expresses a relationship between clauses. using a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies.Massachusetts. Tuesday. Learn the common errors to eliminate them from your writing. and prepositions are the most challenging parts of speech. it should be used sparingly. This can be effective in your essay. even if the clauses are joined by a conjunction. and any contractions made with it _ FOR YOUR REVIEW ■ Pronouns. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. Florida. the first. _ CAPITALIZATION Capitalization is necessary both for specific words and to start sentences and quotes. but it conveys your meaning more easily. accounting for a majority of usage errors. January 10. the pronoun I.” It sounds more authoritative. Case: Use a semicolon to show which sets of items go together. Examples: The dates for our meetings are Monday.However. October 11. the first word of a complete quotation.with the colon. Nutley. April 14. and ill.Colons have the effect of sounding authoritative. THE SEMICOLON Semicolons (. and Tuesday. and any other important words of a title 5. A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something.) may be used in two ways: to separate independent clauses. Example: The strays were malnourished. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that contain commas. Both create ambiguity and can change the meaning of a sentence.Monday. has the tone that conveys. He had to fly to Houston to present a paper. she received a low grade. and I am going to tell you. The first example.“I know why this happened. many writers overuse it. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses joined without a conjunction. and things) 3. places. ■ A dangling participle is a phrase or clause. Consider the following: My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. She has lived in Omaha. the first word of a sentence 2. Example: Four people worked on the project. New Jersey. adjectives. adverbs. proper nouns (names of people. ■ Use semicolons to separate items in a series that contain commas. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. but because you never want to appear pompous. but not a partial quotation 4. They present information more confidently and forcefully than if the sentence were divided in two other types of punctuation marks. only one received credit for it.
Everything else in the paragraph is there to show the reader the validity and significance of that idea. Rich 198 . Rows upon rows of boundaries for individual driving units lined up one after another. and when to add more evidence versus greater depth of explanation or detail. students will learn techniques of good paragraph development. ■ The use of double negatives is unnecessary and redundant. below the traditional Chinese arch. ■ There are six occasions that require capitalization. Be certain each sentence contains one complete thought. just take a look at these example paragraphs. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. yellow or white lines glowing on a background of blacktop. or end of the paragraph. The tourist will eat lunch or dinner in one of several Chinese Cuisine restaurants.and run-on sentences. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent and can obscure meaning. or even sloppy. ■ Proper punctuation makes your essay more polished and technically correct. parking lots. In this module. Using capitalization in any other way can make your writing appear too casual. Most visitors to San Francisco will list Chinatown as a must-see “tourist” destination. The parking lot always has a prominent place right in front of an establishment and sometimes even surrounds the building. and it helps to convey your voice. etc. The features of most parking lots are not so different. whether that idea is declared in a topic sentence in the beginning. And more than likely the vacation photos will include a picture of them standing at entrance to China Town. Do not shift from one tense to another unless it is necessary. a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business. definition. such as determining when and where more development is needed. Paragraph Development Good paragraph development is a mark of a writer's investment in a topic. General statements. As with verb tense shifts. It has a controlling 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. When visiting the area they will be inundated with shops. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. middle. They’ll probably notice the area is crowded and dirty. 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. The thoughtful detail in the first paragraph shows a much more engaged writer than the writer of the second paragraph. one welldeveloped and the other not so well-developed: At one time or another. like "Volleyball is a great sport”. A parking lot is a parking lot. With the main idea established. To see the difference good development makes." The author. everyone who has a car will inevitably use a parking lot. or Mediterranean cooking is healthy. A seemingly empty topic. explanation. ■ Be consistent with verb tenses. The reader learns why the writer believes in an idea.—taking a general concept and making it real." become concrete and specific in the well-developed paragraph. or whether the idea is implied. It isn’t like anyone would mistake a parking lot for anything else. exemplification. What does a well-developed paragraph look like? A well-developed paragraph is a complete paragraph. the writer then explores the significance of that topic through one or more methods of development—reflection.
and the biting Dachsund to drop away.Motherwell. they learn nothing new. Ask yourself if a reader would benefit from hearing more about a particular point. San Francisco. if we stay at a general level. in the abstract statement. I. we risk leaving our communications wide open for interpretation. and we can agree on what dogs are generally like. 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. what the candidate is thinking is anyone's guess. even if the word causes the particularities of Bandit. And so. we would have a hard time sharing ideas: for example. S. even before people had cars! The author of the second paragraph. 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. dogs as pack animals.. As Hayakawa points out." Health care benefits is a phrase at a fairly high level of abstraction: it can refer to anything from coverage of hospital expenses. Brutus. A well-developed paragraph has a clear controlling idea. helps readers re-see a familiar space in passages like this one where he gets readers to realize that we have always needed parking. in his influential book Language in Thought and Action. one person may think of her Chihuahua. each of us has our own image of "dog" in our minds. 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. Without abstractions and generalizations. and no sense of a writer's mind and voice behind the words. to co-pay expenses. readers are only reminded of what they already know. On the other hand. another individual may associate all dogs with the vicious Dachsund that bit his ankle. talks about a "ladder of abstraction" as a tool for thinking about good communication. A useful way to think about developing paragraphs is to think about levels of detail. As a result. Examine every sentence to see if it might deserve further explanation or exemplification. we need both abstract and concrete language for communication. stays at the surface of the topic. A paragraph should include sentences at varying levels—the topic sentence or controlling idea being the most general or abstract. Try and think like your reader. the controlling idea determines how much development is needed and how long the paragraph is going to be." we can talk about dogs as companions. But other ideas can be developed in a sentence or two. and another for massage therapy professionals. Some paragraphs are composed of only a single sentence.. For example. Brutus. and supporting sentences having more specific and/or concrete development. providing cliché generalizations about what the tourist will find to do in Chinatown. a politican might (quite intentionally) say "If elected. and an 199 . etc. Bandit. "A Pie chart help us see where company money is going". we need the word "dog" in order to communicate and to find common ground. "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. for example. When trying to decide on length. or if there is already enough information to make the controlling idea seem valid and interesting. a good writer asks. receive no insight. I will increase health care benefits for seniors. or make emergency care free to everyone over 65. The politician relies on such abstract statements. In making decisions about development. Some ideas are complex and will need extensive explanation and/or exemplification. while some paragraphs are up to a page long. And so. With the word "dog. 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.. a quick break-down of the chart to explain distribution of funds is all that is really needed here. General to Specific & Abstract to Concrete Development. Hayakawa. without ever getting specific or concrete. another of his family's German Shepherd. the controlling idea "Democracy is the foundation of a good community" will need extensive explanation and exemplification to be a convincing point. In addition. and detail that brings that idea to life. dogs as descendents of wolves. as in this example. to coverage of prescription drugs. on the other hand.
Everyone knew the words to "Burning Down the House." were played at every party. you are 200 . as Hayakawa points out." and "Lost in the Supermarket. to win elections. in hindsight) by "Haircut" bands like Flock of Seagulls ("I ran") and the Thompson Twins ("Lies").unquestioning public. you are using a pattern of development called "process analysis". Whether you are aware of it or not. Write a paragraph that is complete and developed with concrete detail on the following topic: why cell phones are so popular 2. 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. or change a tire. think in terms of levels of detail. Now." and "Rock Lobster. and The Clash pruducing amazing off-the-radio tracks like "Blitzkrieg Bop. synthesized version of punk music." And edgy. however. when you offer several reasons why you are late for an appointment. A good paragraph goes down the ladder of abstraction to provide these references. you already use patterns of development to express yourself. I was exposed to exciting new movements in rock music. 80's rock included real extremes: big-hair metal bands like Van Halen and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts arrived on the scene. 1. a more humorous and satirical version of punk. and B52's songs like "Planet Clare." by the Talking Heads. radio-acceptable. In a written text." and "Bad Reputation. The figure to the right demonstrates how one might go down the ladder of abstraction and provide such references in a discussion of music." "Anarchy in the U. doing great numbers like "Jump. and to hear a person's unique voice. words should be "referable" to lower levels of abstraction. 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. a reader will rarely accept a series of generalizations as text worth reading. when you describe what your roomate looks like when she gets up in the morning you are using "description". a reader expects to get concrete information and a new perspective or new insight.K. When you show someone how to make an omelette." "New Wave" also emerged as a kind of toned down." and "Psycho Killer. In an abstract statement. the Sex Pistols. Yet there was some pretty bad new-wave music as well (at least I see that now. To write well-developed paragraphs. take a look at a paragraph that goes down through all of the levels of abstraction above: As a teenager in the eighties. headbanging punk music took off with bands like the Ramones. Some of it was great. and this voice comes out in the details rather than in the broad generalization.
Objectives: By the end of this module students should be able to • • Identify common patterns of development used in written works.using cause and effect. Use common patterns of development effectively in their own writing. and when you tell the story of your first date. 201 . and you will need to make conscious decisions about which strategies best develops your ideas. 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. you are using narration.
PhD Division of Journalism Florida A&M University presentations of single units of thought. Reviewing any good high classification. choppy paragraphs that are exposition. In most writing. (The process permission. description. concise writing.) Contact.net/ggrow/ list.Seven Types of ParagraphIn their pursuit of clear. definition. The following paragraphs have been devised in an attempt to emphasize the characteristics of each mode of writing. the following paragraphs are narration. these modes are mixed in natural combinations.unrelated to one another. journalism Development students sometimes develop the habit of writing Annotated examples of narration. May not besuccession. 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. by Gerald Grow. for example. description. 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. and persuasion. May be used by teachers fortraditional methods by which writing is developed. 202 . process analysis. reprinted elsewhere withoutexposition. in typical "how to" style.everything in short. In nonprofit educational use. Available at: analysis paragraph has been broken into a bulleted http://www. andconsiderable thought has been given to how longer persuasion. definition. narration frequently includes description.school writing handbook will remind you that process analysis.longleaf.
It was gone. It was too quiet. He lay in the dark listening. and a resolution. she was awake. something woke Charles Hanson up. too. a goal (to camp). hold her breath. Outside. a setting. a conflict. And much too dark. the "story" components are: a protagonist (Hanson). tree-frogs chirruped. and a resolution (leaving). Wanda. And light: At home he can read in bed by the glow of the streetlight.Narration Around 2 a. It was too quiet. something rustled in the leaves right outside the window. This narrative serves as the opening anecdote that illustrates the topic of the story • • Top 204 . Time and place and person are normally established. an obstacle (nature). Narration usually contains characters. In this paragraph. stifling them. He felt for the flashlight beside his bunk. He heard his wife. Something felt wrong. Across the distant forest floated two muffled hoots from a barred owl. but so does interpretive language. was outside in the darkness also breathed. as he felt the pockets for a box of matches. Comments on narration: • • • Normally chronological (though sometimes uses flashbacks) A sequential presentation of the events that add up to a story. It was the darkest dark he had ever seen. whatever. A narrative differs from a mere listing of events. Then. It was then he decided to pack up and move to a motel. He found where his pants were hanging and. Specific details always help a story. Even starlight failed to penetrate the 80-foot canopy of trees the camper was parked beneath. inches from his face.m. you point them in the direction of a story. a setting (the park). You don't just lay the words on the page. crickets sang. a climax (his panic). You always have the comforting knowledge that other people are all around you. and the huge silence of the night seemed to come inside the camper. comforting sounds of traffic. At home in New Jersey. the nights are filled with the busy.
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. Comments on exposition: • • Exposition is explanatory writing Exposition can be an incidental part of a description or a narration. hundreds of visitors suffer each year. according to Florida park rangers. after an indirect opening. If they had known about the different kinds of parks in Florida.Exposition This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that. why it is important. and what is to come. specifies the topic of the article. "Several times a month. • • Top 206 . This paragraph also happens to serve as the justifier or "nut graf" for the little article: the paragraph that. they might have stayed in a place they loved. or it can be the heart of an article Aside from clarity. 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." ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said. writers solve this problem by citing authorities who have good credentials and good reason to be experts in the subject. 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.
Saying what something is NOT can help readers. to impenetrable mangrove wilderness. play tennis. Bring the world into your story and use it to define your terms. Basically. in some places take rides in miniature trains or swish down a waterslide. paddle your canoe. because there are so many kinds of parks. a park is a place to go for outdoor recreation-to swim. not all of them are called "parks. ranging from acres of RVs ringed around recreation halls. • 208 . but make a strong effort to say what it IS. hike. walk the dog. Comments on definition: • Never define anything by the "according to Webster's" method. To make things more complicated. and. Meaning is found in the world.Definition "Park" is difficult to define in Florida. picnic. not in the dictionary." and even the ones called "parks" come in several varieties. Florida has a rich variety of parks. camp.
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.Description O'Leno is a good example of a state park in Florida. use these when you can. Use sensory language. Comments on description: • Description is not what you saw. walls of dense river swamp rise before you. and a pavilion for group meetings. 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. Think of description as a little narrative in which the visual characteristics unfold in a natural. from that gap arises a spark of engagement. Nearby. The success of a description lies in the difference between what a reader can imagine and what you actually saw and recorded. sudden sinkholes open in the woodlands-rich with cool ferns and mosses. Portray. to construct a scene. like watching an actor put on a 210 • • • • • . A diving platform marks a good place to swim in the soft. 18 rustic cabins. etc. to give your description a natural flow. Try making the description a little dramatic revelation. Surrounded by the tall. Think of what pieces readers need. Be especially careful to make real observations. slowly swirling. The key problem in description is to avoid being static or flat. as in this example. or. left to right. Pay special attention to the sound and rhythm of words. object. expanses of longleaf pinelands stretch across rolling hills. In the midst of this lovely setting. and canoeing up this dark river is like traveling backwards in time in the direction of original Florida. the Santa Fe River disappears in a large. but what readers need to see in order to imagine the scene. you find 65 campsites. interesting. stands of cypress mirror themselves in the still waters. After appearing intermittently in scattered sinkholes. in what order. person. tree-lined pool. old to new. the river rises three miles downstream in a big boil. dramatic order. Go light on adjectives and adverbs. Farther from the river. Also evoke. Look for ways to describe action. down a river. Description requires you to record a series of detailed observations. shaded woods of a beautiful hardwood forest. cool waters of the Santa Fe.
At night. and so on "across the rows. and the criteria by which they will be compared. stick with it till the end of the comparison. list the two items being compared. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area. Where O'Leno gives you so much quiet you can hear the leaves whispering. umbrellas. draw up a chart and fill it in. Lloyd Beach is a place of boisterous activity." Once you commit to a "down" or "across" strategy. and browning bodies. As in the model below. or dive into the busy bustle of an urban beach. Lloyd Beach is busy with fishermen till well past midnight. If you want to fish near town. Comments on comparison: • There is a helpful technique for writing a comparison. your comparisons will benefit. If you do not make such a chart. By contrast. When you walk at Lloyd Beach. "noise" and compare the two parks in terms of it. to make certain you have all the elements necessary to write a comparison. 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. Lloyd Beach is the place to go. Before writing a comparison. O'Leno is the park to visit. jam boxes. 212 • Top . there is a chance you will have a hole in your comparison. O'Leno Lloyd Beach quiet noisy solitude busy crowds available river to swim Atlantic beach and canoe forest abundant. But if you want to stand at the edge of civilization and look across time into an older natural world. or take the first category.Comparison Forest and river dominate O'Leno State Park. is dominated by the oily bodies of sun-worshippers who crowd into it every summer weekend. You can walk a few yards in O'Leno and pass beyond every sign of human civilization. O'Leno wraps itself with the silence of crickets and owls. you have to be careful to step over the picnic baskets. then the next category. near Fort Lauderdale. If you follow it.
Next. Prop up the awning with the two remaining poles and secure them with guyropes. fit it into the upper end of the standing pole before securing its guywire. yet almost impossible with three or more.] When you find the park you are looking for. Here's how: • First. Lift the pole on the opposite side of the tent in the same way. and anything that might pierce the bottom of the tent. Place a pole near each of the pegs. Comments on process analysis: • In describing how a process happens or how to perform a series of actions. To form an awning. you will need to make camp. While holding the pole up.Process Analysis [Note: I couldn't think of a way to write the following paragraphs that followed naturally from the previous material. so that the pole is held up by the guyrope and the pegs on opposing sides of the tent bottom. Finally. clear a 9 by 9 foot area of snags. Then isolate the steps: number then. lift one of the poles. pretend you are reading an article on how to put up a particular brand of tent. After you have all four poles in place. Together all four external tentpoles (they are held together by shock cords to ake sure you get the pieces matched up). but this time. limbs. snAP Test. Unfold the tent so that the corners of the waterproof bottom form a square. Thread each pole through the two loops leading toward the top of the tent. Peg down the corners of the bottom. use bullets. One person can set up the FamilyProof Tent. Assemble the two remaining tent poles in a similar manner. though it is easier with two. unroll the front flAP Test. pull its guyrope tight and peg the guyrope down. 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 • • • • . Put the steps into sequence. For the next paragraph. • • • • • • Now you are ready to move in. always think of your readers: can they follow this? Analyze the process into a series of steps.
Get good information on what to expect.Persuasion Before you go camping in Florida. make their own judgments. Comments on persuasion: • This paragraph is but a small example of the kind of writing used widely in editorials and columns. plan ahead. pretty with the insipid 215 . or Sister Carrie. 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. Remember: Readers are interested in only one opinion--their own. analysis. helps us imagine what people are like. Warm with the fancies of youth. and take action. • • • Top Gerald Grow's Homepage at <http://www. they will be glad they read your article.net/ggrow> Description Subjective Description: Writers use descriptive paragraphs most often in fiction. You need to supply them with the information. their appearance. "OK. more is needed than your opinion or sense of conviction. and what your options are. This can make all the difference in the quality of your vacation. and it uses a direct. now get up and act!" To persuade people to change their minds or take an action. and context they need to form their own opinions. It was nevertheless. Don't wind up in the wilds when you want to be near Disney World. as she had been half afffectionately termed by the family. and what they are like. was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis. and don't wind up on a concrete RV pad when you really want the forest primeval. as in this description of Caroline Meeber by Theodore Dreiser in his novel Sister Carrie: Caroline. Find out what parks are available. Description of characters." or "The mountains loomed above them. If you can help them formulate and deepen that opinion. mannerisms. Just think of lines like "It was a dark and stormy night. Self-interest with her was high. and utterances.longleaf. but not strong." Description of time and place draws readers into other worlds and sets the stage where a story can unfold. her guiding characteristic.
ethnic and cultural background. or other writing in which the goal is to present an objective picture of an object or scene. (Sieberling) It is important to note that while being objective may be a writer's goal. Nothing should be included in the paragraph that does not support the controlling idea. how the writer feels about the subject. You may experience a scene or a person as a holistic impression. Good supporting details could include "The morning air felt damp and cold. The leaf sinuses are rounded. at the beginning of an essay on the problems caused by excessive instant messaging by young teens. In subjective description. "It was a gloomy morning. Supporting details should help the reader understand the dominant impression. . Therefore. the writer's age. Also. 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. Bark is light gray and smooth on younger trees. In both subjective and objective description. Objective Description: Description is also used in reportorial and scientific writing. becoming ridged and furrowed with age. .prettiness of the formative period. 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. . part of writing good objective description. your paragraph should have a clear controlling idea so that your reader knows what to do with your descriptive details. and gender. " (Dreiser 1) In this type of description. deciduous tree usually ranging from 15–25 m. the writer attempts to stay away from emotional impressions or responses. the sides of terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel. she was a fair example of the middle American class . . the details must be organized in a meaningful way on the page. For instance. scene. Leaves are opposite and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed. the controlling idea should identify the object. while those of red maple are widest at the base. and instead report what is seen. the author is describing an impression of what is observed. as in the following example: The Acer barbatum is a small to medium-sized. cultural contexts for writing. that controlling idea should be a dominant impression of a particular scene or person. as a video camera records a scene. storytelling can be very effective for the simple reason that people love to hear stories. and will tune in to a story when their eyes glaze over at other styles of writing. a narrative paragraph can be effective at drawing the reader in and establishing your voice in the essay. unlike those of red maple (Acer rubrum) which are sharply Vshaped. In these writing situations.) tall when mature. As a method of development. or person to be described as objectively as possible and the descriptive details of the paragraph should add substance to the main point. is being aware of one's own biases." In an objective description. (50–80 ft." is an example of a dominant impression. Even when your purpose is to write an essay that is primarily to inform. People huddled inside their coats. Narration A narrative is a story. if your reader is to understand what your observations mean. . analyze or argue. tapering to the tip. Writing Description: Whether your goal is to write objective or subjective description. too. with a few blunt teeth but no serrations. 216 . getting past biases can be difficult. however. organizing details around clear controlling ideas is essential. possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence. 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. For example.
second. here and there. A new paragraph will begin when the scene changes. For example. 217 . therefore. but maybe it was luckier I didn't. eventually. 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. in addition. For the most part. Concrete and Specific Detail: Descriptive details in a narrative paragraph are essential to a good story. I heard guns . so it is wise to use logic most of the time to show sequence. spend a lot of time trying to find the right words for their meaning.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. narrative paragraphs are characterized by words that show action and words that show sequence. In a narrative paragraph it is useful to think of paragraphs as scenes. then. . and watched. talking. too These phrases do call attention to themselves. even in a narrative paragraph. a controlling idea is important. logical sequence of actions supplies the narrative sequence: "I took off. There was a wood-rank four foot high a little ways in front of the tree. moreover. rather than abstract or general ones. and first I was going to hide behind that. also. running. later. in the previous paragraph from Huckleberry Finn. Consider the folllowing narrative paragraph from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. However. ." By virtue of the linear arrangement of these sentences on the page. because it gives the reader information about what to do with the details that follow. the controlling idea for the scene is "I took up the river road as hard as I could put. and the controlling idea as a kind of wide angle shot on the scene. Consider the difference between the general and specific. choosing concrete and specific expressions. 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. as in the phrase "by and by. transitions are needed to emphasize important time relationships. . 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. besides. Therefore. first. and then I clumb up into the forks of a cottonwood that was out of reach. However. I worked along under the trees. etc. Further shots take the reader into the scene emphasizing details and actions that will take place in that scene. finally. furthermore. 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. Details help readers to connect to the world the author envisions. By and by I begin to hear guns a good ways off. Good writers. . 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. / He loved her." 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." Below are some of the common transitional expressions used in narrative writing: meanwhile. soon.
Other process analysis writing is informative rather than instructional. 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. you'll probably find this tutorial a bit of a yawner.Her hands were shaking and she was afraid her knees would not support her..html or . / It was a beautiful sunset." "second. and so are presented in chronological order.. Some process analyses work on both levels. My name is Joe and I'm going to give you a few simple lessons on how to make a Web Page. the steps in the process being described happen in sequence over time. Writing a Process Analysis Sequence: Typically." "then. (If you are unclear about this file extension stuff. Part of your revision process should included finding concrete and specific expressions for your ideas. a HTML file to be exact. The writer must have a clear sense of the audience in order to know what to include. the sky turned hot pink and gold. Process Analysis A process analysis is a discussion of the steps one must take to achieve a particular end. A reader can imagine specific things far more readily than general concepts. If you're at all experienced at this sort of thing. The concrete and specific expressions get a reader's attention far more effectively than the abstract and general expressions do. for example. You'll be happy to learn that it's really pretty simple. It's called HTML because web page documents have the file extension . for example. but other steps must be taken by corporations and governments as well. / She was scared. As the sun passed under the horizon. 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. I must warn you though. finding a good job. Some process analysis writing is intended for an audience that needs to learn how to perform a process themselves. fixing a bent bicycle wheel. Audience: Audience awareness is extremely important in process analysis writing." to indicate the sequence in which steps are to be taken. and how formal or informal to be. The basic idea is this. what to leave out. quitting smoking. examples of this type include how to resolve the healthcare crisis. and rays of brighter gold fanned across the sky into the high clouds above. A web page is nothing more than a file. and how to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. then you really are newbie!! Take a quick detour for a few ramblings on the subject)." and "finally. the reader reads such texts for understanding as well as instruction. (Barta) Example 2: 218 .htm. this is for "all wet behinda ears" Newbies. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. Process analysis paragraphs also depend on transitional expressions such as "first. how technical to be.
If you are creating your web page(s) offline. 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. "plain text" or "text only" document. hip-hop. cleanliness. If you are asked to write a classification paragraph or essay. you save it as a "text". etc. Once you have created your page(s). For example. by dividing cancer into more than 100 different types. for this student. a country twang in his vocals. (Web Page) Both examples show how to build a web page. In writing an essay involving division and/or classification. Division & Classification Division and classification are related methods for organizing objects or information. Consider your favorite music store: the compact discs are organized into many subcategories such as country. crime rate. country life. we divide a general category of things into smaller subcategories. themes of heartache. the authors take different tones with the reader. knowing your goal is also important. The second way is to create your web page(s) online using a Telnet program by accessing your UNIX account. 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. the second author is formal and more detached. dance music. do so in any text editing or word processing document. For example. "There are three main problems associated with living across from a highschool: noise. trash. For example. the sick. The first way is to create the page(s) offline and then upload them to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) via FTP. you will need to contact your ISP about how to go about uploading them to your server. your system for dividing and/or classifying information may not meet your needs." The first author assumes his audience has no knowledge of key terms. 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. The first author is very informal and friendly (even including a smiling cartoon of himself). dividing these problems into categories—cell phones as a social problem. if you pack for a camping trip without taking the context of your trip in mind. etc. soundtracks. etc. or uncomfortable street shoes to hike in rather than hiking boots." and "server. and traffic congestion. The second author assumes the reader is familiar with terms like "FTP. we develop criteria for the items in a subcategory based on relationships between the items. homesickness. and by looking at different groups suffering from poverty—for example. Without this sense of purpose.There are basically two ways to make a web page. take the time to decide who you think your audience is going to be. Using Division and Classification in Your Writing: To use division and classification successfullly. noise. and other features. classical. In addition. and those who are unable to find work—we are better able to combat the crisis. you could have sleepwear suited for a warm bed rather than a cold forest floor. and write for that audience. world music. rock. a student might write an essay about the problems created in society by the cell phone. medical professionals are better able to analyze the disease. When writing your own process analysis paragraph. you could end up with all the wrong things. In division. and cell phones as a cause of accidents and physical 219 . a classification system is used in the military to rank officers. For example. Division and classification make it easy for individuals to locate what they are looking for. and hotels are ranked and classified according to quality. you must first have a strong sense of purpose. the elderly. Neighborhoods are ranked by prospective home buyers according to criteria such as schools. jazz." "Telnet. if you have one. Make sure that when you save your document. Classification sometimes refers to a ranking system by which things or persons are evaluated." In classification. but these organizational methods are also useful for understanding complex problems or issues: For example. Otherwise it will not be read properly by a web browser.
What do you want. an adorable pancreas? (Jean Kerr) Using illustration in your writing: Once you have a clear sense of an idea you want to illustrate. in illustrated books. or the criteria that chacterize items in a group. the picture helps to illuminate or clarify the meaning in the text. Classifying cell phones according to size. 220 . however. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. "Before God we are all equally wise . The key to a good illustration. Topic sentence in division and classification paragraphs: Typically. only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. 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. or a statistic. a quotation. It may be a story. as in "There are two main problems associated with . Writers use examples to make a general idea clear—to illustrate an idea. Consider the following examples: I am surprised that Margot. Illustration also refers more generally to clarification through exemplification. We assassinate microbes with hand soap. or it may be several short examples.) Illustration You may associated the word "illustration" with images that accompany a story in a picture book. convenience. extended example. That's deep enough. as in the following example." or "Ponds have several characteristics that differentiate them from lakes. ." In a classification paragraph. who never lets her hair down. mouthwash and bathroom cleaners. for example. 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. It feels clean and right. But this. The illustration may be one long. so far from discouraging." 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. "Most states recognize two types of murder. and appearance would not be an effective system for this argument. " or "We can proceed in one of three ways. (Winston Churchill) I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. is that it sheds light on the general idea.and equally foolish. Every step may be fruitful. the topic sentence might also involve enumeration. price.injury—will help the student develop a clear argument. Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. got so crazy last night. but the emphasis is likely to be on the ranking of the different divisions. no matter which form it takes. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening. an anecdote. Yet as Einstein says. you need to decide on the form of illustration you will use: A series of examples or statistical information can be persuasive. ever-ascending. ." Every day you may make progress.
" or "democracy" in a personal way. economic deprival. . Racism.Diebold employees. (Zetter) You may also choose to use quotations to illustrate an idea. making the idea clear and real." Harris said. ." Over the past year. dog fighting and cock fighting. Consider this paragraph about Caeser Chavez from Wikipedia: Chávez was an ethical vegan and vocal advocate of animal rights. thanks to Harris' discovery.and change votes without leaving a trace. the intestinal and urinary tracts. as in the following illustration from an essay on e-voting. "There was a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been there. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema. such as the mouth and upper respiratory system. He stated. or a biography. A writer may wish to define complex terms such as "heartache. "I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom." (Wikipedia) Definition In a definition paragraph. 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. . . so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election -. ("Bacterial") 221 . (Keim) In each paragraph.a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office -. "It was getting scarier and scarier. A single. Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access -.could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence. and the skin. Bacteremia is common after many invasive procedures. is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria. and when impressions are essential. Some surgical and dental procedures cause a brief bacteremia. .But some scientists say we're overdoing it." Harris said. Definition is very important in the sciences. election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line -. a writer should be as objective as possible. Certain bacteria normally live on parts of your body. This technique is useful when you are writing a literary analysis. In defining scientific terms. the writer should strive to use analogies and impressions that the reader can readily identify with. The answer. . ." He also said. "I was thinking we have an immense problem here that's much bigger than me. voting activist Bev Harris was holed up in the basement of her three-story house in Renton. This technique is useful if you are exploring a complex idea. where the terminology is extensive and discipline-specific. long illustration allows you to get in depth and explore facets of an idea. searching the Internet for an electronic voting machine manual. but only certain bacteria commonly cause endocarditis. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings. Washington. doubts about the accuracy and integrity of e-voting equipment have been growing. Diebold hadn't password-protected the file or secured the audit log. the main idea is developed through a list of concrete examples. bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence. irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. definitions can be more subjective. they say. 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. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves. the writer's goal is to help the reader understand new terms or concepts. In the humanities. or to come to new understanding of terms they may be familiar with. when she made a startling discovery. "Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. on the other hand." "luck.
for now he is really in trouble. the slang term "wimp" comes from the term "wimple. “Have you no sense of decency. “[I]diot” is not a nice word to call somebody. The method(s) you choose should be determined by the term you are defining." By its origins: Providing a history of what a term has meant can help us understand its current meaning. By what it is not: Ironically.Subjective Definition: . or what it does can be an important part of definition. . Cause & Effect A cause and effect development techniques are typically discussed together. as Mr. paragraph emphasizing effect: Jack should never have quit his job. sir?” Throughout my life. Writing Definitions: To write a definition paragraph (or essay). A paragraph emphasizing the causes of something typically begins with an effect. by learning what it is not. By function: how something works. the purpose of the paragraph is to explore how that effect came to be—to show what caused it. Below are some common methods of definition: By characteristics or features: Scientific definitions typically rely on this type of definition. and then provide clear detail to support the definition. Welch did of Senator Joseph McCarthy. or what it is lacking. By example: Giving examples illustrating what the term means can be highly effective. He goes on to give examples of his idiocy and then conclude that his idiocy is just not his fault. a definition of CO2 emissions emphasizing the consequences of these emissions to the environment would be important. Physical features as well as behaviors (as in animal or cell behavior) may be a part of this type of definition. as in the above definition of "idiocy. So. and I find myself asking. Exploring the evolution of the term could yield interesting insight into the connotations of the contemporary term. I would like it known that I am not an “idiot. a writer begins with a particular cause. we can get a pretty good sense of what something is like. Nobody knows what it is like to deal with crippling bouts of idiocy while trying to lead a normal life. By its effect: Discussing what effects the subject produces is important with certain subjects or in certain contexts. For example. For example. a writer must identify the term being defined. one or the other will be emphasized. provide a basic or general definition. Look at the examples below: paragraph emphasizing causes: Several factors contributed to the instability of the economy today. for the record. (Frazer) The second paragraph is taken from an essay-length definition of "idiocy" by Ian Frazer. The last thing I need is for somebody to make it harder by pointing out what an “idiot” I am. A definition can be developed in a number of ways. I have had to struggle to keep from thinking of myself in the limiting way that word implies. By what it is similar to: Comparison and analogy help us understand things that are unfamiliar to us. in a particular paragraph. then explores the consequences or effects of this cause." which refers to a head scarf women wore in mediaeval Europe. . 222 . In a paragraph emphasizing the effects of something. in an essay on global warming. However.” I am a person who suffers from idiocy.
taking notes. is due to. Using transition words to emphasize cause and effect relationships between ideas is useful. there are moments when the city becomes fantastic and disorienting. " A controlling idea like this merely establishes a fact. For example. it is delicate and beautiful. 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. and careful explanation of the significance of the evidence. consequently. mad elephants. the writer needs to know which factor to emphasize: causes or effects. The writer presents several examples as evidence for this interpretation. a writer might analyze the setting in a short story to better understand the theme of the story. one explains something that is difficult to understand through comparison with something that is more readily understood. The author analyzes scenes from the text to support an interpretation of their significance in the larger context of the novel: In Hard Times. For example. Writing an Analysis Paragraph: Strong analysis depends on a clear sense of purpose. The overall argument here is that Charles Dickens wants readers to see 19th century factory towns as strange. and. disorienting places. It is not Ok to write "There are several causes and effects for . Rather a cynical view of love in the end. since. analogies are quite 223 . all analogies break down at some point. a complex experience like falling in love might be explained in a rose analogy. is caused by Words and phrases showing consequence: as a result. 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. mythological giants. Yet. Charles Dickens suggests that everything in the sooty. and eventually dies. of course. dismal factory town. and then deciding what the evidence suggests. evidence must be selected that best supports the interpretation or conclusion. it follows. the goal is to understand a subject by examining its parts. the stuff of strange dreams: the lights of factories make the factories seem like fantastic fairy palaces. lumbering up and down are melancholy. and the smoke from the chimneys is like coiled serpents. "Coketown. in spite of this fact. Finally. if one chooses to emphasize the thorns of the rose. no purpose has been identified for discussing the cause and effect relationship. but it also has thorns.Writing a cause & effect paragraph or essay: In a cause and/or effect paragraph. however. Once a writer has developed an interpretation of or conclusion about a subject. then. a rare beauty in nature. and why it is important to discuss a cause and effect relationship in the first place. Analysis In an analysis paragraph. the steam engines themselves. A rose blooms. therefore. There are no perfect analogies. or a detective might write an analysis of evidence found at a crime scene to support a conclusion about the perpetrator of the crime. Words and phrases showing cause: because. solid evidence. . doing research. Analogy Analogy can be highly effective for extended definitions because in analogy." is severely workful and practical. 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. in the moonlight the steam-engines cast shadows on the walls which seem like the shadows of the Titans. for this reason. 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. . the looms in the factories seem a forest. Take a look at the following example of an analysis of setting in the novel Hard Times.
the waitress serves the function of counselor. say—in which they are enjoying each other's company and generally having a wonderful time. In the Ring parable. A married couple is depicted in some relaxed setting—a restaurant. when developing your analogy. and that is to be expected. perhaps all too aware of their own vulnerability on other matters. and aspirin commercials. —Jim Clark Finally. —Andy Warhol No matter how much Bill Gates may claim otherwise. Take a look at the famous analogies below to see how the process works . intimations of the way to redemption. indeed. discuss only that. Finally. and he forgives her with an adoring smile. there is a path to redemption.useful. mouthwash. like a barreling freight train that he didn't hear or see coming. notices that the man has a dirty collar. This is the parable's beginning: the presentation of the problem. Answer given: 3. for she is the source of his shame. the adviser is rather more sarcastic than severe. She. which means that only one main idea is discussed. . but it can be entered only on two conditions. as for example in all sanitary napkin. 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. to be sure. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using narration to develop your idea. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using analogy to develop your idea. exacting and very close to unforgiving. and an end. 1. Every good paragraph has a unity. it 224 . the advisers are amiable and sympathetic. he missed the Internet. The story has a beginning. But then a waitress approaches their table. This is the parable's middle: the solution of the problem. She proudly shows her husband what she is doing. As demonstrated in the Ring Parable. . But in lost parables. . From this. Do not discuss the disadvantages. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using illustration to develop your idea. The parable is highly useful in explaining the stress such television commercials cause the viewer. This is the parable's end: the moral. Writing an analogy: Writing analogy is one of the more difficult forms of writing. . A good way to get started is to use the phrase (subject) is like . In some parables. assumes an expression of self-loathing mixed with a touch of self-pity. and announces to all within hearing the nature of his transgression. if your paragraph is about the advantages of owning a compact car. Search your brain for the features of your subject and see if you can think of other subjects that share these features. And then sold into slavery. Furthermore. but this time they are free of the waitress's probing eyes and bitter social chastisement. and a vision of Heaven": The narrative structure of the Parable of the Ring around the Collar is. For example. As mentioned earlier. the explication. Consider Neil Postman's analogy between a certain kind of preachy television commercial and religious parables that "put forward a concept of sin. in turn. . stares at it boldly. Answer given: 2. . but it can also be a lot of fun. Being born is like being kidnapped. but key features of the items being compared should be present in both subjects. we should draw the proper conclusion. or the analogy won't work. make sure that there are no key features of the items being compared that are obviously incompatible. The first requires that you be open to advice or social criticism from those who are more enlightened. shampoo. . a middle. although she is. every analogy eventually breaks down. we are shown the couple in the restaurant once again. comfortably traditional. the exegeses. The man is humiliated and glares at his wife with scorn. sneers with cold contempt. Answer given: Another important element of a good paragraph is unity.
the United Kingdom. 80 percent of sex workers are infected. In Kenya. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. In Central and Eastern Europe. In China. start a new paragraph. Study the three paragraphs that follow. Uganda. and this total grew ten-fold.000. of course. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. drug users who share needles may become infected. there were an estimated 10. Sometimes students write supporting sentences that are "off the topic. there were an estimated 10. if you write several sentences about inflation. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. unprotected sex. Do not include any information that does not directly support the topic sentence. For example. In the countries of sub Saharan Africa. you are getting off the topic. the rate is 40 percent. Tanzania. If you begin to discuss another advantage. the rate is 40 percent. These statistics illustrate with frightening clarity that HIV/AIDS is still a major health problem in most areas of the world. However.000. Mothers can give the HIV. Zambia. and Zimbabwe. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. and this total grew ten-fold. and in some areas. II. and this total grew ten-fold. HIV infection rates are declining. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV and in some areas. 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." In Kenya.000 HIV infected persons at the end of 1993. to 100. if you are writing a paragraph about the high cost of college tuition. by the end of 1995. In Kenya. Zambia. Uganda. Around the world. you could discuss gas economy and low maintenance costs in the same paragraph because they are closely related. by the end of 1995. to 100. PRACTICE A. Kenya. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. and in Vietnam. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa." These are called irrelevant sentences For example. virus to their children during pregnancy and childbirth or when breast-feeding. For example. Tanzania. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. in each paragraph. and in some areas. Malawi.is a good idea for beginning academic writer to discuss only one advantage. HIV infection rates are skyrocketing among sex workers. but 225 .000. This is a result of a combination of prevention methods. Paragraph 2 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. but you should not discuss both gas economy and easier parking in the same paragraph because they are not closely related. In China. there were an estimated 10.' In Nairobi. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. and Zimbabwe. at least among males. The virus is also transmitted through blood and blood products. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The following short essay has not been divided into paragraphs. Paragraph 3 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. Rwanda. Rwanda. 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. Uganda.000 HIV-infected persons at the end of 1993. There is evidence that in the United States. the rate of infection climbed from 9 percent to 38 percent between 1992 and 1995. new medicines are available that prolong the lives of people with HIV. In Central and Eastern Europe. by the end of 1995. Australia. 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. In China.000 HIV IV infected persons at the end of 1993. Tanzania. and Zimbabwe. 23 B. and your paragraph will not have unity. In Central and Eastern Europe. which accounts for 75 to 85 percent of infections. and New Zealand. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. Malawi. you could mention inflation' as a factor. to 100. such as gas economy. Rwanda. Zambia. Malawi. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. the rate is 40 percent. The main method of transmission is.
Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but. Some Asian writers. D Both of the following paragraphs have not only two or more topics. they axe choosing to spend their vacations rafting down wild rivers. but it is different. therefore. Again. or traversing slippery glaciers. In English. and Rhetoric Logic. a good English paragraph begins with a general statement of its content and then carefully develops that statement with a series of specific illustrations. The topic is never analyzed directly. Soccer is also becoming popular in the United States. Paragraph 2 Daredevil sports are also becoming popular. A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. 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. C. seem awkward and immature to an English reader. Therefore.(Where does the author begin to discuss a different topic?) STEP 3 Underline the first sentence of each paragraph. in which people jump out of airplanes with graphite boards attached to their feet. English logic and English rhetoric. Spanish rhetoric. the Arabic and Persian styles of writing. are linear . 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. Furthermore. therefore. Whereas English writers use a linear sequence.it should contain six: an introductory paragraph. does not follow the English rule of paragraph-unity. but also irrelevant sentences. Culture. which is basis of rhetoric. the topic is viewed from a variety of angles. or high-speed skateboarding. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. Ordinary people axe no longer content to spend their two weeks away from the office resting on a sunny beach in Hawaii.and risk. backcountry snowboarding. is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. The rhetorical system of one language is neither better nor worse than the rhetorical system of another language. Also. 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. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea. STEP I Decide where each paragraph should be divided into two or more paragraphs. More and more often. with their emphasis on coordination. In either case. four body paragraphs.that is. however. Young people especially are increasingly willing to risk life and limb while mountain biking. use an indirect approach. STEP I Locate and underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. it is referred to only indirectly. People of all ages axe choosing educational study tours for their vacations. Rhetoric. Logic. a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive. Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. Skysurfing rivals skydiving and bungee jumping for the amount of thrills. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic. One of the riskiest new sports is skysurfing. which are based on Anglo-European cultural patterns. where it was not well known until recently. it is not universal. on the other hand. STEP 1 Read the entire essay once or twice. maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination. climbing the world's highest mountains. a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. the writer often digresses into areas that are not directly related to the topic. such a development in an English paragraph is awkward and unnecessarily vogue to an English reader. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence. the flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. hiking through steamy rain forests. a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digressions. STEP 2 Decide where each new paragraph should begin. and a concluding paragraph. In this kind of writing. In summary. 226 . Paragraph I Adventure travel is the hot trend in the tourism industry. comes from culture.
However. Computer spelling checkers also exist for various languages. software may be available to instantly translate both written and spoken language so well that the need for any common language could decline. accept it the first time it is offered. The question is-which language? Because the Internet grew up in the United States. 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. If an American says. neighborly gesture idioms are often difficult for newcomers to understand. the value of having a common language is greatly increased. Americans do not expect you to visit them unless you have an invitation for a specific day and time. Topic Sentence identifies the topic and the intention to compare and/or contrast X and Y. Microsoft's president. "Unless you read English passably well. however. Software that does crude' translations already exists. If you say "No. Paragraph 2 Even when you try to be polite. His company spends $200 million a year translating software into other languages. comments on the degree of similarity or difference. Bill Gates. and the times of meals may be different. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. it's easy to do the wrong thing inadvertently in a new culture. age of its content is now in English.” In some areas of the United States. PLAN A Feature 1 — Describe X. Comparison focuses on similarities. "Please drop by sometime.Underline the topic sentence of each. That day is decades away. "dropping by" is a friendly. you could become very hungry and thirsty. thank you" because it is polite to decline the first one or two offers in your culture. In other areas of the United States. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. Although Americans are usually very direct in social matters. when someone offers you food or a beverage in America. Support Sentences describe and compare features. because flawless machine translation is a very tough problem. Your clue that this may not be a real invitation is the word "sometime. 24 Paragraph I Because the Internet makes the world a smaller place. It is useful if all you are trying to do is understand the general idea of something you see on your computer screen. He says. there are a few occasions when they are not. American meals are usually more informal than meals in other countries. machine translation is totally useless. An American thinks that "no" means "no" and will usually not offer again. if you are trying to negotiate a contract or discuss a scientific subject where details are important. however. believes that English will remain valuable for a long time as a common language for international communication. you miss out on some of the Internet experience. Contrast focuses on differences." Someday. the largest percent. For example. 227 ." he may or may not want you to visit him in his home. describe Y — identify similarities and differences Feature 2 — Describe X.
in the same way. unlike. 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. see http://tlc. in contrast. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. like. PLAN B Describe X — features 1–n Describe Y — features 1–n Describe and discuss points of similarity and/or difference. 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. 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. Concluding Sentence summarises and interprets differences and similarities. Homeopathy. whereas. equally. Allopathy is the treatment of disease of one kind by exciting a disease of another kind or in another part.au/interactive/workshops/writing/index. Useful transitional words and phrases For comparison similar to.une. It is sometimes incorrectly used as a name for orthodox medicine. similarly. on the other hand. 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. while. too For contrast in contrast.php 228 . different from.Feature n — Describe X. For more information and practice in paragraph types. again. however.edu.
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