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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
Using this approach to placement of the topic sentence. Consequently. Thus. if not. Therefore. In the paragraph above. Therefore. the topic sentence has given them guiding clues that help them be selective in their reading. A. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. parents can encourage them to study by buying story books with pictures. the controlling idea is the summary of all the information contained in its paragraph. As a child. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. it may be placed at the beginning. I was very excited. However. Artistic talent and mathematical ability are two qualities of a good architect.Gold is prized for two important characteristics. Generally. Consider the following paragraph: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. parents should take the responsibility to monitor their studying. as a beginning writer. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. no information that cannot he summarized by the controlling idea can be included in a paragraph. Topic Controlling idea B. Gold : topic two important characteristics : controlling idea The controlling idea is the central idea that is developed in a paragraph. the topic sentence is the following: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. The topic sentence serves the special purpose of announcing the paragraph's topic. or at the end of a paragraph. 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. a sensible plan is to tell readers what the paragraph is intended to discuss before it is discussed. they will continue reading. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. you should place the topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph. Children Topic Controlling idea usually enjoy playing games instead of studying. that is. It helps readers save time as it tells them what the reset of the paragraph is all about. 5 . I experienced this. 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. the topic comes first and the controlling idea comes second in the topic sentence. 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 a restricting idea because it limits the information that can be included in its paragraph. Thus. in the middle. They should also remind their children to do their homework at home after school. however. the reader can more easily identify the central point that the writer is making. the controlling idea is encouraging them. As result. My parents gave me a gift when I got ‘A’ in my math lesson. Moreover. 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. 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. If they are interested in the topic. the controlling idea may come first. that is . However.The topic sentence.a tempting statement that catches the readers’ attentions and entice them to carry on with the reading of the paragraph. That’s why your topic sentence should be a sort of clincher. may be stated or placed anywhere in a paragraph. A good architect is both an artist and a mathematician. The topic of the sentence is how parents can help children succeed in school.
Note that sentence A contains only one idea ("have at least two learning habits"). if it is not a complete sentence. compare the following pair of topic sentences 6 . Compare the following sentences. 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. Being limited: In addition to being complete. It must be 1. a topic sentence must be a complete sentence: that is. must meet three requirements. it must consist of a subject and a predicate. sentence A is a better topic sentence because sentence B has more than one idea and is not a good topic sentence. 3. C. 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. It must be clearly limited in such a way that it is neither too broad nor too a narrow. life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly. At each beat it takes in nearly a quarter of a pint of blood. you will have many advantages. In a year it beats some 40 million times. and as a result it is much safer place to bring up young children. Fragment: If you know English Complete: If you know English. First of all. in a single day it pumps 2. 2. The heart of a man performs at about 60 to 80 beats a minute. Fragment: Ways to learn English Complete: There are many easy ways to learn English. The heart weighs about 11 ounces and is the size of a clenched fist. a topic sentence must also be limited: that is. but rather a sentence fragment or a part of sentence.Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the beginning.Characteristics of a good topic sentence A good topic sentence. Fragment: Learning English Complete: Learning English is useful for everyone. it is not a sentence at all. 3. Study the following: 1. which defines the controlling idea clearly and precisely. Again. one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. In addition. it can be seen that village life is suitable for retired and those who want to have more peace and less stress. and in the course of a single lifetime about 56 million gallons. In conclusion. Complete. Therefore. There are many advantages to living in a village.200 gallons of blood. whereas sentence B has two ideas ("have at least two learning habits" and "should be responsible in his studies"). it must express one and only one controlling idea which will be expanded into a complete paragraph. In fact. you will not have either too much or too little to write about. 2. Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the end. In this way.and Specific. Limited. Being complete: Like any other sentence. A further advantage is that there is much less traffic.
T kept me on the edge of the chair.my roommates –Jane Samples: 1. 2. or too vague. there are many specific things about university. _____________________________________________________________________________________ B-MUSIC 1. It also indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will discuss how much violence cartoons typically contain. Topic Sentence: "An increasing number of people in the world are enjoying the benefits of organically grown fruits and vegetables. 2. Television advertising is far more effective than advertising in magazines or newspapers. Much better: Watching the Tunis derby between CA and E. A good topic sentence: My neighborhood is fascinating because people from many countries live in it. 3. you must narrow it down to a limited topic that can be discussed in one paragraph. Topic Sentence: "Many television cartoons contain an unhealthy amount of violence. and the campus. You should narrow down your subject to be more specific. students. Playing a musical instrument helps children to develop in discipline and self confidence. Television gives free and interesting entertainment to people of all ages. such as classes. that you can discuss. Music can teach children to understand their own culture. Computers are unnecessary and make our life complicated. Computers save us time and make our lives easier." This topic sentence indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will cover the trend in the world toward eating organic foods. 2. vacations." Notice that this sentence clearly identifies that the key topic of the paragraph is violence in television cartoons. Being specific: A topic sentence should not be too general. Too general: Sports are exciting. For example. PRACTICE 1: Read the following topic sentences and decide on the best topic sentence.S. 2. or nuclear power. You may narrow down the subject of college to the more specific subject of a roommate. Computers are a necessary part of modern life.Two controlling ideas A : Kairouan is famous for traditional artefacts and it has beautiful landscape. One controlling idea B: Kairouan is famous for its Islamic architecture. The reader can also expect learning more in this paragraph about the specific benefits of organic foods. A. and how/why this violence is unhealthy for viewers. Still too general: Watching a soccer game keeps me involved. 7 . _____________________________________________________________________________________ C-TELEVISION 1. University-dormitory living-roommates. teachers. Remember that a topic sentence must have one single controlling idea A-COMPUTERS 1. Too general: My neighborhood is a nice place to live in. When you start to write about a very general topic. B. such as university.
…………………………………….. FRIENDS . Technology Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 5. _____________________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 2: Write specific topic sentences for possible paragraphs on the following topics. 5. Topic: Using Internet _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______.…………………………………….my best friend…………………………………………………………….……………………………………. Firstly..…………….. you can share your hobbies and special interests. Finally.CLASSES – my best/worst class …… ……………. 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. Also. Television has enormous influence on politics. and perhaps make friends all over the world. at any hour of the day or night.DIVORCE–children……………………………….. e-mail is popular because it is faster than sending a letter and cheaper than a telephone conversation. Getting married Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 6. University Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 4. Television Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 3. SPORTS . 1. in your home. Write a topic sentence for the following paragraphs. 1.…………… 6..….. all of the latest information is available to you.…………………………… PRACTICE 4: A. so you can save both time and money.MUSIC………………………………. Example: Teenagers and drugs Topic sentence: Drug addiction has caused a huge increase in crimes of violence which is committed/done by teenagers. By joining a newsgroup or chat group. 4. Animals Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 2. Try to add at least three or four ideas to each group. ENTERTAINMENT-singers .Madonna 1. 8 .…………..………………………………….3.………… 3.rock singer – superstar .……… 2.individual sports ……………………………………………………………. on-line shopping makes it possible to search through catalogues to find exactly what you want at the best price. VACATIONS……………………………….
Furthermore. If any of the supporting details doesn’t correlate with the main idea or does not support it. Topic: Teenagers Smoking _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. The supporting sentences must give information that reinforces the main idea stated in the topic sentence. upon tourism for their jobs. therefore. I believed that with my father gone I was responsible for helping my mother with her chores. 3. frightened. people are more aggressive towards each other. For example. they would have the second. My father’s death. Topic: Space Technology _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. I felt great sadness and loneliness. my loneliness was so great that I often dreamed that my father would miraculously return. I was nervous until she returned. 7. Scientists are working to develop space technology to use in different areas. The students can use all the writing techniques necessary to make the paragraph sustainable and eligible: descriptions. For the firs few months. Finally. They hope to be free and stand without one’s help. 4. Whenever my mother was away from home. First of all. telecommunication satellites have greatly improved global communications. I was afraid of losing someone else whom I loved. and responsible – a young child with adult feelings. Nearly three million people depend. throughout the rest of my childhood. Unfortunately. Nowadays. We need tourists’ money in fact they provide more jobs for all of us. once they started to smoke their first cigarette. Topic: My Father’s Death _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. some special satellites register the earth’s resources and military information. elaboration and exploration. Meteorological satellites also provide advance information. In addition.2 THE SUPPORTING SENTENCES The body of every effective paragraph consists of ideas or details that support and explain the topic sentence. Tourism employs twenty times as many people as the car industry. and earns four as much money as agriculture. Being economically independent is the desire of many women. In addition. They want to earn money and spend it as they wish. They smoke for the sake of knowing how it feels. 9 . Thus the students are strongly advised to provide at least three strong details which can support the main idea. and then become accustomed to it eventually! Just like the addiction of taking drugs. (mere: only. the loss of my father caused me to develop a greater sense of responsibility. examples. sake: cause) 5. Teenagers tent to be curious about new things. left me lonely. As a result. 3. definitions. Couples do not tolerate a few mistakes. Topic: Divorce _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. women think that life is always difficult unless they have their own economics independence. Firstly. Due to difficult life conditions. it will break the unity of the paragraph. 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 number of supporting details required in a paragraph depends on what the writer is trying to show. Topic: Tourism _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. there are many women working outside their homes and are independent. the third. some regard divorce as the best way to get this independence. directly or indirectly.2.
which is unusual because it is very steep. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. Even though it is steep. First. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. Practice 10 . There are no trees around this hill. It directly supports the controlling idea by making that idea more easily understood. First. On either side of this river. It directly support its major support sentence by making it more easily understood. Also. it is noted for the Wheaton River. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. climbing this hill is not dangerous. This tree stands two hundred feet tall. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. Also. it is noted for the Wheaton River. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. which is unusual because it is very steep. which is 175 feet wide. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. 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. which is very wide and beautiful. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. Therefore. and (II) At the same time it helps its support sentence develop the controlling idea. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. It indirectly supports the controlling idea of the paragraph by helping its major support sentence make that idea more easily understood. 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. are many willow trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. which is very wide and beautiful. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. a minor support sentence must be closely related both to its major support sentence and the controlling idea of the paragraph.Supporting sentences may be classified into one of two groups: major support sentences or minor support sentences.
PRACTICE 11 .
in a way. You can think of a concluding sentence as a sort of topic sentence in reverse. lettuce. Both buns "hold" the meat. Consider a hamburger that you can buy at a fast-food restaurant. and a bottom bun. is like a TOPIC SENTENCE. Similarly. onions. and so on. A hamburger has a top bun (a kind of bread). cheese. the topic sentence and 13 . meat.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. This is the concluding sentence. The top bun. and the bottom bun is like the CONCLUDING SENTENCE. You can understand concluding sentences with this example. Note how the top bun and the bottom bun are very similar. and other elements in the middle of the hamburger.
Similarly a person wants to be slender but not skinny. The first one paraphrases the topic sentence. For many years. the topic sentence. 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. to call a person stingy is an insult while the word frugal has a much more positive connotation. which were not specifically stated in the topic sentence. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. is prized for two important characteristics. Notice also how the concluding sentence is similar to. It is clear that In summary. do not always have the same emotional meaning. you should be careful in choosing words because many so-called synonyms are not really synonymous at all. STEP 3 Add a good concluding sentence to each. First. that is. Practice STEP I Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph. it is suitable for jewelry. Therefore. For example. Therefore. There can be no doubt that The evidence suggests that The examples that follow demonstrate two different types of concluding sentences. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. the concluding sentence repeats the main idea of the topic sentence in different words. First of all. and aggressive but not pushy. words that have the same basic meaning. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. 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. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. For example. As a result. 3. These examples show that Thus. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. We can see that Therefore. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. It summarizes the main points of the paragraph. As a result. Notice how the concluding sentence summarizes the information in the paragraph. Gold. but not exactly the same as. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. It signals the end of the paragraph. coins. Finally. In conclusion. A concluding sentence is helpful to the reader because it signals the end of the paragraph and because it is a reminder of the important points. Indeed .concluding sentence "hold" the supporting sentences in the paragraph. A concluding sentence serves three purposes: 1. Synonyms. Canada has a high standard of education. gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. the words stingy and frugal both mean "careful with money" However. Second. 2. Canada has an excellent health care system. In brief. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. STEP 2 Determine the main idea of each paragraph. You may either paraphrase the topic sentence or summarize the main points. a precious metal. Canada is a desirable place to live in . In conclusion. 14 . The second example summarizes the two main points of the paragraph. and ornamental purposes. 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.
in fact. In one company. don't sit slumped in a chair or make nervous hand and foot movements. In addition to telephone calls. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Paragraph 2 Modern communication technology is driving workers in the corporate world crazy.STEP 4 Begin each concluding sentence with an end-of-paragraph signal. If you have a good story wait until-the speaker is finished. it can affect your communication whether you are the speaker or the listener. When you are conversing with someone. it is common for them to do so in the evenings or on weekends at home. office workers receive dozens of E-mail and voice mail messages daily. For instance. managers receive an average of 100 messages a day. watch your body language. don't interrupt while someone is speaking. Be relaxed and bend your body slightly forward to show interest in the person and the conversation. Show your interest by smiling and/or nodding. Because they don't have enough time to respond to these messages during office hours. pay close attention to the speaker's words while looking at his or her face. Paragraph I You can be a good conversationalist by being a good listener. Furthermore. Also. They feel buried under the large number of messages they receive daily. it is impolite to do so. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 15 .
a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago." In order to have coherence in writing the sentences must hold together. The fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in a logical order. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. Repetition of Key words The easiest way to achieve coherence is to repeat key words frequently in your paragraph. Look at the model paragraph about gold to see how it uses this technique to achieve coherence. go gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. The first two ways involve repeating key nouns and using pronouns that refer back to key nouns. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. The Latin verb cohere means "hold together. Each sentence should flow smoothly into the next one. Echo Words & Phrases: Echo words and phrases allow writers to remind the reader of the topic being discussed without becoming repetitive. coins. There must be no sudden jumps. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. 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. Consider the following paragraph: My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. You should have circled the noun gold seven times. which is 175 feet wide. Second. Consider the echo words in the following paragraph about tourists and souvenirs: 16 . climbing this hill is not dangerous. For example. Gold. In conclusion. which is unusual because it is very steep. and the pronoun its three times. There are four ways to achieve coherence. Circle gold pronouns that refer to it. the movement from one sentence to the next and in longer essays. Therefore. For many years. key words are those words a writer wants the reader to focus on as the paragraph progresses. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. the pronoun it twice. Echo words are actually synonyms for the key word. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. First.UNITY and COHERENCE in PARAGRAPHS: COHERENCE Another element of a good paragraph is coherence. a precious metal. that is. The third way is to use transition signals to show how one idea is related to the next. The key noun in this paragraph is gold. which is very wide and beautiful. Key words are the words carrying most significance in a paragraph. First of all. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. is prized for two important characteristics. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. There are no trees around this hill. but they can also be phrases. it is noted for the Wheaton River. from one paragraph to the next) must be logical and smooth. A. as too much repetition of the same words can be distracting and even irritating to a reader. Even though it is steep. are many willow* trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. and ornamental purposes. it is suitable for jewelry. On either side of this river.
and other objects from this period were produced in such large quantities that surviving examples are still easy to find and affordable." and "surviving examples.The steady production of souvenirs throughout the mid-20th century has created a well that collectors can tap. B. snow globes. In fact. if you hope to compete in an Olympic sport. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred. PRACTICE In the following paragraph. More than 70 percent of the world's mail is written in it. ashtrays. however. and it is the language of airline pilots and air traffic controllers all over the world. it is used more than any other language. Use of Consistent Pronouns When you use pronouns instead of key nouns. It is the primary language on the Internet. For example. During training. Olympic athletes must be strong both physically and mentally. For collectors. They are so intelligent and helpful. with many falling between $20 and $40. charm bracelets. Don’t change from you to he or she (change of person). Dolphins are interesting because they display almost human behavior at times. Navy is training them to become underwater bomb disposal experts. unless you plan to spend your life alone on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. it has displaced it throughout the world.S. they droop noticeably and mope around their pool. the key noun is never repeated. Moreover. as in "other objects from this period. Replace the pronoun it with the key noun English wherever you think doing so would make the paragraph more coherent. replace some of the pronouns with appropriate singular or plural nouns. an aspiring Olympian must train 17 . or from he to they (change of number). In international business. tumblers. When they make a mistake. make sure that you use the same person and number throughout your paragraph. too. Spanish is the official language of more countries in the world. however. so an echo word or phrase is a far better choice for a subject. when they do something correctly. Correct them to make this paragraph more coherent." To avoid repetition of this word. and others in the area swim to help it. B. They push it to the surface of the water so that it can breathe. First of all. English English has almost become an international language. the good news is that the tablecloths. If one is sick. it sends out a message." 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. In the following paragraph. the author uses substitutes: "objects" and "examples. you must be physically strong Furthermore. in fact.Therefore. The objects that have proved the most desirable in recent years are ones dating from the 1920s through the 1960s. they display the human emotions of joy and sadness. but more countries have it as their official or unofficial second language. Furthermore. the pronouns are not consistent. it is a useful language to know. PRACTICE A-In the following passage about dolphins. using these general pronouns can often get developing writers into trouble with pronoun reference problems. that the U. they help each other when they are in trouble. that the author adds adjectives and modifying phrases to the echo words to further clarify her meaning. They have also helped trapped or lost whales navigate their way safely out to the open sea. although French used to be the language of diplomacy. they squeal excitedly and race toward their trainer. Except for Chinese. They stay with it for clays or weeks-until it recovers or dies." Note. The key word in this paragraph is "souvenirs.
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. when you write about your main points. five or six days a week for ten or more years. on the contrary To emphasize or confirm indeed. Which paragraph contains transition signals and is more coherent? Circle all of the transition signals that you can identify. admittedly. C. Transition Signals Transition signals are words such as first. not to overuse transitional expressions. Minor Connectors What about the other words in bold. and social life. so they must possess the inner strength to live with defeat. not everyone can win a medal. Using such major connectors is an important way of providing coherence in a paragraph. and stop. yet. such as those appearing in the phrases "these trees" and "this hill"? We can call these minor connectors. Think of transition signals as traffic signs that tell your reader when to go forward. certainly.or phrases such as in conclusion. conversely. an example (for example). also. although. second. First. at the same time To add an illustration or explanation for example. in addition). often giving up a normal school family. (2) a part about Wheaton Hill. and The third amazing feature. In other words. Overuse can be distracting. This paragraph has three main parts: (1) a part about the Wheaton River. likewise. next. however. For the most demanding sports. therefore. however. consequently To connect two contrasting ideas. an opposite idea (on the other hand. Major Connectors Look at the words in bold font in the paragraph about my home town. to on the other hand. and however. Being mentally strong also means that he or she must be able to withstand the intense of international competition with its media coverage. Do you see how they help guide the reader? For example. consider the words. of course. similarly first. in addition. Finally. thus. you can use minor connectors to link your details to each main point. however. and (3) a part about the Big Old Tree. eventually. therefore. moreover. turn. accordingly. That is. moreover. in brief. This means that you have to be dedicated to your sport. Minor connectors provide coherence to a paragraph by connecting sentences within each of the main parts of your paragraph. In addition to being physically strong he or she must also be mentally tough. Purpose To add another idea To arrange ideas in order or time Connecting Word/Phrase furthermore. Major connectors help organize the main parts of your paragraph. Save them for significant connections between ideas that you want to call special attention to. 18 . next. in conclusion. or aconclusion (in conclusion). rather. Here are some of the most commonly used connecting words and phrases and the purposes they serve. ultimately. furthermore. Another way of saying this is that this paragraph has three main points which are indicated by the major connectors. a result (as a result). nonetheless. subsequently. plainly Be careful. finally. for instance. differeniate ideas nevertheless. Both paragraphs give the same information. and as a result. finally. We can call these words major connectors. they tell the reader when you are giving a similar idea (similarly. they train several hours a day. undoubtedly. Second. naturally. PRACTICE A-Compare paragraphs 1 and 2 that follow.. in contrast). on the other hand. slow down. in other words To conclude or sum up hence.rigorously* for many years. meanwhile.
The surrounding land is dry and does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. logical division of ideas and comparison/contrast. water evaporates rapidly. B. Example: A recent article in Era magazine suggested ways to reduce inflation. In cold climate zones. etc. but when they get close to land.Add punctuation and change capital letters to small letters if necessary. just like. in a piece of writing using chronological order you would expect to find a lot of time expressions: first. furthermore it suggested that the government reduce federal. the runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. this means that the earth pulls him down with a force of 150 pounds. finally. unlike. In a Paragraph describing differences (contrast). The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. they encounter friction because the water is shallow ____________the waves Increase in height and can cause considerable damage when they finally reach land. 19 . for example) 3. (moreover. as a result. In warm climates.000 miles away. The runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. you would find these expressions: the most noticeable difference. (on the other hand. First of all. Logical Order In addition to using transition signals and repeating key words and pronouns.Choose the transition signal that best shows the relationship between the sentences in each group from the choices given in parentheses. a fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in some kind of logical order. next. differ from In a paragraph showing similarities (comparison). on the other hand. Era also suggested that rising wages were one of the primary causes of inflation _______________the government should take action to control wages. Write the signal in the space. state. There are reasons for this. consequently. similarly. just as. Some common kinds of logical order in English are chronological order. You may even combine two or more different logical orders in the same paragraph. For example. therefore. however) 5. in contrast. for example) 4. and local taxes. in warm climate zones. Paragraph 2 Another difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. of course. larger than. The article suggested that the president reduce the federal budget. depend on your topic and on your purpose. A tsunami is a tidal wave produced by an earthquake on the ocean floor. the weight of an object is the gravitational force 2 with which the Earth attracts it_________ if a man weighs 150 pounds. In physics. furthermore) 1.000 miles from the Earth than when he is only 5. 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. since then. therefore. For example. the concentration of salt is greater. (in conclusion. (however. therefore) 2. Second the surrounding land is dry and. water evaporates rapidly. as expensive as. for example) D. water evaporates slowly.Paragraph 1 A difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. (however. The concentration of salt is greater. before the last war. In cold climate zones. does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. The farther away from the Earth a person is. Furthermore. you would find these expressions: similarity. compare with. in contrast. therefore. therefore. on the other hand water evaporates slowly. The same article said that the causes of inflation were easy to find ________ the cure for inflation was not so easy to prescribe. Each kind of order has its own special words and phrases to show the relation ships among the ideas. (however. the Baltic Sea in North Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. for example. in comparison. after that.The waves are very long and low in open water. while working on the project. in 20 10. Your choice of one kind of logical order over another will. There are two reasons for this. the less the gravitational force of the Earth _________a man weighs less when he is 50. after 1990.
This paragraph is generally good. with three cosmonauts. all the sentences -. Finally. the detail sentences. or you may use others not listed. he floated in a spacesuit outside his Voshkhod spacecraft. which is similar to the paragraph that we have studied above. 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." or that the sentence is "off-topic. 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. For example. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. practice Choose one of the topic sentences below and write a paragraph that develops it. and so the passage is coherent. That is. Several weeks later.S. and (sometimes) the concluding sentence -. offering an interesting an distinctive detail about these stores. so we can say that the paragraph somewhat lacks unity. does not have anything to do with the major goals of the various Russian space projects. Unity means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph." That is.Often sentences have implicit logical connections that help the reader follow the thread of a discussion or argument. supporting sentences. PRACTICE 20 . Skinned animals hang in windows of butcher shops here like clothes hang in the windows of suburban department stores. It is clear that the writer is continuing a discussion of grocery stores in Chinatown. the Voshkhod project was intended to find out whether people could work in the weightless environment of space. For another example. Given the first sentence in the passage above. Use transition signals to connect the supporting sentences smoothly.Consider the example below: Chinatown offers one of the largest Asian American grocery districts in the country. Several weeks later. One Voshkhod cosmonaut experimented with weightlessness by taking a "spacewalk. astronaut Ed White. the Soyuz project. If your paragraph contains a sentence or some sentences that are NOT related to the main topic. the passage is coherent. Add other sentences without transitions if you need to in order to explain the topic completely.S. but the sentence.are all telling the reader about ONE main topic. In order to improve the paragraph. The cosmonaut to do this was Alexei Leonov. Topic Suggestions Drinking laws The effects of divorce Working mothers UNITY Like coherence. even though it is historically accurate.the topic. astronaut Ed White." Look at the following paragraph. then we say that the paragraph "lacks unity. we should omit this sentence. That is. You may use the transition signals suggested for each topic. had goals of testing spacecraft and space flight skills so that people could fly long missions in Earth orbit. Though no transitional expression is used.Unity is another very important characteristic of good paragraph writing. the Vostok project was designed to test whether or not human beings could survive and function in outer space. connected to it by a tether. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. it is an "off-topic" sentence. a reader might ask "What are these stores like?" or "What is distinctive about these stores that draws Asian-Americans?" The next sentence supplies an acceptable answer to that question.
In general. Another important factor is the height of a region above sea level. it retains it longer. distance from the sea is important because although water absorbs heat more slowly than land. nearby regions become warmer than unsheltered regions in the same latitude. This is why it takes longer to heat a pound of water through one degree Centigrade than it does to heat a pound of earth the same amount. If mountains cause rain to fall frequently. for example. but other factors also have an influence on temperature. the closer a region is to the equator. the nearby regions become cooler than other regions in the same latitude. 21 .B-Study the following paragraph and decide whether there are irrelevant sentences and then revise it. Consequently. the less dense the air is. If mountains block the passage of cold winds. physical features such as high mountains influence the temperature of nearby regions. the warmer its climate will be. throughout the cold months of winter the sea warms the nearby land just as a radiator warms a room. The higher you go up a mountain. Finally.
• Contrast paragraph PARAGRAPH STRUCTRE As you have learned in previous lessons. mathematics. topic sentence 2 is too general to be developed in one paragraph. In addition. Then it is best to 22 . Contrast paragraphs explain how two or more things are dissimilar or different. The topic sentence should also indicate the emphasis of the paragraph. philosophies. acknowledge the obvious differences but emphasize the similarities. their intelligence. The topic sentence In a comparison or contrast paragraph. Second. the ways they treat people. topic sentence 1 is better than topic sentence 2 for three reasons: First. music. but most American children do not. American and European educational systems differ in some ways You can hardly imagine George and Jack are actually twins. and the classes are coeducational. Compare the following two topic sentences and see which one is better. As a result. In a comparison or contrast paragraph. in contrast. The points to be compared or contrasted are usually indicated in the topic sentence. acknowledge the obvious similarities but focus on the differences. If you were asked to compare and contrast two people. there is one teacher for all subjects for each grade (except in Scandinavia). His twin brother Jack. Very commonly if you are comparing two rather dissimilar things. Obviously. backgrounds. Jack usually plods along silently. Even their parents can hardly understand why the two brothers are so different. a well-organized paragraph consists of topic sentence. 1. the emphasis is usually on one or the other. 2. Unlike George. and the majority of elementary school teachers are women. Also. Our two pet cats are quite different. either similarities or differences. introductions to the sciences. sports. it does not restrict the controlling ideas as to what points of the two cats to contrast. a writer stresses how two or more things are alike or how they are different. they fondly refer to Jack as the “absent-minded professor”. George is a chubby looking boy on the verge of being overweight. and the topic sentence tells the controlling idea.Comparison and Contrast Paragraphs When writing comparison or contrast paragraphs. Comparison paragraphs explain how two or more things are similar or alike. The only major difference in the elementary curriculum is that most Europeans study a foreign language in elementary school. topic sentence 1 acknowledges the obvious similarity of the two pet cats. you could compare their looks. however. and concluding sentence. and so on. their lifestyles. their differences in temperament is constant source of amusement. supporting sentences. usually the topic introducer tells the two things to be compared or contrasted. who has a ready smile on his face and is quick to greet everybody he knows on his way. elementary school classes look the same everywhere. Although both our pet cats look lovely. To begin with. There are about twenty to twenty-two pupils per class. and art. often too lost in deep thoughts to even return a greeting in time. The two do not even look alike. and then indicates the differences a s the focus of the paragraph. 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. is a boy of few words and loves to read books in solitude rather than going out to enjoy parties. the subjects which are taught at the elementary level are basically the same everywhere: reading and writing. While relatives and family members call George a friendly “public relations officer”. 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. Paragraph samples • Comparison paragraph The educational systems of Europe and the United States are similar in a number of ways. Jack is simply “skinny” with sunken cheeks and a sharp chin. their attitudes toward life. Third. If you are comparing two obviously similar things.
Emphasis in comparison or contrast Supporting sentences Items to be compared or contrasted should be comparable. If you were comparing two politicians in order to show that one is more diplomatic. for example. you must organize your paragraph in such a way that your reader does not have to jump about from one point to another. For instance. otherwise. you would not bother with comparing and contrasting their tastes in food. 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. 23 . You can’t. talk about the Ford’s engine without talking about the Toyota’s. it would be irrelevant.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. to develop in your paragraph. Also. to show a cautious attitude. if you were contrasting two new models of automobiles. the items would be incomparable. After deciding which points to cover. probably no more than three or four. 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. The Concluding sentence No matter whether it is a comparison or contrast paragraph. the writer may mention little of exceptions. transmission. For example. too. 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. you must be sure to make your points of comparison clear and actually develop them. Furthermore. You couldn’t possibly develop all of the points in your brainstorming list in one paragraph. you must include a discussion of each thing being compared or contrasted with each point of comparison. The points or items to be compared or contrasted should be parallel or of the same category. suspension.
our hobbies are alike _________. For one thing. my wife and I are alike in several ways. I feel _________.B . Our children should receive a good education and also have strong moral training. My wife devotes a lot of her free time to playing jazz piano. our birthdays are in the same month. In fact. I like to spend time after work strumming my guitar. Topic sentence Point 1 Detail A Detail B Point 2 Detail A 27 A -. _________. For example. A more important similarity concerns our values. hers on July 10 and mine on July 20.PRACTICE CHOOSE an appropriate conjunction from those shown below to finish the paragraph. _________ is that we both grew up in large cities. Third. in the same way likewise another similarity similarly whereas too while both however Even though we come from different cultures. we are thirty-two years old. Helene has strong opinions about educating our children and raising them to know right from wrong. Helene was born and raised in Paris and I come from Yokohama.
Detail B Point 3 Detail A Detail B Conclusion Topic sentence Subtopic A A --.B Details about Subtopic A Subtopic B Details about subtopic B 28 .
2-STRUCTURE OF CAUSE/EFFECT PARAGRAPHS Cause/effect paragraphs generally follow basic paragraph format. and so they drop out. lonely. First of all. to explain or to give an account of something or situation. Here is an example: 29 . These students may have problems with roommates.someone who buys a new computer even though his or her old computer works fine. Television negatively influences people's behavior in a number of ways. When they find out that college is often routine. Younger students especially. such as Why did it happen?" or"What". For example. In college. but they never go camping. Consider the following example paragraphs. Perhaps the most common reason students drop out is that they are having personal or emotional problems. if the topic sentence introduces an effect. The hard work comes as a shock and students give up. For example. or the paragraph that points out the effect (or result) produced by a cause. belief or assertion. to prove or disprove an idea. Students drop out of college for many reasons. they begin with a topic sentence and this sentence is followed by specific supporting details. to convince. those who buy campingequipment.These students may have made decent grades in high school simply by showing up for class. family. The function of cause/effect is usually to answer the questions 'Why". First of all. Someone who buys a new car but can't really afford it. They do not want to take dull required courses or spend their nights studying. or to draw a conclusion. The most important negative effect is that television may lead to violence. such as 'What are its causes?" or 'What are its effects?" In short.Also. They may not be able to understand right from wrong and think that violence is ok. people should consider those effects before they start to watch television programs. television influences everybody’s behavior in negative ways. write fifteen page term papers or make detailed presentations to a class. they quickly lose interest. friends or girlfriends. the supporting sentences all describe causes. the cause/effect paragraph explains why a condition occurs or the effect that this condition brings about. For many types of students dropping out seems to be the only solution they can imagine. When children see terrible things on TV and sometimes act them out. may be attending college at an age when they are also feeling confused. advertisements force people to buy things they may not need. Therefore. however they may have to prepare for two hour exams. In conclusion. or depressed. That is.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). They become too unhappy to deal with both hard academic work and emotional troubles. some students are bored in school. These students may enter college expecting non stop fun or a series of fascinating courses. 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. Students also drop out of college because the work is harder than they thought it would be .
) CAUSES (Supporting Sentences) Factory jobs attracted people. Sally closed the window. the conjunction because is correctly placed before the part of the sentence that expresses the cause. with their promise of a better material life. Similarly. Places of leisure. and culture. There are several reasons for this occurrence. entertainment. there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers. Finally. The conjunction because is placed in the correct position here. which tended to be located in cities. these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm. For many people. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. such as sports stadiums. even though it is grammatical. and culture made city life appear more interesting. to help you understand the relationships better: EFFECT (Topic Sentence) Cities have grown very large. [There are several reasons for this. you must order the cause and the effect corerctly. First. theaters.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. entertainment.In recent decades. 30 . These jobs. Notice how each supporting sentence is a cause that explains the effect mentioned in the topic sentence. Second. cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas.) 3. attracted many people from rural areas. in this sentence: ??The weather outside was cold because Sally closed the window. (Cities have grown very large. it does not make sense because a person's opening or closing a window does not influence the weather. (Note that the first letter of the conjunction is now capitalized. In the chart below are the main ideas of the above paragraph. First. which is right before the cause.] (Cities have grown very large. and museums. Better schools attracted families to move to the city. in the sentence Sally closed the window because the weather outside was cold. as the cities grew. the CAUSE is the fact that the room was cold. the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs. in the sentence Because the weather outside was cold. even though the subordinate clause because the room was cold is now at the beginning of the sentence. and the EFFECT is Sally's closing the window. and therefore drew them away from rural communities. people established places of leisure.) However. For example.
therefore. Because the weather outside was cold. These are attached directly at the beginning of CAUSE-sentence without a comma.Second. and for this reason are usually followed by a comma. The weather was cold. (too informal -. so Jim turned on the air conditioner. as in the example above. A blizzard hit the town. This conjunction has a comma before it. The comma here is placed at the end of the subordinate clause.avoid this usage) B/ 31 . So Jim turned on the air conditioner. as in this sentence: The weather was warm. Conjunctions such as therefore. in formal academic writing. Sally put on her coat. Sally closed the window. As a result. the schools were closed. Therefore. The coordinating conjunction so is also different from the ones above. However. so may not be used at the beginning of a sentence (although you will often see it in informal writing): The weather was warm. as a result. Sally put on her scarf. as in these examples: The weather was cold. The adverbial clause conjunctions since and because are exceptions. consequently. you should be careful when using commas. Sally closed the window. The weather was cold. Consequently.
Naturally I registered drunk. as I hollered farewells to my friends and poured myself into the car. and the next--crash! I had plowed into the back of a big green Buick. One minute there was not a soul on the road in front of me.THE NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH A narrative paragraph ‘tells a story’. tipsy by midnight. In writing a narrative paragraph. Baggy Drawers. your purpose is to share with others some experience that has taught you something or changed you somehow. it seemed--they gave me a breath test even before asking to see my license. I weaved down Monroe Avenue. viewing gory films of accident victims with their bodies crunched under tires and heads wrapped inside bumpers. and at each of these spots I drank a margarita or two. that is. It was there. I had to pay a $2. 33 . Of course. 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:. You may choose to tell how your grandfather influenced your desire to become an scientist. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Whatever story you tell. Read the following paragraph and answer the question that follow One Saturday last June. we made stops at such popular hangouts as Studebaker's. that I made a promise not to drink and drive ever again. (Yes.000 fine and attend driving school for three months. the police took me to jail. and Night Lights. Out with a girlfriend for a wild night on the town. just two days after my high school graduation. it tells about a series of events that happened to the narrator. and flat out soused by the time we shut the bars down at three. When the police arrived--instantly. Underline the topic sentence and the concluding sentence . After filling out pages of forms and checking to see that nobody was injured. I had a fake ID. I was dead certain that I was sober enough to drive home safely. fingerprinted.) I was giggly by 11:00. where I was photographed. or perhaps you’ll relate the story of the time you didn’t make the cut for the basketball team. you share with the reader some personal experience of your own in order to make a point or convey a message. a night of celebration turned into a costly and embarrassing lesson on the dangers of drinking and driving. With one eye shut to keep the road from blurring.
Like the setting. who play parts in the action of the story. the insight you offer. The setting of the story is usually responsible for creating the mood or feeling of the story. and other essential elements of the story. a story may begin in a particular city in England. The story may move from one place to another. Refers to the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are presented. • • • Plot. we say that it is "contemporary. The force with which the protagonist is in conflict is called the antagonist. “Why am I telling this story? Why should someone else be interested in reading about my experience?” In addition. This is the mood or feeling of the story. the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. works best for your narrative.e. This is the turning point in the story in which the reader wonders what will happen next (i. The force can be a person or persons. If the story could happen now or at some recent unspecified time. Climate/Weather. For example. you must decide whether to reveal your point explicitly (stated directly) or implicitly (suggested but not stated). The basic plot is comprised of the following: • • • • Introduction. Most personal narratives are written in first-person. First. This is an aspect of setting which can be important to the novel. will the problem get solved or not?) Solution/Conclusion – This is the point in the story in which the problem is solved Characters. it is significant to the story. Problem/Conflict. Refers to people. Time also refers to the season. • Organization of narrative paragraphs The narrative paragraph consists of three basic parts: The orientation. two or even three main characters). This usually refers to the geographical location of the story. The setting refers to the background in which the story takes place. The plot usually arises out of the conflict in the story. you might ask yourself. a gloomy atmosphere.Setting. month. first-person or third-person. By the middle of the story. the mood may change throughout the novel. the message. • • • The protagonist is the main character throughout the novel.g. society or an internal struggle within the main character. Without a specific narrative effect. If you are unsure what your main point is. First-person tends to be more subjective. your writing is merely a series of unconnected events. You might say that a novel opens with a mysterious atmosphere." If it is a science fiction story. it may be set in the future. the emotional quality that the story gives to the reader. establishes the setting. There are several components necessary to create a setting: • Place. robots. which eventually builds to a climatic moment. if the story is set in the past. 34 . the character(s) may find themselves in other locations within England. Climax. but third-person can be effective as well. Atmosphere. and even time of day. animal.. Point of view • Decide which point of view.. characters. etc. This is where the events in the story become complicated and the problem in the story is revealed. The plot is a synopsis of the storyline in chronological order. The complication (supporting sentences)involves rising conflict that leads up to the climax (the point of highest action in the story). Focus • Narrative effect is the main point of your story—the moral. this refers to the period of history. Time. If the story begins in the midst of a hurricane. A novel can have more than one protagonist (e.
In chronological time. 35 . The techniques of flashback and flashforward can also be part of your narrative’s time structure. events are described in the order in which they happened. You must decide whether chronological time or psychological time best suits your story.Then. events are described according to the connections between them. in the resolution. (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. The order in which the events are presented in the narrative paragraph is very important to the overall unity of the paragraph. as they might be arranged in someone’s memory. in psychological time.
In other words.Using Dialogue 36 . . use clear. can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of your narrative. feel. writing which incorporates vivid. precise language that keeps your reader’s attention. . smell. sensory detail is more likely to engage and effect the reader. readers quickly grow uninterested. hear. Also make use of sensory language (language that appeals to the senses). if used well. Therefore.after.Use flashforward to jump to the future and show a possible outcome for the events in the present. how the dew sparkled on the grass.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. Make the reader see.Use Sensory Details It is important to remember that human beings learn about the world through using the five senses. and taste the scene you’re writing. Complete this paragraph using.before. how the birds sang in the trees. especially when you are writing a highly detailed scene. evocative description to immerse the reader in the situation or place you describe. Both of these techniques. Don’t just tell us that spring was in the air—describe how the sun felt on your skin. Use very detailed. If your paragraph consists merely of dry facts. Your goal is to make the scene come alive for the reader. They are our primary source of knowledge about the world.
lady. For exampleif the topic sentence is. interjections and other ‘real’ speech patterns. Make sure your characters talk like people in real life. "Listen. The most common method for ending a narrative paragraph is to refer back to your topic sentence. the Queen of bloody Sheba?" . like a soldier on a mission. Everest.” Metaphors and similes can be very helpful in revealing your narrative effect to the reader. and Why is a brief explanation of the circumstances leading up to the event. Be sure to make the conversation lifelike by using slang. re-word the idea into something lik"That is how I learned that the outside does not always reflect the inside. but one of the easiest is to use the 5W’s – who. she enunciated clearly to the huge slurping hulk.When you recall an experience that you had. "Sir". furrowed her white brow. Astonishment puckered his dimpled jowls to be replaced by a red infusion. Secretly I hoped she would do something to stop the obscene slurping coming from his fat lips. why – to ensure reader understanding of what you have written. which spread from the greyish collar of his neck. and by rewording it. Whenexpands on the time the event took place." Practice Practice1 37 . the use of dialogue will definitely make the event more vivid to your readers. Real people do not use full sentences when they speak.Finally. slowly gliding to the stark blinking eyes. "Sir. Wherehelps establish the mood and atmosphere for thsetting of the event you are re-telling. but she had his attention. I watched her rise majestically from her seat." the voice was thick guttural. what. 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 lady at the next table to the slob could take it no longer. you are inhaling your soup in such a manner as to distract your fellow diners. a brief amusing or interesting story about a real person or event. when. This is your chance to use fragments. etc. "Appearances can be deceptive". "who do you think ya are. serious intent. B How to Finish . or even get angry over a remembered insult once hurled your way? When writing a narrative paragraph about one event in your life. do you sometimes smile at remembering what a person said or did. use appropriate metaphors and similes. child. where. For example. Figurative language can add to your narrative by suggesting to your reader how you felt in a particular situation. There was a grunt in return from the grazer. Another good method for starting the narrative paragraph is to use an anecdote. Is this an adult. How to write narrative paragraphs A How to Start There are various ways to begin a narrative paragraph." All activity stopped in the restaurant as we waited for his reply. Who should clearly introduce the character. use it to tie up the loose ends of the paragraph.? What introduces your event to the reader.
__________ Jack has had his nob patched.in the meantime. but Jack won’t go near the water pail. 3.__________ Jyll had gone to fetch the pail for water. Then I realised all he wanted was a cigarette. Don’t just relate the series of events because this creates a boring list. 9. After this experience. Using Connotative Language in Narrative Writing The language used in narrative writing helps the reader imagine himself in the events you tell about. She decided she would have to walk into town to pick up some fresh spring water. Before I knew what had happened an old man had grabbed my door handle. Example: Instead of. – The 1.when. Use specific.__________ Jack and Jyll still play at being neighbours. This was a safety measure. After snarling. she hadn’t noticed Jack coming around the bend in the forest path. Jyll 6. "Darn light stuff". During the rush hour one evening after work. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate transitions to give the paragraph coherence.first. "It happened while I was standing in the shower. This danger became very real to me one summer evening.__________ the doctor and police were able to reconstruct the scene of the crime. When.__________ she left she wanted to contact her neighbour. she grabbed the old wooden pail. Now I started to panic as his hands fumbled on the car seat because I thought he wasgrabbing for my purse.afterwards Let me tell you the story about a woman named Jyll and a friend of hers called Jack. but he hasn’t seemed the same fellow. Jack.__________ she left the cabin. so I 38 .then . Later I realised how foolish I had been to drive with the doors unlocked.eventually. 4.__________ Jyll has been known to giggle at Jack’s disaster which sometimes gets her in trouble with his mother. I drew back even further against the driver’s door. it hit Jack’s crown on its way down.later.__________ thing that happened was that Jyll was running out of fresh water at her cabin. 12. 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. and gingerly I extended the pack to him When he started muttering.then . 11.__________ that day.The following narrative paragraph lacks time transitions. my sense of safety in Calgary was destroyed.today.__________ was able to toss the pail up into the air and over the giant arbutus tree next to the cabin.after. I was driving down Centre Street. Next he leaned ominously into the car blowing toxic liquor fumes across my face. 2.before. 10. 8. 7. 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.__________ she would use it as a signal to Jack that she was absent from the cabin. and backed out othe car. and was stopped by the red light across from the York Hotel. Practice 2 Try to unscramble the following paragraph by numbering the sentences in the order they should appear. vivid words to relate your story instead of passive language. to let him know she would be out of the area for the day. It seems that when Jyll threw the pail up in the tree.__________ went off to town for the spring water not knowing that Jack had gone tumbling down. She tied a rope around the handle of the pail and 5. he took two smokes and my lighter. He would know she was away from the cabin.
3.Write. I got ready and told my husband to drive me to the interview. 4. hiding the deadly hiss of gas. The baby cried in her crib. We pulled over to the side of the road onto the shoulder. The child ran out the school doors. The cowboy fell off his horse. eventually then 9. 10. and it was 1 p." The man walked down the street. The front tire had popped and lost all of its air. 2004. As we were driving on the freeway. I looked at my watch. We left so we could have enough time to look for the address. The girl hit her knee on the stairs. 5. After all.m. punctuality is something employers look for. 1. by Elizabeth Alvarado (Fall 2005) The worst day in my life was July 21. 6. 2.m. after afterwards 39 . Every two to three minutes I checked Answers 1. we heard a pop followed by a hissing of air escaping with great force. We started feeling the car jumping. The man told me he had made an appointment for me with a potential employer and that my interview was at 1: 30 p. 2. On that day. My husband went to the trunk of the car and pulled out the carjack and the spare tire to fix the car. my stomach was upset. couldn’t hear the gas leaking "The blast of water from the shower deadened the other house noises. By this time. It became like a ritual. I received a call from a staffing company. I was sweating and kept looking at my watch. first before 5.
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. His mouth filled with the sweet. steep staircase. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. or add concrete details to a setting. Comment Visual details are often successfully incorporated into writing. and bit his lip. As they slowly climbed the long. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. For example. As they slowly climbed the long. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. 8. the writing seems vague and non-specific. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. 40 . 12. Example Text: Add Sound Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. and bit his lip. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. through adding visual detail. A visual description allows readers to place themselves within a text. later when 11. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. but she leaned against him and they began to climb. in the meantime today Example Text: Paragraph Without Sensory Detail Grandmother Workman reached over and grabbed her grandson's arm. oblong room with peeling maroon wallpaper and cracked ceiling tiles. like the bloated. a room can become more than just a blank. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. vague receptacle. steep staircase. It becomes a small. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. His mouth filled with the sweet. like the bloated. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. 4. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him.3. The scene seems simple enough. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. Without the inclusion of sensory detail. visual details help accomplish this through encouraging the reader to create a mental image of the characters. In the sample text. when then 7. and action. He was nervous because the staircase was so steep. Comment These are the beginning sentences of a paragraph which describes a boy helping an elderly woman up a flight of stairs. Details which appeal to our sense of sight ensure that the reader is able to give faces to characters. setting. but it leaves the reader with many unanswered questions.
In the sample text. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. Example Text: Add Smell Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. or can create images in our minds. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. shape. 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. They allow a reader not only to visualize a scene. scents are able to cause vivid sensory re-creations of memories. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. it is the human sense of smell that is most closely linked to the brain. Comment The sense of touch encourages us to investigate the world around us by feeling it and learning the texture. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey.Comment The human sense of hearing is an important means of communication. Next to visual details. In the sample text. Our sense of smell has an uncommonly strong power over our feelings. as well as the physical condition of the grandmother. Inclusion of the sense of touch prevents the reader from remaining distanced or detached from the writing. the writer has incorporated references to sounds which allow the reader to infer the state of the old staircase. His mouth filled with the sweet. the sound of a ship's whistle might remind a person of a summer's night in New England. layered. but to experience it. As they slowly climbed the long. Because of this link. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. Therefore. auditory details are most commonly included in writing. thoughts. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. like the bloated. Comment The sense of smell is commonly overlooked in writing. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. through recalling familiar tactile sensations the writer encourages the readers to put themselves in the place of the characters. texture. As they slowly climbed the long. However. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. or of a tour of duty in the military. and emotions. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. steep staircase. Tactile images can be powerful sensory triggers. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. like the bloated. and bit his lip. Example Text: Add Taste 41 . roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. the addition of olfactory details helps set the mood of the paragraph by triggering our senses. The addition of auditory details gives the writer the opportunity to create a more detailed. In the sample text. His mouth filled with the sweet. Sounds recreate personal. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. This is a sensory experience that most people have encountered. Sounds can remind us of personal memories. sensory experiences. and bit his lip. For example. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. This is because sounds give us a primary experience of the world. and size of things. The receptors in the brain which are responsible for processing smells are very close to the area of the brain responsible for the storage of memory. the 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. steep staircase.
Comment The human sense of taste allows a person to do much more than simply select and enjoy food. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. 42 . There are four familiar tastes: Sweet Salty Bitter Sour By appealing directly to any of these tastes. 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. like the bloated. His mouth filled with the sweet. steep staircase. feelings. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. Memories. As they slowly climbed the long. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. people. and bit his lip. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. 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.
or a thing. the paragraph is unified--that is. slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play. The 14-carat gold band. a place. like a sliver of glass found on the kitchen floor after a dishwashing accident. The ring is neither very attractive nor valuable. . The four prongs that anchor the diamond are separated by pockets of dust. circles my finger and twists together at the top to encase a small white diamond. The model paragraph: My most valuable possession is an old. such as. felt. developing this idea with details in the rest of the paragraph. and heard. slim neck. a gift that I will pass along to my younger sister when I receive my own engagement ring this Christmas. but I treasure it as a gift from my older sister. 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 (". and condition." Instead of announcing your topic in this way. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. given to me last year by my sister Doris"). 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. "The belonging I am about to describe is my pre-engagement ring. . you should stick to it. but now clogged with grime. 43 . a bit tarnished by time and neglect. The strings are stretched down a long. all of the supporting sentences relate directly to one another and to the topic introduced in the first sentence. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. just a Madeira folk guitar. Just below the diamond are small air holes. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. all scuffed and scratched and fingerprinted. The diamond itself is tiny and dull. This kind of topic sentence is more interesting and revealing than a bare announcement. its frets tarnished. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. size. providing specific details that describe the ring: its parts. Model Descriptive Paragraph On the third finger of my left hand is the pre-engagement ring given to me last year by my sister Doris. Whether we're describing a person. our aim is to reveal a subject through vivid and carefully selected details. intended to let the diamond breathe. feel. The writer of "My Tiny Diamond Ring" has done just that. As a result. color.THE PARAGRAPH DESCRIPTIVE The purpose of descriptive writing is to make our readers see. It's nothing fancy. Once you have introduced a topic clearly. and hear what we have seen.
it's not a beautiful instrument.Below is a topic sentence for a spatial paragraph. The strings are stretched down a long. and eight). its frets tarnished. to the body (sentences five. 6. Supporting detail: 1. Topic sentence: On Maria’s first visit to the college campus. 1. No. In the following paragraph. made of yarn. seven.The classroom buildings 3.The student centre and cafeteria. and for that I will always treasure it. observe how the writer moves clearly from a description of the head of the clown (in sentences two.particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago. Notice also how the concluding sentence helps to tie the paragraph together by emphasizing the personal value of this gift. but it still lets me make music. Structure of a descriptive paragraph • The topic sentence for a this descriptive paragraph is: My most valuable possession is an old. No. 4. particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago • The concluding sentence concludes the paragraph and emphasizes the personal value of the item. and for that I will always treasure it. covers its ears but is parted above the 44 . followed by supporting detail to develop the paragraph.The library. blond guitar--the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play. locating each building where you think it belongs in relation to other buildings . she saw many buildings.The administration building. sketch out a map of a college campus. Then write out a paragraph beginning with the topic sentence below.The faculty offices. • The supporting sentences support this topic sentence with specific descriptive details. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. slightly warped. This sentence not only identifies the prized belonging ("an old. 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. and four). just a Madeira folk guitar. The clown's short yellow hair. it's not a beautiful instrument. 4. 2. 3.The refectory room. It's nothing fancy. 7. three. Add spatial transitions to introduce each of the eight buildings according to their order of location. six. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. 5.The gymnasium and athletic fields. but it still lets me make music. slim neck.How are the details arranged. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings.The bookstore. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. Activities: 1. On a sheet of paper. all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed. 2. .Underline the spatial transitions in this paragraph. blond guitar") but also suggests why the writer values it ("the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play"). to the unicycle underneath (sentence nine). slightly warped.Identify the topic sentence. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray.
It has cherry-red cheeks. however. but endearing. and its broad grin disappears into the wide. or from the bottom to the top. The left side of the outfit is light blue. 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. Therefore. this colorful figure greets me with a smile every time I enter my room. which means ‘to examine. His pride. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set. or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers. tracing it back further. but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. 3) Gregory Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. The two colors merge in a dark line that runs down the center of the small outfit. Choose the one pattern that seems best suited to your topic. habits. performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. As a cherished gift from my good friend Tran. begging to be petted. for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. and the right side is red. before delving into its various genres. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English. His familiarity with cat food commercials has led him to reject generic brands of cat food in favor of only the most expensive brands. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats. it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training. Essays Essay Writing Overview The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. its origins provide us with some useful insights. What is an Essay? Though the word ‘essay’ has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English. we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere. He walks with pride and grace. does not extend to his appearance. and then stick to that pattern throughout the paragraph. He may snuggle up against your ankle. which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. as many cat experts think. He enjoys TV commercials. especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. test. or go from inside to out. After my guests have fled. two-tone nylon costume. There are various ways to organize the details in a descriptive paragraph. You may move from the top of the item to the bottom. You may start with the outside of the item and move in. You may start at the left side of the item and move right. and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious. or go from right to left. However. students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres within essay writing. befriending some and repelling others.eyes. Surrounding its ankles and disguising its long black shoes are big pink bows. dark lashes flowing from the brows. The clown wears a fluffy. 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. Through the excavation of this ancient word. and lips. 45 . let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay. white ruffle around its neck. The blue eyes are outlined in black with thin. The clown and unicycle together stand about a foot high. we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic. nose. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory. However. or (literally) to drive out’.
analysis. exposition.6 supporting ideas that do a good job supporting your topic sentence. Narration. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from her purpose. conciseness. Choose 2 . 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. narration. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. Exposition. examples. which means that all the information of the paragraph is well-organized. We hope these resources will help. logically ordered and easy to follow. have been criticized by some composition scholars.Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading. TIPS FOR WRITING A PARAGRAPH CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PARAGRAPH Topic sentence. Although these genres. 46 • • • . and senses give details for and further explain the supporting ideas. Supporting ideas (usually 3 . 2. Think of a topic and a controlling idea that will narrow the topic enough to support it well in one paragraph. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. Compose your topic sentence. which support the topic sentence Reasons. persuasion. o Coherenence. 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). which leaves the reading with something to think about and may summarize the supporting ideas if the paragraph is long. also known as the modes of discourse. numbers. she must be deliberate and interesting. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. and exposition. which includes the topic and a controlling idea. comparison and contrast.6). Therefore. • Optional concluding sentence. • Unity. Process of Writing a Paragraph: 1. As is evidenced by this list of attributes. Allen Brizee. there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing. 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. 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. and require clarity in purpose and direction. Brainstorm supporting ideas. essays are (by nature) concise. names. which means that all sentences in the paragraph directly support the topic sentence. clarity.
examples. examples. examples. the curriculum that is taught must be 47 . and senses. names. 3. be able to pay tuition and living expenses 2. 2. Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult. Possibility of scholarships C. Supporting idea 1. except for the topic sentence. 3. 1. each supporting idea should have about the same amount of reasons. Supporting idea 3. Good Location 1. Affordable. For each supporting idea. C. and senses that further explain the idea. CHOOSING A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY Choosing a college or university can be difficult.3. names. Concluding sentence: 4. numbers. Write your paragraph in topic outline form as follows. Topic sentence: A. Write your paragraph using sentences. 3. think of reasons. Now we put this information into outline form and added some reasons. A. numbers. 7. Qualified professors B. Study environment 2. 3. Hard curriculum 2. names. numbers. 1. Good Location. Supporting ideas: 1. Affordable 1. 5. Good preparation for your major 1. For balance. Don't actually write sentences in the outline. Good preparation for major We decided to order these supporting ideas according to importance as shown in the outline below. The most difficult part is finding a university that prepares you well for your future career. 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. Supporting idea 2. Finally. we wrote the paragraph using sentences and trying to make the paragraph coherent using different coherence strategies. 6. In order to get a good job. 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. and senses for each supporting idea. 1. Use the coherence strategies to make your paragraph easy to follow. Think of a concluding sentence. Put your supporting ideas in a logical order. B.
It will give you greater knowledge of the world events 9.thorough and up-to-date. In addition. Moreover. It makes you a major contributor to the greatest nation on earth. You should consider all of these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you. It will give you more money and greater quality of lifer. there should be possibilities near the school for parttime or summer jobs in your major. 6. You need to be able to pay the tuition fees and living expenses. 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. A good location is also very important when choosing a school. please write a well-organized paragraph. the professors must be highly qualified and respected in their fields. The environment should be safe and quiet to facilitate studying. 3. 4. Note: You don’t need to use all notes A. It will give you more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction 8. It will give you more self-confidence 10. It will be something you can pass on to your children. 2. It will give you the power to change the world. It will give you a better quality of life. Some institutions might be able to offer you scholarships if you cannot afford the fees. The Value of a University Education _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 48 . 5. so you can get some practical work experience. It provides you greater economic strength and security 7. It will likely make you more successful. PRACTICE 2: By using information. Another difficulty in choosing a university or college is affordability.
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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
the ads may compare the Camry with the Mercedes. For example. Disadvantages of Living in a Village There are certain drawbacks (disadvantage) to life outside the city. and where they are available. and so on. and this can be extremely expensive. six cylinders. because there are fewer people._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 5. As a result. how much they cost. Advantages Advantages of TV Commercials Ads on television give consumers a lot of information. They let consumers know what products look like. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. In addition. They may say that the Camry runs as well as the Mercedes but the Camry’s price is much cheaper. particularly in the evening. one has a smaller number of friends. Disadvantages 1. the fact that there are fewer shops and services often means that there are fewer employment opportunities. a Toyota dealer wants to sell the Toyota Camry. Furthermore. they think about all this information about the Camry. The ads may also tell where to buy the Camry. is difficult to find. Firstly. Disadvantages 53 . entertainment. Then they can decide if it is the car they want. The dealer’s ads will show the new Camry over and over again and tell the consumer that the Camry has power windows. one may have to travel long distances to work elsewhere. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 6. Therefore. When consumers see these ads.
television has programs for students. Mostly. Almost in every American movie you can easily see a beautiful house which has a garden or it is constructed seashore. how to make delicious dishes..Disadvantages of Watching Television w Watching movie can destroy human’s psychology and imagination in some ways. science fiction movies have full of imagination. you see that people eat simple food. In conclusion nowadays. Therefore. They do not have any eating culture. What is more. As we know. Another example would be science fiction movies. Also. thedre are some programs for adults about how to garden. most American movies. when you watch a horror movie your psychology is affected by this movie badly. 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. These are well-organized programs that teaches children to count and to say the alphabet. They easily change an event which occurred in the past in the direction of their ideas. it causes people’s eating habits. 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. These programs help students with their studies. As a result. There are several programs for preschool children. for example Sesame Street and Tarchın and his friends. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 9. television teaches us all kinds of things. For example. For that reason most countries life style can be changed by movies. Moreover. Furthermore. how to fix things around the house and so on. They also have interesting characters that they tell stories and sing songs. they think whatever they watched it could be in real life. there were many kinds of learning programs. people use movies in order to change history. Advantages Advantages of Watching Television w TV is a good teacher for everyone for several reasons. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 54 . When I was a high school student. When people watch this kind of movies. like foreign language and math education programs. you may want to be a monster or a murder.
it makes the locals stay rather than leave to get jobs elsewhere. Also. Secondly. tourism helps people to learn about other cultures and ways of life. sometimes people’s language can suffer. tourism brings a lot of money into a country and it also creates a lot of employment for people of the area. Disadvantages Disadvantages of tourism There are some disadvantages to tourism. places sometimes lose their character and traditions. if there are a lot of tourists in the area. it can be bad for a country. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. For example. uniforms give students equality. 55 . we should give enough importance to tourism. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 11. identity and pride. All students do not have the same financial resources and can't afford expensive clothes. To begin with. Primarily. Firstly. in many cases the natural beauty of a place can be spoilt. uniforms give identity._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 10. Advantages Advantages of Wearing the Same Uniform Wearing uniforms give all students equality. As a result. Advantages Advantages of Tourism There are several advantages to tourism. Apart from this. Therefore. student may want to wear designer clothes which some can afford but others can't. Moreover. As a result. Lastly. In addition. if tourism is not controlled properly. tourism often brings more air. water and noise pollution. uniforms make it more equal among the rich and poor students.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 13. there is usually a laundry room in the basement so you don’t have to go anywhere else to do laundry. you don't have to cook for yourself. Alcoholics may become angry and argumentive. Effect 1. sad. Moreover. and co-workers strangers. students can "advertise" their school just by wearing their uniforms and be proud of the school they attend. The most important one is that there are always a lot of people around so you won't feel lonely. If a sports team does well. the dormitory is usually very safe since almost all dormitories have security guards. Moreover.Students feel a sense of belonging when everyone has the same uniform. In addition to this. students can feel proud together of that accomplishment. I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. Students can tell who is from their school and who is not according to the uniform. friends. or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. Students can feel equal to one an other. They may also feel more anxious. others can feel proud that they are his/her classmates. Overall. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 56 . It not only affects the alcoholic. Advantages Advantages to Living at a Dorm I would prefer to live in an apartment for a number of reasons. CAUSE and EFFECT PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person's life. if a student is a good musician. As a result. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ B. Hence. Others can tell which students are from which schools and if someone is not behaving well. Furthermore. others will know which school that person is from. uniforms give pride. but also their family. we should help the number of alcoholics in Turkey and all over the world. tense. 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. 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. First of all. Alcoholism Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the world today. Therefore. Overall. and confused.
it is extremely important that whatever the reasons are we should avoid drinking alcohol. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. children may take alcohol later on. alcoholics often drink hoping to drown their depressed feelings. It is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. It can be related to emotional changeability. Cause Alcoholism There are some reasons of using alcohol. Moreover. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. The second reason is alcoholism has psychological reasons. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. there is conflict between refusing and accepting the use of alcohol to be a social person. As a result. Effects Effects of Parents on Children Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. For example. Some of them also want to reduce strong negative feelings. Parents should also encourage their children to study by buying story books with pictures. If parents are alcoholics. First of all. so parents have to take the responsibility to monitor their studying and to remind them to do their homework at home after school. Children usually enjoy playing games instead of studying their boring lessons. social and cultural factors play important roles in development of alcoholism. the cause of alcoholism can be biological. In some cultures._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. I experienced this. My parents gave me a gift if I had 57 . As a child.
Moreover. they may pay less to study abroad and the programs can be better abroad. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. some students may get scholarships to study abroad. 5. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 58 . Effects _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 4. students may get more money in their job if they have a degree from outside the country. So. Most students get a good education wherever they go if they are strong-minded to achieve something in their studies. and then I was very excited. Causes Studying Outside There are many reasons students choose to do this why students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. Furthermore. Therefore. students study abroad for a number of reasons. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. In short.studied well. Many people think that students may get a better education outside their home country. To get a college degree from a university outside their home country may be prestigious for students.
Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. they are fun to watch andlet you imagine what other people's lives are like._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Movies are popular all over the world. Causes World is in Danger Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. . you can take exciting photographs. animals. Explain why movies are so popular. movies are available everywhere. they offer an escape. some people go to the movies to see how others live. watching movie is one of the important activities of people. rain forests also are habitat of many insects. If you are poor. movies provide entertainment. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. There are thousands of species that live in forests and when the forests die. Moreover. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. Furthermore. Finally. it is a way to escape that life for a few hours. Movie theaters can be found in almost every town. forests are beautiful to look at. To begin with. they die too. 7. nature is a home for animals. First of all. and look at all the flowers. As a result. there is usually a video store with movies. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 59 . or dean water. 6. Next. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. or clean water. forests are natural resources that must be saved because they provide so much good for so many people and animals. hike in the forest. Causes Watching Movies There are many reasons why people all over the world enjoy watching movies. If there is no theater. walk through. For that reason. such as forests. Because. animals. such as forests. animals depend on it for survival. birds. all over the world. In short. Finally.
Turkey. when the teacher asks them to speak they must look into the teacher’s eyes to show respect. in my country. when a teacher asks us to speak we look down to show respect. students can ask the teacher questions. First. We do not look into their eyes. there are both similarities and differences in the way students behave toward their teachers in the classroom. For example. Both my English teachers control the class well. In contrast. Although my teachers have these similarities._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. Also. In North America students look up to teachers and respect them. They both make sure we know the rules of the language very well. However. In contrast. 60 . teacher gives us examples first. however. there is the student’s right to speak. In conclusion. my present if we need a rule we work it out from the examples. Similarly. my present teacher sends the troublesome student to a counselor. My teacher back home would teach us a rule of grammar and then give examples. Turkey. Next. Then the counselor sends the students to the assistant principal and so on. in my country students have the right to ask questions. Both my teachers know their subject well. Similarity and Differences Classroom Behavior Rules There are some similarities and differences in the classroom behavior rules between North America and my country. If a student makes trouble in the classroom. students respect their teachers. both my English teachers with their similarities and differences are excellent teachers. 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. we are all responsible and had extra work. the way my two teachers teaching method of English is different. When a student is always troublesome in class. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. they can only ask questions at the end of the class. they also have differences on these same points. In North America. my old teacher would go to the parents because my school is small and everybody would know each other in the city. students respect teachers. They can even ask questions when the teacher is giving a lesson. Likewise. without friend) and nobody wants to be unpopular. This makes the student unpopular (alone. COMPARE and CONTRAST PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. In conclusion.
Compare _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. First of all. some attend for personal achievement. Secondly. employers want employees who have very specific knowledge. some attend in order to make more money in the job market. personal fulfillment and financial rewards. In addition to this. Because. ARGUMENTATIVE PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. Students also may feel a sense of success by learning new things. Argumentative Importance of University Education People attend university to prepare for a career. to attend for personal fulfillment and to make more money in the job market._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. In short. If one has specialized skills. Finally. Adults may attend university just for the joy of learning. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 61 . one can make more money in the job market. people attend college for many reasons some of which include desire to prepare for a career. They learn about a particular subject in depth there. some attend university in order to prepare for a career.
. television has destroyed communication between family and friends. You see them. In conclusion. but forget that communication is important. children argue with their parents to buy them toys they see advertised on TV._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. Argumentative Enemy of Communication Communication between friends and family has been destroyed due to television. When people watch television. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. and their feelings. Although many people watch television in order to relax. For example. but you can see that he is in a bad mood or he is distracted. 62 . Besides. 2. it is more personal. or telephone calls. Television is such a passive activity that family and friends often forget what meaningful communication is. 3. People spend less time with family and friends and more time with TV this is destructive. When you talk to a person face-to-face. you want to ask your boss or a raise. body language is more effective than spoken language. In addition to this. Argumentative Face to Face Communication I believe that face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. Not only family members argue about what to watch on TV but also friends do.. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. they do not talk with one another. That means you can change your conversation to fit the situation.then you would wait for another time. e-mail. their actions. Therefore. Seventy percent of communication is through gestures. more effective and more honest. People do not communicate in the same way as they did before television was invented. People also enjoy the relaxation of watching television. face-to-face communication is usually more effective because you can easily see the other people’s expression and feelings about a topic. you do not get this same kind of experience. such as letters. television makes passive. Moreover. Television often causes arguments. Moreover. when you write a letter or email. It is more personal. Furthermore. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication. they give less time to family and friends.
Canada has an excellent health care system. How do I write them? You should give supporting facts. Supporting Details What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence. Canada has an excellent health care system. Canada has a high standard of education. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canada has a high standard of education. 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. As a result. letters and telephone conversations. What do they do? They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Finally. details. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Most people have more personal. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. effective. First. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. and examples. Second. 63 . First.You can't get this with email. making up the body of a paragraph. and honest conversations when they meet face-to-face. In short. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. As a result. Canada is a desirable place to live. Canada is a desirable place to live. Finally. Second.
Canada has an excellent health care system. you write about the similarities and differences between two or more people. Example: Write a paragraph comparing the weather in some cities in Turkey. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. too. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Finally. HELPER WORDS COMPARE AND CONTRAST PARAGRAPH In a compare and contrast paragraph. things. also Example: Samsun also has a rainy spring season. or ideas. as Example: As well. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph. both Example: Both Trabzon and Rize have rain in the spring. 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. As a result. Canada is a desirable place to live. 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. Sinop has rainy spring season. places. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. 64 well . How do I write one? Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words. Second. too Example: Artvin has a rainy spring season. Canada has a high standard of education. First.Conclusion Sentence What is the closing sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph.
Singapore. The greatest access into the Japanese market has been by the food Industry. 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. ____________the Japanese trend toward internationalization should become even greater as we approach the twenty-first century. and an airline stewardess is now a flight attendant. In time. Taiwan. the protein staples in Japan has been fish products. 65 . however Example: However. sexist. A mailman is now a mail carrier. Lately ______the consumer market has been changing. New words have been added. annual per capita consumption is expected to be about seven kilos in the next decade. you can use Ms. 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. __________Japan is Importing eels (fish) from Taiwan. The words feminist. Erzurum has a cold winter. In fact. __________ they enjoy fruit.. Not only Western countries but also Asian nations __________South Korea.DIFFERENCES on the other hand Example: On the other hand. Another new word is the title Ms. but Erzurum has a cold one. asparagus (vegetable) from Thailand. koku-saika. but Example: Ankara has a mild winter. Use each only once. milk. 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 mangoes (fruit) from the Philippines. Then use correct punctuation. are quite useful.________ young people. which is defined as "internationalization. Switzerland. _______in the last decade or so. while Example: While Ankara has a mild winter. Traditionally. which is often used in place of both Miss and Mrs. mainly because they are very selective and will only purchase high-quality products. Germany. and Australia. It will certainly increase international trade. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. English pronouns may also change as a result of women's desire for equality. the United States." is influencing young Japanese consumers. and Thailand have been benefiting from the changing diet of the Japanese consumer. The lack of a clear neutral pronoun can lead to awkward sentence construction. the Japanese have been consuming more beef. like beer drinks and "light" wines imported from England. A chairman is now a chairperson (or sometimes simply chair). 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. in contrast to Example: In contrast to Ankara. especially women who are aware of the Importance of health and fitness. I. to address a woman when you don't know if she is married. who are very eager to purchase and enjoy products from countries around the world. Some of the new words such as Ms. a waiter/waitress is now a waitperson. which will definitely be advantageous to many countries of the world. both of the nonalcohol or low alcohol varieties. Fill in each blank with an appropriate transition signal from the list provided. and a high school or college freshman is now a first-year student. winter is much colder in Erzurum. __________ they have acquired a taste for imported beverages. H. are eating Western-style breakfasts. Erzurum has a cold winter. winter is much colder in Van. and brantype cereals imported from the United States. and male chauvinist have become common during the past thirty-five years or so.
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. Another beneficial application of gene splicing is in agriculture. 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. frozen embryo to give birth to its identical twin. you group things or ideas into specific categories. These embryos did not develop into babies but it is possible that they could do so in the future. years later. For example it is very expensive to obtain insulin from natural sources. Example: Write a paragraph discussing two types of energy resources. In 1993. On the other hand not everyone is positive about gene-splicing technology. flavorless tomatoes in grocery. a researcher at George Washington University Medical Center cloned human embryos' by splitting single embryos into twins and triplets. but through genetic research. and more productive cows. 66 kind divided of into . Furthermore the ability to clone human beings is a possibility that frightens many people. it could be possible for parents to have a child and then. frost-resistant strawberries.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. On the one hand the ability to create life in the laboratory could greatly benefit humankind. CLASSIFICATION PARAGRAPH When writing a classification paragraph. A laboratory accident for example might cause an epidemic of an unknown disease that could wipe out humanity. Some people feel that it could have terrible consequences. scientists have now developed a way to manufacture it inexpensively in the laboratory. In addition genetic engineers have created larger fish. Scientists are now able to create new forms of life in the laboratory due to the development of gene splicing. to use a cloned. Genetic engineers have created a new tomato that doesn't spoil quickly. be Energy resources can be divided into two types. Because human embryos can be frozen and used at a later date.
Example: Write a paragraph stating whether you would prefer to play basketball or football. you will need to give your opinion on a choice of actions or events. basketball is more fun than football. is grouped Coal is grouped with non-renewable resources. 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. is a part Coal is a part of the category of non-renewable resources.is falls a Coal is a type of non-renewable resource. you need to choose which object. Often. belongs Coal belongs to the category of non-renewable resources. is related Coal is related to other non-renewable resources. fits Coal fits into the category of non-renewable resources. idea. or action that you prefer. is associated Coal is associated with other non-renewable resources. type of under to of into with to with Coal falls under the category of non-renewable resources. CHOICE / OPINION PARAGRAPH In a paragraph where you have to make a choice.
second. third. feel I feel that basketball is my favorite sport. etc. hope I hope that I can play basketball in the future. 68 . third. it seems to It seems to me that basketball is more exciting than football. Second. First. you need to win a seat in the House of Commons. I I believe basketball is more exciting than lacrosse. The following words can help you to write a good sequence paragraph. second. Usually. I I consider basketball to be more exciting than football. understanding My understanding is that basketball is more fun than football. idea My idea is that basketball is more fun than football. recently in the beginning previously before afterwards then when after after finally at last subsequently ORDER first. Example: Write a paragraph outlining how a person becomes the prime minister. this order is based on time. PERSONAL OPINIONS like/dislike I like the sport of basketball because it is fast and exciting. you need to become a leader of a political party. you are writing to describe a series of events or a process in some sort of order. I I prefer basketball over football.belief My belief is that basketball is more fun than football. that consider believe me prefer SEQUENCE PARAGRAPH In a sequencing paragraph. Third. etc. Helper Words: ORDER TIME first. I think I think that I would prefer to play basketball and not football. your party must have a majority of seats.
Very often in social studies class. . she was still working as a lawyer. . Previously.in before the In the beginning. you must make sure you have a majority of seats in the House of Commons. after After winning a seat in the House of Commons. you will be asked to explore causes and effects of certain events. she worked as a lawyer in Toronto. Afterwards. afterwards Example: She won the party leadership last year. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. finally Finally. you need to become the leader of a political party. at Example: At last. previously She is the new prime minister. you can call yourself the prime minister. Before becoming the prime minister. she won the election. Example: Write a paragraph explaining why so many Europeans moved to Canada during the nineteenth century. you need to explain how or why something happens. TIME recently She was recently elected prime minister. after Example: After winning a seat in the House of Commons. you need to become a leader of a political party. beginning then Then. 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 . when Example: When she won the party leadership. subsequently Subsequently. after all these steps. EXPLANATION PARAGRAPH In an explanation paragraph. you must win a seat in the House of Commons. you can call yourself the prime minister. then last 69 . you must make sure you have a majority of seats.
since Example: Since living conditions in Europe were terrible. Describe where Canada's industry is located. many people moved to Canada. Hence. then Example: If living conditions were better in Europe. It follows that many people moved to Canada. Therefore. Sometimes.. Examples: Write a paragraph describing what a polar bear looks like. Thus. place. many people moved to Canada. then fewer people would have moved to Canada DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH In a description paragraph. is due to / was due Example: The large influx of people to Canada was due to economic pressures in Europe. many people moved to Canada. hence Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. as a result People moved to Canada from Europe as a result of poor living conditions in Europe.CAUSE because Example: People moved to Canada from Europe during the nineteenth century because they had poor living conditions in Europe. thus Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. 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 . many people moved to Canada for a better life. consequently Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. you are writing about what a person. many people moved to Canada for a better life. if . it follows that Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe.. or thing is like. of to EFFECT therefore Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. you may describe where a place is located. Consequently.
above Example: The ceiling is above us. north / east / south Example: Ontario is west of Quebec. ideas. you will state your evaluation or recommendation and then support it by referring to your criteria. speed Example: Polar bears can swim at a speed of 40 km per hour. / west EVALUATION PARAGRAPH In an evaluation paragraph.near north/east/south/west PROPERTIES size Example: Polar bears are big in size. and possible actions. beside Example: Quebec is located beside Ontario. colour Example: Polar bears are usually white in colour. purpose Example: The purpose of the polar bear's fur is to keep it warm. shape Example: Polar bears have a special shape. MEASUREMENT length Example: The length of a polar bear's claws is 20 cm. In the paragraph. you make judgments about people. near Example: Many companies are located near Toronto. below Example: Most of Ontario is below Hudson Bay. You need to make your evaluation based on certain criteria that you develop. ANALOGY is like Example: A polar bear is like other bears in shape. 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 . resembles Example: A polar bear resembles other bears in shape. LOCATION in Example: Most of Canada's manufacturing is located in Ontario and Quebec. Example: Write a paragraph evaluating whether pesticides should be used on farms. width Example: The width of a polar bear's head is about 50 cm. mass / weight Example: Polar bears weigh up to 650 kg.
The connection between sentences in a paragraph can be shown in several ways. 5. Longman. First Steps in Academic Writing.paragraphorganizer. argue Example: I would argue that pesticides should not be used because they harm the environment. correct / Example: The belief that pesticides must be used is incorrect.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic. 1980. but. http://www.moral / immoral right / wrong important / trivial advise argue CRITERIA good / Example: The use of pesticides such as DDT is bad for the environment.htm 4. Ann Hogue. right / Example: It is wrong to use pesticides because they harm the environment. http://www. but principally by the use of transitional words and phrases. 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. Transitional words and phrases may be conjunctions. Writing Academic English. and so on. Ann Hogue. recommend Example: I recommend that pesticides should not be used because they are harmful to the environment. Longman. wrong trivial RECOMMENDATION suggest Example: I suggest that pesticides should not be used to control pests. bad incorrect moral / immoral Example: The use of pesticides to control pests is immoral because it harms the environment. such as for instance. 72 .html 2.ru/eng/1999/eng35-2. on the other hand. advise Example: I would advise farmers not to use pesticides if possible. and however. SOURCE: 1. http://archive.com/inner/about_us.htm 3. Alice Oshima. such as and.uottawa.1september. 1995. or explanatory expressions.
Transitional words and phrases act as signals. despite. the lab or the library. Words particularly suited to writing about causes and effects are as a result. distinguishing the East Coast from Central Canada and the West as surely as dominant dialects or political inclinations. or expanding the topic sentence. because. in common. They are organised around the three categories. Although most classes are scheduled between 8:30 and 22:00. In order to determine whether a paragraph is well developed or not. and process. They tell where the paragraph is going. and schedules. 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. Y is small and purple. on the other hand. X and Y are both purple. In this sense. Order of importance may be emphasized with transitional words and expressions such as first. or a place associated with thinking. 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. Transitional expressions such as equally. activities. Each organizational pattern has its own logical connectives.). just as. transitional words and phrases also act to hold sentences together. achieving unity. Some people need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully. Y is little. These words are often referred to as logical connectives because they make clear not only the order but also the meaning of the writing. activities. exemplifying. and otherwise may be used to emphasize comparison or contrast. finally. Every sentence must contribute to the paragraph by explaining. 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. It must have a single focus and it must contain no irrelevant facts. some after it sets. and therefore. consequently. many students would suggest the classroom." enumerated in the topic sentence. however. This section will discuss three of the most common types of paragraph structure: development by detail. Finally. some students do their best work before the sun rises. and schedules. The rest of the sentences provide various illustrations of this argument.) or subject by subject (X is big and purple. Being sedentary seems to inspire others. furthermore. the following paragraph: Although the interpretation of traffic signals may seem highly standardized. equally important. a second factor. Look at the following paragraph (you may have encountered it before): Work tends to be associated with non-work-specific environments. while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed. "environment. while others cannot produce anything without much dust and heat. for example. Some students work quickly and efficiently. In Montreal. If asked what space is reserved for learning. and most important. You may choose to compare either point by point (X is big. 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. it will suggest that most paragraphs are built of a combination of development strategies. Logical Connectives Additionally. Consider. They give directions. of major concern. Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs A paragraph is unified when every sentence develops the point made in the topic sentence. but not everything. What about the kitchen? The bedroom? In fact. clear paragraphs. comparison and contrast. similarly. Some need a less flexible schedule than others. a flashing red traffic light instructs drivers to careen even more wildly through intersections heavily populated 73 . close observation reveals regional variations across this country. least important. The topic sentence makes a general claim: that school work tends not to be associated only with school. any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space.
According to this dictionary. he or she could almost certainly orient him-orherself according to the surrounding traffic patterns." 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. and domesticity or on the other hand fickleness. My secretary. which type of development best describes the following paragraphs: detail. were any observant Canadian dropped from an alien space vessel at an unspecified intersection anywhere in this vast land. the little finger. and always removes his wristwatch. If you wanted to consider two or more aspects. comparison and contrast. no negative attributes detract from the "courage. "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 folly. for example. In my home town in New Brunswick. incorrigibly English. The forefinger supports and steadies the grip but supplies its own firmness against the thumb. in Montreal. womanish means "unsuitable to a man or to a strong character of either sex. but not tense or rigid. superficiality. Paragraph Development by Process Paragraph development by process involves a straightforward step-by-step description. and in Calgary. in contrast. It may begin with a brief comparison. which together account for most vehicles on the road. Process description often follows a chronological sequence: The first point to establish is the grip of the hand on the rod. Review: Paragraph Development Although most paragraphs contain a combination of development techniques. says a true gentleman "knows instinctively when I prefer to light my own cigarette. In startling contrast. finally. a single paragraph will contain development by a combination of methods. they drive differently according to the area in which they live. Paragraph Development by Combination Very often. point by point. Many paragraphs include lists of examples: The broad range of positive characteristics used to define males could be used to define females too. and vigor" the definers associate with males. near the heel of the hand. Those of you in the sciences will recognise it as the formula followed in the "method" section of a lab experiment. This paragraph compares traffic patterns in three areas of Canada. At its entry for woman Webster's Third provides a list of "qualities considered distinctive of womanhood": "Gentleness. "Captain Horatio Hornblower." Among the "qualities considered distinctive of manhood" listed in the entry for man. Bob 74 .with pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. third finger and middle finger contributing most of the firmness by pressing the cork solidly into the fleshy part of the palm. you would probably need more than one paragraph. In fact. or combination? 1. A process analysis might include a brief history of the process in question. absolutely firm and solid. never serves aces at me on the tennis court. process. traffic lights (along with painted lines and posted speed limits) do not apply to tractors. (from Roderick HaigBrown." Among the few true gentlemen extant. she says. All four fingers are curved around the handle. or pickup trucks. People in these areas have in common the fact that they all drive." and this is exactly what he does. 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. It is important to note that the paragraph above considers only one aspect of driving (behaviour at traffic lights). and move on to provide detailed descriptions of the subjects being compared. strength. It contrasts the behaviour of drivers in the Maritimes. but they are not. which should be along the upper side of the handle and somewhere near the top of the grip. with little abstraction. all terrain vehicles. in order to make a point about how attitudes in various places inform behaviour. This should be about half-way up the cork handle. affection.
when hockey was an outdoor art rather than indoor mayhem and at decent yacht clubs. they regard me warily. (from Harry Bruce. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. batters' helmets. guys to announce who's at bat over public address systems and. as if it were on stilts. manicured diamonds.Dylan and Pierre Elliott Trudeau come to mind. men were gentlemen and women were persona non grata? No. Combination of Development Methods 2. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. dugouts. Development by Detail 2. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3.the game they play is more tarted-up and sissy than the one I knew. gloves for every fielder -. which left them on the subsistence level as far as good farmland was considered." (from Allan Fotheringham. Am I one of those geezers who's forever jawing about the fact that. and of this they were both inclined to boast." Only recently did it occur to me that it might be worthwhile considering the extent to which this is true. Development by Detail 2. so is Canada to the United States. "The Softball was Always Hard") 1. (from Alexander Petrunkevitch. Development by Process 4. As Scotland is the hard northern cap to the British island. Development by Process 4. in his day. The tarantula shows an amazing tolerance to this exploration. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Joe Namath and Front Page Tom don't. Combination of Development Methods 4. and the glorious old days when the only football in the Maritimes was English rugger. "What is a Gentleman") 1. It may stand this way for several minutes. It also gave them both a heritage of spectacular beauty uncrowded by cities and towns. The molestation is so great and so persistent that the tarantula often rises on all eight legs. Development by Process 75 . Combination of Development Methods 3. Development by Detail 2. "The Wasp and the Spider") 1. The wasp crawls under it and walks over it without evoking any hostile response. Development by Detail 2. "Canada is the Scotland of North America. Development by Process 4. 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. "Scotland's Fate. (from Hugh MacLennan. To identify the species the wasp apparently must explore the spider with her antennae. Both countries were gouged by the retreating glaciers. above all. with the rich farmlands and cities of England just below her. Richard Burton. When I was young I often heard people say. but I will tell today's softball players that -with their fancy uniforms. When I tell young softball players I played the game bare-handed. Canada's Lesson" [edited]) 1.
to “get it. use a comma to follow conventions of naming.4. 76 . five general rules for comma use will help students use commas correctly. Quick Comma Rules. citing sources. commas are necessary for others to understand what we have said. In this module you will learn how to use commas correctly. use a comma with a coordinating conjunction to separate two independent clauses 3. Lessons will cover rules for comma use and common comma mistakes. 1. Although you shouldn’t use a comma unless you know a rule for it. dates. Commas should be placed before and after a non-essential element in the middle of a sentence 4. word. or phrase 5. 2. presenting addresses. etc. use a comma after an opening clause. Commas cause the reader to pause and better understand the elements that make up the sentence.. use a comma to set-off non-essential elements such as a phrase or clause. Some special situations for comma use are discussed toward the end of this module. It is not as easy to know where a writer’s thoughts are going inside a sentence. Combination of Development Methods Written by Dorothy Turner punctuation Commas Students often place commas throughout their papers as if they are sprinkling raisins on their oatmeal. use a comma to separate items in a series..” It is easy to know when someone has finished a sentence: we see a period there. In most situations.
complete sentence. then the items are like. a comma should not be used between the items. that the clause could stand on Note: Sometimes a series seems to be "like" when it is not. explore the module on run-on sentences). ers join Haunted by the memory of last year's painful knee surgery. a series of things to pick up at the market. if between ideas not. 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). or prepositional phrases. However. writers set these elements off 77 . but not really essential to understanding the basic assertion. and brussels sprouts—any coordinating vegetable that's green. there is some debate Two or more about whether the last item in a list of three items should take a comma. but. strong punctuation: a examples: semi-colon. yet. and I will be staying home flipping burgers and going to school. Writ She left her beautiful black leather handbag on the bus. the error is a "fused sentence. and to vary the rhythm in the sound of their sentences. nor does he like broccoli. independent Many grammarians would argue in this situation. broccoli. MLA format rules do require a comma together need before the last item in a series of three or more elements. the sentence will be a "run-on sentence": if no punctuation is included between independent clauses. green beans. she protected clauses her knee with a strong brace during the tennis match. then they are unlike items and should not be separated by commas. for. To signal the reader that a word. examples: Felix does not like spinach. or a comma and a Felix dislikes spinach. infinitive. washing the clothes. After graduation. or a series of adjective. Without adequate punctuation. nor. however. leaving out the last clauses joined comma is acceptable. In this its own as a situation. if the sentence makes sense. Maya is going to travel throughout Southeast Asia for a year. the error is a "comma splice" (for more detail. punctuation tells the reader Finding healthy. but this time we will bring mosquito repellant. phrase." if the coordinating conjunction is provided and the comma is omitted.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. For example. and mopping the floor are the This chores I hate most. 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. appetizing fast food is difficult. And the coordinating conjunctions—and. or dependent clause is non-essential information. The series may be a series of adjectives describing independent something. Doing the dishes. We will be going to the mountains again this summer. conjunction. 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. A series of two or more clauses items should be separated by commas.
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. only the comma separating the phrase from the rest of the sentence is needed. people read books for fun. or phrase Introductory Clauses: When beginning a sentence with an introductory clause (as in this sentence). My sister. John and Alex. In the first sentence. whose name. the speaker could have more than one sister—this particular sister is fun to hang out with. As you can probably tell. before television. construction of the new highschool will take an additional six months. Rule 4: use a comma after an opening clause. I thought you were going to study tonight instead of come with us to the movies. however. mild exclamations or interjections: Hey. if the names are essential to identifying the person. is fun to hang out with. Introductory words: Sometimes a sentence begins with a single word that needs to be set off from the rest of the sentence. Watch out. one should never separate a subject from the verb of the sentence: example: What she has always wanted is now within her reach. for clauses used as the subject of a sentence. as you can probably tell. If the phrase occurs at the beginning or end of the sentence. the problem is much bigger than we imagined. the speaker must have only one sister—my sister. Because we have had so much rain this year. Note: In the last example above. is pretty fun to hang out with. examples: As you can see. Once upon a time. However. In the second sentence. word. Maria. a comma is typically necessary to signal the reader as to when the introductory phrase or clause is complete. 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. pretty nervous about public speaking. by the way. Referring to what others have said shows that you are participating in an ongoing conversation about a topic. she is pretty nervous about public speaking. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. before computers. examples: She is. the names of Jake's friends are non-essential information: Jake has only two best friends. The information is thus enclosed by commas. John and Alex. Jake brought his best friends from school. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. Jake brought his best friends from school. 78 . the names should not be set off from the sentence. is Maria.by commas before and after the addition.
.Ok. . Examples of sentence adverbs include moreover. 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 don't want pineapple on my pizza. citations. Use a comma to separate a city from a state. furthermore. . Ebert & Roeper. . . 1979. she has the flu and will have to skip the concert. one month before my 30th birthday. and after the state before continuing with the rest of the sentence: I have lived in San Francisco. No. times. Sadly. for most of my life. and quotations have risen up over time. I cannot afford one. . however. examples: To help him understand how an internal combustion engine works. frankly. however. and unable to host his television program. she is the nicest person I have ever met. The acclaimed critic Roger Ebert has been ill recently. and mercifully. . and introductory appositive phrases that are essential to the sentence should never be separated from the subject by a comma. Note: Grammarians disagree about the word "hopefully" used as a sentence adverb. arguing that it is ambiguous—the writer could mean a hopeful prediction. names." Introductory Phrases: Introductory phrases add information to the sentence and create interest in and anticipation for the information to follow. they are enclosed by commas. but these conventions allow us to quickly share and process information. and after the year before continuing with the sentence: The twins were born in June. Never use a sentence adverb to connect two independent clauses unless you use a semi-colon before the sentence adverb. Most hate this construction. Rule 5: use a comma to follow conventions What follows reads a bit like a laundry list of comma use rules. I drew a diagram. sadly. but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how we look at it). Without a doubt. or "I am hoping. or if they occur in the middle of a sentence. many conventions for the presentation of dates. Use commas to surround titles or degrees: 79 . California. . Troublesome they may be. At the restaurant we all ordered burgers and fries. I would love a new plasma television. In San Francisco one finds plenty of good restaurants. . Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year. a name in a direct address: Miguel. do you want another cup of coffee? a sentence adverb: these are special transition words that always take a comma. nevertheless. then show me how you do it.
Tears were streaming down her face because she was happy. and that I would not be coming to work. after an independent clause. because I am sick. . Huck says. and started screaming about the grade on her essay.Professor Pete McSeed. ." 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. but a raft don't. corrected: I told my boss that I was sick and that I would not be coming to work. they're a mighty ornery lot. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. a colon should be used instead. and you got to make allowances. and an occasional well-placed comma to create voice." the phrase should be set off from the quote by a comma. Don't sprinkle commas throughout your writing to try and imitate a speaking voice. kings is kings. after all. . Don't put a comma after the main clause when a dependent clause follows it. Commas used with quotations are a bit tricky. noun phrases. When introducing a quote with a short introductory phrase like "He said." is wildly funny. Ph. Use a comma to emphasize a shift or to cause the reader to pause before an important contrast or point of emphasis. Don't place a comma between two sentence verbs or verb phrases. wrong: To err. corrected: I am not going to work today because I am sick. corrected: She walked out of the room and started screaming about the grade on her essay. wrong: I am not going to work today." or "As Huck puts it. is human. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. Don't use a comma to separate the subject from the verb. not sad. furious even. It's the way they're raised. Don't place a comma between two nouns." "Twain argues. However. "All I say is. or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object. You are going to make the cake for the party. Rely instead on language and logic. received his doctoral from Amherst College a year before taking a teaching job at Yale.. . wrong: She walked out of the room. Take them all around. Twain's short story "Hunting the Deceitful Turkey. He was angry. . 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. wrong: I told my boss that I was sick. Take a look at a parody of this kind of comma abuse by blogger fandomcommahate 80 . Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery.D. corrected: To err is human." 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. .
the people. Direct quote: After finishing the entire sundae. for being here! In this module. and question marks when they finish with a quote and move back to their own writing.I. So good for you. she said. which spawn them. Quotes within the quote still take punctuation marks. how to use quotation marks to express irony. and you may well be driving your English instructor up the wall if your commas are out of place. who. If you are writing an essay in MLA format. Writers use quotation marks to signal the reader that the text within opeining and closing quotes is not the writer's original material. there are rules that govern the placement of other punctuation with quotation marks. love comma abuse. However. Quotes & Quotation Marks Quotation marks are probably the most incorrectly used element of punctuation. who. love them. whether or not it is Ok to use quotes to identify a new term. Using Other Punctuation With Quotation Marks: Here is where things get tricky: students often just guess where to put commas. and hate. the quote should be double-spaced (in MLA format. comma abuse. fandoms. the comma. students are often confused about when to use single or a double quote. the perpetrators. however. The rules governing the use of quotation marks are specific. it must be offset and indented (the way the examples on this page are offset and indented). 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. though it is important to provide a citation letting the reader know the source of the information. who hate comma abuse. periods. them. who. and the. Block Quotes: When the quoted material is longer than four lines of your own text. do not use quotation marks with an offset quote as the offsetting substitutes for the punctuation. "And that's what I'm talking about!" Indirect quote: After she finished her chocolate sundae. In an indirect quotation. quotation marks are not used. when the writer paraphrases another person's words. love. she said that she wanted another one. Also? Everyone else. the people. Like. students don't usually sit down and read about how to use quotation marks properly. hate. double-spacing is maintained throughout the essay). hate. however. seriously. the people. however. the people. hate. 81 . and how to use quotation marks with direct quotes.
This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. or the addition of words to clarify meaning: In "Like a Fox. If the lead in is an independent clause. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark or exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. "In the first place God made idiots. .Commas and periods after a quotation go INSIDE the closing quote: "I was so tired that I fell asleep in the library. for example. but it also has thorns. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. when you need to make the quote fit the grammatical structure of your own sentence. use ellipses (three periods with a space between each period. use a colon: An analogy helps explain something complex by way of comparison with something that is easier to understand. Scientist Gail Monroe said." the 10-year-old protoganist repeatedly tries to break away from her parents and childhood. Then he made School Boards"? When omitting words in a quotation. . She asks his mother to let her go alone to the lake to join her friends. 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. . the author of the essay on the Novato Train Station might employ a statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. If the omitted material is after a complete sentence. for example. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. if the sentence itself is a question or exclamation. You do not need to change a letter to or from a capital to fit it into the structure of your sentence. Mark Twain once said. She argues that "nobody understands [her]" to anyone who will listen. This was for practice. to choose her own clothes. "The future of stem cell research [see definition] is in doubt. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) Capital letters: Basically. What is the context for Twain's comment." said Donna. Very well. stick with the actual text of the quoted material. (Edwin Bryant. however. ." A Quote Within a Quote: 82 ." For example. "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. keep the period then add the ellipses: Walker . . One exception would be when you begin a sentence with a quotation: here you would capitalize the first letter of the sentence. "Love is like a rose: it blooms and grows and creates joy. Brackets are also used to indicate a single word omission. and to walk to school rather than ride with her dad. Brackets: Brackets are used within a quote when you need to change a word. and a space before beginning the ellipses). . . where do I begin?" (Dr." A comma should be used before a quote begins to separate a lead-in phrase from the quotation. . The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains." A question mark or exclamation point goes inside the closing quote if the quote is a question or exclamation.
but people do it all the time. (Weis Supermarket. PA) "Fresh" Fish (Byward Market. Must have cash register experience and be "willing to work. In his book Free From School." which refers to the cloth women wrapped around their heads in medieval times. the terms should appear as regular. In this case. Evil in the Austin Powers movies uses air quotes. quotes can be construed as a sign of the author's laziness or inability to indicate irony in language. but my guess is that she wasn't being kind. 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. 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. Quotation Marks for Terms Before computers took the place of typewriters.' he demanded. '25 rupees. Pittsburgh. one is calling attention to the fact that the term is slang. the use of italics is preferred. Ontario) You must be "21" to enter this bar! (a fan's local bar) "Parents" No candy sold on this aisle. The English word wimp. I handed over the amount to him. Neither of the sentences below needs quotation marks to make the irony clear because the logic reveals the irony. thereafter.When quoting text that itself includes a quote. I had no idea what she meant. Ottawa. around familiar terms like "laser. he is sometimes taken advantage of by strangers. 'How much?' I asked." Dr. but incorrectly. PA) It is probably best to avoid using quotes for emphasis in college writing. which means "to be timid or cowardly. New terms should be placed in italics the first time they appear. 83 . I took a seat and he put my luggage on the overhead rack. Slang: Quotation marks may be used around a word to indicate that a word is a slang term. 'Ticket. as in "I just 'love' waking up at 6:00 am to catch a plane. use single quotation marks to enclose the internal quote and distinguish it from the primary quote. At sixteen. Today. quotation marks were used around words and phrases meant to be read as words or terms rather than for their content." (Rahul Alvarez. 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. unitalicized text." comes from the Old English word for "wimple. Mississippi) Help Wanted. For example." and so does Joey in a classic episode of Friends (click here to see this bit on YouTube). Often it is better to rely on the logic of the sentence to indicate the irony. She called me a "garden tool". Using quotes to express irony is tricky. Those telephone solicitors are so kind and thoughtful to call during dinner time. however." (Weiner World Restaurant.' he replied. Emphasis: Most grammarians will tell you that using quotes to denote emphasis is incorrect. Rahul Alvarez takes a year off from school to pursue an education of his own design. I just love telephone solicitors.
A short work is a work within a work. italics (or an underline.” said his lady to him one day. an article in a magazine. when italics are not available) are used to identify longer works. use a quote at the beginning. or a song or poem. magazines and newspapers." correct incorrect 4. and I have no objection to hearing it." correct incorrect 2." 84 . "The Present Hour. such as an episode of a TV series. “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr.” This was invitation enough. (Robert Luce. Bennet. Longer works include books. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West. Every time a new speaker talks. “for Mrs. full-length records (or cds). Works of art are also italicized. • • • The words of each speaker need to be enclosed in quotes In quotes that go on for more than a paragraph. "pay me one hundred dollars. “But it is. 1. “Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently. “You want to tell me. full-length plays. 1862) correct incorrect 3." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. then include the closing quote. on the first day of June. The Writer. Quotation Marks in Dialogue There are a few important rules for using quotations marks in dialogue. and she told me all about it. a chapter in a book. Long has just been here.” returned she. 2007. She has long been interested in the "woman question. TV series. the writer must begin a new line. Bennet replied that he had not.” Mr. Pride and Prejudice: “My dear Mr.Quotation Marks and Titles Quotation marks are used to set off the titles of short works. Bennet made no answer. but not at the end of the paragraph until you reach the end of the quote. films." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. Take a look at this dialogue from Jane Austen's novel. 2007. He advised me by letter that he would.
392-393). She said. expression. correct incorrect 10. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift." "She ought to know. Lewis. She ought to know.correct incorrect 5. The correct incorrect 9. ." correct incorrect 7." 11. I just love surprise quizzes." by Pierce F. correct incorrect Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph." correct incorrect 8. . The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. Sauer writes. She said. He correct incorrect 6. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b." 1988) 85 . . dude?" makes me crazy. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. In some manner. Geography is a science of observation. "What's up. I just "love" surprise quizzes. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister.
Haha. she says. Buddy. too. yes indeed. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. a whispery voice at best: If you please. And there were no birds singing. he doesn't smile." by Truman Capote. 86 . 1966) 13. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. Mr. Help me find my hat. Oh. (from "A Christmas Memory. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. Haha. No. I knew it before I got out of bed. he does have scars. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. It's Mr. Our hearts overturn. The door opens. Footsteps. Cooking. 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. We've thirty cakes to bake. His eyes tilt more. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making fruitcakes. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. they've gone to warmer country. Mr.12.
She ought to know." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem." "She ought to know. 1966) Correction 1." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. She has long been interested in the "woman question. on the first day of June. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 87 . 1862) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 3. The Writer." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 2. dude?" makes me crazy.(from "A Christmas Memory. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. "pay me one hundred dollars. She said. He said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. (Robert Luce. The expression. "What's up." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. "The Present Hour. 2007. He advised me by letter that he would." by Truman Capote. 2007. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. She said.
His eyes tilt more. Sauer writes.9. 1966) Answer given: 13. Haha." by Pierce F. 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. as well as how to use colons and semicolons effectively in their writing. And there were no birds singing. they are also important symbols. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow." Mr. I just "love" surprise quizzes. Help me find my hat. too. These symbols really get around. in computer code. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. 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." 1988) Answer given: 12.—Mark Twain Did you know that in Greek. Lewis. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 10. The door opens. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making Christmas fruitcakes. Footsteps. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. . the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. Buddy. It's Mr. . Objectives: • learn to use semicolons and colons between independent clauses 88 . and have been since before the 17th century. I knew it before I got out of bed. In the English language. Capote." by Truman Capote. they've gone to warmer country. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. The rules governing semicolon and colon use in English writing are quite specific. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. she says. by Haha. Oh. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. In this module students will learn these rules. he does have scars. No. 11. Our hearts overturn. 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. (from "A Christmas Memory. Mr. In some manner. yes indeed. 392-393). turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. a whispery voice at best: If you please. he doesn't smile. Geography is a science of observation. I just love surprise quizzes. Truman Cooking. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. . Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. We've thirty cakes to bake. and in emoticons : ). Memory.
" "moreover. now. For example. on the other hand. partly... the sentence must be an independent clause. and none of my good friends is here. It is not acceptable to connect a phrase to a clause with a semicolon. what is more to indicate contrast or concession: however. for one thing .at the next.. at least not to me.. when the items themselves require commas. however. what each comma in the list is being used for can be unclear. Maria made a big Italian dinner for the family. nevertheless. afterward. therefore. exactly the opposite. rather. . This party is really boring: the music is terrible. as a result to indicate condition: otherwise Note: On either side of the semicolon.for another (thing).• • • 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. so to speak. meanwhile. then. nobody is talking. also.. then too.. In this case.." "at least. but not as strong as a period. Usually she wakes up with a smile on her face. Using a quote also shows that you are informed. besides. moreover.sometimes. sometimes she wakes up ready to bite my head off.then to indicate addition: likewise. semicolons are used to separate the items in the series. in addition. at least to indicate a result: consequently. still. accordingly. .. she made the cannolis herself! Below is a list of words typically used as sentence adverbs: to indicate time: then. thus.partly. A semicolon is stronger separation than a comma + coordinating conjunction. later. sometimes. Semi-Colon Use With Commas in a List Typically. 89 . instead. and so they cannot be used to connect clauses. soon. henceforth. on the contrary. Sentence adverbs are transition words rather than conjunctions. who you quote says something about your point of view —great minds think alike. Writers often use a semi-colon when they want to state an idea in more specific terms. For example." "therefore. one the one hand. however. For example. items in a list are separated by commas. furthermore. Semicolon with Sentence Adverbs: A semi-colon (or a period) should also be used with sentence adverbs such as "however.." and "even so" to connect two sentences.. hence. moreover. at one moment.
Illinois.m. and the second clause as the movement(s) of a symphony. green and red peppers. and others whose favorite beverage was human blood. woolly hens and sheep that grew on trees. New York. even if the list includes only a single item. correct: When you come to take the exam. . a calculator. so be very careful to ensure that the clause is complete: incorrect: When you come to take the exam. North Dakota. but it can also be used to introduce another independent clause that illustrates or elaborates upon the idea in the first clause. which takes up the entire paragraph. I am going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for fajitas: chicken. The sentence begins with an independent clause. 3:00 p. (Ten Great Events in History. tortillas. cumin. men whose only food was snakes.m. and in one island a valley where only devils dwelt.m.This summer on our road trip we will visit Fargo. however. In the first version. bring the following items: pencils. John 11:35 Job 3:2 Titles and Subtitles A colon is used between a title and subtitle of a book or article. a calculator. Massachusetts. and a dictionary. Madison. Wisconsin. New York. Colon Use Between Independent Clauses A Colon can be used after an independent clause to introduce a list. The Bible When referring to passages in the Bible. dragons and unicorns. These days. and so the sentence is incomplete. I agree with the statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. men with only one foot. and Boston. 10:30 p. and hot sauce. Chicago. the independent clause lacks a direct object. use a colon between the chapter and the verse. illustrates the idea in that first clause: The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived: one-eyed men. James Johonnot) Other Conventions of Colon Use Colon in Stating Time Use a colon between the hour and the minute." It is not acceptable to use a colon after an incomplete sentence to begin a list." the rest of the sentence. but that so large that they held it over them like an umbrella when they lay down in the sun to rest. Colon Use With Items in a List A colon is used after an independent clause to preface a list of items. men with a lip long enough to cover their whole face. This mistake is corrected in the second version. a pencil sharpener. Take a look at the following example. a pencil sharpener. and a dictionary. bring the following: pencils. One could think of the first clause as a kind of overture. 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. "The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived. two-headed men and men with no heads at all.
short sentence. Colons: Annoying Convention or Useful Tool? (just made this one up) Art/Sci Collision: Of Human-Robot Bondage (title of a new lecture series at the American Museum of Natural History) Smarts in a Bottle: UK Government Evaluates Cognition Enhancers (title of article at Wired. How is the colon used in a sentence? For each sentence below. The title-colonsubtitle format is very popular in newspapers and popular magazines. Spiegler semicolon used in a sentence? 2. How is Dear Sir: the Dear Mr. 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 . or even inappropriately humorous for the content of the essay that follows.com) Salutations In a business letter. The earth has two motions-a daily rotation upon its axis. 3. a colon is placed after the salutation rather than a comma (used in informal letters). To Whom it May Concern: 1.pretentious. and a year revolution around the sun.
(Rabelais) 92 . I watched the sun pass below the horizon. semicolon colon For each sentence supplied below. add a second sentence. liberty. devoid of color and sound—but. it throbs with life. and the pursuit of happiness. Make sure that your choice reflects correct semicolon or colon use. Helen Keller's world is built of touch sensations. died without speaking—others spoke without dying. without color and sound. that among these are life. that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. joined to the first with either a semicolon or a colon. 7. semicolon colon 5.colon 4. We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal. Some semicolon colon 6.
Contexts for Colon & Semicolon Use As mentioned in the lesson on colon use between independent clauses. check out our version of the sentence. Try out this technique in the text boxes below. try to connect several illustrations with semicolons. A starting sentence is provided for you. 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 . you connect several illustrations together with semicolons.8. The colon can even set up a kind of mini-essay within your essay if after the first clause. All you need to do is add sentences that illustrate or elaborate on that idea. In at least one of the exercises. When you complete your sentence. a colon can be used to great effect when a writer wants to illustrate or elaborate on an idea. The park was full of people.
” flourisheth. and drinks. It is also useful for creating balanced and smooth-flowing sentences since good balance comes from the repetition of similar structures or ideas. prize but not being rack flower of the to lack’d the field so the and worth lost. fertilizer. 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. value. correct incorrect 2. Consider the following balanced sentence: “What we have we Whiles we enjoy it. a starter sentence is provided for you. Psalm 103:15) as grass. as a he Twins amount to a permanent riot. to create balance. When you complete your sentence. and clippers.Semicolons in Context A semicolon is a useful tool for connecting two closely related ideas. Bring to the picnic: a blanket 94 to sit on. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. See our version We acquire our highest ideas in childhood. 1. See our version In America. . Mark Twain) Now give this technique a try yourself. 1. repeat structures and ideas. Remember. A cup of coffee w akes me up in the morning.) As for man his days are (Old Testament. See our version Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection. iv. As in the colon exercise above. Why. check out our version of the sentence. (The Babies Speech. then we (Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing. good garden gloves. a salad. w e hurry.
and let the air out of the tires. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. 95 is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 5. no matter how much you'd like to. when you're in one. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 4.correct incorrect 3. You correct incorrect 7. I don't want to make money. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. I just want to be wonderful. (Molly Ivins) . My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. 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. Fashion correct incorrect 9. stop digging. (Marilyn Monroe) correct incorrect 8. Use a semicolon to connect two closely related ideas about places you like to visit. 11. (Joan Rivers) correct incorrect Write sentences demonstrating your understanding of correct semicolon and colon use according to the directions below. (Molly Ivins) first rule of holes. (Dorothy Parker) correct incorrect 10. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. (Coco Chanel) can't ignore politics. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. The correct incorrect 6.
96 . Use a colon to introduce an in-depth explanation or elaboration of something.12. Use a colon to introduce a list of activities you enjoy. 13.
fertilizer. The first rule of holes. Use a colon to introduce a list of items a student needs to be prepared for the first day of classes. 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. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 3. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. and clippers.14. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6. stop digging. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. I don't want to make money. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. 1. and drinks. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. (Marilyn Monroe) Answer given: 97 . Correction Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. I just want to be wonderful. Bring to the picnic: a blanket to sit on. when you're in one. You can't ignore politics. good garden gloves. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. a salad. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 2. no matter how much you'd like to.
98 . and to use end punctuation correctly and effectively in writing. (Coco Chanel) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 9. one may choose instead to use a question mark. . a period is seen in the middle of a sentence. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. order: Children will stay within school grounds during recess. They will discover the problem for themselves. students will learn the rules for correct use of end punctuation. advice: You should not be swimming so soon after eating. an exclamation mark. in these situations. (Dorothy Parker) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 10. a period is used in titles. One almost never sees a question mark or an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence. In this module. such as "She laughed at my joke. . gives advice. or makes a request—though with requests. Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. and let the air out of the tires. .? ? ? The Period A period. abbreviations. . and placenames. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. also called a "full stop." An imperative sentence: a period is also used to conclude a sentence that issues an order. and so. ! ! ! ." is used to signal the end of most kinds of sentences . or a question mark. on the other hand.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. A period. such as "I believe it will rain today. the period at the end of a sentence: A declarative sentence: a period is used to end a sentence that states a fact. (Joan Rivers) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct End Punctuation T he end of a sentence is signalled by a period." or an opinion. has many uses in addition to ending a sentence: for example.
1. where do I begin?" (Dr. If your voice goes up at the end of the sentence. Col. (a) (iii) Ellipses An ellipses. Ph. Please send her my congratulations on getting the promotion. unless the number or letter is enclosed in parentheses: I. is used to show an ommission of words in quote. . long terms. Little rise in your voice indicates a level of formality and polite hesitation.00 $. a period expresses this polite tone. 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. . An indirect question: a period is used in a sentence that includes a question.89 $45 $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. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific.D. request: Would you please change the oil for me. other uses of the period Periods and Money A period is used between dollars and cents.2.A. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start.150 $1. use a question mark.We should go to the party tonight. organizations. use brackets ([ ]) to indicate the ommission. M.D. Walker .D. A. .D. . No period is used when money is rounded to dollars: $45. 1. (Edwin Bryant. The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. .150. M. . Periods are also used after numbers or letters in an outline. . but is itself not a question. radio stations. If a single word is ommitted. Mr.67 $1 Periods and Abbreviations Periods are not used in the abbreviations of familiar institutions. Very well. or a series of three periods (with a space between the last word or the period at the end of a sentence). Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) 99 .1. Ms. I wondered why she asked us if we had our bathing suits. 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. . Hilary asked us if we wanted to go swimming this afternoon.
overuse of exclamation marks make it seem as if a writer is relying on symbols rather than language to convey meaning. if the sentence itself is a question. What is the context for Twain's comment. But be careful not to overuse this technique. In the English language. "Wow! It's lucky we caught this in time. As discussed above. if the sentence itself is an exclamation." 100 . to use an exclamation mark for strong emotions. an exclamation point goes inside a closing quote if the quote is an exclamation. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. place the punctuation outside the closing quote." and "No!" for example. Skip the additional punctuation: His doctor exclaimed.The Question Mark Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. In a series of questions. Then he made School Boards"? Use a question mark in parentheses to express doubt or uncertainty. it is acceptable to abbreviate questions after the initial question if the structure is clear. do not use question marks after indirect questions or polite requests. or use it as a substitute for explanation when an explanation would be useful. The captain was born in 1799 (?). 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. Wow! Did you really get an A+ on that exam? Let's take a road trip! Listen! I think I hear something. 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. This was for practice. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark by adding in the usual comma or a period. I can't believe you got your nose pierced! Note: In a quotation. There is a world of difference between "No. however. exclamation points allow writers to quickly let a reader know that a statement is emphatic. a term used to express joy. Do not double up punctuation when using a an exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. "In the first place God made idiots. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. and died in 1854. Be careful.
Read through the passages and decide where you think the exclamation 101 . for NATO He 2.) Supply 1.Fixing Common End Punctuation Mistakes If you discover the comment "EP" (for "faulty end punctuation") in the margin of a paper you have received back from your instructor. þÿ I am never going to get this project done on time 3.) Did I forget closing punctuation altogether? (Seems unlikely. I can't believe I flunked English 10. but sometimes this happens. needed but (including now he in works abbreviations). 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. I haven't seen you for ages 9. þÿ Please do not use cell phones in our restaurant 8. þÿ Mrs Henley brought me a basket of muffins when I was sick last week 4. þÿ end used punctuation to work wherever for the it is FBI. 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.) Did I over-do it with the exclamations? (Use exclamation marks sparingly. þÿ What are all of these candy wrappers doing all over the floor 7. þÿ Is there time to finish desert before we need to get to the movie 5. Twain uses many exclamation marks and question marks. asking yourself the following questions may help you quickly figure out where you went wrong. þÿ Don't forget to pick up your prescription 6. mild exclamations do not take exclamation marks. but these have been replaced with periods. In this passage. þÿ Jenny.
Go along with the rest of the dream. and that butterfly." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. 1. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. indeed! and is it a dream that you're to be burned to-morrow? Ho-ho -. Or. When I next came to myself. Why. I'm in no hurry. and fell to making fun of my sorry plight." "What dream. dream?" I'm in no hurry. "All "Tell right. "let the what dream go on. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. I gasped with surprise. stood before me.. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules." 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. My first thought was. and that I am talking to you. Clarence. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. and that butterfly." -33"Oh. la.a person who never existed.points and question marks belong. what an astonishing dream I've had." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. copy and paste the text into the text box and do the editing there. "Well. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. in his light-hearted way. Copy the passage into a word processor for revision and then paste your corrected version in the text box. "What. I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something." dream. what "let the dream go on. "What!" I said." "Prithee "What dream? Why. my breath almost got away from me. 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." I said resignedly. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. Clarence. if you prefer." But he only laughed in his light-hearted way and fell to making fun of my sorry plight.. "Are you here yet. me. a light flashed in my eyes.answer me that!" 102 . My first thought was. stood before me! I gasped with surprise. "you here yet? Go along with the rest of the dream! scatter!" But he only laughed.. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. my breath almost got away from me." I said resignedly." I said. "Well. "All right. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time.a person who never existed. Scatter. and that I am talking to you.
chicken-livered superstitions that ev -oh. and he was like to go out of his mind with fright. Clarence? Not many. in his malice.hesitatingly: "and there be other reasons -and weightier. is be need! a I man do -want speak to out. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was. What but I are daren't. and finally crept close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news in -34a whisper.The shock that went through me was distressing. help me to devise some way of escaping from this place!" "Now do but hear thyself! Escape? Why. idiotic. the silliest bosh in the world! Why. "Oh. I have told it! Ah.for you ARE my friend. One may not hope to escape. they?" indeed daren't!" "Why." After a pause -. pure bosh. they ones? say -oh. even in a dream." "No doubt. would be very far from being a jest. damn Merlin!" But Clarence had slumped to his knees before I had half finished. So I said beseechingly: "Ah. for I knew by past experience of the lifelike intensity of dreams. has woven a spell about this dungeon. 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. certainly a superior man like 103 . man. the corridors are in guard and keep of men-at-arms. then he stole to the door and peeped out. aren't you? -. "Merlin. tell you. by any means. I hope?" "Full a score. be there brave. chuckleheaded. Oh call them back before it is too late!" Now this strange exhibition gave me a good idea and set me to thinking. dream or no dream. beware! These are awful words! Any moment these walls may crumble upon us if you say such things. in sooth. that maundering old ass? Bosh. pulled one way by desire. and shouted: "Merlin has wrought a spell! merlin. only friend I've got. poor lad.don't fail me. what is the matter? Why do you blench? Why do you tremble so?" "Oh. -. listening. But how many. no doubt. be merciful to a poor boy who means thee well. "Come. fair or foul. that to be burned to death. 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. I now began to reason that my situation was in the last degree serious. forsooth! That cheap old humbug. come. it does seem to me that of all the childish." "Other "Well. Clarence. for an thou betray me I am lost!" I laughed the only really refreshing laugh I had had for some time. and was a thing to be avoided. good boy. that I could contrive. the other way by fear. a but good -" lad!" there's He hesitated. be kind to me.
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. do it no more. Because I'm a magician myself. what professional writers do that many beginning writers do not is to carefully proofread their work to make sure that before publication. because it will help you tell the difference between sentence fragments and complete sentences. Dependent clauses begin with subordinating words (relative pronouns.me ought to be shrewd enough to contrive some way to take advantage of such a state of things. By themselves. Keep the distinction between dependent and independent clauses in mind. However. I went on thinking. look me in the eye. when writers are caught up in the flow of their ideas and are trying to capture those ideas on the page. each sentence passes the test for completeness. However. In this module you will learn to spot fragments in your work and to turn those fragments into complete sentences. The arrangement of the words follows the rules of English grammar. Groups of words that modify part or all of an independent clause are called dependent clauses. Do you know why I laughed?" "No -but for our blessed Lady's sake." Grammatical sentences Correcting Sentence Fragments A sentence must be able to stand on its own as a completed thought. writers often end up with sentences that are not complete—"fragments" of thought that need something more to stand on their own. dependent clauses form sentence fragments. Then I said: -35"Get up. they do not always pay close attention to the stops and starts of thoughts. has a subject and a complete or finite verb. prepositions. 104 ." "Well. or adverbs). As a result. and ends with a period. I'll tell you why I laughed. Definition 2: A sentence is group of words that begins with a capital letter. Pull yourself together. Complete sentences are also sometimes called independent clauses. and worked out a plan.
A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence punctuated as if it were complete. and other groups of words that lack a subject or a verb. in which a conjunction links two simple sentences. the scientist finally made a breakthrough. Her things that meant so much to her. and in the second paragraph. and the Blue Fairy granted his wish. “hoped” is the verb. It has a subject--“the scientist”--but not a verb. which have one subject and one verb. the scientist finally. . Consider the following passages to see if you can locate the sentence fragments: She didn't want to be on vacation anymore. the word "when" turns the clause into a subordinate clause. Dependent clauses. 3) Complex sentences. “After” is the subordinating word. or After years of disappointment in her search for a cancer cure. She wanted to be back with her things. (“Pinnochio” is the subject. The clouds drifting in the sky. 1) Simple sentences.. and he became a real boy. The last sentence in the first paragraph lacks a sentence verb. . In each paragraph. Example: After Pinnochio saved Gepetto. other examples . and post office in every city. which combine types 2 and 3. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. 105 .. You need to fix them. so that your reader can understand your thoughts. Example: After the Blue Fairy granted his wish. Below. This thought feels incomplete. Think of them as broken or incomplete thoughts. Pinocchio lived happily ever after. When people knew the shopkeeper by name and knew about each other’s lives. and examples are given to help you identify and correct fragments in your own writing. My favorite flavor of ice cream.) 4) Compound-Complex sentences. Correcting Sentence Fragments. ) 2) Compound sentences. the scientist finally gave up. the last sentence is a fragment. (“After the Blue Fairy granted his wish” is a dependent clause. Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Verb: After years of searching for a cancer cure. the Blue Fairy granted his wish. baker. The downtown takes you back to the time when there was a single sweet shop. In the rest of this module. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. The two puppies. students will learn how to correct sentence fragments. We wonder what the scientist finally did. the common sources of sentence fragments are identified. are called sentence fragments. 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.It is useful to group sentences into 4 types. which join a dependent clause to an independent clause.
While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. (subject: “Tess and her mom”) The slaves were hoping to be free. At this point. After I changed my fuel filter. In each of these shows. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. Corrected: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. Corrected: I zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. and so they seem like correct sentences even when they are not.” or participles. After I changed my fuel filter. Went to the video store. all living in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. are not complete by themselves. (complete verb: “were drifting”) Verb forms that end in “ing. In the real world. They need an auxiliary or “helping” verb. my mother decided not to go skydiving with us. Who led the slaves to freedom. a little rascally boy to take after the father. “were” is the helping verb that completes “drifting. Moses was the prophet who led the slaves to freedom. my car’s gas mileage improved. (subject: “The slaves”) Sentence Fragments Made up of Dependent Clauses: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. Hoping to be free.Corrected: My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip. (verb: “chased”) The clouds were drifting in the sky. 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.” Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Subject: Zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. In the last example above. (verb: “is”) The two puppies chased each other. fragments are sometimes quite difficult to spot. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. a steadfast and masculine father. 106 . They are often closely connected to a point in a previous sentence. however. (subject: “I”) Tess and her mom went to the video store. Goldilocks dreamed of flying. you may be thinking these fragments are pretty easy to identify. a proper and demure mother.
eating. The most American of sports is experiencing a real return to popularity. be very careful here. Baseball. A fragment can be used to present an answer to a question: How did we win the tournament? Nerve. Ozzie & Harriet's house. eating. Listening. Is either of the out following to eat. 1. the subject must be located. What is a Answer given: 2. Occasionally. Answer each question below as best you can. not? There are many wonderful things to do in San Francisco. Is either of the following sentences a fragment? Why or why not? I love going Answer given: 5. A fragment can create emphasis on a single word or phrase: He stood stock still. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. long sentence is actually a fragment. The verb "living" is not complete. For example. 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. sentence a Especially fragment? for Why or Thai why food. What must a sentence Answer given: 3. Get a bicycle. Answer given: 4. so that the sentences can be seen more clearly . a little rascally boy to take after the father. a proper and demure mother. Waiting for the sound of an approaching car. it is acceptable to use a sentence fragment for a special effect.The last. Wow! I never knew that you could play soccer so well. Yeah. However. —Mark Twain You will not regret it. 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. temporarily. In each of these shows. Answer given: 107 . A sentence fragment can also be used to express a strong emotion: Selma told her dad she finished her homework. a steadfast and masculine father. One technique for spotting fragments is to reformat your essay. if possible. Using Sentence Fragments for Special Effect. and so the sentence is a series of phrases. right! She didn't even open her math book. as a worksheet. The initial assumptions and the definition of human nature being totally ambiguous. all live toether in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. With this technique. If you live... To correct the sentence. She wants a home with a white picket fence. Your reader may assume the fragment is unintentional if the rest of your writing is not polished and free of errors. and eating. you use a simple command to quickly separate each sentence onto its own line.
however. 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. 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." "these." without a comma. We won't finish it if we go to the beach. semi-colons. Answer given: Run-on Sentences Run-on sentences are sentences with "signal" problems. If a writer wants to be heard. Stronger punctuation is needed to connect two independent clauses.6. but. Without appropriate punctuation readers are forced to determine the correct relationships. however. or. Make sure your paragraph is free of sentence fragments. or else abandon the text altogether out of frustration. There are three variations of run-on sentences: sentences that use only a comma to join 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. Write a paragraph explaining what "freedom" means to you. or "comma splices. nor. for. as in the following sentence: comma splice: There is time to finish the project. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. or "fused sentences." "that. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. however. Often comma splices occur when the second clause begins with "this. corrected: There is time to finish the project. but we won't finish it if we go to the beach. coordinating conjunctions and sentence adverbs appropriately Correcting Comma Splices A comma splice occurs when a comma is used without a coordinating conjunction to join two independent clauses together. that a period creates stronger separation between ideas than the other options. she must be able to tell the reader how her ideas go together." and sentences that are simply joined by coordinating conjunctions like "and. however. so. In this module students will learn • • to recognize and correct run-on sentences to use colons. We can use a semi-colon if the logical connection between the statements is clear: corrected: There is time to finish the project. Note." or "those". or yet) to connect two independent clauses. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. Readers look for punctuation to signal the end of one independent clause and the beginning of another. We can also use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and." sentences without any punctuation at all connecting independent clauses. Separating the two clauses into two independent sentences with a period is always an option. 108 .
Danielle is going. and they were the best days of the whole vacation. it is the colors. A coordinating conjunction may be present in a fused sentence. Use the same techniques for correcting fused sentences as you would use to correct comma splices (as described in the previous section). greet you and buzz around like honeybees to help you obtain whatever treat it is you are craving. corrections: I ate the whole pizza. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids. On our trip to Los Angeles. it’s a whole community center. The Phoenix is more than just a performance center. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids 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. 1. Answer given: 7. Answer given: 3. Answer given: 2. 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). and city surrounding the theater that are most important. Correcting Fused Sentences Sentences are said to be "fused" when there is no punctuation connecting independent clauses. too. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. I'm going to see Gwen Stefani this weekend. Being located in a prime spot along Columbus Ave. examples: fused sentences: I ate the whole pizza it was excellent. the friendly clerks behind these cases. 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 . I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD but you can borrow it any time. but without an accompanying comma. some with subtle Italian accents. the punctuation is still inadequate. Answer given: 6. people. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD. it was excellent. Two large display cases adorned with a variety of different pastries. 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. On our trip to Los Angeles. 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. but you can borrow it any time. Answer given: 8. The theater alone is not what makes it so unique. Answer given: 5. colorful fruit tarts. Answer given: 4.corrected: This drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-to seven hours.
pronoun-antecedent agreeement is about parts of a sentence fitting together so that the reader does not stumble over mixed messages. right? However. Pronouns: A pronoun refers to or stands in for a noun. Simple to fix. These "pronoun reference" problems often arise between sentences when a general pronoun such as "that. problems arise when the antecedent for a pronoun is unclear." or "it" is used to refer to an idea in a previous sentence. then she realized she had brought the wrong book. her." where "their" (plural) is not matched in number with "Everyone" (singular). she. you. I. Proofread to ensure that there are no run-on sentences. 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. what. Stella’s is not just a place like Starbucks to stop in. object pronouns are pronouns used as the target of a verb in a sentence. 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). etc. to write text free of pronoun-antecedent and pronoun reference mistakes. as in John gave me the book. or two antecedents joined by "and" "or" or "nor. 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. etc. grab a muffin and coffee and run. students. Answer given: 9. it." In addition. we. and they. Write a paragraph about a favorite holiday memory. whom.). Answer given: 10.) or with indefinite words (person. 110 . Object pronouns include me. Answer given: Problems with Pronouns Like Subject-Verb agreement. he. These include. men. us. the issue gets more complicated when you are dealing with collective nouns (the crowd. There are many different types of pronouns used in many different situations: subject pronouns are pronouns used as the subject of a sentence. who. Answer given: 1. got a large latte. and them. Hoping to get some work done before school. Helena went to the coffee shop." "this. example: Janet and I had a great dinner last night. you him. and opened her notebook. This is the problem in the following sentence: "Everyone has their share. to avoid gender bias when using pronouns. it.to offer. the noun replaced by the pronoun is called the "antecedent" of the pronoun. doctor. put on her headphones.
For example. demonstrative pronouns are used to refer to ideas or objects rather than people. anyone. which. yours. or both singular. "Agreement" means that the pronoun is consistent with the "person" "number" and "gender" of the antecedent." There are many different indefinite pronouns. theirs. but here are a few of the most common: one. No invitation is required. none. and when possessive pronouns are used before a noun to establish ownership." or "They say that Brittney Spears is crying out for help with her recent antics. however. his. as in "The tan chihuahua is the dog that I want. her example: I believe that is his book." then the pronoun must be we or us. and that. She will be reimbursed for the pizza by the Club. because they can create an unacceptable tone. The relative pronoun stands in the for the noun antecedent. example: Mediterranean dishes are good for your heart. interrogative pronouns are used to begin questions. Be careful in academic writing with these pronouns. or they. each. our. "You should always remember that heroes are made. everybody. For example. whom. all. place. agreement in number: the pronoun and antecedent must both be plural. These include pasta dishes. 111 . Somebody in the Women's Club will have to bring the pizza to the party tonight. your." acceptable form: Anyone can come to the event this evening. their. what. For example. hers. its mine. relative pronouns are used to signal the beginning of a relative clause in the middle of a sentence. For example. who.possessive pronouns are used to indicate a state of ownership by a subject referenced in the possessive pronoun." Relative pronouns include which. whom. as in "anyone. and those. as opposed to you. Possessive pronouns are mine. and I hauled three loads of trash from the fraternity to the dump yesterday. fresh fish and seafood dishes. not born. that. these. if the antecedent is "Johnny. The interrogative pronouns are who. Demonstrative pronouns include this. Johnny. agreement in person: the pronoun and antecedent have the same subject. 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. indefinite pronouns are used to refer to an indefinite person. either. Gabe. anybody. Next year. his. or thing." or "some. many. several. Note: sometimes "they" and "you" are used as indefinite pronouns. we will let someone else do the annual clean-up. ours. they take an adjective case: my. Confusion often arises with indefinite pronouns. sombody. Gabe and I. both. No. and salads.
blame. . error: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. . it is considered an adjective. . . . even when made to agree. error: Every problem correct: Every problem has its solution. 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. Note: Be careful when a noun is in possessive case. Use "that when the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence (when the clause is "restrictive"). which I really should not have done since I had so much work to do. as in Dickens'. ." 112 .agreement in gender: the pronoun and antecedent. . . . faults solution. The best course of action is to avoid pronouns altogether. third-person. can be used. . . For more on eliminating gender bias in writing. he correct: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times." an indefinite pronoun. "Would you please pick up the flowers that I ordered today?" and "I watched Grey's Anatomy last night. should not promote a gender bias. For example. Dickens shows that . 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. Examples of Pronoun Antecedent Agreement: Take a look at the following sentences showing agreement problems and their corrections: error: Everybody correct: Everybody has faults. also Ok: One can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: one can enroll online or in person at the administration building . use "which" when the relative clause is just a detail. error: It is correct: It is you who is to blame. . . because when a noun is in possessive case. . visit the module on shifts. you has has that is shows their their to that . but this pronoun can sound a bit formal. "One. Gender bias is often a problem in English because the English language has no genderneutral. better: Students can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: they can enroll online or in person at the administration building. personal pronoun. or: Enroll in classes in one of two ways: online or in person at the administration building . 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.
and going to the store requires planning and much consolidation. though. (I/me) Answer given: 113 . Make sure the pronoun is grammatically consistent with the antecedent and the rest of the sentence. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they 4. and ___ have always been good friends. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 7.(What does it refer to?) correct: When you live in a rural area. (What does this refer to in the second sentence?) correct: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. Pronoun reference mistakes usually occur between sentences. stores can be very far away. particularly when modifiers and clauses distance the antecedent from the pronoun. error: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. though _____ were written many hundred years ago. and it requires planning and much consolidation when it comes to making trips to town. 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. 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. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: it 6.Pronoun Reference Problems Pronoun reference problems are very common in the work of developing writers. Mary. Supply a pronoun to go in place of the underline. Every man who does wrong knows that _____ should suffer the penalty. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: he 2. I will do ____. This feeling can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. You. You and ___ shall go. but they know to proofread their work to check for such mistakes. stores can be very far away. Aesop's fables are still read. Take a look at the following sentences with pronoun reference problems: error: If I took that bug out of her hair. though. This can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. too. Whatever you ask of me. Experienced writers make pronoun reference mistakes. The more people know about plants and flowers the more ____ enjoy ____ Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they them 5. or when a sentence contains several nouns. 1.
11. Answer given: Find the antecedent for the relative pronoun used in each sentence below. To _____ were you speaking? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: whom 12. It is full of floating ice. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. _____ do you think I am? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 13. Answer given: 17. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me In the following sentences. From it we had a wonderful view. 21. He said that he saw you and ____ at the mall. The river is dangerous. 16. Spare the birds. that) so as to form complete sentences. The Swiss revere the name of William Tell. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me 9. Answer given: 114 . You have read of him. Be careful to place each subordinate clause as near its anteccedent as possible. which.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 8. We reached the mountain top. whom. _____ began the argument? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 15. Were both you and (I/me) invited? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 10. _____ did you see at the party? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom 14. Answer given: 20. Goodness is the only thing that never fails. Thomas Jefferson was an intimate friend of Washington's." Write your answer in the text box. _____ 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. They cheer us by their songs. Answer given: 19. supply the missing word: "who" or "whom. Answer given: 18. Everybody was invited except you and (I/me).
) and in person (gender). Marcos or Pete will give us their help. as in Kate dances well (not Kate dance well). Every person in the class made their complaints to me. Objectives: By the end of this module. the individuals become aware of being at odds with others. a singular subject takes a singular verb form. Answer given: 30. Jack met a number of people. She met each difficulty and danger. Answer given: 27. the correct subject/verb combination is easy for writers to figure out. However. Answer given: 28. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: none Correct the pronoun antecedent error in each sentence or group of sentences below. Conversely. Neither of the children ate their carrots. In a sentence.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: thing 22. or in "sync. etc. Answer given: 29. and overcame them by her great courage. This module covers these confusing situations. and provides helpful strategies for locating the subject and choosing the appropriate verb form. who to elect for president—they are in accord.. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: time 23. but none whom he knew. As he approached the village. or I hate okra (not I hates okra). 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. Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: chain 24. and stumbles over the text rather than gleaning your message. 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. what to have for dinner. 25. No one knows what the future has in store for them. In this module we will cover the basic and the not so basic rules for creating sound subject-verb agreement. plural with plural. The administration is proud of their policies. 115 . Answer given: 26. Time that is once lost is always lost. and We enjoy soccer (not We enjoys soccer). Most of the time. what constitutes a good book." on some level anyway. Answer given: Subject-Verb Agreement When people agree about something—a movie to see. the reader gets conflicting messages. the subjects of the sentence must agree with the verb in the sentence in both number (singular with singular.. when people do not agree. Without this agreement. and a plural subject takes a plural verb form.
Some of us are going skiing this weekend. Watch out for modifying phrases that come between subject and verb! And especially be on the lookout for prepositional phrases. the verb will be plural. Rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time is almost impossible to do. "some" refers to individual persons. To determine the 116 . along with three bags of planting mix and a box of fertilizer. was delivered to my house this morning. However.. or as well as: The new oak tree. "Mountain bike" is the subject of the sentence. Another source of trouble is a modifying phrase beginning with together with. along with. Because the phrase is non-restrictive (or not necessary to the sentence). Some of the cake is still on the table. Agreement When Subjects are Joined by "and.." The phrase is there to tell us more about the mountain bike. the verb will be singular." These items are part of the prepositional phrase that begins with "with. the subject is singular: Spaghetti and meatballs is the only thing Mary ever orders when we go out to eat." and therefore. and so should not be considered when deciding on the appropriate verb form for the sentence. are confusing because they can be singular or plural depending on the nouns to which they refer. if the subjects joined by "and" refer to a single person. the verb agrees with subject it is closest to. and so the verb is plural. it does not make the subject plural. the verb is singular. In the first example. most. it is not part of the subject. item or simultaneous action. none. Coffee and dessert were served in the living room. and some. if both subjects are singular. Subjects joined by or or by either/or or neither/nor may take singular or plural verbs depending on the form of the subject. Indefinite pronouns cause a lot of confusion.." "or. even if sometimes this structure feels counter-intuitive." "neither/nor. Some indefinite pronouns.Agreement When Words Come Between Subject and Verb." or "either/or" In most situations. such as all. in addition to. An apple or a banana is a good afterschool snack. If both subjects are plural. "cake. any. Agreement With Indefinite Pronouns. If one subject is singular and the other is plural. Consider the following sentences: The mountain bike with the red frame and the fat tires is the one I want. not "the red frame and the fat tires. as the object of a preposition can easily be confused with the subject of the sentence. subjects connected by "and" are going to be plural: David and Jesus are always late.. My best friend and confidante is always there for me when I need her. in the second example "some" refers to an "uncountable" noun. Neither the teacher nor the students know how to solve this math problem.
everything... several. check to see if the noun is "countable" (made of up of individual elements that can be counted)." "who. anybody. and so the verb is singular. When word order is inverted. Something is happening. Usually. the antecedent is "one" (the phrase modifies "one" rather than "villains"). but you don't know what it is. In this sentence. anything." sounds a bit better. In this sentence. Some indefinite pronouns are always singular: for example. it is easy to confuse a noun in an opening phrase with the true subject of the sentence." so the verb in the adjective clause "that drop fruit" should be plural. Agreement When Subject-Verb Order is Inverted. somebody. both. 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." and "that" are used in an adjective clause (relative clause). Generally.. however.. The antecedent for the pronoun "that" is "trees.. but occasionally. it is better to name a plural subject rather than use a collective noun as a plural. "the crew members hope. Oddjob is the only one of the villains who throws a razor-edged hat as a weapon. No is just one of the villains who have come up against James Bond. few. and something. Dr. Agreement With Collective Nouns as Subjects." The crew hope their grog won't run out before they reach port. the antecedent for the pronoun "who" in the adjective phrase "who have come against James Bond." and so the verb in the phrase should be plural. Each of the new interns is assigned to work a twenty-four hour shift this week. Dorleen and Claire joined the volleyball team this semester. as in the example above. word order is inverted and the subject is delayed. At a Rolling Stones concert the crowd always sings along to "Satisfaction." is "villains. everyone.. each. Everything is going wrong today. birds. When the relative pronouns "which. or "uncountable" (not countable by individual elements). Some sit around and wait for happiness. anyone.number for a verb used with these indefinite pronouns. Agreement With "Which" "Who" and "That" as Subjects. everybody. nobody.. and many.. Collective nouns used with a plural form of a verb tend to sound a bit awkward. Some indefinite pronuns are always plural: for example. Most of the time the subject comes before the verb. someone. the verb in the clause should agree in number with the subject of the sentence (the antecedent for the pronoun). and both are going to be starting players. nothing. squirrels and other small animals. Trees that drop fruit will attract bugs. many go out and find it. One signal of a delayed subject is the expletive "there" at the beginning of a sentence: 117 .
there is little I can do to help them. Each þÿ to of the options be: _____ unacceptable.. 3. Word order is also inverted in questions. When linking two nouns with a linking verb. even when there is a plural subject in the title: The Twin Towers was an important New York City landmark. film. 1. there is going to be trouble over the broken vase. it should be treated as a singular subject. to feel: All of the people at the party. þÿ 4... to 118 need: . institution. as in "Has she arrived yet?" The subject must match the first auxilliary verb (first verb form) in number. the number of the verb should correspond to the number of the subject and not the predicate nominative.. When a title of a book. 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. Her dogs are her protection. Her protection is her dogs. with the exception of Tiffany. 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. when a phrase is referred to in terms of the language itself. Often the subject appears between parts of a verb phrase. Terms of Endearment is a sad film. ______ it is a good idea. building. 2. Everyone þÿ to in the class _____ the find: video to be entertaining. If Jenny and Mark won't listen. 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. Agreement When the Verb is a Linking Verb. In addition.When your parents get home. or work of art is the subject of a sentence.
______ to do more to recycle. Three-fourths þÿ to of the cake be: _____ gone. 10. 8. including the people of conservation-conscious California. 119 . Another þÿ to of my brothers live: ________ in Florida. Success þÿ to ________ reward: hard work. 11. Time þÿ to _______ pass: quickly. so be sure to strap heavy objects down. The þÿ to wind and fog _______ reduce: the mosquito problem. Two þÿ to bottles of wine be: ____ enough. 9. My þÿ to aunt as well as my be: cousin _______ single. þÿ 5. 7. 13. 6. The þÿ to team ___ going to be: play on Saturday. to move: In an earthquake furniture ______ around.Everyone. 14. Neither þÿ to of the hotel rooms be: _______ available. 12.
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
the band's ukulele player and vocalist. when all elements are nouns. Consider the following problematic sentences and their corrections: 124 . checking to ensure that the trunk connects strongly (and correctly) to each branch as illustrated in the diagram below: Parallel Words. An easy way to check for parallel structure in a piece of writing. who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929.Revising to create parallel structure. clauses. (adapted from Wikipedia. and daring for its time.. 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). if one element is a noun. If one element is an adjective. (parallel elements are adjectives. All items in a series should have the same structure to help the reader quickly process information. nouns. Take a look at the examples below: The film Some Like it Hot is funny. if one element is a verb. or paragraphs in an essay. and so forth. Joe and Jerry disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band headed to Florida. and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises. follow the trunk line to each of the branches directly.. Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). for instance. is to think of the core idea in the structure as the trunk of a tree.. the sentence will sound awkward and out of balance. and desperate. then all elements should be nouns. once you find the trunk. then all elements should be adjectives. 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. then all elements should be verbs. (all parallel elements are adjectives) Some Like It Hot tells the story of two musicians. and each parallel item as a branch off that trunk. whether that structure is between words. The reader is forced to do much more work to figure out the author's meaning than is fair.. frightened. phrases.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. well-written.
then every item should be a relative clause. Joe and Jerry join an all-girl band. then every item in the series should be a verbal phrase. Parallel: Faulty Parallel: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's attention: He wears a white sportscoat. If one item in a series is a prepositional phrase. the sentence will be illogical. to work. while others began with nouns. articles. some elements began with verbs.. Consider the following examples demonstrating good parallel structure: To escape the mob and to solve their financial problems... modifier. shoes. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. and going to school. article. a captain's cap. The initial items are going to govern every item in the series. balanced. and going to school. (parallel infinitive phrases) Director Billy Wilder filmed Some Like it Hot in black and white. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. and her favorite briefcase.) Parallel Phrases and Clauses. but she loves partying. When revising your work. (In this version. Parallel structure is created by joining the first two wardrobe elements into a single element. if one item in a series is a verb phrase (beginning with an -ing or -ed verb). appropriate use of prepositions. Corrected: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's atttention: He wears a white sport-coat and captain's cap. and easy to read. each element begins with a verb. mimics Cary Grant.. but because a greenish tint in Lemmon's and Curtis' heavy make-up could not be hidden on color film. Shifts in phrase type create confusion: Faulty She hates to study. if one item is a relative clause. then every item should be prepositional phrase. otherwise. Corrected: She hates studying. 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.Faulty Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and security. unless you write the appropriate item into each phrase: Faulty On her first day at work. Thelma wore a new dress. or auxialliary verb is appropriate to each item in a series. Parallel: Parallel: 125 . In the previous version. (parallel subordinate clauses) Marilyn Monroe had two big problems during filming: remembering her lines and hiding her pregnancy. Corrected: Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and finding security. but she loves partying. mimics Cary Grant's accent. and modifiers with each item in a series: Be very careful to ensure that the preposition. (parallel verbal phrases) Common Trouble Spots. not because he wanted to be artistic. Phrases and clauses also need to be parallel if the sentence is to be logical. working. hat.
or cheerful. Answer given: Gypsies are famous for their traditions of fortune-telling by reading Tarot cards. He then runs away with a traveling circus. —and proofreading your writing to ensure that this consistency is maintained. person. and the prominence of the mounts. fingers and their lengths. which would also let them make reasonable predictions about a client's future. and mood. but elements of the sentence just don't fit. adn rearrange words. interpreting dreams. Heinlein's classic Stranger in a Strange Land has captivating characters. Thelma wore a new dress. and they also look into crystal balls. and hat. is classified as a human by birth. verb tense. . 126 . Answer given: Palm readers examine lines on the palm. Answer given: At the carnival. that someone was lonely. Answer given: Shifts A shift is a confusing change in person. Answer given: The protagonist continues on his quest to understand human behavior by reading all of the books he can. write a short paragraph with good parallel structure in the space provided. Its plot is appealing. it is kind of like wearing two different shoes. Answer given: Some critics of fortune-telling suggest that trained psychologiests could also notice personal traits such as nervousness. Your reader looks at your writing to be dressed one way. and was laying out a selection of ten cards from which the client was supposed to choose three. cut the cards. Answer given: Part 2 Combine each of the sets of sentences below into a single. Earthly laws are not understood by him. You will have to add. Make a list of things you hate then transform the list into a short paragraph (or a couple of sentences).Corrected: On her first day at work. There may be more than one possible answer. voice. The key is consistency—of voice. and number in their writing. shoes. Answer given: In the beginning of the novel. mood. or number. concise sentence in which parallel elements appear in parallel structures. delete. identify and correct shifts in verb tense. change. Michael Valentine Smith. verb tense. voice. Robert A. Part 1 Using the topic below. Answer given: The protagonist of the novel. But he is also considered Martian becaues his birthplace was on Mars. person. Later in the novel he becomes a minister. In this module students will learn to . the protagonist kills people innocently. the gypsy shuffled the deck. . mood. and carried her favorite briefcase.
I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. Correct: The football team is good. Incorrect: Though I admired her persistence. (the suit continues not to fit) is too small. writers want to emphasize the object in a sentence rather than a subject's actions. it is too small. (I continue to admire her persistence) Incorrect: The wind died down and the waves roll gently. however.C. Passive: The bitter cup of destiny must Active: All humankind must taste the bitter cup of destiny. as when one describes an event that takes place before another event: At the first Fall concert. (I continue to like him) Shifts in Voice: Passive vs. 127 . from present to past. and is still improving. for example. and is still improving. "And" suggests simultaneous actions) Incorrect: I liked him because he always says what Correct: I like him because he always says what he thinks.Shifts in Verb Tense A verb tense shift is a shift in time. I had more homework in math than in all my other classes combined. Problems arise. or past to future tense. (Inadequate transition provided. Correct: The wind died down and the waves rolled gently. however. But sometimes. 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. The way to avoid inappropriate shifts in verb tense is to visualize the actions described: Does one event really occur before another. it Correct: The suit doesn't fit me. or are they simultaneous? Apply this technique in the following sentences: Incorrect: The suit didn't fit me. the choir will sing a few spirituals that they learned over the summer. 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. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. Correct: Though I admire her persistence. and to make writing energetic. Most often writers use active voice in order to emphasize agency—a subject performing some action. cake was by be made a by democratic tasted by all Marla. writers slip up and shift tense when there should be no shift.C. Passive: Equality is encouraged Active: Democratic governments encourage equality. humankind. I had more homework in math than I have in all my other classes combined. government. Sometimes such shifts make perfect sense. he thinks. Correct: Last semester. Occasionally. and readers are captivated from beginning to end. 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. as in the following sentence: Incorrect: The football team was good. Consider the emphasis in these active and passive sentences: Passive: The Active: Marla made the cake. Incorrect: Last semester.
Correct: If fans of the Harry Potter films would read the Harry Potter books. Incorrect: We had better arrive early because you never know Correct: We had better arrive early because we don't know what might happen. A sentence in the subjunctive mood indicates that something is conditional. 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 would buy a ranch far away from everybody. In a sentence in the subjunctive mood. . These mistakes are considered shifts in mood. hypothetical. etc.Correct: Patrick O'Brien writes exciting stories of life on board the tall sailing ships of the Royal navy in the early 19th century. therefore. it is better to avoid "you" constructions altogether in academic writing. for example. they would discover that the books are far better than the films. The personal "you" is a bit too informal and too direct for academic writing. there are two moods: indicative and subjunctive. I would have been deeply embarrassed. I never would have made it this far. Shifts in Number A shift from singular to plural. or vice versa is a definite no-no. it is very common to see an "if" clause. lazy." Take a look at the following sentences in the subjunctive mood: If I were rich. such shifts are common. etc. Correct: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. especially when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase such as "of us" or "of the students. what might happen. or "If I was you . Shifts in Mood Mood in sentences is not like mood in people. Incorrect: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class." 128 . an assertion. or doubtful. Incorrect: I used to think school wasn't important. If they were not so kind." "She. It is common for students to shift person in written sentences. Correct: I used to think school wasn't important. I am getting wiser. . These shifts confuse the reader and break the coherence and unity of your writing. In writing. melancholy. where it was discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. One source of shifts in number is an indefinite pronoun such as "anyone" or "none" or "all. In addition. A sentence in the indicative mood is a statement of fact. but as I get older. they will discover that the books are far better than the films. in the subjunctive mood. captivating readers from beginning to end. It is not correct to write "If I was rich." "One" "People" "Anyone" "Persons" etc. because in everyday speech. irritable. Incorrect: If one reads The Harry Potter books." and "It was" becomes "it were." "He. If it were not for you. . "I was" becomes "I were. . but as you get older. Note: In general. you get a lot wiser. who have emotional moods—joyful. where he discovered that the teacher had cancelled class.
Incorrect: Every student Correct: All of the students are doing their best. 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. Correct: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because each of them has had excellent training. while many other men may be said to possess scarcely any. 1. The storm rages on furiously for about an hour. The masts of the ship were down. 1901. to set about discovering in what direction such talent lies. revise the verb tense shifts in the paragraph. we find several modifiers: Ann's favorite black handbag. letting readers know which one as well as how Ann felt about the bag. making sure your writing is free from shifts and does not contain any gender bias. In the distance I see the port. Review the paragraph you just wrote for any instances of passive voice. —some men possessing it in a very general way. Answer given: 4. Answer given: Revise the following paragraph so that it is free of gender bias. it becomes young men. Without modifiers our sentences would be pretty bare. The sky is murky and the wind is blowing hard.Incorrect: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because they have had excellent training. The storm was so bad that it is indescribable. "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). The furious lightning tears the sky and the thunder roars. or their parents for them. Answer given: 3. it is therefore saiad of such a man that he has a particular talent for such and such a trade. however. the one she always carries. All men are not alike endowed with natural talent and ability. In the sentence below. The deck is crowded with people." Most of the descriptive modifiers call the reader's attention to the handbag." The sentence also includes a descriptive appositive phrase: "the one she always carries. What is a disconnected modifier? Lets look at a few examples of sentences with disconnected modifiers: 129 . When it quiets down a little the sailors look to see if the ship is damaged very badly. was stolen last night. Almost any man with the ordinary capacity for instruction can be taught to do certain things. have evidently "nothing in them. unifying time as past or present. is doing their best. by Bernard Stuart. other men only in one particular channel. he may exhibit a greater aptitude than for others. "Always" is an adverb describing the verb "carries. and to all appearance." however latent the talent may be. 2. from How to Become a Successful Engineer. The tempestuous waves dash up on the side of the ship. for example. They find out that the prow of the ship is damaged." And "last" is an adjective describing "night. For some of these. Write a paragraph about a time when you turned out to be wrong about someone or something." Now. Modifiers add descriptive information to a sentence and call the reader's attention to what the writer feels is important. Everybody was horror-stricken. as we believe that every man endowed with reason at all has "something in him.
wild as deer. Give it a try in the following sentence: Amanda wants to watch that new show on TV tonight. your reader will. deadly as rattlesnakes. the matador stared at the bull. Scan each sentence to locate the core of the sentence: i. Don't assume that because you understand your ideas. as can sentences with limiters like "only" and "sometimes. Revised to connect the modifiers to their logical subjects. In the sentence above." or sentences that begin with long modifiers. they are concerned with organizing their thoughts and developing their ideas rather than with correct grammatical expression of those ideas. the subject. (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. “Amanda” is the subject in this sentence. While waiting for the bus.e. and to lose track of the overall meaning of the writer’s text. The direct object of the sentence is actually the whole phrase “to watch that new show on TV tonight.. the one who performs the action of the sentence (Amanda “wants”). assume that faulty sentences are hidden there in the text. While I was waiting for the bus." 130 . with delicate legs and pink faces in which their mis-matched eyes rolled wild and subdued. The matador stared at the bull. disconnected modifiers happen because when writers put their ideas on paper or a computer screen. The sweat pouring down his face. Matt is coming with us to the movies along with Allison. experienced writers assume that their prose is going to need to be revised for correctness and that revision is a necessary part of writing. modifiers in a sentence add information to one of the elements in the core sentence." and the phrase on TV tonight. as with finding most any sentence level mistake. these sentences are much easier to follow: To make sure there would be enough for everyone. there was a traffic accident right in front of me. small-bodied. they huddled.To make sure there would be enough for everyone. to get stuck. Consider the following sentence: "Calico-coated. three pizzas were ordered. gaudy motionless and alert. i.. is to be suspicious of your own writing. also to modify "show" (telling us when the show is on). though occasionally modifiers add information to other modifiers rather than to the core (see note below). and any direct or indirect objects so that any modifiers in the sentence become easy to identify. the sentence verb(s). 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. calling attention to what the writer thinks is important or needs further description. Matt and Allison are coming with us to the movies.” Typically. How does one identify and correct a disconnected modifier? The first step in finding disconnected modifiers. even experienced writers make sentence mistakes. How do problems with modifiers arise? Typically. Instead. quiet as doves. or worse. the sweat pouring down his face. too. They also know where to look for mistakes. We will look at all of these scenarios next. And for this reason. Paul ordered three pizzas. the writer calls our attention to what Amanda wants to watch by adding several modifiers: the adjectives that and new to modify "show. I saw a traffic accident right in front of me.e. and that you will need to engage in a seek-and-destroy mission to find them out. Sentences written in passive voice can be a source of trouble. However. Such disconnects cause the reader to stumble a bit trying to follow the logic of the sentence. The sentence verb is “wants” (what the subject is doing).
” the introductory phrase points vaguely to a letter. A better sentence. get rid of the phrase (often these phrases are unnecessary anyway) and rewrite the sentence another way. Such modifiers are said to be “dangling” because like a dangling thread in a blanket.” The sentence is longer. concert in in the my mile car. The rule is that modifiers should be placed next to the word they modify.” etc. Not so clear. and confusion results when modifiers are in another place in the sentence.” “thus. The opening modifier "when buying a new cell phone" suggests a person as the subject (people buy cell phones). I don’t know when I will be coming to visit. Amanda wants to watch that new show. Rochelle almost beat everyone in the class corrected: Rochelle beat almost everyone in the class in the mile race. the reader expects writers to follow the rule. they are not woven into the fabric of the sentence. are often used improperly. consumers should consider many factors. there are two main towers corrected: As you come across the bridge. For example. Consider the above sentence with a modifier presented out of place: On TV tonight. the subject of the modifier in this sentence is “many factors. The modifier should be next to “new show” to make the sentence logical. and the rest of the sentence points to the writer’s thoughts about that letter. General transitional phrases like “in conclusion. Watch out for shifts from active to passive voice between an opening modifier and the rest of the sentence. 131 • .” “regarding. but much more logical. in the sentence “In terms of your letter. you pass Use of passive voice can lead to modifier problems (as in the last example in the previous section). under. Take a look at the following example: When buying a new cell phone. if not. Make sure that the phrase actually modifies the word next to it.” “in terms of." That combination is not logical: factors do not buy cell phones. 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. right? With placement of the modifier “on TV tonight” next to Amanda. it appears as if the writer is saying Amanda is on TV tonight. Dangling modifiers Another problem with modifiers arises when the modifier refers to a subject that is not actually named in the sentence. I have to say that I am not sure when I can come. many factors should be considered.” “from what I can see. correcting this disconnect is “In response to your question about my coming to visit. the modifier implies a person who makes a response. and the subject of the sentence is a person. 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.Misplaced modifiers Things go wrong when modifiers are not well connected to their subjects. One source of trouble is misplacement of a modifier. you pass under two main towers. Typical Trouble Spots • tapes. race. however. Here are a few more examples of misplaced modifiers: Isaac went to the REM corrected: Isaac went in my car to the REM concert. As you come across the bridge.
When sleeping at night. When a boy. so many striking things about the forest are seen that it is difficult to determine what to attend to. A rug adds to the warmth of the cabin and also deadens the sound when walking around the room. a busy scene meets our eyes. 1. Going out through the front door. I often lie in bed for an hour. • Long modifiers at the beginning or end of a sentence can be a source of trouble. Last summer while spending a few weeks in Wyoming. 1914. Passing through the different cities. Answer given: 5. Dickens always remembered this time as the happiest days of his life. 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. Answer given: 6. Answer given: 10. doing nothing except enjoying the peace of the morning. Our mule brays out in the pen. Seattle is the most active. restaurant. Approaching the town from the ocean. Answer given: 2. Answer given: 4. After we rise and have coffee and eggs. revised paragraph into the text box. Answer given: Adapted from Lomer. The cabin is snug and sound. And paying attention to the sounds immediately inside the house. you will not even be able to tell that the stain was there. Consider the ambiguity in the sentence below: Wrong: Maria only wants Right: Only Maria wants a salad. Rewrite each sentence below to correct any dangling or misplaced modifiers. When I wake up in the morning. When a few years old. then run it through the dryer. the salaries should be identical. Gerhard Richard. Wrong: Justin occasionally likes to go to a really Right: Occasionally. Answer given: Rewrite the following paragraph. Answer given: 9. The ocean breeze chilled us through. or Maria wants only a salad. Dickens' father was sent to prison for debt. You may prefer to copy and paste the paragraph into a word processor for editing and then paste the finished. The birds sing somewhere deep in the forest. Houghton Mifflin. Answer given: 8. 11. the breeze gently enters through the numerous open windows. When tucked into bed. till the sun is well above the horizon. Out of the dryer. a expensive salad. The Study and Practice of Writing English. the family moved to Chatham. the first thing we see is the Patterson Diner. Answer given: 3. Justin likes to go to a really expensive restaurant.• Problems can arise with placement of limiting modifiers between subject and verb. my fears went away. after having been in the heat in the city just a few hours earlier. 132 . When doing the same work. the annual rodeo was held. Be sure to check the subject implied by the modifier against the actual subject the modifier refers to. the kids laughing as they help their mother with the dishes are noticed for the first time. Answer given: 7. correcting any dangling or misplaced modifiers. Wash out your shirt with soap and cold water.
Using sentence structures effectively to reflect our thoughts and feelings takes practice and and appreciation of how form relates to perception. 1852. complex sentences. the mansion stood. Darcy. and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures. Take a look at the following passage by Nathanial Hawthorne from "Tanglewood Porch. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. Notice how coordination is used in the following passage from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. drawing the reader into the scene. students will learn to use the techniques below to create sentence variety in their writing. our sentences should also be varied. without knowing what she did. or terse and even irritable. compound sentences. and of hearing that he was universally liked. His thoughts ebb and flow. for example with the coordinating conjunctions "and" and "so. was assembled a merry party of little folks. rambling and reflective. (Hawthorne) Hawthorne uses a variety of sentence forms in this paragraph— periodic and loose sentences." Notice how he varies his sentences to create a distinctive mood: BENEATH the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood. that. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. In this module." A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. on a gently sloping eminence. inquisitive and full of wonder. and the mood behind our thoughts. They had planned a nutting expedition. above which. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. with a tall youth in the midst of them. As yet. and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. Nathanial. and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes. Coordination and Subordination Coordination: Coordination between clauses and between sentence verbs. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. "Tanglewood Porch. one by one. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. she accepted him. To reflect this variety of thought. He walked away again immediately. one fine autumnal morning. Charlotte tried to console her. to show a quick succession of events: She danced next with an officer. the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley. can be quick and inspired. There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and comfortable world. however." allows writers to show thoughts or actions which follow one another. Subordination: 133 . and was in conversation with her.Sentence Variety Objectives: Our thoughts. and to use sentence variety effectively to communicate their thoughts to a reader: • • • • • coordination and subordination cumulative sentences length transitional expressions colons & semicolons Hawthorne.
There were chairs and plates for three. without knowing what she did. was endeavoring to get some coolness of body and temper by looking out of the window towards the sea. which was sparkling in the distance. general and specific versions of experience. Pen. Nathanial. was so much the fitter for a flower-vase. for example. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. and so periodic sentences stand out in your writing. They are rarely used in speech. Shortly after Strong had quitted the room. Consider the following description of breakfast preparations in Nathanial Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables. Periodic Sentences: Sometimes writers want to create suspense in writing. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. or set the stage for an action to occur. A chair and plate for Hepzibah. while she and Adam sat at breakfast there--came twinkling through the branches of the peartree.—whilst he was really trying to compose himself. Darcy. All was now ready. possessing either scent or beauty. (Thackeray) The second sentence is an extreme example. and arranged them in a glass pitcher. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. Pride and Hawthorne. . 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. and of hearing that he was universally liked. Phoebe gathered some roses and a few other flowers. The early sunshine--as fresh as that which peeped into Eve's bower. which. He walked away again immediately. Austen.Allows writers to show the connections between thoughts and events. 1813. which made him look ridiculous in the eyes of the nation. this time noticing the subordinating conjunctions Austen uses to show the way events and thoughts are interconnected: She danced next with an officer. 1851. or the relationships of events in time. having long ago lost its handle. noticing how the subordinate clauses slow down the actions and elaborate on the scene: By way of contributing what grace she could. . and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. Hawthorne uses phrases to elaborate on the scene and slow the forward action.--the same for Phoebe.--but what other guest did her cousin look for? (Hawthorne) In addition to subordinate clauses. being about the length of a paragraph. The House of Seven Gables. and fell quite across the table. and murmuring in a wonderful calm. Adding phrases and/or subordinate clauses to the front of a sentence allows us to create this effect. and owning to himself. Take a look at the same passage from Pride and Prejudice used above. but it is still correct grammar. greatly irate at his downfall in the waltz. They ask a reader to reflect on an idea or even in greater depth before moving on. —he felt a hand on his shoulder . Jane. 134 Prejudice. Charlotte tried to console her. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. as in the following sentences: Without hesitating or looking back at his mom. perhaps that he had acted in a very absurd and peevish manner during the night." Use periodic sentences infrequently in your writing. as English speakers typically prefer the loose sentence style. and whilst Mr. and by Miss Amory's behavior to him. that. which had still further insulted his dignity. How to Use Coordination and Subordination for Variety: For more information on writing sentences using coordination and subordination. and was in conversation with her. the twists and turns of cause and effect. she accepted him. please read the lesson in the Coordination & Subordination module. . The reader looks forward to the fulfillment of an expectation. (Austen) Subordinate clauses tend to slow down the forward momentum of actions or a sequence of ideas. Jason got on the bus. how to use phrases is discussed in the sections on periodic and loose sentences.
For example. like an exorcised spirit that had been driven from its old haunts. A verbal phrase includes a verb form—a verb ending in -ing or -ed that is not the sentence verb. "Hoping" happens while she walks out the door. Thackeray. hoping that today would be a better day than yesterday. and wandered up and down. Gabe walked up to the front of the class to give his presentation. (Dreiser. He was exceedingly well dressed according to standards prevailing in those days. Too many loose sentences in a row. causing the reader to refer back to the main point. so that sometimes I would not get that she was telling a joke until a minute or two after she told it. verbal phrases add detail about what is happening during this action.How to Write a Periodic Sentence: Several techniques for creating modifiers are discussed in the next section on "Loose Sentences. She had a wonderful sense of humor. blue eyes.C. A Blithedale Romance) He was a brother of Mrs. and so in written texts. so as always. a clear. Cowperwood's—Seneca Davis by name—solid. humiliating speech when he forgot half the material. (Hawthorne. and what little hair he had of a sandy hue. William Makepeace. We receive dozens of catalogs every week from companies like Pottery Barn. Penney. after a mighty struggle. idea 3: use a verbal phrase. Loose Sentences Loose sentences are the opposite of periodic sentences: the main clause appears at the beginning of the sentence.—any store that ever received a penny of our money. haunted by the memory of his last. It is useful to note that "ing" verbals indicate an action that is being performed by the subject. Loose sentences are common in speech in English. ruddy complexion. "running very fast" or "confused by the instructions. perhaps. indulging in flowered waistcoats. 135 . unctuous. For example." for example. Below are examples of loose sentences: I betook myself away. five feet ten in height. Garnet Hill. Hold Everything. and the invariable (for a fairly prosperous man) high hat. smooth head rather bald." These techniques are the same for modifiers used at the beginning of a sentence. She walked out the front door. for example. The History of Pendennis. round body. loose sentences are easy for readers to follow. it is important to vary your patterns. as in the following sentence: Slowly. etc. 1848. idea 2: use a noun phrase to rename something discussed in the main clause and begin a modifier with this phrase. and "ed" verbals indicate an action that happens to the subject. The sentence verb in the main clause declares the action of the sentence. with a big." We use verbal phrases to indicate simultaneous actions. J. suggests that some outside force is acting upon the subject. "Haunted. 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. Once you learn the techniques. a humor that was a bit satirical and a bit dry at times. Bed Bath and Beyond. long. you can decide on the most effective placement. and then modifying phrases and clauses are tacked onto the end of the sentence. however. a memory. for example. can get boring. a round. light-colored frock-coats.
And the short sentences. Just remember. Some useful transitional expressions are shown below. John dressed slowly. or logical relationships between ideas. however." punctuate the sentence. The modifying phrases allow the author to add information that fills in the scene. the more you tell your reader that it is important. One pattern in particular—the simple sentence presented with few (or no) modifying phrases—can get really boring. forget it forever. We cleaned the house before picking up mom at the airport. idea 5: use a combination of phrases.m.m. so familiar that they start falling asleep. 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. He walked out the front door without looking back. This technique is very effective for refining ideas. . . Also note that the repetition is of a key word in the first modifying phrase rather than the main clause. explore the module on subordination. the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. and the repetition of a key word ("truths . Use Transitional Expressions Transitional expressions signify the relation between ideas. leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart." "with." and "before" establish spatial. his heart full of dread. . the meeting that would decide if the company died or became successful beyond imagination. It is easy for readers get familiar with a sentence pattern. For example. His mood took a turn for the worse." "after.idea 4: use a prepositional phrase. he remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. Do not feel that you need to stop at one phrase if you have more to say. "). that the more space you devote to a topic. His mood took a turn for the worse. as in the following example: John woke up at 6:00 a. either showing the subject's thoughts. For more information. or suggesting simultaneous actions. He remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. Theodore. Nathanial. Prepositions such as "without. 1852 Vary Length & Style Financier. He ate breakfast without appetite. temporal. he summoned his courage and went to work. The second paragraph ebbs and flows. She believed in being honest above all else. teaching himself that. 1912. as a drummer punctuates a drum rhythm. Dreiser.m. The Blithedale Romance. He dressed slowly and ate breakfast without any appetite. Compare the above paragraph with the following one that uses a variety of sentence styles and sentence length: John woke at 6:00 a. Suddenly. as when one gets sleepy driving down an unvarying freeway late at night. They can also help writers vary the opening structures of sentences. Hesitating at the door. Notice that Faulkner uses a verbal phrase ("leaving . Varying the length and style of sentences keeps readers awake. . ") to begin a phrase. such as "John woke at 6:00 a. providing background information. He went to work full of dread. The Hawthorne. Subordinating Conjunctions: 136 .
stared at the bull. in the same way. second. if. even if. Use at least one prepositional phrase. however. as only a man of true genius can speak of his own works. on the whole time: meanwhile. consequently. "Chiefly About War Matters") Hawthorne. one verbal phrase. while. thus exemplification: for instance. firstly. as." Relocate the modifying phrase(s) in each sentence. Answer given: 137 . Answer given: 5. whenever. similarly. His detractors. For example. and Leutze allowed us to gaze at the cartoon of his great fresco. after all. we admire Ariella. though. though. eventually. Answer given: 9." might become "Hoping to end the fight quickly. The crowd hurries toward home along the streets. before. It is by his poetry that Milton is best known. Megan blacked out. Answer given: 3." 1. except upon sure ground of observation. and talked about it unaffectedly. Answer given: 8. amplification: what is more. when Sentence Adverbs: effect: consequently. and one subordinate clause. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the beginning of each of the following 5 sentences. nevertheless. the matador stared at the bull. as long as. on the other hand. as if it were not his practice to vouchsafe any great warmth of greeting. though outvoted. similarity: accordingly. provided that. in the first place. Soon. for example. Answer given: 7. have not been silenced. the sun sets. but only reserved). his look grew kindly and genial (not that it had ever been in the least degree repulsive. moreover summary: in sum. as though condition: even though. "The matador. even though. Deep red through the fog. although. as long as. even though. Meanwhile the noble design spoke for itself upon the wall. 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. The conversation ended. (Hawthorne. indeed. "Chiefly About War Matters by a Reasonable Man. Jason took out the trash. Brian loved to sail. 6. as soon as. first. Answer given: 2. hoping to end the fight quickly. shortly. as. Because she is loyal and brave. despite. with keen and somewhat guarded eyes. so that concession: although.cause: because. exception: however. Nathanial. afterward. white with snow. Answer given: 4. regardless addition: in addition. unless time: after. since.
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
" Both subordinators are used to indicate a condition provided that. you are under arrest. even if unless Place where wherever Time "After refers to an event or action that occurs after another event or action has occured. be sure and call to let me know you have arrived safely. "Even if" points to particular conditions and means "whether or not. 142 "Where" identifies the place . "as long as" is used to emphasize a particular duration of time: As long as you live in this house." . Subordinating conjunctions: place and time if. unless it is raining. (after "a. I would not go out with you.Even though I am exhausted. Even if you were rich. for something happening: as long as As long as you pay your own way." then "b"): after After you arrive in Hawaii. you may have desert. you will abide by my as soon as." This subordinator is interesting in that it suggests a hypothetical situation as a condition. 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..means no matter where: "Wherever we went. I have to study for my biology exam tonight. After Angela took the ibuprofen. 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. you are welcome to come along. unless at the beginning of a clause describes a condition that would prevent something from happening.. in other words. as rules. her head felt much better. "Unless" is used to specify a negative condition.
while. I will be sure to visit you." and also sometimes "if" and "when. "While" is used to emphasize long duration: While you were out celebrating. whenever When I am in Berkeley. you had better stop delivery on your newspaper. you get wiser. I was home cleaning the house. We also use "as" to show that one thing is the consequence of another: As you get older. "b" must occur) Before you leave for Hawaii. (before "a" happens. "Whenever. I was in the tub." and "when" indicate that things are happening simultaneously. We often use "just" in combination with "when" and "as" to describe events happening simultaneously. till I didn't know who the bad guy was until the last scene of the movie. "While." is used to indicate a repeated occurence of something when certain conditions arise. 143 . It is not often used in introductory clauses: Bush said today that we will stay in Iraq till the war is won. "Until" means up to the time.before "Before" refers to an event or action that must occur before another event or action can take place. when as. my boss called to tell me the meeting was cancelled. For example. When you called. Whenever I drink red wine. or almost simultaneously: Just as she turned to yell at him for knocking her groceries out of her arms. You cannot watch television until you clean your room. I get a headache. I will be sure and call you. or until a certain event has taken place." though less formal. "Till" is similar to "until. "As" and "when" are used to describe short events: The phone rang as I was on my way out the door. As I was printing out my notes for the meeting. he apologized profusely." "as. If I need advice. until.
as in the following sentences: While walking the dog." it is perfectly correct to leave out the subject and the "to be" verb form. Proofread your paragraphs before you press the "submit" button to ensure that you have used coordination and subordination to good advantage. 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. Mrs.Note also that with "while" and "when. 144 . Students will also learn to revise their work to improve paragraph unity. he listens to his iPod. where would you go and why? Answer given: Paragraphs Creating Unified Paragraphs In this module. 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. students will learn to create unified paragraphs having strong topic sentences and supporting details that clearly relate to and develop the topic sentence.
Coherence must also be created between paragraphs to help the reader make the transition from one paragraph to the next. They are unsure how long a paragraph should be.—that best illustrates the controlling idea. For further instruction on paragraph coherence. watching MTV. a paragraph is the communication of a single assertion or thought. For further instruction on paragraph development. This paragraph lacks a controlling idea. but it is difficult to tell what we are to make of these observations. a descriptive paragraph that needs work for unity (the controlling idea is underlined): 145 . What should the reader pay attention to? What is important here? It is the writer's job to create clear direction. and a new thought begins. Unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs Creating unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs can be difficult. Like the living room. recounting the "this. The writer narrates his entry into his aunt and uncle's home. Completeness: (or development) Enough specific supporting detail should be provided in the paragraph to make the controlling idea convincing. In brief. such as comparison and contrast. In descriptive paragraphs. Peanut. or paragraphs in which a writer tells the story of events. or viewing movies in the family room. I also regularly find my cousins playing computer games. Writers should select the type of details—description. Coherence: Sentences in a paragraph should progress logically to develop the controlling idea. narration. I frequently notice my aunt and uncle seated on one of their tan leather couches watching the news or Comedy Central. and describes what he observes there. However. wherein the writer focuses on a "this. Supporting sentences contribute information to help the reader see the validity of the controlling idea. This controlling idea is usually declared in a topic sentence.What is a paragraph? Many beginning writers are not exactly sure what a paragraph should look like. comparison and contrast. the problem is similar: a writer may get caught up in describing aspects of something without having a sense of purpose. The family’s Jack Russell Terrier. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Coherence Module. for example. Every night the family eats dinner at the round wooden kitchen table where I usually notice a lingering scent of vanilla candles. 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. with enough detail or explanation to make that thought clear to a reader. the dining room rarely is used. cause and effect. 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. help create coherence. in the adjacent family room. and what logic controls the clustering of sentences together in a paragraph. instead of focusing on how aspects of the story support an interpretation. A new paragraph begins when one thought is fully developed. A kitchen and large formal dining room are adjacent to the family room. it is easy to fall into the sequence trap. In narrative paragraphs. then this" of the story being analyzed. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Development Module. it is easy to slip into plot summary. Transitional expressions and patterns of development. 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. I go into a small living room with a fireplace which almost always is vacant. then this" structure without any real point or purpose other than moving through events. when one paragraph should end and the next one begin. etc. often is perched on the couch begging for food or running around. In a literature analysis essay.
the reader would expect the rest of the paragraph to be about what (little) the City of Novato has done to preserve the old Novato train station. The author describes the neglected site. but as is. this idea does not fit. the paragraph is not unified. Now. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. the City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. With the recent failure of “Measure R. Even though the idea here is closely related to the controlling idea of the paragraph this sentence does not belong in this paragraph. it is beyond the scope of the controlling idea. a description of the state of disrepair of the train station would also be appropriate. In the table below. The topic sentence does not really lead the reader to expect this content. With the recent failure of “Measure R. the train station would be refurbished. 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 City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. in this paragraph. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. Discussion Given the controlling idea as stated in the topic sentence. take a look at a few strong. or reshape the controlling idea here. each supporting sentence is analyzed in detail for how it does (or does not) support the controlling idea of the paragraph. the train station would be refurbished. The first supporting sentence does support the main idea. 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.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. This second supporting sentence. Sentence Unfortunately. unified narrative and descriptive paragraphs. and have a museum added. and have a museum added. The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. 146 . Speculating about what might bring about change is probably a worthwhile thing to do in this essay. doesn't quite meet the expectations created by the topic sentence.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. however. 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. and so meets the reader's expectations. However.
body. Everyone has an address. and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. expound on the idea. the stress and strain of running two companies and trying to have a family caused him to sell the businesses and return to retail. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast. Without logical progression of thought. example. evaluate evidence. etc. Assignment Use the techniques for creating good paragraph unity that you have learned in this module to write paragraphs on the topics below. definition. and baggage cars. Answer given: The Expository Essay What is an Expository Essay? The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea. pillows. towels. Instead. a place he went when he wasn’t working. the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument. dining cars. sleeper cars. the analysis of cause and effect. and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. Find out what is free in your car (drinks. such as a farmer's market. His home was a place he stored his stuff. There is a hierarchy of staffing—just like a government. 147 . Alternatively. The reduction in income caused the sale of my first home and initiated the cycle of unrest in my father. Answer given: 2. Figure out who you can ask for what. as Ward Cleaver did. engines. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. You may choose to write the paragraphs on a word processor and then copy and paste your finished work into the text boxes below. 1. If the student does not master this portion of the essay. You learn behavior by experience—like don’t fool around with the ticket packet—let them do it. etc. and the structure will collapse. The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following: A clear. lounge cars. it is your seat or compartment number. Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.a unified narrative paragraph: The home [my father] provided his family was not truly his. and conclusion. He had no time to be with his family. 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). Answer given: 1. Eventually.) Wear shoes or lose a toe. it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. or a scene at a local event. Always tip. downtown street scene. Write a unified descriptive paragraph about a local park. concise. a unified descriptive paragraph: The train is like a small town on wheels. The cars are the city blocks. And so forth. Clear and logical transitions between the introduction. Write a unified paragraph about the problems caused by giving kids cell phones before they are teenagers. my father found himself sleeping through the moments he was home. Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. The train has its own culture and rules. Write a unified narrative paragraph about a time you turned out to be wrong about someone. newspapers. Fill out your meal card when you sit down in the dining car.
the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. and end to the conversation. Although these genres. Therefore. students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation. the expository essay must be complete. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion.Body paragraphs that include evidential support. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. What is more. Exposition. We hope these resources will help. if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point. also known as the modes of discourse. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. it is an art form nonetheless. logical. If it sounds straightforward. 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. you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay. statistical. exposition. three evidentiary body paragraphs 3. Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. rather. though you may not be crafting the next great novel. but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided. there would be a beginning. therefore. synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. Often times. This is. middle. an introductory paragraph 2. 148 . Narration. Therefore. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. the method consists of: 1. Evidential support (whether factual. it must be effective and logical. In fact. or anecdotal). The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. Allen Brizee. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. however. in fact. have been criticized by some composition scholars. that is because it is. such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. Remember. narration. a conclusion Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis. and logically so. A bit of creativity! Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes.
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
This is the picture of a typical day in Hawaii. sparkling sea. Longer Argumentative Essays Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. sources of information and their credibility. readers will rarely make a strong connection with the topic. and so are called upon to engage deeply with the topic at hand.logical. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. In the case of Hawaii. 153 . The second introduction is far more effective at creating interest because of the numerous sensory and concrete details. that Hawaii would be too crowded for a satisfying vacation. but then surprises the reader by suggesting that in spite of this problem.. This is. the argumentative essay must be complete. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. middle. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. tropical fruits. 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. the method consists of 1) an introductory paragraph 2) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and 3) a conclusion. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. rather. The first introduction is the least interesting because it offers so many broad generalizations. perfect weather. The reader is engaged by the promise of unexpected and surprising information in the essay to follow. palm trees. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. Hawaii can still be paradise. More than 6 million people visit Hawaii each year.. With so many tourists on such a small land mass. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. it would seem that any pleasures to be had at Hawaii's beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts would be spoiled by overcrowding. there would be a beginning. In fact. Consider these openings lines from three different essays about Hawaii. in fact. and a mixture of cultures. If it sounds straightforward. however. if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point. and logically so. Without a concrete image or idea. the travel brochures do not lie: Hawaii is paradise. The very first job before you in an essay is to capture your reader's interest and attention. it is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. and end to the conversation. that is because it is. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. and review your thesis. the sun warming your weightless body. Which lines do the best job of capturing your interest? The tropical islands of Hawaii are known for beautiful sandy beaches. a vast array of wildlife. Therefore. Readers are asked to picture themselves in the scene. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment. Restate why the topic is important. Hawaii truly is a paradise. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. review the main points. synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. İntroductions Opening Lines. But this is not the case.
More than 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. And by the 1940's." He was wrong. In the early days. tourists travelled to Hawaii aboard steamships to experience first hand the romantic beauty that had been popularized in Hawaiian songs of the teens. Relevant background material: Be careful here. it is possible to go to Hawaii and feel like you are way off the beaten path. And since you know your own idea intimately. sparkling sea. 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. Today. or loud music next door. such as laundry needing to be done. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. Paradise for many of us in the 21st century is having freedom from care and worry.How do you go about writing an introduction that is going to get your reader's attention? To start. try to capture for your reader what drew you in and made you passionate about this topic. shaping them to your own purposes: A short anecdote: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. You need to break through these distractions by providing a compelling reason to read. in a short trip to Hawaii. Hawaii is the number one American tourist destination. and then assert a new approach or direction for your essay. Paradise can be found. drew thousands more tourists to the growing number of hotels along Waikiki Beach. A concession: Start with a commonly held belief or opinion. and nothing to do but to enjoy the beauty and bounty of life and each other. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. That said. Try for a more extended definition that is keyed into your essay topic. Hollywood films like "Waikiki Wedding" featuring scenes shot on location. but also distractions. the sun warming your weightless body. "Traveling is a fool's paradise. Ask yourself. if only temporarily. 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. "Since the beginning of time. there are a few specific strategies that you may adopt. An analogy: 154 . the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. An interesting fact or statistic: This technique is used above." or "Throughout American history") Hawaii has been a popular tourist destination since the 1920's. A short narrative: This technique is also used above. Although 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. put yourself in the place of your reader. under what conditions will my reader pick up this essay? Imagine your reader having a general interest in your topic. Hawaii is anything but indifferent. Don't include background material that does not have a direct bearing on your topic. or kids arguing.
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.. .. ok. "Life without my husband was going to be difficult. the introduction should focus the reader's attention on what you will be arguing in the essay itself about your topic. and/or you could describe the many different activities for families on the Hawaiian Islands. for example.Some people desire a vacation to be like a non-stop rollercoaster ride. than from heart-pounding new experiences. and little time to catch one's breath. Instead. If you like working with rhetorical questions to help you stay focused. Others prefer their vacations to be more like the ride on a ferris wheel. between you and the reader. . . . instead of going the extra distance to figure out what the argument actually is. for example. The argument is typically captured in a single sentence we call the "thesis sentence..g.Don't over use rhetorical questions. A thesis is a promise.Don't describe your writing or thinking process. Given the thesis below (or something similar). "There are three good methods for strengthening the body after muscle injury"). Statements like "As I was exploring ideas for this topic. What not to do. 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. the writer settles on a focusing question.. show me." On the other hand a rhetorical question is actually a good focusing device for a draft. be sure to turn that question into a statement in your final draft. The reader takes in your words in the thesis and says. If you say...." the reader will expect to be shown why Hawaii is a great place for families to take a vacation. If. In addition to capturing the reader's interest and establishing the topic of your essay... Of course.. your thesis is "Hawaii is a wonderful place for a family vacation.g.Don't begin with a huge generalization like "Throughout history civilizations have grown and died. full of excitement with a new thrill around every turn. or contract... Some writers find a clear question keeps them focused as they are developing their ideas...." You will have to take too many steps to get from such a broad generalization to your specific argument." "I am no expert on . Some essays naturally fall into clear and equal divisions (e. but I will do the best I can. stay within your topic area. with this second thesis. Moving into your thesis. 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.. "It is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. but the worst is our fast-food culture. write an introduction using an interesting quote to draw the reader in. Instructors don't much like them because they are a often a kind of cop out. San Answer given: Francisco is 155 a great city. Once you have your thesis. "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." detrract from your topic by redirecting the emphasis to you and your methods.. on the other hand." or "Words are not enough to really explain.") Assignment 1." the reader will expect to be shown how one can experience paradise in Hawaii." The diagram (right) helps illustrate the way an introduction should focus the reader's thought: The thesis as a promise. for example. you still have options for development with any thesis. but others do not (e. . where the joy of the ride comes more from the scenery and new vistas. showing why Hawaii is the better choice.. or within a theme tightly connected to your thesis.
identifying the purpose and audience is the first step in the writing process for most writers. write a conclusion in which you look to the future or provide an analogy.2. 4. given that you did not actually write the essay). The truth is. San Answer given: Francisco is a great city. Although they may experience the rest of that process in different ways. By learning how to discover a topic worth writing about. Objectives By the end of this unit. Given the thesis below (or something similar). or as best you can. Given the thesis below (or something similar). write an introduction using a short narrative or useful background material to draw the reader in.. Relationships demand a lot of work. significant idea). Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. or as best you can. or the next Great American Novel. Thesis Development Discovering and Developing a thesis: Overview Love notes. 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 . how to gather ideas to write about. and how to focus on a central theme or thesis (a specific. job-related documents. sooner or later. 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. write a conclusion posing a question or challenging your reader to action. Whatever the writing task. Relationships are a lot of work. e-mail to friends. Given the thesis below (or something similar). Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. you’ll gain confidence in your ability to handle the writing tasks that come your way in college and in the rest of your life.. most come to recognize this activity as part of the process of finding and shaping their ideas—not as evidence that they can’t write. Answer given: 3. 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. given that you did not actually write the essay). essays for class.
what the teacher most often wants is to hear what the student has learned. the causes. places. Support your argument with evidence from the readings." for example. students often worry about "what the teacher wants. and who pay close attention to the language of the assignment." as well as "support" the argument with evidence." "define a problem" and "recommend solutions." and "give examples." Frankly. In the above assignment on "A Rose for Emily. After receiving assignments like these. A typical assignment in an English class looks something like this: In his short story "A Rose for Emily." In the second essay assignment. These authors have different takes on the severity of the problem.) in terms of their likenesses to examine two or more objects (people." "discuss. and the solutions. the instructor asks students to "take a stand. etc. In a 1000 word essay. 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. 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. giving examples from the story. describe Emily's character. Action verbs are key in writing assignments: what the instructor actually wants a student to do is carried in the verbs. places. There is almost never a "right" answer a teacher is looking for in an essay.. Support your thesis by discussing examples of Faulkner's characterization techniques. Most students write their first essays in response to an instructor's assignment. the actions are "describe. or We have read several essays on global warming by various scientists and global leaders. etc. "support.) in terms of their differences to present reasons for or against something to make clear through examples. and how the student's thinking has evolved based on the reading. Where do you stand? Write an essay of 1500 words in which you define the problem of global warming and recommend solutions. 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 .. on the other hand. those students who have paid close attention to the ideas and language in the reading. will generally write better essays.Analyzing Writing Assignments for Meaning ." William Faulkner uses many techniques of characterization to paint a portrait of the title character.
whether you are a beginner or a professional writer. —Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith It isn't easy to write an essay. 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 feeling stuck is a normal part of the writing process. Given the assignment on global warming above. but the topic is defined. etc. and this scrawny.rowling. clustering. listing. clustering: Clustering emphasizes the relationships between ideas and is useful in exploring various angles on a topic. Focused freewriting is similar to freewriting. on a long car ride. and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one. and more connected to one's own voice. you're stuck. idly. because I simply sat and thought. Rowling tells of how a long. how much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my hands on a pen). ." Try brainstorming about an assignment when you have nothing else to occupy your mind: in a waiting line. And one of the most difficult parts of writing is finding what you want to say. and often say that they end up jotting down their best ideas on gum wrappers and napkins. I think. Focused freewriting is effective when one has a topic but is unsure about what one wants to say about that topic. and all the details bubbled up in my brain. you may end up with some material that you can actually use in the essay itself. . You may be surprised at the ideas you come up with. The search engine "clusty. until you find a groove and ideas start to flow. There is even a term for a severe form of being stuck: writer's block. a student might use clustering to compare the readings on particular topics of discussion. These prewriting techniques are described in detail below: brainstorming: Simply tossing around ideas. bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me. on the computer or on paper. Given the "Rose for Emily" assignment above. then jotting down a few key ideas that may be useful. however. And so. J. Many writers use this technique for developing ideas. either in one's head.com) freewriting: Writing non-stop about whatever comes to mind.k. getting unstuck: freewriting. What can you do about it? There are several techniques for getting going. black-haired. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. for four (delayed train) hours. Plus. one ends up with categories of information on a particular topic. Write a tentative thesis on a piece of paper and run it by your instructor during office hours. in that one writes non-stop. To my immense frustration. Using Prewriting Techniques and Other Strategies to Discover and Shape a Topic. K. 158 . For students who are trying to decide the angle to take on a particular topic. that this was probably a good thing. After clustering. you may have a pretty good sense at the outset of how Faulkner describes Emily. 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. 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. When the topic is up to you . now.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. There's nothing to writing. Freewriting is particularly effective in making writing seem more natural and familiar.com" will even cluster most any topic for you. Make sure that you understand how much freedom you really have. I didn't have a functioning pen with me. clustering is quite useful. In a brief biography on her website . but little idea about what it all means. (j. The point of all of the strategies.. rather than sitting down at a desk "to write. in traffic. or in discussion with a friend.. brainstorming. these ideas having arrived when they were just musing about things. is the same: to let words flow freely on the assumption that out of this unpressured writing will come an idea.
There's no "consensus" on global warming. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community 159 . Also important is the language of the assignment: if your instructor asks you to "describe." or "explain." your thesis should reflect this purpose. The next step is to decide what you will say about your topic. in an unordered list. Lindzen. this topic may be defined for you by your instructor. which Mr." Richard S. Many angles on a given topic are possible. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. December 26. Generating and Revising Thesis Statements for Effectiveness. It is a bit like shorthand freewriting and is quite useful to students having trouble putting pen to paper. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. What exactly is this debate that Mr. ought to have been followed by an asterisk.. Thesis statements are underlined: from "Undeniable Global Warming. at least one thing seems constant: the sun. .For example. We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it. But satellite measurements show that our local star dims and brightens slightly in concert with sunspot cycles." "illustrate. 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. or you may have the freedom to define a topic for yourself. finding one that works for you is just a matter of analyzing your evidence and your assignment. a search on "bananas" brings up the following clusters—some of them useful. Generating a thesis statement: The first step in developing a thesis is defining a topic. . WSJ. as you see it. Could such tiny fluctuations be responsible for changes in climate? from "Don't Believe the Hype: Al Gore is wrong. Washington Post. 2006. 2005: In the debate over global warming." Naomi Oreskes. Take a look at the variety of angles on global warming that professional writers have come up with. That statement.". which range from nine to 14 years. 2004: Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. As mentioned above. lies. There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason. Mr. It's time to lay that misapprehension to rest.) from "Setting the Record Straight: Blame the sun?" Seattle Times. and determining where the truth.. July 2. and the prewriting techniques described in the previous section will help you here. October 9.
race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. . in drafting his article. A much stronger tactic is to turn that question into a statement (though the question may work quite well as working thesis. but the connection between these topics is not clear: TV families often confront issues such as gender. development problems. 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. thesis as a question: Instructors frown on this strategy for beginning an essay. Some of the most common problems are described below: weak argument: When the argument is weak. may well have begun with "scientists do agree that global warming is occurring." A working thesis is not a perfectly refined piece of writing. but a statement of what you will argue in the essay. and these 160 . "Don't believe the hype. the content suffers on all levels. The key words should be there which focus your work. it became difficult to think of it as anything else. Subordinate clauses are attached to the main clause via a subordinating conjunction. . But is the “American Dream” really such a dream? What does it really cost us to achieve that dream. Common Thesis Statement Problems: A solid thesis is the foundation of a good essay. nor do you need to write your introduction. in drafting her article. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place.that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over. ready to be read by a reader. which is really concerned with drawing the reader into the argument. but after living on the ship for three years. A working thesis: You do not need to worry about finding the perfect langauge for your thesis before you begin writing your essay. and even sentence-level problems. unity problems. and is that price worth it? Revising Your Thesis: When your thesis lacks clarity. helping you to focus on your reader's needs). and a list of subordinating conjunctions). rewriting the sentence to include a subordinate clause might help (see our module on coordination/subordination for more detail. because when a writer is unsure about direction. Richard Lindzen. the thesis focuses on a seemingly insignificant or minor point. problems with a thesis lead to big problems in the essay: lack of focus. there has been no debate among scientists about global warming." may well have started with a working thesis like "Contrary to what Al Gore says. and not with the specific content of the argument. but don't worry too much about the exact sentence structure until you revise your essay. 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. Every good essay begins with an argument: something the author believes to be true and worth proving. and circumstances of the times they grew up in." And Naomi Oreskes. Unfortunately. one that does not need more than a paragraph of support: It was hard to call a ship home. age of parents.
" or "I hope to show that. A thesis that begins with a phrase like "In this essay I will argue. particularly in the biological or social sciences. repairing these mapping statements is easy. Sometimes. . 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. designed so that information can be processed quickly. or no God to ensure that there is good in the world.conjunctions identify specific relationships between ideas. do not necessarily see truth and righteousness as we do. however." The content of the essay will not need to be dramatically altered. such as for a newspaper or magazine. and so we must argue. prove to others that our truths are valid truths. it is the angle on the content that shifts—how the writer spins the content. Other human beings. and not three or four things." "I will first. Consider the revision of the problematic thesis below: original thesis: TV families often confront issues such as gender. for example. the reader will not be able to follow you (you probably won't stay focused as you write the essay either). . As much as we would have it be otherwise. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. calls conviction prejudice prejudice —Phyllis McGinley come. In the revision. the subordinator "if" suggess the writer will be concerned with conditions for something happening. we expect arguments to have particular features: a claim. All of us have had an encounter with a policy or practice that seems to go dead against what we know to be right. a more subtle approach is called for. Providence protect me from fool as adversary. however. the subordinator can give you a sense of what you want to do in the essay. revised thesis: Even though contemporary TV sitcoms try to be real by confronting social problems such as ethnic stereotyping and gender inequality. our belief that something is true or right is not proof that it is right. and merry. See if the content of your thesis might actually fit under a broader umbrella. and so today. but in the humanities. . Fortunately. . you can just cut them out. Some instructors will ask for a map. we feel there is no justice in the universe. the subordinator "because" suggests the writer will be concerned with the causes for something. Arugments in written form have been around since ancient Greece. say one thing. An argument is an attempt to convince others of a truth as we perceive it." actually takes attention away from the argument itself and weakens your voice in the essay. In such moments. opinion. they do not reflect the real day to day problems American families face. essay structures are often pragmatic. In these disciplines. and then. If the thesis appears to be going in many directions. . . for the most part. Argumentative essays When Though May The Whose Where Who And blithe to argument I armed with facts. don't draw a map for development unless your teacher requires it. and in writing for a popular audience. 161 . mind to him a kingdom is reason lacks dominion. Revise your thesis so that you are proving just one thing.
First. Further. The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start. generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. In other words. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars. or all uses of medication in general? Second. the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment. not the government. students will learn to construct a strong argument that has these features. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good. a refutation of opposing arguments. what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does 162 . 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. what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use. should be paying to limit pollution. The broader your claim is. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes). the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. and a conclusion. all studies agree that pollution is a problem. Still others could argue that corporations. the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. First. Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. This thesis statement is not debatable.evidence to support a claim. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. 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. In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. In this module.
Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Example: Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption. yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. 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. thing. long-term cycles of climate change. whether we value it or not. 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. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence. and the context of your paper. This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national antipollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus. Qualifiers such as "typically. 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. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic. how we would rate or categorize something. Types of Claims Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to 163 . 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. 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. Claims about value: These are claims made about what something is worth. is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of you broader topic." "generally. or event caused another thing or event to occur. and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution. researching renewable energy sources. such as researching renewable energy sources." or "on average" also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule. 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. Example: The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase. This is a much more manageable topic.the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. in other words what type of claim you want to make. Example: Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today. your audience." "usually. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above. Example: What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal. Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem.
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. Weida. Second hand research is research you are getting from various texts that has been supplied and compiled by others such as books. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown. a credible media outlet. While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information. surveys. Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. Responsible. they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. Because anyone can add or change content. periodicals. Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined. such as Time or Newsweek. experiments. What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience. you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. 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. you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate. unless the site is associated with a reputable institution such as a respected university. however. Is the author presenting a neutral. sources on information technologies. or personal experience and anecdotes. (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. or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes. and trustworthy. 164 . they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources. they must be credible. In other words. accurate. credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia. need to be much more current. What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to use. Karl Stolley. 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. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. Karl Stolley. and websites. which are collaboratively developed by users. or well-known non-governmental organizations. Regardless of what type of sources you use.) How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. government program or department. the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research. your sources must be reliable.
include the opposing side as a counterclaim. Instead. 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. as opposed to industry produced. or for people who must commute to work. Including a well thought out warrant or bridge is essential to writing a good argumentative essay or paper. 165 . Rebuttal: While mass transit is an environmentally sound idea that should be encouraged." Counterclaim: Instead of focusing on cars. Data 2: Each vehicle produced is going to stay on the road for roughly 12 to 15 years. Example: Claim: Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution. Don't avoid the opposing side of an argument. the underlying assumption that connects your data to your claim. Data1:Driving a private car is a typical citizen's most air polluting activity. Including counterclaims allows you to find common ground with more of your readers. According to ineedtoknow. The Toulmin Method of logic is a common and easy to use formula for organizing an argument. thus hybrid cars are a better solution for much of the nation's population. Counterclaim: A claim that negates or disagrees with the thesis/claim. Find out what the other side is saying and respond to it within your own argument. it is not feasible in many rural and suburban areas. but unrefuted. You may want to include several counterclaims to show that you have thoroughly researched the topic. Warrant 1:Because cars are the largest source of private. 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. arguments. 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. Warrant 2: Cars generally have a long lifespan. Warrant 3: This combination of technologies means that less pollution is produced. The basic format for the Toulmin Method is as follows: Claim: The overall thesis the writer will argue for. Warrant (also referred to as a bridge): Explanation of why or how the data supports the claim. meaning that a decision to switch to a hybrid car will make a long-term impact on pollution levels. produces 90 percent fewer harmful emissions than a comparable gasoline engine. Rebuttal: Evidence that negates or disagrees with the counterclaim.org "the hybrid engine of the Prius. This is important so that the audience is not swayed by weak. Data: Evidence gathered to support the claim. made by Toyota.Organizing Your Argument How can I effectively present my argument? Use an organizational structure that arranges the argument in a way that will make sense to the reader. Backing (also referred to as the foundation): Additional logic or reasoning that may be necessary to support the warrant. air pollution switching to hybrid cars should have an impact on fighting pollution. Data 3: Hybrid cars combine a gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor.
which is not the same thing. Example: Even though it's only the first day. and on the first day which is notoriously boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses.. So. In this example the specific case of fair trade agreements with coffee producers is being used as the starting point for the claim. Inductive reasoning must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. the facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population. and possibly even examine the textbook. 166 . These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend several classes. Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion There are three types of rhetorical appeals. if we don't want Z to occur A must not be allowed to occur either. Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence.Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. through B. Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them. In other words. hunger. and from this draws the more localized or specific conclusion that Mexico will be affected in the same way.. Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars. X. In this example the author starts with a large claim. In this example the author is basing their evaluation of the entire course on only one class. and a decline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced.Example: Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty. too. In this example the author is equating banning Hummers with banning all cars. Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case. watch out for these slips in other people's arguments. then eventually through a series of small steps. used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. so we should not ban Hummers. basically equating A and Z. C. Because these agreements have worked the author concludes that it could work for other farmers as well.. The generalization you start with must have been based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts. In other words. Karl Stolley. so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well. or persuasive strategies. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case. Slippery slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens.. that genetically modified seeds have been problematic everywhere. Z will happen. or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on. talk to the professor. Avoid Logical Fallacies These are some common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Also. Example: Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffee producers. Logos Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason. so there is no reason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds are introduced in Mexico. Y. Logos often depends on the use of inductive or deductive reasoning. I can tell this is going to be a boring course.
with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connection between the two. Example: We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth. Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments. or theory determine its character. or worth. or better community planning to discourage daily driving. car sharing systems for necessities and emergencies. In this example the author equates being a "true American. democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand. Example: Green Peace's strategies aren't effective because they are all dirty. In this example where two choices are presented as the only options. much less evaluate those strategies on their merits. 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. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before." Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it.' Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick. But the very conclusion that should be proved." a concept that people want to be associated with. nature. breaking down complex problems. In this example the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused the second. Example: George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively. or a chemical spill across campus. Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want. so the water must have made me sick. Instead. to assume the water caused the person to be sick. idea. Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as "filthy and polluting. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. Example: The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler's army. institute. particularly in a time of war. Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. Specific evidence such as using everyday language. 167 . without more evidence. Genetic Fallacy: A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person. There is no reason. the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group. yet the author ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleaner technology. that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use.Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A. religion. lazy hippies. a flu bug that had been working on the body for days. In this example the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested. Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism. or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed to prove either half of the sentence. In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car.
the writer is 168 . An argument should never use emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people. As Arlo Bates writes in Talks on Writing English (1894).Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues. You can use the Toulmin method of logic or a simple pattern such as chronological order. In this example the author switches the discussion away from the safety of the food and talks instead about an economic issue. values. credibility. There are many ways to establish good character and credibility as an author: • • • • • Use only credible. 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. earliest to most recent example. appeals to an audience's needs. easy to follow manner. but what will fishers do to support their families. Most of the time. or emotional appeal. and emotional sensibilities." In an argument. however. a claim is usually a stronger and often more emotional proposition that a thesis in an expository essay. Ethos Ethos or the ethical appeal is based on the character. If appropriate for the assignment. but used properly there is often a place for emotion as well. 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. Argument emphasizes reason. 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. While one issue may effect the other. "The difference between exposition and argument is the difference between peace and war. most general to most detailed example. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt on your character as a writer. • Pathos Pathos. not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. Proofread the argument. it does not mean we should ignore possible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a few individuals. etc. For example. or reliability of the writer. Establish common ground with your audience. disclose why you are interested in this topic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic. Only use an emotional appeal if it truly supports the claim you are making. Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe. the livelihood of those catching fish. Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately. often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them. Organize your argument in a logical. reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly. this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument.
That statement. the author makes a strong and clear claim at the beginning of the essay. . is true. . Be very careful. such studies can be very effective in showing readers the way more abstract or general principles have an effect in the real world. 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. the reader will never accept the writer's claim. you show that you have done your research and that you are able to distinguish expert from amateur authorities. 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. 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). Similarly. Then. . In each of these essays. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. evidence is key. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. and writes to convince those who disagree to change their minds. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. your opposition will come away from the essay with a lot of "Yes. Otherwise. . Read the module on Working with Sources for more help with using sources in your writing. the reader knows what to expect in the essay that will follow. Evidence In argument. 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. 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. If you let others speak for you. " thoughts. . It is not effective to write an argument without acknowledging opposing arguments and showing why those arguments are not valid.. but . . Mr. because it does not deal with his fundamental belief that human personhood begins at conception. a student might write a case study of an individual with Parkinson's to show how devastating the disease is. articles by medical groups that promote stem cell research are not helpful. What exactly is this debate that Mr. however. which Mr. In using quotes and paraphrase effectively. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over."." etc." or "X would seem like the answer. or fails to be substantial enough to support a particular position. With this clarity established up front. great or small. well explained.. Who you side with can go a long way to establishing the validity of your argument. . They work especially well as a complement to anecdotal or narrative examples to support an argument. we must debate when 169 . . because they do not touch on their fundamental belief that embryos are not human persons. Below are examples of the kinds of evidence that you might use to build a strong argument. Note the way the authors respond to opposing arguments: Cal Thomas' article against stem cell research. however. you risk appearing unsure of yourself. in your own writing you can discuss these arguments with phrases like "While .generally ready for disagreement.. In an essay on Parkinson's Disease and the importance of stem cell research to find a cure. there is an opposition that must be dealt with. . not to hide behind these quotes. on real lives.is not particularly useful. there are many problems with this position. Take a look at the following arguments for an against stem cell research. however. Cite statistics or research: Often solid research findings or statistics can complement a more theoretical argument. If there is to be any hope of resolving these issues. Cite authority on a topic: quotations from experts used to back up (not replace) your points work very well. Refuting Opposing Arguments If one fights a battle in an argument.
. Why should we punish him unfairly?" Bandwagon Appeal: Peer pressure. I think old people." In other words.. or conversely. If we can reach a near consensus on this." Post Hoc: means "after this. to understand the reader's biases and concerns. I will not be eating there anymore. is controversial. a bit of humor. For example. It is obvious he feels devastated by what he has done. because of this. B was caused by A. Ad Hominem: "against the man" or "against the person. passionate angle. 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. Hell. therefore. we all should do it (believe it). such as abortion rights. to avoid using too many terms the reader does not understand. in order to know how to talk to the reader. Appeal to Emotion: This is an attempt to persuade by soliciting an emotional response such as pity or sympathy rather than evidence. even a topic outside of the field of expertise.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.human personhood begins. Logical Fallacies Logical fallacies are logical mistakes that fall into particular categories." 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. immigration policies. everything he has to say about anything. In addition. particular when the issue." Appeal to Authority: Suggests that because someone is an expert (or claims to be) on something. (Religious Tolerance) ". man. Below is a list of the most common logical fallacies. when others may be available: "Either we do away with the automobile now. or we die tomorrow. 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. genetically modified foods. is true. their ages no longer matter. Or the numbers. Would an objective. "Brittney got sick right after eating at the Bon Thai. A writer needs to try and empathize with the reader. and what it would be best to talk about." (Religious Tolerance) Audience It is very important to understand one's audience when making an argument. then abortion. and also to check the arguments made by others for errors in logic. It might be useful to print these out and have them handy when checking your work. it is important to know the knowledge level of one's audience in order to not waste time defining terms the reader already knows. generally. For example. Damnation of your soul is completed with the first one. Since person A is doing it (believes it)." 170 . scholarly tone work best? The answer depends largely on who one is writing to." False Dilemma: Occurs when two options are suggested. it is the assumption becuase B follows A. Tone is a factor as well with readers: Would the reader respond to a more lighthearted tone. in-vitro fertilization. stem cell research and other debates will neatly resolve themselves. "Just look at this poor man. stem cell research. once you decide to become a child-killer. or a more serious.
should include these story conventions: a plot. In this stage. in the United States. Narratives rely on concrete. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole. you are going to end up in debt!" Narrative Essays As a mode of expository writing. writers might ask themselves what about the incident provided new insights or awareness. 2. the writer should keep three principles in mind. keep the following conventions in mind. writers first need to select an incident worthy of writing about and. second. very 171 . third person ("he. More information on sensory details is available. Principles of Writing Narrative Essays Once an incident is chosen. including setting and characters.Slippery Slope Argument: Assumes that doing one thing will automatically lead to doing other things: "If you get a credit card. 1." "she." or "it") can also be used. 3. Remember to involve readers in the story. as stories. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it. almost unnoticeable earthquakes that happen all the time. and enhance the story. forceful effect. Conventions of Narrative Essays In writing your narrative essay." However. offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. to find relevance in that incident. These details should create a unified. details must be carefully selected to support. Finally. Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story. Find a generalization which the story supports. more than any other. using "I. To do this. there are also major ones that destroy vast areas and take many lives. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage. We all have experiences lodged in our memories which are worthy of sharing with readers. Narratives. • • • Narratives are generally written in the first person. it can concern the writer. Comparison/Contrast Essays Though there are many little. women. the narrative approach. writers must dredge up details which will make the incident real for readers. a dominant impression. men. sensory details to convey their point. that is. a climax. Two of them happened here. and an ending. explain. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. or children of various ages and backgrounds.
This is because the fault line. properties. there is also some good that came out of this. but the San Francisco earthquake might have taken a little less money to repair.1. the San Francisco earthquake happened in 1906. so comparing and contrasting the unfamiliar with the familiar is one of the most important techniques for writing. When you compare things. and probably do. Along with the strength of the earthquakes. to analyze things. buildings and lives.000 people were killed and about 225. We can really understand only those things that are familiar to us or similar to things we already understand. at about 7. In the Loma Prieta earthquake. It was very costly to pay for the repairs that were to be made due to the damage. they also have many surprising similarities. but the Loma Prieta earthquake was weaker. lasted under a minute. these earthquakes are similar in some ways that you may not have known. Most earthquakes in the United States tend to occur in California. 172 . The epicenter for both of these earthquakes was the Northern segment of the San Andreas Fault line. Both of them very destructive and had major impacts on society. Both earthquakes toppled buildings and houses. in fact. Obviously.25 magnitude. First off. and are caused by the San Andreas Fault line. Both of these earthquakes are horrible disasters. the dates are different. for example. through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Now scientists have more education about how to build earthquake proof buildings and bridges. It took 6.000 injured. Both of these powerful earthquakes happened in California. They destroyed many houses.757 injured. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are two of these majorly destructive earthquakes. The San Francisco earthquake was around a 7. two ideas. These types of earthquakes are life changing.close to each other. to define things. and around 7 billion dollars to repair the Loma Prieta quake. you show their similarities. But. This segment runs from Hollister. almost any kind of writing. Both of these earthquakes also had subsequent fires. over 3. Though these quakes are both very different. The San Francisco earthquake and the Loma Prieta earthquake have may differences. use comparison and contrast to describe things. the number of people killed was also different. The name of this fault line is the San Andreas Fault line. usually not for the better.to do.8. It taught people how to be prepared when there is a major earthquake. These were very life changing events to anyone that was in either one of them or that had family in them. runs across different parts of California. and about 3. along with the obvious ones like the date and location. Even though they both happened on the same fault. when you contrast things.7. to make an argument -. most writers structure their essays one of four ways. When they are comparing and contrasting. Both of these even though caused major damage. you show their differences. only about 63 people were killed. like corsets and footbinding. you can never be too prepared.5 billion dollars to make repairs for the San Francisco quake. and the Loma Prieta Earthquake happened in 1989. there are also some not as well-know differences. their magnitudes are different. You can. on which both the earthquakes occurred. In the San Francisco earthquake.
Either is acceptable. Comparison and Contrast Essays A comparison and contrast essay may discuss only similarities. This pattern tends to work better for long papers and those with many subtopics. 4. and then present parallel information about B. This pattern tends to work better for shorter papers. both comparison and contrast is used. .Subtopics in Part II should generally include reminders of the point made about the same subtopic in Part I. but mixing patterns is not. . Present all the information about A. and give the reader the final ‘so what’ of the major similarities and/or differences that you discussed.Choose items that are related in some way so they can be compared or contrasted. Use this pattern when you have only two principal similarities or differences. and then go to the parallel point about B. but more often than not.1. To insure unity. 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. only differences. . ►Outlines of Sample Essays: 173 . then do the other. .Compare according to a single organized idea.Use transitional words or phrases to help the reader understand the similarities and differences in your subject. take note of the following guidelines: . . Only compare or only contrast.Give equal treatment to both elements that you are discussing . and those with few subtopics It can be used when you have three or more principal similarities or differences. then contrast (or vice versa). . .Each subtopic in Part I must also be discussed in Part II. Review the two patterns below carefully. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. First compare.Subtopics should be discussed in the same order in both parts. noting the differences in structure that each presents. and do the same thing. The essay may be organised in one of two patterns.Use specific and relevant examples for support.Choose a method of development that works well with your organizing idea. summarizing the main points. Move to the next point. 2. ►Pattern B: The Point-by-Point Method.Conclude your paper by restating your thesis. 3. 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: . Present one point about A. First do one idea. ►Pattern A: The Block Method.
For a more detailed list of transitions.Thesis: Although dogs are often called man’s best friend. Para. cats make more convenient pets. 3 Cats can exercise by themselves. Point 3: Cats do not require training. whereas) emphasise the distinction being made between cats and dogs. dogs need baths. Point 2: Para. see the Transition Signals handout in the Writing Centre. dogs must be walked regularly. Point 3: Para. Point-by-Point Method Outline: Point 1: Para. I. dogs must be trained. First compare. 4 Unlike cats. Corsets and footbinding are different. corsetry and footbinding) being compared and contrasted. dogs must be walked regularly. IV. This structure focuses on the comparison and contrast instead of on the two ideas (e. Part B Point 1: In contrast to cats. 6 Whereas cats need no training. dogs must be trained. then contrast (or vice versa). Note that the transitions used in each outline (in contrast to. Block Method Outline: Part A Point 1: Cats can clean themselves. Para. 1: Cats can clean themselves. III. 2: In contrast to cats. Para.g. 5 Cats do not require training. 174 . dogs need baths. introduction Corsets and footbinding are similar. unlike. Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding. then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different. This method is probably the one used most commonly. Point 2: Cats can exercise by themselves. II.. Point 3: Whereas cats need no training. conclusion A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. Point 2: Unlike cats.
3. A structure like this one seems more focused on the ideas being compared and contrasted than on the comparison and contrast itself.. to write an essay that treats only the similarities or differences between ideas. This method is probably the one most students try first. It is as if the writer is comparing and contrasting (for example) footbinding to corsetry. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by taking important specific elements and looking at their similarities and differences. then the contrast will get emphasis .Clearly. Only compare or only contrast. The similarities and differences between the ideas do not begin to emerge until the writer gets to the second idea. the sequence is important. of course. 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. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by treating one idea thoroughly before taking up the second one. but many evolve past it into something more flexible. introduction element #1 element #2 element #3 . If you begin by contrasting the ideas (and then move toward a comparison). This method requires real control over your subject. If you begin with the comparison. 1.the logical movement is from thinking about similarities to thinking about differences. then do the other. It is always possible.. instead of corsetry and footbinding to each other. First do one idea. 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. A comparison/contrast essay like this one would probably focus only on those elements of the ideas that are explicitly comparable or contrasting. 175 . 2. the similarities get emphasis.
Writers who only contrast ideas sometimes briefly summarize similarities in the conclusion so they don't leave the impression that they are thinking in opposites. o Comparison/contrast is useful for more than an essay topic.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. 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 .with a bang! . Many teachers assign topics that ask writers to write an essay comparing and contrasting two or more ideas.with what they should. first describing what people shouldn't do and then ending . o o Other. 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. but besides its value in organizing an essay.
Corsets and footbinding are similar o o o Both practiced in the far past. Survival rates and the effects on health. To use Veblen's argument. Crete. o o 3. A quick outline of how a paper comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding might look. Henri II's queen: 15-inch waist with the help of the King's armorer. 1. when women were looking at the possibilities of real contributions to the political debate. Introduction 2. Corsets trivialized by everybody since the end of the dress reform movement. though most people imagine tight-lacing and footbinding were limited to the upper class. Women laced corsets. and into the 20th. Our misconceptions about class -. Both practiced by women of all classes. Footbinding o o o Earliest references. o 4.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. Corsetry not exactly the same as tight-lacing. Both restrict women's movement and impair health. 1. Dress Reform movement.women plowing fields in mud up to their ankles. Introduction 2. focus in Western world. millennia ago. A quick outline of how a paper treating one topic and then the other might look. 177 . 1880s and 1890s. through the 19th century. women bound feet. only most extreme cases of tightlacing did permanent damage. Corsetry o o o o o o Practiced in Sumaria. Every Chinese woman so bound was deformed for life. both enhance man's value in the culture to be responsible for women who were too delicate to work. 3. Both practiced by women on women. Effects on health: tight-lacing vs stays. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Corsets and footbinding are different o o Chinese culture is radically different from that of western Europe and America.
Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Dr. Before anybody could stop him. Life magazine's photos. 7. Mudd knew nothing about the assassination of the president. but broke his leg when he leaped from the president’s box seat to the stage. Eastern and western cultures. most women. 4. 3. seeking to avenge the defeat of the South. Lasting into 20th century. Booth and his companion arrived at the home of Samuel Mudd. Five hours later. he limped out the back door. Introduction 2. slipped into the presidential box and shot the president. Socio-economic class and tight-lacing and footbinding. 178 . Simone de Beauvior saw some. Also. at four o’clock in the morning. Extreme cases vs. 10. an actor named John Wilkes Booth. o o 4. 5. Women's contributions to their own weakening. Restrictions on women's movements. Cultural movements against tight-lacing and footbinding. 8.o Any girl whose female relatives thought she might be able to marry up would bind her feet.C. 11. Mudd On the night of April 14. mounted a waiting horse. a doctor living in southern Maryland. Economic and cultural value of a helpless female to a powerful male. A quick outline of how a paper treating only comparable and contrasting elements might look. and disappeared into the night with a fellow conspirator. 1. D. When the government made it illegal. how women whose feet had been bound couldn't really unbind. In the middle of the performance. 6. 1865—five days after the Civil War ended—President Abraham Lincoln was attending the theater in Washington. Booth escaped the theater. Acting as any doctor would with a stranger in distress. Conclusion Narrative essays The Story of Dr. 9. Effects on women's health.
Mudd’s release. Mudd insisted that he knew nothing of the plot. The warm. c. Mudd returned to Maryland to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. An alternative title for this passage might be a. Dr. these pests spread yellow fever germs to prisoners and guards alike. A Prison Abandoned. she secured a pardon for him—for a crime he never committed. he worked hard to fight the disease. d. and tried on the charge that he was a friend of Booth’s and therefore helped plan the assassination. b. Booth and his friend. Dr. the one-time prison is accessible to visitors as part of Dry Tortugas National Park. Meanwhile. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. Dr. d. taken to Washington. using false names. 6. Mudd’s conviction? a. –PRETEST– 5 Because of this merciful act. c. Questions 4. After a four-year struggle. Dr. What was the cause of Dr. Again and again.” and treated him very badly. But the military courts. Fort Jefferson was abandoned. Mudd was arrested. because he was the only doctor on the island. Dr. When the fever struck. He helped Booth assassinate Lincoln. sentenced the unfortunate doctor to life imprisonment. 5. angry at the president’s death. Mudd volunteered his services. Today. He had to fight the disease. The military courts wanted someone to pay for Lincoln’s death. Mudd? 179 .he set the leg and persuaded the two travelers to stay in his house for the rest of the night. an island fortress about 120 miles west of the southern tip of Florida. Lincoln’s Assassination. He helped Booth get away. his wife was working heroically back in Washington for her husband’s cause. even after he was infected himself. What sort of doctor was Dr. He lied to the military courts. In spite of the fact that the guards and other inmates called him “that Lincoln murderer. Soon after Dr. Good Doc Gone Bad. paid the bill and departed. Mudd was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson. An Unfair Trial for a Fair Man. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. The next morning. humid climate was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. b.
depending on your purpose. cold-hearted. Examples given to develop the paragraph: i) the hunter ii) the farmer iii) ihe fisherman iv) the city-dweller 3. 8. by the technique of illiustration. unfeeling 7. he was forced to by the prison warden. careless. Mudd fought the yellow fever outbreak at Fort Jefferson because a. Example 3 (Development of a paragraph by illustration) 180 . greedy. 1. Let us analyse the paragraph. Summing up: This is done by stating that there is a common bond between man and other creatures. There are no rules about the kind of development to be adopted in any writing situation.a. description. It is an example of the development of a paragraph by using the technique of illustration. there was no one else to treat the sick prisoners. ii) techniques which itlvolve a second topic: e. generous. an example. This can be done in a number of ways. sloppy b. He is also able to persuade the reader that the generalization is correct'because there are examples to support it. b. etc. Dr. that you can combine more than one technique in composing a paragraph. Topic sentence: The vast majority of people. definition. the point you have stated in your topic sentence. 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. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. Examples also add to the reader's interest. Let's first look at this illustration. he didn’t want to get sick himself. Now look at the paragraph given under example 1 again.e.g. 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. i. It must be realized. come in contact with animals in one way or another and have to deal with them. money-hungry d. Read this sentence from the essay. ILLUSTRATION In order to develop the central theme of a paragraph. You will notice that this paragraph is developed mainly by adding examples. caring c. read example 3 given below. for instance. c. he thought it would help get him a pardon. I 1 Giving examples is one of the easiest ways of developing of topic. 2.g. Now. and cause and effect. you have to expand the idea contained in the topic sentence. 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. wherever they live and whatever their occupation. however. although some topics lend themselves more readily to certain kin$ of development than they do to other kinds. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. illustration. the topic and the kind of reader you have in view. e. We often introduce examples of illustrations by using expressions like for example.
.. When you write a paragraph where you have to give examples to support your topic sentence. a bird flies by instinct.. hears or touches something... v) ..... will take to Development of hunting......) :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.All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first.. Paragraphs (From Evans...... ... but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification.........): highly skilled hindrance (n): something that prevents an activity reflex: an action or movement of the body which happens by itself when one sees.... Ir?c...g................ Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly....... instinct: ways of behaviour which are not based on learning or thinking.... e.. 181 .. ...... for example... and older spiders... Alfred A Knopf... ...... Base yourself on the analysis done for Example I in 10 lines.............. Insects.............. Thousands'of yeung seals and young sea lions are drowned every year.................. 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.............. Ana!yse this paragraph......... but are there from birth.....! Glossary warm-blooded(adj.................. ... each example should be logically related to your main idea...........g columns in the manner shown here: Names of Animals Skills to be developed i) Young birds and bats learn to fly.. for they improve their talents with practice........ 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..... you should keep in mind that there should be enough examples to support your point.. Read the paragraph again and fill in the fo1lowi1............. indeed seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes....) ! i ........ the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how birds sing without instruction................ For example..... What are the topic sentences in this paragraph? 2..... "begin by making quite primitive little webs........ Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners................. iv ' ........ ii) .. but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species.. .................. B........... It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for.... iii) . They never learn to swim naturally.. Young spiders. you remove your finger on touching something hot................. if deprived of their spinnerets....ed) The Natural Hisrocl of Nonsense....... I..... vi> ........... ....
Rainwater fallin: on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. We often have occasions in our lives to ask "Why did it happen" or "What will happen if. you face the problem of arranging them in a significant order.each example should be developed with interesting details. the results of' their helplessness and how they become self-sufficient. or of a bus accident. But sometimes the reasons or causes may be parallel. but tells us in what way each of these animals is helpless. but there may also be a chain of causes going back into the past. (Adapted from Geogrpl~yby Dougal Dixon. a daughter's rebelling against her father and leaving home may have an apparent immediate cause. Then. remember to make it clear whether you are dealing with an immediate cause or an earlier cause. strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in desert. which causes D.e. Usually your topic will determine it. that soften rocks. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it. You may discuss one or more causal connections between events. if the main event is caused by A. I When developing a topic which is supported by reasons or causes. 6. to consider multiple causes. etc. there are likely to be many causes. You may trace a chain of events in which A is the cause oPB. a direct cause or an indirect cause. a good strategy is to begin with the least important cause and conclude with the most important. all contributing to the same result. your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion. or the effects or consequence of taking drugs. There are several forces of erosion: glaciers which cany rocks weighing \ thousands of tons. Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth.. which is the cause of C. By far the greatest cause of erosion.. For example. however. for instance. and B by C. The choice between one cause and several causes is often not a free option. you can follow any of these patterns. of deforestation. is the action of water on rocks. 11 Example 4 (Development of a paragraph by listing the causes) Hills. Millions of years in the future. want to know the cause of your poor grades. and to write about all the causes or reasons with details. to account for all the links in the sequence of causes. the organization is predetermined. Cause Analysing the cause can be quite a complex task. You may..(Note that the writer of the paragraph above does not merely list the examples. and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. When you write.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. frost which causes small cracks on rock sides. If the reasons follow a logical pattern. and so on.?' and then try to find the cause or effect of an event. and A in turn by B. not just one. Thus. Franklin Watts in Science World) Glossary worn away: caused to disappear erosion: the action of wearing away 182 . When you work with several causes or reasons.) the examples should represent a reasonable cross section of the group you are dealing with. This softening is the first stage of erosion called weathering. i.
. the houses and building gaping caves: wide openings or cracks tidal waves: very large ocean waves avalanches: large masses of snow and ice. huge tidal waves sweep inland. Summing up: In a million years. dams burst. If the quake strikes at sea. / 2... For instance. what were thp_ reasons which led you to join the IGNOU Computer Programme? Jot down your reasons. (i) ... a) Causes of Erosion: glaciers frost strong wilds water b) Process of erosion by water 3... Underground railways are wrecked... Fill in the blanks.. sliding down a mountain side terrifying: filling with terror In earlier sections we analysed some of the paragraphs for you. It follows a sequence where the less important causes are mentioned first..... Gas mains burst.........( ii) . which lists the causes of erosion. But now the main idea is regarded as causing the consequences discussed in the rest c?f the paragraph. The following exercise will help you understand the organization of the paragraph abcve.000 killed...... On land 183 . The paragraph may deal with only a single effect or refer to several effects. You have just read and analysed a paragraph.. Main effect: The great . Gaping caves appear in busy streets. Effects Effects or consequences can be handled in much the same way as reasons or causes.. capital of Portugal--the city destroyed entirely and 450 killed: 1970: Peru --50. explosions are caused and fires are started... whole buildings collapse.. If it strikes a modern city........... the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village.. Example 5 (Developing a paragraph by listing effect) An earthquake strikes without warning. If it strikes in mountain regions.. Consider the terrifying statistics from the past. Bridges fall.. even your favourite hills will be worn away by erosion.... If several consequences are listed. its power is immense... Topic sentence: "Hills and mountain are-slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion"... Cause: The power of . followed by the most important cause......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 ...... Whtn it does..i t causes... avalanches roar down into the valleys. (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.. Check Your Progress 4 1 .. one must be careful to distinguish between the major and the minor ones.. In the year 1755: Lisbon.. Now. think of your own life.
Oxford University Press... which are themselves another source of food for man. Effect Cause . blain Cause Main Effect Indirect effect : .... Check Your Progress 6 1... B is both a consequence of A and the cause of C. and a paragraph which deals with effects. from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power... I1 . Secondly the sun indirectly provides man with water. rain..... and .........Effect. together with sunlight.... you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph........ enables plants to grow...... by its light and warmth the sun directly creates rhe necessary conditions for man's survival......v .. Jtainfall Rainfall formatio..... .... B to C and to C and so on. of consequences of your joining this program. 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. Cause Effect . I 1 Gas mains burst Summing up: Reinforcing the idea of the damage caused by an earthquake by quoting statistics from the past and the present. 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. By filling in the gaps below.. iv ........ Often however. the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect...... IX Effect the sun Man's ..... cause and effect are more closely related. In such a link....... At the same time..... .. In the first place...n.. One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers.... of . The paragraph below illustrates such a chain. forming a chain where A gives rise to B... .. 111 .... In Check Your Progress 4 you noted the reasons foi joining the IGNOU Computers programra...i. Cause and Effect We have discussed a paragraph which gives reasons to support a topic.. Now write down what you think will be'the results. 184 . and plants provide food for inan and also for animals.........] Glossary ultimately: in the end survival: the fact of continuing to live high altitude: great height Check Your Progress 7 Development of Paragraphs in ~xample5 .. [from Anita Debska: IJpgrade your English.
.... we need to explain what something is or means.. Topic sentence. xii . Occasionally maps show not only the roads.... .... This is done by adding details like uses. . In fact. One of the earliest such maps dates from about 1400 B...........v ii . xi .. both in our thinking and writing.. Rain + ......... being different from something else.. ...... we often require extended definitions...... It shows not only roads.. but also lakes with fish............ i ... i Example 7 (Paragraph developed by definition) A map is a representation of anarea of land... Now write a paragraph of about 150 words combining both'the reasons and the consequences of your joining IGNOU.. Maps have been used since the earliest civilisations. for man and ...... "democracy" etc... and a canal with crocodiles and a bridge over the canal....... 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...... viii. This is somewhat similar to 185 ...........Lakes and rivers water and ........ 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.. This generally happens when we use technical terns or when we want to give our own meaning to an ordinary word..........x...........C...... Composition and Sopetimes a definition is used in the rnjdst of other forms of writing. being similar to something else.............. and sometimes the definition itself Study Skills becomes the focus of a piece of writing........ and for this purpose extended definitions are useful. Plants ... examples.. component parts. You Ir. You have already noted the reasons for your joining the JGNOU Computers-programme and the effect it will have on your future career. Check Your Progress 8 1.. sea. and explorers find that they are used in rather primitive societies at the present time by people who are accustomed to travelling..... which relates to concepts such as "freedom"... especially if we feel that our readers may not be familiar with it.... need the support of specific examples...... ..5 DEFINITION Often when we write...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. but pictures of other features... or sky..v.. ..... The concept "bride" cannot be defined in such a manner...... Arctic explorers have obtained considerable help from maps of the coast lines showing settlements... drawn by Eskimo people....... and stating what it is not. For example..
We often compare our teachers. Hence comparison and contrast are a continuous process in our 186 . the food served at different restaurants. (C. 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. iv) A mammals is a warm-blooded vertebrate that has four limbs and a hairy skin.. V) Mammals are an extremely varied group. ranging in size from the largest mammal." Example: Arctic explorers Generalisation: Occasionally maps show not only the roads. I I I I i) Mammals differ from the other vertebrates in their system of reproduction. the cities we have been to. In fact comparison and contrast are common devices in writing. sea or sky. our neighbors. comparison and contrast dominate our thoughts when we decide to join a particular college or university. when we choose a career or a job. which weigh only a few grams.C. to replace some of the nouns with pronouns and avoid unnecessary repetitions. and even when we buy a particular brand of tooth paste. mainly because we tend to think that way. for example. but pictures of other features Example: Maps of both ancient and modern times Check Your Progress 9 1." Generalisation: "Maps have been used .): animals which have a backbone secreted: produced varied: of different kinds shrew: a very small mouse-like animal with a long pointed nose 6.. Our decisions are often based on comparison and contrast. 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. Sometimes a topic can be developed by showing how two things are alike or how they are different. Use the sentences given beiow to write a paragraph on Mammals. You will need. the blue Whale which is 150 tons.6 COMPARISON AND CONTRAST So far we have been discussing ways of developing paragraphs which deal with only one topic. For instance. 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.the modem maps of a state which show for each large town some feature of interest or the chief products of 'that town. and so on. to shrews. who are accustomed to travelling. Glossary vertebrates (n.
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. Like all the planets the Earth rotates on its 187 . the making of quick decisions. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. first. and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality. and De Vors. Whenever.750 km in diameter. Some forin of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly.): 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. what action it shall take to avoid predators.. You may ! develop these points and add any others that you wish.people are brought together. (Adapted form "The Primates" by Eimerl. Time-life Series) Con~positiona nd. Example 9 (Developing a paragraph by contrast) We live on the planet Earth. Reason: Subject I : People Subject 2: Monkeys . They permit. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. S.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. The same is true of monkeys. 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. 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. every cricket team needs a captain. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move... Both are extremely dependent on others. which direction it shall follow. ii) We wish to clarify the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar. they will only be able to reach decisions quickly if some kind of hierarchy is established. Check Your Progress 10 Write a paragraph on the following topic. Summing up: 'Sorne form of leadership is essential . Glossary Study Skills hierarchy (n. Every jury needs its foreman. for example There are two ways of arranging information when comparing or contrasting things. ! There are a lot of similarities between an infant and a very old person's dependence on others. I.lives. 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 points to develop the paragraph are given below. iii) We wish to show the superiority of one thing over another when we compare two cars. consequence of total equality.
... and which also keeps the temperature quite constant....... But the earth is not alone.... animals and human beings. escape from time to tinie with great force from inside the earth.... It has a companion on its travels .. But the two worlds are very different..... which we can breathe.......... Its surface is heated to 105 C during its day..the moon . is lush and fertile. 4 has atmosphere 5 . The expressions of contrast 1isted..... ... What is the topic sentence? 2..... Glossary rotates: turns around a fixed point axis: an imaginary line around which a spinning body moves............... the paragraph in Example 9 has been organized by talking about the earth and contrasting it with the moon.... Analysis of the Paragraph: 1 ......... . birds........ The first sentence and some points describing the two regions are given below.. In contrast..155 C at night.. This exercise is to help you analyse the paragraph.. waterless and lifeless 4 . The Earth.which orbits the Earth once a month.. It supports millions of living things .......... The Moon is a dead planet... waterless and lifeless....here mzy also help you in developing the paragraph... etc lush: thickly and healthily growing (especially plants) erupting: expleding and pouring out fire 4 Check Your Progress 11 Unlike Example 8. soil.axis and orbits the sun. 5 very hot during th'e day..... steam... it is airless.... 2 .. very cold during the night First sentence: The northern and southern poles are different in many ways....... I 1 lush and fertile 1.... etc..... It has no volcanoes or geological activity. especially relating to rock... The moon Check Your Progress 12 The earth 1 ........ Write a paragraph of your own contrasting the Arctic and the Antarctic regions.... on the other hand has fascinating erupting volcanoes since it has no atmosphere to protect it... More rainful less rainfall 188 ... Fill in the gips in the following table to show the contrast between the moon and the earth. the Eaith is covered by an atmosphere..plants.... geological activity: activity which relates to the physical changes in the structure of the earth...... .. and cools to .... The moon.. gases.!.. on the other hand......... 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..... insects... orbits: goes round volcanoes: mountains with large openings at the top through which melting rock. 3 airless.. 2 has volcanoes 3 ..
cause and effect. can be distiiiguished from. while. such as the topic sentence and the development of the topic. despite the fact that. . . yet. although. . You i should now be able to use these techniques in writing paragraphs on iifferent'topics.Much plant life empty desert. on the other hand. and comparison a. etc. Development of Paragraphs Expressions of contrast: different ti.ld contrast.. Exploited for trade no trade at all . definition. ! i b KEY woms Antarctic Arctic cause comparison contrast definition description . 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. LET US SUM UP In Unit 6 we have introduced you to the elements that go into the organisation of a good paragraph. whereas. writing. . 189 .om. but. We have also discussed different techniques of developing paragraphs. such as illustration.
they will graduate. Adjectives add information by describing people. him. in fact. No matter how original an idea you come up with. The rules of mechanics are complex. Incorrect: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. playing soccer. Correct: If the student passes this course. them Incorrect: When a person comes to class. Therefore. A-PRONOUNS Pronouns refer back to or take the place of nouns. but it isn’t good for him. Agree in number A singular pronoun must be used for a singular noun. make your essay a unique piece. they. However. They should: 1. she. her. objects. it). she will graduate. and prepositions. Use them to describe people. me. Correct: When a person comes to class. Who is they? Correct: It has been years since the school board spent money on new textbooks. adverbs. 1-PARTS OF SPEECH Some parts of speech are more difficult than others. your writing will greatly improve. with usage explanations and examples. and situations to make the reader understand your point of view and see things the way you have seen them. she. you should have your homework ready. us Second: you Third: he. we. he/she should have his/her homework ready. adjectives. more than any others. you do not need to become a strict grammarian in order to write well. the focus of this chapter is on those errors that occur most frequently. or both?) Correct: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. or things in a sentence. 3. they sometimes confuse even professional writers. punctuation. Incorrect: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. they. Incorrect: It has been years since they spent money on new textbooks. Following are the four most challenging ones as they pertain to your writing: pronouns. (Whose laptop?) Correct: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. Be a specific reference to a noun It should be obvious to your reader to which noun the pronoun refers. 2. the inability to express yourself clearly and accurately through the written word will hinder the success of your essay. Agree in person Do not switch back and forth in your writing from the first person (I) to the second (you) or third (he. too. places. Incorrect: If the student passes this course. he should play some basketball. C-ADVERBS 190 .Mechanics 39 The majority of grammar. (What isn’t good for him? Reading. First person pronouns: I. If you learn these common errors and how to avoid or correct them. 41 B-ADJECTIVES Adjectives describe or modify nouns or pronouns. These words. and we took her laptop. Too few adjectives will make a personal statement a boring play-byplay that doesn’t tell the reader anything about the writer. Too much soccer isn’t good for him. and capitalization mistakes are just a few dozen common ones. and we took Nancy’s laptop.
such as slowly. Good form: They looked outside the house for the lost cat. Examples The box on your desk is your birthday present. Written correctly. 2. In the following sentence. it is not an absolute. However. Remember that when two or more prepositions are used together.” 191 . It is important to remember that they must always be used together: You must account for every item in your club’s budget. which describe verbs. The holiday that follows immediately after your birthday is Valentine’s Day. On your desk and after your birthday are prepositional phrases. The meal consists of eight separate courses. Good form: She likes all sports except soccer. Good form: I cleaned under the kitchen cabinets. Poor form: She likes all sports except for soccer. Well is commonly confused with its adjective counterpart. In the following sentence. it sounds much more natural to say “That’s all I can think of” than “That’s all of which I can think. none is more famous than: Never end a sentence with preposition!While this rule holds true for many situations. Confusing prepositional phrases Certain words must always be followed by certain prepositions. good. These necessary prepositions are always used in combination with their respective supported words. 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. Poor form: I cleaned up under the kitchen cabinets. As an adjective. The second sentence uses the preposition after to describe the time relationship between holiday and birthday. The first sentence uses the preposition on to describe the spatial relationship between the box and the desk. if it makes the sentence flow better. in popular speech.Adverbs. the sentence would read. chances are at least one is unnecessary. especially in your essay. good describes the verb played. 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. Poor form: They looked outside of the house for the lost cat. Below are two examples of required prepositions—the preposition is in italics and the supported word is underlined. The correct word to use in such instances is the adverb well.” PREPOSITIONS Prepositions are connecting words that link a noun or pronoun to another word in a sentence. the adverb that causes the most errors is not a typical-ly form. quickly. are easily spotted because most of them end in -ly. abruptly. It is perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition. unnecessary prepositions should be avoided. Using them unnecessarily Because it is so important in your essay to get to the point concisely. good is used to describe nouns. which s incorrect: I played good in the basketball game. For example. “I played well in the basketball game. good describes the noun pasta: The pasta ume last night was good. They are often used to show a relationship of space or time.
no extra words are needed. • Incorrect:While practicing outside with the soccer team. first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. OR The noisy construction job distracted Jim while he was practicing outside with the soccer team. 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. Correct: Meeting with student government this morning. It isn’t dangling. the modifier is just in the wrong place.What would the statement sound like if you kept—or dropped—the preposition? Does it sound like you. or does it sound like a college professor? Prepositions should not be used in an attempt to add importance or weight to your writing. he was distracted by the noisy construction job. • Incorrect:While working on his English assignment. Note that the unacceptable sentences could be improved simply by dropping the preposition at the end. To achieve subject-verb agreement. dangling modifiers (and indeed any ambiguous language) must be avoided. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 43 Many times short questions are ended in prepositions. 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. Correct: While Jim was practicing outside with the soccer team. Incorrect: Tim and Fran is a great couple. though sometimes difficult to recognize. (plural subject takes plural verb) 192 . Since it is so critical that your reader understand your point easily and exactly. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. Here are some acceptable and unacceptable examples. are easily fixed by rearranging word order. I had to have the cafeteria unlocked. and then pair it with the correct verb form. Note that correcting a dangling participle involves adding and/or rearranging the words in a sentence to make the meaning clear. is that they confuse meaning. The danger of misplaced modifiers. Did the cafeteria meet with student government? To say exactly what is meant.The best technique for deciding to keep or remove prepositions at the end of sentences is to use your ear. as with dangling modifiers. his computer crashed. 44 A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. Incorrect: I had to have the cafeteria unlocked meeting with student government this morning. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. the modifying phrase “meeting with student government” should be moved to the beginning of the sentence. (Was the computer working on the assignment?) • Correct: While Tony was working on his English assignment. the noisy construction job distracted Jim. Correct: Tim and Fran are a great couple.Tony’s computer crashed. NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT Nouns and verbs must agree in number.
Active: I misplaced my wallet. In the passive voice. you literally become the source.Run-on sentences don’t stop soon enough. singular subject is connected by and. the subject (most often you) is acted upon.Incorrect: One of my friends are going to your school. remember to first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. Incorrect: There is too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. Sentence fragments stop too quickly. Sentences written in the passive voice tend to be too wordy.Common examples include sentences that begin with there is and there are. Correct: One of my friends is going to yourt school. When we finished the game. RUN-ON SENTENCES A run-on sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses or complete sentences 193 . and expresses a fully developed thought. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 45 NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT CHECKLIST The more complex the sentence. although punctuated as a sentence. Examples At the zoo. they include two complete clauses or sentences. however. and here is and here are. Active: The administration has selected three finalists for the open position. Passive:My wallet was misplaced by me.The second sentences.) ✔ If a compound.) _ ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE The active voice is much more effective in conveying your personality through your essay. (Neither the 10-speed nor the hybrid is appropriate for a trail race. For these reasons. the verb must be plural. or lack focus. _ SENTENCE STRUCTURE A complete sentence requires a noun and verb.) ✔ If one plural and one singular subject are connected by or or nor. or cause. are clunky and noticeably longer. it should be used only when necessary. but it conveys your meaning more easily. Cried a lot. Correct: Here is the report you asked me to write. Correct:There are too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. Here are some guidelines that may help you: ✔ If a compound. they are phrases that are not whole thoughts. Passive: Three finalists for the open position have been selected by the administration. and may be dependent clauses. (Neither a fast bike nor perfect trails are going to help you to win if you do not train. Fragments also can be phrases or parts of other sentences. of the action. the verb agrees with the closest subject. (Both the 10-speed and the hybrid are appropriate for the bike race. Compare these sentences: Active: My friend asked for another helping. the more difficult it is to determine noun/verb agreement. The two most common mistakes at the sentence level are extremes. Not only is the active voice clearer and more direct. the verb must be singular. Passive: Another helping was asked for by my friend. singular subject is connected by or or nor.When editing your work. does not express a complete thought. and then match it to the correct verb. written in the passive voice. Note the simplicity and directness of the first sentence in each pair. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS A sentence fragment is a group of words that. (singular subject takes singular verb) Agreement may be difficult to determine when the noun follows the verb. The good news is that passive-voice errors are easy to omit from your writing. Can’t go to the store. Fragments are often missing a subject or verb. In the active voice. Incorrect: Here are the report you asked me to write.
after. OR Last year the governor said he was campaigning for our candidate. and may obscure meaning. Kim studied hard for the test that’s why he got an A. Add a dependent clause (use words such as because. This seems like an obvious point. Correct:We hardly ever see movies. Incorrect:We hardly never see movies. those covered in this section are the ones that present the most challenges to their users. and nor. Eight rules cover 194 . 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. but. Correct: When we finished our lunch. Break up the run-on sentence into two or more complete sentences. 48 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics _ PUNCTUATION There are dozens of different punctuation marks in the English language. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent. Correct: Last year the governor said he would campaign for our candidate. yet) to set apart an independent clause. Incorrect: There aren’t no tickets left. and has been taught to you numerous times during your education.placed together into one sentence without proper punctuation. Incorrect: Mary doesn’t like neither of those books. Incorrect: Vegans don’t eat dairy products nor meat. too. TAKE NOTE There are more negatives than just the obvious no. THE APOSTROPHE Apostrophes (’) are used to indicate ownership and to form contractions. As with verb tense shifts. so you do not need to double up. Correct: Vegans don’t eat dairy products or meat.While the information may seem simple. 5. and obscures meaning. 3. all verbs should be in the past tense. we decided to take a walk. and while). Use a comma and a conjunction (and. Incorrect: Last year the governor said he is campaigning for our candidate. For instance. 1. nor. we decide to take a walk. for. Correct: Mary doesn’t like either of those books. Correct: There aren’t any tickets left. it pays to review it. and will convey your voice more directly. since.With proper punctuation your writing will be more polished and technically correct. Examples We were hungry and John was tired so we had to stop at the first rest area that we saw. not. Use a dash to separate parts of the sentence. _ DOUBLE NEGATIVES The use of double negatives is unnecessary and incorrect. 4. never. If you are using those words. 2. 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. but tense shifts account for a large share of grammatical errors. Examples Incorrect: When we finished our lunch. Remember that hardly and barely are negatives. you have a negative. so. neither. when describing an event in the past. Here are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. Eliminate them from your writing. or. Break up the sentence by inserting a semi colon between two clauses.
1. its. Do not use contractions in highly formal written presentations. The students’ grades improved each semester. The project was the result of a year’s worth of work. He packed a week’s worth of clothing. The word it’s is instead a contraction of the words it is. Possessive pronouns never have apostrophes. THE COMMA Correct usage of commas (. even though some may end in s: Our car is up for sale. ITS VERSUS IT’S Unlike most possessives. Possessive plural nouns already ending in s need only the apostrophe added: The customers’ access codes are confidential. you need the possessive form. Poor form: My supervisor was in the class of ’89. I went to visit my great-grandfather’s alma mater. The second i is removed. My street address contains three 5’s.) is not as critical to the meaning of your sentences as it is with other punctuation marks. 195 . in hyphenated words. Show possession in the last word when using names of organizations and businesses. 2. even when the noun ends in s: The school’s lunchroom needs to be cleaned. 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. and replaced by an apostrophe. say the words it is when you come across it’s or its. 4. The Future Farmers of America’s meeting was moved to Monday.However. its does not contain an apostrophe. you should be using the contraction. 7. they can be used to convey your voice as they speed up or slow down the pace of your sentences. When revising your writing. 5. The flight attendants’ uniforms were blue and white. 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. Poor form: We’re going out of town next week. The drummer’s solo received a standing ovation. Good form: We are going out of town next week. Good form: She is going to write the next proposal. 8. Your garden is beautiful. His handwriting is difficult to read. Mr. If they don’t. Good form: My supervisor was in the class of 1989. Poor form: She’s going to write the next proposal. Add ’s to form the singular possessive. 3. without an apostrophe. Use an ’s to form the plurals of letters. I attended a conference in Washington. figures. Men’s shirts come in a variety of neck sizes. Somebody’s dog was barking all night. Apostrophes form contractions by taking the place of the missing letter or number. as well as certain expressions of time and money. and in joint ownership: Sam and Janet’s graduation was three months ago. and numbers used as words. Consider the difference in tone of the following example: Sentence A: During my junior year. Perkins’s persuasive essay was very convincing. The line for the women’s restroom was too long. 6.all of the situations in which they may appear. It was no one’s fault that we lost the game. Indefinite pronouns show ownership by the addition of ’s: Everyone’s hearts were in the right place. If they make sense.
The lack of a serial comma can cause confusion. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. in the following example. the message is straightforward.. Therefore. But if the serial comma is dropped. It creates a run-on sentence. Ann. Correct: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she attends a seminar each month and has been a professional for over twenty years. Sentence B reads quicker. Incorrect:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he graduated Summa Cum Laude. the serial comma clarifies the meaning of sentences. Sentence A sounds more deliberate. and the serial comma. Cindy. conveying the information faster and with equal weight on each part. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 51 While its use has been debated for centuries. ■ A restatement or elaboration of the previous clause Incorrect: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she is also the mother of two children. American literature. There are two common errors that all college-bound students should be aware of: the comma splice. Serial Comma A serial comma is the one used last in a list of items.C. physics. D. OR Our school received an award because we raised the most money for the local charity. 50 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Sentence B: During my junior year I attended a conference in Washington. physics. apples.we raised the most money for the local charity. giving a little more information with each clause. after the word and. and oranges. American literature. you should use it consistently whenever writing a list. 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. We raised the most money for the local charity. commas are often misused. To correct a comma splice. and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. Correct:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper.C. and religion. it could be understood as Cindy being told that Ann and Sally were hired. Ann and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. and religion. you can either: ■ replace the comma with a period. or so Comma splice: Our school received an award. I bought bananas. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas.D. In addition to helping to convey your voice and personality. OR Our school received an award. Correct: He signed up for four classes: geometry. because. the comma after apples is the serial comma: At the store. we raised the most money for the local charity. forming two sentences ■ replace the comma with a semicolon ■ join the two clauses with a conjunction such as and. Comma Splice A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to connect two complete sentences. Cindy. For instance. Corrected sentence: Our school received an award. In the sentence. 196 .
■ Use semicolons to separate items in a series that contain commas. places. last. the first. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. ■ A dangling participle is a phrase or clause. dirty. July 7. Example: The strays were malnourished. Example: Four people worked on the project. the first word of a complete quotation. she received a low grade. Consider the following: My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. This can be effective in your essay. and ill. using a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies. ■ The active voice is not only clearer and more direct. Both create ambiguity and can change the meaning of a sentence. They present information more confidently and forcefully than if the sentence were divided in two other types of punctuation marks. He had to fly to Houston to present a paper.Monday. Nutley. Florida. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that are connected with a conjunctive adverb that expresses a relationship between clauses. has the tone that conveys. so she adopted them all. and things) 3.and to separate the items in a list when those items contain commas. the first word of a sentence 2. Nebraska. and thus appear overly casual. Use it instead of the passive voice whenever possible. even if the clauses are joined by a conjunction. languages 6. but it conveys your meaning more easily. April 14. adverbs. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses joined without a conjunction. proper nouns (names of people. Amherst. New Jersey. accounting for a majority of usage errors. and prepositions are the most challenging parts of speech. A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. and any contractions made with it _ FOR YOUR REVIEW ■ Pronouns. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. Learn the common errors to eliminate them from your writing.” It sounds more authoritative. ■ Avoid the two most common mistakes at the sentence level: sentence fragments 197 . _ CAPITALIZATION Capitalization is necessary both for specific words and to start sentences and quotes. and any other important words of a title 5. Example: Victoria was absent frequently.“I know why this happened. There are just six occasions that require capitalization: 1. but not a partial quotation 4.with the colon. only one received credit for it. Examples: The dates for our meetings are Monday. October 11. the pronoun I. but because you never want to appear pompous. but Liz had a weakness for kittens. many writers overuse it. ■ Nouns and verbs must agree in number. therefore. My teacher wasn’t in class today.) may be used in two ways: to separate independent clauses. The first example. January 10. and I am going to tell you. adjectives. THE SEMICOLON Semicolons (.Colons have the effect of sounding authoritative. 52 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics ■ Use semicolons to separate independent clauses. and Tuesday.Massachusetts. and Pensacola. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that contain commas.However. Case: Use a semicolon to show which sets of items go together. it should be used sparingly. She has lived in Omaha. Tuesday.
middle.and run-on sentences. A seemingly empty topic. The thoughtful detail in the first paragraph shows a much more engaged writer than the writer of the second paragraph. When visiting the area they will be inundated with shops. ■ The use of double negatives is unnecessary and redundant. 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. Do not shift from one tense to another unless it is necessary. etc. ■ Proper punctuation makes your essay more polished and technically correct. whether that idea is declared in a topic sentence in the beginning. The features of most parking lots are not so different. definition. Everything else in the paragraph is there to show the reader the validity and significance of that idea. Most visitors to San Francisco will list Chinatown as a must-see “tourist” destination. The reader learns why the writer believes in an idea. As with verb tense shifts.—taking a general concept and making it real. The tourist will eat lunch or dinner in one of several Chinese Cuisine restaurants. Rich 198 . The parking lot always has a prominent place right in front of an establishment and sometimes even surrounds the building. Paragraph Development Good paragraph development is a mark of a writer's investment in a topic. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. And more than likely the vacation photos will include a picture of them standing at entrance to China Town. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent and can obscure meaning. one welldeveloped and the other not so well-developed: At one time or another. parking lots. such as determining when and where more development is needed. They’ll probably notice the area is crowded and dirty. It has a controlling idea. Be certain each sentence contains one complete thought. To see the difference good development makes." The author. students will learn techniques of good paragraph development." become concrete and specific in the well-developed paragraph. or even sloppy. Rows upon rows of boundaries for individual driving units lined up one after another. just take a look at these example paragraphs. It isn’t like anyone would mistake a parking lot for anything else. a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business. the writer then explores the significance of that topic through one or more methods of development—reflection. ■ Be consistent with verb tenses. or end of the paragraph. General statements. and when to add more evidence versus greater depth of explanation or detail. exemplification. like "Volleyball is a great sport”. You would never look at a parking lot and think to yourself that maybe it is a park or a playground or an airstrip. everyone who has a car will inevitably use a parking lot. below the traditional Chinese arch. or whether the idea is implied. explanation. Using capitalization in any other way can make your writing appear too casual. A parking lot is a parking lot. ■ There are six occasions that require capitalization. yellow or white lines glowing on a background of blacktop. In this module. or Mediterranean cooking is healthy. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. What does a well-developed paragraph look like? A well-developed paragraph is a complete paragraph. and it helps to convey your voice. With the main idea established.
I. and detail that brings that idea to life. the controlling idea "Democracy is the foundation of a good community" will need extensive explanation and exemplification to be a convincing point. A well-developed paragraph has a clear controlling idea. a politican might (quite intentionally) say "If elected. the controlling idea determines how much development is needed and how long the paragraph is going to be. In addition. helps readers re-see a familiar space in passages like this one where he gets readers to realize that we have always needed parking. etc. Ask yourself if a reader would benefit from hearing more about a particular point. providing cliché generalizations about what the tourist will find to do in Chinatown. even if the word causes the particularities of Bandit. When trying to decide on length. But other ideas can be developed in a sentence or two. Brutus." we can talk about dogs as companions. in his influential book Language in Thought and Action. talks about a "ladder of abstraction" as a tool for thinking about good communication. For example. With the word "dog. dogs as descendents of wolves. each of us has our own image of "dog" in our minds. or make emergency care free to everyone over 65. stays at the surface of the topic. On the other hand." Health care benefits is a phrase at a fairly high level of abstraction: it can refer to anything from coverage of hospital expenses. 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. even before people had cars! The author of the second paragraph. while some paragraphs are up to a page long. one person may think of her Chihuahua.. in the abstract statement. Hayakawa. As a result. And so. A paragraph should include sentences at varying levels—the topic sentence or controlling idea being the most general or abstract. Some paragraphs are composed of only a single sentence. Without abstractions and generalizations. 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. Try and think like your reader. dogs as pack animals. Brutus. without ever getting specific or concrete. S. A useful way to think about developing paragraphs is to think about levels of detail. and we can agree on what dogs are generally like. "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. a quick break-down of the chart to explain distribution of funds is all that is really needed here. they learn nothing new. as in this example. we would have a hard time sharing ideas: for example. The politician relies on such abstract statements. we need the word "dog" in order to communicate and to find common ground. Examine every sentence to see if it might deserve further explanation or exemplification. readers are only reminded of what they already know. 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. General to Specific & Abstract to Concrete Development. what the candidate is thinking is anyone's guess. and no sense of a writer's mind and voice behind the words. a good writer asks.Motherwell. And so. 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. another individual may associate all dogs with the vicious Dachsund that bit his ankle. and an 199 . Bandit.. Some ideas are complex and will need extensive explanation and/or exemplification. receive no insight. for example. to coverage of prescription drugs. we risk leaving our communications wide open for interpretation. and supporting sentences having more specific and/or concrete development. "A Pie chart help us see where company money is going". and the biting Dachsund to drop away. if we stay at a general level. As Hayakawa points out. In making decisions about development. another of his family's German Shepherd. I will increase health care benefits for seniors. and another for massage therapy professionals. we need both abstract and concrete language for communication.. San Francisco. to co-pay expenses. or if there is already enough information to make the controlling idea seem valid and interesting. on the other hand.
" and "Lost in the Supermarket. Yet there was some pretty bad new-wave music as well (at least I see that now. a reader will rarely accept a series of generalizations as text worth reading. A good paragraph goes down the ladder of abstraction to provide these references. In a written text. 80's rock included real extremes: big-hair metal bands like Van Halen and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts arrived on the scene. in hindsight) by "Haircut" bands like Flock of Seagulls ("I ran") and the Thompson Twins ("Lies"). Everyone knew the words to "Burning Down the House. a reader expects to get concrete information and a new perspective or new insight. and to hear a person's unique voice. words should be "referable" to lower levels of abstraction. To write well-developed paragraphs. and this voice comes out in the details rather than in the broad generalization." and "Bad Reputation. to win elections." "New Wave" also emerged as a kind of toned down. 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. Now. radio-acceptable. 1. the Sex Pistols. synthesized version of punk music." were played at every party." "Anarchy in the U. as Hayakawa points out. you already use patterns of development to express yourself.unquestioning public. Some of it was great. headbanging punk music took off with bands like the Ramones. doing great numbers like "Jump. In an abstract statement." And edgy. and The Clash pruducing amazing off-the-radio tracks like "Blitzkrieg Bop." and "Psycho Killer. think in terms of levels of detail. or change a tire. and B52's songs like "Planet Clare. I was exposed to exciting new movements in rock music. you are using a pattern of development called "process analysis". a more humorous and satirical version of punk. when you offer several reasons why you are late for an appointment. take a look at a paragraph that goes down through all of the levels of abstraction above: As a teenager in the eighties. when you describe what your roomate looks like when she gets up in the morning you are using "description". however.K. you are 200 . Write a paragraph that is complete and developed with concrete detail on the following topic: why cell phones are so popular 2. Whether you are aware of it or not. When you show someone how to make an omelette." and "Rock Lobster. 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." by the Talking Heads. The figure to the right demonstrates how one might go down the ladder of abstraction and provide such references in a discussion of music.
201 . and when you tell the story of your first date. Learning to use these patterns of development in writing is not difficult: you will need to familiarize yourself with key transitional expressions that send a signal to the reader that a particular pattern is being used. 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. you are using narration. and you will need to make conscious decisions about which strategies best develops your ideas.
definition. PhD Division of Journalism Florida A&M University presentations of single units of thought.Seven Types of ParagraphIn their pursuit of clear. The following paragraphs have been devised in an attempt to emphasize the characteristics of each mode of writing. paragraphs can be developed into well focused What follows is an (imaginary) article invented to illustrate many of the "modes of discourse"--the © 1999. concise writing. classification. process analysis.net/ggrow/ list. In nonprofit educational use. description. for example. description.school writing handbook will remind you that process analysis. May be used by teachers fortraditional methods by which writing is developed. these modes are mixed in natural combinations.longleaf. the following paragraphs are narration.unrelated to one another. In most writing.) Contact.everything in short. 202 . and persuasion. Available at: analysis paragraph has been broken into a bulleted http://www. journalism Development students sometimes develop the habit of writing Annotated examples of narration. 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. andconsiderable thought has been given to how longer persuasion. narration frequently includes description. by Gerald Grow. in typical "how to" style. May not besuccession. reprinted elsewhere withoutexposition. definition. Reviewing any good high classification. choppy paragraphs that are exposition. (The process permission.
but so does interpretive language. whatever. He found where his pants were hanging and. a goal (to camp). Narration usually contains characters. He felt for the flashlight beside his bunk. and a resolution. the nights are filled with the busy. a conflict. as he felt the pockets for a box of matches. In this paragraph. was outside in the darkness also breathed. Then. You always have the comforting knowledge that other people are all around you. It was gone. You don't just lay the words on the page. something rustled in the leaves right outside the window. stifling them. And much too dark. Time and place and person are normally established. inches from his face. It was then he decided to pack up and move to a motel. something woke Charles Hanson up. tree-frogs chirruped. A narrative differs from a mere listing of events. It was the darkest dark he had ever seen. crickets sang. a climax (his panic). you point them in the direction of a story. a setting. Something felt wrong. Specific details always help a story. Even starlight failed to penetrate the 80-foot canopy of trees the camper was parked beneath. It was too quiet. she was awake. And light: At home he can read in bed by the glow of the streetlight. hold her breath. too. He lay in the dark listening. the "story" components are: a protagonist (Hanson). It was too quiet. Across the distant forest floated two muffled hoots from a barred owl. and the huge silence of the night seemed to come inside the camper. At home in New Jersey. This narrative serves as the opening anecdote that illustrates the topic of the story • • Top 204 .m. Comments on narration: • • • Normally chronological (though sometimes uses flashbacks) A sequential presentation of the events that add up to a story. comforting sounds of traffic. a setting (the park). Outside. Wanda. and a resolution (leaving). He heard his wife.Narration Around 2 a. an obstacle (nature).
after an indirect opening. "Several times a month." Those people picked the wrong kind of park to visit. the key problem with exposition is credibility. "people get scared and leave the park in the middle of the night. What makes your explanation believable? Normally. • • Top 206 ." ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said. Not that there was anything wrong with the park: The hikers camped next to them loved the wild isolation of it. why it is important. Comments on exposition: • • Exposition is explanatory writing Exposition can be an incidental part of a description or a narration.Exposition This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that. specifies the topic of the article. 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. If they had known about the different kinds of parks in Florida. writers solve this problem by citing authorities who have good credentials and good reason to be experts in the subject. or it can be the heart of an article Aside from clarity. they might have stayed in a place they loved. This paragraph also happens to serve as the justifier or "nut graf" for the little article: the paragraph that. according to Florida park rangers. and what is to come. hundreds of visitors suffer each year.
Bring the world into your story and use it to define your terms. not in the dictionary. Meaning is found in the world. walk the dog. • 208 . play tennis. hike. but make a strong effort to say what it IS. Comments on definition: • Never define anything by the "according to Webster's" method.Definition "Park" is difficult to define in Florida." and even the ones called "parks" come in several varieties. ranging from acres of RVs ringed around recreation halls. and. to impenetrable mangrove wilderness. Basically. camp. not all of them are called "parks. a park is a place to go for outdoor recreation-to swim. picnic. Saying what something is NOT can help readers. because there are so many kinds of parks. Florida has a rich variety of parks. paddle your canoe. To make things more complicated. in some places take rides in miniature trains or swish down a waterslide.
The key problem in description is to avoid being static or flat. to construct a scene. or. Use sensory language. Think of description as a little narrative in which the visual characteristics unfold in a natural. Description requires you to record a series of detailed observations. Comments on description: • Description is not what you saw. In the midst of this lovely setting. Try making the description a little dramatic revelation. Pay special attention to the sound and rhythm of words. Look for ways to describe action. but what readers need to see in order to imagine the scene. walls of dense river swamp rise before you. you find 65 campsites. Also evoke. 18 rustic cabins. use these when you can. slowly swirling. the Santa Fe River disappears in a large. sudden sinkholes open in the woodlands-rich with cool ferns and mosses. as in this example. Farther from the river. left to right. A diving platform marks a good place to swim in the soft. Nearby. Portray. Think of what pieces readers need. then continues on to meet the Suwannee and the sea.Description O'Leno is a good example of a state park in Florida. like watching an actor put on a 210 • • • • • . person. Adopt a strategy that makes your description into a little story: move from far to near. The success of a description lies in the difference between what a reader can imagine and what you actually saw and recorded. from that gap arises a spark of engagement. stands of cypress mirror themselves in the still waters. dramatic order. old to new. etc. interesting. cool waters of the Santa Fe. the river rises three miles downstream in a big boil. shaded woods of a beautiful hardwood forest. Surrounded by the tall. down a river. and canoeing up this dark river is like traveling backwards in time in the direction of original Florida. to give your description a natural flow. Go light on adjectives and adverbs. object. expanses of longleaf pinelands stretch across rolling hills. in what order. 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. Be especially careful to make real observations. and a pavilion for group meetings. After appearing intermittently in scattered sinkholes. tree-lined pool.
But if you want to stand at the edge of civilization and look across time into an older natural world. and browning bodies. By contrast. to make certain you have all the elements necessary to write a comparison. Comments on comparison: • There is a helpful technique for writing a comparison. O'Leno wraps itself with the silence of crickets and owls. list the two items being compared. you have to be careful to step over the picnic baskets. stick with it till the end of the comparison. or take the first category. your comparisons will benefit. Before writing a comparison. Lloyd Beach is the place to go. Where O'Leno gives you so much quiet you can hear the leaves whispering. umbrellas. As in the model below. 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. Lloyd Beach is busy with fishermen till well past midnight. and the criteria by which they will be compared. 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. jam boxes. At night. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area. or dive into the busy bustle of an urban beach. O'Leno is the park to visit. When you walk at Lloyd Beach. 212 • Top . Either describe all of O'Leno and compare it to all of Lloyd Beach by working "down" columns two and three. "noise" and compare the two parks in terms of it. draw up a chart and fill it in. O'Leno Lloyd Beach quiet noisy solitude busy crowds available river to swim Atlantic beach and canoe forest abundant. If you follow it. and so on "across the rows. If you want to fish near town. then the next category." Once you commit to a "down" or "across" strategy. Lloyd Beach is a place of boisterous activity. If you do not make such a chart. there is a chance you will have a hole in your comparison. near Fort Lauderdale.Comparison Forest and river dominate O'Leno State Park.
• • • • • • Now you are ready to move in. Assemble the two remaining tent poles in a similar manner. Then isolate the steps: number then. and anything that might pierce the bottom of the tent. For the next paragraph. 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 • • • • . though it is easier with two. Comments on process analysis: • In describing how a process happens or how to perform a series of actions. Put the steps into sequence. Here's how: • First. snAP Test. Peg down the corners of the bottom. limbs. pull its guyrope tight and peg the guyrope down. pretend you are reading an article on how to put up a particular brand of tent. Prop up the awning with the two remaining poles and secure them with guyropes. One person can set up the FamilyProof Tent. Place a pole near each of the pegs. yet almost impossible with three or more. use bullets. After you have all four poles in place. While holding the pole up.] When you find the park you are looking for. always think of your readers: can they follow this? Analyze the process into a series of steps. Unfold the tent so that the corners of the waterproof bottom form a square. but this time. Finally. unroll the front flAP Test. Thread each pole through the two loops leading toward the top of the tent. Next. clear a 9 by 9 foot area of snags. To form an awning. Together all four external tentpoles (they are held together by shock cords to ake sure you get the pieces matched up). fit it into the upper end of the standing pole before securing its guywire. so that the pole is held up by the guyrope and the pegs on opposing sides of the tent bottom.Process Analysis [Note: I couldn't think of a way to write the following paragraphs that followed naturally from the previous material. lift one of the poles. Lift the pole on the opposite side of the tent in the same way. you will need to make camp.
This can make all the difference in the quality of your vacation. and what your options are. and what they are like." Description of time and place draws readers into other worlds and sets the stage where a story can unfold. Find out what parks are available. analysis. as she had been half afffectionately termed by the family.Persuasion Before you go camping in Florida. or Sister Carrie. was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis. helps us imagine what people are like. and take action. Remember: Readers are interested in only one opinion--their own." or "The mountains loomed above them. as in this description of Caroline Meeber by Theodore Dreiser in his novel Sister Carrie: Caroline. You need to supply them with the information. they will be glad they read your article. and context they need to form their own opinions. pretty with the insipid 215 . Get good information on what to expect. Description of characters. but not strong. If you can help them formulate and deepen that opinion. and it uses a direct. 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.longleaf. Comments on persuasion: • This paragraph is but a small example of the kind of writing used widely in editorials and columns. "OK.net/ggrow> Description Subjective Description: Writers use descriptive paragraphs most often in fiction. mannerisms. make their own judgments. Just think of lines like "It was a dark and stormy night. It was nevertheless. plan ahead. Don't wind up in the wilds when you want to be near Disney World. their appearance. Self-interest with her was high. • • • Top Gerald Grow's Homepage at <http://www. Warm with the fancies of youth. and utterances. and don't wind up on a concrete RV pad when you really want the forest primeval. her guiding characteristic. now get up and act!" To persuade people to change their minds or take an action. more is needed than your opinion or sense of conviction.
Objective Description: Description is also used in reportorial and scientific writing. Narration A narrative is a story. The leaf sinuses are rounded. as in the following example: The Acer barbatum is a small to medium-sized. " (Dreiser 1) In this type of description. while those of red maple are widest at the base. however. becoming ridged and furrowed with age. or person to be described as objectively as possible and the descriptive details of the paragraph should add substance to the main point. the controlling idea should identify the object. For example. . the author is describing an impression of what is observed. at the beginning of an essay on the problems caused by excessive instant messaging by young teens. Nothing should be included in the paragraph that does not support the controlling idea. or other writing in which the goal is to present an objective picture of an object or scene. For instance. 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. is being aware of one's own biases. and gender. . cultural contexts for writing. possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence. "It was a gloomy morning. she was a fair example of the middle American class . the sides of terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel. deciduous tree usually ranging from 15–25 m. (Sieberling) It is important to note that while being objective may be a writer's goal. ethnic and cultural background. storytelling can be very effective for the simple reason that people love to hear stories. Writing Description: Whether your goal is to write objective or subjective description. In both subjective and objective description. with a few blunt teeth but no serrations. too. (50–80 ft. . Good supporting details could include "The morning air felt damp and cold.) tall when mature. how the writer feels about the subject. part of writing good objective description." is an example of a dominant impression. . as a video camera records a scene. the writer attempts to stay away from emotional impressions or responses. the details must be organized in a meaningful way on the page. your paragraph should have a clear controlling idea so that your reader knows what to do with your descriptive details. As a method of development. You may experience a scene or a person as a holistic impression. In these writing situations. the writer's age. and instead report what is seen. that controlling idea should be a dominant impression of a particular scene or person. getting past biases can be difficult. if your reader is to understand what your observations mean. Leaves are opposite and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed. a narrative paragraph can be effective at drawing the reader in and establishing your voice in the essay. and will tune in to a story when their eyes glaze over at other styles of writing." In an objective description. Supporting details should help the reader understand the dominant impression. 216 . In subjective description. Even when your purpose is to write an essay that is primarily to inform. People huddled inside their coats. Also. organizing details around clear controlling ideas is essential.prettiness of the formative period. analyze or argue. Bark is light gray and smooth on younger trees. . 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. tapering to the tip. unlike those of red maple (Acer rubrum) which are sharply Vshaped. 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. scene. Therefore.
Consider the difference between the general and specific. and watched. choosing concrete and specific expressions. here and there. and then I clumb up into the forks of a cottonwood that was out of reach. 217 . rather than abstract or general ones. A new paragraph will begin when the scene changes. soon. moreover. spend a lot of time trying to find the right words for their meaning. narrative paragraphs are characterized by words that show action and words that show sequence. Concrete and Specific Detail: Descriptive details in a narrative paragraph are essential to a good story. I worked along under the trees. etc. too These phrases do call attention to themselves. transitions are needed to emphasize important time relationships. second. . besides. Further shots take the reader into the scene emphasizing details and actions that will take place in that scene. finally. 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. 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. Therefore. logical sequence of actions supplies the narrative sequence: "I took off. . . / He loved her. However. For the most part. so it is wise to use logic most of the time to show sequence. eventually. then. Consider the folllowing narrative paragraph from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Details help readers to connect to the world the author envisions. even in a narrative paragraph. in addition." Below are some of the common transitional expressions used in narrative writing: meanwhile. and first I was going to hide behind that. also. a controlling idea is important. 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. first. in the previous paragraph from Huckleberry Finn. because it gives the reader information about what to do with the details that follow. By and by I begin to hear guns a good ways off. but maybe it was luckier I didn't. the controlling idea for the scene is "I took up the river road as hard as I could put.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. and the controlling idea as a kind of wide angle shot on the scene." By virtue of the linear arrangement of these sentences on the page." 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. 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. However. I heard guns . therefore. the reader assumes the actions take place in sequence. furthermore. talking. There was a wood-rank four foot high a little ways in front of the tree. later. 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. . as in the phrase "by and by. running. For example. In a narrative paragraph it is useful to think of paragraphs as scenes. Good writers.
and how formal or informal to be.." and "finally.htm. Some process analysis writing is intended for an audience that needs to learn how to perform a process themselves. Process Analysis A process analysis is a discussion of the steps one must take to achieve a particular end. you'll probably find this tutorial a bit of a yawner. My name is Joe and I'm going to give you a few simple lessons on how to make a Web Page. for example. Part of your revision process should included finding concrete and specific expressions for your ideas. / It was a beautiful sunset. how technical to be. The basic idea is this. and rays of brighter gold fanned across the sky into the high clouds above. fixing a bent bicycle wheel.. A web page is nothing more than a file. The concrete and specific expressions get a reader's attention far more effectively than the abstract and general expressions do. (Barta) Example 2: 218 . A reader can imagine specific things far more readily than general concepts. / She was scared. but other steps must be taken by corporations and governments as well. Process analysis paragraphs also depend on transitional expressions such as "first.Her hands were shaking and she was afraid her knees would not support her. this is for "all wet behinda ears" Newbies. 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. examples of this type include how to resolve the healthcare crisis. The writer must have a clear sense of the audience in order to know what to include. the reader reads such texts for understanding as well as instruction.html or . Other process analysis writing is informative rather than instructional. Some process analyses work on both levels. the sky turned hot pink and gold. You'll be happy to learn that it's really pretty simple. Audience: Audience awareness is extremely important in process analysis writing. 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. a HTML file to be exact. the steps in the process being described happen in sequence over time. finding a good job. and so are presented in chronological order. If you're at all experienced at this sort of thing. what to leave out. and how to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. quitting smoking. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language." "then. for example. I must warn you though. (If you are unclear about this file extension stuff. Writing a Process Analysis Sequence: Typically. then you really are newbie!! Take a quick detour for a few ramblings on the subject). As the sun passed under the horizon. It's called HTML because web page documents have the file extension ." "second." to indicate the sequence in which steps are to be taken.
For example. a country twang in his vocals. Without this sense of purpose. soundtracks." and "server. (Web Page) Both examples show how to build a web page. medical professionals are better able to analyze the disease. Division and classification make it easy for individuals to locate what they are looking for.There are basically two ways to make a web page. your system for dividing and/or classifying information may not meet your needs. country life. and hotels are ranked and classified according to quality. be sure to examine the writing prompt to see if your instructor is looking for you to develop a complete classification system that allows one to evaluate items according to specific criteria. dance music. jazz. and cell phones as a cause of accidents and physical 219 . Once you have created your page(s). we divide a general category of things into smaller subcategories. and other features. but these organizational methods are also useful for understanding complex problems or issues: For example. homesickness. and those who are unable to find work—we are better able to combat the crisis. and write for that audience. Otherwise it will not be read properly by a web browser. if you have one. In writing an essay involving division and/or classification. the sick. When writing your own process analysis paragraph. For example. world music. "There are three main problems associated with living across from a highschool: noise." In classification. a student might write an essay about the problems created in society by the cell phone. you save it as a "text". In addition. you could end up with all the wrong things. we develop criteria for the items in a subcategory based on relationships between the items. and traffic congestion. noise. etc. For example. trash. cleanliness. Using Division and Classification in Your Writing: To use division and classification successfullly." "Telnet. hip-hop. do so in any text editing or word processing document. if you pack for a camping trip without taking the context of your trip in mind. Neighborhoods are ranked by prospective home buyers according to criteria such as schools. The second author assumes the reader is familiar with terms like "FTP. The first way is to create the page(s) offline and then upload them to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) via FTP. crime rate. you will need to contact your ISP about how to go about uploading them to your server. 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. themes of heartache. "plain text" or "text only" document. or uncomfortable street shoes to hike in rather than hiking boots. In division. 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 first author is very informal and friendly (even including a smiling cartoon of himself). you must first have a strong sense of purpose. 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." The first author assumes his audience has no knowledge of key terms. classical. a classification system is used in the military to rank officers. knowing your goal is also important. If you are creating your web page(s) offline. take the time to decide who you think your audience is going to be. you could have sleepwear suited for a warm bed rather than a cold forest floor. by dividing cancer into more than 100 different types. Make sure that when you save your document. the elderly. Classification sometimes refers to a ranking system by which things or persons are evaluated. etc. and by looking at different groups suffering from poverty—for example. the authors take different tones with the reader. If you are asked to write a classification paragraph or essay. etc. for this student. The second way is to create your web page(s) online using a Telnet program by accessing your UNIX account. rock. dividing these problems into categories—cell phones as a social problem. the second author is formal and more detached. For example.
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. convenience. but the emphasis is likely to be on the ranking of the different divisions. and appearance would not be an effective system for this argument. 220 .and equally foolish. ever-improving path. Every step may be fruitful. That's deep enough.) Illustration You may associated the word "illustration" with images that accompany a story in a picture book. you need to decide on the form of illustration you will use: A series of examples or statistical information can be persuasive. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. ever-ascending. It may be a story. or a statistic. a quotation. as in "There are two main problems associated with . who never lets her hair down. Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. Topic sentence in division and classification paragraphs: Typically. got so crazy last night." Every day you may make progress. mouthwash and bathroom cleaners. . ." In a classification paragraph. (Winston Churchill) I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. an anecdote. It feels clean and right. Writers use examples to make a general idea clear—to illustrate an idea. or the criteria that chacterize items in a group. " or "We can proceed in one of three ways. an adorable pancreas? (Jean Kerr) Using illustration in your writing: Once you have a clear sense of an idea you want to illustrate. Yet as Einstein says. Classifying cell phones according to size. the topic sentence might also involve enumeration. as in the following example. The key to a good illustration. extended example. or it may be several short examples. But this. 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. "Most states recognize two types of murder. Consider the following examples: I am surprised that Margot. however. so far from discouraging. The illustration may be one long. is that it sheds light on the general idea. in illustrated books. for example. "Before God we are all equally wise . What do you want. Illustration also refers more generally to clarification through exemplification." 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. no matter which form it takes. the picture helps to illuminate or clarify the meaning in the text." or "Ponds have several characteristics that differentiate them from lakes. only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. price.injury—will help the student develop a clear argument. We assassinate microbes with hand soap. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening.
. and when impressions are essential. "It was getting scarier and scarier. the writer should strive to use analogies and impressions that the reader can readily identify with. Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access -. making the idea clear and real. Some surgical and dental procedures cause a brief bacteremia. or to come to new understanding of terms they may be familiar with. .Diebold employees. but only certain bacteria commonly cause endocarditis. Certain bacteria normally live on parts of your body. A writer may wish to define complex terms such as "heartache." Harris said. they say. This technique is useful if you are exploring a complex idea. . and the skin. where the terminology is extensive and discipline-specific. Consider this paragraph about Caeser Chavez from Wikipedia: Chávez was an ethical vegan and vocal advocate of animal rights. doubts about the accuracy and integrity of e-voting equipment have been growing. "Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence. Diebold hadn't password-protected the file or secured the audit log.But some scientists say we're overdoing it. a writer should be as objective as possible. Bacteremia is common after many invasive procedures. 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. definitions can be more subjective. In the humanities. Definition is very important in the sciences.a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office -. or a biography." Over the past year. ("Bacterial") 221 . ." "luck." He also said. Racism. is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria." (Wikipedia) Definition In a definition paragraph. searching the Internet for an electronic voting machine manual.and change votes without leaving a trace. . irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. "There was a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been there. "I was thinking we have an immense problem here that's much bigger than me. when she made a startling discovery. the intestinal and urinary tracts. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema. The answer. long illustration allows you to get in depth and explore facets of an idea. the main idea is developed through a list of concrete examples. as in the following illustration from an essay on e-voting. the writer's goal is to help the reader understand new terms or concepts. 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. . economic deprival. He stated. (Zetter) You may also choose to use quotations to illustrate an idea." or "democracy" in a personal way. A single." Harris said. election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line -. "I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. . so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election -. This technique is useful when you are writing a literary analysis. (Keim) In each paragraph. thanks to Harris' discovery. dog fighting and cock fighting. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves. Washington. In defining scientific terms. such as the mouth and upper respiratory system.could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence. on the other hand. voting activist Bev Harris was holed up in the basement of her three-story house in Renton. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.
as in the above definition of "idiocy. sir?” Throughout my life. I would like it known that I am not an “idiot. then explores the consequences or effects of this cause. Exploring the evolution of the term could yield interesting insight into the connotations of the contemporary term. For example. paragraph emphasizing effect: Jack should never have quit his job. Welch did of Senator Joseph McCarthy. for the record. Cause & Effect A cause and effect development techniques are typically discussed together. Below are some common methods of definition: By characteristics or features: Scientific definitions typically rely on this type of definition. A paragraph emphasizing the causes of something typically begins with an effect. (Frazer) The second paragraph is taken from an essay-length definition of "idiocy" by Ian Frazer. Look at the examples below: paragraph emphasizing causes: Several factors contributed to the instability of the economy today. . one or the other will be emphasized. a writer begins with a particular cause. provide a basic or general definition. By its effect: Discussing what effects the subject produces is important with certain subjects or in certain contexts. Nobody knows what it is like to deal with crippling bouts of idiocy while trying to lead a normal life. By what it is similar to: Comparison and analogy help us understand things that are unfamiliar to us. . A definition can be developed in a number of ways. Writing Definitions: To write a definition paragraph (or essay). “Have you no sense of decency. Physical features as well as behaviors (as in animal or cell behavior) may be a part of this type of definition. By example: Giving examples illustrating what the term means can be highly effective. for now he is really in trouble. “[I]diot” is not a nice word to call somebody. So. in an essay on global warming. the slang term "wimp" comes from the term "wimple. the purpose of the paragraph is to explore how that effect came to be—to show what caused it. or what it is lacking. I have had to struggle to keep from thinking of myself in the limiting way that word implies. The method(s) you choose should be determined by the term you are defining. a definition of CO2 emissions emphasizing the consequences of these emissions to the environment would be important. 222 ." By its origins: Providing a history of what a term has meant can help us understand its current meaning. For example. or what it does can be an important part of definition. and I find myself asking. By what it is not: Ironically. He goes on to give examples of his idiocy and then conclude that his idiocy is just not his fault. and then provide clear detail to support the definition. a writer must identify the term being defined." which refers to a head scarf women wore in mediaeval Europe.” I am a person who suffers from idiocy. In a paragraph emphasizing the effects of something.Subjective Definition: . in a particular paragraph. we can get a pretty good sense of what something is like. by learning what it is not. By function: how something works. However. The last thing I need is for somebody to make it harder by pointing out what an “idiot” I am. as Mr.
and. evidence must be selected that best supports the interpretation or conclusion. A rose blooms. Analysis In an analysis paragraph. the looms in the factories seem a forest. The author analyzes scenes from the text to support an interpretation of their significance in the larger context of the novel: In Hard Times. Analogy Analogy can be highly effective for extended definitions because in analogy. Once a writer has developed an interpretation of or conclusion about a subject. Writing an Analysis Paragraph: Strong analysis depends on a clear sense of purpose. is due to. mad elephants. Take a look at the following example of an analysis of setting in the novel Hard Times. There are no perfect analogies. therefore. It is not Ok to write "There are several causes and effects for .Writing a cause & effect paragraph or essay: In a cause and/or effect paragraph. Rather a cynical view of love in the end. lumbering up and down are melancholy. 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. Charles Dickens suggests that everything in the sooty. 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. and why it is important to discuss a cause and effect relationship in the first place. if one chooses to emphasize the thorns of the rose. but it also has thorns. " A controlling idea like this merely establishes a fact. Using transition words to emphasize cause and effect relationships between ideas is useful. the writer needs to know which factor to emphasize: causes or effects. the goal is to understand a subject by examining its parts. for this reason. the stuff of strange dreams: the lights of factories make the factories seem like fantastic fairy palaces. 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. it follows. doing research. and careful explanation of the significance of the evidence." is severely workful and practical. the steam engines themselves. one explains something that is difficult to understand through comparison with something that is more readily understood. a rare beauty in nature. all analogies break down at some point. no purpose has been identified for discussing the cause and effect relationship. in the moonlight the steam-engines cast shadows on the walls which seem like the shadows of the Titans. then. is caused by Words and phrases showing consequence: as a result. and eventually dies. The writer presents several examples as evidence for this interpretation. . there are moments when the city becomes fantastic and disorienting. For example. dismal factory town. or a detective might write an analysis of evidence found at a crime scene to support a conclusion about the perpetrator of the crime. a complex experience like falling in love might be explained in a rose analogy. Finally. . The overall argument here is that Charles Dickens wants readers to see 19th century factory towns as strange. analogies are quite 223 . consequently. it is delicate and beautiful. and then deciding what the evidence suggests. since. solid evidence. For example. 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. Words and phrases showing cause: because. in spite of this fact. taking notes. a writer might analyze the setting in a short story to better understand the theme of the story. mythological giants. Yet. and the smoke from the chimneys is like coiled serpents. however. of course. disorienting places. "Coketown.
or the analogy won't work. he missed the Internet. . Search your brain for the features of your subject and see if you can think of other subjects that share these features. The man is humiliated and glares at his wife with scorn. . sneers with cold contempt. Finally. The first requires that you be open to advice or social criticism from those who are more enlightened. comfortably traditional. . Answer given: 3. like a barreling freight train that he didn't hear or see coming. there is a path to redemption. but it can be entered only on two conditions. A married couple is depicted in some relaxed setting—a restaurant. which means that only one main idea is discussed.useful. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using analogy to develop your idea. The parable is highly useful in explaining the stress such television commercials cause the viewer. and he forgives her with an adoring smile. As demonstrated in the Ring Parable. every analogy eventually breaks down. shampoo. assumes an expression of self-loathing mixed with a touch of self-pity. exacting and very close to unforgiving. Consider Neil Postman's analogy between a certain kind of preachy television commercial and religious parables that "put forward a concept of sin. to be sure. A good way to get started is to use the phrase (subject) is like . if your paragraph is about the advantages of owning a compact car. the advisers are amiable and sympathetic. And then sold into slavery. —Andy Warhol No matter how much Bill Gates may claim otherwise. make sure that there are no key features of the items being compared that are obviously incompatible. the waitress serves the function of counselor. the adviser is rather more sarcastic than severe. but this time they are free of the waitress's probing eyes and bitter social chastisement. Answer given: Another important element of a good paragraph is unity. Answer given: 2. and an end. but it can also be a lot of fun. This is the parable's beginning: the presentation of the problem. Take a look at the famous analogies below to see how the process works . But in lost parables. mouthwash. for she is the source of his shame. 1. The story has a beginning. the exegeses. we are shown the couple in the restaurant once again. She. and announces to all within hearing the nature of his transgression. the explication. This is the parable's middle: the solution of the problem. . This is the parable's end: the moral. In the Ring parable. say—in which they are enjoying each other's company and generally having a wonderful time. From this. but key features of the items being compared should be present in both subjects. intimations of the way to redemption. discuss only that. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using narration to develop your idea. indeed. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using illustration to develop your idea. Every good paragraph has a unity. when developing your analogy. She proudly shows her husband what she is doing. . . —Jim Clark Finally. perhaps all too aware of their own vulnerability on other matters. as for example in all sanitary napkin. But then a waitress approaches their table. stares at it boldly. As mentioned earlier. 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. In some parables. Being born is like being kidnapped. a middle. and a vision of Heaven": The narrative structure of the Parable of the Ring around the Collar is. and that is to be expected. Do not discuss the disadvantages. and aspirin commercials. notices that the man has a dirty collar. it 224 . Writing an analogy: Writing analogy is one of the more difficult forms of writing. . although she is. in turn. For example. Furthermore. we should draw the proper conclusion.
the United Kingdom.000 HIV-infected persons at the end of 1993. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on." These are called irrelevant sentences For example. you are getting off the topic. and this total grew ten-fold. virus to their children during pregnancy and childbirth or when breast-feeding. In Kenya. of course. if you are writing a paragraph about the high cost of college tuition. Kenya. Uganda. In the countries of sub Saharan Africa. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. Mothers can give the HIV. In Central and Eastern Europe. HIV infection rates are skyrocketing among sex workers. by the end of 1995. and Zimbabwe. Sometimes students write supporting sentences that are "off the topic. Tanzania. unprotected sex. Study the three paragraphs that follow. you could discuss gas economy and low maintenance costs in the same paragraph because they are closely related. Zambia. The following short essay has not been divided into paragraphs. In Central and Eastern Europe. 80 percent of sex workers are infected. Tanzania. and your paragraph will not have unity. new medicines are available that prolong the lives of people with HIV." In Kenya. but you should not discuss both gas economy and easier parking in the same paragraph because they are not closely related. In China. II. there were an estimated 10. 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. and this total grew ten-fold. These statistics illustrate with frightening clarity that HIV/AIDS is still a major health problem in most areas of the world. the rate is 40 percent. HIV infection rates are declining. Zambia. Australia. Malawi. the rate of infection climbed from 9 percent to 38 percent between 1992 and 1995. and this total grew ten-fold. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. There is evidence that in the United States. by the end of 1995. PRACTICE A. and Zimbabwe. Paragraph 3 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. Do not include any information that does not directly support the topic sentence. For example. and in some areas. Malawi. 23 B. Tanzania. and Zimbabwe. Uganda. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. In Kenya. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. Paragraph 2 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. Rwanda.000 HIV infected persons at the end of 1993. Rwanda. to 100. This is a result of a combination of prevention methods. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The main method of transmission is.000 HIV IV infected persons at the end of 1993. and New Zealand. However. Rwanda. there were an estimated 10. to 100. Zambia. the rate is 40 percent. by the end of 1995. In China. but 225 .is a good idea for beginning academic writer to discuss only one advantage. drug users who share needles may become infected. and in Vietnam. Malawi. For example. In Central and Eastern Europe. The virus is also transmitted through blood and blood products. if you write several sentences about inflation. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. which accounts for 75 to 85 percent of infections. there were an estimated 10. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. Uganda. 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. you could mention inflation' as a factor. the rate is 40 percent. 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 Nairobi.000. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV.000. If you begin to discuss another advantage. such as gas economy. in each paragraph. at least among males. to 100. and in some areas. Around the world. In China.000. start a new paragraph. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV and in some areas.
Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but. therefore. use an indirect approach. 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. 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. Skysurfing rivals skydiving and bungee jumping for the amount of thrills. D Both of the following paragraphs have not only two or more topics. Whereas English writers use a linear sequence. the topic is viewed from a variety of angles. which are based on Anglo-European cultural patterns. it is not universal. or high-speed skateboarding.(Where does the author begin to discuss a different topic?) STEP 3 Underline the first sentence of each paragraph. are linear . a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digressions. More and more often. maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence. A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. and Rhetoric Logic. In English. or traversing slippery glaciers. Also. but it is different. is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. therefore. and a concluding paragraph. hiking through steamy rain forests. 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. One of the riskiest new sports is skysurfing. does not follow the English rule of paragraph-unity. on the other hand. In this kind of writing. a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive.that is. Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. Logic. STEP 1 Read the entire essay once or twice. 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 rhetorical system of one language is neither better nor worse than the rhetorical system of another language. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea. In summary. seem awkward and immature to an English reader. Rhetoric. with their emphasis on coordination. Ordinary people axe no longer content to spend their two weeks away from the office resting on a sunny beach in Hawaii. Therefore. Some Asian writers. Culture. but also irrelevant sentences. Paragraph I Adventure travel is the hot trend in the tourism industry. The topic is never analyzed directly. the flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. STEP I Locate and underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. backcountry snowboarding. they axe choosing to spend their vacations rafting down wild rivers. Young people especially are increasingly willing to risk life and limb while mountain biking. Soccer is also becoming popular in the United States. People of all ages axe choosing educational study tours for their vacations. Spanish rhetoric. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic. which is basis of rhetoric. in which people jump out of airplanes with graphite boards attached to their feet. the Arabic and Persian styles of writing. 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.it should contain six: an introductory paragraph. STEP I Decide where each paragraph should be divided into two or more paragraphs. climbing the world's highest mountains. four body paragraphs. Furthermore. where it was not well known until recently. English logic and English rhetoric. In either case. a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. 226 . comes from culture. it is referred to only indirectly. Paragraph 2 Daredevil sports are also becoming popular. however. STEP 2 Decide where each new paragraph should begin. Again. C.and risk.
however. believes that English will remain valuable for a long time as a common language for international communication. "dropping by" is a friendly. His company spends $200 million a year translating software into other languages. describe Y — identify similarities and differences." Someday. neighborly gesture idioms are often difficult for newcomers to understand. Americans do not expect you to visit them unless you have an invitation for a specific day and time." he may or may not want you to visit him in his home. software may be available to instantly translate both written and spoken language so well that the need for any common language could decline. Comparison focuses on similarities. when someone offers you food or a beverage in America. and the times of meals may be different. American meals are usually more informal than meals in other countries. However. comments on the degree of similarity or difference. you miss out on some of the Internet experience. you could become very hungry and thirsty. 227 . 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 you say "No. Although Americans are usually very direct in social matters. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. That day is decades away. there are a few occasions when they are not. however.” In some areas of the United States. If an American says. the value of having a common language is greatly increased. the largest percent. Microsoft's president.Underline the topic sentence of each. if you are trying to negotiate a contract or discuss a scientific subject where details are important. Support Sentences describe and compare features. He says. Bill Gates. accept it the first time it is offered. Software that does crude' translations already exists. An American thinks that "no" means "no" and will usually not offer again. "Unless you read English passably well. age of its content is now in English. Topic Sentence identifies the topic and the intention to compare and/or contrast X and Y. It is useful if all you are trying to do is understand the general idea of something you see on your computer screen. For example. In other areas of the United States. it's easy to do the wrong thing inadvertently in a new culture. 24 Paragraph I Because the Internet makes the world a smaller place. PLAN A Feature 1 — Describe X. "Please drop by sometime. Your clue that this may not be a real invitation is the word "sometime. machine translation is totally useless. thank you" because it is polite to decline the first one or two offers in your culture. Paragraph 2 Even when you try to be polite. Computer spelling checkers also exist for various languages. Contrast focuses on differences. because flawless machine translation is a very tough problem. describe Y — identify similarities and differences Feature 2 — Describe X. The question is-which language? Because the Internet grew up in the United States.
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. like. see http://tlc. equally. 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. PLAN B Describe X — features 1–n Describe Y — features 1–n Describe and discuss points of similarity and/or difference. unlike. whereas. also. on the other hand. similarly. however. Allopathy is the treatment of disease of one kind by exciting a disease of another kind or in another part. 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.Feature n — Describe X.au/interactive/workshops/writing/index.edu. too For contrast in contrast. different from. again. in the same way. Concluding Sentence summarises and interprets differences and similarities.php 228 .une. while. in contrast. Homeopathy. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. It is sometimes incorrectly used as a name for orthodox medicine. Useful transitional words and phrases For comparison similar to. For more information and practice in paragraph types.
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