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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
I experienced this. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. that is. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. In the paragraph above. Therefore. the reader can more easily identify the central point that the writer is making. 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. My parents gave me a gift when I got ‘A’ in my math lesson. the topic sentence is the following: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. 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 good architect is both an artist and a mathematician. the topic sentence has given them guiding clues that help them be selective in their reading. 5 . the controlling idea may come first. the controlling idea is a restricting idea because it limits the information that can be included in its paragraph. they will continue reading. Children Topic Controlling idea usually enjoy playing games instead of studying. They should also remind their children to do their homework at home after school. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. parents should take the responsibility to monitor their studying. Consequently. Using this approach to placement of the topic sentence. Therefore.Gold is prized for two important characteristics. Consider the following paragraph: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. 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. no information that cannot he summarized by the controlling idea can be included in a paragraph. that is . Generally. Gold : topic two important characteristics : controlling idea The controlling idea is the central idea that is developed in a paragraph.The topic sentence. or at the end of a paragraph. As a child. parents can encourage them to study by buying story books with pictures. if not. Moreover. as a beginning writer. 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 of the sentence is how parents can help children succeed in school. The topic sentence serves the special purpose of announcing the paragraph's topic. the controlling idea is encouraging them. As result. Thus. the controlling idea is the summary of all the information contained in its paragraph. it may be placed at the beginning. Artistic talent and mathematical ability are two qualities of a good architect. you should place the topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph. Thus. It helps readers save time as it tells them what the reset of the paragraph is all about. However. However. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. however. Topic Controlling idea B.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. If they are interested in the topic. the common practice in writing a paragraph is to begin with the topic sentence and to follow it with supporting sentences. A. a sensible plan is to tell readers what the paragraph is intended to discuss before it is discussed. I was very excited. the topic comes first and the controlling idea comes second in the topic sentence. may be stated or placed anywhere in a paragraph. in the middle.
The heart weighs about 11 ounces and is the size of a clenched fist. 3. but rather a sentence fragment or a part of sentence. 2. Complete. Is there any other engine capable of carrying on such heavy work over such a long period of time without needing to be repaired? Obviously the human heart is a small yet highly efficient piece of equipment. In a year it beats some 40 million times. It must be 1. In fact. Fragment: If you know English Complete: If you know English. compare the following pair of topic sentences 6 . in a single day it pumps 2. Compare the following sentences. it must consist of a subject and a predicate. and in the course of a single lifetime about 56 million gallons. It must be clearly limited in such a way that it is neither too broad nor too a narrow. whereas sentence B has two ideas ("have at least two learning habits" and "should be responsible in his studies"). a topic sentence must also be limited: that is. you will have many advantages. In conclusion. A: A good student must have Idea 1 idea 2 B: A good student must have at least two learning habits and he should be responsible for his studies. it must express one and only one controlling idea which will be expanded into a complete paragraph. The heart of a man performs at about 60 to 80 beats a minute.Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the beginning. Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the end. it can be seen that village life is suitable for retired and those who want to have more peace and less stress. First of all. Being complete: Like any other sentence. a topic sentence must be a complete sentence: that is. if it is not a complete sentence. Being limited: In addition to being complete. In addition.and Specific. one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. it is not a sentence at all. must meet three requirements. Again. In this way. and as a result it is much safer place to bring up young children. There are many advantages to living in a village. 3. A further advantage is that there is much less traffic. At each beat it takes in nearly a quarter of a pint of blood. Fragment: Ways to learn English Complete: There are many easy ways to learn English.200 gallons of blood.Characteristics of a good topic sentence A good topic sentence. Therefore. life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly. Fragment: Learning English Complete: Learning English is useful for everyone. Study the following: 1. C. sentence A is a better topic sentence because sentence B has more than one idea and is not a good topic sentence. Limited. you will not have either too much or too little to write about. Note that sentence A contains only one idea ("have at least two learning habits"). which defines the controlling idea clearly and precisely. 2.
or nuclear power. A good topic sentence: My neighborhood is fascinating because people from many countries live in it. It also indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will discuss how much violence cartoons typically contain.my roommates –Jane Samples: 1. or too vague. Television advertising is far more effective than advertising in magazines or newspapers. teachers. Too general: Sports are exciting. such as classes. such as university. University-dormitory living-roommates. PRACTICE 1: Read the following topic sentences and decide on the best topic sentence. students. and how/why this violence is unhealthy for viewers. Television gives free and interesting entertainment to people of all ages. you must narrow it down to a limited topic that can be discussed in one paragraph. B. Music can teach children to understand their own culture.Two controlling ideas A : Kairouan is famous for traditional artefacts and it has beautiful landscape. A. Topic Sentence: "An increasing number of people in the world are enjoying the benefits of organically grown fruits and vegetables." This topic sentence indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will cover the trend in the world toward eating organic foods. 2. _____________________________________________________________________________________ B-MUSIC 1." Notice that this sentence clearly identifies that the key topic of the paragraph is violence in television cartoons.S. You may narrow down the subject of college to the more specific subject of a roommate. For example. that you can discuss.T kept me on the edge of the chair. there are many specific things about university. Much better: Watching the Tunis derby between CA and E. The reader can also expect learning more in this paragraph about the specific benefits of organic foods. Computers are unnecessary and make our life complicated. One controlling idea B: Kairouan is famous for its Islamic architecture. Playing a musical instrument helps children to develop in discipline and self confidence. 2. and the campus. Topic Sentence: "Many television cartoons contain an unhealthy amount of violence. Computers are a necessary part of modern life. Being specific: A topic sentence should not be too general. 3. 2. Still too general: Watching a soccer game keeps me involved. When you start to write about a very general topic. Too general: My neighborhood is a nice place to live in. 2. _____________________________________________________________________________________ C-TELEVISION 1. Computers save us time and make our lives easier. 7 . Remember that a topic sentence must have one single controlling idea A-COMPUTERS 1. You should narrow down your subject to be more specific. vacations.
Also. 8 . Animals Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 2.Madonna 1.…………………………………. in your home. VACATIONS……………………………….rock singer – superstar ..individual sports ……………………………………………………………. e-mail is popular because it is faster than sending a letter and cheaper than a telephone conversation.MUSIC……………………………….….3. 5.. Firstly. 1. so you can save both time and money. at any hour of the day or night..…………………………………….. you can share your hobbies and special interests.. 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. Getting married Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 6. By joining a newsgroup or chat group. Topic: Using Internet _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. _____________________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 2: Write specific topic sentences for possible paragraphs on the following topics. Television has enormous influence on politics..…………………………… PRACTICE 4: A.CLASSES – my best/worst class …… ……………. Write a topic sentence for the following paragraphs.my best friend……………………………………………………………. and perhaps make friends all over the world. SPORTS . Try to add at least three or four ideas to each group. 1.………… 3.…………………………………….……… 2.DIVORCE–children……………………………….……………. Finally.…………………………………….. University Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 4.…………… 6. Technology Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 5. Example: Teenagers and drugs Topic sentence: Drug addiction has caused a huge increase in crimes of violence which is committed/done by teenagers. ENTERTAINMENT-singers . 4.…………. Television Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 3. on-line shopping makes it possible to search through catalogues to find exactly what you want at the best price. all of the latest information is available to you. FRIENDS .
Nowadays. some special satellites register the earth’s resources and military information. Scientists are working to develop space technology to use in different areas. upon tourism for their jobs. there are many women working outside their homes and are independent. the third. directly or indirectly. 4. Topic: Divorce _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. some regard divorce as the best way to get this independence. they would have the second. I felt great sadness and loneliness. Furthermore. I was afraid of losing someone else whom I loved. my loneliness was so great that I often dreamed that my father would miraculously return. In addition. I believed that with my father gone I was responsible for helping my mother with her chores. For example. and responsible – a young child with adult feelings. therefore. telecommunication satellites have greatly improved global communications. Topic: Tourism _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. 3. (mere: only. As a result. once they started to smoke their first cigarette. Meteorological satellites also provide advance information. They hope to be free and stand without one’s help. For the firs few months. Finally. examples. Topic: My Father’s Death _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. the loss of my father caused me to develop a greater sense of responsibility. Whenever my mother was away from home. women think that life is always difficult unless they have their own economics independence. We need tourists’ money in fact they provide more jobs for all of us.2 THE SUPPORTING SENTENCES The body of every effective paragraph consists of ideas or details that support and explain the topic sentence. 7. throughout the rest of my childhood. Topic: Teenagers Smoking _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. Tourism employs twenty times as many people as the car industry. First of all. people are more aggressive towards each other. 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.2. If any of the supporting details doesn’t correlate with the main idea or does not support it. 3. Nearly three million people depend. and then become accustomed to it eventually! Just like the addiction of taking drugs. Thus the students are strongly advised to provide at least three strong details which can support the main idea. Due to difficult life conditions. Topic: Space Technology _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. The number of supporting details required in a paragraph depends on what the writer is trying to show. They smoke for the sake of knowing how it feels. The supporting sentences must give information that reinforces the main idea stated in the topic sentence. and earns four as much money as agriculture. They want to earn money and spend it as they wish. My father’s death. it will break the unity of the paragraph. I was nervous until she returned. left me lonely. Teenagers tent to be curious about new things. Couples do not tolerate a few mistakes. sake: cause) 5. The students can use all the writing techniques necessary to make the paragraph sustainable and eligible: descriptions. Being economically independent is the desire of many women. frightened. Firstly. definitions. elaboration and exploration. In addition. 9 . Unfortunately.
a minor support sentence must be closely related both to its major support sentence and the controlling idea of the paragraph. First. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. climbing this hill is not dangerous. which is unusual because it is very steep. are many willow trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. This tree stands two hundred feet tall. which is very wide and beautiful. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. which is unusual because it is very steep. it is noted for the Wheaton River. It directly supports the controlling idea by making that idea more easily understood. Even though it is steep. There are no trees around this hill. First. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. which is 175 feet wide. and (II) At the same time it helps its support sentence develop the controlling idea. Therefore. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. Practice 10 . This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. Also. 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. 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. it is noted for the Wheaton River. It indirectly supports the controlling idea of the paragraph by helping its major support sentence make that idea more easily understood. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. which is very wide and beautiful. Also. On either side of this river. It directly support its major support sentence by making it more easily understood.Supporting sentences may be classified into one of two groups: major support sentences or minor support sentences.
PRACTICE 11 .
and the bottom bun is like the CONCLUDING SENTENCE.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. A hamburger has a top bun (a kind of bread). Consider a hamburger that you can buy at a fast-food restaurant. lettuce. and so on. Similarly. You can understand concluding sentences with this example. meat. Note how the top bun and the bottom bun are very similar. The top bun. cheese. This is the concluding sentence. Both buns "hold" the meat. is like a TOPIC SENTENCE. onions. and a bottom bun. You can think of a concluding sentence as a sort of topic sentence in reverse. and other elements in the middle of the hamburger. in a way. the topic sentence and 13 .
14 . Indeed . It signals the end of the paragraph. do not always have the same emotional meaning. The first one paraphrases the topic sentence. We can see that Therefore. Therefore. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. In conclusion. It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. In brief. and aggressive but not pushy. It summarizes the main points of the paragraph. It is clear that In summary. For example. Synonyms. but not exactly the same as. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. For many years. and ornamental purposes. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. to call a person stingy is an insult while the word frugal has a much more positive connotation. For example. that is. it is suitable for jewelry. Similarly a person wants to be slender but not skinny. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Gold. A concluding sentence serves three purposes: 1. gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. coins. Notice also how the concluding sentence is similar to. As a result. Finally. These examples show that Thus. 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. 3. Therefore. 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. 2. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. In conclusion. you should be careful in choosing words because many so-called synonyms are not really synonymous at all. As a result. which were not specifically stated in the topic sentence.concluding sentence "hold" the supporting sentences in the paragraph. First of all. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. The second example summarizes the two main points of the paragraph. the concluding sentence repeats the main idea of the topic sentence in different words. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. Second. the topic sentence. Canada has an excellent health care system. is prized for two important characteristics. 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. Canada is a desirable place to live in . the words stingy and frugal both mean "careful with money" However. You may either paraphrase the topic sentence or summarize the main points. words that have the same basic meaning. Practice STEP I Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph. STEP 3 Add a good concluding sentence to each. Canada has a high standard of education. Notice how the concluding sentence summarizes the information in the paragraph. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. First. a precious metal. STEP 2 Determine the main idea of each paragraph. There can be no doubt that The evidence suggests that The examples that follow demonstrate two different types of concluding sentences.
In one company. 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. don't interrupt while someone is speaking. watch your body language. it can affect your communication whether you are the speaker or the listener. it is impolite to do so.STEP 4 Begin each concluding sentence with an end-of-paragraph signal. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Paragraph 2 Modern communication technology is driving workers in the corporate world crazy. managers receive an average of 100 messages a day. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 15 . If you have a good story wait until-the speaker is finished. For instance. in fact. Furthermore. Also. office workers receive dozens of E-mail and voice mail messages daily. Be relaxed and bend your body slightly forward to show interest in the person and the conversation. it is common for them to do so in the evenings or on weekends at home. Because they don't have enough time to respond to these messages during office hours. don't sit slumped in a chair or make nervous hand and foot movements. When you are conversing with someone. In addition to telephone calls. Show your interest by smiling and/or nodding. They feel buried under the large number of messages they receive daily.
climbing this hill is not dangerous. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. Consider the echo words in the following paragraph about tourists and souvenirs: 16 . coins. 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. Echo words are actually synonyms for the key word. the pronoun it twice. which is very wide and beautiful. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. Echo Words & Phrases: Echo words and phrases allow writers to remind the reader of the topic being discussed without becoming repetitive. There must be no sudden jumps." 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. There are no trees around this hill. You should have circled the noun gold seven times. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. Key words are the words carrying most significance in a paragraph. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. Look at the model paragraph about gold to see how it uses this technique to achieve coherence. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. First of all. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. For example. Gold. Circle gold pronouns that refer to it. First. that is. key words are those words a writer wants the reader to focus on as the paragraph progresses. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. Each sentence should flow smoothly into the next one. Therefore. a precious metal. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. For many years. The key noun in this paragraph is gold. The Latin verb cohere means "hold together. is prized for two important characteristics. go gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. it is suitable for jewelry. The third way is to use transition signals to show how one idea is related to the next. from one paragraph to the next) must be logical and smooth. and the pronoun its three times.UNITY and COHERENCE in PARAGRAPHS: COHERENCE Another element of a good paragraph is coherence. There are four ways to achieve coherence. but they can also be phrases. as too much repetition of the same words can be distracting and even irritating to a reader. A. are many willow* trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. The first two ways involve repeating key nouns and using pronouns that refer back to key nouns. and ornamental purposes. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. it is noted for the Wheaton River. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. Second. the movement from one sentence to the next and in longer essays. which is unusual because it is very steep. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. On either side of this river. Repetition of Key words The easiest way to achieve coherence is to repeat key words frequently in your paragraph. Consider the following paragraph: My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. In conclusion. which is 175 feet wide. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. Even though it is steep.
when they do something correctly. it sends out a message. Dolphins are interesting because they display almost human behavior at times.S. Furthermore. or from he to they (change of number). and it is the language of airline pilots and air traffic controllers all over the world. it is a useful language to know. If one is sick. they display the human emotions of joy and sadness. B. More than 70 percent of the world's mail is written in it. in fact. so an echo word or phrase is a far better choice for a subject. if you hope to compete in an Olympic sport. more people speak it than any other language. the good news is that the tablecloths. however. replace some of the pronouns with appropriate singular or plural nouns. you must be physically strong Furthermore." 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. too. that the author adds adjectives and modifying phrases to the echo words to further clarify her meaning. Spanish is the official language of more countries in the world. English English has almost become an international language. In the following paragraph. They push it to the surface of the water so that it can breathe. tumblers. For example. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred. They are so intelligent and helpful.The steady production of souvenirs throughout the mid-20th century has created a well that collectors can tap. Use of Consistent Pronouns When you use pronouns instead of key nouns. It is the primary language on the Internet. snow globes. they droop noticeably and mope around their pool. In fact. although French used to be the language of diplomacy. as in "other objects from this period. make sure that you use the same person and number throughout your paragraph. and other objects from this period were produced in such large quantities that surviving examples are still easy to find and affordable. During training. Moreover. B. For collectors. Correct them to make this paragraph more coherent. They stay with it for clays or weeks-until it recovers or dies. the key noun is never repeated. Don’t change from you to he or she (change of person). and others in the area swim to help it. PRACTICE In the following paragraph." To avoid repetition of this word. Replace the pronoun it with the key noun English wherever you think doing so would make the paragraph more coherent. When they make a mistake." and "surviving examples. charm bracelets. PRACTICE A-In the following passage about dolphins. it has displaced it throughout the world. In international business. Olympic athletes must be strong both physically and mentally. unless you plan to spend your life alone on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. they squeal excitedly and race toward their trainer.Therefore." Note. The objects that have proved the most desirable in recent years are ones dating from the 1920s through the 1960s. however. it is used more than any other language. ashtrays. that the U. an aspiring Olympian must train 17 . using these general pronouns can often get developing writers into trouble with pronoun reference problems. they help each other when they are in trouble. the author uses substitutes: "objects" and "examples. but more countries have it as their official or unofficial second language. The key word in this paragraph is "souvenirs. Navy is training them to become underwater bomb disposal experts. First of all. They have also helped trapped or lost whales navigate their way safely out to the open sea. the pronouns are not consistent. with many falling between $20 and $40. Except for Chinese.
First. naturally. of course. ultimately. meanwhile. undoubtedly. consequently To connect two contrasting ideas. and (3) a part about the Big Old Tree. That is. you can use minor connectors to link your details to each main point. For the most demanding sports. for instance. This means that you have to be dedicated to your sport. however. Think of transition signals as traffic signs that tell your reader when to go forward. and The third amazing feature. yet one paragraph is easier to understand than the other because it contains transition signals to lead the reader from one idea to the next. in conclusion. Both paragraphs give the same information. Second. a result (as a result). Which paragraph contains transition signals and is more coherent? Circle all of the transition signals that you can identify. certainly. Minor connectors provide coherence to a paragraph by connecting sentences within each of the main parts of your paragraph. in addition. Do you see how they help guide the reader? For example. so they must possess the inner strength to live with defeat. We can call these words major connectors. Using such major connectors is an important way of providing coherence in a paragraph. nonetheless. when you write about your main points. Major Connectors Look at the words in bold font in the paragraph about my home town. and stop. in brief. PRACTICE A-Compare paragraphs 1 and 2 that follow. next. therefore. on the contrary To emphasize or confirm indeed. Here are some of the most commonly used connecting words and phrases and the purposes they serve. rather.rigorously* for many years. an opposite idea (on the other hand. admittedly. Being mentally strong also means that he or she must be able to withstand the intense of international competition with its media coverage. however. eventually. often giving up a normal school family. Another way of saying this is that this paragraph has three main points which are indicated by the major connectors.or phrases such as in conclusion. however. accordingly. finally. Overuse can be distracting. in contrast). to on the other hand. differeniate ideas nevertheless. and however. In addition to being physically strong he or she must also be mentally tough. second. Major connectors help organize the main parts of your paragraph. not everyone can win a medal. in other words To conclude or sum up hence. 18 . yet. C. This paragraph has three main parts: (1) a part about the Wheaton River. and social life. and as a result. an example (for example). they train several hours a day. not to overuse transitional expressions. moreover. Save them for significant connections between ideas that you want to call special attention to. such as those appearing in the phrases "these trees" and "this hill"? We can call these minor connectors. In other words. although. conversely. therefore. Minor Connectors What about the other words in bold. also. next. similarly first. at the same time To add an illustration or explanation for example. on the other hand. likewise. slow down. plainly Be careful. furthermore. finally. five or six days a week for ten or more years. moreover.. turn. or aconclusion (in conclusion). thus. subsequently. they tell the reader when you are giving a similar idea (similarly. Purpose To add another idea To arrange ideas in order or time Connecting Word/Phrase furthermore. (2) a part about Wheaton Hill. in addition). Finally. Transition Signals Transition signals are words such as first. consider the words.
just like. on the other hand. (however. In physics. the weight of an object is the gravitational force 2 with which the Earth attracts it_________ if a man weighs 150 pounds. the less the gravitational force of the Earth _________a man weighs less when he is 50. There are reasons for this. differ from In a paragraph showing similarities (comparison). after 1990. on the other hand water evaporates slowly. First of all. therefore) 2. Your choice of one kind of logical order over another will. The surrounding land is dry and does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water.000 miles from the Earth than when he is only 5. The article suggested that the president reduce the federal budget. you would find these expressions: similarity. in comparison. however) 5. before the last war. Second the surrounding land is dry and. For example. furthermore) 1. therefore. You may even combine two or more different logical orders in the same paragraph. A tsunami is a tidal wave produced by an earthquake on the ocean floor. a fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in some kind of logical order. Era also suggested that rising wages were one of the primary causes of inflation _______________the government should take action to control wages. furthermore it suggested that the government reduce federal. Logical Order In addition to using transition signals and repeating key words and pronouns. water evaporates rapidly. for example) D. Write the signal in the space. 19 . therefore. In warm climates. In cold climate zones. in contrast. just as. larger than. therefore. depend on your topic and on your purpose.Choose the transition signal that best shows the relationship between the sentences in each group from the choices given in parentheses. unlike. In a Paragraph describing differences (contrast). but when they get close to land. B. in a piece of writing using chronological order you would expect to find a lot of time expressions: first. while working on the project. the runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. (however.The waves are very long and low in open water. The important point to remember is to arrange your ideas in some kind of order that is logical to a reader accustomed to the English way of writing. The concentration of salt is greater. (in conclusion. since then. etc. the Baltic Sea in North Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. for example. water evaporates slowly.000 miles away. Furthermore. The runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water.Paragraph 1 A difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. next. consequently. the concentration of salt is greater. of course. Each kind of order has its own special words and phrases to show the relation ships among the ideas. finally. for example) 4. The same article said that the causes of inflation were easy to find ________ the cure for inflation was not so easy to prescribe. this means that the earth pulls him down with a force of 150 pounds. in 20 10. for example) 3. Some common kinds of logical order in English are chronological order. as a result. as expensive as. does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. The farther away from the Earth a person is. water evaporates rapidly. they encounter friction because the water is shallow ____________the waves Increase in height and can cause considerable damage when they finally reach land. in contrast. you would find these expressions: the most noticeable difference. and local taxes. therefore. compare with. For example. logical division of ideas and comparison/contrast. (however. in warm climate zones. after that. There are two reasons for this. state. In cold climate zones. Example: A recent article in Era magazine suggested ways to reduce inflation. (moreover. similarly.Add punctuation and change capital letters to small letters if necessary. (on the other hand. Paragraph 2 Another difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones.
Use transition signals to connect the supporting sentences smoothly. supporting sentences. Skinned animals hang in windows of butcher shops here like clothes hang in the windows of suburban department stores. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. If your paragraph contains a sentence or some sentences that are NOT related to the main topic. even though it is historically accurate. PRACTICE 20 . it is an "off-topic" sentence. Several weeks later. You may use the transition signals suggested for each topic. That is. and (sometimes) the concluding sentence -. with three cosmonauts. and so the passage is coherent. so we can say that the paragraph somewhat lacks unity. we should omit this sentence." or that the sentence is "off-topic. Though no transitional expression is used. offering an interesting an distinctive detail about these stores. 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. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. For another example. practice Choose one of the topic sentences below and write a paragraph that develops it.Often sentences have implicit logical connections that help the reader follow the thread of a discussion or argument. 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.the topic. but the sentence. all the sentences -.S. the Vostok project was designed to test whether or not human beings could survive and function in outer space. does not have anything to do with the major goals of the various Russian space projects. For example.Consider the example below: Chinatown offers one of the largest Asian American grocery districts in the country." That is.Unity is another very important characteristic of good paragraph writing. That is. connected to it by a tether. then we say that the paragraph "lacks unity. Given the first sentence in the passage above. The cosmonaut to do this was Alexei Leonov." Look at the following paragraph. Several weeks later. had goals of testing spacecraft and space flight skills so that people could fly long missions in Earth orbit.are all telling the reader about ONE main topic. astronaut Ed White. One Voshkhod cosmonaut experimented with weightlessness by taking a "spacewalk. Add other sentences without transitions if you need to in order to explain the topic completely. the Voshkhod project was intended to find out whether people could work in the weightless environment of space. This paragraph is generally good. the Soyuz project.S. which is similar to the paragraph that we have studied above. astronaut Ed White. Unity means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph. 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. Finally. the passage is coherent. or you may use others not listed. In order to improve the paragraph. It is clear that the writer is continuing a discussion of grocery stores in Chinatown. the detail sentences. Topic Suggestions Drinking laws The effects of divorce Working mothers UNITY Like coherence. he floated in a spacesuit outside his Voshkhod spacecraft.
it retains it longer. nearby regions become warmer than unsheltered regions in the same latitude. for example. throughout the cold months of winter the sea warms the nearby land just as a radiator warms a room.B-Study the following paragraph and decide whether there are irrelevant sentences and then revise it. 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. the warmer its climate will be. If mountains cause rain to fall frequently. 21 . The higher you go up a mountain. the closer a region is to the equator. physical features such as high mountains influence the temperature of nearby regions. distance from the sea is important because although water absorbs heat more slowly than land. Another important factor is the height of a region above sea level. If mountains block the passage of cold winds. In general. the nearby regions become cooler than other regions in the same latitude. Consequently. the less dense the air is. but other factors also have an influence on temperature. Finally.
topic sentence 1 acknowledges the obvious similarity of the two pet cats. In a comparison or contrast paragraph. topic sentence 1 is better than topic sentence 2 for three reasons: First. it does not restrict the controlling ideas as to what points of the two cats to contrast. supporting sentences. If you are comparing two obviously similar things. The points to be compared or contrasted are usually indicated in the topic sentence. sports. usually the topic introducer tells the two things to be compared or contrasted.Comparison and Contrast Paragraphs When writing comparison or contrast paragraphs. the subjects which are taught at the elementary level are basically the same everywhere: reading and writing. there is one teacher for all subjects for each grade (except in Scandinavia). 1. in contrast. Then it is best to 22 . Jack usually plods along silently. and the topic sentence tells the controlling idea. they fondly refer to Jack as the “absent-minded professor”. and then indicates the differences a s the focus of the paragraph. Compare the following two topic sentences and see which one is better. If you were asked to compare and contrast two people. is a boy of few words and loves to read books in solitude rather than going out to enjoy parties. Our two pet cats are quite different. Contrast paragraphs explain how two or more things are dissimilar or different. music. and the classes are coeducational. philosophies. 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. either similarities or differences. and the majority of elementary school teachers are women. their attitudes toward life. There are about twenty to twenty-two pupils per class. a writer stresses how two or more things are alike or how they are different. Obviously. The only major difference in the elementary curriculum is that most Europeans study a foreign language in elementary school. • Contrast paragraph PARAGRAPH STRUCTRE As you have learned in previous lessons. Comparison paragraphs explain how two or more things are similar or alike. 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. introductions to the sciences. Also. but most American children do not. the ways they treat people. their intelligence. their differences in temperament is constant source of amusement. Jack is simply “skinny” with sunken cheeks and a sharp chin. As a result. In addition. Second. their lifestyles. Even their parents can hardly understand why the two brothers are so different. a well-organized paragraph consists of topic sentence. American and European educational systems differ in some ways You can hardly imagine George and Jack are actually twins. mathematics. His twin brother Jack. While relatives and family members call George a friendly “public relations officer”. who has a ready smile on his face and is quick to greet everybody he knows on his way. and so on. To begin with. Although both our pet cats look lovely. acknowledge the obvious differences but emphasize the similarities. 2. The two do not even look alike. Very commonly if you are comparing two rather dissimilar things. and art. Unlike George. the emphasis is usually on one or the other. backgrounds. acknowledge the obvious similarities but focus on the differences. Paragraph samples • Comparison paragraph The educational systems of Europe and the United States are similar in a number of ways. topic sentence 2 is too general to be developed in one paragraph. The topic sentence In a comparison or contrast paragraph. elementary school classes look the same everywhere. Third. you could compare their looks. often too lost in deep thoughts to even return a greeting in time. The topic sentence should also indicate the emphasis of the paragraph. George is a chubby looking boy on the verge of being overweight. however. and concluding sentence.
too. you would not bother with comparing and contrasting their tastes in food. transmission. if you were contrasting two new models of automobiles.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. for example. Furthermore. otherwise. 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. and brakes handling gas mileage color and upholstery choices You must then pick several of the points of comparison or contrast that seem most important. For example. 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. to develop in your paragraph. the concluding sentence is usually a restatement of the topic sentence or a summary of the points compared or contrasted in the development of the paragraph. you must organize your paragraph in such a way that your reader does not have to jump about from one point to another. You couldn’t possibly develop all of the points in your brainstorming list in one paragraph. After deciding which points to cover. the writer may mention little of exceptions. Also. you must be sure to make your points of comparison clear and actually develop them. it would be irrelevant. to show a cautious attitude. You can’t. 23 . you must include a discussion of each thing being compared or contrasted with each point of comparison. probably no more than three or four. The Concluding sentence No matter whether it is a comparison or contrast paragraph. suspension. For instance. the items would be incomparable. talk about the Ford’s engine without talking about the Toyota’s. The points or items to be compared or contrasted should be parallel or of the same category.
our hobbies are alike _________.B . _________. hers on July 10 and mine on July 20. Helene has strong opinions about educating our children and raising them to know right from wrong. I feel _________. A more important similarity concerns our values. Third. For example. we are thirty-two years old. For one thing. Our children should receive a good education and also have strong moral training. my wife and I are alike in several ways. My wife devotes a lot of her free time to playing jazz piano. In fact. Helene was born and raised in Paris and I come from Yokohama. in the same way likewise another similarity similarly whereas too while both however Even though we come from different cultures. _________ is that we both grew up in large cities. Topic sentence Point 1 Detail A Detail B Point 2 Detail A 27 A -.PRACTICE CHOOSE an appropriate conjunction from those shown below to finish the paragraph. our birthdays are in the same month. I like to spend time after work strumming my guitar.
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 .
Students drop out of college for many reasons. but they never go camping. For example.Also. to explain or to give an account of something or situation. family. however they may have to prepare for two hour exams. such as 'What are its causes?" or 'What are its effects?" In short. They may not be able to understand right from wrong and think that violence is ok. These students may enter college expecting non stop fun or a series of fascinating courses. In college. they quickly lose interest. These students may have problems with roommates. Someone who buys a new car but can't really afford it. The function of cause/effect is usually to answer the questions 'Why". to convince. or depressed. Cause/effect models can be found in many kinds of writing and can be used for any of the writer's purposes: to justify or condemn some action. They do not want to take dull required courses or spend their nights studying. television influences everybody’s behavior in negative ways. write fifteen page term papers or make detailed presentations to a class. may be attending college at an age when they are also feeling confused. For many types of students dropping out seems to be the only solution they can imagine. some students are bored in school. For example. The hard work comes as a shock and students give up. Here is an example: 29 . The most important negative effect is that television may lead to violence. those who buy campingequipment. 2-STRUCTURE OF CAUSE/EFFECT PARAGRAPHS Cause/effect paragraphs generally follow basic paragraph format. or to draw a conclusion. advertisements force people to buy things they may not need. Consider the following example paragraphs. In conclusion. the cause/effect paragraph explains why a condition occurs or the effect that this condition brings about. Perhaps the most common reason students drop out is that they are having personal or emotional problems. if the topic sentence introduces an effect. First of all.These students may have made decent grades in high school simply by showing up for class. people should consider those effects before they start to watch television programs. to prove or disprove an idea.someone who buys a new computer even though his or her old computer works fine. belief or assertion. That is. Younger students especially. the supporting sentences all describe causes. Television negatively influences people's behavior in a number of ways. or the paragraph that points out the effect (or result) produced by a cause. When children see terrible things on TV and sometimes act them out. They become too unhappy to deal with both hard academic work and emotional troubles. Students also drop out of college because the work is harder than they thought it would be . they begin with a topic sentence and this sentence is followed by specific supporting details. friends or girlfriends. lonely. such as Why did it happen?" or"What".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). and so they drop out. Therefore. First of all. When they find out that college is often routine.
In the chart below are the main ideas of the above paragraph. (Note that the first letter of the conjunction is now capitalized. Finally. Places of leisure. For example. First. These jobs. in the sentence Sally closed the window because the weather outside was cold. the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs. The conjunction because is placed in the correct position here. the conjunction because is correctly placed before the part of the sentence that expresses the cause.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.) CAUSES (Supporting Sentences) Factory jobs attracted people. and the EFFECT is Sally's closing the window. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. There are several reasons for this occurrence.] (Cities have grown very large. and culture made city life appear more interesting. Notice how each supporting sentence is a cause that explains the effect mentioned in the topic sentence.In recent decades. which tended to be located in cities. the CAUSE is the fact that the room was cold. such as sports stadiums. with their promise of a better material life. even though it is grammatical. which is right before the cause. Better schools attracted families to move to the city. as the cities grew. Similarly. First.) 3. entertainment. and museums. and therefore drew them away from rural communities. even though the subordinate clause because the room was cold is now at the beginning of the sentence. Second. theaters. you must order the cause and the effect corerctly. [There are several reasons for this. there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers. in this sentence: ??The weather outside was cold because Sally closed the window.) However. these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm. (Cities have grown very large. For many people. attracted many people from rural areas. cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas. it does not make sense because a person's opening or closing a window does not influence the weather. to help you understand the relationships better: EFFECT (Topic Sentence) Cities have grown very large. entertainment. in the sentence Because the weather outside was cold. Sally closed the window. people established places of leisure. 30 . and culture.
Because the weather outside was cold. as in these examples: The weather was cold. Sally closed the window. These are attached directly at the beginning of CAUSE-sentence without a comma. so Jim turned on the air conditioner. you should be careful when using commas. However. The coordinating conjunction so is also different from the ones above. in formal academic writing. Sally put on her coat. and for this reason are usually followed by a comma. Sally put on her scarf. This conjunction has a comma before it. The weather was cold. The comma here is placed at the end of the subordinate clause. A blizzard hit the town. the schools were closed. consequently. as in this sentence: The weather was warm. So Jim turned on the air conditioner. (too informal -. therefore. Conjunctions such as therefore. As a result. as in the example above. as a result.avoid this usage) B/ 31 .Second. Therefore. The weather was cold. Consequently. The adverbial clause conjunctions since and because are exceptions. Sally closed the window. so may not be used at the beginning of a sentence (although you will often see it in informal writing): The weather was warm.
and flat out soused by the time we shut the bars down at three. and at each of these spots I drank a margarita or two. In writing a narrative paragraph. After filling out pages of forms and checking to see that nobody was injured. as I hollered farewells to my friends and poured myself into the car. I had a fake ID. it tells about a series of events that happened to the narrator. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). or perhaps you’ll relate the story of the time you didn’t make the cut for the basketball team. your purpose is to share with others some experience that has taught you something or changed you somehow. I weaved down Monroe Avenue. that is. and Night Lights. we made stops at such popular hangouts as Studebaker's. it seemed--they gave me a breath test even before asking to see my license. I had to pay a $2. viewing gory films of accident victims with their bodies crunched under tires and heads wrapped inside bumpers. It was there. Out with a girlfriend for a wild night on the town. where I was photographed. I was dead certain that I was sober enough to drive home safely. and the next--crash! I had plowed into the back of a big green Buick. 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:.) I was giggly by 11:00. (Yes. you share with the reader some personal experience of your own in order to make a point or convey a message. Read the following paragraph and answer the question that follow One Saturday last June. When the police arrived--instantly. With one eye shut to keep the road from blurring. fingerprinted. Underline the topic sentence and the concluding sentence . that I made a promise not to drink and drive ever again. Of course. just two days after my high school graduation. tipsy by midnight. Baggy Drawers. 33 . Whatever story you tell. You may choose to tell how your grandfather influenced your desire to become an scientist. Naturally I registered drunk. One minute there was not a soul on the road in front of me. a night of celebration turned into a costly and embarrassing lesson on the dangers of drinking and driving. the police took me to jail.THE NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH A narrative paragraph ‘tells a story’.000 fine and attend driving school for three months.
you might ask yourself. Focus • Narrative effect is the main point of your story—the moral. If the story begins in the midst of a hurricane.g.. this refers to the period of history. Refers to people. a gloomy atmosphere. establishes the setting. Atmosphere. works best for your narrative. For example. By the middle of the story. Most personal narratives are written in first-person. This is the mood or feeling of the story. we say that it is "contemporary. etc. Time also refers to the season. 34 . This is the turning point in the story in which the reader wonders what will happen next (i. • • • Plot. Time. This is where the events in the story become complicated and the problem in the story is revealed. you must decide whether to reveal your point explicitly (stated directly) or implicitly (suggested but not stated). This usually refers to the geographical location of the story. This is an aspect of setting which can be important to the novel.Setting. The plot usually arises out of the conflict in the story. which eventually builds to a climatic moment. If the story could happen now or at some recent unspecified time. if the story is set in the past. month.e. The story may move from one place to another. The setting of the story is usually responsible for creating the mood or feeling of the story. If you are unsure what your main point is. first-person or third-person. the mood may change throughout the novel. the emotional quality that the story gives to the reader. but third-person can be effective as well. Climax. it may be set in the future. Problem/Conflict. First-person tends to be more subjective. society or an internal struggle within the main character." If it is a science fiction story. it is significant to the story. First. Without a specific narrative effect. “Why am I telling this story? Why should someone else be interested in reading about my experience?” In addition. and other essential elements of the story. A novel can have more than one protagonist (e. the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. Refers to the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are presented. The basic plot is comprised of the following: • • • • Introduction. The setting refers to the background in which the story takes place. who play parts in the action of the story. Climate/Weather. Point of view • Decide which point of view. • • • The protagonist is the main character throughout the novel. the message. two or even three main characters). and even time of day. The complication (supporting sentences)involves rising conflict that leads up to the climax (the point of highest action in the story). will the problem get solved or not?) Solution/Conclusion – This is the point in the story in which the problem is solved Characters. the character(s) may find themselves in other locations within England. You might say that a novel opens with a mysterious atmosphere.. • Organization of narrative paragraphs The narrative paragraph consists of three basic parts: The orientation. the insight you offer. animal. Like the setting. The force can be a person or persons. characters. a story may begin in a particular city in England. The plot is a synopsis of the storyline in chronological order. your writing is merely a series of unconnected events. The force with which the protagonist is in conflict is called the antagonist. There are several components necessary to create a setting: • Place. robots.
events are described according to the connections between them. (concluding sentence)the conflict is resolved and the narrative effect is revealed or suggested. You must decide whether chronological time or psychological time best suits your story. events are described in the order in which they happened. as they might be arranged in someone’s memory. The techniques of flashback and flashforward can also be part of your narrative’s time structure. in the resolution. 35 . Use flashback to recall an event from the past that has a significant impact on the present. in psychological time. The order in which the events are presented in the narrative paragraph is very important to the overall unity of the paragraph.Then. In chronological time.
Don’t just tell us that spring was in the air—describe how the sun felt on your skin. Complete this paragraph using. if used well. They are our primary source of knowledge about the world. evocative description to immerse the reader in the situation or place you describe. Also make use of sensory language (language that appeals to the senses). Your goal is to make the scene come alive for the reader.after. how the dew sparkled on the grass. use clear.Use Sensory Details It is important to remember that human beings learn about the world through using the five senses. If your paragraph consists merely of dry facts. and taste the scene you’re writing.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. In other words. Use very detailed.Use flashforward to jump to the future and show a possible outcome for the events in the present. especially when you are writing a highly detailed scene. how the birds sang in the trees. precise language that keeps your reader’s attention. smell. writing which incorporates vivid.Using Dialogue 36 . Therefore. Make the reader see. sensory detail is more likely to engage and effect the reader. . hear. . readers quickly grow uninterested. can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of your narrative.before. Both of these techniques. feel.
” Metaphors and similes can be very helpful in revealing your narrative effect to the reader. "Sir. like a soldier on a mission. furrowed her white brow. Real people do not use full sentences when they speak. lady. Make sure your characters talk like people in real life. where. interjections and other ‘real’ speech patterns.When you recall an experience that you had. "Sir". slowly gliding to the stark blinking eyes. The lady at the next table to the slob could take it no longer. use appropriate metaphors and similes. Wherehelps establish the mood and atmosphere for thsetting of the event you are re-telling." Practice Practice1 37 . Everest. For exampleif the topic sentence is. I watched her rise majestically from her seat. Figurative language can add to your narrative by suggesting to your reader how you felt in a particular situation. a brief amusing or interesting story about a real person or event. etc. "Listen. Astonishment puckered his dimpled jowls to be replaced by a red infusion. she enunciated clearly to the huge slurping hulk. why – to ensure reader understanding of what you have written. you are inhaling your soup in such a manner as to distract your fellow diners. For example. but she had his attention." the voice was thick guttural. but one of the easiest is to use the 5W’s – who. and Why is a brief explanation of the circumstances leading up to the event. Secretly I hoped she would do something to stop the obscene slurping coming from his fat lips. Whenexpands on the time the event took place. There was a grunt in return from the grazer. child. the use of dialogue will definitely make the event more vivid to your readers. use it to tie up the loose ends of the paragraph. do you sometimes smile at remembering what a person said or did. B How to Finish . Another good method for starting the narrative paragraph is to use an anecdote.? What introduces your event to the reader. which spread from the greyish collar of his neck. How to write narrative paragraphs A How to Start There are various ways to begin a narrative paragraph. 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. This is your chance to use fragments. the Queen of bloody Sheba?" . Be sure to make the conversation lifelike by using slang. "Appearances can be deceptive". Who should clearly introduce the character. serious intent." All activity stopped in the restaurant as we waited for his reply.Finally. or even get angry over a remembered insult once hurled your way? When writing a narrative paragraph about one event in your life. Is this an adult. re-word the idea into something lik"That is how I learned that the outside does not always reflect the inside. what. "who do you think ya are. when. The most common method for ending a narrative paragraph is to refer back to your topic sentence. and by rewording it.
"It happened while I was standing in the shower. This danger became very real to me one summer evening. but Jack won’t go near the water pail.__________ that day. He would know she was away from the cabin. After snarling. Then I realised all he wanted was a cigarette. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate transitions to give the paragraph coherence. – The 1.later. During the rush hour one evening after work.__________ the doctor and police were able to reconstruct the scene of the crime. 11. and gingerly I extended the pack to him When he started muttering.__________ Jyll has been known to giggle at Jack’s disaster which sometimes gets her in trouble with his mother. she grabbed the old wooden pail. so I 38 . 7.__________ she left the cabin. 10. When. Jyll 6.__________ went off to town for the spring water not knowing that Jack had gone tumbling down. High up there it could be seen by Jack while he stood on the porch of his cabin down the road.eventually. 12. to let him know she would be out of the area for the day. Don’t just relate the series of events because this creates a boring list.first. vivid words to relate your story instead of passive language. it hit Jack’s crown on its way down.when. 2.afterwards Let me tell you the story about a woman named Jyll and a friend of hers called Jack. Now I started to panic as his hands fumbled on the car seat because I thought he wasgrabbing for my purse. She tied a rope around the handle of the pail and 5. Using Connotative Language in Narrative Writing The language used in narrative writing helps the reader imagine himself in the events you tell about. and was stopped by the red light across from the York Hotel.__________ thing that happened was that Jyll was running out of fresh water at her cabin. he took two smokes and my lighter.in the meantime.__________ Jack and Jyll still play at being neighbours. Before I knew what had happened an old man had grabbed my door handle. She decided she would have to walk into town to pick up some fresh spring water.before. Example: Instead of. 8. Jack. she hadn’t noticed Jack coming around the bend in the forest path.__________ Jack has had his nob patched.after. and backed out othe car.The following narrative paragraph lacks time transitions.__________ she left she wanted to contact her neighbour. It seems that when Jyll threw the pail up in the tree. This was a safety measure.__________ she would use it as a signal to Jack that she was absent from the cabin.today. Later I realised how foolish I had been to drive with the doors unlocked. 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. 3. Practice 2 Try to unscramble the following paragraph by numbering the sentences in the order they should appear.__________ Jyll had gone to fetch the pail for water. I was driving down Centre Street.__________ was able to toss the pail up into the air and over the giant arbutus tree next to the cabin. Use specific. After this experience. Next he leaned ominously into the car blowing toxic liquor fumes across my face. it was discovered what had happened.then . 9.then . but he hasn’t seemed the same fellow. my sense of safety in Calgary was destroyed. "Darn light stuff". 4. I drew back even further against the driver’s door.
We left so we could have enough time to look for the address. As we were driving on the freeway. After all. 2. punctuality is something employers look for. The cowboy fell off his horse. Every two to three minutes I checked Answers 1. first before 5. eventually then 9. 3. by Elizabeth Alvarado (Fall 2005) The worst day in my life was July 21.m. The child ran out the school doors. hiding the deadly hiss of gas. 6. I looked at my watch. 2. The front tire had popped and lost all of its air. We pulled over to the side of the road onto the shoulder. It became like a ritual. I got ready and told my husband to drive me to the interview. and it was 1 p. after afterwards 39 . The baby cried in her crib. We started feeling the car jumping. 10. On that day. I was sweating and kept looking at my watch. 1. we heard a pop followed by a hissing of air escaping with great force.m.Write." The man walked down the street. The man told me he had made an appointment for me with a potential employer and that my interview was at 1: 30 p. The girl hit her knee on the stairs. couldn’t hear the gas leaking "The blast of water from the shower deadened the other house noises. 2004. 4. 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. By this time. 5. I received a call from a staffing company.
Comment These are the beginning sentences of a paragraph which describes a boy helping an elderly woman up a flight of stairs. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. Details which appeal to our sense of sight ensure that the reader is able to give faces to characters. The scene seems simple enough. when then 7. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. Comment Visual details are often successfully incorporated into writing. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. Without the inclusion of sensory detail. 12. 8. In the sample text. but she leaned against him and they began to climb. steep staircase. Example Text: Add Sound Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. steep staircase. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. later when 11. As they slowly climbed the long. 4. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. His mouth filled with the sweet. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. through adding visual detail. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. 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. vague receptacle. a room can become more than just a blank.3. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. oblong room with peeling maroon wallpaper and cracked ceiling tiles. and bit his lip. and action. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. like the bloated. or add concrete details to a setting. like the bloated. For example. and bit his lip. but it leaves the reader with many unanswered questions. As they slowly climbed the long. It becomes a small. He was nervous because the staircase was so steep. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. His mouth filled with the sweet. setting. A visual description allows readers to place themselves within a text. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. visual details help accomplish this through encouraging the reader to create a mental image of the characters. the writing seems vague and non-specific. in the meantime today Example Text: Paragraph Without Sensory Detail Grandmother Workman reached over and grabbed her grandson's arm. 40 . breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck.
Next to visual details. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. In the sample text. In the sample text. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. His mouth filled with the sweet. They allow a reader not only to visualize a scene. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. Example Text: Add Taste 41 . Comment The sense of touch encourages us to investigate the world around us by feeling it and learning the texture. the sound of a ship's whistle might remind a person of a summer's night in New England. texture. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. the writer has incorporated references to sounds which allow the reader to infer the state of the old staircase.Comment The human sense of hearing is an important means of communication. but to experience it. layered. and bit his lip. Comment The sense of smell is commonly overlooked in writing. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. or of a tour of duty in the military. This is because sounds give us a primary experience of the world. and size of things. and emotions. Sounds can remind us of personal memories. Inclusion of the sense of touch prevents the reader from remaining distanced or detached from the writing. like the bloated. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. Tactile images can be powerful sensory triggers. Therefore. sensory experiences. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. 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. shape. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. As they slowly climbed the long. steep staircase. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. thoughts. Because of this link. Our sense of smell has an uncommonly strong power over our feelings. like the bloated. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. 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. For example. through recalling familiar tactile sensations the writer encourages the readers to put themselves in the place of the characters. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. scents are able to cause vivid sensory re-creations of memories. as well as the physical condition of the grandmother. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. Example Text: Add Smell Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. Sounds recreate personal. This is a sensory experience that most people have encountered. it is the human sense of smell that is most closely linked to the brain. In the sample text. auditory details are most commonly included in writing. As they slowly climbed the long. steep staircase. 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. the addition of olfactory details helps set the mood of the paragraph by triggering our senses. His mouth filled with the sweet. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. and bit his lip. However. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. The addition of auditory details gives the writer the opportunity to create a more detailed. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. or can create images in our minds.
Memories. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. and bit his lip. and places can all be suggested through the sense of taste. 42 . His mouth filled with the sweet. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. Comment The human sense of taste allows a person to do much more than simply select and enjoy food. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. steep staircase.Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. a writer has the unique opportunity to affect a reader's senses. There are four familiar tastes: Sweet Salty Bitter Sour By appealing directly to any of these tastes. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. like the bloated. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. feelings. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. people. As they slowly climbed the long.
and condition. Once you have introduced a topic clearly. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. its frets tarnished. It's nothing fancy. The 14-carat gold band. 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. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. but now clogged with grime. The diamond itself is tiny and dull. felt. This kind of topic sentence is more interesting and revealing than a bare announcement. given to me last year by my sister Doris"). our aim is to reveal a subject through vivid and carefully selected details. all of the supporting sentences relate directly to one another and to the topic introduced in the first sentence. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. or a thing. color. all scuffed and scratched and fingerprinted. circles my finger and twists together at the top to encase a small white diamond. the paragraph is unified--that is. and hear what we have seen. like a sliver of glass found on the kitchen floor after a dishwashing accident. a bit tarnished by time and neglect.THE PARAGRAPH DESCRIPTIVE The purpose of descriptive writing is to make our readers see. The four prongs that anchor the diamond are separated by pockets of dust. size. focus your paragraph and gain the interest of your readers with a complete topic sentence: one that expresses an attitude or a reason as well as identifies the object you are about to describe. slim neck. The strings are stretched down a long. developing this idea with details in the rest of the paragraph." Instead of announcing your topic in this way. Just below the diamond are small air holes. The ring is neither very attractive nor valuable. a place. 43 . The writer of "My Tiny Diamond Ring" has done just that. "The belonging I am about to describe is my pre-engagement ring. The model paragraph: My most valuable possession is an old. just a Madeira folk guitar. 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. you should stick to it. As a result. intended to let the diamond breathe. feel. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. and heard. Whether we're describing a person. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. . 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 (". such as. providing specific details that describe the ring: its parts. slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play.
each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. The strings are stretched down a long. all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed. its frets tarnished. Structure of a descriptive paragraph • The topic sentence for a this descriptive paragraph is: My most valuable possession is an old. Notice also how the concluding sentence helps to tie the paragraph together by emphasizing the personal value of this gift. 1. it's not a beautiful instrument.Identify the topic sentence. and four). The clown's short yellow hair. blond guitar") but also suggests why the writer values it ("the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play").The administration building.The library. and eight). blond guitar--the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play. covers its ears but is parted above the 44 . and for that I will always treasure it. slightly warped. made of yarn. locating each building where you think it belongs in relation to other buildings . 2. and for that I will always treasure it. 3. three. Topic sentence: On Maria’s first visit to the college campus.The student centre and cafeteria. but it still lets me make music. 5. It's nothing fancy. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear.Underline the spatial transitions in this paragraph.The faculty offices. to the body (sentences five. 4. No.The classroom buildings 3. particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago • The concluding sentence concludes the paragraph and emphasizes the personal value of the item. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. • The supporting sentences support this topic sentence with specific descriptive details. . sketch out a map of a college campus. slim neck. seven. to the unicycle underneath (sentence nine). 4. observe how the writer moves clearly from a description of the head of the clown (in sentences two.The gymnasium and athletic fields. On a sheet of paper. 7.Below is a topic sentence for a spatial paragraph. In the following paragraph.The refectory room. just a Madeira folk guitar. Then write out a paragraph beginning with the topic sentence below. Add spatial transitions to introduce each of the eight buildings according to their order of location. Supporting detail: 1. This sentence not only identifies the prized belonging ("an old. it's not a beautiful instrument. six. slightly warped. 2. followed by supporting detail to develop the paragraph. 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. but it still lets me make music.particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago. 6.How are the details arranged. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings.The bookstore. No. Activities: 1. she saw many buildings. one that was slightly damaged in shipping.
However.eyes. I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set. dark lashes flowing from the brows. You may move from the top of the item to the bottom. His pride. but endearing. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats. 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. nose. as many cat experts think. Choose the one pattern that seems best suited to your topic. and lips. performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. before delving into its various genres. His familiarity with cat food commercials has led him to reject generic brands of cat food in favor of only the most expensive brands. which means ‘to examine. test. its origins provide us with some useful insights. He walks with pride and grace. for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. white ruffle around its neck. After my guests have fled. or from the bottom to the top. There are various ways to organize the details in a descriptive paragraph. The clown wears a fluffy. begging to be petted. or (literally) to drive out’. You may start at the left side of the item and move right. tracing it back further. which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. Essays Essay Writing Overview The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. does not extend to his appearance. befriending some and repelling others. we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic. and then stick to that pattern throughout the paragraph. Through the excavation of this ancient word. especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. What is an Essay? Though the word ‘essay’ has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English. Surrounding its ankles and disguising its long black shoes are big pink bows. The left side of the outfit is light blue. however. habits. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English. and the right side is red. He enjoys TV commercials. As a cherished gift from my good friend Tran. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay. and its broad grin disappears into the wide. The two colors merge in a dark line that runs down the center of the small outfit. He may snuggle up against your ankle. You may start with the outside of the item and move in. 45 . Therefore. The clown and unicycle together stand about a foot high. this colorful figure greets me with a smile every time I enter my room. 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. or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers. or go from right to left. It has cherry-red cheeks. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory. we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere. two-tone nylon costume. The blue eyes are outlined in black with thin. 3) Gregory Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. or go from inside to out. However. it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training. and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious. students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres within essay writing.
• Optional concluding sentence. essays are (by nature) concise. Supporting ideas (usually 3 . 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. TIPS FOR WRITING A PARAGRAPH CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PARAGRAPH Topic sentence. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. Brainstorm supporting ideas. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from her purpose. conciseness. clarity. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. exposition. which means that all sentences in the paragraph directly support the topic sentence. 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. she must be deliberate and interesting. narration. 2. Therefore. numbers. Choose 2 . Allen Brizee. • Unity. which leaves the reading with something to think about and may summarize the supporting ideas if the paragraph is long. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. which includes the topic and a controlling idea. which support the topic sentence Reasons. have been criticized by some composition scholars. Although these genres. Compose your topic sentence. 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).6). names. 46 • • • . and require clarity in purpose and direction. Narration. Exposition. examples.Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading. Process of Writing a Paragraph: 1. comparison and contrast. 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. persuasion. Think of a topic and a controlling idea that will narrow the topic enough to support it well in one paragraph. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. also known as the modes of discourse.6 supporting ideas that do a good job supporting your topic sentence. logically ordered and easy to follow. We hope these resources will help. o Coherenence. analysis. and exposition. which means that all the information of the paragraph is well-organized. As is evidenced by this list of attributes. there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing. and senses give details for and further explain the supporting ideas.
In order to get a good job. 7. Now we put this information into outline form and added some reasons. 3.3. Topic sentence: A. For each supporting idea. numbers. Supporting idea 1. Good Location 1. A. 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. numbers. be able to pay tuition and living expenses 2. examples. and senses for each supporting idea. examples. think of reasons. Qualified professors B. The most difficult part is finding a university that prepares you well for your future career. names. 3. names. B. Supporting ideas: 1. Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult. CHOOSING A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY Choosing a college or university can be difficult. Use the coherence strategies to make your paragraph easy to follow. 3. Write your paragraph in topic outline form as follows. Good Location. Good preparation for your major 1. Think of a concluding sentence. 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. Possibility of scholarships C. and senses. Study environment 2. Good preparation for major We decided to order these supporting ideas according to importance as shown in the outline below. Supporting idea 3. Write your paragraph using sentences. the curriculum that is taught must be 47 . Don't actually write sentences in the outline. 3. C. Affordable. 5. each supporting idea should have about the same amount of reasons. 1. 1. Put your supporting ideas in a logical order. and senses that further explain the idea. 1. Hard curriculum 2. Finally. names. Affordable 1. For balance. we wrote the paragraph using sentences and trying to make the paragraph coherent using different coherence strategies. numbers. Concluding sentence: 4. 6. examples. except for the topic sentence. 2.
It will give you the power to change the world. It makes you a major contributor to the greatest nation on earth. The Value of a University Education _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 48 . It will likely make you more successful. It will give you more money and greater quality of lifer. PRACTICE 2: By using information. It provides you greater economic strength and security 7. 4. You need to be able to pay the tuition fees and living expenses. 2. It will be something you can pass on to your children. Moreover. It will give you more self-confidence 10. there should be possibilities near the school for parttime or summer jobs in your major. so you can get some practical work experience. 5. Some institutions might be able to offer you scholarships if you cannot afford the fees. The environment should be safe and quiet to facilitate studying. Topic: The Value of a University Education Questioning whether you should go to university? Here are five ways that a college education will make you a better person: 1. It will give you a better quality of life. please write a well-organized paragraph. Note: You don’t need to use all notes A. It will give you greater knowledge of the world events 9. 3. In addition. It will give you more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction 8. the professors must be highly qualified and respected in their fields. A good location is also very important when choosing a school. 6.thorough and up-to-date. You should consider all of these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you. 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
For example. Then they can decide if it is the car they want. and this can be extremely expensive. entertainment. The ads may also tell where to buy the Camry. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 6. and so on. They may say that the Camry runs as well as the Mercedes but the Camry’s price is much cheaper. is difficult to find. When consumers see these ads. the ads may compare the Camry with the Mercedes. As a result. particularly in the evening. Disadvantages of Living in a Village There are certain drawbacks (disadvantage) to life outside the city. the fact that there are fewer shops and services often means that there are fewer employment opportunities. In addition. one may have to travel long distances to work elsewhere. Firstly. The dealer’s ads will show the new Camry over and over again and tell the consumer that the Camry has power windows. how much they cost._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 5. because there are fewer people. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. and where they are available. Furthermore. one has a smaller number of friends. a Toyota dealer wants to sell the Toyota Camry. Disadvantages 53 . Disadvantages 1. Advantages Advantages of TV Commercials Ads on television give consumers a lot of information. Therefore. six cylinders. They let consumers know what products look like. they think about all this information about the Camry.
Almost in every American movie you can easily see a beautiful house which has a garden or it is constructed seashore. there were many kinds of learning programs. television has programs for students. Mostly. Furthermore. how to fix things around the house and so on. Therefore. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 9. What is more. For example. most American movies. Another example would be science fiction movies. like foreign language and math education programs. When I was a high school student. There are several programs for preschool children.. These programs help students with their studies. When people watch this kind of movies. you may want to be a monster or a murder. science fiction movies have full of imagination. As a result. They easily change an event which occurred in the past in the direction of their ideas. you see that people eat simple food. As we know. Also. people use movies in order to change history. These are well-organized programs that teaches children to count and to say the alphabet. They also have interesting characters that they tell stories and sing songs. In conclusion nowadays. because of its some bad effects people should choose movies carefully and they should never forget that they are not just watching a movie _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 8. thedre are some programs for adults about how to garden. For that reason most countries life style can be changed by movies. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 54 . They do not have any eating culture. when you watch a horror movie your psychology is affected by this movie badly. television teaches us all kinds of things. Advantages Advantages of Watching Television w TV is a good teacher for everyone for several reasons.Disadvantages of Watching Television w Watching movie can destroy human’s psychology and imagination in some ways. how to make delicious dishes. Moreover. 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. for example Sesame Street and Tarchın and his friends. they think whatever they watched it could be in real life. it causes people’s eating habits.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. As a result._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 10. All students do not have the same financial resources and can't afford expensive clothes. it can be bad for a country. if there are a lot of tourists in the area. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 11. student may want to wear designer clothes which some can afford but others can't. tourism helps people to learn about other cultures and ways of life. Apart from this. places sometimes lose their character and traditions. tourism brings a lot of money into a country and it also creates a lot of employment for people of the area. tourism often brings more air. Therefore. if tourism is not controlled properly. To begin with. sometimes people’s language can suffer. Also. uniforms make it more equal among the rich and poor students. identity and pride. in many cases the natural beauty of a place can be spoilt. Primarily. water and noise pollution. Firstly. For example. In addition. Secondly. Disadvantages Disadvantages of tourism There are some disadvantages to tourism. it makes the locals stay rather than leave to get jobs elsewhere. we should give enough importance to tourism. 55 . uniforms give identity. Moreover. uniforms give students equality. Advantages Advantages of Wearing the Same Uniform Wearing uniforms give all students equality. Advantages Advantages of Tourism There are several advantages to tourism. Lastly. As a result.
tense. Students can tell who is from their school and who is not according to the uniform. there is usually a laundry room in the basement so you don’t have to go anywhere else to do laundry. In addition to this. if a student is a good musician. the dormitory is usually very safe since almost all dormitories have security guards. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 13. you don't have to cook for yourself. Alcoholics may become angry and argumentive. students can "advertise" their school just by wearing their uniforms and be proud of the school they attend. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 56 . Overall. Therefore. As a result. others will know which school that person is from. Students can feel equal to one an other. or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. If a sports team does well. Moreover. we should help the number of alcoholics in Turkey and all over the world. Effect 1. sad. others can feel proud that they are his/her classmates. and confused. uniforms give pride. They may also feel more anxious. the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person's life. 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. but also their family. Moreover. I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. First of all. Others can tell which students are from which schools and if someone is not behaving well. The most important one is that there are always a lot of people around so you won't feel lonely. students can feel proud together of that accomplishment. and co-workers strangers. Furthermore. Advantages Advantages to Living at a Dorm I would prefer to live in an apartment for a number of reasons. Overall. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ B. 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.Students feel a sense of belonging when everyone has the same uniform. friends. CAUSE and EFFECT PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. It not only affects the alcoholic. Alcoholism Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the world today. Hence.
In some cultures. Parents should also encourage their children to study by buying story books with pictures. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. The second reason is alcoholism has psychological reasons. so parents have to take the responsibility to monitor their studying and to remind them to do their homework at home after school. Moreover. For example. Children usually enjoy playing games instead of studying their boring lessons. My parents gave me a gift if I had 57 . As a child. Cause Alcoholism There are some reasons of using alcohol. If parents are alcoholics. it is extremely important that whatever the reasons are we should avoid drinking alcohol. It can be related to emotional changeability. It is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. children may take alcohol later on. the cause of alcoholism can be biological. social and cultural factors play important roles in development of alcoholism. As a result. First of all. Effects Effects of Parents on Children Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. there is conflict between refusing and accepting the use of alcohol to be a social person. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. I experienced this. alcoholics often drink hoping to drown their depressed feelings. Some of them also want to reduce strong negative feelings._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2.
studied well. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. Most students get a good education wherever they go if they are strong-minded to achieve something in their studies. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 58 . In short. Therefore. 5. students may get more money in their job if they have a degree from outside the country. Moreover. Effects _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer. Many people think that students may get a better education outside their home country. So. 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. they may pay less to study abroad and the programs can be better abroad. some students may get scholarships to study abroad. students study abroad for a number of reasons. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 4. To get a college degree from a university outside their home country may be prestigious for students. and then I was very excited.
Finally. nature is a home for animals. Next. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. Moreover. Explain why movies are so popular. watching movie is one of the important activities of people. Finally. there is usually a video store with movies. First of all. some people go to the movies to see how others live. In short. you can take exciting photographs. movies provide entertainment. Causes World is in Danger Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. To begin with. birds. Causes Watching Movies There are many reasons why people all over the world enjoy watching movies. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 59 . animals depend on it for survival. rain forests also are habitat of many insects. As a result._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Movies are popular all over the world. they die too. animals. Furthermore. all over the world. If you are poor. Because. such as forests. forests are natural resources that must be saved because they provide so much good for so many people and animals. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. they offer an escape. If there is no theater. There are thousands of species that live in forests and when the forests die. 7. they are fun to watch andlet you imagine what other people's lives are like. and look at all the flowers. Movie theaters can be found in almost every town. movies are available everywhere. or clean water. hike in the forest. walk through. such as forests. For that reason. it is a way to escape that life for a few hours. 6. forests are beautiful to look at. animals. or dean water. . Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved.
60 . This makes the student unpopular (alone. however. Turkey. there are both similarities and differences in the way students behave toward their teachers in the classroom. there is the student’s right to speak. My teacher back home would teach us a rule of grammar and then give examples. In conclusion. First. students respect their teachers. both my English teachers with their similarities and differences are excellent teachers. COMPARE and CONTRAST PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. Both my English teachers control the class well. In contrast. Similarly. They both make sure we know the rules of the language very well. we are all responsible and had extra work. Although my teachers have these similarities. Similarity and Differences Classroom Behavior Rules There are some similarities and differences in the classroom behavior rules between North America and my country. Then the counselor sends the students to the assistant principal and so on. in my country. Turkey. In North America students look up to teachers and respect them. 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. In North America._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. my present if we need a rule we work it out from the examples. students can ask the teacher questions. For example. We do not look into their eyes. In conclusion. However. the way my two teachers teaching method of English is different. when the teacher asks them to speak they must look into the teacher’s eyes to show respect. If a student makes trouble in the classroom. They can even ask questions when the teacher is giving a lesson. they can only ask questions at the end of the class. When a student is always troublesome in class. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. my present teacher sends the troublesome student to a counselor. In contrast. teacher gives us examples first. Both my teachers know their subject well. students respect teachers. Also. my old teacher would go to the parents because my school is small and everybody would know each other in the city. Likewise. in my country students have the right to ask questions. without friend) and nobody wants to be unpopular. they also have differences on these same points. Next. when a teacher asks us to speak we look down to show respect.
In short. Students also may feel a sense of success by learning new things. to attend for personal fulfillment and to make more money in the job market. Argumentative Importance of University Education People attend university to prepare for a career. some attend for personal achievement._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. ARGUMENTATIVE PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. employers want employees who have very specific knowledge. personal fulfillment and financial rewards. If one has specialized skills. Finally. Secondly. Compare _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. In addition to this. some attend university in order to prepare for a career. First of all. Adults may attend university just for the joy of learning. Because. some attend in order to make more money in the job market. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 61 . people attend college for many reasons some of which include desire to prepare for a career. one can make more money in the job market. They learn about a particular subject in depth there.
Although many people watch television in order to relax. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. Argumentative Enemy of Communication Communication between friends and family has been destroyed due to television. when you write a letter or email. 3. 62 . but forget that communication is important. they do not talk with one another. and their feelings. For example. You see them. In conclusion. Seventy percent of communication is through gestures. you do not get this same kind of experience. It is more personal. When you talk to a person face-to-face. People also enjoy the relaxation of watching television. body language is more effective than spoken language. 2. Television often causes arguments. Besides. they give less time to family and friends. more effective and more honest. face-to-face communication is usually more effective because you can easily see the other people’s expression and feelings about a topic. television makes passive. or telephone calls. their actions. such as letters. but you can see that he is in a bad mood or he is distracted. children argue with their parents to buy them toys they see advertised on TV. People spend less time with family and friends and more time with TV this is destructive._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. Not only family members argue about what to watch on TV but also friends do. Therefore. e-mail. television has destroyed communication between family and friends. Moreover.then you would wait for another time. it is more personal. People do not communicate in the same way as they did before television was invented. Television is such a passive activity that family and friends often forget what meaningful communication is.. you want to ask your boss or a raise. In addition to this. That means you can change your conversation to fit the situation. When people watch television. Moreover. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication. Furthermore. Argumentative Face to Face Communication I believe that face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication.. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.
Most people have more personal. What do they do? They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. In short.You can't get this with email. making up the body of a paragraph. details. Finally. First. face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. Supporting Details What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence. Second. Finally. As a result. First. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. Canada is a desirable place to live. Second. Canada has an excellent health care system. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Canada has an excellent health care system. Canada has a high standard of education. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. How do I write them? You should give supporting facts. and honest conversations when they meet face-to-face. 63 . All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. effective. letters and telephone conversations. Canada is a desirable place to live. As a result. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canada has a high standard of education. and examples. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university.
you write about the similarities and differences between two or more people. too Example: Artvin has a rainy spring season. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. HELPER WORDS COMPARE AND CONTRAST PARAGRAPH In a compare and contrast paragraph. Second. things. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. As a result. places. Canada has a high standard of education. both Example: Both Trabzon and Rize have rain in the spring. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. too. Canada has an excellent health care system. 64 well . Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world.Conclusion Sentence What is the closing sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. How do I write one? Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words. Finally. as Example: As well. or ideas. also Example: Samsun also has a rainy spring season. Canada is a desirable place to live. First. 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. Sinop has rainy spring season. Example: Write a paragraph comparing the weather in some cities in Turkey.
It will certainly increase international trade. New words have been added. A chairman is now a chairperson (or sometimes simply chair). and Thailand have been benefiting from the changing diet of the Japanese consumer. you can use Ms. The greatest access into the Japanese market has been by the food Industry. in contrast to Example: In contrast to Ankara. who are very eager to purchase and enjoy products from countries around the world. are eating Western-style breakfasts. however Example: However.. the Japanese have been consuming more beef. but Example: Ankara has a mild winter. Use each only once. which is defined as "internationalization. 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. Improve the coherence of the following] paragraph by adding transitions at key places Women’s Liberation and English The -women's lib' movement toward greater equality for women has produced some permanent changes in the vocabulary of English. and brantype cereals imported from the United States. I. 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. Erzurum has a cold winter. Then use correct punctuation. the United States. especially women who are aware of the Importance of health and fitness. differs from Example: Erzurum differs from Van by having a cold winter. a waiter/waitress is now a waitperson. koku-saika. Germany. while Example: While Ankara has a mild winter." is influencing young Japanese consumers. Fill in each blank with an appropriate transition signal from the list provided. which will definitely be advantageous to many countries of the world. and mangoes (fruit) from the Philippines. which is often used in place of both Miss and Mrs. A change is that sexist titles of many occupations have been neutralized. Another new word is the title Ms. winter is much colder in Van. H. The lack of a clear neutral pronoun can lead to awkward sentence construction. Erzurum has a cold winter. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. __________Japan is Importing eels (fish) from Taiwan. __________ they enjoy fruit. _______in the last decade or so. 65 . like beer drinks and "light" wines imported from England. In fact. both of the nonalcohol or low alcohol varieties. Switzerland. annual per capita consumption is expected to be about seven kilos in the next decade. Lately ______the consumer market has been changing. but Erzurum has a cold one. and a high school or college freshman is now a first-year student. Not only Western countries but also Asian nations __________South Korea. sexist. Traditionally. ____________the Japanese trend toward internationalization should become even greater as we approach the twenty-first century. winter is much colder in Erzurum. The words feminist. In time. and an airline stewardess is now a flight attendant. are quite useful. asparagus (vegetable) from Thailand. Some of the new words such as Ms. mainly because they are very selective and will only purchase high-quality products. English pronouns may also change as a result of women's desire for equality. A mailman is now a mail carrier. milk. Taiwan. to address a woman when you don't know if she is married. and Australia. Singapore.________ young people.DIFFERENCES on the other hand Example: On the other hand. the protein staples in Japan has been fish products. __________ they have acquired a taste for imported beverages. and male chauvinist have become common during the past thirty-five years or so.
Scientists are now able to create new forms of life in the laboratory due to the development of gene splicing. a researcher at George Washington University Medical Center cloned human embryos' by splitting single embryos into twins and triplets. you group things or ideas into specific categories. it could be possible for parents to have a child and then. CLASSIFICATION PARAGRAPH When writing a classification paragraph. frost-resistant strawberries. Genetic engineers have created a new tomato that doesn't spoil quickly. Another beneficial application of gene splicing is in agriculture. On the one hand the ability to create life in the laboratory could greatly benefit humankind. In 1993.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. years later. A laboratory accident for example might cause an epidemic of an unknown disease that could wipe out humanity. be Energy resources can be divided into two types. flavorless tomatoes in grocery. to use a cloned. Example: Write a paragraph discussing two types of energy resources. 66 kind divided of into . Some people feel that it could have terrible consequences. 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. Furthermore the ability to clone human beings is a possibility that frightens many people. scientists have now developed a way to manufacture it inexpensively in the laboratory. In addition genetic engineers have created larger fish. frozen embryo to give birth to its identical twin. 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. These embryos did not develop into babies but it is possible that they could do so in the future. On the other hand not everyone is positive about gene-splicing technology. Because human embryos can be frozen and used at a later date. For example it is very expensive to obtain insulin from natural sources. but through genetic research. and more productive cows.
Often. CHOICE / OPINION PARAGRAPH In a paragraph where you have to make a choice. is associated Coal is associated with other non-renewable resources. fits Coal fits into the category of non-renewable resources. is a part Coal is a part of the category of non-renewable resources. The following words can help you to write a good choice paragraph: Helper Words: Point of View Personal Opinion in my opinion like/dislike belief hope idea feel understanding I think that I consider I believe it seems to me I prefer POINT OF VIEW in my In my opinion. basketball is more fun than football. 67 opinion . you will need to give your opinion on a choice of actions or events. belongs Coal belongs to the category of non-renewable resources. or action that you prefer. idea. is grouped Coal is grouped with non-renewable resources. Example: Write a paragraph stating whether you would prefer to play basketball or football. you need to choose which object.is falls a Coal is a type of non-renewable resource. type of under to of into with to with Coal falls under the category of non-renewable resources. is related Coal is related to other non-renewable resources.
recently in the beginning previously before afterwards then when after after finally at last subsequently ORDER first. second. you need to win a seat in the House of Commons. that consider believe me prefer SEQUENCE PARAGRAPH In a sequencing paragraph. you need to become a leader of a political party. First. idea My idea is that basketball is more fun than football. feel I feel that basketball is my favorite sport. second. 68 . third. I I believe basketball is more exciting than lacrosse. etc. The following words can help you to write a good sequence paragraph. I I prefer basketball over football. this order is based on time. I think I think that I would prefer to play basketball and not football. Helper Words: ORDER TIME first. third. etc. Example: Write a paragraph outlining how a person becomes the prime minister. I I consider basketball to be more exciting than football.belief My belief is that basketball is more fun than football. Usually. Third. it seems to It seems to me that basketball is more exciting than football. PERSONAL OPINIONS like/dislike I like the sport of basketball because it is fast and exciting. your party must have a majority of seats. Second. understanding My understanding is that basketball is more fun than football. you are writing to describe a series of events or a process in some sort of order. hope I hope that I can play basketball in the future.
you need to explain how or why something happens. you will be asked to explore causes and effects of certain events. you need to become the leader of a political party. she worked as a lawyer in Toronto. beginning then Then. Example: Write a paragraph explaining why so many Europeans moved to Canada during the nineteenth century. you can call yourself the prime minister. . you must make sure you have a majority of seats. subsequently Subsequently. after all these steps. EXPLANATION PARAGRAPH In an explanation paragraph. Before becoming the prime minister. 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 . she was still working as a lawyer. then last 69 . you can call yourself the prime minister. at Example: At last. after After winning a seat in the House of Commons. afterwards Example: She won the party leadership last year. finally Finally. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. . after Example: After winning a seat in the House of Commons. you must make sure you have a majority of seats in the House of Commons. TIME recently She was recently elected prime minister. she won the election. Very often in social studies class.in before the In the beginning. Previously. when Example: When she won the party leadership. you need to become a leader of a political party. Afterwards. you must win a seat in the House of Commons. previously She is the new prime minister.
many people moved to Canada. Consequently. if . it follows that Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. you may describe where a place is located. many people moved to Canada. then fewer people would have moved to Canada DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH In a description paragraph.. Describe where Canada's industry is located. then Example: If living conditions were better in Europe. many people moved to Canada. Sometimes. or thing is like. many people moved to Canada for a better life.. place. consequently Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. It follows that many people moved to Canada. 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. you are writing about what a person. is due to / was due Example: The large influx of people to Canada was due to economic pressures in Europe. 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 . Therefore. Hence. since Example: Since living conditions in Europe were terrible. of to EFFECT therefore Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. Thus. Examples: Write a paragraph describing what a polar bear looks like. hence Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. many people moved to Canada for a better life. thus Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible.
above Example: The ceiling is above us. beside Example: Quebec is located beside Ontario. you will state your evaluation or recommendation and then support it by referring to your criteria. purpose Example: The purpose of the polar bear's fur is to keep it warm. mass / weight Example: Polar bears weigh up to 650 kg.near north/east/south/west PROPERTIES size Example: Polar bears are big in size. LOCATION in Example: Most of Canada's manufacturing is located in Ontario and Quebec. width Example: The width of a polar bear's head is about 50 cm. shape Example: Polar bears have a special shape. You need to make your evaluation based on certain criteria that you develop. MEASUREMENT length Example: The length of a polar bear's claws is 20 cm. speed Example: Polar bears can swim at a speed of 40 km per hour. colour Example: Polar bears are usually white in colour. below Example: Most of Ontario is below Hudson Bay. ANALOGY is like Example: A polar bear is like other bears in shape. Example: Write a paragraph evaluating whether pesticides should be used on farms. you make judgments about people. ideas. north / east / south Example: Ontario is west of Quebec. In the paragraph. resembles Example: A polar bear resembles other bears in shape. and possible actions. 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 . / west EVALUATION PARAGRAPH In an evaluation paragraph. near Example: Many companies are located near Toronto.
argue Example: I would argue that pesticides should not be used because they harm the environment. 1995. or explanatory expressions.paragraphorganizer. but. and so on. on the other hand. Longman. correct / Example: The belief that pesticides must be used is incorrect.html 2. http://www.com/inner/about_us. wrong trivial RECOMMENDATION suggest Example: I suggest that pesticides should not be used to control pests. Transitional words and phrases may be conjunctions. advise Example: I would advise farmers not to use pesticides if possible. Ann Hogue. recommend Example: I recommend that pesticides should not be used because they are harmful to the environment. SOURCE: 1. and however. bad incorrect moral / immoral Example: The use of pesticides to control pests is immoral because it harms the environment. Writing Academic English.htm 4.uottawa.moral / immoral right / wrong important / trivial advise argue CRITERIA good / Example: The use of pesticides such as DDT is bad for the environment. 72 . 1980. such as and. The connection between sentences in a paragraph can be shown in several ways. such as for instance. First Steps in Academic Writing.ru/eng/1999/eng35-2. right / Example: It is wrong to use pesticides because they harm the environment. http://archive. 5. Longman. Alice Oshima. Ann Hogue. http://www. Connections Between Sentences A good paragraph has unity: All the sentences have a relationship to one another and to the main idea. but principally by the use of transitional words and phrases.htm 3. important / Example: The issue of pesticides is an important one because it affects the environment.1september.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic.
Logical Connectives Additionally. Each organizational pattern has its own logical connectives. some after it sets. consequently. In order to determine whether a paragraph is well developed or not. Consider. while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed. The details provide the concrete examples which your reader will use to evaluate the credibility of your topic sentence. equally important.Transitional words and phrases act as signals. The topic sentence makes a general claim: that school work tends not to be associated only with school. just as. for example. any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space. and schedules. furthermore. X and Y are both purple. clear paragraphs. Transitional expressions such as equally. of major concern. These words are often referred to as logical connectives because they make clear not only the order but also the meaning of the writing. it will suggest that most paragraphs are built of a combination of development strategies. "environment. because. distinguishing the East Coast from Central Canada and the West as surely as dominant dialects or political inclinations. Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs A paragraph is unified when every sentence develops the point made in the topic sentence. In this sense. This section will discuss three of the most common types of paragraph structure: development by detail. and process. What about the kitchen? The bedroom? In fact. and therefore. Some need a less flexible schedule than others. comparison and contrast. Y is little." enumerated in the topic sentence. 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.). They tell where the paragraph is going. Look at the following paragraph (you may have encountered it before): Work tends to be associated with non-work-specific environments. and schedules. Although most classes are scheduled between 8:30 and 22:00. or expanding the topic sentence. activities. They are organised around the three categories. on the other hand. the following paragraph: Although the interpretation of traffic signals may seem highly standardized.) or subject by subject (X is big and purple. a second factor. 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. many students would suggest the classroom. Order of importance may be emphasized with transitional words and expressions such as first. transitional words and phrases also act to hold sentences together. despite. Some people need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully. Y is small and purple. 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. in common. 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. exemplifying. They give directions. while others cannot produce anything without much dust and heat. In Montreal. If asked what space is reserved for learning. You may choose to compare either point by point (X is big. achieving unity. and otherwise may be used to emphasize comparison or contrast. however. Finally. Every sentence must contribute to the paragraph by explaining. finally. The rest of the sentences provide various illustrations of this argument. Some students work quickly and efficiently. Being sedentary seems to inspire others. It must have a single focus and it must contain no irrelevant facts. least important. but not everything. Words particularly suited to writing about causes and effects are as a result. activities. the lab or the library. some students do their best work before the sun rises. or a place associated with thinking. similarly. 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. and most important.
in order to make a point about how attitudes in various places inform behaviour. It contrasts the behaviour of drivers in the Maritimes. in Montreal. and folly." Among the "qualities considered distinctive of manhood" listed in the entry for man. no negative attributes detract from the "courage. says a true gentleman "knows instinctively when I prefer to light my own cigarette. This paragraph compares traffic patterns in three areas of Canada. finally.with pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. in contrast. a single paragraph will contain development by a combination of methods. Those of you in the sciences will recognise it as the formula followed in the "method" section of a lab experiment. and vigor" the definers associate with males. In my home town in New Brunswick. third finger and middle finger contributing most of the firmness by pressing the cork solidly into the fleshy part of the palm. absolutely firm and solid. but they are not. process. In fact. It may begin with a brief comparison. and move on to provide detailed descriptions of the subjects being compared." 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. or pickup trucks. she says. Many paragraphs include lists of examples: The broad range of positive characteristics used to define males could be used to define females too. A process analysis might include a brief history of the process in question. affection. the little finger. This should be about half-way up the cork handle. he or she could almost certainly orient him-orherself according to the surrounding traffic patterns. incorrigibly English. they drive differently according to the area in which they live. with little abstraction. At its entry for woman Webster's Third provides a list of "qualities considered distinctive of womanhood": "Gentleness. 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. My secretary. Bob 74 . and always removes his wristwatch. All four fingers are curved around the handle. which type of development best describes the following paragraphs: detail. and in Calgary. superficiality. all terrain vehicles. and domesticity or on the other hand fickleness. never serves aces at me on the tennis court. Paragraph Development by Process Paragraph development by process involves a straightforward step-by-step description. or combination? 1. point by point." and this is exactly what he does. "Captain Horatio Hornblower. "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. strength. comparison and contrast. Paragraph Development by Combination Very often. In startling contrast. Process description often follows a chronological sequence: The first point to establish is the grip of the hand on the rod. but not tense or rigid." Among the few true gentlemen extant. were any observant Canadian dropped from an alien space vessel at an unspecified intersection anywhere in this vast land. which together account for most vehicles on the road. People in these areas have in common the fact that they all drive. Review: Paragraph Development Although most paragraphs contain a combination of development techniques. If you wanted to consider two or more aspects. which should be along the upper side of the handle and somewhere near the top of the grip. for example. traffic lights (along with painted lines and posted speed limits) do not apply to tractors. It is important to note that the paragraph above considers only one aspect of driving (behaviour at traffic lights). The forefinger supports and steadies the grip but supplies its own firmness against the thumb. you would probably need more than one paragraph. According to this dictionary. near the heel of the hand. (from Roderick HaigBrown. womanish means "unsuitable to a man or to a strong character of either sex.
Combination of Development Methods 2. they regard me warily. Development by Detail 2. Joe Namath and Front Page Tom don't. 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. When I was young I often heard people say. "What is a Gentleman") 1. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. and of this they were both inclined to boast. when hockey was an outdoor art rather than indoor mayhem and at decent yacht clubs. dugouts. guys to announce who's at bat over public address systems and. gloves for every fielder -." (from Allan Fotheringham. As Scotland is the hard northern cap to the British island. "Canada is the Scotland of North America. as if it were on stilts.Dylan and Pierre Elliott Trudeau come to mind. above all. When I tell young softball players I played the game bare-handed. Richard Burton. The wasp crawls under it and walks over it without evoking any hostile response. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Development by Detail 2. It also gave them both a heritage of spectacular beauty uncrowded by cities and towns. Both countries were gouged by the retreating glaciers.the game they play is more tarted-up and sissy than the one I knew. Development by Process 4. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. in his day. but I will tell today's softball players that -with their fancy uniforms. (from Alexander Petrunkevitch. so is Canada to the United States. It may stand this way for several minutes. Development by Process 4. Development by Detail 2. The tarantula shows an amazing tolerance to this exploration. and the glorious old days when the only football in the Maritimes was English rugger. which left them on the subsistence level as far as good farmland was considered. Combination of Development Methods 3. Am I one of those geezers who's forever jawing about the fact that. "The Wasp and the Spider") 1. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Canada's Lesson" [edited]) 1. "Scotland's Fate. "The Softball was Always Hard") 1." Only recently did it occur to me that it might be worthwhile considering the extent to which this is true. The molestation is so great and so persistent that the tarantula often rises on all eight legs. (from Harry Bruce. Combination of Development Methods 4. men were gentlemen and women were persona non grata? No. batters' helmets. Development by Process 4. Development by Process 75 . (from Hugh MacLennan. manicured diamonds. Development by Detail 2. To identify the species the wasp apparently must explore the spider with her antennae. with the rich farmlands and cities of England just below her.
” It is easy to know when someone has finished a sentence: we see a period there.4. It is not as easy to know where a writer’s thoughts are going inside a sentence. use a comma with a coordinating conjunction to separate two independent clauses 3. use a comma to follow conventions of naming. five general rules for comma use will help students use commas correctly. 76 . 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. Quick Comma Rules. use a comma to set-off non-essential elements such as a phrase or clause. use a comma after an opening clause. In this module you will learn how to use commas correctly. In most situations.. etc. citing sources. use a comma to separate items in a series. commas are necessary for others to understand what we have said. to “get it. 2. presenting addresses. Some special situations for comma use are discussed toward the end of this module. Commas should be placed before and after a non-essential element in the middle of a sentence 4. word.. dates. Lessons will cover rules for comma use and common comma mistakes. or phrase 5. Commas cause the reader to pause and better understand the elements that make up the sentence. Although you shouldn’t use a comma unless you know a rule for it. 1.
but not really essential to understanding the basic assertion. the error is a "fused sentence. A series of two or more clauses items should be separated by commas. independent Many grammarians would argue in this situation. Maya is going to travel throughout Southeast Asia for a year. broccoli. infinitive. 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). yet. the error is a "comma splice" (for more detail. After graduation. We will be going to the mountains again this summer. there is some debate Two or more about whether the last item in a list of three items should take a comma. writers set these elements off 77 . washing the clothes. and brussels sprouts—any coordinating vegetable that's green. and I will be staying home flipping burgers and going to school. Writ She left her beautiful black leather handbag on the bus. for. and to vary the rhythm in the sound of their sentences. green beans. or prepositional phrases. or a series of adjective. appetizing fast food is difficult. that the clause could stand on Note: Sometimes a series seems to be "like" when it is not. For example. complete sentence. explore the module on run-on sentences). a comma should not be used between the items. strong punctuation: a examples: semi-colon. Without adequate punctuation. punctuation tells the reader Finding healthy. however. then they are unlike items and should not be separated by commas. nor. the sentence will be a "run-on sentence": if no punctuation is included between independent clauses. MLA format rules do require a comma together need before the last item in a series of three or more elements. conjunction. ers join Haunted by the memory of last year's painful knee surgery. but. phrase. However. The series may be a series of adjectives describing independent something. leaving out the last clauses joined comma is acceptable. if the sentence makes sense. And the coordinating conjunctions—and. a series of things to pick up at the market. nor does he like broccoli. In this its own as a situation. together to show a close A useful way to tell if items are "like" is to try placing the word "and" relationship between every item. if between ideas not. or dependent clause is non-essential information. then the items are like. she protected clauses her knee with a strong brace during the tennis match. To signal the reader that a word.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. examples: Felix does not like spinach. 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. or a comma and a Felix dislikes spinach. and mopping the floor are the This chores I hate most. but this time we will bring mosquito repellant." if the coordinating conjunction is provided and the comma is omitted. Doing the dishes.
examples: She is. the speaker must have only one sister—my sister. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. John and Alex. 78 . However. Jake brought his best friends from school. My sister. only the comma separating the phrase from the rest of the sentence is needed. 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. Referring to what others have said shows that you are participating in an ongoing conversation about a topic. as you can probably tell. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. however. As you can probably tell. a comma is typically necessary to signal the reader as to when the introductory phrase or clause is complete. because the name of the sister is non-essential information. the names should not be set off from the sentence. she is pretty nervous about public speaking. is Maria. before television. or phrase Introductory Clauses: When beginning a sentence with an introductory clause (as in this sentence). John and Alex. the speaker could have more than one sister—this particular sister 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. The information is thus enclosed by commas. If the phrase occurs at the beginning or end of the sentence. word. by the way. In the second sentence. Watch out. Note: In the last example above. the problem is much bigger than we imagined. Because we have had so much rain this year. if the names are essential to identifying the person.by commas before and after the addition. mild exclamations or interjections: Hey. In the first sentence. the names of Jake's friends are non-essential information: Jake has only two best friends. is pretty fun to hang out with. before computers. Jake brought his best friends from school. for clauses used as the subject of a sentence. construction of the new highschool will take an additional six months. examples: As you can see. people read books for fun. pretty nervous about public speaking. I thought you were going to study tonight instead of come with us to the movies. whose name. Maria. because the name of the sister is included as necessary to the meaning of the sentence. Rule 4: use a comma after an opening clause. one should never separate a subject from the verb of the sentence: example: What she has always wanted is now within her reach. Once upon a time. is fun to hang out with.
however. for most of my life. they are enclosed by commas. Never use a sentence adverb to connect two independent clauses unless you use a semi-colon before the sentence adverb. The acclaimed critic Roger Ebert has been ill recently. but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how we look at it). . frankly. . and mercifully. she has the flu and will have to skip the concert. she is the nicest person I have ever met. and quotations have risen up over time. sadly. Rule 5: use a comma to follow conventions What follows reads a bit like a laundry list of comma use rules. a name in a direct address: Miguel. times. I don't want pineapple on my pizza." Introductory Phrases: Introductory phrases add information to the sentence and create interest in and anticipation for the information to follow. Ebert & Roeper. 1979. examples: To help him understand how an internal combustion engine works. At the restaurant we all ordered burgers and fries. and introductory appositive phrases that are essential to the sentence should never be separated from the subject by a comma. nevertheless. and after the year before continuing with the sentence: The twins were born in June. California. Note: Grammarians disagree about the word "hopefully" used as a sentence adverb. . I would love a new plasma television. names. I cannot afford one. . I drew a diagram. but these conventions allow us to quickly share and process information. Sadly. Troublesome they may be. Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year. . and after the state before continuing with the rest of the sentence: I have lived in San Francisco. Use a comma to separate a city from a state. Without a doubt. . . many conventions for the presentation of dates. furthermore. . Most hate this construction. or if they occur in the middle of a sentence. do you want another cup of coffee? a sentence adverb: these are special transition words that always take a comma. arguing that it is ambiguous—the writer could mean a hopeful prediction. and unable to host his television program. then show me how you do it. Use commas to surround titles or degrees: 79 . 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. Examples of sentence adverbs include moreover.Ok. however. or "I am hoping. No. one month before my 30th birthday. In San Francisco one finds plenty of good restaurants. citations. .
. "All I say is. Don't put a comma after the main clause when a dependent clause follows it." 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. after all." or "As Huck puts it. Twain's short story "Hunting the Deceitful Turkey." 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. Take a look at a parody of this kind of comma abuse by blogger fandomcommahate 80 . and an occasional well-placed comma to create voice. and started screaming about the grade on her essay." "Twain argues." is wildly funny. corrected: She walked out of the room and started screaming about the grade on her essay. corrected: I told my boss that I was sick and that I would not be coming to work. Don't place a comma between two nouns. Use a comma to emphasize a shift or to cause the reader to pause before an important contrast or point of emphasis. Don't sprinkle commas throughout your writing to try and imitate a speaking voice. You are going to make the cake for the party. they're a mighty ornery lot." the phrase should be set off from the quote by a comma. Take them all around. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. corrected: To err is human. .. noun phrases.Professor Pete McSeed. wrong: I am not going to work today. . after an independent clause. However. furious even. Ph. corrected: I am not going to work today because I am sick. not sad. . Huck says.D. wrong: She walked out of the room. It's the way they're raised. wrong: To err. but a raft don't. received his doctoral from Amherst College a year before taking a teaching job at Yale. wrong: I told my boss that I was sick. . and that I would not be coming to work. kings is kings. 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. Commas used with quotations are a bit tricky. . or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object. is human. Tears were streaming down her face because she was happy. a colon should be used instead. Rely instead on language and logic. because I am sick. Don't place a comma between two sentence verbs or verb phrases. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery. and you got to make allowances. When introducing a quote with a short introductory phrase like "He said. Don't use a comma to separate the subject from the verb. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was angry.
Quotes within the quote still take punctuation marks. however. the comma. the quote should be double-spaced (in MLA format. whether or not it is Ok to use quotes to identify a new term. she said. Direct quote: After finishing the entire sundae. the people. In an indirect quotation. If you are writing an essay in MLA format. the people.I. periods. though it is important to provide a citation letting the reader know the source of the information. for being here! In this module. who. and hate. hate. the people. how to use quotation marks to express irony. them. do not use quotation marks with an offset quote as the offsetting substitutes for the punctuation. who hate comma abuse. love. Block Quotes: When the quoted material is longer than four lines of your own text. The rules governing the use of quotation marks are specific. and how to use quotation marks with direct quotes. Writers use quotation marks to signal the reader that the text within opeining and closing quotes is not the writer's original material. comma abuse. there are rules that govern the placement of other punctuation with quotation marks. love comma abuse. however. students don't usually sit down and read about how to use quotation marks properly. however. hate. when the writer paraphrases another person's words. double-spacing is maintained throughout the essay). students are often confused about when to use single or a double quote. However. and question marks when they finish with a quote and move back to their own writing. hate. fandoms. and the. the people. who. love them. which spawn them. she said that she wanted another one. and you may well be driving your English instructor up the wall if your commas are out of place. Quotes & Quotation Marks Quotation marks are probably the most incorrectly used element of punctuation. "And that's what I'm talking about!" Indirect quote: After she finished her chocolate sundae. quotation marks are not used. seriously. So good for you. who. Like. the perpetrators. 81 . Also? Everyone else. 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. Using Other Punctuation With Quotation Marks: Here is where things get tricky: students often just guess where to put commas.
If the lead in is an independent clause. "In the first place God made idiots. Mark Twain once said. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. keep the period then add the ellipses: Walker ." A comma should be used before a quote begins to separate a lead-in phrase from the quotation. stick with the actual text of the quoted material. if the sentence itself is a question or exclamation. This was for practice. or the addition of words to clarify meaning: In "Like a Fox. and a space before beginning the ellipses). for example. "The future of stem cell research [see definition] is in doubt. use a colon: An analogy helps explain something complex by way of comparison with something that is easier to understand. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark or exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period." A Quote Within a Quote: 82 . . Brackets are also used to indicate a single word omission. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. One exception would be when you begin a sentence with a quotation: here you would capitalize the first letter of the sentence. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) Capital letters: Basically. . . Scientist Gail Monroe said. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked." the 10-year-old protoganist repeatedly tries to break away from her parents and childhood. and to walk to school rather than ride with her dad. use ellipses (three periods with a space between each period. . when you need to make the quote fit the grammatical structure of your own sentence. What is the context for Twain's comment." A question mark or exclamation point goes inside the closing quote if the quote is a question or exclamation.Commas and periods after a quotation go INSIDE the closing quote: "I was so tired that I fell asleep in the library. where do I begin?" (Dr. however. for example. . "Love is like a rose: it blooms and grows and creates joy. She argues that "nobody understands [her]" to anyone who will listen. You do not need to change a letter to or from a capital to fit it into the structure of your sentence. . Then he made School Boards"? When omitting words in a quotation. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. 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. Brackets: Brackets are used within a quote when you need to change a word. the author of the essay on the Novato Train Station might employ a statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. . . "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits." For example." said Donna. to choose her own clothes. (Edwin Bryant. Very well. but it also has thorns. She asks his mother to let her go alone to the lake to join her friends. If the omitted material is after a complete sentence. The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains.
At sixteen. around familiar terms like "laser. The English word wimp. Must have cash register experience and be "willing to work. I had no idea what she meant. unitalicized text. In his book Free From School. Using quotes to express irony is tricky. however. one is calling attention to the fact that the term is slang. Rahul Alvarez takes a year off from school to pursue an education of his own design. but incorrectly. 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." Dr.When quoting text that itself includes a quote." and so does Joey in a classic episode of Friends (click here to see this bit on YouTube). 'How much?' I asked. (Weis Supermarket. '25 rupees." which refers to the cloth women wrapped around their heads in medieval times. I handed over the amount to him. quotes can be construed as a sign of the author's laziness or inability to indicate irony in language. 83 . Often it is better to rely on the logic of the sentence to indicate the irony. Mississippi) Help Wanted. New terms should be placed in italics the first time they appear. use single quotation marks to enclose the internal quote and distinguish it from the primary quote. Slang: Quotation marks may be used around a word to indicate that a word is a slang term. Those telephone solicitors are so kind and thoughtful to call during dinner time. quotation marks were used around words and phrases meant to be read as words or terms rather than for their content. Ottawa. but my guess is that she wasn't being kind. I took a seat and he put my luggage on the overhead rack. thereafter. Quotation Marks for Terms Before computers took the place of typewriters." (Rahul Alvarez." (Weiner World Restaurant. Emphasis: Most grammarians will tell you that using quotes to denote emphasis is incorrect. as in "I just 'love' waking up at 6:00 am to catch a plane. In this case. Today. PA) It is probably best to avoid using quotes for emphasis in college writing. which means "to be timid or cowardly. PA) "Fresh" Fish (Byward Market. 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. 'Ticket.' he replied. Neither of the sentences below needs quotation marks to make the irony clear because the logic reveals the irony. the use of italics is preferred. Pittsburgh. 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. For example. the terms should appear as regular. Evil in the Austin Powers movies uses air quotes. I just love telephone solicitors." comes from the Old English word for "wimple. Ontario) You must be "21" to enter this bar! (a fan's local bar) "Parents" No candy sold on this aisle.' he demanded. She called me a "garden tool". but people do it all the time. he is sometimes taken advantage of by strangers.
Pride and Prejudice: “My dear Mr. “Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently. • • • The words of each speaker need to be enclosed in quotes In quotes that go on for more than a paragraph." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women.” returned she. Works of art are also italicized. “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr. 2007. He advised me by letter that he would. “But it is. full-length records (or cds). italics (or an underline. 1. or a song or poem. the writer must begin a new line. Every time a new speaker talks. 1862) correct incorrect 3. Longer works include books. Bennet.Quotation Marks and Titles Quotation marks are used to set off the titles of short works. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. A short work is a work within a work. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West. Long has just been here.” This was invitation enough. “for Mrs. "pay me one hundred dollars. full-length plays. then include the closing quote. Take a look at this dialogue from Jane Austen's novel. and she told me all about it. Bennet made no answer. such as an episode of a TV series. on the first day of June.” Mr. but not at the end of the paragraph until you reach the end of the quote. (Robert Luce. magazines and newspapers. use a quote at the beginning. Bennet replied that he had not. She has long been interested in the "woman question. The Writer. "The Present Hour." 84 ." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. films. “You want to tell me." correct incorrect 4. and I have no objection to hearing it. a chapter in a book. TV series. 2007." correct incorrect 2. Quotation Marks in Dialogue There are a few important rules for using quotations marks in dialogue. an article in a magazine. when italics are not available) are used to identify longer works.” said his lady to him one day.
" correct incorrect 7. He correct incorrect 6. ." 11." by Pierce F. said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. Sauer writes. correct incorrect 10." correct incorrect 8. The correct incorrect 9." 1988) 85 . I just "love" surprise quizzes. . I just love surprise quizzes. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. She said. correct incorrect Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. Lewis." "She ought to know. In some manner.correct incorrect 5. . "What's up. She said. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. 392-393). dude?" makes me crazy. Geography is a science of observation. She ought to know. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. expression.
Presently my friend half-finds her voice. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making fruitcakes. I knew it before I got out of bed. And there were no birds singing. Buddy. No." by Truman Capote. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. they've gone to warmer country. We've thirty cakes to bake.12. Haha. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. Cooking. His eyes tilt more. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. he doesn't smile. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. 1966) 13. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. It's Mr. Mr. Our hearts overturn. Mr. yes indeed. Footsteps. 86 . Oh. he does have scars. The door opens. 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. Haha. she says. (from "A Christmas Memory. too. Help me find my hat. a whispery voice at best: If you please.
"Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. She said. "The Present Hour." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. She said. The expression. 2007. "What's up. (Robert Luce. on the first day of June." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. 1966) Correction 1. "pay me one hundred dollars. dude?" makes me crazy. The Writer. She has long been interested in the "woman question. 1862) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 3. He advised me by letter that he would." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5." "She ought to know.(from "A Christmas Memory." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 2. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West. She ought to know. He said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 87 ." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8." by Truman Capote. 2007.
Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. yes indeed. 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. These symbols really get around. His eyes tilt more. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. In this module students will learn these rules. as well as how to use colons and semicolons effectively in their writing. they've gone to warmer country." by Truman Capote." 1988) Answer given: 12.9. he doesn't smile. he does have scars. and have been since before the 17th century. Capote. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes.—Mark Twain Did you know that in Greek. Footsteps. Objectives: • learn to use semicolons and colons between independent clauses 88 . a whispery voice at best: If you please. It's Mr. Haha. 392-393). they are also important symbols. Oh. In the English language. I just "love" surprise quizzes. (from "A Christmas Memory. 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. Sauer writes. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. We've thirty cakes to bake. Lewis. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. she says. too. Buddy. 11. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. and in emoticons : ). (from "The Monument and the Bungalow." Mr. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. I just love surprise quizzes. 1966) Answer given: 13. in computer code. . Geography is a science of observation. In some manner. Our hearts overturn. Memory. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making Christmas fruitcakes. The rules governing semicolon and colon use in English writing are quite specific. No. I knew it before I got out of bed. . And there were no birds singing." by Pierce F. Help me find my hat. Truman Cooking. by Haha. The door opens. Mr. 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. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 10. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. .
Maria made a big Italian dinner for the family. in addition." "at least. one the one hand.. . she made the cannolis herself! Below is a list of words typically used as sentence adverbs: to indicate time: then. besides. Semi-Colon Use With Commas in a List Typically. at one moment.for another (thing). items in a list are separated by commas. when the items themselves require commas. partly. but not as strong as a period. rather. on the other hand. for one thing . sometimes she wakes up ready to bite my head off... then too.partly. then. Using a quote also shows that you are informed. Sentence adverbs are transition words rather than conjunctions.• • • learn to use semi-colons with commas in a list learn to use colons with items in a list learn the other conventions of colon and semicolon use Semicolon Use Between Independent Clauses A semicolon is used between two independent clauses to indicate a close relationship between ideas.at the next." "therefore.. moreover. meanwhile. sometimes. henceforth. and none of my good friends is here.. and so they cannot be used to connect clauses. also. now." "moreover. accordingly. exactly the opposite. later. hence. the sentence must be an independent clause. as a result to indicate condition: otherwise Note: On either side of the semicolon." and "even so" to connect two sentences. at least to indicate a result: consequently. what is more to indicate contrast or concession: however. soon. afterward. . instead. It is not acceptable to connect a phrase to a clause with a semicolon.. For example. For example. however. nobody is talking. Writers often use a semi-colon when they want to state an idea in more specific terms. A semicolon is stronger separation than a comma + coordinating conjunction. nevertheless. what each comma in the list is being used for can be unclear. on the contrary. moreover. 89 . This party is really boring: the music is terrible... Semicolon with Sentence Adverbs: A semi-colon (or a period) should also be used with sentence adverbs such as "however. however. so to speak. For example.sometimes. semicolons are used to separate the items in the series.. thus. at least not to me.then to indicate addition: likewise. Usually she wakes up with a smile on her face. who you quote says something about your point of view —great minds think alike. In this case. therefore. furthermore.. still.
even if the list includes only a single item. cumin. I am going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for fajitas: chicken. use a colon between the chapter and the verse. One could think of the first clause as a kind of overture. New York. 10:30 p. "The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived. tortillas. The Bible When referring to passages in the Bible. John 11:35 Job 3:2 Titles and Subtitles A colon is used between a title and subtitle of a book or article. green and red peppers. men whose only food was snakes. The sentence begins with an independent clause." the rest of the sentence. but it can also be used to introduce another independent clause that illustrates or elaborates upon the idea in the first clause. a calculator.m.m. dragons and unicorns. woolly hens and sheep that grew on trees. two-headed men and men with no heads at all. and the second clause as the movement(s) of a symphony. the independent clause lacks a direct object. bring the following: pencils. North Dakota. and a dictionary. New York. Massachusetts. I agree with the statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. so be very careful to ensure that the clause is complete: incorrect: When you come to take the exam. (Ten Great Events in History. Colon Use Between Independent Clauses A Colon can be used after an independent clause to introduce a list.This summer on our road trip we will visit Fargo. Take a look at the following example. Colon Use With Items in a List A colon is used after an independent clause to preface a list of items. however. and so the sentence is incomplete. James Johonnot) Other Conventions of Colon Use Colon in Stating Time Use a colon between the hour and the minute. and others whose favorite beverage was human blood. correct: When you come to take the exam. which takes up the entire paragraph. and in one island a valley where only devils dwelt.m. a pencil sharpener. onions. men with only one foot. Madison. Chicago. men with a lip long enough to cover their whole face. and Boston. and hot sauce. illustrates the idea in that first clause: The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived: one-eyed men. . These days. a calculator. Wisconsin. Illinois. 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. a pencil sharpener. In the first version. but that so large that they held it over them like an umbrella when they lay down in the sun to rest. bring the following items: pencils. 3:00 p. and a dictionary." It is not acceptable to use a colon after an incomplete sentence to begin a list. This mistake is corrected in the second version.
3. a colon is placed after the salutation rather than a comma (used in informal letters). The earth has two motions-a daily rotation upon its axis. Spiegler semicolon used in a sentence? 2. 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. and a year revolution around the sun. 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. To Whom it May Concern: 1. short sentence.pretentious. How is Dear Sir: the Dear Mr. or even inappropriately humorous for the content of the essay that follows. The title-colonsubtitle format is very popular in newspapers and popular magazines.com) Salutations In a business letter. How is the colon used in a sentence? For each sentence below. semicolon 91 .
(Rabelais) 92 . semicolon colon For each sentence supplied below. I watched the sun pass below the horizon. without color and sound. it throbs with life. liberty.colon 4. Some semicolon colon 6. died without speaking—others spoke without dying. that among these are life. devoid of color and sound—but. and the pursuit of happiness. 7. Helen Keller's world is built of touch sensations. joined to the first with either a semicolon or a colon. add a second sentence. Make sure that your choice reflects correct semicolon or colon use. We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal. semicolon colon 5. that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.
you connect several illustrations together with semicolons. Try out this technique in the text boxes below. When you complete your sentence. She w as a kind old w oman: See our version Having pets does not prepare a person for parenthood: See our version Money talks: See our version 93 . The park was full of people. try to connect several illustrations with semicolons. The colon can even set up a kind of mini-essay within your essay if after the first clause. check out our version of the sentence. Contexts for Colon & Semicolon Use As mentioned in the lesson on colon use between independent clauses. a colon can be used to great effect when a writer wants to illustrate or elaborate on an idea. All you need to do is add sentences that illustrate or elaborate on that idea. A starting sentence is provided for you. In at least one of the exercises.8.
” flourisheth. and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection. See our version In America. iv. Remember. When you complete your sentence. w e hurry. As in the colon exercise above.Semicolons in Context A semicolon is a useful tool for connecting two closely related ideas. and drinks. correct incorrect 2. Bring to the picnic: a blanket 94 to sit on. 1. Why. . See our version We acquire our highest ideas in childhood. a salad. prize but not being rack flower of the to lack’d the field so the and worth lost. It is also useful for creating balanced and smooth-flowing sentences since good balance comes from the repetition of similar structures or ideas. and clippers. 1. then we (Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing. (The Babies Speech. Consider the following balanced sentence: “What we have we Whiles we enjoy it. A cup of coffee w akes me up in the morning. value. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. as a he Twins amount to a permanent riot. 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. a starter sentence is provided for you. check out our version of the sentence. to create balance. Psalm 103:15) as grass. fertilizer.) As for man his days are (Old Testament. good garden gloves. See our version Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. Mark Twain) Now give this technique a try yourself. repeat structures and ideas.
The correct incorrect 6. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 5. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. and let the air out of the tires. 11. stop digging. 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. (Molly Ivins) . (Joan Rivers) correct incorrect Write sentences demonstrating your understanding of correct semicolon and colon use according to the directions below.correct incorrect 3. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. Fashion correct incorrect 9. I just want to be wonderful. 95 is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. (Marilyn Monroe) correct incorrect 8. Use a semicolon to connect two closely related ideas about places you like to visit. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. (Molly Ivins) first rule of holes. (Dorothy Parker) correct incorrect 10. (Coco Chanel) can't ignore politics. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. when you're in one. You correct incorrect 7. I don't want to make money. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. no matter how much you'd like to. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 4.
12. 13. Use a colon to introduce a list of activities you enjoy. Use a colon to introduce an in-depth explanation or elaboration of something. 96 .
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. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 2. Bring to the picnic: a blanket to sit on. a salad. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. fertilizer. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 3. Correction Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. 1. I just want to be wonderful. I don't want to make money. (Marilyn Monroe) Answer given: 97 . Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. when you're in one. no matter how much you'd like to. good garden gloves. 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. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4.14. You can't ignore politics. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. and drinks. stop digging. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6. and clippers.
a period is used in titles." or an opinion. one may choose instead to use a question mark. the period at the end of a sentence: A declarative sentence: a period is used to end a sentence that states a fact. One almost never sees a question mark or an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence. (Dorothy Parker) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 10. ! ! ! . students will learn the rules for correct use of end punctuation." An imperative sentence: a period is also used to conclude a sentence that issues an order. such as "I believe it will rain today. on the other hand. (Joan Rivers) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct End Punctuation T he end of a sentence is signalled by a period. . A period. in these situations. (Coco Chanel) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 9. They will discover the problem for themselves. . advice: You should not be swimming so soon after eating. Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. . . or makes a request—though with requests.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. abbreviations. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. 98 . and to use end punctuation correctly and effectively in writing. In this module. also called a "full stop. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. an exclamation mark. a period is seen in the middle of a sentence. and let the air out of the tires." is used to signal the end of most kinds of sentences . or a question mark. has many uses in addition to ending a sentence: for example. such as "She laughed at my joke.? ? ? The Period A period. and so. order: Children will stay within school grounds during recess. and placenames. gives advice.
but is itself not a question. No period is used when money is rounded to dollars: $45.D. Ms.89 $45 $1. I wondered why she asked us if we had our bathing suits. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. Ph. Periods are also used after numbers or letters in an outline.2. 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. other uses of the period Periods and Money A period is used between dollars and cents. organizations. . . unless the number or letter is enclosed in parentheses: I.A. Hilary asked us if we wanted to go swimming this afternoon. Please send her my congratulations on getting the promotion.150.1. .67 $1 Periods and Abbreviations Periods are not used in the abbreviations of familiar institutions.D.D. A. radio stations.00 $. request: Would you please change the oil for me. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) 99 . Little rise in your voice indicates a level of formality and polite hesitation. Mr. use brackets ([ ]) to indicate the ommission. If a single word is ommitted. use a question mark. If your voice goes up at the end of the sentence. 1. . was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. . . An indirect question: a period is used in a sentence that includes a question. or a series of three periods (with a space between the last word or the period at the end of a sentence). M. long terms.D.150 $1. is used to show an ommission of words in quote. (Edwin Bryant. (a) (iii) Ellipses An ellipses.We should go to the party tonight. 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. 1. M. . where do I begin?" (Dr. Col. Very well. Walker . The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. 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.
In the English language. Be careful. This was for practice. There is a world of difference between "No. do not use question marks after indirect questions or polite requests. if the sentence itself is an exclamation. Wow! Did you really get an A+ on that exam? Let's take a road trip! Listen! I think I hear something. What is the context for Twain's comment. But be careful not to overuse this technique. place the punctuation outside the closing quote." 100 . Skip the additional punctuation: His doctor exclaimed. "In the first place God made idiots. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. it is acceptable to abbreviate questions after the initial question if the structure is clear." and "No!" for example. 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. Then he made School Boards"? Use a question mark in parentheses to express doubt or uncertainty. if the sentence itself is a question. or use it as a substitute for explanation when an explanation would be useful. exclamation points allow writers to quickly let a reader know that a statement is emphatic. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark by adding in the usual comma or a period. to use an exclamation mark for strong emotions. a term used to express joy. and died in 1854.The Question Mark Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. 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. overuse of exclamation marks make it seem as if a writer is relying on symbols rather than language to convey meaning. In a series of questions. I can't believe you got your nose pierced! Note: In a quotation. Do not double up punctuation when using a an exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. The captain was born in 1799 (?). an exclamation point goes inside a closing quote if the quote is an exclamation. As discussed above. however. "Wow! It's lucky we caught this in time.
asking yourself the following questions may help you quickly figure out where you went wrong. but sometimes this happens. þÿ Mrs Henley brought me a basket of muffins when I was sick last week 4. þÿ What are all of these candy wrappers doing all over the floor 7. I can't believe I flunked English 10. mild exclamations do not take exclamation marks. Did I confuse a direct question with an indirect question? Did I forget about the rule against double end punctuation? (No expressions like"??!!?" are allowed. for NATO He 2. þÿ end used punctuation to work wherever for the it is FBI. needed but (including now he in works abbreviations).) Did I forget closing punctuation altogether? (Seems unlikely. þÿ I am never going to get this project done on time 3. I haven't seen you for ages 9. þÿ Don't forget to pick up your prescription 6. but these have been replaced with periods. Twain uses many exclamation marks and question marks. In this passage. 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. Read through the passages and decide where you think the exclamation 101 .Fixing Common End Punctuation Mistakes If you discover the comment "EP" (for "faulty end punctuation") in the margin of a paper you have received back from your instructor. þÿ Please do not use cell phones in our restaurant 8.) Supply 1.) Did I over-do it with the exclamations? (Use exclamation marks sparingly. þÿ Jenny. þÿ Is there time to finish desert before we need to get to the movie 5.
stood before me! I gasped with surprise. in his light-hearted way. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. my breath almost got away from me. and fell to making fun of my sorry plight. "Well. "Well." Answer given: Total Total Total Percentage Correct questions: machine graded correct: versions of graded: correct: -text: 1 0 0 % When I next came to myself. indeed! and is it a dream that you're to be burned to-morrow? Ho-ho -." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. Go along with the rest of the dream. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. and that butterfly. "let the what dream go on." "What dream." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. Why. Clarence. 1. 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. My first thought was. I'll nap again till the whistle blows." But he only laughed in his light-hearted way and fell to making fun of my sorry plight.." I said resignedly.answer me that!" 102 . and that I am talking to you." "Prithee "What dream? Why. "Are you here yet.. Scatter. dream?" I'm in no hurry. Or." I said. la. and that butterfly. "All right. my breath almost got away from me. and that I am talking to you.a person who never existed. "What!" I said. stood before me. what "let the dream go on. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something.a person who never existed. I'm in no hurry. what an astonishing dream I've had. me. a light flashed in my eyes.. "All "Tell right." I said resignedly. My first thought was.points and question marks belong. copy and paste the text into the text box and do the editing there. Copy the passage into a word processor for revision and then paste your corrected version in the text box." -33"Oh. a light flashed in my eyes. if you prefer. When I next came to myself. "What. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. Clarence. "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 -." dream. I gasped with surprise.
Clarence? Not many. for I knew by past experience of the lifelike intensity of dreams. that to be burned to death. in sooth." "Other "Well. 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. the corridors are in guard and keep of men-at-arms.The shock that went through me was distressing. fair or foul. beware! These are awful words! Any moment these walls may crumble upon us if you say such things. that I could contrive. be there brave. chuckleheaded. -. man. What but I are daren't. for an thou betray me I am lost!" I laughed the only really refreshing laugh I had had for some time. But how many. poor lad. and shouted: "Merlin has wrought a spell! merlin. they ones? say -oh. "Oh. they?" indeed daren't!" "Why. what is the matter? Why do you blench? Why do you tremble so?" "Oh. I hope?" "Full a score. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was. come. Oh call them back before it is too late!" Now this strange exhibition gave me a good idea and set me to thinking. certainly a superior man like 103 . it does seem to me that of all the childish. pure bosh. Clarence. idiotic. be merciful to a poor boy who means thee well. chicken-livered superstitions that ev -oh. damn Merlin!" But Clarence had slumped to his knees before I had half finished. I have told it! Ah.don't fail me. no doubt. that maundering old ass? Bosh. One may not hope to escape. has woven a spell about this dungeon. be kind to me. pulled one way by desire. the other way by fear. even in a dream. would be very far from being a jest. listening. only friend I've got. good boy. 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.for you ARE my friend. by any means. So I said beseechingly: "Ah. a but good -" lad!" there's He hesitated. tell you. forsooth! That cheap old humbug. help me to devise some way of escaping from this place!" "Now do but hear thyself! Escape? Why." "No doubt. aren't you? -. "Merlin." After a pause -. dream or no dream. then he stole to the door and peeped out. and he was like to go out of his mind with fright. and was a thing to be avoided. is be need! a I man do -want speak to out.hesitatingly: "and there be other reasons -and weightier. in his malice. I now began to reason that my situation was in the last degree serious. the silliest bosh in the world! Why. "Come. and finally crept close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news in -34a whisper.
what professional writers do that many beginning writers do not is to carefully proofread their work to make sure that before publication. they do not always pay close attention to the stops and starts of thoughts. because it will help you tell the difference between sentence fragments and complete sentences. writers often end up with sentences that are not complete—"fragments" of thought that need something more to stand on their own. Pull yourself together. Because I'm a magician myself. However.me ought to be shrewd enough to contrive some way to take advantage of such a state of things. By themselves. look me in the eye. each sentence passes the test for completeness. I went on thinking. and worked out a plan. Do you know why I laughed?" "No -but for our blessed Lady's sake. Keep the distinction between dependent and independent clauses in mind." "Well. However. As a result. and ends with a period. Complete sentences are also sometimes called independent clauses. Then I said: -35"Get up. has a subject and a complete or finite verb. prepositions. The arrangement of the words follows the rules of English grammar. when writers are caught up in the flow of their ideas and are trying to capture those ideas on the page. In this module you will learn to spot fragments in your work and to turn those fragments into complete sentences. 104 . 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. Groups of words that modify part or all of an independent clause are called dependent clauses." Grammatical sentences Correcting Sentence Fragments A sentence must be able to stand on its own as a completed thought. dependent clauses form sentence fragments. or adverbs). Dependent clauses begin with subordinating words (relative pronouns. do it no more. Definition 2: A sentence is group of words that begins with a capital letter. I'll tell you why I laughed.
Example: After the Blue Fairy granted his wish. The clouds drifting in the sky. A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence punctuated as if it were complete. the Blue Fairy granted his wish. Pinocchio lived happily ever after. the word "when" turns the clause into a subordinate clause. the scientist finally made a breakthrough. the scientist finally. My favorite flavor of ice cream.. 1) Simple sentences. students will learn how to correct sentence fragments. It has a subject--“the scientist”--but not a verb. “After” is the subordinating word.. 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. She wanted to be back with her things. (“Pinnochio” is the subject. 105 . or After years of disappointment in her search for a cancer cure. which have one subject and one verb. You need to fix them. Dependent clauses. Correcting Sentence Fragments. baker. We wonder what the scientist finally did. the scientist finally gave up. The two puppies.It is useful to group sentences into 4 types. Think of them as broken or incomplete thoughts. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. “hoped” is the verb. ) 2) Compound sentences. 3) Complex sentences. which combine types 2 and 3. the common sources of sentence fragments are identified. Consider the following passages to see if you can locate the sentence fragments: She didn't want to be on vacation anymore. The last sentence in the first paragraph lacks a sentence verb. In each paragraph. and post office in every city. and the Blue Fairy granted his wish. so that your reader can understand your thoughts. other examples . and in the second paragraph. In the rest of this module. in which a conjunction links two simple sentences. and he became a real boy. . and examples are given to help you identify and correct fragments in your own writing.) 4) Compound-Complex sentences. The downtown takes you back to the time when there was a single sweet shop. the last sentence is a fragment. Her things that meant so much to her. and other groups of words that lack a subject or a verb. Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Verb: After years of searching for a cancer cure. This thought feels incomplete. Below. Example: After Pinnochio saved Gepetto. (“After the Blue Fairy granted his wish” is a dependent clause. are called sentence fragments. When people knew the shopkeeper by name and knew about each other’s lives. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. which join a dependent clause to an independent clause. .
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. and so they seem like correct sentences even when they are not. In the last example above. Went to the video store. are not complete by themselves. Hoping to be free. (subject: “Tess and her mom”) The slaves were hoping to be free. (subject: “The slaves”) Sentence Fragments Made up of Dependent Clauses: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. a proper and demure mother. After I changed my fuel filter. Corrected: I zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. 106 . Corrected: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. a little rascally boy to take after the father. (verb: “is”) The two puppies chased each other.” Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Subject: Zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. In the real world. (subject: “I”) Tess and her mom went to the video store. you may be thinking these fragments are pretty easy to identify. “were” is the helping verb that completes “drifting. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. a steadfast and masculine father.Corrected: My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip.” or participles. all living in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. my mother decided not to go skydiving with us. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. At this point. fragments are sometimes quite difficult to spot. They need an auxiliary or “helping” verb. however. my car’s gas mileage improved. Who led the slaves to freedom. In each of these shows. Moses was the prophet who led the slaves to freedom. (verb: “chased”) The clouds were drifting in the sky. Goldilocks dreamed of flying. (complete verb: “were drifting”) Verb forms that end in “ing. After I changed my fuel filter. They are often closely connected to a point in a previous sentence.
eating. A fragment can be used to present an answer to a question: How did we win the tournament? Nerve. 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. all live toether in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. Wow! I never knew that you could play soccer so well. Is either of the following sentences a fragment? Why or why not? I love going Answer given: 5. For example. a proper and demure mother. a steadfast and masculine father. 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. so that the sentences can be seen more clearly . temporarily. Yeah. a little rascally boy to take after the father. Answer given: 107 . long sentence is actually a fragment. With this technique. Occasionally. right! She didn't even open her math book. eating. not? There are many wonderful things to do in San Francisco. The most American of sports is experiencing a real return to popularity. it is acceptable to use a sentence fragment for a special effect. Listening. A fragment can create emphasis on a single word or phrase: He stood stock still. Using Sentence Fragments for Special Effect. Is either of the out following to eat. Ozzie & Harriet's house. The verb "living" is not complete. Answer given: 4. To correct the sentence. 1. Baseball. What is a Answer given: 2. In each of these shows. the subject must be located.The last. Your reader may assume the fragment is unintentional if the rest of your writing is not polished and free of errors. —Mark Twain You will not regret it. Answer each question below as best you can. be very careful here. Waiting for the sound of an approaching car. and eating.. sentence a Especially fragment? for Why or Thai why food. if possible. you use a simple command to quickly separate each sentence onto its own line. However. She wants a home with a white picket fence. as a worksheet. If you live.. A sentence fragment can also be used to express a strong emotion: Selma told her dad she finished her homework. and so the sentence is a series of phrases. What must a sentence Answer given: 3. The initial assumptions and the definition of human nature being totally ambiguous. Get a bicycle. One technique for spotting fragments is to reformat your essay.
108 . for. Separating the two clauses into two independent sentences with a period is always an option. If a writer wants to be heard. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. as in the following sentence: comma splice: There is time to finish the project. This is a good choice if the relationship between the clauses is unclear or needs emphasis: corrected: There is time to finish the project. We can also use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and. Note. Readers look for punctuation to signal the end of one independent clause and the beginning of another." "these." and sentences that are simply joined by coordinating conjunctions like "and." sentences without any punctuation at all connecting independent clauses." "that. Answer given: Run-on Sentences Run-on sentences are sentences with "signal" problems. Make sure your paragraph is free of sentence fragments. however. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. or yet) to connect two independent clauses. Write a paragraph explaining what "freedom" means to you. or "comma splices. corrected: There is time to finish the project. however. but. 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. or else abandon the text altogether out of frustration. semi-colons. We can use a semi-colon if the logical connection between the statements is clear: corrected: There is time to finish the project. Stronger punctuation is needed to connect two independent clauses. she must be able to tell the reader how her ideas go together." or "those". Often comma splices occur when the second clause begins with "this. 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. In this module students will learn • • to recognize and correct run-on sentences to use colons. or "fused sentences. however. Without appropriate punctuation readers are forced to determine the correct relationships. that a period creates stronger separation between ideas than the other options. We won't finish it if we go to the beach. or. nor. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. so. There are three variations of run-on sentences: sentences that use only a comma to join independent clauses.6." without a comma. however. but we won't finish it if we go to the beach.
Answer given: 8.corrected: This drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-to seven hours. Being located in a prime spot along Columbus Ave. On our trip to Los Angeles. the punctuation is still inadequate. it was excellent. I'm going to see Gwen Stefani this weekend. and city surrounding the theater that are most important. some with subtle Italian accents. this bakery hardly goes unnoticed and people from a variety of cultures stop in to experience what it is it has to offer. but you can borrow it any time. Correcting Fused Sentences Sentences are said to be "fused" when there is no punctuation connecting independent clauses. A coordinating conjunction may be present in a fused sentence. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD. too. but without an accompanying comma. it’s a whole community center. colorful fruit tarts. 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 . Answer given: 6. greet you and buzz around like honeybees to help you obtain whatever treat it is you are craving. the friendly clerks behind these cases. and they were the best days of the whole vacation. Answer given: 3. On our trip to Los Angeles. The theater alone is not what makes it so unique. Answer given: 5. examples: fused sentences: I ate the whole pizza it was excellent. 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). Answer given: 4. Danielle is going. The Phoenix is more than just a performance center. 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. 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. Two large display cases adorned with a variety of different pastries. people. Use the same techniques for correcting fused sentences as you would use to correct comma splices (as described in the previous section). Answer given: 7. corrections: I ate the whole pizza. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids and they were the best days of the whole vacation. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD but you can borrow it any time. it is the colors. 1. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids.
men. etc. doctor. In this module you will learn the following • • • • to recognize different types of pronouns to identify and correct mismatched pronouns and antecedents as well as pronoun reference problems in written text. Answer given: 9. Simple to fix. you. put on her headphones. got a large latte." "this. you him. who. These "pronoun reference" problems often arise between sentences when a general pronoun such as "that. it. the noun replaced by the pronoun is called the "antecedent" of the pronoun.). Pronouns: A pronoun refers to or stands in for a noun. These include. etc. example: Janet and I had a great dinner last night. Write a paragraph about a favorite holiday memory." In addition. what. and they.) or with indefinite words (person. then she realized she had brought the wrong book. Object pronouns include me. Answer given: Problems with Pronouns Like Subject-Verb agreement. object pronouns are pronouns used as the target of a verb in a sentence. Answer given: 10. he. and opened her notebook." where "their" (plural) is not matched in number with "Everyone" (singular). us. I. and them. 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). right? However. Proofread to ensure that there are no run-on sentences. 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. whom. Answer given: 1. she.to offer. pronoun-antecedent agreeement is about parts of a sentence fitting together so that the reader does not stumble over mixed messages. as in John gave me the book. to avoid gender bias when using pronouns." or "it" is used to refer to an idea in a previous sentence. her. we. grab a muffin and coffee and run. to write text free of pronoun-antecedent and pronoun reference mistakes. There are many different types of pronouns used in many different situations: subject pronouns are pronouns used as the subject of a sentence. or two antecedents joined by "and" "or" or "nor. it. Stella’s is not just a place like Starbucks to stop in. the issue gets more complicated when you are dealing with collective nouns (the crowd. 110 . students. Helena went to the coffee shop. This is the problem in the following sentence: "Everyone has their share. Hoping to get some work done before school. problems arise when the antecedent for a pronoun is unclear.
anybody." acceptable form: Anyone can come to the event this evening. theirs. as in "anyone. which. what. and that. everybody. place. demonstrative pronouns are used to refer to ideas or objects rather than people. they take an adjective case: my. "Agreement" means that the pronoun is consistent with the "person" "number" and "gender" of the antecedent. fresh fish and seafood dishes. example: Mediterranean dishes are good for your heart. if the antecedent is "Johnny. Gabe. Demonstrative pronouns include this. her example: I believe that is his book. hers. who. Note: sometimes "they" and "you" are used as indefinite pronouns. we will let someone else do the annual clean-up. agreement in number: the pronoun and antecedent must both be plural. interrogative pronouns are used to begin questions. The relative pronoun stands in the for the noun antecedent. Gabe and I. his. or both singular. all. For example." or "some. Possessive pronouns are mine. however. ours. sombody. No invitation is required. as opposed to you. not born. whom. These include pasta dishes. For example. whom. because they can create an unacceptable tone. several. that. Somebody in the Women's Club will have to bring the pizza to the party tonight. For example. both. No. "You should always remember that heroes are made." then the pronoun must be we or us. their. its mine. as in "The tan chihuahua is the dog that I want. Be careful in academic writing with these pronouns. but here are a few of the most common: one. either.possessive pronouns are used to indicate a state of ownership by a subject referenced in the possessive pronoun. Next year. The interrogative pronouns are who. anyone. yours. or they. Johnny. 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. For example." or "They say that Brittney Spears is crying out for help with her recent antics. his. none. and salads. indefinite pronouns are used to refer to an indefinite person. 111 ." There are many different indefinite pronouns. your. She will be reimbursed for the pizza by the Club. and when possessive pronouns are used before a noun to establish ownership. and I hauled three loads of trash from the fraternity to the dump yesterday. agreement in person: the pronoun and antecedent have the same subject. Confusion often arises with indefinite pronouns. these. our. relative pronouns are used to signal the beginning of a relative clause in the middle of a sentence. and those. each. many. or thing." Relative pronouns include which.
use "which" when the relative clause is just a detail. . "One. . 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. For more on eliminating gender bias in writing. . or: Enroll in classes in one of two ways: online or in person at the administration building . "Would you please pick up the flowers that I ordered today?" and "I watched Grey's Anatomy last night. error: Every problem correct: Every problem has its solution. you has has that is shows their their to that ." an indefinite pronoun. third-person. can be used. he correct: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. error: It is correct: It is you who is to blame. . . . Dickens shows that . . it is considered an adjective. . because when a noun is in possessive case. . personal pronoun. also Ok: One can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: one can enroll online or in person at the administration building . For example. The best course of action is to avoid pronouns altogether. Note: Be careful when a noun is in possessive case.agreement in gender: the pronoun and antecedent. blame. visit the module on shifts. but this pronoun can sound a bit formal. Use "that when the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence (when the clause is "restrictive"). . . as in Dickens'. . 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." 112 . error: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. . . 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. even when made to agree. better: Students can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: they 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. Gender bias is often a problem in English because the English language has no genderneutral. faults solution. which I really should not have done since I had so much work to do. should not promote a gender bias.
Aesop's fables are still read. stores can be very far away. too. Pronoun reference mistakes usually occur between sentences. Make sure the pronoun is grammatically consistent with the antecedent and the rest of the sentence. Supply a pronoun to go in place of the underline. You and ___ shall go. The more people know about plants and flowers the more ____ enjoy ____ Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they them 5. Take a look at the following sentences with pronoun reference problems: error: If I took that bug out of her hair. (I/me) Answer given: 113 . Whatever you ask of me. and ___ have always been good friends. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: it 6. and it requires planning and much consolidation when it comes to making trips to town. and going to the store requires planning and much consolidation. (What does this refer to in the second sentence?) correct: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. What a charm there is about great mountains! How the purple haze loves to envelop ____ on their snowy summits! Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: them 3. Every man who does wrong knows that _____ should suffer the penalty. stores can be very far away. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 7. error: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. or when a sentence contains several nouns. though. This feeling can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. I will do ____. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they 4.Pronoun Reference Problems Pronoun reference problems are very common in the work of developing writers. 1. Experienced writers make pronoun reference mistakes. particularly when modifiers and clauses distance the antecedent from the pronoun.(What does it refer to?) correct: When you live in a rural area. though. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: he 2. do you think she would find it embarrassing? (What does it refer to? the bug? the action of taking the bug out of her hair?) correct: Do you think she would find my removing that bug from her hair embarrassing? error: When you live in a rural area. You. Mary. though _____ were written many hundred years ago. This can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. but they know to proofread their work to check for such mistakes.
Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me In the following sentences. From it we had a wonderful view. _____ began the argument? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 15. Answer given: 20. Be careful to place each subordinate clause as near its anteccedent as possible. The Swiss revere the name of William Tell. Thomas Jefferson was an intimate friend of Washington's. 11. Answer given: 114 . _____ do you think I am? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 13. They cheer us by their songs. Goodness is the only thing that never fails. Answer given: 17. Were both you and (I/me) invited? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 10. 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. We reached the mountain top.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 8. that) so as to form complete sentences. _____ did you see at the party? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom 14. It is full of floating ice." Write your answer in the text box. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me 9. Everybody was invited except you and (I/me). 16. whom. You have read of him. _____ 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. He said that he saw you and ____ at the mall. supply the missing word: "who" or "whom. The river is dangerous. 21. Spare the birds. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. which. Answer given: 19. Answer given: 18.
As he approached the village. Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: chain 24. a singular subject takes a singular verb form. However. and a plural subject takes a plural verb form. and overcame them by her great courage. Answer given: 29. The administration is proud of their policies. the subjects of the sentence must agree with the verb in the sentence in both number (singular with singular. plural with plural. No one knows what the future has in store for them. and We enjoy soccer (not We enjoys soccer). Jack met a number of people.) and in person (gender). Objectives: By the end of this module. but none whom he knew. 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. who to elect for president—they are in accord." on some level anyway. This module covers these confusing situations. or I hate okra (not I hates okra). when people do not agree.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: thing 22. In this module we will cover the basic and the not so basic rules for creating sound subject-verb agreement. as in Kate dances well (not Kate dance well). Answer given: Subject-Verb Agreement When people agree about something—a movie to see. Neither of the children ate their carrots. Answer given: 28. the reader gets conflicting messages. In a sentence. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: none Correct the pronoun antecedent error in each sentence or group of sentences below. Answer given: 27. Most of the time. 115 . the correct subject/verb combination is easy for writers to figure out. the individuals become aware of being at odds with others. Conversely. what to have for dinner.. etc. Answer given: 30. Without this agreement. and provides helpful strategies for locating the subject and choosing the appropriate verb form. or in "sync. Marcos or Pete will give us their help. 25. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: time 23. Answer given: 26. 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. and stumbles over the text rather than gleaning your message.. She met each difficulty and danger. Time that is once lost is always lost. what constitutes a good book. Every person in the class made their complaints to me.
Neither the teacher nor the students know how to solve this math problem." These items are part of the prepositional phrase that begins with "with. Another source of trouble is a modifying phrase beginning with together with. item or simultaneous action. Subjects joined by or or by either/or or neither/nor may take singular or plural verbs depending on the form of the subject. subjects connected by "and" are going to be plural: David and Jesus are always late. Some indefinite pronouns. Some of us are going skiing this weekend. or as well as: The new oak tree. any. it does not make the subject plural. none. was delivered to my house this morning. along with three bags of planting mix and a box of fertilizer. However. the subject is singular: Spaghetti and meatballs is the only thing Mary ever orders when we go out to eat. if the subjects joined by "and" refer to a single person. Agreement When Subjects are Joined by "and. If one subject is singular and the other is plural...Agreement When Words Come Between Subject and Verb. and some. it is not part of the subject. as the object of a preposition can easily be confused with the subject of the sentence. "some" refers to individual persons. Rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time is almost impossible to do." "neither/nor. along with. An apple or a banana is a good afterschool snack.. To determine the 116 . not "the red frame and the fat tires. Some of the cake is still on the table. If both subjects are plural. Agreement With Indefinite Pronouns. the verb will be plural. in addition to. the verb will be singular. the verb agrees with subject it is closest to." The phrase is there to tell us more about the mountain bike. In the first example. most. Coffee and dessert were served in the living room." "or. even if sometimes this structure feels counter-intuitive. the verb is singular. My best friend and confidante is always there for me when I need her. Indefinite pronouns cause a lot of confusion. are confusing because they can be singular or plural depending on the nouns to which they refer.. "cake. "Mountain bike" is the subject of the sentence. and so should not be considered when deciding on the appropriate verb form for the sentence. Watch out for modifying phrases that come between subject and verb! And especially be on the lookout for prepositional phrases. Consider the following sentences: The mountain bike with the red frame and the fat tires is the one I want." and therefore. Because the phrase is non-restrictive (or not necessary to the sentence). and so the verb is plural. if both subjects are singular. such as all." or "either/or" In most situations. in the second example "some" refers to an "uncountable" noun.
and both are going to be starting players. Some sit around and wait for happiness.. Agreement When Subject-Verb Order is Inverted. In this sentence.." so the verb in the adjective clause "that drop fruit" should be plural. however. Collective nouns used with a plural form of a verb tend to sound a bit awkward.number for a verb used with these indefinite pronouns. In this sentence. and something. 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. or "uncountable" (not countable by individual elements). No is just one of the villains who have come up against James Bond. Most of the time the subject comes before the verb. someone. as in the example above. When the relative pronouns "which. Dr.. Trees that drop fruit will attract bugs. and many.. Generally. Dorleen and Claire joined the volleyball team this semester. anybody. nothing. Usually. squirrels and other small animals. each. "the crew members hope. it is easy to confuse a noun in an opening phrase with the true subject of the sentence. both." sounds a bit better. check to see if the noun is "countable" (made of up of individual elements that can be counted)." 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. One signal of a delayed subject is the expletive "there" at the beginning of a sentence: 117 . and so the verb is singular. the antecedent is "one" (the phrase modifies "one" rather than "villains"). several." The crew hope their grog won't run out before they reach port. anything. Some indefinite pronouns are always singular: for example. Agreement With Collective Nouns as Subjects. Oddjob is the only one of the villains who throws a razor-edged hat as a weapon.. the antecedent for the pronoun "who" in the adjective phrase "who have come against James Bond. everything. but you don't know what it is. birds. nobody. everybody.. but occasionally. Everything is going wrong today. The antecedent for the pronoun "that" is "trees.. word order is inverted and the subject is delayed. everyone." and "that" are used in an adjective clause (relative clause). Some indefinite pronuns are always plural: for example.. many go out and find it. Something is happening. the verb in the clause should agree in number with the subject of the sentence (the antecedent for the pronoun)." is "villains. anyone. Agreement With "Which" "Who" and "That" as Subjects." "who. it is better to name a plural subject rather than use a collective noun as a plural. At a Rolling Stones concert the crowd always sings along to "Satisfaction. somebody. few. When word order is inverted.
. Word order is also inverted in questions. the number of the verb should correspond to the number of the subject and not the predicate nominative. 3. with the exception of Tiffany.. Her dogs are her protection. 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. When a title of a book. Often the subject appears between parts of a verb phrase. Each þÿ to of the options be: _____ unacceptable. building..When your parents get home. or work of art is the subject of a sentence. ______ it is a good idea.. In addition. Her protection is her dogs. as in "Has she arrived yet?" The subject must match the first auxilliary verb (first verb form) in number. When linking two nouns with a linking verb. 1. 2. it should be treated as a singular subject. Terms of Endearment is a sad film. when a phrase is referred to in terms of the language itself. How many rides have you been on at Disneyland today? Are there going to be many people at the party tonight? Agreement When the Words are a Title. to feel: All of the people at the party. 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. there is going to be trouble over the broken vase. institution. even when there is a plural subject in the title: The Twin Towers was an important New York City landmark. Everyone þÿ to in the class _____ the find: video to be entertaining. film. If Jenny and Mark won't listen. to 118 need: . Agreement When the Verb is a Linking Verb. þÿ 4. there is little I can do to help them.
Another þÿ to of my brothers live: ________ in Florida. The þÿ to team ___ going to be: play on Saturday. 119 . 6. 7. 14. to move: In an earthquake furniture ______ around. My þÿ to aunt as well as my be: cousin _______ single.Everyone. so be sure to strap heavy objects down. 8. 10. ______ to do more to recycle. including the people of conservation-conscious California. The þÿ to wind and fog _______ reduce: the mosquito problem. 9. Two þÿ to bottles of wine be: ____ enough. 12. Neither þÿ to of the hotel rooms be: _______ available. 11. 13. Success þÿ to ________ reward: hard work. Time þÿ to _______ pass: quickly. Three-fourths þÿ to of the cake be: _____ gone. þÿ 5.
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
is to think of the core idea in the structure as the trunk of a tree. if one element is a verb. An easy way to check for parallel structure in a piece of writing. follow the trunk line to each of the branches directly. checking to ensure that the trunk connects strongly (and correctly) to each branch as illustrated in the diagram below: Parallel Words..Revising to create parallel structure.. then all elements should be adjectives. then all elements should be nouns. when all elements are nouns. clauses. whether that structure is between words. once you find the trunk. the sentence will sound awkward and out of balance.. Consider the following problematic sentences and their corrections: 124 .. Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). nouns. and daring for its time. frightened.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. Joe and Jerry disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band headed to Florida. All items in a series should have the same structure to help the reader quickly process information. if one element is a noun. and verbs) It is important to note that one need not make all elements in a series exactly parallel. who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929. (all parallel elements are adjectives) Some Like It Hot tells the story of two musicians. for instance. and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises. (parallel elements are proper nouns) Broke. then all elements should be verbs. (adapted from Wikipedia. and each parallel item as a branch off that trunk. or paragraphs in an essay. and desperate. and so forth. 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). Take a look at the examples below: The film Some Like it Hot is funny. The reader is forced to do much more work to figure out the author's meaning than is fair. If one element is an adjective. the band's ukulele player and vocalist. phrases. well-written. (parallel elements are adjectives.
to work. and going to school. In the previous version. some elements began with verbs. The initial items are going to govern every item in the series.. otherwise. Thelma wore a new dress. shoes. hat. article. Parallel: Faulty Parallel: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's attention: He wears a white sportscoat. (parallel subordinate clauses) Marilyn Monroe had two big problems during filming: remembering her lines and hiding her pregnancy. if one item is a relative clause. or auxialliary verb is appropriate to each item in a series. working. then every item in the series should be a verbal phrase.. modifier. (parallel verbal phrases) Common Trouble Spots. mimics Cary Grant's accent. then every item should be a relative clause. then every item should be prepositional phrase. appropriate use of prepositions. unless you write the appropriate item into each phrase: Faulty On her first day at work. but she loves partying. If one item in a series is a prepositional phrase.. Shifts in phrase type create confusion: Faulty She hates to study. Parallel structure is created by joining the first two wardrobe elements into a single element. and going to school. (In this version. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil.. Corrected: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's atttention: He wears a white sport-coat and captain's cap. mimics Cary Grant. Corrected: She hates studying. but because a greenish tint in Lemmon's and Curtis' heavy make-up could not be hidden on color film. if one item in a series is a verb phrase (beginning with an -ing or -ed verb).Faulty Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and security. the sentence will be illogical. Parallel: Parallel: 125 . balanced. (parallel infinitive phrases) Director Billy Wilder filmed Some Like it Hot in black and white. When revising your work. Consider the following examples demonstrating good parallel structure: To escape the mob and to solve their financial problems. and easy to read. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. Phrases and clauses also need to be parallel if the sentence is to be logical. and modifiers with each item in a series: Be very careful to ensure that the preposition. 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. while others began with nouns. Corrected: Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and finding security. not because he wanted to be artistic. and her favorite briefcase. a captain's cap. Joe and Jerry join an all-girl band.) Parallel Phrases and Clauses. articles. but she loves partying. each element begins with a verb.
and hat. identify and correct shifts in verb tense. or cheerful. Answer given: Shifts A shift is a confusing change in person. Make a list of things you hate then transform the list into a short paragraph (or a couple of sentences). verb tense. He then runs away with a traveling circus. Answer given: At the carnival. person. mood. Your reader looks at your writing to be dressed one way. but elements of the sentence just don't fit. There may be more than one possible answer. fingers and their lengths. and they also look into crystal balls. —and proofreading your writing to ensure that this consistency is maintained. Thelma wore a new dress. Michael Valentine Smith. change. Later in the novel he becomes a minister. adn rearrange words. interpreting dreams. and carried her favorite briefcase. delete. shoes. which would also let them make reasonable predictions about a client's future. Answer given: Part 2 Combine each of the sets of sentences below into a single. it is kind of like wearing two different shoes. the protagonist kills people innocently. Answer given: The protagonist continues on his quest to understand human behavior by reading all of the books he can. or number. Answer given: Gypsies are famous for their traditions of fortune-telling by reading Tarot cards. mood. voice. The key is consistency—of voice. . and was laying out a selection of ten cards from which the client was supposed to choose three. is classified as a human by birth. concise sentence in which parallel elements appear in parallel structures. Answer given: In the beginning of the novel.Corrected: On her first day at work. Part 1 Using the topic below. But he is also considered Martian becaues his birthplace was on Mars. Its plot is appealing. that someone was lonely. 126 . and the prominence of the mounts. Earthly laws are not understood by him. Heinlein's classic Stranger in a Strange Land has captivating characters. Answer given: Palm readers examine lines on the palm. voice. In this module students will learn to . cut the cards. Answer given: Some critics of fortune-telling suggest that trained psychologiests could also notice personal traits such as nervousness. person. . the gypsy shuffled the deck. verb tense. You will have to add. Answer given: The protagonist of the novel. write a short paragraph with good parallel structure in the space provided. and mood. and number in their writing. Robert A.
it is too small.C. 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. cake was by be made a by democratic tasted by all Marla. Correct: Last semester. he thinks. Incorrect: Last semester. and readers are captivated from beginning to end. humankind. or past to future tense.Shifts in Verb Tense A verb tense shift is a shift in time. Most often writers use active voice in order to emphasize agency—a subject performing some action. Problems arise. I had more homework in math than in all my other classes combined. and to make writing energetic. it Correct: The suit doesn't fit me. (Inadequate transition provided. Correct: Though I admire her persistence. or are they simultaneous? Apply this technique in the following sentences: Incorrect: The suit didn't fit me. Sometimes such shifts make perfect sense. 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. however. and is still improving. I had more homework in math than I have in all my other classes combined. (the suit continues not to fit) is too small. however. (I continue to admire her persistence) Incorrect: The wind died down and the waves roll gently. But sometimes. 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. writers slip up and shift tense when there should be no shift. "And" suggests simultaneous actions) Incorrect: I liked him because he always says what Correct: I like him because he always says what he thinks. government. for example. Incorrect: Though I admired her persistence. as in the following sentence: Incorrect: The football team was good. Occasionally. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. writers want to emphasize the object in a sentence rather than a subject's actions. Consider the emphasis in these active and passive sentences: Passive: The Active: Marla made the cake. as when one describes an event that takes place before another event: At the first Fall concert. and is still improving. the choir will sing a few spirituals that they learned over the summer. 127 .C. Passive: The bitter cup of destiny must Active: All humankind must taste the bitter cup of destiny. from present to past. Correct: The football team is good. Correct: The wind died down and the waves rolled gently. Passive: Equality is encouraged Active: Democratic governments encourage equality. (I continue to like him) Shifts in Voice: Passive vs. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. The way to avoid inappropriate shifts in verb tense is to visualize the actions described: Does one event really occur before another.
" "She. etc. melancholy. The personal "you" is a bit too informal and too direct for academic writing. especially when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase such as "of us" or "of the students. there are two moods: indicative and subjunctive. Correct: I used to think school wasn't important. in the subjunctive mood. or vice versa is a definite no-no. Shifts in Number A shift from singular to plural. A sentence in the subjunctive mood indicates that something is conditional. In writing. These shifts confuse the reader and break the coherence and unity of your writing. . they would discover that the books are far better than the films. because in everyday speech. captivating readers from beginning to end. It is common for students to shift person in written sentences.Correct: Patrick O'Brien writes exciting stories of life on board the tall sailing ships of the Royal navy in the early 19th century. who have emotional moods—joyful. etc. 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. In addition. where it was discovered that the teacher had cancelled class." Take a look at the following sentences in the subjunctive mood: If I were rich. These mistakes are considered shifts in mood. Shifts in Mood Mood in sentences is not like mood in people. but as you get older. or "If I was you . Note: In general. It is not correct to write "If I was rich. . I would have been deeply embarrassed. they will discover that the books are far better than the films. what might happen." and "It was" becomes "it were. Incorrect: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. lazy. Incorrect: I used to think school wasn't important. where he discovered that the teacher had cancelled class." "One" "People" "Anyone" "Persons" etc. it is very common to see an "if" clause. "I was" becomes "I were. you get a lot wiser. but as I get older. hypothetical. I never would have made it this far. . it is better to avoid "you" constructions altogether in academic writing. irritable. A sentence in the indicative mood is a statement of fact. Correct: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. therefore. Incorrect: If one reads The Harry Potter books. an assertion. Correct: If fans of the Harry Potter films would read the Harry Potter books. I am getting wiser. for example. In a sentence in the subjunctive mood. If they were not so kind. If it were not for you. such shifts are common. I would buy a ranch far away from everybody. One source of shifts in number is an indefinite pronoun such as "anyone" or "none" or "all. or doubtful." "He." 128 . . Incorrect: We had better arrive early because you never know Correct: We had better arrive early because we don't know what might happen.
They find out that the prow of the ship is damaged. Almost any man with the ordinary capacity for instruction can be taught to do certain things. it is therefore saiad of such a man that he has a particular talent for such and such a trade. —some men possessing it in a very general way." Most of the descriptive modifiers call the reader's attention to the handbag. the one she always carries." And "last" is an adjective describing "night. was stolen last night." Now. Incorrect: Every student Correct: All of the students are doing their best. as we believe that every man endowed with reason at all has "something in him. For some of these. for example. we find several modifiers: Ann's favorite black handbag. Correct: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because each of them has had excellent training. "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). while many other men may be said to possess scarcely any. Modifiers add descriptive information to a sentence and call the reader's attention to what the writer feels is important. "Always" is an adverb describing the verb "carries. Review the paragraph you just wrote for any instances of passive voice. Answer given: 3. Everybody was horror-stricken. Without modifiers our sentences would be pretty bare. Write a paragraph about a time when you turned out to be wrong about someone or something. What is a disconnected modifier? Lets look at a few examples of sentences with disconnected modifiers: 129 . is doing their best. and to all appearance. 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. When it quiets down a little the sailors look to see if the ship is damaged very badly. The furious lightning tears the sky and the thunder roars." The sentence also includes a descriptive appositive phrase: "the one she always carries. other men only in one particular channel. In the sentence below." however latent the talent may be. The storm rages on furiously for about an hour. The masts of the ship were down. The storm was so bad that it is indescribable. 2. unifying time as past or present. Answer given: 4. to set about discovering in what direction such talent lies. it becomes young men. by Bernard Stuart. Answer given: Revise the following paragraph so that it is free of gender bias. he may exhibit a greater aptitude than for others. The deck is crowded with people. In the distance I see the port. All men are not alike endowed with natural talent and ability. from How to Become a Successful Engineer. however. The tempestuous waves dash up on the side of the ship. or their parents for them. making sure your writing is free from shifts and does not contain any gender bias. letting readers know which one as well as how Ann felt about the bag. 1901. 1. have evidently "nothing in them. 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. revise the verb tense shifts in the paragraph.
The sweat pouring down his face. though occasionally modifiers add information to other modifiers rather than to the core (see note below). Sentences written in passive voice can be a source of trouble. experienced writers assume that their prose is going to need to be revised for correctness and that revision is a necessary part of writing. as can sentences with limiters like "only" and "sometimes. disconnected modifiers happen because when writers put their ideas on paper or a computer screen. “Amanda” is the subject in this sentence. Consider the following sentence: "Calico-coated. gaudy motionless and alert. these sentences are much easier to follow: To make sure there would be enough for everyone. The sentence verb is “wants” (what the subject is doing). How do problems with modifiers arise? Typically. your reader will.e.” Typically. the writer calls our attention to what Amanda wants to watch by adding several modifiers: the adjectives that and new to modify "show.. deadly as rattlesnakes. even experienced writers make sentence mistakes. The direct object of the sentence is actually the whole phrase “to watch that new show on TV tonight. Such disconnects cause the reader to stumble a bit trying to follow the logic of the sentence. However. In the sentence above. the matador stared at the bull. and that you will need to engage in a seek-and-destroy mission to find them out. there was a traffic accident right in front of me." and the phrase on TV tonight. to get stuck. The matador stared at the bull. calling attention to what the writer thinks is important or needs further description. Instead. as with finding most any sentence level mistake. the sweat pouring down his face. the one who performs the action of the sentence (Amanda “wants”). While I was waiting for the bus. I saw a traffic accident right in front of me." 130 . Matt and Allison are coming with us to the movies. (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. modifiers in a sentence add information to one of the elements in the core sentence. Don't assume that because you understand your ideas. Paul ordered three pizzas. three pizzas were ordered. and any direct or indirect objects so that any modifiers in the sentence become easy to identify. the subject. is to be suspicious of your own writing. also to modify "show" (telling us when the show is on). They also know where to look for mistakes. and to lose track of the overall meaning of the writer’s text. How does one identify and correct a disconnected modifier? The first step in finding disconnected modifiers. We will look at all of these scenarios next. And for this reason. small-bodied. While waiting for the bus. 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. or worse. they huddled. Matt is coming with us to the movies along with Allison. wild as deer. they are concerned with organizing their thoughts and developing their ideas rather than with correct grammatical expression of those ideas. assume that faulty sentences are hidden there in the text. i. Scan each sentence to locate the core of the sentence: i." or sentences that begin with long modifiers. Revised to connect the modifiers to their logical subjects. too. with delicate legs and pink faces in which their mis-matched eyes rolled wild and subdued. Give it a try in the following sentence: Amanda wants to watch that new show on TV tonight. quiet as doves.e.To make sure there would be enough for everyone.
Take a look at the following example: When buying a new cell phone. Watch out for shifts from active to passive voice between an opening modifier and the rest of the sentence. are often used improperly. The modifier should be next to “new show” to make the sentence logical.” etc. the subject of the modifier in this sentence is “many factors. The rule is that modifiers should be placed next to the word they modify. I don’t know when I will be coming to visit. 131 • . you pass under two main towers. they are not woven into the fabric of the sentence. you pass Use of passive voice can lead to modifier problems (as in the last example in the previous section).” “regarding. Dangling modifiers Another problem with modifiers arises when the modifier refers to a subject that is not actually named in the sentence.Misplaced modifiers Things go wrong when modifiers are not well connected to their subjects. it appears as if the writer is saying Amanda is on TV tonight. under. but much more logical. Not so clear.” “in terms of. there are two main towers corrected: As you come across the bridge. consumers should consider many factors. A better sentence. right? With placement of the modifier “on TV tonight” next to Amanda. Such modifiers are said to be “dangling” because like a dangling thread in a blanket. correcting this disconnect is “In response to your question about my coming to visit.” The sentence is longer. Consider the above sentence with a modifier presented out of place: On TV tonight. Rochelle almost beat everyone in the class corrected: Rochelle beat almost everyone in the class in the mile race. and the rest of the sentence points to the writer’s thoughts about that letter. the modifier implies a person who makes a response. General transitional phrases like “in conclusion.” the introductory phrase points vaguely to a letter.” “thus. concert in in the my mile car. and confusion results when modifiers are in another place in the sentence. I have to say that I am not sure when I can come. One source of trouble is misplacement of a modifier. many factors should be considered." That combination is not logical: factors do not buy cell phones. Here are a few more examples of misplaced modifiers: Isaac went to the REM corrected: Isaac went in my car to the REM concert. The sentence needs to be revised so that the modifier and the rest of the sentence fit together logically: corrected: When buying a new cell phone. Typical Trouble Spots • tapes.” “from what I can see. 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. The opening modifier "when buying a new cell phone" suggests a person as the subject (people buy cell phones). race. Make sure that the phrase actually modifies the word next to it. in the sentence “In terms of your letter. Amanda wants to watch that new show. For example. however. if not. and the subject of the sentence is a person. As you come across the bridge. the reader expects writers to follow the rule. get rid of the phrase (often these phrases are unnecessary anyway) and rewrite the sentence another way.
the family moved to Chatham. Consider the ambiguity in the sentence below: Wrong: Maria only wants Right: Only Maria wants a salad. a expensive salad. Passing through the different cities. Approaching the town from the ocean. doing nothing except enjoying the peace of the morning. Wash out your shirt with soap and cold water. Dickens' father was sent to prison for debt. And paying attention to the sounds immediately inside the house. The ocean breeze chilled us through. Answer given: 7. 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. The cabin is snug and sound. Houghton Mifflin. correcting any dangling or misplaced modifiers. revised paragraph into the text box. Justin likes to go to a really expensive restaurant. Dickens always remembered this time as the happiest days of his life. 132 . you will not even be able to tell that the stain was there. my fears went away. After we rise and have coffee and eggs. I often lie in bed for an hour. Answer given: 4. Answer given: 10. Answer given: 2. the annual rodeo was held. 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: Adapted from Lomer. Wrong: Justin occasionally likes to go to a really Right: Occasionally. 1914. Answer given: Rewrite the following paragraph. 11. You may prefer to copy and paste the paragraph into a word processor for editing and then paste the finished. When doing the same work. the breeze gently enters through the numerous open windows. Be sure to check the subject implied by the modifier against the actual subject the modifier refers to. the first thing we see is the Patterson Diner. or Maria wants only a salad. Our mule brays out in the pen. Answer given: 9. Last summer while spending a few weeks in Wyoming. When I wake up in the morning. When tucked into bed. Rewrite each sentence below to correct any dangling or misplaced modifiers. When a few years old. Seattle is the most active. 1. after having been in the heat in the city just a few hours earlier. Answer given: 6. Going out through the front door. Out of the dryer. till the sun is well above the horizon. When sleeping at night. When a boy. the kids laughing as they help their mother with the dishes are noticed for the first time. The Study and Practice of Writing English. restaurant. Answer given: 5.• Problems can arise with placement of limiting modifiers between subject and verb. Gerhard Richard. Answer given: 3. then run it through the dryer. a busy scene meets our eyes. the salaries should be identical. Answer given: 8. • Long modifiers at the beginning or end of a sentence can be a source of trouble. The birds sing somewhere deep in the forest.
compound sentences. and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures." Notice how he varies his sentences to create a distinctive mood: BENEATH the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood. inquisitive and full of wonder. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. or terse and even irritable. His thoughts ebb and flow. Coordination and Subordination Coordination: Coordination between clauses and between sentence verbs. There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and comfortable world. rambling and reflective. for example with the coordinating conjunctions "and" and "so. with a tall youth in the midst of them. to show a quick succession of events: She danced next with an officer. that. "Tanglewood Porch. Subordination: 133 . and the mood behind our thoughts. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. To reflect this variety of thought. Darcy. and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes. without knowing what she did.Sentence Variety Objectives: Our thoughts. In this module. can be quick and inspired. As yet. drawing the reader into the scene. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. 1852. on a gently sloping eminence. Take a look at the following passage by Nathanial Hawthorne from "Tanglewood Porch. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand." A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. the mansion stood. and was in conversation with her. students will learn to use the techniques below to create sentence variety in their writing. above which. Nathanial. Using sentence structures effectively to reflect our thoughts and feelings takes practice and and appreciation of how form relates to perception. He walked away again immediately. one by one. (Hawthorne) Hawthorne uses a variety of sentence forms in this paragraph— periodic and loose sentences. our sentences should also be varied. and of hearing that he was universally liked. the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley. one fine autumnal morning. They had planned a nutting expedition. Notice how coordination is used in the following passage from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. Charlotte tried to console her. and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. and to use sentence variety effectively to communicate their thoughts to a reader: • • • • • coordination and subordination cumulative sentences length transitional expressions colons & semicolons Hawthorne. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. was assembled a merry party of little folks. however. complex sentences. she accepted him." allows writers to show thoughts or actions which follow one another.
Pride and Hawthorne. (Thackeray) The second sentence is an extreme example. this time noticing the subordinating conjunctions Austen uses to show the way events and thoughts are interconnected: She danced next with an officer. general and specific versions of experience. which was sparkling in the distance. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. Consider the following description of breakfast preparations in Nathanial Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables.—whilst he was really trying to compose himself. possessing either scent or beauty. for example. was endeavoring to get some coolness of body and temper by looking out of the window towards the sea. and murmuring in a wonderful calm. she accepted him. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. Jason got on the bus. —he felt a hand on his shoulder . and by Miss Amory's behavior to him. There were chairs and plates for three. noticing how the subordinate clauses slow down the actions and elaborate on the scene: By way of contributing what grace she could. Charlotte tried to console her. He walked away again immediately. Phoebe gathered some roses and a few other flowers. . . The reader looks forward to the fulfillment of an expectation. but it is still correct grammar.--but what other guest did her cousin look for? (Hawthorne) In addition to subordinate clauses. Adding phrases and/or subordinate clauses to the front of a sentence allows us to create this effect. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. 134 Prejudice. perhaps that he had acted in a very absurd and peevish manner during the night. Nathanial. . 1813. Take a look at the same passage from Pride and Prejudice used above. without knowing what she did. Hawthorne uses phrases to elaborate on the scene and slow the forward action. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. was so much the fitter for a flower-vase. please read the lesson in the Coordination & Subordination module. and was in conversation with her. and owning to himself." Use periodic sentences infrequently in your writing. A chair and plate for Hepzibah. or the relationships of events in time. and of hearing that he was universally liked. and fell quite across the table. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand.--the same for Phoebe. 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. 1851. They ask a reader to reflect on an idea or even in greater depth before moving on. which made him look ridiculous in the eyes of the nation. Darcy. while she and Adam sat at breakfast there--came twinkling through the branches of the peartree. The early sunshine--as fresh as that which peeped into Eve's bower. Periodic Sentences: Sometimes writers want to create suspense in writing. that. Pen. which had still further insulted his dignity. and so periodic sentences stand out in your writing. All was now ready. Jane. as English speakers typically prefer the loose sentence style. how to use phrases is discussed in the sections on periodic and loose sentences. greatly irate at his downfall in the waltz. having long ago lost its handle. Shortly after Strong had quitted the room. as in the following sentences: Without hesitating or looking back at his mom. and whilst Mr. which. How to Use Coordination and Subordination for Variety: For more information on writing sentences using coordination and subordination. (Austen) Subordinate clauses tend to slow down the forward momentum of actions or a sequence of ideas. or set the stage for an action to occur. and arranged them in a glass pitcher. being about the length of a paragraph. the twists and turns of cause and effect. They are rarely used in speech. Austen. The House of Seven Gables.Allows writers to show the connections between thoughts and events.
you can decide on the most effective placement. 135 . Loose Sentences Loose sentences are the opposite of periodic sentences: the main clause appears at the beginning of the sentence. He was exceedingly well dressed according to standards prevailing in those days. a memory. round body. (Hawthorne. Cowperwood's—Seneca Davis by name—solid. Garnet Hill. "Hoping" happens while she walks out the door. "running very fast" or "confused by the instructions. (Dreiser. a round. J. like an exorcised spirit that had been driven from its old haunts. after a mighty struggle. and the invariable (for a fairly prosperous man) high hat." These techniques are the same for modifiers used at the beginning of a sentence. For example. A Blithedale Romance) He was a brother of Mrs. Bed Bath and Beyond. and wandered up and down. smooth head rather bald." We use verbal phrases to indicate simultaneous actions. Once you learn the techniques." for example. it is important to vary your patterns. a clear. Penney. five feet ten in height. Hold Everything. She walked out the front door. long. blue eyes. The History of Pendennis. light-colored frock-coats. "Haunted. idea 2: use a noun phrase to rename something discussed in the main clause and begin a modifier with this phrase.C. A verbal phrase includes a verb form—a verb ending in -ing or -ed that is not the sentence verb. a humor that was a bit satirical and a bit dry at times. hoping that today would be a better day than yesterday. and what little hair he had of a sandy hue. She had a wonderful sense of humor. as in the following sentence: Slowly. for example. perhaps. for example. however. Loose sentences are common in speech in English. William Makepeace. unctuous. 1848. loose sentences are easy for readers to follow. 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. indulging in flowered waistcoats. with a big. can get boring. Too many loose sentences in a row. verbal phrases add detail about what is happening during this action. so that sometimes I would not get that she was telling a joke until a minute or two after she told it. For example.How to Write a Periodic Sentence: Several techniques for creating modifiers are discussed in the next section on "Loose Sentences.—any store that ever received a penny of our money. humiliating speech when he forgot half the material. suggests that some outside force is acting upon the subject. haunted by the memory of his last. Thackeray. ruddy complexion. and so in written texts. etc. Below are examples of loose sentences: I betook myself away. causing the reader to refer back to the main point. so as always. Gabe walked up to the front of the class to give his presentation. The sentence verb in the main clause declares the action of the sentence. idea 3: use a verbal phrase. It is useful to note that "ing" verbals indicate an action that is being performed by the subject. We receive dozens of catalogs every week from companies like Pottery Barn. and "ed" verbals indicate an action that happens to the subject. and then modifying phrases and clauses are tacked onto the end of the sentence.
Dreiser. 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. ") to begin a phrase. providing background information. Hesitating at the door. His mood took a turn for the worse." "after.m.idea 4: use a prepositional phrase. idea 5: use a combination of phrases. explore the module on subordination. The Hawthorne." and "before" establish spatial. For more information. as in the following example: John woke up at 6:00 a. John dressed slowly. "). 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. either showing the subject's thoughts. Do not feel that you need to stop at one phrase if you have more to say. We cleaned the house before picking up mom at the airport. He remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. or suggesting simultaneous actions. and the repetition of a key word ("truths . Use Transitional Expressions Transitional expressions signify the relation between ideas. Notice that Faulkner uses a verbal phrase ("leaving . teaching himself that. as a drummer punctuates a drum rhythm. Just remember. . The modifying phrases allow the author to add information that fills in the scene.m. such as "John woke at 6:00 a. Nathanial. so familiar that they start falling asleep. Suddenly. forget it forever. Some useful transitional expressions are shown below. They can also help writers vary the opening structures of sentences. or logical relationships between ideas. as when one gets sleepy driving down an unvarying freeway late at night. He ate breakfast without appetite. The Blithedale Romance. This technique is very effective for refining ideas. Prepositions such as "without. 1912. the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart. ." punctuate the sentence. 1852 Vary Length & Style Financier. He dressed slowly and ate breakfast without any appetite. He went to work full of dread. For example. he remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. . however. His mood took a turn for the worse. Subordinating Conjunctions: 136 . She believed in being honest above all else. that the more space you devote to a topic. he summoned his courage and went to work. 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. Also note that the repetition is of a key word in the first modifying phrase rather than the main clause. He walked out the front door without looking back. . The second paragraph ebbs and flows. his heart full of dread. And the short sentences. Compare the above paragraph with the following one that uses a variety of sentence styles and sentence length: John woke at 6:00 a." "with. temporal. Varying the length and style of sentences keeps readers awake. Theodore.m.
Megan blacked out. Nathanial. the matador stared at the bull. Answer given: 2. similarity: accordingly. Answer given: 9. afterward. as." Relocate the modifying phrase(s) in each sentence. consequently. For example. for example. despite." might become "Hoping to end the fight quickly. but only reserved). as only a man of true genius can speak of his own works. we admire Ariella. and talked about it unaffectedly. even if. one verbal phrase. in the same way. as long as. Answer given: 3. Use at least one prepositional phrase. unless time: after. as soon as. shortly. and Leutze allowed us to gaze at the cartoon of his great fresco. "Chiefly About War Matters") Hawthorne. nevertheless. Soon. Answer given: 7. provided that.cause: because. the sun sets. his look grew kindly and genial (not that it had ever been in the least degree repulsive. "The matador. so that concession: although. Answer given: 4. have not been silenced. though outvoted. hoping to end the fight quickly. firstly. even though. whenever. since. though. although. The crowd hurries toward home along the streets. amplification: what is more. with keen and somewhat guarded eyes. Jason took out the trash. while. Deep red through the fog. "Chiefly About War Matters by a Reasonable Man. before. as long as. on the whole time: meanwhile. first. stared at the bull. moreover summary: in sum. though." 1. even though. on the other hand. Answer given: 137 . as. Answer given: 5. His detractors. after all. Meanwhile the noble design spoke for itself upon the wall. Brian loved to sail. and one subordinate clause. eventually. It is by his poetry that Milton is best known. 6. when Sentence Adverbs: effect: consequently. (Hawthorne. as though condition: even though. second. thus exemplification: for instance. regardless addition: in addition. similarly. Because she is loyal and brave. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the beginning of each of the following 5 sentences. as if it were not his practice to vouchsafe any great warmth of greeting. indeed. exception: however. if. white with snow. except upon sure ground of observation. The conversation ended. however. Answer given: 8. in the first place. 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.
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
" then "b"): after After you arrive in Hawaii. be sure and call to let me know you have arrived safely. you are under arrest. 142 "Where" identifies the place . (after "a. unless at the beginning of a clause describes a condition that would prevent something from happening. even if unless Place where wherever Time "After refers to an event or action that occurs after another event or action has occured. we could find a MacDonald's. "Unless" is used to specify a negative condition.means no matter where: "Wherever we went. her head felt much better. unless it is raining." Both subordinators are used to indicate a condition provided that. as rules. It is usually used with verbs in the present tense to discuss a future conditional: We will meet at the soccer field." This subordinator is interesting in that it suggests a hypothetical situation as a condition.. you will abide by my as soon as." . "As long as" is a slightly less formal version of "provided that. "Even if" points to particular conditions and means "whether or not.. I would not go out with you. in other words. for something happening: as long as As long as you pay your own way. "as long as" is used to emphasize a particular duration of time: As long as you live in this house. you are welcome to come along. 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. After Angela took the ibuprofen. I have to study for my biology exam tonight. Subordinating conjunctions: place and time if. Unless you can provide an alibi for your actions at 10:15 last night. you may have desert.Even though I am exhausted. Even if you were rich.
whenever When I am in Berkeley. As I was printing out my notes for the meeting. until. I was home cleaning the house. If I need advice." "as." and also sometimes "if" and "when. I will be sure and call you. you had better stop delivery on your newspaper. You cannot watch television until you clean your room. "As" and "when" are used to describe short events: The phone rang as I was on my way out the door. "Until" means up to the time." though less formal. I was in the tub. Whenever I drink red wine. "Whenever. For example.before "Before" refers to an event or action that must occur before another event or action can take place. or until a certain event has taken place. (before "a" happens. 143 . till I didn't know who the bad guy was until the last scene of the movie. We also use "as" to show that one thing is the consequence of another: As you get older. or almost simultaneously: Just as she turned to yell at him for knocking her groceries out of her arms. We often use "just" in combination with "when" and "as" to describe events happening simultaneously. "b" must occur) Before you leave for Hawaii. I will be sure to visit you. When you called. while." and "when" indicate that things are happening simultaneously. "While. my boss called to tell me the meeting was cancelled." is used to indicate a repeated occurence of something when certain conditions arise. "While" is used to emphasize long duration: While you were out celebrating. when as. you get wiser. It is not often used in introductory clauses: Bush said today that we will stay in Iraq till the war is won. he apologized profusely. "Till" is similar to "until. I get a headache.
where would you go and why? Answer given: Paragraphs Creating Unified Paragraphs In this module. students will learn to create unified paragraphs having strong topic sentences and supporting details that clearly relate to and develop the topic sentence. 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. Thompson likes to knit when travelling on the train. he listens to his iPod. Mrs. 144 ." it is perfectly correct to leave out the subject and the "to be" verb form. as in the following sentences: While walking the dog. Students will also learn to revise their work to improve paragraph unity. Proofread your paragraphs before you press the "submit" button to ensure that you have used coordination and subordination to good advantage. Assignment Write a paragraph or two answering each question below using coordination and subordination to connect ideas effectively and create good rhythm in your writing.Note also that with "while" and "when.
recounting the "this. for example. In descriptive paragraphs. What should the reader pay attention to? What is important here? It is the writer's job to create clear direction. Unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs Creating unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs can be difficult. such as comparison and contrast. A kitchen and large formal dining room are adjacent to the family room. Peanut. in the adjacent family room. often is perched on the couch begging for food or running around. The family’s Jack Russell Terrier. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Development Module. instead of focusing on how aspects of the story support an interpretation. a descriptive paragraph that needs work for unity (the controlling idea is underlined): 145 . etc. I frequently notice my aunt and uncle seated on one of their tan leather couches watching the news or Comedy Central. help create coherence. Writers should select the type of details—description. Completeness: (or development) Enough specific supporting detail should be provided in the paragraph to make the controlling idea convincing. and describes what he observes there.What is a paragraph? Many beginning writers are not exactly sure what a paragraph should look like. watching MTV. They are unsure how long a paragraph should be. it is easy to fall into the sequence trap. with enough detail or explanation to make that thought clear to a reader. For further instruction on paragraph development. narration. Rules govern the organization and development of paragraphs and provide useful checkpoints for revision: Unity: All sentences in a paragraph must be unified around a central point or controlling idea. A 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. the dining room rarely is used. A new paragraph begins when one thought is fully developed. In narrative paragraphs. Coherence must also be created between paragraphs to help the reader make the transition from one paragraph to the next. In a literature analysis essay. However. The writer narrates his entry into his aunt and uncle's home. but it is difficult to tell what we are to make of these observations. and a new thought begins. and what logic controls the clustering of sentences together in a paragraph. wherein the writer focuses on a "this. a paragraph is the communication of a single assertion or thought. I go into a small living room with a fireplace which almost always is vacant. Every night the family eats dinner at the round wooden kitchen table where I usually notice a lingering scent of vanilla candles. Like the living room. Coherence: Sentences in a paragraph should progress logically to develop the controlling idea. the problem is similar: a writer may get caught up in describing aspects of something without having a sense of purpose. For further instruction on paragraph coherence. Transitional expressions and patterns of development. In brief. comparison and contrast.—that best illustrates the controlling idea. it is easy to slip into plot summary. or viewing movies in the family room. when one paragraph should end and the next one begin. then this" structure without any real point or purpose other than moving through events. then this" of the story being analyzed. This controlling idea is usually declared in a topic sentence. or paragraphs in which a writer tells the story of events. cause and effect. 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. This paragraph lacks a controlling idea. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Coherence Module. Supporting sentences contribute information to help the reader see the validity of the controlling idea. I also regularly find my cousins playing computer games.
this idea does not fit. The writer may choose to write another paragraph about why the site should be preserved. and have a museum added. Now. The topic sentence does not really lead the reader to expect this content.The City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. the paragraph is not unified. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. In the table below. each supporting sentence is analyzed in detail for how it does (or does not) support the controlling idea of the paragraph. and so meets the reader's expectations. The author describes the neglected site. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. unified narrative and descriptive paragraphs. it is beyond the scope of the controlling idea. The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. The writer focuses on a rationale for why the City of Novato should preserve the site. the train station would be refurbished. 146 . take a look at a few strong. however. in this paragraph. 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. With the recent failure of “Measure R. This second supporting sentence. the City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. but as is.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. With the recent failure of “Measure R. 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. or reshape the controlling idea here. The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. Even though the idea here is closely related to the controlling idea of the paragraph this sentence does not belong in this paragraph. and have a museum added. Sentence Unfortunately. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. the train station would be refurbished.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. Discussion Given the controlling idea as stated in the topic sentence. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. a description of the state of disrepair of the train station would also be appropriate. However. doesn't quite meet the expectations created by the topic sentence. The first supporting sentence does support the main idea. Speculating about what might bring about change is probably a worthwhile thing to do in this essay.
The reduction in income caused the sale of my first home and initiated the cycle of unrest in my father. a unified descriptive paragraph: The train is like a small town on wheels. pillows. the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument. Everyone has an address. 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. Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. You may choose to write the paragraphs on a word processor and then copy and paste your finished work into the text boxes below. newspapers. downtown street scene. Write a unified narrative paragraph about a time you turned out to be wrong about someone. etc. Assignment Use the techniques for creating good paragraph unity that you have learned in this module to write paragraphs on the topics below. evaluate evidence. Instead. And so forth. body. definition. Without logical progression of thought. and conclusion. He had no time to be with his family. Write a unified paragraph about the problems caused by giving kids cell phones before they are teenagers. the stress and strain of running two companies and trying to have a family caused him to sell the businesses and return to retail. as Ward Cleaver did. The train has its own culture and rules. If the student does not master this portion of the essay. Figure out who you can ask for what. it is your seat or compartment number. Clear and logical transitions between the introduction. sleeper cars. Answer given: 1. and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. the analysis of cause and effect. Answer given: 2. The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following: A clear. His home was a place he stored his stuff. and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. 1. expound on the idea. There is a hierarchy of staffing—just like a government. Find out what is free in your car (drinks. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment.a unified narrative paragraph: The home [my father] provided his family was not truly his. dining cars. Always tip. concise. Alternatively. etc. lounge cars. 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). or a scene at a local event. engines. Fill out your meal card when you sit down in the dining car. such as a farmer's market.) Wear shoes or lose a toe. a place he went when he wasn’t working. and the structure will collapse. it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast. my father found himself sleeping through the moments he was home. Write a unified descriptive paragraph about a local park. 147 . Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats. The cars are the city blocks. Eventually. towels. and baggage cars. You learn behavior by experience—like don’t fool around with the ticket packet—let them do it. example.
This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. there would be a beginning. If it sounds straightforward. Narration. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. have been criticized by some composition scholars. Therefore. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. 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. rather. Although these genres. a conclusion Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay. A bit of creativity! Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. and logically so. It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. Remember. though you may not be crafting the next great novel. Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. We hope these resources will help. also known as the modes of discourse. or anecdotal). questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point. Exposition. Often times. narration. What is more. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. 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. logical. however. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. an introductory paragraph 2. synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay. but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis. 148 . students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation. and end to the conversation. Evidential support (whether factual. Therefore. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. the method consists of: 1.Body paragraphs that include evidential support. that is because it is. exposition. it is an art form nonetheless. the expository essay must be complete. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. three evidentiary body paragraphs 3. in fact. middle. Allen Brizee. it must be effective and logical. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. therefore. such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. In fact. statistical.
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
rather. 153 . This is. a vast array of wildlife. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work. and a mixture of cultures. and so are called upon to engage deeply with the topic at hand. it would seem that any pleasures to be had at Hawaii's beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts would be spoiled by overcrowding. that Hawaii would be too crowded for a satisfying vacation. In fact. In the case of Hawaii. but then surprises the reader by suggesting that in spite of this problem. the method consists of 1) an introductory paragraph 2) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and 3) a conclusion. perfect weather. sources of information and their credibility.logical. middle. it is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. review the main points. Hawaii truly is a paradise. if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point. sparkling sea. the sun warming your weightless body. Therefore. in fact. If it sounds straightforward.. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment. as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. 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 argumentative essay must be complete. Restate why the topic is important. the travel brochures do not lie: Hawaii is paradise. there would be a beginning.. readers will rarely make a strong connection with the topic. The very first job before you in an essay is to capture your reader's interest and attention. Readers are asked to picture themselves in the scene. Without a concrete image or idea. and review your thesis. With so many tourists on such a small land mass. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. and logically so. More than 6 million people visit Hawaii each year. Longer Argumentative Essays Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. İntroductions Opening Lines. tropical fruits. and end to the conversation. Consider these openings lines from three different essays about Hawaii. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. The second introduction is far more effective at creating interest because of the numerous sensory and concrete details. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. Hawaii can still be paradise. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. The reader is engaged by the promise of unexpected and surprising information in the essay to follow. This is the picture of a typical day in Hawaii. that is because it is. The first introduction is the least interesting because it offers so many broad generalizations. synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. palm trees. however. Which lines do the best job of capturing your interest? The tropical islands of Hawaii are known for beautiful sandy beaches. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic. But this is not the case.
Relevant background material: Be careful here. Don't include background material that does not have a direct bearing on your topic. Paradise for many of us in the 21st century is having freedom from care and worry. like the freedom Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall. if only temporarily.How do you go about writing an introduction that is going to get your reader's attention? To start. "Traveling is a fool's paradise. And by the 1940's. and nothing to do but to enjoy the beauty and bounty of life and each other. put yourself in the place of your reader. the sun warming your weightless body. Hawaii is the number one American tourist destination." He was wrong. An interesting fact or statistic: This technique is used above. Paradise can be found. More than 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. You need to break through these distractions by providing a compelling reason to read. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. tourists travelled to Hawaii aboard steamships to experience first hand the romantic beauty that had been popularized in Hawaiian songs of the teens. Broad generalities merely distract the reader and postpone what is really important in the essay (for example. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. In the early days. Hawaii is anything but indifferent. Try for a more extended definition that is keyed into your essay topic. there are a few specific strategies that you may adopt. A concession: Start with a commonly held belief or opinion. Today. "Since the beginning of time." or "Throughout American history") Hawaii has been a popular tourist destination since the 1920's. in a short trip to Hawaii. Hollywood films like "Waikiki Wedding" featuring scenes shot on location. such as laundry needing to be done. shaping them to your own purposes: A short anecdote: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. sparkling sea. An analogy: 154 . Although 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. but also distractions. or loud music next door. or kids arguing. drew thousands more tourists to the growing number of hotels along Waikiki Beach. it is possible to go to Hawaii and feel like you are way off the beaten path. That said. under what conditions will my reader pick up this essay? Imagine your reader having a general interest in your topic. A short narrative: This technique is also used above. Ask yourself. and then assert a new approach or direction for your essay. try to capture for your reader what drew you in and made you passionate about this topic. And since you know your own idea intimately. 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.
ok.Don't over use rhetorical questions.") Assignment 1. showing why Hawaii is the better choice.. with this second thesis. 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. for example... Statements like "As I was exploring ideas for this topic. but others do not (e. and little time to catch one's breath. Some essays naturally fall into clear and equal divisions (e. where the joy of the ride comes more from the scenery and new vistas. "Life without my husband was going to be difficult. between you and the reader. your thesis is "Hawaii is a wonderful place for a family vacation. 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. What not to do.Don't describe your writing or thinking process." You will have to take too many steps to get from such a broad generalization to your specific argument.. Instructors don't much like them because they are a often a kind of cop out. the writer settles on a focusing question. ..Don't feel you must describe the structure of your essay in your thesis (unless your instructor requires such description). stay within your topic area.. Some writers find a clear question keeps them focused as they are developing their ideas." the reader will expect to be shown how one can experience paradise in Hawaii. you still have options for development with any thesis.. and/or you could describe the many different activities for families on the Hawaiian Islands... Given the thesis below (or something similar)... but the worst is our fast-food culture. San Answer given: Francisco is 155 a great city. for example." or "Words are not enough to really explain. In addition to capturing the reader's interest and establishing the topic of your essay. "There are three good methods for strengthening the body after muscle injury"). full of excitement with a new thrill around every turn." the reader will expect to be shown why Hawaii is a great place for families to take a vacation.. If. or within a theme tightly connected to your thesis. The reader takes in your words in the thesis and says.. Instead. be sure to turn that question into a statement in your final draft. .g. . write an introduction using an interesting quote to draw the reader in.. If you like working with rhetorical questions to help you stay focused.." The diagram (right) helps illustrate the way an introduction should focus the reader's thought: The thesis as a promise. or contract. the introduction should focus the reader's attention on what you will be arguing in the essay itself about your topic. Once you have your thesis. for example. "It is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii.Some people desire a vacation to be like a non-stop rollercoaster ride.." On the other hand a rhetorical question is actually a good focusing device for a draft. on the other hand.g. instead of going the extra distance to figure out what the argument actually is. show me. The argument is typically captured in a single sentence we call the "thesis sentence. Others prefer their vacations to be more like the ride on a ferris wheel. If you say. but I will do the best I can. you could compare Hawaii to other destinations as family vacation spots. ." detrract from your topic by redirecting the emphasis to you and your methods." "I am no expert on . Of course. A thesis is a promise.. Moving into your thesis..Don't begin with a huge generalization like "Throughout history civilizations have grown and died. "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. . than from heart-pounding new experiences.
Given the thesis below (or something similar). or as best you can. e-mail to friends. given that you did not actually write the essay). 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. The truth is. Given the thesis below (or something similar). Answer given: 3.. 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. By learning how to discover a topic worth writing about. Relationships demand a lot of work. 4. write an introduction using a short narrative or useful background material to draw the reader in. Whatever the writing task. sooner or later.. write a conclusion in which you look to the future or provide an analogy. Thesis Development Discovering and Developing a thesis: Overview Love notes. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. write a conclusion posing a question or challenging your reader to action. 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. or the next Great American Novel. Objectives By the end of this unit. job-related documents. and how to focus on a central theme or thesis (a specific. given that you did not actually write the essay). Given the thesis below (or something similar). 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 . Although they may experience the rest of that process in different ways. essays for class. Relationships are a lot of work. identifying the purpose and audience is the first step in the writing process for most writers. or as best you can. significant idea).2. how to gather ideas to write about. San Answer given: Francisco is a great city. 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.
and the solutions." as well as "support" the argument with evidence... will generally write better essays. what the teacher most often wants is to hear what the student has learned. on the other hand. or We have read several essays on global warming by various scientists and global leaders." "discuss. Most students write their first essays in response to an instructor's assignment. A typical assignment in an English class looks something like this: In his short story "A Rose for Emily. Support your argument with evidence from the readings. After receiving assignments like these. There is almost never a "right" answer a teacher is looking for in an essay. 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. students often worry about "what the teacher wants. giving examples from the story. and how the student's thinking has evolved based on the reading. those students who have paid close attention to the ideas and language in the reading.) in terms of their differences to present reasons for or against something to make clear through examples. "support. These authors have different takes on the severity of the problem.Analyzing Writing Assignments for Meaning ." In the second essay assignment. etc. Where do you stand? Write an essay of 1500 words in which you define the problem of global warming and recommend solutions." Frankly." "define a problem" and "recommend solutions. In a 1000 word essay. and who pay close attention to the language of the assignment. the instructor asks students to "take a stand." for example. places. the causes." William Faulkner uses many techniques of characterization to paint a portrait of the title character. places. the actions are "describe. analogies demonstrate to make clear through reasoning recommend to present as worthy of acceptance analyze synthesize to separate into constituent parts in order to determine the critical features of the whole to combine elements into a meaningful whole 157 ." and "give examples. In the above assignment on "A Rose for Emily. etc. Support your thesis by discussing examples of Faulkner's characterization techniques. 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. 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.) in terms of their likenesses to examine two or more objects (people.
But feeling stuck is a normal part of the writing process. you may end up with some material that you can actually use in the essay itself. What can you do about it? There are several techniques for getting going. but little idea about what it all means. getting unstuck: freewriting.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. Make sure that you understand how much freedom you really have. Focused freewriting is effective when one has a topic but is unsure about what one wants to say about that topic. how much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my hands on a pen).com" will even cluster most any topic for you. and this scrawny. clustering. until you find a groove and ideas start to flow. After clustering. brainstorming. rather than sitting down at a desk "to write.rowling. You may be surprised at the ideas you come up with. Given the "Rose for Emily" assignment above. Write a tentative thesis on a piece of paper and run it by your instructor during office hours." Try brainstorming about an assignment when you have nothing else to occupy your mind: in a waiting line. Given the assignment on global warming above. on a long car ride. because I simply sat and thought. 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. . clustering: Clustering emphasizes the relationships between ideas and is useful in exploring various angles on a topic. either in one's head. in that one writes non-stop. whether you are a beginner or a professional writer. The point of all of the strategies. J. one ends up with categories of information on a particular topic. but the topic is defined. listing. —Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith It isn't easy to write an essay. In a brief biography on her website . For students who are trying to decide the angle to take on a particular topic. clustering is quite useful. To my immense frustration. When the topic is up to you . now. etc. I didn't have a functioning pen with me. for four (delayed train) hours.com) freewriting: Writing non-stop about whatever comes to mind. 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. Rowling tells of how a long. Using Prewriting Techniques and Other Strategies to Discover and Shape a Topic.. There's nothing to writing. And so. in traffic. bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me. And one of the most difficult parts of writing is finding what you want to say. Freewriting is particularly effective in making writing seem more natural and familiar. These prewriting techniques are described in detail below: brainstorming: Simply tossing around ideas. K.k. Plus. 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. Focused freewriting is similar to freewriting. or in discussion with a friend. is the same: to let words flow freely on the assumption that out of this unpressured writing will come an idea. however. The search engine "clusty. and all the details bubbled up in my brain. and often say that they end up jotting down their best ideas on gum wrappers and napkins. . There is even a term for a severe form of being stuck: writer's block. that this was probably a good thing. Many writers use this technique for developing ideas. and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one. a student might use clustering to compare the readings on particular topics of discussion. black-haired. (j. 158 . you're stuck. I think. on the computer or on paper.. and more connected to one's own voice. then jotting down a few key ideas that may be useful. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. these ideas having arrived when they were just musing about things. idly. you may have a pretty good sense at the outset of how Faulkner describes Emily.
. finding one that works for you is just a matter of analyzing your evidence and your assignment. Thesis statements are underlined: from "Undeniable Global Warming. or you may have the freedom to define a topic for yourself. It's time to lay that misapprehension to rest. 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.". Could such tiny fluctuations be responsible for changes in climate? from "Don't Believe the Hype: Al Gore is wrong. 2004: Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. Generating and Revising Thesis Statements for Effectiveness. There's no "consensus" on global warming. 2006. and the prewriting techniques described in the previous section will help you here. Lindzen. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. WSJ. 2005: In the debate over global warming. a search on "bananas" brings up the following clusters—some of them useful." or "explain. as you see it. December 26. July 2. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. Mr." your thesis should reflect this purpose. But satellite measurements show that our local star dims and brightens slightly in concert with sunspot cycles.." "illustrate. Generating a thesis statement: The first step in developing a thesis is defining a topic. which range from nine to 14 years. The next step is to decide what you will say about your topic. Many angles on a given topic are possible.For example. in an unordered list. . and determining where the truth. lies. at least one thing seems constant: the sun. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community 159 . Washington Post.) from "Setting the Record Straight: Blame the sun?" Seattle Times.. What exactly is this debate that Mr. October 9. That statement.com." Richard S. Also important is the language of the assignment: if your instructor asks you to "describe. Take a look at the variety of angles on global warming that professional writers have come up with. which Mr." Naomi Oreskes. There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason. this topic may be defined for you by your instructor. We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it. It is a bit like shorthand freewriting and is quite useful to students having trouble putting pen to paper. As mentioned above.
there has been no debate among scientists about global warming. unity problems. ready to be read by a reader." may well have started with a working thesis like "Contrary to what Al Gore says. it became difficult to think of it as anything else. multiple directions: The language of the thesis suggests that the writer will explore several topics. which is really concerned with drawing the reader into the argument. may well have begun with "scientists do agree that global warming is occurring. The key words should be there which focus your work. Unfortunately. helping you to focus on your reader's needs). But is the “American Dream” really such a dream? What does it really cost us to achieve that dream. but after living on the ship for three years. nor do you need to write your introduction. "Don't believe the hype. A reader wonders what is the point? What does the writer want me to think about this situation? The qualities and the atmosphere of the two households can be very different based on various factors like age of kids. . and even sentence-level problems. the thesis focuses on a seemingly insignificant or minor point. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. . race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. 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. the content suffers on all levels. A much stronger tactic is to turn that question into a statement (though the question may work quite well as working thesis. because when a writer is unsure about direction. development problems. age of parents. thesis as a question: Instructors frown on this strategy for beginning an essay. problems with a thesis lead to big problems in the essay: lack of focus. and not with the specific content of the argument." And Naomi Oreskes. but don't worry too much about the exact sentence structure until you revise your essay. and these 160 ." A working thesis is not a perfectly refined piece of writing. and is that price worth it? Revising Your Thesis: When your thesis lacks clarity. but a statement of what you will argue in the essay. no argument: A thesis that states a topic without an angle on that topic is just information. in drafting her article. Subordinate clauses are attached to the main clause via a subordinating conjunction. A working thesis: You do not need to worry about finding the perfect langauge for your thesis before you begin writing your essay. in drafting his article.that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over. Common Thesis Statement Problems: A solid thesis is the foundation of a good essay. Richard Lindzen. and a list of subordinating conjunctions). Some of the most common problems are described below: weak argument: When the argument is weak. one that does not need more than a paragraph of support: It was hard to call a ship home. but the connection between these topics is not clear: TV families often confront issues such as gender. rewriting the sentence to include a subordinate clause might help (see our module on coordination/subordination for more detail.
repairing these mapping statements is easy. essay structures are often pragmatic. Other human beings. All of us have had an encounter with a policy or practice that seems to go dead against what we know to be right. however. Some instructors will ask for a map. for the most part. a more subtle approach is called for. Providence protect me from fool as adversary. but in the humanities. and in writing for a popular audience. ." actually takes attention away from the argument itself and weakens your voice in the essay. we expect arguments to have particular features: a claim. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. . it is the angle on the content that shifts—how the writer spins the content. particularly in the biological or social sciences. . Argumentative essays When Though May The Whose Where Who And blithe to argument I armed with facts. we feel there is no justice in the universe. our belief that something is true or right is not proof that it is right.conjunctions identify specific relationships between ideas. and so we must argue. the subordinator can give you a sense of what you want to do in the essay. prove to others that our truths are valid truths. Revise your thesis so that you are proving just one thing. for example. a common thread is found between the seemingly disparate topics of the original version: the topic becomes "how well TV sitcoms succeed at being real. opinion. " or "I hope to show that. See if the content of your thesis might actually fit under a broader umbrella. such as for a newspaper or magazine. the reader will not be able to follow you (you probably won't stay focused as you write the essay either). 161 . Arugments in written form have been around since ancient Greece. and then. Fortunately. An argument is an attempt to convince others of a truth as we perceive it. you can just cut them out. don't draw a map for development unless your teacher requires it." The content of the essay will not need to be dramatically altered. do not necessarily see truth and righteousness as we do. and so today. In these disciplines. If the thesis appears to be going in many directions. . the subordinator "because" suggests the writer will be concerned with the causes for something. calls conviction prejudice prejudice —Phyllis McGinley come. In the revision. the subordinator "if" suggess the writer will be concerned with conditions for something happening. . A thesis that begins with a phrase like "In this essay I will argue." "I will first. and not three or four things. mind to him a kingdom is reason lacks dominion. and merry. they do not reflect the real day to day problems American families face. however. As much as we would have it be otherwise. designed so that information can be processed quickly. say one thing. Consider the revision of the problematic thesis below: original thesis: TV families often confront issues such as gender. or no God to ensure that there is good in the world. In such moments. revised thesis: Even though contemporary TV sitcoms try to be real by confronting social problems such as ethnic stereotyping and gender inequality. . Sometimes.
evidence to support a claim. they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes). Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. First. 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. This thesis statement is not debatable. the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. In this module. not the government. Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. and a conclusion. the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars. in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. First. Further. a refutation of opposing arguments. students will learn to construct a strong argument that has these features. In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment. The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Still others could argue that corporations. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good. In other words. the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. or all uses of medication in general? Second. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. all studies agree that pollution is a problem. what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does 162 . The broader your claim is. should be paying to limit pollution. what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use.
" "generally. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic. such as researching renewable energy sources. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. thing. and the context of your paper. Types of Claims Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Qualifiers such as "typically. whether we value it or not. 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. Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person." "usually. 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. or event caused another thing or event to occur." or "on average" also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule. This is a much more manageable topic. long-term cycles of climate change. researching renewable energy sources. in other words what type of claim you want to make. your audience. how we would rate or categorize something. Example: The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above. Example: Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today. Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem.the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to 163 . 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: What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal. yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. 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. 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. 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. 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: Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption. 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. and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution.
While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown.) How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience. periodicals. a credible media outlet. Weida. Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. unless the site is associated with a reputable institution such as a respected university. Karl Stolley. What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to use. they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate. 164 . and websites. they must be credible. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be.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. government program or department. the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research. Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined. or well-known non-governmental organizations. Because anyone can add or change content. In other words. Is the author presenting a neutral. your sources must be reliable. need to be much more current. such as Time or Newsweek. accurate. sources on information technologies. Responsible. however. experiments. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia. 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. 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. and trustworthy. they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources. (This is also a good way to find more sources for your own research. Second hand research is research you are getting from various texts that has been supplied and compiled by others such as books. surveys. or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes. or personal experience and anecdotes. Regardless of what type of sources you use. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. which are collaboratively developed by users. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. Karl Stolley. credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written.
meaning that a decision to switch to a hybrid car will make a long-term impact on pollution levels." Counterclaim: Instead of focusing on cars. produces 90 percent fewer harmful emissions than a comparable gasoline engine. Data 3: Hybrid cars combine a gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor. Rebuttal: While mass transit is an environmentally sound idea that should be encouraged. Warrant 1:Because cars are the largest source of private. Data1:Driving a private car is a typical citizen's most air polluting activity. include the opposing side as a counterclaim. Warrant 2: Cars generally have a long lifespan.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. Warrant 3: This combination of technologies means that less pollution is produced. or for people who must commute to work. 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. air pollution switching to hybrid cars should have an impact on fighting pollution. the nation should focus on building and encouraging use of mass transit systems. it is not feasible in many rural and suburban areas. Rebuttal: Evidence that negates or disagrees with the counterclaim. Don't avoid the opposing side of an argument. as opposed to industry produced. 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. thus hybrid cars are a better solution for much of the nation's population. Data: Evidence gathered to support the claim. Backing (also referred to as the foundation): Additional logic or reasoning that may be necessary to support the warrant. made by Toyota. Find out what the other side is saying and respond to it within your own argument. According to ineedtoknow. but unrefuted. Example: Claim: Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution. Warrant (also referred to as a bridge): Explanation of why or how the data supports the claim. which still encourages a culture of driving even if it cuts down on pollution. Including a well thought out warrant or bridge is essential to writing a good argumentative essay or paper. Data 2: Each vehicle produced is going to stay on the road for roughly 12 to 15 years. The Toulmin Method of logic is a common and easy to use formula for organizing an argument. Including counterclaims allows you to find common ground with more of your readers. You may want to include several counterclaims to show that you have thoroughly researched the topic. the underlying assumption that connects your data to your claim. arguments. Counterclaim: A claim that negates or disagrees with the thesis/claim. This is important so that the audience is not swayed by weak. The basic format for the Toulmin Method is as follows: Claim: The overall thesis the writer will argue for.org "the hybrid engine of the Prius. Instead. 165 .
Inductive reasoning must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. which is not the same thing. or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on. Slippery slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens. the facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population. In this example the author is equating banning Hummers with banning all cars. In this example the author is basing their evaluation of the entire course on only one class. Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence.Example: Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty. In other words. watch out for these slips in other people's arguments. Example: Even though it's only the first day.. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend several classes.. X. Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case. Y. and from this draws the more localized or specific conclusion that Mexico will be affected in the same way.Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida.. In this example the specific case of fair trade agreements with coffee producers is being used as the starting point for the claim. if we don't want Z to occur A must not be allowed to occur either. or persuasive strategies. So. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. I can tell this is going to be a boring course. Z will happen. too. Also. talk to the professor. Logos often depends on the use of inductive or deductive reasoning. used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars. Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion There are three types of rhetorical appeals. and a decline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced. Because these agreements have worked the author concludes that it could work for other farmers as well. Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them. so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well. that genetically modified seeds have been problematic everywhere. and possibly even examine the textbook. Example: Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffee producers. 166 .. so there is no reason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds are introduced in Mexico. and on the first day which is notoriously boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses. In this example the author starts with a large claim. Logos Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason. The generalization you start with must have been based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. hunger. then eventually through a series of small steps. basically equating A and Z. you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts. so we should not ban Hummers. C. Karl Stolley. Avoid Logical Fallacies These are some common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case. In other words. through B.
democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand. Example: The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler's army. There is no reason. that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use. the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before. is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as "filthy and polluting.' Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick. lazy hippies. Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism." Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it. so the water must have made me sick. Example: We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. a flu bug that had been working on the body for days. institute. Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want. In this example the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested. car sharing systems for necessities and emergencies." a concept that people want to be associated with. without more evidence. to assume the water caused the person to be sick. Genetic Fallacy: A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person. In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car. Instead. nature. or worth. breaking down complex problems. Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. 167 . Specific evidence such as using everyday language. or theory determine its character. idea. or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed to prove either half of the sentence. Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments. Example: Green Peace's strategies aren't effective because they are all dirty. particularly in a time of war. Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. But the very conclusion that should be proved. Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. or better community planning to discourage daily driving. religion.Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A. yet the author ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleaner technology. 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. In this example where two choices are presented as the only options. with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connection between the two. In this example the author equates being a "true American. or a chemical spill across campus. 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.
In this example the author switches the discussion away from the safety of the food and talks instead about an economic issue. Most of the time. earliest to most recent example. the writer is 168 . Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately. 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. If appropriate for the assignment. As Arlo Bates writes in Talks on Writing English (1894). not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. Proofread the argument. this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument. often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them.Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues. etc. a claim is usually a stronger and often more emotional proposition that a thesis in an expository essay. credibility. • Pathos Pathos. reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly. 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. "The difference between exposition and argument is the difference between peace and war. or reliability of the writer. 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. it does not mean we should ignore possible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a few individuals. Establish common ground with your audience. appeals to an audience's needs. Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe. Only use an emotional appeal if it truly supports the claim you are making. You can use the Toulmin method of logic or a simple pattern such as chronological order. An argument should never use emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people. While one issue may effect the other. or emotional appeal. but what will fishers do to support their families. Organize your argument in a logical. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt on your character as a writer. but used properly there is often a place for emotion as well. There are many ways to establish good character and credibility as an author: • • • • • Use only credible. however. and emotional sensibilities. values. the livelihood of those catching fish. easy to follow manner." In an argument. Ethos Ethos or the ethical appeal is based on the character. disclose why you are interested in this topic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic. most general to most detailed example. For example.
. Be very careful. is true.is not particularly useful. which Mr. Otherwise. . Cite statistics or research: Often solid research findings or statistics can complement a more theoretical argument. Without solid support. In using quotes and paraphrase effectively. It is not effective to write an argument without acknowledging opposing arguments and showing why those arguments are not valid. Read the module on Working with Sources for more help with using sources in your writing. you show that you have done your research and that you are able to distinguish expert from amateur authorities. because it does not deal with his fundamental belief that human personhood begins at conception. Who you side with can go a long way to establishing the validity of your argument. . the reader knows what to expect in the essay that will follow. Note the way the authors respond to opposing arguments: Cal Thomas' article against stem cell research. 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. Below are examples of the kinds of evidence that you might use to build a strong argument. you risk appearing unsure of yourself. . What exactly is this debate that Mr. 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. Mr.generally ready for disagreement. however. however. a student might write a case study of an individual with Parkinson's to show how devastating the disease is. Sometimes writers like to "do away with the opposition" right away after the opening paragraph and then get into the position that the writer wants the reader to adopt in the rest of the essay. If there is to be any hope of resolving these issues. but . Then. because they do not touch on their fundamental belief that embryos are not human persons. Refuting Opposing Arguments If one fights a battle in an argument. there are many problems with this position. in your own writing you can discuss these arguments with phrases like "While . They work especially well as a complement to anecdotal or narrative examples to support an argument. That statement. however. articles by medical groups that promote stem cell research are not helpful. the author makes a strong and clear claim at the beginning of the essay. Take a look at the following arguments for an against stem cell research. we must debate when 169 ." etc. not to hide behind these quotes. and writes to convince those who disagree to change their minds. the reader will never accept the writer's claim. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. . . great or small. . . In an essay on Parkinson's Disease and the importance of stem cell research to find a cure. With this clarity established up front." or "X would seem like the answer.. 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). such studies can be very effective in showing readers the way more abstract or general principles have an effect in the real world. on real lives. there is an opposition that must be dealt with. . 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. Cite authority on a topic: quotations from experts used to back up (not replace) your points work very well. . Similarly. 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. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. or fails to be substantial enough to support a particular position. In each of these essays. well explained. evidence is key...". " thoughts. Evidence In argument. If you let others speak for you.
or a more serious. 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. because of this. or we die tomorrow. "Brittney got sick right after eating at the Bon Thai. even a topic outside of the field of expertise.. For example. I will not be eating there anymore. it is the assumption becuase B follows A.human personhood begins. we all should do it (believe it). particular when the issue. everything he has to say about anything. is controversial. don't like to go to the movies. it is important to know the knowledge level of one's audience in order to not waste time defining terms the reader already knows. Appeal to Emotion: This is an attempt to persuade by soliciting an emotional response such as pity or sympathy rather than evidence. I think old people. genetically modified foods. Logical Fallacies Logical fallacies are logical mistakes that fall into particular categories." False Dilemma: Occurs when two options are suggested. in-vitro fertilization. then abortion. when others may be available: "Either we do away with the automobile now.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. In addition. stem cell research. A writer needs to try and empathize with the reader. It is obvious he feels devastated by what he has done. Ad Hominem: "against the man" or "against the person. and also to check the arguments made by others for errors in logic." (Religious Tolerance) Audience It is very important to understand one's audience when making an argument. It might be useful to print these out and have them handy when checking your work. If we can reach a near consensus on this. passionate angle. "Just look at this poor man." Appeal to Authority: Suggests that because someone is an expert (or claims to be) on something. Would an objective. Why should we punish him unfairly?" Bandwagon Appeal: Peer pressure. man.. Damnation of your soul is completed with the first one. Or the numbers. in order to know how to talk to the reader. a bit of humor. B was caused by A. therefore. is true." Post Hoc: means "after this. such as abortion rights. For example. scholarly tone work best? The answer depends largely on who one is writing to. to understand the reader's biases and concerns. and what it would be best to talk about." 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." 170 . to avoid using too many terms the reader does not understand." In other words. once you decide to become a child-killer. Tone is a factor as well with readers: Would the reader respond to a more lighthearted tone. generally. stem cell research and other debates will neatly resolve themselves. or conversely. (Religious Tolerance) ". 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. their ages no longer matter. Hell. Since person A is doing it (believes it). Below is a list of the most common logical fallacies.
there are also major ones that destroy vast areas and take many lives. women." or "it") can also be used. details must be carefully selected to support.Slippery Slope Argument: Assumes that doing one thing will automatically lead to doing other things: "If you get a credit card. Two of them happened here. Conventions of Narrative Essays In writing your narrative essay. • • • Narratives are generally written in the first person. These details should create a unified. Narratives. Finally. sensory details to convey their point. should include these story conventions: a plot. Principles of Writing Narrative Essays Once an incident is chosen. you are going to end up in debt!" Narrative Essays As a mode of expository writing. forceful effect. 3. Comparison/Contrast Essays Though there are many little. We all have experiences lodged in our memories which are worthy of sharing with readers. a climax. to find relevance in that incident. second. more than any other. it can concern the writer. writers might ask themselves what about the incident provided new insights or awareness. the narrative approach. in the United States. almost unnoticeable earthquakes that happen all the time. 1." However. a dominant impression. writers first need to select an incident worthy of writing about and. writers must dredge up details which will make the incident real for readers. as stories. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole. Find a generalization which the story supports. and an ending. including setting and characters. keep the following conventions in mind. 2. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage. Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story. offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. In this stage. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it. men. To do this. and enhance the story. the writer should keep three principles in mind. Narratives rely on concrete. Remember to involve readers in the story. that is." "she. explain. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. using "I. third person ("he. or children of various ages and backgrounds. More information on sensory details is available. very 171 .
to make an argument -. Though these quakes are both very different. you show their differences. It was very costly to pay for the repairs that were to be made due to the damage. the San Francisco earthquake happened in 1906. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are two of these majorly destructive earthquakes. two ideas. lasted under a minute. When they are comparing and contrasting. and the Loma Prieta Earthquake happened in 1989. But. you can never be too prepared. but the Loma Prieta earthquake was weaker.7. First off. almost any kind of writing.000 injured. when you contrast things. Along with the strength of the earthquakes. and are caused by the San Andreas Fault line. they also have many surprising similarities. It taught people how to be prepared when there is a major earthquake.close to each other. Both of these even though caused major damage. Both earthquakes toppled buildings and houses. properties. there are also some not as well-know differences. the number of people killed was also different. 172 . to analyze things. Most earthquakes in the United States tend to occur in California. but the San Francisco earthquake might have taken a little less money to repair. They destroyed many houses. along with the obvious ones like the date and location. You can. over 3.to do. runs across different parts of California. their magnitudes are different. These types of earthquakes are life changing.757 injured. in fact. Even though they both happened on the same fault. The San Francisco earthquake and the Loma Prieta earthquake have may differences. you show their similarities.5 billion dollars to make repairs for the San Francisco quake.000 people were killed and about 225. The name of this fault line is the San Andreas Fault line. Now scientists have more education about how to build earthquake proof buildings and bridges. and probably do. the dates are different. These were very life changing events to anyone that was in either one of them or that had family in them. In the Loma Prieta earthquake. only about 63 people were killed. through the Santa Cruz Mountains.1. Both of them very destructive and had major impacts on society. these earthquakes are similar in some ways that you may not have known. on which both the earthquakes occurred. Both of these earthquakes also had subsequent fires. It took 6. Both of these powerful earthquakes happened in California. usually not for the better.25 magnitude. The San Francisco earthquake was around a 7.8. at about 7. When you compare things. like corsets and footbinding. to define things. In the San Francisco earthquake. The epicenter for both of these earthquakes was the Northern segment of the San Andreas Fault line. We can really understand only those things that are familiar to us or similar to things we already understand. most writers structure their essays one of four ways. This is because the fault line. and around 7 billion dollars to repair the Loma Prieta quake. buildings and lives. there is also some good that came out of this. so comparing and contrasting the unfamiliar with the familiar is one of the most important techniques for writing. Obviously. use comparison and contrast to describe things. Both of these earthquakes are horrible disasters. for example. This segment runs from Hollister. and about 3.
4.Compare according to a single organized idea.Each subtopic in Part I must also be discussed in Part II. To insure unity. noting the differences in structure that each presents. Use this pattern when you have only two principal similarities or differences. ►Pattern B: The Point-by-Point Method. . Present all the information about A.Choose items that are related in some way so they can be compared or contrasted. both comparison and contrast is used.Use transitional words or phrases to help the reader understand the similarities and differences in your subject. First compare. Either is acceptable. and then present parallel information about B. and then go to the parallel point about B. only differences. 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: . 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.Choose a method of development that works well with your organizing idea.Use specific and relevant examples for support. . but mixing patterns is not. Move to the next point. and give the reader the final ‘so what’ of the major similarities and/or differences that you discussed. ►Outlines of Sample Essays: 173 .1. This pattern tends to work better for shorter papers. . but more often than not. First do one idea. and those with few subtopics It can be used when you have three or more principal similarities or differences. take note of the following guidelines: . Comparison and Contrast Essays A comparison and contrast essay may discuss only similarities. then do the other.Subtopics should be discussed in the same order in both parts. ►Pattern A: The Block Method. summarizing the main points. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. then contrast (or vice versa). This pattern tends to work better for long papers and those with many subtopics. . . . 2. Present one point about A. Review the two patterns below carefully. . 3.Conclude your paper by restating your thesis. and do the same thing.Give equal treatment to both elements that you are discussing .Subtopics in Part II should generally include reminders of the point made about the same subtopic in Part I. Only compare or only contrast. The essay may be organised in one of two patterns.
Point 3: Para. IV. dogs need baths. Para. Point 2: Unlike cats. dogs need baths. 174 . then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different. Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding. Para.g. see the Transition Signals handout in the Writing Centre. dogs must be walked regularly. unlike. dogs must be trained. Para. II. Corsets and footbinding are different.Thesis: Although dogs are often called man’s best friend. Point-by-Point Method Outline: Point 1: Para. Point 2: Cats can exercise by themselves. Note that the transitions used in each outline (in contrast to. whereas) emphasise the distinction being made between cats and dogs. introduction Corsets and footbinding are similar. dogs must be trained. Point 2: Para. 4 Unlike cats. 2: In contrast to cats. Part B Point 1: In contrast to cats.. 5 Cats do not require training. Block Method Outline: Part A Point 1: Cats can clean themselves. III. then contrast (or vice versa). This structure focuses on the comparison and contrast instead of on the two ideas (e. conclusion A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. For a more detailed list of transitions. Point 3: Cats do not require training. dogs must be walked regularly. This method is probably the one used most commonly. Point 3: Whereas cats need no training. corsetry and footbinding) being compared and contrasted. First compare. 3 Cats can exercise by themselves. 1: Cats can clean themselves. I. 6 Whereas cats need no training. cats make more convenient pets.
175 . to write an essay that treats only the similarities or differences between ideas. introduction similarities (or differences) differences (or similarities) conclusion A quick outline that treats first corsets and then footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured.the logical movement is from thinking about similarities to thinking about differences. then the contrast will get emphasis . of course. The similarities and differences between the ideas do not begin to emerge until the writer gets to the second idea. but many evolve past it into something more flexible. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by taking important specific elements and looking at their similarities and differences. introduction element #1 element #2 element #3 . 1. the similarities get emphasis. If you begin by contrasting the ideas (and then move toward a comparison).. It is always possible.Clearly. This method requires real control over your subject. then do the other. It is as if the writer is comparing and contrasting (for example) footbinding to corsetry. Only compare or only contrast. the sequence is important. instead of corsetry and footbinding to each other. 2.. If you begin with the comparison. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by treating one idea thoroughly before taking up the second one. 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. First do one idea. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. This method is probably the one most students try first. A structure like this one seems more focused on the ideas being compared and contrasted than on the comparison and contrast itself. 3. A comparison/contrast essay like this one would probably focus only on those elements of the ideas that are explicitly comparable or contrasting.
Writers who only contrast ideas sometimes briefly summarize similarities in the conclusion so they don't leave the impression that they are thinking in opposites. related concepts to think about and places to look Analogical and metaphorical language: like and as Using lists in your writing: parallelism An Overview of the Writing Process Developing an Introduction Conclusions Essay Organization: The Flow Chart Approach Paragraph Development When Do I Begin a New Paragraph Cohesion Brainstorming Focused Freewriting Invention Questions for Argument and Persuasion Invention Questions for Writing about Cause and Effect Invention Questions for Comparing and Contrasting The various rhetorical modes and types of writing Narrative Description Definition Process Description Reaction Papers 176 . first describing what people shouldn't do and then ending . o Comparison/contrast is useful for more than an essay topic. o o Other. but besides its value in organizing an essay. Many teachers assign topics that ask writers to write an essay comparing and contrasting two or more ideas.o Writers who only compare two ideas sometimes briefly mention the contrast in the introduction and then move on so that they don't lead readers to think they can't make relevant distinctions.with a bang! . 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.with what they should.
both enhance man's value in the culture to be responsible for women who were too delicate to work. Every Chinese woman so bound was deformed for life. Corsetry o o o o o o Practiced in Sumaria. Both practiced by women on women. 1880s and 1890s. and into the 20th. Both practiced by women of all classes. Corsets trivialized by everybody since the end of the dress reform movement. only most extreme cases of tightlacing did permanent damage. A quick outline of how a paper treating one topic and then the other might look.women plowing fields in mud up to their ankles. 3. women bound feet. Effects on health: tight-lacing vs stays. Crete. focus in Western world. though most people imagine tight-lacing and footbinding were limited to the upper class. 177 . Henri II's queen: 15-inch waist with the help of the King's armorer. Corsets and footbinding are similar o o o Both practiced in the far past. 1. Both restrict women's movement and impair health. o 4. Corsets and footbinding are different o o Chinese culture is radically different from that of western Europe and America. Introduction 2. Women laced corsets. millennia ago. 1. Our misconceptions about class -. To use Veblen's argument. when women were looking at the possibilities of real contributions to the political debate. A quick outline of how a paper comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding might look. Footbinding o o o Earliest references. Survival rates and the effects on health. Introduction 2. through the 19th century.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. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Corsetry not exactly the same as tight-lacing. Dress Reform movement. o o 3.
Booth escaped the theater. slipped into the presidential box and shot the president. Eastern and western cultures. 11.o Any girl whose female relatives thought she might be able to marry up would bind her feet. Lasting into 20th century. Five hours later. Introduction 2. When the government made it illegal. Economic and cultural value of a helpless female to a powerful male. mounted a waiting horse. Acting as any doctor would with a stranger in distress. an actor named John Wilkes Booth. but broke his leg when he leaped from the president’s box seat to the stage. Cultural movements against tight-lacing and footbinding. Socio-economic class and tight-lacing and footbinding. 178 . Women's contributions to their own weakening. 9. Mudd On the night of April 14. Simone de Beauvior saw some. Booth and his companion arrived at the home of Samuel Mudd. Life magazine's photos. Dr. 5. 8. 1865—five days after the Civil War ended—President Abraham Lincoln was attending the theater in Washington. In the middle of the performance. 7. most women. o o 4. Extreme cases vs. Restrictions on women's movements. a doctor living in southern Maryland. 6. Conclusion Narrative essays The Story of Dr. Effects on women's health. A quick outline of how a paper treating only comparable and contrasting elements might look. 3. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. he limped out the back door. Mudd knew nothing about the assassination of the president. Before anybody could stop him. 10. Also. 1. seeking to avenge the defeat of the South. how women whose feet had been bound couldn't really unbind. D. at four o’clock in the morning. 4. and disappeared into the night with a fellow conspirator.C.
Good Doc Gone Bad. What sort of doctor was Dr. d. When the fever struck. Dr. because he was the only doctor on the island. He helped Booth get away. Dr. After a four-year struggle. In spite of the fact that the guards and other inmates called him “that Lincoln murderer. An Unfair Trial for a Fair Man. the one-time prison is accessible to visitors as part of Dry Tortugas National Park. he worked hard to fight the disease. Questions 4. Mudd volunteered his services. Mudd returned to Maryland to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. and tried on the charge that he was a friend of Booth’s and therefore helped plan the assassination. Today. c. humid climate was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. b. an island fortress about 120 miles west of the southern tip of Florida. What was the cause of Dr. The military courts wanted someone to pay for Lincoln’s death. But the military courts.he set the leg and persuaded the two travelers to stay in his house for the rest of the night. Dr. Again and again. A Prison Abandoned. Dr. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. Fort Jefferson was abandoned. Mudd? 179 . angry at the president’s death. sentenced the unfortunate doctor to life imprisonment. The warm. Mudd was arrested. using false names. these pests spread yellow fever germs to prisoners and guards alike. c. b. she secured a pardon for him—for a crime he never committed. He helped Booth assassinate Lincoln. Booth and his friend. paid the bill and departed. Mudd’s release. –PRETEST– 5 Because of this merciful act. even after he was infected himself. An alternative title for this passage might be a. his wife was working heroically back in Washington for her husband’s cause. The next morning. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. d. Meanwhile. Lincoln’s Assassination. taken to Washington. Dr. 5. Mudd insisted that he knew nothing of the plot. He lied to the military courts. Mudd’s conviction? a. 6. He had to fight the disease. Mudd was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson.” and treated him very badly. Soon after Dr.
wherever they live and whatever their occupation. 8. I 1 Giving examples is one of the easiest ways of developing of topic. Now look at the paragraph given under example 1 again. ii) techniques which itlvolve a second topic: e. cold-hearted. i. come in contact with animals in one way or another and have to deal with them. etc. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. It must be realized. Examples also add to the reader's interest. 1. he thought it would help get him a pardon. for instance. ILLUSTRATION In order to develop the central theme of a paragraph. It is an example of the development of a paragraph by using the technique of illustration. however. read example 3 given below. This can be done in a number of ways. We often introduce examples of illustrations by using expressions like for example. an example. that you can combine more than one technique in composing a paragraph. unfeeling 7. Now. Let us analyse the paragraph. depending on your purpose.a. definition. 2. 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. Examples given to develop the paragraph: i) the hunter ii) the farmer iii) ihe fisherman iv) the city-dweller 3. Topic sentence: The vast majority of people. Summing up: This is done by stating that there is a common bond between man and other creatures. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. You will notice that this paragraph is developed mainly by adding examples. Let's first look at this illustration. b. although some topics lend themselves more readily to certain kin$ of development than they do to other kinds. There are no rules about the kind of development to be adopted in any writing situation. illustration. generous. Read this sentence from the essay. sloppy b. d.e. you have to expand the idea contained in the topic sentence. Mudd fought the yellow fever outbreak at Fort Jefferson because a. and cause and effect.g. he was forced to by the prison warden. description. Example 3 (Development of a paragraph by illustration) 180 . the point you have stated in your topic sentence. Dr. there was no one else to treat the sick prisoners. He is also able to persuade the reader that the generalization is correct'because there are examples to support it. 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. greedy. the topic and the kind of reader you have in view. money-hungry d.g. by the technique of illiustration. e. caring c. 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. he didn’t want to get sick himself. c. careless.
.....All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first..... if deprived of their spinnerets..): 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..... Paragraphs (From Evans...........) :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............ Read the paragraph again and fill in the fo1lowi1..... Thousands'of yeung seals and young sea lions are drowned every year.. ii) ....... a bird flies by instinct... but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification......................... . ..... vi> . but are there from birth.......ed) The Natural Hisrocl of Nonsense.... will take to Development of hunting. iv ' .............. Ana!yse this paragraph.............. When you write a paragraph where you have to give examples to support your topic sentence. Alfred A Knopf....... but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species. Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners..... it gets in his way and seems more of a hindrance than a help until his parents show him what to do with it. hears or touches something................. indeed seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes...... It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for........ for they improve their talents with practice......... Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly........... B.......... instinct: ways of behaviour which are not based on learning or thinking.. iii) ...g. you should keep in mind that there should be enough examples to support your point... I...................... the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how birds sing without instruction... and older spiders. For example............! Glossary warm-blooded(adj.............g columns in the manner shown here: Names of Animals Skills to be developed i) Young birds and bats learn to fly........ modification: change web: a net of thin threads spun by the spider spinneret: an organ of certain spiders which produces a silky thread used in spinning a web Check Your Progress 3 This exercise will help you to understand how the paragraph has been developed.......... you remove your finger on touching something hot...) ! i ..... . for example.... v) .. and only attain perfection in their art in course oftime"............... each example should be logically related to your main idea............. e....................... Base yourself on the analysis done for Example I in 10 lines....... Insects.. 181 .. "begin by making quite primitive little webs...... What are the topic sentences in this paragraph? 2......... . ..... They never learn to swim naturally...... Young spiders.
(Note that the writer of the paragraph above does not merely list the examples. When you work with several causes or reasons. frost which causes small cracks on rock sides. I When developing a topic which is supported by reasons or causes. a good strategy is to begin with the least important cause and conclude with the most important.. Then. and so on.?' and then try to find the cause or effect of an event. that soften rocks.each example should be developed with interesting details. By far the greatest cause of erosion. to consider multiple causes. If the reasons follow a logical pattern. the organization is predetermined. which causes D. 11 Example 4 (Development of a paragraph by listing the causes) Hills. etc. and A in turn by B. i. You may. the results of' their helplessness and how they become self-sufficient. You may trace a chain of events in which A is the cause oPB. want to know the cause of your poor grades. is the action of water on rocks. But sometimes the reasons or causes may be parallel. 6. Millions of years in the future. (Adapted from Geogrpl~yby Dougal Dixon. The choice between one cause and several causes is often not a free option. but there may also be a chain of causes going back into the past. Franklin Watts in Science World) Glossary worn away: caused to disappear erosion: the action of wearing away 182 . Rainwater fallin: on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. not just one.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. and B by C. You may discuss one or more causal connections between events. Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it. or the effects or consequence of taking drugs. you can follow any of these patterns. there are likely to be many causes. you face the problem of arranging them in a significant order. all contributing to the same result. a direct cause or an indirect cause. strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in desert. your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion. For example.) the examples should represent a reasonable cross section of the group you are dealing with. remember to make it clear whether you are dealing with an immediate cause or an earlier cause.e. of deforestation. Cause Analysing the cause can be quite a complex task. a daughter's rebelling against her father and leaving home may have an apparent immediate cause. to account for all the links in the sequence of causes. Usually your topic will determine it.. for instance. however.. This softening is the first stage of erosion called weathering. but tells us in what way each of these animals is helpless. or of a bus accident. There are several forces of erosion: glaciers which cany rocks weighing \ thousands of tons. Thus. and to write about all the causes or reasons with details. When you write. which is the cause of C. if the main event is caused by A. and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. We often have occasions in our lives to ask "Why did it happen" or "What will happen if.
... Whtn it does. even your favourite hills will be worn away by erosion. / 2..... avalanches roar down into the valleys... the houses and building gaping caves: wide openings or cracks tidal waves: very large ocean waves avalanches: large masses of snow and ice.. Main effect: The great .( ii) . (i) ... Consider the terrifying statistics from the past..000 killed... which lists the causes of erosion.. In the year 1755: Lisbon. capital of Portugal--the city destroyed entirely and 450 killed: 1970: Peru --50. explosions are caused and fires are started.i t causes. its power is immense. whole buildings collapse.. Cause: The power of .... one must be careful to distinguish between the major and the minor ones... It follows a sequence where the less important causes are mentioned first....... huge tidal waves sweep inland. think of your own life.. Summing up: In a million years. But now the main idea is regarded as causing the consequences discussed in the rest c?f the paragraph. Example 5 (Developing a paragraph by listing effect) An earthquake strikes without warning. Fill in the blanks. Now........ the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village. Check Your Progress 4 1 .... For instance. If it strikes in mountain regions. The paragraph may deal with only a single effect or refer to several effects.... a) Causes of Erosion: glaciers frost strong wilds water b) Process of erosion by water 3.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 .. Gaping caves appear in busy streets.. If it strikes a modern city.. The following exercise will help you understand the organization of the paragraph abcve... You have just read and analysed a paragraph. what were thp_ reasons which led you to join the IGNOU Computer Programme? Jot down your reasons. sliding down a mountain side terrifying: filling with terror In earlier sections we analysed some of the paragraphs for you....... Effects Effects or consequences can be handled in much the same way as reasons or causes.. (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.. Underground railways are wrecked..... dams burst.... Topic sentence: "Hills and mountain are-slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion".. On land 183 . Gas mains burst. If several consequences are listed..... followed by the most important cause.. Bridges fall.. If the quake strikes at sea.
. from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power..... Cause Effect .i.. IX Effect the sun Man's .. Often however. and plants provide food for inan and also for animals... In such a link....... the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect........ ....n.. together with sunlight. of ... The paragraph below illustrates such a chain.. In the first place. Oxford University Press......] 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 .. forming a chain where A gives rise to B..... 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...... rain.. I1 .. One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers... . B is both a consequence of A and the cause of C.. blain Cause Main Effect Indirect effect : ... Cause and Effect We have discussed a paragraph which gives reasons to support a topic. 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.... Effect Cause .. [from Anita Debska: IJpgrade your English.. At the same time. Now write down what you think will be'the results.. 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.. by its light and warmth the sun directly creates rhe necessary conditions for man's survival.....v .... In Check Your Progress 4 you noted the reasons foi joining the IGNOU Computers programra. cause and effect are more closely related. and a paragraph which deals with effects.... 111 . B to C and to C and so on. enables plants to grow... iv ..... Check Your Progress 6 1.. Secondly the sun indirectly provides man with water....Effect.... which are themselves another source of food for man..... you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph............ . 184 .. and ... of consequences of your joining this program. By filling in the gaps below. Jtainfall Rainfall formatio...
xi ... need the support of specific examples... Occasionally maps show not only the roads.... You have already noted the reasons for your joining the JGNOU Computers-programme and the effect it will have on your future career.... Now write a paragraph of about 150 words combining both'the reasons and the consequences of your joining IGNOU.....................C............ It shows not only roads.... For example.... Composition and Sopetimes a definition is used in the rnjdst of other forms of writing..... 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. Topic sentence. but pictures of other features. "democracy" etc........ which relates to concepts such as "freedom"...... Arctic explorers have obtained considerable help from maps of the coast lines showing settlements. examples.. You Ir.. The concept "bride" cannot be defined in such a manner... i Example 7 (Paragraph developed by definition) A map is a representation of anarea of land.. One of the earliest such maps dates from about 1400 B... Plants ...Lakes and rivers water and .... and for this purpose extended definitions are useful..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... Check Your Progress 8 1...5 DEFINITION Often when we write....... both in our thinking and writing....... drawn by Eskimo people. i ...... xii ..... especially if we feel that our readers may not be familiar with it....... .... This is done by adding details like uses. and sometimes the definition itself Study Skills becomes the focus of a piece of writing. being different from something else.. and a canal with crocodiles and a bridge over the canal.. and stating what it is not.... for man and ...... we need to explain what something is or means.......x.. we often require extended definitions....... and explorers find that they are used in rather primitive societies at the present time by people who are accustomed to travelling. sea... but also lakes with fish.... Maps have been used since the earliest civilisations.. ........ viii. . being similar to something else.. or sky.... This generally happens when we use technical terns or when we want to give our own meaning to an ordinary word..... .... This is somewhat similar to 185 .v........ Rain + ... .. ...v ii . 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......... In fact... component parts...
for example. which weigh only a few grams.): animals which have a backbone secreted: produced varied: of different kinds shrew: a very small mouse-like animal with a long pointed nose 6. and so on. We often compare our teachers." Generalisation: "Maps have been used . to replace some of the nouns with pronouns and avoid unnecessary repetitions. comparison and contrast dominate our thoughts when we decide to join a particular college or university. (C. 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.. and even when we buy a particular brand of tooth paste. iv) A mammals is a warm-blooded vertebrate that has four limbs and a hairy skin. but pictures of other features Example: Maps of both ancient and modern times Check Your Progress 9 1.the modem maps of a state which show for each large town some feature of interest or the chief products of 'that town. the food served at different restaurants. mainly because we tend to think that way. In fact comparison and contrast are common devices in writing. You will need. The paragraph should be arranged in the following order: Definition Generalization by differentiation Examples (2 examples) 4 i Generalisation iI I You may make any changes in the language and introduce any connectives you feel are required to write a smoothly flowing passage. Sometimes a topic can be developed by showing how two things are alike or how they are different. Hence comparison and contrast are a continuous process in our 186 . 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.C. who are accustomed to travelling." Example: Arctic explorers Generalisation: Occasionally maps show not only the roads. sea or sky. the blue Whale which is 150 tons. V) Mammals are an extremely varied group. Use the sentences given beiow to write a paragraph on Mammals.. I I I I i) Mammals differ from the other vertebrates in their system of reproduction. to shrews. ranging in size from the largest mammal. Glossary vertebrates (n.6 COMPARISON AND CONTRAST So far we have been discussing ways of developing paragraphs which deal with only one topic. the cities we have been to. Our decisions are often based on comparison and contrast. For instance. our neighbors. when we choose a career or a job.
and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. what action it shall take to avoid predators. Reason: Subject I : People Subject 2: Monkeys . first. Example 9 (Developing a paragraph by contrast) We live on the planet Earth. Check Your Progress 10 Write a paragraph on the following topic. Glossary Study Skills hierarchy (n. a ball of rock 12. the making of quick decisions.. they will only be able to reach decisions quickly if some kind of hierarchy is established. 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. (Adapted form "The Primates" by Eimerl. ! There are a lot of similarities between an infant and a very old person's dependence on others.750 km in diameter. for example There are two ways of arranging information when comparing or contrasting things. Every jury needs its foreman. iii) We wish to show the superiority of one thing over another when we compare two cars. 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. ii) We wish to clarify the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar. consequence of total equality. Time-life Series) Con~positiona nd. Whenever. Like all the planets the Earth rotates on its 187 . Some forin of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly. The points to develop the paragraph are given below.): 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. They permit. I. The same is true of monkeys. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move. S. 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. 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 .people are brought together.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... every cricket team needs a captain. You may ! develop these points and add any others that you wish. which direction it shall follow. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. and De Vors.lives. Both are extremely dependent on others. and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality. Summing up: 'Sorne form of leadership is essential .
. 3 airless... geological activity: activity which relates to the physical changes in the structure of the earth.............. orbits: goes round volcanoes: mountains with large openings at the top through which melting rock...... especially relating to rock............. ...... The Earth.. The expressions of contrast 1isted.........plants.. It has a companion on its travels ........ birds.. The moon. 2 has volcanoes 3 ........ soil. steam. escape from time to tinie with great force from inside the earth........ which we can breathe. .. Analysis of the Paragraph: 1 .. the Eaith is covered by an atmosphere.... But the earth is not alone.... In contrast.. very cold during the night First sentence: The northern and southern poles are different in many ways... is lush and fertile...... Glossary rotates: turns around a fixed point axis: an imaginary line around which a spinning body moves. But the two worlds are very different..... The moon Check Your Progress 12 The earth 1 ... More rainful less rainfall 188 ... . It supports millions of living things ...... on the other hand has fascinating erupting volcanoes since it has no atmosphere to protect it. etc..... Fill in the gips in the following table to show the contrast between the moon and the earth...here mzy also help you in developing the paragraph..... It has no volcanoes or geological activity... Write a paragraph of your own contrasting the Arctic and the Antarctic regions. it is airless..... etc lush: thickly and healthily growing (especially plants) erupting: expleding and pouring out fire 4 Check Your Progress 11 Unlike Example 8....... and cools to ..which orbits the Earth once a month..... on the other hand... This exercise is to help you analyse the paragraph... 4 has atmosphere 5 .. 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..... gases. insects. What is the topic sentence? 2...axis and orbits the sun. The first sentence and some points describing the two regions are given below..... the paragraph in Example 9 has been organized by talking about the earth and contrasting it with the moon... 5 very hot during th'e day... and which also keeps the temperature quite constant. animals and human beings...155 C at night.. 2 ..!... waterless and lifeless 4 ..the moon ..... I 1 lush and fertile 1. Its surface is heated to 105 C during its day.. The Moon is a dead planet....... waterless and lifeless.
on the other hand. can be distiiiguished from. You i should now be able to use these techniques in writing paragraphs on iifferent'topics. but. such as illustration. yet. Development of Paragraphs Expressions of contrast: different ti. . writing.Much plant life empty desert. . cause and effect. and comparison a. . We have also discussed different techniques of developing paragraphs. whereas. 189 . . ! i b KEY woms Antarctic Arctic cause comparison contrast definition description .ld contrast. despite the fact that.om.. 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. etc. although. LET US SUM UP In Unit 6 we have introduced you to the elements that go into the organisation of a good paragraph. Exploited for trade no trade at all . while. definition. such as the topic sentence and the development of the topic.
Use them to describe people. adjectives. he/she should have his/her homework ready. in fact. Agree in number A singular pronoun must be used for a singular noun. your writing will greatly improve. Agree in person Do not switch back and forth in your writing from the first person (I) to the second (you) or third (he. make your essay a unique piece. or things in a sentence. If you learn these common errors and how to avoid or correct them. her. and prepositions. adverbs. Correct: When a person comes to class. (Whose laptop?) Correct: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. she will graduate. objects. First person pronouns: I. Correct: If the student passes this course. Too much soccer isn’t good for him. they. 3. you do not need to become a strict grammarian in order to write well. they. they sometimes confuse even professional writers. 1-PARTS OF SPEECH Some parts of speech are more difficult than others. Following are the four most challenging ones as they pertain to your writing: pronouns. it). Therefore. the focus of this chapter is on those errors that occur most frequently.Mechanics 39 The majority of grammar. them Incorrect: When a person comes to class. 2. they will graduate. she. Be a specific reference to a noun It should be obvious to your reader to which noun the pronoun refers. The rules of mechanics are complex. Who is they? Correct: It has been years since the school board spent money on new textbooks. and capitalization mistakes are just a few dozen common ones. places. Too few adjectives will make a personal statement a boring play-byplay that doesn’t tell the reader anything about the writer. They should: 1. too. (What isn’t good for him? Reading. and situations to make the reader understand your point of view and see things the way you have seen them. with usage explanations and examples. A-PRONOUNS Pronouns refer back to or take the place of nouns. me. we. you should have your homework ready. more than any others. However. playing soccer. punctuation. Incorrect: It has been years since they spent money on new textbooks. Incorrect: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. Incorrect: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. but it isn’t good for him. These words. No matter how original an idea you come up with. C-ADVERBS 190 . she. 41 B-ADJECTIVES Adjectives describe or modify nouns or pronouns. and we took her laptop. and we took Nancy’s laptop. or both?) Correct: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. us Second: you Third: he. him. he should play some basketball. Incorrect: If the student passes this course. Adjectives add information by describing people. the inability to express yourself clearly and accurately through the written word will hinder the success of your essay.
unnecessary prepositions should be avoided. it sounds much more natural to say “That’s all I can think of” than “That’s all of which I can think. the sentence would read. good describes the verb played. These necessary prepositions are always used in combination with their respective supported words. Poor form: I cleaned up under the kitchen cabinets. It is perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition. abruptly. In the following sentence. Below are two examples of required prepositions—the preposition is in italics and the supported word is underlined. Good form: They looked outside the house for the lost cat. For example. if it makes the sentence flow better. The first sentence uses the preposition on to describe the spatial relationship between the box and the desk. The second sentence uses the preposition after to describe the time relationship between holiday and birthday.” PREPOSITIONS Prepositions are connecting words that link a noun or pronoun to another word in a sentence. especially in your essay. However. Remember that when two or more prepositions are used together. in popular speech. The holiday that follows immediately after your birthday is Valentine’s Day. Examples The box on your desk is your birthday present. which describe verbs. They are often used to show a relationship of space or time. quickly. good. the adverb that causes the most errors is not a typical-ly form. 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. As an adjective. Poor form: They looked outside of the house for the lost cat. good is used to describe nouns. are easily spotted because most of them end in -ly. Good form: She likes all sports except soccer.” 191 . none is more famous than: Never end a sentence with preposition!While this rule holds true for many situations. such as slowly.Adverbs. The correct word to use in such instances is the adverb well. chances are at least one is unnecessary. In the following sentence. Common prepositional phrases: account for agree upon angry with argue about compare to correspond with differ from different than identical to independent of interested in speak with Alternate Endings Of all the rules governing prepositions. Poor form: She likes all sports except for soccer. 2. Using them unnecessarily Because it is so important in your essay to get to the point concisely. it is not an absolute. which s incorrect: I played good in the basketball game. It is important to remember that they must always be used together: You must account for every item in your club’s budget. Good form: I cleaned under the kitchen cabinets. “I played well in the basketball game. The meal consists of eight separate courses. Confusing prepositional phrases Certain words must always be followed by certain prepositions. Well is commonly confused with its adjective counterpart. On your desk and after your birthday are prepositional phrases. Written correctly. good describes the noun pasta: The pasta ume last night was good.
Correct: Tim and Fran are a great couple. 44 A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. the modifier is just in the wrong place. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. I had to have the cafeteria unlocked. the modifying phrase “meeting with student government” should be moved to the beginning of the sentence. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. as with dangling modifiers. and then pair it with the correct verb form. are easily fixed by rearranging word order. or does it sound like a college professor? Prepositions should not be used in an attempt to add importance or weight to your writing. Correct: Meeting with student government this morning. first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. Here are some acceptable and unacceptable examples. he was distracted by the noisy construction job. (plural subject takes plural verb) 192 . Did the cafeteria meet with student government? To say exactly what is meant. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. • Incorrect:While practicing outside with the soccer team.What would the statement sound like if you kept—or dropped—the preposition? Does it sound like you. The danger of misplaced modifiers. NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT Nouns and verbs must agree in number. Incorrect: I had to have the cafeteria unlocked meeting with student government this morning. 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. • Incorrect:While working on his English assignment. Note that the unacceptable sentences could be improved simply by dropping the preposition at the end. (Was the computer working on the assignment?) • Correct: While Tony was working on his English assignment. Note that correcting a dangling participle involves adding and/or rearranging the words in a sentence to make the meaning clear. the noisy construction job distracted Jim. his computer crashed. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 43 Many times short questions are ended in prepositions. Since it is so critical that your reader understand your point easily and exactly. Incorrect: Tim and Fran is a great couple. OR The noisy construction job distracted Jim while he was practicing outside with the soccer team. is that they confuse meaning. no extra words are needed.The best technique for deciding to keep or remove prepositions at the end of sentences is to use your ear. Correct: While Jim was practicing outside with the soccer team. though sometimes difficult to recognize. 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. dangling modifiers (and indeed any ambiguous language) must be avoided. It isn’t dangling. To achieve subject-verb agreement.Tony’s computer crashed.
Incorrect: There is too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. it should be used only when necessary. Fragments are often missing a subject or verb. the verb agrees with the closest subject. they include two complete clauses or sentences. Cried a lot. Active: I misplaced my wallet. Correct: Here is the report you asked me to write. and here is and here are. you literally become the source. singular subject is connected by or or nor. Can’t go to the store.Common examples include sentences that begin with there is and there are.) _ ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE The active voice is much more effective in conveying your personality through your essay. written in the passive voice. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 45 NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT CHECKLIST The more complex the sentence. they are phrases that are not whole thoughts.Incorrect: One of my friends are going to your school. Here are some guidelines that may help you: ✔ If a compound.) ✔ If a compound.Run-on sentences don’t stop soon enough. (Neither a fast bike nor perfect trails are going to help you to win if you do not train. Compare these sentences: Active: My friend asked for another helping. but it conveys your meaning more easily. Correct: One of my friends is going to yourt school. are clunky and noticeably longer. The two most common mistakes at the sentence level are extremes. RUN-ON SENTENCES A run-on sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses or complete sentences 193 . and may be dependent clauses. and then match it to the correct verb. Not only is the active voice clearer and more direct. Passive: Another helping was asked for by my friend. Examples At the zoo. the verb must be singular. In the passive voice. and expresses a fully developed thought. Passive: Three finalists for the open position have been selected by the administration. (Neither the 10-speed nor the hybrid is appropriate for a trail race. or lack focus.The second sentences. does not express a complete thought. Sentences written in the passive voice tend to be too wordy. (Both the 10-speed and the hybrid are appropriate for the bike race.) ✔ If one plural and one singular subject are connected by or or nor.When editing your work. Passive:My wallet was misplaced by me. the verb must be plural. however. Correct:There are too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. In the active voice. although punctuated as a sentence. The good news is that passive-voice errors are easy to omit from your writing. the more difficult it is to determine noun/verb agreement. Active: The administration has selected three finalists for the open position. the subject (most often you) is acted upon. Fragments also can be phrases or parts of other sentences. (singular subject takes singular verb) Agreement may be difficult to determine when the noun follows the verb. of the action. Note the simplicity and directness of the first sentence in each pair. Sentence fragments stop too quickly. remember to first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. _ SENTENCE STRUCTURE A complete sentence requires a noun and verb. For these reasons. or cause. singular subject is connected by and. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS A sentence fragment is a group of words that. When we finished the game. Incorrect: Here are the report you asked me to write.
we decide to take a walk. we decided to take a walk. and has been taught to you numerous times during your education. Break up the sentence by inserting a semi colon between two clauses. Use a dash to separate parts of the sentence. those covered in this section are the ones that present the most challenges to their users. it pays to review it. Use a comma and a conjunction (and. not. all verbs should be in the past tense. Here are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. but tense shifts account for a large share of grammatical errors. too. nor. Incorrect:We hardly never see movies. Correct: Last year the governor said he would campaign for our candidate. yet) to set apart an independent clause. you have a negative. after. 48 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics _ PUNCTUATION There are dozens of different punctuation marks in the English language. Examples Incorrect: When we finished our lunch. Incorrect: Last year the governor said he is campaigning for our candidate.While the information may seem simple.With proper punctuation your writing will be more polished and technically correct. but. 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. If you are using those words. and nor. never. 4.placed together into one sentence without proper punctuation. Eliminate them from your writing. since. neither. Break up the run-on sentence into two or more complete sentences. OR Last year the governor said he was campaigning for our candidate. so. for. 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. Kim studied hard for the test that’s why he got an A. when describing an event in the past. 1. Remember that hardly and barely are negatives. Incorrect: Mary doesn’t like neither of those books. and while). This seems like an obvious point. and obscures meaning. Correct: When we finished our lunch. _ DOUBLE NEGATIVES The use of double negatives is unnecessary and incorrect. Incorrect: There aren’t no tickets left. Examples We were hungry and John was tired so we had to stop at the first rest area that we saw. Correct:We hardly ever see movies. Correct: Vegans don’t eat dairy products or meat. 5. Incorrect: Vegans don’t eat dairy products nor meat. Correct: Mary doesn’t like either of those books. TAKE NOTE There are more negatives than just the obvious no. 2. and will convey your voice more directly. For instance. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent. As with verb tense shifts. or. Eight rules cover 194 . Correct: There aren’t any tickets left. Add a dependent clause (use words such as because. and may obscure meaning. 3. THE APOSTROPHE Apostrophes (’) are used to indicate ownership and to form contractions. so you do not need to double up.
even though some may end in s: Our car is up for sale. in hyphenated words. The students’ grades improved each semester. Add ’s to form the singular possessive. My street address contains three 5’s. Apostrophes form contractions by taking the place of the missing letter or number. Indefinite pronouns show ownership by the addition of ’s: Everyone’s hearts were in the right place. they can be used to convey your voice as they speed up or slow down the pace of your sentences. Perkins’s persuasive essay was very convincing. The second i is removed. 2. Use an ’s to form the plurals of letters. 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. 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. Good form: She is going to write the next proposal. THE COMMA Correct usage of commas (. The project was the result of a year’s worth of work. its does not contain an apostrophe. as well as certain expressions of time and money. Somebody’s dog was barking all night. The Future Farmers of America’s meeting was moved to Monday. and replaced by an apostrophe. If they don’t. you need the possessive form. I went to visit my great-grandfather’s alma mater. Mr. His handwriting is difficult to read. figures.) is not as critical to the meaning of your sentences as it is with other punctuation marks. ITS VERSUS IT’S Unlike most possessives. 3. and numbers used as words. It was no one’s fault that we lost the game. The line for the women’s restroom was too long. If they make sense. 8. Consider the difference in tone of the following example: Sentence A: During my junior year. Poor form: We’re going out of town next week. Your garden is beautiful. Possessive plural nouns already ending in s need only the apostrophe added: The customers’ access codes are confidential. I attended a conference in Washington. The word it’s is instead a contraction of the words it is. 7. 6. and in joint ownership: Sam and Janet’s graduation was three months ago. Good form: We are going out of town next week. When revising your writing. even when the noun ends in s: The school’s lunchroom needs to be cleaned. He packed a week’s worth of clothing. its. The flight attendants’ uniforms were blue and white. Poor form: She’s going to write the next proposal. 5. Men’s shirts come in a variety of neck sizes. say the words it is when you come across it’s or its. Do not use contractions in highly formal written presentations. you should be using the contraction. without an apostrophe.However. 4. Possessive pronouns never have apostrophes. Show possession in the last word when using names of organizations and businesses. Good form: My supervisor was in the class of 1989. The drummer’s solo received a standing ovation. Poor form: My supervisor was in the class of ’89. 1.all of the situations in which they may appear. 195 .
and oranges.D. we raised the most money for the local charity.. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. Sentence B reads quicker. commas are often misused. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. But if the serial comma is dropped. Correct: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she attends a seminar each month and has been a professional for over twenty years. To correct a comma splice. 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. because. In addition to helping to convey your voice and personality. It creates a run-on sentence. Therefore. Cindy. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 51 While its use has been debated for centuries. Cindy. OR Our school received an award because we raised the most money for the local charity. it could be understood as Cindy being told that Ann and Sally were hired. you can either: ■ replace the comma with a period. There are two common errors that all college-bound students should be aware of: the comma splice. D. Ann. conveying the information faster and with equal weight on each part. after the word and. and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. 50 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Sentence B: During my junior year I attended a conference in Washington. giving a little more information with each clause. and religion. Sentence A sounds more deliberate. 196 . Ann and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office.C. Corrected sentence: Our school received an award. and religion. physics. American literature. and the serial comma. the serial comma clarifies the meaning of sentences. In the sentence. Correct: He signed up for four classes: geometry.we raised the most money for the local charity. in the following example. We raised the most money for the local charity. Serial Comma A serial comma is the one used last in a list of items. American literature. physics. I bought bananas.C. apples. or so Comma splice: Our school received an award. forming two sentences ■ replace the comma with a semicolon ■ join the two clauses with a conjunction such as and. Incorrect:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he graduated Summa Cum Laude. you should use it consistently whenever writing a list. For instance. Comma Splice A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to connect two complete sentences. ■ A restatement or elaboration of the previous clause Incorrect: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she is also the mother of two children. Correct:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. OR Our school received an award. The lack of a serial comma can cause confusion. the message is straightforward. the comma after apples is the serial comma: At the store.
and any other important words of a title 5. Florida. This can be effective in your essay.“I know why this happened. so she adopted them all. the pronoun I. places. ■ The active voice is not only clearer and more direct.” It sounds more authoritative. and any contractions made with it _ FOR YOUR REVIEW ■ Pronouns. but because you never want to appear pompous. ■ Nouns and verbs must agree in number. My teacher wasn’t in class today. ■ Use semicolons to separate items in a series that contain commas. accounting for a majority of usage errors. _ CAPITALIZATION Capitalization is necessary both for specific words and to start sentences and quotes. Both create ambiguity and can change the meaning of a sentence. Use it instead of the passive voice whenever possible. adjectives.Massachusetts. dirty. and things) 3. many writers overuse it. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses joined without a conjunction. Examples: The dates for our meetings are Monday. Amherst. He had to fly to Houston to present a paper. she received a low grade. They present information more confidently and forcefully than if the sentence were divided in two other types of punctuation marks. only one received credit for it. ■ A dangling participle is a phrase or clause. 52 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics ■ Use semicolons to separate independent clauses. the first word of a sentence 2.Colons have the effect of sounding authoritative.with the colon. and ill. has the tone that conveys. adverbs. Example: The strays were malnourished. even if the clauses are joined by a conjunction. languages 6. January 10. Nebraska. A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. Consider the following: My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. October 11. Example: Four people worked on the project.and to separate the items in a list when those items contain commas. She has lived in Omaha. There are just six occasions that require capitalization: 1. ■ Avoid the two most common mistakes at the sentence level: sentence fragments 197 . and Pensacola. the first. but Liz had a weakness for kittens. The first example. the first word of a complete quotation.) may be used in two ways: to separate independent clauses. Learn the common errors to eliminate them from your writing. Nutley. therefore. and I am going to tell you. Tuesday. THE SEMICOLON Semicolons (. using a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies. and thus appear overly casual. and prepositions are the most challenging parts of speech. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. April 14. last. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that are connected with a conjunctive adverb that expresses a relationship between clauses. New Jersey. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. but not a partial quotation 4. July 7. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. but it conveys your meaning more easily. Case: Use a semicolon to show which sets of items go together. and Tuesday. it should be used sparingly.Monday. Example: Victoria was absent frequently.However. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that contain commas. proper nouns (names of people.
etc. Using capitalization in any other way can make your writing appear too casual. one welldeveloped and the other not so well-developed: At one time or another. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. As with verb tense shifts. whether that idea is declared in a topic sentence in the beginning. exemplification.and run-on sentences. ■ Proper punctuation makes your essay more polished and technically correct. and when to add more evidence versus greater depth of explanation or detail. It isn’t like anyone would mistake a parking lot for anything else. What does a well-developed paragraph look like? A well-developed paragraph is a complete paragraph. ■ The use of double negatives is unnecessary and redundant. The parking lot always has a prominent place right in front of an establishment and sometimes even surrounds the building. The reader learns why the writer believes in an idea. or Mediterranean cooking is healthy. They’ll probably notice the area is crowded and dirty. Rows upon rows of boundaries for individual driving units lined up one after another. definition. such as determining when and where more development is needed. Most visitors to San Francisco will list Chinatown as a must-see “tourist” destination." become concrete and specific in the well-developed paragraph. You would never look at a parking lot and think to yourself that maybe it is a park or a playground or an airstrip. It has a controlling idea. A parking lot is a parking lot." The author. and it helps to convey your voice. yellow or white lines glowing on a background of blacktop. A seemingly empty topic. Be certain each sentence contains one complete thought. The features of most parking lots are not so different. below the traditional Chinese arch. Paragraph Development Good paragraph development is a mark of a writer's investment in a topic. And more than likely the vacation photos will include a picture of them standing at entrance to China Town. or even sloppy. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent and can obscure meaning. everyone who has a car will inevitably use a parking lot. The thoughtful detail in the first paragraph shows a much more engaged writer than the writer of the second paragraph. like "Volleyball is a great sport”. General statements. ■ There are six occasions that require capitalization. students will learn techniques of good paragraph development. The tourist will eat lunch or dinner in one of several Chinese Cuisine restaurants. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. In this module.—taking a general concept and making it real. middle. ■ Be consistent with verb tenses. explanation. the writer then explores the significance of that topic through one or more methods of development—reflection. Do not shift from one tense to another unless it is necessary. a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business. When visiting the area they will be inundated with shops. just take a look at these example paragraphs. Rich 198 . Everything else in the paragraph is there to show the reader the validity and significance of that idea. 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. or whether the idea is implied. To see the difference good development makes. or end of the paragraph. parking lots. With the main idea established.
As Hayakawa points out. and no sense of a writer's mind and voice behind the words. And so. a quick break-down of the chart to explain distribution of funds is all that is really needed here. and we can agree on what dogs are generally like. A paragraph should include sentences at varying levels—the topic sentence or controlling idea being the most general or abstract. in his influential book Language in Thought and Action. even if the word causes the particularities of Bandit. the controlling idea "Democracy is the foundation of a good community" will need extensive explanation and exemplification to be a convincing point. The politician relies on such abstract statements. another individual may associate all dogs with the vicious Dachsund that bit his ankle. I. 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. and another for massage therapy professionals. they learn nothing new. receive no insight." Health care benefits is a phrase at a fairly high level of abstraction: it can refer to anything from coverage of hospital expenses. General to Specific & Abstract to Concrete Development. what the candidate is thinking is anyone's guess. for example. dogs as pack animals. we would have a hard time sharing ideas: for example. and the biting Dachsund to drop away. stays at the surface of the topic. 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. Brutus. readers are only reminded of what they already know.Motherwell. even before people had cars! The author of the second paragraph. two paragraphs with identical arguments can have radically different development plans if the audiences are different: A paragraph discussing the ways massage therapy can help a person recover from muscle injuries will have one kind of development for patients.. With the word "dog. 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. to coverage of prescription drugs. we need both abstract and concrete language for communication. A useful way to think about developing paragraphs is to think about levels of detail. talks about a "ladder of abstraction" as a tool for thinking about good communication. A well-developed paragraph has a clear controlling idea. and an 199 . Some paragraphs are composed of only a single sentence.. providing cliché generalizations about what the tourist will find to do in Chinatown. or make emergency care free to everyone over 65. Hayakawa.. and supporting sentences having more specific and/or concrete development." we can talk about dogs as companions. and detail that brings that idea to life. In making decisions about development. on the other hand. without ever getting specific or concrete. in the abstract statement. But other ideas can be developed in a sentence or two. Some ideas are complex and will need extensive explanation and/or exemplification. Brutus. while some paragraphs are up to a page long. Without abstractions and generalizations. we need the word "dog" in order to communicate and to find common ground. the controlling idea determines how much development is needed and how long the paragraph is going to be. dogs as descendents of wolves. S. And so. each of us has our own image of "dog" in our minds. if we stay at a general level. "A Pie chart help us see where company money is going". Examine every sentence to see if it might deserve further explanation or exemplification. helps readers re-see a familiar space in passages like this one where he gets readers to realize that we have always needed parking. "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. to co-pay expenses. For example. a good writer asks. etc. we risk leaving our communications wide open for interpretation. one person may think of her Chihuahua. When trying to decide on length. In addition. San Francisco. Try and think like your reader. a politican might (quite intentionally) say "If elected. Ask yourself if a reader would benefit from hearing more about a particular point. another of his family's German Shepherd. On the other hand. or if there is already enough information to make the controlling idea seem valid and interesting. As a result. I will increase health care benefits for seniors. Bandit. as in this example.
the Sex Pistols. you already use patterns of development to express yourself. Everyone knew the words to "Burning Down the House." and "Lost in the Supermarket.unquestioning public. The figure to the right demonstrates how one might go down the ladder of abstraction and provide such references in a discussion of music.K. take a look at a paragraph that goes down through all of the levels of abstraction above: As a teenager in the eighties. a reader expects to get concrete information and a new perspective or new insight. and to hear a person's unique voice. as Hayakawa points out. In an abstract statement. When you show someone how to make an omelette. or change a tire. when you describe what your roomate looks like when she gets up in the morning you are using "description"." "New Wave" also emerged as a kind of toned down. a reader will rarely accept a series of generalizations as text worth reading. 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. 1. synthesized version of punk music. a more humorous and satirical version of punk." were played at every party. words should be "referable" to lower levels of abstraction. Some of it was great. In a written text. 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. and B52's songs like "Planet Clare. and The Clash pruducing amazing off-the-radio tracks like "Blitzkrieg Bop. Now. and this voice comes out in the details rather than in the broad generalization. however. in hindsight) by "Haircut" bands like Flock of Seagulls ("I ran") and the Thompson Twins ("Lies")." and "Psycho Killer. doing great numbers like "Jump. I was exposed to exciting new movements in rock music. you are 200 . when you offer several reasons why you are late for an appointment. Write a paragraph that is complete and developed with concrete detail on the following topic: why cell phones are so popular 2. Yet there was some pretty bad new-wave music as well (at least I see that now." "Anarchy in the U." and "Bad Reputation. you are using a pattern of development called "process analysis". radio-acceptable. headbanging punk music took off with bands like the Ramones. A good paragraph goes down the ladder of abstraction to provide these references." and "Rock Lobster. 80's rock included real extremes: big-hair metal bands like Van Halen and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts arrived on the scene." by the Talking Heads. think in terms of levels of detail. Whether you are aware of it or not." And edgy. to win elections. To write well-developed paragraphs.
and you will need to make conscious decisions about which strategies best develops your ideas. Use common patterns of development effectively in their own writing. Objectives: By the end of this module students should be able to • • Identify common patterns of development used in written works. 201 . Learning to use these patterns of development in writing is not difficult: you will need to familiarize yourself with key transitional expressions that send a signal to the reader that a particular pattern is being used. and when you tell the story of your first date.using cause and effect. you are using narration.
Reviewing any good high classification.everything in short. description.longleaf. journalism Development students sometimes develop the habit of writing Annotated examples of narration. (The process permission. In nonprofit educational use. May not besuccession. reprinted elsewhere withoutexposition. and persuasion. 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.) Contact. definition. paragraphs can be developed into well focused What follows is an (imaginary) article invented to illustrate many of the "modes of discourse"--the © 1999. description. 202 . definition. classification.school writing handbook will remind you that process analysis. process analysis. May be used by teachers fortraditional methods by which writing is developed. The following paragraphs have been devised in an attempt to emphasize the characteristics of each mode of writing. In most writing. by Gerald Grow. in typical "how to" style. Available at: analysis paragraph has been broken into a bulleted http://www.unrelated to one another. these modes are mixed in natural combinations. narration frequently includes description. andconsiderable thought has been given to how longer persuasion.net/ggrow/ list. concise writing. the following paragraphs are narration. PhD Division of Journalism Florida A&M University presentations of single units of thought.Seven Types of ParagraphIn their pursuit of clear. choppy paragraphs that are exposition. for example.
tree-frogs chirruped. inches from his face. Across the distant forest floated two muffled hoots from a barred owl. she was awake. was outside in the darkness also breathed. something rustled in the leaves right outside the window. a conflict. He felt for the flashlight beside his bunk. the "story" components are: a protagonist (Hanson). a goal (to camp). Then. too. It was too quiet. He lay in the dark listening. In this paragraph. stifling them. You always have the comforting knowledge that other people are all around you. It was the darkest dark he had ever seen. whatever. At home in New Jersey. a setting (the park).Narration Around 2 a. and a resolution. Specific details always help a story. It was gone. He found where his pants were hanging and. A narrative differs from a mere listing of events. comforting sounds of traffic. crickets sang. an obstacle (nature). you point them in the direction of a story. Time and place and person are normally established. You don't just lay the words on the page. And light: At home he can read in bed by the glow of the streetlight. the nights are filled with the busy. Even starlight failed to penetrate the 80-foot canopy of trees the camper was parked beneath. something woke Charles Hanson up. This narrative serves as the opening anecdote that illustrates the topic of the story • • Top 204 . and the huge silence of the night seemed to come inside the camper.m. It was then he decided to pack up and move to a motel. He heard his wife. It was too quiet. a climax (his panic). Outside. hold her breath. as he felt the pockets for a box of matches. And much too dark. Wanda. Narration usually contains characters. Something felt wrong. a setting. and a resolution (leaving). but so does interpretive language. Comments on narration: • • • Normally chronological (though sometimes uses flashbacks) A sequential presentation of the events that add up to a story.
writers solve this problem by citing authorities who have good credentials and good reason to be experts in the subject. "Several times a month. Comments on exposition: • • Exposition is explanatory writing Exposition can be an incidental part of a description or a narration." ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said. according to Florida park rangers. hundreds of visitors suffer each year. or it can be the heart of an article Aside from clarity. specifies the topic of the article. why it is important. "people get scared and leave the park in the middle of the night. after an indirect opening. What makes your explanation believable? Normally. and what is to come. the key problem with exposition is credibility. Not that there was anything wrong with the park: The hikers camped next to them loved the wild isolation of it." Those people picked the wrong kind of park to visit. 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. they might have stayed in a place they loved. If they had known about the different kinds of parks in Florida. • • Top 206 .Exposition This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that. This paragraph also happens to serve as the justifier or "nut graf" for the little article: the paragraph that.
picnic. ranging from acres of RVs ringed around recreation halls." and even the ones called "parks" come in several varieties. Comments on definition: • Never define anything by the "according to Webster's" method. a park is a place to go for outdoor recreation-to swim. Basically. paddle your canoe. • 208 . because there are so many kinds of parks. Saying what something is NOT can help readers. hike. Florida has a rich variety of parks. Meaning is found in the world. Bring the world into your story and use it to define your terms. to impenetrable mangrove wilderness. not in the dictionary.Definition "Park" is difficult to define in Florida. not all of them are called "parks. play tennis. and. To make things more complicated. but make a strong effort to say what it IS. camp. in some places take rides in miniature trains or swish down a waterslide. walk the dog.
Pay special attention to the sound and rhythm of words. walls of dense river swamp rise before you. interesting. Farther from the river. as in this example. Be especially careful to make real observations. In the midst of this lovely setting. use these when you can. you find 65 campsites.Description O'Leno is a good example of a state park in Florida. 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. Go light on adjectives and adverbs. Use sensory language. Description requires you to record a series of detailed observations. the river rises three miles downstream in a big boil. After appearing intermittently in scattered sinkholes. left to right. 18 rustic cabins. The success of a description lies in the difference between what a reader can imagine and what you actually saw and recorded. old to new. Look for ways to describe action. person. Think of description as a little narrative in which the visual characteristics unfold in a natural. in what order. but what readers need to see in order to imagine the scene. Try making the description a little dramatic revelation. then continues on to meet the Suwannee and the sea. and a pavilion for group meetings. shaded woods of a beautiful hardwood forest. the Santa Fe River disappears in a large. and canoeing up this dark river is like traveling backwards in time in the direction of original Florida. sudden sinkholes open in the woodlands-rich with cool ferns and mosses. or. Surrounded by the tall. dramatic order. tree-lined pool. Comments on description: • Description is not what you saw. Think of what pieces readers need. Portray. like watching an actor put on a 210 • • • • • . from that gap arises a spark of engagement. down a river. cool waters of the Santa Fe. Nearby. A diving platform marks a good place to swim in the soft. to construct a scene. object. slowly swirling. etc. stands of cypress mirror themselves in the still waters. to give your description a natural flow. Adopt a strategy that makes your description into a little story: move from far to near. expanses of longleaf pinelands stretch across rolling hills. Also evoke. The key problem in description is to avoid being static or flat.
" Once you commit to a "down" or "across" strategy. and the criteria by which they will be compared. list the two items being compared. If you do not make such a chart. If you want to fish near town. you have to be careful to step over the picnic baskets. Lloyd Beach is busy with fishermen till well past midnight. Lloyd Beach is a place of boisterous activity. draw up a chart and fill it in. Comments on comparison: • There is a helpful technique for writing a comparison. or dive into the busy bustle of an urban beach. 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. to make certain you have all the elements necessary to write a comparison. then the next category. By contrast. At night. 212 • Top . or take the first category. umbrellas. O'Leno is the park to visit. Before writing a comparison. near Fort Lauderdale. and browning bodies. your comparisons will benefit. As in the model below. Where O'Leno gives you so much quiet you can hear the leaves whispering. When you walk at Lloyd Beach. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area. Lloyd Beach is the place to go. and so on "across the rows. Either describe all of O'Leno and compare it to all of Lloyd Beach by working "down" columns two and three. But if you want to stand at the edge of civilization and look across time into an older natural world. there is a chance you will have a hole in your comparison. You can walk a few yards in O'Leno and pass beyond every sign of human civilization. is dominated by the oily bodies of sun-worshippers who crowd into it every summer weekend. stick with it till the end of the comparison. "noise" and compare the two parks in terms of it.Comparison Forest and river dominate O'Leno State Park. jam boxes. If you follow it. O'Leno Lloyd Beach quiet noisy solitude busy crowds available river to swim Atlantic beach and canoe forest abundant. O'Leno wraps itself with the silence of crickets and owls.
Then isolate the steps: number then. • • • • • • Now you are ready to move in. Finally. Lift the pole on the opposite side of the tent in the same way. To form an awning. limbs. Comments on process analysis: • In describing how a process happens or how to perform a series of actions. Assemble the two remaining tent poles in a similar manner. Unfold the tent so that the corners of the waterproof bottom form a square. Prop up the awning with the two remaining poles and secure them with guyropes. After you have all four poles in place. but this time. though it is easier with two. Put the steps into sequence. always think of your readers: can they follow this? Analyze the process into a series of steps. One person can set up the FamilyProof Tent. Peg down the corners of the bottom. fit it into the upper end of the standing pole before securing its guywire. Place a pole near each of the pegs. and anything that might pierce the bottom of the tent. Together all four external tentpoles (they are held together by shock cords to ake sure you get the pieces matched up). pretend you are reading an article on how to put up a particular brand of tent. you will need to make camp.] When you find the park you are looking for. so that the pole is held up by the guyrope and the pegs on opposing sides of the tent bottom. lift one of the poles. snAP Test. yet almost impossible with three or more. clear a 9 by 9 foot area of snags. 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 • • • • . use bullets. While holding the pole up.Process Analysis [Note: I couldn't think of a way to write the following paragraphs that followed naturally from the previous material. Next. Here's how: • First. For the next paragraph. unroll the front flAP Test. Thread each pole through the two loops leading toward the top of the tent. pull its guyrope tight and peg the guyrope down.
and what your options are. and utterances. but not strong.net/ggrow> Description Subjective Description: Writers use descriptive paragraphs most often in fiction. they will be glad they read your article. It was nevertheless. pretty with the insipid 215 . their appearance. Self-interest with her was high. If you can help them formulate and deepen that opinion. This can make all the difference in the quality of your vacation. and take action. plan ahead. Find out what parks are available. and don't wind up on a concrete RV pad when you really want the forest primeval. Description of characters. • • • Top Gerald Grow's Homepage at <http://www. "OK. Comments on persuasion: • This paragraph is but a small example of the kind of writing used widely in editorials and columns. make their own judgments. 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. Warm with the fancies of youth. as she had been half afffectionately termed by the family. her guiding characteristic. Get good information on what to expect.longleaf." Description of time and place draws readers into other worlds and sets the stage where a story can unfold. helps us imagine what people are like. Remember: Readers are interested in only one opinion--their own." or "The mountains loomed above them. Just think of lines like "It was a dark and stormy night. mannerisms. was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis. and it uses a direct. analysis. as in this description of Caroline Meeber by Theodore Dreiser in his novel Sister Carrie: Caroline. or Sister Carrie. and what they are like.Persuasion Before you go camping in Florida. more is needed than your opinion or sense of conviction. and context they need to form their own opinions. You need to supply them with the information. Don't wind up in the wilds when you want to be near Disney World. now get up and act!" To persuade people to change their minds or take an action.
is being aware of one's own biases. the writer attempts to stay away from emotional impressions or responses. 216 .prettiness of the formative period. In these writing situations. analyze or argue. The leaf sinuses are rounded. People huddled inside their coats. while those of red maple are widest at the base. Good supporting details could include "The morning air felt damp and cold. she was a fair example of the middle American class . (50–80 ft. ethnic and cultural background. unlike those of red maple (Acer rubrum) which are sharply Vshaped. Writing Description: Whether your goal is to write objective or subjective description. . Narration A narrative is a story. Nothing should be included in the paragraph that does not support the controlling idea. too. "It was a gloomy morning. What a writer notices and chooses to describe as well as what a writer leaves out of a description is influenced by many factors: the purpose for writing. the details must be organized in a meaningful way on the page. getting past biases can be difficult. In subjective description. For example. a narrative paragraph can be effective at drawing the reader in and establishing your voice in the essay. and instead report what is seen." In an objective description. or other writing in which the goal is to present an objective picture of an object or scene. the sides of terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel. and will tune in to a story when their eyes glaze over at other styles of writing. For instance. 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. the author is describing an impression of what is observed. Objective Description: Description is also used in reportorial and scientific writing. . " (Dreiser 1) In this type of description. . Therefore. deciduous tree usually ranging from 15–25 m. your paragraph should have a clear controlling idea so that your reader knows what to do with your descriptive details. tapering to the tip. Also. becoming ridged and furrowed with age. as in the following example: The Acer barbatum is a small to medium-sized. organizing details around clear controlling ideas is essential. In both subjective and objective description. 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. Even when your purpose is to write an essay that is primarily to inform. storytelling can be very effective for the simple reason that people love to hear stories.) tall when mature. or person to be described as objectively as possible and the descriptive details of the paragraph should add substance to the main point. if your reader is to understand what your observations mean." is an example of a dominant impression. however. the controlling idea should identify the object. possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence. that controlling idea should be a dominant impression of a particular scene or person. . as a video camera records a scene. cultural contexts for writing. the writer's age. (Sieberling) It is important to note that while being objective may be a writer's goal. with a few blunt teeth but no serrations. part of writing good objective description. As a method of development. scene. Supporting details should help the reader understand the dominant impression. You may experience a scene or a person as a holistic impression. . Leaves are opposite and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed. how the writer feels about the subject. at the beginning of an essay on the problems caused by excessive instant messaging by young teens. and gender. Bark is light gray and smooth on younger trees.
and then I clumb up into the forks of a cottonwood that was out of reach." By virtue of the linear arrangement of these sentences on the page. However. I worked along under the trees. besides. then. later. Good writers. Concrete and Specific Detail: Descriptive details in a narrative paragraph are essential to a good story. but maybe it was luckier I didn't. narrative paragraphs are characterized by words that show action and words that show sequence. Consider the folllowing narrative paragraph from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. By and by I begin to hear guns a good ways off." Below are some of the common transitional expressions used in narrative writing: meanwhile. choosing concrete and specific expressions. For the most part. 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. A new paragraph will begin when the scene changes. eventually. Further shots take the reader into the scene emphasizing details and actions that will take place in that scene. a controlling idea is important. 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. Details help readers to connect to the world the author envisions. too These phrases do call attention to themselves. In a narrative paragraph it is useful to think of paragraphs as scenes. . There was a wood-rank four foot high a little ways in front of the tree. therefore. 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. here and there. / He loved her. also. spend a lot of time trying to find the right words for their meaning. For example. rather than abstract or general ones. moreover. . so it is wise to use logic most of the time to show sequence." 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. 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. Consider the difference between the general and specific. 217 . However. in the previous paragraph from Huckleberry Finn. talking. transitions are needed to emphasize important time relationships. soon. logical sequence of actions supplies the narrative sequence: "I took off. second. because it gives the reader information about what to do with the details that follow. I heard guns . and watched. the controlling idea for the scene is "I took up the river road as hard as I could put. in addition. . running. first. Therefore. the reader assumes the actions take place in sequence. . etc. and first I was going to hide behind that. finally. as in the phrase "by and by. 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. furthermore. even in a narrative paragraph. and the controlling idea as a kind of wide angle shot on the scene.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.
this is for "all wet behinda ears" Newbies. for example. If you're at all experienced at this sort of thing. Some process analysis writing is intended for an audience that needs to learn how to perform a process themselves. My name is Joe and I'm going to give you a few simple lessons on how to make a Web Page. The writer must have a clear sense of the audience in order to know what to include. and how to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina." "second. and how formal or informal to be. Other process analysis writing is informative rather than instructional. quitting smoking. what to leave out. Part of your revision process should included finding concrete and specific expressions for your ideas. / It was a beautiful sunset. examples of this type include how to resolve the healthcare crisis. Writing a Process Analysis Sequence: Typically.html or . and so are presented in chronological order. You'll be happy to learn that it's really pretty simple. then you really are newbie!! Take a quick detour for a few ramblings on the subject)." to indicate the sequence in which steps are to be taken. a HTML file to be exact.." "then. and rays of brighter gold fanned across the sky into the high clouds above. (If you are unclear about this file extension stuff. Some process analyses work on both levels. A reader can imagine specific things far more readily than general concepts. It's called HTML because web page documents have the file extension ." and "finally. The concrete and specific expressions get a reader's attention far more effectively than the abstract and general expressions do.. The basic idea is this. Process analysis paragraphs also depend on transitional expressions such as "first. 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. Process Analysis A process analysis is a discussion of the steps one must take to achieve a particular end. the steps in the process being described happen in sequence over time. how technical to be. 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. As the sun passed under the horizon. for example. I must warn you though. the reader reads such texts for understanding as well as instruction. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. / She was scared. but other steps must be taken by corporations and governments as well.Her hands were shaking and she was afraid her knees would not support her. you'll probably find this tutorial a bit of a yawner. fixing a bent bicycle wheel. (Barta) Example 2: 218 . finding a good job. Audience: Audience awareness is extremely important in process analysis writing.htm. the sky turned hot pink and gold. A web page is nothing more than a file.
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. take the time to decide who you think your audience is going to be. you could end up with all the wrong things. Otherwise it will not be read properly by a web browser. If you are asked to write a classification paragraph or essay. For example. Make sure that when you save your document. The first way is to create the page(s) offline and then upload them to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) via FTP. a student might write an essay about the problems created in society by the cell phone. In writing an essay involving division and/or classification. In division. Neighborhoods are ranked by prospective home buyers according to criteria such as schools. soundtracks. the second author is formal and more detached. Once you have created your page(s)." and "server. country life. dividing these problems into categories—cell phones as a social problem. and hotels are ranked and classified according to quality. "plain text" or "text only" document. crime rate. a country twang in his vocals. we develop criteria for the items in a subcategory based on relationships between the items. and write for that audience." "Telnet. The second way is to create your web page(s) online using a Telnet program by accessing your UNIX account. "There are three main problems associated with living across from a highschool: noise. 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. if you have one. Consider your favorite music store: the compact discs are organized into many subcategories such as country. Division & Classification Division and classification are related methods for organizing objects or information. you will need to contact your ISP about how to go about uploading them to your server. a classification system is used in the military to rank officers. knowing your goal is also important. etc. dance music. Using Division and Classification in Your Writing: To use division and classification successfullly. you could have sleepwear suited for a warm bed rather than a cold forest floor. If you are creating your web page(s) offline. be sure to examine the writing prompt to see if your instructor is looking for you to develop a complete classification system that allows one to evaluate items according to specific criteria. Classification sometimes refers to a ranking system by which things or persons are evaluated. etc. the sick. for this student. the elderly. Division and classification make it easy for individuals to locate what they are looking for. themes of heartache. (Web Page) Both examples show how to build a web page." The first author assumes his audience has no knowledge of key terms. but these organizational methods are also useful for understanding complex problems or issues: For example. we divide a general category of things into smaller subcategories. you save it as a "text". trash. homesickness. your system for dividing and/or classifying information may not meet your needs. and other features. the authors take different tones with the reader. and cell phones as a cause of accidents and physical 219 . For example.There are basically two ways to make a web page. and those who are unable to find work—we are better able to combat the crisis. The second author assumes the reader is familiar with terms like "FTP. medical professionals are better able to analyze the disease. and by looking at different groups suffering from poverty—for example. classical." In classification. For example. and traffic congestion. rock. cleanliness. world music. The first author is very informal and friendly (even including a smiling cartoon of himself). When writing your own process analysis paragraph. jazz. Without this sense of purpose. etc. For example. hip-hop. or uncomfortable street shoes to hike in rather than hiking boots. if you pack for a camping trip without taking the context of your trip in mind. do so in any text editing or word processing document. noise. you must first have a strong sense of purpose. by dividing cancer into more than 100 different types. In addition.
ever-ascending. You know you will never get to the end of the journey." In a classification paragraph. no matter which form it takes. or the criteria that chacterize items in a group. an adorable pancreas? (Jean Kerr) Using illustration in your writing: Once you have a clear sense of an idea you want to illustrate. But this. The key to a good illustration. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening." Every day you may make progress. Yet as Einstein says.) Illustration You may associated the word "illustration" with images that accompany a story in a picture book. for example. or a statistic. who never lets her hair down. got so crazy last night. Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. Illustration also refers more generally to clarification through exemplification. (Winston Churchill) I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. as in "There are two main problems associated with . 220 . .and equally foolish.injury—will help the student develop a clear argument. and appearance would not be an effective system for this argument." or "Ponds have several characteristics that differentiate them from lakes. so far from discouraging. " or "We can proceed in one of three ways. in illustrated books. but the emphasis is likely to be on the ranking of the different divisions. The illustration may be one long. What do you want. Writers use examples to make a general idea clear—to illustrate an idea. . the picture helps to illuminate or clarify the meaning in the text. only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. "Most states recognize two types of murder." 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. the topic sentence might also involve enumeration. ever-improving path. It may be a story. an anecdote. Every step may be fruitful. It feels clean and right. convenience. however. is that it sheds light on the general idea. Consider the following examples: I am surprised that Margot. a quotation. Classifying cell phones according to size. as in the following example. extended example. We assassinate microbes with hand soap. you need to decide on the form of illustration you will use: A series of examples or statistical information can be persuasive. or it may be several short examples. price. That's deep enough. 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. "Before God we are all equally wise . 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. Topic sentence in division and classification paragraphs: Typically. mouthwash and bathroom cleaners.
a writer should be as objective as possible." He also said. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.Diebold employees. This technique is useful if you are exploring a complex idea. when she made a startling discovery. Definition is very important in the sciences. Certain bacteria normally live on parts of your body. the writer's goal is to help the reader understand new terms or concepts. . and the skin." Harris said. making the idea clear and real. "Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. or a biography. . A writer may wish to define complex terms such as "heartache. Consider this paragraph about Caeser Chavez from Wikipedia: Chávez was an ethical vegan and vocal advocate of animal rights. 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. thanks to Harris' discovery. and when impressions are essential.a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office -. definitions can be more subjective. they say. Diebold hadn't password-protected the file or secured the audit log. He stated. bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence. . election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line -. long illustration allows you to get in depth and explore facets of an idea. the intestinal and urinary tracts. The answer. on the other hand. Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access -. "It was getting scarier and scarier." Harris said. . economic deprival. such as the mouth and upper respiratory system. ("Bacterial") 221 . 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. searching the Internet for an electronic voting machine manual. .could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence. but only certain bacteria commonly cause endocarditis. voting activist Bev Harris was holed up in the basement of her three-story house in Renton. "I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom." "luck. Some surgical and dental procedures cause a brief bacteremia. or to come to new understanding of terms they may be familiar with. In the humanities. dog fighting and cock fighting. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema. A single. Bacteremia is common after many invasive procedures. the writer should strive to use analogies and impressions that the reader can readily identify with. irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election -." Over the past year. In defining scientific terms. Washington. . doubts about the accuracy and integrity of e-voting equipment have been growing. This technique is useful when you are writing a literary analysis. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves.But some scientists say we're overdoing it. (Keim) In each paragraph.and change votes without leaving a trace. "I was thinking we have an immense problem here that's much bigger than me. is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria. where the terminology is extensive and discipline-specific. Racism." (Wikipedia) Definition In a definition paragraph. "There was a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been there. (Zetter) You may also choose to use quotations to illustrate an idea. the main idea is developed through a list of concrete examples. as in the following illustration from an essay on e-voting. ." or "democracy" in a personal way.
in a particular paragraph. a writer begins with a particular cause. However. “Have you no sense of decency." which refers to a head scarf women wore in mediaeval Europe. The last thing I need is for somebody to make it harder by pointing out what an “idiot” I am. the slang term "wimp" comes from the term "wimple. By what it is similar to: Comparison and analogy help us understand things that are unfamiliar to us. or what it does can be an important part of definition. as Mr. for now he is really in trouble. I would like it known that I am not an “idiot. For example. paragraph emphasizing effect: Jack should never have quit his job. By its effect: Discussing what effects the subject produces is important with certain subjects or in certain contexts. Cause & Effect A cause and effect development techniques are typically discussed together. In a paragraph emphasizing the effects of something. in an essay on global warming. . He goes on to give examples of his idiocy and then conclude that his idiocy is just not his fault. I have had to struggle to keep from thinking of myself in the limiting way that word implies. a definition of CO2 emissions emphasizing the consequences of these emissions to the environment would be important. Physical features as well as behaviors (as in animal or cell behavior) may be a part of this type of definition. and then provide clear detail to support the definition. So. “[I]diot” is not a nice word to call somebody. as in the above definition of "idiocy. one or the other will be emphasized. A paragraph emphasizing the causes of something typically begins with an effect. a writer must identify the term being defined. (Frazer) The second paragraph is taken from an essay-length definition of "idiocy" by Ian Frazer. A definition can be developed in a number of ways. The method(s) you choose should be determined by the term you are defining. By function: how something works. we can get a pretty good sense of what something is like. then explores the consequences or effects of this cause. Look at the examples below: paragraph emphasizing causes: Several factors contributed to the instability of the economy today. for the record. Welch did of Senator Joseph McCarthy. . and I find myself asking. By example: Giving examples illustrating what the term means can be highly effective. by learning what it is not. Writing Definitions: To write a definition paragraph (or essay). 222 . Below are some common methods of definition: By characteristics or features: Scientific definitions typically rely on this type of definition. or what it is lacking. sir?” Throughout my life." By its origins: Providing a history of what a term has meant can help us understand its current meaning. By what it is not: Ironically. the purpose of the paragraph is to explore how that effect came to be—to show what caused it.” I am a person who suffers from idiocy. Nobody knows what it is like to deal with crippling bouts of idiocy while trying to lead a normal life. For example. provide a basic or general definition. Exploring the evolution of the term could yield interesting insight into the connotations of the contemporary term.Subjective Definition: .
It is not Ok to write "There are several causes and effects for . in spite of this fact. and. solid evidence. is caused by Words and phrases showing consequence: as a result. the stuff of strange dreams: the lights of factories make the factories seem like fantastic fairy palaces. dismal factory town. " A controlling idea like this merely establishes a fact." is severely workful and practical. For example. if one chooses to emphasize the thorns of the rose. and eventually dies. 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. 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. all analogies break down at some point. and why it is important to discuss a cause and effect relationship in the first place. a rare beauty in nature. taking notes. A rose blooms. it follows. mythological giants. Analysis In an analysis paragraph. The author analyzes scenes from the text to support an interpretation of their significance in the larger context of the novel: In Hard Times. . analogies are quite 223 . is due to. Once a writer has developed an interpretation of or conclusion about a subject. mad elephants. a writer might analyze the setting in a short story to better understand the theme of the story. and careful explanation of the significance of the evidence. then. of course. in the moonlight the steam-engines cast shadows on the walls which seem like the shadows of the Titans. evidence must be selected that best supports the interpretation or conclusion. one explains something that is difficult to understand through comparison with something that is more readily understood. The writer presents several examples as evidence for this interpretation. Analogy Analogy can be highly effective for extended definitions because in analogy. lumbering up and down are melancholy. no purpose has been identified for discussing the cause and effect relationship. 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. disorienting places. consequently. Using transition words to emphasize cause and effect relationships between ideas is useful. therefore. or a detective might write an analysis of evidence found at a crime scene to support a conclusion about the perpetrator of the crime. Finally. however. For example. doing research. since. Rather a cynical view of love in the end. a complex experience like falling in love might be explained in a rose analogy. "Coketown.Writing a cause & effect paragraph or essay: In a cause and/or effect paragraph. the writer needs to know which factor to emphasize: causes or effects. Yet. Words and phrases showing cause: because. There are no perfect analogies. the goal is to understand a subject by examining its parts. and the smoke from the chimneys is like coiled serpents. it is delicate and beautiful. . the looms in the factories seem a forest. the steam engines themselves. 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. Charles Dickens suggests that everything in the sooty. and then deciding what the evidence suggests. but it also has thorns. there are moments when the city becomes fantastic and disorienting. Take a look at the following example of an analysis of setting in the novel Hard Times. Writing an Analysis Paragraph: Strong analysis depends on a clear sense of purpose. for this reason. The overall argument here is that Charles Dickens wants readers to see 19th century factory towns as strange.
or the analogy won't work. and announces to all within hearing the nature of his transgression. we should draw the proper conclusion. And then sold into slavery. to be sure. This is the parable's middle: the solution of the problem. A good way to get started is to use the phrase (subject) is like .useful. . like a barreling freight train that he didn't hear or see coming. 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. say—in which they are enjoying each other's company and generally having a wonderful time. Writing an analogy: Writing analogy is one of the more difficult forms of writing. . and that is to be expected. in turn. Do not discuss the disadvantages. but it can be entered only on two conditions. Take a look at the famous analogies below to see how the process works . the exegeses. Being born is like being kidnapped. But then a waitress approaches their table. when developing your analogy. perhaps all too aware of their own vulnerability on other matters. Answer given: 2. intimations of the way to redemption. Furthermore. She. . as for example in all sanitary napkin. For example. Answer given: Another important element of a good paragraph is unity. In the Ring parable. Every good paragraph has a unity. the explication. 1. there is a path to redemption. exacting and very close to unforgiving. and he forgives her with an adoring smile. although she is. but this time they are free of the waitress's probing eyes and bitter social chastisement. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using analogy to develop your idea. In some parables. but it can also be a lot of fun. Search your brain for the features of your subject and see if you can think of other subjects that share these features. and an end. comfortably traditional. A married couple is depicted in some relaxed setting—a restaurant. if your paragraph is about the advantages of owning a compact car. it 224 . sneers with cold contempt. Consider Neil Postman's analogy between a certain kind of preachy television commercial and religious parables that "put forward a concept of sin. a middle. . discuss only that. and a vision of Heaven": The narrative structure of the Parable of the Ring around the Collar is. mouthwash. make sure that there are no key features of the items being compared that are obviously incompatible. but key features of the items being compared should be present in both subjects. The story has a beginning. indeed. —Andy Warhol No matter how much Bill Gates may claim otherwise. This is the parable's beginning: the presentation of the problem. But in lost parables. for she is the source of his shame. This is the parable's end: the moral. From this. . Answer given: 3. every analogy eventually breaks down. which means that only one main idea is discussed. . Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using illustration to develop your idea. he missed the Internet. the waitress serves the function of counselor. Finally. As mentioned earlier. assumes an expression of self-loathing mixed with a touch of self-pity. The first requires that you be open to advice or social criticism from those who are more enlightened. stares at it boldly. and aspirin commercials. we are shown the couple in the restaurant once again. The parable is highly useful in explaining the stress such television commercials cause the viewer. She proudly shows her husband what she is doing. —Jim Clark Finally. As demonstrated in the Ring Parable. The man is humiliated and glares at his wife with scorn. shampoo. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using narration to develop your idea. notices that the man has a dirty collar. the advisers are amiable and sympathetic. . the adviser is rather more sarcastic than severe.
In China. such as gas economy.000. In Kenya.is a good idea for beginning academic writer to discuss only one advantage. In Kenya. the United Kingdom. 23 B. you could mention inflation' as a factor. There is evidence that in the United States. you are getting off the topic. Zambia. but 225 . of course. if you are writing a paragraph about the high cost of college tuition. In Central and Eastern Europe. virus to their children during pregnancy and childbirth or when breast-feeding. there were an estimated 10. Do not include any information that does not directly support the topic sentence. Zambia. Australia. 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. to 100. Kenya. you could discuss gas economy and low maintenance costs in the same paragraph because they are closely related. The following short essay has not been divided into paragraphs. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. 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. drug users who share needles may become infected. In China. Rwanda. Tanzania. and New Zealand. In China. Uganda. and your paragraph will not have unity. and Zimbabwe. Paragraph 2 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. and this total grew ten-fold. Rwanda. Rwanda. but you should not discuss both gas economy and easier parking in the same paragraph because they are not closely related." These are called irrelevant sentences For example. PRACTICE A." In Kenya. The main method of transmission is. If you begin to discuss another advantage. new medicines are available that prolong the lives of people with HIV. However. In the countries of sub Saharan Africa.000 HIV infected persons at the end of 1993. and in some areas. Sometimes students write supporting sentences that are "off the topic. Zambia. start a new paragraph. Paragraph 3 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world.000. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago.000 HIV-infected persons at the end of 1993. to 100. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. there were an estimated 10. In Central and Eastern Europe. These statistics illustrate with frightening clarity that HIV/AIDS is still a major health problem in most areas of the world. Uganda. Tanzania. In Central and Eastern Europe. and this total grew ten-fold. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV and in some areas. The virus is also transmitted through blood and blood products. and in some areas. HIV infection rates are skyrocketing among sex workers. Malawi. HIV infection rates are declining. there were an estimated 10. For example. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. to 100. in each paragraph. by the end of 1995. and Zimbabwe. the rate is 40 percent. the rate of infection climbed from 9 percent to 38 percent between 1992 and 1995. the rate is 40 percent. Tanzania. Mothers can give the HIV. Malawi. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. II. which accounts for 75 to 85 percent of infections. This is a result of a combination of prevention methods. and Zimbabwe. Malawi. 80 percent of sex workers are infected.000 HIV IV infected persons at the end of 1993. the rate is 40 percent. if you write several sentences about inflation.000. Uganda. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV.' In Nairobi. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. and this total grew ten-fold. by the end of 1995. 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. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. Study the three paragraphs that follow. by the end of 1995. at least among males. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. For example. unprotected sex. Around the world. and in Vietnam.
Rhetoric. is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but. and Rhetoric Logic. A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. Logic. it is referred to only indirectly. with their emphasis on coordination. The topic is never analyzed directly. The rhetorical system of one language is neither better nor worse than the rhetorical system of another language. does not follow the English rule of paragraph-unity. D Both of the following paragraphs have not only two or more topics. which are based on Anglo-European cultural patterns. English logic and English rhetoric. or traversing slippery glaciers. they axe choosing to spend their vacations rafting down wild rivers. maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination. a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. or high-speed skateboarding. are linear . the student may have difficulty reading an essay written by the rules of English rhetoric unless he/she understands the "logical" differences from those of his/her own native tongue. backcountry snowboarding. a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive. STEP I Locate and underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. More and more often. Soccer is also becoming popular in the United States. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic. 226 . the topic is viewed from a variety of angles. Skysurfing rivals skydiving and bungee jumping for the amount of thrills.it should contain six: an introductory paragraph. Again. Furthermore. Young people especially are increasingly willing to risk life and limb while mountain biking. therefore. Spanish rhetoric. 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. the Arabic and Persian styles of writing. Therefore. use an indirect approach. Ordinary people axe no longer content to spend their two weeks away from the office resting on a sunny beach in Hawaii. STEP 2 Decide where each new paragraph should begin. Culture. which is basis of rhetoric. In either case. however. comes from culture. such a development in an English paragraph is awkward and unnecessarily vogue to an English reader.(Where does the author begin to discuss a different topic?) STEP 3 Underline the first sentence of each paragraph. C. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea. in which people jump out of airplanes with graphite boards attached to their feet. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence. four body paragraphs. the flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. STEP 1 Read the entire essay once or twice. In English. Some Asian writers. therefore. 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. but also irrelevant sentences. Also. Paragraph I Adventure travel is the hot trend in the tourism industry. In summary. where it was not well known until recently. Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. but it is different. the writer often digresses into areas that are not directly related to the topic. One of the riskiest new sports is skysurfing. Whereas English writers use a linear sequence. In this kind of writing. STEP I Decide where each paragraph should be divided into two or more paragraphs. a good English paragraph begins with a general statement of its content and then carefully develops that statement with a series of specific illustrations. on the other hand.that is.and risk. hiking through steamy rain forests. and a concluding paragraph. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digressions. Paragraph 2 Daredevil sports are also becoming popular. People of all ages axe choosing educational study tours for their vacations. seem awkward and immature to an English reader. it is not universal. climbing the world's highest mountains.
That day is decades away. there are a few occasions when they are not. Paragraph 2 Even when you try to be polite. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. 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. PLAN A Feature 1 — Describe X. the largest percent. He says. it's easy to do the wrong thing inadvertently in a new culture. 227 . thank you" because it is polite to decline the first one or two offers in your culture. Although Americans are usually very direct in social matters. "dropping by" is a friendly. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. the value of having a common language is greatly increased. "Unless you read English passably well. The question is-which language? Because the Internet grew up in the United States." he may or may not want you to visit him in his home. because flawless machine translation is a very tough problem. you could become very hungry and thirsty. if you are trying to negotiate a contract or discuss a scientific subject where details are important. Bill Gates. age of its content is now in English. In other areas of the United States. Microsoft's president. Comparison focuses on similarities. Computer spelling checkers also exist for various languages.” In some areas of the United States. Software that does crude' translations already exists. "Please drop by sometime. His company spends $200 million a year translating software into other languages. For example. Americans do not expect you to visit them unless you have an invitation for a specific day and time. however. when someone offers you food or a beverage in America. American meals are usually more informal than meals in other countries. software may be available to instantly translate both written and spoken language so well that the need for any common language could decline. Topic Sentence identifies the topic and the intention to compare and/or contrast X and Y. accept it the first time it is offered. and the times of meals may be different. comments on the degree of similarity or difference. However. neighborly gesture idioms are often difficult for newcomers to understand. Support Sentences describe and compare features. describe Y — identify similarities and differences Feature 2 — Describe X." Someday. An American thinks that "no" means "no" and will usually not offer again. machine translation is totally useless. 24 Paragraph I Because the Internet makes the world a smaller place.Underline the topic sentence of each. If an American says. you miss out on some of the Internet experience. Contrast focuses on differences. believes that English will remain valuable for a long time as a common language for international communication. Your clue that this may not be a real invitation is the word "sometime. It is useful if all you are trying to do is understand the general idea of something you see on your computer screen. however.
however. 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. whereas. while. too For contrast in contrast. on the other hand. Allopathy is the treatment of disease of one kind by exciting a disease of another kind or in another part.une. 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.edu. like. 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. also. For more information and practice in paragraph types.php 228 .au/interactive/workshops/writing/index. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. in the same way. Homeopathy. It is sometimes incorrectly used as a name for orthodox medicine. 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. in contrast. Concluding Sentence summarises and interprets differences and similarities. similarly. different from. PLAN B Describe X — features 1–n Describe Y — features 1–n Describe and discuss points of similarity and/or difference. unlike. Useful transitional words and phrases For comparison similar to. again. equally. see http://tlc.
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