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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
the controlling idea is the summary of all the information contained in its paragraph. the reader can more easily identify the central point that the writer is making. However. Generally. Thus. or at the end of a paragraph. the common practice in writing a paragraph is to begin with the topic sentence and to follow it with supporting sentences. The topic sentence serves the special purpose of announcing the paragraph's topic. Gold : topic two important characteristics : controlling idea The controlling idea is the central idea that is developed in a paragraph. the controlling idea is a restricting idea because it limits the information that can be included in its paragraph. It helps readers save time as it tells them what the reset of the paragraph is all about. Therefore. As result. parents can encourage them to study by buying story books with pictures. 5 . they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. however. Topic Controlling idea B. Children Topic Controlling idea usually enjoy playing games instead of studying. Consequently. Using this approach to placement of the topic sentence. Moreover. the controlling idea is encouraging them. the topic comes first and the controlling idea comes second in the topic sentence. As a child. If they are interested in the topic. as a beginning writer. Consider the following paragraph: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. Artistic talent and mathematical ability are two qualities of a good architect. it may be placed at the beginning.The topic sentence. that is . may be stated or placed anywhere in a paragraph.a tempting statement that catches the readers’ attentions and entice them to carry on with the reading of the paragraph. I was very excited. A good architect is both an artist and a mathematician. they will continue reading. That’s why your topic sentence should be a sort of clincher. Thus. parents should take the responsibility to monitor their studying. The reader might ask the following questions and expect the paragraph to answer them: How can parents encourage their children? What specific things should parents do to encourage their children? How will this encouragement lead to success? B-Placement of the Topic Sentence In general. a sensible plan is to tell readers what the paragraph is intended to discuss before it is discussed. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. you should place the topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph. the controlling idea may come first. no information that cannot he summarized by the controlling idea can be included in a paragraph. the topic sentence has given them guiding clues that help them be selective in their reading. the topic sentence is the following: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. in the middle. I experienced this. The topic of the sentence is how parents can help children succeed in school. that is. Therefore. if not. However. 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. They should also remind their children to do their homework at home after school. It gives them a broad view of what you are writing about because the topic sentence is meant to state the main idea of the paragraph. In the paragraph above.Gold is prized for two important characteristics. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. My parents gave me a gift when I got ‘A’ in my math lesson. 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. A.
3. Being complete: Like any other sentence. 2. 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. you will not have either too much or too little to write about. Compare the following sentences. it is not a sentence at all. Note that sentence A contains only one idea ("have at least two learning habits"). Fragment: Ways to learn English Complete: There are many easy ways to learn English. 2.and Specific. a topic sentence must be a complete sentence: that is. It must be clearly limited in such a way that it is neither too broad nor too a narrow. Limited. 3. which defines the controlling idea clearly and precisely. sentence A is a better topic sentence because sentence B has more than one idea and is not a good topic sentence. The heart of a man performs at about 60 to 80 beats a minute. First of all. it can be seen that village life is suitable for retired and those who want to have more peace and less stress.Characteristics of a good topic sentence A good topic sentence.Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the beginning. In a year it beats some 40 million times. Fragment: If you know English Complete: If you know English. if it is not a complete sentence. a topic sentence must also be limited: that is. Fragment: Learning English Complete: Learning English is useful for everyone. in a single day it pumps 2. 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. At each beat it takes in nearly a quarter of a pint of blood. Complete. Therefore. it must express one and only one controlling idea which will be expanded into a complete paragraph. whereas sentence B has two ideas ("have at least two learning habits" and "should be responsible in his studies"). and in the course of a single lifetime about 56 million gallons. life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly. In conclusion. Study the following: 1. must meet three requirements. The heart weighs about 11 ounces and is the size of a clenched fist. one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. you will have many advantages. There are many advantages to living in a village. Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the end. In fact. In this way. compare the following pair of topic sentences 6 . A further advantage is that there is much less traffic. and as a result it is much safer place to bring up young children. Being limited: In addition to being complete. but rather a sentence fragment or a part of sentence. In addition. it must consist of a subject and a predicate. C. Again. It must be 1.200 gallons of blood.
" This topic sentence indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will cover the trend in the world toward eating organic foods. Topic Sentence: "Many television cartoons contain an unhealthy amount of violence. and the campus. When you start to write about a very general topic. Still too general: Watching a soccer game keeps me involved. PRACTICE 1: Read the following topic sentences and decide on the best topic sentence.S. that you can discuss. You should narrow down your subject to be more specific. or too vague. such as university. Too general: Sports are exciting. _____________________________________________________________________________________ B-MUSIC 1. Playing a musical instrument helps children to develop in discipline and self confidence.my roommates –Jane Samples: 1. It also indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will discuss how much violence cartoons typically contain. Computers are unnecessary and make our life complicated. A good topic sentence: My neighborhood is fascinating because people from many countries live in it. A. Computers are a necessary part of modern life. teachers. Much better: Watching the Tunis derby between CA and E. For example. Being specific: A topic sentence should not be too general. _____________________________________________________________________________________ C-TELEVISION 1. Television gives free and interesting entertainment to people of all ages." Notice that this sentence clearly identifies that the key topic of the paragraph is violence in television cartoons. you must narrow it down to a limited topic that can be discussed in one paragraph. Television advertising is far more effective than advertising in magazines or newspapers. 3. University-dormitory living-roommates. 7 . and how/why this violence is unhealthy for viewers. One controlling idea B: Kairouan is famous for its Islamic architecture. 2.T kept me on the edge of the chair. Music can teach children to understand their own culture. 2. vacations. Too general: My neighborhood is a nice place to live in. 2. students. there are many specific things about university. Remember that a topic sentence must have one single controlling idea A-COMPUTERS 1. Topic Sentence: "An increasing number of people in the world are enjoying the benefits of organically grown fruits and vegetables. Computers save us time and make our lives easier. B. You may narrow down the subject of college to the more specific subject of a roommate. such as classes.Two controlling ideas A : Kairouan is famous for traditional artefacts and it has beautiful landscape. or nuclear power. 2. The reader can also expect learning more in this paragraph about the specific benefits of organic foods.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 2: Write specific topic sentences for possible paragraphs on the following topics.………… 3. on-line shopping makes it possible to search through catalogues to find exactly what you want at the best price. ENTERTAINMENT-singers . Try to add at least three or four ideas to each group. Animals Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 2. 5. 1. at any hour of the day or night.………………………………….CLASSES – my best/worst class …… …………….individual sports …………………………………………………………….…………………………………….my best friend…………………………………………………………….……… 2. Getting married Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 6. and perhaps make friends all over the world. 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.….. University Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 4..……………………………………..Madonna 1. Also. Television has enormous influence on politics. Firstly. VACATIONS……………………………….DIVORCE–children……………………………….………….…………… 6. By joining a newsgroup or chat group.MUSIC………………………………. Write a topic sentence for the following paragraphs.. SPORTS .. in your home.3. Television Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 3. FRIENDS . Topic: Using Internet _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. so you can save both time and money. Example: Teenagers and drugs Topic sentence: Drug addiction has caused a huge increase in crimes of violence which is committed/done by teenagers.. e-mail is popular because it is faster than sending a letter and cheaper than a telephone conversation.……………. 8 .. you can share your hobbies and special interests. all of the latest information is available to you. 4.……………………………………. 1. Technology Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 5.…………………………… PRACTICE 4: A.rock singer – superstar . Finally.
throughout the rest of my childhood. and then become accustomed to it eventually! Just like the addiction of taking drugs. Meteorological satellites also provide advance information. The students can use all the writing techniques necessary to make the paragraph sustainable and eligible: descriptions. Scientists are working to develop space technology to use in different areas. Being economically independent is the desire of many women. Topic: Teenagers Smoking _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. frightened. First of all. people are more aggressive towards each other. left me lonely. elaboration and exploration. definitions. sake: cause) 5. (mere: only. 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. We need tourists’ money in fact they provide more jobs for all of us. 9 . Tourism employs twenty times as many people as the car industry. they would have the second. my loneliness was so great that I often dreamed that my father would miraculously return. Unfortunately. Topic: Divorce _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. If any of the supporting details doesn’t correlate with the main idea or does not support it. In addition. Topic: Tourism _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. I believed that with my father gone I was responsible for helping my mother with her chores. Thus the students are strongly advised to provide at least three strong details which can support the main idea. Firstly. 3. directly or indirectly. As a result. In addition. For the firs few months. Furthermore. women think that life is always difficult unless they have their own economics independence. the third.2. 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. once they started to smoke their first cigarette. I felt great sadness and loneliness. The number of supporting details required in a paragraph depends on what the writer is trying to show. telecommunication satellites have greatly improved global communications. some special satellites register the earth’s resources and military information. 4.2 THE SUPPORTING SENTENCES The body of every effective paragraph consists of ideas or details that support and explain the topic sentence. For example. My father’s death. They smoke for the sake of knowing how it feels. They hope to be free and stand without one’s help. upon tourism for their jobs. Topic: Space Technology _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. and responsible – a young child with adult feelings. Nearly three million people depend. 7. there are many women working outside their homes and are independent. The supporting sentences must give information that reinforces the main idea stated in the topic sentence. Finally. Due to difficult life conditions. I was afraid of losing someone else whom I loved. Teenagers tent to be curious about new things. I was nervous until she returned. Nowadays. some regard divorce as the best way to get this independence. and earns four as much money as agriculture. examples. it will break the unity of the paragraph. Couples do not tolerate a few mistakes. therefore. They want to earn money and spend it as they wish. 3.
because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. climbing this hill is not dangerous. It directly supports the controlling idea by making that idea more easily understood. Practice 10 . The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. First. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. On either side of this river. Therefore. This tree stands two hundred feet tall. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. First. It directly support its major support sentence by making it more easily understood. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. a minor support sentence must be closely related both to its major support sentence and the controlling idea of the paragraph.Supporting sentences may be classified into one of two groups: major support sentences or minor support sentences. 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. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. which is very wide and beautiful. which is unusual because it is very steep. it is noted for the Wheaton River. and (II) At the same time it helps its support sentence develop the controlling idea. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. Also. 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. which is unusual because it is very steep. Even though it is steep. which is very wide and beautiful. are many willow trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. MAJOR SUPPORT SENTENCES A major support sentence has only one function: it develops the controlling idea of a paragraph by telling the reader something new or different about that idea. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. which is 175 feet wide. Also. There are no trees around this hill. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree.
PRACTICE 11 .
This is the concluding sentence. lettuce. Note how the top bun and the bottom bun are very similar. and so on. Consider a hamburger that you can buy at a fast-food restaurant. the topic sentence and 13 . The top bun. and other elements in the middle of the hamburger. is like a TOPIC SENTENCE. and a bottom bun. A hamburger has a top bun (a kind of bread).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. You can think of a concluding sentence as a sort of topic sentence in reverse. You can understand concluding sentences with this example. onions. in a way. meat. Both buns "hold" the meat. Similarly. cheese. and the bottom bun is like the CONCLUDING SENTENCE.
Therefore. and aggressive but not pushy. 14 . It summarizes the main points of the paragraph. In brief. First of all. Similarly a person wants to be slender but not skinny. but not exactly the same as. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. Notice how the concluding sentence summarizes the information in the paragraph. In conclusion. These examples show that Thus. For example. It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. STEP 3 Add a good concluding sentence to each. you should be careful in choosing words because many so-called synonyms are not really synonymous at all. Canada has an excellent health care system. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. a precious metal. words that have the same basic meaning. 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. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. Canada is a desirable place to live in . There can be no doubt that The evidence suggests that The examples that follow demonstrate two different types of concluding sentences. the topic sentence. Use one of the following end-of-paragraph signals to introduce your concluding sentence: END-OF-PARAGRAPH SIGNALS These are followed by a comma These are not followed by a comma Finally. it is suitable for jewelry. Indeed . Second. 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. Finally. For many years. The second example summarizes the two main points of the paragraph. coins. is prized for two important characteristics. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. Practice STEP I Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph. Notice also how the concluding sentence is similar to. Canada has a high standard of education. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. that is. to call a person stingy is an insult while the word frugal has a much more positive connotation. the concluding sentence repeats the main idea of the topic sentence in different words. We can see that Therefore. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. It signals the end of the paragraph. It is clear that In summary. 2. and ornamental purposes. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. First.concluding sentence "hold" the supporting sentences in the paragraph. which were not specifically stated in the topic sentence. For example. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. 3. The first one paraphrases the topic sentence. A concluding sentence serves three purposes: 1. Gold. You may either paraphrase the topic sentence or summarize the main points. do not always have the same emotional meaning. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. Therefore. In conclusion. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. As a result. As a result. the words stingy and frugal both mean "careful with money" However. STEP 2 Determine the main idea of each paragraph. Synonyms.
in fact. watch your body language. In addition to telephone calls. Be relaxed and bend your body slightly forward to show interest in the person and the conversation. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 15 . managers receive an average of 100 messages a day. Paragraph I You can be a good conversationalist by being a good listener. Also. it is impolite to do so. Show your interest by smiling and/or nodding. Furthermore. it is common for them to do so in the evenings or on weekends at home. don't sit slumped in a chair or make nervous hand and foot movements. If you have a good story wait until-the speaker is finished. office workers receive dozens of E-mail and voice mail messages daily. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Paragraph 2 Modern communication technology is driving workers in the corporate world crazy. For instance. Because they don't have enough time to respond to these messages during office hours. When you are conversing with someone. In one company. pay close attention to the speaker's words while looking at his or her face. They feel buried under the large number of messages they receive daily.STEP 4 Begin each concluding sentence with an end-of-paragraph signal. don't interrupt while someone is speaking. it can affect your communication whether you are the speaker or the listener.
which is very wide and beautiful. and ornamental purposes. The first two ways involve repeating key nouns and using pronouns that refer back to key nouns. that is. as too much repetition of the same words can be distracting and even irritating to a reader. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. Consider the echo words in the following paragraph about tourists and souvenirs: 16 . Therefore. coins. is prized for two important characteristics. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. There are no trees around this hill. Second. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. In conclusion. which is unusual because it is very steep. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. a precious metal. Consider the following paragraph: My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. but they can also be phrases. go gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. the movement from one sentence to the next and in longer essays. Echo Words & Phrases: Echo words and phrases allow writers to remind the reader of the topic being discussed without becoming repetitive. Even though it is steep. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. First of all. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. A. Each sentence should flow smoothly into the next one. it is noted for the Wheaton River. it is suitable for jewelry. The key noun in this paragraph is gold. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. The third way is to use transition signals to show how one idea is related to the next. which is 175 feet wide. 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. Key words are the words carrying most significance in a paragraph. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. from one paragraph to the next) must be logical and smooth. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications.UNITY and COHERENCE in PARAGRAPHS: COHERENCE Another element of a good paragraph is coherence. climbing this hill is not dangerous. Look at the model paragraph about gold to see how it uses this technique to achieve coherence. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. are many willow* trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. the pronoun it twice. On either side of this river. For many years. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. Gold. Repetition of Key words The easiest way to achieve coherence is to repeat key words frequently in your paragraph. key words are those words a writer wants the reader to focus on as the paragraph progresses. You should have circled the noun gold seven times." 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. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. There must be no sudden jumps. First. Circle gold pronouns that refer to it. Echo words are actually synonyms for the key word. There are four ways to achieve coherence. For example. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. and the pronoun its three times. The Latin verb cohere means "hold together.
the pronouns are not consistent. Except for Chinese. more people speak it than any other language.S. it is a useful language to know. unless you plan to spend your life alone on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. using these general pronouns can often get developing writers into trouble with pronoun reference problems. the key noun is never repeated. tumblers. with many falling between $20 and $40. It is the primary language on the Internet. as in "other objects from this period. however. Use of Consistent Pronouns When you use pronouns instead of key nouns. PRACTICE In the following paragraph. Furthermore. they droop noticeably and mope around their pool. Dolphins are interesting because they display almost human behavior at times. in fact. but more countries have it as their official or unofficial second language. that the author adds adjectives and modifying phrases to the echo words to further clarify her meaning. and others in the area swim to help it. In fact. and other objects from this period were produced in such large quantities that surviving examples are still easy to find and affordable. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred. Spanish is the official language of more countries in the world. PRACTICE A-In the following passage about dolphins. they display the human emotions of joy and sadness. They push it to the surface of the water so that it can breathe. Olympic athletes must be strong both physically and mentally. they help each other when they are in trouble. so an echo word or phrase is a far better choice for a subject. Don’t change from you to he or she (change of person). an aspiring Olympian must train 17 . and it is the language of airline pilots and air traffic controllers all over the world." Note. when they do something correctly. make sure that you use the same person and number throughout your paragraph. the good news is that the tablecloths. snow globes. B." and "surviving examples. it has displaced it throughout the world. it sends out a message. Moreover. The objects that have proved the most desirable in recent years are ones dating from the 1920s through the 1960s. ashtrays. When they make a mistake. although French used to be the language of diplomacy.Therefore. English English has almost become an international language. In international business." 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. First of all. you must be physically strong Furthermore. they squeal excitedly and race toward their trainer. They have also helped trapped or lost whales navigate their way safely out to the open sea. If one is sick. The key word in this paragraph is "souvenirs. replace some of the pronouns with appropriate singular or plural nouns. Replace the pronoun it with the key noun English wherever you think doing so would make the paragraph more coherent.The steady production of souvenirs throughout the mid-20th century has created a well that collectors can tap. if you hope to compete in an Olympic sport. the author uses substitutes: "objects" and "examples. During training. Navy is training them to become underwater bomb disposal experts. For collectors. it is used more than any other language. or from he to they (change of number). For example. that the U. Correct them to make this paragraph more coherent. More than 70 percent of the world's mail is written in it. however. They stay with it for clays or weeks-until it recovers or dies. B. too." To avoid repetition of this word. charm bracelets. They are so intelligent and helpful. In the following paragraph.
(2) a part about Wheaton Hill. in addition). consequently To connect two contrasting ideas. Finally. C. an opposite idea (on the other hand. likewise. next. subsequently. of course. not to overuse transitional expressions. naturally. Another way of saying this is that this paragraph has three main points which are indicated by the major connectors. you can use minor connectors to link your details to each main point. Overuse can be distracting. at the same time To add an illustration or explanation for example. admittedly. Major connectors help organize the main parts of your paragraph. in conclusion. Minor connectors provide coherence to a paragraph by connecting sentences within each of the main parts of your paragraph. Which paragraph contains transition signals and is more coherent? Circle all of the transition signals that you can identify. however. and as a result. Using such major connectors is an important way of providing coherence in a paragraph. We can call these words major connectors. turn. such as those appearing in the phrases "these trees" and "this hill"? We can call these minor connectors.or phrases such as in conclusion. Transition Signals Transition signals are words such as first. yet.rigorously* for many years. Save them for significant connections between ideas that you want to call special attention to. accordingly. an example (for example). second. This means that you have to be dedicated to your sport. also. consider the words. and (3) a part about the Big Old Tree. Do you see how they help guide the reader? For example. Both paragraphs give the same information. in contrast). in addition. Purpose To add another idea To arrange ideas in order or time Connecting Word/Phrase furthermore. eventually. and social life. This paragraph has three main parts: (1) a part about the Wheaton River. Major Connectors Look at the words in bold font in the paragraph about my home town. similarly first. and The third amazing feature. rather. Here are some of the most commonly used connecting words and phrases and the purposes they serve. moreover. often giving up a normal school family. 18 . or aconclusion (in conclusion). for instance. they train several hours a day. slow down. on the contrary To emphasize or confirm indeed. Think of transition signals as traffic signs that tell your reader when to go forward. when you write about your main points. therefore.. finally. therefore. 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. so they must possess the inner strength to live with defeat. finally. although. in brief. next. For the most demanding sports. on the other hand. plainly Be careful. differeniate ideas nevertheless. PRACTICE A-Compare paragraphs 1 and 2 that follow. ultimately. not everyone can win a medal. they tell the reader when you are giving a similar idea (similarly. That is. Minor Connectors What about the other words in bold. In addition to being physically strong he or she must also be mentally tough. to on the other hand. furthermore. nonetheless. First. meanwhile. a result (as a result). In other words. and however. Being mentally strong also means that he or she must be able to withstand the intense of international competition with its media coverage. in other words To conclude or sum up hence. thus. and stop. certainly. however. five or six days a week for ten or more years. Second. however. moreover. undoubtedly. conversely.
Your choice of one kind of logical order over another will. state. (however. therefore. Each kind of order has its own special words and phrases to show the relation ships among the ideas. water evaporates rapidly. and local taxes.Paragraph 1 A difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. First of all. for example) D. therefore. A tsunami is a tidal wave produced by an earthquake on the ocean floor. therefore. in contrast. they encounter friction because the water is shallow ____________the waves Increase in height and can cause considerable damage when they finally reach land. as expensive as. therefore. consequently. while working on the project. water evaporates slowly. next. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. 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. after 1990. the weight of an object is the gravitational force 2 with which the Earth attracts it_________ if a man weighs 150 pounds. (moreover. Example: A recent article in Era magazine suggested ways to reduce inflation.Choose the transition signal that best shows the relationship between the sentences in each group from the choices given in parentheses. The article suggested that the president reduce the federal budget. For example. You may even combine two or more different logical orders in the same paragraph. The concentration of salt is greater. The farther away from the Earth a person is. In cold climate zones. as a result. Write the signal in the space. in warm climate zones. furthermore it suggested that the government reduce federal. B. logical division of ideas and comparison/contrast. on the other hand water evaporates slowly. compare with.Add punctuation and change capital letters to small letters if necessary. There are two reasons for this. The same article said that the causes of inflation were easy to find ________ the cure for inflation was not so easy to prescribe. Logical Order In addition to using transition signals and repeating key words and pronouns. before the last war. In warm climates. Paragraph 2 Another difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. (in conclusion. In physics. the concentration of salt is greater. after that. (however. in comparison. (on the other hand. in contrast. depend on your topic and on your purpose. Era also suggested that rising wages were one of the primary causes of inflation _______________the government should take action to control wages. Furthermore. The runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. 19 . larger than. water evaporates rapidly. For example.The waves are very long and low in open water. does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water.000 miles away. just as. the less the gravitational force of the Earth _________a man weighs less when he is 50. therefore) 2.000 miles from the Earth than when he is only 5. in 20 10. (however. etc. unlike. similarly. on the other hand. for example. In cold climate zones. finally. in a piece of writing using chronological order you would expect to find a lot of time expressions: first. In a Paragraph describing differences (contrast). the Baltic Sea in North Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. you would find these expressions: the most noticeable difference. for example) 4. but when they get close to land. of course. for example) 3. however) 5. Second the surrounding land is dry and. since then. this means that the earth pulls him down with a force of 150 pounds. The surrounding land is dry and does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. Some common kinds of logical order in English are chronological order. you would find these expressions: similarity. furthermore) 1. just like. the runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. differ from In a paragraph showing similarities (comparison). There are reasons for this. a fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in some kind of logical order.
does not have anything to do with the major goals of the various Russian space projects. For another example. the detail sentences. connected to it by a tether." Look at the following paragraph. he floated in a spacesuit outside his Voshkhod spacecraft. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. PRACTICE 20 . That is. had goals of testing spacecraft and space flight skills so that people could fly long missions in Earth orbit.Often sentences have implicit logical connections that help the reader follow the thread of a discussion or argument.S. then we say that the paragraph "lacks unity. supporting sentences. For example. That is. all the sentences -. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. but the sentence. the Soyuz project. Skinned animals hang in windows of butcher shops here like clothes hang in the windows of suburban department stores. we should omit this sentence. Use transition signals to connect the supporting sentences smoothly. and so the passage is coherent. Unity means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph.Unity is another very important characteristic of good paragraph writing.S. astronaut Ed White. the Voshkhod project was intended to find out whether people could work in the weightless environment of space. 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. offering an interesting an distinctive detail about these stores. One Voshkhod cosmonaut experimented with weightlessness by taking a "spacewalk. Several weeks later." That is. Add other sentences without transitions if you need to in order to explain the topic completely. the passage is coherent. You may use the transition signals suggested for each topic. Finally. Several weeks later.the topic. and (sometimes) the concluding sentence -. even though it is historically accurate. astronaut Ed White. Though no transitional expression is used. with three cosmonauts. In order to improve the paragraph." or that the sentence is "off-topic. A good way to test the coherence of your paragraph is to examine each sentence and ask yourself what your reader would expect you to say next based on that sentence. Given the first sentence in the passage above. This paragraph is generally good. If your paragraph contains a sentence or some sentences that are NOT related to the main topic. The cosmonaut to do this was Alexei Leonov. practice Choose one of the topic sentences below and write a paragraph that develops it. so we can say that the paragraph somewhat lacks unity. It is clear that the writer is continuing a discussion of grocery stores in Chinatown. Topic Suggestions Drinking laws The effects of divorce Working mothers UNITY Like coherence.are all telling the reader about ONE main topic. which is similar to the paragraph that we have studied above. Does it have perfect unity? Try to find the sentence that is off-topic: Each of the Russian space exploration projects had specific major goals. the Vostok project was designed to test whether or not human beings could survive and function in outer space. it is an "off-topic" sentence. or you may use others not listed.Consider the example below: Chinatown offers one of the largest Asian American grocery districts in the country.
for example. physical features such as high mountains influence the temperature of nearby regions. Finally. If mountains cause rain to fall frequently. 21 . Consequently. The higher you go up a mountain. it retains it longer. the nearby regions become cooler than other regions in the same latitude. throughout the cold months of winter the sea warms the nearby land just as a radiator warms a room. Another important factor is the height of a region above sea level. the warmer its climate will be. In general. the closer a region is to the equator. nearby regions become warmer than unsheltered regions in the same latitude.B-Study the following paragraph and decide whether there are irrelevant sentences and then revise it. If mountains block the passage of cold winds. distance from the sea is important because although water absorbs heat more slowly than land. 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 less dense the air is. but other factors also have an influence on temperature.
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. Third. you could compare their looks. The two do not even look alike. In a comparison or contrast paragraph. Very commonly if you are comparing two rather dissimilar things. they fondly refer to Jack as the “absent-minded professor”. 2. either similarities or differences. and then indicates the differences a s the focus of the paragraph. The only major difference in the elementary curriculum is that most Europeans study a foreign language in elementary school. topic sentence 1 is better than topic sentence 2 for three reasons: First. His twin brother Jack. music. Jack is simply “skinny” with sunken cheeks and a sharp chin. who has a ready smile on his face and is quick to greet everybody he knows on his way. Then it is best to 22 . While relatives and family members call George a friendly “public relations officer”. American and European educational systems differ in some ways You can hardly imagine George and Jack are actually twins. Contrast paragraphs explain how two or more things are dissimilar or different. Our two pet cats are quite different. there is one teacher for all subjects for each grade (except in Scandinavia).Comparison and Contrast Paragraphs When writing comparison or contrast paragraphs. Unlike George. the ways they treat people. acknowledge the obvious similarities but focus on the differences. The topic sentence should also indicate the emphasis of the paragraph. philosophies. If you were asked to compare and contrast two people. Obviously. the emphasis is usually on one or the other. is a boy of few words and loves to read books in solitude rather than going out to enjoy parties. Even their parents can hardly understand why the two brothers are so different. Jack usually plods along silently. supporting sentences. topic sentence 1 acknowledges the obvious similarity of the two pet cats. To begin with. • Contrast paragraph PARAGRAPH STRUCTRE As you have learned in previous lessons. mathematics. their intelligence. If you are comparing two obviously similar things. Also. a writer stresses how two or more things are alike or how they are different. and concluding sentence. The topic sentence In a comparison or contrast paragraph. sports. 1. introductions to the sciences. Compare the following two topic sentences and see which one is better. and so on. backgrounds. and the majority of elementary school teachers are women. As a result. 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. There are about twenty to twenty-two pupils per class. The points to be compared or contrasted are usually indicated in the topic sentence. it does not restrict the controlling ideas as to what points of the two cats to contrast. acknowledge the obvious differences but emphasize the similarities. and the classes are coeducational. in contrast. the subjects which are taught at the elementary level are basically the same everywhere: reading and writing. Second. however. but most American children do not. topic sentence 2 is too general to be developed in one paragraph. often too lost in deep thoughts to even return a greeting in time. their lifestyles. their differences in temperament is constant source of amusement. Comparison paragraphs explain how two or more things are similar or alike. their attitudes toward life. and the topic sentence tells the controlling idea. Paragraph samples • Comparison paragraph The educational systems of Europe and the United States are similar in a number of ways. George is a chubby looking boy on the verge of being overweight. a well-organized paragraph consists of topic sentence. Although both our pet cats look lovely. elementary school classes look the same everywhere. and art. usually the topic introducer tells the two things to be compared or contrasted. In addition.
For instance. you might come up with the following points of comparison after brainstorming: Features to Be Contrasted exterior styling colors seats and interior comfort instrument panels sound systems tires navigation systems air bags and safety features cupholders and compartments price and discounts performance and handling options engine. for example. suspension. Emphasis in comparison or contrast Supporting sentences Items to be compared or contrasted should be comparable. if you were contrasting two new models of automobiles. The Concluding sentence No matter whether it is a comparison or contrast paragraph. transmission.restrict the points of comparison to two-four points and choose the most significant points for comparison or contrast that would support the controlling idea. You can’t. 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. talk about the Ford’s engine without talking about the Toyota’s. otherwise. Furthermore. it would be irrelevant. 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. to develop in your paragraph. Also. you must include a discussion of each thing being compared or contrasted with each point of comparison. the items would be incomparable. probably no more than three or four. For example. After deciding which points to cover. too. You couldn’t possibly develop all of the points in your brainstorming list in one paragraph. the writer may mention little of exceptions. you must organize your paragraph in such a way that your reader does not have to jump about from one point to another. 23 . you would not bother with comparing and contrasting their tastes in food. If you were comparing two politicians in order to show that one is more diplomatic. you must be sure to make your points of comparison clear and actually develop them. to show a cautious attitude. The points or items to be compared or contrasted should be parallel or of the same category.
My wife devotes a lot of her free time to playing jazz piano. Helene was born and raised in Paris and I come from Yokohama. we are thirty-two years old.B . in the same way likewise another similarity similarly whereas too while both however Even though we come from different cultures. Our children should receive a good education and also have strong moral training. Topic sentence Point 1 Detail A Detail B Point 2 Detail A 27 A -. hers on July 10 and mine on July 20. _________. my wife and I are alike in several ways. A more important similarity concerns our values. I feel _________. For example. our hobbies are alike _________. Helene has strong opinions about educating our children and raising them to know right from wrong. Third.PRACTICE CHOOSE an appropriate conjunction from those shown below to finish the paragraph. For one thing. In fact. our birthdays are in the same month. _________ is that we both grew up in large cities. I like to spend time after work strumming my guitar.
B Details about Subtopic A Subtopic B Details about subtopic B 28 .Detail B Point 3 Detail A Detail B Conclusion Topic sentence Subtopic A A --.
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. or the paragraph that points out the effect (or result) produced by a cause. They become too unhappy to deal with both hard academic work and emotional troubles. Television negatively influences people's behavior in a number of ways. For example. the cause/effect paragraph explains why a condition occurs or the effect that this condition brings about.These students may have made decent grades in high school simply by showing up for class. some students are bored in school. those who buy campingequipment. the supporting sentences all describe causes. Here is an example: 29 . they quickly lose interest. Students drop out of college for many reasons. advertisements force people to buy things they may not need. For example. The function of cause/effect is usually to answer the questions 'Why". or depressed. The hard work comes as a shock and students give up. Someone who buys a new car but can't really afford it. For many types of students dropping out seems to be the only solution they can imagine. First of all. These students may enter college expecting non stop fun or a series of fascinating courses.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). friends or girlfriends. or to draw a conclusion.someone who buys a new computer even though his or her old computer works fine. if the topic sentence introduces an effect. Consider the following example paragraphs.Also. Students also drop out of college because the work is harder than they thought it would be . When they find out that college is often routine. In college. such as 'What are its causes?" or 'What are its effects?" In short. people should consider those effects before they start to watch television programs. television influences everybody’s behavior in negative ways. may be attending college at an age when they are also feeling confused. to prove or disprove an idea. They may not be able to understand right from wrong and think that violence is ok. they begin with a topic sentence and this sentence is followed by specific supporting details. That is. write fifteen page term papers or make detailed presentations to a class. to explain or to give an account of something or situation. Therefore. belief or assertion. lonely. however they may have to prepare for two hour exams. These students may have problems with roommates. When children see terrible things on TV and sometimes act them out. but they never go camping. and so they drop out. such as Why did it happen?" or"What". They do not want to take dull required courses or spend their nights studying. The most important negative effect is that television may lead to violence. Perhaps the most common reason students drop out is that they are having personal or emotional problems. to convince. In conclusion. Younger students especially. First of all. 2-STRUCTURE OF CAUSE/EFFECT PARAGRAPHS Cause/effect paragraphs generally follow basic paragraph format. family.
30 . The conjunction because is placed in the correct position here. and therefore drew them away from rural communities. Second. you must order the cause and the effect corerctly. to help you understand the relationships better: EFFECT (Topic Sentence) Cities have grown very large. Notice how each supporting sentence is a cause that explains the effect mentioned in the topic sentence. the conjunction because is correctly placed before the part of the sentence that expresses the cause. In the chart below are the main ideas of the above paragraph. there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers. and culture. Sally closed the window. Better schools attracted families to move to the city. Finally. in the sentence Sally closed the window because the weather outside was cold.) 3. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. (Note that the first letter of the conjunction is now capitalized. such as sports stadiums. cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas.Cause and Effect Conjunctions Here are some common conjunctions that can be used to express cause and effect: since because consequently as a result therefore for this reason because of + noun phrase due to + noun phrase so There are two things you must be careful of when using these conjunctions. which is right before the cause.] (Cities have grown very large. in the sentence Because the weather outside was cold. these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm. First. For example. and museums. with their promise of a better material life. For many people. entertainment. attracted many people from rural areas. Similarly. even though the subordinate clause because the room was cold is now at the beginning of the sentence.In recent decades. the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs. people established places of leisure. entertainment. These jobs. the CAUSE is the fact that the room was cold. and culture made city life appear more interesting.) CAUSES (Supporting Sentences) Factory jobs attracted people. and the EFFECT is Sally's closing the window. theaters. even though it is grammatical. it does not make sense because a person's opening or closing a window does not influence the weather. as the cities grew. in this sentence: ??The weather outside was cold because Sally closed the window. [There are several reasons for this. which tended to be located in cities. First. There are several reasons for this occurrence. Places of leisure.) However. (Cities have grown very large.
These are attached directly at the beginning of CAUSE-sentence without a comma. as in these examples: The weather was cold. as in this sentence: The weather was warm. The weather was cold. The adverbial clause conjunctions since and because are exceptions. Because the weather outside was cold. Sally put on her coat. and for this reason are usually followed by a comma. in formal academic writing.Second. Therefore. so Jim turned on the air conditioner. therefore. as a result. as in the example above. consequently. The comma here is placed at the end of the subordinate clause.avoid this usage) B/ 31 . As a result. Conjunctions such as therefore. A blizzard hit the town. The weather was cold. So Jim turned on the air conditioner. you should be careful when using commas. (too informal -. so may not be used at the beginning of a sentence (although you will often see it in informal writing): The weather was warm. Sally put on her scarf. Sally closed the window. The coordinating conjunction so is also different from the ones above. Consequently. the schools were closed. However. Sally closed the window. This conjunction has a comma before it.
33 . Read the following paragraph and answer the question that follow One Saturday last June.THE NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH A narrative paragraph ‘tells a story’. your purpose is to share with others some experience that has taught you something or changed you somehow. that is. or perhaps you’ll relate the story of the time you didn’t make the cut for the basketball team. (Yes. and the next--crash! I had plowed into the back of a big green Buick. where I was photographed. you share with the reader some personal experience of your own in order to make a point or convey a message.000 fine and attend driving school for three months. Whatever story you tell. I had a fake ID. When the police arrived--instantly. fingerprinted. the police took me to jail. I had to pay a $2. that I made a promise not to drink and drive ever again. Baggy Drawers. One minute there was not a soul on the road in front of me. just two days after my high school graduation. With one eye shut to keep the road from blurring. as I hollered farewells to my friends and poured myself into the car. and flat out soused by the time we shut the bars down at three. I weaved down Monroe Avenue. Of course. Out with a girlfriend for a wild night on the town. You may choose to tell how your grandfather influenced your desire to become an scientist. and at each of these spots I drank a margarita or two. After filling out pages of forms and checking to see that nobody was injured. it seemed--they gave me a breath test even before asking to see my license.) I was giggly by 11:00. viewing gory films of accident victims with their bodies crunched under tires and heads wrapped inside bumpers. 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:. In writing a narrative paragraph. Naturally I registered drunk. a night of celebration turned into a costly and embarrassing lesson on the dangers of drinking and driving. It was there. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). I was dead certain that I was sober enough to drive home safely. Underline the topic sentence and the concluding sentence . and Night Lights. it tells about a series of events that happened to the narrator. we made stops at such popular hangouts as Studebaker's. tipsy by midnight.
You might say that a novel opens with a mysterious atmosphere. Time. A novel can have more than one protagonist (e.. who play parts in the action of the story.. two or even three main characters). and even time of day. This is an aspect of setting which can be important to the novel. robots. a gloomy atmosphere. If you are unsure what your main point is." If it is a science fiction story. Focus • Narrative effect is the main point of your story—the moral. “Why am I telling this story? Why should someone else be interested in reading about my experience?” In addition. the insight you offer. Most personal narratives are written in first-person. For example. will the problem get solved or not?) Solution/Conclusion – This is the point in the story in which the problem is solved Characters. Point of view • Decide which point of view. The basic plot is comprised of the following: • • • • Introduction. There are several components necessary to create a setting: • Place. first-person or third-person. works best for your narrative. Climate/Weather. The setting refers to the background in which the story takes place. The plot usually arises out of the conflict in the story. Without a specific narrative effect. a story may begin in a particular city in England. animal. the character(s) may find themselves in other locations within England. This is the mood or feeling of the story. and other essential elements of the story.g. The complication (supporting sentences)involves rising conflict that leads up to the climax (the point of highest action in the story). If the story begins in the midst of a hurricane. • • • The protagonist is the main character throughout the novel. Problem/Conflict. Time also refers to the season. The plot is a synopsis of the storyline in chronological order. Climax. By the middle of the story. The setting of the story is usually responsible for creating the mood or feeling of the story. the message. If the story could happen now or at some recent unspecified time. this refers to the period of history. the emotional quality that the story gives to the reader.Setting. Refers to people. it is significant to the story. 34 . month. society or an internal struggle within the main character. • Organization of narrative paragraphs The narrative paragraph consists of three basic parts: The orientation. • • • Plot. characters. The story may move from one place to another. but third-person can be effective as well. First. the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph.e. The force with which the protagonist is in conflict is called the antagonist. Like the setting. The force can be a person or persons. your writing is merely a series of unconnected events. if the story is set in the past. This usually refers to the geographical location of the story. establishes the setting. you might ask yourself. you must decide whether to reveal your point explicitly (stated directly) or implicitly (suggested but not stated). we say that it is "contemporary. the mood may change throughout the novel. it may be set in the future. which eventually builds to a climatic moment. This is where the events in the story become complicated and the problem in the story is revealed. etc. Refers to the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are presented. This is the turning point in the story in which the reader wonders what will happen next (i. First-person tends to be more subjective. Atmosphere.
in the resolution. The order in which the events are presented in the narrative paragraph is very important to the overall unity of the paragraph. The techniques of flashback and flashforward can also be part of your narrative’s time structure.Then. as they might be arranged in someone’s memory. events are described in the order in which they happened. 35 . (concluding sentence)the conflict is resolved and the narrative effect is revealed or suggested. in psychological time. In chronological time. events are described according to the connections between them. Use flashback to recall an event from the past that has a significant impact on the present. You must decide whether chronological time or psychological time best suits your story.
Your goal is to make the scene come alive for the reader. Use very detailed. readers quickly grow uninterested. Make the reader see. evocative description to immerse the reader in the situation or place you describe. use clear. Complete this paragraph using. smell. In other words. They are our primary source of knowledge about the world. If your paragraph consists merely of dry facts. . sensory detail is more likely to engage and effect the reader. if used well. Also make use of sensory language (language that appeals to the senses).Use flashforward to jump to the future and show a possible outcome for the events in the present. how the dew sparkled on the grass. feel.before. can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of your narrative. Both of these techniques.Use Sensory Details It is important to remember that human beings learn about the world through using the five senses. how the birds sang in the trees. especially when you are writing a highly detailed scene. . Therefore. Don’t just tell us that spring was in the air—describe how the sun felt on your skin.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. hear. and taste the scene you’re writing. precise language that keeps your reader’s attention. writing which incorporates vivid.Using Dialogue 36 .after.
which spread from the greyish collar of his neck. slowly gliding to the stark blinking eyes." Practice Practice1 37 . she enunciated clearly to the huge slurping hulk. The lady at the next table to the slob could take it no longer. "Appearances can be deceptive". furrowed her white brow. Real people do not use full sentences when they speak. Astonishment puckered his dimpled jowls to be replaced by a red infusion. and by rewording it. when. "Listen. and Why is a brief explanation of the circumstances leading up to the event.? What introduces your event to the reader. The most common method for ending a narrative paragraph is to refer back to your topic sentence. "Sir. Who should clearly introduce the character. B How to Finish . or even get angry over a remembered insult once hurled your way? When writing a narrative paragraph about one event in your life. Make sure your characters talk like people in real life." the voice was thick guttural. lady. Secretly I hoped she would do something to stop the obscene slurping coming from his fat lips. Figurative language can add to your narrative by suggesting to your reader how you felt in a particular situation. where. the use of dialogue will definitely make the event more vivid to your readers. like a soldier on a mission. use appropriate metaphors and similes. etc. interjections and other ‘real’ speech patterns. do you sometimes smile at remembering what a person said or did. This is your chance to use fragments. Wherehelps establish the mood and atmosphere for thsetting of the event you are re-telling. Everest. Whenexpands on the time the event took place." All activity stopped in the restaurant as we waited for his reply. use it to tie up the loose ends of the paragraph. Be sure to make the conversation lifelike by using slang. but she had his attention. serious intent.” Metaphors and similes can be very helpful in revealing your narrative effect to the reader. There was a grunt in return from the grazer. the Queen of bloody Sheba?" . "who do you think ya are. For example. a brief amusing or interesting story about a real person or event. you are inhaling your soup in such a manner as to distract your fellow diners. child. How to write narrative paragraphs A How to Start There are various ways to begin a narrative paragraph. but one of the easiest is to use the 5W’s – who. I watched her rise majestically from her seat. "Sir".When you recall an experience that you had. 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. what. re-word the idea into something lik"That is how I learned that the outside does not always reflect the inside.Finally. Another good method for starting the narrative paragraph is to use an anecdote. For exampleif the topic sentence is. why – to ensure reader understanding of what you have written. Is this an adult.
Fill in the blanks with the appropriate transitions to give the paragraph coherence. my sense of safety in Calgary was destroyed.__________ Jack has had his nob patched.after. During the rush hour one evening after work.today. Before I knew what had happened an old man had grabbed my door handle.__________ that day. High up there it could be seen by Jack while he stood on the porch of his cabin down the road.The following narrative paragraph lacks time transitions. and backed out othe car. I was driving down Centre Street. Later I realised how foolish I had been to drive with the doors unlocked. 9. "Darn light stuff".__________ the doctor and police were able to reconstruct the scene of the crime. 10. He would know she was away from the cabin. 4. Next he leaned ominously into the car blowing toxic liquor fumes across my face. Practice 2 Try to unscramble the following paragraph by numbering the sentences in the order they should appear. After snarling. 3. it was discovered what had happened.then .__________ Jyll had gone to fetch the pail for water. Jack.__________ Jack and Jyll still play at being neighbours. 11. It seems that when Jyll threw the pail up in the tree. After this experience.__________ she left she wanted to contact her neighbour. Jyll 6. to let him know she would be out of the area for the day.afterwards Let me tell you the story about a woman named Jyll and a friend of hers called Jack.in the meantime. "It happened while I was standing in the shower. 8. 7.before.__________ was able to toss the pail up into the air and over the giant arbutus tree next to the cabin. This was a safety measure. he took two smokes and my lighter. Then I realised all he wanted was a cigarette. but he hasn’t seemed the same fellow. so I 38 .first.__________ Jyll has been known to giggle at Jack’s disaster which sometimes gets her in trouble with his mother. Using Connotative Language in Narrative Writing The language used in narrative writing helps the reader imagine himself in the events you tell about. Finally I was able to calm down long enough to understand what the man was saying _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ In downtown Calgary it can sometimes seem quite dangerous when the sun goes down. she hadn’t noticed Jack coming around the bend in the forest path. it hit Jack’s crown on its way down.__________ thing that happened was that Jyll was running out of fresh water at her cabin.later. she grabbed the old wooden pail. Example: Instead of. vivid words to relate your story instead of passive language. 2. When. This danger became very real to me one summer evening. Now I started to panic as his hands fumbled on the car seat because I thought he wasgrabbing for my purse.when. and was stopped by the red light across from the York Hotel. but Jack won’t go near the water pail. 12. Use specific.__________ went off to town for the spring water not knowing that Jack had gone tumbling down. and gingerly I extended the pack to him When he started muttering.then . I drew back even further against the driver’s door. – The 1.__________ she would use it as a signal to Jack that she was absent from the cabin.eventually.__________ she left the cabin. She tied a rope around the handle of the pail and 5. She decided she would have to walk into town to pick up some fresh spring water. Don’t just relate the series of events because this creates a boring list.
Every two to three minutes I checked Answers 1. By this time. My husband went to the trunk of the car and pulled out the carjack and the spare tire to fix the car.m. The child ran out the school doors. On that day. 1. after afterwards 39 . my stomach was upset. The baby cried in her crib. 3. I got ready and told my husband to drive me to the interview. The man told me he had made an appointment for me with a potential employer and that my interview was at 1: 30 p. I looked at my watch. 10. punctuality is something employers look for. eventually then 9. 2004. by Elizabeth Alvarado (Fall 2005) The worst day in my life was July 21. first before 5.Write. I received a call from a staffing company. 6. We started feeling the car jumping. we heard a pop followed by a hissing of air escaping with great force. It became like a ritual. The girl hit her knee on the stairs. and it was 1 p.m. We pulled over to the side of the road onto the shoulder. We left so we could have enough time to look for the address. 2." The man walked down the street. After all. couldn’t hear the gas leaking "The blast of water from the shower deadened the other house noises. 2. As we were driving on the freeway. The cowboy fell off his horse. 4. The front tire had popped and lost all of its air. I was sweating and kept looking at my watch. 5. hiding the deadly hiss of gas.
breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. As they slowly climbed the long. Comment Visual details are often successfully incorporated into writing. in the meantime today Example Text: Paragraph Without Sensory Detail Grandmother Workman reached over and grabbed her grandson's arm. 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. As they slowly climbed the long. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. 8. when then 7. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. setting. The scene seems simple enough. He was nervous because the staircase was so steep. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. but she leaned against him and they began to climb. 40 . His mouth filled with the sweet. Without the inclusion of sensory detail. a room can become more than just a blank. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. vague receptacle. the writing seems vague and non-specific. like the bloated. Comment These are the beginning sentences of a paragraph which describes a boy helping an elderly woman up a flight of stairs. or add concrete details to a setting. Details which appeal to our sense of sight ensure that the reader is able to give faces to characters. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. but it leaves the reader with many unanswered questions. 4. and action. steep staircase. In the sample text. later when 11. and bit his lip. like the bloated. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. His mouth filled with the sweet. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. Example Text: Add Sound Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. oblong room with peeling maroon wallpaper and cracked ceiling tiles. 12. A visual description allows readers to place themselves within a text. For example. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. It becomes a small. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. steep staircase. visual details help accomplish this through encouraging the reader to create a mental image of the characters.3. and bit his lip. through adding visual detail. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck.
auditory details are most commonly included in writing. the addition of olfactory details helps set the mood of the paragraph by triggering our senses. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. the sound of a ship's whistle might remind a person of a summer's night in New England. His mouth filled with the sweet. The addition of auditory details gives the writer the opportunity to create a more detailed. Therefore. layered.Comment The human sense of hearing is an important means of communication. shape. and size of things. scents are able to cause vivid sensory re-creations of memories. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. and bit his lip. Comment The sense of touch encourages us to investigate the world around us by feeling it and learning the texture. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. sensory experiences. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. They allow a reader not only to visualize a scene. thoughts. As they slowly climbed the long. like the bloated. it is the human sense of smell that is most closely linked to the brain. and emotions. the writer has incorporated references to sounds which allow the reader to infer the state of the old staircase. Comment The sense of smell is commonly overlooked in writing. or can create images in our minds. His mouth filled with the sweet. steep staircase. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. through recalling familiar tactile sensations the writer encourages the readers to put themselves in the place of the characters. For example. As they slowly climbed the long. In the sample text. Our sense of smell has an uncommonly strong power over our feelings. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. like the bloated. Sounds can remind us of personal memories. 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. Example Text: Add Taste 41 . The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. texture. Sounds recreate personal. steep staircase. Next to visual details. This is because sounds give us a primary experience of the world. In the sample text. Tactile images can be powerful sensory triggers. Haut du formulaire Bas du formulaire Example Text: Add Touch Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. or of a tour of duty in the military. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. as well as the physical condition of the grandmother. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. Inclusion of the sense of touch prevents the reader from remaining distanced or detached from the writing. This is a sensory experience that most people have encountered. However. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. In the sample text. Example Text: Add Smell Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral 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. and bit his lip. but to experience it. Because of this link.
As they slowly climbed the long. Memories. and bit his lip. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. feelings. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. like the bloated. and places can all be suggested through the sense of taste. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. 42 . The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. a writer has the unique opportunity to affect a reader's senses. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. His mouth filled with the sweet. Comment The human sense of taste allows a person to do much more than simply select and enjoy food. There are four familiar tastes: Sweet Salty Bitter Sour By appealing directly to any of these tastes.Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. steep staircase. people. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon.
Once you have introduced a topic clearly. felt. its frets tarnished. a place. 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 (". like a sliver of glass found on the kitchen floor after a dishwashing accident." Instead of announcing your topic in this way. all scuffed and scratched and fingerprinted. but I treasure it as a gift from my older sister. and heard. slim neck. . The four prongs that anchor the diamond are separated by pockets of dust. The writer of "My Tiny Diamond Ring" has done just that. color. providing specific details that describe the ring: its parts. slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play. the paragraph is unified--that is. you should stick to it. As a result. The diamond itself is tiny and dull. 43 . It's nothing fancy. size. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. or a thing. such as. and hear what we have seen. . The ring is neither very attractive nor valuable. Model Descriptive Paragraph On the third finger of my left hand is the pre-engagement ring given to me last year by my sister Doris. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. just a Madeira folk guitar. Just below the diamond are small air holes. 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. intended to let the diamond breathe. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. all of the supporting sentences relate directly to one another and to the topic introduced in the first sentence. given to me last year by my sister Doris"). Whether we're describing a person. The 14-carat gold band. The strings are stretched down a long. circles my finger and twists together at the top to encase a small white diamond. a bit tarnished by time and neglect. developing this idea with details in the rest of the paragraph. feel. our aim is to reveal a subject through vivid and carefully selected details. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. a gift that I will pass along to my younger sister when I receive my own engagement ring this Christmas. This kind of topic sentence is more interesting and revealing than a bare announcement. "The belonging I am about to describe is my pre-engagement ring. but now clogged with grime. and condition.THE PARAGRAPH DESCRIPTIVE The purpose of descriptive writing is to make our readers see. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. The model paragraph: My most valuable possession is an old.
Supporting detail: 1. In the following paragraph. Topic sentence: On Maria’s first visit to the college campus. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. 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. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. sketch out a map of a college campus. 4. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. six. but it still lets me make music. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. 7.particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago. its frets tarnished. it's not a beautiful instrument. 5. 2. three. Structure of a descriptive paragraph • The topic sentence for a this descriptive paragraph is: My most valuable possession is an old. . locating each building where you think it belongs in relation to other buildings .The administration building.How are the details arranged. slightly warped. No. to the unicycle underneath (sentence nine). and for that I will always treasure it. all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed.Underline the spatial transitions in this paragraph. Activities: 1.Below is a topic sentence for a spatial paragraph. 4.The bookstore. slim neck. The strings are stretched down a long.The refectory room. particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago • The concluding sentence concludes the paragraph and emphasizes the personal value of the item.The library. and for that I will always treasure it.The student centre and cafeteria. This sentence not only identifies the prized belonging ("an old. The clown's short yellow hair. seven. 6.The faculty offices. to the body (sentences five. 1. observe how the writer moves clearly from a description of the head of the clown (in sentences two. but it still lets me make music. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. slightly warped. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. it's not a beautiful instrument. blond guitar") but also suggests why the writer values it ("the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play"). just a Madeira folk guitar. covers its ears but is parted above the 44 . On a sheet of paper.Identify the topic sentence.The classroom buildings 3. 2. Add spatial transitions to introduce each of the eight buildings according to their order of location. No. Then write out a paragraph beginning with the topic sentence below. blond guitar--the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play. 3. • The supporting sentences support this topic sentence with specific descriptive details. and four).The gymnasium and athletic fields. she saw many buildings. and eight). made of yarn. Notice also how the concluding sentence helps to tie the paragraph together by emphasizing the personal value of this gift. followed by supporting detail to develop the paragraph. It's nothing fancy.
which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. However. His familiarity with cat food commercials has led him to reject generic brands of cat food in favor of only the most expensive brands. Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned both in class—which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student—and as homework. and the right side is red. The blue eyes are outlined in black with thin. performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set. The clown wears a fluffy. and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious. His pride. You may start at the left side of the item and move right. before delving into its various genres. students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres within essay writing. The clown and unicycle together stand about a foot high. and its broad grin disappears into the wide. After my guests have fled. does not extend to his appearance. and lips. nose. let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay. or (literally) to drive out’. 3) Gregory Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. He enjoys TV commercials. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. tracing it back further. As a cherished gift from my good friend Tran. white ruffle around its neck. for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats. You may start with the outside of the item and move in. habits. or go from right to left. this colorful figure greets me with a smile every time I enter my room. which means ‘to examine. or from the bottom to the top. Choose the one pattern that seems best suited to your topic. 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. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English. it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training. especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. and then stick to that pattern throughout the paragraph. as many cat experts think. Through the excavation of this ancient word. but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. There are various ways to organize the details in a descriptive paragraph. What is an Essay? Though the word ‘essay’ has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English. but endearing. begging to be petted. He walks with pride and grace. He may snuggle up against your ankle. It has cherry-red cheeks. 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. The two colors merge in a dark line that runs down the center of the small outfit. You may move from the top of the item to the bottom. dark lashes flowing from the brows. 45 . or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers.eyes. however. The left side of the outfit is light blue. Essays Essay Writing Overview The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. or go from inside to out. However. Therefore. Surrounding its ankles and disguising its long black shoes are big pink bows. its origins provide us with some useful insights. two-tone nylon costume. test.
and senses give details for and further explain the supporting ideas. comparison and contrast. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. also known as the modes of discourse. Therefore. We hope these resources will help. which includes the topic and a controlling idea. Process of Writing a Paragraph: 1. numbers. • Optional concluding sentence. narration. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. Choose 2 . essays are (by nature) concise. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. she must be deliberate and interesting. examples. analysis. Exposition. TIPS FOR WRITING A PARAGRAPH CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PARAGRAPH Topic sentence. logically ordered and easy to follow. Supporting ideas (usually 3 . 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. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from her purpose.6).6 supporting ideas that do a good job supporting your topic sentence. • Unity. Brainstorm supporting ideas. which means that all the information of the paragraph is well-organized. Think of a topic and a controlling idea that will narrow the topic enough to support it well in one paragraph. The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper). which support the topic sentence Reasons.Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading. and require clarity in purpose and direction. which leaves the reading with something to think about and may summarize the supporting ideas if the paragraph is long. 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. Allen Brizee. 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. o Coherenence. which means that all sentences in the paragraph directly support the topic sentence. names. clarity. Narration. conciseness. As is evidenced by this list of attributes. 46 • • • . Although these genres. persuasion. Compose your topic sentence. there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing. exposition. 2. and exposition. have been criticized by some composition scholars.
examples. names. except for the topic sentence. 2. examples. Write your paragraph using sentences. Supporting idea 2. 3. Good Location. Good Location 1. A. Think of a concluding sentence. For balance. Hard curriculum 2. 1. 7. Affordable 1. be able to pay tuition and living expenses 2. 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. CHOOSING A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY Choosing a college or university can be difficult. Supporting idea 1. 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. Good preparation for major We decided to order these supporting ideas according to importance as shown in the outline below. Qualified professors B. Now we put this information into outline form and added some reasons. each supporting idea should have about the same amount of reasons. names. Good preparation for your major 1. 1. Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult. Supporting idea 3. and senses for each supporting idea. Put your supporting ideas in a logical order. numbers. Possibility of scholarships C. 5.3. Concluding sentence: 4. 3. 3. the curriculum that is taught must be 47 . Supporting ideas: 1. 3. 1. Topic sentence: A. names. Write your paragraph in topic outline form as follows. numbers. and senses that further explain the idea. Don't actually write sentences in the outline. Use the coherence strategies to make your paragraph easy to follow. Study environment 2. Affordable. C. numbers. B. examples. For each supporting idea. and senses. The most difficult part is finding a university that prepares you well for your future career. think of reasons. In order to get a good job. 6. Finally. we wrote the paragraph using sentences and trying to make the paragraph coherent using different coherence strategies.
It will likely make you more successful. please write a well-organized paragraph. 2. It will give you more money and greater quality of lifer. A good location is also very important when choosing a school. so you can get some practical work experience. the professors must be highly qualified and respected in their fields. 3. In addition. PRACTICE 2: By using information. It provides you greater economic strength and security 7. The Value of a University Education _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 48 . It will give you a better quality of life. Moreover. It makes you a major contributor to the greatest nation on earth. 4. The environment should be safe and quiet to facilitate studying. Note: You don’t need to use all notes A. 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. there should be possibilities near the school for parttime or summer jobs in your major. It will give you more self-confidence 10. Some institutions might be able to offer you scholarships if you cannot afford the fees. 5. You should consider all of these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you. It will give you more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction 8.thorough and up-to-date. It will give you the power to change the world. Another difficulty in choosing a university or college is affordability. You need to be able to pay the tuition fees and living expenses. 6. It will give you greater knowledge of the world events 9. It will be something you can pass on to your children.
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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
particularly in the evening. one has a smaller number of friends. Disadvantages 53 . Advantages Advantages of TV Commercials Ads on television give consumers a lot of information. In addition. a Toyota dealer wants to sell the Toyota Camry. Firstly. they think about all this information about the Camry. and where they are available. As a result. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. and this can be extremely expensive. The dealer’s ads will show the new Camry over and over again and tell the consumer that the Camry has power windows. Then they can decide if it is the car they want. one may have to travel long distances to work elsewhere. the fact that there are fewer shops and services often means that there are fewer employment opportunities. For example. Disadvantages of Living in a Village There are certain drawbacks (disadvantage) to life outside the city. entertainment. The ads may also tell where to buy the Camry. is difficult to find. When consumers see these ads._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 5. They may say that the Camry runs as well as the Mercedes but the Camry’s price is much cheaper. because there are fewer people. and so on. the ads may compare the Camry with the Mercedes. how much they cost. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 6. six cylinders. They let consumers know what products look like. Disadvantages 1. Furthermore. Therefore.
Therefore. television teaches us all kinds of things. when you watch a horror movie your psychology is affected by this movie badly. for example Sesame Street and Tarchın and his friends. When I was a high school student. As a result. science fiction movies have full of imagination. how to make delicious dishes. For that reason most countries life style can be changed by movies. 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. There are several programs for preschool children. These programs help students with their studies. like foreign language and math education programs. In conclusion nowadays. What is more. Advantages Advantages of Watching Television w TV is a good teacher for everyone for several reasons.. you may want to be a monster or a murder. thedre are some programs for adults about how to garden. As we know. For example. They do not have any eating culture. most American movies. people use movies in order to change history. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 9. you see that people eat simple food. how to fix things around the house and so on. Another example would be science fiction movies. Also.Disadvantages of Watching Television w Watching movie can destroy human’s psychology and imagination in some ways. there were many kinds of learning programs. Mostly. Furthermore. These are well-organized programs that teaches children to count and to say the alphabet. They easily change an event which occurred in the past in the direction of their ideas. television has programs for students. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 54 . it causes people’s eating habits. Moreover. 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. When people watch this kind of movies. they think whatever they watched it could be in real life. Almost in every American movie you can easily see a beautiful house which has a garden or it is constructed seashore. They also have interesting characters that they tell stories and sing songs.
uniforms make it more equal among the rich and poor students. To begin with. tourism helps people to learn about other cultures and ways of life. Secondly. Therefore. identity and pride. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. if there are a lot of tourists in the area. Advantages Advantages of Wearing the Same Uniform Wearing uniforms give all students equality. Apart from this. sometimes people’s language can suffer. Lastly. Advantages Advantages of Tourism There are several advantages to tourism. it can be bad for a country. 55 . in many cases the natural beauty of a place can be spoilt. uniforms give identity. All students do not have the same financial resources and can't afford expensive clothes. student may want to wear designer clothes which some can afford but others can't. As a result. As a result. it makes the locals stay rather than leave to get jobs elsewhere. In addition. Firstly. Primarily. tourism often brings more air._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 10. Moreover. uniforms give students equality. Also. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 11. For example. Disadvantages Disadvantages of tourism There are some disadvantages to tourism. we should give enough importance to tourism. water and noise pollution. 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. if tourism is not controlled properly.
Furthermore. Students can feel equal to one an other. In addition to this. The most important one is that there are always a lot of people around so you won't feel lonely. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 13. First of all. you don't have to cook for yourself. Advantages Advantages to Living at a Dorm I would prefer to live in an apartment for a number of reasons. If a sports team does well. students can feel proud together of that accomplishment. Alcoholics may become angry and argumentive. Alcoholism Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the world today. tense. I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. Moreover. or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. others will know which school that person is from. Hence.Students feel a sense of belonging when everyone has the same uniform. Overall. but also their family. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ B. friends. Students can tell who is from their school and who is not according to the uniform. Effect 1. and confused. As a result. we should help the number of alcoholics in Turkey and all over the world. Overall. others can feel proud that they are his/her classmates. Therefore. and co-workers strangers. CAUSE and EFFECT PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 56 . sad. They can fee[ a sense of identity and pride that they wouldn't be able to feel as well if they didn't wear uniforms. I prefer to live at a dormitory because I do not need to cook and wash my clothes for myself and there will be a lot of people around me. if a student is a good musician. the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person's life. They may also feel more anxious. the dormitory is usually very safe since almost all dormitories have security guards. students can "advertise" their school just by wearing their uniforms and be proud of the school they attend. uniforms give pride. there is usually a laundry room in the basement so you don’t have to go anywhere else to do laundry. Others can tell which students are from which schools and if someone is not behaving well. It not only affects the alcoholic. Moreover.
It is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. The second reason is alcoholism has psychological reasons. alcoholics often drink hoping to drown their depressed feelings. In some cultures. Effects Effects of Parents on Children Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. Moreover. I experienced this. 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 cause of alcoholism can be biological. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. Cause Alcoholism There are some reasons of using alcohol. Parents should also encourage their children to study by buying story books with pictures. As a child. For example. First of all._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. Some of them also want to reduce strong negative feelings. If parents are alcoholics. social and cultural factors play important roles in development of alcoholism. there is conflict between refusing and accepting the use of alcohol to be a social person. so parents have to take the responsibility to monitor their studying and to remind them to do their homework at home after school. Children usually enjoy playing games instead of studying their boring lessons. As a result. children may take alcohol later on. it is extremely important that whatever the reasons are we should avoid drinking alcohol. My parents gave me a gift if I had 57 . It can be related to emotional changeability.
In short. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. Effects _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer. Moreover. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 4. and then I was very excited. some students may get scholarships to study abroad. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 58 . Most students get a good education wherever they go if they are strong-minded to achieve something in their studies. they may pay less to study abroad and the programs can be better abroad. So. Many people think that students may get a better education outside their home country. To get a college degree from a university outside their home country may be prestigious for students. students study abroad for a number of reasons. Therefore.studied well. Furthermore. Causes Studying Outside There are many reasons students choose to do this why students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. 5. students may get more money in their job if they have a degree from outside the country.
For that reason. nature is a home for animals. movies provide entertainment. Explain why movies are so popular. Finally. If you are poor. you can take exciting photographs. To begin with. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. Causes World is in Danger Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. Movie theaters can be found in almost every town. 6. Moreover. animals. 7. animals. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. they offer an escape. forests are natural resources that must be saved because they provide so much good for so many people and animals. In short. all over the world. they die too. rain forests also are habitat of many insects. watching movie is one of the important activities of people. First of all. such as forests._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Movies are popular all over the world. walk through. Next. Furthermore. Because. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. animals depend on it for survival. forests are beautiful to look at. Causes Watching Movies There are many reasons why people all over the world enjoy watching movies. they are fun to watch andlet you imagine what other people's lives are like. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 59 . There are thousands of species that live in forests and when the forests die. some people go to the movies to see how others live. movies are available everywhere. or clean water. or dean water. such as forests. and look at all the flowers. As a result. birds. hike in the forest. there is usually a video store with movies. If there is no theater. it is a way to escape that life for a few hours. Finally. .
there is the student’s right to speak. when a teacher asks us to speak we look down to show respect. we are all responsible and had extra work. Both my teachers know their subject well. my present if we need a rule we work it out from the examples. teacher gives us examples first. both my English teachers with their similarities and differences are excellent teachers._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. If a student makes trouble in the classroom. they can only ask questions at the end of the class. My teacher back home would teach us a rule of grammar and then give examples. Turkey. Similarity and Differences Classroom Behavior Rules There are some similarities and differences in the classroom behavior rules between North America and my country. Next. First. In contrast. This makes the student unpopular (alone. Likewise. without friend) and nobody wants to be unpopular. They can even ask questions when the teacher is giving a lesson. students can ask the teacher questions. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. In conclusion. when the teacher asks them to speak they must look into the teacher’s eyes to show respect. In North America students look up to teachers and respect them. In North America. When a student is always troublesome in class. in my country students have the right to ask questions. they also have differences on these same points. Then the counselor sends the students to the assistant principal and so on. In contrast. however. For example. students respect their teachers. In conclusion. We do not look into their eyes. my present teacher sends the troublesome student to a counselor. the way my two teachers teaching method of English is different. students respect teachers. in my country. there are both similarities and differences in the way students behave toward their teachers in the classroom. COMPARE and CONTRAST PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. my old teacher would go to the parents because my school is small and everybody would know each other in the city. Both my English teachers control the class well. Turkey. Also. 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. 60 . However. Similarly. Although my teachers have these similarities. They both make sure we know the rules of the language very well.
one can make more money in the job market. In addition to this. some attend in order to make more money in the job market. They learn about a particular subject in depth there. Because. some attend for personal achievement. Compare _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. personal fulfillment and financial rewards. Argumentative Importance of University Education People attend university to prepare for a career. First of all. employers want employees who have very specific knowledge._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. In short. ARGUMENTATIVE PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. Adults may attend university just for the joy of learning. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 61 . Secondly. Finally. 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. some attend university in order to prepare for a career. If one has specialized skills. people attend college for many reasons some of which include desire to prepare for a career.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication. Moreover. Moreover. When people watch television. they give less time to family and friends. Not only family members argue about what to watch on TV but also friends do. body language is more effective than spoken language. People also enjoy the relaxation of watching television. or telephone calls. In addition to this.. People do not communicate in the same way as they did before television was invented. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. when you write a letter or email. and their feelings. television has destroyed communication between family and friends. such as letters. television makes passive. e-mail. That means you can change your conversation to fit the situation.then you would wait for another time. you do not get this same kind of experience. it is more personal. 2. Therefore. In conclusion. face-to-face communication is usually more effective because you can easily see the other people’s expression and feelings about a topic. children argue with their parents to buy them toys they see advertised on TV. they do not talk with one another. Furthermore. Although many people watch television in order to relax. their actions. Television is such a passive activity that family and friends often forget what meaningful communication is. Besides. 62 .. but forget that communication is important. For example. 3. People spend less time with family and friends and more time with TV this is destructive. Seventy percent of communication is through gestures. Television often causes arguments. 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. more effective and more honest._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. You see them. but you can see that he is in a bad mood or he is distracted. you want to ask your boss or a raise. Argumentative Enemy of Communication Communication between friends and family has been destroyed due to television. It is more personal. When you talk to a person face-to-face.
Canada has a high standard of education. Finally. effective. Supporting Details What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence. letters and telephone conversations. In short. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. details. and examples. Canada has a high standard of education. How do I write them? You should give supporting facts. What do they do? They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. Canada is a desirable place to live. Canada has an excellent health care system. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Finally. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. 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. face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. making up the body of a paragraph. As a result. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Second. Canada has an excellent health care system.You can't get this with email. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. First. Canada is a desirable place to live. and honest conversations when they meet face-to-face. 63 . All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. As a result. Second. First. Most people have more personal.
you write about the similarities and differences between two or more people. 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. Canada has a high standard of education. things. HELPER WORDS COMPARE AND CONTRAST PARAGRAPH In a compare and contrast paragraph. Sinop has rainy spring season. as Example: As well. Second.Conclusion Sentence What is the closing sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. or ideas. First. Example: Write a paragraph comparing the weather in some cities in Turkey. places. Canada has an excellent health care system. How do I write one? Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words. both Example: Both Trabzon and Rize have rain in the spring. Finally. also Example: Samsun also has a rainy spring season. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph. Canada is a desirable place to live. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. 64 well . Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. 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. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. As a result. too Example: Artvin has a rainy spring season. too.
__________ they have acquired a taste for imported beverages. the protein staples in Japan has been fish products. 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. but Example: Ankara has a mild winter. the Japanese have been consuming more beef. mainly because they are very selective and will only purchase high-quality products. Erzurum has a cold winter. Erzurum has a cold winter. In fact. Switzerland. milk. Not only Western countries but also Asian nations __________South Korea. but Erzurum has a cold one. Singapore. a waiter/waitress is now a waitperson. 65 . Germany. and brantype cereals imported from the United States. while Example: While Ankara has a mild winter. __________ they enjoy fruit. Taiwan. especially women who are aware of the Importance of health and fitness. Lately ______the consumer market has been changing. asparagus (vegetable) from Thailand. New words have been added. A change is that sexist titles of many occupations have been neutralized. Then use correct punctuation. Traditionally. annual per capita consumption is expected to be about seven kilos in the next decade. __________Japan is Importing eels (fish) from Taiwan. 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. you can use Ms. like beer drinks and "light" wines imported from England. Use each only once. The words feminist. In time. to address a woman when you don't know if she is married. The lack of a clear neutral pronoun can lead to awkward sentence construction. H. Fill in each blank with an appropriate transition signal from the list provided. are eating Western-style breakfasts. and an airline stewardess is now a flight attendant.________ young people. winter is much colder in Van. The greatest access into the Japanese market has been by the food Industry." is influencing young Japanese consumers.DIFFERENCES on the other hand Example: On the other hand. are quite useful. Some of the new words such as Ms. however Example: However. and Thailand have been benefiting from the changing diet of the Japanese consumer. winter is much colder in Erzurum. and Australia. the United States. 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. Another new word is the title Ms. which will definitely be advantageous to many countries of the world. sexist. which is defined as "internationalization. English pronouns may also change as a result of women's desire for equality. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. koku-saika. in contrast to Example: In contrast to Ankara. I. and a high school or college freshman is now a first-year student. A mailman is now a mail carrier. which is often used in place of both Miss and Mrs. both of the nonalcohol or low alcohol varieties. differs from Example: Erzurum differs from Van by having a cold winter. and mangoes (fruit) from the Philippines. A chairman is now a chairperson (or sometimes simply chair). and male chauvinist have become common during the past thirty-five years or so. It will certainly increase international trade. ____________the Japanese trend toward internationalization should become even greater as we approach the twenty-first century. who are very eager to purchase and enjoy products from countries around the world. _______in the last decade or so..
but through genetic research. Because human embryos can be frozen and used at a later date. and more productive cows. Example: Write a paragraph discussing two types of energy resources.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. you group things or ideas into specific categories. Some people feel that it could have terrible consequences. For example it is very expensive to obtain insulin from natural sources. scientists have now developed a way to manufacture it inexpensively in the laboratory. 66 kind divided of into . frozen embryo to give birth to its identical twin. In addition genetic engineers have created larger fish. years later. Genetic engineers have created a new tomato that doesn't spoil quickly. to use a cloned. a researcher at George Washington University Medical Center cloned human embryos' by splitting single embryos into twins and triplets. A laboratory accident for example might cause an epidemic of an unknown disease that could wipe out humanity. CLASSIFICATION PARAGRAPH When writing a classification paragraph. These embryos did not develop into babies but it is possible that they could do so in the future. Scientists are now able to create new forms of life in the laboratory due to the development of gene splicing. it could be possible for parents to have a child and then. 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. frost-resistant strawberries. On the other hand not everyone is positive about gene-splicing technology. be Energy resources can be divided into two types. flavorless tomatoes in grocery. Furthermore the ability to clone human beings is a possibility that frightens many people. In 1993. Consequently tomato farmers can now let the tomatoes ripen on the plant and develop full flavor and color before they are picked-no more green. Another beneficial application of gene splicing is in agriculture. On the one hand the ability to create life in the laboratory could greatly benefit humankind.
67 opinion . is related Coal is related to other non-renewable resources. basketball is more fun than football.is falls a Coal is a type of non-renewable resource. idea. Example: Write a paragraph stating whether you would prefer to play basketball or football. CHOICE / OPINION PARAGRAPH In a paragraph where you have to make a choice. fits Coal fits into the category of non-renewable resources. is grouped Coal is grouped with non-renewable resources. is associated Coal is associated with other non-renewable resources. is a part Coal is a part of the category of non-renewable resources. or action that you prefer. you need to choose which object. type of under to of into with to with Coal falls under the category of non-renewable resources. Often. 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. belongs Coal belongs to the category of non-renewable resources. you will need to give your opinion on a choice of actions or events.
Second. third. your party must have a majority of seats. I I consider basketball to be more exciting than football. Example: Write a paragraph outlining how a person becomes the prime minister. understanding My understanding is that basketball is more fun than football. I I believe basketball is more exciting than lacrosse. third. second. I think I think that I would prefer to play basketball and not football. second. hope I hope that I can play basketball in the future. The following words can help you to write a good sequence paragraph. you need to win a seat in the House of Commons. that consider believe me prefer SEQUENCE PARAGRAPH In a sequencing paragraph. PERSONAL OPINIONS like/dislike I like the sport of basketball because it is fast and exciting. 68 . this order is based on time.belief My belief is that basketball is more fun than football. you need to become a leader of a political party. etc. etc. Third. recently in the beginning previously before afterwards then when after after finally at last subsequently ORDER first. feel I feel that basketball is my favorite sport. Helper Words: ORDER TIME first. First. I I prefer basketball over football. idea My idea is that basketball is more fun than football. Usually. you are writing to describe a series of events or a process in some sort of order. it seems to It seems to me that basketball is more exciting than football.
previously She is the new prime minister. after After winning a seat in the House of Commons. she was still working as a lawyer. she won the election. Previously. afterwards Example: She won the party leadership last year. you can call yourself the prime minister. you must make sure you have a majority of seats in the House of Commons. when Example: When she won the party leadership. after all these steps. you will be asked to explore causes and effects of certain events. you must win a seat in the House of Commons. Before becoming the prime minister. you can call yourself the prime minister.in before the In the beginning. . you need to explain how or why something happens. subsequently Subsequently. . at Example: At last. you need to become a leader of a political party. you need to become the leader of a political party. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. finally Finally. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. Example: Write a paragraph explaining why so many Europeans moved to Canada during the nineteenth century. after Example: After winning a seat in the House of Commons. Very often in social studies class. 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 worked as a lawyer in Toronto. TIME recently She was recently elected prime minister. then last 69 . EXPLANATION PARAGRAPH In an explanation paragraph. beginning then Then. Afterwards.
Examples: Write a paragraph describing what a polar bear looks like. Hence. It follows that many people moved to Canada. many people moved to Canada for a better life. thus Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. it follows that Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. Sometimes. Thus. 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 . consequently Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. Describe where Canada's industry is located. Consequently. Therefore. is due to / was due Example: The large influx of people to Canada was due to economic pressures in Europe. you are writing about what a person. many people moved to Canada. since Example: Since living conditions in Europe were terrible. place. then fewer people would have moved to Canada DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH In a description paragraph... many people moved to Canada for a better life. as a result People moved to Canada from Europe as a result of poor living conditions in Europe. many people moved to Canada. you may describe where a place is located. if . then Example: If living conditions were better in Europe. or thing is like. of to EFFECT therefore Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. hence Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe.CAUSE because Example: People moved to Canada from Europe during the nineteenth century because they had poor living conditions in Europe. many people moved to Canada.
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 . above Example: The ceiling is above us. colour Example: Polar bears are usually white in colour. purpose Example: The purpose of the polar bear's fur is to keep it warm.near north/east/south/west PROPERTIES size Example: Polar bears are big in size. / west EVALUATION PARAGRAPH In an evaluation paragraph. MEASUREMENT length Example: The length of a polar bear's claws is 20 cm. and possible actions. near Example: Many companies are located near Toronto. you make judgments about people. Example: Write a paragraph evaluating whether pesticides should be used on farms. width Example: The width of a polar bear's head is about 50 cm. beside Example: Quebec is located beside Ontario. You need to make your evaluation based on certain criteria that you develop. shape Example: Polar bears have a special shape. below Example: Most of Ontario is below Hudson Bay. speed Example: Polar bears can swim at a speed of 40 km per hour. ideas. resembles Example: A polar bear resembles other bears in shape. you will state your evaluation or recommendation and then support it by referring to your criteria. LOCATION in Example: Most of Canada's manufacturing is located in Ontario and Quebec. mass / weight Example: Polar bears weigh up to 650 kg. north / east / south Example: Ontario is west of Quebec. In the paragraph. ANALOGY is like Example: A polar bear is like other bears in shape.
but principally by the use of transitional words and phrases. right / Example: It is wrong to use pesticides because they harm the environment. bad incorrect moral / immoral Example: The use of pesticides to control pests is immoral because it harms the environment. Transitional words and phrases may be conjunctions. The connection between sentences in a paragraph can be shown in several ways. such as and.com/inner/about_us. wrong trivial RECOMMENDATION suggest Example: I suggest that pesticides should not be used to control pests. http://www. Connections Between Sentences A good paragraph has unity: All the sentences have a relationship to one another and to the main idea.moral / immoral right / wrong important / trivial advise argue CRITERIA good / Example: The use of pesticides such as DDT is bad for the environment. 1995. important / Example: The issue of pesticides is an important one because it affects the environment. argue Example: I would argue that pesticides should not be used because they harm the environment. Ann Hogue.html 2. Alice Oshima.htm 4. correct / Example: The belief that pesticides must be used is incorrect. advise Example: I would advise farmers not to use pesticides if possible. Ann Hogue. 5.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic. such as for instance. http://archive.1september. SOURCE: 1. or explanatory expressions. but. and however. on the other hand.ru/eng/1999/eng35-2. 1980. Longman.htm 3. http://www. Longman.paragraphorganizer. First Steps in Academic Writing. recommend Example: I recommend that pesticides should not be used because they are harmful to the environment. Writing Academic English. 72 . and so on.uottawa.
equally important. If asked what space is reserved for learning. in common. consequently. the lab or the library. some students do their best work before the sun rises. finally. it will suggest that most paragraphs are built of a combination of development strategies. 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. Some people need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully. "environment. 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. some after it sets. They give directions. exemplifying. achieving unity. and schedules. The topic sentence makes a general claim: that school work tends not to be associated only with school. Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs A paragraph is unified when every sentence develops the point made in the topic sentence. 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. transitional words and phrases also act to hold sentences together. You may choose to compare either point by point (X is big. however. These words are often referred to as logical connectives because they make clear not only the order but also the meaning of the writing. Finally. despite. Each organizational pattern has its own logical connectives. The rest of the sentences provide various illustrations of this argument. Words particularly suited to writing about causes and effects are as a result. In this sense. and otherwise may be used to emphasize comparison or contrast. and schedules. while others cannot produce anything without much dust and heat. This section will discuss three of the most common types of paragraph structure: development by detail. any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space. activities. Transitional expressions such as equally. a second factor. They tell where the paragraph is going. a flashing red traffic light instructs drivers to careen even more wildly through intersections heavily populated 73 . Order of importance may be emphasized with transitional words and expressions such as first. comparison and contrast. 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. The details provide the concrete examples which your reader will use to evaluate the credibility of your topic sentence. close observation reveals regional variations across this country. Being sedentary seems to inspire others. and most important. Logical Connectives Additionally. Some need a less flexible schedule than others. but not everything. It must have a single focus and it must contain no irrelevant facts. because." enumerated in the topic sentence. Some students work quickly and efficiently. on the other hand. Every sentence must contribute to the paragraph by explaining. Consider. activities. many students would suggest the classroom. just as.) or subject by subject (X is big and purple.Transitional words and phrases act as signals. Although most classes are scheduled between 8:30 and 22:00. clear paragraphs. or a place associated with thinking. and therefore. or expanding the topic sentence. They are organised around the three categories. distinguishing the East Coast from Central Canada and the West as surely as dominant dialects or political inclinations. while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed. Look at the following paragraph (you may have encountered it before): Work tends to be associated with non-work-specific environments. In order to determine whether a paragraph is well developed or not. In Montreal. and process. of major concern. least important. X and Y are both purple. What about the kitchen? The bedroom? In fact. Y is small and purple. furthermore. Y is little.). similarly. the following paragraph: Although the interpretation of traffic signals may seem highly standardized. for example.
This paragraph compares traffic patterns in three areas of Canada. and domesticity or on the other hand fickleness. never serves aces at me on the tennis court. but not tense or rigid." 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. were any observant Canadian dropped from an alien space vessel at an unspecified intersection anywhere in this vast land. If you wanted to consider two or more aspects. Process description often follows a chronological sequence: The first point to establish is the grip of the hand on the rod. People in these areas have in common the fact that they all drive. It is important to note that the paragraph above considers only one aspect of driving (behaviour at traffic lights). It contrasts the behaviour of drivers in the Maritimes. you would probably need more than one paragraph. with little abstraction. In fact. and folly." Among the "qualities considered distinctive of manhood" listed in the entry for man. for example. they drive differently according to the area in which they live. Bob 74 ." and this is exactly what he does. My secretary. and always removes his wristwatch. affection. or combination? 1. This should be about half-way up the cork handle. the little finger. says a true gentleman "knows instinctively when I prefer to light my own cigarette. she says. Paragraph Development by Process Paragraph development by process involves a straightforward step-by-step description. he or she could almost certainly orient him-orherself according to the surrounding traffic patterns. (from Roderick HaigBrown.with pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. in contrast. or pickup trucks. In my home town in New Brunswick. incorrigibly English. superficiality. process. The forefinger supports and steadies the grip but supplies its own firmness against the thumb. which should be along the upper side of the handle and somewhere near the top of the grip. absolutely firm and solid. In startling contrast. Review: Paragraph Development Although most paragraphs contain a combination of development techniques. Those of you in the sciences will recognise it as the formula followed in the "method" section of a lab experiment. "Captain Horatio Hornblower. A process analysis might include a brief history of the process in question. According to this dictionary. and move on to provide detailed descriptions of the subjects being compared. finally. Many paragraphs include lists of examples: The broad range of positive characteristics used to define males could be used to define females too. third finger and middle finger contributing most of the firmness by pressing the cork solidly into the fleshy part of the palm. All four fingers are curved around the handle. in Montreal. It may begin with a brief comparison. traffic lights (along with painted lines and posted speed limits) do not apply to tractors. which type of development best describes the following paragraphs: detail. strength. comparison and contrast. and vigor" the definers associate with males. 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. which together account for most vehicles on the road. "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. a single paragraph will contain development by a combination of methods. all terrain vehicles. near the heel of the hand. Paragraph Development by Combination Very often." Among the few true gentlemen extant. but they are not. in order to make a point about how attitudes in various places inform behaviour. no negative attributes detract from the "courage. point by point. and in Calgary. womanish means "unsuitable to a man or to a strong character of either sex.
Joe Namath and Front Page Tom don't. (from Harry Bruce. Development by Detail 2. Development by Detail 2. and of this they were both inclined to boast. The wasp crawls under it and walks over it without evoking any hostile response. with the rich farmlands and cities of England just below her. batters' helmets. "The Wasp and the Spider") 1. Development by Process 4. but I will tell today's softball players that -with their fancy uniforms. The tarantula shows an amazing tolerance to this exploration.the game they play is more tarted-up and sissy than the one I knew. "What is a Gentleman") 1. Am I one of those geezers who's forever jawing about the fact that. they regard me warily. Canada's Lesson" [edited]) 1. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Development by Process 4. and the glorious old days when the only football in the Maritimes was English rugger." Only recently did it occur to me that it might be worthwhile considering the extent to which this is true. Development by Process 75 . Development by Process 4. (from Hugh MacLennan. above all. so is Canada to the United States. guys to announce who's at bat over public address systems and. when hockey was an outdoor art rather than indoor mayhem and at decent yacht clubs. Development by Detail 2. in his day. "Scotland's Fate. (from Alexander Petrunkevitch." (from Allan Fotheringham. gloves for every fielder -. Combination of Development Methods 3. dugouts. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Both countries were gouged by the retreating glaciers. Development by Detail 2. Combination of Development Methods 2. 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.Dylan and Pierre Elliott Trudeau come to mind. Richard Burton. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. as if it were on stilts. men were gentlemen and women were persona non grata? No. manicured diamonds. "The Softball was Always Hard") 1. which left them on the subsistence level as far as good farmland was considered. When I was young I often heard people say. To identify the species the wasp apparently must explore the spider with her antennae. Combination of Development Methods 4. It also gave them both a heritage of spectacular beauty uncrowded by cities and towns. As Scotland is the hard northern cap to the British island. The molestation is so great and so persistent that the tarantula often rises on all eight legs. It may stand this way for several minutes. When I tell young softball players I played the game bare-handed. "Canada is the Scotland of North America.
Lessons will cover rules for comma use and common comma mistakes. 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. In most situations. 2. use a comma to separate items in a series. use a comma with a coordinating conjunction to separate two independent clauses 3. In this module you will learn how to use commas correctly. or phrase 5. use a comma to set-off non-essential elements such as a phrase or clause.” It is easy to know when someone has finished a sentence: we see a period there. presenting addresses. Commas should be placed before and after a non-essential element in the middle of a sentence 4. to “get it. 1.4. five general rules for comma use will help students use commas correctly. 76 . dates. Some special situations for comma use are discussed toward the end of this module. commas are necessary for others to understand what we have said.. word. Quick Comma Rules. 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. It is not as easy to know where a writer’s thoughts are going inside a sentence. citing sources. use a comma to follow conventions of naming.. use a comma after an opening clause. etc.
writers set these elements off 77 . nor. then they are unlike items and should not be separated by commas. if between ideas not. independent Many grammarians would argue in this situation. yet. After graduation. Writ She left her beautiful black leather handbag on the bus. there is some debate Two or more about whether the last item in a list of three items should take a comma. Rule 3: use a comma to set off non-essential elements A non-essential element is information that is added to the core of a sentence to add further information— information that is useful. the error is a "comma splice" (for more detail. complete sentence. or a series of adjective. For example. and I will be staying home flipping burgers and going to school. green beans." if the coordinating conjunction is provided and the comma is omitted. or prepositional phrases. explore the module on run-on sentences). however. To signal the reader that a word. phrase. 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. MLA format rules do require a comma together need before the last item in a series of three or more elements. but. washing the clothes. appetizing fast food is difficult. punctuation tells the reader Finding healthy. a comma should not be used between the items. the error is a "fused sentence. examples: Felix does not like spinach. for. In this its own as a situation. infinitive. or dependent clause is non-essential information.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. Without adequate punctuation. a series of things to pick up at the market. We will be going to the mountains again this summer. ers join Haunted by the memory of last year's painful knee surgery. but not really essential to understanding the basic assertion. conjunction. Maya is going to travel throughout Southeast Asia for a year. And the coordinating conjunctions—and. or a comma and a Felix dislikes spinach. However. and to vary the rhythm in the sound of their sentences. leaving out the last clauses joined comma is acceptable. and brussels sprouts—any coordinating vegetable that's green. The series may be a series of adjectives describing independent something. the sentence will be a "run-on sentence": if no punctuation is included between independent clauses. A series of two or more clauses items should be separated by commas. 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). but this time we will bring mosquito repellant. that the clause could stand on Note: Sometimes a series seems to be "like" when it is not. strong punctuation: a examples: semi-colon. broccoli. then the items are like. Doing the dishes. nor does he like broccoli. if the sentence makes sense. she protected clauses her knee with a strong brace during the tennis match. and mopping the floor are the This chores I hate most.
In the second sentence. As you can probably tell. Because we have had so much rain this year. is Maria. John and Alex. I thought you were going to study tonight instead of come with us to the movies. whose name. mild exclamations or interjections: Hey. word. one should never separate a subject from the verb of the sentence: example: What she has always wanted is now within her reach. because the name of the sister is included as necessary to the meaning of the sentence. The information is thus enclosed by commas. or phrase Introductory Clauses: When beginning a sentence with an introductory clause (as in this sentence). My sister. as you can probably tell. 78 . she is pretty nervous about public speaking. Referring to what others have said shows that you are participating in an ongoing conversation about a topic. examples: She is. a comma is typically necessary to signal the reader as to when the introductory phrase or clause is complete.by commas before and after the addition. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. before television. people read books for fun. the names of Jake's friends are non-essential information: Jake has only two best friends. examples: As you can see. however. the speaker could have more than one sister—this particular sister is fun to hang out with. is pretty fun to hang out with. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. by the way. if the names are essential to identifying the person. before computers. for clauses used as the subject of a sentence. only the comma separating the phrase from the rest of the sentence is needed. pretty nervous about public speaking. Once upon a time. because the name of the sister is non-essential information. However. construction of the new highschool will take an additional six months. In the first sentence. is fun to hang out with. Note: In the last example above. the speaker must have only one sister—my sister. the names should not be set off from the sentence. Watch out. Maria. Jake brought his best friends from school. Introductory words: Sometimes a sentence begins with a single word that needs to be set off from the rest of the sentence. John and Alex. Rule 4: use a comma after an opening clause. 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. If the phrase occurs at the beginning or end of the sentence. Jake brought his best friends from school. the problem is much bigger than we imagined.
Note: Grammarians disagree about the word "hopefully" used as a sentence adverb. . . No. Use a comma to separate a city from a state. . furthermore. but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how we look at it). Troublesome they may be. arguing that it is ambiguous—the writer could mean a hopeful prediction. one month before my 30th birthday. but these conventions allow us to quickly share and process information. Without a doubt. At the restaurant we all ordered burgers and fries. California. however. and unable to host his television program. they are enclosed by commas. citations. names. Use commas to surround titles or degrees: 79 . and introductory appositive phrases that are essential to the sentence should never be separated from the subject by a comma. I would love a new plasma television. and quotations have risen up over time. 1979. examples: To help him understand how an internal combustion engine works. or if they occur in the middle of a sentence. Examples of sentence adverbs include moreover. sadly. nevertheless. a name in a direct address: Miguel. . many conventions for the presentation of dates. and after the state before continuing with the rest of the sentence: I have lived in San Francisco. then show me how you do it. . I cannot afford one. 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. The acclaimed critic Roger Ebert has been ill recently. . and mercifully. Most hate this construction.Ok. Ebert & Roeper. . and after the year before continuing with the sentence: The twins were born in June." Introductory Phrases: Introductory phrases add information to the sentence and create interest in and anticipation for the information to follow. Rule 5: use a comma to follow conventions What follows reads a bit like a laundry list of comma use rules. for most of my life. she is the nicest person I have ever met. however. I drew a diagram. . Sadly. do you want another cup of coffee? a sentence adverb: these are special transition words that always take a comma. In San Francisco one finds plenty of good restaurants. or "I am hoping. . Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year. I don't want pineapple on my pizza. she has the flu and will have to skip the concert. Never use a sentence adverb to connect two independent clauses unless you use a semi-colon before the sentence adverb. frankly. times.
You are going to make the cake for the party. 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. but a raft don't. not sad." or "As Huck puts it. Don't place a comma between two sentence verbs or verb phrases. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery. Ph. a colon should be used instead. they're a mighty ornery lot. Use a comma to emphasize a shift or to cause the reader to pause before an important contrast or point of emphasis. Don't place a comma between two nouns. wrong: To err. because I am sick. and you got to make allowances. However. Rely instead on language and logic." is wildly funny.Professor Pete McSeed. . Take a look at a parody of this kind of comma abuse by blogger fandomcommahate 80 . received his doctoral from Amherst College a year before taking a teaching job at Yale.D. wrong: She walked out of the room. Tears were streaming down her face because she was happy. and that I would not be coming to work. Don't use a comma to separate the subject from the verb. . and started screaming about the grade on her essay." 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. and an occasional well-placed comma to create voice. corrected: To err is human. "All I say is. Twain's short story "Hunting the Deceitful Turkey. after all. Don't put a comma after the main clause when a dependent clause follows it. It's the way they're raised. corrected: I told my boss that I was sick and that I would not be coming to work. He was angry. is human. When introducing a quote with a short introductory phrase like "He said. . ." "Twain argues. . furious even. after an independent clause. wrong: I told my boss that I was sick. corrected: I am not going to work today because I am sick. wrong: I am not going to work today. noun phrases. corrected: She walked out of the room and started screaming about the grade on her essay. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. kings is kings." the phrase should be set off from the quote by a comma." 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 them all around. Don't sprinkle commas throughout your writing to try and imitate a speaking voice. .. Huck says. or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object. Commas used with quotations are a bit tricky.
who. the people. the people. However. Quotes & Quotation Marks Quotation marks are probably the most incorrectly used element of punctuation. them. students are often confused about when to use single or a double quote. and how to use quotation marks with direct quotes. quotation marks are not used. "And that's what I'm talking about!" Indirect quote: After she finished her chocolate sundae. hate. who. the comma. In an indirect quotation. and you may well be driving your English instructor up the wall if your commas are out of place. double-spacing is maintained throughout the essay). which spawn them. So good for you. periods. however. love comma abuse. Also? Everyone else. the quote should be double-spaced (in MLA format. however. fandoms. though it is important to provide a citation letting the reader know the source of the information. 81 . Writers use quotation marks to signal the reader that the text within opeining and closing quotes is not the writer's original material. who hate comma abuse. it must be offset and indented (the way the examples on this page are offset and indented). how to use quotation marks to express irony.I. she said that she wanted another one. the perpetrators. comma abuse. there are rules that govern the placement of other punctuation with quotation marks. however. love them. do not use quotation marks with an offset quote as the offsetting substitutes for the punctuation. love. for being here! In this module. The rules governing the use of quotation marks are specific. students don't usually sit down and read about how to use quotation marks properly. the people. who. hate. whether or not it is Ok to use quotes to identify a new term. seriously. 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. and question marks when they finish with a quote and move back to their own writing. Using Other Punctuation With Quotation Marks: Here is where things get tricky: students often just guess where to put commas. Block Quotes: When the quoted material is longer than four lines of your own text. when the writer paraphrases another person's words. she said. and hate. the people. Quotes within the quote still take punctuation marks. and the. Direct quote: After finishing the entire sundae. hate. If you are writing an essay in MLA format. Like.
She argues that "nobody understands [her]" to anyone who will listen." A comma should be used before a quote begins to separate a lead-in phrase from the quotation. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. If the omitted material is after a complete sentence. . "The future of stem cell research [see definition] is in doubt. when you need to make the quote fit the grammatical structure of your own sentence. and to walk to school rather than ride with her dad. "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. . . but it also has thorns. Very well. for example. 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. Mark Twain once said." said Donna. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) Capital letters: Basically. . This was for practice. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. . stick with the actual text of the quoted material. where do I begin?" (Dr. however. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. and a space before beginning the ellipses). for example. (Edwin Bryant." the 10-year-old protoganist repeatedly tries to break away from her parents and childhood.Commas and periods after a quotation go INSIDE the closing quote: "I was so tired that I fell asleep in the library. Brackets: Brackets are used within a quote when you need to change a word. 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. or the addition of words to clarify meaning: In "Like a Fox. Then he made School Boards"? When omitting words in a quotation. to choose her own clothes. ." A Quote Within a Quote: 82 . "In the first place God made idiots." For example. . Brackets are also used to indicate a single word omission. If the lead in is an independent clause. keep the period then add the ellipses: Walker . place the punctuation outside the closing quote. use ellipses (three periods with a space between each period. the author of the essay on the Novato Train Station might employ a statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. Scientist Gail Monroe said. You do not need to change a letter to or from a capital to fit it into the structure of your sentence. What I Saw in California) Ellipses may also be used to indicate a pause or an unfinished thought: "The details of my life are quite inconsequential. She asks his mother to let her go alone to the lake to join her friends. "Love is like a rose: it blooms and grows and creates joy. One exception would be when you begin a sentence with a quotation: here you would capitalize the first letter of the sentence. if the sentence itself is a question or exclamation.
which means "to be timid or cowardly. quotes can be construed as a sign of the author's laziness or inability to indicate irony in language.' he demanded. as in "I just 'love' waking up at 6:00 am to catch a plane. he is sometimes taken advantage of by strangers." which refers to the cloth women wrapped around their heads in medieval times. one is calling attention to the fact that the term is slang. Ontario) You must be "21" to enter this bar! (a fan's local bar) "Parents" No candy sold on this aisle. (Weis Supermarket. Neither of the sentences below needs quotation marks to make the irony clear because the logic reveals the irony. Quotation Marks for Terms Before computers took the place of typewriters. 'How much?' I asked. Rahul Alvarez takes a year off from school to pursue an education of his own design. however. the terms should appear as regular. Mississippi) Help Wanted. Slang: Quotation marks may be used around a word to indicate that a word is a slang term." Dr. Free From School) Quotation Marks for Irony and Emphasis Irony: Ever seen someone use air quotes? People make air quotes when they want to express irony. Often it is better to rely on the logic of the sentence to indicate the irony. I took a seat and he put my luggage on the overhead rack. unitalicized text.' he replied. Pittsburgh. but my guess is that she wasn't being kind. PA) "Fresh" Fish (Byward Market. use single quotation marks to enclose the internal quote and distinguish it from the primary quote. I had no idea what she meant. Those telephone solicitors are so kind and thoughtful to call during dinner time. the use of italics is preferred. For example. The English word wimp." and so does Joey in a classic episode of Friends (click here to see this bit on YouTube). 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. At sixteen. Today." (Rahul Alvarez. In this case. Using quotes to express irony is tricky. Must have cash register experience and be "willing to work." comes from the Old English word for "wimple. Emphasis: Most grammarians will tell you that using quotes to denote emphasis is incorrect.When quoting text that itself includes a quote. Ottawa. Evil in the Austin Powers movies uses air quotes. quotation marks were used around words and phrases meant to be read as words or terms rather than for their content. PA) It is probably best to avoid using quotes for emphasis in college writing. 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. '25 rupees. 83 . around familiar terms like "laser. but incorrectly. thereafter. She called me a "garden tool". I handed over the amount to him. New terms should be placed in italics the first time they appear." (Weiner World Restaurant. In his book Free From School. I just love telephone solicitors. but people do it all the time.
Bennet. Take a look at this dialogue from Jane Austen's novel. “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr. Bennet made no answer. He advised me by letter that he would. A short work is a work within a work. then include the closing quote.” Mr. Quotation Marks in Dialogue There are a few important rules for using quotations marks in dialogue. Works of art are also italicized. 2007. full-length plays. (Robert Luce. • • • The words of each speaker need to be enclosed in quotes In quotes that go on for more than a paragraph. 1862) correct incorrect 3. when italics are not available) are used to identify longer works. “You want to tell me.” said his lady to him one day. She has long been interested in the "woman question. The Writer.” This was invitation enough." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. "The Present Hour. and I have no objection to hearing it. “Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently. the writer must begin a new line. "pay me one hundred dollars. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West." 84 . “But it is. Long has just been here. italics (or an underline. 1. Longer works include books.” returned she. films. TV series.Quotation Marks and Titles Quotation marks are used to set off the titles of short works. Bennet replied that he had not. use a quote at the beginning." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. Every time a new speaker talks. such as an episode of a TV series. but not at the end of the paragraph until you reach the end of the quote. or a song or poem. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. and she told me all about it. a chapter in a book." correct incorrect 4. magazines and newspapers. “for Mrs. Pride and Prejudice: “My dear Mr. an article in a magazine. on the first day of June. full-length records (or cds)." correct incorrect 2. 2007.
" by Pierce F." "She ought to know. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister." 11. She said. . The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape." correct incorrect 8. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. In some manner. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister." 1988) 85 . (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. dude?" makes me crazy. She said. Lewis." correct incorrect 7. correct incorrect Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. Geography is a science of observation. He correct incorrect 6. expression. correct incorrect 10. . She ought to know. I just "love" surprise quizzes. 392-393). The correct incorrect 9. "What's up. Sauer writes. I just love surprise quizzes. . said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift.correct incorrect 5.
Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making fruitcakes. Buddy. 86 . Oh. (from "A Christmas Memory. Footsteps. It's Mr. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. he doesn't smile. they've gone to warmer country. And there were no birds singing. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. Mr. No. His eyes tilt more. Our hearts overturn. The door opens. he does have scars." by Truman Capote. I knew it before I got out of bed. Haha. Haha. We've thirty cakes to bake. 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. 1966) 13. Cooking. Help me find my hat. she says. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. Mr. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear.12. yes indeed. too. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. a whispery voice at best: If you please.
dude?" makes me crazy. She has long been interested in the "woman question." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. "The Present Hour. The Writer. (Robert Luce." "She ought to know." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 2. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. She said. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. 2007." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 87 . "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West. He said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. 1966) Correction 1. He advised me by letter that he would. 2007. "pay me one hundred dollars. She said.(from "A Christmas Memory." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. "What's up." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6." by Truman Capote." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. 1862) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 3. The expression. She ought to know. on the first day of June.
Sauer writes. they've gone to warmer country. and in emoticons : ). . It's Mr. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. We've thirty cakes to bake. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. too." Mr. 11. Mr. the semicolon is used to indicate a question? And the colon in Finnish and Swedish is used like the English apostrophe? The semicolon and colon are also used in mathematics. And there were no birds singing. 1966) Answer given: 13. (from "A Christmas Memory. yes indeed. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. a whispery voice at best: If you please. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. Our hearts overturn. as well as how to use colons and semicolons effectively in their writing.—Mark Twain Did you know that in Greek. Geography is a science of observation. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 10." by Truman Capote. they are also important symbols.9. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. Haha. . by Haha. I just love surprise quizzes. he doesn't smile." by Pierce F. in computer code." 1988) Answer given: 12. Buddy. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. Memory. Lewis. 1966) (from "A Answer given: Total Total Total Percentage correct: 0 % Semicolon & Colon use questions: machine graded graded: correct: 13 10 0 Balloon: thing to take meteoric observations and commit suicide with. Oh. he does have scars. No. The door opens. The rules governing semicolon and colon use in English writing are quite specific. These symbols really get around. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. Objectives: • learn to use semicolons and colons between independent clauses 88 . In this module students will learn these rules. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. In some manner. I just "love" surprise quizzes. and have been since before the 17th century. Truman Cooking. Capote. Help me find my hat. 392-393). (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. I knew it before I got out of bed. she says. . 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. In the English language. Footsteps. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making Christmas fruitcakes. His eyes tilt more.
in addition. nevertheless. the sentence must be an independent clause. and so they cannot be used to connect clauses. then. on the contrary.. hence. at least not to me. soon.sometimes. semicolons are used to separate the items in the series. sometimes she wakes up ready to bite my head off. however. items in a list are separated by commas. . but not as strong as a period. also. who you quote says something about your point of view —great minds think alike.at the next. therefore. Sentence adverbs are transition words rather than conjunctions.. meanwhile. It is not acceptable to connect a phrase to a clause with a semicolon. henceforth.then to indicate addition: likewise. when the items themselves require commas.. and none of my good friends is here. Maria made a big Italian dinner for the family. so to speak. furthermore. one the one hand. however. moreover.. In this case. sometimes. what is more to indicate contrast or concession: however. accordingly. for one thing . what each comma in the list is being used for can be unclear. moreover. Using a quote also shows that you are informed. at one moment. For example. A semicolon is stronger separation than a comma + coordinating conjunction. then too.." "therefore.. still. she made the cannolis herself! Below is a list of words typically used as sentence adverbs: to indicate time: then. thus.. ." "at least. afterward. Semi-Colon Use With Commas in a List Typically.partly.for another (thing). Usually she wakes up with a smile on her face. For example. now. This party is really boring: the music is terrible. For example." "moreover. nobody is talking. rather. exactly the opposite. at least to indicate a result: consequently... instead.• • • 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. later." and "even so" to connect two sentences. besides. Semicolon with Sentence Adverbs: A semi-colon (or a period) should also be used with sentence adverbs such as "however. as a result to indicate condition: otherwise Note: On either side of the semicolon.. 89 . partly. on the other hand. Writers often use a semi-colon when they want to state an idea in more specific terms.
onions. but it can also be used to introduce another independent clause that illustrates or elaborates upon the idea in the first clause. correct: When you come to take the exam. and a dictionary. and the second clause as the movement(s) of a symphony. These days. so be very careful to ensure that the clause is complete: incorrect: When you come to take the exam. bring the following: pencils. green and red peppers. but that so large that they held it over them like an umbrella when they lay down in the sun to rest. In the first version. Wisconsin.m. and Boston. John 11:35 Job 3:2 Titles and Subtitles A colon is used between a title and subtitle of a book or article. cumin. tortillas. Madison. Chicago. two-headed men and men with no heads at all. This mistake is corrected in the second version." It is not acceptable to use a colon after an incomplete sentence to begin a list.This summer on our road trip we will visit Fargo. men with only one foot. Illinois. a calculator. bring the following items: pencils. 3:00 p.m.m. One could think of the first clause as a kind of overture. 10:30 p. Massachusetts. James Johonnot) Other Conventions of Colon Use Colon in Stating Time Use a colon between the hour and the minute. I am going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for fajitas: chicken. North Dakota. illustrates the idea in that first clause: The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived: one-eyed men. men with a lip long enough to cover their whole face. New York. 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. and others whose favorite beverage was human blood. and a dictionary. men whose only food was snakes. a calculator. woolly hens and sheep that grew on trees. The sentence begins with an independent clause. and in one island a valley where only devils dwelt. a pencil sharpener. the independent clause lacks a direct object. which takes up the entire paragraph. Take a look at the following example. "The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived. a pencil sharpener. Colon Use With Items in a List A colon is used after an independent clause to preface a list of items. use a colon between the chapter and the verse." the rest of the sentence. and hot sauce. (Ten Great Events in History. however. I agree with the statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. New York. The Bible When referring to passages in the Bible. . dragons and unicorns. and so the sentence is incomplete. Colon Use Between Independent Clauses A Colon can be used after an independent clause to introduce a list. even if the list includes only a single item.
pretentious. and a year revolution around the sun. Spiegler semicolon used in a sentence? 2. or even inappropriately humorous for the content of the essay that follows. The title-colonsubtitle format is very popular in newspapers and popular magazines. semicolon 91 . 3. however: this type of title enables the journalist to frame the subject and the angle the journalist will take on the subject in a single. How is the colon used in a sentence? For each sentence below.com) Salutations In a business letter. short sentence. To Whom it May Concern: 1. How is Dear Sir: the Dear Mr. The earth has two motions-a daily rotation upon its axis. a colon is placed after the salutation rather than a comma (used in informal letters). decide whether the dash should be replaced with a colon or a semicolon. 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.
(Rabelais) 92 . Make sure that your choice reflects correct semicolon or colon use. liberty. joined to the first with either a semicolon or a colon. I watched the sun pass below the horizon. We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal. add a second sentence. devoid of color and sound—but. semicolon colon 5. Some semicolon colon 6. it throbs with life.colon 4. 7. Helen Keller's world is built of touch sensations. that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. without color and sound. died without speaking—others spoke without dying. that among these are life. and the pursuit of happiness. semicolon colon For each sentence supplied below.
8. She w as a kind old w oman: See our version Having pets does not prepare a person for parenthood: See our version Money talks: See our version 93 . a colon can be used to great effect when a writer wants to illustrate or elaborate on an idea. try to connect several illustrations with semicolons. When you complete your sentence. check out our version of the sentence. The colon can even set up a kind of mini-essay within your essay if after the first clause. you connect several illustrations together with semicolons. In at least one of the exercises. Try out this technique in the text boxes below. The park was full of people. All you need to do is add sentences that illustrate or elaborate on that idea. A starting sentence is provided for you. Contexts for Colon & Semicolon Use As mentioned in the lesson on colon use between independent clauses.
as a he Twins amount to a permanent riot. good garden gloves. 1. and drinks. See our version In America. check out our version of the sentence. When you complete your sentence.) As for man his days are (Old Testament. Mark Twain) Now give this technique a try yourself. A cup of coffee w akes me up in the morning. Bring to the picnic: a blanket 94 to sit on. value. Consider the following balanced sentence: “What we have we Whiles we enjoy it. Why. a salad. (The Babies Speech. As in the colon exercise above. then we (Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing. to create balance. See our version Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. repeat structures and ideas.Semicolons in Context A semicolon is a useful tool for connecting two closely related ideas. a starter sentence is provided for you. Remember. prize but not being rack flower of the to lack’d the field so the and worth lost. See our version We acquire our highest ideas in childhood. It is also useful for creating balanced and smooth-flowing sentences since good balance comes from the repetition of similar structures or ideas. . 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. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. Psalm 103:15) as grass. fertilizer. 1. correct incorrect 2. and clippers. iv. and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection.” flourisheth. w e hurry.
I don't want to make money. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. (Molly Ivins) . (Marilyn Monroe) correct incorrect 8. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 5. You correct incorrect 7. no matter how much you'd like to. and let the air out of the tires. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. (Dorothy Parker) correct incorrect 10. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. Use a semicolon to connect two closely related ideas about places you like to visit. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. The correct incorrect 6. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. stop digging. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 4. 11. (Coco Chanel) can't ignore politics. Fashion correct incorrect 9. (Molly Ivins) first rule of holes. 95 is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. when you're in one. (Joan Rivers) correct incorrect Write sentences demonstrating your understanding of correct semicolon and colon use according to the directions below. I just want to be wonderful.correct incorrect 3. Possibly now we are now entering a third era in which the movies will be sounding a note of cautious optimism: You know it just might work.
Use a colon to introduce an in-depth explanation or elaboration of something. 13.12. 96 . Use a colon to introduce a list of activities you enjoy.
(Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. fertilizer. and drinks. The first rule of holes. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. a salad. (Marilyn Monroe) Answer given: 97 . Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 2. stop digging. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. 1. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. good garden gloves. Correction Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. I don't want to make money. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6.14. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. Bring to the picnic: a blanket to sit on. 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. I just want to be wonderful. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 3. no matter how much you'd like to. and clippers. 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. You can't ignore politics. when you're in one.
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 is seen in the middle of a sentence. students will learn the rules for correct use of end punctuation. . 98 . One almost never sees a question mark or an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence. or a question mark. . and placenames. one may choose instead to use a question mark. such as "She laughed at my joke. also called a "full stop.? ? ? The Period A period. order: Children will stay within school grounds during recess. an exclamation mark. and so. in these situations. such as "I believe it will rain today." is used to signal the end of most kinds of sentences . Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. the period at the end of a sentence: A declarative sentence: a period is used to end a sentence that states a fact. A period. advice: You should not be swimming so soon after eating. a period is used in titles. (Dorothy Parker) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 10. and let the air out of the tires. . They will discover the problem for themselves. and to use end punctuation correctly and effectively in writing." An imperative sentence: a period is also used to conclude a sentence that issues an order. has many uses in addition to ending a sentence: for example. . In this module. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. (Coco Chanel) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 9.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. gives advice. or makes a request—though with requests." or an opinion. abbreviations.
D. A. other uses of the period Periods and Money A period is used between dollars and cents. No period is used when money is rounded to dollars: $45. . . If your voice goes up at the end of the sentence.1. where do I begin?" (Dr. Col.150 $1. 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. M. long terms. M. .150.67 $1 Periods and Abbreviations Periods are not used in the abbreviations of familiar institutions. Hilary asked us if we wanted to go swimming this afternoon. unless the number or letter is enclosed in parentheses: I. Ms. The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains.2. (Edwin Bryant.D. . . was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. Little rise in your voice indicates a level of formality and polite hesitation. . radio stations.A. An indirect question: a period is used in a sentence that includes a question.89 $45 $1.D. 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. or a series of three periods (with a space between the last word or the period at the end of a sentence). is used to show an ommission of words in quote. a period expresses this polite tone. use a question mark. organizations. If a single word is ommitted. (a) (iii) Ellipses An ellipses. I wondered why she asked us if we had our bathing suits. Very well. 1. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) 99 . request: Would you please change the oil for me. Walker . Mr. Ph. Please send her my congratulations on getting the promotion. 1. Periods are also used after numbers or letters in an outline. use brackets ([ ]) to indicate the ommission. .We should go to the party tonight. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. Note: a good way to determine whether a request should end with a period or a question mark is to say the sentence out loud.D.00 $. . but is itself not a question.
" and "No!" for example. I can't believe you got your nose pierced! Note: In a quotation.The Question Mark Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. The captain was born in 1799 (?). This was for practice. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. it is acceptable to abbreviate questions after the initial question if the structure is clear. Be careful. however. But be careful not to overuse this technique. Do not double up punctuation when using a an exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. In the English language. In a series of questions. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. an exclamation point goes inside a closing quote if the quote is an exclamation. if the sentence itself is a question. 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. Wow! Did you really get an A+ on that exam? Let's take a road trip! Listen! I think I hear something. Then he made School Boards"? Use a question mark in parentheses to express doubt or uncertainty. to use an exclamation mark for strong emotions. What is the context for Twain's comment. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark by adding in the usual comma or a period. "Wow! It's lucky we caught this in time. if the sentence itself is an exclamation. place the punctuation outside the closing quote." 100 . 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. "In the first place God made idiots. do not use question marks after indirect questions or polite requests. and died in 1854. 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. There is a world of difference between "No. As discussed above. Skip the additional punctuation: His doctor exclaimed. a term used to express joy.
Twain uses many exclamation marks and question marks. asking yourself the following questions may help you quickly figure out where you went wrong. for NATO He 2. þÿ Don't forget to pick up your prescription 6. but these have been replaced with periods. 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. þÿ Jenny. mild exclamations do not take exclamation marks. þÿ Mrs Henley brought me a basket of muffins when I was sick last week 4. but sometimes this happens.) Did I forget closing punctuation altogether? (Seems unlikely. þÿ end used punctuation to work wherever for the it is FBI. þÿ What are all of these candy wrappers doing all over the floor 7. þÿ I am never going to get this project done on time 3.) Supply 1. Read through the passages and decide where you think the exclamation 101 . I can't believe I flunked English 10. þÿ Please do not use cell phones in our restaurant 8. þÿ Is there time to finish desert before we need to get to the movie 5. needed but (including now he in works abbreviations). I haven't seen you for ages 9. In this passage.) Did I over-do it with the exclamations? (Use exclamation marks sparingly. 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.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.
Clarence. "you here yet? Go along with the rest of the dream! scatter!" But he only laughed. a light flashed in my eyes. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time." But he only laughed in his light-hearted way and fell to making fun of my sorry plight. "What!" I said.." I said resignedly. what "let the dream go on. "Are you here yet. indeed! and is it a dream that you're to be burned to-morrow? Ho-ho -. in his light-hearted way. Go along with the rest of the dream. stood before me. a light flashed in my eyes. stood before me! I gasped with surprise. "All right." "Prithee "What dream? Why." "What dream. I'll nap again till the whistle blows." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. who are nothing but a work of the imagination.a person who never existed. and fell to making fun of my sorry plight. My first thought was. "What. my breath almost got away from me." dream. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. I gasped with surprise. "let the what dream go on." -33"Oh. and that I am talking to you.a person who never existed. and that I am talking to you. my breath almost got away from me. Copy the passage into a word processor for revision and then paste your corrected version in the text box. "Well. I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. if you prefer. and that butterfly. me." 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. Why. copy and paste the text into the text box and do the editing there. and that butterfly. Scatter. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules.points and question marks belong. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. When I next came to myself. "Well. "All "Tell right. la. 1. who are nothing but a work of the imagination.. what an astonishing dream I've had. Or. My first thought was.." I said resignedly. Clarence.answer me that!" 102 . I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. dream?" I'm in no hurry. what an astonishing dream I've had! I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something. I'm in no hurry." I said.
tell you. only friend I've got. help me to devise some way of escaping from this place!" "Now do but hear thyself! Escape? Why. "Oh. that maundering old ass? Bosh. is be need! a I man do -want speak to out. be kind to me." After a pause -. they?" indeed daren't!" "Why. listening. for an thou betray me I am lost!" I laughed the only really refreshing laugh I had had for some time. What but I are daren't.The shock that went through me was distressing. Clarence. poor lad. "Merlin.hesitatingly: "and there be other reasons -and weightier. damn Merlin!" But Clarence had slumped to his knees before I had half finished. 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. what is the matter? Why do you blench? Why do you tremble so?" "Oh. forsooth! That cheap old humbug. no doubt. I hope?" "Full a score.for you ARE my friend. beware! These are awful words! Any moment these walls may crumble upon us if you say such things. be merciful to a poor boy who means thee well. and finally crept close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news in -34a whisper.don't fail me. come. So I said beseechingly: "Ah. in his malice." "Other "Well. But how many. the corridors are in guard and keep of men-at-arms. even in a dream. that I could contrive. idiotic. for I knew by past experience of the lifelike intensity of dreams. man. Clarence? Not many. chicken-livered superstitions that ev -oh. and shouted: "Merlin has wrought a spell! merlin. a but good -" lad!" there's He hesitated. the other way by fear. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was. and he was like to go out of his mind with fright. has woven a spell about this dungeon. pulled one way by desire. good boy. "Come. -." "No doubt. would be very far from being a jest. certainly a superior man like 103 . it does seem to me that of all the childish. One may not hope to escape. Oh call them back before it is too late!" Now this strange exhibition gave me a good idea and set me to thinking. pure bosh. that to be burned to death. I now began to reason that my situation was in the last degree serious. the silliest bosh in the world! Why. I have told it! Ah. chuckleheaded. be there brave. then he stole to the door and peeped out. 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. by any means. in sooth. aren't you? -. and was a thing to be avoided. dream or no dream. fair or foul. they ones? say -oh.
Do you know why I laughed?" "No -but for our blessed Lady's sake. dependent clauses form sentence fragments. I went on thinking. In this module you will learn to spot fragments in your work and to turn those fragments into complete sentences." "Well. when writers are caught up in the flow of their ideas and are trying to capture those ideas on the page. 104 . Complete sentences are also sometimes called independent clauses. prepositions. However. Dependent clauses begin with subordinating words (relative pronouns. 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. Because I'm a magician myself. Definition 2: A sentence is group of words that begins with a capital letter. and worked out a plan. writers often end up with sentences that are not complete—"fragments" of thought that need something more to stand on their own. I'll tell you why I laughed. look me in the eye. or adverbs). The arrangement of the words follows the rules of English grammar. each sentence passes the test for completeness. However. what professional writers do that many beginning writers do not is to carefully proofread their work to make sure that before publication. As a result. has a subject and a complete or finite verb. they do not always pay close attention to the stops and starts of thoughts. do it no more." Grammatical sentences Correcting Sentence Fragments A sentence must be able to stand on its own as a completed thought. Then I said: -35"Get up. because it will help you tell the difference between sentence fragments and complete sentences. Keep the distinction between dependent and independent clauses in mind.me ought to be shrewd enough to contrive some way to take advantage of such a state of things. and ends with a period. Pull yourself together. Groups of words that modify part or all of an independent clause are called dependent clauses. By themselves.
are called sentence fragments. the last sentence is a fragment.It is useful to group sentences into 4 types. Example: After Pinnochio saved Gepetto. which join a dependent clause to an independent clause. My favorite flavor of ice cream. and the Blue Fairy granted his wish. the scientist finally gave up. Pinocchio lived happily ever after. 1) Simple sentences. “hoped” is the verb. baker. We wonder what the scientist finally did. Consider the following passages to see if you can locate the sentence fragments: She didn't want to be on vacation anymore. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. In each paragraph. in which a conjunction links two simple sentences. Think of them as broken or incomplete thoughts. The two puppies. and post office in every city.) 4) Compound-Complex sentences. and he became a real boy. and in the second paragraph. Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Verb: After years of searching for a cancer cure. the scientist finally made a breakthrough. This thought feels incomplete. The last sentence in the first paragraph lacks a sentence verb. When people knew the shopkeeper by name and knew about each other’s lives. A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence punctuated as if it were complete. The downtown takes you back to the time when there was a single sweet shop. students will learn how to correct sentence fragments. It has a subject--“the scientist”--but not a verb. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy.. the word "when" turns the clause into a subordinate clause. (“After the Blue Fairy granted his wish” is a dependent clause. ) 2) Compound sentences. which have one subject and one verb. and other groups of words that lack a subject or a verb. Correcting Sentence Fragments. You need to fix them. . (“Pinnochio” is the subject. the common sources of sentence fragments are identified. Dependent clauses. 3) Complex sentences. In the rest of this module.. so that your reader can understand your thoughts. the Blue Fairy granted his wish. and examples are given to help you identify and correct fragments in your own writing. which combine types 2 and 3. Example: After the Blue Fairy granted his wish. other examples . Below. or After years of disappointment in her search for a cancer cure. 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. . The clouds drifting in the sky. Her things that meant so much to her. “After” is the subordinating word. 105 . the scientist finally. She wanted to be back with her things.
Goldilocks dreamed of flying. a steadfast and masculine father. Moses was the prophet who led the slaves to freedom. (verb: “chased”) The clouds were drifting in the sky. Who led the slaves to freedom. Hoping to be free. (complete verb: “were drifting”) Verb forms that end in “ing. fragments are sometimes quite difficult to spot. At this point. They need an auxiliary or “helping” verb. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed.Corrected: My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip. They are often closely connected to a point in a previous sentence. a little rascally boy to take after the father. “were” is the helping verb that completes “drifting. In each of these shows. all living in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. 106 . (verb: “is”) The two puppies chased each other. however. and so they seem like correct sentences even when they are not. are not complete by themselves. 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. Corrected: I zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. (subject: “Tess and her mom”) The slaves were hoping to be free. you may be thinking these fragments are pretty easy to identify. After I changed my fuel filter. In the last example above. (subject: “I”) Tess and her mom went to the video store. After I changed my fuel filter.” or participles. a proper and demure mother. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. Went to the video store. my mother decided not to go skydiving with us. Corrected: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother.” Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Subject: Zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. my car’s gas mileage improved. In the real world. (subject: “The slaves”) Sentence Fragments Made up of Dependent Clauses: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother.
Answer each question below as best you can. Is either of the out following to eat. temporarily. Your reader may assume the fragment is unintentional if the rest of your writing is not polished and free of errors. 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. The most American of sports is experiencing a real return to popularity. One technique for spotting fragments is to reformat your essay. Using Sentence Fragments for Special Effect. sentence a Especially fragment? for Why or Thai why food. all live toether in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. be very careful here. She wants a home with a white picket fence. Occasionally. so that the sentences can be seen more clearly . and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother.The last. 1. a little rascally boy to take after the father. Wow! I never knew that you could play soccer so well. eating. and eating. What must a sentence Answer given: 3. and so the sentence is a series of phrases. What is a Answer given: 2. a steadfast and masculine father. A sentence fragment can also be used to express a strong emotion: Selma told her dad she finished her homework. Yeah. Answer given: 107 . Get a bicycle. Waiting for the sound of an approaching car. To correct the sentence. Ozzie & Harriet's house. if possible. it is acceptable to use a sentence fragment for a special effect. However. —Mark Twain You will not regret it.. A fragment can be used to present an answer to a question: How did we win the tournament? Nerve. as a worksheet. the subject must be located. In each of these shows. A fragment can create emphasis on a single word or phrase: He stood stock still. If you live. The initial assumptions and the definition of human nature being totally ambiguous. long sentence is actually a fragment.. you use a simple command to quickly separate each sentence onto its own line. For example. a proper and demure mother. With this technique. eating. Is either of the following sentences a fragment? Why or why not? I love going Answer given: 5. Baseball. not? There are many wonderful things to do in San Francisco. The verb "living" is not complete. Listening. Answer given: 4. 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. right! She didn't even open her math book.
Make sure your paragraph is free of sentence fragments." sentences without any punctuation at all connecting independent clauses. Often comma splices occur when the second clause begins with "this. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. coordinating conjunctions and sentence adverbs appropriately Correcting Comma Splices A comma splice occurs when a comma is used without a coordinating conjunction to join two independent clauses together. Stronger punctuation is needed to connect two independent clauses. Separating the two clauses into two independent sentences with a period is always an option. corrected: There is time to finish the project. 108 . but." "that. however. however. 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 won't finish it if we go to the beach. we won't finish it if we go to the beach.6. for. nor. 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. There are three variations of run-on sentences: sentences that use only a comma to join independent clauses. or else abandon the text altogether out of frustration. In this module students will learn • • to recognize and correct run-on sentences to use colons. Without appropriate punctuation readers are forced to determine the correct relationships. Note. however." without a comma. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. or. however. she must be able to tell the reader how her ideas go together. as in the following sentence: comma splice: There is time to finish the project." "these. If a writer wants to be heard." and sentences that are simply joined by coordinating conjunctions like "and. Readers look for punctuation to signal the end of one independent clause and the beginning of another. so. 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. We can use a semi-colon if the logical connection between the statements is clear: corrected: There is time to finish the project. but we won't finish it if we go to the beach. We can also use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and. Write a paragraph explaining what "freedom" means to you." or "those". or "fused sentences. that a period creates stronger separation between ideas than the other options. semi-colons. or "comma splices. Answer given: Run-on Sentences Run-on sentences are sentences with "signal" problems. or yet) to connect two independent clauses.
this bakery hardly goes unnoticed and people from a variety of cultures stop in to experience what it is it has to offer. Two large display cases adorned with a variety of different pastries. and city surrounding the theater that are most important. Answer given: 8. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. I'm going to see Gwen Stefani this weekend. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids. Answer given: 3. but without an accompanying comma. A coordinating conjunction may be present in a fused sentence.corrected: This drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-to seven hours. Answer given: 2. examples: fused sentences: I ate the whole pizza it was excellent. 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. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD but you can borrow it any time. it was excellent. Answer given: 4. the punctuation is still inadequate. On our trip to Los Angeles. Answer given: 5. some with subtle Italian accents. Being located in a prime spot along Columbus Ave. and they were the best days of the whole vacation. it’s a whole community center. the friendly clerks behind these cases. Correcting Fused Sentences Sentences are said to be "fused" when there is no punctuation connecting independent clauses. 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. Danielle is going. but you can borrow it any time. greet you and buzz around like honeybees to help you obtain whatever treat it is you are craving. it is the colors. too. The Phoenix is more than just a performance center. 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. Answer given: 7. Answer given: 6. The theater alone is not what makes it so unique. 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). corrections: I ate the whole pizza. colorful fruit tarts. people. 1. On our trip to Los Angeles. Use the same techniques for correcting fused sentences as you would use to correct comma splices (as described in the previous section). 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 .
Simple to fix. and opened her notebook.). the noun replaced by the pronoun is called the "antecedent" of the pronoun. whom. the issue gets more complicated when you are dealing with collective nouns (the crowd.to offer. etc. object pronouns are pronouns used as the target of a verb in a sentence. he. it. Answer given: 9. her. put on her headphones. we. These include. There are many different types of pronouns used in many different situations: subject pronouns are pronouns used as the subject of a sentence. Helena went to the coffee shop. etc." where "their" (plural) is not matched in number with "Everyone" (singular). and they. Answer given: 10. it. This is the problem in the following sentence: "Everyone has their share. to write text free of pronoun-antecedent and pronoun reference mistakes. Write a paragraph about a favorite holiday memory. us. Proofread to ensure that there are no run-on sentences. I." "this.) or with indefinite words (person. what. A common problem in writing is that the writer does not always take care to match the pronoun to the antecedent (an "antecedent" is a fancy word for "the thing to which the pronoun is supposed to refer). you him. Hoping to get some work done before school. Pronouns: A pronoun refers to or stands in for a noun." In addition. got a large latte. she. pronoun-antecedent agreeement is about parts of a sentence fitting together so that the reader does not stumble over mixed messages. and them. 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. as in John gave me the book. or two antecedents joined by "and" "or" or "nor. Answer given: 1. Answer given: Problems with Pronouns Like Subject-Verb agreement. example: Janet and I had a great dinner last night. problems arise when the antecedent for a pronoun is unclear. 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. grab a muffin and coffee and run. you. students. men. to avoid gender bias when using pronouns. These "pronoun reference" problems often arise between sentences when a general pronoun such as "that. 110 . Stella’s is not just a place like Starbucks to stop in. Object pronouns include me. who." or "it" is used to refer to an idea in a previous sentence. right? However. then she realized she had brought the wrong book.
No invitation is required. both. our. place. everybody. 111 . agreement in number: the pronoun and antecedent must both be plural. She will be reimbursed for the pizza by the Club. or both singular. The interrogative pronouns are who. your. anybody. as in "The tan chihuahua is the dog that I want. For example. yours. as opposed to you. Johnny. because they can create an unacceptable tone. example: Mediterranean dishes are good for your heart. "Agreement" means that the pronoun is consistent with the "person" "number" and "gender" of the antecedent. sombody. whom. "You should always remember that heroes are made. his." acceptable form: Anyone can come to the event this evening. fresh fish and seafood dishes. not born. demonstrative pronouns are used to refer to ideas or objects rather than people. their. each. these. ours. all. Note: sometimes "they" and "you" are used as indefinite pronouns." There are many different indefinite pronouns. or thing." Relative pronouns include which. if the antecedent is "Johnny. and that. whom. Be careful in academic writing with these pronouns. who. several. and salads. agreement in person: the pronoun and antecedent have the same subject. but here are a few of the most common: one. however. For example. Confusion often arises with indefinite pronouns. No. its mine. relative pronouns are used to signal the beginning of a relative clause in the middle of a sentence. indefinite pronouns are used to refer to an indefinite person. that. Possessive pronouns are mine. For example. her example: I believe that is his book. and those. anyone. Next year. which. either." or "some. or they. Gabe and I. 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. many. interrogative pronouns are used to begin questions." then the pronoun must be we or us. These include pasta dishes. Demonstrative pronouns include this. we will let someone else do the annual clean-up. Somebody in the Women's Club will have to bring the pizza to the party tonight. they take an adjective case: my. The relative pronoun stands in the for the noun antecedent. what. and I hauled three loads of trash from the fraternity to the dump yesterday. as in "anyone. his." or "They say that Brittney Spears is crying out for help with her recent antics. hers. For example. and when possessive pronouns are used before a noun to establish ownership. theirs.possessive pronouns are used to indicate a state of ownership by a subject referenced in the possessive pronoun. none. Gabe.
Examples of Pronoun Antecedent Agreement: Take a look at the following sentences showing agreement problems and their corrections: error: Everybody correct: Everybody has faults. error: Every problem correct: Every problem has its solution. ." an indefinite pronoun. "Would you please pick up the flowers that I ordered today?" and "I watched Grey's Anatomy last night. it is considered an adjective. should not promote a gender bias. . The best course of action is to avoid pronouns altogether. . which I really should not have done since I had so much work to do. . as in Dickens'. blame. can be used. 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. or: Enroll in classes in one of two ways: online or in person at the administration building . . visit the module on shifts. . but this pronoun can sound a bit formal. better: Students can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: they can enroll online or in person at the administration building. because when a noun is in possessive case." 112 . . . 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. . Gender bias is often a problem in English because the English language has no genderneutral. you has has that is shows their their to that . error: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. For example. . third-person. use "which" when the relative clause is just a detail. Note: Be careful when a noun is in possessive case. also Ok: One can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: one can enroll online or in person at the administration building . For more on eliminating gender bias in writing. .agreement in gender: the pronoun and antecedent. faults solution. . he correct: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. Use "that when the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence (when the clause is "restrictive"). error: It is correct: It is you who is to blame. "One. even when made to agree. personal pronoun. . Dickens shows that . . 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.
stores can be very far away. Make sure the pronoun is grammatically consistent with the antecedent and the rest of the sentence. (What does this refer to in the second sentence?) correct: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. 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. Experienced writers make pronoun reference mistakes. (I/me) Answer given: 113 . The more people know about plants and flowers the more ____ enjoy ____ Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they them 5. though. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they 4. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: it 6.Pronoun Reference Problems Pronoun reference problems are very common in the work of developing writers. Supply a pronoun to go in place of the underline. Every man who does wrong knows that _____ should suffer the penalty. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: he 2. Whatever you ask of me. or when a sentence contains several nouns. This feeling can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. Mary. and it requires planning and much consolidation when it comes to making trips to town. error: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. and ___ have always been good friends. too. particularly when modifiers and clauses distance the antecedent from the pronoun. This can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. and going to the store requires planning and much consolidation. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 7. 1. You. but they know to proofread their work to check for such mistakes. stores can be very far away. Aesop's fables are still read.(What does it refer to?) correct: When you live in a rural area. I will do ____. though _____ were written many hundred years ago. Take a look at the following sentences with pronoun reference problems: error: If I took that bug out of her hair. though. 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. You and ___ shall go. Pronoun reference mistakes usually occur between sentences.
supply the missing word: "who" or "whom. Everybody was invited except you and (I/me). _____ do you think I am? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 13. 16. The river is dangerous. Be careful to place each subordinate clause as near its anteccedent as possible. He said that he saw you and ____ at the mall. Thomas Jefferson was an intimate friend of Washington's. whom. 11. Answer given: 18. Spare the birds. Answer given: 114 . They cheer us by their songs. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me 9. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me In the following sentences. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. The Swiss revere the name of William Tell.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 8. which. Answer given: 17. Were both you and (I/me) invited? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 10. _____ 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. It is full of floating ice. Answer given: Find the antecedent for the relative pronoun used in each sentence below. Answer given: 20. 21. _____ began the argument? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 15. Goodness is the only thing that never fails. Answer given: 19." Write your answer in the text box. From it we had a wonderful view. _____ did you see at the party? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom 14. We reached the mountain top. that) so as to form complete sentences. To _____ were you speaking? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: whom 12. You have read of him.
25. Answer given: 30. Answer given: 28. Objectives: By the end of this module. when people do not agree.. Conversely. She met each difficulty and danger. or I hate okra (not I hates okra). Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: time 23. However. and provides helpful strategies for locating the subject and choosing the appropriate verb form. As he approached the village. and stumbles over the text rather than gleaning your message. Neither of the children ate their carrots. and We enjoy soccer (not We enjoys soccer). Without this agreement. what constitutes a good book. and overcame them by her great courage.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: thing 22. Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: chain 24. or in "sync. 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. Answer given: 27.. the individuals become aware of being at odds with others." on some level anyway. This module covers these confusing situations. but none whom he knew. The administration is proud of their policies.) and in person (gender). Every person in the class made their complaints to me. Time that is once lost is always lost. 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. Answer given: 26. plural with plural. Answer given: 29. Marcos or Pete will give us their help. Answer given: Subject-Verb Agreement When people agree about something—a movie to see. Jack met a number of people. the reader gets conflicting messages. what to have for dinner. etc. Most of the time. as in Kate dances well (not Kate dance well). No one knows what the future has in store for them. who to elect for president—they are in accord. a singular subject takes a singular verb form. 115 . In this module we will cover the basic and the not so basic rules for creating sound subject-verb agreement. and a plural subject takes a plural verb form. the correct subject/verb combination is easy for writers to figure out. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: none Correct the pronoun antecedent error in each sentence or group of sentences below. the subjects of the sentence must agree with the verb in the sentence in both number (singular with singular. In a sentence.
along with. or as well as: The new oak tree. the verb will be singular. the subject is singular: Spaghetti and meatballs is the only thing Mary ever orders when we go out to eat. Agreement When Subjects are Joined by "and. the verb will be plural. "cake. To determine the 116 . are confusing because they can be singular or plural depending on the nouns to which they refer. Some indefinite pronouns.. Because the phrase is non-restrictive (or not necessary to the sentence). In the first example. none. not "the red frame and the fat tires. Indefinite pronouns cause a lot of confusion. Subjects joined by or or by either/or or neither/nor may take singular or plural verbs depending on the form of the subject. Some of the cake is still on the table. as the object of a preposition can easily be confused with the subject of the sentence. Neither the teacher nor the students know how to solve this math problem. the verb is singular.. along with three bags of planting mix and a box of fertilizer. item or simultaneous action. An apple or a banana is a good afterschool snack." "or. Agreement With Indefinite Pronouns. Another source of trouble is a modifying phrase beginning with together with. If one subject is singular and the other is plural. and so the verb is plural." and therefore." "neither/nor. even if sometimes this structure feels counter-intuitive." or "either/or" In most situations. if both subjects are singular. If both subjects are plural. any. such as all. Watch out for modifying phrases that come between subject and verb! And especially be on the lookout for prepositional phrases. subjects connected by "and" are going to be plural: David and Jesus are always late. it does not make the subject plural. it is not part of the subject. in addition to.. the verb agrees with subject it is closest to. "some" refers to individual persons. My best friend and confidante is always there for me when I need her. Consider the following sentences: The mountain bike with the red frame and the fat tires is the one I want. Some of us are going skiing this weekend. Coffee and dessert were served in the living room. was delivered to my house this morning." These items are part of the prepositional phrase that begins with "with. Rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time is almost impossible to do.Agreement When Words Come Between Subject and Verb." The phrase is there to tell us more about the mountain bike.. and so should not be considered when deciding on the appropriate verb form for the sentence. and some. most. if the subjects joined by "and" refer to a single person. in the second example "some" refers to an "uncountable" noun. "Mountain bike" is the subject of the sentence. However.
number for a verb used with these indefinite pronouns. Trees that drop fruit will attract bugs. everyone.. everybody. Some indefinite pronouns are always singular: for example. No is just one of the villains who have come up against James Bond. anyone. nothing. somebody.. "the crew members hope.. When word order is inverted. Most of the time the subject comes before the verb. Oddjob is the only one of the villains who throws a razor-edged hat as a weapon. Agreement With Collective Nouns as Subjects. but you don't know what it is. everything.. each." is "villains." and "that" are used in an adjective clause (relative clause). Each of the new interns is assigned to work a twenty-four hour shift this week. Agreement With "Which" "Who" and "That" as Subjects. check to see if the noun is "countable" (made of up of individual elements that can be counted). as in the example above. anybody. In this sentence. and so the verb is singular. it is easy to confuse a noun in an opening phrase with the true subject of the sentence. the antecedent is "one" (the phrase modifies "one" rather than "villains"). Dr. both. Dorleen and Claire joined the volleyball team this semester. Generally. In this sentence. Collective nouns used with a plural form of a verb tend to sound a bit awkward. anything. many go out and find it. nobody. however." The crew hope their grog won't run out before they reach port. and many. and both are going to be starting players.. but occasionally. One signal of a delayed subject is the expletive "there" at the beginning of a sentence: 117 . When the relative pronouns "which. Some indefinite pronuns are always plural: for example. it is better to name a plural subject rather than use a collective noun as a plural. someone. At a Rolling Stones concert the crowd always sings along to "Satisfaction. Everything is going wrong today.. the verb in the clause should agree in number with the subject of the sentence (the antecedent for the pronoun). birds." sounds a bit better. few." and so the verb in the phrase should be plural." "who. word order is inverted and the subject is delayed. Something is happening. several." so the verb in the adjective clause "that drop fruit" should be plural. Agreement When Subject-Verb Order is Inverted. The antecedent for the pronoun "that" is "trees.. 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. Usually. or "uncountable" (not countable by individual elements). Some sit around and wait for happiness. and something. the antecedent for the pronoun "who" in the adjective phrase "who have come against James Bond. squirrels and other small animals..
. When a title of a book. the phrase should be treated as singular subject: "Slowly I turned" is the key phrase in a famous vaudeville routine popularized by comedians Abbot and Costello. Her protection is her dogs. Terms of Endearment is a sad film. institution. Often the subject appears between parts of a verb phrase. When linking two nouns with a linking verb. Her dogs are her protection. Everyone þÿ to in the class _____ the find: video to be entertaining. as in "Has she arrived yet?" The subject must match the first auxilliary verb (first verb form) in number. ______ it is a good idea. building. 2. to 118 need: . Agreement When the Verb is a Linking Verb.. with the exception of Tiffany. 3. there is little I can do to help them. In addition. þÿ 4. to feel: All of the people at the party. or work of art is the subject of a sentence. the number of the verb should correspond to the number of the subject and not the predicate nominative. Each þÿ to of the options be: _____ unacceptable. 1. Word order is also inverted in questions.. when a phrase is referred to in terms of the language itself. film.When your parents get home. If Jenny and Mark won't listen. it should be treated as a singular subject.. 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. even when there is a plural subject in the title: The Twin Towers was an important New York City landmark. there is going to be trouble over the broken vase. 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.
Success þÿ to ________ reward: hard work.Everyone. including the people of conservation-conscious California. Another þÿ to of my brothers live: ________ in Florida. ______ to do more to recycle. The þÿ to wind and fog _______ reduce: the mosquito problem. Three-fourths þÿ to of the cake be: _____ gone. to move: In an earthquake furniture ______ around. so be sure to strap heavy objects down. 12. My þÿ to aunt as well as my be: cousin _______ single. Two þÿ to bottles of wine be: ____ enough. 10. The þÿ to team ___ going to be: play on Saturday. 14. 8. 13. Neither þÿ to of the hotel rooms be: _______ available. 119 . 6. þÿ 5. Time þÿ to _______ pass: quickly. 11. 9. 7.
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
Take a look at the examples below: The film Some Like it Hot is funny. An easy way to check for parallel structure in a piece of writing. then all elements should be nouns. once you find the trunk. frightened. then all elements should be adjectives. and so forth. phrases. the sentence will sound awkward and out of balance.. if one element is a verb.Revising to create parallel structure. All items in a series should have the same structure to help the reader quickly process information. when all elements are nouns.. who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929. and desperate. Consider the following problematic sentences and their corrections: 124 . and each parallel item as a branch off that trunk. (parallel elements are proper nouns) Broke. Joe and Jerry disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band headed to Florida. or paragraphs in an essay. (all parallel elements are adjectives) Some Like It Hot tells the story of two musicians. clauses. and daring for its time. follow the trunk line to each of the branches directly. Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). (parallel elements are adjectives. if one element is a noun. nouns... If one element is an adjective. the band's ukulele player and vocalist. and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises. whether that structure is between words. The reader is forced to do much more work to figure out the author's meaning than is fair. and verbs) It is important to note that one need not make all elements in a series exactly parallel. 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). checking to ensure that the trunk connects strongly (and correctly) to each branch as illustrated in the diagram below: Parallel Words. (adapted from Wikipedia.org) Note that only one of the parallel nouns ("vocalist" and "player") is accompanied by an adjective ("ukulele"—an adjective here because it modifies the noun "player") When items in a series do not have the same form. then all elements should be verbs. is to think of the core idea in the structure as the trunk of a tree. well-written. for instance.
but because a greenish tint in Lemmon's and Curtis' heavy make-up could not be hidden on color film. balanced. otherwise. (parallel subordinate clauses) Marilyn Monroe had two big problems during filming: remembering her lines and hiding her pregnancy. to work. Joe and Jerry join an all-girl band. some elements began with verbs. and going to school. but she loves partying. If one item in a series is a prepositional phrase. 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's accent. modifier. (parallel infinitive phrases) Director Billy Wilder filmed Some Like it Hot in black and white. Parallel structure is created by joining the first two wardrobe elements into a single element. the sentence will be illogical. When revising your work. Parallel: Parallel: 125 .. appropriate use of prepositions. unless you write the appropriate item into each phrase: Faulty On her first day at work. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. or auxialliary verb is appropriate to each item in a series. Parallel: Faulty Parallel: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's attention: He wears a white sportscoat. but she loves partying. Corrected: She hates studying. look out for these common sources of trouble with parallel structure: shifts in type of phrase or clause: Be sure to stay consistent with the types of phrases you use. (In this version. articles. while others began with nouns. In the previous version.. not because he wanted to be artistic. The initial items are going to govern every item in the series. and modifiers with each item in a series: Be very careful to ensure that the preposition. then every item should be prepositional phrase. then every item in the series should be a verbal phrase. hat. and easy to read. each element begins with a verb. (parallel verbal phrases) Common Trouble Spots. Shifts in phrase type create confusion: Faulty She hates to study. a captain's cap. and her favorite briefcase. then every item should be a relative clause.) Parallel Phrases and Clauses. and going to school.Faulty Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and security. if one item is a relative clause... Consider the following examples demonstrating good parallel structure: To escape the mob and to solve their financial problems. Corrected: Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and finding security. mimics Cary Grant. working. article. shoes. if one item in a series is a verb phrase (beginning with an -ing or -ed verb). Thelma wore a new dress. Phrases and clauses also need to be parallel if the sentence is to be logical. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil.
Make a list of things you hate then transform the list into a short paragraph (or a couple of sentences). and they also look into crystal balls. Its plot is appealing. mood. Later in the novel he becomes a minister. Your reader looks at your writing to be dressed one way. interpreting dreams. adn rearrange words. Answer given: At the carnival. Heinlein's classic Stranger in a Strange Land has captivating characters. —and proofreading your writing to ensure that this consistency is maintained. verb tense. Answer given: Part 2 Combine each of the sets of sentences below into a single. Michael Valentine Smith. which would also let them make reasonable predictions about a client's future. Answer given: Some critics of fortune-telling suggest that trained psychologiests could also notice personal traits such as nervousness. cut the cards. and mood. person. shoes. The key is consistency—of voice. Answer given: Palm readers examine lines on the palm. or number. fingers and their lengths. delete. Part 1 Using the topic below. Earthly laws are not understood by him.Corrected: On her first day at work. mood. Answer given: The protagonist continues on his quest to understand human behavior by reading all of the books he can. 126 . the protagonist kills people innocently. is classified as a human by birth. and hat. or cheerful. . and was laying out a selection of ten cards from which the client was supposed to choose three. the gypsy shuffled the deck. verb tense. but elements of the sentence just don't fit. person. Answer given: Shifts A shift is a confusing change in person. In this module students will learn to . it is kind of like wearing two different shoes. voice. He then runs away with a traveling circus. write a short paragraph with good parallel structure in the space provided. and carried her favorite briefcase. But he is also considered Martian becaues his birthplace was on Mars. and the prominence of the mounts. change. and number in their writing. Answer given: In the beginning of the novel. Answer given: The protagonist of the novel. identify and correct shifts in verb tense. that someone was lonely. concise sentence in which parallel elements appear in parallel structures. You will have to add. Robert A. Answer given: Gypsies are famous for their traditions of fortune-telling by reading Tarot cards. voice. Thelma wore a new dress. There may be more than one possible answer. .
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. and is still improving.C. it is too small. and readers are captivated from beginning to end. (Inadequate transition provided. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. 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. government. or past to future tense. I had more homework in math than I have in all my other classes combined. (I continue to like him) Shifts in Voice: Passive vs. or are they simultaneous? Apply this technique in the following sentences: Incorrect: The suit didn't fit me. But sometimes. "And" suggests simultaneous actions) Incorrect: I liked him because he always says what Correct: I like him because he always says what he thinks. writers want to emphasize the object in a sentence rather than a subject's actions.C. Consider the emphasis in these active and passive sentences: Passive: The Active: Marla made the cake. it Correct: The suit doesn't fit me. humankind. however. and to make writing energetic. Occasionally. for example. (I continue to admire her persistence) Incorrect: The wind died down and the waves roll gently. Correct: Last semester.Shifts in Verb Tense A verb tense shift is a shift in time. however. Correct: The football team is good. The way to avoid inappropriate shifts in verb tense is to visualize the actions described: Does one event really occur before another. as in the following sentence: Incorrect: The football team was good. 127 . Passive: The bitter cup of destiny must Active: All humankind must taste the bitter cup of destiny. I had more homework in math than in all my other classes combined. Sometimes such shifts make perfect sense. writers slip up and shift tense when there should be no shift. from present to past. Passive: Equality is encouraged Active: Democratic governments encourage equality. the choir will sing a few spirituals that they learned over the summer. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. (the suit continues not to fit) is too small. cake was by be made a by democratic tasted by all Marla. he thinks. Incorrect: Though I admired her persistence. Most often writers use active voice in order to emphasize agency—a subject performing some action. as when one describes an event that takes place before another event: At the first Fall concert. Correct: The wind died down and the waves rolled gently. 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. and is still improving. Problems arise. Correct: Though I admire her persistence. Incorrect: Last semester.
lazy. Incorrect: If one reads The Harry Potter books. captivating readers from beginning to end. In a sentence in the subjunctive mood. Incorrect: We had better arrive early because you never know Correct: We had better arrive early because we don't know what might happen. or doubtful. Correct: I used to think school wasn't important. an assertion. it is very common to see an "if" clause. it is better to avoid "you" constructions altogether in academic writing. or vice versa is a definite no-no." "One" "People" "Anyone" "Persons" etc. irritable." Take a look at the following sentences in the subjunctive mood: If I were rich. Note: In general. for example. Incorrect: I used to think school wasn't important." "He. etc. where it was discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. ." "She. If they were not so kind. melancholy. Shifts in Mood Mood in sentences is not like mood in people. Incorrect: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. "I was" becomes "I were. ." 128 . or "If I was you . I would buy a ranch far away from everybody. they will discover that the books are far better than the films. such shifts are common. It is common for students to shift person in written sentences. 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. A sentence in the indicative mood is a statement of fact. In writing. hypothetical. where he discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. I never would have made it this far. who have emotional moods—joyful. If it were not for you. etc. I am getting wiser. you get a lot wiser. especially when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase such as "of us" or "of the students. Shifts in Number A shift from singular to plural. in the subjunctive mood. One source of shifts in number is an indefinite pronoun such as "anyone" or "none" or "all. there are two moods: indicative and subjunctive. It is not correct to write "If I was rich. . but as I get older.Correct: Patrick O'Brien writes exciting stories of life on board the tall sailing ships of the Royal navy in the early 19th century. A sentence in the subjunctive mood indicates that something is conditional. Correct: If fans of the Harry Potter films would read the Harry Potter books. they would discover that the books are far better than the films. These mistakes are considered shifts in mood. . I would have been deeply embarrassed. because in everyday speech." and "It was" becomes "it were. therefore. In addition. These shifts confuse the reader and break the coherence and unity of your writing. but as you get older. The personal "you" is a bit too informal and too direct for academic writing. Correct: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. what might happen.
to set about discovering in what direction such talent lies. have evidently "nothing in them. revise the verb tense shifts in the paragraph." Now. he may exhibit a greater aptitude than for others. All men are not alike endowed with natural talent and ability. Answer given: Revise the following paragraph so that it is free of gender bias. or their parents for them. "Always" is an adverb describing the verb "carries. Answer given: 4. Everybody was horror-stricken. by Bernard Stuart. Almost any man with the ordinary capacity for instruction can be taught to do certain things. In the distance I see the port. The masts of the ship were down. 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." however latent the talent may be. Review the paragraph you just wrote for any instances of passive voice. For some of these. The furious lightning tears the sky and the thunder roars. They find out that the prow of the ship is damaged. The sky is murky and the wind is blowing hard. however. from How to Become a Successful Engineer." Most of the descriptive modifiers call the reader's attention to the handbag. is doing their best. while many other men may be said to possess scarcely any. Without modifiers our sentences would be pretty bare. other men only in one particular channel. In the sentence below. Modifiers add descriptive information to a sentence and call the reader's attention to what the writer feels is important. was stolen last night. "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). Incorrect: Every student Correct: All of the students are doing their best. Correct: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because each of them has had excellent training. The deck is crowded with people. making sure your writing is free from shifts and does not contain any gender bias. 1. —some men possessing it in a very general way. Answer given: 3. 2. it is therefore saiad of such a man that he has a particular talent for such and such a trade.Incorrect: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because they have had excellent training." The sentence also includes a descriptive appositive phrase: "the one she always carries. What is a disconnected modifier? Lets look at a few examples of sentences with disconnected modifiers: 129 . as we believe that every man endowed with reason at all has "something in him. The storm rages on furiously for about an hour. When it quiets down a little the sailors look to see if the ship is damaged very badly. The storm was so bad that it is indescribable. and to all appearance. The tempestuous waves dash up on the side of the ship. the one she always carries. Write a paragraph about a time when you turned out to be wrong about someone or something. we find several modifiers: Ann's favorite black handbag. it becomes young men. letting readers know which one as well as how Ann felt about the bag. 1901." And "last" is an adjective describing "night. unifying time as past or present. for example.
Give it a try in the following sentence: Amanda wants to watch that new show on TV tonight. I saw a traffic accident right in front of me. “Amanda” is the subject in this sentence. While waiting for the bus. the subject..To make sure there would be enough for everyone. experienced writers assume that their prose is going to need to be revised for correctness and that revision is a necessary part of writing. wild as deer. as can sentences with limiters like "only" and "sometimes. Sentences written in passive voice can be a source of trouble. Consider the following sentence: "Calico-coated. The sentence verb is “wants” (what the subject is doing). they are concerned with organizing their thoughts and developing their ideas rather than with correct grammatical expression of those ideas. the writer calls our attention to what Amanda wants to watch by adding several modifiers: the adjectives that and new to modify "show. Revised to connect the modifiers to their logical subjects. modifiers in a sentence add information to one of the elements in the core sentence. Instead. They also know where to look for mistakes. or worse. i. disconnected modifiers happen because when writers put their ideas on paper or a computer screen. gaudy motionless and alert.. they huddled. Such disconnects cause the reader to stumble a bit trying to follow the logic of the sentence. Paul ordered three pizzas. also to modify "show" (telling us when the show is on). as with finding most any sentence level mistake." and the phrase on TV tonight. the sweat pouring down his face. How does one identify and correct a disconnected modifier? The first step in finding disconnected modifiers. even experienced writers make sentence mistakes." 130 . Scan each sentence to locate the core of the sentence: i. calling attention to what the writer thinks is important or needs further description.e. The matador stared at the bull. too. How do problems with modifiers arise? Typically. quiet as doves.e. small-bodied. your reader will. three pizzas were ordered. with delicate legs and pink faces in which their mis-matched eyes rolled wild and subdued. However. the one who performs the action of the sentence (Amanda “wants”). these sentences are much easier to follow: To make sure there would be enough for everyone. and any direct or indirect objects so that any modifiers in the sentence become easy to identify. In the sentence above. though occasionally modifiers add information to other modifiers rather than to the core (see note below). the matador stared at the bull. 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. there was a traffic accident right in front of me. We will look at all of these scenarios next. the sentence verb(s). The direct object of the sentence is actually the whole phrase “to watch that new show on TV tonight. Matt and Allison are coming with us to the movies.” Typically. Don't assume that because you understand your ideas. (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. and to lose track of the overall meaning of the writer’s text. and that you will need to engage in a seek-and-destroy mission to find them out. While I was waiting for the bus. to get stuck. Matt is coming with us to the movies along with Allison. is to be suspicious of your own writing. The sweat pouring down his face." or sentences that begin with long modifiers. And for this reason. assume that faulty sentences are hidden there in the text. deadly as rattlesnakes.
you pass Use of passive voice can lead to modifier problems (as in the last example in the previous section). however." That combination is not logical: factors do not buy cell phones.” etc. there are two main towers corrected: As you come across the bridge.” The sentence is longer. Such modifiers are said to be “dangling” because like a dangling thread in a blanket. the subject of the modifier in this sentence is “many factors. concert in in the my mile car. 131 • .” “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. Typical Trouble Spots • tapes. race. The opening modifier "when buying a new cell phone" suggests a person as the subject (people buy cell phones). One source of trouble is misplacement of a modifier. 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. in the sentence “In terms of your letter. Take a look at the following example: When buying a new cell phone. right? With placement of the modifier “on TV tonight” next to Amanda. many factors should be considered. correcting this disconnect is “In response to your question about my coming to visit. the reader expects writers to follow the rule. Make sure that the phrase actually modifies the word next to it. under. get rid of the phrase (often these phrases are unnecessary anyway) and rewrite the sentence another way. The rule is that modifiers should be placed next to the word they modify. A better sentence. Amanda wants to watch that new show. The modifier should be next to “new show” to make the sentence logical. As you come across the bridge. they are not woven into the fabric of the sentence. you pass under two main towers. Consider the above sentence with a modifier presented out of place: On TV tonight. Watch out for shifts from active to passive voice between an opening modifier and the rest of the sentence.” the introductory phrase points vaguely to a letter. but much more logical.” “thus. For example.” “regarding. Not so clear. Here are a few more examples of misplaced modifiers: Isaac went to the REM corrected: Isaac went in my car to the REM concert. are often used improperly. Dangling modifiers Another problem with modifiers arises when the modifier refers to a subject that is not actually named in the sentence. I have to say that I am not sure when I can come. and the rest of the sentence points to the writer’s thoughts about that letter. and confusion results when modifiers are in another place in the sentence. Rochelle almost beat everyone in the class corrected: Rochelle beat almost everyone in the class in the mile race.” “in terms of.Misplaced modifiers Things go wrong when modifiers are not well connected to their subjects. I don’t know when I will be coming to visit. if not. consumers should consider many factors. it appears as if the writer is saying Amanda is on TV tonight. the modifier implies a person who makes a response. and the subject of the sentence is a person. General transitional phrases like “in conclusion.
Answer given: 2. Dickens' father was sent to prison for debt. Rewrite each sentence below to correct any dangling or misplaced modifiers. Out of the dryer. Houghton Mifflin. When sleeping at night. Wash out your shirt with soap and cold water. Answer given: 3. The birds sing somewhere deep in the forest. the annual rodeo was held. 1914. You may prefer to copy and paste the paragraph into a word processor for editing and then paste the finished. Going out through the front door. the breeze gently enters through the numerous open windows. revised paragraph into the text box. doing nothing except enjoying the peace of the morning. the family moved to Chatham. The cabin is snug and sound. Answer given: 9. Answer given: 6. Answer given: Adapted from Lomer. correcting any dangling or misplaced modifiers. till the sun is well above the horizon. The ocean breeze chilled us through. After we rise and have coffee and eggs. When doing the same work. or Maria wants only a salad. restaurant. Wrong: Justin occasionally likes to go to a really Right: Occasionally. Seattle is the most active. Be sure to check the subject implied by the modifier against the actual subject the modifier refers to. Justin likes to go to a really expensive restaurant. Dickens always remembered this time as the happiest days of his life. When I wake up in the morning. 132 . Answer given: 7. I often lie in bed for an hour. a busy scene meets our eyes. Our mule brays out in the pen. Passing through the different cities. Answer given: Rewrite the following paragraph. A rug adds to the warmth of the cabin and also deadens the sound when walking around the room. Last summer while spending a few weeks in Wyoming. Answer given: 5. 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. the salaries should be identical. my fears went away. The Study and Practice of Writing English. When a few years old. And paying attention to the sounds immediately inside the house. Answer given: 10. the kids laughing as they help their mother with the dishes are noticed for the first time. then run it through the dryer. the first thing we see is the Patterson Diner. Consider the ambiguity in the sentence below: Wrong: Maria only wants Right: Only Maria wants a salad. When tucked into bed. Gerhard Richard. so many striking things about the forest are seen that it is difficult to determine what to attend to. • Long modifiers at the beginning or end of a sentence can be a source of trouble. after having been in the heat in the city just a few hours earlier. When a boy. Answer given: 8. a expensive salad. 1. Answer given: 4.• Problems can arise with placement of limiting modifiers between subject and verb. 11. you will not even be able to tell that the stain was there. Approaching the town from the ocean.
Charlotte tried to console her. "Tanglewood Porch. Nathanial. or terse and even irritable. To reflect this variety of thought. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. however." allows writers to show thoughts or actions which follow one another. our sentences should also be varied. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. Darcy. and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. Subordination: 133 ." Notice how he varies his sentences to create a distinctive mood: BENEATH the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood. As yet. and of hearing that he was universally liked. and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes. In this module. she accepted him." A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. with a tall youth in the midst of them. inquisitive and full of wonder. on a gently sloping eminence. to show a quick succession of events: She danced next with an officer. and was in conversation with her. for example with the coordinating conjunctions "and" and "so. complex sentences. was assembled a merry party of little folks. Take a look at the following passage by Nathanial Hawthorne from "Tanglewood Porch. one by one. and the mood behind our thoughts. compound sentences. drawing the reader into the scene. rambling and reflective. the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley. without knowing what she did. Coordination and Subordination Coordination: Coordination between clauses and between sentence verbs.Sentence Variety Objectives: Our thoughts. above which. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. that. 1852. and to use sentence variety effectively to communicate their thoughts to a reader: • • • • • coordination and subordination cumulative sentences length transitional expressions colons & semicolons Hawthorne. the mansion stood. There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and comfortable world. can be quick and inspired. students will learn to use the techniques below to create sentence variety in their writing. Using sentence structures effectively to reflect our thoughts and feelings takes practice and and appreciation of how form relates to perception. They had planned a nutting expedition. His thoughts ebb and flow. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures. He walked away again immediately. one fine autumnal morning. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. (Hawthorne) Hawthorne uses a variety of sentence forms in this paragraph— periodic and loose sentences. Notice how coordination is used in the following passage from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice.
while she and Adam sat at breakfast there--came twinkling through the branches of the peartree. and was in conversation with her. this time noticing the subordinating conjunctions Austen uses to show the way events and thoughts are interconnected: She danced next with an officer. The reader looks forward to the fulfillment of an expectation. A chair and plate for Hepzibah. was endeavoring to get some coolness of body and temper by looking out of the window towards the sea. (Austen) Subordinate clauses tend to slow down the forward momentum of actions or a sequence of ideas. please read the lesson in the Coordination & Subordination module. as English speakers typically prefer the loose sentence style. general and specific versions of experience. was so much the fitter for a flower-vase. Pen. —he felt a hand on his shoulder . who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. Phoebe gathered some roses and a few other flowers. ." Use periodic sentences infrequently in your writing. Jane. and arranged them in a glass pitcher. and whilst Mr. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. and fell quite across the table. but it is still correct grammar. Shortly after Strong had quitted the room. and murmuring in a wonderful calm. Austen. Hawthorne uses phrases to elaborate on the scene and slow the forward action. for example. Nathanial. perhaps that he had acted in a very absurd and peevish manner during the night. or set the stage for an action to occur. He walked away again immediately. They are rarely used in speech.--but what other guest did her cousin look for? (Hawthorne) In addition to subordinate clauses.Allows writers to show the connections between thoughts and events. having long ago lost its handle. and owning to himself. she accepted him. greatly irate at his downfall in the waltz. Pride and Hawthorne. Adding phrases and/or subordinate clauses to the front of a sentence allows us to create this effect. possessing either scent or beauty. Charlotte tried to console her. All was now ready. that. or the relationships of events in time. which was sparkling in the distance. which. The House of Seven Gables.--the same for Phoebe. Take a look at the same passage from Pride and Prejudice used above. Periodic Sentences: Sometimes writers want to create suspense in writing. noticing how the subordinate clauses slow down the actions and elaborate on the scene: By way of contributing what grace she could. (Thackeray) The second sentence is an extreme example. which made him look ridiculous in the eyes of the nation. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. 134 Prejudice. as in the following sentences: Without hesitating or looking back at his mom. They ask a reader to reflect on an idea or even in greater depth before moving on. . 1813. and by Miss Amory's behavior to him. 1851.—whilst he was really trying to compose himself. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. being about the length of a paragraph. and of hearing that he was universally liked. how to use phrases is discussed in the sections on periodic and loose sentences. There were chairs and plates for three. without knowing what she did. the twists and turns of cause and effect. Darcy. and so periodic sentences stand out in your writing. 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. The early sunshine--as fresh as that which peeped into Eve's bower. Jason got on the bus. . How to Use Coordination and Subordination for Variety: For more information on writing sentences using coordination and subordination. which had still further insulted his dignity. Consider the following description of breakfast preparations in Nathanial Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables.
idea 3: use a verbal phrase. indulging in flowered waistcoats. hoping that today would be a better day than yesterday. you can decide on the most effective placement. Below are examples of loose sentences: I betook myself away. Bed Bath and Beyond. The sentence verb in the main clause declares the action of the sentence. idea 2: use a noun phrase to rename something discussed in the main clause and begin a modifier with this phrase. (Hawthorne. etc. Gabe walked up to the front of the class to give his presentation. Loose Sentences Loose sentences are the opposite of periodic sentences: the main clause appears at the beginning of the sentence. round body. She had a wonderful sense of humor. it is important to vary your patterns.—any store that ever received a penny of our money. Garnet Hill. a humor that was a bit satirical and a bit dry at times. can get boring. (Dreiser. smooth head rather bald. five feet ten in height. Penney." for example. We receive dozens of catalogs every week from companies like Pottery Barn. with a big. Once you learn the techniques. "Haunted. and "ed" verbals indicate an action that happens to the subject. so that sometimes I would not get that she was telling a joke until a minute or two after she told it. She walked out the front door. Loose sentences are common in speech in English. It is useful to note that "ing" verbals indicate an action that is being performed by the subject. and what little hair he had of a sandy hue. Thackeray. For example. William Makepeace. perhaps." These techniques are the same for modifiers used at the beginning of a sentence. 135 . however. and the invariable (for a fairly prosperous man) high hat. For example. so as always. causing the reader to refer back to the main point. ruddy complexion. 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. and then modifying phrases and clauses are tacked onto the end of the sentence. He was exceedingly well dressed according to standards prevailing in those days. a round. The History of Pendennis. for example. A Blithedale Romance) He was a brother of Mrs. as in the following sentence: Slowly. loose sentences are easy for readers to follow. for example. suggests that some outside force is acting upon the subject. and so in written texts. and wandered up and down. A verbal phrase includes a verb form—a verb ending in -ing or -ed that is not the sentence verb. unctuous. after a mighty struggle.How to Write a Periodic Sentence: Several techniques for creating modifiers are discussed in the next section on "Loose Sentences. blue eyes. verbal phrases add detail about what is happening during this action. like an exorcised spirit that had been driven from its old haunts.C." We use verbal phrases to indicate simultaneous actions. "Hoping" happens while she walks out the door. "running very fast" or "confused by the instructions. long. Too many loose sentences in a row. a clear. Cowperwood's—Seneca Davis by name—solid. J. humiliating speech when he forgot half the material. haunted by the memory of his last. 1848. Hold Everything. light-colored frock-coats. a memory.
leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart. He went to work full of dread." punctuate the sentence. She believed in being honest above all else. as a drummer punctuates a drum rhythm. For more information. He remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. however.m. . John dressed slowly. He ate breakfast without appetite. The Hawthorne. Some useful transitional expressions are shown below.idea 4: use a prepositional phrase. and the repetition of a key word ("truths . the more you tell your reader that it is important. Nathanial. temporal. idea 5: use a combination of phrases. explore the module on subordination. . Prepositions such as "without. 1852 Vary Length & Style Financier. His mood took a turn for the worse. One pattern in particular—the simple sentence presented with few (or no) modifying phrases—can get really boring. This technique is very effective for refining ideas. The Blithedale Romance. Just remember. And the short sentences. he remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. They can also help writers vary the opening structures of sentences. his heart full of dread. . The second paragraph ebbs and flows. Suddenly. He dressed slowly and ate breakfast without any appetite. His mood took a turn for the worse. It is easy for readers get familiar with a sentence pattern. Theodore. For example. Use Transitional Expressions Transitional expressions signify the relation between ideas. as when one gets sleepy driving down an unvarying freeway late at night. Varying the length and style of sentences keeps readers awake. Compare the above paragraph with the following one that uses a variety of sentence styles and sentence length: John woke at 6:00 a. the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Hesitating at the door. that the more space you devote to a topic. Subordinating Conjunctions: 136 . he summoned his courage and went to work. such as "John woke at 6:00 a. ") to begin a phrase. We cleaned the house before picking up mom at the airport. . Also note that the repetition is of a key word in the first modifying phrase rather than the main clause. Dreiser." and "before" establish spatial. forget it forever. so familiar that they start falling asleep. either showing the subject's thoughts. or suggesting simultaneous actions. Notice that Faulkner uses a verbal phrase ("leaving .m. 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. the meeting that would decide if the company died or became successful beyond imagination. or logical relationships between ideas. The modifying phrases allow the author to add information that fills in the scene. as in the following example: John woke up at 6:00 a. He walked out the front door without looking back. providing background information. teaching himself that. ")." "after.m." "with. Do not feel that you need to stop at one phrase if you have more to say. 1912.
the matador stared at the bull. 6. "Chiefly About War Matters") Hawthorne. in the first place. afterward. even if. His detractors. except upon sure ground of observation. nevertheless. so that concession: although. even though." might become "Hoping to end the fight quickly. and one subordinate clause. though. moreover summary: in sum. despite. Answer given: 137 . his look grew kindly and genial (not that it had ever been in the least degree repulsive. Answer given: 3. but only reserved). hoping to end the fight quickly. shortly. similarly. stared at the bull. 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. Answer given: 5. though. thus exemplification: for instance. Brian loved to sail. as. second. amplification: what is more. the sun sets. whenever. and talked about it unaffectedly. Deep red through the fog. on the other hand. we admire Ariella. Because she is loyal and brave. have not been silenced. Answer given: 7. although. as long as. Answer given: 4. however. Answer given: 8. after all. "Chiefly About War Matters by a Reasonable Man. The crowd hurries toward home along the streets. regardless addition: in addition. For example. Use at least one prepositional phrase. even though. if. The conversation ended. firstly. and Leutze allowed us to gaze at the cartoon of his great fresco. Answer given: 2. as. in the same way. with keen and somewhat guarded eyes. first. It is by his poetry that Milton is best known. (Hawthorne. when Sentence Adverbs: effect: consequently. Answer given: 9. unless time: after. as soon as. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the beginning of each of the following 5 sentences. Meanwhile the noble design spoke for itself upon the wall. as long as. provided that. exception: however. before. Jason took out the trash.cause: because. consequently. similarity: accordingly. Nathanial. Megan blacked out. "The matador." Relocate the modifying phrase(s) in each sentence. while. Soon. on the whole time: meanwhile. though outvoted. since. white with snow. as if it were not his practice to vouchsafe any great warmth of greeting. as though condition: even though." 1. for example. eventually. one verbal phrase. indeed. as only a man of true genius can speak of his own works.
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
Subordinating conjunctions: place and time if. you are welcome to come along. in other words. long as "As soon as" is used to point to something that will happen upon the completion of something else: As soon as you finish your dinner. I would not go out with you. 142 "Where" identifies the place ." then "b"): after After you arrive in Hawaii. we could find a MacDonald's. "Even if" points to particular conditions and means "whether or not. "As long as" is a slightly less formal version of "provided that." Both subordinators are used to indicate a condition provided that." . Even if you were rich.. (after "a. her head felt much better. Unless you can provide an alibi for your actions at 10:15 last night. you will abide by my as soon as.Even though I am exhausted.. 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. After Angela took the ibuprofen. as rules. I have to study for my biology exam tonight. unless it is raining. you are under arrest. "Unless" is used to specify a negative condition. you may have desert.means no matter where: "Wherever we went. 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. be sure and call to let me know you have arrived safely. even if unless Place where wherever Time "After refers to an event or action that occurs after another event or action has occured. unless at the beginning of a clause describes a condition that would prevent something from happening.
We often use "just" in combination with "when" and "as" to describe events happening simultaneously." "as." is used to indicate a repeated occurence of something when certain conditions arise. For example. (before "a" happens. I was home cleaning the house. "As" and "when" are used to describe short events: The phone rang as I was on my way out the door. my boss called to tell me the meeting was cancelled." though less formal. Whenever I drink red wine. "Till" is similar to "until. or until a certain event has taken place. when as. while. you get wiser.before "Before" refers to an event or action that must occur before another event or action can take place. I will be sure and call you." and "when" indicate that things are happening simultaneously. You cannot watch television until you clean your room. or almost simultaneously: Just as she turned to yell at him for knocking her groceries out of her arms. It is not often used in introductory clauses: Bush said today that we will stay in Iraq till the war is won. till I didn't know who the bad guy was until the last scene of the movie. I was in the tub. As I was printing out my notes for the meeting. until. he apologized profusely. I get a headache. whenever When I am in Berkeley. 143 . "While. I will be sure to visit you. "Until" means up to the time. When you called. "b" must occur) Before you leave for Hawaii." and also sometimes "if" and "when. you had better stop delivery on your newspaper. If I need advice. "While" is used to emphasize long duration: While you were out celebrating. "Whenever. We also use "as" to show that one thing is the consequence of another: As you get older.
Thompson likes to knit when travelling on the train. 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. he listens to his iPod. students will learn to create unified paragraphs having strong topic sentences and supporting details that clearly relate to and develop the topic sentence.Note also that with "while" and "when. 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. Mrs. as in the following sentences: While walking the dog. where would you go and why? Answer given: Paragraphs Creating Unified Paragraphs In this module. Why are you in college? Answer given: What would you like to do after you finish school? Answer given: If you could go anywhere for summer vacation this year." it is perfectly correct to leave out the subject and the "to be" verb form. 144 .
it is easy to fall into the sequence trap. narration. I go into a small living room with a fireplace which almost always is vacant. often is perched on the couch begging for food or running around. For further instruction on paragraph coherence. I also regularly find my cousins playing computer games. or viewing movies in the family room. Coherence: Sentences in a paragraph should progress logically to develop the controlling idea. etc. 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. Writers should select the type of details—description. Peanut. it is easy to slip into plot summary. A new paragraph begins when one thought is fully developed. For further instruction on paragraph development. instead of focusing on how aspects of the story support an interpretation. then this" of the story being analyzed. a paragraph is the communication of a single assertion or thought. the dining room rarely is used. in the adjacent family room. wherein the writer focuses on a "this. but it is difficult to tell what we are to make of these observations. and what logic controls the clustering of sentences together in a paragraph. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Development Module. They are unsure how long a paragraph should be. 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.—that best illustrates the controlling idea. The writer narrates his entry into his aunt and uncle's home. then this" structure without any real point or purpose other than moving through events. Unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs Creating unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs can be difficult. What should the reader pay attention to? What is important here? It is the writer's job to create clear direction. In brief. watching MTV. a descriptive paragraph that needs work for unity (the controlling idea is underlined): 145 . help create coherence. and describes what he observes there. This paragraph lacks a controlling idea. This controlling idea is usually declared in a topic sentence. Like the living room. cause and effect. Completeness: (or development) Enough specific supporting detail should be provided in the paragraph to make the controlling idea convincing. with enough detail or explanation to make that thought clear to a reader. However.What is a paragraph? Many beginning writers are not exactly sure what a paragraph should look like. Supporting sentences contribute information to help the reader see the validity of the controlling idea. I frequently notice my aunt and uncle seated on one of their tan leather couches watching the news or Comedy Central. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Coherence Module. when one paragraph should end and the next one begin. The family’s Jack Russell Terrier. A kitchen and large formal dining room are adjacent to the family room. or paragraphs in which a writer tells the story of events. Every night the family eats dinner at the round wooden kitchen table where I usually notice a lingering scent of vanilla candles. comparison and contrast. for example. recounting the "this. Coherence must also be created between paragraphs to help the reader make the transition from one paragraph to the next. A small hallway connects the dining room to a laundry room and one car garage where I occasionally notice my aunt loading laundry into the washer or dryer. In a literature analysis essay. and a new thought begins. In descriptive paragraphs. the problem is similar: a writer may get caught up in describing aspects of something without having a sense of purpose. such as comparison and contrast. In narrative paragraphs. Transitional expressions and patterns of development.
The topic sentence does not really lead the reader to expect this content. 146 . take a look at a few strong. this idea does not fit. Practice this process of analyzing each and every sentence in a paragraph to help you identify sentences that break the unity of your own paragraphs. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. and so meets the reader's expectations. unified narrative and descriptive paragraphs.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. a description of the state of disrepair of the train station would also be appropriate. the paragraph is not unified. it is beyond the scope of the controlling idea. Even though the idea here is closely related to the controlling idea of the paragraph this sentence does not belong in this paragraph. With the recent failure of “Measure R. In the table below. 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. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. doesn't quite meet the expectations created by the topic sentence.The City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. However. Now. Speculating about what might bring about change is probably a worthwhile thing to do in this essay. and have a museum added. but as is. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. the reader would expect the rest of the paragraph to be about what (little) the City of Novato has done to preserve the old Novato train station.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. each supporting sentence is analyzed in detail for how it does (or does not) support the controlling idea of the paragraph. Sentence Unfortunately. 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 train station would be refurbished. The writer focuses on a rationale for why the City of Novato should preserve the site. however. With the recent failure of “Measure R. and have a museum added. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. the City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. Discussion Given the controlling idea as stated in the topic sentence. The writer may choose to write another paragraph about why the site should be preserved. in this paragraph. This second supporting sentence. The first supporting sentence does support the main idea. The author describes the neglected site. the train station would be refurbished.
Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. etc. evaluate evidence. newspapers. and baggage cars. engines. Figure out who you can ask for what. The reduction in income caused the sale of my first home and initiated the cycle of unrest in my father. 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. body. sleeper cars. There is a hierarchy of staffing—just like a government. a unified descriptive paragraph: The train is like a small town on wheels. my father found himself sleeping through the moments he was home. downtown street scene. He had no time to be with his family. expound on the idea. And so forth. etc. such as a farmer's market. the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument. Answer given: 2. and conclusion. as Ward Cleaver did. You learn behavior by experience—like don’t fool around with the ticket packet—let them do it. The train has its own culture and rules. or a scene at a local event.) Wear shoes or lose a toe. dining cars. Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats. example. Clear and logical transitions between the introduction. and the structure will collapse. it is your seat or compartment number. the stress and strain of running two companies and trying to have a family caused him to sell the businesses and return to retail. You may choose to write the paragraphs on a word processor and then copy and paste your finished work into the text boxes below. a place he went when he wasn’t working. and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. 147 . Find out what is free in your car (drinks. Fill out your meal card when you sit down in the dining car. concise. Always tip. Alternatively. Write a unified paragraph about the problems caused by giving kids cell phones before they are teenagers. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast. Without logical progression of thought. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. Everyone has an address. the analysis of cause and effect. 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). His home was a place he stored his stuff. Assignment Use the techniques for creating good paragraph unity that you have learned in this module to write paragraphs on the topics below. Instead. The cars are the city blocks. lounge cars. towels. it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. If the student does not master this portion of the essay.a unified narrative paragraph: The home [my father] provided his family was not truly his. and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. 1. The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following: A clear. pillows. Eventually. definition. Write a unified descriptive paragraph about a local park. Write a unified narrative paragraph about a time you turned out to be wrong about someone. Answer given: 1.
an introductory paragraph 2. that is because it is. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. the method consists of: 1. synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay. Therefore. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. rather. narration. Exposition. Evidential support (whether factual. Remember. This is. Often times. We hope these resources will help. therefore. but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided. however. three evidentiary body paragraphs 3. students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation. Allen Brizee. Narration. It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea.Body paragraphs that include evidential support. 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. Although these genres. a conclusion Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay. and logically so. or anecdotal). The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. logical. A bit of creativity! Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. 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. Therefore. exposition. have been criticized by some composition scholars. This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. If it sounds straightforward. such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. though you may not be crafting the next great novel. What is more. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point. and end to the conversation. statistical. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. In fact. it is an art form nonetheless. also known as the modes of discourse. in fact. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. middle. the expository essay must be complete. such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. 148 . it must be effective and logical.
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
synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict.. perfect weather. The third introduction is also effective because of the element of surprise: the author provides a concrete and interesting statistic about the level of tourism that suggests one conclusion. and review your thesis. it would seem that any pleasures to be had at Hawaii's beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts would be spoiled by overcrowding. and end to the conversation. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic. as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. and so are called upon to engage deeply with the topic at hand. the travel brochures do not lie: Hawaii is paradise. a vast array of wildlife. The first introduction is the least interesting because it offers so many broad generalizations. Readers are asked to picture themselves in the scene. there would be a beginning. The second introduction is far more effective at creating interest because of the numerous sensory and concrete details. and logically so. This is. In fact. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. The very first job before you in an essay is to capture your reader's interest and attention. however. Which lines do the best job of capturing your interest? The tropical islands of Hawaii are known for beautiful sandy beaches. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. sparkling sea. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. tropical fruits. In the case of Hawaii. in fact. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. rather. the argumentative essay must be complete. palm trees. This is the picture of a typical day in Hawaii. Restate why the topic is important. middle. Hawaii truly is a paradise. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. readers will rarely make a strong connection with the topic. Consider these openings lines from three different essays about Hawaii. Without a concrete image or idea. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. Hawaii can still be paradise. If it sounds straightforward. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. The reader is engaged by the promise of unexpected and surprising information in the essay to follow.. More than 6 million people visit Hawaii each year. that Hawaii would be too crowded for a satisfying vacation. Therefore. With so many tourists on such a small land mass. and a mixture of cultures.logical. 153 . But this is not the case. if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point. review the main points. sources of information and their credibility. but then surprises the reader by suggesting that in spite of this problem. that is because it is. the method consists of 1) an introductory paragraph 2) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and 3) a conclusion. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment. the sun warming your weightless body. it is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. 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.
An interesting fact or statistic: This technique is used above. sparkling sea. shaping them to your own purposes: A short anecdote: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. Hawaii is the number one American tourist destination. Relevant background material: Be careful here. such as laundry needing to be done. and nothing to do but to enjoy the beauty and bounty of life and each other.How do you go about writing an introduction that is going to get your reader's attention? To start. under what conditions will my reader pick up this essay? Imagine your reader having a general interest in your topic. You need to break through these distractions by providing a compelling reason to read. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. but also distractions. it is possible to go to Hawaii and feel like you are way off the beaten path." or "Throughout American history") Hawaii has been a popular tourist destination since the 1920's. Try for a more extended definition that is keyed into your essay topic. or kids arguing. More than 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. put yourself in the place of your reader. An analogy: 154 . In the early days. Today. like the freedom Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall. A short narrative: This technique is also used above. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. A concession: Start with a commonly held belief or opinion. Hollywood films like "Waikiki Wedding" featuring scenes shot on location. "Traveling is a fool's paradise. try to capture for your reader what drew you in and made you passionate about this topic. or loud music next door. A question or several questions to be answered in the essay: Why would anyone want to spend their hard-earned money on a Hawaiian vacation? Definition of a key term in your essay: Avoid dictionary dictionary definitions! This method is over-used in the college essay. "Since the beginning of time." He was wrong. Paradise can be found. if only temporarily. there are a few specific strategies that you may adopt. drew thousands more tourists to the growing number of hotels along Waikiki Beach. Don't include background material that does not have a direct bearing on your topic. Ask yourself. And by the 1940's. Although 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. the sun warming your weightless body. and then assert a new approach or direction for your essay. Broad generalities merely distract the reader and postpone what is really important in the essay (for example. And since you know your own idea intimately. Paradise for many of us in the 21st century is having freedom from care and worry. That said. Hawaii is anything but indifferent. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. in a short trip to Hawaii. 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.
. The reader takes in your words in the thesis and says.. write an introduction using an interesting quote to draw the reader in. for example." On the other hand a rhetorical question is actually a good focusing device for a draft. Of course.." The diagram (right) helps illustrate the way an introduction should focus the reader's thought: The thesis as a promise. Instructors don't much like them because they are a often a kind of cop out.. with this second thesis. Moving into your thesis." the reader will expect to be shown why Hawaii is a great place for families to take a vacation. "There are three good methods for strengthening the body after muscle injury").. ." the reader will expect to be shown how one can experience paradise in Hawaii. 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.. The argument is typically captured in a single sentence we call the "thesis sentence.. or contract. Instead. show me. "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. or within a theme tightly connected to your thesis. but I will do the best I can. and little time to catch one's breath. instead of going the extra distance to figure out what the argument actually is. full of excitement with a new thrill around every turn.Don't feel you must describe the structure of your essay in your thesis (unless your instructor requires such description). your thesis is "Hawaii is a wonderful place for a family vacation.Some people desire a vacation to be like a non-stop rollercoaster ride... the introduction should focus the reader's attention on what you will be arguing in the essay itself about your topic. showing why Hawaii is the better choice. In addition to capturing the reader's interest and establishing the topic of your essay. but the worst is our fast-food culture.. for example. Statements like "As I was exploring ideas for this topic. Once you have your thesis. be sure to turn that question into a statement in your final draft. where the joy of the ride comes more from the scenery and new vistas.") Assignment 1. .g.Don't over use rhetorical questions. If you say. "Life without my husband was going to be difficult. If you like working with rhetorical questions to help you stay focused." detrract from your topic by redirecting the emphasis to you and your methods." or "Words are not enough to really explain.. the writer settles on a focusing question. for example... on the other hand. but others do not (e... If. A thesis is a promise. Some writers find a clear question keeps them focused as they are developing their ideas. What not to do. you still have options for development with any thesis. Others prefer their vacations to be more like the ride on a ferris wheel. stay within your topic area.Don't describe your writing or thinking process. .. San Answer given: Francisco is 155 a great city. ok.. Given the thesis below (or something similar)." You will have to take too many steps to get from such a broad generalization to your specific argument.." "I am no expert on . . you could compare Hawaii to other destinations as family vacation spots.g. Some essays naturally fall into clear and equal divisions (e. than from heart-pounding new experiences. between you and the reader.. "It is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. 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. and/or you could describe the many different activities for families on the Hawaiian Islands.Don't begin with a huge generalization like "Throughout history civilizations have grown and died.
Given the thesis below (or something similar). write an introduction using a short narrative or useful background material to draw the reader in. given that you did not actually write the essay). Relationships demand a lot of work. and how to focus on a central theme or thesis (a specific. 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. Thesis Development Discovering and Developing a thesis: Overview Love notes. job-related documents. given that you did not actually write the essay). how to gather ideas to write about. Answer given: 3. or as best you can. The truth is.2.. or the next Great American Novel. 4. sooner or later. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. or as best you can. Relationships are a lot of work. Given the thesis below (or something similar). By learning how to discover a topic worth writing about. write a conclusion posing a question or challenging your reader to action. San Answer given: Francisco is a great city. Although they may experience the rest of that process in different ways. Whatever the writing task.. 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. 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 . identifying the purpose and audience is the first step in the writing process for most writers. significant idea). write a conclusion in which you look to the future or provide an analogy. e-mail to friends. Objectives By the end of this unit. 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. virtually all writers encounter these kinds of questions: What will I write about? How can I get past my “writer’s block”? What can I do when I’ve run out of things to say How should I organize my ideas? What’s the best way to get my point across? As writers gain experience in working through such questions. Given the thesis below (or something similar). essays for class. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically.
the instructor asks students to "take a stand." "discuss. and the solutions.Analyzing Writing Assignments for Meaning ." "define a problem" and "recommend solutions." and "give examples. After receiving assignments like these. Where do you stand? Write an essay of 1500 words in which you define the problem of global warming and recommend solutions. etc. students often worry about "what the teacher wants." as well as "support" the argument with evidence. There is almost never a "right" answer a teacher is looking for in an essay." for example. will generally write better essays. In a 1000 word essay. etc. or We have read several essays on global warming by various scientists and global leaders. the causes. places. 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. A typical assignment in an English class looks something like this: In his short story "A Rose for Emily. Support your thesis by discussing examples of Faulkner's characterization techniques. describe Emily's character. 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. In the above assignment on "A Rose for Emily. Most students write their first essays in response to an instructor's assignment. giving examples from the story. Action verbs are key in writing assignments: what the instructor actually wants a student to do is carried in the verbs." In the second essay assignment. on the other hand. the actions are "describe. and how the student's thinking has evolved based on the reading. and who pay close attention to the language of the assignment... 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. 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 ." William Faulkner uses many techniques of characterization to paint a portrait of the title character. Support your argument with evidence from the readings." Frankly. what the teacher most often wants is to hear what the student has learned. These authors have different takes on the severity of the problem.) in terms of their likenesses to examine two or more objects (people. places. "support.
158 . a student might use clustering to compare the readings on particular topics of discussion. getting unstuck: freewriting. Plus. or in discussion with a friend. In a brief biography on her website . now. K. brainstorming. in that one writes non-stop. rather than sitting down at a desk "to write. whether you are a beginner or a professional writer. The point of all of the strategies. and often say that they end up jotting down their best ideas on gum wrappers and napkins. The search engine "clusty. 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. how much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my hands on a pen). however..rowling. But feeling stuck is a normal part of the writing process.k. When the topic is up to you . . I didn't have a functioning pen with me.com) freewriting: Writing non-stop about whatever comes to mind. idly. because I simply sat and thought. Focused freewriting is similar to freewriting. —Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith It isn't easy to write an essay. but little idea about what it all means. Many writers use this technique for developing ideas. Given the "Rose for Emily" assignment above. To my immense frustration. J. bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me. for four (delayed train) hours. For students who are trying to decide the angle to take on a particular topic. boring train ride led her to develop the story of Harry Potter: I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before. Write a tentative thesis on a piece of paper and run it by your instructor during office hours. on the computer or on paper. you may end up with some material that you can actually use in the essay itself. and this scrawny. you're stuck. You may be surprised at the ideas you come up with. is the same: to let words flow freely on the assumption that out of this unpressured writing will come an idea. After clustering. . There's nothing to writing. What can you do about it? There are several techniques for getting going. And one of the most difficult parts of writing is finding what you want to say. clustering. And so. Make sure that you understand how much freedom you really have. Freewriting is particularly effective in making writing seem more natural and familiar. but the topic is defined. black-haired.com" will even cluster most any topic for you. etc. I think. on a long car ride. Rowling tells of how a long. and more connected to one's own voice. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.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. and all the details bubbled up in my brain. There is even a term for a severe form of being stuck: writer's block. these ideas having arrived when they were just musing about things. clustering: Clustering emphasizes the relationships between ideas and is useful in exploring various angles on a topic." Try brainstorming about an assignment when you have nothing else to occupy your mind: in a waiting line. one ends up with categories of information on a particular topic. then jotting down a few key ideas that may be useful. that this was probably a good thing. 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. either in one's head. until you find a groove and ideas start to flow. and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one.. (j. Given the assignment on global warming above. clustering is quite useful. Focused freewriting is effective when one has a topic but is unsure about what one wants to say about that topic. in traffic. Using Prewriting Techniques and Other Strategies to Discover and Shape a Topic. you may have a pretty good sense at the outset of how Faulkner describes Emily. listing. These prewriting techniques are described in detail below: brainstorming: Simply tossing around ideas.
July 2. 2004: Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. WSJ. December 26. Mr. That statement. as you see it. Take a look at the variety of angles on global warming that professional writers have come up with." or "explain. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. Could such tiny fluctuations be responsible for changes in climate? from "Don't Believe the Hype: Al Gore is wrong. and the prewriting techniques described in the previous section will help you here. Washington Post.". As mentioned above. which range from nine to 14 years. Generating and Revising Thesis Statements for Effectiveness." Richard S. Thesis statements are underlined: from "Undeniable Global Warming. a search on "bananas" brings up the following clusters—some of them useful. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. 2006. . There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason. There's no "consensus" on global warming. It is a bit like shorthand freewriting and is quite useful to students having trouble putting pen to paper..com. this topic may be defined for you by your instructor. and determining where the truth. or you may have the freedom to define a topic for yourself. It's time to lay that misapprehension to rest. Lindzen. Generating a thesis statement: The first step in developing a thesis is defining a topic.For example. 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. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community 159 ." "illustrate. But satellite measurements show that our local star dims and brightens slightly in concert with sunspot cycles. Many angles on a given topic are possible.. What exactly is this debate that Mr. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. The next step is to decide what you will say about your topic. in an unordered list. lies. .) from "Setting the Record Straight: Blame the sun?" Seattle Times." Naomi Oreskes." your thesis should reflect this purpose. We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it. finding one that works for you is just a matter of analyzing your evidence and your assignment. October 9. at least one thing seems constant: the sun. which Mr. 2005: In the debate over global warming. Also important is the language of the assignment: if your instructor asks you to "describe.
and these 160 . and a list of subordinating conjunctions). development problems. which is really concerned with drawing the reader into the argument. problems with a thesis lead to big problems in the essay: lack of focus. Subordinate clauses are attached to the main clause via a subordinating conjunction. the thesis focuses on a seemingly insignificant or minor point. But is the “American Dream” really such a dream? What does it really cost us to achieve that dream. helping you to focus on your reader's needs). multiple directions: The language of the thesis suggests that the writer will explore several topics. . Some of the most common problems are described below: weak argument: When the argument is weak. unity problems. rewriting the sentence to include a subordinate clause might help (see our module on coordination/subordination for more detail. in drafting his article. Every good essay begins with an argument: something the author believes to be true and worth proving. there has been no debate among scientists about global warming. Richard Lindzen. 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." A working thesis is not a perfectly refined piece of writing. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. the content suffers on all levels. Common Thesis Statement Problems: A solid thesis is the foundation of a good essay. and is that price worth it? Revising Your Thesis: When your thesis lacks clarity. . and circumstances of the times they grew up in. nor do you need to write your introduction. Unfortunately. and not with the specific content of the argument. ready to be read by a reader. because when a writer is unsure about direction. one that does not need more than a paragraph of support: It was hard to call a ship home.that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over. thesis as a question: Instructors frown on this strategy for beginning an essay. A much stronger tactic is to turn that question into a statement (though the question may work quite well as working thesis. age of parents. "Don't believe the hype. but a statement of what you will argue in the essay. in drafting her article." may well have started with a working thesis like "Contrary to what Al Gore says. may well have begun with "scientists do agree that global warming is occurring. and even sentence-level problems. it became difficult to think of it as anything else. The key words should be there which focus your work. A working thesis: You do not need to worry about finding the perfect langauge for your thesis before you begin writing your essay. no argument: A thesis that states a topic without an angle on that topic is just information." And Naomi Oreskes. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. but the connection between these topics is not clear: TV families often confront issues such as gender. but don't worry too much about the exact sentence structure until you revise your essay. but after living on the ship for three years.
and merry. Sometimes. Other human beings. or no God to ensure that there is good in the world. and in writing for a popular audience. Providence protect me from fool as adversary." actually takes attention away from the argument itself and weakens your voice in the essay. particularly in the biological or social sciences. for example. we expect arguments to have particular features: a claim. . opinion. it is the angle on the content that shifts—how the writer spins the content. . such as for a newspaper or magazine.conjunctions identify specific relationships between ideas. you can just cut them out." "I will first. 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. we feel there is no justice in the universe. the reader will not be able to follow you (you probably won't stay focused as you write the essay either). for the most part. In these disciplines. " or "I hope to show that. . As much as we would have it be otherwise. do not necessarily see truth and righteousness as we do. repairing these mapping statements is easy. and so today. the subordinator "because" suggests the writer will be concerned with the causes for something. and then. . the subordinator "if" suggess the writer will be concerned with conditions for something happening. . and not three or four things. say one thing. 161 . Arugments in written form have been around since ancient Greece. but in the humanities. Argumentative essays When Though May The Whose Where Who And blithe to argument I armed with facts. Revise your thesis so that you are proving just one thing." The content of the essay will not need to be dramatically altered. however. a more subtle approach is called for. revised thesis: Even though contemporary TV sitcoms try to be real by confronting social problems such as ethnic stereotyping and gender inequality. prove to others that our truths are valid truths. In such moments. calls conviction prejudice prejudice —Phyllis McGinley come. the subordinator can give you a sense of what you want to do in the essay. our belief that something is true or right is not proof that it is right. Fortunately. An argument is an attempt to convince others of a truth as we perceive it. Consider the revision of the problematic thesis below: original thesis: TV families often confront issues such as gender. they do not reflect the real day to day problems American families face. See if the content of your thesis might actually fit under a broader umbrella. mind to him a kingdom is reason lacks dominion. If the thesis appears to be going in many directions. All of us have had an encounter with a policy or practice that seems to go dead against what we know to be right. don't draw a map for development unless your teacher requires it. A thesis that begins with a phrase like "In this essay I will argue. . designed so that information can be processed quickly. Some instructors will ask for a map. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. however. essay structures are often pragmatic. and so we must argue. In the revision.
First. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment. In this module. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. students will learn to construct a strong argument that has these features. First. In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. and a conclusion. all studies agree that pollution is a problem. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. This thesis statement is not debatable. not the government. recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes). Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. The broader your claim is. 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. or all uses of medication in general? Second. the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on.evidence to support a claim. should be paying to limit pollution. a refutation of opposing arguments. the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. 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. Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. In other words. Further. what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use. Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does 162 . No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good. generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars. Still others could argue that corporations. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it.
Example: What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper." or "on average" also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence." "usually. is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of you broader topic. 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. We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way: Narrowed debatable thesis 1: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on helping upgrade business to clean technologies. in other words what type of claim you want to make. Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person. Example: Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption. 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. long-term cycles of climate change. Example: Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today. thing.the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. researching renewable energy sources. Claims about value: These are claims made about what something is worth. Qualifiers such as "typically. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to 163 . Types of Claims Claims typically fall into one of four categories. and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution. 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. your audience. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic. Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example: The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. or event caused another thing or event to occur. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above. how we would rate or categorize something. whether we value it or not. This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national antipollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus. such as researching renewable energy sources. This is a much more manageable topic. and the context of your paper." "generally. yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. 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.
accurate. they must be credible. Because anyone can add or change content. the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research. unless the site is associated with a reputable institution such as a respected university. a credible media outlet. 164 . Second hand research is research you are getting from various texts that has been supplied and compiled by others such as books. need to be much more current. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be. government program or department. sources on information technologies. which are collaboratively developed by users. or well-known non-governmental organizations. (This is also a good way to find more sources for your own research. however. you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown. or personal experience and anecdotes. Karl Stolley. While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information. they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. Regardless of what type of sources you use.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. periodicals. Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate. or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes. and trustworthy. Responsible. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia. surveys. they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources. credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. 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. Weida.) How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. Is the author presenting a neutral. Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. and websites. your sources must be reliable. In other words. 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. such as Time or Newsweek. What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to use. experiments. Karl Stolley. What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience.
Counterclaim: A claim that negates or disagrees with the thesis/claim. Including a well thought out warrant or bridge is essential to writing a good argumentative essay or paper. or for people who must commute to work. Rebuttal: While mass transit is an environmentally sound idea that should be encouraged. made by Toyota. Data1:Driving a private car is a typical citizen's most air polluting activity. Data 2: Each vehicle produced is going to stay on the road for roughly 12 to 15 years. 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. 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. 165 . produces 90 percent fewer harmful emissions than a comparable gasoline engine. arguments. According to ineedtoknow. it is not feasible in many rural and suburban areas. Data 3: Hybrid cars combine a gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor. If you present data to your audience without explaining how it supports your thesis they may not make a connection between the two or they may draw different conclusions. Warrant 3: This combination of technologies means that less pollution is produced. Find out what the other side is saying and respond to it within your own argument.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 (also referred to as a bridge): Explanation of why or how the data supports the claim. meaning that a decision to switch to a hybrid car will make a long-term impact on pollution levels. Backing (also referred to as the foundation): Additional logic or reasoning that may be necessary to support the warrant. Instead. but unrefuted. thus hybrid cars are a better solution for much of the nation's population. Don't avoid the opposing side of an argument. Warrant 2: Cars generally have a long lifespan. Rebuttal: Evidence that negates or disagrees with the counterclaim. Example: Claim: Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution. the underlying assumption that connects your data to your claim." Counterclaim: Instead of focusing on cars. Warrant 1:Because cars are the largest source of private. 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. Including counterclaims allows you to find common ground with more of your readers. The Toulmin Method of logic is a common and easy to use formula for organizing an argument. include the opposing side as a counterclaim. You may want to include several counterclaims to show that you have thoroughly researched the topic. which still encourages a culture of driving even if it cuts down on pollution. Data: Evidence gathered to support the claim. as opposed to industry produced.org "the hybrid engine of the Prius.
Avoid Logical Fallacies These are some common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument.Example: Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty. Example: Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffee producers. hunger. so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well. used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments.. or persuasive strategies. In other words. Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case.. Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion There are three types of rhetorical appeals. so there is no reason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds are introduced in Mexico. and a decline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced. Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars.. so we should not ban Hummers. Example: Even though it's only the first day. watch out for these slips in other people's arguments. basically equating A and Z. X. 166 . In this example the specific case of fair trade agreements with coffee producers is being used as the starting point for the claim. C. Logos Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason. Also. if we don't want Z to occur A must not be allowed to occur either. talk to the professor. or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on. then eventually through a series of small steps. Slippery slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens. through B. Inductive reasoning must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them. In this example the author starts with a large claim. and possibly even examine the textbook. and on the first day which is notoriously boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses. Z will happen. So. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case. that genetically modified seeds have been problematic everywhere. you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts.Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. In this example the author is equating banning Hummers with banning all cars. too. In other words. Karl Stolley. the facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population. Logos often depends on the use of inductive or deductive reasoning. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend several classes. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.. The generalization you start with must have been based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. and from this draws the more localized or specific conclusion that Mexico will be affected in the same way. which is not the same thing. Y. In this example the author is basing their evaluation of the entire course on only one class. Because these agreements have worked the author concludes that it could work for other farmers as well. I can tell this is going to be a boring course.
or better community planning to discourage daily driving. or a chemical spill across campus. 167 . Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. car sharing systems for necessities and emergencies. a flu bug that had been working on the body for days. Example: We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth. so the water must have made me sick. institute. democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand. or worth. particularly in a time of war. Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want. Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism. or theory determine its character. with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connection between the two. Specific evidence such as using everyday language. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before. Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments. Example: The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler's army. 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. Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. breaking down complex problems. But the very conclusion that should be proved. that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use. lazy hippies. nature. the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group. is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as "filthy and polluting. religion. Example: Green Peace's strategies aren't effective because they are all dirty. Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. Instead. without more evidence. to assume the water caused the person to be sick." a concept that people want to be associated with. or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed to prove either half of the sentence. 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. In this example the author equates being a "true American. In this example the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested.' Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick. yet the author ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleaner technology. Example: George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively.Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A. much less evaluate those strategies on their merits. In this example the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused the second." Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it. In this example where two choices are presented as the only options. idea. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. There is no reason.
often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them. earliest to most recent example. 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. and emotional sensibilities. While one issue may effect the other. a claim is usually a stronger and often more emotional proposition that a thesis in an expository essay. An argument should never use emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people. but used properly there is often a place for emotion as well. disclose why you are interested in this topic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic. reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly. Ethos Ethos or the ethical appeal is based on the character. credibility. the livelihood of those catching fish. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt on your character as a writer. or reliability of the writer. values. not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. however. "The difference between exposition and argument is the difference between peace and war. Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe. easy to follow manner. etc. 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. For example. Argument emphasizes reason. • Pathos Pathos. 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. Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately." In an argument. Establish common ground with your audience. or emotional appeal. it does not mean we should ignore possible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a few individuals. this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument. most general to most detailed example. Organize your argument in a logical.Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues. Making a Claim A "claim" is like a thesis for an essay in that it is a promise to the reader about what will be supported or proved in the essay. Most of the time. but what will fishers do to support their families. There are many ways to establish good character and credibility as an author: • • • • • Use only credible. In this example the author switches the discussion away from the safety of the food and talks instead about an economic issue. Proofread the argument. the writer is 168 . As Arlo Bates writes in Talks on Writing English (1894). If appropriate for the assignment. appeals to an audience's needs.
With this clarity established up front. we must debate when 169 . great or small. . . you risk appearing unsure of yourself. 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. " thoughts. such studies can be very effective in showing readers the way more abstract or general principles have an effect in the real world. Who you side with can go a long way to establishing the validity of your argument. however. your opposition will come away from the essay with a lot of "Yes. . Mr.. 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. If there is to be any hope of resolving these issues. articles by medical groups that promote stem cell research are not helpful. however." etc.is not particularly useful.. Evidence In argument. on real lives. What exactly is this debate that Mr. in your own writing you can discuss these arguments with phrases like "While . however. Cite authority on a topic: quotations from experts used to back up (not replace) your points work very well." or "X would seem like the answer. you show that you have done your research and that you are able to distinguish expert from amateur authorities. and writes to convince those who disagree to change their minds. . because it does not deal with his fundamental belief that human personhood begins at conception. In each of these essays. Take a look at the following arguments for an against stem cell research. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. the author makes a strong and clear claim at the beginning of the essay. the reader will never accept the writer's claim. Read the module on Working with Sources for more help with using sources in your writing. evidence is key. not to hide behind these quotes. a student might write a case study of an individual with Parkinson's to show how devastating the disease is. Without solid support. which Mr. there is an opposition that must be dealt with. . well explained. In using quotes and paraphrase effectively. 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. because they do not touch on their fundamental belief that embryos are not human persons. Cite statistics or research: Often solid research findings or statistics can complement a more theoretical argument. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. If you let others speak for you. there are many problems with this position. Otherwise. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. Refuting Opposing Arguments If one fights a battle in an argument. Then. . . or fails to be substantial enough to support a particular position. is true. That statement. Below are examples of the kinds of evidence that you might use to build a strong argument. . They work especially well as a complement to anecdotal or narrative examples to support an argument. . but . In an essay on Parkinson's Disease and the importance of stem cell research to find a cure. the reader knows what to expect in the essay that will follow. 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). ..generally ready for disagreement.". It is not effective to write an argument without acknowledging opposing arguments and showing why those arguments are not valid. Similarly. 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. Be very careful. Note the way the authors respond to opposing arguments: Cal Thomas' article against stem cell research.
passionate angle. in-vitro fertilization. If we can reach a near consensus on this. is controversial. Appeal to Emotion: This is an attempt to persuade by soliciting an emotional response such as pity or sympathy rather than evidence. their ages no longer matter. then abortion. and what it would be best to talk about. Ad Hominem: "against the man" or "against the person. in order to know how to talk to the reader.human personhood begins. it is important to know the knowledge level of one's audience in order to not waste time defining terms the reader already knows. genetically modified foods. everything he has to say about anything. Below is a list of the most common logical fallacies. to understand the reader's biases and concerns. stem cell research and other debates will neatly resolve themselves. 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. I think old people. It might be useful to print these out and have them handy when checking your work." Post Hoc: means "after this. I will not be eating there anymore. and also to check the arguments made by others for errors in logic." 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. therefore. is true. B was caused by A. It is obvious he feels devastated by what he has done." False Dilemma: Occurs when two options are suggested. when others may be available: "Either we do away with the automobile now. because of this. Logical Fallacies Logical fallacies are logical mistakes that fall into particular categories. 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. "Just look at this poor man. Since person A is doing it (believes it). or a more serious.." In other words. For example.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. generally. a bit of humor. it is the assumption becuase B follows A. man. In addition. Damnation of your soul is completed with the first one. immigration policies.. don't like to go to the movies." 170 . once you decide to become a child-killer. to avoid using too many terms the reader does not understand. Or the numbers. Hell. For example. stem cell research. such as abortion rights. or conversely. A writer needs to try and empathize with the reader. or we die tomorrow. (Religious Tolerance) ". Would an objective. scholarly tone work best? The answer depends largely on who one is writing to. "Brittney got sick right after eating at the Bon Thai. even a topic outside of the field of expertise." Appeal to Authority: Suggests that because someone is an expert (or claims to be) on something." (Religious Tolerance) Audience It is very important to understand one's audience when making an argument. particular when the issue. Tone is a factor as well with readers: Would the reader respond to a more lighthearted tone. we all should do it (believe it). Why should we punish him unfairly?" Bandwagon Appeal: Peer pressure.
that is." or "it") can also be used. Remember to involve readers in the story. Find a generalization which the story supports. second. details must be carefully selected to support. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. We all have experiences lodged in our memories which are worthy of sharing with readers. and an ending. or children of various ages and backgrounds. Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story. there are also major ones that destroy vast areas and take many lives. men. • • • Narratives are generally written in the first person. keep the following conventions in mind. writers first need to select an incident worthy of writing about and. forceful effect. writers must dredge up details which will make the incident real for readers. third person ("he. Finally. Conventions of Narrative Essays In writing your narrative essay. women. almost unnoticeable earthquakes that happen all the time.Slippery Slope Argument: Assumes that doing one thing will automatically lead to doing other things: "If you get a credit card. sensory details to convey their point. 2. in the United States. as stories. and enhance the story. you are going to end up in debt!" Narrative Essays As a mode of expository writing. To do this. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage. offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. Principles of Writing Narrative Essays Once an incident is chosen." "she. to find relevance in that incident." However. 3. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it. writers might ask themselves what about the incident provided new insights or awareness. These details should create a unified. Narratives rely on concrete. should include these story conventions: a plot. it can concern the writer. more than any other. 1. the narrative approach. In this stage. Comparison/Contrast Essays Though there are many little. the writer should keep three principles in mind. a climax. More information on sensory details is available. Two of them happened here. using "I. a dominant impression. very 171 . including setting and characters. Narratives. explain.
You can. along with the obvious ones like the date and location. the dates are different. Both of these earthquakes are horrible disasters.to do. properties. and around 7 billion dollars to repair the Loma Prieta quake. and the Loma Prieta Earthquake happened in 1989. but the San Francisco earthquake might have taken a little less money to repair. there is also some good that came out of this.1. over 3. you show their differences.000 people were killed and about 225. When you compare things. Now scientists have more education about how to build earthquake proof buildings and bridges. Both of them very destructive and had major impacts on society. First off. runs across different parts of California. The epicenter for both of these earthquakes was the Northern segment of the San Andreas Fault line. at about 7. and probably do. you show their similarities.7. Both earthquakes toppled buildings and houses. these earthquakes are similar in some ways that you may not have known. the San Francisco earthquake happened in 1906. so comparing and contrasting the unfamiliar with the familiar is one of the most important techniques for writing. It taught people how to be prepared when there is a major earthquake. But. buildings and lives.close to each other.8. They destroyed many houses. to define things. This is because the fault line. almost any kind of writing. usually not for the better. Though these quakes are both very different. These types of earthquakes are life changing. The name of this fault line is the San Andreas Fault line. Most earthquakes in the United States tend to occur in California. lasted under a minute. on which both the earthquakes occurred. to analyze things. In the San Francisco earthquake. and are caused by the San Andreas Fault line.25 magnitude. when you contrast things.5 billion dollars to make repairs for the San Francisco quake. most writers structure their essays one of four ways. The San Francisco earthquake and the Loma Prieta earthquake have may differences.000 injured. the number of people killed was also different. This segment runs from Hollister. Both of these powerful earthquakes happened in California. to make an argument -. in fact. two ideas. Even though they both happened on the same fault. like corsets and footbinding. In the Loma Prieta earthquake. The San Francisco earthquake was around a 7. and about 3. Along with the strength of the earthquakes. Both of these earthquakes also had subsequent fires. there are also some not as well-know differences.757 injured. When they are comparing and contrasting. Obviously. for example. only about 63 people were killed. Both of these even though caused major damage. use comparison and contrast to describe things. their magnitudes are different. but the Loma Prieta earthquake was weaker. We can really understand only those things that are familiar to us or similar to things we already understand. It was very costly to pay for the repairs that were to be made due to the damage. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are two of these majorly destructive earthquakes. 172 . It took 6. through the Santa Cruz Mountains. they also have many surprising similarities. These were very life changing events to anyone that was in either one of them or that had family in them. you can never be too prepared.
First A: point 1 (plus support) Then B: point 1 (plus support) Then A: point 2 (plus support) Then B: point 2 (plus support) Then A: point 3 (plus support) Then B: point 3 (plus support) ►Guidelines for a Successful Comparison-Contrast Essay: . Present one point about A. Comparison and Contrast Essays A comparison and contrast essay may discuss only similarities.Choose items that are related in some way so they can be compared or contrasted. Only compare or only contrast. and then go to the parallel point about B. Present all the information about A. The essay may be organised in one of two patterns. but mixing patterns is not. First compare. then do the other. only differences. This pattern tends to work better for shorter papers. 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.Each subtopic in Part I must also be discussed in Part II. and then present parallel information about B.Conclude your paper by restating your thesis.Subtopics should be discussed in the same order in both parts. . Use this pattern when you have only two principal similarities or differences. Move to the next point. Either is acceptable. both comparison and contrast is used. 4. and give the reader the final ‘so what’ of the major similarities and/or differences that you discussed. noting the differences in structure that each presents. ►Pattern B: The Point-by-Point Method. and do the same thing. . take note of the following guidelines: . Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. Review the two patterns below carefully.Subtopics in Part II should generally include reminders of the point made about the same subtopic in Part I. 3. To insure unity. ►Pattern A: The Block Method. This pattern tends to work better for long papers and those with many subtopics. . .Use specific and relevant examples for support. . . First do one idea.Use transitional words or phrases to help the reader understand the similarities and differences in your subject.1.Compare according to a single organized idea. summarizing the main points. and those with few subtopics It can be used when you have three or more principal similarities or differences. but more often than not.Choose a method of development that works well with your organizing idea. ►Outlines of Sample Essays: 173 . then contrast (or vice versa). 2. .Give equal treatment to both elements that you are discussing .
. see the Transition Signals handout in the Writing Centre.g. Block Method Outline: Part A Point 1: Cats can clean themselves. then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different. 1: Cats can clean themselves. For a more detailed list of transitions. dogs must be walked regularly. Point 3: Whereas cats need no training. This method is probably the one used most commonly. IV. II. 174 . First compare. dogs need baths. I. Corsets and footbinding are different. 3 Cats can exercise by themselves. whereas) emphasise the distinction being made between cats and dogs. Para. This structure focuses on the comparison and contrast instead of on the two ideas (e. 4 Unlike cats. Point 2: Para. Note that the transitions used in each outline (in contrast to. Para. cats make more convenient pets.Thesis: Although dogs are often called man’s best friend. Part B Point 1: In contrast to cats. III. 5 Cats do not require training. 2: In contrast to cats. dogs need baths. introduction Corsets and footbinding are similar. dogs must be trained. dogs must be walked regularly. Para. unlike. then contrast (or vice versa). Point 2: Unlike cats. Point 2: Cats can exercise by themselves. Point 3: Cats do not require training. conclusion A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. 6 Whereas cats need no training. corsetry and footbinding) being compared and contrasted. Point-by-Point Method Outline: Point 1: Para. dogs must be trained. Point 3: Para. Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding.
then the contrast will get emphasis . 1. The similarities and differences between the ideas do not begin to emerge until the writer gets to the second idea. A structure like this one seems more focused on the ideas being compared and contrasted than on the comparison and contrast itself. instead of corsetry and footbinding to each other.. A comparison/contrast essay like this one would probably focus only on those elements of the ideas that are explicitly comparable or contrasting. of course.. the similarities get emphasis.the logical movement is from thinking about similarities to thinking about differences. It is as if the writer is comparing and contrasting (for example) footbinding to corsetry. to write an essay that treats only the similarities or differences between ideas. Only compare or only contrast. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. but many evolve past it into something more flexible. This method requires real control over your subject. introduction element #1 element #2 element #3 . First do one idea. introduction similarities (or differences) differences (or similarities) conclusion A quick outline that treats first corsets and then footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. 175 . It is always possible.Clearly. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by treating one idea thoroughly before taking up the second one. If you begin with the comparison. then do the other. 2. the sequence is important. This method is probably the one most students try first. 3. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by taking important specific elements and looking at their similarities and differences. conclusion A quick outline that compares and contrasts only relevant aspects of corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. If you begin by contrasting the ideas (and then move toward a comparison).
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. related concepts to think about and places to look Analogical and metaphorical language: like and as Using lists in your writing: parallelism An Overview of the Writing Process Developing an Introduction Conclusions Essay Organization: The Flow Chart Approach Paragraph Development When Do I Begin a New Paragraph Cohesion Brainstorming Focused Freewriting Invention Questions for Argument and Persuasion Invention Questions for Writing about Cause and Effect Invention Questions for Comparing and Contrasting The various rhetorical modes and types of writing Narrative Description Definition Process Description Reaction Papers 176 .with a bang! .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. first describing what people shouldn't do and then ending . o o Other.with what they should. Many teachers assign topics that ask writers to write an essay comparing and contrasting two or more ideas. but besides its value in organizing an essay. Writers who only contrast ideas sometimes briefly summarize similarities in the conclusion so they don't leave the impression that they are thinking in opposites. o Comparison/contrast is useful for more than an essay topic.
and into the 20th. Effects on health: tight-lacing vs stays. Crete. Introduction 2. A quick outline of how a paper treating one topic and then the other might look. through the 19th century. Both practiced by women of all classes. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. To use Veblen's argument. Footbinding o o o Earliest references. Introduction 2. A quick outline of how a paper comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding might look. Corsetry o o o o o o Practiced in Sumaria. Every Chinese woman so bound was deformed for life.women plowing fields in mud up to their ankles. Both restrict women's movement and impair health. only most extreme cases of tightlacing did permanent damage. Corsets and footbinding are different o o Chinese culture is radically different from that of western Europe and America. 1880s and 1890s. millennia ago. Corsetry not exactly the same as tight-lacing. 1. Survival rates and the effects on health. focus in Western world. Dress Reform movement. women bound feet. o o 3. 177 . Henri II's queen: 15-inch waist with the help of the King's armorer. 3. o 4. both enhance man's value in the culture to be responsible for women who were too delicate to work. 1. when women were looking at the possibilities of real contributions to the political debate. Corsets trivialized by everybody since the end of the dress reform movement. Our misconceptions about class -. though most people imagine tight-lacing and footbinding were limited to the upper class.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. Women laced corsets. Corsets and footbinding are similar o o o Both practiced in the far past. Both practiced by women on women.
most women.C. 10. Mudd On the night of April 14. he limped out the back door. 9. Acting as any doctor would with a stranger in distress. In the middle of the performance. D. 11. Socio-economic class and tight-lacing and footbinding. but broke his leg when he leaped from the president’s box seat to the stage. at four o’clock in the morning. Eastern and western cultures. Dr. 4. mounted a waiting horse. Effects on women's health. Simone de Beauvior saw some. 1865—five days after the Civil War ended—President Abraham Lincoln was attending the theater in Washington. slipped into the presidential box and shot the president. Cultural movements against tight-lacing and footbinding. seeking to avenge the defeat of the South. an actor named John Wilkes Booth. Lasting into 20th century. o o 4. a doctor living in southern Maryland. A quick outline of how a paper treating only comparable and contrasting elements might look.o Any girl whose female relatives thought she might be able to marry up would bind her feet. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Also. Introduction 2. Life magazine's photos. Women's contributions to their own weakening. Extreme cases vs. 6. Conclusion Narrative essays The Story of Dr. 178 . Restrictions on women's movements. Before anybody could stop him. When the government made it illegal. how women whose feet had been bound couldn't really unbind. Booth and his companion arrived at the home of Samuel Mudd. 8. 7. and disappeared into the night with a fellow conspirator. Economic and cultural value of a helpless female to a powerful male. 3. 5. Five hours later. Mudd knew nothing about the assassination of the president. 1. Booth escaped the theater.
c. d. When the fever struck.he set the leg and persuaded the two travelers to stay in his house for the rest of the night. An Unfair Trial for a Fair Man. angry at the president’s death. He lied to the military courts. Dr. Lincoln’s Assassination. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. What sort of doctor was Dr. Mudd’s release. –PRETEST– 5 Because of this merciful act. Dr. Soon after Dr. an island fortress about 120 miles west of the southern tip of Florida. Fort Jefferson was abandoned. these pests spread yellow fever germs to prisoners and guards alike. and tried on the charge that he was a friend of Booth’s and therefore helped plan the assassination. What was the cause of Dr. Dr. Meanwhile. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. After a four-year struggle. The next morning. 6. The warm. An alternative title for this passage might be a. A Prison Abandoned. He helped Booth get away. Mudd’s conviction? a. because he was the only doctor on the island. Mudd was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson. Booth and his friend. But the military courts. taken to Washington. In spite of the fact that the guards and other inmates called him “that Lincoln murderer. she secured a pardon for him—for a crime he never committed. b. Mudd was arrested. Today. paid the bill and departed. Dr. He had to fight the disease. The military courts wanted someone to pay for Lincoln’s death. Dr. c. d. Questions 4. sentenced the unfortunate doctor to life imprisonment. his wife was working heroically back in Washington for her husband’s cause. humid climate was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. b. Mudd volunteered his services. the one-time prison is accessible to visitors as part of Dry Tortugas National Park. he worked hard to fight the disease. even after he was infected himself. He helped Booth assassinate Lincoln. Mudd insisted that he knew nothing of the plot. Good Doc Gone Bad.” and treated him very badly. 5. Mudd returned to Maryland to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. using false names. Again and again. Mudd? 179 .
greedy. ILLUSTRATION In order to develop the central theme of a paragraph. you have to expand the idea contained in the topic sentence. Mudd fought the yellow fever outbreak at Fort Jefferson because a. illustration. Examples also add to the reader's interest.g. he was forced to by the prison warden. Let's first look at this illustration. Let us analyse the paragraph. ii) techniques which itlvolve a second topic: e. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. for instance. the point you have stated in your topic sentence. careless. c. 8. there was no one else to treat the sick prisoners. description. sloppy b. definition. He is also able to persuade the reader that the generalization is correct'because there are examples to support it. It is an example of the development of a paragraph by using the technique of illustration. There are no rules about the kind of development to be adopted in any writing situation. 1. he didn’t want to get sick himself. Example 3 (Development of a paragraph by illustration) 180 . he thought it would help get him a pardon. I 1 Giving examples is one of the easiest ways of developing of topic. and cause and effect. depending on your purpose. the topic and the kind of reader you have in view. Examples given to develop the paragraph: i) the hunter ii) the farmer iii) ihe fisherman iv) the city-dweller 3. 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. Dr. Summing up: This is done by stating that there is a common bond between man and other creatures. d. although some topics lend themselves more readily to certain kin$ of development than they do to other kinds. an example. wherever they live and whatever their occupation. We often introduce examples of illustrations by using expressions like for example. cold-hearted. Topic sentence: The vast majority of people. money-hungry d. 2.g. Now look at the paragraph given under example 1 again. come in contact with animals in one way or another and have to deal with them.a. however. This can be done in a number of ways. by the technique of illiustration. 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. Read this sentence from the essay. It must be realized. b. You will notice that this paragraph is developed mainly by adding examples. generous. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. 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. unfeeling 7. caring c. that you can combine more than one technique in composing a paragraph. Now. i. e.e. read example 3 given below. etc.
........ Alfred A Knopf. for they improve their talents with practice....... each example should be logically related to your main idea......... ......................All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first. 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...... "begin by making quite primitive little webs........... Ir?c.. but are there from birth..... but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification...... instinct: ways of behaviour which are not based on learning or thinking... Base yourself on the analysis done for Example I in 10 lines. When you write a paragraph where you have to give examples to support your topic sentence. and older spiders..ed) The Natural Hisrocl of Nonsense............ Insects............................ it gets in his way and seems more of a hindrance than a help until his parents show him what to do with it...) :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.. .. ...): highly skilled hindrance (n): something that prevents an activity reflex: an action or movement of the body which happens by itself when one sees.......... ... 181 ... hears or touches something. They never learn to swim naturally........ you should keep in mind that there should be enough examples to support your point........ ....... e.... ii) .. if deprived of their spinnerets... For example. but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species............g columns in the manner shown here: Names of Animals Skills to be developed i) Young birds and bats learn to fly....................... Thousands'of yeung seals and young sea lions are drowned every year............. iv ' ... It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for.g............... for example........ I... Young spiders. the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how birds sing without instruction.... you remove your finger on touching something hot........ Ana!yse this paragraph......... . indeed seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes... a bird flies by instinct...... B... v) . What are the topic sentences in this paragraph? 2.......... will take to Development of hunting....... Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly........... iii) ... and only attain perfection in their art in course oftime"... Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners..................) ! i ............... Read the paragraph again and fill in the fo1lowi1............! Glossary warm-blooded(adj..... Paragraphs (From Evans.......... vi> ...
a daughter's rebelling against her father and leaving home may have an apparent immediate cause.. frost which causes small cracks on rock sides. is the action of water on rocks. the organization is predetermined. You may.e. a direct cause or an indirect cause. to account for all the links in the sequence of causes. This softening is the first stage of erosion called weathering. Usually your topic will determine it. and B by C. strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in desert.each example should be developed with interesting details. the results of' their helplessness and how they become self-sufficient. i. When you write.. You may trace a chain of events in which A is the cause oPB. there are likely to be many causes. but there may also be a chain of causes going back into the past. etc. of deforestation. if the main event is caused by A. your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion. Then. however. But sometimes the reasons or causes may be parallel.. and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. Cause Analysing the cause can be quite a complex task. want to know the cause of your poor grades. There are several forces of erosion: glaciers which cany rocks weighing \ thousands of tons. and A in turn by B. 11 Example 4 (Development of a paragraph by listing the causes) Hills. If the reasons follow a logical pattern. 6.?' and then try to find the cause or effect of an event. I When developing a topic which is supported by reasons or causes. You may discuss one or more causal connections between events. For example. Millions of years in the future. Rainwater fallin: on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. and to write about all the causes or reasons with details.(Note that the writer of the paragraph above does not merely list the examples. Thus. a good strategy is to begin with the least important cause and conclude with the most important. Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth. or the effects or consequence of taking drugs.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. By far the greatest cause of erosion. We often have occasions in our lives to ask "Why did it happen" or "What will happen if. you face the problem of arranging them in a significant order. Franklin Watts in Science World) Glossary worn away: caused to disappear erosion: the action of wearing away 182 . remember to make it clear whether you are dealing with an immediate cause or an earlier cause. and so on. which causes D. that soften rocks. The choice between one cause and several causes is often not a free option. for instance.) the examples should represent a reasonable cross section of the group you are dealing with. which is the cause of C. but tells us in what way each of these animals is helpless. When you work with several causes or reasons. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it. not just one. to consider multiple causes. or of a bus accident. (Adapted from Geogrpl~yby Dougal Dixon. all contributing to the same result. you can follow any of these patterns.
what were thp_ reasons which led you to join the IGNOU Computer Programme? Jot down your reasons... The following exercise will help you understand the organization of the paragraph abcve. Now...... sliding down a mountain side terrifying: filling with terror In earlier sections we analysed some of the paragraphs for you...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 . explosions are caused and fires are started. Bridges fall.. On land 183 ......... the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village...000 killed.... even your favourite hills will be worn away by erosion. its power is immense.. dams burst. Effects Effects or consequences can be handled in much the same way as reasons or causes.... Underground railways are wrecked..... / 2. which lists the causes of erosion..... avalanches roar down into the valleys...i t causes... Consider the terrifying statistics from the past.. Cause: The power of .. huge tidal waves sweep inland... But now the main idea is regarded as causing the consequences discussed in the rest c?f the paragraph. a) Causes of Erosion: glaciers frost strong wilds water b) Process of erosion by water 3.. Main effect: The great . Whtn it does. If the quake strikes at sea.. Example 5 (Developing a paragraph by listing effect) An earthquake strikes without warning. In the year 1755: Lisbon... For instance. capital of Portugal--the city destroyed entirely and 450 killed: 1970: Peru --50... (i) ... (From Can We Stop Earthquakes? in World of Wonder) Glossary Development of Paragraphs warning : the act of giving earlier info~mationo f danger immense : very great gasmains: pipes bringing gas from the source of supply to..... The paragraph may deal with only a single effect or refer to several effects. Summing up: In a million years. Gaping caves appear in busy streets. Topic sentence: "Hills and mountain are-slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion".. Fill in the blanks.... If several consequences are listed. the houses and building gaping caves: wide openings or cracks tidal waves: very large ocean waves avalanches: large masses of snow and ice. If it strikes a modern city.. think of your own life.. It follows a sequence where the less important causes are mentioned first..... Check Your Progress 4 1 ...( ii) . If it strikes in mountain regions. followed by the most important cause. whole buildings collapse. one must be careful to distinguish between the major and the minor ones. Gas mains burst... You have just read and analysed a paragraph.
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... you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph..... cause and effect are more closely related... I1 ........ and ... together with sunlight...... Cause and Effect We have discussed a paragraph which gives reasons to support a topic. 184 .. ... ..... blain Cause Main Effect Indirect effect : . IX Effect the sun Man's . of consequences of your joining this program. of ... At the same time...i. rain.... and plants provide food for inan and also for animals.... Secondly the sun indirectly provides man with water....Effect...... the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect. which are themselves another source of food for man..... Now write down what you think will be'the results... One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers...] 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 .......v . B is both a consequence of A and the cause of C. iv ...... 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.. enables plants to grow. 111 .. B to C and to C and so on..... by its light and warmth the sun directly creates rhe necessary conditions for man's survival... Jtainfall Rainfall formatio.. Cause Effect . The paragraph below illustrates such a chain. In such a link... forming a chain where A gives rise to B. Effect Cause . and a paragraph which deals with effects. . By filling in the gaps below..... [from Anita Debska: IJpgrade your English...n. Often however.. Oxford University Press...... 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. from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power. Check Your Progress 6 1..... In the first place.... In Check Your Progress 4 you noted the reasons foi joining the IGNOU Computers programra......
... For example.... 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.. This is done by adding details like uses.v ii ............ both in our thinking and writing... ....Lakes and rivers water and ........ You Ir. we often require extended definitions.... ...... 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... Rain + .. In fact.. and stating what it is not....... which relates to concepts such as "freedom".. especially if we feel that our readers may not be familiar with it................ for man and ..v. but pictures of other features.... This is somewhat similar to 185 ........ Plants ....... The concept "bride" cannot be defined in such a manner.. ...... and a canal with crocodiles and a bridge over the canal. need the support of specific examples.. "democracy" etc..... being similar to something else. i Example 7 (Paragraph developed by definition) A map is a representation of anarea of land.... xii ......5 DEFINITION Often when we write.. component parts.................... examples.. One of the earliest such maps dates from about 1400 B.. Maps have been used since the earliest civilisations... we need to explain what something is or means.x.... i ... or sky. being different from something else. viii... drawn by Eskimo people.. Topic sentence.. It shows not only roads..... and sometimes the definition itself Study Skills becomes the focus of a piece of writing.C.. ... 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... Now write a paragraph of about 150 words combining both'the reasons and the consequences of your joining IGNOU............. Occasionally maps show not only the roads...... Arctic explorers have obtained considerable help from maps of the coast lines showing settlements.. xi ...... You have already noted the reasons for your joining the JGNOU Computers-programme and the effect it will have on your future career.. but also lakes with fish........ . and explorers find that they are used in rather primitive societies at the present time by people who are accustomed to travelling....... Composition and Sopetimes a definition is used in the rnjdst of other forms of writing. This generally happens when we use technical terns or when we want to give our own meaning to an ordinary word.. sea.
We often compare our teachers." Example: Arctic explorers Generalisation: Occasionally maps show not only the roads. who are accustomed to travelling. 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.the modem maps of a state which show for each large town some feature of interest or the chief products of 'that town. Glossary vertebrates (n. Hence comparison and contrast are a continuous process in our 186 . for example. and so on. to shrews. Use the sentences given beiow to write a paragraph on Mammals. You will need.C. to replace some of the nouns with pronouns and avoid unnecessary repetitions. ranging in size from the largest mammal." Generalisation: "Maps have been used . the food served at different restaurants.6 COMPARISON AND CONTRAST So far we have been discussing ways of developing paragraphs which deal with only one topic. For instance. (C. the cities we have been to. comparison and contrast dominate our thoughts when we decide to join a particular college or university. sea or sky. which weigh only a few grams. Sometimes a topic can be developed by showing how two things are alike or how they are different. when we choose a career or a job.. V) Mammals are an extremely varied group. our neighbors. 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. 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. mainly because we tend to think that way. iv) A mammals is a warm-blooded vertebrate that has four limbs and a hairy skin.. and even when we buy a particular brand of tooth paste. the blue Whale which is 150 tons. In fact comparison and contrast are common devices in writing. I I I I i) Mammals differ from the other vertebrates in their system of reproduction.): animals which have a backbone secreted: produced varied: of different kinds shrew: a very small mouse-like animal with a long pointed nose 6. Our decisions are often based on comparison and contrast. but pictures of other features Example: Maps of both ancient and modern times Check Your Progress 9 1.
Reason: Subject I : People Subject 2: Monkeys .people are brought together. iii) We wish to show the superiority of one thing over another when we compare two cars. which direction it shall follow. for example There are two ways of arranging information when comparing or contrasting things. the making of quick decisions. Summing up: 'Sorne form of leadership is essential . Check Your Progress 10 Write a paragraph on the following topic. The points to develop the paragraph are given below. I. Time-life Series) Con~positiona nd. Every jury needs its foreman. The same is true of monkeys. Both are extremely dependent on others. 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 .. (Adapted form "The Primates" by Eimerl.): 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.. You may ! develop these points and add any others that you wish.. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move. ! There are a lot of similarities between an infant and a very old person's dependence on others. Some forin of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly. Example 9 (Developing a paragraph by contrast) We live on the planet Earth. first. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. a ball of rock 12. S. ii) We wish to clarify the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar. every cricket team needs a captain. Like all the planets the Earth rotates on its 187 . and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality. consequence of total equality.lives. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. what action it shall take to avoid predators. and De Vors.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. 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.750 km in diameter. Whenever. Glossary Study Skills hierarchy (n. 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.
... is lush and fertile. ......... Write a paragraph of your own contrasting the Arctic and the Antarctic regions.. The expressions of contrast 1isted. etc lush: thickly and healthily growing (especially plants) erupting: expleding and pouring out fire 4 Check Your Progress 11 Unlike Example 8.....the moon ......... . The first sentence and some points describing the two regions are given below..!.... 3 airless.....plants. The Earth..... steam........... escape from time to tinie with great force from inside the earth.. soil. on the other hand...... 2 has volcanoes 3 ..here mzy also help you in developing the paragraph.... gases... Fill in the gips in the following table to show the contrast between the moon and the earth.... and cools to ..... More rainful less rainfall 188 . waterless and lifeless 4 ....... especially relating to rock.. But the two worlds are very different. on the other hand has fascinating erupting volcanoes since it has no atmosphere to protect it. geological activity: activity which relates to the physical changes in the structure of the earth. The moon Check Your Progress 12 The earth 1 ..... It has no volcanoes or geological activity.... Its surface is heated to 105 C during its day.... I 1 lush and fertile 1. the paragraph in Example 9 has been organized by talking about the earth and contrasting it with the moon..... What is the topic sentence? 2.. .. which we can breathe.. It has a companion on its travels ...... This exercise is to help you analyse the paragraph.... In contrast... The Moon is a dead planet... waterless and lifeless....... Northern (Arctic) region Southern (Antarctic) region Ice-covered sea surrounded huge continent-surrounded by ocean by land Varied climate climate less varied: cold throughout the year. insects...... the Eaith is covered by an atmosphere.... animals and human beings. The moon... It supports millions of living things .. and which also keeps the temperature quite constant. orbits: goes round volcanoes: mountains with large openings at the top through which melting rock.......... 5 very hot during th'e day... But the earth is not alone.which orbits the Earth once a month.. very cold during the night First sentence: The northern and southern poles are different in many ways.... 2 ... etc.axis and orbits the sun........ Analysis of the Paragraph: 1 ... 4 has atmosphere 5 .... birds.... it is airless. Glossary rotates: turns around a fixed point axis: an imaginary line around which a spinning body moves............155 C at night...
We have also discussed different techniques of developing paragraphs.Much plant life empty desert. 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.ld contrast. on the other hand. definition.om. despite the fact that. You i should now be able to use these techniques in writing paragraphs on iifferent'topics. cause and effect. but. ! i b KEY woms Antarctic Arctic cause comparison contrast definition description . . can be distiiiguished from. . yet. such as the topic sentence and the development of the topic.. . etc. Development of Paragraphs Expressions of contrast: different ti. Exploited for trade no trade at all . 189 . such as illustration. writing. . while. LET US SUM UP In Unit 6 we have introduced you to the elements that go into the organisation of a good paragraph. whereas. although. and comparison a.
These words.Mechanics 39 The majority of grammar. she. make your essay a unique piece. places. Following are the four most challenging ones as they pertain to your writing: pronouns. A-PRONOUNS Pronouns refer back to or take the place of nouns. him. them Incorrect: When a person comes to class. Correct: If the student passes this course. they will graduate. we. (What isn’t good for him? Reading. and prepositions. First person pronouns: I. Adjectives add information by describing people. in fact. us Second: you Third: he. the focus of this chapter is on those errors that occur most frequently. Agree in person Do not switch back and forth in your writing from the first person (I) to the second (you) or third (he. and capitalization mistakes are just a few dozen common ones. or things in a sentence. it). they. Therefore. playing soccer. Incorrect: It has been years since they spent money on new textbooks. her. They should: 1. C-ADVERBS 190 . too. 3. 1-PARTS OF SPEECH Some parts of speech are more difficult than others. the inability to express yourself clearly and accurately through the written word will hinder the success of your essay. No matter how original an idea you come up with. he should play some basketball. If you learn these common errors and how to avoid or correct them. 41 B-ADJECTIVES Adjectives describe or modify nouns or pronouns. Incorrect: If the student passes this course. more than any others. they. However. your writing will greatly improve. he/she should have his/her homework ready. Agree in number A singular pronoun must be used for a singular noun. they sometimes confuse even professional writers. me. and situations to make the reader understand your point of view and see things the way you have seen them. Too few adjectives will make a personal statement a boring play-byplay that doesn’t tell the reader anything about the writer. Use them to describe people. you do not need to become a strict grammarian in order to write well. but it isn’t good for him. adverbs. objects. you should have your homework ready. Incorrect: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. and we took her laptop. (Whose laptop?) Correct: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. and we took Nancy’s laptop. with usage explanations and examples. Incorrect: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. Correct: When a person comes to class. she will graduate. Too much soccer isn’t good for him. 2. or both?) Correct: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. adjectives. she. punctuation. The rules of mechanics are complex. Be a specific reference to a noun It should be obvious to your reader to which noun the pronoun refers. Who is they? Correct: It has been years since the school board spent money on new textbooks.
none is more famous than: Never end a sentence with preposition!While this rule holds true for many situations. good describes the noun pasta: The pasta ume last night was good. Using them unnecessarily Because it is so important in your essay to get to the point concisely. it is not an absolute. It is important to remember that they must always be used together: You must account for every item in your club’s budget. such as slowly. Remember that when two or more prepositions are used together. Poor form: They looked outside of the house for the lost cat. which describe verbs. As an adjective. In the following sentence. Examples The box on your desk is your birthday present. abruptly. Poor form: She likes all sports except for soccer. The meal consists of eight separate courses. in popular speech.” PREPOSITIONS Prepositions are connecting words that link a noun or pronoun to another word in a sentence. quickly. The second sentence uses the preposition after to describe the time relationship between holiday and birthday. These necessary prepositions are always used in combination with their respective supported words. It is perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition. especially in your essay. 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. which s incorrect: I played good in the basketball game. Good form: She likes all sports except soccer. good. good is used to describe nouns. “I played well in the basketball game. are easily spotted because most of them end in -ly. The holiday that follows immediately after your birthday is Valentine’s Day. Confusing prepositional phrases Certain words must always be followed by certain prepositions. The correct word to use in such instances is the adverb well.Adverbs. good describes the verb played.” 191 . the adverb that causes the most errors is not a typical-ly form. the sentence would read. Poor form: I cleaned up under the kitchen cabinets. Good form: I cleaned under the kitchen cabinets. Good form: They looked outside the house for the lost cat. Well is commonly confused with its adjective counterpart. However. 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. They are often used to show a relationship of space or time. if it makes the sentence flow better. unnecessary prepositions should be avoided. 2. In the following sentence. The first sentence uses the preposition on to describe the spatial relationship between the box and the desk. Written correctly. For example. Below are two examples of required prepositions—the preposition is in italics and the supported word is underlined. it sounds much more natural to say “That’s all I can think of” than “That’s all of which I can think. On your desk and after your birthday are prepositional phrases. chances are at least one is unnecessary.
Did the cafeteria meet with student government? To say exactly what is meant. is that they confuse meaning. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. the noisy construction job distracted Jim. Incorrect: I had to have the cafeteria unlocked meeting with student government this morning. the modifier is just in the wrong place. • Incorrect:While working on his English assignment. Here are some acceptable and unacceptable examples. or does it sound like a college professor? Prepositions should not be used in an attempt to add importance or weight to your writing. (plural subject takes plural verb) 192 . • Incorrect:While practicing outside with the soccer team. dangling modifiers (and indeed any ambiguous language) must be avoided. 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. first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. he was distracted by the noisy construction job. I had to have the cafeteria unlocked. the modifying phrase “meeting with student government” should be moved to the beginning of the sentence.Tony’s computer crashed.What would the statement sound like if you kept—or dropped—the preposition? Does it sound like you. 44 A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. as with dangling modifiers. no extra words are needed. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 43 Many times short questions are ended in prepositions. are easily fixed by rearranging word order. though sometimes difficult to recognize. Correct: While Jim was practicing outside with the soccer team. To achieve subject-verb agreement. Correct: Meeting with student government this morning. Since it is so critical that your reader understand your point easily and exactly. NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT Nouns and verbs must agree in number. Note that correcting a dangling participle involves adding and/or rearranging the words in a sentence to make the meaning clear. Correct: Tim and Fran are a great couple. The danger of misplaced modifiers. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. 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. It isn’t dangling. and then pair it with the correct verb form. OR The noisy construction job distracted Jim while he was practicing outside with the soccer team. Incorrect: Tim and Fran is a great couple. (Was the computer working on the assignment?) • Correct: While Tony was working on his English assignment. his computer crashed. but is in the wrong place in the sentence.The best technique for deciding to keep or remove prepositions at the end of sentences is to use your ear. Note that the unacceptable sentences could be improved simply by dropping the preposition at the end.
Examples At the zoo. For these reasons. Passive: Another helping was asked for by my friend. Correct:There are too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning.) ✔ If one plural and one singular subject are connected by or or nor. they are phrases that are not whole thoughts. and expresses a fully developed thought. Sentence fragments stop too quickly. and here is and here are. does not express a complete thought. _ SENTENCE STRUCTURE A complete sentence requires a noun and verb. written in the passive voice. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 45 NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT CHECKLIST The more complex the sentence. Fragments also can be phrases or parts of other sentences. The good news is that passive-voice errors are easy to omit from your writing. Incorrect: There is too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. Can’t go to the store. When we finished the game.) _ ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE The active voice is much more effective in conveying your personality through your essay. Cried a lot. but it conveys your meaning more easily. they include two complete clauses or sentences. 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. remember to first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. of the action.Common examples include sentences that begin with there is and there are. Sentences written in the passive voice tend to be too wordy. the verb must be singular. Active: The administration has selected three finalists for the open position. The two most common mistakes at the sentence level are extremes. the more difficult it is to determine noun/verb agreement.Run-on sentences don’t stop soon enough. (Neither the 10-speed nor the hybrid is appropriate for a trail race. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS A sentence fragment is a group of words that. Passive: Three finalists for the open position have been selected by the administration. (Both the 10-speed and the hybrid are appropriate for the bike race. In the active voice. singular subject is connected by or or nor. Compare these sentences: Active: My friend asked for another helping. the verb agrees with the closest subject.Incorrect: One of my friends are going to your school. Not only is the active voice clearer and more direct. the subject (most often you) is acted upon.When editing your work. are clunky and noticeably longer. or cause. Incorrect: Here are the report you asked me to write. singular subject is connected by and. and then match it to the correct verb. Fragments are often missing a subject or verb. Active: I misplaced my wallet. Here are some guidelines that may help you: ✔ If a compound. (singular subject takes singular verb) Agreement may be difficult to determine when the noun follows the verb. however.The second sentences. In the passive voice. Correct: One of my friends is going to yourt school. (Neither a fast bike nor perfect trails are going to help you to win if you do not train. or lack focus. Correct: Here is the report you asked me to write. you literally become the source. it should be used only when necessary. although punctuated as a sentence. Passive:My wallet was misplaced by me. Note the simplicity and directness of the first sentence in each pair.) ✔ If a compound. the verb must be plural.
While the information may seem simple. Incorrect: Vegans don’t eat dairy products nor meat. and nor. Here are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. 4. Examples Incorrect: When we finished our lunch. we decide to take a walk. neither. Correct:We hardly ever see movies. Eight rules cover 194 . Use a dash to separate parts of the sentence. but tense shifts account for a large share of grammatical errors. 48 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics _ PUNCTUATION There are dozens of different punctuation marks in the English language. As with verb tense shifts. 2. and may obscure meaning. Eliminate them from your writing. 5. Add a dependent clause (use words such as because. we decided to take a walk. too. since. and has been taught to you numerous times during your education. Correct: Last year the governor said he would campaign for our candidate. This seems like an obvious point. when describing an event in the past. never.placed together into one sentence without proper punctuation. Break up the sentence by inserting a semi colon between two clauses. Incorrect: There aren’t no tickets left. 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. Break up the run-on sentence into two or more complete sentences. _ DOUBLE NEGATIVES The use of double negatives is unnecessary and incorrect. Correct: When we finished our lunch. Incorrect: Last year the governor said he is campaigning for our candidate. Examples We were hungry and John was tired so we had to stop at the first rest area that we saw. Incorrect: Mary doesn’t like neither of those books. and obscures meaning. TAKE NOTE There are more negatives than just the obvious no. Use a comma and a conjunction (and.With proper punctuation your writing will be more polished and technically correct. 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. and while). and will convey your voice more directly. nor. you have a negative. THE APOSTROPHE Apostrophes (’) are used to indicate ownership and to form contractions. all verbs should be in the past tense. Correct: Mary doesn’t like either of those books. Kim studied hard for the test that’s why he got an A. OR Last year the governor said he was campaigning for our candidate. For instance. not. Correct: There aren’t any tickets left. If you are using those words. Remember that hardly and barely are negatives. Correct: Vegans don’t eat dairy products or meat. but. or. 1. Incorrect:We hardly never see movies. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent. yet) to set apart an independent clause. so. 3. it pays to review it. after. so you do not need to double up. those covered in this section are the ones that present the most challenges to their users. for.
) is not as critical to the meaning of your sentences as it is with other punctuation marks. Consider the difference in tone of the following example: Sentence A: During my junior year. The flight attendants’ uniforms were blue and white. Do not use contractions in highly formal written presentations. Perkins’s persuasive essay was very convincing. even though some may end in s: Our car is up for sale. If they don’t. The word it’s is instead a contraction of the words it is. The students’ grades improved each semester. you should be using the contraction. as well as certain expressions of time and money. When revising your writing. Your garden is beautiful. My street address contains three 5’s. Show possession in the last word when using names of organizations and businesses. Poor form: We’re going out of town next week. It was no one’s fault that we lost the game. His handwriting is difficult to read. Poor form: She’s going to write the next proposal. 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. The line for the women’s restroom was too long. Men’s shirts come in a variety of neck sizes. I went to visit my great-grandfather’s alma mater. figures. Mr. 3. 195 . I attended a conference in Washington. and in joint ownership: Sam and Janet’s graduation was three months ago. and replaced by an apostrophe. He packed a week’s worth of clothing. 2. you need the possessive form. If they make sense. Use an ’s to form the plurals of letters. Possessive pronouns never have apostrophes. 4. say the words it is when you come across it’s or its. Add ’s to form the singular possessive. 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. 7. and numbers used as words. 1. ITS VERSUS IT’S Unlike most possessives. Good form: She is going to write the next proposal. Indefinite pronouns show ownership by the addition of ’s: Everyone’s hearts were in the right place. its. 8. its does not contain an apostrophe. Possessive plural nouns already ending in s need only the apostrophe added: The customers’ access codes are confidential. The project was the result of a year’s worth of work. Apostrophes form contractions by taking the place of the missing letter or number. The second i is removed. THE COMMA Correct usage of commas (. Good form: We are going out of town next week. 5. The drummer’s solo received a standing ovation. they can be used to convey your voice as they speed up or slow down the pace of your sentences.all of the situations in which they may appear.However. 6. Good form: My supervisor was in the class of 1989. Somebody’s dog was barking all night. Poor form: My supervisor was in the class of ’89. The Future Farmers of America’s meeting was moved to Monday. even when the noun ends in s: The school’s lunchroom needs to be cleaned. without an apostrophe. in hyphenated words.
Serial Comma A serial comma is the one used last in a list of items. American literature.we raised the most money for the local charity. Sentence B reads quicker. In addition to helping to convey your voice and personality. 50 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Sentence B: During my junior year I attended a conference in Washington.. Correct: He signed up for four classes: geometry.C. To correct a comma splice. There are two common errors that all college-bound students should be aware of: the comma splice.C. apples. we raised the most money for the local charity. OR Our school received an award. it could be understood as Cindy being told that Ann and Sally were hired. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. It creates a run-on sentence. because. Correct: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she attends a seminar each month and has been a professional for over twenty years. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 51 While its use has been debated for centuries. in the following example. Corrected sentence: Our school received an award. Sentence A sounds more deliberate. Comma Splice A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to connect two complete sentences. after the word and. and the serial comma. The lack of a serial comma can cause confusion. Ann and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. or so Comma splice: Our school received an award. the message is straightforward. I bought bananas. Therefore. Correct:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. the serial comma clarifies the meaning of sentences.D. conveying the information faster and with equal weight on each part. 196 . commas are often misused. you can either: ■ replace the comma with a period. But if the serial comma is dropped. the comma after apples is the serial comma: At the store. We raised the most money for the local charity. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. THE COLON Colons (:) appear at the end of a clause and can introduce: ■ A list when the clause before the colon can stand as a complete sentence on its own Incorrect: The classes he signed up for include: geometry. and religion. physics. ■ A restatement or elaboration of the previous clause Incorrect: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she is also the mother of two children. and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. For instance. and religion. D. Incorrect:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he graduated Summa Cum Laude. forming two sentences ■ replace the comma with a semicolon ■ join the two clauses with a conjunction such as and. American literature. Cindy. you should use it consistently whenever writing a list. physics. and oranges. Ann. OR Our school received an award because we raised the most money for the local charity. giving a little more information with each clause. Cindy. In the sentence.
and thus appear overly casual. Nutley.) may be used in two ways: to separate independent clauses. and ill. the first word of a complete quotation. There are just six occasions that require capitalization: 1. July 7. and any contractions made with it _ FOR YOUR REVIEW ■ Pronouns. the first word of a sentence 2. Florida. January 10. Example: The strays were malnourished. New Jersey. ■ Use semicolons to separate items in a series that contain commas. and Tuesday. but not a partial quotation 4. He had to fly to Houston to present a paper.Colons have the effect of sounding authoritative. A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. adjectives. but it conveys your meaning more easily. October 11. She has lived in Omaha. Example: Victoria was absent frequently. My teacher wasn’t in class today. Use it instead of the passive voice whenever possible. adverbs. accounting for a majority of usage errors. _ CAPITALIZATION Capitalization is necessary both for specific words and to start sentences and quotes. Tuesday. and Pensacola. therefore.” It sounds more authoritative. only one received credit for it. Learn the common errors to eliminate them from your writing. the first. ■ The active voice is not only clearer and more direct. but Liz had a weakness for kittens. has the tone that conveys. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that are connected with a conjunctive adverb that expresses a relationship between clauses. even if the clauses are joined by a conjunction. the pronoun I. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. The first example. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses joined without a conjunction. and I am going to tell you.with the colon. it should be used sparingly. April 14. THE SEMICOLON Semicolons (. and any other important words of a title 5. many writers overuse it.However. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. They present information more confidently and forcefully than if the sentence were divided in two other types of punctuation marks. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. Example: Four people worked on the project. but because you never want to appear pompous.“I know why this happened. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that contain commas.Monday. Examples: The dates for our meetings are Monday. This can be effective in your essay. using a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies. Both create ambiguity and can change the meaning of a sentence. ■ A dangling participle is a phrase or clause. Amherst. proper nouns (names of people. dirty. languages 6. ■ Nouns and verbs must agree in number. places.and to separate the items in a list when those items contain commas. last. ■ Avoid the two most common mistakes at the sentence level: sentence fragments 197 . 52 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics ■ Use semicolons to separate independent clauses. Nebraska. Consider the following: My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. so she adopted them all. she received a low grade. Case: Use a semicolon to show which sets of items go together. and prepositions are the most challenging parts of speech.Massachusetts. and things) 3.
the writer then explores the significance of that topic through one or more methods of development—reflection. and when to add more evidence versus greater depth of explanation or detail. ■ Proper punctuation makes your essay more polished and technically correct. It has a controlling idea. ■ The use of double negatives is unnecessary and redundant. middle. definition. exemplification. And more than likely the vacation photos will include a picture of them standing at entrance to China Town. It isn’t like anyone would mistake a parking lot for anything else. yellow or white lines glowing on a background of blacktop. The reader learns why the writer believes in an idea. Paragraph Development Good paragraph development is a mark of a writer's investment in a topic. In this module. The thoughtful detail in the first paragraph shows a much more engaged writer than the writer of the second paragraph. below the traditional Chinese arch. General statements. The features of most parking lots are not so different. They’ll probably notice the area is crowded and dirty. everyone who has a car will inevitably use a parking lot.—taking a general concept and making it real. Using capitalization in any other way can make your writing appear too casual. parking lots. or end of the paragraph. Rows upon rows of boundaries for individual driving units lined up one after another. such as determining when and where more development is needed. With the main idea established. or whether the idea is implied. The parking lot always has a prominent place right in front of an establishment and sometimes even surrounds the building. The tourist will eat lunch or dinner in one of several Chinese Cuisine restaurants. and it helps to convey your voice. one welldeveloped and the other not so well-developed: At one time or another. etc." become concrete and specific in the well-developed paragraph. What does a well-developed paragraph look like? A well-developed paragraph is a complete paragraph. Most visitors to San Francisco will list Chinatown as a must-see “tourist” destination. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent and can obscure meaning. Be certain each sentence contains one complete thought. As with verb tense shifts." The author. explanation. ■ There are six occasions that require capitalization. A seemingly empty topic. or even sloppy. like "Volleyball is a great sport”. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. 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. ■ Be consistent with verb tenses. Rich 198 . Do not shift from one tense to another unless it is necessary. When visiting the area they will be inundated with shops. students will learn techniques of good paragraph development. or Mediterranean cooking is healthy. Everything else in the paragraph is there to show the reader the validity and significance of that idea.and run-on sentences. You would never look at a parking lot and think to yourself that maybe it is a park or a playground or an airstrip. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. To see the difference good development makes. just take a look at these example paragraphs. A parking lot is a parking lot. whether that idea is declared in a topic sentence in the beginning. a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business.
And so. When trying to decide on length. But other ideas can be developed in a sentence or two. As Hayakawa points out.. Without abstractions and generalizations. The politician relies on such abstract statements.. and another for massage therapy professionals. A well-developed paragraph has a clear controlling idea. without ever getting specific or concrete. or if there is already enough information to make the controlling idea seem valid and interesting. Bandit. dogs as pack animals. I will increase health care benefits for seniors. on the other hand. and no sense of a writer's mind and voice behind the words. each of us has our own image of "dog" in our minds. in his influential book Language in Thought and Action. readers are only reminded of what they already know. With the word "dog. for example. the controlling idea "Democracy is the foundation of a good community" will need extensive explanation and exemplification to be a convincing point." we can talk about dogs as companions. a quick break-down of the chart to explain distribution of funds is all that is really needed here. On the other hand. we need the word "dog" in order to communicate and to find common ground. another of his family's German Shepherd. helps readers re-see a familiar space in passages like this one where he gets readers to realize that we have always needed parking. or make emergency care free to everyone over 65. 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. they learn nothing new. one person may think of her Chihuahua. and we can agree on what dogs are generally like. Examine every sentence to see if it might deserve further explanation or exemplification. and the biting Dachsund to drop away. a good writer asks. 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. to co-pay expenses. A paragraph should include sentences at varying levels—the topic sentence or controlling idea being the most general or abstract. In addition. Ask yourself if a reader would benefit from hearing more about a particular point. receive no insight. a politican might (quite intentionally) say "If elected. providing cliché generalizations about what the tourist will find to do in Chinatown. A useful way to think about developing paragraphs is to think about levels of detail.. General to Specific & Abstract to Concrete Development. And so. "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. we would have a hard time sharing ideas: for example. talks about a "ladder of abstraction" as a tool for thinking about good communication. Some ideas are complex and will need extensive explanation and/or exemplification. In making decisions about development. I. and supporting sentences having more specific and/or concrete development. what the candidate is thinking is anyone's guess. For example. and detail that brings that idea to life. even if the word causes the particularities of Bandit. and an 199 . Brutus. San Francisco. S. etc. as in this example. even before people had cars! The author of the second paragraph. in the abstract statement." Health care benefits is a phrase at a fairly high level of abstraction: it can refer to anything from coverage of hospital expenses. Some paragraphs are composed of only a single sentence. another individual may associate all dogs with the vicious Dachsund that bit his ankle. dogs as descendents of wolves. Brutus. to coverage of prescription drugs. As a result.Motherwell. 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. the controlling idea determines how much development is needed and how long the paragraph is going to be. if we stay at a general level. Hayakawa. 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. we need both abstract and concrete language for communication. "A Pie chart help us see where company money is going". Try and think like your reader. we risk leaving our communications wide open for interpretation. while some paragraphs are up to a page long.
unquestioning public." "New Wave" also emerged as a kind of toned down. Write a paragraph that is complete and developed with concrete detail on the following topic: why cell phones are so popular 2. The figure to the right demonstrates how one might go down the ladder of abstraction and provide such references in a discussion of music. When you show someone how to make an omelette. when you describe what your roomate looks like when she gets up in the morning you are using "description". in hindsight) by "Haircut" bands like Flock of Seagulls ("I ran") and the Thompson Twins ("Lies")." and "Rock Lobster. Yet there was some pretty bad new-wave music as well (at least I see that now." and "Bad Reputation. the Sex Pistols. 1. words should be "referable" to lower levels of abstraction. Whether you are aware of it or not. In an abstract statement. 80's rock included real extremes: big-hair metal bands like Van Halen and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts arrived on the scene. as Hayakawa points out.K. and this voice comes out in the details rather than in the broad generalization. you already use patterns of development to express yourself. and The Clash pruducing amazing off-the-radio tracks like "Blitzkrieg Bop." and "Lost in the Supermarket. In a written text. headbanging punk music took off with bands like the Ramones. to win elections. Now. when you offer several reasons why you are late for an appointment. or change a tire. 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. doing great numbers like "Jump. A good paragraph goes down the ladder of abstraction to provide these references." were played at every party. you are using a pattern of development called "process analysis". and to hear a person's unique voice. you are 200 . take a look at a paragraph that goes down through all of the levels of abstraction above: As a teenager in the eighties. synthesized version of punk music. and B52's songs like "Planet Clare. Some of it was great. think in terms of levels of detail. I was exposed to exciting new movements in rock music. a more humorous and satirical version of punk. 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. however. To write well-developed paragraphs." And edgy. radio-acceptable. Everyone knew the words to "Burning Down the House. a reader expects to get concrete information and a new perspective or new insight." by the Talking Heads." "Anarchy in the U. a reader will rarely accept a series of generalizations as text worth reading." and "Psycho Killer.
using cause and effect. you are using narration. 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. Use common patterns of development effectively in their own writing. 201 . Objectives: By the end of this module students should be able to • • Identify common patterns of development used in written works. and you will need to make conscious decisions about which strategies best develops your ideas.
Available at: analysis paragraph has been broken into a bulleted http://www. in typical "how to" style. 202 . The following paragraphs have been devised in an attempt to emphasize the characteristics of each mode of writing. classification. by Gerald Grow. description. journalism Development students sometimes develop the habit of writing Annotated examples of narration. May not besuccession. paragraphs can be developed into well focused What follows is an (imaginary) article invented to illustrate many of the "modes of discourse"--the © 1999. In most writing. (The process permission. PhD Division of Journalism Florida A&M University presentations of single units of thought. definition. concise writing. definition. and persuasion. In nonprofit educational use.unrelated to one another. these modes are mixed in natural combinations. process analysis. reprinted elsewhere withoutexposition. for example.net/ggrow/ list. description.everything in short.school writing handbook will remind you that process analysis.) Contact. 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. Reviewing any good high classification.Seven Types of ParagraphIn their pursuit of clear. the following paragraphs are narration.longleaf. May be used by teachers fortraditional methods by which writing is developed. choppy paragraphs that are exposition. andconsiderable thought has been given to how longer persuasion. narration frequently includes description.
This narrative serves as the opening anecdote that illustrates the topic of the story • • Top 204 . And light: At home he can read in bed by the glow of the streetlight. He lay in the dark listening. and a resolution. Outside. as he felt the pockets for a box of matches. a setting (the park). inches from his face. but so does interpretive language. In this paragraph. tree-frogs chirruped.m. Then. Time and place and person are normally established. It was too quiet. a climax (his panic).Narration Around 2 a. It was then he decided to pack up and move to a motel. It was gone. the "story" components are: a protagonist (Hanson). comforting sounds of traffic. an obstacle (nature). Across the distant forest floated two muffled hoots from a barred owl. Even starlight failed to penetrate the 80-foot canopy of trees the camper was parked beneath. He felt for the flashlight beside his bunk. A narrative differs from a mere listing of events. Wanda. You don't just lay the words on the page. too. crickets sang. Narration usually contains characters. You always have the comforting knowledge that other people are all around you. something woke Charles Hanson up. Specific details always help a story. Something felt wrong. And much too dark. It was the darkest dark he had ever seen. and a resolution (leaving). He heard his wife. something rustled in the leaves right outside the window. she was awake. was outside in the darkness also breathed. a setting. the nights are filled with the busy. and the huge silence of the night seemed to come inside the camper. a conflict. At home in New Jersey. He found where his pants were hanging and. hold her breath. a goal (to camp). whatever. you point them in the direction of a story. stifling them. Comments on narration: • • • Normally chronological (though sometimes uses flashbacks) A sequential presentation of the events that add up to a story. It was too quiet.
Comments on exposition: • • Exposition is explanatory writing Exposition can be an incidental part of a description or a narration. If they had known about the different kinds of parks in Florida. • • Top 206 ." Those people picked the wrong kind of park to visit. "Several times a month. according to Florida park rangers. specifies the topic of the article. and what is to come. writers solve this problem by citing authorities who have good credentials and good reason to be experts in the subject. This paragraph also happens to serve as the justifier or "nut graf" for the little article: the paragraph that. why it is important. What makes your explanation believable? Normally. after an indirect opening. "people get scared and leave the park in the middle of the night. they might have stayed in a place they loved.Exposition This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that. hundreds of visitors suffer each year. or it can be the heart of an article Aside from clarity." ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said. 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. 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.
because there are so many kinds of parks. Meaning is found in the world. not in the dictionary. Saying what something is NOT can help readers. play tennis. and." and even the ones called "parks" come in several varieties. but make a strong effort to say what it IS. to impenetrable mangrove wilderness. picnic. Florida has a rich variety of parks. To make things more complicated. • 208 .Definition "Park" is difficult to define in Florida. hike. walk the dog. in some places take rides in miniature trains or swish down a waterslide. paddle your canoe. not all of them are called "parks. camp. Comments on definition: • Never define anything by the "according to Webster's" method. Basically. Bring the world into your story and use it to define your terms. a park is a place to go for outdoor recreation-to swim. ranging from acres of RVs ringed around recreation halls.
Portray. Also evoke. Farther from the river. Try making the description a little dramatic revelation. tree-lined pool. 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. from that gap arises a spark of engagement. etc. sudden sinkholes open in the woodlands-rich with cool ferns and mosses. Use sensory language. expanses of longleaf pinelands stretch across rolling hills. to give your description a natural flow. 18 rustic cabins. A diving platform marks a good place to swim in the soft. Adopt a strategy that makes your description into a little story: move from far to near. dramatic order. The success of a description lies in the difference between what a reader can imagine and what you actually saw and recorded. but what readers need to see in order to imagine the scene. Pay special attention to the sound and rhythm of words. In the midst of this lovely setting. Nearby. you find 65 campsites. person. Surrounded by the tall. Comments on description: • Description is not what you saw. down a river. Look for ways to describe action. The key problem in description is to avoid being static or flat. old to new. like watching an actor put on a 210 • • • • • . as in this example. and canoeing up this dark river is like traveling backwards in time in the direction of original Florida. and a pavilion for group meetings.Description O'Leno is a good example of a state park in Florida. the river rises three miles downstream in a big boil. walls of dense river swamp rise before you. Think of what pieces readers need. object. stands of cypress mirror themselves in the still waters. interesting. to construct a scene. shaded woods of a beautiful hardwood forest. then continues on to meet the Suwannee and the sea. use these when you can. Go light on adjectives and adverbs. Think of description as a little narrative in which the visual characteristics unfold in a natural. the Santa Fe River disappears in a large. Be especially careful to make real observations. slowly swirling. left to right. or. cool waters of the Santa Fe. After appearing intermittently in scattered sinkholes. in what order. Description requires you to record a series of detailed observations.
But if you want to stand at the edge of civilization and look across time into an older natural world. stick with it till the end of the comparison. your comparisons will benefit. At night. is dominated by the oily bodies of sun-worshippers who crowd into it every summer weekend. draw up a chart and fill it in. 212 • Top . Lloyd Beach is the place to go. O'Leno wraps itself with the silence of crickets and owls. umbrellas. You can walk a few yards in O'Leno and pass beyond every sign of human civilization. and the criteria by which they will be compared. then the next category. list the two items being compared. Before writing a comparison. Lloyd Beach is a place of boisterous activity. or take the first category. O'Leno Lloyd Beach quiet noisy solitude busy crowds available river to swim Atlantic beach and canoe forest abundant. Comments on comparison: • There is a helpful technique for writing a comparison. near Fort Lauderdale. If you want to fish near town. to make certain you have all the elements necessary to write a comparison. By contrast. or dive into the busy bustle of an urban beach. and browning bodies. O'Leno is the park to visit. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area. Lloyd Beach is busy with fishermen till well past midnight. jam boxes.Comparison Forest and river dominate O'Leno State Park. "noise" and compare the two parks in terms of it. there is a chance you will have a hole in your comparison. forest type beach fish and seabirds • Criteria noise people water resources natural features wildlife • Then choose whether to to "down the columns" or "across the rows" in writing your description. 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. As in the model below." Once you commit to a "down" or "across" strategy. When you walk at Lloyd Beach. If you do not make such a chart. you have to be careful to step over the picnic baskets. Where O'Leno gives you so much quiet you can hear the leaves whispering. If you follow it.
fit it into the upper end of the standing pole before securing its guywire. always think of your readers: can they follow this? Analyze the process into a series of steps. yet almost impossible with three or more. To form an awning. Prop up the awning with the two remaining poles and secure them with guyropes. use bullets.] When you find the park you are looking for. Assemble the two remaining tent poles in a similar manner. While holding the pole up. Peg down the corners of the bottom. so that the pole is held up by the guyrope and the pegs on opposing sides of the tent bottom. For the next paragraph. • • • • • • Now you are ready to move in. pretend you are reading an article on how to put up a particular brand of tent. Lift the pole on the opposite side of the tent in the same way. Put the steps into sequence. Comments on process analysis: • In describing how a process happens or how to perform a series of actions.Process Analysis [Note: I couldn't think of a way to write the following paragraphs that followed naturally from the previous material. After you have all four poles in place. Unfold the tent so that the corners of the waterproof bottom form a square. Then isolate the steps: number then. One person can set up the FamilyProof Tent. pull its guyrope tight and peg the guyrope down. and anything that might pierce the bottom of the tent. though it is easier with two. 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 • • • • . unroll the front flAP Test. lift one of the poles. Here's how: • First. but this time. Finally. Next. Thread each pole through the two loops leading toward the top of the tent. Place a pole near each of the pegs. Together all four external tentpoles (they are held together by shock cords to ake sure you get the pieces matched up). limbs. you will need to make camp. clear a 9 by 9 foot area of snags. snAP Test.
and what they are like. and utterances. more is needed than your opinion or sense of conviction. make their own judgments. or Sister Carrie. and what your options are. Warm with the fancies of youth. as in this description of Caroline Meeber by Theodore Dreiser in his novel Sister Carrie: Caroline. and context they need to form their own opinions. her guiding characteristic. "OK. It was nevertheless.longleaf. as she had been half afffectionately termed by the family.net/ggrow> Description Subjective Description: Writers use descriptive paragraphs most often in fiction. helps us imagine what people are like. and take action. This can make all the difference in the quality of your vacation. mannerisms. Self-interest with her was high. and it uses a direct. their appearance. plan ahead. now get up and act!" To persuade people to change their minds or take an action. Get good information on what to expect." Description of time and place draws readers into other worlds and sets the stage where a story can unfold. Find out what parks are available. Comments on persuasion: • This paragraph is but a small example of the kind of writing used widely in editorials and columns. but not strong. If you can help them formulate and deepen that opinion. and don't wind up on a concrete RV pad when you really want the forest primeval. You need to supply them with the information. pretty with the insipid 215 . Description of characters. • • • Top Gerald Grow's Homepage at <http://www. was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis." or "The mountains loomed above them. Don't wind up in the wilds when you want to be near Disney World. analysis.Persuasion Before you go camping in Florida. exhortatory approach: Believe Me and Do It! This persuasive paragraph also serves as the ending to this little article and brings a sense of closure in the form of. Remember: Readers are interested in only one opinion--their own. they will be glad they read your article. Just think of lines like "It was a dark and stormy night.
Bark is light gray and smooth on younger trees. storytelling can be very effective for the simple reason that people love to hear stories. how the writer feels about the subject. 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. For example. People huddled inside their coats. (50–80 ft. . the sides of terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel. becoming ridged and furrowed with age.prettiness of the formative period. The leaf sinuses are rounded. " (Dreiser 1) In this type of description. as in the following example: The Acer barbatum is a small to medium-sized. Objective Description: Description is also used in reportorial and scientific writing. . the writer attempts to stay away from emotional impressions or responses. at the beginning of an essay on the problems caused by excessive instant messaging by young teens. analyze or argue. 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. . You may experience a scene or a person as a holistic impression. or other writing in which the goal is to present an objective picture of an object or scene. while those of red maple are widest at the base. In subjective description. cultural contexts for writing. In both subjective and objective description. however. with a few blunt teeth but no serrations. unlike those of red maple (Acer rubrum) which are sharply Vshaped. "It was a gloomy morning. Leaves are opposite and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed. and will tune in to a story when their eyes glaze over at other styles of writing. the controlling idea should identify the object. tapering to the tip. or person to be described as objectively as possible and the descriptive details of the paragraph should add substance to the main point. 216 . the author is describing an impression of what is observed. Nothing should be included in the paragraph that does not support the controlling idea. As a method of development." is an example of a dominant impression. . the details must be organized in a meaningful way on the page. organizing details around clear controlling ideas is essential. ethnic and cultural background. For instance. (Sieberling) It is important to note that while being objective may be a writer's goal. Also. 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. Good supporting details could include "The morning air felt damp and cold. 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 writer's age. and instead report what is seen. scene. and gender. Even when your purpose is to write an essay that is primarily to inform. as a video camera records a scene.) tall when mature. she was a fair example of the middle American class . In these writing situations. part of writing good objective description. if your reader is to understand what your observations mean. Therefore. Narration A narrative is a story. is being aware of one's own biases." In an objective description. your paragraph should have a clear controlling idea so that your reader knows what to do with your descriptive details. Supporting details should help the reader understand the dominant impression. too. a narrative paragraph can be effective at drawing the reader in and establishing your voice in the essay. getting past biases can be difficult. Writing Description: Whether your goal is to write objective or subjective description. . deciduous tree usually ranging from 15–25 m.
spend a lot of time trying to find the right words for their meaning. Consider the difference between the general and specific. Good writers. 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. For example. in addition." By virtue of the linear arrangement of these sentences on the page. A new paragraph will begin when the scene changes. soon. Consider the folllowing narrative paragraph from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. 217 . besides. There was a wood-rank four foot high a little ways in front of the tree. first. Therefore. Further shots take the reader into the scene emphasizing details and actions that will take place in that scene. running. the reader assumes the actions take place in sequence. 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. also. 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. choosing concrete and specific expressions. . In a narrative paragraph it is useful to think of paragraphs as scenes. / He loved her. Details help readers to connect to the world the author envisions. and the controlling idea as a kind of wide angle shot on the scene. the controlling idea for the scene is "I took up the river road as hard as I could put. 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. . therefore. even in a narrative paragraph. furthermore. logical sequence of actions supplies the narrative sequence: "I took off. eventually. I worked along under the trees." Below are some of the common transitional expressions used in narrative writing: meanwhile. 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. too These phrases do call attention to themselves. in the previous paragraph from Huckleberry Finn. and first I was going to hide behind that. then. moreover. later. narrative paragraphs are characterized by words that show action and words that show sequence. and then I clumb up into the forks of a cottonwood that was out of reach. However. rather than abstract or general ones. .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. here and there. but maybe it was luckier I didn't. By and by I begin to hear guns a good ways off. etc. I heard guns . finally. For the most part. transitions are needed to emphasize important time relationships. as in the phrase "by and by. and watched." 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. because it gives the reader information about what to do with the details that follow. second. talking. so it is wise to use logic most of the time to show sequence. However. Concrete and Specific Detail: Descriptive details in a narrative paragraph are essential to a good story.
Writing a Process Analysis Sequence: Typically. You'll be happy to learn that it's really pretty simple. but other steps must be taken by corporations and governments as well. The concrete and specific expressions get a reader's attention far more effectively than the abstract and general expressions do.htm. A reader can imagine specific things far more readily than general concepts. If you're at all experienced at this sort of thing. It's called HTML because web page documents have the file extension . (Barta) Example 2: 218 . and so are presented in chronological order. what to leave out.. Audience: Audience awareness is extremely important in process analysis writing. 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. how technical to be. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. Process Analysis A process analysis is a discussion of the steps one must take to achieve a particular end. As the sun passed under the horizon. the reader reads such texts for understanding as well as instruction. and how to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. a HTML file to be exact. for example. the steps in the process being described happen in sequence over time.html or . this is for "all wet behinda ears" Newbies." "then. 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. (If you are unclear about this file extension stuff. Some process analyses work on both levels.Her hands were shaking and she was afraid her knees would not support her. A web page is nothing more than a file.." and "finally. fixing a bent bicycle wheel. My name is Joe and I'm going to give you a few simple lessons on how to make a Web Page. Some process analysis writing is intended for an audience that needs to learn how to perform a process themselves. I must warn you though. The writer must have a clear sense of the audience in order to know what to include. / She was scared. quitting smoking. you'll probably find this tutorial a bit of a yawner." to indicate the sequence in which steps are to be taken. Other process analysis writing is informative rather than instructional. examples of this type include how to resolve the healthcare crisis. for example. finding a good job. and rays of brighter gold fanned across the sky into the high clouds above. Part of your revision process should included finding concrete and specific expressions for your ideas. Process analysis paragraphs also depend on transitional expressions such as "first. and how formal or informal to be. then you really are newbie!! Take a quick detour for a few ramblings on the subject). The basic idea is this." "second. the sky turned hot pink and gold. / It was a beautiful sunset.
and other features. 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. If you are asked to write a classification paragraph or essay. and cell phones as a cause of accidents and physical 219 . Once you have created your page(s). In division. etc. your system for dividing and/or classifying information may not meet your needs. classical. 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. etc." "Telnet. In writing an essay involving division and/or classification. a country twang in his vocals. dance music. a student might write an essay about the problems created in society by the cell phone. and those who are unable to find work—we are better able to combat the crisis. and hotels are ranked and classified according to quality. When writing your own process analysis paragraph. but these organizational methods are also useful for understanding complex problems or issues: For example. themes of heartache. by dividing cancer into more than 100 different types. soundtracks. For example. trash. For example. medical professionals are better able to analyze the disease. if you have one. The first author is very informal and friendly (even including a smiling cartoon of himself). (Web Page) Both examples show how to build a web page. Consider your favorite music store: the compact discs are organized into many subcategories such as country. hip-hop. The second way is to create your web page(s) online using a Telnet program by accessing your UNIX account. the sick. Classification sometimes refers to a ranking system by which things or persons are evaluated. take the time to decide who you think your audience is going to be. The second author assumes the reader is familiar with terms like "FTP. Otherwise it will not be read properly by a web browser. crime rate. "plain text" or "text only" document. the second author is formal and more detached. you must first have a strong sense of purpose. 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. Neighborhoods are ranked by prospective home buyers according to criteria such as schools. do so in any text editing or word processing document. the elderly. you will need to contact your ISP about how to go about uploading them to your server. and write for that audience. Division and classification make it easy for individuals to locate what they are looking for. world music. if you pack for a camping trip without taking the context of your trip in mind. a classification system is used in the military to rank officers. If you are creating your web page(s) offline. In addition.There are basically two ways to make a web page. Make sure that when you save your document. you could have sleepwear suited for a warm bed rather than a cold forest floor. jazz. we develop criteria for the items in a subcategory based on relationships between the items. you save it as a "text"." and "server. knowing your goal is also important. Without this sense of purpose. For example. we divide a general category of things into smaller subcategories. country life. and by looking at different groups suffering from poverty—for example. and traffic congestion. you could end up with all the wrong things. The first way is to create the page(s) offline and then upload them to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) via FTP. noise. "There are three main problems associated with living across from a highschool: noise. rock. or uncomfortable street shoes to hike in rather than hiking boots. Division & Classification Division and classification are related methods for organizing objects or information. the authors take different tones with the reader. for this student." The first author assumes his audience has no knowledge of key terms. dividing these problems into categories—cell phones as a social problem. Using Division and Classification in Your Writing: To use division and classification successfullly. etc. cleanliness. For example." In classification. homesickness.
What do you want. is that it sheds light on the general idea. 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. Writers use examples to make a general idea clear—to illustrate an idea. got so crazy last night. mouthwash and bathroom cleaners. the topic sentence might also involve enumeration. It feels clean and right. The key to a good illustration. price. Illustration also refers more generally to clarification through exemplification. " or "We can proceed in one of three ways.and equally foolish. an adorable pancreas? (Jean Kerr) Using illustration in your writing: Once you have a clear sense of an idea you want to illustrate. the picture helps to illuminate or clarify the meaning in the text. however. ever-improving path. and appearance would not be an effective system for this argument. an anecdote. "Most states recognize two types of murder. a quotation. or it may be several short examples. That's deep enough. Yet as Einstein says.) Illustration You may associated the word "illustration" with images that accompany a story in a picture book. only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. But this. . Classifying cell phones according to size." 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. so far from discouraging. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening. Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. It may be a story. Topic sentence in division and classification paragraphs: Typically. (Winston Churchill) I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. convenience. for example. in illustrated books. We assassinate microbes with hand soap. Consider the following examples: I am surprised that Margot. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. "Before God we are all equally wise . 220 . as in the following example. extended example. . who never lets her hair down.injury—will help the student develop a clear argument. but the emphasis is likely to be on the ranking of the different divisions. or a statistic." In a classification paragraph." Every day you may make progress. or the criteria that chacterize items in a group. no matter which form it takes. The illustration may be one long. you need to decide on the form of illustration you will use: A series of examples or statistical information can be persuasive. Every step may be fruitful. ever-ascending." or "Ponds have several characteristics that differentiate them from lakes. 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. as in "There are two main problems associated with .
"There was a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been there. election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line -. This technique is useful when you are writing a literary analysis. Bacteremia is common after many invasive procedures. but only certain bacteria commonly cause endocarditis. He stated. "It was getting scarier and scarier. definitions can be more subjective." Over the past year. Diebold hadn't password-protected the file or secured the audit log. dog fighting and cock fighting. (Zetter) You may also choose to use quotations to illustrate an idea. Definition is very important in the sciences." or "democracy" in a personal way. A writer may wish to define complex terms such as "heartache. irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. the main idea is developed through a list of concrete examples." "luck. Racism. . Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves. ("Bacterial") 221 . as in the following illustration from an essay on e-voting. "I was thinking we have an immense problem here that's much bigger than me. A single. or to come to new understanding of terms they may be familiar with.could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence." Harris said. Certain bacteria normally live on parts of your body. they say. when she made a startling discovery. thanks to Harris' discovery." (Wikipedia) Definition In a definition paragraph. long illustration allows you to get in depth and explore facets of an idea. The answer.a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office -. a writer should be as objective as possible. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema. searching the Internet for an electronic voting machine manual.But some scientists say we're overdoing it. economic deprival. doubts about the accuracy and integrity of e-voting equipment have been growing. is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria." Harris said. on the other hand. so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election -. Consider this paragraph about Caeser Chavez from Wikipedia: Chávez was an ethical vegan and vocal advocate of animal rights. or a biography. and when impressions are essential. Some surgical and dental procedures cause a brief bacteremia. the writer's goal is to help the reader understand new terms or concepts. making the idea clear and real. Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access -. Washington. . and the skin. . "I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. such as the mouth and upper respiratory system.Diebold employees. . . "Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence. . voting activist Bev Harris was holed up in the basement of her three-story house in Renton. the intestinal and urinary tracts." He also said. In defining scientific terms. This technique is useful if you are exploring a complex idea. where the terminology is extensive and discipline-specific. (Keim) In each paragraph. .and change votes without leaving a trace. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings. the writer should strive to use analogies and impressions that the reader can readily identify with. In the humanities. 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. 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.
(Frazer) The second paragraph is taken from an essay-length definition of "idiocy" by Ian Frazer." By its origins: Providing a history of what a term has meant can help us understand its current meaning. a writer must identify the term being defined. a definition of CO2 emissions emphasizing the consequences of these emissions to the environment would be important. A definition can be developed in a number of ways. . Nobody knows what it is like to deal with crippling bouts of idiocy while trying to lead a normal life. then explores the consequences or effects of this cause. “[I]diot” is not a nice word to call somebody. Exploring the evolution of the term could yield interesting insight into the connotations of the contemporary term. and I find myself asking. For example. or what it is lacking." which refers to a head scarf women wore in mediaeval Europe. for the record. sir?” Throughout my life. paragraph emphasizing effect: Jack should never have quit his job. By what it is not: Ironically. for now he is really in trouble. as Mr. The method(s) you choose should be determined by the term you are defining. By its effect: Discussing what effects the subject produces is important with certain subjects or in certain contexts. in a particular paragraph. Welch did of Senator Joseph McCarthy. “Have you no sense of decency. By function: how something works. by learning what it is not. However. Writing Definitions: To write a definition paragraph (or essay). 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. or what it does can be an important part of definition. Below are some common methods of definition: By characteristics or features: Scientific definitions typically rely on this type of definition.” I am a person who suffers from idiocy. By what it is similar to: Comparison and analogy help us understand things that are unfamiliar to us. Look at the examples below: paragraph emphasizing causes: Several factors contributed to the instability of the economy today. we can get a pretty good sense of what something is like. 222 . provide a basic or general definition. as in the above definition of "idiocy. one or the other will be emphasized. By example: Giving examples illustrating what the term means can be highly effective. in an essay on global warming. In a paragraph emphasizing the effects of something.Subjective Definition: . Physical features as well as behaviors (as in animal or cell behavior) may be a part of this type of definition. For example. . So. The last thing I need is for somebody to make it harder by pointing out what an “idiot” I am. Cause & Effect A cause and effect development techniques are typically discussed together. the slang term "wimp" comes from the term "wimple. I would like it known that I am not an “idiot. the purpose of the paragraph is to explore how that effect came to be—to show what caused it. and then provide clear detail to support the definition. a writer begins with a particular cause. A paragraph emphasizing the causes of something typically begins with an effect.
For example. of course. . 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. one explains something that is difficult to understand through comparison with something that is more readily understood. Rather a cynical view of love in the end. and the smoke from the chimneys is like coiled serpents. disorienting places. or a detective might write an analysis of evidence found at a crime scene to support a conclusion about the perpetrator of the crime. Writing an Analysis Paragraph: Strong analysis depends on a clear sense of purpose. in spite of this fact. The writer presents several examples as evidence for this interpretation. Using transition words to emphasize cause and effect relationships between ideas is useful. Finally. a complex experience like falling in love might be explained in a rose analogy. a rare beauty in nature. the writer needs to know which factor to emphasize: causes or effects. evidence must be selected that best supports the interpretation or conclusion. lumbering up and down are melancholy. solid evidence. therefore. the goal is to understand a subject by examining its parts. Once a writer has developed an interpretation of or conclusion about a subject. The overall argument here is that Charles Dickens wants readers to see 19th century factory towns as strange. Charles Dickens suggests that everything in the sooty. the stuff of strange dreams: the lights of factories make the factories seem like fantastic fairy palaces. the looms in the factories seem a forest. but it also has thorns. mad elephants. It is not Ok to write "There are several causes and effects for . doing research. For example. if one chooses to emphasize the thorns of the rose. and eventually dies. 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. and careful explanation of the significance of the evidence. 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 . There are no perfect analogies. " A controlling idea like this merely establishes a fact. Analogy Analogy can be highly effective for extended definitions because in analogy." is severely workful and practical. Analysis In an analysis paragraph. a writer might analyze the setting in a short story to better understand the theme of the story. and then deciding what the evidence suggests. it follows. however. mythological giants. Yet. and why it is important to discuss a cause and effect relationship in the first place. A rose blooms. there are moments when the city becomes fantastic and disorienting. is due to. and. Take a look at the following example of an analysis of setting in the novel Hard Times. "Coketown. Words and phrases showing cause: because. consequently. since. then. the steam engines themselves. for this reason. . no purpose has been identified for discussing the cause and effect relationship. dismal factory town. 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. all analogies break down at some point. is caused by Words and phrases showing consequence: as a result.Writing a cause & effect paragraph or essay: In a cause and/or effect paragraph. it is delicate and beautiful. in the moonlight the steam-engines cast shadows on the walls which seem like the shadows of the Titans. taking notes. The first thing a writer must do in writing the analytical paragraph is develop a sense of confidence about what should be asserted about a subject.
And then sold into slavery. the advisers are amiable and sympathetic. —Andy Warhol No matter how much Bill Gates may claim otherwise. but key features of the items being compared should be present in both subjects. Writing an analogy: Writing analogy is one of the more difficult forms of writing. As mentioned earlier. . and an end. In the Ring parable. comfortably traditional. 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. or the analogy won't work. For example. 1. shampoo. But then a waitress approaches their table. . for she is the source of his shame.useful. Finally. the exegeses. and he forgives her with an adoring smile. Search your brain for the features of your subject and see if you can think of other subjects that share these features. Do not discuss the disadvantages. when developing your analogy. stares at it boldly. She proudly shows her husband what she is doing. exacting and very close to unforgiving. indeed. Furthermore. . The man is humiliated and glares at his wife with scorn. he missed the Internet. as for example in all sanitary napkin. From this. the waitress serves the function of counselor. in turn. In some parables. intimations of the way to redemption. . and a vision of Heaven": The narrative structure of the Parable of the Ring around the Collar is. but it can be entered only on two conditions. A married couple is depicted in some relaxed setting—a restaurant. and aspirin commercials. assumes an expression of self-loathing mixed with a touch of self-pity. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using illustration to develop your idea. The story has a beginning. every analogy eventually breaks down. As demonstrated in the Ring Parable. sneers with cold contempt. This is the parable's beginning: the presentation of the problem. say—in which they are enjoying each other's company and generally having a wonderful time. to be sure. discuss only that. She. it 224 . the explication. . Answer given: 2. —Jim Clark Finally. But in lost parables. . make sure that there are no key features of the items being compared that are obviously incompatible. Being born is like being kidnapped. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using narration to develop your idea. and announces to all within hearing the nature of his transgression. the adviser is rather more sarcastic than severe. we are shown the couple in the restaurant once again. which means that only one main idea is discussed. notices that the man has a dirty collar. The first requires that you be open to advice or social criticism from those who are more enlightened. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using analogy to develop your idea. Consider Neil Postman's analogy between a certain kind of preachy television commercial and religious parables that "put forward a concept of sin. there is a path to redemption. A good way to get started is to use the phrase (subject) is like . although she is. but it can also be a lot of fun. perhaps all too aware of their own vulnerability on other matters. we should draw the proper conclusion. a middle. Answer given: Another important element of a good paragraph is unity. if your paragraph is about the advantages of owning a compact car. mouthwash. Take a look at the famous analogies below to see how the process works . This is the parable's end: the moral. Answer given: 3. like a barreling freight train that he didn't hear or see coming. but this time they are free of the waitress's probing eyes and bitter social chastisement. and that is to be expected. . Every good paragraph has a unity. The parable is highly useful in explaining the stress such television commercials cause the viewer. This is the parable's middle: the solution of the problem.
000 HIV IV infected persons at the end of 1993. such as gas economy. Tanzania. Rwanda. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda. Sometimes it is possible to discuss two or even three aspects of the same idea in one paragraph if they are closely related to each other. In China. Rwanda. Do not include any information that does not directly support the topic sentence." These are called irrelevant sentences For example. Zambia. at least among males.000. In Kenya. Malawi. the rate is 40 percent. Paragraph 3 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. unprotected sex. Tanzania.000 HIV-infected persons at the end of 1993. Rwanda.' In Nairobi. Tanzania. HIV infection rates are skyrocketing among sex workers. In China. the United Kingdom. Mothers can give the HIV. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. This is a result of a combination of prevention methods. the rate is 40 percent.000. Around the world. to 100. the rate of infection climbed from 9 percent to 38 percent between 1992 and 1995. In the countries of sub Saharan Africa. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. If you begin to discuss another advantage. start a new paragraph. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. and this total grew ten-fold. and Zimbabwe.000 HIV infected persons at the end of 1993. and in some areas. In Kenya. Australia. and New Zealand. you are getting off the topic. new medicines are available that prolong the lives of people with HIV. to 100. For example. In Central and Eastern Europe. However. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV and in some areas." In Kenya. Malawi. In Central and Eastern Europe. if you are writing a paragraph about the high cost of college tuition. and this total grew ten-fold. Uganda. All of them discuss the same topic in which paragraph has unity and which two do not? Which paragraph discusses more than one topic? Which paragraph has irrelevant sentences? Paragraph 1 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. 23 B. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. if you write several sentences about inflation. 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. The following short essay has not been divided into paragraphs. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. Sometimes students write supporting sentences that are "off the topic. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. there were an estimated 10. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. you could discuss gas economy and low maintenance costs in the same paragraph because they are closely related. the rate is 40 percent. The main method of transmission is.is a good idea for beginning academic writer to discuss only one advantage. Zambia. to 100. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. HIV infection rates are declining. drug users who share needles may become infected. you could mention inflation' as a factor. virus to their children during pregnancy and childbirth or when breast-feeding. These statistics illustrate with frightening clarity that HIV/AIDS is still a major health problem in most areas of the world. there were an estimated 10. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. There is evidence that in the United States. and Zimbabwe. which accounts for 75 to 85 percent of infections. In Central and Eastern Europe. Kenya. II. Uganda. and Zimbabwe. by the end of 1995. For example. and in Vietnam. and your paragraph will not have unity. in each paragraph. Study the three paragraphs that follow. Paragraph 2 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. by the end of 1995. there were an estimated 10. Zambia. 80 percent of sex workers are infected. PRACTICE A. and this total grew ten-fold. but you should not discuss both gas economy and easier parking in the same paragraph because they are not closely related. Malawi. The virus is also transmitted through blood and blood products. of course. but 225 . by the end of 1995. In China. and in some areas.000.
and a concluding paragraph. Young people especially are increasingly willing to risk life and limb while mountain biking. on the other hand. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence. D Both of the following paragraphs have not only two or more topics. a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. comes from culture. 226 .that is. which are based on Anglo-European cultural patterns. One of the riskiest new sports is skysurfing. More and more often. it is referred to only indirectly. Soccer is also becoming popular in the United States. Rhetoric. a good English paragraph begins with a general statement of its content and then carefully develops that statement with a series of specific illustrations. but it is different. but also irrelevant sentences. Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic. Paragraph 2 Daredevil sports are also becoming popular. the writer often digresses into areas that are not directly related to the topic.and risk. or high-speed skateboarding. C. the flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. seem awkward and immature to an English reader. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. STEP I Decide where each paragraph should be divided into two or more paragraphs. Therefore. a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive. are linear . Skysurfing rivals skydiving and bungee jumping for the amount of thrills. Ordinary people axe no longer content to spend their two weeks away from the office resting on a sunny beach in Hawaii. STEP 1 Read the entire essay once or twice. in which people jump out of airplanes with graphite boards attached to their feet. a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digressions. the topic is viewed from a variety of angles. which is basis of rhetoric. STEP 2 Decide where each new paragraph should begin. Whereas English writers use a linear sequence. In English. The topic is never analyzed directly. In this kind of writing. such a development in an English paragraph is awkward and unnecessarily vogue to an English reader. with their emphasis on coordination. Also. People of all ages axe choosing educational study tours for their vacations. Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but.(Where does the author begin to discuss a different topic?) STEP 3 Underline the first sentence of each paragraph. 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. therefore. Again. In either case. does not follow the English rule of paragraph-unity. is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. 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. the Arabic and Persian styles of writing. Spanish rhetoric. use an indirect approach. therefore. where it was not well known until recently. hiking through steamy rain forests. or traversing slippery glaciers. Furthermore. four body paragraphs. climbing the world's highest mountains. however.it should contain six: an introductory paragraph. English logic and English rhetoric. 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. STEP I Locate and underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination. they axe choosing to spend their vacations rafting down wild rivers. Paragraph I Adventure travel is the hot trend in the tourism industry. The rhetorical system of one language is neither better nor worse than the rhetorical system of another language. A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. it is not universal. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea. In summary. and Rhetoric Logic. Some Asian writers. backcountry snowboarding. Logic. Culture.
However. because flawless machine translation is a very tough problem. software may be available to instantly translate both written and spoken language so well that the need for any common language could decline. neighborly gesture idioms are often difficult for newcomers to understand. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. you miss out on some of the Internet experience. Microsoft's president. Computer spelling checkers also exist for various languages. His company spends $200 million a year translating software into other languages. Comparison focuses on similarities. If you say "No. Support Sentences describe and compare features. Although Americans are usually very direct in social matters. Your clue that this may not be a real invitation is the word "sometime. An American thinks that "no" means "no" and will usually not offer again. however. Americans do not expect you to visit them unless you have an invitation for a specific day and time. Bill Gates. American meals are usually more informal than meals in other countries. accept it the first time it is offered. For example. it's easy to do the wrong thing inadvertently in a new culture. believes that English will remain valuable for a long time as a common language for international communication. the value of having a common language is greatly increased.Underline the topic sentence of each. Paragraph 2 Even when you try to be polite. however. The question is-which language? Because the Internet grew up in the United States. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. PLAN A Feature 1 — Describe X. It is useful if all you are trying to do is understand the general idea of something you see on your computer screen. when someone offers you food or a beverage in America. there are a few occasions when they are not. if you are trying to negotiate a contract or discuss a scientific subject where details are important. 227 . Software that does crude' translations already exists. describe Y — identify similarities and differences Feature 2 — Describe X. and the times of meals may be different. you could become very hungry and thirsty." he may or may not want you to visit him in his home. "dropping by" is a friendly. comments on the degree of similarity or difference. 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.” In some areas of the United States. He says. That day is decades away. the largest percent. "Please drop by sometime." Someday. 24 Paragraph I Because the Internet makes the world a smaller place. If an American says. thank you" because it is polite to decline the first one or two offers in your culture. Contrast focuses on differences. "Unless you read English passably well. machine translation is totally useless. Topic Sentence identifies the topic and the intention to compare and/or contrast X and Y. age of its content is now in English. In other areas of the United States.
again. Useful transitional words and phrases For comparison similar to. like. 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.php 228 . on the other hand. unlike. while. It is sometimes incorrectly used as a name for orthodox medicine. For more information and practice in paragraph types. 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. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. in contrast. equally.au/interactive/workshops/writing/index.Feature n — Describe X. similarly. in the same way. Concluding Sentence summarises and interprets differences and similarities. 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. too For contrast in contrast.edu. however. see http://tlc. Allopathy is the treatment of disease of one kind by exciting a disease of another kind or in another part. 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.une. PLAN B Describe X — features 1–n Describe Y — features 1–n Describe and discuss points of similarity and/or difference. Homeopathy. also. different from. whereas.
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