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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
however. 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. Artistic talent and mathematical ability are two qualities of a good architect. if not. As result. Therefore. However. the controlling idea is a restricting idea because it limits the information that can be included in its paragraph. that is.Gold is prized for two important characteristics. However. I experienced this. Consequently. A good architect is both an artist and a mathematician. a sensible plan is to tell readers what the paragraph is intended to discuss before it is discussed. Consider the following paragraph: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. Children Topic Controlling idea usually enjoy playing games instead of studying. In the paragraph above. My parents gave me a gift when I got ‘A’ in my math lesson. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. or at the end of a paragraph. no information that cannot he summarized by the controlling idea can be included in a paragraph. the common practice in writing a paragraph is to begin with the topic sentence and to follow it with supporting sentences. the controlling idea is the summary of all the information contained in its paragraph. the controlling idea is encouraging them. the topic comes first and the controlling idea comes second in the topic sentence. it may be placed at the beginning. As a child. you should place the topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph.a tempting statement that catches the readers’ attentions and entice them to carry on with the reading of the paragraph. It helps readers save time as it tells them what the reset of the paragraph is all about. The topic sentence serves the special purpose of announcing the paragraph's topic. as a beginning writer. parents should take the responsibility to monitor their studying. Using this approach to placement of the topic sentence. that is .The topic sentence. 5 . if parents really want their children to succeed in school. may be stated or placed anywhere in a paragraph. Topic Controlling idea B. the controlling idea may come first. Therefore. the topic sentence has given them guiding clues that help them be selective in their reading. Thus. Generally. parents can encourage them to study by buying story books with pictures. they will continue reading. 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. the topic sentence is the following: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. in the middle. The topic of the sentence is how parents can help children succeed in school. Thus. Gold : topic two important characteristics : controlling idea The controlling idea is the central idea that is developed in a paragraph. It gives them a broad view of what you are writing about because the topic sentence is meant to state the main idea of the paragraph. the reader can more easily identify the central point that the writer is making. 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. I was very excited. They should also remind their children to do their homework at home after school. That’s why your topic sentence should be a sort of clincher. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. A. If they are interested in the topic. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. Moreover.
a topic sentence must also be limited: that is. it must express one and only one controlling idea which will be expanded into a complete paragraph. There are many advantages to living in a village. It must be 1. In a year it beats some 40 million times. Compare the following sentences. it must consist of a subject and a predicate. if it is not a complete sentence. 2. The heart of a man performs at about 60 to 80 beats a minute. and as a result it is much safer place to bring up young children. sentence A is a better topic sentence because sentence B has more than one idea and is not a good topic sentence. Therefore. you will have many advantages. Being complete: Like any other sentence. Complete. In addition. but rather a sentence fragment or a part of sentence.Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the beginning. Again. and in the course of a single lifetime about 56 million gallons. 3. In this way. compare the following pair of topic sentences 6 . Fragment: Learning English Complete: Learning English is useful for everyone. in a single day it pumps 2. it can be seen that village life is suitable for retired and those who want to have more peace and less stress. In fact. Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the end.and Specific. First of all. 2. 3. 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. 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. one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet.200 gallons of blood.Characteristics of a good topic sentence A good topic sentence. Fragment: Ways to learn English Complete: There are many easy ways to learn English. you will not have either too much or too little to write about. The heart weighs about 11 ounces and is the size of a clenched fist. A further advantage is that there is much less traffic. Fragment: If you know English Complete: If you know English. must meet three requirements. Study the following: 1. Limited. which defines the controlling idea clearly and precisely. whereas sentence B has two ideas ("have at least two learning habits" and "should be responsible in his studies"). life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly. a topic sentence must be a complete sentence: that is. Note that sentence A contains only one idea ("have at least two learning habits"). C. In conclusion. It must be clearly limited in such a way that it is neither too broad nor too a narrow. it is not a sentence at all. At each beat it takes in nearly a quarter of a pint of blood. Being limited: In addition to being complete.
" This topic sentence indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will cover the trend in the world toward eating organic foods. Too general: Sports are exciting. Television gives free and interesting entertainment to people of all ages. When you start to write about a very general topic. _____________________________________________________________________________________ C-TELEVISION 1. You should narrow down your subject to be more specific. students. The reader can also expect learning more in this paragraph about the specific benefits of organic foods. _____________________________________________________________________________________ B-MUSIC 1. teachers. Remember that a topic sentence must have one single controlling idea A-COMPUTERS 1.my roommates –Jane Samples: 1. Computers are unnecessary and make our life complicated. For example. Music can teach children to understand their own culture. You may narrow down the subject of college to the more specific subject of a roommate. Topic Sentence: "An increasing number of people in the world are enjoying the benefits of organically grown fruits and vegetables. or nuclear power. and how/why this violence is unhealthy for viewers. Topic Sentence: "Many television cartoons contain an unhealthy amount of violence. Much better: Watching the Tunis derby between CA and E. It also indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will discuss how much violence cartoons typically contain. Playing a musical instrument helps children to develop in discipline and self confidence. there are many specific things about university. such as classes. you must narrow it down to a limited topic that can be discussed in one paragraph. University-dormitory living-roommates. such as university. 2. 2. B. or too vague. 2.T kept me on the edge of the chair. Being specific: A topic sentence should not be too general. Too general: My neighborhood is a nice place to live in. A good topic sentence: My neighborhood is fascinating because people from many countries live in it. 7 . that you can discuss. Television advertising is far more effective than advertising in magazines or newspapers. Still too general: Watching a soccer game keeps me involved.Two controlling ideas A : Kairouan is famous for traditional artefacts and it has beautiful landscape.S. Computers save us time and make our lives easier." Notice that this sentence clearly identifies that the key topic of the paragraph is violence in television cartoons. PRACTICE 1: Read the following topic sentences and decide on the best topic sentence. 2. One controlling idea B: Kairouan is famous for its Islamic architecture. Computers are a necessary part of modern life. A. and the campus. vacations. 3.
1.……………. in your home. 5. all of the latest information is available to you. Technology Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 5.CLASSES – my best/worst class …… ……………. FRIENDS . 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. Finally. Getting married Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 6. Write a topic sentence for the following paragraphs. Firstly. you can share your hobbies and special interests.3.………… 3. Also. 1.my best friend…………………………………………………………….…………………………… PRACTICE 4: A.……………………………………..………………………………….…………… 6.individual sports …………………………………………………………….DIVORCE–children……………………………….. e-mail is popular because it is faster than sending a letter and cheaper than a telephone conversation. SPORTS . so you can save both time and money. Animals Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 2. on-line shopping makes it possible to search through catalogues to find exactly what you want at the best price. University Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 4.……… 2. VACATIONS………………………………. 8 . Try to add at least three or four ideas to each group..…………..rock singer – superstar . at any hour of the day or night..……………………………………..MUSIC………………………………. ENTERTAINMENT-singers . Example: Teenagers and drugs Topic sentence: Drug addiction has caused a huge increase in crimes of violence which is committed/done by teenagers. By joining a newsgroup or chat group.…. Topic: Using Internet _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. Television Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 3. and perhaps make friends all over the world. 4.…………………………………….. _____________________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 2: Write specific topic sentences for possible paragraphs on the following topics. Television has enormous influence on politics.Madonna 1.
I was nervous until she returned. directly or indirectly. Teenagers tent to be curious about new things. and then become accustomed to it eventually! Just like the addiction of taking drugs. For example. In addition. Finally. I was afraid of losing someone else whom I loved. 3. Unfortunately. The supporting sentences must give information that reinforces the main idea stated in the topic sentence. They smoke for the sake of knowing how it feels. Topic: Divorce _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. Being economically independent is the desire of many women. Topic: Space Technology _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. examples. Topic: Tourism _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. sake: cause) 5. I believed that with my father gone I was responsible for helping my mother with her chores. and responsible – a young child with adult feelings. telecommunication satellites have greatly improved global communications. Firstly. Topic: Teenagers Smoking _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. some regard divorce as the best way to get this independence. 4. We need tourists’ money in fact they provide more jobs for all of us. some special satellites register the earth’s resources and military information. Whenever my mother was away from home. elaboration and exploration. The number of supporting details required in a paragraph depends on what the writer is trying to show. there are many women working outside their homes and are independent. In addition. people are more aggressive towards each other. and earns four as much money as agriculture. definitions. Furthermore. 7. 3. Thus the students are strongly advised to provide at least three strong details which can support the main idea. women think that life is always difficult unless they have their own economics independence. Due to difficult life conditions. Meteorological satellites also provide advance information. For the firs few months. 9 . therefore. The students can use all the writing techniques necessary to make the paragraph sustainable and eligible: descriptions. they would have the second. My father’s death. frightened. throughout the rest of my childhood. upon tourism for their jobs. Tourism employs twenty times as many people as the car industry. They hope to be free and stand without one’s help. Nearly three million people depend. it will break the unity of the paragraph. Topic: My Father’s Death _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. left me lonely. once they started to smoke their first cigarette.2. They want to earn money and spend it as they wish. (mere: only. the loss of my father caused me to develop a greater sense of responsibility. my loneliness was so great that I often dreamed that my father would miraculously return. Scientists are working to develop space technology to use in different areas. As a result. the third. Couples do not tolerate a few mistakes. I felt great sadness and loneliness. If any of the supporting details doesn’t correlate with the main idea or does not support it. Nowadays. So there should at least be three supporting details because one or two make the paragraph less convincing and not worth the effort done to build it.2 THE SUPPORTING SENTENCES The body of every effective paragraph consists of ideas or details that support and explain the topic sentence. First of all.
which is unusual because it is very steep. It directly supports the controlling idea by making that idea more easily understood. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. 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. Practice 10 . The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. and (II) At the same time it helps its support sentence develop the controlling idea. On either side of this river. It directly support its major support sentence by making it more easily understood. First. it is noted for the Wheaton River. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. First. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. which is very wide and beautiful. which is 175 feet wide. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. which is very wide and beautiful. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. a minor support sentence must be closely related both to its major support sentence and the controlling idea of the paragraph. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. There are no trees around this hill. MINOR SUPPORT SENTENCES A minor support sentence has two functions: (I) it develops its major support sentence by telling the reader something new or different about that sentence. which is unusual because it is very steep. climbing this hill is not dangerous. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill.Supporting sentences may be classified into one of two groups: major support sentences or minor support sentences. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. This tree stands two hundred feet tall. Also. are many willow trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. it is noted for the Wheaton River. Therefore. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. Also. Even though it is steep. It indirectly supports the controlling idea of the paragraph by helping its major support sentence make that idea more easily understood. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away.
PRACTICE 11 .
in a way. Note how the top bun and the bottom bun are very similar. meat. and a bottom bun. The top bun. Both buns "hold" the meat. You can think of a concluding sentence as a sort of topic sentence in reverse. Consider a hamburger that you can buy at a fast-food restaurant. onions. You can understand concluding sentences with this example. and other elements in the middle of the hamburger. Similarly. This is the concluding sentence. and so on. is like a TOPIC SENTENCE. and the bottom bun is like the CONCLUDING SENTENCE. lettuce. 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. the topic sentence and 13 . cheese.
Therefore. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. Notice how the concluding sentence summarizes the information in the paragraph. Indeed . Synonyms. As a result. and aggressive but not pushy. the concluding sentence repeats the main idea of the topic sentence in different words. 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. 2. the words stingy and frugal both mean "careful with money" However. 14 . a precious metal. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. The second example summarizes the two main points of the paragraph. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. In conclusion. STEP 3 Add a good concluding sentence to each. which were not specifically stated in the topic sentence. it is suitable for jewelry.concluding sentence "hold" the supporting sentences in the paragraph. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Similarly a person wants to be slender but not skinny. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. Therefore. For many years. As a result. STEP 2 Determine the main idea of each paragraph. Notice also how the concluding sentence is similar to. It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. Canada has an excellent health care system. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. Gold. First of all. In brief. words that have the same basic meaning. The first one paraphrases the topic sentence. gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. There can be no doubt that The evidence suggests that The examples that follow demonstrate two different types of concluding sentences. Finally. 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. Second. For example. the topic sentence. but not exactly the same as. For example. to call a person stingy is an insult while the word frugal has a much more positive connotation. coins. 3. These examples show that Thus. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. you should be careful in choosing words because many so-called synonyms are not really synonymous at all. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. that is. and ornamental purposes. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. Use one of the following end-of-paragraph signals to introduce your concluding sentence: END-OF-PARAGRAPH SIGNALS These are followed by a comma These are not followed by a comma Finally. Canada is a desirable place to live in . First. Canada has a high standard of education. do not always have the same emotional meaning. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. You may either paraphrase the topic sentence or summarize the main points. We can see that Therefore. A concluding sentence serves three purposes: 1. In conclusion. It signals the end of the paragraph. Practice STEP I Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph. It is clear that In summary. is prized for two important characteristics. It summarizes the main points of the paragraph.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 15 . If you have a good story wait until-the speaker is finished. it is impolite to do so. In addition to telephone calls. don't interrupt while someone is speaking.STEP 4 Begin each concluding sentence with an end-of-paragraph signal. Be relaxed and bend your body slightly forward to show interest in the person and the conversation. pay close attention to the speaker's words while looking at his or her face. don't sit slumped in a chair or make nervous hand and foot movements. They feel buried under the large number of messages they receive daily. In one company. Paragraph I You can be a good conversationalist by being a good listener. When you are conversing with someone. in fact. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Paragraph 2 Modern communication technology is driving workers in the corporate world crazy. Furthermore. it is common for them to do so in the evenings or on weekends at home. For instance. it can affect your communication whether you are the speaker or the listener. Also. Because they don't have enough time to respond to these messages during office hours. watch your body language. office workers receive dozens of E-mail and voice mail messages daily. Show your interest by smiling and/or nodding. managers receive an average of 100 messages a day.
because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. A. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. it is suitable for jewelry. coins. which is unusual because it is very steep. as too much repetition of the same words can be distracting and even irritating to a reader. The third way is to use transition signals to show how one idea is related to the next. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. Echo words are actually synonyms for the key word. are many willow* trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. which is 175 feet wide. The first two ways involve repeating key nouns and using pronouns that refer back to key nouns. Gold. There are four ways to achieve coherence. For many years. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. The key noun in this paragraph is gold. Therefore. Each sentence should flow smoothly into the next one. There must be no sudden jumps. that is. For example. Second. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. it is noted for the Wheaton River. First. is prized for two important characteristics. Repetition of Key words The easiest way to achieve coherence is to repeat key words frequently in your paragraph. Look at the model paragraph about gold to see how it uses this technique to achieve coherence. and ornamental purposes. Echo Words & Phrases: Echo words and phrases allow writers to remind the reader of the topic being discussed without becoming repetitive. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. You should have circled the noun gold seven times. The above paragraph is easy to read and understand because (1) the supporting sentences are in some kind of logical order and (2) all the ideas in the paragraph flow smoothly from one sentence to the next (3) appropriate transition signals are used to connect the different ideas. The fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in a logical order. In conclusion. Key words are the words carrying most significance in a paragraph. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. climbing this hill is not dangerous. Consider the echo words in the following paragraph about tourists and souvenirs: 16 . from one paragraph to the next) must be logical and smooth. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. but they can also be phrases.UNITY and COHERENCE in PARAGRAPHS: COHERENCE Another element of a good paragraph is coherence. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. the movement from one sentence to the next and in longer essays. the pronoun it twice. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. Circle gold pronouns that refer to it. and the pronoun its three times. a precious metal. First of all. Even though it is steep. The Latin verb cohere means "hold together. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. which is very wide and beautiful. key words are those words a writer wants the reader to focus on as the paragraph progresses. go gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion." In order to have coherence in writing the sentences must hold together. Consider the following paragraph: My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. There are no trees around this hill. On either side of this river.
In fact. the good news is that the tablecloths. they display the human emotions of joy and sadness. Navy is training them to become underwater bomb disposal experts. and others in the area swim to help it. Use of Consistent Pronouns When you use pronouns instead of key nouns. it is used more than any other language. B. For collectors. more people speak it than any other language. unless you plan to spend your life alone on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean." 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. During training. that the author adds adjectives and modifying phrases to the echo words to further clarify her meaning. Dolphins are interesting because they display almost human behavior at times. make sure that you use the same person and number throughout your paragraph. It is the primary language on the Internet. charm bracelets. Moreover. They are so intelligent and helpful. PRACTICE A-In the following passage about dolphins. Except for Chinese." To avoid repetition of this word.The steady production of souvenirs throughout the mid-20th century has created a well that collectors can tap. with many falling between $20 and $40.Therefore. tumblers. They push it to the surface of the water so that it can breathe. the pronouns are not consistent. that the U. Furthermore." and "surviving examples. if you hope to compete in an Olympic sport. In international business.S. Spanish is the official language of more countries in the world. They stay with it for clays or weeks-until it recovers or dies. they droop noticeably and mope around their pool. The key word in this paragraph is "souvenirs. using these general pronouns can often get developing writers into trouble with pronoun reference problems. If one is sick. too. First of all. In the following paragraph. PRACTICE In the following paragraph. They have also helped trapped or lost whales navigate their way safely out to the open sea. Don’t change from you to he or she (change of person). you must be physically strong Furthermore. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred. When they make a mistake. Correct them to make this paragraph more coherent. snow globes. B." Note. the key noun is never repeated. however. it sends out a message. when they do something correctly. so an echo word or phrase is a far better choice for a subject. and other objects from this period were produced in such large quantities that surviving examples are still easy to find and affordable. or from he to they (change of number). as in "other objects from this period. For example. they help each other when they are in trouble. an aspiring Olympian must train 17 . the author uses substitutes: "objects" and "examples. in fact. English English has almost become an international language. but more countries have it as their official or unofficial second language. it has displaced it throughout the world. they squeal excitedly and race toward their trainer. ashtrays. however. Olympic athletes must be strong both physically and mentally. although French used to be the language of diplomacy. replace some of the pronouns with appropriate singular or plural nouns. it is a useful language to know. Replace the pronoun it with the key noun English wherever you think doing so would make the paragraph more coherent. The objects that have proved the most desirable in recent years are ones dating from the 1920s through the 1960s. More than 70 percent of the world's mail is written in it. and it is the language of airline pilots and air traffic controllers all over the world.
or phrases such as in conclusion. also. and as a result. similarly first. This paragraph has three main parts: (1) a part about the Wheaton River. C. eventually. Transition Signals Transition signals are words such as first. consider the words. yet. on the contrary To emphasize or confirm indeed. finally. meanwhile. they train several hours a day. admittedly. Major connectors help organize the main parts of your paragraph. nonetheless. Both paragraphs give the same information. Save them for significant connections between ideas that you want to call special attention to. next. undoubtedly. not to overuse transitional expressions. therefore. conversely.rigorously* for many years. and stop. however. next. Another way of saying this is that this paragraph has three main points which are indicated by the major connectors. Think of transition signals as traffic signs that tell your reader when to go forward. of course. therefore. to on the other hand. in contrast). an example (for example). 18 .. in conclusion. so they must possess the inner strength to live with defeat. certainly. in addition). and however. This means that you have to be dedicated to your sport. Using such major connectors is an important way of providing coherence in a paragraph. at the same time To add an illustration or explanation for example. Minor Connectors What about the other words in bold. often giving up a normal school family. and The third amazing feature. Second. in addition. however. on the other hand. Here are some of the most commonly used connecting words and phrases and the purposes they serve. thus. not everyone can win a medal. 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. subsequently. For the most demanding sports. Being mentally strong also means that he or she must be able to withstand the intense of international competition with its media coverage. naturally. plainly Be careful. such as those appearing in the phrases "these trees" and "this hill"? We can call these minor connectors. Purpose To add another idea To arrange ideas in order or time Connecting Word/Phrase furthermore. moreover. differeniate ideas nevertheless. consequently To connect two contrasting ideas. likewise. ultimately. rather. when you write about your main points. (2) a part about Wheaton Hill. In addition to being physically strong he or she must also be mentally tough. finally. PRACTICE A-Compare paragraphs 1 and 2 that follow. you can use minor connectors to link your details to each main point. or aconclusion (in conclusion). That is. Major Connectors Look at the words in bold font in the paragraph about my home town. although. five or six days a week for ten or more years. and (3) a part about the Big Old Tree. a result (as a result). First. they tell the reader when you are giving a similar idea (similarly. furthermore. moreover. second. in other words To conclude or sum up hence. however. in brief. We can call these words major connectors. Do you see how they help guide the reader? For example. Finally. an opposite idea (on the other hand. slow down. Which paragraph contains transition signals and is more coherent? Circle all of the transition signals that you can identify. and social life. Overuse can be distracting. In other words. accordingly. turn. Minor connectors provide coherence to a paragraph by connecting sentences within each of the main parts of your paragraph. for instance.
therefore. next. The same article said that the causes of inflation were easy to find ________ the cure for inflation was not so easy to prescribe. just as. Paragraph 2 Another difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. The article suggested that the president reduce the federal budget.Add punctuation and change capital letters to small letters if necessary. just like. the less the gravitational force of the Earth _________a man weighs less when he is 50. while working on the project. 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). as expensive as. in contrast. after that. In a Paragraph describing differences (contrast). unlike. Some common kinds of logical order in English are chronological order. In warm climates. you would find these expressions: similarity. for example) 3. they encounter friction because the water is shallow ____________the waves Increase in height and can cause considerable damage when they finally reach land. First of all. A tsunami is a tidal wave produced by an earthquake on the ocean floor. this means that the earth pulls him down with a force of 150 pounds. (moreover. For example. 19 . therefore) 2. logical division of ideas and comparison/contrast. in warm climate zones.Paragraph 1 A difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. Each kind of order has its own special words and phrases to show the relation ships among the ideas. etc. after 1990.The waves are very long and low in open water. of course. water evaporates rapidly. The runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. Example: A recent article in Era magazine suggested ways to reduce inflation. Your choice of one kind of logical order over another will. The concentration of salt is greater. does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. The important point to remember is to arrange your ideas in some kind of order that is logical to a reader accustomed to the English way of writing. water evaporates rapidly. Logical Order In addition to using transition signals and repeating key words and pronouns.000 miles from the Earth than when he is only 5. state. Second the surrounding land is dry and. a fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in some kind of logical order. therefore. for example) 4. For example. (however. furthermore it suggested that the government reduce federal. but when they get close to land. in comparison. consequently. finally. water evaporates slowly. on the other hand water evaporates slowly. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. In cold climate zones. since then. compare with. B. before the last war. You may even combine two or more different logical orders in the same paragraph. (on the other hand. In cold climate zones. (however. in contrast. in a piece of writing using chronological order you would expect to find a lot of time expressions: first. for example. Era also suggested that rising wages were one of the primary causes of inflation _______________the government should take action to control wages. you would find these expressions: the most noticeable difference. furthermore) 1. (in conclusion. larger than. The farther away from the Earth a person is. on the other hand. therefore. (however. There are reasons for this. There are two reasons for this. Write the signal in the space. the weight of an object is the gravitational force 2 with which the Earth attracts it_________ if a man weighs 150 pounds. therefore. and local taxes. In physics. as a result. depend on your topic and on your purpose. the concentration of salt is greater. in 20 10.000 miles away. for example) D.Choose the transition signal that best shows the relationship between the sentences in each group from the choices given in parentheses. the Baltic Sea in North Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. Furthermore. however) 5. similarly. The surrounding land is dry and does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water.
Use transition signals to connect the supporting sentences smoothly. supporting sentences. and so the passage is coherent. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. One Voshkhod cosmonaut experimented with weightlessness by taking a "spacewalk. You may use the transition signals suggested for each topic. but the sentence. it is an "off-topic" sentence.Unity is another very important characteristic of good paragraph writing. astronaut Ed White. In order to improve the paragraph. That is." That is. 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.Often sentences have implicit logical connections that help the reader follow the thread of a discussion or argument. then we say that the paragraph "lacks unity. Unity means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph. all the sentences -. he floated in a spacesuit outside his Voshkhod spacecraft. the Voshkhod project was intended to find out whether people could work in the weightless environment of space. Add other sentences without transitions if you need to in order to explain the topic completely. offering an interesting an distinctive detail about these stores. For example.S. which is similar to the paragraph that we have studied above. Though no transitional expression is used. the passage is coherent. and (sometimes) the concluding sentence -. Skinned animals hang in windows of butcher shops here like clothes hang in the windows of suburban department stores." Look at the following paragraph. we should omit this sentence.the topic. PRACTICE 20 . Given the first sentence in the passage above.Consider the example below: Chinatown offers one of the largest Asian American grocery districts in the country. connected to it by a tether. practice Choose one of the topic sentences below and write a paragraph that develops it. astronaut Ed White. For another example. with three cosmonauts. That is. the Soyuz project. does not have anything to do with the major goals of the various Russian space projects." or that the sentence is "off-topic. This paragraph is generally good.S. the detail sentences. or you may use others not listed. A good way to test the coherence of your paragraph is to examine each sentence and ask yourself what your reader would expect you to say next based on that sentence. The cosmonaut to do this was Alexei Leonov.are all telling the reader about ONE main topic. Several weeks later. even though it is historically accurate. had goals of testing spacecraft and space flight skills so that people could fly long missions in Earth orbit. the Vostok project was designed to test whether or not human beings could survive and function in outer space. Several weeks later. Finally. so we can say that the paragraph somewhat lacks unity. 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. If your paragraph contains a sentence or some sentences that are NOT related to the main topic. Topic Suggestions Drinking laws The effects of divorce Working mothers UNITY Like coherence. It is clear that the writer is continuing a discussion of grocery stores in Chinatown. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U.
the closer a region is to the equator. 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. Another important factor is the height of a region above sea level. but other factors also have an influence on temperature. it retains it longer. the nearby regions become cooler than other regions in the same latitude.B-Study the following paragraph and decide whether there are irrelevant sentences and then revise it. for example. the warmer its climate will be. physical features such as high mountains influence the temperature of nearby regions. Consequently. If mountains cause rain to fall frequently. the less dense the air is. In general. The higher you go up a mountain. throughout the cold months of winter the sea warms the nearby land just as a radiator warms a room. nearby regions become warmer than unsheltered regions in the same latitude. Finally. If mountains block the passage of cold winds. 21 . distance from the sea is important because although water absorbs heat more slowly than land.
George is a chubby looking boy on the verge of being overweight. American and European educational systems differ in some ways You can hardly imagine George and Jack are actually twins. Then it is best to 22 . Obviously. Our two pet cats are quite different. 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. If you were asked to compare and contrast two people. Although both our pet cats look lovely. 2. a writer stresses how two or more things are alike or how they are different. sports. and art. often too lost in deep thoughts to even return a greeting in time. The topic sentence should also indicate the emphasis of the paragraph. the ways they treat people. and the topic sentence tells the controlling idea. either similarities or differences. topic sentence 1 acknowledges the obvious similarity of the two pet cats. As a result. The topic sentence In a comparison or contrast paragraph. mathematics. the emphasis is usually on one or the other. If you are comparing two obviously similar things. their lifestyles. you could compare their looks. His twin brother Jack. Second. The points to be compared or contrasted are usually indicated in the topic sentence. is a boy of few words and loves to read books in solitude rather than going out to enjoy parties. supporting sentences. who has a ready smile on his face and is quick to greet everybody he knows on his way. and then indicates the differences a s the focus of the paragraph. introductions to the sciences. In a comparison or contrast paragraph. in contrast. and the majority of elementary school teachers are women. 1. Jack usually plods along silently. their differences in temperament is constant source of amusement. usually the topic introducer tells the two things to be compared or contrasted. their attitudes toward life. Jack is simply “skinny” with sunken cheeks and a sharp chin. In addition. and the classes are coeducational. the subjects which are taught at the elementary level are basically the same everywhere: reading and writing. their intelligence. there is one teacher for all subjects for each grade (except in Scandinavia). Contrast paragraphs explain how two or more things are dissimilar or different. a well-organized paragraph consists of topic sentence. Paragraph samples • Comparison paragraph The educational systems of Europe and the United States are similar in a number of ways. and concluding sentence. topic sentence 2 is too general to be developed in one paragraph. There are about twenty to twenty-two pupils per class. Even their parents can hardly understand why the two brothers are so different. The only major difference in the elementary curriculum is that most Europeans study a foreign language in elementary school. Comparison paragraphs explain how two or more things are similar or alike. It is almost impossible for George to sit still for more than 30 minutes at a stretch and he is the chattiest person among his groups of friends. The two do not even look alike. • Contrast paragraph PARAGRAPH STRUCTRE As you have learned in previous lessons. To begin with. but most American children do not. it does not restrict the controlling ideas as to what points of the two cats to contrast. Also. philosophies. acknowledge the obvious similarities but focus on the differences. While relatives and family members call George a friendly “public relations officer”. and so on. topic sentence 1 is better than topic sentence 2 for three reasons: First. however. acknowledge the obvious differences but emphasize the similarities. backgrounds.Comparison and Contrast Paragraphs When writing comparison or contrast paragraphs. they fondly refer to Jack as the “absent-minded professor”. Very commonly if you are comparing two rather dissimilar things. Compare the following two topic sentences and see which one is better. Unlike George. music. Third. elementary school classes look the same everywhere.
you must organize your paragraph in such a way that your reader does not have to jump about from one point to another. If you were comparing two politicians in order to show that one is more diplomatic. if you were contrasting two new models of automobiles. suspension. 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. Emphasis in comparison or contrast Supporting sentences Items to be compared or contrasted should be comparable. talk about the Ford’s engine without talking about the Toyota’s. For instance. The Concluding sentence No matter whether it is a comparison or contrast paragraph. You can’t. otherwise. you must include a discussion of each thing being compared or contrasted with each point of comparison.restrict the points of comparison to two-four points and choose the most significant points for comparison or contrast that would support the controlling idea. the items would be incomparable. it would be irrelevant. Furthermore. transmission. and brakes handling gas mileage color and upholstery choices You must then pick several of the points of comparison or contrast that seem most important. you would not bother with comparing and contrasting their tastes in food. the writer may mention little of exceptions. for example. 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. Also. you must be sure to make your points of comparison clear and actually develop them. too. to develop in your paragraph. The points or items to be compared or contrasted should be parallel or of the same category. After deciding which points to cover. 23 . You couldn’t possibly develop all of the points in your brainstorming list in one paragraph. probably no more than three or four. to show a cautious attitude.
hers on July 10 and mine on July 20. Third.B . our birthdays are in the same month. our hobbies are alike _________. Helene was born and raised in Paris and I come from Yokohama. Topic sentence Point 1 Detail A Detail B Point 2 Detail A 27 A -. A more important similarity concerns our values. My wife devotes a lot of her free time to playing jazz piano. For example. Our children should receive a good education and also have strong moral training. I like to spend time after work strumming my guitar. my wife and I are alike in several ways. For one thing. In fact. in the same way likewise another similarity similarly whereas too while both however Even though we come from different cultures. we are thirty-two years old.PRACTICE CHOOSE an appropriate conjunction from those shown below to finish the paragraph. I feel _________. _________ is that we both grew up in large cities. _________. Helene has strong opinions about educating our children and raising them to know right from wrong.
Detail B Point 3 Detail A Detail B Conclusion Topic sentence Subtopic A A --.B Details about Subtopic A Subtopic B Details about subtopic B 28 .
lonely. people should consider those effects before they start to watch television programs. Cause/effect models can be found in many kinds of writing and can be used for any of the writer's purposes: to justify or condemn some action. For example.These students may have made decent grades in high school simply by showing up for class. They do not want to take dull required courses or spend their nights studying. advertisements force people to buy things they may not need. to prove or disprove an idea. For many types of students dropping out seems to be the only solution they can imagine. 2-STRUCTURE OF CAUSE/EFFECT PARAGRAPHS Cause/effect paragraphs generally follow basic paragraph format. Therefore. to convince. television influences everybody’s behavior in negative ways.Cause and Effect Paragraphs 1-DEFINITION A cause and effect paragraph is a paragraph that indicates the cause (or reason) that produces an effect (or result). they quickly lose interest. The function of cause/effect is usually to answer the questions 'Why". For example. or the paragraph that points out the effect (or result) produced by a cause. they begin with a topic sentence and this sentence is followed by specific supporting details. if the topic sentence introduces an effect. some students are bored in school. to explain or to give an account of something or situation. Someone who buys a new car but can't really afford it. friends or girlfriends. When children see terrible things on TV and sometimes act them out. Here is an example: 29 . Consider the following example paragraphs. They may not be able to understand right from wrong and think that violence is ok. Television negatively influences people's behavior in a number of ways. Students also drop out of college because the work is harder than they thought it would be . That is. Students drop out of college for many reasons. however they may have to prepare for two hour exams. These students may enter college expecting non stop fun or a series of fascinating courses. the cause/effect paragraph explains why a condition occurs or the effect that this condition brings about.someone who buys a new computer even though his or her old computer works fine. the supporting sentences all describe causes. such as Why did it happen?" or"What". These students may have problems with roommates. belief or assertion. or depressed.Also. write fifteen page term papers or make detailed presentations to a class. such as 'What are its causes?" or 'What are its effects?" In short. Younger students especially. First of all. In conclusion. may be attending college at an age when they are also feeling confused. When they find out that college is often routine. or to draw a conclusion. family. The most important negative effect is that television may lead to violence. but they never go camping. First of all. They become too unhappy to deal with both hard academic work and emotional troubles. and so they drop out. those who buy campingequipment. The hard work comes as a shock and students give up. In college. Perhaps the most common reason students drop out is that they are having personal or emotional problems.
Finally. people established places of leisure. the CAUSE is the fact that the room was cold. and culture. and the EFFECT is Sally's closing the window. Better schools attracted families to move to the city. which tended to be located in cities. entertainment. 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. First. the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs. in the sentence Because the weather outside was cold. There are several reasons for this occurrence. and therefore drew them away from rural communities. and culture made city life appear more interesting. with their promise of a better material life. (Note that the first letter of the conjunction is now capitalized. Sally closed the window. The conjunction because is placed in the correct position here. which is right before the cause. Places of leisure.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. it does not make sense because a person's opening or closing a window does not influence the weather. Similarly. entertainment. in this sentence: ??The weather outside was cold because Sally closed the window. such as sports stadiums. (Cities have grown very large. Second.) 3. attracted many people from rural areas. even though it is grammatical. cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas.) However. For example. 30 .] (Cities have grown very large. there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers. you must order the cause and the effect corerctly. Notice how each supporting sentence is a cause that explains the effect mentioned in the topic sentence. as the cities grew. theaters. These jobs. these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm. in the sentence Sally closed the window because the weather outside was cold. and museums.) CAUSES (Supporting Sentences) Factory jobs attracted people. to help you understand the relationships better: EFFECT (Topic Sentence) Cities have grown very large.In recent decades. [There are several reasons for this. For many people. even though the subordinate clause because the room was cold is now at the beginning of the sentence. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. First.
The weather was cold. However. Conjunctions such as therefore. so Jim turned on the air conditioner. as a result. (too informal -. and for this reason are usually followed by a comma. So Jim turned on the air conditioner. These are attached directly at the beginning of CAUSE-sentence without a comma. This conjunction has a comma before it. as in these examples: The weather was cold. Sally closed the window. Therefore.avoid this usage) B/ 31 . The coordinating conjunction so is also different from the ones above. therefore. Consequently. Sally closed the window. as in the example above. so may not be used at the beginning of a sentence (although you will often see it in informal writing): The weather was warm. Because the weather outside was cold. A blizzard hit the town. Sally put on her scarf. The weather was cold. As a result.Second. The comma here is placed at the end of the subordinate clause. the schools were closed. The adverbial clause conjunctions since and because are exceptions. consequently. as in this sentence: The weather was warm. in formal academic writing. you should be careful when using commas. Sally put on her coat.
) I was giggly by 11:00. it seemed--they gave me a breath test even before asking to see my license. After filling out pages of forms and checking to see that nobody was injured. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).THE NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH A narrative paragraph ‘tells a story’. just two days after my high school graduation. Baggy Drawers. the police took me to jail. a night of celebration turned into a costly and embarrassing lesson on the dangers of drinking and driving. and at each of these spots I drank a margarita or two. or perhaps you’ll relate the story of the time you didn’t make the cut for the basketball team. as I hollered farewells to my friends and poured myself into the car. It was there.000 fine and attend driving school for three months. When the police arrived--instantly. Underline the topic sentence and the concluding sentence . where I was photographed. One minute there was not a soul on the road in front of me. I weaved down Monroe Avenue. your purpose is to share with others some experience that has taught you something or changed you somehow. and flat out soused by the time we shut the bars down at three. we made stops at such popular hangouts as Studebaker's. that I made a promise not to drink and drive ever again. viewing gory films of accident victims with their bodies crunched under tires and heads wrapped inside bumpers. (Yes. Whatever story you tell. Naturally I registered drunk. I had a fake ID. Of course. fingerprinted. Read the following paragraph and answer the question that follow One Saturday last June. tipsy by midnight. 33 . you share with the reader some personal experience of your own in order to make a point or convey a message. and the next--crash! I had plowed into the back of a big green Buick. Where and when did the events take place? Who is telling the story? Who are the characters in this story? What happened exactly? In what way did the story end? What message is the writer sending ? 1-Elements of a Narrative Paragraph Narrative paragraphs contain several regular elements:. With one eye shut to keep the road from blurring. and Night Lights. that is. I had to pay a $2. I was dead certain that I was sober enough to drive home safely. it tells about a series of events that happened to the narrator. You may choose to tell how your grandfather influenced your desire to become an scientist. Out with a girlfriend for a wild night on the town. In writing a narrative paragraph.
but third-person can be effective as well. First. The story may move from one place to another. If the story could happen now or at some recent unspecified time. This is the mood or feeling of the story. Climate/Weather. You might say that a novel opens with a mysterious atmosphere." If it is a science fiction story. This is the turning point in the story in which the reader wonders what will happen next (i. establishes the setting.Setting. and other essential elements of the story.e. will the problem get solved or not?) Solution/Conclusion – This is the point in the story in which the problem is solved Characters. it is significant to the story. • • • The protagonist is the main character throughout the novel. By the middle of the story. • Organization of narrative paragraphs The narrative paragraph consists of three basic parts: The orientation. this refers to the period of history. Most personal narratives are written in first-person. This usually refers to the geographical location of the story. The plot usually arises out of the conflict in the story. a story may begin in a particular city in England. This is an aspect of setting which can be important to the novel. The plot is a synopsis of the storyline in chronological order. month. Without a specific narrative effect. first-person or third-person. Focus • Narrative effect is the main point of your story—the moral. If you are unsure what your main point is. Refers to the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are presented. Time. we say that it is "contemporary. and even time of day. you might ask yourself. Time also refers to the season. the emotional quality that the story gives to the reader. the character(s) may find themselves in other locations within England. The setting of the story is usually responsible for creating the mood or feeling of the story. Problem/Conflict. society or an internal struggle within the main character. Refers to people. 34 . “Why am I telling this story? Why should someone else be interested in reading about my experience?” In addition. If the story begins in the midst of a hurricane. works best for your narrative. who play parts in the action of the story. The setting refers to the background in which the story takes place. Like the setting. For example. The force with which the protagonist is in conflict is called the antagonist. First-person tends to be more subjective. Point of view • Decide which point of view. the mood may change throughout the novel.. The complication (supporting sentences)involves rising conflict that leads up to the climax (the point of highest action in the story). the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. your writing is merely a series of unconnected events.. two or even three main characters). characters. The basic plot is comprised of the following: • • • • Introduction. a gloomy atmosphere. it may be set in the future.g. The force can be a person or persons. Climax. you must decide whether to reveal your point explicitly (stated directly) or implicitly (suggested but not stated). • • • Plot. This is where the events in the story become complicated and the problem in the story is revealed. robots. the insight you offer. the message. Atmosphere. if the story is set in the past. A novel can have more than one protagonist (e. animal. which eventually builds to a climatic moment. There are several components necessary to create a setting: • Place. etc.
In chronological time. (concluding sentence)the conflict is resolved and the narrative effect is revealed or suggested. 35 . events are described according to the connections between them. events are described in the order in which they happened.Then. The techniques of flashback and flashforward can also be part of your narrative’s time structure. as they might be arranged in someone’s memory. in the resolution. in psychological time. 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. The order in which the events are presented in the narrative paragraph is very important to the overall unity of the paragraph.
Your goal is to make the scene come alive for the reader. evocative description to immerse the reader in the situation or place you describe. how the birds sang in the trees.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. can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of your narrative. Both of these techniques.after. how the dew sparkled on the grass. writing which incorporates vivid. If your paragraph consists merely of dry facts. readers quickly grow uninterested. if used well. Make the reader see. feel.Use Sensory Details It is important to remember that human beings learn about the world through using the five senses. . Don’t just tell us that spring was in the air—describe how the sun felt on your skin. and taste the scene you’re writing. Complete this paragraph using. In other words.before. hear.Using Dialogue 36 . smell. precise language that keeps your reader’s attention. especially when you are writing a highly detailed scene. Also make use of sensory language (language that appeals to the senses). Use very detailed. sensory detail is more likely to engage and effect the reader.Use flashforward to jump to the future and show a possible outcome for the events in the present. Therefore. use clear. . They are our primary source of knowledge about the world.
"Listen. furrowed her white brow. what. There was a grunt in return from the grazer. but she had his attention. use it to tie up the loose ends of the paragraph. The most common method for ending a narrative paragraph is to refer back to your topic sentence. How to write narrative paragraphs A How to Start There are various ways to begin a narrative paragraph. etc. interjections and other ‘real’ speech patterns. "who do you think ya are. For example. B How to Finish . why – to ensure reader understanding of what you have written. This is your chance to use fragments. The lady at the next table to the slob could take it no longer. do you sometimes smile at remembering what a person said or did. slowly gliding to the stark blinking eyes. you are inhaling your soup in such a manner as to distract your fellow diners." Practice Practice1 37 . Wherehelps establish the mood and atmosphere for thsetting of the event you are re-telling. "Sir". Figurative language can add to your narrative by suggesting to your reader how you felt in a particular situation. Whenexpands on the time the event took place. the Queen of bloody Sheba?" . lady. a brief amusing or interesting story about a real person or event. Another good method for starting the narrative paragraph is to use an anecdote. I watched her rise majestically from her seat. when. child. Secretly I hoped she would do something to stop the obscene slurping coming from his fat lips. For exampleif the topic sentence is. Make sure your characters talk like people in real life.When you recall an experience that you had. or even get angry over a remembered insult once hurled your way? When writing a narrative paragraph about one event in your life." All activity stopped in the restaurant as we waited for his reply. which spread from the greyish collar of his neck. "Sir. and Why is a brief explanation of the circumstances leading up to the event. Who should clearly introduce the character.” Metaphors and similes can be very helpful in revealing your narrative effect to the reader. re-word the idea into something lik"That is how I learned that the outside does not always reflect the inside. like a soldier on a mission. but one of the easiest is to use the 5W’s – who. Everest. Be sure to make the conversation lifelike by using slang. Real people do not use full sentences when they speak." the voice was thick guttural. the use of dialogue will definitely make the event more vivid to your readers.? What introduces your event to the reader. Astonishment puckered his dimpled jowls to be replaced by a red infusion. 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.Finally. Is this an adult. where. and by rewording it. use appropriate metaphors and similes. she enunciated clearly to the huge slurping hulk. "Appearances can be deceptive". serious intent.
so I 38 . she hadn’t noticed Jack coming around the bend in the forest path.__________ Jyll had gone to fetch the pail for water. Using Connotative Language in Narrative Writing The language used in narrative writing helps the reader imagine himself in the events you tell about. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate transitions to give the paragraph coherence.__________ she left the cabin. but Jack won’t go near the water pail. to let him know she would be out of the area for the day.__________ she would use it as a signal to Jack that she was absent from the cabin. Later I realised how foolish I had been to drive with the doors unlocked.today.when.in the meantime. During the rush hour one evening after work.then .first. 4. She decided she would have to walk into town to pick up some fresh spring water. "It happened while I was standing in the shower. it hit Jack’s crown on its way down. 3.later. my sense of safety in Calgary was destroyed. "Darn light stuff".__________ went off to town for the spring water not knowing that Jack had gone tumbling down. 11. he took two smokes and my lighter. Example: Instead of. it was discovered what had happened. and gingerly I extended the pack to him When he started muttering. 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.__________ Jyll has been known to giggle at Jack’s disaster which sometimes gets her in trouble with his mother.after. Practice 2 Try to unscramble the following paragraph by numbering the sentences in the order they should appear. 10. Now I started to panic as his hands fumbled on the car seat because I thought he wasgrabbing for my purse.__________ was able to toss the pail up into the air and over the giant arbutus tree next to the cabin.The following narrative paragraph lacks time transitions. and was stopped by the red light across from the York Hotel. After this experience. When. 8.before.__________ that day. I drew back even further against the driver’s door. Before I knew what had happened an old man had grabbed my door handle.afterwards Let me tell you the story about a woman named Jyll and a friend of hers called Jack. Next he leaned ominously into the car blowing toxic liquor fumes across my face.__________ she left she wanted to contact her neighbour. Then I realised all he wanted was a cigarette. but he hasn’t seemed the same fellow. she grabbed the old wooden pail. After snarling. I was driving down Centre Street. It seems that when Jyll threw the pail up in the tree. Don’t just relate the series of events because this creates a boring list. and backed out othe car.__________ Jack has had his nob patched. 9. High up there it could be seen by Jack while he stood on the porch of his cabin down the road.then . 2. This danger became very real to me one summer evening. vivid words to relate your story instead of passive language.eventually. 7. 12. – The 1. Jyll 6. This was a safety measure. Jack. She tied a rope around the handle of the pail and 5.__________ the doctor and police were able to reconstruct the scene of the crime. Use specific.__________ thing that happened was that Jyll was running out of fresh water at her cabin.__________ Jack and Jyll still play at being neighbours. He would know she was away from the cabin.
Write. after afterwards 39 . The front tire had popped and lost all of its air. by Elizabeth Alvarado (Fall 2005) The worst day in my life was July 21. On that day. It became like a ritual. hiding the deadly hiss of gas. We started feeling the car jumping. Every two to three minutes I checked Answers 1. 10. my stomach was upset. The child ran out the school doors. 2004. couldn’t hear the gas leaking "The blast of water from the shower deadened the other house noises. I got ready and told my husband to drive me to the interview. The girl hit her knee on the stairs. I looked at my watch. We pulled over to the side of the road onto the shoulder. 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 received a call from a staffing company. As we were driving on the freeway.m. first before 5. 2. and it was 1 p. The cowboy fell off his horse. 5. punctuality is something employers look for. 4. We left so we could have enough time to look for the address. 3. By this time. 1. we heard a pop followed by a hissing of air escaping with great force. I was sweating and kept looking at my watch." The man walked down the street.m. The baby cried in her crib. 6. 2. My husband went to the trunk of the car and pulled out the carjack and the spare tire to fix the car. eventually then 9. After all.
or add concrete details to a setting. later when 11. For example. 12. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. Comment These are the beginning sentences of a paragraph which describes a boy helping an elderly woman up a flight of stairs. 4. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. Example Text: Add Sound Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. steep staircase. and bit his lip. He was nervous because the staircase was so steep. vague receptacle. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. in the meantime today Example Text: Paragraph Without Sensory Detail Grandmother Workman reached over and grabbed her grandson's arm. oblong room with peeling maroon wallpaper and cracked ceiling tiles. when then 7. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. As they slowly climbed the long. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. 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. The scene seems simple enough. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. It becomes a small. As they slowly climbed the long. A visual description allows readers to place themselves within a text. but she leaned against him and they began to climb. like the bloated. His mouth filled with the sweet. Comment Visual details are often successfully incorporated into writing. Without the inclusion of sensory detail. setting. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. steep staircase. His mouth filled with the sweet. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. Details which appeal to our sense of sight ensure that the reader is able to give faces to characters. through adding visual detail. a room can become more than just a blank. and bit his lip.3. visual details help accomplish this through encouraging the reader to create a mental image of the characters. 40 . but it leaves the reader with many unanswered questions. and action. like the bloated. In the sample text. 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. 8. the writing seems vague and non-specific. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs.
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. through recalling familiar tactile sensations the writer encourages the readers to put themselves in the place of the characters. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. it is the human sense of smell that is most closely linked to the brain. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. steep staircase. His mouth filled with the sweet. As they slowly climbed the long. and bit his lip. Sounds can remind us of personal memories. Example Text: Add Taste 41 . For example. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. Example Text: Add Smell Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. In the sample text. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. sensory experiences. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. shape. layered. like the bloated. In the sample text. scents are able to cause vivid sensory re-creations of memories. auditory details are most commonly included in writing. Tactile images can be powerful sensory triggers. His mouth filled with the sweet. and size of things. This is because sounds give us a primary experience of the world. but to experience it. In the sample text. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. 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. texture. and bit his lip. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. Therefore. The addition of auditory details gives the writer the opportunity to create a more detailed.Comment The human sense of hearing is an important means of communication. Comment The sense of smell is commonly overlooked in writing. Our sense of smell has an uncommonly strong power over our feelings. Inclusion of the sense of touch prevents the reader from remaining distanced or detached from the writing. Next to visual details. like the bloated. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. and emotions. steep staircase. Because of this link. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. 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. However. the sound of a ship's whistle might remind a person of a summer's night in New England. as well as the physical condition of the grandmother. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. the writer has incorporated references to sounds which allow the reader to infer the state of the old staircase. Comment The sense of touch encourages us to investigate the world around us by feeling it and learning the texture. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. Sounds recreate personal. or of a tour of duty in the military. the addition of olfactory details helps set the mood of the paragraph by triggering our senses. They allow a reader not only to visualize a scene. or can create images in our minds. thoughts. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. As they slowly climbed the long. This is a sensory experience that most people have encountered.
coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him.Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. and bit his lip. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. As they slowly climbed the long. His mouth filled with the sweet. There are four familiar tastes: Sweet Salty Bitter Sour By appealing directly to any of these tastes. a writer has the unique opportunity to affect a reader's senses. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. Comment The human sense of taste allows a person to do much more than simply select and enjoy food. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. like the bloated. feelings. people. steep staircase. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. 42 . and places can all be suggested through the sense of taste. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. Memories.
The model paragraph: My most valuable possession is an old. "The belonging I am about to describe is my pre-engagement ring. The ring is neither very attractive nor valuable. Just below the diamond are small air holes. like a sliver of glass found on the kitchen floor after a dishwashing accident. The four prongs that anchor the diamond are separated by pockets of dust. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. . just a Madeira folk guitar. you should stick to it. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. 43 . the paragraph is unified--that is. This kind of topic sentence is more interesting and revealing than a bare announcement. and hear what we have seen. a bit tarnished by time and neglect. As a result. its frets tarnished. intended to let the diamond breathe. It's nothing fancy. or a thing. and condition. and heard. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. color. all of the supporting sentences relate directly to one another and to the topic introduced in the first sentence. felt. Once you have introduced a topic clearly. The 14-carat gold band. The writer of "My Tiny Diamond Ring" has done just that. 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. given to me last year by my sister Doris"). developing this idea with details in the rest of the paragraph. focus your paragraph and gain the interest of your readers with a complete topic sentence: one that expresses an attitude or a reason as well as identifies the object you are about to describe. The diamond itself is tiny and dull. but now clogged with grime. such as. providing specific details that describe the ring: its parts." Instead of announcing your topic in this way. a gift that I will pass along to my younger sister when I receive my own engagement ring this Christmas. all scuffed and scratched and fingerprinted. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray.THE PARAGRAPH DESCRIPTIVE The purpose of descriptive writing is to make our readers see. circles my finger and twists together at the top to encase a small white diamond. but I treasure it as a gift from my older sister. feel. . slim neck. 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 (". Whether we're describing a person. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. a place. our aim is to reveal a subject through vivid and carefully selected details. The strings are stretched down a long. slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play. size.
2. just a Madeira folk guitar. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. locating each building where you think it belongs in relation to other buildings . six.The bookstore. particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago • The concluding sentence concludes the paragraph and emphasizes the personal value of the item. made of yarn.particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago. Then write out a paragraph beginning with the topic sentence below. its frets tarnished. but it still lets me make music. followed by supporting detail to develop the paragraph. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. The clown's short yellow hair. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. and eight). . she saw many buildings. slightly warped.How are the details arranged. but it still lets me make music.Below is a topic sentence for a spatial paragraph. and for that I will always treasure it. Add spatial transitions to introduce each of the eight buildings according to their order of location. • The supporting sentences support this topic sentence with specific descriptive details. It's nothing fancy. sketch out a map of a college campus.The refectory room. 3.The classroom buildings 3.The library. No. slightly warped. it's not a beautiful instrument. Supporting detail: 1.The gymnasium and athletic fields. slim neck. 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. all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed. observe how the writer moves clearly from a description of the head of the clown (in sentences two. 2. On a sheet of paper. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. Notice also how the concluding sentence helps to tie the paragraph together by emphasizing the personal value of this gift. and for that I will always treasure it. No.The administration building. Topic sentence: On Maria’s first visit to the college campus. blond guitar") but also suggests why the writer values it ("the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play").Identify the topic sentence. Structure of a descriptive paragraph • The topic sentence for a this descriptive paragraph is: My most valuable possession is an old.The student centre and cafeteria. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. it's not a beautiful instrument. to the body (sentences five. blond guitar--the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play. three. This sentence not only identifies the prized belonging ("an old. seven. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. 5. In the following paragraph.The faculty offices. 4. 6. The strings are stretched down a long. 4.Underline the spatial transitions in this paragraph. and four). Activities: 1. to the unicycle underneath (sentence nine). 7. covers its ears but is parted above the 44 . 1.
Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. Choose the one pattern that seems best suited to your topic. nose. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English. The blue eyes are outlined in black with thin. You may start with the outside of the item and move in. or go from inside to out. as many cat experts think. for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. or (literally) to drive out’. habits. white ruffle around its neck. or go from right to left. He walks with pride and grace. However. He may snuggle up against your ankle. does not extend to his appearance. What is an Essay? Though the word ‘essay’ has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English. His familiarity with cat food commercials has led him to reject generic brands of cat food in favor of only the most expensive brands. and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious. students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres within essay writing. tracing it back further. which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. There are various ways to organize the details in a descriptive paragraph. The clown and unicycle together stand about a foot high. It has cherry-red cheeks. You may move from the top of the item to the bottom. we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats. You may start at the left side of the item and move right. dark lashes flowing from the brows. before delving into its various genres. The left side of the outfit is light blue. but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. However. which means ‘to examine. The clown wears a fluffy. befriending some and repelling others. Therefore. His pride. 45 . He enjoys TV commercials. I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set. 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. but endearing. two-tone nylon costume. test. 3) Gregory Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned both in class—which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student—and as homework. Through the excavation of this ancient word. however. Essays Essay Writing Overview The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. and lips.eyes. its origins provide us with some useful insights. we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic. performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. this colorful figure greets me with a smile every time I enter my room. and the right side is red. Surrounding its ankles and disguising its long black shoes are big pink bows. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory. it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training. begging to be petted. and then stick to that pattern throughout the paragraph. After my guests have fled. The two colors merge in a dark line that runs down the center of the small outfit. As a cherished gift from my good friend Tran. or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers. or from the bottom to the top. let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay. especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. and its broad grin disappears into the wide.
TIPS FOR WRITING A PARAGRAPH CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PARAGRAPH Topic sentence. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Supporting ideas (usually 3 . names. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing. examples. Choose 2 . Brainstorm supporting ideas. Although these genres. analysis. Think of a topic and a controlling idea that will narrow the topic enough to support it well in one paragraph. Compose your topic sentence. • Unity. Process of Writing a Paragraph: 1. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. clarity. which means that all the information of the paragraph is well-organized. This handout will include a brief introduction to the following genres of essay writing: • • • • The Expository Essay The Descriptive Essay The Narrative Essay The Argumentative (Persuasive) Essay Baker. she must be deliberate and interesting. It is the purpose of this handout to help students become familiar and comfortable with the process of essay composition through the introduction of some common essay genres. and senses give details for and further explain the supporting ideas. Therefore.Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading. which leaves the reading with something to think about and may summarize the supporting ideas if the paragraph is long. which includes the topic and a controlling idea. Contributors:Jack Summary: This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. which means that all sentences in the paragraph directly support the topic sentence. numbers. persuasion. have been criticized by some composition scholars.6). This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from her purpose. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. and exposition. o Coherenence. essays are (by nature) concise. and require clarity in purpose and direction. 2. We hope these resources will help. Narration.6 supporting ideas that do a good job supporting your topic sentence. 46 • • • . also known as the modes of discourse. Allen Brizee. conciseness. As is evidenced by this list of attributes. 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). • Optional concluding sentence. which support the topic sentence Reasons. narration. exposition. Exposition. comparison and contrast. logically ordered and easy to follow.
examples. Put your supporting ideas in a logical order. names. 1. Affordable. 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. 5. 1. Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult. and senses that further explain the idea. 3. be able to pay tuition and living expenses 2. numbers. Finally. numbers. B.3. examples. think of reasons. Use the coherence strategies to make your paragraph easy to follow. 7. Supporting idea 3. Concluding sentence: 4. Possibility of scholarships C. Supporting ideas: 1. For each supporting idea. Don't actually write sentences in the outline. Good preparation for your major 1. except for the topic sentence. Topic sentence: A. names. Write your paragraph using sentences. 3. numbers. 2. names. and senses. examples. Think of a concluding sentence. Write your paragraph in topic outline form as follows. Good Location. Supporting idea 1. Good preparation for major We decided to order these supporting ideas according to importance as shown in the outline below. each supporting idea should have about the same amount of reasons. the curriculum that is taught must be 47 . For balance. C. 6. A. 3. Supporting idea 2. Hard curriculum 2. and senses for each supporting idea. we wrote the paragraph using sentences and trying to make the paragraph coherent using different coherence strategies. Affordable 1. Qualified professors B. Good Location 1. The most difficult part is finding a university that prepares you well for your future career. Now we put this information into outline form and added some reasons. 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. 1. Study environment 2. CHOOSING A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY Choosing a college or university can be difficult. 3. In order to get a good job.
there should be possibilities near the school for parttime or summer jobs in your major. It will give you more money and greater quality of lifer. In addition. so you can get some practical work experience.thorough and up-to-date. the professors must be highly qualified and respected in their fields. It will give you more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction 8. It will likely make you more successful. You need to be able to pay the tuition fees and living expenses. The environment should be safe and quiet to facilitate studying. It will give you a better quality of life. You should consider all of these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you. 4. Some institutions might be able to offer you scholarships if you cannot afford the fees. It will be something you can pass on to your children. Note: You don’t need to use all notes A. 5. 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. 6. It will give you the power to change the world. 2. The Value of a University Education _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 48 . It makes you a major contributor to the greatest nation on earth. please write a well-organized paragraph. Another difficulty in choosing a university or college is affordability. 3. It will give you more self-confidence 10. It will give you greater knowledge of the world events 9. PRACTICE 2: By using information. It provides you greater economic strength and security 7. A good location is also very important when choosing a school. Moreover.
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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
is difficult to find. Therefore. Disadvantages 53 . _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 6. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. Firstly. The ads may also tell where to buy the Camry. and this can be extremely expensive. they think about all this information about the Camry. As a result. For example. Disadvantages 1. particularly in the evening. Advantages Advantages of TV Commercials Ads on television give consumers a lot of information. six cylinders. Furthermore. When consumers see these ads. They may say that the Camry runs as well as the Mercedes but the Camry’s price is much cheaper. the fact that there are fewer shops and services often means that there are fewer employment opportunities. a Toyota dealer wants to sell the Toyota Camry. and so on._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 5. because there are fewer people. how much they cost. Then they can decide if it is the car they want. entertainment. In addition. The dealer’s ads will show the new Camry over and over again and tell the consumer that the Camry has power windows. They let consumers know what products look like. one may have to travel long distances to work elsewhere. one has a smaller number of friends. the ads may compare the Camry with the Mercedes. Disadvantages of Living in a Village There are certain drawbacks (disadvantage) to life outside the city. and where they are available.
people use movies in order to change history. There are several programs for preschool children. how to fix things around the house and so on. when you watch a horror movie your psychology is affected by this movie badly. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 54 . there were many kinds of learning programs. They do not have any eating culture. Almost in every American movie you can easily see a beautiful house which has a garden or it is constructed seashore. Furthermore. science fiction movies have full of imagination. They also have interesting characters that they tell stories and sing songs. For that reason most countries life style can be changed by movies. Mostly. For example.Disadvantages of Watching Television w Watching movie can destroy human’s psychology and imagination in some ways. thedre are some programs for adults about how to garden. As a result. you may want to be a monster or a murder. they think whatever they watched it could be in real life. They easily change an event which occurred in the past in the direction of their ideas. like foreign language and math education programs. As we know. When I was a high school student. When people watch this kind of movies. it causes people’s eating habits. television has programs for students. 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. 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. you see that people eat simple food. These programs help students with their studies. Moreover. What is more. how to make delicious dishes. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 9. Advantages Advantages of Watching Television w TV is a good teacher for everyone for several reasons.. television teaches us all kinds of things. Also. In conclusion nowadays. These are well-organized programs that teaches children to count and to say the alphabet. Therefore. most American movies. Another example would be science fiction movies. for example Sesame Street and Tarchın and his friends.
As a result. places sometimes lose their character and traditions. As a result. 55 . Secondly. it makes the locals stay rather than leave to get jobs elsewhere. Disadvantages Disadvantages of tourism There are some disadvantages to tourism. identity and pride. it can be bad for a country. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. For example. Advantages Advantages of Wearing the Same Uniform Wearing uniforms give all students equality. To begin with. Firstly. if there are a lot of tourists in the area. Lastly. if tourism is not controlled properly. sometimes people’s language can suffer. Also. Primarily. In addition. tourism helps people to learn about other cultures and ways of life. we should give enough importance to tourism. uniforms give identity. Therefore. All students do not have the same financial resources and can't afford expensive clothes. uniforms give students equality._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 10. tourism often brings more air. Moreover. water and noise pollution. in many cases the natural beauty of a place can be spoilt. Apart from this. Advantages Advantages of Tourism There are several advantages to tourism. uniforms make it more equal among the rich and poor students. student may want to wear designer clothes which some can afford but others can't. tourism brings a lot of money into a country and it also creates a lot of employment for people of the area. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 11.
others can feel proud that they are his/her classmates. Effect 1. Overall. First of all. the dormitory is usually very safe since almost all dormitories have security guards. the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person's life. Overall. I prefer to live at a dormitory because I do not need to cook and wash my clothes for myself and there will be a lot of people around me. and co-workers strangers. students can "advertise" their school just by wearing their uniforms and be proud of the school they attend. It not only affects the alcoholic. Hence. and confused. uniforms give pride. They can fee[ a sense of identity and pride that they wouldn't be able to feel as well if they didn't wear uniforms. or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. They may also feel more anxious. Students can feel equal to one an other. CAUSE and EFFECT PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. tense. The most important one is that there are always a lot of people around so you won't feel lonely. friends. Moreover. In addition to this. there is usually a laundry room in the basement so you don’t have to go anywhere else to do laundry. you don't have to cook for yourself. students can feel proud together of that accomplishment. Moreover. If a sports team does well. Advantages Advantages to Living at a Dorm I would prefer to live in an apartment for a number of reasons. if a student is a good musician. As a result. Alcoholics may become angry and argumentive. but also their family. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ B. Others can tell which students are from which schools and if someone is not behaving well. others will know which school that person is from. Students can tell who is from their school and who is not according to the uniform. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 56 . Therefore. we should help the number of alcoholics in Turkey and all over the world. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 13. sad. I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. Alcoholism Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the world today.Students feel a sense of belonging when everyone has the same uniform. Furthermore.
My parents gave me a gift if I had 57 . For example. the cause of alcoholism can be biological. Children usually enjoy playing games instead of studying their boring lessons. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. As a child. Cause Alcoholism There are some reasons of using alcohol. First of all. If parents are alcoholics. It can be related to emotional changeability. In some cultures._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. Some of them also want to reduce strong negative feelings. children may take alcohol later on. Moreover. social and cultural factors play important roles in development of alcoholism. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. there is conflict between refusing and accepting the use of alcohol to be a social person. It is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. alcoholics often drink hoping to drown their depressed feelings. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. I experienced this. Parents should also encourage their children to study by buying story books with pictures. The second reason is alcoholism has psychological reasons. so parents have to take the responsibility to monitor their studying and to remind them to do their homework at home after school. it is extremely important that whatever the reasons are we should avoid drinking alcohol. Effects Effects of Parents on Children Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. As a result.
Moreover. So.studied well. and then I was very excited. students may get more money in their job if they have a degree from outside the country. To get a college degree from a university outside their home country may be prestigious for students. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 58 . they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. Effects _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer. In short. they may pay less to study abroad and the programs can be better abroad. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 4. Most students get a good education wherever they go if they are strong-minded to achieve something in their studies. 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. Many people think that students may get a better education outside their home country. Therefore. some students may get scholarships to study abroad. students study abroad for a number of reasons. 5.
forests are beautiful to look at. all over the world. 7. nature is a home for animals. it is a way to escape that life for a few hours. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 59 . Next. Because. Furthermore. and look at all the flowers. watching movie is one of the important activities of people. forests are natural resources that must be saved because they provide so much good for so many people and animals. you can take exciting photographs. First of all. such as forests. they offer an escape. some people go to the movies to see how others live. Movie theaters can be found in almost every town. birds. If there is no theater. animals. animals. There are thousands of species that live in forests and when the forests die. If you are poor. To begin with. movies provide entertainment. rain forests also are habitat of many insects. Finally. walk through. In short. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. Causes Watching Movies There are many reasons why people all over the world enjoy watching movies. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. or clean water. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. Causes World is in Danger Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Movies are popular all over the world. 6. hike in the forest. For that reason. Explain why movies are so popular. or dean water. they die too. Moreover. animals depend on it for survival. As a result. movies are available everywhere. Finally. there is usually a video store with movies. such as forests. they are fun to watch andlet you imagine what other people's lives are like. .
students respect their teachers. 60 . They can even ask questions when the teacher is giving a lesson. however. In contrast. Likewise. Similarly. In conclusion. the way my two teachers teaching method of English is different. 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. Then the counselor sends the students to the assistant principal and so on. In North America. However. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. we are all responsible and had extra work. they also have differences on these same points. COMPARE and CONTRAST PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. students respect teachers. In contrast. They both make sure we know the rules of the language very well. teacher gives us examples first. Turkey. my present if we need a rule we work it out from the examples. When a student is always troublesome in class. students can ask the teacher questions. Similarity and Differences Classroom Behavior Rules There are some similarities and differences in the classroom behavior rules between North America and my country. Next. Both my English teachers control the class well. Both my teachers know their subject well. in my country. We do not look into their eyes. there is the student’s right to speak. If a student makes trouble in the classroom. my old teacher would go to the parents because my school is small and everybody would know each other in the city. when a teacher asks us to speak we look down to show respect. my present teacher sends the troublesome student to a counselor. First. Turkey. without friend) and nobody wants to be unpopular._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. they can only ask questions at the end of the class. there are both similarities and differences in the way students behave toward their teachers in the classroom. My teacher back home would teach us a rule of grammar and then give examples. both my English teachers with their similarities and differences are excellent teachers. when the teacher asks them to speak they must look into the teacher’s eyes to show respect. Although my teachers have these similarities. Also. in my country students have the right to ask questions. In conclusion. This makes the student unpopular (alone. For example. In North America students look up to teachers and respect them.
Because. some attend in order to make more money in the job market. In addition to this. Secondly. some attend for personal achievement. They learn about a particular subject in depth there. Argumentative Importance of University Education People attend university to prepare for a career._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. First of all. employers want employees who have very specific knowledge. personal fulfillment and financial rewards. ARGUMENTATIVE PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. people attend college for many reasons some of which include desire to prepare for a career. Finally. If one has specialized skills. one can make more money in the job market. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 61 . to attend for personal fulfillment and to make more money in the job market. Compare _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. some attend university in order to prepare for a career. In short. Students also may feel a sense of success by learning new things. Adults may attend university just for the joy of learning.
When people watch television. more effective and more honest. but forget that communication is important. you do not get this same kind of experience. you want to ask your boss or a raise. 62 . Although many people watch television in order to relax.. When you talk to a person face-to-face. For example. People spend less time with family and friends and more time with TV this is destructive. Furthermore. or telephone calls. Moreover. In addition to this. such as letters. it is more personal. People do not communicate in the same way as they did before television was invented. Seventy percent of communication is through gestures. You see them.. they do not talk with one another. e-mail. In conclusion. Argumentative Enemy of Communication Communication between friends and family has been destroyed due to television. Television is such a passive activity that family and friends often forget what meaningful communication is. It is more personal. face-to-face communication is usually more effective because you can easily see the other people’s expression and feelings about a topic._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. Argumentative Face to Face Communication I believe that face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. 2. Moreover. Not only family members argue about what to watch on TV but also friends do. 3. Therefore. People also enjoy the relaxation of watching television.then you would wait for another time. Besides. when you write a letter or email. Television often causes arguments. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. children argue with their parents to buy them toys they see advertised on TV. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication. and their feelings. television makes passive. That means you can change your conversation to fit the situation. they give less time to family and friends. their actions. but you can see that he is in a bad mood or he is distracted. television has destroyed communication between family and friends. body language is more effective than spoken language. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. letters and telephone conversations. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. and examples. and honest conversations when they meet face-to-face. details. How do I write them? You should give supporting facts. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Canada has an excellent health care system. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Supporting Details What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence. Finally. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Canada is a desirable place to live. face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. First. What do they do? They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. As a result. Canada is a desirable place to live. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. In short. Canada has an excellent health care system. Most people have more personal.You can't get this with email. Finally. First. Second. Canada has a high standard of education. making up the body of a paragraph. effective. Canada has a high standard of education. As a result. 63 . Second.
you write about the similarities and differences between two or more people. Example: Write a paragraph comparing the weather in some cities in Turkey. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. The following words can help you to write a good compare and contrast paragraph: Helper Words: SIMILARITIES is similar to both also too as well DIFFERENCES On the other hand however but in contrast differs from while unlike to SIMILARITIES is similar Example: Spring weather in Trabzon is similar to spring weather in Rize. Sinop has rainy spring season. HELPER WORDS COMPARE AND CONTRAST PARAGRAPH In a compare and contrast paragraph.Conclusion Sentence What is the closing sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. too Example: Artvin has a rainy spring season. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. How do I write one? Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words. Canada has an excellent health care system. both Example: Both Trabzon and Rize have rain in the spring. or ideas. Finally. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. Canada is a desirable place to live. First. 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. too. Second. As a result. 64 well . places. things. as Example: As well. Canada has a high standard of education. also Example: Samsun also has a rainy spring season. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph.
who are very eager to purchase and enjoy products from countries around the world. and mangoes (fruit) from the Philippines. Germany. the protein staples in Japan has been fish products. __________ they enjoy fruit. I. A change is that sexist titles of many occupations have been neutralized. however Example: However. Use each only once. and Thailand have been benefiting from the changing diet of the Japanese consumer. are eating Western-style breakfasts. like beer drinks and "light" wines imported from England. milk. are quite useful. 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. both of the nonalcohol or low alcohol varieties. New words have been added. but Erzurum has a cold one. and an airline stewardess is now a flight attendant. Switzerland. mainly because they are very selective and will only purchase high-quality products. winter is much colder in Van. The lack of a clear neutral pronoun can lead to awkward sentence construction. _______in the last decade or so. It will certainly increase international trade. while Example: While Ankara has a mild winter. Taiwan. Traditionally. In fact. 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. the Japanese have been consuming more beef. 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. sexist. annual per capita consumption is expected to be about seven kilos in the next decade. which will definitely be advantageous to many countries of the world.. Fill in each blank with an appropriate transition signal from the list provided. Then use correct punctuation. and male chauvinist have become common during the past thirty-five years or so. __________Japan is Importing eels (fish) from Taiwan.________ young people. a waiter/waitress is now a waitperson. and brantype cereals imported from the United States. The greatest access into the Japanese market has been by the food Industry. ____________the Japanese trend toward internationalization should become even greater as we approach the twenty-first century. H. Another new word is the title Ms. The words feminist. In time. Singapore. Erzurum has a cold winter. and Australia. differs from Example: Erzurum differs from Van by having a cold winter. koku-saika. Erzurum has a cold winter. to address a woman when you don't know if she is married. 65 . especially women who are aware of the Importance of health and fitness. which is defined as "internationalization. A chairman is now a chairperson (or sometimes simply chair). Some of the new words such as Ms. __________ they have acquired a taste for imported beverages. but Example: Ankara has a mild winter. A mailman is now a mail carrier. the United States. English pronouns may also change as a result of women's desire for equality. in contrast to Example: In contrast to Ankara. Lately ______the consumer market has been changing. which is often used in place of both Miss and Mrs. winter is much colder in Erzurum.DIFFERENCES on the other hand Example: On the other hand." is influencing young Japanese consumers. and a high school or college freshman is now a first-year student. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. you can use Ms. asparagus (vegetable) from Thailand. Not only Western countries but also Asian nations __________South Korea.
frost-resistant strawberries. Furthermore the ability to clone human beings is a possibility that frightens many people. and more productive cows. Example: Write a paragraph discussing two types of energy resources. Scientists are now able to create new forms of life in the laboratory due to the development of gene splicing. 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. a researcher at George Washington University Medical Center cloned human embryos' by splitting single embryos into twins and triplets. 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. These embryos did not develop into babies but it is possible that they could do so in the future. scientists have now developed a way to manufacture it inexpensively in the laboratory. Because human embryos can be frozen and used at a later date. Some people feel that it could have terrible consequences. 66 kind divided of into . years later. to use a cloned. In 1993. Genetic engineers have created a new tomato that doesn't spoil quickly. Another beneficial application of gene splicing is in agriculture. you group things or ideas into specific categories. it could be possible for parents to have a child and then. For example it is very expensive to obtain insulin from natural sources.B-Circle all of the transition signals in the following paragraphs and punctuate the transition signals if necessary Genetic Engineering Genetic research has produced both exciting and frightening possibilities. be Energy resources can be divided into two types. On the one hand the ability to create life in the laboratory could greatly benefit humankind. On the other hand not everyone is positive about gene-splicing technology. flavorless tomatoes in grocery. frozen embryo to give birth to its identical twin. In addition genetic engineers have created larger fish. CLASSIFICATION PARAGRAPH When writing a classification paragraph. A laboratory accident for example might cause an epidemic of an unknown disease that could wipe out humanity. but through genetic research.
is a part Coal is a part of the category of non-renewable resources. The following words can help you to write a good choice paragraph: Helper Words: Point of View Personal Opinion in my opinion like/dislike belief hope idea feel understanding I think that I consider I believe it seems to me I prefer POINT OF VIEW in my In my opinion. you need to choose which object. is associated Coal is associated with other non-renewable resources. idea. CHOICE / OPINION PARAGRAPH In a paragraph where you have to make a choice. Example: Write a paragraph stating whether you would prefer to play basketball or football. 67 opinion . type of under to of into with to with Coal falls under the category of non-renewable resources.is falls a Coal is a type of non-renewable resource. is related Coal is related to other non-renewable resources. or action that you prefer. you will need to give your opinion on a choice of actions or events. Often. belongs Coal belongs to the category of non-renewable resources. fits Coal fits into the category of non-renewable resources. basketball is more fun than football. is grouped Coal is grouped with non-renewable resources.
this order is based on time. idea My idea is that basketball is more fun than football. second. I I believe basketball is more exciting than lacrosse. feel I feel that basketball is my favorite sport. The following words can help you to write a good sequence paragraph. Second. Usually. I I prefer basketball over football. your party must have a majority of seats. you are writing to describe a series of events or a process in some sort of order. I think I think that I would prefer to play basketball and not football. etc. third. Helper Words: ORDER TIME first. First. that consider believe me prefer SEQUENCE PARAGRAPH In a sequencing paragraph. it seems to It seems to me that basketball is more exciting than football. hope I hope that I can play basketball in the future. Example: Write a paragraph outlining how a person becomes the prime minister. etc.belief My belief is that basketball is more fun than football. understanding My understanding is that basketball is more fun than football. PERSONAL OPINIONS like/dislike I like the sport of basketball because it is fast and exciting. you need to win a seat in the House of Commons. second. 68 . you need to become a leader of a political party. Third. recently in the beginning previously before afterwards then when after after finally at last subsequently ORDER first. third. I I consider basketball to be more exciting than football.
Previously. you will be asked to explore causes and effects of certain events. Very often in social studies class. afterwards Example: She won the party leadership last year. Before becoming the prime minister. she worked as a lawyer in Toronto. beginning then Then. TIME recently She was recently elected prime minister. you can call yourself the prime minister. you must make sure you have a majority of seats in the House of Commons. . The following words can help you to write a good explanation paragraph: Helper Words: Cause because since as a result of is due to Effect therefore thus consequently hence it follows that if . she was still working as a lawyer. subsequently Subsequently. you need to explain how or why something happens. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. finally Finally. when Example: When she won the party leadership. you need to become the leader of a political party. Example: Write a paragraph explaining why so many Europeans moved to Canada during the nineteenth century. you can call yourself the prime minister. after all these steps. you need to become a leader of a political party. at Example: At last. then last 69 . you must win a seat in the House of Commons. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. EXPLANATION PARAGRAPH In an explanation paragraph. after After winning a seat in the House of Commons. after Example: After winning a seat in the House of Commons. she won the election. . previously She is the new prime minister.in before the In the beginning. Afterwards.
place. Therefore. It follows that many people moved to Canada. you are writing about what a person. is due to / was due Example: The large influx of people to Canada was due to economic pressures in Europe. many people moved to Canada for a better life. Thus. of to EFFECT therefore Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. The following words can help you to write a good description paragraph: Helper Words: PROPERTIES MEASUREMENT ANALOGY LOCATION size length is like in colour width resembles above shape mass/weight below purpose speed beside 70 . hence Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. thus Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. or thing is like.. then Example: If living conditions were better in Europe. Sometimes. many people moved to Canada for a better life. since Example: Since living conditions in Europe were terrible. consequently Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. you may describe where a place is located.. many people moved to Canada. many people moved to Canada.CAUSE because Example: People moved to Canada from Europe during the nineteenth century because they had poor living conditions in Europe. many people moved to Canada. if . Describe where Canada's industry is located. Examples: Write a paragraph describing what a polar bear looks like. as a result People moved to Canada from Europe as a result of poor living conditions in Europe. then fewer people would have moved to Canada DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH In a description paragraph. it follows that Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. Hence. Consequently.
near north/east/south/west PROPERTIES size Example: Polar bears are big in size. In the paragraph. north / east / south Example: Ontario is west of Quebec. beside Example: Quebec is located beside Ontario. ideas. you will state your evaluation or recommendation and then support it by referring to your criteria. near Example: Many companies are located near Toronto. resembles Example: A polar bear resembles other bears in shape. width Example: The width of a polar bear's head is about 50 cm. ANALOGY is like Example: A polar bear is like other bears in shape. You need to make your evaluation based on certain criteria that you develop. shape Example: Polar bears have a special shape. MEASUREMENT length Example: The length of a polar bear's claws is 20 cm. you make judgments about people. / west EVALUATION PARAGRAPH In an evaluation paragraph. and possible actions. Example: Write a paragraph evaluating whether pesticides should be used on farms. purpose Example: The purpose of the polar bear's fur is to keep it warm. 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. below Example: Most of Ontario is below Hudson Bay. speed Example: Polar bears can swim at a speed of 40 km per hour. mass / weight Example: Polar bears weigh up to 650 kg. colour Example: Polar bears are usually white in colour. LOCATION in Example: Most of Canada's manufacturing is located in Ontario and Quebec.
moral / immoral right / wrong important / trivial advise argue CRITERIA good / Example: The use of pesticides such as DDT is bad for the environment. wrong trivial RECOMMENDATION suggest Example: I suggest that pesticides should not be used to control pests. recommend Example: I recommend that pesticides should not be used because they are harmful to the environment.uottawa. but. Ann Hogue. and however. SOURCE: 1. http://www. 1980.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic. bad incorrect moral / immoral Example: The use of pesticides to control pests is immoral because it harms the environment. The connection between sentences in a paragraph can be shown in several ways. http://www. but principally by the use of transitional words and phrases. important / Example: The issue of pesticides is an important one because it affects the environment. such as for instance. Longman. or explanatory expressions. 72 . http://archive. right / Example: It is wrong to use pesticides because they harm the environment.com/inner/about_us.htm 4.htm 3. Alice Oshima.html 2. Transitional words and phrases may be conjunctions. and so on. 5.paragraphorganizer. such as and.1september. Writing Academic English. First Steps in Academic Writing. 1995. argue Example: I would argue that pesticides should not be used because they harm the environment. advise Example: I would advise farmers not to use pesticides if possible.ru/eng/1999/eng35-2. Connections Between Sentences A good paragraph has unity: All the sentences have a relationship to one another and to the main idea. on the other hand. correct / Example: The belief that pesticides must be used is incorrect. Longman. Ann Hogue.
or a place associated with thinking. a second factor. Being sedentary seems to inspire others. the following paragraph: Although the interpretation of traffic signals may seem highly standardized. and otherwise may be used to emphasize comparison or contrast. Some people need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully. 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. The rest of the sentences provide various illustrations of this argument.) or subject by subject (X is big and purple. of major concern. These words are often referred to as logical connectives because they make clear not only the order but also the meaning of the writing. Transitional expressions such as equally. and therefore. comparison and contrast. however. for example. furthermore. They give directions. clear paragraphs. What about the kitchen? The bedroom? In fact. activities. Consider.Transitional words and phrases act as signals. Words particularly suited to writing about causes and effects are as a result. equally important. in common. The details provide the concrete examples which your reader will use to evaluate the credibility of your 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. despite. It must have a single focus and it must contain no irrelevant facts. just as. X and Y are both purple. and most important. In this sense. The topic sentence makes a general claim: that school work tends not to be associated only with school. In order to determine whether a paragraph is well developed or not. transitional words and phrases also act to hold sentences together. while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed. activities. or expanding the topic sentence. because. Look at the following paragraph (you may have encountered it before): Work tends to be associated with non-work-specific environments. similarly." enumerated in the topic sentence. Every sentence must contribute to the paragraph by explaining. They are organised around the three categories. Finally. any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space. on the other hand. Some need a less flexible schedule than others. Y is little. some students do their best work before the sun rises. the lab or the library. You may choose to compare either point by point (X is big. a flashing red traffic light instructs drivers to careen even more wildly through intersections heavily populated 73 . many students would suggest the classroom. finally. close observation reveals regional variations across this country. This section will discuss three of the most common types of paragraph structure: development by detail. 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. distinguishing the East Coast from Central Canada and the West as surely as dominant dialects or political inclinations.). and schedules. Order of importance may be emphasized with transitional words and expressions such as first. They tell where the paragraph is going. consequently. 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. and schedules. and process. Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs A paragraph is unified when every sentence develops the point made in the topic sentence. least important. exemplifying. Logical Connectives Additionally. achieving unity. In Montreal. but not everything. Y is small and purple. Although most classes are scheduled between 8:30 and 22:00. it will suggest that most paragraphs are built of a combination of development strategies. "environment. while others cannot produce anything without much dust and heat. Some students work quickly and efficiently. If asked what space is reserved for learning. some after it sets. Each organizational pattern has its own logical connectives.
but not tense or rigid. affection. People in these areas have in common the fact that they all drive. The forefinger supports and steadies the grip but supplies its own firmness against the thumb. Review: Paragraph Development Although most paragraphs contain a combination of development techniques. absolutely firm and solid. traffic lights (along with painted lines and posted speed limits) do not apply to tractors. all terrain vehicles. or pickup trucks. for example. Bob 74 . point by point. Process description often follows a chronological sequence: The first point to establish is the grip of the hand on the rod. which together account for most vehicles on the road. All four fingers are curved around the handle." 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. A process analysis might include a brief history of the process in question. It is important to note that the paragraph above considers only one aspect of driving (behaviour at traffic lights). womanish means "unsuitable to a man or to a strong character of either sex. Many paragraphs include lists of examples: The broad range of positive characteristics used to define males could be used to define females too.with pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. and in Calgary. you would probably need more than one paragraph. and move on to provide detailed descriptions of the subjects being compared. Those of you in the sciences will recognise it as the formula followed in the "method" section of a lab experiment. "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. were any observant Canadian dropped from an alien space vessel at an unspecified intersection anywhere in this vast land. and always removes his wristwatch. According to this dictionary. and domesticity or on the other hand fickleness. and folly. comparison and contrast. which should be along the upper side of the handle and somewhere near the top of the grip. with little abstraction. he or she could almost certainly orient him-orherself according to the surrounding traffic patterns. Paragraph Development by Process Paragraph development by process involves a straightforward step-by-step description. My secretary. no negative attributes detract from the "courage. which type of development best describes the following paragraphs: detail. never serves aces at me on the tennis court. in Montreal. near the heel of the hand. This paragraph compares traffic patterns in three areas of Canada." Among the "qualities considered distinctive of manhood" listed in the entry for man. or combination? 1. the little finger. incorrigibly English. In fact. but they are not. strength. If you wanted to consider two or more aspects. in order to make a point about how attitudes in various places inform behaviour. It may begin with a brief comparison." and this is exactly what he does. superficiality. This should be about half-way up the cork handle. she says. At its entry for woman Webster's Third provides a list of "qualities considered distinctive of womanhood": "Gentleness. they drive differently according to the area in which they live. "Captain Horatio Hornblower. Paragraph Development by Combination Very often. finally. 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." Among the few true gentlemen extant. It contrasts the behaviour of drivers in the Maritimes. says a true gentleman "knows instinctively when I prefer to light my own cigarette. process. (from Roderick HaigBrown. a single paragraph will contain development by a combination of methods. In startling contrast. third finger and middle finger contributing most of the firmness by pressing the cork solidly into the fleshy part of the palm. in contrast. and vigor" the definers associate with males. In my home town in New Brunswick.
Development by Process 4. in his day. Development by Process 75 . The wasp crawls under it and walks over it without evoking any hostile response. they regard me warily. and of this they were both inclined to boast. Development by Detail 2. "What is a Gentleman") 1. gloves for every fielder -. Development by Process 4. so is Canada to the United States. Development by Detail 2. It also gave them both a heritage of spectacular beauty uncrowded by cities and towns. but I will tell today's softball players that -with their fancy uniforms. which left them on the subsistence level as far as good farmland was considered. The tarantula shows an amazing tolerance to this exploration. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. and the glorious old days when the only football in the Maritimes was English rugger. batters' helmets. manicured diamonds. Combination of Development Methods 2. Am I one of those geezers who's forever jawing about the fact that. as if it were on stilts. guys to announce who's at bat over public address systems and. Development by Process 4. When I was young I often heard people say. with the rich farmlands and cities of England just below her. (from Hugh MacLennan. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. when hockey was an outdoor art rather than indoor mayhem and at decent yacht clubs. As Scotland is the hard northern cap to the British island. 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. To identify the species the wasp apparently must explore the spider with her antennae. (from Harry Bruce. "The Wasp and the Spider") 1. Development by Detail 2. Combination of Development Methods 4. men were gentlemen and women were persona non grata? No." Only recently did it occur to me that it might be worthwhile considering the extent to which this is true. It may stand this way for several minutes. The molestation is so great and so persistent that the tarantula often rises on all eight legs.the game they play is more tarted-up and sissy than the one I knew. "The Softball was Always Hard") 1. Both countries were gouged by the retreating glaciers. Combination of Development Methods 3. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. "Canada is the Scotland of North America. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. When I tell young softball players I played the game bare-handed. (from Alexander Petrunkevitch. Richard Burton. "Scotland's Fate. Joe Namath and Front Page Tom don't. dugouts." (from Allan Fotheringham. Canada's Lesson" [edited]) 1. Development by Detail 2. above all.
. Commas should be placed before and after a non-essential element in the middle of a sentence 4. Commas cause the reader to pause and better understand the elements that make up the sentence. word. commas are necessary for others to understand what we have said. use a comma to follow conventions of naming. use a comma with a coordinating conjunction to separate two independent clauses 3. etc. use a comma after an opening clause.” It is easy to know when someone has finished a sentence: we see a period there. 1. Some special situations for comma use are discussed toward the end of this module. dates. Lessons will cover rules for comma use and common comma mistakes. It is not as easy to know where a writer’s thoughts are going inside a sentence. 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. Although you shouldn’t use a comma unless you know a rule for it.4. or phrase 5. In this module you will learn how to use commas correctly. In most situations. five general rules for comma use will help students use commas correctly. 2. to “get it. use a comma to separate items in a series. citing sources. use a comma to set-off non-essential elements such as a phrase or clause. 76 .. Quick Comma Rules. presenting addresses.
Writ She left her beautiful black leather handbag on the bus. infinitive. 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. yet. strong punctuation: a examples: semi-colon. and mopping the floor are the This chores I hate most. or dependent clause is non-essential information. To signal the reader that a word. Doing the dishes. she protected clauses her knee with a strong brace during the tennis match. and I will be staying home flipping burgers and going to school. A series of two or more clauses items should be separated by commas. however. then they are unlike items and should not be separated by commas. washing the clothes. the error is a "comma splice" (for more detail. the error is a "fused sentence. The series may be a series of adjectives describing independent something. and brussels sprouts—any coordinating vegetable that's green. or a series of adjective. However. but this time we will bring mosquito repellant. nor. green beans. a series of things to pick up at the market. Maya is going to travel throughout Southeast Asia for a year. appetizing fast food is difficult. After graduation. conjunction. if the sentence makes sense.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. that the clause could stand on Note: Sometimes a series seems to be "like" when it is not. or a comma and a Felix dislikes spinach. the sentence will be a "run-on sentence": if no punctuation is included between independent clauses. and to vary the rhythm in the sound of their sentences. if between ideas not. And the coordinating conjunctions—and. For example. then the items are like. complete sentence. examples: Felix does not like spinach. ers join Haunted by the memory of last year's painful knee surgery. for. phrase. broccoli. a comma should not be used between the items. independent Many grammarians would argue in this situation. MLA format rules do require a comma together need before the last item in a series of three or more elements. or prepositional phrases. leaving out the last clauses joined comma is acceptable. We will be going to the mountains again this summer. but not really essential to understanding the basic assertion." if the coordinating conjunction is provided and the comma is omitted. Without adequate punctuation. writers set these elements off 77 . punctuation tells the reader Finding healthy. there is some debate Two or more about whether the last item in a list of three items should take a comma. 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. nor does he like broccoli. explore the module on run-on sentences). 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. In this its own as a situation.
people read books for fun. the speaker must have only one sister—my sister. the problem is much bigger than we imagined. however. Jake brought his best friends from school. Note: In the last example above. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. whose name. However. John and Alex. examples: She is. Referring to what others have said shows that you are participating in an ongoing conversation about a topic. examples: As you can see. only the comma separating the phrase from the rest of the sentence is needed. John and Alex. As you can probably tell. Maria. pretty nervous about public speaking. before television. Once upon a time. 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. My sister. construction of the new highschool will take an additional six months. before computers. Because we have had so much rain this year.by commas before and after the addition. is fun to hang out with. 78 . for clauses used as the subject of a sentence. In the second sentence. by the way. is Maria. the names of Jake's friends are non-essential information: Jake has only two best friends. mild exclamations or interjections: Hey. because the name of the sister is non-essential information. is pretty fun to hang out with. as you can probably tell. If the phrase occurs at the beginning or end of the sentence. because the name of the sister is included as necessary to the meaning of the sentence. a comma is typically necessary to signal the reader as to when the introductory phrase or clause is complete. In the first sentence. Jake brought his best friends from school. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. she is pretty nervous about public speaking. The information is thus enclosed by commas. the names should not be set off from the sentence. Introductory words: Sometimes a sentence begins with a single word that needs to be set off from the rest of the sentence. or phrase Introductory Clauses: When beginning a sentence with an introductory clause (as in this sentence). Rule 4: use a comma after an opening clause. word. Watch out. if the names are essential to identifying the person. one should never separate a subject from the verb of the sentence: example: What she has always wanted is now within her reach. the speaker could have more than one sister—this particular sister is fun to hang out with. I thought you were going to study tonight instead of come with us to the movies.
and after the year before continuing with the sentence: The twins were born in June. and quotations have risen up over time. Troublesome they may be. frankly. . Note: Grammarians disagree about the word "hopefully" used as a sentence adverb. Most hate this construction. Ebert & Roeper. one month before my 30th birthday. furthermore. Without a doubt. examples: To help him understand how an internal combustion engine works.Ok. for most of my life. In San Francisco one finds plenty of good restaurants. however. and introductory appositive phrases that are essential to the sentence should never be separated from the subject by a comma. Use commas to surround titles or degrees: 79 . At the restaurant we all ordered burgers and fries. nevertheless. and unable to host his television program. Never use a sentence adverb to connect two independent clauses unless you use a semi-colon before the sentence adverb. I don't want pineapple on my pizza. and mercifully. The acclaimed critic Roger Ebert has been ill recently. Rule 5: use a comma to follow conventions What follows reads a bit like a laundry list of comma use rules. do you want another cup of coffee? a sentence adverb: these are special transition words that always take a comma. . . she is the nicest person I have ever met. citations. or "I am hoping. . . she has the flu and will have to skip the concert. I drew a diagram. or if they occur in the middle of a sentence. . names. Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year. they are enclosed by commas. and after the state before continuing with the rest of the sentence: I have lived in San Francisco. No. . however. sadly." Introductory Phrases: Introductory phrases add information to the sentence and create interest in and anticipation for the information to follow. California. . but these conventions allow us to quickly share and process information. but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how we look at it). then show me how you do it. I would love a new plasma television. 1979. arguing that it is ambiguous—the writer could mean a hopeful prediction. Use a comma to separate a city from a state. many conventions for the presentation of dates. Sadly. All phrases should be set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma with two exceptions: short prepositional phrases do not need a comma unless it is necessary for clarity. Examples of sentence adverbs include moreover. I cannot afford one. times. . a name in a direct address: Miguel.
Huck says. wrong: I am not going to work today. 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. Take them all around. corrected: I told my boss that I was sick and that I would not be coming to work. a colon should be used instead. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft." or "As Huck puts it. after an independent clause.. When introducing a quote with a short introductory phrase like "He said. they're a mighty ornery lot. and started screaming about the grade on her essay. and an occasional well-placed comma to create voice." "Twain argues. and you got to make allowances. corrected: I am not going to work today because I am sick. corrected: To err is human. Don't sprinkle commas throughout your writing to try and imitate a speaking voice. Rely instead on language and logic. Take a look at a parody of this kind of comma abuse by blogger fandomcommahate 80 . Use a comma to emphasize a shift or to cause the reader to pause before an important contrast or point of emphasis. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery. because I am sick. . wrong: To err. received his doctoral from Amherst College a year before taking a teaching job at Yale. is human." is wildly funny. . He was angry. but a raft don't. "All I say is. Don't place a comma between two sentence verbs or verb phrases.D. Twain's short story "Hunting the Deceitful Turkey. Commas used with quotations are a bit tricky. not sad. Don't use a comma to separate the subject from the verb." the phrase should be set off from the quote by a comma. Ph.Professor Pete McSeed. corrected: She walked out of the room and started screaming about the grade on her essay. Don't place a comma between two nouns. You are going to make the cake for the party. . noun phrases." 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. and that I would not be coming to work. . kings is kings. or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object. wrong: She walked out of the room. However. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. wrong: I told my boss that I was sick. after all. Tears were streaming down her face because she was happy. Don't put a comma after the main clause when a dependent clause follows it. It's the way they're raised. . . furious even." 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.
81 . it must be offset and indented (the way the examples on this page are offset and indented). love comma abuse. "And that's what I'm talking about!" Indirect quote: After she finished her chocolate sundae. the people. Quotes within the quote still take punctuation marks. however. do not use quotation marks with an offset quote as the offsetting substitutes for the punctuation. students are often confused about when to use single or a double quote. hate. periods. who. them. and you may well be driving your English instructor up the wall if your commas are out of place. whether or not it is Ok to use quotes to identify a new term. who hate comma abuse. though it is important to provide a citation letting the reader know the source of the information. the quote should be double-spaced (in MLA format. double-spacing is maintained throughout the essay). students don't usually sit down and read about how to use quotation marks properly. the people. the people. hate. Writers use quotation marks to signal the reader that the text within opeining and closing quotes is not the writer's original material. Block Quotes: When the quoted material is longer than four lines of your own text. The rules governing the use of quotation marks are specific. the comma. 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. If you are writing an essay in MLA format. quotation marks are not used. In an indirect quotation. there are rules that govern the placement of other punctuation with quotation marks. love. for being here! In this module. she said that she wanted another one. Like. the perpetrators. the people. hate. Direct quote: After finishing the entire sundae. who. and question marks when they finish with a quote and move back to their own writing. and how to use quotation marks with direct quotes. when the writer paraphrases another person's words. however. love them. and the. however. fandoms. and hate. Also? Everyone else.I. comma abuse. However. how to use quotation marks to express irony. she said. Using Other Punctuation With Quotation Marks: Here is where things get tricky: students often just guess where to put commas. seriously. So good for you. Quotes & Quotation Marks Quotation marks are probably the most incorrectly used element of punctuation. which spawn them. who.
where do I begin?" (Dr. however. 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. Then he made School Boards"? When omitting words in a quotation. . for example. One exception would be when you begin a sentence with a quotation: here you would capitalize the first letter of the sentence." A question mark or exclamation point goes inside the closing quote if the quote is a question or exclamation. use ellipses (three periods with a space between each period. What is the context for Twain's comment. "Love is like a rose: it blooms and grows and creates joy. The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. You do not need to change a letter to or from a capital to fit it into the structure of your sentence. She asks his mother to let her go alone to the lake to join her friends. . to choose her own clothes. if the sentence itself is a question or exclamation. but it also has thorns. Scientist Gail Monroe said. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. for example. Brackets: Brackets are used within a quote when you need to change a word. If the lead in is an independent clause." A Quote Within a Quote: 82 . If the omitted material is after a complete sentence. Brackets are also used to indicate a single word omission. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) Capital letters: Basically. the author of the essay on the Novato Train Station might employ a statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark or exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. . ." said Donna. and to walk to school rather than ride with her dad.Commas and periods after a quotation go INSIDE the closing quote: "I was so tired that I fell asleep in the library. stick with the actual text of the quoted material. Mark Twain once said. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. "The future of stem cell research [see definition] is in doubt. This was for practice. (Edwin Bryant." For example. She argues that "nobody understands [her]" to anyone who will listen. keep the period then add the ellipses: Walker . or the addition of words to clarify meaning: In "Like a Fox. "In the first place God made idiots. . . place the punctuation outside the closing quote. Very well. and a space before beginning the ellipses). . use a colon: An analogy helps explain something complex by way of comparison with something that is easier to understand. "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits." A comma should be used before a quote begins to separate a lead-in phrase from the quotation." the 10-year-old protoganist repeatedly tries to break away from her parents and childhood. . when you need to make the quote fit the grammatical structure of your own sentence.
Slang: Quotation marks may be used around a word to indicate that a word is a slang term. Often it is better to rely on the logic of the sentence to indicate the irony. thereafter. but my guess is that she wasn't being kind." comes from the Old English word for "wimple. Ontario) You must be "21" to enter this bar! (a fan's local bar) "Parents" No candy sold on this aisle. I handed over the amount to him." which refers to the cloth women wrapped around their heads in medieval times. Evil in the Austin Powers movies uses air quotes. but incorrectly. Using quotes to express irony is tricky." (Weiner World Restaurant. I took a seat and he put my luggage on the overhead rack. quotation marks were used around words and phrases meant to be read as words or terms rather than for their content. For example. She called me a "garden tool"." Dr. Those telephone solicitors are so kind and thoughtful to call during dinner time. In his book Free From School. 'How much?' I asked. but people do it all the time. unitalicized text." and so does Joey in a classic episode of Friends (click here to see this bit on YouTube). Today. however. use single quotation marks to enclose the internal quote and distinguish it from the primary quote. '25 rupees. quotes can be construed as a sign of the author's laziness or inability to indicate irony in language. 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. Mississippi) Help Wanted. The English word wimp. one is calling attention to the fact that the term is slang. Neither of the sentences below needs quotation marks to make the irony clear because the logic reveals the irony. he is sometimes taken advantage of by strangers. Pittsburgh. PA) "Fresh" Fish (Byward Market.' he replied. (Weis Supermarket.' he demanded. 'Ticket. Quotation Marks for Terms Before computers took the place of typewriters. 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. Rahul Alvarez takes a year off from school to pursue an education of his own design. Emphasis: Most grammarians will tell you that using quotes to denote emphasis is incorrect. around familiar terms like "laser. PA) It is probably best to avoid using quotes for emphasis in college writing.When quoting text that itself includes a quote." (Rahul Alvarez. At sixteen. Ottawa. as in "I just 'love' waking up at 6:00 am to catch a plane. In this case. 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. 83 . the terms should appear as regular. I just love telephone solicitors. I had no idea what she meant. Must have cash register experience and be "willing to work. which means "to be timid or cowardly. New terms should be placed in italics the first time they appear. the use of italics is preferred.
" correct incorrect 2. or a song or poem. The Writer. • • • The words of each speaker need to be enclosed in quotes In quotes that go on for more than a paragraph. Bennet. the writer must begin a new line. “for Mrs.Quotation Marks and Titles Quotation marks are used to set off the titles of short works." correct incorrect 4. and she told me all about it. 1. an article in a magazine. 1862) correct incorrect 3. full-length plays. “Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently." 84 . such as an episode of a TV series. "pay me one hundred dollars. He advised me by letter that he would.” This was invitation enough. then include the closing quote. magazines and newspapers.” returned she. Bennet made no answer. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West.” Mr. Take a look at this dialogue from Jane Austen's novel." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. Bennet replied that he had not. but not at the end of the paragraph until you reach the end of the quote. (Robert Luce. Works of art are also italicized. Long has just been here." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. A short work is a work within a work. italics (or an underline. 2007. use a quote at the beginning. films.” said his lady to him one day. Longer works include books. She has long been interested in the "woman question. when italics are not available) are used to identify longer works. full-length records (or cds). This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr. and I have no objection to hearing it. “You want to tell me. "The Present Hour. Pride and Prejudice: “My dear Mr. Quotation Marks in Dialogue There are a few important rules for using quotations marks in dialogue. “But it is. 2007. TV series. Every time a new speaker talks. on the first day of June. a chapter in a book.
"What's up. I just love surprise quizzes. correct incorrect 10. said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. Sauer writes. ." by Pierce F. In some manner. Lewis." correct incorrect 7." 11. Geography is a science of observation.correct incorrect 5. . She said." correct incorrect 8. She ought to know. 392-393). She said. He correct incorrect 6. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. expression. The correct incorrect 9. correct incorrect Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph." "She ought to know. I just "love" surprise quizzes." 1988) 85 . the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. dude?" makes me crazy. .
86 . yes indeed. Mr. Help me find my hat. Footsteps. he doesn't smile. Mr. No. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. His eyes tilt more. Oh. Haha. (from "A Christmas Memory. they've gone to warmer country. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. Buddy. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. We've thirty cakes to bake. Haha. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. a whispery voice at best: If you please. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making fruitcakes. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. The door opens. And there were no birds singing." by Truman Capote. too.12. It's Mr. 1966) 13. I knew it before I got out of bed. 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. she says. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. Cooking. Our hearts overturn. he does have scars.
" Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5.(from "A Christmas Memory." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. 2007. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West." "She ought to know." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. She said. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. He said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. "pay me one hundred dollars. 2007." by Truman Capote. The expression." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 2. "What's up. on the first day of June. The Writer. She ought to know. (Robert Luce." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6. 1862) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 3. He advised me by letter that he would. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 87 ." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. She said. 1966) Correction 1. dude?" makes me crazy. She has long been interested in the "woman question. "The Present Hour.
in computer code. and in emoticons : ). stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. he does have scars. they've gone to warmer country. 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. No. 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. 392-393). (from "A Christmas Memory. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. 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. In some manner. Geography is a science of observation. And there were no birds singing. I just love surprise quizzes. . the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. she says. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 10. and have been since before the 17th century. The door opens. In this module students will learn these rules. . . Buddy." 1988) Answer given: 12. by Haha. In the English language. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. as well as how to use colons and semicolons effectively in their writing." Mr. We've thirty cakes to bake." by Truman Capote. The rules governing semicolon and colon use in English writing are quite specific. His eyes tilt more. Help me find my hat. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making Christmas fruitcakes. 1966) Answer given: 13. Objectives: • learn to use semicolons and colons between independent clauses 88 . Our hearts overturn. Memory. Truman Cooking. Capote. Mr. Sauer writes. These symbols really get around. a whispery voice at best: If you please. they are also important symbols. I knew it before I got out of bed.9." by Pierce F. Haha. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. Lewis. It's Mr. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. I just "love" surprise quizzes. Footsteps. Oh. 11. yes indeed. he doesn't smile. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey.—Mark Twain Did you know that in Greek. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. too.
89 . but not as strong as a period. however." "therefore. instead. exactly the opposite. Writers often use a semi-colon when they want to state an idea in more specific terms. For example. For example. sometimes.. .. moreover.• • • 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.sometimes. what is more to indicate contrast or concession: however. Using a quote also shows that you are informed. In this case. It is not acceptable to connect a phrase to a clause with a semicolon.. Sentence adverbs are transition words rather than conjunctions. rather. she made the cannolis herself! Below is a list of words typically used as sentence adverbs: to indicate time: then.. for one thing . at one moment. afterward. sometimes she wakes up ready to bite my head off. partly.. when the items themselves require commas. and none of my good friends is here. nobody is talking. still. henceforth. who you quote says something about your point of view —great minds think alike. semicolons are used to separate the items in the series. however.. soon." "at least. then. hence.. accordingly.for another (thing).partly. Usually she wakes up with a smile on her face. A semicolon is stronger separation than a comma + coordinating conjunction. moreover. at least not to me. nevertheless. also. furthermore.then to indicate addition: likewise. the sentence must be an independent clause. later. Semi-Colon Use With Commas in a List Typically. so to speak. what each comma in the list is being used for can be unclear. For example." and "even so" to connect two sentences.. . Maria made a big Italian dinner for the family. Semicolon with Sentence Adverbs: A semi-colon (or a period) should also be used with sentence adverbs such as "however. besides. therefore.. as a result to indicate condition: otherwise Note: On either side of the semicolon. thus.at the next. at least to indicate a result: consequently. in addition. meanwhile. now.. on the contrary. This party is really boring: the music is terrible. one the one hand. then too. on the other hand. and so they cannot be used to connect clauses." "moreover. items in a list are separated by commas.
Chicago. green and red peppers. onions." It is not acceptable to use a colon after an incomplete sentence to begin a list. however. The sentence begins with an independent clause. the independent clause lacks a direct object. In the first version. "The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived. This mistake is corrected in the second version. even if the list includes only a single item.m. John 11:35 Job 3:2 Titles and Subtitles A colon is used between a title and subtitle of a book or article. tortillas. woolly hens and sheep that grew on trees. but that so large that they held it over them like an umbrella when they lay down in the sun to rest. so be very careful to ensure that the clause is complete: incorrect: When you come to take the exam. 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. bring the following: pencils. One could think of the first clause as a kind of overture. men whose only food was snakes. which takes up the entire paragraph." the rest of the sentence. use a colon between the chapter and the verse. a calculator. illustrates the idea in that first clause: The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived: one-eyed men. two-headed men and men with no heads at all. I agree with the statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. and a dictionary. dragons and unicorns. men with only one foot. These days. Take a look at the following example. and Boston. and the second clause as the movement(s) of a symphony. Colon Use Between Independent Clauses A Colon can be used after an independent clause to introduce a list. cumin. 10:30 p. I am going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for fajitas: chicken. The Bible When referring to passages in the Bible. but it can also be used to introduce another independent clause that illustrates or elaborates upon the idea in the first clause. New York. and so the sentence is incomplete. and in one island a valley where only devils dwelt. a calculator.m. and a dictionary. a pencil sharpener. men with a lip long enough to cover their whole face.This summer on our road trip we will visit Fargo. Madison. New York. correct: When you come to take the exam. (Ten Great Events in History.m. Massachusetts. Colon Use With Items in a List A colon is used after an independent clause to preface a list of items. . North Dakota. 3:00 p. Illinois. Wisconsin. a pencil sharpener. and hot sauce. bring the following items: pencils. and others whose favorite beverage was human blood. James Johonnot) Other Conventions of Colon Use Colon in Stating Time Use a colon between the hour and the minute.
short sentence. or even inappropriately humorous for the content of the essay that follows. 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. a colon is placed after the salutation rather than a comma (used in informal letters). The title-colonsubtitle format is very popular in newspapers and popular magazines. To Whom it May Concern: 1. and a year revolution around the sun. semicolon 91 . Colons: Annoying Convention or Useful Tool? (just made this one up) Art/Sci Collision: Of Human-Robot Bondage (title of a new lecture series at the American Museum of Natural History) Smarts in a Bottle: UK Government Evaluates Cognition Enhancers (title of article at Wired.com) Salutations In a business letter. Spiegler semicolon used in a sentence? 2. 3. decide whether the dash should be replaced with a colon or a semicolon. The earth has two motions-a daily rotation upon its axis.pretentious. How is Dear Sir: the Dear Mr.
I watched the sun pass below the horizon. liberty. died without speaking—others spoke without dying. We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal. Make sure that your choice reflects correct semicolon or colon use.colon 4. joined to the first with either a semicolon or a colon. it throbs with life. semicolon colon 5. Some semicolon colon 6. and the pursuit of happiness. 7. (Rabelais) 92 . semicolon colon For each sentence supplied below. add a second sentence. that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. that among these are life. without color and sound. devoid of color and sound—but. Helen Keller's world is built of touch sensations.
In at least one of the exercises. Contexts for Colon & Semicolon Use As mentioned in the lesson on colon use between independent clauses. The park was full of people. The colon can even set up a kind of mini-essay within your essay if after the first clause. She w as a kind old w oman: See our version Having pets does not prepare a person for parenthood: See our version Money talks: See our version 93 . A starting sentence is provided for you.8. check out our version of the sentence. Try out this technique in the text boxes below. a colon can be used to great effect when a writer wants to illustrate or elaborate on an idea. When you complete your sentence. you connect several illustrations together with semicolons. All you need to do is add sentences that illustrate or elaborate on that idea. try to connect several illustrations with semicolons.
check out our version of the sentence. value. Why. See our version Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. as a he Twins amount to a permanent riot. 1. good garden gloves. Mark Twain) Now give this technique a try yourself. A cup of coffee w akes me up in the morning. and clippers. 1. When you complete your sentence. w e hurry. Consider the following balanced sentence: “What we have we Whiles we enjoy it. and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection. Psalm 103:15) as grass.” flourisheth. correct incorrect 2. Bring to the picnic: a blanket 94 to sit on. fertilizer. iv. repeat structures and ideas. prize but not being rack flower of the to lack’d the field so the and worth lost. a starter sentence is provided for you. As in the colon exercise above. It is also useful for creating balanced and smooth-flowing sentences since good balance comes from the repetition of similar structures or ideas.Semicolons in Context A semicolon is a useful tool for connecting two closely related ideas. See our version We acquire our highest ideas in childhood.) As for man his days are (Old Testament. to create balance. 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. See our version In America. . then we (Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing. Remember. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. (The Babies Speech. a salad. and drinks.
(Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 5. (Molly Ivins) first rule of holes. no matter how much you'd like to. 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. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. (Marilyn Monroe) correct incorrect 8. (Coco Chanel) can't ignore politics. stop digging. 11. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. The correct incorrect 6. Use a semicolon to connect two closely related ideas about places you like to visit. (Joan Rivers) correct incorrect Write sentences demonstrating your understanding of correct semicolon and colon use according to the directions below. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 4. (Molly Ivins) . It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. (Dorothy Parker) correct incorrect 10. You correct incorrect 7. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. I just want to be wonderful.correct incorrect 3. and let the air out of the tires. Fashion correct incorrect 9. 95 is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. when you're in one. I don't want to make money.
13.12. Use a colon to introduce a list of activities you enjoy. Use a colon to introduce an in-depth explanation or elaboration of something. 96 .
1.14. when you're in one. I just want to be wonderful. Use a colon to introduce a list of items a student needs to be prepared for the first day of classes. and clippers. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. (Marilyn Monroe) Answer given: 97 . Bring to the picnic: a blanket to sit on. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. Correction Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 2. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. The first rule of holes. I don't want to make money. good garden gloves. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 3. You can't ignore politics. fertilizer. stop digging. a salad. and drinks. Possibly now we are now entering a third era in which the movies will be sounding a note of cautious optimism: You know it just might work. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6. no matter how much you'd like to.
such as "She laughed at my joke. A period. such as "I believe it will rain today. (Dorothy Parker) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 10.? ? ? The Period A period.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. or makes a request—though with requests. gives advice. . an exclamation mark." An imperative sentence: a period is also used to conclude a sentence that issues an order. . or a question mark. Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. (Coco Chanel) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 9. 98 . abbreviations. One almost never sees a question mark or an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence. order: Children will stay within school grounds during recess. and placenames. (Joan Rivers) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct End Punctuation T he end of a sentence is signalled by a period." is used to signal the end of most kinds of sentences . and let the air out of the tires." or an opinion. and to use end punctuation correctly and effectively in writing. a period is used in titles. . The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. in these situations. In this module. one may choose instead to use a question mark. advice: You should not be swimming so soon after eating. has many uses in addition to ending a sentence: for example. also called a "full stop. . on the other hand. They will discover the problem for themselves. a period is seen in the middle of a sentence. ! ! ! . students will learn the rules for correct use of end punctuation. and so. the period at the end of a sentence: A declarative sentence: a period is used to end a sentence that states a fact.
If your voice goes up at the end of the sentence. Hilary asked us if we wanted to go swimming this afternoon. a period expresses this polite tone. and states do not take periods: CIA FBI BBB AAA KFOG AIDS BART EBMUD CA Nor are periods used in abbreviations that have become widely accepted as replacment words for the full version: exam memo dorm web cell Periods are used in abbreviations used for titles and unfamliar institutions and organizations: Dr.D. . .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.1.67 $1 Periods and Abbreviations Periods are not used in the abbreviations of familiar institutions. where do I begin?" (Dr. is used to show an ommission of words in quote. Ph. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) 99 . Walker . or a series of three periods (with a space between the last word or the period at the end of a sentence). radio stations.A.D. Please send her my congratulations on getting the promotion. I wondered why she asked us if we had our bathing suits. request: Would you please change the oil for me. (Edwin Bryant. The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. Very well.00 $. 1.150 $1. Mr. An indirect question: a period is used in a sentence that includes a question. use brackets ([ ]) to indicate the ommission. long terms. No period is used when money is rounded to dollars: $45. but is itself not a question. use a question mark. unless the number or letter is enclosed in parentheses: I. Periods are also used after numbers or letters in an outline. organizations. . 1.D.150. Ms. . Col.We should go to the party tonight. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. . . Little rise in your voice indicates a level of formality and polite hesitation. 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. . other uses of the period Periods and Money A period is used between dollars and cents. . If a single word is ommitted. (a) (iii) Ellipses An ellipses. M. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start.89 $45 $1. M. A.2.
a term used to express joy. 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. overuse of exclamation marks make it seem as if a writer is relying on symbols rather than language to convey meaning.The Question Mark Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. There is a world of difference between "No. Do not double up punctuation when using a an exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. But be careful not to overuse this technique. In the English language. What is the context for Twain's comment. "Wow! It's lucky we caught this in time. The captain was born in 1799 (?). if the sentence itself is an exclamation. and died in 1854. it is acceptable to abbreviate questions after the initial question if the structure is clear. I can't believe you got your nose pierced! Note: In a quotation." 100 . Will you have milk with your tea? Can I dance with your date? What is your problem? A question mark goes inside the closing quote if the quote is a question. to use an exclamation mark for strong emotions. do not use question marks after indirect questions or polite requests. or use it as a substitute for explanation when an explanation would be useful. Be careful." and "No!" for example. In a series of questions. "In the first place God made idiots. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. an exclamation point goes inside a closing quote if the quote is an exclamation. 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. As discussed above. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark by adding in the usual comma or a period. This was for practice. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. however. if the sentence itself is a question. exclamation points allow writers to quickly let a reader know that a statement is emphatic. Skip the additional punctuation: His doctor exclaimed.
þÿ Mrs Henley brought me a basket of muffins when I was sick last week 4. þÿ Is there time to finish desert before we need to get to the movie 5. for NATO He 2. þÿ Please do not use cell phones in our restaurant 8. needed but (including now he in works abbreviations).) Did I forget closing punctuation altogether? (Seems unlikely. þÿ I am never going to get this project done on time 3. þÿ Don't forget to pick up your prescription 6. I can't believe I flunked English 10.) Supply 1. Twain uses many exclamation marks and question marks. asking yourself the following questions may help you quickly figure out where you went wrong. þÿ What are all of these candy wrappers doing all over the floor 7. Read through the passages and decide where you think the exclamation 101 . þÿ end used punctuation to work wherever for the it is FBI. mild exclamations do not take exclamation marks. but these have been replaced with periods. I haven't seen you for ages 9.Fixing Common End Punctuation Mistakes If you discover the comment "EP" (for "faulty end punctuation") in the margin of a paper you have received back from your instructor. þÿ Jenny. Did I confuse a direct question with an indirect question? Did I forget about the rule against double end punctuation? (No expressions like"??!!?" are allowed.) Did I over-do it with the exclamations? (Use exclamation marks sparingly. In this passage. Will you have time to finish writing the memo about the new schedule before you leave The passage below is taken from Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. but sometimes this happens.
Clarence." "Prithee "What dream? Why." -33"Oh.a person who never existed. When I next came to myself. "Are you here yet. "Well. Copy the passage into a word processor for revision and then paste your corrected version in the text box. Scatter. a light flashed in my eyes. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. Clarence. My first thought was. stood before me. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. My first thought was. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. in his light-hearted way. I'm in no hurry. 1. if you prefer. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. dream?" I'm in no hurry.a person who never existed." 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.points and question marks belong. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. and that I am talking to you. Or. Go along with the rest of the dream. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. la. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. "let the what dream go on. 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 gasped with surprise." dream." I said resignedly. my breath almost got away from me." I said. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules.answer me that!" 102 ." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. me.. "Well.. stood before me! I gasped with surprise.. copy and paste the text into the text box and do the editing there." I said resignedly. I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something." But he only laughed in his light-hearted way and fell to making fun of my sorry plight. what an astonishing dream I've had. "you here yet? Go along with the rest of the dream! scatter!" But he only laughed. and fell to making fun of my sorry plight. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time." "What dream." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. Why. and that butterfly. indeed! and is it a dream that you're to be burned to-morrow? Ho-ho -. my breath almost got away from me. "All right. a light flashed in my eyes. "What!" I said. "All "Tell right. and that I am talking to you. what "let the dream go on. and that butterfly. "What.
I hope?" "Full a score. idiotic. man. be kind to me. certainly a superior man like 103 . and shouted: "Merlin has wrought a spell! merlin. then he stole to the door and peeped out. What but I are daren't. for I knew by past experience of the lifelike intensity of dreams.hesitatingly: "and there be other reasons -and weightier." After a pause -. beware! These are awful words! Any moment these walls may crumble upon us if you say such things. chuckleheaded. that I could contrive.for you ARE my friend. "Merlin. be there brave. Clarence. Clarence? Not many. the other way by fear. come. and was a thing to be avoided. -. tell you. I have told it! Ah." "No doubt. fair or foul. poor lad. has woven a spell about this dungeon. is be need! a I man do -want speak to out. the silliest bosh in the world! Why.The shock that went through me was distressing. they ones? say -oh. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was. a but good -" lad!" there's He hesitated. in his malice. But how many. that maundering old ass? Bosh. and finally crept close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news in -34a whisper. Oh call them back before it is too late!" Now this strange exhibition gave me a good idea and set me to thinking. aren't you? -. they?" indeed daren't!" "Why. "Come. be merciful to a poor boy who means thee well. So I said beseechingly: "Ah. 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. pulled one way by desire. even in a dream." "Other "Well. no doubt. I now began to reason that my situation was in the last degree serious. and he was like to go out of his mind with fright. damn Merlin!" But Clarence had slumped to his knees before I had half finished. forsooth! That cheap old humbug. dream or no dream. good boy. by any means. in sooth. would be very far from being a jest. chicken-livered superstitions that ev -oh. "Oh. that to be burned to death. it does seem to me that of all the childish. 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. the corridors are in guard and keep of men-at-arms. only friend I've got. for an thou betray me I am lost!" I laughed the only really refreshing laugh I had had for some time. help me to devise some way of escaping from this place!" "Now do but hear thyself! Escape? Why.don't fail me. pure bosh. One may not hope to escape. listening. what is the matter? Why do you blench? Why do you tremble so?" "Oh.
Then I said: -35"Get up. do it no more. and worked out a plan. However. By themselves. Do you know why I laughed?" "No -but for our blessed Lady's sake. look me in the eye." "Well. I'll tell you why I laughed. they do not always pay close attention to the stops and starts of thoughts. Complete sentences are also sometimes called independent clauses. when writers are caught up in the flow of their ideas and are trying to capture those ideas on the page. writers often end up with sentences that are not complete—"fragments" of thought that need something more to stand on their own. Definition 2: A sentence is group of words that begins with a capital letter. However. The arrangement of the words follows the rules of English grammar. each sentence passes the test for completeness. or adverbs). and ends with a period. As a result. 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. In this module you will learn to spot fragments in your work and to turn those fragments into complete sentences. Dependent clauses begin with subordinating words (relative pronouns. Groups of words that modify part or all of an independent clause are called dependent clauses.me ought to be shrewd enough to contrive some way to take advantage of such a state of things. I went on thinking. because it will help you tell the difference between sentence fragments and complete sentences. Pull yourself together. has a subject and a complete or finite verb." Grammatical sentences Correcting Sentence Fragments A sentence must be able to stand on its own as a completed thought. prepositions. what professional writers do that many beginning writers do not is to carefully proofread their work to make sure that before publication. 104 . Keep the distinction between dependent and independent clauses in mind. Because I'm a magician myself. dependent clauses form sentence fragments.
You need to fix them. The downtown takes you back to the time when there was a single sweet shop. When people knew the shopkeeper by name and knew about each other’s lives. Example: After the Blue Fairy granted his wish.. In each paragraph. (“Pinnochio” is the subject. Her things that meant so much to her. She wanted to be back with her things. the scientist finally. or After years of disappointment in her search for a cancer cure. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. so that your reader can understand your thoughts. and post office in every city. students will learn how to correct sentence fragments. We wonder what the scientist finally did. . 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. ) 2) Compound sentences. A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence punctuated as if it were complete. “hoped” is the verb. and other groups of words that lack a subject or a verb. and in the second paragraph. 3) Complex sentences. Dependent clauses. It has a subject--“the scientist”--but not a verb.) 4) Compound-Complex sentences. Pinocchio lived happily ever after. baker. the last sentence is a fragment.. and the Blue Fairy granted his wish. the Blue Fairy granted his wish. Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Verb: After years of searching for a cancer cure. The two puppies. the common sources of sentence fragments are identified. This thought feels incomplete. In the rest of this module. Example: After Pinnochio saved Gepetto. 1) Simple sentences. “After” is the subordinating word. (“After the Blue Fairy granted his wish” is a dependent clause. The clouds drifting in the sky. the scientist finally gave up. which combine types 2 and 3. Below. and examples are given to help you identify and correct fragments in your own writing. 105 . which join a dependent clause to an independent clause. in which a conjunction links two simple sentences. My favorite flavor of ice cream.It is useful to group sentences into 4 types. are called sentence fragments. the word "when" turns the clause into a subordinate clause. . The last sentence in the first paragraph lacks a sentence verb. Consider the following passages to see if you can locate the sentence fragments: She didn't want to be on vacation anymore. Correcting Sentence Fragments. Think of them as broken or incomplete thoughts. which have one subject and one verb. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. the scientist finally made a breakthrough. and he became a real boy. other examples .
(subject: “Tess and her mom”) The slaves were hoping to be free. a proper and demure mother. Goldilocks dreamed of flying. 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. you may be thinking these fragments are pretty easy to identify. “were” is the helping verb that completes “drifting. my mother decided not to go skydiving with us. Moses was the prophet who led the slaves to freedom. (verb: “is”) The two puppies chased each other. a steadfast and masculine father. however. They are often closely connected to a point in a previous sentence. After I changed my fuel filter. all living in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. fragments are sometimes quite difficult to spot. Hoping to be free. They need an auxiliary or “helping” verb. Went to the video store. Who led the slaves to freedom. (subject: “I”) Tess and her mom went to the video store. Corrected: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother.” or participles. (verb: “chased”) The clouds were drifting in the sky. In each of these shows. In the real world. After I changed my fuel filter. At this point. (complete verb: “were drifting”) Verb forms that end in “ing. and so they seem like correct sentences even when they are not. In the last example above.” Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Subject: Zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. (subject: “The slaves”) Sentence Fragments Made up of Dependent Clauses: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. Corrected: I zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard.Corrected: My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip. are not complete by themselves. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. my car’s gas mileage improved. 106 . a little rascally boy to take after the father. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed.
Answer given: 4. 1. a proper and demure mother. Wow! I never knew that you could play soccer so well. the subject must be located. Listening.The last. What must a sentence Answer given: 3. not? There are many wonderful things to do in San Francisco.. Baseball. What is a Answer given: 2. you use a simple command to quickly separate each sentence onto its own line. be very careful here. —Mark Twain You will not regret it. Your reader may assume the fragment is unintentional if the rest of your writing is not polished and free of errors. Ozzie & Harriet's house. Answer given: 107 . Using Sentence Fragments for Special Effect. Is either of the following sentences a fragment? Why or why not? I love going Answer given: 5. Is either of the out following to eat. Waiting for the sound of an approaching car. A fragment can create emphasis on a single word or phrase: He stood stock still. sentence a Especially fragment? for Why or Thai why food. a steadfast and masculine father. The initial assumptions and the definition of human nature being totally ambiguous. To correct the sentence. The most American of sports is experiencing a real return to popularity.. it is acceptable to use a sentence fragment for a special effect. The verb "living" is not complete. if possible. A sentence fragment can also be used to express a strong emotion: Selma told her dad she finished her homework. and eating. In each of these shows. She wants a home with a white picket fence. Yeah. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. 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. For example. With this technique. as a worksheet. eating. A fragment can be used to present an answer to a question: How did we win the tournament? Nerve. all live toether in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. right! She didn't even open her math book. so that the sentences can be seen more clearly . 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. However. long sentence is actually a fragment. One technique for spotting fragments is to reformat your essay. a little rascally boy to take after the father. Get a bicycle. temporarily. Answer each question below as best you can. eating. Occasionally. If you live. and so the sentence is a series of phrases.
6. for." sentences without any punctuation at all connecting independent clauses. Make sure your paragraph is free of sentence fragments. or else abandon the text altogether out of frustration. or "comma splices. or "fused sentences. as in the following sentence: comma splice: There is time to finish the project. We can also use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. Answer given: Run-on Sentences Run-on sentences are sentences with "signal" problems. Often comma splices occur when the second clause begins with "this. In this module students will learn • • to recognize and correct run-on sentences to use colons. she must be able to tell the reader how her ideas go together. Write a paragraph explaining what "freedom" means to you. however. Separating the two clauses into two independent sentences with a period is always an option. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. Stronger punctuation is needed to connect two independent clauses. however. but we won't finish it if we go to the beach." "that. We won't finish it if we go to the beach." without a comma. however. There are three variations of run-on sentences: sentences that use only a comma to join independent clauses. or yet) to connect two independent clauses." or "those". that a period creates stronger separation between ideas than the other options." and sentences that are simply joined by coordinating conjunctions like "and. corrected: There is time to finish the project. 108 . but. Without appropriate punctuation readers are forced to determine the correct relationships. pay close attention to your sentence structure whenever you see these pronouns in your writing: comma splice: The drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-seven hours." "these. 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. semi-colons. we won't finish it if we go to the beach. nor. Readers look for punctuation to signal the end of one independent clause and the beginning of another. or. This is a good choice if the relationship between the clauses is unclear or needs emphasis: corrected: There is time to finish the project. If a writer wants to be heard. however. so. 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. We can use a semi-colon if the logical connection between the statements is clear: corrected: There is time to finish the project. Note.
Answer given: 5. it is the colors. Answer given: 7. people. it’s a whole community center. the punctuation is still inadequate. this bakery hardly goes unnoticed and people from a variety of cultures stop in to experience what it is it has to offer. too. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD.corrected: This drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-to seven hours. Two large display cases adorned with a variety of different pastries. Answer given: 2. Use the same techniques for correcting fused sentences as you would use to correct comma splices (as described in the previous section). The Phoenix is more than just a performance center. but you can borrow it any time. 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. 1. greet you and buzz around like honeybees to help you obtain whatever treat it is you are craving. Being located in a prime spot along Columbus Ave. On our trip to Los Angeles. it was excellent. Answer given: 8. On our trip to Los Angeles. and they were the best days of the whole vacation. corrections: I ate the whole pizza. Answer given: 4. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. Correcting Fused Sentences Sentences are said to be "fused" when there is no punctuation connecting independent clauses. colorful fruit tarts. We don’t make the trek down to the city often enough but over the past couple of years but I have made it a point to start bringing my two children in to Stella’s to experience what this café has 109 . examples: fused sentences: I ate the whole pizza it was excellent. some with subtle Italian accents. 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. 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). we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids and they were the best days of the whole vacation. I'm going to see Gwen Stefani this weekend. A coordinating conjunction may be present in a fused sentence. the friendly clerks behind these cases. Answer given: 3. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids. Answer given: 6. and city surrounding the theater that are most important. The theater alone is not what makes it so unique. but without an accompanying comma. Danielle is going.
got a large latte. doctor. what. the noun replaced by the pronoun is called the "antecedent" of the pronoun. this is a place where locals (or anyone for that matter) can come to enjoy the delicious treats and delightful atmosphere that Stella’s has always been known for." "this. Object pronouns include me. the issue gets more complicated when you are dealing with collective nouns (the crowd. then she realized she had brought the wrong book. Answer given: 9. I. This is the problem in the following sentence: "Everyone has their share. 110 . Proofread to ensure that there are no run-on sentences. object pronouns are pronouns used as the target of a verb in a sentence. Write a paragraph about a favorite holiday memory. you. There are many different types of pronouns used in many different situations: subject pronouns are pronouns used as the subject of a sentence. These include. grab a muffin and coffee and run. and they. These "pronoun reference" problems often arise between sentences when a general pronoun such as "that. us. Answer given: 10. Simple to fix. her. put on her headphones. etc. she. and opened her notebook.) or with indefinite words (person. we. Hoping to get some work done before school. students. to write text free of pronoun-antecedent and pronoun reference mistakes. men. In this module you will learn the following • • • • to recognize different types of pronouns to identify and correct mismatched pronouns and antecedents as well as pronoun reference problems in written text. Answer given: 1. to avoid gender bias when using pronouns." In addition. Answer given: Problems with Pronouns Like Subject-Verb agreement. as in John gave me the book.)." where "their" (plural) is not matched in number with "Everyone" (singular). problems arise when the antecedent for a pronoun is unclear. it. 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). who. example: Janet and I had a great dinner last night. right? However. Helena went to the coffee shop. or two antecedents joined by "and" "or" or "nor. pronoun-antecedent agreeement is about parts of a sentence fitting together so that the reader does not stumble over mixed messages. Stella’s is not just a place like Starbucks to stop in. he." or "it" is used to refer to an idea in a previous sentence. you him. and them. whom. etc. Pronouns: A pronoun refers to or stands in for a noun. it.to offer.
as in "The tan chihuahua is the dog that I want. indefinite pronouns are used to refer to an indefinite person. or thing. Be careful in academic writing with these pronouns. Confusion often arises with indefinite pronouns. These include pasta dishes. none. yours." then the pronoun must be we or us. as in "anyone. because they can create an unacceptable tone. these. which. if the antecedent is "Johnny. and those. or they. Demonstrative pronouns include this. its mine. fresh fish and seafood dishes. however. his. anyone. and when possessive pronouns are used before a noun to establish ownership. your. Possessive pronouns are mine. everybody. and that. For example. Gabe and I. Somebody in the Women's Club will have to bring the pizza to the party tonight. interrogative pronouns are used to begin questions. agreement in person: the pronoun and antecedent have the same subject. their. For example. No invitation is required. example: Mediterranean dishes are good for your heart. agreement in number: the pronoun and antecedent must both be plural. they take an adjective case: my. For example. The interrogative pronouns are who. theirs. "You should always remember that heroes are made." Relative pronouns include which. 111 . No. and I hauled three loads of trash from the fraternity to the dump yesterday. place." or "They say that Brittney Spears is crying out for help with her recent antics. his. but here are a few of the most common: one.possessive pronouns are used to indicate a state of ownership by a subject referenced in the possessive pronoun. anybody. Gabe. Note: sometimes "they" and "you" are used as indefinite pronouns. we will let someone else do the annual clean-up. both. demonstrative pronouns are used to refer to ideas or objects rather than people." or "some. all. her example: I believe that is his book. For example. Next year. as opposed to you. and salads. each. many. The relative pronoun stands in the for the noun antecedent. either. whom. "Agreement" means that the pronoun is consistent with the "person" "number" and "gender" of the antecedent. ours. what. or both singular." There are many different indefinite pronouns. sombody. 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." acceptable form: Anyone can come to the event this evening. our. whom. hers. She will be reimbursed for the pizza by the Club. not born. who. relative pronouns are used to signal the beginning of a relative clause in the middle of a sentence. several. that. Johnny.
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. because when a noun is in possessive case. . . "Would you please pick up the flowers that I ordered today?" and "I watched Grey's Anatomy last night. even when made to agree. he correct: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. Note: Be careful when a noun is in possessive case. blame. . . which I really should not have done since I had so much work to do. . error: It is correct: It is you who is to blame. personal pronoun. For more on eliminating gender bias in writing. 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. visit the module on shifts. or: Enroll in classes in one of two ways: online or in person at the administration building . "One. . can be used." an indefinite pronoun. For example. use "which" when the relative clause is just a detail. . error: Every problem correct: Every problem has its solution. as in Dickens'. faults solution. . 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. third-person. error: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. The best course of action is to avoid pronouns altogether. it is considered an adjective. Use "that when the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence (when the clause is "restrictive"). . also Ok: One can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: one can enroll online or in person at the administration building . Dickens shows that . Gender bias is often a problem in English because the English language has no genderneutral. . Examples of Pronoun Antecedent Agreement: Take a look at the following sentences showing agreement problems and their corrections: error: Everybody correct: Everybody has faults. . but this pronoun can sound a bit formal.agreement in gender: the pronoun and antecedent. you has has that is shows their their to that . should not promote a gender bias. . ." 112 . better: Students can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: they can enroll online or in person at the administration building. .
Pronoun reference mistakes usually occur between sentences. or when a sentence contains several nouns. Whatever you ask of me. stores can be very far away. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: it 6. stores can be very far away. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: he 2. Mary. and ___ have always been good friends. error: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. (What does this refer to in the second sentence?) correct: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. particularly when modifiers and clauses distance the antecedent from the pronoun. too. Take a look at the following sentences with pronoun reference problems: error: If I took that bug out of her hair. 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. Supply a pronoun to go in place of the underline. but they know to proofread their work to check for such mistakes. though. This feeling can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. You. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they 4. (I/me) Answer given: 113 . Experienced writers make pronoun reference mistakes. though _____ were written many hundred years ago. 1. Make sure the pronoun is grammatically consistent with the antecedent and the rest of the sentence.(What does it refer to?) correct: When you live in a rural area. You and ___ shall go. Every man who does wrong knows that _____ should suffer the penalty. 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. This can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 7. The more people know about plants and flowers the more ____ enjoy ____ Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they them 5. though. and it requires planning and much consolidation when it comes to making trips to town. and going to the store requires planning and much consolidation.Pronoun Reference Problems Pronoun reference problems are very common in the work of developing writers. Aesop's fables are still read. I will do ____.
_____ 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. We reached the mountain top. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me 9. Were both you and (I/me) invited? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 10. The river is dangerous. which. 21. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me In the following sentences. _____ do you think I am? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 13. Answer given: 20. 11. You have read of him. Spare the birds. From it we had a wonderful view. supply the missing word: "who" or "whom. It is full of floating ice. that) so as to form complete sentences. Answer given: 18. Answer given: 19. Answer given: Find the antecedent for the relative pronoun used in each sentence below. Goodness is the only thing that never fails." Write your answer in the text box. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. The Swiss revere the name of William Tell. Answer given: 114 . Answer given: 17. whom. Be careful to place each subordinate clause as near its anteccedent as possible. Thomas Jefferson was an intimate friend of Washington's. Everybody was invited except you and (I/me). _____ did you see at the party? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom 14. To _____ were you speaking? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: whom 12.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 8. He said that he saw you and ____ at the mall. _____ began the argument? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 15. They cheer us by their songs. 16.
Answer given: Subject-Verb Agreement When people agree about something—a movie to see. Marcos or Pete will give us their help. and We enjoy soccer (not We enjoys soccer). the correct subject/verb combination is easy for writers to figure out. or I hate okra (not I hates okra). but none whom he knew.) and in person (gender). In this module we will cover the basic and the not so basic rules for creating sound subject-verb agreement. plural with plural. as in Kate dances well (not Kate dance well). This module covers these confusing situations. the subjects of the sentence must agree with the verb in the sentence in both number (singular with singular. She met each difficulty and danger. Most of the time. Answer given: 27.. Time that is once lost is always lost. Answer given: 28. As he approached the village. In a sentence. when people do not agree. However. what to have for dinner. Answer given: 26. etc. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: none Correct the pronoun antecedent error in each sentence or group of sentences below. Every person in the class made their complaints to me. and stumbles over the text rather than gleaning your message. a singular subject takes a singular verb form. and a plural subject takes a plural verb form. 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. who to elect for president—they are in accord. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: time 23. Jack met a number of people. Neither of the children ate their carrots. what constitutes a good book. Without this agreement. Answer given: 30. and provides helpful strategies for locating the subject and choosing the appropriate verb form.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: thing 22. and overcame them by her great courage. 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: 29." on some level anyway. 25. The administration is proud of their policies. the individuals become aware of being at odds with others. Conversely. No one knows what the future has in store for them. Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: chain 24. the reader gets conflicting messages. Objectives: By the end of this module. 115 ..
Agreement When Subjects are Joined by "and. Because the phrase is non-restrictive (or not necessary to the sentence). "cake. However. "Mountain bike" is the subject of the sentence. An apple or a banana is a good afterschool snack. was delivered to my house this morning. Consider the following sentences: The mountain bike with the red frame and the fat tires is the one I want.Agreement When Words Come Between Subject and Verb. are confusing because they can be singular or plural depending on the nouns to which they refer.. even if sometimes this structure feels counter-intuitive. Agreement With Indefinite Pronouns. along with three bags of planting mix and a box of fertilizer. it does not make the subject plural. most.." "neither/nor.. as the object of a preposition can easily be confused with the subject of the sentence. such as all. the subject is singular: Spaghetti and meatballs is the only thing Mary ever orders when we go out to eat. and some. it is not part of the subject. Coffee and dessert were served in the living room. subjects connected by "and" are going to be plural: David and Jesus are always late. and so the verb is plural. any. in the second example "some" refers to an "uncountable" noun. the verb is singular." The phrase is there to tell us more about the mountain bike. in addition to. Some of us are going skiing this weekend. the verb will be singular." These items are part of the prepositional phrase that begins with "with. My best friend and confidante is always there for me when I need her. Some of the cake is still on the table. If both subjects are plural. if the subjects joined by "and" refer to a single person. along with. Indefinite pronouns cause a lot of confusion." or "either/or" In most situations. In the first example. item or simultaneous action. If one subject is singular and the other is plural. not "the red frame and the fat tires. the verb will be plural. or as well as: The new oak tree. and so should not be considered when deciding on the appropriate verb form for the sentence. Neither the teacher nor the students know how to solve this math problem. Another source of trouble is a modifying phrase beginning with together with." and therefore. Watch out for modifying phrases that come between subject and verb! And especially be on the lookout for prepositional phrases." "or. if both subjects are singular. Rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time is almost impossible to do. the verb agrees with subject it is closest to. none. Subjects joined by or or by either/or or neither/nor may take singular or plural verbs depending on the form of the subject.. To determine the 116 . Some indefinite pronouns. "some" refers to individual persons.
At a Rolling Stones concert the crowd always sings along to "Satisfaction. Some indefinite pronouns are always singular: for example. it is better to name a plural subject rather than use a collective noun as a plural.. 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. Generally.. In this sentence. When word order is inverted." and "that" are used in an adjective clause (relative clause). everything. Some indefinite pronuns are always plural: for example. or "uncountable" (not countable by individual elements). and something. somebody. and many. check to see if the noun is "countable" (made of up of individual elements that can be counted). everyone. Most of the time the subject comes before the verb... "the crew members hope. Usually. however. someone. Oddjob is the only one of the villains who throws a razor-edged hat as a weapon. Trees that drop fruit will attract bugs. Collective nouns used with a plural form of a verb tend to sound a bit awkward." and so the verb in the phrase should be plural. but you don't know what it is. Agreement With Collective Nouns as Subjects. the verb in the clause should agree in number with the subject of the sentence (the antecedent for the pronoun). birds." "who..number for a verb used with these indefinite pronouns. and both are going to be starting players." is "villains. Something is happening. Dorleen and Claire joined the volleyball team this semester. few.. No is just one of the villains who have come up against James Bond." The crew hope their grog won't run out before they reach port. Agreement With "Which" "Who" and "That" as Subjects. squirrels and other small animals. everybody. The antecedent for the pronoun "that" is "trees. each. When the relative pronouns "which. Each of the new interns is assigned to work a twenty-four hour shift this week. anybody. Agreement When Subject-Verb Order is Inverted. nobody. as in the example above. the antecedent for the pronoun "who" in the adjective phrase "who have come against James Bond. word order is inverted and the subject is delayed. but occasionally. Dr. anything. nothing." sounds a bit better. Everything is going wrong today.. Some sit around and wait for happiness.. and so the verb is singular. many go out and find it. both. In this sentence. it is easy to confuse a noun in an opening phrase with the true subject of the sentence." so the verb in the adjective clause "that drop fruit" should be plural. the antecedent is "one" (the phrase modifies "one" rather than "villains"). anyone. several. One signal of a delayed subject is the expletive "there" at the beginning of a sentence: 117 .
If Jenny and Mark won't listen. to feel: All of the people at the party. þÿ 4. Her protection is her dogs. When a title of a book. the number of the verb should correspond to the number of the subject and not the predicate nominative. Terms of Endearment is a sad film. even when there is a plural subject in the title: The Twin Towers was an important New York City landmark.. 3. ______ it is a good idea. film.When your parents get home. Agreement When the Verb is a Linking Verb. when a phrase is referred to in terms of the language itself. 2. In addition. with the exception of Tiffany. 1. or work of art is the subject of a sentence. institution. Often the subject appears between parts of a verb phrase. When linking two nouns with a linking verb. there is going to be trouble over the broken vase. as in "Has she arrived yet?" The subject must match the first auxilliary verb (first verb form) in number... Each þÿ to of the options be: _____ unacceptable. there is little I can do to help them. it should be treated as a singular subject. building. Her dogs are her protection. the phrase should be treated as singular subject: "Slowly I turned" is the key phrase in a famous vaudeville routine popularized by comedians Abbot and Costello. Make the subject and the verb in each sentence below agree by writing the correct form of the verb provided (in PRESENT tense) in the text box. 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. Everyone þÿ to in the class _____ the find: video to be entertaining. Word order is also inverted in questions.. to 118 need: .
so be sure to strap heavy objects down. 10. 13. Three-fourths þÿ to of the cake be: _____ gone. to move: In an earthquake furniture ______ around. Two þÿ to bottles of wine be: ____ enough. 9. 6. My þÿ to aunt as well as my be: cousin _______ single. Neither þÿ to of the hotel rooms be: _______ available. 119 . Time þÿ to _______ pass: quickly. Another þÿ to of my brothers live: ________ in Florida.Everyone. ______ to do more to recycle. 11. 12. Success þÿ to ________ reward: hard work. including the people of conservation-conscious California. 8. 14. 7. The þÿ to wind and fog _______ reduce: the mosquito problem. þÿ 5. The þÿ to team ___ going to be: play on Saturday.
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
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). when all elements are nouns. if one element is a noun. nouns. the band's ukulele player and vocalist. If one element is an adjective. well-written. whether that structure is between words. (all parallel elements are adjectives) Some Like It Hot tells the story of two musicians. and each parallel item as a branch off that trunk.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. and verbs) It is important to note that one need not make all elements in a series exactly parallel. checking to ensure that the trunk connects strongly (and correctly) to each branch as illustrated in the diagram below: Parallel Words. Consider the following problematic sentences and their corrections: 124 .Revising to create parallel structure. if one element is a verb. The reader is forced to do much more work to figure out the author's meaning than is fair. frightened. (parallel elements are proper nouns) Broke. Joe and Jerry disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band headed to Florida. and desperate. or paragraphs in an essay. then all elements should be verbs. and so forth. clauses. follow the trunk line to each of the branches directly. the sentence will sound awkward and out of balance. who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929. and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises.. for instance.. (parallel elements are adjectives.. then all elements should be nouns. then all elements should be adjectives. 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. once you find the trunk. and daring for its time. is to think of the core idea in the structure as the trunk of a tree. All items in a series should have the same structure to help the reader quickly process information.. Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). phrases. (adapted from Wikipedia.
articles.. then every item should be prepositional phrase. but she loves partying. (In this version. Parallel: Faulty Parallel: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's attention: He wears a white sportscoat. some elements began with verbs. Corrected: She hates studying. otherwise. Joe and Jerry join an all-girl band. mimics Cary Grant. If one item in a series is a prepositional phrase. Shifts in phrase type create confusion: Faulty She hates to study. appropriate use of prepositions. if one item in a series is a verb phrase (beginning with an -ing or -ed verb). (parallel subordinate clauses) Marilyn Monroe had two big problems during filming: remembering her lines and hiding her pregnancy.. then every item in the series should be a verbal phrase. (parallel verbal phrases) Common Trouble Spots. or auxialliary verb is appropriate to each item in a series.. and modifiers with each item in a series: Be very careful to ensure that the preposition. Phrases and clauses also need to be parallel if the sentence is to be logical. then every item should be a relative clause. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. mimics Cary Grant's accent. 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. The initial items are going to govern every item in the series. each element begins with a verb. Corrected: Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and finding security. Thelma wore a new dress. but she loves partying. working. Parallel structure is created by joining the first two wardrobe elements into a single element. balanced.) Parallel Phrases and Clauses. article. and going to school. 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. to work.Faulty Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and security. the sentence will be illogical. but because a greenish tint in Lemmon's and Curtis' heavy make-up could not be hidden on color film. and easy to read. (parallel infinitive phrases) Director Billy Wilder filmed Some Like it Hot in black and white.. When revising your work. not because he wanted to be artistic. a captain's cap. and going to school. 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 the previous version. and her favorite briefcase. Corrected: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's atttention: He wears a white sport-coat and captain's cap. hat. while others began with nouns. modifier. Parallel: Parallel: 125 . shoes.
—and proofreading your writing to ensure that this consistency is maintained. Robert A. voice. is classified as a human by birth. write a short paragraph with good parallel structure in the space provided. Earthly laws are not understood by him. Heinlein's classic Stranger in a Strange Land has captivating characters. mood. verb tense. person. Michael Valentine Smith. voice. . that someone was lonely. but elements of the sentence just don't fit.Corrected: On her first day at work. and hat. Answer given: In the beginning of the novel. and carried her favorite briefcase. verb tense. concise sentence in which parallel elements appear in parallel structures. the gypsy shuffled the deck. Make a list of things you hate then transform the list into a short paragraph (or a couple of sentences). change. Answer given: Gypsies are famous for their traditions of fortune-telling by reading Tarot cards. or number. and was laying out a selection of ten cards from which the client was supposed to choose three. interpreting dreams. . But he is also considered Martian becaues his birthplace was on Mars. Part 1 Using the topic below. Your reader looks at your writing to be dressed one way. and number in their writing. There may be more than one possible answer. which would also let them make reasonable predictions about a client's future. Answer given: The protagonist of the novel. adn rearrange words. You will have to add. Answer given: At the carnival. Answer given: The protagonist continues on his quest to understand human behavior by reading all of the books he can. 126 . He then runs away with a traveling circus. Answer given: Part 2 Combine each of the sets of sentences below into a single. or cheerful. fingers and their lengths. In this module students will learn to . and they also look into crystal balls. delete. Answer given: Some critics of fortune-telling suggest that trained psychologiests could also notice personal traits such as nervousness. Answer given: Palm readers examine lines on the palm. it is kind of like wearing two different shoes. mood. cut the cards. The key is consistency—of voice. identify and correct shifts in verb tense. shoes. Thelma wore a new dress. the protagonist kills people innocently. Later in the novel he becomes a minister. Its plot is appealing. Answer given: Shifts A shift is a confusing change in person. person. and mood. and the prominence of the mounts.
and to make writing energetic. however. Correct: The football team is good. the choir will sing a few spirituals that they learned over the summer. 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. cake was by be made a by democratic tasted by all Marla. Occasionally. for example. and readers are captivated from beginning to end. 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. Incorrect: Last semester. Passive: Equality is encouraged Active: Democratic governments encourage equality. humankind. 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. Problems arise. or are they simultaneous? Apply this technique in the following sentences: Incorrect: The suit didn't fit me. (I continue to like him) Shifts in Voice: Passive vs. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. however. 127 . The way to avoid inappropriate shifts in verb tense is to visualize the actions described: Does one event really occur before another. government. and is still improving. Consider the emphasis in these active and passive sentences: Passive: The Active: Marla made the cake. Passive: The bitter cup of destiny must Active: All humankind must taste the bitter cup of destiny. or past to future tense. writers want to emphasize the object in a sentence rather than a subject's actions. Incorrect: Though I admired her persistence. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. Sometimes such shifts make perfect sense. he thinks.Shifts in Verb Tense A verb tense shift is a shift in time. But sometimes. (the suit continues not to fit) is too small. I had more homework in math than in all my other classes combined. (I continue to admire her persistence) Incorrect: The wind died down and the waves roll gently. Correct: Last semester.C. Correct: The wind died down and the waves rolled gently.C. and is still improving. (Inadequate transition provided. "And" suggests simultaneous actions) Incorrect: I liked him because he always says what Correct: I like him because he always says what he thinks. from present to past. as when one describes an event that takes place before another event: At the first Fall concert. Correct: Though I admire her persistence. I had more homework in math than I have in all my other classes combined. as in the following sentence: Incorrect: The football team was good. it is too small. it Correct: The suit doesn't fit me. Most often writers use active voice in order to emphasize agency—a subject performing some action. writers slip up and shift tense when there should be no shift.
The personal "you" is a bit too informal and too direct for academic writing. but as you get older. In a sentence in the subjunctive mood. . . . Incorrect: I used to think school wasn't important. 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. there are two moods: indicative and subjunctive. These mistakes are considered shifts in mood. In writing. One source of shifts in number is an indefinite pronoun such as "anyone" or "none" or "all. you get a lot wiser. in the subjunctive mood. especially when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase such as "of us" or "of the students. Note: In general. hypothetical. or doubtful. Correct: I used to think school wasn't important. I never would have made it this far. or vice versa is a definite no-no. it is better to avoid "you" constructions altogether in academic writing. . Incorrect: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. for example. but as I get older. therefore. "I was" becomes "I were. I would buy a ranch far away from everybody. These shifts confuse the reader and break the coherence and unity of your writing. melancholy. captivating readers from beginning to end. In addition. I would have been deeply embarrassed. It is common for students to shift person in written sentences. If it were not for you. I am getting wiser." "One" "People" "Anyone" "Persons" etc. Shifts in Mood Mood in sentences is not like mood in people. an assertion. lazy. they would discover that the books are far better than the films. where he discovered that the teacher had cancelled class.Correct: Patrick O'Brien writes exciting stories of life on board the tall sailing ships of the Royal navy in the early 19th century. they will discover that the books are far better than the films." "She. It is not correct to write "If I was rich. Shifts in Number A shift from singular to plural." "He. Correct: If fans of the Harry Potter films would read the Harry Potter books." and "It was" becomes "it were. because in everyday speech. etc. Correct: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. A sentence in the subjunctive mood indicates that something is conditional. irritable. what might happen." Take a look at the following sentences in the subjunctive mood: If I were rich. such shifts are common." 128 . it is very common to see an "if" clause. Incorrect: We had better arrive early because you never know Correct: We had better arrive early because we don't know what might happen. A sentence in the indicative mood is a statement of fact. Incorrect: If one reads The Harry Potter books. who have emotional moods—joyful. where it was discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. etc. If they were not so kind. or "If I was you .
Answer given: Revise the following paragraph so that it is free of gender bias. or their parents for them. Almost any man with the ordinary capacity for instruction can be taught to do certain things. as we believe that every man endowed with reason at all has "something in him. Correct: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because each of them has had excellent training. "Ann's favorite black" is a cluster of adjectives describing the handbag (the possessive form of a proper name is an adjective because it describes a possession). What is a disconnected modifier? Lets look at a few examples of sentences with disconnected modifiers: 129 ." The sentence also includes a descriptive appositive phrase: "the one she always carries. 2. revise the verb tense shifts in the paragraph. 1. Answer given: 4. however. The furious lightning tears the sky and the thunder roars." however latent the talent may be. making sure your writing is free from shifts and does not contain any gender bias. from How to Become a Successful Engineer. All men are not alike endowed with natural talent and ability. unifying time as past or present. The tempestuous waves dash up on the side of the ship. Everybody was horror-stricken. other men only in one particular channel. letting readers know which one as well as how Ann felt about the bag. In the sentence below. by Bernard Stuart. Modifiers add descriptive information to a sentence and call the reader's attention to what the writer feels is important. When it quiets down a little the sailors look to see if the ship is damaged very badly. The masts of the ship were down. was stolen last night. Review the paragraph you just wrote for any instances of passive voice. —some men possessing it in a very general way. he may exhibit a greater aptitude than for others. it is therefore saiad of such a man that he has a particular talent for such and such a trade. is doing their best.Incorrect: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because they have had excellent training. 1901. it becomes young men. and to all appearance. They find out that the prow of the ship is damaged. while many other men may be said to possess scarcely any. Write a paragraph about a time when you turned out to be wrong about someone or something. Incorrect: Every student Correct: All of the students are doing their best." Now. The deck is crowded with people. The storm was so bad that it is indescribable. "Always" is an adverb describing the verb "carries. Answer given: 3." And "last" is an adjective describing "night." Most of the descriptive modifiers call the reader's attention to the handbag. we find several modifiers: Ann's favorite black handbag. In the distance I see the port. 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. the one she always carries. to set about discovering in what direction such talent lies. for example. The sky is murky and the wind is blowing hard. For some of these. The storm rages on furiously for about an hour. have evidently "nothing in them. Without modifiers our sentences would be pretty bare.
wild as deer. Give it a try in the following sentence: Amanda wants to watch that new show on TV tonight. While waiting for the bus. Instead. While I was waiting for the bus.e. Scan each sentence to locate the core of the sentence: i. three pizzas were ordered. too. the matador stared at the bull. And for this reason.e. In the sentence above. The sentence verb is “wants” (what the subject is doing). assume that faulty sentences are hidden there in the text. they are concerned with organizing their thoughts and developing their ideas rather than with correct grammatical expression of those ideas. and any direct or indirect objects so that any modifiers in the sentence become easy to identify. Matt is coming with us to the movies along with Allison. disconnected modifiers happen because when writers put their ideas on paper or a computer screen.. However. The matador stared at the bull. also to modify "show" (telling us when the show is on). small-bodied. I saw a traffic accident right in front of me. They also know where to look for mistakes. or worse.” Typically.." 130 . Don't assume that because you understand your ideas. with delicate legs and pink faces in which their mis-matched eyes rolled wild and subdued. the sweat pouring down his face. even experienced writers make sentence mistakes. “Amanda” is the subject in this sentence. modifiers in a sentence add information to one of the elements in the core sentence. The direct object of the sentence is actually the whole phrase “to watch that new show on TV tonight. Revised to connect the modifiers to their logical subjects. gaudy motionless and alert. How does one identify and correct a disconnected modifier? The first step in finding disconnected modifiers. these sentences are much easier to follow: To make sure there would be enough for everyone. deadly as rattlesnakes. though occasionally modifiers add information to other modifiers rather than to the core (see note below). quiet as doves. Each sentence above has a similar problem: each sentence is unclear because of a problem with the connection between a modifier and the word the modifier is supposed to apply to. as with finding most any sentence level mistake. Such disconnects cause the reader to stumble a bit trying to follow the logic of the sentence. your reader will. as can sentences with limiters like "only" and "sometimes. The sweat pouring down his face. there was a traffic accident right in front of me. i." and the phrase on TV tonight. is to be suspicious of your own writing. they huddled. How do problems with modifiers arise? Typically. calling attention to what the writer thinks is important or needs further description. (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. We will look at all of these scenarios next.To make sure there would be enough for everyone. and that you will need to engage in a seek-and-destroy mission to find them out. Sentences written in passive voice can be a source of trouble. the writer calls our attention to what Amanda wants to watch by adding several modifiers: the adjectives that and new to modify "show. Matt and Allison are coming with us to the movies. to get stuck. experienced writers assume that their prose is going to need to be revised for correctness and that revision is a necessary part of writing. the sentence verb(s). Consider the following sentence: "Calico-coated." or sentences that begin with long modifiers. the subject. Paul ordered three pizzas. the one who performs the action of the sentence (Amanda “wants”). and to lose track of the overall meaning of the writer’s text.
I have to say that I am not sure when I can come. in the sentence “In terms of your letter. under. the reader expects writers to follow the rule. Consider the above sentence with a modifier presented out of place: On TV tonight. but much more logical. and the rest of the sentence points to the writer’s thoughts about that letter.Misplaced modifiers Things go wrong when modifiers are not well connected to their subjects." That combination is not logical: factors do not buy cell phones.” the introductory phrase points vaguely to a letter. and confusion results when modifiers are in another place in the sentence. Such modifiers are said to be “dangling” because like a dangling thread in a blanket.” etc. I don’t know when I will be coming to visit. are often used improperly.” “from what I can see. The modifier should be next to “new show” to make the sentence logical. General transitional phrases like “in conclusion. if not. 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. Not so clear. Dangling modifiers Another problem with modifiers arises when the modifier refers to a subject that is not actually named in the sentence. For example. they are not woven into the fabric of the sentence.” “in terms of. concert in in the my mile car. Typical Trouble Spots • tapes. Watch out for shifts from active to passive voice between an opening modifier and the rest of the sentence. and the subject of the sentence is a person. correcting this disconnect is “In response to your question about my coming to visit. you pass Use of passive voice can lead to modifier problems (as in the last example in the previous section). the modifier implies a person who makes a response. there are two main towers corrected: As you come across the bridge. 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. many factors should be considered. race. get rid of the phrase (often these phrases are unnecessary anyway) and rewrite the sentence another way. however. 131 • .” “thus. it appears as if the writer is saying Amanda is on TV tonight. As you come across the bridge. One source of trouble is misplacement of a modifier.” “regarding.” The sentence is longer. Here are a few more examples of misplaced modifiers: Isaac went to the REM corrected: Isaac went in my car to the REM concert. A better sentence. The rule is that modifiers should be placed next to the word they modify. consumers should consider many factors. the subject of the modifier in this sentence is “many factors. Amanda wants to watch that new show. The opening modifier "when buying a new cell phone" suggests a person as the subject (people buy cell phones). Rochelle almost beat everyone in the class corrected: Rochelle beat almost everyone in the class in the mile race. you pass under two main towers. Take a look at the following example: When buying a new cell phone. Make sure that the phrase actually modifies the word next to it. right? With placement of the modifier “on TV tonight” next to Amanda.
Seattle is the most active. Wash out your shirt with soap and cold water. The Study and Practice of Writing English. Answer given: 2. 132 . • Long modifiers at the beginning or end of a sentence can be a source of trouble.• Problems can arise with placement of limiting modifiers between subject and verb. When a few years old. Gerhard Richard. And paying attention to the sounds immediately inside the house. Consider the ambiguity in the sentence below: Wrong: Maria only wants Right: Only Maria wants a salad. Approaching the town from the ocean. Passing through the different cities. the family moved to Chatham. When tucked into bed. the salaries should be identical. Our mule brays out in the pen. my fears went away. Wrong: Justin occasionally likes to go to a really Right: Occasionally. Dickens' father was sent to prison for debt. after having been in the heat in the city just a few hours earlier. Be sure to check the subject implied by the modifier against the actual subject the modifier refers to. Answer given: 9. Answer given: 4. doing nothing except enjoying the peace of the morning. A rug adds to the warmth of the cabin and also deadens the sound when walking around the room. the breeze gently enters through the numerous open windows. Out of the dryer. Houghton Mifflin. When a boy. the first thing we see is the Patterson Diner. Dickens always remembered this time as the happiest days of his life. Answer given: 3. The ocean breeze chilled us through. Going out through the front door. Answer given: Rewrite the following paragraph. Answer given: 6. We cut down some of the trees making a path through the woods and built our cabin in a clearing about one mile from the main road. Answer given: 10. the kids laughing as they help their mother with the dishes are noticed for the first time. a expensive salad. correcting any dangling or misplaced modifiers. When doing the same work. 11. till the sun is well above the horizon. so many striking things about the forest are seen that it is difficult to determine what to attend to. Answer given: 8. Answer given: 7. then run it through the dryer. You may prefer to copy and paste the paragraph into a word processor for editing and then paste the finished. Rewrite each sentence below to correct any dangling or misplaced modifiers. When sleeping at night. After we rise and have coffee and eggs. The birds sing somewhere deep in the forest. I often lie in bed for an hour. restaurant. the annual rodeo was held. you will not even be able to tell that the stain was there. 1. 1914. The cabin is snug and sound. Answer given: 5. Justin likes to go to a really expensive restaurant. Last summer while spending a few weeks in Wyoming. When I wake up in the morning. or Maria wants only a salad. a busy scene meets our eyes. Answer given: Adapted from Lomer. revised paragraph into the text box.
one by one. Take a look at the following passage by Nathanial Hawthorne from "Tanglewood Porch. on a gently sloping eminence. one fine autumnal morning. rambling and reflective. There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and comfortable world. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. Using sentence structures effectively to reflect our thoughts and feelings takes practice and and appreciation of how form relates to perception. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. Charlotte tried to console her. complex sentences. Darcy. for example with the coordinating conjunctions "and" and "so. above which. Subordination: 133 . she accepted him." A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. Nathanial. "Tanglewood Porch. and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. that. our sentences should also be varied. compound sentences.Sentence Variety Objectives: Our thoughts. (Hawthorne) Hawthorne uses a variety of sentence forms in this paragraph— periodic and loose sentences. the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley. Notice how coordination is used in the following passage from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. Coordination and Subordination Coordination: Coordination between clauses and between sentence verbs. To reflect this variety of thought. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. 1852. inquisitive and full of wonder." Notice how he varies his sentences to create a distinctive mood: BENEATH the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood. can be quick and inspired. His thoughts ebb and flow. He walked away again immediately. and to use sentence variety effectively to communicate their thoughts to a reader: • • • • • coordination and subordination cumulative sentences length transitional expressions colons & semicolons Hawthorne. and of hearing that he was universally liked. and was in conversation with her. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. or terse and even irritable. and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes. drawing the reader into the scene. to show a quick succession of events: She danced next with an officer. without knowing what she did. and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures. In this module." allows writers to show thoughts or actions which follow one another. They had planned a nutting expedition. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. the mansion stood. however. students will learn to use the techniques below to create sentence variety in their writing. As yet. was assembled a merry party of little folks. with a tall youth in the midst of them. and the mood behind our thoughts.
and owning to himself." Use periodic sentences infrequently in your writing. noticing how the subordinate clauses slow down the actions and elaborate on the scene: By way of contributing what grace she could. The House of Seven Gables. There were chairs and plates for three. being about the length of a paragraph. the twists and turns of cause and effect. which had still further insulted his dignity. Jane. Take a look at the same passage from Pride and Prejudice used above. They ask a reader to reflect on an idea or even in greater depth before moving on. and fell quite across the table. (Thackeray) The second sentence is an extreme example. Adding phrases and/or subordinate clauses to the front of a sentence allows us to create this effect. as English speakers typically prefer the loose sentence style. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. that. The sentence begins with a series of subordinate clauses and phrases that create the background information—the frame of mind of the main character—for the action that will occur:f "he felt a hand on his shoulder. for example. and arranged them in a glass pitcher. 1851.Allows writers to show the connections between thoughts and events. while she and Adam sat at breakfast there--came twinkling through the branches of the peartree. The reader looks forward to the fulfillment of an expectation. as in the following sentences: Without hesitating or looking back at his mom. Shortly after Strong had quitted the room. this time noticing the subordinating conjunctions Austen uses to show the way events and thoughts are interconnected: She danced next with an officer. and of hearing that he was universally liked. Phoebe gathered some roses and a few other flowers. Jason got on the bus. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. perhaps that he had acted in a very absurd and peevish manner during the night. how to use phrases is discussed in the sections on periodic and loose sentences. or the relationships of events in time. Austen. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas.—whilst he was really trying to compose himself. A chair and plate for Hepzibah. she accepted him. without knowing what she did.--the same for Phoebe. Darcy. having long ago lost its handle. general and specific versions of experience. and by Miss Amory's behavior to him. Pride and Hawthorne.--but what other guest did her cousin look for? (Hawthorne) In addition to subordinate clauses. . Pen. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. Consider the following description of breakfast preparations in Nathanial Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables. All was now ready. was endeavoring to get some coolness of body and temper by looking out of the window towards the sea. Periodic Sentences: Sometimes writers want to create suspense in writing. 134 Prejudice. but it is still correct grammar. 1813. Hawthorne uses phrases to elaborate on the scene and slow the forward action. He walked away again immediately. How to Use Coordination and Subordination for Variety: For more information on writing sentences using coordination and subordination. or set the stage for an action to occur. possessing either scent or beauty. . and so periodic sentences stand out in your writing. and murmuring in a wonderful calm. and whilst Mr. which. greatly irate at his downfall in the waltz. —he felt a hand on his shoulder . Charlotte tried to console her. please read the lesson in the Coordination & Subordination module. was so much the fitter for a flower-vase. and was in conversation with her. which was sparkling in the distance. which made him look ridiculous in the eyes of the nation. . (Austen) Subordinate clauses tend to slow down the forward momentum of actions or a sequence of ideas. Nathanial. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. The early sunshine--as fresh as that which peeped into Eve's bower. They are rarely used in speech.
indulging in flowered waistcoats. blue eyes. idea 3: use a verbal phrase. etc. He was exceedingly well dressed according to standards prevailing in those days. it is important to vary your patterns. and what little hair he had of a sandy hue. light-colored frock-coats. She walked out the front door. a round. 1848. a clear. and "ed" verbals indicate an action that happens to the subject. however. loose sentences are easy for readers to follow. Loose Sentences Loose sentences are the opposite of periodic sentences: the main clause appears at the beginning of the sentence.How to Write a Periodic Sentence: Several techniques for creating modifiers are discussed in the next section on "Loose Sentences. smooth head rather bald. We receive dozens of catalogs every week from companies like Pottery Barn. and then modifying phrases and clauses are tacked onto the end of the sentence." We use verbal phrases to indicate simultaneous actions. Thackeray. William Makepeace. "Hoping" happens while she walks out the door. A verbal phrase includes a verb form—a verb ending in -ing or -ed that is not the sentence verb. 135 . ruddy complexion. (Hawthorne. long. verbal phrases add detail about what is happening during this action. Hold Everything. as in the following sentence: Slowly. after a mighty struggle." for example. For example. so that sometimes I would not get that she was telling a joke until a minute or two after she told it. humiliating speech when he forgot half the material. J. Loose sentences are common in speech in English. "running very fast" or "confused by the instructions. (Dreiser. a humor that was a bit satirical and a bit dry at times. for example. five feet ten in height. 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 wandered up and down. A Blithedale Romance) He was a brother of Mrs.—any store that ever received a penny of our money. with a big. The sentence verb in the main clause declares the action of the sentence. like an exorcised spirit that had been driven from its old haunts. causing the reader to refer back to the main point. haunted by the memory of his last. "Haunted. It is useful to note that "ing" verbals indicate an action that is being performed by the subject. so as always. Garnet Hill. Below are examples of loose sentences: I betook myself away. suggests that some outside force is acting upon the subject. you can decide on the most effective placement." These techniques are the same for modifiers used at the beginning of a sentence. unctuous. Cowperwood's—Seneca Davis by name—solid. Gabe walked up to the front of the class to give his presentation. a memory. perhaps. can get boring. Bed Bath and Beyond. The History of Pendennis. hoping that today would be a better day than yesterday. and the invariable (for a fairly prosperous man) high hat. Once you learn the techniques. round body. idea 2: use a noun phrase to rename something discussed in the main clause and begin a modifier with this phrase. Penney. She had a wonderful sense of humor. Too many loose sentences in a row. and so in written texts. For example.C. for example.
explore the module on subordination. Nathanial. Also note that the repetition is of a key word in the first modifying phrase rather than the main clause. "). 1852 Vary Length & Style Financier. Dreiser. They can also help writers vary the opening structures of sentences. teaching himself that. For more information. His mood took a turn for the worse. forget it forever. and the repetition of a key word ("truths . We cleaned the house before picking up mom at the airport. Theodore. The Hawthorne. He ate breakfast without appetite. he remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. either showing the subject's thoughts." "after. such as "John woke at 6:00 a. John dressed slowly. 1912. Hesitating at the door. And the short sentences. Just remember. For example. Some useful transitional expressions are shown below. The Blithedale Romance. idea 5: use a combination of phrases. The modifying phrases allow the author to add information that fills in the scene. She believed in being honest above all else. The second paragraph ebbs and flows. Notice that Faulkner uses a verbal phrase ("leaving . He went to work full of dread.m. or suggesting simultaneous actions. the more you tell your reader that it is important. Prepositions such as "without. Compare the above paragraph with the following one that uses a variety of sentence styles and sentence length: John woke at 6:00 a. ") to begin a phrase. providing background information. He walked out the front door without looking back. as a drummer punctuates a drum rhythm. however. so familiar that they start falling asleep." "with.m. This technique is very effective for refining ideas.idea 4: use a prepositional phrase. Do not feel that you need to stop at one phrase if you have more to say. the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. One pattern in particular—the simple sentence presented with few (or no) modifying phrases—can get really boring. his heart full of dread. He dressed slowly and ate breakfast without any appetite." punctuate the sentence. Subordinating Conjunctions: 136 . Suddenly. . His mood took a turn for the worse. . the meeting that would decide if the company died or became successful beyond imagination. He remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. as in the following example: John woke up at 6:00 a. Use Transitional Expressions Transitional expressions signify the relation between ideas. . leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart. that the more space you devote to a topic. or logical relationships between ideas. . It is easy for readers get familiar with a sentence pattern." and "before" establish spatial. Here is an example of a loose sentence by Faulkner from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech: [A writer] must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and. he summoned his courage and went to work. Varying the length and style of sentences keeps readers awake. as when one gets sleepy driving down an unvarying freeway late at night. temporal.m.
although. Nathanial. The crowd hurries toward home along the streets. afterward." 1. similarly. if. first. exception: however. indeed. as though condition: even though. Answer given: 137 . 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. firstly. in the same way. though. as. Answer given: 4. The conversation ended. For example. Jason took out the trash. thus exemplification: for instance. one verbal phrase. even though. so that concession: although." Relocate the modifying phrase(s) in each sentence. Deep red through the fog. as. "Chiefly About War Matters by a Reasonable Man. except upon sure ground of observation. eventually. consequently. similarity: accordingly. amplification: what is more. as if it were not his practice to vouchsafe any great warmth of greeting. provided that. in the first place. and Leutze allowed us to gaze at the cartoon of his great fresco. but only reserved). Because she is loyal and brave. on the other hand. Brian loved to sail. nevertheless.cause: because. regardless addition: in addition. white with snow. since. and talked about it unaffectedly. despite. Answer given: 7. "Chiefly About War Matters") Hawthorne. unless time: after. with keen and somewhat guarded eyes. Soon. for example. on the whole time: meanwhile. His detractors. before. Answer given: 9. while. after all. (Hawthorne. have not been silenced. Answer given: 3. as long as. his look grew kindly and genial (not that it had ever been in the least degree repulsive. Answer given: 5. when Sentence Adverbs: effect: consequently." might become "Hoping to end the fight quickly. whenever. even though. "The matador. though. Meanwhile the noble design spoke for itself upon the wall. even if. however. second. as long as. and one subordinate clause. the matador stared at the bull. Answer given: 8. Use at least one prepositional phrase. moreover summary: in sum. hoping to end the fight quickly. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the beginning of each of the following 5 sentences. though outvoted. 6. the sun sets. as soon as. shortly. It is by his poetry that Milton is best known. Megan blacked out. as only a man of true genius can speak of his own works. Answer given: 2. we admire Ariella.
10. Dorothy dropped her iPod. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the end of each of the following 5 sentences. Use at least one phrase beginning with the repetition of a key word from the main clause, one noun phrase renaming a subject or idea in the main clause, one verbal phrase, and one subordinate clause 11. She became angry. Answer given: 12. There was something else mingled with his pain. Answer given: 13. Our dreams do not really die. Answer given: 14. Fear can overcome the senses. Answer given: 15. The President spoke privately to the Vice President. Answer given: 7. Write a paragraph using good sentence variety on the following topic: Coping with Answer given: pain (or hardship, if you prefer).
Coordination & Subordination Objectives: To learn appropriate and effective use of coordinating and subordinating conjunctions to combine sentences, phrases, and words. To learn how to revise paragraphs for coherence, rhythm, and movement by combining sentences using coordination and subordination. Coordination and coordinating conjunctions... Coordinating conjunctions allow us to connect independent clauses of the same level of importance in a single sentence and avoid paragraphs composed of many short, repetitive simple sentences. Seven different coordinating conjunctions allow us to create distinct relationships between clauses: and (the most common coordinating conjunction), is used to combine two similar ideas together: The mechanic fixed the broken tail-light, and he replaced the brakes, too. Note that the above sentence could also be written as a single clause by leaving out the pronoun "he" and using the coordinating conjunction "and" to connect, or coordinate, the two verbs in the sentence as follows "The mechanic fixed the broken tail-light and replaced the brakes, too." A coordinating conjunction can connect words, phrases, and clauses. but is used to join two contrasting ideas together: I thought my tail-light was broken, but it was simply disconnected from the plug. yet is similar to "but," in that it is used to join two contrasting ideas; however, "yet" is used instead of "but" to really emphasize a contrast: She finally booked a trip to Paris, France, yet she only plans to stay four days. or joins two alternative ideas together: We can go out to dinner with my parents, or we can go to the movies with Mike and Sumi. 138
nor joins two negative alternatives together: My boyfriend does not want to go out to dinner with my parents, nor does he want to go the movies with Mike and Sumi. so is used to join clauses in a cause and effect relationship, and is similar in meaning to the subordinating conjunction "hence." Both words indicate an effect or result of something. However, "hence" has a more formal tone and subordinates one idea to the other, while "so" is more casual in tone and maintains equal importance of the clauses. At the ticket counter, Manny discovered he had forgotten our concert tickets, so we had to miss half the show while we went home to get them. for is also used to join clauses in a cause and effect relationship and indicates a reason why something happens. Thus, "for" is similar in meaning to "because," "as," or "since." However, "because," usually suggests that the reason is the most important part of the idea: "I got rid of my television because it was destroying my brain cells." "As" and "since" are usually used to show that the reason why something happened is not as important as the main clause, or that the reason is well-known already: "As you have a television and I don't, how about I come to your house to watch the NBA playoffs?" "For" is usually used to indicate that the reason is an afterthought, an idea that emerges once the first idea is stated. I hated listening to her talk, for she spoke in a high nasal voice. She refuses to admit she hates her boss, for she dislikes conflict with anyone. Coordination creates rhythm and balance, and improves coherence in a writer's sentences. Compare the following paragraphs to see how coordination improves the writing: The realities of the land and its inhabitants obviously color the fiction of any area, but there is also a literary style that thrives on exaggeration. The exaggerations of the Texan comprise a distinct body of folk material, but nowhere has exaggeration been more artfully cultivated than in contemporary fiction. (Max Apple, from his Introduction to Southwest Fiction, 1980). Without coordination: The realities of the land obviously color the fiction of any area. The realities of the people color the fiction as well. There is also a literary style that thrives on exaggeration. The exaggerations of the Texan comprise a distinct body of folk material. Nowhere has exaggeration been more artfully cultivated than in contemporary fiction. Coordination in a series... Coordinating conjunctions are also used to connect items in a series. These items can be phrases or single words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs). In any series the items must be parallel, or coordinate (like) items. For example, Mark brought steak, lettuce, tomatoes, and charcoal to our bar-b-que. To surprise her mom, Nellie washed the dishes, took out the trash, and vacuumed the living room. Michelle liked to eat well but hated to exercise. Coordination shows that each item in a series is of equal importance and similar structure. Coordination also makes the writing easy to follow; having read the first one or two items in a series, a reader assumes the writer will follow the established pattern until the conclusion of the sentence. Notice how coordination makes the sentences below easy to follow: Whether the chase involves a car, a horse, a wife, or a fortune, the quest itself often sbustitutes in Southwestern literature for the close observation of manners that is characteristic of a more settled society. And in the following example, notice how coordination is used effectively throughout the paragraph to develop the main idea that Southwestern fiction has its own peculiar "rhythms and cadences" influenced by Spanish culture: 139
The story is told in repetitious rhythms and cadences that are peculiar to the area. There is a touch of the Southern in this rhythm but the Southwest is, on the whole, remarkably separate from the literary territory of the South. The South has the Civil War and slavery as its unique heritage; the Southwestern motif is distinctly Spanish. The Indian occupies the tragic center of Southwestern history and fiction, but it is the Spanish culture that marks the area with its particular regionalism. Spanish words are a part of Southwestern language; Mexican food is almost as pervasive as pizza and hamburgers. "Remember the Alamo" is still the ringing phrase of the Southwest, and school children in Texas celebrate the victory over Mexico on San Jacinto Day, but the Mexican culture has not been destroyed. . . .(Max Apple, from his Introduction to Southwest Fiction, 1980). Subordination... A subordinate clause depends upon another clause, the independent clause, to complete its meaning. For this reason, the subordinate clause is sometimes called a "dependent" clause. The subordinate clause is identifiable by the presence of a subordinating conjunction such as after, although, before, once, and whenever, although there are many more to choose from. Each subordinating conjunction establishes a specific relationship between the clauses, often with subtle and important distinction. In addition, a subordinate clause can create movement and style in a piece of writing by directing the reader's attention ahead in anticipation of the main clause, as in the following sentence: Once Simone finishes the final exam, she will join us at the graduation party A subordinate clause can also direct the reader's attention backwards, as in this sentence: I ate the Col. Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken, extra crispy, for lunch, although my doctor recommends that I avoid fried food. This ebb and flow movement adds variety and emphasis, helping a writer get away from repetitive and boring sentences. Common subordinating conjunctions... Some common subordinating conjunctions are shown below and on the next few tabs, along a description of how they are used: Cause "Because," "as" and "since," can all be used to begin a clause giving the reason for something happening. However, subtle differences between these words should shape how you use them: "Because" should be used when the reason is the most important part of the sentence: I arrived late because I had a flat tire and had to call AAA to come and fix it. "As" and "since" are used when the reason has already been established: Since you don't like scary movies, then you probably shouldn't come with us to see Sawz. "So that" is used to indicate the effect or outcome of something: So that she wouldn't be late for work, she set her alarm clock for 6:00 a.m., giving her an extra half hour to get ready. 140
because, as, since
Subordinating conjunctions: concession and comparison...
Concession and Comparison "Though" is the most casual of these terms used to show contrast. Use "even though" when you want to show strong surprise (the word "even" adds emphasis and is used in combination with subordinators like "when," and "if") although, though, Even though the particular causes of global warming even though, as are not clear to me, I do understand the consequences. though "As though" is used to suggest that something is highly unlikely to happen, or should not even be considered reasonable. It is used in casual rather than formal writing: Gabriel asked me out last night, as though I had shown any interest in him at all. "As" is used to show similarities between things: as As sand falls through an hourglass, so fall the days of our lives. As a thesis is the controlling idea of an essay, a topic sentence is the controlling idea of a paragraph. "While"and "whereas" can both be used to show contrast, but not contradiction. For example, I have always liked the Rolling Stones, whereas T.J. only likes their old stuff. while, whereas While white wine is good with fish and chicken, red wine is better with meat. versus Though I like to go out to eat, I don't like to go to crowded restaurants. Subordinating conjunctions: condition
Condition even though, Each of these three subordinating conjunctions is used to though, indicate a contrasting condition. "Though" is the least although formal of the three. "Even though" means "despite that fact that" and is stronger than "though" and "although" in emphasizing a condition for something. 141
.Even though I am exhausted. unless at the beginning of a clause describes a condition that would prevent something from happening. Even if you were rich. 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. It is usually used with verbs in the present tense to discuss a future conditional: We will meet at the soccer field. "as long as" is used to emphasize a particular duration of time: As long as you live in this house.. "Unless" is used to specify a negative condition. 142 "Where" identifies the place . her head felt much better." . After Angela took the ibuprofen.means no matter where: "Wherever we went. in other words. you are under arrest. "Even if" points to particular conditions and means "whether or not. (after "a. you are welcome to come along. you may have desert. I would not go out with you. you will abide by my as soon as. unless it is raining. I have to study for my biology exam tonight. we could find a MacDonald's. be sure and call to let me know you have arrived safely." then "b"): after After you arrive in Hawaii. even if unless Place where wherever Time "After refers to an event or action that occurs after another event or action has occured. for something happening: as long as As long as you pay your own way. as rules. Subordinating conjunctions: place and time if." This subordinator is interesting in that it suggests a hypothetical situation as a condition." Both subordinators are used to indicate a condition provided that. "As long as" is a slightly less formal version of "provided that. Unless you can provide an alibi for your actions at 10:15 last night.
If I need advice. "Until" means up to the time. "While" is used to emphasize long duration: While you were out celebrating. (before "a" happens. When you called. whenever When I am in Berkeley. you get wiser. "As" and "when" are used to describe short events: The phone rang as I was on my way out the door. I was home cleaning the house. "While." and "when" indicate that things are happening simultaneously. We also use "as" to show that one thing is the consequence of another: As you get older. I will be sure and call you. until.before "Before" refers to an event or action that must occur before another event or action can take place. I was in the tub. As I was printing out my notes for the meeting. "Whenever. You cannot watch television until you clean your room. when as. or until a certain event has taken place. 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. while. you had better stop delivery on your newspaper." "as. 143 . "b" must occur) Before you leave for Hawaii. I get a headache." is used to indicate a repeated occurence of something when certain conditions arise. We often use "just" in combination with "when" and "as" to describe events happening simultaneously. For example. he apologized profusely. my boss called to tell me the meeting was cancelled. "Till" is similar to "until." though less formal. or almost simultaneously: Just as she turned to yell at him for knocking her groceries out of her arms. Whenever I drink red wine." and also sometimes "if" and "when. I will be sure to visit you.
Note also that with "while" and "when. students will learn to create unified paragraphs having strong topic sentences and supporting details that clearly relate to and develop the topic sentence. 144 . Why are you in college? Answer given: What would you like to do after you finish school? Answer given: If you could go anywhere for summer vacation this year. Thompson likes to knit when travelling on the train." it is perfectly correct to leave out the subject and the "to be" verb form. he listens to his iPod. Students will also learn to revise their work to improve paragraph unity. where would you go and why? Answer given: Paragraphs Creating Unified Paragraphs In this module. as in the following sentences: While walking the dog. Mrs. 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. Proofread your paragraphs before you press the "submit" button to ensure that you have used coordination and subordination to good advantage.
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. The family’s Jack Russell Terrier. A new paragraph begins when one thought is fully developed. In narrative paragraphs. Supporting sentences contribute information to help the reader see the validity of the controlling idea. A kitchen and large formal dining room are adjacent to the family room. for example. such as comparison and contrast. it is easy to slip into plot summary. often is perched on the couch begging for food or running around. What should the reader pay attention to? What is important here? It is the writer's job to create clear direction. then this" structure without any real point or purpose other than moving through events. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Coherence Module. Peanut. Coherence must also be created between paragraphs to help the reader make the transition from one paragraph to the next. cause and effect. However. Like the living room. a paragraph is the communication of a single assertion or thought. or paragraphs in which a writer tells the story of events. In brief. a descriptive paragraph that needs work for unity (the controlling idea is underlined): 145 . For further instruction on paragraph development. Every night the family eats dinner at the round wooden kitchen table where I usually notice a lingering scent of vanilla candles. instead of focusing on how aspects of the story support an interpretation. Rules govern the organization and development of paragraphs and provide useful checkpoints for revision: Unity: All sentences in a paragraph must be unified around a central point or controlling idea. and what logic controls the clustering of sentences together in a paragraph. Unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs Creating unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs can be difficult. then this" of the story being analyzed. comparison and contrast. watching MTV. the dining room rarely is used. the problem is similar: a writer may get caught up in describing aspects of something without having a sense of purpose. Transitional expressions and patterns of development. I also regularly find my cousins playing computer games. recounting the "this. In a literature analysis essay. I frequently notice my aunt and uncle seated on one of their tan leather couches watching the news or Comedy Central. narration.—that best illustrates the controlling idea. This controlling idea is usually declared in a topic sentence. I go into a small living room with a fireplace which almost always is vacant. Completeness: (or development) Enough specific supporting detail should be provided in the paragraph to make the controlling idea convincing. The writer narrates his entry into his aunt and uncle's home. it is easy to fall into the sequence trap. with enough detail or explanation to make that thought clear to a reader. wherein the writer focuses on a "this. when one paragraph should end and the next one begin. and describes what he observes there. or viewing movies in the family room. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Development Module. and a new thought begins. Writers should select the type of details—description. help create coherence. In descriptive paragraphs.What is a paragraph? Many beginning writers are not exactly sure what a paragraph should look like. etc. For further instruction on paragraph coherence. but it is difficult to tell what we are to make of these observations. 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. They are unsure how long a paragraph should be. This paragraph lacks a controlling idea. Coherence: Sentences in a paragraph should progress logically to develop the controlling idea. in the adjacent family room.
The first supporting sentence does support the main idea.The City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. 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 topic sentence does not really lead the reader to expect this content. With the recent failure of “Measure R.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. doesn't quite meet the expectations created by the topic sentence. it is beyond the scope of the controlling idea. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. unified narrative and descriptive paragraphs. the paragraph is not unified. or reshape the controlling idea here. the train station would be refurbished. in this paragraph.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. take a look at a few strong. and have a museum added. Sentence Unfortunately. 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. a description of the state of disrepair of the train station would also be appropriate. The writer may choose to write another paragraph about why the site should be preserved. the train station would be refurbished. This second supporting sentence. The writer focuses on a rationale for why the City of Novato should preserve the site. However. 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. each supporting sentence is analyzed in detail for how it does (or does not) support the controlling idea of the paragraph. 146 . 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. Discussion Given the controlling idea as stated in the topic sentence. In the table below. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. Speculating about what might bring about change is probably a worthwhile thing to do in this essay. but as is. Now. and so meets the reader's expectations. this idea does not fit. the City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. and have a museum added. The author describes the neglected site. The building lies behind a chain-link fence with no warning signs or notices to discourage vandals or warn off curious children from trouble. however.
Fill out your meal card when you sit down in the dining car. 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). lounge cars. Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument. the stress and strain of running two companies and trying to have a family caused him to sell the businesses and return to retail. Find out what is free in your car (drinks. it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. Without logical progression of thought. body. Figure out who you can ask for what. Assignment Use the techniques for creating good paragraph unity that you have learned in this module to write paragraphs on the topics below.a unified narrative paragraph: The home [my father] provided his family was not truly his. There is a hierarchy of staffing—just like a government. and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. towels. Instead. Always tip. and the structure will collapse. He had no time to be with his family. a unified descriptive paragraph: The train is like a small town on wheels. The cars are the city blocks. my father found himself sleeping through the moments he was home. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. The train has its own culture and rules. pillows. 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. Write a unified narrative paragraph about a time you turned out to be wrong about someone. or a scene at a local event. etc. engines. Everyone has an address. His home was a place he stored his stuff. Eventually. Write a unified paragraph about the problems caused by giving kids cell phones before they are teenagers. etc. as Ward Cleaver did. sleeper cars. and conclusion. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast. The reduction in income caused the sale of my first home and initiated the cycle of unrest in my father. Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats. Answer given: 1. Answer given: 2. evaluate evidence. Clear and logical transitions between the introduction. and baggage cars. definition. downtown street scene. example.) Wear shoes or lose a toe. dining cars. such as a farmer's market. it is your seat or compartment number. The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following: A clear. If the student does not master this portion of the essay. 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 so forth. Alternatively. You learn behavior by experience—like don’t fool around with the ticket packet—let them do it. 147 . the analysis of cause and effect. concise. and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. expound on the idea. newspapers. 1. Write a unified descriptive paragraph about a local park.
Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting.Body paragraphs that include evidential support. such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. though you may not be crafting the next great novel. that is because it is. such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. statistical. and logically so. the expository essay must be complete. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. the method consists of: 1. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If it sounds straightforward. there would be a beginning. Therefore. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. logical. middle. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. This is. you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay. We hope these resources will help. synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay. students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation. rather. narration. it is an art form nonetheless. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis. A bit of creativity! Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Allen Brizee. have been criticized by some composition scholars. In fact. a conclusion Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker. three evidentiary body paragraphs 3. in fact. Remember. Exposition. 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. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. also known as the modes of discourse. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. exposition. however. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. Evidential support (whether factual. 148 . and end to the conversation. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. 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 logical. if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point. therefore. Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. or anecdotal). but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided. an introductory paragraph 2. What is more. Although these genres. Often times. Narration.
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
review the main points. Restate why the topic is important.. a vast array of wildlife. 153 . You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work. and a mixture of cultures. Therefore. But this is not the case. and logically so. middle. synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. More than 6 million people visit Hawaii each year.. there would be a beginning. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast.logical. sources of information and their credibility. rather. Longer Argumentative Essays Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. This is the picture of a typical day in Hawaii. that is because it is. The first introduction is the least interesting because it offers so many broad generalizations. readers will rarely make a strong connection with the topic. In the case of Hawaii. This is. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. If it sounds straightforward. perfect weather. The reader is engaged by the promise of unexpected and surprising information in the essay to follow. The very first job before you in an essay is to capture your reader's interest and attention. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic. it is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. the sun warming your weightless body. the argumentative essay must be complete. the travel brochures do not lie: Hawaii is paradise. 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. Hawaii truly is a paradise. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. 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. İntroductions Opening Lines. Hawaii can still be paradise. however. Readers are asked to picture themselves in the scene. In fact. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. sparkling sea. Which lines do the best job of capturing your interest? The tropical islands of Hawaii are known for beautiful sandy beaches. and review your thesis. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. tropical fruits. With so many tourists on such a small land mass. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. palm trees. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. but then surprises the reader by suggesting that in spite of this problem. that Hawaii would be too crowded for a satisfying vacation. it would seem that any pleasures to be had at Hawaii's beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts would be spoiled by overcrowding. the method consists of 1) an introductory paragraph 2) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and 3) a conclusion. in fact. The second introduction is far more effective at creating interest because of the numerous sensory and concrete details. if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. and end to the conversation. Consider these openings lines from three different essays about Hawaii. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. Without a concrete image or idea.
such as laundry needing to be done. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. An analogy: 154 . Relevant background material: Be careful here. in a short trip to Hawaii. and nothing to do but to enjoy the beauty and bounty of life and each other. try to capture for your reader what drew you in and made you passionate about this topic. 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. if only temporarily. And since you know your own idea intimately. Paradise can be found. like the freedom Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall. Try for a more extended definition that is keyed into your essay topic. drew thousands more tourists to the growing number of hotels along Waikiki Beach." or "Throughout American history") Hawaii has been a popular tourist destination since the 1920's. A concession: Start with a commonly held belief or opinion. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. You need to break through these distractions by providing a compelling reason to read. More than 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. Don't include background material that does not have a direct bearing on your topic. shaping them to your own purposes: A short anecdote: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. Ask yourself. and then assert a new approach or direction for your essay. it is possible to go to Hawaii and feel like you are way off the beaten path. And by the 1940's. In the early days. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees." He was wrong. but also distractions. there are a few specific strategies that you may adopt. or loud music next door. Hawaii is the number one American tourist destination. Today. under what conditions will my reader pick up this essay? Imagine your reader having a general interest in your topic. An interesting fact or statistic: This technique is used above. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. Hawaii is anything but indifferent. A short narrative: This technique is also used above. Although 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. the sun warming your weightless body. "Since the beginning of time. "Traveling is a fool's paradise. Hollywood films like "Waikiki Wedding" featuring scenes shot on location. That said.How do you go about writing an introduction that is going to get your reader's attention? To start. or kids arguing. tourists travelled to Hawaii aboard steamships to experience first hand the romantic beauty that had been popularized in Hawaiian songs of the teens. sparkling sea. Paradise for many of us in the 21st century is having freedom from care and worry. put yourself in the place of your reader. Broad generalities merely distract the reader and postpone what is really important in the essay (for example.
Of course." You will have to take too many steps to get from such a broad generalization to your specific argument. but the worst is our fast-food culture. "Life without my husband was going to be difficult.g.. be sure to turn that question into a statement in your final draft. the introduction should focus the reader's attention on what you will be arguing in the essay itself about your topic. with this second thesis. for example. If. Others prefer their vacations to be more like the ride on a ferris wheel.. Given the thesis below (or something similar). . What not to do.." detrract from your topic by redirecting the emphasis to you and your methods. but others do not (e. for example. and/or you could describe the many different activities for families on the Hawaiian Islands. San Answer given: Francisco is 155 a great city. and little time to catch one's breath. 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. Instead.... or contract. stay within your topic area.. Moving into your thesis.. write an introduction using an interesting quote to draw the reader in." "I am no expert on . . Some essays naturally fall into clear and equal divisions (e. In addition to capturing the reader's interest and establishing the topic of your essay.. "It is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. showing why Hawaii is the better choice. Once you have your thesis.") Assignment 1.." the reader will expect to be shown why Hawaii is a great place for families to take a vacation. .. If you like working with rhetorical questions to help you stay focused. Some writers find a clear question keeps them focused as they are developing their ideas. for example. . than from heart-pounding new experiences. but I will do the best I can.Don't feel you must describe the structure of your essay in your thesis (unless your instructor requires such description)." or "Words are not enough to really explain." the reader will expect to be shown how one can experience paradise in Hawaii. the writer settles on a focusing question.g. A thesis is a promise. full of excitement with a new thrill around every turn..Some people desire a vacation to be like a non-stop rollercoaster ride. your thesis is "Hawaii is a wonderful place for a family vacation. .. instead of going the extra distance to figure out what the argument actually is.. where the joy of the ride comes more from the scenery and new vistas. "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. Instructors don't much like them because they are a often a kind of cop out. on the other hand." The diagram (right) helps illustrate the way an introduction should focus the reader's thought: The thesis as a promise.Don't over use rhetorical questions.Don't describe your writing or thinking process... 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. "There are three good methods for strengthening the body after muscle injury"). or within a theme tightly connected to your thesis. you could compare Hawaii to other destinations as family vacation spots. you still have options for development with any thesis. The argument is typically captured in a single sentence we call the "thesis sentence. ok. show me.Don't begin with a huge generalization like "Throughout history civilizations have grown and died." On the other hand a rhetorical question is actually a good focusing device for a draft. If you say. between you and the reader.. The reader takes in your words in the thesis and says. Statements like "As I was exploring ideas for this topic..
Thesis Development Discovering and Developing a thesis: Overview Love notes. identifying the purpose and audience is the first step in the writing process for most writers. write an introduction using a short narrative or useful background material to draw the reader in. Given the thesis below (or something similar). essays for class. The truth is..2. Although they may experience the rest of that process in different ways. given that you did not actually write the essay). virtually all writers encounter these kinds of questions: What will I write about? How can I get past my “writer’s block”? What can I do when I’ve run out of things to say How should I organize my ideas? What’s the best way to get my point across? As writers gain experience in working through such questions. 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. San Answer given: Francisco is a great city. By learning how to discover a topic worth writing about. or as best you can. 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. job-related documents. Relationships demand a lot of work. 4. or as best you can. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. significant idea).. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. how to gather ideas to write about. sooner or later. Given the thesis below (or something similar). write a conclusion in which you look to the future or provide an analogy. given that you did not actually write the essay). 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 . Whatever the writing task. or the next Great American Novel. most come to recognize this activity as part of the process of finding and shaping their ideas—not as evidence that they can’t write. Answer given: 3. and how to focus on a central theme or thesis (a specific. write a conclusion posing a question or challenging your reader to action. Objectives By the end of this unit. Given the thesis below (or something similar). Relationships are a lot of work. e-mail to friends.
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. There is almost never a "right" answer a teacher is looking for in an essay. Most students write their first essays in response to an instructor's assignment." as well as "support" the argument with evidence. Support your argument with evidence from the readings. Action verbs are key in writing assignments: what the instructor actually wants a student to do is carried in the verbs. and how the student's thinking has evolved based on the reading. on the other hand." William Faulkner uses many techniques of characterization to paint a portrait of the title character. what the teacher most often wants is to hear what the student has learned. Where do you stand? Write an essay of 1500 words in which you define the problem of global warming and recommend solutions. and the solutions. describe Emily's character. the instructor asks students to "take a stand." Frankly. A typical assignment in an English class looks something like this: In his short story "A Rose for Emily. those students who have paid close attention to the ideas and language in the reading. Support your thesis by discussing examples of Faulkner's characterization techniques. In a 1000 word essay. In the above assignment on "A Rose for Emily. and who pay close attention to the language of the assignment. After receiving assignments like these." for example. or We have read several essays on global warming by various scientists and global leaders.. places. will generally write better essays. giving examples from the story. These authors have different takes on the severity of the problem. "support.) in terms of their differences to present reasons for or against something to make clear through examples. 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." "define a problem" and "recommend solutions." "discuss. the causes. the actions are "describe. students often worry about "what the teacher wants." and "give examples.Analyzing Writing Assignments for Meaning . analogies demonstrate to make clear through reasoning recommend to present as worthy of acceptance analyze synthesize to separate into constituent parts in order to determine the critical features of the whole to combine elements into a meaningful whole 157 ." In the second essay assignment. etc.. places.) in terms of their likenesses to examine two or more objects (people. etc.
and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one. These prewriting techniques are described in detail below: brainstorming: Simply tossing around ideas. Given the "Rose for Emily" assignment above. and more connected to one's own voice. Write a tentative thesis on a piece of paper and run it by your instructor during office hours. Focused freewriting is similar to freewriting.rowling. I think. you may end up with some material that you can actually use in the essay itself. Rowling tells of how a long. J. getting unstuck: freewriting. a student might use clustering to compare the readings on particular topics of discussion. K. And so. 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. brainstorming. but the topic is defined. After clustering. I didn't have a functioning pen with me. whether you are a beginner or a professional writer. rather than sitting down at a desk "to write. clustering: Clustering emphasizes the relationships between ideas and is useful in exploring various angles on a topic. When the topic is up to you . and all the details bubbled up in my brain. these ideas having arrived when they were just musing about things. on the computer or on paper. then jotting down a few key ideas that may be useful. Many writers use this technique for developing ideas. however. clustering is quite useful. either in one's head.k. Using Prewriting Techniques and Other Strategies to Discover and Shape a Topic. But feeling stuck is a normal part of the writing process. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. You may be surprised at the ideas you come up with. and this scrawny. 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. bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me. and often say that they end up jotting down their best ideas on gum wrappers and napkins. —Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith It isn't easy to write an essay. etc.com) freewriting: Writing non-stop about whatever comes to mind. idly. 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. What can you do about it? There are several techniques for getting going. . Given the assignment on global warming above. clustering. but little idea about what it all means. For students who are trying to decide the angle to take on a particular topic." Try brainstorming about an assignment when you have nothing else to occupy your mind: in a waiting line. There is even a term for a severe form of being stuck: writer's block. Plus. (j. . listing.. And one of the most difficult parts of writing is finding what you want to say.com" will even cluster most any topic for you. now. on a long car ride. is the same: to let words flow freely on the assumption that out of this unpressured writing will come an idea. Make sure that you understand how much freedom you really have.. that this was probably a good thing. you're stuck. In a brief biography on her website . one ends up with categories of information on a particular topic. you may have a pretty good sense at the outset of how Faulkner describes Emily. There's nothing to writing. or in discussion with a friend. for four (delayed train) hours. Focused freewriting is effective when one has a topic but is unsure about what one wants to say about that topic. in that one writes non-stop. in traffic. 158 . The search engine "clusty. Freewriting is particularly effective in making writing seem more natural and familiar. To my immense frustration. The point of all of the strategies.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. how much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my hands on a pen). black-haired. until you find a groove and ideas start to flow. because I simply sat and thought.
Mr. Lindzen.com. ought to have been followed by an asterisk.. . Take a look at the variety of angles on global warming that professional writers have come up with. which range from nine to 14 years. Could such tiny fluctuations be responsible for changes in climate? from "Don't Believe the Hype: Al Gore is wrong. Generating a thesis statement: The first step in developing a thesis is defining a topic.For example. WSJ. The next step is to decide what you will say about your topic.. Washington Post. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community 159 . 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." or "explain. Many angles on a given topic are possible. That statement. which Mr. 2004: Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. and determining where the truth. What exactly is this debate that Mr. As mentioned above. But satellite measurements show that our local star dims and brightens slightly in concert with sunspot cycles. There's no "consensus" on global warming. 2006. this topic may be defined for you by your instructor.) from "Setting the Record Straight: Blame the sun?" Seattle Times. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. July 2. December 26." your thesis should reflect this purpose. It is a bit like shorthand freewriting and is quite useful to students having trouble putting pen to paper." Naomi Oreskes. ." Richard S. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. 2005: In the debate over global warming." "illustrate. some of them a bit odd: • • • • • • • children recipes plantains tropics plants film comedy listing: is simply writing down key words and phrases on a topic. as you see it. It's time to lay that misapprehension to rest. or you may have the freedom to define a topic for yourself. Thesis statements are underlined: from "Undeniable Global Warming. Generating and Revising Thesis Statements for Effectiveness.". at least one thing seems constant: the sun. lies. a search on "bananas" brings up the following clusters—some of them useful. Also important is the language of the assignment: if your instructor asks you to "describe. There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason. in an unordered list. October 9. and the prewriting techniques described in the previous section will help you here.
But is the “American Dream” really such a dream? What does it really cost us to achieve that dream. one that does not need more than a paragraph of support: It was hard to call a ship home. in drafting his article.that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over. 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. . in drafting her article. it became difficult to think of it as anything else. development problems. but after living on the ship for three years. multiple directions: The language of the thesis suggests that the writer will explore several topics. nor do you need to write your introduction. and even sentence-level problems. but don't worry too much about the exact sentence structure until you revise your essay. no argument: A thesis that states a topic without an angle on that topic is just information. "Don't believe the hype. and is that price worth it? Revising Your Thesis: When your thesis lacks clarity. the thesis focuses on a seemingly insignificant or minor point. Some of the most common problems are described below: weak argument: When the argument is weak. . Subordinate clauses are attached to the main clause via a subordinating conjunction. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. and a list of subordinating conjunctions). but the connection between these topics is not clear: TV families often confront issues such as gender." may well have started with a working thesis like "Contrary to what Al Gore says. A reader wonders what is the point? What does the writer want me to think about this situation? The qualities and the atmosphere of the two households can be very different based on various factors like age of kids. and these 160 . and circumstances of the times they grew up in. and not with the specific content of the argument. The key words should be there which focus your work. thesis as a question: Instructors frown on this strategy for beginning an essay. Unfortunately. ready to be read by a reader. rewriting the sentence to include a subordinate clause might help (see our module on coordination/subordination for more detail. unity problems. A working thesis: You do not need to worry about finding the perfect langauge for your thesis before you begin writing your essay. because when a writer is unsure about direction." And Naomi Oreskes. the content suffers on all levels. A much stronger tactic is to turn that question into a statement (though the question may work quite well as working thesis. there has been no debate among scientists about global warming. but a statement of what you will argue in the essay. helping you to focus on your reader's needs). Common Thesis Statement Problems: A solid thesis is the foundation of a good essay." A working thesis is not a perfectly refined piece of writing. Every good essay begins with an argument: something the author believes to be true and worth proving. age of parents. Richard Lindzen. may well have begun with "scientists do agree that global warming is occurring.
. Some instructors will ask for a map. particularly in the biological or social sciences. Consider the revision of the problematic thesis below: original thesis: TV families often confront issues such as gender. . race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. opinion. In these disciplines. revised thesis: Even though contemporary TV sitcoms try to be real by confronting social problems such as ethnic stereotyping and gender inequality. however. designed so that information can be processed quickly.conjunctions identify specific relationships between ideas. In the revision. . do not necessarily see truth and righteousness as we do." "I will first. the subordinator "if" suggess the writer will be concerned with conditions for something happening. Arugments in written form have been around since ancient Greece. In such moments. we feel there is no justice in the universe. prove to others that our truths are valid truths. the subordinator "because" suggests the writer will be concerned with the causes for something. 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. 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. a more subtle approach is called for. the reader will not be able to follow you (you probably won't stay focused as you write the essay either). A thesis that begins with a phrase like "In this essay I will argue. don't draw a map for development unless your teacher requires it. " or "I hope to show that. mind to him a kingdom is reason lacks dominion. Sometimes. . Providence protect me from fool as adversary. and so we must argue. but in the humanities." The content of the essay will not need to be dramatically altered. however. you can just cut them out. such as for a newspaper or magazine. for the most part. for example. say one thing. and not three or four things. the subordinator can give you a sense of what you want to do in the essay. 161 . our belief that something is true or right is not proof that it is right. essay structures are often pragmatic. repairing these mapping statements is easy. or no God to ensure that there is good in the world. Argumentative essays When Though May The Whose Where Who And blithe to argument I armed with facts. and then. See if the content of your thesis might actually fit under a broader umbrella. Revise your thesis so that you are proving just one thing." actually takes attention away from the argument itself and weakens your voice in the essay. . and merry. and in writing for a popular audience. it is the angle on the content that shifts—how the writer spins the content. An argument is an attempt to convince others of a truth as we perceive it. and so today. . As much as we would have it be otherwise. Fortunately. we expect arguments to have particular features: a claim. Other human beings. calls conviction prejudice prejudice —Phyllis McGinley come. they do not reflect the real day to day problems American families face.
what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use. In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution.evidence to support a claim. or all uses of medication in general? Second. students will learn to construct a strong argument that has these features. all studies agree that pollution is a problem. This thesis statement is not debatable. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. not the government. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good. Still others could argue that corporations. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. In this module. In other words. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment. the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. First. the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start. in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally. recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes). should be paying to limit pollution. what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does 162 . Further. Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. First. a refutation of opposing arguments. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. 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. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. and a conclusion. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education.
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. yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence. in other words what type of claim you want to make. Qualifiers such as "typically. thing. 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. researching renewable energy sources. 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. Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. 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. Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of you broader topic. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above." "usually. Claims about value: These are claims made about what something is worth. Example: The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase. and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution. whether we value it or not. Example: What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal. how we would rate or categorize something. long-term cycles of climate change. Example: Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption. Types of Claims Claims typically fall into one of four categories. 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. 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. and the context of your paper. your audience. such as researching renewable energy sources. 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. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic.the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. Example: Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today. Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person." "generally." or "on average" also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule. or event caused another thing or event to occur. This is a much more manageable topic. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to 163 .
Karl Stolley. objective view of a topic? Or is the author advocating one specific view of a topic? Who is funding the research or writing of this source? A source written from a particular point of view may be credible. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. unless the site is associated with a reputable institution such as a respected university. you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to 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. While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information. 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. surveys. the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research. which are collaboratively developed by users. Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. government program or department. Karl Stolley. Because anyone can add or change content. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown.) How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. accurate. In other words. sources on information technologies. 164 . they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. Regardless of what type of sources you use. need to be much more current. such as Time or Newsweek. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia. or well-known non-governmental organizations. you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate. What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience. and websites. or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes. Is the author presenting a neutral. and trustworthy. Responsible. credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be. experiments. or personal experience and anecdotes. periodicals. they must be credible. a credible media outlet. Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined. however. Second hand research is research you are getting from various texts that has been supplied and compiled by others such as books. they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources. your sources must be reliable. (This is also a good way to find more sources for your own research. Weida.
Find out what the other side is saying and respond to it within your own argument. Don't avoid the opposing side of an argument. or for people who must commute to work. It also makes you look more credible because you appear to be knowledgeable about the entirety of the debate rather than just being biased or uniformed. Including a well thought out warrant or bridge is essential to writing a good argumentative essay or paper.org "the hybrid engine of the Prius. as opposed to industry produced." Counterclaim: Instead of focusing on cars. 165 . The Toulmin Method of logic is a common and easy to use formula for organizing an argument. include the opposing side as a counterclaim. but unrefuted. meaning that a decision to switch to a hybrid car will make a long-term impact on pollution levels. Warrant 1:Because cars are the largest source of private. According to ineedtoknow. air pollution switching to hybrid cars should have an impact on fighting pollution. The basic format for the Toulmin Method is as follows: Claim: The overall thesis the writer will argue for. Warrant 2: Cars generally have a long lifespan. Data 2: Each vehicle produced is going to stay on the road for roughly 12 to 15 years. Data: Evidence gathered to support the claim. Data1:Driving a private car is a typical citizen's most air polluting activity. Warrant 3: This combination of technologies means that less pollution is produced. it is not feasible in many rural and suburban areas. Including counterclaims allows you to find common ground with more of your readers. made by Toyota. Instead. Counterclaim: A claim that negates or disagrees with the thesis/claim. Rebuttal: Evidence that negates or disagrees with the counterclaim. Backing (also referred to as the foundation): Additional logic or reasoning that may be necessary to support the warrant. Rebuttal: While mass transit is an environmentally sound idea that should be encouraged. produces 90 percent fewer harmful emissions than a comparable gasoline engine. Warrant (also referred to as a bridge): Explanation of why or how the data supports the claim. which still encourages a culture of driving even if it cuts down on pollution. Data 3: Hybrid cars combine a gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor. arguments.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. If you present data to your audience without explaining how it supports your thesis they may not make a connection between the two or they may draw different conclusions. thus hybrid cars are a better solution for much of the nation's population. Example: Claim: Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution. the nation should focus on building and encouraging use of mass transit systems. You may want to include several counterclaims to show that you have thoroughly researched the topic. This is important so that the audience is not swayed by weak. the underlying assumption that connects your data to your claim.
too. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. watch out for these slips in other people's arguments. C. Logos often depends on the use of inductive or deductive reasoning. Logos Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason. So. if we don't want Z to occur A must not be allowed to occur either. X. Also. or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on. and a decline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced. In this example the author is basing their evaluation of the entire course on only one class. hunger.. Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars. so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well. which is not the same thing.. talk to the professor. Slippery slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens. Y. the facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population. that genetically modified seeds have been problematic everywhere.. In other words. used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. The generalization you start with must have been based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. Example: Even though it's only the first day. through B. basically equating A and Z. you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts. Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend several classes. and from this draws the more localized or specific conclusion that Mexico will be affected in the same way. Example: Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffee producers. 166 . and possibly even examine the textbook.. Z will happen. Avoid Logical Fallacies These are some common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion There are three types of rhetorical appeals.Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. and on the first day which is notoriously boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses. or persuasive strategies. Karl Stolley. In this example the specific case of fair trade agreements with coffee producers is being used as the starting point for the claim. Because these agreements have worked the author concludes that it could work for other farmers as well. In this example the author starts with a large claim.Example: Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case. so there is no reason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds are introduced in Mexico. Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them. In this example the author is equating banning Hummers with banning all cars. Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. I can tell this is going to be a boring course. then eventually through a series of small steps. In other words. Inductive reasoning must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. so we should not ban Hummers.
Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. so the water must have made me sick. lazy hippies. Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. much less evaluate those strategies on their merits. particularly in a time of war. that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use. Instead. Example: We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth. 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. or worth. But the very conclusion that should be proved. institute. Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments. car sharing systems for necessities and emergencies. idea." a concept that people want to be associated with. or better community planning to discourage daily driving. with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connection between the two. breaking down complex problems." Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it. democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand. There is no reason. a flu bug that had been working on the body for days. In this example the author equates being a "true American. Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism. without more evidence. In this example where two choices are presented as the only options. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. 167 . religion. or a chemical spill across campus. Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want. yet the author ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleaner technology. Genetic Fallacy: A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person. Example: George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before.' Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick. In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car. Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as "filthy and polluting. In this example the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested. the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group. to assume the water caused the person to be sick. Example: Green Peace's strategies aren't effective because they are all dirty. or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed to prove either half of the sentence. or theory determine its character. nature. In this example the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused the second. Example: The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler's army.Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A. Specific evidence such as using everyday language.
Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues. not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. but what will fishers do to support their families. the writer is 168 . • Pathos Pathos. Establish common ground with your audience. the livelihood of those catching fish. appeals to an audience's needs. Most of the time. this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument. For example. and emotional sensibilities. or emotional appeal. Ethos Ethos or the ethical appeal is based on the character. 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. Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe. Emotional appeals can use sources such as interviews and individual stories to paint a more legitimate and moving picture of reality or illuminate the truth. most general to most detailed example. Argument emphasizes reason. easy to follow manner. If appropriate for the assignment." In an argument. a claim is usually a stronger and often more emotional proposition that a thesis in an expository essay. but used properly there is often a place for emotion as well. As Arlo Bates writes in Talks on Writing English (1894). Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately. reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly. In this example the author switches the discussion away from the safety of the food and talks instead about an economic issue. credibility. 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. Proofread the argument. disclose why you are interested in this topic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic. "The difference between exposition and argument is the difference between peace and war. An argument should never use emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people. Organize your argument in a logical. values. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt on your character as a writer. however. There are many ways to establish good character and credibility as an author: • • • • • Use only credible. earliest to most recent example. it does not mean we should ignore possible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a few individuals. often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them. You can use the Toulmin method of logic or a simple pattern such as chronological order. or reliability of the writer. While one issue may effect the other. etc. Only use an emotional appeal if it truly supports the claim you are making.
you show that you have done your research and that you are able to distinguish expert from amateur authorities." or "X would seem like the answer. . however. and writes to convince those who disagree to change their minds. Below are examples of the kinds of evidence that you might use to build a strong argument. In using quotes and paraphrase effectively. . on real lives. Take a look at the following arguments for an against stem cell research. .generally ready for disagreement. It is not effective to write an argument without acknowledging opposing arguments and showing why those arguments are not valid. however. . Then. the reader will never accept the writer's claim. 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. evidence is key. but . . well explained. . however. With this clarity established up front.. Mr. because they do not touch on their fundamental belief that embryos are not human persons. In each of these essays. Similarly. there are many problems with this position. . there is an opposition that must be dealt with. They work especially well as a complement to anecdotal or narrative examples to support an argument. is true. you risk appearing unsure of yourself.". Read the module on Working with Sources for more help with using sources in your writing.. Cite authority on a topic: quotations from experts used to back up (not replace) your points work very well. such studies can be very effective in showing readers the way more abstract or general principles have an effect in the real world. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. because it does not deal with his fundamental belief that human personhood begins at conception." etc.is not particularly useful. in your own writing you can discuss these arguments with phrases like "While . Otherwise. which Mr. great or small. " thoughts. the reader knows what to expect in the essay that will follow. .. 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. 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. If you let others speak for you. Without solid support. Be very careful. If there is to be any hope of resolving these issues. your opposition will come away from the essay with a lot of "Yes. or fails to be substantial enough to support a particular position. That statement. 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). Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. not to hide behind these quotes. we must debate when 169 . articles by medical groups that promote stem cell research are not helpful. In an essay on Parkinson's Disease and the importance of stem cell research to find a cure. Who you side with can go a long way to establishing the validity of your argument. What exactly is this debate that Mr. Sometimes writers like to "do away with the opposition" right away after the opening paragraph and then get into the position that the writer wants the reader to adopt in the rest of the essay. the author makes a strong and clear claim at the beginning of the essay. Refuting Opposing Arguments If one fights a battle in an argument. Cite statistics or research: Often solid research findings or statistics can complement a more theoretical argument. . it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. Evidence In argument. . Note the way the authors respond to opposing arguments: Cal Thomas' article against stem cell research. a student might write a case study of an individual with Parkinson's to show how devastating the disease is.
human personhood begins. (Religious Tolerance) ". it is important to know the knowledge level of one's audience in order to not waste time defining terms the reader already knows. In addition. scholarly tone work best? The answer depends largely on who one is writing to. is controversial. their ages no longer matter. to avoid using too many terms the reader does not understand. in-vitro fertilization." Appeal to Authority: Suggests that because someone is an expert (or claims to be) on something. I will not be eating there anymore. don't like to go to the movies. stem cell research and other debates will neatly resolve themselves. particular when the issue." Post Hoc: means "after this. genetically modified foods. generally. everything he has to say about anything. It might be useful to print these out and have them handy when checking your work. Appeal to Emotion: This is an attempt to persuade by soliciting an emotional response such as pity or sympathy rather than evidence. is true. man. because of this. we all should do it (believe it). "Just look at this poor man. immigration policies. it is the assumption becuase B follows A." In other words. Or the numbers. It is obvious he feels devastated by what he has done." 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. Damnation of your soul is completed with the first one." False Dilemma: Occurs when two options are suggested. passionate angle. I think old people. 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. A writer needs to try and empathize with the reader. in order to know how to talk to the reader." 170 . or conversely." (Religious Tolerance) Audience It is very important to understand one's audience when making an argument.. If we can reach a near consensus on this. Logical Fallacies Logical fallacies are logical mistakes that fall into particular categories. Why should we punish him unfairly?" Bandwagon Appeal: Peer pressure. then abortion. to understand the reader's biases and concerns. Tone is a factor as well with readers: Would the reader respond to a more lighthearted tone. when others may be available: "Either we do away with the automobile now. such as abortion rights. 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. and also to check the arguments made by others for errors in logic. Ad Hominem: "against the man" or "against the person. B was caused by A. and what it would be best to talk about. once you decide to become a child-killer. stem cell research. even a topic outside of the field of expertise. Since person A is doing it (believes it). For example. "Brittney got sick right after eating at the Bon Thai.. therefore. or a more serious. Would an objective. or we die tomorrow. For example. a bit of humor.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. Below is a list of the most common logical fallacies. Hell.
almost unnoticeable earthquakes that happen all the time. keep the following conventions in mind. writers might ask themselves what about the incident provided new insights or awareness. second. Finally. a climax. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole." However. third person ("he.Slippery Slope Argument: Assumes that doing one thing will automatically lead to doing other things: "If you get a credit card. Comparison/Contrast Essays Though there are many little. and enhance the story." or "it") can also be used. Two of them happened here. 2. forceful effect. offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. 1. very 171 . the writer should keep three principles in mind. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. or children of various ages and backgrounds. 3. writers first need to select an incident worthy of writing about and. writers must dredge up details which will make the incident real for readers. women. a dominant impression. and an ending. details must be carefully selected to support. More information on sensory details is available. you are going to end up in debt!" Narrative Essays As a mode of expository writing. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage. as stories. in the United States. to find relevance in that incident. including setting and characters. We all have experiences lodged in our memories which are worthy of sharing with readers. • • • Narratives are generally written in the first person. These details should create a unified. In this stage. there are also major ones that destroy vast areas and take many lives. more than any other. should include these story conventions: a plot. using "I. Remember to involve readers in the story. it can concern the writer. explain. that is." "she. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it. Find a generalization which the story supports. Narratives. Narratives rely on concrete. To do this. Conventions of Narrative Essays In writing your narrative essay. men. Principles of Writing Narrative Essays Once an incident is chosen. the narrative approach. Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story. sensory details to convey their point.
This is because the fault line. 172 . Both of these earthquakes also had subsequent fires. The San Francisco earthquake and the Loma Prieta earthquake have may differences. buildings and lives.to do. but the Loma Prieta earthquake was weaker. at about 7. The San Francisco earthquake was around a 7. but the San Francisco earthquake might have taken a little less money to repair. Even though they both happened on the same fault. there are also some not as well-know differences. First off. these earthquakes are similar in some ways that you may not have known. When you compare things. lasted under a minute. like corsets and footbinding. there is also some good that came out of this.8. Both of them very destructive and had major impacts on society. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are two of these majorly destructive earthquakes. Both of these even though caused major damage.000 injured. you can never be too prepared. in fact. Both of these powerful earthquakes happened in California. It was very costly to pay for the repairs that were to be made due to the damage. most writers structure their essays one of four ways. along with the obvious ones like the date and location. usually not for the better. runs across different parts of California.25 magnitude. It took 6. when you contrast things. to define things. to make an argument -. their magnitudes are different. and around 7 billion dollars to repair the Loma Prieta quake. and about 3. These types of earthquakes are life changing. and the Loma Prieta Earthquake happened in 1989.5 billion dollars to make repairs for the San Francisco quake. You can. Now scientists have more education about how to build earthquake proof buildings and bridges. they also have many surprising similarities.757 injured. Both of these earthquakes are horrible disasters.1. the San Francisco earthquake happened in 1906. through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Along with the strength of the earthquakes. They destroyed many houses. In the Loma Prieta earthquake. the dates are different. you show their similarities. This segment runs from Hollister. The epicenter for both of these earthquakes was the Northern segment of the San Andreas Fault line. almost any kind of writing. It taught people how to be prepared when there is a major earthquake.close to each other. Most earthquakes in the United States tend to occur in California. the number of people killed was also different. two ideas. use comparison and contrast to describe things. Obviously.7. properties. Though these quakes are both very different. But. In the San Francisco earthquake. so comparing and contrasting the unfamiliar with the familiar is one of the most important techniques for writing. The name of this fault line is the San Andreas Fault line. to analyze things. over 3. on which both the earthquakes occurred. and probably do. you show their differences. and are caused by the San Andreas Fault line.000 people were killed and about 225. We can really understand only those things that are familiar to us or similar to things we already understand. When they are comparing and contrasting. for example. Both earthquakes toppled buildings and houses. only about 63 people were killed. These were very life changing events to anyone that was in either one of them or that had family in them.
then do the other. Only compare or only contrast. ►Pattern A: The Block Method.Choose a method of development that works well with your organizing idea. First compare. take note of the following guidelines: . Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. Present one point about A.Each subtopic in Part I must also be discussed in Part II. .Use transitional words or phrases to help the reader understand the similarities and differences in your subject. ►Pattern B: The Point-by-Point Method.Compare according to a single organized idea. 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: . but more often than not. Either is acceptable. 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. and those with few subtopics It can be used when you have three or more principal similarities or differences. summarizing the main points. This pattern tends to work better for shorter papers. 4. . This pattern tends to work better for long papers and those with many subtopics. and do the same thing. 3. Move to the next point. both comparison and contrast is used. then contrast (or vice versa). only differences.Choose items that are related in some way so they can be compared or contrasted.Subtopics should be discussed in the same order in both parts. . . ►Outlines of Sample Essays: 173 . . noting the differences in structure that each presents. First do one idea.Subtopics in Part II should generally include reminders of the point made about the same subtopic in Part I.Conclude your paper by restating your thesis. Present all the information about A.Give equal treatment to both elements that you are discussing . The essay may be organised in one of two patterns. but mixing patterns is not.Use specific and relevant examples for support. To insure unity. . . and give the reader the final ‘so what’ of the major similarities and/or differences that you discussed. Comparison and Contrast Essays A comparison and contrast essay may discuss only similarities. 2.1. and then go to the parallel point about B. and then present parallel information about B. Review the two patterns below carefully. Use this pattern when you have only two principal similarities or differences.
Point 2: Cats can exercise by themselves. corsetry and footbinding) being compared and contrasted. 2: In contrast to cats. This method is probably the one used most commonly. Part B Point 1: In contrast to cats. 3 Cats can exercise by themselves. Point 2: Para. First compare.g. conclusion A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. Point 3: Para. 6 Whereas cats need no training. dogs must be walked regularly. see the Transition Signals handout in the Writing Centre. Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding. Para. Point 3: Cats do not require training. Point 2: Unlike cats. For a more detailed list of transitions. Point-by-Point Method Outline: Point 1: Para. dogs need baths. whereas) emphasise the distinction being made between cats and dogs. 1: Cats can clean themselves. then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different. cats make more convenient pets. Para. I. IV. dogs must be walked regularly. This structure focuses on the comparison and contrast instead of on the two ideas (e. 5 Cats do not require training. Corsets and footbinding are different. unlike.. dogs must be trained. dogs need baths.Thesis: Although dogs are often called man’s best friend. Note that the transitions used in each outline (in contrast to. Block Method Outline: Part A Point 1: Cats can clean themselves. III. Point 3: Whereas cats need no training. 4 Unlike cats. introduction Corsets and footbinding are similar. dogs must be trained. II. 174 . Para. then contrast (or vice versa).
3. The similarities and differences between the ideas do not begin to emerge until the writer gets to the second idea.Clearly. 175 . A comparison/contrast essay like this one would probably focus only on those elements of the ideas that are explicitly comparable or contrasting. 1. Only compare or only contrast.the logical movement is from thinking about similarities to thinking about 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. A structure like this one seems more focused on the ideas being compared and contrasted than on the comparison and contrast itself. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by taking important specific elements and looking at their similarities and differences. instead of corsetry and footbinding to each other. 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. This method is probably the one most students try first. the similarities get emphasis. If you begin with the comparison. then the contrast will get emphasis . to write an essay that treats only the similarities or differences between ideas. It is always possible. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by treating one idea thoroughly before taking up the second one. This method requires real control over your subject.. the sequence is important.. introduction element #1 element #2 element #3 . Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea. of course. then do the other. 2. If you begin by contrasting the ideas (and then move toward a comparison). First do one idea. but many evolve past it into something more flexible. It is as if the writer is comparing and contrasting (for example) footbinding to corsetry.
o o Other. Many teachers assign topics that ask writers to write an essay comparing and contrasting two or more ideas. first describing what people shouldn't do and then ending .o Writers who only compare two ideas sometimes briefly mention the contrast in the introduction and then move on so that they don't lead readers to think they can't make relevant distinctions.with a bang! . o Comparison/contrast is useful for more than an essay topic.with what they should. comparison/contrast is also useful as a technique • • to structure a paragraph to work within other techniques or modes o to define a complex idea (by comparing to something similar and contrasting it with its opposite) to think about one thing in terms of another (like the present in terms of the past or the past in terms of the future or humans in terms of primates) to make an argument. 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. 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 .
Both restrict women's movement and impair health. Henri II's queen: 15-inch waist with the help of the King's armorer. Women laced corsets. Corsets and footbinding are similar o o o Both practiced in the far past.women plowing fields in mud up to their ankles. Effects on health: tight-lacing vs stays. 1. Footbinding o o o Earliest references. both enhance man's value in the culture to be responsible for women who were too delicate to work. Corsets trivialized by everybody since the end of the dress reform movement. Introduction 2. through the 19th century. Crete. Corsets and footbinding are different o o Chinese culture is radically different from that of western Europe and America. 1880s and 1890s.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 bound feet. To use Veblen's argument. only most extreme cases of tightlacing did permanent damage. 177 . Both practiced by women of all classes. millennia ago. though most people imagine tight-lacing and footbinding were limited to the upper class. Our misconceptions about class -. A quick outline of how a paper comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding might look. A quick outline of how a paper treating one topic and then the other might look. when women were looking at the possibilities of real contributions to the political debate. Corsetry not exactly the same as tight-lacing. Survival rates and the effects on health. 1. Introduction 2. o o 3. and into the 20th. Both practiced by women on women. Corsetry o o o o o o Practiced in Sumaria. Every Chinese woman so bound was deformed for life. o 4. Dress Reform movement. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. focus in Western world. 3.
6. most women. Women's contributions to their own weakening. 7. 10. o o 4. Effects on women's health. 4. Conclusion Narrative essays The Story of Dr. Eastern and western cultures. Mudd On the night of April 14. 11. Simone de Beauvior saw some. Booth and his companion arrived at the home of Samuel Mudd. mounted a waiting horse.o Any girl whose female relatives thought she might be able to marry up would bind her feet. A quick outline of how a paper treating only comparable and contrasting elements might look. Cultural movements against tight-lacing and footbinding. When the government made it illegal. 3. Acting as any doctor would with a stranger in distress. In the middle of the performance. 5. an actor named John Wilkes Booth. Socio-economic class and tight-lacing and footbinding. Restrictions on women's movements. Dr. at four o’clock in the morning. Before anybody could stop him. Mudd knew nothing about the assassination of the president. 9.C. Life magazine's photos. Also. he limped out the back door. D. Extreme cases vs. Lasting into 20th century. 178 . how women whose feet had been bound couldn't really unbind. 1. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Five hours later. Introduction 2. Booth escaped the theater. seeking to avenge the defeat of the South. a doctor living in southern Maryland. 1865—five days after the Civil War ended—President Abraham Lincoln was attending the theater in Washington. 8. but broke his leg when he leaped from the president’s box seat to the stage. slipped into the presidential box and shot the president. and disappeared into the night with a fellow conspirator. Economic and cultural value of a helpless female to a powerful male.
Questions 4. paid the bill and departed. In spite of the fact that the guards and other inmates called him “that Lincoln murderer. He had to fight the disease. When the fever struck. Dr. Good Doc Gone Bad. c. Mudd’s release. d. Dr. The next morning. Today. 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. an island fortress about 120 miles west of the southern tip of Florida. Dr.” and treated him very badly. Mudd was arrested. After a four-year struggle. –PRETEST– 5 Because of this merciful act. The warm. Mudd volunteered his services. An Unfair Trial for a Fair Man. humid climate was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mudd’s conviction? a. Booth and his friend. she secured a pardon for him—for a crime he never committed. taken to Washington. A Prison Abandoned. c. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. using false names. Mudd insisted that he knew nothing of the plot. Dr. 5. But the military courts. Mudd? 179 . b. because he was the only doctor on the island. Mudd was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson. he worked hard to fight the disease. An alternative title for this passage might be a. Again and again. The military courts wanted someone to pay for Lincoln’s death. Soon after Dr. He lied to the military courts. Dr. Mudd returned to Maryland to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. Fort Jefferson was abandoned. even after he was infected himself. angry at the president’s death. What was the cause of Dr. Meanwhile.he set the leg and persuaded the two travelers to stay in his house for the rest of the night. Lincoln’s Assassination. sentenced the unfortunate doctor to life imprisonment. d. the one-time prison is accessible to visitors as part of Dry Tortugas National Park. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. What sort of doctor was Dr. He helped Booth get away. 6. b. his wife was working heroically back in Washington for her husband’s cause. He helped Booth assassinate Lincoln.
Now. he was forced to by the prison warden. careless. however. wherever they live and whatever their occupation. Summing up: This is done by stating that there is a common bond between man and other creatures. I 1 Giving examples is one of the easiest ways of developing of topic. Read this sentence from the essay. Now look at the paragraph given under example 1 again. This can be done in a number of ways. b.g.a. c. there was no one else to treat the sick prisoners. greedy. ILLUSTRATION In order to develop the central theme of a paragraph. He is also able to persuade the reader that the generalization is correct'because there are examples to support it. read example 3 given below. 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.g. Let's first look at this illustration. 1. It is an example of the development of a paragraph by using the technique of illustration. 8. Dr. Let us analyse the paragraph. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. depending on your purpose. and cause and effect. ii) techniques which itlvolve a second topic: e. d. come in contact with animals in one way or another and have to deal with them. i. Examples also add to the reader's interest. 2. illustration. Example 3 (Development of a paragraph by illustration) 180 .e. 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. caring c. the topic and the kind of reader you have in view. definition. that you can combine more than one technique in composing a paragraph. etc. Mudd fought the yellow fever outbreak at Fort Jefferson because a. It must be realized. 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. an example. There are no rules about the kind of development to be adopted in any writing situation. cold-hearted. description. e. although some topics lend themselves more readily to certain kin$ of development than they do to other kinds. unfeeling 7. generous. Examples given to develop the paragraph: i) the hunter ii) the farmer iii) ihe fisherman iv) the city-dweller 3. We often introduce examples of illustrations by using expressions like for example. for instance. he thought it would help get him a pardon. You will notice that this paragraph is developed mainly by adding examples. money-hungry d. he didn’t want to get sick himself. sloppy b. the point you have stated in your topic sentence. you have to expand the idea contained in the topic sentence. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. Topic sentence: The vast majority of people. by the technique of illiustration.
.... ...... the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how birds sing without instruction. Insects......................... hears or touches something....... Ana!yse this paragraph...... Paragraphs (From Evans....): highly skilled hindrance (n): something that prevents an activity reflex: an action or movement of the body which happens by itself when one sees.........g...... for example............. ... Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners.......... it gets in his way and seems more of a hindrance than a help until his parents show him what to do with it..... vi> .. iv ' ......... .... but are there from birth........... Read the paragraph again and fill in the fo1lowi1. "begin by making quite primitive little webs..... you remove your finger on touching something hot...ed) The Natural Hisrocl of Nonsense....! Glossary warm-blooded(adj........... Base yourself on the analysis done for Example I in 10 lines..... What are the topic sentences in this paragraph? 2... Alfred A Knopf. Thousands'of yeung seals and young sea lions are drowned every year..... Ir?c....... e... and older spiders............. Young spiders.... When you write a paragraph where you have to give examples to support your topic sentence..g columns in the manner shown here: Names of Animals Skills to be developed i) Young birds and bats learn to fly.... ii) .........) :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.. B. a bird flies by instinct............................... It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for. indeed seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes............. for they improve their talents with practice........ ................... will take to Development of hunting..... iii) .................. Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly..) ! i ...... They never learn to swim naturally... if deprived of their spinnerets............ and only attain perfection in their art in course oftime"............ you should keep in mind that there should be enough examples to support your point....All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first...... 181 ... For example... v) . ........ each example should be logically related to your main idea. instinct: ways of behaviour which are not based on learning or thinking.................. but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification... I. but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species..... ... 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..
Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth. the results of' their helplessness and how they become self-sufficient. of deforestation. (Adapted from Geogrpl~yby Dougal Dixon. i. You may.. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it. you can follow any of these patterns. 6. which is the cause of C. and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. Thus. and A in turn by B. however.. When you work with several causes or reasons. For example. all contributing to the same result. but tells us in what way each of these animals is helpless. for instance. or of a bus accident. or the effects or consequence of taking drugs. not just one. there are likely to be many causes. and to write about all the causes or reasons with details. If the reasons follow a logical pattern. want to know the cause of your poor grades. Millions of years in the future. that soften rocks. a daughter's rebelling against her father and leaving home may have an apparent immediate cause.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. to account for all the links in the sequence of causes. remember to make it clear whether you are dealing with an immediate cause or an earlier cause. to consider multiple causes.?' and then try to find the cause or effect of an event. You may discuss one or more causal connections between events. We often have occasions in our lives to ask "Why did it happen" or "What will happen if. and B by C. But sometimes the reasons or causes may be parallel. There are several forces of erosion: glaciers which cany rocks weighing \ thousands of tons. frost which causes small cracks on rock sides. When you write. Franklin Watts in Science World) Glossary worn away: caused to disappear erosion: the action of wearing away 182 . Cause Analysing the cause can be quite a complex task.each example should be developed with interesting details. This softening is the first stage of erosion called weathering. strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in desert.(Note that the writer of the paragraph above does not merely list the examples. etc. a good strategy is to begin with the least important cause and conclude with the most important. You may trace a chain of events in which A is the cause oPB. I When developing a topic which is supported by reasons or causes. a direct cause or an indirect cause. is the action of water on rocks. Usually your topic will determine it. which causes D. By far the greatest cause of erosion. Then.) the examples should represent a reasonable cross section of the group you are dealing with.. The choice between one cause and several causes is often not a free option. and so on. you face the problem of arranging them in a significant order. your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion. but there may also be a chain of causes going back into the past.e. Rainwater fallin: on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. if the main event is caused by A. the organization is predetermined. 11 Example 4 (Development of a paragraph by listing the causes) Hills.
In the year 1755: Lisbon.. Consider the terrifying statistics from the past. If it strikes a modern city..... the houses and building gaping caves: wide openings or cracks tidal waves: very large ocean waves avalanches: large masses of snow and ice. its power is immense. one must be careful to distinguish between the major and the minor ones..... The following exercise will help you understand the organization of the paragraph abcve.. which lists the causes of erosion.. even your favourite hills will be worn away by erosion.......... You have just read and analysed a paragraph. followed by the most important cause. Underground railways are wrecked... explosions are caused and fires are started. Cause: The power of .i t causes.. think of your own life. huge tidal waves sweep inland.... It follows a sequence where the less important causes are mentioned first. the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village. (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. Gaping caves appear in busy streets... Main effect: The great . If several consequences are listed... avalanches roar down into the valleys... Effects Effects or consequences can be handled in much the same way as reasons or causes... If the quake strikes at sea. Now.... sliding down a mountain side terrifying: filling with terror In earlier sections we analysed some of the paragraphs for you. Summing up: In a million years....... Bridges fall...... The paragraph may deal with only a single effect or refer to several effects.... a) Causes of Erosion: glaciers frost strong wilds water b) Process of erosion by water 3..... If it strikes in mountain regions... Fill in the blanks.... what were thp_ reasons which led you to join the IGNOU Computer Programme? Jot down your reasons. / 2.000 killed.... (i) .. On land 183 . Gas mains burst.( ii) . whole buildings collapse..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 . Example 5 (Developing a paragraph by listing effect) An earthquake strikes without warning. For instance.. capital of Portugal--the city destroyed entirely and 450 killed: 1970: Peru --50. Topic sentence: "Hills and mountain are-slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion". Check Your Progress 4 1 .. But now the main idea is regarded as causing the consequences discussed in the rest c?f the paragraph... dams burst. Whtn it does.
B to C and to C and so on. 184 .. together with sunlight... you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph...... cause and effect are more closely related..... By filling in the gaps below. of ... blain Cause Main Effect Indirect effect : . Oxford University Press. enables plants to grow..... forming a chain where A gives rise to B...v . Cause and Effect We have discussed a paragraph which gives reasons to support a topic... I1 ... The paragraph below illustrates such a chain... rain. and ..] 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 ........... iv . Secondly the sun indirectly provides man with water..... ........ Check Your Progress 6 1. In Check Your Progress 4 you noted the reasons foi joining the IGNOU Computers programra.. ...... . At the same time. Cause Effect . One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers. which are themselves another source of food for man. from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power.. Effect Cause .. Often however. 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.. the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect....i. Now write down what you think will be'the results...... and a paragraph which deals with effects.n... Jtainfall Rainfall formatio. by its light and warmth the sun directly creates rhe necessary conditions for man's survival. 111 ......... In the first place.. and plants provide food for inan and also for animals. IX Effect the sun Man's .. 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. of consequences of your joining this program. 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. In such a link... [from Anita Debska: IJpgrade your English......Effect..... B is both a consequence of A and the cause of C..............
.. especially if we feel that our readers may not be familiar with it... Plants . One of the earliest such maps dates from about 1400 B..... "democracy" etc........... This is done by adding details like uses... ........ component parts......... being similar to something else. . . being different from something else... we often require extended definitions.. ........ i Example 7 (Paragraph developed by definition) A map is a representation of anarea of land. but pictures of other features.... or sky... and a canal with crocodiles and a bridge over the canal................. sea. need the support of specific examples................. Now write a paragraph of about 150 words combining both'the reasons and the consequences of your joining IGNOU.v ii ..... Occasionally maps show not only the roads. For example................. Rain + .. examples... Topic sentence. viii.... and for this purpose extended definitions are useful... xii .. we need to explain what something is or means.x...... xi ......v... This is somewhat similar to 185 ...... ..... Check Your Progress 8 1. It shows not only roads. Composition and Sopetimes a definition is used in the rnjdst of other forms of writing.. You Ir... Arctic explorers have obtained considerable help from maps of the coast lines showing settlements..Lakes and rivers water and .5 DEFINITION Often when we write.. and sometimes the definition itself Study Skills becomes the focus of a piece of writing..C. both in our thinking and writing....... For example Term Class Ilifferentiation Widow surgeon a woman Whose husband has died a doctor Who performs medical operations Such definitions are rather formal in style and are generally found in dictionaries.... but also lakes with fish.... i ........ for man and . In fact.... Maps have been used since the earliest civilisations... 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.. and explorers find that they are used in rather primitive societies at the present time by people who are accustomed to travelling... This generally happens when we use technical terns or when we want to give our own meaning to an ordinary word. which relates to concepts such as "freedom"...... The concept "bride" cannot be defined in such a manner.. .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.... You have already noted the reasons for your joining the JGNOU Computers-programme and the effect it will have on your future career..... and stating what it is not... drawn by Eskimo people..
. I I I I i) Mammals differ from the other vertebrates in their system of reproduction. for example. when we choose a career or a job. 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. Glossary vertebrates (n. and so on. For instance. We often compare our teachers. (C.): animals which have a backbone secreted: produced varied: of different kinds shrew: a very small mouse-like animal with a long pointed nose 6. comparison and contrast dominate our thoughts when we decide to join a particular college or university. the blue Whale which is 150 tons. the food served at different restaurants." Generalisation: "Maps have been used . to replace some of the nouns with pronouns and avoid unnecessary repetitions. iv) A mammals is a warm-blooded vertebrate that has four limbs and a hairy skin. 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. ranging in size from the largest mammal. 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. Use the sentences given beiow to write a paragraph on Mammals. who are accustomed to travelling. mainly because we tend to think that way. and even when we buy a particular brand of tooth paste.the modem maps of a state which show for each large town some feature of interest or the chief products of 'that town. our neighbors." Example: Arctic explorers Generalisation: Occasionally maps show not only the roads.. to shrews. Our decisions are often based on comparison and contrast. Sometimes a topic can be developed by showing how two things are alike or how they are different. sea or sky. Hence comparison and contrast are a continuous process in our 186 . You will need.C.6 COMPARISON AND CONTRAST So far we have been discussing ways of developing paragraphs which deal with only one topic. which weigh only a few grams. but pictures of other features Example: Maps of both ancient and modern times Check Your Progress 9 1. the cities we have been to. V) Mammals are an extremely varied group. In fact comparison and contrast are common devices in writing.
Summing up: 'Sorne form of leadership is essential .lives. Glossary Study Skills hierarchy (n. I. Whenever.): the organisation of a system into higher and lower ranks foreman: the leader of the 12 people (jury) appointed to decide whether a person on trial is guilty or not. the making of quick decisions.750 km in diameter. S. The same is true of monkeys. Some forin of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly. a ball of rock 12. for example There are two ways of arranging information when comparing or contrasting things. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move. You may ! develop these points and add any others that you wish. 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.. 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.. Time-life Series) Con~positiona nd.people are brought together. iii) We wish to show the superiority of one thing over another when we compare two cars. every cricket team needs a captain. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans.Point 1 7 Point 2 -b Point 2 Developruent of Paragraphs + Point 3 -b Point 3 Example 8 (Paragraph developed by comparison) The existence of a hierarchy helps to assure order and discipline. Check Your Progress 10 Write a paragraph on the following topic. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. 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. (Adapted form "The Primates" by Eimerl. ii) We wish to clarify the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar. 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 . consequence of total equality. first. Both are extremely dependent on others. and De Vors. They permit. and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality.. Reason: Subject I : People Subject 2: Monkeys . which direction it shall follow. ! There are a lot of similarities between an infant and a very old person's dependence on others. The points to develop the paragraph are given below. Like all the planets the Earth rotates on its 187 . they will only be able to reach decisions quickly if some kind of hierarchy is established. Example 9 (Developing a paragraph by contrast) We live on the planet Earth. what action it shall take to avoid predators. Every jury needs its foreman.
... 5 very hot during th'e day.which orbits the Earth once a month.. I 1 lush and fertile 1.. ... .. escape from time to tinie with great force from inside the earth...... This exercise is to help you analyse the paragraph.... The expressions of contrast 1isted....... Analysis of the Paragraph: 1 ........ the Eaith is covered by an atmosphere........ It has no volcanoes or geological activity. waterless and lifeless. which we can breathe. birds. It supports millions of living things .......the moon . In contrast... on the other hand. etc. the paragraph in Example 9 has been organized by talking about the earth and contrasting it with the moon.. on the other hand has fascinating erupting volcanoes since it has no atmosphere to protect it.. insects...... The Moon is a dead planet...... What is the topic sentence? 2.............. especially relating to rock.. and cools to .... .....here mzy also help you in developing the paragraph.. Fill in the gips in the following table to show the contrast between the moon and the earth..plants. More rainful less rainfall 188 . 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.. it is airless. Glossary rotates: turns around a fixed point axis: an imaginary line around which a spinning body moves....... soil.......... waterless and lifeless 4 .. The moon Check Your Progress 12 The earth 1 .. Write a paragraph of your own contrasting the Arctic and the Antarctic regions. etc lush: thickly and healthily growing (especially plants) erupting: expleding and pouring out fire 4 Check Your Progress 11 Unlike Example 8...155 C at night... The Earth.. orbits: goes round volcanoes: mountains with large openings at the top through which melting rock... 4 has atmosphere 5 .. But the two worlds are very different... gases. But the earth is not alone... very cold during the night First sentence: The northern and southern poles are different in many ways....... 3 airless........ It has a companion on its travels . geological activity: activity which relates to the physical changes in the structure of the earth.. The first sentence and some points describing the two regions are given below...... 2 ... and which also keeps the temperature quite constant... Its surface is heated to 105 C during its day. The moon. steam.........axis and orbits the sun......!.. animals and human beings..... 2 has volcanoes 3 .......... is lush and fertile.....
om. Development of Paragraphs Expressions of contrast: different ti. writing. and comparison a. etc. . . such as illustration.Much plant life empty desert. such as the topic sentence and the development of the topic. effect illustration the most southern part of the world the most northern part of the world something that produces an effect examining one thing against another to show the points of likeness or difference comparing two things or people to make the differences clear giving the meaning giving a picture in words a result giving examples paragraph a division of a written piece made up of one or more sentences topic a subject for talk. You i should now be able to use these techniques in writing paragraphs on iifferent'topics.. cause and effect. can be distiiiguished from. We have also discussed different techniques of developing paragraphs. LET US SUM UP In Unit 6 we have introduced you to the elements that go into the organisation of a good paragraph. whereas. Exploited for trade no trade at all . . . on the other hand.ld contrast. definition. although. but. while. despite the fact that. ! i b KEY woms Antarctic Arctic cause comparison contrast definition description . yet. 189 .
and we took Nancy’s laptop. too. we. Who is they? Correct: It has been years since the school board spent money on new textbooks. Adjectives add information by describing people. or both?) Correct: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. 2. Agree in person Do not switch back and forth in your writing from the first person (I) to the second (you) or third (he. they sometimes confuse even professional writers. Too few adjectives will make a personal statement a boring play-byplay that doesn’t tell the reader anything about the writer. adverbs. Too much soccer isn’t good for him. me. objects. they. more than any others. and prepositions. Correct: If the student passes this course. they will graduate. Therefore. you do not need to become a strict grammarian in order to write well. 3. she.Mechanics 39 The majority of grammar. punctuation. she. them Incorrect: When a person comes to class. Use them to describe people. Agree in number A singular pronoun must be used for a singular noun. Be a specific reference to a noun It should be obvious to your reader to which noun the pronoun refers. the inability to express yourself clearly and accurately through the written word will hinder the success of your essay. If you learn these common errors and how to avoid or correct them. or things in a sentence. her. in fact. C-ADVERBS 190 . he/she should have his/her homework ready. The rules of mechanics are complex. However. Incorrect: If the student passes this course. No matter how original an idea you come up with. playing soccer. it). Correct: When a person comes to class. he should play some basketball. and we took her laptop. you should have your homework ready. They should: 1. make your essay a unique piece. First person pronouns: I. but it isn’t good for him. (Whose laptop?) Correct: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. they. Incorrect: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. and capitalization mistakes are just a few dozen common ones. the focus of this chapter is on those errors that occur most frequently. Following are the four most challenging ones as they pertain to your writing: pronouns. with usage explanations and examples. she will graduate. Incorrect: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. Incorrect: It has been years since they spent money on new textbooks. and situations to make the reader understand your point of view and see things the way you have seen them. us Second: you Third: he. 1-PARTS OF SPEECH Some parts of speech are more difficult than others. A-PRONOUNS Pronouns refer back to or take the place of nouns. your writing will greatly improve. adjectives. (What isn’t good for him? Reading. places. 41 B-ADJECTIVES Adjectives describe or modify nouns or pronouns. him. These words.
” PREPOSITIONS Prepositions are connecting words that link a noun or pronoun to another word in a sentence. good is used to describe nouns. It is important to remember that they must always be used together: You must account for every item in your club’s budget. However. which describe verbs. chances are at least one is unnecessary. Confusing prepositional phrases Certain words must always be followed by certain prepositions. The second sentence uses the preposition after to describe the time relationship between holiday and birthday. As an adjective. Good form: I cleaned under the kitchen cabinets. are easily spotted because most of them end in -ly. 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. It is perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition. none is more famous than: Never end a sentence with preposition!While this rule holds true for many situations. The holiday that follows immediately after your birthday is Valentine’s Day. good describes the verb played. Below are two examples of required prepositions—the preposition is in italics and the supported word is underlined. Remember that when two or more prepositions are used together. The meal consists of eight separate courses. Examples The box on your desk is your birthday present. 2. Poor form: She likes all sports except for soccer. unnecessary prepositions should be avoided. the adverb that causes the most errors is not a typical-ly form. Good form: She likes all sports except soccer. On your desk and after your birthday are prepositional phrases. Good form: They looked outside the house for the lost cat. “I played well in the basketball game. These necessary prepositions are always used in combination with their respective supported words. Using them unnecessarily Because it is so important in your essay to get to the point concisely. Poor form: They looked outside of the house for the lost cat. it is not an absolute. especially in your essay. They are often used to show a relationship of space or time. abruptly.” 191 . good. In the following sentence. in popular speech. it sounds much more natural to say “That’s all I can think of” than “That’s all of which I can think. Well is commonly confused with its adjective counterpart. The first sentence uses the preposition on to describe the spatial relationship between the box and the desk. The correct word to use in such instances is the adverb well. Common Prepositions aboard about above after among around at before behind below beneath beside between by except for from in inside into like of off on outside over to under up upon until with within 42 The two most common problems with prepositions are: 1. For example. such as slowly. the sentence would read. Written correctly. if it makes the sentence flow better.Adverbs. In the following sentence. which s incorrect: I played good in the basketball game. quickly. good describes the noun pasta: The pasta ume last night was good. Poor form: I cleaned up under the kitchen cabinets.
Incorrect: I had to have the cafeteria unlocked meeting with student government this morning. 44 A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. Correct: Tim and Fran are a great couple. Correct: While Jim was practicing outside with the soccer team.Tony’s computer crashed. is that they confuse meaning. he was distracted by the noisy construction job. Incorrect: Tim and Fran is a great couple.The best technique for deciding to keep or remove prepositions at the end of sentences is to use your ear. as with dangling modifiers. first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. • Incorrect:While practicing outside with the soccer team. Note that correcting a dangling participle involves adding and/or rearranging the words in a sentence to make the meaning clear. NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT Nouns and verbs must agree in number. his computer crashed. are easily fixed by rearranging word order. Did the cafeteria meet with student government? To say exactly what is meant. though sometimes difficult to recognize. (Was the computer working on the assignment?) • Correct: While Tony was working on his English assignment. OR The noisy construction job distracted Jim while he was practicing outside with the soccer team. Good Form Does he have anything to worry about? What did you use to make it with? What is the report comprised of ? Poor Form Is the extra-credit project over with? Where is the stadium at? Where do you want to go to? • _ DANGLING PARTICIPLES AND MISPLACED MODIFIERS Dangling participles and misplaced modifiers. Since it is so critical that your reader understand your point easily and exactly. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 43 Many times short questions are ended in prepositions. A dangling participle is a phrase or clause with a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies. the modifying phrase “meeting with student government” should be moved to the beginning of the sentence. Here are some acceptable and unacceptable examples. To achieve subject-verb agreement. the modifier is just in the wrong place.What would the statement sound like if you kept—or dropped—the preposition? Does it sound like you. and then pair it with the correct verb form. or does it sound like a college professor? Prepositions should not be used in an attempt to add importance or weight to your writing. The danger of misplaced modifiers. Correct: Meeting with student government this morning. dangling modifiers (and indeed any ambiguous language) must be avoided. the noisy construction job distracted Jim. Note that the unacceptable sentences could be improved simply by dropping the preposition at the end. no extra words are needed. • Incorrect:While working on his English assignment. (plural subject takes plural verb) 192 . meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. I had to have the cafeteria unlocked. It isn’t dangling.
Run-on sentences don’t stop soon enough. the verb must be singular. RUN-ON SENTENCES A run-on sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses or complete sentences 193 . and then match it to the correct verb. Here are some guidelines that may help you: ✔ If a compound. it should be used only when necessary.) _ ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE The active voice is much more effective in conveying your personality through your essay. In the passive voice. singular subject is connected by and. (singular subject takes singular verb) Agreement may be difficult to determine when the noun follows the verb. the subject (most often you) is acted upon. Incorrect: There is too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. Note the simplicity and directness of the first sentence in each pair. although punctuated as a sentence. of the action. Can’t go to the store.When editing your work. the more difficult it is to determine noun/verb agreement. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 45 NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT CHECKLIST The more complex the sentence. Passive:My wallet was misplaced by me. Fragments are often missing a subject or verb. (Both the 10-speed and the hybrid are appropriate for the bike race. Sentences written in the passive voice tend to be too wordy. you literally become the source. Compare these sentences: Active: My friend asked for another helping. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS A sentence fragment is a group of words that. When we finished the game. _ SENTENCE STRUCTURE A complete sentence requires a noun and verb. and may be dependent clauses.The second sentences.) ✔ If a compound. (Neither a fast bike nor perfect trails are going to help you to win if you do not train. Fragments also can be phrases or parts of other sentences. they are phrases that are not whole thoughts. does not express a complete thought. written in the passive voice. Incorrect: Here are the report you asked me to write. In the active voice. Passive: Another helping was asked for by my friend. singular subject is connected by or or nor. or lack focus. however. Examples At the zoo. Sentence fragments stop too quickly. and here is and here are. and expresses a fully developed thought. remember to first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. For these reasons. Active: The administration has selected three finalists for the open position. Passive: Three finalists for the open position have been selected by the administration. The good news is that passive-voice errors are easy to omit from your writing. Correct: One of my friends is going to yourt school. Not only is the active voice clearer and more direct. or cause. the verb must be plural.) ✔ If one plural and one singular subject are connected by or or nor. Correct:There are too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. the verb agrees with the closest subject. are clunky and noticeably longer. Active: I misplaced my wallet. they include two complete clauses or sentences. but it conveys your meaning more easily. Cried a lot. (Neither the 10-speed nor the hybrid is appropriate for a trail race. The two most common mistakes at the sentence level are extremes.Common examples include sentences that begin with there is and there are. Correct: Here is the report you asked me to write.Incorrect: One of my friends are going to your school.
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. Correct: Last year the governor said he would campaign for our candidate. Kim studied hard for the test that’s why he got an A. This seems like an obvious point. and nor. after. you have a negative. when describing an event in the past. neither. so. and will convey your voice more directly. and has been taught to you numerous times during your education. Incorrect: Mary doesn’t like neither of those books. we decide to take a walk. If you are using those words. and while). Incorrect: Last year the governor said he is campaigning for our candidate. TAKE NOTE There are more negatives than just the obvious no. Eight rules cover 194 . Incorrect: There aren’t no tickets left. never. Add a dependent clause (use words such as because. 4. Examples We were hungry and John was tired so we had to stop at the first rest area that we saw. Correct:We hardly ever see movies. for. Correct: Mary doesn’t like either of those books. 1. As with verb tense shifts. OR Last year the governor said he was campaigning for our candidate. 3. Use a comma and a conjunction (and. it pays to review it. Correct: When we finished our lunch. Eliminate them from your writing. Break up the run-on sentence into two or more complete sentences. 2. Incorrect: Vegans don’t eat dairy products nor meat. For instance. since.While the information may seem simple. and obscures meaning. THE APOSTROPHE Apostrophes (’) are used to indicate ownership and to form contractions. and may obscure meaning. Incorrect:We hardly never see movies. Examples Incorrect: When we finished our lunch. nor. we decided to take a walk. but. yet) to set apart an independent clause. 5. 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. Remember that hardly and barely are negatives. so you do not need to double up. or. _ DOUBLE NEGATIVES The use of double negatives is unnecessary and incorrect. not. Use a dash to separate parts of the sentence. Correct: There aren’t any tickets left. too.With proper punctuation your writing will be more polished and technically correct. Break up the sentence by inserting a semi colon between two clauses.placed together into one sentence without proper punctuation. all verbs should be in the past tense. those covered in this section are the ones that present the most challenges to their users. Here are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. 46 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 47 _ VERB TENSE SHIFTS Unnecessary shifts from one tense to another sound unskilled. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent. Correct: Vegans don’t eat dairy products or meat.
The word it’s is instead a contraction of the words it is. 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. The drummer’s solo received a standing ovation. If they don’t. The expressions of time and money do not indicate ownership in the usual sense: Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 49 She has a hard time pronouncing s’s. and numbers used as words. Do not use contractions in highly formal written presentations. in hyphenated words. It was no one’s fault that we lost the game. Possessive plural nouns already ending in s need only the apostrophe added: The customers’ access codes are confidential. 4. 6.) is not as critical to the meaning of your sentences as it is with other punctuation marks. Mr. The Future Farmers of America’s meeting was moved to Monday. The project was the result of a year’s worth of work. and in joint ownership: Sam and Janet’s graduation was three months ago. its. Apostrophes form contractions by taking the place of the missing letter or number. Perkins’s persuasive essay was very convincing. its does not contain an apostrophe. 1. 7. Show possession in the last word when using names of organizations and businesses. Good form: We are going out of town next week. I attended a conference in Washington. even though some may end in s: Our car is up for sale. you need the possessive form. 5. When revising your writing. 195 .However. My street address contains three 5’s. 8. Possessive pronouns never have apostrophes. Men’s shirts come in a variety of neck sizes. His handwriting is difficult to read. Somebody’s dog was barking all night.all of the situations in which they may appear. you should be using the contraction. 3. Poor form: We’re going out of town next week. Poor form: My supervisor was in the class of ’89. Good form: She is going to write the next proposal. even when the noun ends in s: The school’s lunchroom needs to be cleaned. as well as certain expressions of time and money. He packed a week’s worth of clothing. If they make sense. without an apostrophe. 2. and replaced by an apostrophe. say the words it is when you come across it’s or its. Your garden is beautiful. The flight attendants’ uniforms were blue and white. Indefinite pronouns show ownership by the addition of ’s: Everyone’s hearts were in the right place. Use an ’s to form the plurals of letters. The line for the women’s restroom was too long. THE COMMA Correct usage of commas (. they can be used to convey your voice as they speed up or slow down the pace of your sentences. Add ’s to form the singular possessive. The second i is removed. ITS VERSUS IT’S Unlike most possessives. figures. The students’ grades improved each semester. I went to visit my great-grandfather’s alma mater. Consider the difference in tone of the following example: Sentence A: During my junior year. Good form: My supervisor was in the class of 1989. Poor form: She’s going to write the next proposal.
We raised the most money for the local charity. commas are often misused. D. Sentence A sounds more deliberate. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. There are two common errors that all college-bound students should be aware of: the comma splice. after the word and. Cindy. Sentence B reads quicker. OR Our school received an award because we raised the most money for the local charity. For instance. 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. In the sentence. Ann. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. apples.C.we raised the most money for the local charity. you should use it consistently whenever writing a list. the message is straightforward. OR Our school received an award. physics. Serial Comma A serial comma is the one used last in a list of items.. or so Comma splice: Our school received an award. Incorrect:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he graduated Summa Cum Laude. 196 . and oranges. Therefore. and religion. and the serial comma. conveying the information faster and with equal weight on each part. Correct:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper.C.D. I bought bananas. it could be understood as Cindy being told that Ann and Sally were hired. and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. Ann and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. In addition to helping to convey your voice and personality. we raised the most money for the local charity. Corrected sentence: Our school received an award. giving a little more information with each clause. Correct: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she attends a seminar each month and has been a professional for over twenty years. Cindy. 50 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Sentence B: During my junior year I attended a conference in Washington. the serial comma clarifies the meaning of sentences. in the following example. American literature. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 51 While its use has been debated for centuries. The lack of a serial comma can cause confusion. because. you can either: ■ replace the comma with a period. and religion. It creates a run-on sentence. ■ A restatement or elaboration of the previous clause Incorrect: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she is also the mother of two children. physics. But if the serial comma is dropped. American literature. forming two sentences ■ replace the comma with a semicolon ■ join the two clauses with a conjunction such as and. the comma after apples is the serial comma: At the store. To correct a comma splice. Comma Splice A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to connect two complete sentences. Correct: He signed up for four classes: geometry.
However. adverbs. ■ Nouns and verbs must agree in number.Monday. ■ The active voice is not only clearer and more direct. and prepositions are the most challenging parts of speech. She has lived in Omaha. ■ A dangling participle is a phrase or clause. the first word of a sentence 2. but because you never want to appear pompous. languages 6. There are just six occasions that require capitalization: 1. the first. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that contain commas. so she adopted them all. Example: The strays were malnourished. adjectives. THE SEMICOLON Semicolons (. and any other important words of a title 5. but Liz had a weakness for kittens.” It sounds more authoritative. October 11. Examples: The dates for our meetings are Monday. and ill. New Jersey. it should be used sparingly. and I am going to tell you. she received a low grade.Colons have the effect of sounding authoritative. and Pensacola. Nutley. Nebraska. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. Amherst. Case: Use a semicolon to show which sets of items go together. dirty. ■ Avoid the two most common mistakes at the sentence level: sentence fragments 197 . but is in the wrong place in the sentence. many writers overuse it. April 14. has the tone that conveys. ■ Use semicolons to separate items in a series that contain commas. the first word of a complete quotation.Massachusetts. and things) 3. using a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies. Example: Victoria was absent frequently. July 7. and any contractions made with it _ FOR YOUR REVIEW ■ Pronouns. Both create ambiguity and can change the meaning of a sentence. Example: Four people worked on the project. He had to fly to Houston to present a paper. Learn the common errors to eliminate them from your writing. proper nouns (names of people. and thus appear overly casual. but it conveys your meaning more easily. _ CAPITALIZATION Capitalization is necessary both for specific words and to start sentences and quotes. and Tuesday. but not a partial quotation 4. the pronoun I.) may be used in two ways: to separate independent clauses. only one received credit for it. 52 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics ■ Use semicolons to separate independent clauses. My teacher wasn’t in class today. last. places. Consider the following: My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper.with the colon. The first example.and to separate the items in a list when those items contain commas. A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. even if the clauses are joined by a conjunction. Florida. accounting for a majority of usage errors. Use it instead of the passive voice whenever possible.“I know why this happened. They present information more confidently and forcefully than if the sentence were divided in two other types of punctuation marks. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses joined without a conjunction. Tuesday. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. January 10. This can be effective in your essay. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that are connected with a conjunctive adverb that expresses a relationship between clauses. therefore.
" become concrete and specific in the well-developed paragraph. or Mediterranean cooking is healthy. Paragraph Development Good paragraph development is a mark of a writer's investment in a topic. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. whether that idea is declared in a topic sentence in the beginning. With the main idea established. like "Volleyball is a great sport”. In this module. To see the difference good development makes. It has a controlling idea. or even sloppy. They’ll probably notice the area is crowded and dirty. explanation. definition. As with verb tense shifts. is made interesting by details like "[a parking lot] is a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business.and run-on sentences. or whether the idea is implied. Most visitors to San Francisco will list Chinatown as a must-see “tourist” destination. ■ Be consistent with verb tenses. one welldeveloped and the other not so well-developed: At one time or another. such as determining when and where more development is needed. Rows upon rows of boundaries for individual driving units lined up one after another. and it helps to convey your voice. Everything else in the paragraph is there to show the reader the validity and significance of that idea. Be certain each sentence contains one complete thought. a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business. And more than likely the vacation photos will include a picture of them standing at entrance to China Town. You would never look at a parking lot and think to yourself that maybe it is a park or a playground or an airstrip. General statements. Do not shift from one tense to another unless it is necessary. etc. The thoughtful detail in the first paragraph shows a much more engaged writer than the writer of the second paragraph. and when to add more evidence versus greater depth of explanation or detail. Using capitalization in any other way can make your writing appear too casual. middle. A parking lot is a parking lot. students will learn techniques of good paragraph development. ■ There are six occasions that require capitalization. yellow or white lines glowing on a background of blacktop. ■ Proper punctuation makes your essay more polished and technically correct. It isn’t like anyone would mistake a parking lot for anything else. The tourist will eat lunch or dinner in one of several Chinese Cuisine restaurants. everyone who has a car will inevitably use a parking lot. The features of most parking lots are not so different. The parking lot always has a prominent place right in front of an establishment and sometimes even surrounds the building. ■ The use of double negatives is unnecessary and redundant. just take a look at these example paragraphs. A seemingly empty topic. below the traditional Chinese arch. or end of the paragraph. When visiting the area they will be inundated with shops. The reader learns why the writer believes in an idea." The author. Rich 198 . parking lots.—taking a general concept and making it real. the writer then explores the significance of that topic through one or more methods of development—reflection. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent and can obscure meaning. What does a well-developed paragraph look like? A well-developed paragraph is a complete paragraph. exemplification.
In making decisions about development.. and we can agree on what dogs are generally like. Examine every sentence to see if it might deserve further explanation or exemplification. Brutus. I. dogs as pack animals. in his influential book Language in Thought and Action. Ask yourself if a reader would benefit from hearing more about a particular point. On the other hand. receive no insight. Without abstractions and generalizations. Hayakawa. Brutus. we need both abstract and concrete language for communication. 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. Some paragraphs are composed of only a single sentence. dogs as descendents of wolves. 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. Try and think like your reader. we risk leaving our communications wide open for interpretation. A useful way to think about developing paragraphs is to think about levels of detail. and no sense of a writer's mind and voice behind the words. And so. With the word "dog. For example. another individual may associate all dogs with the vicious Dachsund that bit his ankle. And so. As a result. But other ideas can be developed in a sentence or two. San Francisco. or make emergency care free to everyone over 65. I will increase health care benefits for seniors.. 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. even if the word causes the particularities of Bandit. or if there is already enough information to make the controlling idea seem valid and interesting. we would have a hard time sharing ideas: for example. as in this example. the controlling idea "Democracy is the foundation of a good community" will need extensive explanation and exemplification to be a convincing point. they learn nothing new. for example. without ever getting specific or concrete." we can talk about dogs as companions. the controlling idea determines how much development is needed and how long the paragraph is going to be. and another for massage therapy professionals." Health care benefits is a phrase at a fairly high level of abstraction: it can refer to anything from coverage of hospital expenses. "A Pie chart help us see where company money is going". in the abstract statement. another of his family's German Shepherd. a good writer asks. providing cliché generalizations about what the tourist will find to do in Chinatown. a quick break-down of the chart to explain distribution of funds is all that is really needed here. The politician relies on such abstract statements. what the candidate is thinking is anyone's guess. "How much does my audience know about this topic?" "Am I introducing new terms that will be unfamiliar to my audience? The audience will need to have unfamiliar terms defined and new concepts explained in enough detail so that the concepts become clear. to co-pay expenses. S. etc. stays at the surface of the topic. while some paragraphs are up to a page long. A paragraph should include sentences at varying levels—the topic sentence or controlling idea being the most general or abstract. we need the word "dog" in order to communicate and to find common ground. readers are only reminded of what they already know. talks about a "ladder of abstraction" as a tool for thinking about good communication. When trying to decide on length. to coverage of prescription drugs. and the biting Dachsund to drop away. if we stay at a general level. a politican might (quite intentionally) say "If elected. on the other hand. General to Specific & Abstract to Concrete Development. In addition.Motherwell. Some ideas are complex and will need extensive explanation and/or exemplification. one person may think of her Chihuahua. helps readers re-see a familiar space in passages like this one where he gets readers to realize that we have always needed parking. and an 199 .. each of us has our own image of "dog" in our minds. and detail that brings that idea to life. and supporting sentences having more specific and/or concrete development. even before people had cars! The author of the second paragraph. 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. As Hayakawa points out. A well-developed paragraph has a clear controlling idea. Bandit.
I was exposed to exciting new movements in rock music. and this voice comes out in the details rather than in the broad generalization. The figure to the right demonstrates how one might go down the ladder of abstraction and provide such references in a discussion of music. to win elections. when you describe what your roomate looks like when she gets up in the morning you are using "description". you already use patterns of development to express yourself." and "Bad Reputation. as Hayakawa points out." And edgy. Now. 1. you are 200 . a reader will rarely accept a series of generalizations as text worth reading. radio-acceptable. the Sex Pistols.unquestioning public." and "Rock Lobster. 80's rock included real extremes: big-hair metal bands like Van Halen and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts arrived on the scene." "Anarchy in the U. When you show someone how to make an omelette. and The Clash pruducing amazing off-the-radio tracks like "Blitzkrieg Bop. 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. think in terms of levels of detail. words should be "referable" to lower levels of abstraction. synthesized version of punk music. To write well-developed paragraphs. Yet there was some pretty bad new-wave music as well (at least I see that now." were played at every party. and B52's songs like "Planet Clare. In a written text." and "Lost in the Supermarket. you are using a pattern of development called "process analysis". headbanging punk music took off with bands like the Ramones. Everyone knew the words to "Burning Down the House. however." "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. in hindsight) by "Haircut" bands like Flock of Seagulls ("I ran") and the Thompson Twins ("Lies"). or change a tire. and to hear a person's unique voice. doing great numbers like "Jump. take a look at a paragraph that goes down through all of the levels of abstraction above: As a teenager in the eighties. In an abstract statement. Students sometimes have the mistaken idea that to develop a paragraph they just need to keep adding more examples when what they really need is to take an existing idea to greater depth." and "Psycho Killer. Whether you are aware of it or not. when you offer several reasons why you are late for an appointment. A good paragraph goes down the ladder of abstraction to provide these references. a reader expects to get concrete information and a new perspective or new insight.K. Some of it was great." by the Talking Heads. a more humorous and satirical version of punk.
201 . Use common patterns of development effectively in their own writing. and you will need to make conscious decisions about which strategies best develops your ideas. and when you tell the story of your first date. you are using narration.using cause and effect. Learning to use these patterns of development in writing is not difficult: you will need to familiarize yourself with key transitional expressions that send a signal to the reader that a particular pattern is being used. Objectives: By the end of this module students should be able to • • Identify common patterns of development used in written works.
by Gerald Grow. process analysis.Seven Types of ParagraphIn their pursuit of clear. description. paragraphs can be developed into well focused What follows is an (imaginary) article invented to illustrate many of the "modes of discourse"--the © 1999. classification. description. definition. these modes are mixed in natural combinations. and persuasion. andconsiderable thought has been given to how longer persuasion. PhD Division of Journalism Florida A&M University presentations of single units of thought.unrelated to one another.longleaf. for example. 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. choppy paragraphs that are exposition. May be used by teachers fortraditional methods by which writing is developed. 202 . In nonprofit educational use. journalism Development students sometimes develop the habit of writing Annotated examples of narration. The following paragraphs have been devised in an attempt to emphasize the characteristics of each mode of writing. (The process permission. the following paragraphs are narration.school writing handbook will remind you that process analysis.) Contact. concise writing. May not besuccession. definition. in typical "how to" style. Reviewing any good high classification.net/ggrow/ list. reprinted elsewhere withoutexposition. In most writing.everything in short. Available at: analysis paragraph has been broken into a bulleted http://www. narration frequently includes description.
was outside in the darkness also breathed. Narration usually contains characters. a setting (the park). In this paragraph. Something felt wrong.Narration Around 2 a. and a resolution (leaving). a climax (his panic). stifling them. He felt for the flashlight beside his bunk. Wanda. tree-frogs chirruped. she was awake. He lay in the dark listening. an obstacle (nature). the nights are filled with the busy. but so does interpretive language. Across the distant forest floated two muffled hoots from a barred owl. whatever. too. A narrative differs from a mere listing of events. the "story" components are: a protagonist (Hanson). and the huge silence of the night seemed to come inside the camper. Outside. a conflict. This narrative serves as the opening anecdote that illustrates the topic of the story • • Top 204 . and a resolution. It was too quiet. Comments on narration: • • • Normally chronological (though sometimes uses flashbacks) A sequential presentation of the events that add up to a story. a goal (to camp). something woke Charles Hanson up. you point them in the direction of a story. hold her breath. And light: At home he can read in bed by the glow of the streetlight. Time and place and person are normally established.m. It was gone. Even starlight failed to penetrate the 80-foot canopy of trees the camper was parked beneath. crickets sang. It was the darkest dark he had ever seen. something rustled in the leaves right outside the window. comforting sounds of traffic. a setting. inches from his face. It was too quiet. It was then he decided to pack up and move to a motel. You always have the comforting knowledge that other people are all around you. At home in New Jersey. Then. He heard his wife. Specific details always help a story. He found where his pants were hanging and. as he felt the pockets for a box of matches. And much too dark. You don't just lay the words on the page.
according to Florida park rangers. writers solve this problem by citing authorities who have good credentials and good reason to be experts in the subject. why it is important. But it just wasn't the kind of place the couple from New Jersey had in mind when they decided to camp out on this trip through Florida. they might have stayed in a place they loved. the key problem with exposition is credibility. after an indirect opening. hundreds of visitors suffer each year. If they had known about the different kinds of parks in Florida. specifies the topic of the article." Those people picked the wrong kind of park to visit. Not that there was anything wrong with the park: The hikers camped next to them loved the wild isolation of it. "people get scared and leave the park in the middle of the night. This paragraph also happens to serve as the justifier or "nut graf" for the little article: the paragraph that. Comments on exposition: • • Exposition is explanatory writing Exposition can be an incidental part of a description or a narration. or it can be the heart of an article Aside from clarity. "Several times a month." ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said. and what is to come. What makes your explanation believable? Normally. • • Top 206 .Exposition This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that.
hike. to impenetrable mangrove wilderness. a park is a place to go for outdoor recreation-to swim. not all of them are called "parks. Florida has a rich variety of parks. camp. and. in some places take rides in miniature trains or swish down a waterslide. ranging from acres of RVs ringed around recreation halls. Bring the world into your story and use it to define your terms. • 208 . picnic. but make a strong effort to say what it IS. Meaning is found in the world. Comments on definition: • Never define anything by the "according to Webster's" method. walk the dog.Definition "Park" is difficult to define in Florida. Basically. paddle your canoe." and even the ones called "parks" come in several varieties. To make things more complicated. play tennis. Saying what something is NOT can help readers. not in the dictionary. because there are so many kinds of parks.
the river rises three miles downstream in a big boil. walls of dense river swamp rise before you. old to new. A diving platform marks a good place to swim in the soft. object. etc. stands of cypress mirror themselves in the still waters. the Santa Fe River disappears in a large. you find 65 campsites. The key problem in description is to avoid being static or flat. Think of what pieces readers need. shaded woods of a beautiful hardwood forest. Description requires you to record a series of detailed observations. person. 18 rustic cabins. Be especially careful to make real observations. and a pavilion for group meetings. Nearby. After appearing intermittently in scattered sinkholes. cool waters of the Santa Fe. from that gap arises a spark of engagement. Portray. and canoeing up this dark river is like traveling backwards in time in the direction of original Florida.Description O'Leno is a good example of a state park in Florida. use these when you can. to construct a scene. expanses of longleaf pinelands stretch across rolling hills. Surrounded by the tall. Go light on adjectives and adverbs. left to right. Also evoke. Look for ways to describe action. Use sensory language. Think of description as a little narrative in which the visual characteristics unfold in a natural. then continues on to meet the Suwannee and the sea. sudden sinkholes open in the woodlands-rich with cool ferns and mosses. 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. Try making the description a little dramatic revelation. Adopt a strategy that makes your description into a little story: move from far to near. 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. Comments on description: • Description is not what you saw. as in this example. dramatic order. in what order. The success of a description lies in the difference between what a reader can imagine and what you actually saw and recorded. like watching an actor put on a 210 • • • • • . tree-lined pool. or. slowly swirling. interesting. Farther from the river. to give your description a natural flow. down a river.
"noise" and compare the two parks in terms of it. Comments on comparison: • There is a helpful technique for writing a comparison. Lloyd Beach is a place of boisterous activity." Once you commit to a "down" or "across" strategy. jam boxes. O'Leno Lloyd Beach quiet noisy solitude busy crowds available river to swim Atlantic beach and canoe forest abundant. Where O'Leno gives you so much quiet you can hear the leaves whispering. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area. O'Leno wraps itself with the silence of crickets and owls. 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. But if you want to stand at the edge of civilization and look across time into an older natural world. umbrellas. Lloyd Beach is the place to go. Before writing a comparison. If you do not make such a chart. or take the first category. 212 • Top . When you walk at Lloyd Beach. there is a chance you will have a hole in your comparison. you have to be careful to step over the picnic baskets. stick with it till the end of the comparison. then the next category. By contrast. to make certain you have all the elements necessary to write a comparison. your comparisons will benefit. Either describe all of O'Leno and compare it to all of Lloyd Beach by working "down" columns two and three. If you follow it. You can walk a few yards in O'Leno and pass beyond every sign of human civilization. Lloyd Beach is busy with fishermen till well past midnight. draw up a chart and fill it in. At night.Comparison Forest and river dominate O'Leno State Park. or dive into the busy bustle of an urban beach. If you want to fish near town. As in the model below. list the two items being compared. O'Leno is the park to visit. and browning bodies. and so on "across the rows. near Fort Lauderdale. and the criteria by which they will be compared. is dominated by the oily bodies of sun-worshippers who crowd into it every summer weekend.
so that the pole is held up by the guyrope and the pegs on opposing sides of the tent bottom. Comments on process analysis: • In describing how a process happens or how to perform a series of actions. Peg down the corners of the bottom. One person can set up the FamilyProof Tent.Process Analysis [Note: I couldn't think of a way to write the following paragraphs that followed naturally from the previous material. Lift the pole on the opposite side of the tent in the same way. unroll the front flAP Test. Put the steps into sequence. Finally. Thread each pole through the two loops leading toward the top of the tent. lift one of the poles. To form an awning. 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 • • • • . Then isolate the steps: number then. pretend you are reading an article on how to put up a particular brand of tent.] When you find the park you are looking for. though it is easier with two. Next. snAP Test. but this time. Unfold the tent so that the corners of the waterproof bottom form a square. pull its guyrope tight and peg the guyrope down. Assemble the two remaining tent poles in a similar manner. use bullets. always think of your readers: can they follow this? Analyze the process into a series of steps. you will need to make camp. • • • • • • Now you are ready to move in. Place a pole near each of the pegs. While holding the pole up. For the next paragraph. limbs. Together all four external tentpoles (they are held together by shock cords to ake sure you get the pieces matched up). yet almost impossible with three or more. Here's how: • First. fit it into the upper end of the standing pole before securing its guywire. clear a 9 by 9 foot area of snags. After you have all four poles in place. Prop up the awning with the two remaining poles and secure them with guyropes. and anything that might pierce the bottom of the tent.
Comments on persuasion: • This paragraph is but a small example of the kind of writing used widely in editorials and columns. as in this description of Caroline Meeber by Theodore Dreiser in his novel Sister Carrie: Caroline. but not strong. they will be glad they read your article. mannerisms. and context they need to form their own opinions. their appearance. and what they are like. Remember: Readers are interested in only one opinion--their own. was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis.longleaf.net/ggrow> Description Subjective Description: Writers use descriptive paragraphs most often in fiction. This can make all the difference in the quality of your vacation. and don't wind up on a concrete RV pad when you really want the forest primeval. • • • Top Gerald Grow's Homepage at <http://www. and it uses a direct." or "The mountains loomed above them. Self-interest with her was high. helps us imagine what people are like. "OK. and what your options are. more is needed than your opinion or sense of conviction. It was nevertheless. as she had been half afffectionately termed by the family. analysis." Description of time and place draws readers into other worlds and sets the stage where a story can unfold. now get up and act!" To persuade people to change their minds or take an action. make their own judgments. Get good information on what to expect. Don't wind up in the wilds when you want to be near Disney World. pretty with the insipid 215 .Persuasion Before you go camping in Florida. or Sister Carrie. plan ahead. and take action. Just think of lines like "It was a dark and stormy night. her guiding characteristic. Warm with the fancies of youth. 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. If you can help them formulate and deepen that opinion. Description of characters. and utterances. Find out what parks are available. You need to supply them with the information.
storytelling can be very effective for the simple reason that people love to hear stories. the details must be organized in a meaningful way on the page. becoming ridged and furrowed with age. getting past biases can be difficult. at the beginning of an essay on the problems caused by excessive instant messaging by young teens. if your reader is to understand what your observations mean. Good supporting details could include "The morning air felt damp and cold. scene. As a method of development. In these writing situations. with a few blunt teeth but no serrations. In both subjective and objective description. your paragraph should have a clear controlling idea so that your reader knows what to do with your descriptive details.prettiness of the formative period. ." In an objective description. organizing details around clear controlling ideas is essential. . too." is an example of a dominant impression. and will tune in to a story when their eyes glaze over at other styles of writing. the writer attempts to stay away from emotional impressions or responses. while those of red maple are widest at the base. is being aware of one's own biases. Objective Description: Description is also used in reportorial and scientific writing. Therefore. . as a video camera records a scene. . or person to be described as objectively as possible and the descriptive details of the paragraph should add substance to the main point. cultural contexts for writing. The leaf sinuses are rounded. "It was a gloomy morning. part of writing good objective description. (50–80 ft. the sides of terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel. she was a fair example of the middle American class . that controlling idea should be a dominant impression of a particular scene or person. possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence. For instance. Writing Description: Whether your goal is to write objective or subjective description. Narration A narrative is a story. Supporting details should help the reader understand the dominant impression. unlike those of red maple (Acer rubrum) which are sharply Vshaped. as in the following example: The Acer barbatum is a small to medium-sized. For example. People huddled inside their coats. 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. ethnic and cultural background. You may experience a scene or a person as a holistic impression. " (Dreiser 1) In this type of description. or other writing in which the goal is to present an objective picture of an object or scene. the controlling idea should identify the object. however. tapering to the tip. Leaves are opposite and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed. Bark is light gray and smooth on younger trees. What is described is subjective: the reader experiences the world as it appears to the author or the narrator in a story and learns what is important to the person recording the description. Nothing should be included in the paragraph that does not support the controlling idea. In subjective description. how the writer feels about the subject. analyze or argue. (Sieberling) It is important to note that while being objective may be a writer's goal. 216 . and instead report what is seen. the author is describing an impression of what is observed. 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.) tall when mature. and gender. Even when your purpose is to write an essay that is primarily to inform. deciduous tree usually ranging from 15–25 m. . the writer's age. a narrative paragraph can be effective at drawing the reader in and establishing your voice in the essay. Also.
and then I clumb up into the forks of a cottonwood that was out of reach. a controlling idea is important. as in the phrase "by and by. Details help readers to connect to the world the author envisions. Consider the folllowing narrative paragraph from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. finally. A new paragraph will begin when the scene changes. Consider the difference between the general and specific. because it gives the reader information about what to do with the details that follow. Therefore. here and there. the reader assumes the actions take place in sequence. Further shots take the reader into the scene emphasizing details and actions that will take place in that scene." Below are some of the common transitional expressions used in narrative writing: meanwhile. rather than abstract or general ones. However. but maybe it was luckier I didn't. the controlling idea for the scene is "I took up the river road as hard as I could put. In a narrative paragraph it is useful to think of paragraphs as scenes. besides. later. 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. transitions are needed to emphasize important time relationships. choosing concrete and specific expressions. too These phrases do call attention to themselves." By virtue of the linear arrangement of these sentences on the page. ." What follows is what happened when he took off and went up the river road—he hides in a tree from the men with guns. eventually. and abstract and concrete expressions below to see what a difference the right words can make: Specific / General blue hamster / pet banana squash / vegetable red and white umbrella with a broken spoke / rain gear Concrete / Abstract He kissed her and smiled into her eyes. When I came in sight of the log store and the woodpile where the steamboats lands I worked along under the trees and brush till I got to a good place. in addition. I worked along under the trees. and watched. By and by I begin to hear guns a good ways off. moreover. running. in the previous paragraph from Huckleberry Finn. For example. 217 . spend a lot of time trying to find the right words for their meaning. . . logical sequence of actions supplies the narrative sequence: "I took off. . even in a narrative paragraph. and the controlling idea as a kind of wide angle shot on the scene. furthermore. so it is wise to use logic most of the time to show sequence. There was a wood-rank four foot high a little ways in front of the tree. I heard guns . therefore. first. 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. then. and first I was going to hide behind that. 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.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. Good writers. However. For the most part. talking. soon. / He loved her. etc. second. narrative paragraphs are characterized by words that show action and words that show sequence. Concrete and Specific Detail: Descriptive details in a narrative paragraph are essential to a good story. also.
htm. and rays of brighter gold fanned across the sky into the high clouds above. (Barta) Example 2: 218 . then you really are newbie!! Take a quick detour for a few ramblings on the subject). The writer must have a clear sense of the audience in order to know what to include. 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. It's called HTML because web page documents have the file extension . 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. and so are presented in chronological order. Part of your revision process should included finding concrete and specific expressions for your ideas. Process Analysis A process analysis is a discussion of the steps one must take to achieve a particular end. and how to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Audience: Audience awareness is extremely important in process analysis writing. quitting smoking.." and "finally. the sky turned hot pink and gold. and how formal or informal to be." to indicate the sequence in which steps are to be taken. Process analysis paragraphs also depend on transitional expressions such as "first. (If you are unclear about this file extension stuff. My name is Joe and I'm going to give you a few simple lessons on how to make a Web Page. A web page is nothing more than a file. The concrete and specific expressions get a reader's attention far more effectively than the abstract and general expressions do. for example." "second. If you're at all experienced at this sort of thing. A reader can imagine specific things far more readily than general concepts. Some process analysis writing is intended for an audience that needs to learn how to perform a process themselves." "then. you'll probably find this tutorial a bit of a yawner. the steps in the process being described happen in sequence over time. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. fixing a bent bicycle wheel.Her hands were shaking and she was afraid her knees would not support her. for example. Writing a Process Analysis Sequence: Typically. Other process analysis writing is informative rather than instructional. As the sun passed under the horizon. finding a good job. this is for "all wet behinda ears" Newbies.. a HTML file to be exact. / She was scared. what to leave out. examples of this type include how to resolve the healthcare crisis. / It was a beautiful sunset. You'll be happy to learn that it's really pretty simple. I must warn you though. how technical to be. the reader reads such texts for understanding as well as instruction.html or . but other steps must be taken by corporations and governments as well. The basic idea is this. Some process analyses work on both levels.
and traffic congestion. "There are three main problems associated with living across from a highschool: noise. jazz. and those who are unable to find work—we are better able to combat the crisis. soundtracks. and cell phones as a cause of accidents and physical 219 . the second author is formal and more detached. For example. and other features. themes of heartache. The second way is to create your web page(s) online using a Telnet program by accessing your UNIX account. you could end up with all the wrong things. In writing an essay involving division and/or classification. and by looking at different groups suffering from poverty—for example. if you have one. a classification system is used in the military to rank officers. For example. Division and classification make it easy for individuals to locate what they are looking for. we divide a general category of things into smaller subcategories. by dividing cancer into more than 100 different types. In addition. but these organizational methods are also useful for understanding complex problems or issues: For example. dance music. etc. take the time to decide who you think your audience is going to be." The first author assumes his audience has no knowledge of key terms. Once you have created your page(s). we develop criteria for the items in a subcategory based on relationships between the items. Without this sense of purpose. If you are asked to write a classification paragraph or essay. the elderly. your system for dividing and/or classifying information may not meet your needs." "Telnet. hip-hop. dividing these problems into categories—cell phones as a social problem. The first way is to create the page(s) offline and then upload them to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) via FTP. homesickness. do so in any text editing or word processing document. Make sure that when you save your document. classical. world music. noise. for this student. 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. For example. knowing your goal is also important. Consider your favorite music store: the compact discs are organized into many subcategories such as country. cleanliness. country life. trash. you could have sleepwear suited for a warm bed rather than a cold forest floor. 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. If you are creating your web page(s) offline. "plain text" or "text only" document. or uncomfortable street shoes to hike in rather than hiking boots. you save it as a "text". When writing your own process analysis paragraph. The second author assumes the reader is familiar with terms like "FTP. and write for that audience. etc. you must first have a strong sense of purpose. Classification sometimes refers to a ranking system by which things or persons are evaluated.There are basically two ways to make a web page. Otherwise it will not be read properly by a web browser. Division & Classification Division and classification are related methods for organizing objects or information. etc. you will need to contact your ISP about how to go about uploading them to your server. if you pack for a camping trip without taking the context of your trip in mind. crime rate. a country twang in his vocals. medical professionals are better able to analyze the disease. The first author is very informal and friendly (even including a smiling cartoon of himself)." and "server. Using Division and Classification in Your Writing: To use division and classification successfullly. and hotels are ranked and classified according to quality. a student might write an essay about the problems created in society by the cell phone." In classification. 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. For example. Neighborhoods are ranked by prospective home buyers according to criteria such as schools. the sick. In division. (Web Page) Both examples show how to build a web page. the authors take different tones with the reader. rock.
price." In a classification paragraph. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening. Topic sentence in division and classification paragraphs: Typically. no matter which form it takes. ever-improving path. (Winston Churchill) I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. Illustration also refers more generally to clarification through exemplification. the picture helps to illuminate or clarify the meaning in the text. as in the following example. extended example. . you need to decide on the form of illustration you will use: A series of examples or statistical information can be persuasive. is that it sheds light on the general idea.) Illustration You may associated the word "illustration" with images that accompany a story in a picture book. a quotation. or the criteria that chacterize items in a group. The key to a good illustration. " or "We can proceed in one of three ways." or "Ponds have several characteristics that differentiate them from lakes. mouthwash and bathroom cleaners. Every step may be fruitful. for example. What do you want. the topic sentence might also involve enumeration. Yet as Einstein says. Writers use examples to make a general idea clear—to illustrate an idea. convenience." Every day you may make progress. only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. in illustrated books. Consider the following examples: I am surprised that Margot. 220 . or a statistic. The illustration may be one long. We assassinate microbes with hand soap. as in "There are two main problems associated with . got so crazy last night. "Most states recognize two types of murder. . Classifying cell phones according to size. That's deep enough. so far from discouraging.injury—will help the student develop a clear argument." 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. who never lets her hair down. It feels clean and right. however. in the topic sentence of a division paragraph (or in the thesis of an essay that relies on division as the primary method of development) writers will use enumeration to prepare the reader for the content. or it may be several short examples. "Before God we are all equally wise .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. but the emphasis is likely to be on the ranking of the different divisions. an anecdote. ever-ascending. Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. and appearance would not be an effective system for this argument. But this. It may be a story. 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.
(Keim) In each paragraph. doubts about the accuracy and integrity of e-voting equipment have been growing." or "democracy" in a personal way. election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line -. . Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access -.a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office -. Washington. . In defining scientific terms. "I was thinking we have an immense problem here that's much bigger than me. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema. searching the Internet for an electronic voting machine manual. ("Bacterial") 221 . the main idea is developed through a list of concrete examples. Definition is very important in the sciences. and when impressions are essential. "There was a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been there." Over the past year.But some scientists say we're overdoing it. In the humanities. The answer. . (Zetter) You may also choose to use quotations to illustrate an idea. He stated. This technique is useful if you are exploring a complex idea. economic deprival. is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria. so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election -. where the terminology is extensive and discipline-specific. as in the following illustration from an essay on e-voting. . It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings. a writer should be as objective as possible. making the idea clear and real. 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. bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence. . Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves. they say. 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. or a biography. "I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom.Diebold employees. when she made a startling discovery." (Wikipedia) Definition In a definition paragraph. the writer's goal is to help the reader understand new terms or concepts. or to come to new understanding of terms they may be familiar with. and the skin. Consider this paragraph about Caeser Chavez from Wikipedia: Chávez was an ethical vegan and vocal advocate of animal rights.could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence. irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. Certain bacteria normally live on parts of your body. Racism. A writer may wish to define complex terms such as "heartache. long illustration allows you to get in depth and explore facets of an idea. Bacteremia is common after many invasive procedures. A single." He also said." Harris said.and change votes without leaving a trace. "It was getting scarier and scarier. voting activist Bev Harris was holed up in the basement of her three-story house in Renton. Some surgical and dental procedures cause a brief bacteremia. but only certain bacteria commonly cause endocarditis. This technique is useful when you are writing a literary analysis." "luck." Harris said. "Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. definitions can be more subjective. dog fighting and cock fighting. . on the other hand. such as the mouth and upper respiratory system. . thanks to Harris' discovery. the writer should strive to use analogies and impressions that the reader can readily identify with. Diebold hadn't password-protected the file or secured the audit log. the intestinal and urinary tracts.
Exploring the evolution of the term could yield interesting insight into the connotations of the contemporary term. or what it does can be an important part of definition. By function: how something works. By its effect: Discussing what effects the subject produces is important with certain subjects or in certain contexts. Cause & Effect A cause and effect development techniques are typically discussed together. By what it is not: Ironically. Physical features as well as behaviors (as in animal or cell behavior) may be a part of this type of definition. sir?” Throughout my life. A definition can be developed in a number of ways. a writer begins with a particular cause. Look at the examples below: paragraph emphasizing causes: Several factors contributed to the instability of the economy today.Subjective Definition: . provide a basic or general definition. In a paragraph emphasizing the effects of something. in a particular paragraph. Below are some common methods of definition: By characteristics or features: Scientific definitions typically rely on this type of definition. The method(s) you choose should be determined by the term you are defining. A paragraph emphasizing the causes of something typically begins with an effect. as Mr. (Frazer) The second paragraph is taken from an essay-length definition of "idiocy" by Ian Frazer. the purpose of the paragraph is to explore how that effect came to be—to show what caused it. “[I]diot” is not a nice word to call somebody. a writer must identify the term being defined. for the record. By what it is similar to: Comparison and analogy help us understand things that are unfamiliar to us. By example: Giving examples illustrating what the term means can be highly effective." By its origins: Providing a history of what a term has meant can help us understand its current meaning. I have had to struggle to keep from thinking of myself in the limiting way that word implies. we can get a pretty good sense of what something is like. one or the other will be emphasized. I would like it known that I am not an “idiot. for now he is really in trouble. The last thing I need is for somebody to make it harder by pointing out what an “idiot” I am. For example. or what it is lacking. He goes on to give examples of his idiocy and then conclude that his idiocy is just not his fault. 222 . . and then provide clear detail to support the definition. the slang term "wimp" comes from the term "wimple. Writing Definitions: To write a definition paragraph (or essay). So. a definition of CO2 emissions emphasizing the consequences of these emissions to the environment would be important. by learning what it is not. in an essay on global warming. paragraph emphasizing effect: Jack should never have quit his job. Welch did of Senator Joseph McCarthy." which refers to a head scarf women wore in mediaeval Europe. For example. . “Have you no sense of decency. as in the above definition of "idiocy. Nobody knows what it is like to deal with crippling bouts of idiocy while trying to lead a normal life.” I am a person who suffers from idiocy. and I find myself asking. However. then explores the consequences or effects of this cause.
Yet. or a detective might write an analysis of evidence found at a crime scene to support a conclusion about the perpetrator of the crime. The 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. For example. To get to this point of confidence takes hard work: rereading a text or examining a subject several times to become familiar with the contents. a writer might analyze the setting in a short story to better understand the theme of the story." is severely workful and practical. it is delicate and beautiful. Analysis In an analysis paragraph. disorienting places. a rare beauty in nature. no purpose has been identified for discussing the cause and effect relationship. Rather a cynical view of love in the end. and the smoke from the chimneys is like coiled serpents. then. A rose blooms. is caused by Words and phrases showing consequence: as a result. or a student in an anthropology class might write an analysis of broken pottery shards found on the site of an 18th century dwelling to support conclusions about the wealth and status of the family who lived on the site. however. in spite of this fact. solid evidence. of course. if one chooses to emphasize the thorns of the rose. and then deciding what the evidence suggests. Take a look at the following example of an analysis of setting in the novel Hard Times. all analogies break down at some point. for this reason. and eventually dies. there are moments when the city becomes fantastic and disorienting. The author analyzes scenes from the text to support an interpretation of their significance in the larger context of the novel: In Hard Times. The writer presents several examples as evidence for this interpretation. but it also has thorns. is due to. mad elephants. "Coketown. since. and why it is important to discuss a cause and effect relationship in the first place. and. Charles Dickens suggests that everything in the sooty. evidence must be selected that best supports the interpretation or conclusion. the writer needs to know which factor to emphasize: causes or effects. For example. 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. therefore. taking notes. the goal is to understand a subject by examining its parts. Finally. a complex experience like falling in love might be explained in a rose analogy. Analogy Analogy can be highly effective for extended definitions because in analogy. consequently. " A controlling idea like this merely establishes a fact. The overall argument here is that Charles Dickens wants readers to see 19th century factory towns as strange. Writing an Analysis Paragraph: Strong analysis depends on a clear sense of purpose. . it follows. mythological giants. the steam engines themselves. Using transition words to emphasize cause and effect relationships between ideas is useful. There are no perfect analogies. in the moonlight the steam-engines cast shadows on the walls which seem like the shadows of the Titans. and careful explanation of the significance of the evidence. the stuff of strange dreams: the lights of factories make the factories seem like fantastic fairy palaces.Writing a cause & effect paragraph or essay: In a cause and/or effect paragraph. doing research. Once a writer has developed an interpretation of or conclusion about a subject. Words and phrases showing cause: because. the looms in the factories seem a forest. lumbering up and down are melancholy. analogies are quite 223 . It is not Ok to write "There are several causes and effects for . . dismal factory town. one explains something that is difficult to understand through comparison with something that is more readily understood.
. Finally. comfortably traditional. The first requires that you be open to advice or social criticism from those who are more enlightened. when developing your analogy. and an end. She.useful. . like a barreling freight train that he didn't hear or see coming. in turn. as for example in all sanitary napkin. —Andy Warhol No matter how much Bill Gates may claim otherwise. A married couple is depicted in some relaxed setting—a restaurant. 1. he missed the Internet. But then a waitress approaches their table. every analogy eventually breaks down. discuss only that. but it can also be a lot of fun. indeed. the explication. —Jim Clark Finally. and he forgives her with an adoring smile. As mentioned earlier. make sure that there are no key features of the items being compared that are obviously incompatible. This is the parable's beginning: the presentation of the problem. And then sold into slavery. assumes an expression of self-loathing mixed with a touch of self-pity. Writing an analogy: Writing analogy is one of the more difficult forms of writing. Furthermore. for she is the source of his shame. and a vision of Heaven": The narrative structure of the Parable of the Ring around the Collar is. notices that the man has a dirty collar. the advisers are amiable and sympathetic. but key features of the items being compared should be present in both subjects. but this time they are free of the waitress's probing eyes and bitter social chastisement. . For example. and announces to all within hearing the nature of his transgression. Answer given: 3. In some parables. the waitress serves the function of counselor. Do not discuss the disadvantages. it 224 . or the analogy won't work. to be sure. The parable is highly useful in explaining the stress such television commercials cause the viewer. but it can be entered only on two conditions. . and that is to be expected. we are shown the couple in the restaurant once again. Consider Neil Postman's analogy between a certain kind of preachy television commercial and religious parables that "put forward a concept of sin. and aspirin commercials. The man is humiliated and glares at his wife with scorn. Answer given: 2. She proudly shows her husband what she is doing. 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. Search your brain for the features of your subject and see if you can think of other subjects that share these features. stares at it boldly. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using analogy to develop your idea. the adviser is rather more sarcastic than severe. shampoo. . the exegeses. This is the parable's end: the moral. From this. Every good paragraph has a unity. exacting and very close to unforgiving. In the Ring parable. As demonstrated in the Ring Parable. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using narration to develop your idea. which means that only one main idea is discussed. there is a path to redemption. we should draw the proper conclusion. say—in which they are enjoying each other's company and generally having a wonderful time. This is the parable's middle: the solution of the problem. Take a look at the famous analogies below to see how the process works . sneers with cold contempt. a middle. The story has a beginning. A good way to get started is to use the phrase (subject) is like . Being born is like being kidnapped. perhaps all too aware of their own vulnerability on other matters. although she is. . Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using illustration to develop your idea. intimations of the way to redemption. if your paragraph is about the advantages of owning a compact car. . Answer given: Another important element of a good paragraph is unity. But in lost parables. mouthwash.
Malawi. Sometimes students write supporting sentences that are "off the topic. Malawi. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. to 100. PRACTICE A. In Central and Eastern Europe. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. Sometimes it is possible to discuss two or even three aspects of the same idea in one paragraph if they are closely related to each other. For example. at least among males. In China. In China. In Kenya. Malawi. there were an estimated 10. In Central and Eastern Europe. you could mention inflation' as a factor.000. but you should not discuss both gas economy and easier parking in the same paragraph because they are not closely related. In Kenya. This is a result of a combination of prevention methods. If you begin to discuss another advantage." These are called irrelevant sentences For example. Tanzania. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. you could discuss gas economy and low maintenance costs in the same paragraph because they are closely related. and Zimbabwe. Uganda. Zambia. Mothers can give the HIV. the rate of infection climbed from 9 percent to 38 percent between 1992 and 1995. Australia. and your paragraph will not have unity. In Central and Eastern Europe. Do not include any information that does not directly support the topic sentence. in each paragraph. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. the United Kingdom. which accounts for 75 to 85 percent of infections. Tanzania. Around the world.is a good idea for beginning academic writer to discuss only one advantage. For example. However. the rate is 40 percent. There is evidence that in the United States. These statistics illustrate with frightening clarity that HIV/AIDS is still a major health problem in most areas of the world.000. Uganda. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV and in some areas. Uganda. Paragraph 2 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. and in some areas.000 HIV infected persons at the end of 1993. there were an estimated 10. of course. The virus is also transmitted through blood and blood products. 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.000." In Kenya. unprotected sex. Tanzania. by the end of 1995. Rwanda. virus to their children during pregnancy and childbirth or when breast-feeding. The following short essay has not been divided into paragraphs. but 225 . and this total grew ten-fold. 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. and this total grew ten-fold. Zambia. if you are writing a paragraph about the high cost of college tuition. by the end of 1995. and New Zealand. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. by the end of 1995. and this total grew ten-fold. and in some areas. HIV infection rates are skyrocketing among sex workers. In the countries of sub Saharan Africa. and Zimbabwe. In China. 23 B. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. and in Vietnam. new medicines are available that prolong the lives of people with HIV. you are getting off the topic. the rate is 40 percent. Rwanda. The main method of transmission is. Paragraph 3 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. Kenya. Study the three paragraphs that follow. drug users who share needles may become infected. 80 percent of sex workers are infected. and Zimbabwe. Rwanda.000 HIV-infected persons at the end of 1993. start a new paragraph. such as gas economy. to 100. to 100. HIV infection rates are declining. II. there were an estimated 10. Zambia.000 HIV IV infected persons at the end of 1993.' In Nairobi. if you write several sentences about inflation. the rate is 40 percent. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago.
and Rhetoric Logic. four body paragraphs. Young people especially are increasingly willing to risk life and limb while mountain biking. Skysurfing rivals skydiving and bungee jumping for the amount of thrills. STEP 1 Read the entire essay once or twice. STEP I Decide where each paragraph should be divided into two or more paragraphs. Logic. such a development in an English paragraph is awkward and unnecessarily vogue to an English reader. in which people jump out of airplanes with graphite boards attached to their feet. 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. More and more often. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea. A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. Some Asian writers. does not follow the English rule of paragraph-unity. Furthermore. Soccer is also becoming popular in the United States. Also. use an indirect approach. a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digressions. Again. is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. with their emphasis on coordination. on the other hand. however. and a concluding paragraph. STEP 2 Decide where each new paragraph should begin. a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. Therefore. a good English paragraph begins with a general statement of its content and then carefully develops that statement with a series of specific illustrations. In either case. 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. 226 . Whereas English writers use a linear sequence. the Arabic and Persian styles of writing. which are based on Anglo-European cultural patterns. Rhetoric. comes from culture. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out.(Where does the author begin to discuss a different topic?) STEP 3 Underline the first sentence of each paragraph. In this kind of writing. where it was not well known until recently. which is basis of rhetoric. STEP I Locate and underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence. English logic and English rhetoric. a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive. Ordinary people axe no longer content to spend their two weeks away from the office resting on a sunny beach in Hawaii. The topic is never analyzed directly. but also irrelevant sentences. maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination. In English. therefore. therefore. or high-speed skateboarding. or traversing slippery glaciers. it is not universal. Paragraph 2 Daredevil sports are also becoming popular. C. Culture. it is referred to only indirectly. they axe choosing to spend their vacations rafting down wild rivers. climbing the world's highest mountains.that is. the writer often digresses into areas that are not directly related to the topic. hiking through steamy rain forests.and risk. A good English paragraph may also use just the reverse sequence: It may state a whole series of examples and then summarize those examples in a single statement at the end of the paragraph. backcountry snowboarding.it should contain six: an introductory paragraph. 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. the topic is viewed from a variety of angles. D Both of the following paragraphs have not only two or more topics. the flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. In summary. Spanish rhetoric. People of all ages axe choosing educational study tours for their vacations. seem awkward and immature to an English reader. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic. but it is different. One of the riskiest new sports is skysurfing. are linear .
STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out.” In some areas of the United States. machine translation is totally useless. there are a few occasions when they are not. and the times of meals may be different. you could become very hungry and thirsty. Microsoft's president. PLAN A Feature 1 — Describe X. accept it the first time it is offered. He says. His company spends $200 million a year translating software into other languages. Americans do not expect you to visit them unless you have an invitation for a specific day and time. However. the value of having a common language is greatly increased. That day is decades away. Topic Sentence identifies the topic and the intention to compare and/or contrast X and Y. comments on the degree of similarity or difference. if you are trying to negotiate a contract or discuss a scientific subject where details are important. because flawless machine translation is a very tough problem. describe Y — identify similarities and differences Feature 2 — Describe X. thank you" because it is polite to decline the first one or two offers in your culture.Underline the topic sentence of each. Software that does crude' translations already exists." he may or may not want you to visit him in his home." Someday. you miss out on some of the Internet experience. The question is-which language? Because the Internet grew up in the United States. 24 Paragraph I Because the Internet makes the world a smaller place. "dropping by" is a friendly. It is useful if all you are trying to do is understand the general idea of something you see on your computer screen. Paragraph 2 Even when you try to be polite. Although Americans are usually very direct in social matters. it's easy to do the wrong thing inadvertently in a new culture. Computer spelling checkers also exist for various languages. If an American says. 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. however. however. Bill Gates. neighborly gesture idioms are often difficult for newcomers to understand. Your clue that this may not be a real invitation is the word "sometime. Contrast focuses on differences. "Unless you read English passably well. An American thinks that "no" means "no" and will usually not offer again. For example. 227 . If you say "No. Support Sentences describe and compare features. Comparison focuses on similarities. "Please drop by sometime. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. age of its content is now in English. when someone offers you food or a beverage in America. American meals are usually more informal than meals in other countries. the largest percent. believes that English will remain valuable for a long time as a common language for international communication. software may be available to instantly translate both written and spoken language so well that the need for any common language could decline. In other areas of the United States.
whereas.une. in contrast. 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. like. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. For more information and practice in paragraph types. different from. again. too For contrast in contrast. 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. It is sometimes incorrectly used as a name for orthodox medicine.php 228 . see http://tlc. while. equally. similarly.au/interactive/workshops/writing/index.Feature n — Describe X. Homeopathy. also. Concluding Sentence summarises and interprets differences and similarities. however. on the other hand. 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. Useful transitional words and phrases For comparison similar to. in the same way. Allopathy is the treatment of disease of one kind by exciting a disease of another kind or in another part. unlike. 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.edu. PLAN B Describe X — features 1–n Describe Y — features 1–n Describe and discuss points of similarity and/or difference.