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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
if not. Consequently. the common practice in writing a paragraph is to begin with the topic sentence and to follow it with supporting sentences. That’s why your topic sentence should be a sort of clincher. Therefore. however. As result. the topic comes first and the controlling idea comes second in the topic sentence. the controlling idea is the summary of all the information contained in its paragraph. the controlling idea may come first. or at the end of a paragraph. In the paragraph above.The topic sentence. Therefore.Gold is prized for two important characteristics. It gives them a broad view of what you are writing about because the topic sentence is meant to state the main idea of the paragraph. no information that cannot he summarized by the controlling idea can be included in a paragraph. the controlling idea is encouraging them. 5 . Moreover. Consider the following paragraph: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. Topic Controlling idea B. A. the topic sentence is the following: Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. as a beginning writer. A good architect is both an artist and a mathematician. may be stated or placed anywhere in a paragraph. Artistic talent and mathematical ability are two qualities of a good architect. Generally. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. you should place the topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph. Thus. The topic of the sentence is how parents can help children succeed in school. the reader can more easily identify the central point that the writer is making. It helps readers save time as it tells them what the reset of the paragraph is all about. They should also remind their children to do their homework at home after school. If they are interested in the topic. Children Topic Controlling idea usually enjoy playing games instead of studying. However. I experienced this. Thus. The topic sentence serves the special purpose of announcing the paragraph's topic. Using this approach to placement of the topic sentence. Gold : topic two important characteristics : controlling idea The controlling idea is the central idea that is developed in a paragraph. Controlling idea Topic Readers most often greatly rely on what the topic sentence says so as they can decide if the paragraph is worth reading or not. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. that is . I was very excited. it may be placed at the beginning. the controlling idea is a restricting idea because it limits the information that can be included in its paragraph. The topic sentence in each paragraph is the short cut that helps the readers economize the amount of time and effort when they are skimming for gist or scanning for specific information. parents can encourage them to study by buying story books with pictures. they will continue reading. a sensible plan is to tell readers what the paragraph is intended to discuss before it is discussed. As a child. 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. that is. My parents gave me a gift when I got ‘A’ in my math lesson.a tempting statement that catches the readers’ attentions and entice them to carry on with the reading of the paragraph. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. the topic sentence has given them guiding clues that help them be selective in their reading. in the middle. However. parents should take the responsibility to monitor their studying.
In a year it beats some 40 million times. you will not have either too much or too little to write about.Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the beginning. a topic sentence must also be limited: that is. There are many advantages to living in a village. it must consist of a subject and a predicate. if it is not a complete sentence. Note that sentence A contains only one idea ("have at least two learning habits"). and in the course of a single lifetime about 56 million gallons. Being limited: In addition to being complete.and Specific. In conclusion. Limited. Fragment: Ways to learn English Complete: There are many easy ways to learn English. sentence A is a better topic sentence because sentence B has more than one idea and is not a good topic sentence. Therefore. life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly. Being complete: Like any other sentence. Complete.200 gallons of blood. in a single day it pumps 2. A further advantage is that there is much less traffic. but rather a sentence fragment or a part of sentence. Study the following: 1. whereas sentence B has two ideas ("have at least two learning habits" and "should be responsible in his studies"). In this way. 2. you will have many advantages. Is there any other engine capable of carrying on such heavy work over such a long period of time without needing to be repaired? Obviously the human heart is a small yet highly efficient piece of equipment. It must be 1. It must be clearly limited in such a way that it is neither too broad nor too a narrow. Compare the following sentences. Here is an example of a paragraph with a topic sentence stated at the end. it must express one and only one controlling idea which will be expanded into a complete paragraph. one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. A: A good student must have Idea 1 idea 2 B: A good student must have at least two learning habits and he should be responsible for his studies. 2. a topic sentence must be a complete sentence: that is. In fact. In addition. must meet three requirements. C. Again. The heart weighs about 11 ounces and is the size of a clenched fist. 3. which defines the controlling idea clearly and precisely. Fragment: Learning English Complete: Learning English is useful for everyone. First of all. compare the following pair of topic sentences 6 . it is not a sentence at all. it can be seen that village life is suitable for retired and those who want to have more peace and less stress. and as a result it is much safer place to bring up young children. At each beat it takes in nearly a quarter of a pint of blood. The heart of a man performs at about 60 to 80 beats a minute. 3. Fragment: If you know English Complete: If you know English.Characteristics of a good topic sentence A good topic sentence.
that you can discuss. Television advertising is far more effective than advertising in magazines or newspapers. 2. 2. B. Being specific: A topic sentence should not be too general. Computers save us time and make our lives easier. such as university.S. 2. there are many specific things about university." This topic sentence indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will cover the trend in the world toward eating organic foods. _____________________________________________________________________________________ C-TELEVISION 1. Music can teach children to understand their own culture. University-dormitory living-roommates. _____________________________________________________________________________________ B-MUSIC 1. Topic Sentence: "Many television cartoons contain an unhealthy amount of violence. Too general: My neighborhood is a nice place to live in. vacations. Remember that a topic sentence must have one single controlling idea A-COMPUTERS 1. For example. you must narrow it down to a limited topic that can be discussed in one paragraph. 2. Computers are unnecessary and make our life complicated." Notice that this sentence clearly identifies that the key topic of the paragraph is violence in television cartoons. Playing a musical instrument helps children to develop in discipline and self confidence. or too vague. Topic Sentence: "An increasing number of people in the world are enjoying the benefits of organically grown fruits and vegetables. teachers. or nuclear power. such as classes.Two controlling ideas A : Kairouan is famous for traditional artefacts and it has beautiful landscape. Much better: Watching the Tunis derby between CA and E. Still too general: Watching a soccer game keeps me involved. PRACTICE 1: Read the following topic sentences and decide on the best topic sentence. One controlling idea B: Kairouan is famous for its Islamic architecture. A good topic sentence: My neighborhood is fascinating because people from many countries live in it. and how/why this violence is unhealthy for viewers. The reader can also expect learning more in this paragraph about the specific benefits of organic foods. Too general: Sports are exciting. When you start to write about a very general topic. and the campus. 7 . students. A. It also indicates that the remainder of the paragraph will discuss how much violence cartoons typically contain. You should narrow down your subject to be more specific.my roommates –Jane Samples: 1.T kept me on the edge of the chair. Computers are a necessary part of modern life. 3. You may narrow down the subject of college to the more specific subject of a roommate. Television gives free and interesting entertainment to people of all ages.
Television has enormous influence on politics. Example: Teenagers and drugs Topic sentence: Drug addiction has caused a huge increase in crimes of violence which is committed/done by teenagers.……………. Also. and perhaps make friends all over the world.…………………………………….3. on-line shopping makes it possible to search through catalogues to find exactly what you want at the best price.CLASSES – my best/worst class …… ……………. 1.…………. _____________________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 2: Write specific topic sentences for possible paragraphs on the following topics.………………………………….. FRIENDS .. Finally.my best friend……………………………………………………………. Animals Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 2. Getting married Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 6. Learning a foreign language Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ PRACTICE 3: Narrowing Subjects from General to Specific Fill in the space in each funnel until you arrive at a specific subject. all of the latest information is available to you. ENTERTAINMENT-singers .. 8 . so you can save both time and money.individual sports …………………………………………………………….…………………………………….. Technology Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 5.Madonna 1. you can share your hobbies and special interests.…………… 6. University Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 4.rock singer – superstar . e-mail is popular because it is faster than sending a letter and cheaper than a telephone conversation. Write a topic sentence for the following paragraphs..……… 2.…………………………… PRACTICE 4: A.…. 1.DIVORCE–children………………………………. SPORTS . Try to add at least three or four ideas to each group. VACATIONS………………………………. 5. Television Topic sentence: _______________________________________________________________________________ 3. Firstly. at any hour of the day or night.……………………………………..………… 3.. By joining a newsgroup or chat group. in your home. Topic: Using Internet _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. 4.MUSIC……………………………….
frightened. (mere: only. they would have the second. Scientists are working to develop space technology to use in different areas. In addition. Thus the students are strongly advised to provide at least three strong details which can support the main idea. definitions. the third. Tourism employs twenty times as many people as the car industry. there are many women working outside their homes and are independent. my loneliness was so great that I often dreamed that my father would miraculously return. Unfortunately. If any of the supporting details doesn’t correlate with the main idea or does not support it. I believed that with my father gone I was responsible for helping my mother with her chores. 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. upon tourism for their jobs. examples. The supporting sentences must give information that reinforces the main idea stated in the topic sentence. Nowadays. Whenever my mother was away from home. As a result. people are more aggressive towards each other. They want to earn money and spend it as they wish. I was afraid of losing someone else whom I loved. some special satellites register the earth’s resources and military information. and responsible – a young child with adult feelings. I was nervous until she returned. Meteorological satellites also provide advance information. once they started to smoke their first cigarette. Topic: Divorce _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. 3.2. therefore. and then become accustomed to it eventually! Just like the addiction of taking drugs. elaboration and exploration. Topic: My Father’s Death _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. 9 . the loss of my father caused me to develop a greater sense of responsibility. Firstly. 7. Teenagers tent to be curious about new things. First of all. We need tourists’ money in fact they provide more jobs for all of us. I felt great sadness and loneliness. In addition. left me lonely. Finally. Furthermore. Topic: Space Technology _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. Nearly three million people depend. sake: cause) 5.2 THE SUPPORTING SENTENCES The body of every effective paragraph consists of ideas or details that support and explain the topic sentence. The students can use all the writing techniques necessary to make the paragraph sustainable and eligible: descriptions. throughout the rest of my childhood. directly or indirectly. My father’s death. women think that life is always difficult unless they have their own economics independence. Topic: Tourism _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. some regard divorce as the best way to get this independence. it will break the unity of the paragraph. Due to difficult life conditions. Couples do not tolerate a few mistakes. Topic: Teenagers Smoking _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______. Being economically independent is the desire of many women. 4. They smoke for the sake of knowing how it feels. and earns four as much money as agriculture. 3. For example. For the firs few months. The number of supporting details required in a paragraph depends on what the writer is trying to show. telecommunication satellites have greatly improved global communications. They hope to be free and stand without one’s help.
climbing this hill is not dangerous. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs. and (II) At the same time it helps its support sentence develop the controlling idea.Supporting sentences may be classified into one of two groups: major support sentences or minor support sentences. MINOR SUPPORT SENTENCES A minor support sentence has two functions: (I) it develops its major support sentence by telling the reader something new or different about that sentence. which is unusual because it is very steep. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. There are no trees around this hill. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. 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. a minor support sentence must be closely related both to its major support sentence and the controlling idea of the paragraph. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. Therefore. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. First. which is unusual because it is very steep. First. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. which is 175 feet wide. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill. It indirectly supports the controlling idea of the paragraph by helping its major support sentence make that idea more easily understood. which is very wide and beautiful. It directly support its major support sentence by making it more easily understood. This tree stands two hundred feet tall. It directly supports the controlling idea by making that idea more easily understood. My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. it is noted for the Wheaton River. Even though it is steep. are many willow trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. Practice 10 . In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. which is very wide and beautiful. Also. it is noted for the Wheaton River. On either side of this river. Also. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree.
PRACTICE 11 .
Both buns "hold" the meat. meat. You can understand concluding sentences with this example.THE CONCLUDING SENTENCE In formal paragraphs you will sometimes see a sentence at the end of the paragraph which summarizes the information that has been presented. You can think of a concluding sentence as a sort of topic sentence in reverse. A hamburger has a top bun (a kind of bread). This is the concluding sentence. Similarly. Note how the top bun and the bottom bun are very similar. Consider a hamburger that you can buy at a fast-food restaurant. the topic sentence and 13 . and the bottom bun is like the CONCLUDING SENTENCE. lettuce. onions. and a bottom bun. The top bun. cheese. in a way. is like a TOPIC SENTENCE. and other elements in the middle of the hamburger. and so on.
Similarly a person wants to be slender but not skinny. Finally. a precious metal. For example. Synonyms.concluding sentence "hold" the supporting sentences in the paragraph. It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas to think about. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. In brief. For many years. that is. but not exactly the same as. Therefore. Notice how the concluding sentence summarizes the information in the paragraph. Canada is a desirable place to live in . Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. The first one paraphrases the topic sentence. It signals the end of the paragraph. and aggressive but not pushy. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. As a result. First of all. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. you should be careful in choosing words because many so-called synonyms are not really synonymous at all. Indeed . Gold. Second. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. Notice also how the concluding sentence is similar to. the concluding sentence repeats the main idea of the topic sentence in different words. You may either paraphrase the topic sentence or summarize the main points. The second example summarizes the two main points of the paragraph. Practice STEP I Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph. STEP 2 Determine the main idea of each paragraph. do not always have the same emotional meaning. Canada has a high standard of education. 3. First. words that have the same basic meaning. A concluding sentence is helpful to the reader because it signals the end of the paragraph and because it is a reminder of the important points. to call a person stingy is an insult while the word frugal has a much more positive connotation. coins. In conclusion. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. STEP 3 Add a good concluding sentence to each. 14 . Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. Therefore. is prized for two important characteristics. We can see that Therefore. 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. There can be no doubt that The evidence suggests that The examples that follow demonstrate two different types of concluding sentences. which were not specifically stated in the topic sentence. 2. It summarizes the main points of the paragraph. For example. the words stingy and frugal both mean "careful with money" However. and ornamental purposes. As a result. Canada has an excellent health care system. the topic sentence. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. 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. A concluding sentence serves three purposes: 1. In conclusion. it is suitable for jewelry. It is clear that In summary. These examples show that Thus. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live.
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. If you have a good story wait until-the speaker is finished. it is common for them to do so in the evenings or on weekends at home. it is impolite to do so. in fact. Because they don't have enough time to respond to these messages during office hours. They feel buried under the large number of messages they receive daily. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Paragraph 2 Modern communication technology is driving workers in the corporate world crazy. Be relaxed and bend your body slightly forward to show interest in the person and the conversation. office workers receive dozens of E-mail and voice mail messages daily.STEP 4 Begin each concluding sentence with an end-of-paragraph signal. Furthermore. managers receive an average of 100 messages a day. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 15 . When you are conversing with someone. it can affect your communication whether you are the speaker or the listener. Also. watch your body language. In one company. For instance. Paragraph I You can be a good conversationalist by being a good listener. don't interrupt while someone is speaking. Show your interest by smiling and/or nodding. In addition to telephone calls.
the movement from one sentence to the next and in longer essays. Gold. The fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in a logical order. a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was minted twenty-three centuries ago. Consider the following paragraph: My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features. climbing this hill is not dangerous. so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. Repetition of Key words The easiest way to achieve coherence is to repeat key words frequently in your paragraph. are many willow* trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind. 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. as too much repetition of the same words can be distracting and even irritating to a reader.UNITY and COHERENCE in PARAGRAPHS: COHERENCE Another element of a good paragraph is coherence. The third way is to use transition signals to show how one idea is related to the next. and the pronoun its three times. which is unusual because it is very steep. First. it is noted for the Wheaton River. and ornamental purposes. is prized for two important characteristics. The Latin verb cohere means "hold together. Even though it is steep. which is very wide and beautiful. There are four ways to achieve coherence. These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place. but they can also be phrases. In conclusion. from one paragraph to the next) must be logical and smooth. go gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. Astronauts wear gold-plated heat shields for protection outside spaceships. You should have circled the noun gold seven times. Therefore. The most recent use of gold is in astronauts' suits. Second. In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow. First of all. on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill." In order to have coherence in writing the sentences must hold together. that is. which is 175 feet wide. it has been used in hundreds of industrial applications. Another important characteristic of gold is its usefulness to industry and science. There must be no sudden jumps. key words are those words a writer wants the reader to focus on as the paragraph progresses. Look at the model paragraph about gold to see how it uses this technique to achieve coherence. gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for its utility. Consider the echo words in the following paragraph about tourists and souvenirs: 16 . Echo Words & Phrases: Echo words and phrases allow writers to remind the reader of the topic being discussed without becoming repetitive. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old. it is suitable for jewelry. Echo words are actually synonyms for the key word. the pronoun it twice. The first two ways involve repeating key nouns and using pronouns that refer back to key nouns. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. There are no trees around this hill. coins. For many years. Key words are the words carrying most significance in a paragraph. a precious metal. Gold never needs to be polished and will remain beautiful forever. A. Circle gold pronouns that refer to it. On either side of this river. For example. The key noun in this paragraph is gold. Each sentence should flow smoothly into the next one. because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs.
First of all. replace some of the pronouns with appropriate singular or plural nouns. and others in the area swim to help it. It is the primary language on the Internet. it is used more than any other language.The steady production of souvenirs throughout the mid-20th century has created a well that collectors can tap. however. the key noun is never repeated. with many falling between $20 and $40. Furthermore. it sends out a message.S. they squeal excitedly and race toward their trainer. you must be physically strong Furthermore. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred. the good news is that the tablecloths. although French used to be the language of diplomacy. the pronouns are not consistent. In international business. More than 70 percent of the world's mail is written in it. they droop noticeably and mope around their pool. unless you plan to spend your life alone on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean." Note. or from he to they (change of number). Correct them to make this paragraph more coherent. Navy is training them to become underwater bomb disposal experts. They push it to the surface of the water so that it can breathe. they display the human emotions of joy and sadness. and it is the language of airline pilots and air traffic controllers all over the world. B. PRACTICE A-In the following passage about dolphins. Use of Consistent Pronouns When you use pronouns instead of key nouns. as in "other objects from this period.Therefore. too. For example. When they make a mistake. using these general pronouns can often get developing writers into trouble with pronoun reference problems. an aspiring Olympian must train 17 . however. Dolphins are interesting because they display almost human behavior at times. make sure that you use the same person and number throughout your paragraph." 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. Olympic athletes must be strong both physically and mentally. if you hope to compete in an Olympic sport. so an echo word or phrase is a far better choice for a subject. but more countries have it as their official or unofficial second language. Don’t change from you to he or she (change of person). and other objects from this period were produced in such large quantities that surviving examples are still easy to find and affordable." To avoid repetition of this word. They have also helped trapped or lost whales navigate their way safely out to the open sea. it has displaced it throughout the world. when they do something correctly. that the author adds adjectives and modifying phrases to the echo words to further clarify her meaning. Moreover. Except for Chinese. in fact. In fact. English English has almost become an international language. For collectors. B. They stay with it for clays or weeks-until it recovers or dies. During training. PRACTICE In the following paragraph. the author uses substitutes: "objects" and "examples. that the U. it is a useful language to know. The key word in this paragraph is "souvenirs. charm bracelets. In the following paragraph. Spanish is the official language of more countries in the world. tumblers." and "surviving examples. They are so intelligent and helpful. snow globes. If one is sick. more people speak it than any other language. The objects that have proved the most desirable in recent years are ones dating from the 1920s through the 1960s. they help each other when they are in trouble. Replace the pronoun it with the key noun English wherever you think doing so would make the paragraph more coherent. ashtrays.
they tell the reader when you are giving a similar idea (similarly. In addition to being physically strong he or she must also be mentally tough. not to overuse transitional expressions. next. so they must possess the inner strength to live with defeat. therefore.. turn. and social life. in conclusion. for instance. eventually. finally. of course. This paragraph has three main parts: (1) a part about the Wheaton River. next. and stop. C. accordingly. slow down. such as those appearing in the phrases "these trees" and "this hill"? We can call these minor connectors. plainly Be careful. First. however. moreover. in addition). you can use minor connectors to link your details to each main point. they train several hours a day. undoubtedly. nonetheless. That is. moreover. consequently To connect two contrasting ideas. therefore. furthermore. to on the other hand. ultimately.or phrases such as in conclusion. however. Major Connectors Look at the words in bold font in the paragraph about my home town. and (3) a part about the Big Old Tree. Finally. a result (as a result). Using such major connectors is an important way of providing coherence in a paragraph. and The third amazing feature. conversely. yet. in brief. consider the words. not everyone can win a medal. Purpose To add another idea To arrange ideas in order or time Connecting Word/Phrase furthermore. differeniate ideas nevertheless. Transition Signals Transition signals are words such as first. Overuse can be distracting. 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. Minor connectors provide coherence to a paragraph by connecting sentences within each of the main parts of your paragraph. often giving up a normal school family. Second. in addition. certainly. or aconclusion (in conclusion). however. second. For the most demanding sports. rather. an opposite idea (on the other hand. on the other hand. admittedly. Think of transition signals as traffic signs that tell your reader when to go forward. Do you see how they help guide the reader? For example. and however. Being mentally strong also means that he or she must be able to withstand the intense of international competition with its media coverage. This means that you have to be dedicated to your sport. likewise. an example (for example). PRACTICE A-Compare paragraphs 1 and 2 that follow. in other words To conclude or sum up hence. naturally. on the contrary To emphasize or confirm indeed. (2) a part about Wheaton Hill. Save them for significant connections between ideas that you want to call special attention to. subsequently. at the same time To add an illustration or explanation for example. when you write about your main points. Both paragraphs give the same information. thus. 18 . We can call these words major connectors. and as a result. Which paragraph contains transition signals and is more coherent? Circle all of the transition signals that you can identify. Major connectors help organize the main parts of your paragraph. meanwhile. finally. Here are some of the most commonly used connecting words and phrases and the purposes they serve. although. In other words.rigorously* for many years. five or six days a week for ten or more years. in contrast). Another way of saying this is that this paragraph has three main points which are indicated by the major connectors. similarly first. also. Minor Connectors What about the other words in bold.
In a Paragraph describing differences (contrast). Era also suggested that rising wages were one of the primary causes of inflation _______________the government should take action to control wages. water evaporates rapidly. in contrast. logical division of ideas and comparison/contrast. Logical Order In addition to using transition signals and repeating key words and pronouns. etc. in a piece of writing using chronological order you would expect to find a lot of time expressions: first. however) 5. and local taxes. a fourth way to achieve coherence is to arrange your sentences in some kind of logical order. In physics. as a result. There are two reasons for this. compare with. (in conclusion. the weight of an object is the gravitational force 2 with which the Earth attracts it_________ if a man weighs 150 pounds. for example) 4. the less the gravitational force of the Earth _________a man weighs less when he is 50. You may even combine two or more different logical orders in the same paragraph.000 miles from the Earth than when he is only 5. In cold climate zones. 19 . this means that the earth pulls him down with a force of 150 pounds. The article suggested that the president reduce the federal budget.Choose the transition signal that best shows the relationship between the sentences in each group from the choices given in parentheses. larger than. just as. (on the other hand. therefore) 2.The waves are very long and low in open water. of course. Your choice of one kind of logical order over another will. (however. consequently. therefore. but when they get close to land. furthermore) 1. just like. The farther away from the Earth a person is. the Baltic Sea in North Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. the concentration of salt is greater. next. For example. for example) 3. state. finally. therefore. Furthermore. in contrast. water evaporates rapidly. In cold climate zones. before the last war. they encounter friction because the water is shallow ____________the waves Increase in height and can cause considerable damage when they finally reach land. In warm climates. The same article said that the causes of inflation were easy to find ________ the cure for inflation was not so easy to prescribe. A tsunami is a tidal wave produced by an earthquake on the ocean floor. while working on the project. There are reasons for this. The surrounding land is dry and does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. for example) D. in 20 10. for example. Some common kinds of logical order in English are chronological order. differ from In a paragraph showing similarities (comparison). (however. on the other hand.000 miles away. The runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. therefore. The concentration of salt is greater. unlike. 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. furthermore it suggested that the government reduce federal. Each kind of order has its own special words and phrases to show the relation ships among the ideas. as expensive as. Second the surrounding land is dry and. since then. in warm climate zones.Paragraph 1 A difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. For example. Write the signal in the space. you would find these expressions: the most noticeable difference. does not contribute much fresh water to dilute the salty sea water. after 1990. Example: A recent article in Era magazine suggested ways to reduce inflation. Paragraph 2 Another difference among the world's seas and oceans is that the salinity varies in different climate zones. B. after that.Add punctuation and change capital letters to small letters if necessary. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is only one-fourth as saline as the Red Sea in the Middle East. on the other hand water evaporates slowly. the runoff created by melting snow adds a considerable amount of fresh water to dilute the saline sea water. depend on your topic and on your purpose. (moreover. therefore. First of all. similarly. in comparison. you would find these expressions: similarity. (however. water evaporates slowly.
Skinned animals hang in windows of butcher shops here like clothes hang in the windows of suburban department stores.Unity is another very important characteristic of good paragraph writing. which is similar to the paragraph that we have studied above. Though no transitional expression is used. Given the first sentence in the passage above. with three cosmonauts. offering an interesting an distinctive detail about these stores. The cosmonaut to do this was Alexei Leonov. and (sometimes) the concluding sentence -. PRACTICE 20 .are all telling the reader about ONE main topic. You may use the transition signals suggested for each topic.S.the topic. had goals of testing spacecraft and space flight skills so that people could fly long missions in Earth orbit. That is. 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. and so the passage is coherent. For example. This paragraph is generally good. Use transition signals to connect the supporting sentences smoothly. we should omit this sentence. If your paragraph contains a sentence or some sentences that are NOT related to the main topic. then we say that the paragraph "lacks unity. One Voshkhod cosmonaut experimented with weightlessness by taking a "spacewalk. It is clear that the writer is continuing a discussion of grocery stores in Chinatown. the detail sentences. For another example." or that the sentence is "off-topic. it is an "off-topic" sentence. so we can say that the paragraph somewhat lacks unity. Finally. That is. Several weeks later. astronaut Ed White. Several weeks later.S. does not have anything to do with the major goals of the various Russian space projects. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. but the sentence." 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. In order to improve the paragraph. the passage is coherent. all the sentences -. astronaut Ed White. even though it is historically accurate. practice Choose one of the topic sentences below and write a paragraph that develops it. connected to it by a tether. the Vostok project was designed to test whether or not human beings could survive and function in outer space. the Soyuz project. Unity means that you discuss only one main idea in a paragraph. Does it have perfect unity? Try to find the sentence that is off-topic: Each of the Russian space exploration projects had specific major goals. supporting sentences.Often sentences have implicit logical connections that help the reader follow the thread of a discussion or argument. he floated in a spacesuit outside his Voshkhod spacecraft. Add other sentences without transitions if you need to in order to explain the topic completely.Consider the example below: Chinatown offers one of the largest Asian American grocery districts in the country. the Voshkhod project was intended to find out whether people could work in the weightless environment of space. or you may use others not listed. Leonov's spacewalk was followed by that of U. Topic Suggestions Drinking laws The effects of divorce Working mothers UNITY Like coherence." Look at the following paragraph.
the warmer its climate will be. The higher you go up a mountain. but other factors also have an influence on temperature. the less dense the air is. 21 . If mountains cause rain to fall frequently. If mountains block the passage of cold winds. Another important factor is the height of a region above sea level. throughout the cold months of winter the sea warms the nearby land just as a radiator warms a room. the nearby regions become cooler than other regions in the same latitude. physical features such as high mountains influence the temperature of nearby regions.B-Study the following paragraph and decide whether there are irrelevant sentences and then revise it. Finally. the closer a region is to the equator. In general. distance from the sea is important because although water absorbs heat more slowly than land. for example. nearby regions become warmer than unsheltered regions in the same latitude. it retains it longer. 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. Consequently.
however. 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. a well-organized paragraph consists of topic sentence. it does not restrict the controlling ideas as to what points of the two cats to contrast. The topic sentence In a comparison or contrast paragraph. To begin with. The two do not even look alike. backgrounds. American and European educational systems differ in some ways You can hardly imagine George and Jack are actually twins. and then indicates the differences a s the focus of the paragraph. topic sentence 1 is better than topic sentence 2 for three reasons: First. you could compare their looks. As a result. the subjects which are taught at the elementary level are basically the same everywhere: reading and writing. In a comparison or contrast paragraph. they fondly refer to Jack as the “absent-minded professor”. Compare the following two topic sentences and see which one is better. There are about twenty to twenty-two pupils per class. in contrast. If you were asked to compare and contrast two people. Also. acknowledge the obvious differences but emphasize the similarities. Our two pet cats are quite different. In addition. Obviously. Very commonly if you are comparing two rather dissimilar things. Although both our pet cats look lovely. George is a chubby looking boy on the verge of being overweight.Comparison and Contrast Paragraphs When writing comparison or contrast paragraphs. supporting sentences. 2. and the majority of elementary school teachers are women. and art. introductions to the sciences. Jack is simply “skinny” with sunken cheeks and a sharp chin. • Contrast paragraph PARAGRAPH STRUCTRE As you have learned in previous lessons. usually the topic introducer tells the two things to be compared or contrasted. sports. Then it is best to 22 . 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. a writer stresses how two or more things are alike or how they are different. their differences in temperament is constant source of amusement. is a boy of few words and loves to read books in solitude rather than going out to enjoy parties. Paragraph samples • Comparison paragraph The educational systems of Europe and the United States are similar in a number of ways. topic sentence 1 acknowledges the obvious similarity of the two pet cats. The only major difference in the elementary curriculum is that most Europeans study a foreign language in elementary school. Contrast paragraphs explain how two or more things are dissimilar or different. mathematics. elementary school classes look the same everywhere. acknowledge the obvious similarities but focus on the differences. and so on. The topic sentence should also indicate the emphasis of the paragraph. there is one teacher for all subjects for each grade (except in Scandinavia). Second. and concluding sentence. philosophies. 1. their attitudes toward life. While relatives and family members call George a friendly “public relations officer”. their lifestyles. and the classes are coeducational. and the topic sentence tells the controlling idea. The points to be compared or contrasted are usually indicated in the topic sentence. Even their parents can hardly understand why the two brothers are so different. Unlike George. the ways they treat people. topic sentence 2 is too general to be developed in one paragraph. If you are comparing two obviously similar things. but most American children do not. often too lost in deep thoughts to even return a greeting in time. Jack usually plods along silently. His twin brother Jack. their intelligence. either similarities or differences. Comparison paragraphs explain how two or more things are similar or alike. music. the emphasis is usually on one or the other. Third. who has a ready smile on his face and is quick to greet everybody he knows on his way.
After deciding which points to cover. you must organize your paragraph in such a way that your reader does not have to jump about from one point to another. you might come up with the following points of comparison after brainstorming: Features to Be Contrasted exterior styling colors seats and interior comfort instrument panels sound systems tires navigation systems air bags and safety features cupholders and compartments price and discounts performance and handling options engine. to show a cautious attitude. Emphasis in comparison or contrast Supporting sentences Items to be compared or contrasted should be comparable. For instance. You can’t. probably no more than three or four. you would not bother with comparing and contrasting their tastes in food. If you were comparing two politicians in order to show that one is more diplomatic. if you were contrasting two new models of automobiles. 23 . to develop in your paragraph. the concluding sentence is usually a restatement of the topic sentence or a summary of the points compared or contrasted in the development of the paragraph. Also. it would be irrelevant. the items would be incomparable. The points or items to be compared or contrasted should be parallel or of the same category.restrict the points of comparison to two-four points and choose the most significant points for comparison or contrast that would support the controlling idea. you must be sure to make your points of comparison clear and actually develop them. talk about the Ford’s engine without talking about the Toyota’s. Furthermore. For example. You couldn’t possibly develop all of the points in your brainstorming list in one paragraph. suspension. you must include a discussion of each thing being compared or contrasted with each point of comparison. for example. transmission. too. otherwise. The Concluding sentence No matter whether it is a comparison or contrast paragraph. the writer may mention little of exceptions. 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.
A more important similarity concerns our values. I feel _________. For one thing. we are thirty-two years old. Helene was born and raised in Paris and I come from Yokohama. my wife and I are alike in several ways. Our children should receive a good education and also have strong moral training. For example. Helene has strong opinions about educating our children and raising them to know right from wrong. Third. in the same way likewise another similarity similarly whereas too while both however Even though we come from different cultures. _________ is that we both grew up in large cities. our hobbies are alike _________. hers on July 10 and mine on July 20. our birthdays are in the same month. In fact.B . My wife devotes a lot of her free time to playing jazz piano.PRACTICE CHOOSE an appropriate conjunction from those shown below to finish the paragraph. I like to spend time after work strumming my guitar. Topic sentence Point 1 Detail A Detail B Point 2 Detail A 27 A -. _________.
B Details about Subtopic A Subtopic B Details about subtopic B 28 .Detail B Point 3 Detail A Detail B Conclusion Topic sentence Subtopic A A --.
When they find out that college is often routine. For many types of students dropping out seems to be the only solution they can imagine.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 may not be able to understand right from wrong and think that violence is ok. Younger students especially. to convince. They become too unhappy to deal with both hard academic work and emotional troubles. In college. First of all. and so they drop out. For example. to explain or to give an account of something or situation. The function of cause/effect is usually to answer the questions 'Why". however they may have to prepare for two hour exams. When children see terrible things on TV and sometimes act them out. First of all. or depressed. television influences everybody’s behavior in negative ways.someone who buys a new computer even though his or her old computer works fine. Perhaps the most common reason students drop out is that they are having personal or emotional problems. These students may have problems with roommates. they begin with a topic sentence and this sentence is followed by specific supporting details. Students also drop out of college because the work is harder than they thought it would be . Cause/effect models can be found in many kinds of writing and can be used for any of the writer's purposes: to justify or condemn some action. Students drop out of college for many reasons. The hard work comes as a shock and students give up. people should consider those effects before they start to watch television programs. but they never go camping. Here is an example: 29 . friends or girlfriends. to prove or disprove an idea. Someone who buys a new car but can't really afford it. such as 'What are its causes?" or 'What are its effects?" In short. Therefore. may be attending college at an age when they are also feeling confused.These students may have made decent grades in high school simply by showing up for class. Consider the following example paragraphs. or the paragraph that points out the effect (or result) produced by a cause. write fifteen page term papers or make detailed presentations to a class. These students may enter college expecting non stop fun or a series of fascinating courses. belief or assertion. Television negatively influences people's behavior in a number of ways. the supporting sentences all describe causes. 2-STRUCTURE OF CAUSE/EFFECT PARAGRAPHS Cause/effect paragraphs generally follow basic paragraph format. the cause/effect paragraph explains why a condition occurs or the effect that this condition brings about. For example. The most important negative effect is that television may lead to violence.Also. advertisements force people to buy things they may not need. they quickly lose interest. those who buy campingequipment. lonely. That is. family. or to draw a conclusion. They do not want to take dull required courses or spend their nights studying. some students are bored in school. In conclusion. such as Why did it happen?" or"What". if the topic sentence introduces an effect.
There are several reasons for this occurrence. Notice how each supporting sentence is a cause that explains the effect mentioned in the topic sentence. in this sentence: ??The weather outside was cold because Sally closed the window. it does not make sense because a person's opening or closing a window does not influence the weather. [There are several reasons for this. you must order the cause and the effect corerctly. and therefore drew them away from rural communities. and culture. and culture made city life appear more interesting. these facilities made city life appear more interesting than life on the farm. the conjunction because is correctly placed before the part of the sentence that expresses the cause. there were many schools established to educate the children of the new factory laborers. In the chart below are the main ideas of the above paragraph. theaters.Cause and Effect Conjunctions Here are some common conjunctions that can be used to express cause and effect: since because consequently as a result therefore for this reason because of + noun phrase due to + noun phrase so There are two things you must be careful of when using these conjunctions. These jobs. First. Sally closed the window. which is right before the cause. Places of leisure. people established places of leisure. entertainment. cities have grown so large that now about 50% of the Earth's population lives in urban areas. the increasing industrialization of the nineteenth century resulted in the creation of many factory jobs.) CAUSES (Supporting Sentences) Factory jobs attracted people. and the EFFECT is Sally's closing the window. Better schools attracted families to move to the city.) However.] (Cities have grown very large.) 3. Second. The conjunction because is placed in the correct position here. The promise of a better education persuaded many families to leave farming communities and move to the cities. as the cities grew. 30 . and museums. For example.In recent decades. For many people. with their promise of a better material life. which tended to be located in cities. First. entertainment. such as sports stadiums. Finally. (Note that the first letter of the conjunction is now capitalized. in the sentence Because the weather outside was cold. in the sentence Sally closed the window because the weather outside was cold. even though the subordinate clause because the room was cold is now at the beginning of the sentence. attracted many people from rural areas. to help you understand the relationships better: EFFECT (Topic Sentence) Cities have grown very large. even though it is grammatical. (Cities have grown very large. Similarly. the CAUSE is the fact that the room was cold.
(too informal -. The adverbial clause conjunctions since and because are exceptions. Sally put on her coat. As a result. Therefore. as in the example above. the schools were closed. So Jim turned on the air conditioner. The comma here is placed at the end of the subordinate clause. Consequently. Sally put on her scarf.avoid this usage) B/ 31 . Sally closed the window. The coordinating conjunction so is also different from the ones above. as in these examples: The weather was cold.Second. The weather was cold. and for this reason are usually followed by a comma. consequently. 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. you should be careful when using commas. The weather was cold. Conjunctions such as therefore. However. These are attached directly at the beginning of CAUSE-sentence without a comma. as in this sentence: The weather was warm. so Jim turned on the air conditioner. This conjunction has a comma before it. therefore. Sally closed the window. A blizzard hit the town. in formal academic writing. as a result.
and at each of these spots I drank a margarita or two. where I was photographed. I weaved down Monroe Avenue. Out with a girlfriend for a wild night on the town. You may choose to tell how your grandfather influenced your desire to become an scientist. When the police arrived--instantly. and flat out soused by the time we shut the bars down at three. a night of celebration turned into a costly and embarrassing lesson on the dangers of drinking and driving. Underline the topic sentence and the concluding sentence . your purpose is to share with others some experience that has taught you something or changed you somehow. I was dead certain that I was sober enough to drive home safely. as I hollered farewells to my friends and poured myself into the car.THE NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH A narrative paragraph ‘tells a story’. (Yes. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). tipsy by midnight. just two days after my high school graduation. Naturally I registered drunk. Baggy Drawers. I had a fake ID. the police took me to jail. In writing a narrative paragraph. we made stops at such popular hangouts as Studebaker's. After filling out pages of forms and checking to see that nobody was injured.) I was giggly by 11:00. 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:. it tells about a series of events that happened to the narrator. it seemed--they gave me a breath test even before asking to see my license. you share with the reader some personal experience of your own in order to make a point or convey a message. 33 . Whatever story you tell. It was there. and the next--crash! I had plowed into the back of a big green Buick. Of course. and Night Lights. that is. Read the following paragraph and answer the question that follow One Saturday last June. One minute there was not a soul on the road in front of me. fingerprinted. that I made a promise not to drink and drive ever again. or perhaps you’ll relate the story of the time you didn’t make the cut for the basketball team. I had to pay a $2. viewing gory films of accident victims with their bodies crunched under tires and heads wrapped inside bumpers.000 fine and attend driving school for three months. With one eye shut to keep the road from blurring.
The setting refers to the background in which the story takes place. who play parts in the action of the story. First-person tends to be more subjective. Refers to people. Focus • Narrative effect is the main point of your story—the moral. Time. There are several components necessary to create a setting: • Place. etc. you might ask yourself. Without a specific narrative effect. For example.g.Setting. two or even three main characters). you must decide whether to reveal your point explicitly (stated directly) or implicitly (suggested but not stated). Like the setting. if the story is set in the past. society or an internal struggle within the main character. it is significant to the story. This is the mood or feeling of the story. • • • The protagonist is the main character throughout the novel. and other essential elements of the story. The complication (supporting sentences)involves rising conflict that leads up to the climax (the point of highest action in the story). If the story could happen now or at some recent unspecified time. we say that it is "contemporary. but third-person can be effective as well. works best for your narrative. If you are unsure what your main point is. The story may move from one place to another. Problem/Conflict. the message. it may be set in the future. This is where the events in the story become complicated and the problem in the story is revealed.. By the middle of the story. first-person or third-person. the mood may change throughout the novel. characters. Time also refers to the season. 34 . robots. Refers to the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are presented. The force can be a person or persons. You might say that a novel opens with a mysterious atmosphere. This is an aspect of setting which can be important to the novel. establishes the setting. “Why am I telling this story? Why should someone else be interested in reading about my experience?” In addition. The setting of the story is usually responsible for creating the mood or feeling of the story. the insight you offer. Climax. The plot is a synopsis of the storyline in chronological order. your writing is merely a series of unconnected events. which eventually builds to a climatic moment. will the problem get solved or not?) Solution/Conclusion – This is the point in the story in which the problem is solved Characters. First. a story may begin in a particular city in England. Climate/Weather. • Organization of narrative paragraphs The narrative paragraph consists of three basic parts: The orientation. This usually refers to the geographical location of the story. month. Atmosphere. animal.e. • • • Plot. this refers to the period of history. The plot usually arises out of the conflict in the story." If it is a science fiction story. a gloomy atmosphere. Point of view • Decide which point of view. The basic plot is comprised of the following: • • • • Introduction.. and even time of day. the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. The force with which the protagonist is in conflict is called the antagonist. Most personal narratives are written in first-person. the character(s) may find themselves in other locations within England. This is the turning point in the story in which the reader wonders what will happen next (i. A novel can have more than one protagonist (e. the emotional quality that the story gives to the reader. If the story begins in the midst of a hurricane.
(concluding sentence)the conflict is resolved and the narrative effect is revealed or suggested. events are described according to the connections between them. as they might be arranged in someone’s memory. Use flashback to recall an event from the past that has a significant impact on the present. events are described in the order in which they happened. You must decide whether chronological time or psychological time best suits your story. 35 . The order in which the events are presented in the narrative paragraph is very important to the overall unity of the paragraph. in psychological time. The techniques of flashback and flashforward can also be part of your narrative’s time structure.Then. In chronological time. in the resolution.
writing which incorporates vivid. precise language that keeps your reader’s attention. and taste the scene you’re writing. If your paragraph consists merely of dry facts. Make the reader see. evocative description to immerse the reader in the situation or place you describe.before.Use flashforward to jump to the future and show a possible outcome for the events in the present. Therefore. how the birds sang in the trees. if used well.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. Also make use of sensory language (language that appeals to the senses). Use very detailed.Use Sensory Details It is important to remember that human beings learn about the world through using the five senses. smell. feel.Using Dialogue 36 . hear. use clear. Both of these techniques. Complete this paragraph using. Your goal is to make the scene come alive for the reader. Don’t just tell us that spring was in the air—describe how the sun felt on your skin.after. In other words. . . They are our primary source of knowledge about the world. can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of your narrative. sensory detail is more likely to engage and effect the reader. especially when you are writing a highly detailed scene. readers quickly grow uninterested. how the dew sparkled on the grass.
do you sometimes smile at remembering what a person said or did. The lady at the next table to the slob could take it no longer. or even get angry over a remembered insult once hurled your way? When writing a narrative paragraph about one event in your life. but one of the easiest is to use the 5W’s – who." All activity stopped in the restaurant as we waited for his reply. "Appearances can be deceptive". a brief amusing or interesting story about a real person or event. For exampleif the topic sentence is. "Listen. furrowed her white brow. why – to ensure reader understanding of what you have written. and Why is a brief explanation of the circumstances leading up to the event. The most common method for ending a narrative paragraph is to refer back to your topic sentence. which spread from the greyish collar of his neck. like a soldier on a mission. lady.? What introduces your event to the reader." the voice was thick guttural. interjections and other ‘real’ speech patterns. re-word the idea into something lik"That is how I learned that the outside does not always reflect the inside. the Queen of bloody Sheba?" . where. Who should clearly introduce the character. etc. Everest. the use of dialogue will definitely make the event more vivid to your readers. "Sir". Make sure your characters talk like people in real life.When you recall an experience that you had. to say that the police officer who gave you that first ticket was “really tall” doesn’t convey the sense of terror you felt as well as “he towered over me like Mt. use appropriate metaphors and similes. Secretly I hoped she would do something to stop the obscene slurping coming from his fat lips." Practice Practice1 37 . "Sir. I watched her rise majestically from her seat. Whenexpands on the time the event took place. Astonishment puckered his dimpled jowls to be replaced by a red infusion. For example. but she had his attention. you are inhaling your soup in such a manner as to distract your fellow diners. "who do you think ya are.Finally. Be sure to make the conversation lifelike by using slang. she enunciated clearly to the huge slurping hulk. Wherehelps establish the mood and atmosphere for thsetting of the event you are re-telling. There was a grunt in return from the grazer. Another good method for starting the narrative paragraph is to use an anecdote. How to write narrative paragraphs A How to Start There are various ways to begin a narrative paragraph. what. slowly gliding to the stark blinking eyes. B How to Finish . when. serious intent. Real people do not use full sentences when they speak. Is this an adult. Figurative language can add to your narrative by suggesting to your reader how you felt in a particular situation. child. use it to tie up the loose ends of the paragraph. This is your chance to use fragments. and by rewording it.” Metaphors and similes can be very helpful in revealing your narrative effect to the reader.
Don’t just relate the series of events because this creates a boring list. 4. This danger became very real to me one summer evening. but Jack won’t go near the water pail. This was a safety measure.__________ went off to town for the spring water not knowing that Jack had gone tumbling down. 12. but he hasn’t seemed the same fellow. 2. I was driving down Centre Street.then . She tied a rope around the handle of the pail and 5.__________ Jyll has been known to giggle at Jack’s disaster which sometimes gets her in trouble with his mother. Practice 2 Try to unscramble the following paragraph by numbering the sentences in the order they should appear. she grabbed the old wooden pail. 7. "Darn light stuff". Before I knew what had happened an old man had grabbed my door handle. Then I realised all he wanted was a cigarette. 11.__________ thing that happened was that Jyll was running out of fresh water at her cabin.__________ she left she wanted to contact her neighbour. When. vivid words to relate your story instead of passive language. and backed out othe car. Using Connotative Language in Narrative Writing The language used in narrative writing helps the reader imagine himself in the events you tell about. It seems that when Jyll threw the pail up in the tree. – The 1. After this experience.__________ Jyll had gone to fetch the pail for water.today. she hadn’t noticed Jack coming around the bend in the forest path.__________ she left the cabin. it was discovered what had happened.when.__________ was able to toss the pail up into the air and over the giant arbutus tree next to the cabin. I drew back even further against the driver’s door.The following narrative paragraph lacks time transitions.__________ Jack and Jyll still play at being neighbours. and was stopped by the red light across from the York Hotel. He would know she was away from the cabin. to let him know she would be out of the area for the day. so I 38 . 10. Next he leaned ominously into the car blowing toxic liquor fumes across my face.after. my sense of safety in Calgary was destroyed. During the rush hour one evening after work. High up there it could be seen by Jack while he stood on the porch of his cabin down the road. Later I realised how foolish I had been to drive with the doors unlocked. it hit Jack’s crown on its way down. She decided she would have to walk into town to pick up some fresh spring water.first. After snarling.__________ that day.then . 9. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate transitions to give the paragraph coherence.__________ Jack has had his nob patched. 8. he took two smokes and my lighter.before. Finally I was able to calm down long enough to understand what the man was saying _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ In downtown Calgary it can sometimes seem quite dangerous when the sun goes down. Now I started to panic as his hands fumbled on the car seat because I thought he wasgrabbing for my purse. Example: Instead of. Jack. Jyll 6. 3.eventually. "It happened while I was standing in the shower.__________ she would use it as a signal to Jack that she was absent from the cabin. Use specific.in the meantime.__________ the doctor and police were able to reconstruct the scene of the crime.afterwards Let me tell you the story about a woman named Jyll and a friend of hers called Jack. and gingerly I extended the pack to him When he started muttering.later.
The girl hit her knee on the stairs. 2. 4. The baby cried in her crib. By this time. The child ran out the school doors. After all. As we were driving on the freeway." The man walked down the street. I got ready and told my husband to drive me to the interview. The man told me he had made an appointment for me with a potential employer and that my interview was at 1: 30 p. We left so we could have enough time to look for the address. The front tire had popped and lost all of its air. 1. We started feeling the car jumping.m. by Elizabeth Alvarado (Fall 2005) The worst day in my life was July 21. It became like a ritual. hiding the deadly hiss of gas. and it was 1 p. I received a call from a staffing company. My husband went to the trunk of the car and pulled out the carjack and the spare tire to fix the car. my stomach was upset. I looked at my watch.m. We pulled over to the side of the road onto the shoulder. 2. eventually then 9. Every two to three minutes I checked Answers 1. first before 5. couldn’t hear the gas leaking "The blast of water from the shower deadened the other house noises. 10. The cowboy fell off his horse. 2004. On that day. 3. 6. punctuality is something employers look for. 5. I was sweating and kept looking at my watch. we heard a pop followed by a hissing of air escaping with great force. after afterwards 39 .Write.
or add concrete details to a setting. As they slowly climbed the long. He was nervous because the staircase was so steep. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. oblong room with peeling maroon wallpaper and cracked ceiling tiles. As they slowly climbed the long. 40 . coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. Details which appeal to our sense of sight ensure that the reader is able to give faces to characters. in the meantime today Example Text: Paragraph Without Sensory Detail Grandmother Workman reached over and grabbed her grandson's arm. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. Example Text: Add Sound Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. 12. Comment Visual details are often successfully incorporated into writing. In the sample text. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. but she leaned against him and they began to climb. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. Without the inclusion of sensory detail. visual details help accomplish this through encouraging the reader to create a mental image of the characters. vague receptacle. but it leaves the reader with many unanswered questions. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. and action. Comment These are the beginning sentences of a paragraph which describes a boy helping an elderly woman up a flight of stairs. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. For example. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs.3. setting. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. His mouth filled with the sweet. later when 11. 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. like the bloated. through adding visual detail. The scene seems simple enough. steep staircase. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. 4. the writing seems vague and non-specific. steep staircase. and bit his lip. It becomes a small. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. a room can become more than just a blank. His mouth filled with the sweet. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. 8. and bit his lip. A visual description allows readers to place themselves within a text. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. when then 7. like the bloated.
shape. As they slowly climbed the long. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. the writer has incorporated references to sounds which allow the reader to infer the state of the old staircase. Sounds can remind us of personal memories. Next to visual details. 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. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. Sounds recreate personal. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck. They allow a reader not only to visualize a scene. This is because sounds give us a primary experience of the world. However. The receptors in the brain which are responsible for processing smells are very close to the area of the brain responsible for the storage of memory. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. In the sample text. and size of things. or can create images in our minds. Because of this link. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. through recalling familiar tactile sensations the writer encourages the readers to put themselves in the place of the characters. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. Our sense of smell has an uncommonly strong power over our feelings. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. Therefore. auditory details are most commonly included in writing. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. The addition of auditory details gives the writer the opportunity to create a more detailed. 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. As they slowly climbed the long. and bit his lip. it is the human sense of smell that is most closely linked to the brain.Comment The human sense of hearing is an important means of communication. In the sample text. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. or of a tour of duty in the military. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. Example Text: Add Taste 41 . Comment The sense of smell is commonly overlooked in writing. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. Inclusion of the sense of touch prevents the reader from remaining distanced or detached from the writing. Tactile images can be powerful sensory triggers. but to experience it. and emotions. thoughts. This is a sensory experience that most people have encountered. like the bloated. the addition of olfactory details helps set the mood of the paragraph by triggering our senses. as well as the physical condition of the grandmother. sensory experiences. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. layered. His mouth filled with the sweet. steep staircase. steep staircase. texture. In the sample text. Comment The sense of touch encourages us to investigate the world around us by feeling it and learning the texture. The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. For example. and bit his lip. His mouth filled with the sweet. scents are able to cause vivid sensory re-creations of memories. like the bloated. Example Text: Add Smell Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. the sound of a ship's whistle might remind a person of a summer's night in New England. She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon.
She smelled of wet cigarettes and bacon. fidgeted with a small hole in his baseball jersey. and places can all be suggested through the sense of taste. Comment The human sense of taste allows a person to do much more than simply select and enjoy food. steep staircase. people.Grandmother Workman lurched over and grabbed the pale skin of Randal's thin forearm with her leathery hand. His mouth filled with the sweet. 42 . The folds and creases beneath her skin coiled themselves out like electrical wiring. and bit his lip. feelings. the only sound was his grandmothers' labored breathing and the mournful creak of the wooden stairs. roughly-textured relief map of the world that his mother just posted above his bedside table. As they slowly climbed the long. Memories. Randal looked ahead toward the winding spiral staircase. coppery taste of blood as she leaned in closely toward him. 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. like the bloated. breathing her hot breath on the damp hair at the base of his neck.
Just below the diamond are small air holes. a bit tarnished by time and neglect. The writer of "My Tiny Diamond Ring" has done just that. . such as. a gift that I will pass along to my younger sister when I receive my own engagement ring this Christmas.THE PARAGRAPH DESCRIPTIVE The purpose of descriptive writing is to make our readers see. the paragraph is unified--that is. but now clogged with grime. you should stick to it. or a thing. feel. a place. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. color. developing this idea with details in the rest of the paragraph. slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play. its frets tarnished. The diamond itself is tiny and dull. The model paragraph: My most valuable possession is an old. 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. As a result. providing specific details that describe the ring: its parts. 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. . The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. 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 (". all of the supporting sentences relate directly to one another and to the topic introduced in the first sentence. and hear what we have seen. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. but I treasure it as a gift from my older sister. Once you have introduced a topic clearly. one that was slightly damaged in shipping. This kind of topic sentence is more interesting and revealing than a bare announcement. The strings are stretched down a long. Whether we're describing a person. all scuffed and scratched and fingerprinted. slim neck. and condition. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. "The belonging I am about to describe is my pre-engagement ring. intended to let the diamond breathe. The ring is neither very attractive nor valuable. given to me last year by my sister Doris"). circles my finger and twists together at the top to encase a small white diamond. size. 43 . felt. and heard. just a Madeira folk guitar. The 14-carat gold band. It's nothing fancy. 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." Instead of announcing your topic in this way. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. our aim is to reveal a subject through vivid and carefully selected details.
In the following paragraph. blond guitar--the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings. Supporting detail: 1. she saw many buildings. and four).The classroom buildings 3. No. On a sheet of paper. and for that I will always treasure it. its frets tarnished. to the unicycle underneath (sentence nine).The gymnasium and athletic fields. and eight). slightly warped.How are the details arranged. three. covers its ears but is parted above the 44 . Topic sentence: On Maria’s first visit to the college campus.The library. 5. 1. Activities: 1. sketch out a map of a college campus.Identify the topic sentence. No. 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. 3. it's not a beautiful instrument. 4. The strings are stretched down a long. 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. blond guitar") but also suggests why the writer values it ("the first instrument that I ever taught myself how to play"). one that was slightly damaged in shipping.The bookstore.Underline the spatial transitions in this paragraph. 7.The faculty offices. Add spatial transitions to introduce each of the eight buildings according to their order of location.The administration building. each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. but it still lets me make music. seven. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray. six. it's not a beautiful instrument.particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago.The student centre and cafeteria. • The supporting sentences support this topic sentence with specific descriptive details. Structure of a descriptive paragraph • The topic sentence for a this descriptive paragraph is: My most valuable possession is an old. and for that I will always treasure it. It's nothing fancy. Then write out a paragraph beginning with the topic sentence below. This sentence not only identifies the prized belonging ("an old. . Notice also how the concluding sentence helps to tie the paragraph together by emphasizing the personal value of this gift. 4. The clown's short yellow hair.The refectory room. observe how the writer moves clearly from a description of the head of the clown (in sentences two. all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed. followed by supporting detail to develop the paragraph. slightly warped. 2. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear. the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. locating each building where you think it belongs in relation to other buildings . 2. just a Madeira folk guitar. but it still lets me make music. 6. to the body (sentences five. slim neck.Below is a topic sentence for a spatial paragraph.
as many cat experts think. before delving into its various genres. Choose the one pattern that seems best suited to your topic. It has cherry-red cheeks. begging to be petted. we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere. and lips. nose. performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. He enjoys TV commercials. and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious. or go from inside to out. 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. You may start at the left side of the item and move right. this colorful figure greets me with a smile every time I enter my room. You may move from the top of the item to the bottom. Therefore. The blue eyes are outlined in black with thin. and its broad grin disappears into the wide. After my guests have fled. As a cherished gift from my good friend Tran. which means ‘to examine. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats. but endearing. its origins provide us with some useful insights. tracing it back further. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory. habits. or from the bottom to the top. Through the excavation of this ancient word. I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set. for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. He may snuggle up against your ankle. we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic. 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 the right side is red. or go from right to left. does not extend to his appearance. You may start with the outside of the item and move in. it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training. dark lashes flowing from the brows. let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay. and then stick to that pattern throughout the paragraph. The two colors merge in a dark line that runs down the center of the small outfit. Essays Essay Writing Overview The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. test. What is an Essay? Though the word ‘essay’ has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English. The left side of the outfit is light blue. However. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English. 3) Gregory Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. 45 . especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. The clown wears a fluffy. however. The clown and unicycle together stand about a foot high.eyes. or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers. He walks with pride and grace. His pride. or (literally) to drive out’. However. two-tone nylon costume. students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres within essay writing. 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. Surrounding its ankles and disguising its long black shoes are big pink bows. befriending some and repelling others. white ruffle around its neck. There are various ways to organize the details in a descriptive paragraph.
Think of a topic and a controlling idea that will narrow the topic enough to support it well in one paragraph. Therefore. Brainstorm supporting ideas. persuasion. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. Narration. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description.Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading.6). • Optional concluding sentence. • Unity. clarity. The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper). which means that all the information of the paragraph is well-organized. 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. As is evidenced by this list of attributes. We hope these resources will help. conciseness. comparison and contrast.6 supporting ideas that do a good job supporting your topic sentence. o Coherenence. Exposition. names. which leaves the reading with something to think about and may summarize the supporting ideas if the paragraph is long. have been criticized by some composition scholars. 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. Process of Writing a Paragraph: 1. Supporting ideas (usually 3 . there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing. Choose 2 . 46 • • • . examples. analysis. which support the topic sentence Reasons. and senses give details for and further explain the supporting ideas. Compose your topic sentence. Allen Brizee. narration. also known as the modes of discourse. exposition. numbers. which includes the topic and a controlling idea. TIPS FOR WRITING A PARAGRAPH CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PARAGRAPH Topic sentence. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from her purpose. and exposition. essays are (by nature) concise. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. and require clarity in purpose and direction. which means that all sentences in the paragraph directly support the topic sentence. 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. 2. Although these genres. logically ordered and easy to follow.
and senses. Supporting idea 1. 7. Qualified professors B. B. Now we put this information into outline form and added some reasons. Study environment 2. 1. A. Good preparation for your major 1. Possibilities of part-time job in your major Concluding sentence: You should consider these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you. In order to get a good job. Use the coherence strategies to make your paragraph easy to follow. examples. 3. 1. the curriculum that is taught must be 47 . Topic sentence: Choosing a college or university can be difficult. be able to pay tuition and living expenses 2. and senses for each supporting idea. Good Location 1. examples. C. Write your paragraph using sentences. numbers. 3. Finally. Affordable. CHOOSING A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY Choosing a college or university can be difficult. Write your paragraph in topic outline form as follows. Possibility of scholarships C. Supporting idea 2. The most difficult part is finding a university that prepares you well for your future career. Affordable 1. 2. Concluding sentence: 4. 1. think of reasons. numbers. and senses that further explain the idea. Think of a concluding sentence. Topic sentence: A. Hard curriculum 2. 5. 3. each supporting idea should have about the same amount of reasons. numbers. Supporting idea 3. Don't actually write sentences in the outline. Supporting ideas: 1. we wrote the paragraph using sentences and trying to make the paragraph coherent using different coherence strategies. names. 3. names. For balance. For each supporting idea. Good Location. Good preparation for major We decided to order these supporting ideas according to importance as shown in the outline below. except for the topic sentence. Put your supporting ideas in a logical order.3. names. 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. 6. examples.
It will give you greater knowledge of the world events 9. Note: You don’t need to use all notes A. Moreover.thorough and up-to-date. It makes you a major contributor to the greatest nation on earth. You should consider all of these points carefully so you can choose the most appropriate college or university for you. It will be something you can pass on to your children. It will give you more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction 8. please write a well-organized paragraph. Another difficulty in choosing a university or college is affordability. It will likely make you more successful. 2. there should be possibilities near the school for parttime or summer jobs in your major. 4. The environment should be safe and quiet to facilitate studying. It will give you the power to change the world. A good location is also very important when choosing a school. You need to be able to pay the tuition fees and living expenses. It will give you a better quality of life. the professors must be highly qualified and respected in their fields. 3. 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. Some institutions might be able to offer you scholarships if you cannot afford the fees. It will give you more self-confidence 10. PRACTICE 2: By using information. The Value of a University Education _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 48 . so you can get some practical work experience. It will give you more money and greater quality of lifer. In addition. 5. 6. It provides you greater economic strength and security 7.
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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
In addition. entertainment. how much they cost. Disadvantages 53 . Disadvantages of Living in a Village There are certain drawbacks (disadvantage) to life outside the city. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 7. one has a smaller number of friends. The dealer’s ads will show the new Camry over and over again and tell the consumer that the Camry has power windows. Advantages Advantages of TV Commercials Ads on television give consumers a lot of information. For example. is difficult to find. particularly in the evening. They let consumers know what products look like. and so on. Then they can decide if it is the car they want. because there are fewer people. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 6. and this can be extremely expensive. When consumers see these ads. and where they are available. Furthermore. six cylinders._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 5. Disadvantages 1. They may say that the Camry runs as well as the Mercedes but the Camry’s price is much cheaper. The ads may also tell where to buy the Camry. Firstly. As a result. the fact that there are fewer shops and services often means that there are fewer employment opportunities. Therefore. a Toyota dealer wants to sell the Toyota Camry. they think about all this information about the Camry. one may have to travel long distances to work elsewhere. the ads may compare the Camry with the Mercedes.
For that reason most countries life style can be changed by movies. most American movies. they think whatever they watched it could be in real life. Also. Therefore. how to make delicious dishes. When people watch this kind of movies. for example Sesame Street and Tarchın and his friends. 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. it causes people’s eating habits. These are well-organized programs that teaches children to count and to say the alphabet. 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. In conclusion nowadays. when you watch a horror movie your psychology is affected by this movie badly. Moreover. Furthermore. They do not have any eating culture. What is more. there were many kinds of learning programs. Advantages Advantages of Watching Television w TV is a good teacher for everyone for several reasons. people use movies in order to change history. thedre are some programs for adults about how to garden. Almost in every American movie you can easily see a beautiful house which has a garden or it is constructed seashore. television has programs for students. television teaches us all kinds of things. There are several programs for preschool children. For example. These programs help students with their studies. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 9. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 54 . They also have interesting characters that they tell stories and sing songs. They easily change an event which occurred in the past in the direction of their ideas. Another example would be science fiction movies. like foreign language and math education programs. As a result. Mostly.. you see that people eat simple food. how to fix things around the house and so on.Disadvantages of Watching Television w Watching movie can destroy human’s psychology and imagination in some ways. science fiction movies have full of imagination. you may want to be a monster or a murder. When I was a high school student. As we know.
places sometimes lose their character and traditions. Advantages Advantages of Tourism There are several advantages to tourism. sometimes people’s language can suffer. Moreover. Apart from this._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 10. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. As a result. student may want to wear designer clothes which some can afford but others can't. identity and pride. uniforms make it more equal among the rich and poor students. tourism helps people to learn about other cultures and ways of life. Advantages Advantages of Wearing the Same Uniform Wearing uniforms give all students equality. if tourism is not controlled properly. In addition. Therefore. As a result. To begin with. tourism brings a lot of money into a country and it also creates a lot of employment for people of the area. uniforms give identity. uniforms give students equality. Disadvantages Disadvantages of tourism There are some disadvantages to tourism. we should give enough importance to tourism. Also. Secondly. in many cases the natural beauty of a place can be spoilt. if there are a lot of tourists in the area. water and noise pollution. it makes the locals stay rather than leave to get jobs elsewhere. Primarily. tourism often brings more air. it can be bad for a country. Lastly. For example. All students do not have the same financial resources and can't afford expensive clothes. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 11. 55 . Firstly.
the dormitory is usually very safe since almost all dormitories have security guards. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 13. or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. Moreover. Therefore. If a sports team does well. sad. tense. there is usually a laundry room in the basement so you don’t have to go anywhere else to do laundry. students can "advertise" their school just by wearing their uniforms and be proud of the school they attend. It not only affects the alcoholic. As a result. The most important one is that there are always a lot of people around so you won't feel lonely. others will know which school that person is from. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ B. I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. if a student is a good musician. Overall. uniforms give pride. Overall. Effect 1. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 56 . CAUSE and EFFECT PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. Alcoholics may become angry and argumentive. Students can tell who is from their school and who is not according to the uniform. but also their family. They may also feel more anxious. friends. Others can tell which students are from which schools and if someone is not behaving well. you don't have to cook for yourself. Students can feel equal to one an other. others can feel proud that they are his/her classmates. Advantages Advantages to Living at a Dorm I would prefer to live in an apartment for a number of reasons. Furthermore. the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person's life. Moreover. In addition to this. we should help the number of alcoholics in Turkey and all over the world. First of all. and confused. students can feel proud together of that accomplishment. Alcoholism Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the world today. and co-workers strangers. 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. Hence.Students feel a sense of belonging when everyone has the same uniform. 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.
As a child. it is extremely important that whatever the reasons are we should avoid drinking alcohol._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. Children usually enjoy playing games instead of studying their boring lessons. As a result. alcoholics often drink hoping to drown their depressed feelings. It can be related to emotional changeability. social and cultural factors play important roles in development of alcoholism. I experienced this. there is conflict between refusing and accepting the use of alcohol to be a social person. Parents should also encourage their children to study by buying story books with pictures. The second reason is alcoholism has psychological reasons. or they can buy text books or tapes that help children learn to spell or read. Cause Alcoholism There are some reasons of using alcohol. the cause of alcoholism can be biological. For example. The best way to encourage children to study efficiently is to reward them when they get an “A”. If parents are alcoholics. It is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. so parents have to take the responsibility to monitor their studying and to remind them to do their homework at home after school. In some cultures. children may take alcohol later on. Moreover. First of all. Effects Effects of Parents on Children Parents can help their children be successful in school by encouraging them. Some of them also want to reduce strong negative feelings. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. My parents gave me a gift if I had 57 .
Many people think that students may get a better education outside their home country. So. and then I was very excited. Moreover. To get a college degree from a university outside their home country may be prestigious for students. Furthermore. Therefore. they need to pay attention to their children’s studies and encourage them. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 58 . Effects _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Why do some students study abroad? Use specific reasons and details to explain your answer. students study abroad for a number of reasons. they may pay less to study abroad and the programs can be better abroad. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 4.studied well. students may get more money in their job if they have a degree from outside the country. In short. 5. if parents really want their children to succeed in school. Most students get a good education wherever they go if they are strong-minded to achieve something in their studies. Causes Studying Outside There are many reasons students choose to do this why students choose to attend schools or universities outside their home countries. some students may get scholarships to study abroad.
Finally. Causes World is in Danger Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. walk through. watching movie is one of the important activities of people. there is usually a video store with movies. some people go to the movies to see how others live. or clean water. Finally. 7. movies provide entertainment. If you are poor. animals depend on it for survival. rain forests also are habitat of many insects. Movie theaters can be found in almost every town. hike in the forest. . Explain why movies are so popular. Because. all over the world. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. If there is no theater. they die too. First of all. As a result. you can take exciting photographs. forests are natural resources that must be saved because they provide so much good for so many people and animals. it is a way to escape that life for a few hours. There are thousands of species that live in forests and when the forests die. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 59 . forests are beautiful to look at. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources. or dean water. 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. To begin with. Next. birds._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Movies are popular all over the world. they offer an escape. nature is a home for animals. 6. they are fun to watch andlet you imagine what other people's lives are like. animals. Moreover. For that reason. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. Furthermore. animals. movies are available everywhere. such as forests. and look at all the flowers. such as forests. In short.
Compare and Contrast Two English Teachers There are both some similarities and differences between my old English teacher in high school and my present English teacher. we are all responsible and had extra work._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. COMPARE and CONTRAST PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. In North America. First. Next. My teacher back home would teach us a rule of grammar and then give examples. when a teacher asks us to speak we look down to show respect. In conclusion. In North America students look up to teachers and respect them. For example. there are both similarities and differences in the way students behave toward their teachers in the classroom. in my country students have the right to ask questions. students respect teachers. Likewise. in my country. Similarity and Differences Classroom Behavior Rules There are some similarities and differences in the classroom behavior rules between North America and my country. both my English teachers with their similarities and differences are excellent teachers. Both my teachers know their subject well. they also have differences on these same points. there is the student’s right to speak. teacher gives us examples first. They can even ask questions when the teacher is giving a lesson. students can ask the teacher questions. Then the counselor sends the students to the assistant principal and so on. In contrast. In contrast. without friend) and nobody wants to be unpopular. students respect their teachers. However. the way my two teachers teaching method of English is different. Also. Turkey. 60 . When a student is always troublesome in class. however. they can only ask questions at the end of the class. They both make sure we know the rules of the language very well. If a student makes trouble in the classroom. We do not look into their eyes. my present teacher sends the troublesome student to a counselor. Similarly. Although my teachers have these similarities. In conclusion. my present if we need a rule we work it out from the examples. when the teacher asks them to speak they must look into the teacher’s eyes to show respect. my old teacher would go to the parents because my school is small and everybody would know each other in the city. Both my English teachers control the class well. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 2. This makes the student unpopular (alone. Turkey.
some attend for personal achievement. ARGUMENTATIVE PARAGRAPH SAMPLES 1. Finally. Argumentative Importance of University Education People attend university to prepare for a career. employers want employees who have very specific knowledge. Compare _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ C. _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 61 . people attend college for many reasons some of which include desire to prepare for a career. Students also may feel a sense of success by learning new things. personal fulfillment and financial rewards. They learn about a particular subject in depth there. Because. one can make more money in the job market. some attend university in order to prepare for a career. First of all. to attend for personal fulfillment and to make more money in the job market. some attend in order to make more money in the job market. In addition to this. In short. Adults may attend university just for the joy of learning. If one has specialized skills._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ 3. Secondly.
62 . Argumentative Enemy of Communication Communication between friends and family has been destroyed due to television. Besides.. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Face-to-face communication is better than other types of communication. Argumentative Face to Face Communication I believe that face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. such as letters. It is more personal. children argue with their parents to buy them toys they see advertised on TV. Therefore. television has destroyed communication between family and friends. or telephone calls. In addition to this. their actions. more effective and more honest. For example. People also enjoy the relaxation of watching television. you want to ask your boss or a raise. 2. Not only family members argue about what to watch on TV but also friends do. they do not talk with one another. When you talk to a person face-to-face. When people watch television. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. you do not get this same kind of experience. but you can see that he is in a bad mood or he is distracted. Moreover.then you would wait for another time. 3. People spend less time with family and friends and more time with TV this is destructive._____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. it is more personal. body language is more effective than spoken language. That means you can change your conversation to fit the situation. You see them. face-to-face communication is usually more effective because you can easily see the other people’s expression and feelings about a topic. and their feelings. Moreover. when you write a letter or email. Seventy percent of communication is through gestures. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer. Television is such a passive activity that family and friends often forget what meaningful communication is. People do not communicate in the same way as they did before television was invented. they give less time to family and friends. Television often causes arguments. In conclusion. e-mail. Furthermore. television makes passive. but forget that communication is important.. Although many people watch television in order to relax.
Canada has an excellent health care system. 63 .You can't get this with email. Canada has an excellent health care system. Canada is a desirable place to live. Canada is a desirable place to live. face-to-face communication is better than other forms of communication. 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. effective. Finally. As a result. Second. details. Most people have more personal. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. and honest conversations when they meet face-to-face. and examples. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Canada has a high standard of education. letters and telephone conversations. What do they do? They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. How do I write them? You should give supporting facts. First. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Finally. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. First. Canada has a high standard of education. Second. In short. making up the body of a paragraph. Supporting Details What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence. As a result. Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed.
Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canada is a desirable place to live. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph. or ideas. How do I write one? Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words. also Example: Samsun also has a rainy spring season. 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. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. as Example: As well. both Example: Both Trabzon and Rize have rain in the spring. Canada has a high standard of education. 64 well .Conclusion Sentence What is the closing sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. Canada has an excellent health care system. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. things. First. As a result. places. Finally. too. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. you write about the similarities and differences between two or more people. Sinop has rainy spring season. Example: Write a paragraph comparing the weather in some cities in Turkey. HELPER WORDS COMPARE AND CONTRAST PARAGRAPH In a compare and contrast paragraph. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Second. too Example: Artvin has a rainy spring season.
and an airline stewardess is now a flight attendant.. The words feminist. Taiwan. differs from Example: Erzurum differs from Van by having a cold winter. ____________the Japanese trend toward internationalization should become even greater as we approach the twenty-first century. annual per capita consumption is expected to be about seven kilos in the next decade. koku-saika." is influencing young Japanese consumers. like beer drinks and "light" wines imported from England. A mailman is now a mail carrier. milk. Traditionally. In fact. and Thailand have been benefiting from the changing diet of the Japanese consumer. 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. while Example: While Ankara has a mild winter. but Example: Ankara has a mild winter. to address a woman when you don't know if she is married. and a high school or college freshman is now a first-year student. Some of the new words such as Ms. and mangoes (fruit) from the Philippines. __________Japan is Importing eels (fish) from Taiwan. Lately ______the consumer market has been changing. especially women who are aware of the Importance of health and fitness. 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. are quite useful. Switzerland. which is defined as "internationalization. asparagus (vegetable) from Thailand. and Australia.________ young people. A chairman is now a chairperson (or sometimes simply chair). but Erzurum has a cold one. __________ they have acquired a taste for imported beverages. the United States. are eating Western-style breakfasts. Not only Western countries but also Asian nations __________South Korea. Erzurum has a cold winter. both of the nonalcohol or low alcohol varieties. The lack of a clear neutral pronoun can lead to awkward sentence construction. and brantype cereals imported from the United States. Another new word is the title Ms. however Example: However. which will definitely be advantageous to many countries of the world. you can use Ms. Use each only once. who are very eager to purchase and enjoy products from countries around the world. Singapore. in contrast to Example: In contrast to Ankara. Germany. I. 65 . mainly because they are very selective and will only purchase high-quality products. Erzurum has a cold winter. H. The greatest access into the Japanese market has been by the food Industry. winter is much colder in Erzurum. A change is that sexist titles of many occupations have been neutralized. the protein staples in Japan has been fish products. Improve the coherence of the following] paragraph by adding transitions at key places Women’s Liberation and English The -women's lib' movement toward greater equality for women has produced some permanent changes in the vocabulary of English. the Japanese have been consuming more beef. Fill in each blank with an appropriate transition signal from the list provided. Then use correct punctuation. sexist. which is often used in place of both Miss and Mrs.DIFFERENCES on the other hand Example: On the other hand. It will certainly increase international trade. a waiter/waitress is now a waitperson. New words have been added. In time. English pronouns may also change as a result of women's desire for equality. winter is much colder in Van. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. __________ they enjoy fruit. _______in the last decade or so. and male chauvinist have become common during the past thirty-five years or so.
On the other hand not everyone is positive about gene-splicing technology. Because human embryos can be frozen and used at a later date. 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. but through genetic research. Furthermore the ability to clone human beings is a possibility that frightens many people. be Energy resources can be divided into two types. it could be possible for parents to have a child and then. Scientists are now able to create new forms of life in the laboratory due to the development of gene splicing. These embryos did not develop into babies but it is possible that they could do so in the future. years later. you group things or ideas into specific categories. 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. On the one hand the ability to create life in the laboratory could greatly benefit humankind. CLASSIFICATION PARAGRAPH When writing a classification paragraph. For example it is very expensive to obtain insulin from natural sources. and more productive cows. In addition genetic engineers have created larger fish. frost-resistant strawberries.B-Circle all of the transition signals in the following paragraphs and punctuate the transition signals if necessary Genetic Engineering Genetic research has produced both exciting and frightening possibilities. scientists have now developed a way to manufacture it inexpensively in the laboratory. A laboratory accident for example might cause an epidemic of an unknown disease that could wipe out humanity. frozen embryo to give birth to its identical twin. to use a cloned. Example: Write a paragraph discussing two types of energy resources. In 1993. Another beneficial application of gene splicing is in agriculture. Genetic engineers have created a new tomato that doesn't spoil quickly. a researcher at George Washington University Medical Center cloned human embryos' by splitting single embryos into twins and triplets. Some people feel that it could have terrible consequences. flavorless tomatoes in grocery. 66 kind divided of into .
fits Coal fits into the category of non-renewable resources. is grouped Coal is grouped with non-renewable resources.is falls a Coal is a type of non-renewable resource. basketball is more fun than football. type of under to of into with to with Coal falls under the category of non-renewable resources. you need to choose which object. Example: Write a paragraph stating whether you would prefer to play basketball or football. CHOICE / OPINION PARAGRAPH In a paragraph where you have to make a choice. is a part Coal is a part of the category of non-renewable resources. Often. belongs Coal belongs to the category of non-renewable resources. 67 opinion . you will need to give your opinion on a choice of actions or events. 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. or action that you prefer. is associated Coal is associated with other non-renewable resources. is related Coal is related to other non-renewable resources. idea.
that consider believe me prefer SEQUENCE PARAGRAPH In a sequencing paragraph. First. I I consider basketball to be more exciting than football. The following words can help you to write a good sequence paragraph. PERSONAL OPINIONS like/dislike I like the sport of basketball because it is fast and exciting. etc. your party must have a majority of seats. second. I I prefer basketball over football. I I believe basketball is more exciting than lacrosse. third. etc. Helper Words: ORDER TIME first. recently in the beginning previously before afterwards then when after after finally at last subsequently ORDER first. 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. I think I think that I would prefer to play basketball and not football. Third. Usually. feel I feel that basketball is my favorite sport. 68 . third. understanding My understanding is that basketball is more fun than football.belief My belief is that basketball is more fun than football. you are writing to describe a series of events or a process in some sort of order. this order is based on time. Example: Write a paragraph outlining how a person becomes the prime minister. Second. you need to win a seat in the House of Commons. you need to become a leader of a political party. second. idea My idea is that basketball is more fun than football.
The following words can help you to write a good explanation paragraph: Helper Words: Cause because since as a result of is due to Effect therefore thus consequently hence it follows that if . she was still working as a lawyer. then last 69 . you must make sure you have a majority of seats in the House of Commons. you need to become a leader of a political party. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. finally Finally. at Example: At last. you must win a seat in the House of Commons. you can call yourself the prime minister. you need to become the leader of a political party. you must make sure you have a majority of seats. TIME recently She was recently elected prime minister. subsequently Subsequently. EXPLANATION PARAGRAPH In an explanation paragraph. when Example: When she won the party leadership. Before becoming the prime minister. . after After winning a seat in the House of Commons.in before the In the beginning. you need to explain how or why something happens. beginning then Then. after Example: After winning a seat in the House of Commons. you will be asked to explore causes and effects of certain events. after all these steps. you can call yourself the prime minister. Afterwards. Very often in social studies class. she worked as a lawyer in Toronto. afterwards Example: She won the party leadership last year. . Previously. Example: Write a paragraph explaining why so many Europeans moved to Canada during the nineteenth century. previously She is the new prime minister. she won the election.
you are writing about what a person. many people moved to Canada. hence Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. consequently Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe.CAUSE because Example: People moved to Canada from Europe during the nineteenth century because they had poor living conditions in Europe. many people moved to Canada for a better life. Thus. as a result People moved to Canada from Europe as a result of poor living conditions in Europe. since Example: Since living conditions in Europe were terrible. It follows that many people moved to Canada. thus Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. if . many people moved to Canada. Describe where Canada's industry is located.. many people moved to Canada. or thing is like. it follows that Example: Living conditions were terrible in Europe. The following words can help you to write a good description paragraph: Helper Words: PROPERTIES MEASUREMENT ANALOGY LOCATION size length is like in colour width resembles above shape mass/weight below purpose speed beside 70 . Therefore. Hence. Sometimes. place. then Example: If living conditions were better in Europe. then fewer people would have moved to Canada DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH In a description paragraph. Consequently.. 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. of to EFFECT therefore Example: Living conditions in Europe were terrible. you may describe where a place is located. Examples: Write a paragraph describing what a polar bear looks like.
below Example: Most of Ontario is below Hudson Bay. you make judgments about people. resembles Example: A polar bear resembles other bears in shape. mass / weight Example: Polar bears weigh up to 650 kg. ANALOGY is like Example: A polar bear is like other bears in shape. you will state your evaluation or recommendation and then support it by referring to your criteria. and possible actions. speed Example: Polar bears can swim at a speed of 40 km per hour. / west EVALUATION PARAGRAPH In an evaluation paragraph. Example: Write a paragraph evaluating whether pesticides should be used on farms. You need to make your evaluation based on certain criteria that you develop. In the paragraph. near Example: Many companies are located near Toronto. north / east / south Example: Ontario is west of Quebec. MEASUREMENT length Example: The length of a polar bear's claws is 20 cm. The following words can help you to write a good evaluation paragraph: Helper Words Criteria for Evaluation Recommendation good / bad suggest correct / incorrect recommend 71 . above Example: The ceiling is above us. colour Example: Polar bears are usually white in colour. LOCATION in Example: Most of Canada's manufacturing is located in Ontario and Quebec. shape Example: Polar bears have a special shape.near north/east/south/west PROPERTIES size Example: Polar bears are big in size. width Example: The width of a polar bear's head is about 50 cm. beside Example: Quebec is located beside Ontario. purpose Example: The purpose of the polar bear's fur is to keep it warm. ideas.
1980. First Steps in Academic Writing.htm 4. correct / Example: The belief that pesticides must be used is incorrect. but. right / Example: It is wrong to use pesticides because they harm the environment. on the other hand.html 2. Ann Hogue. http://www. Alice Oshima. Transitional words and phrases may be conjunctions.1september. Longman. Ann Hogue. 5. 72 . important / Example: The issue of pesticides is an important one because it affects the environment.paragraphorganizer. argue Example: I would argue that pesticides should not be used because they harm the environment. 1995.htm 3. and however. http://www. http://archive. SOURCE: 1. The connection between sentences in a paragraph can be shown in several ways. wrong trivial RECOMMENDATION suggest Example: I suggest that pesticides should not be used to control pests. Connections Between Sentences A good paragraph has unity: All the sentences have a relationship to one another and to the main idea.moral / immoral right / wrong important / trivial advise argue CRITERIA good / Example: The use of pesticides such as DDT is bad for the environment.com/inner/about_us.uottawa. such as and. Writing Academic English. bad incorrect moral / immoral Example: The use of pesticides to control pests is immoral because it harms the environment. advise Example: I would advise farmers not to use pesticides if possible. such as for instance.ru/eng/1999/eng35-2. but principally by the use of transitional words and phrases. recommend Example: I recommend that pesticides should not be used because they are harmful to the environment.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic. Longman. or explanatory expressions. and so on.
Transitional expressions such as equally. Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs A paragraph is unified when every sentence develops the point made in the topic sentence. or expanding the topic sentence. In Montreal. Words particularly suited to writing about causes and effects are as a result. These words are often referred to as logical connectives because they make clear not only the order but also the meaning of the writing. 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. In this sense. in common. and otherwise may be used to emphasize comparison or contrast. finally. or a place associated with thinking. They tell where the paragraph is going. some students do their best work before the sun rises. activities. similarly. Y is small and purple. however. The rest of the sentences provide various illustrations of this argument.Transitional words and phrases act as signals. They are organised around the three categories. "environment. consequently. Every sentence must contribute to the paragraph by explaining. They give directions. Some students work quickly and efficiently. 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. It must have a single focus and it must contain no irrelevant facts. while others cannot produce anything without much dust and heat. close observation reveals regional variations across this country.). of major concern. If asked what space is reserved for learning. achieving unity. any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space. Being sedentary seems to inspire others. the following paragraph: Although the interpretation of traffic signals may seem highly standardized. comparison and contrast. activities. Although most classes are scheduled between 8:30 and 22:00. least important. and schedules. Each organizational pattern has its own logical connectives. many students would suggest the classroom.) or subject by subject (X is big and purple. Some need a less flexible schedule than others. Some people need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully. transitional words and phrases also act to hold sentences together. a second factor. This section will discuss three of the most common types of paragraph structure: development by detail. on the other hand. and schedules. just as. furthermore. What about the kitchen? The bedroom? In fact. X and Y are both purple. and therefore. because. exemplifying. 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. while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed. The topic sentence makes a general claim: that school work tends not to be associated only with school. Finally. despite. a flashing red traffic light instructs drivers to careen even more wildly through intersections heavily populated 73 . and process. the lab or the library. Consider. clear paragraphs. You may choose to compare either point by point (X is big. Y is little. Order of importance may be emphasized with transitional words and expressions such as first. The details provide the concrete examples which your reader will use to evaluate the credibility of your topic sentence. equally important. some after it sets." enumerated in the topic sentence. distinguishing the East Coast from Central Canada and the West as surely as dominant dialects or political inclinations. but not everything. Look at the following paragraph (you may have encountered it before): Work tends to be associated with non-work-specific environments. Logical Connectives Additionally. Paragraph Development by Detail This is the most common and easiest form of paragraph development: you simply expand on a general topic sentence using specific examples or illustrations. and most important. for example. it will suggest that most paragraphs are built of a combination of development strategies. In order to determine whether a paragraph is well developed or not.
incorrigibly English. womanish means "unsuitable to a man or to a strong character of either sex. and in Calgary. with little abstraction. absolutely firm and solid. It is important to note that the paragraph above considers only one aspect of driving (behaviour at traffic lights). a single paragraph will contain development by a combination of methods. Review: Paragraph Development Although most paragraphs contain a combination of development techniques. which type of development best describes the following paragraphs: detail. no negative attributes detract from the "courage. Bob 74 . My secretary." 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. Many paragraphs include lists of examples: The broad range of positive characteristics used to define males could be used to define females too. Paragraph Development by Combination Very often. never serves aces at me on the tennis court. point by point. and folly. This paragraph compares traffic patterns in three areas of Canada. he or she could almost certainly orient him-orherself according to the surrounding traffic patterns. Process description often follows a chronological sequence: The first point to establish is the grip of the hand on the rod. but not tense or rigid. were any observant Canadian dropped from an alien space vessel at an unspecified intersection anywhere in this vast land. comparison and contrast. or combination? 1. which together account for most vehicles on the road." and this is exactly what he does. Paragraph Development by Process Paragraph development by process involves a straightforward step-by-step description. or pickup trucks. and move on to provide detailed descriptions of the subjects being compared. All four fingers are curved around the handle. In my home town in New Brunswick. People in these areas have in common the fact that they all drive. In startling contrast. A process analysis might include a brief history of the process in question. "Captain Horatio Hornblower. According to this dictionary. which should be along the upper side of the handle and somewhere near the top of the grip. all terrain vehicles. In fact. This should be about half-way up the cork handle." Among the few true gentlemen extant. says a true gentleman "knows instinctively when I prefer to light my own cigarette. traffic lights (along with painted lines and posted speed limits) do not apply to tractors. third finger and middle finger contributing most of the firmness by pressing the cork solidly into the fleshy part of the palm. "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. (from Roderick HaigBrown. in contrast.with pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. process. affection. 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. If you wanted to consider two or more aspects. they drive differently according to the area in which they live. the little finger. and vigor" the definers associate with males. strength. The forefinger supports and steadies the grip but supplies its own firmness against the thumb. for example." Among the "qualities considered distinctive of manhood" listed in the entry for man. At its entry for woman Webster's Third provides a list of "qualities considered distinctive of womanhood": "Gentleness. in order to make a point about how attitudes in various places inform behaviour. in Montreal. and domesticity or on the other hand fickleness. Those of you in the sciences will recognise it as the formula followed in the "method" section of a lab experiment. she says. It may begin with a brief comparison. you would probably need more than one paragraph. near the heel of the hand. but they are not. and always removes his wristwatch. It contrasts the behaviour of drivers in the Maritimes. superficiality. finally.
manicured diamonds. with the rich farmlands and cities of England just below her. (from Alexander Petrunkevitch.the game they play is more tarted-up and sissy than the one I knew. "Canada is the Scotland of North America. "The Softball was Always Hard") 1. When I was young I often heard people say. Development by Detail 2. they regard me warily. and the glorious old days when the only football in the Maritimes was English rugger. dugouts. men were gentlemen and women were persona non grata? No. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Development by Process 4." (from Allan Fotheringham. "Scotland's Fate. Development by Detail 2. When I tell young softball players I played the game bare-handed.Dylan and Pierre Elliott Trudeau come to mind. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. above all. Development by Detail 2. Development by Detail 2. (from Harry Bruce. "What is a Gentleman") 1. gloves for every fielder -. guys to announce who's at bat over public address systems and. Combination of Development Methods 4. Joe Namath and Front Page Tom don't. Combination of Development Methods 3. (from Hugh MacLennan. The wasp crawls under it and walks over it without evoking any hostile response. 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. To identify the species the wasp apparently must explore the spider with her antennae. 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. Development by Process 75 . Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. Both countries were gouged by the retreating glaciers." Only recently did it occur to me that it might be worthwhile considering the extent to which this is true. It also gave them both a heritage of spectacular beauty uncrowded by cities and towns. Development by Process 4. Canada's Lesson" [edited]) 1. so is Canada to the United States. which left them on the subsistence level as far as good farmland was considered. The molestation is so great and so persistent that the tarantula often rises on all eight legs. The tarantula shows an amazing tolerance to this exploration. Richard Burton. It may stand this way for several minutes. Am I one of those geezers who's forever jawing about the fact that. batters' helmets. "The Wasp and the Spider") 1. Development by Comparison and Contrast 3. as if it were on stilts. in his day. Development by Process 4. and of this they were both inclined to boast. but I will tell today's softball players that -with their fancy uniforms. Combination of Development Methods 2.
use a comma to follow conventions of naming. Commas should be placed before and after a non-essential element in the middle of a sentence 4. dates.. word. In most situations. Although you shouldn’t use a comma unless you know a rule for it. use a comma to set-off non-essential elements such as a phrase or clause. 2. use a comma to separate items in a series. 1. use a comma after an opening clause. etc. use a comma with a coordinating conjunction to separate two independent clauses 3.4. 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. 76 . citing sources.. It is not as easy to know where a writer’s thoughts are going inside a sentence. Quick Comma Rules. five general rules for comma use will help students use commas correctly. Lessons will cover rules for comma use and common comma mistakes. Some special situations for comma use are discussed toward the end of this module. presenting addresses. or phrase 5. Commas cause the reader to pause and better understand the elements that make up the sentence. to “get it. commas are necessary for others to understand what we have said. In this module you will learn how to use commas correctly.” It is easy to know when someone has finished a sentence: we see a period there.
" if the coordinating conjunction is provided and the comma is omitted. and to vary the rhythm in the sound of their sentences. washing the clothes. for. 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). that the clause could stand on Note: Sometimes a series seems to be "like" when it is not. nor. explore the module on run-on sentences). Writ She left her beautiful black leather handbag on the bus. nor does he like broccoli. writers set these elements off 77 . a series of things to pick up at the market. the error is a "fused sentence. A series of two or more clauses items should be separated by commas. the error is a "comma splice" (for more detail. but. there is some debate Two or more about whether the last item in a list of three items should take a comma. In this its own as a situation. Without adequate punctuation. and I will be staying home flipping burgers and going to school. For example. but this time we will bring mosquito repellant. appetizing fast food is difficult. punctuation tells the reader Finding healthy.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. green beans. The series may be a series of adjectives describing independent something. MLA format rules do require a comma together need before the last item in a series of three or more elements. broccoli. Doing the dishes. strong punctuation: a examples: semi-colon. After graduation. then they are unlike items and should not be separated by commas. leaving out the last clauses joined comma is acceptable. ers join Haunted by the memory of last year's painful knee surgery. And the coordinating conjunctions—and. infinitive. Maya is going to travel throughout Southeast Asia for a year. the sentence will be a "run-on sentence": if no punctuation is included between independent clauses. 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. conjunction. independent Many grammarians would argue in this situation. and mopping the floor are the This chores I hate most. if the sentence makes sense. or a comma and a Felix dislikes spinach. Rule 3: use a comma to set off non-essential elements A non-essential element is information that is added to the core of a sentence to add further information— information that is useful. complete sentence. examples: Felix does not like spinach. a comma should not be used between the items. However. however. and brussels sprouts—any coordinating vegetable that's green. or dependent clause is non-essential information. or a series of adjective. phrase. yet. she protected clauses her knee with a strong brace during the tennis match. To signal the reader that a word. but not really essential to understanding the basic assertion. if between ideas not. or prepositional phrases. We will be going to the mountains again this summer. then the items are like.
home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. only the comma separating the phrase from the rest of the sentence is needed. However. 78 .by commas before and after the addition. I thought you were going to study tonight instead of come with us to the movies. Watch out. as you can probably tell. examples: She is. Maria. In the first sentence. If the phrase occurs at the beginning or end of the sentence. John and Alex. construction of the new highschool will take an additional six months. the problem is much bigger than we imagined. Jake brought his best friends from school. Because we have had so much rain this year. the names should not be set off from the sentence. examples: As you can see. is pretty fun to hang out with. before television. is fun to hang out with. is Maria. the speaker could have more than one sister—this particular sister is fun to hang out with. As you can probably tell. In the second sentence. Once upon a time. pretty nervous about public speaking. The information is thus enclosed by commas. John and Alex. 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. the names of Jake's friends are non-essential information: Jake has only two best friends. people read books for fun. Jake brought his best friends from school. a comma is typically necessary to signal the reader as to when the introductory phrase or clause is complete. Note: In the last example above. because the name of the sister is included as necessary to the meaning of the sentence. Introductory words: Sometimes a sentence begins with a single word that needs to be set off from the rest of the sentence. one should never separate a subject from the verb of the sentence: example: What she has always wanted is now within her reach. Referring to what others have said shows that you are participating in an ongoing conversation about a topic. the speaker must have only one sister—my sister. because the name of the sister is non-essential information. by the way. she is pretty nervous about public speaking. home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. if the names are essential to identifying the person. whose name. My sister. or phrase Introductory Clauses: When beginning a sentence with an introductory clause (as in this sentence). word. before computers. however. for clauses used as the subject of a sentence. Rule 4: use a comma after an opening clause. mild exclamations or interjections: Hey.
At the restaurant we all ordered burgers and fries. Sadly. Use a comma to separate a city from a state. 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. or "I am hoping. frankly. many conventions for the presentation of dates. Examples of sentence adverbs include moreover. In San Francisco one finds plenty of good restaurants. or if they occur in the middle of a sentence. she has the flu and will have to skip the concert. a name in a direct address: Miguel. but these conventions allow us to quickly share and process information. 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 . nevertheless. 1979. I cannot afford one. and mercifully. . sadly.Ok." Introductory Phrases: Introductory phrases add information to the sentence and create interest in and anticipation for the information to follow. citations. I would love a new plasma television. times. Rule 5: use a comma to follow conventions What follows reads a bit like a laundry list of comma use rules. Most hate this construction. . Note: Grammarians disagree about the word "hopefully" used as a sentence adverb. furthermore. then show me how you do it. No. The acclaimed critic Roger Ebert has been ill recently. however. and after the state before continuing with the rest of the sentence: I have lived in San Francisco. Troublesome they may be. I drew a diagram. and after the year before continuing with the sentence: The twins were born in June. and unable to host his television program. Ebert & Roeper. one month before my 30th birthday. I don't want pineapple on my pizza. Never use a sentence adverb to connect two independent clauses unless you use a semi-colon before the sentence adverb. . . . but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how we look at it). arguing that it is ambiguous—the writer could mean a hopeful prediction. for most of my life. names. Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year. 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. . . however. Without a doubt. and quotations have risen up over time. examples: To help him understand how an internal combustion engine works. California. they are enclosed by commas. .
or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object. Don't place a comma between two sentence verbs or verb phrases. corrected: She walked out of the room and started screaming about the grade on her essay. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. When introducing a quote with a short introductory phrase like "He said. Twain's short story "Hunting the Deceitful Turkey. 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. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. Commas used with quotations are a bit tricky. It's the way they're raised. You are going to make the cake for the party. Rely instead on language and logic. Don't sprinkle commas throughout your writing to try and imitate a speaking voice. Take them all around. Ph.. . and an occasional well-placed comma to create voice. is human. kings is kings. However. wrong: To err. but a raft don't. noun phrases. Take a look at a parody of this kind of comma abuse by blogger fandomcommahate 80 . not sad. Don't put a comma after the main clause when a dependent clause follows it. furious even. . . because I am sick. wrong: I am not going to work today. a colon should be used instead." 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. after an independent clause.Professor Pete McSeed. corrected: I told my boss that I was sick and that I would not be coming to work. Don't use a comma to separate the subject from the verb. . Use a comma to emphasize a shift or to cause the reader to pause before an important contrast or point of emphasis. after all. Huck says." is wildly funny. Don't place a comma between two nouns." the phrase should be set off from the quote by a comma. and that I would not be coming to work. He was angry. "All I say is. and you got to make allowances. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery.D." or "As Huck puts it. . received his doctoral from Amherst College a year before taking a teaching job at Yale. and started screaming about the grade on her essay. Tears were streaming down her face because she was happy. ." "Twain argues. corrected: To err is human. wrong: She walked out of the room. wrong: I told my boss that I was sick. they're a mighty ornery lot." 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. corrected: I am not going to work today because I am sick.
however. hate. Like. the perpetrators. do not use quotation marks with an offset quote as the offsetting substitutes for the punctuation. however. hate. however.I. If you are writing an essay in MLA format. Quotes within the quote still take punctuation marks. the quote should be double-spaced (in MLA format. and question marks when they finish with a quote and move back to their own writing. "And that's what I'm talking about!" Indirect quote: After she finished her chocolate sundae. Writers use quotation marks to signal the reader that the text within opeining and closing quotes is not the writer's original material. comma abuse. when the writer paraphrases another person's words. the comma. and hate. who. and how to use quotation marks with direct quotes. for being here! In this module. the people. 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. students don't usually sit down and read about how to use quotation marks properly. who hate comma abuse. whether or not it is Ok to use quotes to identify a new term. Block Quotes: When the quoted material is longer than four lines of your own text. So good for you. fandoms. love comma abuse. love them. Direct quote: After finishing the entire sundae. However. them. love. students are often confused about when to use single or a double quote. she said. there are rules that govern the placement of other punctuation with quotation marks. which spawn them. In an indirect quotation. 81 . periods. Also? Everyone else. Quotes & Quotation Marks Quotation marks are probably the most incorrectly used element of punctuation. quotation marks are not used. The rules governing the use of quotation marks are specific. she said that she wanted another one. who. it must be offset and indented (the way the examples on this page are offset and indented). the people. double-spacing is maintained throughout the essay). and you may well be driving your English instructor up the wall if your commas are out of place. who. though it is important to provide a citation letting the reader know the source of the information. the people. Using Other Punctuation With Quotation Marks: Here is where things get tricky: students often just guess where to put commas. how to use quotation marks to express irony. hate. seriously. the people. and the.
What is the context for Twain's comment. . or the addition of words to clarify meaning: In "Like a Fox. was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. She argues that "nobody understands [her]" to anyone who will listen. the author of the essay on the Novato Train Station might employ a statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. Scientist Gail Monroe said. and a space before beginning the ellipses)." the 10-year-old protoganist repeatedly tries to break away from her parents and childhood. If the lead in is an independent clause. if the sentence itself is a question or exclamation. She asks his mother to let her go alone to the lake to join her friends. . and to walk to school rather than ride with her dad. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. use a colon: An analogy helps explain something complex by way of comparison with something that is easier to understand. "Love is like a rose: it blooms and grows and creates joy. Very well. . . place the punctuation outside the closing quote." said Donna." A Quote Within a Quote: 82 . use ellipses (three periods with a space between each period." For example. One exception would be when you begin a sentence with a quotation: here you would capitalize the first letter of the sentence. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark or exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. however. for example. for example." A question mark or exclamation point goes inside the closing quote if the quote is a question or exclamation. This was for practice. where do I begin?" (Dr.Commas and periods after a quotation go INSIDE the closing quote: "I was so tired that I fell asleep in the library. Mark Twain once said. when you need to make the quote fit the grammatical structure of your own sentence. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. . Then he made School Boards"? When omitting words in a quotation. Brackets are also used to indicate a single word omission. "In the first place God made idiots. 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." A comma should be used before a quote begins to separate a lead-in phrase from the quotation. . . . keep the period then add the ellipses: Walker . stick with the actual text of the quoted material. Brackets: Brackets are used within a quote when you need to change a word. to choose her own clothes. but it also has thorns. "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. "The future of stem cell research [see definition] is in doubt. 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. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) Capital letters: Basically. (Edwin Bryant. If the omitted material is after a complete sentence.
Must have cash register experience and be "willing to work. thereafter. I handed over the amount to him. the use of italics is preferred. as in "I just 'love' waking up at 6:00 am to catch a plane. Free From School) Quotation Marks for Irony and Emphasis Irony: Ever seen someone use air quotes? People make air quotes when they want to express irony. Often it is better to rely on the logic of the sentence to indicate the irony. Neither of the sentences below needs quotation marks to make the irony clear because the logic reveals the irony. New terms should be placed in italics the first time they appear." and so does Joey in a classic episode of Friends (click here to see this bit on YouTube). I took a seat and he put my luggage on the overhead rack. unitalicized text. around familiar terms like "laser. Evil in the Austin Powers movies uses air quotes. Those telephone solicitors are so kind and thoughtful to call during dinner time. PA) "Fresh" Fish (Byward Market. PA) It is probably best to avoid using quotes for emphasis in college writing. Using quotes to express irony is tricky. Ottawa. Slang: Quotation marks may be used around a word to indicate that a word is a slang term. She called me a "garden tool". The English word wimp." which refers to the cloth women wrapped around their heads in medieval times. Quotation Marks for Terms Before computers took the place of typewriters. 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.' he replied. Mississippi) Help Wanted. '25 rupees.' he demanded. one is calling attention to the fact that the term is slang." (Weiner World Restaurant. Rahul Alvarez takes a year off from school to pursue an education of his own design. but incorrectly. 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. Emphasis: Most grammarians will tell you that using quotes to denote emphasis is incorrect. 'Ticket. but my guess is that she wasn't being kind. he is sometimes taken advantage of by strangers. 'How much?' I asked." comes from the Old English word for "wimple. For example. use single quotation marks to enclose the internal quote and distinguish it from the primary quote." Dr. which means "to be timid or cowardly. but people do it all the time. (Weis Supermarket. 83 . quotation marks were used around words and phrases meant to be read as words or terms rather than for their content." (Rahul Alvarez. I just love telephone solicitors.When quoting text that itself includes a quote. the terms should appear as regular. I had no idea what she meant. Ontario) You must be "21" to enter this bar! (a fan's local bar) "Parents" No candy sold on this aisle. quotes can be construed as a sign of the author's laziness or inability to indicate irony in language. In his book Free From School. Today. In this case. Pittsburgh. At sixteen. however.
" written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women. “But it is. “Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently. an article in a magazine. “for Mrs. "pay me one hundred dollars. "The Present Hour. and she told me all about it. and I have no objection to hearing it. She has long been interested in the "woman question. “You want to tell me. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June.Quotation Marks and Titles Quotation marks are used to set off the titles of short works. 2007. 1. full-length plays. Longer works include books.” said his lady to him one day. Bennet made no answer. He advised me by letter that he would. a chapter in a book. The Writer. Every time a new speaker talks.” This was invitation enough. such as an episode of a TV series. TV series. italics (or an underline." correct incorrect 2." 84 . 1862) correct incorrect 3. Bennet replied that he had not. Pride and Prejudice: “My dear Mr. when italics are not available) are used to identify longer works. Long has just been here. • • • The words of each speaker need to be enclosed in quotes In quotes that go on for more than a paragraph. Works of art are also italicized. films. magazines and newspapers. “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” Mr." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. use a quote at the beginning. on the first day of June. full-length records (or cds). Quotation Marks in Dialogue There are a few important rules for using quotations marks in dialogue. Bennet." correct incorrect 4. then include the closing quote. or a song or poem. 2007.” Mr. but not at the end of the paragraph until you reach the end of the quote.” returned she. the writer must begin a new line. A short work is a work within a work. Take a look at this dialogue from Jane Austen's novel. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West. (Robert Luce.
I just love surprise quizzes." by Pierce F. "What's up. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister. 392-393). dude?" makes me crazy. She said. Lewis. The correct incorrect 9." 11. Sauer writes. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. In some manner. She said.correct incorrect 5. . Geography is a science of observation. expression. correct incorrect Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. I just "love" surprise quizzes." 1988) 85 ." correct incorrect 7. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. correct incorrect 10. said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. ." "She ought to know. He correct incorrect 6. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. ." correct incorrect 8. She ought to know.
Haha.12." by Truman Capote. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. It's Mr. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. he does have scars. 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. Mr. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making fruitcakes. And there were no birds singing. Mr. she says. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. Our hearts overturn. The door opens. No. yes indeed. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. a whispery voice at best: If you please. I knew it before I got out of bed. His eyes tilt more. Haha. Help me find my hat. they've gone to warmer country. Footsteps. 86 . he doesn't smile. Oh. (from "A Christmas Memory. 1966) 13. too. We've thirty cakes to bake. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. Buddy. Cooking.
" Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6. (Robert Luce. on the first day of June. dude?" makes me crazy. "What's up. "Is this the truth?" "Then I'd better tell my sister." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. She said." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 2. "Is this the truth? Then I must tell my sister. "The Present Hour. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 87 ." by Truman Capote. He said "that he was angry at having to work a double shift. This was his written promise to me: "I agree to pay you one hundred dollars on the first day of June. He advised me by letter that he would. 1966) Correction 1. "pay me one hundred dollars. The Writer." her appreciation of the vital importance of which is voiced in her poem. 2007. The expression. 2007. Alice Williams began her career with her first book of poems "Daughters of The West." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. She said. She has long been interested in the "woman question." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. She ought to know." Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. 1862) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 3." written for anre read before the Ohio State Council of Women.(from "A Christmas Memory." "She ought to know.
In the English language. Which one of you is a drinkin' man? It's for making Christmas fruitcakes. And there were no birds singing. too. and in emoticons : ). Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct Add quotation marks where needed to the following paragraph. Geography is a science of observation. No." Mr. I just "love" surprise quizzes. a whispery voice at best: If you please. Oh. turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. The geographic bent [for students] rests on seeing and thinking about what is in the landscape. he glowers at us through Satan-tilted eyes and demands to know: What you want with Haha? For a moment we are too paralyzed to tell. . The rules governing semicolon and colon use in English writing are quite specific. Our hearts overturn. in computer code. she says. The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. I knew it before I got out of bed. 1966) Answer given: 13." by Pierce F. Lewis. Sauer writes.—Mark Twain Did you know that in Greek. he does have scars. Capote. Haha Jones himself! And he is a giant. we'd like a quart of your finest whiskey. stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy." by Truman Capote. (from "The Monument and the Bungalow. His eyes tilt more. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 10. the field of geography is always a reading of the face of the earth"(Sauer 1963b. These symbols really get around. 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. he doesn't smile. Footsteps. Would you believe it? Haha is smiling! Laughing." 1988) Answer given: 12. . Mr. 11. by Haha. In some manner. they've gone to warmer country. . Help me find my hat. The door opens. yes indeed. Objectives: • learn to use semicolons and colons between independent clauses 88 . Truman Cooking. Memory. 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. It's Mr. Haha. as well as how to use colons and semicolons effectively in their writing. Buddy. In this module students will learn these rules. Presently my friend half-finds her voice. We've thirty cakes to bake. and have been since before the 17th century. 392-393).9. they are also important symbols. (from "A Christmas Memory. I just love surprise quizzes.
however.. for one thing . and so they cannot be used to connect clauses..sometimes. what is more to indicate contrast or concession: however. so to speak. soon. Usually she wakes up with a smile on her face. on the contrary. who you quote says something about your point of view —great minds think alike. . now. A semicolon is stronger separation than a comma + coordinating conjunction. semicolons are used to separate the items in the series.for another (thing). nevertheless. thus. For example. when the items themselves require commas.. items in a list are separated by commas. besides... rather. at one moment. also. at least not to me. It is not acceptable to connect a phrase to a clause with a semicolon. sometimes she wakes up ready to bite my head off. 89 .. Maria made a big Italian dinner for the family." "moreover.. nobody is talking." and "even so" to connect two sentences. she made the cannolis herself! Below is a list of words typically used as sentence adverbs: to indicate time: then. Semicolon with Sentence Adverbs: A semi-colon (or a period) should also be used with sentence adverbs such as "however.• • • 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. and none of my good friends is here. but not as strong as a period. moreover. Semi-Colon Use With Commas in a List Typically. furthermore. Writers often use a semi-colon when they want to state an idea in more specific terms.. then. exactly the opposite. moreover. Using a quote also shows that you are informed. For example. later. afterward. In this case. partly. what each comma in the list is being used for can be unclear. still.at the next. instead. meanwhile. . the sentence must be an independent clause.." "therefore. accordingly. henceforth. then too. hence. in addition. one the one hand.. at least to indicate a result: consequently.partly. as a result to indicate condition: otherwise Note: On either side of the semicolon." "at least. on the other hand. however. therefore.then to indicate addition: likewise. For example. sometimes. Sentence adverbs are transition words rather than conjunctions. This party is really boring: the music is terrible.
men whose only food was snakes. Colon Use With Items in a List A colon is used after an independent clause to preface a list of items. These days. Take a look at the following example. In the first version. I am going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for fajitas: chicken. but it can also be used to introduce another independent clause that illustrates or elaborates upon the idea in the first clause. 10:30 p. Madison. even if the list includes only a single item. John 11:35 Job 3:2 Titles and Subtitles A colon is used between a title and subtitle of a book or article.m. "The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived. tortillas. 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. but that so large that they held it over them like an umbrella when they lay down in the sun to rest. woolly hens and sheep that grew on trees. The sentence begins with an independent clause. and Boston. bring the following: pencils. which takes up the entire paragraph. cumin. and others whose favorite beverage was human blood. however. correct: When you come to take the exam. Illinois. so be very careful to ensure that the clause is complete: incorrect: When you come to take the exam." the rest of the sentence.m. a calculator. North Dakota. 3:00 p.This summer on our road trip we will visit Fargo. Chicago. and a dictionary. a pencil sharpener. a pencil sharpener. the independent clause lacks a direct object. illustrates the idea in that first clause: The seas were full of islands where spices grew and countless strange creatures lived: one-eyed men. a calculator. New York. New York. and a dictionary. and hot sauce. The Bible When referring to passages in the Bible. Wisconsin. men with a lip long enough to cover their whole face. and the second clause as the movement(s) of a symphony. onions. use a colon between the chapter and the verse. green and red peppers. (Ten Great Events in History. and so the sentence is incomplete. bring the following items: pencils. This mistake is corrected in the second version." It is not acceptable to use a colon after an incomplete sentence to begin a list. James Johonnot) Other Conventions of Colon Use Colon in Stating Time Use a colon between the hour and the minute. two-headed men and men with no heads at all. Colon Use Between Independent Clauses A Colon can be used after an independent clause to introduce a list. dragons and unicorns. . One could think of the first clause as a kind of overture. and in one island a valley where only devils dwelt. I agree with the statement Gertrude Stein made about Oakland: "There's no 'there' there. Massachusetts. men with only one foot.m.
short sentence. 3. a colon is placed after the salutation rather than a comma (used in informal letters).pretentious.com) Salutations In a business letter. or even inappropriately humorous for the content of the essay that follows. and a year revolution around the sun. How is the colon used in a sentence? For each sentence below. 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. decide whether the dash should be replaced with a colon or a semicolon. To Whom it May Concern: 1. semicolon 91 . The earth has two motions-a daily rotation upon its axis. 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. The title-colonsubtitle format is very popular in newspapers and popular magazines. Spiegler semicolon used in a sentence? 2. How is Dear Sir: the Dear Mr.
colon 4. add a second sentence. We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal. it throbs with life. joined to the first with either a semicolon or a colon. Some semicolon colon 6. semicolon colon For each sentence supplied below. semicolon colon 5. that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. (Rabelais) 92 . Helen Keller's world is built of touch sensations. died without speaking—others spoke without dying. and the pursuit of happiness. devoid of color and sound—but. I watched the sun pass below the horizon. without color and sound. 7. liberty. Make sure that your choice reflects correct semicolon or colon use. that among these are life.
The park was full of people. you connect several illustrations together with semicolons. try to connect several illustrations with semicolons. A starting sentence is provided for you. Contexts for Colon & Semicolon Use As mentioned in the lesson on colon use between independent clauses. The colon can even set up a kind of mini-essay within your essay if after the first clause. 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.8. check out our version of the sentence. She w as a kind old w oman: See our version Having pets does not prepare a person for parenthood: See our version Money talks: See our version 93 . In at least one of the exercises. All you need to do is add sentences that illustrate or elaborate on that idea.
1. See if you can think of a sentence to place on the other side of the semicolon that is closely related to the idea before the semicolon. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. When you complete your sentence. Psalm 103:15) as grass. Bring to the picnic: a blanket 94 to sit on. repeat structures and ideas. 1. to create balance. prize but not being rack flower of the to lack’d the field so the and worth lost. then we (Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing. A cup of coffee w akes me up in the morning.Semicolons in Context A semicolon is a useful tool for connecting two closely related ideas.) As for man his days are (Old Testament. and clippers. . value. As in the colon exercise above. and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection. and drinks. check out our version of the sentence. a salad. Why. See our version We acquire our highest ideas in childhood. correct incorrect 2.” flourisheth. as a he Twins amount to a permanent riot. good garden gloves. See our version Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. fertilizer. Remember. a starter sentence is provided for you. (The Babies Speech. Mark Twain) Now give this technique a try yourself. Consider the following balanced sentence: “What we have we Whiles we enjoy it. w e hurry. It is also useful for creating balanced and smooth-flowing sentences since good balance comes from the repetition of similar structures or ideas. iv. See our version In America.
The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. 95 is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. Fashion correct incorrect 9. “They lived happily ever after” and the following quarter-century warning that they’ll be lucky to make it through the weekend. You correct incorrect 7. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 5. (Molly Ivins) first rule of holes. when you're in one. stop digging. (Molly Ivins) . Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. and let the air out of the tires.correct incorrect 3. no matter how much you'd like to. (Dorothy Parker) correct incorrect 10. 11. I just want to be wonderful. Use a semicolon to connect two closely related ideas about places you like to visit. 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. The correct incorrect 6. (Nora Ephron) correct incorrect 4. I don't want to make money. People makes me feel that I haven’t read or learned or seen anything at all. (Marilyn Monroe) correct incorrect 8. (Joan Rivers) correct incorrect Write sentences demonstrating your understanding of correct semicolon and colon use according to the directions below. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. (Coco Chanel) can't ignore politics.
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. 13. 96 .
14. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 5. The first rule of holes. Women’s Wear Daily at least makes me feel dirty. 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. a salad. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 3. Bring to the picnic: a blanket to sit on. The gardener needs the following tools for regular garden maintenance: a trowel. 1. when you're in one. no matter how much you'd like to. It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying. (Nora Ephron) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 4. good garden gloves. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 6. Use a colon to introduce a list of items a student needs to be prepared for the first day of classes. Correction Decide if semicolons and colons are used correctly in each quotation below. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 2. I don't want to make money. fertilizer. 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. and drinks. I just want to be wonderful. (Molly Ivins) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: incorrect 7. (Marilyn Monroe) Answer given: 97 . and clippers. You can't ignore politics. stop digging.
. students will learn the rules for correct use of end punctuation. also called a "full stop. an exclamation mark. . a period is used in titles. or a question mark. such as "She laughed at my joke. (Joan Rivers) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct End Punctuation T he end of a sentence is signalled by a period. My mother could make anybody feel guilty: she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know. They will discover the problem for themselves. has many uses in addition to ending a sentence: for example.? ? ? The Period A period. a period is seen in the middle of a sentence. and to use end punctuation correctly and effectively in writing. the period at the end of a sentence: A declarative sentence: a period is used to end a sentence that states a fact. advice: You should not be swimming so soon after eating. Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. (Coco Chanel) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 9. 98 . ! ! ! . abbreviations. and let the air out of the tires. One almost never sees a question mark or an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence. on the other hand. gives advice. The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant. order: Children will stay within school grounds during recess. . such as "I believe it will rain today." is used to signal the end of most kinds of sentences . A period. In this module." An imperative sentence: a period is also used to conclude a sentence that issues an order. . one may choose instead to use a question mark. in these situations. (Dorothy Parker) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 10. and so." or an opinion. and placenames.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: correct 8. or makes a request—though with requests.
. use a question mark. .D. If a single word is ommitted. . .We should go to the party tonight.89 $45 $1. request: Would you please change the oil for me. organizations. long terms. . radio stations. where do I begin?" (Dr. Little rise in your voice indicates a level of formality and polite hesitation.00 $. (Edwin Bryant. . Ph. This and the coast range run nearly parallel with the shore of the Pacific. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) 99 . is used to show an ommission of words in quote. Col. M. M. Mr.150 $1. Very well. No period is used when money is rounded to dollars: $45. 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. (a) (iii) Ellipses An ellipses.D. 1. . Hilary asked us if we wanted to go swimming this afternoon.67 $1 Periods and Abbreviations Periods are not used in the abbreviations of familiar institutions. An indirect question: a period is used in a sentence that includes a question. 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. . was picked up by the A's just three days before the regular season was to start. but is itself not a question. Ms. unless the number or letter is enclosed in parentheses: I.D. a period expresses this polite tone.150.2.A. 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. Please send her my congratulations on getting the promotion. Periods are also used after numbers or letters in an outline. A. other uses of the period Periods and Money A period is used between dollars and cents.1. If your voice goes up at the end of the sentence. or a series of three periods (with a space between the last word or the period at the end of a sentence). I wondered why she asked us if we had our bathing suits.D. Walker . The Sierra Nevada range is of greater elevation than the Rocky Mountains. use brackets ([ ]) to indicate the ommission. 1.
What is the context for Twain's comment. "In the first place God made idiots. however. 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. exclamation points allow writers to quickly let a reader know that a statement is emphatic. Be careful. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. 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. I can't believe you got your nose pierced! Note: In a quotation. As discussed above. overuse of exclamation marks make it seem as if a writer is relying on symbols rather than language to convey meaning. Wow! Did you really get an A+ on that exam? Let's take a road trip! Listen! I think I hear something. Skip the additional punctuation: His doctor exclaimed. an exclamation point goes inside a closing quote if the quote is an exclamation. This was for practice. place the punctuation outside the closing quote. it is acceptable to abbreviate questions after the initial question if the structure is clear. Skip the additional punctuation: "What in the world were you thinking of?" I asked. "Wow! It's lucky we caught this in time. There is a world of difference between "No. Then he made School Boards"? Use a question mark in parentheses to express doubt or uncertainty. and died in 1854. But be careful not to overuse this technique.The Question Mark Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. or use it as a substitute for explanation when an explanation would be useful." 100 . a term used to express joy. do not use question marks after indirect questions or polite requests. if the sentence itself is a question. In a series of questions. The captain was born in 1799 (?). if the sentence itself is an exclamation." and "No!" for example. to use an exclamation mark for strong emotions. Do not double up punctuation when using a an exclamation point by adding in the usual comma or a period. Do not double up punctuation when using a question mark by adding in the usual comma or a period. In the English language.
þÿ I am never going to get this project done on time 3. I haven't seen you for ages 9. 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. but sometimes this happens. þÿ Jenny. Read through the passages and decide where you think the exclamation 101 . þÿ Don't forget to pick up your prescription 6. 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 these have been replaced with periods. mild exclamations do not take exclamation marks. for NATO He 2.) Did I forget closing punctuation altogether? (Seems unlikely. þÿ Please do not use cell phones in our restaurant 8. asking yourself the following questions may help you quickly figure out where you went wrong. Twain uses many exclamation marks and question marks.) Supply 1. þÿ end used punctuation to work wherever for the it is FBI. þÿ What are all of these candy wrappers doing all over the floor 7. þÿ Is there time to finish desert before we need to get to the movie 5.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. In this passage. needed but (including now he in works abbreviations). þÿ Mrs Henley brought me a basket of muffins when I was sick last week 4. I can't believe I flunked English 10.
My first thought was. and that butterfly. indeed! and is it a dream that you're to be burned to-morrow? Ho-ho -. "All right. "Are you here yet. "What. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. Copy the passage into a word processor for revision and then paste your corrected version in the text box. "Well." dream. what an astonishing dream I've had! I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something. and then I'll go down to the arms factory and have it out with Hercules. me. When I next came to myself. I reckon I've waked only just in time to keep from being hanged or drowned or burned or something. stood before me. "you here yet? Go along with the rest of the dream! scatter!" But he only laughed. and that butterfly. a light flashed in my eyes.. "Well." Answer given: Total Total Total Percentage Correct questions: machine graded correct: versions of graded: correct: -text: 1 0 0 % When I next came to myself. My first thought was. stood before me! I gasped with surprise.. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. 1. "let the what dream go on. Or. Clarence. Scatter. and that I am talking to you. la.. dream?" I'm in no hurry. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. I seemed to have been asleep a very long time. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. and that I am talking to you." But he only laughed in his light-hearted way and fell to making fun of my sorry plight." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. in his light-hearted way. what an astonishing dream I've had.a person who never existed. a light flashed in my eyes." "Prithee "What dream? Why." But just then I heard the harsh music of rusty chains and bolts. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. "All "Tell right.answer me that!" 102 . what "let the dream go on.a person who never existed. my breath almost got away from me. I gasped with surprise. I'm in no hurry. Clarence.points and question marks belong." I said. who are nothing but a work of the imagination. copy and paste the text into the text box and do the editing there. and fell to making fun of my sorry plight. Go along with the rest of the dream. the dream that I am in Arthur's court -. if you prefer. I'll nap again till the whistle blows. my breath almost got away from me. "What!" I said." I said resignedly." I said resignedly. Why." -33"Oh." "What dream.
chicken-livered superstitions that ev -oh. the other way by fear. 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. even in a dream. they?" indeed daren't!" "Why. beware! These are awful words! Any moment these walls may crumble upon us if you say such things.don't fail me. pure bosh. that maundering old ass? Bosh. idiotic. only friend I've got. dream or no dream. for an thou betray me I am lost!" I laughed the only really refreshing laugh I had had for some time. a but good -" lad!" there's He hesitated. aren't you? -. But how many. and he was like to go out of his mind with fright. no doubt. certainly a superior man like 103 . I hope?" "Full a score. I have told it! Ah. then he stole to the door and peeped out. Clarence. be merciful to a poor boy who means thee well." "No doubt." "Other "Well.The shock that went through me was distressing. What but I are daren't. is be need! a I man do -want speak to out. by any means." After a pause -.hesitatingly: "and there be other reasons -and weightier. they ones? say -oh. So I said beseechingly: "Ah. damn Merlin!" But Clarence had slumped to his knees before I had half finished.for you ARE my friend. -. has woven a spell about this dungeon. listening. and was a thing to be avoided. and finally crept close to me and put his mouth to my ear and told me his fearful news in -34a whisper. that to be burned to death. the silliest bosh in the world! Why. come. be kind to me. If everybody about here was so honestly and sincerely afraid of Merlin's pretended magic as Clarence was. pulled one way by desire. in his malice. the corridors are in guard and keep of men-at-arms. "Come. in sooth. One may not hope to escape. forsooth! That cheap old humbug. Oh call them back before it is too late!" Now this strange exhibition gave me a good idea and set me to thinking. help me to devise some way of escaping from this place!" "Now do but hear thyself! Escape? Why. and shouted: "Merlin has wrought a spell! merlin. poor lad. "Oh. "Merlin. tell you. fair or foul. 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. for I knew by past experience of the lifelike intensity of dreams. would be very far from being a jest. be there brave. it does seem to me that of all the childish. man. chuckleheaded. that I could contrive. what is the matter? Why do you blench? Why do you tremble so?" "Oh. good boy. Clarence? Not many. I now began to reason that my situation was in the last degree serious.
By themselves. As a result.me ought to be shrewd enough to contrive some way to take advantage of such a state of things. and ends with a period. The arrangement of the words follows the rules of English grammar. look me in the eye. prepositions. However. what professional writers do that many beginning writers do not is to carefully proofread their work to make sure that before publication. Groups of words that modify part or all of an independent clause are called dependent clauses. they do not always pay close attention to the stops and starts of thoughts. and worked out a plan. 104 . Do you know why I laughed?" "No -but for our blessed Lady's sake. I'll tell you why I laughed. Then I said: -35"Get up. Definition 2: A sentence is group of words that begins with a capital letter. writers often end up with sentences that are not complete—"fragments" of thought that need something more to stand on their own. Keep the distinction between dependent and independent clauses in mind. 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. However. when writers are caught up in the flow of their ideas and are trying to capture those ideas on the page." Grammatical sentences Correcting Sentence Fragments A sentence must be able to stand on its own as a completed thought. Dependent clauses begin with subordinating words (relative pronouns. do it no more. I went on thinking." "Well. Pull yourself together. or adverbs). Complete sentences are also sometimes called independent clauses. In this module you will learn to spot fragments in your work and to turn those fragments into complete sentences. Because I'm a magician myself. dependent clauses form sentence fragments. each sentence passes the test for completeness. because it will help you tell the difference between sentence fragments and complete sentences. has a subject and a complete or finite verb.
The two puppies.. 1) Simple sentences. When people knew the shopkeeper by name and knew about each other’s lives. the scientist finally gave up. 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. and post office in every city. The clouds drifting in the sky. Think of them as broken or incomplete thoughts. Example: After Pinnochio saved Gepetto. She wanted to be back with her things. and in the second paragraph. are called sentence fragments. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. or After years of disappointment in her search for a cancer cure.) 4) Compound-Complex sentences. baker. The downtown takes you back to the time when there was a single sweet shop. Example: Pinnochio hoped to become a real boy. other examples . (“Pinnochio” is the subject. You need to fix them. “hoped” is the verb. It has a subject--“the scientist”--but not a verb. A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence punctuated as if it were complete. “After” is the subordinating word. the scientist finally. The last sentence in the first paragraph lacks a sentence verb. which join a dependent clause to an independent clause. Pinocchio lived happily ever after. in which a conjunction links two simple sentences. students will learn how to correct sentence fragments. Dependent clauses. We wonder what the scientist finally did. so that your reader can understand your thoughts. and other groups of words that lack a subject or a verb. the word "when" turns the clause into a subordinate clause. which combine types 2 and 3. In the rest of this module.. Example: After the Blue Fairy granted his wish. This thought feels incomplete.It is useful to group sentences into 4 types. ) 2) Compound sentences. the Blue Fairy granted his wish. the common sources of sentence fragments are identified. 105 . . Her things that meant so much to her. Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Verb: After years of searching for a cancer cure. the last sentence is a fragment. Correcting Sentence Fragments. and the Blue Fairy granted his wish. and examples are given to help you identify and correct fragments in your own writing. In each paragraph. . My favorite flavor of ice cream. Consider the following passages to see if you can locate the sentence fragments: She didn't want to be on vacation anymore. Below. the scientist finally made a breakthrough. (“After the Blue Fairy granted his wish” is a dependent clause. and he became a real boy. 3) Complex sentences. which have one subject and one verb.
(subject: “The slaves”) Sentence Fragments Made up of Dependent Clauses: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother. 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. my car’s gas mileage improved. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed.” Sentence Fragments Caused by a Missing Subject: Zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. (verb: “is”) The two puppies chased each other. They are often closely connected to a point in a previous sentence. In the real world. Corrected: Because she was pregnant with my baby brother.” or participles. my mother decided not to go skydiving with us. fragments are sometimes quite difficult to spot. Went to the video store. In each of these shows. At this point. are not complete by themselves. While sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. After I changed my fuel filter. (subject: “I”) Tess and her mom went to the video store. In the last example above.Corrected: My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip. however. a steadfast and masculine father. (verb: “chased”) The clouds were drifting in the sky. Corrected: I zoomed down the slope on my new snowboard. (subject: “Tess and her mom”) The slaves were hoping to be free. (complete verb: “were drifting”) Verb forms that end in “ing. and so they seem like correct sentences even when they are not. “were” is the helping verb that completes “drifting. Who led the slaves to freedom. After I changed my fuel filter. all living in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. Hoping to be free. a proper and demure mother. 106 . Moses was the prophet who led the slaves to freedom. you may be thinking these fragments are pretty easy to identify. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. They need an auxiliary or “helping” verb. Goldilocks dreamed of flying. a little rascally boy to take after the father.
A sentence fragment can also be used to express a strong emotion: Selma told her dad she finished her homework. a proper and demure mother.The last. not? There are many wonderful things to do in San Francisco. and/or a perfect princess girl to bake with the mother. What must a sentence Answer given: 3. Waiting for the sound of an approaching car. Is either of the following sentences a fragment? Why or why not? I love going Answer given: 5. sentence a Especially fragment? for Why or Thai why food. Baseball. it is acceptable to use a sentence fragment for a special effect. She wants a home with a white picket fence. Ozzie & Harriet's house. 1. Using Sentence Fragments for Special Effect. What is a Answer given: 2. the subject must be located.. a steadfast and masculine father. To correct the sentence. and eating. If you live. Answer given: 107 . However. as a worksheet. For example. all live toether in a quiet suburban home with a white picket fence. long sentence is actually a fragment. a little rascally boy to take after the father. —Mark Twain You will not regret it.. One technique for spotting fragments is to reformat your essay. 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. A fragment can be used to present an answer to a question: How did we win the tournament? Nerve. if possible. With this technique. Occasionally. right! She didn't even open her math book. Your reader may assume the fragment is unintentional if the rest of your writing is not polished and free of errors. Yeah. The verb "living" is not complete. Wow! I never knew that you could play soccer so well. The most American of sports is experiencing a real return to popularity. eating. Is either of the out following to eat. In each of these shows. be very careful here. eating. so that the sentences can be seen more clearly . The initial assumptions and the definition of human nature being totally ambiguous. Answer given: 4. 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. temporarily. and so the sentence is a series of phrases. Get a bicycle. you use a simple command to quickly separate each sentence onto its own line. Listening. A fragment can create emphasis on a single word or phrase: He stood stock still. Answer each question below as best you can.
for. however. so.6. or "comma splices. Often comma splices occur when the second clause begins with "this. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. but we won't finish it if we go to the beach. Answer given: Run-on Sentences Run-on sentences are sentences with "signal" problems. In this module students will learn • • to recognize and correct run-on sentences to use colons." and sentences that are simply joined by coordinating conjunctions like "and. corrected: There is time to finish the project. Separating the two clauses into two independent sentences with a period is always an option. as in the following sentence: comma splice: There is time to finish the project." "that. nor." sentences without any punctuation at all connecting independent clauses. We won't finish it if we go to the beach. Write a paragraph explaining what "freedom" means to you. however. There are three variations of run-on sentences: sentences that use only a comma to join independent clauses. but. however. We can use a semi-colon if the logical connection between the statements is clear: corrected: There is time to finish the project. Stronger punctuation is needed to connect two independent clauses." without a comma. or "fused sentences. or. we won't finish it if we go to the beach." "these. she must be able to tell the reader how her ideas go together. Note. If a writer wants to be heard. or yet) to connect two independent clauses. 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. This is a good choice if the relationship between the clauses is unclear or needs emphasis: corrected: There is time to finish the project. semi-colons. we won't finish it if we go to the beach." or "those". Make sure your paragraph is free of sentence fragments. 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. Readers look for punctuation to signal the end of one independent clause and the beginning of another. that a period creates stronger separation between ideas than the other options. or else abandon the text altogether out of frustration. 108 . Rewriting the sentence to turn one independent clause into a dependent (or subordinate) clause is another option: corrected: There is time to finish the project although we won't finish it if we go to the beach. We can also use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and. Without appropriate punctuation readers are forced to determine the correct relationships. however.
corrected: This drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes six-to seven hours. and they were the best days of the whole vacation. this is a long and boring drive all by yourself. examples: fused sentences: I ate the whole pizza it was excellent. Answer given: 7. people. Danielle is going. On our trip to Los Angeles. A coordinating conjunction may be present in a fused sentence. this bakery hardly goes unnoticed and people from a variety of cultures stop in to experience what it is it has to offer. 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. the punctuation is still inadequate. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids and they were the best days of the whole vacation. but without an accompanying comma. and city surrounding the theater that are most important. it was excellent. corrections: I ate the whole pizza. 1. The theater alone is not what makes it so unique. greet you and buzz around like honeybees to help you obtain whatever treat it is you are craving. 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). I'm going to see Gwen Stefani this weekend. Being located in a prime spot along Columbus Ave. 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. it is the colors. Two large display cases adorned with a variety of different pastries. some with subtle Italian accents. Answer given: 5. Answer given: 2. Answer given: 8. 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 . but you can borrow it any time. On our trip to Los Angeles. Answer given: 3. colorful fruit tarts. we spent two days at Disneyland with the kids. Answer given: 4. too. the friendly clerks behind these cases. Correcting Fused Sentences Sentences are said to be "fused" when there is no punctuation connecting independent clauses. it’s a whole community center. Use the same techniques for correcting fused sentences as you would use to correct comma splices (as described in the previous section). I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD. The Phoenix is more than just a performance center. Answer given: 6. I am going to get the new Gwen Stefani CD but you can borrow it any time.
This is the problem in the following sentence: "Everyone has their share. Object pronouns include me. Answer given: Problems with Pronouns Like Subject-Verb agreement. In this module you will learn the following • • • • to recognize different types of pronouns to identify and correct mismatched pronouns and antecedents as well as pronoun reference problems in written text. grab a muffin and coffee and run. then she realized she had brought the wrong book. Answer given: 10. doctor.) or with indefinite words (person. got a large latte. and opened her notebook. 110 . 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. students. Stella’s is not just a place like Starbucks to stop in. These "pronoun reference" problems often arise between sentences when a general pronoun such as "that. and they. the issue gets more complicated when you are dealing with collective nouns (the crowd." or "it" is used to refer to an idea in a previous sentence. Pronouns: A pronoun refers to or stands in for a noun.). us. who. problems arise when the antecedent for a pronoun is unclear. her. he. example: Janet and I had a great dinner last night. we. or two antecedents joined by "and" "or" or "nor. Hoping to get some work done before school. Answer given: 1. I. you. to write text free of pronoun-antecedent and pronoun reference mistakes.to offer. and them. as in John gave me the book. you him. etc. pronoun-antecedent agreeement is about parts of a sentence fitting together so that the reader does not stumble over mixed messages. put on her headphones. object pronouns are pronouns used as the target of a verb in a sentence. Answer given: 9. it. There are many different types of pronouns used in many different situations: subject pronouns are pronouns used as the subject of a sentence. whom. she. Simple to fix. right? However. etc. men. 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). it. These include. Proofread to ensure that there are no run-on sentences. Helena went to the coffee shop." where "their" (plural) is not matched in number with "Everyone" (singular). what. Write a paragraph about a favorite holiday memory." In addition. to avoid gender bias when using pronouns. the noun replaced by the pronoun is called the "antecedent" of the pronoun." "this.
they take an adjective case: my. anyone.possessive pronouns are used to indicate a state of ownership by a subject referenced in the possessive pronoun. as opposed to you. place. however. demonstrative pronouns are used to refer to ideas or objects rather than people. their. sombody. These include pasta dishes. none. if the antecedent is "Johnny." then the pronoun must be we or us. and I hauled three loads of trash from the fraternity to the dump yesterday. Johnny. fresh fish and seafood dishes. For example." There are many different indefinite pronouns. or thing. which. 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. ours. everybody. "You should always remember that heroes are made. or both singular. not born. as in "The tan chihuahua is the dog that I want. indefinite pronouns are used to refer to an indefinite person. his." or "They say that Brittney Spears is crying out for help with her recent antics. theirs. No invitation is required. interrogative pronouns are used to begin questions. For example. yours. "Agreement" means that the pronoun is consistent with the "person" "number" and "gender" of the antecedent. No." or "some. agreement in number: the pronoun and antecedent must both be plural. her example: I believe that is his book. The interrogative pronouns are who. because they can create an unacceptable tone. hers. The relative pronoun stands in the for the noun antecedent." acceptable form: Anyone can come to the event this evening. She will be reimbursed for the pizza by the Club. our. what. Confusion often arises with indefinite pronouns. we will let someone else do the annual clean-up. Somebody in the Women's Club will have to bring the pizza to the party tonight. Gabe and I." Relative pronouns include which. whom. Note: sometimes "they" and "you" are used as indefinite pronouns. his. who. and that. Demonstrative pronouns include this. but here are a few of the most common: one. For example. all. as in "anyone. and salads. Possessive pronouns are mine. Next year. that. relative pronouns are used to signal the beginning of a relative clause in the middle of a sentence. its mine. agreement in person: the pronoun and antecedent have the same subject. For example. many. or they. 111 . whom. example: Mediterranean dishes are good for your heart. Gabe. each. anybody. and when possessive pronouns are used before a noun to establish ownership. either. and those. both. Be careful in academic writing with these pronouns. several. these. your.
as in Dickens'. should not promote a gender bias. "One. Dickens shows that ." 112 . 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.agreement in gender: the pronoun and antecedent. The best course of action is to avoid pronouns altogether. . . also Ok: One can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: one can enroll online or in person at the administration building . For more on eliminating gender bias in writing. which I really should not have done since I had so much work to do. Note: Be careful when a noun is in possessive case. . can be used. visit the module on shifts. personal pronoun. "Would you please pick up the flowers that I ordered today?" and "I watched Grey's Anatomy last night. . blame. you has has that is shows their their to that . Use "that when the relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence (when the clause is "restrictive"). even when made to agree. better: Students can enroll in classes in a couple of ways: they can enroll online or in person at the administration building. . . . 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. . . because when a noun is in possessive case. . 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. he correct: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. third-person. use "which" when the relative clause is just a detail. faults solution. error: Every problem correct: Every problem has its solution. . error: It is correct: It is you who is to blame. . For example. . 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. it is considered an adjective. Gender bias is often a problem in English because the English language has no genderneutral. error: In Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times. or: Enroll in classes in one of two ways: online or in person at the administration building ." an indefinite pronoun.
Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they 4. particularly when modifiers and clauses distance the antecedent from the pronoun.(What does it refer to?) correct: When you live in a rural area. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 7. and ___ have always been good friends. Pronoun reference mistakes usually occur between sentences. Take a look at the following sentences with pronoun reference problems: error: If I took that bug out of her hair. and going to the store requires planning and much consolidation. though _____ were written many hundred years ago. though. 1. This can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. I will do ____. You and ___ shall go. or when a sentence contains several nouns. Experienced writers make pronoun reference mistakes. Whatever you ask of me.Pronoun Reference Problems Pronoun reference problems are very common in the work of developing writers. Aesop's fables are still read. Mary. too. Supply a pronoun to go in place of the underline. You. error: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. What a charm there is about great mountains! How the purple haze loves to envelop ____ on their snowy summits! Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: them 3. Every man who does wrong knows that _____ should suffer the penalty. 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. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: it 6. (What does this refer to in the second sentence?) correct: Children feel insignificant when their parents are too busy to spend time with them. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: he 2. stores can be very far away. stores can be very far away. This feeling can cause them to withdraw into themselves and hinder other social relationships. and it requires planning and much consolidation when it comes to making trips to town. Make sure the pronoun is grammatically consistent with the antecedent and the rest of the sentence. The more people know about plants and flowers the more ____ enjoy ____ Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: they them 5. though. (I/me) Answer given: 113 . but they know to proofread their work to check for such mistakes.
The Swiss revere the name of William Tell. Were both you and (I/me) invited? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 10. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. whom. supply the missing word: "who" or "whom. which. (I/me) Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me 9. Everybody was invited except you and (I/me). Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: me In the following sentences. Goodness is the only thing that never fails. Be careful to place each subordinate clause as near its anteccedent as possible." Write your answer in the text box. that) so as to form complete sentences. He said that he saw you and ____ at the mall. Thomas Jefferson was an intimate friend of Washington's. You have read of him. _____ began the argument? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 15. From it we had a wonderful view. _____ do you think I met today? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom Join each of the following pairs of simple sentences by means of a relative pronoun (who. Answer given: 19. To _____ were you speaking? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: whom 12. 16. 21. Answer given: 20. Answer given: 17. We reached the mountain top.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: I 8. Spare the birds. 11. Answer given: Find the antecedent for the relative pronoun used in each sentence below. It is full of floating ice. _____ do you think I am? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Who 13. The river is dangerous. _____ did you see at the party? Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: Whom 14. Answer given: 114 . Answer given: 18. They cheer us by their songs.
. the individuals become aware of being at odds with others. Answer given: 29. Most of the time. who to elect for president—they are in accord. and We enjoy soccer (not We enjoys soccer). and overcame them by her great courage. She met each difficulty and danger. a singular subject takes a singular verb form. 25. or I hate okra (not I hates okra). However. Conversely. Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: chain 24. and provides helpful strategies for locating the subject and choosing the appropriate verb form. Objectives: By the end of this module. Answer given: 27. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: time 23. Answer given: 28. As he approached the village. what to have for dinner. Jack met a number of people.. or in "sync. No one knows what the future has in store for them. plural with plural. the subjects of the sentence must agree with the verb in the sentence in both number (singular with singular. what constitutes a good book. 115 . but none whom he knew. This module covers these confusing situations. Neither of the children ate their carrots. The administration is proud of their policies. the correct subject/verb combination is easy for writers to figure out. Every person in the class made their complaints to me. Marcos or Pete will give us their help. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: none Correct the pronoun antecedent error in each sentence or group of sentences below. etc.) and in person (gender). In this module we will cover the basic and the not so basic rules for creating sound subject-verb agreement. Answer given: 30. Without this agreement. 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. In a sentence. as in Kate dances well (not Kate dance well). 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. when people do not agree. and stumbles over the text rather than gleaning your message." on some level anyway. and a plural subject takes a plural verb form. Answer given: Subject-Verb Agreement When people agree about something—a movie to see. the reader gets conflicting messages. Answer given: 26.Result: Incorrect Correct answer: thing 22. Time that is once lost is always lost.
most. the verb agrees with subject it is closest to. if both subjects are singular.. none. and so should not be considered when deciding on the appropriate verb form for the sentence. subjects connected by "and" are going to be plural: David and Jesus are always late. My best friend and confidante is always there for me when I need her.." "or. Rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time is almost impossible to do. An apple or a banana is a good afterschool snack. Watch out for modifying phrases that come between subject and verb! And especially be on the lookout for prepositional phrases. any. In the first example." "neither/nor. Some indefinite pronouns. the verb will be singular. are confusing because they can be singular or plural depending on the nouns to which they refer. To determine the 116 . Another source of trouble is a modifying phrase beginning with together with. in the second example "some" refers to an "uncountable" noun. in addition to. Coffee and dessert were served in the living room. even if sometimes this structure feels counter-intuitive. Some of us are going skiing this weekend. Indefinite pronouns cause a lot of confusion. it is not part of the subject. Subjects joined by or or by either/or or neither/nor may take singular or plural verbs depending on the form of the subject. However. along with three bags of planting mix and a box of fertilizer.. such as all. not "the red frame and the fat tires." The phrase is there to tell us more about the mountain bike. and so the verb is plural. the verb is singular. Because the phrase is non-restrictive (or not necessary to the sentence). Neither the teacher nor the students know how to solve this math problem. or as well as: The new oak tree. "Mountain bike" is the subject of the sentence." These items are part of the prepositional phrase that begins with "with.." and therefore. Agreement With Indefinite Pronouns." or "either/or" In most situations. if the subjects joined by "and" refer to a single person. the subject is singular: Spaghetti and meatballs is the only thing Mary ever orders when we go out to eat. was delivered to my house this morning. "cake. Consider the following sentences: The mountain bike with the red frame and the fat tires is the one I want. the verb will be plural. Some of the cake is still on the table. Agreement When Subjects are Joined by "and. along with. it does not make the subject plural.Agreement When Words Come Between Subject and Verb. If both subjects are plural. as the object of a preposition can easily be confused with the subject of the sentence. If one subject is singular and the other is plural. item or simultaneous action. and some. "some" refers to individual persons.
Everything is going wrong today.. it is easy to confuse a noun in an opening phrase with the true subject of the sentence.. Trees that drop fruit will attract bugs." so the verb in the adjective clause "that drop fruit" should be plural." and so the verb in the phrase should be plural. Usually." The crew hope their grog won't run out before they reach port. Some indefinite pronouns are always singular: for example. and both are going to be starting players. word order is inverted and the subject is delayed. squirrels and other small animals.." sounds a bit better. anybody. the verb in the clause should agree in number with the subject of the sentence (the antecedent for the pronoun). the antecedent is "one" (the phrase modifies "one" rather than "villains"). Most of the time the subject comes before the verb. birds.. At a Rolling Stones concert the crowd always sings along to "Satisfaction. nothing. as in the example above. and something. Dr. One signal of a delayed subject is the expletive "there" at the beginning of a sentence: 117 . however. check to see if the noun is "countable" (made of up of individual elements that can be counted). several. few. somebody. When the relative pronouns "which. Generally.. anything.number for a verb used with these indefinite pronouns. Agreement With Collective Nouns as Subjects. and many. everything. everyone. someone. Something is happening. 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." "who. each. In this sentence... No is just one of the villains who have come up against James Bond. Agreement When Subject-Verb Order is Inverted. but you don't know what it is.. Collective nouns used with a plural form of a verb tend to sound a bit awkward." is "villains. many go out and find it. but occasionally. Dorleen and Claire joined the volleyball team this semester. everybody. "the crew members hope. both. When word order is inverted. anyone. Some sit around and wait for happiness." and "that" are used in an adjective clause (relative clause). The antecedent for the pronoun "that" is "trees. Each of the new interns is assigned to work a twenty-four hour shift this week. or "uncountable" (not countable by individual elements). nobody. Agreement With "Which" "Who" and "That" as Subjects. the antecedent for the pronoun "who" in the adjective phrase "who have come against James Bond. Some indefinite pronuns are always plural: for example. In this sentence. Oddjob is the only one of the villains who throws a razor-edged hat as a weapon. and so the verb is singular.
even when there is a plural subject in the title: The Twin Towers was an important New York City landmark. there is little I can do to help them. building. Her dogs are her protection. the number of the verb should correspond to the number of the subject and not the predicate nominative. Her protection is her dogs. Everyone þÿ to in the class _____ the find: video to be entertaining. If Jenny and Mark won't listen. Make the subject and the verb in each sentence below agree by writing the correct form of the verb provided (in PRESENT tense) in the text box. institution. ______ it is a good idea. when a phrase is referred to in terms of the language itself. 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...When your parents get home. 3. When a title of a book. 2.. film. Often the subject appears between parts of a verb phrase. with the exception of Tiffany. to 118 need: . When linking two nouns with a linking verb. there is going to be trouble over the broken vase.. Terms of Endearment is a sad film. 1. as in "Has she arrived yet?" The subject must match the first auxilliary verb (first verb form) in number. Agreement When the Verb is a Linking Verb. In addition. or work of art is the subject of a sentence. it should be treated as a singular subject. 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. þÿ 4. to feel: All of the people at the party. Each þÿ to of the options be: _____ unacceptable. Word order is also inverted in questions.
Time þÿ to _______ pass: quickly. to move: In an earthquake furniture ______ around. The þÿ to team ___ going to be: play on Saturday. Three-fourths þÿ to of the cake be: _____ gone. 12. 119 . Neither þÿ to of the hotel rooms be: _______ available. so be sure to strap heavy objects down. 6. Success þÿ to ________ reward: hard work. The þÿ to wind and fog _______ reduce: the mosquito problem. þÿ 5. Two þÿ to bottles of wine be: ____ enough. 10. 13. 7. 14. 11.Everyone. My þÿ to aunt as well as my be: cousin _______ single. ______ to do more to recycle. 8. Another þÿ to of my brothers live: ________ in Florida. 9. including the people of conservation-conscious California.
to time and enough money
make: _____ a great vacation!
to or Audrey ________
know: where to find him.
to dog with the white spots and the pointy
sleep: ears _________ all the time.
to testimony that she gave before the
be: court _____ unbelievable.
The president, as well as the cabinet members, ______ no time for sleep these days.
to president and the cabinet members ________
have: no time for sleep these days.
Make the subject and the verb in each sentence below agree by writing the correct form of the verb provided (in PRESENT tense) in the text box. 1. to find: Everyone in the Answer Result: Correct answer: finds 2. Each of Answer Result: Correct answer: was 3. class _____ the given: video to be entertaining. Incorrect to the options given: be: _____ unacceptable. Incorrect to feel:
All of the people at the party, with the exception of Tiffany, ______ it is a good idea. Answer given: 120
Result: Correct answer: feel 4. to need:
Everyone, including the people of conservation-conscious California, ______ to do more to recycle. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: needs 5. to reward: Success Answer Result: Correct answer: rewards 6. The wind and Answer Result: Correct answer: reduce 7. Neither of Answer Result: Correct answer: is 8. the ________ given: Incorrect to fog _______ given: reduce: the mosquito problem. Incorrect to hotel rooms given: be: be: _______ available. Incorrect to hard work.
My aunt as well as my cousin _______ single. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: is Feedback for this answer: the answer is "is" because the subject of the sentence is "my aunt." The phrase "as well as my cousin" should be treated as a modifier, additional information, but not as an addition to the subject. 9. to be: Two bottles Answer Result: Correct answer: are 10. Another of Answer Result: Correct answer: lives 11. Three-fourths Answer Result: Correct answer: is of my of wine given: live: brothers given: Incorrect to the given: Incorrect cake be: _____ gone. ________ in Florida. ____ enough. Incorrect to
12. The team Answer Result: Correct answer: is 13. Time Answer Result: Correct answer: passes 14. ___
to going to given:
be: play on Saturday. Incorrect
to _______ given: to
pass: quickly. Incorrect move:
In an earthquake furniture ______ around, so be sure to strap heavy objects down. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: moves 15. to make: Enough time and Answer Result: Correct answer: make 16. enough money given: _____ a great vacation! Incorrect to ________ given: Incorrect sleep: and the pointy given: ears _________ all the time. know: where to find him.
Jenny or Audrey Answer Result: Correct answer: knows 17. to The dog with the Answer Result: Correct answer: sleeps 18. The testimony Answer Result: Correct answer: is 19. white spots
Incorrect to she gave before the given: be: court _____ unbelievable. Incorrect to have:
The president, as well as the cabinet members, ______ no time for sleep these days. Answer given: Result: Incorrect Correct answer: has 20. to have: The president and Answer Result: Correct answer: have the cabinet members ________ given: no time for sleep these days.
Clear sentences Parallel Structure Lesson By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
o o o o o
Recognize faulty parallels in their writing. Balance parallel items in a series using conjunctions Create parallel structure between phrases and clauses Use parallelism to create coherence and balance in writing Use the principles of parallel structure to organize an essay and develop a thesis
What is Parallel Structure? Parallelism means using the same pattern of words to show that two or more elements in the sentence have the same level of importance. A good writer uses parallelism to create clear and concise sentences, and also to reduce the work that the reader must do to understand the author's meaning. For example, Doris went shopping and bought a pair of high heels, a new CD and a new pair of glasses. Because each item on Doris' list is presented in the same form, the reader perceives that each item is of equal importance. If, on the other hand, the sentence were to read as follows, the reader would have difficulty following the writer's ideas: Doris went shopping and bought a pair of high heels, a new CD, and she found a new pair of glasses. Here, the balance is thrown off and the sentence becomes more difficult for the reader to process. Having parallel structure becomes even more significant when two or more ideas are to be presented as having equal importance; for example, Dorothy survived a tornado, crash-landed in a foreign land, travelled across a vast countryside, and defeated an evil witch. With parallel structure, the reader can quickly process information and see relationships between ideas. Strong writers use parallel structure to organize words, phrases, clauses, and even whole essays to guide readers through their ideas. 123
then all elements should be nouns. All items in a series should have the same structure to help the reader quickly process information. nouns. and verbs) It is important to note that one need not make all elements in a series exactly parallel.. the sentence will sound awkward and out of balance. and desperate.. (parallel elements are adjectives. follow the trunk line to each of the branches directly. Joe and Jerry disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band headed to Florida. An easy way to check for parallel structure in a piece of writing. frightened.org) Note that only one of the parallel nouns ("vocalist" and "player") is accompanied by an adjective ("ukulele"—an adjective here because it modifies the noun "player") When items in a series do not have the same form. who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929. and daring for its time. Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). if one element is a noun. the band's ukulele player and vocalist. and each parallel item as a branch off that trunk. and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises. and so forth. well-written. (all parallel elements are adjectives) Some Like It Hot tells the story of two musicians. if one element is a verb. (adapted from Wikipedia. then all elements should be adjectives.Revising to create parallel structure. 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). whether that structure is between words. then all elements should be verbs. Consider the following problematic sentences and their corrections: 124 . (parallel elements are proper nouns) Broke. is to think of the core idea in the structure as the trunk of a tree. clauses.. checking to ensure that the trunk connects strongly (and correctly) to each branch as illustrated in the diagram below: Parallel Words. once you find the trunk. when all elements are nouns. or paragraphs in an essay. If one element is an adjective.. for instance. Take a look at the examples below: The film Some Like it Hot is funny. The reader is forced to do much more work to figure out the author's meaning than is fair. phrases.
Joe and Jerry join an all-girl band. the sentence will be illogical. if one item is a relative clause. article. while others began with nouns. not because he wanted to be artistic. and going to school.) Parallel Phrases and Clauses. shoes. each element begins with a verb. When revising your work. to work. (parallel infinitive phrases) Director Billy Wilder filmed Some Like it Hot in black and white.. The initial items are going to govern every item in the series. mimics Cary Grant. Corrected: She hates studying. appropriate use of prepositions. then every item should be prepositional phrase. but because a greenish tint in Lemmon's and Curtis' heavy make-up could not be hidden on color film. unless you write the appropriate item into each phrase: Faulty On her first day at work. and going to school. and her favorite briefcase. Parallel structure is created by joining the first two wardrobe elements into a single element. Parallel: Parallel: 125 . Corrected: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's atttention: He wears a white sport-coat and captain's cap. mimics Cary Grant's accent. working. otherwise. hat. Parallel: Faulty Parallel: Joe comes up with a second disguise to get Sugar's attention: He wears a white sportscoat.Faulty Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and security. (parallel subordinate clauses) Marilyn Monroe had two big problems during filming: remembering her lines and hiding her pregnancy. modifier.. Thelma wore a new dress. If one item in a series is a prepositional phrase. if one item in a series is a verb phrase (beginning with an -ing or -ed verb). and easy to read.. Phrases and clauses also need to be parallel if the sentence is to be logical.. balanced. a captain's cap. Consider the following examples demonstrating good parallel structure: To escape the mob and to solve their financial problems. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. and claims to be the heir of Shell Oil. (parallel verbal phrases) Common Trouble Spots. 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. then every item in the series should be a verbal phrase. Corrected: Sugar is only interested in dating millionaires and finding security. but she loves partying. In the previous version. some elements began with verbs. but she loves partying. articles. then every item should be a relative clause. and modifiers with each item in a series: Be very careful to ensure that the preposition. or auxialliary verb is appropriate to each item in a series. Shifts in phrase type create confusion: Faulty She hates to study. (In this version.
Robert A. . Answer given: Shifts A shift is a confusing change in person. interpreting dreams. Part 1 Using the topic below. identify and correct shifts in verb tense. Answer given: In the beginning of the novel. it is kind of like wearing two different shoes. the gypsy shuffled the deck. or cheerful. mood. He then runs away with a traveling circus. verb tense. Answer given: At the carnival. change. . shoes. is classified as a human by birth. write a short paragraph with good parallel structure in the space provided. and hat. Its plot is appealing. Heinlein's classic Stranger in a Strange Land has captivating characters. and the prominence of the mounts. and was laying out a selection of ten cards from which the client was supposed to choose three. Answer given: Some critics of fortune-telling suggest that trained psychologiests could also notice personal traits such as nervousness. voice. Answer given: Gypsies are famous for their traditions of fortune-telling by reading Tarot cards. Answer given: The protagonist continues on his quest to understand human behavior by reading all of the books he can. —and proofreading your writing to ensure that this consistency is maintained. and mood. or number. voice. person. the protagonist kills people innocently. cut the cards. person. Answer given: The protagonist of the novel. and number in their writing. Michael Valentine Smith. The key is consistency—of voice. concise sentence in which parallel elements appear in parallel structures. Answer given: Palm readers examine lines on the palm. and carried her favorite briefcase. But he is also considered Martian becaues his birthplace was on Mars. which would also let them make reasonable predictions about a client's future. Make a list of things you hate then transform the list into a short paragraph (or a couple of sentences). and they also look into crystal balls. Your reader looks at your writing to be dressed one way. fingers and their lengths. verb tense. but elements of the sentence just don't fit. You will have to add.Corrected: On her first day at work. Later in the novel he becomes a minister. There may be more than one possible answer. Earthly laws are not understood by him. In this module students will learn to . adn rearrange words. Answer given: Part 2 Combine each of the sets of sentences below into a single. Thelma wore a new dress. mood. 126 . that someone was lonely. delete.
Occasionally. But sometimes. Correct: Though I admire her persistence. Active Voice A sentence is said to be in active voice when the subject performing the action is emphasized: John visited the Smithsonian Institute on his last trip to Washington D.C. it is too small. humankind. writers slip up and shift tense when there should be no shift. and to make writing energetic. cake was by be made a by democratic tasted by all Marla. 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. Correct: Last semester. The way to avoid inappropriate shifts in verb tense is to visualize the actions described: Does one event really occur before another. "And" suggests simultaneous actions) Incorrect: I liked him because he always says what Correct: I like him because he always says what he thinks.Shifts in Verb Tense A verb tense shift is a shift in time. (I continue to admire her persistence) Incorrect: The wind died down and the waves roll gently. (the suit continues not to fit) is too small. Consider the emphasis in these active and passive sentences: Passive: The Active: Marla made the cake. 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. 127 . as when one describes an event that takes place before another event: At the first Fall concert. Passive: The bitter cup of destiny must Active: All humankind must taste the bitter cup of destiny. Incorrect: Though I admired her persistence. government. or are they simultaneous? Apply this technique in the following sentences: Incorrect: The suit didn't fit me. he thinks. Problems arise. Most often writers use active voice in order to emphasize agency—a subject performing some action. it Correct: The suit doesn't fit me. writers want to emphasize the object in a sentence rather than a subject's actions. from present to past. and is still improving. Correct: The football team is good. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. (Inadequate transition provided. I had more homework in math than I have in all my other classes combined. however. and is still improving. (I continue to like him) Shifts in Voice: Passive vs. or past to future tense. the choir will sing a few spirituals that they learned over the summer. Sometimes such shifts make perfect sense. I cannot tolerate her bad sportsmanship. as in the following sentence: Incorrect: The football team was good.C. however. Correct: The wind died down and the waves rolled gently. Incorrect: Last semester. I had more homework in math than in all my other classes combined. for example. Passive: Equality is encouraged Active: Democratic governments encourage equality. and readers are captivated from beginning to end.
but as you get older. 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. Incorrect: If one reads The Harry Potter books. I never would have made it this far. such shifts are common. A sentence in the indicative mood is a statement of fact. you get a lot wiser. Note: In general. In writing. it is very common to see an "if" clause. "I was" becomes "I were. One source of shifts in number is an indefinite pronoun such as "anyone" or "none" or "all. Incorrect: I used to think school wasn't important. who have emotional moods—joyful. melancholy. there are two moods: indicative and subjunctive. for example. therefore. It is not correct to write "If I was rich. These shifts confuse the reader and break the coherence and unity of your writing. Shifts in Mood Mood in sentences is not like mood in people. . or doubtful. A sentence in the subjunctive mood indicates that something is conditional." Take a look at the following sentences in the subjunctive mood: If I were rich. These mistakes are considered shifts in mood. Correct: I used to think school wasn't important." "She. The personal "you" is a bit too informal and too direct for academic writing. Incorrect: We had better arrive early because you never know Correct: We had better arrive early because we don't know what might happen. but as I get older. lazy. . or vice versa is a definite no-no. . they would discover that the books are far better than the films." "He. etc. especially when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase such as "of us" or "of the students. hypothetical. In addition. I am getting wiser. If they were not so kind. irritable." "One" "People" "Anyone" "Persons" etc.Correct: Patrick O'Brien writes exciting stories of life on board the tall sailing ships of the Royal navy in the early 19th century. Correct: If fans of the Harry Potter films would read the Harry Potter books. captivating readers from beginning to end. I would have been deeply embarrassed. where he discovered that the teacher had cancelled class." and "It was" becomes "it were. I would buy a ranch far away from everybody. they will discover that the books are far better than the films. or "If I was you . because in everyday speech. where it was discovered that the teacher had cancelled class. etc. it is better to avoid "you" constructions altogether in academic writing. in the subjunctive mood. Shifts in Number A shift from singular to plural. . Correct: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class. In a sentence in the subjunctive mood. It is common for students to shift person in written sentences." 128 . If it were not for you. an assertion. what might happen. Incorrect: Jake was running late this morning and had to run to get to his first class.
or their parents for them. other men only in one particular channel. Answer given: 3. however. 1901. it becomes young men. What is a disconnected modifier? Lets look at a few examples of sentences with disconnected modifiers: 129 ." Now." Most of the descriptive modifiers call the reader's attention to the handbag. The deck is crowded with people. They find out that the prow of the ship is damaged. The masts of the ship were down. Without modifiers our sentences would be pretty bare. Review the paragraph you just wrote for any instances of passive voice. Why did you choose to use or not use passive voice in your paragraph? Answer given: Disconnected Modifiers What is a modifier? A modifier is any word or phrase in a sentence that describes or “modifies” some other word in a sentence.Incorrect: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because they have had excellent training. from How to Become a Successful Engineer. Write a paragraph about a time when you turned out to be wrong about someone or something. have evidently "nothing in them. revise the verb tense shifts in the paragraph." And "last" is an adjective describing "night. The furious lightning tears the sky and the thunder roars. Everybody was horror-stricken. it is therefore saiad of such a man that he has a particular talent for such and such a trade. letting readers know which one as well as how Ann felt about the bag. All men are not alike endowed with natural talent and ability. 1. The sky is murky and the wind is blowing hard. for example. is doing their best. he may exhibit a greater aptitude than for others. unifying time as past or present. The storm rages on furiously for about an hour. Almost any man with the ordinary capacity for instruction can be taught to do certain things. the one she always carries. In the sentence below. When it quiets down a little the sailors look to see if the ship is damaged very badly. For some of these. The storm was so bad that it is indescribable. as we believe that every man endowed with reason at all has "something in him. "Always" is an adverb describing the verb "carries. and to all appearance. Incorrect: Every student Correct: All of the students are doing their best. Modifiers add descriptive information to a sentence and call the reader's attention to what the writer feels is important. Answer given: Revise the following paragraph so that it is free of gender bias. The tempestuous waves dash up on the side of the ship." however latent the talent may be. by Bernard Stuart. while many other men may be said to possess scarcely any. 2." The sentence also includes a descriptive appositive phrase: "the one she always carries. making sure your writing is free from shifts and does not contain any gender bias. to set about discovering in what direction such talent lies. —some men possessing it in a very general way. Correct: Anyone is capable of being the next manager because each of them has had excellent training. was stolen last night. In the distance I see the port. "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). Answer given: 4. we find several modifiers: Ann's favorite black handbag.
the sentence verb(s). The matador stared at the bull. deadly as rattlesnakes. And for this reason. as with finding most any sentence level mistake. and that you will need to engage in a seek-and-destroy mission to find them out. these sentences are much easier to follow: To make sure there would be enough for everyone. Such disconnects cause the reader to stumble a bit trying to follow the logic of the sentence.. While I was waiting for the bus. We will look at all of these scenarios next. small-bodied. Instead. there was a traffic accident right in front of me. In the sentence above. they are concerned with organizing their thoughts and developing their ideas rather than with correct grammatical expression of those ideas. (William Faulkner is renowned for layering modifiers in his sentences to produce great depth of meaning with little forward movement in the action of the story. “Amanda” is the subject in this sentence. i. as can sentences with limiters like "only" and "sometimes. calling attention to what the writer thinks is important or needs further description. Matt is coming with us to the movies along with Allison. The sweat pouring down his face. How do problems with modifiers arise? Typically. Consider the following sentence: "Calico-coated. too. They also know where to look for mistakes." and the phrase on TV tonight. the sweat pouring down his face. the one who performs the action of the sentence (Amanda “wants”). your reader will. Scan each sentence to locate the core of the sentence: i." 130 . 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.. Revised to connect the modifiers to their logical subjects. While waiting for the bus. gaudy motionless and alert. to get stuck. with delicate legs and pink faces in which their mis-matched eyes rolled wild and subdued. Paul ordered three pizzas. even experienced writers make sentence mistakes. is to be suspicious of your own writing. Don't assume that because you understand your ideas.e. the matador stared at the bull. However. three pizzas were ordered. they huddled. and any direct or indirect objects so that any modifiers in the sentence become easy to identify.” Typically. experienced writers assume that their prose is going to need to be revised for correctness and that revision is a necessary part of writing. disconnected modifiers happen because when writers put their ideas on paper or a computer screen. modifiers in a sentence add information to one of the elements in the core sentence. assume that faulty sentences are hidden there in the text. The sentence verb is “wants” (what the subject is doing). the subject. I saw a traffic accident right in front of me. wild as deer.To make sure there would be enough for everyone. and to lose track of the overall meaning of the writer’s text. How does one identify and correct a disconnected modifier? The first step in finding disconnected modifiers. Give it a try in the following sentence: Amanda wants to watch that new show on TV tonight.e. Matt and Allison are coming with us to the movies. Sentences written in passive voice can be a source of trouble. quiet as doves. also to modify "show" (telling us when the show is on)." or sentences that begin with long modifiers. The direct object of the sentence is actually the whole phrase “to watch that new show on TV tonight. the writer calls our attention to what Amanda wants to watch by adding several modifiers: the adjectives that and new to modify "show. or worse. though occasionally modifiers add information to other modifiers rather than to the core (see note below).
Typical Trouble Spots • tapes. As you come across the bridge.” The sentence is longer. General transitional phrases like “in conclusion. Make sure that the phrase actually modifies the word next to it. the modifier implies a person who makes a response.” “regarding. in the sentence “In terms of your letter. One source of trouble is misplacement of a modifier. and confusion results when modifiers are in another place in the sentence. Not so clear. Here are a few more examples of sentences with dangling modifiers and their possible solutions: My French improved dramatically by listening to the French language corrected: My French improved dramatically after I listened to the French language tapes. The opening modifier "when buying a new cell phone" suggests a person as the subject (people buy cell phones).” etc.” “from what I can see. concert in in the my mile car. under.Misplaced modifiers Things go wrong when modifiers are not well connected to their subjects. Watch out for shifts from active to passive voice between an opening modifier and the rest of the sentence. consumers should consider many factors.” the introductory phrase points vaguely to a letter. Consider the above sentence with a modifier presented out of place: On TV tonight. The modifier should be next to “new show” to make the sentence logical. Here are a few more examples of misplaced modifiers: Isaac went to the REM corrected: Isaac went in my car to the REM concert. Amanda wants to watch that new show.” “thus. The rule is that modifiers should be placed next to the word they modify. correcting this disconnect is “In response to your question about my coming to visit. and the subject of the sentence is a person. the subject of the modifier in this sentence is “many factors. race. the reader expects writers to follow the rule. if not. but much more logical. it appears as if the writer is saying Amanda is on TV tonight. I have to say that I am not sure when I can come. A better sentence. many factors should be considered. you pass under two main towers. Rochelle almost beat everyone in the class corrected: Rochelle beat almost everyone in the class in the mile race. however.” “in terms of. get rid of the phrase (often these phrases are unnecessary anyway) and rewrite the sentence another way. right? With placement of the modifier “on TV tonight” next to Amanda. Take a look at the following example: When buying a new cell phone." That combination is not logical: factors do not buy cell phones. I don’t know when I will be coming to visit. For example. Dangling modifiers Another problem with modifiers arises when the modifier refers to a subject that is not actually named in the sentence. 131 • . and the rest of the sentence points to the writer’s thoughts about that letter. 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. are often used improperly. Such modifiers are said to be “dangling” because like a dangling thread in a blanket. they are not woven into the fabric of the sentence. there are two main towers corrected: As you come across the bridge. you pass Use of passive voice can lead to modifier problems (as in the last example in the previous section).
Going out through the front door. When sleeping at night. Answer given: 5. You may prefer to copy and paste the paragraph into a word processor for editing and then paste the finished. 11. then run it through the dryer. revised paragraph into the text box. When a boy. Houghton Mifflin. When I wake up in the morning. 1. correcting any dangling or misplaced modifiers. Answer given: 2. Justin likes to go to a really expensive restaurant. the first thing we see is the Patterson Diner. Out of the dryer. Dickens' father was sent to prison for debt. Approaching the town from the ocean. Answer given: 4. The ocean breeze chilled us through. till the sun is well above the horizon. 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. you will not even be able to tell that the stain was there. after having been in the heat in the city just a few hours earlier. a expensive salad. Answer given: Rewrite the following paragraph. Passing through the different cities. the kids laughing as they help their mother with the dishes are noticed for the first time. Answer given: 9. Answer given: 8. When tucked into bed. a busy scene meets our eyes. the salaries should be identical. the annual rodeo was held. Rewrite each sentence below to correct any dangling or misplaced modifiers. Wash out your shirt with soap and cold water. I often lie in bed for an hour. restaurant. Dickens always remembered this time as the happiest days of his life. Answer given: 6. And paying attention to the sounds immediately inside the house. or Maria wants only a salad. Consider the ambiguity in the sentence below: Wrong: Maria only wants Right: Only Maria wants a salad. 132 . Last summer while spending a few weeks in Wyoming. the family moved to Chatham. Gerhard Richard. Answer given: 10. After we rise and have coffee and eggs. A rug adds to the warmth of the cabin and also deadens the sound when walking around the room. doing nothing except enjoying the peace of the morning. • Long modifiers at the beginning or end of a sentence can be a source of trouble. Wrong: Justin occasionally likes to go to a really Right: Occasionally. so many striking things about the forest are seen that it is difficult to determine what to attend to. When doing the same work. Our mule brays out in the pen. The cabin is snug and sound. The birds sing somewhere deep in the forest. Answer given: 3. Seattle is the most active. the breeze gently enters through the numerous open windows. Answer given: Adapted from Lomer.• Problems can arise with placement of limiting modifiers between subject and verb. The Study and Practice of Writing English. my fears went away. When a few years old. 1914. Answer given: 7. Be sure to check the subject implied by the modifier against the actual subject the modifier refers to.
and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. and of hearing that he was universally liked. one by one. for example with the coordinating conjunctions "and" and "so. on a gently sloping eminence. above which. Darcy. was assembled a merry party of little folks. without knowing what she did. and the mood behind our thoughts." A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. Charlotte tried to console her. and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes. our sentences should also be varied. As yet. compound sentences. complex sentences. with a tall youth in the midst of them. and was in conversation with her. Using sentence structures effectively to reflect our thoughts and feelings takes practice and and appreciation of how form relates to perception. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. In this module. and to use sentence variety effectively to communicate their thoughts to a reader: • • • • • coordination and subordination cumulative sentences length transitional expressions colons & semicolons Hawthorne. one fine autumnal morning. To reflect this variety of thought. 1852. she accepted him. His thoughts ebb and flow. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. Nathanial. that. Notice how coordination is used in the following passage from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. inquisitive and full of wonder. He walked away again immediately." Notice how he varies his sentences to create a distinctive mood: BENEATH the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood. Take a look at the following passage by Nathanial Hawthorne from "Tanglewood Porch. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. however. the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley. students will learn to use the techniques below to create sentence variety in their writing. and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures. They had planned a nutting expedition. Subordination: 133 . and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. or terse and even irritable. to show a quick succession of events: She danced next with an officer. can be quick and inspired. drawing the reader into the scene. the mansion stood. There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and comfortable world. "Tanglewood Porch. Coordination and Subordination Coordination: Coordination between clauses and between sentence verbs. (Hawthorne) Hawthorne uses a variety of sentence forms in this paragraph— periodic and loose sentences. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas.Sentence Variety Objectives: Our thoughts." allows writers to show thoughts or actions which follow one another. rambling and reflective.
Shortly after Strong had quitted the room. Take a look at the same passage from Pride and Prejudice used above. Darcy. while she and Adam sat at breakfast there--came twinkling through the branches of the peartree. When those dances were over she returned to Charlotte Lucas. which made him look ridiculous in the eyes of the nation. who took her so much by surprise in his application for her hand. There were chairs and plates for three. having long ago lost its handle. The House of Seven Gables. . or the relationships of events in time. and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham. The reader looks forward to the fulfillment of an expectation. and of hearing that he was universally liked. as in the following sentences: Without hesitating or looking back at his mom. which had still further insulted his dignity. . 134 Prejudice. How to Use Coordination and Subordination for Variety: For more information on writing sentences using coordination and subordination. All was now ready. Hawthorne uses phrases to elaborate on the scene and slow the forward action. noticing how the subordinate clauses slow down the actions and elaborate on the scene: By way of contributing what grace she could. greatly irate at his downfall in the waltz.—whilst he was really trying to compose himself. possessing either scent or beauty.Allows writers to show the connections between thoughts and events. They are rarely used in speech. Jane." Use periodic sentences infrequently in your writing.--but what other guest did her cousin look for? (Hawthorne) In addition to subordinate clauses. They ask a reader to reflect on an idea or even in greater depth before moving on. 1813. how to use phrases is discussed in the sections on periodic and loose sentences.--the same for Phoebe. The early sunshine--as fresh as that which peeped into Eve's bower. but it is still correct grammar. and she was left to fret over her own want of presence of mind. she accepted him. that. Phoebe gathered some roses and a few other flowers. Periodic Sentences: Sometimes writers want to create suspense in writing. Jason got on the bus. being about the length of a paragraph. was endeavoring to get some coolness of body and temper by looking out of the window towards the sea. 1851. when she found herself suddenly addressed by Mr. this time noticing the subordinating conjunctions Austen uses to show the way events and thoughts are interconnected: She danced next with an officer. and arranged them in a glass pitcher. perhaps that he had acted in a very absurd and peevish manner during the night. please read the lesson in the Coordination & Subordination module. —he felt a hand on his shoulder . Charlotte tried to console her. as English speakers typically prefer the loose sentence style. for example. without knowing what she did. Pen. was so much the fitter for a flower-vase. Adding phrases and/or subordinate clauses to the front of a sentence allows us to create this effect. Consider the following description of breakfast preparations in Nathanial Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables. He walked away again immediately. or set the stage for an action to occur. (Austen) Subordinate clauses tend to slow down the forward momentum of actions or a sequence of ideas. (Thackeray) The second sentence is an extreme example. and fell quite across the table. Austen. The sentence begins with a series of subordinate clauses and phrases that create the background information—the frame of mind of the main character—for the action that will occur:f "he felt a hand on his shoulder. and so periodic sentences stand out in your writing. and was in conversation with her. Pride and Hawthorne. and murmuring in a wonderful calm. A chair and plate for Hepzibah. Nathanial. which was sparkling in the distance. and by Miss Amory's behavior to him. the twists and turns of cause and effect. . general and specific versions of experience. which. and whilst Mr. and owning to himself.
indulging in flowered waistcoats.—any store that ever received a penny of our money. like an exorcised spirit that had been driven from its old haunts. can get boring. William Makepeace. etc. five feet ten in height. verbal phrases add detail about what is happening during this action. a memory. We receive dozens of catalogs every week from companies like Pottery Barn. after a mighty struggle. Bed Bath and Beyond. The sentence verb in the main clause declares the action of the sentence. blue eyes. The Financier) How to Create a Loose Sentence: idea 1: repeat a word that was mentioned in the main clause as the beginning of a modifying phrase. Once you learn the techniques. Hold Everything." for example. and so in written texts. (Hawthorne." We use verbal phrases to indicate simultaneous actions.How to Write a Periodic Sentence: Several techniques for creating modifiers are discussed in the next section on "Loose Sentences. however. unctuous. "running very fast" or "confused by the instructions. humiliating speech when he forgot half the material. loose sentences are easy for readers to follow. (Dreiser. hoping that today would be a better day than yesterday. and wandered up and down. The History of Pendennis. Cowperwood's—Seneca Davis by name—solid. and then modifying phrases and clauses are tacked onto the end of the sentence. Gabe walked up to the front of the class to give his presentation. with a big. For example. She had a wonderful sense of humor. for example. Too many loose sentences in a row. causing the reader to refer back to the main point. you can decide on the most effective placement. as in the following sentence: Slowly. "Haunted. A verbal phrase includes a verb form—a verb ending in -ing or -ed that is not the sentence verb. 1848. so as always. Loose sentences are common in speech in English. 135 . and "ed" verbals indicate an action that happens to the subject. suggests that some outside force is acting upon the subject. and what little hair he had of a sandy hue. J. Garnet Hill. A Blithedale Romance) He was a brother of Mrs. idea 2: use a noun phrase to rename something discussed in the main clause and begin a modifier with this phrase. round body. and the invariable (for a fairly prosperous man) high hat. For example. Loose Sentences Loose sentences are the opposite of periodic sentences: the main clause appears at the beginning of the sentence. haunted by the memory of his last. smooth head rather bald. a round.C. long. light-colored frock-coats. idea 3: use a verbal phrase. a clear. so that sometimes I would not get that she was telling a joke until a minute or two after she told it. It is useful to note that "ing" verbals indicate an action that is being performed by the subject. "Hoping" happens while she walks out the door. She walked out the front door. Thackeray. He was exceedingly well dressed according to standards prevailing in those days. for example. ruddy complexion. Below are examples of loose sentences: I betook myself away. Penney." These techniques are the same for modifiers used at the beginning of a sentence. it is important to vary your patterns. a humor that was a bit satirical and a bit dry at times. perhaps.
" punctuate the sentence. For more information. 1852 Vary Length & Style Financier. Use Transitional Expressions Transitional expressions signify the relation between ideas. such as "John woke at 6:00 a. He ate breakfast without appetite.m. Nathanial. And the short sentences. idea 5: use a combination of phrases.m. She believed in being honest above all else. His mood took a turn for the worse. The second paragraph ebbs and flows. leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart. Dreiser. the meeting that would decide if the company died or became successful beyond imagination. as when one gets sleepy driving down an unvarying freeway late at night. the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed--love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. as in the following example: John woke up at 6:00 a. They can also help writers vary the opening structures of sentences. Also note that the repetition is of a key word in the first modifying phrase rather than the main clause. the more you tell your reader that it is important. His mood took a turn for the worse. 1912. forget it forever." "with. The modifying phrases allow the author to add information that fills in the scene. . Suddenly. Hesitating at the door. He remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. We cleaned the house before picking up mom at the airport. Notice that Faulkner uses a verbal phrase ("leaving . Just remember. providing background information. Some useful transitional expressions are shown below. The Hawthorne. Varying the length and style of sentences keeps readers awake. It is easy for readers get familiar with a sentence pattern. . as a drummer punctuates a drum rhythm. either showing the subject's thoughts. Compare the above paragraph with the following one that uses a variety of sentence styles and sentence length: John woke at 6:00 a. teaching himself that. ") to begin a phrase. He dressed slowly and ate breakfast without any appetite. Subordinating Conjunctions: 136 . "). 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 went to work full of dread. He walked out the front door without looking back. John dressed slowly. his heart full of dread. This technique is very effective for refining ideas. temporal. and the repetition of a key word ("truths . For example." "after. however. One pattern in particular—the simple sentence presented with few (or no) modifying phrases—can get really boring. or suggesting simultaneous actions. . he summoned his courage and went to work.idea 4: use a prepositional phrase. explore the module on subordination. that the more space you devote to a topic." and "before" establish spatial. The Blithedale Romance. he remembered that today was the day of his big meeting. . Theodore.m. so familiar that they start falling asleep. Prepositions such as "without. or logical relationships between ideas. Do not feel that you need to stop at one phrase if you have more to say.
and Leutze allowed us to gaze at the cartoon of his great fresco. although. It is by his poetry that Milton is best known. in the same way. though. have not been silenced. before. nevertheless. as. even if. moreover summary: in sum. Answer given: 4. as only a man of true genius can speak of his own works. even though. (Hawthorne. despite. one verbal phrase." 1. his look grew kindly and genial (not that it had ever been in the least degree repulsive. The crowd hurries toward home along the streets. Because she is loyal and brave. the sun sets. even though. when Sentence Adverbs: effect: consequently. regardless addition: in addition. Jason took out the trash. except upon sure ground of observation. The conversation ended. though. Deep red through the fog. similarity: accordingly. the matador stared at the bull. as if it were not his practice to vouchsafe any great warmth of greeting. Meanwhile the noble design spoke for itself upon the wall. after all. white with snow. as. and talked about it unaffectedly. unless time: after. Answer given: 2. on the whole time: meanwhile. eventually. "The matador. as long as. shortly. Soon. as soon as." Relocate the modifying phrase(s) in each sentence. Answer given: Add a modifying phrase or subordinate clause to the beginning of each of the following 5 sentences. Answer given: 3.cause: because. Answer given: 5. exception: however. similarly. though outvoted. but only reserved)." might become "Hoping to end the fight quickly. while. Answer given: 9. for example. however. Answer given: 8. indeed. in the first place. thus exemplification: for instance. Megan blacked out. "Chiefly About War Matters by a Reasonable Man. with keen and somewhat guarded eyes. provided that. stared at the bull. second. Brian loved to sail. hoping to end the fight quickly. Nathanial. 6. firstly. consequently. "Chiefly About War Matters") Hawthorne. so that concession: although. as though condition: even though. 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. since. For example. amplification: what is more. Answer given: 137 . Use at least one prepositional phrase. His detractors. we admire Ariella. on the other hand. afterward. whenever. first. if. as long as. Answer given: 7. and one subordinate clause.
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
be sure and call to let me know you have arrived safely. unless at the beginning of a clause describes a condition that would prevent something from happening..means no matter where: "Wherever we went. in other words. you will abide by my as soon as. you are welcome to come along.. 142 "Where" identifies the place . as rules. her head felt much better. even if unless Place where wherever Time "After refers to an event or action that occurs after another event or action has occured. 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. "As long as" is a slightly less formal version of "provided that. (after "a." Both subordinators are used to indicate a condition provided that. unless it is raining. Even if you were rich. you may have desert. we could find a MacDonald's. you are under arrest." . "Even if" points to particular conditions and means "whether or not." then "b"): after After you arrive in Hawaii. After Angela took the ibuprofen. Unless you can provide an alibi for your actions at 10:15 last night. Subordinating conjunctions: place and time if. I have to study for my biology exam tonight. "as long as" is used to emphasize a particular duration of time: As long as you live in this house." This subordinator is interesting in that it suggests a hypothetical situation as a condition.Even though I am exhausted. for something happening: as long as As long as you pay your own way. "Unless" is used to specify a negative condition. It is usually used with verbs in the present tense to discuss a future conditional: We will meet at the soccer field. I would not go out with you.
he apologized profusely." and also sometimes "if" and "when. It is not often used in introductory clauses: Bush said today that we will stay in Iraq till the war is won. "As" and "when" are used to describe short events: The phone rang as I was on my way out the door. you get wiser. I will be sure and call you. "Till" is similar to "until. or almost simultaneously: Just as she turned to yell at him for knocking her groceries out of her arms. you had better stop delivery on your newspaper. while. "While. I will be sure to visit you. (before "a" happens. when as. You cannot watch television until you clean your room. Whenever I drink red wine. I was home cleaning the house. I get a headache.before "Before" refers to an event or action that must occur before another event or action can take place. For example. whenever When I am in Berkeley. We also use "as" to show that one thing is the consequence of another: As you get older." "as. "Until" means up to the time. As I was printing out my notes for the meeting." and "when" indicate that things are happening simultaneously. When you called. till I didn't know who the bad guy was until the last scene of the movie. "b" must occur) Before you leave for Hawaii. until. If I need advice. 143 ." is used to indicate a repeated occurence of something when certain conditions arise. my boss called to tell me the meeting was cancelled. "While" is used to emphasize long duration: While you were out celebrating. "Whenever. I was in the tub. or until a certain event has taken place. We often use "just" in combination with "when" and "as" to describe events happening simultaneously." though less formal.
Thompson likes to knit when travelling on the train. Why are you in college? Answer given: What would you like to do after you finish school? Answer given: If you could go anywhere for summer vacation this year. Mrs." it is perfectly correct to leave out the subject and the "to be" verb form. where would you go and why? Answer given: Paragraphs Creating Unified Paragraphs In this module. Assignment Write a paragraph or two answering each question below using coordination and subordination to connect ideas effectively and create good rhythm in your writing.Note also that with "while" and "when. 144 . Students will also learn to revise their work to improve paragraph unity. students will learn to create unified paragraphs having strong topic sentences and supporting details that clearly relate to and develop the topic sentence. Proofread your paragraphs before you press the "submit" button to ensure that you have used coordination and subordination to good advantage. he listens to his iPod. as in the following sentences: While walking the dog.
it is easy to fall into the sequence trap. In narrative paragraphs. They are unsure how long a paragraph should be. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Coherence Module. Peanut. This controlling idea is usually declared in a topic sentence. wherein the writer focuses on a "this. Supporting sentences contribute information to help the reader see the validity of the controlling idea. with enough detail or explanation to make that thought clear to a reader. Rules govern the organization and development of paragraphs and provide useful checkpoints for revision: Unity: All sentences in a paragraph must be unified around a central point or controlling idea. a paragraph is the communication of a single assertion or thought.—that best illustrates the controlling idea. Coherence must also be created between paragraphs to help the reader make the transition from one paragraph to the next. For further instruction on paragraph coherence. the problem is similar: a writer may get caught up in describing aspects of something without having a sense of purpose. Every night the family eats dinner at the round wooden kitchen table where I usually notice a lingering scent of vanilla candles. and a new thought begins. then this" structure without any real point or purpose other than moving through events. or paragraphs in which a writer tells the story of events. Coherence: Sentences in a paragraph should progress logically to develop the controlling idea.What is a paragraph? Many beginning writers are not exactly sure what a paragraph should look like. Writers should select the type of details—description. and describes what he observes there. cause and effect. help create coherence. I frequently notice my aunt and uncle seated on one of their tan leather couches watching the news or Comedy Central. a descriptive paragraph that needs work for unity (the controlling idea is underlined): 145 . watching MTV. Unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs Creating unity in descriptive and narrative paragraphs can be difficult. Completeness: (or development) Enough specific supporting detail should be provided in the paragraph to make the controlling idea convincing. The family’s Jack Russell Terrier. 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. but it is difficult to tell what we are to make of these observations. and what logic controls the clustering of sentences together in a paragraph. I go into a small living room with a fireplace which almost always is vacant. This paragraph lacks a controlling idea. In descriptive paragraphs. when one paragraph should end and the next one begin. in the adjacent family room. A kitchen and large formal dining room are adjacent to the family room. narration. or viewing movies in the family room. For further instruction on paragraph development. A new paragraph begins when one thought is fully developed. it is easy to slip into plot summary. In brief. I also regularly find my cousins playing computer games. Like the living room. In a literature analysis essay. 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. Transitional expressions and patterns of development. recounting the "this. such as comparison and contrast. you may wish to complete the Paragraph Development Module. The writer narrates his entry into his aunt and uncle's home. What should the reader pay attention to? What is important here? It is the writer's job to create clear direction. for example. However. etc. then this" of the story being analyzed. the dining room rarely is used. often is perched on the couch begging for food or running around. comparison and contrast. instead of focusing on how aspects of the story support an interpretation.
” the train station is far from being rebuilt. and have a museum added. 146 . however. doesn't quite meet the expectations created by the topic sentence. 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. unified narrative and descriptive paragraphs. the City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate 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. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. With the recent failure of “Measure R. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. this idea does not fit. but as is. The writer focuses on a rationale for why the City of Novato should preserve the 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. With the recent failure of “Measure R. Speculating about what might bring about change is probably a worthwhile thing to do in this essay. The author describes the neglected site. Discussion Given the controlling idea as stated in the topic sentence. The first supporting sentence does support the main idea. The writer may choose to write another paragraph about why the site should be preserved. 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. it is beyond the scope of the controlling idea.” the train station is far from being rebuilt. take a look at a few strong. Maybe if passenger train service were to be implemented on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad track lines. This second supporting sentence. in this paragraph.The City of Novato has done little to preserve or even commemorate the old Novato Train Station. The topic sentence does not really lead the reader to expect this content. Now. and so meets the reader's expectations. a description of the state of disrepair of the train station would also be appropriate. Practice this process of analyzing each and every sentence in a paragraph to help you identify sentences that break the unity of your own paragraphs. the train station would be refurbished. and have a museum added. Sentence Unfortunately. the paragraph is not unified. The historical significance of this sight is immense and needs to be preserved for future generations. the train station would be refurbished. In the table below. or reshape the controlling idea here. Even though the idea here is closely related to the controlling idea of the paragraph this sentence does not belong in this paragraph.
engines. it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. Alternatively. sleeper cars. The cars are the city blocks. a unified descriptive paragraph: The train is like a small town on wheels. and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay. 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). Write a unified paragraph about the problems caused by giving kids cell phones before they are teenagers. Write a unified descriptive paragraph about a local park. pillows. And so forth. the analysis of cause and effect. etc. You may choose to write the paragraphs on a word processor and then copy and paste your finished work into the text boxes below. 1. body. Write a unified narrative paragraph about a time you turned out to be wrong about someone. The reduction in income caused the sale of my first home and initiated the cycle of unrest in my father. Answer given: The Expository Essay What is an Expository Essay? The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea. downtown street scene. a place he went when he wasn’t working. Always tip. Everyone has an address. it is your seat or compartment number. the stress and strain of running two companies and trying to have a family caused him to sell the businesses and return to retail. and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast. Answer given: 2. such as a farmer's market.) Wear shoes or lose a toe. Clear and logical transitions between the introduction. definition. Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument. example. 147 . my father found himself sleeping through the moments he was home. Fill out your meal card when you sit down in the dining car. He had no time to be with his family. towels. The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following: A clear. Without logical progression of thought. expound on the idea. Instead. Eventually. Figure out who you can ask for what. concise. Assignment Use the techniques for creating good paragraph unity that you have learned in this module to write paragraphs on the topics below. There is a hierarchy of staffing—just like a government. as Ward Cleaver did. You learn behavior by experience—like don’t fool around with the ticket packet—let them do it. Answer given: 1. His home was a place he stored his stuff. and the structure will collapse. If the student does not master this portion of the essay. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. and conclusion. dining cars. newspapers. and baggage cars. etc. The train has its own culture and rules. Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats. Find out what is free in your car (drinks. lounge cars. or a scene at a local event.a unified narrative paragraph: The home [my father] provided his family was not truly his. evaluate evidence.
students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation. an introductory paragraph 2. A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis. such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. 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. there would be a beginning. Evidential support (whether factual. however. and end to the conversation. you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay. a conclusion Contributors:Jack Summary: Baker. exposition. that is because it is. and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. If it sounds straightforward. This is. if I were to end the exposition in the middle of my second point. rather. Note: The Modes of Discourse: Description. middle. In fact. also known as the modes of discourse. It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. Therefore. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. Narration. or anecdotal). What is more. but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided. Often times. it is an art form nonetheless. logical.Body paragraphs that include evidential support. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an expository essay is the five-paragraph approach. Therefore. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. statistical. the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the Depression. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. Remember. and logically so. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. Exposition. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. narration. though you may not be crafting the next great novel. such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. the expository essay must be complete. Allen Brizee. Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. in fact. If I were to discuss the cause of the Great Depression and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. 148 . synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay. three evidentiary body paragraphs 3. have been criticized by some composition scholars. We hope these resources will help. therefore. the method consists of: 1. Although these genres. Argumentation (EDNA) The four genres of essays (description. 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. it must be effective and logical. A bit of creativity! Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.
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
the method consists of 1) an introductory paragraph 2) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and 3) a conclusion. The Five-Paragraph Essay A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. Longer Argumentative Essays Complex issues and detailed research call for complex and detailed essays. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. Many of these factors will be determined by the assignment. In the case of Hawaii. and so are called upon to engage deeply with the topic at hand. middle. leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. a vast array of wildlife. Which lines do the best job of capturing your interest? The tropical islands of Hawaii are known for beautiful sandy beaches. palm trees. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work. This is. Hawaii truly is a paradise.. tropical fruits. the sun warming your weightless body. review the main points. it is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii. however. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point.. The second introduction is far more effective at creating interest because of the numerous sensory and concrete details. Hawaii can still be paradise. and logically so. Restate why the topic is important. sources of information and their credibility. The very first job before you in an essay is to capture your reader's interest and attention.logical. the argumentative essay must be complete. İntroductions Opening Lines. questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time. In fact. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion. synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. there would be a beginning. This is the picture of a typical day in Hawaii. in fact. it would seem that any pleasures to be had at Hawaii's beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts would be spoiled by overcrowding. But this is not the case. rather. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding the topic. Consider these openings lines from three different essays about Hawaii. Therefore. The first introduction is the least interesting because it offers so many broad generalizations. 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. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. by no means the only formula for writing such essays. and end to the conversation. that is because it is. readers will rarely make a strong connection with the topic. sparkling sea. 153 . If it sounds straightforward. and review your thesis. but then surprises the reader by suggesting that in spite of this problem. A Complete Argument Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. More than 6 million people visit Hawaii each year. the travel brochures do not lie: Hawaii is paradise. that Hawaii would be too crowded for a satisfying vacation. The reader is engaged by the promise of unexpected and surprising information in the essay to follow. as well as a number of different opinions on the issue before concluding the essay. and a mixture of cultures. perfect weather. Readers are asked to picture themselves in the scene. With so many tourists on such a small land mass. Without a concrete image or idea.
And since you know your own idea intimately. like the freedom Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall. Don't include background material that does not have a direct bearing on your topic. Although 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. Broad generalities merely distract the reader and postpone what is really important in the essay (for example. it is possible to go to Hawaii and feel like you are way off the beaten path. Relevant background material: Be careful here. "Traveling is a fool's paradise. And by the 1940's. "Since the beginning of time. try to capture for your reader what drew you in and made you passionate about this topic. Ask yourself.How do you go about writing an introduction that is going to get your reader's attention? To start. in a short trip to Hawaii. Hawaii is the number one American tourist destination. under what conditions will my reader pick up this essay? Imagine your reader having a general interest in your topic. or loud music next door. In the early days. An interesting fact or statistic: This technique is used above. there are a few specific strategies that you may adopt. sparkling sea. Hawaii is anything but indifferent. Today. put yourself in the place of your reader. 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. shaping them to your own purposes: A short anecdote: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said." He was wrong. the sun warming your weightless body. but also distractions. and then assert a new approach or direction for your essay. or kids arguing. That said. You need to break through these distractions by providing a compelling reason to read. Paradise for many of us in the 21st century is having freedom from care and worry. no sound but the waves gently crashing against the shore and the soft rustling of the palm trees. Paradise can be found. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. if only temporarily. such as laundry needing to be done. A short narrative: This technique is also used above. the scent of the sea and of coconut oil tanning lotion floating on the breeze. A concession: Start with a commonly held belief or opinion. Hollywood films like "Waikiki Wedding" featuring scenes shot on location. tourists travelled to Hawaii aboard steamships to experience first hand the romantic beauty that had been popularized in Hawaiian songs of the teens. An analogy: 154 ." or "Throughout American history") Hawaii has been a popular tourist destination since the 1920's. More than 6 million tourists visit Hawaii every year. Try for a more extended definition that is keyed into your essay topic. and nothing to do but to enjoy the beauty and bounty of life and each other. Imagine yourself lying on a white sand beach before a vast. drew thousands more tourists to the growing number of hotels along Waikiki Beach.
g. ok. between you and the reader. write an introduction using an interesting quote to draw the reader in. A thesis is a promise." the reader will expect to be shown how one can experience paradise in Hawaii." You will have to take too many steps to get from such a broad generalization to your specific argument. for example. show me. for example. If. you could compare Hawaii to other destinations as family vacation spots. Some essays naturally fall into clear and equal divisions (e." the reader will expect to be shown why Hawaii is a great place for families to take a vacation..Some people desire a vacation to be like a non-stop rollercoaster ride. San Answer given: Francisco is 155 a great city. If you say. where the joy of the ride comes more from the scenery and new vistas. The argument is typically captured in a single sentence we call the "thesis sentence.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.. instead of going the extra distance to figure out what the argument actually is...Don't describe your writing or thinking process. the introduction should focus the reader's attention on what you will be arguing in the essay itself about your topic. 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.... What not to do. Once you have your thesis. .Don't over use rhetorical questions. "It is still possible to experience paradise in Hawaii.. Some writers find a clear question keeps them focused as they are developing their ideas. .Don't feel you must describe the structure of your essay in your thesis (unless your instructor requires such description). or within a theme tightly connected to your thesis. but I will do the best I can.. In addition to capturing the reader's interest and establishing the topic of your essay. you still have options for development with any thesis." detrract from your topic by redirecting the emphasis to you and your methods. Statements like "As I was exploring ideas for this topic. Instructors don't much like them because they are a often a kind of cop out. but the worst is our fast-food culture. Given the thesis below (or something similar)." "I am no expert on . the writer settles on a focusing question. and little time to catch one's breath. . than from heart-pounding new experiences. but others do not (e. on the other hand. "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. 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.g..") Assignment 1. full of excitement with a new thrill around every turn.... and/or you could describe the many different activities for families on the Hawaiian Islands. Moving into your thesis. . If you like working with rhetorical questions to help you stay focused. or contract. "There are three good methods for strengthening the body after muscle injury"). for example. . stay within your topic area. your thesis is "Hawaii is a wonderful place for a family vacation." or "Words are not enough to really explain. showing why Hawaii is the better choice. Instead... The reader takes in your words in the thesis and says. "Life without my husband was going to be difficult.. be sure to turn that question into a statement in your final draft. with this second thesis. Of course... Others prefer their vacations to be more like the ride on a ferris wheel." The diagram (right) helps illustrate the way an introduction should focus the reader's thought: The thesis as a promise.
identifying the purpose and audience is the first step in the writing process for most writers. or as best you can.2. 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. e-mail to friends. Answer given: 3.. how to gather ideas to write about. Although they may experience the rest of that process in different ways. write a conclusion in which you look to the future or provide an analogy. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. or as best you can. Remember to synthesize ideas in your essay (hypothetically. even successful writers often use these kinds of questions as a strategy for guiding and evaluating their progress at various points in the writing process. write an introduction using a short narrative or useful background material to draw the reader in. Relationships demand a lot of work. Objectives By the end of this unit. The truth is. Whatever the writing task. Given the thesis below (or something similar). significant idea).. job-related documents. By learning how to discover a topic worth writing about. San Answer given: Francisco is a great city. Thesis Development Discovering and Developing a thesis: Overview Love notes. sooner or later. 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 . essays for class. 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. 4. given that you did not actually write the essay). Given the thesis below (or something similar). or the next Great American Novel. Given the thesis below (or something similar). 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. and how to focus on a central theme or thesis (a specific. Relationships are a lot of work. write a conclusion posing a question or challenging your reader to action. given that you did not actually write the essay).
Below are typical action verbs used in writing assignments and their definitions: describe narrate discuss support explain define compare contrast argue illustrate to represent by providing a picture (with language) to tell a story to consider or examine. places. will generally write better essays. These authors have different takes on the severity of the problem. the actions are "describe.. etc.. places. Action verbs are key in writing assignments: what the instructor actually wants a student to do is carried in the verbs. After receiving assignments like these. and who pay close attention to the language of the assignment." In the second essay assignment. what the teacher most often wants is to hear what the student has learned. and the solutions." as well as "support" the argument with evidence. and how the student's thinking has evolved based on the reading. or We have read several essays on global warming by various scientists and global leaders. giving examples from the story. the causes. 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." and "give examples. the instructor asks students to "take a stand. Most students write their first essays in response to an instructor's assignment." "discuss. There is almost never a "right" answer a teacher is looking for in an essay." for example.) in terms of their likenesses to examine two or more objects (people. 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 . "support.) in terms of their differences to present reasons for or against something to make clear through examples. Where do you stand? Write an essay of 1500 words in which you define the problem of global warming and recommend solutions. In a 1000 word essay.Analyzing Writing Assignments for Meaning . on the other hand. Support your argument with evidence from the readings. 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." Frankly." William Faulkner uses many techniques of characterization to paint a portrait of the title character." "define a problem" and "recommend solutions. etc. Support your thesis by discussing examples of Faulkner's characterization techniques. describe Emily's character. In the above assignment on "A Rose for Emily. students often worry about "what the teacher wants.
k. however. Many writers use this technique for developing ideas. In a brief biography on her website . in that one writes non-stop. Plus. I think. you may have a pretty good sense at the outset of how Faulkner describes Emily. but the topic is defined. and more connected to one's own voice. But feeling stuck is a normal part of the writing process. Rowling tells of how a long. black-haired. clustering: Clustering emphasizes the relationships between ideas and is useful in exploring various angles on a topic. you're stuck. You may be surprised at the ideas you come up with. bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me. how much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my hands on a pen). 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. I didn't have a functioning pen with me. Focused freewriting is effective when one has a topic but is unsure about what one wants to say about that topic. What can you do about it? There are several techniques for getting going. or in discussion with a friend. There's nothing to writing. Make sure that you understand how much freedom you really have. a student might use clustering to compare the readings on particular topics of discussion. —Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith It isn't easy to write an essay. clustering. (j. The search engine "clusty. now. 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. you may end up with some material that you can actually use in the essay itself. brainstorming." Try brainstorming about an assignment when you have nothing else to occupy your mind: in a waiting line. Given the assignment on global warming above. is the same: to let words flow freely on the assumption that out of this unpressured writing will come an idea. clustering is quite useful. etc. these ideas having arrived when they were just musing about things. on the computer or on paper. in traffic.. and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one. Focused freewriting is similar to freewriting. and often say that they end up jotting down their best ideas on gum wrappers and napkins. listing.com) freewriting: Writing non-stop about whatever comes to mind. When the topic is up to you . For students who are trying to decide the angle to take on a particular topic. whether you are a beginner or a professional writer. And so. for four (delayed train) hours. K. J. either in one's head. one ends up with categories of information on a particular topic. boring train ride led her to develop the story of Harry Potter: I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before. Using Prewriting Techniques and Other Strategies to Discover and Shape a Topic. that this was probably a good thing.apply to put to use Take the time to reflect on the language in the assignment itself to determine what it is your instructor actually wants you to do. After clustering. but little idea about what it all means. There is even a term for a severe form of being stuck: writer's block. . To my immense frustration. .com" will even cluster most any topic for you. The point of all of the strategies.rowling. getting unstuck: freewriting. on a long car ride. then jotting down a few key ideas that may be useful. rather than sitting down at a desk "to write. Write a tentative thesis on a piece of paper and run it by your instructor during office hours. 158 .. until you find a groove and ideas start to flow. Given the "Rose for Emily" assignment above. Freewriting is particularly effective in making writing seem more natural and familiar. and all the details bubbled up in my brain. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. And one of the most difficult parts of writing is finding what you want to say. and this scrawny. These prewriting techniques are described in detail below: brainstorming: Simply tossing around ideas. because I simply sat and thought. idly.
" "illustrate. October 9. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. or you may have the freedom to define a topic for yourself. As mentioned above. It is a bit like shorthand freewriting and is quite useful to students having trouble putting pen to paper. . Generating a thesis statement: The first step in developing a thesis is defining a topic. We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it.) from "Setting the Record Straight: Blame the sun?" Seattle Times.". It's time to lay that misapprehension to rest. July 2. this topic may be defined for you by your instructor. There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth's climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason." Naomi Oreskes. Take a look at the variety of angles on global warming that professional writers have come up with. The next step is to decide what you will say about your topic. and the prewriting techniques described in the previous section will help you here.com." or "explain. lies. Thesis statements are underlined: from "Undeniable Global Warming. What exactly is this debate that Mr. which Mr. There's no "consensus" on global warming. Generating and Revising Thesis Statements for Effectiveness. . and determining where the truth. WSJ. in an unordered list.For example. 2005: In the debate over global warming. Could such tiny fluctuations be responsible for changes in climate? from "Don't Believe the Hype: Al Gore is wrong. Lindzen.." your thesis should reflect this purpose. Washington Post. finding one that works for you is just a matter of analyzing your evidence and your assignment. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community 159 . Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Many angles on a given topic are possible.." Richard S. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. That statement. December 26. which range from nine to 14 years. Also important is the language of the assignment: if your instructor asks you to "describe. 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. 2006. 2004: Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. a search on "bananas" brings up the following clusters—some of them useful. But satellite measurements show that our local star dims and brightens slightly in concert with sunspot cycles. as you see it. at least one thing seems constant: the sun. Mr.
there has been no debate among scientists about global warming. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. but after living on the ship for three years. and a list of subordinating conjunctions). age of parents. nor do you need to write your introduction. in drafting her article. Richard Lindzen. rewriting the sentence to include a subordinate clause might help (see our module on coordination/subordination for more detail. Common Thesis Statement Problems: A solid thesis is the foundation of a good essay. no argument: A thesis that states a topic without an angle on that topic is just information. and not with the specific content of the argument.that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over. A reader wonders what is the point? What does the writer want me to think about this situation? The qualities and the atmosphere of the two households can be very different based on various factors like age of kids. Every good essay begins with an argument: something the author believes to be true and worth proving. but don't worry too much about the exact sentence structure until you revise your essay. ready to be read by a reader. ." A working thesis is not a perfectly refined piece of writing. but a statement of what you will argue in the essay. but the connection between these topics is not clear: TV families often confront issues such as gender. The key words should be there which focus your work. helping you to focus on your reader's needs). which is really concerned with drawing the reader into the argument. But is the “American Dream” really such a dream? What does it really cost us to achieve that dream. Unfortunately. problems with a thesis lead to big problems in the essay: lack of focus. one that does not need more than a paragraph of support: It was hard to call a ship home. A working thesis: You do not need to worry about finding the perfect langauge for your thesis before you begin writing your essay. thesis as a question: Instructors frown on this strategy for beginning an essay. and even sentence-level problems. the content suffers on all levels. unity problems. and circumstances of the times they grew up in. Some of the most common problems are described below: weak argument: When the argument is weak. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. and these 160 . the thesis focuses on a seemingly insignificant or minor point. . multiple directions: The language of the thesis suggests that the writer will explore several topics. because when a writer is unsure about direction." may well have started with a working thesis like "Contrary to what Al Gore says. in drafting his article. and is that price worth it? Revising Your Thesis: When your thesis lacks clarity. may well have begun with "scientists do agree that global warming is occurring. it became difficult to think of it as anything else." And Naomi Oreskes. development problems. "Don't believe the hype. A much stronger tactic is to turn that question into a statement (though the question may work quite well as working thesis. Subordinate clauses are attached to the main clause via a subordinating conjunction.
it is the angle on the content that shifts—how the writer spins the content. the subordinator "if" suggess the writer will be concerned with conditions for something happening. See if the content of your thesis might actually fit under a broader umbrella. and merry. A thesis that begins with a phrase like "In this essay I will argue.conjunctions identify specific relationships between ideas. . such as for a newspaper or magazine. you can just cut them out. Consider the revision of the problematic thesis below: original thesis: TV families often confront issues such as gender. Arugments in written form have been around since ancient Greece. or no God to ensure that there is good in the world. 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. and so today. we expect arguments to have particular features: a claim. Argumentative essays When Though May The Whose Where Who And blithe to argument I armed with facts. they do not reflect the real day to day problems American families face. however. " or "I hope to show that. Revise your thesis so that you are proving just one thing. All of us have had an encounter with a policy or practice that seems to go dead against what we know to be right. If the thesis appears to be going in many directions. our belief that something is true or right is not proof that it is right. opinion. we feel there is no justice in the universe. race and ethnic stereotypes but do not often reflect the lives and hardships of real American families. In such moments. a more subtle approach is called for. particularly in the biological or social sciences. 161 . . Fortunately. Providence protect me from fool as adversary. however. . but in the humanities." actually takes attention away from the argument itself and weakens your voice in the essay. essay structures are often pragmatic. repairing these mapping statements is easy. for example. revised thesis: Even though contemporary TV sitcoms try to be real by confronting social problems such as ethnic stereotyping and gender inequality. for the most part. the reader will not be able to follow you (you probably won't stay focused as you write the essay either). and then. mind to him a kingdom is reason lacks dominion. In these disciplines. say one thing. An argument is an attempt to convince others of a truth as we perceive it. the subordinator "because" suggests the writer will be concerned with the causes for something. As much as we would have it be otherwise. and in writing for a popular audience. and so we must argue. prove to others that our truths are valid truths. designed so that information can be processed quickly. don't draw a map for development unless your teacher requires it." "I will first. do not necessarily see truth and righteousness as we do. and not three or four things. . Sometimes. In the revision. Other human beings. . Some instructors will ask for a map." The content of the essay will not need to be dramatically altered. the subordinator can give you a sense of what you want to do in the essay. . calls conviction prejudice prejudice —Phyllis McGinley come.
First. Objectives: In this module students will learn to • • • • state a clear claim provide convincing evidence to support a claim refute opposing arguments write a strong conclusion Developing Strong Thesis Statements The Thesis statement or main claim must be debatable An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. Example of a debatable thesis statement: At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. or all uses of medication in general? Second. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Further. This thesis statement is not debatable. generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue.evidence to support a claim. they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. Example of a thesis that is too broad: Drug use is detrimental to society. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. 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. the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. In other words. In this module. the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. The thesis needs to be narrow Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start. In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use. First. what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does 162 . the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. should be paying to limit pollution. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: Pollution is bad for the environment. students will learn to construct a strong argument that has these features. The broader your claim is. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars. and a conclusion. This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. not the government. Still others could argue that corporations. all studies agree that pollution is a problem. recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes). a refutation of opposing arguments.
whether we value it or not. In this example the the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. Claims about value: These are claims made about what something is worth.the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. or event caused another thing or event to occur. and planting more trees in order to control or eliminate pollution. and the context of your paper. Example: The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase. 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. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence. Types of Claims Claims typically fall into one of four categories. how we would rate or categorize something. 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. your audience. Qualifiers such as "typically. such as researching renewable energy sources. in other words what type of claim you want to make. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to 163 . This is a much more manageable topic. This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution. Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. long-term cycles of climate change. 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 of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person. is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of you broader topic." "generally." or "on average" also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule. thing. Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge on the topic. Example: What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal. yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above. 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. researching renewable energy sources. Example: Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic." "usually. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example: Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption.
What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to use. which are collaboratively developed by users. sources on information technologies. accurate. Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined. or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be. they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources. need to be much more current. Second hand research is research you are getting from various texts that has been supplied and compiled by others such as books. your sources must be reliable. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown. What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience. Karl Stolley. however. Responsible. such as Time or Newsweek. and trustworthy. Regardless of what type of sources you use. and websites. 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. periodicals. the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research.) How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. or personal experience and anecdotes. surveys. In other words. 164 . (This is also a good way to find more sources for your own research. you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written. Karl Stolley. they must be credible. 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. a credible media outlet. they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information. government program or department. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper! Contributors:Stacy Summary: Using Research and Evidence What type of evidence should I use? There are two types of evidence: First hand research is research you have conducted yourself such as interviews. Weida. Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. Is the author presenting a neutral. Because anyone can add or change content. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia. you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate. experiments. or well-known non-governmental organizations. 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.
" Counterclaim: Instead of focusing on cars. Including counterclaims allows you to find common ground with more of your readers. Warrant 1:Because cars are the largest source of private. Data: Evidence gathered to support the claim. Example: Claim: Hybrid cars are an effective strategy to fight pollution. but unrefuted. This is important so that the audience is not swayed by weak. You may want to include several counterclaims to show that you have thoroughly researched the topic. Including a well thought out warrant or bridge is essential to writing a good argumentative essay or paper. Find out what the other side is saying and respond to it within your own argument. the nation should focus on building and encouraging use of mass transit systems. Warrant 3: This combination of technologies means that less pollution is produced. According to ineedtoknow. thus hybrid cars are a better solution for much of the nation's population. The basic format for the Toulmin Method is as follows: Claim: The overall thesis the writer will argue for. it is not feasible in many rural and suburban areas. Don't avoid the opposing side of an argument. Instead. air pollution switching to hybrid cars should have an impact on fighting pollution. The Toulmin Method of logic is a common and easy to use formula for organizing an argument. If you present data to your audience without explaining how it supports your thesis they may not make a connection between the two or they may draw different conclusions. Warrant 2: Cars generally have a long lifespan. which still encourages a culture of driving even if it cuts down on pollution. Rebuttal: While mass transit is an environmentally sound idea that should be encouraged. include the opposing side as a counterclaim. 165 . arguments. made by Toyota. Backing (also referred to as the foundation): Additional logic or reasoning that may be necessary to support the warrant.org "the hybrid engine of the Prius. Data1:Driving a private car is a typical citizen's most air polluting activity. Data 3: Hybrid cars combine a gasoline engine with a battery-powered electric motor. 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. Rebuttal: Evidence that negates or disagrees with the counterclaim. Counterclaim: A claim that negates or disagrees with the thesis/claim. the underlying assumption that connects your data to your claim. Data 2: Each vehicle produced is going to stay on the road for roughly 12 to 15 years. Warrant (also referred to as a bridge): Explanation of why or how the data supports the claim. meaning that a decision to switch to a hybrid car will make a long-term impact on pollution levels. produces 90 percent fewer harmful emissions than a comparable gasoline engine.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. or for people who must commute to work. as opposed to industry produced.
Contributors:Stacy Summary: Weida. In other words.. so we should not ban Hummers. basically equating A and Z.. 166 . So. Slippery slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens. Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars. you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts.. These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case. In this example the author is basing their evaluation of the entire course on only one class. so there is no reason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds are introduced in Mexico. the facts you draw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population. X. and possibly even examine the textbook.. or persuasive strategies. too. Karl Stolley. hunger. In this example the author starts with a large claim. Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion There are three types of rhetorical appeals. Because these agreements have worked the author concludes that it could work for other farmers as well. Avoid Logical Fallacies These are some common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Logos often depends on the use of inductive or deductive reasoning. In this example the specific case of fair trade agreements with coffee producers is being used as the starting point for the claim. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend several classes. and on the first day which is notoriously boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses. that genetically modified seeds have been problematic everywhere. C. Inductive reasoning must be based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. if we don't want Z to occur A must not be allowed to occur either. used in arguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. watch out for these slips in other people's arguments. so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well. which is not the same thing. A good argument will generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case. and from this draws the more localized or specific conclusion that Mexico will be affected in the same way. or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on. then eventually through a series of small steps. through B. The generalization you start with must have been based on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. Y. and a decline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced. I can tell this is going to be a boring course. In this example the author is equating banning Hummers with banning all cars. talk to the professor.Example: Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty. In other words. Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them. Logos Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason. Example: Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffee producers. Z will happen. Example: Even though it's only the first day. Also.
In this example the author equates being a "true American. democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand." Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it. nature. idea. Genetic Fallacy: A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person. Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism. In this example the author is equating the character of a car with the character of the people who built the car.Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A. Example: George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively. yet the author ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleaner technology.' Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick. to assume the water caused the person to be sick. Example: We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth. or a chemical spill across campus. There is no reason. In this example the author doesn't even name particular strategies Green Peace has suggested. Specific evidence such as using everyday language. 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. a flu bug that had been working on the body for days." a concept that people want to be associated with. Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments. religion. lazy hippies. In this example where two choices are presented as the only options. with allowing people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connection between the two. In this example the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused the second. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before. Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want. without more evidence. But the very conclusion that should be proved. car sharing systems for necessities and emergencies. Instead. or worth. much less evaluate those strategies on their merits. particularly in a time of war. is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as "filthy and polluting. 167 . Example: Green Peace's strategies aren't effective because they are all dirty. that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use. breaking down complex problems. Example: The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originally designed by Hitler's army. or theory determine its character. so the water must have made me sick. Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed to prove either half of the sentence. the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group. Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. institute. or better community planning to discourage daily driving.
If appropriate for the assignment. An argument should never use emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people. however. the livelihood of those catching fish. often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them. As Arlo Bates writes in Talks on Writing English (1894). Ethos Ethos or the ethical appeal is based on the character. but used properly there is often a place for emotion as well. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt on your character as a writer. disclose why you are interested in this topic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic. appeals to an audience's needs. etc. credibility. 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. Most of the time. most general to most detailed example. While one issue may effect the other. • Pathos Pathos. not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. Argument emphasizes reason. "The difference between exposition and argument is the difference between peace and war." In an argument. the writer is 168 . Establish common ground with your audience.Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues. a claim is usually a stronger and often more emotional proposition that a thesis in an expository essay. In this example the author switches the discussion away from the safety of the food and talks instead about an economic issue. Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately. it does not mean we should ignore possible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a few individuals. this can be done by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides of the argument. 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. and emotional sensibilities. easy to follow manner. or emotional appeal. 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. reliable sources to build your argument and cite those sources properly. For example. or reliability of the writer. You can use the Toulmin method of logic or a simple pattern such as chronological order. Only use an emotional appeal if it truly supports the claim you are making. There are many ways to establish good character and credibility as an author: • • • • • Use only credible. values. earliest to most recent example. Organize your argument in a logical. Proofread the argument. but what will fishers do to support their families.
. Evidence In argument. not to hide behind these quotes. . Then. " thoughts.. because they do not touch on their fundamental belief that embryos are not human persons. .". 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. They work especially well as a complement to anecdotal or narrative examples to support an argument. there are many problems with this position. 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. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over. It is not effective to write an argument without acknowledging opposing arguments and showing why those arguments are not valid. 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. however. That statement. however. which Mr. Cite authority on a topic: quotations from experts used to back up (not replace) your points work very well. . Similarly. there is an opposition that must be dealt with. ." or "X would seem like the answer. .. Be very careful. your opposition will come away from the essay with a lot of "Yes. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. is true. 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. What exactly is this debate that Mr. and writes to convince those who disagree to change their minds. great or small. If you let others speak for you. articles by medical groups that promote stem cell research are not helpful. . Note the way the authors respond to opposing arguments: Cal Thomas' article against stem cell research. the reader will never accept the writer's claim. . or fails to be substantial enough to support a particular position. Mr. In each of these essays. well explained. evidence is key. 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). you show that you have done your research and that you are able to distinguish expert from amateur authorities. Cite statistics or research: Often solid research findings or statistics can complement a more theoretical argument. because it does not deal with his fundamental belief that human personhood begins at conception. . Below are examples of the kinds of evidence that you might use to build a strong argument. Without solid support. . on real lives. in your own writing you can discuss these arguments with phrases like "While . Read the module on Working with Sources for more help with using sources in your writing. it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place. the author makes a strong and clear claim at the beginning of the essay. but .. however. you risk appearing unsure of yourself." etc. Who you side with can go a long way to establishing the validity of your argument. In an essay on Parkinson's Disease and the importance of stem cell research to find a cure. we must debate when 169 . the reader knows what to expect in the essay that will follow.is not particularly useful. Refuting Opposing Arguments If one fights a battle in an argument. If there is to be any hope of resolving these issues. With this clarity established up front. ought to have been followed by an asterisk. Otherwise. a student might write a case study of an individual with Parkinson's to show how devastating the disease is. In using quotes and paraphrase effectively.generally ready for disagreement. Take a look at the following arguments for an against stem cell research. such studies can be very effective in showing readers the way more abstract or general principles have an effect in the real world.
is true. in order to know how to talk to the reader. don't like to go to the movies. Would an objective." Appeal to Authority: Suggests that because someone is an expert (or claims to be) on something. stem cell research and other debates will neatly resolve themselves. genetically modified foods. passionate angle. is controversial." Post Hoc: means "after this. to avoid using too many terms the reader does not understand. In addition. because of this. A writer needs to try and empathize with the reader. Below is a list of the most common logical fallacies. or conversely. 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. Since person A is doing it (believes it). it is the assumption becuase B follows A. It is obvious he feels devastated by what he has done. stem cell research. Tone is a factor as well with readers: Would the reader respond to a more lighthearted tone." 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. Ad Hominem: "against the man" or "against the person. B was caused by A.human personhood begins. Begging the Question: A fallacy in which the conclusion is claimed as being true in the premise: "God exists because the bible says he exists and the bible was written by God. "Just look at this poor man. Appeal to Emotion: This is an attempt to persuade by soliciting an emotional response such as pity or sympathy rather than evidence. and what it would be best to talk about. Damnation of your soul is completed with the first one.. "Brittney got sick right after eating at the Bon Thai.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. Or the numbers. therefore. For example. Logical Fallacies Logical fallacies are logical mistakes that fall into particular categories." False Dilemma: Occurs when two options are suggested. in-vitro fertilization. I will not be eating there anymore." 170 . It might be useful to print these out and have them handy when checking your work. once you decide to become a child-killer. and also to check the arguments made by others for errors in logic. a bit of humor. when others may be available: "Either we do away with the automobile now. it is important to know the knowledge level of one's audience in order to not waste time defining terms the reader already knows. or a more serious. or we die tomorrow. scholarly tone work best? The answer depends largely on who one is writing to." In other words. we all should do it (believe it). then abortion. If we can reach a near consensus on this. to understand the reader's biases and concerns. particular when the issue. their ages no longer matter." (Religious Tolerance) Audience It is very important to understand one's audience when making an argument. Hell. Why should we punish him unfairly?" Bandwagon Appeal: Peer pressure. (Religious Tolerance) ". generally. immigration policies. For example. man. I think old people.. such as abortion rights. even a topic outside of the field of expertise. everything he has to say about anything.
Remember to involve readers in the story. We all have experiences lodged in our memories which are worthy of sharing with readers. forceful effect. using "I. should include these story conventions: a plot. More information on sensory details is available. Narratives. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole. more than any other." or "it") can also be used. Find a generalization which the story supports. explain. In this stage. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage. • • • Narratives are generally written in the first person. it can concern the writer. 3. second. Two of them happened here.Slippery Slope Argument: Assumes that doing one thing will automatically lead to doing other things: "If you get a credit card. there are also major ones that destroy vast areas and take many lives. that is. in the United States. 1." "she. Comparison/Contrast Essays Though there are many little. the writer should keep three principles in mind. or children of various ages and backgrounds. Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story. a dominant impression. Conventions of Narrative Essays In writing your narrative essay. you are going to end up in debt!" Narrative Essays As a mode of expository writing. To do this. writers might ask themselves what about the incident provided new insights or awareness. almost unnoticeable earthquakes that happen all the time. Principles of Writing Narrative Essays Once an incident is chosen. offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. the narrative approach. women. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it. men. 2. and enhance the story. to find relevance in that incident. as stories. sensory details to convey their point. Narratives rely on concrete. a climax. writers must dredge up details which will make the incident real for readers. including setting and characters. and an ending. These details should create a unified. writers first need to select an incident worthy of writing about and." However. very 171 . keep the following conventions in mind. details must be carefully selected to support. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. Finally. third person ("he.
so comparing and contrasting the unfamiliar with the familiar is one of the most important techniques for writing. In the San Francisco earthquake. to analyze things. In the Loma Prieta earthquake. but the Loma Prieta earthquake was weaker. and about 3. for example. along with the obvious ones like the date and location. It taught people how to be prepared when there is a major earthquake. Obviously. It was very costly to pay for the repairs that were to be made due to the damage. We can really understand only those things that are familiar to us or similar to things we already understand. Most earthquakes in the United States tend to occur in California. They destroyed many houses. on which both the earthquakes occurred. the dates are different. First off. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are two of these majorly destructive earthquakes. The San Francisco earthquake was around a 7. These were very life changing events to anyone that was in either one of them or that had family in them. at about 7. But. the San Francisco earthquake happened in 1906.close to each other. and around 7 billion dollars to repair the Loma Prieta quake.1. It took 6. These types of earthquakes are life changing. When they are comparing and contrasting. they also have many surprising similarities.000 people were killed and about 225. the number of people killed was also different. you show their differences. lasted under a minute. Along with the strength of the earthquakes.25 magnitude. The San Francisco earthquake and the Loma Prieta earthquake have may differences. The epicenter for both of these earthquakes was the Northern segment of the San Andreas Fault line. 172 .to do.000 injured. two ideas. Now scientists have more education about how to build earthquake proof buildings and bridges. When you compare things. these earthquakes are similar in some ways that you may not have known. through the Santa Cruz Mountains. and are caused by the San Andreas Fault line. Both of them very destructive and had major impacts on society. there are also some not as well-know differences.5 billion dollars to make repairs for the San Francisco quake. to make an argument -. you show their similarities. This is because the fault line. over 3. This segment runs from Hollister. Even though they both happened on the same fault. only about 63 people were killed.757 injured. usually not for the better. in fact. and probably do. to define things. properties. when you contrast things. runs across different parts of California. there is also some good that came out of this. The name of this fault line is the San Andreas Fault line.8. and the Loma Prieta Earthquake happened in 1989. Though these quakes are both very different. like corsets and footbinding. Both of these earthquakes are horrible disasters. most writers structure their essays one of four ways. buildings and lives. Both of these earthquakes also had subsequent fires. use comparison and contrast to describe things. Both of these powerful earthquakes happened in California. Both earthquakes toppled buildings and houses.7. you can never be too prepared. their magnitudes are different. You can. Both of these even though caused major damage. almost any kind of writing. but the San Francisco earthquake might have taken a little less money to repair.
. Present one point about A. Either is acceptable. Move to the next point. ►Pattern A: The Block Method. . . To insure unity. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea.Choose a method of development that works well with your organizing idea. summarizing the main points.Subtopics should be discussed in the same order in both parts.Use transitional words or phrases to help the reader understand the similarities and differences in your subject. 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 do the same thing. then contrast (or vice versa).Subtopics in Part II should generally include reminders of the point made about the same subtopic in Part I. Comparison and Contrast Essays A comparison and contrast essay may discuss only similarities. take note of the following guidelines: .Give equal treatment to both elements that you are discussing . but mixing patterns is not. then do the other. ►Outlines of Sample Essays: 173 . The essay may be organised in one of two patterns. noting the differences in structure that each presents. First compare. and give the reader the final ‘so what’ of the major similarities and/or differences that you discussed. and then present parallel information about B. Present all the information about A. and then go to the parallel point about B. This pattern tends to work better for shorter papers. only differences. 3.Choose items that are related in some way so they can be compared or contrasted. and those with few subtopics It can be used when you have three or more principal similarities or differences. First do one idea. . . Only compare or only contrast. .Conclude your paper by restating your thesis.Compare according to a single organized idea.Use specific and relevant examples for support. 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: .1. 4. 2. This pattern tends to work better for long papers and those with many subtopics.Each subtopic in Part I must also be discussed in Part II. both comparison and contrast is used. Review the two patterns below carefully. Use this pattern when you have only two principal similarities or differences. ►Pattern B: The Point-by-Point Method. . but more often than not.
. 6 Whereas cats need no training. then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different. 174 . III. cats make more convenient pets.g. Note that the transitions used in each outline (in contrast to. This structure focuses on the comparison and contrast instead of on the two ideas (e. Point 2: Cats can exercise by themselves. I. II. corsetry and footbinding) being compared and contrasted. Para. 4 Unlike cats. 3 Cats can exercise by themselves. Point 3: Cats do not require training. For a more detailed list of transitions. see the Transition Signals handout in the Writing Centre. Part B Point 1: In contrast to cats. 1: Cats can clean themselves. Point 3: Para. dogs must be walked regularly. Point 2: Unlike cats. dogs must be walked regularly. Corsets and footbinding are different. dogs must be trained. This method is probably the one used most commonly. First compare. Para. Point 2: Para. IV. dogs must be trained. then contrast (or vice versa). 2: In contrast to cats. 5 Cats do not require training. Block Method Outline: Part A Point 1: Cats can clean themselves. dogs need baths. Para. whereas) emphasise the distinction being made between cats and dogs. Point-by-Point Method Outline: Point 1: Para. conclusion A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. dogs need baths. unlike.Thesis: Although dogs are often called man’s best friend. Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding. introduction Corsets and footbinding are similar. Point 3: Whereas cats need no training.
This method requires real control over your subject. 1. Writers might compare and contrast ideas by treating one idea thoroughly before taking up the second one.. instead of corsetry and footbinding to each other. introduction element #1 element #2 element #3 . conclusion A quick outline that compares and contrasts only relevant aspects of corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured. 2. 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. First do one idea. to write an essay that treats only the similarities or differences between ideas. the similarities get emphasis. 3. A structure like this one seems more focused on the ideas being compared and contrasted than on the comparison and contrast itself. If you begin by contrasting the ideas (and then move toward a comparison). It is always possible. Write only about the comparable and contrastable elements of each idea.the logical movement is from thinking about similarities to thinking about differences. but many evolve past it into something more flexible. then do the other. the sequence is important.. The similarities and differences between the ideas do not begin to emerge until the writer gets to the second idea. If you begin with the comparison. 175 . This method is probably the one most students try first. Only compare or only contrast.Clearly. of course. It is as if the writer is comparing and contrasting (for example) footbinding to corsetry. then the contrast will get emphasis . Writers might compare and contrast ideas by taking important specific elements and looking at their similarities and differences. A comparison/contrast essay like this one would probably focus only on those elements of the ideas that are explicitly comparable or contrasting.
Many teachers assign topics that ask writers to write an essay comparing and contrasting two or more ideas. o Comparison/contrast is useful for more than an essay topic. o o Other. 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 . 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. but besides its value in organizing an essay.with what they should.with a bang! .o Writers who only compare two ideas sometimes briefly mention the contrast in the introduction and then move on so that they don't lead readers to think they can't make relevant distinctions. first describing what people shouldn't do and then ending . 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.
and into the 20th. Dress Reform movement. Introduction 2. Crete. Both practiced by women on women.women plowing fields in mud up to their ankles. Effects on health: tight-lacing vs stays. when women were looking at the possibilities of real contributions to the political debate. Women laced corsets. Henri II's queen: 15-inch waist with the help of the King's armorer. Corsets trivialized by everybody since the end of the dress reform movement. 1880s and 1890s. Corsets and footbinding are different o o Chinese culture is radically different from that of western Europe and America. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. Our misconceptions about class -. 177 . A quick outline of how a paper treating one topic and then the other might look. 3. women bound feet. focus in Western world. 1. A quick outline of how a paper comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding might look. Introduction 2. To use Veblen's argument. Corsets and footbinding are similar o o o Both practiced in the far past. Both restrict women's movement and impair health. millennia ago.Abstract of a report or an article Summary of an article or a book Literary Essay Return to the discussion of how comparison and contrast can be used beyond structure for an essay. Corsetry o o o o o o Practiced in Sumaria. Survival rates and the effects on health. only most extreme cases of tightlacing did permanent damage. o 4. through the 19th century. both enhance man's value in the culture to be responsible for women who were too delicate to work. Both practiced by women of all classes. Corsetry not exactly the same as tight-lacing. 1. Footbinding o o o Earliest references. Every Chinese woman so bound was deformed for life. o o 3. though most people imagine tight-lacing and footbinding were limited to the upper class.
Dr. an actor named John Wilkes Booth. at four o’clock in the morning. and disappeared into the night with a fellow conspirator. mounted a waiting horse. o o 4. In the middle of the performance. Eastern and western cultures. Restrictions on women's movements. Extreme cases vs. Five hours later. Socio-economic class and tight-lacing and footbinding. 1. Simone de Beauvior saw some. 4. Women's contributions to their own weakening. most women. Acting as any doctor would with a stranger in distress. he limped out the back door. Life magazine's photos. 9. a doctor living in southern Maryland. Lasting into 20th century. Introduction 2. 11. seeking to avenge the defeat of the South. but broke his leg when he leaped from the president’s box seat to the stage. Before anybody could stop him. Effects on women's health. 10. Booth escaped the theater. 6. 178 . Mudd knew nothing about the assassination of the president. Booth and his companion arrived at the home of Samuel Mudd. Mudd On the night of April 14. slipped into the presidential box and shot the president. When the government made it illegal.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. D. Conclusion Narrative essays The Story of Dr. Also. 1865—five days after the Civil War ended—President Abraham Lincoln was attending the theater in Washington. 3.C. 5. Conclusion Return to the discussion of comparison/contrast essays. how women whose feet had been bound couldn't really unbind. 8. 7. Economic and cultural value of a helpless female to a powerful male.
using false names. Booth and his friend. An Unfair Trial for a Fair Man. He lied to the military courts. 5. A Prison Abandoned. b. Soon after Dr. Dr. sentenced the unfortunate doctor to life imprisonment. Fort Jefferson was abandoned. b. An alternative title for this passage might be a. When the fever struck. In spite of the fact that the guards and other inmates called him “that Lincoln murderer. humid climate was a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Dr. d. Lincoln’s Assassination. He helped Booth get away. Dr. Today.he set the leg and persuaded the two travelers to stay in his house for the rest of the night. c. Meanwhile. Good Doc Gone Bad. Mudd’s release. because he was the only doctor on the island. 6. he worked hard to fight the disease. Mudd insisted that he knew nothing of the plot. the one-time prison is accessible to visitors as part of Dry Tortugas National Park. Dr. d. she secured a pardon for him—for a crime he never committed. Mudd volunteered his services. and tried on the charge that he was a friend of Booth’s and therefore helped plan the assassination. He helped Booth assassinate Lincoln. What was the cause of Dr. After a four-year struggle. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. Mudd was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson. The next morning. Mudd? 179 . Questions 4. Mudd was arrested. his wife was working heroically back in Washington for her husband’s cause. Mudd returned to Maryland to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. c. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been.” and treated him very badly. paid the bill and departed. taken to Washington. He had to fight the disease. The warm. angry at the president’s death. Again and again. What sort of doctor was Dr. But the military courts. these pests spread yellow fever germs to prisoners and guards alike. The military courts wanted someone to pay for Lincoln’s death. Dr. even after he was infected himself. an island fortress about 120 miles west of the southern tip of Florida. Mudd’s conviction? a. –PRETEST– 5 Because of this merciful act.
caring c. b. e. you have to expand the idea contained in the topic sentence. an example. for instance. he was forced to by the prison warden. ILLUSTRATION In order to develop the central theme of a paragraph. although some topics lend themselves more readily to certain kin$ of development than they do to other kinds. 2. Dr. Summing up: This is done by stating that there is a common bond between man and other creatures. i. 8. Example 3 (Development of a paragraph by illustration) 180 . Now look at the paragraph given under example 1 again.g. and cause and effect. there was no one else to treat the sick prisoners. I 1 Giving examples is one of the easiest ways of developing of topic.g. a greater plight lurked at Fort Jefferson. He is also able to persuade the reader that the generalization is correct'because there are examples to support it. It is an example of the development of a paragraph by using the technique of illustration. As horrible and unjust as this punishment must have been. illustration.a. You will notice that this paragraph is developed mainly by adding examples. money-hungry d. 1. Now.e. generous. read example 3 given below. etc. Read this sentence from the essay. There are no rules about the kind of development to be adopted in any writing situation. Let's first look at this illustration. This can be done in a number of ways. he didn’t want to get sick himself. Examples also add to the reader's interest. Examples given to develop the paragraph: i) the hunter ii) the farmer iii) ihe fisherman iv) the city-dweller 3. When a writer gives examples he helps the I reader to understand a rather difficult and abstract generalization which may be contained in the topic sentence. careless. cold-hearted. We often introduce examples of illustrations by using expressions like for example. d. It must be realized. definition. c. that you can combine more than one technique in composing a paragraph. 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. by the technique of illiustration. the topic and the kind of reader you have in view. Mudd fought the yellow fever outbreak at Fort Jefferson because a. description. the point you have stated in your topic sentence. 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. Topic sentence: The vast majority of people. however. sloppy b. depending on your purpose. wherever they live and whatever their occupation. Let us analyse the paragraph. he thought it would help get him a pardon. come in contact with animals in one way or another and have to deal with them. greedy. unfeeling 7. ii) techniques which itlvolve a second topic: e.
. e..........................All warm-blooded animals are incredibly helpless at first. iv ' ...... It is said that the young elephant does not seem to know at first what his trunk is for. They never learn to swim naturally.... 181 .ed) The Natural Hisrocl of Nonsense... Paragraphs (From Evans.......! Glossary warm-blooded(adj......... if deprived of their spinnerets....... each example should be logically related to your main idea... I... instinct: ways of behaviour which are not based on learning or thinking......... hears or touches something. for they improve their talents with practice........ When you write a paragraph where you have to give examples to support your topic sentence....... but even there the concept of "instinct" seems to require some modification..........) :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............ indeed seem to start life completely equipped with all necessary reflexes............ . v) ............ . Read the paragraph again and fill in the fo1lowi1........... a bird flies by instinct.. and older spiders............ Thousands'of yeung seals and young sea lions are drowned every year............g.... Young spiders......... ... ... for example.......... For example.................) ! i .... Young birds and young bats must be taught to fly............... Older harvest mice build better nests than beginners... iii) . ii) ............. 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......g columns in the manner shown here: Names of Animals Skills to be developed i) Young birds and bats learn to fly............ Ir?c.... "begin by making quite primitive little webs...... Alfred A Knopf..... vi> .......... Base yourself on the analysis done for Example I in 10 lines.. Insects.......... Ana!yse this paragraph... What are the topic sentences in this paragraph? 2. will take to Development of hunting.... it gets in his way and seems more of a hindrance than a help until his parents show him what to do with it........ ... B...... ......... and only attain perfection in their art in course oftime"..): highly skilled hindrance (n): something that prevents an activity reflex: an action or movement of the body which happens by itself when one sees.......... the mother has to take them out under her flipper and show them how birds sing without instruction.. you should keep in mind that there should be enough examples to support your point. but they do not sing well unless they have had an opportunity of hearing older and more adept members of their species.... you remove your finger on touching something hot................ but are there from birth........
or of a bus accident. If the reasons follow a logical pattern. I When developing a topic which is supported by reasons or causes. When you write. there are likely to be many causes. You may trace a chain of events in which A is the cause oPB. But sometimes the reasons or causes may be parallel. and to write about all the causes or reasons with details.. (Adapted from Geogrpl~yby Dougal Dixon. This softening is the first stage of erosion called weathering. a direct cause or an indirect cause.. and mountains are slowly worn away over thousands of years by the process of erosion. the results of' their helplessness and how they become self-sufficient. to account for all the links in the sequence of causes. For example.each example should be developed with interesting details. Erosion takes place everywhere on Earth. to consider multiple causes. 11 Example 4 (Development of a paragraph by listing the causes) Hills. you face the problem of arranging them in a significant order. and so on. for instance. a daughter's rebelling against her father and leaving home may have an apparent immediate cause. that soften rocks. the organization is predetermined. of deforestation. however. you can follow any of these patterns. and B by C. You may discuss one or more causal connections between events. remember to make it clear whether you are dealing with an immediate cause or an earlier 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. We often have occasions in our lives to ask "Why did it happen" or "What will happen if.) the examples should represent a reasonable cross section of the group you are dealing with. Franklin Watts in Science World) Glossary worn away: caused to disappear erosion: the action of wearing away 182 . if the main event is caused by A. etc. 6. There are several forces of erosion: glaciers which cany rocks weighing \ thousands of tons. The choice between one cause and several causes is often not a free option. your favourite hills will have been worn completely away by erosion. want to know the cause of your poor grades. i. a good strategy is to begin with the least important cause and conclude with the most important. When you work with several causes or reasons. but tells us in what way each of these animals is helpless. Then. but there may also be a chain of causes going back into the past. Cause Analysing the cause can be quite a complex task. Water carries chemicals dissolved in it.e. strong winds which wear away exposed rocks in desert. You may.(Note that the writer of the paragraph above does not merely list the examples. which is the cause of C. By far the greatest cause of erosion. and A in turn by B. Millions of years in the future.?' and then try to find the cause or effect of an event. Rainwater fallin: on hills runs into streams and rivers and these carry the weathered rock away. or the effects or consequence of taking drugs. Thus.. not just one. Usually your topic will determine it. all contributing to the same result. which causes D. frost which causes small cracks on rock sides. is the action of water on rocks.
.... even your favourite hills will be worn away by erosion. Fill in the blanks... 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". If several consequences are listed.( ii) .. the houses and building gaping caves: wide openings or cracks tidal waves: very large ocean waves avalanches: large masses of snow and ice. the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village... Gas mains burst. On land 183 ....... Check Your Progress 4 1 . The paragraph may deal with only a single effect or refer to several effects...000 killed. If it strikes a modern city... dams burst. one must be careful to distinguish between the major and the minor ones. But now the main idea is regarded as causing the consequences discussed in the rest c?f the paragraph.. think of your own life..... Whtn it does.... In the year 1755: Lisbon. which lists the causes of erosion...... avalanches roar down into the valleys... followed by the most important cause. If it strikes in mountain regions. Bridges fall. whole buildings collapse.... its power is immense. Effects Effects or consequences can be handled in much the same way as reasons or causes.. Example 5 (Developing a paragraph by listing effect) An earthquake strikes without warning. Gaping caves appear in busy streets. The following exercise will help you understand the organization of the paragraph abcve. huge tidal waves sweep inland.......... If the quake strikes at sea..i t causes.. Cause: The power of ... Consider the terrifying statistics from the past.. explosions are caused and fires are started. Now. sliding down a mountain side terrifying: filling with terror In earlier sections we analysed some of the paragraphs for you. / 2... Underground railways are wrecked. (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....... It follows a sequence where the less important causes are mentioned first. a) Causes of Erosion: glaciers frost strong wilds water b) Process of erosion by water 3... what were thp_ reasons which led you to join the IGNOU Computer Programme? Jot down your reasons... Main effect: The great ..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 . Summing up: In a million years.. (i) .. For instance. You have just read and analysed a paragraph..
..... The paragraph below illustrates such a chain..........Effect.... cause and effect are more closely related.. In the first place... Cause and Effect We have discussed a paragraph which gives reasons to support a topic.... and plants provide food for inan and also for animals. ..... Now write down what you think will be'the results. by its light and warmth the sun directly creates rhe necessary conditions for man's survival. 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. Check Your Progress 6 1............. 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..... which are themselves another source of food for man. you will be able to understand the organization of the paragraph... [from Anita Debska: IJpgrade your English.. for the heat of the sun causes the damp air over the seas to rise and form clouds which cool at a high altitude and consequently fall as rain.... blain Cause Main Effect Indirect effect : . In Check Your Progress 4 you noted the reasons foi joining the IGNOU Computers programra..... B is both a consequence of A and the cause of C. At the same time. IX Effect the sun Man's . . In such a link... together with sunlight..v .......n. 184 . I1 . Often however.. iv .. ... 111 .. Oxford University Press. Effect Cause ... Jtainfall Rainfall formatio.. from which man takes his water supply and which can be used for hydroelectric power..] 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 ...... of consequences of your joining this program.. and a paragraph which deals with effects. of . B to C and to C and so on.i. Secondly the sun indirectly provides man with water...... By filling in the gaps below....... forming a chain where A gives rise to B... the paragraph has been developed by stating the cause and the effect... enables plants to grow.... Cause Effect .. One result of rainfall is the formation of lakes and rivers. and ... rain....
. and for this purpose extended definitions are useful... Topic sentence.. and a canal with crocodiles and a bridge over the canal. Maps have been used since the earliest civilisations.. component parts....5 DEFINITION Often when we write. .... .... xii . This generally happens when we use technical terns or when we want to give our own meaning to an ordinary word.... Composition and Sopetimes a definition is used in the rnjdst of other forms of writing........ ... and sometimes the definition itself Study Skills becomes the focus of a piece of writing. This is done by adding details like uses.. In fact... This is somewhat similar to 185 ............... being different from something else. or sky........ and explorers find that they are used in rather primitive societies at the present time by people who are accustomed to travelling... 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......... drawn by Eskimo people.C. Check Your Progress 8 1.......... It shows not only roads....v ii .. "democracy" etc. Arctic explorers have obtained considerable help from maps of the coast lines showing settlements..Lakes and rivers water and ... You Ir..... i .... Occasionally maps show not only the roads. Now write a paragraph of about 150 words combining both'the reasons and the consequences of your joining IGNOU......... The concept "bride" cannot be defined in such a manner.. sea.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.. i Example 7 (Paragraph developed by definition) A map is a representation of anarea of land...v... both in our thinking and writing. .x. which relates to concepts such as "freedom"... Rain + ........ examples.... For example..... need the support of specific examples.... ... we need to explain what something is or means............. being similar to something else.... viii.. but also lakes with fish........... but pictures of other features. we often require extended definitions............ especially if we feel that our readers may not be familiar with it.... Plants ............ For example Term Class Ilifferentiation Widow surgeon a woman Whose husband has died a doctor Who performs medical operations Such definitions are rather formal in style and are generally found in dictionaries.. xi .. and stating what it is not.... for man and . You have already noted the reasons for your joining the JGNOU Computers-programme and the effect it will have on your future career. One of the earliest such maps dates from about 1400 B.... .....
. to shrews. For instance. We often compare our teachers.6 COMPARISON AND CONTRAST So far we have been discussing ways of developing paragraphs which deal with only one topic.the modem maps of a state which show for each large town some feature of interest or the chief products of 'that town. In fact comparison and contrast are common devices in writing. when we choose a career or a job.C. You will need. Glossary vertebrates (n. 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. 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. who are accustomed to travelling.): animals which have a backbone secreted: produced varied: of different kinds shrew: a very small mouse-like animal with a long pointed nose 6. our neighbors. Our decisions are often based on comparison and contrast." Example: Arctic explorers Generalisation: Occasionally maps show not only the roads. mainly because we tend to think that way. comparison and contrast dominate our thoughts when we decide to join a particular college or university. and even when we buy a particular brand of tooth paste. and so on. the food served at different restaurants. Use the sentences given beiow to write a paragraph on Mammals. the cities we have been to. to replace some of the nouns with pronouns and avoid unnecessary repetitions. Hence comparison and contrast are a continuous process in our 186 . Sometimes a topic can be developed by showing how two things are alike or how they are different. V) Mammals are an extremely varied group. iv) A mammals is a warm-blooded vertebrate that has four limbs and a hairy skin. which weigh only a few grams. for example." Generalisation: "Maps have been used . ranging in size from the largest mammal. sea or sky. The paragraph should be arranged in the following order: Definition Generalization by differentiation Examples (2 examples) 4 i Generalisation iI I You may make any changes in the language and introduce any connectives you feel are required to write a smoothly flowing passage. the blue Whale which is 150 tons. (C.. I I I I i) Mammals differ from the other vertebrates in their system of reproduction. but pictures of other features Example: Maps of both ancient and modern times Check Your Progress 9 1.
): 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.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. iii) We wish to show the superiority of one thing over another when we compare two cars. every cricket team needs a captain. They permit.. (Adapted form "The Primates" by Eimerl. Both are extremely dependent on others. Check Your Progress 10 Write a paragraph on the following topic. the making of quick decisions. Time-life Series) Con~positiona nd. Glossary Study Skills hierarchy (n. Some animal in the group has to decide when the group shall move.. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans. I. Every jury needs its foreman. Reason: Subject I : People Subject 2: Monkeys . for example There are two ways of arranging information when comparing or contrasting things. Example 9 (Developing a paragraph by contrast) We live on the planet Earth. which direction it shall follow. and these things are important among monkeys just as they are among humans.lives. S.750 km in diameter. The points to develop the paragraph are given below. first. ! There are a lot of similarities between an infant and a very old person's dependence on others. The same is true of monkeys. 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. Summing up: 'Sorne form of leadership is essential . Whenever.people are brought together. consequence of total equality. 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. and De Vors. 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.. what action it shall take to avoid predators. 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. Some forin of leadership is essential if action is to be taken quickly. ii) We wish to clarify the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar. a ball of rock 12. 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 . and hierarchy has come into existence to avoid continual infighting which could be the consequence of total equality.
.......... It supports millions of living things .... Its surface is heated to 105 C during its day..... birds.... It has a companion on its travels . on the other hand has fascinating erupting volcanoes since it has no atmosphere to protect it........ ...... 4 has atmosphere 5 ....... More rainful less rainfall 188 .... it is airless. waterless and lifeless 4 ......... The first sentence and some points describing the two regions are given below.. But the earth is not alone.155 C at night. 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.. I 1 lush and fertile 1... is lush and fertile.. etc lush: thickly and healthily growing (especially plants) erupting: expleding and pouring out fire 4 Check Your Progress 11 Unlike Example 8. orbits: goes round volcanoes: mountains with large openings at the top through which melting rock. The moon Check Your Progress 12 The earth 1 . especially relating to rock...... .. soil... The Earth.... But the two worlds are very different.. gases... escape from time to tinie with great force from inside the earth.. In contrast....axis and orbits the sun. This exercise is to help you analyse the paragraph. Glossary rotates: turns around a fixed point axis: an imaginary line around which a spinning body moves. What is the topic sentence? 2...... etc....... on the other hand...... Analysis of the Paragraph: 1 ....plants... and cools to ..... 2 has volcanoes 3 .. 2 ... which we can breathe..... It has no volcanoes or geological activity......which orbits the Earth once a month. The Moon is a dead planet.!.. 5 very hot during th'e day...... steam.... Write a paragraph of your own contrasting the Arctic and the Antarctic regions.. The expressions of contrast 1isted. the paragraph in Example 9 has been organized by talking about the earth and contrasting it with the moon.. insects... and which also keeps the temperature quite constant.....the moon ....... The moon. 3 airless. animals and human beings.here mzy also help you in developing the paragraph.... very cold during the night First sentence: The northern and southern poles are different in many ways....... Fill in the gips in the following table to show the contrast between the moon and the earth..... waterless and lifeless..... geological activity: activity which relates to the physical changes in the structure of the earth......... .. the Eaith is covered by an atmosphere......
but. can be distiiiguished from. definition. whereas. ! i b KEY woms Antarctic Arctic cause comparison contrast definition description . LET US SUM UP In Unit 6 we have introduced you to the elements that go into the organisation of a good paragraph. We have also discussed different techniques of developing paragraphs. although. etc. 189 . writing. cause and effect. Development of Paragraphs Expressions of contrast: different ti.. such as illustration. on the other hand. and comparison a. .Much plant life empty desert. yet. . such as the topic sentence and the development of the topic. . Exploited for trade no trade at all . You i should now be able to use these techniques in writing paragraphs on iifferent'topics. . 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. despite the fact that. while.om.ld contrast.
A-PRONOUNS Pronouns refer back to or take the place of nouns. playing soccer. Incorrect: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. 41 B-ADJECTIVES Adjectives describe or modify nouns or pronouns. places. he should play some basketball. they. in fact. your writing will greatly improve. they. adverbs. we. Agree in number A singular pronoun must be used for a singular noun. (What isn’t good for him? Reading. Be a specific reference to a noun It should be obvious to your reader to which noun the pronoun refers. Too few adjectives will make a personal statement a boring play-byplay that doesn’t tell the reader anything about the writer. However. Who is they? Correct: It has been years since the school board spent money on new textbooks. more than any others. with usage explanations and examples. 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. punctuation. 1-PARTS OF SPEECH Some parts of speech are more difficult than others. you do not need to become a strict grammarian in order to write well. her. they will graduate. us Second: you Third: he. but it isn’t good for him. she. First person pronouns: I. Following are the four most challenging ones as they pertain to your writing: pronouns. me. They should: 1. and we took Nancy’s laptop. and situations to make the reader understand your point of view and see things the way you have seen them. too.Mechanics 39 The majority of grammar. The rules of mechanics are complex. or both?) Correct: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. 3. Use them to describe people. and prepositions. Incorrect: If the student passes this course. you should have your homework ready. (Whose laptop?) Correct: I went on the trip with Emily and Nancy. or things in a sentence. If you learn these common errors and how to avoid or correct them. These words. he/she should have his/her homework ready. and we took her laptop. she will graduate. the inability to express yourself clearly and accurately through the written word will hinder the success of your essay. Too much soccer isn’t good for him. make your essay a unique piece. No matter how original an idea you come up with. adjectives. Adjectives add information by describing people. them Incorrect: When a person comes to class. Correct: When a person comes to class. him. it). C-ADVERBS 190 . objects. Correct: If the student passes this course. 2. she. Therefore. and capitalization mistakes are just a few dozen common ones. the focus of this chapter is on those errors that occur most frequently. Incorrect: Kim spends all his time reading and playing soccer. Incorrect: It has been years since they spent money on new textbooks.
none is more famous than: Never end a sentence with preposition!While this rule holds true for many situations. in popular speech. Confusing prepositional phrases Certain words must always be followed by certain prepositions. In the following sentence. The meal consists of eight separate courses. “I played well in the basketball game. It is important to remember that they must always be used together: You must account for every item in your club’s budget. Written correctly. For example. The second sentence uses the preposition after to describe the time relationship between holiday and birthday. The holiday that follows immediately after your birthday is Valentine’s Day. Good form: She likes all sports except soccer. The first sentence uses the preposition on to describe the spatial relationship between the box and the desk.” 191 . good describes the noun pasta: The pasta ume last night was good. Poor form: They looked outside of the house for the lost cat. Common prepositional phrases: account for agree upon angry with argue about compare to correspond with differ from different than identical to independent of interested in speak with Alternate Endings Of all the rules governing prepositions. Poor form: She likes all sports except for soccer. On your desk and after your birthday are prepositional phrases. However. It is perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition. such as slowly. Good form: I cleaned under the kitchen cabinets. good is used to describe nouns. Well is commonly confused with its adjective counterpart. good. 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. it sounds much more natural to say “That’s all I can think of” than “That’s all of which I can think. are easily spotted because most of them end in -ly. which s incorrect: I played good in the basketball game. chances are at least one is unnecessary. good describes the verb played. Poor form: I cleaned up under the kitchen cabinets. the sentence would read. As an adjective. which describe verbs. Below are two examples of required prepositions—the preposition is in italics and the supported word is underlined. Examples The box on your desk is your birthday present. the adverb that causes the most errors is not a typical-ly form. 2. In the following sentence. Remember that when two or more prepositions are used together. They are often used to show a relationship of space or time. The correct word to use in such instances is the adverb well. These necessary prepositions are always used in combination with their respective supported words. Good form: They looked outside the house for the lost cat. abruptly. unnecessary prepositions should be avoided. Using them unnecessarily Because it is so important in your essay to get to the point concisely.” PREPOSITIONS Prepositions are connecting words that link a noun or pronoun to another word in a sentence.Adverbs. it is not an absolute. quickly. especially in your essay. if it makes the sentence flow better.
To achieve subject-verb agreement. It isn’t dangling. though sometimes difficult to recognize. The danger of misplaced modifiers. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. Incorrect: Tim and Fran is a great couple. • Incorrect:While practicing outside with the soccer team. Incorrect: I had to have the cafeteria unlocked meeting with student government this morning. • Incorrect:While working on his English assignment. first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. he was distracted by the noisy construction job. I had to have the cafeteria unlocked. and then pair it with the correct verb form. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 43 Many times short questions are ended in prepositions. 44 A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. Note that correcting a dangling participle involves adding and/or rearranging the words in a sentence to make the meaning clear. OR The noisy construction job distracted Jim while he was practicing outside with the soccer team. his computer crashed. 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. Since it is so critical that your reader understand your point easily and exactly. 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. Note that the unacceptable sentences could be improved simply by dropping the preposition at the end. is that they confuse meaning. the noisy construction job distracted Jim. no extra words are needed.What would the statement sound like if you kept—or dropped—the preposition? Does it sound like you. or does it sound like a college professor? Prepositions should not be used in an attempt to add importance or weight to your writing. (Was the computer working on the assignment?) • Correct: While Tony was working on his English assignment. Did the cafeteria meet with student government? To say exactly what is meant. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. dangling modifiers (and indeed any ambiguous language) must be avoided. the modifying phrase “meeting with student government” should be moved to the beginning of the sentence. as with dangling modifiers. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb. the modifier is just in the wrong place. are easily fixed by rearranging word order. Here are some acceptable and unacceptable examples. NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT Nouns and verbs must agree in number.Tony’s computer crashed. Correct: While Jim was practicing outside with the soccer team. Correct: Tim and Fran are a great couple. Correct: Meeting with student government this morning.The best technique for deciding to keep or remove prepositions at the end of sentences is to use your ear. (plural subject takes plural verb) 192 .
When we finished the game. the more difficult it is to determine noun/verb agreement. Examples At the zoo. the verb must be plural. Cried a lot. Passive: Another helping was asked for by my friend. The two most common mistakes at the sentence level are extremes. Passive:My wallet was misplaced by me. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS A sentence fragment is a group of words that. Not only is the active voice clearer and more direct.Common examples include sentences that begin with there is and there are. and expresses a fully developed thought.) ✔ If a compound. Can’t go to the store. they include two complete clauses or sentences. In the active voice. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 45 NOUN AND VERB AGREEMENT CHECKLIST The more complex the sentence. written in the passive voice. Correct: Here is the report you asked me to write. of the action.) _ ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE VOICE The active voice is much more effective in conveying your personality through your essay. Incorrect: Here are the report you asked me to write. (Neither the 10-speed nor the hybrid is appropriate for a trail race. In the passive voice. they are phrases that are not whole thoughts. the subject (most often you) is acted upon. singular subject is connected by or or nor. Sentences written in the passive voice tend to be too wordy. Note the simplicity and directness of the first sentence in each pair. but it conveys your meaning more easily.Run-on sentences don’t stop soon enough. or cause. RUN-ON SENTENCES A run-on sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses or complete sentences 193 . (singular subject takes singular verb) Agreement may be difficult to determine when the noun follows the verb. _ SENTENCE STRUCTURE A complete sentence requires a noun and verb. Correct:There are too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. Incorrect: There is too many meetings scheduled on Tuesday morning. or lack focus. (Both the 10-speed and the hybrid are appropriate for the bike race. singular subject is connected by and. and here is and here are. does not express a complete thought. Sentence fragments stop too quickly. the verb agrees with the closest subject. however. Active: The administration has selected three finalists for the open position. Fragments also can be phrases or parts of other sentences. and may be dependent clauses. you literally become the source. although punctuated as a sentence. are clunky and noticeably longer. Active: I misplaced my wallet. it should be used only when necessary. (Neither a fast bike nor perfect trails are going to help you to win if you do not train. Correct: One of my friends is going to yourt school. The good news is that passive-voice errors are easy to omit from your writing. For these reasons. remember to first determine whether your subject is singular or plural. the verb must be singular.Incorrect: One of my friends are going to your school.When editing your work. and then match it to the correct verb.The second sentences. Here are some guidelines that may help you: ✔ If a compound.) ✔ If one plural and one singular subject are connected by or or nor. Compare these sentences: Active: My friend asked for another helping. Passive: Three finalists for the open position have been selected by the administration. Fragments are often missing a subject or verb.
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:We hardly ever see movies. Remember that hardly and barely are negatives. Eliminate them from your writing. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent. so. Incorrect: Last year the governor said he is campaigning for our candidate. but tense shifts account for a large share of grammatical errors. and may obscure meaning. Correct: There aren’t any tickets left. If you are using those words. Add a dependent clause (use words such as because. too. Examples We were hungry and John was tired so we had to stop at the first rest area that we saw. This seems like an obvious point. Correct: Mary doesn’t like either of those books. since. we decided to take a walk. 3. or. so you do not need to double up. and nor. As with verb tense shifts.With proper punctuation your writing will be more polished and technically correct. 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. Use a comma and a conjunction (and. Incorrect: Mary doesn’t like neither of those books. all verbs should be in the past tense. _ DOUBLE NEGATIVES The use of double negatives is unnecessary and incorrect. Incorrect: Vegans don’t eat dairy products nor meat. but. Correct: Last year the governor said he would campaign for our candidate. Eight rules cover 194 . we decide to take a walk. 2. Examples Incorrect: When we finished our lunch. you have a negative. For instance. Incorrect: There aren’t no tickets left. for. Break up the sentence by inserting a semi colon between two clauses. and will convey your voice more directly. nor. never. OR Last year the governor said he was campaigning for our candidate.placed together into one sentence without proper punctuation. neither. and obscures meaning. Correct: When we finished our lunch. when describing an event in the past. 5. yet) to set apart an independent clause. Kim studied hard for the test that’s why he got an A. Break up the run-on sentence into two or more complete sentences. not. Incorrect:We hardly never see movies. THE APOSTROPHE Apostrophes (’) are used to indicate ownership and to form contractions. those covered in this section are the ones that present the most challenges to their users. and while).While the information may seem simple. Correct: Vegans don’t eat dairy products or meat. after. Here are a few ways to correct run-on sentences. 1. TAKE NOTE There are more negatives than just the obvious no. it pays to review it. 4. Use a dash to separate parts of the sentence. and has been taught to you numerous times during your education. 48 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics _ PUNCTUATION There are dozens of different punctuation marks in the English language.
as well as certain expressions of time and money. say the words it is when you come across it’s or its. Show possession in the last word when using names of organizations and businesses. 8. 3.all of the situations in which they may appear. If they make sense.However.) is not as critical to the meaning of your sentences as it is with other punctuation marks. 2. If they don’t. It was no one’s fault that we lost the game. Apostrophes form contractions by taking the place of the missing letter or number. I attended a conference in Washington. I went to visit my great-grandfather’s alma mater. The line for the women’s restroom was too long. Good form: She is going to write the next proposal. its. and replaced by an apostrophe. they can be used to convey your voice as they speed up or slow down the pace of your sentences. He packed a week’s worth of clothing. The flight attendants’ uniforms were blue and white. figures. Poor form: My supervisor was in the class of ’89. The drummer’s solo received a standing ovation. 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. Possessive plural nouns already ending in s need only the apostrophe added: The customers’ access codes are confidential. Use an ’s to form the plurals of letters. 1. 195 . 6. and in joint ownership: Sam and Janet’s graduation was three months ago. Perkins’s persuasive essay was very convincing. The Future Farmers of America’s meeting was moved to Monday. even when the noun ends in s: The school’s lunchroom needs to be cleaned. 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. Mr. Indefinite pronouns show ownership by the addition of ’s: Everyone’s hearts were in the right place. 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. Good form: We are going out of town next week. 5. Poor form: We’re going out of town next week. you need the possessive form. Do not use contractions in highly formal written presentations. The word it’s is instead a contraction of the words it is. The second i is removed. The project was the result of a year’s worth of work. Poor form: She’s going to write the next proposal. Possessive pronouns never have apostrophes. its does not contain an apostrophe. without an apostrophe. in hyphenated words. 7. My street address contains three 5’s. Men’s shirts come in a variety of neck sizes. Your garden is beautiful. When revising your writing. and numbers used as words. Add ’s to form the singular possessive. ITS VERSUS IT’S Unlike most possessives. you should be using the contraction. His handwriting is difficult to read. 4. even though some may end in s: Our car is up for sale. Somebody’s dog was barking all night. The students’ grades improved each semester. THE COMMA Correct usage of commas (.
Corrected sentence: Our school received an award. giving a little more information with each clause. apples. the serial comma clarifies the meaning of sentences. you can either: ■ replace the comma with a period.D. commas are often misused.we raised the most money for the local charity. Correct: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she attends a seminar each month and has been a professional for over twenty years. and the serial comma. Sentence B reads quicker.. Cindy. because. forming two sentences ■ replace the comma with a semicolon ■ join the two clauses with a conjunction such as and. Serial Comma A serial comma is the one used last in a list of items. Comma Splice A comma splice is the incorrect use of a comma to connect two complete sentences. 196 .C. The lack of a serial comma can cause confusion. There are two common errors that all college-bound students should be aware of: the comma splice. physics. OR Our school received an award because we raised the most money for the local charity. Ann and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. We raised the most money for the local charity. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. Therefore. in the following example.C. we raised the most money for the local charity. Incorrect:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he graduated Summa Cum Laude. 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. American literature. conveying the information faster and with equal weight on each part. the message is straightforward. after the word and. For instance. Correct: He signed up for four classes: geometry. It creates a run-on sentence. Ann. ■ A restatement or elaboration of the previous clause Incorrect: Shari is a talented hairdresser: she is also the mother of two children. Sentence A sounds more deliberate. In addition to helping to convey your voice and personality. American literature. the comma after apples is the serial comma: At the store. and religion. In the sentence. But if the serial comma is dropped. you should use it consistently whenever writing a list. physics. and Sally were hired to work in the college counselor’s office. or so Comma splice: Our school received an award. 50 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics Sentence B: During my junior year I attended a conference in Washington. I bought bananas. Correct:My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. Mechanics CHAPTER 4 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ 51 While its use has been debated for centuries. and religion. Cindy. OR Our school received an award. D. To correct a comma splice. and oranges. where student delegates from every state presented their ideas. it could be understood as Cindy being told that Ann and Sally were hired.
places. she received a low grade. The first example. therefore. and ill. _ CAPITALIZATION Capitalization is necessary both for specific words and to start sentences and quotes. Nebraska.Colons have the effect of sounding authoritative. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that are connected with a conjunctive adverb that expresses a relationship between clauses. and Pensacola. He had to fly to Houston to present a paper. 52 HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS _ CHAPTER 4 Mechanics ■ Use semicolons to separate independent clauses. the first. and Tuesday. ■ Use semicolons to separate items in a series that contain commas. only one received credit for it. adverbs. She has lived in Omaha. using a verb ending in -ing that does not refer to the subject of the sentence it modifies. meaning a singular noun takes a singular verb.with the colon. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses joined without a conjunction. July 7. but it conveys your meaning more easily. January 10. Example: The strays were malnourished.Monday. and thus appear overly casual. Examples: The dates for our meetings are Monday. A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase that describes something. and prepositions are the most challenging parts of speech. Amherst. adjectives. the pronoun I. but Liz had a weakness for kittens. April 14. but because you never want to appear pompous. and things) 3. even if the clauses are joined by a conjunction. Learn the common errors to eliminate them from your writing. and any other important words of a title 5. proper nouns (names of people.However. Consider the following: My teacher wasn’t in class today: he had to fly to Houston to present a paper. ■ The active voice is not only clearer and more direct. and any contractions made with it _ FOR YOUR REVIEW ■ Pronouns. New Jersey. Florida. Example: Four people worked on the project. and a plural noun takes a plural verb. Tuesday.and to separate the items in a list when those items contain commas. but not a partial quotation 4.) may be used in two ways: to separate independent clauses. ■ Avoid the two most common mistakes at the sentence level: sentence fragments 197 .” It sounds more authoritative. has the tone that conveys. accounting for a majority of usage errors. Both create ambiguity and can change the meaning of a sentence.“I know why this happened. Example: Victoria was absent frequently. many writers overuse it. This can be effective in your essay. languages 6. last. Case: Use a semicolon to show which sets of items go together.Massachusetts. it should be used sparingly. ■ Nouns and verbs must agree in number. October 11. ■ A dangling participle is a phrase or clause. Use it instead of the passive voice whenever possible. but is in the wrong place in the sentence. Case: Use a semicolon to separate independent clauses that contain commas. There are just six occasions that require capitalization: 1. dirty. the first word of a complete quotation. and I am going to tell you. THE SEMICOLON Semicolons (. so she adopted them all. Nutley. the first word of a sentence 2. They present information more confidently and forcefully than if the sentence were divided in two other types of punctuation marks. My teacher wasn’t in class today.
exemplification. like "Volleyball is a great sport”. General statements. ■ There are six occasions that require capitalization. A seemingly empty topic. below the traditional Chinese arch. and when to add more evidence versus greater depth of explanation or detail. With the main idea established. or Mediterranean cooking is healthy. What does a well-developed paragraph look like? A well-developed paragraph is a complete paragraph. When visiting the area they will be inundated with shops. It isn’t like anyone would mistake a parking lot for anything else. Most visitors to San Francisco will list Chinatown as a must-see “tourist” destination. ■ Be consistent with verb tenses. parking lots. Rich 198 . everyone who has a car will inevitably use a parking lot. The reader learns why the writer believes in an idea. definition. such as determining when and where more development is needed. 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." The author. students will learn techniques of good paragraph development. ■ Proper punctuation makes your essay more polished and technically correct. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. middle. As with verb tense shifts. A parking lot is a parking lot. Rows upon rows of boundaries for individual driving units lined up one after another. The thoughtful detail in the first paragraph shows a much more engaged writer than the writer of the second paragraph. the writer then explores the significance of that topic through one or more methods of development—reflection. It has a controlling idea. whether that idea is declared in a topic sentence in the beginning. etc.—taking a general concept and making it real. and it helps to convey your voice. To see the difference good development makes. Paragraph Development Good paragraph development is a mark of a writer's investment in a topic. one welldeveloped and the other not so well-developed: At one time or another. You would never look at a parking lot and think to yourself that maybe it is a park or a playground or an airstrip. similar to the way a cowboy in the old west would tether his horse outside the saloon. yellow or white lines glowing on a background of blacktop. The parking lot always has a prominent place right in front of an establishment and sometimes even surrounds the building. The tourist will eat lunch or dinner in one of several Chinese Cuisine restaurants. Everything else in the paragraph is there to show the reader the validity and significance of that idea. explanation. or whether the idea is implied. They’ll probably notice the area is crowded and dirty. or end of the paragraph. Do not shift from one tense to another unless it is necessary. or even sloppy." become concrete and specific in the well-developed paragraph. Using capitalization in any other way can make your writing appear too casual. just take a look at these example paragraphs.and run-on sentences. In this module. The features of most parking lots are not so different. Be certain each sentence contains one complete thought. is made interesting by details like "[a parking lot] is a place where you drive your car in and drop it off for a stay while you go about your business. the use of two negatives (such as “I won’t never give up”) in a sentence sounds incompetent and can obscure meaning. ■ The use of double negatives is unnecessary and redundant.
With the word "dog. How much development is enough? How does a writer know when development is complete? A writer's decision about completeness will depend on the audience and on the controlling idea for the paragraph. to coverage of prescription drugs. in the abstract statement. without ever getting specific or concrete. and no sense of a writer's mind and voice behind the words. or if there is already enough information to make the controlling idea seem valid and interesting. Try and think like your reader. dogs as descendents of wolves. receive no insight. Some paragraphs are composed of only a single sentence. General to Specific & Abstract to Concrete Development. And so. etc.Motherwell. even if the word causes the particularities of Bandit. we risk leaving our communications wide open for interpretation. they learn nothing new. As Hayakawa points out.. And so. On the other hand. the controlling idea "Democracy is the foundation of a good community" will need extensive explanation and exemplification to be a convincing point. providing cliché generalizations about what the tourist will find to do in Chinatown. each of us has our own image of "dog" in our minds. 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. But other ideas can be developed in a sentence or two. another individual may associate all dogs with the vicious Dachsund that bit his ankle. or make emergency care free to everyone over 65. Ask yourself if a reader would benefit from hearing more about a particular point. 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 we can agree on what dogs are generally like. and detail that brings that idea to life. talks about a "ladder of abstraction" as a tool for thinking about good communication. "A Pie chart help us see where company money is going".. Some ideas are complex and will need extensive explanation and/or exemplification. we need the word "dog" in order to communicate and to find common ground. for example. a good writer asks. we would have a hard time sharing ideas: for example. 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.. another of his family's German Shepherd. if we stay at a general level. A useful way to think about developing paragraphs is to think about levels of detail. When trying to decide on length. In making decisions about development. on the other hand. Bandit." we can talk about dogs as companions. while some paragraphs are up to a page long. in his influential book Language in Thought and Action. stays at the surface of the topic. Hayakawa. 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. A welldeveloped paragraph also reflects the mind of the author who is engaged by the topic and who is concerned with communicating his or her own unique way of seeing to the reader. A well-developed paragraph has a clear controlling idea. I will increase health care benefits for seniors. and supporting sentences having more specific and/or concrete development. a quick break-down of the chart to explain distribution of funds is all that is really needed here. one person may think of her Chihuahua. Examine every sentence to see if it might deserve further explanation or exemplification. As a result. In addition. and the biting Dachsund to drop away. I. S. Brutus. Without abstractions and generalizations. as in this example. the controlling idea determines how much development is needed and how long the paragraph is going to be. Brutus. even before people had cars! The author of the second paragraph. and another for massage therapy professionals. San Francisco. a politican might (quite intentionally) say "If elected. to co-pay expenses. The politician relies on such abstract statements. we need both abstract and concrete language for communication. dogs as pack animals." Health care benefits is a phrase at a fairly high level of abstraction: it can refer to anything from coverage of hospital expenses. and an 199 . For example. A paragraph should include sentences at varying levels—the topic sentence or controlling idea being the most general or abstract. readers are only reminded of what they already know.
and The Clash pruducing amazing off-the-radio tracks like "Blitzkrieg Bop. When you show someone how to make an omelette. 80's rock included real extremes: big-hair metal bands like Van Halen and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts arrived on the scene. In a written text. as Hayakawa points out. a reader expects to get concrete information and a new perspective or new insight. or change a tire. the Sex Pistols. Whether you are aware of it or not. take a look at a paragraph that goes down through all of the levels of abstraction above: As a teenager in the eighties. To write well-developed paragraphs. you already use patterns of development to express yourself. however. doing great numbers like "Jump. headbanging punk music took off with bands like the Ramones. 1." "New Wave" also emerged as a kind of toned down. 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. to win elections. 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. Some of it was great. Yet there was some pretty bad new-wave music as well (at least I see that now. and to hear a person's unique voice. Write a paragraph that is complete and developed with concrete detail on the following topic: why cell phones are so popular 2. Now. I was exposed to exciting new movements in rock music. you are 200 .unquestioning public. and this voice comes out in the details rather than in the broad generalization. when you offer several reasons why you are late for an appointment." and "Rock Lobster. A good paragraph goes down the ladder of abstraction to provide these references." and "Lost in the Supermarket. think in terms of levels of detail. in hindsight) by "Haircut" bands like Flock of Seagulls ("I ran") and the Thompson Twins ("Lies")." were played at every party. Everyone knew the words to "Burning Down the House. synthesized version of punk music. a more humorous and satirical version of punk. words should be "referable" to lower levels of abstraction. when you describe what your roomate looks like when she gets up in the morning you are using "description"." by the Talking Heads." and "Bad Reputation." "Anarchy in the U." and "Psycho Killer." And edgy. you are using a pattern of development called "process analysis". The figure to the right demonstrates how one might go down the ladder of abstraction and provide such references in a discussion of music. radio-acceptable. a reader will rarely accept a series of generalizations as text worth reading.K. and B52's songs like "Planet Clare.
you are using narration. Learning to use these patterns of development in writing is not difficult: you will need to familiarize yourself with key transitional expressions that send a signal to the reader that a particular pattern is being used. Use common patterns of development effectively in their own writing. and when you tell the story of your first date. and you will need to make conscious decisions about which strategies best develops your ideas. Objectives: By the end of this module students should be able to • • Identify common patterns of development used in written works.using cause and effect. 201 .
Seven Types of ParagraphIn their pursuit of clear. for example. The following paragraphs have been devised in an attempt to emphasize the characteristics of each mode of writing. 202 . In nonprofit educational use. definition. The result is somewhat artificial--you would not normally write an article containing one each of seven types of paragraphs!--but I hope it is more memorable than a series of unrelated illustrations. Reviewing any good high classification. and persuasion. narration frequently includes description.school writing handbook will remind you that process analysis. process analysis. May not besuccession. May be used by teachers fortraditional methods by which writing is developed. PhD Division of Journalism Florida A&M University presentations of single units of thought. classification. description.everything in short. definition.longleaf. paragraphs can be developed into well focused What follows is an (imaginary) article invented to illustrate many of the "modes of discourse"--the © 1999. journalism Development students sometimes develop the habit of writing Annotated examples of narration. the following paragraphs are narration.net/ggrow/ list. concise writing. in typical "how to" style. by Gerald Grow.) Contact.unrelated to one another. description. Available at: analysis paragraph has been broken into a bulleted http://www. reprinted elsewhere withoutexposition. In most writing. (The process permission. andconsiderable thought has been given to how longer persuasion. choppy paragraphs that are exposition. these modes are mixed in natural combinations.
a setting (the park). He found where his pants were hanging and. In this paragraph. Narration usually contains characters. Time and place and person are normally established. Outside. something rustled in the leaves right outside the window. whatever. and the huge silence of the night seemed to come inside the camper. And light: At home he can read in bed by the glow of the streetlight. the "story" components are: a protagonist (Hanson). a goal (to camp). tree-frogs chirruped. He heard his wife. Then. too. a setting. an obstacle (nature). Even starlight failed to penetrate the 80-foot canopy of trees the camper was parked beneath. the nights are filled with the busy. It was too quiet. a conflict. Something felt wrong. You don't just lay the words on the page. as he felt the pockets for a box of matches. He lay in the dark listening. hold her breath. Across the distant forest floated two muffled hoots from a barred owl. stifling them. And much too dark. He felt for the flashlight beside his bunk. and a resolution (leaving).Narration Around 2 a. Wanda. At home in New Jersey. Comments on narration: • • • Normally chronological (though sometimes uses flashbacks) A sequential presentation of the events that add up to a story. was outside in the darkness also breathed. This narrative serves as the opening anecdote that illustrates the topic of the story • • Top 204 . comforting sounds of traffic. inches from his face. Specific details always help a story. A narrative differs from a mere listing of events. It was too quiet. It was gone. You always have the comforting knowledge that other people are all around you. crickets sang. something woke Charles Hanson up. and a resolution. you point them in the direction of a story. It was the darkest dark he had ever seen.m. she was awake. but so does interpretive language. a climax (his panic). It was then he decided to pack up and move to a motel.
What makes your explanation believable? Normally." Those people picked the wrong kind of park to visit. But it just wasn't the kind of place the couple from New Jersey had in mind when they decided to camp out on this trip through Florida.Exposition This family was a victim of a problem they could have avoided-a problem that. why it is important. If they had known about the different kinds of parks in Florida. and what is to come. specifies the topic of the article. This paragraph also happens to serve as the justifier or "nut graf" for the little article: the paragraph that. Not that there was anything wrong with the park: The hikers camped next to them loved the wild isolation of it. or it can be the heart of an article Aside from clarity. Comments on exposition: • • Exposition is explanatory writing Exposition can be an incidental part of a description or a narration. hundreds of visitors suffer each year. the key problem with exposition is credibility." ranger Rod Torres of O'Leno State Park said. they might have stayed in a place they loved. according to Florida park rangers. • • Top 206 . "Several times a month. after an indirect opening. writers solve this problem by citing authorities who have good credentials and good reason to be experts in the subject. "people get scared and leave the park in the middle of the night.
Comments on definition: • Never define anything by the "according to Webster's" method. Florida has a rich variety of parks. Meaning is found in the world. • 208 .Definition "Park" is difficult to define in Florida. a park is a place to go for outdoor recreation-to swim. paddle your canoe. camp. in some places take rides in miniature trains or swish down a waterslide. play tennis. To make things more complicated. picnic. but make a strong effort to say what it IS. Basically. because there are so many kinds of parks. walk the dog." and even the ones called "parks" come in several varieties. hike. and. ranging from acres of RVs ringed around recreation halls. Saying what something is NOT can help readers. Bring the world into your story and use it to define your terms. to impenetrable mangrove wilderness. not in the dictionary. not all of them are called "parks.
or. Also evoke. person. The success of a description lies in the difference between what a reader can imagine and what you actually saw and recorded. down a river. in what order. object. Description requires you to record a series of detailed observations. sudden sinkholes open in the woodlands-rich with cool ferns and mosses. then continues on to meet the Suwannee and the sea. Try making the description a little dramatic revelation. left to right. Look for ways to describe action. Pay special attention to the sound and rhythm of words. Go light on adjectives and adverbs. 18 rustic cabins. In the midst of this lovely setting. Use sensory language. the Santa Fe River disappears in a large. stands of cypress mirror themselves in the still waters. Be especially careful to make real observations. and a pavilion for group meetings. dramatic order. Think of what pieces readers need.Description O'Leno is a good example of a state park in Florida. but what readers need to see in order to imagine the scene. shaded woods of a beautiful hardwood forest. you find 65 campsites. cool waters of the Santa Fe. interesting. The key problem in description is to avoid being static or flat. from that gap arises a spark of engagement. old to new. tree-lined pool. expanses of longleaf pinelands stretch across rolling hills. Portray. 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. as in this example. to give your description a natural flow. Nearby. the river rises three miles downstream in a big boil. like watching an actor put on a 210 • • • • • . use these when you can. etc. slowly swirling. Think of description as a little narrative in which the visual characteristics unfold in a natural. Adopt a strategy that makes your description into a little story: move from far to near. A diving platform marks a good place to swim in the soft. walls of dense river swamp rise before you. After appearing intermittently in scattered sinkholes. Farther from the river. and canoeing up this dark river is like traveling backwards in time in the direction of original Florida. Surrounded by the tall. to construct a scene. Comments on description: • Description is not what you saw.
you have to be careful to step over the picnic baskets. stick with it till the end of the comparison. Either describe all of O'Leno and compare it to all of Lloyd Beach by working "down" columns two and three. there is a chance you will have a hole in your comparison.Comparison Forest and river dominate O'Leno State Park. If you do not make such a chart. then the next category. If you follow it. draw up a chart and fill it in. O'Leno wraps itself with the silence of crickets and owls. Lloyd Beach is the place to go. But if you want to stand at the edge of civilization and look across time into an older natural world." Once you commit to a "down" or "across" strategy. or take the first category. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area. When you walk at Lloyd Beach. As in the model below. Where O'Leno gives you so much quiet you can hear the leaves whispering. Before writing a comparison. list the two items being compared. and browning bodies. Lloyd Beach is busy with fishermen till well past midnight. By contrast. and so on "across the rows. 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. near Fort Lauderdale. your comparisons will benefit. Comments on comparison: • There is a helpful technique for writing a comparison. At night. O'Leno is the park to visit. to make certain you have all the elements necessary to write a comparison. is dominated by the oily bodies of sun-worshippers who crowd into it every summer weekend. or dive into the busy bustle of an urban beach. You can walk a few yards in O'Leno and pass beyond every sign of human civilization. jam boxes. O'Leno Lloyd Beach quiet noisy solitude busy crowds available river to swim Atlantic beach and canoe forest abundant. If you want to fish near town. umbrellas. 212 • Top . and the criteria by which they will be compared. Lloyd Beach is a place of boisterous activity. "noise" and compare the two parks in terms of it.
Then isolate the steps: number then.Process Analysis [Note: I couldn't think of a way to write the following paragraphs that followed naturally from the previous material. pretend you are reading an article on how to put up a particular brand of tent. lift one of the poles. Prop up the awning with the two remaining poles and secure them with guyropes. always think of your readers: can they follow this? Analyze the process into a series of steps. Together all four external tentpoles (they are held together by shock cords to ake sure you get the pieces matched up). After you have all four poles in place. While holding the pole up. fit it into the upper end of the standing pole before securing its guywire. One person can set up the FamilyProof Tent. Assemble the two remaining tent poles in a similar manner. To form an awning. Here's how: • First. Unfold the tent so that the corners of the waterproof bottom form a square. • • • • • • Now you are ready to move in. pull its guyrope tight and peg the guyrope down. limbs. and anything that might pierce the bottom of the tent. so that the pole is held up by the guyrope and the pegs on opposing sides of the tent bottom. unroll the front flAP Test. Finally. For the next paragraph. Lift the pole on the opposite side of the tent in the same way. snAP Test. you will need to make camp. but this time. 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 • • • • . Peg down the corners of the bottom. clear a 9 by 9 foot area of snags.] When you find the park you are looking for. yet almost impossible with three or more. Comments on process analysis: • In describing how a process happens or how to perform a series of actions. Put the steps into sequence. Place a pole near each of the pegs. use bullets. Thread each pole through the two loops leading toward the top of the tent. though it is easier with two. Next.
Self-interest with her was high. If you can help them formulate and deepen that opinion. and take action. Warm with the fancies of youth. her guiding characteristic. and utterances. and it uses a direct. mannerisms. • • • Top Gerald Grow's Homepage at <http://www. as she had been half afffectionately termed by the family. You need to supply them with the information.Persuasion Before you go camping in Florida.net/ggrow> Description Subjective Description: Writers use descriptive paragraphs most often in fiction. 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. analysis. helps us imagine what people are like. Get good information on what to expect. more is needed than your opinion or sense of conviction. or Sister Carrie. Don't wind up in the wilds when you want to be near Disney World.longleaf. Find out what parks are available. as in this description of Caroline Meeber by Theodore Dreiser in his novel Sister Carrie: Caroline. pretty with the insipid 215 . their appearance. It was nevertheless." Description of time and place draws readers into other worlds and sets the stage where a story can unfold. Description of characters. was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis. and don't wind up on a concrete RV pad when you really want the forest primeval. and what they are like. This can make all the difference in the quality of your vacation." or "The mountains loomed above them. and what your options are. Just think of lines like "It was a dark and stormy night. make their own judgments. Comments on persuasion: • This paragraph is but a small example of the kind of writing used widely in editorials and columns. they will be glad they read your article. now get up and act!" To persuade people to change their minds or take an action. "OK. and context they need to form their own opinions. but not strong. plan ahead. Remember: Readers are interested in only one opinion--their own.
or person to be described as objectively as possible and the descriptive details of the paragraph should add substance to the main point. your paragraph should have a clear controlling idea so that your reader knows what to do with your descriptive details. and will tune in to a story when their eyes glaze over at other styles of writing. and gender. while those of red maple are widest at the base. For instance. Nothing should be included in the paragraph that does not support the controlling idea. however. deciduous tree usually ranging from 15–25 m. cultural contexts for writing. . Writing Description: Whether your goal is to write objective or subjective description. (50–80 ft. possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence. The leaf sinuses are rounded. getting past biases can be difficult. . tapering to the tip. part of writing good objective description. (Sieberling) It is important to note that while being objective may be a writer's goal. 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. she was a fair example of the middle American class . the controlling idea should identify the object. is being aware of one's own biases. unlike those of red maple (Acer rubrum) which are sharply Vshaped." is an example of a dominant impression. at the beginning of an essay on the problems caused by excessive instant messaging by young teens. In subjective description. becoming ridged and furrowed with age. Supporting details should help the reader understand the dominant impression." In an objective description. the details must be organized in a meaningful way on the page.prettiness of the formative period. the author is describing an impression of what is observed. In both subjective and objective description. Even when your purpose is to write an essay that is primarily to inform. Also. . or other writing in which the goal is to present an objective picture of an object or scene. if your reader is to understand what your observations mean. Objective Description: Description is also used in reportorial and scientific writing. a narrative paragraph can be effective at drawing the reader in and establishing your voice in the essay. as in the following example: The Acer barbatum is a small to medium-sized. analyze or argue. and instead report what is seen. "It was a gloomy morning. Good supporting details could include "The morning air felt damp and cold. 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. too. the sides of terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel. the writer's age. In these writing situations. as a video camera records a scene. organizing details around clear controlling ideas is essential. . You may experience a scene or a person as a holistic impression. Bark is light gray and smooth on younger trees. . storytelling can be very effective for the simple reason that people love to hear stories. 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. Narration A narrative is a story. Therefore. " (Dreiser 1) In this type of description. As a method of development. how the writer feels about the subject. the writer attempts to stay away from emotional impressions or responses. with a few blunt teeth but no serrations. scene. Leaves are opposite and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed. People huddled inside their coats. 216 . For example.) tall when mature. that controlling idea should be a dominant impression of a particular scene or person.
also. talking. In a narrative paragraph it is useful to think of paragraphs as scenes. a controlling idea is important. . in addition. etc. eventually.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. finally. spend a lot of time trying to find the right words for their meaning. and watched. For the most part. . 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. and then I clumb up into the forks of a cottonwood that was out of reach. the controlling idea for the scene is "I took up the river road as hard as I could put. transitions are needed to emphasize important time relationships. first. and the controlling idea as a kind of wide angle shot on the scene. . A new paragraph will begin when the scene changes. There was a wood-rank four foot high a little ways in front of the tree. 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. narrative paragraphs are characterized by words that show action and words that show sequence. the reader assumes the actions take place in sequence. However. soon. so it is wise to use logic most of the time to show sequence. later. However. running. Concrete and Specific Detail: Descriptive details in a narrative paragraph are essential to a good story. moreover. Consider the folllowing narrative paragraph from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Good writers. or when our attention is directed toward a new event —which in the case of Huckleberry Finn is the arrival of the men with guns. Consider the difference between the general and specific. Therefore. even in a narrative paragraph. therefore. second. 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. but maybe it was luckier I didn't. too These phrases do call attention to themselves. rather than abstract or general ones. logical sequence of actions supplies the narrative sequence: "I took off. here and there. For example. furthermore. besides. I worked along under the trees. 217 . because it gives the reader information about what to do with the details that follow. ." By virtue of the linear arrangement of these sentences on the page. Further shots take the reader into the scene emphasizing details and actions that will take place in that scene. in the previous paragraph from Huckleberry Finn. as in the phrase "by and by. Details help readers to connect to the world the author envisions. By and by I begin to hear guns a good ways off. choosing concrete and specific expressions. / He loved her." What follows is what happened when he took off and went up the river road—he hides in a tree from the men with guns." Below are some of the common transitional expressions used in narrative writing: meanwhile. then. and first I was going to hide behind that. 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. I heard guns .
(Barta) Example 2: 218 . Other process analysis writing is informative rather than instructional. the reader reads such texts for understanding as well as instruction. My name is Joe and I'm going to give you a few simple lessons on how to make a Web Page. examples of this type include how to resolve the healthcare crisis. As the sun passed under the horizon. and how formal or informal to be.html or .. The basic idea is this. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. what to leave out.htm. a HTML file to be exact.Her hands were shaking and she was afraid her knees would not support her. how technical to be. Writing a Process Analysis Sequence: Typically. Some process analyses work on both levels. (If you are unclear about this file extension stuff. the steps in the process being described happen in sequence over time." "then. and how to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Part of your revision process should included finding concrete and specific expressions for your ideas. finding a good job. The concrete and specific expressions get a reader's attention far more effectively than the abstract and general expressions do. 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. and so are presented in chronological order. this is for "all wet behinda ears" Newbies." "second. and rays of brighter gold fanned across the sky into the high clouds above. for example. I must warn you though. / It was a beautiful sunset. 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. but other steps must be taken by corporations and governments as well. Process Analysis A process analysis is a discussion of the steps one must take to achieve a particular end. the sky turned hot pink and gold." to indicate the sequence in which steps are to be taken. A reader can imagine specific things far more readily than general concepts. A web page is nothing more than a file.. fixing a bent bicycle wheel. It's called HTML because web page documents have the file extension . Process analysis paragraphs also depend on transitional expressions such as "first. Some process analysis writing is intended for an audience that needs to learn how to perform a process themselves. Audience: Audience awareness is extremely important in process analysis writing. If you're at all experienced at this sort of thing. then you really are newbie!! Take a quick detour for a few ramblings on the subject). quitting smoking. for example." and "finally. / She was scared. you'll probably find this tutorial a bit of a yawner. You'll be happy to learn that it's really pretty simple.
medical professionals are better able to analyze the disease. Once you have created your page(s). a classification system is used in the military to rank officers. and traffic congestion. If you are creating your web page(s) offline. or uncomfortable street shoes to hike in rather than hiking boots. Otherwise it will not be read properly by a web browser. Classification sometimes refers to a ranking system by which things or persons are evaluated." and "server. Consider your favorite music store: the compact discs are organized into many subcategories such as country. etc. if you pack for a camping trip without taking the context of your trip in mind. hip-hop. the authors take different tones with the reader. knowing your goal is also important." In classification. for this student. soundtracks. Division & Classification Division and classification are related methods for organizing objects or information. and those who are unable to find work—we are better able to combat the crisis. if you have one. The second author assumes the reader is familiar with terms like "FTP. We understand that Garth Brooks recordings will be in the country music category because we know that Garth Brooks' music shares certain characteristics with other music in the group: a guitar as the main instrument. The second way is to create your web page(s) online using a Telnet program by accessing your UNIX account. but these organizational methods are also useful for understanding complex problems or issues: For example. and cell phones as a cause of accidents and physical 219 . your system for dividing and/or classifying information may not meet your needs. jazz. do so in any text editing or word processing document.There are basically two ways to make a web page. classical. The first way is to create the page(s) offline and then upload them to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) via FTP. Without this sense of purpose. 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. themes of heartache. take the time to decide who you think your audience is going to be. The first author is very informal and friendly (even including a smiling cartoon of himself). and other features." "Telnet. you must first have a strong sense of purpose." The first author assumes his audience has no knowledge of key terms. you will need to contact your ISP about how to go about uploading them to your server. country life. and by looking at different groups suffering from poverty—for example. In addition. you could end up with all the wrong things. dance music. the elderly. crime rate. by dividing cancer into more than 100 different types. you could have sleepwear suited for a warm bed rather than a cold forest floor. In division. Division and classification make it easy for individuals to locate what they are looking for. "plain text" or "text only" document. (Web Page) Both examples show how to build a web page. the sick. For example. trash. rock. and hotels are ranked and classified according to quality. "There are three main problems associated with living across from a highschool: noise. the second author is formal and more detached. and write for that audience. 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. For example. a student might write an essay about the problems created in society by the cell phone. When writing your own process analysis paragraph. For example. etc. For example. homesickness. Make sure that when you save your document. we divide a general category of things into smaller subcategories. we develop criteria for the items in a subcategory based on relationships between the items. dividing these problems into categories—cell phones as a social problem. etc. a country twang in his vocals. world music. In writing an essay involving division and/or classification. If you are asked to write a classification paragraph or essay. Neighborhoods are ranked by prospective home buyers according to criteria such as schools. Using Division and Classification in Your Writing: To use division and classification successfullly. noise. cleanliness. you save it as a "text".
for example. or it may be several short examples.injury—will help the student develop a clear argument. Illustration also refers more generally to clarification through exemplification." or "Ponds have several characteristics that differentiate them from lakes. Topic sentence in division and classification paragraphs: Typically. extended example. " or "We can proceed in one of three ways. who never lets her hair down. however. Every step may be fruitful. 220 . Classifying cell phones according to size. a quotation. got so crazy last night. as in the following example. Writers use examples to make a general idea clear—to illustrate an idea. only adds to the joy and glory of the climb. ever-ascending. The key to a good illustration.) Illustration You may associated the word "illustration" with images that accompany a story in a picture book. but the emphasis is likely to be on the ranking of the different divisions. no matter which form it takes. an anecdote. or the criteria that chacterize items in a group." 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. It may be a story. or a statistic. What do you want. We assassinate microbes with hand soap. But this." Every day you may make progress. "Before God we are all equally wise . Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening." In a classification paragraph. in illustrated books. That's deep enough. . "Most states recognize two types of murder. the topic sentence might also involve enumeration. 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. an adorable pancreas? (Jean Kerr) Using illustration in your writing: Once you have a clear sense of an idea you want to illustrate. Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. as in "There are two main problems associated with . is that it sheds light on the general idea. Consider the following examples: I am surprised that Margot. . 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. ever-improving path. convenience. (Winston Churchill) I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. It feels clean and right. the picture helps to illuminate or clarify the meaning in the text. mouthwash and bathroom cleaners. Yet as Einstein says. and appearance would not be an effective system for this argument. price. you need to decide on the form of illustration you will use: A series of examples or statistical information can be persuasive.and equally foolish. so far from discouraging. The illustration may be one long. You know you will never get to the end of the journey.
"It was getting scarier and scarier.Diebold employees." "luck. but only certain bacteria commonly cause endocarditis. election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line -. He stated.and change votes without leaving a trace. . Bacteremia is common after many invasive procedures. Compare the following scientific definition with a highly subjective definition: Scientific Definition: Bacterial endocarditis occurs when bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia) lodge on abnormal heart valves or other damaged heart tissue. The answer. .a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office -. a writer should be as objective as possible. ." Harris said. In defining scientific terms. Washington. ("Bacterial") 221 .could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence. doubts about the accuracy and integrity of e-voting equipment have been growing. thanks to Harris' discovery. bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence. A single. is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria. and the skin. This technique is useful when you are writing a literary analysis. such as the mouth and upper respiratory system. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings. Racism. the intestinal and urinary tracts. on the other hand. making the idea clear and real. when she made a startling discovery. . "I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. as in the following illustration from an essay on e-voting. the writer's goal is to help the reader understand new terms or concepts. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves. Certain bacteria normally live on parts of your body. the writer should strive to use analogies and impressions that the reader can readily identify with. . dog fighting and cock fighting. the main idea is developed through a list of concrete examples. "Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. Consider this paragraph about Caeser Chavez from Wikipedia: Chávez was an ethical vegan and vocal advocate of animal rights. ." (Wikipedia) Definition In a definition paragraph." or "democracy" in a personal way. definitions can be more subjective. long illustration allows you to get in depth and explore facets of an idea. or a biography. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema. A writer may wish to define complex terms such as "heartache. "There was a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been there. (Keim) In each paragraph. This technique is useful if you are exploring a complex idea. economic deprival. "I was thinking we have an immense problem here that's much bigger than me." He also said. Diebold hadn't password-protected the file or secured the audit log. or to come to new understanding of terms they may be familiar with. they say.But some scientists say we're overdoing it." Over the past year. so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election -. where the terminology is extensive and discipline-specific. searching the Internet for an electronic voting machine manual. Some surgical and dental procedures cause a brief bacteremia. voting activist Bev Harris was holed up in the basement of her three-story house in Renton. Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access -. 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." Harris said. . In the humanities. (Zetter) You may also choose to use quotations to illustrate an idea. Definition is very important in the sciences. irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. and when impressions are essential.
we can get a pretty good sense of what something is like. I have had to struggle to keep from thinking of myself in the limiting way that word implies. By function: how something works. one or the other will be emphasized. the slang term "wimp" comes from the term "wimple. or what it is lacking. as in the above definition of "idiocy. the purpose of the paragraph is to explore how that effect came to be—to show what caused it. Nobody knows what it is like to deal with crippling bouts of idiocy while trying to lead a normal life. a writer must identify the term being defined. By example: Giving examples illustrating what the term means can be highly effective. a definition of CO2 emissions emphasizing the consequences of these emissions to the environment would be important. (Frazer) The second paragraph is taken from an essay-length definition of "idiocy" by Ian Frazer. Below are some common methods of definition: By characteristics or features: Scientific definitions typically rely on this type of definition. for now he is really in trouble." which refers to a head scarf women wore in mediaeval Europe. and then provide clear detail to support the definition. For example. and I find myself asking. “Have you no sense of decency. a writer begins with a particular cause. then explores the consequences or effects of this cause. I would like it known that I am not an “idiot. 222 . Exploring the evolution of the term could yield interesting insight into the connotations of the contemporary term. Physical features as well as behaviors (as in animal or cell behavior) may be a part of this type of definition. However. Cause & Effect A cause and effect development techniques are typically discussed together. in an essay on global warming.” I am a person who suffers from idiocy. or what it does can be an important part of definition. provide a basic or general definition. A paragraph emphasizing the causes of something typically begins with an effect. in a particular paragraph. The method(s) you choose should be determined by the term you are defining. Writing Definitions: To write a definition paragraph (or essay)." By its origins: Providing a history of what a term has meant can help us understand its current meaning. . So. The last thing I need is for somebody to make it harder by pointing out what an “idiot” I am. Welch did of Senator Joseph McCarthy. By what it is not: Ironically. Look at the examples below: paragraph emphasizing causes: Several factors contributed to the instability of the economy today. sir?” Throughout my life. for the record. By its effect: Discussing what effects the subject produces is important with certain subjects or in certain contexts. paragraph emphasizing effect: Jack should never have quit his job. as Mr. “[I]diot” is not a nice word to call somebody. For example.Subjective Definition: . A definition can be developed in a number of ways. . He goes on to give examples of his idiocy and then conclude that his idiocy is just not his fault. In a paragraph emphasizing the effects of something. By what it is similar to: Comparison and analogy help us understand things that are unfamiliar to us. by learning what it is not.
Finally. solid evidence. and eventually dies. is caused by Words and phrases showing consequence: as a result. lumbering up and down are melancholy.Writing a cause & effect paragraph or essay: In a cause and/or effect paragraph. 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. taking notes. A rose blooms. then. a complex experience like falling in love might be explained in a rose analogy. Yet. if one chooses to emphasize the thorns of the rose. in the moonlight the steam-engines cast shadows on the walls which seem like the shadows of the Titans. mad elephants. The author analyzes scenes from the text to support an interpretation of their significance in the larger context of the novel: In Hard Times." is severely workful and practical. and the smoke from the chimneys is like coiled serpents. no purpose has been identified for discussing the cause and effect relationship. Using transition words to emphasize cause and effect relationships between ideas is useful. it is delicate and beautiful. since. of course. Charles Dickens suggests that everything in the sooty. for this reason. however. evidence must be selected that best supports the interpretation or conclusion. There are no perfect analogies. 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. the steam engines themselves. . It is not Ok to write "There are several causes and effects for . 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 stuff of strange dreams: the lights of factories make the factories seem like fantastic fairy palaces. Take a look at the following example of an analysis of setting in the novel Hard Times. Analogy Analogy can be highly effective for extended definitions because in analogy. there are moments when the city becomes fantastic and disorienting. therefore. dismal factory town. Writing an Analysis Paragraph: Strong analysis depends on a clear sense of purpose. the looms in the factories seem a forest. mythological giants. and then deciding what the evidence suggests. To get to this point of confidence takes hard work: rereading a text or examining a subject several times to become familiar with the contents. Words and phrases showing cause: because. but it also has thorns. " A controlling idea like this merely establishes a fact. Once a writer has developed an interpretation of or conclusion about a subject. 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. one explains something that is difficult to understand through comparison with something that is more readily understood. all analogies break down at some point. Analysis In an analysis paragraph. "Coketown. and careful explanation of the significance of the evidence. . a rare beauty in nature. consequently. it follows. disorienting places. the goal is to understand a subject by examining its parts. is due to. the writer needs to know which factor to emphasize: causes or effects. and why it is important to discuss a cause and effect relationship in the first place. analogies are quite 223 . in spite of this fact. The writer presents several examples as evidence for this interpretation. For example. Rather a cynical view of love in the end. doing research. and. a writer might analyze the setting in a short story to better understand the theme of the story. The overall argument here is that Charles Dickens wants readers to see 19th century factory towns as strange.
—Jim Clark Finally. Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using narration to develop your idea. but this time they are free of the waitress's probing eyes and bitter social chastisement. —Andy Warhol No matter how much Bill Gates may claim otherwise. but key features of the items being compared should be present in both subjects. . Do not discuss the disadvantages. . when developing your analogy. mouthwash. a middle. Writing an analogy: Writing analogy is one of the more difficult forms of writing. The first requires that you be open to advice or social criticism from those who are more enlightened. to be sure. we should draw the proper conclusion. 1. every analogy eventually breaks down. As demonstrated in the Ring Parable. The story has a beginning. As mentioned earlier. there is a path to redemption. and an end. Finally. assumes an expression of self-loathing mixed with a touch of self-pity.useful. sneers with cold contempt. A married couple is depicted in some relaxed setting—a restaurant. and that is to be expected. This is the parable's middle: the solution of the problem. . Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using illustration to develop your idea. Being born is like being kidnapped. In some parables. 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. the explication. She proudly shows her husband what she is doing. stares at it boldly. exacting and very close to unforgiving. This is the parable's beginning: the presentation of the problem. indeed. if your paragraph is about the advantages of owning a compact car. In the Ring parable. like a barreling freight train that he didn't hear or see coming. . for she is the source of his shame. The man is humiliated and glares at his wife with scorn. we are shown the couple in the restaurant once again. But then a waitress approaches their table. shampoo. but it can also be a lot of fun. The parable is highly useful in explaining the stress such television commercials cause the viewer. but it can be entered only on two conditions. But in lost parables. Answer given: 2. the advisers are amiable and sympathetic. Every good paragraph has a unity. Consider Neil Postman's analogy between a certain kind of preachy television commercial and religious parables that "put forward a concept of sin. notices that the man has a dirty collar. make sure that there are no key features of the items being compared that are obviously incompatible. Answer given: 3. This is the parable's end: the moral. comfortably traditional. discuss only that. . Answer given: Another important element of a good paragraph is unity. . and he forgives her with an adoring smile. . in turn. as for example in all sanitary napkin. the exegeses. which means that only one main idea is discussed. Search your brain for the features of your subject and see if you can think of other subjects that share these features. he missed the Internet. She. or the analogy won't work. and aspirin commercials. For example. it 224 . Write a paragraph on the topic of your choice using analogy to develop your idea. say—in which they are enjoying each other's company and generally having a wonderful time. perhaps all too aware of their own vulnerability on other matters. A good way to get started is to use the phrase (subject) is like . And then sold into slavery. From this. the adviser is rather more sarcastic than severe. and a vision of Heaven": The narrative structure of the Parable of the Ring around the Collar is. Furthermore. although she is. the waitress serves the function of counselor. and announces to all within hearing the nature of his transgression. intimations of the way to redemption. Take a look at the famous analogies below to see how the process works .
In Kenya. you are getting off the topic. but you should not discuss both gas economy and easier parking in the same paragraph because they are not closely related. Uganda. there were an estimated 10. Rwanda.' In Nairobi. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. there were an estimated 10. Uganda. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. and Zimbabwe. by the end of 1995. Mothers can give the HIV. Sometimes students write supporting sentences that are "off the topic.000. This is a result of a combination of prevention methods. and your paragraph will not have unity. For example. 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. if you write several sentences about inflation. and this total grew ten-fold. start a new paragraph. There is evidence that in the United States. Malawi. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. Do not include any information that does not directly support the topic sentence. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Tanzania.is a good idea for beginning academic writer to discuss only one advantage. Zambia. and this total grew ten-fold. 80 percent of sex workers are infected. In Central and Eastern Europe. However. 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. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. PRACTICE A. you could mention inflation' as a factor. In China. For example. to 100. If you begin to discuss another advantage. the HIV/AIDS epidemic rages on. These statistics illustrate with frightening clarity that HIV/AIDS is still a major health problem in most areas of the world. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. you could discuss gas economy and low maintenance costs in the same paragraph because they are closely related. Zambia. there were an estimated 10. to 100. new medicines are available that prolong the lives of people with HIV. the rate is 40 percent. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV and in some areas. and Zimbabwe." In Kenya. Zambia. Paragraph 2 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world. and Zimbabwe. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago. and in some areas. the rate of infection climbed from 9 percent to 38 percent between 1992 and 1995. such as gas economy. Kenya. by the end of 1995. In Central and Eastern Europe. Malawi. In the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. the United Kingdom. and in some areas. to 100. 23 B. The following short essay has not been divided into paragraphs. II. at least among males. Around the world. In Central and Eastern Europe. In Kenya. in each paragraph. 10 percent of the women visiting postnatal clinics in urban areas are infected with HIV. and in Vietnam. the rate is 40 percent.000. The main method of transmission is. and this total grew ten-fold.000 HIV infected persons at the end of 1993. and New Zealand. Study the three paragraphs that follow. by the end of 1995. Rwanda. Malawi. of course. Paragraph 3 The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still growing explosively in most parts of the world." These are called irrelevant sentences For example. which accounts for 75 to 85 percent of infections. The virus is also transmitted through blood and blood products. Australia. In the countries of sub Saharan Africa. Uganda. In China. drug users who share needles may become infected.000 HIV IV infected persons at the end of 1993. Tanzania. Rwanda. HIV infection rates are skyrocketing among sex workers. HIV infection rates are declining. In China. the rate is 40 percent. virus to their children during pregnancy and childbirth or when breast-feeding.000.000 HIV-infected persons at the end of 1993. Tanzania. but 225 . if you are writing a paragraph about the high cost of college tuition. 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. unprotected sex. HIV is spreading rapidly in countries that had almost no cases a few years ago.
Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. climbing the world's highest mountains. Skysurfing rivals skydiving and bungee jumping for the amount of thrills. backcountry snowboarding. More and more often. Young people especially are increasingly willing to risk life and limb while mountain biking. Whereas English writers use a linear sequence. Paragraph I Adventure travel is the hot trend in the tourism industry. however. in which people jump out of airplanes with graphite boards attached to their feet. 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. English logic and English rhetoric. STEP 1 Read the entire essay once or twice. a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. 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 flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence. Paragraph 2 Daredevil sports are also becoming popular. In English. seem awkward and immature to an English reader. Therefore. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. it is not universal. such a development in an English paragraph is awkward and unnecessarily vogue to an English reader. is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. and a concluding paragraph. STEP I Decide where each paragraph should be divided into two or more paragraphs. Some Asian writers. a good English paragraph begins with a general statement of its content and then carefully develops that statement with a series of specific illustrations. Furthermore. four body paragraphs.that is. and Rhetoric Logic. which are based on Anglo-European cultural patterns. Rhetoric. which is basis of rhetoric.(Where does the author begin to discuss a different topic?) STEP 3 Underline the first sentence of each paragraph. Ordinary people axe no longer content to spend their two weeks away from the office resting on a sunny beach in Hawaii. D Both of the following paragraphs have not only two or more topics. 226 . or high-speed skateboarding. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic. Logic. People of all ages axe choosing educational study tours for their vacations. but also irrelevant sentences.it should contain six: an introductory paragraph. Soccer is also becoming popular in the United States. In either case. where it was not well known until recently. are linear . therefore. C. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea. One of the riskiest new sports is skysurfing. In this kind of writing. The rhetorical system of one language is neither better nor worse than the rhetorical system of another language. therefore. 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. STEP 2 Decide where each new paragraph should begin. a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive. the topic is viewed from a variety of angles. it is referred to only indirectly.and risk. The topic is never analyzed directly. Culture. the Arabic and Persian styles of writing. use an indirect approach. A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. but it is different. maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination. a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digressions. hiking through steamy rain forests. Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but. Spanish rhetoric. or traversing slippery glaciers. the writer often digresses into areas that are not directly related to the topic. STEP I Locate and underline the topic sentence of each paragraph. Also. Again. In summary. does not follow the English rule of paragraph-unity. comes from culture. with their emphasis on coordination. they axe choosing to spend their vacations rafting down wild rivers. on the other hand.
That day is decades away. machine translation is totally useless.Underline the topic sentence of each. accept it the first time it is offered. Your clue that this may not be a real invitation is the word "sometime. because flawless machine translation is a very tough problem. Software that does crude' translations already exists. 24 Paragraph I Because the Internet makes the world a smaller place. when someone offers you food or a beverage in America. Microsoft's president. PLAN A Feature 1 — Describe X. age of its content is now in English. Comparison focuses on similarities. Bill Gates. it's easy to do the wrong thing inadvertently in a new culture. However. describe Y — identify similarities and differences Feature 2 — Describe X. the value of having a common language is greatly increased. and the times of meals may be different. "dropping by" is a friendly. For example. however. American meals are usually more informal than meals in other countries. 227 . Topic Sentence identifies the topic and the intention to compare and/or contrast X and Y. He says. "Please drop by sometime. It is useful if all you are trying to do is understand the general idea of something you see on your computer screen. In other areas of the United States. comments on the degree of similarity or difference. believes that English will remain valuable for a long time as a common language for international communication. 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. you miss out on some of the Internet experience. His company spends $200 million a year translating software into other languages. Support Sentences describe and compare features. if you are trying to negotiate a contract or discuss a scientific subject where details are important. Contrast focuses on differences. Computer spelling checkers also exist for various languages. Paragraph 2 Even when you try to be polite. however. If an American says. The question is-which language? Because the Internet grew up in the United States.” In some areas of the United States. there are a few occasions when they are not." Someday. the largest percent. neighborly gesture idioms are often difficult for newcomers to understand. Although Americans are usually very direct in social matters. thank you" because it is polite to decline the first one or two offers in your culture. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. "Unless you read English passably well. software may be available to instantly translate both written and spoken language so well that the need for any common language could decline. If you say "No. STEP 2 Find the irrelevant sentence(s) and cross them out. Americans do not expect you to visit them unless you have an invitation for a specific day and time. you could become very hungry and thirsty." he may or may not want you to visit him in his home. An American thinks that "no" means "no" and will usually not offer again.
in contrast.edu. 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. 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. PLAN B Describe X — features 1–n Describe Y — features 1–n Describe and discuss points of similarity and/or difference.php 228 . It is sometimes incorrectly used as a name for orthodox medicine. while.au/interactive/workshops/writing/index. similarly. 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. Homeopathy.Feature n — Describe X.une. Useful transitional words and phrases For comparison similar to. too For contrast in contrast. different from. is a system of medicine based on the treatment of a given disease by administering small quantities of a drug which produces the symptoms of that disease in a healthy person. Concluding Sentence summarises and interprets differences and similarities. however. in the same way. again. see http://tlc. equally. whereas. unlike. Allopathy is the treatment of disease of one kind by exciting a disease of another kind or in another part. also. describe Y — identify similarities and differences. For more information and practice in paragraph types. like.
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