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ESSAY WRITING

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ESSAY WRITING

Post by dah_men on Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:02 pm

ESSAY WRITING

The parts of the essay are much like the parts of a paragraph. The
essay starts with an introductory paragraph containing a thesis
statement which in turn tells the reader what the essay is about, just
as the topic sentence tells the reader what the paragraph is about. The
body of the essay is made up of paragraphs that support the thesis
statement, and the concluding paragraph that completes the essay.

1.Composing a Thesis Statement
1.1. What is a Thesis Statement ?
A thesis statement is a sentence which summarizes the main point or
points (ideas) of a an essay and clearly expresses what the writer is
going to say about his/her topic. In other words, it is merely a
statement of the points the essay makes about a specific topic. Hence,
the thesis statement identifies the topic which will be discussed abd
the purpose of the essay. The thesis statement is usually the last
sentence of the introductory paragraph.
 It covers exactly the topic the writer wants to talk about, no more and no less.
 It lets the readers know what to expect.
 It helps the writer better organise and develop the ******* of
his/her paper. That is, it is the road map to the argument the writer
will subsequently develop in his essay.

1.2.Characteristics of a Good Thesis Statement
Examples of good thesis statements :
- Every mother has the rioght to work, and the decision should be one
that a mother makes on her own, but first she should carefully consider
the many problems that she might encounter.
- Violence has various aspects and varied causes resulting in serious effects.

A good thesis statement has the following characteristics :
a. A thesis statement must be a declarative statement, not an interrogative one.
Examples : - What are the many problems a working mother might encounter ?
This is a weak thesis statement ; it is a question
-What are the aspects, the causes, and the effects of violence ?
b. Thesis statements must make a claim or argument ; they are not
statements of facts. In other words, the point you make in your essay
should not be obvious ; if most of your readers are likely to believe
your thesis without even reading your essay, you probably do not need
to write an essay to support that thesis.
Examples : Violence is a dangerous phenomenon. This is essentially an
indisputable point and therefore, not a good thesis statement.
c. A good thesis statement is specific, precise, and limited. Probably
the most common problem with trail thesis statements is that they are
too broad, that they claim too much. In a good essay, you will say more
about less, not less about more.
Examples : A mother should consider the many problems that she might
encounter. This thesis statement is too broad since the writer is going
to write about the problems of a mother in general.
Black artists have contributed a lot to the American culture. [« Black
artists ,» « culture ,» and « a lot » cover more ground than what can
be dealt with in one short essay ]

Better : Scott Joplin was a major influence in the development of the
uniquely American music called ragtime. [specifically defined and
narrow]
d. A thesis statement is not an announcement of the topic. In other
words, avoid using phrases such as « the purpose of this paper is ....
» or « In this paper, I will attempt to .... »
e. Do not clutter your thesis with expressions such as « in my opinion,
» « I believe, » and « in this essay I’ll agrue that ... » These
unnecessary phrases weaken your thesis statemnt because they often make
you sound timid or uncertain. This is your essay ; therefore, the
opinions expressed are obviously yours. Be forceful ; speak directly
with conviction.
f. A thesis statement is not a title. Remember that a thesis statement
will always be a complete sentence ; there is no other way to make a
statement.
Examples : Problems encountering a working mother.
Aspects, causes, and effects of violence.


WRITING ESSAY INTRODUCTIONS


To write an introduction for an essay, follow these steps :
1. Introduce the topic in general.
2. Narrow the topic down to focus more on the question.
3. Restate the question in your own words and in statement form.
4. Write the thesis statement.
Examples : Question
Living in an apartment instead of the university dormitory has
advantages and disadvantages. Discuss some of the advantages and
disadvantages of the apartment living, and then defend your preference.
Introduction
When a student decides to enter a university away from home, he or she
must also consider living accommodations. Although most universities
offer student dormitories, students frequently opt to live in an
apartment. While there are manyadvantages to apartment living, there
are also many disadvantages. Before a student decides to live in an
apartment, all the aspacts of that kind of accommodation should be
reviewed.
Analysis
1. The first sentence introduces the general topic of the university living accommodations.
When a student decides to enter a university away from home, he or she must also consider living accommodations.
2. The second sentence narrows the topic down to apartment living.
Although most universities offer student dormitories, students frequently opt to live in an apartment.
3. The third sentence sentence restates the specific question.
While there are many advantages to apartment living, there are also many disadvantages.
4. The fourth sentence is the thesis statement.
Before a student decides to live in an apartment, all the aspacts of that kind of accommodation should be reviewed.
Things to remember when writing an introduction for an essay :
1. Make sure you have an introduction.
Sometimes writers start the essay with te first developmental
paragraph. However, you need at least a brief introduction so that your
readers will know what you are writing about.
2. Keep you intriductory paragraph simple.
A good introduction strengthens your essay. However it is better to use
your time writing the developmental paragraphs than spending too much
time on the introductory paragraph.
3. Check that your introductory paragraph is aimed toward answering the question.
Your thesis statement tells your reader what you are going to write
about, and your developmental paragraphs give support to your thesis
statement. If you support a thesis that is not aimed toward the
question, you may not get credit for your essay.


WRITING THE BODY OF AN ESSAY


The body is the heart of an essay. It is where writers provide support
for the thesis statement and the bulk of their information. The body of
an essay should consist of at least two developmental paragraphs, and
each developmental paragraph should have a topic sentence that supports
the idea mentioned in the thesis statement. All the ideas in each
paragraph should support their topic sentence.
Study the following sample of composing the body of an essay, but
before doing that you need to read the question and the introdcution.
Question
Some people believe that a mother should not work. Others argue against
this. Consider the probels that a working mother faces. Do you believe
a mother should work ?
Introduction
Nowadays it is very common for women to work outside the home. Whether
a mother should stay at home or join the worforce in debated by many
people. Some argue that the familly, especially children, may be
neglected. However, many mothers need to work because of economic
reasons. Actually every mother has the right to work, and the decision
should be one that a woman makes on her own, but first she should
consider the many problems that she might encounter.
Body
The major poblems a mother faces concern her children. She must either
find a reliable person who will be loving toward the children or a good
day-care centre that the children can attend. If a child gets sick, the
mother must make special arrangements for the child to be cared for at
home, or she must stay from work herself. While at work, the mother may
worry about her children. For instance, she may wonder if they are
safe, if they are learning the values she wants them to have, and if
her absence hurts them emotionally. She may also regret not being able
to take them to after school activities or participate in familly
activities with them.
Even though a mother is frequently forced into working for economic
reasosn, she soon discovers that there are added expenses. The biggest
expense is child care. Another expense is transportation which includes
not only going to work but also getting her children to school or day
care. This may include purcahsing or maintaining a car. Yet another
expense is clothing, such as a uniform or business suits to maintain a
professional appearance.
Analysis
The first developmental paragraph supports the idea of problems that
was identified in the thesis statement. The topic sentence states the
idea of problems concerning children. All the sentences in this
paragraph describes either a problem concerning children or a detail
explaining a problem concerning children.
The second developmental paragraph in this essay also supports the idea
of problems that was identified in the thesis statement. The topic
sentence states the idea of the problem of added expenses. All the
sentence in the paragraph describes either an added expense or a detail
explaining the added expense.

The Five-Paragraph Essay
A classic format for compositions is the five-paragraph essar, of
course, but it is a useful model for you to keep in mind, especially as
you begin to develop your composition skill. In the following section,
we shall try to describe the body of a five-paragraph essay.
Body---First developmental paragraph
The first paragraph of the body should contain the strongest argument,
most significant example, cleverest illustration, or an obvious
beginning point.
Body---Second developmental paragraph
The second paragraph of the body should contain the second strongest
argument, second most significant example, second cleverest
illustration, or an obvious follow up to the first paragraph in the
body.
Body---Third developmental paragraph
The third paragraph of the body should contain the weakest argument,
weakest example, weakest illustration, or an obvious followup to the
second paragraph in the body.


WRITING ESSAY CONCLUSIONS


So far you have practised writing the introduction and the body of an
essay. To end the essay, you need to write a concluding paragraph.
For the essay question, your concluding paragraph will :
1. Restate the thesis statement.
2. Restate the topic sentences from the developmental paragraphs, i.e,
give a summary of the main points from the body ogf the paper.
3. State your opinion, preference, or make a prediction.
4. Conclude with a statement that sums up the essay. The final
statement gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an
end.
Read the following conclusions.
1)
In conclusion, living in an apartement has both advantages and
disadvantages. One advantage is having independence and all that this
freedomentails. Its disadvantages include possible isolation, extra
expenses, and responsibilities. For a new student at university, the
advantages of dormitory living outweigh those of apartment living ;
therefore, I would prefer living in campus to living in an apartment.
2)
After a mother takes into account all of the above problems and perhpas
other probelms unique to her situation, she must decide if a job
outside the home is worth it. I believe that even though she faces
major obstacles, these obstacles are not insurmountable. Many mothers
do work and manage a familly very successfully. In conclusion, it is a
woman’s right to make the coice, and only the woman herself should
decide this matter.

Things to remember when writing a conclusion for an essay :
1. Make sure you have a conclusion.
Sometimes writers do not complete the essay with a concluding paragraph
; however, it is important to have a conclusion. Without one, it may be
difficult for the reader to know whether you have completed your essay
or run out of time.
2. Keep your concluding paragraph simple.
A good conclusion strengthens your essay ; however, it is better to use
your time writing the developmental paragraphs than spending too much
time on the concluding paragraph.
3. Check that your concluding paragraph completes the essay.
Your concluding statement tells your readers that you complete the
essay. Be careful not to include a new idea to your conclusion, which
could make your readers think you are going to be discussing something
else.


ANALYSING ESSAYS


Keep this list in mind as you write your essay.
1. Is there an introductory paragraph ?
2. Does the introductory paragraph restate the question ?
3. Does the introductory paragraph have a thesis statement ?
4. Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence ?
5. Do the topic sentence of the developmental paragraphs support the thesis statement ?
6. Do the ideas in each developmental paragraph support its topic sentence ?
7. Are the details (examples,facts,descriptions,personal experiences) clear ?
8. Is there a concluding paragraph ?
9. Does the concluding paragraph give the impression that the essay is complete ?
10. Does the essay answer all the parts of the question ?
11. Have the grammar and spelling been corrected ? (Incorrect grammar,
spelling, punctuation, and word usage count against you if the errors
lead to a lack of clarity. Your essay will be cleared if you correct as
many of these errors as you can find in the limited time that you have.)
Practise analising essays by reading the following student-written
essay and answering yes or no to each of the eleven questions in the
preceding checklist.
Question
Both large and small cars have their advantages and disadvantages.
Write about some these advantages and disadvantages. State which type
of car you prefer and why.

Both large and small cars have their advantages and disadvantages.
First, large cars have many advanatages. For example, many people can
be carried inside the car. Also, large cars are stronger in bad
accidents, and they are very good for big families. About the
disadvantages. Large cars can not get through small streets, and they
use a lot of gas to start and run.
Second, small cars also have advantages and disadvantages. About the
advantages. You can drive the small car any place. Small car uses less
gas and many people call them economical. The last advantage is that
the small car is good for a small familly like a father, a mother and
one child. About the disadvantages of small cars. The small car is not
strong if someone has a bad accident. Moreover, small car can not go
very fast because of their siz.
For all this i like small cars.
Analysis :
1. No, the introductory paragraph is incomplete.
2. No, the restate problem should be in different words, not in the same words as the question.
3. Yes, there is a thesis statement that gives the controlling ideas as advantages and disadvantages of small and large cars.
4. Yes, in the topic sentence of the first developmental paragraph, the
topic is large cars and the controlling idea is advantages. However,
the topic sentence of the second developmental paragraph is weak
because it has two controlling idea advantages and disadvantages of
small cars.
5. Yes, the topic sentence of the developmental paragraphs support the thesis statement.
6. No, the first developmental paragraph discusses both advantages and
disadvantages. This does not support the topic sentence of the
paragraph. The second developmental paragraph really supports the topic
sentence ; however, this latter should tackle only one controlling idea.
7. Yes, however more details could be added.
8. No, the concluding paragraph is incomplete. The topic and
controlling ideas are not restated ; it is not clear what for this
refers to or why the student has this preference.
9. No, a concluding statement should sum up the essay.
10. No, the reasosns the writer likes small cars are not included.
11. No, there are some grammatical mistakes which may cause confusion

well here are some Sources that might help
http://www.4shared.com/file/17WNnZuU/Second_Year.html An Overview about the Subjects
http://www.4shared.com/file/uqKpxS-a/LIT.html Some Literature Courses
http://www.4shared.com/file/NnZL2tK4/TEE.html Written Expression Courses
http://www.4shared.com/file/048GhJYS/METHO.html Methodology Courses

dah_men
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