ESSAY A short piece of writing by a student as part of a course of study PERSONAL Comment (200-300 words) Present your view of the topic Present arguments to back up your view Structure: State your opinion right at the beginning as a thesis Present arguments that made you come to this conclusion Summarize your arguments in a short conclusion or repeat your opinion Special form: Letter to the editor (State your opinion in reference to an article or a current event) polite and formal language, concise (don’t add too much additional information) arguments should be forceful DIALECTICAL Essay (200- 300 words) Weighing PROS and CONS Structure: Introduce the topic/ thesis State PROS and CONS arguments and back them up with examples Present first one line of thought (e.g. PROS) and then add the counterpart arguments Present one argument and “destroy” it right away by presenting arguments against it Conclude with a final judgment USEFUL knowledge: STRUCTURE: o Introduction: definition, historical approach, personal experience, current news, quotation, statistics, repetition of the topic, provocative question o Transition o Main body: One paragraph relates to ONE argument, back up arguments (examples, analogies, statistics, comparison, definition) o Transition o Conclusion: point back to the idea presented in the Introduction (=create a frame), look forward to the future, judgement, summary of arguments, suggestion for a solution Objectivity: even though you present your personal viewpoint, you must avoid using stereotypes, sexist language, political incorrectness (e.g. flight assistant instead of stewardess) When you introduce a new concept or person, refer to them first by name and later on replace the name by personal pronouns Pay ATTENTION to: - Sentence cohesion: Use sentence connectors: but, because, and, so, then , after that, yet, however Use relative clauses to refer to things previously mentioned Use demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) to refer to things previously mentioned Use synonyms or antonyms not to repeat words that you refer to - Reference: When naming things/ people for the first time refer to them by name, after that you can replace them with personal pronouns Don’t count on the reader to know your references/ allusions without any further explanation - Information: Be precise Be concise - Examples: ALWAYS include examples to prove your point Guidelines to writing an essay Choose a topic/ thesis Brainstorming (Mind map, keywords, arguments) Do research on the topic (internet, newspaper editions www.nytimes.com, www.time.com, www.usatoday.com, www.guardian.co.uk, www.cnn.com , literature etc.) Structure the personal comment (In favour of one side of the issue) / dialectical essay (Discuss BOTH sides of the issue) o Introduction: Definition (Having the same privileges, status, or rights www.dictionary.com) Historical approach: Historical background (Important quotation from the Declaration of Independence based on Locke’s ideas about the governing of the state) Personal experience: Example: Slavery, native Americans Quotation/ Statistics: I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. (Martin Luther King, 1963) Current events: treatment of immigrants in the USA (Freedom Writers Diary, Diary 54) o Main Body Equality in human society is not possible and therefore an illusion Idea of equality: Locke, More Examples: Slavery Native Americans Illegal immigrants (Hispanics) French Revolution Men vs. woman Gay community o Conclusion o ILLUSION because human beings are involved (selfishness, corruptness) LANGUAGE o ONE aspect/ argument = ONE paragraph o Use different structures (gerund, adverbial clauses, relative clauses etc.) and phrases o Use transitions (NO: And now I want to talk about…..) o NO: … and something like that, and things like that o Pay attention to sentence cohesion: To achieve cohesion, the link of one sentence to the next, consider the following techniques: Repetition. In sentence B (the second of any two sentences), repeat a word from sentence A. They punished the slaves on the plantation. These slaves sometimes died…. Synonymy. If direct repetition is too obvious, use a synonym of the word you wish to repeat. This strategy is call 'elegant variation.' The cabin was in the woods. This shack was …… Antonymy. Using the 'opposite' word, an antonym, can also create sentence cohesion, since in language antonyms actually share more elements of meaning than you might imagine. Pro-forms. Use a pronoun, pro-verb, or another pro-form to make explicit reference back to a form mentioned earlier. Tom went to Legree’s plantation where he…. (Reference MUST be named at least once before) Parallelism. Repeat a sentence structure. This technique is the oldest, most overlooked, but probably the most elegant method of creating cohesion. I have a dream that…….., I have a dream…… Transitions. Use a conjunction or conjunctive adverb to link sentences with particular logical relationships. 1. Identity. Indicates sameness. that is, that is to say, in other words, ... 2. Opposition. Indicates a contrast. but, yet, however, nevertheless, still, though, although, whereas, in contrast, rather, ... 3. Addition. Indicates continuation. and, too, also, furthermore, moreover, in addition, besides, in the same way, again, another, similarly, a similar, the same, ... 4. Cause and effect. therefore, so, consequently, as a consequence, thus, as a result, hence, it follows that, because, since, for, ... 5. Indefinites. Indicates a logical connection of an unspecified type. in fact, indeed, now, ... 6. Concession. Indicates a willingness to consider the other side. admittedly, I admit, true, I grant, of course, naturally, some believe, some people believe, it has been claimed that, once it was believed, there are those who would say, ... 7. Exemplification. Indicates a shift from a more general or abstract idea to a more specific or concrete idea. for example, for instance, after all, an illustration of, even, indeed, in fact, it is true, of course, specifically, to be specific, that is, to illustrate, truly, ... MAIN Problems: I) The Definite ARTICLE DEFINITE articles: when referring to something specific or particular or to evaluate something He is the man to do the job. The hospital is the best in the country. o Mountain ranges, groups of islands, countries and institutions: The Alps. The United Nations o Rivers, canals, ships: The Titanic. The Suez Canal, The Danube NO article: o Uncountable nouns: Water is rare. o Abstract nouns: Love is important. Buddhism is favoured by many people to one of the Christian religions. o Collective terms: Society is in need of laws. o Meals: Dinner has been fantastic. o Festivals, months, regular occurrences: Christmas Eve is on a Monday this year. o Names of streets, squares, bridges, parks: Central Park is in New York BUT The White House, The mall o Names of continents, countries, cities, towns, lakes, islands, mountains: Chicago lie on Lake Michigan BUT the Zugspitze, the Matterhorn o Shortened names when they are pronounced as a word: NATO has decided on a constitution. o Reference to a general concept: Life is precious. II) Political Correctness Everybody has the duty to fight for their rights. Female or male ….. III) Vocabulary Citizen: A person who has the legal right to belong to a particular country. A person who lives in a particular place. Inhabitant: A person or an animal that lives in a particular place Discuss: to talk about something with other people in order to decide something. To write or talk about something in detail, showing the different ideas and opinions about it. Discussion: the process of discussing. Debate: a formal discussion of a topic in a public meeting. There’s often a vote on the issue. An argument or discussion expressing different opinions. Topic: A subject that you talk, write or learn about Theme: the subject or main idea in a talk, piece of writing or work of art.