Basic Skills in Writing Essays by MikeJenny

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									Essay Writing
Basic Skills in Writing Essays
 Introduction
 Steps in Writing an Essay
 Writing an Outline
 Writing an Opening Paragraph
 Developing the Body Paragraphs
 Creating a Concluding Paragraph
 Assignment
Introduction
 Definition
 Structure
Definition
      An essay is a piece of writing with
    several related paragraphs. It is written
    about one topic, just as a paragraph is.
    However, the topic of an essay is too long
    and too complex to be discussed in one
    paragraph. Therefore, an essay develops one
    main idea using several paragraphs instead
    of just one or two of them.
Steps in Writing an Essay
 Planning an Essay
 Writing the First Draft
 Revising the First Draft
 Making the Final Copy
 Checking the Final Copy
Planning an Essay
 Determining a Topic
 Brainstorming (脑力激荡)
 Organizing Ideas
Brainstorming-1
 A large number of useful books
 All kinds of dictionaries and reference
  books
 The reading-rooms spacious and quiet
 Newspapers and magazines
 The librarians patient and helpful
 Closed on Sundays and holidays
 A little crowded in the evening
Brainstorming-2
 Students are not allowed to take book bags
  into the First Reading-room
 Very few newspapers from abroad
 Seniors wouldn’t be able to write their
  graduation papers without using the library
 Teachers go to the library frequently
 Students leave books on chairs to reserve
  seats
Organizing Ideas-1
 a. The library is a nice place to work in.
 b. The library plays a very important part in
    a student’s life.
 c. The work of the library needs
  improvement.
           Brainstorm
1.list
2.group
3.narrow down to the topic
4.categorize the idea
5.plan for outline
Organizing Ideas-3
  Topic: The School Library
  Thesis: (controlling idea) The library plays a very important part in a
     student’s life.
  I. A student has to borrow books from the library.
     A. He needs reference books for his elective courses.
     B. He may want to read novels, stories and plays.
  II. He reads newspapers and magazines in the library.
     A. Many new magazines are on display in the First Reading-room.
     B. There are newspapers from all provinces.
  III. He needs the library all the more in his junior and senior years.
     A. The library provides him with books for his research.
     B. He wouldn’t be able to write his graduation paper without using
       the library.
Writing the First Draft
 It is necessary to write a first draft, in which
  there should be enough space between lines
  for future corrections and improvements.
  While writing the draft, the writer needn’t
  be afraid of departing from the outline at
  one place or another. But he had better stop
  to revise his outline or work out a new one
  if he finds his original outline entirely
  impracticable.
Revising the First Draft
 Content
 Organization
 Sentences
 Diction
Making the Final Copy-1
 Leave margins on both the left hand and
  right hand sides of the sheet.
 Write on every other line in an ordinary
  narrow-ruled exercise book, so that enough
  room is left for corrections and comments.
 Write the title in the middle of the first line.
 Indent a space of three or four letters at the
  beginning of each paragraph.
Making the Final Copy-2
 Write neatly. Make capital letters clearly
  distinct from small letters. Leave a space of
  one to two letters between words.
 When you want to omit or change a word,
  cross it out, do not enclose it in parentheses.
 If a date is required, write it in the upper-
  right corner of the sheet, above the title.
Checking the Final Copy
 The very last step in writing an essay, a step
  that should never be forgotten, is to check
  the final copy. In doing so the writer is
  likely to find that he has made careless
  mistakes in grammar and spelling, and he
  may also want to change a word here and
  there.
Writing an Outline
 Definition and Example
 Types of Outline
 Rules for Writing Good Outlines
Definition
 An outline subdivides the controlling idea
  or thesis of the essay into smaller parts,
  which are then developed into separate
  paragraphs. Roman and Arabic numerals
  and letters of the alphabet are generally
  used to number and order ideas. Example:
Example
   Thesis (controlling idea)
   I. Main idea
      A. Sub-idea
      B. Sub-idea
        1. Supporting detail
        2. Supporting detail
           Fact 1
           Fact 2
   II. Main idea
      A. Sub-idea
      B. Sub-idea
        1. Supporting detail
        2. Supporting detail
        3. Supporting detail
     C. Sub-idea
   Conclusion
Types of Outline
 There are two commonly used types of
 outlines: the topic outline and the sentence
 outline. All entries in a topic outline consist
 of nouns and their modifiers, whereas the
 entries in a sentence outline are complete
 sentences. A topic outline is brief and clear,
 and it gives an instant overview of the entire
 paper. A sentence outline, on the other hand,
 provides a more detailed plan of the paper.
Topic Outline
   Thesis: Foreign trades beneficial to and indispensable for all nations
   I. Introduction: The foundation of foreign trade
   II. The necessity of visible trade
      A. Lack of certain commodities
      B. Insufficiency of particular items
      C. Comparative advantage in certain items
      D. Latest innovations and different styles of commodities
       E. The importance of a favorable balance of trade
    III. The necessity of invisible trade-exchange of services between nations.
      A. Transportation
      B. Insurance
      C. Tourism
       D. Technology
   IV. Conclusion: The purpose of foreign trade and the importance of the
       balance of payments
Topic Outline-1
 Thesis: Foreign trades beneficial to and
     indispensable for all nations
 I. Introduction: The foundation of foreign trade
 II. The necessity of visible trade
 A. Lack of certain commodities
 B. Insufficiency of particular items
 C. Comparative advantage in certain items
Topic Outline-2
       D. Latest innovations and different styles of
           commodities
       E. The importance of a favorable balance of
          trade
   III. The necessity of invisible trade-exchange
         of services between nations
       A. Transportation
       B. Insurance
Topic Outline-3
      C. Tourism
      D. Technology
   IV.Conclusion: The purpose of foreign
      trade and the importance of the balance
      of payments
Sentence Outline
   Thesis: Foreign trade is beneficial to and indispensable for all nations.
   I. Introduction: The utilization of different economic resources and the development of
       different skills form the foundation of foreign trade.
   II. Trade in commodities (visible trade) is necessary between nations.
       A. No nation has all the commodities it needs.
       B. A nation may not have enough of certain commodities.
       C. A nation may sell certain items at a profit.
       D. Latest innovations and different styles of commodities may make foreign trade
           necessary.
       E. All nations strive to maintain a favorable balance of trade so as to be assured of the
           means to buy necessary goods.
   III. Exchange of services between nations (invisible trade) is part of foreign trade.
       A. Nations vie in providing transportation for foreign trade.
       B. Prudent exporters purchase insurance for their cargoes.
       C. Tourism brings a nation huge profits.
       D. Technology is also exported and imported.
   IV. Conclusion: The purpose of foreign trade is to earn money for necessary imports and
        it is important to keep the balance of payments.
Sentence Outline-1
 Thesis: Foreign trade is beneficial to and
      indispensable for all nations.
 I. Introduction: The utilization of different
     economic resources and the development of
     different skills forms the foundation of foreign
      trade.
 II. Trade in commodities (visible trade) is
       necessary between nations.
Sentence Outline-2
 A. No nation has all the commodities it needs.
 B. A nation may not have enough of certain
       commodities.
 C. A nation may sell certain items at a profit.
 D. Latest innovations and different styles of
     commodities may make foreign trade necessary.
  E. All nations strive to maintain a favorable
     balance of trade so as to be assured
Sentence Outline-3
      of the means to buy necessary goods.
 III. Exchange of services between nations
      (invisible trade) is part of foreign trade.
 A. Nations vie in providing transportation
        for foreign trade.
 B. Prudent exporters purchase insurance
        for their cargoes.
Sentence Outline-4
   C. Tourism brings a nation huge profits.
 D. Technology is also exported and
        imported.
 IV. Conclusion: The purpose of foreign
     trade is to earn money for necessary
     imports and it is important to keep the
     balance of payments.
Rules for Writing Good Outlines-1
 Avoid single subdivisions. If there is a
  major point marked “I”, there must be at
  least another marked “II”; if there is an “A”,
  there must be a “B”, and so on.
 Avoid mixing types. A topic outline is
  written in noun phrases and a sentence
  outline in sentences. Do not mix these two
  types.
Rules for Writing Good Outlines-2
 Use parallel structures for the headings of
  the same rank to show their logical
  relationship.
 Make sure the thesis is a complete
  declarative sentence in the affirmative; do
  not use a question, a phrase or a dependent
  clause.
Writing the Opening Paragraph
 Purposes
 Structure
 Ways to Begin an Essay
Purposes
 It states the topic of the essay.
 It gives background information on the
  topic.
 It should arouse the reader’s curiosity or
  interest in the topic.
 It often indicates the focus, purpose, or
  direction of the essay.
Patterns
1.Phenomenon/Issue-oriented
 (situation-led)
2.Choice-oriented (contrast)
   Phenomenon/Issue-
oriented(situation-led)
1.outline 提纲作文;
2.picture图画作文;
 graphics图表作文
3.word hints文字提示
outline 提纲作文

 _____has been universal in people’s life.
  And/But____is always arousing the
  greatest concern. What strikes us most is
  ____. Many reasons contribute to this
  phenomenon.
              Cheating on Exams
 1.学生作弊现象越来越严重;
 2.作弊的原因;
 3.如何杜绝作弊。
      Trying to be honest has been universal
    in people’s life. But cheating in exams on
    campus is always arousing the greatest
    concern. What strikes us most is the
    various methods adopted by students.
    Many reasons contribute to cheating on
    exams .
.picture图画作文
 (picture omitted)
       We have witnessed____. As is
    illustrated/represented in the picture/graph,
    the phenomenon that ____has been brought
    into focus.In addition, we learn from the
    picture/graph that____. The reasons for it
    are varied.
         Education and Employment
 (picture omitted)
 We have witnessed the increasingly
  intensive competition in employment
  markets. As is illustrated in the picture,
  the phenomenon that more and more
  skillful technical workers are badly needed
  in all walks of life has been brought into
  focus. In addition, we learn from the
  picture that college graduates are
  oversupplied in the job market.The reasons
  for it are varied.
    graphics图表作文

    We have witnessed_______. As is
    illustrated/represented in the chart/graph, the
    phenomenon that______ has been brought into
    focus. In addition, we learn from the chart/graph
    that(1) in comparison with B, A has been
    increased/decreased to/by _______; 或(2)
    compared with B, A is on the rise / the decline. 或
    (3)In contrast with A or/and B, C has become a
    predominant and urgent problem/phenomenon.
    It’s obvious that_________. The reasons/examples
    for it are varied.
graphics图表作文
   Good Neighborhood
   85% 不了解邻居的姓名
   90%不了解邻居的爱好
   80% 没有拜访过邻居
    We have witnessed_______. As is illustrated/represented
    in the chart/graph, the phenomenon that______ has been
    brought into focus. In addition, we learn from the
    chart/graph that(1) in comparison with B, A has been
    increased/decreased to/by _______; 或(2) compared with
    B, A is on the rise / the decline. 或(3)In contrast with A
    or/and B, C has become a predominant and urgent
    problem/phenomenon. It’s obvious that_________. The
    reasons/examples for it are varied.
     We have witnessed the change of relation in
    neighbourhood. As is illustrated in the graph,
    the indifference_among neighbours has been
    brought into focus. In addition, we learn from
    the graph that in contrast with the fact that
    85% of the residents don’t know the names of their
    neighbours and 9 out of 10 don’t know the
    hobbies of the next-door people, the phenomenon
    that 80% never drop in their neighbours has
    become predominant and urgent It’s obvious
    that more and more residents don’t care about
    who is living around them. The reasons/examples
    for it are varied.
word hints文字提示

      There has been a heated discussion
    recently /an overwhelming desire for/
    that____.The story told here/the report cited
    here is a good case in point. It is obvious
    that____.
 Air Pollution
 According to city weekly report, among all
  the polluters, cars are most serious killer,
  because its exhaust fume accounts for 80%
  of the air pollution, compared with that of
  industry, heating ,even power plants.
     There has been a heated discussion
  recently /an overwhelming desire
  that____.The story told here/the report cited
  here is a good case in point. It is obvious
  that____.
 According to city weekly report, among all
  the polluters, cars are most serious killer,
  because its exhaust fume accounts for 80%
  of the air pollution, compared with that of
  industry, heating ,even power plants
      There has been a heated discussion
  recently that among all the polluters, cars
  are most serious killer in air pollution .The
  report cited here is a good case in point.
  It is obvious that exhaust fume from cars is
  threatening our environment and health.
Choice-oriented (contrast)
   When asked about whether____, it is
  extremely hard to reach an agreement.
  Some people advocate that____. In their
  opinion,____. Besides, they confirm that
  ____. However, others hold the opinion
  that____, because____ . And___.Weighing
  up the two arguments; personally, I prefer
  the former/latter .
 Practice Title: Can We Change Our Fates?
           Can We Change Our Fates?
 When asked about whether mankind
 can control our fates, it is extremely hard
 to reach an agreement. Some people
 advocate that their fate is in their own
 hands and they can handle it with great
 efforts. In their opinion, our human beings
 have intelligence and wisdom to conquer
 difficulties. besides, they confirm that as
 long as an ambitious person works hard, he
 will definitely achieve what he deserves.
 However, others hold the opinion that
 fate is determined by Spirit or God and we
 do nothing to change it, because too many
 things uncontrollable will ruin our
 fates.And unpredicted disasters may occur
 at any time, so human beings feel helpless
 and hopeless. Weighing up the two
 arguments; personally, I prefer the
 former.
Body developing
     Among the various reasons, _______plays an
  important part/The most persuasive is
  that________; for one thing,______, for
  another _______. Moreover,______. As a
  result,________.
     When talking about how to deal
  with_______, we should take active and
  effective measures as soon as possible. Above
  all, _______ should spare no efforts to
  facilitate______. Besides,______. Only in this
  way can we solve the problem successfully.
Structure
 General Statements
 Topic Statement/thesis Statement
  (Example1 P37 Sample1)
  More examples
Example 2
 Title: On “Beauty Contest Are Degrading”
 Thesis statement: Beauty contests degrade
  women to mere object, and such a competition is
  the exploitation of women by men and other
  women.
 Topic: Beauty contests
 Controlling ideas:
 a) degrade women to mere object
 b) exploitation of women by men and other
    women
Example 3
 Title: The Forces of Nature
 Thesis statement: The ceaseless natural forces
  such as wind, fire, water, lightening, and volcanic
  activities are constantly working on our planet.
  They destroy and create at the same time.
 Topic: The ceaseless natural forces
 Controlling ideas:
 a) constantly working on our planet
  b) destroy and create at the same time
Ways to Begin an Essay
 Quotation
 Figures or Statistics
 Questions
 Direct Statement
 Emphasis
 Analogy
 Definition
 Pro and Con
Quotation
      Hegel, the German philosopher, says,
    “We learn from history that men never
    learn anything from history.” This remark
    has been confirmed time and again by
    historical events, one of which is Hitler’s
    invasion of the Soviet Union. He must have
    clearly forgotten or willfully ignored the
    great disaster Napoleon brought upon
    himself by attacking Russia early in the
    nineteenth century.
Figures
      The attack on the Soviet Union was the
    largest and fiercest of all that Hitler had
    launched. He threw in 190 divisions, 3,500
    tanks, over 5,000 planes, and altogether
    5.5 million men.
Questions-1
      Is there or, if not, should there be, an
    exemplary standard of spoken English?
    My answer is that there should be, and that
    its foremost upholder ought to be the BBC,
    just as the foremost upholders of standards
    of written English ought to be, and to their
    credit generally are, the national and
    regional newspapers and periodicals;
    because newspapers are read, and the
    broadcasting
Questions-2
 Words are heard, by far more people of all
  classes everywhere than any other written
  or spoken source. In particular, BBC
  broadcasters are regarded, and copied, by
  millions as examples of good spoken
  English, and as arbiters of right and wrong
  pronunciation.
Direct Statement-1
      The Middle Eastern bazaar takes you back
    hundreds — even thousands — of years. The one I
    am thinking of particularly is entered by an
    ancient gateway of aged brick and stone. You pass
    from the heat and glare of a big, open square into a
    cool, dark cavern which extends as far as the eye
    can see, losing itself in the shadowy distance.
    Little donkeys with harmoniously tinkling bells
    thread their way among the throngs of people
    entering
Direct Statement-2
 and leaving the bazaar. The roadway is
  about twelve feet wide, but it is narrowed
  every few yards by little stalls where goods
  of every conceivable kind are sold. The din
  of the stall-holders crying their wares, of
  donkey-boys and porters clearing a way for
  themselves by shouting vigorously, and of
  would-be purchasers arguing and
  bargaining is continuous and makes you
  dizzy.
Emphasis
      Not very far from Naples, a strange city
    sleeps under the hot Italian sun. It is the city
    of Pompeii, and there is no other city quite
    like it in the entire world. Nothing lives in
    Pompeii except crickets and beetles and
    lizards, yet every year thousands of people
    travel from distant countries to visit it.
Contrast
      A traditional story describes a foolish
    man lifting a rock too heavy for him and
    having his own feet squashed. Hitler was
    like that foolish man, but he was different in
    that, before he destroyed himself, he
    destroyed millions of other people.
Definition
      What is Fascism? Fascism is the use of
    brutal force in enslaving the people at home
    and the people of foreign countries. Fascism
    is oppression and aggression.
Pro and Con
 Title: English Learning — Not for Exam
  Only
 The opening paragraph:
     I agree fully with the above statement. I
  am a student and I study just to pass
  examinations, so do my schoolmates. We
  are only concerned with examinations. We
  do not study other things.
Developing the Body Paragraphs
 The body consists of one or more paragraphs.
  Each paragraph develops a major point of the
  topic. Each paragraph should
 1) have a topic sentence that shows the main point
  of the paragraph and how that point relates to the
  essay topic;(P43)
 2) develop its topic sentence according to some
  clear pattern of organization, such as time order,
  order of importance, cause and effect, etc.;
 3) relate to another body paragraph.(P44-45)
Ways to Develop the Body
(Essay)
 Essay Development   by Chronological Order
 Essay Development   by Space
 Essay Development   by Cause and Effect
 Essay Development   by Comparison and
  Contrast
 Essay Development by Examples
 Essay Development by Classification
 Essay Development by Definition
Creating a Concluding Paragraph-1
 a summary of the main points of the essay
 a restatement of the main idea in different
  words
 a quotation which supports your main point
 your final conclusion, comment, discovery,
  or attitude, based on the information you
  have provided in the body.
 a solution to the problems you have
  discussed
Creating a Concluding Paragraph-2
 a reference to a question, fact, or quotation
  used earlier
 a new question or questions your essay
  raises
 Example p38-39
 More Examples
Summation
 I read an article in magazine. The author of
    the article thought that economic prosperity
    and a clean environment could not coexist. I
    am afraid that I do not agree with him
    entirely. My point of view is that economic
    prosperity and a clean environment can
    coexist.

Summation-2
Summation-3
Summation-4
     To sum up, the economic development
    and a clean environment can surely
    coexist as science and technology develop.
Quotation-1
            No Pain, No Gain
 The heights which the great reach and keep are
 not attained by sudden flight.
 Most of us feel envious of famous and
 successful businessmen or statesmen. We do not
 understand why some of our friends and neighbors
 are so popular and honored while we are mere
 simple, common folks. In our misconception we
 think that people are prosperous because they are
 specially gifted or that they are “just lucky”.
Quotation-2
    All these have taken root in our stubborn minds,
  and we refuse to believe that most great men have
  a mind like most of us, perhaps even simpler and
  duller.
    Yet, their triumphs are great. Why? Because
  they are apt to fight difficulties with perseverance
  without fatigue, undergo sufferings without
  minding the wounds; they realize that hardships
  form the road which they must pass through
  before reaching their destination. Their endurance
  is more powerful than most of us for the simple
  reason that they submit without complaint to each
  storm in life.
Quotation-3
      To illustrate this a good example is the
    adventure of Columbus. What a miserable state he
    was in before the discovery of the New World.
    First, there was the problem of getting the ship. It
    was no easy job. People thought he was crazy with
    nothing hut an imagination. When finally he was
    given the vessel, its crew created new difficulties.
    It consisted of men of different nationalities and
    they were unruly. Then halfway on the voyage in
    the middle of nowhere they ran out of food and
    water. Had Columbus fallen into despair, America
    might have still remained unknown today.
Quotation-4
     All of us wish for a bright future and
    hope to master a useful career. Those
    who persist in remaining in idleness will
    never fulfill their ambitions. “No pain, no
    gain” is a motto with much meaning.
Solution-1
     Should Everyone Study History?
   History is not only a systematic study of what
 people did or what happened to them in the past
 but also a way of looking at the past. It informs us
 of the experience of our ancestors and offers us
 lessons they had learnt.
 It is necessary for every one of us to study
 history. An ancient Chinese philosopher once said
 “Studying history makes people wise”. This
 means we can learn from history by inheriting our
 ancestors’ legacy and try to avoid repeating their
 mistakes and do things
Solution-2
 better. Lenin once said to the effect that
  forgetting the past is betrayal. If we forget
  the history of our country, we are betraying
  her. When we recall the history of our
  country in the past two centuries, we can
  learn that a poor nation is to be bullied by
  the superpowers while a rich and advanced
  one can stand strong among the nations.
Solution-3
      Therefore history courses should be
    offered in schools and universities not
    only to broaden the students’ horizon of
    knowledge but also to help them cherish
    right world outlook. We should study
    history and arm ourselves with
    experiences from our ancestors and avoid
    repeating their mistakes in making
    decisions.
Question
     Solve That Problem — With Humor
  Others were caught up in the contagion of
 defiant laughter. One starving prisoner forecast
 that in the future he might be at a prestigious
 formal dinner, and when the soup was being
 served, he would shatter protocol by imploring the
 hostess, “Ladle it from the bottom!”
 If humor can be used successfully against
 such odds, what can’t you and I do with it in
 daily life?
Assignment
 Choose one of the following topics and
  write an outline. Be sure to include a topic
  statement in your outline.
 a. Choose a career
 b. Space exploration
 c. Losing a job
 d. Pollution and the environment
 e. Violence on TV

								
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