Basic skills in writing essays
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Basic Skills in Writing Essays. The Process: 4 Steps in a Nutshell. Discover a clearly stated point or thesis . Provide logical, detailed support for your thesis. Organize and connect your supporting material. Revise and edit so that your sentences are effective and error-free.

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Basic Skills in Writing Essays

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Basic skills in writing essays

Basic Skills in Writing Essays


The process 4 steps in a nutshell

The Process: 4 Steps in a Nutshell

  • Discover aclearly stated point or thesis.

  • Providelogical, detailed supportfor your thesis.

  • Organize and connectyour supporting material.

  • Revise and editso that your sentences are effective and error-free.


Point and support

Point and Support

Any idea that you advance MUST be supported withspecific reasonsor details.

(What kind? How many? What did it look/feel/smell/taste/sound like?)


Structure of the traditional essay

Structure of the Traditional Essay

Parts of an essay:

  • Introductoryparagraph

  • Body (supporting) paragraphs

  • Concluding paragraph


Introductory paragraphs should

Introductory Paragraphsshould

  • attract the reader’sinterest;

  • advancethe thesis; and

  • previewthe major points that will support the thesis.


Body supporting paragraphs should

Body/ Supporting Paragraphsshould

begin with a topicsentencethat states the point to be detailed in that paragraph.


Concluding paragraphs

Concluding Paragraphs

The End

  • briefly restatethethesis and the mainsupporting points,and

  • presentaconcluding thoughtabout thesubject of the paper.


Benefits of the traditional essay

Benefits of the traditional essay

Mastering the traditional essaywill

  • help make you a betterwriter,

  • make you a strongerthinker,and

  • strengthen your skills as a reader and listener.


Creating an opening paragraph

Creating an Opening Paragraph

  • Four purposes:

  • It states the topic of the essay

  • It gives background information on the topic

  • It should arouse the reader’s curiosity about or interest in the topic.

  • It often indicates the focus, purpose, or direction of the essay


Good ways to write opening paragraphs

Good Ways to Write Opening Paragraphs:

  • 1. Begin with an anecdote


Sample

Sample

  • There is an old American folk tale about a wooden bowl. It seems that Grandmother, with her trembling hands, was guilty of occasionally breaking a dish. Her daughter angrily gave her a wooden bowl, and told her that she must eat out of it from now on. The young granddaughter, observing this, asked her mother why Grandmother must eat from a wooden bowl when the rest of the family were given china plates. “Because she is old!” answered her mother. The child thought for a moment and then told her mother, “You must save the wooden bowl when Grandma dies.” Her mother asked why, and the child replied, “For when you are old.”


Good ways to write opening paragraphs1

Good Ways to Write Opening Paragraphs:

  • 1. Begin with an anecdote

  • 2. Begin with a narration


Sample1

Sample

  • On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep-but forever.


Good ways to write opening paragraphs2

Good Ways to Write Opening Paragraphs:

  • 1. Begin with an anecdote

  • 2. Begin with a narration

  • 3. Begin with an appropriate quotation


Sample2

Sample

  • “It is a common place that the character of Hamlet holds up the mirror to his critics.” Shakespeare’s Hamlet has been aptly described as the sphinx of the Western world, with each critic giving his own subjective answer to the riddle it proposes…


Good ways to write opening paragraphs3

Good Ways to Write Opening Paragraphs:

  • 1. Begin with an anecdote

  • 2. Begin with a narration

  • 3. Begin with an appropriate quotation

  • 4. Begin with a controversial question


Sample3

Sample

  • Should a man put loyalty to his country above loyalty to a friend? Does loyalty to the government come before loyalty to one’s family? How we answer such a question depends on…


Good ways to write opening paragraphs4

Good Ways to Write Opening Paragraphs:

  • 1. Begin with an anecdote

  • 2. Begin with a narration

  • 3. Begin with an appropriate quotation

  • 4. Begin with a controversial question

  • 5. Challenging a popular idea


Sample4

Sample

  • Most of my college mates have big plans for their future. Those who are good at English want to go to graduate schools abroad, and those who are good at Chinese want to become poets. I do not blame them for having ambitions, but I am afraid they will ruin their future if they set goals too high to reach.


Good ways to write opening paragraphs5

Good Ways to Write Opening Paragraphs:

  • 1. Begin with an anecdote

  • 2. Begin with a narration

  • 3. Begin with an appropriate quotation

  • 4. Begin with a controversial question

  • 5. Challenging a popular idea

  • 6. Begin with some broader remarks about your topic, then narrow the focus down to the specific idea covered by your thesis


Sample5

Sample

  • Only a few politicians have taken a craftsman’s pride in self-expression, and fewer still-Caesar, Winston Churchill, DeGaule – have equally successful in politics and authorship. Of these Churchill may be the most interesting, for he was not only among the most voluminous of writers, but also commented freely on the art of writing. He was, a writer before becoming a politician.


Good ways to write opening paragraphs6

Good Ways to Write Opening Paragraphs:

  • 1. Begin with an anecdote

  • 2. Begin with a narration

  • 3. Begin with an appropriate quotation

  • 4. Begin with a controversial question

  • 5. Challenging a popular idea

  • 6. Begin with some broader remarks about your topic, then narrow the focus down to the specific idea covered by your thesis

  • 7. Begin with a thesis statement


Sample6

Sample

  • The outcome of the Civil War might have been different if the Southern troops had been provided with better supply lines and more practical distribution of foodstuffs at hand.


Good ways to write opening paragraphs7

Good Ways to Write Opening Paragraphs:

  • 1. Begin with an anecdote

  • 2. Begin with a narration

  • 3. Begin with an appropriate quotation

  • 4. Begin with a controversial question

  • 5. Challenging a popular idea

  • 6. Begin with some broader remarks about your topic, then narrow the focus down to the specific idea covered by your thesis

  • 7. Begin with a thesis statement

  • 8. Begin with a vivid contrast


Sample7

Sample

  • Dostoevsky faced a firing squad but lived; Camus crashed his automobile into a tree by accident and died. Does man’s experience with death prove the existentialist point that life has no pattern and no purpose?


Tips for students

Tips for students

  • 1. An interesting essay opener is like a dress that catches the eye.

  • 2. The introduction should not be too long.

  • 3. Do not start an essay by apologizing that you do not know much about the subject.

  • 4. Avoid starting an essay with flat sentences such as “The purpose of this writing is …”, “In this essay I will talk about…”.


Avoid beginning your paragraph with the followings

Avoid Beginning your paragraph with the followings:

  • An apology or a complaint


Sample8

Sample

  • As I have read very little of the author’s work, I am afraid that I can hardly write anything of value on the topic, …

  • Out teacher said that we could find many reference books on the topic. But the librarian said that there were very few left in the librarian…


Avoid beginning your paragraph with the followings1

Avoid Beginning your paragraph with the followings:

  • An apology or a complaint

  • A self-evident statement


Sample9

Sample

  • English is a widely used language in the world.


Avoid beginning your paragraph with the followings2

Avoid Beginning your paragraph with the followings:

  • An apology or a complaint

  • A self-evident statement

  • A platitude


Sample10

Sample

  • China is a very large country with many high mountains and beautiful rivers…


Avoid beginning your paragraph with the followings3

Avoid Beginning your paragraph with the followings:

  • An apology or a complaint

  • A self-evident statement

  • A platitude

  • A restatement of the assignment


Sample11

Sample

  • The topic I am assigned to write on is “An Ideal College”…


Avoid beginning your paragraph with the followings4

Avoid Beginning your paragraph with the followings:

  • An apology or a complaint

  • A self-evident statement

  • A platitude

  • A restatement of the assignment

  • The dictionary definition that is not necessary


Sample12

Sample

  • The essay I have been asked to analyze is about patriotism. According to the dictionary, patriotism is …


Good ways to write concluding paragraphs

Good Ways to Write Concluding Paragraphs:

  • 1. End with a summary of the main points of the essay.


Sample beginning your dreams don t die

SampleBeginning Your Dreams don’t Die

  • Modern dream theories have suggested that we can understand and use our dreams because for the most part they are the extensions of the situations we face we awake.

  • Our dreams are not hiding from us: they are there for us to explore and use in solving our problems.


Sample ending your dreams don t die

SampleEnding Your Dreams don’t Die

  • Dreams are pictures of our unconscious minds.We can analyze them to examine our thoughts and emotions, we can use them creatively for artistic expression and solving problems, or we can simply enjoy them as exciting adventures.

  • In any case, they should be seen, heard, and welcomed into our conscious worlds.


Good ways to write concluding paragraphs1

Good Ways to Write Concluding Paragraphs:

  • 1. End with a summary of the main points of the essay.

  • 2. End with a restatement of the thesis in different words.


Sample beginning

SampleBeginning

  • In many subjects, such as mathematics and science, the teacher has few opportunities to inject his or her own personality and background into the subject matter.

  • Yet in presenting something where one’s own interpretation plays a major role, as in history, the teacher’s racial, social, political and educational background has much to do with the perspective from which the course is taught.

  • The points of view of two recent Modern European history teachers I have had were different as the two poles, because of the teachers’ different backgrounds.


Sample ending

SampleEnding

  • In history and other disciplineslike it,two people with the same amount of education and basic factual information, like the twoteachers, can view the past differently, emphasizing different interpretations to fit the way they view the world.


Good ways to write concluding paragraphs2

Good Ways to Write Concluding Paragraphs:

  • 1. End with a summary of the main points of the essay.

  • 2. End with a restatement of the thesis in different words.

  • 3. End with your final conclusion, comment, discovery, or attitude, based on the information you have provided in the body.


Sample beginning childhood fears

SampleBeginning Childhood Fears

  • I remember my childhood as being generally happy and can recall experiencing some of the most carefree times of my life.

  • But I can also remember, even more vividly, moments of being deeply frightened.

  • As a child, I was truly terrified of the dark and of getting lost; these fears were very real and caused me some extremely uncomfortable moments.


Sample ending childhood fears

SampleEnding Childhood Fears

  • One of the processes of growing from a child to an adult is being able to recognize and overcome or outgrow our fears. I’ve learned that I have nothing to fear about darkness, that others can help me when I’m lost, and that friendliness and sincerity will encourage people like me. Understanding the things that scared us as children helps us to cope with our lives as adults.


Writing practice write an introductory and concluding paragraphs

Writing PracticeWrite an introductory and concluding paragraphs

P2. One result of my new study plan was that I became more efficient.

A. For the first time in my life, I could finish all homework as the teacher required.

B. I became more concentrated in class, so I did not have to waste time asking friends to tell me what the teacher said in class.

P3. The second result was that I became more organized person.

A. I learned to plan my time.

B. I began to do morning exercises and never missed breakfast.

C. I had enough sleep.

P4. A third result was that I became a better student.

A. Since I had time to prepare lessons before class, I could answer teacher’s questions correctly.

B. I began to get better scores.


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