PORTFOLIO #10
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  • 1. Thesis statements: It is a sentence in the essay that states the thesis, usually expressed in the first paragraph. It should be “just right” not too general, not too specific. Readers begin to evaluate the essay, based on the introduction. Kinds of papers: _An analytical paper analyses and evaluates an issue or idea, and presents this to the audience. _An expository paper explains something to the audience. _An argumentative paper convinces the audience that a claim is true based on the evidence provided. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader. _Your thesis statement should be specific. _The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper. _Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.
  • 2. What is an essay?  An organized piece of writing that focuses on a single topic. We organize an essay around a general idea or thesis with an INTRODUCTION, supporting paragraphs that make the BODY, and a CONCLUDING paragraph.  A paragraph, on the other hand, is organized around a main idea, an introductory sentence; it is developed by supporting details and a concluding sentence.  We can create our essay by writing from the general to specific (e.g.: mammals, human beings, females, Mary).  Strategies for introductory paragraphs: • Provide some interesting background about the topic in the form of a general statement. • Use the thought provoking quotation. • Ask a question about your topic. • State a surprising fact or a puzzling statement. • State a common misconception. • Describe a problem. • Give an analogy. • Show how the topic is related to the reader’s experience.
  • 3. Writing stage:  After arranging your main ideas and major details, begin writing your body paragraphs.  The number of paragraphs depends on the topic’s complexity, inclusiveness, and your purpose for writing.  Usually a short essay contains 3 to 5 body paragraphs, plus an introductory and a concluding paragraph.  Remember to use SIGNAL WORDS to make smooth transitions between sentences and paragraphs: _For examples: for instance, to lustrate… _Chronological order: next, finally, first… _For additional points: furthermore, moreover… _For opposing ideas: on the other hand, however…. _ETC…  Body paragraph: _Provide the content of the essay _Should be unique. _Should be unified around a main idea and arranged coherently.  Concluding paragraph: _Purpose: To leave the reader with a positive impression, a sense of completeness and the inclination to think about the topic. _ Usually a short single paragraph. _Should NOT give more information about the topic. _Should follow logically from the body. _ You can restate your thesis statement in different words or write some thought-provoking comments about the topic.
  • 4. REVISION AND EDITING PROCESS Reviewing and rewriting involves crossing out some material, adding other information and rearranging material. You can revise though reading or through collaboration. • Through reading: as you read, keep in mind your purpose for writing and your audience. • Through collaboration: find out what other readers think about your essay. They can get suggestions to improve the organization, the grammar, punctuation, spelling and usage.
  • 5. Types of essays:  Analysis Essays: • It is not Summarizing = WHAT • It is Analyzing = HOW & WHY • You need to think about how each part of something contributes to the success of the whole.  Argumentative Essays: • It is not the same thing as persuasive essays; an argument paper presents a stronger claim. • You will need to gather evidence and present a well- reasoned argument on a debatable issue. • You must base your paper on a strong position to make it debatable. • You MUST choose one side or the other when you write an argument paper. Don’t be afraid to tell others exactly how you think things should go because that’s what we expect from an argument paper.
  • 6.  Persuasive/Persuade Essays: • To write a persuasive paper, you’ll need to use evidence and good reasons to convince others to agree with your point of view on a particular subject. • The thesis statement should tell us WHAT the essay will be about, WHERE THE AUTHOR STANDS on that issue (his or her opinion) and briefly explain WHY.  Cause and Effect Essays: • Determine a scenario in which one action or event caused certain effects to occur. Then, explain what took place and why. • If the topic is too large, we have to concentrate on the most important cause of some problem or event, or we can separate them into different categories and write about only one aspect.
  • 7. Compare/Contrast Essays: • Make NEW connections and/or express NEW differences between two things. • Note the differences and similarities between them. They should not be obvious. • Chunking: placing all of the information for each individual subject in one place (chunk), and then using similarities as transitions. • Piecing: giving pieces of the information for each individual subject in each paragraph—arranging the information by topic rather than by subject. Definition/Define Essays: • You will need to define a word that has a complex meaning, or is disputable (could mean different things to different people).
  • 8.  Narrative and Descriptive Essays: • Narrative: tell a story (usually about something that happened to you) in such a way that he audience learns a lesson or gains insight. • Descriptive: describe a person, object, or event so vividly that the reader feels like he/she could reach out and touch it. • Avoid long introductions and lengthy descriptions. • Avoid simply telling us what something looks like--tell us how it tastes, smells, sounds, or feels. • Avoid abstract language.  Division and Classification Essays: • Division Essay: find a topic that people might tend to underestimate or over-simplify, and make it interesting. • Classification Essay: think about the categories we place things in everyday and the characteristics of those categories. The topic you choose should allow you to argue that something has been misplaced. • Your thesis statement and introduction will need to explain why these divisions/ classifications should matter to your reader. • You should organize your body paragraphs so that each division or category has its own paragraph or section.