ENGLISH 3161
                                                                            Prepared by
                     ...
Narration is the chronological presentation of events to tell a story or to relate
what happens. In essay writing, it usua...
usually start with a transitional word or phrase such as in spite of, then, in addition to,
etc.

Conclusion

       Concl...
Unlike a formal comparison, its subjects of comparison are from different
            categories or areas.

   6. cause an...
as a result / consequently / for that reason / hence / so / therefore / thus

   3. Comparison and contrast

      To intr...
Denotation is the direct, specific meaning or referent of a word, what it means
literally. Connotation is the suggestive q...
Sensory Images

       Imagery is descriptive language that appeals to the senses. Writers use this kind
of language to br...
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Elements Essay 3161-11

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Elements Essay 3161-11

  1. 1. ENGLISH 3161 Prepared by Nancy López Mildred Lockwood Luz Miriam Tirado THE ESSAY An essay is a prose composition that presents a writer’s reflections and ideas on a specific topic. Any topic can be the subject on an essay and the written selection may be of any length. The controlling idea or central thought of an essay is often referred to as its thesis. The thesis may be directly stated in a sentence called thesis statement. The thesis may be stated partially or fully in the introductory paragraphs and restated throughout the essay. It may also be included in the middle or at the end of the essay. Sometimes the thesis is not stated at all. It means then that the thesis is implied. The reader must read the whole essay to grasp the central thought or idea and then draw conclusions from the details or facts provided by the writer. Essays are often classified as formal or informal depending upon the author’s style, the subject matter and tone. The formal essay is fairly impersonal, objective and factual. It sounds like a formal address or lecture given by a speaker to an audience. An informal essay is personal and subjective, so it usually conveys personal feelings about a particular topic. It creates an intimate tone so that the reader feels the author is speaking directly to him or to her. Modes of writing Writers often express at the beginning of the essay what their purpose is and how they intend to develop the thesis. The purpose for writing essays may vary from a simple desire to narrate a personal experience to a serious attempt to convince the reader of a thesis. An essay may be written to share a personal experience, to communicate a feeling, to offer information, or to persuade the reader to act in a certain manner. As a result, there are four modes of writing or modes of discourse according to purpose: narration, description, exposition, and persuasion. 1
  2. 2. Narration is the chronological presentation of events to tell a story or to relate what happens. In essay writing, it usually involves the recounting of events that are true and take place over a given period of time. It is often combined with description and exposition to instruct or to illustrate a point. Transitional words or phrases of time such as first, then, after that, next, and finally connect the events in a narrative essay. Description aims to create a picture in words of people, objects, places, or events. Descriptions can be physical or psychological. In a physical description the writer pictures how something looks. Language makes us see. In a psychological description the writer evokes certain feelings to move us. Languages make us feel. Concrete words make descriptions clear and easy to imagine. Exposition is used to provide an explanation or setting forth of an idea, usually for the purpose of giving information. Since expository writing is meant to inform, readers should be able to clearly identify and understand the ideas the author has attempted to convey. Persuasion is the use of argument to change the way we think and feel about an issue or to prove the truth or falseness of a statement. A persuasive essay tries to convince the reader to accept the author’s thesis. The Structure of the Essay Most essays follow a particular pattern of organization that includes three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. There are different types of paragraphs in each section. Each paragraph has a specific function in the structure of the essay. Introduction Introductory paragraphs are used to state the subject to be discussed and to try to capture the reader’s attention. The thesis statement is usually included in the introduction. Body Developmental paragraphs present supporting evidence for the central thought or thesis of the essay. There are several methods by which developmental or body paragraphs are developed such as definition, comparison/contrast, analogy, facts and details, classification, analysis, examples and illustrations and cause and effect. Sometimes different methods are combined within a single essay. Transitional paragraphs serve to indicate a shift or change from one point or idea to another. They are usually brief. The writer may refer to what has been discussed previously and then introduce a new point or idea to be developed. They 2
  3. 3. usually start with a transitional word or phrase such as in spite of, then, in addition to, etc. Conclusion Concluding paragraphs serve to directly or indirectly reaffirm the central thought or thesis. They are frequently used to reinforce what has been emphasized throughout the essay by restating the thesis statement or by providing a summary of major points discussed in the body of the essay. Methods of Paragraph Development Writers use different methods to provide support for the thesis of the essay. As a result, body paragraphs are developed using different approaches called methods of paragraph development. Sometimes several methods are combined within a single essay. 1. examples and illustration – giving specific examples of general or abstract ideas Examples help the readers see the truth of a thesis statement. Writers generally use transitional phrases such as for example and to illustrate. An illustration is a short chronological account of what happened in a certain situation. 2. classification – placing several subjects into categories Information is arranged into groups or categories in order to make clear the relationships among members of the group. 3. analysis – taking something apart and looking at the parts to see how they make up the whole 4. comparison and contrast – analyzing likenesses and differences between two or more subjects Comparison emphasizes likenesses and similarities, contrast centers on the differences between two items. 5. analogy – a form of figurative comparison between two things or activities for the purpose of explanation 3
  4. 4. Unlike a formal comparison, its subjects of comparison are from different categories or areas. 6. cause and effect – explains why events occur, or what the outcome or expected results of a chain of events might be It involves a way of thinking that identifies conditions (causes) and establishes results or consequences (effects). Cause and effect may be presented in two different ways: a. deductive reasoning – the written work begins with the cause followed by a detailed discussion of the results (from general to particular) b. inductive reasoning – the written work begins with the results and ends with the cause (from particular to general) 7. definition – a way of explaining an important word or concept, so that the reader knows what the writer means by it 8. facts and details – giving factual information to add force to a particular statement or argument. Transitional Words or Phrases At times the ideas presented in a piece of writing may seem to be unrelated to each other unless the writer includes transitional words and phrases that make the relationships clear. These words and phrases help make the paragraph coherent. The list below includes common transitional words or phrases grouped by the kind of relationship they establish. 1. Addition also / another / besides / furthermore / in addition to / indeed / moreover 2. Cause and Effect To introduce a cause or reason because / due to (the fact) that / for / on account of / since To introduce an effect or result 4
  5. 5. as a result / consequently / for that reason / hence / so / therefore / thus 3. Comparison and contrast To introduce a comparison in the same way / like / likewise / similar / similarly To introduce a contrast although / but / even though / however / in contrast / in spite of / instead / nevertheless / on the contrary / on the other hand / otherwise / still / unlike / whereas / while / yet 4. Illustration and Explanation as an illustration / first / first of all / for example / for instance / for one thing / namely / such as 5. Spatial above / alongside / back / beneath / east / eastward / here / in front of / in the distance / inside / outside / left / north / outside / over / right / south / west / wherever 6. Time after / afterwards / as soon as / at the same time / before / by this time / during this time / eventually / first (second, third, etc.) / finally / later / meanwhile / next / once / since then / simultaneously / soon / subsequently / then / until / when / whenever / while 7. Summary or Conclusion finally / in brief / in conclusion / in short / to conclude / to summarize Choice of Words (Diction) Every writer has his/her own characteristic use of language, that is, a particular way of selecting and arranging words in a piece of writing. The choice of words contributes to the final impact of an essay on the reader. Whenever we analyze the choice of words, we consider the denotative and connotative meanings of words. 5
  6. 6. Denotation is the direct, specific meaning or referent of a word, what it means literally. Connotation is the suggestive quality of a word; it has to do with feelings, images, and ideas associated with a word. Figurative Language A figure of speech is a word or phrase that departs from its usual meaning and makes extensive use of connotation. Most common figures are based on comparisons. 1. simile – an explicit comparison between two things that are dissimilar using the words like, as, or seems ex. A growing child is like a young tree. 2. metaphor – an implicit comparison which attributes the qualities of one thing to another ex. Life is the fruit she longs to hand you, ripe on a plate. 3. personification – giving human qualities to inanimate things, abstractions, or animals ex. The sun smiled at the earth. 4. hyperbole – extravagant exaggeration ex. There were mile-high ice-cream cones at the parlor. 5. paradox – a statement that at first seems contradictory or illogical, but that after a careful analysis shows an element of truth ex. “An expert knows more and more about less and less.” Nicholas Murray Butter Other Literary Devices 1. allusion – reference to a person, place , or event of historical, literary, or mythological importance 2. irony – the use of language and situations that are inappropriate or opposite from what might be expected 3. symbolism – the use of symbols (a symbol stands for something else) 6
  7. 7. Sensory Images Imagery is descriptive language that appeals to the senses. Writers use this kind of language to bring readers to sense what they themselves experience and to create pictures or images in the reader’s mind. They turn to words that convey sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Often a single image or a combination of images appeals to many senses. Concrete, sensory language brings a person, an object, a scene immediately to life. There are different kinds of images according to the sense they appeal to: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile. In addition to the images that appeal to the five senses, we can also find images that describe motion (kinesthetic) and temperature changes (thermal). 7

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