Argumentative Essay<br />The function of an argumentative essay is to show that your assertion (opinion, theory, hypothesis) about some phenomenon or phenomena is correct or more truthful than others'. The art of argumentation is not an easy skill to acquire. Many people might think that if one simply has an opinion, one can argue it successfully, and these folks are always surprised when others don't agree with them because their logic seems so correct. Argumentative writing is the act of forming reasons, making inductions, drawing conclusions, and applying them to the case in discussion; the operation of inferring propositions, not known or admitted as true, from facts or principles known, admitted, or proved to be true. It clearly explains the process of your reasoning from the known or assumed to the unknown. Without doing this you do not have an argument, you have only an assertion, an essay that is just your unsubstantiated opinion.<br />Notice that you do not have to completely prove your point; you only have to convince reasonable readers that your argument or position has merit; i.e., that it is somehow more accurate and complete than competing arguments.<br />Argumentative essays are often organized in the following manner:<br />They begin with a statement of your assertion, its timeliness, significance, and relevance in relation to some phenomenon.<br />They review critically the literature about that phenomenon.<br />They illustrate how your assertion is "
(simpler or more explanatory) than others, including improved (i.e., more reliable or valid) methods that you used to accumulate the data (case) to be explained.<br />Finally revise and edit, and be sure to apply the critical process to your argument to be certain you have not committed any errors in reasoning or integrated any fallacies for which you would criticize some other writer.<br />Additionally, you will want to find out how your readers will object to your argument. Will they say that you have used imprecise concepts? Have you erred in collecting data? Your argument is only as strong as the objections to it. If you cannot refute or discount an objection, then you need to rethink and revise your position.<br />Narrative Essay<br />As a mode of expository writing, the narrative approach, more than any other, offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. We all have experiences lodged in our memories, which are worthy of sharing with readers. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage.<br />When you write a narrative essay, you are telling a story. Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the author's, so there is feeling as well as specific and often sensory details provided to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story. The verbs are vivid and precise. The narrative essay makes a point and that point is often defined in the opening sentence, but can also be found as the last sentence in the opening paragraph.<br />Since a narrative relies on personal experiences, it often is in the form of a story. When the writer uses this technique, he or she must be sure to include all the conventions of storytelling: plot, character, setting, climax, and ending. It is usually filled with details that are carefully selected to explain, support, or embellish the story. All of the details relate to the main point the writer is attempting to make.<br />To summarize, the narrative essay<br />is told from a particular point of view<br />makes and supports a point<br />is filled with precise detail<br />uses vivid verbs and modifiers<br />uses conflict and sequence as does any story<br />may use dialogue<br />The purpose of a narrative report is to describe something. Many students write narrative reports thinking that these are college essays or papers. While the information in these reports is basic to other forms of writing, narrative reports lack the "
higher order thinking"
that essays require. Thus narrative reports do not, as a rule, yield high grades for many college courses. A basic example of a narrative report is a "
that outlines a book; it includes the characters, their actions, possibly the plot, and, perhaps, some scenes. That is, it is a description of "
what happens in the book."
But this leaves out an awful lot.<br />What is left out is what the book or article is about -- the underlying concepts, assumptions, arguments, or point of view that the book or article expresses. A narrative report leaves aside a discussion that puts the events of the text into the context of what the text is about. Is the text about love? Life in the fast lane? Society? Wealth and power? Poverty? In other words, narrative reports often overlook the authors purpose or point of view expressed through the book or article.<br />Once an incident is chosen, the writer should keep three principles in mind.<br />Remember to involve readers in the story. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it.<br />Find a generalization, which the story supports. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole; it can concern the writer, men, women, or children of various ages and backgrounds.<br />Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story, details must be carefully selected to support, explain, and enhance the story.<br />Conventions of Narrative Essays<br />In writing your narrative essay, keep the following conventions in mind.<br />Narratives are generally written in the first person, that is, using I. However, third person (he, she, or it) can also be used.<br />Narratives rely on concrete, sensory details to convey their point. These details should create a unified, forceful effect, a dominant impression. More information on the use of specific details is available on another page.<br />Narratives, as stories, should include these story conventions: a plot, including setting and characters; a climax; and an ending.<br />As you get started on your descriptive essay, it's important for you to identify exactly what you want to describe. Often, a descriptive essay will focus on portraying one of the following:<br />a person<br />a place<br />a memory<br />an experience<br />an object<br />Ultimately, whatever you can perceive or experience can be the focus of your descriptive writing.<br />Why are you writing your descriptive essay?<br />It's a great creative exercise to sit down and simply describe what you observe. However, when writing a descriptive essay, you often have a particular reason for writing your description. Getting in touch with this reason can help you focus your description and imbue your language with a particular perspective or emotion.<br />Example: Imagine that you want to write a descriptive essay about your grandfather. You've chosen to write about your grandfather's physical appearance and the way that he interacts with people. However, rather than providing a general description of these aspects, you want to convey your admiration for his strength and kindness. This is your reason for writing the descriptive essay. To achieve this, you might focus one of your paragraphs on describing the roughness of his hands, roughness resulting from the labor of his work throughout his life, but you might also describe how he would hold your hands so gently with his rough hands when having a conversation with you or when taking a walk.<br />How should you write your description?<br />If there's one thing you should remember as you write your descriptive essay, it's the famous saying: show don't tell. But what's the difference between showing and telling?<br />Consider these two simple examples:<br />I grew tired after dinner.<br />As I leaned back and rested my head against the top of the chair, my eyelids began to feel heavy, and the edges of the empty plate in front of me blurred with the white tablecloth.<br />The first sentence tells readers that you grew tired after dinner. The second sentence shows readers that you grew tired. The most effective descriptive essays are loaded with such showing because they enable readers to imagine or experience something for themselves.<br />As you write your descriptive essay, the best way to create a vivid experience for your readers is to focus on the five senses.<br />sight<br />sound<br />smell<br />touch<br />taste<br />When you focus your descriptions on the senses, you provide vivid and specific details that show your readers rather than tell your readers what you are describing.<br />Quick Tips for Writing Your Descriptive Essay<br />Writing a descriptive essay can be a rich and rewarding experience, but it can also feel a bit complicated. It's helpful, therefore, to keep a quick checklist of the essential questions to keep in mind as you plan, draft, and revise your essay.<br />Planning your descriptive essay:<br />What or who do you want to describe?<br />What is your reason for writing your description?<br />What are the particular qualities that you want to focus on?<br />Drafting your descriptive essay:<br />What sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures are important for developing your description?<br />Which details can you include to ensure that your readers gain a vivid impression imbued with your emotion or perspective?<br />Revising your descriptive essay:<br />Have you provided enough details and descriptions to enable your readers to gain a complete and vivid perception?<br />Have you left out any minor but important details?<br />Have you used words that convey your emotion or perspective?<br />Are there any unnecessary details in your description?<br />Does each paragraph of your essay focus on one aspect of your description?<br />Are you paragraphs ordered in the most affective way?<br />Narrative Essay<br />A narrative essay tells a story…<br />It can be either fictional or real-life.<br />The more “real” it is for you, the better you will tell it. (Sometimes our imagination is more real to us than our daily lives.)<br />Descriptive Essay<br />A descriptive essay paints a picture with words…<br />It appeals to the senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.<br />It can also appeal to emotions.<br />