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Essay styles

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Essay Writing (Style)

Essay Writing (Style)


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  • 1. E ssay S tyles by Piet van der Laan
  • 2. C ommon E ssay S tyles
    • L ogical division of ideas essays
    • P rocess essays
    • C ause/effect essays
    • C omparison/contrast essays
  • 3. P rocess E ssays
    • C hronological Order is:
    • A way of organizing ideas in the order of
    • their occurrence in time.
  • 4. P rocess E ssays
    • T his type of essay is used to:
    • E xplain processes
    • E xplain procedures
  • 5. P rocess E ssays
    • H ow to organize this essay
    • D iscuss the steps in your process in the order in
    • which they occur. Divide the steps into separate
    • paragraphs where natural breaks or groups of
    • steps occur.
  • 6. P rocess E ssays
    • H ow to organize this essay
    • E xample: Making a ceramic vase.
    • I Introductory paragraph
    • II Body
    • A. Shaping the vase
    • B. First firing
    • C. Glazing
    • D. Second firing
    • III Concluding paragraph
  • 7. P rocess E ssays
    • T he T hesis S tatement:
    • N eeds to indicate the time order
    • the process of …, the procedure for …, etc
    • S ometimes tells the number of steps in the process
    • Follow these steps to…., …. involves three steps.
    • M ay name the steps
    • The main steps in the process of heating water by solar radiation are (1) trapping the sun’s energy, (2) heating and storing the hot water and (3) distributing the water.
  • 8. C ause/ E ffect E ssays
    • T his type of essay is used to:
    • D iscuss the causes (reasons) for something.
    • D iscuss the effects (results) of something.
    • D iscuss both causes and effects.
    • Note: This type of essay is often used for answering test questions. For example: Discuss the effects of global warming on the environment.
  • 9. C ause/ E ffect E ssays
    • H ow to organize this essay:
    • B lock organization
    • C hain organization
  • 10. C ause/ E ffect E ssays
    • B lock O rganization
    • D iscuss all the causes as a block. (one
    • paragraph for each cause)
    • D iscuss all the effects as a block.
    • Y ou can also discuss only effects or only
    • causes.
    • S ometimes you need a transition paragraph to
    • conclude a section and introduce another
    • section.
  • 11. C ause/ E ffect E ssays
    • B lock O rganization E xample
    Note: There are many different patterns and this is just one of the possibilities. For instance, it’s also possible to start with the effects instead of the causes.
  • 12. C ause/ E ffect E ssays
    • C hain O rganization
    • T he causes and effects are linked to each other
    • in a chain.
    • O ne event causes a second event, which leads
    • to a third event, and so on.
    • E ach cause and its effect are links in the chain
    • Y ou can devote either one or more links to one
    • paragraph.
  • 13. C ause/ E ffect E ssays
    • C hain O rganization E xample
  • 14. C omparison/ C ontrast E ssays
    • T his type of essay is used to:
    • E xplain the similarities and differences between
    • two items.
    • Note: This type of essay is often used for answering test questions. For example: Compare the forms of government of Great Britain and the United States.
  • 15. C omparison/ C ontrast E ssays
    • H ow to organize this essay:
    • P oint-by-Point organization
    • B lock organization
  • 16. C omparison/ C ontrast E ssays
    • P oint-by- P oint O rganization
    • M ake a list of what is important to you
    • E ach point on your list will be a point of
    • comparison.
    • E ach point of comparison becomes a topic of a
    • paragraph.
    • Y ou can put the paragraphs in any order you
    • wish.
  • 17. C omparison/ C ontrast E ssays
    • H ow to organize this essay
    • E xample: Deciding between two jobs
    • I Introductory paragraph
    • Thesis Statement: One way to decide between job offers is to compare them on important points .
    • II Body
    • A. Salary
    • B. Benefits
    • C. Opportunities for advancement
    • III Concluding paragraph
  • 18. C omparison/ C ontrast E ssays
    • B lock O rganization
    • A rrange all the similarities together in a block.
    • A rrange all the differences together in a block.
    • Y ou could discuss either the differences or the
    • similarities first
    • Y ou often insert a transition paragraph or a
    • transition sentence between two blocks.
  • 19. C omparison/ C ontrast E ssays
    • H ow to organize this essay
    • E xample: Deciding between two jobs
    • I Introductory paragraph
    • Thesis Statement: One way to decide between job offers is to compare them on important points.
    • II Body
    • A. Similarities
    • Benefits
    • B. Differences
    • Salary
    • Opportunity for advancement
    • III Concluding paragraph
  • 20. Q uestions?
  • 21. This presentation was largely based on information taken from “Writing Academic English” by Alice Oshima and Ann Hogue

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