Illustrative essays.cccti

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Illustrative essays.cccti

  1. 1. Expository Writing<br />Illustrative Essays<br />
  2. 2. *Note: Much of the material for this lecture can be found in SSW, Chapter 11, pp. 182-193. Please follow along in your text.<br />
  3. 3. Illustration: Making Yourself Clear<br />Images such as the photograph shown here and the one on p. 182 were used by newspapers, television newscasts, and online news sites to illustrate the housing crisis specifically and the financial crisis more generally. <br />Looking at the photos, what do you believe the message is? <br />What can you point to in the photos that gives you this impression?<br />
  4. 4. Provide Examples<br />Illustration isn’t merely a writing strategy. Often we understand a general assertion only when we connect it to one or more specific examples. <br /> Illustration is therefore the cornerstone of all writing that deals with ideas and of all the writing strategies discussed in this class. <br />It is necessary to understand the importance of connecting general ideas to specific examples and the pivotal role that illustration will play in much of your college and on-the-job writing.<br />
  5. 5. There are some important suggestions in determining the examples used in an illustrative essay. <br />Selecting appropriate examples helps you make certain your examples and your essay stay on target and that the examples support your thesis statement. <br /> Choosing an appropriate number of examples is important as well. Some topics require just one extended example (i.e. a person who is indicative of all the examples), whereas other topics require multiple examples. <br />
  6. 6. The organization of examples requires the writer to first determine whether the structure of the paper needs examples in each paragraph (as is almost always the case). <br />Remember that your examples will provide the support or proof that your thesis needs. <br />The location of the examples should correspond to the paragraph in which the information is discussed.<br />
  7. 7. Write from a Position of Truth<br />As you begin writing an illustration, try to show your reader something truthful about your understanding of the world. <br />Your reader won’t enjoy or even want to read your essay if there is a sense of falsehood or extreme bias associated with the examples you’ve chosen to illustrate your point. <br />To avoid ethical pitfalls, ask and answer the following question:<br />Have I given adequate thought to the point I’ll make and the examples I’ll use?<br />Are the examples supporting my point truthful, or are they slanted to deceive the reader?<br />Could my illustrations have harmful consequences? Do they stereotype an individual or group? Harm someone’s reputation unjustly?<br />Will my examples promote desirable or undesirable behavior? (185-186)<br />
  8. 8. Chart Your Examples<br />Once you have decided on a topic, ask yourself, “What example(s) will work best with my audience?” Then brainstorm each one for supporting details. <br />You should chart your examples in the following manner to make certain that you have enough supporting detail:<br />Example 1 Example 2 Example 3<br />First supporting First supporting First supporting detail detaildetail<br />2nd supporting 2nd supporting 2nd supporting detail detaildetail<br />and so on…<br />
  9. 9. Student writers often believe that simply stating an example is sufficient; they are not likely to provide adequate supporting details. <br />The brainstorming chart will help you clarify your examples and the supporting detail that each example needs in order to reflect the thesis or main idea of the paragraph. <br />Without supporting details, your essay will be vague. <br />
  10. 10. Acknowledge Opposing Viewpoints<br />When we write an illustrative essay, we don’t always draw our examples from personal experience. <br />As we reflect on a topic, we may talk with other people and read various source materials to broaden our understanding. <br />We explore differing perspectives and determine the connections between them en route to arriving at our own views and insights.<br />It is always important in academic writing to at least acknowledge an opposing viewpoint. <br />
  11. 11. Take, for instance, the topic of racism in America.<br />“The Scholarship Jacket,” “Momma’s Encounter,” and “I Have a Dream” offer poignant illustrations of how racism affects people’s personal lives. <br />Reading these essays, drawing upon your own observations, and perhaps questioning other students could lead you to an important insight: <br />For example, that racism can have personal effects that are very different from the more widely discussed kinds of institutional discrimination. <br />You might then synthesize others’ illustrations and your own to produce a paper that presents this insight (191).<br />
  12. 12. Refer to the Flow Chart<br />As you write your essay, refer to the “Writing an Illustration” flowchart on p. 193. <br />Don’t forget to proofread!<br />
  13. 13. Works Cited<br />Reinking, James A. and Robert von derOsten. Strategies for Successful Writing, Ninth Ed. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011.<br />

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