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Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
Academic writing skills
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Academic writing skills

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  • 1. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 1 UNIT 1: CLAUSE 1. Clauses Clauses are the building blocks of sentences: A clause is a group of words that contains (at least) a subject and a verb These are clause: Ecology is a science Because pollution causes cancer These are not clauses: to protect the environment. after working all day in the language laboratory. There are two kinds of clauses: independent and dependent clauses A. Independent Clause An independent clause contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. It can stand alone as a sentence by itself an independent clause is like an adult person: it is independent and can “live by itself” An independent clause = Subject + Verb (+ Complement) Ex - Students normally spend four years in college. -I will declare my major now, but I may change it later. -Because the cost of education has been rising, many students are having financial problems. B. Dependent clauses A dependent clause begins with a subordinator such as when, while, if, that, or who, followed by a subject, verb and complement. It does not express a complete thought and cannot stand by itself as a sentence. A dependent clause is like a little child: it cannot “live by itself”. A dependent clause = Subordinator + Subject + Verb (+Complement) Ex: …when the semester was over… …who was accepted by University… …if you leave your car unlocked… …because I had a job interview.. …that the experiment was a success… 2. Clause Connector
  • 2. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 2 Subordinators (subordinating conjunction) after before that when which although even though whenever while as how unless where who as if if until wherever whom as soon as since what whether whose because so that Coordinators (conjunctions) You can remember the sevens coordinators by the phrase FAN BOYS for and nor but or yet so Conjunctive Adverbs accordingly furthermore in contrast meanwhile on the other and beside hence indeed moreover otherwise consequently however in stead nevertheless therefore for example in addition likewise nonetheless thus 3. Adjective Clauses An adjective clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adjective in another clause or phrase. Like an adjective, an adjective clause modifies a noun or pronoun, answering questions like "which?" or "what kind of?" Consider the following examples: Adjective the red coat Adjective clause the coat which I bought yesterday Like the word "red" in the first example, the dependent clause "which I bought yesterday" in the second example modifies the noun "coat." Note that an adjective clause usually comes after what it modifies, while an adjective usually comes before. In formal writing, an adjective clause begins with the relative pronouns "who (m)," "that," or "which." In informal writing or speech, you may leave out the relative pronoun when it is not the subject of the adjective clause, but you should usually include the relative pronoun in formal, academic writing: Informal The books people read were mainly religious. Formal The books that people read were mainly religious. Informal Some firefighters never meet the people they save. Formal Some firefighters never meet the people whom they save.
  • 3. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 3 Here are some more examples of adjective clauses: the meat which they ate was tainted This clause modifies the noun "meat" and answers the question "which meat?” about the movie which made him cry This clause modifies the noun "movie" and answers the question "which movie?” they are searching for the one who borrowed the book The clause modifies the pronoun "one" and answers the question "which one?” Did I tell you about the author whom I met? The clause modifies the noun "author" and answers the question "which author?” 4. Adverbial Clause An adverb clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adverb in another clause or phrase. An adverb clause answers questions such as "when?", "where?", "why?", "with what goal/result?", and "under what conditions?” Note how an adverb clause can replace an adverb in the following example: Adverb The premier gave a speech here. Adverb clause The premier gave a speech where the workers were striking. Usually, a subordinating conjunction like "because," "when(ever)," "where(ever)," "since," "after," and "so that," will introduce an adverb clause. Note that a dependent adverb clause can never stand alone as a complete sentence: Independent clause They left the locker room dependent adverb clause after they left the locker room The first example can easily stand alone as a sentence, but the second cannot -- the reader will ask what happened "after they left the locker room". Here are some more examples of adverb clauses expressing the relationships of cause, effect, space, time, and condition: Cause Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle because the uncle had murdered Hamlets father. The adverb clause answers the question "why?”
  • 4. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 4 Effect Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle so that his fathers murder would be avenged. The adverb clause answers the question "with what goal/result?” Time After Hamlets uncle Claudius married Hamlets mother, Hamlet wanted to kill him. The adverb clause answers the question "when?". Note the change in word order -- an adverb clause can often appear either before or after the main part of the sentence. Place Where the whole Danish court was assembled, Hamlet ordered a play in an attempt to prove his uncles guilt. The adverb clause answers the question "where?” Condition If the British co-operate, the Europeans may achieve monetary union. The adverb clause answers the question "under what conditions?" 5. Noun Clause A noun clause is an entire clause which takes the place of a noun in another clause or phrase. Like a noun, a noun clause acts as the subjector object of a verb or the object of a preposition, answering the questions "who(m)?" or "what?". Consider the following examples: noun I know Latin. noun clause I know that Latin is no longer spoken as a native language. In the first example, the noun "Latin" acts as the direct objectof the verb "know." In the second example, the entire clause "that Latin ..." is the direct object. In fact, many noun clauses are indirect questions: noun Their destination is unknown. noun clause Where they are going is unknown. The question "Where are they going?," with a slight change in word order, becomes a noun clause when used as part of a larger unit -- like the noun "destination," the clause is the subject of the verb "is."
  • 5. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 5 Here are some more examples of noun clauses: about what you bought at the mall This noun clause is the object of the preposition "about," and answers the question "about what?" Whoever broke the vase will have to pay for it. This noun clause is the subject of the verb "will have to pay," and answers the question "who will have to pay?" The Toronto fans hope that the Blue Jays will win again. This noun clause is the object of the verb "hope," and answers the question "what do the fans hope? The following chart lists the noun clause connectors and the sentence patterns used with them. In the first example, there are two clauses, I don’t know and he said such things. These two clauses are joined with the connector why. Why changes the clause he said such things into a noun clause which functions as the object of the verb don’t know. In the second example, the two clauses I am thinking and he said such things are also joined by the connector why. Why changes the clause he said such things into a noun clause which functions as the object of the preposition about.
  • 6. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 6 UNIT 2: TYPE OF SENTENCES A sentence is a group of words that you use to communicate your ideas. Every sentence is formed from one or more clauses and expresses a complete thought. There are basically four kinds of sentence in English: simple sentence, compoundsentence, complex sentence, and compound-complex sentence. The kind of sentence is determined by the kind of clauses used to from it. A. Simple Sentence: A simple sentence is one independent clause. EX: I enjoy playing tennis with my friend every weekend. I enjoy playing tennis and look forward to it every weekend. My friend and I play tennis and go bowling every weekend. Notice that the second sentence has two verbs, enjoy and look forward to. This is called a compound verb. Because there is only one clause, this is a simple sentence. The third sentence has a compound subject as well as a compound verb, but it is still a simple sentence because it has only one clause. B. Compound Sentences: A compound sentence is two independent clauses joined by a coordinator, a conjunctive adverb, or a semicolon alone. Punctuate compound sentences carefully. EX: I hate jogging, but I love hiking. I hate jogging; however, I love hiking. I hate jogging; I love hiking. 1. Compound Sentence with Coordinator A compound sentence can be formed as follows: Independent clause, + coordinator + independent clause Notice that there is a comma after the first independent clause. The following sentences illustrate the meaning of the seven “FAN BOYS”coordinators.
  • 7. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 7 for Women live longer than men, for they take care of their health. (The second clause gives the reason for the first clause.) and Women follow more healthful diet, And they go to doctors more often. (The two clauses express equal, similar ideas.) nor Women don’t smoke as much as men do, nor do they drink as much alcohol. (Nor mean” and not,” It joins two negative independent clause. Notice that question word order is used after nor). but Men may exercise harder, But they may not exercise as regular as women do. (The two independent clauses). or Both men and women should limit the amount of fat in their diets, or they risk getting heart diseases. (The two clauses express alternative possibilities.) yet Women used to be known as the “weaker sex,” yet in some ways, they are stronger than men. (The second clause is a surprising or unexpected contrast to the first clause.) so Men are less cautious than women, so more men die in accidents. (The second clause is the result of the first clause.) 2. Compound Sentences with Conjunctive Adverbs A compound sentence can formed as follows: Independent clause; + conjunctive adverb, + independent clause Notice the punctuation: a semicolon follows the first independent clause, and a comma follows the conjunctive adverb. Also, just like the FAN BOYScoordinators, conjunctive adverbs express relationships between the clauses. The following chart shows the coordinators and conjunction adverbs the express similar meanings. COORDINA CONJUNCTIVE SENTENCE AND MEAING TOR ADVERB and besides Community colleges offer preparation for many furthermore occupations; moreover, they prepare student to moreover transfer to a four- year college or university. also (additional idea) but However Many community colleges do not have yet Nevertheless dormitories; however, they provide housing Nonetheless referral services. (opposite idea) or otherwise Students must take final exams; otherwise, they will receive a grade of incomplete. (choice; “or else”) so accordingly Native and nonnative English speaker have consequently different needs; therefore; most schools provide hence separate English classes for each group. (result) therefore thus
  • 8. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 8 3. Compound Sentences with Semicolons A compound sentence can also be formed a semicolon alone: Independent clause; independent clause -My elder brother studies law; my younger brother studies medicine. -Poland was the first Eastern European country to turn away from communism; others soon followed. This kind of compound sentence is possible only when the two independent clauses are closely related in meaning. If they aren’t closely related, they should be written as two simple sentences, each ending with a period. C. Complex Sentences A complex sentence contains one independent clause and one (or more) dependent clause(s). In a complex sentence, one idea is generally more important than the other one. The more important idea is placed in the independent clause, and the less important idea is placed in the dependent clause. There are three kinds of dependent clauses: adverb, adjective, and noun. A dependent adverb clause begins with an adverbial subordinator such as when, while, because, although, if, so that, etc. 1. Although women in the United States could own property, they could not vote until 1920. 2. In United States, women could not vote until 1920 although they could own property. Notice that there are two possible for an adverb clause: before and after the independent clause, it is followed by a comma (sentence 1). If it comes after the independent clause, no momma is used (sentence 2). Dependent adjective clauses A dependent adjective (relative) clause begins with a relative pronoun such as who, whom, whose, or that, or with a relative adverb such as where, when, or why. An adjective clause functions as an adjective; that is, it modifies a noun or pronoun. 3. Men who are not married are called bachelors. 4. Last year we vacationed on the Red Sea, which features excellent scuba diving. Dependent Noun Clauses A dependent noun clause functions as noun and begins with a wh-question word, that, whether, or sometimes if. A dependent noun clause can be either a subject (sentence 5) or an object (sentence 6) No commas are necessary. 5. That there is a hole on the ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere is well kwon. 6. The teacher told that the course was so difficult.
  • 9. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 9 D. Compound Complex Sentences A compound complex sentence is a combination of two or more independent clause and one (or more) dependent clause (s). Many combinations are possible, and their punctuation requires careful attention. 1. I wanted to travel after I graduated from college; however, I had to go to work immediately. 2. After I graduated from college, I wanted to travel, but I had to go to work immediately. 3. I wanted to travel after I graduated from college, but I had to go to work immediately because I had to support my family. 4. I couldn’t decide where I should work or what I should do, so I did nothing. Note: Punctuate the compound part of compound-complex sentence like a compound sentence; that is , use a semicoloncomma combination (sentence 1) or put a comma before a coordinator joining two clauses (sentence 2, 3, and 4). Punctuate the complex art like a complex sentence. With an adverb clause, put a comma after a dependent adverb clause (sentence 2) but not before them.
  • 10. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 10 UNIT 3: COMMA Commas are sometimes troublesome to learners of English because they are used differently in other languages. There are many comma rules in English, but you may remember them more easily if you realize that they can be organized into just four main groups: introducers, coordinators, inserters, and tags. Each group of commas relates to independent clauses in a particular way, except the coordinator group. Coordinator commas link not just independent clauses, but any coordinate (equal) elements in a sentence. Study the examples for each comma group, and notice the kinds of elements that can be introducers, coordinators, inserters, and tags An introducer comma follows any element that comes in front of INTRODUCER the first independent clause in a sentence. COMMAS ………………………………….. INDEPENDENT CLAUSE Therefore, I plan to quit smoking. Nervously, threw away my cigarettes. Phrases As a result, I feel terrible right now. After sixteen years of smoking, it is not easy to quit. Having smoked for sixteen years, I find it difficult to quit. Dependent Because I have chronic cough, my doctor recommended that I quit clauses immediately. Direct Stop smoking today,” he advised. quotations COORDINATOR Together with a coordinating conjunction, a comma links COMMAS coordinate (equal) elements in a sentence. Compound coord. Sentence with 2 INDEPENDENT CLAUSE, conjunction INDEPENDENT CLAUSE independent She has a good job, yet she is always broke. clauses They were tired, so they went hone early. Series of 3 or , , , and more items: or but He doesn’t enjoy skiing, ice-skating, or sledding. Words Jam speaks English, Spanish, French, and Creole. (No comma with only 2 items: Chen speaks Mandarin and Taiwanese.) Phrases A nurse has to work at night, on weekends, and on holidays. We ran into the airport, checked our luggage, raced to the boarding gate, gave the attendant our boarding passes, and collapsed in our seats.
  • 11. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 11 An inserter comma is used before and after any element that is INSERTER inserted into the middle of an independent clause. COMMAS INDEPENDENT , ……………… , CLAUSE Words My uncle, however, refuses to quit smoking. Phrases My gather, on the other hand, has never smoked. There’s no point in living, according to my uncle, if you don’t do that you enjoy. Nonrestrictive My aunt, his wife, died of lung cancer. phrases and My cousins, grieving over their mother’s death, resolved never to clauses smoke. My mother, who just celebrated her fiftieth birthday, enjoys an occasional cigarette. Reporting verbs I’ve tried to quit dozens of times. ”she says, “but can’t” in direct quotations TAG A tag comma is used when adding certain element to the end of a COMMAS sentence. Words My uncle believes in drinking a daily glass of wine, too. He appears to be in good health, however. Phrases He swims for an hour very day, for example. He also plays tennis, beating me must of the time. Tag question It isn’t logical, is it? Direct He laughs as he says ,”I will outlive all of you.” quotations
  • 12. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 12 UNIT 4: MISPLACE MODIFIERS We say that a modifier is misplaced if it appears to modify the wrong part of the sentence or if we cannot be certain what part of the sentence the writer intended it to modify. Misplaced modifiers may be awkward, unintentionally amusing, or genuinely confusing. A) Place modifiers where they will clearly modify the words intended. Readers tend to link a modifying word, phrase, or clause to the nearest word it could modify: I saw a man in a green hat. Thus the writer must place the phrase so that it clearly modifies the intended word and not some other. Confusing: She served hamburger to the men on paper plates. (Surely the hamburgers, not the men, were on paper plates.) Clear: She served the men hamburgers on paper plates. Confusing: He was unhappy that he failed to break the record by a narrow margin. (The sentence implies that he wanted to break the record only by a narrow margin.) Clear: He was unhappy that he failed by a narrow margin to break the record. Confusing: According to police records, many dogs are killed by automobiles and trucks roaming unleashed. (The phrase appears to modify automobiles.) Clear: According to police records, many dogs roaming unleashed are killed by automobiles and trucks. Confusing: The mayor was able to cut the ribbon and then the band played whensomeone found scissors. (The clause appears to modify the band played.) Clear: When someonefound scissors, the mayor was able to cut the ribbon and then the band played. B) Place limiting modifiers carefully. Limiting modifiers include almost, even, exactly, hardly, just, merely, nearly, only, scarcely, and simply. They modify the expressions that immediately follow them. Compare the uses of jut in the following sentences: The instructor just nodded to me as he came in. The instructor nodded just to me as he came in. The instructor nodded to me just as he came in.
  • 13. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 13 In speech several of these modifiers frequently occur before the verb, regardless of the words they are intended to modify. In writing, however, these modifiers should fall immediately before the word or word group they modify to avoid any ambiguity. Unclear: They only saw each other during meals. (They had eyes only for each other, or they met only during meals?) Clear: They saw only each other during meals. Clear: They saw each other only during meals. Note:Only is acceptable immediately before the verb when it modifies a whole statement. EX: He only wanted his guest to have fun. C) Avoid squinting modifiers. A squinting modifier is one that may refer to either a preceding or a following word, leaving the reader uncertain about what it is intended to modify. A modifier can modify only one grammatical element in a sentence. It cannot serve two elements at once. Squinting: Snipers who fired on the solders often escaped capture. Clear: Snipers who often fired on the soldiers escaped capture. Clear: Snipers who fired on the soldiers escaped capture often. When an adverb modifies an entire main clause, as in the last example, it can usually be moved to the beginning of the sentence: Often, snipers who fired on the soldiers escaped capture. D) Avoid separating a subject from its verb or a verb form its object or complement. When we read a sentence, we expect the subject, verb, and object or complement to be close to each other. If adjective phrases or clauses separate them, the meaning is usually clear. The wreckers who were demolishing the old house discovered a large box of coin. (The subject, wreckers, and the verb, discovered, are separated by the adjective clause beginning who.) However, if an adverb phrase or clause interrupts the movement from subject to verb to object or complement, the resulting sentence is likely to be awkward and confusing. Awkward: The wreckers, soon after they began demolishing the old house, discovered a large box of coins. (The clause beginning soon after interrupts the movement from subject to verb.)
  • 14. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 14 Revised: Soon after they began demolishing the old house, the wreckersdiscovered a large box of coins. Awkward: Three of the wreckers lifted, with great effort, the heavy box. (The phrase beginning with interrupts the movement from verb to object.) Revised: Three of the wreckers lifted the heavy box with great effort. E) Avoid separating the parts of a verb phrase or the parts of an infinitive. A verb phrase consists of a helping verb plus a main verb, as in will call, was going, had been writing. Such phrases constitute close grammatical units. We regularly insert single-word adverbs in them without causing awkwardness: Joshua had almost completed his assignment. But when longer word groups interrupt verb phrases, the result is almost always awkward. Awkward: Many students had, by spending most of their time on the assignment, completed it. Revised: By spending most of their time on the assignment, many students hadcompleted it. Revised: Many students had completed the assignment by spending most of their time on it. Infinitives consist of the marker to plus the plain form of a verb: to produce, toenjoy. The two parts of the infinitive are widely regarded as a grammatical unit that should not be split. Awkward: The weather service expected temperatures to not rise. Revised: The weather service expected temperatures not to rise. Note, however, that a split infinitive may sometimes be natural and preferable, though it may still bother some readers. Several U.S. industries expect to more than triple their use of robot within the next decade. We could recast the sentence entirely: Several U.S. industries expect to increase their use of robots by over 200 percent within the next decade. But the split construction seems acceptable for economy.
  • 15. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 15 UNIT 5: DANGLING MODIFIERS A dangling modifier does not sensibly modify anything in its sentence. Dangling: Passing the building, the vandalism was clearly visible. (The modifying phrase seems to describe vandalism. The writer has not said who was passing the building or who saw the vandalism.) Dangling: Shortly after leaving home, the accident occurred. (The modifying phrase seems to describe accident. The writer has not said who left home or who was in the accident.) Dangling modifiers occur most often when certain kinds of modifying word groups precede the main clause of the sentence. These word groups include participial phrases (passing the building); infinitive phrases (to see); prepositional phrases in which the object of the preposition is a gerund (after leaving home); and elliptical clauses in which the subject and perhaps the verb are understood (while at work). (See 5c) These phrases and clauses are IDENTIFYING AND REVISING DAANGLING MODIFIERS 1. If the modifier lacks a subject of its own (e.g., running away), identify what it describes. 2. Verify that what the modifier describes is in fact the subject of the main clause. If it is not, the modifier is probably dangling. 3. Revise a dangling modifier (a) by recasting it with a subject of its own or (b) by changing the subject of the main clause. Modifier Subject is Describes Diggers water Dangling: Having sweltered in the sun, the water tasted wonderful to the diggers. Revision A: After the diggers had sweltered in the sun, the water tasted wonderful. Revision B: Having sweltered in the sun, the diggers thought the water tasted wonderful. about something, but their subjects are not expressed. Thus readers take them to modify the following noun, the subject of the main clause. If they do not sensibly define or describe the following noun, they are dangling modifiers. Dangling: Being very tired, Morton’s alarm failed to disturb his sleep. (Participial phrase.) Dangling: Toget up on time, a great effort was needed. (Infinitive phrase.) Dangling: On rising, coffee was essential to waken Morton. (Prepositional phrase.) Dangling: Until completely awake, work was impossible. (Elliptical clause.)
  • 16. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 16 These sentences are illogical: alarm clocks don’t get tired, effort doesn’t get up, coffee doesn’t rise, and work doesn’t awaken. Note that a modifier may be dangling even when the sentence elsewhere contains a word the modifier might seem to describe, such as Morton’s and Morton in the first and third examples. In addition, a dangling modifier may fall at the end of a sentence: Dangling: Work came easily when finally awake. We correct dangling modifiers by recasting the sentences in which they appear. We can change the subject of the main clause to a word the modifier properly defines or describes. Or we can recast the dangling modifier as a complete clause. The following examples illustrate these revisions. Dangling: Being crowded in the car, the trip was uncomfortable. Revised: Being crowded in the car, we were uncomfortable. (New subject.) Revised: Because we were crowded in the car, the trip was uncomfortable. (Rewritten modifier.) Dangling: After unlocking the door, the cat refused to go out. Revised: After I had unlocked the door, the cat refused to go out. (Rewritten modifier.) Dangling: To take sharp action pictures, a photographer should be fast. Revised: To take sharp action pictures, a photographer should use a fast shutter speed. (New subject.) Revised: If a photographer wants to take sharp action pictures, the shutter speed should be fast. (Rewritten modifier.) Dangling: The stitches were removed from Larry’s wound while still in the hospital. Revised: Larry had the stitches removed while still in the hospital. (New subject.) Revised: The stitches were removed from Larry’s wound while he was still in the hospital. (Rewritten modifier.)
  • 17. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 17 UNIT 6: SENTENCE FRAGMENTS INTRODUCTION: A sentence is a group of words that express a complete thought. If a sentence is not complete, it is called fragment. In other words, fragment is an incomplete thought punctuated as if it were complete, as it were a sentence. There are four sentence errors that can produce fragments. Fragment Type 1: No Subject Usually in order to express a thought completely, a sentence must contain a subject and a verb. Sometimes, however, it may contain only a verb. This particular type of sentence, called an imperative sentence, is used to express commands: for example “stop!” The verb stop; the subject is called an understood you, because the speaker is commanding someone else to stop. A group of words written without a subject is a fragment. Example: Were walking down the street in a great hurry. Obviously, you don’t write this type of sentence frequently, but it does happen. This mistake can be simply corrected by adding a subject. Correction: The children were walking down the street in a great hurry. Fragment Type 2: no Verb A group of words written without a verb is a fragment. Example: The woman in the yellow-stripped dress. Again, this type of fragment isn’t usually mistaken for a sentence, but it can happen. When it does, the simple way to correct the error is to add a verb. Correction: The woman in the yellow-stripped dressed is my teacher. Note: Often the reason for mistakenly punctuating this type of fragment as a sentence is that the group of words is used in apposition. Example: That’s my teacher. The woman in the yellow-striped dress. If this is the basis for the mistake, then correct the fragment by attaching it to the sentence to which it is related. Correction: That’s my teacher, the woman in the yellow-striped dress.
  • 18. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 18 Fragment Type 3: -ing Verb with no helping verb A sentence containing an-ing verb without a helping verb (such as am, is , are, was, were, have been, will be) is a fragment. Example: Barry battling bravely against the encroaching ants. This fragment can easily be corrected by adding an appropriate helping verb. Correction: Barry was battling bravely against the encroaching ants. Fragment Type 4: No Complete Thought A dependent sentence containing an-ing verb without a helping verb (such as am, is, are, was, were, have been, will be) is a fragment. Example: Barry battling bravely against the encroaching ants. This fragment can easily be corrected by adding an appropriate helping verb. Correction: Barry was battling bravely against the encroaching ants. Subordinator Conjunctions after if what although since when is (if) so that where because than whereas before though wherever even though unless whether how until while Relative Pronouns That which whom What whichever whomever Whatever who (whoever) whose (whichever, whoever, and whomever are used less frequently than the others.) There are two ways to correct a dependent-clause fragment. Choose whichever method is more appropriate for your message. 1. Because it is the subordinator conjunction that transforms the independent clause (simple sentence) into a dependent clause, get rid of the subordinate conjunction, which will leave you with a simple sentence. Fragment: That the children were very happy. Correction: The children were very happy. Note: This method does not always work, because a relative pronoun can serve as the subject of the dependent clause. Example: Which was difficult.
  • 19. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 19 If you omit the subordinate conjunction, you still would not have an independent clause: Was difficult. Instead, you would still have a fragment, because you group of words now does not have a subject. In such a case, use the second method to correct the fragment. 2. Connect the dependent clause to an independent clause, and create a complex sentence. Fragment: That the children were very happy Correction: Anyone could see that the children were very happy Fragment: Which was difficult. Correction: We had to take a make-up exam, which was difficult. Summary: Fragment: Correction: Type1:Live in USA  I live in USA. Type2: Jack here  Jack is here. Type 3: She watching TV  She is watching TV. Type 4: When I study English I study English.
  • 20. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 20 Unit 7: Run Together Sentences Run-together sentences (or run-on sentences) are examples of sentences that should be divided up but have been written as if they are one sentence. Look at these two examples. Why do we describe them as run-together sentences? Foreign direct investment can help the development of a country it can also provide employment. An essay should always contain quotations that help to support your argument they will also show the marker which books you have read. They are described as run-together (or run-on) sentences because in fact they are both made up of two sentences. They should be divided up in the following ways: Foreign direct investment can help the development of a country. It can also provide. An essay should always contain quotations that help to support your argument. They will also show the marker which books you have read. We can correct run-together sentences in several different ways. 1. We can use a semicolon if the sentences are not too long. We can also make two separate sentences. The markers will always have expectations of an essay writers work; they will expect the writer to follow certain conventions. 2. We can join sentences using a conjunction like and, but, so, or, yet, for. Our ability to write good essays will go on improving if we learn to plan carefully andgive ourselves time to draft and re-draft our writing. 3. A word such as because, although, since, so that, whereas can be used to begin a dependent clause that cannot stand alone. Since the death of her daughter, she seems to have been walking in a fog. Some countries have a long history of stability and peace whereas this is not true in some other countries. 4. We can use a linking word or phrase (however, nevertheless, in addition, for example, on the other hand, moreover, therefore, consequently, in contrast) to make links between independent sentences. Many students want to write good essay that gain high marks but they often go about it in the wrong way. For example, they start writing the essay two days before it is supposed to be handed in or, in some cases, even the night before. There is no doubt that the education system has greatly expanded over the last few years. However, we must not be complacent about present standards.
  • 21. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 21 Task Do any of these sentences need to be corrected? Some companies believe that the quantity of sales is the most important thing the quality of the product is seen as less important. Many Tanzanians work far from the town or village where they were born they retain close links with their home and always try to build a house there for when they retire. A high proportion of accidents in this country are caused by young males between the ages of 17 -28 the concept of careful driving is not understood by many of them. Many people say that completing a PhD successfully involves 90% effort and organization and 10% talent however this is also true of many other achievements. Some people are obsessed with work they are sometimes called workaholics and they work 12 - 14 hours every day. If you want to write a good essay you must check and re-check your writing many times without this process of careful editing you will find it difficult to hand in a good assignment. Notes on the Task (a) Some companies believe that the quantity of sales is the most important thingthe quality of the product is seen as less important. Some companies believe that the quantity of sales is the most important thing. Thequality of the product is seen as less important. (b) Many Tanzanians work far from the town or village where they were born theyretain close links with their home and always try to build a house there for when they retire. Many Tanzanians work far from the town or village where they were born.However, they retain close links with their home and always try to build a house there forwhen they retire. (c) A high proportion of accidents in this country are caused by young malesbetween the ages of 17 -28 the concept of careful driving is not understood by many ofthem. A high proportion of accidents in this country are caused by young males betweenthe ages of 17 -28. The concept of careful driving is not understood by many of them .
  • 22. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 22 (d) Many people say that completing a PhD successfully involves 90% effort andorganization and 10% talent perhaps this is also true of many other achievements. Many people say that completing a PhD successfully involves 90% effort andorganization and 10% talent. Perhaps this is also true of many other achievements. (e) Some people are obsessed with work they are sometimes called workaholics andthey work 12 - 14 hours every day. Some people are obsessed with work. They are sometimes called workaholics andthey work 12 - 14 hours every day. (f) If you want to write a good essay you must check and re-check your writing manytimes without this process of careful editing you will find it difficult to hand in a goodassignment. If you want to write a good essay you must check and re-check your writing manytimes. Without this process of careful editing you will find it difficult to hand in a goodassignment.
  • 23. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 23 UNIT 8: FAULTY PARALLELISM Parallelism is a similarity of grammatical form between two or more coordinated elements. The air is dirtied by factories belching smoke and cars spewing exhaust. Parallelism structure reinforces and highlights a close relation or a contrast between compound sentence elements, whether they be words, phrases, or entire clause. The principle underlying parallelism is that form should reflect meaning: since the parts of compound constructions have the same function and importance, they should have the same grammatical form. (See the box) For the writer, parallelism is both a way to emphasize related ideas and a grammatical requirement to be observed in constructing sentences. In the following section we will look at both roles of parallelism. A. Using parallelism for coordinate elements Parallel structure is necessary wherever coordination exists: wherever elements are connected by coordinating conjunctions or by correlative conjunctions, wherever elements are compared or contrasted, and wherever items are arranged in a list or outline. The elements should match each other in structure, though they need not match word for word, as the previous sentence the coordinate prepositional phrases are parallel even though the second phrase contains more words. We passed through the town and into the vast, unpopulated desert. PATTERNS OF PARALLELISM Parallel words In 1988 a Greek cyclist, backed up by engineers, physiologists, and athletes, broke the world’s record for human flight with neither a boost nor a motor. Parallel Phrases Pedaling a superlight plane and sipping a special nutritious drink, the pilot made an over-water journey of more than seventy-four miles and fewer than four hours.
  • 24. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 24 To conserve energy, the pilot both kept to the straightest possible course and stayed near the surface of the water. Parallel subordinate clauses The plane was escorted by several boats whose equipment tracked the wind and whose passengers monitored the pilot’s health. Parallel main clauses the plane alighted just thirty fee offshore, and the pilot swam to a welcoming crowd. 1. Using parallelism for elements linked by coordinating conjunctions The coordinating conjunctions and, but, or, nor, and yet always signal a need for parallelism, as the following sentences show. Miracle Grill will cook your food in the kitchen or on the patio. Political candidates often explain what they intend to do but rarely explain how they are going to do it. In Melanie’s home, children had to account for where they had been and what they had been doing. Sentence elements linked by coordinating conjunctions should be parallel in structure; otherwise, their coordination will be weakened and the reader distracted. Faulty: Three reasons why steel companies keep losing money are that their plants are inefficient, high labor costs, and foreign competition is increasing. Revised: Three reasons why steel companies keep losing money are inefficient plants, high labor costs, and increasing foreign competition. All the words required by idiom or grammar must be stated in compound constructions (see also 15c). Faulty: The boy demonstrated an interest and a talent for writing. Revised: The boy demonstrated an interest in and a talent for writing. (Idiom dictates different prepositions with interest and talent.) Faulty: The thieves were careless and apprehended. Revised: The thieves were careless and were apprehended. (Each were serves a different grammatical function-the first as a linking verb, the second as a helping verb.) Often, the same word must be repeated to avoid confusion.
  • 25. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 25 Confusing: Thoreau stood up for his principles by not paying his taxes and spending a night in jail. (Did he spend a night in jail or not? Revised: Thoreau stood up for his principles by not paying his taxes and by spending a night in jail. Be sure that clauses beginning and who or and which are coordinated only with preceding who and which clauses. Faulty: Marie is a young woman of great ability and who wants to be a lawyer. Revised: Marie is a young woman who has great ability and who wants to be a lawyer. Revised: Marie is a young woman of great ability who wants to be a lawyer. 2. Using parallelism for element linked by correlative conjunctions Correlative conjunctions are pairs of connectors such as both . . . and, not only . . . but also, and either . . . or. They stress equality and balance and thus emphasize the relation between elements, even long phrases and clauses. The elements should be parallel to confirm their relation. It is not a tax bill but a tax relief bill, providing relief not for the needy but for the greedy. -FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT At the end of the novel, Huck Finn both rejects society’s values by turning down money and a home and affirms his own values by setting out for “the territory.” Most errors in parallelism with correlative conjunctions occur when the element after the second connector does not match the element after the first connector. Nonparallel: He told the boys either to brush the horse or feed the chickens. Revised: He told the boys either to brush the horse or to feed the chickens. Nonparallel: We were warned that we must either pay our rent or we must vacate the apartment. Revised: We were warned that we must either pay our rent or vacate the apartment. 3. Using parallelism for element being compared or contrasted Elements being compared or contrasted should ordinarily be cast in the same grammatical form. It is better to live rich than to die rich. -SAMUEL JOHNSON Weak: Jody wanted a job rather than to apply for welfare. Revised: Jody wanted a job rather than welfare payments. Revised: Jody wanted to find a job rather than to apply for welfare. 4. Using parallelism for items in lists or outlines
  • 26. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 26 The elements of a list or outline that divides a larger subject are coordinate and should be parallel in structure. Faulty Improved The Renaissance in England The Renaissance in England was marked by was marked by 1. an extension of trade routes 1. the extension of trade routes 2. merchant class became 2. The increasing power of the more powerful merchant class 3. the death of feudalism 3. the death of feudalism 4. upsurging of the arts 4. the upsurge of the arts 5. the sciences were 5. the encouragement of the encouraged sciences 6. religious quarrels began 6. the rise of religious quarrels B. Using parallelism to increase coherence Parallelism not only ensures similarity of form for coordinated structures but also enhance coherence by clearly relating paired or opposed units. Consider this sentence: Nonparallel: During the early weeks of the semester, the course reviews fundamentals, but little emphasis is placed on new material or more advanced concepts. Here “the course” is doing two things_or doing one thing and not doing the other_and these are opposites. But the nonparallel construction of the sentence (the course reviews . . . little emphasis is placed) does not help the reader see the connection quickly. Revised: During the early week of the semester, the course reviews fundamentals but places little emphasis on new material or more advanced concepts. Effective parallelism will enable you to combine in a single, well-ordered sentence related ideas that you might have expressed in two or three separate sentences. Compare the following three sentences with the original single sentence written by H. L. Mencken. Slang originates in the effort of ingenious individuals to make language more pungent and picturesque. They increase the store of terse and striking words or widen the boundaries of metaphor. Thus a vocabulary for new shades and differences in meaning is provided by slang. Slang originates in the effort of ingenious individuals to make the language more pungent and picturesque to increase the store of terse and striking words, to widen
  • 27. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 27 the boundaries of metaphor, and to provide a vocabulary for new shades and differences in meaning. -H. L. MENCKEN Parallel structure works as well to emphasize the connections among related sentences in a paragraph. Style is an extraordinary thing. It is one of the subtlest secrets of all art. . . . In painting, it is composition. colour-sense, and brushwork. In sculpture, it is the treatment of depths and surfaces and the choice of tones and metals. In music, it is surely the melodic line, the tone-colour, and the shape of the phrase. . . . In prose and poetry, it is the choice of words, their placing, and the rhythms and melodies of sentence and paragraph. -GILBERT HIGHET Here, Highet clarifies and emphasizes his assertion that style is common to all forms of art by casting four successive sentences in the same structure (In . . . , it is . . .). UNIT 9: SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
  • 28. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 28 Subject-verb agreement deal with making two parts of a sentence match or agree. To make a subject and a verb agree, you decide whether the subject is singular or plural and make the verb form match the subject. Rule 1: A singular subject (one person or thing) takes a singular verb. EX: The book is interesting. The window opens easily. Rule 2: A plural subject (more than one person or thing) takes a plural verb. EX: The books are interesting. The windows open easily. Rule 3: When the subject follows the verb, as in WH questions and in sentences beginning with here or there, the subject and verb must agree. EX: Where is your credit card? Here is your credit card. Where are my credit cards? Here are my credit cards. What is your name? Rule 4: Most compound subjects joined by and take plural verb. EX: The cook and the waiter are in the kitchen. John and Marina study together at PUC. Rule 5: When a singular subject and a plural subject are joined by either-or, neither- nor or not only-but also, the verb agrees with the nearest subject. EX: Either the landscapers or the contractor provides that services. Either the contractor or the landscapers provide that service. Neither the electricians nor the plumber has assistants. Neither the plumber nor the electricians have assistants. Often words may not seem clearly singular or plural. The following list will help you avoid confusion in determining agreement. Always Singular Always Plural Either S or P one, anyone, anybody, anything, , much, everyone, several, all, any, part, half other everybody, everything, someone, somebody, few, none, no one, each something,, either, nobody, nothing,, some, both, another, neither many Read the following sentences. Which one has the correct form of the verb? The committees argue over the new proposal. The committee argues over the new proposal.
  • 29. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 29 If you choose the second sentence, you are correct. In this sentence the subject (committee) is singular. The words like “committee” that refer to a group of people are usually considered singular. Here are more examples of group words. army company group population association council jury press audience crew majority public board crowd management school choir enemy military society class faculty minority staff club family mob team college firm navy union/ university community government (political)party Note: military, press and public do not have a plural form. However, these words can be considered plural if the group they are a part of is not acting as whole unit. The choirs argue among themselves over the new songbooks. The choirs argues among themselves over the new songbooks. The top sentence is correct because the subject (choir) was not acting as one whole unit and must be considered plural. Therefore, the verb (argue) must also be plural. Sometimes determining agreement in sentence that have interrupting or connecting words or phrase between the subjects and the verb can be confusing. Rule 6: A subject must always agree with the verb no matter what words or phrases come between the subjects and verb. EX: The instructor,especially one who has good riding skills, is in demand these days. The subject ‘’instructor’’ is singular and takes the singular verb ‘’is’’. The phrase that comes between them has no effect on the agreement. Rule 7: When a singular subject is joined to other words by connecting word such as along with, like, as well as, together with, in addition to, and accompanied by, the verb should be singular. EX: My sister, along with her two children is camping in the mountains this weekend Rule8: A phrase beginning with a verb forms ending in-ing can be the subject of the sentence. A phrase like these as a subject always takes a singular verb. EX: Riding the horse was the men’s favorite sport.
  • 30. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 30 Rule 9: When a pronoun is the subject, the verb must agree in number with the word the pronoun stands for. EX: There are two apples that are still green in his sack. The pronoun that refers to apples, not sack, which means that the plural verb form (are) is required. In some sentences when a relative pronoun (who, that, or which) is used, it may be difficult to find the subject to which the pronoun refers. Rule 10: Neither of plural noun + singular verb. Rule11: A number of plural noun + plural verb Rule12: The number of plural noun + Singular verb. Rule13: Plural subject + or + singular subject + singular verb. Singular subject + or + plural subject + plural verb. Rule14: Either of/ Neither of + Plural subject + Singular verb EX: Neither of the girls is going to the party. Either of his students has to join the play. Rule15: Nouns of Language + Singular verb EX: Chinese is her native language. English is an international language. Rule16: Nouns of nationality + Plural verb EX: The Chinese have an interesting story. Japanese like eating raw fish. Rule17: Adjective used as a noun + Plural verb EX: The poor have many problems. Rule18: Singular noun ending in –s + singular verb - Names of some countries/ organization: the Philippines, the United States, the United Nations, etc. - Fields of study: Mathematics, Physics, Economic, etc. - Names of some department stores - News EX: The United States is the powerful country. EX: Mathematics is easy for her, but it is very difficult for me. EX: The new on TB focuses on Cambodia election. Use Subject-verb Agreement The deals with being able to link together the subject and verb in individual sentence, as well as, to maintain agreement when sentence are combined into paragraphs.
  • 31. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 31 Often the more complicated a sentence is, the more difficult it is to determine agreement. Therefore, do not be distracted by interrupting words or phrases. Pay specialattention to the true subject of a sentence and then decide on the correct verb form to use with it. Exercise: 1: Select the correct form of the verb to indicate that you understand subject-verb agreement 1. There (are,is) a speaker on the platform. 2. There (are, is) speakers on the stage. 3. The house, together with its furnishings, (are, is) a very good to buy. 4. Everybody (has, have) to wear an academic robe at graduation. 5. Neither of his remarks (wear, was) pleasant. 6. A number of suggestions (was, were) offered. 7. The number of suggestion (has, have) increased since the bonus plan went into effect. 8. Neither the student nor her professors (was, were) satisfied with her academic standing. 9. Neither Jane’s professors nor Jane (was, were) happy with her final grades. 10. William or Charles (was, were) responsible for last month’s sales figures.
  • 32. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 32 UNIT 10: PARAGRAPH WRITING What is a paragraph? It is a group of sentences that introduces, presents and develops one main idea about the topic. And it can be divided into three major parts. A. The Topic Sentence It is normally the first sentence of the paragraph. It conveys the overall point of the paragraph. It helps the writer focus on the idea written about. It helps the reader know about what the paragraph is all about. B. The Supporting Details They are sentences used to support the main idea stated in the topic sentence. They give more information about the main idea through examples. They say in details what the topic sentence says in general. They should be clear evidence that what the topic sentence says is trustworthy. They should be strong convincing points on which the topic sentence can rely upon. C. The Concluding Sentence It is a reflection of the main idea pronounced in the topic sentence. It sums up what the topic sentence and the supporting details talk about. It is the closing sentence that reminds the readers of what they have to value. It is compulsory for the completion of the paragraph unity. It eventually indicates the end of a paragraph. It prepares the reader for a smooth transition to the next paragraph if there is one. How to write the paragraph Paragraph writing consists of many necessary elements to be taken into consideration before,whileandafter writing. I. BEFORE WRITING: In this stage it is important to specify the topic you are intending to tackle. Take a sheet of paper and just start jotting down notes that havetight connection with your topic. In this stage, mistakes and word-order are to be overlooked momentarily. After you gathered the data necessary for your topic the next step is to be taken. II. WHILE WRITING Topic Sentence Choose a topic sentence for your paragraph that states the main idea of your topic. The topic sentence is a statement that generally introduces the topic and thus it is often referred to as: the opening statement. Keep in mind that the readers will greatly rely on what it says so as they can decide if the paragraph
  • 33. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 33 is worth reading or not. It gives them a broad view of what you are writing about because the topic sentence is meant to state the main idea of the paragraph. It helps readers save time as it tells them what the reset of the paragraph is all about. If they are interested in the topic, they will continue reading; if not; the topic sentence has given them guiding clues that help them be selective in their reading. I mean that the topic sentence in each paragraph is the short cut that helps the readers economize the amount of time and effort when they are skimming for gist or scanning for specific information. That’s why your topic sentence should b e a sort of clincher, that is - a tempting statement that catches the readers’ attentions and entice them to carry on with the reading of the paragraph. The students are the most meant by this because their corrector should intelligently be dragged into liking and enjoying reading the paragraph because this topic sentence controls the entire paragraph. It helps the student focus on the main idea and not drift away from it. If it is well put, it easily helps the students narrow their supporting details, which will follow, into more specific and subject related examples because the supporting details are there to reinforce the topic sentence and to do that effectively they should each include at least one example. Supporting Details These are sentences that support the topic sentence. They give information that reinforces the main idea stated in the topic sentence. So there should at least be three supporting details because one or two make the paragraph less convincing and not worth the effort done to build it. Thus the students are strongly advised to provide at least three strong details which can support the main idea. The students can use all the writing techniques necessary to make the paragraph sustainable and eligible: descriptions, definitions, examples, elaboration and exploration. If any of the supporting details doesn’t correlate with the main idea or does not support it, it will break the unity of the paragraph. Concluding Sentence This is the last sentence of your paragraph and it should reflect what you have talked about in your paragraph and it should echo the topic sentence in a way or another. III. AFTER WRITING: Reviewing This final step can be called the editing step. This is a very crucial stage of your work process as you should review what you have done and make sure the paragraph is eligible, technically speaking. Among the things that this stage is about are:  Coherence and cohesion of the content  The stability of the form  The linking words  Grammar, spelling and punctuation  Clear handwriting Apart from these essentials, other factors are to be mulled over: 1. Your main idea should be expressed in the topic sentence in a full, clear declarative sentence.
  • 34. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 34 2. Your topic sentence should in no way be a purpose statement such as:  The purpose of this paragraph is …  I will prove in this paragraph …  In this paragraph, I will tell …  Show but don’t tell. 3. Don’t repeat yourself now then thinking that you are reinforcing your point. 4. Don’t use complex or farfetched terms that may puzzle the corrector. 5. Don’t use long winding sentences. Keep simple. 6. Instead of giving definitions, it’s better to explain and give examples. 7. Your supporting details shouldn’t be too excessive. 8. Try not to be redundant or out of point. Stick to your topic. 9. Never introduce or present new ideas. 10. Irrelevant supporting details should immediately be discarded. Finally, you can transform your concluding sentence into a thought provoking statement that the reader may find appealing.
  • 35. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 35 Unit 11: Essay Writing An essay can have many purposes, but the basic structure is the same no matter what. You may be writing an essay to argue for a particular point of view or to explain the steps necessary to complete a task. Either way, your essay will have the same basic format. If you follow a few simple steps, you will find that the essay almost writes itself. You will be responsible only for supplying ideas, which are the important part of the essay anyway. Dont let the thought of putting pen to paper daunt you. Get started! These simple steps will guide you through the essay writing process: Decide on your topic. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas. Write your thesis statement. Write the body. o Write the main points. o Write the sub points. o Elaborate on the sub points. Write the introduction and conclusion. Add the finishing touches. 1. Decide on your topic  Topic Has Been Assigned You may have no choice as to your topic. If this is the case, you still may not be ready to jump to the next step. Think about the type of paper you are expected to produce. Should it be a general overview, or a specific analysis of the topic? If it should be an overview, then you are probably ready to move to the next step. If it should be a specific analysis, make sure your topic is fairly specific. If it is too general, you must choose a narrower subtopic to discuss. For example, the topic "KENYA" is a general one. If your objective is to write an overview, this topic is suitable. If your objective is to write a specific analysis, this topic is too general. You must narrow it to something like "Politics in Kenya" or "Kenyas Culture."
  • 36. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 36 Once you have determined that your topic will be suitable, you can move on.  Topic Has Not Been Assigned If you have not been assigned a topic, then the whole world lies before you. Sometimes that seems to make the task of starting even more intimidating. Actually, this means that you are free to choose a topic of interest to you, which will often make your essay a stronger one.  Define Your Purpose The first thing you must do is think about the purpose of the essay you must write. Is your purpose to persuade people to believe as you do, to explain to people how to complete a particular task, to educate people about some person, place, thing or idea, or something else entirely? Whatever topic you choose must fit that purpose .  Brainstorm Subjects of Interest Once you have determined the purpose of your essay, write down some subjects that interest you. No matter what the purpose of your essay is, an endless number of topics will be suitable. If you have trouble thinking of subjects, start by looking around you. Is there anything in your surroundings that interests you? Think about your life. What occupies most of your time? That might make for a good topic. Dont evaluate the subjects yet; just write down anything that springs to mind.  Evaluate Each Potential Topic If you can think of at least a few topics that would be appropriate, you must simply consider each one individually. Think about how you feel about that topic. If you must educate, be sure it is a subject about which you are particularly well-informed. If you must persuade, be sure it is a subject about which you are at least moderately passionate. Of course, the most important factor in choosing a topic is the number of ideas you have about that topic. Even if none of the subjects you thought of seem particularly appealing, try just choosing one to work with. It may turn out to be a better topic than you at first thought. Before you are ready to move on in the essay-writing process, look one more time at the topic you have selected. Think about the type of paper you are expected to produce. Should it be a general overview, or a specific analysis of the topic? If it should be an overview, then you are probably ready to move to the next step. If it should be a specific analysis, make sure your topic is fairly specific. If it is too general, you must choose a narrower subtopic to discuss. For example, the topic "KENYA" is a general one. If your objective is to write an overview, this topic is suitable. If your objective is to write a specific analysis, this topic is too general. You must narrow it to something like "Politics in Kenya" or "Kenyas Culture." Once you have determined that your topic will be suitable, you can move on.
  • 37. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 37 2. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas The purpose of an outline or diagram is to put your ideas about the topic on paper, in a moderately organized format. The structure you create here may still change before the essay is complete, so dont agonize over this. Decide whether you prefer the cut-and-dried structure of an outline or a more flowing structure. If you start one or the other and decide it isnt working for you, you can always switch later. Outline A. Begin your outline by writing your topic at the top of the page. B. Next, write the Roman numerals I, II, and III, spread apart down the left side of the page. C. Next to each Roman numeral, write the main ideas that you have about your topic, or the main points that you want to make.  If you are trying to persuade, you want to write your best arguments.  If you are trying to explain a process, you want to write the steps that should be followed. You will probably need to group these into categories. If you have trouble grouping the steps into categories, try using Beginning, Middle, and End.  If you are trying to inform, you want to write the major categories into which your information can be divided. D. Under each Roman numeral, write A, B, and C down the left side of the page. E. Next to each letter, write the facts or information that supports that main idea. Diagram A. Begin your diagram with a circle or a horizontal line or whatever shape you prefer in the middle of the page. B. Inside the shape or on the line, write your topic. C. From your center shape or line, draw three or four lines out into the page. Be sure to spread them out. D. At the end of each of these lines, draw another circle or horizontal line or whatever you drew in the center of the page. E. In each shape or on each line, write the main ideas that you have about your topic, or the main points that you want to make.  If you are trying to persuade, you want to write your best arguments.  If you are trying to explain a process, you want to write the steps that should be followed. You will probably need to group these into categories. If you have trouble grouping the steps into categories, try using Beginning, Middle, and End.  If you are trying to inform, you want to write the major categories into which your information can be divided.
  • 38. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 38 F. From each of your main ideas, draw three or four lines out into the page. G. At the end of each of these lines, draw another circle or horizontal line or whatever you drew in the center of the page. H. In each shape or on each line, write the facts or information that support that main idea. When you have finished, you have the basic structure for your essay and are ready to continue. 3. Write your thesis statement Now that you have decided, at least tentatively, what information you plan to present in your essay, you are ready to write your thesis statement. The thesis statement tells the reader what the essay will be about, and what point you, the author, will be making. You know what the essay will be about. That was your topic. Now you must look at your outline or diagram and decide what point you will be making. What do the main ideas and supporting ideas that you listed say about your topic? Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic.  Kenyas Culture  Building a Model Train Set  Public Transportation The second part states the point of the essay.  has a rich and varied history  takes time and patience  can solve some of our citys most persistent and pressing problems Or in the second part you could simply list the three main ideas you will discuss.  has a long history, blends traditions from several other cultures, and provides a rich heritage.  requires an investment in time, patience, and materials.  helps with traffic congestion, resource management, and the city budget. Once you have formulated a thesis statement that fits this pattern and with which you are comfortable, you are ready to continue. 4. Write the body In the body of the essay, all the preparation up to this point comes to fruition. The topic you have chosen must now be explained, described, or argued.
  • 39. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 39 Each main idea that you wrote down in your diagram or outline will become one of the body paragraphs. If you had three or four main ideas, you will have three or four body paragraphs. Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. A. Start by writing down one of your main ideas, in sentence form. If your main idea is "reduces freeway congestion," you might say this: Public transportation reduces freeway congestion. B. Next, write down each of your supporting points for that main idea, but leave four or five lines in between each point. C. In the space under each point, write down some elaboration for that point. Elaboration can be further description or explanation or discussion. Supporting Point Commuters appreciate the cost savings of taking public transportation rather than driving. Elaboration Less driving time means less maintenance expense, such as oil changes. Of course, less driving time means savings on gasoline as well. In many cases, these savings amount to more than the cost of riding public transportation. D. If you wish, include a summary sentence for each paragraph. This is not generally needed, however, and such sentences have a tendency to sound stilted, so be cautious about using them. Once you have fleshed out each of your body paragraphs, one for each main point, you are ready to continue. 5. Write the introduction and conclusion Introduction: The introduction should be designed to attract the readers attention and give her an idea of the essays focus. A. Begin with an attention grabber. The attention grabber you use is up to you, but here are some ideas:  Startling information This information must be true and verifiable, and it doesnt need to be totally new to your readers. It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make. If you use a piece of startling information, follow it with a sentence or two of elaboration.
  • 40. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 40  Anecdote An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point. Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your essay, but use it carefully.  Dialogue An appropriate dialogue does not have to identify the speakers, but the reader must understand the point you are trying to convey. Use only two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point. Follow dialogue with a sentence or two of elaboration.  Summary Information A few sentences explaining your topic in general terms can lead the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis. B. If the attention grabber was only a sentence or two, add one or two more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement. C. Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement. Conclusion: The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic. All the conclusion needs is three or four strong sentences which do not need to follow any set formula. Simply review the main points (being careful not to restate them exactly) or briefly describe your feelings about the topic. Even an anecdote can end your essay in a useful way. The introduction and conclusion complete the paragraphs of your essay. Dont stop just yet! One more step remains before your essay is truly finished. 6. Add the finishing touches You have now completed all of the paragraphs of your essay. Before you can consider this a finished product, however, you must give some thought to the formatting of your paper. Check the order of your paragraphs Look at your paragraphs. Which one is the strongest? You might want to start with the strongest paragraph, end with the second strongest, and put the weakest in the middle. Whatever order you decide on, be sure it makes sense. If your paper is describing a process, you will probably need to stick to the order in which the steps must be completed.
  • 41. Prepared by: Youhan-Leng Page 41 Check the instructions for the assignment When you prepare a final draft, you must be sure to follow all of the instructions you have been given. Are your margins correct? Have you titled it as directed? What other information (name, date, etc.) must you include? Did you double-space your lines? Check your writing Nothing can substitute for revision of your work. By reviewing what you have done, you can improve weak points that otherwise would be missed. Read and reread your paper. Does it make logical sense? Leave it for a few hours and then read it again. Does it still make logical sense? Do the sentences flow smoothly from one another? If not, try to add some words and phrases to help connect them. Transition words, such as "therefore" or "however," sometimes help. Also, you might refer in one sentence to a thought in the previous sentence. This is especially useful when you move from one paragraph to another. Have you run a spell checker or a grammar checker? These aids cannot catch every error, but they might catch errors that you have missed. Once you have checked your work and perfected your formatting, your essay is finished.
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