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The Essay: Structure and Development NEC FACET Center.

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Presentation on theme: "The Essay: Structure and Development NEC FACET Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Essay: Structure and Development NEC FACET Center

2 When writing an essay, you will always follow a structure. Doing so, helps you and your reader stay on track.

3 Basic 3-Part Structure Introduction Begins your essay Body Paragraphs Relay your main points Conclusion Ends your essay

4 To convey the full picture, writers must fit these essay parts together like the pieces of a puzzle.

5 Introductions have several purposes: They create interest.

6 Introductions have several purposes: They introduce your subject.

7 Introductions have several purposes: They state a main point or thesis.

8 Introductions have several purposes: They set the direction or tone.

9 Structure of the Introduction Writers most commonly use a funnel or inverted pyramid structure. The introduction starts out broad, gradually narrowing to the main point at the end. A single sentence thesis statement expresses the essays main point.

10 Structural Diagram of Introduction thesis statement 1-2 general sentences about broad subject area to be discussed 1-2 specific sentences about the subject area 1-3 general sentences leading into topic 1-3 specific sentences about topic

11 Sample Introduction Inflation has raised the price of groceries to an all-time high. Many are forced to cut corners to stay within the familys food budget. One way to cut expenses is with a backyard garden. The three most important steps in making a garden are planning, planting, and tending. Broad Opening Thesis with stated main points Gradual Narrowing of subject

12 Expanded Sample Introduction Inflation has raised the price of groceries to an all time high. A few years ago, a head of lettuce cost 99 cents, but today even a small head is usually at least $1.50. Such increases force the homemaker to cut corners to stay within the familys food budget. One way to reduce Broad opening Example Gradual narrowing of topic begins

13 grocery expenses--and to get pleasure and exercise at the same time--is with the backyard garden. Even the beginner or the true city slicker can grow tomatoes, onions, or salad herbs. Although some research into soil types and fertilizer helps, no extensive knowledge is necessary. If one plans carefully, the hard work of planting and tending will be worth the effort. Added examples, details Polished thesis with main points

14 The Thesis Before writing introductory paragraphs, writers should know what they want to prove in their essays. They should write down this idea in a single sentence.

15 The thesis is frequently described as a subject plus an attitude. Subject: The new factory in town Subject + attitude = thesis: The new factory in town violates current pollution control regulations.

16 Also, The thesis frequently outlines the writers main points: Subject + attitude + main points = thesis: The new factory in town violates current pollution control regulations by emitting hazardous gases, dumping waste into Swallow Creek, and failing to provide protective clothing to employees.

17 Purpose of the Thesis The thesis serves as a blueprint for the essay, setting up a plan of what will follow. In a sense, the thesis also serves as a contract with the reader, making a promise that the writer must then fulfill.

18 In the introduction, do not make an announcement: In the introduction, do not make an announcement: In the following paragraphs, I will show....

19 The thesis must cover the full subject of an essay--just as an umbrella must cover its subject Looked at the other way around, all topic sentences and supporting details in the essays body paragraphs must directly relate to the thesis. Thesis

20 Body Paragraphs Thesis

21 Body Paragraphs The typical student essay contains an introduction

22 Body Paragraphs The typical student essay contains an introduction Introduction

23 Body Paragraphs The typical student essay contains an introduction, 3-4 body paragraphs Body paragraph 2 Body paragraph 2 Body paragraph 3 Body paragraph 3 Body paragraph 1 Introduction

24 Body Paragraphs The typical student essay contains an introduction, 3-4 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Body paragraph 2 Body paragraph 2 Body paragraph 3 Body paragraph 3 Body paragraph 1 Introduction Conclusion

25 Purpose of the Body The body of the essay supports the thesis. It attempts to prove that the authors thesis is correct. Body paragraphs may do the following: –Explain reasons –Provide examples & anecdotes –Present facts & statistics

26 Paragraph Parts Body paragraphs consist of the following parts: a topic sentence a series of supporting sentences a concluding sentence.

27 Topic Sentences Topic sentences resemble thesis statements. The thesis expresses the overall point of the entire essay. Similarly, the topic sentence expresses the overall point of an individual paragraph.

28 Scope of Topic Sentences Just as the thesis must cover the subject of all the body paragraphs, the topic sentence must cover the points of every supporting sentence within that one paragraph.

29 Providing Coherence You can create smooth flow between sentences and paragraphs by following a logical method of organization.

30 Logical Arrangements Chronological order: arranging events in the order in which they occurred, such as the details of baking a cake. MixBakeCool Ice and Decorate

31 Spatial OrderSpatial Order Describing from left to right, top to bottom, or near to far, such as describing a scene in the Rocky Mountains.

32 Climactic Order Climactic Order Arranging information from least to most important, such as telling about the newest animals at the local zoo.

33 In addition to using logical order, you can also achieve coherence by using appropriate transitions.

34 Examples of Transitions addition: furthermore, moreover, also, in addition, first, second, third comparison: in the same way, likewise, similarly contrast: however, nevertheless, on the other hand, on the contrary

35 More Transitions emphasis: above all, especially, in fact, indeed, most important result: consequently, therefore, for this reason, thus, hence, because of this place: above, below, beyond, inside, outside, nearby, next to, to the south, on the far side, outside time: afterward, before, currently, during, first, next, finally, gradually, later, meanwhile

36 Select the best transition. I like the old house and think I might buy it. _______, I like the new house too. Consequently Above all However Meanwhile However,

37 Select the best transition. First, Ill visit England. _____, Ill travel to the Netherlands and France. Therefore Next Nevertheless Currently Indeed Next

38 Select the best transition. In the foreground, the buildings reflections shimmer in the harbor. _______, the skyscrapers stand silhouetted against the sunset. Beyond that On the other hand Especially Thus Later Beyond that

39 The Conclusion The concluding paragraph gives readers a sense of completion so that the essay doesnt seem to end abruptly.

40 Techniques for a Conclusion Restate the thesis in different words. Summarize briefly. Emphasize the importance of the subject. Discuss implications for the reader. Suggest action if appropriate for subject.

41 A Techniques to Avoid in a Conclusion Do not announce what you have just done. Example: As the past few paragraphs have demonstrated,...

42 Other Techniques to Avoid Do not apologize for your lack of expertise. Do not simply repeat what you have said previously.

43 Essay writing can be enjoyable if you follow these structure and development tips.


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