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Unit 2 Basic Skills in Writing Essays.  Foreword  What should we know about the writing skills?  How can we do to gain the writing skills?  Essay.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 2 Basic Skills in Writing Essays.  Foreword  What should we know about the writing skills?  How can we do to gain the writing skills?  Essay."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 2 Basic Skills in Writing Essays

2  Foreword  What should we know about the writing skills?  How can we do to gain the writing skills?  Essay writing requires more on the writer's richness of thoughts and ideas or the writer's talents in the use of language and language rhetorical devices than other things that a writer is often required of. Therefore, the basic principles of essay writing are more of the originality of thoughts and talents than of the grasp of the basic language skills. As the sample writings we have learnt, the language does not have to be sophisticated and the length does not have to be long, but the way of expressions and the thoughts instilled into the language are remarkably unique.

3  So, it is the richness of thoughts and the genius use of language that contribute to the success of essay writing.  Although much of the essay quality depends on the writer's talents and on his rich experiences of life, students who wish to be on the way to writing essay and who wish to become good writers of English, constant practice in both reading and writing will certainly help. For this reason, I would like to make the following suggestions and wish that our students, or the postgraduates will soon be on the right track in writing good essays.

4 1. Read as much as you can the original essays by famous writers.

5  How many English novels have you read?  Would you give me the name of the original writings by famous writers?  Have you written down some of the beautiful sentences?  Wide scope of sample essay reading means a lot in helping the learner shape the senses of essay writing. To make this activity work the best, it is advisable to find a sample essay and give an intensive study of it; read it line by line and paragraph by paragraph, and  finally read it aloud several times for the tone and the euphony of it.

6  Then, the reading will help to make it echo in the minds of those who read. That means if you want to write a good essay, find as much time as possible to read much, if you read much, try to memorize what you have read. That will be of much help in your essay writing.  Sample Writing  Standing Tall  A little person teaches a big lesson.  By Darryl Kramer  From Reader's DigestReader's Digest  April 2004

7  I was grocery shopping recently in my hometown of Canandaigua, N.Y., when I heard a young voice boom from across the aisle. "Mom, come here, you've gotta see this! There's this lady here my size!"  The mortified mother rushed to a boy she called Mikey, who looked to be about seven; then she turned to me to apologize. "Oh, I'm so sorry."  I smiled and told her, "It's okay." Then I looked at her wide-eyed son and said, "Hi, Mikey, I'm Darryl Kramer. How are you?"  He studied me from head to toe, and asked, "Are you a little mommy?“

8  "Yes, I have a son," I answered.  "Why are you so little?" he asked.  "It's the way God made me," I said. "Some people are little. Some are tall. I'm just not going to grow any bigger." After about five more minutes of answering questions -- "How do you drive a car? Where do you work? Do you ride a bike?" -- I shook Mikey's hand, and he returned to his mother.  My life as a little person is filled with stories like that. I enjoy talking to children and explaining why I look different from their parents. It has taken many years of developing my confidence to be able to do that.

9  It takes only one glance to see my uniqueness. I stand three feet, nine inches tall. I am an achondroplasia dwarf, which is a person having very short limbs. My eight-year-old son, Jimmy, is average height, as is my husband, George. Like most achondroplasia dwarfs, I have two average-height parents, as well as an average- height brother. When I was born, my mother was told in the hospital that I was a dwarf. Not knowing a lot about dwarfism, my mom's main concern was my health. Our family doctor put her mind at ease when he told her he felt I would not have any major medical concerns. He was right.

10  When I was growing up, my parents encouraged me to do all the things the kids around me did. So when my neighbors got two-wheel bikes, I got a two-wheel bike. When they roller-skated, I roller-skated. Our neighbors looked out for me and treated me as a normal person. One built a tree house with the steps leading to it close together. When his dad asked him why, he said, "Because Darryl's got to get up here."

11  I didn't realize how short I was until I started school. There, a few kids picked on me, calling me names. Then I knew. After that, I began to hate the first day of school each year. I didn't know who was new and would gape as I struggled to climb the school bus stairs. Some of the kids would point and say, "Look at that kid. Look at her." Boys could be especially mean. One once put me against a wall in the gym and shouted, "You're a midget. Do you know that? Why are you like that?"

12  As time went on, I just tried to smile and accept the fact that I was going to be noticed my whole life. I was determined to make my uniqueness an advantage rather than a disadvantage. My friends became increasingly protective. They'd help me up the bus steps. If people were cruel, they would take them aside and correct them.  What I lacked in height, I made up for in personality -- my ability to laugh, even at myself. For example, one time I was reaching into the washing machine at my parents' house to grab the wet clothes. I fell all the way in and yelled for Mother, who was sitting nearby reading the paper. Watching feet flying everywhere, she chuckled and said, "I should leave you in there." I laughed with her.

13  I'm 47 now, and the stares have not diminished as I've grown older. People ask my friends if I live in a dollhouse. They look in disbelief when they see me get out of my car on the driver's side. During those times, I try to keep a good attitude. When people are rude, I remind myself, "Look what else I have -- a great family, nice friends."  And it's the children's questions that make my life special. "Why are you so short? How old are you? Are you a mommy?" When I talk with children, they leave content that their questions have been answered. My hope is that in taking time with them, I will encourage them to accept their peers, whatever size and shape they come in, and treat them with respect.

14  I have a wonderful, loving husband and a happy, healthy son. But even with all the support, I'm still occasionally afraid. Last year I met a short- statured mother with an average-height teenage son. He had run away from home because he couldn't take the teasing he endured at school. I began to worry the same thing might happen with Jimmy. A few months later, a little girl in Jimmy's class began teasing him about having a short mom. She finally asked, "Why is your mom so short?“  Without pausing, he replied, "Because God made her that way. She doesn't have to reach over to pick up the laundry like your mom does."

15 2. Chew the sentence or saying or any elements that carry rich thoughts and great ideas.

16  After reading a sample essay several times, stop to sit down to chew the individual elements in the essay that contain richness of thoughts and ideas. Any reader, and no matter what level he is at, must be able to find something to interest him or her. Then, write down the elements that got your attention and interest and feel how the greatness and excellence are achieved.

17  More and constant chewing like this will by and by give you a taste in the mouth and an echoing sound in your mind, which will help pave the way for your own writing. I hope that after reading, you'd better find sometime to think over what you have read, try your best to understand the meaning of the sentences and the expressions you like best.

18 Sample writing  Most of my college mates have big plans for their future. Those who are good at English want to go to graduate schools abroad, and those who are good at Chinese want to become poets. I do not blame them for having ambitions, but I am afraid they will ruin their future if they set goals too high to reach.

19 3. Collect sample essays and file them for later use.

20  Experienced students are usually in the habit of collecting "good stuff" and filing them for valuable possessions.  After all, knowledge is from accumulation and a wide range of reading. With sample writings at hand, the future- writing will certainly find it more convenient when reference is required.  I have read a lot of essays which have copied some sentences or good sayings from famous writers or some other articles, but remember to make quotation marks on them or explain where they are from when you use them.

21 Sample writing  Dreams are pictures of our unconscious minds. We can analyze them to examine our thoughts and emotions, we can use them creatively for artistic expression and solving problems, or we can simply enjoy them as exciting adventures.  In any case, they should be seen, heard, and welcomed into our conscious worlds.

22 4. Be in the habit of observing things around you and think about the cause of the happenings as well as the result of them.

23  Carefully observing the happenings around and using the brain for the cause and effect of these things will help enrich the knowledge of the reader and increase the power of writing.  Good students are all good observers.  They would not let anything go unless they have carefully studied them. But, observing is only for getting or for keeping the information, the observer must note down what he sees, for the thing may slip from his memory soon. Therefore, I would advise you to have a notebook with you all the time, whenever you see something interesting in the English language, write it down on your notebook, for it might be useful in the future.

24 Sample writing  On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep-but forever.

25 5. Start the writing from individual sentences to short paragraphs.

26  When the student finds something worthy of note,he should try to put that on the paper. This can either take the form of individual sentences or be in the form of a short paragraph.  For example, if you have seen a man embarrassed in a public place and have carefully observed his reactions to the embarrassment, you may wish to write that down and make some comments on the incident. 

27  When you have kept trying practicing like this, you may find you become more and more at ease with the pen, As the old saying in English: Practice makes perfect. If you practice more in writing, you will certainly make progress in your English study.

28 Famous saying  People say that what we are all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we are really seeking. I think that what we are seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical place will have resonance within our inner most being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. Campbell cited in Edge (1996:26)

29  人们说我们大家所寻找的是生命的意义。 我认为这并不是我们真正追求的目标。我 认为我们所追求的是活着的经历。 所以在 纯自然的环境中,我们的生活经历会在我 们的心灵深处和现实生活中产生强烈的共 鸣。所以我们才为我们活着感到欣喜若狂。

30 Popular Saying  What you really value is what you miss, not what you have.  Our Nation Honors Her Sons and Daughters who Answered the Call to a Country They Never Knew and a People They Never met.  1950 ---- Korea ---- 1953

31 6. Trial-write a short essay containing two or three paragraphs.

32  Think of a topic that you feel most confident of and then outline the thoughts and arrange them in order. If you wish to construct a two-paragraphed "essay", then work out the topic sentences of both paragraphs. When the topic sentence of each paragraph is ready, fill in the ideas and thoughts. At this stage, you may need some language expressions to convey them. Then, consult the dictionary for the meanings of the words or phrases you want to use and make sure that they best express what you want to say.  Remember that an essay develops one main idea by using several paragraphs.

33  The principles and techniques that you have already learned for paragraph writing can be applied to the writing of essays.  To sum up, an essay has three main parts:  a) an opening paragraph,  b) the body (at least one, but usually two or more paragraphs)  c) a concluding paragraph.

34 7. Check the unity, coherence, continuity, completeness and language expressions and make sure that everything is in its place.

35  When the first draft is ready, check if there are elements that destroy the unity of the writing. Cross out all the irrelevant elements that may harm the unity.  Then, work on the coherence, continuity and completeness of the writing: prevent the illogical arrangements of facts that cannot well support the statements of the writing.  After that, check whether the language expressions fit the topic you have written or not, don't feel pity if you want to cut down irrelevant words and phrases.

36  For this point, I would like to let you have a close look at your own writing.  Think my corrections over and see why I have done that way.  correction of application letter.rtf correction of application letter.rtf  zhoubo.doc zhoubo.doc

37 Sample writing  There is an old American folk tale about a wooden bowl. It seems that Grandmother, with her trembling hands, was guilty of occasionally breaking a dish. Her daughter angrily gave her a wooden bowl, and told her that she must eat out of it from now on. The young granddaughter, observing this, asked her mother why Grandmother must eat from a wooden bowl when the rest of the family were given china plates. “Because she is old!” answered her mother. The child thought for a moment and then told her mother, “You must save the wooden bowl when Grandma dies.” Her mother asked why, and the child replied, “For when you are old.”

38 8, Check the euphony of the writing and stick out any ugly sound in it.

39  When you are satisfied with almost everything in your writing,check the euphony of it: prevent any ugly sound that harm the natural flow of the whole writing. You can do this by reading it aloud or let your friends try to find fault with your writing. A good writing should be revised several times

40 “The Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin  Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.  It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her husband’s friend Richards was there, too, near her. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed.” He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.

41  She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.  There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

42  She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.  There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.

43  She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.  She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance or reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.

44  There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.   Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously, She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will—as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been. When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under the breath: “ free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.

45  She did not stop to ask if it were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.  There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.

46  And yet she had loved him-sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self- assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!  “Free! Body and soul free!” she kept whispering.  Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission. “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door—you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven’s sake open the door.”  “Go away. I am not making myself ill.” No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window.

47  Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.  She arose at length and opened the door to her sister’s importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. She clasped her sister’s waist, and together they descended the stairs. Richards stood waiting for them at the bottom.

48  Some one was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his grip-sack and umbrella. He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one. He stood amazed at Josephine’s piercing cry; at Richards’ quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife.  When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease– of the joy that kills her.

49 Kate Chopin and her “the Story of an Hour”  凯特 肖邦( 1851-1904 ), 美国女作家。 她生活在 19 世纪末。那时要求社会上、经济上及 政治上与男人平等的 “ 新女性 ” 早已在文学作品中 出现, 但像凯特 肖邦那样如此大胆而坦率地描 写妇女对摆脱不幸婚姻的要求还属少见。《一小 时的故事》写成之后,经常发表她作品的杂志拒 绝刊登这一短篇小说。 1889 年,她最重要的小说, 描写婚外恋的《觉醒》( The Awakening) 发表之 后,小说和作者本人都受到谴责。该书被判为所 有图书馆的禁书。凯特 肖邦从此停止了写作。 直到 20 世纪 50 年代人们才重新评价她的作品,并 给与了她在美国文学史上应有的地位。

50 talentskill practice hard work  Writing is not a talent It is a skill that can be mastered through practice and hard work.


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