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Paragraph & Essay Types

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1 Paragraph & Essay Types
ENG 114 Prof. K. Horowitz

2 Index Objectives Introduction Illustration Narration Description
Definition Process Analysis Classification Cause & Effect Compare & Contrast Argumentation Try Your Luck!

3 Objectives This module is designed to introduce students to the nine (9) different types of paragraphs used in English. By the end of the module, students should be able to identify the type of paragraphs presented to them.

4 Introduction There are nine types of paragraphs and essays. Through them we can accurately express our ideas in the correct context. Each type has a specific purpose and format, so it is important to know which you need to use.

5 Though all the them permit the use of opinion, it is often difficult for beginning students to accurately adapt them to do so. For that reason, it is strongly recommended that you leave your opinions for the that paragraph type specifically designed for it – argumentation.

6 The following types of essays each has an example with the topic sentence in white, developmental sentences in yellow, and the concluding sentence in green.

7 Illustration Illustration: Uses examples to show, explain, or prove a point. Giving examples is the basis of all good writing and speaking: You make a statement, and then you provide an example that shows what you mean. You must give enough examples to get the point across.

8 Good Illustration: 1. Makes a point. 2. Gives detailed and specific examples 3. Gives enough examples to get the point across.

9 Illustrative Paragraph Example
Although they don’t consider it stealing, many people regularly take things from their jobs. The most common items to disappear are pens and pencils that the employees almost unconsciously stuff into their purses and pockets. Over time, they may accumulate a lot of them. Another big item is all kinds of paper: pads of lined paper, little notepads, and file folders. Finally, one of the most significant ways people steal from their employers is by taking home samples of products the company makes. Employees think they are entitled to these products and even give them to friends. These examples many not seem like stealing, but the results are the same: extra costs to the company, which may result in lower pay raises.

10 Narration Narration : Is writing that tells a story of an event or an experience. Good narration: 1. Reveals something of importance. 2. Includes all the important events of the story. 3. Brings the story to life with a detailed account of what happened. 4. Presents events in a clear order.

11 Narration Paragraph Example
My most embarrassing moment happened when I was working in a Mexican restaurant. I was a hostess working on a busy Friday night. As usual, I was wearing a blouse and a long Mexican skirt. While I was taking some menus to a table, one of the waiters accidentally stepped on the hem of my skirt. I didn’t even feel it fall off, and I walked through the whole dining room in my slip! Almost every customer in the restaurant saw me without my skirt on!

12 Description Description creates a clear and vivid impression of the topic. Description translates your experience of a person, place, or thing into words, often by appealing to the physical senses.

13 Good description: 1. Creates a main impression-an overall effect, feeling, or image-about the topic. 2. Uses concrete, specific details to support the main impression. 3. Uses details that appeal to the five senses.

14 Descriptive Paragraph Example
The subway is an assault on your senses. You walk down the steep, smelly steps on the subway platform. On the far right wall, a broken clock show that the time is four-thirty. You wonder how long it has been broken. A mother and her crying child are standing to your left. She is trying to clean dried chocolate syrup off the young child’s face. Farther to the left, two old men are arguing about the most recent tax increase. You hear a little noise and see some paper trash roll by like a soccer ball. The most interesting thing you see while you are waiting for your subway train is a poster. It reads “Come to Jamaica.” Deep blue skies, a lone palm tree, and sapphire waters call you to this exotic faraway place.

15 Definition Definition Explains what a term means. It uses denotation (dictionary definition) or connotation (individual, personalized meaning). 1. Tells readers what term is being defined. 2. Presents a clear and precise basic definition. 3. Uses examples to show what the writer means. 4. Uses words and examples that readers will understand.

16 Definition Paragraph Example
According to The American Heritage Dictionary, gossip is a “trivial rumor of a personal nature,” but this definition makes gossip sound harmless. At first, gossip might not seem so bad. One person tells a second person something about someone, and that second person tells a third person, and so on. The information passes from person to person. However, gossip is much more than just information and rumor. As the rumor continues, it grows and changes, People do not know all the facts, so they add information. As the gossip goes from one person to another, the damage continues, and the person who is the subject of the gossip can’t do anything to answer or protect himself or herself. Because the potential damage may range from hurt feelings to a lost career, gossip is much worse than simply a “trivial rumor.”

17 Process Analysis Process analysis Either explains how to do something (so your readers can do it) or explains how something works (so your readers can understand it). They are usually written using chronological transitions like first, then, next, after that, and finally.

18 A good process analysis paragraph does the following:
1. Presents essential steps in a process. 2. Explains steps in detail. 3. Presents steps in a logical order.

19 Process Analysis Paragraph Example
Eating a juicy taco is not easy-it requires following specific directions. First, you must be sure that you are wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Eating a taco while you are wearing expensive clothing is not a smart idea. The next thing that you should do is to decide if you want to eat the taco alone or in front of others. Eating a taco in front of someone you don’t know very well, such as a new date, can be embarrassing. The last step is to plan your attack! It is a good idea to pick up the taco gently and carefully keep it in a horizontal position. As you raise the taco, slowly turn your head toward it and position your head at a twenty-degree angle. The last step is to put the corner of the taco in your mouth and bite. By following these simple directions, eating a taco can be a pleasant experience.

20 Classification Classification Organizes, or sorts, people or items into categories. A good classification paragraph: 1. Make sense of a group of people or items by organizing them into categories. 2. Uses useful categories. 3. Uses a single organizing principle. 4. Gives examples of what fits into each category.

21 Classification Paragraph Example
Test questions generally fall into categories, depending on how they are answered: objective and subjective. The first kind, objective questions, have definite right and wrong answers. Multiple choice, matching, and fill-in-the-blank questions are objective. Although they can be tricky because of their wording, most students prefer objective questions. The answers are already there, and the student just has to choose the right one. Subjective test items, such as short-answer and essay questions, have no single correct answer. There is a range of possible responses. Students have to know the information in order to answer each question, and they have to present it in their own words. You can make a lucky guess on an objective question, but a subjective question doesn’t offer much hope for a student relying on dumb luck.

22 Cause & Effect Cause & effect paragraphs explain what made an event happen and what occurred as a result. Good ones do the following: 1. Clearly distinguish between cause and effect. 2. Give clear and detailed examples of causes and/or effects.

23 Cause & Effect Paragraph Example
Much to her surprise, lottery winner Sylvia Lee found that sudden wealth was a mixed blessing – the results were both good and bad. After her win was announced, she was constantly hounded by people who wanted to sell her something. She got an unlisted phone number, but the more aggressive salespeople just camped out on her doorstep. Another negative result was that people started treating her differently. “I was shocked,” said Lee. “Everyone from the checkout clerk at the supermarket where I’ve shopped for years to my next-door neighbor acted as though I had changed. I’m still the same; I’ve just got money now.” Lee admits, though, that most of the changes have been positive. “It’s really a relief not worrying about money all the time. I actually went on my first shopping spree ever, and it was great.” Lee expects that other new and unexpected results of her sudden wealth are yet to come, but she’s not discouraged: so far, at least, the pluses far outweigh the minuses.

24 Compare & Contrast Compare & contrast paragraphs show similarities and differences among people, ideas, situations, or items. They are used to explain two subjects and help you decide between two options. They: 1. Uses subjects that have enough in common to be compared/contrasted. 2. Serves a purpose- either to help readers make a decision or understand subjects. 3. Presents several important, parallel points of comparison/contrast. 4. Arranges points in a logical organization.

25 Compare & Contrast Paragraph Example
When they get lost while driving, women and men have very different ways to find the right route. As soon as a woman thinks she might be lost, she will pull into a store or gas station and ask for directions. As she continues on, is she’s still not sure of the directions, she will stop again and ask someone else for help. Until they know they are on the right track, women will continue to ask for directions. In contrast, men would rather turn around and go home than stop and ask for directions. First, a man doesn’t readily admit he is lost. When it is clear that he is, he will pull over and consult a map. If he still find himself lost, he will again pull out that map. Either the map will finally put the man on the right route, or – as a last resort – he will reluctantly stop at a store or gas station and let his wife go in and ask for directions. Many battles of the sexes have raged over what to do when lost in the car.

26 Argumentation Argumentation takes a position on an issue and offers reasons and supporting evidence to persuade someone else to accept or at least consider the position. Good argumentation paragraphs: 1. Take a strong and definite position on an issue or advises a particular action. 2. Give good reasons and supporting evidence to defend a position or recommended action. 3. Consider opposing views. 4. Have enthusiasm and energy from start to finish.

27 Argumentation Paragraph Example
School uniforms should be mandatory for all students for a number of reasons. First, they make everyone equal. In this way, the “rich” kids are on the same level as the poor ones. In addition, getting ready for school can be much faster and easier. Many kids waste time choosing what to wear to school, and they are often unhappy with their final choices. Most important, some studies show that school uniforms make students perform better. Many people might say that uniforms take away from personal freedom, but I believe that the benefits are stronger than the drawbacks.

28 Try Your Luck! Reread the description example. Which two senses are not included in the description of the subway? Sight & Smell Hearing & Taste Taste & Touch

29 Here’s another one: Reread the classification example. Would true or false questions be considered objective or subjective? Objective Subjective

30 Let’s try one last example. Reread the process analysis example
Let’s try one last example. Reread the process analysis example. Does it tell you how to do something or how something works? How to do something How something works

31 Thanks for trying! See you next module!
Paragraph examples taken from: Anker, Susan. Real Writing with Readings. Boston. Bedford/St. Martins Folse, Keith, A. Muchmore-Vokoun, and E. Vestri Solomon. Great Paragraphs. New York. Houghton Mifflen

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