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Essay Writing Skills Lecture 5. Recap The three Writing Stages – Pre-writing – Writing – Re-writing Exercise.

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Presentation on theme: "Essay Writing Skills Lecture 5. Recap The three Writing Stages – Pre-writing – Writing – Re-writing Exercise."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essay Writing Skills Lecture 5

2 Recap The three Writing Stages – Pre-writing – Writing – Re-writing Exercise

3 Topic Highlights What is Paragraph? Examples of Paragraph writing What is Essay? What makes a good essay? Dos and Don'ts How to Write an Essay? Essay Format 3

4 Paragraph Writing Definition Unity Topical Sentence Supporting Details Relevant Exercises 4

5 What is a paragraph? It is a group of sentences that introduces, presents and develops one main idea about the topic. It can be divided into three major parts. – Topic Sentence (Beginning) – Supporting Details (Middle) – Closing Sentence(End) 5

6 Normally the first sentence of the paragraph Conveys the overall point of view of the paragraph Helps the writer focus on the idea written about Helps the reader know aboutwhat the paragraph is all about 6 A) THE TOPIC SENTENCE

7 Sentences used to support the main idea stated in the topic sentence Provide information about the main idea through examples Provide clear evidence that what the topic sentence says is trustworthy Strong convincing points on which the topic sentence can rely upon 7 B) THE SUPPORTING DETAILS

8 Reflection of the main idea pronounced in the topic sentence Sums up what the topic sentence and the supporting details talk about Closing sentence reminds the readers of what they have to value It is compulsory for the completion of the paragraph unity Indicates the end of a paragraph Prepares the reader for a smooth transition to the next paragraph if there is one 8 C) THE CONCLUDING SENTENCE

9 Example: 1 TOPIC SENTENCE SUPPORTING DETAILS CLOSING SENTENCE There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. First, Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Finally, Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. As a result, Canada is a desirable place to live. 9

10 Example: 2 TOPIC SENTENCE SUPPORTING DETAILS CLOSING SENTENCE I don't like tests. Every time I take a test, I feel nervous. When I study for a test, I don't know if I will be able to get a good grade. Often I worry about taking a test and can't sleep. Sometimes I daydream or draw pictures in class. After the test is over, I worry about my grade. When my teacher gives the test back to me with a grade, I still can't relax because I know I will have another test soon. Tests give me a lot of stress, that is why I don't like tests. 10

11 Example: 3 TOPIC SENTENCE SUPPORTING DETAILS CLOSING SENTENCE Cats are good pets. You don't have to take a cat for a walk every day like a dog. You do not have to wash cats because they know how to clean themselves. If you want to go on vacation, you can leave some food and water for your cat and it will be okay. A cat can sleep on your bed and keep you warm at night. I think these things make cats good pets. 11

12 Paragraph Writing Exercise Q. Write an excellent paragraph on the following topic on a separate sheet of paper. Topic: Friendship Remember: 1.Make sure your paragraph has a topic sentence. 2.Make sure you provide at least 3 sentences that support your main idea. 3.Make sure you have a closing sentence. 4.Check that all your sentences focus on the main idea. ★ Circle your topic sentence. Number your supporting details. Underline the conclusion. 12

13 Essay Writing 13

14 An essay is an organized collection of your thoughts on a particular topic. An essay consists of three major parts: 1.Introduction 2.Main body 3.Conclusion 14 WHAT IS AN ESSAY?

15 15 The word “essay” is derived from the Latin verb “exigere”, which means to: – Examine – Test – Drive out What could the purpose of an essay be given this definition?

16 WHAT MAKES A GOOD ESSAY? Good structure: – clear introduction – well crafted middle – clear and appropriate conclusion Clear argument: – progression through ideas with clear indication Well supported by relevant evidence

17 WHAT MAKES A GOOD ESSAY? Well written: – grammatical; – correct spelling and punctuation; – good sentence structure – paragraphing and use of linking words and phrases – Fully referenced using Harvard system

18 Assessing your Work Against an Example Essay Read any essay and comment critically on the structure and organisation. Identify strengths and weaknesses. Is there a clear introduction to guide the reader? Are key concepts clearly communicated? Does the writing progress/have a sense of direction? Is there a clear and appropriate conclusion?

19 DOS & DONTS DOS Prepare well in advance Write a first draft, leave and come back to it later Keep your focus on the question Edit carefully for sense, spelling, grammar and punctuation DONTS Write all you know about a topic Leave till the last minute

20 How to write an Essay?

21 HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY? An essay can have many purposes, but the basic structure is the same no matter what. E.g. 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. Don't let the thought of putting pen to paper daunt you. Get started!

22 ESSAY FORMAT 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. Write the main points. Write the subpoints. Elaborate on the subpoints. Write the introduction. Write the conclusion. Add the finishing touches.

23 Choosing a Topic 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 "Kenya's Culture”. Once you have determined that your topic will be suitable, you can move on.

24 Organizing Your Ideas Dogs GroomingBehaviorNutritionHealthBreeds

25 Writing Your Outline Begin your outline by writing your topic at the top of the page. Next, write the Roman numerals I, II, and III, on left side of the page. 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. If you are trying to inform, you want to write the major categories into which your information can be divided. Under each Roman numeral, write A, B, and C down the left side of the page. Next to each letter, 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.

26 Composing a 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?

27 Writing the Body Paragraphs The topic you have chosen must now be: – explained – described, or – argued. 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 of writing a paragraph

28 Write the Introduction and Conclusion Your essay lacks only two paragraphs now: the introduction and the conclusion. These paragraphs will give the reader a point of entry to and a point of exit from your essay. Don't stop just yet! One more step remains before your essay is truly finished.

29 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.

30 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. – Check the instructions for the assignment. – Check your writing.

31 Once you have checked your work and perfected your formatting, your essay is finished. Congratulations!

32 Formal Writing Rules Do not use the first or second person (I, my, we, us) Do not use contractions (can’t, won’t, doesn’t) Do not use metaphors or figures of speech Avoid saying “The essay will discuss...” or “In my opinion...” Avoid using “a lot”. If you do use it, take care not to repeat it often. Avoid redundancy and repetition. Be specific. Do not be vague. Do not use words such as “things” or “many examples”. Always follow MLA format Font Style: Use size 12 pt font, Times New Roman, and standard 1” margins EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! Save your rough work. When writing about literature, always write in the present tense. I.e. “The Hamlet is a novel of Shakespeare” not “The Hamlet was a novel of Shakespeare”. Essays should be submitted with one staple in the top left hand corner. Do not put them in folders.

33 MLA Format Essay written in 12 pt font, 1” margins No separate title page. In the top left corner of the first page of your essay, write: Your Name Teacher’s Name Course Code Date Submitted Double spaced Put your last name and page number in the top corner of each page after the title page. Italicize the title of the novel (if any) When using quotes, reference the page number in the following way: First quote, use the author’s name in the reference. “I didn't even notice then that it had more than the usual number of toes” (Wyndham 6).

34 MLA Continued Second quote from the same source, no need for the author’s name. “I didn’t even notice then that it had more than the usual number of toes” (6). Submit a Works Cited page to show the resources that you have quoted from in your essay. The format for the Works Cited: Write Works Cited centered at the top of a new page. (Ensure your last name and the page number are still included in the top right corner.) Each entry in the works cited should be in alphabetical order according to the author’s last name. Last name, First name. Title of Book. City published: Publisher, Year.

35 35 Paragraph is a group of sentences that introduces, presents and develops one main idea about the topic. Examples of Paragraph writing An essay is an organized collection of your thoughts on a particular topic. What makes a good essay? Dos and Don'ts How to Write an Essay? Essay Format Summary

36 References

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