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Essay writing 1 from theory to practice- Carmen Medina

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Essay writing 1 from theory to practice- Carmen Medina

  1. 1. Essay Writing 1: From theory to practice Carmen Medina Garríguez, PhD B2.1. and B2.2. Tenured Lecturer EOI Málaga Twitter: @DrCarMedGar Website: https://sites.google.com/site/eoimalaga1415/home E-mail: carmedphd@gmail.com
  2. 2. Objectives of this writing series: 1. Distinguish the different types of writing assignment: letter, essay, description, comparison, cause and effect... 2. Distinguish between a formal and an informal assignment 3. Distinguish between interaction and expression writing 4. Learn a list of tips to improve writing skills 5. Learn to be more precise and accurate when writing Contents: Opinion essay Discursive essay Newspaper article An informal article Writing an instruction leaflet Writing a leaflet with a genius idea Writing a report (comparisons) A story Describing a favourite scene Describing a family ritual A lucky escape story A film review (a book review) A work of art critique Writing an e-mail Writing a letter to yourself Writing tips for a website Writing a forum comment
  3. 3. I. Previous knowledge quiz What do you know about essay writing?
  4. 4. What is an essay? A short piece of writing on a particular subject. Short 200 – 250 words, 1000, 3000, 5000…
  5. 5. II. A basic essay outline I. Introduction. Thesis: _____________________ II. Body 1. Topic Sentence: _____________ - supporting idea - supporting idea 2. Topic Sentence: ____________ - supporting idea - supporting idea 3. Topic Sentence: ____________ - supporting idea - supporting idea III. Conclusion
  6. 6. STEPS TO TAKE 1. Read the exam question carefully until you are sure that you know what the question is asking you to do. 2. Decide what your answer will be. 3. Brainstorm: jot down notes, ideas, a basic outline, or any other tool that might help you plan and organize the content of your essay. 4. Check your notes/ideas. Scratch out anything that is off topic. To be on topic, everything must answer, explain, or support your answer to the exam question. 5. Now organize your notes and ideas: Introduction – Body – Conclusion, is the very least your essay should contain; however, If you can, you should organize your writing into a five-paragraph plan at this level.
  7. 7. LET’S SEE AN EXAMPLE… Find the sentence in the paragraph that is off topic and doesn’t belong. The disappearance of Amealia Earhart remains a mystery. Earhart, who was the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, crashed into the Pacific Ocean while attempting to fly around the world. She was born in Atchison, Kansas, in 1897. Some researchers believe that she survived the crash into the Pacific, because radio distress calls were received. An intensive search for the source of the signals was made. Searchers were not able to find her, however. Finally, the distress signals ceased. In spite of continued searches by airplane and ship, no clue about what became of Amelia Earhart has yet been found. She was born in Atchison, Kansas in 1897. = Doesn’t relate directly to main idea.
  8. 8. 6. Once you like the look of your plan, expand it into an actual essay. Expand it by using complete sentences and by adding complete explanations that include specific details and examples. Be sure that all the details and examples you provide in your essay are directly relevant to your response to the essay topic. In other words, stay on topic! 7. Once you have finished your essay, check for errors and make corrections.
  9. 9. III. The thesis statement
  10. 10. What is a thesis statement? • A thesis statement is the main idea of an essay. • It is often a point you want to argue or support in an essay. SO • The thesis statement explains to a reader the main idea of the essay, and the writer’s opinion on that idea.
  11. 11. Basically, the Thesis Statement is… A Road Map for Your Essay
  12. 12. Thesis statements avoid the following: • the first person (I believe, In my opinion, in this essay I will tell you… etc.) • unclear language (It seems, etc.) • attempting two topics at once (even if they seem related). • Pick one and stick with it. • just stating a fact - A thesis is something you plan to make an argument about (describe, narrate…).
  13. 13. A thesis statement should (will depend on exam question) •contain a topic (main idea of what you are writing about) •contain an opinion about the topic (what your attitude is toward the topic)
  14. 14. For most of my life I have lived with bad health, smelly clothes, and a chronic cough. My children and husband begged me to stop the habit that caused these conditions, but I couldn’t. The habit of smoking had wrapped its addicting arms around me and was slowly strangling me until one day I realized I had to stop. This realization came after three terrifying events occurred in my family. The thesis statement often comes at the end of the introductory paragraph. This sentence tells the reader that he/she can expect to read about the events that caused the author to stop smoking in the rest of the essay.
  15. 15. IV. Which is the best thesis statement? A thesis statement should not be too broad or general. Too Broad The world is a magnificent place to live. Better Good weather, wonderful beaches and the airport make Málaga a magnificent place to live in.
  16. 16. Which sentence is too broad (general) to be a good thesis statement? 1. One reason to live in Málaga is access to many wonderful beaches where you can relax, taste lovely food and even practice sports. 2. Málaga is a great place to live.
  17. 17. A thesis statement should not be too wordy. Wordy Some problems with American schools are that they need a playground, an air conditioned gym, an auditorium, restrooms connected to each classroom, and a number of other physical changes to their buildings. Better Some Middle Schools in the U.S. need several changes in their facilities in order to improve them.
  18. 18. Which sentence is too wordy to be a good thesis statement? 1. Abe Lincoln was one of the best presidents the United States has ever known. 2. Abe Lincoln was an excellent speaker, the 16th President of the United States, a liberator of slaves, and united the North and South at the end of the American Civil War.
  19. 19. A thesis statement should not be a title. A title Cost of Living Better The cost of living in New York is higher than in most other cities in the United States.
  20. 20. Which sentence would not be a good thesis statement because it is a title? 1. Good teaching has led to an increase in the number of students at our school. 2. Increased registration at our school.
  21. 21. V. THE FIVE PARAGRAPH ESSAY First paragraph (Introduction): This introductory paragraph must include your ANSWER to the question. It’s a great idea to include the essay topic/question in your answer (=thesis statement). For example, if the essay question asks you if you prefer to live in the city or the country, you could start your essay by writing the following: If I had to choose between living in the city or the country, I would choose the country………. Now add three supporting ideas. Again, just list them briefly. This paragraph does not have to be too lengthy. Three to four sentences would be fine.
  22. 22. THE FIVE PARAGRAPH ESSAY (cont’d) Second paragraph (body): This paragraph is all about the first supporting detail that you mentioned in paragraph one. It should be, at least 4-5 sentences in length. Third paragraph (body): This paragraph is all about the second supporting detail that you mentioned in paragraph one. Again, it should be, at least, 4-5 sentences in length. Fourth paragraph (body): This paragraph is all about the third supporting detail that you mentioned in paragraph one. Try to write 4-5 sentences.
  23. 23. THE FIVE PARAGRAPH ESSAY (cont’d) Fifth paragraph (conclusion): Your concluding paragraph will be very similar to your introductory paragraph. Include your answer to the question and your 3 supporting ideas (paraphrase DO NOT COPY). This paragraph can be very short.
  24. 24. Types of paragraphs 1. Expository a. used to tell a story or a sequence of events 2. Narrative b. used to describe a scene or an object 3. Persuasive c. used to provide information, including facts, instructions, and definitions 4. Descriptive d. used to share opinions and convince others to agree or take action
  25. 25. Types of paragraphs 1. Expository - C a. used to tell a story or a sequence of events 2. Narrative - A b. used to describe a scene or an object 3. Persuasive - D c. used to provide information, including facts, instructions, and definitions 4. Descriptive - B d. used to share opinions and convince others to agree or take action
  26. 26. VI. AN ESSAY EXAMPLE Essay Topic: Write about a hobby that you have and why it is important to you. **Use your personal observations, experience, and knowledge to support your essay. ** I CAN write in the first person!
  27. 27. Blue = thesis statement Pink = 1st subtopic Green = 2nd subtopic Purple = 3rd subtopic Orange = conclusion Pink = 1st subtopic Black = supporting details I started collecting teddy bears when I was a little girl. My grandfather bought my first bear for me. Each one reminds me of a different part of my life. I have passed my collection on to my daughter. Collecting teddy bears has definitely brought a lot of joy to my life. My grandfather started my teddy bear collection. He had just returned from Italy with a big red box for me. Inside was a beautiful Mohair bear with a pink bow around its neck. Since that day, I have added many bears to my collection.
  28. 28. Green = 2nd subtopic Black = supporting details Purple = 3rd subtopic Black = supporting details Orange = conclusion Black = supporting details Each time I look at one, it reminds me of different times in my life. I remember a time that my dad spent forty dollars at the fair trying to win me a bear worth about two dollars. Every Christmas there was always a teddy bear sitting under the tree. Collecting bears has also helped to collect memories. I have passed my teddy bear collection on to my daughter. I have also added a few since she was born. I hope they bring her the same happiness they have brought me. When she gets older, collecting could be something we can share. My grandfather had no idea what he started when he brought that first bear home. Anytime I am feeling down, I can just pick up a bear and I can be reminded of a happier time. I hope that someday my daughter will pass them on to her own daughter as I have passed them to her.
  29. 29. DIFFERENT TYPES OF ESSAY QUESTIONS AND HOW TO ANSWER THEM 1. WHY: explain with 3 reasons 2. HOW: explain 3 ways how something can be done 3. WHY and HOW: Make sure you include both reasons why and ways it can be done. You may want to just include 2 longer paragraphs in the body of this essay. That would make this one a 4 paragraph essay (introduction, why paragraph, how paragraph, conclusion).
  30. 30. 4. COMPARE AND CONTRAST: You are comparing and contrasting two things. It is better to answer in 4 paragraphs (introduction, paragraph explaining the similarities, paragraph explaining the differences, conclusion). 5. CAUSES: Explain three things that might cause something to happen. 6. EFFECT: Explain three results of something that has happened. 7. LIST AND GIVE EXAMPLES: Provide three items in your explanation. Then in the body of the essay list the three items again, and give several examples of each of these items.
  31. 31. Essay types Argument Evaluation Cause and Effect Illustration Classification Narration Comparison/Contrast Persuasion Critical Analysis Description
  32. 32. Checklist: • Is the entire essay on topic? • Did you write in complete sentences? Every sentence should have a subject and verb. • Make sure your essay contains the right number of words. There is a mandatory length, too short or way too long is not a good thing. • Check for errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization,...
  33. 33. Formal Writing Rules • Do not use the first or second person (I, my, we, us), unless the instructions specifically ask you to write your opinion or about yourself). • Do not use contractions (can’t, won’t, doesn’t). • Avoid saying: “The essay will discuss/will be about...” • Avoid redundancy and repetition. • Be specific. Do not use words such as “things” or “many examples”. • Do not be vague. • EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! Practice makes perfect! YOU DO NOT WANT TO PRACTICE ON THE EXAM!
  34. 34. TRANSITIONS Transitions are signals that help readers follow the direction of the writer’s thoughts. They are like signposts on the road that guide travelers. Some common transitional words or phrases. They are grouped according to the kind of signal they give to the readers. - ADDITION SIGNALS: first of all, for one thing, second, the third reason, also, next, another, and, in addition, moreover, furthermore, finally, last of all - TIME SIGNALS: first, then, next, after, as before, while, meanwhile, now, during, finally - SPACE SIGNALS: next to, across, on the opposite side, to the left, to the right, in front, in back, above, below, behind, nearby
  35. 35. TRANSITIONS (Cont’d) - CHANGE OF DIRECTION SIGNALS: but, however, yet, in contrast, otherwise, still, on the contrary, on the other hand - ILLUSTRATION SIGNALS: for example, for instance, specifically, as an illustration, once, such as - CONCLUSION SIGNALS: therefore, consequently, thus, then, as a result, in summary, to conclude, last of all, finally
  36. 36. For your time and attention  I look forward to seeing you again in my next session.
  37. 37. Sources https://eventalyare.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/2-1.jpg http://s3.amazonaws.com/engrade-myfiles/4071843763319077/LisaTHESIS_0001.jpg https://s3.amazonaws.com/newcharter-thumbnails/ contents/4f2d7dd4a0b8290001002305/original/Types%20of%20Paragraphs.pdf?13283813 96 https://sites.google.com/site/drcmedinagarriguez/intensive-writing-101

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  • 5 mins, go through quiz.