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writing 2-1


Practical English Writing

Part I Basics of English Composition

Part I Basics of English Composition

I. Basic Principles in Writing II. Paragraph Writing III. The Whole Composition

II. Paragraph Writing

The Paragraph

A paragraph is a unit of thought; it is at once a unit in itself and part of a larger whole, that is, the essay.

unified; coherent; well-developed

An effective paragragh?

A paragraph is unified when all the sentences in the paragraph are focused on one central thought or on a single topic.

A paragraph is coherent when it develops naturally and smoothly, and one sentence leads logically to another.

What is a well-developed paragraph?
to make an argument or idea clearer, by speaking or writing about it in more detail 详细阐述, 展开

A paragraph is well-developed when its central idea is logically and fully or completely explained or expounded. There are lots of ways to develop a paragraph.

by process, by cause and effect, by comparison and contrast, etc.

Ways to develop a paragraph ?

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Effective Paragraph

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1. unity Unity of a paragraph is concerned with its content. If all the sentences in the paragraph lead to one central theme, the paragraph is unified. The central theme is usually summarized in what is called the topic sentence.

Unity: Topic Sentences

The topic sentence is the sentence that clearly Topic identifies the main idea in that paragraph --? Topic sentence what the paragraph is about.
Controlling idea

Unity: Topic Sentences

1) It tells readers whatbe clear about is about. ? Several points to the paragraph the functions of 2) It displays the writer’s viewpoint, and all details in topic sentence: other sentences should be around this viewpoint. 3) It tells readers what they can anticipate from this paragraph by including the controlling idea. 4) Among all the sentences in the paragraph, the topic sentence is the most generalized.

Unity: Topic Sentences

Several points to be clear when writing the topic sentence: 1. position of the topic sentence
It often appears at the beginning of a paragraph; it may also be found in the middle or at the end of a paragraph.

A winner cares about the world and its people. A winner is not isolated from the general problems of society, but is concerned, compassionate, and committed to improving the quality of life. Even in the face of national and international adversity, a winner’s self-image is not one of a powerless individual. A winner works to make the world a better place.

We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time or conditions of our death. But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live: courageously or in cowardice, honorably or dishonorably, with purpose or in drift. We decide what is important and what is trivial in life. We decide that what makes us significant is either what we do or what we refuse to do. But no matter how indifferent the universe may be to our choices and decisions, these choices and decisions are ours to make. We decide. We choose. And as we decide and choose, so are our lives formed. In the end, forming our own destiny is what ambition is about.

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At one point along an open highway, I came to a cross-roads with a traffic light. I was alone on the road by now, but as I approached the light, it turned red, and I braked to a halt. I looked left, right, and behind me. Nothing. Not a car, no suggestion of headlights, but there I sat, waiting for the light to change, the only human being for at least a mile in any direction.

Unity: Topic Sentences

2. completeness of the topic sentence e.g. More sports, better health How to develop a good study habit? → More sports will bring better health. How can we develop a good study habit?

Unity: Topic Sentences

3. avoiding “unrelated ideas in one topic sentence” e.g. Shanghai is famous for its temperate climate, its large population, and its rapid industrial development.

Unity: Topic Sentences

4. neither too general nor too specific e.g. ? The American food is terrible. ? The American food is tasteless and greasy because the Americans use too many canned, frozen and prepackaged foods and because everything is fried in oil or butter.

Exercises
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1). Examine the following topic sentences , 1. When the topic and underline the controllingthe italicize you buy a car, examine carefully important feature of thesentences.are considering. idea in the following model you 2. The adolescent had three psychological problems. 3.My grandparents still follow many of their national customs. 4.This term several useful and interesting courses have been offered.

Exercises
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2) Pick differentcontrolling ideas injobs are Many out the kinds of part-time these topic sentences. available. People try many ways to improve their looks. Students have various reasons for choosing where they want to sit in a classroom. Some holidays are more festive than others. Developing a plan for organizing a locker is important.

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Exercises
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Society is trying many different approaches to discourage people from smoking. A young person needs to learn how to become self-reliant. Parents have different ways of giving their children an education. Studying for tests calls for a methodical approach. Certain guidelines help a family to live together happily.

Practice

Topic Sentences:
The forest is a sanitary agent. It is constantly eliminating impurities from the earth and the air. Trees Point out the topic sentence in the paragraph: check, sweep, and filter from the air quantities of filthy, germ-laden dust. Their leaves absorb poisonous gases from the air. Roots assist in drainage, and absorb impurities from the soil. Roots give off acids, and these acids, together with the acids released by the fallen, decaying leaves, have a sterilizing effect upon the soil. Trees help to keep the earth sweet and clean, and water which comes from a forested watershed is likely to be pure. Many unsanitary areas have been redeemed and rendered healthy by tree planting.

Practice The forest is a sanitary agent. It is constantly eliminating impurities from the earth and the air. Trees check, sweep, and filter from the air quantities of filthy, germ-laden dust. Their leaves absorb poisonous gases from the air. Roots assist in drainage, and absorb impurities from the soil. Roots give off acids, and these acids, together with the acids released by the fallen, decaying leaves, have a sterilizing effect upon the soil. Trees help to keep the earth sweet and clean, and water which comes from a forested watershed is likely to be pure. Many unsanitary areas have been redeemed and rendered healthy by tree planting.

Practice

Write a will sentence master …A dog topicfollow hisfor the following a cat keeps anywhere, butparagraphs: to the house it is used to: and even when the house changes hands, the cat will remain there, so long as it is kindly treated by the new owners. A cat does not seem to be capable of the personal devotion often shown by a dog. It thinks most of its own comfort, and its love is only cupboard love.

…Red, for example, is the color of fire, blood and life. People say red is an exciting and active color. They associate red with a strong feeling like anger. Red is also used for signs of danger, such as stop signs and fire engines. Orange is the bright, warm color of leaves in autumn. People say orange is a lively color. They associate orange with happiness. Yellow is the color of sunlight. People say it is a cheerful color. They associated yellow, too, with happiness. Green is the cool color of grass in spring. People say it is a refreshing color.

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Effective Paragraph

2. Coherence

Coherence of a paragraph is concerned with its form, or its organization. The sentences in a paragraph should be arranged in a clear, logical order, and the transitions should be smooth and natural. As a result, the reader finds it easy to follow the writer’s train of thought and understand what he is talking about.

Coherence
Ways of coherence ? 1. Use of transitional words ? 2. Repetition of key words ? 3. Use of pronouns ? 4. Use of parallel structure

1. Use of transitional words
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Transitional words and phrases signal the curve and direction of the thoughts as you read through the paragraph. With them, the reader is prepared for each new idea and can relate each new statement to the last.

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Transitional Expressions:
There are lots of connectives and transitional phrases--…for spatial development; …for chronological development; …for analytical development; …for comparisons; …for contrasts; …

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Transitional expressions
Connectives and transitional phrases for spatial development: above under in the distance opposite to on top of close to beneath next to beyond across from below near to over

Transitional expressions
Connectives and transtional phrases for chronological development: first, second, etc soon eventually in the meantime then at the same time next thereafter presently later afterward finally at last

Transitional expressions
Connectives and transtional phrases for analytical development: first, second, etc for this purpose but as a result furthermore finally at last moreover also consequently likewise for example/ for instance on the contrary in addition in summery in this case otherwise on the other hand in conclusion thus therefore

Transitional expressions
Connectives and transtional phrases for comparisons: furthermore moreover equally important too, also at the same time besides accordingly in fact in addition to likewise similarly in the same way

Transitional expressions
Connectives and transtional phrases for contrast: on the contrary different from/ incontrast on the other hand despite/ in spite of yet, but whereas unlike nevertheless not only…but also the former…the latter

2. Repetition of key words
e.g. What have we done to promote the art of thinking? Certainly we make no room for thought in our daily lives. Suppose a man were to say to his friends, “I’m not going to the baseball game tonight because I need some time to myself, some time to think..” Such a man would be shunned by his neighbors; his family would be ashamed of him. What if a teenager were to say, “ I’m not going to dance tonight because I need somt time to think”? His parents would immediately start to looking in the Yellow Pages for a psychiatrist. We are all too much like Julius Caesar: we fear and distrust people who think too much. We believe that almost anything is more important than thinking.

3. Use of pronouns
Sam and Tommy were digging a hole in Sam and Tommy’s backyard, throwing a basin of earth away and then throwing the second basin, then the third… After the last basin, Sam and Tommy entered the house. Sam sat on a chair exhausted, and Tommy sat on a chair exhausted. Tommy’s arms were folded and Tommy’s sleeves were still rolled up to the elbow. Sam looked at Tommy and laughed. When Sam was talking to Tommy and Tommy was talking to Sam, Sam and Tommy suddenly heard someone calling Sam and Tommy.
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Revised: Sam and Tommy were digging a hole in their backyard, throwing each basin away. After the last basin, they entered the house and both sat on chairs exhausted Tommy’s arms were folded and his sleeves were still rolled up to the elbow. Sam looked at him and laughed. When talking to each other, they suddenly heard someone calling them.

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Use of parallel structure

e.g. a. I know where the new theatre is and how to get there. b. I know where the new theatre is and how we can get there.

a. He thought she was beautiful, intelligent, and a very efficient secretary. b. He thought she was beautiful, intelligent, and very efficient.

Now, I will not for a moment deny that getting ahead of your neighbours is delightful, but it is not the only delight of which human beings are capable. There are innumerable things which are not competitive. It is possible to enjoy food and drink without having to reflect that you have a better cook and a better wine merchant than your former friends whom you are learning to cold-shoulder. It is possible to be fond of your wife and children without reflecting how much better she dresses than Mrs. So-and-So and how much better they are at athletics than the children of that old-stick-in-the-mud Mr. Such-andSuch. There are those who can enjoy music without thinking how cultured the other ladies in their women’s club will be thinking them to be. There are even people who enjoy a fine day in spite of the fact that sun shines on everybody. All these simple pleasures are destroyed as soon as competitiveness gets the upper hand.

Example for coherence
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But this is only one aspect of the problem. Another, not less essential, is the wider gap between generatios since the rate of social development has speeded up. The taste and habits of young people today differ markedly from those of the young people of the thirties, let alone of the twenties. Still influenced by the tastes and habits of their own youth, the fathers are inclined to think these habits and tastes are absolute and deny their children the right to independent creativity, which they demanded from their own parents. (Hence the artificial conflicts, in which a dance or the width of trousers is elevated to the dignity of crucial issues.)

Practice 1) Fill in the proper transitional words in the following paragraph and point out the topic sentence:.
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Foreign cars are often more expensive to own in the United States than American-made cars. For one thing ____________, foreign cars cost more to buy. Of course there are reasons for this. The quality of workmanship making them is very high. Then high tariffs on many foreign models have raised Furthermmore the prices. ___________ foreign cars often cost In addition more to register. _________, insurance rates can be higher. _________, parting and repairing Moreover costs are much greater than they are for American cars.

Practice 1) Fill in the proper transitional words in the following paragraph and point out the topic sentence:.
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________, there are some financial However advantages to owning a foreign car. First _____, many of them get better gas mileage, and they need new tires less often than American cars do. Second their _____, redale value is higher. The price of a yearold foreign car may be only $ 300 less But than what it costs new. _____, the price for a year-old American car will be around $ 1,000 less.

Practice
Point out the ways used to ensure smooth transition:
Americans are queer people: they can’t play. Americans rush to work as soon as they grow up. They want their work as soon as they wake. It is a stimulant---the only one they are not afraid of. They used to open their offices at ten o’clock; then at eight; then at seven. Now they never shut them. Every business in America is turning into an open-all-day-and-night business. They eat all night, dance all night, build buildings all night, making a noise all night. They can’t play. They try to, but can’t. They turn football into a fight, baseball into a lawsuit, and yachting into machinery. They can’t play. The little children can’t play; they use mechanical toys instead---toy cranes, hoisting toy loads, toy machinery spreading a toy industrial depression of infantile dullness. The grownup people can’t play; they use a mechanical gymnasium and a clockwork horse. They can’t laugh; they hire a comedian and watch him laugh.

Americans are queer people: they can’t play. Americans rush to work as soon as they grow up. They want their work as soon as they wake. It is a stimulant---the only one they are not afraid of. They used to open their offices at ten o’clock; then at eight; then at seven. Now they never shut them. Every business in America is turning into an open-all-day-and-night business. They eat all night, dance all night, build buildings all night, making a noise all night. They can’t play. They try to, but can’t. They turn football into a fight, baseball into a lawsuit, and yachting into machinery. They can’t play. The little children can’t play; they use mechanical toys instead---toy cranes, hoisting toy loads, toy machinery spreading a toy industrial depression of infantile dullness. The grownup people can’t play; they use a mechanical gymnasium and a clockwork horse. They can’t laugh; they hire a comedian and watch him laugh.

Americans are queer people: they can’t play. Americans rush to work as soon as they grow up. They want their work as soon as they wake. It is a stimulant--the only one they are not afraid of. They used to open their offices at ten o’clock; then at eight; then at seven. Now they never shut them. Every business in America is turning into an open-all-day-and-night business. They eat all night, dance all night, build buildings all night, making a noise all night. They can’t play. They try to, but can’t. They turn football into a fight, baseball into a lawsuit, and yachting into machinery. They can’t play. The little children can’t play; they use mechanical toys instead---toy cranes, hoisting toy loads, toy machinery spreading a toy industrial depression of infantile dullness. The grownup people can’t play; they use a mechanical gymnasium and a clockwork horse. They can’t laugh; they hire a comedian and watch him laugh.

Americans are queer people: they can’t play. Americans rush to work as soon as they grow up. They want their work as soon as they wake. It is a stimulant--the only one they are not afraid of. They used to open their offices at ten o’clock; then at eight; then at seven. Now they never shut them. Every business in America is turning into an open-all-day-and-night business. They eat all night, dance all night, build buildings all night, making a noise all night. They can’t play. They try to, but can’t. They turn football into a fight, baseball into a lawsuit, and yachting into machinery. They can’t play. The little children can’t play; they use mechanical toys instead---toy cranes, hoisting toy loads, toy machinery spreading a toy industrial depression of infantile dullness. The grownup people can’t play; they use a mechanical gymnasium and a clockwork horse. They can’t laugh; they hire a comedian and watch him laugh.

Americans are queer people: they can’t play. Americans rush to work as soon as they grow up. They want their work as soon as they wake. It is a stimulant--the only one they are not afraid of. They used to open their offices at ten o’clock; then at eight; then at seven. Now they never shut them. Every business in America is turning into an open-all-day-and-night business. They eat all night, dance all night, build buildings all night, making a noise all night. They can’t play. They try to, but can’t. They turn football into a fight, baseball into a lawsuit, and yachting into machinery. They can’t play. The little children can’t play; they use mechanical toys instead---toy cranes, hoisting toy loads, toy machinery spreading a toy industrial depression of infantile dullness. The grownup people can’t play; they use a mechanical gymnasium and a clockwork horse. They can’t laugh; they hire a comedian and watch him laugh.

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Effective Paragraph

3 Completeness Completeleness means enough information has been supplied within a paragraph to support the topic sentence.

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The following first version of a paragraph about dancing has a main idea but very little specific information. Dancing can be good exercise. It can be entertaining. It can be lots of fun as well. Dancing can be very beneficial for everyone.

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Revised draft: Dancing can be good exercise. The constant arm and leg movements are like aerobics. They can be a really giid workout if the dance lasts long enough. If the dance requires lots of quick movements, many calories can be used up, and more fat will be burned. Some dances require movements that are like stretching, so flexibility and muscle tone will be increased. Dancing can helo maintain weight and can be very beneficial for everyone.

Homework:
? 1. WritePreparations for traveling away from a topic sentence that would control a home paragraph on each of the following topics: ? 2. Advantages of having your own room ? 3.Some landmark of the community in which you live ? 4.The price of long-distance telephone calls ? 5. Registering for college courses

Possible Answers

Homework:
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---Preparations should be made for traveling away from home. ---Wherever you live, you can benefit from at least two advantages of having your own room. ---The Flood-Fighting Memorial Tower is a famous landmark in Harbin City. ---Long-distance telephone calls can be charged according to the time you spend for dialing. ---Registering for college courses comprises the following steps.


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