Unit 12 Letter of Application
Contents: • Essay Writing • Letter of Application • Writing Practice
Essay writing 1 Introduction Essay structure 2 3 4
1. Introduction • What is an Essay? An essay is "a fairly brief piece of nonfiction that tries to make a point in an interesting way." (by Frederick Crews, professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley )
An essay is fairly brief. While writers will sometimes refer to book-length texts as "essays," the term usually refers to short pieces that makes a point or that might be published in a magazine or newspaper.
An essay is nonfiction. That means that the writer of an essay is trying to tell the truth, not merely entertain. A short story isn't an essay because it's fiction. To say that an essay is nonfiction doesn't mean that every word of an essay must be literally true. Hypothetical examples can be an effective way of illustrating a point, as can quotations from fictional works. But such imaginative illustrations should always serve the purpose of clarifying or illustrating a claim that the writer believes to be actually true, in the real world.
An essay tries to make a point. This is perhaps the most important and most challenging aspect of the essay. An essay is not just a bunch of words, or even a bunch of paragraphs. An essay all fits together; it all points in one direction. An essay leads to one conclusion. An essay tries to make a point. It aims to support a single claim. In another words, an essay doesn't just have a topic; it also has a thesis. An essay doesn't just give information about a subject; it supports a statement, a claim.
An essay tries to make a point in an interesting way. An essay is real writing; it is written to someone. And so its goal is to interest its readers, to change their thinking, to get them involved in the ideas it presents and ultimately get them to adopt those ideas. An essay might seek to inform or to persuade or both. But to make a point with real readers, it must try to get and keep the attention of those readers. That means catching and keeping their interest.
2. Essay structure Generally speaking, an essay structure is like this: Introduction ←introductory paragraph(s) transitional paragraph Body ←body paragraph(s) transitional paragraph Conclusion ←concluding paragraph
2.1 Paragraphs in an Essay • A. Independent paragraph • B. Special paragraphs • Introductory paragraph • Transitional paragraph • Concluding paragraph • C. Body paragraph • (Supporting/Amplifying)
Types of paragraphs • A. Independent paragraph • An independent paragraph is an isolated one which has its own separated existence and it is like a complete essay by itself. • Components: a topic sentence; supporting sentences and a concluding sentence • E.g. editorial pages of newspapers or comments on current events.
Sample: An independent paragraphs • I believe that the Chinese people possess all the mental and physical qualities required for national greatness. They love the land of their birth with reverence; they believe in their own superiority. They are fine men, endowed with great powers of endurance; they are industrious and thrifty. Absolutely indifferent to hardship and death, they are fearless and brave, and when well trained and well led, they make first-rate soldiers. I have seen them under fire, and found them cool and undismayed by danger. • (from the Chinese People by Lord Woolsey)
B. Special paragraphs In form & in function: Interest reader; Pointer; Clincher Why are they special? II. Types of paragraphs Transitional paragraph Introductory paragraph Concluding paragraph
II. Types of paragraphs • B. Special paragraphs • In an essay, there are often special paragraphs which begin it, link parts within it, or end it. • Why are they special? • In form and in function. • 1.Introductory paragraphs: Interest-readers, • 2.Transitional paragraphs: pointers, • 3.Concluding paragraphs: clinchers. • They are not fully developed units of a discussion.
II. Types of paragraphs • 1.An introductory paragraph • Its main purpose is to introduce the subject under treatment. • It appears at the beginning of an essay, stating the theme, and also briefly expressing the way of development to be followed. • It startles the readers and makes special effort to interest them. • Some examples to illustrate the ways of writing an introductory paragraph.
II. Types of paragraphs • 1.An introductory paragraph • a. Stating the theme in the form of a challenging question and hinting at its importance: • Into what is a modern girl to grow? Many a psychologist or educator today will find few questions more recurrent or more troubling than this one if he stops to consider it. • (from “Growing Up Female” by Bruno Bellelheim)
II. Types of paragraphs • 1.An introductory paragraph • b. Stating the topic and pointing out the two subtopics that are to be treated: • This book is a collection of short stories by Southern writers. That involves two questions which more than once had to be considered in the making of this book. What is a Southern writer and what is a short story? • (from Southern Harvest by Robert Penn)
II. Types of paragraphs • 1.An introductory paragraph • c. Stating the theme and indicating the way of development to be followed: • The main purpose of this book is to examine the lines and productions of such British poets as have gained reputation within the last forty years. Incidentally, I hope to derive from the body of their verse, --so various in form and thought, -- and from the record of the aim and province of the art of poetry, and not a few striking illustrations of the poetic life. • (From Victorian Poets by Edmund Clarence Stedman)
II. Types of paragraphs • 2. Transitional paragraph • It is a whole short paragraph that serves as a transition between the main divisions of the subject. • It appears somewhere in the middle of a paper to mark the close of one division and suggest the readiness to take up another. It is like a bridge linking together the two banks of a river. • a. Summing up before starting another division: • Well, that’s how it was before “she” came into my life. Now let me tell you what it’s like to be married to a Honda.
II. Types of paragraphs • 2. Transitional paragraph • b. Providing a transition from a generalization to a discussion of specific examples: • I know of course that all this still sounds vague. But don’t worry. Form this point on we are getting down to brass tacks.
II. Types of paragraphs • 2. Transitional paragraph • c. Indicating what the writer intends to do next: • Confucius belongs to that small company of select ones whose lives have been devoted to the moral elevation of their fellow-men. Among them he stands high, for he sought to implant the purest principles of religion and morals in the character of the whole people, and succeeded in doing it. To show that this was his purpose, it will be necessary to give a brief sketch of his life.
II. Types of paragraphs • 3. A concluding paragraph • The concluding paragraph is the last paragraph in an essay which should concentrate on the main idea of what has been stated concerning the subject. However, a conclusion never has to be a mere dry summary. • Its purpose is to make on the readers a strong impression of the important respects in regard to the subject tackled. to reemphasize the main thought, make a prediction or plead for action. to give the readers enlightenment, inspiration or some directions.
II. Types of paragraphs • 3. A concluding paragraph • a. End with a significant quotation which supports the thesis: • And so we agree with Emerson: “Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm.” “All men are created equal” does not mean that all men are the same. What it does mean is that each should be accorded full respect and full rights as a unique human being – full respect for his humanity and for his differences from other people. (“The Egalitarian Error” by Mararet Mead and Rhoda Metraux)
b. End with a forceful restatement of the thesis through the use of balance, emphasis, or other rhetorical devices: • …and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. • ( “Gattysberg Address” by Abraham Lincoln)
II. Types of paragraphs • 3. A concluding paragraph • c. End with an appropriate final quotation: • If we leave our prisons the way they are – caves of corruption where first time offenders mingled with hardened murderers and rapists – then we can expect that all offenders will end having their minds forever twisted. Society’s obligation is not only to confine a criminal, but also to return him to society as a rehabilitated human being. Oscar Wilder’s poem “Ballad of Reading Gaol” tells a world of truth: • The vilest deeds like poison weeds, • Bloom well in prison air, • It is only what is good in Man, • That wastes and withers there. • (From Rhetoric Made Plain by Anthony C. Winkler, and Jo Ray EcCuen)
II. Types of paragraphs • 3. A concluding paragraph • d. End with a call for action: • The Communists disdain to conceal their views and they openly declare that their ends can be attained only by forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite! • From Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels
Sentence patterns • The beginning: • 1. There are different opinions among people as to _____________. Some people suggest that ___________. • 2. Nowadays although more and more people _____________, still there are some who think __________________, they may think ____________________________. • 3. For years ___________ had been viewed as _________________.However, now people are taking a fresh look at it. • 4._______ has been playing an increasingly important role in our daily life. It has brought us a lot of benefits but has created some serious problems as well. • 5. The English proverb says _________. This is quite true because ______________. • 6. Today there are ____________, which have brought about a lot of harms in our daily life. First, __________. Second, _______________. What makes things worse is that __________ • ______________. • 7. These days we often hear about _________________. However, it this really the case?
Sentence patterns • The ending • 1. For my part, I think it reasonable to __________________. Only in this way can you _______________. • 2. In conclusion, I believe that ______________. We can _______ only if ____________. Just as a proverb goes __________. • 3. In a word, the whole society should pay close attention to the problem of ______________. Only in this way can ____________ in the future. • 4. Whatever you do, please remember the saying ----- __________. If you understand it and apply it to your study or work, you’ll definitely benefit a lot from it. • 5. From what has been discussed above, we may reasonably arrive at the conclusion that _____ • ______________________. • 6. Taking into account all of these factors, we may reach the conclusion that ________________ • ______________________. • 7. In short, I support the statement that it is better to __________________ because ___________.
II Types of paragraphs • Conclusion • above all, as a result, as long as, at any rate, for this reason, in brief, in conclusion, last but not least, only by this can we…, on the whole, to make a long story short, to sum up, what we have to do is (to)…, as has been mentioned, all in all, therefore, thus, consequently, accordingly, thank to, due to, owing to, at length, eventually,
II. Types of paragraphs • C. Body paragraph (Amplifying/Supporting) • Amplifying paragraphs make up the real body of an essay; therefore they are called Body paragraphs. The paragraphs of an essay develop the thesis within the body of the essay. • The importance of body paragraph in an essay • A usual paragraph within the body of an essay can be considered as an essay in miniature. • The space occupied by the body paragraphs must be more than that by the special paragraphs. • A body paragraph has the features both in structure and in content of a whole essay on a small scale.
Sentence patterns • The supporting details: • 1. However, there are still many people who don’t agree. They argue that _______________. • 2. However, I don’t think it a very good way to solve ____________________. For instance, __________________. worst of all, _________________________. • 3. There are several measures for us to adopt. First, we can ________________, there are a number of advantages of ____________. Another solution is to ____________. • 4. There are some people, who ___________. Their reasons are different, sometimes for ________, sometimes for _________, and sometimes simply for____________. • 5. Why ______? For one thing, ___________. For another, ______________. Perhaps the main reason is that ________. • 6. From a personal perspective, I also prefer to ________________ because ________________. • 7. There are many reasons why __________________, and I shall here explore only a few of the most important ones. • 8. Good __________ as it is, it has its own disadvantages. For one thing, __________. for another, _________________.
A sample: Key Factors to Success • No doubt, we wish to be successful in life. In discussing this, we should bear three fundamental principles in mind: diligence, devotion, and perseverance. • The first key factor to success is diligence, which simply means no waste of time. Diligence can help us remove ignorance, overcome difficulties, and enlighten our minds. Diligence can make a fool wise, and a poor man rich. If we idle away our time now, our future life will be a failure. If we are diligent now, we will surely be successful in the future.
A sample: Key Factors to Success • Devotion, which means the concentration of our mind and effort in doing things, is another key factor to success. Whatever job we are doing, we must love it and do it whole-heartedly. Only when we set our minds on the job, can we do it well. • Furthermore, perseverance, or a strong will, is also necessary in order to make success a certainty. If we study or work day after day, there is nothing that can not be achieved. Without a strong will, on the other hand, we are likely to give up when we meet some difficulties. In short, a strong will can urge us to perform wonderful deeds. • To conclude, all great men achieve success through diligence, devotion and perseverance. Just as the famous English saying goes, “No pains, no gains.”
Letter of Application • Introduction • Types of Application Letter • Contents • Samples • Useful Expressions • Key points
Introduction • A letter of application, also called a cover letter or face letter, is drafted to apply for a job position, admission in a university, getting a bank loan approved, etc. This type of letter is accepted by authorities like banks, university, multinational companies to follow various processes. • Your application letter is one of the most important documents in getting a job or admission to a university. An effective letter can get you a phone call for an interview while a poorly written one may keep you on the waiting list.
While a resume can present your personal information, key skills, experience, and education, a letter of application serves other specific purposes: • Properly introduce you • Highlight your most relevant qualifications • Explain what your resume can't • Show that you've researched the company or the school • Demonstrate your written communication skills • Convince the employer or whoever concerned to grant you an interview
Types of Application Letter • Application for Job • Application for Admission • others
Contents • Firstly, make clear what specific job you want to get or what particular program you intend to major in and where you get the information about the job or program. • Secondly, explain your qualifications, including relevant educational background, working experience and any other information that highlight your unique qualities. • Finally, request an interview or acceptance and refer your reader to your resume and letters of recommendation.
Creative and imaginative opening • Indicate that you are applying for a position/program. • Name the position/program for which you are applying. • Tell how you learned of the opening.
Avoid overused beginnings • Please consider my application for… • This application is for…
Ways of opening • To use a topic that shows you have learned something about the company. • To make a statement or ask a question that focuses attention on the reader’s needs that the writer seeks to fill. • If you learn of a possibility through a company employee, you can mention his/her name in the opening sentence.
Sample opening 1 I am responding to your advertisement in the Doe Post inviting applications for a position in chemical engineering. I am currently a research chemist for Johnson' Chemical Corporation, where I enjoy my work, but I would prefer participating in your research program on new plastics.
Sample opening 2 Will you please review my qualifications for work in your training program? My thorough education and related experience have prepared me for an entry-level position in the accounting department.
Sample opening 3 Last week I spoke with Jane Doe about the clinical director position at your facility. We both agreed that the job is a perfect match with my goals and qualifications.
Middle paragraphs information You are likely to present facts from 3 background areas: • education • experience • personal details
Middle paragraphs • Convince the employer that you are qualified for the job. • Interpret the facts in the resume and demonstrate that your educational preparation, work experience or special qualifications are relevant to the job. • Emphasize two or three of the most important achievements or qualities that make you special. • Mention some special knowledge you have about the company or your understanding of the job requirements.
I have just graduated from the Computer Department of Qinghua University. I have done well in all the subjects and I am especially good at Computer Programming and English. I can read science books in English and do some writing in English as well. Besides, I know a lillte Spanish.
Close—drive for the appropriate action • Ask for an interview, reference check or further correspondence. • Give your phone number and / or address (or e-mail address).
Sample Close 1 • I am confident that my qualifications and experience will be of benefit to your organization and would appreciate the opportunity to interview with you at a convenient time. I may be reached at0411-87654321.
Sample Close 2 • These highlights and the additional evidence reviewed in the enclosed resume present my case for a career in the accounting department. May I have an interview to continue my presentation? Please call 0411-87654321 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I could be in your office at your convenience to talk about working for ABC.