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Lecture 5

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Lecture 5

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  1. Lecture 5 • Investing in yourself

  2. Details of Writing • Essentially, all essays are LINEAR arguments which either: • Close the initial question by answering it • When there is a clear question at the beginning you do this. • You may also do this in other cases... • Propose future action, make suggestions for the future, point the way to future research • When there is an issue at the beginning you often do this. • This style shows a connected path leading to the future.

  3. Essay Maps • First step: what is the purpose of the essay? • To argue a conclusion or idea or philosophy. • In this case, you need to set out the ideas, and the evidence for those ideas. • Idea • Evidence #1 • Evidence #2 etc. • Use these ideas to make a map of the logical flow. Use words in circles, and connect with arrows.

  4. Complex ideas • Some ideas require two or more “sub-ideas”. In this case, you do:' • Idea X requires Ideas X1, X2 and X3 to be true. • Idea X1 is …. • Evidence for X1 • Idea X2 is … • Evidence for X2 • Idea X3 is... • Evidence for X3 • Idea Y... • Etc.

  5. Essay Maps • Essay could discuss “the current state” of some area rather than argue a viewpoint. • In this case, the essay will be made up of sections like these (each section may have many paragraphs): • An introduction to the scope of the field • A statement of current issues in the field • Issue 1. Why it is important. What is the current understanding. What needs to be done.

  6. What are paragraphs? • Have a single purpose. • Usually 3 to 7 sentences. • More than 10 sentences: your paragraph should probably be split up. • First sentence does two things: • Connects to the previous paragraph or section with “signpost words” • Says what the purpose of the paragraph is. • Other sentences add details and evidence to this.

  7. What are sentences? • Starts with a capital letter • Ends with a full stop • Period, question mark, exclamation mark. • A self contained unit of “meaning”: it can stand by itself and make sense. • All sentences contain: • An action word - verb – a “doing” word • Most sentences also contain a subject --- the “thing” which does the action.

  8. Sentences • One way to check your sentences is to check for verbs and subjects. • If not present, there may be a problem! • Another way is to count the verbs. • “has become”, “will have had” all count as one verb (different tenses) • Most sentences have got just one verb. • If you have too many verbs (say 3 or more) then it is very hard to understand the sentence because it is too complex. • SIMPLIFY! By using smaller sentences.

  9. Details of Writing • Connecting words. Act as thinking “signposts” • However • Moreover • Furthermore • Another • Alternatively • The case of...

  10. Details of Writing • Punctuation. • Possessives • Commas • Colons • Semi-colons. • Full stop, question and exclamation marks.

  11. Details of Writing • Capitalization. • Proper names, start of sentence. • Singular/plural. • Case agreement confirms reader's thoughts. • Tense. • Tense is important: especially conditional situations. • Common language / idiom / informal speech. • Avoid if possible. “Can't do it”

  12. The Introduction • At least one paragraph. Possibly several. • However, in all cases: • States clearly what the essay is about. • Possibly states a problem that needs to be answered. • Possibly states a scope of work/discussion that the essay will cover. • Should not “beat around the bush” • Say what the issue is in the first sentence. • Grab the reader in the first sentence! HAH!

  13. The BODY of the Essay • This is the meat in the sandwich. • Contains ideas, each one followed by supporting evidence • Some ideas are complex, and need to be broken up into sub-ideas. • You can see this when your paragraphs get too big and complex. If this happens, think about breaking it up into sub-ideas. This means an introductory overall paragraph, followed by paragraphs/evidence for each sub-idea.

  14. The BODY • The map that you make of your essay should determine what the content of each paragraph is. • Don't worry if you decide to restructure your essay by adding in new paragraphs. • The initial map is just a way to “get going”.

  15. Conclusion • You should “conclude” your argument. • Either... • Answer the question in the introduction/title • Point the way forward • You should also briefly summarize the main argument • NOT the details

  16. In-class Exercise • Examine Lewis' essay and criticize it from the view of: • Spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph structure, introduction, conclusion.

  17. Homework • There are many historical, economic, cultural and philosophical differences between the UK and China. • In the past 20 years, China has become much richer, and the people generally happier. • Do you agree with this, and how does this affect your understanding of Layard's essay?