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Essay writing - a few tips

Nowadays in a few bank PO examinations essay writing is included. (I.O.B. for instance). I am giving below a few points on as to how you can make an essay successful and rate very high. I am posting a few essays also separately. Blessings and best wishes ESSAY WRITING –IMPORTANT POINTS An essay is generally speaking, a written composition containing an expression of one’s personal opinions or ideas on a subject. A good essay must hold its readers’ attention from the beginning to the end. For this it must possess certain qualities, which make a piece of writing readable and enjoyable. Here are some of these qualities for you to keep in mind: First, a good essay shows its writer’s personality in the same way as good manners or pleasing behaviour does. So you have to learn how to write it and spend a lot of time to perfect your style in essay writing. If one wants to learn good manners, one must live with and learn from those who possess them. This is equally true of writing, essay writing in particular. One must study the best models and learn from them. And one must practice the art of writing with patience and great care. Secondly, every essay depends on two things. These are (a) its subject matter, and (b) its language. To write an essay you require ‘material’—clear ideas based on experience, reading and observation. These ideas have to be put into words and these words must convey what the writer wishes to say. For this he should know the right words and the most appropriate ways to put them together. In other words, an essay calls for ideas that are based on your everyday life or experience or ideas that you have imagined. It next calls for a rich stock of words and of structures (the sentence of the language). Above all, it calls for the ability to put these thoughts and sentences together. To say that an essay writer must put his thoughts together is to point to another main quality of a good essay—its structure. Every essay has a structure. Article I. A) Part of An Essay An essay is generally divided into three parts: 1. The Introduction. 2. The Body. 3. The Conclusion. And each of these requires careful attention. i) Introduction Paragraph What is an introduction paragraph? The Introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of your essay. What does it do? It introduces the main idea of your essay. A good opening paragraph captures the interest of your reader and tells why your topic is important. How do I write one? The introduction should be designed to attract the reader's attention and give the reader an idea of the essay’s focus. Begin with an attention grabber. The attention grabber you use is up to you, but here are some ideas: Article II. Starting information This information must be true and verifiable, and it doesn’t need to be totally new to your readers. It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make. If you use a piece of startling information, follow it with a sentence or two of elaboration. Article III. Anecdote An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point. Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your essay, but use it carefully. You can also provide some background information about your topic. You can use interesting facts, quotations, or definitions of important terms you will use later in the essay. The main idea of the essay is stated in a single sentence called the thesis statement. You must limit your entire essay to the topic you have introduced in your thesis statement. A few sentences explaining your topic in general terms can lead the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis. If the attention grabber was only a sentence or two, add one or two more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement. Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement. Topic: Peace in the Middle East Thesis Statement: The centuries-old conflict in the Middle East goes so deep that any “peace” will probably be temporary. Example: “A dog is man’s best friend.” That common saying may contain some truth, but dogs are not the only animal friends whose companionship people enjoy. For many people, a cat is their best friend. Despite what dog lovers may believe, cats make excellent house pets. ii) Supporting Paragraphs (Body) What are supporting paragraphs? Supporting paragraphs make up the main body of your essay. What do they do? They develop the main idea of your essay. How do you write them? 1. List the points that develop the main idea of your essay. 2. Place each supporting point in its own paragraph. 3. Develop each supporting point with facts, details and examples. To connect your supporting paragraphs, you should use special transition words. Transition words link your paragraphs together and make your essay easier to read. Use them at the beginning and end of your paragraphs. Examples of transition words that can help you to link your paragraphs together. a) For listing different points First; Second; Third Example: In the first place, people enjoy the companionship of cats. In the second place, cats are civilized members of the household. Lastly, one of the most attractive features of cats as house pets is their ease of care. b) For counter examples However; Even though; On the other hand; Nevertheless c) For additional idea Another; In addition to; Related to; Furthermore; Also d) To show cause and effect Therefore; Thus; As a result of; Consequently Example: Cats are more particular about personal cleanliness than people are. In addition, cats can be left at home alone for a few hours without fear. Unlike some pets, most cats will not destroy the furnishings when left alone. Like all good paragraphs, each supporting paragraph should have a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a summary sentence. iii) Summary Paragraph What is a summary paragraph? The summary paragraph comes at the end of your essay after you have finished developing your ideas. The summary paragraph is often called a “conclusion”. What does it do? It summarises or restates the main idea of the essay. You want to leave the reader with a sense that your essay is complete. How do you write one? 1. Restate the strongest points of your essay that support your main idea. 2. Conclude your essay by restating the main idea in different words. 3. Give your personal opinion or suggest a plan for action. Use a summary statement rather than phrases like the following: “In summary…,” “To conclude…,” “To summarise…,” or “In closing….” These are too obvious and vague to be effective. Use a transitional phrase, which summarises a point in your essay instead. Examples: The benefits outweigh the dangers. Obviously. But are the numerically superior benefits worth the heavy price man has to pay? Reliance on the computer system is getting heavier by the minute in every field of activity or branch of knowledge. Is such seemingly innocuous reliance a healthy one? Wouldn’t man become a robot, losing his mental faculties gradually but surely, losing his individuality, losing his freedom? Only time can tell. As we have seen, poverty is a known contributor to crime; therefore, it should not be discounted when considering ways to prevent crime. B) Writing Essays i) Prewriting Stage The prewriting stage is when you prepare your ideas for your essay before you begin writing. Do not start writing at once. You will find it easier to write your essay if you build an outline first. Six Prewriting Steps: 1. Think carefully about what you are going to write. Ask yourself: What question am I going to answer in this paragraph or essay? How can I best answer this question? What is the most important part of my answer? How can I make an introductory sentence (or thesis statement) from the most important part of my answer? What facts or ideas can I use to support my introductory sentence? How can I make this paragraph or essay interesting? 2. Write out your answers to the above questions. You do not need to spend a lot of time doing this; just write enough to help you remember why and how you are going to write your paragraph or essay. In a short essay, you can deal with a very few points only. It is of no use to write down a lot of things that have nothing to do with the subject. If you do so, the result will be a bad essay. 3. Write down facts that will help you to answer your question. (Make sure the facts you are writing are related to the exact question you are going to answer in your paragraph or essay.) 4. Write down your own ideas. Ask yourself: what else do I want to say about this topic? Why should people be interested in this topic? Why is this topic important? 5. Find the main idea of your paragraph or essay. Choose the most important point you are going to present. If you cannot decide which point is the most important, just choose one point and stick to it throughout your paragraph or essay. 6. Organise your facts and ideas in a way that develops your main idea. Once you have chosen the most important point of your paragraph or essay, you must find the best way to tell your reader about it. Look at the facts your have written. Look at your own ideas on the topic. Decide which facts and ideas will best support the main idea of your essay. Once you have chosen the facts and ideas you plan to use, ask yourself which order to put them in the essay. ii) Writing Stage The writing stage is when you turn your ideas into sentences. Four Writing Steps: 1. For the introduction, write the thesis statement and give some background information. 2. Develop each supporting paragraph and make sure to follow the correct paragraph format. 3. Write simple sentences to express your meaning. Use simple words; be clear as well as brief. 4. Focus on the main idea of your essay. iii) Editing Stage The editing stage is when you check your essay for mistakes and correct them. Make sure that your handwriting is clear and legible. The examiner may not have enough time to take pains to read each and every word carefully. An illegible handwriting might only put off his interest in reading your essay even though it might be good. Editing Steps: a) Grammar and Spelling 1. Check your spelling 2. Check your grammar. 3. Read your essay again. 4. Make sure each sentence has a subject. 5. Make sure your subjects and verbs agree with each other. 6. Check the verb tenses of each sentence. 7. Make sure that each sentence makes sense. b) Style and Organisation 1. Make sure your essay has an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a summary paragraph. 2. Check that you have a thesis statement that identifies the main idea of the essay. 3. Check that all your paragraphs follow the proper paragraph format. 4. Ensure that your essay is interesting. C) Assessment/Evaluation Criteria One key reason for students not achieving the marks that they are aiming for when writing essays is that they do not really understand quite what their examiner is expecting them to do. Content is the main criterion for assessment, but note can also be taken of presentation. Content is concerned with issues such as: ● Relevance of the answer to the question. ● Breadth of the essay ● Extent of background reading/knowledge. ● Understanding, structure and organization of material. ● Details of the information contained within the essay. ● Use of evidence and quality of argument. ● Critical analysis of material. ● Evidence of imagination, insight and synthesis. ● Appropriateness and accuracy of references. Presentation is concerned with issues such as: spelling, punctuation, grammar, writing style and legibility. ***********************************
Essay writing - a few tips Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 6:51:00 AM Rating: 5

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