A. INTRODUCTION TO ESSAY WRITING IN GENERAL
Essay writing may be viewed as a full length composition or as an expanded paragraph. Because of its greater length, an essay can develop a broader argument than a paragraph. It can also present more support. An essay gives a writer the space to develop an argument fully. Thus, an essay is generally used to develop a broad topic that cannot be discussed in one single paragraph.
An essay which is also called a theme, paper, or composition is like a paragraph in many ways. Both paragraphs and essays are purposeful, reader- centered, orderly, unified, coherent, and correct. Thus, before writing an essay you should ideally decide your purpose, determine your audience and write about the familiar only.
1. Thesis Statement
The differences between a paragraph and an essay lie in their length, form, idea and proof.
A paragraph: An essay:
- usually consists of approximately 150 words - more or less 500 words.
- consists of just one paragraph - consists of several paragraph .
- the idea lies in the topic sentence - the idea lies in the statement
- supporting sentences more
Oshima(1981 : 77) and Langan (1986 : 10) have divided an essay into at least three main parts namely an introduction, body and conclusion.
2. The Introductory Paragraph
The introduction of an essay should start with several sentences that attract the reader’s interest. It should then advance the central idea or thesis that will be developed in the essay. Part of the thesis may include a plan of development a preview of the major points that will be support the thesis. These supporting points should be listed in the order in which they will appear in the essay. In some cases, the plan of development is presented in a sentence separate from the thesis; in other cases, it is omitted.
3. The Body
Some essays have at least two supporting points, developed at length over two separate paragraphs and called the body. Each of the supporting paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence that state the point to be detailed in that paragraph. Just as the thesis provides a focus for the entire essay, the topic sentence provides a focus for each supporting paragraph.
4. The Concluding Paragraph
Plan of Development (optional)
The concluding paragraph often summarizes the essay by restating briefly the thesis and at times, the main supporting points of the essay. In addition, a concluding thought about the subject of the essay is presented.
Langan (1986: 55) has proposed 5 steps in essay writing as follows:
(1) Start an essay with a point or thesis.
(2) Support that point or thesis with deliberation, argument or specific evidence
(3) Organize an connect the deliberation in the body paragraphs
(4) Begin and end the essay with effective introductory and concluding paragraphs
(5) Write clear, free error sentences.
Since an essay longer and more complex than a paragraph, it is important to organize your thoughts and to plan your essay before you begin to write. The best way to do this is to make an outline. The principles and techniques that you have already learned for paragraph outlining can be applied to essays.
The only additional element is the numbering of each paragraph with Roman numerals. Example of a five paragraph essay outlining is provided by Oshima (1981: 8687) as follows:
The advantages and Disadvantages of living in the Twentieth Century.
I. Thesis Statement :
Living in the twentieth century offers certain advantages, such as a higher standard of living, but it also has some disadvantages, such as a polluted environment, the depersonalization of human relationships, and the weakening of spiritual value.
II. Body 1 :
The biggest advantages of living in the twentieth century is the high standard of living we enjoy.
A. More money for less hard work.
1. More office workers than manual labourers.
2. Higher salary
3. Increased government services.
a. Social security
b. Unemployment benefits
c. disability insurance
B. Longer life expectancy.
1. Better medical care
a. More hospitals, doctors, nurses
b. advances in medical technology
2. Improved nutrition
3. More leisure time
C. Modern conveniences.
b. Radio and television
2. Labour - saving machine in the home
b. Washing machine
c. Vacuum cleaner
3. Faster transportation.
Body 2 :
One of the main disadvantages of living in the twentieth century is that we are living in an increasingly polluted environment.
A. Air pollution
2. Nuclear fallout
B. Water pollution
1. Chemical wastes from factories
a. Dead fish
b. Contaminated drinking water supplies
2. Raw sewage from cities
3. Oil spills from ships
Body 3 :
A second disadvantage of living in the twentieth century is the depersonalization of human relationships.
A. People and machines.
1. Automated vending machines, bank, etc.
2. Tape recorded telephone answering
3. Computerize dating services.
B. People and numbers.
1. Social security numbers
2. Credit card numbers.
Body 4 :
The final disadvantage of living in the twentieth century is the weakening of spiritual values.
A. Materialistic culture
B. Faith in science instead of in religion.
III. Conclusion :
In conclusion, although the twentieth century has indeed given us a lot of advantages by making us richer, healthier and freer to enjoy our lives, it has, in my opinion not made us wiser. The twentieth century has also made our earth dirtier, our people less humane, and our spiritual lives poorer. We should continue to the benefit of technological advancements because they free us to pursue our interests and goals.
B. DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS
A descriptive essay is the one that describes of a person, place or object. When you describe someone or something, do it as vivid and as real as possible. You can do it by observing and recording specific details of a person, place or object that attract to your readers’ senses. Compare the following sentence :
1. In the window we a fan.
2. The blades of the rusty window fan clattered and whirled as they blew out a Stream of warm, soggy air.
In sentence 1 almost none of the senses is involved. In sentence 2 there are three different senses are involved. They are “sight,” (rusty window fan, whirled), “hearing,”
(clattered) and “touch,”(warm, soggy air).