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Issues specific to different types of writing

grammar

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DOCUMENTE SIMILARE

Trimite pe Messenger
SENTENCE IN THE TEXT
Negation - Forming negative statements
Present Tenses
Selecting focus: cleft sentences
GRAMMAR IN THE SYSTEMIC CONCEPTION OF LANGUAGE
Changing Times, Changing Tenses
Pronunciation guide
SIMPLE SENTENCE: CONSTITUENT STRUCTURE
WAYS OF EXPRESSING FUTURE
VERB: ASPECT

Issues specific to different types of writing:

 

1. the essay

1.    Identify the structure and basic elements of the following essay and render them in the form of a diagram:

Illegal Immigrants: A Better Approach

Complaints about illegal immigrants have been increasing in the past few years. Thousands regularly stream across the southern border of the United States, some fleeing political repression and others fleeing economic hardship. Our current immigration and visa policies offer some relief for these immigrants, but these inadequate policies now exist alongside several other unsatisfactory and sometimes illegal solutions.

      Current policies for granting visas permit entry to the Unites States for several purposes but do not address the problems of most illegal immigrants. A limited number of visas for purposes of immigration are available each year, with most going to persons who have waited for years to gain permission for entry or to persons who have critically needed professional and technical skills. Other visas are issued to students who have been accepted into study programs at American universities. Still other visas are issued to tourists and diplomats. A small number are issued to persons designated refugees, who are undeniably in danger of political repression and possible imprisonment or death for their political views. Judging from newspaper reports, however, most illegal aliens do not qualify as refugees, nor do they have sufficient money or education to qualify for student or tourist visas. Their suffering and poverty need immediate relief – they do not have time to wait in the long queues for immigrant visas, which can take years rather than a few weeks.

      In response to the problem of large numbers of illegal immigrants, several unsatisfactory solutions are at hand or are already being applied. One solution has been the forming of the “sanctuary movement,” which involves groups of Americans illegally giving aid and shelter to the immigrants. Forced repatriation is also being tried, but as the U>S> border patrol rounds up the aliens and sends them back, they simply return a few days later, and the numbers of those entering the country illegally has reached such proportions that the border patrol force is overwhelmed. Another possible solution is the addition of physical barriers to the border. That solution, however, could result in a national image that would do more damage than good, and comparisons to the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall would undoubtedly appear prominently in world media.

      Though no solution will apparently be ideal, it should be possible to develop a new visa system that would ease the problem. Would-be immigrants who are poor and uneducated and who are clearly subject to severe economic or political problems could be granted temporary visas and be restricted to certain agricultural or industrial areas where they could find employment at wages below our national standards but higher than the standards in they home countries. Perhaps some of the technical jobs that our manufacturers have “exported” could return in this way. After a certain period, the immigrants could be repatriated. The nation would benefit by having a source of less expensive labour, and the aliens’ needs for temporary economic or political shelter would be met.


A. Types of Writing

1.    Try to pair off the following instructional verbs with the definitions provided alongside them:

·              Account for        give reasons; say ‘why’ rather than just define

·              Analyse               write down the information in the right order

·              Comment on       item-by-item consideration of the topic, usually presented one under the other

·              Compare             point out difference only and present result in orderly fashion

·              Contrast              estimate the value of, looking at positive and negative attributes

·              Describe              elect features according to the question

·                            Discuss               present arguments for and against the topic in question; you can also give your opinion

·              Evaluate              explain the cause of

·              Explain               make critical or explanatory notes/observations

·              Identify              state the main features of an argument, omitting all that is only partially relevant

·                            List                     give the main features or general features of a subject, omitting minor details and stressing structure

·              Outline                make a survey of the subject, examining it critically

·              Review               point out the differences and similarities

·              Summarize                      separate down into component parts and show how they interrelate with each other

2.    Which types of writing are employed in the following passages? Remember that the four main types on nonfiction prose are: narration, description, exposition and argumentation.

a)      Documentary photographers at the turn of the century frequently turned their attention to persuading society of the necessity of providing for the poor. Typical of them was Jacob Riis. His photographs of Baxter Street Alley in 1888 shows tenements on either side of the narrow passage, crowding so close as to shut out the daylight. On one side the tenements are brick and on the other wood, but they appear rickety and squalid. Bags of rags and bones and paper are stacked in the alley. A small child stands beside the bags, in front of a pile of scrap wood she apparently has gathered for food.

b)      The stronger the personal identification of a top business executive to his football past, the more violent his antipathy to women managers is apt to be. He will be so convinced business (management-football) is the apogee of a man’s game (great men against great men) that he will feel that women are positively unqualified to compete against the strongest, most powerful, best-trained men in the world. Such affectations are managerial daydreams, of course, because the game of business is not a literal physical clash between male brutes. It is a symbol, a computer model, a paper game, a psychological contest. Competitive large-scale business does resemble football contests, but the business game is mental competition – it’s played in the head not the stadium. Not a single technique needed for the game is inherited or inborn – the talents, mental agility, abilities, attitudes are learned. Men teach them to each other but adamantly refuse to teach them to women. Too bad about them; women are smart enough to teach themselves, and their practice field can be everyday situations confronted on every job.

c)      Mrs. O’C was somewhat deaf, but otherwise in good health. She lived in an old people’s home. One night, in January 1979, she dreamed vividly, nostalgically, of her childhood in Ireland, and especially of the songs they danced to and sang. When she woke up, the music was still going, very loud and clear. ‘I must still be dreaming,’ she thought, but this was not so. She got up, roused and puzzled. It was the middle of the night. Someone, she assumed, must have left a radio playing. But why was she the only person to be disturbed by it?

d)     Nationalism is an amalgam of two elements; an ideology embroidered about the idea of nationality, and the political institutionalization of that ideology into the national state. The strength of nationalism rests on a consensus of national unity which may stem from race, language, common history and experiences, religion, territory, or other interests. The national state, reflecting the political and social organization of the individuals which comprise it and having coercive power over them, claims, in their name, sovereignty over the territory in which they live.

3.    Identify the narrative patterns and vocabulary employed in the following essay:

The French Foreign Legion was founded by a Royal Ordinance, written on a small piece of official French War Office notepaper dated March 9th, a831, and signed by the then reigning monarch of France, Louis-Philippe. He had been on the throne for barely eight months when he authorized this measure, which was as much a product of necessity as of careful planning, although there may be divided views about this.

      The reasons for forming the French Foreign Legion were probably twofold. In the first place the men of the disbanded royal bodyguard and the Regiment of Hohenlohe, suddenly turned loose on to the street of a capital seething with unrest, unemployed and perhaps disgruntled at their abrupt dismissal, were a potentially dangerous element. They were trained to the use of arms, and should they become tools of the politically ambitious or discontented they would present a distinct menace to the new regime, not yet too firmly established and sure of itself.

      For some time Paris had been swarming with countless other discharged foreign soldiers who had served in the French army at various times under the Empire and the Republic, many of whom were in needy circumstances and open to suggestion, whilst others were openly looking for trouble and always ready to take part in any disturbance. It was clearly both expedient and desirable to remove these dangers as far away from the capital as possible.

      Next, the Algerian adventure had begun, and it appeared that this might prove expensive in lives. The more Frenchmen killed in North Africa, the less popular the government at home would be, so if foreign cannon folder was available sp much the better. The Algerian landing had been viewed with mixed feelings in a politically divided France, but there does not seem to have been any marked indication on the part of the politicians that they were unanimous that the occupation should be abruptly terminated; most were wary and many apprehensive as to how the Algerian business would turn out.

      The formation of a foreign legion seemed therefore to be an ideal method of killing these two birds with one stone. Once the conditions were made clear there does not seem to have been any serious opposition.

Some suggestions for using narration effectively:

·              Identify the idea or feeling you wish to convey through your narrative

·              Arrange the narrative events chronologically, selecting the details that will reinforce that idea or feeling

·              Include only those other details that you need to make the narrative credible

·              Determine whether you can gain greater impact by rearranging the chronology, perhaps placing the most important or interesting episode at the beginning or at the end

·              Revise to cut irrelevant detail, select the most appropriate detail, and arrive at the most effective order

  1. Identify the dominant impression (i.e. attitude, image, or feeling that the author has about his topic) and the perspective employed in the following excerpts using description:

a)      Oxford has been ruined by the motor industry. The peace which Oxford once knew, and which a great university city should always have, has been swept ruthlessly away; and no benefactions and research endowments can make up for the change in character which the city has suffered. At six in the morning the old courts shake to the roar of buses taking the next shift to Cowley and Pressed Steel; great lorries with a double deck cargo of cars for export lumber past Magdalen and the University Church. Loads of motor-engines are hurried hither and thither and the streets are thronged with a population which has no interest in learning and knows no studies beyond servo-systems and distributors, compression ratios and camshafts.

b)      An earthquake comes like a thief in the night, without warning. It was necessary, therefore, to invent instruments that neither slumbered nor slept. Some devices were quite simple. One, for instance, consisted of rods of various lengths and thicknesses, which stand up on end like ninepins. When a shock came it shook the rigid table upon which these stood. If it were gentle, only the more unstable rods fell. If it were severe, they all fell. Thus the rods by falling, and by the direction in which they fell, recorded for the slumbering scientist the strength of a shock that was too weak to waken him and the direction from which it came.

c)      Then the cannons of the anchored warships thundered a salute to which the Vasa fired in reply. As she emerged from her drifting cloud of gun smoke with the water churned to foam beneath her bow, her flags flying, pennants waving, sails filling in the breeze, and the red and gold of her superstructure ablaze with colour, she presented a more majestic spectacle than Stockholmers had ever seen before. All gun-ports were open and the muzzles peeped wickedly from them.

Some suggestions for developing an effective description:

·              Determine the purpose of the description

·              Determine the dominant impression you want to create, and select details that will reinforce that impression

·              Draw details from the other senses – hearing, smell, taste, and touch – in addition to sight

5.    What forms of exposition are used in the following passages?

a)      Volcanoes, waterfalls, battle scenes, rescues on horseback, amazing transformations – all were done often on the stages of the nineteenth century. But the questions of how – and of how well – are more difficult to answer. Certainly the handling of scenic effects was often crude and blundering. A Philadelphia manager famous for his dramatic spectacles almost failed once when a gauze representing rain fell properly on the stage, but had to be removed by drawing it up again. The sight of rain rising offended the audience’s sense of reality, but, impressed with the other scenery, they chose to be amused rather than angered. The failure of Vesuvius to erupt on cue, however, totally ruined a lavish production of The Last Days of Pompeii. The stage manager ordered the curtain down and managed to get the eruption going, but by the time the curtain was reopened the disappointed audience, already leaving the theatre, saw only the last sputters of the cataclysm.

b)      In a wooded country you will not take the time to fool with tent-poles. A stout line run through the eyelets and along the apex will string it successfully between your two trees. Draw the line as tight as possible, but do not be too unhappy if, after your best efforts, it still sags a little. That is what your long crotched stick is for. Stake out your four corners. If you get them in a good rectangle and in such relation to the apex as to form two isosceles triangles of the ends, your tent will stand smoothly. Therefore, be an artist and do it right. Once the four corners are well placed, the rest follows naturally. Occasionally in the North Country it will be found that the soil is too thin, over the rocks, to grip the tent-pegs. In that case drive them at a sharp angle as deep as they will go,  and then lay a large flat stone across the slant of them. Thus anchored, you will ride out a gale. Finally, wedge your long sapling crotch under the line – outside the tent, of course – to tighten it. Your shelter is up. If you are a woodsman, ten or fifteen minutes has sufficed to accomplish all this.

c)      Two main techniques have been used for training elephants, which we may call respectively the tough and the gentle. The former method simply consists of setting an elephant to work and beating him until he does what is expected of him. Apart from any moral considerations this is a stupid method of training, for it produces a resentful animal who at a later stage may well turn man-killer. The gentle method requires more patience in the early stages, but produces a cheerful, good-tempered elephant who will give many years of loyal service.

d)     We think of males as large and powerful, females as smaller and weaker, but the opposite pattern prevails throughout nature – males are generally smaller than females, and for good reason, humans and most other mammals notwithstanding. Sperm is small and cheap, easily manufactured in large quantities by little creatures. A sperm cell is little more than a nucleus of naked DNA with a delivery system. Eggs, on the other hand, must be larger, for they provide the cytoplast (all the rest of the cell) with mitochondria (or energy factories), chloroplasts (for photosynthesizers), and all other parts that a zygote needs to begin the process of embryonic growth. In addition, eggs generally supply the initial nutriment, or food for the developing embryo. Finally, females usually perform the tasks of primary care, either retaining the eggs within their bodies for a time or guarding them after they are laid. For all these reasons, females are larger than males in most species of animals.

e)      If a nation is essentially disunited, it is left to the government to hold it together. This increases the expense of government, and reduces correspondingly the amount of economic resources that could be used for developing the country. Where the cost of government is high, resources for development are correspondingly low. This may be illustrated by comparing the position of a nation with that of a private business enterprise. An enterprise has to incur certain costs and expenses in order to stay in business. For our purposes, we are concerned only with one kind of cost – the cost of managing and administering the business. Such administrative overhead in a business is analogous to the cost of government in a nation. The administrative overhead of a business is low to the extent that everyone working in the business can be trusted to behave in a way that best promotes the interests of the firm. If they can each be trusted to take such responsibilities, and to exercise such initiative as falls within their sphere, then administrative overhead will be low. It will be low because it will be necessary to have only one man looking after each job, without having another man to check upon what he is doing, keep him in a line, and report on him to someone else. But if no one can be trusted to act in a loyal and responsible manner towards his job, then the business will require armies of administrators, checkers, and foremen, and administration overhead will rise correspondingly; and the business will have less money to distribute as dividends or invest directly in its future progress and development.

f)       There are three main stages to Yeats’s development as a poet. The first phase, when he was associated both with the Aesthetic movement of the 1890s and the Celtic Twilight, is characterised by a self-conscious Romanticism. The poetry is sometimes based on Irish myth and folklore and has a mystical, dream-like quality to it. The second main phase of Yeats’s poetic career was dominated by his commitment to Irish nationalism, and it was Irish nationalism which first sent Yeats in search of a consistently simpler, popular and more accessible style. As Yeats became more and more involved in public nationalist issues, so his poetry became more public and concerned with issues of the modern Irish state. In the final phase of his career, Yeats reconciles elements from both his earlier periods, fusing them into a mature lyricism. The poetry is less public and more personal. He develops his theories of contraries and of the progression that can result from reconciling them. The later poems explore contrasts between physical and spiritual dimensions to life, between sensuality and rationality, between turbulence and calm.

g)      Gothic was originally a term of abuse hurled at the architecture of the Middle Ages by a pupil of Michelangelo whose object was to advance the interests of the “new” style (now known as Renaissance) at the expense of the old. The style he wrongly termed Gothic actually began in twelfth-century France and flourished over much of Europe, especially the north, for the following four centuries. It is now used to describe a splendid, soaring style typified by the pointed arches and rose windows of cathedrals, and found repeated in miniature on much of the furniture that has survived.

h)      Rising air, like air flowing toward a low, moves spirally in a counterclockwise manner, thereby causing extremely low pressure in the centre of the rising column. The lower the pressure, the stronger the winds, the greater the gyratory action in the updraft and the more intense the low pressure becomes. The lowering pressure cools the air rapidly to below the dew point; as a result, a cloud develops in conformity with this chimney of low pressure; hence, the characteristic funnel-shaped cloud . . . . The very low pressure causes buildings to explode when the funnel cloud reaches the ground, and the terrific velocities of the wind – perhaps as great as 500 miles per hour – usually prostrate every standing object in the tornadoe’s path.


Tasks required by different types of exposition:

Exemplification: 

·              give your readers enough evidence to convince them of the reasonableness of your general observation or main idea

·              use specific details

Process analysis:

·              present steps in a clear order, indicating when a  particular order is essential

·              to make the process simple to follow, organize the many small steps involved in the process into a few main steps

·              define any technical terminology that may be unfamiliar to your audience

Comparison/Contrast:

·              identify points of comparison (the similarities)

·              identify points of contrast (the differences)

·              determine the points you wish to emphasize

·              choose an order of discussion (treat all of topic A, then all of topic B, or use alternating treatments of A and B)

·              arrange the material to highlight the most significant similarities or differences at the beginning or at the end of your discussion

Analogy:

·              decide on the impression you wish to give your audience about your subject

·              think of another subject that lends itself to a comparison with your subject

·              find areas of likeness between the two subjects

·              draw the comparison between the subjects

Classification:

·              determine the group of items to be classified

·              choose the classification basis most useful to your audience

·              verify if the categories of the classification system are mutually exclusive

·              verify if all items in the group can fit into the classification

Definition:

·              whether you use narration, analogy, or any other means of development in conjunction with definition, you must at some point state term, class, and differentia

·              see that your definition is sufficiently elaborate, that the term you are defining is clearly distinguished from other terms in the same class

Cause and effect:

·              verify if the cause and effect relationship indeed exists

·              identify the cause as contributing or sufficient

·              provide supporting evidence by using narration, description, or another appropriate means of development

·              if using an analogy for clarification, do not mistake it for supporting evidence


6.    Read the following essay and identify the principles and techniques of its argument:

I am always amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between the nations, and that if only the common peoples of the world could meet one another at football or cricket, they would have no inclination to meet on the battle field. Even if one didn’t know from concrete examples (the 1936 Olympic Games, for instance) that international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred, one could deduce it from general principles.

      Nearly all the sports practised nowadays are competitive. You play to win, and the game has little meaning unless you do your utmost to win. On the village green, where you pick up sides and no feeling of local patriotism is involved, it is possible to play simply for the fun and exercise: but as soon as the question of prestige arises, as soon as you feel that you and some larger unit will be disgraced it you lose, the most savage combative instincts are aroused. Anyone who has played even in a school football match knows this. At the international level sport is frankly mimic warfare. But the significant thing is not the behaviour of the players but the attitude of the spectators: and, behind the spectators, of the nations who work themselves into furies over these absurd contests, and seriously believe – at any rate for short periods – that running, jumping and kicking a ball are tests of national virtue.

Principles and techniques of argumentation:

·              Using generalisations formed through inductive reasoning:

·              Using authority for support

·              Using positive, not negative, support

·              Using specific evidence

·              Using cause and effect

·              Considering the alternatives

·              Arguing objectively

7.    What logical fallacies are present in the following examples?

a)      Penal reform is necessary because of prison corruption, which shows the need for prison reform.

b)      If teachers cannot fix the problems in schools they should stay out of the debate altogether.

c)      Why are men more aggressive than women?

d)     This action is wrong because it is immoral.

e)      Art courses should be required in secondary schools because there is no reason that they should not be.

f)       Never trust anyone over thirty.

g)      Thirty Xerox photocopiers gave clear reproductions when tested. This thirty-first one, therefore, will make clear reproductions.

h)      As more women have joined the work force, juvenile crime has increased. If mothers would stay home where they belong, the crime rate would drop.


B. Introductions and conclusions

1.    How do the following essay introductions compare? Which of each pair do you consider to be more effective?


a)      Hitler’s murder of eight million  Jews has given West Germany a legacy of guilt evident in some of its major foreign policies.

Hitler’s murder of eight million Jews – one more chapter in the long history of man’s inhumanity to man – has given modern West Germany, like some other nations, a legacy of guilt that is evident in some of its major foreign policies.



b)      Practically since the beginning of time the “generation gap” has constantly opposed the young and the older people. But the two groups are alike, because the only  difference between an old man  and a young man is that the young man has a glorious future before him and the old one has a splendid future behind him.


People are always talking about ‘the problem of youth’. If there is one – which I take leave to doubt – then it is older people who create it, not the young themselves. Let us get down to fundamentals and agree that the young are after all human beings – people just like their elders. There is only one difference between an old man and a young one: the young man has a glorious future before him and the old one has a splendid future behind him: and maybe that is where the rub is.



c)      Nature, like great art, is likely to induce an intense aesthetic experience, to suggest a world beyond which can seldom be described in words: for language, which was invented to convey the meanings of this world, cannot readily be fitted to the uses of another.


A young man sees a sunset and, unable to understand or to express the emotion that it rouses in him, concludes that is must be the gateway to a world that lies beyond. It is difficult for any of us in moments of intense aesthetic experience to resist the suggestion that we are catching a glimpse from a different realm of existence, different and, because the experience is intensely moving, in some way greater than we can describe; for language, which was invented to convey the meanings of this world, cannot readily be fitted to the uses of another. That all great art has this power of suggesting a world beyond is undeniable, but in some moods Nature shares it.



d)     According to the Wordsworth Encyclopedia, “Buddhism  is one of the great world religions, which originated in India about 500 BC”. The founder of Buddhism was Siddharth Gautama. On his 35th birthday, after a night of transcending revelations, he awakened “Buddha”, the Enlightened One, and he set out for himself the mission to impart the secret of enlightenment to all who desire salvation.


“Let my skin wither, my hands grow numb, my bones dissolve; until I have attained understanding I will not rise from here.” Dusk had come , and the resolute prince – the day was his 35th birthday – sat down cross-legged and began to meditate through the watches of the night. And when he finally rose, there arose with him a new religion. For he was Siddharth Gautama and the understanding he attained in a night of transcending revelations made him Buddha, “awakened” – the Enlightened One. Out of the mission he then set for himself – to impart the secret of enlightenment to all who desire salvation – came the faith we call Buddhism.



e)      Alcohol consumption is the cause of many car accidents.


Fully half the fatal automobile accidents in England involve a drunk driver, according to the State Division of Motor Vehicles.



f)       The purpose of this paper is to provide an answer to the question “Who invented Ireland?”.

If God invented whiskey to prevent the Irish from ruling the world, then who invented Ireland?


Suggestions for developing an introduction:

·              Open with the thesis statement

·              Open with a broad statement

·              Open with a scene-setter

·              Open with a quotation

·              Open with an anecdote

·              Open with a statistic or fact

  1. The most commonly employed means of concluding essays are: the summary, the prediction, the question, the recommendation (s), the quotation.  Which of these methods are made use of in the following excerpts?

a)      The children of Dolphu and Wangri are learning that the sabu – snow leopard – is worth more to them alive than as a pelt for barter. As they come of age and take their places in village concerns, they could become the most effective guardians of their national treasure, keeping the scow leopards of the Langu a safe distance from the edge of extinction.

b)      Trust, then, open trust has nothing to do with expecting or doing specific, predetermined things in marriage, but rather with sharing the knowledge of your immediate desires and needs with your mate, living for now and not for yesterday or tomorrow, living not the life that somebody else has laid out for you in terms of role expectations, living instead for your own self through share communication and growth with your mate’s self. Trust then is freedom to assume responsibility for your own self first and then to share that human self in love with your partner in a marriage that places no restrictions upon growth or limits on fulfilment.

c)      It is clear from the examples above that the state is spending far more on highways than it is on education. Most residents will be glad to have efficient road systems for getting to and from work as well as for easy access to recreation areas. However, if current spending trends continue, the question that voters will have to answer is, “Do I want to be on the same highway with functionally illiterate drivers?”

d)     We cannot produce responsible persons until we help them uncover the I’M NOT OK  - YOU’RE OK position which underlies the complicated and destructive games they play. Once we understand position and games, freedom of response begins to emerge as a real possibility. As long as people are bound by the past, they are not free to respond to the needs and aspirations of others in the present; and “to say that we are free,” says Will Durant, “is merely to mean that we know what we are doing.

e)      Afterwards one can choose – not simply accept – the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one’s words are likely to make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally. But one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:

a.       Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech, which you are used to seeing in print.

b.      Never use a long word where a short one will do.

c.       If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

d.      Never use the passive where you can use the active.

e.       Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

f.       Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable.

D. Round-Up

1. Select a 2,000-word essay you have already written and revise it in accordance to the guide-lines of essay writing. Present both versions and a short list of personal comments on any changes you have made to the original.

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