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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
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.
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
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
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:
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:
5. What forms of exposition are used in the following passages?
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
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
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.
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
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:
Cause and effect:
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:
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?
Hitler’s murder of
eight million Jews has given
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.
According to the
Wordsworth Encyclopedia, “Buddhism is
one of the great world religions, which originated in
“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
The purpose of this
paper is to provide an answer to the question “Who invented
invented whiskey to prevent the Irish from ruling the world, then who invented
Suggestions for developing an introduction:
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.
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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