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- Introduction: (Make your readers acquainted with the plot and characters)?
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A thesis must be complex enough that it would not be immediately obvious to a casual reader, but it must be simple enough that it can be stated in a relatively short amount of space. Are there any apparent tensions or contradictions within the text? If so, how might they be resolved?
How does the text engage with the major political or cultural ideas of the era in which it was written? How does the text challenge or undermine the dominant conventions of the genre in which it was written? These are just a few suggestions. Here are two examples of effective thesis statements:. By incorporating novelistic techniques—such as sustained imagery and character development—into a non-novelistic work, Alice Munro, in her short story collection Who Do You Think You Are?
It is neither a nationalist rallying cry nor an anti-nationalist cautionary tale. Rather it conveys profound ambivalence toward the Easter uprising. Let the structure of your argument determine the structure of your paper. In most cases, you will best serve your argument by deviating from the chronology of events in the text you are critiquing.
It is fully acceptable to pluck pertinent evidence from the beginning, middle, and end of a literary text and to use these disparate examples in the same paragraph. Sometimes you may be asked to provide a close reading of a given literary work. Often a close reading is structured the same way as any other English paper: you present a thesis and then defend it through detailed analysis of the text.
But occasionally, your professor might ask you to do a line-by-line or paragraph-by-paragraph reading of a poem, passage, or story. This is one of those rare instances in which a more sequential approach is appropriate. Opt for analysis instead of evaluative judgments. When writing a paper, focus on analyzing the work, not celebrating it. Instead of telling your reader that a given work is beautiful, lyrical, or timeless, focus on the ideas the text conveys and the ways it goes about conveying them. You may come across a line in a poem or novel that is so beautiful, or so sloppy, that you cannot resist commenting on it.
Often, particularly when you are analyzing a poem, it is tempting to assume that the author is also the narrator. This is usually not the case. Poetry, like the novel or short story, is a creative genre in which authors are free to inhabit the voice s of any character s they like. Most poems do not identify a narrator by name, but the fact that the speaker is unnamed does not necessarily imply that he or she stands in for the author.
Read around the subject and let your argument evolve.
Remember, the person doing the writing is the writer, and the person doing the speaking is the speaker. The comparison highlights the similarities between two or more similar objects while contrasting highlights the differences between two or more objects.
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Compare and contrast is arranged emphatically. Expository essay is used to inform, describe or explain a topic, using important facts and teaching reader about the topic. Mostly written in third-person , using "it", "he", "she", "they". Expository essay uses formal language to discuss someone or something. Examples of expository essays are: a medical or biological condition, social or technological process, life or character of a famous person. Writing of expository essay often consists of following next steps: organizing thoughts brainstorming , researching a topic, developing a thesis statement , writing the introduction, writing the body of essay, writing the conclusion.
Descriptive writing is characterized by sensory details, which appeal to the physical senses, and details that appeal to a reader's emotional, physical, or intellectual sensibilities. Determining the purpose, considering the audience, creating a dominant impression, using descriptive language, and organizing the description are the rhetorical choices to consider when using a description. A description is usually arranged spatially but can also be chronological or emphatic. The focus of a description is the scene.
Description uses tools such as denotative language, connotative language, figurative language , metaphor , and simile to arrive at a dominant impression. In the dialectic form of the essay, which is commonly used in philosophy , the writer makes a thesis and argument, then objects to their own argument with a counterargument , but then counters the counterargument with a final and novel argument.
This form benefits from presenting a broader perspective while countering a possible flaw that some may present. This type is sometimes called an ethics paper. An exemplification essay is characterized by a generalization and relevant, representative, and believable examples including anecdotes. Writers need to consider their subject, determine their purpose, consider their audience, decide on specific examples, and arrange all the parts together when writing an exemplification essay. An essayist writes a familiar essay if speaking to a single reader, writing about both themselves, and about particular subjects.
Anne Fadiman notes that "the genre's heyday was the early nineteenth century," and that its greatest exponent was Charles Lamb. A history essay sometimes referred to as a thesis essay describes an argument or claim about one or more historical events and supports that claim with evidence, arguments, and references.
Writing an A-Level English Literature Essay
The text makes it clear to the reader why the argument or claim is as such. A narrative uses tools such as flashbacks , flash-forwards , and transitions that often build to a climax. The focus of a narrative is the plot. When creating a narrative, authors must determine their purpose, consider their audience, establish their point of view, use dialogue, and organize the narrative. A narrative is usually arranged chronologically.
An argumentative essay is a critical piece of writing, aimed at presenting objective analysis of the subject matter, narrowed down to a single topic. The main idea of all the criticism is to provide an opinion either of positive or negative implication. As such, a critical essay requires research and analysis, strong internal logic and sharp structure.
Its structure normally builds around introduction with a topic's relevance and a thesis statement , body paragraphs with arguments linking back to the main thesis, and conclusion. In addition, an argumentative essay may include a refutation section where conflicting ideas are acknowledged, described, and criticized. Each argument of argumentative essay should be supported with sufficient evidence, relevant to the point.
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A process essay is used for an explanation of making or breaking something. Often, it is written in chronological order or numerical order to show step-by-step processes. It has all the qualities of a technical document with the only difference is that it is often written in descriptive mood , while a technical document is mostly in imperative mood.
The Basics: the Anatomy of a Good Essay - English and Related Literature, The University of York
An economic essay can start with a thesis, or it can start with a theme. It can take a narrative course and a descriptive course. It can even become an argumentative essay if the author feels the need. If the essay takes more of a narrative form then the author has to expose each aspect of the economic puzzle in a way that makes it clear and understandable for the reader.
A reflective essay is an analytical piece of writing in which the writer describes a real or imaginary scene, event, interaction, passing thought, memory, or form — adding a personal reflection on the meaning of the topic in the author's life. Thus, the focus is not merely descriptive. The writer doesn't just describe the situation, but revisits the scene with more detail and emotion to examine what went well, or reveal a need for additional learning — and may relate what transpired to the rest of the author's life. The logical progression and organizational structure of an essay can take many forms.
Understanding how the movement of thought is managed through an essay has a profound impact on its overall cogency and ability to impress. A number of alternative logical structures for essays have been visualized as diagrams, making them easy to implement or adapt in the construction of an argument.
In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom , essays have become a major part of a formal education in the form of free response questions. Secondary students in these countries are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and essays are often used by universities in these countries in selecting applicants see admissions essay. In both secondary and tertiary education, essays are used to judge the mastery and comprehension of the material.
Students are asked to explain, comment on, or assess a topic of study in the form of an essay. In some courses, university students must complete one or more essays over several weeks or months. In addition, in fields such as the humanities and social sciences, [ citation needed ] mid-term and end of term examinations often require students to write a short essay in two or three hours.
In these countries, so-called academic essays also called papers , are usually more formal than literary ones. Longer academic essays often with a word limit of between 2, and 5, words [ citation needed ] are often more discursive. They sometimes begin with a short summary analysis of what has previously been written on a topic, which is often called a literature review. Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic.
Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other supporting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others whether teachers or fellow scholars to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.
One of the challenges facing universities is that in some cases, students may submit essays purchased from an essay mill or "paper mill" as their own work. An "essay mill" is a ghostwriting service that sells pre-written essays to university and college students. Since plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty or academic fraud , universities and colleges may investigate papers they suspect are from an essay mill by using plagiarism detection software, which compares essays against a database of known mill essays and by orally testing students on the contents of their papers.
Essays often appear in magazines, especially magazines with an intellectual bent, such as The Atlantic and Harpers. Magazine and newspaper essays use many of the essay types described in the section on forms and styles e. Some newspapers also print essays in the op-ed section. Employment essays detailing experience in a certain occupational field are required when applying for some jobs, especially government jobs in the United States. Essays known as Knowledge Skills and Executive Core Qualifications are required when applying to certain US federal government positions. A KSA, or "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities," is a series of narrative statements that are required when applying to Federal government job openings in the United States.
KSAs are used along with resumes to determine who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job.
The knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the successful performance of a position are contained on each job vacancy announcement. KSAs are brief and focused essays about one's career and educational background that presumably qualify one to perform the duties of the position being applied for.
Like the KSAs, ECQs are used along with resumes to determine who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job. The Office of Personnel Management has established five executive core qualifications that all applicants seeking to enter the Senior Executive Service must demonstrate. A film essay or "cinematic essay" consists of the evolution of a theme or an idea rather than a plot per se, or the film literally being a cinematic accompaniment to a narrator reading an essay.
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