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STUDIES OF WRITTEN ENGLISH. In its broadest sense any meaningful piece of written prose marked for its unity, content and message may be called a composition
In its broadest sense any meaningful piece of written prose marked for its unity, content and message may be called a composition, that is a unit of written communication involving a writer, a message and a reader.
Between the sentence and the whole composition stands the paragraph. It is a composition in miniature because it meets the same requirement of unity, content andmessage (see "Studies of Written English" in Units One, Two, Three).
A group of paragraphs constitutes more complex compositions, such as essays, short stories, accounts, letters, class-compositions as a special exercise in written communication, etc.
Essay is a short prose composition (5—20 pages) on a particular subject. Usually it is of explanatory and argumentative nature (see "Studies" in Unit One). For instance, the passage "Teacher Training in Great Britain" (see Unit Five) as well as "Introducing London" (see Unit Three) is close to a formal essay. "What's Your Line" (see Unit One) and the first letter of Judy describing her college experience (see Unit Five) may be classed with informal essays on teaching.
Unity of essays is built up around the central idea. Any addition of unimportant details or afterthoughts destroy the unity.
Coherence is achieved through skilful arrangement of details according to the following rules: a) present your material from "the general to the particular"; b) try the order of enumeration, that is, arrange several points of view according to their importance, or interest, or order of happening; c) use key-words as connectives and transitions.
The following is a brief list of transitional words and phrases that help to connect paragraphs of an essay: on the one (other) hand, in the second place, on the contrary, at the same time, in paricular, in spite of this, in like manner, in contrast to this, in the meantime, of course, in conclusion to sum up, in addition, morepver, finally, after all, and truly, in other words.
Emphasis is achieved with the help оf concrete details. Avoid generalities and abstractions. Before writing an essay consider the following:
1. Study the materials about the topic.
2. Think of the main idea you are going to develop in your essay.
3. Write an informal essay "Looking at the Map of Russia."
4. Make a plan (topic plan, sentence plan, paragraph plan).
5. Develop the paragraph plan into an essay according to the rules of unity, coherence and emphasis.
6. Go over the essay for "self-editing" purpose and see if it meets the main requirement of good writing — clarity of communication.
1. Маke an outline of the passage "The British Isles" and analyse it from the point of view of its unity, coherence and emphasis.
2. Write a formal essay "Looking at the Map of the British Isles" according to your own plan.
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