Essay Writing

 

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ESSAY WRITING 

By MBANG Magellan (Lycée Joss)

Essay writing: How to write an essay

An essay is an attempt to write a composition on a given topic (subject) in a given period (time) using an estimated number of words. It has major components namely: the introduction, the body and the conclusion.

  1. The introduction: It's the first paragraph of an essay, it should be brief and give general idea on the chosen topic; clarity is required. The introduction depends on what the student wants to write on. Each topic has it own introduction. An introduction can be divided  into two parts all in one paragraph. In the first part, we are expected to define or explain the topic on which we are writing and this can be done in many ways. We then continue in the second part by giving or announcing our plan of action.

 

KINDS OF ESSAYS We dinstinguish the followings types of essays:

  1. The Narrative essay: The candidate here is expected to tell a story or to give account of the events of the past. The predominant tenses of this essay are the simple past tense and the past perfect. Ex The worst day of my life, My first day to school.
  2. Descriptive essay: Here, the candidate is expected to describe ( a person, a place, an animal or a thing) The predominant tense here is the simple present. There are intensive use of adverbs, adjectives in this type of essay.
  3. Discussion or Argumentative essay: Here, the candidate is expect to ''argue'', to test ability, reasons or to contradict a view point. It can be seen as a kind of debate (pros and cons). The candidate has to argue for or against a given point of view. Ex: Girls should not go to school, Science is harmful to mankind.
  4. Expository essay: here you have to deal with the defense of a point of view. You are called to tell why you like something or someone and then give arguments to support your point of view: Ex The job i like the most. The job i would like to do in the future.

 Qualities of a good essayA good essay should have the following qualities: clarity and simplicity, use of simple words that one can spell correctly, use of punctuation marks, articles, prepositions, capital letters, use of simple sentences, good handwriting, 

Writing INTRODUCTION: These words can be helpful for you when you want to write an essay especially when it's an argumentative essay.

  1. For the great majority of people...
  2. It is generally agreed/thought/believed that....
  3. Opinions are divided on the question...
  4. A problem that is generally debated is that of...
  5. It is customary (courant) to say that....
  6. People usually say that...
  7. It is often said/asserted (affirmé)/ claimed that....

 

BODY OF THE ESSAY

* Présenter un argument/un problème (thèse)

  1. First of all, as regards the question of...
  2. At first sight, it would seem that..
  3. The first question that arises is....
  4. The first thing thing that needs to be/must be/said is that

 * Présenter un point de vue différent

  1. On the other hand
  2. Another way of looking at this question is...
  3. We may now try/attempt to
  4. It may be asserted, however, that...
  5. The other side of the coin (le revers de la médaille), however, is that
  6. This brings us to another side of the question..
  7. Regarding/concerning
  8. According to

 

* Construire son paragraphe

  1. Several factors/arguments/reasons can me mentioned/put forward
  2. To begin with
  3. First and foremost
  4. First of all/fisrtly

 

* Présenter son point de vue:

  1. As far as i am concerned, i think/suppose that...
  2. In my opinion/view
  3. Speaking personally
  4. I cannot help thinking that
  5. I have the feeling that
  6. We are given the impression that
  7. I am well aware that
  8. It is my impression that..

 

*Pour ajouter des idées: Moreover, furthermore, In addition to that, we may as well mention the fact that, we must also remember that, It should also remembered that, It is well worth mentioning the fact that...added to that, what is more

* Pour donner des examples: For instance, namely (à savoir), That is to say, Such as, Including, There is a striking example, let us consider, Take the case of/the example of, one example/instance is enough to show/prove that

* Mettre en valeur des arguments et exprimer son accord

  1. Above all
  2. we must not forget that
  3. The facts speak for themselves
  4. we should bear in mind that(nous devons garder à l'esprit que)
  5. One has to emphasize the fact that
  6. Let us focus our attention on...
  7. there can be no doubt that
  8. By no means (en aucn cas)
  9. i would even go as far as to say (j'irai plus loin en disant que)
  10. most important of all)
  11. One must admit that
  12. We must acknowledge the fact that (nous devons reconnaitre le fait que)
  13. He is absolutely right in saying when he says
  14. Nothiing could be more true than
  15. I certainly go along (être d'accord) with this (

 

* Pour conclure:

  1. In conclusion/to conclude/we can come to the conclusion that
  2. One/we can conclude/come to the conclusion/it may be concluded that
  3. Last, but not least
  4. It's clear that....
  5. All things considered...
  6. For all these reasons
  7. All this goes to prove/show that
  8. By way of conclusion, one can say that...
  9. In brief
  10. We can conclude by saying that...
  11. In light of the evidence...
  12. Having considered some of the important arguments
  13. These examples suggest/demonstrate/ prove/ indicate

 

I- Writing a speech (Formal speech)

A speech is an essay we are writing for an audience and it can be spoken or read aloud. Parts of a speech: as part of a speech, we have: the heading, the stratified salutations or opening greeting, the introduction, the body and the conclusion.

a)The heading: Here you have to state: the occasion, the speaker, the date. Example: A speech is delivered or presented by the president of the English club this day 05th February 2010, on the occasion of the bilingualism day.
b) The stratified salutation or opening greeting: It consists of greeting the audience following and respecting the hierarchy (from the highest to the lowest). This can be presented either combined or separated. Ex: The divisional delegate, members of staff, ladies and gentlemen (this way is combined) The Divisional delegate  Members of staff  dear students Ladies and gentlemen (this is on the left side of the paper
c)The introduction: Its contains the feelings and the reasons. Ex. Today gives me a singular pleasure/It is my singular pleasure to talk to you about the importance of Bilingualism in our country on the occasion of the national Bilingualism day...
d)The body: It is written in paragraph and contains the message you want to give, the information that the audience is looking for. You have to use pronouns (personal), possessive adjectives, punctuations...
e)The conclusion: Its contains the warning, express of gratitude and recommandations
f)The closing greetings/The end wishes: It can be combined or separated and the stratified salutation should from the lowest to the highest.

 

Every speech or presentation has two main aspects:

  • WHAT you say (content)
  • HOW you say it (delivery)

 

Start with Your Strongest Points.

I regularly watch speakers ad-lib too much during the introduction, and rush through the most original, most thoughtful points that they had saved for the end. In rare cases — such as when you are facing a hostile audience, you might want to start out by emphasizing where you agree with your audience, and then carefully working your way towards your most divisive, most daring claims. But usually, you should come right out and make your strongest case first.

3) Determine Your Goals

Why are you delivering this oral presentation?
Be honest with yourself.  If your answer is “to get a good grade from my professor” or “because my boss told me to,” you need to be aware of that fact now, because your audience will certainly figure it out soon enough.
What does your audience want?
The needs of the audience are always important to a technical writer.  An oral presentation brings you into direct, face-to-face contact with that audience.

You obviously have a lot of control over the content, because you can plan out exactly what you want to say. But you can also do a lot to make sure your delivery is effective too. The advice that follows will help you deliver a powerful speech:

  • Remember that a listener usually only has one chance to understand what you are saying. So you must do everything you can to make it easy for him or her to follow your ideas.
  • The best way to do this is to “signpost” your speech. At the beginning, say how your speech will be divided up. During the speech, make it clear when one part has finished and the next part has started. (For example, “Now that I have explained some of the causes of air pollution, I want to tell you what we can do to reduce the problem.”) At the end of your speech, make it clear that you are finished (e.g. by simply saying “Thank you!”).
  • The most important parts of a speech are the beginning and the end. Think about a strong first sentence that will capture the attention of the listener. Be calm and confident; give the impression that you are well-prepared and have something interesting to say. End with a strong sentence: make people laugh or give them something provocative to think about.
  • Practise your speech before the big day. In particular it is useful to think about how and where you will stand/sit, and where you will put your materials before and after you have used them. Practise using your speech cards.
  • Be careful not to distract your listeners by swinging on a chair, tapping your feet etc.
  • It is useful to include visual material with your speech. For example, if you are talking about places, show a map. If you are using numbers, write them for all to see. (It’s very difficult for listeners to keep large or many numbers in their head.)
  • If you are going to have audience participation be very clear exactly what you want from them. If you ask a question, be ready for strange answers, and expect to have to answer it yourself.

 

                                                               SAMPLE OF SPEECH

        An address presented by Atangana Jules on the occasion of the national bilingualism day celebreation in GHS Joss this day, the 19th November 2008.

       The principal,
       The members of staff,
       Ladies and gentlemen,
       Dear students and classmates.

     Today gives me a singular pleasure to talk to you about the importance of being blilngual particulary in the century.
First and foremost, being bilingual does not only give a personal benefit, but it also provides many opportunities in our country.....
    In addition to that.... (you develop the second argument why being bilingual is a good thing)
     Finally, being bilingual is considered like a door to success and progress. So if you don't speak english, you will not succeed particularly in Cameroon, It is a factor that promotes personal and social development.
     I thank you for coming and paying attention on this special day.It is good that every body make an effort to learn how to speak english for it's the language ofr development, technology and business.
     Long live English club
     Long live GHS JOSS
     Long live Cameroon
 

Types of Speeches

  1. Informative speeches inform your audience about a topic, event, or area of knowledge.
  • Podcasting for Teens
  • Drinking Is for Dummies
  • The Underground Railroad

2.Instructional speeches provide information about how to do something.

  • How to Shape Perfect Eyebrows
  • Make a Great Bag Out of Old Clothing
  • How to Stand on Your Head

3. Persuasive speeches attempt to convince or persuade the audience.

  • Study Abroad is Life-Enhancing
  • Abstinence Can Save Your Life
  • Benefits of Volunteering

4. Entertaining speeches entertain your audience.

  • Life Is Like a Dirty Dorm
  • Can Potato Peels Predict the Future?
  • Marshmallows Should Be a Food Group

5.Special Occasion speeches entertain or inform your audience.

  • graduation speech
  • wedding toast
  • campaign speech

You can explore the different types of speeches and decide what speech type fits your assignment.

II-  Formal and informal lettres

1- The formal letter: It is written to an authority, writtend in a standard manner eg A letter of application. 

To write a letter of application, you have to : state the job you wish to apply for, stated your qualifications and experience, reasons why you are applying for the job, name and addresses of referees. this the format of the letter of application.

Receiver's address                                                                Writer's address

                                                                                         Date

  Dear M.....................................

1- Job you wish to apply for

2- Qualifications and experience

3- Reason(s) for applying

4- Name and address of referees 

Yours sincerely/Faithfully

Name and signature.

Example of a letter of application

Mr DUVAL DESCHAMPS                                                        Eric Martial NDOBO
Manager LAGOTEL                                                              PO BOX 939
P.O BOX 459                                                                     TEL 00237 45 54 55 66

                                                                                      16th May 2013

        Dear  Mr/Sir Duval, 

        I would like to apply for the post of receptionist advertised in the national herald tribune Monday, the 15th of April.

       I have rencently completed a year's training as a secretary and can type at 50 words per minutes and take shorthand at 100 words per minute. In addition to that, i am bilingual and i also have a year's experience in using computers and word processors. At present i am working as a doctor's receptionist.

     My reason for applying is because i wish to gain experiences in the hotel business and eventually have managerial responsibility. Everyone i know who has been a guest at Lagotel speaks very highly of it.

      The following have agreed to act as my referees:

-   The Mayor of Douala 1st Municipality

-   The general manager of sofitel

    I look forward to hearing from you. Should you wish to, please do not hesitate to contact me at home on the following number 00237 45 54 55 66

     Yours Sincerly

    Eric Martial NDOBO (plus your signature under the name)

 

12 votes. Moyenne 2.42 sur 5.

Commentaires (1)

1. Emboula fabrice jeudi, 28 Février 2013

Bonsoir plus de détaille

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