Instructor: Mrs. Bedoor Al-Abdul Mohsen

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Mrs. Bedoor Al-Abdul Mohsen

Writing 4

Supplementary Booklet

Spring 2012

Punctuating Titles
It's the big and little trick... Big things and things that can stand on their own, like books, are underlined. Little things that are dependent or that come as part of a group, like chapters, are put into quotation marks.

For example: The Sweet Escape, by Gwen Stefani, includes the song "Wind It Up."

Punctuating Titles of Works of Art
Creating a work of art is an enormous task, isn't it? For that reason, you can think of art as a big accomplishment. Okay, that might sound corny, but it will help you remember! Individual works of art like paintings and sculptures are underlined or italicized:
Michelangelo's David Mona Lisa The Last Supper The Pieta
Note: A photograph, which is much smaller than a work of art, is placed in quotation marks!

Titles to Underline
A novel A Play A Film A painting A sculpture or statue
A CD A TV Series An encyclopedia A drawing
A magazine A newspaper A Pamphlet

Titles to Put Into Quotation Marks
Poem Short story A skit A commercial
An individual show in a TV series (like "The Soup Nazi" on Seinfeld)
A commercial A chapter An article A newspaper story A ship

More Tips on Punctuating Titles
Some titles are merely capitalized and not given additional punctuation. These include:

Religious works, like The Bible or The Quran Buildings Monuments

Thesis Statements & Parallelism
u The thesis statement is the most important sentence in the introduction. It states the specific topic of the essay. Examples:
F Native Americans have made many valuable contributions to modern U.S. culture.
u Sometimes a thesis statement lists the subtopics that will be discussed in the body. Examples:
F Native Americans have made many valuable contributions to modern U.S. culture, particularly in the areas of language, art, food, and government.
u A colon (:) is often useful before lists of two, three, or more subtopics in a thesis statement. Examples:
F Young people in my culture have less freedom than young people in the United States in three areas: where they live, whom they marry, and what their job is.

uSometimes a thesis statement also indicates the pattern of organization that the essay will follow. Which of the following thesis statements indicates chronological order? Comparison/Contrast?

F There are several differences between a nurse practitioner and a physician's assistant.

F My best friend and I spent an entire summer constructing a tree house in my grandmother's old apple tree.


Parallelism is an important element in English writing, especially when you are list­ing and comparing and contrasting items or ideas. Parallelism means that each item in a list or comparison follows the same grammatical pattern. If you are writing a list and the first item in your list is a noun, write all the following items as nouns also. If the first item is an -ing word, make all the others -ing words; if it is an adverb clause, make all the others adverb clauses.

L Not Parallel: My English conversation class is made up of Chinese, Spaniards, and some are from Bosnia. J Parallel: My English conversation class is made up of Chinese, Spaniards, and Bosnians. (all nouns.)

L Not Parallel: The students who do well attend class, they do their homework, and practice speaking in English. J Parallel: The students who do well attend class, do their homework, and practice speaking in English. (all verbs + complements.)

L Not Parallel: The teacher wanted to know which country we came from and our future goals. J Parallel: The teacher wanted to know which country we came from and what our future goals were. (both noun clauses.)

L Not Parallel: The language skills of the students in the evening classes are the same as the day classes. J Parallel: The language skills of the students in the evening classes are the same as the language skills of the students in the day classes.

Exercise (Thesis Statement)

Write a well developed thesis statement for the following topics:

u Some people prefer to eat at food stands or restaurants. Other people prefer to prepare and eat food at home. Which do you prefer?

v Neighbors are the people who live near us. In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good neighbor?

Exercise (Parallelism)

Rewrite the following sentences in parallel form. Underline the part of the sentence that is not parallel and correct it.

  1. The disadvantages of using a credit card are overspending and you pay high interest rates.

  2. Credit cards are accepted by department stores, airlines, and they can be used in some gas stations.

Complete the following thesis statements by adding subtopics to them. Be sure to check your sentences for parallel form.

F A computer is necessary for college students for three reasons: .....................

F To survive a major disaster such as an earthquake requires.....................

Introductions & Conclusions

 Types of Introductory Paragraphs œ

1. Background Information Introduction Presents background on the topic that slowly leads up to the thesis. For example:

Over the past fifty years, the concept of success for many Chinese women has changed dramatically. Earlier in this century, a woman was successful if she was a respectful daughter-in-law, a dutiful wife, and a responsible mother. That is, a successful woman was one who did what her mother-in-law wished, kept a clean house, and took very good care of her children. However, success today for a Chinese woman has a different meaning. Now success means working outside the home and achieving a status in society equal to that of men.

2. Quotation Introduction Must be directly related to the main idea of the essay; it can be from reading that you have done to prepare for your essay or it can be from a well-known saying, an appropriate remark from a famous person, or a line from a song or a poem.

In an effort to create the right environment for students, educators constantly propose new ways to educate students. Some people, such as William O’connor, insist: “we have no inferior education in our schools; what we have been getting is an inferior type of student.” However, it is wrong to say that it is only the student who is inferior, not the school. One system is not appropriate for all students. Problems arise when students’ individual needs are not met. Therefore, the needs of the students must be considered when deciding which system is best. Basically, there are three types of systems that are right for different students; an authoritarian system, a free system, and a combination of the two.

3. Definition Introduction Prepares the reader for applications and examples of the concept or term being defined.

Success is a term that has many meanings. For students, success can mean getting good grades or getting a good job after graduation. To a businessperson, success is making a lot of money and gaining a position of power. To an artist, however, success is having the stability to express inner feelings and having people recognize the artist’s intentions.

4. Summary Introduction Summarizes a reading selection (or a lecture, speech, or movie) and prepares the reader for an analysis or discussion of what has been summarized.

In her article “African Art as Nonverbal Communication,” Thelma Newman discusses African art and the inadequacy of European attempts to categorize it. Newman describes several characteristics common to most examples of African art and shows how these characteristics reveal a great deal about African culture. It is clear, therefore, that one can learn about the customs and values of a country by studying its art.

5. The Funnel Introduction

The funnel introduction begins with one or two very general sentences about the topic. Each subsequent sentence becomes increasingly focused on the topic until the last sentence, which states very specifically what the essay will be about. Writing a funnel introduction is like focusing a camera. You start with a wide picture and gradually narrow the focus so that just one object appears in the camera’s viewfinder: your thesis statement.

Just how general should the introductory paragraph be? One way to avoid beginning too generally or too far back is to have one key word in the first sentence reappear in the thesis statement, or if not the word itself, a synonym of the word or an idea. In the first introduction below, “visit” echoes “traveling” and the word “country” appears in the first and last sentences.

Examples: Traveling to a foreign country is always interesting, especially if it is a country that is completely different from your own. You can delight in tasting new foods, seeing new sights, and learning about different customs, some of which may seem very curious. If you were to visit my country, for instance, you would probably think that my people have some very strange customs, as these three examples will illustrate.

Moving to a new country can be an exciting, even exhilarating experience. In a new environment, you somehow feel more alive. Seeing new sights, eating new food, hearing the foreign sounds of a new language, and feeling a different climate against your skin stimulate your senses as never before. Soon, however, this sensory bombardment becomes sensory overload. Suddenly, new experiences seem stressful rather than stimulating, and delight turns into discomfort. This is the phenomenon known as culture shock. Culture shock is more than jet lag or homesickness, and it affects nearly everyone who enters a new culture – tourists, business travelers, diplomats, and students alike. Although not everyone experiences culture shock in exactly the same way, many experts agree that it has roughly five stages.

When the first Europeans came to the North American continent, they encountered the completely new cultures of the Native American peoples of North America. Native Americans, who had highly developed cultures in many respects, must have been as curious about the strange European manners and customs as the Europeans were curious about them. As always happens when two or more cultures come into contact, there was a cultural exchange. Native Americans adopted some of the Europeans’ ways, and the Europeans adopted some of their ways. As a result, Native Americans have made many valuable contributions to modern U.S. culture, particularly in the areas of language, art, food, and government.

6. Dramatic, Interesting, or Funny Story Introduction A dramatic, humorous, or otherwise interesting opening will generate interest in the reader. It is important, after all, to capture the reader’s attention. For process paper’s it is often useful to begin with a description of a scene that establishes the need for a process explanation. Observe here how one student uses a description to set up a process essay.

The rain pours down as if running from a faucet, lightning streaks across the dark restless sky, and thunder pounds the roof and walls of the house. All of a sudden the wind kicks up. Trees sway madly back and forth; loose objects are picked up and thrown all around. The house creaks and moans with every gust of wind. Windows are broken by pieces of shingle from a neighbor’s roof or by loose objects picked up by the wind. Power lines snap like thread. The unprepared house and its occupants are in grave danger as the awesome hurricane approaches. Had they prepared for the hurricane, they might not be in such danger. Indeed, careful preparation before a hurricane is essential to life and property.

7. Surprising Statistics or Facts Introduction

Got high blood pressure? Try a truffle. Worried about heart disease? Buy a bon-bon. It’s the best news in years! Studies in two prestigious scientific journals say dark chocolate is good for you. It seems that eating a small piece of dark chocolate regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease because dark chocolate – but not milk chocolate or white chocolate – contains high amounts of flavenoids, powerful cholesterol-fighting compounds. What is the next health food going to be? Ice cream? Sugar cookies? There are so many conflicting news stories about which foods are good for you that it is often difficult to make the right choices at the supermarket.

8. Historical Background Introduction

The Pilgrims who arrived in Massachusetts in 1620 came to find religious freedom. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, large numbers of African men and women were brought as slaves to work on large plantations in the South. Immigrants from northern and southern Europe came in the early nineteenth century to escape poor economic conditions at home. Later in the nineteenth century, the first immigrants from China came as contract laborers to build the railroads connecting East and West. In the twentieth century, political and economic refugees arrived from Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Indeed, the United States has seen immigrants come from many different parts of the world, and they have come for many different reasons. Their ability to adjust to life in their adopted land has depended on several factors.

9. The Turnabout Introduction

This type of introduction opens with a few sentences summarizing a point of view that is actually the opposite of the writer’s own thesis. By the end of the introduction, the writer makes a complete turnabout and presents his or her thesis – the opposite of what he or she started out with. This technique is useful when the writer’s purpose in the essay is to argue a point or to clear up a commonly held misconception.


We live in an era where television is the national pastime. Since the invention of the television set, people have been spending more of their free time watching television than doing anything else. Many of the television addicts feel that this particular pastime is not a bad one; indeed, they argue that people can learn a great deal watching television. I am sure that if you look long and hard enough, you can probably find some programs that are educationally motivating. But, for the most part, I say that watching television is a waste of time.

“We are moving to the city!” These are the words of many villagers today. When they are asked to give reasons for their movement, they simply reply that life in the city is more developed than that in the village. In the city, there are communication, transportation, education, and medical services. Also there are more chances for jobs. I positively agree with these people, but have these people thought about their lives and health? Have they thought about the danger that might happen to their children? It might not be during the first six months of living, but in the future when the city becomes more inhabited by different people of different nationalities and when the streets get crowded with cars. Although the village is lacking some of the services mentioned above, it is still the best type of environment for me to live in.

 Techniques Used to Write Memorable Conclusions œ

Restate the main points of the essay (i.e. paraphrasing your thesis statement) to reassert the importance and validity of your thesis. This is your opportunity to convey a strong, effective message that your reader will remember. In addition, a conclusion should not bring up a new topic.

Examples: There are, of course, many more things to visit while you are in Mexico, but the beach at Progreso, the Aztec ruin, and the famous monument represent some of the more significant and beautiful sights to see. When you go to Mexico, visit these sights and you will be guaranteed a fond memory after you go home.

Providing jobs for students, jobs that would help cut the cost of managing the bookstore and providing on-the-job experience – which can only enhance the university’s reputation for graduating knowledgeable students – are excellent reasons for allowing students to manage the bookstore. In fact, it is amazing that such a system is not in practice now.

  1. Make a prediction. Examples:

We have seen how the costs of attending college have been rising while, at the same time, sources of financial aid for students have been disappearing. If this trend continues, fewer and fewer families will be able to send their children through four years of college.

To sum up, culture shock is a very real phenomenon that has been studied for more than 30 years by psychologists and anthropologists. Its five phases are (1) positive feelings toward the new culture, (2) awareness of small differences, (3) growing discomfort and need for contact with home culture, (4) negative feelings, and (5) acceptance and adjustment. Symptoms may vary, and not all people experience all five phases. In the end, however, people who suffer culture shock are stronger from having overcome the difficulties and frustrations of adapting to life in a new land.

  1. Suggest results or consequences. Example:

To sum up, the costs of attending college are up and financial aid for students is down. Fewer and fewer future members of the workforce are able to educate themselves beyond high school. As a result, the nation will waste the intelligence, imagination, and energy of a large segment of the present college-age generation.

  1. Suggest a solution, make a recommendation, or call for action. Example:

It is clear that the U.S. system of higher education is in trouble. For many students, four years of college is no longer possible because of increasing costs and decreasing financial aid. To reverse this trend, we must demand that government increase its financial support of colleges and universities and restore financial aid programs. Our future depends on it.

In conclusion, nearly everyone moving a new country feels some degree of culture shock. Symptoms may vary, and not all people experience all five stages. Newcomers with a strong support group may feel at home immediately in the new culture, while others may take months to feel comfortable. Staying in touch with friends and family, keeping a positive attitude, and above all, learning the language as soon as possible are ways to overcome the difficulties and frustrations of adapting to life in a new land.

  1. Quote an authority on the topic. Example:

In conclusion, costs are rising and financial aid is declining, with the result that many can no longer afford to go to college. If our nation is to prosper, increased government funding for education is essential, even if it requires higher taxes. As Horace Mann argued in his Fifth Annual Report, a nation’s economic wealth will increase through an educated public. It is therefore in the self-interest of business to pay the taxation for public education.

  1. Ending with a question(s). Example:

The fast demanding life has worked an unpleasant alchemy on our health. As changes in our diets and lifestyles became a must, people were launched into a new reality where fast -and to some degree- harmful solutions rule. Fast food and lack of exercise have made their way into our lives, weaving a sinister web of maladies, and worse, threatening of an epidemic deterioration in public health. And so it goes on; an endless cycle of turmoil. The real question is: When will it stop?

Process Essays

A process can be a series of actions, changes, steps, operations, or functions that achieve a particular end or result. A process essay focuses on the “how” rather than the “what.” If the audience is not well informed about the subject, the process will have to be detailed. If the audience is well informed, then the process will have more technical vocabulary and less detail.

Some process essays provide information (=informational), while others provide steps on how to do something (=directional).

Whether the essay provides information or tells someone how to do something, the essay must follow a logical procedure. All items must follow an order, such as what you do first, second, and third.

Since most process essays are generally organized according to time - that is, they begin with the first step in the process and proceed in time until the last step in the process, it's natural, then, that transition words indicate that one step has been completed and a new one will begin. The following signal words can be very useful in chronological descriptions of processes:

To list in order, show sequence and time

to start with (the)first, second, third (the)next, last, finally after

to start with initially originally now at present currently now that

in the meantime previously at the same time in the meanwhile during

simultaneously at the same time until once as long as as soon as

when(ever) as next when while meanwhile before subsequently

afterwards earlier before formerly in the future next soon after

eventually every time by the time up to the time at last lastly later

last of all in the end last but not least

Format of the essay:


(1) Lead-in: Introduce the topic in an interesting way (2) Transition: Make a transition to the thesis statement (3) Thesis Statement: Present thesis statement (your view of the process)
Body Paragraph 1

(1) Topic Sentence: Present the first step (2) Supporting Details: Present the details of this step, following the sequence of action (3) Closing Remarks: Explain the function of this step
Body Paragraph 2

(1) Topic Sentence: Present the first step (2) Supporting Details: Present the details of this step, following the sequence of action (3) Closing Remarks: Explain the function of this step
Body Paragraph 3

(1) Topic Sentence: Present the first step (2) Supporting Details: Present the details of this step, following the sequence of action (3) Closing Remarks: Explain the function of this step

(1) Show the result of the process (2) Restate the thesis statement (3) Include interesting, humorous or inspiring closing remarks.

Describe a process that you are familiar with. You might consider some of the following:

Preparing a special meal Writing an essay Cleaning your room

Preparing yourself in the morning before coming to the university

Studying for an exam

A Process Paragraph



Process Analysis Essay Checklist:

þ A process analysis essay either describes how to do something (Directional Process Essay), or explains how something happened (Informational Process Essay).

þ When you write your essay, you need to be aware of your audience, to order the steps of the process chronologically, to make sure your explanation of the process is complete, and to define new or unfamiliar terms. Have you done all these things?

þ In your introduction you should introduce the topic of your essay. You should also explain the purpose of writing the essay. Try to use one of the types of introductions that we have taken.

þ In the body paragraphs, you should start describing the steps of the process. You should include each group of related steps in one paragraph. However, if you are writing a directional process analysis essay, and the reader must use certain tools or ingredients, you must mention these things in a paragraph before starting the steps of your process.

þ You should warn your readers of any difficulties that may face them, explain the purpose of a step where necessary, and make a persuasive thesis statement. Did you accomplish these things?

þ The conclusion depends on the type of process analysis essay. But it often mentions the results of the process.

þ Be especially careful of the connections between your sentences in a process essay. There is a temptation to connect each sentence with "And then," "then," "and then." Try for a variety of transitional tags. Don't number the steps of your essay, and avoid using words like "secondly," "thirdly," etc. You might want to say "first" and "second," but then let the numbering go. Also, avoid using abbreviations — tsp., oz., etc. — in formal academic writing.


...Once those decisions have been made, the difficulty of learning all the steps involved in diaper changing comes: preparation, procedure, and clean-up.

...There are many delicious shrimp recipes. However, I enjoy preparing a French appetizer called "Shrimp Bordelaise." maintain a healthy, attractive, and happy Shih-Tzu, a regimen of weekly grooming is required.

...To make this popular "Y" shaped necklace, several easy steps must be followed.


The Shih Tzu is an ancient breed of dog dating back to 624 AD, of the Tang Dynasty in China. One of the largest of the toy breeds, the Shih Tzu can weigh anywhere from nine to twenty pounds. They are a friendly and affectionate breed although they are not known for being very bright. In appearance, they have a flat face. Large round eyes, are long bodied, and have short legs. The Shih Tzu is probably best known for its long flowing hair, which drags the ground, and the ponytail on top of its head, to keep the hair out of its eyes. To maintain a healthy, attractive, and happy Shih Tzu, weekly grooming is required.

Recently, we accomplished the American dream of owning our own home. Walking through the house for the first time, we knew that there was going to be quite a bit of work involved. Our goal was to own a place where we could put our personality into each room. The room that we picked for our son had faded yellow paint with a baby duck border along the top of the walls, forty year old sash windows that refused to open without a fight, and carpet that smelled like a wet dog had rolled around on it for about three years. For my son's third birthday, his grandparents purchased several matching primary colored bedroom pieces that have a transportation theme. We converted his dismal bedroom into a delightful and wildly imaginative little boy's room.

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