Lesson 4

Lesson 4
Juz nie pamietam kto mnie o to prosil, ale byla to na pewno bardzo mila osoba. Chciala, zebym napisal o zasadach pisania esejow po angielsku. Poniewaz ucze sie jak delegowac rozne sprawy, oddelegowalem zadanie do Karna, ktory uczy w szkole m.in. angielskiego. Oto jego fachowe porady.
Essaying an Essay
by Karn Gray

What is an essay? An essay is a document, usually 1 to 3 pages, that seeks to put forth a point of view on a single topic, or instructs how to accomplish a certain objective or describes an event and place it in a certain context. The essay has long been a popular form of communication, and as such, it has developed a certain format. This paper will guide you through the basic steps to follow when writing an essay.

The seven basic steps to writing an essay are:
1. Decide on your topic
2. Prepare an outline of the topic.
3. Write the thesis (main idea) statement
4. Write the body, developing main points and sub-points
5. Write the introduction
6. Write the conclusion
7. Review and add any necessary changes

We will develop each step with examples.


Unless a topic is assigned, deciding a topic is the most important step. It should be one that you are interested in and have some knowledge of, or can easily obtain the needed knowledge. That way the essay is informative for the reader and enjoyable for you. As a sample topic on which to develop a paper, I will pick one I am interested in: "Why One Should Read Science Fiction"


There are several types of outlines. The most used is the standard outline:
I Main topic
------A first main point
-----------1 first sub point
-----------2 second sub point

You can use a program-flow type outline:
Main Topic
1st Point2nd Point3rd Point
1st Sub-Point - 2nd Sub-Point1st Sub-Point - 2nd Sub-Point1st Sub-Point - 2nd Sub-Point

You can also use a pseudo-paragraph type of outline:
"You should read SF to:
1 prepare for the future
2 expand your imagination
3 increase your knowledge of the world….. Etc."

Let us use the standard outline for our essay.
I Everyone should read Science Fiction.
A. It prepares you for the Future
1. SF describes alternate societies that may come about
2. SF describes technology that can be extrapolated from today's products
3. SF describes discoveries that can be anticipated or dreamed of
B. It expands your imagination
1. SF describes worlds and people that do not exist here
2. SF describes lifestyles that have never been followed in a society
3. SF describes adventures that could never happen on our planet
C. It increases your knowledge of the world
1. SF bases stories on technology that you need to know to understand the story
2. SF bases stories on societies that you need to know to understand the story
3. SF bases stories on scientific theories that you need to know


The thesis statement is usually a succinct sentence that gives the main theme of the essay. It will incorporate the main idea and some of the most important points of the essay. This statement is to be used as a guide to writing the complete essay. It will generally not appear in the essay in this form, but it will help shape your opening and closing statements. If the outline form you choose is the pseudo-paragraph, the thesis can usually be found in the first sentence. Otherwise, it can be a statement of the main points of your outline.
In our sample essay, the thesis statement might be:
"People should read SF to become more aware and forward thinking persons."


Now that you have outlined the ideas of your essay and know basically what you want to persuade your audience to do, you can write the body of the essay. Use the outline you have developed and expand on each point and sub point There should be concrete example to back up each point and the essay should be informative and entertaining without being preachy. If appropriate, a little humor will go a long way towards making an essay readable.
We will not write a complete essay here, but we will begin the first point.

"If you read Science Fiction enough, you cannot help but be prepared for the future. Even if the future is not as bleak as is depicted in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", (which became the movie "Blade Runner"), you will recognize how certain trends today could develop into future cultural realities. If you read the story 'The Space Merchants", written in 1947, you would recognize today's society where it is "unpatriotic" to not spend, spend, spend to support our great economy."


Now that you have written the body and know exactly what you are going to say, the introduction should be easy. The introduction should state what prompted you to write the essay and what you hope to accomplish with this work. It should be about 3 to 5 sentences long and set the tone for the rest of the document. The introduction to our SF essay could be written as follows:

"At one time, back in the dim, dark history of the 1930's, there was a group of people that had to go "underground" to indulge in a strange passion. This passion, if revealed to friends and family, brought strange stares and snickering laughter and even condemnation from some people. This passion was Science Fiction - the reading of stories about things that were not and might never be. Things have changed a little in the three generations since then - but only in the fact that most SF readers are tolerated, and this is due more to the influence of SF movies than to the fact that people are reading SF. However, the people who are watching the movies (most of which are transplanted westerns) miss the meat of a good, thought provoking SF story such as "Stranger in a Strange Land" ".


After the body and the introduction have been written, you know where you said that you wanted to go and you know where you went. So now, it should be easy to end your essay with a concluding paragraph. This paragraph should summarize your main points and persuade the reader that the point of view of the essay is one that should be adopted. Do not begin this paragraph with such words as "Therefore" or "Thus" or "So you see..". This turns the essay into a logic treatise and we want to sneak up on the reader with our points, not belabor him or her over the head. A partial conclusion to our essay could be:

"I know many people think that reading SF is a waste of time. But will reading a mystery or a romance novel (two genres much more popular then SF) expand a person's horizons concerning the future? Will reading a Stephen King horror story or a John Grisham legal tale prepare you to deal with an alien culture when they finally land on our planet? I personally feel that those people who read SF are not only better prepared for what's ahead, but are more tolerant of those things in our world now that are "different" and more interesting to talk to at your local cocktail party."


Finally, re-read the essay and look for phrases that need smoothing, points that may need more emphasis, sentences that need tightening, etc. Also, although you may have run the essay through spell-check, do your own. Spell-check is not perfect and many a "their" should be a "there" and many a "form" should be a "from".
You have now finished your first essay and are well on your way to joining the likes of Montaigne, Locke and Emerson.


#1 Agnieszka 2016-06-16 10:12
No, bardzo ciekawa informacja, ale nie umie pisac dobrze po angielsku. dla mniej liepiej zamovic essej. Kiedyś zamovilam go na 'supreme essay'. Napisali one doskonałe essej. Jestem bardzo zadowolona. Polecam!

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