ZeePedia
Journalistic Writing

ESSAY WRITING:VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR ESSAYS, PROMPTS

<< PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:Putting on Our Play
SIGNAL WORDS:Non word Emphasis Signals >>
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
LECTURE 22
ESSAY WRITING:
Anglicizing essay topic:
1. Analyze Jesus`Sermon on the Mount.
o  Analyze (strategy)
Jesus`Sermon on the Mount. (content)
o
Jesus` Sermon; on the Mount (prompts)
o
·
Describe the major effects of reconstruction.
o  Describe (strategy)
The major effects of reconstruction. (content)
o
Major; effects; reconstruction (prompts)
o
·
Compare `The End of History' with the `Clash of Civilization'.
o  Compare (strategy)
`End of History' with the `Clash of Civilization'. (content)
o
Compare; The End of History; `The Clash of Civilization' (prompts)
o
What is a well written answer to an essay question?
It is...
Well Focused
Be sure to answer the question completely, that is, answer all parts of the question. Avoid "padding." A
lot of rambling and ranting is a sure sign that the writer doesn't really know what the right answer is
and hopes that somehow, something in that overgrown jungle of words was the correct answer.
Well Organized
Don't write in a haphazard "think-as-you-go" manner. Do some planning and be sure that what you
write has a clearly marked introduction which both states the point(s) you are going to make and also,
if possible, how you are going to proceed. In addition, the essay should have a clearly indicated
conclusion which summarizes the material covered and emphasizes your thesis or main point.
Well Supported
Do not just assert something is true, prove it. What facts, figures, examples, tests, etc. prove your
point? In many cases, the difference between an A and a B as a grade is due to the effective use of
supporting evidence.
Well Packaged
People who do not use conventions of language are thought of by their readers as less competent and
less educated. If you need help with these or other writing skills, come to the Writing Lab!
VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR ESSAYS:
ANALYZE:
·  Break the subject (an object, event, or concept) down into part, and explain the various parts.
COMPARE:
·  Show how two things are similar as well as different; include details or examples.
71
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
CONTRAST:
·  Show how two things are different; include details or examples.
CRITIQUE:
·  Point out both the good and bad points of something.
DEFINE:
·  Give an accurate meaning of a term with enough detail to show that you really understand it.
DESCRIBE:
·  Write about the subject so the reader can easily visualize it; tell how it looks or happened, including
how, who, where, why.
DIAGRAM:
·  Make a drawing of something, and label its parts.
DISCUSS:
·  Give a complete and detailed answer, including important characteristics and main points.
ENUMERATE:
·  Write in list or outline form, giving points one by one.
EVALUATE:
·  Give your opinion of the value of the subject; discuss its good and bad points, strengths and
weaknesses.
EXPLAIN:
·  Give the meaning of something; give facts and details that make the idea easy to understand
ILLUSTRATE:
·  Make the point or idea clear by giving examples.
INTERPRET:
·  Tell about the importance of the subject. Explain the results of the effects of something.
JUSTIFY:
·  Give good reasons that support a decision, action or event.
OUTLINE:
·  Make an organized listing of the important points of a subject.
PRETEND
·  Make believe/Imagine you are in a particular situation or that you are a particular person, etc., and
describe what this is like.
PROVE
·  Show that something is true by giving facts of logical reasons.
RELATE
·  Show how things are alike or connected.
STATE
·  Give the main points in brief, clear form.
72
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
SUMMARIZE
·  Briefly cover the main points; use a paragraph form.
TRACE
·  Tell about an event or process in chronological order.
PROMPTS:
Prompts are the key words of the essay statement or call them terms of a question. The body of the
whole essay revolves around these terms. They are the points you are to cover while writing any essay. An essay
with any of the prompts missed will be considered an incomplete one. Therefore make sure that you have
analyzed the topic statement before you start writing.
HIGH IMPACT LANGUAGE:
1. High Impact Words
2. High Impact Sentence
3. High Impact Appearance
HIGH IMPACT LANGUAGE: WORDS
·
Use Anglo-Saxon
Latinate
Anglo-Saxon
pursuant
after
ascertain
find out
cognizant
know
objective
goal
advise
tell
·
Avoid Wordiness: Seven Ways of Avoiding Wordiness
Rule 1 Avoid ready-made phrases
Like Frankenstein's monster, "ready-made" writing is stitched together out of cadaver parts.
Rule 2 Avoid repetition
Many combinations of verbs and prepositions or adverbs are emphatic but redundant; many adjectives and
prepositional phrases are equally unnecessary.
Rule 3 Avoid passive and expletive structures
Passive and expletive structures soften action, hide the actors, and add colourless bulk.
Rule 4 Avoid circumlocution and pomposity
There is an atmosphere of well-sounding oratory that likes to attach itself to dress clothes. Away with it
Rule 5 Avoid euphemisms
Euphemisms often protect items from the unfair associations of an unpleasant name; however, they can also
hide the nature of unpleasant things under a fair name.
Rule 6 Use verbs rather than nouns (avoid the Noun Disease)
Writers often avoid strong, simple verbs by joining weak verbs to nominalizations, verbs transformed into nouns.
Rule 7 Shorten modifiers
Simple modifiers can usually replace relative clauses.
73
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
HIGH IMPACT LANGUAGE: STRUCTURE
1. Simple, Compound and Complex
2. Put subject first
3. Use active voice
SIMPLE, COMPOUND AND COMPLEX STRUCTURES
I ran the meeting. (Simple sentence or maximum impact)
I ran the meeting, and I wrote the minutes. (Compound sentence to lower a message's impact)
After I read the contract, I sent it to headquarters.
(Use a combination of complex and simple sentences for variety and high impact.)
PUT SUBJECT FIRST
Assistance in designing a system tailored to a customer's needs provides ...
The attached checklist provides assistance in designing a system tailored to a customer's needs.
As I consider the discussion topics, the subject matter I am to address, and the divergent interests of the group
...
I am concerned that my remarks may not be on target as I consider the discussion topics, the subject matter I
am to address, and the divergent interests in the group.
USE ACTIVE VOICE
The secretary will cancel the meeting.
The meeting was cancelled by the secretary.
The meeting was cancelled.
(Note: PASSIVES CAN HIDE THE TRUE SUBJECT)
HIGH IMPACT LANGUAGE: APPEARANCE
1. PARAGRAPH SIZE (3 to 4 sentence)
2. MULTIPLE IDEAS (indent and itemize)
3. WHITE SPACES (a paper with white spaces makes better impression.)
4. HEADINGS (headings create pictures in mind.)
Example: Compare these two versions and see which one follows the above principles.
Version 1:
During the changeovers from contract guards to security officers, the quality of the existing contract
security service must be upgraded through the careful selecting of vendors and implementation of acceptable
contractual performance requirements. In those instances where guard services are provided by the landlord as
part of the lease, appropriate negotiations must be conducted by Purchase to terminate this service within the
specified changeover time period.
Version 2:
During the changeovers from contract guards to security officers, the quality of the existing contract
security service must be upgraded through
74
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
1. The careful selecting of vendors.
2. Implementation of acceptable contractual performance requirements.
In those instances where guard services are provided by the landlord as part of the lease, appropriate
negotiations must be conducted by Purchase to terminate this service within the specified changeover time
period.
EXAMPLE:
Let's put all these impact language principles together to change the following paragraphs into a high impact
one.
·
ORIGINAL
While interoffice systems have been extant for approximately half a decade, still being generated are the
definitions, concepts, and approach to be employed in moving these systems into external markets.
Conceptions of how management might alter or alleviate matters on subsequent occasions are held by sources
who have been involved with the projects, and availability of interchange of experience from interoffice to
external systems has to be improved. Fundamental to our product's success are contemplated to be instability,
effortless utilization, and personal comfort of the user. For insurance of fruition, adaptation to the
aforementioned thoughts could be considered.
·
Topic sentence added:
A few thoughts could be interchanged on the subject of selling interoffice systems, for while the
systems have been extant for approximately half a decade, still being generated are the definitions, concepts,
and approach to be employed in moving these systems into external markets. Conceptions of how management
might alter or alleviate matters on subsequent occasions are held by sources who have been involved with the
projects, and availability of interchange of experience from interoffice to external systems has to be improved.
Fundamental to our product's success are contemplated to be instability, effortless utilization, and personal
comfort of the user. For insurance of fruition, adaptation to the aforementioned thoughts could be considered.
·
Divided into Paragraphs:
A few thoughts could be interchanged on the subject of selling interoffice systems, for while the
systems have been extant for approximately half a decade, still being generated are the definitions, concepts,
and approach to be employed in moving these systems into external markets.
Conceptions of how management might alter or alleviate matters on subsequent occasions are held by
sources who have been involved with the projects, and availability of interchange of experience from
interoffice to external systems has to be improved.
Fundamental to our product's success are contemplated to be instability, effortless utilization, and
personal comfort of the user.
For insurance of fruition, adaptation to the aforementioned thoughts could be considered.
·
Word Choice Simplified
A few thoughts could be exchanged (interchanged) on the subject of selling interoffice systems, for
while the systems have been (extant for) around (approximately) for about five years (half a decade), still
being generated are the definitions, concepts, and approach to be employed in selling these systems to
customers (external markets).
Ideas (conceptions) on how management might proceed (alter or alleviate) differently in the
future (subsequent occasions) are held by people who have been working (involved) on the projects, and
75
img
Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
VU
the experience of those people who have used interoffice systems (external systems) has to be made
available (interchange) to those planning to sell these systems.
Keys (fundamentals) to our product's success are thought (contemplated) to be ease of
installation (instability), simplicity of use (effortless utilization), and careful attention to the personal
comfort of the user.
For continued success (insurance of fruition) to be ensured, these (aforementioned) thoughts
need to be kept constantly (considered) in mind.
·
Sentence Shortened
A few thoughts could be exchanged on the subject of selling interoffice systems. The definitions,
concepts, and approach to be employed in selling these systems to customers are still being developed, even
though the systems have been around for about five years.
Ideas on how management might proceed differently (or better) in the future are held by people who
have been working on the projects. The experience of those people who have used interoffice systems has to
be made available to those planning to sell these systems.
Keys to our product's success are thought to be ease of installation, simplicity of use, and careful
attention to the personal comfort of the user.
For continued success to be ensured, these thoughts need to be kept constantly in mind.
·
Sentence Made Active
I would like to exchange a few thoughts with you on the subject of selling interoffice systems. We still
have not developed a well thought-out approach to selling these systems to customers, even though the
systems have been around for about five years.
People who have been working on the project have ideas on how management might proceed
differently (or better) in the future. Those people who have used interoffice systems must be able to share their
experience with those planning to sell these systems.
The Keys to our product's success are ease of installation, simplicity of use, and careful attention to the
personal comfort of the user.
Keep these thoughts in mind, and we will ensure continued success.
·
Multiple ideas Itemized
I would like to exchange a few thoughts with you on the subject of selling interoffice systems.
1. We still have not developed a well thought-out approach to selling these systems to customers,
even though the systems have been around for about five years.
People who have been working on the project have ideas on how management might proceed differently (or
better) in the future.
2. Those people who have used interoffice systems must be able to share their experience with
those planning to sell these systems.
3. The Keys to our product's success are ease of installation, simplicity of use, and careful
attention to the personal comfort of the user.
Keep these thoughts in mind, we will ensure continued success.
Source: Principles of Business Communication (Apologies: author not known)
76
Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISTIC WRITING:Practical, THINGS TO KNOW
  2. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  3. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  4. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Achieve appropriate readability:
  5. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Be concise, Be creative, Be correct
  6. THE PROCESS OF WRITING:INVENTION, WHEN YOU START TO WRITE
  7. THE PROCESS OF WRITING II:ORGANIZING, DRAFTING, REVISING
  8. ALL ABOUT WORDS:HOW WORDS ARE FORMED?:SUFFIXES
  9. DICTIONARY-A WRITER’S LANGUAGE TOOL:KINDS OF INFORMATION
  10. PARTS OF SPEECH:Noun Gender, Noun Plurals, Countable Nouns
  11. BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS
  12. ACTIVE AND PASSSIVE VOICE
  13. MODIFIERS AND SENTENCE TYPES:COMPOUND SENTENCES
  14. REPORTED SPEECH:Indirect Questions, Direct commands
  15. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES:SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
  16. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES II:SENTENCE FRAGMENTS
  17. EFFECTIVE SENTENCE:PARALLELISM, NEEDED WORDS, SHIFTS
  18. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS I:COLLOQUIAL VS FORMAL, CIRCUMLOCUTION
  19. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS II:AMBIGUITY, REDUNDANCY, EUPHEMISM:
  20. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:STRUCTURE
  21. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:Putting on Our Play
  22. ESSAY WRITING:VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR ESSAYS, PROMPTS
  23. SIGNAL WORDS:Non word Emphasis Signals
  24. EXPOSITORY WRITING:LOGICAL FALLACIES, APPEAL TO EMOTION
  25. THE WRITING STYLES: REPORT and NARRATIVE WRITING, SHORT REPORTS
  26. THE WRITING STYLES: DESCRIPTIVE AND PERSUASIVE WRITINGS, Observation
  27. RESEARCH WRITING AND DOCUMNETING SOURCES:Handling Long Quotations
  28. Summary and Précis Writing:CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD SUMMARY
  29. Punctuation:THE PERIOD, THE COMMA, THE SEMICOLON, THE COLON
  30. MECHANICS:ABBREVIATIONS, NUMBERS, SPELLING, THE HYPHEN
  31. READING SKILLS FOR WRITERS:EDUCATED READING, STEPS
  32. PARTS OF A NEWSPAPER:Box-out, By-line, Caption, Exclusive, Feature
  33. THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEWSPAPERS II:BROADSHEET NEWSPAPER
  34. News Writing and Style I:WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NEWSPAPER
  35. NEWS WRITING II:Accuracy, Clarity, Style, Qualities of Effective Leads
  36. EDITORIAL WRITING:WRITING AN EDITORIAL:STRUCTURING AN EDITORIAL
  37. WRITING FEATURES:GENERATING FEATURE STORY IDEAS
  38. WRITING COLUMNS:Column and a news report, Purpose, Audience
  39. WRITING ARTICLES FOR NEWSPAPERS:The Heading, The Lead
  40. WRITING ANALYSIS:purpose, scope, method, results, recommendations
  41. LETTERS TO EDITORS:Four important aspects about letters, Organizing letters
  42. BROADCAST AND WEB NEWS WRITING:WRITE CONCISELY, BROADCAST STYLE
  43. WRITING PRESS RELEASE, REVIEWS AND OBITUARIES:Summary of Content:
  44. THE ART OF INTERVIEWINGS
  45. FINAL THOUGHTS:Practical, Job-Related, Social, Stimulating, Therapeutic