Chapter 3 How to Write a Composition Lecture One I. Difference between speech and writing II. Forms of composition（with Examples) 1. Narration 2. Description 3. Exposition 4. Argumentation III. Steps of writing a composition IV. Homework: Practice I. Difference between speech and writing Speech Writing (e.g. Unit 2) (e.g. Unit 3) Sentence Shorter, Longer, incomplete, Complete, repetition, pause Complex structures Vocabulary Nonsensical Longer, formal words (eh, aha, etc.), less formal II. Forms of composition • 1. Narration（叙述文）: writing about events, actions, or incidents – In chronological order – The first person or the third person – Event: beginning, development and ending (past tenses for past events) – Clearly state time, place, people, event, cause and result. – Emphasize on the theme, leaving out unnecessary details. Example: Life on a Farm (Narration) One day down on the farm, something funny happened. My cousin and I got into big trouble with his dad. It all had to do with pigs. It was one of those hot, peaceful days. We were harvesting fruit to sell. The pig pens were near the orchard. The pigs were always allowed to eat the window falls under the tree. But this time, when harvest was over, they escaped and got into the baskets. This was serious business. Part of the family income depended on the sale of apples and papayas. Anyway, my uncle gave us orders to fix the pens, and then he left for market. My cousin was a know-it-all. He had to boss his job, so we put the pigs back in, patched up the big holes, and went swimming. The trouble began when my uncle got home. The pigs had been squeezing through the small holes. So, my cousin and I were really in hot water. II. Forms of composition • 2. Description（描写文）: depicting people, objects, or scenery – Focus on what’s described – Order to describe (center around the typical characteristics and features) – Diction (vividness) Example: Life on a Farm (Description) The still morning calm is broken by the rooster’s crow. Shortly after that all the creatures on the farm are hungrily awake. The birds are singing delightfully, flying from tree to tree. The little chicks hurry around with their mother hen looking for food. The sun begins to warm the earth. Farmers begin to work hard in the fields, but my cousin is riding on his brown, furry water buffalo. He is playing his flute cheerfully. The cool evening is quiet and peaceful on the farm. The crickets chirp secret messages back and forth. The frogs croak deeply. The beauty of nature and these mysterious sounds gently lull me to sleep every night on the farm. II. Forms of composition • 3. Exposition（说明文): to expose, or to present and explain information, ideas and opinions – Point to convey – Supporting details (facts): order of time, space, logic, etc. – Logical techniques: cause-and-effect, comparison-and-contrast, classification, definition, etc. Examples: Life on a Farm（Exposition) Farm life can be fun, but it is very different from life in the city. I visit my uncle’s farm each summer and help him in the garden and with the livestock. Country life is so different from life in the city. The air is clean and fresh, It is quiet, and you can hear the birds sing. The vegetable garden and small orchard need lots of care. There are weeds to hoe and bugs to spray, but picking oranges is what I like best. My uncle raises poultry and livestock. We have to feed the chickens, ducks and geese twice a day, but the pigs only once. Gathering hen’s eggs is easy. They are in the nest. The ducks lay theirs by the pond. I always enjoy country life. My cousin thinks there is too much work. He likes city life. II. Forms of composition • Argumentation（议论文）：persuasive & convincing – An explicitly defined theme: The negative view and the author’s view (his argument) – Sufficient evidence: The supporting details (including much of the writer’s comment) – Sound logic – Well-woven organization – A friendly attitude Example: Life on a Farm (Argument) When you talk about life on a farm, whether to raise chickens or ducks is the question. I think chickens are the best poultry to own, but my cousin preferred ducks. I had to convince my cousin that chickens were better, so I reasoned with him. If we got ducks, we would have to build a pond. For chickens we would only have to build nest boxes. Also, more people eat chicken than ducks, so they will bring more at the market. Not only that, chicken manure makes good fertilizer for plants around the farm. You will just have to admit it: all things considered, chickens are better than ducks to make a pleasant life on the farm! III. Steps of writing a composition • 1st step: Choose a topic or given a topic E.g. Title: A Teacher III. Steps of writing a composition • 2nd step: Determine the theme--think about the title and make a list in note form on a separate sheet of paper of what you want to write, like the following: – A familiar teacher – Professor Li • Very knowledgeable • Explains his points fully • Speaks loudly and clearly • Often invites students to his house • Gives full attention to students’ questions • Answers students’ questions patiently • Tells jokes to hold students’ attention • Always gives assignment schedules ahead of time • Lends books to students • Always punctual to class • Returns papers and tests promptly • At times criticize students severely • (a) Professor Li is a good teacher. • (b) Professor Li is a capable teacher. • (c) Professor Li is a responsible teacher. Discourse pattern: Introductory Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3 Reason 1 Explain Head Body Reason 2 Explain Reason 3 Explain Restatement Closing Conclusion III. Steps of writing a composition • 3rd step: Make an outline Topic: A teacher Theme: Professor Li is a capable teacher. Outline: Outline: Introduction 1. Professor Li, a capable teacher Development 2. He is patient. A. explains his points fully B. listens willingly to all students’ questions 3. He expresses himself clearly A. speaks slowly and loudly B. talks logically 4. He organizes his class well. A. gives schedules of assignments ahead of time B. returns papers and tests promptly 5. He has a good sense of humor. A. tells jokes B. tells stories Conclusion 6. Professor Li succeeds as a college instructor. IV. Steps of writing a composition • 4th step: Write the draft ---give supporting details – 要一气呵成。 – 必要时修改提纲。 – 留出一定的行距。 – 注意段与段之间的逻辑衔接。 • 5th step: Revision and copying A Capable Teacher Like most of Professor Li’s students, I think of him as a capable teacher. He has many of the qualities that students appreciate in an instructor. First, he is patient. When introducing new material, he tries to explain it fully. Even more important, he gives serious attention to all the students’ questions. In his class, students are never made to feel embarrassed if they ask a weak or irrelevant question. Second, Professor Li expresses himself clearly. He does not speak too rapidly, and his voice is loud enough so that it can be heard by everyone in the classroom. Third, he organizes his classes well. Students particularly welcome the schedules of assignments that he gives them at the beginning of a term. Having an idea of an entire semester’s work in advance allows them to budget their time more efficiently. Moreover, Professor Li promptly corrects and returns papers and tests. This permits students to learn from their mistakes and to produce better work in their next assignments. Finally, this instructor keeps the attention to his classes through his sense of humor. To emphasize important points in a lecture, he often tells witty stories. A thoughtful and dedicated man, Professor Li is generally recognized as a successful college instructor. Class work: group work Please make an outline for the following topic. Topic: Advantages and Disadvantages of Examination Topic: Theme: Outline: Introduction Development Conclusion Outline (for reference) Introduction 1. Examination is a commonly used way to… Development 2. The advantages of examination A. the method to test how much the examinees have mastered a. to check how much they have achieved b. to help find out what problems exist in their study B. the way to inspire and stimulate one to learn further a. to inspire them to make great effort in their study b. to help improve their learning method, etc. C. The measurement for examiners to choose qualified persons 3. Disadvantages of examination A. to make people nervous B. to be a burden for examinees C. to fail to test the practical ability of a person, etc. Conclusion 4. There are more advantages than disadvantages. A. to take advantage of examination B. to avoid disadvantages a. overcome nervousness b. avoid too many examinations V. Homework: Practice Develop the outline into a passage.
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