Articles/Essays

An article is a piece of writing that provides a factual account, generally about some kind of event and cites reliable sources of documentation. An essay is a piece of writing that features a central thesis statement and supporting arguments. Essays can also cite credible sources used to support the arguments which flow from the thesis. Essays are written to persuade, while articles are meant to inform (although their content can also persuade). When it comes to length the articles are way much shorter than the essays. A normal article is normally around 500 words and can go up to 1,000 words. However essay is quite larger than that and they can also reach up to 10,000 words depending upon the topic. 

STRUCTURE OF AN ESSAY

CONCLUSION

  • It is usually written in one solid paragraph.
  • The conclusion always deals with summing up the essays arguments revealed in the topic sentences and the therefore present substantial evidence to prove the thesis statement.
  • It is also important to mention the importance of the general conclusion of the essay.

BODY PARAGRAPHS

  1. Body paragraph 1
  2. Body paragraph 2
  3. Body paragraph 3, etc.
  • The body of a basic essay may have as many body paragraphs as it is necessary to prove the author’s argument of the thesis statement.
  • It is vital to keep in mind that each paragraph is supposed to have one main argument to analyze and has to reveal it in one solid thought in a sentence called the topic sentence. Therefore the amount of the body paragraphs equals the amount of topic sentences.
  • Each body paragraph must be connected to following one with a logical link.

INTRODUCTION

  • Introduction of any essay should be no longer than 1/10 of its length. If the essay itself must be of a significant size the introduction may have several paragraphs; in the rest of the cases it consists of one solid paragraph.
  • The contents of an always introduction has a deductive nature, as it leads the reader from the general views or positions on the analyzed topics to the specific narrow theme of the essay.
  • Opening sentences introducing to the topic of the essay
  • Background information on it (gradually leading to the analyzed aspect of the theme).
  • Literature techniques to grab the reader’s attention.
  • A strong Thesis statement defining and stating the point the author is making in the essay, the paper’s main argument.

TYPES:  Our discourse in this chapter shall be on the  four major  types of essays, viz: Narrative, Descriptive, Argumentative, and Expository.

 NARRATIVE ESSAY

A narrative type of essay is the telling of a story or the relating of events.  You are to state where the events are taking place, what the sequence of events is, and what the characters say and do  so that your readers will enter into the world you are painting. In every narrative, the sequence of events (which must be logically connected in time) that leads to the climax is usually called the plot. Below are some broad outlines or planning that could help you as a beginner.

Tips for writing Historical Events, Legends incidents or stories

  1. Introduction: date and place; actor or actors; origin or occasion
  2. Circumstances and incidents
  3. Result
  4. Reflections or conclusions

Tips for Writing Biographies

  1. Date and place of birth: parentage, ancestry, surroundings
  2. Education; temperament; early proclivities
  3. Career and achievements
  4. Closing years; date and place of death; burial
  5. Personal appearance; brief estimate of character and actions

There are certain qualities attributed to good narratives. These include:

  1. A quick beginning, i.e. a beginning which arrest attention
  2. There must be action and suspense. Long and tedious narration spoils the enjoyment of a story. Therefore, you should avoid unnecessary details.
  3. The plot of the narrative should be simple enough to be understood by any reader
  4. It is no sin to tell imaginary stories or ‘fabrications’. Good stories, however, are always as realistic as possible to events in true life.
  5. There must be an economy of episodes. Few well developed ideas are better than many, not fully developed.
  6. The story should have an originality of its own.

DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY

The object of the descriptive essay is to make the reader see clearly some scene, person or event as if it were there in front of him. You must note that an artist uses paint and brush to create a picture. The same way, you as a writer of a descriptive essay must use words to create a true picture of what you are describing. The writer must see clearly what he is describing. You cannot write a successful description unless you have that scene, person or event in your mind, as clearly as if it were in front of your eyes. Your choice of detail and the appropriate words will transfer the picture to the mind of the reader.

You need to appeal to the five senses of your reader. His eyes will see shape, form, colour, movement; he has tasted the salt on his lips when we had been at seas; he has felt the softness of down land turf, and the cold of a mountain stream; he knows the smell of a rose, and that of a damp cellar; he has heard a jet aircraft and horses’ hooves. Make him receive, through his senses, the picture you are sending him through the medium of words.

Some broad outlines of descriptive essays are listed below:

Tips for Animals, Plants and Minerals Description

  1. Designation (class, order, species, category, where found)
  2. Properties or characteristics (appearance, habits, qualities)
  3. Characteristics (climate, soil, population, size, construction, contents)
  4. Utility or notability (public buildings, trade, function or purpose)

Tips for the description of aspects and phenomena of Nature:

  1. General description (shape, size, colour, surface)
  2. History, particular aspects or effects
  3. Influence on the feelings

Tips for the description of manufactured articles:

  1. Designation and origin
  2. Properties or appearance
  3. Process of manufacture
  4. Use

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY

An argument, as the word is used in relation to an essay, is an attempt by reasoning to persuade the reader to take a particular view of the subject. The basis of the argument is the reasoning, the facts and the interpretation of facts, which will convince the readers. But no argument will succeed unless it carries the power of personal conviction of the arguer. You should never write an argumentative essay unless you sincerely believe in the argument you are putting forward. Decide before you write whether you are trying to prove a point of view, or to refute the argument of another. Use facts in you argument, but remember that every fact must have evidence to substantiate it. It is of no use saying that half of Nigerian are undernourished if you cannot say what the actual diet of a normal Nigerian is.

There are at least two sides to any argument, and you must consider those different from yours, and show that yours is better. Also, try to refute your opponents’ arguments by showing their weaknesses, the illogicality of their statements or the unreliability of the evidence. If you are seeking to persuade, do so by ‘sweet reasonableness’; for extreme or offensive statements will insult the intelligence of your reader and weaken your own arguments.

Tips for arguments on habits and qualities:

  1. Definition or explanation of the subject
  2. Working and development; illustrations.
  3. Value: advantages and disadvantages
  4. Effects
  5. Concluding remarks

Tips for arguments on social, political and domestic topics:

  1. Definition or explanation of the subject
  2. Working: development or decline: illustrations
  3. Characteristics on conditions or effects
  4. Concluding remarks

EXPOSITORY ESSAY

An exposition is an explanation which sets ideas and facts before the reader. It is not concerned with argument. The subject is one on which the reader requires information on the basis that it is assumed that he has little information about the subject and wishes to increase his knowledge and understanding. Start you essay with the essential facts or basic principles, and take your reader on from there. Move from the essentials to the new in a logical development so that A and B lead to the understanding of C, and that D is the logical development of A, B and C. Never use an expression, particularly if it is in abstract or technical terms, without making clear to the reader precisely what meaning you are giving to it. Remember too that definitions have a vital part to play in an exposition.

Tips on writing expository essays on industries and occupations:

  1. Definition and general statement, showing purpose and scope.
  2. History (if any)
  3. Explanation of subject.
  4. Good or bad results
  5. Concluding remarks

Tips on writing expository essays on scientific topics:

  1. Introductory statement and history (if any)
  2. Explanation of subject; origin or constituents; action or properties
  3. Value or use
  4. Concluding remarks
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