This is the first paragraph of an essay. It explains the topic with general ideas. It also has a thesis statement. This is a sentence that gives the main idea. It usually comes at or near the end of the paragraph.
The body These are the paragraphs that explain and support the thesis statement and come between the introduction and the conclusion. There must be one or more body paragraphs in an essay.
This is the last paragraph of an essay. It summarizes or restates the thesis and the supporting ideas of the essay.
How to format an essay
1. Use double spacing (leave a blank line between each line of writing).
2. Leave 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) of space on the sides, and the top and bottom of the page. This space Is called the margin.
3. If you type your essay, start the first line of each paragraph with five spaces (one tab). This is called indenting. If you write by hand, indent about 2 centimeters (34 inch).
4. Put the title of your essay at the top of the first page in the center.
Label (he three parts of this essay: introduction, body paragraphs, and ronclusion.
Changing English: the African American Influence
If you ask average Americans where their language comes from, they will probably say "England." However, English vocabulary has also been influenced by other countries and groups of people. Sonne words are borrowed from other languages, such as typhoon, which originally came from the Chinese word, "tahfung," meaning Mbig wind." Skunk, the name of a small, smelly, black-end-white animal, came to English from a Native American language. African Americans, too, have both contributed new words to English and changed the meanings erf some existing words.
African Americans, many of whose ancestors were brought to the States as slaves hundreds of years ago, have introduced a number of words to English from languages that they spoke in their native countries. The common English word OK is used around the world today, but it was not always part of English vocabulary. One theory is that slaves in America used a phrase in their own language that sounded like OK to mean "all right" Americans heard the phrase and started using it. Today, almost everyone in the world uses OK to mean "all right" Another good axample of a "new" word is the word jazz. African American musicians living In the United States began playing jazz music in the city of New Orleans, and they used the word j&ss or jazz to describe the music and certain kinds of dancing. No ono is sure where the word originally came from, but as jazz music oecame more and more popular, the word jazz became a common English word-
The meanings of words sometimes change over time. The word coo! is a good example. Coo! h8S been used in English for a long time to describe a temperature that is "not warm but not too cold" or to describe a person who is "calm or unemotional." However, an additional meaning was given to the word cool in tho past 100 years. Just like the word jazz; African American musicians used the word cool to describe the music they were playing. For them, cool meant "good." As jazz music and other forms of music played by African American musicians became popular, more and more people started to use the word cool In conversation. Today, it is stilf a commonly used word, especially by younger people, to mean "good" or "great." A word with the opposite meaning of coot is square. Sijuare is, of course, a shape, but it also is used to describe a person who Is not cool.This may be because a person who Is too old-fashioned and not flexible is like a shape with four straight sides and four corners.
English owes some of Its interesting and colorful vocabulary to African Americans. Existing ethnic groups in the United States as well as new immigrants will surely continue to bring new words to English end give fresh meanings to existing words. Who knows what the "cool" words of tomorrow will be?
3 What is a thesis statement?
The thesis statement is the sentence that tells the main idea of the whole ess a}'« It can be compared to a topic sentence, which gives the main idea of a paragraph. It usually comes at or near the end of the introductory paragraph,
Look at the essay in exercise 1 on page 57 again. Underline the thesis statement.
In these introductory paragraphs, underline the thesis statement. Then circle the topic and draw another line under the main idea in each thesis statement. Share your answers with a partner.
Everybody knows the koala, that cute Australian animal that resembles a teddy bear. Although koalas look like toys, they are actually strong climbers and spend their days in the treetops. Mother koalas carry their babies around from tree to tree in a pouch, or pocket, on their stomach. Although there were millions of koalas in Australia in the past, they air; now a protected species of animal. As a result of human population growth, deforestation, and hunting, the number of koalas has declined.
Before I traveled to the US. last year, I thought that American food wasjuet hamburgers and French fries, hot dogs, steaks, pizza, apple pie, and cola. These foods are popular In the States, but during my travels, / discovered that there is so much more to eating in America. People from every country In the world have made their home in the U.S.A., and they have brought with them their native foods. Even in small towns, you can find restaurants serving the foods of China and Mexico, itaiy and Vietnam. The United States can be divided Into six general regions that have their own characteristic foods influenced by the cultures of the people who live there.
Taoism is an ancient philosophy from Asia that placesgreat importance on the natural world. Taoists believe that spirit can be found in every person or thing, living or non-living. For the Taoist, even a mountain or a stone contains spirit. Lao Tsu, a Taoist writer and philosopher, said "People follow earth. Earth follows heaven. Heaven follows the Tao. The Tao follows what is nabtraf." For tJiousands of gears in China and other Asian countries, gardens have been an important wag to create a place where people can fee! the spirit of the natural wo* hi. Creating a Taoist garden is an art. No tivo Taoist gardens are exactly alike, hut all Taoist gardens include four essential elements; water, mountains, buildings, and bridges.
• A thesis statement gives the author's opinion or states an important idea about tho topic, it should give an idea that can be discusscd and explained with supporting idnas:
Tho qualifications for entering a university in my country are unreasonable.
IVhun studying a second language, there are several woys to improve your use of the language.
Those arc strong thesis statements. They can be discussed or explained.
• A thesis statement should not be a sentence that only gives a fact about the topic;
In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer months are wanner than the winter months. This is not a strong thesis statement. It cannot be discusscd or argued about.
• A thesis statement should not state two sides of an argument equally:
There are advantages and disadvantages to using nuclear power,
This could be a topic sentence, but it is not a thesis statement. It gives two skies of an argument without giving a clcar opinion of support or disagreement. It could be revised like this:
Although there are some advantages, using nuclear power has many disadvantages and should noi be a part of our country's energy plan,
This is a strong thesis statement. It clearly gives the writer's opinion about nuclear power.
Read these thesis statements below. Write / (strong thesis statement), F (fact oniy—a weak thesis statement)» or N (no clear opinion—a weak thesis statement).
a The top government official in. my country is the prime minister.
b Some people prefer digital cameras, while others like traditional cameras.
c India became an independent country in 1947.
d To bo a succcssful student, good study habits are more important than intelligence.
e There; are several advantages of owning a car, but there are also many disadvantages.
f Half of the families in my country own a house.
g Using public transportation would be one of the best ways lo solve the traffic and pollution problems in cities around the world.
h. While traveling, staying in a hotel offers more comfort, but sleeping in a tent is less expensive.
i Classical music concerts are very popular in. my country.
j In order to crnate a successful advertisement, it is necessary to consider Ihreo issues: who should be targeted, whore the ad should be placed, and what type of ad should be made.
Writing thesis statements
I) How to connect the thesis statement and the essay
The body paragraphs of an essay should always explain the thesis statement In addition, each body paragraph should discuss one part of the thesis. Look at the following thesis statement. The topics to bG discussed are underlined:
To crcatc a successful advertisement, it is necessary for advertisers to answer three questions: What arc we selling?. Who are we selling it to?, and How_can_we make people want to buy it?
Possible topic sentences for each body paragraph:
1. The first step in creating a successful advertisement is to completely understand the product that is being sold and how it can be used.
2. A second important part of creating an advertisement is deciding who is expected to buy the product.
3. Finally, a way must be found to create an ad that will make people want to buy the product.
Look at the introductory paragraphs ill exercise 3 ort page 58. What should the body paragraphs discuss for each thesis statement? Write your ideas and then compare your answers with a partner.
One way to develop a thesis statement for an essay is to write opinions you have about the topic. Begin, / think that... and complete the sentence with your opinion. Then remove / think that... and the remaining words make a possible thesis statement.
Topic: diet / food
I think that a vegetarian diet is one of the best ways to live a healthy life. I think that governments should restrict the use of chemicals in agriculture and food production.
After you have written several opinion statements, choose the one that would make the best thesis. Remember to decide if the sentence gives a clear opinion, states a fact, or presents two sides without a clear argument.
For each of these topics« write two or three opinions you have, starting with I think that.
a. exercise b. university study c. the Internet d. music
Now cross out the I think that in the statements you wrote in exercise 6 on page 61. Choose the best thesis statement for each topic. Share these with a partner. Decide which ones are good thesis statements.
8 Choose one of your thesis statements from exercise 7 above. Circle the topics that must be explained in the essay. Write a topic sentence for each of the circled ideas.
Complete the crossword.
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