Thinking Outside the Five-Paragraph Essay

2012年07月11日 未分類.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.



*Read the words carefully

  1. Simplistic /simˈplistik/ (adj.) treating complex issues and problems as if they were much simpler than they really are
  2. Sophisticated /səˈfistiˌkātid/ (adj.) (of a person or their thoughts, reactions, and understanding) Aware of and able to explain the meaning of complex issues
  3. Extensive /ikˈstensiv/ (adj.) Covering or affecting a large area
  4. Descriptive /diˈskriptiv/ (adj.) using words to show how something looks
  5. Argument /ˈärgyəmənt/ (n.) a process of reasoning; a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of convincing others that an action or idea is right or wrong



Thinking Outside the Five-Paragraph Essay

* Read the text below
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(1) Millions of students have been taught a formula that has nothing to do with chemistry. The formula is for writing a five-paragraph essay. First, write an introductory paragraph to state the argument. Then, add three paragraphs of evidence. Finally, write a conclusion.

(2) Linda Bergmann is director of the Writing Lab at Purdue University in Indiana. Her job is to help students, including international students, improve their writing. Professor Bergmann has worked with many students who learned this traditional five-paragraph formula.

(3) LINDA BERGMANN: “It is kind of like, ‘A is true because one, two, three.’ The second paragraph is the first reason, next paragraph the second reason. The next paragraph is the final reason, and then the last paragraph is, ‘So we can see that this is true.'”

(4) Professor Bergmann says international students sometimes have difficulty with this formula if they learned a different writing structure. But just knowing how to write a five-paragraph essay is not going to be enough for a college student who has to write a longer academic paper. As Professor Bergmann points out, the formula is too simple to deal with subjects that require deeper thought and investigation.

(5) LINDA BERGMANN: “Essentially, it is way too simplistic to handle more intellectually sophisticated topics which involve actual inquiry.”

(6) Karen Gocsik is executive director of courses in the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. The institute has an extensive library of online writing materials on its website.

(7) So what are the qualities that make up good writing? Ms. Gocsik says there are no simple answers — except maybe for one. That is, there is no formula that students can follow to guarantee a well-written paper.

(8) KAREN GOCSIK: “What we try to teach students to do in college is to listen to their ideas, and that the idea should be able to tell you what form it needs to take.”

(9) She says moving from secondary-school writing to college-level writing can be difficult, but students should not be afraid.

(10) KAREN GOCSIK: “The thinking that you are doing, and the purpose that you have and the audience you are writing to — all of these things you will mix up together and you will come up with, we hope, an excellent college paper.”

(11) In some cultures, students organize their paragraphs to build toward the main idea at the end of the paper. American college students are usually expected to state their thesis at the beginning. And, while students in some cultures use lots of descriptive words, American professors generally want shorter sentences.



*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. Do you know what essay means? Have you tried making one?
  2. Are you fond of reading long stories or short stories?
  3. What are your standards in finding a good book?