Clouds gathered. The sun dimmed. The sky darkened. The wind blew. Dogs run and growled. Birds cried. Lightening flashed. Thunder sounded. The earth shook and trembled. Trees fell. A hurricane had begun.
Prof. Syaiful worked hard today. He has been working at his office all day. Soon he will stop and go home. He will work until about 4.00. Then he will get in his car and drive home. He may drive fast. He wants to work in his garden for a while before dinner. Then he will dine quietly with his family. After dinner the family may read or listen to music.
The professor is reading a new book. She enjoys books about the sea and buys them often. In fact, she is always studying this subject. She teaches oceanography. Her students attend her classes regularly. They like her lectures, but they don’t care for her tests. They take many tests, however. The professor may give one at any time.
Tim told his friend something exciting. The university had awarded him a scholarship. The scholarship committee sent him the news yesterday. Tim showed me the letter. It gave him all the details. Each month, the university will mail him a check. Then, he must pay the university the required fee. The university has given Tim a very great honor.
The university sent a letter to Tim. He showed it to his friends. He read it to me. The letter had good news for him. It announced a special program for Tim. The letter described a work-study plan for him. He reported the good news to the class. They asked him many questions.
TYPES OF WRITING
Different types of writing are required for different purposes. In general, writng can be divided into three kinds: narration, description, and exposition. Narration tells” what happened.” It tells a story. It is the kind of writing that you find in novels, short stories, and biographies. Description tells how something looks or feels or sounds. It talks about features such as size, shape, colour, sound, or taste. Exposition is writing that explains something. It often answers the questions what, how, and why. Its purpose is to present ideas and to make the ideas as clear as possible.
Exercise 1: Which of the three types of writing above is illustrated by the following paragraph?
One day a crow stole a piece of cheese from a woman’s kitchen and flew with it to a tree. A fox who was very hungry saw the crow. He said to the crow, “You have a beautiful voice. Wont you sing for me?” The crow was very pleased by the compliment. As he opened his mouth to sing, the piece of the cheese fell to the ground. The fox snatched the cheese and ran a way.
There are various ways to organize the sentences in a piece of writing. In narration the sentences are usually organised according to time order or chronological order. One thing happens and then another thing happens, and the events are told in the same order.
You are familiar with time order because you have noticed it when you were reading stories. The story you just read about the fox and the crow follows time order. The sentences in the paragraph tell the story just as the events, the sentences could be arranged like this:
1. A crow stole a piece of cheese from a woman’s kitchen.
2. He flew with it to a tree.
3. A fox who was very hungry saw the crow.
4. He said to the crow, “You have a beautiful voice. Wont you sing for me?”
5. The crow was very pleased by the compliment.
6. He opened his mouth to sing,
7. The piece of the cheese fell to the ground.
8. The fox snatched the cheese.
9. He ran a way.
Because the events happened in a certain order, it is important that the sentences in the story follow one another in a certain order. Supposed the sentences were arranged like this:
· The piece of the cheese fell to the ground.
· The fox snatched the cheese.
· He ran a way.
· He opened his mouth to sing
· A fox who was very hungry saw the crow.
· He said to the crow, “You have a beautiful voice. Wont you sing for me?”
· The crow was very pleased by the compliment.
· A crow stole a piece of cheese from a woman’s kitchen
· He flew with it to a tree.
If the sentences were arranged like this, the story would be so mixed up that you could not understand it. You can see how important it is to arrange the sentences in good order.
Exercise 2:. The following sentences are not ordered as they should be.
Number the sentences to put them in order.
Example: 3-- He looked especially at bicycles, radios, and phonograph records.
4-- At four o’clock he went home.
2-- He looked at various things.
1-- John went to the shopping centre yesterday.
a. -- George liked one of them.
-- The librarian gave him three books to read.
-- George visited the library.
-- He checked the book out and took it home with him.
-- He asked for a book to read.
b. -- The small car turned over.
-- There was an accident at the street corner.
-- The two men inside it were badly injured.
-- A large truck hit a small car.
-- The police took them to a hospital.
c. -- The house began to leak.
-- Then leaks began in other rooms.
-- Fortunately the rain stopped then, and the sun came out.
-- The first leak started in the living room.
-- It rained steadily for two days.
d. -- They came to school ready to write the exam.
-- The students studied very hard for it.
-- He was sick that day.
-- They found that the teacher was not here.
-- The teacher said he would give an examination.
e. -- Two women were there.
-- Then the other had her hair washed and set.
-- Mary went to the beauty shop.
-- Finally the hair dresser was ready for Mary.
-- One woman had her hair cut.
You have seen that narration usually follows time order. Description may follow various kinds of order, depending on what is being described. If you are descrbing a man, you will choose different things to say than if you are describing a mountain, a restaurant, a kitchen utensil, or a dress.
One kind of description follows a space order. In space order you tell where things are. This is the order you are probably follow if you to describe a place. For example, here is a description of a classroom:
Example 1: The classroom is large, clean and lighted. The wall are pale green. On the wall at the left as you enter there are three large windows. The teacher’s desk is in the front. Blackboards cover most of the wall at the right.
Notice that this writer describes how the room looks from the door—what is on the left, what is in the front, and what is on the right. It does not matter which way you move in the description. The important thing is to have some order that will be easy for the reader to follow.
Now, compare the description using space order with this description of a man:.
Example 2: The man who opened the door in answer to my knock was an elderly man, white haired and bent. He looked at me over his spectacles, which were far down on his nose. In spite of of his age, his dark eyes were keen and his voice was clear and strong. I noticed that he was wearing a bright coloured sports shirt.
In describing the man, the writer selected the man’s most interesting and most outstanding features. This description is quite different from a description of a place based on space order. The kind of description you use depends on what you are describing.
Narration tells what happened. Description tells how something looked or felt or sounded. Exposition explains something. Here are some examples of exposition.
Example 1: Our teeth are very important to us. There are two main uses for teeth. One is to chew our food, which then is easy to swallow and digest. The second use is to help us talk. We put our tongues against our teeth to make certain sounds. It is difficult to understand what a person is saying if he does not have any teeth.
Notice that this paragraph does not tell about happening and it does not describe the teeth. The paragraph explains why our teeth are important.
Example 2: The common housefly is very dangerous. It carries germs in its mouth and on its legs and feet. The legs and feet are covered with small hairs. On this hairs there are thousands and thousands of germs. One fly may carry as many as 6,000,000 germs. When a fly stops and eats some food, it leaves thousands of germs on the food.
Notice that the first sentence says the housefly is dangerous. Then the sentences that follow explain what this means. They explain by telling why the housefly is dangerous and how it spreads germs.
What kind of order does exposition follow? Because exposition tries to make ideas clear and understandable to the reader, we say that it follows logical order. There are various kinds of logical order. You may learn more about them as you go on in these composition lessons.
Exercise 3: Mark each paragraph N for Narration, D for Description, and E for Exposition.
---- 1. The robin is common American bird. It grows about 9 or 10 inches long. The male has rusty-red breast, dark grey upper parts, and a blackish head. Its tail features are tipped with white. The famale is usually slightly smaller than the male and duller colour. Robins live in North America from mexico to Alaska.
---- 2. Special schools have been developed in Iran to meet the educational needs of nomads. Nomads are people who move from place to place. Because they move so often, their children cannot read or write. Consequently, the government of Iran cannot send letters to them or make agreements with them. To solve the educational problem, the government has started schools in tents in the normal camps.
----3. The traveller stepped into the hall of the old castle and looked around. It was a large room with stone walls. Several sleeping dogs lay against the wall on the left. In the middle of the room there was a fire. The smoke rose to a hole in the ceiling, but some of it remained in the room. The windows, high in the wall on the right, were not very large and the great room was rather dark.
----4. In 1928, an English doctor was working in his laboratory in London hospital. The doctor’s name was Alexander Flemin. One day he found a tiny bit of mold and studied it for a long time. He discovered that it could kill germs. He named it penicillin.
----5. Many foods contain small amounts of substances called vitamin. Vitamines are necessary to the health for body. Even if we eat a lot of food, we will not be healthy unless the food contains enough vitamins. Vitamines are important for healthy eyes and skin, strong bones and teeth, normal growth, and the regulation of the work of the body’s organs.
1.4 Mixed Writing
It is not always easy to decide what is narration, what is description, and what is exposition. Often a piece of writing includes all three types. A narration may include some description and some exposition. An exposition may use some narration and description in order to explain something as completely as possible. Usually, it is possible, however, to decide whether a piece of writing mainly narration, or mainly descripton, or mainly exposition.
Although you need to practise the three types of writing, most of the work in this course will be on exposition. This is the type of writing that is mostly needed by the students. When you write your thesis, you will also need to use this kind of writing more than the other kinds.
Most of your reading will also be the expository type, for that is the type found in textbooks, newspaper and magazine articles, essays, reports, and nonfictions in general. Of course, you may also read literature-novels, short stories, drama, and poetry, but most of your reading will be of expository materials.
Because the emphasis here will be on exposition, most of the paragraphs you will discuss and write will be paragraphs of exposition. Expository paragraphs have certain types of organization that need to be learned.
2.1 Logical Order
Narration usually follows time order and description sometimes follows space order. We say that exposition follows logical order. This means that the paragraphs are arranged in such a way that the reader can understand the writer’s thinking.
In time order the writer guides the reader from one happening to another. In space order the writer guides the reader from one piece to another. In logical order the writer guides the reader from one point to another.
2.1.1 One Topic
One part of logical order in that all the sentences in a paragraph refer to the same topic. Look at these sentences:
Example 1: The sky is very blue today. He lives in large house. Elephants are large animals. Many foods contain small amounts of substances called vitamins. I like ice cream.
What is the paragraph about? It is impossible to say what it is about. Is it really a paragraph? It looks like a paragraph because the first sentence is indented. But it is not a paragraph. It has no single topic. Each sentence is about something different. The sentences have no relation to each other. They do not make sense.
Now look at these sentences:
Example 2: There is a book on the desk. It is a large book. It is new. It is a chemistery book.
What is this paragraph about? It is easy to see that it is about a book. These are very simple sentences. Is it possible for such simple sentences to form a paragraph? Yes, they all deal with a single topic. All the sentences refer to the certain book. That means that all the sentences are about the same topic.
When all the sentences in a paragraph are about the same topic, the paragraph forms a unit. We say the paragraph has unity. Unity helps the reader follow the writer’s thought. A paragraph has unity when every sentence sticks to the subject.
Exercise 1: Read the following paragraphs and decide what each one is
about. Does each sentence deal only with a single topic?
1.Bicycles provide a simple form of transportation. They are used for both pleasure and business. The word bicycle means “ wheels.” The rider pedals with his feet to make the wheels move. No one knows who built the first bicycle.
2.Thomas A. Edison was an American inventor. He was born in Ohio in 1847. Throughout his life he worked in various technical and scientific fields. He became very successful and famous. Perhaps his most important invention was electric light.
What is the topic of paragraph 1? What is the topic of paragraph 2? Now, read the next paragraph and notice its topic. Does every sentence deal with the topic?
3.Scientists have made a new type of rubber. This type of rubber has certain advantages over the other types. Plastic materials also have many advantages. So far this type of rubber is produced only in the laboratory, but later it may be made in factories.
The topic of this paragraph is a new type of rubber. However, the third sentence mentions plastic materials, which have no relation to the topic. Therefore, this sentence does not belong in the paragraph.
The next two paragraphs also contain sentences that are not directly related to the topic. Underline these unrelated sentences.
4. I never know what to do with my hands when I am giving a talk. For instance, when I am making an oral report in his history class, I have trouble with my hands. Sometimes I put them behind me. At other times I hide them in my pockets. A good speaker does not pause very much while he is speaking. Often I clasp my hands in front of me to keep them from shaking while I am speaking.
5. It was really a perfect day. It was a day that made everything seem beautiful. The sun shone brighty, but it was not hot. The flower seemed to open up wider in the lovely weather. It was a day when the world seemed brighter and happier than usual. In the winter I have to stay indoors so much that i like to be outdoors in summer.
2.1.3 Irrelevant Sentences
If a sentence does not deal with the topic of the paragraph, we say that it is irrelevant. This means that it is not closely related to the other sentences in the paragraph. If a sentence is irrelevant, it does not belong in the paragraph and should be taken out. If a paragraph contains irrelevant material, it does not have unity.
Exercise 2: Here are more paragraphs that contain irrelevant material. Underline the sentences that you consider irrelevant.
1.Diamonds are the most valuable of the precious stones. They were first discovered in India, probably around 500 B.C. For a long time, India was the only source of diamonds. Later, large diamond fields were discovered in Africa. Many rubies and other precious stones come from Burma. The largest and most perfect diamonds are so valuable that they are priceless. Most of these stones are now held by museums and governments.
2. Many of the vegetables we buy when we go to the supermarkets are “naturalised American.” Originally, they come from faraway places. Tomatoes and the so-called Irish potatoes came from South America. Cucumbers and eggplants originated in India. Radishes came from China. No one knows where apples and pears were first found, but scientists believe peaches came from China. Peas, carrot, lettuce, and parsnips are also from Asia.
3. Japan consists of a group of four large islands and hundreds of small ones. The largest and most important island is Honshu, on which the six chiefs cities are situated. The island of Shikoku, south of Honshu, is one of the chief rice growing regions. Kyushu is the most southerly of the large islands. North of Honshu is Hokkaido, which is more thinly populated then the other large islands. Spring and summar are usually very pleasant.
4. Ice cream is so common in our lives that we never think about how we came to have it. Who first made ice cream? It is thought that ice cream, like many other things, originated in China. Some other inventions by the Chinese are said to be gunpowder, paper, and silk cloth. It is believed that a traveller brought the idea from China to Italy several centuries ago. From Italy it spread to France and England, and later to the United States.
5. The idea behind credit cards is that someone trusts us and believes that we will play for something at a later date. The use of credit in business is very old. People have given other people credit for thousands of years in many different parts of the world. The modern credit card, however, has been in use only since about 1950. Many changes in business have taken place in recent years. Now, people use credit card for food, lodging, goods, and services of all kinds.
2.2 Finding the Topic
You have seen that in a good paragraph all the sentences deal with one topic. It is important to recognize the topc. Look at this paragraph:
Example 1: Shopping is hard for me. I get very tired walking around in large department stores. Having to choose among several items is often confusing. Even though there is so much marchandise, very often I can’t find what I am looking for. For example, if I am looking for a blouse, they may have the colour I want, but not in my size. If the blouse is the right size, it is the wrong colour.
What is the topic of this paragraph? Check one.
--- a. Shopping
--- b. Large department store
--- c. Wrong merchandise
The paragraph says something about large department stores about wrong merchandise, but that is only part of the paragraph. The whole paragraph is about shopping.
Now read this paragraph:
Example 2: Shopping on Saturday is usually tiresome. The stores are crowded. Too many people are doing thier shopping on the same day. They all want to be waited on at the same time. Usually service is slow because there are not enough clerks to take care of the extra people. Often both the clerks and the customers become irritable.
What is the topic of this paragraph? Check one.
--- a. Shopping
--- b. Crowds in the stores
--- c. Shopping on Saturday
Does this paragraph have the same topic as paragraph 1? If it is different, how is it different?
Here is another paragraph:
Example 3: Getting to school in winter is difficult. Getting up in the morning is always hard, but getting up while it is still dark makes it more difficult. It is unpleasant to go out into the cold, dark morning. It is even more unpleasant to stand on the corner and shiver while waiting for the bus.
What is the topic of this paragraph? Chek one.
---- a. Getting up in winter
---- b. Getting to school
---- c. Getting to school in winter
2.3 The Topic Sentence
You have probably noticed that in the paragraphs you have read, the topic is given in the first sentence. This sentence tells you immediately what the paragraph is about and what you can expect to find in the paragraph. The sentence that gives you the topic of the paragraph is called the topic sentence.
When the topic sentence opens the paragraph, it makes a general statement about a subject. The other sentences in the paragraphs give more details to complete the picture.
You saw that there was a different between paragraph 1 and paragraph 2.
Paragraph 1 was about shopping in general, but paragraph 2 was about a certain kind of shopping – shopping on Saturday. What do you notice about paragraph 3? You see that it is not about getting to school, but about getting to school at a certain time – in winter.
It is important to know the correct topic of a paragraph.
2.3.1 Topic and Statement
Here are topic sentences for the example paragraphs in this unit.
a. Shopping is hard for me.
b. Shopping on Saturday is usually tiresome.
c. Getting to school in winter is difficult.
If you look at these sentences carefully, you will see that each sentence has two parts: the subject, which names what is being talked about, and the predicate, which completes the general statement about the subject. For ease of discussion, the topic sentence can be broken down into “topic” and “statement about the topic (controlling idea).”
Topic Statement about the topic(controlling idea)
Sentence a. Shopping is hard for me.
Sentence b. Shopping on Saturday is usually tiresome.
Sentence c. ................................... ..............................
Here are some topic sentences from paragraphs you have read in the preceding units. For each sentence, give the topic and then give the statement that is made about the topic.
a. Our teeth are very important to us.
b. The common housefly is very dangerous.
c. Bicycles provide a simple form of transportation.
d. Thomas A. Edison was an American inventor.
e. Diamonds are the most valuable of the preciuos stones.
2.3.2 Writing the Topic Sentence
Read the following sentences. This is not a good paragraph, but is being used to illustrate a point. Is there a topic sentence in this paragraph?
1. May was hot. June was hot. July was hot. August was hot. September was hot.
Which of the items below is the best topic?
The weather last spring and summer
Which of the words below best expresses what should be said about the topic?
Now you know the topic of the paragraph and what should be said about the topic. On the blank line below write a suitable topic sentence for paragraph 1 above: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is another group of sentences:
2. The news was bad on Monday. The news was bad on Tuesday. The news was bad on Wednesday. The news was bad on Thursday and Friday.
Which of the items below is the best topic?
a. the news
b. bad news
c. the news last week
Which of the words below best expresses what should be said about the topic?
Now you know the topic of the paragraph and what should be said about the topic. On the blank line below write a suitable topic sentence for paragraph 2 above: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is another group of sentences:
3. George washed the blackboard. He swept the floor. Robert cleaned the erasers. He dusted the desks. He emptied the wastebasket.
Which of the items below is the best topic?
George and Robert.
Which of the items below best expresses what should be said about the topic?
swept the floor
dusted the desk
cleaned the room.
Now you know the topic of the paragraph and what should be said about the topic. On the blank line below write a suitable topic sentence for paragraph 3 above: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Exercise : Each of the following paragraph includes irrelevant material. Read the paragraphs and cross out the sentences you consider irrelevant.
1. Today we depend on electricity more than we realize. Electricity gives us light in the darkness, warmth in winter, and coolness in summer. It cooks our food and washes our clothes and dishes. It helps us shape, sew, and clean the house. Electricity gives us cinemas and television to entertain us in our free time. Sometimes storms cut off the supply of electricity.
2. Most ants are hard workers. They often work from six o’clock in the morning until ten o’clock at night. Ants may live to be a year old, and some have been known to live six or seven years. The work is divided among the ants so that each one has a certain amount to do. We do not know how they decide what work each one is to do.
3. Dr. Alexander Fleming was studying bacteria. In his laboratory he was growing a certain kind of harmful bacteria in small dishes. One morning he came to work as usual. It was beautiful fall morning. He looked at his dishes of bacteria and noticed something unusual. In one dish there was a greenish-blue mold.
B. Read the following paragraphs carefully and then write a good topic sentence for each one.
First, they visited the elephants. Then, they visited the lions and tigers. Next, they saw the bears. Some of the bears were brown and some were black. Their last stop was at the monkey cage. The children enjoyed the monkeys most of all.
As soon as she got to work, her boss dictated several letters. Julie typed the letter neatly and gave them to her boss to sign. The telephone rang frequently and she answered it. She had to find several letters in the files. Noon came very fast.
Mrs. Gracia cleaned the stove and washed the kitchen floor on Saturday. She also cleaned the refrigerator inside and outside. Her daughter Anna helped her. Anna dusted the furniture in the living room and cleaned the rug with the vacuum cleaner. Then, she put clean sheets on the bed and used the vacuum cleaner in the bedrooms.
3.1 Adding Details
You have seen that in a good paragraph all the senences deal with one topic. Very often the topic is stated in the first sentence. The topic sentence is usually a general statement. The sentences that follow it are more specific. They add facts or details about the topic.
The topic sentence tells the reader what paragraph is about. After this sentence the writer gives more details to explain the topic more fully and to make it as clear as possible to the reader. A very simple example is the paragraph about book you read in the previous unit. Here it is again:
Example 1: There is a book on the desk. It is a large book. It is new. It is a
The first sentence is a statement about a book. The second sentence gives you another piece of information about the book. The third sentence gives you another piece of information. The fourth sentence gives you still another piece of information. Piece by piece, each detail adds to your information about the book.
Here is another example:
Example 2: A secretary does various kinds of work. She takes dictation in
shorthands. She uses typewriter and other office machines. She files
letters, reports, and other kinds of material. She answers the telephone
and receives visitors.
When you read the specific details, you understand much better what various kinds of work really means.
The next example is more like the paragraphs you usually read:
Example 3: Basketball is a popular sport in the United States. Many American
prefer it to football because it is a faster game. It is played indoors throughout the winter. Basketball is especially popular in high schools. There are also many college and professional basketball teams.
Notice how the sentences add more details about the topic. First, there is a general statement about basketball. Then, each sentence follows gives another bit of information about this topic.
3.2 “List” Paragraphs
A paragraph that consists of a topic sentence and details like those in the examples is something like a list. It can be arranged like this:
1. There is a book on the desk.
It is a large book.
It is new.
It is a chemistry book.
2. A secretary does various kinds of work.
She takes dictation in shorthands.
She uses typewriter and other office machines.
She files letters, reports, and other kinds of material.
She answers the telephone and receives visitors.
3. Basketball is a popular sport in the United States.
Many American prefer it to football because it is a faster game.
It is played indoors throughout the winter.
Basketball is especially popular in high schools.
There are also many college and professional basketball teams.
In a list paragraph, more details can be added if the writer wishes. On the other hand, if he wishes to omit some of the sentences to make the paragraphs shorter, it does not spoil the paragraph.
Other paragraphs that you have read are similar to these. For example:
Example 4: Bicycles provide a simple form of transportation. They are used for both pleasure and business. The word bicycle means “ wheels.” The rider pedals with his feet to make the wheels move. No one knows who built the first bicycle.
5. Thomas A. Edison was an American inventor. He was born in Ohio in 1847. Throughout his life he worked in various technical and scientific fields. He became very successful and famous. Perhaps his most important invention was electric light.
Notice in these examples that all details are not only about the topic, they also give various kinds of information about the topic.
3.3 Kinds of Details
The details that are added after the first sentence make the paragraph clearer and more helpful because of the added information. Added details also make the topic interesting to the reader.
In some paragraphs, there is another reason for adding more details. A lot depends on the topic sentence. With a certain kind of topic sentence, it is very necessary to give more information of a certain kind. Look at these two paragraphs:
Example 1: John is a student in my class. We often walk home together from school. John is a little older than I am. He is tall, good looking, strong for his age, and good at sports. He is popular in school.
Example 2: John is a very good student. He does his work at night. His notebook is neat. He is always able to answer correctly when the teacher calls him. He usually gets an excellent mark on examination.
The first paragraph is similar to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 under the list paragraphs. It gives details of various kinds of John. The paragraph identifies John and gives general information about him. The topic of this paragraph is simply John.
Now, notice that the second pararaph has a different kind of topic sentence. When you begin with a statement like “ John is a very good student” , it is necessary to add the kind of information that will make the reader believe what you are saying. The reader may think this is only your personal opinion about John, and he may not feel sure that your opinion is correct. You must give the reader some definite, specific information so that he can judge for himself. You must give the kind of information that will support your statement. This is the purpose of the added details in paragraph 2.
3.4 Fact or Opinion
The kind of information in a paragraph depends on the kind of topic sentence that begins the paragraph. Some topic sentences may be statements based on judgment or opinion. Other topic sentences may be statements based on facts that can be checked and verified. Notice the difference in these two statements:
a.The American automobile industry produced more than 8,000,000 car in 1969.
b.The American automobile industry produced the best cars in the world.
Sentence a contains a definite fact that can be checked and verified. However, sentence b seems to be a matter of opinion or judgment. It may be true, but it may be not true. The statement may be difficult to prove. Certainly, a writer who makes such a statement will have to supply very strong supporting details to convince the reader that it is true.
Exercise: Read the following statements. Which of these statements seem like expressions of judgment or opinion and would need strong supporting details if they were used as topic sentences for paragraphs. Put an x before these statements.
--- 1. The Volkswagen is a small car made in Germany.
--- 2. Henry is a clever businessman.
--- 3. The Madison Grill is the best restaurant in town.
--- 4. Every year more than 1,800 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents in this state.
--- 5. You will never find better coffee than Higgins’ coffee.
--- 6. Florida is a better state for retired people than California.
--- 7. The population of this state has increased every year for past ten years.
3.5 Supporting Sentences
As you have seen, the kind of statement made in this topic sentence determines what kind of information should be included in the pargaraph. We say that the topic sentence controls the paragraph.
The sentences that add details are called supporting sentences. Different kinds of topic sentences require different kind of supporting details. Sometimes the details make the topic sentence clearer and more interesting. Sometimes the details show why the topic sentence is true.
Exercise: Here is a topic sentence, followed by several other sentences. Some of the sentences support the topic sentence, but some do not. Put an X in front of the sentences that do not support the topic sentence.
a. Topic sentence: The increasing number of car accidents is a serious problem.
---1. The number of accidents last year increased 10 percent over the year before.
--- 2. One cause is the great increase in the number of cars on the road.
--- 3. Ownership of a car involves a lot of expense.
--- 4. There would be fewer accidents if drivers were more careful.
--- 5. A car owner must have a license.
--- 6. Many drivers do not pay attention to the speed laws.
b. Topic sentence: There are many medicines for a cold, but few of them are effective.
--- 1. People often catch cold in the winter or spring.
--- 2. If you have a cold, your friends will suggest medicines that they say are good.
--- 3. Pharmacies have dozens of “remedies” for colds.
--- 4. A person with a cold feels very uncomfortable.
--- 5. Doctors doubt the value of these “remedies.”
--- 6. Doctors usually say that the most effective thing to do is to stay in bed, keep warm, and drink lots of liquids.
--- 7. People often catch cold from contact with a person who has cold.
3.6 Order in Sentences
You have seen that a good paragraph has a single topic that all the sentences in the paragraph are about the topic. If a sentence is not about the topic, it is irrelevant. Different kinds of topic sentences require different kinds of supporting sentences.
Another important point about paragraphs is that the sentences must follow each other in good order. You have already seen how important this is when paragraphs are supposed to follow time order. Notice how confusing this paragraph is:
Example 1a: George like one of them. The librarian gave him three books to look at. George visited the library. He checked the book out and took it home with him. He asked for a book to read.
You can see that because the sentences are mixed up, the paragraph does not make sense. Now read it again with the sentences in order. Of course, this paragraph uses time order.
Example 1b: George visited the library. He asked for a book to read. The librarian gave him three books to look at. George like one of them. He checked the book out and took it home with him.
The same thing is true with paragraphs that should have logical order. As you know, logical means that the sentences should be clear and easy for the reader to understand. The sentences should move from one idea to another smoothly that the reader can follow the writer’s thinking.
Example 2a: One is to chew our food, which is then easy to swallow and digest. The second use is to help us talk. There are two main uses for teeth.
This paragraph will seem familiar to you because you have read the sentences before. You can see, however, that the sentences are not in good order. Now, here is the order in which the sentences appeared in the original paragraph.
Example 2b: There are two main uses for teeth. One is to chew our food, which is then easy to swallow and digest. The second use is to help us talk.
Compare these sentences with those above and notice how clear example 2b is compared with example 2a. This is what we mean by logical order. It is the kind of order that makes information clear to reader.
The paragraphs below are similar. How should the sentences be rearranged to put them in better order? First, decide which sentences should be the first one. Then decide on the second and third sentences.
Example 3: The sweet orange is the kind commonly grown and eaten in the United States. There are two kinds of oranges. The other kind is called the bitter, or sour orange.
Example 4: In a cafeteria you carry your food on a tray. You are also served in a restaurant, where you sit at a table instead of at a counter. There, kinds of eating places are common in cities. In a lunch room you sit at a counter and someone serve you.
When sentences in a paragraph follow each other in good order, we say the paragraph has coherence. The word cohere means to stick together. You will learn more about this in the next unit, unit 4.
You have seen that in a clear paragraph the sentences must follow each other in good order. If they do not, the paragraph becomes mixed up and confusing. The supporting sentences must be related to the topic sentence and also to each other. If the ideas are to be clearly understood by the reader, there must be close connection between the sentences.
When you read paragraphs, you may not be concious of how closely related the sentences are. You probably think about the ideas and do not notice how the sentences are connected. If they were not closely connected, however, you would have difficulty in following the writer’s ideas.
There are many ways in which sentences are connected with each other. First, we will look at one of the most common ways. Notice the underlined words in this paragraph:
Example 1: People are thinking now about travelling to the moon. Perhaps you or your children will someday make a trip to the moon. Such a trip is no longer just a wild, impossible dream. If you go to the moon, you will have to wear a space suit. A space suit is necessary to protect you from the intense heat and the intense cold on the moon. The extreme heat and cold result from the very thin air on the moon.
4.1.1 Key Words Repeated
The underlined words serve as connections or links between the sentences in the paragraph. These words carry the ideas from one sentence to the next. In these sentences, the links consist chiefly of key words which are repeated. This is a common and basic kind of link, particularly in easy paragraph.
As sentences and paragraphs become more advanced and difficult, there is less repetition of the same words and more use of other kinds of links. Another kind of link is illustrated in the next example.
Example 2: Your space suit will help you in another way. It will have a special cover for your head. It will have tanks of air. People from the earth cannot live in the thin air of the moon.
In the above paragraph, the writer, instead of repeating key words, has used the pronoun it to subtitute for certain words. This is done to avoid using the same words again and again. When the same words repeated too frequently, they become monotonous. Pronouns give variety to writing. The use of pronouns is another very common kind of link between sentences.
Of course, it is not the only pronoun in this way. The other personal pronouns (he, him, she, her, they, them, etc.) are used in the same way. Here are two examples showing the use he, him, and they:
Example 3: As a child, George Washington Carver was unusual. He was interested in the things around him. He was always experimenting with paints.
Example 4: When Carver went to the university, he was at the top of his class. The teachers liked him because he was such a good student. They helped him get a job as a teacher when he graduated.
The repetition of keywords and the use of pronouns are two basic kinds of links between sentences.
When you are reading, it is correct for you to give most of your attention to the ideas, but when you are writing, you must be careful about the connections between your sentences. These connections are like the links in a chain. You will remember that cohere means stick together. The links hold the sentences together so that they form a chain.
In order to be able to write well, you do not only need the knowledge about the topic you are going to write but also the knowledge of the language components. The language components involve grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics (spelling, punctuation, and capitalization). In this unit you will learn about grammar that are frequently used when you communicate your ideas in written form.
1. Intransitive Verb
Intransitive Verb is a verb that does not need object. The following are the verbs that belong to intransitive verbs:
a. Existence : appear, die, disappear, exist, happen, live, occur, remain, vanish (lenyap).
Example: (1) She died last week. (2)They disappeared in the dark.
b. Human body: ache (sakit), bleed (berdarah), blush (menjadi merah), faint (jatuh pingsan), shiver (gemetar, menggigil), smile (tersenyum).
Example: (1)When I came, she fainted. (2) His nose is bleeding.
c. Human voices: cough, cry, sream (menjerit, berteriak) sigh (mengeluh,berkeluh kesah) snore (berdengkur), yawn (menguap), speak.
Example: (1)She is sleepy, she keeps yawning, (2) My uncle always snores.
d. Light, smell, vibration : gleam (berseri-seri), glow (memancarkan cahaya), shine (bercahaya), sparkle (berkilau-kilauan), stink (berbau busuk), throb (berdebar,berdenyut-denyut), vibrate (bergetar).
Example: (1) Her eyes gleamed with happeness. (2) Love shone in her eyes. (3) The water sparkeled in the sunlight.
e. Position, Movement : arrive, come, depart, fall, flow, go, jump, kneel, run, sit, sleep, stand, swim, wait, walk, work.
Example: (1)The boy is sleeping. (2) The oldman is walking slowly.
2. Transitive Verb
Transitive verbs are the verbs that need object. The verbs that belong to the transitive verbs are the verbs that have relation to:
Physical Object: build, buy, carry, cover, cut, damage, destroy, fill, hit, own, remove, rent, see, waste, and wear.
Example: (1) Those children are carrying some buckets. I want to rent a car for tomorrow.
Senses: hear, feel, smell, taste, and touch.
Example: (1) I heard her voice. (2) She tastes some spoons of butter.
Feeling: admire, dislike, enjoy, fear, frighten, hate, interest, like, love, need, prefer, surprise, trust, and want.
Example: (1) Alex enjoys his vacation. (2) The birds need a new cage.
Facts, ideas : accept, believe, consider, correct, discuss, expect, express, forget, include, know, mean, remember, and report.
Example: (1) Do you remember me? (2) Mills always corrects my speech.
People: address (menunjukkan, memanggil, menyapa), blame, comfort, contact, convince, defy (menantang), kill, persuade, please, tease, thank, and warn.
Example: (1) Jill is warning her son not to go out. (2) I killed a cockroach last night.
3. Verb with or without object
Sometimes, in a transitive sentence, the object is not inluded in condition that the object of the sentence has been mentioned in the previous sentence, or the listener/reader know the intended object by the speaker/ writer. The verbs that belong to this group are: accept, draw, iron, phone, study, answer, drive, know, read, type, change, eat, learn, remember, understand, choose, explain, leave, ride, wash, clean, forget, paint, sing, watch, cook, help, park, steal, and write.
Example: (1)When I came home, she was eating (some rice). (2) I don’t have have a car, but I can drive (car).
5.2 Sentence Structure
There are basically four kinds of sentences in English: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. The kind of sentence is determined by the kind of clauses used that form it.
A. A simple sentence is an independent clause.
v I attend writing 2 course once a week.
v My friends and I enjoy doing the tasks of writing 2 course.
B. A compound sentence is two or more independent clauses joined together in any one of three ways:
1. By a coordinating conjunction.
v I enjoy reading, but I hate writing.
2. By a sentence connector:
v Our lecturer is beautiful; however, she is killer.
3. By a semicolon:
v She enjoys the course; she hates the tasks.
C. A complex sentence is a combination of an independent clause and a dependent clause. The two clauses may be in either order.
v Although she is beautiful, she is killer.
v She is killer although she is beautiful.
D. A compound-complex sentence is a combination of two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.
I enjoy watching TV, but I hate sinetrons even though many people like them.
There are three groups of words that are used to connect clauses in order to form sentences that are both grammatical and logical. These three groups are coordinating conjunctions, sentence connectors, and subordinators. Coordinating conjunctions and sentence connectors join independent clauses to form compound sentences. Meanwhile, subordinators introduce dependent clauses, which are joined with independent clauses to form complex sentences.
A compound sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction, such as and, or, nor, but, for, so, yet. Each clause in a compound sentence must have subject and verb, is of equal importance, and can stand alone. Punctuate the sentence by putting a comma (,) before the coordinating conjunction. A compound sentence is formed with:
Independent Clause + Coordinating Conjunction + Independent Clause
The following sample sentences indicate how coordinating conjunctions work to make compound sentences. In each sentence, the coordinating conjunction is under lined.
1. George has applied for scholarship, and Diane has requested financial aid (additional idea related to first idea).
2. Student may live in the dormitories, or they may live in off-campus housing (choice of two possibilities).
3. Gerry has completed two math courses, but he must still take calculus (contrast with first clause).
4. Rony completed his homework early, so he decided to go to the party (result of the first clause).
5. Foreign student must take English courses, for they must be able to communicate easily in speaking and writing (reason for first clause).
6. I have taken two finals, yet I must take two more this week (contrast to first clause).
7. Many students do not like to study for test, nor do they like to write term paper (negative choice in both clauses).
Note: In the last sentence, the word order after nor is that of typical English question. This is standard practice for this conjunction.
In order to make the ideas in your sentences clear and understandable, words, phrases, and clauses should have parallelism—that is, the sentence structures should be grammatically balanced. Parallel construction is the repetition of grammatical patterns within a sentence or a series of sentences. By using similar grammatical forms to express equal ideas, your sentences will flow smoothly, and your writing style will improve.
Use similar grammatical structures to balance your writing. If the first structure is a noun, make all of the others nouns; if it is a phrase, make all of the others phrases; if it is a clause, make all of the others clauses.
Notice how the rule of parallelism is followed in the second set of sentences below. The first sentences are structurally unbalanced. The second sentences are correctly balanced: nouns with nouns, phrases with phrases, and clauses with clauses.
Incorrect A student needs textbooks, notebooks, and he needs pens.
Correct A student needs textbooks, notebooks, and pens.
Incorrect A student who does well in exams attends class, reads the textbooks, and he reviews the notes.
Correct A student who does well in exams attends class, reads the textbooks, and reviews the notes.
Incorrect The student wanted to know what the calculus problems were and the due date.
Correct The student wanted to know what the calculus problems were assigned and when the due date was.
Words, phrases, and clauses that are joined by and, or, and but are written in parallel form. Notice the parallel structures joined by conjunctions in the following sentences.
1) The Federal Air Pollution Control Administration regulated automobile exhausts, and the Federal Aviation Administration makes similar regulations for aircraft.
2) The states regulate the noise created motor vehicles, but not by commercial aircraft.
3) Pesticides must be removed from the market if they present and adverse effect on man or on the environment.
Use the parallel forms with the correlative conjunctions both … and, either … or, neither … nor, and not only … but also. Correlative conjunctions are placed directly before the elements they join the sentence. Notice the parallel structure in these clauses joined by correlative conjunctions:
1) Congress has provided the means for both regulating pesticides and ordering their removal if dangerous.
2) Air pollutions may come either from the ocean as natural contaminants gives off by sea life or from the internal combustion engines of automobiles.
3) If neither industry nor the public works toward reducing pollution problem future generations will suffer.
4) Many people are neither concerned about pollutants nor worried about their future impact.
5) At the present time, air pollution is controlled through lows passed not only to reduce the pollutants at their sources, but also to set up acceptable standards of air quality.
Grammatical elements in the following sentences are written in parallel form.
STEP 1 Underline the words are parallel.
STEP 2 In the parenthesis, write down the name of the grammatical class.
The ideas conditions for skiing are sunshine, powdery snow, and uncrowned slopes. (noun).
1. The XYZ Corporation manufactures copiers, duplicators, and self-correcting typewriters. ( )
2. The corporation gathers, edits and synthesizes information. ( )
3. The new personal computer is the most important, useful and exciting electronic product of today.( )
4. The latest self-correcting typewriter works easily, speedily, and noise lessly. ( )
5. The company's buyers sat in the conference room with the sales representative, both listening and talking. ( )
If you want to learn a foreign language well, you should try to think in the language and speak the language as much as possible. ( )
You must spend your time studying the vocabulary, listening to native speakers, and practicing new sentence structures. ( )
You can learn a foreign language in the classroom, at home, or in the foreign country where the language is spoken.( )
1. If the supply of oil drops and if the demand increases, alternative fuels will have to be found. ( )
2. At an international seminar, practicing countries discussed who the major producers of oil were and how much they would export. ( )
3. It is a popular misconception that oil is found in vast underground pools and that it needs only to the pumped out. ( )
4. Americans are facing a fuel crisis, but according to statistics, they are driving their car more often. ( )
5. Before the energy crisis began and before the government emphasized the need to save natural resources, Americans did not realize the seriousness of the situation. ( )
6. 1 Comma (,)
Comma punctuation is used in four ways: as introducers, as coordinators in compound sentences, as inserters, and as linkers.
A comma is used after introductory words, phrases, and clauses.
Words However, the new law was largely ignored by the public.
Phrases As a result, an even stricter law was proposed.
After along vacation, he returned to work.
Having studied very hard, she passed the exam easily.
Clauses Because he had missed so many clauses, he had to drop the course.
Appositives An old man, my grandfather can barely walk.
A comma is used between two independent clauses joined by the coordinating conjunctions and, but, yet, or, for, nor, and so to form compound sentences.
And The exam was quite easily, and most students passed.
But The exam was quite easily, but most students failed.
Yet The experiment was considered successfully, yet the result were disappointing.
Or Will you write your thesis this semester, or will you wait next semester?
For Your decision is important, for our future plans depend on it.
Nor He didn't come to class during the last three weeks, nor did he take the final exam.
So He didn't study, so he didn't pass the course.
Nor is a troublemaker. It is a negative word, and it signals inverted word order. The verb must come before the subject. Also, do not confuse compound sentences with simple sentences that have two verbs. A compound sentence has two subjects and two verbs:
She asked the question, and she answered it in the same breath.
A simple sentence can also have two verbs, but it has only one subject:
She asked the question and answered it in the same breath.
A comma is used before and after words, phrases and clauses that are inserted into the middle of a main clause.
Transitions The new law, however, was largely ignored by the public.
The students, on the other hand, felt that the test was unfair.
The computer, for example, has both positive and negative uses.
Appositive My grandfather, an old man, can barely walk.
Dr. Danielson, a professor in the English Department, has written several books.
Dr. William Porter, a professor of medicine at the University of California, suggested in his article, "The Effects of Marijuana on Motor Responses," that pot smokers' reactions are slower.
Non restrictive clause Income taxes, which all people who receive an income must pay, are due on April 15 every year.
My husband, who used to smoke three packs of cigarettes a day, has stopped smoking.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, lived in New England.
A comma is used (a) when adding word and phrases at the end of the sentence, and (b) when linking items in a series.
Transitions The new law was largely ignored by the public, however.
The students felt that the test was unfair, of course.
Items in a series Cholera, smallpox, yellow fever, and diphtheria are some of diseases that have been conquered in this century.
A nurse has to be willing to work at night, on weekends, and on holidays.
We ran into airport, checked our luggage, raced to the boarding area, gave the attendant our tickets, and collapsed in our seats.
Exercise: Using Commas
STEP 1 Add commas wherever they necessary. (Not all sentences need them.)
STEP 2 Name the function of each comma (introducer, coordinator, inserter, or linker).
__________ 1.The advertising industry which is one of the larges industries in the United Stated employs millions of people and spends billions of dollars.
__________ 2. A company that wants to be successful must spend a great deal of money to advertise its products.
__________ 3. Advertising is essential to the free enterprise system yet it can sometimes be very annoying.
__________ 4. Every minute of the day and night people are exposed to ads on television on billboards in the newspaper and in magazines.
__________ 5. You can't even avoid advertising in the privacy of your own car or your own home for advertiser have begun selling their product in those places too.
__________ 6. In the last few years advertising agencies have started to hire young people to hand out circulars on street-corner and in parking lots.
__________ 7. You can often find these circulars stuck on your windshield thrush through the open windows of your car stuffed in your mailbox or simply scattered on your front doorstep.
__________ 8. Because American are exposed to so much advertising they have become immune* to it.
__________ 9. As a result advertisers have to make louder commercials use brighter colors and hire sexier models to catch the public's attention.
__________ 10. Many people object especially to commercials that use sex as a sales strategy.
__________ 11. Sexy commercials that sell every thing from toothpaste to automobiles seem to imply that you will become sexier if you buy the product.
__________ 12. Sex is used in many cigarette and liquors ads for example.
__________ 13. The women in such ads are often dressed in revealing clothes and are surrounded by handsome men and the men in such ads are always extremely handsome and virile.
__________ 14. As everyone knows smoking and drinking do not make you sexy or virile.
__________ 15. On the contrary drinking makes you fat and smoking makes you sick.
__________ 16. The government is considering a ban on sex in cigarette and liquor ads because of their potentially harmful effect on teenagers.
__________ 17. The government is considering a ban but no action has been taken yet.
__________ 18. If such action is taken my boyfriend the Marlboro man will be out of a job.
__________ 19. Catherine Deneuve who sells automobiles and perfume would lose some work too.
__________ 20. on the other hand it is more pleasant to look at beautiful women and handsome men than at ugly people.
6.2 Full Stop (.)
The full stop is used under the following conditions:
a. At the end of a declarative sentence: He came here at four o’clock.
b. To indicate an abbreviation: Mr. A. Hambali go to the office.
c. To separate figures which indicate a date: 01 . 12 . 2005
d. To show that something in a quoted passage has been omitted, periods (…) are employed: According to Syaifullah (2007: 33):
“... as coordinators in compound sentences, as inserters, and as linkers.”
6.3 Question Mark (?)
Question mark is used at the end of the interrogative sentences.
Example : (1) What did you do last night?
(2) Is he a new student?
The question mark is not used in indirect question.
Example: (1) I wonder why she chose that dress.
(2) My mom asked me if I could do the test.
6.4 Exclamation Mark (!)
Exclamation mark is used at the end of imperative sentences. It is also used to state the high emotional condition.
Example: (1) Look at me!
(2) Get out!
(3) I hate you!
6.5 Semi Colon (;)
Using semicolons is not difficult if you remember that a semicolon (;) is more like a period (.) than a comma. It is a very strong punctuation mark. Semicolons are used in three places (1) between two sentences that are closely connected idea, (2) between sentence connectors and some transitional phrase, (3) between items in series.
a. Between Sentences
Use a semicolon at the end of a sentence when the following sentence is closely connected in meaning. You could also use a period, but when the sentences are connected in meaning, it is better to use a semicolon.
Independent clause Independent Clause
v Maya is going to Banjarbaru; she isn’t going to Kotabaru.
v Computer use is increasing; computer crime is, too.
v The committee adjourned at dawn; nothing had been accomplished.
b. Before Connectors
Use a semicolon before connectors such as however, therefore, nevertheles, moreover, and furthermore. You may use semicolon before transitional pharases such as for example, as a result, that is, and in fact.
v Skiing is dangerous; nevertheless, hundreds of people ski.
v Chris Evert is a great tennis player; moreover, she is attractive.
v Jimmy Conners played well; however, Bjorn Borg beat him.
v He had smoked all his life; as a result, he died of lung cancer.
v I have never been to Southern California; in fact, I have never been to San Jose.
b. Between items in series
Semicolons may be used as well to separate items in a series, as long as some of the items already contain commas.
I cannot decide which man I will choose to be my husband; the businessman, with his beautiful big houses and modern cars; the football player, with his strong healthy body; or the lecturer with his smart brain and sweet smile.
6.6 Colon (:)
A colon (:) can be used in five ways: lists, long quotations, subtitles, time, and formal salutations.
Use a colon to introduce a list.
v Libraries have two kinds of periodicals: bound periodicals and current periodicals.
v I need the following groceries: eggs, milk, and coffee.
v The causes of Civil War were as follows: the economic domination of the north, the slavery issue, and the issue of states’ rights versus federal intervention.
Do not use a colon to introduce a list after the verb “to be” unless you add the following or as follows.
The causes of Civil War were the economic domination of the north, the slavery issue, and the issue of states’ rights versus federal intervention.
To me, the most important things in life are health, happiness, good friends and a lot of money.
BUT To me, the most important things in life are the following: health, happiness, good friends and a lot of money.
b. Long Quotation
Use a colon to introduce a long quotation, that is, a quotation longer than three lines. This type of quote is indented on both sides, and no quotation marks are used.
As Albert C. Baugh and Thomas Cable state in their book, the History of the English Language:
There is no such thing as uniformity in language. Not only does the speech of one community differ from that of another, but the speech of different individuals of a single community, even different members of the same family, is marked by individual peculiarities.
Use a colon between the main title and the subtitle of a book, article, or play.
v A popular book on nonverbal communication is samovar and Porter’s Intercultural Communication: A Reader.
v The name of an article from The New York Times is “Space Stations: Dream or Reality?”
Use a colon between the numbers for hours and minutes when indicating the time of day.
v Helen left the class at 12:30.
v Our plane arrived at 1:40.
e. Formal salutations
Use a colon after the salutation of a formal letter.
v Dear Professor Syaifullah:
v Dear Sir:
v Dear Mrs. Syaiful:
a. Capitalize all proper nouns and all proper adjectives ( adjectives derived from proper nouns). Capitalize the days of the week, months, holidays, periods, and events in history, special events, political parties, official documents, trade names, geographical names, heavenly bodies, streets, formal epithets, official titles, and official state nicknames.
Egypt, Egyptian, Phoenix, Laura Van Gorp, Thursday, January, Thanksgiving Day, Easter, Hannukah, Middle Ages, The Renaissance, The Roaring Twenties, Jupiter, Misissipi River, Democratic Party, Declaration Of Independence, the Battle Of Bunker Hill, Twenty-first Street, Highway 36, the Milky Way, Colgate Toothpaste, Alexander the Great, Corvette, Mayor Washington, the Badger State.
b. Words like father, uncle, and senator are proper nouns when they are
parts of titles or when they are substituted for proper nouns.
v My uncle, Duane, likes me. (Uncle is not part of the name.)
v Hi, Uncle Duane! (Uncle is part of the name.)
v The senator, Bill Proxmire, is a cool guy.
v Did you know that Senator Proxmire kissed my mother?
v Mom has been appointed Postmaster General.
c. Words such as home economics, history, and science are proper nouns
when they are the titles of specific courses, but are common nouns when
they name a field of study.
v That guy failed his home economics assignment because he tried to cook eggs in the microwave oven.
v “Who teaches Reading 2?”
v “ The same guy who teaches that reading 1 course.”
d. Words which indicate particular sections of the country are proper nouns;
words which simply indicate direction are not proper nouns.
v Skiing is popular in the North.
v Sparrows don’t fly south because they are lazy.
v We visited some friends in western Wisconsin.
e. Nouns or pronouns which refer to the Supreme Being are capitalized.
v Jehovah, the Lord, the Savior
v Capitalize God for any other word which refers to Him.
f. The word Koran and the books of the Bible are capitalized; likewise, the
names for other holy books and sacred writings are capitalized.
The Koran, Book of psalms, Ecclesiastes, the Koran.
g. Capitalize the first word in each sentence and the first word in a direct
v He never saw a snake he didn’t like.
v The old lady shouted up the stairs, “You kids stop fightin’ this minute or I’ll spank the both of ya!”
h. Capitalize races, nationalities, languages, and religions.
Negro Navajo Canadian Hebrew Islam Catholic Chinese
i. Capitalize the first word of a title, the last word, and every word in between except articles, short preposition, and short conjunctions. Follow this rule for title of books, newspaper, magazines, poems, plays, songs, articles, films, works of art, pictures, and stories.
Lentera Journal; A midsummer Night’s Dream; Sport Illustrated; The Red Badge of Courage; Building Self-Respect
j. Capitalize the name of an organization, association, or team and its
Democratic Party; Republican; New York State Historical society; the Boy Scouts; the Red Cross; Green Bay Packers
k. Capitalize abbreviations of titles and organizations:
U.S.A.; Ph. D. ; A.D.; B.C.; No.; S. Pd.; S.H.; M. A.P.
Budiman, Rahmat. 2004. Writing 2. Jakarta: Universitas Terbuka.
Ngabut, C. Yus. 1998: Writing 3. Unpublished Material. Universitas Palangkaraya.
Oshima, Alice, & Hogue, Ann 1983. Writing Academic English: A Writing and Sentence Structure Workbook for International Students. London: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
Sebranik, Patrik &Meyer,Verne. 1985. Basic English Revisited: A student Handbook. Burlington: Wisconsin.