WRITING BETTER ENGLISH, LESSON 2
KEY ELEMENTS OF PERSUASIVE WRITING
ETHOS, LOGOS, PATHOS
Ethos - Authority, character, reliability, knowledge
Logos - Logic, evidence
Pathos - Emotional appeal
STRUNK AND WHITE, ELEMENTS OF STYLE
EMERSON, "Self-Reliance" Essay
FROST, POETRY, "Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same"
WEEKLY SHORT ASSIGNMENT: Why study fine writers from other times and foreign lands?
LAST WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT: WHY STUDY WRITING BETTER ENGLISH?
FROM ELEMENTS OF STYLE:
II. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION
8. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic.
This can be tricky, as “topic” is a slippery term. Lately, short paragraphs have become fashionable and are effective.
9. As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; end it in conformity with the beginning.
“In conformity” does not mean repeating, however. Be more creative as you restate.
10. Use the active voice.
Active: She wrote the poem. Passive: The poem was written by her.
11. Put statements in positive form.
Do not put statements in this negative form, generally.
12. Use definite, specific, concrete language.
As done in “connecting Asian American women to the world.”
13. Omit needless words.
Be pithy, terse, and succinct, avoiding repetition and redundancy, unlike this sentence.
14. Avoid a succession of loose sentences.
Loose sentences are distinguished from periodic ones, where the main idea comes at the end.
15. Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form.
Use parallelism in sentence structure: she wrote the book and he drew the pictures.
16. Keep related words together.
Make it clear what your modifiers modify.
17. In summaries, keep to one tense.
Generally, use the simple present or simple past tense: it does, it did….
18. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end.
Easier said than done.
ESSAY, "SELF-RELIANCE," RALPH WALDO EMERSON
SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THE ESSAY (BROKEN INTO SENTENCES HERE):
There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.
The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.
Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact, makes much impression on him, and another none.
It is not without preestablished harmony, this sculpture in the memory.
The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray.
Bravely let him speak the utmost syllable of his confession.
We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.
It may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.
It needs a divine man to exhibit anything divine.
A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace.
It is a deliverance which does not deliver.
In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse befriends; no invention, no hope.
Poet ROBERT FROST, "Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same”
ASSIGNMENT: 100-200 WORDS ON WHY STUDY FOREIGN WRITERS AND NON-CONTEMPORARIES, TOO?
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