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For more material and information, please visit www.tailieuduhoc.org THE ESSAY scientific writers sometimes use a more elaborate system, be-ginning each paragraph with a two-part number, the first digit to designate the chapter, the second the paragraph. Interparagraph Transitions Transitions link a paragraph to what has immediately pre-ceded it. They occur at or near the beginning of the new para-graph because it represents a turn of thought, needing to be linked to what has gone before. Transitions act like railroad switches, smoothing and easing the turn from one track to another. The Repetitive Transition The simplest type of transition repeats a key word. Writing about the Louisiana politician Huey Long, Hodding Carter ends one paragraph and begins the next with the following link (the italics are added in this and in all following examples, unless noted otherwise): Behind Huey were the people, and the people wanted these things. And with the people behind him, Huey expanded ominously. A repeated word makes a strong and simple connection. It works well when the key term leading into the new paragraph occurs naturally at the end of the preceding one. But it is awkward and artificial when the term is forced into the final sentence merely to set up the transition. The Transition A second way of linking paragraphs is to ask and answer a rhetorical question. Usually the question is placed at the end of the preceding paragraph and the answer at the beginning of the following one. Nancy Mitford, commenting upon the For more material and information, please visit www.tailieuduhoc.org ORGANIZING THE MIDDLE apparently compulsive need of tourists to travel, concludes one paragraph and opens the next like this: Why do they do it? The answer is that the modern dwelling is comfortable, conven-ient, and clean, but it is not a home. Less often the question appears at the opening of the new paragraph, as in this discussion of the ultimate defeat of the Crusades: With want of enthusiasm, want of new recruits, want, indeed, of stout purpose, the remaining Christian principalities gradually crumbled. Antioch fell in 1268, the Hospitaler fortress of des Chevaliers in In 1291, with the capture of the last great stronghold, Acre, the Moslems had regained all their possessions, and the great crusades ended, in failure. What went wrong? There was a clearly. . . . failure of morale Morris Bishop The question-and-answer transition makes a very strong tie, but, as with the rhetorical question generally, it is too obvious a strategy to be called upon very often. The Summarizing Transition This link begins with a phrase or clause that sums up the preceding paragraph and then moves to the main clause, which introduces the new topic. (Unless idiom prohibits it, the elements of the transition should always be in that order: summary of old topic, statement of new one.) //- and while-clauses frequently carry such transitions: went through anguish in botany and was even worse. different James Thurber But while Bernard Shaw pleasantly surprised innumerable cranks and revolutionists by finding quite rational arguments for them, For more material and information, please visit www.tailieuduhoc.org THE ESSAY he surprised them unpleasantly also by discovering something else. G. K. Chesterton Long summarizing transitions tend to be formal in tone. On informal occasions it may be better to avoid a full if- or and state the summary more briefly. Here, for example, a writer moves from the topic of college teaching methods to that of personal responsibility: Because of these differences in teaching methods, college throws more responsibility upon the student. A summarizing transition may take even briefer form, us-ing pronouns like this, that, these, those, or such to sum up the preceding topic. The historian J. Fred moves from the severe geographical conditions of South America to a dis-cussion of its resources: These are grave handicaps. But Latin America has many resources in compensation. Although the "these" in that example is perfectly clear, such pronouns can be ambiguous when used as the subjects of sentences, especially when they refer to the whole of a long, complex idea. If you do use such a pronoun in this way, be sure that readers understand what it refers to. Should there be a doubt, make the pronoun an adjective modifying a word or phrase that fairly sums up the preceding point: for example, "These handicaps are grave." Logical Transitions Finally, you may link paragraphs by words showing logical relationships: therefore, however, but, consequently, thus, and so, even so, on the other hand, for instance, nonetheless, and many, many more. In the following passage the historian and political scientist Richard Hofstadter is contrasting "intelli- For more material and information, please visit www.tailieuduhoc.org ORGANIZING THE MIDDLE gence" and "intellect." In the first paragraph he defines "in-telligence." By placing the transitional phrase on the other hand near the beginning of the second paragraph, he signals the other half of the contrast: .. . intelligence is an excellence of mind that is employed within a fairly narrow, immediate, and predictable range. . . . Intelligence works within the framework of limited but clearly stated goals. Intellect, on the other hand, is the critical, creative, and contem-plative side of mind. Here is another discussion of which moreover indicates that the new paragraph will develop an extension of the preceding idea: may quote again from Mr. the play`s very lack of a rigorous type of causal logic seems to be a part of its point. Moreover, the matter goes deeper than this. Hamlet`s world is preeminently in the interrogative mode. Mack Logical connectives seldom provide the only link between paragraphs. Actually, they work in conjunction with word repetitions, summaries, pronouns. In fact, all the various tran-sitional strategies we have looked at commonly occur in some combination. But whatever its form, an interparagraph tran-sition should be clear and unobtrusive, shifting readers easily from one topic to the next. For Practice > Read closely an essay or article you like and study how the writer links paragraphs. > Go through something you have written and underline the link-ages between paragraphs. If you find places where the connections seem weak, improve For more material and information, please visit www.tailieuduhoc.org CHAPTER 11 Point of View, Persona, and Tone Point of View Thus far we have looked at how to begin and end essays and how to help readers follow the flow of thought. It remains to consider several other aspects of a composition, more abstract but no less important. These are point of view, persona, and tone. Point of view relates to how you present a subject. Two approaches are possible. In a personal point of view you play the role of writer openly, using "I," "me," "my." An imper-sonal point of view, on the other hand, requires that you avoid all explicit reference to yourself. The difference is not that in a personal point of view the subject is the writer, while in an impersonal one it is something else. Every subject involves, though it is not necessarily the writer. The difference is a question of strategy. On many occasions one point of view or the other is pref-erable. Some topics so intimately involve the writer that they require a presentation. It would sound silly to describe your summer vacation impersonally. Don`t be afraid to use "I" if it fits your subject and purpose. On other occasions a personal point of view is not appro-priate. A scientist, writing professionally, usually tries to keep ... - tailieumienphi.vn