About the Author Tim Avants is an EdD candidate, has two degrees in English, including a Master of Arts with an emphasis in Grammar and Composition, and is currently doing research to complete his EdD in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Mr. Avants currently teaches at Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Avants has also authored two previous textbooks, one designed as a series text for Composition I and II at the university level; the text is entitled Grammar and Composition. The other text is entitled EFL Grammar and includes over fifty pages of exercises with complete explanations.He also reads and writes five languages. Mr. Avants understands the problems the language learner faces, so he presents the test-taking strategies for the student to overcome these obstacles. The student benefits from this experience, learning the most in the least amount of time. Read more Excerpt. ? Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. The Essay FormatsThe next chapter deals with rough patterns for essays. They are variable, therefore rough, and, later on, essays are included, which answer specific TOEFL questions. Look over the outlines carefully, and develop a mental image of where elements of the essay are situated, such as transitional sentences and phrases, evidentiary statements-ones that provide evidence of the points you develop in your paper, examples, types of topic sentences for different pod's, types of thesis statements, and finally sentence structure, which is determined by your pod. Do not be intimidated. You have the capability to come out of there with a 6. Good luck.Comparison-ContrastIn the Comp-Contrast paper, look for words that suggest a relationship of similarity or dissimilarity. They may be words like opposite, alike, unlike, in common, or any other words with the same meanings. Be aware of signals that will give you ideas on how to address the topic. The ease that a professor, or anyone else for that matter, reads a pod is based in the ability to move back and forth from point to point, comparing each in a relatively short time. This is good for him, but the writing of the pt. by pt. usually takes longer for the student. However, on the exam, the points are there and relatively easy to write out. Therefore, I suggest the pt. by pt. pod for exams, especially if the exam is only four paragraphs in length. A final note, remember that the number of paragraphs in a paper are directly related to the number of evidentiary statements in the introduction. The ES, which stands for evidentiary statement, is the sentence that provides evidence to support your thesis statement. Following, though, despite only having one paragraph in the body, we have two evidentiary statements. This is a rare exception, and it is usually common with a point by point pod wherein the two topics are dealt with in the body of the essay together. It is commonly called an ABAB pod, because every sentence jumps back to the subject. For example, one sentence is about A and the next is about B. This allows the reader to compare the two items fairly well without loss of time, which is important to a grader who does a lot of reading.Let's look at a point by point pod that deals with a tangible subject. Plus, the transitionals will be highlighted, so you can see exactly how to glue the ideas together. First, look at the diagram below. With a point by point pod, you can basically look at the possibilities in several ways. Primarily, with a really short paper, the A-B, A-B, A-B, A-B style works, but it fails if you have a longer paper, say around four to five pages typed. Plus, we do not want to have a sing-song rhythm that becomes monotonous. This style may still work, but we can apply it to one topic, perhaps encompassing 4?5 sentences. Actually, it's your call on length.The first example of this type of paper us set up in the following format: AAABBB. The sentences should be equally grouped. For now, look over the next paper. Note the places I have written notes to you. I have highlighted the transitionals, so you can observe how we manipulate our sentence structure, reader attention, and the focus on the content. This paper is a response to an essay exam question:Which would you prefer an older home or a modern home?Point by Point: Comparison-ContrastFor the individual who puts stock in the old and traditional, the strength of foundation, and the grandeur of space, the traditional house may be the choice of a lifetime. The motifs of style that have long been played out in today's market of prefabricated homes are existent in those structures of that were popular in the past. In addition, foundations were stronger in older houses, and they still are, even given the course of time. For whatever reason, older homes also tend to be larger. These points certainly warrant more discussion.Reader: Now, you can write the body two separate ways with the pt. by pt. pod. First, you can write the sentences in a point by point- one sentence about A, and one about B, until you complete the category or group of sentences that pertain to, evidentiary statement number one, the statement that you made which supports the thesis statement. Therefore, the first motif of style could be written about in the following manner.The symbol ? indicates the start of a new paragraph, which includes the indentation or space of five letters. The paragraph above starting with the word 'for' is indented five spaces. A space is the size of a letter.The style of older structures carries the charm of aristocracy or the peace of the rustic countryside as compared to the assembly-like packaging of modern homes.A. Basically, the shopper has the variety from which to choose in the market of older structures.A. For instance, if one wants to wrap himself in the old world of the nineteenth century, he can search in the 'second-hand' market.A. Moreover, the buyer can choose from different time periods, haggle on prices, or even negotiate in the arena of remodeling.B. On the other hand, modern homes of today are thrown up in a hurry, many having the same features.B. Along those lines, most homes in a particular subdivision cost about the same, so variety is limited.B. Consequently, if the buyer wants to stand out in the crowd, the modern home disallows much personal freedom.Reader: You should see how the underlined phrases tie the ideas together, provide contrast among the points, and ultimately guide the reader. However, we could have set up the body's format in one paragraph with the alternating ABAB method.Caution: We never want to number or letter the sentences like here. I only did that to give you visual cues, so you see how things are glued together. Also, do not skip lines unless you start a new paragraph. From the arrangement of the sentences, we could easily pull out 18 sentences from those three points. Writing complete essays will become infinitely easier than before with these methods. Did you catch how our transitionals were always placed at the beginning of each sentence? It is an excellent idea to vary the positioning thereof. Let's go back to the alternating AB-AB method and move the transitionals around in the sentences.For the individual who puts stock in the old and traditional, the strength of foundation, and the grandeur of space, the traditional house may be the choice of a lifetime. The motifs of style that have long been played out in today's market of prefabricated homes are existent in those structures of yesteryear. In addition, foundations were stronger in older houses, and they still are, even given the course of time. For whatever reason, older homes also tend to be larger. These points certainly warrant discussion. The style of older structures carries the charm of aristocracy or the peace of the rustic countryside as compared to the assembly-like packaging of modern homes. Basically, the shopper has the variety from which to choose in the market of older structures. Modern homes of today, on the other hand, are thrown up in a hurry, many having the same features. But, if one wants to wrap himself in the old world of the nineteenth century, he can search in the 'second-hand' market, usually finding what he wants in traditional structures, although doing so may take longer. A lover of traditional motifs can choose from different time periods, haggle on prices, or even negotiate in the arena of remodeling. Along those lines, most homes in a particular subdivision cost about the same, so variety is limited. Consequently, if the buyer wants to stand out in the crowd, the modern home disallows much personal freedom.Note: The preceding paragraph has been changed only slightly, and this was to accommodate logic. If the paper is short, like a short essay test, the AB-AB pod is better; however, if the structure requires time and effort at home, the AAABBB-AAABBB is better. This is the second way to write a pt. by pt. pod, which includes writing several sentences about one point. Notice how the transitionals hold it together. I moved the transitional on the other hand to medial position, reworded a sentence, and added a qualifier in italics. You must employ a variety of sentence structuring techniques to keep your reader involved. Face it, most people do not want to hear what you have to say anyway, so be sly; manipulate the reader's attention, and accomplish your goals. Read more
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