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Composition

الكلية كلية التربية الاساسية     القسم قسم اللغة الانكليزية     المرحلة 1
أستاذ المادة رسل عاصم عبود       26/04/2020 11:45:06
Lectures Of Composition


In the literary sense, a composition (from the Latin "to put together") is the way a writer assembles words and sentences to create a coherent and meaningful work. Composition can also mean the activity of writing, the nature of the subject of a piece of writing, the piece of writing itself, and the name of a college course assigned to a student. This essay focuses on practicing how people write.

Key Takeaways
In writing, composition refers to the way a writer structures a piece of writing.
The four modes of composition, which were codified in the late 19th century, are description, narration, exposition, and argumentation.
Good writing can include elements of multiple modes of composition.
Composition Definition
Just like a musician and an artist, a writer sets the tone of a composition to his or her purpose, making decisions about what that tone should be to form a structure. A writer might express anything from the point of view of cool logic to impassioned anger. A composition might use clean and simple prose, flowery, descriptive passages, or analytical nomenclature.
Since the 19th century, English writers and teachers have been grappling with ways to classify forms and modes of writing so beginner writers can have a place to start. After decades of struggle, rhetoricians ended up with four categories of writing that still make up the mainstream of Composition 101 college classes: Description, Narration, Exposition, and Argumentation.

Types of Composition Writing
The four classical types of composition (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are not categories, per se. They would almost never stand alone in a piece of writing, but rather are best-considered modes of writing, pieces of writing styles that can be combined and used to create a whole. That is to say, they can inform a piece of writing, and they are good starting points for understanding how to put a piece of writing together.


Examples for each of the following composition types are based on the American poet Gertrude Stein s famous quote from "Sacred Emily," her 1913 poem: "A rose is a rose is a rose."


Description
A description, or descriptive writing, is a statement or account that describes something or someone, listing characteristic features and significant details to provide a reader with a portrayal in words. Descriptions are set in the concrete, in the reality, or solidity of an object as a representation of a person, place, or thing in time. They provide the look and feel of objects, a simultaneous whole, with as many details as you d like.

A description of a rose might include the color of the petals, the aroma of its perfume, where it exists in your garden, whether it is in a plain terracotta pot or a hothouse in the city.

A description of "Sacred Emily" might talk about the length of the poem and the facts of when it was written and published. It might list the images that Stein uses or mention her use of repetition and alliteration.

Narration
A narration, or narrative writing, is a personal account, a story that the writer tells his or her reader. It can be an account of a series of facts or events, given in order and establishing connections between the steps. It can even be dramatic, in which case you can present each individual scene with actions and dialog. The chronology could be in strict order, or you could include flashbacks.

A narration about a rose might describe how you first came across it, how it came to be in your garden, or why you went to the greenhouse that day.

A narration about "Sacred Emily" might be about how you came across the poem, whether it was in a class or in a book lent by a friend, or if you were simply curious about where the phrase "a rose is a rose" came from and found it on the internet.

Exposition
Exposition, or expository writing, is the act of expounding or explaining a person, place, thing, or event. Your purpose is not to just describe something, but to give it a reality, an interpretation, your ideas on what that thing means. In some respects, you are laying out a proposition to explain a general notion or abstract idea of your subject.

An exposition on a rose might include its taxonomy, what its scientific and common names are, who developed it, what the impact was when it was announced to the public, and/or how was it distributed.

An exposition on "Sacred Emily" could include the environment in which Stein wrote, where she was living, what her influences were, and what the impact was on reviewers.

Argumentation
Also called argumentative writing, an argumentation is basically an exercise in comparing and contrasting. It is the methodological presentation of both sides of an argument using logical or formal reasoning. The end result is formulated to persuade why thing A is better than thing B. What you mean by "better" makes up the content of your arguments.

Argumentation applied to a rose might be why one particular rose is better than another, why you prefer roses over daisies, or vice versa.

Argumentation over "Sacred Emily" could compare it to Stein s other poems or to another poem covering the same general topic.


Most people feel somehow at a loss when they have to write a composition or an essay. They think for a moment, and then they start writing and writing and writing till they consider it is time to finish, and so they finish. That is probably the worst approach to composition writing. You must be talented and very experienced if you expect to write good compositions that way.

The first thing to consider is that a composition is not simply a piece of writing. It must be composed, it must have a structure and a cohesive organization. Compare these two examples:

A- My brother’s tall and handsome and with blue eyes and, yeah, well, maybe a bit fat, but not much, you know, something like your cousin, but maybe not that much. And he’s very funny, ha ha, I’ll tell you about what he did yesterday, but not now. And brown-haired. Almost dark. Well, not dark but… well, yeah, dark. Oh, I said funny, but well, when he’s got a bad day, uff, he scares me sometimes…

B- My brother is tall, handsome and has got blue eyes. He is a little fat, but not much. His hair is dark brown. I like him because he is very funny and always makes me laugh. Nevertheless, he can also be quite serious sometimes.

As you can easily perceive, A is a good example of oral English, but it would be totally unacceptable for a composition. On the other hand, B is the right thing to say when writing, with simple, organized ideas. But B would be considered too pedantic and even unacceptable when talking in a normal conversation.

Using a correct language is part of it, but not enough. Both A and B are correct language, but Spoken and Written language are different, they use, to some extent, different vocabulary, different grammar and, especially, a different way to express things!

So if correction is not the only thing we need for a composition, what is it we also need? Organization. We need to compose our text like a nice piece of music, flowing. We need to organize our ideas into paragraphs and make sure every paragraph, as well as the whole composition, is cohesive. Our thoughts must unfold beautifully, clearly and in a simple way in a sort of straight line that will lead us from one idea to the next to end up in a conclusion. And that is not something you can usually come out with by just sitting and writing. You need to have a plan first.

Many think that planning is a waste of time, especially if you are sitting for an exam and time is limited. But the truth is that planning your composition will not only make the task easy and much better; it will also make it all faster. At least once you have practiced a little bit.

Nevertheless, if you want to take the mess out of writing an essay or you really need it to be good, you can always hire the services of an essay helper online, a company that will do the job for you. These services are usually quite expensive but you can also find good quality for reasonable prices. If you need or want to do the job yourself though, here is how.

First, you have to know what topic you’re going to write about. In most situations you will already know this when you sit down to write. And then, you must start making an outline:

OUTLINE

1- opening sentence = topic + approach
2- ideas connected to the opening sentence
3- details about those ideas
4- closing sentence

When you are happy with the outline, it comes the time to do the writing, and here you should follow these other 4 steps:

5- write a title
6- organize ideas into paragraphs
7- write the composition
8- correct your composition

In this article we well help you to make a good outline, which is the basis of this method. We will complete the 8 steps in a second article. So let’s get started.

1- topic + approach = opening sentence (O.S.)

The opening sentence will be the first sentence in your composition. It’s very important because everything you will say in your composition must be connected with the idea expressed in this sentence and nothing can modify it, contradict it or say something which is not contained in this opening sentence.

Think of the opening sentence as a little perfume bottle: the topic is the material (the glass), the approach is the shape of the glass, and all the composition will be the perfume inside the bottle. If some perfume falls outside the bottle, it will evaporate (and spoil your composition).

Think of a word or several words that will identify the topic. Think of a word or several words that will identify the approach. The topic is what your composition is about. Your approach is usually what your opinion about the topic is, or just the way you see it, or what you want to say about that topic. When you have the topic and the approach, write the opening sentence with both ideas.

Example:

Topic- Life in a village
Approach- better than cities
Opening sentence- Nowadays, most people prefer living in cities, but I prefer to live in a village because life there is much better and healthy.

Another example of O.S.- Life in a village is very different from life in the city. (topic: life in a village / approach: different from city)

2- ideas (points) connected to the opening sentence

Think of several ideas deriving or connecting to the opening sentence (both the topic and the approach). Remember that these ideas must explain, expand, support or prove the opening sentence, and none of these ideas may modify or contradict it. All these ideas must express what you said in the opening sentence, so don’t talk about things which are not directly connected with it. For example, don’t talk about a point (an idea) which is connected to another point in the composition, but not directly connected to the opening sentence


8 Steps to Write a Good Composition (part 2)


To begin with, writing is not simply about correction; writing is also about composing (that’s why we call this a composition). Unfortunately most teachers and students work on the correction part of the language but have no idea how to teach or learn composing. The result is that you can get, at best, a piece of writing with good English but, overall, it is poor and messy. This article will greatly help teachers and students on that task, so producing good and neat compositions will turn into an easy and quick task. Doubt it? Keep reading.

When writing a composition, most people just sit and start writing, hoping that ideas will flow in the right direction and trusting that they won’t need to make many changes and readjustments. Well, that’s certainly a lot of hope and trust, and even if you manage to write it in one go without having to rewrite parts or start it all again, that way is the easiest way to get a messy and poor composition, and it makes it really difficult to come out with an impeccable or even good piece of writing to impress. But showing how good a writer you can be gets incredibly easier if you follow our 8 steps to write a good composition. The secret for that is just one: plan.

In the first part we learnt how to plan an organize your composition into an outline as the best way to guarantee a neat piece of writing and as a good time-saver. On this second part we will learn how to turn that outline into a composition. So after explaining steps 1-4, here you will learn steps 5-8. Let’s start.



5- title
The most important thing to remember is that a title is not a sentence; it’s only one or several words expressing in a very general way the topic (not usually the approach).

- centre the title on the top line of the paper

- capitalize the first and last words of the title, as well as the most important words (nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs). Don’t capitalize grammatical words (prepositions, connectors, articles, etc.) except if they start or finish the sentence or they go after a colon (:)

- if a quotation appears in the title, use a capital for the first word in the quotation

- don’t write a sentence (subject+verb+complements) as a title and don’t finish the title with a stop (.)

- don’t underline a title

Example of a good title: Life in a Village

Examples of bad titles:

Life in a village. (no final stop, “Village” needs capitalization because it’s a noun and also the last word)
I prefer to live in a village. (no final stop, “Prefer” “Live” and “Village” must be capitalized; this is a sentence, with subject, verb and a complement, so it’s wrong for a title)
a Village: the Best Place to Live (“A” needs capitalization because it begins the title, also “The” because it goes after a colon, and titles can’t be underlined)

6- organize ideas into paragraphs
A composition must be organized in different paragraphs. In formal writing for publication (books, magazines, newspapers, etc) every paragraph must be indented (the first line starts 3-5 spaces more to the right that the rest of the lines). In other cases it is more common to simply use a double space to separate one paragraph from the next (leave one or two empty lines in between), so you don’t need indentation but paragraphs are also well defined, separated (as you can see in this article).

The paragraphs are used to group ideas into units and must contain more than one sentence. The first paragraph begins with the opening sentence and it is the introduction, the first contact we have with the topic, so we usually put there the most relevant, shocking or interesting information to catch the reader’s attention or to make them understand the situation.

The last paragraph ends with the closing sentence and it is the conclusion. Depending on what kind of composition we’re writing, we use the last paragraph to explain the result of the event, the end of the action, the conclusion of our reasoning, the climax of the story, our personal opinion, etc. (In case of doubt, giving your personal opinion on the topic is always an easy way to finish a composition).

We have to choose, from the points we defined in step number 2, which ideas are best for the first paragraph and which are good for the last paragraph. The rest of the points will go in one or several paragraphs in the middle (in the “body” of the composition). Every paragraph contains one or several points, but all of them must be talking about the same general idea, and that idea must be a bit (or very) different from the general ideas of the other paragraphs. That is what makes a paragraph a unit.

Example:

We will continue using the same example we proposed for steps 1-4 in our previous article:

Topic- Life in a village

Approach- better than cities



In the first paragraph we start with the opening sentence and then we can talk about the bad things about living in a city. That way, the good things about a village will later sound even better.

Another paragraph may talk about people and why they make life there better (they’re nice, they know you, care about you and help you).

Another paragraph may talk about life there being more natural (clean air, no pollution, contact with nature, beauty of the landscape, more animals).

And another paragraph may talk about the way of life (everything cheaper, healthy entertainments, more exercise).

The last paragraph is going to end with the closing sentence. The other sentences in this paragraph may reinforce the closing sentence or it may be one or several points that will help us accept the idea in the closing sentence better. For instance, if the closing sentence is a look to the future (“I have decided to move to a village”) then the previous sentences in that paragraph may explain that in the last months I’ve been getting more and more tired of cities.

7- write the composition
Now that you’ve got your opening sentence, your closing sentence, your points and the organization of your points into paragraphs, it’s time to finally write the composition. Notice that for most people this step is the only one they actually make, but for a good writer this step is only the unfolding of the whole structure already constructed, so it becomes easy, quick and solidly grounded.

It is very important to use connectors to relate ideas (although, nevertheless, that’s why, so, because, afterwards, in the first place, on the one hand, unfortunately, etc.). But always remember that the English language doesn’t like long complicated sentences, so, as a general rule, use compound sentences but short and with only two or three elements (main clause + subordinate/coordinate clause)

Example of a nice sentence J: Cities are getting more and more aggressive, that’s why I’m thinking of moving to a village.

Example of a clumsy sentence L: I don’t like cities because, after all the changes in modern societies, they are getting more and more aggressive and polluted, as everybody can see, although I know that on the other hand, life in a city offers more opportunities for some things such as jobs and entertainments, but the good things don’t compensate for the bad things, so that’s why I’m thinking of moving to a village, since life in a village is much better, natural and healthy than life in a city, especially big cities, which are still growing with more and more new people coming to live there.

A student of English may be impressed by the second example, they might think that with sentences like that you can prove that your level of English is much better than with the first example, but remember that, when we’re writing a composition, style is very important, not just grammar and correction. Besides, the closing sentence in that example is not the right one for the topic we’re writing about. A native reader would feel that the second sentence is really too long, too complicated, too difficult to understand and too horrible! English likes its sentences short and clean. If you want to express all the ideas from the second example, break it down into different sentences, shorter and more simple, for example like this:

“Everybody can see that, in modern societies, cities are getting more and more aggressive and polluted. It is true that, in big cities, the suply of jobs and entertainment is much bigger; nevertheless, the good things don’t compensate for the bad things. I really believe life in a village is much better, natural and healthy than life in a city, that’s why I’m thinking of moving to one.”

Now we expressed the same ideas but using simple structures. Connectors (underlined here) are showing the relationship between the different ideas, and they are a must (obligatory) in your compositions, but using lots of connectors will make the text look clumsy and overloaded. In the last example we only used two connectors for the conclusion paragraph. Using four connectors there would probably be too much. So try to balance your need to show how much you know, with the need to show how good a writer you are.


8- correct your composition
You need to leave time at the end to read your composition carefully one or several times (usually 2 times is enough, more can end up confusing you). Remember that the mistakes you don’t correct, will be corrected by the evaluator, so try to see your mistakes before the evaluator sees them. Read your composition as if you were the evaluator reading someone else’s composition.





IMPORTANT: Planning your composition is the best way to get a fine result. It is very difficult to write a good composition without planning it first, and the planning will also save you time! As a general rule, use about 15% of the time working on the planning, 75% writing your composition and 10% revising and making corrections. But you might need to increase or reduce those percentages, so practice and see how much time you need for it. If you have 30 minutes to write a composition for an exam, 5 minutes for the planning would be the rule, but maybe you need a bit more or less time for it. Put these instructions into practice and see what is best for you. Also save about 5 minutes for the corrections at the end. But if you think that not doing the planning is going to save you time, you will find out that a good composition written in 20 minutes is much better than a bad composition written in 40 minutes, so make the outline!

FURTHER ADVICE: don’t use contractions if it’s a very formal piece of writing, but do use them a lot if it’s something informal (letter to a friend, etc). Try to make your writing tidy. If you are messy (and have enough time), you can write it in rough and then make a fair copy of it. If it’s hand-written, try to have a readable handwriting. If there is a limit of words you must write, respect that limit (usually, a variation of 10% above or below that limit is acceptable, but ask your teacher). If there is a limit of time, check the time frequently and make sure you hand in your composition before the time is over. If there is a limit of words you don’t need to be counting your words every 2 minutes: write a few lines in English, count the words and find out how many words per line is your average. If you get 10 words per line, then for a composition of 120 words you know you need to write 12 lines. Dot 12 lines and you’ll see how long your writing must be without the need of wasting time counting and checking constantly. In the rare case that your teacher requires precision in the number of words, you can bother to count the exact number of words only when you are near the end of your 12 lines, but ask him or her how precise they want you to be with the count.



CONNECTORS

Connectors are grammatical words used to relate two sentences and express a new idea. They can be “conjunctions” or “free connectors”. The difference between them is this:

- conjunctions- they join two simple sentences to make a complex sentence

I phoned you. She came home. (two simple sentences)

She came home AFTER I phoned you. (one complex sentence made up with a conjunction)

- free connectors- they relate two simple sentences but keep them separate.

I phoned you. Then, she came home. (two simple sentences related chronologically by a free connector)

So free connectors can express the same relationship as a conjunction but using a different construction (in two sentences, not in one). Free connectors are not part of any of the two sentence and they are usually separated from both sentences by stops and commas.

Use connectors suitable for your level (“and, but, so, because” is alright for beginners, but higher levels need more variety). Free connectors are usually better for writing than conjunctions, more formal.

I like villages but I live in a city – (conjunction- a simple connector) ok for beginners

I like villages although I live in a city – (conjunction- a more formal connector) shows higher level

I like villages. Nevertheless, I live in a city – (free connector- higher level, more elegant and makes your composition nicer for a formal composition, but not for an informal writing)



For more information about connectors check our grammar file: The compound sentence- connectors.

For more information about specific connectors go to our grammar section and filter the results by “connectors” (first box).



All the steps explained here are generally good for most kinds of compositions, but depending on the topic you write about, you may need to adapt and modify some details. For example, if you are writing about the difference between the city and the countryside, everything said here is perfect. But if you are writing about your last holidays, the organization of paragraphs (step 6) will usually follow a chronological order, so you don’t have to think where every point goes.


6 Tips Write a Good Composition

There are some situations in English that need to be known to write a good composition. First of all, it is necessary to pay close attention to the use of grammers and sentence integrity in order to write a good composition. Otherwise, the composition cannot achieve sufficient integrity.

How To Write Good Composition?
Find Inspiration and Ideas
Understand the Composition of an Essay
Use Appropriate Voice for Essay and Verbs
Be Consistent With Point of View and Tense
Use Your Own Vocabulary
Edit

How To Write Good Composition?

As we said in the beginning, you need to know certain rules to write composition. If you’re not sure how to write a good composition to get started, we have great 6 advice!

Let’s learn them together.

Find Inspiration and Ideas

Look at the lists of ideas to make your brain think about the possibilities of your experiment. Remember that a personal article is autobiographical, so don’t write about anything wrong. Try to write a stream of consciousness. Don’t stop or leave anything out. Even if ideas are not interconnected, a stream of consciousness takes everything in your brain.

Reasonable ideas help make the composition mentally ready. Do some research. By browsing through your area of interest, you can make creative juices flow and cause minor reflections. Get any of these you think you might want to write about.

Understand the Composition of an Essay

Before you start writing, remind yourself of the basic composition composition. Almost all articles have three parts: introduction, body of information and conclusion. The five-paragraph text is a common repetition of this and includes an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. Use an outline or general experiment plan to write your ideas before writing.

Introduction: Start your personal article with a hook or an interesting sentence that catches the attention of your readers and makes them want to read more. Choose a topic that you know you can write an interesting article about.
Body: The body of your article consists of one or more paragraphs that inform your readers about your topic; each paragraph does this in a unique way.
Conclusion: Close your essay with a final paragraph outlining the points you’ve made and specifying package presentations.

Use Appropriate Voice for Essay and Verbs

One of the things your teacher will look for when reading your personal article is to use sound in your own personal way of telling your own story. Because personal articles are nonfiction works, your voice should be reliable. Other than that, Active sound occurs when performing the subject action or verb of your sentence, and passive sound occurs when taking the subject action. Essay and Verbs is considered one of the most important stages for composition. Misuse of these results in a failure of the composition.

Be Consistent With Point of View and Tense

Personal articles are for yourself, so it is important that your point of view and tension are consistent. Personal essays are almost always written in the first person timely, to tell you what I, we and we are using pronouns. Readers need to know what it’s like for you.

Use Your Own Vocabulary

When you write personal articles, your word selection can help you create and maintain themes throughout your article. Every word is important. When choosing words, you can also choose synonyms. The composition will be more successful in this case.

Edit

Whatever you write, one of the most important parts of the writing process is fiction. It’s a good practice to give yourself some space just after you finish your article just before you start editing, because this can help you analyze your writing more objectively. A second opinion always helps. Regulation is of great importance for the success of the composition. However, missed mistakes, forgotten sentences and punctuation marks can easily be seen in this stage.


المادة المعروضة اعلاه هي مدخل الى المحاضرة المرفوعة بواسطة استاذ(ة) المادة . وقد تبدو لك غير متكاملة . حيث يضع استاذ المادة في بعض الاحيان فقط الجزء الاول من المحاضرة من اجل الاطلاع على ما ستقوم بتحميله لاحقا . في نظام التعليم الالكتروني نوفر هذه الخدمة لكي نبقيك على اطلاع حول محتوى الملف الذي ستقوم بتحميله .