To write effectively, you must know not only how to write correct sentences but also how to use your sentences to expand and develop your ideas.
Develop Your Topic
After introducing your topic, you begin to develop it by giving it more substance. Before you do that, you need to help your readers follow the flow of thought, which is expressed in the following:
This relates to how you present a subject. It can be explicit or implicit; it can be personal or impersonal.
Personal tone: You play the role of the writer openly and directly. In this approach, you frequently use I, me, and my.
Impersonal tone: You keep your personality below the surface.
Your point of view should be stated or implied in the opening paragraph, and maintained consistently throughout your writing. Remember the following:
Select your point of view appropriate to your subject.
Establish your point of view in the beginning paragraph.
Maintain your point of view consistently.
This reflects your personality in your writing. Your tone is inevitably implied in the choice of words you use, how you use them, and their arrangement within your writing. You reveal your tone towards your subject (it can be objective, subjective, or even angry), and towards your reader (it can be assertive or intimate).
Begin your statement of purpose
Now that you have pulled in all your ideas for what you are going to write, begin your statement of purpose. Writing one to two paragraphs describing what you are going to say.
Remember the following:
This statement of purpose is for yourself, not your readers.
You have to think about what you can say before you can think of what you are going to say.
Ideas have to be sought, and then arranged accordingly.
Introductions serve the following purposes:
Setting the tone of your writing
Defining your purpose
Drawing your readers into your writing
Ways for effective introductions
Begin with a relevant quotation that leads to the subject.
Begin with some background information that leads to the subject.
Begin with a relevant question that leads to the subject.
Begin with directly speaking to your readers in an imaginary situation related to the subject.
Begin with a relevant anecdote that leads to your subject.
What to avoid in introductions
Avoid making obvious general statements.
Avoid making personal statements, such as the use of I.
Avoid making statements that lead to nowhere.
Divide your subject with all its ideas into major parts, and then into subparts. Your plan provides a guideline for you. You can always update and make changes to your outline.
Expanding the writing
You expand your writing by giving it more substance in different paragraphs, with a topic sentence in each.
A good topic sentence is concise and emphatic.
e.g. The United States is now in an economic expansion.
A topic sentence can be in the form of a rhetorical question.
e.g. Why do people go into debt?
A topic sentence is generally placed in the beginning or near the beginning of a paragraph.
Write your draft, which is an early version of your writing. Keep writing, and don’t worry about making mistakes in your choice of words or in sentence structure. Just keep on writing, editing, and revising.
In revising, read slowly, and read aloud so that you see as well as hear your words. Revision makes you more thoughtful and critical of what you have written; you will spot mistakes in punctuation, spelling and typing, lack of clarity, or inconsistency.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau