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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Application Essays
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Lecture Comments (4)

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Hendershot
Mon Jul 1, 2013 10:22 PM

Post by osias souza on July 1, 2013

Hi Rebekah, I have to say you this, are great teacher!! as I like more numbers than words, I feel bored when I have to study english gramar and writting for my toefl exam, but your teaching approach is very nice, smart and I don't feel bored learning english anymore. good job!!!

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Hendershot
Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:52 PM

Post by shaduwy galis on June 29, 2013

Thank you. That was very helpful.

Writing Part Two: The Middle & End

  • There’s an old joke that good writing has three parts: tell your audience what you’re going to tell them, then tell them what you’re telling them, and then tell them what you’ve told them. And whatever you do, don’t repeat yourself!
  • The middle, or body, of your essay, is where you use details to support your point or tell your story. Make sure you arrange your details correctly:
    • Begin with one of your two strongest points
    • Put your weakest points in the middle of your list
    • End on the other of your two strongest points
    • Pacing is key! Good pacing covers a multitude of writing sins.
    • Don’t let any one point go on too long or end too quickly.
    • Study the flow of professional writing to see how they do it (even pros do this).
    • Read your essay aloud. Does it drag in the middle, or seem to change topics abruptly? That’s a clue to a pacing problem!
    • A good conclusion restates the main idea of the essay—without repeating it. To do that, use echoes and callbacks.
    • Echoes: words and images that recall the beginning of the essay without actually repeating it (synonyms, allusions, etc.)
    • Callbacks: direct references to the beginning of the essay (picking up the story from the hook, repeating words with a new twist)
    • The best conclusions evolve from their theses. Take your main idea and put an extra spin on it.
    • Remember to have fun with your conclusion, as well as the rest of your essay. If you’re enjoying what you write, your reader is more likely to enjoy reading it.
    • Once again, I recommend Spider Robinson’s essays in The Crazy Years.
    • When in doubt:
    • Arrange your details in the order that makes the most sense to you. Then try explaining them to someone else.
    • Save some of the good ammunition for the end of the shooting match.
    • Remember that humans love repetition and hate predictability—so repeat yourself unpredictably.
    • You’ve probably learned something about your subject while writing about it. Throw that in as a twist on your conclusion—then rewrite your essay as if you planned it that way all along.
    • Have fun!

Writing Part Two: The Middle & End

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:13
  • The Three Parts of a Good Essay 0:58
  • The Middle: Details, Details, Details! 1:15
    • Middle
    • Structure Correctly
    • Pacing is Key!
  • How to Write a Winning Conclusion 5:43
    • Good Conclusion
    • Echoes
    • Callbacks
    • Best Conclusions Evolve From Theses
    • Essay Example
    • Essay Example Continued
    • Have Fun!
  • When in Doubt 12:21