ENW107 is different than the other ELS writing courses you have taken. You will find that in addition to a new essay format - the argumentative essay, there are also several other important differences:
- ENW107 essays use formal academic style. Do not use I, we, you, your, etc.
INCORRECT: When your elderly relative is very ill and in great pain, do you think he should be allowed to commit suicide?
CORRECT: Should elderly patients who are severely ill and in great pain be allowed to commit suicide?
- Support for your topic sentences should be based on verifiable research - not someone's blog, not your cousin's opinion or experience. Your instructor will give you/link you to articles that provide the necessary background information for each topic; be certain to read those articles.
- It is not necessary to start your first two body paragraphs with "One reason... Another reason..." Instead, you can directly state your topic idea.
WEAK TRANSITION: One reason that physician assisted suicide should not be legalized is that...
STRONGER TRANSITION: Physician assisted suicide should not be legalized because...
ENW107 grammar expectations are also slightly different from those you have experienced in prior writing levels:
n’t not use contractions. They are n’t not appropriate in formal writing.
SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE
The simple present tense is usually used when you include information from outside sources in your essay. Also use the simple present when describing what the opposition says.
Do not use the past tense. The information and views are still present as you are writing; they are permanent/long-lasting or facts; therefore, they require the simple present.
EXAMPLES: A recent study published in The New York Times, indicates that a 2% increase in interest rates usually results in a corresponding decrease in home sales.
Proponents of physician assisted suicide believe that everyone should have the freedom to control their own life.
Opponents of physician assisted suicide claim that families may use this means to kill burdensome relatives.
When writing about the future in academic writing, use WILL; do not use be + going to. Be + going to is not used a lot; for ENW107 writing, use the formal form – WILL.
CAUTION: Only use the future tense when you want to express 100% certainty – see modals below.
Modal verbs are effective when writing about future possibilities. Avoid using will when you are describing what might happen, that is, when it is not positive that the results will happen.
Examples: "Nursing homes will might encourage low-paying patients to end their lives with physician assisted suicide to increase profits."
"People will could end their lives when they are temporarily feeling depressed."
Can/could may/might are used to indicate possibility
By using WILL, you might weaken your argument because it makes your prediction certain and few things in life are certain.
The passive voice places the focus on the object of the action. It is frequently used for reporting. It is also useful when paraphrasing as it helps transform sentences. Learn more about the passive voice by going to the top right-hand box.
Links to lessons and exercises on some, possibly new, grammar structures can be found in the right-hand box.
Additionally, you may find it useful to review paraphrasing; several links can be found in the box below.