5-lecture5.3 - Cairo University Electronics and...

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Unformatted text preview: Cairo University Electronics and Communications Engineering Technical English, Lecture 5: Principles of composition Hossam A. H. Fahmy © 2006 The rules 9. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic. 10. As a rule7 begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; end it in conformity with the beginning. 11. Use the active voice. 12. Put statements in positive form. 13. Omit needless words. 14. Avoid a succession of loose sentences. 15. Express co—ordinate ideas in similar form. 16. Keep related words together. 17. In summaries, keep to one tense. 18. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end. The paragraph c A subject requires subdivision into topics7 each of which should be made the subject of a paragraph. c The beginning of each paragraph is a signal to the reader that a new step in the development of the subject has been reached. 0 As a rule, single sentences should not be written or printed as paragraphs. An exception may be made of sentences of transi- tion, indicating the relation between the parts of an exposition or argument. Within the paragraph Do you remember what we said about speed reading? 1. The topic sentence comes at or near the beginning; 2. the succeeding sentences explain or establish or develop the statement made in the topic sentence; and 3. the final sentence either emphasizes the thought of the topic sentence or states some important consequence. The relation of the paragraph to what precedes, or its function as a part of the whole, may need to be expressed. in Be active! 0 The need of making a particular word the subject of the sentence often determines which voice you should use. 0 The active voice is usually more direct and vigorous than the passive. A common fault is to use as the subject of a passive construction a noun which expresses the entire action. Compare Confirmation of these reports cannot be obtained. and These reports cannot be confirmed. Be positive! 0 You should change weak negations. Compare: He was not very often on time. and He usually came late. 0 You may change your choice of words. Remember: did not remember => forgot did not pay any attention to => ignored 0 You may use the antithesis of negative and positive. Notice: The right of return for Palestinians is not charity but simple justice. Redundant words 0 Every word, sentence, or paragraph should add something use- ful. o A concise text is easier to read and understand. Compare he is a man who he call your attention to the fact that remind you Parallelism Use the same form for “parallel” structures. In spring, summer, or in Winter. In spring, summer, or Winter. (In spring, in summer, or in winter.) This rule applies to 'Ztemnlzations and enmnemtz’ons. Related words Keep the words related in thought together. Cast iron, when treated in a Bessemer converter, is changed into steel. By treatment in a Bessemer converter, cast iron is changed into steel. 10 Tenses In technical papers: 0 Keep to the present tense. It is the most widely used. 0 Avoid future and past! 0 You may use present participle in conclusions. Often, you can still use the present tense. This paper has shown :> The results show 11 End with a punch The proper place for “prominent” words is usually the end of the sentence. Compare This steel is principally used for making razors, because of its hardness. Because of its hardness, this steel is principally used in making razors. 12 Grouping the rules We may divide those rules in two groups depending on what they provide Style: 10, 11, 14, 18. Clarity: 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 9. One paragraph to each topic. 10. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence. 11. Use the active voice. 12. Put statements in positive form. 13. Omit needless words. 14. Avoid a succession of loose sentences. 15. Express co—ordinate ideas in similar form. 16. Keep related words together. 17. In summaries, keep to one tense. 18. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end. ...
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5-lecture5.3 - Cairo University Electronics and...

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