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How to write a body paragraph: nuts and bolts of academic writing

To whatever school or educational institution you may decide to send your application, you cannot do it without writing an essay. This way or another you must able to write an essay and it should not be especially painfully. However, you can forget everything you have been told at school about the rules for writing essays. The essay is written differently. Nowadays we can see how various firms engaged in professional commercial essay writing for applicants of schools and colleges are experiencing an unprecedented blossoming. The reason is quite prosaic - current students of Harvard Business School and the Stanford Business School quite often say that you need to spend at least three months to write a good essay. And all because of the importance of an essay, which is one of the key moments of the admission process for applicants. It is no less difficult than a personal interview. But let us see what problem exactly this written assignment imposes on a future student.

Characterizing texts by the virtue of their functional and stylistic orientation (according to their belonging to different functional styles) a student should take into account both extra-linguistic signs (the sphere of communication reflecting the sphere of human activity, and the overall function of speech) and the actual language (functional and stylistic stratification of language resources). All texts judging from their stylistic and functional-stylistic quality can be attributed to several major literary styles: formal, business, scientific, journalistic or artistic. Naturally, their genre and stylistic varieties are diverse. And the degree of differentiation may be different. Different types of texts, as well as different genres of literary works correspond to the internal variety of functional styles. From inside the genres can be identified according to their numerous varieties, and, therefore, the inner differentiation of style and text can be multi-stage and have a great influence on how to write a body paragraph.

The main genres are as follows:

  • Among officially-business literary sources, which determine the features of official style, we distinguish diplomatic texts, legislative, judicial, administrative or office papers, which in turn have a genre differentiation: a convention, an international agreement, a statement, a regulation, an order, a protocol, a position paper, etc.
  • Scientific (or special) literature is focused on the use of scientific style, and is, consequently, a complex entity: scientific texts (technical, humanitarian, natural science), science-fiction, training papers and manuals. In the aspect of style and genre, there also are different types: monographs, articles, theses, abstracts, textbooks, manuals, workbooks, and other papers.
  • Newspapers and journalistic texts are extremely heterogeneous: advocacy papers, political and ideological, scientific, journalistic, critical and journalistic, artistic and journalistic. All this is presented in different genres (appeals, proclamations, party documents, reports, interviews, correspondence, articles, reviews, notes, essays, satires, and many others.). Such texts are speaking-oriented (especially for newspaper and journalistic style).
  • Supplemental instructional literature and all sorts of dictionaries and encyclopedias, instructions, recipes, etc.
  • Fiction, according to the classic division into genre is represented by prose, poetry and drama, where the artistic style of speech dominates.

How to write a body paragraph: identification of functional and stylistic uniqueness

Identification of functional and stylistic uniqueness of different kinds of texts, and their style-forming factors determines the belonging of each text to a particular functional style. The knowledge of stylistic differentiation of the modern English language together with functional styles of the system provides a basis for the determination of a text as a functional-style category, as the styles themselves emerged and formed on the basis of contexts with identical or close stylistic coloring. When defining the stylistic belonging of a text we should record extra-linguistic indicators and the actual language as well. The sphere of communication (business, special, political and ideological, aesthetic) in this case finds itself especially important on a par with the function of speech and text in general (the message influence), the purpose of a text (informational, instructional, coaching, training).

Among the indicators of linguistic and stylistic plans experts usually take into account the overall style and stylistic dominants, and most of them are generic and typical, namely: abstract - concrete; logic - emotional; standard - stylistic markedness; objectivity - subjectivity. According to these figures, it is defined by the ratio of rational-logical and emotional-rhetorical language structures, as well as the presentation of the authorship of a text and the character of an author's modality. It is important to place a characteristic standard speech in a text. Naturally, the speech standard is contraindicated to literary texts. As for the text of a stylistic orientation, this quality of speech in varying degrees, of course, turns out to be necessary. Without the speech standard, for example, a business letter is unthinkable. Technical literature does not shun this standard as well as texts having the structure of a guidance. The very nature of the speech standard in relation to different types of texts may undergo changes of a fundamental nature, such as in official, business and newspaper texts. In the first case, the standard is unchangeable and constant, with a great deal of tradition, so it has a great impact on how to write a body paragraph; in the second case there is a greater mobility in the application of the standard: it allows updates, upgrades, continuous variations, i.e such definitions as a rigid standard and a soft standard are fully applicable to its definition.

We should also take into account the aspect according to which there s a specific characterization of a text, which functions as a measure of the probability of pragmatic information projected on a potential reader. If we identify the measure of the probability of pragmatic (new, useful, well-perceivable for the reader) information via the term entropy, that measure - with all respect to the functionally of different texts – will be defined as follows: for official and business texts the entropy value is fundamental, whereas to scientific ones it is limited to a special range of readers because of its predictability; for journalistic and newspaper texts the entropy value is a matter of principle, but still remains unpredictable; finally, for artistic texts the value is not fundamental and unpredictable.


How to write a body paragraph: particularities of an official writing style

The aforementioned general functional text indicators appear together typically for each variety of linguistic and stylistic writing techniques. These linguistic and stylistic means form a common voice, called functional styles that have developed through the use of language in various spheres of human activity. The national language in each case as if adapts to the needs of a particular style of communication, and hence, to a particular type of text. An official or business-like style is implemented in a variety of documents – from state acts to business correspondence – and is used for communication with the public authorities. Despite the linguistic differences of different documents (depending on the destination), the overall style has many typical features. An official (business-like) style serves, mainly, the sphere of official or business relations as well as law and public policy. The style is used in the formulation of regulations that govern the relationships between people, institutions and countries. Primarily, the main functions of a language in this case are message and prescription.

Depending on the area of operation of official business style it is differentiated into the following substyles: 1) legislative (legal) texts related to law, the Constitution, decrees, statutes, civil and criminal acts, etc; 2) diplomatic texts, which are realized as communiqué notes, conventions, memorandums, international agreements, etc; 3) administrative and clerical papers used in a clerical correspondence, administrative acts, orders, contracts, various documents (statements, attorney papers, autobiographies, specifications, protocols, etc.). Official documents are legalized by tradition, established rules, and patterns. Therefore, the standard form is the most important part of the literary appearance of this type of works. An official (business-like) style is the most self-contained among other styles of the functional system and also the most stable, traditional and standardized one. This does not mean that the official style cannot evolve: quite often it is subject to change under the influence of socio-historical changes in society. Currently, an official (business-like) style tends to a rather refined form of presentation along with regulated, stable and highly informative content.

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