Skrive Et Essay Engelsk Svensk

 Octavius Skriveportal for Viby Gymnasium Stx

Eksempler på byggestene til det engelske essay

Herunder følger en række eksempler på nogle af de byggestene som indgår i et vellykket analytical essay som det du skal skrive i eksamensopgaven. Alle eksempler stammer fra elevbesvarelser på A-niveau.


I. FICTION ESSAY

1.    INTRODUCTION

a.     An example of a ’funnel-introduction’ to ’Shooting an Elephant’ by George Orwell:
“Is it possible to execute a reckless deed solely for the fragile purpose of avoiding humiliation? The mysterious ways of human behaviour and development is the focus in the short story “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell from 1936 that is set in British Burma during the colonial time. The story is centred on a British police officer and an elephant at large, and through a modest gallery of characters we are consumed by a view on humanity in revolt.”

b.    Example from “Stolpestad” by William Lychack:
““[...] This is your life, Stolpestad.” (p. 2, l. 5). That is it, deal with it. A clearly negative second person narrator takes the reader through the life of the policeman Stolpestad; a non-motivated and truly stagnated husband and father from a small town in America. Stolpestad’s life is just passing by, and he is letting it. William Lychack takes us through the inner monologue of Stolpestad’s mind in the short story of the same name, written in 2008, describing Stolpestad’s battle of facing up to the truth of his life, sadly failing, losing his battle to Goliath symbolized in having to put down a dog for a young boy”.

c.     Another example from “Stolpestad” by William Lychack:
“Most people have an everyday routine. In most cases this is comfortable and gives you a feeling of structure and makes it easier to cope with life. However, there is a fine line between a well-planned and secure everyday life and a life of boredom and predictability that mechanically takes its course and distances you from life. This is exactly what the story “Stolpestad” by William Lychack from 2008 is about. It is about how the narrator’s day-to- day routine is so predictable that his life has become a condition of numbness.”

d.     Finally, an example from ”Elephant” by Polly Clark:
How are we going to be remembered when we leave this earth? Are we going to be remembered at all? What about all of us normal people who are not Michael Jackson, Copernicus, or Shakespeare? Their names will live forever because of their huge achievements, but not many are going to be remembered like them. Most people grow up, get a job, start a family, and pass away. Big achievements create huge acknowledgement, and most people want to be acknowledged, but maybe it is not always that easy. Many people are sure they are going to turn out great and be remembered for a good job, but what if that is not the case? What is the point of living a life not doing what you thought you were supposed to do?”



2.    BODY

a.     Paragraph no 2 from example d) above:
“The search for acknowledgement, but also the search for a meaningful life can be seen in the extract of the short story “Elephant” by Polly Clark from 2006. Here we meet William, who is a writer of biographies, which is not really what he wants to write about. The story starts right in media res where William has a writer’s blockage. He is thinking about ‘his girls’, who are the pop singers that he has written about. Suddenly his wife calls to let him know that she will be there in twenty minutes, because a test had shown that it was the right time to try make a baby. The twenty minutes makes William think back at his childhood where he waited for his mother for twenty minutes for her to come home with a present. Suddenly his wife comes home, and they make love to each other. Afterwards, William again finds himself in front of the computer, now writing his own endings of the singers’ lives, which creates an elated feeling”.

b.     Example of transitional phrases between paragraphs: 

The dog does not die immediately, and when the owners of the dog, father and son, want to bury her, they find her alive. In the ending when this is revealed, it gives the reader a great shock and allows him to gain insight into the thoughts and feelings of the policeman who is at the same time surprised.

Another feature to gain insight is the second person narration that the text is written in and which means that the personal pronoun “you” replaces the more commonly used “he/she”.

c.      Another example of transition between two paragraphs:
“These things make the text seem fragmented and support the colloquial style, but also they make it sound like an enumeration supporting an impression of a dull and boring town and a monotonous life.

The owner of this seemingly monotonous life is the main character of the story and policeman in the town. One might assume that it is a man given the fact that he has a wife and two children.”



3.    CONCLUSION

a.     Example from the conclusion of example c) above:
“Everyday routines can easily become a habit and make you forget to question what you want out of life. This is seen in the story “Stolpestad” where the main character lives a trivial and predictable life to such a degree that the outcome is a mental numbness that eliminates him from life in the end”.

b.    Example from the conclusion of example d) above:
“All in all the plot of this story is based on William’s conflict, which is present within him. He does not want to write biographies of pop singers, but he does it anyway. He does not pursue his dreams of becoming an acknowledged writer and is living in an empty space. We see a man who is living like a philistine. He does not really relate to his life, but only does what is expected of him, which makes him believe that he is living a pointless life. His job is not exactly his first choice, and the entry of the elephant shows that he has a need for living on after he has died. Living like William in an empty space, living a pointless life without all the things that are important to him, like the elephant, does not help him get acknowledged and remembered”.

 

II. NON-FICTION ESSAY

1.     INTRODUCTION

a.      An example of a ’funnel-introduction’ to ’Not the Queens English” by Maria Ampa:
When living in a world where everyone is trying to succeed and get ahead in the world, it is good to have something that can tie us together. It would not be ideal if the person you want to do business with did not understand you, or if you could not talk to the person who wanted to do business with you. That is why it is remarkable that there is one language that can connect everyone and open up a whole new world where the sky is your limit. This is the message that Maria Ampa is trying to convey to the readers of Newsweek in her article of “Not the Queen’s English” from 2007.”

b.     Another example of a ‘funnel-introduction’ to “Not the Queens English” by Maria Ampa:
“”It is repeatedly said that English is a living, changing language. We do need new terms for technology or new phenomena, and English has such a large vocabulary because it has absorbed words from many languages.”1 The language is, moreover, rapidly growing all over the world, which means that the non-native English-speakers now outnumber the native speakers. The new English speakers are shaping the language, and it is changing the way we communicate. This interpretation is being explained and stated in the Newsweek article Not the Queen’s English (Oct. 16. 2007), written by Maria Ampa, in which she throws light on the matter by using several examples and opinions from experts”.

c.      Yet another example of a ‘funnel-introduction’ to “Not the Queens English” by Maria Ampa:
“Through colonization, the English language was spread out in several of the British colonies. Though British imperialism, the English language became a world language, because of the many British settlers who lived in the colonies. The settlers also transferred their culture to the colonies. Now the English language has developed in another direction, because there are now more foreign people speaking English than native English speakers. That is the main topic in the article “Not the Queen’s English” published by Newsweek on the 8th of October 2007.”

d.    Another example from “Not the Queens English” by Maria Ampa:
“Will the Queen’s English disappear? In the 21st century, English has become a worldwide language – a language that is almost necessary to know to be able to engage in a globalized world. But with so many people learning English in different ways, some people think that the original English might disappear. Is this “problem” a part of the globalization, and is it even a good or a bad thing?”

e.     An example of a ‘funnel-introduction’ from “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” by Hillary Clinton:
“In the last century, the progress of women taking their place in society has evolved drastically. Women vote, women decide for themselves, women are far more emancipated than before – this is at least true in the western part of the world. There will always be aspects that are untouchable to us, such as records in sports, being able to conceive without any man playing a part, however, there are aspects where we can prosper and where we have prospered. The sad story is, though, that women in less developed countries are still being oppressed and inhibited, perhaps not by men, but by society and its conventions. This is something Hillary Clinton touches upon in her famous speech “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” from the 5th of September 1995”.



2.    BODY

a.     Paragraph no 2 from example d) above:
“Women’s rights are exactly what Hillary Clinton speaks about in her speech “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”, which she held in Beijing, China on September 5th 1995. In her speech, she talks about the importance of women, and how big a role women play in the world. She states that standing together and gathering creates attention and focus, and she emphasizes the importance of this, as women need to keep gathering and fighting for their rights. She talks about all the different jobs that women do, everything from giving birth to running countries, and how many do not appreciate this. One of her main points is that everyday women get their human rights violated, but the important thing is that women’s rights should not be discussed separately from human rights. When women are getting raped or baby girls denied food just because they are girls, it is not a matter of women’s rights – it is human rights that are being violated”.

b.    Example of transitional phrases between the paragraphs in your body:
“Furthermore, the journalist gives the impression that the expansion of the English language is a change that is unstoppable, but in a good way. “Governments, even linguistically protectionist ones, are starting to agree” (p.4, l. 120). This sentence gives the reader an image that even all of the opponents now agree. Furthermore, even France as being the most opponent country of this development is almost giving in. The message of the text is that learning English is the only way forward in a globalized world.

In connection with globalization of the English language, some of the concerns in the text are that the native languages of various countries might vanish if the spoken language all over the world is English: “In France, home of the Academie Francaise, whose members are given swords and charged with defending the sanctity of the French language...”(p.5, ll.121-123). “



3.    DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION

a.     Examples of discussions:
Even though the significance of the Commonwealth in international politics is enormous, Oborne believes there is one big problem with the Commonwealth, and the mentioning of this problem raises his ethos at best while it is the only place in the article where he seems to be able to raise himself above his opinion and look at the problem from another perspective. The problem is centered around the Queen but for obvious reasons, it is the loss of the Queen that will be the biggest problem really: “She is the talismanic figure at the heart of it all, and has been present at every Commonwealth Conference for the past 60 years. She knows most Commonwealth leaders personally, and many of them are now old friends. When she dies, the Commonwealth will be thrown into crisis. Handled in the wrong way, the institution will swiftly collapse.” (l 52-56).

b.    Example of conclusion from example c) in the introduction:
“Hilary Clinton’s speech has the point of view of all women in the world; Hilary Clinton often uses the pronoun “we”. She also refers to that we should do something, to overcome these obstacles. She uses many parallelisms, which is a common tool by politicians to emphasize their message through speeches. But the parallelism creates a sudden rhythm in the speech, which also makes the message stand out. When Hilary Clintons says, “I have met.., I have met... I have met...” it makes it easier for us to put ourselves into her place because we (in the Western part of the world) have a great amount of knowledge that can help us see it from other perspectives. But Hilary Clinton also uses this parallelism “It is a violation...” several times which as mentioned before emphasizes that we have to continue to fight for equal rights for women all over the world.”

c.     An example of a possible conclusion to example d) from the introduction:
In conclusion, Maria Ampa has written a very convincing article, especially because of the use of logos as a mode of persuasion, which has created a very trustworthy and convincing argumentation and a formal level throughout the text. Furthermore, it is clear that the receivers are native-English- speakers, but it is still possible to reach the rest of the world, and the fact that the message, moreover, is that English as a language will revolutionize, is also unmistakeable.

 

 




På denne side kan du finde eksemplariske løsninger på nogle af de opgaver du står overfor når du skal skrive et essay i Engelsk

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Hvad er et essay?

Begrebet ’essay’ stammer egentlig fra latin ’exagium’ som bl.a. betyder ’undersøgelse’. Det er med samme betydning vi anvender genrebetegnelsen i dag, hvor et essay kan siges at være en undersøgelse, overvejelse eller refleksion over et emne og en problemstilling.

Hvad er formålet med et essay?

Formålet med et essay er at gå i dybden med et emne og en problemstilling ved at se det fra flere (ofte overraskende) vinkler. Men modsat en diskussion er det ikke meningen, at du skal argumentere for et bestemt synspunkt. Det kan være svært helt at forstå forskellen på et essay og en diskussion, fordi du i begge genrer kan blive bedt om at tage udgangspunkt i en tekst, og det derfor virker logisk også at diskutere den. Men det vigtigste ved et essay er, at det ikke må blive en diskussion. Man kan sige, at den store forskel er, at i et essay er emnet i fokus, i en diskussion er synspunkterne i fokus.

Konkret eksempel:

Krig er for mange mennesker et negativt begreb, et begreb der ofte forbindes med død, ødelæggelse og sorg. Når man som mange mennesker gør, spiller computerspil, Playstationspil osv. hver dag, er krigsspil en faktor der næsten ikke er til at undgå. Mange unge og ældre bliver draget af disse krigsspil, da det giver en form for kontekst til den virkelige verden og  følelsen af at deltage kommer til live.  Grafikken virker ofte utrolig levende og det gør spillene meget troværdige.  Men hvilken betydning har krigsspillene på spillerne? Ser de krigen anderledes efter at være opslugt i en verden, hvor krig optræder som fiktiv virkelighed?

Af samme grund må et essay ikke indeholde en konklusion. Det er ikke vigtigt at komme frem til en løsning eller et fast synspunkt, fordi essayet netop er en afsøgning og undersøgelse af et emne. Som vi skal se senere, har det også betydning for opbygningen af essayet.

Hvad skal et essay indeholde?

Et essay skal indeholde refleksion, undersøgelse og overvejelser omkring en problemstilling. Det vigtigste er, at du husker, at omdrejningspunktet er en problemstilling dvs. et konkret spørgsmål, som du skal reflektere over. Når du skal inddrage tekster, film og andet materiale er det derfor vigtigt, at du overvejer hvordan det kan give et nyt perspektiv på din problemstilling.

Til at hjælpe dig med at strukturere dit essay kan du anvende følgende refleksionscirkel:

Refleksionscirklen kan strukturere dit essay ved at lade dig fokusere på kompositionen dvs. opbygningen af dit essay. Udgangspunktet er din problemstilling og et konkret eksempel (i). Dernæst kommer selve refleksionen, som tager sit udgangspunkt i en kort analyse af dit eksempel (ii). Herefter reflekterer du over dit eksempel, som fører videre til en abstraktion, hvor du forsøger at brede dit eksempel ud til en brede kontekst eller sammenhæng (iv). Til slut kan du forsøge at brede dit eksempel ud ved at lade det føre videre til et nyt eksempel, som du herefter kan uddybe ved at tage en ny runde i refleksionscirklen.

I videoen her forklarer jeg mere uddybende, hvad der karakteriserer reflekterende skrivning med udgangspunkt i et blogindlæg (læs i øvrigt mere her) som eksempel:

Konkret eksempel:

Disse fem diskurser er tidligere blevet brugt af flere amerikanske præsidenter, fx George W. Bush. Han benyttede dem til at retfærdiggøre invasionen og krigen i mellemøstlige lande (i). Men kan disse krigsspil, så ikke næsten anses for propaganda for amerikansk politik og en slags hjernevask af spilleren? Er det ikke problematisk, når spilleren gang på gang får som mission, at tage livet på flere fjender, som ofte ligner USAs virkelige fjender? (ii) […]

Udover dette må det siges at være nødvendigt at overveje, hvorvidt nogle af de andre diskurser kan medføre en negativ opfattelse af bestemte begreber hos spilleren. På den ene side er der en risiko for, at nogle af disse diskurser glorificerer og godtgør krig på en falsk og usaglig baggrund. Derudover er der en risiko for, at diskursen om orientalisme og ”othering” giver et fordrejet og endda racistisk syn på andre kulturer og folkefærd. På den anden side kan det også være, at dette blot er en overfortolkning af spildiskursernes magt og indflydelse på spillerens virkelighedsopfattelse. Det er jo ikke til at vide, om langt de fleste spillere ikke stadig blot ser disse computerspil, voldelige eller ej, som ren underholdning, og stadig kan skelne det animerede fra virkeligheden. Så måske er det slet ikke nødvendigt, at disse krigsspil bliver kritiseret for at indeholde netop disse diskurser? (iii)

Omvendt er det muligt, at nogle af disse voldelige computerspil indeholder facetter, som dog er værd at kritisere eller som minimum at sætte spørgsmålstegn ved. For spiller man et spil fra Grand Theft Auto-serien, har man mulighed for at slå, hvad der skal ligne, almindelige mennesker ihjel. Og det kan vise sig at være problematisk. (iv)

Ovenfor har jeg markeret de enkelte niveauer i refleksionscirklen på et konkret eksempel. Den indledende beskrivelse er i eksemplet ret kort, fordi jeg har skåret det lidt til (diskurserne der omtales kan du i øvrigt læse mere om her). Som du kan se er det afgørende, at du får inddraget forskellige eksempler og materialer i dit essay. Det er selve grundstenen. Derfor kræver det også en bred viden om emnet at kunne skrive et godt essay.

Husk igen, at netop fordi et essay ikke er en diskussion, hvor du skal komme frem til et endeligt synspunkt, skal det heller ikke afsluttes med en konklusion. I stedet skal du have en afslutning, som fremstår åben for læseren, og som kan føre til videre refleksion over emnet:

Konkret eksempel:

Måske er det nye og kritiske, at vi nu selv styrer, når folkemængder skal likvideres, eller som tidligere omtalt, mellemøstlige lande skal indtages og bekriges. Det er svært at sige, hvad denne magt og disse muligheder har af effekt på spillerens evne til at skelne mellem virkelighed og den virtuelle verden, og hvorvidt spillene ændrer spillerens syn på krig og vold. Det eneste jeg ved, er at jeg nu skal ind i stuen og likvidere en hel befolkning – men bare rolig det er jo bare et spil.

Hvordan kommer jeg i gang med et essay?

Når du skal i gang med dit essay er det vigtigt, at du begynder med at undersøge den problemstilling du skal arbejde med. Det kunne fx være:

Konkret eksempel:

Skriv et essay om dialekter i Danmark. Dit essay skal tage udgangspunkt i [teksten/filmklippet], og undersøge hvilken betydning dialekter har for vores identitet.

Emnet i ovenstående problemstilling er dialekter og hvordan de påvirker vores identitet. Dvs. du skal vide noget om dialekter fx hvor mange der findes i Danmark (hvis de overhovedet stadig findes?), hvilke forskelle der er osv. Derudover skal du vide noget om sprog og identitet. Det kan være du fx har haft et forløb om fx sociolingvistik i dansk eller engelsk (ofte en del af Almen Sprogforståelse på STX). Under alle omstændigheder har du nu sporet dig ind på emnet, og er allerede i gang med at overveje, hvilket materiale du skal have fat i.

Når du skal finde materiale til at inddrage i dit essay, kan det nogle gange hjælpe at oprette et mindmap. Det kan strukturere din søgning, og samtidig bevidstgøre dig om, hvilke vinkler du kan undersøge og reflektere over. I ovenstående eksempel vil emnet for dit essay være dialekter. Men for at du kan formulere dig om det emne, er det stadigvæk nødt til at være mere specifikt. I et mindmap vil det betyde, at de underliggende niveauer vil være præciseringer af emnet og det dybeste niveau eksemplet (som du ifølge refleksionscirklen ofte vil begynde med). Under emnet dialekter kan det fx være spørgsmålet om, hvorvidt dialekter er ved at uddø eller om de lever videre. Herefter finder du en artikel, der peger på den ene vinkel, og har måske selv et eksempel, som du også gerne vil inddrage:

Konkret eksempel:

Selve essayet er som tidligere forklaret opbygget af afsnit, hvor du undersøger enkelte dele af problemstillingen. Det er igen vigtigt at huske på, at det er en undersøgelse og refleksion, ikke en diskussion. Derfor skal du dog stadig undersøge flere vinkler på emnet:

Konkret eksempel:

Der er stor uenighed om dialekternes overlevelse. Flere forskere har tidligere peget på, at dialekterne er tæt på at uddø, fordi vi ikke længere hører dem i hverdagen. Men spørgsmålet er, om det overhovedet er rigtigt. Når jeg tager til Århus, er det tydeligt for mig, at de taler en anden dialekt end jeg selv gør, og kan nemt blive til grin, hvis jeg ikke sørger for at ændre min udtale væk fra det fynske. Den samme oplevelse har flere af personerne i filmen I Danmark er jeg født, som endda oplever det som diskrimination, når de bliver grinet af. Er det rimeligt, at de ikke kan få lov til at tale deres eget sprog i det land, hvor de er født? På den anden side er vi jo nødt til at kunne forstå hinanden. Og sønderjysk er altså ret svært at forstå.

I ovenstående eksempel fokuseres der på mindst to forskellige vinkler på dialekter. Det bliver ikke diskuteret om det ene er mere rigtigt end det andet, men det sætter uden tvivl tanker i gang hos læseren. Særligt direkte spørgsmål kan være med til at vække læserens interesse, men brug dem med måde og husk at få reflekteret over nogle af dem undervejs, så læseren ikke føler sig snydt.

Husk igen, at selvom essayet til eksamen altid indeholder materiale som du skal tage udgangspunkt i, så er det ikke nok blot at henvise til det alene. I et essay forventes det, at du har mere at byde ind med. Hvis du har adgang til internettet, er det oplagt at finde materiale der, og ellers må du inddrage det du har fra undervisningen m.m.

Det vigtigste ved et essay er:

  • At du fokuserer på emnet og problemstillingen, ikke kun teksten.
  • At du undersøger og reflekterer, ikke diskuterer.
  • At du ender med en afslutning, ikke en konklusion.
  • At du inddrager din viden og andet materiale om emnet.

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