Are you an international student preparing to attend college in the United States? With CISL’s Pathway Program, students first attend CISL’s English for Academic Purposes Program and master the academic English skills necessary to succeed in the rigorous American classroom. Students then transfer to one of CISL’s esteemed Pathway Partner schools, such as Palomar College or Santa Barbara City College, to complete their degree.
One of the main aspects of CISL’s EAP program is learning how to write an effective essay. This is the cornerstone of the American academic system! Mastering the essay begins with mastering the paragraph. Do you know how to write an effective paragraph?
Writing an Effective Body Paragraph
An essay typically consists of the following:
- An introduction
- Body paragraphs (2-3, but this varies)
- A conclusion
We are going to take a look at the body paragraphs and how to write them effectively. But first, let’s look at their parts.
A paragraph consists of several parts:
- An introductory sentence. This is the sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. It tells the reader exactly what the paragraph will be about.
- Supporting sentences. These sentences support the main idea of the introductory sentence. Every sentence in the paragraph should directly relate to this main idea. Although this sounds simple, in the end it’s very easy to begin writing and get off topic!
Here are two examples of paragraphs with an introductory sentence and supporting sentences. Where do you imagine that these paragraphs would be placed in the essay?
Researchers also discovered that flights affect one’s ability to reason. In a study of over 1,000 participants, scientists asked each person to complete puzzles and other problem-solving exercises while on the ground and then again in the air. Researchers reported a 20% decreased in the participants’ abilities to problem solve while flying versus in the air.
This next example has a sentence which doesn’t belong. Can you find it? Why do you think it doesn’t belong in the paragraph?
The first reason I believe that school uniforms are beneficial is a personal one. I attended two high schools: the first required us to wear uniforms while the second did not. I found that the morning routine during my first two years of school (in which I wore uniforms) were significantly less stressful than my last two (in which I did not wear uniforms). With uniforms, I knew exactly what to wear each day and. Also, I found it easier to make friends in the school where I wore uniforms because we did not have the distraction of fashionable clothing and the status associated with wearing certain brands.
Rewrite Paragraph 2 so that it meets the requirements of a good paragraph.
Write another body paragraph after Paragraph 2. What would you say?
When choosing to study English abroad, you have so many choices to make. In which country will you attend courses? What accommodations are best for you? What language school is right for you? And which courses are best to enroll in?
One of the many courses you may have to choose from is English for Academic Purposes. English for Academic Purposes (often called EAP) is a popular course in language schools. EAP classes are designed to provide students with the English listening, speaking, writing, reading, and grammar skills necessary in order to prepare students for life in the academic setting. Many students, therefore, attend traditional college or university classes after they graduate from an EAP class.
Here are some questions to ask when deciding if the EAP course is right for you:
- What are my ultimate English goals? Am I interested in improving my speaking skills for travel, communication, and socialization? Or do I want to pursue education in English or a job where I use English?
- In the future, will I need an EAP certificate for a potential job? Or will a certificate from communication-based courses suffice?
- Am I a more serious student? Am I willing to dedicate more hours toward study than communication classes require?
After deciding that an EAP program is right for you, make sure that you research your school’s EAP program. A good EAP program should have the following:
- Clearly defined curriculum that leaves room for adjustment so that it meets the needs of individual students
- Emphasis on academic vocabulary
- Curriculum designed to help you understand the research and citation processes
- Access to a computer lab and its online resources
- At least one academic paper and lessons about how to correctly edit/receive feedback
- Clear grading policies to ensure that you earn your grade
- Options for students who want to pursue an education in the U.S. after graduation from the EAP class
Once you’ve decided to enroll in an EAP course, here are some tips for your next moves:
- Begin researching your education options for after your EAP course. Are you interested in taking a semester of classes at an American community college, like with CISL’s Academic Year Abroad Program? Or are you interested in obtaining a degree from the U.S., like with CISL’s University Pathway Program?
- Start studying now! Begin researching academic English vocabulary and idioms, TOEFL and IELTS exams, and also research what life is like in the American classroom to better prepare. Here are some CISL Blog articles to help you:
- Five Academic English words to impress your professors
- Improve your English by learning academic-based vocabulary words
- Daily habits to improve your English skills
- Choosing to Study Abroad: The advantages of a U.S. College Degree
- Question Styles for TOEFL Reading
Click here to learn more about CISL’s English for Academic Purposes Program, the Academic Year Abroad, and University Pathway.
Are you thinking about attending university in the U.S.? CISL offers students the Academic Year Abroad Program, where students first attend CISL classes and perfect their English before taking one semester of classes at community college. After this memorable year, you will have excellent English skills and you will have experienced life in the American college classroom. How exciting! To help you prepare, we have five academic vocabulary words you need to know in order to impress your professors. Use these in class discussions, incorporate them into your presentations or essays, and watch your marks soar!
Five academic vocabulary words to impress your professor
- Definition: to make or grow better
- Example: Several strategies have been implemented in order to ameliorate environmental pollution; in this essay, I will discuss three of these strategies and analyze the effectiveness of each.
- Definition: commonplace; trivial
- Example: I found his essay to be boring and full of banal arguments that did not convince me of his thesis statement.
- Definition: a core or nucleus of trained or otherwise qualified personnel around which an organization is formed
- Example: After university, it is my hope to join a cadre of lawyers working together to fight environmental pollution caused by big businesses.
- Definition: conveying instruction; teaching some moral lesson
- Example: Bill Bryson’s didactic novels are entertaining and educational.
- Definition: extremely scanty (bare)
- Example: The exiguous research on this topic made it difficult to write my essay, but I think I did a good job.
Would you like to learn more academic English words? Check out this awesome list of 100 Words Every College Student Should Know.
Click here to learn more about university in the U.S. with CISL’s Academic Year Abroad and University Pathway programs.