KEY PHRASES FOR PREPARING PRESENTATION
WHY IS WRITING AN ESSAY
by Tom Johnson
Learning how to write an essay can be a maddening, exasperating process, but it doesn't have to be. If you know the steps and understand what to do, writing can be easy and even fun.
Brief Overview of the 10 Essay Writing Steps
1. Research: Begin the essay writing process by researching your topic, making yourself an expert. Utilize the internet, the academic databases, and the library. Take notes and immerse yourself in the words of great thinkers.
2. Analysis: Now that you have a good knowledge base, start analyzing the arguments of the essays you're reading. Clearly define the claims, write out the reasons, the evidence. Look for weaknesses of logic, and also strengths. Learning how to write an essay begins by learning how to analyze essays written by others.
3. Brainstorming: Your essay will require insight of your own, genuine essay-writing brilliance. Ask yourself a dozen questions and answer them. Meditate with a pen in your hand. Take walks and think and think until you come up with original insights to write about.
4. Thesis: Pick your best idea and pin it down in a clear assertion that you can write your entire essay around. Your thesis is your main point, summed up in a concise sentence that lets the reader know where you're going, and why. It's practically impossible to write a good essay without a clear thesis.
5. Outline: Sketch out your essay before straightway writing it out. Use one-line sentences to describe paragraphs, and bullet points to describe what each paragraph will contain. Play with the essay's order. Map out the structure of your argument, and make sure each paragraph is unified.
6. Introduction: Now sit down and write the essay. The introduction should grab the reader's attention, set up the issue, and lead in to your thesis. Your intro is merely a buildup of the issue, a stage of bringing your reader into the essay's argument.
(Note: The title and first paragraph are probably the most important elements in your essay. This is an essay-writing point that doesn't always sink in within the context of the classroom. In the first paragraph you either hook the reader's interest or lose it. Of course your teacher, who's getting paid to teach you how to write an essay, will read the essay you've written regardless, but in the real world, readers make up their minds about whether or not to read your essay by glancing at the title alone.)
7. Paragraphs: Each individual paragraph should be focused on a single idea that supports your thesis. Begin paragraphs with topic sentences, support assertions with evidence, and expound your ideas in the clearest, most sensible way you can. Speak to your reader as if he or she were sitting in front of you. In other words, instead of writing the essay, try talking the essay.
8. Conclusion: Gracefully exit your essay by making a quick wrap-up sentence, and then end on some memorable thought, perhaps a quotation, or an interesting twist of logic, or some call to action. Is there something you want the reader to walk away and do? Let him or her know exactly what.
9. MLA Style: Format your essay according to the correct guidelines for citation. All borrowed ideas and quotations should be correctly cited in the body of your text, followed up with a Works Cited (references) page listing the details of your sources.
10. Language: You're not done writing your essay until you've polished your language by correcting the grammar, making sentences flow, incoporating rhythm, emphasis, adjusting the formality, giving it a level-headed tone, and making other intuitive edits. Proofread until it reads just how you want it to sound. Writing an essay can be tedious, but you don't want to bungle the hours of conceptual work you've put into writing your essay by leaving a few slippy misppallings and pourly wordedd phrazies..
You're done. Great job. Now move over Ernest Hemingway — a new writer is coming of age! (Of course Hemingway was a fiction writer, not an essay writer, but he probably knew how to write an essay just as well.)
Technical translation is a type of specialized translation involving the translation of documents produced by technical writers (owner's manuals, user guides, etc.), or more specifically, texts which relate to technological subject areas or texts which deal with the practical application of scientific and technological information. While the presence of specialized terminology is a feature of technical texts, specialized terminology alone is not sufficient for classifying a text as "technical" since numerous disciplines and subjects which are not "technical" possess what can be regarded as specialized terminology. Technical translation covers the translation of many kinds of specialized texts and requires a high level of subject knowledge and mastery of the relevant terminology and writing conventions.
The importance of consistent terminology in technical translation, for example in patents, as well as the highly formulaic and repetitive nature of technical writing makes computer-assisted translation using translation memories and terminology databases especially appropriate. In his book Technical Translation Jody Byrne argues that technical translation is closely related to technical communication and that it can benefit from research in this and other areas such as usability and cognitive psychology.
In addition to making texts with technical jargon accessible for a wider ranging audience, technical translation also involves linguistic features of translating technological texts from one language to another.
Translation as a whole is a balance of art and science influenced by both theory and practice. Having knowledge of both the linguistic features as well as the aesthetic features of translation applies directly to the field of technical translation.
Methods and Practices
The role of the technical translator is to not only be a transmitter of information, but also to be a constructor of procedural discourse and knowledge through meaning, particularly because oftentimes, the technical translator may also take on the role of the technical writer. Research has demonstrated that technical communicators do, in fact, create new meaning as opposed to simply repackaging (198) old information. This emphasizes the important role that technical translators play in making meaning, whether they are doing technical translation in one language or in multiple languages.
Much like professionals in the field of technical communication, the technical translator must have a cross-curricular and multifaceted background. In addition to grasping theoretical and linguistic orientations for the actual translation process, an understanding of other subjects, such as cognitive psychology, usability engineering, and technical communication, is necessary for a successful technical translator[. Additionally, most technical translators work within a specialized field such as medical or legal technical translation, which highlights the importance of an interdisciplinary background. Finally, the technical translators should also become familiar with the field of professional translation through training.
Technical translation requires a solid knowledge base of technological skills, particularly if the translator chooses to utilize computer-assisted translation (CAT) or machine translation (MT). Though some technical translators complete all translation without the use of CAT or MT, this is often with pieces that require more creativity in the document. Documents dealing with mechanics or engineering that contain frequently translated phrases and concepts are often translated using CAT or MT.
Practitioners within the field of technical translation often employ what is called machine translation (MT), or machine-assisted translation. This method of translation uses various types of computer software to generate translations from a source language to a target language without the assistance of a human. There are different methods of machine translation. A plethora of machine translators in the form of free search engines are available online. However, within the field of technical communication, there are two basic types of machine translators, which are able to translate massive amounts of text as a time. There are transfer-based and data-driven machine translators. Transfer-based machine translation systems, which are quite costly to develop, are built by linguists who determine the grammar rules for the source and target languages. The machine works within the rules and guidelines developed by the linguist. Due to the nature of developing rules for the system, this can be very time-consuming and requires an extensive knowledge base about the structures of the languages on the part of the linguist; nonetheless, the majority of commercial machine translators are transfer-based machines. Yahoo! BabelFish is a common example of a platform that uses this type of translation technology.
Data-driven machine translators, also known as statistical-based machine translators, work by aggregating massive amounts of previously translated bits of information, and uses statistical analysis to determine matches between the source language and target language with the previously aggregated corpora. This method is less expensive and requires less development time than transfer-based machine translation, but the generated translation is often not to the same quality as transfer-based translation. The translation services offered through Google use transfer-based translation technology.
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