By Saeed Ullah Khan Wazir.
Note: Outline should consist of 18 to 22 (or 25) headings both major and minor ones. Thesis statement should be written given the fact one knows it holistically; otherwise, it’s better to avoid it in outline. (No need to number or write the caption — Thesis statement )
Thesis statement: Education in Pakistan has beset with multifaceted challenges on all fronts which require streamlined, calibrated reforms forthwith
I. Legal and constitutional status of education in Pakistan
II. Comparative analysis with regional countries
III. Root causes of plummeting, systemic collapse
A. Academic problems
- Retention vs. enrollment
- Curriculum and textbooks politics
- Memorization(rote-learning) vs. internalization(critical thinking)
- Lack of monitoring
- Inadequate use of available resource
B. Social problems
- Language controversy
a. National vs. local language
b. English vs. Urdu medium
- Public vs. private institutions
- Religious education and education reforms
a. Zia’s patronization
b. The National Curriculum 2006
c. The National Education Policy 2009
- Uniformity vs. diversity (Three parallel systems -Public means govt,Private and Islamic seminaries)
- Militancy, counter-insurgency and education
C. Financial Problems
- Inadequate budgetary allocation
- No share of FDI in education sector
- No concept of debt financing in education
- Unregulated fee structure of private institutions
1. Poor induction process
2. Politicization of staff and students
a. Teachers unions
b. Students unions
IV. Education for All: Pragmatic and holistic solution
A. Across-the-board sponsorship
- Utilizing funds
- The role of donors
- Political will and ownership
B. Teachers and education reforms
C. The private sector’s role
D. The implementation of NEP-2009
E. Patronization of research
F. Cultural exchange programs and scholarships
G. Technical and vocational education
This is to clarify that this modal is subject to be further improved and overhauled.However,this pattern and method has been taught by Col. Muzzaffar, ex-FPSC examiner and,most importantly,the text books we studied in English literature and linguistics specialization were based on Oxford syllabus.
Don’t write, “Humans should relocate to Mars.”
This statement doesn’t include any supporting claims. Why should humans move to Mars? What are the benefits of moving to a planet without oxygen or trees?
Do write, “It is too late to save earth; therefore, humans should immediately set a date for their relocation to Mars where, with proper planning, they can avoid issues of famine, war, and global warming.”
This statement includes some thought-provoking claims. The reader will wonder how the author plans to defend them. (“Famine, war, and global warming can be easily avoided on Mars? Go on…”)
Constructing formal outline
Initially, make rough outline and keep updating it as you proceed. Write your thesis statement at the top of the page. Group main headings under roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, and so on), and place them flush with the left-hand margin. Indent each subheading under the first word of the heading above it. Use capital letters before major points and numbers before supporting details. Capitalize the first letter of the first word of each heading. Make your outline as simple as possible, avoiding overly complex divisions of ideas. (Try not to go beyond third-level headings — 1, 2, 3, and so on.) Construct either a topic outline, with headings expressed as short phrases or single words (“Advantages and disadvantages”) or a sentence outline, with headings expressed as complete sentences (“The advantages of advanced placement chemistry outweigh the disadvantages”). Never use both phrases and complete sentences in the same outline. Express all headings at the same level in parallel terms. (If Roman numeral I is a noun, II, III, and IV should also be nouns.) Make sure each heading contains at least two subdivisions. You cannot have a 1 without a 2 or an A without a B.Make sure your headings do not overlap.
- Thesis statement:
The introduction of your essay, usually one paragraph (200-400 words) and rarely more than two, introduces your subject, creates interest, and often states your thesis. You can use a variety of strategies to introduce an essay and engage your readers’ (examiner) interest. Here are several options for beginning an essay.
You can begin with background information. This approach works well when you know the audience is already interested in your topic and you can come directly to the point. This strategy is especially useful for exams, where there is no need (or time) for subtlety. You can introduce an essay with your own original definition of a relevant term or concept where the meaning of a specific term is crucial. You can begin your essay with an anecdote or story that leads readers to your thesis. You can begin with a question and a quotation. If it arouses interest, it can encourage your audience to read further. You can begin with a contradiction. You can open your essay with an idea that most people believe is true and then get readers’ attention by showing that it is inaccurate or ill advised. You can begin with a fact or statistic.
What not to do in Introduction
Don’t apologize. Never use phrases such as “in my opinion” or “I may not be an expert, but. . . .” By doing so, you suggest that you don’t really know your subject. Don’t begin with a dictionary definition. Avoid beginning an essay with phrases like “According to Webster’s Dictionary. . . .” This type of introduction is overused and trite. If you want to use a definition, develop your own. Don’t announce what you intend to do.
Don’t begin with phrases such as “In this paper I will . . .” or “The purpose of this essay is to. . . .” Use your introduction to create interest in your topic, and let readers discover your intention when they get to your thesis statement. Don’t wander. Your introduction should draw readers into your essay as soon as possible. Avoid irrelevant comments or annoying digressions that will distract readers and make them want to stop reading.
The body Paragraphs
The middle section, or body, of your essay develops your thesis. The body paragraphs present the support that convinces your audience your thesis is reasonable. To do so, each body paragraph should be unified, coherent, and well developed. It should also follow a particular pattern of development and should clearly support your thesis.
- Each body paragraph should be unified.
A paragraph is unified when each sentence relates directly to the main idea of the paragraph. Frequently, the main idea of a paragraph is stated in a topic sentence. Like a thesis statement, a topic sentence acts as a guidepost, making it easy for readers to follow the paragraph’s discussion. Although the placement of a topic sentence depends on a writer’s purpose and subject, beginning writers often make it the first sentence of a paragraph. Sometimes the main idea of a paragraph is not stated but implied by the sentences in the paragraph. Professional writers often use this technique because they believe that in some situations — especially narratives and descriptions — a topic sentence can seem forced or awkward. As a beginning writer, however, you will find it helpful to use topic sentences to keep your paragraphs focused. Whether or not you include a topic sentence, remember that each sentence in a paragraph should develop the paragraph’s main idea. If the sentences in a paragraph do not support the main idea, the paragraph will lack unity.
- Each body paragraph should be coherent.
A paragraph is coherent if its sentences are smoothly and logically connected to one another. Coherence can be strengthened in three ways. First, you can repeat key words to carry concepts from one sentence to another and to echo important terms. Second, you can use pronouns to refer to key nouns in previous sentences. Finally, you can use transitions, words or expressions that show chronological sequence, cause and effect, and so on. These three strategies for connecting sentences — which you can also use to connect paragraphs within an essay — indicate for your readers the exact relationships among your ideas.
- Each body paragraph should be well developed.
A paragraph is well developed if it contains the support — examples, reasons, and so on — readers need to understand its main idea. If a paragraph is not adequately developed, readers will feel they have been given only a partial picture of the subject. Support should be relevant. Body paragraphs should clearly relate to your essay’s thesis. Irrelevant material — material that does not pertain to the thesis — should be deleted. Support should be specific. Body paragraphs should contain support that is specific, not general or vague. Specific examples, clear reasons, and precise explanations engage readers and communicate your ideas to them. Support should be adequate. Body paragraphs should contain enough facts, reasons, and examples to support your thesis. Support should be representative. Body paragraphs should present support that is typical, not atypical. Support should be documented and valid.
- Each body paragraph should follow a particular pattern of development.
In addition to making sure your body paragraphs are unified, coherent, and well developed, you need to organize each paragraph according to a specific pattern of development. Each body paragraph should clearly support the thesis statement. No matter how many body paragraphs your essay has — three, four, five, or even more — each paragraph should introduce and develop an idea that supports the essay’s thesis. Each paragraph’s topic sentence should express one of these supporting points.
Since readers remember best what they read last, your conclusion is very important. Always end your essay in a way that reinforces your thesis and your purpose. Like your introduction, your conclusion is rarely longer than a paragraph. Regardless of its length, however, your conclusion should be consistent with the rest of your essay—that is, it should not introduce points you have not discussed earlier. Frequently, a conclusion will restate your essay’s main idea or review your key points. You can conclude your essay by reviewing your key points or restating your thesis. You can end a discussion of a problem with a recommendation of a course of action. You can conclude with a prediction. Be sure, however, that your prediction follows logically from the points you have made in the essay. Your conclusion is no place to make new points or to change direction. You can end with a relevant quotation.
- What not to do in Conclusion
Don’t end by repeating the exact words of your thesis and listing your main points. Avoid boring endings that tell readers what they already know. Don’t end with an empty phrase. Avoid ending with a cliché like “This just goes to prove that you can never be too careful.”
Don’t introduce new points or go off in new directions. Your conclusion should not introduce new points for discussion. It should reinforce the points you have already made in your essay. Don’t end with an unnecessary announcement. Don’t end by saying that you are ending — for example, “In conclusion, let me say. . . .” The tone of your conclusion should signal that the essay is drawing to a close.
Tailpiece: With guarded optimism and firm conviction, it’s reiterated that the only silver lining lies in more rigorous, grueling practice of writing and getting it checked from qualified and experienced mentor. I am just hoping you take this serious and keeping my fingers crossed.
“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”, dictates adventure rather than resorting to formulaic, cheap materials to be regurgitated and reproduced mechanically. Creativity is the need of the hour.
Building a complete and strong Argument and Argumentative Essay
The writer contributes to different English Dailies and Magazines. He specializes in English Linguistics and Literature and teaches CSS and PMS English Essay and Precis papers at CSS PMS Knowledge Builders, a well-reputed forum for competitive exams students. He can be reached at saeedullahkhanwazircss@gmai