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WLGWritingSample

WLGWritingSample

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Literature 
and the Language Arts
World Literature
Sample Guided Writing Lesson
 THE EMC MASTERPIECE SERIES
EMCParadigm PublishingSt. Paul, Minnesota
 
774
WORLD LITERATURE
WRITING A CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY
 As you walk into the lunchroom, the aroma of pizza greets you. Itsmells especially appealing today, so you wait in line impatiently,hoping that there will still be some pizza left for you. Finally youbite in and taste the piping hot melted cheese and the spicypepperoni. Your lunch, whether you are aware of it or not, is basedon a recipe brought to this country many years ago by Italianimmigrants.Cultural diversity affects more than what you eat, however. Youare probably aware that diverse cultural groups influenceadvertisements, computer games, music, art, and literature. Whatare some effects that awareness has had on your life?Television programs, magazines, and newspapers are also highlyaware of cultural diversity in America. One effect of that awarenessis that they regularly feature interesting stories about variousgroups.
W
RITING
A
SSIGNMENT
.
For this lesson, you will analyze some effects of the media
s awareness of cultural diversity or some effects of your own awareness of cultural diversity. Your writing will take the formof an informative essay. An
essay
is a short non
 fi
ction work that expresses a writer 
sthoughts about a single subject. The writer focuses the essay on asingle, controlling idea. An essay is usually organized into anintroduction, a body, and a conclusion. The aim of an informativeessay is to inform, not to persuade.In this excerpt, Tammy, a tenth grade student, examines some of the ways her Asian-American culture has affected America. As youread the
 fi
rst two paragraphs of her essay, look for the effects thatshe notes.
Student Model
“From Familiarity to Acceptance” by Tammy Cha The people who became the American Indians arrived vialand bridges from Asia and, possibly, from Polynesia. Sincethat time, people have arrived from many lands and many cultures. Each group has brought its cultural traditions and itsunique perspectives. The contributions of each group areimportant because they enrich the lives of all Americans.
I
NFORMATIVE
W
RITING
E
XAMININGTHE
M
ODEL
.
Tammystarts her essay with an intro-ductory paragraph that con-tains the controlling, or cen-tral, idea of her paper. Her controlling idea is that eachcultural group has made
continued on page 775
 “America has been in the bes t sense o f  the term a mel ting po t,e ver y elemen t addingi ts par ticular elemen to f s treng th.  Thecons tan t in fusion o fnew blood has enrichedour cul tural li fe,speeded our ma terialgrow th, and producedsome o f our ables ts ta tesmen. . . . Americahas demons tra ted  fore ver yone wi th e yes  tosee  tha t  those  thingswhich uni te peoples aregrea ter  than  thosewhich di vide  them,  tha twar is no t  theine vi table  fa te o fmankind. ” 
— Athu Shlesinge
 
GUIDED WRITING
775
 About fifty years ago, my grandparents emigrated from Asia tothis country. Like immigrants from many other countries, they  were looking for economic opportunities. Since they strove tolearn English and be like other Americans, they gradually became part of the American “melting pot.” They also tried toretain some of their distinct cultural traditions because thosetraditions were part of their identity. In order to preserve thissense of identity, my grandmother told my father stories abouther life in China. Those stories were consequently passed onto me.
Prewriting
F
INDING
Y
OUR
V
OICE
.
For this type of essay, you will need to use arespectful, honest, and informed voice. Your voice also needs to belogical because you are analyzing the causes and effects of a givenevent.Look at the two examples below. Although each example containsa cause and an effect, one of the examples is logical and the other isnot. Can you identify the logical example? Why is the other exampleillogical?
 Teenagers are lazy because most of them do not have a part-time job. When the economy is healthy, a lot of people are employed.
I
DENTIFYING
Y
OUR
A
UDIENCE
.
 Your peers would be a good audience for this essay. They will want to hear your perspective and think abouthow it is similar to or different from their own. As you write,consider the information that will be important to your audience,keep their interest, and help them see the value in what you haveto say.
W
RITINGWITHA
P
LAN
.
 You may already know a speci
 fi
c effect of cultural awareness you can examine. John, for example, was awareof one effect of the local newspaper 
s interest in various cultures:each week the food section featured recipes from a different ethnicgroup. He thought that he would write about that effect in his essay.Carmen was aware of one effect that happened as a result of the1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act:museums started to return cultural items to American Indian tribes.That effect, in turn, became a cause. Some of the returned artifactsare now presenting health problems to the tribes because of thetreatments that had been used to preserve the artifacts. Carmen alsoplanned to consider what new effects that could have on the tribes.If you are still uncertain about which effect to write about, takesome time to freewrite so that you generate several ideas. Although some cause and effect essays start by examining aneffect and analyzing the cause, you will be starting this essay withthe cause (cultural awareness) and following with one or moreeffects.Remember that events that simply follow one another are oftennot caused by the previous event. They might just happen to followcontributions that haveenriched the lives of all Americans. In the
 fi
rst para-graph of the body of the essay,she explains that because her grandparents strove to learnEnglish and be like other  Americans, they graduallybecame part of the American
melting pot.
She also notesthat they wanted to retainsome of their distinct culturaltraditions because those tradi-tions were part of their iden-tity. Tammy uses the words
because 
,
since 
,
in order to
,and
consequently 
to show the causeand effect relationship.
How can you tell a causefrom an effect?
 A
cause
makes somethinghappen. The
effect
is whathappens.Turning the volume of aradio up makes the musiclouder.
Turning the volume up
is the cause.
The music getting louder 
is the effect.Sometimes an effectbecomes a cause. For example, the music gettinglouder might cause some-one to say,
Turn it down!

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