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Chapter 4: Essay-writing
This is how we write an essay. A composition on a particular subject consisting of more than one paragraph is an essay. The characteristics of a good essay are: Unity : The essay should deal with the main subject, and all parts of it should be clearly linked with that subject. Coherence : There should be a logical sequence of thought.
This requires a logical relationship between ideas, sentences and paragraphs. Relevance : Unimportant information should not be included. Proportion: Giving more space to the important ideas. Read the following essay and the passage analysis that follows it carefully.
The Importance of Games 1. “The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.” These words have been attributed to the Duke of Wellington. Certainly one does not play games in order to win battles; neither does the curriculum include them for that reason. But the importance of games in life should not be underestimated, for without them it is harder for a person to be sound in body and mind.
2. For one thing, if a person is to fulfil all the duties that society expects of him, it is important for him to keep healthy. He may be very intelligent, but that has little meaning if he cannot make use of his intelligence, because he is always suffering from bad health. In some ways, the human body is like a machine. If it is not made use of, it starts to work badly. People who are not fit grow weak and become more susceptible to disease. Any form of game is useful, provided it gives the body an opportunity to take regular physical exercise.
3. Secondly, playing — and therefore experiencing winning and losing — encourages the spirit of sportsmanship, thus enabling one to deal with life’s problems in a wise and natural manner. Games teach the truth embodied in the Olympic motto: ‘The important thing in playing is not the winning or the losing, but the participation’ — and, I may add, doing the best one can.
4. We have to remember some other things about playing games, however. First, it is the physical exercise that is important for health, not the games themselves, and there are other ways of getting this. Is not India the home of yoga?
It is also possible to be too interested in games. When we think of the Greek ideal expressed in the Latin phrase, ‘mens sana in corpore sano’ (a healthy mind in a healthy body), we should not forget that it is the mind which is mentioned first. And if we let games become the most important thing in our lives, we may be in danger of changing the Olympic motto to ‘the important thing is winning’.
5. Nevertheless, in spite of these dangers, playing games can be a valuable activity, and if we take part in them wisely, we can gain great benefits. Passage Analysis
The writer uses five paragraphsl Each paragraph deals sequentially with a topic.l – Paragraph 1 introduces the subject, and makes a general statement about the importance of games. – Paragraph 2 explains the benefits of playing games. – Paragraph 3 deals with the moral benefits. – Paragraph 4 deals with the disadvantages and dangers. – Paragraph 5 sums up the writer’s opinion, taking into account all he has said in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, i.e. it forms the conclusion. The structure (or plan) of the essay is summed up in the following flow diagram.
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 English Chapter 4 Essay-writing
Question 1: Himalayan Quake 2005
The mesmerizing beauty of the Himalayan mountain range was put to question on the 8th of October 2005, when a massive earthquake rocked some parts of the Himalayan region.
The earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, was devastating. According to the seismologists, the epicenter of the earthquake was in Muzzaffarabad, Pakistan. The worst hit areas were Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and western parts of the Kashmir valley in Indian-administered Kashmir. About 80 thousand people died in the quake. Many of them were schoolchildren who got buried under the rubble of their school buildings.
There was a huge national and international humanitarian response to the crisis. The UN and the US were criticized for not taking practical steps and focussing on training and seminar costing millions.
To conclude, the 2005 Himalayan quake will never be erased from our memories. Though it has taught many lessons to planners, architects, disaster managers, and policymakers, the suffering of the victims will always invite the sympathy of mankind worldwide.
Question 2: Those who can bear all can dare all
Those who can bear all can dare all. This holds good at all levels – individual, social, economic and organizational. The ability or attitude to endure in a given situation or environment is of utmost importance.
In a given situation, one’s response is either reactive or proactive. One may have a positive or a negative response toward a situation. But for becoming effective in life one should cultivate a balanced or neutral attitude. A balanced attitude promotes the development of endurance.
Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the electric bulb, owes his success to his ability to bear hardships. He once commented that genius is ninety percent perspiration and ten percent inspiration. Though he had to perform hundreds of experiments to invent the electric bulb, he did not let the failures overpower him. This attitude ultimately brought him success. Napoleon, the famous French leader, regarded endurance as the most important quality of leadership.
He said that losing a battle does not mean losing the war. Lord Buddha once said that the world we live in is in a state of flux. There is no certainty as situations do not always remain the same. In other words, one should be prepared to face the ups and downs in life. In this context, the best we can do is to remain neutral and not let the problems demoralize us.
In the era of globalization and the market economy, the quality of endurance is a prerequisite for entrepreneurs. There are ample growth opportunities as well as uncertainties due to the play of market forces. In fact, one can take risk or bear uncertainty only when one has developed the quality of endurance. There may be ups and downs in business but one has to bear all.
To conclude, endurance is not the virtue of the weak rather it is the source of strength. That is why it is said, “Those who can bear all can dare all.”
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