Sunday, May 29, 2011

Simple guide to get started with your essay

The Basic Steps of the Writing Process

Whether you desire to write a narrative essay about a personal experience, a literary analysis of a story, an argumentative essay supporting a particular idea or point of view, or any other possible type of essay, the steps of the essay writing process are basically the same.
·                     Choose your topic. In some circumstances, especially when you are given a particular essay writing assignment, your topic may be provided for you. In other cases, you may have the flexibility to choose the topic you would most enjoy to explore and write about.
·                     Think about your purpose of your essay. Understanding the purpose of your writing can help you develop the necessary content and structure for your essay. For example, if your purpose is to write a personal narrative, this purpose reveals that you should think about the order in which you describe the experience and, therefore, the order in which you present your paragraphs. This purpose also suggests that you should use detailed and vivid language to guide your reader through the description of your experience.
·                     Use free-writing and brainstorming to explore your topic. Before you worry too much about developing a clean and orderly essay, spend some time exploring your topic and ideas. Free-writing is a great way to get started. Take out a blank piece of paper and write whatever comes to your mind related to your topic. Don't worry if the ideas sound unclear or unconvincing. Also, don't worry about your grammar or sentence structure. This technique is simply to help stimulate your ideas. You'll probably be surprised at what you discover through this practice.
·                     Plan an outline of the general structure and content of your essay. After you have spent a good deal of time brainstorming and free-writing, consider the ideas you've discovered so far and start to develop a general outline for your essay. Keep your outline as clear and direct as possible. Try to start with the main idea you will present in your introduction. Then list the most important ideas you want to present in the body paragraphs of your essay. Under each point, provide any specific information you will use to develop the point.
·                     Write your first draft. Using your outline as a guide, draft your essay. Although you could try to draft each part of the essay, the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion, you should also feel free to draft whichever part of the essay you feel most capable of handling first. You might want to write the body paragraphs first, for example, to help you get a better understanding of how to articulate your main idea in the introduction. At this stage of your writing process, try to remain flexible and relaxed. Do not put too much pressure on yourself to write the perfect essay on the first try. Remember that even at this stage, you might discover new ideas that work better than the ideas you explored previously.
·                     Take a break. It's often very helpful to spend some time away from your writing. The time away allows you regain a clear and objective perspective. It's also incredibly helpful to get another person's opinion about what you've written. Ask a friend, a family member, or even your teacher to read over your draft. When your reader offers you feedback, do not take his or her comments personally. In the end, any comments will help see your writing through another person's eyes and gain a better understanding of what you've actually written.
·                     Reread and revise your essay. Try to allow quite a bit of time for the revising phase of your writing process. In general, you should write at least two to four drafts of your essay before you arrive at your final version. When revising, read through your draft and think about whether your writing meets the requirements of your purpose and assignment. Think about which aspects of your essay are working well and which other aspects are in need of improvement. Don't hesitate to make large changes in your writing. The more open you remain to changes, the more likely it is that your essay will continue to develop and thrive.
·                     Get an outside opinion. Before arriving at your final draft, consider asking a number of people to read and offer feedback about your essay. If you have specific questions or concerns, feel free to ask your readers to focus on those issues. However, it's often most helpful to let your readers respond freely to what you've written.
·                     Add the finishing touches. Take another honest look at your essay, and considering your own concerns and the feedback from readers, spend time identifying any weaknesses and then revising the material. At this stage of the process, you should also pay close attention to your spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and choice of words. To help you identify such problems, read the essay aloud to yourself, sentence by sentence.

I've been to Suhot Cave in Dumalag

Have you heard of the town named Dumalag? What about Capiz? Oh, well, don’t tell me about “aswangs”. Many of my friends are from the province and I haven’t seen them fly at night. There is so much to see than believe and be scared with myths! 

Just before my friend flew to California, we decided to take a trip to her parents’ hometown. I have actually heard a lot of good comments about the place and I couldn’t be more excited to see for myself.

For as much as I love road trips around the island, I think it will be an injustice not to mention the great places I have been to. Seeing countless areas outside the city, there I have also admired this special place from my previous trip. 
Follow the road! Going to Dumalag town proper
An hour or two from Iloilo City by bus, the Province of Capiz in the island of Panay has a lot to offer. From the beauty so natural to the abundant seafood to mountain springs and lush areas, visitors can explore and experience nature at its best. Looking to explore caves or dip in cold water? They have them all.

I have loved one place in particular. This is the municipality of Dumalag that seems to present great gifts. A small town, it is located by the hills and slopes of the mountains blessed with fertile lands and awesome landscapes. Its name is derived from the local term “dalag” which means yellowish. This has been attributed to the river that flows across the town. It is of belief that there is a certain tree growing by the banks which gives the body of water its trademark color. To some, the name came from the word “dumalaga” or spring chicken that dwelt in the area. 
Here finally. Friends and I at the main road to Suhot
Love spelunking? Located in Brgy. Dolores, Suhot Cave, has been considered the most visited tourist area of the municipality. Having ice-cold water by the arched at the entrance, this mountain resort is only about 300 meters from the provincial road. With the cave’s entrance serving as the swimming spot, this has been a part of weekend destinations (including us, from Iloilo City). The soothing water comes from the underground stream that gushes through the formation to its bowl-shaped opening. This does not seem to change despite the hot weather or during the summer season. According to the resort care takers, the cave served as a shelter during the war. Some years after that, it has become a meeting place for local lovers.
Where wonders start. The mouth of  Suhot cave
“Suhot” is a term that means “to go under”. This was considered the most appropriate name for the mountain resort as the cave has area large enough for humans to go in and explore, pairing it with the chance to see the attractive formations inside. Located by the quite dense jungle, the innermost part of the cave is believed to have remained unaffected by modernity. This is despite the efforts and interest of many spelunkers that come along. You will be amazed by the primitive surrounding and caverns.
Where to soak. People enjoying the ice cold water on a hot day!
Going green. The oxygen factory just above the cave.
The area by the cave has awakened the nature lover spirit in me. With the obviously unspoiled hills nearby, friends and I went up for a little hiking. The lush green slopes have been inviting and offers a spectacular sight of the resort below. Seems like the location of Twilight Saga!
Great place to be. Dumalag Plaza's greener pride!
Another site that struck me is the Dumalag plaza. Just beside the old church of St. Martin de Porres, the park has been obviously well taken care of. With the trimmed plants, cultivated flowers and beautifully designed structures, the landscape is undoubtedly unequalled! With much amazement, friends and I decided to have countless pictorials! You know, women thing! 
Religious pride. The town's centuries-old church
When in Capiz, try to stop by Dumalag, too! Who knows? You might love Suhot cave and the town plaza as much as we do!

Sexy backs? Pals and I didn't let any photo ops pass.

*photos taken using Samsung NV11