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The Writer’s Reference Book


Module C – Unity – Hint Sheet

Unity means that all ideas in the work relate to the central idea.

Four Essential Qualities in Unity

  1. Unity (Talking about one idea at a time)
  2. Coherence (Linking all ideas to each other)
  3. Emphasis (Showing the relative importance of ideas and arranging them)
  4. Adequate Development (Completeness)

Disunity and Its Causes

  1. Overt Aggression from the Central Idea (abruptly breaking away from the central idea to introduce a new, unrelated idea)
  2. Wandering Digression from the Central Idea (a gradual drifting away from the topic)
  3. Lack Of A Central Idea (If the ideas in a work are not connected to a central idea, unity is destroyed.)
  4. Incomplete or Inadequate Ideas (nothing to develop and no unity)

Unity of Idea and Purpose

  1. Unity of Idea (talking about one central idea using a topic sentence or a thesis statement)
    • A central idea means one topic plus an assertion about that topic.
    • A central idea will provide you with a guide for unity.
    • The central idea should suggest the main direction of development.
  2. Purpose (tells why you are writing about your central idea)

Unifying Threads – Help relate everything to the central idea and purpose by interlacing the entire work.

  1. Recurring Ideas (ties everything to the central idea)
  2. Extended Analogy (compares two things that are basically different but which have some similar qualities)
  3. A Single Attitude (maintains a consistent attitude toward the subject: ironic, humorous, serious, playful, etc.)
  4. A Single Point Of View (maintains the single point of view the writer began with)
    There are three major points of view:
    1. Grammatical Point Of View
      • “I” lets the reader know that the writer is the authority.
      • “We” lets the reader share the authority with the writer.
      • “You” lets the reader be the authority.
      • “They” lets the reader know that what is discussed is on the authority of someone separate from both reader and writer.
    2. Controlled Point Of View – Lets the reader know about the writer's acceptance and rejection of ideas and how they relate to his central idea.
    3. Slanted Point Of View –Presents only one side of a question to the reader.
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