Tuesday, May 8, 2007

W 106 F

In the spring semester of 1997 three "Writing and Research Skills" courses were taught at the English Department of Janus Pannonius University. These were coded as ANG 1601, ANG 1602, ANG 1603. Each of them aimed at developing students' writing abilities, giving useful advice on how to produce individually well-constructed academic essays. To achieve progress, students of the writing courses were given various kinds of tasks to examine the essay as a whole and as something which consists of several and seperate parts. One of the tasks covering both aspect was the essay on tape. As a student of ANG 1602, I decided to do some research on it.

All the participants of the courses had to write a text and then record it so that we could hand it in on tape. It rose my interest because it was an unusual way of evaluating a home assignment.

There were three possible choices to write about. The first one was the expansion of an already written essay in which we wrote about something that we learnt outside school. The second title could be completed with a freely chosen word: "Designing a University..." The third option was "Comparing Essay Writing with a Metaphor". I wanted to know which of the three choices was the most popular among students. I also aimed to research what methods students applied, what kinds of strategies they had and what attitudes they settled towards the whole task.


I listened to thirteen essays of the ANG 1602 course and to five of the ANG 1603. The most popular option was the expanded learning process. The second was designing something interesting and new for the University or for their students. Only one person decided to compare essay writing with a metaphor, probably because it needed an abstract way of thinking. To find out about students attitudes and further details connected to the tape essay, I prepared questions and asked students to answer me orally. I interviewed students one by one due to my belief in originality. I was sure that this way no student will be influenced by the others' opinion. Following this method I also made sure that I obtain clear information, when I did not understand something I immediately asked for explanation.

Results and discussion

From the first topic many interesting essays came out. Students wrote and spoke about how they learnt to swim, to answer the phone proficiently in another country and in another language, to glide or play football. (See Horvath, J. Geresdi, A. Pónya, K. Bogdán, L.). I could also listen to someone's experience of learning to play the piano, another person's skiing rituals and even about "csuhéfonás". (See Salekovics, A. Kôberl, K. Magyarfalvi, D.)

I asked students why they chose their own specific topic. Those who wrote about the learning process said that they found it easier to give some more data of the topic which they already had discussed. It only needed restructuring and expressing ideas a bit more widely.

I also listened to nine designing essays. It is characteristic of good writers to try to plan something that makes University years more memorable and pleasent in many ways. Thus the designers planned the perfect tutor, a potential University course, a University café, a useful dictionary for English majors and an assembly hall. (See Wollent, I. Bagi, Á. Nagy, Á. Csongor, Cs. Zsiborás, E.) The designers said that by the help of this topic they could imagine something and execute that.

From the third type I only listened to one work which compared essay writing with the process of film making. (Pétersz, T.) The student choosing this topic demonstrated many possible similarities between the two concepts and provided a convincing tape essay.

This type was not too popular among students, which was most probably due to the fact that the other two topics could be approached easier by many.

The tape essay had to be a five-minute long text. All speakers approximetely kept themselves to the time limitation and spent that time at their disposal properly. Students said that at first they were not sure if they would be able to fill five minutes with speech which maintains attention. It seems that fear had no concrete basis. However, anxiety while recording was obvious. It manifested itself in faltered voices, sometimes in the repetition of the first syllables. Eleven people reported that they felt embarrassed for quite a while when hearing their own voices being recorded. It resulted in false starts and stuttering so that students had to record those parts again after each mistake. After some time everybody got used to their voices. Following that they could speak much more confidently. The rhythm of the speech was close to natural with little deviations. Speed of the talk varied, too. It was, however, influenced by the natural speaking features of the particular speaker. Sometimes it was obvious that the student was speaking as fast as possible in order to get over the task as soon as he or she could. Others turned their attention very carefully and it resulted in somewhat slower speed than normal.

It is rather difficult to evaluate every tape essay with the same validity because most of them were rather bad quality pieces as students had no proficient equipment. There usually was a constant background noise and students' leaning towards and backwards also influenced audiobility in a positive or negative way.

I also wanted to do some research on results. I asked for the statistics provided by our teacher, Horváth József. In the ANG 1601 course ten people did the essay on tape. The minimum points were four and the maximum was ten. The mean came out to 7.6 here. In ANG 1602 out of the sixteen students attending the course two people received extra bonus points, that is their points were twelve. The minimum point was six, the mean was 8.56. In the third group, ANG 1603, those who scored minimum points had only five and those of scoring the maximum had ten. The mean here was 7.2. To sum up the results of the three writing courses, one student scored four points, two scored five points, three had six points, nine had seven and another nine got eight points. Six got nine and four got ten points. There was one person who had zero point but he did not hand in anything to be evaluated.

We can see that results were quite nice and it was possible to get the highest points, what is more, even bonus ones.

I wondered whether students' positive attitudes contributed to good results and what feelings they had when fulfilling the task. I constructed several questions and twenty people answered them. The first one was intended to investigate whether students enjoyed doing the tape essay. Half of them liked the task but the other half reported that it was a nuisance for them to look for a satisfactory tape recorder and to spend so much time on recording.

My second question was constructed to get to know whether students spent more or less time on the tape essay than they usually spend on an average one. Sixteen of them said that from this aspect the tape essay was much better as there was no need to type it which would have taken hours. It eliminated all the difficulties which occur when the essay has to be submitted in print. Students said that they took plenty of time to revise the essay, which was the whole aim of the task, indeed. Only one person said that she spent much longer time on this process than on a usual one. All of them agreed that hearing their essays made them revise, correct mistakes and even change some parts.

I also wanted to know if they were satisfied with their results and thought that the evaluation of such an essay can be objective enough. Mainly those who had high points were satisfied but surprisingly some of the low-scorers claimed that they did not expect more. To the second part of my question everybody answered that there are many psychological effects originating from the tone of the voice. Everybody shared the opinion that the extent of pleasure coming from listening to one's speech is decisive and probably even personal relation influences the teacher,too.

Eighteen students gave a positive answer to my last question: "Would you apply this technique as a teacher?" It was strange after that students claimed that it was not an objective essay type. They all said that probably they themselves would be affected by different factors, still it would be great fun to produce something in a completely different, refreshing way. Two persons told me that they would apply the method but would not mark it. There were two persons who said that they would rather make students hand in written works because then they could mark a wider range of writing skills, for instance spelling. Here I must add that the aim of the tape essay was not to check spelling but to make writers revise.


When I evaluated my research, I had to state that the idea of taping the essay evoked mixed feelings at the first hearing. Later everyone considered it to be a useful procedure to revise and correct. Most students found it funny to listen to their own voices. Students regretted that they had no chance to listen to all the other essays as well. However, it gave an occasion to realize how we speak English and what area needs practice and development. It seems from the clear evident that after the soccer essay (See Horváth József, 1995) it was the second most popular task completed in the course.

W 105 F

At the beginning of the semester students had to take new courses which were very important for their later studies and examinations. One of them was Writing and Research Skills course. The aim of this course was to introduce and involve the students into different reading and writing styles and to help in studying how to write an essay and a research paper. On the first class students were given the syllabus of the course from which they could see which topics they would deal with and what they would do in the whole semester. When I had to choose a topic I would write about in my research paper assignment, I decided on the characterization and evaluation of the course and tasks students were given and they had to solve since the spring semester began. I would like to see, whether the course was useful for me and for other English majors or not.

After choosing the theme I started to work on the work methods with the help of which I could see how the tasks done in the class and at home (in-class and take-home assignments) influenced writing skills of students taking the course. I collected some Portfolios of my mates, so that I could see how they wrote about different themes, how they developed from the point of view of writing topic sentences, developing paragraphs and all the rest of it. I also made interviews with students, they told me about their ideas and thoughts about the usefullness of the course, how it helped them in improving their essay writing skills, what they found interesting and what they missed, what was not discussed in details.

I talked to many people and according to collected information the Writing and Research Skills course really did help to the majority of university students. The biggest development can be seen on the field of writing topic sentences and developing paragraphs. Students also made quite an effective progress on the level of sentences. Mainly in the last weeks of the semester they did various activities which were focusing on the sentence, as the lowest level of speech used in a written work. While practicing they seemed to understand the secrets of this field as well.

To make a classification we need to know more about each task, so that we could compare them with each other and we could evaluate them.

At the beginning students started to develop their skills in academic writing by reflecting on various reading styles. They had to read two essays from a book called ‘Seventy-five Readings’. Basically the first one written by Zinsser was the more effective one, as it spoke about the difference between two men’s style in writing. The cause of this difference was based on their professions, one of them being a writer the other one was a doctor, who writes only for the sake of fun, to entertain himself. After reading these essays students got a short extract of each. They were asked to fill in the gaps within the two paragraphs. They had to do it in order to realize how differently every person reads. It was depending on student’s character. By doing such a predicting activity students saw that in most of the cases people used different words for the same gap. That showed that everyone had different impressions while reading a text, every person understanded it in a different way to some extent. During the next class students got the opportunity to discuss the two essays in whole. The above mentioned Zinsser essay, ‘The Transaction’, introduced the students to their next topic which was writing styles.

After discussing the essays students read, they used metaphors in order to understand the structure of writing an essay. One illustration of this was the process of taking pictures. When photographing a person also needs to find a topic, to focus on it and to develop it. Landing of an aeroplane is similar to the former process as well as to essay writing.

When working on a written composition or paper you must begin with the basic elements, which are the first sentences of paragraphs. They must be effective, clearly showing the point the paragraph will be about. With the help of a worksheet students learnt how to make a topic sentence impressive, what information or data it should contain, how it should be constructed. All this was done in the class, so students could immediately discuss this problem, as it was the most important part of the paragraph students were dealing with in the following classes.

Students understood that a paragraph has to be unified, it has to focus on the problem indicated in the first sentence. They wrote short one or two paragraph essays, just to develop this skill. While doing this an other skill did improve as well. One of the tasks was quite interesting. Students received several sentences in connection with the death of the two famous American presidents: Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Students had to choose some of those sentences containing information about the two tragic events. They had to compare them and include them in a short paragraph. This task served for making the students to use already known information and to make it interesting for a reader.

Students did enough practicing exercises to learn topic sentence and paragraph development. The next theme was building of revesion skills. There were two assignments connected to this purpose; an in-class two paragraph essay and an essay on tape. The point in this activity was that all students had to read their essays after finishing them in order to see and correct their mistakes; grammatical, lexical and structural as well. They realized how important it is to scan the text to avoid inaccuracies such as repetition, flat expressions, unorganized paragraphs, misspelled words. They discussed everything in the class.

A special technique for revesion was a take-home assignment: an essay on tape. Students had to write an essay about a given topic and then they recorded it on a tape. That was good for making sure that students did really revise what they had written down. Most of them revised it more than once, because they wanted to be sure about the correct pronunciation, correct grammatical structures and things like that. Students also could have a picture of their performing skills. This activity was not only useful but funny and enjoyable at the same time. The fact that the average mark of the group in this task was really good strengthened the students in their decision that they always have to revise everything they submit for some purpose.

Activities done in the first half of the term brought the group of students to a very special task, which was group writing. They were given a sheet with ten topic sentences which included all the different themes they were doing in the class and at home by that time. Students had to choose one of the ten phrases, then they had to look for people among their mates who chose the same sentence. After that they formed small groups with two or three in some cases maybe four people, but that was the most. Their task was to think of the specific sentence and write a paragraph about it. There were groups who chose the same topic sentence, but it was all right, because then they could at least compare the two works and they realized that there were different things in them. They found different things to mention as their interest varied. While doing this writing students had to cooperate with each other, share their ideas, come up with their own thoughts in connection with the topic, which was good again, because they could speak free, not being afraid to be laughed at by anyone else. Everyone could bring valuable and important opinions.

Then students had to choose one more topic sentence and work on it individually. Afterwards they had to discuss it with each other. That meant that everyone did something on his or her own, but then he or she got the chance to correct it, to complete, to give more details to it. In the next class students could see the work of the group in total. The tutor summerized it and they discussed the whole essay. As a next take-home assignment each student got a copy of group writing activity’s result and they had to write an introduction and also a conclusion. In addition they also received as a task to complete still incomplete paragraphs and sentences, to connect paragraphs and so on.

An other method for developing reaction to other people’s work was a two-page long essay with a title ‘Why Do We Play Soccer’. It was an essay written by the tutor to reflect on certain errors. It was full of all kinds of mistakes. The main problem was lack of focus on the topic. There were sentences which did not belong to the theme at all. Students’ task was to write a reaction on this masterpiece. They had to include all their doubts about the essay. As an end of this assignment they had to submit their reactions, they changed them among each other and took home for editing. Peer editing was very effective, as the students could read other people’s essays and they could write their ideas about them.

In the last three weeks of the term, students worked with different worksheets. They were reflecting on parallelism, run-ons and comma splices, pronoun problems, sentence fragments, dangling and misplaced modifiers, semicolons, sentence logic, avoiding wordiness, writing an introduction and a conclusion and many more important issues, which can perhaps cause difficulties to students while writing an essay. All these problems were properly discussed and illustrated with various examples.

As the top of the course students had to submit their so called Portfolios. This was a mixture of different papers and worksheets, they were working on during the semester. They had to put all the drafts in it and submit them to the tutor who could take a look at everything again and write down his comments and evaluation. By doing this he was able to see if students had made any progress in their writing style, developing paragraphs, in completing topic sentences and if so in what extent they could utilize learnt and practiced skills. He also reflected on specific parts of the Portfolios such as topic sentences, paragraph development, vocabulary, appropriacy of grammer and punctuation.

The last and biggest task is this research paper assignment, where students have the opportunity to show their skills once more and to summerize everything that they have learnt from the beginning of the term.

If we want to make a conclusion about those fourteen weeks we can say that the course has almost totally meet its goal. Students could learn all the important things they will have to utilize in their future studies at the university and maybe later, after finishing all their studies as well. Now it is their task to develop their skills to an even higher level. But they can feel a little bit better when they think of the proficiency test, which will be the first real barrier they must get over with the help of their knowledge.

W 104 F

Draft 2
Is there anybody who would not have thought of popping into a real Hungarian restaurant? To do so is not too difficult for there are many of them all over the world. Of course, most of them can be found in Hungary, therefore they are available to everyone. This essay tries to direct the inquirer in the labyrinth of behaviour pattern required in those restaurants. To be quite frank this pattern is more or less the same in every kinds of restaurants, it makes no difference whether it is a Hungarian or another one.

Visiting a restaurant alone is more and more usual and accepted even in case of a woman. Certainly it is much better for a lady to have an escort. When in restaurant, it is most desirable to keep the strict rules of etiquette. Well behaving begins not right in the restaurant but in the childhood, in upbringing. A person who wants to visit a place like that, should be aware of the importance of the right choice in clothes, taste and timing. The most „sensitive” part of the day is lunchtime and the less serious, most permissive and indulgent is night.

Once inside a restaurant it is advisable to settle down as fast as it is possible just to avoid the scrutinizing glances which can make the new-comers feel uncomfortable and being under observation. After sitting down do not begin immidiately to wave or cry for the waiter; he will come the moment that he has the time. When he appears there is really no need to attack him with questions as where he had been, what he was doing and that whether he was blind. These kind of amiable questions do not lead nowhere but it can be taken for granted that we will be the last to be served, the soup will be ice-cold and above this all there will be some hair swimming in it.

When the waiter comes to take the orders, always the woman is the first to call for and only afterwards comes the man. Males must be courteous and they have to be aware of the fact that ordering the meal for women is their task, too.

When the meal is on the table, eating can begin only if everybody in the company is ready for lunch. It is absolutely ungallant and ugly to eat noisily, to speak with a mouse full or to use hands for eating instead of the cutlery.

It is extremely shocking when a man tries to grope about the lady’s thigh under the table and the only result the male can achieve is that after some attempt every guest in the room will watch the „fight” between them. In some case it happens that the man succeeds in fumbling and tries to go further right in the restaurant. It is not sure that this kind of attitude is expedient. Maybe it is for the girl but the spectators of the show sooner or later ( rather sooner ) will be awkwardly embarrassed.

There is a special type of mankind who likes to smoke a cigarette after the meal. If the restaurant in which we are sitting is a non-smoking one then do not try to bargain with the staff just to practise the favourite hobby. If there is at least one ashtray on the table it is sure that smoking is permitted but it must be certain that the table-society will bear the smoke. Otherwise it is wishful not to smoke in an eating-place.

It shows a great deal of uncivility if any member of the friendly circle starts to read a newspaper either being brought by himself or for request by the waiter. This habit is characteristic mostly of men.

Another cardinal point of behaviour is the mode and quantity of drinking. First and foremost it must be evident for everyone to know when and how to stop drinking. It is recommendable to keep in mind that there is no need to spoil the meeting with too much drinking and with the effects of it.

The heart of the matter is to stay more or less sober. If the worst happens, do not try to persuade the leader of the gipsy band to fiddle the favourite song on the violin, but do try to reach the loo within the possible shortest time and without anyone’s notice.

For those who admire their tiny little doggies, restaurants with „Dogs not allowed” notice-boards are not convenient. So please, do not begin to argue with the personnel. If it is absolutely impossible to leave the little darlings outside then there is nothing else to do than changing the original idea and going into the restaurant opposite this one.

One of the most indispensable room of a restaurant is the lavatory. It is sad but true that not too many people are aware of the importance of it: good taste requires washing hands before sitting down to eat.

As it can be seen from the listed examples, good behaviour is really an important factor of the social contact, even in restaurants. And we can also draw a conclusion that these kind of elements are the requirements of not only the Hungarian restaurants but all the restaurants’. It is possible to stand all demands by learning, but it is easier when it starts to become more and more a habit. If practice is not attainable, the most effective development can be reached by reading some „How to” expert books on the topic.

W 103 F


Proficiency essays are written by first- year English majors at Janus Pannonius University (JPU) as one part of their Proficiency Tests at the end of their first two semesters. There are four parts of these tests: a listening comprehension test, a reading comprehension test, a multiple choice grammar test and an essay writing test. My research was taken on the latter part, which was the essay writing test. In 1996 students could choose from 125 different themes, which they put together with the help of the topic table, which consisted of three columns and five rows. Each column had a role. The first one contained the type of the essay: discussion, explanation, doubt-raising, presentation or analysis of the subject matter, which was to make up from the second and third columns. The former contained the main topic: e-mailing, listening, calling, faxing or arguing, and the latter indicated whom the topic referred to: a friend, a teacher, a lover, a parent or a boss. The essays had to consist of four or five paragraphs, with an estimated 400-450 words. Students were recommended 70 minutes to fulfil the task, but they could keep on working up to two hours, when the essays were collected by the tutors. The options of the evaluation were also indicated on the introduction sheet, which held five parts: focus , accuracy, vocabulary, paragraph organisation and essay organisation. Each part could get 10 points, which meant that 50 points were the highest an essay could reach. Essays were cross-marked by two tutors. They both read all the texts to avoid the risk of not paying attention to any mistakes or being subjective. My essay’s main purpose is to show the typical mistakes and the most important issues of accuracy and vocabulary that students have to take good care of. I also wanted to see what effect these two components had on the final score.

I read eleven essays, seven of them were scored higher than 26, which meant a pass, and four of them were fails. I made a table (see below), where I indicated the essays’ total scores, as well as the given points on accuracy and vocabulary. I listed the mistakes sorted into different categories according to ready made (Horvath, 1997),(Marius & Weiner, 1985) and my own ideas ,and put an ‘X’ in the appropriate box to show, which were the typical faults that I found both in the lowest and the highest scored essays. The categories of accuracy are the following: spelling error, awkward construction, error in number agreement, conjunction error, punctuation error, error in pronoun use, left out word, sentence fragment . There were three types of vocabulary mistakes: incorrect idiom, inappropriate choice or wrong word and unnecessary repetition. To make the categories more understandable, I listed the mistakes with a short explanation and also presented some examples I came across while having been reading the texts. The little letters after the head categories, between the brackets show the code of the mistake (Marius & Weiner), which can also be seen in the table after each category name. If there were also other types of errors in the example sentence, I listed their codes behind the head category code. I underlined the errors in the sentences to make them easier to find and to analyse.


Mistakes in accuracy

Spelling error (sp): The letters in the word are not in the correct order and some of them are also missing.
importan , addults , familyes
Awkward construction (k): The order of the words is incorrect.
..., who is standing always behind us, It makes the teacher feel comfortable and the students too.

Error in number agreement (agr):The noun in plural is followed by the third-singular form of the verb or the other way round or the adverb which should be followed by the plural form of the noun takes the singular form.
...a parent try...,
There are different software that ...,
... a much more trouble...

Punctuation error (p):The usage of commas, colons and semicolons is not appropriate, they are either missing or not necessary.
...and the only reason for that is: we have not those kind of problems.

Error in pronoun use (pro): Non-pronouns occur as pronouns, pronouns do not agree in number with their antecedent, they do not refer to the subject of the sentence or they have nothing to refer to neither in the previous or the following sentences.

... be open to everything what is said to you.
...persons, who is not satisfied with his wife or her husband...,
This is how we believe discipline should be maintained.
To argue with teachers is just impossible, and most of the time, it will never ever occur to them to try to disagree with them.
By the way, this is the basis of every relationship, lies won’t help anyone: what’s more they would be much more confused.
Left out word (^): Either a preposition, an article or any necessary parts of the complete phrases are missing.
... while listen a teacher...

Sentence fragment (frag): A part of the sentence is made to look like a complete sentence by beginning it with a capital letter and ending it with a period.

Probably, because the people questioned do not distinct between love as loving your relatives, loves as loving your boyfriend or girlfriend, and love as loving a friend.

Conjunction error (con)(frag, agr, sp): The correlative or the coordinating conjunctions are not used properly.

Since it shows that there are other persons in the room who share the teacher’s interests.
A parent has a much more trouble like addult as we have as a youth.

Mistakes in vocabulary
Incorrect idiom (id): A made up phrase, which does not make sense in English language.
The root of this problem comes from...,
... serve different positions...
... start arguments on a low voice...
The golden rule is...
Inappropriate choice or wrong word(ww): The word used in the particular phrase is not the best, other synonyms would be better.
...when treating other people- involving our lover - is rather hard.,
...children have to listen carefully to their parent’s speech
Students are more welcome to represent their own opinions and arguments.

Needless repetition (rep)(frag): The sentence or the paragraph consist one phrase several times, which makes the text boring.

Probably, because the people questioned do not distinct between love as loving your relatives, love as loving your boyfriend or girlfriend, and love as loving a friend.

The blue colour shows the most common mistakes, which were spelling error, punctuation error and incorrect idioms. The yellow and pink colour indicates essays of different total scores with the same number of types of mistakes.

The table

Essay Total
Spelling error (sp)
Awkward construction (k)
Error in number agreement (agr)
Conjunction error (con)
Punctuation error (p)
Error in pronoun use (pro)
Left out word
Sentence fragment (frag)
Vocabulary Scores
Incorrect idiom (id)
Inappropriate choice or wrong word (ww)
Needless repetition (rep)
Number of types of mistakes


There are two matters of discussion, which this research pointed out: there are still many mistakes in accuracy and vocabulary in proficiency level essays at JPU and due to the five-option evaluation these mistakes do not always make significant differences in the total scores of pass or fail. My research indicated that there are mistakes, which occur in all of the texts: spelling error, punctuation error and incorrect idiom usage. Spelling mistakes can be easily avoided with the help of a thesaurus, which should be allowed to use at all level of English. Native speakers will also commit this fault. Punctuation rules can be studied, but there are still many suggestions on the right usage of commas, colons and semicolons. First-year students do not have practised enough. Most of them follow the Hungarian punctuation rules or do not follow any rules at all. Knowing the right idioms requires much higher level of English, than these students were at, that is why this fault occurred in each essays. Considering the fact, that the writers had all taken parts in courses on English grammar and usage of English , these mistakes were all known for them. The reason for their inaccuracy was the pressure of time, therefore careless revising, or the simple lack of grammatical knowledge or the little stock of words in mind. Proficiency essays of 1996 showed that even if students were still lacking much practise in grammar, they passed the essay test, because their focus, paragraph organisation and essay organisation were graded much higher than the vocabulary or accuracy. These three former options in the evaluation focus on the essay-writing technique, that students are familiarised with from primary school right up to the JPU course of Research and writing skills. Those students who were good at essay-writing techniques, got more appreciation on their essays, even if their grammatical knowledge showed real weakness.


Essay writing task in proficiency level test requires a lot of knowledge in vocabulary, careful use of English grammatical rules and quick and thorough revision. This research reveals some of the mistakes in accuracy and vocabulary, which students should take special care of. It reveals that a proficiency level essay has more to do with the applied grammar and English usage and demand more practise in organising our thoughts in a way that all our readers understand us.

W 102 F


Konkrete Sprache, certus oratius, concreto estilo, concret diction -- all of them have the same meaning: concrete language. Concrete language is an essential element of writing skills; it is supposed to be specific, adequate, entire and light but it is difficult to produce one in any language.

In a descriptive or analytic essay, the problem is more complicated, and the case is just getting more difficult when students have to write the essay in a foreign language. The phrases, expressions and sayings are learnt and not automatic as in their first language.

In this paper I will present a few features of concrete language in writing by giving a survey on this specific problem so that the reader will develop how to avoid it.


I collected nine miniature essays because -- according to my previous experiences -- I found this task really expedient and crucial. I chose the essays randomly from students of Janus Pannonius University’s English Department, in April, 1998. All of the students attend the same course, called Writing and Research Skills, which supervised Horváth József whose aim was "to enable [students] to write in fluent, accurate, and plain English and [improve their] planning, sequencing, presenting, packaging and editing skills.”

Till the end of the semester students had to present a portfolio including a minimum of five essays from their collection. One of these essays had to be a miniature, expressing an emotion, feeling, state, thought or physical experience that is unforgettable or significant in their lives. Moreover, the writer had to prove and develop descriptive skills in an essay which contains a maximum of 100 words.

After the selection of the miniature collection I started analysing their concrete language, focusing on titles, the length of the essays, the first and last words, special meanings of each word (such as iconic, symbolic, cultural and hermeneutic æ according to Sári László’s analysis), poetical images, use of verbs and adjectives, personal voice and the description of the inside and outside world.

Results and Discussion

Giving name to a new-born child is not easy; title-giving is similar to this experience. A well-chosen title always predicts the topic to the reader: it has to be short and adequate in connection with the writing, carrying the overall image of itself. Many writer of the miniatures solved this problem by choosing titles which referred precisely to the experience or feeling. For example, Pintér Katalin’s "Feeling Dejected"; Fónai Annamária’s "A Terrible Fever"; Bokodi Judit’s "Fatigue"; Sándor Bernadett’s "The Feeling Of Sleepiness" and Dózsa Éva’s "Feeling Cold".
But the real challenge for the writers was to keep their say within certain boundaries, that is the extension had to stay 100 word. The reduction of the number of words made the whole text captious; this length seemed to be too short and nearly all of the writers overstepped this limit by using 157 words in Dózsa Éva's essay or 148 words in Pintér Katalin’s case. Probably one of the reasons was that the writers wrote an introduction and a conclusion instead of considering their chosen theme closely.

Observing the words which built up the miniatures, I think that reducing the number of words helps to pay more attention to the function of them. Looking at the essays I found an intriguing feature of drafts: the emphasis of the first and last word in the context. In most of the essays they are the alpha and the omega of the meanings. The best example for this is Bakonyi Berta’s essay that starts with the pronoun ‘I’ and ends with ‘ONE’, and these two words carry the meaning of the whole essay which is about being a part of nature.

To make an essay colourful and remarkable we can use the special meanings what words contain. All words are to signify something which can be a different representation, a so-called code.

In some texts when a sign refers to something as a constituent of the possible world, we call it iconic sign, although, at the same time it represents itself. The words trap, bridge, butterfly from Pintér Katalin’s, Vajda Violetta’s and Kaszás Henrietta’s essays give perfect examples. These words stand for not only for themselves, but they help to the reader to imagine them in iconic context.

But there are words which refer to something else than they denote. The connection between the signifier and the object determined by the conventions of cultures or subcultures around. There are a few examples: reminiscence, nothing or passion in Kaszás Henrietta’s miniature, where the sign itself occurs as a reference.

Going further in the explanation of the words we arrive at the cultural signs where symbolic signs are stated within prescribed rules and prohibitions of a culture, and this makes them more specific. For example Kárpáti Andrea’s essay which refers to a funeral and this word carries symbolic as well as cultural meaning.

Hermeneutic signs can include the iconic, symbolic and the cultural layers of representation. Somehow they transcend this world and enter into a mysterious and uncanny one. I chose a few examples from Kaszás Henrietta’s miniature, such as sense, time, soul. All of them represent something untouchable, they carry an enigma within their inner part, what you can approach by opening, understanding the hiding layers but the mystery will be still there at the end.

Going further on this field, I would like to direct attention to the poetical images in miniatures. Metaphors, similes, repetitions and rhyming words can refresh the whole text. Unfortunately, only one writer used this opportunity to make her essay more colourful and satisfactory (Kaszás Henrietta).

Use of specific verbs and many adjectives help to emphasise the expression of the experience; they make the texts more visual, audible and experimental, for example in Fónai Annamária’s essay: roam, collapse, drip, suffer, fall.

Writing an essay about one's feeling or experience must be private and confidential in a way. To achieve this target, the writer may use a personal voice aiming and maintaining the reader's intimate feeling and this would make the essay more realistic, experimental and believable.

From the aspect of the readers' reactions the writers often managed to make every moment special and omnipresent. The two-folded delineation of the inside and outside world's description in parallel happened in many mini essays. An outstanding example is Fónai Annamária’s in which she emphasised her physical experience with her environment's changing.


Making a research paper on concrete language did not seem to be an easy task but I tried to find some helping tips for everyone who might need it. I had the pleasure to select some miniatures and provide typical examples for various cases with the help of them.

I can only hope that I satisfied the expectations and the readers find a direct way to concrete language.

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The McGraw-Hill College Handbook says that "your opening paragraph should announce a general topic of your essay and be interesting enough to make people want to read on" (Marius and Wiener 117). An introductory paragraph usually announces the writer's subject, and orients the reader to what will follow. It creates an initial expression and indicates whether the main body of the text will be engaging or dull. But if writers really want to arouse the readers' interest, they may begin the essay surprisingly. They can start with a quotation, a question, with a list of words or even with a number.

In my research paper I will present examples of individual differences in writing introductions and differences in keeping alive readers' interest in the rest of the text.

For the comparison I chose four essays from 75 Readings: An Anthology. The book is "strategically designed to introduce students to a broad variety of both traditional and contemporary essays" (xv). The collection includes two tables of contents, from which the second one arranges writings according to thematical reasons. The first table of content groups the 75 essays in ten chapters.

The four essays I selected are William Zinsser "The Transaction", Richard Howey "How to Write a Rotten Poem with Almost No Effort", Bruno Bettelheim "The Holocaust" and Susan Sontag "Beauty". They belong to the last group in the thematic contents which is titled "On Language and the Writing Process". Two works focus on language ("The Holocaust" and "Beauty"), and two on the process of writing ("The Transaction" and "How to Write a Rotten Poem..."). The essays of Sontag and Bettelheim can be found in the same chapter in the first table of contents (Chapter 4), while Howey's belongs to Chapter 3 and Zinsser's to Chapter 1.

As a supplementary reading I used the book How Writing Works by Francis A. Hubbard. His work allowed me to examine the principles along which an essay is built up. The author analyzes the accepted structure of a work, and how it can help both the reader and the writer to depart from it. He claims that "structure must be adapted to the needs of the audience" (Hubbard 52). It guides readers by giving them a shape, a plan in mind so that they could easily follow the text. It tells them what comes next and where they are (Hubbard 49).

Results and Discussion
Is it really important to write an appropriate introduction? This question came to my mind when I read the essays I selected.

According to Hubbard, a writer should look at structure "as a container to fill. A regular format saves time and effort because many decisions don't have to be remade" (125). Structure gives better coherence and easier access to the ideas and examples of the writer. Most of them consider it a necessary requirement as clear structure benefits readers (127).

But sticking to a settled structure (introduction-body-conclusion) tenaciously can make an essay dull. Sometimes flexibility is required.

The first two essays I compared (Zinsser "The Transaction" and Howey "How to Write a Rotten Poem...") concentrate on giving a definition of the writing process. Although they have the same theme and topic, they differ in many aspects.

Zinsser's essay shows us the differences two writers experience when one writes as a hobby and finds it enjoyable, the other writes as a job and finds it difficult. His essay is a narrative one. It shows the features more of a literary work than that of an essay. As an introduction (the first two paragraphs) he places the event in time, describes the circumstances, and the other character. He uses this method to give orientation to readers ("Five or six years ago a school in Connecticut..."). The body of the text makes the most of the contradiction between the two writers: one who writes as vocation, the other who does it as a hobby.

Howey's essay describes the easiest way anyone can create a poem to take part in literary work. In his essay I noticed that he did not stick to the traditional form of the opening paragraph. Rather, his introduction arouses interest by surprising or even astonishing readers: "So you want to write a poem. You've had a rotten day or an astounding thought...". He uses an informal style, words ("rotten, squalid love affair"), he talks to his reader as if it were a conversation. This style serves as a basis of changing into speaking ironically (almost sarcastically) of the way anybody can "write a rotten poem with almost no effort". The body of the text and the conclusion remain in the ironic tone. The sarcastic humor of the writing and the astonishing start help readers to decide: this work is worth reading on.

The essays written by Bettelheim ("The Holocaust") and Susan Sontag ("Beauty") deal with language. Both aim to define a concept: Bettelheim by focusing on it linguistically, Sontag philosophically and esthetically.

The first impression both writings give when the reader takes a look at them is that they consist of long paragraphs: between five and twenty lines each.

Partly in the same way as Howey, Bettelheim does not either apply the usual introductory paragraph. His prompting is direct: it gave me the impression of an in medias res start. Although the first three words say "To begin with", he immediately sets about explaining the origin of the word "holocaust".

The first paragraph (17 lines) sets the tone of the whole writing. As he is involved in the topic emotionally in spite of the essay's scientific and polished style, the reader can still feel and be aware of his indignation ("terrible events, powerful revulsion, unmasterable fate"). Another feature of his is the usage of long words ("connotations, circumlocution, intellectual, uniqueness").

Susan Sontag begins her essay by defining the features of beauty-what it meant for the Greeks, and how it has changed by the 20th century. I treated the first two paragraphs (17 lines) as the introduction. It gives a general view of beauty by helping readers associate it with a specific era. The opening paragraphs establish transition to the body of the text where Sontag writes about beauty from a concrete point of view: connecting this feature only to females, limiting its meaning only to the outside. She expresses her ideas point for point, starting from a general statement: "For the Greeks, beauty was a virtue", and arriving at a detailed description of the concept-what it means today for women.

I presented the different ways different writers fill the container given by a structure or the way they deviate from it. The four essays I used for my purpose showed me four different solutions of writing an introduction, of arousing readers' interest and keeping it alive for the rest of the text.

Readers differ in their purposes of reading as well as in their methods. We read differently. Writing for different people is hard work, as a writer cannot take into consideration every single desire. Tastes differ. One reader loves this essay, but cannot read the other. Hubbard claims that some kind of writing will work for almost anyone, if one can find out what it is (53). He also says that there are no certainties in writing , no guarantees, and no perfect or universal strategies (53).

Comparing four introductions from four so different people is also hard work. As Zinsser puts it in his essay: "There are all kinds of writers and all kinds of methods, and any method that helps somebody to say what he wants to say is the right method for him (24).

All the four writers used the structure (introduction-body-conclusion), some of them in the usual way (Sontag and Zinsser) and some of them making it more flexible (Bettelheim and Howey) adapting it to their purpose.

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Essay writing is hard work, especially at exams. Students tend to make mistakes, which later are corrected by tutors. For earning good marks, students have to fulfill the requirements of focus, essay organization, paragraph organization, vocabulary, and accuracy. However, tutors` concept on grading are not always identical. At the same time, students are also more skilled at particular topics. This paper will analyse the result of my research on grading among students and the results of proficiency essays.


My aim with this paper is to give a notion of essay evaluation, one way is by comparing tutors` and students` opinions on the same essays, and the other is to see comments on essays of the 1996 proficiency tests. My purpose was to try to uncover why students commit mistakes and how tutors identify the faults.

The skill to correct mistakes is in realizing what these are. "For many students, daily writing will increase their fluency, and fluency will help them revise their papers. But daily writing — spontaneous, indirect, and uncorrected—is a means to an end, not the end itself " (Hall, 1988 p. 53). I wished to know about essays written in 1996, and the remarks given to them, so I might learn of the experience. I also wanted to know what could influence markers in evaluating writings.

My topic chosen, I asked my tutor and received eleven proficiency essays, written at JPU Hungary in 1996, randomly chosen. It was important that I should not take either the best or the worst writings. Comments of two cross-markers could be found on them, and the evaluation of the grading categories. From my tutor I also received "Cross Markers Comments on Proficiency Test Essays, May 1996" (González , Horváth, 1996 ), a collection of comments without the essays.

I chose two of the eleven compositions, a succesful and a less succesful. One received twenty-three points, which meant that it failed. "The overall pass mark at 26 ..."( Nikolov, Horváth, 1996 p.96) would have been necessary to reach . The other composition obtained thirty- nine points which was a good mark. "The total score of the essay was 50 marks" (Nikolov, Horváth, 1996 p.96 ). These I typewrote. The reason for this was for me to be able to give copies without remarks on them to eight English majors, so they would not be distracted by the outward quality of the writing or the remarks when giving their opinion . The eight students asked to give answers to my questions about the typewritten essays were English majors. Here are three examples of the queries I asked :

Was the essay coherent, understandable?
Were there mistakes in it?
Was it interesting, understandable?

The assessments were needed to see how differently students approached the question of evaluating a piece of writing. Questions including the names of grading schemes would have been too suggestive about the aim of my inquery. The answers differed greatly. They were in agreement, in opposition to the markers` evaluation or partly identifying flaws.

Results and Discussion

I examined the answers about the weaker and the better composed essays separetaly.The evaluations of the weaker essay were of two types. I divided the answers into two groups. One group of three students claimed that the essay was an interesting work, easy to read, but contained mistakes of accuracy. The other group, five students, can be divided into two sub-groups. One sub-group, three students` remark was similar to the tutors` assessment: focus and essay organization were poor, but the three other categories—paragraph organization, vocabulary, and accuracy— were of high value. The other sub-group, two students, claimed the opposite: focus and essay organization were dim, but paragraph organization, vocabulary, and
accuracy were agreeable.

The better composed essay that achieved thirty-nine points, and was among the best works, was evaluated similarly to the weaker essay: the evaluating methods could be divided into two groups. Three students claimed that the piece was a work of good value, interesting, but containing grammatical mistakes. It is important to recognize that, just like with the weaker essay, the question was approached from only the interest and grammar point of view. The other factors were not considered. The other group, five students, gave their opinions of all five categories by which tutors marked. Their view was similar to the weaker essay`s evaluation. Out of five, four students stated that focus and essay organization were low, but the other three categories were appropriate. One student said that the essay had no focus at all, and it was impossible to understand what the composition was written about.

Examining the comments sheet, it occured to me that markers referred to focus, paragraph organization, and essay organization most of the times. In the fifteen comments addressed to the author, focus was referred to nine times, organizations five times while accuracy was referred to only once, and vocabulary was not pointed at.

"It is simply that innacurate syntax is easiest to spot and no comment is really necessary; a simple A will indicate an error However, focus and organization slips may need more explanation" ( Horvath 1997: 2).This evidence led me to conclude that the five grading categories could be placed into two groups. one is the group of focus, paragraph organization, and essay organization; the other is vocabulary and accuracy.

The direction I chose to understand how tutors and students evaluated essays was to examine the reviews given to them. The students` example showed that they concentrated on either focus and organization, or vocabulary and accuracy. Considering that students would write compositions the same way, keeping their interest on either grammatical components or organization, and focus components, the marks given to the five grading categories should differ greatly.

Examining the grades given to the five categories I realized that the grades did not differ to a great extent. In nine essays out of eleven between the marks there was only two or three marks difference. In two essays the difference reached five marks: the lowest being three points, the highest eight points. The evidence that the marks given to the five grading categories did not differ excessively shows that tutors approach the question of evaluating differently from students. Examining students reflections on essays I understood that one group of categories is always considered in greater extent than the other group, while tutors, however, they do make distinction between categories, concentrate on all the factors.


Evaluation methods differ between students and tutors :students pay attention to only several of the five grading categories while tutors tend to take all the factors into consideration. Through inquiry among students I obtained information of their method of essay evaluation. Answering the questions concerning two typewritten essays, they approached the evaluation from only one group of categories` point of view. Examining comments on a separate sheet I concluded that only one group of grading categories was highlighted. The marks given to the five categories in eleven essays did not differ to a great extent. If tutors evaluated one group of categories more than the other , the grades should extremely differ. However, the grades did not differ exceedingly. Examination of the marks given to the grading schemes on eleven proficiency essays and comments on a separate sheet proved the tutors attantive toward all the five grading categories.

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Bilingual university students need dictionaries, but many of them have problems with using them. I understand them very well as I am an English major, too. In the first year I had to confront applying dictionaries because there were a lot of texts to interpret and several essays to write. After I read ten of my groupmates' writings I noticed that most of them did not pay enough attention to accuracy. They aimed at trying to find the easiest way to get over with their work quickly and apply words that come to their minds at once. They told me that using dictionaries was a waste of time. They did not even know any techniques to improve their writings. I would like to give some help to them by presenting what kind of dictionaries an English major uses and how she applies them for essay writing.


I interviewed one of my classmates who also attended a writing course this year. I chose Zita (the name has been changed to avoid recognition) because as she was one of my best friends, I assumed that she would not reject to answer my questions. I recorded the talk on tape to be able to listen to it as many times as I wanted, and this way I could quote some of her views as well. I made the interview in a room in the dormitory one day before I wrote this research paper. I did not really need to ask her a lot of questions because when she heard the first question ”How do you use dictionaries for essay writing?” she told me everything in detail. Zita works for the U.S. Army, so she has a special wordpower, full of American slang. That is why I was interested if she needed any dictionaries at all. I wondered if she was afraid of using words that may have seemed awkward for those readers who did not speak American English. I asked her what kind of dictionaries she preferred for writing and what her opinion was about them.

Results and discussion

Zita said that she, as a first-year student, also had troubles in writing mainly at the beginning of the semester. She had had to write some essays before but those could be called short stories. Her English teacher did not consider the essay writing serious, and although she had a dictionary did not need to open it at all. She built the words and expressions, which she picked up from the American soldiers, into the texts. Her classmates thought that as she could speak English almost fluently her essays must have been the same good. As she said she did not know what to do with the topic she got for the first time. She suspected that she must grasp it in an other way than before. Strictly speaking, she was scared a bit that the non-formal words she used would not fit in the context.

While she was writing her essay she looked the formal adequates of the words in the Synonym Finder to take her work more variable. According to her, that dictionary is useful but difficult to choose the right expression from the long list. "You cannot know which word has a meaning in the context unless you have read a lot in English before", said Zita. For these reasons "Synonym Finder must be used with caution. Even though two words may be quite similar in meaning, the substitution of one for the other may not always be appropriate, and the writer’s intent may be ill served." Zita also told me that the book also helped her when the proper word did not occur to her at a particular moment, though it was on the tip of her tongue.

Zita realised, after she had written her first essay at the university, that she had to be more careful with her spelling. Several American words are spelled another way, and teachers told her not to mix the British and American spelling. Since then she has been taking care of looking up the words that existed in British English.

If she does not recognise the meaning of the term she looks for the information in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary because it includes the most current English. Besides the authors of it took care of every single detail and the definitions are clear and easy to follow. She often uses the wordbook for solving grammar problems because it has study pages that give answer even the basic linguistic questions. "Oxford Learner's Dictionary provides me the biggest help while writing an essay", said Zita. It is not just a list of words and their meanings. It contains much more information that can help to write good, natural English. For writing something she considers how to link one word to the other in a sentence important. The dictionary gives her instructions about the grammar of a word and about the structures that often follow it. It also tells whether the word is formal or informal, helping her to select what is appropriate for a particular context.

On one occassion she looked up the equivalent of the word 'writer' in the Synonym Finder because the expression appeared in her essay a lot of times. She chose the term 'scribe', but since she doubted the meaning she checked it in the Oxford Dictionary. She found the following definition under the headword: "a person who made copies of writings before printing was invented". After reading it she realized that she had to look for another, more adequate word.

Zita also has a bilingual dictionary by Országh László, but she applies it for essay writing only on few occasions. It contains much more expressions, idioms, and prepositions than the earlier editions, but its word content still makes up of some old and old-fashioned words. That is why Zita do not find it suitable for writing. She uses it only that time when she has the idea of a word only in Hungarian. Then she can do nothing but look it up in that dictionary.


On the basis of an English learner’s ideas I have presented how the different dictionaries gives help for writing. Zita told me everything in detail about the content of three types of wordbooks and about why each one has advantages for writers. They had to open them more seldom than the beginners if they have mastered the foreign language perfectly. But they may hesitate even then and look for a better word or expression in the Synonym Finder, the unknown terms in the Országh László Dictionary and the grammar in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

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NEPSZABADSAG is the oldest still existing newspaper in Hungary. It was first edited during the Second World War, in 1942. It was the only Hungarian party's the MSZMP's central newspaper. It represented the party's opinion, it consisted of only such news what the MSZMP wanted to put forward. It mainly wrote about The Eastern block, and only mentioned Western countries in connection of disaster or some failure. The news was mainly faked to be in favour of the party. Even the sport news was changed from reality. It did not have an opposition paper.

The day

This essay presents one day in the life of Hungary through NEPSZABADSAG. The day is the 27, February, 1974, it was 32. volume, 48. issue of NEPSZABADSAG. This was in the middle of the week, it was Wednesday. This day's issue consisted of 12 pages. Out of these 12 pages, 6 dealt with news generally, with foreign news as well as with home news. On the sevens page there appears a cultural session, containing book-reviews and a folktale. The whole of the 8. page shows the day's lucky car winners. The cars to serve as a present are all Dacias, Zaporozsec, Polski, Zsiguli, Moszkvics, Trabant. On the 9. page takes place the cultural news. On the 10. the weather forecast and agricultural matters. Then follows the advertisements; goods for sale, goods to buy, houses to rent, and most of all job advertisements. And the last page is for the sport news. There are few illustrations and pictures in these copy, but I assume it was like these in those days. A small black and white picture of Serif Belkaszem appears however on the front page, and some small illustrations of some buildings of an engineer called Mihail Lesznyikov,- who was the world's greatest water builder-, and some other illustration of some machine on sale. And of course there is an illustrated map of the weather forecast.

News in the issue.

There are two main news on the front page. Both of them are foreign. The main cover story is that today met, for the first time, the Soviet-American commercial and agricultural consultation in Washington. Patolcsev, the Foreign Trade Minister met President Nixon. A delegation of 22 Soviet members dined with Frederich Dent who represented the idea that the Soviet-American relationship works absolutely well. And he wants to continue and improve this connection with them. Another lead article is about the troops in Saigon whose trial started today. In South- Vietnam today(27, February) the two opposition started a 90 minute long discussion, on which they agreed that by the fourth of march they will let altogether 1338 troops free. This agreement should have ended on the eighths of February but Saigon made all sort of excuses to delay the action. Among the troops are civil people as well as military. On the front page there appears to be some news, in length smaller, but not in importance. As for example the two paragraph long and only about 16 sentences short sketch on the right hand column of the sheet.

" Rebels against the army, in carnage fight, on the Philippines ". Says the title of the report. The battles had been going on since 1972 between the Muslims and the Philippines government on Joel-Island. The news reporting said that Joel-Island's 5 or 6 major towns which population reaches up to 100000 was destroyed and completely ruined by fire. According to the military news reporters Joel, which lies about 1000 kilometres south from Manila, in the last two days had more than 400 citizen lost their lives. These were the front page stories of Wednesday’s issue. None of them was home news. The headlines of 27, February NEPSZABADSAG are: 1) Up to date technique and democratism in the agricultural co-operative. ( page 3 )
2) American situation- the twice opened meeting. ( page 4 ) 3) Tattoo, the 20 years old city ( page 4-5 ) 4) On an expedition in Siberia. ( page 6 ) 5) The Saran experiment ( page 6 ) Vehicle winner's list. ( page 8 )

News in the country.

Important events in the life of the country on the 27, February. On page 3 appears the correspondent on the Up to date technique and democratism in agricultural co-operative. The agricultural co-operative had been a great success. It gives the whole agricultural income's 70 percent. All the home news seems to be of agricultural interest. It might be because the coming march, and the forth- coming spring. For instance; agricultural equipments are under experiment in Godollo. On the meeting which was held on Tuesday Dimenyi Imre was present who is the minister of agriculture and food. Rab Gyorgy who had been the director of the institute for decades, was presented with the Great Workers price. Four other member of the institute was awarded with The Great Worker Of The Agriculture price.

Also under the work, leisure, health subhead there is a survey about the use of the small, private gardens. On the 9. page there is an article about Hungarian game export. The Hungarian game is widely wanted across Europe. 160 thousand rabbits, 50 thousand pheasant, 25 thousand birds had been exported. The hunting season just finished and about its result Gabber Jozsef said that our export had grown ten times in the last ten years. Most of the shot game, exactly 95 percent was sold abroad. It brought 15 million dollars to our country. The main economical news of the country is about the Allami Fejlesztesi bank. The Allami Fejlesztesi Bank is the main source and helper of the Hungarian economy. The bank started to operate in 1972, its president is Peter Havas. The education column is about strict rules in schools. It deals with the question whether pupils should wear some sort of uniform like apron above their own cloth, and whether the use of make- up would be aloud. There is only one person mentioned in the obituary. He was a devoted member of the Hungarian party the MSZMP.

News values.

The more recent the news is the more wanted, interesting it is. Newspapers always try to be the first in catching on the newest story. To be of something new, its in its name. Normally the day is the basic cycle of a news.

On Tuesday the KGST started its 66. meeting in Moszkva. Its main project was the socialist integration. The delegation discussed the KGST countries work together and their process to help each other and Yugoslavia. Our country was represented by Gyorgy Lazier.
( Front page news. N. A. )


Negativity is the news value that is presented and read more quickly and widely. Journalists are aware of that so they are especially trained to seek for and write negative stories. These are articles which involve death, injury, damage, conflict between people political parties or nations . It has been always popular to read about catastrophes.

The rebellion on the Philippines ended with more than 400 people, civil as well as soldiers death and adding to the human loss there was also loss in property, as five- six big cities were burnt down and ruined. ( front page N. A. )

And there was another rebellion but it took place in Africa, in Ethiopia. The rebels took over the major strategically places in Aszmara, and even the airport. From Addisz Abeda there was not a straight forward answer for the reasons of the rebellion and about the rebels. ( page 2, MTI )

For those who enjoy football, the short article on the back page where the Sport section took place, there is a news which they would consider negative. On the football match Bp. Honved, Vasas, three of the players were sent of the pitch and were refused to play in the next 5 games.
In Kecel the 34 years old Laszlo Romsics in a toxicated state seriously injured, with his car the 12 years old Margit Vancsik school student. Than he left without even stopping, to give aid. ( page 8 AN )
There happened another serious accident where the driver was under the influence of alcohol. ( Same column as above. )


Something which can be pictured in personal terms is more newsworthy than a concept, a process, the generalised or the mass. Striving for personalisation has brought journalists to grief for instance in the Washington Post's Janet Cooke affair. Cooke's feature writing about an eight-years- old drug addict won a 1981 Pulitzer Prize which was withdrawn when it was found the boy did not exist

Dimitrov's escape. One of the Reichstag-case's victim recalling. "It has been for forty years today, in the 27, February, 1934....... .". In Hitlers court Van der Luppet was condemn to death, but Dimitrov and his two Bulgarian communist fellow was let off, because of the international reaction. But Dimitrov was kept in prison. "Dimitrov will stay here!"- said Gobbels to Dimitrove's elderly mother. Sentimental expression-"elderly mother" makes the reader feel sorry about Dimitrov. It is a personalisation. It creates a more dramatic feeling. Dimitrov and the others asked, through their relatives, for Soviet citizenship from the Soviet embassy in Berlin. Within 48 hours the Soviet government asked Berlin to let its citizens free. The three prisoner Dimitrov, Popov and Tanev received a paper from the Gestapo, saying that they are not wanted citizens in Germany. They were put on an aeroplane and were sent to the Soviet Union. In Moszkva a huge crowd of people gathered to celebrate them. Inspite of the fact that their destination had been kept a secret and it was only a guess that they might fly to the Soviet Union. ( page 2 Karoly Nagy )


The biggest, the best, the highest and other superlatives cause attraction. It urges the reader to want to achieve even more. For example The Guinness Books Of Records is a widely red book, Inspite of the fact that it has nothing else in it but records, in other words, superlatives.

In Siberia the world biggest water engine was under construction. ( page 6 Peter Serene )


The 32. volume, 48. issue of the NEPSZABADSAG which was the 27, February, 1974 Wednesday was writing about foreign politics mainly. It had few news in connection of Hungary. These few was generally about agriculture. The country was waiting and was all ready for spring. There is one article which haven’t been mentioned yet and it is very much in connection with my birthday. The article is about my birthplace Tattoo. The city was celebrating its 20. birthday on the very same day when I was born.

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1. Introduction

Essay-writing is one of the four components of the proficiency test, taken by all first-year English majors at JPU. Writing an essay is a complex task which requires well-developed skills, including thorough grammatical and syntactical grounding, rich vocabulary, and reliable stylistic knowledge, as well as intense mental work. Good writers have something important to say: they ask a question, come up with a new idea, or a new aspect of a theme, and shares their thoughts with the readers. They want people to obtain pieces of information, make them think and form their own opinions. In order to achieve this purpose they put their ideas into words in a logical order. They pay attention not to submit to their wayward thoughts and not to wander off the theme. The lack of a coherent train of thought makes it impossible for the readers to follow the text (Trapl, 1997).

There are five significant requirements which students are obliged to meet in order to pass the essay-writing test: Focus, Accuracy, Vocabulary, Paragraph Organization. and Essay Development. The aim of the present paper is to reveal the essence of the Focus criterion by answering the question what makes an essay well-focused.

2. Methods

To answer my research question, I made a thorough study on proficiency tests taken by English major students at Janus Pannonius University in 1996. I examined fourteen tests from two different points of view.

(1) First I compared essays dealing with discussing/explaining/analysing how to e-mail a friend. The purpose of this comparison was to demonstrate and prove the importance of the writers' awareness of their theme.
(2) Then, to investigate my question much more deeply, I read and compared essays on one theme: 'explain how to e-mail a friend'. Studying this question, I had to consider and think over the rather vague meaning of the phrase: 'essays on the same topic'. However, this task gave me a good opportunity to examine how different people approach the same concrete theme.

3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Understanding and Determining the Purpose

Comparing different approaches to the theme: 'how to e-mail a fiend', I assumed: writing a competent essay begins with the understanding and the right interpretation of the topic writers intend to investigate. Moreover, it is crucial for them to write about a subject they know or can learn something about. With this criterion in view, the testing team provided the students with a theme selection table, which offered them a wide range of topics (Horváth, 1996, p.92). The students could choose from a large variety of themes that they had ideas or personal experience about, and that they would develop in their pieces of writing. In spite of this, nine students failed to submit a well-focused essay. This failure is partly due to that the writers did not decide or did not understand the purpose of their own essays.

The majority of the students (eleven of them) chose to "explain" the theme. The popularity of this topic can be explained by the general meaning and easy interpretation of the verb 'explain'. It requires from the writer to make a given theme clear or familiar for another person. It does not demand a lot of effort from anybody who is an expert in the given subject. But students who decided to "analyse" the theme often confined themselves to superficial treatment of the problem, not understanding or not deciding their purpose before writing. Analysing a theme requires much more deep mental involvement in studying a question. Writers should examine their topics by dividing them into separate elements in order to get a new piece of information about the subject investigated. Those students who chose to "discuss" the theme made a mistake by simplifying and restricting their topic to the themes: 'give your opinion' or 'give an explanation'. However, "discussing" covers the meaning: 'consider something from several points of view'.

As we have seen, it is essential for writers to ask themselves what their purpose is, why they are exerting their energy and straining their brain in order to produce a piece of writing. A well-focused essay is unimaginable without clear understanding and firm determining of the given theme.

3.2. Brainstorming and Making Drafts

"The most efficient method of writing involves thinking about what to say and how to say it before beginning to compose". (McMahan, 1989, p.14). When writers have decided the theme they intend to write about, they should make notes about the main ideas they want to present and develop, and determine the order in which they will arrange their thoughts logically. Studying the proficiency essays, I realized that ten of the fourteen students prefered to make a draft or an outline, writing down every idea that came to mind concerning their subject. It is a wise and useful method, since it enables the writers to stick to the theme determined in the first paragraph of the essays. The main ideas put down in the outline of the essay serve as the major points and guidelines to the text. If the writers follow these points they have a great chance to create a well-focused essay.

3.3 Essays 'on the same topic'

The more a writer can limit or specify his subject, the more likely he is to concentrate his attention on concrete information rather than vague impression. Here my aim is to demonstrate and analyse the results given by examining how students managed to produce a well-focused essay on the specified subject: 'explain how to e-mail a friend'. The reason why I decided to study essays on the same topic is that this method gave me a good chance to make a reliable comparison. (Weir, 1993, p.56).

Studying eleven essays on the same topic, I drew the conclusion that the essays differ from each other to a large extent regarding the approach to the topic, the point of view from which writers manage a question. Approaching a given theme includes the writers' attitude towards the topic as well: the more they are interested in the theme investigated, the more deeply they can be immersed in work, and the more they can concentrate their attention on it.

The students who decided to 'explain how to e-mail a friend' had to focus on three elements: 'explanation', 'how to e-mail', and 'a friend'. Almost all the students considered the 'how to e-mail' part to be the central point of the theme: from the eleven students only one 'explained what to e-mail' and not 'how to e-mail'. The writer of the essay 'explain what to e-mail a friend' suggested that at the beginning it is advisable to write only short messages because even two or three sentences can use up a lot of energy of a beginner. Seven students 'explained' the topic successfully. However, there was one extreme case when the writer dealt with 'how to e-mail' but instead of 'explaining' he or she composed a long paragraph 'discussing' that different servers cannot talk with each other because their structures are not the same. Only two students concentrated on 'a friend' and most of them ignored this further restriction while 'explaining how to e-mail', addressing their words to 'someone in general who does not know anything about email'. These students prefered to use subjects and pronouns in the third person singular. For example: the first thing a student has to do is to ask for a username from the computer assistant of his or her university. Another common expression of 'someone in general' is the impersonal subject: 'one': one must go into the computer room where the computers are stored. Then, after having sat down in front of a computer set one has to enter the Internet. I think these examples help understand that writers can produce an excellently well-focused essay if they fulfil all the three requirement at the same time.

3.4 The Writing Process

The cross-markers defined two important criteria as they evaluated the essays. (Horváth, 1996, p.95):
(1) Does the essay define a specific idea in the first paragraph?
(2) Does the essay discuss this idea with specific examples?

3.4.1. Defining a Specific Idea in the First Paragraph

A well-focused introductory paragraph should be restricted, unified, and precise. "To be restricted, an introduction must limit the scope of an essay to what can be discussed in detail in the space available" (Trimmer and Sommers, 1984, p.102). Writers should force themselves to avoid making general statements and giving a simplified summary of what everyone already knows. It is not enough to merely identify an area in which a subject needs to be developed; a carefully worded introduction indicates the specific subject someone is writing about. "A good first paragraph should be unified as well: it must express only one idea. To try to deal with more than one idea in a short essay would result in superficial treatment. Finally, a perfect introduction should be precise, that is it should be so stated that it can have only one interpretation" (Trimmer and Sommers, 1984, p.104). Most of the students wrote a good introductory paragraph: from the eleven students who decided to 'explain how to e-mail a friend', eight wrote about the necessity of computers in everyday communication, praised the Internet for the cheap, easy, and fast way of getting information and sending a mesage to a friend. Problems emerged when having come up with a workable topic the students continued searching their minds to further develop their topic.

3.4 Development of the Theme Determined in the First Paragraph

A correlation analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between the marks awarded in the five evaluation categories (Horváth, 1996, p.98). The hypothesis that the greatest correlation would between the scores for Focus and Essay Organization proved to be true. More than half of the students who chose 'explain how to e-mail a friend' got the same score for these two criteria. There was only one extreme example when a student got seven points for Focus while the organization of the essay was evaluated with a low score three. The cause of this large difference between the marks of the two categories was that the writer wrote a well-focused piece of writing, which was a letter rather than an essay.

The reason for the large correlation between Focus and Essay Organization is that during the whole writing process the writer must focus on the topic determined in the introduction. The highest score in the essays I investigated was seven. From eleven students nine had some problems with focusing on the theme and, larger or smaller, strayed from the point. For example, instead of explaining how to e-mail a friend, a student wrote a whole paragraph about how long people have to wait to get at a computer. Another student gave a detailed description about that it is difficult to find letters on the keyboard, and this activity requires a lot of practice.

4. Conclusion

It is not easy to write about the theme that the writer wanted to write about. It requires a lot of mental effort to focus on a specific theme and inexperienced writers occasionally have difficulty writing with a purpose, because they see so many purposes. Writers consciously have to exert themselves to develop the skill of concentration on a topic. Having finished studying the essays, I drew my attention to the cross-markers' comments directed at evaluating the five requirements of the papers ( Cross-markers' comments on proficiency test essays, 1997). This activity made me realize that it is advisable to follow the instructions given in connection with the Focus criterion, if a writer would like to create an appreciable piece of writing. Moreover, if writers want to set the impression of a professional, of an expert, they must stick to their topic firmly. This activity enables them to write a convincing essay that carries the readers with itself, thanks to its high Focus quality.

W 096 F

Draft 2

European teahouses' interior design seems to be a combination between that of the Far East and the West. For an average European person a teahouse is not only a remainder of Far-Eastern cultural customs but it reflects some sort of peaceful calmness of Eastern philosophy, which pervades the atmosphere of the place. A teahouse is a kind of 'dreamworld’, an island of meditation and relaxation. An ideal place to visit for those people who either want to have a little talk with their friends or simply want to have some time on their own. For those who can appreciate the art of making and drinking this exceptionally personal drink, who can feel it with their heart and soul not only with a certain part of their tongue.

Taking these facts into account has this teahouse been created as well. It is situated in the basement part of a small building, in a quiet street. The front door is located on the street side, it is made of natural wood and is coffered with glass fittings. The other door faces a garden which is protected by the teahouse itself and a couple of other buildings next to it. It has a rather important function especially in the Summer, when it stayes wide open all day long. There are some chairs and tables taken outside and the garden operates as an organic part of the teahouse. There is no need to put up sunshades as the leafy trees cool down the air perfectly, which is utterly convenient for the two cats as well, who live in this garden.

The windows start from the floor, they are of semi-circle shape and their radial is about 1.5 metres. Two of them face the street and the other three look at the garden. The room is about 100 m2 and is of rectangular shape. Its height is approximately 2.80 metres and it has a vaulted ceiling. The toilets have been built in one of the corners. The counter is near the front door, on the opposite wall of the toilets. Except for these things everything else is mobile in the teahouse: the natural bamboo cane armchairs, chairs and small tables with cork-wood underplates and the rice-paper partition walls, too. The mobilty of these objects becomes important when a need occurs to rearrange the place for there is a larger group of people coming in, or some others would like to have a little more privacy.

The colour of the walls and the ceiling is English-red and as it has been painted with pulverized paint it is much more radiant and longer-lasting, also it is matt and creates a velvety smooth feeling. The wall-to-wall carpet is moist-green and the strip on the edge is also natural wood. The lighting facilities';which are made of rice-paper, just like the partition walls; brightness is adjustable and they are of various interesting shapes. Some of them hang from the ceiling or the walls, some of them stand on the tables and on the floor.

The heating tubes are hidden under the floor so that the ugly radiators do not take away any space of the wall, where one exhibition follows the other. In addition to this, at a central part of the teahouse there is a fireplace which creates a warm and cosy atmosphere.

The employees are young and enthusiastic, kind and friendly. There are two waiters, two waitresses and of course the boss, who is the business executive and the one that arranges the exhibitions and the opening ceremonies of the exhibitions. He takes an active part in working in the teahouse, too, when he has some spare time. All of them are aware that the place should be clean, tidy and hygenic.

The counter is orbital, with some tall chairs standing around it, in order to offer people the opportunity to sit down and see how the food and teas are prepaired. They can read the menu there which can also be found on each table. The menu includes around 100 different types of teas from various famous tea-exporter countries of the world. There are black teas, green teas, fruit teas and herb teas. There are flavours that people have been enjoying for thousands of years and certain aromas that have been invented in recent years and have become fairly favourable.

Costumers can make a choice between the ready made tea being served to them at their table or they can make their own ones if they wish, for that they are provided with boiling water, different kinds of sugar and artificial sweeteners, milk, lemon, rum, cream and rose-hip jam.

Tea is served in original Chinese porcelan cups and jugs. To keep it warm costumers can put a little cover on the jugs. From the menu visitors can choose from a wide range of sweet and salty biscuits and cakes, fresh and dried fruits. There are some seasonal offers: for instance in the Autumn costumers can ask for baked pumpkin or roast chestnut. Also different types of sandwiches are being prepaired for vegetarians as well as for meat-lovers.

There are a couple of things such as pistachio or peanut that are provided by the teahouse for free. Of the potatoes, which are placed next to the fireplace in a basket, people can take if they feel like and can bake them in the fire.

During the day the teahouse is mostly visited by those people who desire to be alone, want to have a little break or rest, unlike in the evenings when the place becomes crowded with students, couples and circles of friends which makes the room lively and exciting, a place which is worth to visit.

A teahouse with its special atmosphere has a determinative effect on its visitors. The air is seturated by the scent of various types of teas, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Indian, Nepal black tea, clove and cinnamon, lemon and orange. The distinguishing marks of the place: the sounds, when a teaspoon reaches the side of a cup, the pleasant environment, the twilight, mellow music lingering through the air, the heart-to-heart talks and the regardful exhibitions all induce people to come back from time-to-time again, bringing new friends and acquaintances with them.

W 095 F

Draft 3

Journalism was always present in life. It had and still has great influence on the readers, that is why political parties and other organisations have their own newspapers. In 1976 the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (MSZMP in Hungarian) was in power. The party had its Committees in every county , so in Baranya, too. This committee owned the regional newspaper of that time called Új Dunántúli Napló. I compared the little column for the newspaper’s staff and realised that it was printed in the same press, although the name of the company has changed. In 1976 the publisher was called the Baranya County’s Publishing Company and in 1996 a Hungarian-German joint venture publishes the paper. The editor-in-chief, who had one story in this issue, was Mitzki Ervin, Who fulfilled this duty till 1989. Of the journalists I found two names who worked for Dunántúli Napló and still writes articles for Új Dunántúli Napló. It is to be noted that many authors put down only their initials, so it is hard to define if the persons hid behind the same initials in the two newspapers are the same. With the change of the regime the editor-in-chief was dismissed and Lombosi Jenõ took up his post. From that staff about 20 people still works for the paper, but reducing the number of employees is concomitant of capitalism.

Socialist influence is sensible through the whole newspaper. I tried to observe the clichés and techniques that were used in that era and I will also present three news values in Dunántúli Napló’s December 6,1976 edition. This paper will highlight how the newspaper reported events that were characterised by personalization, facility and negativity.

On the basis of the Monday edition, many events happened in the world at weekend, all of them are very short, only a few-sentence-long. There are longer international news, which are about the Spanish and the Japan Social Parties one is about Marlon Brando, demonstrating against the white men’s treating of Indians, and another reports the death of the actor, Rupert Davis, who acted in the Maigret series.

In Hungary there were two political news worth mentioning according to the newspaper, one is about Kádár János intending to go Wien, and the other is about Gáspár Sándor staying in Warsaw. The edition contained articles about the bigger cities in Transdanubia, like Zalaegerszeg, Baja, Szekszárd. Each informed readers about regional events, constructions or factories. Kampis Péter wrote two interviews about public health. first he talked with the assistant under-secretary of the Ministry of Public Health. Secondly he put down his impressions about heart operation. He was amused by the incredible medical treatments doctors did, and he had some examples from the USA. Besides, after reading the newspaper readers came to know that in Bem street in a shop gold was sold for 3 million forints that year; that the number of crime decreased in Komló, and that Darvas Iván would act in Pécs and he spoke about the character he personified. And at last there’s an article which was written by the present editor-in-chief, Lombosi Jenõ, introducing us Klárika , who suffers from muscular contraction and has no identification card, because she cannot look after herself.

I counted a list concerning the number of the articles about Hungarian and international news and the length of them. I found that these were 18 Hungarian-topic stories without sports news on 5 pages and 15 international news on 1 page. That suggests an impressive picture of the length of international news, namely that most of them are not longer than a few rows.

Not only shortness is a main feature of news reporting in the issue, but also personalization. Many of the articles do not contain the specific place, time, person and the event. While reading them I felt like looking at a magazine for women. If I want to generalise I could find the column in which a person with serious illness tells about his life. The story titled ‘ Klárika él ,de ...’ ( Klárika lives but...) touches the reader deeply , even if Lombosi Jenõ does not contain much news values. The illness of the 20-year-old girl turns out only half of the story , the author used the technique of retardation to raise curiosity and sympathy in the reader. This way people get more enthusiastic or indignant. In the end the reader is not interested in the fate of Klárika, but he is angry with the system and the bureaucratism that rather hinder than help the life of this unlucky girl.

Another way of getting 8 people involved in an issue is writing about famous persons as an example for them. For instance Harmat Endre’s story about Marlon Brando, who sent an Indian girl to the Oscar ceremony to take over the prize. Brando wanted people to realise how badly Indians are treated. To confirm the actor’s opinion Harmat Endre provided statistics of Indians’ average age and historical facts about the government’s politics towards the natives. The personality of Brando influences many readers to take side of the Indians. Setting up a good example, people believe an opinion more easily than talking in general, warning and advising people what to pay attention to.

It is surprising to find printed matter like the one about Klárika in a socialist newspaper, since it criticises the bad provision of the socially disadvantaged people. It contradicts the image of socialism, that ‘Proletarians of the World, Unite!’, which slogan is found on the front page of the newspaper. There is an article mentioning the typical thinking of the previous system, namely ‘the settled and accepted rules of socialist living together’. (Mitzki, E. 1976, p2) The article contains almost no news values, only the repeal of the noise restriction order. The author tells the public opinion about vandals and machines operating too loudly, so disturbing the ones trying to sleep after night shift. The socialist attitude is well-perceptible, it suggests people not to allow to disturb the everyday men’s life. After feeling the feed-back for their complaint, the audience will surely have more confident in the newspaper and higher selling rates will be accomplished.

Tradition was another socialist value, presenting positive events and views on customs fortifies pride in people. They become more faithful citizen of the party which praise them. I read a short story titled ‘Bárány nélkül kereskedõ’(no author, 1976, p3), which had no news values at all. It just helped people to get over difficult points in life, by telling them how great and famous forests we had. It really encourages people to make themselves believe the magnitude of the Hungarian nation. On the second page news about the main cities of the region are to be found. Among these news one deals with the pig market in Pécs (Rné, 1976. p2). It misses the more varied supply of pigs, although the demand was booming. The author worries about the dying out of another tradition. It gives detailed amounts of sold , brought and processed pigs at the abattoir. These facts catch the attention of skilled workers, agricultural workers and of people living in villages, who meant the great mass in 1976.

A more stratified topic is public health. People are always concerned in their health, thus they are curious about the state of hospitals, new operation techniques and about improvements in hospital treatment. Kampis Péter wrote two articles about public health. Facility as news value appear in both, though to different degree. The first one is an interview with Õry Imre, the assistant under-secretary of the Ministry of Public Health(Kampis, P. 1976. p6), as stated in the subheads. He informs us about labour frequency in different strata, sums of money invested in developing equipment and the advance in professional skill. The reader might think that this article does not include many features of facility, for example facts, figures, names or locations. But after the second article he will realise how many times more facts appeared in the interview with Mr Õry. So, the second article I would like to mention has the title ‘ szívet mûtenek’ (Kampis, P. 1976. p3), and the subhead is ‘Csodálatosan precíz és emberi’ (in English: Wonderfully precise and human). It implies that the style of the writing is more human, not so scientific, consequently more people will at least read into. After realising that the topic might concern himself as well, he will read through it thoroughly. In fact, the article is entertaining, since it describes the author’s personal experiences, which is more impressive than reading an interview about the newest operation. What most astonished me was the use of foreign words, loan words, like ‘team’, ‘pacemaker’ or ‘akupuntúra’ (acupuncture in English). I thought that these words invaded Hungary only after 1989, and in some places ‘team’ is not well-accepted, though many people use it. Kampis Péter wrote about the same operation done every day in the USA with more modern equipment and with more money. He also gave statistics about heart-attack: it appears most frequently among doctors and journalists.

If I stick to pure facts the regional news on page 2 offer more occurrence of facility. The numbers of the pig market in Pécs and the information about a factory enlargement in Zalaegerszeg (K.G. 1976. p2) give the reader exact ideas of money, places and numbers. These news are less exciting, but they are more objective, because they cover more figures. In the centrefold appears the most facility and meanwhile the most negativity. Negativity cannot be left out from any newspapers or television news. People are always attentive while speaking about crimes, catastrophes or accidents. In Dunántúli Napló not many of these occur, because socialist leaders did not want people to get worried or afraid. Also the number of crimes was lower than it is now, in 1996. The ‘peaceful, socialist living together ‘ was supported by the newspapers leaving out news full of negativity. But I counted a bit again, and I realised that 7 of the 13 international news deals with negativity. For example, in New York a smuggler group was arrested and violent conflict formed between black Americans and white people. In Rome the number of divorces, armed robberies, murders and kidnappings has increased. From Japan and Spain socialist successes were reported. In the few sentences about Vietnam the USA was presented as an unfriendly, aggressive country, who wants to build military positions to an island just to observe the Arabian-peninsula and the Persian-gulf.

On the other part of the centrefold there is an article about Komló, which was an important industrial city at that time. In the second half of the article facility is characteristic. It tells about the number of crimes decreasing in Komló, although, as it is an industrial, developing city new-comers, skilled workers will arrive in big number. It warns the inhabitants to be careful with strangers, while police will work on protecting people due to the socialist attitude. The title indicates negativity in the printed matter, but only the first part of the story deals with subsequent offender, who moves the reader to pity, instead of making him angry.

During the weekend before Santa Claus’ arrival not many breakthrough events happened in Hungary (maybe to give children time to clean their boots). Journalists tried to fulfil every reader’s requirement and interest, including political, regional news, stories about famous persons and sports news. Ergo to catch people’s attention personalization prevailed. The less of negativity and facility assures the impression of the slow motion of the world. People did not get anxious about anything, it was only an ordinary day in their life. Only children were excited when they were waiting for Santa Claus to bring them presents.