Essay Writing: Types of Essays, Monothongs & Idioms


Essay writing is an art of communication, it requires the acquisition of the necessary skills to attain excellence.

Types of Essays





Creative Writing


A formal report can be that of a robbery, an accident, the proceedings of a meeting, a work-camp or a petition. One important requirement for writing a report is good knowledge of the use of the direct and indirect speech forms.

Suppose you have to report to your principal, then, you will have to follow the procedure for writing a formal letter, giving your address.



14th December,2010

The Principal,

Queen of Apostles Secondary School,



Report of the Robbery in Amina Hostel.


(Text of the Report)


Peter Andrew

Prefect (Amina Hostel)


Minutes of the Meetings

Another form of report is the minutes of meeting. These are a record of the events and discussion that have taken place at a meeting. For every meeting, there should have been a prepared agenda, that is a list of items to be considered or discussed during the meeting.

Your report should begin with the name of your club, the date and venue of the meeting and the list of members



Monothongs are the pure vowels, they are those realized as single element vowels such as /e/ and /i/  while diphthongs are those realized as double element vowels such as /ei/, /iƏ/.

Monothongs are twelve in number.

They are:

/i:/ as in seat, cheap, sheep, feel, field, seize, foetus, amoeba, oesophagus.

/I/  as in sit, chip, ship, build, biscuits, English, pretty, many.

/e/ as in set, bread, friend, ate, bury, leopard, many, said, pet, peasant….

/æ/ as in sat, chat, match, catch, plait, marry, mad, chant, dad, mad, pat.

/a:/ as in far, pass, father, calm, heart, bath, farm, bard, path, bath.

/Ɔ/ as in dog, hot, what, was, want, quantity, spot, pot, dot

/Ɔ : /  as in port, lord, ward, warm, call, talk, soar, roar, law, flaw, sword, sport, sorry.

/u/ as in full, pull, would, book, fool, sugar, cook, book, should.

/u:/ as in fool, pool, coup, move, suit, rule, woo, coup, soup, school.

/Ʌ/ as in fun, cut, tongue, touch, come, love, blood, flood, hunger, son, sun, hunger, worry.

/ э:/ as in first, nurse, word, learn, verb, flirt, firm, burn, turn, journey, first, sir, stir, courtesy.

/Ə/ as in again, away, forget, perhaps, police, favor, structure, mother, father, surprise, suppose


An idiom is an expression with a meaning that cannot be guessed from the meanings of the individual words. E.g He shed crocodile tears. This does not mean that ‘he cried like a crocodile’. It is just a kind of expression that is formed based on certain principle.

Examples of idioms and meanings are:

To chase one’s shadow– to deceive oneself.

To add insult to injury – to displease a person and still insult him.

To give an airy nothing – to make useless, empty remarks.

An acid test – a very severe test.

Achilles’ heel/ the heel of Achilles – the weak spot or one’s weak point.

An ample opportunity – various or many opportunities.

To play to the gallery – to try to achieve cheap popularity.

To throw light – to explain.

To have a light finger– to be disposed to stealing.

The breathe one’s last – to die.

To be armed to the teeth – to be fully equipped with ammunition.

An apple of discord – a source of disagreement.

To be at cross roads – to be at an important point of one’s life or career.

To be at sixes and sevens – to be in a state of perplexity or utter confusion or chaos.

Bed of roses – resting, comfortable point or place.

Baptism of fire – to experience the shot of bullets, directed to one.

To beat about the bush –to be incoherent and inexact.

Beginning of a new era–  a historic period when great things have happened or about to happen.

To be in the same boat – to experience the same things as someone else.

To blaze a/the trail – to be the first person to do something.

To be a bird of a feather [not – birds of the same feather] – two things or persons that are like.

To blow one’s trumpet – to praise or advertise oneself.

To burn candle at both ends – to work early and late or work hard and play hard.

To burn the midnight oil – to study through the night.

To bury the hatchet – to stop quarreling.

By rule of thumb – unscientific, crude or non standard.

To call to a halt – to stop something.

Captain of industry – controller or manager of a big company or organization.

By hook or by crook – by all possible means; at all cost.

To bring someone or something to his/its knees – to humble, trivialize or make sober or dejected.

To build one’s castle in the air – to create hopes that may never be realized.

To be tied to one’s apron strings– to be under the influence of somebody.

To be at a loose end – to be idle.

To draw a line – to identify the limit.

To be behind closed doors – to be with no outsider present- confidential.

To nip a problem in the bud – to stop a problem from growing or escalating.

To hold an olive branch – to sue for peace.

A snail pace – very slowly.

A wet blanket– one who discourages others.

A stone’s throw – very close.

A backlog – arrears.

To kill someone in cold blood – to kill someone deliberately.

To be at low ebb– to be in a bad state.

To have first hand information – to have information from its main source.

To catch one’s eye– to attract someone.

To take a bull by the horn – to face a difficult situation boldly.

To live from hand to mouth – to have no savings.

To water down – to weaken or make less effective.

  1. VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT: Words Associated with Entertainment.

Content: Explanation 

Relevant Words: Entertainment is of various aspects. We have football, athletics, theater, and so on as aspects of entertainment.

Athletics: Exercise of physical strength or speed.

Contingent: A group that is a part of a larger group.

Marathon: Long-distance race.

Podium: Raised platform

Track Suit: Wooden clothes worn especially by athletes to keep warm before and after exercises.


Linesman: Official who assists the referee, especially by deciding whether the ball touches or crosses the ball touches or crosses the line or not and where if it does.

Penalty: Punishment for a foul committed

Referee:  Official who regulates a game and ensures Fair play.

Soccer (colloquial): a football game played by two teams of eleven players each.

RELEVANT: Theater:

Actor: A person who takes part in a play on stage or in a film.

Box office: Office where seats in the theatre are booked and tickets are paid for.

Cast: Actors of a play.

Curtain-Call: Call made by the audience to an actor at the end of the play to appear and acknowledge applause.

Director: A person who directs the performance of a play

Usher: A person who shows people to their seats.

From the words lettered A to D, choose the word or group of words that best completes each of the following sentences.

  1. In reported speech, ‘The earth revolves round the sun ‘becomes, it is said that the  earth —– round the sun.  (a). has revolved  (b). is revolving  (c). revolved (d). revolves(e). was revolving
  2. In reported speech, ‘I am innocent of any crime’ becomes, he said that he ——- innocent of any crime. (a). has been  (b). had been  (c). is  (d). was being  (e). was
  3. The suffix —– will combine with ‘endear’ to form ——- (a) able (b) ly  (c) ment  (d) ness  (e) y
  4. The sentence, ‘He presented a good paper last week’ in the passive form becomes ——- (a.) a good paper was presented by me last week (b) a good paper was presented by him previous week  (c) he presented a good paper the previous week  (d,) he presented a good paper the other week  (e) the previous week a good paper was presented by me
  5. A snake bit the hunter, in the passive form becomes ——- (a) a snake has bitten the hunter  (b) a snake bites the hunter (c) the hunter has been bitten by a snake (d) the hunter had been bitten by a snake  (e) the hunter was bitten by a snake.


Phrasal verbs, Adverbs, Conjunctions and Prepositions

Parts of Speech | Noun, Pronoun, Verb Adjective & Spelling

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