Learn English Writing, Basic Class: Week 6

Learn English Writing, Basic Class


Here’s the plan for this week.

  1. Improve your sentence and paragraph writing skills by completing the topic sentence exercise.
  2. Improve you writing and vocabulary skills by completing chapter 4 in the textbook (we will check the answers this Friday).
  3. Have a quiz (Friday) to check your understanding of the class material and vocabulary so far this semester.

Reading Activity #1

Let’s read and discuss this activity which helps us understand what a good paragraph looks like. That includes topic sentence and conclusion.

Writing Activity #1 Guided Writing

Here is a paragraph. It has a topic sentence, support points, and a conclusion. However, it is missing examples and specific details.  Add examples and details. Be creative. Here is the worksheet for this guided writing activity.


The most obvious reason to get a university education is to get a job, but some other benefits can be just as important. One reason to go to college is to learn about different fields and to find out what we like and don’t like.


Another reason to get a college education is to meet people who can offer emotional, educational, and career support.


A final reason to go to college is to become exposed to exciting new ideas, even those not directly related to getting a job.


For all these reasons, a college education can be so much more than a path to the job market.


Writing Activity #2

Thinking about the conclusion sentence. Read the topic sentence. Then, read the three conclusions. What do you think about the conclusion?  Is it too simple, creative or off topic? Here is the writing worksheet for this activity.

For example:

Topic sentence: Mrs. Black, my eleventh-grade geography teacher, was the worst teacher I’ve ever had.

Concluding sentences:

  1. To conclude, it is worth repeating that Mrs. Black was the worst teacher I have ever had. TOO SIMPLE
  2. I will forever remember Mrs. Black because she was a bad teacher who liked to embarrass her students. CREATIVE
  3. Black was the worst teacher I ever had, and Mr. Brown, who I currently have for statistics, is pretty bad too. OFF TOPIC

Writing Activity #3

  • Choose two things which might not normally be compared.
  • Find three ways to describe how they are similar.
  • Write a full paragraph with a topic sentence, proof and a conclusion.

Example Paragraph

Here is an example by a middle school student, about school and jail.

School and jail are similar in many ways. First of all, I have to wear a uniform in both places. I hate wearing the same clothes as other people. Also, both places make us wear what they want. Just as if we were a doll. Second of all, I have to spend a lot of time there. At school, students have to stay from 8am to 4pm for 3 years (just counting middle school). Similarly, in jail people have to stay as long as the judge said. Finally, there is only one way to be free from school and jail. To get free from school you should graduate. To get free from jail you should wait for the day the judge said you can be free. These are the similarities between school and jail. Still, the most important thing is that I hate both places.

Learn English Writing, Basic Class: Week 5

Learn English Writing, Basic Class


Here’s the plan for this week.

  1. Check your answers from Unit 4 in the textbook (on Friday).
  2. Review questions for quiz #1.
  3. Complete run-on sentences worksheet.
  4. Complete the guided writing exercise (a few people finished it.)
  5. Learn to write a paragraph with a good topic sentence (this builds on the knowledge you learned in chapter 2 of the textbook.)



Learn English Writing, Basic Class: Week 4

Learn English Writing, Week 4


Review of Writing Activities

Here is a summary of what we have done and leaned so far.

  1. Learned what makes good writing by looking at the Six Writing Traits.
  2. Practiced descriptive writing skills with three stories: Howl, Dog and Sausage and the rafting trip.
  3. Learned how to use articles A and THE correctly.
  4. make stories more interesting by adding detail – such as your own voice in the story.
  5. Practiced writing with voice and adding details by rewriting the rafting story.
  6. Practiced editing skills by fixing a few short paragraphs for spelling and punctuation (e.g. bee and bat stories).
  7. Learned some vocabulary and simple sentence writing with the textbook (units 1 and 2).
  8. Practiced writing clearer sentences by removing unnecessary words (e.g. Helen is a smart and intelligent woman.)
  9. Practiced careful writing by rewriting the spider and hyena story and changing the spider to the plural form.

Here’s the plan for this week.

  1. Check your answers from Unit 3 in the textbook (on Friday).
  2. Finish the third draft for three writing projects: Howl, Dog and Sausage and rafting trip.
  3. Complete parallel structure writing practice.
  4. Complete choppy sentences and run-on sentences worksheet.
  5. Complete the wordy sentence exercise (some people started it last week)
  6. Complete the guided writing exercise (a few people started it last week)


Here is the answer sheet for the questions in Chapter 3 of the textbook.

On Friday, the class will work to improve their understanding of articles. Click here to go to the lesson.

Writing Exercise #1: Parallel Structure

Parallel structure. This is a kind of writing style that helps makes your sentences read smoothly. Basically, your sentence has parallel structure when you have 2 or 3 similar elements that use the same word or grammatical pattern.

Look at these sentences. Can you find the part that is not parallel? How can you fix it?

  1. Mike likes to listen to rock music and reading mystery novels.
  2. While in France, my nephew spent his time studying French, working in a restaurant, and he jogged along the Seine River every morning.
  3. Joan decided to paint her office, to add some new curtains, and that the rug needs dry cleaning.
  4. He wanted three things out of university: to pick up a marketable skill, to make good friends, and understanding the stock market.
  5. My grandfather’s favorite pastime is to eat in trendy restaurants and visiting art galleries.
  6. Julia is in charge of stocking the shelves, writing orders, and to sell computers.

Here are some more questions to help you learn to write with parallel structure.

Writing Activity #2: Choppy and Run-On Sentences

Choppy sentences. This is a problem when you have too many sentences mixed together. It’s a problem because it is bad style. There is no sentence fluency.

Run-on sentences: This is a problem when you have one really long sentence that could be 2 or 3 smaller sentences.

Click here to get the exercises for choppy and run on sentences.