ESL Writing Fall 2018 Y1 W9

It’s week 9 of the semester. Time to learn new skills in the ESL writing class.

Hour 1

Writing Class Schedule (5)

Here is a list of things you need to finish do before the end of the semester.

  • Book report Nov 19-22 (Week 13)
  • Quiz #2 Week 13
  • Review Week 14
  • Final Exams Week 16

Basic Schedule

Week 9 Oct 29 to Nov 2

  • what is an argument?
  • #1 Live Small video analysis

Week 10 Nov 5 to Nov 9

  • what is a hypothesis?
  • #2 Video argument and analysis

Week 11 Nov 12 to Nov 16

  • correlation versus causation
  • Chicago murder trends
  • #3 Four question drill

Week 12 Nov 19 to Nov 23

  • summarize and analyze data
  • #4 Korea food patterns

Week 13 Nov 26 to Nov 30

  • Quiz #2
  • Before and after finish
  • Book report

Week 14 Dec 3 to Dec 7

  • appositives
  • finish before and after writing
  • Review for final exam

Week 15 Dec 10 to Dec 14

  • Make up classes

Week 16 Dec 17 to Dec 21

  • Final exam

What’s next? (5)

The first part of the semester was designed to build basic writing skills. How to write a long passage, paragraphs, good organisation, a nice first sentence, plus others.

Now we are going to focus on one special writing skill: how to describe a complex ideas.

There are three kinds of sentence patterns which can be used to describe an idea:

  • argument
  • hypothesis
  • correlation (and how it is different from causation)

We will also focus on another writing skill: summarizing long passages by describing the main ideas and selecting the most important information.


What’s an argument?

Part 1: Claim and Premise (10)


This slide presentation shows four things you need to know: argument, claim, premise, a basic sentence pattern.



A premise is a phrase, sentence or many sentences that tells us why (or sometimes how) we should believe a claim. For example:

  1. There is more air pollution because energy companies are burning a lot more coal.
  2. Vegetables are good for you because they contain nutrients and fibre.


Here is one way to find a claim and premise in a story, book, or speech. Simplify complex ideas with this sentence pattern. The claim will come before the word because.

  • The writer believes (claim) because (premise).

Below are some practice questions that should help you understand arguments. Click here to open a file with some suggested answers.


Read the sentences and then write the argument using the basic sentence pattern.

  1. Given that these pills are all natural, they are totally safe.
  2. There’s probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.
  3. Since light takes time to reach our eyes, everything we see actually existed in the past.



Read the text. What is the argument?

Most Americans eat at fast-food establishments more than once a week. Many re searchers agree that these eating habits are the leading cause of obesity in the U.S. Obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension cost our health care system billions of dollars each year. Whether through health care insurance premiums or taxes, everyone suffers the consequences even if you eat only healthful, home-cooked meals.

Therefore, we should impose a small tax on every high-calorie meal served at fast-food chains. This would not only offset obesity-related health care costs, but encourage consumers to seek out healthy food options.

WRITING 1 (15)

Below are 5 claims. Change the claims into arguments by adding 2 or 3 premises.

  1. Cooking at home is a good idea for university students.
  2. People should drive compact cars.
  3. Getting a job these days is hard.
  4. Teaching in elementary school is a good job.
  5. Writing a good composition is difficult.


Hour 2

WRITING 2 (20)

Watch the video. Take notes. Write a 1 to 2 paragraph report which does two things:

  1. Write the main argument.
  2. Include some examples of proof for each premise.
  3. Do you think this is an effective advertisement?


WRITING 3 (10)

  • Write the main argument?
  • Provide some details to show how the argument is made
  • Do you think this is an effective advertisement?

ESL writing activities ketchcup


Optional Apple Advertisement (10)

  • Write the main argument?
  • Provide some details to show how the argument is made.
  • Do you think this is an effective advertisement?


Hour 3

Writing exercise (45)

1. Summarize

  1. watch the video
  2. make notes about the argument and premises
  3. make notes about the key pieces of evidence and examples
  4. ignore unimportant small details
  5. write 1-2 paragraphs to summarize the main argument and details to describe key points.

2. Evaluate

What do you think about the argument?

I want to know you idea, your argument. Don’t  repeat what the speaker said. Explain your own ideas briefly in 1-2 paragraphs.



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