ESL Writing Freshmen 2017 Week 15

This is the last week of classes for the fall semester. What an adventure!

Hours 1-2

  • attendance (5)
  • final exam schedule questions review

Final Exam Schedule

The writing exam will be at 12:15 pm (a little later than the regular class start time). The exam will be 50 minutes.

  • Where: usual classroom
  • Test day: Monday Dec 18
  • Test day: Tuesday Dec 19

Extra help?

  • Thursday Dec 14 and Friday Dec 15.

I will be in my office in the early morning these days (8:30 to 9:30 am) if you have any questions about the exam. Please don’t ask me to check your answers.

Review of Work

What did we do since the midterm exam?

1  Write an argument

  • claim+premise
  • basic sentence pattern
  • advertisements for an electric car and ketchup
  • live small video

You should buy this electric car because it saves money and the environment.

You should buy this ketchup because it makes your food look good and taste delicious.

You should have fewer things and use a smaller space because you will save money and feel better.

2  Write a hypothesis

  • two variables that change together
  • basic sentence pattern with 4 kinds of changes (e.g. the more, the more, etc)
  • write hypothesis about income and life expectancy
  • describe variables and then explain connections (e.g. how more money is connected to a longer life)

the higher the income, the longer the life expectancy

People live longer in rich countries because money can buy high quality medical services and provide clean drinking water.

3  Understand correlation and causation

  • correlation – two variables change together but there is no direct connection
  • causation – the change in one variable makes another variable change
  • we looked at many examples including superstitions and charts

The more I sleep, the more I remember.

The louder the music in a beer bar, the more beer people drink.


4  Practice correlation and causation

  • wrote answers that described correlation or causation after reading short questions.

The bigger the shoe size in elementary students, the better the English ability.

5  Critical thinking exercise –  food data analysis 

  • look at food data
  • summarize the big changes in food consumption and give a few examples
  • talk about why those changes happened with an argument that described cause and effect

Korean food consumption went because economic growth improved farm productivity and increased demand.

People started to eat more food because economic growth increased consumption and waste.

6  Appositives

  • learn a new sentence pattern
  • practice with examples in class

The world’s fastest animal, the falcon, can travel more than 70 kilometers per hour. 

Did you see that giant plane, a Boeing 777, land at the airport? 

Final Exam Questions

The final exam is a written test. It will be 50 minutes. There are 4 questions. You will need to prepare well before taking this test. Because you have all of the questions before the test, your answers will be graded to a high standard. Get the test description here – easy to print.

That means:

  • good conventions
  • nice paragraphs
  • beautiful sentences
  • amazing ideas
  • wonderful presentation

I estimate most students will need 40 minutes to complete this test. Some people will be faster and some slower.

  • Therefore, 50 minutes is enough for most people – assuming you prepare well before the test.

Part 1. Editing (10 minutes, 3 points)

Read a short passage and find the mistakes. Then rewrite the passage with the errors fixed. It might be a good idea to practice editing with these questions:

Part 2. Appositives (5 minutes, 3 points)

I will give you a word. You write a good (i.e. long, interesting and grammatically correct) sentence with an appositive. 

For example:

  • dog
  • Jack, my big black dog, loves to run in the mountains.


  • Busan
  • Busan, a large city on the southern coast, is famous in Korea for beaches and raw seafood.

Practice writing appositives with these words and phrases:

  1. espresso
  2. a local bakery owner
  3. Jeju Island
  4. Yuri Gagarin
  5. elephants
  6. Beomeo temple
  7. the coldest time of the year
  8. french fries


Part 3. Summarize Complex Ideas (5 minutes, 6 points)

Why did we spend so much time learning about and writing hypotheses and arguments?

  • One reason is to give students the power and skill to summarize complicated ideas in a few words.

In this question, I want you to show me that you have learned that skill.

Your task is to:

  1. Watch this video outside the classroom (we will NOT watch the video during the exam).
  2. Write 2 hypotheses that describe correlations in the video.
  3. Write one argument that describes the story’s main idea. 

Use the sentence patterns we studied in class when you write a hypothesis and argument.

  • Your answer to this question requires just 3 sentences (but a lot of thinking).

Here is the ESL video.

blind from YUKIHIRO SHODA on Vimeo.


Part 4. Food Analysis (20 minutes, 13 points)

In class, we did some work with food. We looked at food consumption patterns.

I asked you to describe the change and then explain the change.

  • In other words, I wanted you to create an argument that explained a cause and effect connection.

In this test, I want you to write a short report about food changes in Korea. You will use different data (compared to our class work).

Your report will have 2 parts.


Tell me what changed.

  1. compare total food consumption for the 2 years.
  2. describe what changed by looking at 2 or 3 main food groups (talk about the biggest changes, not all of them)


Here is the food data.

2011 data
2011 data
1961 data
1961 data


Tell me why food consumption patterns changed.

Write your explanation in a nice argument sentence. Then provide details in the rest of the report. Two or three premises should be enough for this exam. Be sure your cause and effect connections are explained well. Including a few examples might be a good idea.

Part of the explanation will come from the ideas we talked about in class with the Korean Food Project activity. You might need more ideas.

Your answer to this question will be 1 to 2 pages long. Two pages maximum.


Your score for this answer will be based on several points:

  • you write well – 6+1 writing traits (organisation, word, sentence fluency, etc)
  • your ideas are easy to understand
  • your argument is clear
  • your explanation and connections are easy to understand and seem reasonable


You don’t need any special knowledge to answer this question. You don’t need to do research. If you were paying attention in class and submitted writing for feedback, you have most of the knowledge you need to answer this question. Any extra bits of required information might come for your own knowledge and experience.


Good luck.