ESL Writing Freshmen 2018 Week 12

It’s week 12 of the semester. It’s also a short week because of the holiday that wiped out Tuesday’s class.

Writing Class Review (5)

What writing and critical thinking skills have we learned and practiced so far?

  • quickly understand the key parts of a chart
  • change numbers into words that describe what happened over time (e.g. increase, decrease)
  • describe possible causes of change with hedge words
  • describe possible consequences of change with hedge words
  • use a 4-part framework to ask questions, find facts, make facts important, make a possible conclusion
  • looked carefully at the way a writer uses organisation, words and sentences in a short story

Comments and Examples (10)

Here are a few examples of good sentences.

Here is the first sentence of one report. Notice the clear idea, simple words and repeated sentence pattern.

“According to the chart, in 1990 there were many young Koreans and few old Koreans. However, in 2025, there will likely be more old people and fewer young people.”

Here is the first sentence from an electric car report.

“We should buy an electric car because it will save money and environment.”

Putting Numbers in the Text: Comments and Examples

The two writing assignments – people and electric cars – asked you to write about numbers. It’s called numeracy (the ability to work with numbers).

More than a few people did not do this. Some people had no numbers in their reports even. This was surprising especially with the electric car car because I gave you the numbers you needed.

Here is a good example:

“An average driver spends $2000-3000 per year on gas. Compared to that, electricity is much cheaper.”

This is good but could be a  little better if we could see the cost estimate for electricity.


Sometimes Not Correct or Not Proven

Some students wrote sentences that are simply not right or do not give any proof. Here are a couple of examples.

“Electricity does not cause any pollution in the Earth.”

“The battery has a possibility to explode.”


Quiz #2 Study Questions

The purpose of this quiz is to check your understanding of these lessons learned. The quiz will have three parts.

Part 1 Chart Analysis (5)

The purpose of this question is to demonstrate your ability to understand a chart, describe change and think critically and causes and effects.

You will look at two charts during the quiz. For each chart, answer these questions:

  1. What is the unit of measurement?
  2. What is on the X axis and Y axis?
  3. Summarize the change in the data over time.
  4. Describe at least 1 potential cause  of the change.
  5. Describe at least 2 consequences of that change.

The slide show has 2 sections: practice charts and quiz charts. Let’s do the practice charts in class.  Your quiz will have two charts from the quiz section in this slide show.

In class Practice (15)

Let’s take 15 minutes and practice analyzing 3 charts in class. We will use the first 3 charts in the slide show.


Part 2 Similes and Metaphors (5)

The purpose of this question is to demonstrate your ability to 1) identity a simile and metaphor and 2) understand their possible meanings.

If you need to refresh your memory about similes and metaphors, click here and re-read the SHORT STORY ANALYSIS slide show (pages 14, 15 and 16)

I will give you 2 to 4 sentences. Your job will be to:

  1. write a short answer: simile or metaphor
  2. describe in a couple of sentences the meaning of the simile or metaphor (e.g. what does the comparison do).

Here is an example:

Question Sentence

  • Life is like a box of chocolates.


  • simile
  • The writer wants to say that life has many surprises. We get a chocolate box, but we never really know what is inside. Somethings in life, and a box of chocolates, are delicious while other things are not not good. In the end, we have to accept what we have.

It might be a good idea to learn, understand and remember these similes and metaphors.

  1. Happiness is like a butterfly.
  2. Be water, my friend.
  3. The water made a sound like kittens drinking milk.
  4. She sat there as quiet as a lamb.
  5. People say that eyes are windows to the soul.
  6. All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women just players.
  7. The snow is a white blanket.

In class Practice (15)

Let’s take 15 minutes and practice analyzing similes and metaphors. We will use 3 examples.

Work in pairs or alone and write practice answers for these 2 questions.


Part 3 Short Story Summary (5)

The purpose of this question is to demonstrate your ability to write one interesting summary paragraph.

You read a short story for an assignment (short story analysis 10%).

Summarize that story in one paragraph. This is a challenge because you have to write a paragraph which is about one topic with a beginning, middle and end. You also need to write about the most important parts and leave out the unnecessary details.

Here are a few things I will be looking for:

  • an interesting first sentence (make the reader want to keep reading – without asking a question)
  • idea (i.e. focus on the main parts of the short story)
  • few errors (e.g. spelling grammar, etc)
  • organisation (e.g. nice flow from start to end)
  • one paragraph (i.e. not two or more)
  • style (e.g. use a variety of sentences to make the writing interesting)


Hour 3

Continue writing.

Finish first draft of old material. Rewrite second or third drafts.

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