ESL Writing Freshmen 2018 Week 14

It’s week 14 of the semester. That means it is time to prepare for the ESL writing final exam.

ESL Writing Class Hour 1

In the first hour this week, let’s do 2 things.

1 Make exam schedule (5)

I suggest Tuesday June 18 (regular class time and classroom).

Sooner the better, right?

Final Exam Questions

The final exam will be 50 minutes. It is worth 25% of your final grade. The exam will have 3 parts. I estimate the time requirements as follows:

  • Part 1: 15 minutes
  • Part 2: 15 minutes
  • Part 3: 10 minutes
  • Total: 40 minutes

Some people will be a little faster and some a little slower. Please remember, you do not need to double space your writing on the test paper.

Part 1. Buy or Rent? (15 minutes)

The purpose of this question is to show me that you know how to think and write critically. Basically, you need to create an idea and support your idea with logic and numbers. 

Suggested 1-2 pages. Last week, we reviewed this question in class. You have all the information you need to write a long, well organised answer.

If you don’t remember the question, click here to read the case study information.

Part 2 Summarize and Analyze (15)

The purpose of this question is to show me that you know to summarize complex information and analyse the main idea or message.

Suggested 1-2 pages. You will watch a video called Room 8 and write two things:

  • a summary of the characters, plot and setting
  • an analysis of the message

I guess the summary will be 1 page or less (probably half a page). This will probably be one or two well-written paragraphs. The second part is your analysis. Does this story have a message that is expressed with a metaphor? What is it?

Do you agree with that idea or not?

Please note: we will watch the video during our class, but we will NOT watch the video during the exam. Please watch the video in your own free time if you need to see it again.

What do I expect in a great answer?

  • Excellent organization and a well-written text.
  • Summarize the main parts of the story as they are connected to the main idea (e.g. plot, character, setting).
  • Don’t include unnecessary details.
  • Describe and evaluate the message of the story.


This video is YouTube and Vimeo. I chose this version because it has English subtitles. 


Part 3: Short Sentence Drills

The purpose of this question is to show me that you know how to find and fix basic sentence errors. These questions are more about style and less about grammar. 

Click here and you will find some practice questions. The questions on the final exam will be similar to these.


ESL Writing Class – Friday

Part 1: Review

The basic aim of this course was to help students do 2 things:

create ideas and to evaluate ideas

The first half of the semester was about CREATING IDEAS

  • Describe a place 
  • Creative story 
  • Movie review

Writing Skills

  1. show me don’t tell me
  2. sentences with prepositional phrases (lots of accurate information)
  3. sentence variety 1-2-3-4 rule
  4. interesting first sentence
  5. complex sentences
  6. complex sentences with one subject in independent clause and verb+ing in the dependent clause
  7. editing (what to look for)
  8. paraphrasing
  9. what is good writing (6+1 writing traits)

The second half of the semester was about EVALUATING IDEAS.

  • population pyramid
  • electric car
  • murder mystery
  • short story analysis

Writing Skills

  1. critical thinking (understand, analyse and evaluate)
  2. what is an argument
  3. reading charts
  4. describing data patterns
  5. analyzing data by describing cause and effect
  6. using hedge words to be more professional
  7. summarizing long ideas
  8. similes and metaphors to make writing more stylish


Part 2: Look back at the syllabus

Here is the syllabus


Part 3: Review Game

Here is a game to review some material and have a little fun with words and books.


Have a nice summer vacation.

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