Graduate Writing Class Spring 2017 Week 16

This is week 16 of the graduate school writing class. It’s the last week of the semester.

ESL Writing Class

Attendance and review (5)

Last week

  • started oral presentations
  • returned quiz #2

Summary of Writing Assignments Completed in Class

Before the mid term exam

  1. Room 8 (summary and imagination)
  2.  the creative story (from a picture prompt, strong first sentence exercise)
  3. short story (guy walks into a room, add missing information)
  4. 4 elements (paragraph organisation)
  5. boat and goat story (word choice, articles)

We also did a couple of text analyses (After 20 Years and Death by Scrabble).

After the mid term exam

  1. analysis and evaluation of the electric car TV advertisement – argument and counterargument
  2. murder mystery – inquiry method (4 steps, observation and warrants)
  3. live small – hypothesis and argument
  4. health and wealth – hypothesis and argument

Schedule this week

Hour 1

Attendance and review (5)

Schedule (5)

  • Tuesday June 13 is our last class
  • Tuesday June 20 is the final exam (same class room, 9-10 am)

Finish Presentations (80 min)

Review Syllabus (5)

Review Final Exam questions (15)

Basic description

  • 50 minutes (maximum)
  • 3 questions
  • no notes or outside writing allowed in class
  • no dictionaries, smartphones or devices of any nature other than a pen, pencil and eraser
  • my time estimate for the exam – Q1 20, Q2 10, Q3 10
  • Scoring: well organized text that reflects 6+1 Writing Traits skills including conventions (i.e. spelling and grammar) and ideas (i.e. arguments and warrants).

Question 1 Steve Jobs’ speech analysis

This question check your critical thinking ability.

It asks you to combine all of the writing and thinking skills which we have developed over the semester. That includes the 6+1 Writing Traits as well as arguments and warrants.

This question checks your ability to summarize, analyze, evaluate and contemplate an argument.

The skills required to successfully complete this question are similar to those that you developed by completing previous in class assignments and participating in the feedback process.

Here’s a list of the elements of a well-developed answer:

  • summarize, analyze and evaluate the argument and warrant
  • consider the implications (e.g. arguments and ideas have impact, so what might happen or change or this one were accepted?)
  • what is the counter-argument?
  • reflect on the message (e.g. does it have any real meaning for you?)

Why create an exam question like this?

Because it requires students to use different kinds of cognitive (thinking) skills. Learning and using these skills helps students expand the range of things they can learn, understand, judge logically and ultimately create. In other words, improve the quality of life by creating options.

esl writing lesson bloom

Please note

  • Your written answer need not follow the order listed above.
  • I have provided this question in order to help you prepare properly. The more prep time students have, the higher the quality the answer.
  • Students may not bring any paper or notes into the class.
  • We will NOT watch the video during the exam. It is your responsibility to watch and study the video before the exam.
  • Maximum 4 pages (i.e. two double sided, single spaced pages).


Question 2 Editing

You will read a short paragraph and find the errors. Rewrite the paragraph with the errors fixed. This question will be similar to the editing questions you saw previously.

Question 3 Short Essay

  • In general, people are living better now than in the past.

Develop an argument to discuss a) if this claim is true and b) the possible causes of this trend. Then explain your answer with reasons and details. This answer should be relatively brief, but clear and well organized. Page length – 2 pages maximum (double sided, single spaced).

The purpose of this question is to assess your thinking and writing skills development. You will need to focus on a clear argument, create warrants and present evidence. One of the challenges will be to focus on one idea and avoid writing about too many things or including too much unrelated information.



It has been a pleasure to walk with you, for a short time, as you journey down the path of knowledge.

Good luck.