Graduate Writing Class Spring 2017 Week 6

ESL Writing Class

This is sixth week of the semester. Quiz review this week. Quiz next week.

Work Plan – Week 6


  1. rewrite #1 – finish Room 8
  2. rewrite #2 – finish the creative story (from a picture prompt and first sentence exercise)
  3. rewrite #3 – rewrite short story by adding lots of information
  4. rewrite #4 – improve paragraph structure (story with 4 elements)
  5. rewrite #5– articles, word choice and cohesion (boat, goat, wolf, cabbage)

Other stuff

  1. extra resources
  2. homework and story analysis
  3. schedule for the rest of the semester
  4. feedback

ESL Writing Activities

Hour 1

Attendance and review (5)

Extra Resources (5)

Listening and learning

  • Lexicon Valley, two people talking about words and language (for advanced listeners)
  • Here is a great ECE story that talks about the reasons why some children have a bigger vocabulary than other kids – Raising Verbal Children

ESL Class Homework for Next Week (5)

  • Read a short story by Jack Delany, The Case of The Lower Case Letter
  • Analyze the text according to the 6+1 writing traits.
  • Discuss comments about the story next week.

Can’t remember all of the traits?

Text analysis (10)

  • Comments on the story which I assigned as homework last week
  • What can we learn from this text?
  • Can you see any elements of the 6+1 writing traits in this story?

Schedule for the rest of the semester (10)

  • April 4 – class, quiz review (today)
  • April 11 – class, quiz #1, midterm exam review
  • April 18 – midterm exam
  • April 25 – class
  • May 2 – class
  • May 9 – no class, presidential election holiday
  • May 16 – class
  • May 23 – class, quiz #2
  • May 30 – class, final exam review
  • June 6 – holiday, Memorial Day
  • June 13 – final exam


  • 7 classes left including exam reviews and today
  • 2 exam days (no class, just a test)

Quiz Review

Here are some review questions that will help you prepare for the quiz next week.

Click here to download the pdf file with quiz review questions.

Basic quiz outline

The quiz will have three parts.

Part 1

Checks your ability to edit text for basic errors and paragraphs. Read the text, find the mistakes and rewrite the passage with no errors. Also, you will be expected to create paragraphs in logical spots in the text.

Part 2

Requires a little writing, but careful thinking. In this question, you will think of a book or movie that you like. Choose one. Then write three different first sentences for the review.

You don’t have to write the whole review. I want to check your ability to write a first sentence that creates interest using three different techniques.

Here are the three techniques:

  1. Drama – contrast or surprise
  2. Humour
  3. Emotional impact

Part 3

Another editing question. You will read a few sentences which have too many words. Remove the unnecessary words and make a few small changes, but keep the same meaning.

Hour 2 -3

Introduction (20)

So far, we have focused on developing a variety of writing skills within the framework of 6+1 writing traits.

The approach has been to use a creative writing techniques and prompts in order to emphasize specific writing skills (i.e. flow, organisation, paragraphs, cohesion, word choice) rather cognitive load.

To a large degree, you have been successful in improving writing skills.

Now it’s time to place greater emphasis on one of the traits – the idea.

Your success may require deeper thinking and greater appreciation for how ideas are expressed with logic and reason.

Essentially, our work will focus on writing a clear argument and three different ways to create arguments.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the next 7 classes, you should understand and be able to use these concepts in your writing:

  • an argument
  • a warrant
  • the 4 steps of an inquiry framework
  • an inferences
  • a hypothesis

 Why learn these things?

  • They will help you express clear ideas.
  • They will help write and think with greater logic.
  • They will assist you with your academic writing.
  • They will help you sound smarter.


Step 1 What is an argument? (20)

This critical thinking worksheet helps to explain one way to think about and create arguments.


  • Write a short analysis of the argument for one video or print ad.


Feedback and writing (30)

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