English Writing Lessons: Week 12

Last week, our ESL writing class focused on summary writing. We also did an exercise where the students had to combine two different summaries into one story.


The purpose of this exercise was to find a common theme between the two video stories. It was an exercise to describe how two things are the same. In the class I never used the word COMPARE. I wanted you to figure that out for yourself. Most of you did that very well.

Most students found at least one common theme, which might be related to freedom, death, challenge. One person thought the theme was reaching, another good idea.

Here is a sample of student writing.

The robot died because he followed his dream. he wished for freedom in his last moment. He had an obstacle to his dream but he didn’t care and didn’t give up. People die everyday. if today is your last day, do what you want to do. maybe people die like a robot. He had a dream and passion. Life is short and so don’t wait for me.

Here is a another sample.

Steve Job’s speech produced a great impression on the audience. Especially he talked about death. I think that death and freedom are related to each other. Freedom sometimes means that people try to follow their dreams. But there are dangers if the dream comes true. Maybe there is some risk involved in everything we do in life. As a robot, we should never give up what we are doing and remember, there’s risk in everything we do.

I wanted to say, “if you can’t avoid it you might as well try and enjoy it.”


This week let’s change the writing focus a little.

Writing an effective email in English is not difficult. But my students need to learn a few basic writing skills.  This lesson will help them in the future, especially when they start looking for a job and need to write emails in English.


  1. Learn the format of a professional email message (good for business or school)
  2. Learn to write sentences with different purposes.


Just about every email – in the professional world – is about two things:

  1. Giving information
  2. Asking for something (a request)

Email is fast, which is good. But you have to write for people who read quickly as well. That means:

  1. be clear (few mistakes)
  2. be brief (not too wordy, no extra information).

In business, the tone of an email is very important. Tone means the feeling people get when they read your message. Emails should be polite. But unlike a business letter, an email does not usually have to be super polite. Also the style (or formatting) of the email message is important.


This practice worksheet teaches students the basic parts of an email.

This email worksheet helps students analyze an email and find ways to make improvements.

This email writing worksheet has many questions, Students practice email writing by many kinds of requests.





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