English Writing Lessons: Week 10

Last week, my students wrote a paragraph. The purpose of that writing assignment was to read a proverb and express an opinion (agree or disagree) based on some personal experience.

Most students did a great job. Here are a few comments.

  1. Phrases with AGREE. You can write “I agree that …” or “I agree with the idea that …”
  2. When you write told, you need to say a person. Like, “He told us to come here.”  Or, My mother told the children to turn off the TV. With no person, you can write SAID. “My mother said, “Turn off the TV.”
  3. Remember During is usually followed by a noun. For example, “During my childhood.”

Otherwise, good job everyone.


Today we will practice writing passive sentences.  What’s a passive sentence? Look at these two sentences.

  1. The cat ate the fish.
  2. The fish was eaten by the cat.

The first sentence is active. The second sentence is passive.

Click here for some grammar rules and a writing worksheet to change active sentence to passive sentences.

Practice Writing

Look at the picture on page 96 in the book. Write one paragraph using passive sentences to describe what’s happening in the restaurant.


How to Write a Summary

Watch or read the story carefully.

  • A summary is mostly a listening or reading exercise. It is impossible to write an accurate summary after listening or reading just one time.

Begin the summary by mentioning the author and title.

  • For example: This is a speech given by Steve Jobs at a university graduation ceremony.

Avoid unnecessary details.

  • If the reader wants details, he or she can listen to or read the original story.

Don’t give your own opinion.

  • Give the writer’s main ideas. Don’t add your ideas.

Keep it short.

  • One paragraph is best for most busy people, even if you make a summary for a report, book or movie.


Read this short story. Then write a short, one paragraph summary of the main ideas.


In this writing assignment, the students will watch and listen to a speech that was given by Steve Jobs (did you see the passive sentence I wrote here?). Your job is to watch and listen and then write a one paragraph summary. (Here is a different link if the video does not work.)

In the summary, do three things:

  1. write a one sentence introduction to the tell the reader what it is about (where, who, etc);
  2. write the main ideas of Steve’s speech in your own words;
  3. in a separate paragraph, include some of your own ideas (agree, disagree, why).


Last week, we studied and practiced writing two kinds of sentences: relative clauses (e.g. who, that, which) and appositives (e.g. McDonalds, a fast food restaurant chain, …..).

Let’s do a little more practice.

  1. Go to page 97 in the textbook.
  2. Choose four pictures.
  3. Write two sentences for each picture to describe the job and a place.
  4. Use a relative clause and an appositive.
  5. This is a short writing exercise so I want your to be extra careful with your grammar, spelling and style.
  6. Concentrate on writing clear sentences with few mistakes.

Here is an example.

Nurses are people who help patients in hospitals. Moon-wha, a hospital near Seomyeon, is famous for helping pregnant woman.


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