Let’s review some of the writing skills we have learned and practiced so far in this English composition class.
- IDEA: Create summaries. Find the main idea.
- ORGANISATION: Paragraph structure. Progression, how to describe change in time, place and events.
- VOICE: Express your ideas, your personality.
- WORD CHOICE: Close and far away words. Give precise descriptions.
- SENTENCE FLUENCY: Use short and long sentences to create effect. Emphasis. Fix run on and choppy sentences.
- CONVENTIONS: spelling, punctuation and proper paragraph format.
These are the writing skills we have learned and practiced. Now it is time to put these skills to a different use. Let’s use these skills to write different kinds of communication and business documents. The kinds of things English students might need to write when they get a job.
Writing Activity: Learn to Write a Summary Report
In this activity, you will need to use several skills: thinking, understanding, analysis and evaluation.
Your Summary Report Tasks
1. Understand the data in each chart.
2. Analyze the changes. Identify and describe the important changes. Write a summary for each chart.
3. Explain the reasons for the changes in the data.
4. predict what might happen in the near future – say ten years).
5. Write your text in a memo format written in a professional manner.
Old Stuff for ESL Students
This is week 10 of the semester. The main theme of this week’s work is how to improve the quality of student writing during the rewrite. Learning how to rewrite well might be more important than knowing how to write English stories, letters and essays.
The students should learn how to improve their writing by:
- understanding the concept of close and far away words and how it can make writing more interesting, especially as a tool rewriting text.
- practice writing short interesting sentences that make comparisons by writing a Coke advertisement. The true skill of this writing technique will become most evident during the rewriting work. It requires close attention to the types of verbs used, antecedents and word rhythm.
Here are the answers for the questions in Chapter 5 of the textbook.
ESL Writing Activity #1: Close and Faraway Words
Here is a technique to help students writer better. I found this in a book called The Classic Guide to Better Writing.
Some words and phrases are so general they keep the reader faraway. Detailed words bring the read closer to the real image or situation.
Here are some examples.
- The weather has been a little crazy during the last few days. (Blah. Simple. Faraway. Not specific)
Here is a revised sentence.
- Yesterday was a cold cloudy day with lots of rain in the morning. Today, the sky is blue and the temperature already at 25 degrees.
- When I came into the room, my daughter was reading a book. (Blah.)
This sentence brings us closer to the situation.
- When I came into the room, my daughter, Julia, was lying on the floor, flat on her stomach, reading Brave New World, Huxley’s famous novel sci-fi novel.
Read these sentences. Rewrite the sentences with words and phrases that create a strong, close up picture for the reader.
- The audience applauded when the actress walked down the red carpet.
- The firefighters worked as the crowd watched.
- The angry animal walked towards me.
- It was a beautiful spring morning when we got into our car and drove off to the pension.
Use these sentences as a writing prompt. Write a picture with words and phrases that bring the reader close to the action. Also use a few appositives, the things we practiced at the top of this lesson page!
- By the time I arrived, the store was in flames.
- Late at night, the beach was filled with a unusual sights and sounds.
- The entire city seemed to fill the downtown area.
ESL Writing Activity #2
Here are two different models of guided slow writing. Each student will write a piece following one model.
- First sentence begins with a present participle (a verb ending in ‘ing’)
- Second sentence contains only three words.
- Third sentence contains an exclamation mark.
- Fourth sentence is a rhetorical question.
- Fifth sentence starts with an adverb.
- Sixth sentence has a simile (compare two things with LIKE, or AS … AS)
- First sentence appeals to the senses.
- Second sentence uses three adjectives.
- Third sentence starts with an adverb.
- Fourth sentence contains a connective.
- Fifth sentence uses exactly three words.
- Sixth sentence is a question.
- Connective. A word or phrase that shows a shift in time, a combination or a change. For example:
- Add information – In addition
- Show contrast – However
- Comparing – On the other hand
- Show order – first, then
- Show cause – Therefore, As a result
- Show emotion – Feeling betrayed …
ESL Writing Activity #3
Here is an advertisement for Coke. Watch it a few times. Then write sentences that describe the comparisons or differences in each segment.