Presentation on theme: " Prewriting /Brainstorming Drafting Revising and Editing REMEMBER: The AIMS writing exam is not a timed test, so you should have ample time to."— Presentation transcript:
Prewriting /Brainstorming Drafting Revising and Editing REMEMBER: The AIMS writing exam is not a timed test, so you should have ample time to go through each step carefully.
This does not just mean drawing some circles and writing down two words. Be sure to follow all steps before writing to help make your life easier later. The process a writer goes through before he/she begins drafting a composition. › Understanding the Task (Attack the Prompt) › Brainstorming (webs, free-writing, etc.) › Choosing a Topic › Organizing Ideas
First Attack the Prompt – underline format, circle the verbs, draw arrows, etc. You must understand what the prompt is asking you before you start the rest. The prompt may have multiple parts, be sure you address all of them in your pre-writing.
Underline the type of writing: in what format are you being asked to write? › Is it a letter, an essay, an editorial? Circle the verbs: What are you writing? › Is the prompt asking you to convince, explain, describe, inform? Connect verbs with specifics: What are the verbs asking you to write about? › Be sure you understand exactly what the prompt is asking you to do and if there are multiple parts of the prompt. Brainstorm: Web, freewrite, list, do something!!!! › This will help you decide what ideas are valuable and to organize your thoughts.
PRACTICE In an essay, describe a person from history you would most like to meet, and explain why you would like to meet him/her. Be specific in your explanation.
I know you hate this part…I get it…but investing some time here will make the writing easier for you later. The process a writer goes through before he/she begins drafting a composition. Attack the Prompt and then… › Free-write › Web › List › Outline › Any other ideas?
Choose two different pre-writing strategies for the following prompt. You will have 5 minutes for each. PRACTICE: › In an essay, describe a person from history you would most like to meet, and explain why you would like to meet him/her. Be specific in your explanation.
Narrowing it down › Choose a topic that: You care about You can cover completely within the given space limit (2 pages) Clearly related to the prompt Appropriate for the audience and purpose/nature of the assignment
Establish a thesis Choose a few important points › What will best support your thesis? › What do your readers really need/want to know about the topic? › Stay focused on what the prompt asked for – what points are most effective? › Use brainstorming/freewriting as support in choosing the best points
Keep your subject, audience, purpose, and form in mind when choosing supporting details. › Ex. You are writing a personal narrative about learning to play the guitar. Which ONE of the following details would be most appropriate to include in the story? Where and when the guitar was invented A description of the parts of a guitar Information about the person who taught you to play the guitar A list of guitar brand names
Good supporting details are: › Relevant to the topic › Precise and significant › Appropriate for the audience › Might include: Anecdotes, specific examples, reasons, facts/statistics, definitions, events, descriptions, actions, etc.
Moving from a page full of unorganized ideas to an organized plan for a composition is one of the most important steps in the writing process.
Your thesis MUST: › ANSWER the topic from your attack the prompt › Use key words from the prompt › Be one sentence and no longer › MAY NOT BE THREE PRONG › Be at the end of your introduction › Be specific and simple › Be debatable (in persuasive)
Prompt: Describe a time in your life that you experienced an injustice. › Ex. A specific injustice that I’ve experienced and never forgotten occurred when a friend I trusted betrayed me. › Ex. An injustice that I’ve experienced personally has been the way that my parents have constantly put me in the middle of their disputes. › Ex. When I was in the first grade, I suffered a horrible injustice: my opportunity to be line leader was unfairly taken away from me. › Ex. Though I’ve experienced many injustices, the most painful one occurred when I was falsely accused by my parents and punished for something that I never did. Check each thesis statement for the rules from the previous slide. Are these considered acceptable thesis statements? Why? Explain in the space provided on your notes.
Tells a story using details Plot, character(s), setting, point of view, story development Has a plot with a climax and resolution › Beginning › Middle › End
Describe a time in your life that you experienced an injustice. Write about a time when you and a person or pet spent an enjoyable day together.
Explains something to the reader using details/description › Tell/explain/describe › May include directions or “how to” information › May explain a “why” or “how” Descriptive = 5 Senses › Taste, smell, sight, sound, touch
Expository › What kinds of things do you do to relax? Identify your favorite way to relax, and explain why it is your favorite. › Explain what steps a teenager can take to promote academic success during his or her years as a high school student. Descriptive › Describe a home that would be an appropriate place for a clown to live. › Describe a place where you would want to spend eternity. › Describe a way you could help others in your town.
Persuades the reader to do something/believe a certain way Ex. Commercials & political speeches Letters to government officials or businesses may be persuasive writing
Persuade members of your community that vandalism could be decreased by adopting your proposed solution. Choose one aspect of your school that you believe could be improved. Write an essay to persuade your classmates to agree with your suggested change. Technology is advancing rapidly. Do you agree or disagree that technology has improved your life? Write a persuasive essay in which you convince the reader of your position.
Requires professional writing style and letter format Ex. business letters, job applications, letters to the editor States purpose, provides background/context, addresses the needs of the audience Clear, efficient, formal language Appropriate technical terms
Write a letter to the school paper in which you argue for or against the proposal. Write a letter to your parents in which you explain why you would benefit from a new computer.
You must be able to recognize what mode of writing a writing prompt requires Verbs are useful clues › Ie. ‘persuade’ ‘explain’ ‘describe’
1. List the four modes of writing. › Narrative, persuasive, expository/descriptive, letters 2. Give an example of persuasive writing. › Commercials and political speeches 3. List a “clue word” for expository writing. › Explain
Introduction › Presents the topic clearly/briefly, gets audience interested Body › Each major idea in one paragraph › Longest section, includes details › Topic sentences, transitions, and specific details in each paragraph to support the central idea of that paragraph Conclusion › Briefly summarizes, extends/elaborates › DO NOT simply repeat what you’ve said – provide a final bit of insight on your topic › DO NOT introduce new ideas not discussed in essay
Choose your structure in a way that best suits the prompt, thesis, and main points. Examples: › Cause and effect › Chronological order › Comparison and contrast › Detailed description › Opinion and supporting arguments › Stages of a process › Definition and examples › Problems and solutions
Briefly describes what you will include in each part After deconstructing the prompt, brainstorming, and free-writing, develop your outline May or may not include complete sentences – but should have a complete thesis Don’t be afraid to revise – make changes as needed and let it serve as a guide
Prompt: In a letter to students on a U.S. airbase in Germany, describe what life is like for students at your school. › Introduction: Tell the students that I’m describing what life is like for students at my high school. Tell them that, for me, the three most important things about Chandler High School are the following: the good teachers, helpful staff, and friendly students; the intramural and varsity sports programs; and the performing arts programs. Thesis: At Chandler High School, positive relationships and diverse extracurricular opportunities enrich students’ lives on a daily basis. REMEMBER: Where should the thesis go?? What should be described before? › Idea #1: Teachers and students. Describe the many excellent and dedicated teachers, coaches, counselors, and other staff members. Describe the friendly students and interesting class discussions. › Idea #2: Sports programs. Describe the varsity sport teams: football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, golf, track and field. Let them know that a new swimming pool is being built. › Idea #3: Performing Arts programs. Describe the opportunities that students have to participate in orchestra, band, and smaller musical and vocal groups. Describe the opportunities to participate in dramas, musicals, and debate programs. › Conclusion: Sum up the three main ideas and close with a positive statement about my school and what life is like for students here.
Present ideas in a way that your readers will find understandable & compelling. Remember your audience and purpose. Organizing will provide you with a plan to more effectively communicate your ideas. Other options: › Graphic Organizers › Venn Diagrams (compare/contrast) › See provided handouts!
PROMPT: Many students in your high school have part-time jobs. School board members have expressed concern that students’ school performance suffers when they have jobs during the school year. Write an essay to your district’s school board members convincing them to agree with your position on whether or not students are negatively affected by jobs during the school year. › Deconstruct the Prompt. › Brainstorm. Free-write. Thesis. Outline.
One voice – hundreds of ways to use it. Friends? The principal? Police officer? Voice, word choice, and sentence structure… appropriate for the situation and audience.
Voice [ie. serious/formal, personal/informal] Casual or formal language? › Informal: I was totally wired after three cups of coffee. › Formal: I was extremely tense after three cups of coffee. › Informal: I crashed after that exam. › Formal: I was exhausted after that exam.
Rewrite the following sentences from casual language into formal language. › Theresa thought the essay was a snap. › Rosa is all hyped up about the party. › The movie was awesome. › Martin really blew it on his history exam. › Bill inhaled his sandwich at lunch.
Dictionary and Thesaurus › Dictionary: spelling, synonyms, examples, definitions › Thesaurus: find words that can be used as substitutes › These are available to you – USE THEM!
General words and phrases describe a class/category – ex. dog Specific words and phrases describe a member of a class/category – ex. beagle, Jim’s beagle, Sebastion Use general words for summing up, specific words for supporting your ideas Specific words, vivid images, and familiar examples bring your writing to life
General Writing: › There was this guy. He went somewhere and met another guy. They talked, and then they did some other stuff. Then they went home. The end. › But… Who were they? What did they say? What did they do? General = vague. › INSTEAD: Provide descriptive details, use specific words and phrases, make it interesting
Use a mature vocabulary, but don’t go overboard trying to impress readers Avoid repetition, or using two words together that mean the same thing (ex. plentiful and abundance) Don’t use a word unless you’re sure of its meaning – look it up! Use words correctly, and watch out for commonly mistaken words (ex. their, there, they’re) Go back and look for words you’ve used frequently, then use a thesaurus to find stronger synonyms Go back and look for words that lack interest or originality (ie. good, bad, pretty, ugly) and use a thesaurus to find stronger synonyms
Replace each general phrase with a more specific word or phrase. › Earring › Car › Shoes › Flower › Store
Comparisons between two things › Simile: uses like or as (Mark runs like a deer) › Metaphor: states/implies one thing is another (Mark is a deer when he runs) › BE CAREFUL: Avoid cliches, or commonly use and worn out similes/metaphors – ie. “Derek is as skinny as a toothpick” vs. “Derek could hide behind a broomstick”
#1: Grabber – carefully designed first sentence to create a certain effect, in hopes of grabbing the attention of the audience Simple, compound, complex sentences – use variety
Expresses one complete thought. Subject: person, place, thing, or idea that the rest of the sentence is about Predicate: describes what the subject is or does Ex. [Christy][blurs with speed.]
Incomplete sentences, missing subject or predicate Be sure to go back and check for/revise fragments during revision Examples › Blazed past three defenders. › Because the score was tied at the end.
Two or more simple sentences joined in one sentence, expressing two or more complete thoughts. Each complete thought = independent clause Ex. The final buzzer sounded, and the game was over. Ex. Everyone cheered loudly; the girls’ team had just beaten the boys’. Ex. There is only one reason why she would behave so strangely: she has a crush on him.
To make a compound sentence, one option is to use a comma and a coordinating conjunction. Remember that both clauses must be independent (can stand alone) Examples › Christy smiled, but she did not speak.
Another option is to combine two independent clauses into a compound sentence using a semicolon. Examples › Christy smiled; she did not speak.
One might also create a compound sentence using a colon between two independent clauses when one answers something about the clause before it. Example › There was only one explanation: the train arrived late.
Contains an independent clause and a dependent clause. Some may use a subordinating conjunction, which joins two clauses and makes one less important than the other. › Example: Before the game had begun, Christy had made a speech to her team. She told them to be good sports so the boys wouldn’t feel bad about losing.
Examples: › After, before, although, because, how, except that, even though, if, once, provided that, so, so that, than, while, which, where, when, until, unless, though, etc.
Contains at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause. Example: Christy was proud of her team, for although they were excited, they didn’t taunt the boys.
“I wanted to learn to ski. I didn’t know how hard it would be. I didn’t get to ski more than once. I spent my entire vacation with my leg in a cast. I sipped hot chocolate. I sat in front of the fire.” What’s wrong with this passage? What type of sentences are used? PRACTICE: Revise this passage in the space provided using different types of sentence structures. When you’re finished, identify the types you incorporated.
Paragraphs: › Begin on a new, indented line › Clearly focus on one important idea that supports the thesis › Begins with a topic sentence: The stated main idea of the paragraph › Continues with a body: Sentences supporting the topic sentence with details, examples, and commentary › Ends with concluding sentence: Wraps up the information of the paragraph and leads the reader to the next paragraph
Logical and coherent DO NOT LOSE FOCUS Sentences should fit together naturally, flowing easily from one to the next Ordered carefully – building on what came before PRACTICE: Complete the practice hand-out provided. (BD, p. 46)
Words, phrases, or sentences that help the reader understand how your ideas fit together to support your topic. Make your writing easier to read by creating a natural flow of ideas between sentences and paragraphs. Ex. “In addition to,” “Moreover,” “Equally important,”
Check your writing for spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence construction/variety, and paragraph organization. Are the ideas focused, engaging, and clearly expressed? Is the writing presented in a form that is readable and attractive?
Is my paper written for the correct audience? Does my paper contain a strong main idea? Does my paper stay focused on my main idea? Does my paper contain specific ideas that support my main idea? Does my paper have a clear beginning, middle, and end? Are my ideas logical and easy to follow? Does my paper contain interesting and meaningful words? Are they specific? Does my paper contain varied sentences that are clear? Does my paper contain correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar?
REMEMBER: Have minimal errors in spelling and grammar, and write as legibly as possible! › Revision Strategies › Sentence Fluency › Wordiness and Redundancy › Editing and Proofreading
HINT: Read the entire essay before you begin revising. Do not revise sentence by sentence. You need to get across the general message or idea first. Your revision will be much more successful this way, and the revised essay will be better organized.
Revise by adding, deleting, rewording, and rearranging. Use a dictionary and thesaurus. Use the checklist provided in the test. Use proofreading marks.
Word Choice › Check for wordiness, overly fancy when simple works, redundancy, overuse, inappropriate/informal Sentence Fluency: › Check for variety, flow, and correctness
Edit for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. › Know your faults. › Look for one type of mistake at a time. › Improve sentence fluency. › Look for fragments/run-ons. › Eliminate slang/informal language
After editing, check your final copy to make sure it is just the way you want it and no new errors have been introduced. › Check to see that it is legible! › Give the text a “fresh read” from beginning to end › Read the paper backward – each sentence separately.
Have all necessary changes from the editing stage been made? Have any new errors been introduced? Is the handwriting legible? Is everything just the way I want it?
How well-developed are your ideas? How well-supported are your ideas? Do you have interesting details? Do your ideas all connect to form a clear message?
What is the best thing you can do to make sure that you get a high score for ideas and content? › Prewriting! Deconstruct the prompt, brainstorm, free-write, outline. Choose the best ideas.
Who is my audience, or who is my paper being written for? › Ex. “your fellow students” › Important: writing to convince your peers to your way of thinking What is the purpose of my essay? › Ex. “convince” – to persuade Do I have enough details to support my ideas? › Min. 3 supporting details for each body paragraph › Ex. If you stated that school uniforms are a bad idea because they are too expensive for many students, you are going to need to support that claim. › Details might include: The price of an average school uniform, the average amount of available money students have to spend on clothes, and the issue of being forced to purchase something a student may not want.
Introduction (8-12 sentences) › Grabber (1-2 short sentences) Ex. Quote, anecdote/story, rhetorical question › Background on the topic (3-4 sentences) › Interesting and engaging outline of main points to discuss in the essay (3-4 sentences) › Smooth transition into the thesis › A clear, logical thesis statement in the last sentence (1 sentence) Ex. Modern-day video games are far too dangerous because they contribute to violence among teenagers and society. Ex. Violent video games are forms of entertainment and should not be blamed for violence among teens.
Write a specific and complete thesis for and against each of the following topics: › Topic: Mandatory drug testing for professional athletes › Topic: School uniforms
An effective introduction combines the following elements: › Grabber › Transition/set-up › Thesis Makes your opinion immediately clear States the reason(s) for your opinion
REMEMBER: All ideas in the body should connect to your thesis. It is your job to convince a reader why your viewpoint is correct. You will need to provide plenty of support to make a strong argument. Let’s talk numbers here… › 2? 3? 4? What works?
Paragraph 1: Introduction Paragraph 2: Discuss first subtopic from thesis. › Ex. Explain how the dress code will discourage cliques. Paragraph 3: Discuss second subtopic from thesis. › Ex. Explain how the dress code will discourage judgmental behavior among students. Paragraph 4: Mention any counterarguments and explain why they are wrong. › Ex. People who oppose the dress code due to ruining student freedom are incorrect because… Paragraph 5: Conclusion › Summarize main points, restate thesis (NOT REPEAT), end on a powerful/passionate note – inspire your reader to action.
Unique way of expressing yourself Must recognize your audience Commitment/enthusiasm Ex. Persuasive writing = voice that shows dedication to the issue; take a firm stance and do not back down › Ex. “I think that a dress code is a great idea because…” › What would strengthen the confidence of this voice?
DO NOT USE: › I think/believe or similar structures › Why? States the obvious. Unnecessary and redundant. Diminishes the strength of your argument.
REMEMBER: Your voice is unique, don’t be afraid to express it so long as you continuously acknowledge your audience. Let your passion and enthusiasm shine through with your choice of words. Do not use “I think/believe” etc.
Stronger words = more effective Specific vs. general Use the thesaurus! Rewrite the following sentences using more meaningful, vivid words. › Dinner last night was good. › The chocolate cake was good. › He walked by with an angry look on his face. › The small child began to cry.
Structure, rhythm, and flow › Varied structures Simple, compound, complex, compound complex Varied punctuation › Flows well and sounds natural › What is the best way to check the sentence fluency in your essay? Read it out loud! (In your head, of course)
Rewrite the following sentences to improve the variety and fluency. › I had to go to the store. I needed to buy apples. I needed to buy bananas. I also needed paper towels. › I only had one reason for not completing my homework. I procrastinated and ran out of time. › She exercises in the gym every morning because she wants to maintain good fitness and a healthy lifestyle so that when she gets older she’ll be able to maintain good fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
Fragments: › Incomplete sentence › Ex. I always look forward to the weekends because I get to sleep in late. Really late. Run-ons: › Go on and on without observing the rules of proper punctuation › Ex. My favorite place to vacation is in Santa Barbara, California because it is beautiful and I love the ocean and the salty air and my family always finds delicious places to eat. What is the best way to check for these? › Read it out loud! (in your head, of course)
Use a variety of sentence structures and punctuation Do not overuse a particular type of structure or punctuation Read your writing aloud to see if it flows Check for fragments and run-ons
Proper spelling, grammar, punctuation What is the most important thing you can do to help your score in conventions? › PROOFREAD your essay! Do not assume that it is error free. Chances are, there will be several errors that can be caught and corrected by just reading over your essay.
Use a dictionary to check for spelling The essay is not timed – look up every word if you want The grader will have no sympathy for misspelled words knowing you had this resource available to you
Verb Tense Agreement › Be sure to use the same verb tense throughout your essay › If you start writing in the present tense, you need to stick with it › If you start writing in the past tense, you need to stick with it › This is an easy error to fix when you take the time to proofread and catch it Ex. The Grapes of Wrath is a story about a family traveling to California. They travel with few belongings, and they suffered for much of the journey. Where does the verb tense change? Correct the error and rewrite the correct version in your notes.
Rewrite the following sentence to correct the change in verb tense. › People may say that professional sports had lost their appeal due to superficial requests that are made by players and the outrageous salaries that they demanded.
Remember which words require capital letters and how to write them properly. Examples that require them: › The first word of a sentence › Names of people (first and last) › Names of cities, states, towns › Names of famous monuments and parks › Months of the year and days of the week › Works of art and literature
Commas, periods, semicolons, colons, dashes, etc. DO NOT use exclamation points or question marks Commas: › Separate items in a list › Precede a coordinating or subordinating conjunction › Placed after a dependent clause
Rewrite the following to include commas where required. › I went to the movies with Sara Katie and Rose. › We had a great time on Saturday but I wish we had gotten home earlier. › As she walked down the street she thought about her day at school.
Use a dictionary when you are unsure Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation What is the best way to increase your conventions score? › PROOFREAD! › Read over slowly and carefully, reading it out loud (in your mind, of course)
1. Read the prompt carefully. 2. Use your time wisely. 3. Plan your writing. 4. Be thorough. 5. Revise and edit your work. 6. Make sure your response is legible. 7. Rest, eat breakfast, relax.
Tells a story, focusing on relating a sequence of events and actions Plot, character(s), setting, narrator (the voice) Point of view: › DO NOT USE SECOND PERSON! “You” › Stay consistent, if you begin in first-person, stay in first-person
Establish a specific setting › Describes where and when the story takes place › Ex. Season, weather, time of day, point in history, geographic location, landscape, surroundings, etc. › Use specific details to describe the sights, sounds, and smells of the scene
Develop the character(s) › Include specific details to bring them to life › Show them to your readers using thoughts, words, and actions › Use dialogue and descriptions of the character’s actions, expressions, and feelings to show what kind of person he/she is
Base the plot on a conflict › In almost every story, the main character has a central problem – or conflict › Ex. person-person, nature-person, person-self, etc. › What does this character want most – and why? What is blocking the character from getting what he or she wants?
Follow an organized structure › Sequences of events › Establish significance of events and how they affect the characters › Evens must be connected but not necessarily listed › Should have a clear beginning, middle, and end Beginning: establishes main character(s), setting, central problem Middle: character(s) attempt to solve the problem, often facing complications End: Plot reaches high point – or climax – followed by a resolution
Keep your reader’s attention › Grab and keep the audience’s interest › Pace events so they are fast enough to keep interest, but not so fast that the reader can’t enjoy what’s going on or feels rushed › Do not tell how everything will turn out from the beginning – reveal clues and let the audience discover things as they go along
Use a range of strategies and literary devices Develop your style › Figurative language (ie. similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole, etc.) › Specific, sensory language and concrete details – use the 5 senses › Effective paragraphing – remember, every idea gets its own paragraph › Also – when using dialogue, begin a new paragraph when a new character is being quoted
Focus your story on a main idea and a theme › Main idea – what is your story about? › Ex. Romeo and Juliet: two young people, whose families are bitter enemies, fall in love. › Theme – message you want to convey to readers › Ex. Love is more powerful than hate.
Words with Power › DO NOT rely to heavily on adjectives and adverbs › Consider strengthening verbs and nouns for increased effect Ex. After dark, the boys entered the woods, which were dark and full of animal sounds. Revised: Shortly after the stars began to wink in the night sky, the boys entered the dark and sinister woods, which were filled with the sounds of hooting owls, chattering raccoons, and the muffled cluck and chuckle of night birds.
Everyone has a pet with whom we like to spend time. Write a narrative about a time when you and a person or pet spent an enjoyable day together. › Your narrative should include: A description of the setting Specific and appropriate details A clear sequence of events
Convincing or inspiring others to hold a certain opinion or take a specific action. States a position clearly in the thesis – not to be confused with stating the subject: it is your position on the subject
Supports position and arguments with compelling and relevant evidence Choose points carefully – use those that will be persuasive to your audience, not just you Anticipate the concerns of your readers and address them well
Jumping to conclusions or making generalizations without enough support Presenting opinions as facts Suggesting that since once event happened before another that it must have caused the second without a proven cause/effect link Saying that only two options are possible when there may be more Ignoring evidence that doesn’t support your argument
Organize information in a logical, easy-to- understand format The structure will depend on your topic, audience, and your writing style Some possibilities: › Give an opinion and support it with 2-3 well-explained reasons › Give an opinion. Present the opposite viewpoint, then given reasons against that opposite view › Give an opinion. Present the opposite viewpoint. Admit that the opposite view has some merit, but then show how your opinion is better.
Choose a tone that is appropriate to your audience and purpose › Respectful, formal, confident › NOT: disrespectful (to opposition or anyone else), informal, or hesitant (ie. I think…)
Select one thing about your school that you would like to see changed. It might deal with the lunchroom, homework, sports, class requirements, or any other aspect of school life. Write an essay to persuade your classmates to agree with your suggested change. Your essay should include: › A clearly stated position. › Strong arguments and evidence. › Persuasive word choice. › *Remember to edit for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.
“Explanatory” writing You play the role of the expert Your job is to explain as clearly as possible your special knowledge of the subject Addresses the: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
Provide a clear description of your subject and the purpose in your thesis Choose an organizational strategy appropriate to the purpose, audience, and context of the subject
Examples: › Define or classify an idea and give examples › Explore a problem and give possible solutions › Examine causes and effects › Present a main idea and supporting information (details, reasons, facts, examples, etc.) › Compare and contrast two subjects › Analyze a whole by looking at its parts
Is exactly that. Describe! THE FIVE SENSES
There are many opportunities for volunteers to help others in your town. Write an essay describing a way you could help others in your town. Support your ideas with plenty of details. Your essay should include: › An effective introduction, body, and conclusion. › Specific and appropriate details. › A clear organization.
Business letters, scholarship letters, letters to the editor, job applications, college admission letters, etc. Use the appropriate letter format – block style
Your Address Date Recipient’s Address Salutation (greeting) Body Complimentary Close Signature
Formal communication – straightforward and serious tone You want to be taken seriously? Write seriously. Polite and respectful – no matter the audience.
Get to the point Clearly state WHO YOU ARE WHY YOU ARE WRITING Straightforward and direct Ex. › Mr. Mayor, I am writing to urge you and the city council to strongly oppose the proposal to close Kinkaid Park, paving the way for construction of high-rise apartments on the land.
Describe the necessary background concerning the problem Brief and cocise – NOT a drawn-out story Ex. As you know, this park has served the city’s needs for more than 65 years. Its playgrounds, tennis courts, ball fields, and picnic areas are used by about 30% of the city’s citizens.
Yes, I’m really saying it again. ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF YOUR AUDIENCE. You are not simply thinking of what YOU want and need. You are thinking about what your readers need and want. They will find it easier to agree with you when they know what’s in it for them. Ex. The high-rise project could be constructed between 9 th and 11 th streets, along Desert Avenue; this land has already been zoned for multi-family housing.
Answer the Who/What/When/Where/How/Why/Whe n so they don’t have to look BUT – exclude unnecessary information and keep it concise (to the point!)
Formal language often requires precise terminology But avoid useless and unnecessary jargon… Carefully edit and poroofread as always – checking for language appropriateness and audience awareness
Topic sentences still required Each main thought should still have it’s own paragraph, and organized with a clear progression from beginning to middle to end Don’t forget your transitions…
Members of the local school board are proposing that students complete 75 hours of community service as a part of high school graduation requirements. High school students will be allowed to vote on the issue, and their views will be taken into consideration. Write a letter to the school paper in which you argue for or against the proposal.
Your letter should include… › An introduction, body, and conclusion › A clearly stated position › Specific and appropriate reasons › Persuasive word choice › Edited for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.