Afternoon Advanced Composition:
1. The examples should be specific. (original; better
to say unique or not like others) If so, they will also be interesting.
2. You should have a clear topic in the first sentence
and a conclusion in the final sentence.
3. The whole paragraph should be focussed on your
topic. All things are more complicated than you can show in 100 words
and all things have positive and negative aspects. BUT there is no need
to provide perfect balance in a short paragraph.
4. Body paragraphs are part of an essay so should have
a clear relationship to the thesis statement AND to each other.
5. These paragraphs have been carefully revised,
corrected, and so on before they are complete.
6. It should be written in a formal tone. Sometimes,
students use a word like “stuff” which has a bit too informal tone.
7. The paragraph should read “smoothly” (using
conjunctions to make sentences longer may help). Coherence is the word
teachers use to describe this.
8. It should have an appropriate length, not too short
and not too long for its purpose. Also, remember that long paragraphs
Evening Advanced Composition
1. The most important point is how to choose the main
idea. What is it? (stay ON topic and not OFF topic) Make sure the
details match the main idea.
2. You should be clear and specific in your
3. The overall structure of the paragraph should be
smooth. (We could use conjunctions to increase sentence length. Readers
get confused if you jump around too far from the stated main idea [topic
4. Make your sentences and ideas original. This is
very difficult to do with actual "how we state" in a sentence, but quite
important in "what we state" in a sentence.
5. Should have a concluding sentence BUT it is hard to
figure out how to write one. We need to practice this skill.
6. Check your verb tense. (present tense for facts;
the "perfect" tenses are really important. I have gone swimming at
Canada Games Pool for five years.
7. Give enough examples to understand the main idea.
BUT one good example can be enough, especially in a short essay on a
fairly common sense topic.
8. One body paragraph should be understood to be
related to the two (or more) others in the essay.
9. Transitional phrases or sentences should occur at
the beginning of the second, third and further paragraphs. Body one
topic is "I really love the physical side of swimming." To begin body
paragraph 2, say "Not only is swimming a joy physically, but it is also
a wonderful mental exercise." The previous sentence "hooks" to the
content found in body 1 and leads the reader naturally to body 2.
Morning Literature and Composition 4
1. A good paragraph must have a definite topic or main
idea or clear idea. It is on only one idea. It is like when we have a
small house or apartment, we can only fit in so many guests. The
paragraph has limited space, so should only have just enough to fill it.
2. Many students feel that they must show another side
to any idea to be fair. However, in this culture, it makes you seem
undecided or confused.
3. The main idea requires support. This support is
given in examples or details. How much is enough? Two or three will be
enough OR enough to satisfy the reader about your main idea. It depends
on how well known the idea may be to the average reader.
4. Use descriptive words to make good paragraphs. Use
quality materials. One of the best ways to improve writing is to learn
quality verbs. I walked home sadly. I trudged home. He slept peacefully.
He dozed peacefully. Using adjectives and adverbs may help, too. Strong
nouns are important, also. BENZ is a good car and the man or woman who
drives one shows something to other people.
5. A good paragraph has a topic sentence, details, and
a concluding sentence. Beginning, a middle, and an end.
6. Ideas should follow some kind of organization.
Chronological order is very common. What happens first, then what
happens second, and what happens last. When we compare, we could say
something about one thing and then about the other. Then, repeat. OR all
about one thing, then all about the other. Another way is by how
important or strong an idea is in your opinion. Put your second best
idea first, your least best idea second (the middle of the sandwich) and
your very best idea last.
7. The way we think is NOT the way we should organize
a paragraph. Thinking is very messy, unorganized, and difficult to
8. Should I say “I think. . .” OR “in my opinion” in a
paragraph? Usually not, but in special cases (TOEFL) if you are asked
directly and the examples suggest it is okay, then go ahead. For
example, if you wish to show how your opinion is different from others,
you may need to.
9. Closing sentences support the topic, but state it
in a different way. Use synonyms or a noun instead of adjective, for
example to make it more interesting.
10. Grammar, spelling and other “mechanical” problems
at the sentence level should be fixed (as much as possible) before a
teacher sees it.