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The following notes come from a student practice session on writing improvement. Includes samples of student writing and teacher comments (in italics).

The Five "Ws" and One "H"


Student Writing

Although I couldn’t swim so much in the baby pool, my son felt excited (exciting), and I shared the enjoyment (enjoy) with him.—21 words

Don’t be afraid to write a compound-complex sentence sometimes. Note how the sentence starts with a dependent clause and also includes a compound at the end. It is important to master the long sentence to aid your sentence variety for tests.

I was on (played) the computer all last weekend.

We play games on the computer. We work on the computer. Mostly, we are “on” the computer. We also type “on” the keyboard.

It’s daylight (summer) saving time. The correct term for the time change on Sunday morning is “daylight saving time.”

I woke up at 6 a.m. and after I took a walk around my neighbourhood (house) with my dog, who (which) is called “Terry,” I took my son to air cadets at 9 a.m.

This sentence shows a progression of time and events in order. Another way to write a longer sentence is to include a series of activities you do.

Teacher Sample


Shopping for Nothing at Ikea

     On Saturday morning, my wife and I got up early as usual, looked out the window, saw the rain coming down, and decided to go to Ikea. We couldn’t walk the dog, for she hates the rain. My children were still sleeping. In fact, they wouldn’t get up for hours, so we thought a drive out to Ikea would be a good idea. I had an idea that we could buy a new desk for our computer, which is in a tricky place for a desk—beside a wall with a pocket door and near a bright window. The desk, if we could find one, would ideally have a curve to better fit into our space. We measured first. Unfortunately, our measuring tapes measure only in inches, not centimetres. At Ikea, of course, all measurements are in centimetres! When we arrived at Ikea, just before 11 a.m., we noticed quite a few cars in the parking lot. We discovered why later because the office furniture area is beside the cafeteria. If you arrive early, you can eat breakfast for one dollar! We weren’t hungry, however, so we went to the desk area and started looking. Ikea has many desks, but it does not have the one right desk for us! We gave up after about 45 minutes and tried across the road at Staples. We saw some interesting desks, but nothing exactly right. In the end, we returned home empty handed. Our children were still sleeping, but, because we are mean parents, we woke them up!





 

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