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  English 10: Current Worksheet (Fall, 2004)


English 10: Preparing for the Certificate Test

November 24, 2004

This week, we will spend time discussing what we need to know (and do) to successfully prepare for the upcoming Certificate Tests.


Essay Marking System: CSFM

Conventions: These are the basic parts of your writing: the spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. Teachers look for the number of errors made and, more importantly, to see if these errors make it hard to understand your writing.

Form: This is the order of your writing and how easy it is to follow your ideas. In an essay, for example, teachers examine how well your introduction, body, and conclusion work together and how logical your order of ideas is inside each paragraph. (See class notes with tips for good essays on Page 2 of this handout)

Style: Here, your sentence variety and knowledge of idiom and vocabulary are very important. How fluent is your language? Are your sentences precise? To excel, a student needs a good repertoire of sentence types, along with a strong vocabulary. (View the Advanced Composition Worksheet Archive)

Meaning: Teachers look here for signs of your developing voice in writing. The more individual (meaning your ideas are specific to your own experience and you have conveyed them well) the better. Are your ideas convincing? Are they mature? Originality counts here. Remember the rule: Show, Don't Tell!


Showing versus Telling

To "show" means to demonstrate. To "tell" means to assert

"He is sloppy" is telling.

"His shoelaces are untied, his socks are mismatched, his shirt is untucked, and his face is unwashed" is showing.

In order to convince your readers, make sure to show with details exactly what you mean.

Save your assertions for the topic and controlling sentences.


Student Ideas for Successful Test Essays



Simple and short so it is understood quickly.

Specific and clear. Specifically connected to the essay’s main ideas.

Short and interesting.

My Garden. My Gardening Skill. A Gardening Failure.

Short, interesting, and fancy. Short phrase, not sentence. Clear and concise. (condensed, like soup) Attractive, to make the reader want to read the essay. Capitalize all words except the small words (a, the, an, for and so on). Or, capitalize the whole word.

A topic is not a title! A title should be an honest label of the contents of your particular essay.

Write the title as your last job.



Not too general and not too narrow compared to the body paragraphs.

Should contain a thesis sentence that conveys the main, controlling idea of the essay and is generally found at the final position.

Don’t give away too much. Save the details for the body.

Introductions are general compared to the ideas in the essay, but related directly to the ideas in the essay.

Put a thesis statement in the paragraph. This is the most important sentence of your whole essay and needs to be the most carefully written. Thesis is the essay topic sentence.


Body paragraphs (3)

Examples, descriptions, and details are needed. Should contain a concluding sentence.

Topic sentences are strongly related by idea to the concluding sentence.

Put your second best paragraph first. Put your best paragraph last. Put your weakest in the middle.

The body supports the thesis and gives examples that support the thesis. The body is the meat of the sandwich. Body paragraphs are standard design paragraphs: topic sentence, detailed examples, and a concluding sentence. Make it easy for the reader to follow you from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph (transitions). Keep to one topic in one paragraph. Each of these topics relates directly to the thesis.



Conclusion is approximately the same size as the introduction.

Often contains a final opinion or prediction related to the topic.

Concludes or summarizes the body ideas without exactly repeating them.

Restate your thesis as the first sentence of the conclusion. At the very end you could give a suggestion, give an opinion, make a prediction and so on. Summarize the ideas of the body, without repeating everything point-by-point.



Lots of useless sentences.

Use only sufficient sentences to convey the ideas. Be careful of unnecessary repetition.


I have no ideas!

Take more time to think. Go for a walk! Read more; experience more; know more. Be curious about everything.


Missing ideas in the conclusion sentence.

Check it again to be sure.


How to start?

Always a problem. Write whatever comes into your head in the first draft. Write the whole essay as a single, huge paragraph. Break all the rules! The structure can be adjusted later and repeatedly.


Organizing all this stuff is difficult.

So, don’t try to be too organized at the beginning: brainstorm or write ideas down or write vocabulary or write a huge long paragraph without any breaks. Don’t try to write a fully formed essay from scratch.


Sentence structures inside the body paragraphs can be difficult.

For any sentence or idea, many ways exist to express it. Try a few!


Poetry: Preparing for the 5 Marks on the Reading Section

If you can pass this quiz, you have nothing to worry about! If not, read the notes below for a detailed discussion. REMEMBER: There are only 5 marks allocated to these concepts on the Grade 10 Certificate Test!

Sound in Poetry Quiz


Assonance is when the middle vowel sound is the same (or very similar) in two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line AND the consonant sounds at the beginning and end are different.

“Slot” and “frog” and “rock” have assonance on the “aw” sound in the middle of the word.

Consonance is when the ending consonant sound is the same (or very similar) in two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line AND the vowel sounds in the middle are different (and the consonant sound at the beginning is the same or different)

“Flight” and “mat” have consonance on the “t” sound at the end of the word.

Rhyme is when two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line have the same vowel and consonant sound at the end of the word OR have the same vowel sound at the end.

“Way” rhymes with “say” and “mat” rhymes with “cat.”

Feminine rhyme is when two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line have two or more of the same vowel and consonant sounds at the end of the word.

“Boring” rhymes on two syllables with “soaring” and “pouring” OR “orange” can make a rhyme with “door hinge.” Another good pair would be “happening” and “dampening.”

Words that rhyme inside a line are “internal rhymes.”

“I drank the fine wine

A group of lines in a poem is called a “stanza.”

A metaphor is a comparison between two different things in order to show a similarity.

To say “a man IS a tiger” is a metaphor to show the similarity of, perhaps, strength between the man and the tiger.

He is a real bear in the morning. (The man is compared to a bear just waking up in the springtime (grouchy and easily angry).

Alliteration is when two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line share the same consonant sound at the beginning of words.

“Shoot” and “shoe” show alliteration on the “sh” sound at the beginning. “So” and “sing” also show alliteration. REMEMBER that “s” and “sh” are not the same sound.

Masculine rhyme is when two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line have one of the same vowel and consonant sounds at the end of the word.

Simile is a special kind of metaphor, using “like” or “as.” The man is like a tiger. The man is as strong as a tiger.

In a poem the person who speaks the words you hear is called the “speaker.” (in a story, the same person is “narrator”) Sometimes, this person is the same as the poet or writer and sometimes not.

A narrative poem tells a story; a lyric poem expresses a feeling. Many poems combine the two.



Index of Fall 2004 Lessons


See the Spring 2004 Lessons

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