This week, the class worked together in a Writer's Workshop on the essay.
In it, we discussed essay titles, introductions and conclusions, body
paragraphs, use of the thesis, and topic sentences. Teacher comments are
in italics. See the original
Morning Class (Afternoon
Stephen’s Title: Sweat, Laughter,
Tears, and More OR SWEAT, LAUGHTER, TEARS, AND MORE
Essays take a title. Titles are either ALL CAPITALS or the major
or meaningful words (and not the “ands” and “the” unless it is
the first word)
A title should interest the reader in reading, and encourages more
people to read it. When writing a title, imagine you are a fisherman,
trying to hook a fish.
The title should reflect the content, honestly. It is not a
sentence; it is a phrase.
Nina’s Introduction and Title
On the Way to English
Have you ever learned a new language? We have. We are our family. Our
family decided to immigrate to Canada ten years ago and came two years
ago. The first problem we faced was a new language—the English
language. We HAVE had a lot of difficulties as well as fun and pleasure
on our way to English.
A question to begin is not always a good idea, but in this case it
works well. Use the present perfect tense correctly and you will amaze
your teacher. Then, a short sentence gets my attention. Use them for
We replaced the hyphen before “English language” with a dash
made using Alt + 0151 (Number pad). We also made a correction to add “the”
and created a nice parallel with “a new language.”
Make sure your thesis is general enough to comfortably include all
your body paragraph topics. Nina’s thesis is good and needed only the
addition of “have” to include the idea that the difficulties are not
yet, nor ever will be finished.
Ching Ching’s Topic Sentences:
1. Depending on MY pronunciation skill, some English words are
difficult to [FOR] me, especially WHEN the word MAKES ME curve MY tongue
like “l,” and “r.”
This is quite specific topic sentence, including examples.
However, the information on the “l” and the “r” is quite
specific and should be used as a detail sentence within the paragraph.
2. Gender of pronouns is another big problem FOR me.
The body paragraph two topic sentence is a typical, good example.
It is clear, effective, and the controlling idea “big problem” will
be explained in the examples, I trust.
3. About two years ago, I had a chance to visit Golden with my wife. Another
problem occurs when I use my English in public.
Here, it is not clear exactly what Ching Ching is going to tell us
about. Actually, the example is about a communication problem that
occurred while ordering food in a restaurant.
In conclusion, I can say that every person has his own way and his
own experience studying a new language. But I know that we have to love
this new language to be successful and we have to be ready to come
through difficulties, which inevitably will BE on our way to knowledge.
The good news is that the final sentence is an excellent example
of a concluding sentence to an essay on learning language. It refers
generally back to your content and makes a prediction to end.
The bad news is that you have forgotten to restate your thesis.
You could say the following:
In conclusion, learning English can be both difficult and
Afternoon Class Notes
Wendy: Like a Kid while Learning English
Inaya: Some of my Experiences in a New Language
Cecilia: Being a Fool while Studying a New Language
First rule of titles is capitalizing the first word. The second
rule is to capitalize the major words of the title.
Both titles are correct in that they are not sentences, but rather
In the real world, a title is your first and only chance to hook
the reader like a fish by a fisherman.
An introduction is shorter than the body. Introduction contains
the thesis, which is found at the end of the paragraph (not the
beginning as in a body paragraph).
Learning English for me is just like a kid [is-omit] walking along a
long way that is full of challenge, embarrassment, and excitement. From
hundreds and thousands [times-omit] of mistakes, I have gradually grown
up from toddler to kid. As a kid looks forward to learning more about
this world by asking questions, I eagerly want to know, through studying
[through the study of] English pronunciation, reading and speaking,
about a new culture.
Wendy has echoed words in her title in the first sentence. This is
an effective technique to alert the reader and is called repetition.
The thesis was originally in two sentences; however, the students
agreed that it needs to be stated in a single sentence.
There are other, perhaps better, ways to make any sentence you
write. Consider each sentence to be “plastic” in nature and not “concrete”
See Teacher Sample Essay
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