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English 10: Class Notes  October 31, 2001

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In this week's class, students worked together in a writing exercise called, Essay on Cheating: A Group Revision Workshop

What follows are a series of student examples with teacher comments in italics.

Student Example (revision):

1-Cheating have very bad follows, once for the people for the people that do something like that, and to the other hand for us.

2-Cheating has very bad results, so we must do something to stop the increase of cheating at the schools or colleges.

The first version included more detail on the results of cheating. The other version directs us more to act on the cheating itself. This is a good example of looking again at what you are actually saying and revising for that reason. (teacher comment)

Student Example (anecdote):

I remember twenty-four years ago one of our friends took an English exam instead of someone else. A teacher caught him and both of them failed. He wanted to help his friend, but it was very risky for both of them.

This is called impersonation, a form of cheating we didn't discuss. The anecdote acts as a "hook" to catch the reader's interest; the better the story, the better it works. (teacher comment)

Student Example (metaphor):

It is just like a mouse is biting the roots of a tree; it breaks the rules of the school, and also the values of society. We can't wait until the tree has collapsed.

This seems interesting and is simple to understand. This uses "metaphor," specifically simile (using "like" to make the comparison). Using these kinds of comparisons is very powerful, mainly because they are usually visual and show us what you mean. (teacher comment)

Student Example (diction):

Cheating has polluted our school environment.

The student likes the specific word "polluted" because it fits well to the writer's meaning. Such a serious word suits the seriousness of the problem. This is a comment on "diction." (teacher comment)

Student Example (sarcasm):

Cheating may range from asking direct answers from parents to "exquisitely" plagiarizing from the 'Net.

The quotation marks on 'exquisitely' are used by the writer to indicate he really means its opposite. This is sarcasm, which is words to mean the opposite. For example, your friend is angry with you and says, "Thanks very much!" Temperatures range from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. (teacher comment)

Student Example (anecdote):

One day my aunt came to complain that her fourteen-year-old boy had been caught for copying homework from his schoolmate. I was shaken to know the story. We had heard about copyright for published books; now, an awareness comes out of how students would get into cheating.

Use of the short sentence is effective for two reasons: it gets attention and it reflects the meaning of "shock" well. The second sentence needed to have a semicolon, as it is really two complete sentences that are related. (teacher comment)

 

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