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How to be a BETTER Writer

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Paula Johnson

on 29 June 2016

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Transcript of How to be a BETTER Writer

How to be a BETTER Writer
Lesson 4: The "Boring" (but well-organized) Introduction Paragraph
Lesson 2: Write a Paragraph
Lesson 1: One Main Idea
Lesson 3: The Three Paragraph Essay in 60 Seconds!
Lesson 5: Interesting Introductions and Conclusions
What are the FIVE parts of a paragraph?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
In order of importance?
Take out a piece of paper and number 1-5 and take a guess. This is a lucrative opportunity!
What are the FIVE parts of a paragraph?
1. One main idea
2. Topic sentence
3. 5-7 sentences
4. Closing sentence
5. Indent; Spelling and punctuation
In order of importance?
Memorize
Hide your list.
Who can name one item off the list without looking?
Who can name two items off the list without looking?
Draw a Picture of a Paragraph
Put an X where the paragraph should be
indented.
Draw a line with a period at the end
to represent the topic sentence. The topic sentence tells the ONE MAIN IDEA.
Draw five more lines with periods then write 5-7 on top of them to represent 5-7 sentences.
Make a large circle for the last period and put a CS to represent the Closing Sentence.
Say the Five Parts of a Paragraph as fast as you Can!
Who thinks they can say them the fastest?

The Paper Set-Up
The magic words: "You are about to write a paragraph."
Whenever you hear these words automatically do this:

Put your name and date at the top right hand corner of the paper.
Put “Prewrite” on the top line in the middle.
Write “One Main Idea:” on the first line of your paper with the number 1 below it.
Make a cluster in the middle of your paper, put your pencil down and wait for the topic.

Turn over your paper.
NOW - draw the paper set-up from memory
Write a Paragraph Together: The Prewrite
Topic: “The Paragraph”
Write the topic above the word “Prewrite”.
One Main Idea: In one sentence, have the students explain what the paragraph is about.
The sentence can be written in many ways. An example would be “Writing a paragraph is easy.”
Think of five details that will support that main idea. You do not need to write complete sentences here.
Number the items in the cluster. Put them in the order that they will appear in the paragraph. This will help the paragraph have a smooth flow.
Write a Paragraph Together: The Paragraph
Below the middle line in the middle of the paper, put an X about an inch from the red margin. This is where the paragraph will begin.

The Topic Sentence: “What is a paragraph about?”
Answer:
What sentence tells the One Main Idea?
Answer:
Answer: One Main Idea.
Answer: The topic sentence
On your prewriting - point out the main idea.
Would this make a good topic sentence?
Grade 3 Level: “Writing a paragraph is easy.”
Grade 9 Level: “With only a few simple steps, anyone can write an outstanding paragraph.”
Supporting Details:

Write a sentence for each of the items in the cluster. Think of intelligent ways to write these sentences instead of boring simple sentences.

Closing Sentence:
Think of the closing sentence as the bow on the package. Whenever a gift is wrapped, the bow adds that nice final touch. The closing sentence does this for the paragraph.
The closing sentence can serve three purposes. First, it can summarize the one main idea. Since you’ve already written the one main idea, you can simply restate it at the end such as “If you know these simple steps, you will have no problem writing a paragraph.” Second, it can give final thoughts or opinions about the topic. An example would be “Following these steps is a good way to keep your writing organized.” Finally, it can serve as a transition to the next paragraph’s main idea. If your next paragraph is about how to write an essay, your closing sentence could be “You can follow these simple steps to master many other types of writing.”
Prewrite and Write a Paragraph
Topic:
A Funny Character in a Story
On the back of your paragraph list the five parts of a paragraph.
Somebody time me!!

“What is a paragraph?”

If I ask you to write a ONE-MILLION Paragraph Essay, how many main ideas will you need?

If I ask you to write a ONE-THOUSAND Paragraph Essay, how many main ideas will you need?

f I ask you to write a ONE-HUNDRED Paragraph Essay, how many main ideas will you need?

If I ask you to write a TEN-PARAGRAPH Essay, how many main ideas will you need?

The Grand Prize Question:

If I ask you to write a Three-Paragraph Essay, how many main ideas will you need?
Congratulations, you just learned how to write the Three-Paragraph Essay.

A three-paragraph essay is just
three
paragraphs about
a
topic. Therefore, simply think of three main ideas about the topic, write the paragraphs, and you’re done.
one million main ideas!
ONE MAIN IDEA
One thousand main ideas
Ten main ideas
Prewriting Practice for the Three-Paragraph Essay
When someone tells you to write an essay - set your paper up like this:

Write your topic on the top!
List your three main ideas!
List your supporting details for each of the three main ideas.
Prewriting Practice: List the Three Main Ideas
Topic: My Favourite Day of the Week
List the three main ideas:
Make sure you:
Select three main ideas that are related. Don’t select three main ideas that have nothing to do with each other.
For example, if the topic is “My Favorite Day of the Week”, you could use Saturday: 1. No School; 2.Play with my friends; 3. I was born on Saturday.
Which one of the three main ideas does NOT belong?

Do NOT
list the topic as one of the three main ideas. This is a very common mistake. The three main ideas explain the topic.

Each
main idea should be something that would make a good paragraph. If you cannot think of 5-7 things to say about it, then select another main idea.
#3 I was born on Saturday.
The first two are about activities, but the third is about something else.
Topic:
If you could choose any occupation for your future, what would it be?
You are going to write an essay...
Your paper should be like this already!
Write the topic and three main ideas.
You are going to write an essay...
Topic:
If you could go to any amusement park, which one would you select and why?
Write the topic and three main ideas.
Prewrite and Write a Paragraph
Topic:
What would you do if you won the lottery?
You are going to write an essay...
Topic:
If you could have one wish what would it be?
Write the topic and three main ideas.
You are going to write an essay...
Topic:
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
Write the topic and three main ideas.
You are going to write an essay...
Topic
: Describe the perfect friend.
Write the topic and three main ideas.
But first... a quick little QUIZ!!
1. Write your name and date on a piece of paper.
2. Write down the five parts of a paragraph in order of importance.
3. Draw a paragraph.
4. What do you do when I say, "You are going to write a paragraph?"
5. What do you do when I say, "You are going to write a three paragraph essay?"
6. List the three main ideas for this topic: Describe your perfect day.
Prewritting Practice - Supporting Details
Topic:
If you could choose any occupation for your future, what would it be?
Topic:
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
Topic:
If you could go to any amusement park, which one would you select and why?
Topic:
If you could have one wish what would it be?
Topic
: Describe the perfect friend.
The Three Parts of an Introduction
Get out a piece of paper and number:
1.
2.
3.
Introduction
1. Make a Thesis Statement
2. State your Three Main Ideas
3. Make a Transition Statement
The Three Parts of an Introduction
Who can say the three parts of an introduction the fastest?
Practice Writing Thesis Statements
Simply put, the thesis statement explains the topic of the essay.
Punch your reader in the face with the topic of your essay. Don’t beat around the bush. Come
right out and say the main purpose of the essay. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just come out
and say it.

Examples:
Expository:
“Saturday is my favorite day of the week.”
Persuasive:
“Every fifth grader should be able to go to camp.”
Cause and Effect:
“The American Revolution was a direct result of British tyranny.”
Problem Solution:
“Feeding the homeless would be much easier if we all work together.”
Narrative:
“Under attack, the king had only one last chance to save his kingdom.”

Look at the six outlines, look at the topics and write thesis statements for each. Remember, punch the reader in the face with the main idea of the essay.
Don't lose these outlines.
Write a Boring Introduction Together
Important: This part of the prewriting
IS
the prewriting for the
introduction
and
conclusion
paragraphs. If you did this part correctly, writing an introduction (and conclusion) paragraph is easy.
Each main idea from the outline becomes
a sentence in the introduction. End with a transition sentence that summarizes the topic.
DO NOT: Put supporting details in your introduction. Save your supporting details for your three body paragraphs.
This type of introduction may not be exciting - but it will be well-organized beginning for your essays.
Topic: If you could choose any occupation for your future, what would it be?

Topic: If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

Topic: If you could go to any amusement park, which one would you select and why?

Topic: If you could have one wish what would it be?

Topic: Describe the perfect friend.
Practice Writing Introductions
Use your thesis statements you wrote for these topics to make your introductions.
The Comma, Comma, And... Introduction
Let’s review the three main ideas of the “boring” introduction for Favorite Day:
1. No School 2. Play with Friends 3. Family Night

Notice that
the comma, comma, and ...
represents a list. You can simply make your thesis statement followed by a list of your three main ideas. Here’s a sample:

Saturday is my favorite day of the week because there is no school, I can play with my friends, and I get to enjoy Family Night.

You can begin or end your introduction with the
comma, comma, and...
Now you have the rest of the introduction to get the readers attention.
Here is a sample of a paragraph that uses the comma, comma, and... introduction at the end. Notice how the beginning of the introduction prepares the reader for the essay they are about to read.
Comma, Comma, And... Practice
Directions:
For each topic below, think of a thesis statement and three main ideas to support it. Next, write a sentence that has both your thesis statement AND your three main ideas listed.
Example:

Topic: Your Best Friend
Thesis Statement: Joy is my best friend in the world.
3 Main Ideas: 1. She makes me laugh. 2. She’s a good listener. 3. We have fun together.
Comma, Comma, And...
Joy is my best friend in the world because she makes me laugh, she’s a good listener, and we have so much fun together.
Types of Introductions
Tell a Story:
A short three to four sentence story that helps prepare the reader for the topic.
Sentence Starters:
“I’ll never forget the time when...”
“I’ll always remember the time when...”
“There was a special time in my life when...”

Attention Getter:
Any statement that makes the reader want to read more. Examples include making a gross, scary, or exciting statement.
Sentence Starters:

“You’ll never believe what I’m about to tell you.”
“If I could go back in time, I never would have...”
“It was the most painful thing that I’ve ever felt.”

Strong Opinion:
Give an opinion that leads into your thesis statement. Your goal is to make people want to respond.
Sentence Starters:

“I firmly believe that...”
“No one will ever convince me that...”
“There is only one opinion that an intelligent person can conclude when...”

Question:
Ask a question that will make the reader want to read on to find the answer.
Sentence Starters:
“Did you know ...”
“Have you ever...”
“What would you think if...”

State a Fact:
State a fact related to your topic that shows the importance of your thesis statement.
Sentence Starters:

“Many people would be shocked to learn that...”
“It is surprising, but true that ...”
“Amazingly...”

Give a Statistic:
Give information presented in numerical form. This is meant to prove your thesis statement is correct.
Sentence Starters:

“Statistics show...”
“You might be surprised to learn that...”
Types of Introductions Practice
One a piece of paper number 1 - 6. Identify the type of interesting introductions.
Introduction #1

Imagine! A million dollars in your pocket instantly! It might make your head spin just thinking about it. This is a problem I’d love to have. People experience this “problem” all the time as states across the country conduct lotteries every week. If I were fortunate enough to win one of these lotteries I know exactly what I’d do. I’d throw the biggest party in the world, buy my family a better house, and send my family and me to college. Just thinking about it, I can feel my mind wandering already.
Introduction #2

What would you do if you won the lottery? There are so many possibilities it is hard to narrow them down. Some people would take wonderful vacations. Others might go absolutely crazy and buy everything they’ve ever wanted. I might do all of those things eventually. However, if I ever won the lottery I would throw the biggest party in the world, buy my family a better house, and send my family and me to college. What an exciting event this would be.
Introduction #3
Four out of ten lottery winners are broke within a few years of winning the lottery. It might be hard to imagine that anyone could let this happen. If I won the lottery, this sure would not happen to me. I would enjoy the money now, but I would also enjoy it later and use it to make my life better. If I ever won the lottery I would throw the biggest party in the world, buy my family a better house, and send my family and me to college. This would allow me to enjoy the money now as well as later.
Introduction #4
Many people who win the lottery are just plain dumb! These people win millions of dollars and, in just a few years, the money is gone. Rather than just spend like crazy, these people would be wise to take some time and think about what they should do with their new fortune. I certainly know what I would do if I won that kind of money. If I ever won the lottery I would throw the biggest party in the world, buy my family a better house, and send my family and me to college. This is a good way to have some fun and be responsible at the same time.
Introduction #5
A child opens a birthday envelope and out drops a lottery ticket. The family laughs as they joke about what a young person would do with the fortunes that could be won. The jokes turn to silence as the numbers on the ticket are compared with last nights winning numbers. Everyone stares in disbelief as they gaze at this mini-millionaire. Now imagine you were that mini-millionaire. If that were me, there are three things I’d do with the money. I would throw the biggest party in the world, buy my family a better house, and send my family and me to college. This would be a dream come true.
Introduction #6
Many lottery winners are broke within a few years of winning the lottery. It might be hard to imagine that anyone could let this happen. If I won the lottery, this sure would not happen to me. I would enjoy the money now, but I would also enjoy it later and use it to make my life better. If I ever won the lottery I would throw the biggest party in the world, buy my family a better house, and send my family and me to college. This would allow me to enjoy the money now as well as later.
CHECK YOUR ANSWERS
Answers: #1 Attention Getter, #2 Question, #3 Statistic, #4 Opinion, #5 Story, #6 Fact
Take notes:
Conclusion Paragraph
The process of writing the conclusion paragraph is the same as writing the introduction. The only thing that changes is the attitude. With an introduction you are preparing the reader for your topic. With a conclusion, you are reviewing the topic. That’s the only difference.
What are the three parts of a conclusion?
1.
2.
3.
Take your thesis statements from the past five essay outlines, and summarize each statement in three different ways using the conclusion starters below.
Examples:
1. As you can see, Saturday is my favorite day of the week.
2. Without a doubt, Saturday is my favorite day of the week.
3. Clearly, Saturday is my favorite day of the week.
Here were the topics from your thesis statements:

Topic: If you could choose any occupation for your future, what would it be?

Topic: If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

Topic: If you could go to any amusement park, which one would you select and why?

Topic: If you could have one wish what would it be?

Topic: Describe the perfect friend.
Now, use your old essay outlines to practice writing conclusions. Remember, that the prewriting / outline serves as your prewriting for the introduction and the conclusions paragraphs.

Note:
Your conclusions can be short and sweet. Simply summarize the thesis statement, review your three main ideas, and say goodbye.
Conclusion Paragraph Practice
Here are two sample conclusion paragraphs. The first shows the “boring” approach, the second uses the comma, comma, and... style.

Boring Conclusion
As you now know, I would like to be a teacher when I grow up. When I’m a teacher I will get to be creative. I will also enjoy the challenge of teaching. Finally, I know that my love for children will make the job a lot of fun. I cannot wait to get started.

Once again, the “boring” conclusion may not be exciting, but it is well organized. For many students, this will be a fantastic accomplishment.

Comma, Comma, And... Conclusion
It is easy to see that being creative, enjoying the challenge, and loving kids will make teaching a lot of fun. Many teachers say that if they could do it all over again, they would still choose to be a teacher. I’m sure it will be frustrating at times, but I couldn’t image doing anything else. Teaching will give my life meaning, and it will provide me with many blessings. I look forward to many years in the classroom.
Lesson 6: Putting it all Together
Timed Prompt Writing
The Rubric
Many tests give students an hour to write a five paragraph essay plus ten minutes for prewriting. This means you must be able to complete an essay in seventy minutes. If you are able to this you have definitely mastered the five paragraph essay.
The Rubric
_____ 1. Five-Paragraph Essay Prewriting. (8 out of 10 needed to pass.)
I am looking for three good main ideas listed in an order that makes sense and at least five details for each main idea. If you make minor mistakes, but the overall prewriting is good, you will get 8, 9, or 10 points. These are passing scores. If you do not pass, I will list the items you need to work on.

_____ 2. Introduction Paragraph (8 out of 10 needed to pass.)
Is there a good thesis statement? Does it list the three main ideas? Does it have a good transition sentence? If it is acceptable, you will get 8, 9, or 10. If not, I will list the problems you need to work on.

_____ 3. Three Main Idea Paragraphs (12 out of 15 needed to pass.)
Each paragraph is worth five points. If each paragraph has a good topic sentence, supporting details, and a closing / transition sentence, it should receive at least 4 points which is passing.

_____ 4. Closing Paragraph (8 out of 10 needed to pass.)
Does it summarize the thesis statement? Were the three main ideas summarized? Do you end the essay with a closing statement?

_____ 5. Completed Essay in 70 Minutes (4 out of 5 needed to pass.)
After I give you a topic, I will start the timer. I will circle the time on your rubric when you hand it in.If you complete the essay in seventy minutes, you pass the timed portion of the test.
Write a Timed Essay
Topic:
Describe the perfect vacation.
Different Types of Essays
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