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Teaching Writing

mini-course Jan, 2013
by

Ana Albi

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of Teaching Writing

Teaching Writing
Teachers' Assumptions
Students' Assumptions
Paragraph Structure
Students will look at a model and automatically know what to do.

Students’ previous experiences with process writing have rubbed in on them and enable them to apply the appropriate techniques / formats /elements, etc.

Students have the language skills / linguistic maturity to accomplish the task.
Writing in English is the same as in Portuguese.

Changing some words in the model text will result in an acceptable text.

One can write in Portuguese and translate the text.

Google translator and such engines are awesome.

The purpose of writing is to get a passing grade.
A common question:
Let’s write!
What are we not considering when we assign a writing task?
Margarete Magalhães & Ana Albi
January, 2014
How did you feel working on this assignment?

What do you think our expectations were?

Why did we assume you would be able to accomplish the task?
We often make assumptions
when we approach a writing task.

Let’s look at some of them:
This paragraph is fairly complete. As a reader, are you satisfied by it?
Okay, now we have one more supporting sentence. The paragraph looks complete.
My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features.  First, it is noted for the Wheaton River, which is very wide and beautiful. Also, on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill, which is unusual because it is very steep.
http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/fwalters/para.html
Paragraph Structure
My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features.  First, it is noted for the Wheaton River, which is very wide and beautiful.
On either side of this river, which is 175 feet wide, are many willow trees which have long branches that can move gracefully in the wind.  In autumn the leaves of these trees fall and cover the riverbanks like golden snow.
  Also, on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill, which is unusual because it is very steep. 
Even though it is steep, climbing this hill is not dangerous, because there are some firm rocks along the sides that can be used as stairs.  There are no trees around this hill, so it stands clearly against the sky and can be seen from many miles away. 
The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old.  These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place.
My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features.  First, it is noted for the Wheaton River, which is very wide and beautiful. Also, on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill, which is unusual because it is very steep. The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old.
These three landmarks are truly amazing and make my hometown a famous place.
My hometown is famous for several amazing natural features.  First, it is noted for the Wheaton River, which is very wide and beautiful. Also, on the other side of the town is Wheaton Hill, which is unusual because it is very steep.

The third amazing feature is the Big Old Tree. This tree stands two hundred feet tall and is probably about six hundred years old.
The Reader’s Question:
After reading this topic sentence, what question do you think springs to the reader’s mind?
Topic Sentence
My hometown is famous for several natural features.
What are the natural features that make the writer’s hometown famous?
What does the reader expect to find as he reads the paragraph?
* The reader expects to find an answer to his question.
Now, read this paragraph.
Here, the topic sentence received some supporting sentences. Are they enough? Is this paragraph good enough?
Look again:
Is it complete?
What is missing?
Yes! The concluding sentence!!
Remember the topic sentence said, “My hometown is famous for several
amazing
features.”
Did you get the sense of amazement yet?
No?
So, more details can be added. Let’s see.
How many lines, teacher?
Why do people write?
* To be read!! *
Two important things to consider:
the purpose
the audience
Who are they writing for?
a friend?
the school principal?
a newspaper?
mom?
the president?
the teacher?
How can we make a writing task meaningful to the students?
One effective way is to make it clear to the students what the
purpose
is and who their
audience
is.
Analyze the text given to you.

Is it cohesive?

How was cohesion achieved?

What elements were used?
What makes a text stick together?

What makes it 'discourse'?
COHESION
How can
COHESION
be added to a text?
Getting to the mansion
cars
people
related to cars
verbs
places
distance
vehicles
limosines
Range Rover
luxury cars
tailpipes
wisps of exhaust
driver
chauffeur
security guard
attendant
vehicle's owner
parked
paraded
shuttle
deliver (passengers)
proceed
pull forward
a mile away
driveway
gated entrance
at the wheel
up the hill
main road
cross street
The only real, effective way to add cohesion to a text is by using TRANSITION WORDS!!
Also,
However,
Nevertheless,
Thus,
From Paragraph to Essay
FEEDBACK
What comes to your mind when you hear this word?
* Teachers use the rubrics and correction symbols the same way.

* Students understand them.

* Using them makes for effective feedback.
Symbols and rubrics work when they are clear to the students and teachers agree on them.
IMPORTANT:
How can this be accomplished?
CALIBRATION
Let’s give it a try!!
Final comments:
It is important to devote ourselves to writing.
We must see ourselves as the audience of the students’ writings.
Let’s read their writings as we read anything else: minding the message.
We need to be tuned in to language use.
And more importantly:
Let's not give up on our students!!!
The Introductory Paragraph
Do we concentrate enough on the expression of ideas (topic development) or do we worry about correct language (grammar, spelling, etc.) instead?
What are we forgetting?
Now we go back to the basics
writing 101
Let's build the paragraph up!
Toward the essay we go!
An essay answers a question.
The introduction presents that question and prepares the reader for the answer.
The direct answer to the question is the
THESIS STATEMENT
.

One common question:
What is the difference between the Topic Sentence and the Thesis Statement?
That's all for today!!!
Here are some assumptions:
Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 4
Activity 5
Activity 6
Activity 7, Part II
Can a Topic Sentence ever be a Thesis Statement or vice-versa?
* SCOPE *
Lexical Cohesion
Activity 7, part I
Remember me?
Full transcript