Step By Step Writing
Compiled by Karadean Grayson from
Step Up To Writing by Maureen E. Auman
LANGUAGE! Writing instruction components of the curriculum
Writing next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents
in middle and high schools – A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.
• What do you know about teaching writing?
• What do you want to learn?
• When we’re done tell me the best new
• The knowledge and skills required for
higher education and for employment
are now considered equivalent (ACT,
2006; American Diploma Project, 2004).
• 1. Writing Strategies, which involves teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and
• editing their compositions
• 2. Summarization, which involves explicitly and systematically teaching students how to
• summarize texts
• 3. Collaborative Writing, which uses instructional arrangements in which adolescents work
• together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions
• 4. Specific Product Goals, which assigns students specific, reachable goals for the writing they
• are to complete
• 5. Word Processing, which uses computers and word processors as instructional supports for
• writing assignments
• 6. Sentence Combining, which involves teaching students to construct more complex,
• sophisticated sentences
• 7. Prewriting, which engages students in activities designed to help them generate or organize
• ideas for their composition
• 8. Inquiry Activities, which engages students in analyzing immediate, concrete data to help
• them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task
• 9. Process Writing Approach, which interweaves a number of writing instructional activities in
• a workshop environment that stresses extended writing opportunities, writing for authentic
• audiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writing
• 10. Study of Models, which provides students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate
• models of good writing
• 11. Writing for Content Learning, which uses writing as a tool for learning content material
Cause for Alarm
• Seventy percent of students in grades 4–12 are low-achieving writers
(Persky et al., 2003).
• • Every school day, more than 7,000 students drop out of high school
• • Only 70% of high school students graduate on time with a regular
diploma, and fewer than 60% of African-American and
• Latino students do so (Greene & Winters, 2005).
• • Students who enter ninth grade in the lowest 25% of their class are 20
times more likely to drop out than
• are the highest-performing students (Carnevale, 2001).
• • Nearly one third of high school graduates are not ready for college-level
English composition courses (ACT, 2005).
• • Over half of adults scoring at the lowest literacy levels are dropouts,
and almost a quarter of these persons are high school graduates
(National Center for Education Statistics, 2005).
• College instructors estimate that 50% of high
school graduates are not prepared for college-
level writing (Achieve, Inc., 2005).
• U.S. graduates’ literacy skills are lower than
those of graduates in most industrialized
nations, comparable only to the skills of
graduates in Chile, Poland, Portugal, and
Slovenia (OECD, 2000).
Writing in the Workplace
• Thirty-five percent of high school graduates in college and 38%
of high school graduates in the workforce feel their writing does
not meet expectations for quality (Achieve, Inc., 2005).
• About half of private employers and more than 60% of state
government employers say writing skills impact promotion
decisions (National Commission on Writing, 2004, 2005).
• ―Poorly written applications are likely to doom candidates’
chances for employment‖ (National Commission on Writing, 2005,
• Writing remediation costs American businesses as much as $3.1
billion annually (National Commission on Writing, 2004).
Why is it so hard?
Written Expression is the most complex
task that is given to our school children to
do. It requires the coordination of high
level and low level cognitive and linguistic
processes in the performance of a learned,
unnatural skill. It is the latest developing
language proficiency, one that many
people never master. Louisa C. Moates, Ed.D.
Dialogue in the flesh
Can check for
feedback if there is
Dialogue in the
No extra cues from a
Planning to Write
Planning to write
involves three major
1. Generating ideas - what I
am going to say
2. Setting goals - what I
want to accomplish
3. Organizing the writing - what form
will I use to express my ideas
Translate into Writing
Translating requires major sub-
processes highly dependent on
working memory, automatic
symbol recall, and linguistic
proficiency (Virgina Berninger et.al., U. of Washington)
Transcription - the translation of language
into conventional written symbols
Text generation - the translation of ideas
into language; the process of choosing
Review and Revise
Two Major Subprocesses:
1. Read from the reader’s perspective: Is the message
complete, logical, written with the conventional symbols
2.Revise, Edit: Are my ideas clearly expressed? Did I
reach my audience? Are the conventions respected? What
will add interest?
Children may be good at language generation and
planning language output, but may have
significant problems with spelling and/or
Children may be good at handwriting and/or
spelling and may have trouble generating ideas,
organizing, or revising written work.
―Translating‖ has multiple components
Long Term Memory
Supports idea generation,
content elaboration, recall of
vocabulary, how to express
Short Term Memory
o letter formation
o Spelling -- graphemes
• Coordinates all the processes of planning,
translation, and revising the product. It
holds sentences in the mind while they are
Fine Motor Skills
Have been surprised that
• Berninger et al.
handwriting seems more closely related to
orthographic coding ability - that is,
memory for the symbol system and the
linguistic units it represents - than to fine
motor skills such as pencil manipulation
and form copying. Handwriting is
The ability to transcribe words into written
symbols fluently and accurately determines
who will become a poor writer or a fluent
Composition ( content and organization)
will be limited in the intermediate grades if
spelling and handwriting are poor. (Berninger et al.,
Other Factors Affecting Writing
Audience awareness - who’s going to read this?
Emotional Purpose: relief? Discovery? Persuasion?
Ability to monitor one’s own writing process
Degree to juggle three levels of language for text
-sentence construction and
Characteristics of Poor Writers:
Have primary and significant problems
with transcription ( spelling, handwriting,
punctuation)- Berninger et al.
Some have improvised language overall
Some have impaired working memory -
difficulty planning, organizing, retrieving,
sorting, ―juggling many balls at once‖
Composition: Six Traits of Effective Writing
Ideas and Development
Voice and Audience Awareness
Written Language conventions
-spelling, handwriting, punctuation,
capitalization, grammar and usage,
Implications for Teaching
• Goals is to teach spelling and handwriting
to automatization. They should be
practiced before and after higher level
• Need strategies that relieve the load on
working memory, such as note-making and
the use of routine organizing strategies
Ideal Composition Instruction:
• Balanced with lessons on underlying skills
that must be learned to an automatic level
in frequent, distributed practice routines.
• Teaches effectively lower level skills that
enable higher level skills
Stages of the Writing Process
Before Writing: brainstorm, organize with notes,
outline, or graphic organizer, clarify goal(s) for the
During Writing: create a draft in pencil on paper,
write every other line
After writing: conference, revise, edit, and publish in
a polished presentation
Presentation of a model of what is wanted
Shared Writing: Using a prompt, brainstorm and group
Partner or small group writing : plan discussed; key
words written on board
Individual writing: can share with a partner, share with
class such as ―author’s chair‖
Two kinds of writing
• Expository • Narrative
1. Topic Sentence/Thesis 1. Beginning: get your
statement story rolling ( a when, a
where, an action, an
2. Main ideas
introduction of a
3. Details: Examples, character…)
2. Middle: using
4.Conclusions transitions (signal
3.End:coming to a smooth
Step Up to Writing
A tool to teach successful writing.
The Five Elements of Expository
• Organization is the key.
• Topic sentences and thesis statements are
• Transitions are the glue.
• Examples, evidence, and explanation are
• Conclusions tie it all together.
Organization is the KEY.
• Pattern: A Train; A Stop Light; A
• Topic = Engine = GREEN
• Reason/detail/fact = Cars = yellow
• Explain/Example/Detail = Logs =
• Return/Restate topic/Conclusion =
Blueprint for Writing
Walls = Facts
Nails= Transition words
Roof= Return to Topic
Topic sentences and thesis
statements are the heart.
• State the subject.
• Tell the reader what
will be proved or
• Start with a topic.
• The topic is the
• The topic is the main
idea of the paragraph
14 Methods for Writing a Topic
Sentence (or Thesis Statement).
• 1. Occasion/Position • 8. Get their Attention
Statements • 9. A Rhetorical Question
• 2. Power (number) statements • 10. Side by Side Statements
• 3. However statements • 11. Semicolon Topic Sentence
• 4. And, But, and Or • 12. Two Nouns and Two
• 5. A Few Good Prepositions • 13. Using a Quotation
• 6. To, Plus a Verb • 14. Adding the Blues
• 7. The List Statement
Practice finding and writing
• Use a text book and identify the topic
sentence of the first paragraph of a chapter
• Can you decide what type of topic sentence
it would be? (Refer to the 14 ways to write
a topic sentence.)
1. Occasion/Position Statements
An Occasion/Position Statement is a complex
sentence and begins with a subordinating
• The Orange/Purple sentence.
• An occasion is the first part of the topic sentence.
• The occasion introduces your reason for writing.
• An occasion can be any event, problem, idea, solution,
or circumstance that gives you a reason to write.
• The occasion is the dependent clause in the complex
• The position is the second part of the topic
• The position states what you plan to prove
or explain in your paragraph.
• The position is the independent clause in
the complex sentence.
Examples of Occasion/Position
• Although my family and I have taken many wonderful
vacations, none was more fun and exciting than our
camping trip to the Grand Canyon.
• After I tried out for competitive soccer, I learned that
there were several things that I had to do for a good
• If you have a guinea pig, you must clean its cage.
• Whenever you have a fire drill, you should follow these
• Even if telephones with picture screens were free, I would
not want one.
Use a magazine or newspaper to
search for O/P statements.
The easiest places to find O/P statements
are in the advertisements and letters to the
List of Subordinating Conjunctions to
create Occasion/Position Statements.
• In order that • While
• If • When
• After • Even
• Since • As if
• Before • Whether
• So that • Until
• Whenever • Where
• As long as • Though
• As • Even if
• Even though • Because
• Although • Wherever
• Unless • As soon as
Continue to practice
• Choose an O/P topic sentence below to start your paragraph. Change
any part of the sentence to make it better or to suit your topic.
– Even though I sometimes argue or fight with ______, I still consider
him/her my friend.
– When I’m having a bad day, almost everyone notices because there are
three things I usually do.
– When I feel like life is very hard for me, I remember that my friends are
also dealing with some pretty serious problems.
– After I got into trouble______ , I realized I could have prevented the
– Since succeeding in high school is important to me, I have mastered
several useful study skills in middle school to help me prepare for high
– Whenever relatives come to visit, they ask me to tell the story about the
Your own O/P
• Write an O/P topic sentence to use as a
journal/bellringer starter for the first week
2. Power (Number) Statements
• A sentence that
contains a number
• The number word is
the focus of the
sentence; it tells your
reader that a list of
Helpful Number Words
• Two, three, four, several, many, some, a
few, numerous, a couple of, a number of, a
myriad, various, plenty of
Examples of Power Statements
• Three cities have serious pollution problems.
• In the winter I enjoy watching several high school sports.
• The new recruits learned four important procedures.
• When my family camps, we always stay at one of our
four favorite campgrounds.
• Like most American cities, Los Angeles is faced with
many problems including homelessness, gang violence,
• The parade was wonderful; two exciting things happened.
• I enjoy four kinds of music.
• There are four steps you should follow for a fire drill.
• There are four steps to clean a guinea pig’s cage.
Practice writing Power
• Think of the steps
needed to do
• Write a Power
Statement that would
Order in Paragraphs
• Certain words can help make order clear.
• First, next, then, and finally are order
• Use order words with Power Statements to
help the reader follow your ideas easier.
There are several things to do • What is the topic sentence
when you clean a guinea pig’s of the paragraph?
cage. First, take the guinea pig
out of the cage. Put the guinea • What is the main idea?
pig in a safe place. Next, lift • Every step does not need
up the old newspaper and
to have an order word.
wood chips. Throw them
away. Spread clean newspaper • How many steps are there
on the bottom of the cage. in cleaning the cage?
Then add a new layer of wood
chips. Finally, put the guinea
pig back into its clean cage.
More practice with order. These steps are out
of order. Write them in order, as a paragraph.
These are the steps for a How to Peel a Banana
fire drill. Pull it down gently.
Follow these instructions First, take hold of the
for a fire drill. stem.
Next, form a straight line. Then take hold of the next
Leave the room when strip at the top.
your teacher tells you to. Keep pulling until the
First, stand up and push strip is all the way down.
in your chairs. Pull it down gently, too.
Walk quickly and quietly Do the same with the
outside. other strips.
Keep Practicing Power
Statements and order words.
Choose one thing to
explain to a classmate.
o How to peel an orange.
o How to make a telephone
o How to draw a stick
Tell your instructions to a
classmate. Then work
together to make your
instructions even better.
3. However Statements
• However is one of several conjunctive adverbs that will
help you organize your thoughts into a topic sentence or a
thesis statement. Use however in the middle of the
sentence. You will need a semicolon (;) before the word
however and a comma (,) after the word however. This
creates a compound sentence. Usually, the first part
(independent clause) will be the occasion (reason for
writing); the second part (independent clause) will state
your position (what you plan to prove or explain).
Examples of However
• The new rules for the school cafeteria seemed unfair to the students;
however, the rules have made the cafeteria a better place to eat lunch.
• Some of the citizens in Springfield protested when the city council
voted to close the old theater; however, one man was able to settle
the argument by suggesting a way to rebuild the theater without
having to ask the taxpayers for more money.
• My father is very strict; however, he has good reasons for all of his
• Ants are very small creatures and may seem insignificant; however,
scientists around the world study these insects.
Other Conjunctive Adverbs to
• in fact
• as a result
4. And, But, Or Statements
• This method of topic • B = but
sentences also creates a • O = or
compound sentence. • Y = yet
With the coordinating
conjunctions-and, but,or, • F = for
nor,so,yet,and for- you • A = and
can easily write a topic • N = nor
sentence. • S = so
Hint: Use the words Remember: You need a
BOY FANS to help you comma before the conjunction.
Examples of And, But, Or
• Some people find it difficult to program a VCR, but most
will succeed if they just remember to follow these
• Reptiles are all alike because they have backbones,
breathe with lungs, and have scales, yet reptiles come in a
variety of sizes and shapes.
• My grandmother likes to help others, so she volunteers at
church, at the hospital, and at my school.
• I enjoy most music, but jazz is my favorite.
• School boards should not cut art and music programs, nor
should they sacrifice the industrial arts electives offered
in most high schools.
5. A Few Good Prepositions.
• See list of prepositions on next slide.
• Once you have learned to write Occasion/Position
Statements and However Statements, try this list. Like
the Occasion/ Position list, these words can jog your
thinking and push you into a good topic sentence.
• Not all prepositions will work for your topic. Read your
sentence out loud and make your decision once you hear
• Remember that your topic sentence gives your audience a
quick glance at your reason for writing and tells the
readers what you intend to prove or explain.
• Despite •of •Toward
• Aboard •Around • Down
• About •Off •Under
•Because of • During
• Above • For from •Onto •Underneath
• According • In •Out
to • In addition to •Out of
• Along •Behind • In back of •Up
with • In case of •Outside
•Below •Up to
• As for • In front of •Over
• Away • In regard to • Past
•besides • In spite of
from •Round •With
•Beside • Instead of
• Inside •Since •Within
• After •Between
• Into •Through •Without
• Against •Beyond • On
• Along •Throughout •With the
• but • Like
• Alongside • near •Till exception of
• Among •To
Examples of ―A Few Good
• According to Current Events magazine, many high
schools have banned pagers.
• Without my computer my life would be a disaster.
• With the proper training and the best equipment, high
school football players can enjoy the sport and avoid
• In case of a fire, all families should make an escape plan
and practice it.
• Like most teenagers, my cousin Fred disagrees with his
parents on several issues.
• Since the first Olympics, thousands of athletes have
challenged themselves and set world records.
• Some of the words on the prepositions list are the same as words on
the Occasion/Position list. Words like since, until, before, and after
are prepositions if there is no verb (action word).
• Preposition– After the game there were several fights in the parking
• Clause – After the game ended, fights broke out in the parking lot.
• Preposition – Since the first of the year I have improved my grades
in math and art.
• Clause – Since the semester started, I have worked hard to improve
my grades in math and art.
6. To, Plus A Verb
Try using an infinitive to start your paper.
• An infinitive is the main verb preceded by the word to.
• Topic sentences with infinitives are clear and direct.
They won’t confuse your reader.
• To win at chess players need to master three skills.
• To impress her guests at our New Year’s dinner, my aunt created the
most incredible culinary surprises.
• To succeed in business a person must establish clear but realistic
• To attract customer, the ice cream parlor hired a clown who did
• To succeed takes more than just a good idea and a dream.
• To prepare for college, high school students should take several
math, science, and English classes.
• To improve her health, Grandmother made several changes in her
• To keep in contact with friends and family, many teens invest in
• Write a topic sentence
using each of the
• Use a magazine
picture for ideas.
7. The List Statement
List the categories you will address in your
Think of similar endings like ed and ing
when you make your list.
Do not mix words with phrases or clauses
with a series of single words.
Keep the list parallel
A list of words
All college students need money, courage,
friends, and encouragement.
Joe’s Café offers the best in service, food, and
When I set out to buy my new car, I looked for a
vehicle that was reliable, safe, and economical.
A list of phrases
• My grandparents prefer to vacation in Mexico, in
the Northwest, and in the Bahamas.
• Problems with the new school include: poor
ventilation, small classrooms, inadequate
lighting, limited parking.
• The Smiths love their new home but are having
trouble with the garage door and with a new
A list of dependent (cannot stand alone)
• When I found my lost puppy, when I won
the trip to Florida, and when I met a group
of teachers from Russia, I realized that life
is great and full of surprises.
A list of independent (can stand alone)
• High school graduates can attend
community college, they can enroll in state
universities, or they can study at private
schools throughout the United States.
• Run for office; join a club; march in the
band. Activities like these will make high
school more rewarding.
8. Get Their Attention
• A declarative statement using a strong
verb- action word.
1. Children will love the new flavored cereals.
2. Aunt Susan’s foolproof holiday recipes saved
me and impressed my family.
3. Clay’s gas station offers the best service.
4. Fourth grade test scores at Lincoln Elementary
5. The restaurant on Main Street serves the best
brunch in town.
6. Teacher’s salaries must be increased.
9. A Rhetorical Question
• This is the kind of question we ask when
we want to get someone’s attention, but we
do not really expect an answer.
• You are going to answer the question in
Examples of Rhetorical
1. What is your school doing to improve test
2. Why can’t college graduates find the jobs they
3. How are churches and synagogues meeting the
needs of teenagers?
4. What should parents expect from their child’s
5. How will baby boomers handle retirement?
6. Are you intimidated by the IRS?
10. Side by Side Statements
• Two simple sentences– one for the
occasion and one for the position.
• Especially powerful if your goal is to put
emphasis on your position.
Examples of Side by Sides
1. A little wine may be good. Too much is
2. Young children belong in car seats. The car
seat belongs in the back, not in the front.
3. Throwing a dinner party is a challenge.
Planning ahead can prevent stress.
4. Finances cause stress for many people. Suze
Orman’s book, Nine Steps to Financial
Freedom, offers practical, helpful advice.
11. Semicolon Topic Sentence
• Just like a Side by Side Statement; main
ideas are connected by a semicolon (;).
1. The football team deserves the state
championship; the players and the coach are
talented and dedicated.
2. Buying a new car is exciting; it’s also stressful.
3. All of the major airlines have improved
customer service; they have also increased the
number of daily flights.
4. Test scores have fallen for the third straight
year; administrators are scurrying to find
solutions and reverse the trend.
12. Two Nouns and Two
• When we set off a noun or a noun phrase
with commas, we call this an appositive.
• An appositive does not have a verb; it is
simply a noun followed by a description
that tells more about the first noun.
• These sentences help writers put more
important or interesting information in to
• Deckers, a small town nestled in the Colorado Rockies,
is a fishing haven for many serious anglers.
• Snare drums and maracas, percussion instruments, help
keep rhythm in music.
• Two rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi, are
important to the people in Iowa.
• Ben Franklin, a colonist from Pennsylvania, helped
Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of
• The Broncos’ Quarterback, John Elway, set many
records during his career.
13. Using a Quotation
• Using a quotation is an easy yet
powerful way, to start a paper.
• Using the words that are on the
Occasion/Position list might help to
integrate the quotation.
• Once you have mastered this, it will
be easy to use However Statements
or one of the other methods
suggested for your topic sentence.
• Although I usually appreciate the advice I
receive from my grandmother, I wish that she
would follow the advice of Horace: ―Whatever
advice you give, be short.‖
• If you are tempted to give your best friend
advice, at least be aware of the Arab proverb that
says, ―Never give advice in a crowd.‖
• When I visited my relatives in Michigan, I
learned very quickly that the old German
proverb, ― Never give advice unless asked,‖ is
Use one of these quotations in topic statements.
1. ―It takes time to save time.‖ Joe Taylor
2. ―Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.‖ Henry Ford
3. ―There’s only one corner of the universe you can be
certain of improving and that’s your own self.‖
4. ―An idea is salvation by imagination.‖ Frank Lloyd
5. ―What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.‖
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
14. Adding the Blues
• The Blues are those sentences
that give interesting extra
• They are the sentences that
precede the topic.
• We say they ―decorate the
• They give the reader the
background information they
need to better understand the
– In 1955, African-Americans who lived in the
South and rode the bus were required to sit in
a special part of the bus behind the ―whites
only‖ section. When Rosa Parks, an African-
American woman from Montgomery,
Alabama, broke this rule, she showed courage
and determination. First of all, it took courage
– During the Industrial Revolution some children were
forced to work in order to help their families pay for
food and lodging. Children worked long hours in
factories where they did work that was dangerous.
The conditions in the factories sometimes caused
diseases. Fortunately, from 1830 until the early 1900s
many laws were passed in England and the United
States to protect child workers. One law said…
Another law… A third law…
Practice Adding some BLUE. First, write an
Occasion/Position Statement or a Power
Statement for each topic.
• Family pets • Your hometown
• Friends • Roller skating
• High school sports • The movies
• Drinking and • Courage
driving • Music
• Professional athletes
Then Add Some Blue!
• Think of some background information
that would help introduce your topic.
• Add a blue statement to each of the topic
• The past few years have been slow
economic times for many states around the
nation. During difficult economic years
school districts often need to reduce costs;
many districts find that eliminating high
school sports could save a lot of money.
High school sports have several important
roles to play in a student’s well rounded
Just The Ticket!
Your ticket out idea:
Write a topic sentence about each
content area studied today.
Completing The Paragraph
• After the engine of a train
we find any number of
cars carrying a variety of
• Complete your paragraph
by adding the cars and
cargo, or the ―yellows‖
and ―reds‖, also the walls
• The ―Yellows‖ say
• Give a reason, detail or
• Use a transition.
• These sentences are the
• The main ideas or key
Transitions are the nails & glue.
• In each paragraph the main ideas (key concepts)
are introduced by a transition.
• The transitions are sometimes in the middle of
• Do not use the words is, was,or were right next
to the transition.
• Vary the transitions.
• It is easy to read a paragraph that has clear
• Readers will appreciate papers that you write
Introduce main ideas.
– On Saturdays I like to do two things. First, I
like to sleep in because I usually stay up late
on Friday night. I also like to take walks in
the park with my family and our dog, Jake.
Saturdays are great!
Vary & Bury
• Put some transitions in the middle of
• Use a variety of transition words.
A List of Transitions
• One way – Another way • One example – Another example
• A good – A better – The best
• First – Another – Next • One - Another – Finally
• First – Second – Third • First of all – Second – Last
• The first – The second • First of all – Next – The final
• First of all – The next - Another
• One – Then – Another
• First – In addition – Equally
• One – Also important
• First of all – In addition –
• One – One other – Along
with – Last
Other methods for making a
transition in your writing.
• Repeating words
• Using synonyms
Study and Practice
• Search for transitions in the writing
• Search for transitions in the book you are
reading for independent reading.
Complete with cargo!
• The cargo is what the
train is delivering.
• Complete your
paragraph with some
cargo or sometimes
called the ―reds‖.
• The real ―meat‖ of
Examples, Evidence, and
• The ―Reds‖ say Stop!
• Give an example.
• Show evidence.
Explain! Explain! Explain!
• Nothing is more important than the
quantity and quality of explanations you
include in your writing.
• Always ask yourself if you have enough
• Check to see if you have included specific
examples or presented enough evidence.
The Red E’s
Information to back up your reasons, details,
• Examples • Everyday life
• Explanations • Effective illustration
• Evidence • Elaboration
• Events • Expert opinions
E’s support your topic sentence.
E’s make your writing interesting and believable.
Practice! Use some writing
• Underline the topic sentence
• Underline the main ideas yellow.
• Underline the
• Underline in black any sentences
that don’t belong in the paragraph.
• Go Back!
• Remind the reader of
• The caboose on the
train is similar to the
Conclusions tie it all together.
• Instead of just stopping and writing THE
– Restating your position; reminding your
readers of your topic. Don’t just copy the
topic. Use synonyms!
– Summarize your paragraph.
– Encourage them to take action.
– Convince the readers of your position.
– Challenge them to think about the issue.
Tie it Up!
• If it fits, try using one of • Avoid phrases such as
these words or phrases in – As I have said
the final sentence: – As I proved
– In fact – As you can see
– Truly • Vary the sentence
– Obviously structure. If your topic
– Definitely sentence was an O/P
– Clearly statement, use a simple
– Surely statement in the
– Certainly conclusion. If you started
– To sum up with a Power Statement,
– In conclusion make your conclusion an
More on Conclusions
• Using a quotation in a conclusion is a plus. Make
sure the quotation supports the position.
• Imitate the professionals, teachers, or fellow
• Listen to and look for good conclusions.
• Check out newspaper and magazine articles to
see how their introductions and conclusions go
Have you ever heard, ―It’s all in the way it
Mastery comes with ―polishing‖ your
paragraph to a ―shine‖.
Striving for the BEST!
• Neat paper
• Check Spelling
• Know your audience
• Neat handwriting
• Evaluate yourself with a rubric
• Skip a line when writing on notebook paper.
• Revise! Revise! Revise!
Finishing Touches: A few revising
tricks to try!
ABC Your Paragraph:
• Write a basic paragraph.
• Try making the paragraph better by using
• You may start any place and work up or
down the alphabet.
• Start each sentence with the next letter of
―To Be‖ or ―Not To Be‖
―To Be‖ Verbs:
• Write a basic
• Circle all of the ―To Am
Be‖ verbs/verb Are
• Replace with a strong Were
action verb. Be
Examples of ―To Be‖ or ―Not To
• Weak—Jamie is helping her mom at the
• Better– Jamie joins her mother at the
restaurant every day after school to greet
and serve customers.
• Weak– Karen is a baker.
• Better-- Karen creates beautiful cakes for
weddings and other special events.
Analyze a Paragraph
Sentence First word in Number of verb
the sentence words in the
1 He 4 is
2 I 6 Was
3 He 5 Ran
4 The 5 Were
5 Some 6 Found
6 I 6 Will
7 He 4 is
• At a glance you quickly realize that this
student has a weak paragraph.
• All of the sentences are about the same
• There are very few strong action verbs
• Three of the sentences start with the same
Sentence fluency comes from experience
with sentence manipulation and production
B. sentence anagrams
C. sentence starters
D. Masterpiece sentences
One Perfect Sentence
• Burrito fold your paper. (fold it in thirds).
• Write one sentence.
• Read it and revise it on the next part of the
• Read it out loud and rewrite it for a perfect
Perfection and Beyond!
• Once you have mastered a perfect
paragraph you are ready to expand to
essays and other multi-paragraph writing.
• An essay is just a paragraph that has been
s t r e t c h e d.
Explicit instruction with graphic organizers
-Enumeration or example paragraphs
-Process or sequence paragraphs
-Reason paragraphs (cause-effect)
-Concept definition paragraphs
• Vary paragraph length by
adding a variety of
Yellows and Reds.
• Using p. 2-88 in Step Up
To Writing, an explanation
of Accordion Paragraphs,
practice different lengths
• Active reading is doing more than just
reading the words on the page. Active
reading involves some kind of written
response to what you read.
• Words cost $.10 each
• You have $2.00
• Write a summary of today’s workshop,
include the best new thing.
Writing Prompts on the Web
• http://members.accessus.net/~bradley/narrativeprompts2.html (Really like this one!)
• (Next 4 are prompts, plus hints)