Step By Step Writing

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					          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
           Why Writing??
• The knowledge and skills required for
  higher education and for employment
  are now considered equivalent (ACT,
  2006; American Diploma Project, 2004).
                                 Writing Next!
•   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).
              More Alarms
• 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,
  p. 4).
• 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.
         Spoken Language…
Dialogue in the flesh
Can check for
 feedback if there is
Tolerance of
 incomplete and
Dialogue in the
No extra cues from a
Greater formality
Different grammar
 structure, vocabulary
              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, 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
 and grammar?

2.Revise, Edit: Are my ideas clearly expressed? Did I
 reach my audience? Are the conventions respected? What
 will add interest?
     Implications, Berninger’s
 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
                 Supports recall:
o letter formation
  o monitoring
  o revision
o Punctuation
o Spelling -- graphemes
  o Syllables
  o Morphemes
          Working Memory
• Coordinates all the processes of planning,
  translation, and revising the product. It
  holds sentences in the mind while they are
  being formed/revised
                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
              -word choice
              -sentence construction and
              -text organization
 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
Word Choice
Sentence Fluency
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
  composition tasks.
• 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
         Scaffolding Composition
 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…)
Evidence, Explanations
                           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
  the heart.
• Transitions are the glue.
• Examples, evidence, and explanation are
  the meat.
• 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 =
  Caboose= green
Blueprint for Writing

             Walls = Facts
           Pictures= Details
        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
     or story.
 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
  Statements                       Commas
• 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
         topic sentences.
• Use a text book and identify the topic
  sentence of the first paragraph of a chapter
  or section.
• 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
      time _____________.
             Your own O/P
• Write an O/P topic sentence to use as a
  journal/bellringer starter for the first week
  of school.
 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
  information will
   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,
    and unemployment.
•   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
  introduce your
        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.
                    Practice Order
 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
•   nevertheless
•   as a result
•   next
•   meanwhile
•   still
•   instead
•   consequently
•   therefore
•   likewise
•   furthermore
•   otherwise
    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.
  remember these
      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
  the sentence.
• 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
                •before                                        •Until
    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
                •Beneath                                       •Upon
•   Away                      •   In regard to     • Past
                •besides      •   In spite of
    from                                           •Round      •With
                •Beside       •   Instead of
•   Across
                              •   Inside           •Since      •Within
•   After       •Between
                              •   Into             •Through    •Without
•   Against     •Beyond       •   On
•   Along                                          •Throughout •With the
                • but         •   Like
•   Alongside                 •   near             •Till       exception of
                •Due to
•   Among                                          •To
     Examples of ―A Few Good
      Prepositions‖ statements.
• 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.
                            A Note:
• 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
  magic tricks.
• 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
  previous methods.
• 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
  sprinkling system.
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
  your writing.
       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
  one sentence.
• 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.‖
     Aldous Huxley
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
               The Blues
– 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
  to… Next,…
               More Blues
– 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
             Blue Example
• 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
  cargo items.
• Complete your paragraph
  by adding the cars and
  cargo, or the ―yellows‖
  and ―reds‖, also the walls
  and pictures.
          Reason/ Detail/Fact
• The ―Yellows‖ say
  slow down!
• Give a reason, detail or
• Use a transition.
• These sentences are the
  train cars.
• 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
  the sentence.
• 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
  using transitions.
        Introduce main ideas.
• Example:
  – 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
            your paragraph.
       Examples, Evidence, and
•   The ―Reds‖ say Stop!
•   Explain.
•   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,
                  or facts.
•   Examples                   •   Everyday life
•   Explanations               •   Effective illustration
•   Evidence                   •   Elaboration
•   Events                     •   Expert opinions
•   Experiences

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
  example/explanations red.
• Underline in black any sentences
  that don’t belong in the paragraph.
• Go Back!
• Remind the reader of
  your topic.
• The caboose on the
  train is similar to the
  Conclusions tie it all together.
• Instead of just stopping and writing THE
  END, consider:
  – 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
 is presented!‖
Mastery comes with ―polishing‖ your
 paragraph to a ―shine‖.
Striving for the BEST!
            Finishing Touches!
•   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
    the alphabet.
•   You may start any place and work up or
    down the alphabet.
•   Start each sentence with the next letter of
    the alphabet.
      ―To Be‖ or ―Not To Be‖
                          ―To Be‖ Verbs:
• Write a basic
  paragraph.                Is
• Circle all of the ―To     Am
  Be‖ verbs/verb            Are
  phrases.                  Was
• Replace with a strong     Were
  action verb.              Be
                            Being
                            been
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
            Further Analysis
• 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

      A.sentence combining
      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)
      -Classification paragraphs
      -Concept definition paragraphs
      -Compare/contrast paragraphs
        Accordion 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
  of paragraphs.
           Active Reading
• 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.
          Word Shopping
• 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
• (Really like this one!)
•   (Next 4 are prompts, plus hints)

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