University of El Salvador
Western Multidisciplinary Campus
Department of Foreign Languages
English Composition II
- Hernández Pleitez, Jackeline Carolina
- Montenegro Ordoñez, Silma Yanira
- Rivera Salguero, Katherinne Tatiana
Professor: Darlene Mata
Writing is a way people use to express ideas, thoughts, emotions, feelings, or just to give information or facts of something.
English Composition II is a subject that deals with writing. The more practice students have, the better writing they get. The purpose of this blog is to make students write as much as they can, so at the end of the subject, students' writing skills will be neat. Writing paragraphs and essays made students practice a lot. Though they still make mistakes, their writing skill is better than it was.
This blog includes experiencies about the whole process students have been through as well as material delivered in classes.
* To make students of English Composition II improve their writing skill
* To show how students got their writing skill better
1. Challenges during the semester
2. Classes copied in class
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
What is a paragraph?
1. It is a group of sentences that develops an idea.
2. The first sentence of a paragraph should be idented.
3. The sentences on a paragraph support and give examples of the main idea.
A. A paragraph sholud have a logical structure that is easy to put into an outline:
I. Topic sentence
II. Supporting detail
III. Supporting detail
IV. Supporting detail
V. Concluding sentence
*No more ideas but more details
B. Developing paragraphs
Time order: chronological order (stories, instructions)First, then, next, during, before, after that, soon, while, moments later, finally, once, at the end, at the begining
Space order: describing a person, thing, or a place from top to bottom from left to right
On the left, on the right, beyond that, above, next to, behind, among, outside
Order of climax: usully starting with the less important and building to a climax at the end of the paragraph
First, another, next, even more, last the most (of all), last but not least
3. Presentations of the class in the group of facebook
4. Videos recorded during the semester
5. Extra material delivered in class
The writing process :
Writing is used way people have in order to express thoughts and feelings.
People became writers through time and practice.
Six steps to writing process:
1- preparing: During this stage, writers thinks about the possible topics and techniques that they can use to write successful compositions. Writers can do research about the topics they choose.
2- planning or prewriting:
In this stage, writers make lists, outlines, summaries or charts to organize their ideas.
3- Incubating and drafting:
In this stage, writers let their ideas simmer and take shape. They give themselves time off to arrange their ideas and plsns. After that the first drafts appear.
During this stage, you read what you have already written, and put or drop ideas of your composition. You arrange your material and add more details if you think that it is better. After revising you are able to write the second draft because you have checked what you wrote, and you are able to see your own mistakes.
5- In this stage, you check grammar, punctuation, and spelling. You should better your composition
In this step, you read carefully what you wrote, so you have to see if you have no mistakes, and be sure to do not make too much mistakes.
How is a paragraph organized and develop?
The paragraph should contain one central idea only:
If a paragraph contains more than one central idea, it would be overworked. So, the paragraph should be limited in one specific point.
2- The paragraph should have unity; It should be complete in itself.
3- The paragraph should have coherence and continuity:
The parts of the paragraph should be logically connected and smooth.
4-The paragraph should be adequately developed:
It should be well done and completely.
Every paragraph should contain the following:
2-Narrowing the topic
3- Topic sentence
5-selecting and dropping ideas
7-writing the first draft
8- Second draft
The topic sentence should express the main ideas of the paragraph, but it should be completed and limited.
Persuade: to move by argument, entreaty or epostulation to a belief, position, or course of action.
A persuasive paragraph gives the writer’s opinión on the topic. The main objective in this kind of paragraph is to convince someone that a particular opinion or point of view is the right one. The goal is to change someone’s mind. Although persuasion is often considered an especial form of writing , all good writing is persuasive , it seeks to convince the reader of the truth of the writer’s ideas.
Before composing the persuasive paragraph, the writer problably made a plan like this:
- reason 1
- reason 2
- Reason 3
- Reason 4
Forms of persuasive writing
▪Persuasive paragraphs or essays
TRASITIONAL EPRESSIONS OF PERSUASIVE
Give reasons answer the opinion draw conclusions
First (second, third) of course therefore
Another, last, finally some may say thus
Because, since, for nevertheless hence
On the other hand although consequently
METHODS OF PERSUASION
1.FACTS: facts are simply statements of what is. They should appeal to the readers mind, not just to the emotions.
2. referring to an authority: an authority is an expert , someone who can be relied on to give unbiased facts and information.
3. examples: an example should clearly relate to the argument and should be typical enough to support the argument.
4. Predicting the consequence: predicting the consequence helps the reader visualize what will occur if something does or does not happen.
5. answering the opposition: answering possible critics shows thar you are aware of the opposition’s argument and are able to respond to it.
CONSIDERING THE AUDIENCE
In addition to providing adequate proof for your argument, you must pay special attention to the audience as you write a persuasive paragraph. In general, we assume that our audiences is much like us reasonable and sensible people who wish to learn the truth. Besides, taking your audience into account, you will make your persuasive paragraph more convincing.
To define is to explain clearly what a word or term means. As you write, you will sometimes find it necessary to explain words or terms that you suspect your reader may not know.
A definition paragraph is a paragraph explaining a term or subject, so your audience comprehends the topic of the paragraph. The topic sentence of a definition paragraph is often one of the single- sentences.
There are many ways to define a word or term:
-Definition by synonym
-Definition by class
-Definition by negation
Definition by synonym: it explains the term by using the words that mean the same thing. Example: to procrastinate is to lack.
The simplest way to define a term is to supply a synonym , a word that means the same thing. A good synonym definition always uses an easier and more familiar word than the one being described.
Distinguishing details/ facts
Definition by class: it is when you put ypour topic in a larger category to explain your term.
Example: a pineapple is a tropical fruit that has an acidic and sweet taste.
The class definition is the one most often required in college an in formal writing in examinations , papers and reports. The class definition has two parts. First, the writer places the word to be defined into the larger category, or class, to which it belongs. Second, the writer provides the distinguishing characteristics or details that make this person, object, or idea different from all others in category.
Definition by negation: it means that the write first says something is not, and then says what is it.
Example: a snow cone is not an ice cream cone, but rather a shredded ice and syrup treat.
A good parents is not a person who punishes children every time misbehave, but a person who discipline properly.
To illustrate is to explain a general statement by means of one or more specific examples
Illustration makes what we say more vivid and more exact. In this kind of paragraph the writer must provide examples in the paragraph. Illustration- illustrates.
Example: “my math professor is always finding crazy ways to get our attention. Just yesterday, for example he wore a high silk hat to class”
One important characteristic of this paragraph is the writer describe making use of the four senses: see, smell, hear, and touch. The objective of describing the senses is that the reader can also feel and imagine the environment of the paragraph. Besides, we have to explain the example and develop one example- illustration.
Possible transition expressions to use:
For example, for instance, an illustration of this, another example, in case in points is, in this case, as an illustration, to illustrate and another illustration.
Entry 4- Revised
Due on: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
Silma M.- One of the journals that I wrote was called skills. I decided that tittle because we humans have many abilities hidded, and sometimes we do not discover. So, I decided to write about it because It is related with my experience. Three years ago I learned how to play the guitar, something that I had not discovered but that trough the time I discovered that to have this skill is the best that a person can has. Besides, another journal that I wrote was about my ideal teacher; it was nice because I could write about how I wanted to be my ideal teacher. Thus, I wanted that my ideal teacher would be characterized by being enthusiastic and humble. Besides, I wrote that my ideal teacher would be the model to follow.
My boyfriend is such a special person. When I need his help, he is always there for me ; he is not only thoughtful and loving but also mirthful and unique. He is the kind of person that never lets me down because he always take care of me, and he gives me his support. Sometimes, he is a little bit jealous and gets mad with me, but his annoyance lasts just some seconds or minutes. The last time I got sick; I send a message to him, and it said, "I am so sorry, but I cannot see you today because I am sick and I feel awful". As soon as possible, he called me to know how I felt, so I told him about my stomachache. Half hour after, he came to my house with some aspirins, and he took care of me the whole afternoon until I felt better.
Dear teacher, you are right; to share our time with a person we love is awesome. To be honest, my boyfriend is the apple of my eyes; I think God send him into my life with a purpose. Our relationship has not been a piece of cake; we have overcome a lot of obstacles, but God has been with us all the time. Because of some difficulties, my boyfriend and I got separated almost a year; it was hard for me because we did not keep in touch for a long time. I remember that one day; I received a call, and it was him; I was pretty happy. I prayed a lot and God answered my prayers because my boyfriend was healthy and safe. As you mentioned before, I have to behave wisely, and I am working on that because I wanted to receive God's favor in my pathway.
Well, Iet me say that some of my best journals were the ones that I wrote about my boyfriend and our relationship. To be frank, when I wrote those journals, memories came back to my mind. In that time, I was really sad because we faced difficulties, but God showed me mercy, and he taught me to stay in faith and answered my prayers.
7. An assesment on how well we achieved the writing goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the semester
The biggest challenge I had when writing was to star developing ideas, and then, when I finally had some ideas, I did not know how to put them all together. Many of my ideas at the beginning were totally inchoate. My teacher suggested to keep on trying, for I was a little desesperate. However, I tried to focus on what I was talking and the most important ideas related to that. I consider myself not an excellent writer but better than I was.
At the beginning of the semester one of the main goals that I set was to improve my writing because i had many problems when I wanted to write but I used to write in a wrong way; I used to write but I did not take into account continuity, originality and other elements. In high school I heard about the paragraph and the essay, but I did not know that in order to learn how to write those I needed to know that each of them has a process that I had to follow. Now with composition classes I have learned how to write a paragraph and the steps that I have to take into account in order to write. Besides, I have learned how to write an essay and also the steps that it process carries. To be honest, I had written a essay never neither in Spanish or English ,and now that I had the opportunity to write it in English I realized that how important is learn how to write it because if I had experience on it , maybe it would not be so that difficult like it was. However, I comsider that I have achieved my goal because now I know that my writing must have an order, coherence, continuity, revising ,editing and proofreading as well and many other elements that are quite important.
Another goal that I achieved is that now I know how to put my ideas in order I the paragraph and also in the essay because I used to write but my ideas were mixed and that was something that made my writing misunderstandable , but now I think that my writing is too much better than the one that I had.
Writing is not that easy, but thro practicing ; I have improved my writing skills. I think I have bettered, and I have learned a lot in composition classes, and now I am able to write paragraphs and essays. The knowledge that I have acquired during this semester will be very useful in the future. One of my goals was to learn as much as possible. I think this knowledge that I have gotten would help me to be better when I write. To be honest, another of my goals is to pass this subject, but I did not want just to pass; I wanted to learn a lot. I think that each English student need to learn that in order to be a good teacher in the future; that is another of my goals to be a great teacher. To be someone able to manage everything. English Composition was a nice experience in which I learned a lot of wonderful things.
My best paragraphs were the ones I wrote related to the movies that all students of the English Composition course were asked to write, perfom and record. They were my best no only because I got the higgest grades there but beause I had a lot of things to mention since all movies were hilarious. In fact, I daresay that we all had lots of fun.
My best essay was the first I wrote because I remember having been prety exciting about it though I did not get a good grade. However, the topic I developed there was for me prety important, and it was about being digitally responsable which means making use of technology wisely. I strongly believe I learnt a lot.
The best paragraph was the one that I called "my parents' love" . This paragraph is considered the best because it revived me the feeling of love that I had for my parents and reciprocal. In addition, the parents’ love is the best that a person can have and that is the reason why I take it as the best paragraph. Besides, it is the best because in this paragraph I got the best grade and in which the teacher commented as well. In the other hand, the best essay was the second because it was about music, a relevant topic that moves the world in many people. I decided to talk about it because as a musician the music is what inspired me in writing and also in being concentrated. . Moreover, in this essay I got the best grade of the three that I wrote. Although it was not that perfect, it was the best because I wrote about something that I really like.
One of my best paragraph (contrast)
1-Topic: Attitudes toward money.
2-Narrowed topic: My mother and father's attitude toward money
3- Topic sentence: Although my mother's attitude toward money is really careful, my father's attitude is completely careless.
* who is better saving money
*who splurges money
*The person who administrates money
*Person who brings home the bacon
*Advantages of earning money
*Attitudes toward money
5-Selecting and dropping ideas :
1- Attitudes toward money
2- Person who splurges money
3- Person who saves money
4- The one who administrates money wisely.
6- Arranging ideas:
1- Attitudes toward money
2- Person who splurges money
3- Person who saves money
4-The best administrator
Although my mother's attitude toward money is really careful, my father's attitude is completely careless. Whereas my mother spends money just on things our family needs, my father spend it just on unnecessary. While my mother tries to save money; money makes a hole in my father's pocket. While my mother tightens her belt, my father splurges a lot on unuseful things. In contrast, my mother is the one who takes care of the money because she knows when and how spends it. My mother thinks about the future necessities, but my father does not think about it. Although my father is the one who brings home the bacon, my mother administrates it wisely because she knows our family necessities better. These attitudes are completely different, but it is impossible to deny that both my father and mother are important in this case because one person earns money and the another one administrates it.
This was one of my best paragraphs because I wrote about something that I know perfectly. When I write about my family, ideas comes to my mind faster because I know them almost perfectly. Writing is one of the best ways to express what I feel or think; that's why, I really like to do it, so if I have the opportunity, I am going to take it.
My best essay!
I am not so good at writing journals, paragraphs, or essays but I would like to point out an essay that I wrote; it was about healthy food. I wanted to make people conscious about their food habits because sometimes people do not notice what they do wrong. The topic of my essay was Why People Should Eat Healthy Food. I mentioned that having a well balanced diet can be very beneficial in people's lives because it contains a lot of nutrients, and it gives people energy. If people eat healthy food their lives would be better. wanted to focus on the impact that eating healthy. I remember that I was pretty excited about knowing the benefits of healthy food because I did not know a lot of the topic, and I learned new things that I can improve in my life.
My performance during the whole semester was not as I expected to be. I admit I did not give my best; therefore, my writing was not the best. I strongly believe it could have been much better; still, I had a marvelous experience. Every time I remember about this subject, I always the creative my teacher used to teach us. Composition classes were never boring thanks to teacher's ingenious ways to catch students' attention.
The performance that I had in this course has been positive because I learned too much about writing; besides, now I think are able to write formals documents like essays that we learned in class and other documents. In the other hand, at the beginning of the course was difficult because I felt kind of lost with the topics that the teacher taught but through time step by step I was taking the idea of the topics that I felt were misunderstandable and I learned. To be honest, I can not say that I am perfect in writing or that my writing skill is now the best, but what I can say is that my writing skill has been improved in a high percent. In addition, in this course of composition I practiced a lot with the writing assignments that the teacher assigned us during the semester, and I consider it was one of the things that helped me a lot in order to improve my writing because without practice we can not learn. Now, I consider that I can write without problem and face those that I had at the beginning of the course and that made me feel frustrated. Moreover, the knowledge that I got in this course during this semester will lead me in the other subjects in which to have a good writing skill will be necessary. Thus, the knowledge that now I have about writing will carry with me during all my academic life in which I will show how is my performance and my improvement in writing. Finally, what I can say to conclude this course is that the goals have been accomplished and that the results are all positive because now when I am in front of the paper I do not feel frustrated thinking about what I have to write; I just try to put into practice everything that a leaned in this subject.
During this semester, I have had many challenges because I learned how to write paragraphs, and to be sincere, it was really complicated for me because at the beginning, I had no clear idea even the teacher had already explained how to do it, buy through practicing I learned how to write paragraphs even though at the beginning was harder. I am not good at writing, but I do my best every time I write a journal, paragraph or essay. I always try to improve because I know learning never stops;that's why, I used to stick to the explanations given in classes. I think this semester was a little bit harder because I wrote a lot; I wrote until my hand could stand. For me, writing is really complicating because it is really necessary to take into account everything; I mean punctuation, spelling, cohesion, unity etc. I think my performance was good because I did my best even though sometimes I had no idea about how to start writing, but at the end, I did it. I consider English Composition is a subject in which l learned many things that I would put into practicing every time that I write. I hace gotten memories throughout this course; there were nights in which I went to bed eleven or twelve at night because I was still doing homework of this subject, but that the way that I learned.In addition, I did a good performance because I did my best.
10. Reflection regarding what we have learned about ourselves as writers this semester and how your assumptions and understandings of wrtiting and reading have changed as a result of our work in this course.
I believe now, that if we do not give up on things that are difficult, we get a good result at the end. One thing I will never forget is that my teacher made me practice a lot that sometimes, I got frustated. Anyways, writing gave me the opportunity of expressing myself, so I believe writing is magical.
Silma M.- During this semester I have learned many things but one of the most important is that if we believe in ourselves everything is possible, the only thing that we have to do is take interest in what we think0 is difficult. As a writer I can say that I have improved my writing skill although not the all but I have done it. In addition, sometimes we think that to write is difficult but we do not put our interest on it or we do no take time to practice doing it. I say this because it was my experience at the beginning of the course. When the course started, I did not take too much interest on it because it was difficult for me, but then I thought that it was difficult because I did not take interest on it, so I started to put all the interest, and then my thought changed.
My assumptions and understanding about writing and reading now are different because before to study composition I thought that to write was not that important like speak is. However, now I think that it is so important because there is no point if we learn how to speak a language if we do not learn how to write it because if we do not know how to write, we can no do any formal document or we cannot write a letter. Let us Imagine a person who cannot talk because he or she is especial, but he or she can write it means that person can get communication by writing but a person who do not know how to write that person will not be able how to get communication. Now I consider that writing is one of the most important skills that a person can develop.
Throughout this semester, I have learned many things regarding with English Composition. I learned how to write nice paragraphs;that was hard at the beginning, but through explanations; it turned less difficult. I learned how to explain, define, compare, and contrast things. It was pretty nice, and I also learned how to make narration, persuasion, illustration, and classification paragraphs. Now. I am able to write any kind of paragraphs. I already know which are the steps that I have to follow in order to write journals, paragraphs or essays. I have acquired a lot of knowledge related with those topics. I have learned that writing is like another world in which every time that a person takes a pen or pencil to star writing; a new writer is born. I realized I'm not so bad at writing, and that through working; I would be better.
Fisrt, I have to mention that this course was unusual as our teacher did lots of things different. For instance, we were exposed to differents activities that other teachers do not do in classses, and those unusual activities made classes catchy. Second, I would definetely say that students must start this course believing that they already are writers; otherwise, they may get stuck thinking they cannot write anything. It is about attitude. Also, I would suggest to start practicing paragraphs earlier, so students can practice more since writing essays is more difficult than writing paragraphs.
Something that I would like to suggest in order to develop this course is that the teachers must take the responsibility to be punctual in the classroom because in that way students are going to be punctual as well.
Another suggestion that I would like to give is that the teacher should provide more practices about essays inside the classroom.
I think that this course is pretty useful, and that everyone can learn a lot of things. I would suggest going deeper of every topic because sometimes students do not understand well and have doubts, and also I would suggest that when checking journals or paragraphs to write the correct version of the words or sentences that students write. Thus, students would know how to write well or why that is wrong. In that way, students would improve their writing skills. To be frank, I really liked this course because in there, I learned how to write. It was wonderful. English Composition was a great experience.