The essay warm-up



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THE ESSAY
Warm-up: The following are sentences taken from students’ essays. Which ones contain a mistake?


  • He asked me what to do and I said it would be a good thing to go to the doctor.

  • You need to sharply twist the lid to the right in order to open the jar.

  • I’ve never been to Bodmin – Bree is the village I used to go to.

  • My brother likes very much toast for breakfast.


Context: T. Suitor’s progress at school is unsatisfactory, so the headmaster invites him to his office and gives him a good talking to…
Listening 1: In order to show just how poor Suitor’s performance is, the headmaster reads out to him the beginnings of three pieces of writing of his. Change the following topics as necessary.

  • “Write an essay about ‘Patience’”

  • “What was notable about the late 1960’s?”

  • “Define the ‘South Sea Bubble’ and its effects on the stock market”

What is it about Suitor’s answers that the headmaster finds exasperating?
Listening 2: Here is the script of the dialogue. Make any changes necessary, and fill in the gaps.
[H: Headmaster, S: Suitor]


H:

Suitor, when you first came to this school, we took you because of a most …………. essay you wrote about a parrot that belonged to your aunt.

S:

Ah, yes, sir.

H:

Since then, your progress has been … unsatisfactory. I have here your exam papers from this year. Let’s take a look at the paper, shall we? Question 1 was “Write a composition about ‘Perseverance’”.

S:

Yes, sir.

H:

Do you remember how you began this very original essay, Suitor?

S:

Eer, no, sir.

H:

Read this, it’ll help.

S:

[Reads]: “General Paper, Final Exam. T. Suitor. Autumn 1980, …………..: “Perseverence”.

H:

Yes, go on.

S:

[Reads]: “My aunt, who I live with, ……………………… ‘Perseverance’. * One day….

H:

Yes, and you proceeded to tell exactly the same story you told when you first arrived at this school. *

S:

Yes, sir.

H:

Here’s a different one: History, Question 5.

S:

[Reads] “What was remarkable about the late 50’s?”

H:

And your answer? [Reads] “My aunt, who I live with, used to have a parrot ………………… * who is now ………... The most notable thing about … the ………… 50’s… was his enormous appetite..” * And Question 7.

S:

[Reads]: “Describe the South Sea Bubble, and its effect on investment”.

H:

Carry on.

S:

[Reads]: “The ‘South Sea Bubble’ was a large …………. * and its effect on ‘Investment’ which was a parrot ……………… my aunt, * who I live with…

H:

SUITOR!! Do you think I am some sort of idiot?? Do you think I haven’t noticed?? * It’s …………………………………………………………**….


THE ESSAY [KEY]
Warm-up: The following are sentences taken from students’ essays. Which ones contain a mistake?


  • He asked me what to do and I said it would be a good thing to go to the doctor.

  • You need to sharply twist the lid to the right in order to open the jar.

  • I’ve never been to Bodmin – Bree is the village I used to go to.

  • My brother likes very much toast for breakfast.


Context: T. Suitor’s progress at school is unsatisfactory, so the headmaster invites him to his office and gives him a good talking to…
Listening 1: In order to show just how poor Suitor’s performance is, the headmaster reads out to him the beginnings of three pieces of writing of his. Change the following topics as necessary.

  • “Write an essay about ‘Perseverance

  • “What was notable about the late 1950’s?”

  • “Define the ‘South Sea Bubble’ and its effects on investment

What is it about Suitor’s answers that the headmaster finds exasperating?
Listening 2: Here is the script of the dialogue. Make any changes necessary, and fill in the gaps.
[H: Headmaster, S: Suitor]



H:

Suitor, when you first came to this school, we took you on account of a most entertaining essay you wrote about a parrot that belonged to your aunt.

S:

Ah, yes, sir.

H:

Since then, your progress has been … disappointing. I have here your exam papers from this year. Let’s take a look at the general paper, shall we? Question 1 was “Write an essay about ‘Perseverance’”.

S:

Yes, sir.

H:

Do you remember how you began this essay, Suitor?

S:

Eer, no, sir.

H:

Read this, it’ll help.

S:

[Reads]: “General Paper, Final Exam. T. Suitor. Autumn 1980, Subject: “Perseverance”.

H:

Yes, get on with it.

S:

[Reads]: “My aunt, who I live with, has a parrot called ‘Perseverance’. * One day….

H:

Yes, and you proceeded to tell exactly the same story you told when you arrived at this school. *

S:

Yes, sir.

H:

Here’s a slightly different one: History, Question 5.

S:

[Reads] “What was notable about the late 50’s?”

H:

And your answer? [Reads] “My aunt, who I live with, used to have a parrot called ‘50’s’ * who is now dead. The most notable thing about … the late 50’s… was his enormous appetite..” * And Question 7.

S:

[Reads]: “Describe the South Sea Bubble, and its effect on investment”.

H:

Go on.

S:

[Reads]: “The ‘South Sea Bubble’ was a large goldfish * and its effect on ‘Investment’ which was a parrot owned by my aunt, * who I live with…

H:

SUITOR!! Do you think I am some sort of cretin?? Do you think I haven’t noticed?? * It’s “WITH WHOM I LIVE”!! ** “My aunt WITH WHOM I LIVE” - not “who I live with”….



NICK



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