Literary Genres, Elements, 1 and Techniques

F Use proofreading symbols to correct each misspelled word below. If a word is spelled correctly, put a check mark next to the word. 1

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F Use proofreading symbols to correct each misspelled word below. If a word is

spelled correctly, put a check mark next to the word.

1 approximately

2 caracter

3 committment

4 hypocricy

5 necessary

6 occassion

7 recieve

8 relevent

9 rhythm

10 wierd




176 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment

G Use proofreading symbols to make corrections to the misspelled words in the passage below.
In 1939, a sientist flying over the region of Nazca in southern Peru spoted some huge drawings etched on the dessert floor. Eventualy, hundreds of these spectaculer drawings, some up to 1000 feat in size, were discoverd. Their are geometric figures, birds, and animals, including killer wales, a monky, and a spider.
Allthough no one is absolutly certan who made the Nazca lines, it is believed that they were drawn by the anchent Nazca Indians, a pre-Inca sivilization. Apparantly they brushed away the surfice soil to reveal the lighter colored soil beneeth. Fortunatly, the drawings have been prezerved for nearly two thousend years owing to a compleet lack of rain in the regeon.

Vareous explainations of the purpose of these incredable drawings have been offered. Some reserchers think they serve as an astronomical calender. Others beleive they are linked to mountin worship. Some say the lines were made to be seen by the gods and to plead for there ass istence. One fancifull idea is that the lines were drawn by aleins as part of an extraterrestrial landing stripe! In any case, the Nazca lines are beatiful works of art and represent a high level of cultural acheivement.

H Insert correct punctuation (including end marks, commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks) into each sentence below.
1 When did the Battle of Bunker Hill take place

2 Some of the major Impressionist painters were Monet Renoir Degas and Manet.

Similar markings on an island off the coast of Peru

Lesson 6.6—Conventions of English 177

3 Alan thinks its highly unlikely that man will ever live on the moon

Mark Twain once commented When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

I Use the proofreading symbols to mark corrections in capitalization and punctuation in the passage below.


what do the tasmanian devil the opossum, and the kangaroo have in
common All are marsupials a kind of mammal who’se babies grow inside a

special pouch for several months after birth Almost all marsupial’s are found in australia and on nearby Islands. the only marsupial, Found in north or south america is the opossum. which can hang from a branch by it’s tail. The largest marsupial is the red Kangaroo, which can grow as tall as seven feet. the koala weighs, less than a paper clip at. birth It takes refuge in the mothers pouch for the first six or seven month’s, then begins to eat the leaves of eucalyptus trees the only item in its diet The Tasmanian devil resembles a small, hairy pig. it has powerful jaws and a reputation for ferocity

J Use proofreading symbols to mark corrections in spelling, grammar, usage, capitalization, and punctuation in the following passage. Indicate that one new paragraph begins with the sentence “The first stage. . .“ and that another begins with the sentence “The building of Stonehenge. . . .“






178 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment

A misterious monument from the stone Age raises out the grasslands of Salisbury Plane in southeastern england. No one really know why Stonehenge was built or by who. One medieval writer sugested that Merlin the Magician raised the boulders of the monument by majic. People use to beleive. That it was a temple for Druids, ancient Celtic priests. But carbon dateing show that Stonehenge was finished more then three thousands years ago, long befor the rise of the Druidic religeon. The bilding took place in three stages over a period of nearly too thousand years, so the monument could not of been built by just one cultural group. The first stage of construction begun about 3100 B.C. and included the diging of a circuler ditch and a ring of 56 wholes. About a thousand years later, massive pillars of stone was brought by land and see from

Wales, 280 miles a way, and erected at the center the of original circle. Some of these stones are now laying on there sides, but some remain standing. During the third phase, 30 upright stones wieghing as much as 50 tuns each was placed in an outer circle other huge stones were then lifted up and placed ontop of the uprights. The building of Stonehenge was a marvel of tecnology. Skilled engineers must of directed the carving and raising of the stones. Their is evidence that the builders were aquainted with astronomy; they used astro nomical calculations to align the stones with heavenly bodies. They may even have been abel to predict eclipses of the son and moon. By the posision of these celestial bodys in relation to the stones of the monument




Lesson 6.6—Conventions of English 179

— — —

L5~~ Understanding Writing


n this unit, you will learn the skills you need to pass writing exams with flying colors. This lesson explains examination prompts, describes the steps in the writing process, and discusses how essays are evaluated. The lesson that follows reviews the parts of a five-paragraph essay. The final lesson in this unit takes you step by step through the process of producing an essay for a timed test.
Understanding the Writing
You will be called on to produce one of three kinds of response to a writing test prompt. You will be asked to write a persua­sive, an expository, or a narrative essay. As you learned earlier in this text, narrative writing tells a story, expository writing provides information, and persuasive writing attempts to convince the reader to adopt some opinion or take some action.

Your first task is to read the prompt carefully and determine which type of response it calls for. Your task will differ depending on whether you are writing a narrative, an expository, or a persuasive essay. In a narrative, you will describe an experience that relates to a theme and show

how the experience illustrates the theme. In an expository essay, you will present a general statement of fact and then elaborate on that statement by providing other, related facts. In a persuasive essay, you will present a statement of opinion and then supply evidence to support the opinion.

The chart on the next page presents some sample narrative, expository, and persuasive prompts. Notice that each prompt briefly describes the background for a writing situation, suggests what you need to consider before you begin writing, and then tells you what to write.

Understanding the Writing

A process is any activity that takes place over time and that involves a series of stages or steps. The process of writing is usually divided into the following parts:

Prewriting. In this stage of the writing process, you determine what kind of piece you need to write; identify your audience; decide on a purpose for your writing; come up with a thesis statement, or main idea; gather ideas and information to include in your piece; and organize your ideas.




7.1 Examinations




I 80 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment


Writing Prompts

for Narrative, Expository, and Persuasive Essays

Prompt 1
Background for writing:

Your school is collecting essays for the yearbook for a section called “Life Lessons.”
Directions for writing:

Think about a time when you learned a valuable lesson about life. Write an essay in which you tell the story of how you learned this lesson.


Prompt 2

Background for writing:

You are trying out for a position on your community’s Cable Network News show. Directions for writing:

Think about some event that happened to you, to someone you know in your school, or to someone in your community. Then write a news story in which you report the story of this event.

Prompt 1
Background for writing:


You are a member of the Broadcasting Club at your school. Members of this club are interested in careers in radio and television.
Directions for writing:

Think about the similarities and differences between news as it is presented on television and in newspapers. Write a brief paper comparing and contrasting the two media.

Prompt 2

Background for writing:

You and five other high-school students have been shipwrecked on a deserted island with no supplies except for a notebook and some pens from a backpack that has washed ashore.
Directions for writing:

Think about what you must do to survive. Write an essay-length journal entry telling what steps you need to take to ensure your survival.

Prompt 1
Background for writing:

Your best friend wants to become involved in some extracurricular activity at school but doesn’t know which one.
Directions for writing:

Think about an extracurricular activity that your friend would enjoy and benefit from. Then write a letter to your friend to persuade him or her to take up this activity.


Prompt 2

Background for writing:

Due to overcrowding, your school is considering a proposal to run two sessions, one during the day and one at night. Freshmen and sophomores would attend class from 7AM to 2PM. Juniors and seniors would attend class from 2PM to 9PM.
Directions for writing:

Think about the effects of such a system on your school and its students. Then, write a speech in which you present a student’s perspective for or against the proposal.





Lesson 7.1—Understanding Writing Examinations 181

Drafting. In this stage of the process, you

put your ideas down on paper in rough form, creating what is known as a rough draft. At this stage in the process, you usually concentrate on what you are saying, not on how you are saying it or on details of spelling, grammar, usage, and mechanics.
Evaluation. In this important stage of the writing process, you go back over your rough draft to identify its strengths and weaknesses. As you look over the work, you ask yourself questions like these:
Is the writing focused? That is, have I stated a main idea, elaborated on that idea, and included only details that are relevant, or related to that idea?
Is the writing well organized? Does the piece have a clear beginning, middle, and end? Are the ideas presented in a logical order? Have I used transitions to show the relationships among the ideas throughout the piece?
Is the thesis, or main idea, well supported? Have I provided enough information to support my thesis? Is the information that I have provided clear, accurate, vivid, concrete, precise, and relevant? Is the support that I have provided thorough?
Is the writing appropriate to my audience? Does the language that I have used suit the topic, audience, and situation? Is it too formal or too informal? Is the tone, or attitude, expressed by the writing appro­priate? Is the writing at the proper level of simplicity or complexity for the audience?

Does the writing accomplish the purpose that I set out to accomplish? If my purpose is to explain, is the explanation complete, clear, and accurate? Have I avoided expressions of unsubstantiated opinion? If the purpose is to persuade, have I provided sufficient reasons to convince my readers?

Is the writing interesting and engaging? Have I used vivid, concrete language? Have I varied the structure and lengths of my sentences?
Revision. Good writing is rewriting. In this stage of the process, you use the information that you’ve gathered during evaluation to rewrite your draft. Use this opportunity to improve the focus and organization and to make your writing more interesting and appropriate. There are three ways to revise, and most writers make use of all three. You can add parts, delete parts, and change parts, For example, you might add a transition to clarify the relationship between two sentences, you might delete an irrelevant or unnecessary word or phrase, and you might change a vague verb like moved to a vivid, concrete verb like hobbled or skated. Often, writers revise their work many times before producing the finished version, which is called the final draft.
Proofreading. The final draft is not really final, because two steps remain. After you have written out the final version, you need to check it carefully for errors in paragraph indention, spelling, grammar, usage, capitalization, and punctuation. After correcting these errors, you may need to make a clean final copy.




182 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment

Publishing. The last stage in the process is the point of it all. In this stage, you share your work with others. You can do this through formal publishing, in a student newspaper, for example, or through informal sharing, as when you read part or all of something you’ve written aloud in class.
The Writing Process for Timed Tests

On a timed writing test, you will follow a slightly different process from the one outlined above. The following chart outlines the major differences.

1. When taking a timed test, you will not have time to write

multiple drafts. You will want your draft to be as close to final as you can make it in the time available.

2. Because you will not be able to write multiple drafts, prewriting becomes very important. You

need to make sure that you plan your essay carefully, before you

begin writing, by making a rough outline or a graphic organizer.

3. As you draft, you need to be

careful that you are remaining on your topic, that you are following the organizational pattern that

you decided on during your

prewriting, and that you are using transitions to connect your ideas.

4. You need to allow yourself

sufficient time, after writing the

draft essay, to read it over and make corrections. You will have to telescope the revision and proofreading processes, making minimal revisions and checking your paragraph indention, spelling, grammar, usage, capitalization, and punctuation.

5. Because this is a handwritten draft, you will have to be very neat as you draft and in the corrections that you make. Of course, you are not being graded on your handwriting skills, but it is important that the evaluator be able to read your writing and your corrections.

Scoring Written Work


One method of scoring written work is called focused holistic scoring. When a person deals with something in its entirety, considering the effect created by the whole, he or she is operating holistically. This scoring method is called holistic because the evaluators will assign a single score from 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest) for the overall quality of the essay. The scoring is focused because, in order to come up with the overall, holistic score, the evaluators will consider a few specific qualities of the essay. The evaluation will be based on your essay’s focus, organization, support, and use of conventions.

Focus refers to how clearly the essay presents and maintains a main idea. An essay is well focused when it deals with a single

Lesson 7.1—Understanding Writing Examinations I 83

topic; presents a main idea, or thesis, related to that topic; and contains only material related to the main idea (does not contain unrelated or extraneous information).

Organization refers to the structure, or plan of development, of the essay and to the logical relationship of its parts. An essay is well organized when it has a clear beginning, middle, and end; when its sen­tences and paragraphs follow logically from one another; and when the relationships among ideas in the essay are indicated by transitions. (Transitions are words and phrases used to connect ideas. See the list of transitions on page 160.)

Support refers to the number and quality of the details used to elaborate upon the main idea of the essay. In a well-written essay, the main idea is thoroughly supported with illustrations, facts, examples, or other details that are concrete, vivid, credible, and related to the main idea. In evaluating how well you have supported your main idea, the readers of the essay will consider both content and expression. If you have stated your details using precise, engaging, concrete language, an appropriate tone, and varied sentences, your score will be higher.

Conventions are rules that govern spelling, sentence variation, grammar, usage, punctuation, and capitalization. A good response to a writing prompt will observe the conventions for formal writing. Turn

A Answer these questions based on what you have learned in this lesson.
1 What are the steps in the normal writing process? Briefly describe what takes place during each stage.

2 Why is planning what you are going to write especially important on a timed writing exam? Where will you do the planning for your essay?

3 What is holistic scoring? What qualities of your essay will the evaluators consider when scoring it?
B Answer these questions based on the sample writing prompts on page 181.
1 What should be the purpose of the written response to narrative prompt 2? of the response to expository prompt 1? of the response to persuasive prompt 2?
2 Who is the audience for the writing assigned in persuasive prompt 1?
3 What might be an appropriate thesis statement, or statement of the main idea, for narrative prompt 1? for expository prompt 2?
4 What two different points of view might be expressed in response to persuasive prompt 2?
5 For which of the prompts listed in the chart might you write an essay that presents ideas in order of importance? in chronological order? Explain.
6 Suppose that you were going to write an essay in response to expository prompt 2. The essay will contain three body paragraphs, each dealing with one subtopic related to the main topic. What might be the subtopics of your body paragraphs?





184 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment

~~L~SO1~J Tue Structure of an Essay








you learned in Unit 5 of this book, there are many types of essay.

To name a few, there are narrative essays that tell about real-life events, personal essays in which people share their experiences and reflections, persuasive essays that attempt to convince others to take an action or to adopt a point of view, and informative essays that define, analyze, compare and contrast, classify, or describe processes. Despite their astonishing variety, most essays have three elements in common:

1. Essays are relatively short. For a timed writing test, your essay will probably be no more than four or five paragraphs long.

2. Essays present and elaborate on a single main idea, or thesis.

3. Essays have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
The Five-Paragraph Theme

Unless the test you are taking gives other instructions, the safest approach is to write a five-paragraph theme. This is an essay that consists of a one-paragraph introduc­tion, three body paragraphs, and a one-paragraph conclusion.

Paragraph 1. The introduction grabs the attention of your audience and presents your thesis statement, or main idea.
Paragraphs 2—4. Each body paragraph

presents a major supporting idea related to your thesis statement. This idea is expressed in a topic sentence. Supporting sentences within the body paragraph elaborate on the topic sentence, presenting additional information or details.

Paragraph 5. The conclusion sums up your essay and gives the reader what critic Frank Kermode has called “the sense of an ending.”
Throughout the five-paragraph theme, transitions should be used to connect ideas.

Transitions are words and phrases that

relate paragraphs, sentences, and parts of sentences to one another. For a list of transitions that you can use to express various kinds of relationships among ideas, see the chart on page 160.

The chart on the next page shows the parts of a sample five-paragraph theme. On the following page is a graphic organizer that can be used for planning such an essay.

Lesson 7.2—The Structure of an Essay 185

The Structure of a Five-Paragraph Theme

Chan~lra ~attacherya


Monday, April iS

title —~---~--— — “Looking for Life in the Solar System”
Have you ever looked up at the stars at night and wondered if
paragraph 1, there were life on other planets? If so, you are not alone. F’eople have

introduction been wondering since the beginning of time whether human beings

are alone in the universe. In our century, scientists have invented

great tools for turning the search for extraterrestrial life into a

reality. ri particular, twentieth-century scientists have used tele­

scopes and space prol7es to search for life in other parts of the

solar system. Three places where life might exist elsewhere include

thesis H Mars, the moon of Jupiter known as Europa, and one of the many

statement i I

L asteroids that lie in the asteroid l7elt l7etween Mars and Jupiter.

[l’aragraph 2: PescriI~e the discovery of a rock from Mars containing evidence of I~acteria that used to live on Mars. Explain that such E~acteria might still 17e alive on Mars, F7uriedl deep in the Martian soil.]
summaries of [F’aragraph 3: Explain that a space prol7e flew 17y Europa, one of the

paragraphs moons of Jupiter, and ol~served that this moon has a surface of

2, 3, & 4, frozen ice ~ut may contain oceans beneath the ice that have life the body

paragraphs in them.]

of the essay

[l7aragraph 4: Explain that some scientists believe that small organisms such as viruses and bacteria can be frozen and live for a long time. One of the asteroids in the asteroki belt might contain such ancient, frozen extraterrestrial life.]

Will we ever be able to prove the existence of life in one of these

paragraph 5, places? Scientists at NASA have not yet figured out a way to conclusion examine the individual asteroids in the asteroid belt. However, plans

are underway for more missions to Mars to look for life on that planet, and other plans are being made for traveling to Europa and drilling beneath the ice to find out whether life exists in Europa’s oceans. Eventually, evidence may be found to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are not alone in the solar system.


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