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The student guide to writing better sentences in the english classroom sample

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'The Student Guide To Writing Better Sentences In The English Classroom' is a comprehensive and practical manual for students on how to write effective sentences for a variety of text types. The guide introduces students to grammar - different parts of speech - in the context of text response, poetry analysis, persuasive, creative, comparative and non-fiction writing.

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The student guide to writing better sentences in the english classroom sample

  1. 1. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES In The English Classroom Preview © TICKIN G M IN D
  2. 2. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES In The English Classroom A Ticking Mind Publication THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES In The English Classroom Copyright © Ticking Mind 2016 All rights reserved. Except under the conditions described in the Copyright Act 1968 of Australia and subsequent amendments, no part of this publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. First Published 2016 by: Ticking Mind Publications, Northcote. ISBN 978-0-9944258-2-9 Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  3. 3. CONTENTS Writing language analysis sentences...................111 •• Introducing the contention •• Writing creative sentences •• Continuing your introduction •• Introducing the reader •• Describing Tone •• Writing the body of a language analysis •• Introducing examples •• Using prepositions to support your observations •• Introducing other examples and explanations •• Writing Conclusions for a Language Analysis chapter4 Writing creative sentences.............................................. 149 •• Choosing your ‘voice’ •• Alternating names and pronouns in 3rd person stories •• Writing a Narrative •• Using verbs effectively •• Putting Description into Writing •• Changing the position of adjectives •• Adjectives belonging to a character •• Using similes in an interesting way •• Adverbs •• Prepositions for detail •• Sentence length •• Marking the passage of time •• Putting Speech into Writing chapter6chapter5 Writing comparative sentences....................................131 •• Writing about genre •• Body Paragraphs •• Writing more descriptively •• Writing Transition Sentences •• Writing About Both Texts In The Same Sentence •• Writing Conclusions CONTENTS WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES.................................... 1 •• Basic Introductory First Sentence •• More Detailed Introductory Statements •• Sentences Within Introductions •• Sentences Which Refer To The Text and its Author in a Variety of Ways •• Topic Sentences •• Body Paragraph Sentences •• Concluding Statements chapter1 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES........................................ 59 •• Writing biographical and autobiographical sentences •• Writing film and novel review sentences •• Writing news report sentences chapter3 Writing Persuasive sentences............................................ 31 •• Developing a contention •• Engaging the audience through pronouns •• Labelling the issue with positive and negative nouns •• Using Adjectives •• Tricolons (the rule of three) •• Comparative and Superlative Adjectives •• Double-pronged sentences •• Cause and Effect verbs •• Using adverbs to create generalisations •• Writing about evidence •• Linking phrases •• Concluding phrases chapter2 Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  4. 4. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES 1 WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES Writing a text response is a daunting task, but one which you will be asked to do several times over the course of the year in any English class. Many students have mastered the basic structure of an essay and are able to construct the essay overall, but are not able to improve their writing. However, this is the most important part of becoming better in English. Fortunately, there are a few phrases and words which will help you improve your writing style enormously. This chapter is full of them. chapter1 Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  5. 5. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 32 In all of these examples, there are some common elements. ELEMENT EXAMPLE 1. The writer is beginning each of these sentences with a preposition (this is a word which indicates when or where - in these examples, the prepositions are ‘Throughout’, ‘In’, and ‘For’). Beginning with a preposition helps your sentence sound more fluent, it improves the ‘flow’ of your writing In… 2. The writer then identifies both the Author or Director and the text title (indicating that they are writing about the whole text) Harper Lee’s much-loved To Kill a Mockingbird,… 3. In each sentence, the writer uses an analytical verb (here, ‘explores’, ‘challenges’ and ‘scrutinises’ are used) …she challenges… 4. Finally, the writer gives an indication of what the text is about overall - they don’t retell the events of the story, but just give an idea of what they think the ‘big idea’ of the text is. These sorts of phrases are based upon an idea noun. …the prejudices which are accepted as normal by many people. Basic introductory first sentence Often, the most difficult part of beginning writing is putting pen to paper - it can be very difficult to know where to begin and what to write. The good news is that once you have the first sentence down, it’s usually much easier to keep going. The advice of this book is for you to write down a first sentence that gives your reader/ teacher/examiner some overall information about the text you are analysing. Not boring information about when the novel was published, or who performed the first play, or the actors in the film (anyone can find that sort of information with a quick Google search), but a quick 20-second analysis of what the whole text is aiming to do. Let’s look at some examples: Throughout Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet, he explores the dangerous nature of love. OR In Harper Lee’s much-loved To Kill a Mockingbird, she challenges the prejudices which are accepted as normal by many people. OR From the outset of Gattaca, Andrew Niccol scrutinises how genetics determines the ways nearly all people live. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  6. 6. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 4 Punctuation tip: Commas are used to separate extra information from the main part of a sentence in order to make the sentence clearer. Starting a sentence with a preposition means you’re adding extra information to the beginning of a statement, so you need to put a comma at the end of this extra information to separate it from the rest of the sentence: • Throughout Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet, he explores the dangerous nature of love. • In Harper Lee’s much-loved To Kill a Mocking- bird, she challenges the prejudices which are accepted as normal by many people. • For the duration of Gattaca, Andrew Niccol scrutinises a world in which genetics will determine the ways people can live their lives. It’s time for you to give it a go In your workbook, write an introductory sentence using the table below to help you Prepositional phrase Proper nouns Analytical verb Basic idea nouns Throughout In From the start From the outset At its heart, Fundamentally, Author or Director’s Name + the Name of Text challenges scrutinises explores highlights questions transforms exposes focuses reveals manipulates speculates discusses advocates contrasts epitomises growing up discovery identity survival loss friendship family justice nature independence happiness value loyalty love hate conflict courage defeat bravery life lives hope power humanity prejudice oppression conscience the past being a hero (Optional) Protagonist’s Name discovers learns finds realises understands seeks changes transforms becomes Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  7. 7. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 76 It’s time for you to give it a go In your workbook, write an introductory sentence with more detail using the table below to help you. Basic Extra Information Words (Ways of saying ‘and’, ‘but’ or ‘because’) Conjunctions Conjunction phrases and but yet or because and also but also yet also not only…but also both…and in addition to together with as well as in conjunction with on top of Another way of adding detail to your introductory statements is by using phrases that allow you to describe the ideas of a text or its setting in a more specific and interesting way. In the example below ‘world in which’ is phrase that allows the writer to describe the setting and issues of Gattaca in more detail. It’s also a phrase that could be applied to many texts. In Harper Lee’s much-loved To Kill a Mockingbird, she challenges the prejudices which are accepted as normal (noun phrase) by many people even though they create division and unhappiness. On the opposite page is a chart which lists many noun phrases that you might find useful to help you describe the setting or issues of a text in more detail. More detailed introductory statements Once you have become adept at the basic introductory statement, you could try extending your opening sentence like this: Throughout Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet, he explores the dangerous nature of love and how love may not conquer all but may be defeated by hate. OR In Harper Lee’s much-loved To Kill a Mockingbird, she challenges the prejudices which are accepted as normal by many people even though they create division and unhappiness. OR From the outset of Gattaca, Andrew Niccol scrutinises how genetics determines the ways nearly all people live, except for the brave few who challenge society. All of these sentences have been extended by the writer using an extra information word (or conjunction) to join two noun phrases. Writing ‘and’ in a sentence is perhaps the simplest and most powerful way to write more analytically about a text because it means there is not just one thing to say but more things to say. One important element of writing ‘and’ is to find different ways of saying it. Over-leaf is a handy list of extra information words together with idea nouns and noun phrases you can use in your introductory statements. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  8. 8. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 98 Sentences within introductions Once you’ve practised your opening sentence a few times, it’s time to respond to the topic you have been given to discuss. Below is an example of an introduction which shows three types of sentences used in introductions: Essay topic: JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone shows us that in order to become a hero you don’t need to be talented, you just need to be courageous. Introductory sentence Throughout Harry Potter, JK Rowling contrasts the different characters, demonstrating that each of them has their own kind of heroism. Sentence which addresses the topic and discusses how an author constructs a text Her novel highlights a range of attributes and attitudes that heroes must have such as the desire to improve Hogwarts and the world around them. Sentences which provide an overview of examples to be used throughout the essay As the protagonist of the novel, Harry is the most obvious hero and although he is new to the wizarding world, he does have a number of talents that other wizards of his age do not have. Hermione Granger is also new to the wizard world, but her intelligence is greater than most other people of her age - she is a very annoying character, but in the end, is also a hero. However, Ron, who has always been a part of the wizarding world, is not particularly brave or intelligent but is a hero because he is a loyal friend. It’s time for you to give it a go In your workbook, write an introductory statement with a detailed noun phrase using the table below to help you. Introduction and topic sentence idea nouns and noun phrases “Overall Idea” noun phrases “Overall Idea” nouns • the challenges and triumphs of… • the pressures and difficulties of… • the dangerous nature of… • the devastating impact of… • the value of.. • the importance/significance of… • how…is prevalent in the world of… • the ways in which acts of…can… • how experiences of…can • how times of…can • a world in which…is.. • how societies in which…can • the ways in which….affects us all. • the ways in which people overcome… • the nature of…in a world which/where… • the experience of… in a world where… • how…challenges us to… • how…forces us to… • how…compels us… • what it means to be… • what it means for… • the struggle for… • the quest for… • the ways characters routinely experience… growing up belonging identity independence friendship family society happiness loyalty love hope compassion sacrifice power prejudice oppression self interest/selfishness hate defeat despair conflict loss grief discovery courage strength being a hero lessons survival justice conscience truth nature life lives humanity the past the future the present Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  9. 9. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 1110 Sentences which refer to the text its author in a variety of ways In Edward Scissorhands the protagonist is an outsider who initially finds acceptance in society but is excluded from it in the end. The film represents its central character… A crucial part of making your writing more sophisticated, is ensuring you don’t repeat the same nouns too often. Rather than constantly writing “ the text”, “the author” or “the director”, here are some useful nouns and noun phrases to substitute: Novel Film Memoir Play narrative tale story work text piece of cinema text autobiographical account biographical account personal narrative narration recount life story life history chronicle drama piece of theatre theatrical work piece author writer novelist director chronicler biographer playwright dramatist It’s time for you to give it a go The table below offers suggestions about phrases which can you can use to construct the second and third types of sentences from the example above. In your workbook, write an introduction using the table below to help you. Sentence which addresses the topic and discusses how an author constructs a text Sentences which provide an overview of examples to be used throughout the essay Words to help introduce the author or text in a new way Linking adverbs and conjunctions Phrases to provide an overview of examples Articles The text (alternative noun for text - refer to table on…) Demonstratives This idea is highlighted through Pronouns Her novel (? other names) Similarly Furthermore In addition Moreover In comparison to this But Yet In contrast On the contrary On the other hand Despite However While Whereas One character who… The main character who… Many characters are… Many moments in the text are… The narrative focuses on events which… But other characters such as… However, there is/are also others… The most important technique for… Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  10. 10. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 1312 It’s time for you to give it a go Using the table below, write several practice topic sentences, using both abstract nouns for the main idea you are going to discuss, and then join it to a perspective phrase using a second verb. Concrete Noun Verb 1 Abstract Noun Verb 2 Author name Text name emphasises reveals highlights shows focuses underscores represents creates depicts portrays friendship prejudice courage heroism thoughtlessness justic power survival redemption growing up the search for identity knowledge responsibility forgiveness loyalty fate betrayal loss compels/ling leads/ing to forces/ing motivates/ing challenges/ing enables/ing stands/ing up to reveals/ing causes/ing Character name is/are underscores highlights shows creates directs controls causes leads to is represented as… is depicted as… is motivated by… is characterised as… Perspective phrases the consistent unluckiness of… people who… his/her eventual… the ultimate me sage of… others who… the way people… a culture of… in contrast to… by consistently.. for those who… people’s behaviour in relation to… Topic sentences The first thing that you need to write in a body paragraph is a great topic sentence. Often, students make the mistake of writing a sentence that just has a topic noun in it (like the name of a character or the name of a theme). These topic sentences might look something like this: • JK Rowling shows us Harry Potter’s courage. • Romeo is impatient. • Stanley needs friendship. However, a better topic sentence has both a topic noun (also called an abstract or ‘idea’ noun) and a perspective phrase. Let’s look at some examples: JK Rowling shows us the courage Harry Potter has in standing up to people who misuse their power. OR Shakespeare demonstrates that Romeo’s impatience leads the way to his eventual doom. OR Stanley demonstrates the importance of friendship in overcoming the consistent unluckiness and poverty that his family have had for generations. In each of these examples, there is an underlined abstract noun (or in the case of the second example, a noun phrase) which is the topic, and then a bold perspective phrase which follows a verb. The abstract noun labels the idea which is being written about (it’s called abstract because it’s a thing you can think about but not touch). The perspective phrase provides a more specific or detailed description of the abstract topic noun, its impact or its elements. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  11. 11. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 1514 Here are some prepositions and prepositional phrases you can use at the start of topic sentences: Throughout Through By With During By showing us… From the outset In the beginning At the start At the point in the story where… For most of the In the end At the climax At the crisis By the end Punctuation note: Remember: prepositional phrases need to be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma. Beyond the Basics Once you have mastered this basic topic sentence structure, you can experiment with changing the order of the concrete noun, verb 1 and abstract noun. For example: abstract noun verb concrete noun Friendship enables Stanley to overcome the consistent unluckiness and poverty that his family have had for generations. OR Concrete noun Abstract Noun Verb Stanley’s friendship helps him overcome the consistent unluckiness and poverty that his family have had for generations. Topic sentences can also begin with prepositional phrases. These phrases can add important information to the start of a topic sentence or help one paragraph link more effectively to a preceding paragraph. • Throughout the narrative, JK Rowling shows us the courage Harry Potter has in standing up to people who misuse their power. • From the very beginning of the play, Romeo’s impatience and thoughtlessness lead the way to his eventual doom. • At the climax of Holes, friendship enables Stanley to overcome the consistent unluckiness and poverty that his family have had for generations. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  12. 12. Body paragraph sentences with basic verbs and detailed noun groups Often, when students write about examples in their text response essays, they end up retelling the story. They don’t mean to, but this is what happens. Usually, this happens because these students are using very basic verbs like, goes, did, is. For example: Romeo is in love with Juliet and then he marries her. In the table below is a list of verbs (on the left) which are frequently used throughout text response writing. These verbs are often used to construct sentences which either retell the story or offer only a very simple description of the text. Frequently used verbs Poor sentence example went, goes Harry goes to Hogwarts to become a wizard. does, did Harry does not always do well in his classes. has, had, have Stanley has a curse on him. is, are, was, were Stanley is a fat boy. There are two ways we can improve sentences with these frequently used verbs : 1. Delete retelling verbs and replace them with a noun followed by a stronger verb. Retelling verbs Poor sentence example Better sentence example went, goes Harry goes to Hogwarts to become a wizard. Harry’s education (noun) at Hogwarts teaches (stronger verb) him about the world of wizardry. does, did Harry does not always do well in his classes. Harry’s struggle (noun) in his classes shows (stronger verb) us that he is not special in every way. 2. Add more detailed noun groups to sentences with ‘is’ or ‘has’: Retelling verbs Poor sentence example Better sentence example has, had, have Stanley has a curse on him. Stanley has a curse on him which brings continual bad luck to him and his family. is, are, was, were Stanley is a fat boy. Stanley is a fat boy who struggles to fit in because others tease him for it. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  13. 13. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 1918 Body paragraph sentences with multiple verbs One of the important elements of analytical writing is to write longer sentences which contained detailed analysis of the characters, events or techniques in a text. Here’s an example: By the very end of the novel, when Harry finds the Philosopher’s Stone, we think he is a hero because he has worked with his friends, showing great team work and loyalty as well as cleverness to figure out some of the puzzles. Throughout this chapter there have been a number of suggestions about how to add extra information to a sentence such as: • By using conjunctions • By creating noun groups A further basic element to writing longer sentences is to use more verbs. Let’s look at how many verbs are used in this example sentence: By the very end of the novel, when Harry finds the Philosopher’s Stone, we think he is a hero because he has worked with his friends, showing great team work and loyalty as well as cleverness to figure out some of the puzzles. Verbs can be used in a range of different ways in a sentence. Here are three forms verbs can be used in with the verbs from the above sentence as an example: -ing verbs regular verbs ‘to’ verbs finding thinking being having showing figuring finds thinks is has shows figures to find to think to be to have to show to figure It’s time for you to give it a go All of these words and phrases in the table below can be inserted after a noun to add more information to it. In your workbook, write a detailed sentence using the table below to help you. Extra Information Words Conjunctions Conjunction phrases and but yet or because and also but also yet also not only…but also Extra Information Words ADJECTIVES AND ADVERB PHRASES RELATIVE PRONOUNS along with in addition to together with as well as in conjunction with on top of including which who that in which through which by which Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  14. 14. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 20 Punctuation tips: • Commas are used to separate items on a list where there is no ‘and’. When we use multiple verbs in a sentence to create a verb chain, this will usually create a list of actions that need to be separated with a comma: Harry finds the philosopher’s stone (action 1), solves puzzles (action 2) and defeats Voldemort (action 3). A comma goes after the first action in the list but one isn’t needed between the second and third because there is an ‘and’. • Commas are used before an ‘-ing’ verb when it is adding on information to a sentence. Harry finds the philosopher’s tone, solves puzzles and defeats Voldemort, showing (this ‘-ing’ verb adds on information to the sentence) us his heroic qualities. • Sentence openers which add on information before the rest of a main sentence need to be separated out from the main sentence with a comma. This is to help the reader understand where the sentence opener ends and the main sentence begins. Effective text response sentences will always have a regular verb in them. To add more detail they will add more regular verbs or ‘to’ or ‘-ing’ verbs. It’s easy to know how to use a regular verb in a sentence but ‘to’ and ‘-ing’ verbs are a bit tricky. Here are some examples of how to use regular verbs plus ‘to’ and ‘-ing’ verbs within a sentence: Sentences can also start with verbs. Here are same basic examples of how: sentence structures with multiple verbs examples Regular verb chain Harry find the philosopher’s stone, solves puzzles and defeats Voldemort. Regular verb chain + ‘-ing’ verb Harry find the philosopher’s stone, solves puzzles and defeats Voldemort, showing us his heroic qualities. Regular verb sentence + conjunction + regular verb chain Harry find the philosopher’s stone because he acts courageously, works with others and thinks through problems. different sentence structures with verbs examples ‘To’ verb + noun, rest of the sentence To find the philosopher’s stone, Harry must work with others, solve problems and be brave. Preposition +’-ing’ verb, rest of the sentence By finding the philosopher’s stone, Harry shows us he has the courage to stand up for himself in frightening situations, put himself an the face of danger and trust his skills. Conjunction + noun + verb, rest of the sentence When Harry finds the philosopher’s stone, it shows us that he has the ability to work with others, solve problems and be brave. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  15. 15. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 2322 It’s time for you to give it a go The table below offers a range of ways examples can be introduced. In your workbook, practice introducing examples using the table below to help you. • Highlighting this, is the …scene/moment where… • Emphasing this, is the …scene/moment where… • Images of…are used to highlight… • Symbols of…are used to show… • The technique of…illustrates how/that… • A crisis emerges for… when…demonstrating that… • The problem for…arises when… • The incident where…suggests that… • The scene in which…shows us that… • It is when… • It is evident when… • Evidence such as… • Instances such as… • [Character’s name]’s statement that..”…” shows us that… • [Character’s name]’s belief that..”…” reveals to us that… • [Character’s name] says, “…” indicating that… • The action that most show us…is when… • The actions of …are contrasted with… when… • The character is forced to… when… • The setting of…emphasises that… because… • [Author’s name] shows us that…is…when… • In the scene/moment where…we see that… • At the point where…the character is portrayed as… • By [doing….] the character is represented as… • When…occurs, the reader can clearly see… • Throughout the text, moments of…underline the importance of… • In stark contrast to this, is the… where… • This idea is made clear through… • This is apparent when… • These moments highlight… • These characters highlight… -ing’ verbs Noun first Noun Article Pronoun Preposition/ adverb This/these Body paragraph sentences that use evidence In your body paragraphs, you will need to introduce a range of different examples to support your discussion points. You should use a variety of ways to introduce different types of evidence. The paragraph below uses quotes, events and character attributes: From the very beginning of the novel, it is clear that Harry is not an ordinary boy - he is able to keep his sense of humour even when living with the horrible Dursley family because he thinks “two of his ribs might already have cracked from trying not to laugh”. The Dursleys are always mean to him and don’t even give him a real room to sleep in but Harry accepts the way he is treated. This acceptance highlights to the reader how Harry is a kind of hero, even at the beginning of the narrative. Furthermore, when Harry begins at Hogwarts, the reader starts to see just how heroic he really is. Harry’s heroism is evident in his talent at Quiddich and flying, but it is also because Harry is clever and insightful and is the only person who figures out that Voldemort has returned. By the very end of the novel, when Harry finds the Philosopher’s Stone, we think he is a hero because he has worked with his friends, showing great team work and loyalty as well as cleverness to figure out some of the puzzles. So Rowling’s novel demonstrates that being a hero is more complicated that just being brave. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  16. 16. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES 25 Body paragraph sentences which begin in a variety of ways A good body paragraph will include a series of similar examples or compare different examples and discuss them. To link sentences and build on discussion, we need to start our sentences in a variety of ways as can be seen in this example body paragraph: From the very beginning of the novel, it is clear that Harry is not an ordinary boy - he is able to keep his sense of humour even when living with the horrible Dursley family because he thinks “two of his ribs might already have cracked from trying not to laugh”. The Dursleys are always mean to him and don’t even give him a real room to sleep in but Harry accepts the way he is treated. This acceptance highlights to the reader how Harry is a kind of hero, even at the beginning of the narrative. Furthermore, when Harry begins at Hogwarts, the reader starts to see just how heroic he really is. Harry’s heroism is evident in his talent at Quiddich and flying, but it is also because Harry is clever and insightful and is the only person who figures out that Voldemort has returned. By the very end of the novel, when Harry finds the Philosopher’s Stone, we think he is a hero because he has worked with his friends, showing great team work and loyalty as well as cleverness to figure out some of the puzzles. So Rowling’s novel demonstrates that being a hero is more complicated that just being brave. Punctuation tip: Quotes from a text must always have quotation marks around them. Three other rules: • Quotes after a reporting or thinking verb such as ‘says’, ‘writes’, ‘suggests’, ‘claims’ , ‘believes’or ‘thinks’ need to be introduced with a comma: Dumbledore says, “Voldemort…cannot understand…love.” • Quotes introduced after the verbs ‘is’, ’are,’ ‘was’, ‘has’ or ‘have’ do not need to be introduced with a comma: Dumbledore says that one thing Voldemort cannot understand is “love”. • Quotes introduced after a noun do not need to be introduced with a comma: Dumbledore says Voldemort “cannot understand…love”. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  17. 17. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 2726 Concluding statements Conclusions are essential to ensuring your reader understands the overall main point you have made and some of the supporting reasons you have provided within the body of your essay. The conclusion should highlight the best points you have made. There are a range of ways to begin your conclusion. One simple and effective way is to begin with an adverb such as in this example: Ultimately, J.K Rowling shows that heroes have different talents and abilities. Here is a list of other adverbs and phrases you can use to start a conclusion: Concluding adverbs Concluding phrases Ultimately… Essentially… Fundamentally…. On its surface it may be…but underneath… In the end… While the novel shows us…the most important message of the text is… It’s time for you to give it a go The table below provides suggestions about different words that can be used to start sentences. In your workbook, write a body paragraph and try to start sentences within it in at least three different ways. And But By So Use these words at the start of a sentence to provide an additional example or further analysis on top of the previous sentence also furthermore as well as moreover along with in addition likewise on top of this is also these Use these words to introduce a different example or point of discussion although however still despite this on the other hand nevertheless yet beside aside from in comparison meanwhile on the contrary conversely Use these words to begin a sentence focusing on how a technique is used or character acts in a text through since with when as Use these words to bring your discussion to a conclusion therefore as a consequence hence consequently for this reason ultimately this what this these Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  18. 18. WRITING TEXT RESPONSE SENTENCES THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 2928 It’s time for you to give it a go The table on the following page lists different words and phrases you can use to start sentences which do each of these things. In your workbook, write a conclusion using the table below to help you. Linking adverbs and adverbial phrases Alternative perspective Additional points Concluding phrase However Although While Yet what is most important… However, the text is not just about…but is actually / really /more importantly / more signficantly Furthermore Moreover Additionally Finally The result of this As a result As a consequence In the end However, a conclusion needs more than just a concluding word or phrase at its beginning. Here is a complete example of a conclusion: On its surface, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone seems to show how important bravery is. Harry and his two friends, Ron and Hermione, are all in Gryffindor - a house that values bravery - and it is these three that are the heroes of the story. However, real fans of the novel know that this trio are not just brave but they all have unique talents of their own. Harry has an important connection with Voldemort and he is very good at deduction and figuring out clues. Furthermore, Hermione is also very loyal to her friends and is certainly the most clever character and without her intelligence the boys would never have been able to become heroes, so Hermione’s dedication and intelligence highlight a different kind of heroism. Finally, Ron is a heroically loyal friend, even willing to sacrifice himself for this friendship. The loyalty and dedication that each of the friends practice every day is like the love that Harry’s mother gave him, demonstrating that that ‘to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.’ Ultimately, the best kind of heroism in Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone is love. Notice that nearly all of the sentences in the above conclusion begin with a linking adverb or adverbial phrase. These linking words force the conclusion to: • Provide an important point made in the essay • Provide a alternative points in the essay • Link each sentence and come to a logical end Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  19. 19. Writing a Persuasive Piece There are many different forms a persuasive piece can take. They can be letters, editorials, opinion pieces or blogs. However, all of these forms share certain kinds of language. Writing persuasively is not what you write but how you write it. chapter2 Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  20. 20. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 3332 Writing a Persuasive Piece It’s time for you to give it a go Use the strong modal verbs in the table below to write your contention: Modal Verbs (strong) Modal Verbs (weak) should ought must need would have (i.e. We have to accept our responsibility to the environment.) can could may Engaging the audience through pronouns Good persuasive writing relies upon you engaging your audience in a more direct way than other, formal types of writing. This means that you will use pronouns that you wouldn’t use in any other forms of writing. There are three different groups of pronouns represented in the table below: Number First Person Second Person Third Person Singular I, me you he, she, it, her, him Plural we, us you they, them, everybody, everyone, nobody Singular my, mine your, yours his, hers, its (note that there is no apostrophe here) Plural our, ours your, yours their, theirs (note that there is no apostrophe here) Developing a Contention All persuasive writing must have a clear contention - but this is not unique to persuasive writing. Your expository essays, and text response essays should also have contentions. What is unique to persuasive writing is that your contention should be a call to action for the reader. You’re telling your reader what to think, what to do, how to act. The words that most convey this in our contentions are modal verbs. ‘Mode’ means ‘method’ or ‘the way something is done’. Modal verbs mean verbs that tell us the mode in which something should be done - perfect for persuasive writing. By using a strong modal verb, you are telling your reader how they should, ought to, must react. In the two examples below the second contention is much stronger because it has a modal verb (must) in it and it therefore tells readers what action is necessary (whether or not you agree with the contention!). Using mobile phones is a distraction for students. OR Using mobile phones is a distraction for students and they must be banned from all classrooms. Starting a persuasive piece Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  21. 21. 35Writing a Persuasive Piece How will pronouns improve your writing? Look at the following three sentences: Technology allows access to interesting help and advice – I use it regularly – and that’s why it should be used in all classrooms. OR Technology helps you access interesting help and advice – you probably use it regularly – and that’s why it should be used in all classrooms. OR Technology helps Frankie access interesting help and advice – she uses it regularly – and that’s why it should be used in all classrooms. The most persuasive of these three sentences is the one with ‘you’ in it. Using second person pronouns directly connects the reader to the writing itself, and that’s what good persuasive writing does. This second sentence would probably have been even more interesting if the writer had tried to directly connect with the reader by combining the use of first and second person pronouns, like this: Technology helps us access interesting help and advice – like me, you are probably a regular user – and that’s why technology should be used in all classrooms. Connecting with your reader is one of the easiest ways you can write more persuasively; we are much more likely to agree with people we like and feel a sense of connection with. You can establish or create a sense of connection easily when you regularly use first and second person pronouns. One very basic way we can use pronouns to be persuasive is to show how people belong to or don’t belong to a bigger group who think or act in a certain way. Sometimes being part of this bigger group is a positive thing, or sometimes it’s a negative thing. Punctuation tip: One of the important things to notice about pronouns is that they DO NOT have any possessive apostrophes in them. The is particularly important to understand about the pronoun ‘it’. Let’s say we wrote this persuasive sentence: Society must take care of its environment. In this sentence ‘its’ is a pronoun because it is referring back to ‘society’. It does not need an apostrophe before the ’s’ because it is a possessive pronoun. Remember: ‘Its’ only has an apostrophe if it is short for ‘it is’. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  22. 22. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 3736 Writing a Persuasive Piece Below are some common and effective phrases featuring pronouns which show either that it’s positive or negative that people belong to a bigger group. It’s time for you to give it a go Try engaging your audience with one or more of the phrases in this table. What most people do What few people do like most people, I… like nearly everyone, I… all of us for all of us each and every one of us many of us/you most of us/you every one of us each and every person every single person unlike most people, I… in contrast to what most people think, I… few of us few of you few of us like to admit that… for some of you… nobody few people no one no one amongst us alone there is little we can do Here are some examples of persuasive sentences which use first, second and third person pronouns to show people how we can belong to a certain group and how this can be positive or negative: Good to be part of a group Bad to be part of a group 1st person Like most of you, I want my children to inherit a world which is not destroyed by pollution. What I’m suggesting that’s different to what nearly everyone else thinks, is that we must force people to take action rather than wait for them to decide to do it themselves. 2nd person Few of you would like to think of yourselves as being against sustainable energy. A few of you care more about having big cars than a healthy environment. 3rd person Every single persons knows we have a responsibility to take care of the environment. Everyone at some point in their lives has done something which has damaged the environment. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  23. 23. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 3938 Writing a Persuasive Piece It’s time for you to give it a go Have a practice using these nouns to label your own issue: Positive Nouns Negative Nouns opportunity advantage breakthrough solution miracle answer to prayers stroke of good luck asset improvement leap forward gain progress benefit service recovery regeneration upgrade future plight problem quandary predicament crisis dilemma destruction catastrophe embarrassment imbroglio emergency disaster mess moment of truth (could be positive) point of no return hot potato dire straits showdown shambles Labelling the issue with positive and negative nouns In persuasive writing, you should try to label your side of the issue with positive nouns, to create a positive reaction in your reader, and dismiss the other side of the issue with negative nouns, like this: Mobile phone use should be seen as an opportunity for the class room, rather than the catastrophe most teachers try to describe them as. OR Students using mobile phones in class has reached crisis point - using more technology is not always the miracle people try to suggest it is.  Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  24. 24. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 4140 Writing a Persuasive Piece It’s time for you to give it a go Select positive or negative adjectives to describe the nouns you are using to label the outcomes of your issue: Positive Negative admiration of this view and people who hold it admirable advanced ambitious brilliant beautiful creative dazzling essential golden important intrepid intelligent new original realistic reasonable scientific scholarly detraction from this view and people who hold it abysmal agonising alarming awful bland boring broken corrupt disgraceful dreadful evil grubby gruesome gullible ignorant mediocre selfish sentimental snivelling Using Adjectives Of course, these nouns can be even more powerful if you use positive and negative adjectives to paint a more favourable or gloomy picture, like this. Mobile phone use should be seen as a brilliant opportunity for the class room, rather than the dreadful catastrophe most teachers try to describe them as. OR Students using mobile phones in class has reached a dangerous crisis point - using more technology is not always the productive miracle people try to suggest it is.  Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  25. 25. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 4342 Writing a Persuasive Piece Tricolons (the rule of three) And why stop at just one adjective? When trying to persuade others, people will often use three adjectives (or three noun phrases, for that matter), to give their readers an idea of just how great (or dreadful) something is: Mobile phone use should be seen as a brilliant opportunity for the class room, rather than the dreadful, evil and dangerous catastrophe most teachers try to describe them as. OR Students using mobile phones in class has reached a dangerous crisis point - using more technology is not always the creative, intelligent and productive miracle people try to suggest it is. Note that each of these sentences has just one tricolon. It’s a bit too much if you write something like: Students using mobile phones in class has reached a dangerous, dreadful and difficult crisis point, using more technology is not always the creative, intelligent and productive miracle people try to suggest it is. You can also apply a tricolon to the nouns you used in the previous noun activity, like this: Mobile phone use should be seen as an opportunity, a breakthrough and a leap forward for the class room, rather than the catastrophe most teachers try to describe them as. OR Students using mobile phones in class has reached an emergency, a disaster and a crisis point - using more technology is not always the miracle people try to suggest it is. Positive Negative effort of people brave courageous conscientious determined eager energetic fearless heroic imaginative kind effort of people careless clueless confused exhausted fickle foolhardy helpless ill-informed impossible impractical incompetent substandard superficial stupid the effect beneficial decent effective essential harmonious hopeful long-term lasting productive profitable rewarding tangible the effect barren bruising dangerous demanding disastrous failing haunting inconsequential negligible short-term trivial wasteful Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  26. 26. 45Writing a Persuasive Piece Comparative and Superlative Adjectives You can add extra impact by experimenting with comparative and superlative adjectives. These are adjectives that tell you just how great (or terrible) something is. Often, as with many of the adjectives in the above table, you can change an adjective into a comparative adjective by adding more before it, and into a superlative by adding most before it, like this: Mobile phone use should be seen as a brilliant opportunity for the class room, rather than the most dreadful catastrophe most teachers try to describe them as. OR Students using mobile phones in class has reached a dangerous crisis point - using more technology is not always the most productive miracle people try to suggest it is. However, many adjectives are changed into comparative form by putting ‘-er’ at the ending or superlative form by putting ‘-est’ at the end. Grammar note: When you use a superlative adjective to describe a noun, you will need to also use ‘the’ before it. ‘The’ is called a ‘definite article’ because it means you are writing about one specific thing. ‘A’ or ‘an’ are called ‘indefinite articles’ because you’re not using them to write about a particular thing, but something general. Punctuation tip: Commas are used to separate items on a list. If you use three adjectives in a row, you will need to separate them with one comma and a conjunction such as ‘and’ as in this example: Students’ use of mobile phones in class has reached a dangerous, dreadful and difficult crisis point. Using more technology is not always the creative, intelligent and productive miracle people try to suggest it is. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  27. 27. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 4746 Writing a Persuasive Piece Double-pronged sentences Often, persuasive writers will wish to show their readers that there is a particular fact that has a rational explanation or consequence. To do this, persuasive writers will often use multi-pronged sentences like these which combine both the fact and further explanation: (First prong) Although mobile phone use has increased amongst the student population, the results students receive have not increased, (Second prong) demonstrating that mobile phone use does not have a positive impact upon student work. OR (First prong) While students’ results have not necessarily increased over the past decade, they have not decreased either, (Second prong) no matter how much they have used their mobile phones. Compare the sentences above with the sentences below: Mobile phone use has increased amongst the student population. The results students receive have not increased. Mobile phone use does not have a positive impact upon student work. OR Students’ results have not necessarily increased over the past decade. They have not decreased either. No matter how much they have used their mobile phones. We cannot assume that mobile phone use has impacts negatively upon student learning. What the second set of sentences lack are conjunctions: the words which help us add more information to a sentence. Without the conjunctions, the second set of sentences seem more like a list of separate things, rather than ideas that connect. These are some persuasive adjectives and their comparative and superlative forms: Adjective Comparative Superlative Positive good wise great large quick big simple smart better wiser greater larger quicker bigger simpler smarter best wisest greatest largest quickest biggest simplest smartest Negative strange sad short tiny narrow shallow stranger sadder shorter tinier narrower shallower strangest saddest shortest tiniest narrowest shallowest So you could describe your issue as: The best opportunity, the wiser course of action, the simplest solution Or rubbish the other side of the issue as: The shorter term solution, the strangest idea, the tiniest of improvements Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  28. 28. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 4948 Writing a Persuasive Piece It’s time for you to give it a go Pick at least one cause or effect verb from the table below to write a sentence arguing about the impact of an action: Alternative Verbs for “Cause” or “Impacts” -ing form results activates influences inspires benefits advances instigates mobilises prompts spurs supports stimulates propels rouses motivates energises induces impels drives incites emerges occurs aids supports produces forces alters resulting activating influencing inspiring instigating mobilising prompting spurring stimulating propelling rousing motivating energising inducing impelling driving inciting emerging occurring aiding supporting producing forcing altering It’s time for you to give it a go Use the individual conjunctions and the phrases or pairs in this table to construct double pronged sentences which persuasively present the meaning of examples and evidence: Conjunctions Conjunction phrases Conjunction pairs although while despite since unless if as a consequence of as a result of as soon as as long as even if in order to no matter how now that Not only…,but also Not just…, but also Rather than…,we should/ must… If…,then why… Neither…nor Cause and Effect verbs Another thing that creates stronger persuasive writing is using strong verbs that describe the cause or effect of certain issues, like this: Although mobile phone use has increased amongst the student population, the results students receive have not increased, demonstrating that mobile phone use does not have a positive impact upon student work. OR While students’ results have not necessarily increased over the past decade, they have not decreased either, no matter how much they have used their mobile phones: therefore, we cannot assume that mobile phone use impacts negatively upon student learning. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  29. 29. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 5150 Writing a Persuasive Piece It’s time for you to give it a go Write one sentence using either a regular or irregular adverb to make a persuasive generalisation: Regular Irregular only really literally certainly simply completely entirely absolutely regularly mostly repeatedly daily hourly constantly lately especially very too almost enough so quite sort of kind of somewhat always everyday everywhere every time wherever once Using adverbs to create generalisations One of the very basic persuasive techniques you can use is creating generalisations. Generalisations persuade us by making the issue seem more (or less) frequent than it really is - they can intensify the importance of the issue. This means that we can argue: People in the real world always have their mobile phones with them. OR Students simply don’t use their phones appropriately. OR Mobile phones have been an integral part of life since 1996. While many people are familiar with adverbs that end in -ly, the table below has a list of regular adverbs (the -ly sort) and irregular adverbs. All of them will help you to create generalisations. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  30. 30. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 5352 Writing a Persuasive Piece In the chart below is a range of parts of speech that you can use to establish the effect of a piece of evidence. It’s time for you to give it a go Try writing sentences using one word from each column to explain the significance of evidence: verbs adverbs adjectives nouns The evidence points to… points to paints a picture of shows offers confirms provides establishes substantiates suggests demonstrates makes clear makes evident leaves no doubt that The evidence clearly points to… clearly plainly manifestly emphatically absolutely abundantly beyond all doubt This black and white evidence establishes that… black and white clear cut certain irrefutable undeniable plain clear overwhelming conclusive compelling remarkable profound shocking shameful formidable grim stark This evidence provides compelling proof that… evidence proof facts picture testimony confirmation corroboration substantiation Writing about evidence Evidence doesn’t always speak for itself. Often you will need to explain to your audience exactly what it means. For example, if we’re arguing that cats are better than dogs, the following would not be a particularly effective use of evidence: A recent survey showed that more Australians like cats than dogs. Our task is not just to use evidence, but to persuade our audience as to exactly what the evidence means. Here are two more persuasive uses of evidence: A recent survey, in which 83% of Australians said they liked cats more than dogs provides clear proof that cats simply must be better because a majority of people can’t be wrong. Or A recent survey of Australians revealed that 83% of people prefer cats to dogs, clear cut proof that establishes beyond all doubt that the noble cat is simply better than the stinky dog. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  31. 31. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 5554 Writing a Persuasive Piece It’s time for you to give it a go Use one phrase from each of the sections in the table below to start the body paragraphs in your persuasive piece: Basic linking adverb More persuasive phrases Firstly Let’s start by looking at some facts. Let’s be clear about the facts to begin with… Let’s be clear about a few things to begin with… Let’s be upfront about one thing in particular to start with… Perhaps the most important thing to say to begin with is this:… Perhaps the most important thing to say to begin with is not…or…but… I’ll start by saying this: Secondly, Thirdly Beyond these facts… Of the upmost importance in all of this is… On top of this But it’s not just a matter of…it’s also… Yet this issue is about more than…it’s also about… However, we shouldn’t lose sight of… What is more… The last word in this argument is…. Building your piece to a persuasive conclusion Linking phrases Let’s be clear about something to begin with: ‘firstly’, ‘secondly’ and ‘thirdly’ are not linking adverbs which will set your persuasive piece on fire. They’re stale words that create a list, not a series of arguments that build upon each other. But, did you notice how this section started? It used the phrase, ‘Let’s be clear about something to begin with’. This phrase performs the same function as ‘firstly’ but does it much more persuasively. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  32. 32. 57Writing a Persuasive Piece Concluding phrases Many of the phrases in the bottom row of the chart above could be used to conclude a persuasive piece. A persuasive piece should finish with an instruction to the audience on how to act, think or feel. This means that you are not just presenting an opinion about an issue, but actually persuading people to do something or change their attitude. In the example below, you will see a range of concluding phrases that are combined to instruct the audience what to do or think: While we might once have thought that mobile phones would have been a way of connecting us to each other, we now know that they can be an enormous distraction and in fact disconnect us from those around us. It’s clear that none of us can do without mobile phones, but we must now face the reality that if we continue to use mobile phones in class, we will be unable to learn and, more importantly, separated and isolated from our school community. It’s time for you to give it a go Try combining phrases from two of the boxes in the table below to create a strong concluding statement to your persuasive piece: Emphasise a takeaway message Provide a black and white choice • It’s clear that… • This is what the issue boils down to in the end… • At its heart, this is an issue of/this issue is really about… • In the end there is a clear choice… • The choice is very simple: • The choice facing us could not be clearer: Direct the audience to take action Direct the audience to change their minds • What we need to do now is… • I urge you all now to… • We can no longer…we must…. • It’s time to… • We must face the reality that… • As a country/nation/people we must now.. • Together we must… • We can no longer think that… • It’s not acceptable to think that… We must instead…. • While we might once have thought… we know now that… Punctuation tip: Apostrophes for contraction are used to show that two words have been joined together, but that one or more letters have been taken out to shorten the word and make it easier to say. This is called contraction because contraction means ‘to make smaller’. In persuasive writing ‘let’s’ is a good word to use because it’s short for ‘let us’ and it means that we’re making the audience part of the issue we’re writing about, which is always persuasive. Colons are used to insert an explanation at the end of a sentence. Read the following example: I’ll start by saying this: uniforms are the biggest waste of money in the universe. Colons can also be used to add a few words (1-3) at the end of a sentence which you want to emphasise for persuasive effect like in this example: There are only two adjectives to describe school uniforms: itchy and uncomfortable.Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  33. 33. 59WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES chapter3 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES Often, you will be asked to write either about yourself or about another person in a factual way. This type of writing can easily become a formulaic or boring list of events, facts and dates. This chapter shows you how to avoid this pitfall and produce more ‘creative’ non-fiction writing. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  34. 34. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 6160 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES It’s time for you to give it a go Practise establishing a complication in your own writing by writing a sentence that tells us something basic about you, and then expand upon this by using some of the words or word phrases in the table below: Conjunctions that disagree Prepositions for exceptions but however yet though nevertheless although even though except for other than except for apart from with the exception of other than beside even so in spite of barring outside of Typically, students will begin an autobiographical or biographical task by writing about events in the order they occurred. However, this is not the most interesting way to begin the story of someone’s life. Read the following example to see why: I was born on 7th June, 2003 in the Frankston Hospital. My mother’s name was Angelica and my father’s name was Jeremy. Did you fall asleep before you finished it? That’s because this isn’t a very engaging beginning. Let’s compare it with these three biographical beginnings: Before I broke my left arm, I was just like all the other kids in my school, but after it was broken, I became an urban legend. Most of the stories about this moment aren’t true. What I’m about to tell you is the truth. OR My birth was pretty much like everyone else’s except for this: I was born in the driveway outside my house. Things haven’t improved since then. OR Nothing interesting has ever happened to me. I even bore myself with my own memories. My life is so ordinary, except for one thing. What’s interesting about each of these three examples, is that they begin with a kind of a problem. Rather than starting with the facts (which is pretty uninteresting), each of these memoirs tells us something interesting about the writer and their family or personality and presents the reader with a problem or a kind of puzzle that we want to figure out by reading more. The first half of each beginning gives us some kind of information about the writer, and the second half establishes a contradiction, either with a conjunction or a preposition. By beginning your writing in this way, you are starting with a complication, which will form the basis of your narrative. Writing biographical and autobiographical sentences Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  35. 35. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 6362 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES Start with an essential truth about a person It is important to remember that writing a biography - or an autobiography - is not about trying to tell all of the facts of a person’s life, but an attempt to tell the truth about the kind of person someone is and the decisions they make. So, when you are planning your biography, try to include a different personality trait in each paragraph and then think about how you can write a story that shows the truth. Here’s an example: As an essentially old-fashioned man, my father would always insist on wearing a shirt with collar and tie wherever he went. Even in the middle of summer. Even to the fish and chip shop. It’s time for you to give it a go Use the chart below to construct a sentence that outlines an essential truth about a person: Conjunctive phrase Adjective Noun/ pronoun Adverb of frequency Being a … person, As a …. As an essentially… type of…, While some people would describe me as… Choose an adjective from the table above [name of person] I he she would often/always regularly rarely on every possible occasion whenever possible all the time almost always never every now and then once in a blue moon occasionally constantly daily hourly once in a while Each paragraph of your biographical writing should aim to tell your reader something about the kind of person you are (or the person you are writing about is). Anyone can find the facts of a person’s life with a quick Google search, but you are aiming to entertain and engage your reader. So begin planning your biography to tell your reader something interesting about the sorts of personality traits you want to focus upon. Look at the following table to get a list of different personality traits you will write about - remember to include both positive and negative traits (no one is all good or all bad). Positive adjectives Negative Adjectives adventurous affectionate practical ambitious devoted eager smart resourceful imaginative brave energetic patient charming charismatic considerate generous popular curious helpful level-headed visionary nervous cold impulsive disruptive selfish disinterested foolish incompetent old-fashioned scared lazy impatient snobbish grouchy insensitive picky outcast resigned passive short-tempered narrow minded Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  36. 36. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 6564 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES It’s time for you to give it a go Use the table below to put together an epithet on the person you’re writing about: Adjectives for modifying Abstract nouns for personality types supreme ultimate incomparable leading complete pure preeminent powerful matchless tremendous brilliant masterful laudable invaluable remarkable phenomenal hard working thinker expert artist entertainer leader giver protector nurturer adventurer advocate champion explorer mediator inventor planner wanderer team player diplomat free-spirit comedian debater Try to sum up the sort of person Often, biographers will try to sum up the sort of person they are writing about with something that is called an epithet - that is, a short noun phrase that summarises the important qualities of a person such as in these examples: Anita Roddick was a charismatic leader. OR Adolf Hitler was a supreme opportunist. OR Clare Wright is a leading thinker. To do this effectively, you will need to think about the kind of person you are researching (or the kind of person you are!). Below, there is a list of nouns that describe different types of people; these sorts of nouns are abstract nouns because they are nouns that label ideas, not specific things or people. Before each of the abstract nouns in the example sentences, there is also an adjective that describes just how good the person is (because this is a biography or an autobiography you want to impress your reader with how important this person is). Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  37. 37. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 6766 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES Indicating the passage of time Of course, in the body of your biography or autobiography you will need to write about a range of events that occurred in this person’s life (or your life), but nothing is more irritating than a piece of writing that uses only the phrase ‘and then … and then’ throughout it. You will need to utilise a range of different adverbial phrases to indicate that time has passed. To begin with, my mum was not at all interested in my dad, finding him a bit nerdy and very hairy. At that stage in her life, she was only interested in surfer dudes with dread-locks. It’s time for you to give it a go Use the adverbs and adverbial phrases in the table below to write one paragraph about a stage in your person’s life. Adverbs and adverbial phrases Before During After Earlier Previously Before that… To begin with… Initially During that time… At that stage… As he/she/I was… When I was… Amid the events… While…was happening… After this… Later… Then… Eventually… Within days… On that occasion… Afterwards… Subsequently… Thereafter… Some time later… A while later… On the next day… In later life… Nicknames Sometimes a person’s nickname tells us a whole lot about the sort of person they are (or were), especially if you take time to explain the significance of the name. Since the age of 12, Steve’s nickname was ‘Iron Fists’. Not because he was good at fighting, but because he had several plates put in one of his hands after it was crushed in an accident. He never told anyone that part, though - he let them all think he was a mean boxer. It’s time for you to give it a go Use some of the phrases in the table below to help you introduce a nickname in a sentence and explain where it came from: Verb phrase Conjunctions and conjunction phrases …nickname was… …was nicknamed… …was known as… …friends called him/her… …was referred to by his friends/family as… …was known by the pet name of… …pseudonym was… …wrote under the pen name of… …had always been called… …was known for most of his/her life as… …because… …not because…but… …ever since… …due to the fact… Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  38. 38. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 68 Punctuation tip: Adverbial phrases add extra information to the start of sentence. You will need to use a comma to attach this extra information to the start of a sentence: As a child, my father was interested in many different weird and wonderful sports such as hurling and racquet ball. Dividing up phases of life Sometimes, if you are writing about a person who has had a very long life, or who has had a career with different parts, you might want to use prepositional phrases to indicate which part of a person’s life you are discussing. As a young man, Nelson Mandela attended Fort Hare University, where he studied to become a lawyer and first became interested in activism against racism. It’s time for you to give it a go Use the adverbs and adverbial phrases in the table below to write a number of paragraphs about different stages in your person’s life: Adverbial phrases Early in life Middle of life Later in life as a young person as a child in the earliest parts of his/her life at the beginning of his/her career as a fledgling when s/he was new to during the formative years of in middle age by the time s/he was established at this point s/he was settled during this period of consolidation by the time s/he had arrived at towards the later part of his/her life during his/her declining years in later life in the end by the end of his/her life during the final daysPreview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  39. 39. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 7170 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES Concluding sentences for biography At the end of your biography, you will want to try to sum up the life or an aspect of the life of the person you have been writing about. Below are two sentence types you can use to write about other people. 1. BASIC EVALUATION OF SOMEONE’S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT This sentence provides a basic model for evaluating the impact someone had during their life: Mandela’s greatest achievement was providing his people with the hope there could be a better future. In order to write a sentence like the one above you’ll need a noun to name the person’s achievement, a superlative adjective before it and a verb after it to indicate what this achievement did, as set out here: Superlative Adjective Noun Verb phrase Mandela’s greatest achievement was providing his people with the hope there could be a better future. Writing about facts you are unsure of From time to time you might need to bend the truth, or stretch the facts a little, but because you are writing non-fiction, you will need to ensure that you are being honest about these times. You can employ phrases like the one below: Michelangelo was believed to have been… The word ‘believed’ shows your reader that you can’t prove what you are about to write, but that it’s an interesting fact you are including anyway. It’s time for you to give it a go Use the verb phrases in the box below to write a sentence about a fact for your person that can’t be proven: …believed to have been… …showed himself/herself to be… …was known as… …is reputed to have been… It is probably true to say… …was [write three adjectives describing the person]…and was also known to be… …must have been… …would inevitably have… …is said to have… It has to be said that… Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  40. 40. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 7372 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES The sentence on the previous page can be broken into these parts: -ed verb three pronged conjunction phrase preposition -ing verb Mandela contributed not only to the end of apartheid in South Africa and the beginning of a new age in his country, but also to the whole world by showing people how you can persist and succeed even in the face of the greatest odds. It’s time for you to give it a go Use the table below to write a three pronged sentence evaluating the achievements of your person: -ed verb three pronged conjunction phrase preposition -ing verb contributed to created achieved influenced caused not just…and…but also not only…and…but also by through being showing leading creating offering bringing about It’s time for you to give it a go Use the table below to write one sentence evaluating the achievements of your person: *Superlative Adjective Noun (Synonyms for achievement) Verb greatest most remarkable most influential most enduring most lasting most important most significant most courageous achievement influence impact effect contribution gift success legacy skill attribute giving providing creating bringing about building passing on offering *There are three types of adjectives: absolute (for example, ‘green’), comparative (greener) and superlative (greenest). Superlative adjectives mean that someone or something is the very best. Often you use ‘-est’ at to create a superlative adjective. However, some adjectives like ‘important’ can’t be changed to a superlative by adding ‘-est’ to the ending. In these cases, you put ‘most’ before the adjective to turn it into a superlative. 2. THREE PRONGED SUMMARY SOMEONE’S ACHIEVEMENT A more detailed alternative to the above sentence type is this three pronged concluding sentence: Mandela contributed not only to the end of apartheid in South Africa and the beginning of a new age in his country, but also to the whole world by showing people how you can persist and succeed even in the face of the greatest odds. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  41. 41. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 7574 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES Although this might not be a large part of what you do in English, writing reviews of films, books or plays can be an important part of developing your skills as a writer. All too often, students write a hasty review of a book or a film which does nothing more than re-tell the storyline and then describe the book as ‘good’ or ‘fantastic!!!’ Instead, a good review should aim to inform readers about the genre (or sort) of text you are writing about and what the strengths and weaknesses of the text are. This is where you get to write your own opinion, so you want your opinion to be informed, thoughtful and insightful. Beginning your Review There are a few facts your readers will need to know about the text you are reviewing: its title, the author or director’s name and the genre the text belongs to. You can also let your audience know about the sort of reader you are, so that they can take your bias into consideration when reading your review. Let’s have a look at some examples: As an avid reader of dystopian futuristic texts, I was excited to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. OR While I don’t usually read fantasy novels at all, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling was a real page-turner for me. OR There’s nothing I like better than a good super-hero film, so Hall and William’s Big Hero 6 was right up my alley. All of these example sentences provide four types of information in the one sentence: the genre of the text; how the reviewer typically feels about this genre; the name of the text and, finally, the name of the writer or the director/s responsible. THAT’S A LOT OF INFORMATION TO CRAM INTO ONE SENTENCE, SO LET’S BREAK DOWN HOW IT IS DONE: 1. An introductory phrase including a specific genre noun 2. A clause indicating the title, author (or director) and the reviewer’s reaction to it Writing a Review Concluding sentences for autobiographies Finishing a piece about yourself requires different phrases than when writing about other people. A conclusion about your own life should offer a reflection about what you’ve learnt or about what has been the consequence of your experiences, such as in these examples: So now I know that even when things get really hard, you can always rely on the people who care for you to help you out. In the end, I recovered from my injuries and I’ve become a stronger person for it. I now always remember to pack spare underpants whenever I leave the house. It’s time for you to give it a go Use the table below to write a concluding sentence for your autobiography: Conjunction Preposition Adverb So now I know… So now I look forward to… Because of this I… In the end… After everything I have been through… Without my…I could never have… Throughout my life I’ve learnt many things… but perhaps the most important is that… I now I always… Finally I have learnt / come to realise…. Perhaps the thing that has most changed in my life … Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learnt is that…Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  42. 42. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 7776 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES After you have given your reader a quick overview of what the text is called and what your reaction to it is, you should provide a brief (very brief) summary of the plot. This often begins with a description of the setting of the text. Have a look at the following examples: In this novel, Collins has created a world where reality television has gone to an entirely new level and each year people tune in to watch 24 children fight to the death. OR Rowling has created a world where magicians live parallel lives alongside ordinary people (or Muggles, as she calls them)… OR Set in San Fransokyo, a world where robots are an integral part of people’s lives… It’s time for you to give it a go Use the table below to identify phrases that will help you describe the setting of the text you’re reviewing. Introductory prepositional phrase noun phrase The novel/film begins… Set in… Against a backdrop of… The events of the novel/film take place in… [Author/director] has created a world where… In [title], all of the characters live in… The events of this novel/film, take place in… In this film/novel, [author/director] created… …a microcosm of… …a world where… …between two settings of…and… …a part of the world where… …a community of… …an isolated village… …an ordinary suburb… …a derelict slum… …a gothic mansion… …an exotic location where… …a parallel universe where… It’s time for you to give it a go Look at the table below to find a range of phrases and words you can use to practice your own sentences: Introductory phrase Genre noun Reaction verb phrase As a reader of… My go-to book/film genre of choice is… There’s nothing better than… My idea of a perfect book/film is… My all-time favourite book/film is… What I most look forward to as a reader is… I read/watch every…I can get my hands on, so… As a fan of…I couldn’t wait for the release of… While I don’t usually like… It is unusual for me to choose/ read/watch… Although I normally avoid… Reading/watching…is a little out of my comfort zone, so… I’m put off by…, so… thriller horror vampire lore film noir romance romantic comedy romantic drama historical romance comedy slapstick black comedy drama relationship drama historical drama tragedy fantasy science fiction speculative fiction hero journey dystopian fiction was a real page-turner was right up my alley was excited to pick up was a laugh a minute had me laughing out loud had me glued to my seat Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  43. 43. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 7978 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES Keep in mind that when you are writing about a text, you should always write in present tense. This is because the text is always happening (at any time you like, you can re-watch a movie, or open the pages of a book and the characters will be doing exactly the same thing). However, sometimes, you will want to give a bit of background information in the introduction of your review; to do this, you will have verbs in both the past tense (to explain what has happened to the character before the events of the text take place). Usually, verbs in the present tense end in ’s’, while verbs in the past tense end in ‘ed’. In the example below, the verbs in the first sentence are in the past tense because they’re about things which have happened before the story starts, and the verbs in the next sentence are in the present tense because they’re about what is currently happening in the story. Narrated by Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist, who has supported her mother and sister ever since her father died five years ago, the events of the novel really take off when her younger sister Primrose is selected for the Hunger Games and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Now, she must fight for her own life with all the skills she has. When you are writing your brief summary of the plot, you will need to describe the beginning, the complication and some of the progression of the narrative. However, it is very important that you do not write any plot spoilers; that is: don’t give away the ending, and don’t tell us if any of the characters die. Instead, you must explain what it is they must do, achieve or learn throughout the narrative. Look at the example below to see how this might be done: Narrated by Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist, who has been supporting her mother and sister ever since her father died five years ago, the events of the novel really take off when her younger sister Primrose is selected for the Hunger Games and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Now, she must fight for her own life with all the skills she has. In the example above, the writer is using adverbial phrases of time to help indicate the passage of time within the novel: ‘ever since’, ‘events…take off when’ and ‘now’ help to orient the reader about different moments in time. It’s time for you to give it a go Select some phrases from the table below to use in your summary of a text: Beginning Complication Progression • From the outset… • In the first few pages/ scenes, it is apparent that… • Ever since… • [Character’s name] is recovering from… • Overcoming the events of a traumatic child- hood… • The novel/film opens with [protagonist]… • At the very beginning of the film/novel, life for [protagonist] is… • Narrated by [protago- nist’s name], the story begins… • However, events take a turn for the worse when… • Life seems to be going well for [protagonist’s name] until… • The events of the novel/ film really take off when… • It is when [another character] enters the narrative that… • But when [protagonist’s name] finds… • All this changes when… • The discovery of…alters this… • When [event] occurs, [protagonist’s name] reacts by… • Now, [protagonist’s name] must… • In order to…, [protagonist’s name] needs to… • If the protagonist is to… then they must…Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  44. 44. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 8180 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES It’s time for you to give it a go The table below lists phrases you can use in your own sentences to write about your reaction: Interesting verb phrases Was + Interesting Adjectives I empathised with… I admired… I loved… I couldn’t stop thinking about… I couldn’t stop laughing when… I couldn’t stop myself turning pages… I couldn’t figure out… I was engrossed from… I was obsessed with… I was disgusted by… I was infatuated with… I was delighted by… I was fascinated by… I was gripped with… I was repulsed by… I was disappointed by… I was confronted by… I was puzzled by… I was baffled by… The body of a review This is the most important part of the review – it is the part where you give your opinions. Typically, students spend most of their time re-telling the story and filling the readers in on the background of the characters, but this is what Wikipedia and IMDB are for. A review should be about telling the reader what you think, not what everyone else on the internet already knows. So you are allowed to write a review in first person, like this: From the very beginning of the novel, I was gripped by the world Collins has created and I admired both the strength and independence of Katniss, while being fascinated and repulsed by the idea of children being sacrificed for entertainment. Look at the table below to remind you of the different pronouns for writing in first person: Number of people First Person Second Person Third Person One I, me you he, she, it, her, him Two or more we, us you they, them, everybody, nobody One my, mine your, yours his, hers, its Two or more our, ours your, yours their, theirs By writing in first person, your opinion is made very clear. In every sentence, you are putting yourself and your reactions into the analysis of the text. You should also note that in the example above, all of the writer’s reactions are in the past tense: she was gripped, fascinated and repulsed, as well as having admired the protagonist. This is because these events, unlike the events of the novel, have happened. If the reviewer read the book again she might not have the same reaction. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  45. 45. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 8382 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES It’s time for you to give it a go In the table below you will see different verbs to use at the start of a sentence. Write at least two sentences – each must use a verb phrase from the first column and a verb from the second: Starting with an ‘-ing’, ‘-ed’ or ‘en’ verb Verbs to use within a sentence Written by [author’s name] Directed by [director’s name] Made by…the director of… Starring [actor’s name] Featuring [actor’s name] Cast as [actor’s character’s name]…[actor’s name]… Having…, [protagonist’s name] Forced to…, [protagonist’s name] Made to…, [protagonist’s name] Feeling…, [protagonist’s name] Finding himself/herself… Confronted by… creates, depicts, presents, shows, features, showcases, brings to life entertains, delivers, captivates, demonstrates, embodies, performs must, needs, decides, becomes, seeks, changes, experiences You can also modify your verbs with different adverbs, like this: I must admit, I was constantly baffled by Peter’s infatuation with Katniss – there seemed to be no good reason for it, except that Collins needed some kind of love interest to move the plot along. Of course, you don’t need to just stop at just one verb per sentence – you can arrange verbs in a number of different and interesting ways, which you can see in the examples below: Starting with a verb Verb within a sentence Written by J. K Rowling, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone creates a rich fantasy world of magic that entertains the reader from the first to the last page. Directed by Francis Lawrence, and adapted from the book by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is a dramatic coming of age film that powerfully brings the novel’s dystopian world to the screen. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as the protagonist Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games film is bound to appeal to fans of the book seeking a faithful and exciting screen version of the story. Having overcome the bullying antics of Draco Malfoy, Harry soon becomes embroiled in an adventure that takes him deep into the secrets of Hogwarts. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  46. 46. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 8584 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES As well as discussing how you reacted to the text, you must also use examples of specific highlights and lowlights; that is, parts of the film or novel you really enjoyed and parts you thought were pretty weak. Because you are introducing moments in time, you will need prepositions and prepositional phrases. Like this: The scene where Katniss volunteers to take the place of her sister is truly suspenseful and the grief expressed by their mother is touching and real. When Katniss begins to fight in the Hunger Games we, as readers, share her fear and her reluctance to kill other innocent children. Fortunately, most of the deaths that occur take place out of Katniss’ sight and therefore out of the sight of the reader. However, as Katniss is hunted by the other children from more bloodthirsty districts I wanted her to be more active in saving herself. It is only towards the very end that I got a sense of how fiercely Katniss can fight. One of the problems with Katniss as a narrator is that we do not really get much insight into who she is and what she is really thinking about, except (of course) that she doesn’t want to die. Because her life back at home was such a struggle, I got the sense that Katniss should be better at fighting for her own survival, but she seems to bumble along through most of the difficulties she faces and is often only saved by good luck or the help of others. It’s time for you to give it a go The table below provides an overview of a range of adverbs you can employ in your review. Select at least three to use in your review: Adverbs of frequency Adverbs of degree often usually continually constantly normally regularly repeatedly habitually mostly infrequently hardly ever never rarely sometimes sporadically hugely greatly completely entirely absolutely deeply intensely enormously highly thoroughly totally utterly incredibly barely scarcely only just faintly slightly Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  47. 47. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 8786 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES Analysing with Adjectives In your analysis and critique of the text, you will need to describe how it seemed to you; of course the best way of describing is by using adjectives, like in the sentence below: Collins has created a fascinating world where entertainment is cruel and unusual. Compare this to the examples below: Collins has created an interesting world. OR Collins has created a boring world. The first example has a better adjective (boring and interesting are words that students over-use in reviews), but it also says something specific about exactly what makes the world ‘fascinating’ to her. This reviewer uses three different adjectives to help describe her reaction: fascinating, cruel and unusual. It’s time for you to give it a go Use the three tables below to describe the text you’re reviewing. GENERAL ADJECTIVE LIST Interesting/Positive adjectives Boring/Negative adjectives entertaining witty amusing hilarious sparkling fresh original fascinating suspenseful engrossing enthralling absorbing irritating repulsive painful frustrating offensive stale depressing disappointing dull plodding tiresome repetitive It’s time for you to give it a go Try introducing specific moments in your own review using the table below: Prepositions Prepositional phrases as as [character] becomes aware of… as the audience realises… as the film approaches the end… as the film approaches the climax… when when [character] is confronted with… when [character] realises… at at the climax of the film/novel… at the very outset… at the very end… at the beginning… towards towards the very end… in where in the scene where… in the moment of… over the last half of the book/film… over the last third of the book/film… Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  48. 48. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 8988 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES ADJECTIVES FOR SPECIFIC GENRES Fantasy Action Horror original pace inventive imaginative suspenseful witty pretentious cliched dull unbelievable irrational fast-paced dynamic suspenseful energetic powerful adrenaline-pumping enthralling page-turning slow predictable sluggish creepy grotesque suspenseful terrifying eerie unsettling spine-tingling chilling disturbing dull predicable hackneyed unoriginal derivative ADJECTIVES FOR SPECIFIC GENRES Comedies Teen drama Romance Science Fiction hilarious laughable witty laugh-a-minute laugh-out-loud funny comical gleeful riotous uproarious tedious slow imbecilic moronic shallow powerful moving thrilling emotive climactic ordinary uninteresting unmoving dull nostalgic passionate tender idyllic tear-jerking charming nostalgic erotic corny mushy hackneyed melodramatic banal foreboding bleak prophetic sinister stark disconcerting thought-provoking threatening speculative ordinary unremarkable unoriginal Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  49. 49. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 9190 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES It’s time for you to give it a go The table below lists a range of conjunction phrases. Pick at least one to use in a sentence in your conclusion: Conjunction phrases In spite of…, I… Despite the fact it is…, I While it may be…, it is also While it is…, it is also It isn’t just…, it’s also Although it can be…, it’s also Even though at times it’s…, it’s also 2. VERB PHRASES Highlighted in this sentence are words used to identify the moral or message of a text: Collins’ The Hunger Games is more than just an interesting character journey, it is also a critique of reality television and of the way we find violence entertaining. Now it’s your turn. Use one of the phrases from the table below in your own conclusion: Is statements Active verb statements …is a critique of… …main point is to… …is trying to… …is an attempt to… …is a new take on the old… …is a fundamentally…story. …dissects society’s tendency to… …highlights the difficulties of… …examines the ways in which we all… …provides a new perspective on… …provides a story/tale which is… …raises questions about… Concluding your review At the end of your review, you must do several things: 1. Give an overview of what you thought of the text 2. Summarise what the moral of the text is 3. Provide a recommendation of the type of reader/viewer who would enjoy it Let’s look at an example: However, in spite of these difficulties, I really enjoyed reading The Hunger Games and can’t wait to read the other novels in this trilogy. Collins’ The Hunger Games is more than just an interesting character journey, it is also a critique of reality television and of the way we find violence entertaining. It’s just a shame that her heroine hasn’t got much personality. I would definitely recommend this page-turner to anyone who loves The Maze Runner series, The Giver by Lois Lowry or anything by Cassandra Claire. Two things can help you write a conclusion like the one above for a review: 1. CONJUNCTION PHRASES Look at these two sentences from the example conclusion. The words in bold are conjunction phrases, but they’re used in specific kinds of phrases which allow the reviewer to discuss how a text can be or have one thing (e.g. it can have dull moments) but also be or have another thing (e.g. mostly interesting moments). However, in spite of these difficulties, I really enjoyed reading The Hunger Games and can’t wait to read the other novels in this trilogy. Collins’ The Hunger Games is more than just an interesting character journey, it is also a critique of reality television and of the way we find violence entertaining. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  50. 50. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 9392 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES Headline While the headline is at the very start of a news report, you may want to leave writing it until last when you’re clear about all the details in your article. Perhaps the most important tip about writing headlines is to write a simple sentence that summarises the event being reported and then to take out any unnecessary words. For example, let’s say we were writing a news report about Goldilocks being arrested for stealing porridge from the three bears. A simple sentence summarising the event in our news report might read like: Goldilocks was arrested yesterday for stealing porridge To shorten the headline so it makes more impact we can take out these simple verbs: was, is, were, have, has, had. Now the headline reads like this: Goldilocks arrested yesterday for stealing porridge Once we’ve shortened the headline, we can experiment with changing the nouns in it so it has more impact. The above headline could be re-written as: Goldilocks arrested for theft Writing Non-Fiction Newspaper Articles When you write newspaper articles, you are trying to get as much information to your reader in as short a space as possible. Paragraphs will be shorter and filled with more facts and less discussion than in an essay. Generally, people who read newspapers skim through each article, looking for news that interests them. For this reason, the first paragraph of any article must contain the most important pieces of information: the who, what, when and where. Often, the first sentence will be the entire first paragraph of a newspaper article. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND
  51. 51. THE STUDENT GUIDE TO WRITING BETTER SENTENCES 9594 WRITING NON-FICTION SENTENCES It’s time for you to give it a go Write a first sentence for your news report: Articles and Adjectives Noun Noun group indefinite article: a an definite article: the negative article: no adjectives: one some doctors lawyers parents children teachers soldiers philanthropists cyclists motorists students politicians artists actors researchers roads buildings sky-scrapers websites schools homes charities cities farms business men/women small business owners film goers charity groups good Samaritans …organisations …authorities …party …government institute of… coalition of… department of… a group of… Introductory Sentence WHO Here, you really need to be able to provide information about the who or what of the news story. Look at the following examples: Police have arrested the man they believe is responsible for graffitiing Toowoomba’s historical post office. OR Teachers and parents have called upon the State Government to build a new school in Melbourne’s growing south west. OR Misty the cat is today counting his lucky stars after being rescued from a condemned house just minutes before it was demolished. OR A group of NASA researchers has revealed that it could be possible to live on Mars within the next century. In each of these sentences there is either a noun or a noun group that described the who of the article. Often, the noun will be proceeded by an article or adjective that indicates which particular thing or person is being written about. Preview © TICKING M IND Preview © TICKING M IND

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