ENG 2D 2012: What to Expect

Below are some of the  assignments that will be formally evaluated. Please note that they do not include regular writing tasks designed to help you communicate more effectively.

  • blogs (instead of journals, evaluated twice)
  • Macbeth in-class essay
  • Poetry in graphic form

This semester, you will also write the OSSLT, or Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. We want this process to painless yet purposeful: it should be painless in the sense that it shouldn’t cause you undue stress, and purposeful because the activities we will complete in preparation for the test should make you better communicators.  This Thursday, every grade 10 student at HCC will complete the OSSLT practice test. We will use this test to help us identify those aspects of your writing that we will address before the official test.

Today, you will look a few Grade 9 exemplars.  I’d like you to work in your groups to evaluate the work. Here is some useful terminology that might help you with this task:

The Good

thesis: this is the main argument in an essay. Traditionally, it is the last sentence of the introduction.

topic sentence: this is the first or second sentence of a paragraph. It should prepare the reader for the rest of the paragraph, and it should connect directly to the thesis.  In essays, topic sentences often state part of the argument, and thus resemble thesis statements.

evidence: this is the support that the writer provides for their claims. The evidence should be clear, accurate, and relevant.

The Bad:

Spelling errors: Bad spelling herts my eyez. Actually, a recent study suggests that, in total, English websites lose millions of dollars every year because of spelling errors;  potential customers find other business online because they believe poor spelling indicates unprofessionalism.  See? Bad spelling is costly.

Fragments: Incomplete ideas. Which have no subjects.  Sometimes no verbs, either. 

Irrelevant Information: Providing irrelevant information reminds me of something I saw on the weekend. I was at the Knight’s game, watching London beat the Majors 4-2.  Good times.

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