ENG 4U: Becoming a Better Writer

Over the next few days, we will focus on individual skills. After you have mastered this skill, you will create a 2 minute video that not only demonstrates your new understanding but also helps others improve their writing.

Choosing an Option

  1. Choose an issue to address. You should take into account the feedback I gave you yesterday and the list of items below.   The goal is for each of you to become a better writer, correct? So choose wisely.
  2. If you don’t know which issue to address, consider  perusing the videos and/or Chomp Chomp to see if you understand the content. If you understand the content you find there, move to a new subject.
  3. If you are comfortable with grammar and with structure, you might want to consider the options under How to Add Sophistication.


Learning About Your Choice

Start by defining the problem. What is a comma splice? Parallelism? Keep in mind that you might need to define terms in the definition itself to fully understand the explanation.

Learn more about the problem by watching the videos below or by finding explanations on your own.

Next? Practice, practice, practice. Chomp Chomp has interactive exercises that you can complete that connect to the topics below. If you can’t find anything on Chomp Chomp, you will have to do more investigating. What can you find online that will help you make sense of this problem? Remember: this is to help you become a better writer!

Common Writing Issues

  • Fragments
  • Comma Splices
  • Dangling Modifiers
  • Voice (using formal and/or informal language at the appropriate time)
  • faulty parallelism
  • paragraph structure
  • noun strings
  • phrasal verbs
  • concision

How to Add Sophistication

  • parallelism
  • parallelism with not only…but also
  • nominalizations

Bigger Issues

  • the structure of an essay
  • structuring your work around a thesis


Video Links

  1. Comma splices feature two clauses and a comma, but are missing conjunctions (connecting words).
  2. Run-On/Fused sentences feature two sentences joined together without the appropriate punctuation and/or conjunction.
  3. Fragments are incomplete ideas. The writer has omitted a subject, a verb, or both.
  4. Transitions connect ideas. If you have been told that your writing is a little choppy (or that it doesn’t flow) you might want to watch this vide.
  5. Parallelism relies on a repeating structure in a sentence that save the writer time/effort, while creating a pattern that generates interest
  6. Neither/Nor (not made by me)
  7. Fused Sentences (not made by me)
  8. Using Mindomo to organize your essay
  9. comparative essays part 1, part 2, and part 3


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