ENG 4U: What Do You Want to Write?

So far, you have a had a conference with me and had extended conversations with each other. Soon, you will present a detailed argument supported by relevant evidence. We have already addressed many key components of the curriculum, including oral communication, listening, and metacognition.

We haven’t, however, addressed writing.

I think you might be surprised by the curriculum expectations regarding writing. As we read, I’d like you to think about the amount of choice that is implied by these expectations; keep in mind that e.g. means exempli gratia, which is Latin for for example. Let’s take a look:

Identifying Topic, Purpose, and Audience
1.1 identify the topic, purpose, and audience for a variety of writing tasks (e.g., a letter of application to a specific program at a post-secondary school; the script for a satirical monologue on contemporary issues and popular culture to be delivered to their peers; an essay analysing character development in a literary work; an adaptation of a complex scene from a Shakespeare play into a narrative for an English language learner)

Generating and Developing Ideas
1.2 generate, expand, explore, and focus ideas for potential writing tasks, using a variety of strategies and print, electronic, and other resources, as appropriate (e.g., record notes from a group discussion about a literary work to generate ideas for an analytical essay on the work; use a variety of strategies, including inquiry, divergent thinking, and discussion with peers, to explore a potential topic and generate ideas for writing an informational report; use a writer’s notebook while reading literary texts to jot down and keep a record of ideas for creative writing; brainstorm to develop a focus for their research, formulate a question that encapsulates the focus, and establish their research parameters to suit the focus;1 consult print, electronic, and other resources, including public and post-secondary library collections, to identify potential sources of information for a report or essay; create and annotate a list of website addresses that may be useful in researching a topic; before starting their research, interview community business people, representatives of volunteer or community-service organizations, or social-issue advocates, as appropriate to their topic; record all sources used to gather ideas and information, so that if they use the ideas and information, they can credit the original author, avoid plagiarism, and provide a complete bibliography or reference list)

1.3 locate and select information to fully and effectively support ideas for writing, using a variety of strategies and print, electronic, and other resources, as appropriate (e.g., create a research plan and track their progress; identify a wide range of sources that could provide appropriate information relevant to their assignment, such as books, periodicals, blogs, streamed media, online databases, audio and video recordings and films, and archived newspapers and multicultural community newspapers; search digital media and community resources such as university libraries and government agencies, as appropriate to their topic; conduct interviews with community and other experts in person or online to obtain leads about reliable and informative print and online sources, or to confirm and augment information gathered from other sources; develop and use a detailed template to evaluate sources for reliability, objectivity, and comprehensiveness; record all sources of information in a bibliography or reference list, observing conventions for proper documentation and full acknowledgement of sources and extracts, in recognition of the need to credit original authors and promote academic honesty)


2.1 write for different purposes and audiences using a variety of literary, informational, and graphic forms (e.g., a parody of a soliloquy in a play studied in class, for their peers; an essay analysing the themes, image patterns, or narrative techniques used in a literary work; a novel study website on a novel of their choice for an audience of teenagers; a feature article for a community newspaper that describes a conflict between people from different cultures in their school or community and proposes a solution to the conflict)
2.2 establish a distinctive and original voice in their writing, modifying language and tone skilfully and effectively to suit the form, audience, and purpose for writing (e.g., write a soliloquy in the voice of the antagonist in a play; use a warm, convivial tone in writing a graduating-class report for the school yearbook; use academic language and an authoritative tone effectively to convey confidence in writing a research or literary essay)


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