Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop is a writing and editing text for college-level and college-bound ESL students. It may also be very useful for EFL students in intensive language courses. The second edition adds to and improves the following distinctive features:

A uniform approach to error hierarchy and editing strategies
Focus on explanation and application of grammar with updated exercises
New student essays used for analytical exercises
Six writing assignments
An easy-to-use analytical chart contrasting English with nine other languages

APPROACH

Writing Workshop reflects our combined 30 years of teaching at-risk college ESL students. These students were placed in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Georgia Perimeter College to prepare for entrance into freshman composition classes. We emphasize the acquisition of self-editing tools and techniques that help students become stronger, more independent writers. In addition, we present students with many peer writing samples to read, critique, and edit, allowing them to recognize that their language problems may not be unique or even personal.

We have found it difficult to find grammar and writing texts appropriate for college-level ESL classes. Some texts treat all grammar errors with equal emphasis with little regard for special needs. Others do not adequately treat those particularly problematic areas of grammar, such as prepositions and articles, that most affect our students. We believe that our treatment of grammar will help to fill a significant gap in ESL textbooks. This text focuses on common grammar errors and presents simple explanations and exercises for practice.

DESIGN

Writing Workshop begins with Parts of the Essay. We explain how to write “hooks,” body paragraphs, and conclusions, using student writing as examples and models. Editing, the next section, encourages a uniform approach to error hierarchy and editing strategies and priorities. This section includes standardized marking symbols for instructors to use, an error correction sheet with instructions for use, and a useful record sheet for errors of in-class compositions. The center section, Grammar and Exercises, breaks down the traditional separation of grammar and writing by concentrating on the major errors occurring in actual student writing, both in the examples and, particularly, in the writing produced by the student. Student Writing Samples and Exercises contains a range of student papers that represent what students actually produce in college ESL classes. In Writing Topics and Assignments, we suggest practice writing topics and include several writing assignments for out-of-class work.

Table of Contents

  1. Language Questionnaire viii
  2. Section One: Parts of the Essay 1
    1. Parts of the Essay 2
    2. Writing Hooks 3
    3. Writing the Thesis 6
    4. Developing Body Paragraphs 7
    5. Working with Transitions 10
    6. Ending the Essay 12
  3. Section Two: Editing 17
    1. A Hierarchy of Grammar Errors and Symbols 18
    2. How to Use an Error Correction Sheet 21
    3. Error Correction Sheet 22
    4. Error Correction Sheet 23
    5. Compositions—Record Sheet of Errors 24
    6. Grammar Editing Strategies (15 to 20 Minutes) 25
  4. Section Three: Grammar Explanations 27
    1. Sentence Structure 28
      1. Sentence Types and Analysis 29
      2. Analyzing Sentences and Recognizing Prepositional Phrases 32
      3. A Look at Sentence Variety in Your Essays: What Are You Writing at the Sentence Level? 33
      4. Sentence Structure Errors 34
      5. More about Sentence Structure Errors 35
    2. Verbs 36
      1. Verbs 37
      2. Verb Forms 37
      3. Verb Tenses 40
      4. Time Frames 42
      5. Irregular Verbs 45
      6. The Passive Voice 46
      7. Causative Verbs 48
      8. Review of Verb Forms 50
    3. Subject-Verb Agreement and Number 51
      1. The “S” Problem 51
      2. Subject-Verb Agreement 52
      3. Editing for Subject-Verb Agreement 53
      4. Number Errors 54
      5. Editing for Number Errors 55
      6. The “s” Problem: Possessive ‘s and s’ 57
    4. Articles 59
      1. Articles 59
      2. 1. Types of Nouns 60
      3. 2. Kinds of Determiners 60
      4. 3. The Article Chart 61
      5. 4. The Concept of Definite/Indefinite 62
    5. Prepositions 68
      1. Prepositions 68
      2. Prepositional Phrases 69
      3. Phrasal Verbs or Two-Word Verbs 70
      4. Nine Most Common Prepositions: at, by, for, from, in, of, on, to, with 73
      5. Extra Prepositions 75
    6. Gerunds and Infinitives 79
      1. Gerunds and Infinitives—The Traditional Explanation 80
      2. Bolinger’s Theory 81
    7. Transformational Exercise 83
  5. Section Four: Student Writing Samples 84
    1. Writing Samples 85
      1. Sample One—Timed Writing (75 minutes) 86
      2. Sample Two—Timed Writing (75 minutes) 88
      3. Sample Three—Timed Writing (75 minutes) 90
      4. Sample Four—Timed Writing Description 92
      5. Sample Five—Example 94
      6. Sample Six—Example 95
      7. Sample Seven—Argument 97
      8. Sample Eight—Example 99
      9. Sample Nine—Comparison/Contrast 101
      10. Sample Ten—Applied Linguistics 103
  6. Section Five: Writing Topics, Assignments, Language Charts 105
    1. Writing Topics for Timed Writing and Out-of-Class Essays 106
    2. Writing Assignment #1 107
    3. Writing Assignment #2 108
    4. Writing Assignment #3 109
    5. Writing Assignment #4 110
    6. Writing Assignment #5 111
    7. Writing Assignment #6 111
  7. Appendix: Contrastive Language Charts 113
    1. Major Characteristics of the English Language 114
    2. A Contrastive Look at the Grammar of Nine Languages 115
      1. Arabic, Chinese, Japanese 115
      2. Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese 116
      3. Amharic, Gujarati, Somali 117