November 5 through December 17

Second Nine-Weeks

Unit Theme:

Grammar and syntax comprehension enhances one's reading and writing ability.

Unit Essential Questions:

How can knowledge of the different parts of a sentence and different parts of speech improve our writing and speaking?

How can phrases give variety to sentence?

Essential Skills or Concepts:

Use various parts of the sentence - including phrases - and various parts of speech correctly in written and spoken language

Mini-Lesson Outline:

A. The teacher will have students practice exercises in their "Grammar Training Camp" handouts, "Phrases": prepositional phrases, appositive phrases, and verbal phrases.

The teacher will work with students individually according to skill levels.

B. Students will analyze given sentences for relationships of prepositional, appositive, and verbal phrases to other words in the sentences.

C. Students will practice combining sentences by using adjectives, prepositional phrases, and verbal phrases.

D. For homework each day, students will study the corrected forms in the day's class presentation and know terms discussed in the class reviews.

E. The teacher and class will review and work on the editing steps related to their graded first drafts.

  1. Read the prompt question carefully.
  2. Underline key words in the prompt or question.
  3. Break the question/prompt into components.
  4. Restate the prompt/question in your own words.
  5. Your essay begins with a title indicating your subject: do not underline your title; however, do underline or include in quotation marks those words that are a part of a published title you may be addressing.
  6. The first paragraph presents your thesis (argument) and reveals the direction your essay will take. This paragraph contains more than forty words in three or more sentences.
  7. The first paragraph includes the following:
    The title(s) and the author to be discussed
    The main idea of the prompt/question
    A thesis statement which will be developed into your essay
  8. The body of the essay contains the bulk of your interpretation.
    Each paragraph develops an aspect of your main thesis and works out the details of the argument. (on the average, eleven sentences of 125 or more words)
  9. List main points relating to the thesis statement.
    Each paragraph goes through these steps:
    State each point in a topic sentence.
    Explain in your own words what it means.
    Give an example of the point from the text.
    Give at least one quote from the text.
    Explain the relevance of the implication of the example and/or quote.
    Summarize your point.
  10. Each paragraph contains a topic sentence relating to your thesis.
    Each topic sentence is explained, illustrated, discussed, and related to the thesis. Ideas are clearly developed and lead to a logical conclusion.
  11. Quotations from the text establish your view and give you a chance for interpretive commentary.
  12. Sources, either quoted or alluded to, may back up your position and allow you opportunity for interpretation and further commentary.
  13. Transitions are clearly signaled.

    To show additional ideas: again, moreover, and, not, and the, too, besides, equally important, first, second (etc.), finally, lastly, further, furthermore

    To show time: at length, later, immediately, thereafter, previously, soon, formerly, next, first, second (etc.), afterwards, next

    Cues that make the reader stop and compare: but, notwithstanding, although, yet, on the other hand, and yet, on the contrary, however, after all, conversely, still, simultaneously, nevertheless, in contrast, meanwhile, nonetheless, at the same time, in the meantime

    To summarize: in brief, on the whole, to conclude, in conclusion

    To give examples: for instance, for example, to demonstrate, to illustrate, as an illustration

    To emphasize: obviously, in fact, as a matter of fact, indeed, in any case

    To introduce conclusions: hence, therefore, accordingly, consequently, thus, as a result

14. Your last paragraph is your conclusion and shows insight. Draw your argument to a close and sum up or restate your position without repeating. On the average, this paragraph is three or more sentences of forty or more words.

15. Edit: List the first four words per sentence. Look for repetitious sentence beginnings such as The and Then. Rewrite these sentences for improvement.

16. Edit: Look for potential fragments.

17. Edit: Are there any capitalization errors.

18. Edit: Improve the sentence flow with a variety of sentence forms and structures.

19. Edit: Avoid "dead" words - nice, It is, stuff, There is, Thing, This is, a lot, They are, awesome, There are.

20. Edit: Avoid contractions.

21. Edit: Be concise, not wordy. Avoid redundancy.

22. Edit: Use only third person point of view.

23. Edit: Use appropriate vocabulary words.

24. Edit: Avoid idioms.

25. Edit: Use appropriate figurative language.

26. Edit: Beware the overuse of the same weak verbs – e.g., is, are, was, were, got.

27. Edit: Avoid tense inconsistency. If appropriate, stay in the present tense.

28. Edit: Use active voice.

29. Edit: Use variety in sentence lengths. Use short sentences for emphasis.

30. Edit: Avoid short, choppy sentences that need to be combined or rearranged.

31. Edit: Avoid extremely long sentences which may increase the potential for run-ons.

32. Edit: How do your sentences begin? If more than half of your sentences begin with the subject, rewrite them in a way that varies the beginning.

33. Edit: Find all which clauses and rewrite them to eliminate which. Eliminate as many of, in, to, and by’s as you can.

34. Edit: What forms are your sentences? Count simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences. Rewrite for variety.

35. Edit: Do you have an inverted sentences? Try rewriting a sentence to do so.

36. Edit: Is your diction appropriate to your audience? Check for slang, trite expressions, garbage/empty words. Eliminate as necessary.

37. Edit: Avoid idioms!

38. Edit: Find all instances of it with no antecedent and eliminate.

39. Edit: Find all instances of this or that used without a noun. Add a noun or rewrite.

40. Check your comma use by applying four rules: Use a comma before and, but, for, or, not, so, yet, and still when those words join independent clauses. Use a comma between all terms in a series. Use commas to set off parenthetical openers and afterthoughts. Use a comma after introductory clauses or phrases.

41. Have you used any semicolons? If not, find a sentence or a pair of sentences that would be better punctuated with a semicolon and rewrite.

42. Have you used any dashes? If not, find a sentence or a pair of sentences that would be better punctuated with a dash and rewrite.

43. Have you used apostrophes or colons? Do you need them?

44. Have you used quotation marks? Check for correctness.

45. Presentation: Be sure that the paper uses correct MLA format.

F. Each student will continue to edit his/her paper.