All good writers use the writing process before creating any piece of work. This ensure that their writing is clear, organized, detailed, and polished!

The Steps of the Writing Process
  1. Collecting & Gathering
  2. Organizing
  3. Drafting
  4. Revising
  5. Editing
  6. Publishing



All good, strong paragraphs are made up of 3 parts:

Parts of a Paragraph
  1. Topic sentence
  2. Evidence/Reasons/Details
  3. Conclusion



Click on the icon below to download a graphic organizer for outlining paragraphs. This organizer contains a spot for your topic sentence, evidence, and conclusion sentence.






Read the chart below for COMMON MISTAKES in paragraph writing and HOW TO AVOID THEM:

Common_MIstakes.png



In a strong and well-written essay, body paragraphs usually follow TIED format!

TIED.png
Here is an example of a body paragraph using TIED format:

T = The Ceremony of Twelve forces Jonas to become The Receiver.

I/E = In his community, the Elders assign all residents a job, or Assignment, at the age of twelve. People do not get to choose. During Jonas's Ceremony of Twelve, he gets chosen to become The Receiver of Memory. This is where all of Jonas's conflicts begin.

D = Because of this new job, Jonas begins to realize how bad his community really is. He begins to learn all of the horrible things that the Elders have done in order to protect the other members of the community, which later leads to his internal conflict of whether to leave the community or not. However, none of this would have happened if it were not for the specific setting of the story. The Ceremony of Twelve is a very unique tradition. No other place in the world has something likethis. If Jonas had the opportunity to choose his job like most people do, he may not have been burdened with so many problems. But because his community and setting do not allow its citizens to choose, Jonas must go through all the conflicts that come with being the Receiver of Memory.


Click on the icon below to download an organizer for TIED:



Below you can find all the notes about writing introductions:

An Introduction Should...
  • Introduce the topic of the essay
  • Show how the topic will be developed or proven
  • Contain the thesis statement
  • Entice the readers to continue reading


There are 2 general ways that you can write an introduction.
1. Write your thesis statement followed by all of your topic sentences.

Example:
"In The Giver by Lois Lowry, the setting plays a crucial role in creating conflicts for Jonas. The Ceremony of Twelve forces him to become The Receiver of Memory. The rules of his community prohibit him from telling anyone about what he is learning, and because the Nurturers want to kill Gabriel, Jonas must take the baby with him on his journey to escape."

2. Use an "inverted pyramid" structure. This is when your introduction begins with a general statement, becomes more focused on a topic, then lists your thesis and topic sentences.

Inverted_Pyramid.png

Example:
"In novels, the protagonist's conflict and the setting of the story are usually closely related to each other. This is particularly true in The Giver by Lois Lowry, which is set in a futuristic, "utopian" society. In this book, the setting plays a crucial role in creating conflicts for Jonas. First, the Ceremony of Twelve forces him to become The Receiver of Memory, which is a job that he does not enjoy. Then, when he learns the truth about the community, he wants to tell others but the rules forbid it. Finally, because Nurturers kill babies who cannot sleep through the night, Jonas must take Gabriel with him on his journey to escape."


In your introduction, remember to AVOID expressions like "In this essay, I will talk about...," "This essay will be about...," and "My reasons for this are..."




Below you can find all the notes about writing conclusions:

A Conclusion Should...
  • Stress the importance of the thesis statement
  • Give the essay a sense of completeness
  • Leave a positive final impression on the reader

The conclusion is often what a reader remembers best because it is the last thing in their mind from your essay. Your conclusions, then, should be one of the best parts of your paper!


There are two general ways that you can write your conclusion. You could:

1. Write a simple summary where you restate the main points in your essay (your thesis and topic sentences)

Example:
"In conclusion, the setting of The Giver plays a crucial role in creating Jonas's conflicts. Because of the rules of his community, Jonas is forced to become the Receiver of Memory, which is both a painful and lonely job. He cannot tell others what he knows, which makes him keep everything to himself, and he must endanger himself in order to save Gabriel from the Nurturers."

2. Use pyramid structure, which is opposite to the inverted pyramid. This begins with your thesis and your topic sentences, followed by a more general statement. The last sentence should show how your topic applies to the wider world.

Conclusion_Pyramid.png

Example:
"Therefore, it is clear that the setting of The Giver is the direct cause of many of Jonas's problems. Because of the strict and strange rules of the society, Jonas must take a job he does not want, he is forced to keep his problems to himself, and he must take Gabriel with him on a dangerous and life-threatening journey. Even though setting and conflict may not initially seem like they connect, they are actually more related than one might think!"

Remember to avoid introducing new ideas or evidence in your conclusion (this should have been in your body paragraphs), and avoid using the exact same words as your introduction (that is repetitive.)


Below are capitalization rules:

Capitalize
Do Not Capitalize
  • First letter of people’s names & places
  • Cities, states, countries
  • First letter in the first word of a sentence
  • Languages
  • Historical events
  • Months & days of the week
  • Book titles
  • Pronoun “I”
  • Seasons
  • Animals
  • Important words
  • School subjects
  • Body parts
  • Objects


Below are common homophones and what they mean:

to, two, too
to - a preposition indicating direction or a position
two - a noun meaning the number 2
too - an adverb that means as well or also

there, their, they're
there - an adverb that indicates location or place
their - a possessive pronoun; it shows that something belongs to a group of people
they're - a contraction that means "they are"

your, you're
your - a possessive pronoun that shows that something belongs to you
you're - a contraction that means "you are"

its, it's
its - a possessive pronoun that shows that an item belongs to something
it's - a contraction that means "it is"

here, hear
here - an adverb that indicates location or place
hear - a verb that means that you can perceive sound (listen)

where, wear
where - an adverb that indicates direction
wear - a verb that means when you put something on your body


Here is an example of a TIED paragraph:
Body Paragraph #1

Topic Sentence - Christopher Columbus introduced many new goods to the people of Europe.

Introduce Evidence - When he arrived in North America, Columbus was able to trade with the Native Americans. He gave them red bonnets and glass beads in exchange for items that Europeans had never seen before.

Evidence/Examples - According to The Journal of Christopher Columbus, the Native Americans "swam out to the boats to bring...parrots and balls of cotton thread..."

Discussion - The trade that was started by Christopher Columbus brought Europe, Africa, and the Americas together. He began a cultural exchange between the western and eastern hemispheres which has continued today. Without Columbus, Europeans would not have been introduced to cotton and people would not have access to various items that are now common such as sweatshirts, socks, sheets, towels, and blankets.

Here are some ways to use quotes in your writing:
Examples:

A. In The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne writes, " I believe that even bad people are truly good at heart."

B. According to www.scholastic.com, people today should "...recommit ourselves to a better world."


C. Miep Gies, a friend of Anne's wrote, "People should never think that you have to be a very special person to help those who need you."

Below are the notes about avoiding fragments in your writing:


A sentence fragment does not express a complete thought and does not make a complete sentence.
Complete_Sentence.png
When you are trying to figure out whether a sentence is complete, ask yourself 2 questions:
· WHO or WHAT is doing the action? (That is the subject.)
· WHAT is happening? (This is the predicate/verb.)

If you can answer BOTH of these questions, your sentence is complete and NOT a fragment!
If you CAN'T answer both of these questions, then your answer IS a fragment and you need to fix it by adding the missing part (the subject or the predicate).


Another common way that fragments are made is when you start a sentence using these words, but you don't finish the sentence:
  • because
  • after
  • since
  • that
  • until
  • before
  • even
  • though
  • if
  • while
  • even though
  • when
  • whether
  • while
  • which
  • unless

If you would like to begin your sentence with these words, you must follow it with a COMMA and write a complete sentence AFTER it.

Subordinate_Phrases.png
Below find notes on how to write a good discussion for your TIED paragraphs:

All of your body paragraphs must include a topic sentence, evidence, and discussion. The purpose of your discussion is to link back and prove your thesis statement.

What is wrong with these paragraphs?
(My thesis statement is: "Learning another language requires a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance.")

Sample Paragraph 1:
You must practice reading the language every day. This could be from a textbook, a novel, the newspaper, or just from the things around you. When I was studying abroad in Paris, I made sure to read a newspaper called Le Monde daily. I also paid attention to all of the signs around me. Whether I was shopping at the supermarket or simply riding the train, I would try to read anything that had words.

This paragraph is missing a discussion! I am not explaining HOW reading every day helped me to learn the language!

Sample Paragraph 2:
You must practice reading the language every day. This could be from a textbook, a novel, the newspaper, or just from the things around you. When I was studying abroad in Paris, I made sure to read a newspaper called Le Monde daily. I also paid attention to all of the signs around me. Whether I was shopping at the supermarket or simply riding the train, I would try to read anything that had words. I'm glad that I don't live back in the 1700s when women didn't have a lot of rights and couldn't read what they wanted because I wouldn't like it very much and I wouldn't know how to speak French.

This paragraph HAS a discussion, but it doesn't make sense! It doesn't show how reading every day helped me to learn French. I am talking about setting, which has nothing to do with the question prompt!

Take a look at some good, strong TIED paragraphs:

Sample Paragraph
You must practice reading the language every day. This could be from a textbook, a novel, the newspaper, or just from the things around you. When I was studying abroad in Paris, I made sure to read a newspaper called Le Monde daily. I also paid attention to all of the signs around me. Whether I was shopping at the supermarket or simply riding the train, I would try to read anything that had words. Reading every day helped me learn French because it greatly expanded my vocabulary. I was able to learn new words every day. It helped me understand French grammar a little better too. When I read sentences, I noticed the syntax and verb tenses and it helped me understand when to use those things in my own speaking and writing.


This paragraph fully explains and links my topic sentence to my thesis. It explicitly (clearly) explains how reading every day helped me to achieve my goal of learning French.

Sample Paragraph
Being organized is key to working and going to school full time. The first thing that needed to be organized was the work I needed to do. One class required an average of 300 pages to be read weekly. In addition, a five page paper needed to be prepared as well. All of this plus lessons to be planned and student papers to grade. I would not have succeeded without using a planner. Each Sunday I would plan my week by writing in my planner. This helped me not forgot what was due. I would also write down the pages that were needed to be read for class. Without organizing with my planner, I would have fell behind in my studies and my job.

This paragraph also has a good discussion because it mentions what she did (she used a planner) and it explains how it helped her ("This helped me not forget what was due.").

Here are some sentence starters for discussions that might help you if you are stuck:
  • This helped me because....
  • Without (insert strategy), I wouldn't...
  • Because I (insert strategy/step), I was able to succeed.
  • This shows...
  • This reveals...