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Writing Resources

Page history last edited by Julie E Ruble 10 months, 2 weeks ago

(go home)

 

Resources to Use While You're Writing 

 

Merriam-Webster: Dictionary and Thesaurus

Editing Marks to use on paper

 

Glossary of Comments Julie might leave

When you get a comment, always check for that error or apply that suggestion throughout your entire document.

  • unc = unclear (reword to make your thoughts clear)
  • awk = awkward (reword to make your thoughts flow)
  • wc = check your word choice. This word is either too dull or not appropriate for how you're using it. 
  • lc = lowercase
  • cap = check capitalization throughout story, because I've found capitalization error(s)
  • sp = spelling mistake
  • r-o = run-on sentence: divide it up and/or check punctuation
  • cs = comma splice 
  • ae = apostrophe error 
  • frag = sentence fragment: needs more to be a full sentence
  • rep = this sentence or word is repetitive. Try to vary your sentence structure or word choice. 
  • s/v agreement = your subject and verb do not agree.  
  • del = delete
  • ce = comma error; check the grammar resources below and try to pick out your error.
  • cont = avoid contractions in formal writing 
  • i-t c = in-text citation error; review in-text citation notes and adjust throughout document 
  • # = check spacing 
  • form = check document format. MLA format is size 12, Times New Roman, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins on all sides. 
  • a/t= avoid slang and conversational tone; use a professional, academic tone in your formal writing. 

 

Punctuation Questions

 

Word Choice Questions

 

Other Grammar Issues

 

Creative Writing Resources 

 

 

General Grammar Practice

  1. Play Grammar Blast for about 15 minutes per day.
  2. Do one Daily Grammar lesson per day, starting with the first one here.
  3. Play Free Rice to learn new words and provide rice for people in need!  
  4. Click through flashcards of the 100 Words You Should Know to learn them and then again and again to quiz yourself.  
  5. Listen to a short video helping you remember the meaning of important words on VocabAhead. Click on Grade 7 to begin listening to the right level of words.  

 

Help With Certain Types of Writing

Narrative (stories): Elements of Fiction PowerPoint 

Writing Professional Emails

Overview of Argumentative Essays

 

Great Writing Advice and Resources

 

Essay Resources

 

Model Essays

These are some college-level essays to be inspired by. Remember that you don't have to understand every word to see the fantastic organization, diction (word choice), syntax (word order), sentence fluency, and voice in these essays. Notice how the writer includes and analyzes the evidence to prove her or his point. 

 

The Stuck Poetry Toolbox

Poetry is hard to write! If you find yourself stuck while writing poetry (or trying to get started) try the following exercises:

  1. Start journaling about the topic you want to write a poem about. Journal WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW. Journal your thoughts and feelings. At some point, you might feel inspired by a line you write or an image you describe. If so, don't force yourself to keep journaling: launch into your poem!
  2. Start writing a letter about the topic you want to write a poem about. Who might your letter be addressed to? What might you want to say to them? At some point, you might feel inspired by a line you write or an image you describe. If so, don't force yourself to keep writing a letter: launch into your poem! Your poem might even turn out to be a letter!
  3. Think about the event you want your poem to be about. Make a chart of the 5 senses and start brainstorming words/phrases you'd SEE, HEAR, TASTE, SMELL, and FEEL at that event. At some point, you might feel inspired by a word/phrase you use. If so, don't force yourself to keep brainstorming: launch into your poem!
  4. Think about the event you want your poem to be about. Make a chart of the 5Ws and start brainstorming words/phrases for WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW for the event. At some point, you might feel inspired by a word/phrase you use. If so, don't force yourself to keep brainstorming: launch into your poem!
  5. Fill in the blank: If my topic were a song, it would be... If my topic were a color, it would be... If my topic were a type of weather, it would be... keep going! How many others can you think of? At some point, you might feel inspired by a word/phrase you use. If so, don't force yourself to keep jotting: launch into your poem!
  6. Draw a picture that represents the event or topic to you. Start writing words that connect to the event inside and around the picture. At some point, you might feel inspired by a word/phrase you use. If so, don't force yourself to keep drawing: launch into your poem!
  7. Make a mind map! Put the topic or event in the center and connect different words and ideas to it in ways that make sense. At some point, you might feel inspired by a word/phrase you use. If so, don't force yourself to keep mapping: launch into your poem!
  8. Read some of the Poetry Foundation's poems for teens, jotting down words that inspire you as you read. Notice how these poets write about events and people. At some point, you might feel inspired by their words/phrases/techniques. If so, don't force yourself to keep reading: launch into your poem!

 

 

ESSAY Revision Tasks

When you finish writing, here are some tasks for you to choose from. These tasks get you used to things real writers might do when editing and revising their work -- things like evaluating word choice and sentence fluency, making meaning clearer, deleting extra words, looking for more information or inspiration, and getting advice from a trusted peer. 

 

Choose the number of revision tasks Ms. Julie asks you to and complete them. Write any revision tasks you've completed at the bottom of your Google Doc (or on paper) in PURPLE. Failure to do this (and the requirements included in each task) will result in you not getting credit for your revision. 

 

  1. (Required; DO THIS FIRST) MANUAL SPOC: Read all the way through your work once and check for any obvious errors in SPOC (spelling, punctuation, organization, capitalization).
  2. (Required; DO THIS SECOND) DIGITAL SPOC: Paste your story into Grammarly, a website that gives grammar recommendations (create an account through Google using your school email address, then click "New" and then paste your writing in) No website can read as well as a human can, so check each suggestion and decide whether it makes sense before you accept or reject it. You can copy and paste the resulting edited document back into your Google Doc, but be sure you adjust the formatting (font, font size) to match your original document.    
  3. (Required in any essay with a Works Cited): WORKS CITED CHECK: check that you have enough sources (more than just 1 or 2!), that they are in alphabetical order, that you used EasyBib and checked over the citations it gave you, and that everything is indented correctly. Use this example to make sure your format looks right. Comment on any mistakes you find; then resolve your comment and fix the error. 
  4. MODEL INSPO: Find a piece of writing with a style that you really admire (and that matches the genre of writing you're doing!) Find a part of your own writing to adjust based on the author's style. TO GET CREDIT: Comment on the part of the story you changed with the text, author, and page number you were inspired by. In your comment, describe what about the author's style inspired you. Then resolve the comment.   
  5. WORD LOVE: Find 10 words to change or add to make your essay more sophisticated. Be sure to use a dictionary to make sure the words are precisely what you want to say. TO GET CREDIT: Comment on each word you change so that I can see it. Then resolve the comments.
  6. LEARN A SKILL: Choose a grammar concept above (in the "Punctuation Questions" and "Other Questions" sections) that you want to know more about (suggestions: commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, capitalization, run-on sentences, sentence fragments). Read more about that skill (TIP: I learn best by looking at the examples on websites, not the rules). Read through your writing looking for errors you made on that concept and adjust them. TO GET CREDIT: Comment on one change you make and explain why you made it so that I can see what you're learning. Then resolve the comments.
  7. SOLO READ-ALOUD: In a quiet space, read your essay out loud slowly. Listen for sentences or word choices that sound awkward. Listen for run-ons and fragments. Listen for the quality of your writing. Revise accordingly.
  8. PARTNER READ-ALOUD: Print a copy of your story. In a quiet space, read your story out loud slowly while your partner follows along listening for sentences or word choices that sound awkward, run-ons and fragments, and other issues with the quality of your writing. Your partner annotates your story with these comments as you read. Revise accordingly and make sure your partner's notes get turned in with your writing process work. 
  9. PEER REVIEW: Complete a digital peer revision by sharing your Google Doc with a partner. When doing peer revisions, check for places in the story that are UNCLEAR and places in the story you would like more DESCRIPTION. Ask your partner for ONE other thing they would like you to look for as you read. Use "Suggesting" mode and comments in Google Docs so they can accept or reject your suggestions.
  10. RUBRIC CHECK: Look at your project rubric (if you have one) and evaluate yourself on each row. Fix anything where you think your performance was lower than you prefer. Include the evaluation you would give yourself on each row in purple at the bottom of your document. 

 

CREATIVE WRITING Revision Tasks

When you finish writing, here are some tasks for you to choose from. These tasks get you used to things real writers might do when editing and revising their work -- things like evaluating word choice and sentence fluency, making meaning clearer, deleting extra words, looking for more information or inspiration, and getting advice from a trusted peer.

 

Choose the number of revision tasks Ms. Julie asks you to and complete them. Write any revision tasks you've completed at the bottom of your Google Doc (or on paper) in PURPLE. Failure to do this (and the requirements included in each task) will result in you not getting credit for your revision.

 

  1. (Required; DO THIS FIRST) MANUAL SPOC: Read all the way through your work once and check for any obvious errors in SPOC (spelling, punctuation, organization, capitalization). 
  2. (Required; DO THIS SECOND) DIGITAL SPOC: Paste your story into Grammarly, a website that gives grammar recommendations (create an account through Google using your school email address, then click "New" and then paste your writing in) No website can read as well as a human can, so check each suggestion and decide whether it makes sense before you accept or reject it. You can copy and paste the resulting edited document back into your Google Doc, but be sure you adjust the formatting (font, font size) to match your original document.     
  3. GET CHUNKY: Find 4 new spots to add a CHARACTER CHUNK or SETTING CHUNK to your story. Make sure each chunk you add includes 3-4 sentences of vivid description of either a character or a setting. Comment on the chunks you add as you revise (e.g. "chunk 1"). 
  4. MODEL INSPO: Find a piece of writing with a style that you really admire (and that matches the genre of writing you're doing!) Find a part of your own writing to adjust based on the author's style. TO GET CREDIT: Comment on the part of the story you changed with the text, author, and page number you were inspired by. In your comment, describe what about the author's style inspired you. Then resolve the comment.  
  5. WORD LOVE: Find 10 words to change or add to make your essay more sophisticated. Be sure to use a dictionary to make sure the words are precisely what you want to say. TO GET CREDIT: Comment on each word you change so that I can see it. Then resolve the comments.
  6. LEARN A SKILL: Choose a grammar concept above (in the "Punctuation Questions" and "Other Questions" sections) that you want to know more about (suggestions: commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, capitalization, run-on sentences, sentence fragments). Read more about that skill (TIP: I learn best by looking at the examples on websites, not the rules). Read through your writing looking for errors you made on that concept and adjust them. TO GET CREDIT: Comment on one change you make and explain why you made it so that I can see what you're learning. Then resolve the comments.
  7. SOLO READ-ALOUD: In a quiet space, read your essay out loud slowly. Listen for sentences or word choices that sound awkward. Listen for run-ons and fragments. Listen for the quality of your writing. Revise accordingly. 
  8. PARTNER READ-ALOUD: Print a copy of your story. In a quiet space, read your story out loud slowly while your partner follows along listening for sentences or word choices that sound awkward, run-ons and fragments, and other issues with the quality of your writing. Your partner annotates your story with these comments as you read. Revise accordingly and make sure your partner's notes get turned in with your writing process work.  
  9. PLOT EVALUATION: Look at a diagram of plot mountain. Label each part of the plot (using comments) in your story. If you notice one is missing, make sure to clarify/revise so that your story includes it. 
  10. HERO'S QUEST EVALUATION: Only use this revision task if you are writing a hero's quest. Look at the stages of a hero's quest. Label each part of the plot (using comments) in your story. If you notice one is missing, make sure to clarify/revise so that your story includes it.
  11. PEER REVIEW: Complete a silent digital peer revision by sharing your Google Doc with a partner. When doing peer revisions, check for places in the story that are UNCLEAR and places in the story you would like more DESCRIPTION. Look for whether or not your partner applied what we learned in our mini-lessons. Ask your partner for ONE other thing they would like you to look for as you read. Use "Suggesting" mode and comments in Google Docs so they can accept or reject your suggestions. 
  12. RUBRIC CHECK: Look at your project rubric (if you have one) and evaluate yourself on each row. Fix anything where you think your performance was lower than you prefer. Include the evaluation you would give yourself on each row in purple at the bottom of your document. 

 

 

POETRY Revision Tasks

When you finish writing, here are some tasks for you to choose from completing. These tasks get you used to things real writers might do when editing and revising their work -- things like evaluating word choice and sentence fluency, making meaning clearer, deleting extra words, looking for more information or inspiration, and getting advice from a trusted peer.

 

Choose the number of revision tasks Julie asks you to and complete them. Write any revision tasks you've completed at the bottom of your Google Doc in PURPLE.

 

 

  1. (Required; DO THIS FIRST) Read through your work and check for COPS (capitalization, organization, punctuation, spelling). Do this basic first revision before doing any of the revision tasks below. Remember that for a free verse poem, you may have made grammar choices to create meaning. That's fine -- but don't make any mistakes by accident!
  2. Look at your project rubric and grade yourself on each row. Fix anything where you think your grade will be lower than you prefer. Include the grade you would give yourself on each row in purple at the bottom of your document. 
  3. Find 10 words to change or add to make the imagery in your poem more powerful. Be sure to use a dictionary to make sure the words are precisely what you want to say. Add them to our poster if they aren’t there already. Comment on each word you change so that I can see it. Then resolve the comments.  
  4. Read your poem out loud. Do your grammar and word choices do what you meant for them to? Is it powerful? Are there places that are awkward? Listen for the quality of your writing. Revise accordingly.
  5. Use this free verse poetry chart to evaluate your poem. Pay special attention to rows 1 and 3. Do you SHOW or TELL? Revise accordingly.
  6. (OPTIONAL. If you choose this task, DO IT LAST and you'll need to ask me to give someone access to your work.) Complete one peer revision. When doing peer revisions, check for places in the poem that TELL rather than SHOW, are confusing, or could use more powerful word choice. Don't change your partner's poem! Leave comments instead. Don't give specific suggestions! Instead, give them general suggestions or just tell them what needs to be fixed. Let them decide how to fix it themselves.

 

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