Essay Development: Writing Review Practice Exercises (page 2)
Review the lesson for Essay Development: Writing Review Study Guide.
Practice Exercise: Writing a Thesis
Write thesis statements for the following essay topic assignments.
- Convince your teacher to allow you to work in groups for your next homework assignment.
- Explain an advantage of being your current age.
- Describe a time when you helped somebody. Why did you help that person? How did it make you both feel?
Practice Exercise: Topic Sentence
Identify the topic and the focus of the following topic sentences.
- Many factors contribute to a person being a good driver.
- Cats make good pets for many reasons.
- Eating too much candy can be detrimental to your health.
- There are a number of reasons why carpentry is a rewarding profession.
- You can prepare yourself for cold weather emergencies by following some simple guidelines.
- Eating a healthy breakfast can benefit you all day long.
- Following some simple steps makes it easy to create homemade Valentine cards.
- Specific atmospheric circumstances must be present in order for it to snow.
Practice writing a topic sentence for each of the following.
- Topic = protecting your eyes from the sun
- Topic = running for exercise
- Topic = taking care of potted plants
Focus = ways to protect your eyes
Focus = advantages and disadvantages of running
Focus = steps to follow
Practice Exercise: Writing a Deductive Paragraph
- Now you know about the two kinds of paragraphs and how to create a topic sentence. Using this sample outline as a guide, practice writing a deductive paragraph. Remember that your outline starts generally and gets more specific with each level of information. Use a general idea for your topic sentence and then specifics for the bulk of your paragraph.
- Recycling can help the environment.
- Cuts down on consumer waste
- Decreases the number and size of landfills
- Decreases the energy and pollution used to transport the waste
- Not as much production
- Production causes pollution.
- Uses resources
- In the case of paper, production uses trees.
- Cuts down on consumer waste
- Recycling can help the environment.
Practice Exercise: Organizing Paragraphs
See if you can identify some out-of-place sentences in the following paragraphs.
- My friend and I discovered something new on our day off from school last week. We had gone down to the pond to skip stones, and while we were sitting by the edge of the water, we noticed a tiny little crab coming out of the sand. The last time I was at the beach, I saw crabs and seagulls. Neither of us had seen a crab like that before, and it made us feel like explorers in a faraway land.
- Watching a movie in science class would be a useful supplement to our everyday lessons. Sometimes it helps to step outside the classroom, even if only through a documentary, in order to better understand what we are learning. In math, we are learning about equations. Watching a movie would allow us to experience science in a way that is broader than the classroom allows. We could see examples of concepts that cannot exist in our relatively small room of our relatively small school.
- We should be allowed to work in groups for our next homework assignment because it would increase the amount we learn by giving us the opportunity to share knowledge with our classmates.
- The advantage of being 14 is that I'm old enough to start being independent, but still young enough to have relatively few responsibilities.
- My younger brother needed help with a school project, so I guided him through each step of the process, and we both ended up having a really good time together.
- Topic = being a good driver
- Topic = Cats make good pets.
- Topic = eating too much candy
- Topic = Carpentry is a rewarding profession.
- Topic = prepare yourself for cold weather emergencies
- Topic = eating a healthy breakfast
- Topic = create homemade Valentine cards
- Topic = snow
- There are a number of ways you can protect your eyes from the sun.
- Running for exercise has advantages as well as disadvantages.
- You can follow some simple steps to take care of your potted plants.
- Implementing a recycling program in your school or town is a good step toward helping the environment. The large amount of consumer waste could be decreased by recycling items that we use every day. Decreasing consumer waste would inevitably decrease the number and size of landfills needed to store that waste. Also, the amount of energy used and the pollution caused by transporting consumer waste to landfills would decrease. Therefore, recycling helps the environment not only by decreasing the amount of consumer waste we generate, but by saving the energy used to transport that waste.
- The last time I was at the beach, I saw crabs and seagulls.
- In math, we are learning about equations.
This is an example of a good thesis statement for the given essay topic. If yours is slightly different, that's okay. Just make sure it has all the same basic components. Turning the assignment into a question, it would read something like, "Why should your teacher allow you to work in groups for your next homework assignment?" So, to answer the question and create a thesis statement, you would write, "We should be allowed to work in groups for our next homework assignment, because …"
The question being asked in this assignment is "What are the advantages of your current age?" Whatever you think those advantages are, you should put them into your thesis statement. This is an example of how you could phrase it.
This assignment is asking you to talk about a time you helped somebody and how it made you both feel. This is an example of a thesis statement you could create from that assignment. It doesn't matter if you thought of a different answer. What matters is that you restated what you were being asked and included whatever answer you came up with.
Focus = factors
The topic is being a good driver, and the focus is the many factors that contribute to being a good driver.
Focus = reasons
The topic is cats making good pets, and the reasons why they make good pets is the focus.
Focus = detrimental to your health
Eating too much candy is the topic, and how eating too much candy can be detrimental to your health is the focus.
Focus = reasons
The topic is the fact that carpentry is a rewarding profession, and the focus is the reasons why it is a rewarding profession.
Focus = simple guidelines
The topic is preparing for cold weather emergencies, and the focus is the simple guidelines involved in preparing for cold weather.
Focus = benefits
Eating a healthy breakfast is the topic, and the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast is the focus.
Focus = simple steps
Creating homemade Valentine cards is the topic, and the simple steps you follow to make those cards is the focus.
Focus = specific atmospheric circumstances
Snow is the topic, and the specific atmospheric circumstances that cause snow is the focus.
Your topic sentence may be slightly different in how you phrased it, but as long as you included both the topic and the focus, then your sentence is correct.
You need to state the topic (running for exercise), along with the focus of that topic (advantages and disadvantages).
Your sentence is correct if you included both the topic (taking care of your potted plants) and the focus of that topic (the steps to follow in taking care of your potted plants).
This is an example of a good deductive paragraph that uses the sample outline as a guide. Notice that the topic sentence of the paragraph came from the most general topic you had to work with, which was "Recycling can help the environment." What makes it a deductive paragraph as opposed to an inductive paragraph is that the topic sentence is at the beginning of the paragraph, so the reader knows immediately what the paragraph will be about. The A and B topics in the outline, as well as the examples that support them, are introduced in the paragraph.
Although the paragraph is about noticing a new kind of crab at the pond, it is not relevant that the last time the writer was at the beach, he or she saw crabs and seagulls. It's an interesting piece of information, perhaps, but it doesn't add anything to the meaning of the paragraph as a whole.
The paragraph is about how watching a movie in science class could be helpful to the learning process. What the writer is learning in math class has nothing to do with the topic at hand, so that sentence is definitely out of place.
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