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Week 4 Writing Assignment: Putting all Tricks Together!

Reverso

Week 4 writing assignment was about collecting all the parts of speech that we learned throughout the 3 past weeks and using them to construct a paragraph of 9-12 sentences describing a scene in nature. It was not an easy job to do. Really, it took a lot of time drafting, redrafting, revising and editing. The last step was to put aside this paragraph for a while and then read it again to catch mistakes. I also used the Reverso Speller and Grammar Checker to double check the final draft.

Drawing from your observation notes and sentences from Journal Writing Assignments 1 and 2 describe a natural object or scene in nature. Use at least one each of the clauses and phrases you studied in the unit. Also, be sure that you include one each of the four sentence types in your description. Using your knowledge from Unit 3, use action verbs and active voice, keep your verbs in the same tense, and maintain correct subject-verb agreement. Your description should consist of 9-12 sentences.

Week 4 Writing Assignment Rubric:

Here is my Assignment:

natural scene image (7)

Retrieved June 8, 2013 from here

Leaning on the trunk of an old fallen tree in my grandmother’s lifeless garden, my eyes quickly went into a deep slumber after a long day of work. I woke up to the lovely sounds of birds singing and spinning over my head. Rubbing my sleepy eyes, I saw an incredibly charming scene with no human touch: crystal sea water, bright blue sky, colorful birds and a large grassy meadow all around. The waves lapped the seashore gently sending a cool breeze towards me to smell. I kept breathing deeply filling my lungs before it blew away with the wind. Looking around, I found them, blushing red flowers proudly stood, and gently swayed to the sea song. If I were a bee, I would spend the whole day buzzing around, just smelling their sweet fragrance, heavy in the air. The first rays of the sun, which were so white, slowly shone down upon the crystal-clear sea water creating a breathtaking landscape with delightful colors of the rainbow. Two dolphins graciously jumped out of the water making a big splash to say hello and celebrate my arrival. My eyes deeply closed, I tried to lustily hug this magnificent scene, when my 80-year-old grandma’s croaky deep voice sent me back to where I was on the other side of the sight. Although it lasted a few moments, this dream stuck in my mind simply because it carried unforgettable memories in my life.

Analysis of the Assignment:

  1. Number of sentences: 11
  2. Adjective Clauses: which were so white; where I was.
  3. Adverb Clauses: If I were a bee, I would spend the whole day buzzing around, just smelling their sweet fragrance, heavy in the air; I kept breathing deeply filling my lungs before it blew away with the wind.
  4. Noun Phrases: over my head; with the wind; upon the crystal-clear sea water; on the other side of the sight (prepositional phrases), my eyes deeply closed (Absolute phrase).
  5. Verb Phrases: Leaning on the trunk of an old fallen tree in my grandmother’s lifeless garden; Rubbing my sleepy eyes (Adverbial present participle phrases), to say hello (Infinitive phrase)
  6. Active verbs: leaning on, went into, singing, spinning, rubbing, saw, lapped, sending, smell, kept, blew away, looking around, found, stood, swayed, spend, buzzing, smelling, shone down, creating, say, jumped out, closed, tried, hug, and sent back.
  7. Consistent tense: Simple past tense
  8. Types of sentences: I woke up to the lovely sounds of birds; I saw an incredibly charming scene with no human touch (Simple sentences), blushing red flowers proudly stood, and gently swayed to the sea song (Compound sentence), If I were a bee, I would spend the whole day buzzing around, just smelling their sweet fragrance, heavy in the air; I kept breathing deeply filling my lungs before it blew away with the wind (Complex sentences), Although it lasted a few moments, this dream stuck in my mind simply because it carried unforgettable memories in my life (compound-complex sentence).

Reflections:

To complete this assignment, it required me to deeply dig into my vocabulary in order to find suitable and proper words to describe the set scene. As I said before one of my poor points is the lack of a rich vocabulary base that enables me to find what I want easily to express my ideas more smoothly.  Although I spent much time doing it, I was not satisfied with the final product. This surprising week helped me a lot to identify the reason. Discussing the main question about writing styles with my peers in the forums, I found that I have a Teacher (i.e., expository) and Activist (i.e., persuasive) writing styles. Actually, I’m good at writing explanations for others. I also love to start arguments and try to persuade others with my ideas. This explains why my descriptive and narrative writings are not creative and rich. I feel so relieved now! However, this doesn’t mean I can’t write descriptions or stories. I only need to learn and practice more to improve these potential abilities.

I hope to be on the right track!

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Week 3 Writing Assignment: Describing a Scene

PaletteWeek 3 writing assignment is a little bit challenging. We are going to use what we have learned until now to write a descriptive paragraph putting in mind some criteria that are shown below:

Drawing from your observation notes and sentences from Journal Writing Assignments 1 and 2, write a description of the scene you have observed. Use action verbs and active voice in your sentences. Also, keep your verbs in the same tense and maintain correct subject-verb agreement. Your description should consist of 8 or more sentences.

The Assignment Rubric:

Heidi Goodrich defines the rubric as “a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work or what counts”. Rubrics help learners figure out how their work will be evaluated and what can be put in mind when working on their assignments. Click the link below to view this assignment rubric:

Here is my Paragraph:

Holding HandsShe, a teacher of English in a high school, quickly walks down a long way to arrive her work so early. Unfortunately, the road seems so busy this morning. Oh! It is the market’s day of her village. While trying to find her way, two kids briskly squeeze between people waving to her to follow their steps. They suddenly disappear in the crowd, however, she still hears their beautiful voices singing a beautiful chant. Bitterly loud cries coming from the other side of the road break these sweet moments. It is a little girl trying to cross the road, but those drivers who set a competition ignore all her shouts. When the eyes meet, the little girl quickly wipes her tears and draws a lovely smile on her weepy face. Holding their hands together, they go on walking and talking when suddenly she slips away her little soft fingers saying, “Good Bye”. Looking deeply at her baby face, the teacher whispers, “Happy moments don’t last so long”.

Reflections:

I don’t give up easily, but what I noticed is that I can write academically very well. I mean a research paper, a journal article or a blog post. Writing creatively seems not my style of writing. It really needs some gifted skills that not all people have. I always keep saying to my students that creative writing can be taught. Following this course, I find it difficult to develop or improve this creativity. To be an effective writer needs more efforts and time. At the same time, I feel I have a great desire to write and write. So, what is wrong with my writing these days? I think that’s because I focus more on accuracy rather than content. I prefer to use the Process Approach to teach writing in my classes. Students start with ideas and ends with a close study of grammar and punctuation mechanics. Studying the rubric carefully, I noticed that it follows that Product Approach where students concern with the final product of writing, and what that product should “look” like. Creativity needs more processes of brainstorming, drafting, revising and at last editing. This rubric should include something about ideas as well.