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Week 4 JW One: Use Clauses and Phrases … To Elaborate

Clauses and Phrases Although clauses and phrases are just a group of related words, they add more to one’s writings. As it was mentioned somewhere in the reading materials, using such clauses and phrases constitute one’s writing style. Before this course, I thought that being clear and short makes a successful writer. This can be a criterion for best writings; however, elaboration is also needed. The first journal writing in week 4 helps me extend and enrich my sentences using adjective and adverbial clauses.

In your writing journal, begin to practice building sentences with adjective and adverbial clauses. As in Unit 3, you may find it helpful to be observing a scene in nature while you compose sentences. Using the lists associated with each of these types of clauses, write at least three (3) sentences including adjective clauses and three (3) sentences including adverbial clauses. Underline the adjective and adverbial clauses. Consider their function in both as a modifier and an aspect of your writing style.

Selected Scene:

  • No particular scenes!

Sentences including Adjective Clauses:

  1. Debbie, who is my best friend from Argentina, needs my help to create a wiki.
  2. Google+, which is like Facebook, has become a powerful tool for connecting.
  3. I’m thinking of an island where I can find no human touches.
  4. I never forget the day when I received my first prize.

Sentences including Adverbial Clauses:

  1. Although I don’t like my writings, I never give up.
  2. Unless I keep posting, I won’t be a good writer.
  3. I prefer to listen to a podcast rather than reading instructions.
  4. I can’t stop once I start writing.

As you see in the sentences above, using these clauses can add more to a piece of writing. Instead of expressing ideas so shortly, we can add more details to make them clearer and better for understanding, or complete the whole picture. Let’s see what can phrases also do?

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Week 3 JW Two: Adding More to the Scene

Finishing the reading material about verbs, it is time to write another post:

Continue your observation list of the scene you observed for Unit 3, Journal Assignment 1 by noting several vivid action verbs. Revise some of your sentences using action verbs and/or write 2-3 new sentences with action verbs. Try not to use any of the forms of “to be” (is, are, was, etc.).  Underline the action verbs in your sentences. Again, you will want to keep all of these sentences at hand as you do the peer reviewed writing at the end of the unit.

I try to look at my previous list, and underline the action verbs:

  1. Mom is waving out of the balcony wishing me a good day.
  2. The two kids are holding their little hands together and signing a sweet song.
  3. A little girl, carrying a heavy bag on her back, is bitterly crying.
  4. I think she wants to cross the road.
  5. Workers gather in groups to take a taxi.
  6. Drivers set a competition ignoring all the screams and shouts of people around.
  7. Everyone in the street seems so busy.
  8. Those two high school boys are crazily riding their bicycles.
  9. Her lovely smile is still stuck in my mind.

Some new sentences with more action verbs:

  1. The little kids stopped singing and chased a small dog trying to pull its tail.
  2. Workers waited long for this day.
  3. The little girl loudly laughed when the two boys fell off their bicycles.

Although this activity is valuable because it raises my awareness to a certain part of speech (e.g., action verbs … ), writing the whole description of the scene previously selected needs more verbs and other vocabulary. If I stick to these actions, it impedes my creativity. I spent much time to write these simple sentences. I don’t know why? On the other hand, I find it so easy when I respond to the forum threads and discuss topics with my colleagues. I guess thinking too much about what I’m going to write stifles my fluency of writing as my friend Debbie said in one of her comments here.

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Week 3 JW One: A Scene to Observe!

I started week 3 a little bit late because I had another final assignment in another online course about Statistics. I have just finished the peer review process and waiting for my peers’ score. Although the course was challenging, I enjoyed it so much and that final assignment helped me a lot to apply all what I have learned during the past eight weeks.

Shifting to Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade, I’m trying to catch up all what is required; discussing the question about peer learning, watching videos, reading materials bout subjects, verbs and punctuation, and posting writing activities here in my blog. The first writing journal of week 3 seems so enjoyable. It is about observing a scene and listing the activities that are happening and the doers who are doing them:

Observe a scene, preferably in a crowded, busy, or public place. List the activities that you see occurring and the actors (those doing the activity). Write 5-6 sentences that use your observation list and underline the subjects of your sentences. Write a few sentences experimenting with using different types of pronouns from the tables in Unit 3.  You will want to keep all of these sentences at hand as you do the writing activities for this unit.

The Scene Selected:

People going to work!The first crazy hour when people go to their work between 7:30 – 8: 30 A.M.

(My Village “Edfa” in Sohag City, Egypt)

Activities that are occurring in the scene selected above:

  • walking, running, calling out, talking, yawing, carrying, waving, shouting, waiting, driving, singing, looking, holding, riding, standing, crossing, crying, smiling, giving … many more.

Doers who are doing the activities above: 

  • Mom, two kids, little girl, I, she, high school boys, my friend, workers in groups, my colleagues, drivers, and others whom I don’t know, but involve in the scene.

Here are my sentences using the observation list above:

  1. Mom is waving out of the balcony wishing me a good day.
  2. The two kids are holding their little hands together and singing a sweet song.
  3. A little girl, carrying a heavy bag on her back, is bitterly crying.
  4. I think she wants to cross the road.
  5. Workers gather in groups to take a taxi.
  6. Drivers set a competition ignoring all the screams and shouts of people around.

More sentences using other different types of pronouns:

  1. Everyone in the street seems so busy.
  2. Those two high school boys are crazily riding their bicycles.
  3. Her smile is still stuck in my mind.
  4. They are in a hurry.
  5. [You] “Take care of yourself”, I shouted.
  6. What will happen if I arrive my school so late?

I hope I am on the right track. I tried so hard to do what is required correctly. However, I’m not satisfied with my answers. Imagining a scene and talking about what is happening is really enjoyable activity, but it needs more talents. From my point of view, it is a creative piece of writing. In the forums’ discussion, there are some people who object to the title of the course. They prefer “Basic Grammar” to “Basic Writing” Course. The course activities may seem a little bit grammar-based, but the unit of any paragraph is simply the sentence. How I can write a very good paragraph if I don’t know what the sentence is. I think that knowing the sentence and its parts very well definitely leads to a good piece of writing. I’m still excited about this course and where it will take us.

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Week 2 Journal Writing 1: Nouns and Adjectives

After going through Module 1 reading materials about Parts of Speech and more details about nouns, pronoun and adjectives, it is time to complete the first writing activity. It is very simple, but it is a great practice to what we learned in module 1.

In your journal, write down a list of at least five to ten nouns and five to ten adjectives as you observe a scene at home, work, or in your community.

The scene:

Exam

Retrieved May 18, 2013

In my school where I work as a teacher. I select my students while taking the final exam today.

List of Nouns:

  1. Exam
  2. Mona
  3. Silence
  4. Desk
  5. Teacher
  6. Class
  7. Time
  8. Problem
  9. Question
  10. Success

List of Adjectives:

  1. Confused
  2. Large
  3. Successful
  4. English
  5. Difficult
  6. Helpful
  7. Bored
  8. Happy
  9. Relaxed
  10. Final

It is an easy exercise, but it helps me to be flexible selecting words that can be found in the same scene. This reminds me with a comparison my Prof. did about the direct way of thinking and the lateral thinking where people can use all directions of their thinking. It is a starting point for fluency and flexibility as main features of creativity.