Writing with Sharon Watson-Easy-to-use Homeschool Writing and Literature Curriculum

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Intro to Writing, Part 7: Introductions and Conclusions

Intro to Writing, Part 7: Introductions and Conclusions

SHARON’S BLOG

Get a writing assignment. Look at a blank piece of paper for hours. Cry.

Is this what happens with your students?

No need for weeping. In this week’s Intro to Writing, your students will learn what ingredients to put into their introductions and conclusions. In addition, they will grade other students’ work and then write their own credible introduction and conclusion.

If you have been following along with the Intro to Writing tutorials on Writing with Sharon Watson, you likely have noticed something weird.

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Intro to Writing, Part 6: Easily Develop Thesis Statements

Intro to Writing, Part 6: Easily Develop Thesis Statements

SHARON’S BLOG

Thesis Statements

A guy walks in to your living room and blurts out, “Pizza.”

You look at him and wonder what he means. Well, you know the subject matter—pizza—but you don’t know where he’s going with this. He could take it in any of these directions:

“I want pizza.”
“Pizza is bad for you and here’s why.”
“Eat more pizza; it contains all the food groups.”
“I know how to get bigger tips working as a pizza delivery person.”
“This is how to build the perfect pizza.”
“The pizza you buy here is very different from the pizza you can get in Italy.”
“With six hundred dollars borrowed from their mother, two brothers began one humble Pizza Hut, now an international chain.”

Or, of course, he could mean, “Here’s the pizza you ordered. Now give me a tip so I can get out of here.”

When you write an essay, writing about the subject matter is only the beginning. Readers need to know what direction you are taking your subject. That way, they will keep reading and will understand what you are doing. For instance, if your introduction looks like you are going to write about the founder of Amazon but you end up writing about all the cool stuff you can find there, your readers will be confused.

What’s your main idea? What’s the one thought you want to convey to your readers? Everything you write about your subject matter is going to be gathered around one statement, one main idea, so that people reading your essay know what direction you are taking your subject.

This main idea is called a thesis statement.

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Intro to Writing, Part 5: Point Orders

Intro to Writing, Part 5: Point Orders

SHARON’S BLOG

Problems with Point Orders?

One of my students handed in an interesting essay on volcanic activity. She included lots of facts, dates, and anecdotes, but there was one big problem.

There was no rhyme or reason for the order in which she put her facts. Each major or historic volcanic eruption was in its own paragraph, but the paragraphs were in no particular order. It felt jumbled and incoherent.

How could she have arranged her paragraphs to have the most impact on her reader? Check below for two possible answers to this conundrum.

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Intro to Writing, Part 4: Paragraphs

Intro to Writing, Part 4: Paragraphs

SHARON’S BLOG

Can a chart rescue poorly written paragraphs?

Do your students have trouble coming up with ideas to put in their paragraphs? Are their paragraphs only one or two sentences long?

Are they a jumbled mess of ideas?

A paragraph is all about one idea. In it, your student will teach something about that idea, explain it, or prove why it is the right one.

In Intro to Writing, Part 4, you’ll find a practical chart to help your student formulate ideas and put them into a credible paragraph.

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Intro to Writing, Part 3: Outlines

Intro to Writing, Part 3: Outlines

SHARON’S BLOG

Outlines.

Did I lose you already?

What if we could make organizing material a little easier for our writers? What if they practiced on something they are already familiar with, things like restaurant categories and the way grocery stores are organized?

Intro to Writing, Part 3 takes some of the pain out of outlines by using material your students are already very familiar with: restaurant categories and the way grocery stores are organized.

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Compare and Contrast: 2 Solid Methods

Compare and Contrast: 2 Solid Methods

SHARON’S BLOG

Compare and Contrast: 2 Solid Methods

Have your students ever been asked to write a compare-and-contrast paragraph or essay but don’t know where to begin? Do they have trouble organizing their thoughts and information before comparing and contrasting?

Your 5th – 12th graders will learn two solid methods for compare-and-contrast writing with this free tutorial. It’s packed with two separate exercises, one for each method,  and contains  complete instructions and colorful worksheets. Your students will learn how to organize their thoughts before writing with either method, and then they’ll write two paragraphs using each method.

Students already know how to compare and contrast in real life: They do it every time they want to buy something and are torn between two choices. They go through the process mentally, and it’s likely automatic and subconscious.

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Word Choices Bundle: Attention to Detail

Word Choices Bundle: Attention to Detail

SHARON’S BLOG

Do you “have a plan” or have you “hatched a scheme”? Are your students writing about the “circulation” of the blood or about how the blood “circulates”?

Do they understand how to use specific adjectives? Do they know the power of connotations? Do they turn sluggish nouns into working verbs? Do they define their terms?

Enjoy these nine tutorials that teach all of these things and much more. They will instruct your students in the finer art of using the elegant English language. Now students are not just writing; they are communicating.

Appropriate for 7th-12th graders. Use the lessons now or bookmark them for future use.

It’s time to dive into the splashy end of the pool . . .

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Tutorials for Specific Types of Essays

Tutorials for Specific Types of Essays

SHARON’S BLOG

Persuasion. How-to. Compare and contrast. Enumerative. Are your students baffled by these types of essays?

Take heart! Use the 13 links you’ll find below that show how to format and write 6 types of paragraphs and essays.

As an added bonus, the last link leads to a very handy writing schedule you can use all year. Never say, “Write an essay,” again! (You’ve got to be kidding!)

These tutorials are appropriate for students in 7th – 12th grade. Use them now or bookmark them for future use.

{Writing Tip: If your student is not quite ready to write a whole essay, give him or her practice in writing the types of paragraphs you’ll find in this post. For instance, instead of writing a whole compare-and-contrast essay, how about a compare-and-contrast paragraph from one of the links in #5?}

Ready? Let’s go . . .

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Equip Your Students with These 11 Essential Writing Tools

Equip Your Students with These 11 Essential Writing Tools

SHARON’S BLOG

Could your students use some writing tools?

Your students have to come up with a paragraph or an essay, but they do not know where to begin. They do not know where to get ideas, how to formulate a plan, how to narrow down their topic, how to organize their ideas, how to write a credible paragraph, and so on.

Does this sound familiar?

Then you’ve come to the right place! Use the links below to equip your students with the writing tools they need to be successful this year. Many of these links contain tutorials and free worksheets to download. I hope you like #s 10 and 11. Thousands of moms and teachers have already downloaded them and found happiness.

Ready? Let’s go . . .

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