This week, Dr. Heidi gives you some tips on how to write great compositions!
Watch this week’s video on YouTube below.
Read the text of this week’s video to check your understanding and practice your new words!
I’m very excited to talk about writing, because I love writing, but there’s only one problem: I only have about ten minutes, and I could talk about writing for hours! So I’m going to pick two main ideas to focus on: Improving your writing through drafts, and using connecting words to improve the flow of your composition.
First, I want you to think about writing as a two part process. This is very important, and it is actually the same advice about writing I would give to someone who was a native speaker!
The first part is the fun, creative part, when you put your ideas on paper. Here, it’s very important that you don’t worry about getting the language perfect. The important thing is to focus on what you want to say, not how to say it! This is called the first draft - a draft is a version of something.
Last week, when I talked about speaking, I said that you shouldn’t worry about mistakes, because it was natural to make mistakes when speaking a new language. I said that sometimes, you would hear the mistake you just made as soon as you made it, and when you are talking to someone, there’s not much you can do. The good news is, that with writing, there is something you can do: You can fix your mistakes in the second draft!
After you write the first draft, the second part of the process is to edit it - to fix the mistakes. Read it through carefully, maybe even read it out lout to yourself, and fix all the mistakes you can find. Use a dictionary or spell checker to make sure the words are spelled correctly. If a word doesn’t sound right, look it up in a dictionary or thesaurus to see if you can find a better word. If it’s an important paper or essay for a class, you might want to find someone to help you make it perfect. If you are in school, there is probably a writing lab you can go to for help. Or maybe you can work with a friend - they will look for mistakes in your paper and you look for mistakes in their paper.
Working on a second draft is an excellent way to improve your English skills, because it forces you to really think about the language. It will also give you a lot of pride and confidence because it gives you the opportunity to produce great work!
Now I’m going to give you some special words to use in your writing. Let’s say for example I want to connect two ideas, this, that. I need something like this glue to hold them together. Ah, here’s something: and. And is a connecting word you probably use every day without thinking about it. It’s used like glue to connect two ideas together.
There are many of these connecting words and they are the glue that holds language together, especially in written language. They are important because they show the relationship between different concepts.
I found a good website with some linking words. Here are a few examples:
There are thousands of words to study in English, but if you want to improve your writing, these words are especially helpful to study.
Just like the other language skills, the best way to get better at writing is to practice! Write posts on social media and emails to your friends in English.
Finally, I want to mention one more thing: One good way to improve your writing is to read a lot! When you read, you start to get a feel for good writing, that is, you have a good idea of what good writing looks like.
Here are some web sites related to this week’s lesson:
Here are the 20 words for week 17. You may know some of these words already. However, it’s very important with vocabulary that you practice the words that you already know in addition to learning new words. This is all good practice and will help your language skills. All these definitions are from the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary, which is highly recommended for English language learners.
|advice||an opinion or suggestion about what someone should do|
|perfect||having no mistakes or flaws|
|version||a form of something (such as a product) that is different in some way from other forms|
|essay||a short piece of writing that tells a person’s thoughts or opinions about a subject|
|edit||to prepare (something written) to be published or used; to make changes, correct mistakes, etc., in (something written)|
|fix||to deal with or correct (a problem)|
|summary||a brief statement that gives the most important information about something|
|creative||having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas|
|write||to produce (a written document, agreement, rule, etc.) by writing|
|mention||to talk about, write about, or refer to (something or someone) especially in a brief way|
|produce||to make or create (something) by a natural process|
|draft||a version of something (such as a document) that you make before you make the final version|
|paper||a piece of writing usually on an academic or official subject|
|fun||an enjoyable or amusing time|
|composition||a piece of writing; a brief essay written as a school assignment|
|problem||something that is difficult to deal with; something that is a source of trouble, worry, etc.|
|conclusion||the last part of something; end|
|skill||the ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice|
|worry||to think about problems or fears; to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen|
|therefore||for that reason; because of that|
This week, practice your writing skills by making a social media post in English! Be sure to tag vocabvictor so we can admire your efforts!
Finally, download our app Vocab Victor which is available for Apple and Android phones. This vocabulary learning software will help you build and strengthen your vocabulary. What does that mean? Build and strengthen. Build vocabulary means it will teach you new words. Strengthen means it will improve the knowledge of the words you already know. Play Vocab Victor for a few minutes every day to help improve your English! Read more about Vocab Victor at our page for students, Vocab Victor - Students.