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Step By Step Writing


The new rules for the school cafeteria seemed unfair to the ... High school sports have several important roles to play in a student's well rounded education. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Step By Step Writing

Step By Step Writing
  • Compiled by Karadean Grayson from Step Up To
    Writing by Maureen E. Auman

The Five Elements of Expository Writing
  • Organization is the key.
  • Topic sentences and thesis statements are the
  • Transitions are the glue.
  • Examples, evidence, and explanation are the meat.
  • Conclusions tie it all together.

Organization is the KEY.
  • Pattern A Train or A Stop Light
  • Engine Topic GREEN
  • Cars Reason/detail/factyellow
  • Logsexplain/example/detail red
  • Caboose return/restate topic/conclusion green

Topic sentences and thesis statements are the
  • State the subject.
  • Tell the reader what will be proved or explained.

  • Start with a topic.
  • The topic is the engine.
  • The topic is the main idea of the paragraph or

14 Methods for Writing a Topic Sentence (or
Thesis Statement).
  • 1. Occasion/Position Statements
  • 2. Power (number) statements
  • 3. However statements
  • 4. And, But, and Or Statements
  • 5. A Few Good Prepositions
  • 6. To, Plus a Verb
  • 7. The List Statement
  • 8. Get their Attention
  • 9. A Rhetorical Question
  • 10. Side by Side Statements
  • 11. Semicolon Topic Sentence
  • 12. Two Nouns and Two Commas
  • 13. Using a Quotation
  • 14. Adding the Blues

Practice finding and writing topic sentences.
  • Use a text book and identify the topic sentence
    of the first paragraph of a chapter or section.
  • Can you decide what type of topic sentence it
    would be? (Refer to the 14 ways to write a topic

1. Occasion/Position Statements
  • An Occasion/Position Statement is a complex
    sentence and begins with a subordinating
  • The Orange/Purple sentence.
  • An occasion is the first part of the topic
  • The occasion introduces your reason for writing.
  • An occasion can be any event, problem, idea,
    solution, or circumstance that gives you a reason
    to write.
  • The occasion is the dependent clause in the
    complex sentence.

  • The position is the second part of the topic
  • The position states what you plan to prove or
    explain in your paragraph.
  • The position is the independent clause in the
    complex sentence.

Examples of Occasion/Position
  • Although my family and I have taken many
    wonderful vacations, none was more fun and
    exciting than our camping trip to the Grand
  • After I tried out for competitive soccer, I
    learned that there were several things that I had
    to do for a good performance.
  • If you have a guinea pig, you must clean its
  • Whenever you have a fire drill, you should follow
    these instructions.
  • Even if telephones with picture screens were
    free, I would not want one.

Use a magazine or newspaper to search for O/P
  • The easiest places to find O/P statements are in
    the advertisements and letters to the editor.

List of Subordinating Conjunctions to create
Occasion/Position Statements.
  • In order that
  • If
  • After
  • Since
  • Before
  • So that
  • Whenever
  • As long as
  • As
  • Even though
  • Although
  • Unless
  • While
  • When
  • Even
  • As if
  • Whether
  • Until
  • Where
  • Though
  • Even if
  • Because
  • Wherever
  • As soon as

Continue to practice Occasion/Position
  • Use page 2-41 and 2-43 in Step Up To Writing.

2. Power (Number) Statements
  • A sentence that contains a number word.
  • The number word is the focus of the sentence it
    tells your reader that a list of information will

Helpful Number Words
  • Two, three, four, several, many, some, a few,
    numerous, a couple of, a number of, a myriad,
    various, plenty of

Examples of Power Statements
  • Three cities have serious pollution problems.
  • In the winter I enjoy watching several high
    school sports.
  • The new recruits learned four important
  • When my family camps, we always stay at one of
    our four favorite campgrounds.
  • Like most American cities, Los Angeles is faced
    with many problems including homelessness, gang
    violence, and unemployment.
  • The parade was wonderful two exciting things
  • I enjoy four kinds of music.
  • There are four steps you should follow for a fire
  • There are four steps to clean a guinea pigs cage.

Practice writing Power Statements.
  • Think of the steps needed to do something.
  • Write a Power Statement that would introduce your

Order in Paragraphs
  • Certain words can help make order clear.
  • First, next, then, and finally are order words.
  • Use order words with Power Statements to help the
    reader follow your ideas easier.

Practice Order
  • There are several things to do when you clean a
    guinea pigs cage. First, take the guinea pig
    out of the cage. Put the guinea pig in a safe
    place. Next, lift up the old newspaper and wood
    chips. Throw them away. Spread clean newspaper
    on the bottom of the cage. Then add a new layer
    of wood chips. Finally, put the guinea pig back
    into its clean cage.
  • What is the topic sentence of the paragraph?
  • What is the main idea?
  • Every step does not need to have an order word.
  • How many steps are there in cleaning the cage?

More practice with order. These steps are out of
order. Write them in order, as a paragraph.
  • These are the steps for a fire drill.
  • Follow these instructions for a fire drill.
  • Next, form a straight line.
  • Leave the room when your teacher tells you to.
  • First, stand up and push in your chairs.
  • Walk quickly and quietly outside.
  • How to Peel a Banana
  • Pull it down gently.
  • First, take hold of the stem.
  • Then take hold of the next strip at the top.
  • Keep pulling until the strip is all the way down.
  • Pull it down gently, too.
  • Do the same with the other strips.

Keep Practicing Power Statements and order words.
  • Choose one thing to explain to a classmate.
  • How to peel an orange.
  • How to make a telephone call.
  • How to draw a stick person.
  • Tell your instructions to a classmate. Then work
    together to make your instructions even better.

3. However Statements
  • However is one of several conjunctive adverbs
    that will help you organize your thoughts into a
    topic sentence or a thesis statement. Use
    however in the middle of the sentence. You will
    need a semicolon () before the word however and
    a comma (,) after the word however. This creates
    a compound sentence. Usually, the first part
    (independent clause) will be the occasion (reason
    for writing) the second part (independent
    clause) will state your position (what you plan
    to prove or explain).

Examples of However Statements
  • The new rules for the school cafeteria seemed
    unfair to the students however, the rules have
    made the cafeteria a better place to eat lunch.
  • Some of the citizens in Springfield protested
    when the city council voted to close the old
    theater however, one man was able to settle the
    argument by suggesting a way to rebuild the
    theater without having to ask the taxpayers for
    more money.
  • My father is very strict however, he has good
    reasons for all of his rules.
  • Ants are very small creatures and may seem
    insignificant however, scientists around the
    world study these insects.

Other Conjunctive Adverbs to try
  • in fact
  • nevertheless
  • as a result
  • next
  • meanwhile
  • still
  • instead
  • consequently
  • therefore
  • likewise
  • furthermore
  • otherwise

4. And, But, Or Statements
  • This method of topic sentences also creates a
    compound sentence. With the coordinating
    conjunctions-and, but,or, nor,so,yet,and for- you
    can easily write a topic sentence.
  • Hint Use the words BOY FANS to help you
    remember these conjunctions.
  • B but
  • O or
  • Y yet
  • F for
  • A and
  • N nor
  • S so
  • Remember You need a comma before the

Examples of And, But, Or Statements
  • Some people find it difficult to program a VCR,
    but most will succeed if they just remember to
    follow these guidelines.
  • Reptiles are all alike because they have
    backbones, breathe with lungs, and have scales,
    yet reptiles come in a variety of sizes and
  • My grandmother likes to help others, so she
    volunteers at church, at the hospital, and at my
  • I enjoy most music, but jazz is my favorite.
  • School boards should not cut art and music
    programs, nor should they sacrifice the
    industrial arts electives offered in most high

5. A Few Good Prepositions.
  • See list of prepositions on next slide.
  • Once you have learned to write Occasion/Position
    Statements and However Statements, try this list.
    Like the Occasion/ Position list, these words
    can jog your thinking and push you into a good
    topic sentence.
  • Not all prepositions will work for your topic.
    Read your sentence out loud and make your
    decision once you hear the sentence.
  • Remember that your topic sentence gives your
    audience a quick glance at your reason for
    writing and tells the readers what you intend to
    prove or explain.

  • Despite
  • Down
  • During
  • For from
  • In
  • In addition to
  • In back of
  • In case of
  • In front of
  • In regard to
  • In spite of
  • Instead of
  • Inside
  • Into
  • On
  • Like
  • near
  • of
  • Off
  • Onto
  • Out
  • Out of
  • Outside
  • Over
  • Past
  • Round
  • Since
  • Through
  • Throughout
  • Till
  • To
  • Toward
  • Under
  • Underneath
  • Until
  • Up
  • Up to
  • Upon
  • With
  • Within
  • Without
  • With the exception of
  • Aboard
  • About
  • Above
  • According to
  • Along with
  • As for
  • Away from
  • Across
  • After
  • Against
  • Along
  • Alongside
  • Among
  • Around
  • Because of
  • By
  • before
  • Behind
  • Below
  • Beneath
  • besides
  • Beside
  • Between
  • Beyond
  • but
  • Due to

Examples of A Few Good Prepositions statements.
  • According to Current Events magazine, many high
    schools have banned pagers.
  • Without my computer my life would be a disaster.
  • With the proper training and the best equipment,
    high school football players can enjoy the sport
    and avoid injury.
  • In case of a fire, all families should make an
    escape plan and practice it.
  • Like most teenagers, my cousin Fred disagrees
    with his parents on several issues.
  • Since the first Olympics, thousands of athletes
    have challenged themselves and set world records.

A Note
  • Some of the words on the prepositions list are
    the same as words on the Occasion/Position list.
    Words like since, until, before, and after are
    prepositions if there is no verb (action word).
  • Preposition After the game there were several
    fights in the parking lot.
  • Clause After the game ended, fights broke out
    in the parking lot.
  • Preposition Since the first of the year I have
    improved my grades in math and art.
  • Clause Since the semester started, I have
    worked hard to improve my grades in math and art.

6. To, Plus A Verb
  • Try using an infinitive to start your paper.
  • An infinitive is the main verb preceded by the
    word to.
  • Topic sentences with infinitives are clear and
    direct. They wont confuse your reader.

  • To win at chess players need to master three
  • To impress her guests at our New Years dinner,
    my aunt created the most incredible culinary
  • To succeed in business a person must establish
    clear but realistic goals.
  • To attract customer, the ice cream parlor hired a
    clown who did magic tricks.
  • To succeed takes more than just a good idea and a
  • To prepare for college, high school students
    should take several math, science, and English
  • To improve her health, Grandmother made several
    changes in her lifestyle.
  • To keep in contact with friends and family, many
    teens invest in pagers.

  • Write a topic sentence using each of the previous
  • Use a magazine picture for ideas.

7. The List Statement
  • List the categories you will address in your
  • Think of similar endings like ed and ing when you
    make your list.
  • Do not mix words with phrases or clauses with a
    series of single words.
  • Keep the list parallel

A list of words
  • All college students need money, courage,
    friends, and encouragement.
  • Joes Café offers the best in service, food, and
  • When I set out to buy my new car, I looked for a
    vehicle that was reliable, safe, and economical.

A list of phrases
  • My grandparents prefer to vacation in Mexico, in
    the Northwest, and in the Bahamas.
  • Problems with the new school include poor
    ventilation, small classrooms, inadequate
    lighting, limited parking.
  • The Smiths love their new home but are having
    trouble with the garage door and with a new
    sprinkling system.

A list of dependent (cannot stand alone) clauses.
  • When I found my lost puppy, when I won the trip
    to Florida, and when I met a group of teachers
    from Russia, I realized that life is great and
    full of surprises.

A list of independent (can stand alone) clauses
  • High school graduates can attend community
    college, they can enroll in state universities,
    or they can study at private schools throughout
    the United States.
  • Run for office join a club march in the band.
    Activities like these will make high school more

8. Get Their Attention
  • A declarative statement using a strong verb-
    action word.

  • Children will love the new flavored cereals.
  • Aunt Susans foolproof holiday recipes saved me
    and impressed my family.
  • Clays gas station offers the best service.
  • Fourth grade test scores at Lincoln Elementary
  • The restaurant on Main Street serves the best
    brunch in town.
  • Teachers salaries must be increased.

9. A Rhetorical Question
  • This is the kind of question we ask when we want
    to get someones attention, but we do not really
    expect an answer.
  • You are going to answer the question in your

Examples of Rhetorical questions
  • What is your school doing to improve test scores?
  • Why cant college graduates find the jobs they
  • How are churches and synagogues meeting the needs
    of teenagers?
  • What should parents expect from their childs
  • How will baby boomers handle retirement?
  • Are you intimidated by the IRS?

10. Side by Side Statements
  • Two simple sentences one for the occasion and
    one for the position.
  • Especially powerful if your goal is to put
    emphasis on your position.

Examples of Side by Sides
  • A little wine may be good. Too much is
  • Young children belong in car seats. The car seat
    belongs in the back, not in the front.
  • Throwing a dinner party is a challenge. Planning
    ahead can prevent stress.
  • Finances cause stress for many people. Suze
    Ormans book, Nine Steps to Financial Freedom,
    offers practical, helpful advice.

11. Semicolon Topic Sentence
  • Just like a Side by Side Statement main ideas
    are connected by a semicolon ().

  • The football team deserves the state
    championship the players and the coach are
    talented and dedicated.
  • Buying a new car is exciting its also
  • All of the major airlines have improved customer
    service they have also increased the number of
    daily flights.
  • Test scores have fallen for the third straight
    year administrators are scurrying to find
    solutions and reverse the trend.

12. Two Nouns and Two Commas
  • When we set off a noun or a noun phrase with
    commas, we call this an appositive.
  • An appositive does not have a verb it is simply
    a noun followed by a description that tells more
    about the first noun.
  • These sentences help writers put more important
    or interesting information in to one sentence.

  • Deckers, a small town nestled in the Colorado
    Rockies, is a fishing haven for many serious
  • Snare drums and maracas, percussion instruments,
    help keep rhythm in music.
  • Two rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi, are
    important to the people in Iowa.
  • Ben Franklin, a colonist from Pennsylvania,
    helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of
  • The Broncos Quarterback, John Elway, set many
    records during his career.

13. Using a Quotation
  • Using the words that are on the Occasion/Position
    list might help.
  • Once you have mastered this, it will be easy to
    use However Statements or one of the other
    methods suggested for your topic sentence.

  • Although I usually appreciate the advice I
    receive from my grandmother, I wish that she
    would follow the advice of Horace Whatever
    advice you give, be short.
  • If you are tempted to give your best friend
    advice, at least be aware of the Arab proverb
    that says, Never give advice in a crowd.
  • When I visited my relatives in Michigan, I
    learned very quickly that the old German proverb,
    Never give advice unless asked, is true.

  • Use these quotations in topic statements.
  • It takes time to save time. Joe Taylor
  • Dont find fault. Find a remedy. Henry Ford
  • Theres only one corner of the universe you can
    be certain of improving and thats your own
    self. Aldous Huxley
  • An idea is salvation by imagination. Frank
    Lloyd Wright
  • What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

14. Adding the Blues
  • The Blues are those sentences that give
    interesting extra information.
  • They are the sentences that precede the topic.
  • We say they decorate the topic.
  • They give the reader the background information
    they need to better understand the paragraph.

The Blues
  • In 1955, African-Americans who lived in the South
    and rode the bus were required to sit in a
    special part of the bus behind the whites only
    section. When Rosa Parks, an African-American
    woman from Montgomery, Alabama, broke this rule,
    she showed courage and determination. First of
    all, it took courage to Next,

More Blues
  • During the Industrial Revolution some children
    were forced to work in order to help their
    families pay for food and lodging. Children
    worked long hours in factories where they did
    work that was dangerous. The conditions in the
    factories sometimes caused diseases.
    Fortunately, from 1830 until the early 1900s many
    laws were passed in England and the United States
    to protect child workers. One law said Another
    law A third law

Practice Writing Topic Sentences. Write an
Occasion/Position Statement or a Power Statement
for each topic.
  • Family pets
  • Friends
  • High school sports
  • Drinking and driving
  • Professional athletes
  • Your hometown
  • Roller skating
  • The movies
  • Courage
  • Music

Add Some Blues
  • Think of some background information that would
    help introduce your topic.
  • Add a blue statement to each of the topic

Blue Example
  • The past few years have been slow economic times
    for many states around the nation. During
    difficult economic years school districts often
    need to reduce costs many districts find that
    eliminating high school sports could save a lot
    of money. High school sports have several
    important roles to play in a students well
    rounded education.

Just The Ticket!
  • Practice topic sentences every day.
  • Write a topic sentence about each content area
    you study every day this week.

Completing The Paragraph
  • After the engine of a train we find any number of
    cars carrying a variety of cargo items.
  • Complete your paragraph by adding the cars and
    cargo, or sometimes called the yellows and

Reason/ Detail/Fact
  • The Yellows say slow down!
  • Give a reason, detail or fact.
  • Use a transition.
  • These sentences are the train cars.
  • The main ideas or key concepts.

Transitions are the glue.
  • In each paragraph the main ideas (key concepts)
    are introduced by a transition.
  • The transitions are sometimes in the middle of
    the sentence.
  • Do not use the words is, was,or were right next
    to the transition.
  • Vary the transitions.
  • It is easy to read a paragraph that has clear
  • Readers will appreciate papers that you write
    using transitions.

Introduce main ideas.
  • Example
  • On Saturdays I like to do two things. First, I
    like to sleep in because I usually stay up late
    on Friday night. I also like to take walks in
    the park with my family and our dog, Jake.
    Saturdays are great!

Vary Bury
  • Put some transitions in the middle of sentences.
  • Use a variety of transition words.

A List of Transitions
  • One way Another way
  • First Another Next
  • First Second Third
  • The first The second
  • One Then Another
  • One Also
  • First of all In addition Finally
  • One One other Along with Last
  • One example Another example
  • A good A better The best
  • One - Another Finally
  • First of all Second Last
  • First of all Next The final
  • First of all The next - Another
  • First In addition Equally important

Other methods for making a transition in your
  • Repeating words
  • Using synonyms

Study and Practice
  • Search for transitions in the writing samples.
  • Search for transitions in the book you are
    reading for independent reading.

Complete with cargo!
  • The cargo is what the train is delivering.
  • Complete your paragraph with some cargo or
    sometimes called the reds.
  • The real meat of your paragraph.

Examples, Evidence, and Explanation
  • The Reds say Stop!
  • Explain.
  • Give an example.
  • Show evidence.

Explain! Explain! Explain!
  • Nothing is more important than the quantity and
    quality of explanations you include in your
  • Always ask yourself if you have enough reds.
  • Check to see if you have included specific
    examples or presented enough evidence.

The Red EsInformation to back up your reasons,
details, or facts.
  • Examples
  • Explanations
  • Evidence
  • Events
  • Experiences
  • Everyday life
  • Effective illustration
  • Elaboration
  • Expert opinions

Es support your topic sentence. Es make your
writing interesting and believable.
Practice! Use some writing samples.
  • Underline the topic sentence green.
  • Underline the main ideas yellow.
  • Underline the example/explanations red.
  • Underline in black any sentences that dont
    belong in the paragraph.

  • Go Back!
  • Remind the reader of your topic.
  • The caboose on the train is similar to the engine.

Conclusions tie it all together.
  • Instead of just stopping and writing THE END,
  • Restating your position reminding your readers
    of your topic. Dont just copy the topic. Use
  • Summarize your paragraph.
  • Encourage them to take action.
  • Convince the readers of your position.
  • Challenge them to think about the issue.

Tie it Up!
  • If it fits, try using one of these words or
    phrases in the final sentence
  • In fact
  • Truly
  • Obviously
  • Definitely
  • Clearly
  • Surely
  • Certainly
  • To sum up
  • In conclusion
  • Avoid phrases such as
  • As I have said
  • As I proved
  • As you can see
  • Vary the sentence structure. If your topic
    sentence was an O/P statement, use a simple
    statement in the conclusion. If you started with
    a Power Statement, make your conclusion an O/P.

More on Conclusions
  • Using a quotation in a conclusion is a plus.
    Make sure the quotation supports the position.
  • Imitate the professionals, teachers, or fellow
  • Listen to and look for good conclusions.
  • Check out newspaper and magazine articles to see
    how their introductions and conclusions go

Accordion Paragraphs
  • Vary paragraph length by adding a variety of
    Yellows and Reds.
  • Using p.2-88 in Step Up To Writing, an
    explanation of Accordion Paragraphs, practice
    different lengths of paragraphs.

  • Have you ever heard, Its all in the way it is
  • Mastery comes with polishing your paragraph to
    a shine.
  • Striving for the BEST!

Finishing Touches!
  • Neat paper
  • Check Spelling
  • Know your audience
  • Neat handwriting
  • Evaluate yourself with a rubric
  • Skip a line when writing on notebook paper.
  • Revise! Revise! Revise!

Finishing Touches A few revising tricks to try!
  • ABC Your Paragraph
  • Write a basic paragraph.
  • Try making the paragraph better by using the
  • You may start any place and work up or down the
  • Start each sentence with the next letter of the

To Be or Not To Be
To Be Verbs
  • Write a basic paragraph.
  • Circle all of the To Be verbs/verb phrases.
  • Replace with a strong action verb.
  • Is
  • Am
  • Are
  • Was
  • Were
  • Be
  • Being
  • been

Examples of To Be or Not To Be
  • WeakJamie is helping her mom at the restaurant.
  • Better Jamie joins her mother at the restaurant
    every day after school to greet and serve
  • Weak Karen is a baker.
  • Better-- Karen creates beautiful cakes for
    weddings and other special events.

Analyze a Paragraph
Further Analysis
  • At a glance you quickly realize that this student
    has a weak paragraph.
  • All of the sentences are about the same length.
  • There are very few strong action verbs
  • Three of the sentences start with the same word.

One Perfect Sentence
  • Burrito fold your paper. (fold it in thirds).
  • Write one sentence.
  • Read it and revise it on the next part of the
  • Read it out loud and rewrite it for a perfect

Perfection and Beyond!
  • Once you have mastered a perfect paragraph you
    are ready to expand to essays and other
    multi-paragraph writing.
  • An essay is just a paragraph that has been s t r
    e t c h e d.