Friday, May 8, 2015

ESL Writing: Run-on Sentences and Choppy Sentences

These days, I teach mostly advanced academic writing, using Great Writing 4: From Great Paragraphs to Great Essays which by the way, is an excellent book if you teach university students or adults.

Today I veered away from the book to address a problem that I saw on many of the midterm exam essays-choppy sentences. I based my lesson loosely on this choppy and run-on sentences worksheet from ESL Writing-mostly I just added a few more of my own examples.

I did the following steps:

1. Introduced the idea of what choppy sentences are and how to fix them: punctuation, relative clauses or conjunctions.

2. Used 3 examples, showed on the PPT one at a time and asked students to fix them, either by writing or just thinking in their head.

3. Students shared the answer with their partner.

4. I asked for 3-4 volunteers to share their answers with the class and gave feedback.

5. I gave my own "perfect" answer if no student had done so.

6. I repeated with run-on sentences.

We ran out of time, so I assigned that choppy and run-on sentences worksheet as homework and we'll talk about it at the beginning of next class.

It was an excellent class-probably one of the best of the semester and I think the students found it really helpful.

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