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Literacy Guidelines A Writing Guide for Key Stage 3 This booklet is designed to remind you of the basic rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling. It also offers advice about the different types of writing you do in school. Contents Rules and Reminders page/s General Rules of Writing in School 1 How to Set Out Your Work 2 Checking Your Writing in Class 3 The Key Terms of Language 4 - 11 Sentences 12 - 15 Capital Letters 16 - 17 Paragraphs 18 - 19 Punctuation 20 - 21 Writing Direct Speech 22 Common Errors 23 - 30 Writing Skills Used in School page/s Planning and Organising 31 Explaining 32 Describing 33 - 34 Discussing 35 Reflecting and Evaluating 36 Analysing 37 Comparing 38 Writing Styles 39 - 50 Spelling 51 - 55 Reading Skills 56 Speaking and Listening in class 57 Your writing in school should be formal and polite. This means that you must write in a style that is as accurate and correct as you can make it. You must always remember that in school you are mainly writing for an adult audience, so choose your words wisely. In formal writing, you should not use apostrophes to shorten words, such as dont, isnt, its and youre. Your writing should not sound like speech. Words that are commonly used in casual speech, such as gonna, gotten, cos, aint and innit, have no place in the classroom. Slang terms, such as cool, sick, wicked and lol, should also be avoided when writing in school. Occasionally, a task may require you to use slang for a particular audience or purpose but informal language should otherwise be avoided. Sentences should not begin with connectives (joining words) such as but, because, or and and. Of course, there will be many occasions when teachers encourage you to write imaginatively - do not hold back! Just remember that the most imaginative stories are written in a style that is formal, accurate and polite. WRITING IN SCHOOL 1 In many subjects, the date must be written on the right hand side of the page at the start of every new piece of work. The title of the work must be written in the middle of the page. If the title is too long to fit neatly alongside the date, write it on the next line. Both the title and the date must be underlined. Some subjects may also require you to write either Classwork or Homework at the start of the work or in the margin. You may sometimes be required to set out a piece of writing using sub-headings. These must be written next to the margin and they must be underlined. Note: these rules do not apply in Art, where you will use a sketchbook. HOW TO SET OUT YOUR WORK Tables, maps and diagrams In subjects such as Science, Maths and Geography you are required to draw graphs, charts, tables, maps and diagrams to present information, data and results. There are important things to remember when presenting information in this way. Use a sharp pencil and a ruler to draw straight lines and to underline headings and sub-headings. Draw in pencil but write in tables and label maps and diagrams neatly using a pen. Use colour where appropriate - a little colour can make maps and diagrams clearer. You will need: eraser pencil sharpener pencil compass coloured pencils ruler pen protractor highlighter pens 2 CHECKING YOUR WRITING IN CLASS Making corrections You must check your writing for mistakes before your teacher sees it. Make sure that each sentence makes sense and that you have used punctuation correctly. Add missed paragraph breaks using a double slash (//) and check spellings using a dictionary. How to use a dictionary to help your spelling Dictionaries are available in all subject areas for you to use at any time when you are doing written work. You should use a dictionary to check spellings that you are unsure of when you have finished your writing. Question How do I look up a word if I cant spell it? Answer Firstly, think about the sounds that make up the word. What sound does the word start with? Which letter or group of letters could make that sound? This should direct you to the correct letter section of the dictionary (it is in alphabetical order). What sound comes next in the word? This will help you to search through the list of words in that section until you find the word you need to spell. With a little trial and error you will find the correct word. If you are still struggling, ask for help. 3 THE KEY TERMS OF LANGUAGE Language Term and Function Examples Noun - the name of something Common nouns are the names given to general people, places or things, e.g. boy, student, school, book. Proper nouns are the names of specific people, places or things, including titles e.g. Kate, Baldock, Liverpool F.C., Star Wars. Proper nouns begin with capital letters. Abstract nouns are the names of feelings, qualities or ideas that you cannot see, touch or hear, e.g. love, bravery, dedication, honesty, happiness, beauty. (Nouns that you can see, touch or hear are called concrete nouns.) cup decision cheeseburger job Queen Elizabeth I person happiness Mr Happy courage London Pronoun - used in place of a noun Pronouns are used to avoid repetition and to make your writing flow smoothly. I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, my, his, him, her, their, them, us, our, this, that, herself, himself 4 THE KEY TERMS OF LANGUAGE 5 Language Term and Function Examples Noun phrase - a descriptive name A noun phrase is a group of words which presents a more descriptive version of a noun. Noun phrases can be made by adding words to nouns to develop their meaning or be more specific, e.g. the sandy beach, my favourite dress, a puzzling thought. Use noun phrases to be more expressive in descriptive writing. the skilful midfielder my birthday cake acid rain some of my friends the Year 7 disco old oak tree Modifier - changes meaning To modify a word means to change or develop its meaning, often by adding more specific detail. Nouns are often modified by adjectives. Verbs are often modified by adverbs. the happy teacher - happy (adjective) modifies teacher (noun) the pupil thought creatively - creatively (adverb) modifies thought (verb) she arrives tomorrow - tomorrow (adverb) modifies arrives (verb). THE KEY TERMS OF LANGUAGE 6 Language Term and Function Examples Adjective - a describing word An adjective describes a noun or a pronoun. Adjectives describe qualities or characteristics such as texture, size and colour. They are used to give a more detailed picture of the thing being described. good, jolly, fast, bright, big, smart, incredible, beautiful, vicious, pretty, clever, pink, smooth, rocky, delicate, vast The talented artist used intricate brushwork. When heated, the chemicals in the beaker became very hot and turned blue. Verb - a doing word Verbs express: physical actions - to smile, to write mental actions - to think, to guess states of being - to be, to exist Verbs can be in the present tense or the past tense. jump, jumping, jumped, have, had, do, done, eat, excited, scared, smile, smiled, smiling, wrote, writing, dream, dreamt (To be = am, are, was, were, is) The athlete sprinted to the finish. She considered the problem. The experiment was a success. THE KEY TERMS OF LANGUAGE 7 Language Term and Function Examples Adverb - used to describe Adverbs are used to add more detail to a verb or adjective by indicating: how where when frequency - how often / much They may be considered to describe the way in which something is done or the time in which it happens. Adverbial - an adverb or phrase An adverbial is a word or phrase that describes details such as time, place and effect. Adverbials are often separated by commas. They can be used to link ideas in long pieces of writing, such as essays and science experiments. place In the distance,... From the outside,... time We waited as long as we could. Moments later,... The bus leaves in five minutes. effect Amazingly,... As a result,... Interestingly,... how quickly, well, really, happily, quite The goalkeeper played very well. where here, there, nearby, everywhere He looked up and ran back. when later, now, early, yesterday, soon She answered immediately. frequency usually, often, sometimes, rarely They never forget their P.E. kit. THE KEY TERMS OF LANGUAGE 8 Language Term and Function Examples Preposition - how nouns fit in A preposition is used with a noun to show how the noun relates to something else in the sentence. Prepositions show direction and location - where nouns are in relation to other things, and time - when things happen. Prepositions are also used with pronouns: She laughed at him. It is a box for biscuits. - for shows the relationship between biscuits and box We met after the party. - after shows the relationship between party and met Prepositions: above, about, across, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, since, to, toward, through, under, until, up, upon, with, within Determiner - introduces a noun A determiner identifies a noun as a specific thing or a general thing. Some examples of determiners are: articles (e.g. the, a or an) demonstratives (e.g. this, those) possessives (e.g. my, your) quantifiers (e.g. some, every). the final design a good result that day these reasons their parents my best performance some people every word THE KEY TERMS OF LANGUAGE 9 Language Term and Function Examples Modal verbs - you must learn this Modal verbs are used to show that something is thought to be certain, probable or possible. They also express ability and obligation. The main modal verbs are: will, would, can, could, may, might, shall, should, must and ought. They might not think so but they will love it! I would like some dessert, please. They could see the sea. You may feel a bit silly. Year 7 can do well in their exams. You must do your homework. Active voice / Passive voice In the active voice, the subject of a sentence is the person or thing that performs the action of the verb. In the passive voice the action happens to the subject of the sentence. This style is sometimes used in Science and Technology. It can sound more formal, focusing on the process and not the person. Active voice sentences The boy kicked the ball. The school arranged a trip. The pupils passed their exams. Passive voice sentences The ball was kicked by the boy. A trip was arranged by the school. The exams were passed by pupils. Chemicals were mixed together. The plastic is heated then fed into a mould. THE KEY TERMS OF LANGUAGE 10 Language Term and Function Examples Cohesion - flow Your writing will sound sophisticated if it flows together and has cohesion. This is when the writing has a logical structure and makes sense without being slowed by repetition. Cohesive devices are words and phrases that are used to create the effect of cohesion. Examples of cohesive devices: pronouns which refer back to earlier nouns, e.g. they adverbials and adverbs, which explain when, where or how things are done. These lead the reader through a long description or explanation connectives, which help to develop full explanations and give structure to the writing A text has cohesion if it is clear how its parts fit together to present an overall meaning. Cohesive devices help to do this. In the example below, there are repeated references to the same thing, and the links between different parts, such as time, place and cause, are clear. A visit has been arranged for Year 6, to the Mountain Peaks Field Study Centre, leaving school at 9.30am. This is an overnight visit. The centre has beautiful grounds and a nature trail. During the afternoon, the children will follow the trail. They are advised to wear boots as it can get muddy. After breakfast on the second day, the children will visit a national park, where they will have the opportunity to take photographs. The children are expected to arrive back at school at 5.30pm. THE KEY TERMS OF LANGUAGE Here are some examples of these words in sentences. proper noun verb noun Katie loves animals. pronoun connective pronoun verb adjective noun She and I felt great happiness. pronoun adverb verb preposition noun adverb I always walk to school enthusiastically. noun phrase modal verb verb proper noun noun preposition Year 7 pupils should support Liverpool F. C. pride. with article noun verb preposition article adjective noun A squirrel scurried across the wet grass. article adjective noun verb preposition article noun An interesting thing happened on the bus. 11 adverbial pronoun modal verb verb quantifier noun After lunch, we will have another lesson. pronoun verb preposition verb adverbial We intend to start in half an hour. pronoun modal verb verb noun phrase adverbial You may wear summer uniform next week. 12 Make your writing interesting and lively by using a variety of sentences. Use short sentences to present points and ideas in a more punchy, direct way. Longer sentences should be used to explain or describe things in more detail. Different types of sentence: 1. Simple sentence A simple sentence contains a subject (the person or thing involved in the action) and a verb (action word). Many simple sentences also contain an object (the person or thing receiving the action). A simple sentence expresses a complete thought. The cat sat on the mat. 2. Complex sentence A complex sentence contains more detail. i. Add extra information between two commas: The cat, which was feeling tired, sat on the mat. ii. Add detail at the beginning or end, using a comma: Feeling tired, the cat sat on the mat. The cat sat on the mat, feeling tired. SENTENCES iii. Add detail starting with a subordinating connective: The cat sat on the mat because he was tired. The extra detail added in a complex sentence is called a subordinate clause. Subordinate clauses do not make sense on their own. 3. Compound sentence A compound sentence is two simple sentences joined by a coordinating connective: and, but, so, or, for, yet, nor. For example, these two simple sentences can be joined: The cat sat on the mat. It purred as it drifted off to sleep. The cat sat on the mat and purred as it drifted off to sleep. Developing descriptive sentences Add detail to a sentence using adjectives and adverbs. The lazy cat, which was feeling tired, sat on the warm, fluffy mat and purred quietly as it drifted off to sleep. Be more creative by changing the word order and vocabulary. Feeling very sleepy, the lazy cat slumped gently onto the warm, fluffy mat and purred quietly as it drifted into a deep slumber. 13 Connectives are important words because they join sentences or parts of sentences together. Connectives help you to add detail to sentences. There are two types of connectives: 1. A coordinating connective joins parts of a sentence that are equally important. The dog chased the ball and barked. I have chips for dinner but only on a Friday. 2. A subordinating connective joins parts of a sentence and also shows the relationship between those parts. The sky darkened as night fell. The boy shivered because he was cold. CONNECTIVES 14 Subordinating connectives because before after as although if while unless since though when however until Coordinating connectives and but or so for yet nor examples below show how you can make your writing more interesting by changing the way you start sentences. This is a useful skill when writing to describe, argue, report or explain. DESCRIPTIVE SENTENCES Start with a time Before, during, earlier, later, since, meanwhile, whenever, already, until. Since the start of the project, we have discovered some surprising results. Start with an adverb Adverb: describes a verb - how something is done. Cautiously looking out for traffic, the children crossed the road. Start with verb + ing Verb: action or doing word. Seeing that the goalkeeper was out of position, Charlie shot from long distance. Start with verb + ed Verb: action or doing word. Exhausted from our climb, we slept soundly in our tents. Start with a place On, inside, outside, throughout, near, beyond, among, below, beneath, towards. Throughout Europe, people felt the impact of the Great War . Start with a reservation Although, even if, whereas, despite, if. Although opinions vary, I must agree that school uniform is important. 15 Proper nouns always start with a capital letter - the names of specific people, places, characters, things and organisations: CAPITAL LETTERS Capital letters are used to begin sentences and for the pronoun I. E.g. This is how I write accurately. People E.g. Gemma William Mo Farrah Mum / Dad * * Mum and Dad have capitals when they are used as names, e.g. Where are my socks, Mum? When used generally, the words do not have capitals, e.g. I played football with my dad. Groups of People E.g. British Army Conservative Party Girl Guides Characters in Books and Films E.g. Hermione Hamlet Snow White Katniss Everdeen Places E.g. Baldock England Europe Trafalgar Square Nationalities, Religions and their Believers E.g. English American Christianity Jewish Hindus 16 Schools, Clubs, Companies, Charities, Brands E.g. The Knights Templar School Liverpool Football Club Tesco British Gas Google Oxfam Coca Cola Days, Months, Religious Days (but not seasons!) E.g. Sunday Tuesday May August Christmas Easter Capital letters are also used to begin key words in titles: E.g. Romeo and Juliet The Wind in the Willows * The first word in a title always begins with a capital letter. You should use capital letters in this way when writing titles and headings in your school work. E.g. The Formation of Glaciers How to Bake a Cake 17 Formal Roles and Titles E.g. Prime Minister Queen Elizabeth Duchess of Cambridge Use capitals to begin formal roles or titles that refer to specific people - these are proper nouns. E.g. The Headmaster taught us about the Queen of England. Capital letters are not required when writing about roles or titles in general terms - these are common nouns. E.g. Today we learned about kings and queens. Paragraphs break up your writing so that it is easy to read. They can be viewed as stepping stones, leading your reader through your writing. Each step should make a clear point and the steps should flow together to create a clear path from beginning to end. To indicate a new paragraph, start a new line and leave a small space between the margin and your writing. This is known as indenting. When typing, you should either leave a line between your paragraphs or indent. You must start a new paragraph to show a change of focus in your writing: a new point, subject or idea a change in time Glaciers once covered large areas of the Earth and shaped the landscape around them. The legacy of ancient glaciers lives on, for example in areas such as the Lake District. There are three processes by which glaciation affects the landscape: erosion, transportation, and deposition... ...I don like cats, they make me sneeze. Ill get yer an owl. All the kids want owls, theyre dead useful, carry yer post an everythin. Twenty minutes later, they left Eeylops Owl Emporium, which had been dark and full of rustling and flickering, jewel-bright eyes. Harry now carried a large cage which held a beautiful snowy owl... PARAGRAPHS 18 a change of place a new speaker ...she remembered the card tucked into her diary. Thank Heaven the thief had not removed that! She hailed a cab, and gave the driver the address. Burton Street was a shabby little place in the neighbourhood of the British Museum. The door of number 45 was open; a painted sign pro-claimed that W. and F. Garland conducted their business there... Its ony a mouse, George. A mouse? A live mouse? Uh-uh. Jus a dead mouse, George. I didn kill it. Honest! I found it. Give it here! said George. Planning in Paragraphs Plan each writing task as a sequence of paragraphs - a clear line of stepping stones. When planning, make a note of your ideas and then organise them into paragraph groups. Your opening paragraph should introduce your main idea in an interesting but direct way. Your final paragraph should leave your reader with the feeling that you have covered all the points and ideas that you wanted to make. 19 Full stops show the ends of sentences. Commas show pauses in sentences and separate items in a list. I like to eat apples, bananas, pears and grapes. PUNCTUATION Exclamation marks indicate strong feelings. That is amazing! Question marks indicate questions. Did you enjoy the show? Colons introduce lists. You will need: a sleeping bag, clean socks and a packed lunch. Use them also before an explanation or example. When Harry discovers that he is a wizard, he feels excited and confused: Questions exploded inside Har-rys head like fireworks.... Semi colons show a pause between two parts of a long sentence; they could be separated by a full stop but the semi colon shows that they are closely linked. The sun warmed the grass. It was a hot day. The sun warmed the grass; it was a hot day. 20 Apostrophes have two functions: 1. to shorten words in informal language and speech (known as contractions) Apostrophes replace missing letters. E.g. is not isnt they are theyre it is its will not wont 2. to show possession - when something belongs to somebody The apostrophe points at the owner. E.g. the boys book Marys house Mrs Joness dog Jamess bag When something belongs to more than one person, the apostrophe follows the plural word. E.g. the childrens toys the girls money the pupils essays the mens toilet Common errors: Plural words do not require apostrophes. Do not write: books; coffees; days etc. Verbs ending in s do not require apostrophes. Do not write: sees; needs; buys etc. PUNCTUATION - APOSTROPHES 21 WRITING DIRECT SPEECH 22 Use speech marks around direct speech. Use punctuation before the closing speech marks. e.g. Good morning. or Good morning, said the teacher. If the punctuation does not belong to the speech, it goes outside the speech marks. e.g. Did you hear him say, Ill be back soon? Use a comma before speech marks in a sentence. e.g. James said, Lets play football. Use a capital letter to start speech unless the speech is continued in the same sentence. e.g. The teacher said, Good morning. Hello, said the teacher, how are you? a lot / as well / thank you These are written as two words - they should not be written alot, aswell or thankyou. its / its its meaning belonging to it has no apostrophe (this breaks the apostrophe rule) e.g. The dog chased its ball. its with an apostrophe means it is (it helps to always read it to yourself that way) e.g. Its a lovely day. Use it is in your writing in school unless there is a reason to use the informal version - its. bought / brought buy in the past tense is bought (b sounds) e.g. I am going to buy some sweets. I bought some sweets. bring in the past tense is brought (br sounds) e.g. You may bring sweets. I brought some jelly beans. COMMON ERRORS TO AVOID 23 COMMON ERRORS TO AVOID there / their / theyre there = a place (like where and here) their = relates or belongs to them theyre = a shortened version of they are (used in speech) your / youre your = belonging to you youre = you are abbreviated (in informal language/speech) wear / where / were you wear clothes where refers to a place (it has here in it - like there!) were = are in the past tense. Many people use could of - this is incorrect. This is because could of is often mistaken for could have as it sounds like couldve. The same mistake is made with should have - people incorrectly use should of. 24 Two, too or to? The word two refers to the number 2. The word too should be used to mean: too much: = Your hair is too long. = That is too expensive. in addition or as well: = Id like that one too, please. = We laughed and the teacher chuckled too. These meanings relate to something extra, so always remember the extra o. On all other occasions, you should use the word to. COMMON ERRORS TO AVOID Tenses Most writing in school is in the past tense I walked to school smiling, it was a sunny day. You may wish to use the present tense I am walking to school smiling, it is a sunny day. Stick to one or the other! 25 advise / advice advise = verb (an action / something you do) advice = noun (a thing) e.g. I advise you to follow my advice. The same is true of practise / practice. Practise = verb (something you do) Practice = noun (a thing) e.g. I practise my skills at football practice. Practice is often used incorrectly - I need to practice my skills is wrong! I need to practise my skills is correct - use s as it is a verb - something you do. affect / effect affect = verb (an action) The loud music affected my concentration. effect = noun (a thing) The effect of the loud music was disturbing. COMMON ERRORS TO AVOID 26 Who, Which or That Use who when writing about people. Joe is the boy who ate the chocolates. The man who sold the chocolates is called Bob. Use which when writing about animals or things. The chocolates, which were delicious, had soft centres. Joe bought the chocolates, which had soft centres. It is acceptable to use the word that to refer to people or things though it is often better to use who or which. Joe gave Sarah some of the chocolates that he had bought. Joe gave Sarah some of the chocolates which he had bought. Do not use ampersands / and signs - & Ampersands are used in a variety of situations: business names, e.g. Johnson & Johnson film titles, e.g. Fast & Furious, Batman & Robin in specific names for things, e.g. R & B (music) You must not use ampersands in the place of the word and in your writing in school unless you are making rough notes. COMMON ERRORS TO AVOID 27 Whos and Whose Whos is a shortened version of who is. It should only be used in informal language and speech. Whose refers to belonging, e.g. Whose chocolates are these? COMMON ERRORS TO AVOID 28 lose / loose You might lose a shoe if your lace is loose. Lots of people write loose when they mean lose - take care! whether / weather Whether or not we go depends on the weather. lie / lay Do not use lay when you should use lie. To lie means to recline or rest in a flat position. E.g. I need to lie down on my bed. To lay means to place something down - the past tense is laid. E.g. Lay the mat by the door. The hen laid an egg. I am going to lay down. I am laying on my bed. I am going to have a lay in. I am going to lie down. I am lying on my bed. I am going to have a lie in. Try hard to avoid these common errors but dont be afraid to make mistakes (we all do). When you need help... ask a teacher! Fewer and Less Use few and fewer to describe things you can count individually. Use less to describe things that cannot be counted. E.g. Australia scored fewer runs than England in the first innings and so have less chance of winning the match. To develop a healthy lifestyle the children promised to do more exercise and eat less chocolate. There are fewer students in school today. This rule is followed correctly in this extract from a review of the McLaren P1 sports car: COMMON ERRORS TO AVOID 29 ... the body is made from just five panels, which means less glue and fewer bolts are needed to hold it all together. When talking, avoid double negatives I havent done nothing. It aint no good. It doesnt make no sense. I dont want to go nowhere. I cant see nothing. I havent done anything. It is no good. It doesnt make sense. It makes no sense. I dont want to go anywhere. I can see nothing. I cant see anything. COMMON ERRORS TO AVOID WHEN SPEAKING Choose the correct verb form Look what I done. We was going to... Look what I did. We were going to... I was going to... Do not use slang in a formal situation (such as in class) 30 When you write a long piece of writing such as a report, a description or an essay, you must plan your ideas first. This means: gathering ideas to write about developing detail to make your writing interesting organising your thoughts into an effective order or sequence to make them easy to follow. When you plan, focus on the important features of your writing task. What do you know about the subject or topic? How can you develop your ideas by linking them to other points? Do you have to write in a particular style or remember to use any subject specific words? PLANNING & ORGANISING The most popular ways to plan are: Spider diagram List of bullet points Organising and sequencing Number your points and ideas to organise your writing into a logical sequence or flow. Use time connectives such as: Firstly Next Then After that Meanwhile Eventually Later Finally 31 A successful explanation allows the reader to understand an issue, pro-cess or idea. Writing to explain means stating clearly: why or how something happened why or how you felt a particular way A clear explanation requires lots of detail. Try to sound like you are knowledgeable and in charge - use technical or subject specific language where appropriate but make sure that meanings are clear. EXPLAINING Useful words to explain why and how: ...because... Consequently,... Therefore... Since... Due to... As a result... Useful phrases: This happened because... I felt a little happier after... As a result of this... This was due to... For example... What this meant was... As a consequence of this... In addition to... This is shown by... Firstly... / Finally... E.g. In History, you may be required to explain the causes of the First World War. E.g. In Science, you may be asked to explain the process of photosynthesis. E.g. In English, you may be asked to explain how a writers use of language creates a particular effect. 32 We experience the world through our senses, so to describe something well you must put into words everything that your senses experience in that situation - what you see, hear, smell, touch or taste. When you write to describe, you must focus on the important features of the thing you are describing. Personal description should also include comments about your feelings and emotions. Tips: 1. Use language (describing words) to be specific. For example, consider the different meanings created by the following adjectives that describe the temperature: By choosing different words, you can create different effects. You must always try to choose words that allow your reader to imagine exactly what you are aiming to describe. DESCRIBING warm stifling balmy scorching toasty blistering E.g. In Geography, you may be required to describe the appearance of and conditions within a rainforest. E.g. In Science, you may be asked to describe what happens in a chemical reaction. E.g. In History, you may be asked to describe what life was like in 19th Century Britain. 33 2. Be more creative by using images to describe things. Similes A simile is an image that is used to describe something by comparing it to something else using the words like or as. This is useful in descriptive writing because it allows you to focus on an important feature of the thing you are describing. For example: If you want to describe the night sky focusing on how beautiful it looks to you, you might say that the moon and stars sparkle like diamonds. It wouldnt actually be true but the image chosen would help the reader to see what you want them to see. Metaphors A metaphor is an image that describes something as something else. The image chosen focuses the reader on a particular feature of the thing being described. For example: If you want to make it clear that you have a busy evening of exhausting school work ahead, you might say that you face a mountain of homework. It wouldnt actually be true, you would be using an image to express how much you have to do. The mountain metaphor would also suggest how you feel at facing so much work! DESCRIBING 34 The aim of a discussion is to help your reader to understand different points of view by exploring all sides of a subject or issue. A discussion should give a balanced view, weighing up positives and neg-atives or considering different opinions in a fair and equal way. The points you make in a discussion should be considered thoroughly and explained clearly. Where possible you should expand your points by linking them to other ideas which develop your point of view. Although a discussion may include your personal opinions, it should be written in a formal style. DISCUSSING E.g. In PSHCEE, you may be required to explore the different views people have about how to cope with bullying. E.g. In R.E., you may be asked to discuss different religious beliefs. E.g. In History, you may be asked to discuss the positive and neg-ative impact of the Industrial Revolution. Useful words and phrases to present a discussion: On the one hand... On the other hand... It could be said that... However, it could also be said that... One point of view is that... Alternatively... There is some evidence that... Equally, evidence suggests that... Some people feel strongly that... Despite this... Whereas many people believe... Others believe that... It could be argued that... Research shows... 35 To reflect on and evaluate something means to think carefully about its effectiveness before picking out constructive points about its positive and negative features. The purpose of writing to reflect and evaluate is to help you to learn from a particular process or experience. Through reflection, you should be able to make sense of what you did and why, and perhaps help yourself to do it better next time. REFLECTING & EVALUATING E.g. In D&T, you might reflect on a practical project by thinking about the process you have been through to create a product. You could then evaluate the process by considering its strengths and weaknesses before thinking about what you would do differently next time. E.g. In Science, you might reflect on an experiment you have performed and evaluate what you learned from it. E.g. In P.E. or Drama, you might reflect on your performance and evaluate what you can improve and how. When reflecting you should consider questions such as: what were the important steps necessary for the success of the project, process or performance? what actually happened at each stage? what skills were you required to demonstrate? When evaluating you should consider questions such as: how successful was each stage in the process or performance? what skills did you demonstrate successfully and what do you need to improve? 36 Writing to analyse means that, like a detective, you must examine something closely and explain in detail what you discover. When you write to analyse you must show that your understanding of something is clear. Your writing must include lots of references to the details of what you are analysing. When analysing a text, you should include quotations (words and phrases from the text) to support the points you are making about it. ANALYSING E.g. In English, you may be required to analyse an authors presentation of a particular character. To do this well, you would have to think about how the author has used language to describe the character. When writing about this, you should include quotations from the text and examine what the words and images tell the reader. E.g. In Science, you may be required to analyse a set of data produced by a research project or experiment. When writing about this, you should comment on specific details from the data and explain what they show. When writing to analyse: spend time gathering evidence. investigate the evidence by considering what it shows. come up with a list of key points. explain what you have found and use evidence to support each point. 37 In many subjects you will be required to analyse more than one thing and then compare them. Your teachers will help you to examine the specific features of each thing before asking you to compare them with each other. COMPARING E.g. In Music, you might compare two pieces of music. E.g. In Art, you might compare paintings by different artists. E.g. In P.E., you might compare the body positions and techniques of athletes. E.g. In Technology, you might compare two designs when planning a project. Useful words and phrases when comparing: 38 Whereas... By contrast, Compared to... However, On the other hand, Similarly, Although... In the same way... In addition, Equally, In comparison with... This is shown by... Alternatively, Contrastingly, Specifically, In particular, As a whole, In conclusion, When comparing, try to describe things in as much detail as possible and use technical terms from the subject where appropriate. Writing in the First Person, Second Person and Third Person An important feature of the writing you do around the school is wheth-er it is written in the first person, second person or the third person. In all subjects, most tasks require you to write in the third person, but it is important to know the differences between them. Writing in the first person means writing about yourself, in your own voice or in role, using the pronouns I, me, we, us etc. You would use the first person when writing letters, diaries and reports or recounts about things you have done. Writing in the second person means using the pronouns you and your, as the writing is addressed directly to the reader. You would use the second person when writing information texts such as instruction leaflets or guide books, advertisements and blogs. Writing in the third person means writing about other people, using the pronouns he, she, they, them etc. You would use the third person when writing about other people such as historical figures or characters in books. WRITING STYLES ACROSS THE SCHOOL 39 As you experience different subjects, you will find that you are required to write in slightly different styles. The following pages offer general advice about the most common types of writing that you do in school, such as answering questions to show your understanding. It is important to learn the specific writing requirements of each subject. You may be required to know how to spell important words in a subject, or how to set out your writing in a particular way. WRITING IN ROLE In some subjects you may be required to write in role, which means writing in the first person (I...) but not as yourself. Your aim when writing in role is to show how well you understand a person or character by writing in their voice to explain their thoughts, feelings and actions. You must show that you can empathise with the person, which means that you imagine what it is like to be them to show your understanding of their feelings in a particular situation. Examples of writing in role are: diary entries, letters, speeches and eye-witness accounts. When writing in role, keep general comments to a minimum and think about the important issues faced by the person or character. Examples of tasks set in school are: Consider: how they are influenced by the time and place in which they live their relationships with others their personal ambitions their position in society (person) their role in the book or play (character) how their thoughts and feelings may be mixed or changeable. in History you might show your knowledge by writing in the role of an important historical figure, or perhaps a young person living at a particular time. in Drama you might write in the role of a character in a play to investigate their feelings. in French, German or Spanish you might write in the role and language of a person from another country. 40 In class, you answer questions to show your understanding. When you write your answers, they must be clear and to the point. When you write answers to questions in class, you are generally required to write full sentences. It is a common mistake for students to write incomplete sentences when answering questions, often by starting answers with Because. To avoid this, it is a good idea to use the wording of the question to build a full answer. For example: ANSWERING QUESTIONS History Question: Where did the Great Fire of London start? Answer: The Great Fire of London started in a bakery in Pudding Lane. Common mistake: In a bakery in Pudding Lane. (The detail is correct here but the answer is written in an incomplete sentence.) Science Question: What is the name of the liquid rock that flows from a volcano? Answer: The liquid rock that flows from a volcano is called lava. Common mistake: It is called lava. (This is an incomplete sentence that does not make a complete point.) Geography Question: Why do rivers flood? Answer: Rivers flood for reasons such as heavy rainfall, melting snow and the shape of the surrounding landscape. Common mistake: Because of heavy rainfall, melting snow and the shape of the surrounding landscape. (This incomplete sentence does not make sense.) 41 Writing a summary means reducing a longer text or discussion to its most important points. This is a useful skill both in class and when you study at home. In class, you will be expected to be able to summarise ideas that you have discussed in groups . You may also be required to write a summary of information you are studying from a text book or the Internet, focusing on the important details. At home, you will be required to complete research tasks to develop your learning. As in school, it is not expected that you simply cut and paste information you find in books or on the Internet. This would not be a learning experience! Rather, you must read the information you find carefully to select the most important details, which you should then write out in your own words. Writing summaries is also a very useful way to revise - this means preparing for exams by studying the important points about what you have learned. SUMMARY AND RESEARCH Writing a summary Read your source material several times and work out what the writer wishes to convey to the reader. Jot down the key points as a brief plan. Write about each point in your own words to show that you have thought carefully about what you have read and that you understand it. Try not to use too many exact words and phrases from the original text. Group similar points and ideas together into paragraphs. Write in a style that is direct and to the point. Stick to key points; avoid using unnecessary descriptive language such as adjectives and adverbs. 42 You may be required to write in the style of a newspaper or magazine article in various subjects to show your understanding of things that you have studied. Newspaper and magazine articles present information and ideas about a topic by focusing on the following important questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? WRITING A NEWSPAPER OR MAGAZINE Features of newspaper and magazine articles Headlines are used to catch the reader's attention - they may use language features such as rhyme, alliteration and puns. The first paragraph presents the main point of the story by describing who was involved and what happened. The following paragraphs add detail - where, when, why and how. The paragraphs in these articles are generally short and punchy, giving information in a clear and concise way. There are references to what people said, either using direct speech (the actual words spoken - use speech marks) or reported speech (a summary of what was said - no speech marks). These articles are written in the past tense because they refer to events and ideas which have already taken place. You may be required to present your article in the style of a newspaper or magazine, using headlines, subheadings, pictures and even columns of text. 43 WRITING A FORMAL LETTER Writing a formal letter These are the conventions or rules regarding the layout of a formal letter. The Knights Templar School Park Street Baldock Hertfordshire SG7 6DZ Mars Chocolate UK Ltd Dundee Road Slough SL1 4JX 1st September 2014 Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to apply for work experience at Mars Chocolate UK. I am currently studying for A levels in Business, Economics and Maths, and I plan to apply for Business degree courses at university. It is my ambition to work for a successful business so I would very much appreciate the chance to experience all aspects of what makes Mars Chocolate UK a market leader. Yours faithfully, Alice Smith Your address should go on the top right hand side of the page. The address you are writing to goes here. Use Sir or Madam if you do not know the name of the person. Date The opening paragraph should explain your reason for writing. Write in a style that is formal and polite. When typing, leave a space to sign your letter. Type or write your name neatly beneath your signature. Use Yours faithfully if you have not addressed the person by name. If you have used a name, write Yours sincerely. In our modern world of instant messaging and text language, there is still a place for formal letter writing skills. There are many occasions when you may be required to write a formal letter, such as applying for a job or arranging work experience. As you get older, you may need to write a formal letter to a bank or a business to request information or even make a complaint! It is therefore important to learn some general rules. 44 WRITING IN SCIENCE Writing up experiments in Science When you write up an experiment or research project in Science you are required to write in different ways in order to describe, explain and reflect on the pro-cess. The writing you do in Science depends on the type of work you are doing but it generally in-cludes comments in the following areas. Aim / Prediction In the aim you present the reason for the experiment. You must describe clearly what you want to test, prove, learn or discover? Often, an experiment starts with a question that you hope to be able to answer in the conclusion after you have analysed the results. Method The method should describe exactly what happens in the experiment. It is a bit like a recipe, as it describes each step of the experiment and includes specific details about what it involves. Results When you have observed or measured the results you must present them in an appropriate way, such as on a table or a chart. Conclusion Conclusions may be drawn from the pattern of your results or directly from what you have measured or observed during the experiment. 45 To help your writing in Science, you will be given writing frames featuring important spellings and common phrases. You will also be reminded of the rules of scientific writing such as always including details about where you found any scientific information that you refer to in your work, such as particular books or web pages (quote your sources). WRITING IN SCIENCE 46 Writing a Method A method explains exactly how an experiment is carried out. It should therefore present a clear sequence of the steps required. You must write in a voice that is formal and impersonal, stating precisely what happens at each stage. It is not appropriate to write about yourself and what you did personally - do not use I or we in your writing. To write a method follow the advice below: Write in the present tense (see present tense verbs below), as if writing a list of instructions or a recipe. Use lots of imperative verbs (action words that tell you to do something). These are particularly useful for starting sentences: Take... Put... Pour... Tip... Heat... Stir... Observe... Use precise language. You must explain exactly how something was done. Avoid using general statements such as We added some liquid and heated the mixture for a while. Use specific language. When writing about measurements you must refer to the units involved (these may be abbreviated, e.g. centimetres - cm, millilitres - ml). Use scientific language and technical terms where appropriate. The Science department will provide you with lists of key words and phrases to use in your writing. Depending on the investigation you are carrying out you may be required to include an apparatus diagram, safety precautions or write about variables. These can generally be written or laid out in a similar way every time so you should listen to your science teacher as to the best way to do these sections. Writing up Results Your results are a description of what you observed during the experiment. To gather results you must make a note of all relevant changes and measurements that you observe during an experiment. You must then formally present the information you have gathered. If you are presenting your results in writing, your description of your observations must be specific and detailed. Always include specific measurements and the units in which they were measured, e.g. cm, ml. As they are your results, you may also use the first person to write in a personal style, e.g. We found that.... If the data you have collected is in the form of numbers, you may be required to draw a table, chart or graph to record the results. You must always choose the right sort of graph that shows the information you wish to present in the best way, such as a bar chart, a histogram or a pie chart. Your teacher will give you specific advice about how to do this, but there are some general guidelines below. WRITING IN SCIENCE 47 How to Draw a Graph 1. Draw a horizontal (x) axis and a vertical (y) axis. Create a scale on each axis by writing the units (numbers or categories) that you wish to present along the appropriate line. 2. Label each axis with the information that is being presented, e.g. miles per hour, number of students, height above sea level. Where necessary, add units to each axis label, e.g. mph, metres. 4. Plot the data that you wish to show on the graph. 5. Add a title to the graph and underline it. 0123456789Apple Banana Orange Strawberry PearNumber of studentsFruit Students' Favourite FruityxWRITING IN SCIENCE 48 Writing a Conclusion Writing a conclusion is the proper way to tell people the meaning of your results. The points you make in your conclusion must always be based on evidence found in the results of your experiment. Unlike the method, it is appropriate to comment on your personal thoughts in your conclusion using the first person, e.g. Having observed these results, I conclude that.... To write a conclusion, follow the advice below: 1. Describe your results Look carefully over your graph, table of results or written observations. What patterns do you notice in the results? Do you notice anything extreme or unexpected? Use adjectives that compare (they often end or ...est). E.g. longer, shorter, heavier, greater, hotter, brightest, fastest, slowest. E.g. The brighter the light, the faster the plant photosynthesis. 2. Explain your results Refer to scientific knowledge and use scientific language to explain your ideas about how and why you got your results. Use phrases such as: As I predicted... This is because... The reason for this is... 3. Make a concluding comment Answer the question that you asked in the Aim of the experiment. Was your prediction correct? Use phrases such as: To conclude I conclude that Overall my experiment shows that This means that 49 WRITING IN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE Writing in French, German and Spanish Learning a new language will help you to gain a better understanding of your own. Many of the strategies you use to help you to understand and write a text in English will also help you to do so in a foreign language. Getting to grips with the grammatical terms (noun, adjective, adverb, etc.) will be especially helpful along your language learning journey. There are three areas we consider carefully when marking written work: communication (content/ideas), quality of language (the range/variety of vocabulary and structure) and accuracy. When you write in a foreign language, it is important to ask yourself the following questions: 1. Communication Have I included everything? If there is a checklist, use this to make sure you have covered the criteria. If not, have a look at a similar text in your textbook. This will give you ideas. 2. Quality of language Have I used a variety of...? A - Adjectives V - Vocabulary O - Opinions and justifications C - Connectives A - Adverbs D - Descriptions O - Original ideas And finally, remember: We learn from the mistakes we make. Always look back at marked work, do your corrections and think about how you can make your next piece of writing even better. If you can do this, your writing skills will go from strength to strength! WRITING IN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE 3. Accuracy of language Is my spelling accurate? Make sure you have the end of unit summary of your text book open as you write. Check as you go and copy carefully. Dont rush! When you have finished, go back and check through again. Look out for tricky words and concentrate on these. Think about the sound and spelling patterns you have learned in class. Dont forget accents and symbols, these are important, too! Have I used the dictionary properly? Usually, the language you need will be on the end of unit summary pag-es. Occasionally, you will need to look up the odd word. Rule number one: dont use Google translate! It is rarely correct and your teacher will spot it a mile off! Rule number two: think about what kind of word you want to look up. If you want the word for book, are you looking for the noun the book (le livre, in French) or the verb to book (a hotel, for instance) rserver. If it is the verb, remember that it will be in its infinitive form (to ...) in the dictionary and you will need to change it to match the person you are writing about. 50 To improve your spelling: 1. Learn the words that you commonly spell incorrectly. 2. Refer to subject specific spellings on displays and in text books. 3. Learn some helpful spelling rules and read widely. SPELLING Common mistakes because - big elephants cant always use small exits beginning - double n in the middle business - there is a bus in this word could; would; should - o u lucky duck = ould definitely - contains the word finite desert = place / dessert = pudding (double helpings of s for dessert) does - not dose embarrassed / embarrassing - double r and double s excited / exciting - has exc necessary - never eat cakes eat salad sandwiches and remain young queue - u and e queue patiently. responsible - ible not able rhythm - rhythm has your two hips moving sentence - contains ten separate - contains a rat surprise - has an r - surprise thought; bought; fought - o u great hairy twit = ought Eric hated small exits! 51 To learn spelling strategies it is helpful to know that: vowels are the letters A (a), E (e), I (i), O (o), U (u). a consonant is any letter that is not a vowel. HELPFUL SPELLING RULES -full endings drop the second l careful useful wonderful faithful skilful powerful mouthful spoonful -fully endings use double l carefully usefully skilfully powerfully thoughtfully faithfully blissfully boastfully Notice the sounds that build up words - long words are often made up of smaller words put together: e.g. downstairs = down / stairs. Also: inside = in/side; handwriting = hand/writing; careless = care/less; inform = in/form; understand = under/stand. Look for sound patterns in the words you find difficult, such as business = bus - in - ess and sentence = sen - ten - ce. 52 HELPFUL SPELLING RULES Drop e before ing save - saving taste - tasting believe - believing chase - chasing slice - slicing argue - arguing calculate - calculating respire - respiring 53 i before e except after c i before e piece believe chief thief priest achieve friend fried Exceptions to this rule include: eight weight height weird seize except after c receive ceiling conceive deceitful deceive perceive Exceptions to this rule include: ancient science conscience species sufficient,HELPFUL SPELLING RULES Use a double consonant after a short vowel sound In words of more than one syllable, you often need to double the consonant after a short vowel (thats the a in dad; e in beg; i in dig; o in hop; u in pup). daddy begging hopping puppy digging beginning happening suddenly settled Making words plural (more than one) For most nouns (things), add s to make them plural. toy - toys message - messages book - books pie - pies For words ending with a vowel + y, just add s. day - days monkey - monkeys boy - boys guy - guys For words ending with a consonant + y, the y becomes ies. baby - babies fly - flies celebrity - celebrities For words ending with s, ch, sh, x, add es. bus - buses lunch - lunches bush - bushes box - boxes 54 HELPFUL SPELLING RULES More plurals For words ending in o, add either s or es. (There are not many of these, so just learn the most common.) s endings radio - radios ratio - ratios flamingo - flamingos zoo - zoos photo - photos shampoo - shampoos es endings potato - potatoes volcano - volcanoes hero - heroes tomato - tomatoes For words ending in f or fe, add ves. f endings shelf - shelves thief - thieves loaf - loaves fe endings life - lives knife - knives wife - wives Exceptions to this rule: roofs, chiefs, beliefs, chefs, cliffs. 55 In school, you will often demonstrate your reading skills through writing tasks. These tasks test your understanding in different ways. 1. Find details to answer questions - information retrieval This means being able to find (or retrieve) specific details in texts to answer questions. 2. Come to your own conclusions - inference This means being able to work out your own ideas and opinions about something you have read based on details that you find in the text. In all subjects you are required to work with texts by reading them several times to understand what they say or analyse how they have been written. These tasks require different types of reading called close reading, skim reading and scanning. Close reading means reading something thoroughly at a steady pace so that the meaning is clear. Skim reading means reading quickly to follow the main ideas of a text without focusing on specific details. It is also used to understand the structure of a text - how it begins and ends etc. Scanning means searching for key words or specific details in a text. In most cases, you scan a text when you know what you are looking for and are concentrating on finding a particular answer. To be a good reader, you must be able to concentrate. This takes practice. To help with this, we expect you to read widely at home. As well as story books, you should read non-fiction texts such as newspapers, magazines, biographies, diaries, information books and online texts. READING SKILLS 56 Speaking and listening are important elements of learning in school. To speak confidently in lots of different subjects, you need to be able to adapt the way you speak to different situations. Show that you are a good listener by concentrating on what is being said by others and respond appropriately when it is your turn to speak. The most common speaking and listening tasks are: SPEAKING AND LISTENING IN CLASS Presentation This usually involves giving a short speech on your own or in a group. You may have to report back about something that you have discussed or speak formally about a topic that you have prepared in advance. When presenting, be clear and concise. Use positive body language such as eye contact and smiling to keep your audience interested. Discussion When discussing or debating a topic in class, always try to join in by making points of your own and commenting constructively and politely on the comments of others. In group discussions: make your own opinions clear let others present their ideas without interruption try to draw other people into the conversation ask open and probing questions to understand the views of others Role-play Role-play tasks help you to analyse and understand different people, situations and points of view. In these tasks, you work in a group to act out imaginary situations by playing the roles of other people. You do not speak as yourself; you must think and speak as your character. 57 PERSONAL SPELLING LIST 58 ENGLISH SKILLS CHECKLIST The Key Terms of Language (pages 6 - 7) I can use adjectives, adverbs and adverbials appropriately. sign Sentences (pages 12, 13 & 15); Paragraphs (pages 18 - 19) I can vary my use of sentences and paragraphs for effect. Punctuation (pages 20 - 21) I can use a range of punctuation correctly. Writing Direct Speech (page 22) I can punctate direct speech accurately. Correcting Common Errors (pages 23 - 30) I have made efforts to correct my common errors. Planning and organising a piece of writing (page 31) I have developed ideas by planning my writing. Spelling (pages 51 - 55) I have made corrections and learned tricky words. Literacy across the school I have shown evidence of English skills in other subjects. To show that you can use the English skills explained in this booklet correctly, find examples of the following in the work you have completed in class. Your teacher will tick and sign each skill when you have gathered enough evidence in your exercise book to show that you can use it confidently. If you are unsure of how to use a particular skill, read over the relevant section in the booklet and talk to your teacher. Complete the tick sheet to get a reward! Do you have these skills? Show your teacher. If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. - Stephen King (author) The advice contained within this booklet will help you to develop your writing skills but there is a much more fun way to improve - READ! Reading lots of different texts - stories, magazines, newspapers, websites - helps you to develop your own writing voice. It also helps your spelling and punctuation! Did you know that we have a fantastic selection of books at the school Library? You will find that the librarians are very helpful. You may also be inspired to read by the KTS English Best Books List - check it out!