Grammar Guide for Students

A Grammar Guide for Students who find ‘Grammar’ Difficult to Understand

‘Grammar’ is not the scariest word in the English language.  It is not difficult either.  Your starting point is to use my Grammar Guide for Students to work through the main nine parts of speech.  Once you know the main nine parts of speech you have the Metalanguage you need to discuss your work grammatically.  Look at the nine parts of speech first and then follow on to combine that knowledge when you put words together to form sentences.

There are Nine parts of Speech:

  1.  Noun = Definition: The name of a person, place, animal, thing, quality or condition.  There are 4 types of nouns: (1) proper noun = always begin with a capital letter and name people, places and titles eg. Mr Jones, Melbourne.  (2) common noun = name general things around you eg. trees.  (3) collective nouns = name groups of people or collections of things eg. choir.  (4) abstract nouns = name emotions, states of being, qualities eg. love.
  2. Pronoun = Definition: A word that takes the place of a noun.  There are 2 main types of pronouns:  (1) personal pronouns = I, me, he, she, we, they, them.  (2) possessive pronouns = mine, my, his, hers, ours, theirs.
  3. Adjective = Definition: A word that adds meaning to a noun or pronoun eg. horrible Harold.
  4. Verb = Definition: doing, being and having words eg. jump, have, own.  Verbs made up of one word are called main verbs.  Verbs made up of two or more words are called complex or compound verbs eg. was reported.  Auxiliary verbs are am, are, is, was, were, being, would, may, might, must, had, can, could, shall, should, will, has, have did, does, do and been.
  5. Adverb = Definition: A word that adds meaning to a verb (or an adjective or another adverb) eg. slowly compose, run fast.
  6. Preposition = Definition: A word that links nouns and pronouns to another word in a sentence eg. to, over, underneath, across, beside, with, in, on, above, after, between.
  7. Conjunction = Definition: A word that connects or links various words or groups of words eg. because, since, although, whenever, and.
  8. Interjection = Definition: A word that expresses a feeling or attitude but has no grammatical function eg. great, cool, hey, wow.
  9. Article = Definition: There are two types of articles:  (1) indefinite article = a, an.  (2) definite article = the.

What are Sentences and Clauses in Grammar?

  1. A simple sentence in English is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.  A simple sentence has one clause beginning with a noun group called the subject.  The subject is the person or thing that the sentence is about.  This is followed by a verb group, which tells you what the subject is doing, or describes the subject’s situation.
  2. The verb group may be followed by another noun group, which is called the object.  The object is the person or thing affected by the action or situation.  After link verbs like ‘be’, ‘become’, ‘feel’ and ‘seem’, the verb group may be followed by a noun group or an adjective, called a complement.  The complement tells you more about the subject.
  3. The verb group, the object, or the complement can be followed by an adverb or a prepositional phrase, called an adverbial.  The adverbial tells you more about the action or situation, for example how, when, or where it happens.  Adverbials are also called adjuncts.
  4. A compound sentence has two or more main clauses, ie. clauses which are equally important.  You join them with ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘or’.
  5. A complex sentence contains a subordinate clause and at least one main clause.  A subordinate clause gives information about a main clause, and is introduced by a conjunction such as ‘because’, ‘if’, ‘that’, or a ‘wh’ word eg. ‘who’.  Subordinate clauses can come before, after, or inside the main clause.

What is the Correct Word Order in a Sentence?

Using the correct word order is important in English because word order can change meaning.  The normal word order in an English sentence is as follows:

(1)Subject:We (2)Verb:watched (3)Object:a video (3)Place:at home (4)Time:last night

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

Persuasive Techniques in Language Analysis

Persuasive Techniques in Language Analysis are Biased

All persuasive texts are biased and all authors of persuasive texts use a combination of persuasive techniques and structure their argument to position their audience so that the audience agrees with their point of view.

Learn how to use Persuasive Techniques in Language Analysis

It is important to learn the types of persuasive techniques used by writers in language analysis and the effects of these techniques on the reader.

Follow my persuasive techniques, examples and effects table below to help you in Language Analysis:

  1. Technique = the writer uses the technique of establishing validity of viewpoint / Example = when the writer says “I have lived here all my life” / The Effect of this Technique = is to encourage the reader to regard his view as valid and worth consideration
  2. Technique = the writer uses the technique of appealing to our sense of nostalgia / Example = when the writer says “In all these years … many pleasant hours… “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to remind the reader of simple pleasures in life
  3. Technique = the writer uses the technique of mounting a scathing attack on an identifiable group / Example = when the writer says “Selfish, careless, unthinking parasites… “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to diminish any consideration the reader might have for other side of the argument, gains our sympathy, alignment
  4. Technique = the writer uses the technique of posing a rhetorical question / Example = when the writer says “Why should we be disadvantaged by the actions of others? “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to align the reader with the writer’s point of view
  5. Technique = the writer uses the technique of appealing to our patriotism, nationalism / Example = when the writer says “This is an un-Australian, unacceptable thing to do “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to make the reader agree with the writer through implied sense of shared value system, shared national understanding
  6. Technique = the writer uses the technique of a ‘call to arms’ / Example = when the writer says “It’s time, we must stand together “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to get the reader to align himself, get involved, feel proactive in effective positive or necessary change
  7. Technique = the writer uses the technique of proposing a solution / Example = when the writer says “There is an obvious solution to this “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to present the writer as willing to engage in proactive solution seeking rather than passive objections to other’s proposal
  8. Technique = the writer uses the technique of inclusive language, flattery, empathy / Example = when the writer says “We …. Us …. All Australians …. Our “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to include the reader, making the audience feel like an outsider if they don’t agree
  9. Technique = the writer uses the technique of using anecdotal evidence / Example = when the writer says “I’ve been there … “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to give the writer credibility and personalise the text
  10. Technique = the writer uses the technique of simplifying the issue/ Example = when the writer says “It all boils down to … ” “Really, it’s simply a matter of …” / The Effect of this Technique = is to bring the issue down to the level of the audience, so the audience is more likely to be persuaded if they are not confronted by a complex or difficult argument
  11. Technique = the writer uses the technique of including statistics or an expert opinion / Example = when the writer says “Studies show” or “Research indicated” or “60% of students admit they love homework” / The Effect of this Technique = is designed to reinforce the argument, give authority and credibility to the argument with figures such as percentages made to look impressive to the reader
  12. Technique = the writer uses the technique of Jargon ie. language specific to a particular discipline / Example = when the writer says “Any computer expert would understand the ramifications of bytes, CD-ROM and interactive programming “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to portray the writer as intelligent, sophisticated and knowledgeable in the particular field, it can also make the reader feel intimidated by the superior knowledge of the writer
  13. Technique = the writer uses the technique of colloquialism ie. slang / Example = when the writer says “I’d rather hang out with my mates “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to lighten the tone, bring the audience identification as the writer is seen as approachable ie. ‘one of us’
  14. Technique = the writer uses the technique of repetition of words and images / Example = when the writer says “Never had I felt so alone … never had I felt such despair … never would I forget “ / The Effect of this Technique = serves to reinforce a point, stressing its importance and impact, however, too much repetition can weaken an argument
  15. Technique = the writer uses the technique of appealing to a value system or ideology / Example = when the writer says “Clearly this is unacceptable behaviour”  “this is abhorrent and discriminatory” / The Effect of this Technique = sets up the writer as ethically, morally aware, thus trying to get the audience to aling themselves with his/her own viewpoint
  16. Technique = the writer uses the technique of alliteration / Example = when the writer says “Motor-mouth moggy” / The Effect of this Technique = is to make the words easy to remember by using words that begin with the same consonantal sound, this is commonly used by writers in headlines and titles
  17. Technique = the writer uses the technique of using humour, sarcasm, puns and satire / Example = when the writer says “Warne is king of spin “ / The Effect of this Technique = is to use humour to help persuade an audience, a pun is a play on words and has two meanings, often used in headlines and satire is making fun of serious content

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

 

 

Word Choices

Word Choices are Important

Many students over-use simple words like bad, good, big, happy, nice, said, silly and many other words in essays.  There are alternative word choices to consider rather than the commonly over-used words.  The alternative word choices will give you more scope to develop your essay writing skills, stop you repeating the same simple words, and gain A+ for English.  The alternative word choices list below is similar to looking up words using the Thesaurus but I have done the work for you.

Here are Some Alternative Word Choices you can use in your essays:

  1. Bad is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: abominable / beastly / brutal / cruel / corrupt / detestable / disgusting / disobedient / evil / false / horrible / horrid / ill-behaved / malevolent / nasty / naughty / objectionable / rotten / unworthy / vicious / vile / wicked
  2. Big is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: ample / bloated / broad / bulky / capacious / colossal / considerable / corpulent / deep / cumbersome / enormous / extended / extensive / full / giant / gigantic / grand / great / huge / immense / inflated / large / lengthy / lofty / long / magnificent / mammoth / massive / mighty / spacious / stout / swollen / substantial / sizeable / significant / towering / important / vast / wide / whopping
  3. Scared is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: afraid / alarmed / anxious / apprehensive / cowardly / concerned / fretful / fearful / dismayed / distressed / nervous / panicky / startled / terrified / terror-stricken / timid / troubled / worried
  4. Good is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: able / accomplished / agreeable / beneficial / blameless / benevolent / capable / clever / competent / decent / delightful / enjoyable / excellent / fine / first-class / great / healthy / helpful / high quality / honest / just / moral / noble / pious / pleasant / pleasing / pure / reliable / respectable / safe / satisfactory / satisfying / serviceable / skilful / sound / splendid / suitable / superior / talented / true / trustworthy / upright / useful / valid / valuable / virtuous / worthy
  5. Happy is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: blissful / bright / cheerful / cherry / delighted / elated / exultant / ecstatic / content / contented / glad / gleeful / gratified / high-spirited / jovial / joyful / pleased
  6. Nice is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: amiable / attractive / beautiful / captivating / charming / comely / dainty / delicious / pleasant / good / kind / polite / fine / lovely / neat / pretty / tasteful / tasty / tidy / trim
  7. Said is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: accused / addressed / admitted / advised / agreed / alleged / announced / apologised / appealed / argued / asked / babbled / began / begged / believed / bellowed / blustered / bragged / breathed / cautioned / chuckled / commenced / complained / confessed / confided / congratulated / cried / decided / declared / groaned / denied / disputed / enquired / exclaimed / explained / hissed / howled / mumbled / murmured / objectived / praised / promised / proposal / protested / questioned / reasoned / recalled / rejoined / remarked / repeated / replied / revealed / roared / scoffed / scolded / screamed / screeched / shouted / shrieked / snapped / snarled / sniggered / snorted / sobbed / spoke / stammered / stated / stuttered / supposed / taunted / thundered / understood / wailed / warned / wept / wheezed / whined / whinged / whispered / yawned / yelled
  8. Silly is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: absurd / brainless / cretinous / foolish / idiotic / impractical / inane / laughable / ludicrous / moronic / ridiculous / stupid / unwise
  9. Small is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: brief / dwarfish / little / marginal / minimal / meagre / miniscule / minute / paltry / petty / scanty / short / shrivelled / shrunken / slight / slim / stunted / squat / thin / tiny / trifling / trivial
  10. Surprised is the commonly used word: Alternative Word Choices are: amazed / astonished / astounded / bewildered / confused / dazed / dumfounded / flabbergasted / overwhelmed / shocked / staggered / startled / stunned / taken aback

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

 

 

Connectives

What are Connectives?

Connectives are words and sometimes short phrases which we use to link or connect sentences, ideas and whole paragraphs together.

How are Connectives Used?

Connectives are used to:

  • introduce quotations
  • give an example or evidence in an essay
  • introduce an alternative point of view
  • add a contrasting example to your essay
  • enable your writing to be more balanced and objective

Connectives are Grouped According to Linking Ability and Used in Essays in the Following Format:

  1. Qualifying Connectives: although / unless / except / if / yet / as long as / apart from /  despite
  2. Cause and Effect Connectives: because / so / therefore / thus / consequently / stemming from this / as a result / an upshot of / hence
  3. Contrasting Connectives: whereas / alternatively / instead of / otherwise / unlike / on the other hand / in other respects / on the contrary
  4. Emphasising Connectives: above all / in particular / especially / significantly / indeed / notably / obviously / clearly
  5. Illustrating Connectives: for example / including / such as / for instance / as revealed by / in the case of / these include / as exemplified by
  6. Comparing Connectives: equally / similarly / in the same way / likewise / as with / in that respect
  7. Additional Connectives: and / also / as well as / moreover / too / in addition / additionally / furthermore
  8. Sequencing Connectives: firstly / secondly / lastly / next / then / finally / meanwhile
  9. Time Connectives: before / during / earlier / later / since / meanwhile / whenever / till / until / by the time / now / straightaway / already / afterwards / next time / hitherto
  10. Placing Connectives: on / inside / within / outside / throughout / near / beyond / among / below / to / beneath / from / towards / into / out of / off
  11. Listing Several Points Connectives: Firstly / To start with / To begin with / My first point / Secondly / Next / Furthermore / In addition / Thirdly / Adding to this / also / Further to this / Moreover / Finally / I would also like to make the point that / On top of / According to / One could also consider / To end with / To finish / Lastly / To sum up / In conclusion

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

 

 

Suspense Writing Explained

What makes a story a page-turner, exciting from the first page?

A truly suspenseful book, short story, novella or other literary work is much like a theatrical performance.  Just as a well-written and superbly acted drama keeps the audience on the edge of their seats until the curtain call, a suspense filled thriller should captivate the reader until the final word.

When you think about the last story you read that seemed to grab you by the throat and not let go, what exactly made it gripping?

Did you feel the excitement from the first page?  Were the characters captivating?  Was it the heart pounding events that took place?  More than likely it was all of these things combined that made the story exciting.

I always judge a book by how late I stay up to find out what happens next.  If I’m still wide awake at two in the morning, that’s a fantastic book.  So, how do you keep your readers up to the wee hours of the morning?  You have to get them hooked.

What Makes Us Keep Reading a Good Book?

  1. definitely the characters count for me, if I don’t like them then I don’t care what happens to them in the book
  2. the book proposes questions that need to be answered with a hook that doesn’t let go
  3. basically a mystery that drives me to find out the ending
  4.  emotional intensity between being scared out of my wits to heart-broken

To make a suspenseful piece of work you need to use many techniques from playwriting

If you think of the most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, he understood the necessity to build up to a suspenseful climax by feeding his audience tidbits of information during the first and second acts of his plays.  He would then finish his dramatic theatric piece by using the most emotionally-intense scene with the climax in the third act.

Making Your Characters Real

In any great play, there are characters with whom the audience can relate.  Whether they are lovable or loathsome, viewers find some speck of familiarity or general humanity within them.  This keeps the audience actively engaged. When you are writing your short story or novel, if your readers don’t like the people who populate the book, then they will not care less what happens to them.

So there is one really important point, you must give the readers a character that is fleshed-out and real so the readers can care about them

By making the readers care, you give them a reason to go on with the story and to find out what happens to this person you have created.  The wanting to know keeps them reading.

The Setting Must Make Sense

Just as your characters must be realistic in your story’s world, so must your setting seem to make sense.  Your readers must be able to see the universe through the narrator’s eyes, smell the odours, and hear the sounds.  Without solid descriptions, your readers cannot become entangled enough in your work to truly enjoy the roller coaster of suspense.  Take nothing for granted, tell your readers the setting and don’t assume that the reader understands your fictional world as well as you do.

The Plot Must Be Logical Not Impossible to Follow

It is difficult to build suspense if your plot is impossible to follow.  Like a stage play, your plot must have some kind of logic to it.  If it doesn’t, your readers might be too distracted by the complicated plotline to become involved in the suspense.  It is more critical to tell the most important steps your characters have taken rather than describing every movement.  Nothing spoils suspense for a reader like having to flip the pages of the book wondering, “Did I miss something?”

Build up to a Suspenseful Climax within your Fiction

Don’t spring a suspenseful moment on the reader without some kind of foreshadowing.  It is a good idea not to start your work with an emtionally-intense scene.  As in a drama, work your way up to a suspenseful peak.  If you just keep hitting your readers with suspenseful moments without any context, you will only leave your audience perplexed, rather than engaged in the suspense.

Can you think of the last book you read that deeply affected you?

Emotionally charged books by Monica McInerney affect me.  Many times I have shed a few tears along with the characters and laughed with them too.  What was it that caused this effect?  I know for me, it was the characters, their believability.  However, it is really a combination of many things – characters, timing, plot and believability.  A good idea is to re-read a book or story that had a strong effect on you.  See if you can figure out how the author accomplished this.  Pay attention to the different techniques the author used.

The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody

So many different techniques go into a suspenseful book.  One of the most suspenseful and horribly graphic books I have read that affected me was The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody.  I had to teach an excerpt from this book to a Year 10 Class.  The section we were reading was very descriptive, horrific in its nature, intense and suspense filled.  It affected me so much that I had to put the book down and walk away from it for a while to gather my thoughts before I could write up my lesson plan for class.  If you have read The Gathering, then you will know the part I am referring to: chapter 26, pages 212-215  where Nathanial’s dog is burnt alive.

Carmody’s language techniques captivated and terrorised all at the same time

What I realised is that Isobelle Carmody crafted such a brilliant novel with clever use of language forms, features and structure that I was spellbound, captivated and terrorised all at the same time.  The suspense is created by development of the mood from normal to foreboding and fear.  The build up of terror is emphasised by Nathanial’s frantic attempts to get free from the boys holding him.  Buddha is so evil he has poured petrol on Nathanial’s dog Tod.  When the match is lit we know something horrible is about to happen.  Is there some hope that Tod will survive?  The end result is emotionally and physically shocking.  Carmody achieved what she set out to do.

6 Thinking Hats Strategy in Teaching English Literature

For Teachers : Using 6 Thinking Hats Strategy in Teaching English Literature

If you ask students to think about something, they are often at a loss to do so, however, the 6 Thinking Hats method can allow students to explore a subject using the framework of the hats so that their perceptual powers are quickly expanded.  The students are able to think more richly and more comprehensively about their subjects and forces them to move outside of their habitual thinking styles while obtaining a more rounded view of a situation.

Problems within a subject can be solved using all approaches of the 6 Thinking Hats opening up the opportunity for creativity, especially in students who are persistently pessimistic.  It enables rational students to look at problems from a more emotional, intuitive and creative point of view or from a negative point of view.  Conversely it enables emotional students to look at decisions more calmly and rationally.

 6 Thinking Hats strategy can be put into practice for teaching English Literature by asking the students to analyse a novel using the different styles of thinking as follows:

 

6 THINKING HATS

     ANALYSIS OF A NOVEL

White HatInformation & Facts
  •   List the facts you learned from the book
  •   Describe the characters, setting & plot

 

Yellow HatGood Points
  •   What were the interesting parts of the story?
  •   What are the positive aspects of the story?

 

Black HatNegative Points
  •   List what is wrong with plans made by a character in a book
  •   What were some of the main problems encountered by the main characters?
  •   How/why did these occur?

 

Green HatCreativity
  •   Design something new for a character from your book
  •   Solve a problem a character has
  •   Read a new book to the students but don’t show the title.
  •  Get the students to brainstorm a list of new titles for the book.

 

Red HatEmotions
  •   How did the feelings of the main character change throughout the story?
  •   How do you feel about the story?
  •   Keep a red hat reading record of all books read on the same topic

 

Blue HatPlanning Reflection
  •   How has reading this novel contributed to your understanding of the subject?
  •   If  you had written the novel, what would you have done differently?

 

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

Creative Writing Ideas

Creative Writing Ideas: Firstly, Where do you get your ideas from?

Does this ever happen to you?  You have to write something for school.  You sit down to write it, and you just can’t get a word on the paper.  You’re stuck.  You have writer’s block.

You wonder “where do writers get their ideas from?

The answer is not that difficult because ideas can come from everything we see and hear and find in the world around us.  If you break the ideas into three departments you can see that there are stories waiting to be told by looking into:

  1. The Experience Department = Do you travel a lot with your family?  The airport is a great place to watch people arrive and depart.  Ask yourself, why are these people here, what are they wearing and how do they look?  Are they leaving to start a new life somewhere else?  The questions are endless.  If you use your imagination you can think up characters and events based on the people you have seen.
  2. The Memory Department = Your memories are terrific ideas to use for your writing.  They are based on a fantastic character – you!  They are easy to remember as they always have a beginning, a middle and an end.  Can you remember when you first started school, went on a holiday, joined a new team for sport or may be got lost in a large department store?  Do you keep a diary?  You’re lucky if you do because you have all the journal entries there waiting for your new story to begin.  The memories are all locked away in your mind just waiting to emerge as a story.
  3. The What if Department =  What would it be like to have a clone of yourself, someone who looked like you, talked liked you and may be he/she is you and you are really the clone!!  What if you hypnotized your sister and you couldn’t snap her out of it?  What if you could hear your dog’s thoughts?  Think about it and have fun writing.

Concentrate on gathering as many details as you can see but don’t forget smells and tastes in five minutes.  (Even set a timer if you have one to make you think and write faster)

What I do is to think about the senses ie. sight, smell, hearing and taste because they are all part of the world that you inhabit.  Don’t forget feelings, they are just as important in your story as the characters themselves .  If you write down your ideas about a story in a list or notes as fast as you can without making the writing sound perfect, then you have already started your creative story.  Just put the words down, you can always go back and put them in the right order later.

Try putting ideas down using a concept map or fishbone diagram.

If you still can’t write down anything, try this:  Tell the story out loud.

Pretend you’re on the phone, telling a story to your best friend.  Once you’ve told it out loud, it will be easy to get it down on paper.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

Common Themes and Issues in Texts

Image result for pictures of the themes in texts

Common themes and issues in texts are central to the purpose of any text and relate to the author’s values and point of view.

A text may have one or several themes and issues.  An author selects and deliberately arranges material (characters, setting and plot) in a text to explore, support and develop their themes and issues.  These common themes and issues are open to different interpretations by the audience depending on their own context and perspective.

See the common themes bank below that will help you to identify common themes and issues in set texts so you can track their development as the text progresses:

Religion

  •   Power of religious faith
  •   Cultural and religious influences
  •   Restrictive nature of some societies, religions and cultures

Justice

  •   Social, family, peer group and legal

Love

  •   Enduring nature of love
  •   Loyalty and betrayal
  •   Betrayal of love
  •   Betrayal of self
  •   Friends
  •   Workplace
  •   Institutions
  •   Family responsibility/loyalty/love
  •   Power of love
  •   Grief and loss of love

Gender

  •   Gender roles (traditional vs modern)
  •   Gender conflict

Self awareness

Personal journey

  •   Individuality versus conformity
  •   Loss of innocence
  •   Quest for perfection
  •   Loss of self
  •   Importance of place/identity in society
  •   Power of dreams and ambition
  •   Sense of identity and belonging

Conflict

  •   Courage in the face of racial or gender discrimination
  •   Destruction of war
  •   Workplace conflict
  •   Cultural conflict
  •   Racial conflict/prejudice
  •   Family conflict
  •   Global conflict

Shakespearean   Themes

  •   Love versus betrayal
  •   Divine rights of kings
  •   Ambition and power
  •   Evil versus goodness
  •   Image versus reality

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

Learning Outside the Fish Bowl

‘Learning Outside the Fish Bowl’

Have you heard this term before?  The fish bowl analogy is related to the term many people say these days as “seeing the big picture”.  What does it mean?  What requires you to see the big picture and take that leap beyond your current fish bowl?

The fish bowl analogy means that we are all immersed in a paradigm and reality, much like a fish in the water it swims in.  A fish can’t distinguish itself from his water, just as most of us don’t distinguish ourselves from our thoughts about the way we learn.  We don’t know that there is a new learning reality outside the fish bowl within which we are immersed.

The challenge is to pop out of your current fish bowl or context  in order to see the “big picture” to strive ahead far more effectively at school and beyond .  Like a man on the flying trapese, we all have to let go of a known way of viewing our learning  for the unknown.  Everyone of us who aspires to something greater than our current fish bowl or our current grades at school, has to risk this moment of vulnerability.  What makes a clever person is their willingness to confidently jump out of the fish bowl in order to see the bigger picture from which to strive ahead far more effectively.

It takes commitment and a capacity to expand one’s reality.   In order to let go of the trapeze bar of one level of functioning, in order to swing to and grasp another, you have to be committed enough to let go of what no longer serves your learning.  One distinction of a clever person is their willingness to risk failures and their own vulnerability to expand their knowledge to see their potential.

As an English Teacher I can help to hold the bigger picture for my students to leap into.  I will endeavour to empower my students to make the leap into learning outside the fish bowl in order to see and act from the Big Picture.  I will allow my students to get the big AH-HA moment to shift their paradigm to include this next level of the Big Picture of learning by giving them the tools to write well and achieve academic success.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.

 

 

Essay Planning Format

Essay Planning Format

Will enable you to answer topic questions from any subject that requires an essay for assessment

  1. Write out the topic question and underline words that need defining
  2. Look up the words that need defining so you are perfectly clear what the topic question is asking you
  3. Write alternative words you can use in your essay instead of repeating the same words used in the prompt
  4. Brainstorm your ideas how to answer the topic question
  5. Plan the essay format in a formal structure:
  • An Introduction which is made up of the first paragraph of the essay. Include a  general sentence introducing the topic with the form, genre, author’s name and title. Briefly outline your viewpoint/perspective/main contention in topic sentences without all the supporting detail that will follow in the body paragraphs.  Indicate how the topic will be handled and the order in which material will be discussed.

Ask yourself the question “If you only read the introduction, would it stand alone explaining your main contention without any other supporting data?”

  • 4-5 Body Paragraghs each one with a topic sentence for each key point explaining the main contention.  Each explanation must include evidence examples from the text (can use quotes from text).   The evidence will assist in elaboration of your ideas and link to the central contention.  Each paragraph will follow on with linking words and phrases to the next paragraph.

Use the TEEL structure for all paragraphs:

  1. T = topic sentence: The opening sentence of each paragraph sums up the main focus of the paragraph
  2. E = evidence: Specific examples and quotations from the text to support your main argument
  3. E = explanation: Fleshes out the ideas from your main argument and explains how your evidence supports your argument
  4. L = links: Creates links to the topic sentence and back to the topic question itself.  Also links your paragraph with good sentence starters on to the next paragraph so your essay flows in a logical manner.
  • A Conclusion is the last paragraph in the essay which summarises the links between the topic, your contention and your main points.  The summary must restate your viewpoint/perspective clearly without any new points being introduced.

Private Home Tutoring of English Not an On-Line Free Tutoring Service

I am NOT an on-line free tutoring service.  My resources on this website are for general use only.  I do not write student’s essays for them or give advice on essay prompts. However, for more intensive tutoring in a specific area of English, I will visit students in their own homes for private tutoring sessions that are paid on an hourly basis.