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Ain Shams University

Faculty of Al-Alsun
Department of English
English for Non-specialists

Revision
Notes

Module I: Writing

Disclaimer - These notes are designed for in-class use ONLY. The
instructor draws heavily on the original material introduced in
the textbook (Writing to Communicate I). The notes are meant
to elaborate the original material by providing further details
and examples. References to the pages where the original
material appears are made when needed. The notes in no way
replace the original material, and students are advised to
consult the textbook as a primary reference.

Shaimaa Suleiman.
TA, Department of
English

Format

[Title]
[Topic Sentence]

------------------------------------------------. [Major SS1]----------------------------------------------------------. [Minor SS1] ----------------------------------------------------------------. [Major SS2]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. [Minor SS1]--------------------------------------------------------.
[Minor SS2]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. [Minor SS3]---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. [Major SS3]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. [Minor SS1] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
[Minor
SS2]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
[Concluding Sentence]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

Organization
Model Paragraph (See page 57)
Outline

TS

Many ancient cultures had interesting ways of communicating long-distance.


Major SS1

For example, the Incas in South America used quipus to send


messages from one village to another.
Minor SS1

Minor SS2

Major SS2

They sent simple messages by covering and


uncovering fires slowly and quickly.

As a final example, native people in West Africa used drums to


carry messages across distances.
Minor SS1

CS

The color or number of knots gave information


or told a story.

Second, smoke signals were used by Chinese and Native North


Americans.
Minor SS1

Major SS3

Quipus were ropes that had a series of knots


tied into them.

The strength and tone of the beat delivered


different messages.

In conclusion, in ancient times, there were different ways of sending messages


to people far away.

Some Notes on Structure and Mechanics


Sentences
A grammatically correct sentence MUST be complete.
A complete sentence of any type MUST contain AT LEAST ONE
independent clause.
An independent clause MUST contain a SUBJECT and a VERB.
A sentence MUST begin with a CAPITALIZED word and end with a
PERIOD.
My friend (Subject) loves (Verb) chocolate.

I (Subject) agree (Verb).

A persons favorite food reflects his or her personality. For example,


my friend who loves chocolate (Subject). He is romantic. (Fragment)
A persons favorite food reflects his or her personality. For example,
my friend who loves chocolate (Subject) is (Verb) romantic.

Types of Sentences

Simple

Compound

Complex

Simple Sentences (See page 29)

A simple sentence contains ONLY ONE independent clause and expresses


ONE idea.
Ex: My friend loves chocolates.

Sometimes you will want to express more than one idea in ONE
sentence. In order to do this, you will have to use conjunctions. The
type of conjunction used (coordinators or subordinators) will
determine the type of your sentence and they way it is punctuated.

Compound Sentences (See page 30)

A compound sentence uses a COORDINATING CONJUNCTION to combine


TWO independent clauses (TWO ideas).

Coordinator
And
Or
But
So

Example
I have 2 sisters, and my friend has 3 brothers.
I can go live with my parents, or I can buy my own apartment.
I have 2 sisters, but my friend has 3 brothers.
I did not enjoy the party, so I left.

Coordinators appear ONLY in the middle of the sentence.


A comma MUST be added before a coordinator.
You CANNOT begin a sentence of any type with a coordinator.
I have 2 sisters. But my friend has 3 brothers.
I like vegetables. They make me healthy. And my sister likes fruits.

Complex Sentences (See page 50)


A complex sentence contains TWO clauses linked by a SUBORDINATING
CONJUNCTION. The clause beginning with a subordinator is called a DEPENDENT
CLAUSE. The other clause is an independent clause.
Subordinator
After
Before

1.
2.
3.
1.
2.
3.

Until

1.
2.
3.

When

1.
2.
1.

While

2.
Because

1.

Example
After they retired, my parents went on a lot of trips.
My parents went on a lot of trips after they retired.
After their retirement, my parents went on a lot of trips.
Before they retired, my parents did not go on a lot of
trips.
My parents did not go on a lot of trips before they retired.
Before their retirement, my parents did not go on a lot
of trips.
Until they retire, my parents can not go on any trips.
My parents can not go on any trips until they retire.
My parents can not go on any trips until their
retirement.
When my parents retire, they will go on a lot of trips.
My parents will go on a lot of trips when they retire.
My parents went on a lot of trips while I was getting my
degree.
While my parents are going on a lot of trips, I will work on
getting my degree.
Because my parents are retired, they can go on a lot of

Although

If

trips.
2. My parents can go on a lot of trips because theyre retired.
1. Although my uncle is retired, he does not go on a lot of
trips.
2. My uncle does not go on a lot of trips although he is
retired.
1. If my parents retire, they will go on a lot of trips.
2. My parents will go on a lot of trips if they retire.

Transitions
Besides coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, you can use transitions to
connect your ideas. Like conjunctions, transitions tell us the relation between
sentences or ideas. However, there is one difference that you should pay attention
to!
Coordinating and subordinating conjunctions connect TWO CLAUSES that
follow each other and combine them in ONE SENTENCE.
Transitions connect TWO SEPARATE SENTENCES that EITHER follow each
other OR are separated by other sentences.
Time Order
1- First (or at first)
2- Second
3- Third
4- Next
5- Then
6- After that
7- Finally

1234-

Addition
In addition
Moreover
Furthermore
Besides

Result
1- As a result
2- Therefore
3- Consequently

Logical Order
1- First
2- First of all
3- Second
4- Third
5- Next
6- Finally

1234-

Example
7- For example
8- For instance
9- As a [first, second. final]
example

Contrast
However
Nonetheless
Never the less
On the contrary

Conclusion
1- To conclude
2- In conclusion

Run-on Sentences
A persons favorite food reflects his or her personality. For example, people who like
chocolate are romantic they are sensitive and like to help others and they are kind.

Correction: A persons favorite food reflects his or her personality. For example,
people who like chocolate are romantic. They are sensitive, helpful and kind.

Comma Splices
There are many reasons why diary-keeping has become a thing of the past. First,
technology makes it hard for people to take the time to sit and write down their
thought, they are busy with updating social media websites or checking their emails,
so they do not have enough time or energy to keep a diary, and they prefer to write
the details of their day on Facebook or Twitter instead.
Correction: There are many reasons why diary-keeping has become a thing of the
past. First, technology makes it hard for people to take the time to sit and write
down their thought. They are busy with updating social media websites or checking
their emails, so they do not have enough time or energy to keep a diary. Moreover,
they prefer to write the details of their day on Facebook or Twitter instead.

Adjectives
In English, adjectives occur BEFORE the nouns they modify.
I saw a beautiful girl.

I saw a girl beautiful.

A series of adjectives which describe the same noun appear before the noun and are
separated by commas.
People who like meat are energetic, opinionated and tough.
People who like meat are energetic and opinionated and tough.
This is a nice, calm home and organized.
This a nice, calm and organized home.

Coordination and Parallelism


When using and to coordinate words and phrases, make sure the coordinated
items are similar!
1- My fried likes going out, to swim and eat pizza.
2- My friend like to go out, swim and eat pizza.

3- My friend likes going out, swimming and eating pizza.


4- My friend is kind, has compassion and is helpful.
5- My friend is kind, has compassion and likes helping people.
6- My friend is kind, compassionate and helpful.
7- My coworker is mean, selfish and not helpful.
8- My coworker is mean and selfish and is not helpful.
9- My coworker is mean and selfish. He is not helpful.
10- My coworker is mean, selfish and unhelpful.
11- People who like to eat meat are energetic and tough and do not like hearing
different opinions.
12- People who like meat are energetic, tough and opinionated.
13- People who like to eat meat are not lazy, weak and tolerant.
14- People who like to eat meat are energetic and tough, but they do not like
hearing different opinions.