Writing Skills, Strategies, & Exercises




JWT (JustTheWord) -- collocations, grammar, thesaurus

My Materials
Outside Resources

Christine's Tools for Writing

Citing Electronic Resources
(see also Steve Burks'
Citing Internet and Electronic Sources, the Purdue OWL's Citation Chart, and Corrected Sample Papers)

Academic Writing videos on the Ohio State Flipped ESL YouTube channel


E-Mail Etiquette -- components of email; conventions; punctuation; emoticons; purpose
dam Turner's Guidelines for writing E-Mail and Sample Formal E-Mail format

The Paragraph

The Structure of a Paragraph (NorthStar 5: Reading & Writing, p. 64)
Exercise: Paragraph Structure and Coherence

Checklist for Paragraphs

Rubric to Evaluate Paragraphs

The Topic Sentence (video, 6:31 min) -- the formula for the topic sentence and ideas for how to add more oomph

Online Practice for Controlling Ideas
-- Rochester Institute of Technology, Supporting English Acquisition

Identifying Problems with Topic Sentences

Identifying Topic Sentences

Adam Turner's writing resource web <http://hanyangwriting.tripod.com/> -- excellent guidelines for academic writing, letter writing, email format, TOEFL essay, resume writing, as well as grammar and citations; includes The Paragraph

Grammar Help

Sentence Parts and Parts of Speech

Articles -- Decision Tree
Articles - Exercise
Articles - Exercise (answers)
See also this Cloze Exercise on Do We Really Need to Sleep--A, An, The, or No Article

 Sentence Problems: Run-on sentences and fragments (Quizzes/practice on repairing); comma splices, run-on sentences, fragments and run-ons


Vocabulary Help

Vocabulary Development Graphic Organizers
: http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/Links/online_dictionaries.htm#Dictionaries
Thesauri: http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/Links/online_dictionaries.htm#Thesauri
Encyclopedias: http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/Links/online_dictionaries.htm#Encyclopedias (suggestion: use InfoPlease)

Word Processing Exercises

Punctuation Help

A Guide to Punctuation
Commas, the Six Rules


Paraphrasing/Summarizing/Answering Essay Questions

Writing a Paraphrase
Guidelines for writing a summary
Essay Questions -- Types, cues, strategies for answering
Performance Inventory for Summary/Essay Question

Proofreading Help

Proofreading your paper
(for grammar, punctuation, meaning, vocabulary)


Business Communication

Writing a Business Letter -- steps, content, sample
Letter Writing: Business Letter Rubric

Sample Cover Letter (full-block business format)

CareerLab Letters -- Letter writing skills for adult business professionals
The Basic Business Letter and Writing the Business Letter (parts of the letter; Purdue Online Writing Lab)
Parts of a Business Letter
Writing Business Letters -- Core Vocabulary Sheet 1
Writing Business Letters--Core Vocabulary Sheet 2
Writing Business Letters--Core Vocabulary Sheet 3

Guide to Basic Business Letters -- includes conventional phrases and several types of letters; sample business letter format
Sample Letters from the Purdue Online Writing Lab


The Essay


Outline Form for a 5-Paragraph Essay
(or piece of writing)

Checklist for Peer-reviewing Essays (no research)

Checklist for Peer-reviewing Research Essays

Outline for a 3-Paragraph Essay
Checklist for a 3-Paragraph Essay (intermediate)

Rubric for evaluating academic writing




















the essay as a sandwich
Essay Format -- a visual example

The ESOL Essayist--Writing the 5-Paragraph Essay

Types of Essays

Types of Documents (including all types of essays)
argumentative essays; cause and effect essays; descriptive essays; definition essays; description essays; description of a process; compare and contrast essays; persuasive essays

The Cause - Effect Essay
Patterns of Organization of the Cause-Effect Essay
Model Cause, Effect, and Solution Research Essay (with references in APA format)

Persuasive Essay

how to write it; helpful language
Write Source: Persuasive Writing (includes definition, parts, types);

 The Original Persuasive Essay Thesis Builder and Online Outliner (includes Persuasive Essay Thesis Builder; Topic-o-rama)
ESL Flow Examples--practice worksheets:
Opionion essay home  > Paragraph outlining 
Paragraph outlining: lotteries
  > Opinion outline exercise; > Opinion essay exercise: autonomous vehicles Brainstorming argument essay > Brainstorming issues > Opinion sentences: technology  > Outline matching exercise Counter argument sentences 1  > Counter arguments 2 >  Controversial topics ideas > Opinions & anecdotes >  Quotations & statistics Opinons: university life  


Problem-solution exercise Problem 3 solution exercise > Problem/solution outline Problem-solution sentences

Opposing View



2006  Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Saint Michael's College. Last updated: June 6, 2017