Topic: Composition

These resources relate to writing skills, including the composition of essays, persuasive pieces, and other types of texts.

Derived nouns and composition: Activity 2

Complete the examples with nouns which are derived from the highlighted adjectives. The first answer is provided.

The peacekeeping forces withdrew. It led to civil war. → The withdrawal of the peacekeeping forces led to civil war.

Discourse structure

Goals

  • Review a list of useful vocabulary and phrases for establishing continuity, cohesion, and structure in discourse.
  • Apply knowledge of discourse structure to arranging sentences into an appropriate, meaningful order as an article.
  • Analyse existing texts to identify elements that support the discourse structure of the texts.

Lesson Plan

Activity 1

Discourse structure

Speakers and writers often use a range of structures and devices to signpost their arguments. These signposts link what they are saying to what they have said before, and to what they are going to say.

Discourse structure is a term used to describe the way in which an entire text is organised – for example, how language is used in a poem, in a newspaper article, or in a speech designed to read aloud.

Dizzee Rascal and the textbook

The way we use language can differ dramatically according to context. This creative lesson asks students to translate from one context into another. This is a great approach that allows students to apply their implicit knowledge of language, and to analyse linguistic features naturally and implicitly, based on their intuitive language skills.

Dizzee Rascal and the textbook: Activity

Stress on the brain, complain, too da fool. Stress on the brain, complain, too da max.

I'm gonna search for big money stacks, top tens and platinum whacks.

Ain't got no need for a chain of a chaks. I'm a rude boi, I ain't gotta relax.

I got this game in my head like dax. Got this game in my hand, be cool.

Unstoppable, make a boi relax. I'll take teeth for the money and jaks.

We make money off album tracks. Come on, I'll face it, let's all face facts.

English Grammar Day 2016

'Grammar is cool, and it is cool to know your grammar'.

A video about the Third English Grammar Day held at the British Library in 2016.

Expanded noun phrase competition

Creating longer (expanded) noun phrases

Noun phrases can be of any length, from one word to very many words. This activity is a team competition where students' goal is to score as many points as they can by creating longer and longer noun phrases. As they do this, they will implicitly rely on their knowledge of grammar, and they will begin to see a range of different ways to expand noun phrases.

Expanding headlines

Exploring the grammar of newspaper headlines

Newspaper headlines are often not full sentences, but they are nevertheless quite easy to make sense of. In this starter, students will use their implicit knowledge of grammar to expand newspaper headlines into complete sentences, and then explicitly analyse what they've done. The Activity slide show appears in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right corner of this page. In the Activity slide show, five example headlines are presented. Students should do the following:

Expanding headlines: Activity

  1. Lorry driver cut free after crash
  2. Pakistani PM guilty of contempt
  3. Calls to block £14bn EU bill
  4. Time called on noisy church bells
  5. Australian billionaire to build Titanic II
  6. Chef throws his heart into helping feed needy
  7. Cops halt doughnut shop robbery

 

Formal and Informal Language

Lesson Plan

Goals:

  • Distinguish between formal and informal writing contexts
  • Identify which grammatical features create register
  • Apply these features in writing

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that we don't speak and write the same way in all situations. Depending on who we're talking to and what the situation is, we change. This is called register.

Formal and Informal Language

Activities

Formal describes a more serious register. We use this for talking to people we don't know or who are in positions of authority. It is also used for talking to people older than us. It shows that we want to respect or impress the audience.

Informal describes a more relaxed register. We use this for talking to people we know well like friends and family. It is also used to talk to people the same age as us or younger. It shows that we feel comfortable with the audience.

Genre of Advertisements

Lesson Plan

Goals: 

  • Identify common discourse and register features of advertisements
  • Analyse how these features are used to achieve the desired effects 
  • Plan, write and evaluate an advert using the same features 

Lesson Plan

Before this lesson, you may want to complete the lesson An Introduction to Genre, so that learners are familiar with the key terms discourse structure and register

Genre of Advertisements

Activities

Warmer 

Discuss with a partner: 

  • What adverts did you see on the way to school today? What made them memorable?
  • What advert have you seen recently that stuck in your mind? Why? 
  • What kind of writing and information do we normally see in adverts? 

Activity 1 

In pairs or small groups, read Adverts A and B. Take turns describing each text, and then discuss with your partner: 

Genre of Argument and Discussion 1

Lesson Plan

Goals:

  • Discuss the tone and purpose of argument and disucssion in essays
  • Identify the discouse structures and organisation features
  • Analyse how grammar contributes to organisation

Lesson Plan

Before this lesson, you may want to complete the lesson An Introduction to Genre, so that learners are familiar with the key terms discourse structure and register

Genre of Argument and Discussion 1

Activities

Warm-up

What kind of text is an argument or discussion?

What is its purpose?

What makes it different from other texts?

Activity 1

Read the essay on the hand out.

1. What is the topic of the essay? What facts do you learn?

2. What is the author's perspective? How can you tell?

3. How is this text written? What is the tone? Why is it written in this way?

Genre of Argument and Discussion 2

Lesson Plan

Goals:

  • Identify and analsye how nominalisations are used in essays
  • Identify and analsye how the passiv voice is used in essays
  • Apply these features in a writing task

Lesson Plan

This is Part 2 of the lesson on Argument and Discussion. 

Make sure you have the handout from Part 1

Genre of Argument and Discussion 2

Activities

This is Part 2 of the lesson on Argument and Discussion. 

Make sure you have the handout from Part 1

In the first lesson, you looked at how information is organised through discourse structure. In this lesson, you will examine choices of language and register.  

Activity 1

Re-read paragraph 3. Can you find an example of the same word being used in different grammatical roles?

Genre of Encyclopaedia Entries

Lesson Plan

Goals:

  • Identify the purpose and tone of encyclopaedia entries
  • Analyse the discourse structure and register features
  • Produce an encyclopaedia entry using the same techniques

Lesson Plan

Before this lesson, you may want to complete the lesson An Introduction to Genre, so that learners are familiar with the key terms discourse structure and register

Genre of Encyclopaedia Entries

Activities

Warm up

What kind of text is an encyclopaedia?

What is its purpose?

What makes it different from other texts?

Activity 1

Read the Tiger encyclopaedia entry.

  1. What are three facts you learn about tigers?
  2. How is this text written? What is the tone? Why is it written in this way?

What three words best describe the tone and style of this text?

Genre of Narratives and Recounts

Lesson Plan

Goals:

  • Distinguish recounts from narratives
  • Identify the discourse structure and features of register used in narratives
  • Re-order a narrative by following the appropriate features

Lesson Plan

Before this lesson, you may want to complete the lesson An Introduction to Genre, so that learners are familiar with the key terms discourse structure and register

Genre of Narratives and Recounts

Activities

Activity 1

Today, we're looking at the genre of storytelling. Narratives and recounts are two ways of describing events.

What do you think is the difference between narratives and recounts?

Narratives and recounts both relate events that took place in the past and which occur in a logical order.

Genre of Newspaper Articles

Lesson Plan

Goals:

  • Identify and analsye the discourse features of newspaper articles
  • Identify and analsye the register features of newspaper articles
  • Apply these features in writing 

Lesson Plan

Before this lesson, you may want to complete the lesson An Introduction to Genre, so that learners are familiar with the key terms discourse structure and register

Genre of Newspaper Articles

Activities

Warmer 

Discuss with a partner: 

  • What was the last newspaper article you read? What was it about? 
  • Why do people read newspapers and news websites?  
  • What features do we expect to see in a newspaper article? Why are they used? 

Activity 1

Read Article A. Discuss the following questions: 

Genre of Recipes

Lesson Plan

Goals: 

  • Compare the discourse structure and register features of two recipes
  • Identify which grammatical features can be omitted for effect 
  • Analyse why recipes follow a predictable structure and set of features

Lesson Plan

Before this lesson, you may want to complete the lesson An Introduction to Genre, so that learners are familiar with the key terms discourse structure and register

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