Prentice, Dan (English: Writing 6)

Things to study for Friday quiz

Notes for Thursday and Friday:
Thursday and Friday we are writing our hooks, bridges, and thesis statements.

For your hook, find one of your most interesting statistic or fact from your research and put it in a sentence. For example, I may say, “Even though Yale costs almost 60,000 dollars a year, the average student graduates with only 13,000 dollars in debt” (“Yale University”). Your hook can be any interesting fact that will grab the reader’s attention. Other ideas include rankings, historical facts, and the number of students at the university (enrollment).

Hook = Interesting fact or statistic about your college.

Your bridge should be around three sentences of basic facts. These facts tell the reader the simple information they need to know like where the college is, if it’s a private or public school, and maybe what the college is best at. You are “bridging” from the hook to the thesis and giving the reader the information that will help them understand the basic ideas in your paper.
Bridge = 3 simple sentences of basic facts.

Thesis = One sentence with an opinion (why your college is great/why people should want to go there) and with three reasons why.

For your thesis, you need one sentence with three ideas about why your college is a great school to go to. These reasons why should be topics you can write at least a paragraph about, so don’t be too specific, and choose things that you have researched. Cost, location, majors, sports programs generally, and specialties for the school are all great topics.

For example: Northern Arizona University is a great university to go to because it has 89 majors to choose from, it only costs 11,000 dollars per year, and it’s located in the beautiful town of Flagstaff, Arizona.

You should also understand the basic formatting for MLA papers. You should know how to write a proper heading, recognizing spacing errors, and paragraph structure








9/16 and beyond

We are preparing to research colleges this week. The kids had tons of awesome questions about college, and I hope they have spoken to some parents out there about this topic. We are also continuing to study comma use. They have notes from me that also have the titles to Khan Academy videos as the title for each section of notes. Watching videos would be a great way to study.

Homework for 9/17 or 9/18 that is due Thursday.

Research your university to find out some interesting facts. These can be facts about majors that are available to study, how many people go to the university, facts about the area the university is located, facts about the cost to attend the college, etc. 

  1. Write your facts in complete sentences by hand or by typing. 
  2. Write a sentence that has three facts separated by commas. Example: The University of Illinois has wonderful cornfields, a student population of 40,000, and 83 majors to choose from.
  3. Write two sentences that use introductory elements. Example: Before Harvard got bigger (dep. clause), it had graduating classes of about 35 students. Without a GPA of 3.9 or above, people probably won’t get into Harvard.
  4. Write about a fact (or two) in a sentence that has two independent clauses separated by a comma and a FANBOYS. Example: Stanford has many majors to choose from, and students at this university typically graduate within four years.

If you find an interesting article, try to write down the title and author’s name so that you can find it again. 




9/9 through 9/13

This week, we will be working on the paragraph assignment below and learning about comma use.

We are starting the week by finishing a paragraph we worked on in class Friday. In addition to the directions below, I want the kids to try and get this document in Times New Roman, 12 pt font, and double spaced.

I would like you to type or voice a simple paragraph about a topic of interest to you. 

  1. Choose a topic from below. 
  2. Tell me three reasons why this topic is your favorite in the first sentence. Begin by saying, “Soccer is my favorite sport because I like running (1), I like playing goalie (2), and I have made many friends on my teams (3).” 
  3. Write three sentences to give details about each of the three reasons above. For example, my first body sentence from the intro above would be about soccer being my favorite sport because I like to run. 
  4. Write a concluding sentence that sums things up. “Soccer is a sport I hope I can play the rest of my life.”
  5. Print if you typed or voiced. Turn in paragraph.  
  6. Edit for capitalization, run-ons, fragments, and comma use. 5 Sentences total.

Topics: Best day ever. Favorite sport. Favorite food (be specific). Least favorite food. Favorite way to get around (scooter, bike, skateboard, etc.) 

Here is a sample paragraph on the topic of the fair.  

The county fair was great because the food was fried, the animals were interesting, and the rides were exciting. I ate all kinds of fried food at the fair like fried Snickers and fried Twinkies. The animals I got to check out included camels and turkeys. My favorite ride at the fair was the Gravitron because it made me dizzy. Overall, the fair was awesome. 


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Course List



This course is designed to help students grow in their ability to write and to improve their stamina while writing. We will strive to move from simple sentenc


Click here to download the Writing syllabus (PDF)