Archive | March, 2012

The End of the Third Quarter…

26 Mar

The third quarter is ending on Monday April 2nd.

-Independent Reading Book Review is due Friday March 30th.

-Notebooks will be checked Monday April 2nd.

-Third quarter portfolio must be finished and turned in on Monday April 2nd.

3rd Quarter Portfolio Cover Sheet and Self Assessment


We will have time in class to work on completing these assignments.

Two Excellents Sites On How to Write Topic Sentences and Body Paragraphs!

18 Mar

Research Paper Notes and Documents

15 Mar

Here are our notes from Wednesday.  Make sure you finish your 3 abstracts, thesis statement, and introduction frame by Friday.

Getting Started on Research Paper


Here are our notes from Thursday on how to format your research paper:

formatting research paper-class notes

Format Example doc-nonsense paper with proper format.


Here is the rubric for the research paper, in case you need another copy:

Research Self Grading Rubric

Research Papers are due Friday March 23rd!

Use Better Nouns and Verbs

7 Mar

The following comes from

Using Strong Verbs and Nouns


Choosing the best word can make your writing clearer, stronger, more effective, and more interesting.  A more specific word can convey more information.  Often adjectives and adverbs are a clumsy replacement for a well-chosen noun or verb.  Some words are so bland and vague that they tell the reader almost nothing.  Such words should almost always be replaced.

Being Specific

A specific word tells us more than a generic word.  A dog could be a collie, a terrier, or a mutt.  If a woman walks, does she stroll, wander, or march?  The image that we get when we read about a grandmother marching along with her collie is so much more vivid than when we read about a woman walking along with her dog.

Creating Impact

The right words can make your writing vivid and memorable.  Consider the following examples:

  • Bland – The house was on fire.
  • Vivid – Flames erupted from the windows.
  • Bland – Goliath was taller than David.
  • Vivid – The giant towered over David.

The vivid examples are more effective because they are specific, they are dramatic, and they create an image in the reader’s mind.

Removing Adjectives and Adverbs

If you can replace an adverb and a verb with a better verb by itself, you probably should.  It will usually improve your writing.  “The man ran quickly” should be “the man sprinted” or “the man dashed.”  “She said loudly” might be “she shouted” or “she called.”

Take the same approach with adjectives, replacing them when you can.  A terrible, oppressive leader is a tyrant.  A strong, fit person is an athlete.  A mean, intimidating person is a bully.

Vague Words

Watch out for words that say almost nothing.  Consider the verb “to go.”  Almost any other verb will tell the reader more about what happened.  “I went to the store” is vague.  “I drove to the store” or “I walked to the store” is better.  “Vehicle” could refer to a car, truck, or bus.

If you must use adjectives or adverbs, use good ones.  Words like “good” and “bad,” “wonderful” and “terrible,” are so vague that they are almost meaningless.  Dig deeper and find a better description.