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Esl Writing Sample Essay


Welcome to my ESL and English composition website. We try to put together as many esl sample essays
as possible to help you with your ESL Essay writing skills. We need your help to make this project a success.

ESL Essay : Leisure Time

Everyone has different ways of spending his or her free time. Write about one or more ways that you like to spend your leisure time. Do you exercise, read, play sports, shop, sleep, or study? How often do you do this? Is this an activity that you do alone or with a group? How does the activity help you relax, clear your mind, or feel better?

(This ESL Essay incidentally, was written by a friend of mine, who is an elementary school teacher from Penghu Island Taiwan)

    
     Everyone has different ways of spending his or her free time. As for me, I usually do reading when I have free time. Most of the time, I read alone. I think through reading, I can discover the beauty of the world.

     When I was young, my parents were always busy working.; Therefore, they bought me a lot of books to keep me company. Through reading, I have made friends with the Three Little Pigs, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, and so on. Since then, reading has become an important part of my life. Books, magazines or newspaper are very handy to carry around with. The smallness of size and the lightweight of reading materials made it very convenient for me to put them into my handbag.  . , Moreover, I can read whenever and wherever I choose to., Even during an interval of time, like waiting for a bus or at break time  in school or at work.; Some people even read while they are in the toilets. In short, I can enjoy reading no matter when or where.

     In addition to the convenience, reading also enriches my life, gives me a lot of fun, and releases me from the pressuresof modern living. I live in Taiwan and I'm an elementary school teacher. While reading books on travel, like ※Lonely Planet§ for example, I got to know about other countries and their cultures and customs too. ; , I can also get to know about other peoples' stories through their biographies. When I am immersed in a novel for example, I can experience the same feelings, such as excitement, sadness and happiness, with the characters in the books. I went to the Hogwarts with Harry Potter, fell in love with Romeo and Juliet, and decoded secret ancient codes with The Da Vinci Code; all of which brought me enormous pleasure.. Through reading, I can set aside all the cares of this material world and just dive into the world books provide. Reading relieves me from the burdens of life, and serves as an outlet for my frustrations.

     I usually do reading alone when I have free time. Reading alone doesn't make me antisocial.  , It is just because most of time,I happen to be alone when I have free time. In short, doing reading when I'm free can broaden my horizons, make me happy, and help me relax.

     Everyone has different ways of spending his or her free time. As for me, I usually do reading when I have free time. Most of the time, I read alone. I think through reading, I can discover the beauty of the world. 

     When I was young, my parents were always busy working.Therefore, they bought me a lot of books to keep me company. Through reading, I have made friends with the Three Little Pigs, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, and so on. Since then, reading has become an important part of my life. Books, magazines or newspaper are very handy to carry around with. The smallness of size and the lightweight of reading materials made it very convenient for me to put them into my handbag. Moreover, I can read whenever and wherever I choose to.Even during an interval of time, like waiting for a bus or at break time in school or at work.Some people even read while they are in the toilets. In short, I can enjoy reading no matter when or where.

     In addition to the convenience, reading also enriches my life, gives me a lot of fun, and releases me from the pressuresof modern living. I live in Taiwan and I'm an elementary school teacher. While reading books on travel, like ※Lonely Planet§ for example, I got to know about other countries and their cultures and customs too. I can also get to know about other peoples' stories through their biographies. When I am immersed in a novel for example, I can experience the same feelings, such as excitement, sadness and happiness, with the characters in the books. I went to the Hogwarts with Harry Potter, fell in love with Romeo and Juliet, and decoded secret ancient codes with The Da Vinci Code; all of which brought me enormous pleasure.Through reading, I can set aside all the cares of this material world and just dive into the world books provide. Reading relieves me from the burdens of life, and serves as an outlet for my frustrations.

     I usually do reading alone when I have free time. Reading alone doesn't make me anti-social. It is just because most of time, I happen to be alone when I have free time. In short, doing reading when I'm free can broaden my horizons, make me happy, and help me relax.

Corrected and explained

     Everyone has different ways of spending his or her free time. As for me, I usually do reading when I have free time. Most of the time,(※the§ is necessary here) I read alone. I think (You are not wrong, but I just thought ※through§ is a better word) through reading, I can (※discover§ is a much more emotional word than ※find out§. ※Beauty of the world§ sounds better) discover the beauty of the world.

     When I was young, my parents were always (emphasize ※always§ to give it a stronger feel) busy working.; Therefore, they bought me a lot of (※a lot of§ gives tells the reader more than just buying ※books§) books to keep me company (You are not wrong, but try ※keeping me company§ as a variation). Through reading, I have (※have made§, ※have eaten§, ※have taken§)made friends with the Three Little Pigs, Snow White, Red Riding (Don't forget the ※Riding§) Hood, and so on. Since then, reading has become (※Has become§ stresses the fact that it was never before) an important part of my life. Books, magazines(No ※,§ when you have the ※or§) or newspaper are very handy to carry around with. (emphasize that you want to ※carry them around§) The smallness of size and the lightweight(※sizes and weights§ is not wrong, but sounds like an expression used in your science books) of reading materials made it very convenient for me to put them into my handbag. (Make your description more graphic, like ※putting in your handbag§ so the reader will try to picture or imagine what you are doing). , Moreover,(meaning besides) I can read whenever and wherever (meaning anytime and anywhere) I choose to., Even during an interval (Not ※shred of time§ but ※interval of time§)of time, like waiting for a bus or at break time  in school or at work.; Some people even read while they are in the toilets. In short, I can enjoy reading no matter when or where.

     In addition to the convenience, reading also (※also§ because it is an additional point you are making) enriches my life, gives (※bring§ is not wrong.) me a lot of fun, and releases me from the pressuresof modern living.(Pressure from what? Why not tell the reader it is from modern living) I live in Taiwan and I'm an elementary school teacher. While reading books on travel, like ※Lonely Planet§ for example (※Lonely Planet§ is a popular book about travel), I got to know about other countries and their cultures and customs too. ; , I can also get to (※get to know§ as in trying or attempting to find out about something) know about other peoples' stories through their biographies. When I am immersed (※immersed§ as in very indulged or very focused in doing something) in a novel (Novel, why not tell what you are reading) for example, I can experience (※share's is alright, but experience is a feeling of been into something physically. A more powerful way to describe your feelings) the same feelings, such as excitement, sadness and happiness, with the characters in the books. I went to the Hogwarts with Harry Potter, fell in love with Romeo and Juliet, and decoded secret ancient codes with The Da Vinci Code; all of which brought me enormous pleasure.(※enormous§ means ※big or huge§). Through reading, I can set aside all the cares of this material (or all the woes of this world. Meaning the worries or concerns) world and just dive into the world books provide. Reading relieves me from the burdens of life, and serves as an outlet for my frustrations.(An ※outlet§ is a ※channel§ and in this context, it means to vent your anger, or frustrations)

     I usually do reading alone when I have free time. Reading alone doesn't make me antisocial.(※Antisocial§ means not wanting to be around people or doing things that others disapprove of, socially) , It is just because most of time,I happen to be (※Happen to be§ means ※by chance§ like ※I happened to see him at the department store) alone when I have free time. In short, doing reading when I'm free can broaden my horizons, (Your ※horizons§ are the things you know, or your knowledge base, so to speak) make me happy, and help me relax.


What is an ESL Essay?

One of the most common written assignments you will be asked to prepare at university is an ESL Essay.
An academic ESL Essay is a document or text written in order to:

1. Analyze a topic closely
2. Develop a point of view in relation to that topic through research and thought
3. Persuade your reader that the point of view you have developed is well supported by the ideas and
    information you present

ESL Essays have three main parts or stages:

The initial statement of the point of view that you have developed in response to the topic
(sometimes called the thesis statement). This part of the ESL Essay is the introduction.
The argument or arguments which are presented to support this point of view. This part is the body of the ESL Essay.
The summary of the arguments and the restatement of the overall point of view that has been
developed. This part of the ESL Essay is the conclusion.

Writing the ESL Essay

When preparing an ESL Essay you undertake a number of different activities:

1. Choosing a question
2. Analyzing the question
3. Making an initial plan
4. Locating resources
5. Reading and noting
6. Writing the first draft
7. Revising and redrafting.

You may find that you move backwards and forwards among these activities. For example, when you are writing your first draft you may constantly refer back to your analysis of the question to make sure you are answering the question. Sometimes as you read you discover ideas that you hadn*t thought of or come across previously, and so you may need to locate further resources.

Choosing a question

If you have a choice of ESL Essay questions you might consider the following factors when deciding which ESL Essay to do:

1. Which topics interest you most?
2. Which topics have good resource materials available?
3. Which topics are most relevant to you personally or professionally?
4. Which topics might be easiest for you to write about?

Analyzing the question

Analyzing the question enables you to keep your ESL Essay on the topic by identifying the important parts of the ESL Essay question. There are three main parts to an ESL Essay question which you need to identify:

Task or directive words such as &analyze*, &discuss*, &compare*. A list of commonly used task words and an interpretation of what they mean has been included at the end of this topic.

Information words.
This part of the question describes what content you will focus on in the ESL Essay

Limits words.
There are two kinds of limits in ESL Essay questions. There are limits to the information part of the question confining it, for example, to a particular place, time or group. There are also limits set on the length and time for the ESL Essay and sometimes limits on the resources you are to use.

Commonly Used Task Words

Task word Meaning
analyse examine closely; examine something in terms of its parts and how they are related to each other
argue present a case for and/or against #
assess

Teaching ESL students to write essays can be frustrating for both teachers and students.

Students need to be able to write more than a sentence or two, and the additional effort necessary for writing an essay can lead to a lot of unclear and confusing sentences.

Those same sentences can give teachers a headache when correcting the writing exercises.

Luckily, there’s a secret to dramatically improving the clarity in ESL essays.

The problems of clarity can almost always be traced back to one element: the thesis statement. If students aren’t taught to write a coherent thesis statement, the rest of their essays will remain unclear.

So below we’ll look at four simple ways to impressively improve clarity in your students’ writing – just by focusing on the thesis statement. But before we get there, let’s consider the ins and outs of a thesis statement, plus some common problems you’ll encounter in ESL writing exercises.

What Is a Thesis Statement?

To improve clarity in ESL writing exercises, you must first teach students what a thesis statement is. Students who do not understand what it is will not be able to effectively follow any instruction on improving that all-important sentence in their essays.

Because most ESL teachers now instruct students how to write five-paragraph essays, the thesis statement is easier to identify and write. In such essays, the thesis statement can be formulaic; students answer the essay question and provide three reasons/points of discussion related to the topic in a parallel construction.

Example: People should learn a foreign language because it improves career prospects, develops creative thinking and decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Once the students have their answer to the question, they can see that this sentence is directly related to their three body paragraphs. Teachers should explain that the students can write their topic sentences to the body paragraphs using the ideas in the thesis statement. This will keep the students focused on the topic throughout the essay.

When students understand what the thesis statement is and how to use it in their essays, they will have an easier time writing essays for future courses. They will also be able to more easily identify main ideas when reading.

Common Problems in ESL Writing Exercises

When it comes to the thesis statement, the majority of problems are related to grammar. Many students will write an unclear thesis statement because they don’t know what to write about and just continue writing until they get to what they believe to be an idea for their essay.

Teachers must make it a priority to instruct students in ways to write clear, concise sentences. I used to tell my students the same thing my graduate professor told me, “Write as though words cost money.” When students use more precise vocabulary, they eliminate wordiness and improve clarity. Teaching students to write in this manner takes a lot of time and effort, but can be achieved.

With those five-paragraph essays that most ESL students learn to write, parallel construction is important. When students write the reasons for their answer to an essay question, they don’t think about parallelism.

Many students have a difficult time understanding parallel construction, but if it is reviewed often throughout a course, the students will have a better understanding of it. Combined with brief lessons on concise writing, the problems of parallelism in thesis statements can be minimized.

So here are four simple ways to address these common problems in ESL writing exercises to dramatically improve clarity in your students’ writing.

4 Simple Ways to Dramatically Improve Clarity in ESL Writing Exercises

1. Provide Clear Writing Examples to Your ESL Students

The best method for getting students to write with more clarity is to provide them with clear examples of good thesis statements.

Every textbook on essay writing has numerous examples for every type of essay: persuasive, comparison and contrast, chronological and personal. Some textbooks will have better examples than others; it’s your responsibility to focus on the ones that are most effective.

There are also plenty of university writing tutorial websites that provide additional examples for use in class, such as the Purdue OWL.

However, there is no substitute for in-class examples on the board. Using possible essay topic questions suitable for your class’s level, you can show the class how to write a clear, concise thesis statement – including the process and word choice.

And while it’s important to show students how to write an effective thesis statement, it is also helpful to provide them with examples of ineffective thesis statements. Show students thesis statements that are vague, confusing and wordy so they understand what you mean by vague, confusing and wordy. When students understand what those terms mean, they will have an easier time identifying and correcting the problems.

2. Dissect the ESL Writing Examples with Your Students

After providing examples to your students, be sure to review why these examples work. Ask the class what they see in the example – Does it answer a question? Does it provide reasons for the answer? Point outhow the thesis statement addresses a question. If their example mirrors the standard five-paragraph essay thesis statement, show the students how parallel construction is used.

Since ESL students should recognize the need to directly address the essay prompt, provide sample questions/topics in class to help demonstrate. If the essay question is, “Should every citizen be required to vote?,” then the students’ thesis should begin with, “Every citizen should/shouldn’t be required to vote.” From this phrase, the students can explain why they agree or disagree with the idea. Based on this model, students should be able to identify whether or not an example in class fits this formula.

Some ESL students learn to write better by correcting others’ mistakes. Use examples that have common mistakes and have the students identify and correct those mistakes. Teachers can also write an essay prompt on the board and then write a thesis statement, including some errors, based on that prompt. This activity will give students an opportunity to understand the thesis statement and improve their editing skills. Be sure to include mistakes involving parallelism and wordiness, as well as examples that don’t actually answer the writing prompt.

3. Practice Writing Thesis Statements

Students will get bored of the examples unless they’re broken up throughout the course. As teachers, we need to offer more hands-on activities to give students the opportunity to show that they have learned the process of writing thesis statements.

Depending on the type of essay that your students are learning to write, provide a sample essay prompt and have the students write a thesis statement. This can be done with handouts of multiple essay prompts or with the prompts written on the board.

You can walk around the room and see how the students are doing with the writing prompts. This may help with suggestions during the review period.

When the class has completed the exercise of writing multiple thesis statements, you can review using volunteers who want to share their answers. Take examples from at least two students for each practice writing prompt. When doing so, have the students write their thesis statements on the board and review them with the entire class. The other students should be able to provide feedback and corrections for their classmates. You should provide further feedback after the class has finished evaluating their classmates.

After completing an evaluation of the answers to the first writing prompt, have the class go back and proofread their other thesis statements and then review their writing the same way as before.

4. Write Theses in Small Groups

Another form of practice to review students’ thesis writing abilities is to write theses as a group. After students have learned the basic structure of a thesis statement for each type of essay, they should be able to help each other out when working together. For this exercise, it’s best to pair students with weaker writing skills with ones who better understand the structure.

As with the previous exercise, provide your students with multiple essay prompts, and the groups will write a thesis statement for each. So in groups of three or four students, they all have to agree on what to include in the thesis statement. This will not only improve students’ ability to write a clear thesis, but may also improve their logical division of ideas in essays.

Adding exercises like these to an ESL writing course will greatly improve the quality of student essays over the course of a semester.

Students and teachers need to realize that these writing exercises are not a quick fix for the problems of unclear writing, but rather a tool for gradually improving. Some students may need a reminder of this as they may become frustrated with their mistakes, but the ability to write a clear and concise thesis statement is the first step towards writing a clear essay.

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