Quest for Education and Arts
Provides unique and experiential education opportunities through collaboration with community experts and use of emerging technology to offer the best possible training for every student.

Essential Writing

Class: Essential Writing
Teacher: Josette Kehl
Meeting time:  Monday 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.


OR cell: 520-405-0748
Class information: EW Info sheet

Extra vocabulary practice can be found on the Sadlier Connect website:

Choose our book--Level F

Extra Credit opportunity:  Choose a portion of one of your previous persuasive essays and make one of the following improvements:
1. Create a "paragraph hook" in the first sentence of a paragraph.  It should hook back into something in the preceding paragraph (pgs. 87-90 in LAW)

2. Craft a sentence with parallel structure in a clause, prepositional phrase or infinitive phrase (pgs. 124-5 in LAW)

If you are doing the first option, I need to have the preceding paragraph and the first sentence of the next paragraph to see your changes.  

If you are doing the second option, you can just write the sentence.  For either one, please label which stylistic change you have made and turn it in with the original essay so that I can compare.  Please note that I have placed limits on the changes.  The paragraph hook is not the same as a single word transitional device.  And the 3 possibilities for parallel structure are the more complex versions--not the noun, adjective, adverb, verb lists.  Please refer to the referenced pages in parentheses for examples. 

This extra credit assignment will be accepted up until 4/24. 

For 5/1:

Final exam!  Study/review the list of topics from The Lively Art of Writing.  Savor every moment of your last week with this book!  (Actually, you each bought the book so you will be able to enjoy it for years to come )

For the in class essay portion, you may prepare a note card with a full and final thesis for the writing prompt--Is reading fiction worthwhile? You may write your pro and con arguments, as well as your thesis.  You can also write down some of the standard device words from pg. 84. I will be looking for the following: general start, narrowing down to a thesis, a con, 3 pros, an instance of parallelism, an instance of sensory details, a paragraph hook, a transitional/standard device word OR a second paragraph hook, a concluding sentence OR a concluding paragraph.  I will want at least 4 paragraphs--an introduction and 3 "pro" paragraphs (with a con in one of them).  Or, as mentioned above, you may write a 5th, concluding paragraph. 

For 4/24:

1. Complete vocab review pgs. 194-6

2. Do the ACT Cumulative Test Prep to practice for the vocab portion of your final, which will be next week.  We will check the answers for the ACT sheet first. 

3. Study/review vocabulary words and begin reviewing concepts from LAW.

You can still complete the Extra Credit assignment and hand it in on 4/24. 

For 4/17:

1. Do exercises for vocab unit 15 and be ready to take the quiz.

2. Review vocab words in the lessons you volunteered to take.

3. Read chapter 12 in LAW, "Odds and Ends and Means".

4. Finish the new paragraph hook for your 2 paragraph description, if you did not finish it in class. Credit will be given next week for having the 2 paragraphs and coming up with a new hook.  

From 4/3:

We took the vocab unit 13 quiz and discussed chap. 10 in LAW.  We did in-class exercises in forming parallel structure.

For 4/10:

1. Complete the exercise for vocab unit 14 and be ready to take the quiz

2. Write 2 descriptive paragraphs either about a place you know or a person you know. If the latter, the first paragraph should be something of a physical description, while the second paragraph talks about their personality.  If describing a place, divide the paragraphs however you see fit, but make it two paragraphs. Double space your typing or writing. 

3. Read chap. 11 in LAW--"A Way with Words".  We may not get to it next class, but do it just in case. 

From 3/27:

We worked on adding stylistic techniques to the picture frame paragraph

For 4/3:

1. Do the exercises for vocab unit 13; be ready to take the quiz

2. Re-type your picture frame paragraph, incorporating all of the stylistic elements we worked on in class.  In the re-written version, underline the element and write the corresponding number of the element in the left side paragraph.

3. Read chapter 10 in LAW

From 3/20:

We checked the vocab review and completed the next word study together. We discussed chap. 9 in LAW and practiced the strung along and periodic sentences. 

For 3/27:

1. Finish, proof-read (don't skip this!) and print your next persuasive essay. 

2. Type and print your picture frame paragraph if you haven't already and bring to class.

3. Take the "The Sound of Sentences" quiz, which is on Engrade.

From 3/6:

We graded unit 12 vocab homework and took the quiz. We discussed chap. 8 in LAW and then  went over theses or started on homework.


For 3/20:

1. Continue working on your next persuasive essay.  It is due, complete and typed, on 3/27. 

2. Complete vocab review homework, pgs. 156-158.

3.  Read chap. 9 in LAW, "The Sound of Sentences".

Extra Credit!

Re-write the passive voice paragraph on pg. 102, making all sentences in the active voice. Due 3/20 for a possible 5 points of EC at my discretion. 

From 2/27:

I handed back your second 5 paragraph essay and we discussed the process for the next one. We did the unit 11 vocab quiz and then worked on a full and final thesis for the next essay.

For 3/6:

1. Do vocab unit 12 exercises and be ready for the quiz.

2. Continue working on your full and final thesis (thesis statements, pros and cons) for your next persuasive essay. The whole essay will be due 3/27.

3. Read Chap. 8 in LAW--"The Passive Voice", pgs 93-101.

4. For 3/27, type your in-class "picture frame" essay, incorporating any changes/corrections, and bring back. 

We will not have class on 3/13. 

From 2/13:

We did an in class writing assignment of a picture frame paragraph with a transitional device into a second paragraph.

For 2/27:

Finish your science fair projects!  After that, do the exercises for unit 11 vocab and be ready for the quiz. Start thinking about a thesis for your next persuasive essay. We will work on the full and final thesis in class on 2/27. 

From 2/6:

We took the unit 10 vocab  quiz and then discussed chap. 7 in LAW, which covered transitions between paragraphs.

For 2/13:

Type up your 5 paragraph essay and be ready to hand it in.  Make sure you read the whole essay in one sitting to ensure that it flows well. 

From 1/30:

We completed another Word Study unit in vocabulary and I gave feedback on middle paragraphs.

For 2/6:

1. Do Unit 10 vocab homework and be ready for the quiz

2. Write a rough draft of your conclusion paragraph

3. Read chap. 7 in LAW, "Connections Between Paragraphs"

From 1/23:

We took the unit 9 vocab quiz and then worked on the body paragraphs for the next essay.


For 1/30/17:

1. Do the vocab unit 9 review exercises found on pages 118-120 (19 total questions)

2. Finish writing a rough draft of your 3 body paragraphs

From 1/16:

We took the unit 8 vocab quiz and then peer-edited each other's intro paragraphs. We discussed chap. 6 in LAW


For 1/23:

1. Do the homework for unit 9 vocab and be ready to take the quiz. 

2. Re-work your intro paragraph based on peer feedback and bring back to class.

3. Write 1 paragraph using the "picture frame technique.  For the prompt, use either #2 or #3 on pg. 79 of LAW

From 1/9/17:

We worked on writing a full and final thesis for our next 5 paragraph essay; we reviewed the vocab words for unit 8

To be done for 1/16/17:

1. Complete exercises for unit 8 vocab and be prepared for a quiz.

2. Finish writing an introductory paragraph for the next essay, following the structure we have learned about.  This is a rough draft. 

3. Read chap. 6 in LAW, "The Size & Shape of Middle Paragraphs". Annotate. 

Semester grades are all in.  Everyone did very well on their essay--great work! 

Enjoy your break!

From 12/5:

We handed in 5 paragraph essays and then discussed Chap. 5 in LAW.  We did group exercises related to that chapter.  We then did a group exercise on writing an intro. paragraph.

For 12/12:

Finish vocab unit 7 and study for the quiz. Be ready to do an in class writing exercise--an intro paragraph for one of two thesis statements I will supply. Remember the structure we read about!

From 11/28:
We did the Word Study following units 4-6 in vocab.  I gave feedback on your conclusion paragraphs and we looked at the grading rubric for the 5 paragraph essay.

For 12/5:

1. Put your 5 paragraph essay all together.  Type it (read it over, first) and be ready to hand it in. View the rubric here.

2. Begin work on Vocab unit 7.  The homework and quiz is not due until 12/12

3. Read chapter 5 in LAW.  Annotate as you read. 

From 11/14:
We took the quiz on vocab unit 6, talked about "concessional language", discussed the structure of the conclusion paragraph and began working on the conclusion to your essays. 

For 11/28:
1. Work on revising your middle paragraphs based on the input I gave you 2. Write a rough draft of your conclusion paragraph
3. Do vocab review of units 4-6, pgs. 80-82 (a total of 19 questions) 
4. The the "Structure of the Essay, Part II" quiz on Engrade.  This quiz covers chapters 3 & 4 in LAW.  You are encouraged to use your book as you take the quiz.

From 11/7:

We took the unit 5 vocab quiz and then began work on the rough draft of the middle section of our essays.

For 11/14:

1. Do unit 6 vocab work and be prepared for a quiz. 

2. Finish your rough draft of the middle section of your essay.  You need to have at least 3 paragraphs for this, and cover 1 of your "pro" points in each. Make sure to include at least 1 "concession" (at the beginning of your first paragraph).  This rough draft can be hand written. 

3. Read "The Conclusion" section in LAW, pgs. 54-58

From 10/31
We checked unit 4 homework and took the quiz. We did charades with vocab words from unit 4.  You turned in rough draft intro paragraphs and I made comments and handed back.

For 11/7
1. Do unit 5 vocab homework and be prepared for the quiz

2. Read "The Big Middle Section" in LAW, pgs. 46-53; annotate as you read

3. Prepare the final version of your intro paragraph, paying attention to comments I made.  You will be graded on (the rubric): first sentence is general; overall direction of paragraph is general to specific; last sentence of paragraph is your thesis; grammar/spelling; word choice and flow

This final version must be typed!

Extra credit opportunity:  use up to 2 vocab words from any of the first 4 units in your paragraph.  Use the word(s) correctly, underline the word, and in the margin near it, write which lesson it is found in.  Do all that and get up to 2 extra credit points.

I forgot to collect your idiom sentences!  You can email them to me (if you typed them) OR hand them in next week (they won't be late).

From 10/24
We shared and then chose an opening sentence for introductory paragraphs.  We did the word study on idioms and connotation in vocab.

For 10/31
1. Finish writing the rough draft of your introductory paragraph.  Everyone has their first and last sentence for that paragraph (the last sentence being your thesis statement).Work on narrowing down towards your thesis statement, but don't stress--its' a rough draft!

2. Do unit 4 vocab exercises and be prepared for the quiz. 

3. Write 3 sentences using any of the idioms on pg. 46 in your vocab book. Try to learn some new idioms!

From 10/17
We took the unit 3 vocab quiz and read the section on the introductory paragraph from LAW.  We did a group exercise in writing an introductory paragraph with the prescribed structure.

For 10/23

Complete the exercises for the Units 1-3 review on pgs. 42-44 (write your answers for exercises on pgs. 43-4 on a separate sheet, as always). For fun, you may want to try the online crossword

Do assignment #1 on pg. 47 of LAW: write 4 different possible opening sentences for an introductory paragraph on the topic you wrote about last week. Bring your sentences with you and we will work on a rough draft of that intro paragraph next week. 

From 10/10:

We took the vocab unit 2 quiz and then discussed Chap. 3 in LAW.  We did some group work on developing a full and final thesis.


For 10/17:

Do the exercises for vocab unit 3 and be prepared for a quiz. Choose 1 of the 5 theses we discussed in class.  Write: your 3 part full and final thesis as described on pg. 34 in LAW and  3-5 paragraphs using all of the material from your full and final thesis.  You will be graded on writing out your thesis and using all of the material (possible 10 points).

From 10/3
We took the Unit I vocab quiz, discussed chap. 2 in LAW and did a group exercise on developing a thesis statement.

To do for 10/10:

Complete Unit 2 vocab exercises on paper and study for a Unit 2 quiz on 10/10. Read and annotate chap. 3 in LAW, "The Full and Final Thesis"; take the Engrade quiz "Structure of the Essay Part I".

From 9/26:

We looked over the new vocabulary books and previewed the types of exercises in each unit. We discussed Chapter 1 in The Lively Art of Writing(LAW).

For 10/3:

Complete Unit 1 vocab exercises on paper. Study for Unit 1 quiz on 10/3. Read Chapter 2 in LAW and annotate your books.

From 9/19:

We did a writing sample with the prompt "Is reading fiction worthwhile?" We looked at a PPT of the vocabulary of vocabulary and talked about annotating books.

For 9/26:

Read Chapter 1 in The Lively Art of Writing (LAW)--annotate as you read!  Take the Vocabulary of Vocabulary quiz on Engrade. 

From 9/12:

We did introductions, talked about class expectations and looked at a PowerPoint of  four different types of writing

To be done for 9/19:

-Make sure you have an Engrade student account and you can log onto it.  Contact Casey Clarke if you are having trouble with this ( 

-Take the Types of Writing quiz on Engrade 

-Bring your book, The Lively Art of Writing to class on 9/19