Writing Skills

Apostrophes

There are three main rules for using apostrophes, with exceptions to each one. Once you've worked out which type of apostrophe you need to use (omission, ownership or group ownership), you should then check that you have used it correctly and take a look over the exceptions.

Rule One: Omission Rule Two: Ownership Rule Three: Group Ownership
When two words are brought together, the letter taken out is replaced with an apostrophe.
You are -> you're
Do not -> Don't
Will not -> Won't
When something is owned in a sentence, the owner has an apostrophe before the 's'.
Joe's jumper was blue.
Today's date is October 31st.
The song's lyrics are strange.
When there is a group of owners and the word is already pluralised, the apostrophe goes BEFORE the 's', not after it.
These often include:
Children's books
People's opinion
Men's clothes shop
Exception:
It is. If you use this for ownership and not omission, it will read very strangely.
Eg.: The cat licked it's paw = The cat licked it is paw.
Exception:
If there is more than one owner, the apostrophe goes AFTER the 's'.
This is an exception to the previous exception.

Confused? Don't worry! It'll all make sense the more you apply the rules. Practice makes perfect.

Argue

List of three: Foxhunting is cruel, unnecessary and inhuman.
Questions: Would you like to be chased by a pack of hungry, savage dogs?
Emotive language: Defenseless foxes are torn and ripped apart.
Common sense: surely... obviously... clearly... of course...
Hyperboles/superlatives: Foxhunting is the cruelest 'sport' around.
Noun phrases:  bloodthirsty sport.
Modal verbs: should, could, would.
Personal pronouns: you, we, us, our.
Facts and statistics: 78% of the UK agree that foxhunting should be banned.
Connectives to structure points: firstly, secondly, thirdly, finally.
Vary sentence openings: Every weekend, fanatics prepare themselves for...
Complex sentences to insert information: Fox hunting, which is a tradition passed down through the generations, is...

Commas
  1. Used between words in a list:
    I bought apples, cereal, shampoo and some chicken at the supermarket.
  2. Used between main (will make sense on its own) and subordinate (will not make sense on its own) clauses:
    The man waited for the bus, knowing it would be late.
  3. Used after an ISPACED sentence opener:
    Irritated, the main waited for the bus.
    Feeling silly, the girls screamed at Robert Pattinson.
Connectives

"It is made from silk that had had the design woven into the bag.

I like this bag because it is hand sized. Moreover, it has nice detailing on it. To add to this, I like the red trimming."

  1. (Use an average to compare)
    • P - Females have shorter foot length than males.
    • E - This is because the median for females is 23cm whereas the median for males is 26cm.
    • E - This could link to males being taller than females, which we will explore later.
  2. (Use the IQR or the range to compare)
    • P - The foot length for females was less varied than males.
    • E - This is shown as females have a smaller inter quality range (3cm) than males at 4cm.
    • E - Therefore, female's foot length was of a more similar length to males.


"The main reason why I decided to choose this dish to remake and improve was because it was the highest fat content and I was determined to change that and make it lower in fat and more suitable for my diet; additionally, I wanted more of a challenge, rather than remaking a dish without making any changes. Consequently, the dish went well with my test tasters and although I wasn't given full marks, I scored 75 out of 80. Overall, they loved the crunchy filo pasty on top."



In the UK today, around 13 million people permanently follow a diet. There are many different types of diet which people may follow, such as vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free and calorie controlled, along with many more. I am currently researching low fat diets and in this investigation I will look firstly at what makes a low fat diet, then which foods are actually 'low fat' and I will then design my own low fat recipe. This will finally be tested and evaluated. I hope to come up with a recipe which is tasty, healthy, low in fat and which people will enjoy eating.

Describe
Technique What am I? Example
Simile A comparison of two distinct things, using 'as' or 'like.' His faced turned as grey as the sky above him.
Metaphor The act of bringing two completely different things together in order to describe. Her eyes were coal and her skin wrinkled paper.
Personification Giving something non-human a human characteristic. The vicious wind slapped his cheeks.
Pathetic-Fallacy The environment reflecting a character's mood. The skies darkened. Tears rolled from her eyes.
Interesting adjectives These describe the noun (object, thing, person). The emerald, twinkling necklace.
Interesting adverbs These describe the verbs (doing words). Silently, she crept towards her victim.
Antithesis Two opposite words used in a sentence. My only love sprung from my only hate.
Oxymoron Two opposite words placed next to each other. The silence rang out around them.
Full Stops

These are used between main clauses.

A main clause has a noun (naming word) and a verb (doing word).
The man waited for the bus. It was late. It finally turned up but by then he had given up.

A connective can replace a full stop - for example 'but'.

Hyphens

These are used to add something into a sentence, in a similar way to brackets.
The man - looking like he was about to keel over with boredom - waited for the bus.

They are most useful when you wish to go off subject slightly, but then return to the original sentence.
They can also be used to add an informal comment onto the end of a sentence.
He leaned in and tried to kiss me - gross!
I couldn't take a single minute more - utterly ridiculous!

ISPACED
I 'ing' verb: Lying on the sofa, he tried to remember some of those old emergencies.
S Subordinate clause: If you were Marv Hammerman, you didn't need a reason.
P Preposition: Inside the building, the boy was still running.
A Adverb: Abruptly, he turned his head towards the sofa.
C Connective: Meanwhile, Gus and Gloria were in the playground watching.
E 'ed' verb: Blinded by the light of the sun, they emerged through the door.
D Dialogue: 'I haven't got anything,' he called, 'so quit looking at me!'
Organising Your Writing

To demonstrate EXCELLENT ORGANISATION in an extended piece of writing, you should:

  • Use TipTop to separate your points into paragraphs.
  • Order your work in a sensible way.
  • Use connectives to make your writing flow.
  • Ensure that each of your paragraphs has a clear topic sentence.

Once you've decided on your paragraphs using TipTop, you should put them in a sensible order.

This timeline from Geography might help: (Tip - These can all be used as subheadings)

Persuade

List of three: The hotel is luxurious, relaxing and full of charm.
Questions: Are you ready for some 'me-time'?
Emotive language: You deserve the best.
Common sense: surely... obviously... clearly... of course...
Hyperboles/superlatives: Rooms are equipped with the softest beds and the most relaxing pillows.
Noun phrases: well-equipped, state-of-the-art gyms.
Modal verbs: should, could, would.
Personal pronouns: you, we, us, our.
Facts and statistics: We are situated on 12 acres of Hampshire parkland.
Vary sentence openings: Situated in Somerset, Babington House...
Complex sentences to insert information: Our two award-winning restaurants, which feature locally-sourced produce, offer...

Semicolons

These are used between two sentences that would make sense separately.
Eg: The main waited for the bus; it never came.

They are most useful when you wish to join the sentences together because they are very closely linked to each other.

Common error:
Silently listening; the woman waited for her victim.
'Silently listening' would NOT make sense as a sentence on its own. This sentence SHOULD NOT have a semi-colon in it. It should be a comma.

Spelling

Bee-come a spelling expert!

This term, in the run up to your final exam and with a few assessments now under your belt, you are going to focus on learning the corrections to the spelling errors you've made along the way this year.

Below, you will find a print off and this will be filled in during lesson time with the use of the marking in your purple and yellow books.

Your job is to fill all of your spellings out correctly and then go away and learn them.

The rules are explained clearly on the sheet and you WILL need someone at home to help you out, because everything has to be filled out and signed off by a responsible parent/carer/sibling.

Your teacher will drop spelling bees into your lessons unexpectedly, so BEE ready!

Click here to download the Spellings Sheet for printing.

TiPToP

Topic Sentences

Ensure that each of your paragraphs has a clear topic sentence.
Topic sentences introduce what you will be discussing in your paragraph.
Example from Food Technology: Now I will consider how I can improve my macaroni cheese according to feedback from my tasters.

Was it an effective topic sentence?
Now I will consider how I can improve my macaroni cheese according to feedback from my tasters. Firstly, they said it could be more crunchy. I would achieve this by adding vegetables such as peppers. Furthermore, this would make it more colourful. I scored quite well for cheesy, but this could be improved by sprinkling extra cheesy on top, or using a stronger flavoured cheese.


The files on this page are available in PDF format.
Click below to download a free reader.

Get Adobe Reader