PERSUASIVE ESSAY BLOOPERS! BY: MRS. GELLER With special thanks to those of you who are guilty of writing bloopers. Without you, this PowerPoint would not exist.
Error #1: Missing the Point Because you Didn’t Read the Question Carefully. The thesis needs to be accurate. The prompt was not asking you if: • being a teen is harder than being a little kid; • if teens today are spoiled; or • if teens face a lot of pressures. It asked you whether you think teens today have it easier or harder than teens in the past.
Error #2: Not using Paragraphs • Do I need to beat you about the face and head in order for you to understand that without paragraphs, it looks like you don’t understand the basic organization of writing? • You will never get a good grade if you write without using paragraphs.
Error #3: Messy Writing or Ridiculously Small Writing • Messy writing or ridiculously small writing costs you points. STOP DOING THIS! • Would you like to have to read something that looks like this: Being a teen in the past was… or
Error #4: Writing using Fluff “The life of a teen nowadays is really good and there are lots of great things in it.” Have I taught you nothing? “Good” and “Things” ---- Really? This is what the 3-2-1 check is for. How about: “The life of a teen nowadays is easy and there are many opportunities for teenagers.”
Error #5: Repetitive Details It turns out that too much of a good thing is bad and boring. Here are some examples:
Overusing Statistics: • 97% of students say that technology has really helped their lives. • 60% of parents feel that their kids have easier lives than they did. • 4 out of 5 students feel too stressed about school.
What’s wrong here? I have 3 supporting details. “Teenagers have a much easier time today than they did in the past because of laptop computers…” “The lives of teens today are easier because of I Phones…” “I Pods let teenagers carry their music with them. They don’t need to sit in the house to listen to music like teens in the past.
And the problem is... These are not three reasons why teenagers have easier lives today. This is one reason stated three times. I get it! Technology has made teens’ lives easier Don’t bore your reader. You won’t do well if the person grading your paper is sleeping - zzzzzzzzz- .
Error #6: Using a babyish vocabulary Example: “It is bad to have lots and lots and lots of homework.” We are not in 3rd grade. Our writing shouldn’t sound like we are! Even this is better: “It is stressful for teenagers when they have a lot of homework.” The “word of the day” should help you develop your vocabulary a bit, but reading is the best way to do this.
Error #7: Trying to be too funny or pushing the limits with your language. “Did you hear the one about the teenager in the past who was milking a cow while doing homework and wrote, “Moo” all over his homework assignment?” It’s so freakin’ hard to be a teenager today. I had to turn spell check off so that it wouldn’t automatically change “must of”. to “must have”. If the computer did this, you should too!
Error #8: What’s wrong with this body paragraph? There are a lot of choices available to fill the time after school. There are sports, clubs, art classes, religious schools, and many other options. There is almost no time to just relax and read a good book or spend time with friends. My friend Amanda explained to me what Tuesdays are like for her. She gets to school early for GT art, stays late for basketball practice, runs home to change and have a snack, and then goes to an art class from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. By the time she gets home, eats dinner, and does her homework, there is no time left to relax.
Error #8: And the answer is…. While this body paragraph contains good details, all paragraphs must relate back to the thesis, which in this case, is: Teenagers have harder lives today than they did in the past. Use a simple topic sentence like: One reason teenagers today feel their lives are more difficult than the lives of teenagers in the past is that they are expected to participate in so many different activities. Use a simple wrap-up like: In the past, teenagers had simpler, easier lives. Going to school and completing a few chores was a walk in the park next to the busy schedules of teenagers today.
Error #9: Misspelling simple words • It’s not a big deal if you spell technology like teknology or maturity as maturaty, but you MUST learn the easy ones: there/their/they’re it’s/its then/than your/you’re to/too/two • Someone grading your essay will lower your grade if you can’t spell these types of words.
Error #10: Your attention getters and concluding paragraphs must make sense.Example: Imagine a life with no technology. Imagine a life with a lot of free time. Imagine teenagers in the past and now not sure what is easy and what is hard. HUH?.
Finally, what’s inaccurate here? Mrs. Geller is a wonderful, kind, intelligent, and beautiful teacher. Her students are lucky to have her.
And the inaccurate information is… There is nothing wrong with this statement. It is 100% true.
And this is….. THE END