English Language Study Skills and the Internet (ELSSI)

Computer connecting to Internet

Module 4: Writing Skills
ELSSI Navigation

The next language skill we will discuss is writing. As with reading, practice is an important part of developing your English writing skills. Vocabulary study and reading practice (both intensive and extensive) will have a positive influence on your writing, but you still need to spend time putting your thoughts on paper (or the computer).

Good writers usually have a plan they like to follow. A common plan includes,
(1) pre-writing,
(2) drafting,
(3) revising, and
(4) polishing.

Pre-writing includes gathering your thoughts and organizing notes or other materials.

The drafting stage is where we get as many ideas on paper as possible. This means we try to keep the ideas flowing and avoid stopping for correction or changes.

The next step is to revise. This includes adding, deleting, reorganizing and rewording. This is the stage where we try to make everything fit together better and make it easier for the reader to follow.

Polishing is the last step before completion. We want to make sure there are no spelling or punctuation mistakes. This is also a chance to make any final improvements.

There are several online resources we can use to help us develop our writing skills.

One of the best websites is the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University. You can find information or links here for almost every topic related to the writing process. Also, their English as a Second Language (ESL) page includes a long list of resources, handouts and exercises that can help you with specific writing problems or brush up your overall writing skills.

Also, their Writing Labs & Writing Centers on the Web page includes a long list of other websites you might want to check.

As for writing practice, we would like to suggest online activities such as keypals, blogs and MOOs. These activities should also be good reading practice.

Keypals is the modern version of penpals. Using computers and the Internet, we can communicate with people around the world. These can be language learners like yourself or native speakers of English.

MOO stands for MUD Object Oriented while MUD means Multi-User Domain or Multi-User Dungeon (for gaming). Basically, these are character-based meeting spaces on the Internet. Read this introduction to find out more about MOOs. If you are interested in trying, schMOOze U is mainly for English language learners.

(1) Visit the ESL section of the Online Writing Lab (OWL) and look through the ESL section.
(2) Sign up for an account at KeyPals and look for a keypal to write to.

(1) E-mail me a summary of the main points of E-mail Netiquette. This is due by 11/15 (Mon).
(2) Participate in the ELSSI Forum at MSN Groups. Initial postings will be due on 11/15 (Mon) and responses to at least two classmates will be due on 11/22 (Mon).
(3) Post your thoughts, questions and comments on this module in your blog. Due by 11/22 (Mon).

Judy Vorfeld's Webgrammar - Writing tips and other grammar-related topics.
Visual Thesaurus - A unique website that helps you visual the relationship between words.
The Elements of Style - Online version of the bestseller by William Strunk Jr.
Dave's ESL E-mail Connection - You can sign up to look for keypals.
Places to Get Penpals - List of websites for finding keypals and penpals.
E-mail Etiquette Guide - More information about writing e-mail messages.

ELSSI Navigation

- Introduction
  This is the ELSSI homepage.

- Syllabus
  Includes course description, goals and other useful information.

- Schedule
  A list of starting and ending dates for each module.

- Evaluation
  Grading rubric for evaluating learner performance and survey to evaluate the course.

- Module One
- Module Two
- Module Three
- Module Five
- Module Six
- Module Seven

Influence - effect, power
Correction - improvement, making better
Completion - finishing

This course was designed and developed as a requirement for the L630 Course Development for Online Educators course through the Education Department at Indiana University.
The work of both Karen Hallett and Eileen Cotton provided inspiration for the content and organization of this course. This page was created with Netscape Navigator Gold.

Contact Information
For more information, email me at bjones_jp@yahoo.com.

This page last updated on September 12, 2004.
Copyright © 2004 Brent A. Jones. All rights reserved.