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Writing 1 : Revision Exercises

Exercise 1
Read the following paragraph and then answer the questions below:
(1) Mark is an outstanding student in our class. (2) He always gets the highest grades
in all subjects. (3) When he recites in class, he is so convincing for he does not only
speak English well, but he also cites a lot of information from his readings to
elaborate his ideas. (4) Aside from being good at academics, he is also a good student
leader responsible in organizing various activities in our school. (5) Indeed, Mark is
an exceptional student.

Questions:

1. What is the topic sentence? ______


2. What sentences support Mark’s being an outstanding student? __________
3. If we are to add the following sentences to the paragraph above, which of the
following sentences are relevant to the topic or main idea.
a. Mark is athletic too; in fact, he has been joining in a lot of sports
competitions in and out of the campus.
b. Mark is a good and responsible son to his parents.
c. Mark is not only a good speaker but also a good writer too; he writes in the
school newsletter.
d. Mark goes on vacation in Cebu every summer.
e. Mark makes sure that he submits quality projects all the time.

Exercise 2

Underline the irrelevant (unconnected) sentences in the following paragraphs

Paragraph 1
Exercise is really good for one’s physical and mental health. It is proven that aerobic
exercise is good for the heart, which is very important to overall health. I used to run
every day, but now I go to dance classes to get my aerobic exercise. Strength training
is important for maintaining muscle mass and improving bone density. Both muscle
mass and bone density can decrease as we age, so improving them through strength
training is important. My grandmother broke a hip last year because her bones were

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so fragile. All kinds of exercise have been shown to relieve depression, anxiety, and
stress.

Paragraph 2:
Another problem facing a number of elderly people is living on a reduced income.
When they retire, old people may receive a pension from their company or a benefit
from the government. The amount of their monthly income is often significantly less
than they received when they were fully employed. All of a sudden, retirees find that
they can no longer continue the life style that they had become accustomed to, even if
that life style was a modest one. Many find, after paying their monthly bills, that there
is no money left for a movie or dinner out. Of course, sometimes they can not go out
because of their health. They may have arthritis or rheumatism and it is painful for
them to move around. This can also limit their lifestyle. For some elderly people,
however, the small amount of money they receive will not even cover their monthly
bills. They realize with horror that electricity, a telephone, and good food are luxuries
they can no longer afford. They resort to living in cold homes, and eating cheap food
to make ends meet.

Paragraph 3
There are delightful memories of Manila that I treasure. I like to remember the
colorful sunset on the bay, the big cathedral with its marble columns glowing softly in
the light of many candles, and windswept spacious park where stood the Rizal
Monument. Rizal was executed by the Spaniards. The Spaniards ruled the
Philippines for four centuries. I don’t think I will ever forget he colorful Flores de
Mayo processions, or the gay exuberance of the city residents at fiesta time. Most of
all I treasure the memory of Filipino hospitality, truly the most generous and the most
lavish in the whole world.

Paragraph 4:
There are delightful memories of Manila that I treasure. I like to remember the
colorful sunset on the bay, the big cathedral with its marble columns glowing softly in
the light of many candles, and windswept spacious park where stood the Rizal
Monument. Rizal was executed by the Spaniards. The Spaniards ruled the
Philippines for four centuries. I don’t think I will ever forget he colorful Flores de

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Mayo processions, or the gay exuberance of the city residents at fiesta time. Most of
all I treasure the memory of Filipino hospitality, truly the most generous and the most
lavish in the whole world.

Paragraph 5:
The first time I went to Santa Cruz, I saw how different the place was from what I had
pictured it to be. I had just graduated from high school and I was staying in the city as
the house guest of my two favorite aunts. Tita Mercedes had a mole on her left
cheek. I had thought of Santa Cruz as being wide, paved streets bordered by
flowering plants, tall modern buildings filled with offices and shops, and well-dressed
people riding in cars and buses. It is true there were many buildings; but not far from
the imposing edifices were dilapidated houses and makeshifts of packing cases with
rusty tin roofs. Many streets were narrow and full of holes. Piles of garbage rotted on
the broken sidewalks and hungry-looking, ill-clothed people wandered on the streets.
My cousins and I frequented the movie houses. I had great fun riding the escalators.

Paragraph 6:
Although my Dad and Mom share some similarities, they also have differences. Both
of them are loving and thoughtful. They care for us and give us little notes and gifts
on our birthdays. What is also admirable among them is that they are intelligent and
skillful. In fact both of them are already managers in their companies. However, they
too have some differences. My Mom is friendly and sociable. She can sit with a
complete stranger for an hour and find out much about his background. On the
contrary, my Dad is a quiet guy. He won’t ever initiate a conversation with a
stranger. Another difference is their interests, my Dad loves watching basketball and
soccer while my Mom enjoys soap operas. Despite their differences, they manage to
live in harmony with each other because they love each other that much. As a proof,
they are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

Paragraph 7:
Different students use a variety of strategies when setting about writing their
academic assignments. Some students, for example, dash off an entire and effective
essay with minimal editing. Writing reports is more difficult than writing essays. On
the other hand, some people make very good use of the practical strategy of
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developing a workable plan, executing that plan, and then minimally editing what
they have written. My friend Daniel is able to do that. With or without a plan, there
are yet other students who develop their essays by starting at the beginning, and
polishing each 'chunk' of text (a sentence or a paragraph) before moving onto the next.

Exercise 3
The topic sentences in the paragraphs below have been left out. After reading the
paragraphs carefully, supply an appropriate topic sentence in each case.
Paragraph 1
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First, with a word processor it is possible to type over a word or words that you want
to change, while with a standard typewriter it is necessary either to erase or use
correction fluid or tape and then type in the corrections. The second advantage is that
you can add words or sentences in the middle of a paragraph and then command the
computer to put your text back in proper paragraph form. When using a standard
typewriter, the only way to add new Information is to retype the entire paragraph. A
third benefit of using a computer to write is that you can move entire paragraphs
within longer assignments as a result of a few key strokes. With a typed text, this can
be accomplished only with scissors and paste, which produces work with a very poor
appearance.

Paragraph 2
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For example, a 'sole proprietor' is a business owned by a single person. Newsagents,
corner shops, butchers and bakers are often run in this way. In contrast, a 'partnership'
is owned by more than one individual and can in fact be owned by up to twenty
people, though at least one partner is fully liable for all the debts. Doctors, solicitors,
builders and dentists are frequently run as partnerships. Private joint-stock companies
examples of which would be small breweries, are a third type of business ownership
with two or more partners at least, while public joint-stock companies, ICI, Shell,
banks and supermarkets are a fourth type of business organization within the private
sector.
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Exercise 4:

Fill in the blank spaces using an appropriate conjunction from those in the box
and but or so
1. James was cold, _________ he put on a coat.
2. Maria tried to read a novel in French, _________ it was too difficult.
3. To get from Vancouver to Victoria, you can fly, ________ you can ride the ferry.
4. I bought a bottle of wine, ____________ we drank it together.
5. The waiter was not very nice, ___________ the food was delicious.
6. I went to buy a Rolling Stones CD, _____________ the shop didn't have it.
7. Anna needed some money, _____________ she took a part-time job.
8. There's so much rain lately! Maybe it's because of El Nino, __________ maybe it's
just coincidence.
9. Julie has a guitar, _____________ she plays it really well.
10. The concert was cancelled, ______________ we went to a nightclub instead.

Exercise 5:

1. Circle the letter of the RIGHT way of joining these two sentences.

It is hot outside. It is cold inside the office.


a. It is hot outside and it is cold inside the office.
b. It is hot outside but it is cold inside the office.
c. It is hot outside so it is cold inside the office.

2. Circle the letter of the WRONG way of joining these two sentences.

We had forgotten to take our umbrellas. We were soaked walking home in the rain.
a. We had forgotten to take our umbrellas and we were soaked walking home in the rain.
b. We had forgotten to take our umbrellas but we were soaked walking home in the rain.
c. We had forgotten to take our umbrellas so we were soaked walking home in the rain.

3. Circle the letter of the RIGHT way of joining these two sentences.

Our family is very fond of ice-cream. We bought an ice-cream maker last week.
a. Our family is very fond of ice-cream and we bought an ice-cream maker last week.
b. Our family is very fond of ice-cream but we bought an ice-cream maker last week.
c. Our family is very fond of ice-cream so we bought an ice-cream maker last week.

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4. Circle the letter of the RIGHT way of joining these two sentences.

Brett Pitt loves assam fish. He is also fond of roti prata.


a. Brett Pitt loves assam fish and he is also fond of roti prata.
b. Brett Pitt loves assam fish, but he is also fond of roti prata.
c. Brett Pitt loves assam fish, so he is also fond of roti prata.

5. Circle the letter of the RIGHT way of joining these two sentences.

Ziming wanted a bicycle for Christmas. His father said he could not afford to
buy one for him.
a. Ziming wanted a bicycle for Christmas and his father said he could not afford to
buy one for him.
b. Ziming wanted a bicycle for Christmas but his father said he could not afford to
buy one for him.
c. Ziming wanted a bicycle for Christmas so his father said he could not afford to buy
one for him.

6. Circle the letter of the WRONG way of joining these two sentences.

The students did all their English exercises. Their English improved.
a. The students did all their English exercises and their English improved.
b. The students did all their English exercises but their English improved.
c. The students did all their English exercises so their English improved.

7. Circle the letter of the RIGHT way of joining these two sentences.

My brother washed the dishes. He cleared the table.


a. My brother washed the dishes and he cleared the table.
b. My brother washed the dishes but he cleared the table.
c. My brother washed the dishes so he cleared the table.

8. Circle the letter of the WRONG way of joining these two sentences.

Raju ate too many curry puffs. She could not eat her dinner.
a. Raju ate too many curry puffs and she could not eat her dinner.
b. Raju ate too many curry puffs but she could not eat her dinner.
c. Raju ate too many curry puffs so she could not eat her dinner.

9. Circle the letter of the RIGHT way of joining these two sentences.

Keng Leong has failed his driving test thirteen times. He will not give up.
a. Keng Leong has failed his driving test thirteen times and he will not give up.
b. Keng Leong has failed his driving test thirteen times but he will not give up.
c. Keng Leong has failed his driving test thirteen times so he will not give up.

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10. Circle the letter of the RIGHT way of joining these two sentences.

I do not believe in ghosts. I am afraid to go to a graveyard on my own.


a. I do not believe in ghosts and I am afraid to go to a graveyard on my own.
b. I do not believe in ghosts but I am afraid to go to a graveyard on my own.
c. I do not believe in ghosts so I am afraid to go to a graveyard on my own.

Exercise 6

Select "and", "but", "so" or "because" by circling the letter of the appropriate word.

1. I like coffee ___ I don't like tea.


a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

2. I cannot swim ___ I can ski.


a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

3. I want a new TV ___ the one I have now is broken.


a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

4. I had to work on Saturday ___ I couldn't go to John's party.


a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

5. My name is Jim ___ I'm your new teacher.


a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

6. I was cold ___ I turned on the heater.


a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

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7. We'll have to go shopping ___ we have nothing for dinner.
a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

8. The history test was difficult ___ the English one was easy.
a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

9. We didn't go to the beach yesterday ___ it was raining.


a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

10. We have a test on Monday ___ I'll have to study this weekend.
a. and
b. but
c. so
d. because

Exercise 7

Study this list of randomized sentences taken from a paragraph, and identify
which sentence would function the best as the topic sentence.

a. Pluto presents significant challenges for spacecraft because of its small mass
and great distance from Earth.
b. Voyager 1 could have visited Pluto, but controllers opted instead for a close
flyby of Saturn's moon Titan.
c. Voyager 2 never had a plausible trajectory for reaching Pluto.
d. In 2000, NASA cancelled the Pluto Kuiper Express mission, citing increasing
costs and launch vehicle delays.
e. The first spacecraft to visit Pluto will be NASA's New Horizons, launched on
January 19, 2006.
f. No apparent topic sentence

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Exercise 8

Read the sentence below and circle the underlined part where a comma splice or
fused (run-on) sentence occurs.

Paragraph 1:
Hoping to relax after a busy week at work and school, Cheryl smoothed on some
sunscreen, settled onto her pool raft, and opened her new Stephen King novel, then
her neighbor cranked up the lawnmower, ruining the quiet.
Paragraph 2:
If Chris hopes to survive in his 8 a.m. English class, he needs to discover caffeine
even when he has a test, his head hits the desk by 8:05, and snores soon escape his
mouth.

Exercise 9
Write a paragraph on the given topic sentence below using appropriate conjunctions
to make your paragraph coherent.
Topic Sentence: I have twin sisters, but they are exactly opposite.

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