English Journal: Week 7 (Typical Writing)

Before we started to learn typical writing, as usual, we did some grammar review. This time, the grammar review is about sentence structure. After our English teacher explained what is sentence structure using examples, we did a fast exercise from the presentation.

But before we move on to sentence structure, let’s define what exactly a sentence mean in writing. Based on the Cambridge dictionary, sentence is a group of words, usually containing a verb, that expresses a thought in the form of a statement, question, instruction, or exclamation and starts with a capital written when written.

In sentence structure, there are:

  • Simple sentence

Consists of only one independent clause (main clause)

Example: Some students like to study in the morning.

  • Compound sentence

Consists of two or more independent clause that is usually linked by the coordinating conjunctions (For And Nor But Or Yet So) using a coma.

Example: She works in the city, but she lives in the suburbs 

* independent clause 

Contain both a subject and a verb and can stand on its own.

* coordinating conjunction

  • Complex sentence

Consists of one independent clause and at least one dependent clause that is often formed by putting the subordinating conjunctions, such as: (because, although, etc)

Example: She became queen when her father died because she was the eldest child.

* subordinating conjunction 

* dependent clause

Contain both a subject and a verb, but it does not express a complete thought so it is not a sentence and can’t stand alone.

  • Compound-complex sentence

Consists of two or more independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.

Example: Although she worked hard to gain recognition, many people did not know who she was, and her friends did not even appreciate her work.

  • Sentence fragment

A set of words with no independent clause which may be an incomplete sentence.

Example: When we got in the car

Besides learning from my teacher, I also did some research and quiz about sentence structure on Google, specifically BBC.


After we’re done with the grammar review, we moved on to the main material which is typical writing. Our English teacher didn’t actually explain briefly about typical writing, but she directly gave us the task from the Cambridge International A and AS Level on page 69 about  a small business. Instead of writing the task directly, she gave us questions that we have to answer in order to make the draft of the writing. I actually find it hard to answer all the questions quickly and correctly, but in the next session where we have to create a small paragraph from the draft, I think I can understand the draft questions step by step.


Here’s the questions or aspects to consider when drafting the answer:

  1. Consider the conventions of magazine or newspaper article
  2. Be the role of the writer: What to write? Voice? Register?
  3. Create the sense/mood/tone: Vocabulary? Figures of speech? Types of sentences?
  4. Decide the techniques to reach the purpose: Devices and ways of writing to fit the purpose?
  5. List down the content draft: Challenges? Rewards? Excitement? Worries?
  6. Draft the structure of the writing: Opening? Developing the body paragraph? Ending?

My writing is about a small cupcake business, and here’s my small paragraph that I created from answering the questions above (draft) before I turn it into 600-900 words of typical writing task:

Since the article is about a small business successful business, the article should discuss the business owner experience and encourage people to start up small business confidently. This article is written for an audience using simple present tense and friendly register from the first person point of view. Since the article discusses the business owner experience, the writer should use hopeful and cheerful tone and expect the reader to gain a happy and motivated mood.

In the article, the writer should include a few business term which is not supposed to be very specific. To increase the excitement of reader, the writer might use a little metaphor, personification, or simile combined by simple sentence, compound sentence, compound-complex sentence, and complex sentence in the article. In order to reach the purpose that I have mentioned at the beginning is to use rhetorical devices such as rhetorical questions, list of three, etc.

The writer should mention the challenges, rewards, excitement, and worries of being an entrepreneur in general first before she specializes in the cupcake business. This article still needs to have the structure of writing, such as the opening, developing the body paragraph and ending. The opening of this article discusses entrepreneurship in general and reasons of why the writer created the business. Inside the body paragraph, it will consist of facts or statistics, challenges, and rewards of being an entrepreneur and also specializing in cupcake business. The ending should contain expert opinion to motivate the readers to have their own business, but before the writer include the expert opinion, the writer should do a quick self-business analysis and give advice to the readers.



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