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You are HERE >>  Language Arts: Creative Writing Course




Hands-On Writing Part One
Paragraph Panorama
Elaine Ernst Schneider
May 29, 2002

Hi. My name is Elaine Schneider. Most of my students call me “Ms. Elaine.” Let me tell you a little about myself. I am a teacher and freelance writer. Over the years, I've published a number of articles, songs, and children's work, including some curriculum lessons similar to this one! I am also the managing editor of Lesson Tutor, a guest author for the City Songs column at (click here to read one of my articles), and I am the author of 52 Children's Moments, as well as City Songs, Volume I. Currently, I am teaching and writing curriculum for several education companies.

That all said, I should tell you now that Ill be your guide through this on-line writing course. I also teach Hands-on Writing II and Hands-on Writing III. To help me get to know you, send me an email ([email protected] OR [email protected]) and tell me something about “you.” It is important that we know each other, so that you feel comfortable sending me your writing. Writing should come from the heart, you know. I promise that what you send will be confidential – just between you and me. 

Here's how it will work: This course is divided into eight (8) lessons that will focus on these writing skills: topic sentences, sentence structure, combining like ideas, webbing, paragraph development, paragraph unity, paragraph coherence, and transition sentences. You will have up to twelve (12) weeks to complete the eight lessons. Each lesson addresses a writing skill. There will be Just-for-practice Exercises, which will provide their own answers at the end of the exercise(s). These are designed so that you can try a “practice run” with a newly introduced skill, just on your own, then check yourself. You don't have to send these to me. There will also be Writing Exercises. After you have read about the skill in the lesson, and perhaps tried a Just-for-practice Exercise or two, you will try your hand at the Writing Exercise(s) that are provided. These you will email – lesson by lesson – to me. I will look at your writing assignment(s) and make corrections and suggestions that will help you grow and develop as a writer. Sometimes, I may ask you to rewrite something. Look at me as your editor. I will pencil or ink in suggestions just as my editors do with my work. Most often, the first piece that I turn in to an editor is considered the rough draft. I look at the editor's comments, make corrections and additions, and then I re-write a final draft for publication. This will be a good routine for you to learn: rough draft, final draft.

When you have completed all the lessons in the course, I will mail you a certificate of completion indicating twelve weeks’ worth of work that was successfully accomplished. If you decide to go on with the Hands-on Writing courses (completing II and III as well as this one) then you will have three certificates adding up to 36 weeks of work, or an entire school year. But whether you are taking the writing courses for school credit or personal enrichment, put your best effort into what you write. Delve deeply into your inner resources and try to stretch yourself. You may be in 5th grade. You may be in college. You may be an adult writer refreshing or expanding your skills – but the clue is to accomplish your personal best. You will only grow as much as you allow yourself to be stretched! Let's get started!!

Submitted by:  © Elaine Ernst Schneider  is a freelance writer and a teacher. She has been writing since high school and has published articles, songs, and children's work. Presently, Elaine is a curriculum author for Group Publishing and also writes the City Songs column for ezine.  Send a note to Elaine.

*  For more articles by this Author Click Here

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