Writing Handbook

Writing a Thank You Note

Writing a Paragraph

Writing a Summary


Writing a Summary for Fiction – Template



Writing a Friendly Letter

Writing a Friendly Letter is a snap when you use the Friendly Letter Generator!  Click here to begin:  Friendly Letter Generator

Assignment #1:  Letter to Taiwan Penpal explaining Christmas.
Write three paragraphs to your Taiwan penal using the letter generator. Once you are finished, print it and PRINT your first name and last initial after the closing.

*The BODY of your friendly letter should include these things:

  • Paragraph One:  3-5 sentences explaining some of the symbols that are often associated with Christmas.
  • Paragraph Two:  3-5 sentences telling how you [or someone you know] celebrates Christmas.

*Include a POSTSCRIPT in your Friendly Letter that gives a holiday wish, such as “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”

*On the BACK OF YOUR LETTER, draw a picture illustrating  3-5 objects seen at Christmastime

  • Label what each object is
  • Print a caption explaining what each object symbolizes.
Using the Friendly Letter Generator is a quick and easy way to learn the basics of how to format this style of writing.  Remember you are NOT texting!  You must use ‘proper American English’!



 Assignment #4:  Letter to Taiwan Penpal about Edgewood Middle School

Write three paragraphs PLUS a Postscript [P.S.] to your Taiwan Penpal using the Friendly Letter Generator. Once you are finished, print it. [Do not sign your name, as your penpal does not understand cursive writing.]

The purpose of this assignment is threefold:   “I can…

  1. connect with my Taiwan Penpal using technology to publish a friendly letter. [Common Core W.7.4, W.7.5, & 7.6]
  2. show my understanding of  three types of sentences. [Common Core L.7.2]
  3. demonstrate my knowledge of the different ways commas are used in writing. [Common Core L.7.2]
Here are the guidelines for this assignment:
  • Use the Friendly Letter Writer Generator to produce the letter. Using this generator will help you confirm your knowledge of using a comma between city and state, as well as between the day and year.  Also, be sure to write at least one sentence in your letter that ends with a period, an exclamation point, and a question mark!
  • Paragraph One:
    • Write 3-5 complete sentences describing Edgewood Middle School. [where it is located, how many students, grade levels, number of teachers, sports/music/art programs, etc.]
    •  This paragraph should confirm you know how to use commas between adjectives.
  • Paragraph Two:
    • Write 3-5 complete sentences explaining what you like most about Edgewood Middle School.
    • The first sentence should demonstrate your knowledge of using commas between items in a series.
    • The sentences that follow should explain the things you have mentioned in your series.
  • Paragraph Three:
    • Write 3-5  easy questions about Siang He Elementary School for your penpal to answer.
    • One of these sentences should demonstrate your knowledge of using a comma after introductory material. [Well, Please, Tom, etc.]
  • Post Script:
    • P.S. My full name is ______, but my friends call me _____. [Your Taiwan Penpal needs to have your entire first name.]
This is NOT a text message or email type of assignment.  Your Taiwanese Penpal may find it very confusing if you are not using correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, or if you are not writing in complete sentences.   Be sure to capitalize “I” instead of a lower case “i”! It is extremely important that you start your sentences with a capital letter and end with correct punctuation!



Using Dialogue in Writing

Writing Dialogue

How to Punctuate Dialogue

Cornell Note Taking System

How to Organize Your Essay

How to Write a ‘Hook’ for an Essay

Writing a Strong Thesis Statement

What NOT to write in an essay!

What are the phrases in student writing that make teachers cringe, wail, and gnash their teeth?  Click here to read from hundreds of teacher responses about what NOT to write in an essay.

How to Write a BioPoem

[Line 1]     ‘Nickname’ that the person goes by

[Line 2]     Three or four strong adjectives that describe the person

[Line 3]     Important relationship [daughter of…aunt of…nephew of…etc.]

[Line 4]     Two or three things, people, or ideas the person loves

[Line 5]     Three feelings the person has experienced

[Line 6]     Three fears the person has experienced

[Line 7]     Accomplishments [who plays…, who composed…, who designs…etc.]

[Line 8]     Two or three things the person wants to see happen or wants to experience

[Line 9]     Where the person was born and where she/he currently lives

[Line 10]     Name of person–that appears on birth certificate


Example of a BioPoem


Determined, brave, strong, loving

Wife of Raymond Parks, mother of all children

Who loved equality, freedom, and the benefits of a good education

Who hated discrimination, oved to stand up for her beliefs, and loved to help others

Who feared that racism would continue, feared losing the opportunity to make a difference, and feared that young people might lose opportunities to develop strength and courage

Who changed history as she accomplished great strides for equality and encouraged excellence for all

Who wanted to see love triumph and see an end to all bias and discrimination in a world in which respect is freely given to all

Born in Alabama and living in Detroit

Rosa Parks

How to Write a Narrative Essay



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The Dust Bowl Film




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“An American Childhood” by Anne Dilliard

Expository Writing