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Writing Task of the Week

Quick writing task for you all this weekend.

Q5 - Writing to Inform Explain Describe

Remember worth 16 marks with 6 of those being for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. You have 25 Minutes to write it in and you must aim to write 1 to 1 1/2 pages.

You have been asked to write an article for a technology magazine explaining why teenagers cannot live without a gadget of your choice.

Remember - be daring, engaging, sarcastic and eloquent. Show off your grasp of the English language and make me smile when I read it.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mr Milne

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11 November 2012 at 20:55

kids today cant go without techology or gadgets for many reasons, one of these is how dependant on them we are. Because 50 years ago the youths just couldnt wait for a phone that doesnt actually work as a phone.

The gadget of choice i am writing about is the smart phone. Smartphones depict every aspect of a teenagers life. Hell if i didnt have a smartphone i wouldnt be able to wake up in the morning, or even know when my own mothers birthday is. I think we are so addicted to smartphones and cant live without them because quite simply they are very smart.

A smartphone can be a computer, a diary, an alarm clock, a map, a sat nav and a phone all in one tiny little machine, the first computers were as big as a room and all you could do was play space invaders and write hundreds of numbers down in green and black.

We cant live without our phones because of how unsociable we are as well, i sometimes even text a friend sitting next to me because i cant be bothered with verbal conversation.

All in all the smartphone or just a phone in general is a helpful, handy tool that i couldnt live without because its so useful.

12 November 2012 at 08:28

Ok Matt we'll start with the good parts of this answer.

You've used a few devices well especially your third paragraph with your listing working very well. There are some nice touches such as 'I wouldn't be able to work in the morning or even know when my own mother's birthday is'.

Look at the very first word in your answer... No capital letter. Look at all the small 'i' s you have used. You'd be marked down for these too.

Remember - variety is key to your success in a writing task. Are your sentences varied in length? Do you show a full range of punctuation used accurately and for effect?

You must be careful of comma splicing - remember commas are either used in lists or to mark out subordinate clauses not to join sentences.

For this you would probably gain 4/10 for the creativity part of your writing (You should be adopting a more formal tone - children not kids - and trying to show off a range of sophisticated vocabulary and language devices).

For accuracy you would probably gain 2/6 marks. You'd be marked down for comma slices, missing capital letters and a lack of variety in your use of sentences and punctuation.

That would give you 6/16 marks, which would be around the E/D borderline.

Did you time yourself for this exercise? I would expect another 2/3 paragraphs for this task.

You may want to try this again.

Chris Hambling
12 November 2012 at 17:24

Every human life depends on basic things that happen to be randomly placed on our planet to survive: Water, air, food and many other things such as the internet and free wifi. Research shows that if you experiment on the following equation: Teenager - iPhone, you will result in a soon-to-be asphyxiated adolescent crawling on the floor begging for one last listen to Drake or Two Door Cinema Club's new single where they will go on to tweet their thoughts about it. Think of all the sunsets that won’t be instagrammed... Think of all the comments on Tulisa's new dress that would unfortunately disappear off the face of the Earth... Think of all the facetime conversations that would be erased from existence.
The thing is, an average teen simply cannot go on without a small scrap of technology. They grew up with it; they grew up eating virtual food which gave them +20 health points and +15 Agility. They grew up with surfing the internet on their imaginary surfboards in search of the answers to life (‘who played Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace?’). They grew up knowing that the safety-mat of their iPhone was behind them: In-case of an emergency, Mum or Dad can always pick you up, saving you from the clutches of Bury St. Edmund's over-priced Bus fares.
If you were to take an iPhone away from a Teenager, you would be taking away a part of them- like taking away their own brain. Because teenagers have grown up in a day and age where almost every human being around them owns a piece of technology, they have become used to this. They have accepted this into their lifestyle. If we were to take an iPhone away from every teenager who owns one, there would be panic in the streets of London. Nick Clegg will be releasing apology videos left, right and centre; Teenagers will wreck sheer havoc and scratch the windows of the nearest PC World. There’s about a 70% chance that a group of Technology-Deprived Teenagers will be digging up Steve Jobs' grave in search for an Apple product.
I'm pretty sure no one would receive any birthday messages because ‘Facebook didn't tell us’. People around your school would go by unnoticed and unbirthday-bumped, simply because our lack of technology let us all down. Fortunately, because I have my iPhone with me, I can tell you what “ I'm an apple-addict” means in French, German and even in Bengali. Yes, that’s right. How do you like them apples?

You just don’t understand, Teenagers cannot socialise to someone they don’t know face-to-face! Given the opportunity, they would crumble into a socially-awkward mush. However, if there was a screen in the way and a little chat-box I guarantee two people will get on like a house on fire. They’d be tweeting and messaging away, facial 'emoticons' and everything. The lot, the whole deal, the big shi-bang.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I believe that the teenage society that we know today would implode in on itself and pull everything with it like a black hole in today's civilisation. Tumble-weeds would stalk the internet and every teenager at every corner of the Earth would scream ‘It’s not fair’.

Lol rofl ttfn.

12 November 2012 at 22:15

This is a strong piece of writing (who did play Darth Maul in the Phantom Menace, I uninstalled IMDB from my Kindle Fire?).

There is a chance that this would receive full marks on the creativity side, however I'm going to be 'nit-picky'. You could vary the lengths of your paragraphs and link the ideas from one paragraph to the next with the occasional discourse marker. If you really were to show off to the examiner and give him no option but to give you full marks, there would be a bit of evidence of that lovely A/A* vocabulary.

That said, it would still be in the top band.

In terms of accuracy you are mostly secure throughout. You've got a variety of punctuation in there though no colon or semi-colon. Your spelling is accurate throughout but without the evidence of spelling more complex words accurately with the lack of complex vocabulary.

In your 'imagined word' you write in the future tense ('will') when you need the conditional tense (the imagined world is conditional on the lack of an iphone therefore needing 'would' instead). There is even a wee comma splice in the opening to 2nd last paragraph.

All in all a strong answer though not perfect.

9/10 5/6 = 14/16 A/A*

14 November 2012 at 20:39

Teenagers cannot live without technology. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and all that. All these things that teenagers need just to live on can all be acessed on that one little device they all have in there pocket; the mobile phone. Apple Iphone 4s? Samsung Galaxy Ace? Blackberry Curve? What normal teenager do you know that doesn't own a swanky new phone that not only calls and texts but can probley do the shopping for you.
Even adults are now being inticed into the world of online shopping and catching up with friends from years and years ago when there was no such thing as instant messaging. Not only do these posh new 'smartphones' let you message your friend (whos only 5 minuites down the road) but they also have; calenders, alarm clocks, diaries, secret memos, 8 megapixel cameras and more apps than you could ever need in your entire life!
To be truely honest it suprise me if people just stopped talking in person and started just walking up to each other and poking each other or writing on the garden wall; all crazy things people would think were normal from spending too much time on facebook.
The normal routine for teens; get up, check facebook, get ready, check twitter, make breakfast, tweet about the greatest bowl of cornflakes you've ever had, go to the bus stop, check facebook; and thats all before 9am!
When will this obsession with technology stop?
April Foreman

14 November 2012 at 21:19

Good April,

You've clearly been listening in class. You have variety in this piece and have confidently addressed the task.

Variation of Devices - Tick
Variation of Punctuation - Tick
Variation of Sentences - Tick

Where we can target improvement here is your use of vocabulary. The vocabulary you use here is the expected level of a C grade candidate whereas your use of devices, punctuation and sentences are slightly higher.

Use the advanced vocabulary sheet that is linked to on the website and keep yourself a wordbank with some more sophisticated words.

I'd also like to see one or two short paragraphs interspersed with your more developed ones.

In terms of your accuracy there are a few basic mistakes but mostly you are secure. You've spelled 'truly' 'calendar' 'accessed' 'enticed' 'probably' 'surprise''minutes' 'who's' and you've got the wrong 'their'. These drop your accuracy mark as they are not considered too difficult spellings.

Overall you'd gain 7/10 for Creativity and 3/6 for accuracy. This would be around a C/B but we want you at a solid B!

Well done!

14 November 2012 at 21:25

oh dear need to practise my spelling; thank you for the feedback :) april foreman

14 November 2012 at 22:08

Why teenagers can’t live without gadgets.
Almost every twenty first century human being and some cats on the internet have come into direct contact with technology in some form or another, you just can’t get away from it; whether it’s communication, social networking even buying your weekly shopping! Needless to say any exposure on a scale of one to Chernobyl can cause addiction. So why are teenagers especially susceptible to this mechanical heroin? Well before we can answer that, we must first get inside the mind of a teenager.
The days of using the mobile phone for the use of phone calls are dead and buried. Teenagers have probably never even heard a dial tone, their materialistic conquest to get the latest smartphone have far exceeded the need for basic communication. I personally blame twitter and Facebook for this technological revolution, finally all these hormones have somewhere to leak out whenever and wherever they can. Teenagers have become so desperate for someone to know what is going on in their minds they will constantly upgrade their phones to keep this vein to the social world.
I don’t even think it is a matter of they can’t live without these gadgets it is that they won’t. Edgar Allan Poe once wrote that addiction was a “desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” Although a little deep for the average teenager it has this underlying statement that the need for interaction and acceptance has pulled a generation into a corporate game that the companies have created as they feed on this insecurity; this weakness.
Perhaps this effect that gadgets have on teenagers isn't so extreme. When the parents of our generation where teenagers they didn't have access to technology so how can we compare? Well we can. The teenagers of yesteryear have had their fair share of sheepish attachment, the punk era for example. An entire youth where captivated by this unusual, anti-conformist trend that seemed a million parsecs away from their parents; as the oldies ‘just don’t understand’.
So what makes this subculture of cyborgs so unique? Nothing! Teenagers aren't a unique breed of anti-social spawn, dictated by the fashions of tech. They are just doing as nature intended and absorbing all available resource, it just so happens that for them, its gadgets.
George Cooper

15 November 2012 at 08:37

Creativity wise, this piece is strong. You mix the humourous image with a range of series points, develop devices and flair in your writing and show a range of vocabulary. Tick Tick Tick Tick.

However, to nit pick, you have a range of basic errors in your work that will hold it back from full marks.

You have a few comma splices throughout the piece and you have a homophone error with 'where' and 'were'. Be careful when you are using a semi-colon. Make sure the word after the semi colon is not a connective. If it is, then decide which one should go; don't have both. If it is a subordinator after your semi colon, the semi colon should be a comma.

'You just can't get away from it, whether it is...' I would even be inclined to to change the order of the sentence around:

'Whether it is... buying your weekly shopping,you just can't get away from it.'

As with April's above, I'd like to see you break your longer paragraphs up with a short one in between once in a while.

Overall: 9/10 for creativity and 4/6 for accuracy - giving 13/16 overall A-ish.

15 November 2012 at 08:41

Oo - also would take issue with your use of 'this' in:

'Perhaps this effect'

This may be more personal but I would use this if you could 'imaginary point' at the object you were talking about and 'the'if it is something more conceptual like 'effect'.

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