Category Archives: Writing Assignments

Writing an Introduction for an Essay

Writing an Intro:
1. Write a Hook : capture the readers attention
Watch this video to understand ho write a hook:

2. Acknowledge the topic in general
3. Answer the topic question in a complete sentence. (This is Your Thesis)

Writing Prompt:
If you could do one thing to make the school a better place, what would it be and why?


1.  Now, lets write a hook:
Imagine a place on a school campus where you could rid yourself of stress, find more happiness, and work towards becoming the person you want to be in life?  

2. Acknowledge the topic in general
There are many things someone could do to make my school a better place.

3.  Now write your thesis (your road map).
If I could do anything to make my school a better place, I would build gigantic athletic workout facility for students and staff to utilize.

Now, all three parts together to have a nice introduction:
Imagine a place on a school campus where you could rid yourself of stress, and meet boys and girls all while getting pumped up!There are many things someone could do to make my school a better place.  If I could do anything to make my school a better place, I would build gigantic athletic workout facility for students and staff to utilize.

Letter to Rick Penny

See the letter below as a formula for writing your own letter to Rick Penny.  Use google docs and choose a Letter Template.  Then, use the ideas you see in this sample letter to write your own letter to Rick Penny about how he should use the Zorro Circle to achieve his goals.

Paragraphs in the Essay:

Paragraph 1:  Type Rick Penny a letter.  Explain how he should use the Zorro Circle to accomplish one big goal of his.

Paragraph 2:  Explain how the Zorro Circle has helped you reach one of your goals.

Paragraph 3:  Finally, give Rick Penny encouragement and remind him what you suggested he should choose to focus on for his Zorro Circle, and then tell him one last positive word of encouragement.

Example Essay:   


Pursuit of Happiness Essay



What does the Pursuit of Happiness Mean to you?

Write a 5 paragraph essay describing what the pursuit of happiness means to you and how you will attempt to achieve happiness in your life.


Below is a sample essay written by someone else on the topic for an example:


Essay: “On The Pursuit of Happiness”

Posted on May 26, 2013 by Cecilia “windymon” Matz

The offering for today, a short essay.


What is life, but the pursuit of happiness?

It’s written into any human rights document and has a place in every democratic state’s declaration of state.

“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is a well known and used phrase today.

A happy human being is a productive human and if we are all to get along in this world we all need to chip in somehow. Contributing so that we might all have a happy and fulfilling life.
Sadly, though happiness is seen as a basic human right by many, it is one thing to write something down and quite another thing to see it happen in practice. Though the comparison might not be the best, it is somewhat the same with communism. On paper it is a wonderful idea, but it has never been fully and successfully applied in our lifetime. Same thing with the idea of happiness for all.

Sometimes I wonder, if happiness has not become a harder thing to achieve in our modern society, where we want to do so much, so many different things, achieve so much and contribute to society…While also feeling happy and fulfilled with our lives.

Some might feel that happiness is tied to love. Tied to having someone special in your life, to share your long years with. From that we get the stress created by hunting for that special someone and the disappointment when you come up short in the dating game. With a much larger pool of people to chose from, it somehow becomes worse. Back in the old days, we stayed put in one city, one town or even one small village. We chose a mate from the other kids we played with and married one of them. Surely there was some form on happiness in that, that security that you knew what the rest of your life would be like. Though I wont pretend like adultery did not happen, it certainly feels like it is more common today and not as frowned upon with the freedom of the internet that hides our activities online.

And does that not also this modern pursuit of a partner tie into the modern idea of having a career? With machines doing so much more for us, less people are used to work hard labor jobs and that frees up people to do different jobs. Today we have more white collar jobs, in front of computers, working with our growing technology and all the small related positions that creates. But you have to chose the right path, you have to study after high school to be able to work in such a job that is more mentally demanding of you. You have to know for sure what you want to work with for the rest of your life when you’re 18 years old, when you have to apply for college or university. I thought I knew what I wanted when I was 18, but I turned out to be wrong. Sometimes I feel envious of those young people in the past, who had their career path decided for them, when they could just follow in their father’s shoes. Though we are more free today, it does demand more of us in return.

There is so much said about feeling happy or fulfilled in your profession, is it no wonder that so many of us tie up our happiness in our jobs. Or hope to find happiness in our jobs. Though the truth is, that so many of us have to work those low-wage, tiring, degrading jobs that might not feel very satisfying or fulfilling. All we can do is post anonymous stories of our daily toils and butting heads with stubborn customers and hope for something better to come along.

And sometimes it’s not enough to just have a job or a lover in your life. There are so many other little things that we are expected to have to project this image of absolute happiness to the rest of the world. We need a house with a pretty garden, we need to take vacations to exciting places and we need to have the latest gadgets to immerse ourselves in on our daily commute to that job that hopefully makes us some degree of happy. We should have at least one child, whose development we engage ourselves in, who we teach to read and drive to various after school activities and then send off to the right schools and hope…Hope that they won’t move far away and leave us alone when we grow old and grey.

No, I do think it was simpler before, when our choices were more limited. When we didn’t know more than what laid at the end of our stretch of country road, when the daily work was just enough to fill our bellies and where we could take happiness from something simple as a child growing up healthy and happy. Where we shared out lives completely with our partner, because otherwise we would not survive and when we took pride in all the small things we had instead of the things we didn’t.
I think we need to rethink the way we live here in the west, because not only do I think our pursuit of happiness, the modern industrialized definition of happiness is harmful to ourselves in the long run…It is also harmful to our planet.

Written by Fantasy Transcendent


Letter Writing-

Common Core State Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.2

Writing Assignment:  
1. Download the sample letter to Eddie here: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
2. Click theEnable Editing” at the top of the page (in yellow) after you download and open the word document.
3.   Erase the lines in the sample letter, and finish writing your thoughts for Eddie in the blanks.
4.  Check all grammar mistakes that we have worked on all term:
-Begin every sentence with a capital letter
-End every sentence with a period
– , but
– use apostrophe’s correctly with conjunctions (for example: I’m, he’s, shouldn’t, didn’t, won’t)

Note: if you can’t download the word document, use the model Letter format below: Letter to Eddie

Live Inspired Writing Assignment

1. For today’s assignment, you are going to read many quotes from the link below.

2. Chose 1 quote and write a 4 paragraph essay explaining how that quote inspires you to go after your dreams!


______Example Below__________

Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” – Unknown

Dreams are what lead a person to happiness. They are the golden thoughts of our minds that inspire us to life full of excitement. When we dream, we also begin to plan, but planning itself doesn’t equal success or an ability to attain a goal. A quote that I love that speaks to this comes from an unknown person. They said,Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their butt and do anything to make it happen.” This quote speaks to me because I consider dreams good things, and this quote explicates that to ever achieve those good things, you must get off your butt and do “anything” to make it happen. That is the way I live, and it inspires me to see others continuing to motivate me to stay true to that path.

Everyone has different dreams. My dream is to own my own days. To wake up, love my family, go catch a surf, and traverse up some big tall mountain along the coastline to do my work. My dream is to be free, make my own schedule, and travel the world. My dream is to follow the goodness that surrounds us in life, and share that goodness exponentially with the world to help inspire others! There is a time for waiting, yet this quote reminds me that working towards a goal is the difference between just dreaming of it, and achieving it someday.

I think that so much of the time, “waiting for good things to happen” can become a crutch. That being said, however, in life, sometimes patience is not your choice, it just gets pressed upon you. Yet I believe that when you have a dream you deeply believe in, so much so that you want that life and can actually see yourself attaining it, then everyday, you must do something towards reaching that goal. Like the quote says, “good things come to those who wait…greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen,” I believe that there is always something you can do to take a step, even the smallest step, towards that dream each day.

In final, it’s not the excuses you make in life that determine the final reckoning of a dream, it’s the steps you take. It’s the arduous journey and love for your dream that gives you the adrenaline to create things to do and steps to take towards your dream, even when you have those days where you’re down and believe the dream may not be possible. Good things come to those who wait… [but] greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” This mentality has gotten me this far towards my dream, I might as well not stop thinking that way now.

Live positive, Live Inspired, Live for Others



Share Your Story of Positive With Shawn Achor

As a class, we just completed 21 days of working to re-wire our brains to be more positive.  For today’s assignment, I want you to write Shawn Achor a letter to share your story.

Assignment Details:

1.  Download the attached document for a model of how to write a letter to Shawn Achor.

screen shot thank you shawn achor

2.  “Enable Editing” at the top of the Microsoft Word Document

3.  Erase the lines, and fill in your answers to the sentence starters.

4.  “Save As” the document “Your First Name, Last Name, Thanks Achor”

5.  Keep the document saved so that you can email it to Shawn Achor tomorrow.

6.  Print the document and hand it in.

7.  Go to this link and submit your letter to Shawn Achor on his website.  Make sure to “Browse” and attach the document.

Literary Devices Quiz

Literary Terms

In Each of the videos Below, describe what literary devices are being used. 


Answer Starter:  The literary device used in this ad was.  They used this literary device when__________________________________________.

2.  When you make a reference to something from the past to give the reader a clearer picture of the future, this is the literary device _____?

3.  My cell phone danced and jumped as it buzzed across the table when my girlfriend was calling.  It must have been as excited to talk to her as I was!

Answer Starter:  The literary device used in this example is____________.

4.  My car was a streak of lightning across the dark freeway.

Answer Starter:  The literary device used in this example is ___________.

5.  I was starring at the newly cleaned window of my bedroom, when all of the sudden there was a huge “BAP!” and “SPLAT!” against the see-through glass.  Another fly bites the dust!

Answer Starter:  The literary device used in this example is _____________

Journalism Tips

tveiten wordcloud

Journalism Tips


When did this start? Who started it? What are the pivotal events on a timeline?


What is the extent of the problem? How many people are affected? How much money is at stake?

3.Central reasons.

Why is this happening? What are the economic, social or political forces that created it, influence it, threaten it?


“Who is helped or hurt by this,” Blundell said, “and to what extent and what’s their emotional response to it?”

5.Gathering and action of contrary forces.

“If this is going on, is somebody trying to do anything about it, and how is that working out?” Blundell said.

6.The future.

“If this stuff keeps up,” he said, “what are things going to look like five or 10 years from now, in the eyes of the people who are directly involved?

Journalism Dos and Don’ts

1. Consider your topic

Is is newsworthy?

Is it controversial or in some way interesting?

Is there new information? Update?

Is it unique?

2. Sources and attribution


Expert opinion — not your opinion

If you do research and have the facts and figures, write where they came from

With research papers, you have footnotes and bibliography; with journalism, you integrate the sources into your story

3. Keep active voice

NO: Albany is ranked 54th among the 327 most dangerous cities in America, based on FBI data.

YES: The FBI ranks …

4. Believe and Feel

As a journalist, you write what people say or do or report. You don’t know what or how people believe or feel, only what they SAY they believe or feel.

5. Hyphens for compound modifiers

30-day trial

three-round format

6. Numbers

AP style: numerals if 10 or higher (unless starting a sentence); numerals for ages

7. Time

1 p.m. (NOT 1:00 PM)

midnight (NOT 12 a.m.)

noon (NOT 12 p.m.)

8. Keep punctuation inside quotes (,”)

9. Very

Don’t use this word. It’s an adverb that modifies an adjective. If the adjective needs “very,” you need to use a different and better adjective. “Very” is overused and has lost its effectiveness.

10. Editorial/commentary

Avoid I, me, my, us, our, we

Don’t use “seems” (a concluding word)

Build a strong case and let the readers come to the intended conclusion on their own