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Monday, 06 March 2017 21:42

Description Paper & How-To Essay: Student Writing

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As part of our online writing classes, my students have been writing on different kinds of tasks. Recently they wrote a Description paper, where they were to describe a person, place, or thing, as well as a How-To paper, where they give cookbook-like instructions.  Here are two essays from two students in Hsinchu, Taiwan. I believe both are crystal clear, show excellent word choice, and use a logical structure to make their points. Take a look!


The Internet is Magic

The rise of technology has led to many new developments-- from music players to the television-- many electronic devices have helped and improved the quality of life, but there is one invention that stands out the most. The Internet. The technology boom, which has happened in recent decades, has brought the Internet, which improves communication in the world, and allows news and other messages to be transferred faster. However, there have also been many exploits of it, and many people may also use it against others. No matter how it is used, the Internet is still a powerful tool, and probably a great achievement by humankind.

In modern times, instead of writing a letter, we send an email. Instead of writing a text message, we open Facebook, or whatever social media we use, and send a message from there. Instead of going to the library to look in an encyclopedia, we can search something up on Google or Wikipedia. The Internet has improved the quality of our life, making it easier and more convenient to obtain information, or contact others. For example, when I am writing a research paper, I can search news sites, like the New York Times, access encyclopedias, like Wikipedia to get information, or watch videos relating to the topic on Youtube. Also, I can save my file online in places like Google Drive, or Dropbox. Lastly, if I come up with any questions when I am working, I can shoot my teacher an email through Gmail, or message a group of classmates with Facebook. The Internet has enabled us to explore the world right at our fingertips.

Despite all of the good the Internet has brought humanity, some dark sides have been revealed as well. Because of the lack of a reliable security program, the Internet has often been a crime scene of hacking and other exploits. Money being stolen from bank accounts, movies and other content being leaked before released, and hacking into government systems to steal information are all crimes that have happened because of the Internet. The reason for all this is because of the connectivity the Internet offers to users. Hackers can program a virus, and send it to other devices through Internet, and infect a computer on the other side of the world. Because of this, much information can be leaked through the web.

The power of the Internet allows people and devices to be connected around the world, but because of this, great risks are taken, but even better rewards can be reaped. The connectivity of the Internet allows people to hack into others systems, but it also allows people to get information, or communicate with others. Depending on how it is used, the Internet can help or harm people, but as long as users respect each other on the web, the Internet can become a tool for everyone.

--Justin in Hsinchu, Taiwan





Everyone has an ambition. Some may want to perfect the engineering of graphene, while other might want to sell their new product. No matter the aspiration, one needs to spread the idea; this brings up the need for a website. In a website, the creator can make his or her intentions clear and may potentially profit from it. This How-To essay will explain the essential steps to building your own website.


  1. GET A DOMAIN NAME: This will be the site that people will type in to enter the website. For example, the domain name for this site is Do take note, however, that there will be an annual fee that the creator has to pay for the right to the name that you choose.

  2. CHOOSE A WEB HOST & CREATE AN ACCOUNT: A web host is a company that has many computers connected to the Internet. When one places his or her web page on their computers, everyone in the world will be able to connect to it and view them. You will need to sign up for an account with a web host so that the website has a home.

  1. DESIGN YOUR WEBSITE: This step is self-explanatory and can easily be skipped if hiring a web designer is affordable and acceptable. However, if you're planning to do all the dirty work by yourself, there are plenty of free tutorials online for you to explore.

  2. MAKING MONEY (This step can be skipped if the website creator has no intention of doing so): If the website is selling products or services, one will need a way to collect credit card information. Go to for a detailed step-by-step list of how to use this function.

  3. GETTING ATTENTION: This is perhaps the most crucial step in building your own website. You have to get attention for your ideas. In order to do this, one can either submit your site to Google or Bing for them to pick up this link when it is entered on the search engine. However, this is not needed of the website if it is already an extension of another.


Now you know how to build your very own website, go out there, share your thoughts, and make the world a better place!

--Aaron in Hsinchu, Taiwan 

Read 17979 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 February 2018 14:47
Scott Dreyer

A licensed teacher in the US state of Virginia since 1987, Scott Dreyer has been helping Chinese speakers improve their English since 1989. Dreyer lived in Taiwan from 1989-1999 where he learned Mandarin, met his wife, started his family, and realized he loved working with Chinese students. He became an award-winning author and started teaching ESL online in 2008. Dreyer and his wife and their four adult children make their home in the beautiful Roanoke Valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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