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Thursday, 17 November 2016 02:00

Student Writing: "2016 Election Surprises"

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In one of my advanced-level writing classes I asked a student for a brief report on some surprising aspect from the 2016 US elections. Below you can find his first draft then the revised version we discussed and edited in class. (This is how we teach writing online with DreyerCoaching.com: we give the students a topic, they write at home, in the next class the student reads it aloud, we see the essay via "share screen," then the teacher and classmates give suggestions, which the student edits in real-time.) A few of my thoughts:

1. "There were dramas" as a plural sounds like lots of plays on the stage, so we changed it to singular: "there was drama."
2. I like the use of the colon (:) after "everywhere." He used "celebrating" and "protesting" in the present tense, because these are still going on as he wrote.
3. Good use of two commas with "Trump, the president-elect," because that is an appositive phrase, renaming "Trump."
4. We say "on the East and West Coasts," capitalized as geographic place names.
5. Good play on words: "Trump trumped Clinton in the Electoral College.
6. "favour"--British spelling
7. O
verall, this student hit on several key points in a short paragraph: the surprise nature of Trump's victory; Trump's win of the Electoral College while Clinton won the popular vote; the unexpected role of minority and women voters, the shocks of the Northeast and West Coasts. I was impressed that the writer understands the US election this well--from a distance of 8,000 miles away in Taiwan, as a high school student! (Find out more about the unusual Electoral College here.) _____________________________ Before As the 2016 presidential election in the US came to an end, there were dramas occurring everywhere: some people are celebrating, while other people are protesting and crying. Is Donald Trump, the president-elect, going to run the government smoothly and his administration effectively? We'll see. However, Donald Trump winning the polls is definitely a surprise to most people, especially those who were living in the east and west coast (California especially). There are a few surprising facts that would make you ponder about the nature of democracy and the phenomenon seen in this election. First, Donald Trump won the Electoral votes 279 to 228. However, Trump lost the popular vote by two hundred thousand votes. Also, Trump won much more minority and women votes than expected. In comparison, Clinton did not win enough minority vote to convert some of the states into her favour. All in all, 2016 is a year full of surprises, upsets, and joy. Whether Donald Trump is going to be a reputable president we know not. However, we should adjust our mindset and unite to and create a better future.
--Tim in Hsinchu, Taiwan After As the 2016 presidential election in the US came to an end, there was drama occurring everywhere: some people are celebrating, while others are protesting and crying. Is Donald Trump, the president-elect, going to run the government smoothly and his administration effectively? We will see. However, Donald Trump winning the polls was definitely a surprise to most people, especially those living on the East and West Coasts (California especially). There are a few shocking facts that make you ponder about the nature of democracy and the phenomenon seen in this election. First, Trump trumped Clinton in the Electoral College 279 to 228. However, he lost the popular vote by two hundred thousand votes. Also, Trump won much more minority and women support than expected. In comparison, Clinton did not win enough minority votes to convert some of the states to her favour. All in all, 2016 is a year full of surprises, upsets, and joy. Whether Donald Trump is going to be a reputable president, we know not. However, we should adjust our mindset and unite together and create a better future.
--Tim in Hsinchu, Taiwan
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Read 220 times Last modified on Friday, 12 May 2017 21:42
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.

dreyercoaching.com/en/about/scott-dreyer

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