school name

facebookicon  lineicon  wechaticon  linkedin icon

Thursday, 09 February 2017 19:21

How-To Paper

Written by
Rate this item
(4 votes)

Today in my advanced small-group writing class we were working on "How-To" papers, as we are working through my book, Write Like a Champion  (美國老師教你寫出好英文). 


Some important things to remember when writing a "How-To" paper are:


  • be crystal clear, so your reader can follow you step by step, 
  • numbered lists are often helpful, and 
  • remember the humble cookbook, as a clear example of a "How-To" paper.


In this case, the student opens with a paragraph to introduce the topic, makes three points (three is a great number when making points), and closes with a summary. A few things to notice:


  • the style is consistent--each point starts with a verb and is set off with two dashes
  • instead of over-using words like "collection" and "collector," he mixes it up with: hobby, collectable, acquisitions, enthusiasts.
  • fine word choice: affordable, tooled, up (as a verb), memorabilia...
  • this student loves baseball, and it shows in his essay. As I told the class, when you write (or speak) about a topic you love, you will do a quality job, because if you are bored with the topic, your audience will soon pick up on it and be bored too. 




Even though they may not be as popular as they were, baseball cards are still something many people, both kids and adults alike, enjoy taking up as a hobby. Just like any collectable, there are some tips and tricks to help your acquisitions. Depending on the money you want to spend, or how dedicated you will be to keeping and managing the cards, there are different paths to take; however, there are some universal tips that can be shared by all enthusiasts. Sadly, these tips apply exclusively to the United States, because many of these brand names and ideas were from experiences from buying and collecting in America.


  1. Buy affordable, sealed packs-- There are bigger brands, such as Topps, who sell packs that are tooled towards new collectors. Different packs can be found at big chain stores, like Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us. The benefit of doing so is because companies, like Topps, offer value boxes, and guarantee special or limited edition cards in those packs. They also sell single packs, as opposed to buying a whole box. The cards are affordable, and they offer many discounts, and prices depend on how many cards a collector would want to buy. Also, these packs all come with a chance of getting a rare autographed card, or a patch card (in which they take a part of a jersey, and add it to a card), which can up the value of a collection. There are also expensive packs and hobby boxes that offer autographs and other collectables when opened.


  1. Get some kind of box or binder to store the cards-- When the packs are opened, the cards will be, well, scattered. Unless they are rubber banded together, or stuffed back into the wrappers, it will be hard to keep the the cards together. Rubber bands will ruin the cards, and stuffing them back into the wrappers makes the cards hard to organize, so it would be better to put them in a box or binder. Any container would do, but the important part is adding dividers, because the cards can be sorted that way. They can be sorted by team or player name, but as long as the collector can find the cards they want, both ways should be fine. Also, getting a binder would help, because prized cards can be “displayed” that way.


  1. Join a card collecting group-- Thanks to the internet, many card collecting groups can be found online. On Facebook, one could find many groups dedicated to card collecting, showing off collections, or buying and selling cards. People are usually friendly on these groups, and willing to help out with whatever problem that is stated. These Facebook groups also provide a place to discuss trades, and see other collectors cards and memorabilia. Also, the baseball subreddit on Reddit can also be a good place to ask about cards, but the community is more unpredictable, and judgemental, because the users can browse and comment somewhat anonymously.


These are some ideas for starting up a collection, but these are rudimentary steps. A collector can go to card shows to buy rare and individual cards. Also, selling some cards can earn a collector money, which can be used to buy more packs. Collectors become creative with their collections and put their unique twist on it. On social media, I have seen people decorate their houses with different cards or frame them on walls. At the end, however, it all depends on what the collector wants to do with their collection.




Do you want to improve your writing skills? Contact Scott today to see how we can help you!


Read 19892 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 February 2018 14:46
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.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Nancy Wang Thursday, 09 February 2017 20:37 posted by Nancy Wang

    Hi, Scott,
    Recently I learned from news report in Taiwan that "1984" has become the best sale in USA in the past two month. Why Americans are interested in this book again now? Is that because of the election result arose people's alert or interest? I noticed that you also chose the book for your winter session class reading material. Would you like to share your thoughts when you have time? Thanks.
    Nancy Wang


Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.