How to Write a Report and Personal Letter

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How to Write a Report and Personal Letter

Students learn that writing is a process that involves at least four steps; prewriting, drafting, revising and editing. They understand that the writing process helps them write clear, thoughtful pieces that communicate their ideas to others in a clear and concise manner. The five parts of a personal letter; heading, greeting, body, complimentary close and signature line are also introduced and discussed.

Discover the importance of good report and letter writing skills.

  1. Students will understand that writing is a process involving several steps. Following these steps helps you present your ideas to the reader in a more understandable manner.
  2. Students will know the four steps of the writing process.
    1. Prewriting – This step can include thinking about a subject, gathering information, talking with people, and outlining. Some people do their prewriting by making lists, keeping a journal, or brainstorming with friends. There are several questions that are good to ask while prewriting:
      i) What should I write about? You can gather ideas by looking through magazines and newspapers, searching the Internet, talking to friends, or looking to your own memories.
      ii) What do I know about the topic?
      iii) Who is my audience?
      iv) What do I want them to know?
    2. Drafting – In this step, put your ideas into sentences and paragraphs. Do not worry about spelling, punctuation, and grammar at this point-let your ideas flow.
    3. Revising – This is making decisions about how you want to improve your writing. Try to look at your writing from a different point of view, and organize it in a way your reader will understand. Ask yourself these questions:
      i) Does my piece say what I want it to say?
      ii) How can I make my writing clearer and more effective?
      iii) Should I add to, delete, or reorganize my writing? iv) Does my writing make sense?
    4. Editing – The main focus of editing is proofreading your paper. Look at your word usage, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, subject/verb agreement, verb tense, and spelling. Once the editing is done, your work is ready to share with others.
  3. Students will realize these steps sometimes overlap each other. For instance, while revising, you might return to the prewriting step to further develop your ideas.
  4. Students will understand that personal or friendly letters have a form that is followed. Following this set pattern makes it easier for your reader to understand your message and provides your reader with useful information.
  5. Students will know the five parts of a personal letter and how they are arranged on the paper.
    1. Heading – The heading includes the return address and the date. They should be aligned just to the right of the center of the page, and a line should be skipped between the two of them.
    2. Greeting – The greeting tells who the recipient is. It can be formal, as in "Dear Mr. Williams," or informal, as in "Hi Carol." The greeting usually ends with a comma, but sometimes an exclamation point can be used for emphasis.
    3. Body – This is where you put your message to the reader. A line should be skipped between the greeting and the body, and the first line of each paragraph should be indented. A line can also be skipped between each paragraph to make it easier to read, but this is optional.
    4. Complimentary close – This gives a polite ending to the letter, such as "sincerely" or "your friend." It should begin with a capital letter and end with a comma. A line is skipped between the body and the complimentary close, and the complimentary close should be indented to the same column as the heading.
    5. Signature line – After the complimentary close, skip one or two lines, and type or print your name. This should be indented to the same column as the complimentary close and heading. Your signature goes between the complimentary close and the signature line. As long as you sign your name, the signature line may be omitted in a very informal letter.

  1. Before viewing the video

    1. Ask the students how they go about writing a paper. Do they just sit down and start writing, or do they have a plan or pattern that they follow? Explain that writing, like many things, is a process. Following the proper steps can make the writing process easier and the final product better.
  2. After viewing the video

    1. Have each student write a report. Assign something to turn in for each of the four steps of the writing process. For example, the first thing due would have to do with the prewriting stage, such as a list of magazines they looked through for ideas (and what ideas they got from them), the brainstorming they did for topics, or an outline. Grade each assignment for what the student should be focusing on for that particular step (i.e., do not mark them down for grammar and spelling on the drafting step).
    2. Have each student write a personal letter. Let them know they will be graded for all five parts of the letter and for the layout of each part.

  • ID: L9003
  • Subject: Language Arts
  • Grade Level: 3-8

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