Critical Thinking Skills: Reading and
Communication Skills
Critical Thinking Skills: Mathematics
Computation Skills
Liberal Studies: Science, Art and Literature, Social
Critical Thinking Skills: Writing
0006-Recognize effective organization in
0007-Recognize sentences that effectively
communicate intended message.
0008-Recognize standard conventions of formal
written English usage in the United States.
3 (Sometimes 4) Purposes for Writing?
you help
find it in
a parking lot?
you fix
a flat
on it?
And the big question: How would you convince
someone to buy it?
We organize ideas rather than writing like we
think, thus the traditional essay format.
We have to support our ideas.
We have to be clear.
We should respect their time enough to edit.
Narrative—usually chronological although you
might use flashbacks or flashforwards
 Description—usually spatial, left to right, top
to bottom, outside to inside, etc.
 Process—usually sequential with listed steps
 Comparison/Contrast—can describe all of one
subject and then the same points, in the same
order, for the other subject; or, can describe
point by point for Subject A and Subject B
Which would you use to explain how to fix a flat?
Which would you use to explain the superiority
of one car over another?
Version 1
Knowing a foreign language is a necessity for any
business. People must be able to communicate
in different languages when they encounter
clients who can’t speak their language. It’s
especially important in an emergency situation
that everyone is able to understand each other.
Confusion in that instance could affect a life or
death situation. No one should dismiss the
importance of this communication skill.
Version 2
Knowing a foreign language could be helpful in
any business, but it is especially helpful for the
medical field. If someone were a nurse and a
patient came in who could only describe his or
her symptoms in Spanish, the nurse would
want to be able to understand and assist the
patient in recovery. Being bilingual could
make that employee much more marketable to
hospitals serving a diverse community.
Version 3
Knowing a foreign language could be helpful in any
business, but especially in the medical field. My sister
Shannon was trying to find a job as a nurse in Houston,
and since nurses are in high demand, she had her
choice of a couple of hospitals, but when she told her
prospective employers that she was fluent in both
English and Spanish, her salary cap suddenly went up.
Administrators knew that her bilingualism would be
an asset to the 40% Hispanic population in their area.
Shannon would be able to understand patients’ specific
medical needs because she could cross the language
Essay unity is kept when all paragraphs
connect with the thesis, the controlling idea
located where?
 Paragraph unity is kept when
all sentences connect with the
topic sentence, the controlling
idea located where?
Writing tip: After finishing
a draft compare thesis to each
paragraph’s content.
Focus and flow are kept when
 Sentences are logically ordered.
 Transitions are used to
reduce choppiness (not
mechanical transitions) and
to explain how your
ideas relate to each other.
Relationships shown by transition:
Addition—also, and, furthermore, moreover
Time—after, before, during, until
Cause/Effect--because, since, therefore
Contrast—however, but, although, yet
I wanted to go to the formal dinner ____ I
wanted to make a good impression.
 I wanted to go to the formal dinner ____ I
couldn’t afford a new suit.
 I wanted to go to the formal dinner ____ I
worked hard to buy a new suit.
 I wanted to go to the formal dinner ____ I saw
the menu for it.
Writing tip: Where are transitions especially
Recognize ineffective repetition and
inefficiency in sentence construction.
Identify effective placement of modifiers,
parallel structure, and use of negatives in
sentence formation.
Recognize imprecise and inappropriate word
A misplaced or dangling modifier puts a descriptive phrase too far away
from what is being described to be clear:
“Plunging 1,000 feet into the gorge, we saw Yosemite Falls.”
“Calf born to farmer with two heads”
“Two cars were reported stolen by the Groveton police yesterday.”
“The patient was referred to a psychiatrist with a severe emotional problem.”
“No one was injured in the blast, which was attributed to a buildup of gas by
one town official.”
Source: Lederer, Richard. Anguished English. New York: Dell Publishing,
Correct the following:
-He was tall, dark, and he was handsome.
-We like to swim, dancing, and to fish.
-She was neither happy nor wanted to agree.
-We were not only enjoying the game but also to
Recognize the standard use of verb forms.
Recognize the standard use of pronouns.
Recognize the standard formation and use of
adverbs, adjectives, comparatives and
superlatives, and plural and possessive forms
of nouns.
Recognize standard punctuation.
Identify sentence fragments and run-on
sentences (e.g., fused sentences, commas
Identify standard subject-verb agreement.
Subjective form
Subject of sentence—
What’s wrong with “Kay and me are tired”?
Subject within its clause
Not “We wanted to vote for whomever was the best
candidate,” but what?
Subject complement (following linking verb)
What’s wrong with “The candidate we want to win is
 Objective form
Object of preposition—
What’s wrong with “Just between you and I, we have a
Object of verb—
Not “He wanted she to go with him,” but what?
What’s wrong with the following?
-A student can find their class by following this
-My mother, along with all my brothers and
sisters, are going to be there.
-Anybody can enroll in this class if they want to.
-Either my husband or my children is calling all
the time.
-My favorite book, in the basement with all of my
other packed books, were ruined by the water
Most common errors:
-Dependent clause fragments
I wanted a new car. Because my old one was
worn out.
-Verbal phrase fragments
I wanted a new car. Thinking it would get better
gas mileage.
-Noun phrases or clauses
I wanted a new car. A sporty one with a spoiler
and all the perks.
Writing Tip: Read the sentences in reverse order.
Most common errors:
Using transitional conjunctions without semicolons
-I wanted a new car, however, I didn’t want to pay that
Using the pronoun “it” as a new subject without a
-I wanted a new car, it wasn’t out of greed, but necessity.
Using a semicolon without a full sentence on both sides
-I wanted a new job; however, not such a hard one.
Conjunctions that don’t require semicolons: but, or, yet,
so, for, and, nor
A lot
Their / they’re / there
You’re / your
Its / It’s
Good / Bad
Real / Really
0021-Prepare an organized, developed
composition in edited English in response to
instructions regarding content, purpose, and
On topic
 Unified
 Appropriate for audience and purpose
 Supported with concrete detail—e.g. narrative,
description, comparison, illustration
 Edited for spelling, capitalization, punctuation,
and effective sentence structure
Best Writing Tips: Pre-write, remember 5paragraph structure, assume people will
disagree, stick with what you know well,
allow space for additions, and reread!
Attention Getter
Acknowledge reader
Thesis—arguable, supportable, narrowed
 Body
Three Paragraphs each with focused idea (topic
sentence) that relates to thesis and solid,
sensory support from examples, description,
Check paragraphs especially for development,
unity, and coherence.
 Conclusion
Sense of Closure
Argue whether or not your community should
use tax dollars to fund a public transit system.
Whichever side you choose, consider the
reasons for the other side and give specific