From Taiwan and Back Part I

10 Jan

Welcome to the first entry of a four-part series! I wish I could say I’ve been to Taiwan, but that’s not the case– the title’s more theoretical. As you may already know, my mom teaches writing (among other things) at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan. From when she started 4+ years ago I would offer to grade her papers for 25 cents a pop, and now she’s finally taking me up on the offer. Instead of grading anything I’ll be reading about 15 papers from each of her four writing classes. From each set of papers I will choose the one I found the most informative, the one that I consider the most appealing, and the one that best utilized the English language as well as grammar.

Below are the winners from her first class on Monday mornings. The second class on Monday will find their winners here on the 15TH, her Wednesday class on the 25TH, and Thursday’s on the 30TH. In addition to their recognition here on Sincerely Kate, my mom will also be rewarding all twelve winners.

Most Informative

I chose Christine’s paper, Different Experiences in Two Different Worlds, for this category. Christine seems like a natural storyteller and therefore really painted a picture about each of her experiences. I loved her description of the mountain that looked like chocolate cake with icing, and I enjoyed hearing about her ski trip– she has a very conversational style so the way she described these things was as if we were old friends, not leaving a single detail out.

Most Appealing

The paper I was most drawn to was the one written by Vicky regarding the differences between living at home and at a dormitory. Although I never lived in a dorm, I have had roommates so I could relate to what Vicky was saying. What really made this paper for me were the examples she used like how a dorm-mate will likely tidy the bathroom up after they shower if you ask them to, but a sibling will rarely bother no matter how much you ask. Her personal touch to such a public topic was very well executed as well as very appealing.

Best Utilization of English and Grammar

Teresa did an excellent job utilizing what she has learned so far in her paper, Physical Beauty and Inner Beauty. Sure, there were a few mistakes, but most of her punctuation was spot on. She really used her words to her advantage and described why inner beauty should be more important. Words I was happy to see used include seldom, artificial, cultivated, shallow, and abstract.

Congratulations to Christine, Vicky, and Teresa! I hope you’re as excited for these awards as I was impressed by your essays!

As for the rest of you, you deserve some acknowledgement, too. If I were to learn a second language, I doubt I’d be able to write an entire paragraph, let alone an essay. My best advice to you as you begin rewrites is to provide more examples or to share your own experiences– if you liked a certain movie, I want to know what made it speak to you; if you are comparing country living to city living, I want to hear about the time you spent out in the country and not just hear you refer to it as relaxing. Details can really make the difference between a good and a great paper! Good luck, guys 🙂

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

6 Responses to “From Taiwan and Back Part I”

  1. John Halvorson 01/10/2014 at 8:46 am #

    SO, Kate, you read these papers for a quarter each…. If somebody sent you 35 cents (or more…?) *would they get a better grade, better consideration? Bottom-line: CAN YOU BE BOUGHT?*

    *Your Loving Father*

    • Sincerely Kate 01/10/2014 at 8:50 am #

      I didn’t actually “grade” these, so they can keep their money.


  1. From Taiwan and Back Part II | Sincerely Kate - 01/15/2014

    […] enough, this is the second installment of a blog series of mine. For more details you can check out the original post, but in a nutshell, this post acknowledges the work of three of my mom’s writing students […]

  2. From Taiwan and Back Part III | Sincerely Kate - 01/25/2014

    […] case you missed the first two parts, you can find Part I here and Part II here. These posts have been an opportunity for me to judge the work of my mom’s […]

  3. From Taiwan and Back Part IV | Sincerely Kate - 01/30/2014

    […] If you’re just tuning in, you’re still awesome, but what you missed in Parts I, II, and III is me picking the winners in three categories from each of my mom’s writing […]

  4. Audience and Purpose: Teaching ESL Students to Write | Container Chronicles - 02/18/2014

    […] Monday 8:10 am Writing II class: […]

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