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Language Determining parts of speech

How a word is used in a sentence determines its part of speech.

Part of speech Questions to ask yourself Examples
Noun Does the word name a person, place or thing? Jack ate the hamburger that was left on the plate.


Does the word stand for a noun?

Each gets one of these.


Does the word tell what someone or something did?

Does the word link a noun or pronoun before it with a noun or adjective that follows?

She bought a pair of rollerskates.

He is smart.


Does the word tell what kind, which one, how many or how much?

Many small, light packages arrived.


Does the word tell where, when, in what manner or to what extent?

Come here! You can look at that later.

He wached very closely.

We are nearly ready.


Is the word part of a phrase that ends in a noun or pronoun?

In the morning she brushes her teeth.

Stand behind them during the fire drill.


Does the word connect other words in the sentence?

George and Tim ate.

They will either go or stay behind.

That is as it should be.


Does the word express feeling or emotion?

Wow! I didn't expect to see you here.

I, uh, think you should leave.

Oh, I didn't expect to hear you say that.


Related worksheets


Identifying Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs and Adjectives

Identifying Adjectives, Adverbs, Prepositions and Conjunctions

Using Interjections in Sentences


Writing a basic 5 paragraph essay

by The Oley School

Oh no! You have to write that big paper for school! You're dreading it. Your afraid it will take forever, you're not sure how to start. What if you fail? Most students experience anxiety when writing formal papers. As a professional English and essay writing tutor, I would like to offer some tips to help you make the most of your essay writing.

Believe it or not, I never really knew or learned how to write an essay until my first semester of college. When I started my first semester and chose college writing as one of my classes, everyone, including my advisor, told me that I should wait at least until the second or third semester to take that class. They explained how difficult it was and cautioned me about taking it so soon. Well I took it anyway and I'm very glad I did! The instructor was awesome, she knew just how to explain things so that students could understand. She used many, many real life student examples. We were given handouts with past student papers to compare and contrast. They were all corrected and had suggestions written in the margins. They were rated excellent, good, fair and poor. Using this method really helped me to understand how to write a great essay and taking this class first helped me with the papers for all of my other classes.

Every essay begins with a basic outline. Learning this outline will help you tremendously in the organization department. Now if you are like I was, those formal outlines with the roman numerals, numbers and letters scare the daylights out of you. They are very confusing and trying to remember what goes under a roman numeral, a number or a letter can be very distracting. So from this point on, throw those things out the window! (You may be required to write an outline in this fashion so make sure you don't throw it very far.) The following outline should help you with your basic essay. Keep in mind that this is just a basic outline and you will need to revise your writing several times before it achieves perfection.

Fill in the blanks to help you get started with a rough idea for your thesis statement.
I want to prove that ______________________ because (1)______________, (2)________________ and (3)________________.

A 5 paragraph essay should have an Introduction with a thesis statement, 3 body paragraphs that back up your thesis statement and a concluding paragraph.

Include general information on your topic here
THESIS STATEMENT: Cats need love, healthcare and good nutrition in order to stay healthy.

Paragraph 2 = MAIN POINT 1 - LOVE
Includes information for reason (1) above
Topic sentence: Love is one important aspect to having a healthy cat.
Supporting sentence(s): When you show your cat that she is loved she will feel good on the inside. Research has shown that cats that are showered with a lot of love by their owners live healthier longer lives. (Cite research)
Concluding sentence: A loved cat is a happy healthy cat.

Includes information for reason (2) above
Topic sentence: Along with lots of love, cats need to visit the veterinarian regularly to stay healthy and prevent disease.
Supporting sentence(s): Regular vet visits can prevent diseases and health issues such as bladder or kidney problems. They can also help control health problems that already exist. Your Veterinarian can give you tips on how to keep your cat's health at its best.
Concluding sentence:

Paragraph 4 = MAIN POINT 3 - NUTRITION
Includes information for reason (3) above
Topic sentence: Eating the right kind of foods is essential in keeping your cat in good health.
Supporting sentence(s):
Concluding sentence:

Paragraph 5 = CONCLUSION
Restates your thesis statement using different words/phrases and leaves a lasting impression on your reader.
Cats cannot survive without proper care. Love, healthcare and nutrition all play a vital role in the health and well being of your loving pet. Don't risk losing your pet too soon due to lack of proper care!

As you begin your paper, the first step is to create the outline. Then you can fill it in as you go and finally put it all together for a finished product. You can work on any section you would like and complete the sections in any order that you feel comfortable with. Some find it easier to fill in the information that they already know first and go from there.

Your introduction will give basic information about your topic. The intro usually includes a basic statement, question, history or statistics about a given topic. The final sentence of your intro will usually be your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement, although commonly defined as "What your paper is about." Is actually "What you plan to prove." If you think of it as what you plan to prove, you will be able to come up with a more clear statement that will help guide the rest of your paper. Your thesis statement should always state exactly what you plan to prove and should also give at least 3 reasons why or three specific examples. These three items will then become the basis for your three body paragraphs.

Your first body paragraph will explain your first reason stated in your thesis. Your second body paragraph will explain your second reason and so on. Each body paragraph will be like a "mini" essay. They should have at least five sentences each (five paragraphs.) Each will start with a topic sentence (thesis.) You should then include at least three supporting sentences with examples that prove your topic sentence (3 body paragraphs.) And finally, each paragraph will have a concluding sentence (conclusion.) Continue this process for each body paragraph. Filling in the outline step by step will help you stay organized.

The last part and often the most difficult part of the essay is your conclusion. Your conclusion will sum up your entire paper in one paragraph, restate your thesis in different words and leave a lasting impression on your reader. The reason for the conclusion and why it is one of the most important parts of an essay is because it is the last thing your reader will read and the part they will remember most. If you want to make an impression, you want your reader to remember your point. The final sentence in the example above leaves a lasting impression on your reader because it instills a certain amount of fear in your reader. While it does not come out and actually say that if you do not care for your pet correctly it will die, it basically instills that thought in your reader's mind.

And that's all there is to it. Give this format a try and see if your writing improves. Keep in mind that there are many more techniques and tips that will improve your writing but let's take it one step at a time.





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