Don T Count Your Chickens

Montreal, one of Canada's largest cities, is a popular tourist destitution fur several reasons. First, the city has a beautiful location. °It sits on an island in i be middle of tlie St. Lawrence River, In addition, Montreal is hotli modem and historie. Hiere arc many luxury hotels,b lihas a clran and effiricnl subway system, and visitors can find a wide variety of shops and restaurants, especially downtown. The oldest area of (lie town, (lie Vieux Montreal, is very beautiful berause many ofc7ft oldest buildings wen- protected as areas of the city were rebuilt or developed. Tlie most interesting" tiling about Montreal may be ú its French quality. Ajjproximately two-thirds of the people living in or near Montreal are of French origin, and *-they speak French as well as English. Iji addition to the strong French influence, there are large groups of people from Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, the West Indies, and China living1 there. All of q íhii> makes Montreal a great placc to visit.

O Repetition of key nouns or ideas

Another way to connect ideas in an essay is by repeating important words and phrases. This will help the reader remember the main ideas in the text.

Modem mfedicine focuses on illness. If a patient with a cough visits a modern doctor; then the doctor will give the patient o medicine to stop the cough. If the patient also has a fever, the doctor may give a different medicine to stop the fever. For every person with a cough, the doctor will probably recommend the same cough medicine. The philosophy of modern medicine is to stop problems like coughing and fever as quickly as possible.

6 Read these revised paragraphs from the essay on sign language. Underline examples of transition use, pronoun reference, and repetition of key words. Then compare your answers with a partner.

Thesis statement: Sign language, the language used by many deaf people, has a five-hundred-year history.

The first sign language for deaf people was developed in Europe in the 1500s.Three men in particular contributed a lot to the development of sign language. In Spain, a man named Pedro de Ponce was the first person to teach deaf children using sign language. In addition, another Spaniard, Juan Pablo de Bonet, wrote the first book on teaching sign language to deaf people, at about the same time. Another important teacher who influenced the development of sign language was a Frenchman named Abbé de LEpée. LEpée understood that deaf people could communicate without speech. He started to Jearn the signs used by a group of deaf people in Pmls. Using these signs, he devefoped a more complete French sign language.

The early 1800s were an important period in the development of American Sign Language. In 1815, a man named Thomas Gallaudet became interested in teaching deaf people, so he traveled to Europe to study ways of communicating with deaf people. He was twenty-seven years old at this time, and he studied at a school for deaf students in Paris for several months. After that, Gallaudet returned to the United States, and he brought with him Laurent Clerc, a deaf sign fanguage teacher from Paris. As a result of his experience in Europe, Gallaudet started the first school for the deaf, and Clerc became the first sign language teacher in the U.S. American Sign Language developed from the mixture of signs used by deaf Americans and French Sign Language. Today, it is used by more than 500,000 deaf people in the

United States and Canada.

7 This paragraph needs more connection. Revise it. Then share your version with other classmates.

Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam, is a fascinating destination for travelers to Southeast Asia. It is located on the Mekong River. It was once an important trading center for the French in Southeast Asia. The influence of French culture can still be felt. Many people, especially the older generations, learned French in school and still can speak it very well. Some cafés serve French-style bread and pastries in Ho Chi Minh City. Expensive hotels and restaurants serve French food. Many of the buildings in the city are built in French style. The Vietnamese and the Frcnch fought. The French eventually left the country. There are museums and monuments documenting the country's long—and often bloody— history. If you are looking for a unique city to visit in Southeast Asia, Ho Chi Minh City is an attractive choice.

8 Write an outline for an essay on one of the following topics or on a topic of your choice.

a. health and medicine in your country b. an important problem in your country g. the importance of technology in society

9 Edit your outline for unity and coherence, then write the essay.

10 Exchange the essay you wrote in exercise 9 above with a partner. Look for the use of the cohesive devices you have learned about in this unit.


¡1 I These pairs of sentences need to be joined together to form English proverbs. Choose the best transition word or phrase to connect each pair. Compare your answers with a partner, and then discuss the possible meaning of each proverb.

a. Don't count your chickens they hatch.

1. before 2, so 3. because b life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

1. Before 2. When 3. Because c. Time flies you're having fun.

1. after. 2. although 3. when d. You can lead a horse to water, you can't make it drink,

1. and 2. but 3. or e. Laugh, the world laughs with you. Cry, you cry alone.

1. and, but 2, and, and 3. but, but i You don't know what water is worth your well is dry.

1. because 2. after 3. until

12 Think of one or two proverbs in 3'our language and translate them into English. Share yours with the class. Then choose one of the proverbs and write a paragraph explaining its meaning.

| Essays For Examinations

li common instructions for essay tests.

■ techniques for writing timed essays and managing time.

Z) Essay tests

You may be asked to write essays for tests in your classes, or on entrance examinations for colleges and universities in English-speaking countries. You will have to write essays if you take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery), the Cambridge examinations [University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate), or the IELTS {International English Language Testing System). These essays are written at one sitting, in a limited amount of time.

Timed essays

You probably already have some experience and ideas that will be useful to you when you write timed essays. Discuss the following questions with a partner or group.

a. Have you ever written timed essays in your own language? Describe the situation^).

b. Have you ever written timed essays in English? Describe the situation^).

c. In what situations will you write timed essays in English in the future?

d. What arc some ways that writing a timed essay is different from writing an essay without a time limit? Make a list. Then look at your list and say which aspects might be challenging for you.

e. Do you know any good techniques for writing timed essays? Share them with your partner or group.

Good Timed Pics

instructions for timed essays

Z) How to write good timed essays

• Check to sne how many questions yon must answer. Some exams may say Choose three of the following five topics. You will not receive a higher score if you write more than three essays—your instructor will probably just grade the first three.

• Check how many points the essay is worth. On a 100-point test, ail essay worth twenty points should be longer and more detailed than one worth five points. Spend more time on the longer essays,

• Pay close attention to the instructions for each individual essay question. Be especially careful with questions that have several parts. It is helpful to underline or circle key instructions so that you do not leave anything out.


Which, effect of the California gold rush do you think had the biggest impact on the character of San Francisco today? Use examples to illustrate your answer.

• Use some of your time for planning (gathering and organizing ideas) and for proofreading your finished essay.

• Always write in complete sentences and pay careful attention to grammar and spelling. Don't experiment with structures or words you are not confident about using correctly.

• Write neatly. Instructors may give lower grades to essays Qiey cannot read easily.

Z) Common instructions on essay tests compare / contrast

As you learned in Unit 6, compare / contrast paragraphs talk about similarities and differences. You can write one paragraph to compare and another to contrast, or compare and contrast a different idea related to your topic in each paragraph.


This broad term invites you to describe different ideas about a topic. Organize your discussion around a central thesis statement.

explain, show how

These instructions ask you to show cause and effect. You may also find instructions like these for a problem / solution essay, as discussed in Unit 7.

show, describe, use examples

Make sure that you provide specific details to support your points, as you practiced in Unit 3.


This word asks you to make a choice. Often a question with which will also ask you to defend yoiu choice, for example, Which solution would you recommend, and why? Make sure that you clearly indicate your choice in your answer. Don't try to write about each possibility.

2 Underline the most important part of the instructions in these essay questions. Discuss your answers with a partner or group. Talk about what lands of information you would include in your answer.

a. Compare and contrast public and private high school education in your country, b. Think of a story you have read which has also been made into a movie. Describe the differences between the two versions.

c. Show how the rise in popularity of communication by cell phone has changed the ways in which young people communicate, d. Discuss three results of the Norman conquest of Great Britain in 1066. Which do you feel was the most important?

e. Which environmental problem is the most significant in your community? Explain how your community can solve this problem.

Answering directly

Z) Essay test short cuts

Time is limited, so it is a good idea to take certain "short cuts" on essay tests. Most importantly, you should write a very short introduction—just one or two sentences is OK—-which includes your thesis statement. Do not includu Lhe background information you might normally include in an essay. Make sure that your thesis statement directly answers the question. Your answer should show that you know lhe information that the test asks about. Extra information or any information that is not related to your topic will not help your grade. Your conclusion should also be brief.

- Underline the key words of this essay question.

Which effect of thu California gold rush do you think had the biggest impact on the character of San Francisco today?

4 Check {/] the introductions that answer the question in exercise 3 above directly. Write an X by the ones that contain unnecessary information or do not directly address the question. Discuss your answers with a partner.

Ssan Francisco is a fascinating city with a very special character. Each year, thousands of tourists from the United States and other countries visit San Francisco to enjoy Its unique style. Many important events contributed to the character of Ban Francisco, including the California gold rush, the earthquake of 1906, Immigration from Mexico, and the rise of the computer industry. But the gold rush was the most important of these events.

The effect of the California go id ruskr that had the Invest impact cn the character cfSan Francisco tcday was the damage done by the mining io ike rivers ands^rruandin^ land.

Experts agree thai the California gold rush had an impact on the state of California, (n particular, San Francisco was affected by the gold rush. For example, many people came to San Francisco hoping to get rich during the fate 1880$. It was a very exciting time.

The California gold rush affected the character of San Francisco in many waye: the populatlcn Increased, the crime rate rose, land prices went up, rivers were damaged, and people seeking adventure chose San Francisco as their destination.

The character of San Francisco as an adventurous city, a place thai atiracis risk4akers and ihriU-seekers, is the most important effect of the California gold rush of the 1880s.

Managing your time

3 Write a five-minute outline

Before you write a test essay, write a quick outline. This is the easiest way to be sure that your answer includes all the necessary information and that you don't waste your time with unnecessary information. With practice, you should be able to write a brief outline in no more than five minutes, including the thesis statement and main ideas. Befora you write anything else, write your outline at the top of the page. If you run out of time to finish your essay, your instructor will still be able to see your main ideas, and will know that you had a problem, with time and not with the content.

Topic: In college, would you mther live alone, with your family, or with a roommate? Give, reasons to support your answer.

Sample oulline 1:

I. I would rather live with my family to save money.

II. No rent

III. Save money on food

(V: Pon't have to pay for utilities A. Electricity

Water C. Phone

V. Conclusion: If I save on my living expenses, I will have enough money to pay for tuition and books. ___

Sample outline 2:

i Living alone ¿5 the best way for me to team independence while I am in collets.

IL Will leant to take care of myself

A. Cook my own food

B. Take care of housework and laundry

Hi. Will leant to budget my money

IV. Conclusion: College is a time not only to study but to learn to be an independent adult.

Living alone will help me learn how to handle this responsibility.

Living alone will help me learn how to handle this responsibility.

Write a five-minute outline for each of these topics. Write a thesis statement, two or more main ideas, and a conclusion» When you have finished, compare your outlines in groups or with the whole class.

a. Soma people} like to organize their own trips, and others like to travel on a professionally organized tour. Which do you prefer, and why?

b. Your community is considering building a new shopping mall in the center of town. Do you support or oppose this plan? Give specific reasons in y our answer.

c. Discuss why music is an important part of people's lives.

d. What do von feel will be the most popular earner choices for young people in y our country in the next five years i Explain your answer with examples.

e. Compare and contrast sending personal loiters by e-mail and by regular mail. Which do you pre inr. and why?

Z) Write your topic sentences first

Some students like to first write the topic sentence for each main point on the answer sheet, leaving space to go back and fill in the details. If you choose this method, you can add information and examples to each paragraph until you finish or your time runs out. If you run out of time, you may leave out some details, but you won't leave out any main points.

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    Do not count your chickens before you run?
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