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1.1: "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire"

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    229861
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    Chapter 1 Objectives

    Students will be able to

    • Take comprehensive notes from an educational video
    • Discuss ideas from a video or reading in their own words
    • Read The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and answer comprehension questions based on this reading
    • Extract information from the reading
    • Learn grammar based on the reading (colons)
    • Use vocabulary from the reading
    • Write an outline and rough draft of an organized paragraph with a clear topic sentence
    • Recognize sentence errors (fragments and run-ons)
    • Edit and revise for a second draft.

    Vocabulary Introduction

    Exercise 1 Prior Knowledge

    Look at the words in bold in Exercise 2 without reading the example sentences. Rate your current knowledge of the word before doing the unit exercises. Use the numbered scale and write the number in front of the sentences in Exercise 2. With each exercise and by the end of the unit, your knowledge should work toward a "4", which means you will know the word, can explain it and give an example. It is expected that you will mark many words with a "1" or "2" now since they might be completely new words.

    1. I do not know this word, and I have never heard of it before.

    2. I have heard of this word before. It sounds familiar.

    3. I can give an example of this word, but I cannot explain it.

    4. I know this word. I can explain it and give an example.

    Exercise 2 Definitions

    Read the sentences below. Guess the meaning of the words in bold based on the example sentence(s). Circle the best definition of the word in bold.

    _____ 1. Children absorb information quicker than adults do. The sponge absorbed the liquid.

    a. take in

    b. leave

    c. give

    _____ 2. President Obama called for immigration reform.

    a. change to a system

    b. make

    c. destroy

    _____ 3. I work the morning shift from 6am to 11am.

    a. car

    b. period of time

    c. something given

    _____ 4. The storm was a horrible disaster that caused over 500 deaths.

    a. a good event

    b. a miracle

    c. a bad event

    _____ 5. The man watched his house on fire in horror.

    a. shock or fear

    b. wonder

    c. authority

    _____ 6. A devastating flood ruined several homes and buildings.

    a. having a bad effect

    b. having a good effect

    c. having no effect

    _____ 7. The school was closed because of a violent incident.

    a. accident

    b. event

    c. party

    _____ 8. Failing the test was a consequence of not studying.

    a. cause

    b. contrast

    c. result

    _____ 9. The teacher made us feel inadequate if we didn’t know the answer.

    a. smart

    b. attentive

    c. not good enough

    _____ 10. The USA and Canada have an alliance. They are allies because they support each other.

    a. enemy

    b. supporter

    c. acquaintance

    _____ 11. Parents are advocates for their children. They fight for their children’s rights.

    a. discipliner

    b. punisher

    c. supporter

    _____ 12. He contributes to cleaning the house by putting his clothes away.

    a. help

    b. take

    c. remove

    _____ 13. Children should not be around hazards, such as chemicals or weapons.

    a. items

    b. danger

    c. safety

    _____ 14. The test reveals that there is no cancer.

    a. cover

    b. show

    c. give

    Video Assignment

    Exercise 3

    Watch and discuss the video From the Ashes below. Then, practice your re-writing skills. Use your own words to tell an idea from a source.

    Pre-video questions:

    Answer the following questions based on your experience and current knowledge. Respond to two classmates sharing how your experiences are similar, what you learned from their experiences, or how your view might be different from theirs.

    1. Where are some places you have worked? What were the conditions of those workplaces? Have you ever had a dangerous job?
    2. What do consider to be the qualities of a good job? What are your ideal working conditions?
    3. Can you think of poor conditions at a job? Do you know of employees that are treated badly? Describe how employees might be treated poorly and the poor conditions of some workplaces.
    4. Have you heard of the expression “strength in numbers”? What do you think this phrase means?

    Post video Questions

    1. Why do you think the doors were locked? Why might company owners want to stop a strike or stop a union from forming?
    2. Why do you think the men who locked the doors were acquitted (considered not guilty of a crime)?
    3. Why is this fire worth remembering? Why are the people who died considered heroes?
    4. Do you think this fire changed working conditions or regulations (rules) in the future?

    Re-writing Skills

    What are three ways to rewrite this information from the video:

    1. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners were terrified that unions would come in because that would diminish their authority over the workplace.
    2. The factory employed young women, some as young as 10. They were immigrants who would work hard to create as much product as possible at the lowest possible price.
    3. "They wouldn't let you stop working, not for a drink, the bathroom, nothing."
    4. The machine operators were charged for any mistake they made and they were checked for cloth and threads before leaving the building.
    5. To ensure that no employee slipped out without being inspected, one of the exit doors was locked.

    Reading

    "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire" by Mike Kubic

    The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in U.S. history. The fatal event resulted in numerous factory workers’ deaths and stunned the public. Mike Kubic, a former correspondent of Newsweek magazine, discusses the mistakes that led to this deadly disaster, as well as the drive for safer working conditions that followed.

    As you read, take notes on what led to the death of so many people in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and the impact that this tragedy had on people. Also, be ready to answer the questions based on this reading.

    1On the morning of March 25, 1911, New York social workers and politicians could look forward to their usual objective: helping to absorb the masses of destitute Europeans who were pouring into the city at the rate of 18,000 per month.

    2The newcomers were part of one of America’s biggest waves of immigrants: most of them were Jews fleeing deadly pogroms in Poland and Russia, and Italians escaping the hunger and poverty caused by poor harvests and lame economy. They arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs, and they headed straight from the pier for the teeming Lower East Side borough of Manhattan, which was then known as the gate to the New World.

    3Just finding a place to sleep for these multitudes in the city’s 100,000 cheap-rent tenement buildings was a big challenge. One-third of them were so run-down they had no lights in the hallways, and 200,000 of their rooms had no windows. A quarter of the families in the Lower East Side lived five or more to a room, and they frequently slept in shifts.

    4But by the end of the day, the best of the New York do-gooders and political bosses took on a new, even more difficult mission: they set out to initiate progressive laws and reforms that eventually changed the safety and quality of life and work in America.

    The Fire

    5The event that inspired their bold agenda started that day at 4:35 p.m. in a Lower East Side clothing factory of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. Someone tossed a burning match or cigarette into a big pail of scrapped cuttings, and the highly flammable material burst into a furious fire. It took less than 30 minutes for the inferno to devour the three top floors of a ten-story building filled with 500 garment workers, almost all of them recent immigrants.

    6The fire was New York’s deadliest industrial disaster ever: it caused the deaths of 146 seamstresses and other workers—123 women and 23 men, at least two of whom were 14 year-old girls working 72 hours a week for less than a dollar a day.

    7The heart-rending tragedy was movingly described in Forverts, a Yiddish-language daily newspaper whose unnamed reporter apparently had been at the scene:

    8“The flames spread very quickly,” he wrote. “A stream of fire rose up through the elevators to the uppermost floors. In the blink of an eye, fire appeared in all the windows and tongues of flame climbed higher and higher up the walls....

    Hu-WQlm8jJFcrDLmFNChNqmNnCEc-NRTcAyGbTLvFv3kVHgbh_Ro9wRp-NZJh5OtLTPhIgjxzHHt9LgZKk6KR6EcQ7cYGH_LKv8pZunpN1Xn0kwWkkVjKy8WcyzItXloHV24TyQ

    9“The fire grew stronger, larger and more horrifying. The workers on the upper floors were already not able to bear the heat and, one after another, began jumping from the eighth, ninth and 10th floors down to the sidewalk, where they died....

    10“The firefighters were helpless.... Their ladders reached only to the seventh floor [and] they stood watching as... women fell like birds shot down from the burning floors above....

    11“On the eighth floor, a couple appeared in the window—a young man and woman. He held her tightly by the hand. Behind them, red flames were visible. The young man pulled the woman tenderly to his breast, kissing her on the lips, and then he let her go. She sprang off and landed heavily on the sidewalk. He leapt down and fell hard next to her, dead....

    12“They transported the dead to the station houses and the wounded to the hospitals. But there were not enough ambulances and patrol wagons to do the job, so the neighborhood grocers, butchers and peddlers lent their trucks and pushcarts....”

    Demand for Change

    13The next day, the public’s horror over the devastating incident was joined by anger over what caused it. The first blunder, the newspapers pointed out, was the order of Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the wealthy owners of the Triangle Company, that the factory’s doors and exits must be locked during the work hours.

    14The then common rule was meant to keep the workers from taking unauthorized breaks, but this time, it had terrible consequences: some of the foremen with the keys were among the fire’s first victims, and they and the workers in their departments remained trapped behind the locked doors.

    15Second, many of the employees who did get out in the hallway still could not escape because the stairwells were on fire, and the poorly maintained elevators were either too slow or crashed.

    16The public was shocked also by the short ladders, leaking water hoses, and other abysmally inadequate equipment of the firefighters, who didn’t even have an axe with which to force open the doors and exits.

    17And in the following days as the newspapers’ coverage shifted from the fire to the deplorable pay, working conditions, and living quarters of the immigrants, New Yorkers began losing their indifference to the fate of the newcomers. A subsequent sentence of Blanck and Harris to a scandalous $20 fine (equivalent to about $500 in today’s economy) completed the change of the political atmosphere. The indignant public demanded a dramatic change, and New York politicians showed they had listened to the vox populi.

    18According to David von Drehle’s prize-winning book Triangle—the Fire That Changed America, the most effective response to the post-fire disclosures came from two young members of the Tammany Hall, a Democratic Party organization that traditionally dominated the New York City and State politics.

    19One of them was Alfred (Al) E. Smith, a Catholic grade-school dropout and a witty and irresistible charmer who, von Drehle wrote, “mastered the circular, windy language of the bill-drafting priesthood,” knew “as well as anyone in Albany (New York’s State capital) whose bread was buttered where,” and was notorious for his skill in putting this information to use.

    20The other legal whiz was Robert (Bob) F. Wagner, an energetic and forceful pol known for his ability to ram new laws through a reluctant legislature. Both he and Smith were sons of immigrants and political prodigies: Wagner was 33 years old when he became the youngest leader of the New York State Senate, and Smith was elected the body’s majority leader at the age of 38.

    21Adding to their effectiveness as reformers was an informal alliance they formed with 30-year-old Frances Perkins, a Boston-educated member of an old Maine family and a prominent social worker who shared with the “Tammany Twins” a deep sympathy for the workers and immigrants.

    The Work of the Three Reformers

    22Before the fire, Perkins was already fighting for workers’ rights and a 54-hour work week as the executive secretary of Consumers’ League, a nonprofit advocacy group. Her big contribution to the Tammany reforms was to make herself an expert on workplace safety, and to support Wagner’s and Smith’s most important accomplishment, which was the creation of the Factory Investigating Commission.

    23Chaired by Wagner and co-chaired by Smith, the group was charged by the New York State legislature to “investigate factory conditions in [NYC] and other cities and to report remedial measures [necessary] to prevent hazard or loss of life among employees through fire, unsanitary conditions, and occupational diseases.”

    24According to von Drehle, the “Tammany Twins” then “set a blistering pace” that averaged nearly one public hearing a week, interviewing more than 220 witnesses and producing nearly 3,500 pages of testimony.

    25The Commission hired field agents to do on-site inspections of factories, first in the state’s nine largest cities and, in the next year, an additional 36 communities with industrial plants. They started by checking on fire safety and moved on to broader issues of the risks of injury in the factory environment.

    26In 1913, Wagner and Smith pushed 25 bills through the New York legislature, a record that according to von Drehle’s Triangle was “unmatched at that time in American history.”

    27The laws were designed to correct every deficiency revealed in the Lower East Side fire: for example, it required automatic sprinklers in high-rise buildings. Fire drills became mandatory in large shops. Factory doors had to be unlocked and had to swing outward.

    28Other reforms mandated better building access and exits, the use of fireproofing materials, the availability of fire extinguishers, and the installation of alarm systems. Going beyond safety measures, the reform provided for better eating and toilet facilities for workers, and limited the number of hours that women and children could work. To enforce the new laws, the Factory Commission instituted a complete reorganization of the state’s Department of Labor.

    29The legislative surge made New York one of America’s most progressive states and gave Wagner, Smith and Perkins a nationwide reputation as allies of the working class. Thanks to their work, the trio left behind one legacy of particularly incalculable value: today’s risk of death in an American work place is one one-thirtieth (1/130th) of what it was before the Triangle factory fire.

    The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” by Mike Kubic is licensed by CommonLit under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Text-Dependent Questions

    Exercise 4

    For the following questions, choose the best answer.

    1. Which statement best identifies the central idea of the text?

    A. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was only one of many senseless disasters in American history.

    B. The two men solely responsible for improving working conditions in America were Robert Wagner and Alfred E. Smith.

    C. While the improvements made to working conditions were beneficial, they were too small to create lasting change in America.

    D. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was the disaster that brought public attention to the need for improved working conditions in America.

    2. Which quote from the text best supports the conclusion that living conditions for the immigrant population was destitute?

    A. “most of them were Jews fleeing deadly pogroms in Poland and Russia, and Italians escaping the hunger and poverty caused by poor harvests and lame economy.” (Paragraph 2)

    B. “They arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs” (Paragraph 2)

    C. “One-third of them were so run-down they had no lights in the hallways, and 200,000 of their rooms had no windows” (Paragraph 3)

    D. “they set out to initiate 3 progressive laws and reforms that eventually changed the safety and quality of life and work in America.” (Paragraph 4)

    3. What is the meaning of the word “destitute” as used in paragraph 1?

    A. Extremely fearful

    B. Difficult to control

    C. Lacking basic necessities

    D. Feeling great excitement

    4. Which statement best compares the characteristics of Robert Wagner and Alfred E. Smith?

    A. Both men were extremely committed to improving working conditions in America.

    B. Despite not finishing grade school, Alfred E. Smith had a better grasp on bill drafting than Robert Wagner.

    C. Robert Wagner was considered to be the more intelligent of the Tammany Twins, as Alfred E. Smith never finished grade school.

    D. Neither Robert Wagner nor Alfred E. Smith were as dedicated as Frances Perkins when it came to fighting for safer working conditions.

    Reading Skills-Informational Diagram

    Exercise 5

    While the direct cause of factory fire was a spark that was thrown into scraps of material, many factors made this event a disaster. Skim the reading to find three causes that lead to this devastating event.

    Screen Shot 2021-08-11 at 11.13.17 AM.png

    Figure 2

    Exercise 6 Effects

    The working conditions after the fire improved thanks to new laws. What were the requirements according to the new laws? Write the answers in your own words. Do not write full sentences.

    1.

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    6.

    7.

    8.

    9.

    10.

    Reading Skill-Grammar

    Look at the following rules of using a colon (:).

    1. List

    I want the following items from the store: chips, cheese, bread, pickles, and tomatoes.

    2. Explanation or paraphrase

    He got exactly what he wanted: a new job with more benefits.

    3. Introducing a quote

    The teacher announced: “Time to submit your exams!”

    4. After a greeting in a letter

    Dear Lupita:

    5. Time

    6:00am

    Exercise 7

    Look at the following sentences below from the reading and identify which rule is being used. Write the number of the rule in front of the sentence. It is possible that two rules are used in one quote.

    _____ 1. “On the morning of March 25, 1911, New York social workers and politicians could look forward to their usual objective: helping to absorb the masses of destitute Europeans.” (paragraph 1)

    _____ 2. “The newcomers were part of one of America’s biggest waves of immigrants: most of them were Jews fleeing deadly pogroms in Poland and Russia.” (paragraph 2)

    _____ 3. “[T]he best of the New York do-gooders and political bosses took on a new, even more difficult mission: they set out to initiate progressive laws and reforms.” (paragraph 4)

    _____ 4. “The event that inspired their bold agenda started that day at 4:35 p.m. in a Lower East Side clothing factory of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company.” (paragraph 5)

    _____ 5. “The fire was New York’s deadliest industrial disaster ever: it caused the deaths of 146 seamstresses and other workers—123 women and 23 men.” (paragraph 6)

    _____ 6. “The heart-rending tragedy was movingly described in Forverts, a Yiddish-language daily newspaper whose unnamed reporter apparently had been at the scene:” (paragraph 7)

    _____ 7. “[I]t had terrible consequences: some of the foremen with the keys were among the fire’s first victims.” (paragraph 10)

    _____ 8. “Both he and Smith were sons of immigrants and political prodigies: Wagner was 33 years old when he became the youngest leader of the New York State Senate, and Smith was elected the body’s majority leader at the age of 38.” (paragraph 16)

    _____ 9. “The laws were designed to correct every deficiency revealed in the Lower East Side fire: for example, it required automatic sprinklers in high-rise buildings.” (paragraph 23)

    _____ 10. “Thanks to their work, the trio left behind one legacy of particularly incalculable value: today’s risk of death in an American workplace is one one-thirtieth (1/130) of what it was before the Triangle factory fire.” (paragraph 25)

    Writing Skills

    The Basics of Paragraphs

    In academic writing, a paragraph is a group of sentences about a single topic. Paragraphs can be different lengths depending on the writing situation.

    A good paragraph has three parts:

    1. a topic sentence that states what you will write about
    2. supporting sentences (the body) that add explanations and details about the topic
    3. a conclusion sentence that wraps up the paragraph, similar to the topic sentence

    A paragraph is indented. Each sentence comes right after the other one, not on a new line. Each sentence ends with a period.

    Exercise 8 Example Paragraph

    Read the example paragraph below and answer the questions that follow.

    Diablo Valley College is the right place for me to take classes and improve my English skills. One reason is that the tuition is very low. I can take credit college classes at Diablo Valley College for less than half of the cost of a university class, or I can take non-credit classes for free. Another reason is Diablo Valley College has great teachers and student support. My teachers care about their students. There are student centers where I can do my homework and get free tutoring. Finally, Diablo Valley College is close to my house. I live only five miles away, so I can ride the bus there in less than 20 minutes. I also ride my bike in nice weather. For all of these reasons, I am attending Diablo Valley College for my education.

    1. What is the topic sentence. What is this paragraph about?

    2. How many reasons are given in the body of the paragraph?

    3. What are they? Write a word or phrase for each reason.

    1.

    2.

    3.

    4. What is the concluding sentence?

    5. How many sentences are there in this paragraph? Is this a short or long paragraph for college writing?

    Topic Sentences

    The topic sentence is usually the first sentence of a paragraph. A topic sentence should contain a topic and a controlling idea. Some topic sentences also make the plan of the paragraph clear. For example, the topic sentence might have a plan like, “for many reasons,” “several qualities,” “three things,” or “a few differences.” A good topic sentence is not too general and not too specific. It shows the reader what will come in the paragraph.

    A good topic sentence does NOT:

    • Announce the topic. WRONG: “I am going to write about Diablo Valley College.”
    • Ask a question. WRONG: “Why am I going to Diablo Valley College? I’d like to tell you.”
    • Stand above the paragraph. It is NOT a title. It is a complete sentence. WRONG: All about DVC.
    • State a fact. WRONG: “DVC is located in Pleasant Hill, California.”

    Exercise 9

    Read the following topic sentences about American cities. Do they contain both the topic and a controlling idea? Circle the topic and underline the controlling idea.

    1. Washington, DC, is the capital of my country.
    2. New Orleans is a very interesting city.
    3. There are many people in Los Angeles.
    4. St. Augustine is a very beautiful city.
    5. New York is the biggest city in the U.S.

    Improve the topic sentences from the exercise above by adding controlling ideas.

    1.

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    Exercise 10

    Read the following paragraphs. Create a good topic sentence for each paragraph.

    Paragraph 1: Good Neighbors

    Topic Sentence:

    First, a good neighbor is quiet. Even if a neighbor is nice, it is hard to tolerate loud music late at night or dogs that bark a lot. Second, good neighbors are respectful. It is nice to have polite conversation with your neighbor. Neighbors should also respect others by shoveling their sidewalk in the winter and leaving enough parking space for everyone. Finally, a really good neighbor is generous. A good neighbor might bring you cookies during the holiday, or give you some gas if your lawn mower runs out. These are some of the most important qualities of a good neighbor.

    Paragraph 2: Reducing Stress

    Topic Sentence:

    One way to reduce stress is to exercise. Some people jog or play high-impact sports to relax. Others just take a walk or a short bike ride. Another idea is talking to a friend or family member. It helps just to express how you are feeling when you are stressed. Lastly, listening to music can help you relax. Quiet, classical music relaxes some people. Listening to loud pop music while singing and dancing also releases stress. We all have stress, and these are three ways to reduce it.

    Paragraph 3: My Worst Job

    Topic Sentence:

    I earned a lot of money from that job, but I was more miserable than I have ever been in my life. Working on an assembly line was very boring, and I had to concentrate the whole time with almost no breaks. All day long, I had to put DVDs into boxes, and I had to work very fast. The factory was hot and stuffy. Also, the supervisors watched us closely and yelled us when we weren’t working fast enough. Maybe the worst part of the job was the mood of my coworkers. It seemed like they all complained and gossiped. I didn’t make a single friend in the eight months that I worked there. In sum, working in a factory was truly one of the worst experiences that I have ever had.

    Titles versus Topic Sentences

    If your instructor asks you to write a title for your paragraph, there are rules that you should follow:

    1. Use capital letters for the important words and the first word of the title. Don’t use capital letters for prepositions (of, for), conjunctions (and, or), or articles (the, a, an).

    2. Don’t write a sentence. Don’t end it with a period.

    3. Write something short that gives the topic of your paragraph. Look back at the titles in the sample paragraphs of this chapter. Do they all follow the rules for title writing?

    Exercise 11 What is the difference between a title and a topic sentence?

    1. Location:

    A title’s location:

    A topic sentence’s location:

    2. Capital Letters:

    In a title, capitalized words:

    In a topic sentence, capitalized words:

    3. Grammar:

    A title is NOT:

    It doesn’t end with:

    A topic sentence is:
    It ends with:

    4. A title is only required for formal compositions, usually written over a long time. A topic sentence is ALWAYS needed in a paragraph.

    Read the following titles. What is wrong with each one? Write a few words to explain. One title is acceptable.

    I want to visit Uzbekistan.

    My Paragraph

    Uzbekistan and Its Wonders

    Exercise 12 Topic Sentence Practice

    Choose the most effective topic sentence from the following sentence pairs.

    1. a. This paper will discuss the likelihood of the Democrats winning the next election.

    b. To boost their chances of winning the next election, the Democrats need to listen to public opinion.

    2. a. The unrealistic demands of union workers are crippling the economy for three main reasons.

    b. Union workers are crippling the economy because companies are unable to remain competitive as a result of added financial pressure.

    3. a. Authors are losing money as a result of technological advances.

    b. The introduction of new technology will devastate the literary world.

    4. a. Rap music is produced by untalented individuals with oversized egos.

    b. This essay will consider whether talent is required in the rap music industry.

    Topic Sentence Practice” by Barbara Hall and Elizabeth Wallace is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

    The Writing Process

    Good writing doesn’t happen instantly or without some careful thought. To write with quality, good writers follow three steps of the writing process:

    1) Pre-writing. In this step, brainstorm, choose the best ideas, and make a plan to organize the paragraph.

    2) Rough draft. In other words, write the paragraph. Keep the ideas flowing. Try to write a good topic sentence and follow the plan from your pre-writing.

    3) Revise and edit. Try to improve your paragraph. Make sure all of the sentences stay on topic. Check organization and work on the conclusion sentence. When you are sure the content is good, check the grammar.

    Chapter 1 “Writing Skills” is a derivative of “Low Intermediate ESL Writing” by Heather Zettelmaier licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

    Writing Prompt

    Consider the ideas from the informational diagram you completed from the reading. Create an outline and then a paragraph about what caused the factory fire disaster.

    Exercise 13 Outline

    Consider the ideas from the informational diagram you completed from the reading Chapter 1 Ex. 5 and 6 Informational Diagram. now, create an outline about what caused the factory fire disaster. Make sure to only write sentences in your own words.

    Topic sentence:

    Supporting point:

    Supporting point:

    Supporting point:

    Concluding sentence:

    Brainstorm: Idea phrases you may want to use:

    Exercise 14 Paragraph 1 Draft 1

    Create a First Draft

    • Your paragraph must answer the prompt question: What caused the factory fire disaster?
    • You must have 7-12 sentences and a good paragraph structure.
    • You must only use your own words and sentences to explain ideas about the fire.

    Look at your basic outline. To make it a complete paragraph, you need to add:

    1. One or more explanation sentences for each supporting point.

    2. Transition words or phrases to help connect the ideas.

    Brainstorm: Transition words or phrases you may want to use:


    Partner Check

    Do the ideas make sense?

    Do the sentences explain what caused the factory fire?

    Are there 7-12 sentences?

    Do sentences start with a capital letter and end with a period?

    Hint: Don't worry about spelling yet. You can use technology to help you edit the spelling when you type your paragraph.

    Editing Skills

    Complete Sentences

    A complete sentence must have these three things:

    1. a subject (noun)
    2. a verb (what the noun is or what the noun does)
    3. a complete thought that makes sense

    Sentences often have other parts, too. These can be objects, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, and more. These are all optional parts of a sentence and are not always needed to make a complete idea.

    Subject

    The subject of a sentence is a noun (or noun phrase) or pronoun. Usually, the noun is the person, place, or thing that does the action in the sentence:

    • The boy crossed the street.
    • My mother works in the city.
    • Mark is really cool.

    Verb

    The verb (or verb phrase) tells what action happens or what state of being exists.

    • The boy crossed the street.
    • My mother works in the city.
    • Robbo plays the drums.
    • She is very pretty.
    • Mark plays better than Robbo.

    Watch out for: Prepositional phrases

    Prepositions are words such as in, at, on, of, after, and before. They introduce other words and make a group of words into a prepositional phrase. If a prepositional phrase is not connected to a complete sentence, it is a fragment.

    Fragment: After walking over two miles. John remembered his wallet.
    Complete sentence: After walking over two miles, John remembered his wallet.
    Complete sentence: John remembered his wallet after walking over two miles.


    Watch out for: Dependent word makers (subordinating conjunctions)

    Dependent word markers like since, because, without, although, or unless signal to the reader that a clause is not the main point of the sentence. A dependent clause will have a subject and verb, but it still cannot stand on its own. Like prepositional phrases, a dependent clause can be a fragment if it is not connected to an independent clause containing a main subject and verb. To fix the problem, we can add such a fragment to the beginning or end of an independent clause. When we add the fragment to the beginning of a sentence, we follow it with a comma.

    Fragment: Because we lost power. The entire family overslept.
    Complete sentence: Because we lost power, the entire family overslept.

    Complete sentence: The entire family overslept because we lost power.

    Fragment: He has been seeing a physical therapist. Since his accident.
    Complete sentence: Since his accident, he has been seeing a physical therapist.
    Complete sentence: He has been seeing a physical therapist since his accident.


    Watch out for: "--ing" phrases

    Another common fragment pattern is a phrase that centers on Present-participles (such as breaking, seeking, finding). A verb that's in -ing form can act as an adjective or modifier and might not be acting as a verb in the sentence. If we use an -ing form we should double-check that there is a main subject and verb. The main verb itself can't be in -ing form, and verbs in -ing form also often appear without a subject.

    Fragment: Taking deep breaths. Saul prepared for his presentation.
    Complete sentence: Taking deep breaths, Saul prepared for his presentation.
    Complete sentence: Taking deep breaths helped Saul prepare for his presentation.

    Fragment: Of course, many people welcome the warmer weather. Upsetting scientists who fear governments will not act until global warming becomes irreversible.
    Complete sentence: Of course, many people welcome the warmer weather. Their attitude upsets scientists who fear governments will not act until global warming becomes irreversible.
    Complete sentence: Of course, many people welcome the warmer weather, upsetting scientists who fear governments will not act until global warming becomes irreversible.


    Watch out for: "to ____" phrases

    Another kind of phrase that commonly gets left to stand on its own is an infinitive phrase, or a verb paired with the word to such as to run, to write, or to reach. Like an -ing form, an infinitive cannot be used as the main verb.

    Fragment: We needed to make three hundred more paper cranes. To reach the one thousand mark.

    Complete sentence: We needed to make three hundred more paper cranes to reach the one-thousand mark.

    Complete sentence: We needed to make three hundred more paper cranes. The goal is to reach the one-thousand mark.

    Exercise 15 Revise and Edit

    Revise and edit the first draft of your paragraph.

    Use the checklist below. Improve your paragraph by making corrections, then submit it online.

    • Add a title (follow the rules for titles, capitalize the main words)
    • Check your topic sentence (follow the rules for topic and controlling idea)
    • Check that you have complete sentences (use subjects and verbs, begin with capital letters, and end with periods)
    • Read your content (all ideas must be related to the topic and flow with transitions)

    Extra Credit: To earn up to 5 points of extra credit, record and submit audio or video of yourself reading your paragraph out loud. You should practice your pronunciation first and you will probably want to try reading it a few times before you are happy with your recording. If you choose this option, make sure that you also post your written paragraph so that I can see and score your writing too.

    End-of-Chapter Vocabulary Practice

    Exercise 16 Sentence Completion

    Complete the sentences using the vocabulary in the box below.

    disaster devastating consequence

    inadequate

    advocate contribute reveal

    shift

    Table 1 Chapter 1 Sentence Completion

    1. She is an ________________ for animals. She tries to educate others on how to care for pets.

    2. Because he works the night ________________, he sleeps during the day.

    3. Gaining weight was the ________________ of eating too many potato chips.

    4. Losing his job was ________________ for his family. They had to move out of their home.

    5. Don’t tell Martha your secrets. She always ________________ them!

    6. The event was a ________________. Nothing went well.

    7. A 65% grade was ________________ to pass the class.

    8. An active student ________________ to the class discussion.

    Exercise 17 Discussion Questions

    Take notes answering the questions below. Then discuss your answers with a partner or group.

    1. What are some examples of recent disasters? Are these disasters from nature or could they have been avoided?

    2. What are some consequences of dropping out of school?

    3. How does your family contribute to your education?

    4. How much time is adequate to learn a language?

    5. Why is it important for companies to reveal the ingredients of their products?


    This page titled 1.1: "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire" is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Rebecca Al Haider.

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