Practice Sheets For Writing Paragraphs And Essays

As ESL teachers, we’ve all had those students who do great on their grammar exams, speak up confidently in class, and are always first to raise their hands for activities - and yet, when it comes time for a writing assignment, they can barely squeeze out a few short sentences. This can be frustrating for the student and teacher alike - but it’s the symptom of a problem that’s well-known in every teaching community: Speaking and writing are two very different skills.

As with any new skill, practice is key - but students who have trouble writing aren’t usually keen to take on even more writing practice. After all, they might think, if their grammar and vocabulary are correct, and they don’t need to write in English for their jobs, what’s the point of drilling this skill? The answer is, of course, that the ability to write in English is key in the world and the workplace - from writing cover letters and CVs to drafting emails and client presentations. The responsibility is at least partly on you, the teacher, to provide assignments that draw your students into the writing process.

BusyTeacher.org is your number-one stop for exactly those kinds of assignments. Our 730 writing worksheets will provide your students with intriguing writing prompts, and with a variety of writing exercises that’ll help them watch their own improvement as it happens. Our worksheets even break down the writing process into its core components, so you can figure out exactly where in the process each student is struggling, and intervene with exercises to help him or her through that trouble spot.

The writing worksheets here on BusyTeacher.org will help familiarize your students with all the sub-skills involved in writing - from choosing a topic and constructing that first paragraph, all the way to writing movie reviews and short poems. Some of our worksheets even cover basics like handwriting and sentence structure - so no matter how much your students need to brush up on their fundamentals, we’ve got worksheets to meet them where they are.

You’ll find worksheets on any topic you can imagine, from daily routines and holidays to pop culture, news, and even poetry and song lyrics.  Some worksheets just help you lead simple fill-in-the-blank exercises, while others present thought-provoking topics for full essays, or include plans for your students to create their own newsletters. And for students who need help with English school assignments, you’ll also find worksheets on writing essays and test responses.

You can browse all of our 730 writing worksheets in thumbnail view, so you don’t have to wait for any of them to load to get an idea of what they’re like. As you scroll down the page, just click on any worksheet that catches your eye - they’re all completely free to download, print, and share in any way you like. And they’re all created and classroom-tested by real ESL teachers all over the world - which means you can be confident they’ll work in your classroom, too. If you’ve got a worksheet of your own that you’d like to share with your fellow ESL teachers in the BusyTeacher.org community, just click the “Submit a worksheet” button at the bottom of this page.

All of these writing worksheets are here to help you - so pick out a few that look interesting, and give them a try in your classroom today. We’re sure you’ll love them as much as the other ESL teachers in our community already do.

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Writing Paragraphs

In writing, students begin by learning letters, then words, and finally sentences. In time, students learn how to write a paragraph by taking those sentences and organizing them around a common topic. Learning how to write a paragraph can be challenging since it requires knowing how to write a great topic sentence, using supporting details and transitional words, as well as finding a strong concluding sentence.  In fiction, writing a paragraph means understanding which ideas go together and where a new paragraph should begin.

At Time4Writing.com, you’ll find plenty of resources to help students learn how to write a paragraph as well as improve their paragraph writing skills, including free writing resources on topic sentences and the different types of paragraphs, such as descriptive, expository, and narrative.  Articles will assist you in guiding your students and the activities allow them to practice their skills using printable worksheets and quizzes, video lessons, and interactive games.  For further instruction on how to write a paragraph, eight-week writing courses are available for all levels.


Topic Sentence

A topic sentence needs to grab readers’ attention in order to make them want to continue to read. The topic sentence should also give readers an idea of what’s to come. As if that weren’t enough, the writer must make sure the topic sentence is well written and free of errors. Remember, what makes someone’s writing stand out isn’t always what they say, but also how they say it. ... Read More »

Supporting Details

Without strong and vivid supporting details, it hardly matters what a great topic sentence a writer has created for a paragraph. It’s the supporting details, in the form of facts, descriptions, and examples, that back up the claim made in that sentence. The supporting details are important enough that you could think of them as the real meat of any paragraph. ... Read More »

Concluding Sentence

It is important for students to know how to write a conclusion, whether to drive the final point home or to transition to the next point. Writing a conclusion clinches everything mentioned in a paragraph. A conclusion may restate the claim in the topic sentence, but now it has all the supporting details behind it. Whether the conclusion reinforces the topic or leads into the following topic, a paragraph’s concluding sentence plays an important role. ... Read More »

Transitional Words

Using transitional words between sentences builds the unity and coherence of paragraphs. Transitional words like next, similarly, or for instance make sentences flow together, showing how supporting details build on each other and relate to the topic. Creating this flow with transitional words builds the paragraph up to a strong concluding sentence. Unity and coherence makes the entire paragraph effective. ... Read More »

Types of Paragraphs

Because there are three paragraph types: narrative, descriptive, and expository—the paragraph can be used to describe or explain an endless variety of things. It’s important to know how to use each paragraph type for the right purpose, though. Narrative paragraphs tell about a scene or event, descriptive paragraphs give vivid descriptions of one subject, and expository paragraphs provide information. These three paragraph types are powerful tools for writers. ... Read More »

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