It's a writing class. So, "What's the point?" You will write to improve your writing. Learn by doing.
Writing is a form of communication. As with all forms of communication, never lose sight of your target. You can think of this as "form over function." No, wait. That's backwards. Unfortunately, this is how many learners of English are taught to write. Forms. In our class, we focus on function.
The purpose of communication is to communicate. Seems pretty obvious,
right? Content--the message--is more important than delivery. However,
we must remember that delivery (grammar, style, presentation) affects
how the message is understood. And delivery can affect how people think
about the message. Do you want to sound like an uneducated mountain-boy,
or a university-educated businessman (or woman)?
Vocabulary is important. Unlike reading, where you should NOT spend
all your time in the dictionary, with writing you might spend a lot of
time deciding which word is best. A dictionary, as well as a thesaurus,
can be very helpful. Sure, use a bilingual dictionary to help you get
started, but be sure to consult a good English-English dictionary, to
make sure words mean what you want them to mean.
We use rules to string words together. Syntax includes what you usually think of as grammar. Syntax is the rules and principles that govern the sentence structure. We can also talk about genre and style and... well, we won't go too far concerning those in this class. We will be working at the sentence and paragraph level. Our target, ultimately, is the full essay or business message (Email, Fax, Written Letter or Contract, Press Release, Speech, etc.).
We use colored pens (green, purple or red, and a yellow hi-liter) to do peer-editing. Peer-editing is when we look at our classmate's paper to help them write better, and also teach ourselves.
Today's paragraph (after reading comments) is to rewrite one of yesterday's three paragraphs.
Weekend homework: Write a paragraph that begins with
"I hate this class because..."