U2 Writing Practice

Practice writing using literary devices that you learned in U2 Reading and U2 Listening. 


Hyperbole is an exgeration. Some hyperboles are very common such as "X took forever" to say that X took a long time. You may notice these hyperboles being used around you by native speakers, in music, or on TV. You can use these hyperboles in your writing. If these hyperboles are familiar to your audience, they may help the audience more easily understand your idea. You can also create your own hyperboles to add originality or interest to your writing. You can brainstorm for ideas to include in a hyperbole in many different ways. One way to brainstorm hyperbole ideas is to think of things that have the attribute that you are trying to express and then think of extreme versions of that thing. For example, if the attribute or idea that you want to express is "many times" such as in the sentence "I have been there many times.", then think of extreme versions of "many". Some extreme versions may be "dozens", "hundreds", or "as many times as there is sand in the sea". 

Hyperboles are expressed many different ways, so there is not a set construction for them. They will follow regular grammar rules for making a complete sentence and expressing an idea. They often involve the use of similes and metaphors. For example, "My dog is as big as a house." uses "as" to show a comparison, but the dog was not actually the size of a house, so this is a hyperbole. Hyperboles also often use the auxiliary verb "could" to suggest an extreme hypothetical. For example, "I could eat a whole cow." suggests the hypothetical situation of eating an extreme amount of food. When writing a hyperbole, you may use comparisons and the auxiliary verb "could". 

When revising writing to include hyperbole or make a hyperbole better, consider what you want to emphasize. Unless the whole purpose of your poem is to write only hyperboles for satirical or humorous purposes, you will likely only use a few hyperboles in your writing. Hyperboles draw attention to the idea that you are exaggerating. Therefore, when you revise, consider what you want to draw attention to. That is where you can add hyperbole. One way to improve a hyperbole that you have already included is to change the exaggeration to something humorous if you want to include humor or something neutral if you do not want to include humor. 

Because hyperboles can be used in many different ways, when editing writing with hyperboles you should edit for general English errors. 


HumorousI've been in line since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. 
NeutralI've been in line for ages. 

Exercise 2.20

Brainstorm hyperbole ideas with a partner. Think of things that have the attribute given below. Say one of your ideas to your partner. You can use words or phrases; you do not need to say full sentences. They will then respond with a thing that has that attribute in a more extreme way. Then you will reply to them with an even more extreme thing. Brainstorm with your partner for about 1 minute on each attribute. Then write your favorite idea from the brainstorming activity to show that attribute. 

Example: lively

Partner A: "Music."

Partner B: "People."

Partner A: "Festivals."

Partner B: "Rock concerts."

Favorite Idea: rock concerts

1. fast            _________________________________

2. calm           _________________________________

3. heavy rain  _________________________________

Exercise 2.21

Part A

Create your own hyperboles to express the ideas below. 

1.  My grandfather is very old.

2. The room was very cold. 

3. She sleeps really deeply.

4. The book was really long.

5. The sunny weather was really hot.

6. The woman was really hungry. 

7. The car is very expensive.

8. I have a lot of homework.

Part B 

Share your hyperboles with a classmate. Did you think of similar or different hyperboles?

Exercise 2.22

Revise the following sentences to have more humorous or more neutral hyperboles as called for. 

1. (humorous) It's raining cats and dogs. 

2. (humorous) She is as old as the hills. 

3. (neutral) The game went on for a whale of a time. 

4. (neutral) That pie could feed the entire town, the neighboring town, and the neighboring, neighboring town besides. 

Exercise 2.23

Part A

Revise the following sentences to better use hyperboles. 

1. My backpack weighs a pound. 

2. I am so tired, I could sleep for a day. 

3. She told me a hundred times. 

4. They are coming faster than something really fast. 

5. He is really hungry. 

6. It is really bright outside. 

Part B

Reflect on your thinking. Consider these questions:

  • What did you think about when you edited the hyperboles?
  • How did you approach correcting them to be better?
  • Was your editing process effective (successful)?
  • Was your editing process efficient (timely)? 
  • Would you change your editing process in any way next time?


A euphemism is a way of saying something more politely and indirectly. Many euphemisms are set, common phrases like "let go" while others may be more original to the author like "not the sharpest crayon in the box". When brainstorming euphemisms, you may want to do some internet or in-person research. You can search for "euphemisms for (topic)" or ask a native speaker if they know any polite replacement phrases. Be aware that euphemisms replace rude, direct ideas, so if you do an internet search, it may mention rude or sensitive topics. 

When you use euphemisms in writing, you can either write the classic phrase or change some of the words to give it your own twist. For example, you could use the classic phrase "let go" or you could change it a little to "let go and is going, going, gone" which includes some baseball humor. You make a euphemism more original by adding to in as in the previous example or you can change out words without making it longer. For example, you could change "not the brightest bulb" to "not the brightest candle". 

When revising, consider which ideas in your play the characters or audience may consider rude to say directly. You can change those areas of the play to include euphemisms. If you are already including a euphemism, revise the euphemism to be more relatable to the audience by making sure it uses familiar words and ideas. You can also revise the euphemism to be more original to add character or humor. 

Because euphemisms use many different constructions and are often phrasal verbs, when editing writing with euphemisms you should edit for general English errors. Be aware that if the euphemism does use a phrasal verb or is almost idiomatic, then the euphemism might have unique grammar. If you have a question about a particular euphemism, you can ask your teacher or do an internet search for examples of euphemisms used in sentences. 

Exercise 2.24

Match the euphemism with the situation it represents. Write the euphemism on the line. 

Word Bank:

 let go,    between jobs,    over the hill,    kicked the bucket,    under the weather,   has a bun in the oven,

 tossed his cookies,    cozy,    fell off the back of a truck,    not the sharpest crayon in the box

1. He was feeling sick. He was feeling __________. 

2. My wife was fired. She was  __________.

3. I am unemployed. I am __________. 

4. He died. He __________. 

5. He vomited. He __________.

6. My grandmother is very old. She is __________.

7. The apartment is small. It is __________.

8. She's pregnant. She __________.

9. It is stolen. It __________. 

10. He is stupid. He is __________.

Exercise 2.25

Create your own polite euphemisms for the following situations.

1. being fired

2. death of a person

3. getting married

4. being stupid

5. being bald

*Sometimes even positive situations are referred to with euphemisms to be funny or to express sarcasm about the situation. 

Exercise 2.26

Revise the sentences below using euphemisms. These sentences are intentionally too direct and rude. Revise them to be more indirect and polite. 

1. Jenny was short. 

2. I just bought a used car. 

3. She is going to prison. 

4. They are old. 

5. He died. 

6. He is fat. 

7. She is unemployed. 

8. They are poor. 

Exercise 2.27

Edit the sentences below. Write the correct version of each sentence. You may need to search for the meaning of the euphemism to find examples of how it is used and determine the correct way to use it. 

1.  Amanda is feeling a bit under the whether right now. 

2. My dog is getting on in year. 

3. He pass away peacefully in his sleep yesterday. 

4. They not do suffer fools gladly. 

5. My car leave a lot to be desired. 


Diction is the specific use of words to express an exact meaning. When prewriting, consider the situation you are using the words in, your purpose for writing, and the connotations of the words1. Thinking of the situation of the scene you are writing will help you pick words appropriate for that scene. Thinking of your purpose or even your character's purpose for speaking will help you pick words appropriate to inform, entertain, or persuade. Learning the connotations of words will help you pick the ones that express the exact meaning that you want. 

Once you are aware of those things, you can write using the words that suit the situation of your play. 

You may need to revise your writing to make different word choices. If there is a better word that more closely matches the idea you want to express or the setting of the play, then you may change the wording in your writing. 

To edit writing that uses purposeful diction, you will need to learn the part of speech of the particular word you want to use and then make sure that the word is used grammatically in the sentence. For example, if you want to use the verb "address", but the sentence you use it in says "I will have address for that issue soon.", you would need to fix to delete "have" to use "address" as a verb, not a noun. Using the specific words you choose for diction correctly given their parts of speech may require some editing. 


Exercise 2.28

Choose the correct type of diction for each situation: formal, informal, or poetic. Then write a list of words or phrases you could use in each situation. 


Speaking to the Queen: formal or poetic

Your Majesty, Ma'am, excuse me

1. Asking your significant other's family for approval or a blessing on your marriage to your significant other: __________


2. Teenagers or young adults joking with their friends when out late at night:__________


3. Speaking, singing, or reading to a child to send them to sleep:__________


4. A disagreement between businessmen:__________


5. An argument between strangers on the sidewalks of New York:__________


6. Interviewing for a job:__________


7. Asking grandparents for advice:__________


8. Talking to the grocery store clerk as you check out:__________


9. Wedding vows: __________


Exercise 2.29

What type of diction would you use for each situation? Write a sentence that a character could say in that situation. Underline the specific words or phrases you chose for the situation.

1. Going to the movies with a date


2. Speaking in court at a legal trial


3. Two brothers talking about their hobbies


4. A daughter learning from her grandmother


5. A pilot flying an airplane



Exercise 2.30

Part A

Revise the following sentences to have better diction. The situation has been given in parentheses. 

1. (a narrator giving a character introduction) Harry, the intrepid traveler, went on a trip. 

2. (a teenager talking to a friend) I brought my backpack to school. 

3. (a parent talking to another adult at a child's birthday party) Can you cut the cake?

4. (a business person giving a speech) We would like to thank you all for coming to this event. 

5. (a young child speaking to a family member) I can't wait for the holidays.

Part B

Reflect on your thinking. Consider these questions:

  • What did you think about when you revised the sentences in part A?
  • How did you approach revising them?
  • Was your revising process effective (successful)?
  • Was your revising process efficient (timely)? 
  • Would you change your revising process in any way next time?

Exercise 2.31

Edit the following sentences so that the underlined diction is used correctly. 

1. I am fasten my seatbelt. Don't worry.

2. They talked the nonstop, so I never got around to telling them the change in plans. 

3. That old phone has obsolete. You should try this one. 

4. They are playing in the garden because the weather today is delightful quite. 

5. Dude, that totally rad


An oxymoron is a set of contradictory words that work together. You can prewrite to include oxymorons by either searching for one that has already been created and suits your purpose or by creating your own with opposite words. To narrow down your list of possible oxymorons, consider which of them best fits the meaning of your sentence or scene. 

Oxymorons are often verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, so may be used in many different ways when writing. They may either be combined into one word such as "bittersweet", next to each other as separate words such as "whole piece", or in phrases or clauses near each other such as "His honour rooted in dishonour stood" from Alfred Tennyson's Idylls of the King1. The two words should be fairly close together. An oxymoron is only two words that are opposite used together; if you use whole sentences, actions, or ideas that are opposed together2. Paradox will be studied in unit 3. To keep to writing oxymorons, focus on using only two words that contradict each other rather than longer phrases or clauses. 

When revising, you can add oxymorons where you would like to highlight a contradiction or add reader interest. You can remove an oxymoron, if the nature of the oxymoron seems like it will confuse the reader more than you want to or if you change your mind about the idea you want to include in that part of the play and the oxymoron no longer fits. You can also revise your oxymoron to be more directly opposed to make it stronger. There are direct oxymorons where the words are the exact opposite, and there are near oxymorons where the words are mostly opposite but not perfectly opposite. For example, you could change "virtual assistant" which implies an almost opposing relationship between the words with "virtual reality" which is a direct opposing relationship between the words. This emphasizes the opposing nature of the pair of words, but should only be done if the direct oxymoron still matches the meaning you want to express in your writing.  

Because oxymorons can be created in many different ways, when editing oxymorons, you should edit for general English errors. 

1. https://edtechbooks.org/-XCsc

2. https://edtechbooks.org/-Peqk 

Exercise 2.32

Fill in the blanks using the following oxymorons. The sentences below are not part of the same play.

Word Bank:

random order,    even odds,    only choice,    jumbo shrimp,   

plastic silverware,    loud whisper,    wise fool,    working vacation

1. SADE: (looking over the menu) I'll have the __________. 

2. ZIKIRI: (looking between the many children and the presents) We will have to give them out in __________.

3. Joshua: (setting the table for the picnic) I think we need one more set of __________.

4. Marie: (looking longingly out the window at the beach) I wish this wasn't a __________. 

5. The Announcer: (walking around the stage dramatically) Welcome everyone to tonight's event. It is an even match between Joe the Giant and Wrecking Ricardo! There are __________ on tonight's fight.

6. Kelly: (in a __________) Do you really think she did stole it?

7. Annette: (shaking her head in disapproval) He is a __________. 

8. Amihan: (looking determined) It is the __________. 

Exercise 2.33

Choose 5 oxymorons from this website: https://edtechbooks.org/-CoDu or create your own. Use each oxymoron in a sentence.


Exercise 2.34

Revise the sentences below to add, remove, or strengthen the underlined oxymorons used. If you remove the oxymoron, you may keep part and add other non-oxymoron words to the sentence. Use the clue to help you change the sentence. 

1. (strengthen to be more directly opposing) This morning was seriously fun

2. (add an oxymoron) His answer was ambiguous

3. (remove to make this more descriptive) I managed to get lost in the small crowd

4. (strengthen to be more directly opposing) The couple ran away to be alone with each other

5. (strengthen to be more directly opposing) He was obviously confused

6. (remove to fit the intended meaning better) The quiet thunder shook the house.

7. (add) My grandmother told us stories of the past every Saturday. It was like visiting history

8. (add) The two teams' ideas were similar

9. (remove to make this more descriptive) I had the orange chicken at the restaurant. It was sweet and sour

Vocabulary To Know

Ambiguous* - the answer can be understood more than one way 

*Academic Word List word

Exercise 2.35

Revise and edit the sentences below to better use oxymorons. 

1. The cake at brunch was terrible good. 

2. I am just a fool wise. 

3. The theif tried to act naturally but still got catch. 

4. "Excuse me, I ordered the Jumbo shrimp.

5. The love between princess and her guard was an open secrett. 


Alliteration is a series of words that share the same starting sound. You can brainstorm words that start with the same letter to rewrite. Be aware that as you brainstorm, it may be easy to think of ideas that start with the same letter, but you will then have to narrow that list to words that start with the same sound because some letters can make more than one sound.  You can brainstorm by writing your own list of words, searching for words using a website such as this one https://edtechbooks.org/-iGZa , or talking with a friend to generate ideas. You can even use an AI like ChatGPT to list words that start with a certain sound. Once you have possible words to use, you can narrow the list to words that relate to your topic. If you already know one or more words you want to include, you can use the ways mentioned above to find other words that start with the same sound as those you already want to use. 

Writing alliteration is similar to writing a regular sentence. Alliteration can be made up of words with different parts of speech and can be used anywhere in a sentence or even be the whole sentence. You can write using alliteration as you would any sentence, just using words that start with the same sound. 

Some things you may revise are increasing or decreasing the amount of alliterated words and deciding how near the alliterated words are. The more alliterated words and the closer they are together the stronger the effect of the alliteration will be. They will also be more noticeable. The fewer and farther apart the words are the weaker the effect will be. They will also be less noticeable. Depending on how strong an effect is and how much you want the alliteration to be the focus, you can add or subtract alliterating words. You can also use alliterating words nearer or farther apart. For example, to have a stronger effect, you may change "The cars were crashing." to "The clumsy cars crashed.". Be careful that any changes still match your intended meaning. The previous example changes the timing of the crash which depending on the play may or may not fit the intended meaning. 

Because alliteration can be created many different ways, when editing alliteration, you should edit for general English errors. 

Exercise 2.36

Brainstorm a list of 10 possible alliterating words to use in a play set in spring. You can either create a list and narrow it to words related to spring, or you can choose a few spring words and create a list around those words. 

1. _____________

2. _____________

3. _____________

4. _____________

5. _____________

6. _____________

7. _____________

8. _____________

9. _____________

10. _____________

Exercise 2.37

Write sentences that use alliteration that use the following word(s). 

1. truth


2. chocolate


3. week


4. disagree


5. laugh


6. solve


7. precise*


8. major*


9. reject*


10. secret


* Academic Word List words


Exercise 2.38

Revise and edit the following sentences to better use alliteration. 

1. Hey! How have you been hazel Harry?

2. That dazzle view is detoxifying my day. 

3. Don't joke jimmy. This is seriously seriously. 

4. I got all mixed up when I tried find my way through that maze. 

5. Alyssa always advise avoiding aloof creative aristocrats. 

Exercise 2.39

Rewrite the following scene to include at least 5 examples of alliteration.

The Bracelet [excerpt]

by Alfred Sutro

When the curtain rises, the room is in darkness. WILLIAM, the footman, enters hurriedly and switches on the electric light. He rushes to the table, looks eagerly around, shifting cups and glasses, napkins, etc., then goes on his hands and knees and searches on the carpet. After a moment, SMITHERS, the lady's-maid, follows him.

SMITHERS. [Eagerly.] Can't you find it?

WILLIAM. [Sulkily.] No. Not yet. Give me time.

SMITHERS. [Feeling along the table-cloth.] Under one of those rugs, perhaps.

WILLIAM. Well, I'm looking. [Motor-horn sounds sharply, off.] All right, all right!

SMITHERS. [With a jerk of the head.] Missis is telling him to do it.

WILLIAM. [On all fours, crawling about.] Very like her voice, too, when she's angry. Drat the thing! Where can it be?

[He peers into the coal-scuttle.

SMITHERS. No good looking in there, stupid.

WILLIAM. They always say it's the unlikeliest places—

[MARTIN, the butler, comes in.

MARTIN. Come, come, haven't you found it?

WILLIAM. No, Mr. Martin. It ain't here.

MARTIN. [Bustling about.] Must be, must be. She says—

WILLIAM. I can't help what she says. It ain't.

MARTIN. [Looking under the sofa.] Just you hustle, young man, and don't give me any back-answers.

     [Having completed his examination of the sofa, he moves to the

     sideboard, and fusses round that.

SMITHERS. [Methodically shaking out each napkin.] I tell you she's cross.

MARTIN. [Hard at work, searching.] Doesn't mind disturbing us, in the midst of our supper!

WILLIAM. [Who, all the time, has been on all fours searching.] We're dirt, that's what we are—dirt.

MARTIN. [Reprovingly.] William, I've told you before—

WILLIAM. Very sorry, Mr. Martin, but this is the first time I've accepted an engagement at a stockbroker's. [He has been crawling round the curtains at the back, shaking them; pulling hard at one of them he dislodges the lower part.] Lor! Now I've done it!


MARTIN. [Severely.] That comes of too much talk Never mind the curtain—go on looking.


When the curtain rises, the room is in darkness. WILLIAM, the footman, enters hurriedly and switches on the electric light. He rushes to the table, looks eagerly around, shifting cups and glasses, napkins, etc., then goes on his hands and knees and searches on the carpet. After a moment, SMITHERS, the lady's-maid, follows him.

SMITHERS. _____________________________________________________________________________________

WILLIAM. _____________________________________________________________________________________

SMITHERS. _____________________________________________________________________________________

WILLIAM. _____________________________________________________________________________________

SMITHERS. _____________________________________________________________________________________

WILLIAM. _____________________________________________________________________________________

[He peers into the coal-scuttle.

SMITHERS. _____________________________________________________________________________________

WILLIAM. _____________________________________________________________________________________

[MARTIN, the butler, comes in.

MARTIN. _____________________________________________________________________________________

WILLIAM. _____________________________________________________________________________________


WILLIAM. _____________________________________________________________________________________

MARTIN. _____________________________________________________________________________________

     [Having completed his examination of the sofa, he moves to the

     sideboard, and fusses round that.

SMITHERS. _____________________________________________________________________________________



MARTIN. _____________________________________________________________________________________

WILLIAM. _____________________________________________________________________________________

SMITHERS. MARTIN. _____________________________________________________________________________________


This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.

Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/introduction_to_crea/u3_writing_practice.