Sci-Fi Reading Group Class One

Reading Star Trek: Into Darkness

OK, so you don’t really “read” a movie. But we are going to treat Star Trek: Into Darkness as one of our main texts for the next few classes and will be treating it as a text we can “read” in order to work on our English language and cultural knowledge and skills.

For today’s class, you should prepare by watching and thinking about the movie. Then we will do the following exercises in order to work on your speaking, comprehension and writing skills.

Speaking and comprehension practice.

  1. Speaking practice: Tell us what happens in the movie. Describe the events of the movie as completely as you can, in chronological order (in the order they happened). Don’t worry if you forget something, you can add it as we go.
  2. Let’s make a list of all the main characters together.

star trek characs

Writing Practice

  1. Write a paragraph on why you think Star Trek is fun.
  2. Write down the names of the main characters and give a brief description of each character.
  3. Write a paragraph on friendships and teamwork in Star Trek.
  4. Write a paragraph on romance in Star Trek.

Reviewing the writing exercises (1)

Let’s have a look at a sample of your written answers and see where there are strengths in the writing and thinking, and where there are areas for improvement. Your answers are in the blue font, and the tutor’s suggested revisions are in the green font, and comments in red font. Let’s read through them together and discuss

Answer 1:

Because that is travel about the galaxy and it has very interesting travel like other planet people and something we didn’t have. 

Suggestion: Maybe start with a phrase that introduces your theme: “I like Star Trek because…” or “Star Trek is interesting because…”

Suggested revision 1: “Star Trek is interesting because it is about travel around the galaxy”.

Suggested revision 2: “Star Trek’s travels involve encountering people from other planets. That is something we cannot do and is therefore very interesting”.

primitive people star trekComment 1. You couldn’t say “other planet people” but you could say “other planet’s people”. You need to ‘s to show the possessive relationship (the people belong to that planet). 

Comment 2: You couldn’t say “and something we didn’t have” but you could say “and it has something we don’t have”. You need to “it has” to express the comparison (it has/we don’t have).


The most important thing is Khan because sometimes he kill good people but sometimes he help it. Teamwork also is important and friendship. sid

Comment 1: You couldn’t say “the most important thing is Khan…” but you could say “Khan is the most important character…”

Comment 2: You couldn’t say “sometimes he kill good people” but you could say “sometimes he kills good people”

Suggestion: The last sentence contains an important idea, but it needs revision. It might read better is it read as “Teamwork and friendship are also important.” This way you group the themes together (teamwork+friendship) as both as subject to your description (they are important).

kirk and teamStar Wars just have fight with people and not have some main idea. But Star Trek have it. It have a Kirk. He can do everything even he kill himself to save other guys’ life. 

So I like Star Trek.

Comment 1: The first sentence contains an interesting idea that you might further develop in the next few weeks. For now, though, let’s look at how the sentence needs a little improvement.

Comment 2: You couldn’t say “Star Wars just have fightbut you could say “Star Wars just has fighting“.

Comment 3: Also, you couldn’t say “and not have some main idea” but you could say “and lacks any main ideas”. 

Comment 4: Again, you couldn’t say “It have a Kirk” but you could say “It has Kirk”. 

Comment 5: You couldn’t say “do everything even he kill himself” but you could say “do everything, he can even kill himself”

Comment 6: You couldn’t say “to save other guys’ life” but you could say “to save the other guys’ lives”. 

Comment 7: You give your ideas a good ending but making a small conclusion. This is a good example of coherent thinking. 

Answer two:

I like Kirk just because when he was young he was a loser and drunk in a bar. Then someone found him (the old captain). And I think he can be a good person. 

Comment 1: these are interesting ideas and they make a good beginning for your paragraph. But their expression needs some addition to make the ideas work more completely. Let’s look at the writing in the sentences, and revise by adding something to make them more complete ideas.

Comment 2: You couldn’t write “just because when he was young he was a loser…” because that doesn’t express your idea completely. You could write something like “I like the story of Kirk and how he overcame his poor beginning when he was young. He was a loser and could often be found drunk in a bar”. Note the parts in italics: the first part expresses the idea of overcoming (or transformation, or redemption). The second part indicates a usual state (not just a one-off instance). This helps show that he was a young drunkard, not just someone who was once drunk in a bar. 

Also he was very hard to make stronger. He was very brave. He can have a plan and do it.

Comment 1: The idea in the first sentence seems unclear. Check whether it reflects your meaning. Does it need some addition to make it clearer? 

Comment 2: You couldn’t say “also he was very hard to make strongerbut you could say “It was very difficult for him to become stronger”.

Comment 3: the idea of Kirk’s bravery (second sentence) belongs with the sentence below. I would suggest moving it to just before the sentence “They are very danger… ” below. Always try to keep ideas that go together in the same group of sentences. This makes your writing travel more of a straight road (it gives it greater coherence). 

They at very danger work like when the Starship was being attacked. He can work with Khan to friend and fight with her father. 

Comment 1: You couldn’t say “They are ar very danger work” but you could say “They were in great danger when”. 

Comment 2: You couldn’t say “to friend and fight with” but you could say “He could become an ally of Khan in order to fight against her father together”. You should also replace “her” with the character’s name because the reader of your sentence may not know who you mean.

Also he don’t afraid died when he know use someone to fix the machine. He said he can go. Although he already know he will died. But he also want to die. 

Comment 1: You couldn’t say “Also he don’t afraid died” but you could say “Also, he wasn’t afraid to die”.

Comment 2: You couldn’t say “when he know but you could say “when he knew’

Comment 3: You couldn’t say “use someone” but you could say “he needs to use someone”. 

Comment 4: You couldn’t say “already know he will died but you could say “already knew he would die”.

Comment 5: The idea of the last sentence seems incomplete. How could we add to it to make its meaning clearer? 

So I like this person. 

Comment 1: Good to end with you mini-conclusion. 

Answer three:

Kirk and Spock.

When Kirk have danger when Spock know Khan’s blood can cure Kirk. He immediately goes to fight with Khan because he want to ill Kirk. I think that is friendship. skdie

Comment 1: You couldn’t sayWhen Kirk have danger” but you could say “When Kirk is in danger”. 

Comment 2: You couldn’t say “when Spock know Khan’s blood” but you could say “Spock knows that Khan’s blood”.

Comment 3: The logic of the second sentence needs a little further development Does Spock go to fight Khan because he wants to bring him back to use Khan’s blood? 

Suggestion: “He immediately goes to fight with Khan because he knows he needs Khan’s blood to help cure Kirk”. 

Answer four:

Spock and Lieutenant Uhura 

Just when at first she not very like Spock. So quiet. But after she found that Spock are spock uhuravery care about people who are in danger. So at last she likes him and helps him to fight with Khan.

Comment: You couldn’t say “Just when at first” but you could say “At first”.

Comment: You couldn’t say “she not really like Spock” but you could say “she didn’t really like Spock”.

Comment: “But after she found that” is a good way to start the sentence (good use of past tense). 

Comment: You couldn’t say “Spock are very care about” but you could say “Spock really cares about”. You could also say “Spock is very caring about”. 

Comment: the last sentence is a good mini-conclusion. Suggestion: put some commas in the first phrase: “So, at last, …”

Next week: Reading Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens

Next week we will discuss Star Wars so we can go onto compare it with Star Trek.ep7

You should prepare for the class by watching the moving a writing a list of main characters for each movie.

We will also introduce some graphic novels based on Star Trek as reading material for classes this autumn.





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