Friends, Good Friends

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ESL 109

Unit: Introduction to the Writing Process

Activity 2: "Friends, Good Friends, and Such Good Friends"


1. Pre-Reading: Skimming and scanning. What are the seven categories of friends that the author mentions?

3 minutes

2. Pre-Reading: Read the first 3 paragraphs. Which paragraphs contain the introduction? What kind of information is included in the introduction? ? What is the main idea (thesis) of this article?

5 minutes

3. Pre-Reading: Look at the end of the article. Where do you think the conclusion starts? Hint: the first sentence of the conclusion summarizes the main idea.

5 minutes

4. Reading: Read the article.

30 minutes

5. Outlining: Make an outline of the article:

10 minutes

I. Main Idea:

II. Body








III. Conclusion:

FRIENDS, GOOD FRIENDS--and Such Good Friends

by Judith Viorst


Judith Viorst is an author of light verse, children's books, and magazine articles. In this essay, originally written for Redbook, Viorst explains what friendship is by describing different types of friends.


Ingmar Bergman (paragraph 2): a contemporary Swedish filmmaker, known for his artistic productions

Albert Camus (paragraph 2): a twentieth-centry French writer and philosopher

ardor (paragraph 2): passion

nonchalant (paragraph 8): without warmth or enthusiasm

mutual (paragraph 8): join, shared

endodontist (paragraph 14): a dentist who specialized in root canals

crucial (paragraph 17): extremely important

forge (paragraph 18): from

dormant (paragraph 19): sleeping or inactive

perspective (paragraph 20): point of view

questing (paragraph 22): seeking

calibrated (paragraph 29): measured

1 Women are friends, I once would have said, when they totally love and support and trust each other, and bare to each other the secrets of their should, and run--no questions asked--to help each other, and tell harsh truths to each other (no, you can't wear that dress unless you lose ten pounds first) when harsh truths must be told.

2 Women are friends, I once would have said, when they share the same affection for Ingmar Bergman, plus train rides, cats, warm rain, charades, Camus, and hate with equal ardor Newark and Brussels sprouts and Lawrence Welk and camping.

3 In other words, I once would have said that a friend is a friend all the way, but now I believe that's a narrow point of view. For the friendships I have and the friendships I see are conducted at many levels of intensity, serve many different functions, meet different needs and range from those as all-the-way as the friendship of the soul sisters mentioned above to that of the most nonchalant and casual playmates.

4 Consider these varieties of friendship:

5 1. Convenience friends. These are women with whom, if our paths weren't crossing all the time, we'd have no particular reason to be friends: a next-door neighbor, a woman in our car pool, the mother of one of our children's closest friends, or maybe some mommy with whom we serve juice and cookies each week at the Glenwood Co-op Nursery.

6 Convenience friends are convenient indeed. They'll lend us their cups and silverware for a party. They'll...
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