Wednesday, September 26, 2007
We all spent part of class observing gym class on Wednesday, a beautiful day that felt more like early summer than early fall. What observations did you make? How would you describe the sight?
You've read the beginning of my description. Now it's time to post your own version. Write it in the comments. But remember to use strong, active verbs and ING words to help convey motion to the scene.
Here's the catch. Your description - like mine above - cannot contain any adverbs. In other words, no words that end in -ly or similar words. Let your verbs and nouns do all the work. Try it.
Monday, September 24, 2007
- Make your event the focus of the paper
- Be organized in the before, during, and after time sequences
- Balance the organization by repeating important ideas in each sequence
- Use transitions to indicate a shift in each sequence
- Include powerful words (active verbs, ING words) to convey motion and action
Monday, September 17, 2007
First, here's wonderful piece by Dave Barry, who's better known for his humorous syndicated newspaper column. This piece is serious and, like everything Barry writes, is well-crafted and memorable. The only problem is that it's a PDF file, so you may have to adjust the zoom to read it.
Here's an essay that helped a high school student from Wisconsin get into Connecticut College. Notice how the writer captures your attention immediately with his opening. Concrete nouns and strong verbs help make his case throughout the essay.
Finally, here's one by a well-renowned editor, who discusses the importance of finding the right "place" to write. Take special notice of his tone.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
You should use the following structure to build your paragraphs:
- Introduction - includes a one-sentence controlling idea
- One attempt that failed - who, what, where, why, when, how
- Another attempt that failed - who, what, where, why, when, how
- Any other attempts - who, what, where, why, when, how
- The attempt that was successful - who, what, where, why, when, how
- Bring story to finality
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
In constructing the essay, we will address the following objectives:
- stating a specific problem in the controlling idea
- explaining how the problem was solved
- providing specific details to describe each attempt to solve the problem
- using transition words to link ideas
- using concrete verbs
Start by brainstorming a list of possible topics. Narrow down your choices and create a web or idea map to generate ideas for your essay. If you are to write this effectively, your essay must adhere to a specific structure that lays out your problem, explains different attempts to solve it, and finally describes the ultimate solution.
Rough draft due Sept. 18 - Final draft due Sept. 20. Check out the calendar to the right.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Read the following three narratives linked below. These student writers have explored memories, people, and hobbies.
For the love of the game
The Birthday that never happened
As you read them, keep an eye out for what makes them effective, interesting, and/or well-written. This class is called Writing the Essay, so it is important we focus on those choices that good writers make. What is it that the authors do in these pieces to effectively tell their story and illustrate to their readers why the experience/person/memory has such significance to them. Choose one of the essays and complete a Personal Narrative Think Sheet for the essay. The Think Sheet should also help you brainstorm ideas to explore and develop in your own essays.
As a follow up to this assignment, complete a Think Sheet of your own for the personal narrative you plan to write. Bring it with you to the next class. A copy of the Think Sheet can be found here.