Essay Writing Workshop - Part 2


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  • Make sure a variety of colored highlighters are available at every table
  • Word to the wise – always read your writing out loudYour EAR will catch mistakes your EYES will not!Writing Rule of thumb: if it SOUNDS wrong, it usually is!After directions given (5 minutes), set the online stopwatch for 5 minutes, stop students at this point and reset for 5 minutes for next reader
  • Have students stand and yell: I am awesome! (at the awesome bit)
  • No matter how you are approaching your essay, you need to have some semblance of an introduction, body, and conclusion!You also need transitions throughout your essay  these are the glue to your logic
  • Write these tips down… they are good for anything you write!
  • Walk through and then SHOW EXAMPLE #1 paragraph  and example of what to do. 10 minutes work, USE TIMERAre paragraphs coherent? Does each one only focus on one idea? Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that expresses that main idea? Does each paragraph have a concluding sentence that sums up the idea of the paragraph in a new and interesting manner?   Does the concluding paragraph really sum up the whole essay and/or add reflection?
  • Put up online stop watch for thisTO END… high five your partner and say “Word up!”
  • Identify a paragraph or section in your essay that still needs LOTS of work!You are going to beat this…
  • The best writing advice I ever got:NOUN --VERB
  • TIME THEM: 5 mins.
  • As Hamlet said, “Suit the word to the action and the action to the word.”
  • While making these decisions about word choice, consider your tone and be sure your word choice matches your desired tone.
  • Show CUT paragraph…Each sentence is its own island of information, make the shores perfect!
  • up online stop watch for thisTO END… exchange a proper handshake (no flimsy fish!) and say “Write on!”
  • Robert Frost, “A good poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom” … and so should your essay!
  • Don’t make it unnatural or cheesy, but a little simple flair goes a long way… If you don’t normally wax poetic, then perhaps
  • If no time, cut
  • If no time, cut
  • Essay Writing Workshop - Part 2

    2. 2. WELCOME BACK, OH BRILLIANT WRITERS!Today‟s Objectives:1) To review your essay organization2) To enhance precision & concision in your writing3) To add flair & joy to your writing & the writing process WORD UP & WRITE ON
    3. 3. READ ALOUD!  Read your question & essay to yourIf it partner (5 mins.)SOUNDSwrong…  Writers,if while reading you hear ait problem, simply highlight & continueprobably reading, don’t stop to fix it!is!  Partners, listen for two things: 1. Has the writer answered the question? 2. Does the essay reflect her/his true voice?  Switch readers  complete same
    5. 5. REMEMBER: no-nos The list of topic This is about YOU  your ethos, values, aspirations  Cast aside your humility, you are AWESOME! AND… SHOW don’t TELL!  Examples and analysis and reflection!
    6. 6. Mini Workshop #1:Organization Body + Transitions 
    7. 7. Mini Workshop #1:OrganizationConsider what type of organization you have: How was it in the past?  How is it now?  How may it be in the future? So what? My first impression.  My later view.  My present evaluation. So what? A notable mistake.  Efforts to adjust or correct.  The outcome. So what? How does it appear?  What is it really like?  Why is there this difference? So what? How can it be done?  Steps A, B, C.  What is the result? So what?
    8. 8. Mini Workshop #1: Evidence &Org. Specific Details  Supply anecdotal evidence to show accomplishments  Supply SPECIFICS: names, places, and descriptions  Explain the concrete outcomes of your endeavors  Allow readers to SEE your ethos in action  Most questions ask for a moment or event and what you learned from it, don’t spend the whole essay describing the event, you need to focus on learning, growth, change, epiphany, etc…  10% Description + (90% Analysis x Reflection) =
    9. 9. Mini Workshop #1: Organization Typical / Formal Creative / Narrative Essays ApproachesIdentify & Highlight: Identify & Highlight: INTRO: Thesis / big idea  Main idea / theme of piece Topic sentence for each  Near the beginning body paragraph  Elements/examples that Transition words and support this topic phrases within  Transition words and paragraphs phrases throughout your Concluding &/or piece transition sent. for each body para.
    10. 10. 3rd Inning Stretch Stand up! In 30 seconds, find a partner at ANOTHER table! Read the BEST part/sentence of your essay,explain: WHAT MAKES IT “GOOD”? THEN, briefly explain the part of your essay that needs the most work! (1.5 minutes perpartner)
    11. 11. Choose a Paragraph Go back to that area you pointed out as needed most work… We are going to beat it with a CAVE MAN CLUB
    12. 12. Mini Workshop #2: NOUN / VERB I miss the good old days when all we had to worry about was nouns and verbs
    13. 13. Identify Nouns, Verbs, andModifiers Highlight all key nouns, pronouns, and adjectives with another color.  The beautiful Sarah wore the perfect shoes with her prom dress; she was dressed smashingly.  Grammar reminder: Adjectives modify nouns Highlight all verbs and adverbs with one color.  The beautiful Sarah wore the perfect shoes with her prom dress; she was dressed
    14. 14. Mini Workshop #2:NOUN/VERB It was, it is, there was, there are, etc..  Instead of using the ambiguous “it,” state the noun you mean  Only use state of being verbs if you absolutely have to Instead use VIBRANT action verbsExample:It was cold the day my grandfather died. Instead… The weather grew frigid the day my grandfather died. If you have to use adjectives, or adverbs, make them count!
    15. 15. Mini Workshop #2: NOUNS! Clarify vague pronouns  have clear antecedents  Especially important with it, personal pronouns, and vague nouns  It seems they enjoy those things.  He learned a lot from that experience. Use specific nouns and avoid adjectives:  crone, hag  frumpy old woman  jalopy, rattletrap  Dilapidated vehicle  hovel, shack  Dingy, broken down house
    16. 16. Mini Workshop #2: VERBS!Concision comes in small packages… Simplify verb forms:  What had had happened was… (no perfect tenses; K.I.S.S.)  I now realize…  I have come to the understanding…  I relish…  I do indeed take pleasure in… adverbs  Use precise Cut superfluous  sprint, gallop, dash verbs:  Run very quickly  guffaw, chortle, chuckle  Laugh wholeheartedly  gambol, caper, frolic  Dance wildly
    17. 17. Mini Workshop #2: VERBS +TONE! Tone & diction: Make your words SHOW how you feel! When the doorbell rang, I got off my bed and went to answer the door.  What is the tone?  What words are “flat” or “vague”?  How might they be changed?
    18. 18. Time to EDIT! Now, you will comb through that paragraph you identified earlier  Check nouns and pronouns and their antecedents  replace vague words & pronouns  Replace state of being verbs with action verbs  Keep only the most telling adjectives and adverbs Spend 7 minutes finessing your paragraph
    19. 19. 7th Inning Stretch  Stand up!  In 30 seconds, find A NEW partner at ANOTHER table!  Read your first & your last sentences
    20. 20. Flair Mini Workshop #3: Adding
    21. 21. Mini Workshop #3: AddingFlair First line = first impression (punch „em in the face)  All this happened, more or less. K. Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)  The naked parrot looked like a human fetus spliced onto a kosher chicken. T. Robbins, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (2000)  Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. V. Nabokov, Lolita (1955) Last line = leave a lasting impression I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. M. Oliver
    22. 22. Mini Workshop #3: AddingFlair Read your first and last line to your partner Discuss your starters and finishers How might you spice them up? Take 5 minutes to re-work one or both  Make them memorable Let’s hear a few good ones!
    23. 23. Mini Workshop #3: AddingFlair Metaphors  While volunteering at the hospital, I realized I was a lost boat afloat in the tempest of life. Similes  Like a beacon in the distance, my mother’s advice aided me once again! Sentence Variety / Inverted word order  Learned I did that patience is a necessity not a virtue.  Industrious am I; genius I am not.
    24. 24. Sentence Variety Playing with how you organize your ideas in a sentence also allows you to emphasize certain elements This particular start emphasizes Roy’s mistake…
    25. 25. Sentence Variety… Roy dooms the entire earth to annihilation, when, in an attempt to be friendly, he inadvertently seizes their leader by the head and shakes vigorously.  Emphasizes Roy‟s imminent annihilation Roy seizes their leader by the head and shakes vigorously, inadvertently dooming the entire earth to annihilation with his attempt at being friendly.  Emphasizes Roy‟s social faux pas In an attempt to be friendly, Roy seizes their leader by the head and shakes vigorously, inadvertently dooming the entire earth to annihilation.
    26. 26. Refine your sentences! Go back to the paragraph you are refining  Check each sentence to assure it’s perfect  Add sentence variety where necessary  Add a metaphor or simile  just try it now, and see if you like it  Take 10 minutes to edit sentences Share your ideas with your partner
    27. 27. Write On! Be the Sausage! Go forth and endeavor to share your brilliance with the world! Finish essays early so you have time to polish them Get other eyes on them Set appointments with teachers and counselors for help, discussion, finessing