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Narrative sequence: which story do you want to tell?
• In fiction stories typically involve a protagonist who faces a prob...
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Enchantment cube - the key

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The key to go with the Enchantment story cube - an activity to enchant and enhance academic writing.

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Enchantment cube - the key

  1. 1. Narrative sequence: which story do you want to tell? • In fiction stories typically involve a protagonist who faces a problem or obstacle: what’s your problem? • Map your story – are there different ways to structure? Flashback? • Re-write a fairy story of your research in a single sentence. Look who’s talking? Using ‘I’ and ‘you’ • Make your writing personal – give agency to yourself not your research, eschew the passive voice. • Engage in direct conversation with your reader. • Relinquish your authority - acknowledge that opinion is not fact. Metamorphosis: transform your title to engage your reader • Use the title formula ‘engaging: informative’, e.g. Snakes on a plane: Aggressive Serpentine Behaviour in a Restrictive Aeronautical Environment. • Set a scene; invoke a metaphor; create an unexpected juxtaposition, or make a grand statement. Active verbs and concrete nouns: who’s kicking whom? • Always be clear who is doing what to whom? • Explain abstract concepts using concrete examples (metaphors can help). • Change passive verb constructions to active ones, and replace ‘be’ verbs with active and unusual verbs. Characters: sleeping beauties, handsome princes, and talking frogs • Who are the potential characters in your research – suspend the law of nature and embrace the law of enchantment. In an animist world objects and abstract concepts can spring to life. • Who is the hero? Who is the villain? Who is the agent of transformation? Setting: once upon a time in a land far far away • Where does your research take place? • Are there physical details that you can incorporate? • Make your opening paragraph set a scene? The story cube key taken from Sword, H. (2012) Stylish Academic Writing, Cambridge Mass. Harvard University Press.

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