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Memoir writing process steps

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A step by step guide to developing your own original memoir for English 10 at Charles P. Allen High School during English 10, semester 1, 2014-2015

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Memoir writing process steps

  1. 1. Memoir Process Steps
  2. 2. Pre-Writing
  3. 3. (Sheet of looseleaf, folded in ½ top to bottom) List 3 places that are personally significant. List 5 important moments that occurred in each of these places STEP 1
  4. 4. (Writer’s notebook) Create a “ranking” list for the 15 memories you generated at step 1. 15 is the memory that has the smallest amount of “this moment impacted who I am and what I am like today” in it. #1 is the moment that is loaded and overflowing with “this moment impacted who I am and what I am like today” STEP 2
  5. 5. Look at your top 3 moments in terms of personal significance. Choose one of them to start wriCng about. If you get a couple steps down the road and decide that one of your other top 3 moments is a beEer fit for this acCvity, it’s OK to abandon ship and start fresh. J STEP 3
  6. 6. Create a bank of raw ideas to help you draft a memoir. Make a list OR create a thought web/brainstorm OR write in jot notes/point form OR free write in paragraphs Whatever method you choose, make sure you include: Dominant imagery-­‐ what are the notable sensory details of this experience? Come up with a strong, lengthy list. More is beEer than less-­‐ you can focus on the truly important ones later and leave the nicky-­‐nack ones out Important emo/ons-­‐ what are the range of emoCons you felt during this experience? There should be a process, a series of feelings, rather than a simplisCc “bad” or “good.” Use a thesaurus if need be SO WHAT? In six words, sum up the lesson learned through this moment. This is the whole point of why you’re wriCng. If you can’t say it in a few words, you haven’t figured it out, and will struggle to convey this to your reader People? Who did you share this moment with? Who contributed? Dialogue and conversaCon can be important pieces of memoir. Power: what did you lose or gain? Who had control? Did you start helpless and end strong? Vice versa? Think about how you grew up through this… STEP 4
  7. 7. DRAFT.
  8. 8. Take your list from step 4, and write two pages single spaced. TURN OFF YOUR INNER EDITOR. Your spelling doesn’t need to be perfect. Neither does your grammar. The goal here is to try and capture the experience on paper as a FIRST STEP towards building and improving your wriCng. JUST WRITE. Remember, it’s OK to write more than 2 pages, but if you’re ge_ng to 6 and 7? You’re likely wriCng about too large an experience OR you’re chasing things. Use 2-­‐3 pages as a focused goal STEP 5
  9. 9. REVISE/ CONFERENCE.
  10. 10. TAG your memoir Share your drab with someone else with a drab who needs some feedback. Remember that your goal here is STRICTLY to look at their SO WHAT? and the notable emoCons of their experience. Don’t say anything about anything else yet! Do this with TWO partners. MulCple sets of eyes means a range of perspecCves and good feedback. IMPORTANT: If your partners’ feedback tell you your SO WHAT isn’t coming through clearly, then do some rewriCng. Make changes to help this come through clearly! Your partner should write down their feedback for you. DO NOT leave a conference without wriEen feedback, and don’t let your partner off the hook with non-­‐specific “I really like it. It’s great!” feedback. It’s your job to collect meaningful feedback that gives you direct, clear acCon steps that will lead to improved wriCng! STEP 6
  11. 11. TAG TALK ABOUT… ASK QUESTIONS… GIVE ADVICE… STEP 6
  12. 12. STAR your memoir Share your drab with someone else with a drab who needs further feedback. Remember that your goal here is about the nuts and bolts of wriCng that contribute to style and voice-­‐ the personality and impact of the wriCng. Don’t say anything about punctuaCon, spelling, grammar because it’s quick and easy. We will self-­‐check for these things later! Do this with TWO partners. IMPORTANT: Your partner should write down their feedback for you. DO NOT leave a conference without wriEen feedback, and don’t let your partner off the hook with non-­‐specific “I really like it. It’s great!” feedback. It’s your job to collect meaningful feedback that gives you direct, clear acCon steps that will lead to improved wriCng! STEP 7
  13. 13. STAR SUBSTITUTE, TAKE OUT, ADD MORE, REARRANGE/REORDER STEP 7
  14. 14. Check yourself for: Effective Paragraphs See your lesson notes for ideas about: monitoring whether your paragraphs are well composed (one well developed idea per paragraph) THERE SHOULD BE MARKS ON YOUR DRAFT TO SHOW THAT YOU LOCATED ISSUES AND DETERMINED HOW TO RESOLVE THEM! STEP 8
  15. 15. Check yourself for: Sentence fluency See your lesson notes for ideas about: how you’re doing with sentence fluency smooth reading variety of length simple/complex variety of beginnings variety of punctuaCon at the end/middle of sentences). THERE SHOULD BE MARKS ON YOUR DRAFT TO SHOW THAT YOU LOCATED ISSUES AND DETERMINED HOW TO RESOLVE THEM! STEP 9
  16. 16. PROOFREAD.
  17. 17. PROOFREAD Print the copy where all the improvements suggested/idenCfied in steps 6-­‐9 Using the proofreading checklist posted in moodle, follow the series of steps listed (READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY!). This means MARKING THIS COPY UP. Make any correcCons this final step idenCfies. STEP 10
  18. 18. PUBLISH.
  19. 19. PUBLISH Create a 6 Word Memoir (an image with the six word version of the memoir you’re passing in). This will be the cover of your memoir. That means you need to print it. J In full colour, preferably. Take the drab you did in step 10, make any nicky nack error correcCons and print your SUPERSPIFFY final drab. Make sure your name is on it. Staple these together Put all of the rough work from steps 1-­‐10 in your pocket folder, along with the process checklist/memoir rubric. Missing items=missing points. STEP 11
  20. 20. SUBMIT.
  21. 21. PASS IT IN. Then we will celebrate! (AND start a new unit.) THIS IS DUE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, IN CLASS. STEP 12

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