10H – 17 Nov 2014 – Writing Day, Introduction to Task 3

Friday you got your choice memoirs from the library and had a reading day. The first third of your memoir is due by Thursday November 20. In your journal, please write about this prompt:

What is the author’s GOAL (aside from telling about his/her life)? What techniques does s/he use to accomplish that goal? Think specifically about

  • Physical language – syntax (sentence structure) and diction (word choice)
  • Figurative language – use of metaphor, simile, personification, imagery, etc.
  • Appeals – use of logic or appeals to emotion
  • Genre – is it poetry? Prose? Letters?
  • Detail – what types of details does the writer include? What types of details does the writer exclude?

Today we’ll start Writing Task 3: Memoir, where you’ll be writing a SCENE from an imaginary chapter from an imaginary memoir that you’re writing. This task is a little different than our previous tasks in two ways:

  1. It’s a more creative-writing based task. The 10H and USLH teachers have incorporated this type of writing into the curriculum because we are trying to prepare you for the highest-stakes writing you’ll ever do: your college essay. It seems crazy to have close reading, analysis, and persuasion at the heart of our writing curriculum when your really-matters-most essay will be narrative. This task is a stepping stone into more powerful narrative writing.
  2. Your proposals will be one-and-done + comments (in other words: NO revisions on your proposals! Once you get my comments, you’re set to write). I do this one-and-done approach for two reasons. First, it’s creative writing, so the proposal phase, where we hash out the CONTENT of the paper isn’t as important as the actual writing. Second, the last call for this task is December 19th, with no flexibility. I will not grade/comment on papers over break and I do not want you to be writing them over break, either. Having only one proposal speeds things up considerably.

Today I’ll spend the first ten minutes or so introducing the main skill you’ll be practicing in this task: showing instead of telling. If you missed class today, or you want a reference, you can click on that link to get to the slide show I used while teaching. I’m also happy to conference with anyone who needs to catch up on what they’ve missed in terms of this key direct instruction.

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