The skills needed to narrate a story well are not entirely the same as the skills needed to write a good essay. Some wonderful short fiction writers are not particularly good essayists and vice versa. Still, it is useful to look at those elements that make up a good narrative and know how to apply what we learn toward making our essays as dramatic as possible whenever that is appropriate.
The ability to describe something convincingly will serve a writer well in any kind of essay situation. The most important thing to remember is that your job as writer is to show, not tell. If you say that the tree is beautiful, your readers are put on the defensive: "Wait a minute," they think. "We'll be the judge of that! Show us a beautiful tree and we'll believe." Do not rely, then, on adjectives that attempt to characterize a thing's attributes. these are all useful adjectives in casual speech or when we're pointing to something that is lovely, etc., but in careful writing they don't do much for us; in fact, they sound hollow.
Read Jeffrey Tayler's "The Sacred Grove of Oshogbo" (first published in , used with permission) and try to determine exactly at what passage in the text do you become aware of the point of Tayler's essay. Take note of the rich detailing of the forest, the caretaker, and the minister from the city and try to describe how the details lend themselves toward the purpose of the article. Another Atlantic essay, Jeff Biggers' filled with wonderful details of a remote town in Mexico is also available here.
For me though, nothing was more fun that getting a picture in my mind's eye and then being able to manifest it in reality using those ingenious little blocks, or any other substance that lent itself to my uses...
In doing so he evaluates past attempts to explain suffering, offers his own approach to the justification of suffering in today's society, and makes suggestions for how one can deal with suffering and continue his or her journey int...
O'Brien also uses the simple image of a yo-yo to explain the necessity of American GI's to transform their mental attitudes to something different in order to survive the war....
My son reads voraciously — always has! He has a lot of information locked up there in his brain. However, he does not enjoy writing at this point. I find this very frustrating because I always thought that his writing would follow his reading. Now that he is entering 9th grade, I am inclined to provide him a rich literature experience, but, although I know he will read and discuss what he reads just fine — the writing about this literature, I think, will be awful. It is difficult. He loses interest. Then he becomes a zombie. I’m sitting here thinking that I should divorce his reading (let him read great lit but not expect him to write about it yet?) from his writing — at least for this year, and just see if I can get him on a more comfortable footing with putting words on a page. He has done IEW Elegant Essay, and he can write a 5 paragraph paper, but it difficult if is not about something that he enjoys a lot! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!
Sounds like you have a good idea, Michelle: spend a year enjoying great reading and developing more inferential skills through literature. At the same time use writing unrelated to his reading. Why not try 7Sister’s Introductory Writing curriculum? It is no-busywork, short lessons, covers everything 9th graders need for first year of high school writing without killing them by overworking them. A REAL confidence booster.
So remember how important doing something you love is. Because if you don’t, you’re going to have a very uninteresting life and you’re never going to be happy. And the key to having a good life is to be happy as much as possible. So go find something you enjoy and you’ll find other people to share the same common interest with and start building who you are.
Good questions, Darlene. It is a wise idea to make sure your son’s writing skills are solid in the 11th grade- it is a key year!
Here are some answers to your questions:
-The text are downloadable pdfs. This is an ebook format that teens tend to like.
-There is a rubric with suggestions on grading at the back of the book. You may adapt it to include subjective measures like promptness, neatness, etc.
-The text is laid out in a day by day format with user-friendly lessons. All your teen needs to do is follow along.
-The individual-topic texts (essay, poetry, short story) are $7.99 each, the research paper texts are $12.99 each, if you want one text that covers them all, it is $29.99 and well worth the money.
Here’s a link to the guides:
I am currently in berk’s career and technology center for heavy equipment technology because I’m in training to become a mechanic which is something I love to do. Growing up I always was tinkering with things and seeing how they worked taking them apart and putting them back together. I have come a long way at thins school being a 3rd year attending there and have gotten a lot of vocational achievements by attending there and having an interest in learning the curriculum that they teach.
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