Category Archives: 3rd Hour

Fear

In 1984, Winston experiences a life-changing event that is created by the power of fear.  In the novel, Winston gives up something to avoid and free himself of the one thing he fears the most:  rats.  Think about it.  Fear can govern our lives.  You have read Chomsky’s article that acknowledges that one of the most overpowering emotions of Americans….is fear.

Think about your own experiences.  What fearful event have you endured that made you change a little bit of who you are…something that’s made you give up your “freedom” in some way….something that has restricted you in some small (or large) way.

The task:  First describe what fearful experience you have had.  Use active language and appropriate word choices to make your readers FEEL your experience.  Don’t tell us about it; SHOW US.  Explain what really changed you in some way.  The event doesn’t have to be life-threatening; it just has to be something that you “own.” The length should be a well-written, smoothly developed INVIGORATING paragraph that will MESMERIZE your audience (your class members and me).  Explain HOW the event changed you in some small way.   Like Winston, explain how you have sacrificed a little of yourself because of this event.

Then, read two other blog posts and respond to those two blog posts genuinely and thoughtfully.  Do you have similar experiences (Are you, too, afraid of RATS??!!)

Due date:  Friday, October 13, 2017 by 11:59pm.

Points 20 (10 for description, 5 for each response.)

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English 4 – the Most Interesting Person You Have Met in 2014

Writing 101: A Character-Building Experience

Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?

Our stories are inevitably linked to the people around us. We are social creatures: from the family members and friends who’ve known us since childhood, to the coworkers, service providers, and strangers who populate our world (and, at times, leave an unexpected mark on us).

Today, write a post focusing on one — or more — of the people that have recently entered your life, and tell us how your narratives intersected. It can be your new partner, your newborn child, or the friendly barista whose real story you’d love to learn (or imagine), or any other person you’ve met for the first time in the past year.

Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

In displaying the psychology of your characters, minute particulars are essential. God save us from vague generalizations!

– Anton Chekhov, Letter to Alexander Chekhov; May 10, 1886

Describing people — whether real or fictional — in a way that channels their true essence is an invaluable skill for any writer. Through the careful accumulation of details, great authors morph their words into vivid, flesh-and-bones creations in our minds. How can you go about shaping your portrait of a person? Some ideas to explore:

Don’t just list their features. Tell us something about how their physical appearance shapes the way they act and engage with others. For example, see how the author of this moving photo essay, which documents the final weeks of a woman dying of cancer, captures the kernel of the woman’s spirit with a short, masterful statement:

Her eyes told stories that her voice didn’t have the power to articulate and she had a kindness that immediately made me feel like we had been friends for years.

Give us a glimpse of what makes this person unique. We all have our own quirks, mannerisms, and individual gestures, both physical and linguistic. If you’re looking for inspiration, read this blogger’s portrait of her French host family — after reading the first two paragraphs, you already have intimate knowledge of who these people are and what drives them.

Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.

English 4 and AP English – (read only) The Devil is in the Details: On Descriptive Writing

Remember these hints when you are writing your personal statements!!

The Daily Post

We often hear that we should “show, not tell” — that we should paint a detailed picture for our reader that lets them see what’s happening, rather than simply narrating.

Easier said than done! All details are not created equal: some detail throws a barrier between the reader and your story, and some detail is (ironically) not detailed enough. How do you tell whether a detail helps or hurts? Here are four things to keep in mind when you’re writing descriptively, and some writers who illustrate them perfectly.

Good detail is relevant.

Including every detail is the written equivalent of your friend who can never get to the point of a story because he can’t remember if it happened on Tuesday or Wednesday, or if it was 1 PM or 2 PM, or if the car was red or blue. Good detail is relevant to the point of your post.

Writer beware! Not…

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