An English/Reading Workshop Writing Up a Storm . . . Using Basic Writing Resources A Presentation designed for Student Support Services (SSS) Participants Troy University (Main Campus)
Workshop Objectives • To review these five writing (writer’s) resources:(1) Observation, (2) Recall, (3) Interviewing or Conversation, (4) Reading, and (5) imagination. • To teach students to apply writing resources in order to brainstorm writing ideas and create paragraphs and essays. • Possible third objective? To combine resources to create more complex writings. Source:Encarta Dictionary: English (Microsoft) / Graphics sources: yahoo.com images and Microsoft online clip art.
Writing up a storm requires . . . Locating and Using Basic Writing Resources. Resources are defined as: • Help or a Source • Information • Raw materials (something to ignite the process) Ex: coal > chemical reaction > crude oil > refined oil) • Supplies (computer; paper; recorder; pen) • Abilities (strengths or skills) • Capacity (to overcome weaknesses) • Assets (valuables) • Necessity (vital ingredients)
BRAINSTORMING Process of coming up with ideas purposely And Using key terms to motivate one’s thinking process SKILLS YOU CAN USE TO HELP WITH BRAINSTORMING Observation; Recall; Reading; Interviewing; Imagination
OBSERVATION As A Writing or Writer’s Resource
OBSERVATION as a resource Observation: • Attentive watching • Using one or more senses • Careful recording of results, activities, or conditions • Acknowledgment or Awareness • Re-creating a moment mentally • Sensory analysis (particularly visual or auditory or tactile analysis of images) Source: Encarta Dictionary: English (Microsoft)
Why Learn to Write Observations? • Helps when reporting information that may be used later for making an evaluation, customizing an approach, or developing a solution. • Academic Examples: You may have to write scientific reports in which you describe experimental processes, or in a literature, drama or English class, you may have to describe a character in a literary work or dramatic performance • Practical Example: You may have to describe a crime or accident scene to a law enforcement official, complete a police report, or discuss symptoms of an illness with a physician.
Please OBSERVE One of these pictures and quickly jot down your observations. Graphics sources: yahoo.com
PRACTICE Exercise -- Observation Writing -- Describing an Image Try to answer the following questions based on your observations of one of the images. • What specific colors does the image on the previous slide contain? For example, if there is green in the image, is it the color of a fly’s eye or an army jacket? • Are there unexpected details or objects in the image? If so, what makes them surprising? If not, what holds your interest in the image? • Is the subject in motion or at rest? Describe how you know this. • What feeling or thought is expressed in the image? What details or qualities convey this feeling or thought? • Does the image tell a story? If so, what happens in the story?
RECALL As A Writing or Writer’s Resource
RECALL as a resource Recall: • Memory or recollections of the past (noun) • Order memories to come back (verb) • Bring attention back to a matter (verb) • Remind or remember (verb) Source: Encarta Dictionary: English (Microsoft)
Again, look at one of these pictures and write of what one of the picture reminds you. See next slide for help.
Recall Practice Exercise(See handout.) INSTRUCTIONS: • Choose onepicture image from slide 12 and complete one option below. • Identify your subject clearly in the first line [topic sentence]. • Next, give at least two reasons. • Option 1: Person with phone in ear reminds me of . . . (a) a family member(b) a friend(c) a teacher . . . (d) a famous person . . . (e) a stranger I encountered once . . . (f) Other: _____________________________________________ • Option 2: Person sitting on the edge of a cliff reminds me of . . (1) a tragic loss (2) a time in my own when . . . (3) another photo or painting I once saw . . . (4) an old saying or expression: __________________ (5) Other: ___________________________________
CONVERSATION (Interview) As A Writing or Writer’s Resource
CONVERSATION as a resource Conversation: • Communicating (orally or in writing) • Real-time interaction (computing) • Talking (informally) • Interviewing (formally) • Dialoguing (exchanging views) • Discussing or Reporting Source: Encarta Dictionary: English (Microsoft)
Why learn to write from conversations or interview? • Academic Reason – Virtually every academic discipline requires some field research. Interviews of field professionals are usually good sources of research information and also help motivate critical thinking. (Remember that panel discussions are conversations on particular topics. They start with an open-ended question that panelists answer.) • Practical Reason – Most persons will face an interview situation in life, either for a job, a promotion, or admission into some organization.
Practice Exercise – Conversation / Interview Instructions: Fill in the blanks. • The Person I would most want to interview or converse with is __________________, because _________________________. • If I could only ask this person four questions, I would ask these four questions: • ___________________________ • ___________________________ • ___________________________ • ____________________________
Interview Question Prompts -- Reporter’s 5 w and 1 H Questions • Who . . . • What . . . • When . . . • Where . . . • Why . . . • How . . . The focus of your questions will often determine the thesis of your interview report. A Made up Example Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison speaks mostly on the subject of “re-memory” and she explains that remembering historical tragedies gives “audible voice” to persons otherwise forgotten. Curious about her obsession, I asked Morrison via a satellite-supported interview to tell me who are the forgotten persons about whom she frequently speaks. Her response was simply “dead men, women and children.” Remember to use “quotation marks” to offset direct quotes.
READING As A Writing or Writer’s Resource
READING as a resource Reading: • Identifying written characters (verb) • Interpreting or understanding a situation or written material • Searching for substance or answers • A recitation or oral interpretation of something previously written 5. A piece of literature (noun) Source: Encarta Dictionary: English (Microsoft)
Why read what others have written? • Helps you learn by seeing or hearing examples of effective writing. • Shows you the power of writing to appeal to your senses, souls and spirit. • Gives you an opportunity to evaluate the written material of others, as you begin to develop your own writing standards. • Gives you something to think, write and discuss, by educating your imagination. Consider this question: How can you pass an exam if you have not read the material on which you will be tested? Consider this question, too: How can you write well if you do not read examples of good writing?)
Writing about Reading PRACTICE Practice Exercise: “Writing and Reading”Alan Cheuse My life is filled with books, my mornings spent writing them, my afternoons spent reading them and then with writing about what I'm reading. . . . As a reader, I have access to the great work of all time, and it thrills me and fills me with a sense of the immortal. The writer holds up one torch, the reader is witness to a sea of flame. The writer leads only one life, the reader lives an infinite number in his or her imagination. Retrieved from: http://englishmatters.gmu.edu/issue4/readingmatters/ personal/cheuse_writing_and_reading.html Instructions: Write a three sentence response in which you explain in your own words what you think author Alan Cheuse is asserting.
IMAGINATION As A Writing or Writer’s Resource
IMAGINATION as a resource Imagination: • Ability to visualize • Innovative or creative thinking • Part of mind where ideas and images form • Thinking “out of the box” of tradition or convention 5. Dreams and Visions Source: Encarta Dictionary: English (Microsoft)
Writing Creatively or Imaginatively Creating or Creative Interpretation of what you read, write, hear, touch, or observe is a key to imaginative writing. Thinkingobjectively and subjectively (on more than one level or dimension). THINKING OUT OF “THE BOX” requires confidence and a liberated mind.
SYNTHESIZING • Synthesis is creating something new from a number of different sources. • Synthesis is a process of combining information and ideas to create or develop a new idea, focus, or perspective. • Synthesizing is useful in resolving problems or proposing solutions. Using several of writer’s resources in one essay or paper is one way to write imaginatively or synthesize.
Final PRACTICE EXERCISE –Imaginative WritingDirections: Again, consider one of these pictures. Write a paragraph of 5 to 12 sentences about only one of the pictures below. Be creative. Turn that paragraph in with your workshop evaluation.
Conclusion • SSS hopes this presentation has given you some useful information. • Remember, you must come in to submit all materials to the SSS staff. You must also complete an academic seminar evaluation form to receive credit for this workshop. • Feel free to suggest other topics that you would like to see presented. • Stop in the Office located in 109 Shackelford Hall Annex or Phone: 334-670-5985 to sign up for future workshops. • Thank you for your participation. • Have a great learning experience here at Troy University. Presentation by Rebecca Money, English/Reading Specialist; Student Support Services; Shackelford Annex 109; Troy University; Troy, AL 36082.