Invention: Getting Started With the Writing Process
Invention: Getting Started With the Writing Process Keena P. Day, M.A. Victory University Classroom Norms
Silence all cell phones and other technological devices. Do not hesitate to tell me to slow down or to ask questions. Keep side conversations to a minimum. Active participation is encouraged. Warm-up Activity: Quickwrite
For ten minutes, choose one of the topics from pg. 25 Write non-stop. Do not worry about grammar, mechanics, or other mistakes. Be prepared to share! Step 1: Pre-writing Clustering
Clustering is a way of generating ideas by mapping and organizing them as they occur. It works as follows: 1) In a word or phrase, write your topic in the center of a piece of paper. Circle it. 2) Also in a word or phrase, write down the main parts or central ideas of your topic. Circle these, and connect them to the topic in the center. 3) The next step is to generate facts, details, examples, or ideas related in any way to these main parts. Cluster these around the main parts
Example of Clustering Listing Listing Listing is an easy way to generate ideas and sort them. Here is how listing works best for invention work:
1) Give your list a title that indicates your main idea. 2) Write as fast as you can, relying on short words or phrases, including anything your mind generates, whether or not it seems useful. 3) When you've exhausted the list, you can organize it by marking the most promising items, sorting items in related groups, numbering key items in order of importance, deleting items that are unpromising, and adding new items to the list. Cubing/Questioning Cubing is useful for probing a topic from six different perspectives (hence its name, "cubing," a "six-sided"
activity). The six perspectives are describing (what does it look like? what size is it? color? shape? texture?), comparing (what is it similar to? different from?), associating (what does it remind you of? what does it make you think of?), analyzing (how is it made? where did it come from? where is it going?), applying (what can you do with it? what uses does it have?), and arguing (what arguments can you make for it? against it?). Cubing To use cubing productively, follow these guidelines: 1) Hold your chosen topic in focus, and write quickly about it from each of the six perspectives. If you limit yourself to three to five minutes from each
perspective, you'll complete the entire activity in half an hour. 2) Do not limit yourself to your present knowledge. Indicate what you need to learn about your topic, and where you might find such information. 3) Look for surprises, "hot spots" that indicate some special area of interest, insight, or immediacy. You can use clustering or outlining to organize your material. Freewriting and Looping Freewriting generates ideas by "freeing" the link between your brain and your pen. In freewriting, the object is to write as quickly
and as freely as you can, and generate as many ideas as possible in a timed period-for example, five or ten minutes. Looping-the strategy of returning to and focusing on your topic--is an especially useful tool. From almost any starting point, you can find a center of interest and eventually a thesis. Freewriting and Looping The steps are simple:
1) Write down your area of interest. Write nonstop for five minutes. Write rapidly, without stopping to correct or reread. The point is to generate ideas on paper, so your pencil must keep moving. If you "block," or grind to a halt, rewrite the title of your topic a few times to get going. 2) At the end of ten minutes, reread your freewriting. Decide what is most important--a thought, a pattern of ideas, a phrase, a detail. Writers call this the "hot spot." To complete the loop, express this thought in a single sentence on a fresh sheet of paper. 3) Beginning with this sentence, write nonstop for five minutes. Then you can loop again--and again (and again, if necessary)-until you arrive at a tentative thesis idea. With each loop, your ideas should become more focused and articulated. Questioning
Asking questions about a subject is a way to learn about it and decide what to write. Try to answer each of these questions at least briefly with a word or phrase, but if you wish, you can spend several sentences, even an entire page, on a promising question. Try to be thorough but playful--remember, the task is to generate as many ideas as possible in a short period of time. Questioning
1) What is your subject? (what is its name? other names? what aspects do the names emphasize? what would a still photograph or moving picture look like? what would you put in a time capsule to represent your subject? what have you learned about it?) 2) What characteristics does your subject have? (what are its parts? name and describe them. how is each part related to the others?)
3) How is your subject similar to and different from other subjects? (what is it similar to, and in what ways? what is it different from, and in what ways?) 4) Where does your subject fit in the world? (where and when did it originate? how long will it continue to exist? where and when is it normally encountered? what is it a part of? what do other people think of it?) Applying Rhetoric to Your Writing The rhetorical dimension of an essay is the layer of strategies that prompt
readers to accept its ideas. When we read an essay, we get not only the information, but also the set of intellectual moves and rhetorical strategies the writer employs. We can learn from and use these strategies in our own writing (14-15) List of Rhetorical Strategies Anecdote: A brief story or tale told by
a character in a piece of literature Allusion A figure of speech which makes brief, even casual reference to a historical or literary figure, event, or object to create a resonance in the reader or to apply a symbolic meaning to the character or object of which the allusion consists. Sarcasm: A sharp caustic remark. A form of verbal irony in which apparent
praise is actually bitterly or harshly critical. For example, a coach saying to a player who misses the ball, "Nice catch." Expletive: A single word or short phrase intended to emphasize surrounding words. Commonly, expletives are set off by commas. Examples: in fact, of course, after all, certainly
Epiphany: A sudden or intuitive insight or perception into the reality or essential meaning of something usually brought on by a simple or common occurrence or experience. Onomatopoeia: A word capturing or approximating the sound of what it describes, such as buzz or hiss. Diction An author's choice of words to convey a tone or effect.
Hyperbole: An overstatement characterized by exaggerated language. Analogy: Comparison of two things that are alike in some respects. Metaphors and similes are both types of analogy. Parallelism: Recurrent syntactical similarity where several parts of a sentence or several sentences are expressed alike to show that the ideas in the parts or sentences equal in importance. It also adds balance, rhythm, and clarity to the sentence. For example, "I
have always searched for, but never found the perfect painting for that wall." How I Lost the Junior Miss Pageant Complete the Writing Strategies, Exploring Ideas. Be prepared to discuss the passage. Reread and jot down the following: Rhetorical devices you notice Narrative and thematic aspects (where they
tell the story, where they make major points) Ideas for Writing Pg. 36, choose one topic and complete one of the prewriting strategies to write a short passage response for the prompt (10 minutes) Preparing to Write your Essay
Point of Contact (44) Analysis (46) Public Resonance (48) Thesis (50) Rhetorical Tools (52) Organizational strategies (54) Writers Voice (56) First Draft
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