Descriptive-Narrative Essay Cycle (Progressive Writing Assignments–PWA)
Like the other essays in the Descriptive-Narrative Essay will be developed in progressive assignments corresponding to the four steps of the writing process. Because of end-of-the-term time limits, you’ll be doing the first 3 steps in the cycle before our next meeting. First, read carefully the descriptive-narrative essay assignment description, as well as the .
PWA-1 corresponds to part of the first stage, COLLECT and it is Prewriting. This includes selecting a topic and generating ideas and details for your topic. First, search your memory for an event or experience that changed you or changed your view of the world. Narrow the focus and the time frame as much as possible: The narrower it is, the more complete and detailed you can be.
Next, choose at least one of the first three prewriting techniques described, freewriting, brainstorming, or clustering (see pp. 36-39). Fill one page with detail. When it is time to draft your essay, it is better to have an abundance of prewriting material rather than too little, so do it thoroughly and fulsomely. It need not be typed. The grade will be based not on grammar or content but upon whether a serious and meaningful effort is evident.
PWA-2 Is in two parts, and corresponds to the PLAN stage and will be your Thesis Statement. See pp. 44-45. Look over all your work so far and decide what main idea you would like to assert. Then, write a single topic sentence that 1) states the event and 2) suggests the point you want to make about it—i.e., how this event or experience changed your life or your view of life. Type it and bring three copies.
Then, with your thesis sentence as your guide, look over all your work and break the experience/event into little episodes, or “chapters.” Think in terms of 4 to 6, and these will each be individual paragraphs. This your Informal Outline. Type it. (See pp. 42-43 and 100-101.)
PWA-3 DRAFT: Now, with your thesis sentence, outline and all other materials as your guide, draft your first try. In your introductory paragraph (or two), include a hook and all the background your reader needs to know to get the most from your story. A brief concluding paragraph should summarize the main idea. Bring to class three typed copies of draft and outline.
PWA-4 corresponds to the final stage, REVISE, revising, and editing, and will result in the Final Draft. Reread pp. 67-73. Consider carefully the feedback of your responders, look at your draft with new eyes, and revise. Rethink overall design; rethink the frame, the starting and end-point. Does each paragraph cover one little episode or give us information we need? Use the Response Form on Moodle to guide you.
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