9 CPI & Humanities & AP Lit & Everyone Really: Hooks!

My favorite video on YouTube regarding writing hooks for pieces of non-fiction i.e. essays. I don’t remember if it was Mr. Tierney or Mrs. Sheldon who brought it to my attention first — or someone else — but I dig it. Huge.

It’s Revision Season Everyone!

Tis the season for revision!  In these next couple of weeks, you will be self-assessing, adjusting, thinking, revising and hammering home the big time writing that will take you to the next level of amazing!

RAHHH!!

Check out your class Diigo links for more robust resources such as OWL and Grammar Girl.  (Look over on the left.)

Here are a few strategies everyone can use:

6-Inch Voice: Read your draft aloud HOWEVER speak softly using a 6-inch voice.  You are the only one who can hear it, so no need to be embarrassed in the least.  Reading your draft aloud forces your brain to process the information differently.

When we read silently to ourselves our brains insert, delete, and rearrange written information so that it makes sense and meets our expectations.  I’m expecting the sentence to read, “He ate a delicious pile of sauerkraut,” so it does — in my head.  In reality, I have written, “He ate delicious pile sauerkraut,” which would be fantastic were I a neanderthal, but weak otherwise.

Start at the Back:  Read through your writing from the last sentence to the first.  Most of revision and proofreading is an effort to trick your brain into thinking differently from how it normally behaves.  Otherwise, you just keep seeing the same errors/trouble spots again and again, much like those potholes you keep hitting and bottoming out your ’74 Chevette.

Go around those potholes by driving backwards.  You see the road in a different way and can really open up your mind to new solutions.  You can go sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph.  The whole idea is to cut your brain off from thinking about what is coming next.  Think about only what is on the page.

Cut It Up:  Print that sucker off.  Cut it up.  Sentence by sentence.  Paragraph by paragraph.   And look at what you have.  How does it read without anything else around?  How does it sound if you rearrange some of the sentences?

This can be a great technique when you have a finicky paragraph, an intro that isn’t clicking, or a conclusion that ends like a flat turd.

That reminds me — oftentimes we write amazing conclusions that might better serve as our introductions, and vice versa.