Links: texts for writing

"What can I give them as a stimulus?"

** Texts to encourage students to write occur all over the site, but particularly in :-

> Teaching writing ... a wide range of models, organised by (i) text type; and (ii) purpose

** Basic ground rules for the teaching of writing can be found in :-

> Specific text type skills ... succinct statements of target skills for each text type

> Text type conventions ... detailed ground rules for all text types required for Paper 2

Main ideas framework

Writing process : how does writing actually happen?

Notes techniques : what practical, helpful procedures will help students to write well ?

Theory : what do we think we're doing when we write ?

Models & writing frames : recipes for standard text types

Developing details : ways of achieving more richness in a text

Technical devices : precise techniques for organising and controlling writing

Detailed links

Writing process 

> Exercises for imagination ... the page Opening chapter deals with analysing the beginning of Playing the Enemy, but it includes two sets of activities, Extending through writing and 'Divide and fuel' writing, which can easily be adapted to other contexts and other stimulus materials...

> Expanding from a novel ... the title of the page An HL WA model is self-explanatory, but the detailed process involved should serve as a stimulus for students to carry out the same process themselves ... expands on a character from The Great Gatsby through the text type of an informal letter ...

> Creative reading to interactive writing ... more a technique than a text as such, consider the ideas suggested as relevant skills on the Key WA skills page ... 'creative reading' involves deliberately looking for things to change in a text; 'interactive writing' involves using details from a text to give substance to a new piece of writing ... highly transferable activity, useful for focusing close attention on a text ... and also good practice for the Written Assignment ! ...

> Transplanting a model ... in the page Darth Vader , the writing tasks involve transferring the basic model of the dialogue to different text types OR different characters OR different situations ... again, helpful practice for approaching the HL Written Assignment ...

> Extending outwards from a text ... the page Opening chapter , analysing Playing the Enemy, suggests the 'Divide & fuel' writing procedure for using basic writing exercises related to the text to combine with photographs from a movie ... good potential to combine individual writing with group work to produce a group project ... ambitious, but can be adapted in more restricted forms ...

> Focusing inwards from a basic story ... in this case, an Urban Myth , which presents the simple framework of the original anecdote and asks for amplification, seeing from a different point of view, expanding details, and so on ... an excellent initial exercise for the skills needed for the Written Assignment ...

> Text Analysis leading to writing ... Factual Description: Sitges ... two key areas: (1) methodical planning, using NET SIEVE SPINE, and (2) awareness of audience, developing through looking at contrasted internet versions ... promotes methodical approach to writing ...

> Text analysis leading to Writing frame ... studying the approach and structure of a model text in order to develop a basic pattern, or writing frame ... useful and accessible example in Sydney & sleep ​- see the writing tasks under the Sydney text ...

> System to encourage methodical practice ... the idea of a Writing journal, suggested in a Guest Page by Phillip Moon, proposes requiring students to produce regularly short practice examples of key text types ... the idea is that such writing should be seen as exercises aimed (seriously enough) to produce samples ... in the process, students acquire essential skills without too much tedious effort ...

> Exploiting a source text ... the text that forms the basis of the page Calcots explored is exploited in a range of ways for the purpose of stimulating writing - by analysing structure, by use of writing frames, by considering similar subject matter, by widening out to explore the general context ... a fairly accessible and entertaining text about food, exploited in detail ...

Notes techniques 

> The primary process ... I advocate a system which I call NET SIEVE SPINE ... this proposes that all good planning for writing follows the sequence of (1) gathering ideas, (2) sorting ideas, and (3) sequencing ideas ... these three stages can be practised in groups, then individually, until it becomes a normal, natural process ...

> NET SIEVE SPINE in action ... the example of Factual Description in the page Sitges was written using the NET SIEVE SPINE procedure, and the actual notes made are reproduced as a model to illustrate the process

> Using notes for planning ... the page Good notes presents a real example of a student using notes in a variety of useful ways ... students are required to study and analyse the two pages of notes, in order to comment on and understand the value of such notes ... related quite closely to the system presented in NET SIEVE SPINE ...

> Notes & Quotes ... in the page Bilingual brains ​ , the sample of SKIM notes (Bilingual SKIM notes handout) allows for discussion of note-making techniques ... which is then developed by extracting quotes from the stimulus text to illustrate the key points (SKIM notes + quotes handout) ... which in turn should provide a framework for writing an Embedded Interview or a Report

> Argument as flowchart ... the handouts that form the basis of the page Twitter pro & con present models of how to organise arguments as a coherent flow from one point to another ... should help students to handle reasoned argument rather more successfully ...

> CLOZE notes as model ... as with the Twitter handouts (above), the listening comprehension exercise in the page Hate speech requires the completiong of a CLOZE notes sheet - the completed set of notes illustrates an effective, succinct plan...

> Structure as diagram ... in the page PR examples, two Personal Responses with very different approaches (one vague and rambling, the other clearly structured) are presented in diagrammatic form in order to emphasis the importance of effective planning

> Exploiting exploratory notes ... the worksheet for the text used in  Impact of computers requires that students read the stimulus text carefully and make guided notes ... the final exercise on the page suggests ways in which these could then be developed into well-structured explanatory prose

Theory 

> On writing essays ... the student script that forms the basis of The Setting Essay #2 attempts to deal with the correct way to write an essay ... but the conclusions she reaches are perhaps debateable! ... the worksheet requires detailed reading and summary of what the student has actually written - but also requires constructive re-thinking of the ideas ... not entirely a model to follow, but a model to stimulate a better model ...

Models & Writing frames 

> Fundamentals of a Proposal ... the fairly complex text in Global intestinal culture provides a model for the basic transferable framework of a proposal ... but also, the exercises on each of the four sections (as in handout Intestinal 2) concentrate on linkers, verb forms, use of modals, and use of the 2nd Conditional - in short, a pretty comprehensive toolkit!...

> Key elements of an effective Speech ... three samples of speeches written by students are analysed in the page Speeches by students ... the analysis goes into detail about where each students has succeeded or failed - and this leads to 'Advice for next time' : precise suggestions for improvement ... an effective teaching approach would be to give out the samples, and elicit from the students through discussion the strengths and weaknesses of each ...

> The structure of a News report ... the worksheets for the two texts provided in the page Scottish independence? mainly concentrating on analysing the ingredients and structure of a sound news report ... this should lead to developing an effective writing frame for any news report writing task ... the two examples also contrast the tabloid / broadsheet styles ...

> The writing of Reviews ... the page On writing reviews provides three models of different types of review ... includes a basic writing frame for a restaurant review, and then shows how this could be put into effect ... also links to a useful BBC site about review writing ...

> The ingredients of Reviews ... the comprehension tasks in the worksheet for Roast Beef, reviewed require scanning for specific phrases and details - but these details are those which would help in writing other types of review ... a number of related writing tasks are suggested ... leads on to general discussion about the role of food in culture

> Prompting a range of text types #1 ... a medical encyclopedia forms the basis for the page Family Health ... half a dozen techniques of using the encyclopedia for research are suggested - and in each case, the research can be presented using several different text types ... a guide to exploiting a single text for multiple writing purposes ...

> Prompting a range of text types #2 ... the page Race relations discusses four blog entries about the subject, then suggests a range of different writing tasks ... detailed notes about how each text type could approach the set task and topic, indicating possibilities and priorities in each case ... good for reminding students what they should bear in mind in Paper 2 ...

> Prompting a range of text types #3 ... the stimulus text in Observing behaviour ​prompts a series of possible writing tasks based on social observation: Diary, Blog, Guidelines, even a mock IB Subject Guide ... the basic subject matter relates to the idea of how social status, or 'cool', is expressed ...

> The Blog, discussed ... the source texts provided in About blogging are analysed to show four different approaches to the writing of an interesting blog - Imaginative Twist, Fresh Theory, Considered Theory and Extended Meditation ... also suggested are two other common approaches, the Anecdote and the Vivid Description ... aims to focus precisely on the variations possible within the basic text type ...

> How to write a Memo ... the basic text of the CAR project ​provides a model for memo-writing ... the structure of the text is reduced to a writing frame, which can then be applied to a specific task ... suggested tasks focus on students presenting ideas concerned with changing arrangements in the school, thus drawing directly on their own experience ...

> Model for Evocative Description ... Fitzgerald's style in Gatsby's Party  may be intimidatingly brilliant, but this lesson's approach suggests concentrating on, and then following, the basic techniques of selecting the right detail ... different tasks suggested for different levels of ability

> Advice on writing dialogues ... my whimsical dialogue Dinosaurs challenges students to read between the lines with some care, but is also intended as a model ... in that respect, there is also a handout of 'author's notes', highlighting suggested aims and approaches to the writing of dialogue ... should form basis for further work on writing dialogues, essential for writing Interviews ...

> Practising using questions in Interviews ... the page Dynamic questioning is based on a journalistic text which uses the Q & A format to convey information ... asking questions with purpose is a sound general skill, but very helpful in writing the transcribed type of interview ... comes with three worksheets - note particularly the one on 'question tie-back', stressing how one question should lead to another ...

> Essential approach to Formal Letters ... the handout of Basic Formal Letter offers a simple diagrammatic layout, and then a model example ... stresses that an impersonal / conventional style is useful for the aim of clarity ... the model offers an interesting insight into the Transylvanian tourist industry...

> A Formal Letter correspondence ... Dam Beavers offers a standard bureacratic letter, followed by an entertaining reply ... the former illustrates the diagrammatic model indicated in Basic Formal Letter (above), and the latter demonstrates parodic variations ... detailed attention to conventional language ... summary exercises practised ...

> Writing clear Factual Explanation ... Bricks provides a description of impossible Chinese acrobats in action ... clear demonstration of Imperative orders and modals as recommendations ... text also has an entertaining ironic slant ... link to video of Chinese acrobats in action ... intriguing subject leads on to writing exercises based on spectacular physical activity ... (see also Step by step Explanation ​ & The paper plane exercise in Instructions 1 )

> Analysing successful Leaflets ... the two examples of student work in Leaflets & pamphlets provide models to discuss ... the layout of each leaflet is analysed graphically, although it is stressed that the important goal for Eng B purposes is to provide succinct, effectively structured text ...

> Writing publicity Pamphlets ... the writing exercises for the BOOK text ​provide a range of tasks & subject matter ... technique is developed from analysis of the text ... also raises concepts of parody & pastiche ...

> Devising Guidelines and instructions ... or, put another way, types of writing which involve Lists & bullet points ... uses the basic approach of 'Do's and Don'ts' ... provides a simple and accessible model, then asks for the writing of a similar text based on their own experience and/or knowledge ... also raises the issue of cultural diversity and difference, so useful for that Topic ...

> Guidelines for cultures ... in Gap years 2 the handout Gap Year Knowledge forms the basis for practising the devising of lucid guidelines, in this case particularly about appropriate behaviour in a different culture.

> The form of a Proposal ... the basic text of the CAR project is a parody of the typical office memo ... but it also leads directly to using a writing frame to practise memo-writing ... with proposals for suitable subjects for practice

> Methodical Factual Narrative, modelled ... Perfect Storm emphasises the elements of context, causes and sequence ... 3 short paragraphs which demonstrate the pattern ... dramatic story, lucidly told ... direct connection to writing exercise to put the concepts into practice ...

> Devising an anecdote with a point ... in Gap years 2, the text and writing task under 'Personal experience' gives useful practice in writing an anecdote

> Types of Informal letters, compared ... The e-spot ​compares old-style personal letters with new-style e-mail jargon ... compare & contrast ... the language of electronic media ... springboard for a range of writing projects? ...

> Studying a model Essay ... the Donna Essay is used as a model to illustrate effective structure - clear paragraphing with clear purpose, linkage, intellectual structure (balance of Pro/Con, etc) ... topic is 'Parental Control' - relevant to the students! ... also handout explaining theoretical approach to writing Argument, if desirable ...

> Variations on a narrative theme ... the short story In the restaurant can be used firstly as a reading exercise, and then as a model for a way to approach the telling of a story in a variety of contexts or situations ... should give students the technical means to approach describing personal experiences ...

Developing details 

> Exploring 'voice' and point of view ... in the third task in the page Developing 'voice' , students are asked to consider how common situations may be seen differently by people of different ages - and that then such different people would express themselves differently ... good for exploring variations in language, and for encouraging rich characterisation ...

> Use of detail in evocative writing ... the short text used in Small things... . should act as a model to stimulate lively personal impression writing ... the text itself is quite juicy reading material - but the main point is to get students to go out and write something similar from their own experience...

> More use of detail in evocative writing ... but based on a simpler, more accessible text, Bullfight afternoon, written by a student so demonstrating that everyone can produce impressive stuff if you work at it ... provides a model, then requires developing something similar by using a similar approach ...

> Organising by space, organising by time ... the two short Bill Bryson texts in Sydney & sleep ​ illustrate how to construct a description of a scene (space), and how to construct an anecdote (time) ... entertaining texts, leading on to proposed writing tasks, variations on the theme

> Tips for writing Narrative ... the story of Flying with missiles really happened to me, so I have used it to explore narration ... various modes, from measured past tense to stream-of-consciousness ... text + guiding questions ... optional page of 'author's comments', describing decisions taken during writing ... suggested subjects for student writing ...

> Graphic stimuli for organising Description ... Simple Scene gives multiple views of a basic picture, suggesting the importance of 'point of view' ... combines materials to contrast Factual & Evocative Description ... includes the graphics presented as a PowerPoint for projection ...

> Physical details and figurative details ... the page Sitges evocative analyses images and symbols, similes and representative details ... then proposes a writing task which aims to practise these imaginative processes

> Adding hypertext links ... the writing task in the page YouTube & innocence proposes a Hypertext Homework - where students are asked to write an opinion piece in electronic format (so, written, submitted and marked online) which has to include, say, half a dozen hypertext links ... practisies a relevant 21C skill, and develops the intellectual skill of supporting arguments by references

Technical devices 

> Studying cohesive devices and structure ... in the page  Google & stupidity 2 ,the critique Only if you let it is presented in three versions, offering different ways of focusing attention on linking devices and the structure of explanatory prose ... fairly challenging text, but the options offer something for all three levels ... topic relates to whether Google makes you stupid ...

> More on cohesives and structure ... Sequence markers contains an attempt to present graphically how an essential range of markers can be used to structure ideas ... with a graphic handout which presents the idea at a glance ... one of the most popular pages on the site, by the way!

> Clear organisation of ideas ... Structuring a paragraph asks what paragraphs are for, and answers by analysing in detail how a sample paragraph organises and presents ideas ... the text is presented in diagrammatic form, with detailed explanation of how the flow of arguments is controlled.

> Advice on writing dialogues ... my whimsical dialogue Dinosaurs challenges students to read between the lines with some care, but is also intended as a model ... in that respect, there is also a handout of 'author's notes', highlighting suggested aims and approaches to the writing of dialogue ... should form basis for further work on writing dialogues ...

> Inserting quotes ... Age on the internet provides a stock of quotes about this issue ... students have to write an article incorporating (skilfully) some of these quotes in order to support their point of view

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