Tag Archives: brain

Writing Tips

I found a scribbled, hastily assembled, crumpled piece of paper simply titled “Tips” in my desk today.

As far as I recall, it was the product of grading a set of essays a couple years ago on the novel Wild Geese by Martha Ostenso.

A common practice of mine after reading/marking a set of essays is to assemble a list of “pet peeves,” or writing errors, or tips that emerge from the set.

Here is the list:

  • practice writing a thesis/topic statement that can be parsed
  • the inclusion of a detail must support it’s purpose
  • structure, connect, state clearly, order, each subtopic as it develops the thesis
  • avoid “if…then” as logical proofs of what is
  • when discussing technique, consider the degree of complexity
  • avoid pronoun shifts: “you”
  • avoid plot summary
  • develop a Linking Lexicon
  • avoid dropped quotes
  • No X=X (see Rule 3 of 6):
    “These things…”, “There is nothing…”, “… shows us something important…”, “In this essay…”, “Many examples…”, “The quote…”, “In the book…”, “On page…”, “… the same thing…”, “I don’t think…”, “This is the end of my essay…”, “She was herself…”, “As a human…”, “… the way it did…”, “… start doing things…”, “… many times…”, “After reading…”, “I will be writing…”, “These symbols are the things…”, “… good with the bad…”, “It made things…”, “They did what he told them to do…”, “Her true feelings…”, “… an effective way…”, “… a secret way…”, “… the way…”, “… many ways…”, “… a different way…”, “… it speaks…”, “We, as readers…”, “… finished reading…”, “… the ideas of…”, “… something in the end.”

This invasion of one’s mind by ready-made phrases [X=X] can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one’s brain. George Orwell

So I was listening to Music from the Junos . . .(RS25)

The lyrics from K-OS’s, “Heaven Only Knows,” struck a chord with something we had been discussing in class about “mysticism.”

Discuss the following K-OS lyrics based on what we’ve learned when comparing Western and Eastern Mysticism.

Have a careful listen to a variety of current or classic tunes by a variety of recording artists.

Which artists demonstrate our understanding of Western Mysticism, which are clearly Eastern, are any a little of each?

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Ten Minute Spill

Write a ten-line poem. Find a proverb, adage, familiar phrase, or brainy quote that you have changed in some way as well as five of the following words: cliff, blackberry, needle, cloud, voice, mother, whir, lick.

You have ten minutes.

No rhyming.

P.S.
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