Essay #2 (Narrative): So I was on the 7 train/in a taxi/waiting for the bus
Pre-Draft Exercise Objectives:
1) To give students practice paraphrasing.
2) To give students opportunities to take chances in writing.
Part 1: Students select 3 sentences from a common reading based on criteria of their own choosing and present their “best” sentence and their criteria for choosing it to the class.
Part 2: The class selects a single sentence from those presented for use in the exercise. Students re-read (to themselves) the context in which the sentence appears and then write three sentences of their own. The goal of the first should be to paraphrase the chosen sentence and explain the context in which it appears. The goal of the second should be to convey the same content as the chosen sentence but in twice as many words. The goal of the third should be to convey the same content as the chosen sentence in as few words as possible.
Part 3: Students should present their first, second and/or third sentences to the class and the class should discuss the strengths of each sentence and any elements the sentences share. Students should take notes during the discussion on the kinds of sentences they find most effective.
Download: Sample pre-draft assignments for “Getting from Here to There” (doc)