Essay #1 (Description): These Sentences Move Me
Pre-Draft Exercise Objectives:
1) To encourage students to consider why writers choose one word over another.
2) To give students practice paraphrasing.
Part 1: Students should select 3 sentences from a common reading according to criteria of their own choosing and bring them to class copied out in their notebooks.
Part 2: Students choose one of their sentences and write a sentence of their own paraphrasing it (avoiding reusing any words except “a,” “an,” “the,” “and,” “or,” “but”). Selected students should read their original sentences and their paraphrases to the class and the class should discuss how effective each paraphrase is and anything writers missed.
Part 3: After discussing the paraphrases, students should write a second sentence of their own based on their chosen sentence. The goal of the second sentence should be to mimic the form of the original sentence while distorting it’s meaning. Students should present their original sentences and then explain the changes they made before presenting their distorted sentences.
Download: Sample pre-draft assignments for “Writing to Move” (doc)