Friday, October 17, 2008

Topic: Staying Within a Word Count in Writing the College Essay

10-second review: Write out everything and then edit down.

Title: “ ‘It Sounds Like Me’: Using Creative Nonfiction to Teach College Admission Essays.” J Wells. English Journal (September 2008), 47-52. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: Faced with a limit on the number of words in the assignment, students write out all that they want to say. Then they read aloud to a partner or partners, asking them to identify the most memorable parts. Suggests that editing begins with reading aloud to others, having others read your essay to you, and reading from last line to first. To check tense, students underline verbs and then check each one to be sure the tense is correct.

Comment: Some good ideas. Better try this idea yourself before trying it with your students. Or, present the idea to the students, have them try it and evaluate it. An example of “action research.” RayS.

The purpose of this blog, English Updates, is to review interesting contemporary (2008-2009) articles from professional English education journals at all levels—elementary, middle school, junior high school, high school and college.

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