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Appendix Twenty Plays Have you ever wished that you could tackle a writing project assisted by your own personal writing coach, who would say, “Try this first” or “If you’re still having trouble with that point, try this one”? I can’t provide that degree of personalization, but in the section below I offer twenty “plays,” sequences of moves that take you from the first glimmerings of idea to finished product. I give each play a title that indicates what’s different about the approach as well as a brief note describing the kind of person who might be drawn to that particular play. So if the title intrigues you, the note describes you, or you would appreciate someone laying out a series of steps for you, try one of these plays. As you experiment with various plays and moves, keep in mind: • The “right” process, play, or move is simply the one that is productive —takes you a step closer to your goal—and relatively painless. What works for you on a particular project may not work for you on the next project and may never work for anyone else. 268    appendix • Successful writing processes tend to be recursive rather than linear— that is, writers loop back around, rewriting, rethinking, rediscovering, rather than starting with something like freewriting and working straight through a sequence of moves to the finished product. • There’s nothing magical about these plays or doing these moves in this order. These are just suggestions. You can always substitute other moves for the ones suggested, though you may want to stay with a move from the same chapter. If it works, use it. Remember that the arrow (➥) indicates “move number.” Most plays end with simple reminders to revise and present. Revising rituals (chapter 30) and presentation approaches (chapter 31) depend on the individual writer and situation , so I have made only a few suggestions for those steps. 1. Step by step—For those who like doing what the teacher asks, and doing it well. a. Freewrite ➥72 b. Change your perspective ➥44 c. Use a double-entry journal ➥106 d. Integrate sources ➥133 e. Brainstorm titles ➥142 f. Answer readers’ questions ➥159 g. Draft by outline ➥172 h. Outline your draft ➥160 i. Revise (chapter 30) j. Present (chapter 31) 2. Jump right in—For those eager to fill the screen with words. a. Draft by freewriting ➥171 b. Outline your draft ➥160 c. Brainstorm titles ➥142 d. Brainstorm leads ➥143 e. Ask yourself the “So what?” question ➥156 f. Revise for meaning, coherence, language ➥203 g. Present (chapter 31) 3. On a scratch pad—For those who like to do a lot on paper before heading for the computer and full sentences. a. Freewrite ➥72 b. Expand ➥92 c. Brainstorm titles ➥142 d. Brainstorm leads ➥143 e. Brainstorm ends ➥144 f. Develop a thesis ➥97 g. Answer readers’ questions ➥159 Appendix    269 h. Draft by freewriting—longhand ➥171 i. Outline your draft ➥160 j. Revise (chapter 30) k. Present (chapter 31) 4. Analyze, then write—There’s a lot to be said for an old-fashioned rhetorical approach that focuses on why and for whom the writer is writing. a. Analyze audiences ➥56 b. Analyze purposes ➥55 c. Questions to ask your teacher or boss ➥48 d. Develop a thesis ➥97 e. Use a tree diagram ➥99 f. Draft with thesis ➥175 g. Analyze your thesis ➥169 h. Revise (chapter 30) i. Present (chapter 31) 5. Hunt and gather—For those who enjoy picking mushrooms. a. Keep a log ➥105 b. Brainstorm ➥69—What’s the most interesting thing so far? c. Talk . . . and listen ➥157 d. Freewrite on the most interesting thing ➥72 e. Interview ➥113 f. Use memory joggers ➥100 g. Three times round ➥177 h. Revise (chapter 30) i. Present (chapter 31) 6. Getting organized—For people who like to see a clear path ahead. a. Brainstorm most important aspects of your topic ➥69 b. Treat one of your terms as a code word ➥93 c. Group, label, and order ➥162 d. Outline ➥95 e. Draft by outline ➥172 f. Outline your draft ➥160 g. Analyze your thesis ➥169 h. Revise (chapter 30) i. Present (chapter 31) 7. Focus first—For those obsessed with the “So what?” question. a. Brainstorm potential paper topics ➥69 b. Focus with freewriting ➥140 c. Expand then choose ➥152 270    appendix d. Brainstorm titles ➥142 e. Brainstorm leads ➥143 f. Draft recursively ➥176 g. Ask yourself...



Subject Headings

  • English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching.
  • Literary form -- Study and teaching.
  • Language arts.
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