Beginnings: hooking your reader
Where to beginis a crucial decision for a writer. Just as a good beginning can draw a reader into a piece of writing, a mediocre beginning can discourage a reader from reading further. The beginning, also called the lead or the hook, orients the reader to the purpose of the writing by introducing characters or setting (for narrative) or the topic, thesis, or argument (for expository writing).
A good beginning also sets up expectations for the purpose, style, and mood of the piece. Good writers know how to hook their readers in the opening sentences and paragraphs by using techniques such as dialogue, flashback, description, inner thoughts, and jumping right into the action.
What’s in the middle?
The organization of the middle of a piece of writing depends on the genre. Researchers have identified five basic organizational structures: sequence, description, cause and effect, compare and contrast, and problem and solution.
Sequence uses time, numerical, or spatial order as the organizing structure. Some narrative genres that use a chronological sequence structure are personal narrative genres (memoir, autobiographical incident, autobiography), imaginative story genres (fairytales, folktales, fantasy, science fiction), and realistic fiction genres.
Cause and Effect structure is used to show causal relationships between events. Cause and effect structures organize more sophisticated narratives as childen become more adept at showing the relationship between events. Young children also can begin to extend opinion essays by giving reasons to support their opinions using the word ‘because’. Signal words for cause and effect structures also include: if…then,as a result, and therefore.
Comparison and Contrast structure is used to explain how two or more objects, events, or positions in an argument are similar or different. Graphic organizers such as venn diagrams, compare/contrast organizers, and data matrices can be used to compare features across different categories. Primary grade children can begin to use words such as same and differentto compare things. Other words used to signal comparison and contrast organizational structures includealike,in contrast,similarities,differences, andon the other hand.
Problem and Solution requires writers to state a problem and come up with a solution. Although problem/solution structures are typically found in informational writing, realistic fiction also often uses a problem/solution structure that children can learn to identify.
Endings: beyond “happily ever after” Anyone who has watched a great movie for ninety minutes only to have it limp to the finish with weak ending knows that strong endings are just as critical to effective writing as strong beginnings. And anyone who has watched the director’s cut of a movie with all the alternate endings knows that even great directors have trouble coming up with satisfying endings for their movies. Just like directors, writers have to decide how to wrap up the action in their stories, resolving the conflict and tying up loose ends in a way that will leave their audience satisfied. Student writers struggle with writing strong endings, often relying on the weak “I had a lot of fun” summation or the classic “It was just a dream” ending to rescue them from their stories.The type of ending an author chooses depends on his or her purpose.
When the purpose is to entertain, endings may be happy or tragic, or a surprise ending may provide a twist. Endings can be circular, looping back to the beginning so readers end where they began, or they can leave the reader hanging, wishing for more. Endings can be deliberately ambiguous orironic, designed to make the reader think, or they can explicitly state the moral of the story, telling the reader what to think. Strong endings for expository texts can summarize the highlights, restate the main points, or end with a final zinger statement to drive home the main point tothe audience.
Evaluation: Write a short note on how to logically arrange ideas in essays.
Topic: Introduction to Drama, Types and Elements.
Definition of Drama
Drama is intended to replicate human behavior and action in the midst of tragedy and everyday life. A number of genres exist within drama, each with their own storytelling methods, character types and dramatic approach.
There are four main genres/ types of drama:
Understanding the characteristics of these genres generates a basic understanding of the influences and types of theater being created today.Drama is a distinctive fictitious form because they are intended to be performed out on a stage before an audience. The word ‘drama’ comes from the Greek word ‘dran’ meaning to act or to do. Drama brings a story to life before our eyes, the story of a play or drama is told through dialogue and action and is combined with the setting that the audience perceives essentially from scenery and props. Knowing about these elements can help you increase in value and converse plays that is seen and read.
The five characteristics of drama are:
Write the comparative and superlative forms of the adjectives:
1. fast ____________
2. heavy ____________
3. dangerous ____________
4. small ____________
5. large ____________
6. light ____________
7. rare ____________
8. common __________
1B. Explain what you understand by the word “drama”.
Put the adjectives between brackets in the correct form
1. My brother has a (tidy)room than me.
2. Australia is (big)than England.
3. I’m (good)now than yesterday.
4. She’s got (little) money than you, but she doesn’t care.
5. He thinks Chinese is (difficult) language in the world
6. Valencia played (bad) than Real Madrid yesterday
7. Cats are not (intelligent) as dogs.
8. Show me (good) restaurant down town.
9. (hot)desert of all is the Sahara and it’s in Africa.
10. Who is (talkative) person in your family?
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