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Advice and techniques for improving writing (TRAWL). Recounts. Narrative. Reports. Explanations. Letters. Instructions. Journalistic. Formal. Argument. Auto-/biography. Diary entry. Play scripts. Literacy devices -brief. Literary devices- detailed. Writer’s check list.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Advice and techniques

for improving writing

(TRAWL)

Recounts

Narrative

Reports

Explanations

Letters

Instructions

Journalistic

Formal

Argument

Auto-/biography

Diary entry

Play scripts

Literacy devices -brief

Literary devices- detailed

Writer’s check list

Words to replace ‘said’

Punctuating speech

Connectives

Complexsentences

Response partners

Sentence punctuation

slide2

Recounts

  • Recounts retellevents either to inform the reader (Story of the Titanic) or to entertain (Mother saw a dancing bear)
  • Special features of recounts:
  • an orientation telling who was involved, what happened and where and when it happened
  • all the events are in chronological order
  • at the end there is a reorientation connecting future actions or the thoughts of the narrator’s feelings
  • Language
  • written in the past tense
  • chronological order
  • usually about a how something happens/is done/works.
  • use of time connectives e.g. first…. next…once…later, afterwards….
  • use other connectives e.g. although, whenever, never the less
  • uses techniques from the writer’s toolkit
  • if appropriate use dashes (-) and ellipses (….)
slide3

Biography

  • A biography is the story of someone’s life
  • Special features of biographies:
  • lively opening to get reader’s interest
  • authorised – subject has given permission for their story to be written
  • unauthorised – subject has not given permission for their story to be written
  • the biographer (you, the writer) tells a true story or selects parts of the person’s life that will interest and entertain the reader (exciting events, main achievements, hardships and difficulties, opinions of others - quotations – stories from friends).
  • at the end there is paragraph tobring the work to a close (details about death, summing up life’s work, how they have affected others)
  • written in paragraphs or sections
  • factual information
  • Language
  • written in the past tense
  • written in the 3rd person
  • chronological order often starting at the point where they become famous
  • descriptive and interesting language

Cont.

slide4

Autobiography

  • An autobiography is the story of your life
  • Special features of recounts:
  • lively opening to get reader’s interest
  • you, the writer, tell the true story or selects parts of your life that will interest and entertain the reader (exciting events, main achievements, overcoming hardships and difficulties, opinions of others - quotations – stories from friends).
  • at the end there is paragraph to bring the work to a close ( a review, where you intend to go/do now).
  • can be biased accounts – telling events from your point of view, putting on a rosy gloss on events, leaving out boring details
  • written in paragraphs or sections
  • Language
  • written in the past tense
  • written in 1st person
  • chronological order not necessarily including details of childhood but perhaps with flashbacks
  • descriptive and interesting language

Back

slide5

Explanations

  • Explanations describe how something happens (Frog’s life cycle), how something works (fairground ride) or how something is done (making a cake).
  • Special features of explanations:
  • a general statement to introduce the topic
  • a series of steps explaining how, when or why something happens
  • set out in paragraphs each containing specific information possibly with sub-headings
  • uses bullet points
  • Language
  • written in the past tense
  • chorological order
  • usually about a person/people or thing
  • logical connections, e.g. while, during, after, because, due to, only when, so;
  • uses time connectives e.g. first…. next…once…later, afterwards….
  • uses dashes, colons and semi-colons
slide6

Narrative

  • Narratives tell a story
  • Special features of narrative:
  • a constant structure beginning, build-up, climax and resolution
  • needs to have a convincing ending
  • written in paragraphs (new paragraph when story/action or time moves on)
  • includes feelings, sounds, sights
  • needs to include characterisation and setting details
  • Language
  • usually written in the past tense in the 3rd person by a narrator
  • uses language to create settings
  • uses devices (dialogue, description, action and authorial comment) to create characters
  • a mixture of direct (using “… ”) and indirect speech
  • formal style by narrator but can have informal/dialect by characters
  • uses a range of techniques for the writer’s toolkit
  • uses a range of punctuation ( - …… ! :)
slide7

Reports

  • Reports describe the way things are (Spanish culture or Micro-organisms)
  • Special features of reports:
  • a short opening paragraph/sentence introducing the topic
  • factual information
  • material broken down into ‘subject paragraphs’ which contain specific information - perhaps with side-headings e.g Education, Food, Entertainment
  • use of bullet points
  • Language
  • written mostly in the present tense
  • uses language to describe (adjectives, adverbs)
  • uses impersonal and formal language
  • clear language but sometimes technical- needing explanation (glossary)
  • uses dashes, colons and semi-colons
  • Also see journalistic writing
slide8

Journalistic writing

  • Journalistic writing relays information to its reader. It is another form of report writing The type of material printed – content, language - is dependant on the type of publication (newspaper, magazines, radio).
  • Special features of journalistic writing:
  • ‘The inverted pyramid’ - the most important items in the story appear first in the article
  • first paragraph (topic sentence) –Who, what, where, when, why, how: Second paragraph – story details: Third paragraph – background, eye witness comments: Final paragraph – closing remarks e.g. The case continues
  • contain either a balanced or biased reports
  • has a striking headline, written in columns, short paragraphs, different fonts, quotations
  • Language
  • uses language to describe (adjectives, adverbs)
  • minimum words – maximum information
  • standard, formal language, usually in the past tense
  • uses words to help the paragraphs flow e.g. ‘It appears that…’, ‘It is believed…’
  • uses language of persuasion when writer is trying to make you believe their point of view
  • uses dashes, colons and semi-colons and speech marks for quotations
slide9

Instructions

  • Instructions describe how something is done
  • Special features of instructions:
  • written in a clear, logical order
  • introductory paragraph saying what your instructions are about
  • bold headings
  • use of bullet points, numbered points, headings/sub-headings
  • concluding paragraph including phrases such as ‘If you follow these instructions…’
  • Language
  • written mostly in the present tense
  • plain language
  • keep sentences brief and to the point
  • time connectives e.g. Firstly, Secondly, Following this, Once you have done, In addition
  • imperative verbs e.g. Cut, blend, move, replace, jump, place
  • can include illustrations to help show your reader what you mean
slide10

Informal Letters

  • Letters are a means of communicating with family or friends
  • Special features of informal letters:
  • should be friendly/chatty/informal as written to a friend or relative
  • set format: your address and date in the top left-hand corner: Dear …(person’s name), should be on the next line against the right-hand margin with the letter beginning on the next line
  • write about only 2 or 3 subjects in detail, using paragraphs
  • closing paragraph should sum up what you have said in main body of the letter.
  • finish with closing phrase e.g. Give my love to, Don’t forget to write, See you soon…’ l before signing off with ‘Love …’ for family or ‘Best wishes/regards….’ for friends
  • can also have a P.S. but this is a sign that it has not been planned carefully or it could be used as a feature
  • Language
  • use slang e.g. mates, telly, contractions e.g. You didn’t, I’ll, and humour/jokes e.g. ‘It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen
  • ask questions e.g. I had a great time in the hols. What about you?

Cont.

slide11

Formal Letters

  • Letters are a means of communicating with another person/persons
  • Special features of letters:
  • letters should be written formally when written to someone in authorityor someone unknown to you
  • set format (see Informal Letters)
  • they begin with Dear…., followed by the person’s name and have a definite ending Yours faithfully (Dear Sir – if you don’t know their name)/Your sincerely (Dear Mr Amies);
  • written in paragraphs (when the subject changes)
  • Language
  • formal/standard language e.g. I am not I’m
  • be precise, accurate and clear using the appropriate tone for the purpose of the letter
  • if complaining: statethe nature of the problem, be reasonable, use business like vocabulary e.g. ‘ I would like to refer to../ With reference to../I would be grateful if… Don’t forget to say what you want done about the situation
  • if writing to persuade: state why you are writing – to persuade the reader to adopt your point of view or course of action. Give good reasons and suggestions as to what to do. Be pleasant and use a persuasive tone

Back

slide12

Writer’s tool Kit – include at least 2 from each box in your work. See other pages for many more ideas

  • Other literary devices to make your work stand out
  • Pathetic fallacy
  • Repetition
  • Stream of conciseness
  • Foreshadowing
  • Broken speech
  • Personification
  • Alliteration
  • Negative description
  • Onomatopoeia

Punctuation can create effects

-full stops

-commas

-semicolons

-colons

-dashes

-brackets

-ellipses

- apostrophes

-question exclamation & speech marks

Sentence variety: A variety of sentence lengths add interest

Minor – no verb: Can stop the story dead, quicken the pace by adding tension e.g. Then. Silence.

Short or simple: Can quicken the pace of the story e.g. There was no going back.

Complex – using commas: tends to slow the story down and adds extra information e.g. The dog, who’s bowl I’d just tipped over, was growling in the corner.

Compound – using and, but: He wanted to go out but it was raining.

Connectives: To add interest

later, the next day, until then, however, although, also, plus

Passive and active voice: examples are

Active- the subjectis the focus of the verb: Jimate the bun.

Passive – the object is the focus of the verb: The bunwas eaten by Jim.

REMEMBER - Paragraphs - New speaker, new line

Effective word/descriptive choices: to help with characterisation and setting

Adjectives - adventurous and mature adjectives: The scarred face turned from the flickering candle light.

Adverbs – well matched to the verb: The hunter bellowed loudly and ran swiftly to disturb his prey.

Verbs – powerful verbs bring work alive: clashed, bounded, whimpered, simmering

Similes – comparing 2 things: The sea was raging like a wild dog.

Metaphor – saying something is something else: The sea was a raging dog.

slide13

Style

  • I have used these devices to effect my reader
  • adjectives to describe
  • powerful verbs for action
  • words other than said
  • adverbs to describe verbs
  • dashes, ellipses, exclamation marks for impact
  • repetition e.g. from rock to rock
  • similes e.g. quashed like a rotten tomato
  • metaphor e.g. the man was a lion
  • personification e.g. the wind sang
  • alliteration e.g. the wild wind whistled
  • onomatopoeia e.g. slithering snakes
  • Stream of consciousness
  • font size and layout

Writer's checklist

Look at these lists, check through your work and include any of these ideas that you think would improve your work.

  • Story Framework
  • Beginning: tells the reader about
  • the place
  • the main character
  • a problem or reason for the story
  • asks questions

The story develops with

  • the characters feelings, actions, speech, senses
  • paragraphs when action moves on or when new person speaks
  • balance between narrative and speech
  • genre features (tension, adventure, historical, recount)

And ends with

  • convincing resolution
  • cliffhanger
  • leaves the reader thinking
  • Sentence structure
  • I have used:
  • full stops
  • question marls
  • commas
  • speech marks (see help sheets)
  • a range of connectives
  • conjunctions and connectives
  • interrupted speech
  • a variety of sentence lengths - minor, simple, compound and complex sentences (see writer’s toolkit)
  • different word order- putting the adverb first e.g. Slowly the handle turned
slide14

Many forms of punctuation

to add interest to your work

Colons and semicolons

Brackets and dashes

Commas and

exclamation marks

Commas and

exclamation marks

Speech marks and ellipses

slide15

Commas ,

  • Commas are used
  • between items in a list - use ‘and’ or an ‘or’ between the last two words e.g. I wanted to sing, dance and scream for joy.
  • to split up long sentences to make them easier to understand – separating the clauses e.g.Andy knocked on the door several times, but nobody answered.
  • or to give extra informatione.g. With a squeak, the mouse pounced on the cat!
  • Exclamation marks !
  • Replaces a full stop
  • in sentences which show really strong feelings e.g. I’m not doing that!
  • if the sentence is acommand e.g.Stop it! Go away! Leave him alone!
  • replaces the comma if involved in speech when someone is shouting or to show anger or surprise e.g. “I just can’t believe it’s mine!” she cried.
slide16

Colons :

  • A colon is used
  • when a list is about to begin e.g. We need to know that the school has: a hall, six classroom, a playground and an office.
  • to divide up a sentence when the second part explains the first part e.g.The school was closed: it was the summer holidays.
  • Semicolons ;
  • A semicolon is used
  • to turn two sentences into one. The sentences must be about the same thing and be of equal importance e.g. The rain battered the windows; it was the worst storm of the year.
  • to break up lists when the items in the list are long phrases or clauses e.g.There were many items for sale in the market; rosy red apples; fresh baked cakes, too delicious to resist; Mrs Graham’s home-made lemonade; and many other things.
slide17

Brackets ( )

  • Brackets can be used like , and -
  • to separate an extra piece of information from the main body of the sentence e.g. Sam went to Alton Towers (a very large theme park) for his birthday.
  • to interrupt the sentence e.g.The two kittens (Morgan and Holly) were fast asleep.
  • as something that the narrator had as an afterthought e.g.I wanted Mr Blair to win the election (although I don’t like the ties he wears).
  • Dashes -
  • A dash is used
  • to separate off extra informationlike, and ( ) e.g. The two dogs – Rover and Fido – ran around wildly.
  • to show a dramatic pausee.g.I peered under the sofa and there I saw – a huge spider.
  • to mark the beginning of a list e.g.I inspected everything – the chairs, the cupboards, the paintings.
slide18

Speech marks “ ”

  • Speech marks are used
  • when someone is actually talking, e.g. “ We’re going on holiday,” the boy said.
  • or The boy said, “We’re going on holiday.”
  • or “We are going on holiday,” said the boy, “and I’m very excited.”
  • LOOK VERY CAREFULLY AT THE USE OF PUNCTUATION AND CAPITAL LETTER
  • reported speech does not need any speech marks e.g. The boy said that he was going on holiday and that he was very excited.
  • Ellipses …..
  • Use to add interest and sentence variety
  • in sentences to denote that there is something missing e.g. No one had noticed…..
  • to how someone’s thoughts e.g. Now what was I going to do …..Oh yes.
  • in cliff-hangers to create tension e.g. “What was that …..It Sounded like……It can’t be….” she cried
slide19

Narrative toolkits

for different purposes

Settings

Action

Tension

Word and sentence variety

Characters

slide27

inquired asked pleaded

requested begged beseeched

Alternative words for “said”

whimpered drawled mumbled

grumbled sobbed stammered

whinged moaned complained

bellowed called

exclaimed yelled

cried shouted

screamed shrieked

giggled sniggered

chuckled laughed

sneered snorted

chortled guffawed

heckled interrupted retorted

protested persisted advised

counted objected warned

slide28

Opposition

however

but

nevertheless

instead

in contrast

on the other hand

Reinforcing

Besides

away

after all

Listing

first of all

secondly

finally

initially

Connectives

Concurrent

in the

meantime

simultaneously

meanwhile

Prior

at first

Before

until then

in the beginning

Results

therefore

consequently

thanks to this

as a result

Addition

also

furthermore

moreover

Subsequent

just then

in the end

after that

later

eventually

Explaining

for example

in other words

Indicating time

later

the next day

slide29

4. Second piece of bread = ”

Speech and pickle sandwich

3. Pickle = Punctuation

( . , ? ! )

2. Filling = words

1. First piece of bread = “

4 easy steps to

PERFECTLY PUNCTUATED SPEECH

1 +

2 +

3 +

4

What a perfect punctuation sandwich

!

Cont.

slide30

Remember, it is important not only punctuate your speech correctly BUT also to set it out correctly – new speaker, new line

How many literacy devices can you spot-

Repetition, powerful verbs, adjectival phrases,

variety of sentence length….

Character begins to speak so, new line

Chapter Seven

I leaned over the tea chests and shone the torch and

there he was. He hadn’t moved. He opened his eyes and

closed them again.

“You again,” he said in his creaked, squeaky voice.

“What are you doing there?” I whispered.

He sighed like he was sick to death of everything.

“Nothing,” he squeaked. “Nothing, nothing, and nothing.”

I watched a spider scrambling across his face. He caught

it and popped it in his mouth.

Taken from Skellig by David Almond

The same character is speaking, so there is no need to start a new line.

New speaker, new line

The narrator starts to write again, so new line

To see the sandwich again, click here

slide32

‘Response partners’ are a very effective way of improving your writing.

  • they help to reinforce the fact that if you are a writer, you have a reader to entertain and thrill.
  • they encourage you to look for ways to improve your work
  • they will point out the most effective parts/phrases in your work
  • they will suggest techniques from the toolkit that will enhance your writing

Response partners for other types of writing

  • However, we write in many other genre and a different approach is needed
  • When you have checked your work, your partner will read it and
  • check your WILFs:
  • check the sheet/display to ensure that you have included all the features that belong to that genre e.g. bullet points for instructions, time connectives for recounts, topic sentences for newspaper reports.
  • look to see that you have all the correct language points e.g. present tense for reports, chatty/informal language for letters to a friend etc.
  • they will suggest techniques from the toolkit for ways to interest your reader
  • finally they will point out punctuation, spelling errors that need to be checked

Back

slide33

Complex sentences

Complex sentences are used by writers for a number of different reasons. For example they can they add variety your writing, slow down the pace of your writing and they can be used to give a lot of information (description, characterisation, creating an atmosphere). Let’s look at ‘simple’ complex sentence….

  • A complex sentence is made up of two parts:
  • a main clause which tells you about the main point of the sentence
  • and
  • the dependant or subordinate clause which adds extra information

before he had tea.

Iqbal took the dog for a walk

Notice how need we

to take a pause and so

we put a comma into the

sentence to separate

the clauses

The sentence can be re-arranged

Before he had tea,

Iqbal took the dog for a walk.

If you take away the subordinate clause the main clause still makes sense but by itself, the subordinate clause does not make sense.

Remember: Changing the sentence order gives the sentence a much greater impact!

Macbeth washed the blood from his hands after he had killed Duncan.

After he had killed Duncan, Macbeth washed the blood from his hands.