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Choosing a subject. 1 Choose someone who has lived on this island. 2 Choose someone who is not in your immediate family. 3 Choose someone who is at least in eighth grade.
Warning #1: Respect Your Subject! Do not write a biography that is Insulting Degrading Or in any way looks down on your subject. This sort of biography will not even be graded.
Warning #2: Finished product will not be private! Your finished biography will be placed in the Local Biography Notebook. Anyone who wishes will be able to read it.
Here is how your biography will be graded. 1 Focus 2 Organization 3 Details
This will be a short writing assignment – three to five pages. Because it will be so brief, it will need to have a fairly narrow focus. 1 Focus
Two most common errors leading to an unfocused biography: 1. a cradle-to-grave biography. She was born on such and such a day. She lived here and she lived there. She worked here and she worked there. She did this and she did that. Finally, she died. It is ridiculous to try to write an entire life in four pages. 1 Focus
Two most common errors leading to an unfocused biography: 1. a cradle-to-grave biography. 2. A scattered biography She moved to the Island two years ago. She likes volleyball. She worked at this store. She wants to go to college. What do any of these things have to do with each other? 1 Focus
Three ways to focus a short biography: 1. A Specific Experience or Group of Experiences that were life-changing Examples: War or other Military Experiences Business or Career Experiences Attempts to achieve something unique or significant Worldwide travels and adventures 1 Focus
Three ways to focus a short biography: 1. A Specific Experience or Group of Experiences that were life-changing 2. Out of the ordinary characteristics Examples: Outrageous sense of Humor Bad luck Coming up from behind to win Bravery Gift of Gab Strength 1 Focus
Three ways to focus a short biography: 1. A Specific Experience or Group of Experiences that were life-changing 2. Out of the ordinary characteristics 3. Another specific focus Examples: Christmas in the Old Days School in the Old Days 1 Focus
To have an organized biography: Your focus should be clearly stated in the first paragraph. This makes an introduction. 2 Organization
To have an organized biography: In the body of the biography, detail 3-5 episodes that are examples of the main idea. These episodes must demonstrate what was said about the subject in the introduction. 2 Organization
Examples of an UNORGANIZED Biography: First this happened Then this happened Then this happened Then this happened Finally, this happened 2 Organized
In the body, the writing should be as specific as possible. Don’t write in the body that he was a funny person. Use a general statement like that for your main idea, in the introduction. In the body, show how that person did or said funny things. 3 Details
In the body, the writing should be as specific as possible. Don’t write in the body that she went to college. Include a general statement like that in the introduction. In the body, detail what college was like for her. Tell a couple of anecdotes that illustrate how college affected your subject. 3 Details
In the body, the writing should be as specific as possible. Remember to answer: Who What Where Why When How 3 Details
You will also be graded on sentence structure and vocabulary, but leave those for the revision stage.
This Assignment must have: • 3-5 Pages Do you have expectations of receiving at least a “C-”? I have expectations of receiving at least 3 pages! If you are looking for an “A” or a “B”, your aim shouldn’t be the minimum, but the maximum.
This Assignment must have: • 3-5 Pages • a positive outlook on its subject • a single focus DON’T try to cover many different things and then weakly link them together with “Here’s all the different things that are new for her this year.” “Here’s all the different things he is dedicated to.”
This Assignment must have: • 3-5 Pages • a positive outlook on its subject • a single focus • a distinct beginning, middle & end • a body with a high level of detail. Remember, both focus and organization demand that the intro have a clear thesis sentence. Let the reader see it! Make the reader feel like she was there! Use the techniques we have been studying!