Presentation on theme: "Which adjectives might your friends use to describe your personality? happybravefunny pleasing passionateirreverent ridiculous rivetingsarcastic earnest."— Presentation transcript:
Which adjectives might your friends use to describe your personality? happybravefunny pleasing passionateirreverent ridiculous rivetingsarcastic earnest tentativedetached bereaved horrifyingself-deprecating scholarlycaringgracious bizarre subtlethoughtful dismal way out unctuous delightful concernedtimid warmfrightenedcurt thrilledthoughtful introspective cleverentertaining superficial profound mistrustful critical
Just as we can describe the personalities of our friends, as readers we can describe the personality of a piece of writing. Diederich: (1961 & 1974) found that the professional writers and editors in his study “emphasized style, individuality, originality, interest and sincerity– the personal qualities revealed by the writing, which he decided to call ‘flavor,’ although they themselves called it ‘style’” (8). Seventeen teachers K-12 (1984) Beaverton, Oregon: Analytical Assessment Model Committee working with Diederich’s findings decided to call it “voice” and elaborated on its description. Simultaneously, groups in Montana, Florida and other sites were coming up with similar rubrics. –Some Six-trait rubrics describe a writer’s voice as being as distinct: “As individual as fingerprints.”
Whose fingerprints are all over this one? Don’t you hate “To Be Continued” on TV? It’s horrible when you sense the “To Be Continued” coming. You know, you’re watching the show, you’re into the story, then there’s like five minutes left and suddenly you realize “Hey, they can’t make it. Timmy’s still stuck in the cave. There’s no way they can wrap this up in five minutes.” I mean the whole reason you watch a TV show is because it ends. If I want a long, boring story with no point to it, I’ve got my life. A comedian can’t do that. I can’t go, “A man walks into a bar with a pig under his arm.... Can you come back next week?”
Or this one? Grandpa Tommy’s dad used to say, “A cowful is a great sufficiency.” According to my research, the rumen of a mature cow can hold over 300 pounds. And by anybody’s standards that is a substantial quantity. Say you had a cowful of pocket change. You’d almost need a cow to keep it in. Say you had a cowful of wet laundry. It would take a forklift to get it in the dryer. Say you had a cowful of manure. Well, I guess a lot of us do.
And how about this one? I'm Nobody! Who are you? Are you--Nobody--Too? Then there's a pair of us? Don't tell! They'd advertise--you know! How dreary--to be--Somebody! How public--like a Frog– To tell one's name--the livelong June— To an admiring Bog!
And whose fingerprints are these? There are no records to prove it, mind you, but I have every reason to believe my husband was an eleven-month baby. And he’s been running two months late ever since. Through marriage (and bad association) I have become a member of that great body of tardy Americans who grope their way down theater aisles in the dark, arrive at parties in time to drink their cocktails with their dessert, and celebrate Christmas on December 26. Frankly, I don’t know how a nice, punctual girl like me got stuck with a man who needs not a watch, but a calendar and a keeper.
The voices of... 1. Jerry Seinfeld –Seinlanguage. Bantam Books, 1993. 2. Baxter Black –A Cowful of Cowboy Poetry. Coyote Cowboy Company, 2000. 3. Emily Dickinson –The Poems of Emily Dickinson. Harvard University Press, 1951. 4. Erma Bombeck –If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? Fawcett Books, 1990.
And it’s more than just fingerprints or flavor. Consider the difference in two voices from the same person in this film clip from The Electric Horsemen, starring Robert Redford as Sonny Steele, a former Pro Rodeo World Champion All-Around Cowboy turned corporate ad gimmick. In this scene Redford explains, off-camera he thinks, how a retired champion racehorse named Rising Sun has been mistreated by his corporate owners. Notice the difference between the former Pro Rodeo All Around Champion’s speech when he thinks he is on-camera compared to when he thinks he is off-camera.
Which traits of strong voice fit Sonny’s “unrecorded” talk? A. The writer speaks directly to the reader in a way that is individual, compelling and engaging. B. The writer crafts the writing with an awareness and respect for the audience and the purpose for writing. C. The tone of the writing adds interest to the message and is appropriate for the purpose and audience. D. The reader feels a strong interaction with the writer, sensing the person behind the words. E. The writer takes a risk by revealing who he or she is consistently throughout the piece. F. Expository or persuasive writing reflects a strong commitment to the topic by showing why the reader needs to know this and why he or she should care. G. Narrative writing is honest, personal, and engaging and makes you think about, and react to, the author’s ideas and point of view.
What is voice again? 1.Style 2.Flavor 3.Tone 4.Commitment 5.Sincerity 6.Reflection of the writer 7.Interest 8.Connection (not only between writer and topic, but also writer and reader) 9.Others _________________ _________________
Of course, the writer’s voice needs to be appropriate to the content. Mary Shelley’s Caddyshack? (screenplay) Not the appropriate voice!
Stephen King’s Shakespeare in Love? Probably not too romantically appealing—pretty creepy, actually.
Hey, Monty. What’s up, compadre? Surf’s up here, and I am down with the beach life. Got to go; the ice in my drink is getting low. See you next week. Maybe. –Chaz So appropriate voice, it seems, should fit the writer’s purpose. How about the audience or genre?
And a writer may need to change voice accordingly Multiple Case Studies of Neurasthenia in Men Aged Forty-five and Above –By Charles Heddinger and Montye Fuse
How does voice relate to the other traits? One way to think of voice is as one color on an artist’s palette. –It could be thought of as distinct from other colors (amber). Add a little black, and the voice of a piece can change to a dark one. Poe? Add a little white, and the voice can become more cheerful. ______? Add a little green (for weird) and the piece takes on a different perspective. Hunter Thompson? And/or it could be thought of as created through the use of other colors (red, white and blue used in certain proportions create lavender).
In that sense the writer mixes traits like an artist mixes colors to create voice. Word choice helps create voice. Sentence fluency helps create voice. Ideas help create voice.
Listen to this story from Luci Tapahonso’s Saanii Dahataal: The Women are Singing. Discuss with your colleagues: –How would you describe the author’s voice? –Which descriptors from the rubric fit? –How does word choice contribute to the voice? –How does sentence fluency contribute to voice? –How are ideas and voice related in this piece?
How can a writer, especially a beginning writer, achieve strong voice? – Writing from the heart will help. Emotions/feelings Values Beliefs Important people and events Crucial issues Things that matter to the writer What has research shown about beginning writers and their choice of topics?
Entering the River ( Lynn Nelson- Writing and Being ) private writing public writing vision and revision
How can we help students to understand voice? We might start with interesting literature that exemplifies strong voice. –Something they’ll like –Something that will grab their attention –Something that will get the idea across fast –Something we can discuss with them in the terms on their rubrics –Something that will hold their attention while I take attendance and put out the slip.
Does it have to be a major literary work? It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be a passage from their reading for class. It could be a passage from something they’re familiar with. It could be something they haven’t seen before but will easily understand It could be any genre: a passage from a novel, a poem, a letter, an article from a magazine or newspaper, a greeting card, an advertisement (ooh-there’s a good one), a menu, anything. It just needs to show the trait of strong voice and fit the students’ age/ability. Start a collection of pieces that exemplify voice.
Then we could give them a hands-on activity. To help them understand what the trait is. To help them identify it in literature To help them understand how to improve it in their own writing.
Next we could guide them through the analysis of anonymous sample papers. Anonymous, because they will feel no risk in being critical. We can help them to apply the terms in the rubric. They can begin to understand the process of evaluation that precedes revision. (We seem to be moving up Bloom’s taxonomy.)
They have been introduced to the trait through interesting literature, they have done an activity to further their understanding, they have analyzed anonymous sample papers to help them see what strong voice looks like in writing from people their age. Now what? TIME TO WRITE! How about a paper that suits our focus on the trait of voice well? Any ideas?
Only magic or amazing talent can make that first draft good enough to consider a finished project. Veteran teachers know there is no magic here. (Although they do often have some pretty good tricks up their sleeves) What happens next takes hard work.
Arranging for feedback that students understand and can use. Getting students to do a meaningful revision –Students are often chained to their first draft. (maybe a few spelling changes and some corrected punctuation, but nothing major) Although the next steps in the writing process can help students to improve not only individual papers but also their writing skills, they have often proven to be difficult in the past.
This is where the foundation of previous steps may help. 1. Students have a vocabulary to use to give and understand feedback. 2. They have done activities (focus lessons) to learn what the terms mean and how to improve writing for a given trait 3. They practiced evaluating papers on low- risk anonymous samples. 4. If they are given guidance, they can do it.
Students can use the Six-trait rubric for voice To self assess. To peer assess. As a guide for revision.
Teachers can also use the Six- trait rubric for voice To make revision suggestions –In a conference with the student. –On a written revision sheet. To focus on a desired trait. As part of the total grade. To keep track of a student’s improvement in a specific writing skill.
Suggestions for Further Reading Bishop, Wendy, ed. (1999). The Subject is Writing. Portsmouth: Boynton Cook. Burke, Jim. (2003). The English Teacher’s Companion: A Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession. Portsmouth: Heinmann. DeMaria, Robert. (2002). The College Handbook of Creative Writing. Boston: Thompson. Diogenes, Marvin & Moneyhun, Clyde. (2001). Crafting Fiction: In Theory, In Practice. Mountain View: Mayfield. Estess, Sybil & McCann, Janet. (2000). In a Field of Words: A Creative Writing Text. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
More suggestions… Fulwiler, Toby. (2004). The Working Writer. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. Knorr, Jeff & Schell, Tim. (2001). Mooring Against the Tide: Writing Fiction and Poetry. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. Lane, Barry. (1993). After THE END: Teaching and Learning Creative Revision. Portsmouth: Boynton Cook. Macrorie, Ken. (1980). Telling Writing: 3rd Edition. US: Hayden Book Company. Murray, Donald M. (1985). A Writer Teaches Writing. US: Houghton Mifflin Company.
The end. Spandel, Vicki. (2005). The 9 Rights of Every Writer: A Guide for Teachers. New Hampshire: Heinmann. Starkey, David. (1998). Teaching Writing Creatively. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook. Steele, Alexander. (2003). Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. New York: Bloomsbury. Stepp, Carl Sessions. (2000). Writing as Craft and Magic. Lincolnwood: NTC Contemporary Publishing Group.
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