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Spice up your Writing Using Action Verbs Adapted from: Strausser, Jeffrey. Painless Writing. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 2009. Print.

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Presentation on theme: "Spice up your Writing Using Action Verbs Adapted from: Strausser, Jeffrey. Painless Writing. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 2009. Print."— Presentation transcript:

1 Spice up your Writing Using Action Verbs Adapted from: Strausser, Jeffrey. Painless Writing. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, Print.

2 Dull Words Mean Dull Writing  Connect readers to your writing by using ACTION VERBS.  The boys raced home.  The boys strolled home.  John glanced at Mary.  John stared at Mary.  Connect readers to your writing by using ACTION VERBS.  The boys raced home.  The boys strolled home.  John glanced at Mary.  John stared at Mary.

3 Identify Hard-Working Verbs  Action performed by subject  The student wrote the essay.  The dog ate the homework.  The cow jumped the moon.  The state of the subject  He loved his family and country.  The teacher hoped her best student was not absent.  The students believed they were late.  Connect the subject to a compliment  John is angry.  My sister feels sad.  Action performed by subject  The student wrote the essay.  The dog ate the homework.  The cow jumped the moon.  The state of the subject  He loved his family and country.  The teacher hoped her best student was not absent.  The students believed they were late.  Connect the subject to a compliment  John is angry.  My sister feels sad.

4 Read the following paragraph - Underline the verbs and identify whether they convey Claire’s physical or mental action (state) or whether they act as connecting verbs. Claire walked down the crowded hallway on this first day of school. She looked quickly to her left, and then to her right. Then, she walked out and joined the throng of students. Was anyone watching her? Although she wanted to look around, she kept looking straight ahead. However, it seemed that none of her classmates looked at her as they walked quickly to their classes.

5 Replacing Bland Verbs with Vivid Verbs  Claire = BLAND  We know nothing about who she is  There is no vivid mental picture  The reader is BORED and doesn’t CARE about Claire  We know she’s moving from one point to the other  We know no one is noticing her  We don’t know if this is good or bad because we CAN’T RELATE WITH HER  Vivid Verbs  Appeal to the reader’s sense impressions  Arouse feelings  Convey exactly what is happening  Draw the reader into the action  Claire = BLAND  We know nothing about who she is  There is no vivid mental picture  The reader is BORED and doesn’t CARE about Claire  We know she’s moving from one point to the other  We know no one is noticing her  We don’t know if this is good or bad because we CAN’T RELATE WITH HER  Vivid Verbs  Appeal to the reader’s sense impressions  Arouse feelings  Convey exactly what is happening  Draw the reader into the action

6 How to Replace Bland Verbs  Claire swaggered down the crowded hallway on this first day of school.  More specific  Tells reader that Claire __________  What changes if we write: Claire trudged?  Claire swaggered down the crowded hallway on this first day of school.  More specific  Tells reader that Claire __________  What changes if we write: Claire trudged?

7 How to Replace Bland Verbs  She looked quickly to her left, and then to her right.  Quickly = writer’s attempt at spice  Is this effective?  She glanced to her left, and then to her right.  Is a single strong verb more effective?  She looked quickly to her left, and then to her right.  Quickly = writer’s attempt at spice  Is this effective?  She glanced to her left, and then to her right.  Is a single strong verb more effective?

8 How to Replace Bland Verbs  Then, she walked out and joined the throng of students.  Then, she rushed out and merged into the throng of students.  Was anyone watching her?  You can either replace a verb with one strong verb or a strong adverb/ verb combination: quietly admiring, silently applauding, appreciating  Then, she walked out and joined the throng of students.  Then, she rushed out and merged into the throng of students.  Was anyone watching her?  You can either replace a verb with one strong verb or a strong adverb/ verb combination: quietly admiring, silently applauding, appreciating

9 How to Replace Bland Verbs  Although she wanted to look around, she kept looking straight ahead.  Is it effective to use the same weak verb twice?  Although she longed to notice their admiring glances, she stared straight ahead.  longed and noticed = clear picture of Claire’s thoughts  stared - helps reader understand Claire’s situation.  Although she wanted to look around, she kept looking straight ahead.  Is it effective to use the same weak verb twice?  Although she longed to notice their admiring glances, she stared straight ahead.  longed and noticed = clear picture of Claire’s thoughts  stared - helps reader understand Claire’s situation.

10 How to Replace Bland Verbs  However, it seemed that none of her classmates looked at her as they walked quickly to their classes.  Is quickly (a weak adverb) effective?  Does this give us insight into Claire’s classmates? However, they ignored her as they raced to their classes.  However, it seemed that none of her classmates looked at her as they walked quickly to their classes.  Is quickly (a weak adverb) effective?  Does this give us insight into Claire’s classmates? However, they ignored her as they raced to their classes.

11 CLAIRE - Revised Claire swaggered down the crowded hallway on this first day of school. She glanced to her left, and then to her right. Then, she rushed out and merged into the throng of students. Was anyone admiring her? Although she longed to notice their admiring glances, she stared straight ahead. However, they ignored her as they raced to their classes.

12 What do we know about Claire?  Walked = swaggered  Looked quickly =glanced  Walked = rushed  Joined = merged  Watching = admiring  Wanted = longed  Look = notice  Kept looking = stared  Looked = ignored  Walked quickly = raced  Walked = swaggered  Looked quickly =glanced  Walked = rushed  Joined = merged  Watching = admiring  Wanted = longed  Look = notice  Kept looking = stared  Looked = ignored  Walked quickly = raced

13 Joe Freeman’s Spring Fair: Spring had come to western Pennsylvania unannounced. The oaks and the maples were very colorful and even the sedate elms were changing the boring line of the rundown farm houses and barns by showing their colors. Full of the optimism that spring brings, Joe Freeman, jobless and broke, walked down the streets of his hometown smelling the scented air of the morning. Today was a perfect day to open the door of opportunity. Fair: Spring had come to western Pennsylvania unannounced. The oaks and the maples were very colorful and even the sedate elms were changing the boring line of the rundown farm houses and barns by showing their colors. Full of the optimism that spring brings, Joe Freeman, jobless and broke, walked down the streets of his hometown smelling the scented air of the morning. Today was a perfect day to open the door of opportunity. Better: Spring had burst into western Pennsylvania unannounced. The oaks and the maples were exploding with color and even the sedate elms were interrupting the boring line of the rundown farmhouses and barns by displaying their colors. Full of the optimism that spring brings, Joe Freeman, jobless and broke, strode down the streets of his home town drinking n in the scented air of the morning. Today was a perfect day to kick down the door of opportunity.

14 Brain Tickler: Read and identify the weak verbs then rewrite the excerpt with these verbs billowed, spun, trudged, raced, glared, parched, staggered, noticed :  The sun shone brightly in the sky, its hot summer heat made us tired and thirsty. We continued until we came to a small country store. We walked in and saw a huge German Shepherd behind the counter. The dog had an angry look in its eyes. Concerned, we turned around and went out the door. A cloud of dust formed behind us.

15 BLOG Homework:  For SUNDAY at midnight:  Re-write Claire’s paragraph again. Replace the vague verbs with vivid ones However, this time, write the paragraph to portray Claire as a shy individual. Include a picture of what you think she looks like. (Make sure it is correctly cited)  For SUNDAY at midnight:  Re-write Claire’s paragraph again. Replace the vague verbs with vivid ones However, this time, write the paragraph to portray Claire as a shy individual. Include a picture of what you think she looks like. (Make sure it is correctly cited)


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