Writing is something that I do for myself.
This word, which I reserve for something unique or rare, something that makes me take pause from life, was assigned to just about every reading, poem, essay and excerpt.
It astonished me that a group of writers—who have such a deep reverence for words—could throw this particular one around so carelessly. There were some beautiful pieces. But there were also some mediocre ones, some confusing ones, and some that flat out needed tender, loving care.
And yes, like beauty, taste in writing is subjective, so a piece that I find dull someone else could find beautiful. But by the end of the second week of residency I had grown numb to the word. Why was I reacting so strongly to the situation? And when I heard that everything we studied Workshopping essays beautiful, it not only diminished the value of the word, but of the work that was being described by it, as well.
By leaning further into this crutch, inching away from potentially uncomfortable and direct workshop discussions, we are disservicing ourselves and the writing community as a whole.
How can we expect an honest and thoughtful evaluation of our own work if we cannot offer one to others? How can we better our writing if we do not know where it shines and where it is lackluster? Accurately summarizing a piece is a great place to start, but the real benefit in critiquing lies in analyzing writing at a structural level and articulating our analysis into actionable feedback for the author.
In order to do this, it is imperative to put aside our personal preferences and stop hiding behind subjective summary terms, and instead read pieces with open minds, uninfluenced by our individual tastes, and be brave enough to provide objective feedback.
Some considerations to make when critiquing a piece: What do you interpret the author is trying to accomplish and how successfully does the author realize his or her intentions? How accurately does the author structure the work for the intended form?
If it is a literary journalism piece, are there enough facts woven in?
If it is a braided memoir, does the writer successfully balance and weave the various strands? Make note of pacing and rhythm. Were there places you stumbled? Signal spots where you appreciate detail and mark places where you would like to see more.
Make note of tone and fluidity. What is the overall feeling the piece leaves you with?
When reviewing literature take pause, consider, and form your assessment carefully. You are doing more than commenting: You are setting the bar for the development and creation of quality writing of others, as well as your own.(either as a class, small groups, or individuals) o Collect some samples of essays that writers have written about writing itself- from Stephen King to TS Eliot - writers like to do this.
Workshopping Essay I • We’ll workshop Essay I in pairs. I will put the names of the pairs on the board.
• We’ll take approx. an hour and 10 minutes to workshop. Here’s how we’ll proceed: 1) Take turns reading your draft aloud to your partner. Read at a good pace (don’t rush!) and with expression. Try to hear your words as you read.
On Writing Short Stories, Second Edition, explores the art and craft of writing short fiction by bringing together nine original essays by professional writers and thirty-three examples of short heartoftexashop.com first section features original essays by well-known authors--including Francine Prose, Joyce Carol Oates, and Andre Dubus--that guide students through the process of writing.
AP® English Literature and Composition Syllabus 1 Syllabus v1 2 Course Description This AP English Literature course is designed to teach beginning . If your essay is being discussed, take notes on what other people suggest. You may not speak while the review is taking place.
It can be difficult to sit quietly while your essay is being critiqued, but it is an absolutely essential part of the workshop process. INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE ENGLISH. Students whose placement scores suggest that they need more help with their reading and writing will be placed in Composition and Literature.