Scene and Summary


We've been talking about how good writers "show" more than "tell." In a good piece of writing--there is more showing--but the telling is important, too. Another way to think about this:  writing "in scene" and writing "summary."

In our letters to our legislators about saving school funding for teaching assistants, you wrote about a moment with a teaching assistant--about a specific point in time or event that made you feel assistants or tutors are important to you, your school, and your education. You created a word picture so that people in Raleigh can "see" what happened.

That paragraph is called a "scene." Think of a play. In a play, something is happening and the characters are reacting. This is a scene. It's as if you (the writer) and your reader or audience is watching something happening right then.

Then, there is summary. Summary is when you offer a point of view or look back and say what you thought about something or write a quick couple of sentences to get the reader to the next "scene."

This week, I'd like for you to take the writing you've done about your issue and put it into the format that I give you (see document page). I've included an example of a This I Believe essay and pointed out what the writer is doing--we did this in class together--but this is something you can keep and use as you write your own essay.

Assignment: Using the organizer I've given you, write an introduction, then plug in the writing you've done so far into the "scene" paragraph. You'll have to look at what you wrote first, then what you wrote after you received questions and comments from your classmates and from me. Choose the best of it for your middle paragraphs and feel free to add something you didn't think about before. Then write your  conclusion.
Due: Friday

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