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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Overview Nonfiction: Tools: Outline Content

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

“Because the unifying and compelling force of a plot is missing in nonfiction, one must achieve unity, coherence, and suspense in other ways.” Jane Fitz-Randolph

Outlines and patterns become the backbone to substitute for plot in order to provide a beginning, middle, and end, whether as an article, essay, or chapter.

Basic Essay Development

1. Through creative exercises an idea develops. You shape an outline, find a focus point, a clear purpose.

2. Thesis: topic for whole essay. Think of it as an umbrella top with the following points/paragraphs to be the spokes. We’ll look at different patterns next week.

3. Audience: will determine also your choice of style either for articles above or for different styles of essays such as narration, description, compare and contrast, persuasion, argument, or analysis.

4. Paragraph: For brief essays, such as an in-class student essay, 150-200 words. One to three sentences. Topic sentence-why the writer is stating the main point. Then it is followed by support. If you are writing for a particular magazine they will have a word count limit which will affect the length of your paragraph points.

5. Introductory paragraph. Key points and purpose.

6. Topic sentences-stating each point for the support information and example

Overall Essay Process: Idea-Outline-Draft-Revise-Edit

By now you have your first few article ingredients—your topic idea---the slant or purpose—and your target audience.

Now you develop your thesis and potential examples to support your premise.

Also consider your time frame if it applies. If a biography will it be developed chronologically, by highlights, or one particular aspect as a thread?

Action Steps:

1. Do a basic brainstorm. Set a timer and write without stopping for 10 minutes. Don’t do sentences or punctuation. Just write down everything you can think of that you already know or want to know. Don’t pause to think. If you hit a hole make a dash or an extra space break and move on to your next thought. If possible do this by hand instead of computer.

2. Now go back through and underline any thoughts that can be developed as a supporting topic or example. How many do you have?

3. Do you have a repeating voice or tone?

Share: What is your main focus?

Read deep, marcy

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