Writing for the Reader [Part Two]

My student was finally able to read my seven pages (fourteen, I suppose, if I double space it). She passed it around to another student, who skimmed through it pretty quickly. 

When I asked them about it, she was very enthusiastic and sweet—I’m very glad that she liked it. The other student told me that he skimmed just to examine my sentences. So I asked him what he found. He said, reluctantly, that it was good. The stinker 😉

It makes me laugh. He probably was trying to see if I ever said it is at the beginning of my sentences, because when I grade, I circle those in red all the time. Or maybe he was looking for the word thing. That’s another word that I generally disapprove of in academic writing. It gets circled too. Lots of red ink. Everywhere. It’s for their own good and they know it. (Yes, I know I said it is at the beginning of that sentence. This is a blog for crying out loud, not a term paper.)

In summation, I’m glad that I gave it to her and I’m looking forward to editing more so that I can give them the next part of the story. Writing tip of the day? Get an audience—preferably of the age range that you are trying to reach. Having people enjoy your work is fantastic, and having people critique your work is incredibly helpful. Try to gather both sides of the equation. One will encourage you to move forward, and the other will challenge you to write well.

Robinson Crusoe with Dinosaurs?

Today while teaching, I joked that Robinson Crusoe gets attacked by dinosaurs on his island—Jurassic Park style all the way. And the students believed me. It seems that they have not been keeping up with their reading.

In response, I challenged one student to rewrite Robinson Crusoe and add dinosaurs. If she does, the whole class gets homemade cookies. Daniel Defoe never saw this coming.