Saturday, October 3, 2009

This Week in Writing

Tuesday and Thursday were the first classes of RCC's fall term. With enrollment up a whopping 30%, classrooms (and parking lots) were packed.

Because of state furlough days, our instructional time is cut; I'll only see my students for about two months.

On the first day, we learned how to strengthen our writing by what not to put in it:
cliches, irrelevancy, redundancy, overuse of modifiers, a generic hook and a general title, "you." And then we came up with stuff with boosting power: strong verbs, transitional phrases, stylistic devices like imagery, a satisfying conclusion.

The critical piece is the proof. The who/what/where/when/why/how. The specific details. Thesis support.

It's a lot, I realize.

And when I told the students--all ba-zillion of them--that revision was to be the most important part of their process, that it should take the longest and be the most challenging, they looked at me at blinked. I've seen that look before. At the beginning of every term, actually.

They believe they won't survive it.

They don't think so, but they'll get there. I know it enough for all of them.

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