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How to Guide

How to Guide

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Published by: lindsay_brown680 on Dec 20, 2010
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The How-To Guide for Developing Your Writing Task

English 40ECC Ms. Brown The following booklet includes information on how to write: - an editorial - a eulogy a short story - a fable - a short story - a poem or song lyrics - a speech an advice column

Writing an Editorial

**First, always consider your writing variables.

An editorial is a brief persuasive essay expressing an opinion about a timely and important topic. Editorials usually call for a specific course of action. (An editorial writer might argue that the school student council doesn¶t represent the entire student body after they have made a controversial decision.) It¶s important to come quickly to your point, speak with authority, and present a clear, forceful case. A 200-word editorial is an appropriate length.

So, in short, an editorial should be structured like a persuasive essay and should: get right to the point take a strong position be clear

be approximately 200 words in length

Writing a Eulogy **First, always consider your writing variables.

A eulogy is a well-crafted speech intended to commemorate a loved one who has died. It is usually presented at a memorial service or funeral by someone who was close to the deceased and knows them well. A eulogy may contain:
y y y y

a condensed life history of the person who has died details about family, friends, work/career, interests, and achievements favourite memories of the deceased favourite poems, songs, quotes, scripture.

1. Start by realizing the task at hand. Writing and delivering a eulogy is truly an honor. It is an opportunity for you to bring the deceased person back into the minds of those in attendance. Your words will paint a picture of the deceased through the memories, anecdotes and stories you tell. A eulogy allows the audience to remember the person -- who they were, what they did and what they enjoyed about life. 2. Recall your own memories. Think about the deceased and the relationship you had with them. Where you met (if your not family), things you did together, humorous or touching memories, and what you will miss the most might be things you decide to share.

3. Gather information about the deceased. Talk with family members and close friends to gather important information about the departed. Even co-workers may have valuable things to share. Some important information to include in the eulogy:
y y y y y y

Persons age/date of birth Family and other close relationships Education/work/career Hobbies or special interests Places the person lived Special accomplishments

4. Organize. Some people prefer to prepare and deliver a serious eulogy while others will want to keep the tone light. A mix of both elements, solemnity and humor, is usually best. It allows the audience to grieve appropriately but to also share in the celebration of a life well-lived. Create an outline of your speech and fill in the information you gathered about the person. 5. Write! Write your speech in your own voice. That means to write it in the same way you would normally talk. Your audience will want to feel like you are talking to them, not reading from a script. Keep in mind the most important thing: write from your heart.

Sample Eulogy
Michael had lived an amazing life even though it was rather short. Michael was a great friend; he was the kind of friend that stands by you when you need somebody to be there. He once saved my life. We were both young kids then and we weren¶t very close. I was hastily walking across the street when Michael saw a speeding car. If it wasn¶t for Michael, I would have died right there. That¶s how I became close to Michael. Yes, that was 10 years ago and we¶ve been inseparable ever since. I remember once Michael told me he met a girl who stole his heart. Being his best friend I must admit I was rather shocked and thought evil things about that girl. Of course as you all know, I am referring to Michael. I was so envious of Michael. It was not because I¶m in love with Michael but it¶s more of I was simply not used to sharing Michael¶s time with anyone else. It was always me and Michael. When I met Michael, I didn¶t know how I would react. Michael turned out to be a really nice person and she ended up being a good friend of mine too. I must say, I was happy for Michael and Michael. What is it that we remember when we think of Michael? I think everyone who knows him very well would agree with me on this. It was his sense of humor. He was the kind of person that would make everyone laugh so hard that they¶d end up crying. Who could forget about his mama jokes? How about all his green jokes? Goodness! Just thinking about those green jokes still makes me laugh. He was so out there when he starts those jokes. That is what I will truly miss about Michael. He could make me laugh when I am really sad. He always cheered me up when he knew I just had a bad day. That¶s the trademark of Michael. He always wanted to make people happy. Michael¶s death was sudden. I remember when I heard the news I simply could not believe it. Michael was too young but as it slowly occurred to me I have realized that Michael indeed lived his life wonderfully. Michael was well-loved and he had done so many things on earth and I¶m sure he¶ll do much more in heaven. I will forever be grateful to have known Michael. I will forever be grateful that Michael was there at the right place and at the right time to save my life. I will forever be grateful for spending 10 years of my life with a friend like him. All the memories I have shared with him will forever be cherished and remembered. Michael will forever live in my heart« In our hearts. Michael is in heaven now and we are here on his funeral. This is not the time for us to grieve his death but it¶s our time to celebrate his life. Don¶t ever forget Michael. He never wanted to see people cry. He wanted to make everyone happy. So at this moment when we are about to lay his body to rest, let¶s all think back and remember how Michael touched our lives. How he made us laugh and how good Michael was as a person. This is not the moment for us to shed our tears but we should all be thankful that we were given the chance to have known a man named Michael. Michael will forever be missed but I know in the right time, I will meet Michael again. We will all meet 1 Michael again and he¶ll make us laugh in tears again.



Writing a Short Story **First, always consider your writing variables.

The short story refers to a work of fiction that is usually written in prose (resembling regular speech), usually in narrative format. This format tends to get more quickly to the point than longer works of fiction, such as novellas, novels, or books.

A short story contains the following elements:

Setting: The time and location in which a story takes place is called the setting.

Plot: The sequence of events in a story or play is called the plot. The plot is a planned, logical series of events having a beginning, middle, and end.

Conflict: Conflict is the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction -Character: There are two meanings for the word character: 1) the person in a work of fiction. 2) the characteristics of a person.

Point of View: Point of view, or p.o.v., is defined as the angle from which the story is told.
Theme: The theme in a piece of fiction is its controlling idea or its central insight.

Writing a Poem or Song Lyrics **First, always consider your writing variables.

When you write poetry, you try to get at the emotional heart or core of a memory, belief, feeling, image, or dream. Since poetry is so compact, special attention must be given to every word and phrase. Each poem has its own special look and tone.

Some steps to beginning your song or poem might be to: Look around! Write freely and quickly in short bursts to see what ideas and feelings come to mind; peruse your journal for ideas; observe the world around you for inspiring sights and sounds; or, think about any intriguing material you have been reading. Once you¶ve chosen a focus topic, collect related words, and phrases. This will allow you to focus your topic and will provide you with a variety of terms to use in your final product.

The form can be one of many. Songs often follow a distinct pattern; for poems, there are sonnets, ballads, blank verse, or haiku. Feel free to explore all of these possibilities and be creative!

Check out this website for some good examples: http://www.types-of-poetry.org.uk/ Song Lyrics Features Lyrics: reflect the writer¶s personal feelings or thoughts often address an issue, express a complaint, or tell a story generally have a rhyming pattern (although not always)


have a rhythm pattern, for example, four to five beats per line within a string of eight to eleven syllables Often include a refrain, commonly called the chorus (a line or stanza repeated throughout the song) May use two-, four-, or six-line stanzas (groupings of lines). Four-line stanzas are most common. May include ³slang´ terms May not use standard spelling. Some words are spelled the way they are pronounced, for example, ³gonna´.




Writing a Fable **First, always consider your writing variables.

Prewriting: Planning your fable

1. Choose a moral All fables have a moral. What is the lesson that you want to teach? You can use a well known saying or come up with one on your own.

2. Invent characters Who will be in you fable? Many fables have animal characters. Your characters can be animals, people, objects, or anything you like. If you choose animals or objects, you should use good personification to make your characters more believable. What will your characters be like and how will they act?

3. Find a setting A fable can take place anywhere or anytime. It can be in a real place or an imaginary one. Morals teach lessons that are true all of the time, no matter where you are!

4. Create a plot All stories need a plot. What will happen to your characters? What will be the conflict? How will they learn their lesson?

Writing the First Draft: Getting it down on paper

1. Introduce the characters and setting.

Describe your characters so that the reader can imagine them. Describe appearance, actions, and thoughts. Describe the setting so that the reader can see it and know where the fable is taking place.

2. Explain the plot This is the part where you write the actual story. What happens to the characters? How do they respond?

3. End the fable This should be where your characters learn their moral. You should end your fable with the moral. Sample Fables Below are two examples of the basic plot of some classic fables. In your assignment, the fable should include more descriptive detail so that it is at least twice the length of the examples below.

The Fox Without a Tail It happened that a Fox caught its tail in a trap, and in struggling to release himself lost all of it but the stump. At first he was ashamed to show himself among his fellow foxes. But at last he determined to put a bolder face upon his misfortune, and summoned all the foxes to a general meeting to consider a proposal which he had to place before them. When they had assembled together the Fox proposed that they should all do away with their tails. He pointed out how inconvenient a tail was when they were pursued by their enemies, the dogs; how much it was in the way when they desired to sit down and hold a friendly conversation with one another. He failed to see any advantage in carrying about such a useless encumbrance. "That is all very well," said one of the older foxes; "but I do not think you would have recommended us to dispense with our chief ornament if you had not happened to lose it yourself." Moral: Distrust interested advice. _______________________________________________________________________ The Lion and the Mouse

Once when a Lion was asleep a little mouse began running up and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him. "Pardon, O King," cried the little Mouse: "forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?" The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. "Was I not right?" said the little Mouse. Moral: Little friends may prove great friends.

Writing a Speech **First, always consider your writing variables.

You give a speech in order to communicate something to an audience. Your speech will be an opportunity to be heard by your classmates upon graduation. Choose something that you would like to tell the class; perhaps you wish to discuss what high school was like for you, to inspire everyone to be successful, or to thank someone.

A successful speech will include the following: y An effective start-up technique or ³hook´. You will want to get the audience¶s attention! Try using an amazing fact, a funny story, a series of questions, or a short history of the subject. y A strong organizational structure. Some popular ways of organizing your speech might be: by order of importance, in chronological order, comparison/contrast, cause and effect, order of location, or problem/solution. y A strong conclusion. The audience should be reminded of what they have heard, and why¶s it¶s important.

Writing an Advice Column **First, always consider your writing variables. A column is a part of a magazine or newspaper that is used for a special subject. Advice columns are made up of letters asking for advice from a columnist, followed by the columnists answer, which usually offers information and guidance, and, sometimes, an opinion.

There are two types of advice columns: First, there are personal advice columns; these focus on personal matters such as relationships, love, self-esteem, and personal health. There are also advice columns for specific subjects; possible topics in this type of column could include parenting, gardening, home repair, manners, and cooking.

An advice column usually has: a catchy title that is appropriate to the topic of the column. For example, ³The Recycling Guy´, or ³The Love Line´. A photo or brief description of the columnist The letter: o o o starts with ³Dear«´ is short and briefly describes the situation or concern closes with a brief ending statement or question; for example, ³What should I do?´ or ³I need help with this problem´ o is signed with initials only, or a descriptive name like ³Lovesick´, ³Worried in Halifax´, or ³Desperate´ The answer: o o offers the columnist¶s opinion, information, and advice about the problem sometimes refers the writer to an expert, such as a doctor or lawyer, to an organization such as Students Against Drunk Driving, or to other agencies and support groups.

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