Process Writing With Line, Hook, and Sinker
students hand in their textual analysis essays, I ask them to write a process
piece in which they describe the writing and revising process as though
they were on a fishing expedition (baking a cake, cooking a meal, planting
a garden). I tell them to record all the preparatory steps, talk about their
successes and failures, and notice their emotions
. This project works especially well in conjunction with textual analysis because we usually spend some time noticing and exploring metaphors. Sometimes I give students a short poem by Stephen Spender to set the stage:
The word bites like a fish.
Shall I throw it back free
Arrowing to that sea
Where thoughts lash tail and fin?
Or shall I pull it in
To rhyme upon a dish?
came up with this idea because the process pieces were often stale and superficial.
By giving students this assignment, I hoped to read more lively and detailed
reports, but I was surprised about the good results. Most students, even
the shy or reticent ones, were able to turn their observations into creative
and insightful process notes full of valuable observations.
|activity type||individual writing assignment, process writing exercise|
|skills||analysis, reflection, metaphorical thinking|
short poem (see above)