Taking risks in prose and an attempt at a poem. Fun with synesthesia. Audience and purpose reprised. Getting something done with writing. Playing with style: Invitation to a dreadful event. Applying standards of excellence. Review and revision over previous papers.
General how-to rules. Practicum in taking essay tests. Combining skills. Graceful use of figures.
by Donald M. Murray
Refining self-critique. Read a sample essay and instructor critique - web-based format Read a sample essay and instructor critique - email format Read an award-winning essay composed for Crafting the Essay. Summer Session Daily Calendars. Up to two weeks of vacation is allowed in the week Early Summer session. No vacations are allowed in the intensive 6-week Late Summer session.
Down to Late Summer Session 6 weeks. Most students complete their course here, but those who took vacations may use the missed assignment due dates below to complete by August Lesson 9 rough paragraphs due Lesson 8 Essay Workshop Begins. Last day of course! No work accepted after today! Congratulations on joining Crafting the Essay. This course develops clear communication through the familiar, or personal, essay. You explore strategies of narration and description, and you learn the revision process.
When to send your first assignment:. Your assignment must be emailed by midnight of the due date on the schedule your instructor sent in the introductory message. You may write one of two essays for your first assignment. Instructions for writing the essays are below. Please read both sets of instructions carefully. Along with your essay, you are required to send an explanation for your choice.
This explanation can be as long as you wish, but no shorter than words. Acceptable explanations can range from why one essay seemed easier than the other to why one essay seemed more interesting to write than the other. We encourage strong opinions tactfully expressed. You're probably asking yourself--what does this heading mean? What is functional fixedness? Borrowed from psychology, functional fixedness is a term that describes our patterns of perception. These patterns are functional because they help us perform life's simple jobs. Because these patterns help us function smoothly, we use them repeatedly until they become a habit that is fixed.
Here is an example: You probably have a morning routine. You wake up, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, wash your face, put on your robe, and go to the kitchen to eat breakfast. Whatever your routine is, you more than likely perform the same simple tasks in the same sequence every morning. You're functionally fixed in a pattern that helps you get through the morning without too much thought.
Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem
After all, you're still a little sleepy--you don't want to have to think about what you're doing every morning. But, sometimes that morning routine changes. When you go on vacation or if you go away to camp, you might discover that it takes a couple of days to adapt to the new way of getting up. You're functionally fixed! You need to get unfixed. We are also functionally fixed about the way we use language. For example, when you see. That is because, in your daily life, most people who see CAT usually think "pet cat. For each of these groups, CAT has become a different functionally fixed perception.
Depending on our perspectives and backgrounds, we can become functionally fixed in differing ways.
How to Write a Reader-Friendly Essay
Functional fixedness can become a habit or rut. Habits can be helpful, but they can also prevent us from seeing other possibilities. Writers need to see beyond the familiar meanings of words, to think about language in new ways. When we are functionally fixed, we use language as if it only has meaning.
But meaning is just the component we use most often. Becoming functionally unfixed about language is the first step in learning to write well. Now, be functionally unfixed by taking this short quiz. Pick the ONE correct answer. Do not choose the ONE correct answer until you have seen all the choices. Hold this page up to a mirror to read the one, correct answer. Meaning, also called content, is only one component of language. The other component is form. What is form? Simply put, form is every aspect of language except meaning.
Let me show you the difference between form and meaning.
What is different between the Ecclesiastes and Orwell passages? Which do you prefer? Most people will choose Ecclesiastes. They find it more pleasing because of its form. Everything from diction to syntax to figurative language distinguishes the fine prose of Ecclesiastes from Orwell's parody. By the way, if you don't recognize words such as "diction" and "syntax," think of this as an opportunity to look them up in your dictionary. To get the one, correct answer to the CAT quiz, you have to be functionally unfixed enough to recognize that language is more than meaning.
You have to recognize form, even if you don't know its name. When you are functionally unfixed, you are able to play with words and structure, to experiment with voice and style, to surprise yourself and your reader. Now let's see if you are able to free yourself from conventional notions about ways to use language. Children are frequently very good at thinking in unconventional ways. You may remember assigning human characteristics to non-human objects when you were younger.
For example, your stuffed animals may have had human emotions. When we do this in writing it is called anthropomorphism. Send or post to your instructor as one file, according to schedule:. Do your best and enjoy this challenge. Your instructor is looking forward to the results. An essay describing your most comfortable place.
Book Review: Crafting a Life by Donald M. Murray – Joy's Book Blog
Since your readers do not know you and cannot see the place, you must emphasize the details that make it the most comfortable place for you. There is no maximum length required.
Write as much as you want, but instructors usually expect essays to have a minimum length of about words, or about 2 printed, double-spaced pages. Arnold Lazarus and H.
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The English word assay also comes from the French essai. To assay is to "try" or to "weigh," as in assaying the contents of ore for gold.
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