Models and Conclusions

Today we talked about writing conclusions, sentence lengths, and more. I gave you two pieces of homework: the first, to sign out a book of essays from the library — essays on ANY topic that interests you — and read the conclusions for a few of them without  reading the rest of the essay first. You should be able to guess what the essay was about, but the author probably won’t spell it all out for you (as if he or she was using the High School Essay Writing Template).

Then, choose the most interesting conclusion, and read the essay to see if you could guess right what it was about.

For those of you who are worried about sentence lengths, I’ve given you two assignments:

  1. Count the number of words in a series of sentences in the essay of your choice. You should see a constant variation in sentence length. (You can also count the number of sentences in each paragraph, and the number of commas in each sentence, the number of compound sentences vs. simple sentences, and so on. The same kind of variation will apply, though each writer will tend towards one or the other. I, personally, tend towards compound sentences, lots of commas, and longer sentences.)
  2. Check out one of the two following videos on Youtube. They’re of Miles Davis. You’ll see the same thing in his music that I’m talking about in the exercise above: variation of long and short phrases, of simple and complex, of harsh and gentle, and so on. A good writer makes music with words. So here’s some music!

Probably your weirdest homework ever. Well, there it is!

If you have more questions about conclusions, please post them on the website (so you don’t forget them) and we will discuss them in class next Tuesday. Please also think about what you want to focus discussion on next Tuesday.

By the way, apologies about the confusion with the homework. If you haven’t posted your rewrite of Soonjae’s introduction, please post it to the class discussion blog. (You don’t need to print it for me.) And make sure to hand in your rewritten personal essay on the exam period, which should include indirect description of your feelings about exams, and also use one of the disagreement templates we’ve worked with. (Feel free to take liberties with the templates: you needn’t follow them exactly.)

Speaking of taking liberties, here’s some more good music for you while you work on that homework:

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