First thought: When you read the professional trend stories over the weekend pay particular attention to sources -- how many are the pros using, what kind of variety do they have, etc. How does the pattern you see in those stories compare to what you see in your own piece?
Second thought: Also take a look at they way they use quotations -- we'll go over this next week, but see if you can spot some norms of newspaper style before I give them to you.
Third: If you use someone in an anecdote to start your story, it's conventional to include him or her elsewhere in the story as well. Don't just drop someone in the lead and forget about her.
The stories as a whole are in good shape -- most of you are well along on interviews, and if you follow the suggestions on your drafts and work hard on them, you'll have great pieces of work by next Thursday.
-- FRIDAY -- Pick up your rough drafts from my mailbox in Wheeler. I'll leave a copy of the homework readings in there for Marsha and Ariel, too.
-- Find two professionally written trend stories, and respond to them in your journal: What can you learn from each about writing and reporting such a story? (one page each)
-- Bring a clean copy of the latest version of your story; the main goal of next week is to get them ready to hand in by Thursday.
-- Read "Shooting an Elephant," the "Coaching for Revision" excerpt by Roy Peter Clark, and the George Packer paragraph on Orwell. "Coaching" implies that there are times when you should strip away what you think you need (treating it as "scaffolding"); Packer mocks this notion, at least in the case of Orwell, saying that telling and showing are necessary. What do you think -- should Orwell have started with the narrative part of the story? Or is Packer right, and the first paragraphs deepen the essay's intellectual reach? Respond as a comment on this message.
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We're going to read some more of the chapters from Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark in the coming weeks; if you're into it, here's a link to podcast versions of the tools:
After you read the chapter from About the Town, take a second to post your reactions as a comment on this message. What surprised you about the way Hersey worked on the story? About the way the editing process worked? What does it make you wonder about the book itself? Write 200-300 words, before class on 10/15.