Monday, April 21, 2008

Family Stranger Options

Topic 2: Families and Strangers—VOICE AND WORD CHOICE


For this assignment, we will be working on Voice and Word Choice.


Additional requirements:

Your story should focus on revealing a main point.

Your story should focus on 3-4 major events.

Each major event should be supported with details that bring it to life.

Your story should use dialogue.


2-3 pages





(From Process of Discovery)


Writing about a person who has influenced you.


We have all been influenced by many, many people in our lives. Just about everything about us—the way we talk, dress, think, believe—has been influence by parents, other relatives, peers or friends. It pretty easy to see how people this close to us affect our lives.

It's also interesting to think about how our lives have been influenced by people we didn't know well. We have all been affected by strangers or by people we barely knew. What I'd like you to do is write a paper about one of these people. Let's get away, for the moment, from people the rest of us would expect to influence your life—parents, siblings, relatives, clergy, coaches—to explore some of the more surprising influences.


For example:


A person you knew for a very short time, who walked in and out of your life, but you've never forgotten.


A person you never have met but have observed closely, perhaps a co-worker or someone in a class you took once.


After extensive freewriting, focus in on the person you're going to write about. You want to work toward a paper that will do at least three things:

Describe the person and the circumstances by which you came to know him or her.


MAIN POINT: Show specifically how this person influenced you: Is it the way you dress, the way you eat, the way you think, the way you believe?


Analyze how this change in yourself has been for the better or for the worse. Some role models are positive, some negative; what has this one been for you?

OPTION TWO—Captioning your family


Using Anne Lamott's chapter on her "Fambly", especially "Mom" as a model, write a caption for a family photo. In short, you will tell the story of the photograph—both what is seen and what is unseen by the viewer.




  • Tell a specific story about the circumstances surrounding the photo.


  • Identify the people in the photograph with their full names. Make certain you spell their names correctly.


  • Describe what is happening in the photo by providing the context for when the photo was taken. What are the circumstances here? What is going on that you can't see by looking in the pictures?


  • Be creative and honest.


  • Study the photograph yourself as you are writing the caption. What information do you have about the people in the photograph that no one else has? What is going on in this photograph that can't be seen?


  • MAIN POINT: What do you want the reader to know/understand by the end of the story?


  • How have you supported this point?