Week 4: Choosing words effectively
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Welcome to Week 4! This week, you will be responsible for the following tasks:
- Read Chapter 4.
- Optional: Read “Garbage Language: Why Do Corporations Speak The Way They Do?“
- For the participation activity, pick one of two choices:
1) Pick a mood, then write a paragraph that conveys that mood. Then, try to guess someone else’s mood.
2) I’ve written a version of our first assignment with lots of style and tone mistakes. Working with your pod, write a paragraph that gives the writer feedback on how to improve their style and tone.
- Optional bonus forum: We’re having a Bulwar-Lytton contest to see who can write the WORST sentence. There will be a fabulous prize for the winner (a cute animal GIF).
- Hand in your first assignment.
- Complete Question of the Day.
- Optional: take a survey to let me know how I can improve the course so far.
1. How would you rate the workload of this course? (By workload, I mean the amount of work you have to put into this course doing the readings, participation activities, assignments etc)
Far too much work
A little too much work
A little too light
Far too easy
2. How would you rate the difficulty of this course? By difficulty, I’m referring to how challenging the participation activities, readings and assignments are.
Far too difficult
A little too difficult
A little too easy
Far too easy
3. Please tell me about a time when you were most interested/ engaged in this course.
4. Please tell me about a time when you were the least engaged/ confused/ disinterested in this course.
5. Do you have any suggestions/ideas to improve this course?
6. Is there anything else you think I should know?
Participation Activity Option #1
This participation activity will give you practice in using words and details to create a particular feeling in the reader. To begin, pick a mood (happy, sad, lonely, angry etc). Then, go outside (socially distanced, of course!) and write down details that would reflect your mood.
For example, if I was standing in the park and I was happy, I’d see green grass, happy children, smiling faces, blossoms on trees, flowers, etc. If I was annoyed, I’d see children screaming too loud, mosquitos buzzing, dog poop, muddy grass, people not socially distancing etc.
Then, write a paragraph that doesn’t say your mood, but uses word choices, details, sentence rhythm, etc. to convey it. I’ll post an example in the forum. Please post your paragraph in the forum too. Then, see if you can guess someone else’s mood.
Participation Activity Option #2
I have written a version of your first assignment that contains a lot of style and tone errors. Click on the link above to view the assignment, then write a paragraph that gives the writer feedback about how they could improve the style and tone of their work.
You can customize or change this assignment to suit your needs.
For our bonus forum, we’re going to have a Bulwer-Lytton competition. This is a competition that’s held annually where people try to write the worst sentence they can come up with. Using the style and tone mistakes we discussed in the interactive lecture, write a sentence that contains as many style and tone mistakes as possible. The “worst” sentence will win a fabulous prize (probably a cute animal GIF).
A link to a reading about how to handle situations where you might be emailing when angry: