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Intro to Academic Writing

by: Raven Williamson MD

Intro to Academic Writing ENGL 1010

Raven Williamson MD
GPA 3.56

Eric Morrow

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Eric Morrow
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Raven Williamson MD on Tuesday October 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 1010 at Southern Utah University taught by Eric Morrow in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see /class/225508/engl-1010-southern-utah-university in Foreign Language at Southern Utah University.


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Date Created: 10/20/15
28 PART ONE For more an describing margin rum to Chapter 15 o walnut ACTHUTIES The last basic feature of remembered event essays is vivid description of scenes and people In answering question 2 of Analyzing Writing Strategies you may have already analyzed two of the three describing strategies naming and detailing You have probably seen that Dillard not only names objects such as the microscope but that she also adds speci c details italicized to describe them a 51am black threespeed micro scope paragraph 2 You should be able to recognize the third describing strategy comparing in the form of simile or metaphor For example Dillard describes the hay infusion as a jungle in a drop paragraph 3 and diatoms as creatures living in small glass jewelry boxes paragraph 4 A metaphor implies a comparison by call ing one object such as hay infusion by the name of another a jungle Simile another method of comparing found in remembered event essays makes the compar ison explicit by using the word as or like DMard for example could have written the hay infusion looks like a jungle in a drop In your own writing you will want to choose from the hill palette of describing strategies Tobie Wallquot is probably best known for his short stories and for a novel The Bar racks This for which he won the 1985 PEN Faulkner award Wolff has written two autobiographical works In Pharaoh s Army 1996 and A Boy s Life 1989 which was made into a movie in 1993 and from which On Being a Real Westerner comes Re ecting on his writing process Wolff has said that it is part memory part inven tion I can no longer tell where one ends and the other begins The very act of writ ing has transformed the original experience into another experience more real to me than what I started with The story Wolff tells here is based on an actual experience that occurred when he was ten years old He and his mother had just moved west from Florida to Salt Lake City followed by Roy his divorced mother s boyfriend Roy was handsome Wolff writes in the conventional way that appeals to boys He had a tattoo He d been to war and kept a silence about it that was full of heroic implication As you read notice how Wolff s storytelling skills make this event come to life in the reader s imagination Just after Easter Roy gave me the Winchester 22 rifle I d learned to shoot with It was a light pump action beautifully balanced piece with a walnut stock black from all its oilings Roy had carried it when he was a boy and it was still as good as new Better than new The action was silky from long use and the wood of a quality no longer to be found The gift did not come as a surprise Roy was stingy arid slow to take a hint but I d put him under siege I had my heart set on that rifle A weapon was the first condition of self sufficiency and of being a real Westerner and of all acceptable employment trapping riding herd soldiering law enforcement and outlawry l needed that ri e for itself and for the way it completed me when I held it My mother said I39 couldn t have it Absolutely not Roy took the rifle back but promised me he39d bring her around He could not imagine anyone refusing him anything and treated the refusals he did encounter as perverse and insincere Normally mute he a m 3 w 2 0 REMEDJBERING EVENTS became at these times a relentless whiner He would follow my mother from room to room emitting one ceaseless note of complaint that was pitched perfectly to jelly her nerves and bring her to a state where she would agree to anything to make it stop After a few days of this my mother caved in She said i could have the rifle if and only if i promised never to take it out or even touch it except when she and Roy were with me Okay i said Sure Naturally But even then she wasn t satisfied She plain didn t like the fact of me owning a rifle Roy said he had owned several rifles by the time he was my age but this did not reassure her She didn t think I could be trusted with it Roy said now was the time to find out For a week or so i kept my promises But now that the weather had turned warm Roy was usually off somewhere and eventually in the dead hours after school when i found myself alone in the apartment l decided that there couldn39t be any harm in taking the rifle out to clean it Only to clean it nothing more l was sure it would be enough just to break it down oil it rub linseed into the stock polish the octagonal barrel and then hold it up to the light to confirm the perfection of the bore But it wasn t enough From cleaning the rifle I went to marching around the apartment with it and then to striking brave poses in front of the mirror Roy had saved one of his army uniforms and I sometimes dressed up in this together with martiallooking arti cles of hunting gear fur trooper s hat camouflage coat boots that reached nearly to my knees The camouflage coat made me feel like a sniper and before long i began to act like one I set up a nest on the couch by the front window l drew the shades to darken the apartment and took up my position Nudging the shade aside with the rifle barrel l fol lowed people in my sights as they walked or drove along the street At first i made shoot ing sounds kyoo kyoo Then I started cooking the hammer and letting it snap down Roy stored his ammunition in a metal box he kept hidden in the closot As with everything else hidden in the apartment I knew exactly where to find it There was a layer of loose 22 rounds on the bottom of the box under shells of bigger caliber dropped there by the handful the way men drop pennies on their dressers at night I took some and put them in a hiding place of my own With these i started loading up the rifle Hammer cocked a round in the chamber finger resting lightly on the trigger I drew a bead on whoever walked by women pushing strollers children garbage col lectors laughing and calling to each other anyone and as they passed under my win dow I sometimes had to bite my lip to keep from laughing in the ecstasy of my power over them and at their absurd and innocent belief that they were safe But over time the innocence l laughed at began to irritate me it was a peculiar kind of irritation l saw it years later in men l served with and felt it myself when unarmed Vietnamese civilians talked back to us while we were herding them around Power can be enjoyed only when it is recognized and feared Fearlessness in those with out power is maddening to those who have it One afternoon l pulled the trigger I had been aiming at two old people a man and a woman who walked so slowly that by the time they turned the corner at the bottom of the hill my little store of selfcontrol was exhausted I had to shoot I looked up and down the street it was empty Nothing moved but a pair of squirrels chasing each other back and forth on the telephone wires I followed one in my sight Finally it stopped for a moment and l fired The squirrel dropped straight into the road I pulled back into the shadows and waited for something to happen sure that someone must have heard the shot or seen the squirrel fall But the sound that was so loud to me probably seemed to our neighbors no more than the bang of a cupboard slammed shut After a while I 28 PART our WRITING ACTIVITIES sneaked a glance into the street The squirrel hadn39t moved It looked like a scarf someone had dropped 39 When my mother got home from work I told her there was a dead squirrel in the street Like me she was an animal lover She took a cellophane bag off a loaf of bread and we went outside and looked at the squirrel Poor little thingquot she said She stuck her hand in the wrapper and picked up the squirrel then pulled the bag inside out away from her hand We buried it behind our building under a cross made of popsicle sticks and l blubbered the whole time l blubbered again in bed that night At last i got out of bed and knelt down and did an imitation of somebody praying and then i did an imitation of somebody receiving divine reassurance and inspiration I stopped crying I smiled to myself and forced a feeling of warmth into my chest Then i climbed back in bed and looked up at the ceil ing with a blissful expression until I went to sleep For several days I stayed away from the apartment at times when l knew i39d be alone there Though I avoided the apartment I could not shake the idea that sooner or later I would get the rifle out again All my images of myself as l wished to be were images of myself armed Because l did not know who I was any image of myself no matter how grotesque had power over me This much l understand now But the man can give no help to the boy not in this matter nor in those that follow The boy moves always out of reach Connecting to Culture and Experience Wolff shows us that he took great delight in playing the role of a soldier looking at himself in the mirror dressed in camou age and striking brave poses Another part of the attraction of playing soldier he admits is the sense of power he experi enced Still another part may have been that soldiers are generally considered heroes to many people in our culture and often serve as cultural role models especially for young boys With other students in your class discuss role playing and identity Begin by telling one another one or two roles you liked to play when you were younger Then discuss how you think you got the idea to play these particular roles and what attract ed you to them If you enjoyed dressing up and posing either for yourself or for others try to explain why doing so was pleasurable How did your role playing make you feel hpower il smart talented sophisticated Finally discuss whether any of the roles you liked to play are typical role models in our society What do you think ciu39l dren learn to value about themselves and about others when they play these particu lar roles Analyzing Writing Strategies 1 Writers convey the signi cance of autobiographical events by telling how they felt at the time the event occurred and also by telling how they feel now as they look back on the event Skim paragraphs 713 noting where Wolff expresses his feelings and thoughts about the event Try to distinguish between 1 what he remembers thinking and feeling at the time and 2 what he thinks and feels as he looks back on the event What impression do you get of the young Wolff What does the older Wolff seem to think about his younger self A


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