Block Indenting Poetry

Did you know that the rule for indenting block quotations is slightly different for prose and poetry?

“Use block quotations appropriately.
When quoting longer stretches of prose (more than four lines in your paper), set it off from the body of the paper in an indented block quotation. In the case of poetry, more than three lines of verse should be quoted en bloc.”

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Today’s Assignment:

1. Write a four-line poem.

2. Tell what format you have used. (AABB, ABAB, etc.)

3. Determine the rhyming format for the following poem.

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What’s an Annotated Bibliography?

Typically, an annotated bibliography consists of a citation followed by an annotation.
An annotation is a short summary of a source, however, it is not JUST a summary.

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Example from
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Keep in mind that different styles (MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian) will vary. The example above is APA.

Today’s Assignment:

1. Read this handout from
2. Select the topic you wish to research.
3. Create an annotated bibliography for this research paper. Include 3 or more sources.
4. Do not write the paper (yet).
5. Watch this short LionTV video.
You may wish to watch this video on APA annotated bibliography from the SNHU Writing Center.

Third Person: Omniscient or Limited?

Third person omniscient is a method of storytelling in which the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters in the story,

(as opposed to third person limited, which adheres closely to one character’s perspective.)

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Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 8.20.41 AM(Mayfield)

Third person limited point of view is a method of storytelling in which the narrator knows only the thoughts and feelings of a single character, while other characters are presented only externally.

Third person limited grants a writer more freedom than first person, but less than third person omniscient. (Wiehardt)

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Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 8.20.56 AM(Mayfield)

Today’s Assignment:

1. Click on the blue link below for a pdf:

Third Person POV Om and Lim

2. Look at the slideshare here:

3. Another slideshare here:

4. If you want to compare all the points of view:

5. Write a 1-2 page scene which includes three characters. First write it in third person omniscient, then select one character and rewrite it as third person limited.

Setting= Place, Time, and Environment

The setting should be established for every story.

Include place, time, and environment.

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As you are creating your story– a cartoon or storyboard format might be useful, (like a graphic novel).

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Today’s Assignment:

1. Sketch your own storyboard. Your story need not be a comedy. You can use a template.

2. You may wish to use the link below which will take you to an interactive cartooning program:

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This template follows the monomyth format:

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(Ms. Antflick)

Start Your Story With Something Simple

People often ask authors, “So, what’s your book about?”

This means that an author needs a quick “elevator pitch.” An elevator pitch is a brief description of the story that can be given in the amount of time it takes to complete an elevator ride.

The author should create this brief synopsis of the story at the very beginning of the novel-writing process.

Randy Ingermanson, a physicist and writer, has defined the “Snowflake Method” of writing.

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It makes a lot of sense.

Look at the diagrams below. The Koch Snowflake is a mathematical concept, but it applies to writing, as well.

Start with the basics and add the details.

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How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method is jammed full of great ideas.

I like Randy Ingermanson’s list of steps on how to write a novel. (He includes more details for each step in the book.)

Step 1: Write a one-sentence summary.

Step 2: Write a one-paragraph summary

Step 3: Write a summary sheet for each character.

Step 4: Write a short one-page synopsis.

Step 5: Write a character synopsis for each character.

Step 6: Write a long four-page synopsis.

Step 7: Write a character Bible for each character.

Step 8: Write a list of all the scenes.

Step 9: Write a plan for each scene.

Step 10: Write your novel.

AA koch_animation(Matthew Francis)

You might be concerned that your novel will get too long if you work this way. The “Koch Snowflake” never expands beyond a certain point even as it becomes more complex. Similarly, your novel should be restrained to a reasonable number of pages.

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Today’s Assignment:

Complete step one.

But I Have No Reason to Write My Memoirs . . .

Creative Nonfiction:

–can be a memoir . . . your personal version of a memory.

–can be an expanded (creative) re-telling of a real event in your own life (regardless of your age or the level of excitement in your life).

–can be a story based upon an historic person or incident.

Is creative nonfiction lying? Well, in a way, yes . . . it’s storytelling at its finest.

An example of a creative nonfiction book/movie with which you are most likely familiar is:

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

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“Hugo Cabret” (the movie)

The companion book is also very interesting.

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Scholastic has study materials to accompany this book.

This story is based on a real person: Georges Méliès.

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Watch for Brian Selznick’s new book, coming soon:

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Today’s Assignment:

1. Think of an interesting event in your own life.

2. Jot down a few details.

3. Expand your notes into a complete short story which includes a beginning, a middle, and an end.

4. Use your imagination to improve the story beyond how it actually happened. Write it down properly. This is not a verbal exercise.

5. Smile.

6. Share your story with others.

A Clerihew is Funny

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…………………………………………..(David Haldane)

“Clerihews are funny poems you write about specific people.

[The form is AABB.]

Clerihews have just a few simple rules:

  1. They are four lines long.
  2. The first and second lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.
  3. The first line names a person, and the second line ends with something that rhymes with the name of the person.
  4. A clerihew should be funny.

That’s it! You don’t have to worry about counting syllables or words, and you don’t even have to worry about the rhythm of the poem.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say your art teacher was named Mr. Shaw, and you wanted to write a clerihew about him. You might start your clerihew like this:

Our art teacher, Mr. Shaw,
Really knows how to draw.

Notice that the first line ends with the name of the person the clerihew is about, Mr. Shaw. The second line ends with “draw” because it rhymes with “Shaw.”

To finish the clerihew, you need to write two more rhyming lines. In a well-written clerihew, those next two lines will make the poem funny, like this:

Our art teacher, Mr. Shaw,
Really knows how to draw.
But his awful paintings
Have caused many faintings.”

…………………………(Kenn Nesbitt)

“The clerihew form has also occasionally been used for non-biographical verses. Bentley opened his 1905 Biography for Beginners with an example, entitled “Introductory Remarks”, on the theme of biography itself:

The Art of Biography
Is different from Geography.
Geography is about Maps,
But Biography is about Chaps.”


Today’s Assignment:

Write a Clerihew or two.