This is the first Copy and Comment assignment of the quarter. You will copy two passages and comment on each of them. You may choose to respond to the two passages below, or you may respond to (either) one of them and choose another passage on your own.
“The habit of compulsive, premature editing doesn’t just make writing hard. It also makes writing dead. Your voice is damped out by all the interruptions, changes, and hesitations between the consciousness and the page.”
“Maybe you don’t like your voice; maybe people have made fun of it. But it’s the only voice you’ve got. It’s your source of power. You better get back into it, no matter what you think of it. If you keep writing in it, it may change into something you like better. But if you abandon it, you’ll likely never have a voice and never be heard.” (Elbow 5)
Copy and Comment- the guidelines
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- Choose a passage (as short as 1 or 2 sentences or as long as a paragraph) and type it out exactly as it is written. Cite the author and page number in parenthesis. For example, (Elbow 4 )
- Skip a space and write a one-paragraph response. You may choose a passage that speaks directly to you and your experience, a passage you agree with or one that you object to, a passage that you don’t completely understand but are trying to make sense of… My only criteria is that it is something that is meaningful to you and worth your time to write about. Unless I give you specific instructions, you are free to respond according to any of the following options.
- Explain why you chose the passage. You may address content and form (sentence structure, style, etc.) You may discuss the meaning and significance of the passage. You may put it in a larger perspective and discuss the context it was written in and the sociological or political ramifications. Discuss its relevance to you, your learning, or your writing. Bring a copy of your work to class. You may also turn it in online.
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