Creative Essays: Voice (Syntax)

Daily Prompt #11: Punctuation Social Personalities

Consulting the “Punctuation Social Personalities” handout, decide which type of punctuation best matches you and your personality.  You can pick more than one.

For example, here’s how I’d describe my personality using punctuation:

– ! ? ; ! –

Now, write about.  You can choose the STYLE you want to write in (consult your handout from yesterday for ideas). It’s your personality; you decide.

Write for ten minutes.

Punctuation is a powerful way of getting your voice across in your writing. Consider what a piece with many exclamation points is saying versus a piece with lots of hyphens.

Choose your punctuation wisely, and use it correctly.

Yesterday, I reviewed the elements of writing you have control over to create your own unique voice. Today, we’re going to focus on one of them: syntax (i.e. sentence structure).

Generally speaking, sentences can be broken down into three categories:

simple

compound

complex

The types of sentences you choose to use directly affect the voice you’re creating in your writing.

On the top of a fresh sheet of paper in your writer’s notebook, write a simple sentence. For example,

The girl cried softly.

Now, take the sentence you just wrote, and make it a compound sentence. For example,

The girl cried softly, but the little boy didn’t notice.

Now, take the sentence you just wrote, and make it a complex sentence. For example,

The girl cried softly as the little boy continued playing with his trucks.

Reflect on your own writing. Do you tend to use a certain type of sentence or do you vary them? What kind of sentence do you prefer and why?

Let’s look at the essays again. Pick one and label (identify) the types of sentences the author uses. Look for patterns. Does anything stand out to you? How are they using syntax (sentence structure) to help create voice and get a point across?

With the time remaining, start writing down ideas for your creative essay. What do you care about? What thoughts and ideas do you want to share with others?

 

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