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Mr. Roger Sisco
Mr. Roger Sisco
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Before writing a short essay
IDEAS FOR TEACHING - SECOND DEGREE SECONDARY SCHOOL
The short essay is the most used writing model among those provided for the first test of the state exam. As an essay, it follows the informative and argumentative textual types: that is, it has the purpose of providing correct and updated information on a given topic and to present, in this regard, the author's thesis with related arguments.
The brevity is determined by the scholastic context in which the essay is located and is simulated. The presence of documentation also depends on the need for simulation (which makes the short essay a model of "documented writing"), which is attached to replace the one usually collected by the essayist during the research phase.
Much of the communicative effectiveness of a short essay depends on the choices made by the student in the design phase, when he is confronted with a delivery, with topic and documentation, and begins to perform conceptually very complex operations, culminating in the elaboration of a ladder: decisive element for the continuation of the work.
An adequate amount of time must be dedicated to this phase, together with an effort of concentration and creativity. The advice listed below refers to it, relating to the different procedures to be followed, step by step.
Reading the delivery
The importance of a careful reading of the delivery and the constraints it places should be emphasized. The student must carefully consider the choice between short essay and newspaper article, in consideration of the different characteristics of language and textual structure of the two writing models. Furthermore, it must evaluate the maximum width allowed (in terms of protocol sheet columns, if written by hand, or jokes, if on a computer), which requires, already in the design phase and then in the drafting of the text, a calibration of the relationship between the parties. Other requirements, such as the request for a title or the subdivision into paragraphs, must be well memorized for the phase of drafting the text.
Choice of topic
Among the topics of the various fields (artistic-literary, historical-political, socio-economic and technical-scientific), the student must have the foresight to choose what he believes he knows best from the point of view of information.
Furthermore, since the topic of the short
is usually expressed in a very concise form and concerns general problems, it must evaluate, where it is not objectively possible to deal with it in an exhaustive way, which specific aspect to select, within it, on which to focus the attention, also in consideration of the attached documentation.
Reading and understanding of the documentation
Each document must be read calmly and carefully and must initially be understood in its literal meaning (the use of the dictionary is mandatory in case of doubts).
Then the student must proceed with the recognition of the topic, or the main topic of each document, also in consideration of the type of text; for example, if it is an argumentative text, the topic will be the author's thesis; if a descriptive text, the object of the description; if a news article, the journalistic 5Ws, etc.
The student will be advised to write a very short summary of each document and possibly assign a title (a phrase, a nominal phrase) that summarizes its content.
In the case of non-continuous text (with graphics, tables, images, etc.), it will be "translated" into verbal language; in the case of reproduction of a painting or a photograph, it will be "titled" and possibly explained with a short caption.
The student can begin to evaluate if he intends to use all the documents provided, or if he could discard some (no more than one or two) because they are not useful for the discourse that she intends to develop.
During the reading of the documents it is essential that the student takes notes on the text or in a separate sheet (or in a file) and freely
and ideas that come to mind; It is also important that he underline words and phrases that he thinks he can use as quotes in his text. It is at this stage that the design process, described below, starts.
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