Composition Name Personal Narrative Analyzing for Voice What is

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Composition Name Personal Narrative Analyzing for Voice What is Powered By Docstoc
					Composition                                                         Name:___________________________
Personal Narrative

                                           Analyzing for Voice

What is VOICE? Voice gives a piece of writing personality, believability and individuality. It
establishes the rhythm, pace, flow, energy and tone of the piece. So far this semester, you've been asked
to write in a formal, scholarly voice, for die most part. Narrative writing calls on your personal voice,
your own unique style, which may take some adjustment. The voice in your personal narrative should
reflect the REAL YOU, and your reader should get a sense of your personality from your essay.

Directions: Read the three questions that follow each passage. Then read the passages, keeping the
questions in mind and watching for places (sentences, clauses, phrases, even individual words) where the
writers' voices seem especially authentic or artificial and forced.

 Passage A
         He held up his starting pistol, yelled, "On your marks, get ready, get set... GO!" The boom of the
gun reverberated in our ears as we took off. I put my hand in a pit and heaved up. Starring to climb a
mountain is the hardest part of the whole process. I ascended about 15 feet and stopped to hammer in a
piton and run my rope through a D-ring attached to the piton. At this point, everyone was about neck-
and-neck, as I glanced up and started again. Technically, I had begun the race second, behind one of the
older, stronger climbers, but I just looked up and kept on climbing. I thought to myself, Five HUNDRED
feet, jeez! This is the farthest I've ever tried to do! Pushing such negative thoughts down, I just
concentrated on climbing. Hand over hand, foot over foot, just find the hand and footholds and keep on
climbing. Every 15 feet put in a piton, so if you do fall, you don't lose that much ground As I glanced
down, I could see one of the teenagers gaining ground on me, but he was hammering in pitons every 25 to
30 feet. Dude, 1 thought, if you fall, you better hope you can catch up, 'cuz' that's a long way to drop!

1.      What conclusions can you draw about the personality/situation of the writer?



2.      List two examples (words, phrases, clauses or sentences) that "shine" in terms of conveying the
        writer's real voice. Then, list two examples that seem to move into a less genuine mode.




3.      Overall, does the voice of this piece feel authentic or artificial, real or forced? Is the voice
        appropriate for the piece? Explain.




Passage B
          The woman who gave me the test had a sour face, and I could tell she was anxious for me to fail. 1
braced myself in my chair as I prepared for her to throw a pencil and packet at me so I could begin. "Just
do your best," she sneered, as if she knew 1 had not studied at all. I picked up my pencil, sweating with
anger and frustration. School is so stupid. Homework is even worse. My pulse quickened with each
question, as I became more and more aware that I did not belong in this place, at this school that has
always made me feel so dumb. I couldn't take it anymore. I decided that no one has the right to make me
 feel this way, so I picked up my test and ripped it to shreds, throwing the pieces defiantly into the air. My
desk and the floor around it looked like Times Square after New Year's Eve, covered in confetti. I
smiled, for the first time feeling like I had beaten the system. I had made that woman—that tyrant--the
victim of my anger, and she knew 1 had won.

4.      What conclusions can you draw about the personality/situation of the writer?



5.      List two examples (words, phrases, clauses or sentences) that "shine" in terms of conveying the
         writer's real voice. Then, list two examples that seem to move into a less genuine mode.




6.      Overall, does the voice of this piece feel authentic or artificial, real or forced? Is the voice
         appropriate for the piece? Explain.




Passage C
          As a result of this horrible accident, I have made a promise to myself to never drink and drive and
to do everything within my power to keep others from jeopardizing their health and putting themselves and
others at risk of bodily harm. Even if it means that I have to drive every stupid drunk home. I never have
driven under the influence of any mind-altering substances, but most everyone I know does. I don't mind
being the party-goer who tries to limit the amount of "merriment" others would like to have, or at least to
protect them from themselves after the fun. I have tried in the past to get my friends to realize what might
happen, but they don't want to listen. Sometimes, they can be the biggest boneheadsl It's so hard to
understand that life is short—until it is almost taken away from you. So, while I may have lost my best
friend, I feel like I've learned a crucial lesson from his mistake and that some good will come from this
tragedy.

7.        What conclusions can you draw about the personality/situation of the writer?



         List two examples (words, phrases, clauses or sentences) that "shine" in terms of conveying the
         writer's real voice. Then, list two examples that seem to move into a less genuine mode.




9.       Overall, does the voice of this piece feel authentic or artificial, real or forced? Is the voice
         appropriate for the piece? Explain.




Rev. 20081201                                                                                               cmppnvoi.doc