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Ideas: How Does What We Read Impact What We Write?

Updated: Jan 31, 2022





Share a book you've read that has greatly influenced the way you write? In what way(s) did the writing of this book specifically lend itself to your craft as a writer? What attracted you to this author’s style of writing? Is this the genre of writing you enjoy reading /writing the most? Why? Would you ever write a book? Why or why not? If you were to write a book, what would it be about? Continue responding to today’s entry reflection invitations weaving in and citing specific knowledge you gleaned from your reading of pp. 4-31 in Using Mentor Texts to Teach Writing With the Traits. Think about your future students: How will "ideas", as a trait of writing, be helpful when teaching writing to your future students? Be specific and support your ideas with the text.







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A book that has greatly influenced the way I write is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I read it when I was in eighth grade and it is still one of my favorite books. It was the first book that I truly noticed the writing in. At one point in the book, Zusak compares the color of a character’s teeth to the color of accordion keys. This description specifically impacted me because it made me actively try to be more descriptive in my writing and choose words that would make my writing more impactful. The poetic element of his writing is a style I really enjoy. My favorite piece of writing overall, however, is definitely the play Waiting fo…


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Vivett Dukes
Vivett Dukes
02 feb 2022
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Hi Emily -- How do we provide students with a strong foundation in writing and what do you suggest teachers of writing do when the students before them do not have that strong foundation in writing?🤔

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Nicole Peralta
Nicole Peralta
02 feb 2022

Last semester I read Toni Morrison’s book A Mercy. The way she constructed the story was by piecing together events through the perspectives of different characters. This method allowed her to play with time and change the voice/tone of the narrator throughout the story. The non-linear story telling was so interesting to read and the change in narrator allowed the reader to see a character from different perspectives, creating really interesting, multi-faceted characters that evolved throughout the book. If I were ever to write, I would want to do the same and create characters and stories that readers will change their opinions about throughout. People aren’t one dimensional so when an author can demonstrate that with all of their character…



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Vivett Dukes
Vivett Dukes
02 feb 2022
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Nicole - Toni Morrison is a writer whom I deeply admire. I think that your idea of a mashup of stream of consciousness coupled with Cisnernos' vignette format would be a very interesting read. How would you model this for your future students? How would you create a path for them to engage in a long (or short - your choice) term writing endeavor like this?


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Ziqi Wu
Ziqi Wu
02 feb 2022

The book I read that influenced the way I write is Paper Doll by Robert B. Parker.


The book is one of the Spenser novels that have been of huge impact on my life in terms of the iconic private eye series and the way supporting characters are capable of making up the broader universe of Spenser in a very natural way. My love for this book was so much since it is an excellent example of a gigantic bomb of a clue lying plainly for the most significant part of the book. The book presented an excellent example of how great and appealing content should be created. It has improved my creative capacity and also helped me in understanding…


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Vivett Dukes
Vivett Dukes
02 feb 2022
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Ziqi — While I enjoyed reading about the books you enjoy reading, I am missing the specific connection you made between their impact on teaching students how to write and further develop their own original ideas as a writer.

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Matthew Suarez
Matthew Suarez
02 feb 2022

The book that inspired me the most when it came to the way that I wrote was Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. Throughout the book, Atwood uses em dashes quite often to create pauses in conversation between characters. As a result, conversations between characters--both casual and non-casual--felt more organic. This is because, conversations in real life are not tidy and neat like a perfect sentence with a period at the end; conversations in the real world have pauses, stutters, and sometimes change direction on a dime. On top of the authenticity that em dashes can add when embedded into dialogue, Atwood's use of em dashes also helped to provide a small but critical window into the mind of the character.…

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Vivett Dukes
Vivett Dukes
02 feb 2022
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I wrote you a reply and now I don't see it -- uuuggghh! 😫 Aside from the semi-colon and Oxford comma, the em dash is my favorite punctuation mark - for the very reason you stated: "conversations in real life are not tidy and neat like a perfect sentence with a period at the end; conversations in the real world have pauses, stutters, and sometimes change direction on a dime." I'd like for you to take your group work idea further. How would you specifically incorporate group work into your writing pedagogy to spur on student idea brainstorming?



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Miembro desconocido
02 feb 2022


It's hard to define which book significantly impacts me because my different experiences have led to other books I read. I am an ardent reader of many fictional and nonfictional literary works, making it practically hard to narrow down on one outstanding book. However, I know that my favorite kind or format of the book to read is a graphic novel. A graphic novel is long work of art like a book that tells a story through illustrations. Graphic novels are normal literary works of art with a beginning, middle, and end, forming the book's plot. In class, Alexander and I talked about my famous visual novel, Killing and Dying, and what impressed me visually was how I pre…



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Vivett Dukes
Vivett Dukes
02 feb 2022
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Yi -- You have now officially turned me into a Tomine fan! I enjoy graphic novels and have used them with tremendous success over the years to engage some of my most resigned readers and writers. Do you know what a text set is? What other books / texts would you pair Killing and Dying with to help your future students further develop their ideas about what they want to write?



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