Part 1

1. Capture the main points in the NEUROSCIENCE OF YOUR BRAIN ON FICTION article in 10-12 bulleted points. (article attached)

2. Read the article about Brittany Stinson’s winning essay at this link: (Links to an external site.)

3. From Brittany’s essay, capture 20 active verbs (NOT is, was, were, or have-type verbs–verbs that DO something). 

4. Next, capture 20 sensory details–those phrases that make you see or hear or smell or touch or taste what the writer is talking about.  Ex: “tubs of sour cream.”

5. Write a paragraph that answers these questions:

           Does it feel weird to use detail? How much is enough?

           How willing are you to be a little clumsy with it until you get better, especially when you know I’ll add points for your efforts?

Part 2:

Before you watch this 8-minute TEDx Talk, read these empty claims: 

  • Doug was a principled man.
  • Doug and the speaker (Kim Toms) were a lot alike.
  • She missed him a lot when he died.
  • Some people who tried to comfort Kim helped and others did not.
  • When loved ones are grieving, we should  a. buck up, b. show up, and c. listen.

1. Copy these claims into your paper, and for each one, jot two vivid images from the video that impacted you as you listened. Full sentences not required–just a few words for each image. (Remember the Neuroscience article?)

2. Finally, write 3-4 sentences total on the impact of these empty claims versus the same claims supported with sensory data.   

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