Workshop 4

Verbal Portraiture:
1) Read essay aloud

2) Write comments on draft for 3 minutes (think about overall suggestions).
• Look at the description the writer gives of the informant. Where do these details help bring the informant alive? Where do you need more description? Where do you need more description of the actions/mannerisms of the informant during the interview?
• Does the writer focus on one detail that may be a “key” to understanding the interviewee? This is a requirement. If not, help the writer choose one key detail that captures the essence of the person. If yes, choose at least one other detail in the profile that could work as a metaphor for the informant.
• Where does the writer include a description of his/her feelings and reactions to the interviewee? Do these reactions help the reader interpret the content of the interview or do they seem superfluous? Where do you need more writer reactions?
• Does the writer interweave a description of interview setting into the interview? What do you like of this description? What feels unnecessary? Where do you want more setting description?
• Put a check next to great specifics the writer elicited from the informant. What other info do you want? Give the writer at least one follow-up question.
• Does the interview include the verbal mannerisms of speaker (voice tone etc.)?

3) Discuss for 5 minutes

Focal Metaphor Essay:
1) Read essay aloud

2) Write comments on draft for 3 minutes (think about overall suggestions).
• What details of description bring the place alive? What can author add? What can the author leave out because it distracts?
• Put a check next to great, telling specifics the writer gives about the space (may not be details of description). What other info do you want? Give the writer at least one thing to look for in a follow-up site visit.
• Does it focus on extended example (focal point metaphor)? If not, what detail could the author focus on? Has the author chosen the best detail in the description to focus on? Choose at least one other detail that could work as a metaphor for the space.
• Where does the writer include a description of his/her feelings and reactions to the the space? Do these reactions help the reader interpret the space or do they seem superfluous? Where do you need more writer reactions?
• Where does the writer describe the actions of people in this space? Where do you want to see more people’s actions?

3) Discuss for 5 minutes

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