So Now We’ve Learned. How Do We Teach?

We already know what style is, but what about teaching style? What are the best ways to inform others as to what it is?

1. Read alouds. Read the piece/article out loud to the other person. Hearing it verbally spoken rather than reading it in one’s head can sometimes be more effective, as they’re forced to listen. They’re not focusing on making sense of the words in front of them, and instead are focusing on the elements of the language, which include style.

2. Commit it to memory. Making someone memorize a piece can be annoying and a little tiring, but it forces them to become familiar with different styles and therefore makes it easier for them to identify different styles later on.

3. Make them think. Force the person to sit down and think about the content they’re about to write. Put them in their own scenes. Let them imagine what words they’d use. Ask them what they think would be suitable for the topic they’re focused on. It will give them the ability to decide on a style on their own, rather than giving them guidelines.

4. Sentence structure. Explain to the other person how to arrange sentences more effectively. If they usually write short, choppy sentences, make them write longer ones. If they write run-ons, make them write shorter sentences that effectively get to the point. Make sure they can write working paragraphs that are coherent and productive.

Sources:
http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/few/684

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2 thoughts on “So Now We’ve Learned. How Do We Teach?

  1. chadprom April 22, 2015 / 12:35 am

    I think the first point about reading a piece aloud is especially useful. Reading aloud is so beneficial when editing and teaching style. In reading my own work aloud I find not only grammatical errors, but I am better able to identify stylistic inconsistencies and awkward sentences.

    I think everyone who writes has a unique style that is to some degree self taught.

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  2. adlere353 April 22, 2015 / 1:32 am

    I think the best way to learn style is to write a lot and read a lot. Reading, especially by sampling many different authors, is a great way to experience the varied styles that exist. Frequent writing gives you your own mastery of writing the English language. Maybe at first by Frankensteining other styles together, one can produce his or her own distinct writing style.

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