1.4 How to Use the Website

Think of this site as a smorgasbord. You can jump from entre to entre, or you can go in the suggested order. The latter is preferable, since it is the flowchart built over 46 years of testing and refinement.

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There are two preparatory folders: Read Me First and Read Me Second. They are mainly for teachers. Unit I is designed to instill a fundamental structure into students’ minds. We do that by teaching them how to create a spoken story and a written story. It is the structure, not the stories the students produce, that is important. In Unit II, students apply that structure to typical school assignments:

  • A nonfiction piece with a narrator
  • A nonfiction piece without a narrator
  • A short research paper
  • An argumentative paper

In Unit III, students apply the structure in more atypical school writings:

  • A college entrance exam
  • An impromptu essay
  • An essay exam
  • A process paper

Finally, Unit IV shows students how to create any form of giving directions. This calls for a small change to the structure:

  • Directions
  • A sales letter
  • A complaint letter
  • A report with a recommendation

Finally, teachers are invited to submit students’ work for critiquing. There is no charge, though donations are happily accepted.

Getting Started

This is a step-by-step program. Please read “Read Me First” and then “Read Me Second.”

For best results, read the blogs (chapters) in order and work the activities. The chapters indicate the grade levels. Students in the upper grades or college should not bypass chapters that are also for very young students.

Unless time is a major factor, then it is important to complete all tasks, even if they are only done orally. In other words, the fiction-writing unit, for example, teaches essential structures that people need to learn to complete, say, the business unit. Students with major time considerations – such as those in AP or college classes – should read all asterisked files but otherwise can go directly to the type of paper they are writing.

FAQs

Why is some material repeated?

That is part of the process. Please do not skip anything, even if it’s the second or third time you have heard it or read it.

Why does fiction writing come first?

Storytelling comes first. Then a modified form of fiction writing. They lay structural foundations.

Is it true that this took 46 years?

Yes and no. Yes, it involved 46 years of testing and refinement. However, part of the problem was that Dr. G. had to translate nonlinear methodologies to the linear that are books. He threw away two completed textbooks because the entire process is extremely detailed and required six editions. Then the notion of doing a website finally bounced off his thick skull like a rock.

What do you mean about there being no cost – for now?

The site will always be free. However, creating the website can at enormous cost, plus there is a small staff to pay. Donations are gratefully accepted.

How does the critiquing work?

Fill out the checklist before submitting. That way, students are not submitting work that bypassed the steps. The critiques are free (again donations are gratefully accepted); submitters are charged only if they wish an in-depth critique.

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