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Hello girls!

As you probably know by now, we’re dealing with autobiography, biography and memoir this week. We’re going to be delving into the various aspects that define these different genres. I was very pleased to hear the opening to your autobiographies! You all already seem to gave an excellent idea about how autobiography blends prose and subjective experience.

In our next lesson we’re going to be looking more closely at these genres and their particular characteristics. For now, I’d like you to do some Googling. In the comments below, could you post the title and subject matter of some famous examples of biography, autobiography and memoirs?

For example, today in class Rudo mentioned A Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, which details his coming of age, education and imprisonment on Robben Island. I’d like to see you all looking for some famous examples to illustrate our theoretical understanding.

I’ll see you all on Wednesday!


Ms Roberts




Guest Post by Cameron.

Seeing that we are talking about persuasive writing, I set out to find a pice that might help up us.

This is only an extract of what I found, if you’re interested to read the rest of the piece visit the link;

Abortion: Why it’s Wrong

How would you feel if someone took away your ability to live? Imagine not having any say in whether or not you want to have a life. Well babies don’t have a choice in their mother’s womb. If a woman decides to abort her baby, they can’t do anything about their life being taken away from them. Their whole future is demolished. I believe abortion is wrong when committing it for a selfish reason.

One reason why abortion is wrong is because there are many other safer solutions. In the article, Why Do More People Choose Abortion Over Adoption?, Kristi Burton Brown stated: “In the USA, there are approximately two million infertile couples waiting to adopt, many times regardless of the child’s medical problems such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, HIV infection or terminally ill. Dr. Brad Imler, President of America’s Pregnancy Helpline, confirms the challenge of waiting couples by stating: Only 1% of the Helpline’s annual 40,000 clients inquires about adoption.” Putting him/her up for adoption will give them a better chance at a happier life rather than abortion. The solution for a baby should not be death. If it was for a selfish solution, you’re sacrificing a life many other families would love to raise as their own.

Another reason why I don’t support abortion is because it can harm the mother as well. You are highly risking the mother’s life and affecting her. Not only does it have an effect on the USA but, it affects other countries as well like Spain. According to psychiatrist and member of the Right to Life Committee, Carmen Gómez-Lavín states that: “Sixty five percent of women who abort suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome after undergoing the procedure.” Many women are regretting that choice around the world making it a controversial issue. Abortion can also result into not being able to get pregnant in the future, many sickness’ and even death. Abortion affects both victims in dangerous and physical ways.

In the comments below state some strategies you notice this writer uses to persuade the reader. Also, how affective were these strategies? Were you persuaded or not?

Make me an offer I can’t refuse.

Hi all!

I hope you had a great weekend and have returned refreshed and excited for a whole new week of edification and illumination.

This week we’re going to be focusing on something we touched on last term: persuasive writing. As we will see, this takes a few different forms and we will be discussing the different ways in which you could potentially be examined. For now, I want you all to think about how you go about persuading someone about something? For instance, how would you persuade your parents to increase your pocket money, or buy you a new phone? Or how would you persuade the School to have free wifi for the students? For boarders, how would you persuade Servcor that we should have hot chocolate with marshmallows at break? What tactics would you employ? What kind of tone would be appropriate in order to succeed?

Let me know in the comments below!

See you tomorrow,

Ms Roberts

Slapping Waiters

Hi Class!

So, today we began our focus on how to approach review writing. I think we had quite a useful discussion (except for that rather amusing tangent involving pearlenta during) .

We looked at quite a few reviews and many ironic examples. By the way, you can go look at the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt wikipedia page here:

All these were meant as an amusing segue into the real substance of review writing. We’re going to be talking a lot about the formal aspects of reviews. But as we go through the week, I want us to think about what would constitute a really useful review. And what would constitute a very entertaining review. In the comments below, can you tell me what you would find useful in a review, say, of a product you were thinking of buying or of a hotel you were thinking of visiting?

See you all tomorrow!


Wear Sunscreen.

Hello Class!

This week we will be focusing a lot about writing advice. In these writing tasks, it is important to consider both your tone and audience. I’ve found another piece of writing from a column for you, an essay entitled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”. It was written Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune and is most commonly known by the title Wear Sunscreen. It was set to music by Australian Director Baz Luhrmann (The guy who directed that adaption of The Great Gatsby with a film score by Jay-Z). We’re going to listen to this Baz Luhrmann version, but here is the original essay for you to look at. Tell me in the comments below about the tone and audience:

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young

by Mary Schmich

“Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who’d rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there’s no reason we can’t entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.”

How now?

Hi All

Welcome to Week 3! The term is hurtling towards Mid Year Exams, so I hope you’e all rolling up your sleeves, getting out the dustpans and grass brooms of focus and determination and crouching down to sweep up the pearls of wisdom that drop from the air around our classroom discussions and onto the pages of your notebooks.

Or something.

Did you find that funny? Probably not. Did you have to go read it again to see if there was anything that warranted a snort of weak amusement? No?

I think perhaps, as we’ll discuss this week, it’s quite difficult to say why something is funny or not. It’s possibly even more difficult to be funny in our own writing. Sense of humour, as we all know, is somewhat subjective.

Tying up with our discussion of serialised newspaper columns, I would like you to go follow these links and read some of the articles by Guy Browning on The Guardian. He is a writer and humourist, and author of a series of short “How to…” articles about things that probably don’t need to be explained.

How to be Clumsy:

How to Have a Takeaway:

How to do Chores:

and, my personal favourite: How to Lick:

We’re going to talk a bit more in class about humour in writing, and maybe think about how writers (Like Bill Bryson, and the very panicky lady from our latest Past Paper, for example) cultivate a jocular or comedic tone.

In the comments below, can you think of titles for any other potentially funny “How to” articles? For example: “How to pass your Drivers Test in Bulawayo”
“How to be in Lower Sixth”
“How to become a prefect at GC”
“How to Slide into the DMs”

See you tomorrow!


Sticks and Stones

Hello Class!

I hope your week has got off to a magnificent start. Let’s hope that this week will be less tiring that all its predecessors. 😉

Today in class we started talking about Point of View and how writers use it to develop a sense of both an interior world of a character as well as how they are perceived by other characters. On Wednesday, we’ll look at a past paper and discuss its use of point of view and how to tackle a writing task that asks you to develop an alternative point of view yourself.

Point of View often “inhabits” the mind of a character and reports their observations and feelings about what they experience. As a warm up task to this week’s lesson content, I want you to make a list of words that replace “said” and words that replace “saw”.  There are quite a few when you get started!

In the comments below, I want you to design a piece of gossip using the words from these lists. DO NOT use “said” or “saw”.
For example:
“Rudo attested that she observed Dani twerking at the CBC Valentine’s Day Dance.”
“Michelle claimed that Jess is also friends with sticks.”
“I witnessed Nobandile eat a piece of pizza she found on the floor.”

Go ahead, gossip.