ERIC Number: ED208426
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Informative Writing "Can" Be Interesting.
McCleary, William J.
Logical strategies used in informative writing include factuality, comprehensiveness, and surprise value, which provides the focus of the paper and guides both the organization and the thoroughness with which each subtopic must be covered. Failure to teach surprise value is the main problem behind the uninteresting reports that teachers must face each semester. Surprise value can be defined in terms of predictability; that is, a new fact that is not predictable is more interesting than one that can be predicted. Information can be surprising if it is (1) happening locally, (2) happening now, (3) happening to people the reader knows, (4) related to the reader's needs and interests, and (5) unusual. Surprise value also helps students decide what to put in the introduction and conclusion. Thus, the principle of surprise value is a guide to all stages of the writing process for informative discourse. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the New York State English Council (31st, Grossinger, NY, October 18-21, 1981).