Week 2: skills (Greg)

Description of the skills being learned and used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

This week, we have been focusing on a number of writing skills in order to prepare us for our upcoming unit. Since this unit would involve us choosing a theme  of our choice, we focused on different genres where we looked at different texts surrounding that genre/theme and did some exercises based around that to understand how to expand on ideas for a theme. The main theme we focused on this week was fear which did interest me since I found it fascinating to know how it can be portrayed in different forms of writing depending on the fear. We did an exercise based on ‘fear’ when we were asked to list 10 thing we feared the most  to see how any one fear could expand into specific elements which we could pose as our theme. I was asked why my fear if train stations at night time was a fear plus how it became this. It was the feelings of being along at night in a place I’ve always associated as dangerous and anything could happen without notice. This lead to an interesting point raised if this could be a subject to do with vulnerability between men and women and whether women are more vulnerable in these situations than men, leading to the theme of gender or society.

Examples of these skills being used professionally- (Unit 9 1.1/1.2)

We also looked at two pieces of writing which portrayed fear in different ways. One was a person talking about fear in the perspective of another person and another was in the first person with conversation between two characters. They both displayed fear in their own ways but much of the class preferred the second one because of the humour and clear paragraphing. I preferred the first one since it was interesting to read about a fear in the perspective of someone else and to also realise that fears can be acknowledged by others- an element I found rather touching and a great pathway for gaining ideas on the different forms of writing I could use to talk about my theme.


(du Maurier, D, 1938)    (Bennett, A, 1988)


Demonstrate my own example of how I used the skills- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

Another activity we did this week and one which I found the most helpful in understanding forms of writing was that we researched a non-fictional crime story and tried to re-write it in a format of our choice. After researching with Holly we both found an news report on a teenage girl who as abducted by ISIS and who was ‘ready to die’. Using this same report, we produced completely different pieces of writing each. Holly did a poem and I did a blog post in the perspective of the abducted girl. This actually linked really well with the fear-based activities earlier in the week since they were both showing different ways of portraying fear.

Here is my blog post piece:

‘Teenage girl ‘abducted by ISIS’ texts her uncle to say: Don’t try to find me, I’m ready to die’.  (Mirror, 2016)

“Don’t try to find me, I’m ready to die”. Whether these are my last words or not, I don’t know. Whether or not I see my family again, I don’t know. One thing I do know for sure is that my life will never be the same again…

Having been abducted by ISIS is truly an experience with no in between; you either expect it or you don’t. You either believe it or you don’t. Though I guess terrorists nowadays will resort to anything to gain control- or their definition of control at least.

Where else can I go? Who can help me? Neither of these are options for me. I have no choice anymore but to text my uncle with the news of what I’d happily call my death sentence- something he will either believe or convince himself otherwise. No fancy ‘goodbyes’ or ‘I love you’. All he needs is the truth. If ISIS don’t kill me then homesickness and regret for my family will. Whether he believes it or not the real proof will come to him soon enough. When I don’t.


Evaluate my use of the skills being used with reference to the professional example- (Unit 9 3.1/2.2)

Overall, this exercise has helped me find my preferred forms of writing since I attempted the poem with Holly but struggled with producing ideas for it. The blog article was much easier for me to use the report information and apply in in the victim’s perspective with the use of quotes to add almost a climax. Since the article had the bare minimum but essential information I was also able to add more of my own content that still related to the report. Because of how I have managed to use an article to form a piece of writing in the first person with added tension, quotes and a clear ending it has given me more ideas on what writing format I enjoy but also that I enjoy writing about non-fiction themes and stories like these which I will definitely consider for this unit.


Description of the skills being learned and used- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2)

This week we also covered specificity and word choices which meant we had to give a description of feelings or people doing an activity without being too vague or boring. We were given the sentence ‘ a man walked into a bar’ where we had to alter it by adding stronger verbs and giving more personality to the sentence making it more interesting to read. (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)- At first I did struggle with this exercise because I found myself overwriting in areas and making it into a short story rather than an expanded sentence. Because of this I decided to delete everything I wrote o far and use the sentence itself to write on and use as ideas for stronger vocabulary. This is what I came up with:

Demonstrate my own example of how I used the skills- (Unit 9 2.1/2.2) 

How often does such a mature, well-educated yet self-centred man walk into a bar with a reputation for blood-stained walls and fights until dawn? It’s not often at all but as the only pub in town that is open until dawn (hence the fights) he didn’t care.

Evaluation of my use of the skill with reference to professional example- (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)

At first I found this exercise quite challenging to complete without overwriting or adding irrelevant information to it, especially with actually starting it. However, I felt that turning the sentence into a rhetorical question made the plain sentence more engaging with the reader and a creative way of adapting it. This whole exercise also taught me the importance of specificity as a writer and as a journalist since any information that is too vague or uninteresting will have the reader putting it down or not understanding the full story whether it’s an article or other news piece.



Bennett, A (1988) Talking Heads: Alan Bennett’s 54 Classic Monologues. Unknown publication place: BBC Books.

du Maurier, D (1938) Rebecca. Unknown publication place: Victor Gollanoz.

Mirror. (2016). Teen texts uncle ‘Don’t try to find me I’m ready to die’ after ‘ISIS abduction’. [online] Available at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/teenage-girl-texts-uncle-dont-8889467 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Week 2: skills (Greg)

One thought on “Week 2: skills (Greg)

  1. tomrowse says:

    ISIS piece is very powerful with some profoundly written lines that have a huge emotional impact on the reader.
    Consider editing: Having been abducted by ISIS is truly an… – Being abducted by ISIS is…

    A clear and effective evaluation demonstrating the skills you have learnt this week with your added insights on how it will aid your work as it progresses. You creative work was also interesting and well crafted.

    I’ve put some photo-journalism links on the Blog for you – an others – to look at. Thought they may be useful.


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