Tomorrow is my ONE shot at talking PW with my students (that's "professional writing" to all you ignoramuses). I have been laboring over what to talk about. How does one boil an entire major into one barely-introductory lecture?
I've been talking on basic story forms and formats. How to write a basic news story, a feature story, a piece for broadcast, a blog, a piece for the web. How to write a lead/lede, a headline, a summary. How to think like a "backpack journalist" (i.e., a journalist with lots of tricks up her sleeve; i.e., a journalist who can look at a body of information, including words, video, photos, etc., and decide how best to communicate the story). So I thought: I'll boil it down to the five modes of discourse.
From fastest to slowest they are: narrative summary, dramatic action, dialogue, description and exposition.
So tomorrow morning at 8:30 I'll be talking about these, albeit briefly, and my students will probably (all but three of them) be snoozing. Actually, no, I won't stand for that. This is PW Day. The ONE PW Day. I will walk around the room and pound desks with my fists if there are heads dropped.
Still, with such a great major that encompasses so much, talking about the five modes of discourse does sound kind of lame, doesn't it?
P.S. Nobody does exposition better than Arrested Development narrator, Ron Howard.