Today in Julia Satterthwaite’s class students are learning how to add an extra dimension to their writing by producing a personality profile on Jim Streisel, the MIPA Upstart instructor and a member of the band The Dead Squirrels. By using literary devices such as alliteration, personification and similes writers are able to go beyond just the facts and completely tell a story.
“In general I just want [students] to write more colorful, interesting profiles,” Satterthwaite said. “I want them to find more insight into the people they are covering. The goal is to show, not tell.”
Participants were required to attend the Dead Squirrels concert last night and simply observe the atmosphere and Streisel’s mannerisms. Satterthwaite encouraged them to take notes on dialogue, description and detail at the event and not feel the need to constantly write down every thing Streisel said.
“Julia did a pre-interview for us and got us information about Jim,” Dexter High School student Maddie Kurtz said. “That saved us a lot of time when it come to getting the background for the profile. We saw a few examples of good personality profiles but I’ve never done one, so I’m not sure what I’m getting myself into.”
The students have time to work on their articles in class and turn everything in via Google Drive. In the evening Satterthwaite does basic editing and leaves comments on each participant’s writing, then during class time each individual has time to conference with the instructor one on one.
The Feature Coverage class will next explore column writing and work with social media.