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A Left-Brained Writing Prompt from WritingFix

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Rather Unlikely Dictionary Entries

This writing prompt generator was proposed by Nevada teacher Janet Franklin while attending a teacher in-service sponsored by the Northern Nevada Writing Project.

Writer Instructions:

Challenge yourself by devoting a page in your journal or your writer's notebook to a personal study of a dictionary's structure.  Don't copy the entries you'd really find in an dictionary onto this page. Oh no....instead, write creative and original dictionary-like entries about things in your personal life...things that would never really be defined in the dictionary.

First, spend some time looking at the structure and writing style (voice) of a dictionary.  If you have access to some hardbound dictionaries, they are great fun to flip through.  If not, below is a typical entry, from an on-line dictionary: 

de-cor-um (di-kôr'-um) noun  1) conformity to social conventions. 2) quality of being proper; propriety. --See synonyms at etiquette. [From Latin decorum, from decorus, from decor, meaning seemliness, elegance, beauty.]

Title a page in your journal or your writer's notebook UNLIKELY DICTIONARY ENTRIES.  Don't fill up the page in one day.  Come back to it when you get a new idea, even if it's weeks later.

Create unlikely dictionary entries for things in your life.  Press the button below to get a few ideas, if you really can't think of any.

Do your best to make your writing really sound like the type of writing you'd find in a real dictionary...even though what you're writing about wouldn't appear in a dictionary.

Unlikely Dictionary Entry Ideas:






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