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A Left-Brained Writing Prompt from WritingFix

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Rather Unlikely Encyclopedia 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 encyclopedia's structure.  Don't write the types of articles you'd really find in an encyclopedia on this page.  Oh no....instead, write encyclopedia-like articles about things in your personal life...things that would never really be in an encyclopedia.

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


Pronounced As: orin , in Greek mythology, Boeotian hunter. When Oenopion delayed giving his daughter Merope to him, Orion, when drunk, violated her. Oenopion then blinded him, but his vision was restored by the rays of the sun. The story of Orion's death has many versions. Some state he offended Artemis, who killed him. Others say that he became her favorite hunting companion, but offended Apollo, who loosed a giant scorpion to chase Orion into the sea. Apollo then tricked Artemis into shooting Orion. When she discovered what she had done, she gave way to her grief and immortalized her companion and the scorpion by placing them in the heavens as constellations.

Title a page in your journal or your writer's notebook UNLIKELY ENCYCLOPEDIA 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 encyclopedia articles 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 an encyclopedia...even though what you're writing about wouldn't appear in an encyclopedia.

Unlikely Encyclopedia Entry Ideas:




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