8 July. New Futures W/S

Note: You are welcome to hand in your New Futures Project on Friday, July 10 by 11:59 without penalty.

Today’s Video
Video Overview of Layout & Sentence Level Revisions choices you can incorporate into the final drafts of your New Futures Project

Part I. Your New Futures: Layout & Sentence Level

Let’s work through the following together:
  • 1. Audience: Who is your audience and how does that determine word choice, explanation, detail, or tone? Let’s take a look at More’s letter to Peter Giles for ways an author’s sense of his audience helps him determine which rhetorical choices to make.
  • 2. Layout: If you are incorporating images, consider the following: What’s the relationship between text and image in Utopia or “The Evaluators,”? Also, feel free to use a template, like this one I’ll show you in Google Docs.
  • 3. Transitions: how do you move from section to section? Do you use headings? What sort of work do your opening and closing sentences need to do to set up transitions? How do you move from sentence to sentence?

Part II. Known-New Contract (Tips for Sentence Cohesion)

  • Take a look at the following sentence:

    (a) Some astonishing questions about the nature of the universe have been raised by       scientists exploring the nature of black holes in space.

  • Which of the sentences below should follow the one above?

    (b) The collapse of a dead star into a point perhaps no larger than a marble creates a black hole.

    (c) A black hole is created by the collapse of a dead star into a point perhaps no larger than a marble.







  • Sentence (c) begins where sentence (a) left off: with black holes. While reading, often we feel that sentences are more cohesive if they begin with what is known to the reader (e.g., “black holes” from the previous sentence) and end with what is new (e.g., “the collapse of a dead star”). This “known-new” contract gives us a sense of flow in our writing.
  • Draft: Write one declarative sentence that responds to the project prompt, i.e “how has the future you imagine solved the most pressing threat to life on Earth?” THEN…draft 1-2 developmental sentences using the known-new contract.

Part III. Verb Revision

Revise: State-of-being verbs (to be)/Passive Voice

  • A state of being verb identifies who or what a noun is, was, or will be. Passive voice (grammatical subject expressed the theme of the main verb – that is, the person or thing that undergoes the action or has its state changed).

    Replace the state-of-being verb/passive voice in the sentences below with a strong verb (i.e.a verb that shows instead of tells)

  • The tiger was upset when the antelope ran away.

    The man was walking on the platform.

    There are three things that make me feel excited for spring break.

Revise: Verbs that rely on adverbs

  • Powerful verbs are strong enough to stand alone. They don’t need an adverb to qualify them.

    Replace the following verb/adverb phrases with powerful verbs:

  • The fox ran quickly through the forest.

    She looked menacingly at her rival.

    He secretly listened while they discussed their plans.

Revise: Have/has/had combined with a noun

  • While auxiliary verbs help express times and mood (and conjugate past and future perfect tenses), they are less likely to engage audiences in simple conjugations and/or when used in excess.

    Replace the following verb phrases with a single, powerful verb:

  • had an argument with the referee

    had dinner with the sheriff.

    I have discussed the situation with your father.

Revising Your Verbs:

  • Time permitting, you may want to take a few minutes and to identify all the verbs in a paragraph from your draft. Once you have identified them, make passive verbs active, and replace verbs that rely auxiliary constructions and/or adverbs with “strong verbs.”

List of Strong Verbs



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