III. Identifying Illogical or Incomplete Content, Inconsistent Voice (active or passive) and Verb Tense (present and past) and Incorrect Grammar

The author has primary responsibility to make sure that the content of his/her story is:   logical and realistic; complete (no details of events, actions or feelings accidentally left  incomplete); consistent in the voice and verb tense used; and grammatically correct. Otherwise, the reader will lose confidence or lose interest in the author and in his story,  and may not continue reading the story. An author should want to gain the confidence of  every reader, especially if the story is nonfiction and/or the author is trying to persuade the  reader to accept his opinion or point of view on a topic. In this chapter, redundant or  unnecessary text is shown with a strikethrough line through it; text that is being added is enclosed in brackets [ ]; and comments are shown in italic type

In this chapter, redundant or unnecessary text is shown with a strikethrough line through it;  text that is being added is enclosed in brackets [ ]; and comments are shown in italic type.

CCSSI: W.6.3, 7.3, 8.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

• Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

CCSSI: L.6.1, 7.1, 9.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSSI: L.8.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

• Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.

• Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.

Here are examples of illogical content (also called “faulty logic” or “not logical content”).

EXERCISES: Can you explain what is illogical about each story line? The answers are at the end of the exercise.

Exercise 3.1 : In the American West in the 1800’s, army soldiers set up camp as night fell. They were at war with the Indian tribes who lived there. The commanding officer always sent out lookouts to nearby hilltops to watch all night for Indians massing for an attack. This night, a lookout spotted hundreds of Indians moving toward the soldiers’ encampment. The lookout immediately sent a text message from his handheld phone to his commander, warning of an impending Indian attack. The commander was able to awaken his troops and get them into position so they were successful in repelling the Indian attack.

Exercise 3.2 :  In the summer of 2010, my family and I travelled to New York City to see the sights. We went to Rockefeller Center to see the skating rink, to the Museum of Modern Art, and boarded a Gray Line boat for a cruise around Manhattan. The view from the boat was spectacular: we saw the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center Towers and planes taking off and landing at Newark Liberty Airport.