Worked examples

One of the most important instructional elements in Writelike are the worked examples.

Worked examples are an essential instructional tool, especially for novice learners, and in Writelike we provide one or more worked examples with nearly every exercise.

For instance, here's a snippet from Science fantasy worldbuilding in Phoenix 1: Establishing norms in which students begin to establish a character and world:

He powered down the security matrix and opened his window, gulping in fresh air, trying to cool himself. It was still dark outside. But high above the suburban apartment blocks, the stars were shining.

To help students see how to apply this pattern, we provide several worked examples.

Here's one with a naive-pulp-sci-fi vibe:

Biff opened the phase door with a snap of his fingers and stepped out of his cabin, tugging his boots on with a yawn. The orange light of the simulated sunrise streamed in from several large screens, illuminating the area. He approached the balcony overlooking the station’s hangar, and watched as dozens of ships began to fire up.

And here's another with a more hardboiled-dystopian-cyberpunk vibe:

The engineer screwed the nuke into Vijay’s skull, covered it with a flexible mesh, and then told her she was good to go. It wasn’t even lunchtime. She left the apartment, took a lift to the underground station fifty stories below, and walked into the teeming crowd.

These worked examples show students how they can use the pattern in the snippet to develop and explore their own ideas.

The worked examples are most effective when students slow down and engage with them:

  • Read the text.
  • Predict the highlighting.
  • Check the prediction.
  • Discuss any alternatives or confusion. 

However, sometimes it's fine to skim them at a glance, and there is nothing forcing students to use them.

With weaker students, or when using Writelike for the first time, it can be helpful to review the examples as a group:

  • Ask students to nominate which sections fit with which highlighter.
  • Mark them up and see if everyone agrees.
  • Check against our markup (and remember, our markup isn't always the only way).

We deliberately use the examples to show how highlighted patterns can be stretched, including variations on:

  • length 
  • mood or tone
  • perspective or voice, and
  • content or genre.