Drama: Sample Writing: Audio Annotations

In the following short essay, Linda Durai writes about the repetition and the stage directions in The Real Inspector Hound and argues that these elements make it a play that is better appreciated when read than when seen in a theater. Consider this essay as an example of good student work that needs to be edited in order to correct some common errors and enhance its effect. As you read it, note what works well and what could be improved. Notice, on the positive side, that the thesis is significant—beyond what anyone would simply agree on about the play. The author supports her thesis with specific evidence, quoting accurately from the text. She strengthens her argument by acknowledging other perspectives—as when she notes that some of the humor of the play would work better in a performance than on the page.

What other positive qualities can you observe in Durai’s essay? How might you revise it to make it even stronger? For example, could she organize her essay differently?

Are there places in the essay that could be clearer and more focused? How might you edit Durai’s choices of words or the structure of her sentences to be more precise or economical? Like many student essays, this one has a few common errors that are easy to catch on rereading. Can you find where the antecedent or reference for a pronoun is unclear? Can you locate where a plural pronoun is used for a singular subject (the number should be consistent)? Are there any incomplete sentences?

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