READINGS for Process Analysis

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by Mark Twain

Task List

Read the embedded selection
Complete ‘discussion and critical thinking’
Complete ‘suggestion for writing’

The Reading

Discussion and Critical Thinking

What are the essential steps in sounding the river? Does Twain present these in the order performed?
What shows that Twain is describing the process for those who have traveled the river, as well as those who haven’t?
Had he been writing for a special audience—namely, river pilots in training—what information would he probably have omitted? What additional information would he have provided?
What did he gain by describing the pleasure of a cub pilot given command?

Suggestion for Writing

Step One: Describe a difficult process you learned to perform, for readers who have no interest in performing it themselves.
Step Two: Rewrite your description for readers who wish to perform it.

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