A braided segmented essay weaves together different styles of writing on a common theme and separates them by pauses of blank space. For example, a braided segmented essay on pet ownership might begin with an amusing anecdote about a dog followed by a pause, then move to an interview with a veterinarian followed by another pause, then present a poem about a goldfish followed by another pause, then end with a personal reflection on pets. The purpose is to approach the essay indirectly so that the reader is revealed information in a surprising way with wider reaching effects.
Writing a Braided Segmented Essay
Chose a subject. An essay expresses the informed opinion of the author. It isn't journalism or a scientific report. Choose something that you know about because it excites it you. It will be easier to write about if you already have a love for the subject.
Chose at least three different styles of writing. These can be any style of writing, for example, diary entries, dream journal entries, poems, memoir, travelogue, descriptive narratives, dialogue between two or more people, anecdotes, even encyclopedia entries.
Write on the subject in different styles of writing. This will take time because you aren't writing one direct essay but approaching a subject with different styles. Using the pet ownership subject as an example you could write a memoir about your first dog, a transcript of a scene from the Lassie television show and a description of the famous three-headed dog, Cerberus, from Greek mythology.
Gather all the different writings you have done on the subject, and look for a common linking theme between them. Are there any recurring similarities? Are there any glaring opposites? Does one piece of writing seem to echo or answer a question raised in another? Ask yourself these questions as you reread the pieces, and mark the links where you see them.
Cut and paste your gathered writings into a logical sequence separated by paragraph breaks. Choose the best written parts and "braid" them together by putting down one paragraph of one style followed by a different style. Between them, leave space to give the reader a chance to pause and think about them before moving to the next. Try to end with a powerful paragraph that will stay with the reader.
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