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This discussion-based activity asks students to evaluate how effectively successive drafts of a passage of dialogue in fiction communicate tone and character. Working in small groups, students read three versions (manuscript, unrevised galley proof, and first edition) of a famous passage from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Examining dialogue tags and dialogue, students identify the strengths and weakness of each version and explain why the final version is (or isn’t) the best. Students may be invited to write their own version of Fitzgerald’s passage. They will recognize the importance of revision in the writing process.



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