I just came across this fun website where you paste in a few paragraphs of your writing and some sort of little internal elves decide what famous author you write like.
I did it twice. One sample returned Charles Dickens (this probably means I didn’t achieve the breezy effect I was shooting for) and the other said I wrote like Cory Doctorow. Now, I realize that this is not science, but the immediate effect it had on me was to grab some Cory Doctorow and look for similarities.
Do you think it would work the same magic on our students? Do you think they might grab a copy of Cory Doctorow and try to figure out what the similarities are?
It might be a fun class activity to pair a paragraph of student-author writing with famous-author writing and have students try to find similarities as they pass their papers around. What a fun way to do close readings! Just a thought.