Three kinds of activity easily integrate into witing-intensive courses. First are those activities which focus only from the CONTENT, such as for instance lectures and discussions of texts. Second are activities related solely to WRITING as separate from the content concerns of this course. Grammar drills or sentence combining exercises fall into this category, but so would lecturing on writing in general or examining types of good writing without reference to the content. Third are activities which teach BOTH WRITING AND CONTENT. Peer critiquing, journal writing, and group brainstorming teach both writing and content as does examining model essays that are chosen for the quality associated with writing plus the value of the content. The following tips are designed to show how writing can be taught not only as a mechanical skill (through sentence and paragraph modeling), nor merely because the display of information (by concentrating solely on content), but as a generative intellectual activity in its own right. These are generally according to three premises:
that students can learn a deal that is great themselves as writers by becoming more careful readers;
that astute readers deal with the dwelling of the text and discover that analyzing the writer’s choices at specific junctures provides them with a surer, more detailed grasp of content;
that students can give their writing more focus and direction by thinking about details as parts of an entire, whether that whole be a sentence, paragraph, or chapter.
Thus, awareness of a discipline’s language, methodology, formal conventions, and methods for creating context–as these are illustrated in texts, lectures, and student papers–is an way that is effective of writing.
Summary and Analysis Exercises
A) Have students write a 500-word summary of about 2000 words of text; then a 50-word summary; then a single sentence summary. Compare results for inclusivity, accuracy, emphasis, and nuance.
B) Analyze a text section or chapter. How can it be constructed? What has got the author done to really make the Parts add up to an argument?
C) Analyze a particularly complex paragraph from a text. How is it put together? What gives it unity? What role does it play when you look at the entire chapter or portion of text?
Organizational Pattern Work
A) Scramble a paragraph and inquire students: 1) to place it together; 2) to touch upon the mental processes involved into the restoration, the decisions about continuity they had to help make based on their feeling of the writer’s thinking.
B) Have students find several kinds of sentences in a text, and explain exactly, when you look at the terms and spirit associated with text, what these sentences are meant to do: juxtapose, equate, polarize, rank, distinguish, make exceptions, concede, contrast. Often, needless to say, sentences will do a couple of of the things at the same time.
C) Have students examine an author’s punctuation and explain, again in regards to the argument, why, say, a semicolon was used.
D) Have students outline as a method of analyzing structure and talk about the choices a writer makes and exactly how these choices donate to reaching the writer’s purpose.
Formulation of Questions and Acceptability of Evidence
A) exactly what can be treated as known? What is procedure that is acceptable ruling cases in or out?
B) Discuss how evidence is tested against an hypothesis, and just how hypotheses are modified. (How models were created and put on data; how observations develop into claims, etc.)
C) Examine cause and effect; condition and result; argumentative strategies, such as comparison-contrast, and agency (especially the usage verbs), as basic building blocks in definition and explanation.
Peer critiquing and discussion of student writing can be handled in a true number of various ways. The purpose of such activities would be to have students read each other’s writing and develop their very own faculties that are critical using them to greatly help the other person improve their writing. Peer critiquing and discussion help students know the way their own writing compares with that of the peers and helps them find the characteristics that distinguish successful writing. It is essential to keep in mind that a teacher criticizing a text for a class is certainly not peer critiquing; because of this will likely not supply the students practice in exercising their very own skills that are critical. Here are some models of other ways this is handled, and then we encourage you to modify these to match your own purposes.
A) The Small Groups Model–The class is split into three groups of five students each. Each the student submits six copies of his or her paper, one for the instructor and one for each member of her group week. 1 hour per week is dedicated to group meetings for which some or most of the papers when you look at the group are discussed. Before this group meeting, students must read every one of the papers from their group and must write comments to be shared with one other writers. Thus, weekly writing, reading and critiquing are part of the program, and students develop skills through repeated practice which they would be not able to develop if only asked to critique on three to four occasions. Considering that the teacher is present with each group, they might lead the discussion to simply help students improve these skills that are critical.
B) The Pairs Model–Students can be paired off to read through and comment on one another’s writing so that each student will get written comments from 1 other student plus the teacher. The teacher can, of course, go over the critical comments plus the paper to assist students develop both writing and skills that are critical. This process requires no special copying and need take very little classroom time. The teacher might wish to allow some right time for the pairs to discuss one another’s work essay writers, or this might be done outside of the class. The disadvantage of this method is that the trained teacher cannot guide the discussions and students are limited by comments from just one of their peers.
C) Small Groups within Class–Many teachers break their classes into small groups (from 3 to 7 students) and enable class time when it comes to combined groups to critique. The teacher can circulate among groups or sit in on an entire session with one group.
D) Critiques and teachers that are revision–Many peer critiquing with required revisions to show students how exactly to improve not only their mechanical skills, but additionally their thinking skills. Students might have critical comments from their-teachers as well as from their peers to work well with. Some teachers like to have students revise a first draft with only comments from their peers and then revise a second time in line with the teacher’s comments.
E) Student Critiques–Students must certanly be taught how exactly to critique one another’s work. While some teachers may leave the type of this response up to the students, most make an effort to give their students some direction.
1) Standard Critique Form–This is a set of questions or guidelines general adequate to be applicable to virtually any writing a learning student might do. The questions concentrate on such staples of rhetoric as audience, voice and purpose; in philosophy, they might guide the student to examine the logic or structure of an argument in English classes.
2) Assignment Critique Form–This is a collection of questions designed especially for a particular writing task. Such a questionnaire gets the benefit of making students deal with the special aspects peculiar into the given task. If students make use of them repeatedly, however, they might become dependent they critique on them, never asking their own critical questions of the texts.
3) Descriptive Outline–Instead of providing questions to direct students, some teachers choose to teach their students to create a “descriptive outline.” The student reads the paper and stops to write after each section or paragraph, recording what he or she thought the section said and his or her responses or questions concerning it. The student writes his or her “summary comments” describing his or her reaction to the piece as a whole, raising questions about the writing, and perhaps making suggestions for further writing at the end.
Since writing by itself is of value, teachers will not need to grade all writing assignments–for instance journals, exploratory writing, and early drafts of more formal pieces. Teachers may make many comments on such writing to help students further their thinking but may watch for a far more finished, formal product before assigning grades.