The Skidmore College Expository Writing Network. Approaches for a Writing-Intensive Instruction

The Skidmore College Expository Writing Network. Approaches for a Writing-Intensive Instruction

Three forms of activity easily integrate into witing-intensive courses. First are those activities which focus only regarding the CONTENT, such as for example lectures and discussions of texts. Second are activities related solely to WRITING as separate through 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 regardless of this 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 which are chosen for both the quality associated with writing plus the worth of the content. The following tips are designed to show how writing can be taught not only as a skill that is mechanicalthrough sentence and paragraph modeling), nor merely once the display of information (by concentrating solely on content), but as a generative intellectual activity in its own right. They are centered on three premises:

that students can learn a great deal about themselves as writers by getting more careful readers;

that astute readers attend to the dwelling regarding the text and find that analyzing the writer’s choices at specific junctures gives them a surer, more detailed grasp of content;

That students can give their writing more direction and focus by thinking about details as areas of a whole, whether that whole be a sentence, paragraph, or chapter.

Thus, focus on a discipline’s language, methodology, formal conventions, and methods of 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 approximately 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 will it be constructed? What has got the author done to really make the right parts total up to a disagreement?

C) Analyze a particularly complex paragraph from a text. How is it put together? What gives it unity? What role does it play within the chapter that is entire part of text?

Organizational Pattern Work

A) Scramble a paragraph and get students: 1) to put it together; 2) to comment on the mental processes involved in the restoration, the decisions about continuity they had to help make centered on their feeling of the author’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 the text, what these sentences are designed to do: juxtapose, equate, polarize, rank, distinguish, make exceptions, concede, contrast. Often, needless to say, sentences can do two or more among these plain things at the same time.

C) Have students examine an author’s punctuation and explain, again in terms of 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 achieving the writer’s purpose.

Formulation of Questions and Acceptability of Evidence

A) exactly what do 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 are built and put on data; how observations turn into claims, etc.)

C) Examine cause and effect; condition and result; argumentative strategies, such as comparison-contrast, and agency (especially the utilization of verbs), as basic building blocks in definition and explanation.

Peer critiquing and discussion of student writing can be handled in a number of various ways. The objective of such activities is always to have students read one another’s writing and develop their very own critical faculties, using them to assist one another enhance their writing. Peer critiquing and discussion help students understand how their very own writing compares with this of their peers and helps them discover the characteristics that distinguish writing that is successful. It is important to remember that an instructor criticizing a text for a class is 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 types of other ways this is handled, and now we encourage one to modify these to suit your own purposes.

A) The Small Groups Model–The class is divided into three sets of five students each. Each week the student submits six copies of his or her paper, one for the instructor and another for each member of her group. 1 hour per is devoted to group meetings in which some or all of the papers in the group are discussed week. Before this group meeting, students must read all the papers from their group and must write comments to be shared with one other writers. Thus, weekly writing, reading and critiquing are an integral part of the program, and students develop skills through repeated practice that they will be not able to develop if only asked to critique on three or four occasions. Due to the fact teacher is present with each group, they can lead the discussion to help students improve these skills that are critical.

B) The Pairs Model–Students can be paired off to read and touch upon one another’s writing such that each student will receive written comments in one other student plus the teacher. The teacher can, of course, check out the critical comments plus the paper to aid students develop both writing and skills that are critical. This process requires no special copying and need take very little classroom time. The teacher may decide to allow some right time when it comes to pairs to go over one another’s work, or this may be done outside the class. The disadvantage of the method is that the teacher cannot guide the discussions and students are limited by comments from just one of the peers.

C) Small Groups within Class–Many teachers break their classes into small groups (from 3 to 7 students) and allow class time for the combined groups to critique. The teacher can circulate among groups or sit in on an session that is entire one group.

D) Critiques and Revision–Many teachers combine peer critiquing with required revisions to instruct students simple tips to improve not only their mechanical skills, but additionally their thinking skills. Students could have critical comments from their-teachers as well as from their peers to do business with. Some teachers would like to have students revise a first draft with only comments from their peers and then revise a second time based on the teacher’s comments.

E) Student Critiques–Students must certanly be taught how exactly to critique each other’s work. Some direction while some teachers may leave the nature of the response up to the students, most try to give their students.

1) Standard Critique Form–This is a set of questions or guidelines general adequate to be applicable to any writing a learning student might do. In English classes, the questions concentrate on such staples of rhetoric as audience, voice and purpose; in philosophy, they may guide the student to look at the logic or structure of a disagreement.

2) Assignment Critique Form–This is a collection of questions designed designed for a particular writing task. Such an application gets the advantageous asset of making students attend to the special aspects peculiar into the given task. If students use them repeatedly, however, they may become dependent on it, never asking their own critical questions associated with the texts they critique.

3) Descriptive Outline–Instead of providing questions to direct students, some teachers prefer to teach their students to create a “descriptive outline.” The student reads the paper and stops to write after every section or paragraph, recording what she or he 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 need not grade all writing assignments–for instance journals, exploratory writing, and early drafts of more formal pieces. Teachers will make many comments on buy essay such writing to help students further their thinking but may wait for a far more finished, formal product before assigning grades.

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