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 types of activity easily integrate into do mypaper for me witing-intensive courses. First are those activities which focus only regarding the CONTENT, such as for instance lectures and discussions of texts. Second are activities related solely to WRITING as separate through the content concerns regarding the course. Grammar drills or sentence exercises that are combining into this category, but so would lecturing on writing in general or examining different 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 which are chosen for the quality associated with the writing plus the worth of the content. The following tips are meant to show how writing could be taught not merely as a mechanical skill (through sentence and paragraph modeling), nor merely given that display of data (by concentrating solely on content), but as a generative intellectual activity in its own right. They truly are predicated on three premises:

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

that astute readers deal with the structure associated with the text and discover that analyzing the author’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 an entire, whether that whole be a sentence, paragraph, or chapter.

Thus, attention to a discipline’s language, methodology, formal conventions, and ways of creating context–as these are illustrated in texts, lectures, and student papers–is an effective way of teaching 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 could it be constructed? What has the author done to make the right parts soon add up to a quarrel?

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

Organizational Pattern Work

A) Scramble a paragraph and get students: 1) to put it together; 2) to comment on the processes that are mental in the restoration, the decisions about continuity that they had to produce centered on their feeling of the author’s thinking.

B) Have students find several types of sentences in a text, and explain exactly, within the terms and spirit regarding the text, what these sentences are designed to do: juxtapose, equate, polarize, rank, distinguish, make exceptions, concede, contrast. Often, of course, sentences is going to do a couple of of those plain things at a time.

C) Have students examine an author’s punctuation and again explain in regards to the argument, why, say, a semicolon was used.

D) Have students outline as a way 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) What can be treated as known? What exactly is acceptable procedure for ruling cases in or out?

B) Discuss how evidence is tested against an hypothesis, and exactly how hypotheses are modified. (How models are created and applied to data; how observations turn into claims, etc.)

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

Peer critiquing and discussion of student writing could be handled in a true number of various ways. The objective of such activities is to have students read one another’s writing and develop their very own faculties that are critical with them to aid the other person improve their writing. Peer critiquing and discussion help students know the way their own writing compares with this of the peers and helps them find the characteristics that distinguish successful writing. It’s important to remember that an instructor criticizing a text for a class just isn’t peer critiquing; because of this will likely not give the students practice in exercising their own skills that are critical. Here are a few types of different ways this is often handled, therefore we encourage one to modify these to fit your purposes that are own.

A) The Small Groups Model–The class is divided in to three sets of five students each. Each week the student submits six copies of his / her paper, one for the instructor and something for every single member of her group. 60 minutes per week is devoted to group meetings by which some or all the papers within the group are discussed. Before this combined group meeting, students must read every one of the papers from their group and must write comments to be shared with the other writers. Thus, weekly writing, reading and critiquing are a part of this course, and students develop skills through repeated practice that they will be not able to develop if only asked to critique on three to four occasions. Because the teacher is present with every group, they might lead the discussion to greatly help students improve these skills that are critical.

B) The Pairs Model–Students can be paired off to read through and comment on each other’s writing such that each student will get written comments from 1 other student as well as the teacher. The teacher can, of course, check out the critical comments along with the paper to help students develop both writing and critical skills. This process requires no special copying and need take very classroom time that is little. The teacher may wish to allow some time for the pairs to talk about each other’s work, or this may be done not in the class. The disadvantage of this method is the fact that the trained teacher cannot guide the discussions and students are limited to comments from just one of these peers.

C) Small Groups within Class–Many teachers break their classes into small groups (from 3 to 7 students) and permit class time when it comes to 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 just their mechanical skills, but in addition their thinking skills. Students could have comments that are critical their-teachers as well as from their peers to work alongside. Some teachers choose to have students revise a draft that is first only comments from their peers and then revise a moment time based on the teacher’s comments.

E) Student Critiques–Students must certanly be taught how to critique one another’s work. Although some teachers may leave the type associated with response as much as the students, most try to give their students some direction.

1) Standard Critique Form–This is a set of questions or guidelines general enough to be applicable to virtually any writing a 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 designed for a particular writing task. Such an application has the benefit of making students focus on the special aspects peculiar into the given task. If students use them repeatedly, however, they could 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 would rather teach their students to create a “descriptive outline.” The student reads the paper and stops to write after each and every 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 wait for a more finished, formal product before assigning grades.