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

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

Three forms of activity easily integrate into witing-intensive courses. First are the ones 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 different 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 for the writing additionally the worth of this content. The following advice are meant to show how writing can be taught not merely as a mechanical skill (through sentence and paragraph modeling), nor merely given that display of information (by concentrating solely on content), but as a generative intellectual activity in its own right. These are typically predicated on three premises:

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

that astute readers attend to the dwelling associated with 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 components of an entire, whether that whole be a sentence, paragraph, or chapter.

Thus, focus on 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 sentence summary that is single. Compare have a glimpse at this site results for inclusivity, accuracy, emphasis, and nuance.

B) Analyze a text section or chapter. How can it be constructed? What gets the author done to help make the Parts total up to a disagreement?

C) Analyze a paragraph that is particularly complex a text. How is it come up with? What gives it unity? What role does it play when you look at the chapter that is entire element of text?

Organizational Pattern Work

A) Scramble a paragraph and inquire students: 1) to put it together; 2) to touch upon the mental processes involved into the restoration, the decisions about continuity that they had which will make centered on their feeling of the author’s thinking.

B) Have students find various kinds sentences in a text, and explain exactly, into the terms and spirit of the text, what these sentences are designed to do: juxtapose, equate, polarize, rank, distinguish, make exceptions, concede, contrast. Often, needless to say, sentences is going to do a couple of of the 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 means of analyzing structure and discuss the choices a writer makes and how these choices play a role in 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 exactly how hypotheses are modified. (How models are made and placed 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 making use of verbs), as basic building blocks in definition and explanation.

Peer critiquing and discussion of student writing could be handled in a number of different ways. The goal of such activities is to have students read each other’s writing and develop their very own faculties that are critical using them to assist one another enhance their writing. Peer critiquing and discussion help students know how their very own writing compares with this of these peers and helps them uncover the characteristics that distinguish successful writing. It’s important to remember that an instructor criticizing a text for a course is certainly not peer critiquing; with this will likely not provide the students practice in exercising their particular skills that are critical. Here are some models of other ways this could be handled, and we also encourage you to modify these to suit your own purposes.

A) The Small Groups Model–The class is divided in to three categories 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 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 every one of the papers from their group and must write comments to be distributed to one other writers. Thus, weekly writing, reading and critiquing are part of this course, and students develop skills through repeated practice that they will be struggling to develop if only asked to critique on three or four occasions. Because the teacher is present with every group, they can 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 touch upon each other’s writing so that each learning student will receive written comments in one other student along with the teacher. The teacher can, needless to say, check out the critical comments as well as the paper to aid students develop both writing and critical skills. This technique requires no special copying and need take very classroom time that is little. The teacher may wish to allow some right time for the pairs to go over one another’s work, or this may be done outside of the class. The disadvantage with 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 invite class time for the combined groups to critique. The teacher can circulate among groups or sit in on an entire session with 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 also their thinking skills. Students may have comments that are critical their-teachers as well as from their peers to work well with. Some teachers choose to have students revise a first draft with only comments from their peers and then revise an extra time based on 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 for the response as much as the students, most attempt to give their students some direction.

1) Standard Critique Form–This is a couple 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 couple of questions designed specifically for a writing task that is particular. Such an application has got the advantageous asset of making students attend to the aspects that are special to the given task. If students make use of them repeatedly, however, they could become dependent on it, never asking their own critical questions associated with texts they critique.

3) Descriptive Outline–Instead of providing questions to direct students, some teachers would like to teach their students to create a “descriptive outline.” The student reads the paper and stops to write after each and every paragraph or section, recording what she or he thought the section said and his or her responses or questions concerning it. At the end, the student writes his or her “summary comments” describing his or her response to the piece all together, raising questions about the writing, and perhaps making ideas for further writing.

Since writing in itself is of value, teachers need not grade all writing instance that is assignments–for, exploratory writing, and early drafts of more formal pieces. Teachers could make many comments on such writing to help students further their thinking but may watch for a more finished, formal product before assigning grades.

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