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

Three kinds of activity easily integrate into witing-intensive courses. First are the ones 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 through the content concerns of the course. Grammar drills or sentence exercises that are combining into this category, but so would lecturing on writing in general or examining models 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 that are chosen for both the quality associated with writing and also the worth of the content. The following tips are designed to show how writing could be taught not merely as a mechanical skill (through sentence and paragraph modeling), nor merely as the display of information (by concentrating solely on content), but as a generative intellectual activity in its own right. They are 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 structure of the text and find that analyzing the writer’s choices at specific junctures gives them a surer, more grasp that is detailed of;

that students will give their writing more focus and direction by thinking about details as areas of an entire, https://domyhomework.services 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 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 sentence summary that is single. Compare results for inclusivity, accuracy, emphasis, and nuance.

B) Analyze a text section or chapter. How is it constructed? What has got the author done to really make the Parts total up to an argument?

C) Analyze a particularly complex paragraph from a text. How is it come up with? What gives it unity? What role does it play into the chapter that is entire part of text?

Organizational Pattern Work

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

B) Have students find several kinds 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, needless to say, sentences can do two or more of those things at a time.

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

D) Have students outline as a way of analyzing structure and discuss the choices a writer makes and exactly how these choices contribute 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 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 the usage verbs), as basic building blocks in definition and explanation.

Peer critiquing and discussion of student writing may be handled in a number of various ways. The goal of such activities is to have students read one another’s writing and develop their own faculties that are critical using them to greatly help one another boost their writing. Peer critiquing and discussion help students know the way their own writing compares with that of these peers and helps them discover the characteristics that distinguish successful writing. It is vital to understand that a teacher criticizing a text for a class just isn’t peer critiquing; with this will not provide the students practice in exercising their very own critical skills. Here are a few types of different ways this can be handled, and now we encourage you to definitely modify these to fit your own purposes.

A) The Small Groups Model–The class is divided in to 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. One hour per week is devoted to group meetings by which some or every one of the papers when you look at the group are discussed. Before this combined group meeting, students must read all the papers from their group and must write comments to be distributed to 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 would be struggling to develop if only asked to critique on three to four occasions. Considering that the teacher is present with each group, they can lead the discussion to assist students improve these critical skills.

B) The Pairs Model–Students can be paired off to read 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, of course, check out the critical comments along with the paper to simply help 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 when it comes to pairs to discuss one another’s work, or this may be done outside of the class. The disadvantage of this method is that the trained teacher cannot guide the discussions and students are restricted to comments from only one of their peers.

C) Small Groups within Class–Many teachers break their classes into small groups (from 3 to 7 students) and permit class time for the 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 show students how to improve not just their mechanical skills, but in addition their thinking skills. Students might have comments that are critical their-teachers as well as from their peers to work alongside. Some teachers would rather 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 should be taught simple tips to critique each other’s work. Though some teachers may leave the nature associated with response up to the students, most try to give their students some direction.

1) Standard Critique Form–This is a couple of questions or guidelines general enough to be applicable to any writing a learning student might do. In English classes, the questions focus 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 couple of questions designed especially for a writing task that is particular. Such an application gets the advantage of making students focus on the special aspects peculiar to the given task. If students utilize them repeatedly, however, they may become dependent on it, never asking their very own critical questions associated with texts they critique.

3) Descriptive Outline–Instead of providing questions to direct students, some teachers like to teach their students to publish 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 along with 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 instance that is assignments–for, exploratory writing, and early drafts of more formal pieces. Teachers will make many comments on such writing to help students further their thinking but may wait for a more finished, formal product before assigning grades.

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