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 witing-intensive courses. First are the ones activities which focus only on the CONTENT, such as 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 models of good writing without reference to 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 the quality regarding the writing together with value of the content. The following tips are designed to show how writing can be taught not merely as a mechanical skill (through sentence and paragraph modeling), nor merely whilst the display of information (by concentrating solely on content), but as a generative intellectual activity with its own right. They are according to three premises:

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

that astute readers deal with the structure associated with the text and find that analyzing the writer’s choices at specific junctures provides them with a surer, more grasp that is detailed of;

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

Thus, focus on 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 approximately 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 make the Parts 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 in the chapter that is entire portion of text?

Organizational Pattern Work

A) Scramble a paragraph and inquire 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 which will make predicated on their sense of the author’s thinking.

B) Have students find several kinds of 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, of course, sentences is going to do two or more of the 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 reaching 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 were created 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 application of verbs), as basic building blocks in definition and explanation.

Peer critiquing and discussion of student writing may be handled in a number of different ways. The purpose of such activities would be to have students read one another’s writing and develop their very own faculties that are critical using them to simply help one another enhance their writing. Peer critiquing and discussion help students know how their very own writing compares with that of their peers and helps them find the characteristics that distinguish successful writing. It is vital to understand that an instructor criticizing a text for a course is certainly not peer critiquing; with this will not give the students practice in exercising their own critical skills. Here are a few models of other ways this is handled, and we encourage you to definitely modify these to fit your purposes that are own.

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. One hour per week is dedicated to group meetings for which some or most of the papers within 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 an integral part of the course, and students develop skills through repeated practice that they would be not able to develop if only asked to critique on 3 or 4 occasions. As the teacher is present with every group, they can lead the discussion to greatly help students improve these critical skills.

B) The Pairs Model–Students can be paired off to read and comment on one another’s writing so that each learning student will receive written comments from 1 other student along with the teacher. The teacher can, of course, look over the critical comments plus the paper to assist students develop both writing and skills that are critical. This technique requires no special copying and need take very little classroom time. The teacher might wish to allow some time when it comes to pairs to discuss each other’s work, or this may be done not in the class. The disadvantage of this method is the fact that the teacher cannot guide the discussions and students are limited by comments from only one of the peers.

C) Small Groups within Class–Many teachers break their classes into small groups (from 3 to 7 students) and enable 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 how exactly to improve not only their mechanical skills, but also their thinking skills. Students might have comments that are critical their-teachers as well as from their peers to work alongside. Some teachers prefer to have students revise a draft that is first only comments from their peers and then revise an extra time on the basis of the teacher’s comments.

E) Student Critiques–Students should be taught just how to critique one another’s work. Although some teachers may leave the nature associated with response up to the students, most make an effort to give their students some direction.

1) Standard Critique Form–This is a collection of questions or guidelines general enough to be applicable to 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 buy essays argument in English classes.

2) Assignment Critique Form–This is a collection of questions designed specifically for a particular writing task. Such an application has got the advantageous asset of making students attend to the aspects that are special to your given task. If students use them repeatedly, however, they might 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 section or paragraph, recording what she or he thought the section said and his or her responses or questions concerning it. At the conclusion, the student writes his / her «summary comments» describing his / her reaction to the piece all together, raising questions about the writing, as well as perhaps making recommendations for further writing.

Since writing in 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 may 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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