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

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 in the CONTENT, such as for instance lectures and discussions of texts. Second are activities related solely to WRITING as separate through the content concerns for the course. Grammar drills or sentence exercises that are combining 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 the quality for the writing therefore the worth of the content. The following advice are designed to show how writing can be taught not merely as a skill that is mechanicalthrough sentence and paragraph modeling), nor merely since the display of information (by concentrating solely on content), but as a generative intellectual activity in its own right. They’ve been based on three premises:

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

that astute readers deal with the structure regarding the text and find 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, attention to a discipline’s language, methodology, formal conventions, and methods for creating context–as these are illustrated in texts, lectures, and student papers–is an effective method of teaching writing.

Summary and Analysis Exercises

A) Have students write professional paper writing 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 got the author done to help make the Parts add up to an argument?

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 portion of text?

Organizational Pattern Work

A) Scramble a paragraph and inquire students: 1) to place it together; 2) to touch upon the mental processes involved into the restoration, the decisions about continuity they had to create based on their feeling of the writer’s thinking.

B) Have students find several kinds of sentences in a text, and explain exactly, in the terms and spirit associated with the text, what these sentences are intended to do: juxtapose, equate, polarize, rank, distinguish, make exceptions, concede, contrast. Often, of course, sentences is going to do two or more 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 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 acceptable procedure for ruling cases in or out?

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

C) Examine cause and effect; condition and result; argumentative strategies, such as for example comparison-contrast, and agency (especially the use 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 different ways. The purpose of such activities is to have students read one another’s writing and develop their particular faculties that are critical with them to simply help one another boost their writing. Peer critiquing and discussion help students know the way their own writing compares with that of their peers and helps them find the characteristics that distinguish successful writing. You will need to keep in mind that a teacher criticizing a text for a class just isn’t peer critiquing; with this will likely not provide the students practice in exercising their own critical skills. Here are a few different types of other ways this is often handled, therefore we encourage you to modify these to fit your own purposes.

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

B) The Pairs Model–Students can be paired off to learn and comment on one another’s writing so that each learning student will get written comments from a single other student as well as the teacher. The teacher can, needless to say, look over the critical comments as well as the paper to aid students develop both writing and skills that are critical. This technique requires no special copying and need take very little classroom time. The teacher may decide to allow some right 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 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 invite 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 teachers that are revision–Many peer critiquing with required revisions to teach students just how to improve not merely their mechanical skills, but also their thinking skills. Students might have critical comments from their-teachers as well as from their peers to work alongside. Some teachers would like to have students revise a first draft with 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 the other person’s work. Although some teachers may leave the character associated with the 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 adequate 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 especially for a writing task that is particular. Such a questionnaire gets the benefit of making students focus on the aspects that are special to the given task. If students use them repeatedly, however, they might 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 publish a “descriptive outline.” The student reads the paper and stops to write after each paragraph or section, recording what he or she 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 do 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 an even more finished, formal product before assigning grades.