03 Sep 2009 [ Prev | Next ]

ILP Drafting Assignment

This assignment is advance work on your "Individual Learning Plan" (ILP). Bring an electronic copy of this document to class . You will share it with your peers, and I will circulate through the room and discuss them with you.

Below you will find questions that are designed to get you thinking about the issues that will be important to your ILP. Please note that your "Individual Learning Plan" is not simply answers to a series of questions. Your ILP, when fully developed, will be a brief personal essay, that emphasizes the goals and strategies that are most important to you, with evidence to provide justification for your choices, and promises (to yourself) about what you will do this term to reach those goals.

Context for the Assignment -- the ILP

We will work our way gradually towards composing a full ILP. We're not ready to write the full paper yet, but when you are ready to write it, the shape will look something like this:

  • A brief introduction, articulating your goals in this class (beyond "getting a good grade" or "doing it because I have to").
  • A brief explanation of your strengths as a writer (statements supported by evidence, in the form of examples, your MyCompLab pre-test scores, comments from me or other teachers, motivation in the form of career goals or work experience, and/or guidelines you find in the textbook).
  • A brief list of the major weaknesses you want to work on this term. This list must include some major grammar issues (as identifed by your MyCompLab pre-test), but may also include other issues such as time-management, or personal attitude towards writing. (Thus, you would say "I want to work on A, B, and C.")
  • A longer section that includes examples of your own writing (or anecdotes about the process of writing) that illustrate the weaknesses you want to improve, along with a plan that incorporates your understanding of all the resources available to you (including office visits with me, visits to the writing center, MyCompLab exercises, and your textbook). (Thus, you would have a section that includes examples of your struggle with topic A, and resources that will help you with topic A. Then you would move on to topic B, and give resources that will help you with topic B, and so on.)
  • A general section, in which you make promises that will help you to meet your goals. This section must include a statement about how many MyCompLab exercises you plan to complete each week. In the past, students have used this section to make promises such as "Attend every class" or "submit every assignment on time" or "spend at least 3 hours studying the night before each class" or "make appointment to talk with professor once a month" or "bring rough drafts of every assignment to the writing center."
Prewriting Assignment Prompts
The following questions are designed to get us started, but your actual plan should reflect your own interests and needs. Write two short essays -- Part A and Part B -- and submit it in the appropriate slot in Turnitin.com.

Part A: Reflect and Respond

  1. How important is writing to you, personally?
  2. Name something that is just slightly more important to you than writing.
  3. Name something that is just slightly less important to you than writing.
  4. How important do you feel writing will be to your education?
  5. How important do you feel writing will be after college (in your personal or professional life)?
  6. What was your reaction to receiving your MyCompLab pre-test results? (In what ways were you surprised, and in what ways were you not surprised?)
  7. What did your MyCompLab results tell you about your strengths and weaknesses in grammar?
  8. Note that a multiple-choice grammar test is not a writing test.  Writing is much more than simply knowing the answers to grammar questions. With that in mind, what have your first two weeks at SHU told you about your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?
  9. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the resources available in MyCompLab.  (Select "Resources" from the top menu, then choose the "Grammar" tab.)  Select three exercises in areas that your pre-test identified as opportunities for improvement, and complete them as part of this assignment. These are graded instantly by the computer.  Your grades on all the grammar exercises you complete this term) will be 10% of your final grade. You are free to re-take any grammar exercise in order to improve your grade, and you are free to consult your notes or your textbook while you work.
  10. Many of the exercises in the "Writing" section involve paragraphs that the computer expects you to submit to your instructor for a grade.  If you find these "Writing" exercises useful, you are welcome to include them as part of your ILP, but I don't plan on evaluating these assignments. (If you see a "0" for one of these assignments, don't panic -- it won't hurt your grade. If you would like feedback on the writing component of these exercises, feel free to make an appointment and I'll evaluate your work orally.)

Part B: Clear Point / Muddy Point

  1. In your own words, describe one "clear point" -- that is, something you learned in LA100 that you feel you understand well.
  2. Now, give me a "muddy point" -- something that's troubling you, or something you'd like us to spend more time on. (I realize we had a strange week this week, since Tuesday was mostly taken up by the test and we did not meet Thursday. So I'm hoping this part of the assignment will help us assess where we are and see where we need to go.)

Bonus: Supply Examples

You will need examples to illustrate the claims you make in your ILP.  If you'd like to get a head start on that requirement, here are some guidelines.

Choose three writing problems that you want to work on -- something you are still trying to fix. For example, perhaps you aren't sure when to use "its" and when to use "it's."

  1. Quote an example that illustrates your first writing problem you want to work on; quote from something you wrote recently, and identify the source. (You can just say "an e-mail I sent to a professor" -- you don't have to supply a full bibliographical citation.)
  2. Find the appropriate rule or guideline in your SF Writer textbook, and quote an explanation that shows why your example is wrong, and shows what you need to do to fix the progem.  Include the page number where you found that information.
  3. Quote a different example that illustrates a different writing problem...
  4. ...and cite the appropriate rule/guideline.
  5. Quote a different example that illustrates yet another writing problem...
  6. ...and cite the appropriate rule/guideline.


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