October 2007 Archives

Write a reflective essay that supports a single, coherent thesis about the work you did to revise Essay 2.

Your reflection can be informal, in that it can use "I" and you can speak directly to me, but it should still have a thesis and supporting points that are backed up by evidence. So, if you learned from a comment that I posted on your rough draft that your introduction wasn't working the way you had hoped, quote a passage from your introduction, and quote some of what I said about it, and then quote a passage from your revision.  This reflective review is exactly the kind of thing that should be in your ILP, and I don't mind at all if you re-use part of this reflective essay in your ILP.

Note that your ILP should cover more than just Essay 2, so you shouldn't plan to use too much of this essay in your ILP.  But you are welcome to use long passages or even whole paragraphs from this essay in your ILP. I won't consider it plagiarism.

This assignment is worth 20 points (the same as one of the weekly paragraphs.)
Assigned Text:

Raimes, 4k to 4m

Objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of a claim. Don't puff up the value of the side you agree with and ignore evidence in favor of the side you oppose.

Assigned Text:

Raimes, 4h to 4j

Due Today:

Essay 3: Thesis

Due Today:

ILP: Update 2

Assigned Text:

Raimes, 4a to 4g

Present a case for why something is true, good, or useful (or false, bad, or useless). You could try to persuade your reader to have (or skip) a second donut. Convince me to start wearing contacts, ditch my fanny-pack, or get a puppy. Avoid black/white hot-button issues, and avoid any topic where there is only one rational or permissible answer ("Was Hitler evil?" "Is the oppression of women a bad thing?") Choose a topic that a rational person might actually disagree with. ("Emphasis on Hitler's hatred of Jews inappropriately obscures the economic and political causes of World War II." "The full-time mommy track, which has been rejected as oppressive by many educated women who could choose to stay at home with their children, is a romanticized goal of many poor working women, who cannot."

Note that this is not a research class, so I am not asking you to look up facts and statistics; but if they are necessary to your argument, you will need to cite them accurately and properly. (I would prefer that you choose a subject that does not require outside research.)

Due Today:

Essay 2 Peer Review

Originally scheduled for Oct 11... delayed until after the break.

Due online (through Turnitin.com) by Wednesday at 11am, Oct 17.


No Class

Due Today:

P7: Classify

Teach your reader something by classifying something. As with the other expository writing assignments, I am not interested in a paragraph that classifies something I can already find on Wikipedia or in your textbooks. Instead, focus on something specific to your own personal experience. Maybe your friend has several different kinds of laughs... how can you tell them apart, and what do they mean? Do you have a specific pattern that you use when you sort your clothes?

Due Today:

Essay 2: Thesis

Rescheduled from Oct 2.

Propose a thesis for a 2-3 page expository essay.

Assigned Text:

Raimes, 5a

A chapter on timed in-class writing; useful for upcoming midterms in your other classes. See also Timed Essays: Top 5 Tips.

Due Today:

ILP: Update 1

Moved from Oct 2.

You made some promises in your original Individual Learning Plan.  If you have any questions about your update, feel free to post them here or to contact me by e-mail.

1) Do you need to make any changes to your ILP?

Part of your Update 1 will assess whether you are keeping those promises. If not, you may need to reorganize your plan, either to catch up or to make claims that are less idealistic. If you have noticed a particular area where you are struggling, or where you have made great progress, but that area was not part of your original ILP, feel free to add it to this version.

2) What efforts are you making? Supply evidence that supports your answer.

Are you using the resources you said you would use?  Whether you made major changes to your ILP or your are happy with how things are going, your update should supply evidence that supports your progress. Don't waste words by giving me the name and date of every online exercise you have completed, but DO supply round numbers, average scores, and specific references to exercises that you found particularly helpful. What specific thing did you learn after a visit to the writing center? What specific thing did you consult the textbook about?  Again, you don't have to cover every single thing that you learned from each resource that you mentioned, but do focus on something specific that shows you have been consulting key resources usefully.

3) What progress are you making? Support your claims by comparing early and recent writing samples.

Demonstrate your progress as a writer by comparing your first submissions with your more recent work. Any comparison is far more persuasive and effective if it focuses on a small number of specific claims, rather than trying to cover a large number of general, unsupported statements. Make a few brief claims about your writing, such as "I am less wordy" or "I'm using stronger verbs." Quote several brief passages from your early submissions, in order to illustrate the problem. Explain, being as specific as possible, how you learned to avoid this problem. (You could quote from the textbook, or from a comment I left on your paper). Then, supply a quote from a more recent paper that demonstrates your progress.

Use a specific example to explain (analyze, compare, classify, discover) a significant concept. (I might tell a story of how I learned humility when I got someone's last name wrong in an article for the school paper; or, I might say that the content of the subject line of an e-mail message tells me a lot about the sender's personality -- for instance, if the subject line is blank, the sender is impulsive or rushed. Which of these ideas would result in a better 200-word paragraph? I would have to keep brainstorming.)

We will look at an organizational scheme for ordering thought. This one is known as Bloom's Taxonomy.

We will also do some sentence revision exercises.

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