09 Sep 2008 [ Prev | Next ]

ILP1: Prewriting

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

At the moment, there is no Turnitin.com slot for this assignment. (I will create one after we've had a chance to discuss your progress in class on Tuesday.)

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 essay, that includes your goals, evidence to provide justification for your goals, and promises (to yourself) about what you will do this term to reach those goals.

I resist showing you a model ILP, because I don't want you to think that your job is to duplicate the model.  Instead, I want to work closely with you, so that you develop an ILP that is meaningful to you. 

Context for the Assignment -- the ILP

We will work our way gradually towards composing a full ILP.  We're not ready to write one 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.

ILP1: Prewriting Assignment
The following questions are designed to get us started, but your actual plan should reflect your own interests and needs.

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 before Tuesday's class. These are graded instantly by the computer.  Your grades on these exercises (clarification: all the grammar exercises you complete) will be 10% of your final grade, but you are free to re-take any grammar exercise in order to improve your grade, and you can consult your notes or your textbook while you work.
  10. Also look in the "Writing" section.  Many of the exercises in the "Writing" section involve paragraphs that you are supposed to submit to your professor.   Complete three "Writing" exercises before class.  (At the moment I honestly don't know when or whether I'll be able to respond to all of those exercises, but I will do my best to work on them in batches, once a week. Don't panic if you see a "0" recorded for one or many of these exercises -- it won't hurt your final grade. If you find these "Writing" exercises useful, feel free to keep doing them.  If you don't find them helpful, you don't need to complete any more unless I ask you to.)

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 requirmenet, here are some guidelines.

Choose three writing proglems 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 "Ex 1-1" or "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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