Reviewing claims will help students understand that their response needs to make an overall point. This will also help students focus their ideas and organize their response. The peer review activity will help students reflect on their own writing by looking critically at other students’ responses. It will also get students thinking toward the upcoming workshop.
Introduction: Write an introduction for today’s lesson. For assistance, look at the section on writing introductions and conclusions from the guide on Planning a Class located in the Teaching Guides on Writing@CSU (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/planning/). You can also find a copy of the Guide in your appendix.
1. Review using claims to shape responses (15 minutes): The goal for this activity is to help students make an overall point with their writing by considering how claims can “map out” a response. (In the past, students have written analytic responses that read like “generalized lists” - i.e. the author’s tone is good… the organization is effective… the evidence could use some work…). Here, we are trying to help students move beyond generalized responses to think more about their purpose/focus and organization.
Use the claims below (or ones that you generate) to model how a claim can help a writer connect main their points and create a “map” by which to organize their writing. Put these claims on an overhead and ask students to outline what the paper might look like based on what the claim says.
Singer’s essay is pretty good, but I didn’t like the examples he used and I doubt whether he himself even gives money to the organizations he discusses. Overall, I found his attitude to be a problem too.
Why this is ineffective:
Bailey appeals to readers of the National Review by using language that they can relate to, but his argument lacks the support it needs to convince all readers that global warming is not a concern.
Peter Singer makes an argument about an important issue, but his offensive use of language throughout and his unsubstantial use of evidence made me shy away from the prospect of donating money to overseas charities.
Why these are effective:
** Ask students how each response might look based on these claims. How would the reader develop these points? What examples from the text could he/she use to develop each point? You might draw up an outline for each.
2. Review Use of Author Tags, Quotations, and Paraphrases (10 minutes): Create your own activity here.
3. Peer review activity for responses to Bailey (20 minutes): Have students pair up and exchange their analytic responses to Bailey’s argument (completed for homework). Allow them 15 - 20 minutes to provide feedback for each other’s response. Then, allow them 5 - 10 minutes to discuss these in pairs. You may use the questions below or develop your own.
Questions for peer review activity:
· Underline the writer’s claim. Is the claim narrow and specific enough? Does it communicate an overall point or main idea? Does the claim accurately represent the points raised in the response? Write down one or two suggestions for how the writer could strengthen their claim.
· What criteria for evaluation does the writer examine in their response? Are these criteria fitting given Bailey’s argument and his audience? Does the writer avoid “listing” criteria by limiting their response to one or two well developed observations?
· Does the writer provide clear reasons and evidence to develop and support claim? Mark places where the writer has provided sufficient support. Then, mark places where the writer could develop their reasons and evidence further. Can you give any suggestions for how the writer could develop these points?
· How might the writer improve the overall focus and organization of their response? Are there places where the writing strays from the claim? Could certain points be eliminated or moved to improve the organization?
· Comment on the writer’s use of author tags, quotations, and paraphrases. Suggest strategies, if appropriate, for improvements.
· Comment on two things that the response is doing well.
4. If Time Permits: Have students decide which essay they’ll revise for portfolio one and give them time to look over their original essays and jot down plans for revision. Let students know that revisions should be substantial. They can use their homework as draft work and take pieces of that writing, but they need to do more than “tweak” or “add on a few lines” to succeed with portfolio one.
Begin drafting your final essay for portfolio one. Come to class with any questions or concerns that arise when you’re writing.
** Note to instructors: You should read the Teaching Guide on Planning Workshops and Peer Review on Writing@CSU (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/peer/). The guide is also available in print format in the appendix. Use the guide to help you decide ahead of time how you’d like to facilitate the in class workshop for essay one.