Review expectations for the course. Introduce the writing situation model.
Discuss WTLs from Day 1 and homework done for today. Introduce the writing
situation model as a key to effective writing in varied circumstances. Discuss
strategies for critical reading. Introduce Portfolio 1 and hand out assignment
sheet. Introduce summary types and conventions.
Connection to Course
Goals: The rhetorical model for writing will be used throughout the course
to demonstrate how writers use contexts to inform their writing. Exposure to
the writing situation model establishes initial familiarity with a concept that
will be returned to and developed throughout the course, and this model should
be connected to the course goal of students becoming increasingly able to write
for varied purposes, whether those are academic, cultural or civic contexts.
The homework discussion invites students to consider what influences them as
writers in general, but more specifically, it asks them to consider how the
context of this classroom helped determine what they wrote about and the
approach they used when writing.
A Possible Sequence of Activities for Today
expectations for course, especially addressing any stated expectations that
lies outside the goals of CO150
responses to homework - specifically how context shapes our choices
the writing situation model
strategies for critical reading
5.Introduce Portfolio I
1.Take roll (5 minutes): Find out who has added
or dropped since the first class. Remember that some students who may not have
attended the first class will likely show up today. If you have room (fewer
than 19 students), you can sign an add form for anyone on your waiting list,
and if someone has missed both classes you can dis-enroll them through the form
you were given with your roster after class.
A Possible Lesson Introduction: Today
we'll be returning to the idea of how context influences our choices and
actions. By understanding how writers are influenced by various contexts, you
will hopefully learn to make more confident and accurate choices with your own
writing (in both academic and non-academic situations). Also, we will discuss
the specifics of the Portfolio 1 assignment and will learn critical reading
strategies that will help you in CO150 and beyond.
expectations for course (5 minutes): Discuss student responses from the
WTLs completed on the first day of class. Address any student concerns that
didn't come up on the first day. Also, you can explain the dual focus for the
is our primary concern, so we'll spend a lot of time emphasizing things like
purpose, audience, and context. (We tend not to focus on skills, such as
grammar and mechanics, as much as we do on larger concepts and approaches to
writing; however, we will work individually with students who face some
challenges with grammar and mechanics and can address whole class concerns in
this area when there appears to be a pattern of
discourse is our secondary focus (since it is an ideal topic for exploring the
complexity of writing situations), so we'll also be looking at important social
and political issues.”
may wish at this point to also address any expectations they’ve articulated
that you believe will clearly NOT be covered by CO150. This helps to clarify
what the course will and will not do and it allows you to legitimize their
goals, even if these goals lie outside the bounds of this composition course.
Here’s a Possible Transition to
Next Activity, but please write your own! Last time we conducted
interviews with one another and discussed how context affects even our choices
about the questions we’re willing to ask our classmates. Today we'll connect
that activity with the writing situation model and then use it to examine the
situation you found yourselves in as you worked on your homework for today.
3. Introduce the
writing situation model (10 minutes):The goal for this discussion
is to illustrate how context shapes the interactions between writers and
readers. Writers make choices based on their physical, social and cultural
contexts as well as their purposes for writing. In the same sense, readers come
to a text by way of their own needs and interests. Thinking about interactions
between writers and readers helps to ensure that meaning is clearly
For this activity then, use the model from,
"Understanding Writing Situations: Writing as a Social Act" to show
students how readers and writers interact. This model is available on
can either draw a diagram on the board or use the overhead (you may want to do
this before class begins). Explain to students that you will first review the
model in general terms, and then they will discuss it with more detail in
relation to their homework.
Be sure to cover the following
points (in whatever order feels right for you):
·Writers have purposes for writing
·Usually these purposes emerge from the writer's
cultural or social context (something happens outside the writer that creates a
need to write - something to respond to)
·Writes make choices based on the context they
are writing for (writing a letter home to your parents asking for money is a
different than writing a letter to an organization to ask for contributions for
a good cause). Therefore, different contexts will pose different requirements,
limitations, and opportunities for a writer.
·In addition to context, writers also need to
think about readers.
·Readers have various needs and interests which
are likewise determined by their contexts (their background, environment and
·In order to communicate effectively, a writer
must anticipate what their readers' needs and interests are.
As a transition, review the key
points from the writing situation model. Students will have read the writing
guide as homework for today (Understanding Writing Situations: Writing as a
Social Act at http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/processes/writingsituations/).
Use this review of the writing situation model as a transition into the next
homework in relation to the writing situation model (15 minutes): For this
activity it helps to label the diagram with students' responses to reinforce
connections and to help keep the discussion on track. Note: possible responses
and prompts are listed in parenthesis following the questions.
Start at the middle of the diagram and ask students the following
·What was the text you produced? (homework -
reflection on self as writer)
·What was your purpose for writing this text? (to
complete an assignment, to impress the instructor or class, to learn more about
one's self as a writer, to get an "A" in CO150)
·Describe the context that created your purpose
for writing? (the college classroom, the first day of class, a small
"classroom community" where participation is likely)
·What requirements and limitations did the
context of a college classroom pose? (a deadline for writing, a computer to
type the message and to print it out, limitations on language, tone and style,
the possibility of having to share writing in class…).
·What opportunities did this context create? (an
invitation to call on your own personal reflections, experience and expertise)
·How did the various limitations, requirements
and opportunities shape what you wrote? (answers will vary)
·Who did you think of as your readers for this
text? (you, the instructor, other peers)
·Did you think of your readers’ needs and
interests? If so, what were they?
Sample Transition to Next
whether or not you realized it you were probably already thinking about
context, audience and purpose when completing your homework. This course aims
to help you think about these things more critically, both as a writer and as a
strategies for critical reading (5 minutes):This activity asks
students to think about how they can become close and critical readers.
·Ask students to identify what it means to be a
oWhat makes an effective critical reader?
oHow does one become a close reader of the text?
oWhat can you do to be more active and critical
when reading an essay?
·Preview or survey your reading. This means
looking over the reading before you begin it. With the NYT that would involve
reading the news summary on page 2 before you read articles. Previewing allows
you to estimate length/time requirements, activate what you know about the
topic, prepare yourself for the content by reading the introduction and
conclusion before your read all the way through.
·Apply close reading strategies (marginal
markings, notes outside of text)
·Pose questions that challenge the ideas in the
·Consider the context in which the essay was
·Consider your context (what you are bringing to
your reading and why you react the way you do)
·Consider how cultural context influences your
reading (turn the critical lens inward and examine your beliefs and influences)
6. Introduce Portfolio 1 (7-10 minutes):
·Pass out the Essay 1 assignment sheet.
·Let them read it over.
·To check for understanding of the general terms,
and the essay in particular, ask students to restate the purpose, context, and
audience as a class:
oWhat is the purpose of this essay assignment?
oWho is your audience for this essay?
oWhat will you have to do to meet the assignment
·Then, move on to discuss how these responses
will affect their choices when writing Essay 1. Since the students are part of
the general academic audience, include them by asking what type of response
they would like to read.
oGiven your audience, what will readers want to
oWhat type of reaction would you want to read?
should be able to generate such concerns as:
oa reaction that isn't a rant
oa reaction that doesn't go off on tangents or
try to cover too much (focus)
oa reaction that has an appropriate tone
oa reaction I can relate to
oa reaction that is well supported with evidence
A Possible Conclusion for Today’s Class: Today we began discussing the writing situation model. Next
time we will introduce the techniques involved in writing academic summary to
help prepare for writing Essay 1. We'll deepen our understanding of summary by
using the writing situation model to think critically about a writer's
Assignment for Next Time
Diana Jean Schemo’s article “Head of U of C …” regarding Dr. Richard C.
Atkinson’s speech proposing an end to use of the SAT at the University
of California. This article is
available via the course booklet of NYT articles. Practice the critical
reading strategies discussed in class today when looking at Schemo’s
article. Do you notice anything odd about the timing of Schemo’s report on
Atkinson’s speech? Hint: Pay particular attention to the verb tenses
Schemo uses in discussing Atkinson’s speech.