Students are exposed today to the value of peer review. They take part in their
first, full college writer’s workshop. They learn how to be constructively
critical rather than blissfully uncritical or arrogantly hypercritical. They
begin to develop trust in classmates as readers as they also develop their own
abilities as constructive critics. They receive clarification on the
requirements for the portfolio and folder.
Connection to Course
Goals: CO150 strongly encourages peer cooperation and exchange of ideas.
The course also strongly encourages deep or global revision, rather than simple
editing or local revision.
Possible Sequence of Activities for Today
the current portfolio to the course goals.
5.Read a sample essay and discuss its strengths and
weakness, clarifying that samples are provided for discussion purposes, not as
Introduce this final class
of Portfolio 1, reviewing the main goals of the portfolio and its connection to
course goals. Remember to use the concepts of accountability, understanding the
conversation on a particular publicly debated issue (use of the SAT for college
admissions), the importance of understanding writing as a “situated” activity
engaged in by others and oneself and all for particular purposes and audiences.
Remind them that the particular vehicle for this portfolio’s demonstration of
all these writing skills is the summary/response done in the form of a Letter
to the Editor of the New York Times.
This letter will necessarily refer to the Times
article by Diana Jean Schemo (presumably the reason for publishing the letter
in this newspaper) while responding to either Atkinson’s proposal (the full
speech), or Sacks’, Williams’ or Bollinger’s reply toAtkinson’s proposal. The writer can either revise a drafted
response that has already been done or can develop an entirely new paper, using
one or more of the response types to develop a focused claim about the article.
Point out that the assorted letters-to-the-editor that they’ve read have been
excerpts and that their essays should be longer, approximately 1,000 words (or
four double-spaced pages) in length. Once they complete their full essays, they
should then pare them down to less than 200 words. They will submit both the
full letter and its abstract.
what makes an effective workshop (5 minutes):Refer to the Teaching
Guide on Planning Workshops and Peer Review on Writing@CSU (http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/peer/).
Use the guide to help you decide ahead of time how you’d like to
facilitate the in class workshop for the summary/response essay.
2.Review portfolio requirements for the
summary/response essay and address student concerns about the essay (5
minutes):Remind students that their essays must be turned in with
all draft work and workshop materials in a folder. Inform them of any other
requirements that you may have. Prepare a list of the necessary items that go
into the folder. Prepare the postscript questions
that you would like them to use to reflect on their processes during the first
four weeks of class.
grading criteria with the class (5 minutes) Be sure to prepare your own ideas on
this before class begins so that you don’t find yourself committing to grading
criteria you can’t ultimately justify/support!
4.Workshop activity (30 minutes): Engage
students in a full class workshop that will help students prepare their
summary/response essay for submission at the beginning of the next class. You
might try the Writer’s Triad approach to the workshop. (See the Activities Bank
5.Review a Sample Paper:
You may be hard-pressed to squeeze in this activity, but it does help students to see a sample paper, so
long as they understand that you’re not showing them a model but rather an
example that lends itself to discussion of both strengths and weaknesses. At a
later workshop, or this one if you have moved more quickly through activities
than you anticipated, you could try the Cut-‘n-Paste Activity with a sample
Conclusion—please write one!
Assignment for Next Time
Bring your first portfolio to
class. It should include your final drafts—clearly marked--of the
summary/response Letter-to-the-Editor and the abstract of less than 200 words,
as well as all drafts, homework assignments, and in-class activities you’ve
completed during this portfolio period. It should also include a copy of the
formal workshop responses you received in class today, and these should be
attached to the appropriate draft. Finally, the folder should include the
postscript.* Please organize all materials so that there can be no confusion
about your choices and with the goal in mind of reducing the amount of digging
your instructor has to do to find your process materials and final drafts.
Organizing from the most recent on top to the earliest draft on the bottom is a
you can have your students do the postscript at the next class meeting as a WTL
done immediately before they turn in their folders.