Week 14: Monday, December 1st - Friday, December 5th
Goals for this Week
students assess the effectiveness of their drafts. Although there are a
number of strategies for meeting this goal, consider the “backwards
outline” activities found in Resources, below.
students with peer responses to their drafts.
students develop a plan to revise their drafts for submission. To
accomplish this goal, ask students to take notes on what they'll need to
revise based on the feedback they received from their peers. This will
encourage them to think critically about their peers’ responses to their
students with updated information about when to be ready to submit
Portfolio 3, specifically at the end of this week. Be sure to remind
students that they need to include a cover page with their final essay
(describing the writing situation for their essay). Tell them that you
will evaluate their argument with their declared writing situation in
students to include their NYT clippings with their first submission of the
a submission form for students who are interested in publishing in Talking
Back. Explain that the selection process is competitive.
Connection to Course Goals
The ability to analyze rhetorical situations and to plan
essays that meet the needs of contexts is central to effective communication.
Revising or the re-seeing our writing is as much a crucial attitude as it is a
skill set, and we hope that students will embrace the notion of revision as
they move on from CO150.
Required Reading and
proofread your first arguing essay draft. Be prepared to hand it in with all
process work and portfolio contents on the assigned due date at the end of this
Backwards Outline Activity: The backwards outline
activity encourages students to look closely at the organization, focus, and
coherence of their essay by considering how each paragraph functions in
relation to the overall claim. Students can complete a backwards outline on
their own draft or on their peers’ drafts. Since the directions for this
activity can seem complicated, you might try to lead students through each step
verbally (announcing each task and waiting five-to-ten minutes for students to
complete the step). However, students should be somewhat familiar with the idea
since they have applied it to a sample essay before the break. The outline
below for conducting the Backwards Outline Workshop is a guide. Revise it as
you see fit.
Backwards Outline Workshop
Read through your draft once without making any marks. Then
re-read it while completing the following steps:
a separate sheet of paper, write down the main claim of the essay. Quote
directly from the essay and/or put it in your own words.
divide the sheet into three columns.
the left hand column, number and summarize what each paragraph says. If there
is more than one idea in the paragraph, list the ideas as separate points.
the list in the left-hand column and see if similar things show up in different
parts of the draft. (e.g. Are both #2 and #8 examples that prove the same
point? Do #4 and #7 bring up the same example?) If so, suggest some possible
reorganizations on the reverse side of your outline (and/or on another sheet of
the middle-column, write a sentence that summarizes the connection you see
between what each paragraph does and the overall claim at the top of the page.
If you can’t see a connection, put a question mark in the column.
back to see if each connection is made obvious in the draft itself. Under each
connection you’ve written, make a note of “obvious” or “not obvious”.
the third column, write down connection you see between each paragraph (e.g.
between paragraph one and paragraph two, between paragraph two and paragraph
three, and so on). If you can’t see a connection, put a question mark in the
those paragraphs where you could see a connection, go back and examine the
draft to see if the author has provided a transition for the reader explaining
this connection. Mark each connection you listed with a note of “transition” or
on your analysis of the organization and coherence of this essay, make
suggestions about how to re-organize and where stronger connections are needed.
In your suggestions, be sure to consider whether any lack of clarity in
organization, coherence, or evidence may result from the claim itself (i.e. ask
whether the organization is hard to follow because the claim is trying to prove
re-examine the draft one more time for evidence and provide suggestions about
where more examples or proof are needed to support the argument.