Week Two - Monday, August 29th

Monday, August 29:  Daily Class Outline

Lesson Objectives

To reflect on writing summaries and gain feedback for revision; and to introduce and practice writing an academic response.

Connection to Course Goals

Reflecting on summaries and gaining feedback through peer review encourages students to revise their writing (a central goal of CO150). Introducing response is important for the thematic aims of this course because it allows students to invest their own ideas on issues of public importance.

Attendance and Logistics (3 - 5 minutes)

Take roll. This may be the last day that new students may show up in class. If there are new students, you might ask them to stay after class for a minute so that you can give them class materials and have them fill out an index card with their name/email address.

Ask students if they've successfully logged onto the Writing Studio. If a few students were not able to logon, meet with them at the end of class (leave about 3 - 5 minute of time). Usually students who can't log on are experiencing difficulty because they are either entering the incorrect information, or you have mistyped their information in the system. One way to address this is to print off a copy of your class roster (from the Writing Studio). This should have students' emails listed and you can show them how you've entered their email and ask them if it's correct. If you can't resolve the issue in class, plan to meet them in the Eddy computer lab when your schedules allow.

Provide an introduction to class. This can be a simple summary or reference to the day's agenda listed on the board. "Today we will…"

Complete and Discuss Write to Learn (10 minutes)

Ask students to briefly reflect on writing their summaries of either the NBC article or the Katz article. What came easily? What part of their summary do they think was most successful? What was more challenging? What questions or concerns do they still have about writing academic summaries?

Put these questions (or questions like these) on an overhead. (Note: Always write directions for a Write to Learn or Peer Workshop activity on an overhead or on the board so that students may refer to the instructions while they work.)

While students are writing is an excellent time to practice learning their names. Tell the students you will be calling the roll and ask them to just raise their hands when you call. Take descriptive notes and mentally practice their names while they write.

Then, discuss their responses. Call on students or invite them to participate. Calling on students after they've had ample time to think/write about something alleviates putting them on the spot. It's also a good way for you to continue learning their names.

Sample Transition: Now that you've voiced your concerns, let's take an opportunity to get some feedback from your peers.

Conduct a Peer Review Activity (10 minutes)

First, remind students of the guidelines for summary (refer them to the appropriate pages in the PHG or put these guidelines on an overhead). Then, tell them what peer review is: an opportunity to get some feedback from other readers/writers. Explain to them that ANY reader can provide useful feedback (not just the teacher alone) so they should value the comments they make and receive.

For this peer review activity, you might ask students to provide some general feedback (i.e. comment on 1 -2 things that are already working well in this person's summary and make 1 - 2 suggestions for improvement). Or, you might ask them to look closely at the writing and provide specific feedback (i.e. Does the paper introduce the article and include the author, date and place of publication? Where does the paper state the article's main idea or purpose? How objective is the summary? Mark places where the writer's use of language is too opinionated or subjective. Etc…). Either way, you should write these instructions on an overhead or at the board before asking them to exchange papers with a peer.

Collect summaries or explain that you will collect them as process work with their first portfolio.

Transition: Develop a transition here to move into the next activity.

Discuss Effective Use of Paraphrasing and Quotes (10 minutes)

Design an activity where you model effective and ineffective use of paraphrasing and quoting. You might prepare examples beforehand OR have students help generate ideas using Denizet-Lewis' article. Cover the following points (Use page 194 in the PHG as a guide):

  1. Explain that it is necessary to use author tags frequently when quoting and when paraphrasing. Also, explain that when using author tags, students should try to avoid sounding repetitious by alternating verbs (Katz states, suggests, explains, reveals, implies, laments, demonstrates, etc…). You might generate a list of these verbs on the board.

  2. Discuss where and how often students should use paraphrasing and quoting in their summaries. (For example: It is ineffective to string together several quotes, as this infringes on the writer's voice and can become what is known as a "quotation quilt" [see PHG for more explanation of this notion]. Summaries should mostly consist of the writer's own voice (via paraphrasing) BUT the writer must demonstrate that their interpretation is accurate by pulling in a few key quotes to support their writing.

  3. Explain that quotes need to logically fit into the sentence structure. Ask students to discuss why the following examples are effective or ineffective (feel free to revise and add your own examples from Katz or the NBC article):

  4. Explain how to adapt quotes to fit the needs of the writer. For example, a writer may use an ellipsis to show where they've excluded part of a quote. Or they may include a bracket [such as this] to indicate where they've inserted their own words into a quote. These strategies will help students integrate quotes more naturally into their summaries and responses.

Transition: Develop a transition here to move into the next activity.

Introduce Response (10 minutes)

The goal of this discussion is to briefly introduce students to all three ways they can respond to a text: agreeing/disagreeing with the text's ideas, interpreting/reflecting on the text's implications or assumptions, analyzing/evaluating what makes the text effective or ineffective. Review the points on page 163 in the PHG, highlighting important concepts and phrases, and check out the teaching guide on Types of Summary and Response http://writing.colostate.edu/references/teaching/summaryresponse/. You may want to make an overhead like the following:

The three ways we can respond are by:

The goal of an Agree/Disagree Response is to emphasize one important idea from a writer's text and support or refute that idea using reasons and evidence. Here, you want to convince a reader that your position is a favorable one.

The goal of an Interpretive/Reflective Response is to look critically at an argument in order to explain what it fully means. Looking critically at a text requires you to inquire beyond what the text actually says. One way to do this is to locate the assumptions that inform a writer's argument and find out what the writer's argument implies. Along the way, you may find yourself agreeing with or refuting the writer's ideas and the assumptions and implications that are tied to these ideas.

The goal of an Analytical/Evaluative Response is to determine a text's effectiveness by examining its parts. You might look at the purpose, the intended audience, the thesis, the main ideas, the organization and evidence, and the language and style. Here, your aim is to point out an essay's strong points and/or where it falls short. Analyzing the text's effectiveness allows you to make more informed decisions about the usefulness and credibility of a writer's argument.

Once you discuss these broadly, focus more narrowly on the agree/disagree response since they will do that for homework. Our goal here is not to show students that these types of responses exist simply as responses devoid of writing situations. You should ask students when/why they would choose to write a given response and/or provide examples of this.

You can point out that they will practice all three ways of responding through upcoming essays. For now, it's only important that they understand the differences between each type. Also, let them know that a combination of responses is possible for some of the papers they will write. If they choose a combination, they simply need to be sure that their response makes an overall, focused point.

For the agree/disagree response, discuss what students feel the focus of the response will be (with what and to what extent they agree or disagree). And explain that this type of response is usually best supported with personal experience and/or outside textual sources.

Transition: Develop a transition here. You might explain that students will shortly practice writing an agree/disagree response to the argument Denizet-Lewis makes; but first you'd like to discuss the article more openly.

Conclude Class and Assign Homework (3 minutes)

Write a conclusion for today's class. You might say: Today we reviewed how to respond to a writer's ideas and for homework you'll continue to practice writing an agree/disagree response.

Most students should begin accessing homework assignments from the Writing Studio. But, put the assignment on an overhead at the end of class for those who are still having trouble accessing it.


  1. Finish reading/rereading "Ban of Brothers. Bring article with your marginal notes and comments to class.