Tuesday, October 3rd

Day 13 - Tuesday, October 3rd

Lesson Objectives

To encourage students to think critically about the context and credibility of their sources; to discussion proper MLA citation format; to prepare students to finish their P2A annotated bibliographies.

Connection to Course Goals

Just as we ask students to become conscious of the rhetorical choices they are making in their own writing, it's important that they also realize how significantly rhetorical context factors into the sources that they're finding for their P2A Annotated Bibliography. Discussing source evaluation and citation will help emphasize that writers must make choice about the validity and usefulness of source material while still being accountable when citing their sources.

Introduce Today's Class (3 minutes)

Make sure to take a few minutes at the beginning of each class to get students focused and preview the activities for the day.

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Publication Context Activity (35 min)

Begin this activity by looking at a couple of sample publications with the whole class. You can do this using online publications (you'll need one of the English Dept.'s laptop and projector sets - see Marnie to reserve one) or by bringing in copies of free publications like the Collegian and Fort Collins Weekly. Give the students a few minutes to look through the sample publications (or have them ask you to navigate through parts of an online publication), and then have them answer the following questions, either in a discussion or a WTL:

Next, tell students that they'll be analyzing the rhetorical context of additional publications in small groups. Divide the class into groups of four, and give each group a couple publications to analyze. Note: Jen has quite a few publications in her office available for use in activities like this. You are welcome to stop by and borrow some, but please make sure to bring them back. Another way to make sure that you have a wide range of publications available for this activity is to ask students, as part of their homework, to purchase a publication that they wouldn't ordinarily read, use it to find an article for their Annotated Bibliography, and then bring it to class.

Put the following questions on an overhead and ask the groups to answer them as completely as possible and to be prepared to present their findings to the class (you might have them make notes on an overhead or in a grid on the board):

Finally, have students present their findings and spend a few minutes discussing the similarities and differences between the publications, noting especially any instances where the context of the publication influences the types of writing found in it.

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Discuss Evaluating Sources (10 - 15 minutes)

Use pages 639 - 643 in the PHG to develop a class discussion about evaluating sources. Be sure to cover all the criteria. To make this discussion more interesting or engaging, you might also bring in a sample text (perhaps put it on an overhead) from a reliable and/or unreliable source and ask students to evaluate its effectiveness according to the criteria in the PHG.

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Discuss Using MLA Format for Annotated Bibliographies (15 minutes)

Use this time to also discuss how you would like students to format their P2A Annotated Bibliography. Make sure to discuss the basic guidelines for writing bibliographic citations (see pgs 658-665 in the PHG). If you prefer, you can use this time to show students how to use the Working Bibliography tool in the Writing Studio, which can be a simple way to format and turn in P2A.

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Conference Sign-Up (5-10 minutes)

Conferencing makes for a valuable opportunity to address students' individual writing concerns. Rather than meeting for class next Thursday (October 5th) students will meet with you individually to discuss their work on P2A. Each student should schedule a 10 - 15 minute conference (you may determine the length of each individual conference). Since conferencing can take 4 -5 hours, you may want to spread the meetings out over a few days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). While we understand that conferences are time consuming, we ask that you only cancel ONE class to conduct them (keep in mind that the time requirement for conferencing matches that of a class session when you consider that you do not have to prepare anything for class or grade extra work during these days).

Bring a sign up sheet to class with designated times outlined. Since students' schedules vary, you should provide at least 24 different meeting times for a class of 19 students. Also, since conferences can run a bit over, be sure to schedule in some catch up time for yourself (especially if you're meeting with several students in a row).

Before passing out the conference sign up sheet, explain:

Once you've reviewed key points for conferencing, pass around the conference sheet and ask students to sign up. Remind them to write down the time they signed up for so they don't forget to come.


  1. Finish collecting articles for your P2A Annotated Bibliography.
  2. Format your P2A Annotated Bibliography according to the specifications we went over in class. Make sure to proofread and edit your work carefully. Bring your P2A Annotated Bibliography with you to your conference.