backReturn to Unit One: MWF

Unit One, Day 3 - Friday, August 25

What they'll do today in class:

Connection to Course Goals: Introducing the terms starts to get students thinking of writing as a contextual act, and the grocery and homework activity shows that we make choices within writing contexts. Analyzing the context for Essay 1 encourages students to begin asking questions about a writing context in order to determine the most effective ways to meet that context. Critical thinking and reading skills are important parts of all of the various academic contexts we'll be looking at over the semester and are a main goal of CO150.

Introduction: Today we'll be returning to the idea of how context influences our choices and actions. We'll look specifically at how writing occurs within a context that influences a writer's choices. We'll then discuss and analyze the context for our first writing assignment and practice the critical reading skills that will be important in meeting that context.

  1. Introduce importance of purpose/audience/focus. Read the material in PHG that they read for homework to see what you want to highlight here. Emphasize that no matter what you write, there is always a purpose, a focus, context, and an audience (which might be just you).
  2. Transition: Now let's take a look at a specific text, your homework assignments, and see how people conceived of purpose and audience.

  3. Purpose, Audience, Focus chart with their homework. Now that you've shown how purpose, audience and focus are important in a simple writing task like a grocery list, let's see how they conceived of these three in regard to their own homework. On the board, make columns for Purpose, Audience, and Focus. Ask students to say who they envisioned as their audience for their homework writing - was it themselves? Was it the class as a whole? Was it simply you as an instructor? Next, ask what purpose they had in mind for that audience - Was it to show the teacher their writing skills? Was it to explain their cultural identity to themselves? Was it to let others in on what they think influences their lives? Was it just to fill a page to complete the assignment?
  4. (10min)

    Transition: Now that we've talked a bit about how purpose, context, and audience in the writing process, let's examine the first essay assignment to identify these three concerns.

  5. Introduce Essay 1
  6. To check their understanding of the terms in general, and the essay in particular, ask them to restate the purpose, context, and audience as a class…

    (NOTE: Be sure to emphasize here, and later when you discuss essays, that their essays should respond to a MAIN IDEA from a text, not an author's actions or the events in a text.)

    Transition to Next Activity: Since the first essay asks for a reaction to a main idea, it will be especially important to read critically and accurately to first decipher the author's main ideas. Let's now take a look at how to read closely and critically in preparation for finding main ideas in our readings for Essay 1.

  7. Practice "critical thinking and reading".
  8. - Let's take a look at how one could be a "critical reader" of the Zoellner essay. Have an OH of the Zoellner essay prepared and then annotate as a class.

    Try to get them, here, to think about things like marking places where, as a reader, they reacted to something Zoellner said. Or perhaps places that seem key to his argument. (10-15 min)

  9. Conclusion: Today we looked at how cultural contexts influence us as readers and writers, as well as how a writing contexts influences the texts we produce. On Tuesday we'll turn toward responding specifically to the context of Essay 1.


Read in RC:

Chapkis, "Dress as Success" pp. 211-214

Read in PHG:

"Techniques for Reading" 149-157