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Unit One, Day 4 - Thursday, August 31

What they'll do today in class:

Connection to course goals: Once again, practicing finding main ideas is a skill necessary to meet the writing context they've been given in essay 1. The activity on development moves to another skill necessary to meet this writing context - in order to meet it effectively (i.e. make a good choice as a writer) they'll have to develop their points with specific personal experiences. The mini-workshop emphasizes again the importance of ongoing revision in the writing process, and shows the value of peer feedback in the revision process.

INTRODUCTION: Using the goals and activities above, devise a brief introduction that explains what they'll be doing today in class and why.

  1. Discuss homework writings. Your goal in this discussion is to get students to begin thinking about how to support their reactions.
  2. Try to push students beyond "reasons" to actual evidence. Remember that reasons are telling why they reacted the way they did (I think Chapkis is wrong because because I haven't been treated differently based on my attire at work), evidence is specific support showing why they reacted that way (expanding on the aforementioned reason by specifically describing for the reader their attire at work and how they were treated). See the overall course goals for more on reasons vs. evidence. (10min)

    Transition to next activity: Now let's take a look at our last essay to practice finding main ideas one last time and examine how the author uses personal evidence to develop her points.

  3. Group activity on Wong essay. Divide the class into four groups. Each group should respond to the following questions…
  4. We're going after two things here: more practice finding the main ideas of an essay; and analyzing a sample of how to use and develop personal evidence (similar to what they'll have to do with the first essay).

  5. Discuss main ideas of Wong essay. Generate a list of the main ideas on the board based on the groups responses.


    Possible discussion questions:

    Transition to next activity: We've flushed out Wong's main points, now let's take a look at how she develops her own experiences with detail in order to support those points.

  6. Have each group give an example of an effective piece of personal evidence in the Wong essay. Ask the following questions to get students thinking about what makes personal experience effective as evidence.
  7. Transition to next activity: Now that we've analyzed Wong, let's see how you react to her main points.

  8. WTL: Take about 10 minutes to write an in-class reaction to Wong just as you did for the 2 essays for today's class. What is the main idea you'd react to? What is your reaction? Why do you react that way? (10-15 min)
  9. Transition to next activity: You've had a chance to write an initial reaction to 3 of the 4 essays we've read, the next step is choosing which one you'll develop into your first essay. To help you with that decision, we're going to now get feedback from your classmates.

  10. Mini-workshop on focus and development.
  11. Conclusion: Summarize, or perhaps ask a few students to summarize, the main concepts from today's class. What did they learn? How does it relate to their assignment? (NOTE: be sure to re-emphasize a focused reaction and evidence supporting that reaction)
  12. Assignment:


    Essay 1


    "Evaluating" pp. 320-322

    Review "Summary" pp. 154-155