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Unit One, Day 5 - Tuesday, September 5

What they'll do today in class:

Connection to course goals: The first few activities emphasize the importance of context when writing a text. By comparing the first two essays, students can see the different expectations of different contexts. Introducing more "academic skills" is necessary to meet the new, more academic context for the second essay. Establishing the criteria also emphasizes how the context in which they'll write sets forth expectations for the text they'll produce (they can't just come up with any criteria - the criteria are somewhat determined by the context).

INTRODUCTION: Devise a brief introduction that explains what they'll be doing today in class and why.

  1. Introduce Essay 2
  2. Analyze the context for essay 2 by comparing it with Essay 1. Put their responses on the board so they can see how the contexts differ.
  3. Transition: Since you'll be evaluating an essay in a more academic context, let's look at the PHG reading as one approach to this task.

  4. Review the "Evaluating" reading from the PHG.
  5. Transition: In many ways, this is what you're being asked to do to meet the context for Essay 2. Let's walk through the second and third steps to begin to develop the context in which you'll be writing.

  6. Introduce academic summary as a response to this context - fits #2
  7. What are the main parts of an academic summary?
  8. You may want to emphasize again the focus on the main ideas. A reader needs to know what the text is about, not what happens in the text. Keep this list on the board so they can use it for the next activity.

    (5-10 min)

    Transition: Now that we've seen how summary is a part of this rhetorical context, let's practice academic summary.

  9. Practice academic summary with the Zoellner essay from PHG.
  10. Present summaries. Have them put their summaries on the overhead, and ask the class if they meet the expectations for an academic summary that are listed on the board. Be sure they are:
  11. After they've presented their summaries, refer back to the list of steps in evaluating. They've just completed step 2 - describing the object they'll evaluate.

    Transition: We've seen how you'll have to summarize as the first step in meeting the context for the second essay, and we'll practice summary more in the next few class periods, but now let's turn to the 3rd step of evaluating - establishing criteria.

  12. Establish criteria for essay 2 by analyzing the audience and considering their own in-class experiences.
  13. Keep in mind, here, that many of these could produce either a "use the essay" or a "don't use the essay" thesis. For example, if the evidence is strong, it might be useful to help students understand important themes or ideas the professor wants to convey. However, if the evidence is strong but tends to dominate the essay, it might cause the reader to lost interest and thus be less effective. In short, be sure to emphasize that the criteria can probably be used in a variety of ways to meet the overall context of their Essay 2 assignment, they will just need to clearly establish their criteria. (10-15 min)

  14. 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?



    RC;Molloy, "Dress for Success" 227-232

    PHG;"Responding" pp. 156-157


    A one-paragraph academic summary of the Molloy essay