What they'll do today in class:
- Hand in Essay 1
- An introduction to Essay 2
- Analyze the context and audience for Essay 2
- Look at "evaluating" as a way to respond to an academic context
- Introduce Academic Summary as part of responding to the context
- Establish criteria for what audience will look at in the essay
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.
- Introduce Essay 2
- Hand out assignment sheet.
- Let them read it over.
- Highlight due dates, logistics, etc. (5 min)
- 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.
- What was the context for our first essay?
- Explaining my reaction to the class as an audience
- Based on the assignment sheet, how is the context for this essay different? Who is the audience? What is your purpose?
- Audience is a sociology professor - more academic context -- different expectations
- Purpose is to evaluate an essay for use in their class (5-10 min)
- Given the change to a more formal and unknown academic audience, how do you anticipate this affecting your choices in writing Essay 2? What will you do differently? (NOTE: Here we're looking for things such as a more formal tone, different types of evidence, etc.) (10 min)
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.
Review the "Evaluating" reading from the PHG.
What are the main steps in the process of evaluating? List these steps on one half of the board, so you can refer back to the process during later activities. Be sure to save room for the expectations of academic summary (#5).
State overall claim
Describe the person, place, object, TEXT, etc. being evaluated
Clarify your criteria
State a judgement for each criterion
Support each judgement with evidence
Balance with both + and - judgements (5 min)
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.
Introduce academic summary as a response to this context - fits #2
why do we summarize?
Show we understand what we're responding to.
Set-up the reader for response
Credit where credit is due
why would we need to summarize in terms of this specific context? What does it do for your audience/purpose?
Shows prof you understand the essay
Shows you can be fair and objective
Sets-up your evaluation (5 min)
What are the main parts of an academic summary?
Generate list of summary points from the PHG. List these on the other half of the board (NOTE: you should have steps of evaluation up on the first half) so you can use them to analyze the summaries they will write in their groups):
cite author and title of text
indicate the main ideas of the text
use direct quotes of key words, phrases, or sentences
include author tags
avoid summarizing specific examples or data
report the main ideas as objectively as possible
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.
Transition: Now that we've seen how summary is a part of this rhetorical context, let's practice academic summary.
Practice academic summary with the Zoellner essay from PHG.
Divide the class into 4 or 5 groups.
Give each group an overhead, and an overhead pen.
In your groups, write an academic summary of the Zoellner essay. Feel free to use the list on the board as a basis for your summary. (10 min)
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:
- Focusing on ideas not events (especially since Zoellner is a narrative)
- Presenting the ideas accurately and objectively
- Have the author and title in the summary.
- Aren't using too many quotes or including minor details. (10 min)
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.
Establish criteria for essay 2 by analyzing the audience and considering their own in-class experiences.
- WTL: Take about 5 minutes to think on your own about the following issues: Based on your own experiences as students, what makes an essay effective? What types of essays work well? Which parts of an essay are important? What might a professor want to do with an essay in class? What are the different reasons/purposes for reading an essay? (5 min)
- Discuss their WTL's to generate a class list of possible criteria for evaluating the essays for the sociology professor. Make sure to have someone keep a list of the criteria students generate so you can type it up for the next class period. Some possible criteria:
- Strength of evidence
- Essay keeps (or doesn't keep) reader's attention
- Essay is good for starting discussion
- Essay has too much jargon for intro level class
- Essay makes reader think about their own views
- The essay uses solid (or faulty) logic
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)
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