What we'll do today in class:
- Workshop Essay 3 for organization - backwards outline
- Practice writing transitions
Connection to course goals: The different outlines emphasize that a writer can make choices in terms of how to organize Essay 3. The backwards outline workshop emphasizes writing as a recursive process, and helps them revise, with a specific focus on transitions.
- Lead them through the backwards outline workshop.
- Orally, guide them through the backwards outline workshop from the appendix. Only read one step at a time because you don't want the students to anticipate answers. We've put this in the appendix, though, because they can use it at other points in workshopping and you may want them to do this again.
- The three columns should be:
- What point this paragraph makes
- The connection between this point/paragraph and the overall thesis
- The connection between this point/paragraph and the next point/paragraph.
- When you get through column 2, move on to #7 and #8.
After they've completed the second column (how does this point/paragraph connect to the overall claim), pause to return to the reading from the PHG on "Transitions."
Discuss the PHG reading on Transitions
What should transitions do?
What can you use to write a transition?
- Be sure to cover "transition words" as well as "hooks."
- Emphasize that sometimes a reader might need a transition that explains the connection between the ideas of two paragraphs, while other times they might need a transition that explains the connection between the purposes of two paragraphs. Sometimes they might even need both!
Have students practice writing transitions for their essay.
Looking at what you've written in column two, what might a reader need as a transition for that paragraph?
Is there a clear connection made for the reader in the text?
If not, use what you've written in column 2 to write a transition you might add to the essay.
Lead them through column 3.
Once they've completed column 3, ask them to again consider whether the connection they have in the column is made explicitly in the text. Have them write possible transitions they could use to move easily between paragraphs and points.
Once they've completed a backwards outline on their own essay, have them exchange and start a backwards outline of a classmate's essay.
- Use the remainder of class-time to do this and then tell students to examine their own backwards outlines in relation to the one the classmate did and ask the following questions:
- Did we provide similar summaries in column 1? similar connections in columns 2 and 3?
- If not, why not? Was their something in the text that was unclear? Something that may have mislead a reader or been more open to interpretation than I intended?
- Where did the reader get confused or need a clearer connection between a point and the thesis?
- Where did the reader need a clearer connection between paragraphs?
Revise your draft for a second workshop on Friday.