backReturn to Unit 1: MWF

Unit 1, Day 8:  Wednesday, September 5


What you’ll do in class today:


-         Collect Essay 1

-         Introduce Essay 2

-         Analyze the context and audience for Essay 2

-         Look at evaluating as a way to respond in an academic context

-         Introduce academic summary as part of responding to the context for Essay 2


Connection to course goals:  The first few activities emphasize the importance of context when writing a text.  By comparing Essay 1 and Essay 2, students can see the different expectations created by different contexts.  Introducing more “academic skills,” such as evaluation and summary, is necessary to meet the more academic context for the second essay.


1.      Collect Essay 1


2.      Introduce Essay 2 (5 minutes):


-         Hand out the assignment sheet.

-         Let students read it over and make annotations or jot down any questions they have.

-         Highlight due dates, logistics, etc.


3.      Analyze the context for Essay 2 by comparing it with Essay 1 to highlight the changes and implications for their writing (5 minutes):  Get students to discuss the following questions and put their responses on the board so they can see how the contexts differ.


·        What was the context for our first essay?

-         Explaining personal reaction to a main idea from one of the readings 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 freshman seminar professor:  more academic context, different expectations

-         Purpose is to evaluate a text to the professor for use in the seminar

·        What are some of the expectations a professor might have in using a text?

·        Given the change to a more formal and unknown academic audience, how do you anticipate this audience affecting your choices in writing Essay 2?  What will you do differently?

-         change in purpose

-         more formal tone

-         different types of evidence        

·        Thinking about the response you wrote for Essay 1, what would you have to change if you were writing about that same text for Essay 2?


Transition: “Since you'll be evaluating a text in a more academic context, let's look at the PHG reading as one approach to this task.”


4.      Review the "Evaluating" reading from PHG (5 minutes): 


-         Ask students to generate the main steps in the process of evaluating.

-         List these steps on one half of the board, so you can refer to the process during later activities. Be sure to save room for the expectations of academic summary (see activity #6 below).  The list should include the following aspects:

·        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 positive and negative judgements 


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 step to begin to develop the context in which you'll be writing.”


5.      Introduce academic summary as a response to this context (second step above) (5-7 minutes):


·        Why do we summarize?

-         show we understand what we're responding to

-         set up the reader for response

-         help make sure we’re accurately representing the text

-         give credit where credit is due

·        Why would we need to summarize in terms of this specific context for Essay 2?  What does it do for your audience/purpose?

-         shows professor you understand the text

-         shows you can be fair and objective

-         sets up your evaluation


6.      Discuss the main parts of an academic summary (5 minutes):  In this discussion, you may want to emphasize again the focus on the main ideas.  Remind students that within a more academic context a reader needs to know what the text is about, not what happens in the text.  Keep this list on the board so students can use it for the next activity.


-         Generate a list of summary points from the PHG with the students.  List these on the other half of the board.

·        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


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


7.  Practice academic summary with the Zoellner essay from PHG (10 minutes):


-         Divide the class into 4 or 5 groups.

-         Give each group an overhead and an overhead pen and assign the following task.

·        As a group, write an academic summary of the Zoellner essay.  Feel free to use the list on the board as a basis for your summary.


8.      Present summaries to the class (10 minutes):  Have groups 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.  You might not get to all 4 groups, but make sure each group offers either their summaries or responses to other groups’ summaries. Be sure the summaries achieve each of these:


·        focus on ideas not events (especially since Zoellner is a narrative)

·        represent the main ideas accurately and objectively

·        include the author and title

·        avoid using too many quotes or including minor details



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?


Assignment for Day 9:


-         Read “Responding” in PHG (156-57). 

-         Write an academic summary of Wong’s essay.