Writing@CSU: Composition Teaching Resources

Week 15: Monday, December 8th - Friday, December 12th

Return the Portfolio 3 folder not later than the last class day, and explain at the beginning of this week that the final requirement for the course will be turned in during the assigned final exam period but worked on in class during this last week. Clarify that students will be expected to bring their folder and complete a substantial postscript for the portfolio and the course at the time of the final exam.

The second arguing essay will be worth 15% of their overall course grade, completing the 35% associated with Portfolio 3. To complete the second argument they MUST deeply (globally) revise their first arguing essay. Week 15 should be devoted to in-class drafting. Treat the last week as a writing lab. Expect students to attend.

Their final essay for the course, turned in at the time of the final exam, involves a revision of the first Portfolio 3 argument to make it suitable for a new context—the Editorial page of the New York Times. First, remind them of what the Editorial columns do. Just as the Op-Ed page doesn’t mean “the opposite page” but rather constitutes an argumentative piece in opposition to a published editorial so too “editorial” is not the province of the editor of the newspaper. Rather, people who are “in the know” are invited to write editorials. Pretend that you have been so invited to write on this issue because you’ve become quite knowledgeable about it. Your assignment from the New York Times is to write an editorial that meets the interests and needs of that audience, while also meeting the Times Editorial length and style conventions. Remind students to submit their whole Portfolio 3 folder at the final exam.

Class time this week should focus on the development of revision plans, on seeing texts as flexible documents, and on using their skills at analyzing the audience and conventions of the Editorial page. They should make their final product as much like a New York Times Editorial piece as possible.

Find some time each day this week to discuss some news item from the Times and develop an activity that encourages students to continue to read a national newspaper, as opposed to relying solely on TV news.Be sure to allow 25-30 minutes for a review of course goals and completion of studentevaluations of the course.