Week 5: Monday, September 22nd - Friday, September 26th

Week 14: Activity Ideas

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The suggested activities for this week include:

Publication Analysis

Context Comparison


As always, remember to introduce and conclude your lessons with previews and reviews. Use transitions to maintain a connection between daily classroom activities, assignments, and portfolio and course goals.


Publication Analysis

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The Publication Analysis combines the analytical skills from Portfolio 2 with the course's overall goal of revision and ability to write for multiple contexts/writing situations. 

To introduce this activity, you might acquire a publication of your own and analyze it as a class.  Or you might bring in 4-5 publications and split the class into groups to practice analyzing publications.  Whatever you choose, be sure to outline how long you feel the activity will take, what materials you will need, and what you will need to do to prepare students to successfully complete it.  You may also decide how you want students to turn in their Publication Analyses--do you want it written out in paragraph form or is question-and-answer satisfactory?

Publication Analysis

1. What is the purpose of the publication you chose?

2. What is the publication's mission statement?

3. What type(s) of authors are regularly featured in the publication?

4. Who are the primary, intended readers?

5. What values, beliefs, needs, concerns, and expectations do the readers of your publication hold?  Describe these fully.

6. What topics/issues does the publication usually cover?

7. What is the typical length of an article in the publication? 

8. What kinds of graphics are used throughout the publication?

9. What patterns do you note in the layout of main articles in the publication?  (i.e. Do all the articles or columns begin the same way?  Do they each contain a certain number of graphics?)

10. What is the tone, style or level language (formal, use of jargon, etc.) used by writers in the publication?

11. What requirements of guidelines do you need to be aware of in terms of citing sources or other stylistic features?

12. Note anything else significant about your publication here.


Context Comparison

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The Context Comparison provides students with the opportunity to foreground the choices they will make in the revision of their arguments for an academic audience.  You can make the Context Comparison "bigger" or "smaller" according to what you feel your students need more time or work on. 

Context Comparison

Part 1

Divide a sheet of paper in half.  Label the left column "Academic Context" and label the right column "Public Context."  Fill in the appropriate answer to each of the following for both contexts:

Who is the audience? (Be specific here:  what is the average age of the audience members? What is their economic status, social class, gender, education, etc.?)

What is your purpose for writing?

What is your claim?

What are the limitations of the context?

List the reasons you can successfully develop within your limitations.

List the evidence you can successfully use to support your reasons.

What tone and style are you using for the argument?

Part 2

Think carefully about the audience of your publication/public context argument and answer the following:

What do the readers of your publication already know about your issue?  What will they want or need to know additionally? 

Describe the general attitude or viewpoint of the audience toward your issue.

What social and cultural factors might shape the way your audience feels about the issue?


Part 3

In this section, you should go beyond the answers to Part 1 and 2, and, in sentence form, explain the revision choices you will make when you change your argument from meeting the expectations of an academic context to meeting the expectations of your public context.

What are the most significant differences between the audiences for which you are writing?

How are the audience's views or attitude toward the issue similar or different to your own position as reflected in your clam?

To what extent has your purpose for writing changed between contexts?

How will you revise your claim for each context according to the differing purposes?

To what extent will you revise your reasons?  Your evidence?

How will your tone or style change?

What social and cultural factors might account for the similarities and differences between the two contexts for which you are writing? 

What are the two most important things you will need to keep in mind about the expectations and requirements of your new context?


Review the day’s activities (3 minutes)

When you or a student does this, take special care to make clear their connection to both Portfolio 2 and larger course goals. Take care to provide some sort of conclusion to each class.