Goals for this Week
the role of an overall claim in a response. Explain how an effective
overall claim provides focus and clarity for an essay that addresses
a specific audience. Explain that an effective claim can help
students “map out” a response that is then a matter of development.
Explain the notion of the essay map. Your discussion should
help students move beyond generalized responses and begin thinking
about how an overall claim reflects their purposes and audience
needs, focuses their response, and helps shape an organizational
structure for their essay.
portfolio requirements for the summary/response and address
student concerns about meeting those requirements. Reinforce
student understanding of what is involved in writing an effective
sample summary/response essays.
peer review techniques and conduct a full workshop on their
drafts of the summary/response essay they choose to use for
the portfolio evaluation.
evaluation criteria (rubric) for the summary/response essay,
making sure that they understand that focus (of purpose, audience,
and message) is the number one evaluation criterion. Clarify
that development of the argument is the next concern for you
and for them, and that reasons must be accompanied by evidence.
Also clarify that better papers will then go the next step to
provide a level of discussion and explanation for the connection
between evidence, reasons, and overall claim. Make sure that
they understand that mechanics (grammar) are a lower level concern
but that carefully written, well-edited and proofread manuscripts
send a strong message that the writer has taken special care
to present a polished product. If you develop a consistent evaluation
approach that follows these guidelines, then your expectations
will be predictable for your students—and by the end of the
course they will have gone some distance toward accomplishing
a deepening of the substance of their writing, rather than just
focusing on superficial mechanics.
may want to use the “Evaluating Student Writing” idea from the
Activities Bank that accompanies this syllabus. This classroom
activity helps students become better evaluators of their own
work and familiarizes students with “rhetorical terminology” that
composition instructors commonly use, especially when evaluating
(grading) student work.
the requirements of the letter to the editor component of Portfolio
Activities for this
lesson plans are available for the first four weeks of the course.
Beginning in the third week you will be encouraged to take over
the writing (or rewriting) of all introductions, conclusions, and
transitions. You will also notice more activity choices in the third,
fourth and fifth weeks. Beginning in the sixth week, you will
be expected to choose activities from a set of suggested activities
and/or develop your own activities that will help you and your students
achieve the course goals for a specific week.