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|Class Plan -- Unit Two, Day 16|
Assignment for Day 17
Reading - Re-read PHG 20-26 (on Purpose and Audience). [ASSIGN BOTH THE POPULAR MAGAZINE ARTICLE ON YOUR CLASS TOPIC AND A MORE ACADEMIC PIECE (BOTH FOUND IN THE COURSE PACKET). EXPLAIN TO STUDENTS THAT THEY NEED ONLY TO BE FAMILIAR WITH THE SECOND (MORE ACADEMIC) ARTICLE BY HAVING READ IT, SO THAT THEY CAN BE READY TO WORK ON AN ANALYSIS OF IT IN A GROUP ACTIVITY NEXT TIME.]
Re-read [the magazine article] and answer the following questions:
Daily - Make a list of the 2-4 kinds of style errors that you have the most trouble with in your papers.
Discussion - Grammar/mechanics lesson on problems you noticed happening pretty much across the board in students' Response Essay. Review for about 20 minutes.
I usually discuss why correctness is important yet why we don't spend so much time on it in CO150. I include the fact that many audiences will not give their work a second chance if it has lots of surface errors, how student errors can interfere with communication, and some of the other attitudes audiences have toward correctness.
I also use this day to introduce students to the handbook section of the PHG and to explain (again) my method of dealing with style issues (mechanics, grammar, usage, etc.). [IF YOU ARE USING ERROR PATTERN ANALYSIS OR A "GRAMMAR LOG" APPROACH, YOU MIGHT WANT TO REMIND YOUR STUDENTS AT THIS POINT ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING WITH YOUR COMMENTS--RECORDING THEM? IDENTIFYING OTHER OCCURRENCES OF THE ERROR? USING THEM IN EDITING WORKSHOPS LIKE TODAY'S?]
I concentrate on 2-3 areas that many students had problems with in the Response Essay, using an OH which demonstrates errors which need to be corrected (see Appendix 17 for an example of this). It is also a good idea to refer to the appropriate pages in PHG as you review.
Editing Workshop - Have students exchange drafts with a partner. Look at the list the writer wrote for the Daily and concentrate on looking for those errors. They should mark possible errors in pencil. Tell students that they should save about 10 minutes at the end of the workshop time for discussion and corrections. [CORRECTIONS ARE DONE BY HAND IN THE TRADITIONAL CLASSROOM. STUDENTS ARE OFTEN UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THIS AND MUST BE REASSURED THAT THE INSTRUCTOR WILL LOOK AT THEIR CORRECTIONS AS IF THEY WERE DONE "FORMALLY" ON THE COMPUTER. ALSO, IF THERE ARE STUDENTS WHO DISCOVER THAT THEY HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH STYLE IN THIS ESSAY, I'LL LET THEM TAKE THE PAPER TO CORRECT AND TURN IN BY THE END OF THE DAY OR PERHAPS BY THE NEXT DAY.]
COLLECT INQUIRY ESSAY FOLDERS.
Explanation of Class Topic for the Rest of the Course - Tell students that in the next two units, they will not be reading essays which deal with language as their topic. [Be prepared for whoops, whistles, and other expressions of ecstasy and delight when you make this announcement.] Rather, they will be looking at the different strategies that writers employ in using language (Unit II - Text Analysis), then practicing using some of these strategies themselves by arguing a position on an issue related to the class topic (Unit III - Written Argument). Talk for a few minutes about your class topic, and tell them that they will be reading the first essay on this topic for class next time.
Discussion of Text Analysis - Enter Text Analysis by way of the idea of academic conversation. Remind students that they have been participating in such a conversation by writing their Inquiry Essays (an academic conversation about the issues involved in learning school language). [Academic conversations can thus be driven by a particular topic that is of interest to groups of scholars.] Introduce students to the idea that conversations like these are also conducted within "discourse communities"--groups of people who discuss certain topics in certain ways. [Example: Internet chat rooms or newsgroups.] Just like families or subcultures, different fields, businesses, etc. have language conventions. By examining texts in a field, we are able to understand some of the values, assumptions, purposes of that particular community. This becomes useful to us if and when we want to join into an academic conversation/discourse community by taking a position on an issue or topic of interest to that community (written argument). [You might want to ask students to speculate on WHY text analysis could be important to their own writing--particularly their argumentative writing. They might have very little idea of why this is so at this point, but our hope is that they will understand the importance of text analysis and its relevance to written argument by the end of Unit II.]
Give Text Analysis Report Assignment. - Distribute the Text Analysis Report Assignment sheet, and do a brief overview of the process they will use in the next two weeks. Explain that you will begin by doing a full text analysis in class in the next two days, but that they will then be expected to do this on their own. Spend some time going through the assignment sheet in detail, emphasizing important points (particularly goals, strategies, and grading criteria) and answering student questions. Distribute the text analysis handout ("Analyzing a Written Text," the instrument for text analysis) and do a brief explanation of its contents/purpose. Explain that it will be the instrument they use in doing all of the three text analyses they will do in the next two weeks.
Explain reading assignment and questions for next class, emphasizing in particular how the questions will prepare them to do the full text analysis in class next time. Inform them that the first analysis they do will be done in groups in the next two class periods, then they will be expected to do an analysis on their own.