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Response Essay Assignment

Goals of the assignment: In addition to continuing our discussion of higher education, this assignment will pursue some of the same goals as the Personal Reflective Response: reading critically, summarizing a text as objectively as possible and focusing and supporting a response to a text. We will also add the following:

We will read four new pieces about our topic, then analyze, summarize and respond to them. Then you will choose one of the pieces to respond to, collect additional ideas to support that response, have a draft of your paper reviewed in a peer workshop, revise and edit the paper, and turn it in for a grade and comments. The expectations for the final paper include the following:

Purpose of the paper: To demonstrate the writerís (your) understanding and analysis of a piece of writing; to clearly communicate the authorís argument and your evaluation of and/or agreement/disagreement with that argument.

Audience: Your classmates and instructor as an academic audience. You can therefore assume that your readers have read the essay to which you are responding and will need only a brief summary of it. You can also assume that your readers will be interested in your response but expect you to have read thoroughly and critically, to support your assertions, and to demonstrate how you have come to your understanding of the text. Assume that personal experience alone will not be sufficient to convince your audience. Additionally, academic audiences expect you to use a reasonable tone, to write in Standard English, and to respect your readers and sources.


Format: Length guidelines: 3-4 pages. Workshop and final drafts must be typed. Type your essay in a readable, 10-12 point standard font (please, no script or italics). Use margins of one-inch all around and double-space. Print on an ink jet or laser printer. Submit your paper in a pocket folder and include with it all collecting, practice summaries and responses, drafts, workshop comments, and answers to postscript questions [#1-5, PHG, pp. 187-88.]

Articles: Use one of the following pieces for your paper:

Syllabus Outline, part 2

Thurs., Feb. 4

Introduction to Academic Response and Allan Bloomís "The Student and the University."

Assignment DUE. Personal Reflective Response paper.

Tues., Feb. 9

Analyzing Bloomís argument. Practicing agree/disagree response.

Assignment DUE: Reading. Bloom "The Student and the University." In PHG, "Response Shaping, " pp.182-83; "Arguing," pp. 410-20. Be able to define the following: claim, 4 types of claims, appeal, 3 types of appeals.

Writing. Summarize (1 page or less), Bloom.

Thurs., Feb. 11

Discuss Rose & Levitt. Practice analyzing the effectiveness of a text.

Assignment DUE: Reading. In PHG, review "Response Shaping." Rose "The Politics of Remediation" and Levitt "The Unprepared Undergraduate."

Writing. Summarize Rose and Levitt (1 page or less each).

Tues., Feb. 16

Supporting your response. Critique of sample essays.

Assignment DUE: Reading. In PHG, Tannen "How Male and Female Students Use Language Differently," pp. 278-83; Koester "A Response to Deborah Tannenís Essay," pp. 192--94. Sample response to Rose (handout).

Writing. Write list of strengths/weaknesses of sample response essays. Choose the article you will respond to and write a working or practice thesis for your response.

Do a double-entry re-reading log as you re-read your chosen article. (See PHG, pp. 176-78 for questions to answer in the log and pp. 188-89 for an example.)

Thurs., Feb. 18

Peer review workshop. Revision tips.

Assignment DUE: Complete draft of response (2-3 typed pages).

Tues., Feb. 23

Introduction to Position Paper.

Assignment DUE: Academic Response paper.