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Unit Two, Day 27 - Friday

Class Goal: Critical reading of student writing as a way of learning to be a better reader of studentsí own texts; further emphasis on audience and "so what" questions when constructing an essay

Connection to Course Goals: Writing as choice based on purpose and audience; writing as a series of revisions where writer must learn to read for their own weaknesses

  1. Analysis of Samples: Break students up into 5 groups and have them analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the three student samples in terms of how well they do one of the following: (10 min)
  1. Discuss: Take up each essay, one-by-one, and have each group share their evaluation based on the one aspect. As weaknesses come up, discuss how the writer might have revised for them. As strengths come up, ask group to clearly state in terms of the assignment why this aspect was strong. Close discussion, if you wish, by asking students to assign a grade to each of the three samples. You can then share your assessment of how you would have graded the samples. (FYI: The original teacher assessed the following grades: "Beverly Hills" - A; "X-files" - B; "Law and Order" - D+) (15 min.)
  2. Transition: One of the weaknesses of all three papers is that they donít explicitly provide a "so what" for their audience, although one is sometimes implied. One of the best ways to address your audience and clarify your purpose and why they should be interested in the topic is through the lead or introduction.

  3. Discussion of Leads: Ask students to look over the types of leads in PHG. Ask them to consider which, if any, of these strategies would work for this paper. Then, consider the essay map strategy. How effective is that in this instance? Finally, ask them to consider how audience makes affects their choice. Are there certain options that would work better for the audience of this paper? How do they know? (5 min.)
  4. Application: Make a list with students on board of all the things a lead should "ideally" do. Make sure they include the following: interest the audience, explain the "so what", and offer an overview of the essay. Then, have students evaluate the leads in the three student samples according to this criteria. (5 min.)
  5. Writing Exercise: In groups or individually, ask students to rewrite the intro for each of the three student samples. Share some with the large group and have the class evaluate according to the criteria on board. (10 min.)
  6. Transitions: Draw studentsí attention to this part of PHG. Remind them that transitions and hooks are the best coherence weapons they have in their arsenal. If time, have students search for a "good" use of transitions and hooks in the student samples, and a place where a transition/hook is needed. Ask students to write the needed transition. (5 min.)

Closure: Remind students to pay attention to leads and transitions when working on their drafts over the weekend. Remind them that a full draft is due on Monday for workshop and what the penalty for missing a workshop is.