WEEK 16 | LAST WEEK OF CLASS!
MONDAY, April 29 — WP6 Submission Day!
Whew! You have finally turned in Writing Project 6, and it is work on my desk for the next few days. I’ll be embedding some very specific revision requests, as needed, for the final portfolios. These will likely be focused on polishing and refining your words and making sure your citations and source use are meticulous.
WEDNESDAY, May 1 — Course Evaluation Day
Today, I’ll provide you with a reminder sheet and peer review materials for your self-assessment letter, which you can use in class or ask someone to complete for you outside of class. You will also complete the course evaluations, which are used to assess the content and focus of your classes. The university and the ENGW department likes to know what you think about the kinds of reading and writing assignments you completed over the course of the semester.
FRIDAY, May 3 — Last Day of Classes
Unfortunately, I won’t see you on this day. As I mentioned, I’m presenting to a group of high school teachers, talking to them about many of the activities and assignments we completed this semester. This is an all-day event, but I will be checking email all weekend, so don’t hesitate to send me questions.
FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, May 7 from 1:30 – 3:30 PM
WEEK 15 | Finishing WP6
Our goal for this week is to finish turning WP5 into WP6. You’ll have your grades and feedback for WP5 by Monday, so you’ll know what revisions you need to make for the opening section of the project. Your chief concern before Monday, however, is generating the new content to accompany your synthesis essay and wrapping up revisions of your Annotated Bibliography.
HOMEWORK, or What you need to complete before Monday, April 22
- Before you start drafting, make a copy of WP5 in GDocs. Rename this copy WP6. There, no you have a file ready to go with most of the formatting in place for you.
- Draft the first three sections of WP6. You should be focused on the Introduction (which is WP5), Researcher’s Position, and Methodology section. We’ll workshop these in class on Monday. Review the choices Nava made in her selection. Focus on your rhetorical purpose for WP6. As we discussed on Wednesday, there are three key choices you can make. Pick the one that makes the most sense given your data. Will you (a) solve a problem for someone, (b) answer a questions for someone (even if they don’t yet know they have questions), or (c) teach someone something (even if you’re teaching them a new way of thinking or behaving)?
- Make sure this hardcopy is in your private 1302 course folder. When you get to class, boot up the computer, log into GDocs, and pull up your draft.
- You should be coding your primary data, figuring out your themes and patterns. Want help? Email me, and we’ll schedule an appointment.
- Your revised Annotated Bibliography is due at the beginning of class on Monday. Remember, you must return the original to submission (the one with the pencil grade) to me. You can place the revision in your GDocs folder; if you would like, you may submit a hardcopy of the revision with the original. The choice is yours. I will not issue a grade on the revision without the pencil draft copy. You will receive 0 out of 150 points if you do not return the original Annotated Bibliography.
Monday, April 22 — Workshop #1 for WP6
Today, we workshopped your opening sections, looking for key moves and context needed to make sense of your project. Work on revising these sections based on today’s feedback.
HOMEWORK, or what you need to complete before Wednesday
- Draft your Results section of WP6. This is the section in which you put your primary research data into conversation with the secondary sources. Go back and review the notes you made on Nava’s piece in class. Remember the material I asked you to write in the margins. Use the cues to help you make sense of the data. Also, you’re looking for patterns and conversations again. Use the skills you developed in WP5 to help you organize this material.
- Draft your Conclusions section of WP6. I want to remind you about something Karen Rosenberg told us all those weeks ago. She noted that “the conclusion is often where authors indicate the limitations of their work, the unanswered questions, the horizons left unexplored” (218). You should think of your conclusion in this way, but you should also think back to your purpose. If you are answering a question, then here’s where you explain to readers why your answer not only makes sense but also offers them something they might not get from another resource. If you are solving a problem, then you may want to make recommendations for how others can avoid making “big” mistakes. If you are teaching someone something, you, too, may have advice you want to offer. Whatever you do, don’t tell us what you already told us. Anything but that.
- Again, make sure your WP6 is in your private course folder. Don’t put the sections in separate files. All your sections should be organized into a single file.
WEDNESDAY, April 24 — Workshop #2 on WP6
We reviewed the Results and Conclusion sections of your project, and we finally understand what you learned and why it matters to you and for others.
HOMEWORK, or what you need to complete before Friday, May 26
It’s finally here. The culmination of fifteen weeks of work. You’re going to polish, revise, refine, and reread your WP6 until you can’t stand to look at it any longer. By the time you come to class on Friday, you’ll have your section headings in place, quote burgers and club sandwiches tightly aligned, and a flawless works cited page in place.
Once you get the final version ready in GDocs, take a breath and come to class ready to think about the final week of our time together.
Remember, when you come to class on Friday, you will need to submit paperwork to me. I will need (a) all of your “new” secondary sources, the copies you read for your Annotated Bibliography and WP5 and WP6; (b) all of your primary data, including consent forms, copies of surveys, analysis notes and charts, transcript sections, and audio files; and (c) anything else you used as part of your writing process.
FRIDAY, April 26 — WP6 Due & Beginning your Self-Assessment
Our last week together will center around reflection and revision. In class, we’ll look at the assignment sheet and a few sample sections of self-assessment work to give you a sense of what this assignment looks like. As you begin preparing for your self-assessment letter, you’ll complete another Writing Strategies Inventory survey, and I’ll also ask you to start sifting through your materials for the evidence you will include with this letter. Remember, part of the portfolio will consist of revision work from WP2 and WP6. As you’re thinking about what you did or didn’t learn, try and pinpoint the revisions you’ll make to showcase your learning.
WEEK 14 | One-on-One Conferencing @ Sorin Hall 117
WHEW! This week was a wonderful chance to talk with each one of you about what you’ve been reading and what you’ve been learning over the past few weeks. As always, you all impressed me with the breadth of your knowledge and the connections your making between your question and the conversations we’ve had in class.
I also hope that you’re have more confidence in your performance in this class after our meetings. I’d encourage you to remember that you should not know what you’re doing right now. You’re working with writing in ways that you’ve never done before—which is why you came to college in the first place—and it takes time to learn new genres. Feeling confused, as I told many of you this week, is not the same thing as doing something wrong. Remember what Downs and Wardle told us, “Therefore, even when students try but don’t succeed at conducting contributive research in their first year, there is great value in the attempt. Failure to contribute is not synonymous with failure to learn; even failure in contribution does not diminish the value of framing undergraduate education as learning through discovery” (177). This project—the planning, researching, reading, and writing—is a process of discovery for you. You’re exploring new ways to think about and deal with research, and you are all working the process and attempting. This is what matters to me. By working with you one-on-one, I can see the moments of learning, and this makes my job so much fun: I get to learn from you!
This weekend, you should be working almost exclusively on your WP5. At some point, take a minute, pop over to the assignment sheet, and review the information under the “What Do Readers Expect from Your Synthesis?” This will help you know what I’m looking for next week in your conference. You may also want to review the entire assignment sheet again. I’ve made some adjustments, but you should also have a clear sense of what you’re doing after meeting with me.
If you want to just think about the map we created in our conference, here are your “quick reminders” to keep the focus of your project in line:
- First, remember that the Synthesis Skeleton was meant to help organize your idea. It does not need to be completed. For most of you, the map we worked on together in your conference replaces your skeleton.
- Remember that you can use your Statement of Interest from WP3 as a way to think about how to set up the background for your synthesis essay. Remember, you’re writing to students like you. It may even help to think about writing to who you were last August. The goal is to capture the things you believed to be true about reading, writing, and research to capture the readers’ attention and get them to think about your topic.
- Focus on what you have learned. Let your ideas drive the organization of WP5.
- Talk only about secondary sources. Both “old” and “new” sources are fair game. You can even integrate sources that weren’t discussed in your annotated bibliography.
- Give reader’s enough context so that they can “see” how each article relates, making sure to offer details about the kind of research conducted and what they article was attempting to do (think #1, #2, and #3 from the annotated bibliography). Keep in mind that you only need to introduce the article with this much detail the first time you talk about it.
The other focus of your time and attention should be on finishing up your primary research. Your target goal is to have all surveys and interviews completed before you come to class on Wednesday.
Monday, April 15 & Tuesday, April 16 — WP5 Conferences
You should be signed up for a 20-minute conference with me on either Monday or Tuesday. We’ll be reading through your WP5 draft, embedding notes and advice in the document itself. Make sure that your WP5 draft is in your private 1302 folder.
HOMEWORK, or What you need to complete for Wednesday
- Your revised version of WP5: Synthesis Essay will be due to your private folder before class begins.
- You should also be working to revise your WP4: Annotated Bibliography. If you have questions or want additional feedback and help, feel free to schedule an appointment with me.
- When you are ready for me to re-grade your WP4, you must resubmit the original I returned (the one with the pencil grades and comments written in red).
- Bring your primary research data with you to class on Wednesday. This means you should bring in the surveys. If you did interviews, bring in a preliminary sketch of the “key” conversations—you might want to have these noted on coding sheets, even if you just have the time stamp and key words written down.
Wednesday, April 17 — Beginning WP6
Today, we talked about the requirements for WP6, and we discussed the ways in which you can incorporate your primary research into your secondary sources. You’ll read an example for Friday to get a clearer sense of how WP6 differs from WP5.
HOMEWORK, or What you need to complete before Friday
- To help you understand the form of WP6, I’d like you to read “Where Teachers and Students Meet: Exploring Perceptions in First-Year Writing” by Angelica T. Nava.
- Print a hard copy of the article. You already have the first four pages.
- In the margins, and I will want to see these hardcopies, note places where you see pieces of WP3: Proposal and WP5: Synthesis essay being integrated into the final version. We began this work by reviewing the Researcher’s Position and Methodology sections in class. I want you to read the rest of the article and figure out how the writer is using primary and secondary sources.
- Label the primary source information.
- Label the secondary source information.
- Label the “writer’s opinion” information.
- Again, we aren’t reading this for content. We are reading it to plan how you will write about your own primary and secondary sources.
Want some extra credit points? Here are two opportunities this week.
Come hear A. Van Jordan speak at the final Visiting Writer Series event. When? Thursday, April 18 @ 7:30 pm. Where? Maloney Room (top floor of Main Building). How much? 10 points of credit for finding me and talking to me after the reading.
This Friday, the Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) will be taking place on campus. Here is a link to the program schedule, which includes poster presentations and oral presentations. Review both sources. Find a presentation that matches your interest or your major. Go review the poster. Go hear the speaker. Talk to me on Friday in class about how you’ll get credit for participating in this event. I’ll will award up to 25 points for participation on Friday. Don’t know what to do? Come sit with me and listen to Kellie Salome talk about plagiarism at 11:00 am, right before class meets.
FRIDAY, April 19 — WP6
Our discussion of the Nava article began on Wednesday, when we talked about the moves she made at the end of her synthesis, which set her up for the Researcher’s Position and Methodology section. Today, we coded her use of primary and secondary data to get a sense of how that information all fits together. This is your target goal. As you think about the purpose of your project—teaching someone something, solving a problem for them, or answering a question—you want to think about how you’ll order and present what you learned to make your case. I also want you to remember that this very revised article began in my ENGW 1302 class. I know you can accomplish the same with your work.
HOMEWORK, or What you need to complete before Monday
- Draft the first three sections of WP6. You should be focused on the Introduction (which is WP5), Researcher’s Position, and Methodology section. We’ll workshop these in class on Monday.
- You should be coding your primary data, figuring out your themes and patters. Want help? Email me, and we’ll schedule an appointment.
- Your revised Annotated Bibliography is due on Monday. Remember, you need to return the original to me (the one with the pencil grade). You can place the revision in your GDocs folder. I will not issue a grade on the revision without the pencil draft copy.
WEEK 13 | One-on-One Conferencing @ Sorin Hall 117
Monday, April 8 — Annotated Bibliographies & Sign-Up Sheets
Today, you were asked to sign up for two conferences with me. The first conference, which will take place this week, will focus on discussing any revisions to your annotated bibliography and your working skeleton for the Synthesis Essay (WP5).
The second conference, which will take place on Monday or Tuesday, will review your WP5 draft and troubleshoot any issues prior to submission. The final version of your WP5: Synthesis Essay is due on Wednesday, April 17 at the beginning of class.
HOMEWORK, or what you need to prepare before your conference with me
- If you have not had a chance to sign-up for this week’s conference, you may do so via GDocs. In the WP5 folder, you’ll find the WP4-WP6 Conferences sheet. You no longer have editing privileges, but you can email the time you’d like to schedule.
- If you have not signed up for next week’s follow-up conference, make sure you do that ASAP.
- Have you scheduled your interviews? Have you handed out your surveys? All the primary data needs to be collected by Wednesday, April 17. If you have questions or concerns, email me. Or, using the conference sheet, drop by my office when no one is scheduled.
So, what should you bring to your conference? That’s a good question. Below are some recommendations. Remember, however, that the point of this conference is to help you work on your individual project. Everyone has different needs, so adjust the suggestions accordingly.
- Bring copies (digital or paper) of all your secondary sources. Because we’ll be reviewing both the annotated bibliography and your synthesis skeleton, we need to have your articles in front of us while we work.
- Bring me your data coding sheet from Friday’s class. Last week, I asked you to take data home to code. I failed to collect that homework. Bring it with you to the conference.
- Bring a revised version of your Annotated Bibliography. I returned these to you with some preliminary feedback and verbal instructions. Do your best to make the changes, and when you didn’t understand something or were confused, highlight that issue for us to review together.
- Bring your Synthesis Skeleton. At the very least, you should have your skeleton mapped out and an attempt at a single paragraph. In fact, this information should already be in your course folder.
- Leave feedback on your copy of the WP2 Rubric. Make sure that you finished your commentary on the WP2 Rubric. We’ll review where you were and discuss strategies for addressing those issues in this project.
- Simply show up. If you’re feeling lost, overwhelmed, panicked, confused, then you’re only goal is to show up at my office during your designated time. This is a stressful time in the semester, but you really have all the knowledge and information you need to successfully complete this work. The first step, as always, is to just show up. You can pick out a piece of candy (or a lollipop), check out my kindergarten diploma, and see pictures of my nieces and nephew. It’s not scary.
Wednesday, April 10 — Conferences in Sorin Hall 117
If you can’t remember your appointment time, check the course spreadsheet. There is no class today; instead, you should be using the time to prepare and revise materials for your conference with me.
Friday, April 12 — Conferences in Sorin Hall 117
Remember to verify your appointment time. Don’t be late. There is no class today; instead, you should be using the time to prepare and revise materials for your conference with me.
HOMEWORK, or What you need to complete for next week’s conferences
- You and I discussed any additional revisions to your Annotated Bibliography. Those final revisions are due at your conference time. You will be issued a grade for these revisions.
- We planned out how you’d organize and arrange your synthesis essay, and we discussed issues you might face based on your WP2 work. When you come back for your conference, on Monday or Tuesday, you should have a full draft of WP5 in your course folder for us to review.
REMINDERS for next week
- WP4: Annotated Bibliography revisions are due at your conference time.
- Writing Project 5: Synthesis Essay is due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, April 17.
- All primary research should be collected by the beginning of class on Wednesday. Bring your surveys, your interview notes, and your audio files with you to class.
WEEK 12 | Data Analysis and Planning WP5
I hope that today’s in-class activity gave you some ideas about how you’ll begin coding and organizing the data you’re collecting for your WP6. Regardless of your data collection method—primary or secondary—you need to have a plan in place for dealing with that data, and those documents will be submitted as part of your final project. They are essential to your success with the research paper.
The rest of this week and most of next will be devoted to charting the conversations of those sources that you’re reading for the annotated bibliography; you are writing a synthesis essay, which acts as the literature review for your project. We do this work because your project needs to make the academic move of encapsulating the key arguments for the readings you completed, so don’t skimp on this step.
HOMEWORK, or what you need to complete before Friday
- Design a coding sheet to represent the patterns and themes you find in either Side A or Side B of today’s handout. Fill in the coding sheet using the provided data. Bring this to class on Friday.
- After you develop and use your coding sheet, modify it to fit your data collection. No, you can’t be sure about the themes and patterns that will emerge from your primary research, but you have a hunch. That’s what will be represented in your draft. Bring this to class on Friday.
- Sketch out at least one (1) “wedding table” for Friday’s in-class activity. What do I mean? Looking at your Annotated Bibliography, what is one of the “conversations” represented by your sources? This is the “wedding table discussion” you want to flesh out. I’ll put an outline in a WP5 folder in GDocs if you want additional support or guidance.
Friday, April 5 — Data Collection and Synthesis Writing
Using the sketches you brought to class today, we started filling out the Synthesis Skeleton I have provided for you. This will be the focus of our work for the next few days.
HOMEWORK, or What you need to complete before class on Monday
- Review your feedback on WP2. What are the issues I noted for you? What did I suggest you might struggle with? How will you address those issue and improve them for WP5?
- Finish your Synthesis Skeleton. Make sure you have ideas for the background points, and no less than three (3) conversations represented by both your “old” and “new” sources.
- Draft at least one of the Discussion Topics, and make sure this file is in your course folder. I’ll be looking for these on Monday before and after class; I cannot give you feedback before our due date if you don’t have the material in your course folder.
- Watch for your Annotated Bibliography rubrics this weekend. If you want to revise this project, you’ll want to talk about this with me next week.
WEEK 11 | WP4 Due
HOMEWORK, or what you need to complete before Monday, March 25
- Draft, revise, and polish your six (6) entries for Writing Project 4, which is worth 150 points.
- Review Chapter 6 from The Craft of Research.
- Read 1 Blakeslee, Planning Qualitative Research in GDocs / 1302 / WP4.
- If your Primary Research section and/or WP3 has been approved, you may begin distributing surveys, scheduling interviews, and/or finding participants.
Monday, March 25 — Ethics in Planning Qualitative Research
Today, we’ll discuss the first Blakeslee reading, make sure that we’re doing all we can to be ethical researchers (both with our primary data collection and use of secondary sources). There will be a few minutes for last-minute questions about the Annotated Bibliography, which is due at the beginning of class on Wednesday.
HOMEWORK, or What you need to complete before Wednesday’s class
- Revise and polish your six (6) entries for Writing Project 4, which is worth 150 points. Please make sure that you’re responding to the “How Do I Write the Annotations?” questions—there are six of them.
- Bring one (1) hard copy of the Annotated Bibliography to class on Wednesday.
Wednesday, March 27 — WP4 Due
Today, we’ll work on our TO DO lists for the next few weeks, reviewing what needs to be completed by when so that you’ll not be overwhelmed by the final push. We’ll review Writing Project 5, and I’ll answer preliminary questions about what that writing project should look like. We’ll also review some sample synthesis essays.
HOMEWORK, or What you need to complete before Wednesday, April 3
- Read 2 Blakeslee, Analyzing Data.
- Read 3 Blakeslee, Analyzing Data: Coding.
- Read Chapter 13, “Drafting Your Report,” from The Craft of Research.
- If you want, have the time, or have the energy, you may want to start working through Step 1 and Step 2 of Writing Project 5 (under Some Directions and Advice).
- Get lots of sleep to prepare for the last few weeks of the semester.
Are you a freshman? Have you completed the NSSE survey? With a low response rate and small pool of eligible students, you shouldn’t miss out on the chance to be entered in a raffle to win one of four cash prizes of $50 and a grand prize of $300. If you don’t need the money, you can always donate it to the ENGW department.
If you’ve lost the email, here’s a link to get the request to participate resent: https://www.nssesurvey.org/includes/loginLookup.cfm. Just enter your email address.
WEEK 10 | Working WP3 into WP4
Monday, March 18 — Annotated Bibliography Workshop
Today in class, we practiced writing annotated bibliography entries, just as you’ll be doing for next Friday’s deadline. Your final WP4 will contain 6 sources, but only three (3) of them need to be new. You’ll want all three of these approved by me before you leave class on Friday. You’ll be hearing from me throughout the week about the status of your WP3 (which is simply an Approved or Not Approved) grade.
HOMEWORK, or what you need to complete before Wednesday’s class
- Draft your annotations for the articles you’re using from class.
- Bring 1 hardcopy of *attempted* annotations to class on Wednesday for our in-class workshop.
- Review Chapter 5 of The Craft of Research.
NOTE: Failure to arrive with your annotations attempted—and at least one completed annotation—means you cannot participate in the workshop. You will be asked to leave class, and you will be counted absent.
Wednesday, March 20 — Annotation Workshop
We’ll workshop your drafts of the readings we completed in class.
HOMEWORK, or what you need to complete for Friday
- You’re complete Annotated Bibliography is due one week from today. Friday will be a day to get one-on-one questions answered, assistant finding those remaining “good” sources, and/or just asking for advice from me or a colleague.
Friday, March 22 — Annotated Bibliography Working Day
Today is NOT a free day, and you should not treat it as such. Today will be time for you to finalize your annotations from Wednesday and/or ask for help completing and/or reading your other articles. Failure to work for the 50 minutes during class time may result in an added absence.
HOMEWORK, or what you need to complete for Monday
- Review Chapter 6 from The Craft of Research.
- Read Chapter 13, “Drafting Your Report,” from The Craft of Research.
- Make sure you’ve begun collecting your Primary Research data, which includes distributing surveys, scheduling interviews, finding participants.
WEEK 8 | WP3 Due
HOMEWORK: or, What you need to complete before Monday’s (03/05/13) class
A couple of reminders as you’re heading into the weekend. All this work will be in draft form. We’re not striving for perfection; instead, we’re looking for a general path: a way forward so that you feel confident in your question and your research plan—enough so that you can enjoy your Spring Break.
- Read Driscoll’s “Introduction to Primary Research: Observations, Surveys, and Interviews.” She’s going to explain the choices you can make for Section 3 of your Proposal, so you’ll want to pay attention to the benefits and requirements for each possibility. YOU WILL ONLY PICK ONE METHOD! There are other primary research options, which we can discuss in class, but you want to use this reading as a way to get a sense of what you might do. Your choice, however, will ultimately depend on what you need to answer your question.
- Draft Sections 1 and 2 of your Writing Project 3: Research Proposal. You will find a WP3 folder in Google Docs. In this folder, you’ll find a WP3: Template for Research Proposal file. You’ll make a copy of this file (directions are embedded in the document), and you’ll be filling in the blanks. You will also see a sample proposal, which I’ve made notes on to explain what is happening and to show you how the sample is and is not like your draft.
- Also, begin drafting your rationale for the Primary Research portion of Section 3. You’re just beginning to think about who you’d talk to and why. The goal isn’t to have all the answers by Monday; you just want notes to yourself and to me about the general direction you’ll likely take in the project.
- Skim through Part II in The Craft of Research. Yes, pages 29-102. I know it looks like a lot, but you can use Rosenberg’s strategies to skim the major points and ideas. I’ll also hint at these in class next week, but the hints will be based on the assumption that you have read or are reading this material.
We discussed rapidly how to research for secondary support at the end of class; if you have some time, do some preliminary digging around this weekend. What can you find in the databases? Remember, as always, dump this information into your Google Drive folder.
Monday, March 4 — Drafting Primary Research
You’ve had a chance to pitch your ideas about a primary research plan, and you had to explain who you would talk to, why, and what they might be able to tell you. I even gave you time to work on some revisions in class, and this is the pattern we’re working on for the rest of this week.
HOMEWORK: or, What you need to complete before Wednesday’s class
- Finalize your Section 1 based on your feedback from your peers and from me.
- Keep playing with your question in Section 2.
- Finalize the information in Section 3, Primary Research.
- Review the reading from The Craft of Research.
- Find at least 1 “new” secondary source to include in your project.
Wednesday, March 6 — Working on WP3
Like the rest of this week, you should come in to class, grab a computer, and start working in class. I’ll be circulating and answering questions, but given our time frames and the individuality of these projects, you need the time to work on WP3. We will, however, spend some time talking about how you can apply the ideas from Part II.
HOMEWORK: or, What you need to complete before Friday’s class meeting
- Draft Section 3, Secondary Research. You will likely have readings from our class as a foundation, and you’ll want to add the three “new” articles you located and have previewed. Again, this is key because you’ll use this proposal to start working after Spring Break.
- Draft the remaining sections of your proposal. The final copy will be due at the end of our class time on Friday, so you’ll have a chance to ask small questions, but not many. We’ll be conducting an in-class peer review in Google Docs, so make sure your proposal is saved and ready to go.
Friday, March 8 — WP3 Due at End of Class meeting
Well, the work will soon be done, and you can breathe easy over Spring Break. When we come back on that Monday, we’ll be conducting a peer review of your primary research materials.
HOMEWORK: or, What you need to do before class on Monday (03/18/13)
- You have feedback and/or input from me about your proposal in Google Docs. Review my notes about what needs to be revised.
- Finalize your primary research materials. Print out 3 copies of your instrument (survey, interview script, etc.). Bring these hard copies to class for our workshop.
WEEK 7 | WP2 Due; Moving Forward with Proposals
Monday, February 25 — Editing and Experimenting
As we discussed in class today, I have a punctuation challenge for your projects. Below is a quick review of the jobs of a few marks I’d like to see integrated into your WP2. Remember, it is better to experiment and offer variety than to play it safe.
. Ah, the period. So humble, and, yet, so effective. Use liberally.
; The semi-colon is often underused. Bring it out to connect those two ideas that you really want readers to relate and connect. Remember, it also loves to work with its friends however, therefore, and in other words, so long as there’s a comma in the house.
— The dash gives variety in the middle and at the end of your sentences. Use sparingly, as the visual punch can leave readers exhausted. Remember, it prefers complete sentences on either side.
: The colon is one of my favorite punctuation marks because it displays such variety: it can offer a list of items, give readers a new or revised definition of a term, or offer up a complex explanation for an idea.
The colon should also appear in the title for your WP2. As Karen Rosenberg told us, the left side of the title should capture your reader’s attention, and the right side should offer an explanation about the controlling ideas and purpose of your project.
, The comma is so misunderstood. For our purposes in this class, we want to showcase how well it can offset those incomplete ideas at the beginnings of sentences. We also want to remember how it works with conjunctions, and we will always pair it with a FANBOYS.
We didn’t cover this in class but watch out for your use of IT and THAT. In our everyday speech, we’ll replace entire ideas with these pronouns (which really should only replace one word). When in doubt, restate the idea rather than trying to represent the whole point with a single word.
HOMEWORK: or, What to complete before Wednesday’s class
- Writing Project 2 is due to your private Google Drive folder—the one with your name on it—before class begins on Wednesday. Remember to follow the Formatting guidelines, and if you need to “see” some inspiration, check out any of the articles in Young Scholars in Writing (which we looked at in class last week).
- Be sure to include a Works Cited page, and as a reminder, I’ve put up the information we discussed for including your course syllabi below.
Last Name, First Name. “Assignment Title.” Course Number: Course Title. Austin, TX: St. Edward’s University, Semester Year.
- Not turning in the project is a bad idea. Email me with questions or concerns.
Wednesday, February 27 — WP2 Due; Starting WP3
It is time to think about your own research into the field of writing studies. Today in class, we discussed a variety of ways into a contributive research project, and we even explored topics relating to writing research. As you prepare for Friday’s class, be thinking about the questions you have about writing and research, how they work, and what they will or will not mean to your future.
HOMEWORK: or, What you need to complete before Friday’s class
- Read Olivas’ “Cupping the Spark in Our Hands: Developing a Better Understanding of the Research Question in Inquiry-Based Writing.” We are reading this piece for a couple of reasons.
First, we’re going to use her workshop to revise and edit your own questions in class on Friday. This means you should have a working question ready to go at the beginning of class. Use contribute, develop, describe, and conflict to help you make sense of the question. As a head’s up, you’ll be reading Part II of The Craft of Research over the weekend (pages 29-101). The first two chapters, “From Topics to Questions” and “From Questions to a Problem,” will be quite useful if you have time to skim them.
Second, we are reading Olivas because she will serve as an example of the kind of research project you’re about to undertake. In many ways, the structure and format of her article will mirror what you’re planning to do: she overviews the question she asked and the conversation to which she is contributing; she describes the project she designed; she explains what she learned; and, finally, she tells us what she hopes we’ll learn as part of this project.
Your proposal—your plan for what you’ll research and how—is due the Friday before Spring Break. The reward for working hard for the next 10 days will be a few days “off” from working. There will not be “work” for you to do over Spring Break. But, for the next few days, you want to really dive in and commit to this work. Come to class; ask questions; be engaged. This is the most interesting and hardest part of the semester, so now isn’t the time to check out on me.
And, again, I cannot tell you what question to research. This is ultimately your project. I can tell you that the best work often comes from diving in and trying to test what you think you know. Test your assumptions about what it will mean to read, write, and do research in your major or in your chosen profession. Don’t think there’s anything for you to research? Dig around in Becky Howard’s Bibliography, which will list a variety of topics that you can consider for this project. Think about people you could talk to in order to understand the nuances and expectations of those things.
Friday, March 1 — Working Questions and Making Questions Work
Today in class, we explored your research questions, and, with the help of Olivas, we made those questions work for us, refining them and narrowing the ideas down. Next week, we’re going to be writing and researching frantically, so hold on to your seats. It’s going to come and go quickly.
WEEK 6 | WRITING & SYNTHESIZING
Monday, February 18 — S&S and Storyboards
Today we worked on your storyboards for WP2. I know that writing each element on a separate sheet of paper may feel like busy work, but I would encourage you to work the process. You can read up on the idea in The Craft of Research (pages 130-131).
HOMEWORK: or, What you need to complete before Wednesday’s class
- Followers, please add your reply to a T8:3 Leader post at the bottom of the original Leader post. Do NOT generate your own document. We want to read the Leader, scroll down, and read the Follower. If a Leader already has someone following them, then you need to find a new Leader. T8:3 Follower posts are due before class meets on Wednesday.
- Bring one hardcopy of one section of WP2 to class on Wednesday. We’re workshopping your claim, reasons, and evidence, so make sure all the elements are in place. If you’re confused, then come see me, email me, or send a carrier pigeon with your question.
- This is also the final call for you to complete the Week 5 Barometer. I take your concerns, recommendations, and requests seriously, so now is your chance to shape how the next few weeks unfold.
Wednesday, February 20 — Claims and Quote Burgers
Today our focus was on making sure you’ve included enough information for your readers to follow your reasons. We’re getting closer, so the goal should just be to keep putting your information together—writing paragraphs, linking your reasons to your evidence.
HOMEWORK: or, What you need to complete before Friday’s class
- Draft an introduction to your project. Introductions set your audience—other first-year students at SEU—for the information to follow. Your introduction should also forecast a “so what?” for the audience, helping them get a sense of why they would want to keep reading.
- Draft another section. Include your claims, reasons, and evidence. Make sure that you give readers context for your quotes, and make sure we can see how your evidence relates back to the claims and reasons you’ve discussed. Don’t be afraid of the club sandwich here. You do NOT have to keep the evidence separate from the reasons; you can bring that information in sooner.
- Bring a hard copy of these sections—Introduction and Section #2—to class on Friday.
- Most importantly, make sure you put all the sections and introductions together, in a single file, in your Google Docs folder. This is how I can give you feedback.
Friday, February 22 — Introductions, Putting it all Together
The final push is here. By this time next week, you’ll be working on your own question and your own project. Using today’s discussion, start writing your introduction, and by the time you come to class on Monday, make sure you’ve included headings to guide your audience and provided a conclusion that does more than restates what you’ve told us.
HOMEWORK: or, What you need to do before Monday’s class
- Read Chapter 16 (pages 232-248) in The Craft of Research. We previewed this today, so it should be a quick read. The ideas and suggestions about introductions and conclusions will be part of our workshop on Monday, so don’t skip this.
- Our final, in-class workshop on WP2 will take place on Monday. You should have one hard copy ready for review. Make sure that you’ve followed the Formatting guidelines I have provided (and think about the examples I showed you in class). Make sure you include a Works Cited page, following MLA Guidelines.
- Bring one hard copy of your draft + works cited page to class for our workshop.