Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Get feedback from a tutor/teacher in the Writing Center on the Tupac: Nature vs. Nurture essay before handing it in tomorrow. Prepare questions in advance. Use the revision guideline I gave you from Diana Hacker's Rules for Writers. I hope students have not erroneously concluded that the most important part of the essay is the grammar.

It is not.

The most important part of the essay is its content; you can see as much looking at Stewart Pidd, even after he corrects his essays they will not amount to much because they don't make much sense and they aren't deep. Grammatically correct does not mean you get an A.

The SPHE authors wanted students to focus on the grammar because it often gets in the way of the writing, but students need to know how to write first. I don't think SPHE is a great book for the beginning writer because writing about Stewart's mistakes is not that exciting, unless one is a budding grammarian.

I have tried to reconcile the grammar and the writing on their own, and I can't figure out how to get students to do the grammar quizzes and translate this into their own work. Students buy expensive grammar style books and do not read them. I miss being able to spend a time on argumentative writing, which I love, with students who I thought would breeze through SPHE, but they don't.

No one breezes through SPHE, and at the end of the book, those passing all the essays still have trouble making that leap, that is, translating the grammar lessons into their own writing, but hopefully you will and this semester you are that much closer.

I found that this second semester with Stewart Pidd I am much more confident and see an improvement in my writing. I have internalized the grammar and recognize errors more easily. There are rules I know and still others I struggle with, perhaps on the third semester I will be an even better writer, because it all counts and it all matters when we're looking for clarity and understanding.

Include a reflection (1 paragraph) on the feedback session(s): in class and at the Writing Center. You do not have to change your paper, just because someone makes a suggestion--that's all it is, a suggestion.

Today we took the Multiple Choice Exam 2 in the morning class. I hope the scores are better than MCE 1. Students also sent me a copy of the Censorship essay and gave me a copy. I will return it to you via email and in hand tomorrow.

If you are behind, drop the class. Drop the class if you have missed all deadlines (the last one 11/23). Take the class when you put forth your best effort.

The Tupac essays are due in the morning. Students will present their essays on Monday, Nov. 29. Students will share their arguments and debate one another informally. Bring an outline of your keypoints with supporting evidence to class.

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