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Department of English
What substantial writing projects will your students complete during the course?
Students will write a Critical Review Essay Proposal and Source Draft, they will then write a First Draft of the Essay (3-4 pages); they’ll revise and expand the essay (5-6) pages; they’ll then revise and expand the essay a third and final time, including additional critical sources (7-8) pages. Students also write a 3-essay open book test (each essay length 500-750 words), which will require them to use texts and outside sources. Students will also collaborate on a written and oral presentation that includes a 2 page critical written response and a multiple-page presentation document. Freewrites of 1 page (timed, between ten and 15 minutes a piece) will be assigned to specific reading responses in class at regular (every 3 weeks or so, for a total of 5 free-writes) throughout the semester. Students have the opportunity to revise and expand one of the freewrites into a longer critical response.
What kinds of feedback will students receive from the instructor, and what opportunities will they be given to revise their writing?
Every student gets substantial written comments on their critical review essays at each stage of its production (1) draft/proposal; 2) first essay; 3) second revision; 4) final revision. After each stage of feedback students are required to revise; when students turn in their revised essays they are required to submit the draft with the comments on them from the professor and the copy from their peer reviewer—this way in the next stage of grading and feedback, I can determine if students have read and responded to initial and subsequent feedback and assess the work accordingly.
What amount of the final course grade will come from the written work (minimum one-third for a three-hour course)?
70% of the final course grade comes from written work: The series of Critical Review Essays are worth a total of 40% of the grade; the Open Book 3-essay examination is work 30% of the grade; the written-portion along with the paired oral/written presentation groups is worth 15% of the grade and the last 15% of the grade is based on class participation.
What opportunities will students have to read each other’s work and offer constructive criticism?
At each stage of the Critical Review Essay (4 stages) from Draft/Proposal to Final Revision, students conduct peer review. I have different kinds of peer review sheets/instructions with questions geared to each revision stage. After students complete each stage of peer review, I devote a portion of the following class period to splitting them into groups to discuss their writing strengths and areas in need of improvement based on level of skill ability and paper topic. So they get plenty of peer review, and I also switch the peer-review groups around at different stages so they get feedback from different students.
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