Project 1 – Academic writing
If there's one thing you've had a lot of experience with at this point in your life, it's our class topic—education and personal development. You've been through at least twelve years of formal schooling working towards your development, and you've probably had plenty of other life experiences that could be considered educational with development as an end. This first piece is informal. Think of it as a chance to reflect on one of those experiences by writing about it.
The key question you'll answer is "How has this experience affected the way I think/feel about school education or learning and how it contribute to your development of ...view middle of the document...
* If you don't want to use one of the pieces you've already begun writing about, use some of the prewriting strategies we've discussed in class to help you remember specific experiences to write about.
* Continue to prewrite to develop as much detail about that experience as you can.
* When you've generated enough detail, select the detail that best demonstrates the significance of that experience for you.
* Write a draft in which you focus on getting out your ideas and explaining them, without worrying about issues like grammar and punctuation.
* Revise and rewrite your draft using ideas from your reading and peer workshop.
Now that you've written your own contribution to the class conversation, it's time to look at what some other people say on the topic of education and personal development. As you know, one effective reading strategy is to write about what you've read, so that's what you'll be doing for this next assignment. You've already "summarized" lots of times: anytime you take a phone message, or tell a friend what happened on your favorite TV show last night, for example. The process for an academic summary is similar--to take in information (in this case, by reading something by another writer) and condense it (by identifying the important ideas in that piece).
The key question you'll answer is "What are the main points of this writer's essay?"
You're answering the key question for a reader you identify. You'll probably write for someone who has not read the essay you're summarizing. Therefore, you'll need to think about how to represent all of the main ideas of the piece fairly. Keep in mind that your reader will want to know more than just what the essay is about; she or he will want to know what the author thinks about his or her topic and how each idea within the essay is connected to the rest of the author's points. Please note as precisely as possible your target audience at the top of each draft as you revise.
Your goal as a writer includes this most important one: to read and understand the essay thoroughly enough to be able to represent it accurately to someone who has not read the original, say, someone who is joining our class conversation late and wants to "catch up."
Strategies for completing the essay include these:
* Read the essay carefully, several times through.
* Annotate the essay. Make any notes in the margins that help you better understand what the author is saying (including noting difficult passages so you can find them more easily later).
* Summarize. Try this several ways; for example, you might summarize each paragraph in a phrase or sentence, try doing a "backwards outline" of the essay, or summarize the essay as a whole with the book closed.
* When you've written a draft you like, go back and check for accuracy against the original: Have you included all of the author's ideas? Does your summary use the same order and emphasis as the...