Entering the Academic Conversation, Effective Discussion, Engaging With
Entering the Academic Conversation, Effective Discussion, Engaging With Readings They Say, I Say Chapter 1 and 12 Quickwrite #2 How do you usually approach essay-length writing assignments? Walk me through your usual writing process. You might tell me about how much time you spend brainstorming or researching your topic, how much time you spend outlining and/or drafting, and how much time you spend revising. There is NO RIGHT ANSWER to this question. Whether you usually procrastinate and write entire
essay in one caffeine-fueled marathon or start brainstorming the moment you receive a prompt, I want to know about YOUR current writing process. Goals for class today: 1. Discuss how to contribute thoughtfully to class discussions. 2. Understand the characteristics of academic writing and prepare to participate in the academic conversation. 3. Prepare to engage meaningfully with readings. 4. Practice using a template from They Say, I Say.
Encouraging Effective Class Discussion Have respect for your classmates, even when you disagree with their ideas. Take time to gather your thoughts. There is no prize for having your hand in the air first. Build our classs understanding of the topic at hand by Adding an additional point or example to what someone else has said. Connecting two ideas that have been discussed separately. Challenging what someone else has said by countering his or her points. See p. 164-166 in Ch. 12 of They Say, I Say for more pointers. Ground your discussion of a text by quoting specific, relevant passages of the articles we read.
Discussion: Small Groups to Whole Class Often, when we do class discussion, I will have you brainstorm and talk about the topics in small groups before moving the discussion back to the whole class. You can elect or volunteer a representative of your group to share the ideas, issues, and answers to questions that your group discussed with the wider class and myself. Although not everyone will be comfortable talking in front of large groups, I do want everyone to try to contribute something. All opinions and perspectives have value! Also, if you arent sure what to say ask questions! Sometime the best thing a group member can do is ask a classmate to clarify or further explain their perspective or point! What is Academic Writing?
Academic writing follows a set of conventions (remember, those are rules/expectations your readers will have of your writing in an academic setting), and it is appropriate for a school or research setting. Academic writing is a WAY of writing, and is not limited to certain subjects or topics. What is Academic Writing? Academic Writing is NOT Being perfect the first time Always having original ideas that are not influenced by anyone else Being better than others around you
Academic Writing IS A process Developing ideas in connection with other ideas Being part of a community of writers and engaging in the ongoing academic conversation. Discussion of They Say, I Say Intro and Chapter 1 According to the authors of They Say, I Say, why is it important to position yourself and your ideas in relation to what other writers have said about the topic? (Review the Intro and Ch. 1 to prepare for class discussion.) What do you think of the idea of using templates? Do you agree with the authors
arguments in favor of templates? Writing As A Process or a Journey Writing develops both recursively (as a process) and socially (interacting with other texts). The process of rhetoric in both reading and writing means thinking about how to use language for a particular audience, within a particular context, and how to use appropriate conventions (grammar rules, spelling, punctuation, etc).
It is important to note that reading and writing are connected to each other. All writers enter conversations and communities through their words, so writers must be readers of many texts, and should also be aware of context and culture. This class aims to help you understand all these writing techniques and use them successfully in your own writing. Writing as Exploration and Connection
We will read and analyze many kinds of writing that are a part of the academic conversation. We will use outside sources to inspire and inform our own writing We will workshop our own essays. These activities, along with student-instructor conferences, peer work, and discussions, will demonstrate the social nature of writing. What is truly essential in this class is the ability to communicate a given message through writing, reading, and speaking in class. So, get to know your classmates, your professor, and most of all, yourself. We will support each other to grow as students, writers, readers, communicators, and individuals. How to Read our Textbook When the schedule tells you to read a certain amount of pages (9-17 for
example) you might not technically need to read the whole page. Rather, you should look for section headings and start with the first section on that page. For example, on page 9, the section heading A Critical Perspective: Strategies for Thinking, Reading, and Responding starts about halfway down the page, but it is the first section that STARTS on page 9. Therefore you should start there. Likewise, the only thing on page 17 is an exercise. Since you have not been instructed to do the exercise, but rather only to read and think about the information, you can ignore this part. When I ask you to read an Essay or Article in your Textbook, I will usually list the page numbers the essay covers (p.139-143, for example). Be sure preview the essay, see how long it is, and give yourself enough time to read the whole thing.
Engage With What You Read Reading Actively What does it mean to read actively? Pay attention Take notes (Annotate) See p. 12 of Pop Perspectives for a checklist. Look up unfamiliar words Reading Critically What does it mean to read critically? Think carefully about the ideas presented in what you are reading Ask questions Relate the ideas to your own experience or knowledge
Come to class with questions to ask and opinions to share Practice Using Templates We are going respond to a piece of writing using ideas from They Say, I Say. You may choose to respond to the editorial Back Off on the Broccoli on p. 18 of Pop Perspectives, one of the editorials linked on the course discussions page, or another opinion piece that has been approved by me. Identify an idea in the essay that you would like to respond to. You might start with the template: In the article Your Article Title Goes Here, Author Name makes the point that ________________, which is particularly important because ____________________. Try to use at least one other template from Chapter 1. If you are talking about ideas you have held for a long time, you might want to consider the templates on p. 24 under Making something they say something you say
If you are talking about ideas that you feel lots of other people (the general public) have, you might want to consider the templates on the top of p. 24. When you are finished, consider how using a template worked for you. Did you find it easier than coming up with your own structure? Harder? Why?
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