Collect your "college writing" thoughts into a 200-word, well-ordered paragraph. Have an electronic copy available.
Revision is "seeing again" -- it involves rethinking the whole document in order to make it better on every level. We will trade Par 1 drafts and practice giving each other constructive feedback.
You get full credit (5% of course grade) simply for competing the assignment. Do your best, but don't fret over this. It's just supposed to help us focus our efforts over the semester.
Online at Turnitin.com, submit a thorough revision of your Par 1 draft. Due 15 min before class is scheduled to start.
- Form: Is it a single paragraph of about 200 words, developing a single idea that presents what you think of when you hear the term "college writing"? (4pts)
- Voice: Do I get a sense of who you are as a person, as a writer, and as a student in this class? (4pts)
Revision: Does the revision make use of the comments I made on your rough draft, and does it demonstrate your careful efforts to apply those comments to prevent similar problems from appearing in this draft? (4pts)
Focus: Is the writing concise and focused, with no excess words or sentences, and no digressions or unnecessary details? (4pts)
What's due at this stage for Essay 1 is just the thesis statement.
Write a 200-word paragraph that explains one specific way that helps you deal with stress productively. Please chose a topic that differs from the one you plan to choose for Essay 2.
For Paragraph 5, rather than a list of helpful, general advice that I could find in a brochure somewhere ("Get enough rest and eat a healthy diet"), I'm looking for something very specific that helps you. Please don't feel that my solution for dealing with stress is the solution that everyone should offer, but I've provided an example taken from my own life.
In order to get all my work done and also stay sane, I have had to discipline myself to bring less work home with me, and get more of it done during regular office hours. I used to be able to put the kids to bed, watch a movie, fiddle with my weblog, and mark some papers until 2am. I could still get 7 hours of sleep before strolling onto campus just before my 11am class. But this semester, I have to drop my daughter off at pre-school at 8:30, which means I have to be up by 7:30 to get us both dressed and fed, and
after getting up hours earlier,I’m more tired after putting the kids to bed. If I take caffeine to keep myself from falling asleep at midnight, I end up wide awake at 4am. That means I’ll be even more tired the next day.If I train myself to go to bed knowing I'm not ready for class the next day, and discipline myself to finish preparing as soon as I get on campus in the morning, I'll save myself a lot of stress. I have also found that if I plan to go to bed at 11 once or twice a week, I have the energy to stay up much later when I really need to.
strikeout to mark cuts that I made in order to get the word count down. Note also that this paragraph isn't a list of things that I should or could do; rather, it shows the result of making a particular change. It begins with a simple explanation of both the problem and the solution, then it explains the problem in more detail, and explains the solution in more detail, and concludes with an assessment of the results.
While my paragraph is about time-management, you might instead choose to talk about how you blow off steam, or how you deal with stress in some other productive manner. (As I said in class, the key here is "productive". Sometimes when we are stressed, we do things that are not productive.)
Length: 2-3 pages, following MLA style.
(Note -- a revision of your ILP is also due at the same time.)
I described Essay 2 Draft in detail on the Essay 2 Prewriting page. In order to help you focus your energies in areas that I'll be evaluating, here is a breakdown of how I plan to mark this assignment.
Criteria for Essay 2 Draft (10 points)
Thesis Statement (2pts max)
2 - clear and relevant thesis statement, with limited topic, precise opinion, and reasoning blueprint.
1 - thesis is weak or only loosely related to topic; thesis statement does not include clear reasoning blueprint
0 - no thesis, thesis does not address assigned topic, or thesis merely asks a question or points out a relationship ("There are two different ways of looking at X") without trying to make a claim about the chosen topic ("It makes more sense to think of X as a special kind of Y than as a failed version of Z").
Examples (3pts max)
3 - clear, vivid examples that SHOW, without excessive TELLING.
2 - a few good examples, but their effect is muted by the presence of too much TELLING.
1 - examples are too general; too much like a list of interesting things or important details.
0 - examples are too vague, unrelated to the stated thesis, or undeveloped.
Conclusion (2pts max)
2 - does not simply restate the thesis; flows naturally from a chain of ideas that support your thesis; presents a new insight that the reader can understand only after working through all the examples.
1 - does attempt to bring the paper to closure, but does not seem to follow from the examples; it may introduce a lofty new idea rather than a new development of the existing thesis.
0 - no conclusion, or a mechanical conclusion that does not attempt to build on previous paragraphs.
Form (3pts max -- the polished final form will carry greater weight in the revision)
3 - structure of paper follows the reasoning blueprint given by the paper; sentences are concise and well-connected; verbs are strong and active; no careless punctuation or word-level errors.
2 - structure of paper makes clear attempt to follow the blueprint given by the paper; sentences are clear; occasional wordiness or awkward word choice does not affect the reader's ability to understand the writer's message.
1 - structure of paper does not follow the reasoning blueprint (perhaps because there was no blueprint in the thesis statement); sentence-level and word-level errors affect the reader's ability to understand the point of the paper; too many careless proofreading mistakes.
0 - structure is weak or ineffective; excessive wordiness; garbled sentences; undeveloped or unconnected ideas.
im me ru u LOL
Online identity… online language… online culture. Focus on some specific issue and present a fresh, creative view of it. (Please don't just repeat arguments that you can find on any discussion board… let your special knowledge or experience shed new light.)
Don't believe everything you read. You're probably already aware that people can post pretty much anything they want online. Just because a page looks professional and appears in Google's search results does not mean you can trust what's on the page.
In order to emphasize the point that anybody can make a web page, paragraph 8 -- an "informative hypertext" -- asks you to do just that. The effective use of hyperlinks can change the way you write (making it much more efficient). But before we get to that, we'll need to spend some time on making hyperlinks.
This tutorial asks you take a few giant steps back, so that you can understand how Windows makes sense of icons (the little pictures you click on); you will learn how to create a new web page file in MS Word, check it in a web browser, and continue editing it in MS Word. You will also learn how hyperlinks change the way we write, and you will learn how to use MS Word to create hyperlinks.
Some Basic Practice
First, let's create a very simple web page, and save it in your I drive space (or anywhere you'll be able to find it again). Open a blank MS Word file, type anything at all, and choose "File -> Save As". From the line that reads "Save as type," select "Web Page, filtered" and then click save. (If you choose the first option, "Web Page," it will still work but your file will be larger and a little harder to edit. Small and simple is good online, so stick with "Web Page, filtered.")
In Windows, when you double-click on a file, the program that created it usually opens it up again and you can use it. But we are going to use MS Word to create a web page, so the behavior of the icons gets a little more complex. Follow along and see what I mean.
Exit Word, and click on My Computer. Find your way to where you saved your web page. Its icon shouldn't be a W -- it should be the icon for your default web browser (usually a blue lowercase "e" for Internet Explorer, or possibly the round orange icon for Mozilla Firefox). (If your file has a W icon instead, double-click it to open it in Word, and try to save it as "Web Page, filtered" again.)
Double-click your file to see what happens. If you saved it as a web page, you should see it open in a web browser window. At the moment, your file is only on your local computer. Nobody else can see it but you. (We'll talk about publishing your work on the internet later.)
Close your browser window and we'll move on to the next step.
Editing your Page
Let's edit your sample document in order to add links. A hypertext is simply a document that uses links. When you click on the hyperlink, you request a copy of a document that is located at a specific URL (uniform resource locator, or web address). Your screen changes to display the new document. All you need in order to create a link is the URL of the page you want to show your reader. Even if you've used MySpace or other online resources to create links, please follow along because you'll need to learn a few extra steps in order to work with your files here at SHU.
Let's add a hyperlink to your test document now. Open your sample web document, and let's edit it.
Uh oh. Did you just double-click the icon, and now you're looking at it displayed in your web browser again? How can you edit it in MS Word?
You have two options. You can open up a blank MS Word file, and then choose File, Open, make sure that "Files of type" includes "All Word Documents," and point to wherever you saved your web page. You can just open it the way you would normally open any file.
If you've already found the file you want, you could put your mouse over it, click the RIGHT mouse button, and select "Open with," and then select "Microsoft Office Word."
Now that you're editing your practice web page, type something like
This is my first year at Seton Hill University.
You could just add the SHU web address, which your word processor will turn into a hyperlink automatically. Try it now. Type "I go to Seton Hill University, which you can visit online at http://www.setonhill.edu." When you hit the "enter" key after you finish the sentence, your word processor will turn that address into a hyperlink. You can test that link by pointing to it and holding down the CTRL key. You will see the vertical insertion bar change into a hand; when that happens, click the link, and you'll see SHU's website open in a new window. (Close that window to return to MS Word.)
Now let's see what happens when you save your file and test it in a web browser. Since have already saved this file as a "Web page, filtered," all you have to do is save the file as you normally would. Now go back to My Computer, find your file, and click on it. You should see it in a web browser, and you should be able to click on the link normally (without having to hold CTRL).
Now let's return to MS Word and continue editing your file. You may have noticed that I'm big on avoiding wordiness. When you come across a web page, do you really need to be told what to do when you see a hyperlink? It would be much more efficient for your reader if you wrote,
In my first year at Seton Hill, I have learned...The reader of a hypertext document does not need to see the URL, and does not need to be told "click here". You can assume your reader will know that if a word or phrase is a hyperlink, readers can click on that link and learn more about it.
Consider an ordinary prose sentence like,
I decided to major in basket-weaving at Seton Hill because of the reputation of the National Center for Basketology Research, whose founder Basil Weaver came to visit my high school last year.If you converted this sentence to a hypertext document, "basket-weaving" could be a link to the department home page, "Seton Hill" linked to the SHU home page, "reputation" is a link to a news article that praised SHU's basketology program, "National Center for Basketology Research" was a link to the center's home page, etc.
You could pack a lot of information into that sentence, so that a reader who had never heard of basketology before would be able to take a little trip down a side-street to explore the pages you have selected, and then that reader could return to keep reading the main thought you wanted to make. But the reader who already knows about all that stuff won't be slowed down by needless details, and can focus on whatever new point you want to make. When you use hyperlinks to help readers understand unusual terms, to give them background information, and to give them evidence to support your claims, then you can focus on making the words that you write on your own page much more efficient and more intensely focused on only the new information that you want to offer.
Good online writing recognizes that everyone reading an online document is just a few clicks away from millions of other document. The second the reader is bored, they will click away and find something else to do. So don't waste time on long introductions -- make your point, give your evidence, and state your case.
Now that we know why hyperlinks are useful, let's make some.
First, find the URL of the page you want to link to. Select the URL in the address window, and copy it to the clipboard (CTRL-C). Then return to MS Word, and select the text that you want to turn into a link. Now select "Insert -> Hyperlink" (or press CTRL-K), and a new box will appear. At the bottom, you'll see a blank labeled "Address." Paste your URL here (CTRL-V), and click OK.
Save your file, and test it your a web browser.
Exercise 8 asks you to write an informative hypertext. I'll have more details about that assignment soon. For now, please experiment with using hyperlinks efficiently.
Be as specific as you can when you use URLs. If, for instance, you say "According to the Washington Post, only 15% of students who took the written portion of the SAT wrote their answers in cursive." If you make "Washington Post" into a link to the newspaper's home page, your reader would have to hunt for the article you are citing. Instead, link to the specific article you are citing.Now open up a web browser, and look for some URLs to add to the page.
Keep your file and folder names simple. Avoid apostrophes or other unusual characters. Spaces will work, but it’s better to replace spaces with the underline character. Thus, instead of calling a file “jimbo’s web site of amazing awesomeness!!” try instead “jimbos_site” (or even better, just “jimbo”).
Don’t open multiple copies of a file. If you already have a file open in one program, sometimes you will get an error message when you try opening it in a different program. Close down all windows that you’re not using.
What is the most important thing that you have learned about college writing so far?
- Please start your paragraph with something other than "The most important thing that I learned about college writing is..." There is no need to repeat or rephrase the question. (And remember to come up with a thesis statement and reasoning blueprint.)I am specifically interested in what you have learned about college writing. A general answer -- such as time management or dealing with homesickness -- would be fine if the question were asking you to write about college life in general; but this question asks you to focus on basic comp.To answer this question, include brief quotes from your earlier work and your more recent work, to SHOW evidence that supports your claim about what you have learned.
This in-class activity emphasizes some important points about organization and revision.
How are you doing on your individual study plan? Reread your proposal, and come to class prepared to discuss and write about it.
Topic: your choice.
All I ask is that you check with me in advance, so we can both agree on what to expect. You don't have to finalize your topic today, just give it some good thought.
Everyone will resubmit a copy of their Essay 2 Revision, marked up to identify how it differs from the Essay 2 Draft. Later, students will be able to revise Essay 2 again, and resubmit it for additional credit.
In order to emphasize the value of global revision (making big changes to the organization and focus of a paper) as opposed to local revision (correcting the spelling mistakes and other small errors that I point out to you), I am introducing this markup and reflection assignment, which will lead up to an optional second revision of Essay 2.
Everyone should submit the revision activity that I describe on this page. It will be worth 8 points. If you like, you may also revise Essay 2 again -- but I want to see the results of this revision activity before I finalize the details for resubmission opportunity.
The Importance of Revising for Organization and Focus
Which would be more persuasive: a well-organized 500-word essay with a few spelling mistakes, or 500 properly-spelled words chosen at random from a dictionary?
When you revise, fix the global problems first, and leave the local changes until later.
A writing course expects students to put at least as much effort into revising each draft as they put into creating their first draft. Writers who fix the obvious grammar and spelling mistakes that their instructor pointed out are certainly improving their documents, but your goal should be to develop your ability to edit and revise your own work, thus reducing your dependence on an outside reader to catch your careless mistakes. Out in the real world, if your documents are full of errors, or heaps of general lists of the kinds of things that "some people" think are important, your ideas will be hard to notice alongside the equally valid ideas of people who organize and refine their papers so that readers have less trouble following along.
Markup and Reflection Activity
Part I: Preparation
1) Review your first draft of Essay 2, and look closely at the comments I made.
Some of those comments simply identify a proofreading error or other problem area (wordiness, POV shift, etc.). You can handle those easily, by making a specific change right there. (But note also that I don't try to point out every such mistake for you. I am looking for evidence that you can catch and fix such errors yourself.)
Some comments offer specific suggestions, such as, "Can you bring this point up earlier?" or "Is this the same friend you were talking about before?" Usually it is not sufficient to handle that kind of question by typing a few words at that specific point in the paper where I asked the question. Instead, the solution will require making larger, more significant changes earlier in the paper, in order to remove the confusion that caused me to ask the question in the first place. (And again, I won't try to predict every change that you need to make in order to solve the problem that I've pointed out. Part of the revision task involves seeing where a change that you make to one part of the paper affects the rest of the paper. So, if I ask for a stronger word in a paragraph, and you reuse a word that I've marked as "good" in the next sentence, the end result may be that both sentences look redundant.)
The most important comment is usually the one that I make in the upper left corner, where I try to state what your paper has accomplished, and give a big-picture observation.
2) Print out a copy of Essay 2 Draft, and keep it for reference.
3) Now look at the comments I made on Essay 2 Revision, and note the difference between comments that call for local changes, and comments that call for global changes.
4) Make a new copy of your word processor file for Essay 2 Revision. I will call this "Paper 2 Markup."
5) Looking closely at your printout of Essay 2 Draft, mark all the changes that you made with the highlight button (on my copy of Word, you select the text and click an icon that looks like a yellow highlighter pen). Use one color to mark local changes (fixing spelling mistakes, adding missing words, changing a punctuation mark, adding a few clarifying words, etc.). Use a different color to mark global changes (a new thesis statement, new sentences or examples, a significant reorganization of content). If you cut out a whole sentence or more, just add a little note like "Cut unnecessary introduction," and highlight the note as you would a global change.
1) At the top of your Essay 2 Markup, estimate what percentage of your Essay 2 Markup contained only local changes, and what percentage demonstrates your abiilty to make global changes.
2) What mark did I report for your Essay 2 Draft, and what mark did I report for Essay 2 Revision? Referring specifically to these scores, write a few lines that reflect on the relationship between the amount of global revision that you did, and the difference between those two grades.
3) When you are finished, upload your Essay 2 Markup into the proper slot on Turnitin.com.
Topic: A message about being a college student at SHU, that you wish someone had told you during your first few weeks of this term. Your intended reader is a future SHU freshman who is likely to face the same kinds of issues that most SHU freshmen face. You may be a commuter, but not all SHU fresmen commute. You may be on a sports team, but not all SHU freshmen will be athletes. Tips about the specific things that you have learned may not be useful to someone else.I am giving you a very broad topic, but for the first time I am asking you to think of a more specific audience.
In class we will watch a video of a slideshow by lawyer Larry Lessig, offering a talk on "Who Owns Culture?"
Take something you've written for this class, and remix it.
Rhyme it. Strum it. Rap it. Drum it.
Tattoo it. YouTube it. Put your heart and soul into it. Yode-lay-he-hoo it.
Supersize it. Compromise it. U.S.S. Enterprise it. Send-it-to-Hogwart's-ize it.
Borrow whatever you want, and make it yours.
Update: Some student questions so far: "Can I bring my guitar to class and sing my rough draft?" "Can I use PowerPoint?" "Can several of us get together and make a video?"
Yes, yes, and yes.
Submit something in the Turnitin.com slot for Par 12 draft.