Thanks to Yana, Alec, Eugene, and Grace for volunteering to do the next blog posts! Yana and Alec will write on Hernandez, Eugene and Grace on the other reading.
Everyone else: be sure to check in before class and see if their posts are up! Write a substantive reply for class participation credit.
The main course syllabus outlines the major essays for the course. In addition, all students will write:
- Blog posts on the reading assignments (signups during the first week of class). Posts count for Additional Writing; responses to posts count toward class participation
- An analysis of the musical Fiddler on the Roof (which we will attend as a class 9/26)
Additional Writing assignments (including Blog Posts) will all be given points. The Additional Writing grade will be given a letter grade corresponding to the percentage of points earned.
Participation has many components, including in class activity, the discussion facilitation, blog post responses, and other assignments.
40% of the participation grade will be based on in class regular class participation
20% of the participation grade will be based on the discussion facilitation
40% of the participation grade will be based on blog post responses and other assignments designated CP (Class Participation) on the course schedule. These assignments will have points. This part of the Participation grade will be a percentage grade: the percentage of points earned.
Don’t forget: Participation and the final course grade are also affected by absences.
Formal Essay #1 20%
Formal Essay #2 20%
Formal Essay #3 20%
Additional Writing Assignments 20%
Class Participation 20%
Your professor will be assigning about 2,000 words of additional formal writing assignments beyond the three formal essays described above. This total of 2,000 words may include another large essay, short essays, reaction pieces to certain readings, formal summaries of the main arguments of articles, etc. Your professor will let you know what the requirements are for your section.
In total, all students in each section of PACS 1 will write approximately 6,000 words of formal, finished prose, although it may be distributed slightly differently from one section to another. The total amount of writing corresponds with national standards for first-semester writing courses.
There are Student Writing Mentors available in the Student Writing Center in the Library (2nd floor) specifically for PACS 1 students. The Writing Mentors offer on-demand, drop-in tutorials. They will see students on referral from faculty, by appointment from students themselves, or simply as “drop-ins.” Writing Mentors can assist student writers in the following ways:
- Holding regular, drop-in office hours in the Student Writing Center to handle a range of writing issues
- Consulting with students in the early stages of writing: brainstorming, outlining, idea mapping, etc.
- Responding to first, second, or third drafts of assigned essays
- Assisting students with required revisions of graded or returned essays
- The mentors, however, are NOT there to proofread, edit, or evaluate your drafts. They don’t do the work for you; they help you with ideas on how you can improve.
The Writing Center is open during regular Main Library hours for student use beginning September 11. The PACS 1 Writing Mentor staffing schedule will be posted and information sent out to all faculty early in the semester. For additional information, contact Interim Director Eileen Camfield by phone at 942-2970 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the Writing Center at 817-1497.
Reading carefully and critically lays the foundation for college-level writing. PACS 1 has a number of days in its schedule specifically devoted to helping students understand the requirements and practices of college-level writing. Some of that time will be devoted to learning principles and practices and some will be spent working with other students in peer review.
Once again, the main rubric categories will be an important part of the framework:
- Focus: The development of a purposeful claim in a clear thesis
- Support: The use of reasoning and gathering of evidence to strengthen the thesis
- Coherence: The arrangement of the parts of an argument / paper to enhance the flow of reasoning from one part to the next and make a coherent whole
- Correctness: The crafting of sentences and paragraphs correctly so as to express the writer’s ideas
- Style: The selection of words and refinement of sentence structures to create a sense of the writer’s attitudes in the development of “voice.”
Writing Workshop 1: The big picture and the need for academic integrity.
- Academic writing starts with careful and critical reading—”inhabiting” a text to find out what its author says.
- It responds to ideas from texts by “critiquing” them—testing their reasoning and evidence.
- Both inhabiting and critiquing are necessary; neither one is enough to constitute good academic writing by itself.
- Academic integrity means knowing the requirements and forms of academic work.
Writing Workshop 2: A clear main idea (thesis) and reasoning and evidence to support it.
- Developing a good thesis begins with discovering what it is you want to say.
- Developing a thesis means clarifying the relationship among main points.
- Support is the development of main points with reasoning and evidence.
Writing Workshop 3: A good structure moves from point to point, and clear sentences and paragraphs express ideas and shape attitudes.
- Coherence: orderly paragraph structure to guide the reader.
- Correctness is absolutely essential! Tripping up the reader with mistakes creates an irritated audience!
Writing Workshop 4: All good writing is re-writing, and nothing engages the reader more than a strong sense of voice in an essay.
- Revision: Rewriting means taking a fresh look, not just patching and filling. Is there a better way to make your point?
- Editing: Using words and sentences effectively.
- Style: Word choice matters! Developing your own “voice” gives the reader a sense of your commitment to your ideas. That makes for strong engagement.