Effective use of the everyday writer handbook: some examples

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Instructor’s Notes-The Everyday Writer by Lunsford,

O’Brien, and Dresden

Exercises – The Everyday Writer by Lunsford

(A few copies of these two supplemental resources are on the tables

for you to review during the session.)


* This site contains a wealth of resources for instructors.

Submitted by Jeanne Herman, HES Dept.

FTS 100-Women’s Health Issues
The Everyday Writer by Lunsford
Exercise: Taking Inventory of Our Writing - At least 20 minutes

*Modification of Activity from pgs. 11-12 in Instructor’s Notes;

Relates to the chapter on The Top Twenty from The Everyday Writer.
After the third writing assignment is returned in Women’s Health Issues we take some time to think about our writing and the comments on those assignments from both instructor and peers. These assignments are typically 1-3 pages in length with varied audience, style, and topic related to course readings and discussions.
Step 1: Students are asked to assemble and carefully review the first three assignments they wrote that contain peer and instructor comments.
Step 2: Students write a summary of what they learned by reviewing these comments. The summary may be a list or in paragraph format.
Step 3: Each student then groups the comments within the categories for the Top Twenty (found within the Everyday Writer).

For example: wrong word choice, missing comma after an introductory element, incomplete or missing documentation, vague pronoun reference, unnecessary comma, faulty sentence structure, etc.).

Step 4: Students then make a list of at least 7 STRENGTHS of their writing based on comments and assessment of the three assignments.
Step 5: Finally, each student describes 5 specific writing problems or goals to be addressed in the next assignment he or she writes.
*We take about a half hour to discuss this inventory and learn from one another. The instructor collects and reviews the inventory with attention to steps 4 and 5. On the fourth assignment, the instructor reviews the assignment and comments on the strengths and goals shared by the student in the inventory.

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