Thoughts for next semester OR: what I’ve learned so far. . .

These are mostly notes to help me plan for next semester, so this post will probably be incomprehensible to other people.

ENG 1113:

  • Assignment sequencing: personal essay, op-ed text, rhetorical analysis, in-class exam, revision.
  • the rhetorical analysis assignment has been quite difficult for students this semester.
  • rhetorical analysis is a good bridge assignment to 1213, so explain it as such.
  • start with parts of a sentence/sentence fragments.
  • change personal essay assignment a bit: offer them a mix of prompts to respond to a la class essay exam and constraints from original assignment.
  • shorten rhetorical analysis assignment to 3-5 pages: either analyze a speech or website OR compare and contrast two ads, which will allow me to discuss compare/contrast with students.
  • op-ed text: give fewer prompt options (say 3-4) and try to focus on genre more.

ENG 1213

  • assignment sequencing seems to work well so far
  • for place ethnography, add in a requirement for students to interview at least one person, so we can start to work on integrating quotations and MLA citation EARLY ON.
  • Make sure to schedule library sessions closer together and about 2 days into sequence II.
  • Find more examples of annotated bib and prospectuses.
  • Explain that this prospectus is a combination prospectus and position paper.
  • Work on focusing student topics earlier in sequence II.
  • Divide library sessions as follows: 3 days in sequence II and 1 one day in sequence III (argument).

For both classes:

  • work in more grammar exercises earlier.
  • don’t be afraid to do some grammar exercises with students to make sure they understand.
  • collect journals earlier and more often throughout the semester OR change it to informal responses and collect them every class period (or maybe once a week). . .
  • require students to turn in either a notebook or a folder of journal entries, though they can type the entries if they’d like. no emailing journal responses.
  • have students take notes in journals for group work more often.
  • ask students to bring in example texts at various points in the semester?
  • don’t be afraid to discuss content other than writing (i.e. political issues, etc.)
  • start class with a question of the day writing.
  • toughen up attendance policy: lower overall grade by 1/2 a letter grade after certain number of absences.

That’s all I’ve got so far. . .

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I am an associate professor of English and writing center coordinator at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I teach courses in composition, creative nonfiction, fundamentals of English, and peer tutoring.

Posted in Students, teaching, Troubleshooting

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