Re-envisioning Comp II (again)

Okay. I think I almost have the assignment sequencing down for my Comp II classes. With some tweaking. Of course. Here’s what I’m thinking (keep in mind that we’re required to have 4 major projects in Comp II, at least 2 of which must be research-based):

  • Sequence I: keep the interview write-up, but add 2-3 more class sessions for drafting purposes (students interview one person, either a faculty member in intended major/program, advanced student in intended program, or person currently working in intended career).
  • Sequence II: scale back rhetorical analysis–focus on one text in shorter essay OR move annotated bib/outline to sequence II and make sequence III a genre analysis of genre student will compose for persuasive text?? Hmm.
  • Sequence III: annotated bib (up the number of sources to 10?) and outline/abstract, BUT start project earlier in semester OR move this up to sequence II and make sequence III a short essay analyzing the genre the student will use for the persuasive text. Hmm #2.
  • Sequence IV: compose a persuasive text in a genre of the student’s choice to an audience of their choosing. I like this project and it’s staying, but I need to figure out a way to add more time for drafting, methinks…
  • Journals=rename this category “informal writing” so that it encompasses  my requests for students to email me occasionally. Also, collect individual responses randomly and give credit/points, but don’t tell students in advance so they must keep up with the responses no matter what? Or is that too evil? Should I still ask them to keep informal writing in a folder/notebook all semester and check it at midterm and end of the semester for full credit, too?
  • Discussion launches=I like the idea of this assignment, but it needs some tweaking to become more engaging, and I think the problem stems from focusing on assigned readings. Instead, I’m thinking of asking students in pairs to find an article/website/source of a recent news story and then cite/summarize it and come up with some questions about the topic/story to brainstorm topic ideas for research projects; also, instead of handouts, they can send the info to me to post on the class blog. We’ll also practice summarizing/annotating assigned readings as informal writing as practice. Hmm. Maybe make this a “do it and get credit” sort of thing instead of including a rubric? Yeah, I’m thinking so.

I’m not teaching comp II again until next spring, so I still have time to think about this.

Update [May 2]:I think I might have something here…

Sequence I & II: inventing/finding topics (also focusing on summarizing and evaluating texts)

Sequence I: ask students to find news stories and annotate them to post on the blog (a la discussion launch idea above); then, ask them to choose one of the stories from the blog (of interest to them) to read closely & analyze in a short 3-4 page essay?

Sequence II: interview write-up–focusing on intended career/major

Sequence III: choosing a topic of interest (from one of the previous two sequences, preferably)–compiling an annotated bib/outline

could I possibly fit a short genre analysis in here? Analyze genre student wants to use for final project???

Sequence IV: persuasive text


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 Comp/Rhet, How it’s going, Monthly progress review, Oklahoma, pedagogy, Students, teaching

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