• Day 13

    Hi everyone!

    Sorry for the late update: I usually post an announcement after class, but I had a LONG visit from a couple of students who waned to discuss their midterm exams, and then I had to get home and help with the baby. I’m posting this the first chance I got…


    Today was the last Monday for the Winter semester. We have only three more afternoons together. I’m sure you’re happy, but let’s try stay on task for the week.

    In class today, we did a small peer editing/feedback session, and I returned the paragraph portion of your midterm exam, as well as giving you your last Paragraph assignment. (See below for more about that.) We also discussed opinions and how to write about them, and looked at pages 182-83 in the textbook.

    There were two kinds of homework I gave you today:

    1. Textbook Homework (to be completed for Tuesday, 12 January 2016)

    I only gave a little textbook homework:

    • Reread Example Paragraph 66 (page 182-83) and look for any material you can use in your own Opinion Paragraphs.
    • Study Opinion Paragraph 3 and answer the questions (from the bottom of page 185-top of page 187).
    • Read the Writer’s Note on page 187, and note how in both ExampleParagraph 3, and in the example paragraph at the end of the Writer’s Note, the counterargument and refutation are located in different parts of the paragraph. (One has it near the beginning of the body, with the first “argument.” The other contains the counterargument and refutation near the end, with the last argument.)
    • Study both paragraphs (on pages 186-87) for any phrases, expressions, tags, or structurs you can use in your own Opinion Paragraphs.
    • Read about Facts & Opinions on page 188 and complete Activities 2 & 3 (on pages 188-89).

    This homework should be done before the beginning of class on Tuesday, 12 January.

    2. Group Writing Project (to hand in one copy on the day of our Final Exam, on Thursday 14 January 2016)

    You were assigned a group and chose a topic. The topics were suggested by students, and are all “impossible” or “imaginary” things. For that topic, your group must write a Process Paragraph explainig how to do something related to the topic. You need to be creative in your approach to the process, and don’t just copy some movie or TV show. For example, don’t use films like these as your model:

    Instead of copying those (and believe me, I’ve seen plenty of movies on all the topics chosen by our class’s groups), make sure you create your own interesting and unusual idea!

    For example, if your topic was “ghosts” then you could write a paragraph explaining any of the following processes:

    • How to enslave a ghost to work for you.
    • How to use magic to see the ghosts that are all around us.
    • How to catch and eat a ghost, in order to lengthen your own lifespan by five years.
    • How to ensure you will be a ghost when you die, instead of simply disappearing completely from existence.
    • How to check whether there are ghosts in an apartment before you move in.
    • How to safely and correctly summon the ghosts of people you love who have died, so you can talk with them.

    Any of those ideas are unique and unusual. Of course, they’re all impossible, since ghosts don’t exist, but the good news is that you can therefore make up whatever process you want. Use your imagination and have fun with it.

    Please review Chapter 7 for examples of Process Paragraphs. Remember: great writers steal! Find whatever you can that is useful. Also, remember: I strongly recommend that you work together in person to make your paragraph as good as possible. There’s something special about working together in the same room that is much better for collaborative writing than emailing a draft back and forth, or chatting online, or any other way of doing it.

    In any case, you must hand in the group paragraph at the beginning of the exam. I will ask the first person to finish the exam to go make copies of your paragraphs so that they can be returned you you when you complete you exam.

    Note: make sure that the name of every participating group member is on the top of the page, where the Student Name goes. This is important for two reasons: so I can give everyone a copy, and so that I know who participated. If a group member does not participate or contribute at all to the project, his or her name should not be included on the page. (But please let me know if you’ve left someone out, so I’m aware of the situation.)

    3. Don’t Forget!

    One last thing: don’t forget that the Descriptive Paragraph that you peer edited today (Monday, 11 January) should be edited and handed in (using the template I uploaded last week) at the beginning of tomorrow’s class. (On Tuesday, 12 January.)

    They must be handed in at the beginning of class or they will be considered late submissions. (And suffer a grade penalty.)

    See you tomorrow!

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