I Write the Class: Questionnaire for the Beginning of a Composition Class

I Write the Class:

Questionnaire for the Beginning of a Composition Class

Name:
College Email:
Alternate Email:
Major (or possible major):
Dream job:
Interests:

1. What kinds of texts do you like to read and why? (Be specific about forms, for example status updates on social networks, comic books, or scientific articles, as well as genres, such as science fiction, mystery or autobiography.)

Continue reading “I Write the Class: Questionnaire for the Beginning of a Composition Class”

Connecting Word Matching Exercise: Coordinating Conjunctions, Subordinating Conjunctions, and Transitions

Purpose: To get students to think about logical relationships of connecting words.

Preparation: Print out two sets of the sentences below, cutting one up and leaving the other whole as a guide to the sets of sentences. To make them more durable, you could paste them onto index cards cut in half. Find a chart that shows logical relationships of the three types of connecting words that students can refer to during the activity.

Activity: In class, explain that you have sentences that are cut in half and that students will have to find matches. Show one pair that does not work, then another that you have set aside beforehand that does work. Pass the cards out, then have students look for pairs. You will have to end the activity before all pairs are found.

Continue reading “Connecting Word Matching Exercise: Coordinating Conjunctions, Subordinating Conjunctions, and Transitions”

Express Yourself . . . in a Composition Class?

At the beginning of each semester, I give my students a questionnaire, asking them, among other things, what they like and dislike about writing. About 70% respond that they like writing because they can express themselves, their ideas, their opinions, and their feelings. About 40%, however, say that they don’t like writing about topics that don’t interest them. One student wrote, “I like writing when it’s not boring or on a boring topic. I don’t like writing long essays on a random book or a topic not interesting. I have to be interested in my writing and reading.”

Continue reading “Express Yourself . . . in a Composition Class?”

Finding Your Hidden Intellectualism: Writing Assignment Inspired by Gerald Graff’s Essay

Background

In this unit, we will look at hobbies and interests through which participants demonstrate “hidden intellectualism,” a term Gerald Graff coined to describe academic skills that participants utilize in traditionally non-academic pursuits, such as sports, cheerleading, comic books, video games, television, music, fashion, dancing, shopping, cooking, and so on. It’s not enough, however, to simply write about interests, student-scholars need to see their hobbies or interests through “academic eyes,” or as Ned Laff puts it, in “a reflective, analytical way, one that sees [their hobbies] as microcosms of what is going on in the wider culture” (qtd. in Graff 64). In other words, students need to show how the hobby relates to larger worlds of academics and culture.

Continue reading “Finding Your Hidden Intellectualism: Writing Assignment Inspired by Gerald Graff’s Essay”