Active Learning Institute. Spring Implementation Plan Scheduled for Fall Targeted Course: W131: Reading, Writing, and Inquiry

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1 Holland 1 Active Learning Institute Spring 2016 Implementation Plan Scheduled for Fall 2016 Targeted Course: W131: Reading, Writing, and Inquiry Marcy Holland, Associate Faculty, English Department Part One: Rationale for Choosing Strategy W131 is intended to prepare students for academic research and writing by teaching the proper format of academic papers, how to analyze and connect texts, how to argue a thesis, and the critical thinking skills that support these activities. Students will likely be more engaged in research and writing that relates to their own interests and intended careers than in writing in response to prompts and anthology readings that are simply given to them. A combination of flipped classroom techniques to free up time for more work on their papers in class and lab, including writing, revising, workshopping, peer reviewing, etc., and some freedom to choose their own readings and topics and even do some original research should be more agreeable to students and better prepare them for what they will be doing later in their careers. Part Two: Learning Goals Students will learn to: identify and narrow a topic efficiently research a topic optionally do some simple original research read accurately form and support a thesis analyze and make connections among sources construct and format an academic paper using MLA. Part Three: Syllabus Description This course in academic writing will help you learn to analyze readings, develop your ideas into strong thesis statements, and make connections among various readings to support those theses. Extensive practice in revision will help to reinforce these skills. We will build various skills in practice activities and three assigned papers, the third of which is a research paper. You will have freedom (within limits) to choose your own research topic and the

2 Holland 2 opportunity to do some original research as well as library research to support your thesis. You will do assignments outside of class to prepare for the writing that will be extensively workshopped and extended in class and lab. I suggest that you choose topics that will be of interest and of use to you as you pursue your major and career. Part Four: Description of Materials, and Activities Students will use the bank of course readings and the library databases to research topics. They will use Microsoft Word to write their papers. They may conduct surveys, observations, or other small-scale research activities to obtain evidence to support their thesis statements. Research Assignment for Essay 3: Using the readings from this course along with outside library research of your own, form a theory about an issue related to your major or minor or a strong interest. Write a proposal describing your research issue and provisional thesis and include an annotated bibliography of your readings. You may also do some original research, such as surveys or observations, to support your thesis. Use primarily the course readings and sources taken from the library databases. If you want to use something outside these sources, please run it by me. The final paper should be 7-8 full pages plus Works Cited, which should include 3-5 sources beyond assigned course readings. This essay, like earlier ones, should adequately meet all 8 course goals (found on pages 5-6 Handbook for Critical Reading, Writing, and Inquiry). Part Five: Integration into Course Some activities that are normally done in the classroom, such as reviewing material in The Handbook for Critical Reading, Writing, and Inquiry and various in-class exercises, will be done outside of class with quizzes and short assignments to measure students understanding and mastery of the material. Work on papers will be done in class and lab with workshopping and peer review activities as well as individual conferences. Instead of fixed readings from a standard reader and fixed prompts, students will have some choices of readings and topics that may relate more closely to their interests and future career plans. Readings will be chosen from a bank of available readings for the first two essays (with some choice allowed) with outside research added for the final essay. All essays must meet the English Department s 8 Exit Goals for First-Year Writing: 1. THESIS Announce the writer s own theory in the paper s introduction a theory that goes beyond common knowledge and beyond mirroring the text author s thesis or argument to explore/develop that controlling idea in the body of the paper 2. READING

3 Holland 3 Demonstrate accurate comprehension and effective representation of the course readings. This includes reading, rereading, and understanding the assigned source texts; identifying and defining key terms and ideas from those texts; accurate summary and paraphrase of texts; precise and nuanced close reading of texts; and the choice of relevant and appropriate context to convey the spirit as well as the specifics of each source text used in a paper 3. QUOTATION Introduce, interpret, and make effective use of the quotations included in a paper. Quotations are carefully chosen to work with key terms and ideas from the readings and are used to advance the thesis of the paper. The introduction to each quotation orients readers by providing an appropriate sense of the original context. Quotations are integrated into the grammar of the writer s own sentences. The writer will analyze and interpret every quotation and engage with the specificity of the text authors language. Sources for quotations are correctly cited using MLA style. (Note: competency in achieving this goal absolutely depends upon close, careful, accurate reading skills.) 4. EXAMPLES Incorporate detailed, concrete examples in most body paragraphs and mobilize those examples as evidence of a larger point the writer is making. Primarily, those specific examples will be drawn from the course readings and relayed through summary, quotation, and analysis. (If personal observation or experience is used as evidence in a body paragraph or in the conclusion, it must connect directly to the assigned readings and work to advance the thesis of the paper.) 5. CONNECTIONS/SYNTHESIS Explain or explore connections between readings in most body paragraphs, often by working with quoted evidence from both readings and/or by applying a key term or definition from one reading to a summarized example from another. These connections or relationships developed between texts often involve testing one author s terms and ideas against the experience/ideas of another. 6. ORGANIZATION Incorporate an organizational structure that presents well-developed paragraphs in a meaningful order, supports the exposition of the thesis or theory, and builds to an effective conclusion. This includes sentences that connect with adjoining sentences to form coherent paragraphs as well as paragraphs that connect to one another using transitions both to create a logical progression of thought and to forward the thesis or theory of the paper. 7. GRAMMATICAL FLEXIBILITY Use a variety of sentence structures to reflect complex thinking, including effective use of coordination and subordination; begin to demonstrate attention to style and diction

4 Holland 4 8. GRAMMATICAL CONTROL Demonstrate students ability to identify patterns of error and demonstrate control over those errors. In addition to eliminating errors that impede meaning, students must pay particular attention to the following: i. Spelling ii. MLA Format: Convention, Citation, Quotations iii. Pronoun Usage: Reference, Point of View (I, you, we), Antecedent iv. Sentence Structure (this would include severe sentence boundary issues such as sentence fragments, run-ons as well as misplaced modifiers) v. Verb Tense Shifts, including subject-verb agreement vi. Comma Usage/punctuation vii. Parallelism In addition to the goals above: (5 6 The Handbook for Critical Reading, Writing, and Inquiry) The final research essay in W131 must accomplish the following in order to pass: 1. Demonstrate competency in the exit goals specified for the earlier papers 2. Incorporate one or more of the assigned readings used in earlier papers in order to connect the research paper to the intellectual content of the course 3. Incorporate a Works Cited list of three to five sources, but build from a working bibliography of ten or more sources (beyond the assigned readings for the course). Because of the difficulty inherent in integrating numerous sources into the body of the paper, the Works Cited list is deliberately limited to the writer s key sources the primary materials being analyzed and the secondary framing materials. The bibliography incorporates background material that might enrich the writer s understanding of the topic and functions to help students improve their research skills. The bibliography should include some range of sources, including scholarly journal articles and books, but also allowing for background reference sources (e.g. specialized encyclopedias, popular magazines, and websites). 4. Run to 7 8 full pages, not including a Works Cited page Part Six: Appendix of Related Materials Library databases: (7 The Handbook for Critical Reading, Writing, and Inquiry) Bank of readings: expected to be available by Fall semester Supplemental materials: added to Canvas as needed

5 Holland 5 The Handbook for Critical Reading, Writing, and Inquiry Canvas quizzes and activities: Handbook quizzes Thesis exercises Topic sentence exercises 3 I s exercises Connection exercises Analysis of source exercises Outlining and organization exercises Analysis of sample paragraphs Analysis of their own errors on previous papers Reflection on what was most difficult for them on previous papers

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