Posts Tagged ‘revision’

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How Have Your Assignments Evolved?

posted: 4.30.15 by Andrea Lunsford

If you’ve been teaching for some time, I wonder if you’ve seen some of your favorite assignments evolve or change over time. I’m realizing that a number of mine have, almost without my noticing. Right now I’m thinking of my much loved “long sentence assignment.” I started giving this assignment to break up the lengthy research project my students all do, and in particular to focus for a bit on syntax and style. It’s a low stakes assignment, much like finger exercises on the piano, meant for fun and practice, though I do assign a few points to it. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Andrea Lunsford, Revising, Rhetorical Situation, Teaching Advice, Visual Rhetoric
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Word Clouds as Revision Tools

posted: 3.10.15 by Traci Gardner

Word clouds highlight the most frequently used words in a text, using larger font sizes for the words used most often and smaller sizes for those used less often. The word cloud below, created with Wordle, highlights the most frequently used words in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18:

These word clouds can become analytical tools as students look at the words used most frequently and notice which ones stand out. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Digital Writing, Drafting, Revising, Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
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Can Life Stories Be Revised?

posted: 2.19.15 by Andrea Lunsford

You may have seen an article in the New York Times called “Writing Your Way to Happiness.” This essay corroborated earlier research that has connected writing with improved health, though the author here focuses on if and how writing can lead to behavioral change and “improve happiness.” A number of studies indicate that writing can indeed lead to such changes. As the author puts it, “by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.” [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Andrea Lunsford
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Multimodal Mondays: Composing within the Blogosphere

posted: 1.26.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Kim Haimes-Korn.

When I first started using blogging in my classes it was in an advanced writing class as a specialized genre, presented as an extension of the classical essay form. This was easy to demonstrate to students because of the particular characteristics:  the desire to discover, the conversational tone, the writerly movement between the specific and the universal, the strong sense of audience engagement.   I also have students create electronic portfolios in many of my classes. The portfolios provided a place for students – as working writers – to revise their writings and showcase their work in public arenas. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Revising, Teaching with Technology, Writing Process
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A Surprise from Google Drive

posted: 11.25.14 by Traci Gardner

Maybe it’s just me, but I suspect that every teacher wonders if students will build on what they learn in a class or even use the information in the future. Now thanks to Google Drive I have irrefutable evidence that they do.

First, let me provide some background. I have been trying to make the assignments in my Technical Writing classes relate closely to tasks students need to do anyway, either as interns, in their classes, or as they prepare to enter the work force. I talk explicitly about how the tasks relate to the workplace writing they are doing or will do. [read more]

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Categories: Business Writing, Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
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How Do We Revise?

posted: 11.6.14 by Barclay Barrios

This week’s guest blogger is Rebecca Jensen.  Rebecca is an MFA student at Florida Atlantic University where she teaches two classes of first-year composition. She worked as fiction editor for Driftwood Press, a literary magazine based in Tampa and is currently nonfiction editor for FAU’s Coastlines. After sixteen years spent living in England, Rebecca is enjoying her rediscovery of Florida, using the experience to investigate themes of travel and identity in her own creative work.

 In this post Rebecca turns the question of revision back on ourselves.  I have to admit that after reading it I realize I can’t readily articulate how I revise either.

“But Miss Jensen, how do you revise?”

It’s my first semester as an MFA student and instructor of English, so you would think that I’d be able to answer this with ease. Yet the question posed by one of my students took me off guard. One of the most important qualities I have always looked for in a teacher is confidence, and I hope that this is what my students usually see in me. So when I was faced with this question, I hated to admit in front of them all that I don’t actually know how to do it. I don’t have a specific technique, and I don’t hold the key to the revision process. [read more]

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Categories: Barclay Barrios, Uncategorized
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Steven Pinker traces the source of bad writing

posted: 10.2.14 by Andrea Lunsford

In September 25’s Wall Street Journal, Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker (author of The Language Instinct, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and many other books) published an essay on “The Source of Bad Writing.” You can read the essay here—and it looks to be an excerpt from a chapter in his hot-off-the-presses The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, a volume I will review soon. [read more]

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Multimodal THURSDAY: It’s all Greek to me…until someone writes an e-mail

posted: 9.25.14 by Andrea Lunsford

Guest blogger Diantha Smith is a PhD candidate in English and the Teaching of English at Idaho State University. She teaches both online and face-to-face composition classes and loves incorporating a variety of media into both. In this post, Diantha offers a digital writing assignment to introduce students to rhetorical terms and concepts. [read more]

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Categories: Uncategorized
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The Crazy Quilt Theory of Process

posted: 6.30.14 by Susan Naomi Bernstein

Many years ago, I gave a conference presentation entitled “Piecing Together an Academic Life.” At the time, I was making a quilted pillow of my clothes from graduate school, and of pieces donated by family and friends from different parts of their lives. My presentation focused on how we take the different pieces of our experiences to quilt together a new configuration, an object that values each piece separately—but also a piece in which the whole eventually becomes greater than the sum of the parts. [read more]

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Categories: Susan Naomi Bernstein
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A Revision Plan Assignment

posted: 5.20.14 by Traci Gardner

I haven’t had the best of luck with giving students the chance to rewrite their assignments. Usually what I get back shows students fixing the errors I have marked. Rarely do they do any deep reimagining of their pieces. While I want to encourage critical thinking and engagement, what I get feels more like tedious busywork. [read more]

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Categories: Traci Gardner
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