Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Color Coding Academic Writing Template v1 (10-15-2014)

Color Coding Academic Writing Template v1 (10-15-2014)

The following represents an ongoing effort to construct a color coding method to help undergraduates create and work with personalized academic paper templates. These ideas are NOT, of course, to suggest that academic writing is completely formulaic, at least not GOOD academic writing. They are, however, being put forth in recognition of the reality that good academic writing DOES operate on several recurrent lexical, syntactic, and discursive principles. 

Therefore, while the short-term goal is to assist my students as they begin using effective structural practices as the word, sentence, paragraph, and discourse levels in their writing, the long-term goal is my hope is that once my students have been repeatedly exposed to these techniques and the concepts that they engender, these ideas will begin to become part of their natural writing and, thus, inform all of the writing assignments that they will face throughout the remainder of their undergraduate and graduate experiences.

blue – context, background, details, explanations, illustrations, reasons,
green – transition words/phrases/techniques, signal phrases, structural indicators, mapping words
yellow – figurative language, rhetorical devices
gray – support, evidence, justification, sources
red – title, thesis statement (intro), thesis restatement (conclusion), topic sentences (body)
purple – point statements, answers to the “So what?” question, personal voice/expression
pink – audience awareness, recognizes the reader, acknowledges other viewpoints

Sunday, September 14, 2014

World Lit II: Haiku Group Activity

P. Shafer’s ENG 2320 World Lit II
Saturdays, 8-11am, AWC 201
Haiku Group Activity
September 13, 2014

In an effort to help them better understand the structure, language, and culture engendered in this historic poetic form, my World Lit II spent a little time constructing haiku poems in a guided group writing activity this past Saturday morning. So, after studying and writing about a number of haiku models by Basho, each group was asked to produce at least four haiku and to then choose one to present to the class for interpretation and response. Although this was many of these students’ first time ever trying such an activity—and some of them ended up bending the conventions of haiku—I am proud to present their efforts below. Although this is not a creative writing class, and I can claim no specialization in that area, I am nevertheless quite impressed by their results.

Group 1:

Halloween is here
kids carving pumpkins outside
excited for the night

Group 2:

waiting for the calm
majestically galloping
he falls and I feast!

Group 3:

A dog on a cold road—
As the cat
Anticipating summer.

Group 4:

catching fireflies
living fireworks in a jar
people go fishing

Group 5:

leaves fall perfectly
birds flying in the clear sky
brown on the dark ground

Group 6:

cold Christmas morning
kids playing with white snow
while others hang out

Group 7:

flashes of green light
two figures fall like red leaves
now a flight of death