My dirty little secret: I don’t grade papers” Christensen_Moving Beyond Judgement

Here’s how writing works in this class:

1) This course is designated as “Writing Intensive,” which means that we are required to cover writing instruction, produce 10-15 pages of polished writing, and at least one writing assignment must be revised and resubmitted.

(You can find the current full description of writing intensive requirements at: http://onestop.umn.edu/faculty/lib_eds/guidelines/writing_intensive.html)

2) You will be asked to complete a number of writing assignments this semester. They are:

  • A three-part free-writing assignment (3–6 pages total)
  • An outline activity that will help you think through your writing projects (1 page)
  • A distillation project that will help you say what you mean to say (1 pages)
  • 4-6 blog posts as assigned throughout the semester (4–5 pages)
  • A final revision essay (including revisions and meta-commentary; 1–2 pages)

3) Many instructors who teach writing spend a disproportionate amount of time focusing on your grammar and writing structure—or not—yet expect you to know what is expected intuitively. You know what I’m talking about. In this course, I am primarily interested in getting your creative juices flowing. Emphasis will be placed on the substance of your writing, in other words, how well you used written words to represent the passions and ideas in your heart and head. The revision essay will be assigned as a meta-commentary in an effort to hone this aspect of writing. Meta-commentaries are written reflections on your assignments. Revisions and more, think of them as writing about what you would change in a revision and explaining why. They are designed to get you thinking critically about your own writing and the flexibility language allows for telling people what you think and feel.

4) You are a product of your culture. Meditate on your own docility.

5) Writing evaluation in this course happens in a group setting under the rubric of participation. Since we are emphasizing ideas—not copyediting—you need feedback from multiple perspectives in order to generate words that more clearly reflect your thoughts. You will have ample opportunities to maintain your participation percentage by submitting thoughtful examples on time so that you will be able to participate in peer response.


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