Dr. ^w^ (mortalwombat731) wrote in write_an_essay,
Dr. ^w^
mortalwombat731
write_an_essay

Composition-slash-Rhetoric

I am pretty excited by this assignment, which will be my second one of the semester, focusing more on identification and description than the first, and leading into compare and contrast. I'm hoping the Blackboard bit will work. However, I think the third paragraph "prompt" (in red) needs work. Suggestions?

This is a two-part assignment.

Part One involves posting to Blackboard. The two paragraphs must be posted to Blackboard no later than 8:00PM on Wednesday 26 January. Responses to your classmates’ posts should be made by 8:00PM on Thursday 27 January, and your final post by 3:00P Sunday 30 January.

2.1.A (by 8P Wednesday): Write a one-paragraph description of something tangible, something that you can see/touch/feel. However, do not name it. In your second paragraph, discuss the difficulties for you in writing the paragraph, and probably more significantly, the difficulties for your reader. Do you think your reader will “get” what you are describing? (You still haven’t named the object)
2.1.B (by 8P Thursday): Read through your classmates’ posts. Choose three, and guess what the object is in a response post (in the same thread).
2.1.C (between Friday afternoon and 3P Sunday): Read your classmates’ responses and guesses. Now, in a well-written paragraph that does not apply only to your description, discuss the relationship between description and identification.

Part Two is due in class on Wednesday 2 February. This more complete assignment should draw on the thinking and writing you did for Part One; for example, when will you identify the things you are describing? How much will your description depend on the naming of the object?

In your first paragraph, describe something that you can see. (You can rework your paragraphs from Part One of this assignment)

In your second paragraph, describe something that you cannot see. (Please think about each of these descriptions independently of one another. Your essay will be boring if you choose a tangible and intangible version of the same “thing.”)

Finally, in your third paragraph, expand on these descriptions. What is description? What sort of conclusions can you reach about descriptions?


Also, I should mention that I will be meeting with them something like 8000 times between when I hand this out and they hand the final part in.
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  • 10 comments
Rather than asking "what is description," whi will get you some really dumb answers, try something like "What should description achieve?" or "What should a good description achieve?" or something. You can MG that us however you choose, but you get my drift.

Also, will this be all they are working on, or will there be other stuff?
Thanks! That's what I was looking to try to ask!

This is their homework-y stuff; we'll be talking alot about related issues in class...
Good luck getting them to follow all those directions!

I'd love to be able to use Blackboard, but I think the school's internet suckiness makes itmore trouble than it's worth. I had enough problems getting essays e-mailed to me.
We'll see if it works; I may need to give it in pieces, but it may be more effective as is, as a lesson in following directions.

I really didn't have too many problems with Blackboard, and I used it alot.
i would definitely kill extra trees on this assignment or post the parts separately. x is absolutely right--they're going to have trouble with the directions.

For the third part i might ask them about the criteria for a good description. What makes a good description difficult to achieve?
I have it in pieces now, some as Blackboard material. Apparently, it's more complicated than I thought, but my reasoning for doing so many steps is based on what I felt my students needed in previous semesters. Of course, I really think that they should learn to follow more than one instruction at a time, but I guess I will give them a break.

Thanks for the P3; I don't know where I came up with the sentence I had up.
I tried to make them follow multiple directions, over and over again. Many lost points needlessly. It's no good.
Eeh, if they cannot follow fairly simple but detailed instructions, I don't see that as "needlessly" losing points... welcome to the real world, munchkins. However, I have simplified the formatting of the assignmentand done a few other things that make it less complex. My students last year actually did better with lots of things when they saw what the end purpose was, so I have hopes that I can treat them like relatively not-brain-dead adults.
I meant "needless" in the sense that they would not have lost points if they had just followed directions.
Precisely.