Thursday, December 14, 2017

Writing 3 Class Notes -- Week 15 (December 14)


Well, we are done!  All of the students have presented their topics and the papers are to be handed in today.  Students, pat yourselves on the back, and parents, congratulate your students for their work.  Writing a research paper is a challenging task with many ups and downs, but these students have done well and should feel good about engaging in the process of such a task.

Today we heard from Grace about equine therapy, especially in regards to working with veterans with PTSD.  I was moved by the video that she showed and have a new appreciation for the challenges that our returning soldiers experience and also for the potential of this kind of therapy.

Maggie spoke well on various ways to prove the existence of God.  She shared a video from Prager University and explained the theories related to this discussion.  Good job tackling a complex topic.  

For those who did not bring paper copies of their papers to class today, please remember to share them on Google Docs or to attach a Word copy sometime today.  Also, if you did not hand in your most recent rough draft with my comments, please send that.  If you can't scan it, take a picture of the pages and attach them in an e-mail.

My hopes is to have the papers read and graded before Christmas, but it that doesn't happen, you should see grades from me by January 7.  (I'll have another e-mail that explains how I grade the work done in this class.)

Class Notes

Have a great Christmas!
Mrs. Prichard

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Writing 3 Class Notes -- Week 13 (November 30)


We had our first presentation this week.  Jade shared some details from her research about the effects of divorce on adolescence; she also brought someone to interview as part of her presentation.  We all learned a lot from her presentation.  Good work, Jade!

We are nearing the end of our semester, and most of the focus for the class is finishing the papers and putting together the presentations.  There's very little that I have to teach them at this point, but I've been doing more answering of questions in the past weeks.  We talked this week about the "hows" of the presentations and steps for revising their rough drafts.

The presentations can be an overview of the main facts of their research, or it can be focused on one section.  They can use PowerPoint slides, poster boards, or other items for visual presentations.  In fact, they don't need visual aids if not absolutely necessary.

When revising their papers, students should look at these areas:
1.  Introduction (with a hook, thesis, and road map), conclusion (summary, thesis, and parting words).  In addition, they should make sure that their thesis statement is clearly stated in the intro and reiterated in the conclusion.
2.  Content.  
3.  Organization, including transitions.
4.  Mechanics & grammar

When professional editors go through manuscripts, they often work from the end to the beginning.

This is the last week to hand in any rough drafts, whether it's a second or third rough draft.  If a student wants me to go over his/her paper before handing in the final draft, I would like to have them by Sunday night so that I have time to go over them by next Thursday.  

If you have any questions about any aspect of your paper or presentation, make sure you contact me.

This week's Class Notes.

Keep Calm and Get Those Papers Done.
Mrs. Prichard

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Writing 3 Class Notes -- Week 12 (November 16)


We are nearing the end of the semester, which is also the end of this writing project.  At the beginning of the class we did a quick review of the schedule for the next few weeks:
  • 11/23 -- No class -- Thanksgiving Break
  • 11/30 -- Week 13 (Jade presents)
  • 12/7 -- Week 14 (Therese & Jean-Marc present)
  • 12/14 -- Week 15 (Grace and Maggie present)

The final drafts of the essays are due by December 14, but they can hand them in before then.  If they want to hand in a third rough draft, that should be done before December 7.  It takes a significant amount of time for me to go over these longer papers, so I need to make sure that I have enough time to return them.

I usually include some practice with ACT and SAT essays at some point during the Writing 3 class.  Today we talked through an ACT Essay prompt and brainstormed how to organize this kind of essay.  These essays require that they evaluate three perspectives and develop their own opinion about the prompt.  

I did some quick explanations about the Works Cited page and parenthetical citations.  We've talked through these aspects of a research paper, but it's really not until they do their own writing that the instruction make sense.

After the work with the ACT Essay, I handed out rough drafts that had been handed in so that we could do some Peer Edits.  The students carefully read the papers by their classmates and made good comments.

Assignments for November 30
-- Keep working on your papers!
-- Prepare your presentation

Links for This Week
Class Notes

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Mrs. Prichard

Friday, November 10, 2017

Writing 3 Class Notes -- Week 11 (November 9)


This week we did some problem solving for specific difficulties relating to format/citations. As students are working on their papers, they don't always know what they don't know (or can't do) until they encounter difficulties.  I showed them how to do hanging indents in both Google docs and Word.  We discussed how what to put between the parentheses of an in text citation.  

In a short time, students are to present their information to the class.  They can share the highlights of their topics or focus on just one aspect.  Some students have not done PowerPoint or Google slide presentations.

Students handed in their second rough drafts, which I will go over this week and hand back next week.  Next week we will do some peer reviews.

Assignments for Next Week
-- Work on your presentation

Links for This Week
Class Notes
Changing Educational Paradigms (One of my favorites ever!)

Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Prichard

Friday, November 3, 2017

Writing 3 Class Notes -- Week 10 (November 2)


This week we covered information about citing sources and incorporating sources into the text of the research paper.  We've covered this material in a number of ways during the past two weeks, but until a person has a chance to do this in their own papers, some of the instruction doesn't stick.  Hopefully all of the students are at that place in their writing that they have "hooks" on which to hang this information.

As we talked about citations and Works Cited pages, I showed the students some online sources; those links and others will be at the bottom of this e-mail.  With the handouts that I've given the students, the MLA Handbook, and the multitude of online sources, the students should be able to find answers to any citation question that they have.  Of course, they can always feel free to send me an e-mail with specific questions that they can't find the answers to.

As they are finishing their second rough drafts, they need to do the following:
Check all their information -- if they got ideas, statistics, etc. from any source, they need to cite it.
Check for generalities -- be as specific as possible to keep the paper from being vague.
Consider how you incorporated your researched information -- check to see if signal phrases are appropriate to the information.

The class signed up for presentation times.  In our discussion this week, I briefly mentioned the parameters for these, and we will go over them more thoroughly next week.  In a nutshell, students will present to the class the material they feel would be interesting and important to know.  This might be just one aspect from their research or quick summaries of the whole of their information.  They should NOT read aloud the entirety of their paper.  They also need to have a visual component.  PowerPoint works well for this, but in the past students have also put together tri-fold presentation boards or brought in items to show the class.  (I've had chickens, drones, and Danish cookies as part of presentations.)

These are the presentation dates:
November 30 -- Jade
December 7 -- Therese, Jean-Marc
December 14 -- Grace, Maggie

It's about this time of the process that students get sick of their topics and feel that they have an unending project hanging over their heads.  It they've procrastinated, they are feeling the effects.  Ideally, the students are given a significant amount of time so that they can carefully craft a well-written research paper while learning the principles of plagiarism, correct citations, and appropriate incorporation of their researched material.  What often happens is students put off their work or are over scheduled and can't get to their work, resulting in the stress of throwing together something to meet a deadline. I've mentioned to the class many times that this project is as much an opportunity to learn about themselves as students as it is about the paper itself.  Please take some time this week to check in with your students and to encourage them.  

Assignments for Next Week
-- Rough Draft #2
-- Works Cited page
-- Start planning your presentation

Links for This Week:
Class Notes

Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Prichard

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Writing 3 Class Notes -- Week 9 (October 26)


The days have sped by, and I've been so focused on correcting my pile of rough drafts from Writing 1 and Writing 2 that the class notes for all three classes simply slipped my mind.  For those who rely on them for the homework, I most humbly apologize!

So, to cut to the chase, here is the homework for this week:

Assignments for Thursday, November 2
-- We've adjusted the due date for the second rough draft and have a one week extension
-- Rough Draft #2 is due November 9
-- Works Cited Draft #1 is due November 9

Links for this week:
Class Notes

See y'all on Thursday
Mrs. Prichard

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Writing 3 Class Notes -- Week 8 (October 12)


Again, my apologies for not sending out a full set of class notes last week.

We began our discussion with the special challenges that come with writing a research paper, and then discussed the specific challenges that each of the students was having.  At each stage of the process, the challenges are a little different.  One that was mentioned included writing the sentences and the paragraphs with a sense of order and coherence.

We watched three short videos about proper documentation, in text citations, and developing a Works Cited page.  See the links below for those videos and a couple others that will be helpful.

We finished the class by doing some peer reviews of the first rough drafts that were due today.  The papers were in various degrees of completeness.  This first draft is important for having the right content and order.   I've asked the students to have their rough drafts e-mailed to me by next Thursday so that I can go over them.

Below is the schedule for drafts that are due:
October 19 (Fall Break) -- Rough Draft #1
October 26 -- Works Cited Draft #1
November 11 -- Rough Draft #2
November 9 -- Works Cited #2
November 16 -- Rough Draft #3 (opt.)
November 30, December 7, December 14 -- Presentations
December 7, December 14 -- Final Drafts 

Assignments for October 26
-- Work on Rough Drafts (e-mail by October 19)
-- Works Cited Draft #1

Links for this Week
Class Notes

Have a great weekend and a wonderful break!
Mrs. Prichard