Final Class: Rough Draft Review, Evaluations, Tearful Goodbyes

The Rogh dRft Revue!

Today we will do a rough draft review by simulating the grading of your papers.  First, however, let’s analyze the rubric.  With a partner, re-read the rubric and describe each of the grades in your own words.

For example, what are all the elements needed to give an A (“Excellent”) grade for outcome 1? Quantity of evidence? Use of evidence? Analysis? Context? Other elements necessary? How does that differ from a B (“Almost Excellent”) grade?  Another tactic may be to differentiate between “strong”,  “very effective”, “effective”, and “adequate” etc for the various learning outcomes. Try to be as specific as possible.  You might find it easier to detail an “A” paper versus a “C” or “C-” (“Almost Acceptable”).

“To get an “Excellent” ranking on Learning Outcome #1, I should include  a minimum of three pieces of evidence from at least two of the documents I have included in my portfolio that, ideally, shows growth and development.”

Once you’ve done that for all learning outcomes use those as a basis for the evaluation of rough drafts. Exchange papers and use the rubrics to grade the paper in front of you, giving an honest grade for each outcome. Explain in a sentence why you gave the grade you did.

When you’re done, if time permits, find another peer to work with. First, switch rubrics to see whether your analyses of the reading rubric coincide. If they don’t, try to come up with a common ground and discuss where your interpretations differ. Do the same for another paper. After you come to an agreement, grade each other’s papers and discuss your feedback for revision.


Final Word of Advice on the Reflection

Don’t Panic!  Ever, really. Not just on this assignment.  Be sure to use enough, appropriate evidence from a variety of sources to discuss each learning outcome.  Weave your discussion as a narrative of your progress through the semester.

Rate Me!

It’s now your turn to evaluate me.  Don’t hold back. Don’t pull any punches. Tell them what you think of me.  Lay it all out on the line. As an instructor, I do value the feedback from student evaluations, and I have adjusted my teaching based on the feedback. As a department, evaluations, along with your reflections and portfolios, help us decide whether or not our changes are effective and well-received.  If there is anything you really like or dislike about this course or me, now is the time to air your grievances or lavish praises.

Course Info:

  • Instructor: Bradley Stabler
  • Course Name: English 1020
  • Course Section: 902
  • CRN (Course Reference Number or Call #): 11588

To preserve the authenticity of the evaluation process, I may not handle the materials and must be out of the room.  I will need a volunteer to gather the evaluations and drop them off at the front desk of this building.  I will be in the lounge area if anyone needs me.

It has truly been an honor and a pleasure working with and getting to know all of you. This class has been one of the most enjoyable groups I have had the pleasure to work with and, as it very well may be the last section I teach at Wayne State, I will remember each and everyone of you fondly. If there is anything you need from me after this semester (recommendations, writing assistance, Bigfoot hunting tips) please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Homework: Finish the Reflective argument.  Upload the entire portfolio to SafeAssign via BlackBoard by 11:59 pm Sunday, December 7. 

Submission Instructions

  1. Assemble your file as a single document in the following order (see attached template):
    1. Cover Page
    2. Reflective Argument
    3. Appendices
  1. Name your file using the following protocol: CRN_accessID_1020F2014
    Example: 11588_ba9104_1020F2014
  1. Upload your file to Blackboard. Post a copy to your blog.
Good luck on your exams and have a wonderful break! You’ve earned it!



Making Claims

In Project 5, you’ll develop claims about your progress or growth in each of the four learning outcomes (writing, reading, researching, and reflecting). Each of these contains several elements, and while you’ll address each element, you’ll likely do so to varying degrees.

This link might be helpful to review regarding claims.

Claims need to be specific and arguable, and will likely fall in one of the categories below.

Claims of fact or definitionMany of you ended your I-search papers with such claims (though you may not be aware of it). For example, if your I-Search question was, “What do I need to do to be a successful English major?” and your research led you to answers like engaging in the academic community and reading and writing daily, then you’d be defining, in essence, what a successful English major looks like: “A successful English major engages in the academic community and reads and writes daily.”

Practice: What does it take to be a successful college writing (1020) student? What characteristics would you fill in the blank, based on your experiences in the class?

Claims about value–If you have found certain areas of the writing or research process to be especially important in your success in projects, or for reaching particular audiences, you might develop claims about these elements. For example, “Eliminating wordiness in college writing is important because it makes one’s ideas more clear and succinct for the reader,” could be a claim about what is especially valuable in college writing. 

Practice:  What skill did you gain or enhance over the course of this semester?  What part of the writing process had the largest impact on your success at writing tasks?

Claims of cause and effectPerhaps you see your work on one of our projects or an in-class activity as having been especially key in one of your growth areas as a writer. In this case, you could note the causal link between the experience and the result: “Because so-and-so’s I-Search paper was so engaging to me when I read it, I used it as a model for my own project. Using so-and-so’s paper as a model helped me write an equally engaging I-Search paper.” The second sentence here would be a cause and effect claim. 

Practice:  To what extent did writing short responses assist you in creating successful large writing projects?

Claims about solutions or policiesYour proposal arguments centered on these kinds of claims; with your group, you identified a need or issue and then proposed a solution to address that need or issue. While policy claims are not likely to show up in a reflective argument essay, as you think broadly about your research and writing process, you might be able to develop some solution claims. For example, if you had trouble revising sentences for clarity, but found the Elbow reading aloud exercise to be especially useful, you might develop a claim like, “When a writer is having trouble identifying problem areas in sentences, reading aloud is an integral exercise for the revision process, because it allows the writer to hear the text the way a reader will read it” 

Practice:  What did you learn about your shortcomings as a writer or researcher? How did you overcome them and where did you get guidance, an example, or advice?

For each of the developing claims above, what would you do to provide evidence? What examples from your own work this term would be useful for demonstrating your growth and supporting the claim? Which examples would be especially relevant evidence for your audience: your peers, future writing students, teachers from the English department, and even future employers or advisors with whom you share your writing portfolio? How would you write about those examples in your discussion?


Write the reflective argument Rough Draft.  Bring in two copies of just the reflection. (5-8 pages)

Establish portfolio file with the file name of “11588_(accessID)_1020F2014” if you have not already done so.

Your final file should look like these samples:

Portfolio and Reflective Argument Sample #1

Portfolio and Reflective Argument Sample #2

Portfolio and Reflective Argument Sample #3