Tag Archives: Peer Review

1020 Session Fourteen: iStick an iFork into your iSearch. It’s Done!

Well, maybe your not quite done.  But you will be soon.

Final Draft posted to your blog and uploaded to SafeAssign via BlackBoard by 11:59 pm Tuesday, October 28.

Before we head into a rough draft review, let’s pause for a mid(ish) semester reflection and feedback on where we’ve been and where we’re heading.

I’ve taken the learning outcomes we have discussed previously and have pulled them apart.

Define or explain you still want to know about the following terms or concepts:

  • Using knowledge of genre to write effectively
  • Using knowledge of the rhetorical situation to write effectively
  • Using knowledge of the discourse community to write effectively
  • Using reflection to write effectively
  • Developing a flexible writing process
  • Writing effectively for various audiences
  • Using analytical and/or critical strategies to read complex texts
  • Identifying/analyzing genre features
  • Conducting research by finding sources
  • Using sources to generate ideas during the research process
  • Integrating sources into your writing

Finally, discuss what it means to be a reflective student. To help you write through this, think about things like:

  • When I am about to start a new writing or learning task, what do I do to make sure I know how to begin?
  • How do I use writing reflection (either assigned, or on my own) to help me think through learning tasks?
  • How do I engage in reflection when I am not in class or at my computer? Are there other times I am working through reflection?

Write or email your response.  I also want you to post your response on your blogs.


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The Rogh dRft Revue!

Speed Dating Style!

You know the drill by now.  One printed copy for me and one for collecting comments from your peers. Here’s the twist:

  1. Sit in chairs facing each other.
  2. Exchange papers and decide whether you will read each others’ work or present your work to your partner. You may wish to just discuss general ideas about your paper, ask your partner to read a specific section, read the whole draft, or brainstorm ideas for finishing or continuing research.
  3. After 10(ish) minutes, the inner row will stand and move one spot to their right.
  4. Repeat.  Try to do a different activity in step 2 with each new “date”.

Final Words of Advice on this project.

Don’t sweat it.  It will feel like it’s unfinished; you will be left with new questions or  questions unanswered.  That’s fine.  That’s part of the research process.

Happy Writing!

 

 

 

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1020 Session Nine: Project Two Review and Intro to I-Search 9-30-14

On Tap:


 Integration of Quotes:

It is important to make a smooth transition from your own words to those of another source. Never simply drop a quotation into a paragraph. A quotation can never stand in a sentence by itself without an introduction.

 For example:
Incorrect: T.S. Eliot, in his “Talent and the Individual,” uses gender-specific language. “No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists” (Eliot 29).

In this example, the reader is not prepared for the quote and will become confused as a result.

To avoid dropping quotes in, use signal phrases. These are phrases which precede the quotation. They may include the author’s name and a verb (argues, compares, suggests, demonstrates, points out, etc.). An example is the following:

Correct: T.S. Eliot, in his “Talent and the Individual,” uses gender-specific language. He argues, for instance, that “no poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists” (Eliot 29).

The above example will be easier for the reader to understand as you are making it clear that the quotation is coming from that specific source.

It may not always be necessary to use an entire passage to prove your point. To use only a phrase you must weave the quote into your own sentence.

Correct: I find it striking that though “women novelists have probably dominated American literature since the middle of the nineteenth century,” our literary tradition is still incredibly gender specific (Schweickart 201).

Paraphrasing:

In some cases one can avoid direct quotation by paraphrasing the quote–that is, by restating what the author says in one’s own words (not looking at the quote when you are paraphrasing may help with this). To avoid plagiarism, you must be sure to (a) use your own words whenever you don’t use quotation marks or block a quote and (b) cite your sources, especially if the ideas or information you are paraphrasing are not common knowledge, are specific to that author, or include specific numbers or other very specific information. When in doubt, cite the source.

Always cite the source of the paraphrased material. Just because it is in your own words does not make it your intellectual property. To not cite would be plagiarism.

An example:

 Correct:: The author points out that women have had a strong voice in literature since the middle of the nineteenth century. As a result, it is striking that our literary tradition is still so gender specific (Schweickart 209).

 

After Peer Review (and if you survive it), Look over your work.  If you do not understand someone’s comments ask for clarification.  If a reviewer only leaves vague or short comments, ask for elaboration.

On to the Review!

Rough Draft Questions

As you critique your peer’s paper, please comment on any sentence-level and grammatical errors you detect, as well as any other advice you may have, but please also answer the following questions:

1. Does the paper have a clear thesis that relates to the “skeletal structure” we’ve discussed? I.e., does it both identify the central argument(s) of the work it is analyzing and identify the trope and techniques the author/director/creator uses to make their point(s)? Underline the thesis, comment what your group likes about it, and make a suggestion for improvement

2. Does the paper have a clear exigence and purpose? Identify the exigence with a squiggly line.  Comment on how effective the writers are in explaining whether the work they are analyzing is important or interesting and/or the importance of analyzing this piece of work.  Do you agree with them?

3. Does the project contain ample support statements/support paragraphs that refer to and back up the thesis?  Identify at least one sentence in each body paragraph that refers to and supports the thesis.  Write a comment on how effective (or not) the writers marshal evidence to support claims and, ultimately, their thesis

4. Does the author make appropriate references to particular moments in the text  or film(quotations, paraphrases, etc.)? Are there enough (or too many) references to both back up the thesis and allow a reader to follow the argument being made?

5. Does the paper quote directly from the source when needed?  Are the quotes integrated well into the essay? Are quotes and paraphrases cited properly?  Do the writers quote other material besides the one being analyzed?

6. Does the project read like an analysis rather than a review? I.e., does show a clear attention to the structure and technique of the piece rather than simply summarizing it and explaining its strengths and weaknesses?

7. What is the strongest part of the paper (most interesting, most powerfully argued, etc.)?

8. What is the weakest part of the paper (or the part that needs to be improved, further developed or extended)?

9. What grade would you give the paper if it was a final draft?


“There is no learning without a learner. And there is no meaning without a meaning maker. In order to survive in a world of rapid change there is nothing more worth knowing, for any of us, than the continuing process of how to make viable meanings” (Postman and Weingartner, 11).

Brainstorm Session for I-Search

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In class reflection:

Take 10-12 minutes to freewrite. Think of a time when you had to make a decision or learn something new.  How did you do it? Who helped you? What did you know about the topic beforehand? How did you gather new information? How did you determine what information was worth learning or knowing?

Questions:

On a separate sheet, with your name on it, write down a topic you would like to know more about.  Also write a question or two (or three) that you have about that topic.  Use the journalist’s questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How. You may also wish to consult Postman and Weingartner.

Pass the paper.

On your classmates paper, write down your reaction to their topic and/or questions.  This may be further questions you may have, suggestions on how to find answers, and/or comments.  Also take note of the name of any classmates that suggest a topic similar to yours or that you may be interested in collaborating on.

Pass the paper… and so on…


Homework

Read Macrorie “Cutting wasted words”

Write: Final draft of  Project Two including personal reflection posted to SafeAssign via Blackboard by 11:59 pm Wednesday, 10/1/14.

Multimedia presentation to be finalized before class on Thursday, 10/2/14. Place it or a link to it on your blog.

 

3050 Session Nine: Project Two Peer Review 9-30-14

On Tap for Today:



Let’s take a look at what you’re proposing.

  1. Briefly scan the document you currently have and see if it is a recognizable variant of the superstructure for proposals as described on p. 487 of Technical Communications.
  2. Does the document clearly articulate WHO is involved in the communication? Creators? Primary audience (not me)? Help the writers pinpoint a precise reader within an organization.
  3. Does the document clearly indicate WHAT will be studied?  By writing questions on the document, suggest appropriate background or contextual information the “Problem” section may benefit from. Does the “Methods” section detail specific research methods? Suggest at least one more.
  4. Comment on how persuasive the writers are in their “Qualifications” section.  Indicate whether you feel they adequately prove they are capable of performing the proposed research and/or implement a suggested solution.
  5. Comment on whether you feel the schedule strikes an appropriate balance between ambition and pragmatism or leans heavily towards one end of the spectrum or another.
  6. Are the criteria indicated applicable to the project proposed. Suggest criteria that the writers may not have considered for evaluating potential solutions.

Writing How-To Documents

What Makes Instruction Documents Good?

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  • Knowing your audience or user group

 

In the case of your projects, it would likely be best to seek advice from the members who most fit the bill of your project’s likely user (i.e., the one who does not already know how to do the process but who might be interested in learning it).

 

  • Including an overview of procedures

 

Given the knowledge base we are contributing to (wikiHow), your overview will likely be most important as an opportunity to let a reader know if the tutorial is “right for them” – you should target their potential interest but also be open about the relative difficulty or ease of the project (consider, for example, the entry on How to Migrate to Open Source Software; for a negative example, see How To Cheat on a Test). Sections on such items as necessary materials (“Things You’ll Need” and/or “Ingredients”) and possible risks (“Warnings”) are integrated into wikiHow‘s format, so you can include that information in those places rather than in the overview.

 

  • Writing Usable Steps

 

Key strategies for composing usable steps in a how-to is include dividing each action into its own step, using chronological order, and putting your statements in the imperative (see the entry on How to Make a French Breakfast for imperative and non-imperative phrasings.)

 

  • Subdividing Processes

 

Dividing instructions into not only individual steps, but also subsections dedicated to smaller segments of the overall process (“chunking”), will make them more attractive to a potential user and more valuable once they are using them. Due to the format of our knowledge base, you might also be able to incorporate existing tutorials into your how-to. (Consider the subdivision that takes place in the tutorial on How To Paint the Interior of a House)

 

  • Illustrating Procedures

 

Illustrations might be a necessary tool for your instruction set, or they might just be useful as “eye relief” or an attention-getting device. You might, for instance, need to use screen shots if you are relating a software process (cf. How to Remove Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications or How To Rip a DVD with DVD Decrypter). If you are providing instructions that contain multiple physical manipulations, particularly ones that are very precise or may be unfamiliar to your reader, you might need to provide an image for all or most steps (cf. How To Fold a Towel Monkey). For both of these cases, you may use some combination of the three categorical text-visual relationships your text describes: supplementary, complimentary, or redundant. If your how-to does not necessarily need illustrations to make instructions clear to your reader, you might provide one or more “background” visuals to make the document more visually appealing (cf. How to Save a Wet Cell Phone, How to Cheat a Polygraph Test, or How to Flirt).

 

  • Doing Usability Testing

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Usability testing is one of your easiest and most valuable ways to gauge the success of your how-to before its submission. I would recommend recruiting friends and family to try out your instructions in order to iron out any kinks.


Homework for Thursday 10/2

Read: This post; Ch. 17 “Revising Your Drafts” in TC; and  Macrorie “Cutting Wasted Words

Write: Final draft of Project Two, proposal memo due by 11:59 pm Thursday, October 2. Email a properly formatted word document to me and post a copy on a team member’s blog page devoted to Project Six documents.

Email a short (@ 150-300 words) memo detailing and defending your “rank-and-yank” ratings for Project Two.  Include your group’s decision made on your team charter. Remember, do not include yourself in the rankings.

Homework for Tuesday, 10/7

Read: Ch. 14 “Creating Reader-Centered Graphics” and Ch. 16 “Designing Reader-Centered Pages and Documents” in TC.

Write: Submit a short memo (@200-300 words) detailing for what you intend to provide instructions.  Indicate your topic, your interest in working on it, your qualifications for taking on the topic.

Quiz on Thursday 10/9 on ch. 14, 16, 17, 28 of TC

Ongoing: Final draft of Project Three is due by 11:59 on 10/21

Work on Project Six. Final draft is due 12/2

1020 Session Five: Project One Review 9/11/14

On Tap Today:

What should your About Me page look like? Let’s take a look at mine.

Common Student Problems with Project One (and common strategies to avoid them):

The Procrastination Situation:
  • You decide to wait until Sunday morning to familiarize yourself with WordPress’ markup language and editing procedures, only to discover that they are a bit more complicate than you anticipated and are thus forced to watch, teary-eyed, as the midnight deadline rolls past you like a giant boulder crushing your dreams of academic success.
    • Pro-tip: Play with WordPress. You should have already created two posts, a response to Gee and a blog evaluation.
The Transition and Punctuation Situation:
  • You compile your facts and evidence about your life from various class activities and blog posts. Confidently, you decide at 11:34pm on Sunday to simply cut-and-paste all of that together only to proofread and discover that it is a bunch of gobbledygook that makes no sense on paragraph or sentence levels.
    • Pro-tip: Perform common editing/spell check functions in a word processor you are familiar with then export to WordPress.
The Illustration Situation:

Peer Review

In our classroom discourse, one of the key practices is peer response, or the reading of and responding to each other’s written work in order to help each other improve.

Here are some key principles to keep in mind while you work through this task:

  • Talk to each other about what you hope to get feedback on.
  • Read your groupmates’ texts (maybe even more than once!).
  • Devote time and attention to the task of giving feedback.
  • Write comments neatly and legibly. Above all else, be respectful of each other.

We will work in groups of three to five people. Pass your paper to a teammate.

  •   As the first reader, I want you to comment, in writing, on the opening line and introduction.
    1. What is your reaction to the opening? What is the tone and style? Is it appropriate for the genre of “About Me” pages?
    2. Does the opening sentence lead well into an expanded narrative/autobiographical sketch of the  blogger?
    3. Comment on what is not working in the text–what is missing? What is confusing?
    4. Comment on what is working well in the text–what do you like? What is interesting? What is written really strongly?
  • Pass the papers around again. As the second reader, first comment to #1 above.  Mostly, though, I want you to identify a passage that describes the blogger’s primary Discourse.
    1. Is there an appropriate transition into this section?
    2. Comment on what is not working in that section of the text–what is missing? What is confusing?
    3. Comment on what is working well in the that section of the text–what do you like? What is interesting? What is written really strongly?
  • Pass the papers around again (skipping the writer if necessary) .  As the third reader, comment to #1 above.  Mostly, though, I want you to identify a passage that describes the blogger’s secondary Discourse.
    1. Is there an appropriate transition into this section?
    2. Comment on what is not working in that section of the text–what is missing? What is confusing?
    3. Comment on what is working well in the that section of the text–what do you like? What is interesting? What is written really strongly?
  • Pass the papers around again (skipping the writer if necessary) .  As the fourth reader, comment to #1 above.  Mostly, though, I want you to identify a passage that describes the blogger’s writing experience.
    1. Is there an appropriate transition into this section?
    2. Comment on what is not working in that section of the text–what is missing? What is confusing?
    3. Comment on what is working well in the that section of the text–what do you like? What is interesting? What is written really strongly?
    4. Does the blogger come to an adequate conclusion?
  • Hand the paper back to the writer, smile, and pay them a nice compliment about their shoes, hair or whatever.

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Homework:

Project One is due by 11:59pm Sunday, 9/14/14.  Update your “About Me” page on your WordPress site and upload a copy to SafeAssign via Blackboard.

Reading: Read Wayne Writer Ch. 2 and the Project Two page.

Writing due before class on Tuesday 9/16: Post 3: Follow directions for Writing Activities 2.1 and 2.5 in The Wayne Writer, Ch. 2. Post your response on your blog under an appropriate title