Consider assigning one of the pre-reading activities in the Instructor’s Manual that help students think about academic versus personal writing, and use students’ responses as a way to generate discussion.
As you introduce students to the personal essay assignment, this slide can remind them what the key goals and outcomes are.
A visual representation of what is in the textbook.
This slide can provide an overview of the course and illustrate the connections between types of inquiry questions and types of genres that are connected to them.
Key strategies for students to learn.Emphasize that you will expect them to write with everything they read in this class, and they should use several of the strategies from this chapter.
Figure 3.1: A process for discovering a personal essay topic.
This slide introduces the methods of generating ideas and emphasizes the key questions students need to ask themselves as they are generating ideas.
Refer to the sidebar “Clustering or Mapping” (page 91) to illustrate how to generate ideas with this strategy.
Now that students have a lot of material, they need guidance for narrowing down to a manageable topic. If you are having students write during class (the journal prompts, for example, or clustering), then you can use this slide to guide them as they narrow down to a promising subject. This point in the process is important to emphasize in class so that students choose subjects that are not only manageable, but ones about which they have not made up their mind or know much about.
Emphasize that it’s important for writers to keep in mind how theirsubject speaks to a larger issue that others can understand, but also not to squelch their writing by worrying about audience and purpose too soon.
These reflective questions can be done during class or discussed as homework. Students might do well to be in small groups when they share their responses because doing so will help them generate a sketch (next slide).
If you have permission from former students to use their sketches as examples, this is a good time to show them.
As noted in the textbook, these are some general guidelines for writing a sketch. Review these before students write one.
A way to recap what the process has been so far. This can help students see visually that there is a method to what might seem messy.
Refer to the sidebar “More Than One Way to Tell a Story” (page 101) when discussing options for structuring personal essays.
Revision is about shaping: arranging the draft to reveal what the essay is about.
Students might respond to these questions during class, after they have workshopped their essay.
Emphasize that these are the most common problems in personal essays, so students should address these issues as they workshop each other’s drafts and revise their own.