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senior writing syllabus.docx
Essays That Worked
Capitol Community College Quiz
Nine Style Tips
The Library of Rhetoric
ASU Writing Lab
Seven Deadly Sins Writing
Politics and the English Language
Four Great College Essays
HyperGrammar-U. of Ottawa
64 College Admission Essays
Senior Writing Classroom Discussion.doc
Senior Writing L1
Senior Writing (Fall 2015)
Practice public speaking
. Fill-in handout (see below) in preparation for presentations.
Begin exploring speech. Answer three questions:
1) Why is this subject important?
2) What are the competing sides?
3) What do you intend to say?
Writing the Research Proposal
You will be required to write a short proposal for your argumentative research paper. (Final draft—six to eight pages--is due in January and presented) This proposal will be an expansion of your thesis statement to tell a bit more about your paper topic and present a few of the sources from which you plan to gather your researched material. This short proposal must include the following information:
Your purpose for writing this paper. What will you examine and why is that important?
Your role as the writer of this paper. What techniques will you use to both inform your reader and present your argument in a persuasive manner?
Your working thesis statement or hypothesis. What do you expect to find in your research?
Here is an example of a short research proposal:
Some university instructors complain that incoming freshmen are inadequately prepared for the demands of college-level research tasks. This is probably due to a failure of communication between high school and college instructors and administrators. This research project will examine the existing literature concerning the research habits of high school and college students and will also present original data collected from the examination of hour first-year college English courses and four senior-year high school English courses. This research and its conclusions will seek to adequately prepare their students for the rigors of college courses. By isolating the skills in which students most need improvement, this project will assist high-school instructors and administrators to plan and teach more effective English courses.
As you can see, this is a one-paragraph proposal. And yet, it conveys, directly or indirectly, all of the required information listed above. The purpose is to help those instructors and administrators to improve their students’ skills in research. The researcher’s role in the project is both to inform the audience, and to advocate a particular course of action (by drawing forceful conclusions concerning what methods seem to work best at the high school level). And the working thesis is contained in the opening lines: that the inadequate preparation of incoming college freshman is due to high-school teachers’ poor understanding of college-level work.
Tutorial of blending quotes.
Class add citations to cause/effect paper and submit hardcopy.
Text essay on school uniforms.
Work on Cause/Effect paper.
Share rough draft with teacher by midnight.
Discuss and collect both Shapiro and MacMillan cause/effect readings.
Discuss Bruce Shapiro.
New Haven crime video
Practice cause effect paper and choose topics.
essay. Read introduction is text.
Update course schedule:
Page 405, “One Violent Crime” by Bruce Shapiro 12/9
Page 423, “The Movie That Changed My Life” by Terry McMillan 12/11
Rough Draft 12/15
Final Draft 12/17
Page 461, “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. 1/5
Page 509, “The Coming White Underclass” by Charles Murray 1/7
Rough Draft 1/8
Final Draft 1/12
letter about literature
Letters about Literature.
Read introduction to classification/division.
Answer question 2 after Wendell Barry piece.
Select subject from list to create classification.
Use song list to divide musical interests.
Read compare/contrast out loud to self.
Paul Thomas video on digital media.
Colorado State teacher comment response.
You might say that reading widely, writing for various audiences and purposes, and developing an expectation and willingness to revise her work (including a willingness to accept peer review) will be very good preparation.
Write contest poem.
Compare two film shorts.
Work with "to be" verb in drafts.
Free write art objects.
Collect compare/contrast and read.
Select compare/contrast essay subjects.
Practice listing ideas.
. First draft due Thursday morning.
Read "Of Weirdos and Eccentrics" by Pico Iyer
SSR and discussion/writing prompts
Finish 7 Deadly Sins.
Capital Community College quiz
(take 10 and e-mail)
What is college writing?
7 Deadly Sins
What is College Level Writing.
Sub: Nature/Compare/Contrast five questions.
What is college writing?
homework: e-mail college about rigors of college writing.
Select compare/contrast essay topics.
Watch quick video on compare/contrast.
Return final process analysis.
Return process essay and complete self-edits
Compare contrast structures.
Collect Process essay.
Discuss Twain essay.
Process essay draft. Collaborate with neighbor.
Draft due Tuesday.
Mark Twain reading due Tuesday.
Discussed assigned reading.
Introduce Process Analysis assignment due 10/20.
starter: college 101 syllabus review: use three sets of transitions.
Process essay assignment due 10/20.
Reading due Thursday.
"Campus Racism 101"
Process writing practice
Select process essay idea for free write.
Note card in journal: THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE
THIS MEANS THAT___
Practice process essay drills.
Collect final drafts.
Make final revisions for college essay.
New York Times writing tips with workshop
Collect 3rd draft and attach rubric.
Preview process essay work.
Discuss essay on page 555.
Return 2nd drafts with comments.
Select free reading book.
Remind of class reading due Wednesday.
Research on-line essays of similar topics.
Use NY Times essay checklist.
presented. what does this essay do that your essay does not?
Watch "Passenger" for narrative structure.
Self-edit with structural changes (beginning, middle, end).
Rewrite opening paragraph.
2nd draft due Friday:
12 font, TNR, Double spaced, B, M, E, Thesis, Name, MLA, Black font, Typed, Creative, Conflict, Relate to self, Attention getting,Shows humanity,500-700 words
Return 1st draft with comments.
Discuss “Keeping the Scorebook” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Quiz: questions on strategy.
starter: what is most difficult in writing your first draft?
Read papers to neighbors.
Page 39, “Keeping the Scorebook” by Doris Kearns Goodwin 9/23
Discuss Orwell essay. Refer to class discussion rubric.
First draft of college essay due Tuesday.
Hand back outlines. Discuss binaries in writing.
starter: free write Common App. # 5.
Collect essay outline.
Read Yale essay about coffee and tea.
"Shooting an Elephant"
Classroom discussion rubric.
for college essay due Thursday.
Guest Dan Teague from Elms College to discuss admissions. (
Conference call with Cori Wilhelm from
to discuss admissions.
Common App. question 3.
Collect paper proposals.
Discuss "Silent Dancing" on page 56. Image/memory/assimilation.
starter: write briefly about how you would respond to CA prompt 2:
"Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?"
Watch prompt 2 discussion.
Homework: 1) Reading from text
2) essay proposal
College essay schedule:
10/2, 4, 5-presentations
Guidance to discuss
Discuss first reading: “The Village Watchman” by Terry Tempest Williams
Read two college essay about family and compare.
Listen to prompt one
and create ideas.
starter: Read two college essays and compare (Matt Brady, Scott Locke)
Hand out syllabus.
Read "The Chain Gang Show" by Brent Staples on page 14. Use questions on 9-11 to analyze.
Read these pieces and review the questions that follow.
Page 46, “The Village Watchman” by Terry Tempest Williams 9/10
Page 56, “Silent Dancing” by Judith Ortiz Cofer 9/15
Page 68, “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell 9/18
Page 39, “Keeping the Scorebook” by Doris Kearns Goodwin 9/23
Page 555, “Confessions of a Low Roller” by Joseph Epstein 9/30
Page 612, “Lyman’s Luck” by Louise Erdrich 10/6
Page 119, “Campus Racism 101” by Nikki Giovanni 10/13
Page 132, “Dolphin Courtship: Brutal, Cunning, and Complex 10/15
Page 161, “Two Views of the River” by Mark Twain 10/20
Page 198, “Nature and Televised Nature” by Bill McKibben 10/27
Page 236, “The Extendable Folk” by Calvin Trillin 10/29
Page 255, “Shades of Black” by Mary Mebane 11/4
Page 330, “Interactivity” by Jon Katz 11/10
Page 340, “The Tiger is God” by Stephen Harrigan 11/17
Page 405, “One Violent Crime” by Bruce Shapiro 11/23
Page 423, “The Movie That Changed My Life” by Terry McMillan 12/3
Page 461, “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. 12/11
Page 509, “The Coming White Underclass” by Charles Murray 12/16
starter: second two CT College essays.
Read journal essays to class
starter: read first two college essay examples from CT College. Answer: Which of the two--is any--works better? Why?
Look at five
Common Application Essay questions and choose one.
In pairs, talk for two continuous minutes about question selected.
Watch first part of
Homework: hand write a two-page journal essay, answering one of these questions.
hand out journals
watch two quick college essay youtube videos
practice college essay free write
Charles Murray essay
Persuasive essay topics.
Return Definition essays.
Practice introduction (1-13)
Hand back in-class essay assignment.
Sub. Read "The Holy Use of Gossip" on page 314. Answer 5 questions at end of reading. Use text. Submit at end of class.
Select definition topic.
Definition paper tutorial.
Read 301-307 and answer questions 1 and 2.
Discuss "Interactivity" reading about media.
Hand back classification essays.
Collect final classification papers and read.
Editor in Chief.
Sins one and two from
Seven Deadly Sins of Writing.
Revise classification essay for Friday ( under 10 "is"; add 3 conjunctive adverbs; add 3 colons; add 3 semi-colons)
with blending quotes
Briefly discuss "Revelation" as classification.
Discuss page 255 "Shades of Black."
Classification topics selected.
and write 1st person narrative.
Edit compare/contrast papers. Final due Thursday.
Calvin Trillin essay due Friday.
Veteran's Day reading.
Read to each other.
Compare two songs using whereas, unlike, as.
Paper due Thursday. Structure, balance, evidence, understanding of topic.
Use MLA format, 2 pages.
Begin compare/contrast due Thursday.
Read pages 153-159; how will you structure your compare/contrast essay?
Ask what are the most important characteristics of a good compare/contrast essay?
) structure, balance, reasoning/evidence, shows understanding of topic, 2 pages
Watch quick video of
top 20 errors
in college papers.
Ask about possible
. with guidance
Complete in-class response to:
"Of Weirdos and Eccentrics" on page 165
Discuss "Shooting an Elephant"
Due for Tuesday: Coursera confirmation, short flash fiction, Elephant
Narration and Description
Last essay edit and conferences. Final draft due Friday.
Write flash fiction narrative of short film Bag Man.
Use "Headless Angel" and "Damm Irene" as models
Watch film short
and discuss narrative.
Read "Damm Irene" as example of flash fiction.
Get Senior Writing text
Read 23-30 and research setting.
Throw out the college application process.
Computer lab for Coursera work.
Next draft due Wednesday.
Ted Talk image.
Ariel Fox essay example.
Connor Moran example.
On-line course work.
Collect 4th draft
Read 4 essay examples for Friday.
Unit 3 of on-line course due Monday.
Read Josh Jacobs, Amherst College.
Conference with students regarding paper
next draft due Weds.
collect 3rd draft
to consider for essay.
3rd draft due Thursday.
Continue on-line course;
units 1, 2 due 9/22
Computer lab for on-line course. Units one and two due September 22.
Collect second draft of college essay.
Read and return student college essays.
Read Emma's essay and respond.
TS, CD (For example,), CM, CM, CD (In addition,) CM, CM
Read student first paragraphs (discuss binaries to create tension)
Read student college essay example and respond.
prompt 4 video.
Collect draft one. Collect Elbow entries 1-6
starter: read college essay and respond ( Caroline Habbert)
sign up for
prompt 3 video
practice college essay idea
Homework: 1) 6 journal entries from Elbow
2) sign up for college course
Good Morning, Eric:
Students can enroll themselves; if you have access to a computer lab, you could walk your students through the process:
1. Log onto
2. In the search box at the top of the page type in “Crafting an Effective Writer”;
3. When “Crafting” comes up in the drop down list, click on the course, which will take you to the “Crafting” landing page;
4. On the left, click on the “Join for Free” link;
5. Follow the request for information and your students are enrolled.
3) first college essay
College debt video
collect journals for Elbow chapters 1 and 2
To computer lab for practice grammar quiz
Look at first 3 of 9 items on style tips.
Homework: Read chapters 3 and 4 and full page response.
starter: "Simplicity and Impact"
video 2: Background Story
video 3: Failure
video 1 Getting Started
Syllabus given (see side to reference)
How does voice affect writing?
How does one write a proficient essay?
What are the qualities of the following rhetorical patterns:
How does a thesis bind an essay?
How does one come to recognize and formulate a meaningful response to the opinions expressed by a writer in a short essay?
How can one use the revision process to develop the sophistication of his/her writing?
How does the intended audience affect the tone and content of a written piece?
Daily activities and homework:
Remainder of course assignments:
Due 12/5, page 323, Richard Rodriguez, “Growing Up in Los Angeles”
Due 12/6, page 330, Jon Katz, “Interactivity”
Two readings fromTrimmer.
Return 1st draft.
Watch Seth Godin and use as starter material.
Collect 1st draft of research paper.
Watch Ted Talk about failure. starter question.
Continue research. Rough draft due Monday afternoon.
Submit 3 sources: author, source, abstract, paper thesis
Computer lab for research
Begin research on IConn.org for paper ideas
Bill Moyers introduction.
Continue with Shadows of Liberty. Five questions and discussion.
Homework: Research possible ideas of interest.
Shadows of Liberty.
12/6 Collect Jon Katz homework.
as it pertains to Katz premise.
12/5 Discuss Rodriguez reading.
video about grit.
Starter: How would you construct any essay about a member of this class?
Select a word from
Read this paragraph as an example.
Write short definition piece and read.
Due 12/5, page 323, Richard Rodriguez, “Growing Up in Los Angeles”
Starter: Select a state and describe the type of definition essay you would write.
Begin reading "Growing Up in Los Angeles" which is due 12/5.
Ravitch testing blog starter
SAT book chapter one, exercise one.
Watch Steven Pinker TED video and discuss.
teacher at conference
Collect rondeau poems for PTA contest
Read and discuss Bev Jackson's "The Dead"
Read and discuss "The Man with a Shovel"
Read Mary Mebane's "Shades of Black" on page 255. Answer questions at back.
Hand back homework.
Edit compare/contrast papers.
Starter: create a division from one of the following topics and write an 8 sentence response: food, baseball, dance, or work.
Read Trillin responses.
Compare/Contrast revision due Friday.
Sentence structures 1-5.
Check compare/contrast paper and resubmit for Thursday.
page 236, Calvin Trillin, “The Extendable Folk"
Veteran's Day discussion and reading.
"Homeward Bound" by Tom Hazuka
starter: How does reading in general help your writing? Give examples.
Collect compare/contrast essays
starter: compare two faces.
To computer lab for Boomtown compare/contrast essay due Wednesday.
Watch youtube compare/contrast tutorial.
Boomtown, The Squeeze
Robert Colson/Jay Colson
Boomtown/other crime series
Free write comparison and read
starter: review first quarter.
Return college essay
Return Mark Twain assignment
Read compare/contrast essay for tonight: discuss eccentric vs. weird from essay.
starter: compare/contrast two friends
Discuss Mark Twain reading and collect homework.
Watch 8-minute film "Passenger"
Compare/contrast with "The Youth in Us."
Introduce Twain reading and strategies for response.
Watch The Youth in Us
Starter: What images does the director use to create meaning?
Write your own story of The Youth in Us.
Collect final draft of college essay.
starter: Look at picture and create story idea
Read two-page short stories to each other and collect.
Final college essay draft due Tuesday.
starter: update on college application process
Listen to Orwell's "
Shooting an Elephant
Free write, revise, read.
s "Homeward Bound"
Two-page flash fiction piece due Monday.
Final college essay due Tuesday.
Starter: Read and reflect upon
Kurt Vonnegut's 8 Basics of Creative Writing
Listen to Edgar Allan Poe's
The Tell-Tale Heart.
Read own stories and critique.
starter: Read Poe's
"The Importance of the Single Effect in a Prose Tale."
Listen to Poe's
"The Cask of Amontillado"
and discuss narrative structure and point of view.
Homework: Type two pages of free write short story.
starter: What is the most important line from the Goodwin reading? Why?
Discuss Goodwin story and starter question.
Delete Orwell reading for next week.
Keep in mind short story for the 18th.
starter: What is the most important line from last night's Maya Angelou reading and why?
Discuss starter and homework questions. Collect. Return college essays and reflection piece.
page 39, Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Keeping the Scorebook”
Edward Hopper painting
. What is happening in this painting?
Select own American painting for free write session. This will begin our narrative story.
Collect college essay with reflection.
First text assignment due Thursday. See below.
starter: No starter.
Read and evaluate college papers.
senior writing college essay rubric.doc
. Provide evidence from your work.
Senior Writing Assignments 2013.docx
starter: What makes a good narrative?
Collect Elbow book. Give new text.
Carson McCullers "The Jockey"
and discuss narrative, structure, conflict, tension.
starter: What was the most difficult part in making revisions to 4th draft?
30-minute visit from guidance about college admission process.
Collect 5th draft with reflection.
starter: Tips:1) simple topic, 2) don't be afraid to be funny, 3) share your opinions, but avoid risky, 4) tell a good story, 5) don't repeat what is already in application
Discuss audience as it pertains to college admissions.
Free write about audience and how to revise essay.
Notes on voice:
Tips for Putting Voice into a Paper
1) Study writers who have a strong voice
2) Do frequent and regular freewriting exercises.
3) Write a lot without an audience.
4) Direct all your efforts into experiencing or re-experiencing what you are writing about Write about what is important to you.
5) Trust yourself and don't think too hard about what you want to do to the reader.
6) Learn to coach yourself, to give yourself pep talks as you write -- especially if you sense yourself losing contact with what you are trying to write about.
7) Whenever you get feedback, always ask readers to point out the bits that actually made them see, hear, or experience something.
8) Omit clichés.
9) Say the sentence out loud before you write it.
HOMEWORK: Revise for your 5th draft. Write a one-page typed reflection about what your changed and why.
Watch video on college essay from
Read Cori Wilhelm letter about admission.
Conference with a few students about paper.
starter: Watch short video about voice. How do we add voice to our work?
Computer lab for CHET scholarship. Will check with guidance about completion.
Work on paper for voice.
starter: What are some of the more important reasons for attending college?
Computer lab for Thursday with thumb drive and CHET Scholarship
starter: What advice would you provide current freshmen?
(but, because, so, although)
Read introduction paragraph and vote based on interest.
Show students guidance link for
college advice video
. Discuss, write, reflect.
starter: Writing process.
(use but, because, so in response)
Read each others' work.
Watch short youtube video about college essay. Nine steps in writing successful college essay.
Hand in 4th draft.
starter: What is the most difficult part of writing the college essay?
Free write poem based on essay.
4th draft due on Thursday.
Choose two symbols from
University of Michigan Dictionary of Symbols.
Write 10-minute redraft of college essay.
Read Ron Lee, Harvard college essay as example.
Return 3rd draft and read to neighbor.
List one item college essay should contain and one item it should not.
Begin reading Elbow chapter 6. Finish chapter for homework and complete one journal page in response.
Complete 4th draft for Thursday.
Sir Ken Robinson video
Divergent thinking, aesthetic experience
Capital Community College grammar quiz (see on left):
starter: What specific changes did you make to the 3rd draft?
Read 3rd draft to other students. Read Andrew Collins essay from Princeton Review book.
Read chapter 5 from Peter Elbow about quick revision.
Collect 3rd draft.
Return 2nd drafts, 3rd draft due Friday morning
starter: Read Daniel Mejia college essay and discuss its merits.
Explain formula: 1) create mood and context, 2) problem/conflict/doubt (a. forced to confront, b. choose to confront),
3) resolve with modesty
Watch "Bartholomew's Song" as model.
Explain methods to create conflict and tension.
on college essay state your next idea for college essay
Read an example from Princeton Review College Essay text
Read student papers.
starter-what changes did you make to the 1st draft and why?
Discuss the direct writing process.
Read "Simplicity and Impact" and "You Will Like Me" from 100 Successful College Application Essays
Read Shelly Ledray Bornkamp's "Every Little Girl's Dream" on page 201 and discuss its merits
Free write ten-minutes about failure. Apply quick revise approach from Elbow. Read to class and not student voice.
Review 2nd drafts and hand-in.
Check chapter four journal response.
Starter: importance of sharing
Read two college
from CT College
Continue to share work with other students.
Read chapter 4 for Monday with one-page journal response.
2nd draft of college essay due Monday.
Review student college essays. Read three to class and collect.
Homework: Read chapter 3 in Elbow book about sharing. Write one-page journal response.
Read application articles.
Common Application Prompts
Wall Street Journal
Begin to draft college essay. Decide on prompts.
Homework: 650 words college essay due Thursday.
Video of college essay expectation from UCAL system.
Read two student essays from CT College.
Computer lab: sign-in to Wiki, explore college essay expectations
Starter: Write poor sentence and then correct.
Video: 1) no contractions, 2) avoid "there is" and "there are" 3) do not use very, really, a lot 4) active/passive voice 5) use powerful verbs
Free write using prompts from 82-92, utilize two new sentence forms
Pattern: Compound Sentence
This pattern is an example of a compound sentence with an independent marker.
[ ; ]
[ , ]
[ . ]
Examples of independent markers are the following:
therefore, moreover, thus, consequently, however, also.
Doctors are concerned about the rising death rate from asthma
they have called for more research into its causes
Pattern: Complex Sentence
This pattern is an example of a complex sentence with a dependent marker.
[ , ]
[ . ]
Examples of dependent markers are as follows:
because, before, since, while, although, if, until, when, after, as, as if.
doctors are concerned about the rising death rate from asthma
they have called for more research into its causes
starter: In what activities do you utilize both creative and critical thinking?
Choose prompt from Elbow page 82 for writing session.
Read and evaluate work.
Distribute Elbow text.
remove from favorites
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"