Getting into the swing of things?

By now I hope you have determined our routine:  read, analyze, write, analyze.  And I hope that all the while you have been learning.  I can’t emphasize enough how I believe you should take notes in class and review them before our next class.   Try it and see if this helps you understand and retain course knowledge. 

We have spent some time now on the following composition techniques:

  1. strategies for introductions & conclusions;
  2. word choice (connotation, precision, level of formality, sounds of words, etc.);
  3. coherence devices (key terms, artful repetition and variations of key terms, pronouns, transitional expressions, parallelism, etc.);
  4. sentence style (length, purpose, classification, variety, emphasis, inverted word order, sentence beginnings, etc.);
  5. conciseness (avoiding wordiness, unnecessary repetition & redundancy, preferring active voice, using emphatic verbs, etc.);
  6. organization of paragraphs;
  7. analyzing the rhetorical situation, including the writer’s tone, thesis, audience, & purpose;
  8. use of dialog & description;
  9. use of specifics & examples to illustrate a point & develop paragraphs;
  10. choosing an essay topic;
  11. and much more.

I’ll bet you hadn’t realized how much we’ve covered in only two weeks!  Actually, you probably have realized how much material has been covered, but your head may be reeling from all of it.  If that’s the case, then I want to encourage you to keep making your classes, to continue taking notes as best as you can, to analyze the items on our reading list with care, and to ask questions in class. 

Remember that for next class, Tues, 7/10, you should:

  • type and bring Reading Analysis #4 (on Tannen’s “But What Do You Mean?,” Tarasovic’s “In Search of the Perfect Sentence,” or any other article or essay of your choice not on the reading list), and
  • view my response video to Essay #2 three times, take notes, and then bring your notes & essay #2 print-out

This class has impressed me so far with its level of maturity and ability to pay attention in class.  I’m proud of your hard work!  Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts as we close Week 2 of 6.


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