1. Stop by my Tilly 310 Office and pick up your most recent in-class writing. As I've been doing all along, I give you feedback on what you would need to do to turn that in-class writing into an "entry" for you five entries for your Top Five Memoir.
NOTE: The comments I'm making on your in-class writing is not meant to tell you that you aren't doing something right. You guys seem to think that if I write anything on your papers that something must be wrong. Maybe that's how it was in high school, but that is NOT how it works here. Use the feedback to do your best work and stop taking it personally. You are all good people and you can all be perfectly good writers. I seriously mean that. I'm commenting on your writing as a reader and you should take what I tell you to improve your writing--real writers get and use feedback to improve their writing. That's just how it works.
2. Read this Top Five Memoir written by a former student. This was a very successful version of this paper from the Fall 2015 semester. It was not written by me, but by an actual student that was actually in the same class you are in right now. She survived and so will you.
- Has five entries, each with its own title, for each entry.
- Describes the subject (in this case books) of each entry just enough so I understand what the writer is talking about but not too much so that it takes up the entire thing.
- A memory/scene connected to each subject that has enough detail so I really can see what she is talking about.
- Some analysis that explains why this book and this memory are so important to her.
AND NOTICE THIS MOST OF ALL:
- She has a strong and interesting introductory paragraph that explains what she means by her thesis--that she started off not liking to read but, through these five books, learned to like reading and learned a lot of things about herself and the world
- She has an even stronger and more interesting concluding paragraph that brings all the different parts of her essay and makes one big final point: that what she learned about the world and herself is that she should be open to the idea that things might not be what we originally think they are.
It's true, to do this, you will have to think about what your five entries are, and what unites them all, even loosely. But if you have a working title (Top Five ____ That Explains ____). Than you should have some idea of what you intend to talk about.
These are also things to talk about with Meg. And, also, take a look at my comments on your in-class writings. Sometimes I've made suggestions to you about what your paper might be about. I'm not telling you that your paper HAS to be about that, but it can be.
I've said this before, but let me say this again: I'm trying to help you help yourselves by not letting you write a sort of crappo paper the night before it is due and, instead, forcing you to think and write about this paper in small bursts to build up to a complete draft.
4. Once you've posted your stuff, respond to YOUR INTERVIEW PARTER AND ONE OTHER PERSON IN CLASS. Answer these three questions:
- Does the entry have all the elements that I'm telling you it should have?
- Does the Introduction explain roughly why the writer is telling us about these five things?
- Does the Conclusion brings together all the different ideas, the different parts of the thesis, that the paper covers?
KEEP IN MIND: Monday, 1 October 2018, a COMPLETE draft of your first paper is due in class for workshopping. In order to earn a B grade on this paper, you must come to that class with a draft of your paper. So all of this work this week should help you to achieve that goal.
Finally: you must post and respond no later than 5:00 on SUNDAY to be counted as “present' for this class period.