Using the ideas I wrote about in posts from August 15 and 17, I conducted my first days of class. I have two sections of the same first year class. And as usual, each section is completely unique. Even though I will presumably talk the same talk in each section, each group personality is decidedly different.
Still, the questions I pose in my August 15 post went over very well with both groups. On the second day of class, I paired students and had them use the questions as discussion points. I gave them approximately 20 minutes to discuss and come up with three thoughts/ideas/observations/questions that grew out of their conversations. I then collected these. I plan to use their responses as my opening into our next class meeting.
Okay, so I’m starting to teach at yet another college, and my department chair tells me that students should write four major papers during the course of the semester. While many professors use rhetorical patterns: Description, Process, Definition, Argument, etc, I have trouble plugging myself into the confines of those composition types. If they don’t work well for me, why should I expect them to work for my students?
I think of expository writing as a problem-solving endeavor. Good writing, in its efforts to reach an audience, tells a story of sorts. For instance, a good story sets up a conflict and then takes readers through a character’s conflict and resolution. Similarly, a good composition poses some element of conflict that the writer wants to address and, in some way, resolve.