The writing we'll do

Process Skills
During this course, you will: 
Analyze the audience for something you are writing.
Analyze the purpose of a text and how that shapes what you write.
Learn how writing can be a way of learning.
Brainstorm for ideas, choose a focus, formulate a thesis.
Develop ideas, research ideas, use supporting details.
Consider different ways of organizing your ideas.
Revise your writing, using feedback from peers and multiple drafts.
Collaborate with your peers.
Plan, develop, and deliver an oral presentation.
Evaluate the writing of your peers as well as your own

Portfolios
I will give you each a manila folder. You are expected to keep all your work, both formal and informal writing, in this folder. You will be handing the portfolio in at the end of each unit to be graded.

Informal Writing
Informal writing includes the writing we do in class, as well as the short papers that you see on the assignment schedule. The word “informal” means that I recognize that these papers are first drafts. We’ll be using informal writing to respond to texts, ask questions, analyze issues, explore topics, and synthesize ideas. You will be sharing the short papers with your peers so you should think of them as a way to add to our on-going discussion about environmental issues. The short papers will also be a way of gathering ideas and brainstorming for topics for your formal papers. Short papers are due in class. You may not send them in with a classmate or email them to me. If you miss class, then you miss the chance to hand in that short paper.

Peer Review
Throughout the semester, you will be reading and responding to each other’s writing. We’ll be using principles from the book Beat Not the Poor Desk by Ponsot and Deen. Giving other students feedback is not simply a way to help out or evaluate your peers, but also an important way for you to learn to edit your own writing. I expect you to take this process seriously.

Formal Papers
When I grade the formal papers, I will be looking for a clear thesis, a logical organization, strong supporting ideas, fully developed paragraphs that include specific details, smooth transitions, a clear and concise writing style, and an introduction that puts your topic in a larger context. I will look for evidence that you’ve considered both purpose and audience. The final draft should be carefully revised and edited. All formal papers are due in class. I cannot accept papers sent over email. Please include the earlier drafts of your formal paper in your folder: mark clearly which is the final draft.


Grading

Unit One: (first six weeks)
30% Informal writing: short papers, in-class writing, response pieces
60% A formal paper which will synthesize ideas from our readings and discussions
10% Class participation, which includes presenting ideas from your writing

Unit Two (next six weeks):
30% Informal writing: short papers, in-class writing, response pieces
60% A formal paper which will include analysis of an environmental issue that you’ve researched
10% Class participation, which includes presenting ideas from your writing

Unit Three (last three weeks):
30% Informal writing: short papers, in-class writing, response pieces
70% A formal project which will include an oral presentation or online element

 I’ll be grading your portfolio after each of three units, using this rubric. If at any other time you would like to discuss your grade with me, make an appointment and bring your portfolio with you. Unit One is 40% of your final grade, Unit Two is 40% of your final grade, and Unit Three is 20% of your final grade.