Friday, June 10, 2011

Work, Workshop, Work Camp

Two lessons of the colony so far. First, it's good to have weekly activity. On Wednesday, we had a great workshop about how to structure the claims in your paper and we also decided on the themes of two workshops to come:

On Thursday next week, we’ll meet to talk about an important complement to any writing process, namely, the READING process. We’ll talk about how to coordinate the work of reading with the work of writing, and, importantly, how to keep them separated.

On Wednesday, June 22, we’ll meet to talk about how to structure an ARGUMENT, both as an exercise in logic and an occasion for rhetoric. On the logical end, we’ll use Booth, Colomb and Williams’ version of Toulmin’s model of argument, which teaches us to think in terms of claims, evidence, and warrant. On the rhetorical end, we’ll be guided by Graff and Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say, which teaches us to approach academic writing as participation in a conversation.

Second, like any summer camp, you can't just let people leave when they start to feel a bit homesick. You have to explain that the colony is a temporary inconvenience and an opportunity. You decide yourself how many hours to put into it, and the only question is whether you actually did put those hours in. Then we can ask what you got out of it.

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