Friday, February 23, 2007

On the Mid-Term

I love this Bizarro cartoon on the ever-more degraded state of language use!

A word about the mid-term essay project now well underway. The TAs are currently marking the first version of the essay and will return it to you by February 26th.

As you know, the objective of compulsory Writing Intensive Courses like ours is to provide an excellent opportunity for improved student writing ability. To that end, this first version of your essay is worth only five percent of the twenty percent that the Mid-Term represents in the ultimate course grade. Accordingly, your TAs have a mandate of marking to strict criteria for your greatest benefit.

Expect, then, this five percent grade to be an effective and accurate guidepost for you to improve your writing -- and, one hopes, your grade -- on the final version worth the remaining fifteen percent of the assignment grade.

So, for example, first versions which ignore the criteria set in the Mid-Term Topics -- say, (in the case of Topic #2,) failing to ground the essay in textual quotation, and using mere personal reflection instead following the instruction to argue -- can receive a first-version grade of less than 50%.

Study the first version carefully when it is returned to you, as it is a practical means of, for one, becoming a much better writer, and, for another, getting a significantly higher grade on your heavily-weighted final version.

Here's to good writing!


samantha said...

Just to clarify...

Are the final draughts/drafts of the paper due the week of March 5th, or March 12th?


Dr. Stephen Ogden said...

Dear Samantha:
There's a permanent link in the "Pertinent & Impertinent" section to "Mid-Term Essay Schedule." It says there:
"#4: Course week ten, Monday March 12th: final revision due in lecture."
Best wishes!