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Should your writing instructor teach only shorter forms of writing in your writing class?

Should your writing instructor teach only shorter forms of writing in your writing class?

 

Scenario: After reading an opinion piece in the New York Times about teaching shorter, more Internet-based forms in writing classes (http://nyti.ms/QjKZod), your writing teacher has started considering revamping your writing class to focus only on short writing forms like Tweets, text messages, online product reviews, and emails. This wouldn’t necessarily mean that your writing class would require less total writing, but that much of the writing would be shorter and more frequent. Your teacher is interested in creating a class that is educationally valuable to you and your classmates, and s/he also wants to make sure that any writing class s/he teaches is consistent with Central Methodist University’s mission (http://bit.ly/O5zoe3) and with university expectations for writing classes (http://bit.ly/QjLtuo, pages 53-54).

Your instructor has asked all of his/her students to weigh in on the issue. Knowing that your instructor is an academic who values expert opinions and credible, reliable information, it is important that your argument is supported by a sufficient number of quality research sources.

Essay question: Should your writing instructor teach only shorter forms of writing in your writing class?

Essay audience: Your writing instructor.

Details:
• The essay should be approximately 3-6 word-processed pages in length.
• Essays should effectively integrate outside research sources.
• All sources should be correctly cited using either MLA or APA style.

Common Assessment Scoring Rubric (2012-2013)

4
Exceeds Expectations 3
Meets Expectations 2
Approaches Expectations 1
Fails to Meet Expectations
Thesis/Purpose The writer…
• Presents a focused and sustained argument;
• Proceeds with purpose appropriate for writer situation;
• Pursues sophistication and complexity The writer…
• Has a readily identifiable argument;
• Presents a generally clear and focused sense of purpose;
• Makes moves toward sophistication and complexity. The writer…
• Has an argument, but one that might not be entirely unified, sustained, or immediately identifiable,
• Pursues an ill-defined or inappropriate purpose;
• Leans towards the obvious and simplistic The writer…
• Lacks a central argument or provides an argument severely incongruent with purpose;
• Is obvious and simplistic.
Development and Support The writer…
• Provides sufficient, relevant, and specific support;
• Explores complexity through full, sensitive discussion of ideas and information;
• Is sensitive to the subtleties of audience reactions. The writer…
• Provides satisfactory support;
• Moves towards complexity with discussion that explores, rather than simply presents, ideas and information;
• Accounts for audience reactions. The writer…
• Provides support that may be ill-chosen, insufficient, or vague;
• Resists complexity with discussion of ideas and information that is often brief and general;
• Takes audience’s reactions into little account. The writer…
• Provides little support and/or support that is ill-chosen or vague;
• Is overly simplistic and mostly lacks discussion;
• Seems indifferent to audience reactions.
Organization, structure, and coherence The writer…
• Introduces and concludes effectively;
• Employs logical, consistent, and coherent organizational units;
• Arranges and sequences information appropriately for audience, purpose, and situation;
• Highlights connections between ideas and builds coherence. The writer…
• Introduces and concludes satisfactorily;
• Employs organizational units that might occasionally want for logic, coherence, or consistency;
• Arranges and sequences information in an orderly, predictable fashion;
• Frequently builds coherence and highlights connections between ideas. The writer…
• Introduces and concludes perfunctorily;
• Employs organizational units that can lack clear evidence of underlying logic, coherence, or consistency;
• Arranges and sequences information somewhat haphazardly or simplistically;
• Takes few steps to highlight connections between ideas and build coherence. The writer…
• Includes severely underthought introduction or conclusion (or no introduction or conclusion);
• Employs organizational units that are haphazard (or fails to employ organizational units);
• Lacks direction in the arrangement and sequencing of information;
• Does not highlight connections between ideas and build coherence.
Language The writer…
• Chooses a tone and level of formality appropriate for audience, purpose, and situation;
• Uses language and syntax for deliberate effect;
• Usually employs sophisticated, engaging language and precise word choice. The writer…
• Employs proficient and unobtrusive, if unmodulated, tone and level of formality;
• Occasionally uses language and syntax for deliberate effect;
• Occasionally uses sophisticated engaging, and precise word choice. The writer…
• Employs a tone and level of formality that may be inappropriate for audience, purpose, and situation;
• Uses language and syntax that shows little regard for effect;
• Uses language that can be imprecise, unclear, or incorrect. The writer…
• Employs a tone and level of formality inappropriate for audience, purpose, and situation;
• Uses language and syntax haphazardly;
• Frequently employs imprecise, unclear, or incorrect language.
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