Writing Prompts

Not sure what to say? Check back here for more detailed writing triggers before each of the major assignments.

Blogging Roles, REVISED 9/19:

Online Discussion

Okay, so feedback is that there are too many conversations in too many different places, and folks are having trouble keeping on top of all the roles. Time for a revision! Let’s simplify:

  • We’ll consolidate groups, so there will be only two roles: Engage & Interrogate and Review & Reply. In other words, each week:
    • half the class will summarize the argument and respond with questions;
    • the other half of the class will respond and extend the discussion;
    • we’ll still switch back and forth.
  • Each group of readings will have a single dedicated post, which will act as a portal to consolidate all discussions of those texts; all questions and responses will be added as new comments on the readings.
    • The post will help you remember what to read, and whose turn it is to start.
  • Aim to include enough of the text so that much later (say six months from now) you could reread your comments and understand the author’s argument as well as your own.

The goal, as before, is to have everyone come into class with some ideas already percolating about what the texts have to say and what they make you think about. Therefore, you have to give everyone time to read what you write! Even the responses should come in by noon the day before class.

Here are the roles once more:

Engage & Interrogate

Your task is to find ways into the text, by posing three questions in response to the text’s arguments for us to consider as we read and reread. Add these questions to the course site using Add New Post as a Reply to the post for that reading. To generate your questions, consider…

  • what you’d want to ask the author
  • what features of the text stand out as needing explanation or interpretation
  • the author’s premises and evidence – and whom they might be trying to convince
  • what’s left unresolved at the end of the text / where the argument could go next

Aim for questions that could lead to good thinking.

Review & Reply

Your task is to think through the meaning and implications of the text, by choosing and responding to two of the questions posed by the Engage & Interrogate group. Post these responses as comments to the threads that contain your chosen questions, using the Reply links. In deciding what to respond to, consider…

  • what occurred to you as you were reading (or rereading)
  • what evidence you could bring to bear in answering the question
  • what excites or intrigues you – or, for that matter, what leaves you puzzled.

Any questions, please ask!


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