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Introducing the formal report and a few other bits of news

by Steve Krause on October 30th, 2014

It’s been available on the web site for a while now, but here’s where we can start talking about the formal report and recommendation assignment. The first critical thing about this project is read it carefully. Next week, we’ll start talking a bit more about “formal reports” and “recommendation reports,” though there are some specific things with this assignment and how we’re pursuing it that will cause us to deviate a bit from some of the online advice.

Two other things for now:

  • I’m a bit behind in grading for a variety of reasons, including my preparations for an academic conference I’ll be attending tomorrow at Michigan State. Not a good mix for Halloween, but there you have it. Anyway, my hope is to have comments back on the instructions by next Wednesday, but it might be a day or two later. Oh, a slight update: I did post participation grades for everyone though. You should have received an email response from me about that.
  • I’ve been reading through some of your answers on the midterm review of the peer review process and I think I want to try to do a couple things different with the remaining peer reviews for this semester.
    • First off, it is still important to me as a teacher that you receive feedback from your peers, that you carefully offer feedback to your peers, and that you pay close attention to these responses. A couple of you said things along the lines of “I would prefer just getting the teacher’s responses” or “I don’t care what my peers said” and I steadfastly refuse to change my approaches there. As I said at the beginning of the term, to be successful in this writing class (and really, in all writing classes) you have to try to write to an audience beyond just the teacher! Trust me on this.
    • However, I understand where some of you are coming from here, and I can also see how the surveys might end up being more “busy-work” like than they need to be. So here’s what I’m going to do for the peer reviews for the rest of the term (and I’ll explain more about this later, too). First, you will comment on each others’ projects; then, after you are done with that but before you hand them in, I will follow and offer similar comments on each of your projects. The goal here is for me to offer you some advice before I grade them so that you have some guidance on the revisions to make before you turn your projects in. But in taking the time to do this early commenting, I won’t have time to write as much in terms of detailed end comments. Seem like a deal?

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  1. Natasha Wickenheiser permalink

    I really like the idea of receiving feedback (even if it is just general suggestions) from you before we submit final documents to be graded.

    Also, enjoy your conference tomorrow!

  2. LeeAnne Baumdraher permalink


  3. Melanie Waller permalink

    I too like the idea of you having a suggestion about our papers before they are due, but I also like the idea of just turning them in and waiting for the end result. I also like the fact that others are reading what I have written and can give some great suggestions on how to improve what I have written

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