Final Checklist, Deadlines, Reminders

The Checklist

  • Add a “Featured Image” to the essay that you read (or will read) in class. This is for purpose of creating a showcase post of the featured essays
  • A Featured Essay description This is a new request, but an important one the writing process. Write a brief (one sentence or one sentence fragment) description of the post you read or are reading for the class. Send this to me by e-mail be Friday, if possible.
  • Class reflection Write (if you have not already) the class reflection by answering the questions and posting these on a page (not as a post) on your blog. What have you learned about the essay this semester? What have you learned about writing? What have you learned about yourself as a writer? How might what you have learned in the course stay with you or be useful beyond this class?
  • The online course evaluation. Your thoughtful comments are appreciated. I am particularly interested in you helping me document the success (or not) of the method for developing your writing in this course, the course and blog tools, etc. Thank you! (The Spring 2018 Student Course Evaluations will be closed on 4/30/2018.)
  • Your writing: You are welcome to work on your writing through finals week (see below). I will meet with you, or we can exchange ideas about an essay or your sequence over e-mail. Monday May 30 is Reading Day and I will be in my office and will be available, by appointment, if you would like to talk or need assistance with questions about your essays or your blog
  • Your essays As your revisionary process ebbs your editing process should be flowing. Work on sentence style and variety, pacing, presence. Read your prose aloud. Have other read it to you. Listen. Make changes, when appropriate. Line editing is part of the editing process, too.
  • Your sequence Make every effort to discover the integrity of the essays in the sequence. Thematic connections are only one area of focus. Titles, in particular, can signal what the essays are doing
  • Design A digital format allows you to consider visual rhetoric, layout, and design. Attend to this dimension of the writing. Use the theme you have chosen to present your writing in the most effective way possible. Talk with Mark if you need assistance with an idea or a particular plugin or tool for Word Press
  • Your Blog Over the past couple of weeks, as you have been developing the idea at the center of your essay sequence, a few of you have changed the title of your blog. Please consider the the title, and the tagline. What you started with in January may be less compelling to you now. Browse the course blogs of your peers. Think about it.
  • Your Domain Complete any work on your domain site or hub. Let me know if you have any questions about the timeline and the offer from Reclaim to host your site

The Deadlines and Reminders 

The Final Examination week at the College ends at 3 PM on Friday May 4th. On Friday Mark will begin reading the course blogs and assessing your work. Final grades are due on Tuesday May 8th

You have read my grading philosophy on the syllabus page of the course blog. And so you are well aware that this course has invited you to make full use of the privilege of study in a college classroom—of embracing the experience of higher standards than what you are used to, and of becoming aware of these standards so as to enlarge your own sense of what can be done.

When I sit down to read your work, and to determine the grade you have earned in the course, I will be looking across the following areas that I identify in the syllabus:

  • Collaboration: This is about showing up: being in class, participating, engaging with me and with your peers—in discussions and conversations, during scheduled conferences, and/or in my weekly office hours; your essay reflections and self-assessments, too, are a form of collaboration–with yourself!
  • Commitment You may be working on a B  (skillful and articulate work) or an A (creative, unique, in-depth work) but you were not able to get your work in by the deadlines on the timeline. Of course most everyone will miss a deadline over a fifteen week semester. However, if you were not able to publish work by the deadline (say, more than two times), and your late work had an adverse impact on the workshops and/or made it difficult for me to engage you in the editorial process, then you should expect your final grade in the course to be lower
  • Quality of the writing: Ongoing and thoughtful engagement with your own reading, thinking, and writing, will in most cases make a difference in the quality of your prose. But not always. In general, a C is acceptable work, a B is skillful and articulate work, and an A is creative, unique, in-depth work

I am enormously grateful for your work this semester. Every meeting I have had during the past few weeks has shown how transformative the writing process can be.  As we have moved toward the conclusion of our work together I am seeing in your work the fruits of studying both theory and practice. Your application of what we have learned about the poetics of the essay, your thoughtful reflections, and your hard work on your essay sequence, has produced a body of writing that is impressive. Your time and dedication to your own development as writers is genuinely inspiring!