Course Learning Activities

Course Learning Activities

This is a college writing course; in fact, it’s an “enhanced” writing course, which just means it’s worth 3 credit hours, but it meets for 4 contact hours each week–giving you some extra help to insure a good grade and a successful experience. You may think that 15 pages of informal prose and 10 pages of formal prose sound like a lot.  You will AMAZE yourself at how much you will produce, and how relatively painfree writing becomes for you.

The course is divided into SEVEN Learning Modules. In each module there is a discussion forum, a writing lab exercise/assignment, and an essay or paper. The various learning activities are detailed below.

Essays and Papers are worth 50% of your final grade.  I will try to give you much leeway in choosing topics that mean something to you.  I don’t believe in assigning essays on “how I spent my summer vacation,” or “why marijuana should be legalized.”  These topics have been exhausted long ago, and both writing about them and reading about them would be boring.

Discussion forums will make up 25% of your final grade.  Each discussion will be worth 100 points, and these points are “guaranteed” to you if you follow the discussion directions and post the required number of times.  Discussions are a way to connect with your classmates and with me, since I will participate in these forums.  Commenting on your peers’ writing efforts is VERY helpful to them, and the feedback they provide on your writing can be very worthwhile.

Writing Lab exercises and assignments will make up 25% of your final grade.  Because this section of College Writing has an extra contact hour each week, you will have extra help and practice working on your individual strengths and weaknesses.  It is very important that you and I work together to identify what you do well and what areas of your writing need extra attention.  For example, it makes no pedagogical sense to assign the whole class work on sentence fragments if only three of you ever write sentence fragments.  Or, maybe six others have trouble with subject/verb agreement.  So those six should focus on that issue

In your online FREE text, there is a whole section at the end that should help you work on your weaknesses once they have been identified.  Here is a list of some mini-lessons you may find helpful:

Grammar/Mechanics Mini-lessons
Mini-lesson: Subjects and Verbs, Irregular Verbs, Subject Verb Agreement
Mini-lesson: Sentence Types
Mini-lesson: Fragments I
Mini-lesson: Run-ons and Comma Splices I
Mini-lesson: Comma Usage
Mini-lesson: Parallelism
Mini-lesson: The Apostrophe
Mini-lesson: Capital Letters

To sum it up, I will help you figure out what specific areas of your writing you need to work on most.  Then, you will be assigned some exercises/activities to complete.  Finally, you will go back to your own essay/paper and “fix” just the specific problem you’re focusing on.  This is GOOD NEWS. You will focus on only a few of your major weaknesses–and you will learn that you also have major strengths in your writing.

You will find many practice exercises in your online textbook.  For example, near the bottom of the Table of Contents you will see the following:

Grammar Practice – Interactive Quizzes

For additional grammar practice, choose the topic(s) you want to develop by taking interactive quizzes from the Guide to Grammar and Writing on the following site.

Click the link to access the site: Grammar Practice Site