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Article of the Week Assignment

In order to improve background knowledge and to practice reading the types of informational texts that are commonly found in high school and college, each week (generally on a Friday), students will be given an article to read and respond to. The response to the article will be due on Monday (or the first day of the week, if there is no school on Monday), and the start of class on Monday will be used to discuss the article. Students who are absent on a Friday must be sure to pick up the article as soon as they get back, or they can access the article from the e-board. At the end of the term, responses will be organized, and students will choose their best response to revise. That response will be placed on top. Students will receive credit for all articles, but will be formally assessed on their response that they consider to be their best writing example (see rubric). Article of the Week Response Requirements 1. 200-300 words (just less than one page typed in 12-point font, Times New Roman, double spaced). 2. Include a summary/description paragraph that includes the Title, Author, and Genre (TAG) and a short summary/description of the article and the authors purpose in writing the article. (The sentence with the TAG is the thesis; this should be highlighted (HL) or underlined (UL). This paragraph should be about 50 words.) 3. A personal response to the article and the issues raised by the article should be in the following paragraph(s). 4. Responses should show evidence of reading comprehension. This can be done by using quotes in the article, using examples from the article, or referring back to specific aspects of the article in your writing. 5. There will be grammar requirements for the response as well. Grammar requirements will be provided as needed. 6. Proper MLA citation is mandatory, i.e.: Jones makes the claim that students can be exceptionally adept at avoiding work (12). If not using a quote, students should still refer to page or paragraph number. Rubric 4 3 2 1 Summary Accurately summarizes Summarizes the Summarizes either Fails to fully both the overall content of piece and the author's the content of the summarize the the piece as well as the purpose, but fails to article or the author's overall content author's purpose with address all the points of purpose, but not both. and author's TAGed thesis HL or UL. the article. Thesis HL or Thesis does not TAG. purpose. No UL with TAG is present. thesis. Response Clear, fully developed Ideas clearly Ideas not clearly Fails to response, with strong developed; some developed; little or no provide a full and evidence ( 3 DQEs HL or UL) evidence of reading evidence of reading complete of reading comprehension; comprehension (2 DQEs comprehension (1 DQE response; no maintains focus on topic HL or UL). HL or UL; loses focus at DQE. throughout. times. Grammar No grammar/spelling Some Some Distracting mistakes; skillfully grammar/spelling grammar/spelling level of mistakes; integrates grammar skills mistakes; integrates mistakes; incorrectly fails to integrate showing a variety of grammar skills. integrates grammar grammar skills. sentence structure. skills. MLA Format All MLA Formatting One mistake in MLA Two mistakes in Three or requirements met. Formatting. MLA Formatting. more mistakes in MLA Formatting Weekly Responses All responses are in chronological order and are at least 200 words. Writing demonstrates analysis, almost all with a TAG and ample quotes (HL or UL). All responses are at least 200 words. Writing demonstrates analysis with a TAG and ample quotes (HL or UL). Responses are under 200 words. Writing is weak and quotes are limited. Responses are under 200 words. Writing is weak with hardly any DQE in entries.

Model of AOW Journal Entry

Ten Tips for Writing, by Joss Whedon; 8/10/12 In this article, Ten Tips for Writing, by screenwriter Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly, the film The Avengers), ten clear and helpful tips for screenwriting, which can also be applied to writing in general, are provided for anyone interested in the craft. The list is short, to the point, and written so as to be accessible for the average reader. Although Whedon is a successful screenwriter in Hollywood, his prose is easy to follow, at times humorous, and the reader comes away with good tips for not only the beginning of their career, but also for getting out of writers block and for dealing with constructive and not-so-constructive feedback. Even though Whedon is a screenwriter, and many of his tips pertain to that specialty, I found that his suggestions are also helpful when applied to writing fiction. He tells writers to remember that Everybody has a perspective. Everybody in your scene, including the thug flanking your bad guy, has a reason. They have their own voice, their own identity, their own history (Par. 4). Having written seven novels myself, I find that reminding myself of this strategy keeps my characters believable. If characters are believable, readers are much more likely to enjoy the novel and to keep reading. Whedon also reminds aspiring writers that while some criticism can be based on the ridiculous, and should be ignored, we should remember that nothing should be discounted until its heard. He writes that its also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea (Par. 6). Ive worked with writers who listen to no one, and writers who listen to everyone. The ones who are happier with what theyve written have listened to everyone, but have not taken everyones advice. This is a great realization for some creative writers; for once, you dont have to do what the teacher tells you. As a fan of Whedons writing, I was biased toward liking his list. However, Im confident that if I gave this list to my students most of whom probably not ever having heard of him before they would be able to benefit from reading it as well. Its a list Ill keep handy for my own writing, regardless.