Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blogging the Writing Workshop

Giving Context: History of Lynching, etc

Many of the quizzes I returned to students today about the Black Codes, the Jim Crow laws, and Ida B. Well's ideas about lynching will help guide the context sections of the second essay. Remember that the texts as a whole have to be (re-)introduced to your audience (When I Was a Slave, Southern Horrors). These introductions mean stating the main ideas of the overall texts before you start quoting and citing from them. Also, recall that as you select specific passages from Southern Horrors to concentrate on, you should be able to summarize the main ideas of the specific section around the passage you've selected for quotation.

Introductions: To Be Revised!

I've noticed that some of you are forging ahead with introductions. Please remember that this is the paragraph that may change the most as your argument develops. In the first essays there were some serious misconnections between the introductions -- particularly the thesis statements -- and the topic sentences and supporting paragraphs that followed. It really is best to practice building your essay from the middle outwards. Please consider approaching your draft with this strategy in mind.


How to Organize and Structure Paragraphs

There was a good question about how to organize certain ideas into paragraphs. For example, there is a slave memoir from When I Was a Slave that speaks about pre and post Civil War Afro-Am work culture.

Should all the pre-war work culture passages from multiple slave memoirs go into one paragraph?

Or should one paragraph contain only individual accounts of both pre and post-war passages?

The answer is: there is no right answer. Each of you will find a method of organization that works for your essay.

Solution: Draft the essay now and ask your classamates if the organization works during next week's Peer Review! Just keep writing!

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