Class, Thurs, 10/20

Developing a Thick Description of a Project of Repair

Workshop Groups

Please read your beginning drafts aloud and get feedback from your group members. At the end of this session, I will ask you add at least 200 words to your description.

At this point the key question for each of you as a writer is: How do I move from 500 to 1000 words? I want you think about doing this not through adding examples but rather by saying more about each example you’re writing about. And so I’d like readers to consider:

  • How fully and well does this writer describe the thing that is being repaired?
  • How fully and well do they describe the person doing the repair?
  • What particular problems or challenges in repair do they describe?

Note what the writer does well and where you’d like to hear more.


Add 200 words to your current description.

Writing Geek6a0115710fc794970c014e890c16c3970d-320wi

Punctuating Quotations: Logical Punctuation vs. American Style.



To Do

  1. Mon, 10/24, 4:00 pm: Post e2d1, a 1,000-word description of a project of repair, to your group Google Drive folder. Title your document “lastname e2d1.docx”.
  2. Tues, 10/25, class: Read your group members’ e2d1s before class. I will ask each group to choose one piece to be presented to the class as a whole on Thursday.
  3. Tues, 10/25, class: Read the first three essays (Dawson, DiUbialdi, McNulty) in the 2016 issue of Arak Journal. Be read to talk about (a) how the writer describes a particular topic they want to write about, and (b) the stance they take toward that topic.




Class, Tues, 10/04

Taking Stock

  • Essay One
  • Grades
  • Plans and Conferences

Developing a Plan

Exchange proto-drafts with the person next to you. Your task as a reader is to help your partner create a plan to develop this proto-draft into a full-fledged essay.

Read the draft with a pen in your hand. As you go along, mark passages that strike you as strong, that the writer will want to keep pretty much as is, with a solid line. Mark passages that the writer might want to rework or cut with a squiggly line. Draw arrows indicating points where you think the writer could say more, develop their line of thought or add an example, and then add a brief note suggesting what that “more” might be. (See my sample annotations.)

Check also on some details. Does the essay have a strong title? Does the writer make the sources of their examples clear—whether these come from experience, observation, or reading? If the writer discusses other texts than Spelman, do these appear in a list of references?

Finally, while your main task here is not line-editing or proofreading, if a typo or mistake jumps out at you, circle it.

Take your time. I want you to spend at least 15-20 minutes working on this piece. Err on the side of over-annotating. Sign your name when you’re done so the writer can thank you in their acknowledgments.


Add 200 words (or more) to your essay.

To Do

Before you leave today: Make sure you know when and where you are meeting with your GTA and me. Make sure you give each of us a copy of your proto-draft.

  1. Wed, 10/05, Thurs, 10/06, and/or Fri, 10/07: Bring your annotated draft to your conferences with your GTA and me.
  2. Tues, 10/11, class: Bring a print copy of an all-but-final draft of your first essay with you to class.
  3. Wed, 10/12, 4:00 pm: Email the final version of your first essay, saved as a PDF, to both your GTA and me.
  4. Thurs, 10/13, class: Have at least two good ideas for “projects of repair” that you’d like to write about in your second essay.