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Susan Ramsey

Writing Assignment Design Phase II


Assign/Assess

Dear Dr. Hartman,

Overall, the assigning and assessing phase went well. Most of my students actually enjoyed this
writing project, even though it was new territory for them. Based on the feedback that you
gave me on Phase I, I made some changes to the assignment handout itself and the rubric. This
gave them more specific guidelines to follow and provided more detailed instructions. I had
given these to them in class on the board and asked them to take notes, but certainly
reiterating those instructions did not hurt.

In my original plan, I had the intention of having them complete an outline for their writing
first. That was even backed up in my rubric. I made the decision to change that part of the
design in order to focus more on the actual writing of the rubric and peer feedback portions.
That is a change in the design that I regret to some extent. I think the outline may have helped
them to set up their writing in advance. That being said, they had already done a portion of an
outline by the time I made the change for the sake of time and I had already given them a
rubric with that portion in it. I decided to leave that rubric portion in there for that reason.
That may or may not have been the right decision.

I have provided two samples of my students writing with my feedback for them and a grade
based on the updated rubric design. I believe this gives a good representation of the different
levels within my classroom dynamic. The one caveat I need to make is that the students are
still at a draft point so, even though they have been given feedback by peers, they have not
incorporated that into their writing yet. My rubric for this portion of the process will have to
reflect that. I did, however, include some examples of the feedback given to these specific
students, just for reference purposes. We will see if this feedback is incorporated in the final
product.

For the revision process, I would like to incorporate more of the workshop process in this
assignment. I feel like I only scratched the surface with this. On a similar note, I must make a
confession. I have been meaning to incorporate daybooks into my classroom, but have not
actually done it yet. I would like that to be part of my process in some way. Another
interesting thing I found in this regard was that, even though I gave students specific things to
focus on in their feedback process, they had a hard time doing this at all. I believe that more
practice in this area will help them loosen up and get better at this part of the process.

~Susan
WRITING ASSIGNMENT DESIGN Phase II
Assignment Part I ~ Revised Handout Given to Students:

WRITING A CHREIA

WHAT IS A CHREIA? A Chreia is one of the 14 classical rhetorical exercises known the
Progymnasmata. It is meant to praise the author of a wise or moral saying and show why the
saying is useful.

PURPOSE? To convince the audience/reader that a particular wise quote is trustworthy and
wise, and how it can be applied to our lives.

FORMAT? A Chreia is made up of eight paragraphs, each of which proves the truth of the
saying in a different way:

Panegyric (3-5 sentences) Gain the attention of the reader by painting a compelling picture of
the author of the statement.
Paraphrastic (2-3 sentences) Put the statement into your own words in a way that clarifies or
simplifies the original statement for your reader.
From the Cause (4 or more sentences) Prove the truth of the saying by giving an example of
what happens when the advice is followed.
From the Contrary (4 or more sentences) Prove the truth of the saying by providing an
example of what happens when the advice is not followed.
Analogy (3-5 sentences) Prove the truth of the saying by showing how it applies to something
that seems completely different. EXAMPLE: A caterpillar cannot force its way out of the
cocoon until the time is right. In the same way, a person must choose to be patient rather than
force someone to do something they are not ready to do.
Example (3 or more sentences) Demonstrate the truth of the saying by revealing how it has
been used or not used in history. It can be a positive or negative is a real-life, well known
demonstration of the truth of the saying. It can be a historical event or a well-known story (i.e.
Cinderella, the Bible, etc.)
Testimony (3 or more sentences) - prove the truth of the saying by using a quote from a respected,
famous or well-known person or source that is similar to the Chreia saying.
Epilogue (3 or more sentences) Conclusion paragraph in which you sum up the other
paragraphs of your Chreia and further reinforce how the truth of the saying can affect our own
lives.

ASSIGNMENT: Using your class notes, your knowledge from in-class discussion, information
provided below, and the text of The Screwtape Letters as a source, write a Chreia on
Screwtapes advice in Letter 10: All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending
to be. For several paragraphs of this essay, you may need to do some additional research.
Rubric Given to Students:
GRADING/RUBRIC:
I. PLANNING:

________/14 Outline sets essay up with preliminary thoughts and ideas.

II. CONTENT:

________/7 Paragraph One Panegyric (4-5 sentences)


Discuss the person who uttered the wise saying.

________/7 Paragraph Two Paraphrastic (3-4 sentences)


Put the saying into your own words.

________/7 Paragraph Three From the Cause (4 or more sentences)


Explain the motivation of the speaker.

________/7 Paragraph Four From the Contrary (4 or more sentences)


Explain the consequences if the opposite of the saying had occurred.

________/7 Paragraph Five Analogy (4-5 sentences)


Liken the saying to something else.

________/7 Paragraph Six Example (3 or more sentences)


Point the reader to a specific instance in which the saying was demonstrated.

________/7 Paragraph Seven Testimony (3 or more sentences)


Quote a famous person, past or present, who testifies to the truth of this
saying.

________/7 Paragraph Eight Epilogue (4 or more sentences)


Summarize your previous paragraphs/conclude.

________/10 Chreia uses strong verbs and descriptive adjectives where necessary.
Essay shows good mastery of correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

________/10 Reader feedback given on one peers writing based on feedback criteria handout

________/10 Appropriate revision made/incorporated into Chreia based on peer review.

________/100 TOTAL
These are the guidelines I gave to students for their feedback:

PEER REVIEW REQUIREMENTS/FEEDBACK CRITERIA

GENERAL RULES FOR PEER REVIEW:


1. Take your role in reviewing your peers work seriously.
2. You may give positive comments and critical comments, but negative comments must
be constructive in nature, i.e. tell the writer how the writing could be made better or
improved for you as a reader.
3. Feel free to ask questions of your peers writing where you may be confused or need
additional information.
4. Make your comments as specific as possible so that your peer may have intentional
ways to improve the Chreia.
5. Do not give a comment without telling why. For example, instead of saying, I do not
like this part, try saying something like I think that this sentence/portion of your
Chreia does not follow the format, etc.
6. Do not correct your peers grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Your feedback needs to
relate to the content of the Chreia itself.

SPECIFIC STEPS:
1. Read through the Chreia once without making any comments and to get a feel for your
peers Chreia.
2. Re-read the Chreia a second time with the object of making comments or notes.
3. Give your peer at least five comments or questions on the positive aspects of their
writing as well as anything you find confusing or lacking.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS TO ASK AS YOU READ (this is only a list of examples not meant to be
exhaustive):

1. Identify any places where the writers ideas are unclear. How could the writer clarify
these points?
2. Where would you like the writer to have provided more information?
3. Was there something that you could relate to as a reader? A point that helped you
understand or learn something new?
4. Is the Chreia easy to read? If not, how and where could it have flowed better?
5. What are some strengths of the Chreia? Weaknesses?
STUDENT SAMPLE #1: Nick (Page 1)
STUDENT SAMPLE #1: Nick (Page Two)
STUDENT SAMPLE #1: Nick (Peer Feedback FOR his Chreia)
STUDENT SAMPLE #1: Nick (HIS peer feedback for another Chreia)
STUDENT SAMPLE #1: Nick (Grade Based on Rubric was 80 based on certain paragraphs not
meeting criteria and lack of proofing of spelling, etc.)
STUDENT SAMPLE #1: Nick (My written feedback for him)
STUDENT SAMPLE #2: Emily (Page One)
STUDENT SAMPLE #2: Emily (Page Two)
STUDENT SAMPLE #2: Emily (Peer Feedback FOR her Chreia)
STUDENT SAMPLE #2: Emily (HER peer feedback for another Chreia)
STUDENT SAMPLE #2: Emily (Grade Based on Rubric was 95 based on that fact that she met
most of the criteria and followed the format. A couple of examples, etc., I felt, needed more
backup based on the idea of pretending as related to the quote analyzed)
STUDENT SAMPLE #2: Emily (My written feedback for her)