Blogging about Collaboration Cover Letters WRI 10 17

On April 9, as a “comment,” post your collaboration cover letter.  Make your response a thoughtful two, to four, paragraphs.  Make in-depth comments (of at least three sentences) on at least three other entries from this class before April 11.

In the cover note section, in your “collaboration” page, note whose responses you replied to for Cover Letters blogging.  If you have not done so, also note whose responses you replied to for your film replies.

76 thoughts on “Blogging about Collaboration Cover Letters WRI 10 17”

  1. I found the collaboration aspect of this course to be beneficial in many ways. Through peer editing, class discussion, group projects and blogging I was able to better understand concepts overlooked by having classmates explain them. At the same time, I was able to better my understanding of the literature by also explaining it to others. I definitely feel like I contributed to the class for the better through of my daily participation in class and peer edits on essays. In the quality of work I put into making sure that I was thorough in editing my peer’s papers, I know it was beneficial to their final product. The group-led discussion and blogging will be the main examples I use in conveying the importance of having been able to work together as a team.
    My experience with working with other people in this class worked well, but that didn’t mean that we didn’t have to overcome obstacles in order to have a successful project outcome. I was lucky to have motivated group members like myself who were willing to put in the time and effort to do a thorough job in explaining the novel we chose, to the class. Since we were the first group to present, there was a lot of brainstorming and research that went into finding a presentation technique that would engage the class in a thoughtful discussion to further understanding, as the Professor had asked for. When we met as a group to work on the project, we would delegate assignments to each other and then rotate roles so everyone got a chance to either locate quotes and important ideas or be the person making the actual slides for the PowerPoint. What I liked the best about how our group worked was that we were able to feed off each other’s ideas that eventually helped the overall clarity of the presentation. Although one member was not able to meet with us very often, we were still able to pull through and make it work and get the job done.
    When blogging, it wasn’t the team effort that was important, it was the individual’s effort that made all the difference when everyone was trying to build off of each other’s ideas. By each person, including myself, taking the time to think authentically about what we had to blog about, or by simply bringing in ideas we had learned about previously that weren’t mentioned in class, added to the learning process and widened perspectives. An example of that happened to me in the last blogging assignment about watching the film “The Wizard of Oz”, when someone posted about how the author used certain parts of the book to make a political statement about what was going on in the world at that time. Since I never heard that, I was intrigued because it got me thinking about something I had learned about another famous children’s novel that was related to the author intentionally making a much larger statement than it initially looks like.
    Having been able to work with others and off of others to produce a larger product benefitted me very much. In one scenario, a daunting task was diminished to a doable because of being able to delegate and build off others ideas to create a very good one. In the other, we were doing a similar thing to create one complex idea. Overall I found these ways of collaborating to be very effective.

    1. This was a well thought out cover letter, it explained in detail how each project helped improve your abilities in writing. I wasn’t really sure what the cover letters were asking, but after reading yours I do and I know I need to revise mine. Thank you, plus there was great transitions and good thesis sentences explaining what your focus was.

    2. This is a great cover letter! I was confused as well in what we were supposed to outline in these but you did a great job and now I know what to cover. I like how you go into detail about each aspect and how it assisted you throughout the semester. Thank you for clearing up my confusion and providing a well-detailed cover letter.

    3. Good Job! It explains everything in detail. The same thing happen to me, I was confused on what to write but you gave me some clearence. I found the blogging, the GLD and working with groups helpful. Incorporation everyones ideas to come up with an answer. Blogging, as you said, was individual effort and I agree with you.

    4. Yes, blogging was a new experience for me. It was nice to discuss films, even though this page feels so impersonal. By the way, I wouldn’t take the political rumors about Oz too seriously. Hearn certainly doesn’t.

  2. In writing 10, we spent a lot of time collaborating with one another, and I enjoyed actively participating. I really valued the time we took, to share ideas, values and varying points of view. I especially liked the group led discussions because it brought up new ideas about the readings that I had never thought of before. Additionally, group led discussions helped clarify some parts of the readings that I found confusing.
    I liked sharing my ideas with other people. I enjoyed interacting with others, especially when we blogged about the videos we watched. I liked having others comment on my posts and I like commenting on other people’s quotes. I appreciated my peers when they listened to what I had to say. Their attentiveness made me feel that what I had to say had merit and was a good addition to the conversation.
    We spent lots of time reviewing our papers in class. I found the peer editing process very valuable because we got to work with on another. My classmates shared their ideas with me and when it came time to edit our papers, we were able to give each other both constructive criticism and positive feedback. They helped me see errors that I had missed and they always had plenty of suggestions to improve my paper. Simply working together helped improve my scholarly habits. I also gave positive feedback one other people’s papers, and shared my thoughts with regards to their work.

    1. I agree, I feel that there was a lot of interacting with one another in class and out of class and it was all for a positive cause. Therefore, I also enjoy the GLD it gave me a clear understanding of the book. Also, when it came to peer editing the syntax was helpful and the way we participate in class to make one long sentence short by keeping the content just in a shorter way was amazing.

    2. Great start in your collaboration letter. I also thought that correcting each other’s papers were valuable. You may want to have an introduction and conclusion, like an essay, clearly stating what you are going to talk about in the cover letter. But overall great job!

    3. I agree with you on your first two paragraphs, which are the value of the GLDs and the sharing of our own ideas. The GLDs are a great way to gain a new perspective on a common reading. For example, in one In Cold Blood GLD, someone had mentioned a quote and interpreted it as a shunning from society; how taking the life one person can have an everlasting effect on society as a whole. Personally, I was never good at sharing my ideas, but now, I feel like the class has taught me to be more confident and assist others when I could. Great start to your cover letter!

    4. I really enjoyed discussions in class and peer editing as well! It was nice being able to go over the readings that we had read the previous days and seeing what other people thought about the content. Peer editing also helped me make my papers better. Suggestions can never hurt, only help!

    5. I really did enjoy the group led discussions as well. They were very interesting because they brought up new ideas of the readings. I’m glad you pointed this out because I had totally forgotten about that. Peer editing were very valuable too!

      1. Everything you said was valid and I liked how you explained how each of the activities you mentioned benefitted you and the class. Editing papers was definitely an activity that helped both the writer and the editor’s writing. Nice job on your cover letter!

    6. Just like you, I also find the GLD very helpful for better understanding the story. In adition to clarifying the plot line, the GLD presentors get to share what they learned from the story to the class thus expanding our knowledge. Additionally, GLD is helpful for the class to keep up to the book if we didn’t it and this allows thr class to stay on track.

    7. I also thought that GLD helped me to understand certain parts of the reading. It was a way for me to keep track of what I was reading. I just wished that the actual discussion part of “group led discussion” was more of a discussion instead of an “answer the question.”

  3. Cover Letter
    The collaboration in this class was helpful for improving my own work and the others in the class. When I come into class with my rough draft and exchange it with others, I expect to see the mistakes I made in my paper so that I could fix it. Most of the time, I can’t see the small mistakes on my paper and it requires the assistance of others to help me find it. By exchanging our papers in class for review, we improve our papers by learning from other classmates opinions. I usually provide my classmates papers with what I thought their paper was missing. Most of the time, I would say that there paper didn’t go deep enough into the topic and they might be just stating the known information. I see a lot of papers just state things we read from the book and interpret the meanings from the readings. Reviewing other classmates papers also help me improve my paper because I checked if I made the same mistake as they did.
    Additionally, the GLD presentation helps us learn more about the book that we are presenting. When my group comes together to share their parts of the PowerPoint, we combine our thought together of the book. By doing so, I learn what my group mates learned and as a result the group’s knowledge on the subject expanded. Working alone on the presentation wouldn’t be effective as working together in a group because we wouldn’t have gotten to share what we learned from it. Also, I shared my opinions on what my group mate’s ideas for the presentation to improve it. For example, I thought one of my group mates was asking too many difficult questions and as a result, it could cause the class to ignore the discussions.

    1. I felt the same way about when it came to writing papers. The topics where out there for example we were able to write basically about anything. But, at points I would think the same way you would think am I making mistakes or am I doing this right. When it came to peer review it was a good way to keep give and receive feedback from classmates.

    2. Great start on your collaboration cover letter, might want to elaborate more and split up the paragraphs so they aren’t so big. Also, treat this like an essay, write a thoughtful introduction and conclusion stating what you are talking about in this cover letter. I like your ideas and I agree with your opinion. Good job!

    3. I feel the same way when it comes to everyone’s papers only stating known information and not really addressing the topic to its full extent. However, it’s because we have a word limit, and that challenges us to get our main points across while removing all the “fluff” which I feel assists in going in deep. I especially enjoyed your section on the GLD presentations because it does help us share our ideas with others and expand our knowledge on the readings. It was definitely better to work as a group as opposed to solo. Great star!

    4. I agree with you! Collaboration makes improve your own work and others too. I’m terrible at writing essays and I always expect errors/mistakes. But with the help of peer editing, it helps a lot because I get to hear their opinion on what is missing or errors that could be found within my essay.

    5. Great comments on how collaboration has been used throughout this class. Having good comments on peer reviewed papers, I think, is extremely helpful. Even if it is not someone in the class, other peers can help with the little mistakes and grammar. I thought that the GLD’s were also a main part of this class that was collaborative. It took a lot of group work and understanding to put together those presentations!

    6. The GLD’s have proven to be extremely helpful, for both the group presenting and the class itself. The group has a chance to interact with their group members and work on the presentation. The different perspectives all merging together can be interesting.

    7. That’s completely true, I agree that the peer editing was very useful. However, I do think it could have been made more efficient if the actual rubric was used in the class peer editing sessions. The GLDs most definitely help the class as everything we read is then discussed in deeper detail and new ideas come out. This cover letter is full of great ideas.

    8. I also expect my peers to help see the small mistakes that i make in my paper. I also try to help my classmates improve their papers. The GLD presentation helped me learn more about the readings.

    9. I agree with you. Working alone would not give us the same benefits when working in a group. Working in a group allows us to hear what other people think and give us a different perspective then ourselves. But working in groups for too long would make us be dependent on others so it would be wise to mix it up a bit.

  4. This writing 10 class has been an overall success, I have learned new and improved ways to effectively create and outline an essay, while being able to condense long compound sentences. As I was learning how to be a better writer, I was able to work with other students and improve my peer editing. The improvement of peer editing has helped both my partner and me to write better essays and create a support with one another. This support allowed us to openly discuss new readings and essay topics without judgment, and gave me the courage to speak in the group lead discussions. My comfort, participation, and grading abilities in class have allowed me to have a successful semester in writing 10.
    In the beginning of the semester, I was a little nervous and shy; the first day of a new
    class always is nerve racking. The teacher is new and so are the students around you. When Professor Walker began to introduce herself, I knew immediately that this semester was going to be a good one because she was so positive and willing to teach her favorite subject. When signing up for our GLD’s, I was paired up with Meghana Shah. During this we were able to collaborate with one another and put together the group led discussion with no troubles. This created a support, we were able to grade one another’s papers without hurt feelings because we knew that the marks on our essays were to improve the overall clarity of the essay. Assisting one another in peer editing became a common thing and even over email to make sure the essays were perfected. Our extra work created better, or more improved, scholarly habits and allowed us to write clean and clear papers.
    Most of the time my participation in class is low. I do not like to publicly voice my opinion without researching a topic first. However, speaking in front of the class on the second week of school for my group led discussion project, allowed me to see that everyone else was just as shy at being around new classmates. I felt more at ease knowing that I wasn’t the only anxious person in the class, and I was able to put aside my fears and speak without issue. After the group led discussion I was able to participate fully in the class and answer any questions the other groups asked about the readings.
    Taking Professor Walker’s class has really improved my ability to be a better writer. My past teachers would just assign a paper and have it due a certain day with no more discussion about it. This was not the case for writing 10 with Professor Walker, she made time in class to discuss are progress I drafts for the essay, and made sure to focus on each individuals thesis statements. This taught me how to edit my papers, as well as other’s papers. I was able to structure my essay and make sure my thesis statement is clear and concise. This allowed me to highlight my partner’s thesis statements and topic sentences, making sure that their position in the subject was clearly defined. The Paramedic Method was also a helpful factor when trying to condense my or my partner’s, essays. With only a 1,000-word limit, it was hard to keep my essays short. Using the new Paramedic Method I was able to cut up to one hundred excess words in my essays. My overall ability to grade my essays and my peer’s essays has improved drastically and I am confident that I will be a better writer in all of my other subjects.
    Having a successful semester in writing 10 was due to my improved: comfort in class, participation, and grading abilities. My comfort was developed through support of acquaintances made from my group led discussion. While my participation grew from my ease of mind and my grading abilities grew from a motivated professor. This spring semester has been a success and I am happy I enrolled in this class.

    1. Sorry Idk why mine didn’t indent here’s the improved version:

      This writing 10 class has been an overall success, I have learned new and improved ways to effectively create and outline an essay, while being able to condense long compound sentences. As I was learning how to be a better writer, I was able to work with other students and improve my peer editing. The improvement of peer editing has helped both my partner and me to write better essays and create a support with one another. This support allowed us to openly discuss new readings and essay topics without judgment, and gave me the courage to speak in the group lead discussions. My comfort, participation, and grading abilities in class have allowed me to have a successful semester in writing 10.
      In the beginning of the semester, I was a little nervous and shy; the first day of a new class always is nerve racking. The teacher is new and so are the students around you. When Professor Walker began to introduce herself, I knew immediately that this semester was going to be a good one because she was so positive and willing to teach her favorite subject. When signing up for our GLD’s, I was paired up with Meghana Shah. During this we were able to collaborate with one another and put together the group led discussion with no troubles. This created a support, we were able to grade one another’s papers without hurt feelings because we knew that the marks on our essays were to improve the overall clarity of the essay. Assisting one another in peer editing became a common thing and even over email to make sure the essays were perfected. Our extra work created better, or more improved, scholarly habits and allowed us to write clean and clear papers.
      Most of the time my participation in class is low. I do not like to publicly voice my opinion without researching a topic first. However, speaking in front of the class on the second week of school for my group led discussion project, allowed me to see that everyone else was just as shy at being around new classmates. I felt more at ease knowing that I wasn’t the only anxious person in the class, and I was able to put aside my fears and speak without issue. After the group led discussion I was able to participate fully in the class and answer any questions the other groups asked about the readings.
      Taking Professor Walker’s class has really improved my ability to be a better writer. My past teachers would just assign a paper and have it due a certain day with no more discussion about it. This was not the case for writing 10 with Professor Walker, she made time in class to discuss are progress I drafts for the essay, and made sure to focus on each individuals thesis statements. This taught me how to edit my papers, as well as other’s papers. I was able to structure my essay and make sure my thesis statement is clear and concise. This allowed me to highlight my partner’s thesis statements and topic sentences, making sure that their position in the subject was clearly defined. The Paramedic Method was also a helpful factor when trying to condense my or my partner’s, essays. With only a 1,000-word limit, it was hard to keep my essays short. Using the new Paramedic Method I was able to cut up to one hundred excess words in my essays. My overall ability to grade my essays and my peer’s essays has improved drastically and I am confident that I will be a better writer in all of my other subjects.
      Having a successful semester in writing 10 was due to my improved: comfort in class, participation, and grading abilities. My comfort was developed through support of acquaintances made from my group led discussion. While my participation grew from my ease of mind and my grading abilities grew from a motivated professor. This spring semester has been a success and I am happy I enrolled in this class.

      1. Your cover letter had a clear thesis to it and you did a good job of explaining the areas you highlighted. I agree with you about how being the first group to present really helped us overcome our fear of speaking in class. I now know that all the extra work we put into the assignments outside of this class was worth it because it helped make us
        better writing students. Thank you also for helping me out in this class, I’m so glad we got the same academic experience! 🙂

      2. i agree with the others. Your cover letter had a clear thesis and your essay just flowed. I also agree that it is very hard to talk in front of the class but I think that that is the experience we need in our future jobs when we need to give a presentation. Being confident gets you along way. Learning the paramedic method also helped me shorten my essays. Well Done!

    2. I agree with you! I have also improved in my writiting and learned ways to make my writing easier. Personally, I’m terrible at writing and do NOT like it, but I’m pretty satisfied with my work this semester. Thanks to peer editing and collaboraring in the class. Great job on your cover letter! You gave details and explained it!

    3. I totally know what you mean about the professor, she’s very enthusiastic and willing to help. Shemakes the class interesting by saying some of the weirdest/funniest things too. Glad your essays are improving because mine aren’t as noticeable as yours probably.

    4. I have also learn how to write better due to my classmates help. I also do not like to voice my opinion unless I know a lot about the subject. By using the paramedic method I have learned to write my sentences so that they are simple and to the point.

    5. Your detailed experiences before, during, and after the class make your cover letter enjoyable to read. I can experience the feelings you have towards the class and the assignments and see the amount of effort you seem to put into your assignments. I also agree that the methods we learned during class greatly help each person write more concise and stronger essays. In my opinion, being able to present one’s opinion and comments during discussion help to generate ideas for the essays. This way, people have a more clear understanding of what occurred in the text and keep the essay focused. The feelings of awkwardness and discomfort from the first days of class always disappear over time. It is understandable that people are unwilling to share their ideas in a class filled with strangers. I liked that you mentioned this in your cover letter.

    6. It depends on the professor, I guess. Sorry to hear that your previous professors never helped you with your theses. That should be a must in any writing course. The paramedic method is very useful and I plan on using it in future courses. As for extra work, this class actually offered very little. Four brief essays, a presentation, and the short blogs. There was a lot of reading, however, and I would like to have learned a few college-level reading techniques. Next year, I guess.

  5. _____My experience collaborating in this class has been both brief and tedious. I have read all that I was required to read for the GLD sessions (all except Wicked, unfortunately). In each of these cases, “group discussion” has largely been answering trivia from the books. As an example, having thoroughly read The Wizard of Oz, I was able to tell the others in my group what happened, but an in-depth exploration of the book’s theme and plot went unexplored. Another example is the blog posts on the films. Two paragraphs is perhaps enough to comment on only two deep ideas about a film. I learned things from these blogs and am glad to have helped others, but I feel some sort of chat room would have helped the discussion (the WordPress blog page is stiff, unnatural, and bland).

    _____Peer editing has only limited effectiveness. This is an introductory writing class. We are not prepared to offer specific fixes to each other’s papers. When, for example, my peer offers the advice, “Be more specific,” what does he mean? Does he know what I mean? Why should I trust his opinion? At this point, “peer editing” becomes “peer suggestions,” because “editing” implies some kind of concrete correction of structural and grammatical errors. The problem here is not that we are from different cultures or backgrounds, but that none of us is experienced enough to help the other adapt to a very concise essay style that none of us is used to. Yes, we can help each other learn with helpful discussion and suggestions, but that is not peer editing. That is suggestion. In short, if peer editing is a part of this class, I think steps should have been taken early on to make sure said peers understand what and how to edit professionally.

    1. I have to say that you are right when it comes to peer editing, no one is a writer we are all in need of more practice. Yes, when a classmate looks at one paper and they write comments is more of a suggestion it does not mean that we should take their word for it. But, on the other hand at times the suggestions are helpful.

    2. I agree that the online blogging is “stiff and unnatural”. The way it is set up is not how a real conversation regarding the material we go over in class would flow. It seems to be more that we put ideas up and other students read them and write small responses. We do not have a back and forth through this method and a chat room would be better. I also agree that peer editing could be improved by going through specific methods of editing during the beginning of the course.

    3. I agree that blogging did not seem to be very effective, but I think that peer editing can always be helpful. One does not need to take the suggestions of their peers, but seeing what others think about one’s writing is good. Even if they just say that they got confused at a certain point. Having another set of eyes look over a paper can’t hurt 🙂
      It is always hard to know what can reach one’s audience. In the GLD, I thought that questions helped keep an audience attentive and keep their minds mulling over certain aspects of a book. It is interesting that you do not feel the same way. I think that just talking at an audience is not effective, but I don’t really know about this classroom setting.

    4. I agree that maybe we should have had a chance to try to understand how to edit. This could greatly improve our essays and our editing techniques. Although I have to say that peer editing as a class (when we did the paramedic method) was quite helpful.

    5. You are right when it comes to peer editing. It is more of a suggestion than anything. However, the different perspective from another classmate can be helpful at times. Also, most of the GLD questions are usually to keep the rest of the class awake. There should be more critical analysis of the readings though.

    6. I appreciate your opinion, especially when it comes to what the group-led discussions have come as of late. An in-depth plot and theme analysis is more of what I was expecting these discussions to be as well and it’s unfortunate that we were not always able to acheive that as a class. Perhaps more class participation could have helped in this area by students being the ones to ask the more in-depth questions based on how they responded to a particular part of the book. Part of witholding these questions may also come from the time constraint of 1 hour. In that case, maybe the class would have benefitted if the group presenting assumed that everyone had read the text, skipped the summary, and went straight to asking the more intellectually deep questions.

    7. I agree with you. The GLDs as of late have been merely scratching the surface. I was expecting more analysis of the book and giving us an in depth feel of the book. And I think you are right when saying that we don’t have experience in giving back critical comments. We just look for visual mistakes instead of giving in depth feedback. Otherwise great cover letter

    8. I really agree with your arguement about peer editing because when I recieve reviews from other people, I don’t find it useful at all. Most of the time, people just edit grammer mistakes or arkward sentence structures in the paper. The edits is nice but what I’m looking for is comments about my writing. I want to know if I went enough into details or hwo I can improve my analysis.

  6. In Professor Anne F Walker class the students are in charge of reading all of the books that are assigned for the course. Therefore, we as the students we also have one or two specific books that is assign specifically to us. But we as the student we get to choose which book we want to read, and present to the class by creating a presentation of our own to them with the content of the reading assign that night.
    In this case my book was In Cold Blood. This was an experience, because not only was it assigned to me but, also to a few others students in class as well. The book In Cold Blood was divided into five parts and I took part I and II out of all those five parts. Those two parts that I decided to take on where assign to me and also to two other classmates. Therefore, we the students had to read the book and create some sort of presentation for the rest of the class. During the presentations we have to make sure that we are providing the content to the students and giving them a clear understanding of the reading. Therefore, my group and I crated a Power Point for the class. In the Power Point we described characters, put down quotes and explained them as well also some brief questions about the reading. We had the class answer our questions and we gave them candy to the ones that participated.
    Also, the blogging and the peer editing was helpful. In this class we did a lot of interacting with one another. By peer editing papers, working in groups to create presentations, and also when it came to the group led discussions. In this class there is a lot of one on one type of work for example, when we have hybrid days we work on our own. But it does not stop there because even though we have our hybrid days we are responsible for our own blog and also for giving feedback to others classmate’s blogs.

    1. The GLD helped the keep the class up to date on the book and the presentor got to share what they founded about the book. For “The Revolt of the Cockroach People”, the class got to learn about the background of the Chicano movement and we got to learn
      about hidden details in “The Wizard of Oz”. Hybrid days were nice because we got to do our work to fit our schedule too.

  7. The collaborative work in class has been really helpful. Participating in class made it easier because it made me reminisce about everything I read. For example, every single group led discussion we had to read the part presenting before class. Reading before hand will provide understanding in the GLD and clear some doubts, if any. In every GLD, I was amused on how they were parts I did not caught and were shown in the presentation. The GLD were useful and working with groups, too, because groups can also help out in any doubt or misunderstanding anyone could have. Another helpful thing is posting up bloggings about the movie and the book and how they are related and different. After seeing many bloggings from different students, it made me see how many different points of view there could be. The biggest projects I have done in this class are the GLD. This is the first time I have done a 45 -50 minutes presentation. I never thought I could present for too long nor knew if we would make it in time. I thought we were going to end early. However, after the GLD I realize how much information we could take out from just a couple of pages. Working with my partner, Carlos Hernandez, I realize we also had different points of view, and we combined our ideas and put it in our presentation.
    Helping out other students and giving them feedback is the best way to help them out, it certainly is helpful to me. I have given feedback to my peers on their essays, blogs, and even while discussion in groups. I help them out on the best possible way I can. For example, commenting on other fellows student’s blogs; clearing their idea by asking questions. It helps to have a better understanding because you might have a different point of view. Editing a partners essay and leaving comments or suggestions about anything in particular; if it needs to be clear or something needs to be fix. It all depends on the essay. Lastly, journals are somewhat helpful, that is for me. Journals is just a reflection on what you learned; either from class or the reading. The in class journals are not so much useful or helpful. However, the reading journals are more helpful, helps because it’s a summary on the assigned reading.

    1. I agree that peer editing is helpful to ourselves as well as the other students. I also find reading the text before going over it with Group Led Discussions is the best way to understand it. Going through the ideas of a reading more than once will always help me understand. Also, I don’t find the in class journals to be too helpful although reflecting on the readings does help me remember ideas.

    2. Working on our GLD was pretty interesting but fun since we had different points of view. Also the peer editing has been really helpful. Being able to have someone look over my writing is effective.

    3. I also found the GLDs to be a useful tool in learning the material and even introducing some key points that I had missed. One particular detail that I found hard to believe that I missed was the fact that the witch in the Wizard of Oz carried around an umbrella instead of a broomstick. This was fascinating for me because it shows how important it is to review things even after you think you have finished. Additionally, going over the section of the reading again in class helped to reinforce the book in my mind and even introduce some neat details that I would not have known about if it were not for the research that these groups had done. Most importantly, collaborating with others to make a GLD was a fun experience and I felt that in teaching the class about our section, I too was learning more about what I was teaching.

    4. I found that the GLD’s were very helpful. They helped me understand the readings. They also helped me grasp complex ideas. I also like to help others with their essays.

    5. I also found the GLD’s to be really useful for clearing anything up that you didn’t catch or understand. It was nice being able to hear other peer’s opinions about the book and the way they took things. I agree with you how it is nice to hear other people thoughts or ideas. This class really did help on teaching us to be bale to work with each other.

  8. ______The collaboration aspect of this course was a whole lot of fun and, at the same time, gave us an opportunity to show how effective we are at working with others in class. We worked together to share ideas in small group discussions, share strategies and tips in peer reviews, and share our knowledge of a certain topic in our group led discussions. All of this added up to us working together as a highly productive classroom of students in order to progress to a better understanding of English and writing. This collaboration has helped us learn in an accelerated way without losing all of the benefit that comes from learning a subject slowly and in-depth. By having groups present sections of our reading we got to see all of the hidden details and underlying themes that are not easily seen without sufficient research into the topic. Even in presenting our research on the section to the class, we learned more as presenters by the questions brought up and ideas that developed in a class of active minds. Collaborating as a class has helped me in motivating me to actively participate in a group of like-minded students which has its benefits in how I learn as a student. Through Group Led Discussions, collaborative blogging, and a substantive amount of peer-review, collaboration has helped me to learn and develop my communication through writing and through words.
    ______Group Led Discussions were very helpful for me as a student in a variety of different ways but there are two particular ways in which these discussions benefitted me the most. For one, hearing our peers tell us about the reading through enthusiastic methods was effective in getting us involved in the reading and learning the material. We had some unique methods to get us thinking inside the story such as when we were asked to stand where we would prefer to live in the Land of Oz. This forced me and many others to think about the various benefits or disadvantages we saw with each of the locations thus far in the book. Activities like these got me actively participating in the discussions and helped to keep my mind engulfed in the gist of the novel. I also felt that learning from my peers helped to keep my mind engaged because I was hearing what other like-minded students thought about the reading and encouraged me to speak up and share what I was thinking. I was encouraged to participate in an active way which helped me to turn over ideas and concepts within my mind and in the end helped me to develop a very clear understanding of what went on in that section of the book and why. Secondly, the Group Led Discussions helped me to better understand what my group was presenting. In working together as a group to re-read and extract important pieces from the book, we often saw new bits and pieces that add meaning to the work as a whole. These bits and pieces add to our understanding of the book as a whole and we were plenty eager to share our findings in our group presentation.
    ______Our collaborative blogging has also had an effect on what I learned in this class. We are asked to individually write out our thoughts on the work of art and express our individuality. Once we posted this we saw many others with a variety of ideas on the same exact work of art. This really benefited me because it really shows what is going on in the minds of others. Some people are thinking exactly the same thing as you when reading or watching the piece and yet others and thinking about other things or quite the opposite of what you personally were thinking. I often felt enlightened in seeing other people’s take on the very same words we all read. Making responses to these blog posts were also a big tool for us in these assignments. We had the ability to read other’s posts and share our thoughts on the ideas they had or even answer some questions that popped up in his or her mind when interpreting the story. It was a lot of fun and I loved to see just how diverse we think and what other great ideas come up in the minds of my fellow students. Sometimes in reading these posts I thought to myself “how did I miss that?”, because some of the ideas that are brought up are so insightful but my mind never had the slightest hint at it.
    ______Peer-review has also played a big part in collaboration in this course and I can honestly say that peer review in this class has been invaluable. Hearing feedback from other students on a piece of writing can really change how I view my own writing. Thesis sentences and topic sentences that seem so clear to me can seem so foreign to others and working collaboratively to better our work helps me to bridge the gap in communicating my ideas to others. Getting feedback about what language works for others and giving feedback on what works for me helps to expand the language of our writing to flow more easily for a general audience. One important method of peer-review I learned was writing a summary of what I thought the essay would be about based on a bare minimum of sentences. This helped to show the importance of being clear in the thesis and topic sentences as they are the structural elements that hold your argument together.

    1. This is a good cover letter. Your examples are very specific. I like the way you have organized all of your ideas about what you preferred throughout the course and what was helpful. I agree that the Group Led Discussions were helpful both while writing the presentation and while listening to others. Although I did not find the peer-review to be quite as helpful as you did.

    2. I feel that the peer editing was useful as you did, however, it could have been made more efficient by using the rubric in the actual correcting part. This way, the reader could have specified the exact corrections to be made according to the rubric Dr. Walker grades the essay. This would have been more beneficial to the writer and would pinpoint them to the exact thing that needed correcting.

    3. Nice work on writing a very through analysis of all our methods of collaboration. Your use of examples helped support everything you said. I like how you wrote down a couple techniques about how you learned to edit papers. That last piece of advice about summarizing an essay for logic sounds really useful. I’ll definitely try it, so thank you!

    4. I’m glad you were able to get the most out of your collaboration. I enjoy the idea of group led discussion, blogging, and peer-review. I just wish they could have been executed more comfortably.

    5. By having a more interactive class, we all learned more together from teaching each other and bouncing ideas compared to having the professor lecture to us about the texts and essays. Learning interactively helped to make everyone keep an active role in discussions whether they be in class or through blogging. I, too, agree that reading the different comments from others makes me provides a sort of comfort. Not everyone has the same opinions, and it is always interesting to read comments that do not coincide with one’s own. We can read about their reasons and think about them. The Group Led Discussions help to clarify what we should write in our essays and establish strong support for our thesis statements.

  9. This writing class was definitely one of the more unique and successful ones that I’ve been a part of. The biggest thing that made this style of writing work (the whole hybrid setup) was the group work and constant collaboration. Coming from an environment like this in high school, it was no surprise why this strategy worked. Coming into class on the first day when we talked about the syllabus, I was quite worried that the group led discussions were going to backfire and bite the students as well as the professor in the behind. But, that was me making my assumptions and I was completely wrong. Alas, forgetting that I was at a university caused my trust to be overshadowed by worry and fear. I now realize that as long as the students are willing to put the effort and work into the GLDs, then this hybrid setup will work regardless of who the students are. In all honesty, it was my favorite part of the class because it helped us students get to know people in the class more, creating a “team” environment where everyone can and will approach their peers for help and guidance. So, that was a great success.
    Specifically, the process in creating our two GLDs was amazing, although I’ve already experienced it four years in high school. The fact that group presentations encourage the group members to share their perspective on their topic is great. It was one of the biggest things that were stressed in my high school life and it is great that we actually got to experience this at university, because that is one of the most important aspects especially here at UCM. It assisted me in becoming a better group member when it comes to providing information, doing my assigned parts, and real-world experience in trying to solve group conflicts. Overall, it was a great experience; the whole process then presenting our hard work is rewarding in the end.
    The second thing I want to address is the constant essay work and exercises in class. The fact that we all worked in little groups then transitioned into one big group was an “Ace-in-the-hole” for the class to me. I enjoyed the fact that it provided not only a small group’s perspective on a topic or idea, but the transition to the bigger group allows everyone to have an idea of what to expect, gain an idea, or even gain a new perspective on how to look at a specific topic or idea. It was a great touch in the class and a great strategy in trying to keep a collaborative environment because it forces us all to speak up and see if the coursework actually taught us some things in the end. This whole setup actually helped me in sharing my ideas, gaining and using feedback to create work that I feel is 100% ready and correct, and helping others with what I could, whenever I could.

  10. The best exercise for group collaboration I believe was the Group Led Discussion assignment. These assignments not only prompted the group leading the discussion to work together to present the information to the class but also gave the class a way to participate by answering questions. During high school group presentations and presentations in general were always something I had dreaded. Now that I have been taking writing classes in college, Writing 1 and Writing 10, group discussions and presentations were common assignments. In this Writing 10 course I learned to be less apprehensive when it came to presentations. What helped me learn this was seeing the other students give presentations throughout the majority of classes. This gave the class a more comfortable vibe and allowed me to be more at ease when giving my own presentations or answering questions.
    Other group assignments were also included in this course. During many classes peer editing was a focus. I feel that peer editing is helpful to a certain extent. Although other students in the class do have an understanding of what the prompt for the essay is as well as writing skills, they are not trained at the professional level. Their insight is limited by their knowledge; however in class peer editing did improve my essays. Having another person read your essay regardless of their knowledge of writing can give you feedback on how well the main idea of your writing is being expressed. I have trouble following my main topic in some of my essays and having another student read my writing helps me focus in on one idea instead of jumping all over the place. For other students I did the same things for them. I let them know when I was confused and what sentences were worded strangely. I also help them find a more direct way to phrase their thesis and topic sentences. This feedback did vary from assignment to assignment but the main focus of a flowing essay was always consistent.
    The exercises in class have improved my skills and also kept my attention. Some Group Led Discussions were better than most; however, they all have been presented in a way that is easily understood and for the most part interesting. I particularly enjoy the discussion amongst the students who are not presenting. It is helpful to have more than one person trying to find the answer. Information can easily be lost while reading a long text and having other students around you to help is great.
    There were many group exercises throughout this Writing 10 course. Some of these exercises were more effective for building group learning skills and improving my work. Overall this class has helped improve my writing and my group skills.

  11. Collaboration
    The best exercise for group collaboration I believe was the Group Led Discussion assignment. These assignments not only prompted the group leading the discussion to work together to present the information to the class but also gave the class a way to participate by answering questions. During high school group presentations and presentations in general were always something I had dreaded. Now that I have been taking writing classes in college, Writing 1 and Writing 10, group discussions and presentations were common assignments. In this Writing 10 course I learned to be less apprehensive when it came to presentations. What helped me learn this was seeing the other students give presentations throughout the majority of classes. This gave the class a more comfortable vibe and allowed me to be more at ease when giving my own presentations or answering questions.
    Other group assignments were also included in this course. During many classes peer editing was a focus. I feel that peer editing is helpful to a certain extent. Although other students in the class do have an understanding of what the prompt for the essay is as well as writing skills, they are not trained at the professional level. Their insight is limited by their knowledge; however in class peer editing did improve my essays. Having another person read your essay regardless of their knowledge of writing can give you feedback on how well the main idea of your writing is being expressed. I have trouble following my main topic in some of my essays and having another student read my writing helps me focus in on one idea instead of jumping all over the place. For other students I did the same things for them. I let them know when I was confused and what sentences were worded strangely. I also help them find a more direct way to phrase their thesis and topic sentences. This feedback did vary from assignment to assignment but the main focus of a flowing essay was always consistent.
    The exercises in class have improved my skills and also kept my attention. Some Group Led Discussions were better than most; however, they all have been presented in a way that is easily understood and for the most part interesting. I particularly enjoy the discussion amongst the students who are not presenting. It is helpful to have more than one person trying to find the answer. Information can easily be lost while reading a long text and having other students around you to help is great.
    There were many group exercises throughout this Writing 10 course. Some of these exercises were more effective for building group learning skills and improving my work. Overall this class has helped improve my writing and my group skills.

  12. The collaborative work in our Writing010 class had been an effective way to learn. We had Group Led Discussions, in class discussions about essays, review of writing forms, and etc. Each of these methods had allowed the students to interact with one another and with what was being discussed. The collaborative learning in class allowed for a open class discussion on a variety of materials about our perspectives. This helped the overall learning process of writing our essays and being able to lead a classroom discussion.
    The first half of the class we would have our group led discussions. During this time we would have a group of students discuss the section of their book they had read. The presentation would be approximately 40 to 50 minutes. The reason these discussions are so effective is because of the peer engagements that is required for each of our presentations. During this time, there have been many different ways of trying to have the class interact to learn.
    When we had our own Group Led Discussion, we were able to have the class move around and discuss the reason they had chosen the area they had moved too. Our presentation had many questions which focused on students each interacting as groups to discuss and answer questions about the readings. Our Group Led Discussion could be found in http://ktakamura.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/wicked-gld-1.pdf.
    The Second half of the class almost always consists of us interacting with one another to edit our essays. For each writing assignment we had (essays, diagnostic essays, etc) we had each other look over our essays. These collaborations helped our essay’s overall effectiveness improve greatly. Some corrections we had done on our essays could be seen on http://ktakamura.wordpress.com/about/diagnostic-essay1-1/.
    Other ways we had interacted was through the use of the wordpress page. Through this online interaction, we were able to watch and then discuss about a certain movie we were required to watch. To do this we blogged on the professor’s page and had to blog for ourselves, and then on another person’s reply. I had made blogged about Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Wizard of Oz. Each of these blogs could be found under the collaboration section on https://annefwalker.wordpress.com.

  13. Writing 10 was a class based on collaborative work. Working with other students in this class and learning from them was essential to success. Class discussions, especially Group Led Discussions, were important to participate in. Answering questions that other students posed helped my learning. I think that Group Led Discussions helped me understand the material better, and ask myself questions that I did not during the reading. It was good review of the material. As well as class discussions being an important part of collaborative work, peer editing was as well. Grading rubrics are essential to helpful peer editing. Understanding the necessity of good thesis sentences, good topic sentences, as well as clearly stated content is necessary to writing a good paper. Peer editing in this class was extremely helpful to me, and I believe to others in this class as well. I love getting feedback from my peers, whether it is good or bad. It is very helpful when I get comments on things that I could improve on. I think that it makes my papers better. Collaboration was a big part of this class, and I found it very helpful in my writing and reading comprehension.

    1. I agree with you about peer editing. I found that I learned more useful tips in peer editing (and editing in general for that matter) in this class than I have in quite some time. Quickly reading over the thesis and topic sentences and making comments on the narrative really does help to expose any weak structural elements in the paper. If the narrative is vague and unclear, it’s highly likely that the whole paper is also unclear. By first fixing the foundation, the paper is easier to fix and later, with more and more editing, perfect. I found feedback from peers in this class to be highly useful in my editing and this feedback, whether it is good or bad, is just another step in the progression of an amazing and well-written essay.

    2. That is completely true. I feel that I learned a lot from peer editing. However, I feel that the peer editing could have been more efficient as far as the time management and the structure of the corrections goes (i.e. using the actual rubric to make corrections in class). The structural editing is very useful indeed, if the essay has good thesis sentences and topic sentences, chances are it is a well written piece.

    3. I agree with you that working with others really helped me learn more from the class. Hearing different ideas about things that maybe you didn’t quite understand.It even helped you review the material that you already read but may have forgotten. It was important for us to be able to talk to one another and learn from each other and I think everyone did a really good job of that in this class.

  14. The aspect of collaborating as a class in Writing 10 has helped convey ideas more effectively. Through Group Led Discussions, peer editing, class discussions, and blogging, I have found it helpful to be able to express and develop my ideas with other classmates. Interacting with other classmates on the same topic brings different perspectives and enhances the learning process. Discussing the class work engages classmates to share their different ideas or simply add to an existing idea. I do believe I have made a positive difference in the class through collaborating daily in class and hybrid days. By either in class discussions, peer editing, or blogging, I have contributed in having a different perspective on the subject which adds to the discussion. Collaborating as a class is crucial to further enhance learning.
    A beneficial work from collaborating is the Group Led Discussions. When we were first assigned groups to present for 40-50 minutes on an assigned reading, I was terrified. The longest presentation I had done before was less than 5 minutes, and I thought that was a long time. However, I was fortunate enough to have a partner who was also willing to dedicate a large portion of his time for the presentation. We were the 3rd group to present. At first it was difficult since the third person in our group decided to drop the class, which meant a larger workload for the both of us. After witnessing the first group’s techniques to engage the class and taking into account the professor’s critiques, we were able to deliver a well developed presentation to engage the class. We decided a PowerPoint presentation would be best. We met up after class and worked extensively on the presentation. We had plenty of quotes from the novel, “In Cold Blood”, to support our analysis of the book, and plenty of questions for the groups so they would be engaged in our presentation. The beginning of the presentation was a bit nerve racking, but we got used to it. Luis and I were able to present for a full 45 minutes, which was a huge accomplishment for both of us. Our next presentation on “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” went by smoother since we had more experience from our first presentation. The presentations from other classmates are also helpful since they clarify portions in the book which were a bit difficult to understand. I enjoy having our classmates go over the readings in detail and most often find information that would normally be overlooked.
    Peer editing is also another great aspect of collaboration. Being able to help out other classmates and also be helped out is great. Having someone else review my work helps bring a different perspective and makes me look at my writing in a whole new perspective. Normally, it is difficult to spot one’s own mistakes since the writer has the idea conveyed in their mind, but may not be as clear on paper. The technique we were taught, reading the thesis sentence and only the topic sentences that follow, helped develop our essays into a more clear and concise one.
    Lastly, blogging was an effective way of sharing our different perspective with others. Once we viewed a film or any work of art, we blogged about it with our classmates and shared our own opinions. It is a great experience since a great amount of diversity develops over the same exact thing we all watch. Reading over everyone’s thoughts and being able to reply to their opinions is a great learning tool. Each and everyone’s comments creates a scholarly discussion and we are able to see things we might of overlooked, which is insightful.

    1. Blogging was probably one of the most insightful collaborative project we’ve done in this class. The thing about it that intrigues me the most is that these blogs show exactly what other people are thinking when reading or watching the same material. For example, in our blogging on the Wizard of Oz, I saw that some people loved the movie, others were unsure, and some outright hated what it had done to the original story. This is fantastic because not only do you get to express what you thought about when reading or watching, but you can see the reasoning behind what others were thinking. People like Nathan make good points in support of the movie saying that, if it were not for the movie, the Wizard of Oz would not be nearly as popular as it is today. On the other hand, others point out changes in details that really subtract from the meaning behind the original work. Overall, it’s really insightful in reading others’ blog posts and opens up my mind to different perspectives on a single work of art.

    2. I also found the Group Led Discussions and blogging to be very helpful. I liked that you described your experiences when you were preparing for your presentation and it communicates to me that you put in a lot of effort and time into your presentations. The presentations greatly helped to clarify concepts that appeared in the text and explain possible reasons for why certain characters behave in a certain manner. Engaging the class forces fellow classmates to make an attempt to think about what they have read actively and share their opinions. Not everyone needs to have the same opinion but it helps to drive the GLD to be more meaningful. They help to also generate ideas for essays and brainstorm supporting evidence for them.

  15. Collaboration was a big part of this class. As the semester moved forward, I have realized that it has become a very important part of my learning. The classroom Group Led Discussions were effective in that they invoked different types of learning. Presentations varied among different groups and this made the class interesting as it diversified the presentation of material in the classroom. When working in groups to prepare for the presentations, I learned of different ideas to present the same information which opened my mind to new ideas.
    In assisting my peers with their writing, I felt it could have been more productive if it were done randomly instead of a partner of your choosing. This way, less time would be wasted discussing things that did not pertain to the editing. This is unavoidable at times in a classroom situation so the only effective way to eliminate it would be to have a random distribution of the writings. The peer editing should also be silent time and no talking should be allowed as I found myself at times, distracted by unrelated conversations. I have given my peers information that is general, i.e. tying thesis sentences more closely. I also feel that at time, the mistakes are obvious but are just looked over, without correction. More time should be given to get through the essays. This was not the case all the time but at times, I felt rushed and could not do the best job correcting mistakes I found. With the peer work, I have received some very useful comments and suggestions which have improved my writing. In order to make peer editing more effective, the rubric should be printed and attached to the front of the essay on days that there is peer work. This will help both the writer and the reader to show exactly what they are pointing out when there is a correction.

  16. Active participation in Group Led Discussions and peer viewing essays are the most beneficial type of collaboration that took place for Writing 10. The goals of the Group Led Discussions are to clarify our overall understanding of the books we read in order to assist in writing meaningful essays. Peer view of essays allows people to understand what their professor is looking for and help them establish good editing habits so they can improve their own writing. These two activities help to make us better writers by teaching us to search for information and analyze their significance or relevancy.
    Sometimes the books contain historical and political conflicts not explicitly discussed and having Group Led Discussions enlightens the class why these influences affect the characters in the book. For example: although I did not write an essay using The Revolt of the Cockroach People, Chicano Poetics, or The House with the Blue Bed, I learn about the politics and happenings during the 1970’s. Before the Group Led Discussion, I did not understand what was occurring, but the presentation revealed to me that the events that occurred have more meaning than what is said in the text. This greatly helps with providing supporting evidence when writing essays. Also, rather than being lectured towards by the Professor, I tend to pay more attention towards my fellow classmates who are presenting. Sometimes our fellow classmates have good ideas to engage the audience and make special notes on certain aspects that may help with deciding the subjects to write about for essays.
    Also, by presenting to the class, we are teaching and discussing the book. The presenters have to put in much time into the presentation to ensure they have a coherent presentation appear to be more than a ramble of words. It is the group’s job to engage the class as best as they can, but sometimes classmates cannot participate because they are not prepared. It is understandable that some people may not have the time to complete the readings in time for class; however, without class participation, it is really difficult for the presenting group to engage the class and communicate important ideas, but I find that many groups have performed activities such as getting individuals to read the text or discuss in small groups to keep them active and working with the text. Regardless, Group Led Discussions do help with understanding what is occurring and the significance of them.
    Peer review is another way of actively working with writing to help change syntax of sentences to write clear essays. No one can write a first draft of an academic essay and find nothing wrong with it. There are many ways of editing essays and having a peer read one’s essays and provide feedback is always a great way to get a snap shot of how potential readers will react to it. Also, peer reviewers can point out minor or major issues in the essay like idea and word clarity and formatting. After seeing the comments, the author should not feel forced to utilize all the suggested changes, but the comments do help to point out issues authors may not have seen or thought about. After peer reviewing, sometimes it is difficult to make the necessary changes. For example: when communicating ideas, authors may use an exuberance of words to communicate a simple idea. Professor Anne Walker taught us about the paramedic method to help us clearly communicate our ideas in a clearer and stronger manner. Many individuals choose to use this method to decrease the word count to make other parts of the essay stronger.
    Through Group Led Discussions and peer review, I am able to write stronger essays because I am able to better understand the books and information presented and work out a clear and concise thesis in response. After writing the essay and exhaustively editing it, having a peer read my essay and give feedback on it is very helpful. Sometimes having more than one peer review the essay helps to target the most distinguishing issues and ideas that work. Also, even if the author is still unsure about how they would like to approach their essays, the Professor is always open and positive when providing help and direction.

    1. Agreed; it takes a good chunk of time to create a coherent presentation. Also, participation in discussions was lacking, but we have to reflect on why it was that way. As you’ve stated, peers may have not been prepared. But I also think that most of the answers of discussion questions could be found in the book – comprehension instead of analysis. There were plenty of critical thinking based questions as well though. But discussion could’ve taken off if presenters and peers had a conversation instead of just answering questions and then moving on.

  17. In this class we had many opportunities to work with our peers. Each chance I had to work with others helped me a lot with the material we were going over. I had GLD’s where we got to work with peers and make a presentation for the entire class. I got to work with others on my essays to help improve them and help them improve their essays as well. I worked in groups talking about books we have read and collaborating about the difference between movies and books. Working with other students really helped me through out the class with their different perspectives on the courses material.
    Working with partners on the GLD’s really helped me through out the course. When creating my GLD with my partners it was a good experience learning to work with them and assigning different roles to each other and getting our jobs done. One of my group members knew a lot about the history around the book. It was really interesting learning from him. I didn’t know much about the Chicano movement other then the things that were described in the book. My partner opened my eyes to a lot more things that were going on at that time. During times when I was on the receiving end of GLD’s I was able to give my thoughts about books with my peers. I also got to hear what they thought about it. It was interesting hearing the different views they had and I got to see a different side of the books. The same went for the movies we collaborated on. I got to see all of these different views people had on the movies vs. the books. It opened my eyes to a lot of different ideas and I was able to learn a lot from that.
    My essays improvement came from my peer reviews. I’m not the strangest writer but having my peers look over my papers helped a lot. They would give me ideas on how I can improve my writing and help me spot errors in my writing. I was also able to help my partners in giving them ideas to get their points across better. I would help them with their thesis and be able to check to make sure all their topic sentences would match their thesis statements. Going through essays with my peers really helped me with my writing. The practice of grading other people’s essays helped me with ideas of what I could do in my personal essays.
    We had a lot of chances in this class to learn from our peers. In class I got the chance to participate into discussions and give my thoughts and was able to listen to others to hear new thoughts. The collaboration part of this class really helped me with tools of working with others, responding and analyzing books and my writing skills. I show signs of these things in my GLD’s presentation and responses to movies.

  18. When I first came to Writing 010, I thought I would have the hardest time out of anyone since I was not inclined to any sort of literature. At the time my major was heavily involved in math and science so ideas like thesis and creating coherent thoughts were always hard for me. In addition, it also did not help that I had a mental disability so I could not be able to concentrate as well as I should on my essay. In this letter, I will explain why I deserve a “B” in this class as well as my improvement over the semester.
    When the semester started out, I was at first not expecting to take on writing diagnostic so early in the year but the topic had interested me at the time. It seemed however, that no matter how much you like the topic, without any sort of research on the subject of your interest it becomes very hard to discuss. Thus, when it came time for the readings, I had to read and learn about what I wanted to discuss for each of my essay and everytime my concentration had gotten better and I was able to process more information.
    Then there was the GLDs. In order to become more involved with the reading, doing a presentation with both Margaret Radford and Tony Nguyen taught me more that you had to find a way to keep involved with the class and to ask thoughtful questions that would spark insight into the material that we were currently reading every single week.
    Finally, there was the small matter of work outside of class. Once about a month or so, to enrich the material that was went over in class I had to blog a deep insightful response to a movie that was assigned. Through both reading the material that was in class and drawing comparison to the movie that was either of name or just a different viewpoint on the same story, I wanted to write something that would bring people to be interested on the topics and bring out points that were previously hidden.
    All in all, this semester has been both challenging and somewhat difficult. However, with each essay I have written up and with each presentation or response to a movie I have done, I gain insight. Writing 10 has taught me not only how to write in a proper cohesive manner but also how to integrate sources into our writing to bring along some coherent thought to the audience who reads this.

  19. In Writing 10, the class was designed to be taught around working with others. Being in groups and having group lead discussions, it makes us more accountable on the work that we do. It also helps us communicate with other students so we can be more comfortable with them. Collaborating with others makes us more engaged because no one really wants to work by themselves unless you are very independent.
    When class discussions were taking place, if I knew the answer to the question I would try to answer it the best as I can. And if I did not then I would have just kept quiet or asked other students in the classroom to help me. So I think I was effective when I would answer the questions but not effective when being quiet and not participating. And when we used the rubric for grading my fellow peers, I think it was helpful for them because the rubric is what tells us and the teacher. And so when we are not quite sure what the teacher is asking for we refer to the grading rubric. When using the rubric, it is very direct and so it helps me and others just get straight to the point. So when grading their papers I would go by the rubric to help them get the best grade possible. When giving them advice for their papers, it would be critical but also being positive comments. Giving positive comments makes me feel good so I would assume that other students would like to get positive comments as well. I think it is very effective when giving positive comments because it gives them a sense of accomplishment. But also being critical is important because it helps them improve on what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. Being that most of my peers are not the same race as me, I did not care what race they are so I never asked them. That helped us I think communicate better because they would not feel weird.

    1. I’m glad that you benefited from peer reviews. On another note, I agree with your thought that GLD’s made us more accountable. I had to stay on top of my readings in order to understand what was going on in class. Plus, the readings and discussions helped with brainstorming ideas for essays.

    2. I agree with you all we were giving all the right tools to write the best essay’s possible. The rubrics would have everything we ever needed to be able to get a good score on a essay. When we used the rubric we would also be able to see what things do we continue doing wrong. Working with others in this class really helped me understand the material and learn things that I couldn’t have by myself.

  20. Collaboration in Writing 10 was most prominent in group led discussions and peer review. The purposes of group led discussions are to build presentation skills, work with others, and contribute to discussion. Throughout the process of making a powerpoint, I realized that preparing for a presentation is no easy job. It takes a large investment in time and effort. My partner and I took an hour or two analyze and annotate the text. We took even more time putting the annotations in a coherent and thorough powerpoint. Working together definitely made the powerpoint more thorough because two pairs of eyes are editing it. Creating a powerpoint was only half of the job. The other half was actually presenting the powerpoint. The class is naturally quiet, and it was difficult trying to get people to speak. Even after grouping them, they were still quiet or more accurately, only the same people spoke. Since the discussion part of GLD was lacking, I think that it was less effective. Other than that, the group led part of GLD prospered because I got more experience in making and presenting powerpoints.

    Aside from GLD’s, peer review was another big part of Writing 10. Peer review is when a peer edits and comments on a fellow peer’s essay. My rough drafts were always not up to standard (though it is okay for a rough draft to not be decent). I knew what I had to fix beforehand, and I felt a bit disappointed for my peers to read my rough drafts because I wasn’t able to show them a decent essay. Instead, I only showed them the potential for a decent essay. Other than that disappointed feeling, I still benefitted from peer review, especially from comments on the flow of my draft and the thesis. I realized that a bit of tweaking makes the difference whether it sounds more polished or more academic.

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