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Advanced Writing: Social Sciences

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Week 02: Descriptive Writing:
Incident Report

Assignments for the Week

Day 03 -- Tuesday 29 January 2002



  1. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  2. In-class "Brainstorming" and "Freewriting" (Handbook §3.a.1-2): "What makes writing difficult?"
    • Brainstorming: "Set a time limit of five or ten minutes to write down in list form every word or phrase that comes to mind about your topic. Just put down key words and phrases, not sentences. No one has to understand the list but you. Don't worry about whether something will be useful ornot. Just get it all down. . . ." (Handbook §3.a.1)

    • "Freewriting is a method of exploring a topic by writing about it -- or whatever else it brings to mind -- for a period of time without stopping."

      1. "Set a time limit of no more than ten minutes. Begin by thinking about your topic, and then simply let your mind wander, writing down everything that occurs to you, in complete sentences as much as possible. Don't stop for anything; if necessary, write 'I can't think of what to write next' over and over until something else occurs to you. . . ." (Handbook §3.a.2)

  1. In-class "Brainstorming" and "Freewriting" (Handbook §3.a.1-2): "What helps writing get easier?"

  2. Discussion of bibliography card and note cards. Hand in cards for in-class video

  3. Discussion of observing and describing vs. evaluating

  4. Work on rewriting in-class video incident report

  5. Preview of Days 04 - 05 - 06

  6. Review Handbook assignments
      • Ch. 48 "Understanding Disciplinary Discourse"
        • Including 48c "Identifying the style of a discipline"


Day 04 -- Thursday 31 January 2002



  1. Settling in, in the lab
    1. Open a web browser and find the Paradigm On-line Writing Assistant on the class page.
      1. go to "Discovering"
      2. go to "Observing and Recording Details" (use lefthand elevator button)
      3. then go to the "Journalist's Questions"

    2. The New St. Martin's Handbook CD-ROM demonstration
      1. Ch. 51 "Designing Documents"
        • Look at Section 51.e. "Sample Documents"
      2. Ch. 01 "Writing, Reading, Research"
      3. Ch. 02 "Considering Rhetorical Situation"
      4. Ch. 48 "Understanding Disciplinary Discourse"
        • Including 48c "Identifying the style of a discipline"

    3. Word Processor
      1. open word processor
      2. cut and paste lists from last class (Day 03): "What makes writing difficult?" and "What helps writing get easier?"
      3. cut and paste a passage from Darwin's Origin of Species
      4. cut and paste a selection from The New St. Martin's Handbook CD-ROM
      5. save to disk

    4. Edit draft of Project #1

    5. Be sure to take your disks with you

    6. Please restart your computer before you leave

  2. Review of Project #1 , descriptive incident report, with draft section of analysis / evaluation

  3. Proofread and edit reports in class. DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR DRAFTS WITH YOU TO CLASS.
      • Use your dictionary, thesaurus, and The New St. Martin's Handbook
      • If you need to, ask me or your classmates for help
      • What's the difference between proofreading/editing and revising?

  4. Peer review of the writing assignment

  5. Preview of materials on interview/interviewing from Weeks 04 - 05 - 06
    -- start thinking of a person to interview, and about setting up a time of the interview

  6. Brief preview of readings/assignments/tasks for Day 04 and Day 05

  7. NOTE: Day 05 is at the Library

  8. Start thinking about your interview for Project #2 and about setting up an appointment with the person(s) you wish to interview. Project #2 requires that you prepare for, conduct, and report on an interview with a social science professional practicing in your field. (Start planning for that project.)
    • Make a list of 3-5 kinds of positions held by people in your field
    • Decide what you want to know about those positions
    • Make a list of people who might be interviewed. Interview a professional who works off campus.
  1. Conduct your interview after the first half of Week 04

Next Week

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