“what is good writing essay”

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What is good writing? And what do we, as writers, have to do in order to produce it?

In this final project of the semester, you will make a claim about what good writing is. Your claim should apply across different kinds of writing—which means it needs to extend across different kinds of writing situations. Note: this does not mean that you are making a claim about a “universally-applicable” definition of “good” writing. Think carefully about what we’ve been talking about all semester. You will also make a secondary claim about how good writers produce good writing, as you define it. These claims should be based, in part, on how you work best as a writer as well as how others have attempted to answer these questions. In essence, then you are concurrently developing a theory of writing and an identity (or identities) as a writer.

How do you define good writing? What evidence should you use?

This semester, we have read about writing, and you’ve defined your preconceived notions about writing, and looked into the way professional writers discuss writing. In this final project, you will be reaching back into work you completed for both Writing Project 1 and Writing Project 2. Therefore, you will support your claims with

· Your own experience. Include detailed analysis and discussion of your writing experiences and processes, successful and/or not successful. Connect your experiences to the general claims you are making about writing. Revisit the formal and informal writing we completed this semester as well as writing you produced in other courses.

Note: For your reference: My experience writing is on and off. There are days I can write forever and there are days I cannot write and my head is blank. I tend to get writers block when writing about topics I am not very informed on a subject even though I still do research.

· Readings from the course. Synthesize information, ideas, and concepts from at least three other sources (including readings assigned in class and/or the readings listed below). Make the connections to your theory of writing clear. Also, analyze and evaluate how useful you think these readings and other course concepts will be for your ongoing development and success as a writer both in school and beyond.

· Course information. What kind of information about writing has been emphasized in this class? How has your writing been evaluated?

· Conversations or interviews with peers, professors, others. This element is optional, but you may want to include ideas from office hour meetings, class discussions, and other conversations with your other professors or fellow students that shed light on the issues at hand. Do your best to summarize these conversations fairly and accurately.

As much as possible, use course-specific vocabulary, as demonstrating a vocabulary as a writer is key to your theory of writing. Consider what concepts are necessary to know in order to write well (e.g. analysis, synthesis, revision, rhetorical situation, etc.)

Guiding Questions
You do not have to answer these questions, but they may be useful as you think about what you have learned and what you know to be true about your own writing theory.

· What makes writing good or effective?
· How are reading and writing connected?
· What concepts seem important to understand to be an effective writer?
· Which threshold concepts, to your mind, are the most valuable to carry with you?
· Which key terminology from writing and composition studies are most cogent to understanding what “good” writing is and does?
· What have you learned about writing and/or yourself as a writer this term? What obstacles do you encounter? What strategies help you?
· What’s changed for you as a writer this term? How? Why? Describe the change.
· What goals do you have for your future as a writer? What do you hope to continue to do or learn?
· Can you draw a diagram or picture or chart to illustrate your theory about the nature of writing?

Relevant Readings
RELEVANT READINGS (not all have been assigned)

Wardle & Downs, Naming What We Know

Roozen, “Tracing Trajectories of Practice”

Melix, “From Outside In”

Murray, “All Writing is Autobiography”

Newstok, “How to Think Like Shakespeare (Links to an external site.)”
Rosenberg, “Reading Games: Strategies for Reading Scholarly Sources (Links to an external site.)”
Hass & Flower, “Rhetorical Reading Strategies”

Warner, “I Cannot Prepare Students (Links to an external site.)…”
Kantz, “Helping Students Use Textual Sources Persuasively (Links to an external site.)”
Grant-Davie, “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents (Links to an external site.)”
Robertson, Taczak & Yancey, “Notes Toward a Theory of Prior Knowledge”

Yancey, “Writing in 21st Century”

Penrose & Geisler, “Reading and Writing without Authority (Links to an external site.)”
“Annoying Ways People Use Sources (Links to an external site.)” by Kyle D. Stedman
“I Cannot Prepare Students to Write Their (History, etc…) Papers (Links to an external site.)” by John Warner
“Why I Write Bad (Links to an external site.)” by Milo Beckman
VanDeWeghe’s “‘Awesome, Dude!’ Responding Helpfully to Peer Writing (Links to an external site.)”
Straub, “Responding—Really Responding—to Other Students’ Writing (Links to an external site.)”
Greene, “Argument as Conversation”

Sommers, “Revision Strageties…”

Sommeres, “Here I Stand Writing”

“The Role of Metacognition”

Dirk, “Navigating Genres”

“Notes on Punctuation” by Lewis Thomas (226)

“In Praise of the Humble Comma” by Pico Iyer (229)


· Start early,
· Reference the readings (or any other literature) as appropriate,
· Be organized and purposeful with everything you do,
· Structure your paper appropriately so that is presents unity and coherence,
· Visit the university Writing Center…
· You are highly encouraged *wink wink* to incorporate the course readings into your writing.

· Length: 1500 – 2500 words (give or take)
· Submission draft due 12/1
· WP3 final draft and due Thursday 12/8 @ 11:59 pm
· Follow MLA formatting guidelines for in-text source integration and the Works Cited page.
Evaluation Criteria

Content and Focus (85%)
Does the final Writing Project 3…

· Offer a theory of writing which can extend across various writing situations?
· Include a detailed discussion of learning that occurred throughout the semester, focusing on key pieces of evidence from this class and other?
· Support discussion of learning with specific, embedded evidence?
· Make connections between discussion and evidence by using key terms and concepts discussed throughout the course?
Nuts and Bolts (15%)
Final, polished Writing Project 3 should…

1. include a Works Cited (or References) list for secondary sources quoted and/or discussed in the project.
2. use MLA guidelines (or the citation style preferred by your major) for all parenthetical citations and reference pages.
3. demonstrate meticulous proofreading and editing practices

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