D. Vilhotti

ENG 101, Section 124

February 6, 2008

Student-Created Rubric Activity

 

Objective

1)      create student investment in and ownership of standards,

2)      draw students attention to the traits of good writing on the global, local, and surface levels

 

Materials / front-end set-up

1)      excerpts of student writing

2)      a blank rubric with categories written in

3)      before class, place cards at each station reading station titles (i.e. “Introduction”)

 

Directions for the Student-Created Rubric Activity

1)      Group: Students are grouped in threes, sitting together at a “station” or table

·        Each station has a different element of the rubric to consider: either 1) introduction, 2) analysis (body of the paper), 3) conclusion, and 4) overall presentation, style, and mechanics

·        Each station group will have a series of documents to consider as they create their portion of the rubric.  For instance, the Introduction Station will work with a set of four student-created introductions to isolate elements of effective writing in the introduction. 

·        Note that while the categories “introduction,” “body,” “conclusion,” and “overall presentation,” may seem constricting, they are the most accessible for the first time students encounter this activity.  One way to ensure students consider higher-order concepts such as rhetoric, structure, or linguistic choices, is to provide keywords for students to consider within the categories such as “conclusion.”  See the handout below for an example.

2)      Read and analyze student writing:

·        Station groups are given approximately 10 minutes to read and analyze the student sample documents out loud together, stopping to discuss after each.  Alternatively, they may be more comfortable reading the documents silently, commenting in the margins or via track changes, switching, then coming together to discuss.

·        Via the commenting feature, students mark elements of their sections that “sound good” or “feel awkward.”  If students can articulate why something is powerful or less effective, great.  Otherwise, that’s what the next step is for.

3)      Create rubric criteria: After all group members have been given a chance to read and analyze several of the student excerpts, group members come together to list the characteristics of effective writing in their assigned category only (i.e. the Introduction group only works with the introduction portion of the rubric).  Group members are encouraged to make full use of our class website (i.e. the assignment sheet or the handout on topic sentences & thesis statements)

4)      Rotate: time permitting, student groups rotate to the next station, moving clockwise.  Students briefly read at least one student sample, analyze, and discuss.  Groups attempt to add or revise information from the first group.

5)      Email: Each group emails the work compiled at their particular station to the instructor so he or she may compile the student-created rubric.

6)      Whole class debrief: What was learned?  What might be done differently the next time we create a rubric?

7)      Debrief the following class: Based on the instructor-compiled rubric, whole class discusses and revises components together.

8)      Post the rubric: The compiled and approved rubric is posted to the website by the evening.

 


Lesson Plan for Student Created Rubric Activity

 

Item

Time

Stop at

  1. Do Now:
  • Students read activity directions for activity posted on doc cam as they settle in

 

3

9:12

  1. Explain the basics of the student-created rubric activity:
  • State & discuss objectives
  • Explain the basic directions so students hit the ground running

 

7

9:20

  1. Count off students to get into groups of 3 with people they don’t typically sit with > students move to groups > log in > pull up materials
  • Students are encouraged to print out documents if they prefer to work with hard copies

5

9:25

  1. Silent or collaborative reading & analysis
  • Students are encouraged to comment on elements of effective (or ineffective) writing via track changes or print and write by hand

10

9:40

  1. Discussion & creation of rubric criteria for assigned category > remember to save rubric to the desktop!

10

9:50

  1. Rotate & add commentary if necessary; time permitting

 

 

  1. Save > email rubric portion to instructor (students are to include group names to increase activity investment) 

5

9:55

  1. Whole class debrief: what was learned?  What might be done differently the next time we create a rubric?

5

10:00

 

 

 


Handout 1: this is the worksheet each group received.  Each group worked with only one category (i.e. Conclusions)

 

Rubric for Project B: Credibility Analysis of Two Scientific Arguments

 

Criteria

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Introduction

  • [Example] Provides a general introduction to and background context of the topic that is the subject of the author’s articles.
  •  

No need to write in these spaces à

 

 

 

 

 

Criteria

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Analysis (body of the paper)

 

 

 

 

 

No need to write in these spaces à

 

 

 

 

 

Criteria

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Conclusion

 

 

 

 

 

No need to write in these spaces à

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criteria

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Overall presentation / style / mechanics

 

 

 

 

 

No need to write in these spaces à

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handout Two: Completed Student-created Rubric

 

D. Vilhotti

ENG 101, Section 124

February 6, 2008

 

Student-created Rubric for Project B: Credibility Analysis of Two Scientific Arguments

 

Criteria

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Introduction

Courtesy of Matthew S., Tiffany, Ayoub, and Kristen

 

  • Strong opening sentences, not cute, overly dramatic or weak; opening sentences should capture the essence of the whole paper
  • Introduction is not too specific, but rather captures just the major points; don’t write the whole paper in the intro. However, the reader should not be confused as to what is to come in the paper; enough information should be presented so they know what they’re reading.
  • The author’s argument should be clearly made in the intro, not just “previewed”
  • Explain the assignment; let the audience know that these two sources are different and that they will be compared.  Also include what makes the articles credible.
  • Uses all information in context; points are not made arbitrarily and should be able to relate with the rest of the introduction
  • Thesis statement is not excessively long, drawn-out, or hard to find.  It is not incomplete or too general. Make sure thesis is specific, comprehensive, analytical and provable (SCAPy; see the handout)
  • Introduction includes title of article and authors and year written.  Include context of authors and their agenda if either is relevant
  • Strong transitions within introduction and into 1st body paragraph.

 

For more information, go to: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/introductions.html

 

 

 

 

 

 Criteria

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Analysis (body of the paper)

Courtesy of Matt Samsell, Russell, Max, Seth, Jeremy, Michael Hall, and Jamale

 

  • Topic sentence should by specific, analytical, provable, (SAPy) and encompass what the paragraph will be about.
  • Be specific and clear as to what you are talking about.
  • Make points that are provable and back them up with evidence from your texts.
  • Take your evidence a step further and analyze it to further bolster your point; in other words, make sure to analyze any quotation or argument stated in your paper.
  • Be as comprehensive as possible, do not leave anything for the reader to guess or assume; spell it out for them as this will make your point more viable; in other words, make sure to support and elaborate on any specific examples that you have included in your paper.
  • Avoid redundancy as it can lead to confusion and hamper your argument.
  • Regarding structure, organized paragraph by either “block” or “point-by-point” highlighting major points discussed in your paper.
  • Apply the jargon of rhetorical analysis jargon where you can; in other words, refer to the three handouts given on rhetorical analysis and use them for your paper.  Be able to point out any logical fallacies, for instance (i.e slippery slope, loaded diction, red herring, etc.)
  • Use specific examples regarding diction, tone and organization, to illustrate any assumptions and comparisons between the articles.

 

For more information, go to http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/argument.html, http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/paragraphs.html, and http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/fallacies.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criteria

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Conclusion

Courtesy of Lesley, Mattie, Victoria, and Meagan

 

  • Stick to your subject; don’t introduce new points or materials.
  • Topic sentences are important to have. Make sure your topic sentences are SCAPy. Make sure you restate your thesis and summarize main points of the argument.
  • Relate specific topics to general interest. Relate the articles back to the credibility discussion and why being able to analyze the credibility of an argument is important in the first place. 
  • Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask yourself, "So what?" or "Why should anybody care?"  Then ponder that question and answer it.
  • Your conclusion should lend the paper a “feeling of finality”; in other words, it should be clear that you have proven all your points and that the paper has properly come to a conclusion.
  • Avoid beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as "in conclusion," "in summary," or "in closing."

 

For more information, go to http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/conclusions.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criteria

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Overall presentation / style / mechanics

  • Keywords to consider: tone, diction, grammar, embedded quotes, MLA, work cited, title, format, contractions, first person, second person
  • Diction should be concise, academic, and formal.  At the same time, it should not be too “stuffy” or not relate to a general audience of peers
  • Correct grammar rules should be applied
  • No spelling errors
  • Apply block or point-by-point format organizational style
  • All citations need to be in MLA style
  • Avoid using contractions (can’t à cannot ; don’t à do not)
  • First person (I, we, our, us) and second person (you, your) point of view should be avoided; a distancing of the author from the work lends credibility
  • Using a passive voice is more accepted for this assignment
  • Quotations should be properly embedded so that they form a natural part of the sentence (i.e. Ray refutes Caldicott’s argument that temperatures will necessarily rise in the next few decades, noting that “the regulating effect of the oceans has largely been ignored, resulting in fallacious analyses of global climate change” (513).)  Embedding quotations give a quotation context and analysis. 
  • The title must be formal and informative; it should give the reader a) an idea of what the assignment requires you to do, and b) an idea of the topic discussed (i.e. global warming)

 

For more information, go to http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/style.html and http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/word_choice.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Work: the following represents some of each station’s work with the student excerpts.  Each group read and commented on the student excerpts to generate ideas for effective and less effective elements of each component of the paper.  After generating the ideas, students were more confident in creating rubric criteria for their assigned component.

 

Analysis Station

 

Body Paragraph, Excerpt A

 

American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The years teach much which the days never knew”(1). [C1] Experience plays a large role in the credibility of an author. Patrick Moore spent over 35 years in an energy related field. As the founder of Greenpeace and the current co chair of safe energy coalition, Moore has been very active in the environment. His article, “Going Nuclear” incorporates much of the knowledge that he has gained as long with the insight of many other specialists in the field.[C2]   This knowledge and experience lends in improving the credibility of the article.  Having so much experience in a field allows an author to gain a broad perspective and understand misconceptions that he may have previously believed.[C3]  According to Moore, “Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too…”(B01). [C4] Moore’s background in energy and the environment has allowed him to understand the many misconceptions that surround topics such as nuclear energy. With his vast knowledge [C5] of the subject, Moore is able to correct his past mistakes and accurately discuss current events.  The Greenpeace article does not allow the audience to know the exact author(s), which can both add to and subtract from the credibility of the article.  Greenpeace is a well-known environmental activist organization that is not afraid to voice its opinion. The credibility that the organization has gained since its creation in the early 1970’s is transferred to this article when the author is unknown and is published by Greenpeace. However, without an author cited, the article loses credibility, as the audien[C6] ce does not know who exactly wrote the article or any background information on the author.  The audience may think that the author is hiding behind the Greenpeace name if the author has something to hide. Overall, “Going Nuclear” is more credible because of the background of the author, even though “Climate Change” is published by a large and well-known organization.[C7] 

 

 

Body Paragraphs, Exerpt B:

Credibility of Popular Sources 

Thesis: Both authors pose respectable arguments, however, the truth lies in the credibility of the articles. In this situation, the article by Wickelgren proves to be more credible. This becomes evident as one examines the background of the author, the argument posed by the author, and the authors’ use of language.

      Skimming through issues of “Science News” magazine, it becomes clear that J. Travis has written numerous articles for the publication, augmenting some of his credibility in the field of natural sciences. [C8] He has written articles on subjects such as germ cells, cancer, antiviral genes, and other similar topics. Apparently Travis does have slight, if not abundant, knowledge in general scientific themes. Travis’ background and credibility in this field of study reduces the likelihood of any ulterior motives. More than likely, Travis is a journalist interested in the controversial world of science, rather than a radical activist attempting to sway readers into the acceptance of homosexual lifestyles. [C9] 

      Despite the well-established background of Travis, Wickelgren possesses credentials that give her an advantage[C10] . Wickelgren has written just as many, if not more articles in “Science”. She has also written for other magazines and written several acclaimed novels, one being The Gene Masters: How a New Breed of Scientific Entrepreneurs Raced for the Biggest Prize in Biology.[C11]  Wickelgren has far more published material relating to science than Travis. The majority of her work deals strictly with genetics, unlike Travis, who covers a broad range of topics[C12] . Being that the debate on homosexuality deals with presence of a gene, Wickelgren is more suited to argue her viewpoints.

[C13] 

Body Paragraphs, Exerpt C:

Organic vs. Biotechnical Food 

Thesis:  Biotechnolgy and Organic foods are up and coming in the produce industry, however they are not always considered safe.  This popular article explains the advantages and disadvantages of each, while also making a point to save the Organic industry.  The academic article explains why Biotechnology is safe in every aspect, reassuring consumers of the produce.   These to articles differ in there conventions of structure, reference, and evidence.[C14] 

The structure of these two articles is critical toward their meaning and who the audience is aimed for.  [C15] How and where everything is located within the article makes it either more comprehendible for the average person, or more comprehendible for a scientist.  This article is divided into sub-sections, while having tables located within the text.  Also the article begins with two important quotes to give the reader some background information[C16] .  In the article from Keener, the first thing that the readers read in the beginning is how safe the technology is. [C17]   This shows the reader that the author is not making up the circumstances and the findings, by proving this.  Along the same line the authors have divided the article into sub-sections making the structure appear to be more like a scientific report, which it is[C18] [C19] . The popular article has no sub-sections; it is all in the main section.  While the paragraph structure is smaller and the sentence structure is smaller.  The authors use conversational language and structure.  The structure of the article from Koch is more of a relaxed structure.  [C20] This allows the reader to take ease and comfort reading this article more leisurely.  The article is not split into different sections, and there are few large paragraphs.  The structure of the sentences also goes along with the leisurely style, having simple sentence structure while using a conversational style of writing.  The academic article is highly different than the popular article in terms of structure.  This ranges from sentence structure to the structure of the entire article.  The difference between these two articles goes to show how important the structure of the article and sentences are. [C21] 

 

 

 

********

Overall Presentation Station

 

Excerpt A: 

 

Believe It or Not: The Search For Credibility

[The following is a body paragraph from this paper]

 

“I don't care about motivation. I care about credibility”(1).  This quote from New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer can be applied directly to this paper. [C22] Despite being able to motivate an audience exceptionally well, the “Climate Change” is a less credible article.  [C23] Both articles came from a source that has a good background in their area.[C24]   The Greenpeace organization has been largely involved in environmental affairs for the past forty years and Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace, has spent almost his entire career in the environmental field.  “Going Nuclear” utilized techniques of language in a more effective way. Moore’s ability and willingness to discuss topics that may disprove some of his opinions shows that his article is less biased and more credible[C25] Each article delivered its message effectively and presented large amounts of information, “Going Nuclear” just did it in a more credible manner.[C26] 

 

[C27] 

Excerpt B: [the following is the author’s first paragraph]

 

Sun Exposure

 

       Is it better to have vitamin D deficiency or skin cancer? This is the question that most people are asking themselves. The article “Long-Term Effects of Appearance-Based Interventions on Sun Protection Behaviors” was written by Meg Gerrand, Fredrick Gibbons, James Kulik, and Heike Mahler. [C28] Meg Gerrard and Frederick Gibbons are professors of Psychology at Iowa State University. James Kulik is a professor of Psychology at University of California at San Diego. And Heike Mahler is a professor of Psychology at University of California at San Diego and California State University at San Marcos. [C29] It was published by American Psychological Association in 2007. Jörg Reichrath wrote “The Challenge Resulting From Positive And Negative of Sunlight: How Much Solar UV Exposure is Appropriate to Balance Between Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency and Skin Cancer?” Jörg Reichrath[C30]  is a professor at The University of Saarlandes in

Germany. He is a medical doctor and has wrote any books[C31] . The two articles are different based on the argument, one states that experiment deals with too much exposure to the sun will cause skin cancer while the other states that lack of the sun will cause vitamin D deficiency. Both articles have reference and evidence dealing with their experiment and how to reach their goal. The structure in Reichrath’s paper has headings and subheadings. Also the language is straight forward and data driven. In the other article, the structure is harder to follow because they have a lot of date and a two columned paper that runs into each other. The

language has a lot of date[C32]  which goes along with the experiment. So it is straight forward and to the point also. Jörg Reichrath “The Challenge Resulting From Positive And Negative of Sunlight: How Much Solar UV Exposure is Appropriate to Balance Between Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency And Skin Cancer?” [C33] is more credible because he bases his information on everybody, not just one particular group, it has evidence that goes along with their[C34]  topic, and it cites the references that are used. While, the other article has some of that, but the main thing is that it only focuses on one particular age group and not the vast majority.

 

[C35] 

Excerpt C

 

Organic vs. Biotechnical Food 

Thesis:  Biotechnolgy[C36]  and Organic foods are up and coming in the produce industry, however they are not always considered safe.  This popular article explains the advantages and disadvantages of each, while also making a point to save the Organic industry.  The academic article explains why Biotechnology is safe in every aspect, reassuring consumers of the produce.   These to[C37]  articles differ in there[C38]  conventions of structure, reference, and evidence.[C39] [C40] 

The structure of these two articles is critical toward their meaning and who the audience is aimed for.  How and where everything is located within the article makes it either more comprehendible for the average person, or more comprehendible for a scientist. [C41]  This article[C42]  is divided into sub-sections, while having tables located within the text.  Also the article begins with two important quotes to give the reader some background information.  In the article from Keener, the first thing that the readers read in the beginning is how safe the technology is.   This shows the reader that the author is not making up the circumstances and the findings, by proving this.  Along the same line the authors have divided the article into sub-sections making the structure appear to be more like a scientific report, which it is. The popular article has no sub-sections; it is all in the main section.  While the paragraph structure is smaller and the sentence structure is smaller. [C43]  The authors use conversational language and structure.  The structure of the article from Koch is more of a relaxed structure.  This allows the reader to take ease and comfort reading this article more leisurely.  The article is not split into different sections, and there are few large paragraphs.  The structure of the sentences also goes along with the leisurely style, having simple sentence structure while using a conversational style of writing.  The academic article is highly different than the popular article in terms of structure.  This ranges from sentence structure to the structure of the entire article.  The difference between these two articles goes to show how important the structure of the article and sentences are. [C44] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 [C1]Useable…. Pretty solid intro sentence, but I am on a cliff hanger right now?

 [C2]Solid analysis of article here.

 [C3]Good bc you break down sentence well.

 [C4]Solid quote.. helps with analysis, but could quote maybe something from the “Climate Change

 [C5]Good diction and specificity. Provable as well.

 [C6]Organization of article could be better: would allow clear differentiation.

 [C7]This whole paragraph does not really even discuss the opposing article. This loses some of your credibility.

 [C8]“Good topic sentence… general to somewhat specific.

 [C9]Not extremely analytical. Solid evidence, but could go deeper into the article

 [C10]Good comparison sentence.

 [C11]Novels are fictional work, clarify fictional or books?

 [C12]Shows specificity.

 [C13]Make more argument analytical. You could improve by enhancing your depth and insight on the topic.

 [C14]Be much more specific. For example, “The authors article..” do not be too general.

 [C15]Do not end sentence with for.

 [C16]Be much more specific rather than generalizing.

 [C17]Your changing tracks from how article is put together to how they give evidence. Be more specific in  your points

 [C18]Be more analytical

 [C19]Completely out of place here. Fix!

 [C20]Good that you announced persons name, but do this earlier!

 [C21]Too much redundancy. You need to Prove your points. Be more specific, comprehensive, analytical and provable throughout this entire paragraph. Reread and correct and you will be fine!

 [C22]Would be better in the intro.

 [C23]Doesn’t make sense.

 [C24]Should refer to the background of the authors, not the article.

 [C25]Good Point, but there are no examples or evidence to validate the statement.

 [C26]Again, there is no evidence to prove the claim.

 [C27]Overall, the paragraph is “choppy” and does not flow together. It reads more like an introduction than a body paragraph. There is no use of quotations to prove the writer’s points.

 [C28]Good first two sentences.

 [C29]Instead of listing the professions of each author, make a general statement regarding their background.

 [C30]After stating the full name the first time, use the author’s last name for the rest of the paper.

 [C31]Grammatical error.

 [C32]Grammatical error.

 [C33]Avoid stating the name of the title each time.

 [C34]Using words like “their” and “themselves” editorializes the paragraph.

 [C35]Good thesis statement, but the choice of words could be better.

 [C36]Misspelled.

 [C37]Grammar.

 [C38]Grammar.

 [C39]Elaborate more.

 [C40]Overall, very good thesis statement. Brief, yet concise.

 [C41]Good topic sentence. Good use of diction.

 [C42]Refer to “this article”several times instead of specifically naming the article.

 [C43]Fragment, revise.

 [C44]Fail to use any quotations to validate the argument. There is a lack of evidence to prove the assumptions.