In this assessment, you will give thoughtful responses to prompts that will allow you to reflect on who and where you are as a writer in the beginning of the semester. This activity will serve several purposes:
- It will help you clarify areas to focus on this semester.
- It will help me best tailor this semester to your needs. It is helpful for me to know what skills you are bringing with you to the beginning of the semester as well as some of the challenges you face.
- It will serve as a foundational piece in your end-of-the-semester portfolio. As part of the portfolio task, you will need to articulate the progress you have made throughout the course. This document will later serve as a resource, as it will help provide evidence of your growth.
The goal of this exercise is to be as thorough and thoughtful as possible. The assignment will be graded Pass/Fail (or half credit for work that is severely underdeveloped) and I do not have specific guidelines to follow other than to develop your answers in complete sentences with thoughtful detail. While writing, focus on your ideas, and do not worry too much about editing grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.
PART 1: Who You Are as a Writer
Respond thoughtfully to the prompts below:
- In terms of your writing, what are your strengths? Describe some of the aspects of writing that you are good at and/or that you enjoy.
- What are your weaknesses in writing? What do you struggle with?
- Describe the physical conditions (see examples below) under which you produce your best writing.
- During what part of the day do you find it easiest/most enjoyable to write?
- Do you prefer to write with a computer or with pen/pencil and paper?
- Do you require silence while writing, or do you prefer to have background noise or listen to music?
PART 2: Addressing the Course SLOs
Below you will find a list of outcomes that you will achieve by the end of the semester. Read through these carefully, and then describe your current skill level in each area.
Things you can use help determine where you are:
- Past writing experiences
- Past writing courses and the work completed in them
- Your experience with writing the short paper completed earlier this week
NOTE: If you do not understand the language used in any of these, do not be afraid to ask! Remember that these are end-of-semester outcomes. It makes perfect sense for you to have some questions. It is important that you understand what we are working toward. (Also, remember to include your present lack of understanding in the explanation of where you are now.)
- SLO 1: Compose using multiple modalities appropriate for particular rhetorical situations.
- SLO 2: Assess rhetorical purpose by demonstrating awareness of audience expectations, representing opposing viewpoints accurately and respectfully, and contextualizing claims.
- SLO 3: Develop an academic essay in response to a writing task, indicating a clear topic, focus, and purpose supported by evidence, relevant details, and effectively integrated source materials; apply correctly and understand the assumptions informing citation systems.
- SLO 4: Recognize and make effective use of organizational patterns and transitional devices that serve both the writer’s rhetorical purposes and the needs of the reading audience.
- SLO 5: Demonstrate critical comprehension of college-level reading by grasping the significance of the topic, recognizing assumptions, and providing well-developed, informed analysis.
- SLO 6: Demonstrate control of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics to enhance clarity and credibility; examine writing conventions as rhetorical decisions: negotiable and fluid across various genres and contexts.
PART 3: Semester Plans
- Set some goals for this semester. Describe a few of the aspects of reading, writing, and critical thinking that you hope to improve upon in this course.
- Which of the course SLOs will take the most effort to achieve? What is your plan for addressing this?