Tuesday, March 8, 2011


CAHSEE Special Schedule

The Great Paragraph Switch:
A) Give your body paragraphs to someone to read. That student should read your FIRST body paragraph only and respond, as a reader, asking questions about anything that is confusing. Next, check the opening claim of the paragraph to make sure it contains the necessary components: the first OR second sentence of the paragraph should contain the author's name, a literary technique or rhetorical device, and a purpose (in order to ______). Then, the student should begin to color-mark your FIRST paragraph only.

1) first color: highlight all instances of the rhetorical device or technique's name in the passage. Synonyms should be highlighted (my sample paper refers to both "interrupted sentences" and "dashes"). Label this color "rhetorical technique."

2) second color: highlight all instances of the author's name (Fitzgerald). Be sure it is spelled correctly and capitalized. If the student uses a pronoun (he) that refers to the author, highlight that, too. Label this color "author's name."

3) third color: highlight all direct quotations. Check to see that they do not BEGIN sentences. If a quotation begins a sentence, write "introduce w/ meaningful 1/2 sentence" in the margins. Check the punctuation of direct quotations--commas and periods should go INSIDE quotation marks. If it is the FIRST instance of the quotation, the quotation should NOT have a comma or period and instead should be followed by the page number in parentheses, with the period AFTER the citation.
Also, check to see that the student has given a "sentence-length" quotation (longer quotation with a citation) BEFORE listing individual words. After the quotation, the student should return to the quotation and discuss individual word choices made by the author. If the student has NOT returned to the quotation to discuss individual words/short phrases, write "discuss connotations of individual words" in the margins. Label this color "direct quotations."

4) fourth color: argument verbs. Highlight all instances of argument verbs, words like: reveals, suggests, shows, states, describes, depicts, illustrates, emphasizes, exposes, and so on. Next, check the TENSE of these words--they should all be in present tense (suggests) or present progressive tense (is suggesting). If an argument verb is in past tense, label it by writing "present tense!" in the margins near the word. Label this color "argument verbs."

5) fifth color: link to theme and purpose. Highlight all phrases or sentences that link back to the original purpose established in the claim (in order to _____). These are typically found in the opening and final sentences of paragraphs, and sometimes after discussing connotations of individual words. Label this color "link to purpose/theme."

B) Give the student's paper to another student sitting in a different region of the class. That student then repeats step A and 1-5 for the SECOND body paragraph.

C) Return the paper to the original student.

D) Original student should then read over the comments and color-marking. Then, list 3 revisions you will make to your paper based on today's activity. Be specific! Sample revisions:
1) I will vary my argument verbs because I used "suggests" 3 times in one paragraph
2) I will discuss connotations of particular words after direct quotations, and talk about why Fitzgerald used "a national figure" and "jumping"
3) I will add page numbers in citation after my direct quotations and will move the commas to the inside of quotation marks.

HW: For Thursday, incorporate these revisions and print out a clean, revised copy of these two paragraphs, with this color-marked draft and your revision plan stapled to the back. Add to the clean, revised copy a third paragraph (introduction OR another body paragraph), keeping in mind these same comments.

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