Composing Self-Assessment

In this project, you will gather and collate data in order to both quantitatively and qualitatively analyze your writing processes. You will conduct your study based on noted composition theorist Sondra Perl's techniques. The study will be conducted as you write your first major writing assignment for our class (WP 2 - Rhetorical Analysis). After you have conducted your study and written about your findings, you should be able to determine how you can apply new found concepts regarding composition theory to strengthening your writing skills.

Preparing to Write

  • First, we'll read and discuss Sondra Perl's "The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers" and we'll read about Writing Processes
  • Next, you and your writing group will work on developing a method of coding every aspect of the Writing Process, similar to Perl's.
  • You'll test you code and methodology in class
  • Videotape yourself writing a "real life" writing project - Writing Project 2
  • Transcribe two different writing sessions, using your code and your videotape. Your coding must be structural, standardized, and diachronic.
  • Crunch the numbers; look for patterns and miscues. Figure out what you do when you write. Make some diagnostic conclusions.
  • Prepare to write up your results in a scientific style essay.

Don't freak out after reading the prep for this essay. We'll do a lot of it in class!

The genre of this piece of writing should be modeled on a scholarly scientific essay. As such, you will need to:

  • Review the scholarly literature you are using to frame your analysis
  • Discuss your methodology
  • Discuss your findings
  • Make specific claims and conclusions, based on your analysis
  • Attach Appendices in which you provide proof of your methods.

Structure and Style
As you review your drafts, check the following:

  • Is the tone of your writing appropriate? Do you maintain a formal, academic "voice?"
  • Is there a logical and organized structure to your essay?
  • Is each paragraph unified? Are there clear topic sentences? Does the content in each paragraph support the topic sentence?
  • Are there effective transitions between paragraphs?
  • Is the paper relatively free of non-standard/non-academic uses of English?
  • Are there any sentence errors?

Academic Documentation

  • The essay should be largely accurate in format style (MLA).
  • ALL outside material or sources are supported and accurately documented.
  • A Works Cited list is attached to the essay; citations are in correct MLA style.
  • In-text citations are accurate, and correspond to citations listed on the Works Cited list.