Question: What are some interesting topics for compositions?
10-second review: Make a statement on a controversial issue and ask students to respond to it.
Title: “ ‘I can relate to that….’: Reading and Responding in the Writing Classroom.” R Lent. College Composition and Communication (May 1993), 232-240. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Summary: If possible, use quotes. Find them in syndicated columns or in letters to the editor or editorials. Students learn to control emotions and to think clearly about controversial issues. Format: Summarize the offending statement and respond.
Comment: I always begin class with ten minutes of writing that I correct that night and return the next day. Usually, I encourage students to write on a topic of their choice. Responding to a controversial issue on a series of days would be useful. That ten minutes of writing can be expanded into a full-blown composition as one of the class’s major assignments. Purpose of the ten-minute essays is to identify and clear up grammatical problems. I give extra credit if students re-write the corrected ten-minute essay. If I have five classes a day, I assign the ten minute essays to one class for three weeks and then shift to a second class, etc. RayS.