Friday, November 5, 2010

Topic: Components of a Writing Assignment

Question: What are the ingredients of a completed writing assignment?

Answer: 15 dimensions: instruction, stimulus, cognitive demand, purpose, role, audience, content, rhetorical specifications, tone/style, audience preparation, length, format, time, draft, criteria.

That “answer” raises as many questions as it answers. Here’s a sampling of the questions I had about the elements of writing assignments listed:

Instruction: topic
Stimulus: word, phrase or sentence; photograph, music, etc.
Cognitive demand: facts, ideas (?)
Purpose; inform, convince, persuade, entertain.
Role: write in first ;person, assumed persona, etc.
Audience: teacher, specified group, classmates, general public, etc.
Content: family, relatives, school, leisure, etc.
Rhetorical specifications: informal; summary; paraphrase; narrative; exposition; analysis, etc.
Tone/Style: particular stylistic devices; overall tone and style.
Audience preparation: class discussion (?).
Length: 150 words, etc.
Format: exposition, argument, etc.
Time: 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Draft: one draft only to rough draft with revision.
Criteria: grammar, organization, neatness, etc.

Comment; Useful to consider the demands of an assignment? Possibly useful in helping to strengthen the writing process? Not sure how useful the results of this research are. Can be useful in discussing with the class the various elements of a writing assignment. RayS.

Title: “Towards a Domain-Referenced System for Classifying Composition Assignments.” AC Purves, et al. Research in the Teaching of English (December 1984), 385-416.

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