Me retired? Perhaps. However, in order to provide some additional income, I need to teach a few classes a semester. This semester–two. One began yesterday; the other, March.
Composition 120 deals with moving students from personal writing to academic writing, one in which students should become adept at researching topics, discovering issues related to those topics, and determining solutions based on hard evidence and logical reasoning. Not only must a student read juried, peer-reviewed articles, he/she must also comprehend them, not just pick a quotation or two from each article to insert into an essay. Moving a student from an opinion paper to a persuasive paper that uses hard evidence and logical reasoning can be like herding cats.
Then again, seldom does an instructor attempt to teach research writing without a textbook. This semester the textbook I’ve chosen is Everything’s an Argument, which contains 21 chapters with fairly decent information that must be covered in 17 weeks. During that time, at least one research paper must result. I’m requiring two; however, the first supports the second, in that the first will deal with stasis and comprehension/evaluation of juried sources.
Moreover, like all previous Composition 120 courses, in addition to the above, there are the issues of MLA formatting, paraphrasing, summarizing, avoiding plagiarism, sentence clarity–all the rules of correctness. All this in an online course.