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The focused reading response is also effective in initiating class discussions. In large and small group discussions, students share marked passages and explain why they chose them for marking. Because they must read a quote not already given by a previous student, they cannot get by with marking only one or two passages. By the time each student shares a passage for class response, the assigned reading is fully discussed from a number of perspectives, and all class members have initiated a discus- sion.

When students follow a sequence of activities that includes marking a text, writing focused reading responses, discussing - 175 - SUPPORTING PRACTICES passages with other students, and then using their focused re- sponse as an invention springboard for writing an essay, they can become more aware of a process that produces texts and also more capable of analyzing difficulties they encounter in reading and writing. Works Cited Adler, Mortimer Jerome, and Charles Van Doren. Facts, Artifacts, and Counterfacts: Theory and Method for a Reading and Writing Course. We are a four-year teaching institution of over seven thousand cheap custom papers students serving a modest-sized working-class urban center.

We draw heavily from the local population, which is roughly half Mexi- can American and half European American. Students enroll in a configuration of community-learning courses each semester of their first year.

There are eight possible configurations, including links between (1) English, political sci- ence, and history, (2) English, psychology, and music, (3) En- glish, sociology, and environmental science, and (4) English, reading, and communication. As part of strategic, long-range assessment of our writing program, Debra Dew (our writing program director), Glenn Blalock, and I redesigned the curriculum of English 1302 during the fall semester of 1999 and piloted the new course in the spring of 2000. Beginning in fall of 2000, the assessed and upgraded version of the pilot program was adopted by all 1302 faculty. Teachers who agreed to pilot cheap custom papers the new course worked closely with the li- brary staff to design student orientations suited to specific as- signments, and during implementation they met weekly in teaching circles to explore new ideas, discuss problems, and share assignments.

The focus of the pilot course was threefold: (1) to harness extensive reading with analysis of rhetorical appeals (a skill ap- plied to excerpts from our interdisciplinary reader, St.

Some of the themes adopted by teaching circle team members include human rights issues, political scandals, the tobacco industry, social con- struction of gender and ethnic identities, the Holocaust, and the Vietnam War, to name a few. One of the innovative and pivotal components of the pilot course is an assignment we call the research journal, intended to both deepen and lengthen the research process, transforming it from an exercise in note taking to a reflective and analytic prewriting stage (see the appendix).

The Research Journal If we require students to explore complex and important issues, navigate through multiple sources that do not agree with one another, and produce a rhetorically sophisticated polished prod- uct, we also must propose to them a methodical, accessible, timely, and dependable means cheap custom papers to accomplish these goals. We are aware that we take a certain risk in calling this peda- gogical method a research journal.

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Our research journal cer- tainly buys into such assumptions, but theoretically it is more complex. It presupposes that personal connections need to be maintained as students foray into the alien world of professional literature (e. It also assumes with theories of heuristic methods that students can push themselves into new ideas if they are required to answer ques- tions designed to edge them intellectually from where they are to where they might be (e. Connecting all of these positions is the belief that stages in the development of skill or understanding are marked with metaconsciousness and self-reflection (e. We ask students to produce a journal entry for each source they consult (in later papers, this may entail writing eight to ten entries). Each source will have an individual entry, and then each collection of entries per paper assignment will have a final, syn- thetic entry about the challenges of researching that specific topic.

With each entry, students are asked to evaluate their source on two levels. Some of our faculty require formal, academic language, while others allow students to freewrite their journal entries before moving to a more formal annotated bibliography. In terms of format, the only consistent standard is correct and complete citation form. In three specific ways, our research journal heuristic finds support in theories of adult development or growth in expertise.

First-year students have a difficult time conceiving of books as authored, or at least authored by living people with individual motives and perspectives. Grasping this notion is a critical step for students as they gain the disciplinary know-how needed to advance in upper-division courses in their majors. Second, the questions asking students to situate the writ- ing within an ongoing argument of conflicting opinions push them toward a more mature understanding of the nature of intellec- tual disputes (e. And third, the questions that force writers to locate themselves within the range of these conflicting views (e. In short, theoretically our research jour- nal questions exercise skills that first-year college students al- ready have as well as ones they need to develop. During the research phase of the assignment (the total time for each assignment runs three to four weeks), students complete their entries as they move through their sources.

If they have faithfully followed through with their journal, they have done most of the thinking needed to complete a first draft (or the getting-it-down-on-paper phase).

As they refine their own argu- ment for draft 2, students might discover they need to do more research, which will require adding more entries to the journal. Many - 180 - Locating Students in Academic Dialogue of our teaching circle members use conferences and one-on-one feedback with students throughout the process: selecting topics, mapping out a research plan, and wrestling with difficult mate- rial. We also find that the amount of work that goes into the research journal deserves immediate reward: either a grade or points for each journal. This source also supported the belief that the results of the Tet Offensive made both the U.

Government and the people of the United States less supportive and more pessi- mistic about the Vietnam War. The author contin- ues to reemphasize this belief through his piece.

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