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Seminars… Conferences… Peer Review: What’s What?

The calendar will tell you what type of “day” we are having. The following descriptions will help you to understand what we will be doing on each of these different types of days so that you can come to class prepared with the right tools and materials.

Seminar day(s)
What is it? This is a 40-minute (or so) lesson in which we work on some aspect of analyzing the literature.
What types of activities will we do? We will read and work through a selection together in class, or, for longer works, you might be assigned to read some of it the night before. We will talk about how to take notes, fill out the worksheet, write a journal entry, and ultimately make an annotated bibliographical entry for the selection.
What will we do for the rest of the class  time? The rest of the class period will be devoted to DIY (Do It Yourself). You will find a piece that is of the same type that we worked through together, but that relates to your project, and work on your own notes, worksheet, and journal entry.
What do I need to bring to class? Besides all the usual tools for school (pens, notebooks, etc.), you should bring some literary selections that are of the same type we’ll be working on in class. For example, if the calendar tells you we are going to have a Poetry Seminar on Tuesday, you would plan to bring in some poems for the DIY time. That way, you can see the process modeled in class with a poem we all read, and then immediately try it out with your own material. You will be able to ask me questions and check with me to see that you are on the right track.

Conference day(s)
What is it? About 40 minutes of the period will be devoted to a lesson on some aspect of writing your paper. For example, we might work on making an outline, narrowing your topic and/or thesis statement, adding in-text citations to your paper, or refining word choice. Then you will have time to apply this new information to your paper-in-progress.
What will we do for the rest of the class time? Once you have finished your Conference Task for the week, you will be able to work on your notes, worksheets and journal entries just as you do on Seminar days. I will be meeting individually with each of you (about half the class per Conference Day) to discuss your personal journey through the process as well as concerns on your part or mine.
What do I need to bring to class? Besides all the usual tools for school (pens, notebooks, etc.), you should bring some literature to read and analyze, your writing notes and the working draft of your essay.

Peer Review Day(s)
What is it? About 40 minutes of the period will be used for a Peer Review Meeting. You will be meeting with students who have topics similar to– or opposite– yours, to discuss what you’ve found, what conclusions you are reaching, and what is troubling you. I may give you  a topic or focus for your discussion; this may be something related to literary analysis, journaling, the bibliography, or the essay. Each group member must take notes in the form of “minutes” which will be turned in to me.
What will we do for the rest of the class time? Once you have finished your Peer Review Meeting, you will be able to work on your Peer Review meeting notes. Then you can continue with the notes, worksheets and journal entries just as you do on Seminar days. You may also choose to work on your essay; if you do, be sure to bring your working draft.
What do I need to bring to class? Besides all the usual tools for school (pens, notebooks, etc.), you should bring some literature to read and analyze, your writing notes and the working draft of your essay.

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