Lesson objective(s): To prepare research for argument; to refine literature review.
Total estimated time: 70 minutes
Additional outcome(s): To tighten and strengthen writing both in terms of form and content.
Course work or assignment underway: The Research paper
Work and/or reading completed before class: The student should already have written their literature review. They should bring in a clean copy of their literature review for this day. They should also have a thesis statement for their final project.
Sequence of Classroom Activities:
1. Brainstorm with students: what do they think they would need to do to help them prepare their literature review for their research essay? What kind of feedback would they like on their literature review from their peers? [Make sure to emphasize clarity of language, excising of unnecessary material/sentences for the project they have proposed.] (15 minutes)
2. Have students examine their own reviews for excess language and irrelevant information (10 minutes).
3. Have students exchange their reviews and edit them mostly for excess language and irrelevant information. Emphasize that this is a sentence-level editing exercise and that if students have general comments for each other of the “It seems to me that you tend to…” variety, those might be most helpful. (15 minutes).
3. Exchange back and have the students read each other’s comments (5 minutes).
4. Have the students talk with one another about what their suggestions are and what motivated the suggestions. (10 minutes)
5. Reflect as a class: Try to figure out what kinds of mistakes and suggestions were most common. Try to get the class to produce general revision advice for transforming the literature review into a part of a research paper (15 minutes).
Reflection on the lesson’s success or alternative approaches:
Download: Preparing Research for Argument (doc)