In order to become stronger writers, it is necessary to become stronger critical readers and thinkers, and one of the best ways to meet this goal is to engage in fruitful discussions with one another. When we read alone, it is easier to fall into the trap of passivity, but if we are reading together, our drive to be active readers is stronger—this is why class discussions are so important. Talking about texts gives us an opportunity to share insights, raise questions, and grapple with complicated issues.
In order to get the most out of our discussions, it is important to be prepared to interact with your classmates and to be able to provide substantive contributions to our learning community. So, before you come to class each day I ask that you prepare questions and quotations for our consideration. Below is an explanation of how to go about that…
Quotations: You must select three short passages and type them into a new document. Don’t forget page numbers for quick reference during class. Below each passage, please provide a brief explanation of why you chose that particular passage ( a few sentences should suffice).
Questions: Please think of three good discussion questions. As a general guide, good questions are thought-provoking and open ended and are stemmed from your natural curiosity about a text. Avoid questions that can be answered in a word or with a quick search of the web. This can be difficult at first, but after a few class meetings, it will be clear which kinds of questions drive our discussions and which lead our chats down a dead-end road.
Q’s and Q’s are due in my dropbox two hours before each class. You should also have access to them during our meetings, so either bring a printed copy or your laptop, iPad, etc.