Posted on September 28, by etuomey In some colleges in the UAE, men and women are being educated together.
Instead of assigning a supplementary reader with essays or fiction, I use The Times as a living, constantly changing, unpredictable and highly relevant textbook that provides both models for writing and subjects to write about. The unpredictability of the daily newspaper is both the major advantage and the major challenge.
Although my course has a clear outline and a defined sequence of papers, I have to be prepared to modify whatever we are doing if something jumps off the page in the morning. This potential for spontaneity keeps both teacher and students alert.
No one can work off old notes, old papers or old habits and I have to be prepared every day to find examples to illustrate or alter my understanding of every principle I want to teach.
Clearly, the pages of The Times are full of arguments: But there are also arguments on the front page, both implicit and explicit.
Many articles try to convince readers that a state of affairs or a trend exists: New York is or is not a safe place to live; the economy is prospering or faltering.
Other articles contain strong implications about values: A breakthrough has occurred in the treatment of cancer; a public official is in serious trouble.
There are also arguments in every section — arts, style, sports, science, business — and in advertising. Students need to become sensitive to the nuances of language and the nature of evidence in order to understand why certain choices are made in the presentation of stories and what those choices imply about what we think is significant.
We begin by following a front-page news story for a week one selected by the students in order to become more conscious of language and choice, then move on to the more structured and direct arguments on the editorial pages, then broaden our interest to take on the rest of the paper.
We analyze arguments short and long for logical, ethical and emotional appeals and students respond to, critique and imitate them in their own writing. I also use The New York Times to teach students how the constraints of genre affect writing.
We always stop and pick out generic characteristics in what we are reading. We look at the shape of news stories, the common characteristics of letters to the editor, the distinguishing features of analysis pieces.
One assignment very important for the identification of genre features is the obituary: Who gets a Times obituary, what are the common elements of obituaries, how are they structured, what kinds of topics are developed in them and what are people praised for?
After the class spends time reading obituaries, I ask them to write an imaginary obituary for a living person whom they admire. This assignment teaches the class about what is valued in our culture and how one goes about praising the admirable.
The discussion of genre is very important in writing pedagogy, but it is easily neglected in writing courses that read mainly fiction or familiar essays because the distinctive features of the most common prose genres often go unnoticed by both teachers and students.
The third element is style and we examine style carefully all over the newspaper by asking questions like the following: Why are quotations and information attributed in certain ways in news stories?
Who gets to be an agent, a doer of action, in news stories? What kinds of technical language do we see on the sports pages? How common is figurative language?
What kinds of figures of speech do we see in various kinds of writing? Why, for instance, do we rarely see irony in news articles but often find it in Op-Ed pieces? How formal or technical is the writing and how does it vary in different sections?
What does that variation tell us about audience? I often assign students to identify 30 or 40 different figures of speech used in the news so they can learn how powerful and ubiquitous figurative language is.
We also discuss the distinctive registers of music reviews, science, business and sports reporting.Example: Co-curricular activities are activities that are planned for students after school through activities in clubs and societies.
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fields. Sep 28, · In some colleges in the UAE, men and women are being educated together. However, in most colleges, male and female students study separately. In this essay I will ask if having men and women together in class is always a good thing.