Once a week you will be expected to hand in a "Writing Sample," which is a term that I use to describe a piece of writing which you do on a subject of your own choice. It can be in any form or genre you like: a literary essay, a reflection, a personal narrative, a story, one or more poems, a dramatic skit, a chapter of a novel. The only constraints are that 1) it should be your own, current work (going back and pulling old pieces of writing off the computer is not acceptable) and 2) that it should represent about an hour's worth of work. (Be aware that some of your classmates will do more.)
What are some kinds approaches you might take to doing a cycle paper?
• You could work through a process of brainstorming, writing a draft, revising the draft, and then hand in all the papers leading up to and including the “final” product.
• You could do multiple drafts of a single piece of writing and hand all of them in.
• You could undertake a more ambitious first draft, take it as far as time permits, and then hand it in with the notation “To Be Continued” at the end.
• You could work on revising or expanding an earlier cycle paper.
• You could develop or expand on a topic that has come up in class discussion.
• You could maintain a log or journal based on a theme or activity that you find interesting.
• You could do a series of shorter, experimental pieces: two or three poems, for example.
A couple of suggestions:
Do type at least your final drafts.
Do hand in all your work, stapled, with earliest stuff on the bottom and the latest stuff on the top.
Do hand in a reflection paper along with your paper, especially if a) you had trouble with something b) you’re looking for specific feedback c) there is any question as to whether you spent an hour on task. The reflection paper gives you the chance to explain to me what you were trying to do, even if it didn’t work out.
Don’t wait until the night before to get started.
Don’t throw any writing out. False starts are still evidence of work you have done, and you may be able to return to them later.