A variation on using an entire sample paper is to discuss one or more brief excerpts that illustrate a technique you want students to employ.
Reading excerpts takes less time, and using two introductions reduces the chance you’ll promote a single, rigid model of a good paper.
Rather than setting aside large blocks of time to talk about writing, most WR courses integrate writing and discussions of writing into the regular activities of the course.
Almost any attention you pay to writing during class time will do double duty: it will help students understand the material more deeply, and it will help them write about it more effectively.
If you write these down, students can think about the skills involved even before they start writing: when they’re reading for your course, during lecture and discussion, when thinking about their topics, etc.
This handout can greatly enhance the discussion of writing in your course.Read through them quickly (5-10 seconds a piece) and take notes on recurrent themes or questions—these findings can guide the opening of the next day’s lecture or discussion.For the students, the one-minute paper prompts them to start synthesizing the lesson and to identify elements for review.By allowing students to discuss aspects of their peers’ writing, they in turn internalize how to recognize particular writing issues and methods for addressing them.For example, an instructor could spend a few minutes discussing what makes a strong argument, and then ask students to share and give feedback on each other’s statements of argument for an upcoming essay.You should also identify moments in the main course readings where authors demonstrate good techniques, although this approach will be more relevant with secondary sources than with primary documents.When you return a set of papers, take a few minutes to talk about the general strengths and weaknesses of the batch.This is the kind of ‘pushing back against sources’ I want you to practice in your papers.” Just handing out a good example from a previous semester will help some students produce better papers.You can enhance the effect by taking one minute to explain what you like about the sample.These moments of modeling can be made more effective if you call attention to them, especially if you echo the language of your Writing Guide.E.g., “Note that I’ve borrowed one of Rubin’s terms, but redefined it.