Teaching Tuesday: Michael Martone’s Hypoxic Workshop


cg2The Opposite of the Hypoxic Workshop

I’ve always been a firm believer in the power of critiques. Lately however, I’ve started calling them “Critique Essays.”

“Don’t treat these like off-the-cuff responses,” I tell my undergraduates. “You’re writing a paper about a work of fiction–only it’s still in progress.”

As much as I hate the word “paper,” it’s a word that students understand. It means they have to analyze. They have to say what they mean as clearly as possible, back up their points, refer directly to the text, etc.

I give them a rubric, a template that describes in detail how critiques should look, what I want them to include. Here is my assignment sheet for writing critiques. Day, Critique Essay Directions

And then I grade them. I give out a lot more C’s and D’s on these than on any other assignment in the course. Continue reading

Changing Habits During NaNo


Survey Question 2: Did you start writing on Nov. 1 or before?

9 students started on Nov. 1

4 students started before Nov. 1 (sometime around Oct. 1)

Are you happy with that decision?

All the students who started on Oct. 1 are happy with that decision. And they are all cruising right along, almost done.

Of the 9 students who started on Nov. 1, five are happy with that decision and four are not. Not surprisingly, the four who are not happy with their decision had the lowest word counts. Continue reading