Reading went well

The reading went well on Thursday. Six of my students showed up. Yesterday I walked in to class without a lesson plan. We just talked about the assignment and about what makes good writing. I had them come up with a list as the class. I thought I’d post it here and share with everyone. (I told them to be a little wacky and this is what they came up with.)

What makes a great essay according to Adri’s Seminar in Composition students.

Group 1:

  1. Humor
  2. “it just is”(a great essay)
  3. relevance
  4. readability
  5. clarity
  6. flow
  7. grammar/spelling
  8. uncensored
  9. makes you think
  10. If you like the author, it helps
  11. Topic concerns you/ you care about it
  12. well-thought, not last minute
  13. makes you want to read more
  14. ending provokes thought
  15. memorable
  16. controversy
  17. passion
  18. political satire
  19. good title
  20. ranting!

Group 2:

  1. pictures
  2. Humor
  3. not long drawn out examples or ranting
  4. make you think
  5. can be related to others
  6. structure that flows together
  7. word choice (not repetitive) -> word variation
  8. quotes that help explain the writer’s points
  9. entertaining and fun to read (never boring)

Group 3:

  1. something different
  2. a sweet quote
  3. revolutionary ideas
  4. compelling argument
  5. new words
  6. lies
  7. despair… despairé
  8. mental illness
  9. reader should feel exhausted when the finish reading

Group 4:

  1. words, usually constructed in sentence form with capital letters
  2. punctuation
  3. opinions
  4. focus
  5. transitions
  6. when done reading you think “damn, that was a good essay.”
  7. open to interpretation
  8. arguments
  9. a hook, to grab the reader
  10. imagery
  11. take the reader away
  12. flaws- nothing is perfect
  13. writer’s voice
  14. allusions

Group 5:

  1. quote with the word “penis”
  2. humor (see above)
  3. creates a picture
  4. no passive
  5. makes a point
  6. anticipate questions and give answers, gives it a WTF element
  7. good titles
  8. sarcasm
  9. unconventional
  10. offend/attack the reader at least once
  11. entertaining and keep interest
  12. gets you rowdy!
  13. have fun with It!! 🙂 [ed: the eyes of smiley are supposed to be the dots from the exclamation points]

There you have it. A complicated, contradictory list of what makes a great essay. I think my students are super smart. I think they came up with some bad-ass ideas. I can’t wait to see what they do with this.