Writing & Library Research Methods Lesson Plan: Paper Proposal Workshop

Lesson objective(s):  To allow peer feedback on paper proposals

Total estimated time: 30 minutes

Additional outcome(s):

Students will learn to better evaluate proposals and to think more closely about their own.  This will also give them an opportunity to engage with the work their peers are doing.

Course work or assignment underway:

This will happen about halfway through the semester, when students have already spent a good deal of time thinking about the subject of the class.  They will have written a research proposal for their final paper.

Work and/or reading completed before class:

Research proposal draft, which poses a research question and lists some types of sources that may be useful in answering it.

Sequence of Classroom Activities

Students will be split into groups of three.  Each student will read the other two students’ proposals, one at a time and will answer these questions about it:

1)    Which of the authors we have read might be interested in a question like this?

2)    Write two possible claims that one might make in response to the question posed here.

3)    Write down question that is narrower than the one that is proposed, and one that is broader.  Of the three, which is the most interesting?

4)    Look over the list of source types. What source types have been overlooked?

5)    Name two resources (that is, specific library databases, the catalog, etc.) that the person who made this proposal should consider using to find sources for the annotated bibliography.

After finishing one, pass the proposal to the left. Students will have about 10 minutes per proposal.

After both proposals are finished, students will have an opportunity to discuss their thoughts with each other.  They will be asked to try to give each other concrete advice about the annotated bibliography and the paper.  They will have about 10 minutes (~3 minutes per proposal).

Reflection on the lesson’s success or alternative approaches:

I am considering asking students to revise their proposals based on these responses and turn them in at the following class meeting. That way, the proposals that I receive will have had a little more thought put into them and the students will be better prepared for my comments.

Posted in Peer Review & Revision

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