For my last reflection activity in the Pedagogy Master class, I’m supposed to reflect on a disposable assignment. A disposable assignment is one that has no value outside of the classroom it was generated for.
To be fair, I haven’t had a lot of those, but one that sticks out is a process-analysis essay I had to do in Freshman comp. This is terrible because I’m actually going to assign a process-analysis essay, but I don’t think mine will be disposable.
For my process-analysis essay, I had to write a “how to” on an activity that I had done recently. (This was close, but not quite, an essay on what I did that summer.) The prof’s ideas amounted to “what do you do while working at McDonald’s” or, in my case, “how to audition for a show.”
I outlined the steps that I followed, wrote the essay according the handout he gave us and then forgot about the assignment once I had handed it in.
The process analysis essay, the poor thing, is so abused. I’ve managed to make it work for me. At an Ag & Tech school, I had Auto Tech students do a Process-Analysis on a car repair, taking care to make sure the language they used would imitate the language they used to explain to a customer why a repair might be so costly. I got great results, as well as a catalog of repair instructions for my 2002 Focus. (No, they didn’t get extra points. I happened to have a Ford, the program they were in happened to be Ford based. 🙂
The process analysis I would like students to do is more of a meta-analysis in that students have to think about and document how they came to understand how to do a rhetorical analysis. Even as I write this, the concept is a little scary since so many of my students are ALP students and have writing phobias. I have to be very careful in how I introduce this. It will be called the “how to do a rhetorical analysis” essay and nothing else because words matter.
This is big for me since it could conceivably take up the next to papers. Paper 3 may fail. But I have a plan B. I always have a plan B and I’m good at adapting.