In CPN 100 and CPN 102, students write a critical evaluation of their writing process and their writing, using their CPN 100/102 writing assignments as evidence for their evaluation.
Through the critical evaluation assignment, students in CPN 100/102 will:
- Learn and use key rhetorical concepts through analyzing and composing a variety of texts. You do this by applying what you learn to your thinking and your writing in different texts that are targeted at different audiences. As you can imagine, communicating with different groups requires changing your style and approach.
- Gain experience reading and composing in several genres to understand how genre conventions shape and are shaped by readers’ and writers’ practices and purposes. Your ability to read and understand complex, engaging texts will help you create a college-level analysis essay.
- Read a diverse range of texts, attending especially to relationships between assertion and evidence, to patterns of organization, to the interplay between verbal and nonverbal elements, and to how these features function for different audiences and situations.
In CPN 101 and CPN 103, students write a critical evaluation of how the rhetorical concepts and strategies they have learned in CPN 101/103 help them understand the work of inquiry and the choices they make as writers, readers, and thinkers. They use their CPN 101/103 writing assignments as evidence for their evaluation.
Through the critical evaluation assignment, students in CPN 101/103 will:
- Demonstrate the ability to revise and improve their written texts
- Reflect on the development of composing practices and how those practices influence their work
Things to Keep in Mind about Critical EvaluationRegardless of the approach to critical evaluation that your CPN course might have you take, it is important to remember that you should be reflecting on your development as a writer throughout the course. It is also important to keep in mind that you should go beyond surface-level reflection, and instead, you should take the time to really analyze your own work. It often happens that when thinking about reflection and writing about our own writing, we might feel uncomfortable and wind up just saying “I feel good” or “I feel bad” without much evidence for these claims. When it comes to critical evaluation in your CPN course, you should try to get as specific as possible and really think through and write about your reflection process with depth and careful consideration.
As you approach your critical evaluation assignment(s) in your CPN course, it might help to consider the following questions:
- Do you make claims about your own writing and support those claims with specific evidence and examples from your own writing in your CPN course?
- Do you engage in deep reflection and get specific about your writing process, your writing habits, your strengths and weaknesses, your rhetorical choices and strategies, etc?
- Do you consider how various stages of the writing process affect your composition practices (notes, drafting, peer and instructor feedback, revision, etc.)?
- Do you consider how your own views about writing have been challenged, changed, or shaped throughout your experiences in your CPN course?
Regardless of the range of formats and genres in which critical evaluation and reflection could take place, the main goal is for your reflection(s) as an author to help you develop an awareness of your own writing processes overall.
In this study, the author begins by citing previous research by Donald Murray on the “logic of revision” in the writing process. Next, she selects three different pieces of writing as a sample and decides to collect data from each piece in order to compare the number of comments in feedback received by the instructor, number of paragraphs in each piece, and number of places where she revised. She focuses on each piece individually, creating a series of comparative graphs and interpretation to capture her revision process. Finally, the discussion section of this study identifies what the author would do to continue to study her own writing as well as priorities for teaching students about revision in her own future classroom.
This critical evaluation essay considers Spencer’s writing process, her strengths, and her assessment of her own writing. Throughout, Spencer offers specific examples that she cites from her papers in relation to the point she is making about her writing. She thinks in detail about how prewriting and organization contribute to her writing confidence and her writing strengths. She also spends time presenting comments that she has received on her writing from teachers and what she does with that feedback.
In this critical evaluation Tran discusses the need for confidence in writing and not simply relying on summarizing or explaining sources, but connecting back to one’s main argument and extending, commenting on, or even critiquing those sources. Along with the narrative essay that Tran provides, there is also a list of “author notes” or a cover letter that accompanies the main essay. This first list of eight points helps to frame the reader’s understanding of the critical evaluation essay.
In this student example of a critical evaluation we can see how DeLillo makes claims about how his writing works based on citing from his essays within CPN 100, as well as citing from instructor comments and peer review feedback. By using his own writing and feedback he received as “texts,” DeLillo’s critical evaluation offers an example of critical evaluation in the form of an analysis, where the object of study is his own writing in CPN 100.
n her critical evaluation, Toy focuses on the progress she has made in developing her writing process as a college-level writer. Rather than relying solely on personal experience, Toy balances her essay with an analysis of her own experiences and first-person perspective and the use of several sources on writing and the writing process, including the textbook They Say/I Say. She uses her sources overall to support the claims and observations that she is bringing to her own writing, while she is talking about having learned that writing skill.
In this example of a critical evaluation essay, Zhang outlines several writing projects that he engaged in both in his past experiences in high school and in his first semester at SUNY Cortland. Throughout this reflective essay, Zhang notes how his thought process began to change about writing and how he might continue his development as a writer in the future.