Year 1: Foundation

The first year writing practicum is a unique opportunity to engage in intensive guided reading, writing, and revision practices.  The main goals of the first year are: 1) to gain a comprehensive understanding of what a case study is by way of example2) to learn reading comprehension and close reading through a combination of case study examples and theoretical framing texts, 3) to understand the pedagogy of case framing, which includes connective thinking, synthesis, and textual analysis, 4) to begin an annotated bibliography of module readings, and 5) to participate in the process of composition through a series of short writing assignments that each student will revise in order to be proficient in an array of writing skills, such as thesis writing, paragraphing, narrativizing through creative craft elements, using traceable scholarship, developing research skills, employing APA format correctly, and demonstrating grammatical proficiency.

The first half of the first year writing program helps set the foundation for writing the DSW portfolio products: one pragmatic narrative case study and one analytic narrative case study.  In order to achieve these goals, students will be introduced to the ways of scholarly research. Thus, students will also begin to prepare for assignments such as the continuing annotated bibliography that grows in accordance with students’ case study projects, case study and article abstracts, and a well-grounded book review.  Of course, reading and writing fundamentals are necessary for the work students do during the multi-media project in year three.

Each student will also write for an integrative blog beginning in year one, where learning the art of asking questions to inform writing practices serves as preparation for the genre of online writing that accompanies the third year multi-media project.  Finally, all students will keep an annotated bibliography that acts as a response journal for module readings.  The annotated bibliography, which students will continue to build throughout the three years of the DSW program, prepares students to conduct a scholarly literature review; it, however, accomplishes something very different than a standard literature review. A simple reference list or bibliography does not tell us much about the source materials beyond the publication and date. An annotated bibliography offers specific information on each source and evidence of the student’s intellectual journey. Thoughtful annotation results in a critical consideration of source material and its relationship to a broader field of study.It proves that the student has read and integrated the ideas.  Annotations are evidence of curiosity, interest, research skill, and diligence.

For the annotated bibliography, students prepare each entry formatted with an APA reference citation followed by about nine sentences–or, in other words, a short paragraph.  The first three sentences will summarize the thesis and argument of the text, the next three sentences or section will demonstrate the student’s response to the text, and the final three sentences will elucidate how the text relates the student’s own practice.

* In total in year one, students should compile 20-30 entries selected primarily from the module readings, though near the end of the year, students may introduce texts more directly related to their individual case studies of their own choosing.

* In total in year two, students should compile another 20-30 entries.  Most entries in year two should come from texts that directly relate to each student’s individual case study, and these should be either recommended or okayed by clinical faculty.  However, some entries in year two can come from module readings.

* In total in year three, students will add another 20-30 entries to their annotated bibliographies based on research sources for the multi-media project and any related clinical module readings.

The first three writing practicum residencies will be devoted to the basic skills of reading comprehension, connective thinking, and case framing with a series of assignments geared toward thesis writing, paragraphing, narrativizing through creative craft elements, using traceable scholarship, and employing APA format.  The revision process is key to students’ grasping these goals.  Beginning in November, we will introduce examples of case studies as well as begin the annotated bibliography project by way of example.  The December and January online residencies will focus heavily on grammar, APA citation, and the beginning “questions” students will form for the pragmatic narrative case study.  In February, students will begin to integrate their own research into the course, while March and April will be focused upon proposal writing.  From November through May, of course, we will continually build upon the skills for students’ own case study writing by way of close reading example case studies.

Next: Year 2