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extra-credit, all classes

Overview: Students at K.C.C. often LOVE extra-credit, because sometimes it seems that extra-credit is a safety net that may often save the student from a failing grade. Unfortunately, the nature of that word "extra" plays a role here—you might gain some points, but in all honesty, extra-credit will rarely make the difference when you have not done the MAJOR assignments and MINOR assignments that are assigned to completion.

Still, as your instructor, I am not stingy when it comes to giving you opportunities to better yourself and your writing







Extra-credit for the class: Meet with me during the semester, one time, to fix up one of your essays, preferably your first essay, to add a 1 point bonus to your overall course grade. At the end of the semester, if you are a borderline 89.0, I will provide you a 90, for example, for making the effort to see your instructor. I LIKE meeting with and talking to my students.


Extra-credit for Major Assignments: REVISION (points range)

In most of my classes, the major essays count for at least 60 percent of your grade. Therefore, the best and MOST RECOMMENDED form of extra-credit I can give you is the opportunity to REVISE your paper as many times you like until you are satisfied.

Students are often hesitant to take me up on this offer, because revision takes time and energy, but I will tell you, consistently, that the sky is the limit on revision. You may revise as many times as you want, and in doing so, you largely control your grade—I do not.

Revision points can count anywhere from 1 extra point to ? extra points, depending on how much and how great the improvement is:

if you only revise surface errors like grammar issues that I have looked at, the point increase might be miniscule;

but if you revise for content and for assignment fulfillment and simply revise for PRIDE, the increase might be tremendous.

I once had a student who revised her paper 12 times. She met with me personally to carefully improve the surface errors, then she began to work in earnest to really improve the sentence craft, levels of intrigue, and other dimensions of her essay. By the 5th time, her paper was already strong, and I had already given it a "100" (A+), but she was very passionate about self-improvement and she had a goal: publication in the school's journals. She revised her paper and made it into the school's journal, later submitting that paper into a nationwide contest.

I DO NOT expect that all of you will emulate this student, but this student has learned the ultimate secret of education: YOU are the ONLY one who can teach YOURSELF diligence and pride, not your teachers.









Extra-credit for Major Assignments II: (Grammar Log Sheet)

Another of my students had major problems on her paper with grammar. When she first entered my class, almost every single one of her sentences had a grammar or spelling mistake. She said that she was really angry and frustrated with her grammar problems, but she did not blame her past or previous instructors, and instead, took responsibility for her own mistakes. She started an aggressive campaign over a year to learn how to improve her grammar: she reviewed every single paper she had produced since she arrived at this school and reviewed papers that I had commented on, and made a logbook of all of her errors: the rule she broke, how she broke the rule, how she could improve, and then she wrote the corrected version of the sentence.

When I saw her a year later and viewed her paper for a UH course, I was amazed. On each page, there were only one or two errors, and very superficial ones. She had not seen a tutor. She had not seen an instructor. She had taken responsibility for her own errors.

After I give back the major assignment to you, I will reward you with points if you perform the following steps:

1. Look at the codes in the left-hand margin (ranges from 1-9) that I have circled ON YOUR PAPER. Look at your grammar textbook, any textbook, for example sentences of the marking. Most grammar textbooks OF ANY TYPE should have clear sections on grammar errors.

2. Look on my Grammar Helper and Grammar Sampler websites for explanations of what those codes mean. Search down the rule.

3. Try your best to figure out, then WRITE DOWN on a separate sheet of paper what grammar rule you broke.

4. Write down the rule.

5. Write down the incorrect sentence. Focus on only 4 major improvements at a time. If you have MANY ERRORS, be patient. Work on improving one step at a time rather than bombarding yourself with 12 things to work on. Start small.

6. Write down, to the best of your abilities, the correct sentence. Staple it to your revised essay. It is awesome when you can identify HOW TO FIX the error for future essays and assignments so that you don't do it again and again.

To be honest, this is the BEST and TRUE-TESTED method of grammar improvement: Learning from your mistakes. Studies show that hours after hours of mind-numbing, spirit-crushing grammar quizzes and tests do not make tremendous gains for the student, because those sentences in the quizzes ARE NOT the sentences that you are using.

Example of a Log Entry for an error:

CODE 3: Fragment

Rule: Sentences have a Subject (S) and a (V). If they are lacking either a S or a V, the sentence cannot be a complete sentence and is known as a fragment.

My sentence in my original paper: I had a good time playing with my cousins at the barbeque. Hearing my little cousin laugh.

The problem: In the second sentence, I have a verb, "Hearing," but I don't have the subject. If all I have is the -ing verb "Hearing," the reader forgets that "I" am the subject in that sentence and it sounds awkward and choppy. I might use a semicolon and put in "it was" to create a full SUBJECT-VERB pairing.

The revision: I had a good time playing with my cousins at the barbeque; it was especially fun to watch my little cousin laughing.



















Extra-credit for Minor-Assignments (homework)


































The point values range; nonetheless, here are some easy ways you can earn HW points.



1. Give the class and instructor a hearty greeting—loud and spirited—"Good morning" or "Good afternoon," no matter how tired or crappy you feel. Be the first and the most spirited of your classmates to do this.

2. Participate in class and participate in the blogs. If you say something or write something that assists others to comprehend things better, I will think to myself, "Damn! That was a great thought!" and give you points. Of course, I can't give you points if I do not have your codename.

3. Actions speak louder than words. Help each other. If you see someone who you think is struggling, go out of your way to give them an assist. I will be impressed and reward you openly or secretly, depending on if I think the attention will make you 'feel shame.'

4. Attend an SOS Workshop. Write up a summary and opinion of that workshop, in terms of what the content was and what you learned from it. You paid for those workshops, in any case.

5. Attend a literary, scholastic, or academic event sponsored by the school. Write up a summary and opinion of that workshop.

6. Submit (or even just try) to get your polished, revised writing into a Student Journal here at KCC. You paid 10 bucks for those journals, in any case.

7. You may write a movie review, but it should probably be written to persuade your reader NOT to see the movie or to DEFINITELY see it.






























Copyright 2008 Davin K. Kubota. All Rights Reserved.