Toolbox Activity

CRTW 201

Dr. Fike

You must have Nosich's book in order to participate today. You should ideally also have a laptop computer with you.

PURPOSE: Today's exercise will help you review the "tools" we have studied in Nosich's book this semester, and it will help you prepare a toolbox ("cheat sheet") for the final examination and beyond. Your goal is the following: one sheet of paper (it can have printing on both sides) that encapsulates the main "tools" that you have studied in this course. Be sure that it includes "systems" from chapter 5.

STEP ONE: (10 minutes --> reports):

Divide into 9 groups (count off by 9, sit with your partner): In your small group, read the assigned pages, annotate them, and then share the key points with the rest of the class. This is a small- and large-group pointing exercise.

  1. 168-70

  2. 171-73

  3. 174-77

  4. 177-81 (grey box)

  5. 181-83

  6. 184-86

  7. 187-89

  8. 190-92

  9. 193-95

STEP TWO (10 minutes): Turn to the index on page 218. In your same small groups, annotate it by marking the key tools that you should take away from this course. Here is an example: "information" is a tool. Question: What should you mark? Answer: Mark the items that you want in your toolbox.

STEP THREE (10 minutes): Share your annotations with the other groups.

STEP FOUR (remainder of our time today): Work in subgroups of your original group (e.g., pairs). It depends on how many gizmos you guys brought today, but pairs would be ideal. With your partner(s), come up with a toolbox for Nosich's book. Think of it as a 1-2 page summary in whatever format, font, or language you prefer. Take the tools you identified in the index and word process them with definitions that make sense to you. Obviously, you will need to consult chapters 1-5 as you build your toolbox. The resulting document should serve as a reminder of all the major stuff in Nosich's book as you take other courses. When you get home, print it out. (If I were you, I'd laminate it!) Bring it to the final examination.


Note: There are various tools (many of them are from Writing Analytically) that you should also include in your toolbox: The Method (repetitions, strands, binaries, anomalies, "So what?"), passage-based focused freewriting, go-to sentences, T-charts, grids, collapsing or reformulating binaries, finding difference within similarity, "10 on 1," "seems to be about x but may be (is actually) about y," the five analytical moves (see the day five handout:, pointing, paraphrase (times three), reading with and against the grain, summary, and outlines. You may also want to put some of the fallacies in your toolbox.