I admit it: I hate writing conclusions. Often I just stop or trail off and submit the essay without any conclusion at all, because I am so sick of the article and don't want to bother to figure out how to sum up a big complex argument. Sometimes I end with a really punchy closing line, journalism-editorial style, rather than anything that wraps up my argument and points out to further implications.
And if I hate writing conclusions, I think I hate teaching conclusions even more. I just went back through my folders and flashdrive files from the past couple years of teaching comp and can't find a single thing on conclusions --- no handouts, no powerpoints, no directions to students. I probably just didn't really bother teaching them at all.
Now, when you teach the first semester of comp, there is so much to cover, and the students (at least here) need so much repetition on what is a claim vs. what is a factual statement, or how to structure a paragraph, that I think it's ok to skip something like conclusions or have the students patch something together on their own. But I'm having huge troubles filling my second-semester comp class schedule.
First of all, I had to have a graded assignment back to them by "early grade reporting time," which means I really compressed a lot of the prep assignments. And in order to get the proposal draft on the early side of spring break (so I had time to grade grade grade), I compressed a lot of the writing process steps even further. Now it seems weird to go back and re-teach stuff that they pretty much got the first time around.
Second, I modeled my schedule off of the one schedule the adjunct comp coordinator was willing to pass along to me, which means my stuff came due much earlier in the semester than everyone else's. (meaning my fellow postdocs.) He has them all present their finished research papers at the end of the semester, but then also has them return to the anthology and present on readings for a week. That just seems like silly filler at this point.
My officemates and such just got their proposals and are spending the next few weeks going over how to turn the proposals into the longer research paper. I've already done that, and drafts are due next week, the research paper the week after that. So I have all of this week to "fill" as well as all of the last week of the semester. This week says we will go over APA and documentation styles, but I already did that when I ran out of stuff to go over last week.
So, help. Anybody got helpful guidelines on how to teach conclusions? Any suggestions for filling a week or so of MWF classes for students who have already got down the basics of research and writing? Someone suggested grammar exercises, but while each of them have a few (different) major grammar troubles, that seems like pure punishment on them this late in the semester.