University Writing Program

Instructions for CGA Classes

CGA Class 1

Prior to class:

  • Ask students to read (or skim) four articles from different genres prior to class. Instruct students to focus not so much on context but on elements of writing. 

  • Make a copy of the blank CGA tables template (also on our resources page). Note that this document includes both tables for each of the four groups and master tables at the bottom of the page.

  • Post the link of your Google Doc on LATTE.

In class:

  • Explain the goal of CGA. Unpack for students why this exercise is important and what we hope students will learn. Connect the exercise to their future writing/reading across the disciplines and in their future careers.

  • Ask students to brainstorm a list of writing elements that they might watch for in the articles. Push them to think about elements they have discussed in class, as well as other elements they noticed in reading the articles. Students created the following list:

Thesis (hypothesis) Citations (style, number) Structure
Evidence use (new data) Number of authors Use of subheadings
Writing style Type of analysis Transitions/flow
    Point of view Motive/context  Graphics
    Passive/active Abstracts Titles
    Formal/informal  Conclusions Audience/breadth
  Objective/subjective Use of quotes
  •  Put students into 4 groups. Have students work for about 45 minutes to make a comparative table or tables. Encourage students to focus on elements of writing that are most notable to them in the articles. 
  • Have students enter their information in the google doc as they work. During class,  updated Group 1, Group 2, etc. to include the names of students in each group.

CGA Class 2

In class: 

  • Show students the 3 Master Tables at the bottom of your google doc that has their group work from the day before. 

  • Keep the 4 groups from the previous class the same and assign to each group one of the articles. Using their assigned article, each group will fill in the three Master Tables and discuss why the discipline may have made the choice to present information in a certain way.

  • Bring the class together to have a meta discussion about what they noticed and why the different disciplines make their choices about organization, evidence and style. Emphasize that when students take classes in other disciplines they should ask the instructor about the conventions of writing in that discipline, including how papers are structured, cited etc…

CGA Reflection:

  • Give the students the CGA reflection prompt and spend a few minutes discussing expectations.

  • One week until the deadline gives students time to process what they’ve learned but not too much time that they lose sight of the prompt.