"I’ve recently experimented in my composition classes with an assignment I call the Twitter-essay, in which students condense an argument with evidential support into 140 characters, which they unleash upon a hashtag (or trending topic) in the Twitter-verse. Tweets often attempt to convey as much information in as few words as possible. A tweet could be seen, then, not as a paragon of the many potential horrors of student writing, but as a model of writerly concision. In composing their Twitter-essay, I have students proceed through all the steps I would have them take in writing a traditional academic essay, including brainstorming, composing, workshopping, and revising. I also have them consider and research their audience, the Twitter members engaged in discussion around a particular hashtag. Finally, I have them work dynamically with the Tweets of their peers, responding to them on Twitter and close-analyzing them in class. I ask the students to consider their word-choice, use of abbreviation, punctuation, etc. To model the activity for them and to give them a sense for the shape of a Twitter-essay, I compose my instructions for the assignment in exactly 140 characters and post them to Twitter." Jesse Stommel
A beautifully written post in which Jesse shares details and illustrations of the assignment she set for her students. Worksheet provided.
Via Anne Whaits, Jim Lerman