Monday, November 29, 2010

Blog #10

Yeah! Last one. This is due before your final exam (the week of the 13th). HAVE IT DONE BY THE TIME YOU SHOW UP FOR YOUR FINAL EXAM.

What did you learn in this class? Be specific! Telling me what a great teacher I am and how you have learned SOOOO much is NOT what I'm after (although the "great teacher" part is always appreciated). I want specifics--what will you do in your writing in the future that you didn't do before this class? What aspects of the class made you feel the best about your own writing and development as a writer?

Again, this is the LAST blog entry you are going to do for me. This is for all the marbles. I expect at LEAST 3 LONG paragraphs. Tell me everything (your wishes, your dreams, your development as a writer, your children's shoe sizes, etc. -- just kidding about the shoes, really).

It has been such a pleasure the work with you all this term.

Thank you for a great semester!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blog #8 & Blog #9

Take your time on these and I'll look at both of them after Thanksgiving break.

Blog #8

How is your research paper going? What trouble are you having? What is going well? Be as detailed as you can as this will help you to "think out" any issues in your paper.

Blog #9

This blog should be a free write. I would like you to write a really, really long (4-5 paragraph) blog about this.

In the syllabus, I listed a few goals for this course. They follow, here:

1. Comprehend, analyze, and articulate a well-reasoned response to a variety of texts,
from student writing to published writing to academic discourse;
2. Evidence an understanding of how topic, audience, purpose, voice, and levels of
formality interact and vary in different rhetorical situations, in academic
disciplines, and discourse communities;
3. Utilize various invention, drafting, and revising/editing strategies to meet the
purposes of different writing situations, materials available to the student, and
length of time available for the task;
4. Engage a topic in which the student explores writing as a means of self-discovery,
establishes a voice appropriate to the topic selected and rhetorical context, and
produces a text that is designed to persuade the reader of the student’s
5. Clarify major aims, arrange material to support aims, and provide sufficient
materials to satisfy expectations of readers;
6. Understand the process of research, both in the library and through electronic
media, and develop effective research strategies;
7. Select, evaluate, and interact effectively with sources, subordinating them to the
student’s purpose and creating confidence that the sources have been fairly
represented and acknowledged with academic integrity, particularly in
summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting statements or reproducing audio-visual
8. Demonstrate a satisfactory control over the conventions of edited American
English and competently attend to the elements of presentation (including layout,
visual elements, format, printing, and consistent style of documentation)
appropriate to the academic discipline or discourse community;
9. Ethically employ appropriate computer-generated technology to the production of
a writing project;
10. Recognize the importance of writing as essential to inquiry, learning, thinking,
communicating, life-long learning, and as a career skill.

How did you meet or are you meeting these goals? In which papers? What revisions are you still working on? Why?

If you are having problems writing this, I suggest that you take a look at Michelle's example. Here's a link to her electronic portfolio.

Remember that her "guiding reflection" is focused on other course goals, but they are similar to ours. Follow through the whole portfolio to get a good idea of what I want you to do -- only you lucked out and you needn't compose an electronic portfolio.

This course was equivalent to English 101 at WCC. Keep that in mind. Also, the links contained in Michelle's guiding reflection, itself, are different than those in the bar at the top of the page. For example, the link to Essay 1 at the top of the page takes you to a final copy of that paper. In the guiding reflection, there is a copy of the paper that has "reflection" as an actual part of the document. There are additional links there, too. It's just a really good portfolio -- she was also an adult, returning student with a "unique" past.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blog #7

Define "humor." Are you thinking of Jim Carrey movies, or something more subtle? Do you have to laugh out loud when something is funny? Was the article about the cocaine dealer that we read, "funny."

Also, define "style." Are you picturing Jane Seymour or Sean Connery, or are you thinking of the ways in which you incorporate "style" into your papers.

Remember, YOU have a voice -- how do you get it into your papers?

This blog is due on Saturday, November 13th at midnight.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blog #6

I know this comes as a shock [note: sarcasm], but due this Friday at midnight (10/29) is your reflection for your Critical Analysis.

Here's the assignment:

Write a nice, long STANDARD reflection -- what did you like/dislike? What will you change? What won't you change? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera ...

Really, your responses have been a little short. This was a long paper, so the reflection should be long.

Any questions at all -- call me :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blog #5

This entry is due Sunday, October 17th by midnight-ish.

Even without having your paper back (the Evaluative Summary), I would like you to think about what you could have done differently. What about using stronger verbs? Did you effectively discuss whether or not the article's argument was successful? Did you follow the assignment? Is your opinion in the paper? How did you get it there? Did you complete a summary of the article?

Use this reflection as a jumping point for your first revision. I know that it is hard to rewrite something you have considered complete. Good writers rewrite constantly! Aim for a complete rewrite while you keep the "essence" of your paper intact. Look for ways to better say what you said before. For example, try to write the entire paper without using "is, are, was, or were." Instead, use verbs that really demonstrate what you are trying to say. ACTIVE VERBS!

This assignment is due Friday, October 19th by midnight. You should bring your first revision of your evaluative summary to your conference on the 21st.

For Help on Rewrites

Here are the major points from the power point I showed you in class. This can help if you get stuck on your rewrites.


* Start with TSCD.
* Do I need to make new paragraphs? Where?
* Are there enough concrete details? Commentaries?
* Do I close every paragraph?
* Does everything I say in each paragraph relate to the topic sentence?
* Does every paragraph have a topic sentence?


* Is there a transition between every paragraph?
* What kind of transition?
* Is it located at the end of a paragraph or the beginning?
* Is it good there?
* Should I move it?

Diction/Word Choice:

* What about my verbs?
* Is every verb doing SOMETHING?


* Does everything -- EVERYTHING reply to my thesis?
* Is my thesis strong enough? Should I rewrite it?

Make sure to call me or e-mail me if you need some help or just someone to "whine" to. Remember that I've written "a few" papers in my time :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blog #4

YOU MUST HAVE THIS DONE BEFORE WE MEET IN THE COMPUTER LAB (Monday, October 11th or Thursday, October 14).

The success of any paper hinges on your interest in the topic and your willingness to pick a side.

In the interest of encouraging you to find new ideas, what follows is a list of topics I will not allow you to write on for your argument paper: steriod use, drug use, abortion, euthanasia, cigarette smoking (including smoking bans), alcohol use/abuse, suicide, child abuse, or the death penalty. These topics have been done to death and you really cannot say anything that I haven't already heard (on either side).

I have the last say on topics so aim for creative and interesting. For this assignment, post a blog entitled "Research Paper Free Write" in which you think about your outside interests. Are you active in sports? In a Greek organization? In a chess club? What issues do you talk about with your friends? What upsets you about the evening news? What encourages you in the newspaper? Are you interested in world affairs? Movies? Television? I want to know what you are thinking about every day. This post should be at least 2 or 3 long paragraphs. I will get back to each of you, individually, with topic ideas drawn from this post. Don't short change yourself in this assignment. Take it seriously and really think about those issues with which you come into contact every day.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Blog #3

For this entry, I would like you to reflect upon what you learned about yourself, as a writer, while working on the informal summary (this is the one you wrote as a group). Think deeply! You may have learned that you are a leader in a group. You may have learned that you don't like to write with a group of people. You may have found that you are a better or less competent student than you thought you were. You may have realized that you were not as prepared as you would have liked to have been.

If I knew that this were true ... no. Just joking. Remember -- no stress on these reflections! Honesty is (sometimes) the best policy.

Now, also reflect on your objective summary (it was just like the informal summary, only you were to have written it by yourself).

250 words-ish. This is due on your blog by Monday, September 27th at midnight.

Blog #2

This week, you need to reflect on your diagnostic essay that you wrote (this blog is due 9/26 by 5:00 p.m.). I would like you to think about your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Just telling me what you want to improve upon is NOT sufficient. All of you have strengths as writers...what are they?

Was it hard for you to write this essay? Why? What would you do differently if you had the chance to do it over again? What would you do the same? Why? Do you enjoy writing? If so, what do you like? If not, what would help you enjoy it more?

As always, your response should be lengthy (see the post about guidelines for blogs).

From now on, all reflections should be done by the date due that I give you in the blog. Just because the due date/time does not fall during our class time does not mean I won’t expect it “on time.” I will check the blogs some time after the due date/time.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Congratulations! You got here. In this space, I will post regular announcements and assignments for our class. The first announcement is that you are to each create your own "blogger" blog. Make sure that you post a "test" post -- use "test" as both the title line and the message.

After doing so, copy the link directly out of the address line and e-mail it to me at

This is a pretty significant part of your grade. If you are having ANY problems with this, make sure that you call me at the number listed on the syllabus (or, actually, the corrected cell phone number I sent you). I can talk you through any of this.

Watch this space for any new announcements.

See you next week!

Blog #1 & Guidelines for Posts

Guidelines for Posts

Each post needs to be a "free write." In other words, I will not be "grading" you on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Your typing ability should not impact your grade for this portion of your final grade.

I expect each post to be quite lengthy -- around 250 words (ask if you do not know how to cut/paste into Word to do a word count). Each post should show me that you have adequately reviewed the assigned readings. Your opinion matters to me and should show through in your comments. I will NOT mark you down for having an opinion that differs from mine (either as a person, or as a teacher). I WILL mark you down for not answering the following question: WHY? No opinion is valid in writing unless you answer that question.

Above all, address what I ask you to address in the assignment for the week and try to avoid tangental thinking and writing.

Blog #1

I would like you to reflect on those sections in your reading that were NOT articles (sections pertaining to writing or the writing process). Please tell me what is similar about the sections to what you have previously learned and what is different. Please highlight sections you found interesting and/or new to you. These sections are, I think, some of the most important for developing a basis for your research paper.

I also asked you to read some articles out of They Say, I Say. You need not discuss these in your blog post.

Blog #1 is due by midnight on September 5th (Sunday). Yes, I will know when you posted this. I will begin grading about the time I get to school on the 6th. Remember, my dog wakes me up at around 5:30 every morning.