Comp Updates

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Syllabus Update the Last

A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.

              Wendell Berry

Weeks Seventeen and Eighteen (sort of) (1.4-1.15):

Monday:

Welcome back. We will shift into our final unit, looking at the rhetorical triangle of logos, ethos, and pathos. For some, the lucky ones, this will be review. We will be using these elements of rhetoric to analyze commercials and political advertisements, working together to analyze as many as possible in class as practice.

Then you have to choose one commercial or political advertisement that we have NOT looked at together in class and write a 2-4 page analysis of that commercial/advertisement. That paper is due by Friday, January 15.

I wish I could give you another weekend to polish your analysis, but our district made the curious decision to end one semester and begin the next in the same week, leaving those of us who teach college writing classes more than a little “under the cosh,” as our British friends like to say.

This 2-4 page analysis fulfills the DMACC mandate, a mandate that we will discuss briefly in class Monday. As part of that mandate, three students from each section have been chosen by DMACC to have their essays sent in for assessment. No fear: the assessment is anonymized, and is used to judge ENG 105 as a whole, not you individually, me individually, or even our sections.

 

Tuesday:

Continue to view and analyze commercials and advertisements to prepare for the analysis paper.

We will make use of the following websites, though when it comes time to choose your own, you may use any online resource you can find. YouTube alone has a plethora of commercials and advertisements.

 https://archive.org/details/ClassicT1948

 

http://superbowlcommercials.tv/

 

We will also make use of the following resources for the rhetorical triangle in general and advertising analysis in particular:

PersuasiveTechniques.pdf

 

 

 

Wednesday:

No class. Your final book blog response is due in the SAME forum you used for the first part by class time tomorrow. Please be sure to return any books that belong to the classroom library.

Once again I am offering a smidgen of extra credit for anyone who shares a “Shelfie” with me featuring your book (I’d advise grabbing the cover for this purpose).

 

Thursday:

Self assess final book blog posts and return books.

Final day for in-class analysis of commercials and advertisements. I will create a forum in which you need to paste the link of the commercial you plan to use for analysis.

You also need to include this link at the beginning of your analysis essay.

 

Friday:

No class. You need to have provided your link in the appropriate forum by regular class time. Feel free to come in if you have questions about your choice.

 

Monday 1.11:

We will complete the required DMACC Scantron evaluation. It takes about three minutes minimum and five minutes maximum.

Time to analyze and draft.

 

Tuesday 1.12:

Time analyze and draft.

Wednesday 1.13:

No class.

 

Thursday 1.14:

 

Turn in your Hacker Guides. Those of you who are with me in Comp II next semester will get a copy back next week. Those of you with Ms. Gach will receive a copy from her.

Time to analyze and draft.

 The link to your finished essay must be submitted by the beginning of school on Friday, January 15. You are not required to write a reflection for this essay, as that is not part of the DMACC update.

Make sure your essay contains the link to view your advertisement; I cannot assess your analysis (which is the most important part of this essay, by far) if I cannot view the advertisement you are analyzing.

I will comment directly within Google Documents.

 

For those chosen by DMACC for the ENG 105 assessment, I will download your essays and print them off. (Names are removed before printing.)

 

Read more…

Week Fifteen + Holiday Remix Syllabus Update

One of the tragedies of our lives is how much we miss out on because we think there's something

more interesting happening wherever we aren't; it is a lesson always learned too late.

                                            Alex Balk

Week Fifteen + Holiday Remix (12.14-12.23):

Monday:

Make sure your "Love" concept draft is shared with me and your writing group members before class begins. 2-4 pages and a works cited with the two essays we analyzed in class.

We will begin with the read-aloud peer response protocol. As these essays are shorter, I imagine all group members will have time to read and receive oral feedback today. If not, we can finish in class tomorrow.

When you have finished listening and sharing, then proceed to the documents themselves to add thoughtful comments.

Tuesday:

Continue with the peer response protocol, and then begin to revise your own essay. As we seek a gradual release of responsibility for you as writers, I will not be reading/commenting on your preliminary draft. However, I am happy to entertain specific questions in class today or via e-mail (or in person) the rest of the week.

Wednesday (shortened periods):

No class. The first book blog post of your second book needs to be posted by class time tomorrow. Please go to the "Rising Above the Blather" forum (found on the menu bar to your right) and add a new discussion. The title of the discussion should be the title of your book.

Thursday:

As we did before, writing groups will read and leave one thoughtful, open-ended question for each of their group members. I will do the same as I assess them over the weekend. Any remaining time is for revising the "Love" essay, which needs to be submitted by the end of the school day Monday. (This means you have time in class for any last-minute revisions or submissions.)

Friday:

No class. Stop in if you have questions about the "Love" essay.

For Tuesday, we will follow the same submission protocol as we have previously. Please write a reflection on the essay in the body of the e-mail you send me, and then attach your essay to the e-mail. Prompts for the "Love" reflection are found below:

How did the essays we read in class influence your thinking on the concept?

What do you identify as your "thesis"? In other words, what is your operational definition of "love"?

What is the best sentence in your essay, and why?

What are the strengths of your essay?

What are the weaknesses of your essay?

If we had devoted more time to this concept, what would you have added to your essay?

Finally, please self-assess your essay according to the categories listed on the rubric.

Monday 21 December:

We will finish up the "Love" essays and bemoan that we aren't greeting the break as the end of our semester. Make sure your final drafts and reflection are shared by class time tomorrow, as I hope to begin assessing these drafts right away.

Tuesday 22 December (shortened periods):

No class. Enjoy your holiday break. Note that the second part of your book two book response is due on January 7.  We will see you again on January 4.

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Week Fourteen Syllabus Update

When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.

        Thomas Szasz

Week Fourteen (12.7-12.11):

We will be making a few changes to the semester syllabus. These are made as I recognize the reality of having sixty-six Comp students and what I am able to do, given what else I am also required to do for my other non-Comp students. I am not particularly happy about these changes, but I also realize that what I always said to my soccer teams holds true for myself this semester: control what you can.

The final book blog response dates are not changing. Response one to the first half of book two is still due on December 17, and the final response is still due on January 7. Thus I urge you to turn in your first books and have your second books approved posthaste.

The shared (shared as in we are all writing about the same concept; you are still writing your own paper) concept paper on love will be due on Tuesday, December 22. This paper should be two to four pages in length, and the only two required sources are the two essays we will have read in class. You certainly can add additional research, but you are not required to do so (more sources can help your paper's grade, but the lack of additional sources will in no way hurt your grade). You will share your first drafts with your group on December 14--these are meant to be quick first drafts, as we will have been reading about, talking about, and thinking about this concept for two weeks together in class before you write your draft. I WILL NOT be commenting on your first drafts--we are working on a gradual release of responsibility here.

You will have no additional outside of class work over the weekend or next week; this is the time you should be reading for the book response and starting your rough drafts. 

After break, we will have a mini-unit introducing (or re-introducing, depending on which classes you have taken) the elements of rhetoric: logos, ethos, and pathos. We will use them to analyze commercials, both for products and for politicians (who are mostly now, let's be honest, products themselves). We will use rhetoric extensively in Comp II.

Your final assignment will no longer be a portfolio. This bothers me, but I see no choice. When I began as a Comp instructor, DMACC required an end-of-course portfolio as a way to show your progression as a writer over the semester. Even after DMACC no longer required the portfolio, we continued to utilize it. But now that DMACC requires an analysis paper instead, doing both in the same semester has become too much, both for students and for instructors who fear this year may break them. As DMACC has no required paper for Comp II, I will be moving the portfolio to an end-of-term Comp II project. This will also help those students who switch instructors in Comp II.

In place of the portfolio will be the required DMACC analysis of two to four pages. Per DMACC rules, these will be your analysis and your analysis only. This analysis paper will be over the commercial or political advertisement of your choice (it just can't be one of the models we will use to analyze together in class). This final paper will be due on Friday, January 15.

Monday:

We will begin reading our second love concept model in class. Your group will read together, coming up with a strategy of how many paragraphs to read before stopping to discuss and analyze. This process will continue on Tuesday.

Tuesday:

We will continue with our second love concept model in class, discussing as a large group when all are done.

Wednesday:

No class. You should be starting your love concept paper. You are required to use both the Ansari essay and Livatino essay as sources. Otherwise, your concept paper should show your thinking on the concept. Two to four pages, draft due Monday.

Thursday:

Time in class to work on love draft and ask questions. 

Friday:

No class. Continue to work on your love draft, which you need to share with me and your writing group by class time on Monday, December 14th. Remember also that your first book response is due on Thursday, December 17.

Read more…

Week Thirteen Syllabus Update

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of.
                 Goethe

Week Thirteen (11.30-12.4):

Final draft of the concept paper is due on Friday, December 4; below are the prompts for the reflection for the concept paper:

 

N.B.  Although this guide presents reflection prompts in bulleted form, your written reflection should be in complete paragraphs on separate paper. 

Questions to consider as you reflect on the process and the product:

  • What are the strengths of your essay?
  • What are the weaknesses? 
  • Consider the purpose of the essay: to explain/define a concept by approaching the topic from multiple angles. How well did you meet this objective, and what are the perspectives you used to frame your concept?
  • How well does each paragraph do in adding to your reader’s understanding of the concept itself?
  • Reflect upon your research: What was your strategy? Where did you look? What sources did you consider but ultimately not use?
  • We talked about the difficulty of closing a concept paper. What was your closing strategy?
  • What would you do differently if you were assigned this piece again?
  • How helpful to your writing were comments from your peers?
  • What was most difficult in the writing of the essay?
  • Considering the time allotted for this piece, to what degree does your final product represent your best effort as a writer?

When you have finished writing your reflection, please give yourself a letter grade for the final draft.  This self-assessment should come after you have reflected; the more thorough and honest your reflection, the more inclined I am to take your self- assessment seriously.

The second book blog response for book one needs to be posted by the end of the day on Wednesday, December 2 (we will not meet physically that day).

NOTE: I am offering a tidbit of extra credit for anyone who takes a creative "shelfie" with their book and shares it with me either via Twitter or via e-mail. Examples of shelfies can be found by clicking on the "Shelfies" tab on the menu bar to the right.

Be sure to post your second response in the SAME discussion as you posted your first response. DO NOT create a new discussion for the second half of the book.

Tuesday:

We started the semester thinking about the concept of "college" (we didn't yet frame it as such, but if you think back to those first heady weeks, that's what we were doing). Now, with our eyes more on the end of the semester than the beginning, we think about another life concept: love. We will begin by analyzing Aziz Ansari's essay on the topic. My goal is to finish all or most of it in class; what we do not finish you need to finish on your own so your group can finish its in-class work tomorrow. With the snow day, and your book response due tomorrow, you do not need to finish Ansari's essay on your own. We will finish in class on Thursday (or maybe Wednesday, if you are in seventh period).

Wednesday (shortened classes):

No class. Seventh period will have the option of making up our snow day today, as they have a full period on our shortened schedule. Make sure you have posted the second response to your first book in the same discussion you created for the first response.

Thursday:

We will begin by quickly self-assessing our second book response.

Writing groups will construct (literally, as we will be using butcher paper to show our work) a scratch outline/analysis of Ansari's essay. Groups must also include their one-sentence answer to Monday's "What is Love?" question on their poster/presentation AND a fresh visual representation of the concept itself. A group name is also a requirement. We will present these in class on Friday.

Friday:

We will have class fourth, fifth, and possibly seventh periods today. Hope you used your snow day wisely.

Groups will have a few minutes to finalize their presentation of their Love analysis. If any time remains after presentations are completed, we will begin reading our second essay on the concept of love. We will pick up on Monday where we leave off today.

The final draft of your concept paper must be submitted by the end of the school day. Same submission protocol as last time:

Save your draft as either .doc, .docx, or .rtf. (As too many of you learned last time, .gdoc is NOT a viable option.) Attach that draft to an e-mail sent to me. Write your reflection and self assessment (prompts are found above) directly into the body of the e-mail.

Also: You should be turning in your first book and choosing your second (look to the list you created during our book pass). This can be done Wednesday if you are ready, or it can be done today. It will NOT be done Thursday during class time.

Read more…

Week Twelve Holiday Remix Syllabus Update

Everywhere in enormous numbers turkeys will be dying

and other birds, all their wings.

They never greatly flew. Did they wish to?

I should know. Off away somewhere once I knew

such things.

John Berryman Dream Song 385

Week Twelve Remix (11.23-11:24):

I continue to work on responding to concept drafts. If you want a guaranteed response, you need to contact me by early Sunday so I can plan my response time. With the snow moving the final day of speech auditions to Monday, my out-of-school time that day is again limited. Most class times for Monday are already booked, but Tuesday spots are available. I am also available before school on Tuesday.

The final draft of the concept paper is due on Friday, December 4. Same submission process as the last time. We will be moving on in class after the Thanksgiving break, and my speech about honoring the break holds true for instructors as well: I'm not responding to drafts during break (specific questions, yes, but not drafts). 

For those of you who may wish to work ahead, below are the prompts for the reflection for the concept paper:

 

N.B.  Although this guide presents reflection prompts in bulleted form, your written reflection should be in complete paragraphs on separate paper. 

Questions to consider as you reflect on the process and the product:

  • What are the strengths of your essay?
  • What are the weaknesses? 
  • Consider the purpose of the essay: to explain/define a concept by approaching the topic from multiple angles. How well did you meet this objective, and what are the perspectives you used to frame your concept?
  • How well does each paragraph do in adding to your reader’s understanding of the concept itself?
  • Reflect upon your research: What was your strategy? Where did you look? What sources did you consider but ultimately not use?
  • We talked about the difficulty of closing a concept paper. What was your closing strategy?
  • What would you do differently if you were assigned this piece again?
  • How helpful to your writing were comments from your peers?
  • What was most difficult in the writing of the essay?
  • Considering the time allotted for this piece, to what degree does your final product represent your best effort as a writer?

 When you have finished writing your reflection, please give yourself a letter grade for the final draft.  This self-assessment should come after you have reflected; the more thorough and honest your reflection, the more inclined I am to take your self- assessment seriously.

Over the weekend, I will assess and respond with a question to each book blog response. (I had hoped to start on this during the week, but such is my life with my current student load. Yes, that's what you are: a load.) The second response needs to be posted by the end of the day on Wednesday, December 2 (we will not meet physically that day).

Be sure to post your second response in the SAME discussion as you posted your first response. DO NOT create a new discussion for the second half of the book.

Monday:

Remember when it snowed and we got out early? Good times. Continue to revise concept drafts; those of you who are ahead of the game would do well to work on your second book blog post (or on doing the reading to allow you to reach that point).

Tuesday:

Final day to conference over your concept paper draft. We will be moving on in class beginning on Monday, November 30. Enjoy your break--we all deserve one.

Read more…

Week Twelve Holiday Remix Syllabus Update

Everywhere in enormous numbers turkeys will be dying

and other birds, all their wings.

They never greatly flew. Did they wish to?

I should know. Off away somewhere once I knew

such things.

John Berryman Dream Song 385

Week Twelve Remix (11.23-11:24):

I continue to work on responding to concept drafts. If you want a guaranteed response, you need to contact me by early Sunday so I can plan my response time. With the snow moving the final day of speech auditions to Monday, my out-of-school time that day is again limited. Most class times for Monday are already booked, but Tuesday spots are available. I am also available before school on Tuesday.

The final draft of the concept paper is due on Friday, December 4. Same submission process as the last time. We will be moving on in class after the Thanksgiving break, and my speech about honoring the break holds true for instructors as well: I'm not responding to drafts during break (specific questions, yes, but not drafts). 

For those of you who may wish to work ahead, below are the prompts for the reflection for the concept paper:

 

N.B.  Although this guide presents reflection prompts in bulleted form, your written reflection should be in complete paragraphs on separate paper. 

Questions to consider as you reflect on the process and the product:

  • What are the strengths of your essay?
  • What are the weaknesses? 
  • Consider the purpose of the essay: to explain/define a concept by approaching the topic from multiple angles. How well did you meet this objective, and what are the perspectives you used to frame your concept?
  • How well does each paragraph do in adding to your reader’s understanding of the concept itself?
  • Reflect upon your research: What was your strategy? Where did you look? What sources did you consider but ultimately not use?
  • We talked about the difficulty of closing a concept paper. What was your closing strategy?
  • What would you do differently if you were assigned this piece again?
  • How helpful to your writing were comments from your peers?
  • What was most difficult in the writing of the essay?
  • Considering the time allotted for this piece, to what degree does your final product represent your best effort as a writer?

 When you have finished writing your reflection, please give yourself a letter grade for the final draft.  This self-assessment should come afte you have reflected; the more thorough and honest your reflection, the more inclined I am to take your self- assessment seriously.

Over the weekend, I will assess and respond with a question to each book blog response. (I had hoped to start on this during the week, but such is my life with my current student load. Yes, that's what you are: a load.) The second response needs to be posted by the end of the day on Wednesday, December 2 (we will not meet physically that day).

Be sure to post your second response in the SAME discussion as you posted your first response. DO NOT create a new discussion for the second half of the book.

Monday:

Remember when it snowed and we got out early? Good times. Continue to revise concept drafts; those of you who are ahead of the game would do well to work on your second book blog post (or on doing the reading to allow you to reach that point).

Tuesday:

Final day to conference over your concept paper draft. We will be moving on in class beginning on Monday, November 30. Enjoy your break--we all deserve one.

Read more…

Week Twelve Syllabus Update

I don't read self-help books--unless you count every book I've read.

                  Donalyn Brooks

 

Week Thirteen (11.16-11.20):

 

If you share your draft of your book response with me by Sunday at 3:00 p.m, I will make every effort to give you some quick response. Look to the rubric, student models, and my annotated model, all found in the About section of our Google Classroom.

 

Monday:

Make sure your book response is posted by class time today. Please post your book blog response as a new discussion in the Rising Above the Blather forum. The title of your book should be the title of your new post. I understand that some formatting (like italics) may drop when you paste in your response.

 

In class, we will read and respond to the book posts of our writing group members with one open-ended, thoughtful question. I will model this question-asking in class with one of your posts. The book blog post over the second half of your book is due on 12.2. If you wish to respond to the questions before that (depending on what the question asks), you can. Or you can embed the responses to the questions of your group (and me) in the second post.

 

Any time remaining is for revising concept paper drafts.

 

When you feel you have completed your revisions, do the following:

 

1)Resolve all comments left by your group (I've already read them)

 

2)Leave me comments about your own draft--what do you want specific feedback on? (This should not simply be mechanical/convention issues, either) AND tell me what level of response you want from me:

 

a)Bless--I will tell you what is working in your current draft, or

b)Assess--I will let you know where this draft stands on our rubric, or

c)Press--I will do a line edit and comment thoroughly (not for the faint of heart)

 

3)Send me an e-mail telling me you are ready for me to give your draft a read. If you would rather conference over your paper in person, let me know that as well and we will set up a time to do this.

 

I respond to drafts in the order I receive notification. 

 

I have speech auditions before and after school this week, which means less time outside of class to conference; due to this, I am moving the final due date of the concept paper to 12.4. However, we will be moving on in class beginning on 11.30.

 

Tuesday:

 Revision and concept paper conferences.

 

Wednesday (shortened classes):

 No class. I can meet with one student during first period, one during fourth period, one during fifth period, and two during seventh period (as that is the longer lunch period on this shortened day).

 

Thursday:

Revision and concept paper conferences.

 

Friday:

No class. I can meet with two students per period during first period, fourth period, fifth period, and seventh period.

 

Monday and Tuesday of next week (the only two days we have school) are the final days for revision and conferencing. 

Read more…

Week Eleven Syllabus Update

Most of what makes a book "good" is that we're reading it at the right moment for us.

           Alain de Botton

Week Eleven (11.9-11.13):

PLEASE NOTE: WE WILL MEET FOUR DAYS THIS WEEK, INCLUDING ON FRIDAY.

Monday:

Continue to research and draft your concept paper. First draft, with a minimum of five pages and a minimum of five sources, needs to be shared with your writing group and with your instructor by class time on Thursday.

The following document is to help you with correctly formatting inset quotations and correctly using "quoted in":

Quotationexamples.doc

Tuesday:

Continue to research and draft your concept paper. First draft, with a minimum of five pages and a minimum of five sources, needs to be shared with your writing group and with your instructor by class time on Thursday.

Wednesday:

No class. Feel free to stop in if you have questions about your draft.  First draft, with a minimum of five pages and a minimum of five sources, needs to be shared with your writing group and with your instructor by class time on Thursday.

Thursday:

Make sure your draft is shared BEFORE class starts. We will begin right away with the read aloud part of our peer protocol. As this paper is longer, and not over a single, shared source, the read aloud portion will take longer. Then we will begin the peer commenting in the shared document itself. Now that each of us has gone through this process, your comments should be a)thicker and b) more about structure and content rather than "niceties" and surface errors.

Friday:

Experience has taught me that too many students will not respond in a timely fashion to their peers if we do not have class. Therefore: we have class today. Any groups that still need to finish the read aloud portion will do so, and then all should be assiduously commenting on their group members' drafts.

Your first book blog response is due on Monday, November 16. That day is also the blood drive. I fully support you giving blood, but you should not be missing your college class to do so. Schedule wisely. 

Please post your book blog response as a new discussion in the Rising Above the Blather forum. The title of your book should be the title of your new post. I understand that some formatting (like italics) may drop when you paste in your response.

The rubric, student models, and my annotated model are available in the About section of our Google Classroom.

If you wish for some quick feedback, share your response with me ahead of time and I will be happy to provide quick feedback. This offer ends when The Walking Dead begins on Sunday night.

Still struggling on what to analyze? Focus on these two areas:

1) Identify techniques the author is using. Think about the organization of the book as a whole, the style of writing, arguments the author is making. Anything we've worked on in our own writing is fair game for analysis: sentence fluency, word choice, punctuation choices, uses of evidence, use of narrative, and so on.

2) Explain the effects of those choices. How does the organization help (or hinder) the reader? What effect does the style have on you as a reader? Why is the argument convincing (or why isn't it)? How do author choices about style affect you as a reader?

Finally, I understand that with the book response due and a longer paper, we need to extend the conference and revision period. Thus, the final draft due date in the original semester syllabus will be moved to after Thanksgiving break. I'll let you know a specific date next week.

Read more…

Week Ten Syllabus Update

We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience.

                                        John Dewey

Week Ten (11.2-11.6):

Due to my presence being required at the musical matinees, 4th period Comp will meet on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday of this week.

5th and 7th periods will meet on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday of this week.

You should be reading and taking notes on your nonfiction Book Blog books. Your assessment is based solely on the quality of your responses, but you would do well to find a note-taking/summarization method. The ease with which one can find summaries online can be tempting to students who do not manage their time well; some have no doubt succeeded in faking their way, but others have had their plagiarism discovered (and had their semester grade suffer accordingly). Reminder: Academic dishonesty also includes claiming to have read something that you have not. 

I urge you again to look at the rubric, the student models, and especially my annotated model response. 

Your response over the first half of your book is due on November 16.

Monday:

Here are the in-class group citation quiz instructions:

Each group needs to create a correctly formatted works cited page with four sources. Two of those sources need to come from Academic One File, and two need to come from web searches. For the two from the web, you need to explain why you think this particular source is valid, and how you determined this. Your group also needs to show how you would correctly refer to the source with an in-text citation. This is you and your Hacker guide and any web resources figuring this out together. When you feel you are done, show me your results and I will provide immediate feedback. You will be assessed on the correctness of the last draft you are able to produce during the class period. I will announce your "concept" at the beginning of the class period.

Your concept is aphasia.

Tuesday:

Research, research, research. Now that you've decided upon a concept, it's time (well, it's past time, but it's classtime time) to find the best possible sources to help our readers understand this concept.

For the concept paper, we are looking for a minimum of five pages and a minimum of five sources, at least two of which should come from the DMACC databases. For Thursday/Friday (depending on which period--see note at the beginning of the update about meeting days), you need to have a preliminary works cited page built. I will be providing feedback on sources and citing/formatting during class.

Wednesday (shortened classes):

No class.

Thursday:

Remember: Only fourth period will meet today. Fifth and seventh periods will meet on Friday.

You need to have your preliminary works cited page ready for feedback. I say "preliminary" because you can/should add sources after today.

Minimum of five sources, at least two of which come from DMACC databases.

Friday:

Remember: Fifth and seventh periods will meet today.

You need to have your preliminary works cited page ready for feedback. I say "preliminary" because you can/should add sources after today.

Minimum of five sources, at least two of which come from DMACC databases.

The first draft of the concept paper will be due on Thursday, November 12. This is a slight change (in your favor) from the semester syllabus.

Read more…

Week Nine Syllabus Update

To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation.

       Georg Christoph Lichtenber

Week Nine (10.26-10.30):

Monday:

Introduction to the concept of concepts, as we begin preparation to compose our first fully researched paper, the concept paper (metamessy, I know). Be thinking of concept paper topic choices—I want you to have a topic chosen and approved by the end of class time on Friday. I will create a forum on the Rising Above the Blather page for this purpose.

We will use the document below to aid our exploration of concepts:

Conceptlist.doc

I will give you our first two professional (published) concept paper models to read and annotate. Please annotate the first and last two pages of the anxiety model; for Thursday, please read and annotate the first two pages and the final page of the ambivalence model. (But, yes, you need to read both entirely.)

 

Tuesday:

We will discuss the anxiety concept model.  We will focus on that in our discussion because it is an excellent model of how to approach a concept from multiple perspectives. I will check your annotations during class. During class our writing groups will look at the different ways the author approaches the concept, building a scratch outline to aid in this.

As we progress toward our own concept topic choices, I recommend you use this graphic organizer to help you think about that concept.

concept.tif

Wednesday:

No class. Remember to respond to the concept topic forum found in Rising Above the Blather (found on the menu bar to the right). And remember the ambivalence annotating due Thursday.

Thursday:

We will discuss and analyze the ambivalence model, similar to what we did Tuesday with the anxiety model.

With any time remaining, we will look at student models of concept papers, linked below:

studentconceptmodel.docx

studentconceptmodeltwo.docx

studentconceptmodelthree.docx

studentconceptmodelfour.docx

Friday:

No class. Make sure to have your concept topic idea posted to the forum. Feel free to come in and discuss your ideas. And be sure to bring your Hacker Guide on Monday, as we will be having our group citation "quiz" on Monday. (You can't really study for it; it's a "quiz" masquerading as a lesson on citations.)

For Halloween, I have the scariest costume of all: I will be dressing as a Comp teacher.

Read more…

Week Eight Syllabus Update

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.            

     Jalaluddin Rumi

Week Eight (10.19-10.23):

My school picture this year was THE WORST:

Monday:

We will continue to conference and revise our drafts. If you plan on receiving any response to your draft, you need to contact me by the end of school today.

Tuesday:

Last day to conference and revise drafts. If you have specific questions about your draft, feel free to contact me via e-mail. But responding to entire drafts on the night before they are due makes a mockery of the idea of time management--I'm not going to be your enabler.

Wednesday (shortened day):

Make sure your draft is submitted to me BEFORE our class time. Instructions for submission are found below:

To submit your final paper, you need to attach it (.doc, .docx, .rtf) to the e-mail and write your reflection in the body of the e-mail. The reflection is a vital part of the writing process, and I will reply directly to your reflection with my assessment.

I also use the reflection as part of the assessment: if I feel your paper is between grades (say, A-/B+), the quality of your reflection will determine your final grade. Your self-assessment will be taken more seriously if you use the language of our rubric to justify your grade. Claims of "I worked sooo hard on this" or "I spent a lot of time on this" are not logical claims for a certain grade--the expectation is that any draft deserving of a good grade was worked hard on and take a lot of time to produce.

Unfortunately, the reflection, like peer response, is often given token attention at best. That needs to change. Below is an example of an A+ level reflection (it is for an argument paper, but it still shows the level of thought that should be put into a strong reflection.

modelcompreflection.docx

Here once again are the prompts to use as a guide for your reflection:

-What are the strengths of your analysis?

-What are the weaknesses?

-How well did you balance analysis and evidence? In other words, how much is from your brain, and how much is from the book?

-What would you change/add if you had more time to work on this draft? (You CANNOT answer "nothing"--that's not the point of reflection.)

-How helpful was the feedback from your peers?

-What is the most "literary" part of your analysis?

Finally, give yourself a self-assessed grade for your final draft, based upon the rubric found in the About section of our Google Classroom.


In class on Wednesday we will have a book pass featuring nonfiction titles appropriate for our book blog reading and responses. A book pass is like speed dating with books.

Below is the rubric for the book blog responses and model student responses, as well as my annotated model response meant to guide you in the kinds of thinking we want to see in your responses.

compbookresponsemodel2015.docx

bookblogstudentmodel.docx

bookblogmodel2.docx

bookblogmodel3.docx

bookblogrubric.docx

The book blog response over the first half of your nonfiction title is due on 11.16.

Thursday:

No class due to our field trip. Those of you joining us on the field trip: You need to have your signed permission slip to me no later than Wednesday. We will leave at 7:30 a.m. and YES, WE WILL LEAVE WITHOUT YOU IF YOU ARE LATE. Please dress appropriately and remember to bring money for lunch.

Friday:

No class. You'd do well to start reading and noting your nonfiction book on this weekend when you have no other Comp work to do--that won't be the case in future weeks.

Read more…

Week Seven Syllabus Update

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.            

                                  Robertson Davies

Week Seven (10.12-10.16):

The two early-outs for conferences messes up our schedule. But with our first drafts due on Monday, we will front load the week, as by the end of Wednesday's class you should be done commenting on the drafts of your peers and ready to revise your own draft.

Monday

Be sure your literary analysis draft is shared with me and with your group members BEFORE class begins.

That means shared directly through Google Documents (NOT submitted through Google Classroom).

We will start by reading drafts aloud. Remember, we understand language more deeply when we do so, and our ears catch errors and fluency issues that our eyes may not. Your job is to listen and respond afterwards with verbal comments, positives first, followed by suggestions. You should be writing down thoughts as you listen. Then we switch readers. Only after you have heard the author read and have commented verbally are you to comment in more depth through Google Drive. This is when the reciprocity comes into play--if you want helpful comments, you need to be leaving helpful comments. I will also collect your annotations for Station Eleven today. Please complete the following self assessment over your annotations BEFORE class time:

On a piece of paper, please write your name and then a brief (a paragraph should suffice) reflection on your annotating strategy and what use you made of your annotations for your first draft. Please end with a self-assessed grade for your annotating. Place the paper inside your copy of Station Eleven and hand it in. 

If you put your annotations in a document, you can write your brief reflection and self assessment in that document.

 

Tuesday:

Continue reading drafts aloud and commenting online. Once your group members have commented, the expectation is for you to then revise your paper. When you have done so, you need to leave several questions you have for me about your draft. I will read and comment on the entire draft, but your questions help give me a focus and show me your level of thinking regarding your draft. When you have prepared your revised draft, send me an e-mail letting me know you are ready for a readthrough. Remember: If you want a face-to-face conference, you need to schedule that with me. 

When you feel you have completed your revisions, do the following:

1)Resolve all comments left by your group (I've already read them):

2)Leave me comments about your own draft--what do you want specific feedback on? (This should not simply be mechanical/convention issues, either) AND tell me what level of response you want from me:

a)Bless--I will tell you what is working in your current draft, or

b)Assess--I will let you know where this draft stands on our rubric, or

c)Press--I will do a line edit and comment thoroughly (not for the faint of heart)

3)Send me an e-mail telling me you are ready for me to give your draft a read. If you would rather conference over your paper in person, let me know that as well and we will set up a time to do this.

I respond to drafts in the order I receive notification. 

Wednesday:

Continue with revisions and conferences for those who may be ready. 

Thursday:

No class. However, if you are ready for a conference, we can do so during our regular class time. We can also conference during parent-teacher conferences Thursday evening (as long as the time does not conflict with an already scheduled parent conference, of which I currently have few, as befits a teacher whose schedule is half college classes).

Friday:

No school. Although responding to drafts on my day off is not at the top of my bucket list, I am fully prepared to spend the day doing just that.

The final draft of your literary analysis is due on Wednesday, October 21. Specifics about submitting the final draft will be on next week's update.

We will spend class time Monday and Tuesday conferencing and revising.

The reflection is an important component of the writing process. Below are the prompts for your reflection and self-assessment of the literary analysis:

-What are the strengths of your analysis?

-What are the weaknesses?

-How well did you balance analysis and evidence? In other words, how much is from your brain, and how much is from the book?

-What would you change/add if you had more time to work on this draft? (You CANNOT answer "nothing"--that's not the point of reflection.)

-How helpful was the feedback from your peers?

-What is the most "literary" part of your analysis?

Finally, give yourself a self-assessed grade for your final draft, based upon the rubric found in the About section of our Google Classroom.

Read more…

Week Six Syllabus Update

“You are not teaching reading and writing, you are teaching PEOPLE who read and write.”

                           Peter Johnston

Week Six (10.5-10.9):

Monday:

Time to work on annotating Station Eleven and drafting your literary analysis.

Remember, you are annotating only those specific passages that pertain to your literary analysis topic. Depending on the topic, some will have more to annotate than others. I understand that.

Tuesday: 

We will play "May I see your thesis please?" 

In other words, you need to have a preliminary thesis for your literary analysis ready for feedback.

As I meet with individual students, the rest of us should be annotating and drafting.

Your thesis needs to be 1) Clear, 2) Limited, and 3) Arguable. 

Wednesday: 

Shortened day. No class. Great day to stop in if you have questions about your paper or your annotating.

Thursday: 

Final class day to annotate and draft. 

Friday: 

No class. Great day to stop in if you have questions about your paper or your annotating.

The first draft of your literary analysis is due Monday, October 12.

Please share your drafts with me and your group members directly through Google Documents--do not submit through Google Classroom.

I will also collect your copies of Station Eleven in order to assess your annotations that Monday. You will be asked to complete a self-assessment in class Monday as part of that.

Drafts need to be shared with both of your group members and me by class time on Monday.

Student literary analysis models were posted in last week's syllabus update and are also available in the About section of our Google Classroom.

Your minimum length for the literary analysis is three pages. That's the minimum to be considered, not the minimum for an A. And, yes, you need a works cited, though it will only contain one source.

Also, remember what we talked about: Simply repeating discussions we had in class is not enough for a college literary analysis.

If your literary analysis topic is something we discussed in class or on our backchannel, the expectation is that your analysis will extend BEYOND what was said in class or online.

Read more…

Week Five Syllabus Update

Writer’s block is mostly trying to write perfectly on the first draft.

                                            Don Winslow

Week Five (9.28-10.2):

Monday:

No class for students. Unfair.

Tuesday:

Welcome to Station Eleven. We will use the TodaysMeet backchannel today during our in-class discussions. If you aren’t offering your thoughts verbally in class, you are expected to do so in writing there.

Station Eleven Backchannel

You should begin thinking about what aspect(s) of Station Eleven you want to focus on for your literary analysis. 

I am also creating a forum for that purpose, and you need to respond to it by the end of our regular class time on Wednesday.

Wednesday:

Continue our discussion of Station Eleven. 

Make sure you have posted your literary analysis topic idea(s) in the forum found in Rising Above the Blather by the end of class time.

Thursday: 

Citing sources. Death, taxes, MLA formatting. We learn by doing, so we will have a group citation "quiz" in class. It is important we learn the how and why of citation before relying on the various technological tools that make citing so much easier than it used to be. 

 Here are the in-class group citation quiz instructions:

Each group needs to create a correctly formatted works cited page with four sources.

Two of those sources need to come from Academic One File, and two need to come from web searches.

For the two from the web, you need to explain why you think this particular source is valid, and how you determined this.

Your group also needs to show how you would correctly refer to the source with an in-text citation. T

This is you and your Hacker guide and any web resources figuring this out together. When you feel you are done, show me your results and I will provide immediate feedback.

Your topic will be posted at the beginning of class time.

Given that our literary analysis requires no outside research, I think a) the quiz would be more helpful if taken before we draft our concept papers, and b) we may well need more time looking at Station Eleven and preparing for our literary analysis.

Friday: 

No class. Great day to come in and discuss your not-yet-written paper.

The first draft of your literary analysis is due 12 October.

Three page minimum. That does not mean three pages is the minimum for an A (though it's possible--remember that longer writing is not necessarily better writing).

Once we establish what your topic for literary analysis is, you need to go back through Station Eleven  and annotate specifically for evidence for that topic. Your annotated copy of the book will also be due on 10.12, and your annotations will be assessed as a second grade within the literary analysis category.

This means you need to do one of two things:

1)Purchase sticky notes to use for your annotating, or

2)Purchase your own copy of Station Eleven to use for your annotating. 

Below are models of literary analysis from previous students (these are about Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which we will read in Comp II):

student literary analysis model one.docx

student literary analysis model two

student literary analysis model threel.docx

And below is the rubric we use for our papers. I am also attaching it in the About section of our Google Classroom.

comprubric.docx

Read more…

Week Four Syllabus Update (Homecoming)

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
                                  --Samuel Johnson

Week Four (Homecoming):

Sometime this week you should read/skim W2-W5 and P7c-P7g in your Hacker Guide.

Monday:

We will review and practice thesis statements, using the support documents found below:

Then your writing group needs to write a thesis for your group literary analysis of "The Story of an Hour." If you haven't yet, you need to look at the literary analysis support documents found on last week's update. 
Share that thesis with me. Your group's two-page literary analysis needs to be shared with me on Google Docs by class time on WednesdayThursday.

Tuesday:

Today we will work on paraphrase, using the support documents found below:

paraphrasingexamples.docx

Wednesday:

No class. Your group's two-page literary analysis of "The Story of an Hour" needs to be shared with me by class time on Thursday.

Thursday:

We will practice some of the "sexy" punctuation we talked about in the opening week.

Friday:

Homecoming. No class. In fact, since you don't have school on Monday, it's a four-day Comp Weekend for you. Make sure you have finished reading Station Eleven by Tuesday's class. We will jump in with the understanding that all have read the book and are ready to discuss it.
I want each of you to have asked at least one good, open-ended question in the TodaysMeet backchannel by the time we meet on Tuesday. The link for that is found below:

Note that no school Monday means we will meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Read more…

Week Three Syllabus Update

People don't read books to 'escape'. We read to find new parts of ourselves. We think we are in a one-room house. Books make you a mansion.

                                         --Matt Haig  (Note that he puts the period outside of the quotation marks; he's British, and that's the convention there.)

Week Three (9.14-9.18):

Remember that your "Why College" practice essay is due in the forum by class time on Tuesday.

Your assignment for Tuesday is to answer the question both Menand's essay and Green's video address: Why do we go to college? I will create a forum for this response. Your response MUST include specific references to the Menand essay, the Green video, and this brief argument about college costs:

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much

I do not expect you to include any other research. Except . . . breaking news. This was just posted on The New York Times Magazine site TODAY (Sept 7), and fits our mini-unit perfectly. It's longish and hardish, and it's late in the game, so I am offering it up as another possible source and will award the rarely-seen-in-Comp extra credit if you incorporate it into your essay for Tuesday.

What Is The Point of College?

Length? As long as it needs to be? Does that help? Two pages should suffice. Remember--two tight pages is much better than three loose pages. This will be assessed much like your writing sample, as we are still early days (though if you fail to include the specific references to the essay, the video, and the tuition cost argument, you will not be pleased with my assessment). Now I realize we have not worked on proper in-text citation, so this will be a good "pre-test" of how you think you should do it. And, yes, you should do it. And this is a great chance to use attribution fully.

We will shift gears a bit in preparation for the DMACC One Book One Campus author visit coming up in October. DMACC has selected Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven as this year's title, and Ms. Mandel will be in Boone and Ankeny for a symposium on October 22. And, yes, we plan on attending one of those. COMP FAM FIELD TRIP! More information will be shared as DMACC reveals details of the author visit.

Preparing ourselves to read "differently," to steal a phrase from our Comp I anticipation guide. Speaking of reading "differently," we are going to read Station Eleven together. We are going to do this "differently" than you are used to reading for your literature classes. I want you to read Station Eleven as readers--quickly, hungrily, without any annotations or class discussions or any of that. However, we will be using a TodaysMeet backchannel for any questions or comments you may have. We will continue to use this backchannel during our future class discussions. Below is the link to that backchannel:

Station Eleven Backchannel

This reading of Station Eleven needs to be done by Tuesday, September 29. While you are reading this, we will work in class on a short story (and I mean short, like three pages short) to practice reading like a boss and the kinds of thinking we need to do for the literary analysis.

Monday:

How to Read Like a Boss (or at least like an English instructor).

We'll lead this off with a video by our good friend, John Green:

Then we will start our way through an interactive Prezi, linked below:

How to Read Like a Boss

And here is a further, brief, Prezi to aid you in writing a literary analysis:

Literary Analysis Prezi

Tuesday:  

Continue with the interactive How To Read Like A BossWith whatever time remains, we will begin "The Story of an Hour," by Kate Chopin. This is a short short story, a perfect length to practice reading like a Boss. Whatever we do not finish in class needs to be read and closely annotated for class on Thursday.

Wednesday:

No class. You should be reading Station Eleven and commenting/questioning on the backchannel link found above.

 

Thursday: 

Discuss "The Story of an Hour," and each group will chose a thesis for a group literary analysis.

We will, in our writing groups, begin writing a short literary analysis of "The Story of an Hour." Just for fun. No, really. Well, almost. Also to gain some confidence in how to write such a thing before you are done with Station Eleven.

Here is a handy guide to writing a literary analysis from our good friends in Bucks County PA (Big Ups to Bucks):

Literaryanalysis.pdf

These are due (someone from your group attach yours on Google Classroom) by class time on Tuesday.

Friday:

No class. Be reading Station Eleven and commenting/questioning on the backchannel link found above.

 

Read more…

Week Two Syllabus Update

If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you. But if you really make them think, they'll hate you.          

             Don Marquis

Monday:

Labor Day. No school. Unless you attend the University of Notre Dame. But they also have an entire week off in October, which was the greatest thing ever. 

Tuesday:

Make sure your writing sample is posted by class time.

Some time this week (yes, that means by Friday at the latest), you need to comment online on the writing samples of your writing group members. Begin with positives (specifics, always—general “You Rock!” statements might make us feel good, but they do not help us recognize good writing), and then make constructive suggestions (again, specifics—“You Suck!” statements will make us feel horrible, but the will not make us better writers in the future). DO NOT COMMENT ON CONVENTIONS/MECHANICS—that’s copy editing, and that’s not the part of the writing process we are focusing on with peer commenting here.

 Please watch our manic friend, author John Green, discuss why we go to college in the video found below. The title is "Is College Worth It?" 

 

This connects with the Menand essay (yes, you should form the habit of referring to authors by last name in formal writing), and should help with your next longer writing assignment (see below). Your reading assignment for the week is Section S in the Hacker Guide. Again, some of this should be review--feel free to skim the bits that are.

In class, we will continue to work on openings and closings together.

 

Wednesday: 

 I will collect your annotated Menand essays.

 Ms. Lisa Dreesman from DMACC will be here to provide an orientation to the online resources provided to you (and required of you for our class) as a DMACC student. You might know her from such places as the middle school library and Steven Dreesman's house.

Thursday: 

We will return to the Menand article. Your writing group will, in-class, complete a scratch outline of the article (scratch outlines are great as both reading strategies and writing strategies). 

Your assignment for Monday is to answer the question both Menand's essay and Green's video address: Why do we go to college?

I will create a forum for this response. Your response MUST include specific references to the Menand essay, the Green video, and this brief argument about college costs:

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much

I do not expect you to include any other research.

Except . . . breaking news. This was just posted on The New York Times Magazine site TODAY (Monday), and fits our mini-unit perfectly. It's longish and hardish, and it's late in the game, so I am offering it up as another possible source and will award the rarely-seen-in-Comp extra credit if you incorporate it into your essay for Monday.

What Is The Point of College?

Length? As long as it needs to be? Does that help? Two pages should suffice. Remember--two tight pages is much better than three loose pages.

This will be assessed much like your writing sample, as we are still early days (though if you fail to include the specific references to the essay, the video, and the tuition cost argument, you will not be pleased with my assessment). Now I realize we have not worked on proper in-text citation, so this will be a good "pre-test" of how you think you should do it. And, yes, you should do it. And this is a great chance to use attribution fully.

Friday: 

No class. Work on the essay/response. Feel free to come in if you have questions or concerns.

Read more…

Week One Syllabus Update

Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.

                 Bertrand Russell

Watch this video--the wisest thing I've seen online in a long time:

 

1.Here is a link to a speech given by author George Saunders last spring at a commencement. Strong writing here--sometime this week (that means it is due by Friday at the latest), please read and then comment in the forum I have created. As part of your comment, share a specific analysis of his writing/speech to show you are thinking about the details of good writing. Again, make use of the DMACC Analysis document found in last week’s update.

 kindness speech link

 

2. I will be sharing a document with you containing some of the sentences you sent me for your assignment. We will be analyzing these in our writing groups on Tuesday. It would be helpful if you looked at them before class that day and started your thinking. 

3. Also: Sometime during the week, you should read the Hacker guide section C (Composing and Revising). They are stacked on the table in the back of the classroom. Take one. The district is kind enough to purchase your texts for your college classes, so take good care of it, as you will be required to turn it back in at the end of the semester/year. Remember the statement about doing the reading even if no direct assessment is tied to it? Here's your first temptation.

Monday:


We will start looking at what we mean by good writing.

Looking for the "good writing" presentation we've been looking at in class? Here it is:

sixtraits.ppt

Also, speaking of powerpoints, click on the link below and watch this brutally humorous (but sadly true) slideshow takedown of what too much "college" (and high school) teaching has become:

powerpointruinseducation

Remember to form your writing groups. I'll update you on Monday about how many groups we need, and how many members in each group.

Comp glossary quiz tomorrow.

Tuesday

Please sit with your new writing group, so we can quickly see that all have taken care of this.

4. We will take the Comp glossary quiz (maybe on Google Classroom?)

We will be analyzing the sentences I shared with you (after you shared them with me) to see what we can recognize as good writing. 

Comp Sentences

Wednesday: 

The dance team has generously offered to teach us the annotating dance. What? Oh, sorry, apparently they are unable to join us. But we will work on our annotating moves. I believe it to be a key reading (and writing) strategy for college (So does DMACC. And so does Harvard). You will receive a lengthy (by high school standards) essay about college for our initial practice (plus the essay brings up many important points about why we are doing what we are doing in college).

 5. I will collect your annotated essays on Wednesday, September 9.

You are required to annotate the first four and the last two pages. Those are the ones I will be looking at for assessment purposes. But as we will be writing a response involving this article, I wouldn't skip the other pages.

 I again encourage you to look to the DMACC Analysis document found in last week’s update and also in the “About” section of our Google Classroom to help guide your annotations.

I also strongly suggest you annotate at least a page or two of the essay and bring it to show me on Friday. That way I can give you immediate feedback on both the rate and the depth of your annotations.

We will start looking at opening and closing strategies tomorrow--you should look at this powerpoint before class, as you and your writing group will be writing (and sharing) your own examples of some of these strategies (we'll choose a topic at the beginning of class).

 introandconclusions.ppt

Thursday: 

Opening and closing strategies in our writing groups.

Friday: 

No class. You should bring in some annotating to get some “in-game” feedback.

As you plan for next week, realize that since we do not have school on Monday, we will meet in class on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Remember that your writing sample needs to be posted in the appropriate forum on Rising Above the Blather by class time on Tuesday, September 8. The video is found in last week's update and on our Google Classroom stream.
Read more…

Comp Week Zero

“Words are sacred.  They deserve respect.  If you get the right ones,

 in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.”

Tom Stoppard

 

Thursday: 

Composition anticipation guide in class. 

1a. Check your carrolltigers.org e-mail. You should find a link to join our class social network.

 If you were in class with me last year, or if you joined for Speech, that account should still work. (If it doesn't or you cannot remember your password, you can use the link and set up a new one.)

Click on the link, join the network, customize your page. Upload an image to serve as your icon. It does not have to be of you, though it certainly may be. But I want to see that all of you are actually members and that we have no ghost accounts. So upload any school-appropriate image/icon/avatar.

1b. We will also use Google Classroom: The code for our class is d846lat

 

2. Complete this brief online questionnaire. 

 

3. Read the syllabus—ask questions about it tomorrow. An electronic copy of it is attached below:

DMACCsyllabusfall2015.doc

 

Do this:  Deep breath.

 

Now do this by Monday:

 

4. Post your six-word epitaph as a response to the question in our Google Classroom (beta test for the brand new Google Classroom function). An epitaph is the writing we find on gravestones. Morbid? Perhaps. Maybe I have you do this because I want all of you to die. Or some of you. Or perhaps it symbolizes the death of your high school self and the beginning of your college identity. Consider how you want the world to remember you. Below are some examples I’ve considered for myself:

I was here by consent. Mostly.

Logic will break your heart forever.

I loved you, but darkness won.

Why are you reading my epitaph? (Too meta?)

Why six words? Concision=good writing.

 

5. Then do this for Monday:

Watch the “What I Have to Offer” video below (it’s about five minutes long). Consider why I am having you watch this for our class. Comment in the appropriate form found using the Rising Above the Blather tab in the menu bar to the right.

What I have to Offer from Eliot Rausch on Vimeo.

 

6. And then do this for Tuesday, September 1 :

Find an example of a strong expository sentence from a published source and e-mail it to bpolking@carrolltigers.org by class time on Tuesday.  (Not yet sure what constitutes a strong expository sentence?  Don’t worry—that’s rather the point.) We will be analyzing these next week.

 Here is my example of a strong expository sentence; you should provide the same source information that I do (which is less than you need to provide for proper MLA citation, but we’ll delve into that soon enough):

 “The rarity of not only goals, but clear scoring opportunities, is anathema not merely because it appears, at first sight, tedious, but more profoundly because it allocates such a large role to chance in determining the outcome of the game.”

 David Goldblatt-The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer.

 I recommend not looking for examples of strong writing from a news story in a newspaper; considerations of space drive such writing. Unclear about “expository”? It means providing information, which is why you should not take your example from fiction. And yet, if history is our guide, at least one of you will.

7. Your assignment for Tuesday, September 8,  is to draft a 350-500 word response to the "What is Water?" video below. The video is visualizing part of a commencement speech delivered by the late David Foster Wallace. I will create a forum for this response in Rising Above the Blather, found to your right in the menu. This response will serve as a writing sample—what can you do before much instruction? As long as you complete the assignment on time and in full, you will receive full credit; after all, it's a writing sample. I'll even post my own response first. 

 

Looking for some guidance? Read the DMACC “Analysis” document attached below—analysis is what we will be doing in all of our writing throughout the semester.

DMACCAnalyzingaText.pdf

 

8. You should read and study the Comp Glossary attached below; it contains some of the key terms/concepts we will use throughout the semester. ANNNNNND, we will be having a short quiz over the glossary on Tuesday, September 1.

Compglossary.docx

Note: all future weekly syllabus updates will be posted to our network, usually Thursday night/Friday during school if you have not broken me, no later than Saturday if you have.

In addition, for Tuesday you need to form writing groups. These are groups for the entire semester. I recommend putting some thought into this. Does your BFF have different academic expectations/goals than you? Maybe you shouldn't be in a group together? Will your BAE still be your BAE by semester's end? (This has happened before--awkward in the extreme--imagine being dumped by your boyfriend/girlfriend and having to work with them on a near daily basis and comment on their papers.) Maybe for Comp purposes you should be in a relationship with your reading and writing instead. I'll let you know on Friday how many we will have in each writing group (this will vary by section). I may set up other stipulations (no single gender groups is a likely one).

For those of you planning ahead, we will meet physically four times next week (every day but Friday).

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Comp II Week The Last Syllabus Update

Week The Last

Truly speaking, it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul.

                                                   Ralph Waldo Emerson

The happiness of most people is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.

                                                 Ernest Dimnet 

 

As I mentioned in class, we will be running on the workshop model for our final week.

We will have time in class for conferences, revisions, and portfolio building. Contact me via e-mail when you are ready for a read of your draft.

If you haven’t contacted me by Friday, May 8, you will not receive feedback on your profile draft (this would be a poor decision on your part).

As I mentioned last week, I am trying to complete as many conferences as possible during school. I am available before school, during first period prep, during class, and during my fifth-period study hall.

On Thursday, May 7, you will turn in your Hacker guide. No Hacker guide, no final grade (until you either turn it in or pay for a replacement).

We will also complete the short DMACC scantron Career Advantage survey (similar to what we did in Comp I).

I will also hand out the portfolio rubric; you must turn in a self-assessed rubric when you have completed your portfolio for second semester. (This is less onerous than it might sound—you simply have to put an “X” in the box that you feel best represents your final product in each of the categories).

Once again, I urge you to check links and attachments (especially a link to a Google Document). I don’t want to try and track you down so I can read documents that you failed to attach/link correctly.

When you have completed your portfolio, send the link to me via e-mail. I will respond with affirmation that I have received the e-mail and can access your portfolio.

You must share your link with me no later than the end of class time on Monday, May 11.

I will reply with your profile grade and comments, as well as your portfolio grade and semester grade. I realize some of you will never read this reply, but I still believe in doing my job until the end. My goal is to have your grade done by graduation, but grading may not be completed until the next week.

Thank you for your hard work in Comp II. Enjoy your summers and best of luck as you embark on the next step of your academic journey.

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