English 101 -- Fall, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We've come to the end of the semester . . .

I have finished grading all your Homestretch Analyses (read them in the Zines), posted the final version of the gradebook, and submitted my grades to the college. You should be able to see all your grades tomorrow on Maricopa Online. Have a happy and relaxing break. I wish you all well in your classes and your college career. I'll "see" some of you in my English 102 next semester. Now relax with Straight No Chaser's "12 Days."

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's all in the details . . .

In this last paragraph of the semester, I ask you to analyze your participation in the class discussions, so get out your calculator and do the math! How much did you write? How often? What days of the week? Read the assignment document carefully for how to find the answers to all these questions.

These numbers probably provide a very different perspective on your participation than your memory of what you did or your attitude towards the discussion activity. Counting things does that!

Write about what your analysis reveals in a well-organized and well-developed paragraph. Publish it in the Zine by 11:00 am on Wednesday, December 12th. Note the unusual late morning deadline!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Coming up to the final stretch

I have posted a couple of good argument essays from previous semesters in the Medallion Zine for you to read. They aren't perfect :-) but they highlight a couple of key parts of this assignment. Remember that this is a documented argument, so you need to support your position with evidence from others. Your Handbook has many examples of how to integrate source material into your writing, and there is a set of examples in the course folder drawn from the Terrorism article (TerrorismQuotes.rtf) Check out the rubric to see how the use of sources is evaluated in this piece of writing. Just don't drop quoted material into your paragraphs (See the Quotation Interloper for how that sounds to your reader.

Make sure to allow enough time to proofread your essay carefully. On the previous essay on Ethos and Audience, the lowest sub-set scores were for sentence precision and GUM.

This is the last week for the required discussion group entries; the deadline is Sunday night.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Important update about grades!

I have removed the very last assignment this semester (the second part of the Homestretch Analysis) which means that there are now only 920 possible points for this semester.

You can make the adjustment on your personal spreadsheet (MyENG101Grades.xls in the course folder) to see where you are. That will give us a little more time for this last argumentative essay, which is now due on Thursday, December 6th. The very last assignment will be a paragraph, due by Wednesday morning, December 12th at 11:00 am. (I will post the information for this paragraph next Monday morning.)

In order to pass this class with a C or better, you now will have to have at least 644 points and have earned a C average on the four essays. In order to get a B, you will have to have accumulated at least 736 points, and to earn an A, you will have to have accumulated at least 828 points.

If you have earned a D or F in this class and would prefer to have a W instead, please send me a request in email from your student email account. I can give a W even on my final grade roster, so you can decide at any time. If you are in this situation, I highly recommend that you speak to an advisor before making your request. If you do not contact me, you will receive the grade you have earned.

Many students require two semesters to succeed in English 101. By the time they figure out what is required in a college class, they are too far behind to get caught up. (Often this is true for students in English 102 also.) If this has happened to you, before you enroll in English 101 again, do a little self-analysis. Make sure you know why you didn't pass this class, and set some very specific goals for next semester. And I recommend you re-take English 101 right away. Don't put it off!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Set aside a couple of minutes between turkey, reading the ads in this morning's newspaper and the football game to do a couple of small tasks related to this class.

First, I have posted the grades on the last essay on Time Analysis. Read my comments here. Grades are inching up slowly! Get your sub-set scores from the email message I sent you and add them to your own Grade Analysis Worksheet. Then set a goal for this current essay. (The biggest weakness was in sentence precision and GUM, so promise yourself to leave enough time for proofreading.)

I have also posted a revised gradebook. If you want your grade to rise betweeen now and the end of the semester, you will have to change what you do.

I have posted some re-thinking and revising suggestions about this next essay on ethos and audience. Take a few minutes to review some syllabi (there are many of them on the web.) In fact, if you have already registered for your classes next semester, can you find a syllabus from one of your new teachers? Use the search function on GCC's web page and look for either the teacher's name or for the department. You may not find a syllabus for next semester yet, but you may see one from this semester. Or, ask other family members or friends if you can scan the introductions to their textbooks. The more examples you see, the easier this analysis will be!

And then take a short nap in preparation for either Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day. (No entries are required in the discussion group this week. However, if you have missed one or two entries in prior weeks, you can write this week, and I will count your entries.) I suggest you write about your Friday experiences. How much did your newspaper weigh this morning? What is the focus of the ads on TV today? What does your family think about Buy Nothing Day?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Learning about ethos and audience

Sometimes college teachers assign essays to see whether students understand a key course concept. A piece of writing is a much better way of testing understanding than a multiple choice test or even a class discussion or presentation. This essay is just that kind of writing. It asks you to explain two writing features. You can learn about those features -- ethos and audience -- by reading three different kinds of documents. From your close reading and analysis, you can then develop your own description of the terms and explain them using examples, drawn from the examples I have provided or, even better, from examples that you have found (like a syllabus from one of your classes and the introduction from a textbook from one of your classes).

This essay requires some pretty careful reading and some writing-to-learn. Only then will you understand how to draft a more formal piece of writing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Writing an accurate and complete synthesis

This short take in which you explain Buy Nothing Day (BND) is a little more difficult than it appears, so don't leave it to the last minute! Read the assignment document carefully, and make sure the information you include in your paragraph is accurate and complete. To do this, you will probably have to consult several different sources. Don't just rely on web pages; use the library databases also.

Remember to explain when this day is, what its purpose is, who promotes it and maybe who is against it in objective language using third person pronouns (they, it). Unlike other short takes you have written this semester, this one asks you to conclude with your opinion about BND. Practice writing position statements about BND without using "I think." It's a good revision activity!

NOTE: NO LATE SUBMISSIONS. This paragraph is due on Friday, Nov. 2nd at 11:59 pm. I will not accept any late submissions for any assignments for the rest of the semester. An assignment is late when I publish it in the Zine, usually the next morning. Plan ahead to submit by the deadline!