Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Final Portfolio

Today, we discussed the requirements for the Final Portfolio. If you missed class, ask a classmate for help. No instructions will be posted online since a handout was distributed in class.

Due date: May 18, 10am, FO 220

Good luck!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Comments on Research Essay Drafts

(Sent via email on 5/11/09)

I have completed comments on your research essay drafts. Please check the wiki for those comments (usually in all capital letters).


Some of you are having difficulty with sentence formation and grammar. Be sure to proofread everything; if you're having problems with that, ask someone from class to proof for mechanical errors.

Almost all of you are having trouble with in-text citation style, appropriate style of quotations introducing quotes with signals phrases. All of these can be corrected if you look it up in your Hacker handbook. These are the easy things to fix, people.

Some of you have been quoting from Dictionary.com. We have discussed in class that a dictionary or an encyclopedia is NOT an authoritative source. It's a good place to start but don't rely on it, especially those who are trying to define words such as "friend" or other common ideas that don't really need a definition.

Some of you have been ignoring the rule about using "you." NEVER use this pronoun in a scholarly paper. Also, do not refer to groups that are exclusive, such as "we," "us," "our."

Remember, punctuation is usually placed inside the quotation marks. And, you MUST provide citation information in-text: either the page number or (if an online only source) the paragraph number.

These are some basics that you should keep in mind for any paper and ones that we discussed at the outset of the semester.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Final Exam Prep, Final Portfolio, Works Cited

Today, we graded each others' in-class essay and discussed criteria for improving essay writing for the final exam on Saturday (10-12pm, BBC 203).

Your job over the weekend is:
  1. Show up and take the final exam on Saturday, May 9;
  2. Revise Essay 1, Essay 2 and the Research Essay; and
  3. Complete your Works Cited for the Research Essay.

Final Portfolio
On Tuesday (our last day of class), we will discuss the construction of your Final Portfolio, which will be due on Monday, May 18. The instructions will be discussed in class only; in other words, you need to be there to know what's happening.

Final Blog Post (due Tues, 5/12, 3pm)
We didn't have a chance to do this final blog post so complete it by Tuesday, May 12th by 3pm. This post is a reflection about technology and the changes that we made to the syllabus. It's your opportunity to help me shape this class for the Fall. Answer the following questions:
  • How does the revised version of our class differ from the first version?
  • Which one do you prefer? Why?
  • What could be changed next time? Why?
  • What did you like/dislike about the Clark 111 classroom itself?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Assignments due Next Week (5/5-5/7)

Today, we reviewed your (very rough) drafts for this research essay. Many of you are still struggling with resources or did not even post a draft. Get it done so I can post comments to your draft.

On Tuesday, we will take our final in-class essay. Please come prepared with 2 pens, a dictionary and a bluebook or yellow book. Today we discussed strategies for taking an in-class exam. We'll also apply these to the final exam (scheduled for Saturday, May 9).

Writing Assignment:
By Wednesday, 5/6 at 12pm, post the 2nd draft of your research essay with the following criteria:
  • entire draft
  • include introduction & conclusion
  • 2000 words
  • 6 sources (cited properly)
  • revise the body of your essay directly onto the wiki
Reading Assignment:
For Thursday, read the following (and BRING YOUR BOOKS TO CLASS!):
  • Inventing Arguments: plagiarism & documenting sources (489-507)
  • Hacker MLA-2 (358-361) & MLA-4 (370-378)
We will do another round of peer review on Thursday and will discuss how to document sources, including how to do the Works Cited.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Assignment for Thursday, 4/30

Today, we looked at two sample research papers. We also discussed how to start organizing your essay and all of that material. We also went over a few revised thesis statements and outlines. Now, it's time to start drafting your essay.

For Thursday, write a first draft and include all 6 of your sources in the essay. Include the following criteria:

  • 1200 words
  • post to wiki by 12pm, Thursday
  • write only the body

Re-read Hacker 362-369 on integrating sources to help you with MLA citation style, in-text citation, signal phrases, paraphrase and more.

Be sure to keep track of your sources on your working bibliography. From now until the conclusion of the semester, you should spend at least 2 hours per day on this project.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Assignments for Tues, 4/28

Today, we discussed much about resources and their authority. Some of you may have to return to researching to find more resources or better ones. To help you with researching and creating a better thesis statement (and outline), we brainstormed on the following research question and potential resources. Stay tuned on Tuesday to see if we can turn this into a thesis statement:For Tuesday, you have the following assignments:

First Assignment:
  • Read through all of the comments from your peer review partner today.
  • Re-write your thesis statement and improve your outline accordingly.
  • Do this directly on the wiki page so you can keep track of changes.
  • Have this revision done by Tuesday, 12pm.
Second Assignment:
Read about integrating sources for Tuesday's class session. Bring both texts on Tuesday.
  • Hacker Sample research paper (408-412)
  • Inventing Arguments sample research papers (520-526)
  • Hacker integrating sources (MLA-3) (362-369)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Assignment for Thursday, 4/23

Today, we discussed the schedule for the rest of the semester: it basically follows the steps for constructing a research paper, with the exception of our May 5 in-class essay exam. We are working towards a May 5th deadline to post an entire draft to the class wiki, so set your sights on that date.

We will work our way through several steps in constructing and drafting a research paper for the remainder of the semester, roughly like this:

Constructing a research paper
  1. Evaluating your sources
  2. Organize your evidence
  3. Creating a thesis statement
  4. Constructing an outline: Include quotes from your sources & include citations
  5. Integrating sources (Signal phrases, etc.)
  6. Documenting sources (Works Cited & in-text citations)
Drafting the Research paper & Writing
  • Paragraph-level construction
  • Sentence-level construction
  • Word-level construction
Organizing all of the research is only the first step. Actually writing up the research paper itself is another entire section. We'll spend much time looking at your writing but we will also read some sample essays in the Hacker and Inventing Arguments textbooks.

I will spend this week commenting on your blog posts about resources. You may find that you need a different resource if yours is not authoritative or helpful to your idea. But, for Thursday, you have some reading & writing to do:

Reading for Thursday:
  • Read Hacker, Sections R2 & r3 (333-347)
  • Read Hacker, Sections MLA-1B & 1c (356-58)
  • Read Inventing Arguments On research & beginning to incorporate research (430-471)
Writing for Thursday, posted to WIKI by 12pm:
  • Create thesis statement and a very rough outline
  • Include quotes from your resources in the outline (not just reference to vague resource)
  • Post to this writing to the WIKI by 12pm on Thurs in 1 document; name the WIKI page Research Essay Outline_[last name]
We will start to go over these on Thursday in the Clark classroom. If you are behind on your work, catch up now or you will eternally get behind.