Monthly Archives: February 2014

Making Connections

“When we believe the entire world is filled with unlimited ‘resources’ provided for our use, we act accordingly. This ‘anthropocentric’ view envisions the world revolving around us.”


The fundamental failure in environmentalism

e-zine journal – that’s how they describe it

Sustainable Living Magazine

Dr. David Suzuki

put together by group of volunteers at Sustainable Living Magazine


Collaborative Writing

Here’s the scenario: A conference is going to be held that brings individuals in [your major] and [your partner’s major] together. At that conference, they plan on releasing a magazine-type publication for conference-goers to take home.

You have two tasks.

1. Apparently, you are so awesome as a team that they’ve nominated you to select a title. Figure out one that is professional and attention-grabbing at the same time.

2. With your partner, come up with a magazine feature-length piece (about 500 words) that blends interests from both of your fields.

  • You may use research, but don’t forget to cite it. Magazines usually use signal phrases to clue in their readers to source materials.
  • You can make it realistic fiction. If you need to make up people’s names or fudge statistics (within reason), that’s ok.
  • You will need another title for this short piece.

We will share these, and I will collect them towards the end of class.

MLA Citations

Purdue OWL’s MLA Powerpoint:

Purdue OWL’s MLA Sample Paper:

Good Writing

What you think makes “good writing”:

Backpacks vs. Briefcases – Writing Activity

1. Write down a quote or an idea that you had to which you had a positive reaction. Explain the idea, and why you chose it.

2. Write down a quote or idea that confused you. Explain what you think it might mean. I know you’re confused, but give it a try!–backpacks-vs-briefcases.pdf

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

This assignment asks you to perform rhetorical analysis, which you read a bit about in Laura Bolin Carroll’s “Backpacks vs. Briefcases: Steps Toward Rhetorical Analysis.” It goes a step beyond, however, in asking you to analyze a debate rather than a single text.

Here’s what you should be doing:

  1. Sketch out the debate. What is the debate? Where did it come from?
  2. Introduce your pieces. Who are the key players? What are the key ideas? Where did it come from?
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of each argument. This is different than simply whether or not you agree with their position. Someone can create an effective argument that is (1) faulty or (2) completely in opposition to your own views. Someone can create a cruddy argument to support a view you agree with. Again, you are evaluating the effectiveness, not whether or not you agree.
  4. Compare and contrast. Where do the articles converge? Where do they diverge? Think about vocabulary, purposes, appeals, etc.
  5. The rhetoric of the debate. Using what you’ve learned through your analysis, try to come up with the “bigger picture.” How do people discuss this issue? What kinds of rhetoric and rhetorical appeals are necessary to this debate?

You do not have to address these five criteria in any specific order. The questions that follow are to prompt your thinking. You might not answer all of them. You might address more than is asked.

The complete draft of this paper should be 1000+ words with MLA style in-text citations and a works cited page.


1st Draft – due Tuesday, February 25:

  • 500+ words
  • Post to blog
  • Bring copy (print or electronic) to class to workshop with peers

2nd Draft – due Tuesday, March 4

  • 750+ words
  • Revised
  • Attempt at MLA style citations and Works Cited page
  • Post to blog
  • Bring copy (print or electronic) to class to workshop with peers

3rd Draft//Complete – due Tuesday, March 11

  • 1000+ words
  • MLA style in-text citations and Works Cited page – correctly formatted
  • Revised
  • Post to blog
  • Bring copy (print or electronic) to class to workshop with peers


Today’s Regularly Scheduled Class

Good morning, ENG201 class,

I just wanted to remind you all that we WILL be meeting today in our usual classroom. Please have read “Backpacks vs. Briefcases.” Also, don’t forget to bring two pieces of writing that reflect different views about a debate in your field. For example, I’m a writing teacher, so I might bring two articles on standardized testing– one that supports it, and one that’s against it (though clearly each debate has more than two simple divisions in perspective).

And finally, we will be doing in-class writing today, perhaps more so than usual. If you prefer to type and have access to some kind of typing technology, feel free to bring it to class.

See you soon!




Instructions for Today’s Online Class on Blackboard Now

Hello ENG201 class,

Instructions for today’s class are now available on Blackboard. Please see the tab marked  “Online Class 2/18” at the very bottom of the navigation bar on the left hand side of the Blackboard page. You will have two small writing assignments to complete by this evening at 11:59 p.m. via Bb Discussion Board. The title of each task is a link to the appropriate Bb Discussion board. Your work is also your attendance for the day.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns.



Class 2/18 Moved Online — Details to Follow

Good morning, ENG201 class! As I warned earlier in the semester, poor weather has indeed lead to a last-minute class change. The roads here are not plowed or salted (thank you, salt shortage), and if your roads are like my roads, then I don’t want you risking your life to get to class for an hour and twenty five minutes.

With that said, class will not be cancelled. It will just change formats. By 9:30 a.m., I will post and email instructions for today’s asynchronous online class. Please spread the word to all your classmates.

Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.



Day 5: Recap

Great job on your first workshop and much better discussion with the reading today. We’ll continue thinking about some of the issues of self-branding and self-curating throughout the semester.

Remember, as you move forward in the drafting process, start to think about your focus and how you can illustrate it through examples and explanation.

And just in case you needed help putting a screenshot in your paper, here’s a great how-to website: