Monthly Archives: April 2014

Presentation Sign-Up

Here is the presentation order. If you weren’t there or you didn’t pick a slot, I was forced to choose for you.



The Writing Center

While I will be available for online appointments, the writing center is a great place to go to get face-to-face feedback. If you’re struggling, make an appointment! And remember, if you go in with specific goals or even specific sections you want to work on, you are more likely to get the help you really want/need.

Here is a link to the writing center homepage:

During the week, they are located right in Miller Hall 15B (basement). On the weekends, they are in the library.


From the U C Davis Undergraduate Research website:

What should the abstract include?

Think of your abstract as a condensed version of your whole project. By reading it, the reader should understand the nature of your research question….Although the content will vary according to field and specific project, all abstracts, whether in the sciences or the humanities, convey the following information:

  • The purpose of the project identifying the area of study to which it belongs.
  • The research problem that motivates the project.
  • The methods used to address this research problem, documents or evidence analyzed.
  • The conclusions reached or, if the research is in progress, what the preliminary results of the investigation suggest, or what the research methods demonstrate.
  • The significance of the research project. Why are the results useful? What is new to our understanding as the result of your inquiry?

Whatever kind of research you are doing, your abstract should provide the reader with answers to the following questions: What are you asking? Why is it important? How will you study it? What will you use to demonstrate your conclusions? What are those conclusions? What do they mean?


Here are some other great resources for abstract writing:

UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center:

Purdue OWL:





Business and Technology:



Your abstract can simply go at the top of your research paper and should be between 100-300 words.

Workshop: Narrating the Draft

For this workshop, I want you to narrate your draft for me in the margins. Tell me the story of how you developed this paper, why you made the choices you did, and what you’re still questioning.

You may want to write an introductory and closing paragraph. You may want to stop at every paragraph. You may choose a totally different structure. I am more concerned with the content than the form.

Introductions & Conclusions

Let’s review! Here are some great resources for you to consider as you finish up your research papers.



Research Presentations

Research Presentations

After doing nearly a month of work examining a single topic, it’s time to celebrate the awesome research you have done by presenting your findings to an audience. These presentations are focused on showcasing your work and giving you the opportunity to share your discoveries with others.

I am not evaluating your public speaking abilities, though I do think it’s important that you learn how to synthesize and concisely present your work to others. In the world beyond my class, this is a skill that really comes in handy, and I want you to have a low-stakes opportunity to practice it; consider this an “A for effort” type of activity.

Presentations should be 4-6 minutes long and should cover:

  • Key concepts
  • Interesting examples and insights
  • Your conclusions

You are welcome to use visual aids, such as Powerpoint, Prezis, posters, or videos, but they are not mandatory by any means.


Presentations will be held on April 29 and May 1. 11 presentations will be held each day, and spots will be signed up for in advance.



Extra credit opportunity:

To make up a late or missed minor assignment, you will have the option to write a blog post of 300+ words reflecting on one or more of the day’s presentations. You may discuss what you learned, how it relates to your own work, or what it helps you to consider in a new way.  If the post does not meet the word requirement and/or demonstrate in-depth thinking, it will not be counted.

Clarity of Prose

Today’s activity will require you to identify issues with clarity and grammar, label them, and rewrite sentences. We will be using GoogleDocs to do this in real time.

Step 1: ™Label each sentence with the type of errors found (may be more than one):

  • ™Run-on ™
  • Comma splice
  • ™Subject-verb agreement ™
  • Sentence Fragment ™
  • Typo ™
  • Other clarity issue ™

Step 2: After you have labeled them all as a team, rewrite the sentences to be more clear and grammatically correct.


Group 1: 

Group 2:

Group 3:

Group 4:

Group 5:

Group 6:

Group 7:


Powerpoint file: Polishing & Proofreading



Here is a link to a Word Document version of the information posted below:


The Final ePortfolio

The final ePortfolio is a place to showcase your best writing and all that you have learned this semester. Put together with Pace’s ePortfolio platform, it will feature 3 pieces of revised writing (possibly more if you choose) and a reflection.

What Makes Up a Final Portfolio?

Title: Your final portfolio must have a creative title. My/The Final Portfolio is not an acceptable title. Think about what you want readers to focus on in your work or something that describes the work that you are presenting in your portfolio to help you come up with one.

Table of Contents: If the order in which your reader should be reading the contents is unclear, please make a table of contents.

Reflection: (to be further discussed at a later time)This is one of the most important pieces of your portfolio. It is the place where you tell readers about your work and about who you are as a writer and as a member of your discipline. It also gives me insight into the ways that you have revised your pieces, since I may not be able to tell by simply looking at a piece. In fact, often times, an outstanding analytical reflection paper can help bolster weaker writing. You should use this as a place to talk about why you included specific pieces, how these pieces and your writing in general evolved (if you think it did), and your writing strengths and weaknesses at this stage in the game. Closer to the end of the semester, I will give you a list of questions to help prompt your thinking.

The reflection letter is NOT a course evaluation. Don’t mistake talking about your growth (or lack thereof) as a writer with talking about the awesomeness/awfulness of this class. Saying “Professor P. was a terrible teacher” won’t really help an audience understand who you feel you are as a writer or what you think your portfolio offers readers.

And since students always ask, I will tell you in advance that there is no page minimum technically, but I’d find it hard to believe that anyone could do a sufficient job in less than 2 pages. If you’re really thinking about the “why” and “how,” odds are that you will need several pages, and I am willing to read as much as you’d like to write.

You can place the reflection anywhere in your portfolio that you so choose– beginning, end, middle—as long as you’ve given thought to why that place is the right place for it. You might also choose to write a large whole-portfolio reflection and a smaller reflection on each piece of writing.

Contents: The contents of the portfolio should be pieces of writing that reflect your best work and/or the work that means the most to you. All pieces must be revised from the last drafts turned in, as well. Use the ePortfolio to display who you have become as a writer.



There are some basic guidelines to follow, however. You must include:

  • Cover letter
  • Abstract of research paper
  • Research Paper
  • Choice of: Rhetorical Analysis or Twitter Observation paper
  • Optional: anything else that you have written in this course that you want to include. Your choice to include extra work or not will not harm your grade in any way.

Again, everything in your portfolio must be significantly revised from the last draft that you turned in, and it should be polished for an audience.


What Does a Final Portfolio Look Like?

For this class, you will need to create a portfolio page using ePortfolio, which can be found on Blackboard. You will also need to set the “sharing” or “privacy” settings to “Logged In Users” or “Public” in order for me to see it. If it is not correctly set, then I will have to assume you didn’t turn it in, and you will fail the class. We will review the ePortfolio system in class. The best way to learn how to put them together, however, is to simply play around on the site.



Additional information about ePortfolios can be found on this site:



Today’s Class (4/8)

Good morning ENG201 class,

Today’s class will be held online via Blackboard. I apologize for the last minute switch. I was going to try to push through, but I am really not feeling well today. The instructions for today’s class activities will be posted to a tab called “Online Class 4/8
by classtime. You will have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to complete the assignments.

Please feel free to email me with any questions.





Just a Cheesey Example of a Logical Fallacy

Saw this on my newsfeed today. Don’t be that scientist: