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Class Schedule

Below you’ll find the reading and assignment schedule for the class. As the semester progresses, this is where you’ll want to come to see what is due when. For the moment, you’ll notice that the first few weeks here are outlined in detail, and the remainder of the semester is sketched out more briefly. That’s because I expect things to change and evolve a bit as we find out what works and what doesn’t for our class. Please be aware of that, and remember that this page will always have the most up to date information about our assignment schedule and project due dates.

Week 1

Tuesday  9/1

  • Discussion: Class introductions
  • For today, we’ll introduce ourselves, talk about some of the class goals for the semester, and take an initial look at the course blog.

Thursday  9/3

  • Due for today’s class:
  • At some point before today’s class, take a few minutes to get familiar with the class blog. Click around to see what’s here and get a sense of what we’ll be doing this semester.
  • Go to wordpress.com and try setting up your own blog. As you’ll see, it’s an easy process. You’ll be prompted to create a user name, a password, and a domain name and title for your blog.
  • As soon as you’ve set up your blog, please post a comment to the home page of this class blog and paste in your blog address. That way, I’ll know where to find your entries.
  • We’ll troubleshoot for any problems you’re having with your blog in class today. If you have a laptop computer, feel free to bring it to class with you.
  • Writing: Once you have your blog set up, make your first post. You might consider saying something to introduce yourself and then offering one or two of your own goals for the semester. What would you most like to get out of this class?
  • Reading: Joseph Harris, Rewriting, Introduction (pages 1-12).
  • DUE EACH SUNDAY BY MIDNIGHT: A reflective post will be due to your blog each week by midnight on Sunday, unless otherwise noted. For this Sunday, 9/6, please respond to the following prompt: Write about a moment when you learned something that seemed particularly interesting or useful to you. Try to identify something very specific, whether a simple detail or skill or a more complex concept, and then say how and why you found that moment of learning so intriguing.

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Week 2

Tuesday  9/8

  • Reading: Harris, Rewriting, Chapter 1: “Coming to Terms”
  • Discussion: What is “academic” writing? As students, how can you begin adapting to professors’ expectations?

Thursday  9/10

  • Reading: Graff, “Hidden Intellectualism” (handout)

Alexie, “Superman and Me” (handout)

  • Discussion: Reflecting on our lives through writing. Be thinking about experiences from your own life that involved reading and/or writing.

Blog post for this week: Choose two of the readings we’ve discussed so far, and compare or contrast the way the authors describe the challenges of higher education. What is similar or different about the perspectives on writing and learning offered by Harris, Graff, Alexie? Try to draw on some of the specific words of the authors you choose.

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Week 3

 Tuesday  9/15

  • Reading: O’Brien, The Things They Carried, pp. 1-63
  • Discussion: What strategies do writers use to create interest in their narratives? In other words, what do they do to transform their writing into something more than just a list of events? In preparation for today’s class, choose a passage or two from The Things They Carried where you see the author using a particularly effective narrative strategy.

Thursday  9/17

  • Reading: O’Brien, The Things They Carried, pp. 64-110.

Blog post for this week: Respond to a passage or part of a chapter from The Things They Carried that seems particularly interesting or important to you. Based on the passage, what conclusions can you draw about O’Brien’s purpose or project for this book? What questions or problems is he trying to work through as a writer?

*** DUE by Sunday, 9/20 ***

DUE by 5:00pm on Sunday 9/20: Post a draft of the first essay to your blog along with a reflective paragraph identifying the kind of feedback you’d like to receive in peer review.

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Week 4

 Tuesday  9/22

  • Activity: Peer review and reflection on first writing project. Please bring a laptop or tablet with you to class today—or some other means of accessing your partners’ drafts.

Thursday  9/24

  • Reading:  Bacon, The Well Crafted Sentence (handout)

Continued discussion of The Things They Carried

*** DUE by Friday, 9/25 ***

Essay 1 due on Sunday by 5:00pm. Final drafts should be uploaded to Canvas as Word documents. Please title the document like this: Yourlastname_Essay1.docx.

Blog post for this week: Reflect on the process of writing your first essay. What did you find difficult, interesting, or curious about completing the assignment? What do you think are the strengths and limitations of your current draft? What else would you want me, as a reader, to know about your process?

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Week 5 

Tuesday  9/29

  • Reading: O’Brien, The Things They Carried, pp. 111-233

Thursday  10/1

  • Reading: Harris, Rewriting, Chapter 2: “Forwarding”

Blog post for this week: Final reflection on The Things They Carried. What seemed most (or least) effective to you about the novel? What conclusions can you draw about the relationships between memory and reality, truth and fiction as O’Brien describes them?

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Week 6

Tuesday  10/6

  • Reading: Harris, Rewriting, Chapter 3: “Countering”

Thursday  10/8

  • NO CLASS MEETING TODAY

Blog post for this week: Try to identify a public conversation or argument about something that interests you, and apply Harris’ idea of forwarding or countering to that argument. How do the people involved in the conversation or argument build on or challenge each other’s ideas? To identify something you want to write about here, you might think about things you’ve read or heard online recently–discussions of tv shows, music, or current events, for instance–or about things you’ve been reading in your other classes.

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Week 7

Tuesday  10/13

Thompson, “Rise of the Centaurs.” (Handout reading, excerpted from Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better)

Thursday  10/15

  • FALL BREAK ~ NO CLASS MEETING

NO blog post due this week.

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Week 8

Tuesday  10/20

  • Reading: Rosenwasser and Stephen, “Making a Thesis Evolve” (handout)

Ÿ Writing: Post a draft of your second essay to your blog by midnight on Tuesday, 10/20.

Thursday  10/22

  • Activity: Peer review and reflection on the second writing assignment. Bring a laptop or tablet with you to class today, and come prepared to discuss your partners’ drafts.

*** DUE by Sunday, 10/25 ***

Essay 2 due Sunday, 10/25,  by 5:00pm. Final drafts should be uploaded to Canvas as Word documents. Please title the document like this: Yourlastname_Essay2.docx.

Blog post for this week: Reflect on the process of writing your second essay. What did you find difficult, interesting, or unexpected about completing the assignment? What do you think are the strengths and limitations of your current draft? Do you perceive any changes in your writing or thinking process compared to the first essay?

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Week 9

Tuesday  10/27

  • Reading: Grant-Davie, “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents” (handout)

Thursday  10/29

  • Reading: Morrison, The Bluest Eye, pp. 1-58.
  • Discussion: Introduction to the novel

Blog post for this week: Choose one cultural reference that comes up in the first 60 pages of The Bluest Eye, and do some quick online research. What can you find out about the reference (from Wikipedia, YouTube, or any other popular and informative site), and what do you think the reference contributes to our understanding of the characters or events of the novel so far? For instance, who is Shirley Temple, and why does Pecola seem so fascinated with her? Other cultural references might include Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Greta Garbo, Ginger Rogers, the Maginot Line, or the Mary Jane candies Pecola gets at the store. If you’re more interested in history, you might look up other details about American culture in 1941, just on the brink of World War II.

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Week 10

Tuesday  11/3

  • Reading: The Bluest Eye, pp. 59-93 and the “Foreword” to the novel, pp. ix-xiii.
  • Discussion: What’s Morrison’s project?

Thursday  11/5

  • NO CLASS MEETING TODAY

Blog post for this week: Develop an initial response to Morrison’s Foreword to The Bluest Eye. Some possible questions: What do you see as her primary concerns about the novel, and do you agree with her assessment of her own work? What rhetorical situation do you think she was responding to when she wrote the novel? What examples from the novel support the claims she makes in the Foreword? You might see this blog entry as an initial starting point for your third writing project, so keep that in mind as you write it.

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Week 11

Tuesday  11/10

  • Reading: The Bluest Eye, pp. 94-183.

Thursday   11/12

  • Reading: The Bluest Eye, pp. 184-206.

No blog post due this week. 

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Week 12

Tuesday 11/17

  • College Closed: No Class Meeting

Thursday 11/19

  • College Closed: No Class Meeting
  • Please follow instructions on the class blog for peer review.

 

*** DUE by Tuesday, 11/24 ***

Essay 3 due on Tuesday by midnight. Final drafts should be uploaded to Canvas as Word documents. Please title the document like this: Yourlastname_Essay3.docx.

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Week 13

Tuesday 11/24

  • College Closed: No Class Meeting

Thursday 11/26

  • THANKSGIVING BREAK

No blog post due this week.

~~

Week 14

Tuesday 12/1

  • Discussion: Transferring what you’ve learned to your other classes: a look at critical thinking in other disciplines.

Thursday 12/3

  • Reading: Harris, Rewriting, Chapter 5
  • Discussion: Revision and the final project

No blog post due this week.

~~

Week 15

Tuesday 12/8

Final presentations

Thursday 12/10

Final presentations

Saturday 12/12

Final Presentations

No blog post due this week.

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** There will be no final exam for this class. Instead, the final portfolio and presentation materials should be submitted online by Thursday, December 17th, at 12:30pm. See the Writing Assignments page on the class blog for more details. **

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