I’m happy to welcome you to the course blog for English 101 and to six (!!) busy weeks of reading and writing. This will be the central space for the course, an electronic version of our classroom where you will be able to go to find assignments and class notes, as well as to read the writing of your colleagues.
Please bookmark this site on your computer (or make a note of its URL if you use multiple computers).
First I’d like to mention a few things that may be different from this course and other sections of English 101:
As you can see, I use blogs instead of eLearning, for both my online and face-to-face courses. In addition to this course blog, you will also each be setting up your own blogs, which you will use to post rough drafts and informal writing. I believe that blogs are a tremendous technology that allows writers both to set up their own personal writing space and to share that writing easily with others. The sense of audience writers can get from this is invaluable. Though this may cause some of you some anxiety (exposing your work-in-progress to the eyes of others), I want to emphasize its potential to create a community of supportive writers. Also, looking at the work of others can often be a great way to get both ideas and inspiration for your own writing! (If you’ve never blogged before, don’t worry!! It’s easy; I’ll provide a short video to show you how to get started, and I’ll be available the first week and later to meet with anyone who wants some face-to-face help.)
(Note that I will be posting comment but not grades on your blog entries; all final drafts will be turned in on paper or through email. I will use the grading feature in eLearning to record grades–checking your grade will be the only reason you should need to sign into eLearning.)
In addition to the blogging, the other maybe-unusual aspect of this course is the course is theme-based. As you can see from the title above, you will be writing this session about place, with the course organized into three sections that move from the personal to the public: a first unit on house, home, and domestic spaces; then a unit on commercial spaces (i.e., stores); and a final unit on civic spaces. (Thanks to my daughter Emily for designing the header!) In part, this theme grew from coincidence (I kept running across articles I liked that fit the theme), but also because I believe that good writing starts from paying attention and keeping your eyes open, and this theme demands that.
For more info about the set-up of the course, you can access the syllabus from the links across the top of the page under the first column titled “Intro”–it will stay there for the whole course, as will major assignments for the class. If you’d like to look or work ahead, check out the assignment links there as well. You can find each week’s assignments and deadlines to the right by clicking on the link marked Assignments.
Here’s a quick tour of this blog space: