Assignments (TR class)

Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Rough draft of Essay 4 due Thursday, Dec. 7.

Portfolios will be due Thursday, Dec. 15 at 8 pm. for info about end of semester work, see this post.

Final exam will be Thursday, Dec. 22 at 9 am. You may pass in a fourth essay that needs grading (and wasn’t in portfolio) at the final.


Friday, November 25.

Read over Essay 4, and check out some of the videos listed in post on Brainstorming for Essay 4. Here are the details for proposal for Essay 4, due Tuesday, November 29.

Post a paragraph that addresses these issues (a proposal for your proposal, in effect):

  • Identify the problem in your community that you would like to address. Why and how has this problem caught your attention? Or are you interested in writing about a way your community can be improved, without necessarily identifying a problem?
  • Do you have an idea of how you might address this problem (if so, what is it), or will you need to do some research to find possible models in strategies other communities have successfully used?
  • Find and post at least three possible sources you might use in your essay. (See assignment for ways research may be used in this assignment).


Thursday, Nov. 17.

REVISED DUE DATE: Essay 3 (annotated bib plus summary-report or powerpoint, etc.) will be due Tuesday, Nov. 22. Please post both on your blog in a single post, with first summary, etc. and then annotated bib). If you can’t upload a powerpoint or other genre, feel free to email me.


Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Sources for Essay 3

Rough draft of annotated bib part of Essay 3 is due Friday, Nov. 11, to be posted on your blog.

I will not be in class on Nov. 10, but I expect you to meet to work on group presentations on genre. Each group will provide a document to be posted on course blog that includes the following:

  • an explanation/definition of the genre
  • links to several examples
  • resources/tips for composing in that genre
  • information about technologies available to compose in that genre

It would work well to set up a google doc to share resources so you could all post on it. I encourage members of the group to play around to construct a “dummy” version of the genre. You may want to demonstrate the process of making this. Groups will then prepare a short presentation (about five minutes) to deliver in class on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Group assignments (to be determined in class today):

Powerpoint: Alexis, Amanda, Katie, Stephanie

Prezi: Dee, Alexis, Breanna, Ashleigh

Brochure: Erika, Nick, Justin, Sorhaya

Video: Natasha, Ethan, Kiera (try out animoto and/or stupeflix)

Infographic: Morgan, Taylor, Freya

Rough draft of summary “report” (in one of visual-text genres) will be due Friday, Nov. 18.


Tuesday, November 1.

Final draft of Essay 2 due Thursday, Nov. 3, to be passed in on paper during class or emailed as attached file by midnight. I recommend that you also upload on your blog to archive draft.

In class work:

Grouping sentences exercise

Sample paragraphs

Tuesday, Oct. 25.

For next class (Thursday, Oct, 27) do peer review on Essay 2.

Peer review partners:

  • Ashleigh and Morgan
  • Erika (Elee) and Nick
  • Amanda and Natasha
  • Kiera and Sorhaya

I’ll make additional pair assignments once the rest of you get a rough draft posted (please let me know via email when you post your draft).


  • Identify the thesis statement of the draft. Is it clear, well-crafted, and appropriately placed? (If not, indicate how statement could be improved.) Does the material in the body of the essay support the thesis statement?
  • Comment on the level of specific detail in the essay. Which details best show the writer’s careful observation and give the reader the clearest image of the store? Especially if the essay is short, suggest types of detail that could be added in revision.
  • Is each paragraph focused on one clear main idea? (If not, indicate which paragraphs seem unfocused.) Is the order of paragraphs logical; if not, explain where you see material out of order.
  • Does the essay follow the assignment guidelines about connecting observations to Gladwell’s article? Is the material from Gladwell’s article properly cited (if not, explain what problems you see).


Tuesday, Oct. 11.

ANNOUNCEMENT: There will be no class on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

Due to my lateness at getting comments on rough drafts, revised deadlines are now as follows:

Essay 1, final draft is due on Thursday, Oct. 20, to be turned in on paper during class or emailed as attached file by midnight. I encourage you also to post final drafts on your blog (as a new post, not overwriting rough draft).

Essay 2, rough draft, is due by midnight Sunday, October 23 , to be posted on your blog.


Thursday, Sept. 29.

For Tuesday, Oct. 4 read the article “The Science of Shopping.” Bring to class a half-page (or so) list of the main principles of shopping that Gladwell discusses.

Also for Tuesday, do peer review of Essay 1. Find your partner from the list below, read the memoir on his/her blog, and respond to the questions below as a comment on the writer’s blog:

  • Consider the writer’s use of specific detail. Identify any particularly sharp, effective use of detail (by para. number or context, as in “I really get a clear picture of Uncle Eddie”). Indicate places where you think the writer might add more detail (either because something is unclear or could be made more vivid or engaging or understandable). If possible, include questions for the writer: “Could you give an example of a time when your gramma was cruel?”, “This seems to be the crucial scene of the essay. Maybe add some dialogue here?”)
  • What seems to be the main “message” of the essay? What does the author seem to be saying about this experience/person/etc. that you can connect to on a more universal level? What does he/she seem to be saying about “home”? Point out any resonant lines that seem to have particular significance or emotional power (which may or may not be developed in the rest of the essay). Does the author include any commentary on the experience and what its significance was to him/her?
  • How does the structure of the piece work? What is its time frame? Is the order of events clear? How well does the lead work to engage your attention? any suggestions for possible changes in order?
  • What is/are the most successful aspects of the draft? What/s working well? You might indicate a particular part of the essay (lead, fight scene, reflection at the end) or point to the author’s voice or tone, choice of subject matter, vivid descriptions, wonderful style, etc.

Peer review partners: 

  • Alexis and Elexis
  • Ashleigh and Dee
  • Brianna and Erika
  • Amanda and Taylor
  • Justin and Morgan
  • Katie and Kiera
  • Natasha and Stephanie
  • Nick and Ethan
  • Sorhaya and Freya

NOTE: If you haven’t yet posted your Essay 1, I haven’t assigned you to a partner. If you want to give/get feedback, please email me once you get your essay posted and I will try to find you a partner.


Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Sample summaries


Thursday, Sept. 22.

Final draft of “The Place Where I Live” assignment due Thursday, Sept. 29. I’ll be grading assignment on paper, so please either bring to class or email me with file attached (due by midnight that day). I’d suggest also posting final draft as a separate post on your blog, to archive your various drafts (which will be useful when I ask you to reflect on your writing process later in the course).


Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Rough draft of Essay 1 is due next Tuesday, Sept. 27, to be posted on your blog.


Tuesday, Sept. 13. Read The Place Where You Live post for the person *below* you on the list of student blogs (bottom person, go up to the top). By next class (Thursday, Sept. 15) in a comment to their post, answer the following questions:

  • Does the piece fulfill the guidelines of assignment? If not, why not.
  • What is the general impression the writer gives of his/her place? Identify any general statements that seem to capture the essential character of the place or the writer’s attitude towards it.
  • What are the sharpest specific details in the piece, the sensory details that give you the clearest picture of what the place looks or sounds or smells like? Identify any places where you think the writer could be more specific in order to sharpen the image. When possible, ask specific questions  to give the writer suggestions about details he/she might add.
  • Comment on the organization of the piece. How are the details ordered? Is that a logical order? (Explain why or why not.) Are the paragraphs broken logically?

Also for Sept. 15, read the post Reading some memoirs. Post Reading response 1 (at the bottom of reading memoir post) on your blog for Thursday.

NOTE (Wednesday night): Sorry, I just notice contradiction between what it says above (to post on blog) and on post (to do on paper and bring in). Either way is fine! (Why didn’t anyone ask??)


Thursday, Sept. 8. For next class read the post The Place Where You Live. Your main writing assignment for next class is the 350-word place description described in that post. Please post your entry on your blog by Tuesday, Sept. 13.


Tuesday, Sept. 6. The assignments for Thursday, Sept. 8 are listed in the post Work for week 1. Take some time to play around and get comfortable with how the blog works. I’ll get a video up tonight to explain a few things about the blog that I didn’t have time for in class. Don’t panic if you have problems setting up the blog–you’ll have more time to practice in class on Thursday. If you can’t figure out how to post your paragraph(s) on your writing/reading history, type it up and email to yourself (or to me) and we can get it posted in class. 

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