English Fundamentals 1 & 2, Fall 2016
Rick Dollieslager, Thomas Nelson Community College

Ladies and gentlemen, meet your BRAIN!

Last Updated, 15 November, 8:00 a.m.

Office Hours in room 233: 9:00-10:00 M-Th (4 hours) & 11:40-12:30 M-Th (3.5 hours)
In my office, room 207-A: 1:45-3:00 M-W (2.5 hours)
Email me at dollier@tncc.edu
Study Resources
Class Resources
Fall Class Schedule
  • The five-paragraph theme
  • Study Guides and Strategies cover "how to's" like managing time and class projects, and "what to's" with study outlines, procedures, and summary infomation for subjects in English, math and science, social sciences, etc.

Brain videos and sites:



Week 1

  • Avoiding plagiarism by citing sources:

  1. Avoiding plagiarism and using MLA documentation style (16 min.)
  2. What do I need to cite? (1 min.)
  3. Plagiarism: You can't just change a few words! (1 min.)
  4. Quoting and paraphrasing (3 min.)
  5. Citing without quoting (3 min.)
  6. Citing websites (2 min.)
  7. Punctuating in-text citations (3 min)
  8. Plagiarism Tutorial: Test your knowledge and misconceptions about plagiarism, and learn why and how to avoid it!


Important Notice!!

At the start each class, open this web page to look at the agenda for the day. At the end of each class, return to this web page to get your homework assignment and view the agenda for the next class. You'll never miss an assignment, a due date, or an important announcement if you come to this page every day.

--Week Two--

Tuesday, 8/30/16

In-class activities: 1] Submit the reading literacy narrative. 2] Discuss
the syllabus 3] Get registered with The Little Seagull Handbook and InQuizitive. 4] Read examples of Creator and Victim behaviors and language from Prof. David Mirman's teaching blog. Take notes because you will summarize this article later--from your notes only.

Wednesday, 8/31/16, (ENF 1 meeting) First, submit your visualizations of the scenes from the McManus story I read aloud on Monday. Second, today's activity: "Showing" vs. "Telling" in writing; marking up "The Battle of the Ants." Copy the story into MS Word and highlight the sentences that "tell" in a light blue background, and highlight the sentences that "show" in a yellow background. Discussion: What is the purpose of the analogy half way through the story where he describes battles in involving Achilles and battles in Concord, Austerlitz and Dresden and compares them to the battle of the ants? How does this change our understanding of ant behavior? Human behavior?

Thursday, 9/1/16 1] Discuss the videos. 2] Discuss the summaries 3] Close reading activity: "Showing" and "telling" sentences in "Succeeding Against the Odds." (And starting our vocabulary journals!)

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 9/6/16:
1] Read about how to identify and how to write topic sentences.
2] Read and highlight the topic sentences of each paragraph of these three pages excerpted from Chapter 2 of Dr. Skip Downing's book called On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life: "Adopting a Creator Mindset." While Dr. Downing does not give his specific definition of a Creator or a Victim (captial C and V), he describes their behaviors. Does the definition I suggested in class on Tuesday seem to adequatley paraphrase Downing's definition of these behaviors?
3] Write in your notes about someone you know personally, such as my former student Patrick, whom you regard to be a Creator. Include in your notes some examples of this person's behaviors that show him or her behaving and speaking as a Creator. You will use your notes to, first, discuss in class in small groups, and later to write a paragraph about this person.

--Week Three--

Tuesday, 9/6/15

In-class activities: 1] Discuss topic sentences, thesis statemnts, "Suceeding Against the Odds," and the excerpt from Chap. 2 of Downing's book about the Creator mindset and the Victim mindset. 2] Discuss nd then begin drafting a paragraph about someone you know whom you regard to be a Creator.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 9/8/14:

Wednesday, 9/7/16, (ENF 1 meeting) 1] Writers Almanac: appreciating expressive writing. 2] Draft the paragraphs which are due tomorow. 3] Mini conferences about the paragraphs

Thursday, 9/8/16

In-class activities: 1] Submit Victims paragraphs and Creators paragraphs. 2] Discuss and view videos about introductions, conclusions, thesis statements 3] Reconstruct "What I have Lived For"

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 9/13/14:

  1. Read (from the online the Guide to Grammar and Writing
    1. The introductory paragraph
    2. The thesis statement
    3. Supporting (body) paragraph
  2. Type answers to these questions: 1] What are the parts of an essay? 2] Define a thesis statement in your own words, not verbatim from a source. 3] Describe the qualities of GOOD writing (any type of good writing) according to your definition of "good writing."
  3. Revise paragraphs into the essay, "Adopting the Creator Mindset"
  4. Do "aural editing" by listening to your paper using the "Speak" function on MS Word, setting up "text to speech" feature of M.S. Word so that you can listen to your papers as an aid to editing them.
  5. Purchase full access to the Little Seagull Handbook and its interactive InQuizitive lessons

--Week Four--

Monday, 9/12/16, (ENF 1 meeting): Finish, revise and edit the Creators Mindset essay

Tuesday, 9/13/15 1] Setting up "text to speech" feature of M.S. Word so that you can listen to your papers as an aid to editing them. 2] The Vocabulary Journal instructions and development. 3] Activity: Introduction to the Little Seagull Handbook with the Grammar Crossword. Find the sections in the Little Seagull Handbook that correspond to and can help you to answer the following questions, and pencil in the section number next to the clue. Across: 1, 5, 17, 33, 41, 51, 56, 66. Down: 4, 10, 12, 25, 49

Homework assignment for Thursday, 9/15/15:

Wednesday, 9/4/16, (ENF 1 meeting) 1] Writers Almanac: appreciating expressive writing and building vocabulary. 2] Writing workshop: finish drafting the Creators Mindset essay, finish the Grammar Crossword activities by indicating the section numbers from the Little Seagull Handbook which correspond to the clue answers indicated on Tuesday's in-class agenda, and separately, type an original sample sentence (i.e., not a sentence copied from the handbook or from any other source) which exemplifies the correct use of the punctuation mark or grammar conventions of the following clue answers: Across: 1, 17, 33, 41, 51, 56. Down: 4, 10, 12, 25, 49.

Thursday, 9/15/15 1] 1] Submit the essay on adopting the Creator mindset. 2] Writers Almanac: appreciating expressive writing and building vocabulary. Add words from Writer's Almanac to your vocbulary journal. 3] Activity: Making inferences from context clues while reading. The Story Crossword

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 9/20/15:

--Week Five--

Monday, 9/19/16, (ENF 1 meeting): InQuizitive Diagnostic Immersion. Work the InQuizitive lesson titled "Editing Errors that Matter (A Comprehensive Activity" using the help links to enable you to diagnose what punctuation and grammar practices you need to work on the most in order to improve your writing quality and your reading comprehension.

While working this lesson, take the following steps:

Tuesday, 9/20/16 1] Submit the completed story crossword and the Grammar Crossword and its associated activities 2] InQuizitive Diagnostic Immersion. Work the InQuizitive lesson titled "Editing Errors that Matter (A Comprehensive Activity" using the help links to enable you to diagnose what punctuation and grammar practices you need to work on the most in order to improve your writing quality and your reading comprehension.

While working this lesson, take the following steps:

Homework assignment for Thursday, 9/22/16:

Thursday, 9/22/16 Begin the Icarus critical reading and editing project.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 9/27/16:

--Week Six--

Tuesday, 9/27/16 1] Discuss the Icarus project and the editing activity. Submit them after discussion. 2] Is your brain hurting from all the thinking involved in that Icarus project? Let's understand how and why the brain functions during the learning process, Part 1--The Natural Human Learning Process. Take good notes because you will be tested on this material and you will write about it next week. (Yep, thinking sometimes hurts becasue it can be physicaly exhausting. Let's se why.)

Thursday, 9/29/16 Brain research, Part 2: How neurons grow dendrites.

--Week Seven--

Tuesday, 10/4/16 1] Open notes test: NHLP and brain development during learning. 2] Draft a paragraph about the NHLP, following the prompt posted below as homework for Thursday. 3] Draft a second paragraph (if you finish the first one) about how emotions control the way the brain grow and develops during learning, following the instructions below

Homework assignment for Thursday, 10/6/16:

Thursday, 10/6/16 Composing workshop: Drafting the introduction and conclusion for the essay on learning and brain development.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 10/11/16:

--Week Eight--

Moday & Tuesday, 10/11 & 10/12: Mid-term writing objectives: Completion of two documented essays by the end of Week 8. Mid-term student learning outcomes and activities: Completing the Creator's Mindset essay and the Learning and Brain Development essay by documenting our sources with parenthetical citations and a works cited section.

Follow these steps for learning about and adding parentheical citations and a works cited section to both essays. Then add those suource documentation elements.

  1. Take the Plagiarism Tutorial pre-test to test what you know already about aoiding plagiarism, but do not work the tutorial until afer viewing the videos below.
  2. View the following videos which define and describe plagiarism and show how to avoid it:
  3. Do the Plagiarism Tutorial and complete the post-tutorial plagiarism test. Compare your pre-tutorial and post-tutorial scores and record both to submit to Mr. Dollieslager on Thursday.
  4. View the parenthetical citations and Works Cited section of this sample research paper.
  5. USE this citation generator, Son of Citation Machine's MLA-stylebook home page, as a tool for learning how to make works cited entries, but please know that it is an imperfect tool, so you will need to find the correct models in the "MLA Style" chapters of the Little Seagull Handook's Research section. The models are listed under "List of Works Cited," and they are #1 for the Books by Downing and Smilkstein; and #35 for Prof. Mirman's article in his teaching blog.
  6. Add the correct parenthetical citations to the three paragraph of those two essays, and add the works cited section at the end of both papers.

Due: Thursday 10/13

Thursday, 10/13/16 Composing workshop: Drafting

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 10/18/16:

Finish revising, editing, and correctly documening the two essays we discused in class

--Week Nine--

Moday & Tuesday, 10/17 10/18: 1] Print and submit two documented essays--learning and brain development & the Creators mindset. 2] Taking notes in Cornell format: Cornell notes format for lectures and reading. Video on how to write Cornell notes. 3] Mini-Lecture on sentence patterns--take notes in Cornell format and refer to the Guide to Grammar and Writing.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 10/20/16:

Wednesday & Thursday, 10/19 & 10/20: 1] A sentence-combining overview. 2] Revise these sentences taken from one of Orwell's essays about his life in Burma, called "A Hanging." Combine them in whatever way seems most appropriate stylistically. 3]Rewrite the Orwell sentences so that you have an example of each sentence pattern outlined on this sentence construction and patterns exercise. 4] Identify each sentence pattern you have revised these sentences into. 5] Add an entry in your grammar/vocabulary journals discussing what you know about each of these sentence patterns.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 10/25/16:

--Week Ten--

Monday & Tuesday, 10/24 10/25: 1] View a summary-writing video and take notes on how and why we write summaries. 2] Refer to these brief instructions for writing summaries. 3] Prepare Cornell pre-reading notes for a short article on George Orwell's "rules for writing." 4] Begin writing the summary of the Orwell article.

Wednesday & Thursday, 10/26 10/27: Document the summary of George Orwell's rules for writing using the models in he MLA Style guide section of the Little Seagull Handook's Research section. Complete the summary and the sentences activities assigned above.

--Week Eleven--

Thursday, 11/3: 1] Submit the sentences activities and the summary which are due today. 2] Discuss and begin Critical Thinking Journal #1


--Week Twleve--

Tuesday, 11/8: Write a paragraph of appx. 200 words derived from two separate sources which describes ways to read academic texts more successfully, more completely,  with better comprehension. One of your sources will be listed in either the JMU Learning Toolbox website or the Study Guides and Strategies website.  The other will be a credible source which you find elsewhere. Make it clear which information came from which source when citing it in the paragraph, and include two correctly formatted works cited entries in the Works Cited section. Post it in MS Word or .rtf (Rich Text Format) so that correct formatting conveys.

Thursday, 11/10: 1] Discuss the summary of Orwell's advice about writing and the summary description of a reading strategy from two separate sources. 2] Review, and take copious notes on, what we have learned about academic reading in English Fundamentals class, to date.

--Week Thirteen--

Tuesday, 11/15: 1] Take notes on an in-class review of what we have learned about academic reading. You will need your notes to finish the "Reading Literacy Narrative" essay. 2] Discuss revisions and editing of the essay, "Adopting the Creator Mindset"

Reading is a process

Reading academic texts requires engaging with texts, not just looking at the words:

  • Note taking—Cornell format video; Cornell format instructions
  • Identifying main ideas and major supporting details, and annotating them by marking and highlighting
  • Distinguishing between text that "shows" (narration, description, exemplification, empirical data) and text that "tells" (exposition, explanation, elaboration)
  • Reading strategies from the JMU Learning Toolbox
  • Reading strategies from the Study Guides network

Incorporating readings into my writing:

Attributing and citing sources, videos and tutorial:


Thursday, 11/17: 1] Workshop: Begin revising and editing returned papers to perpar them for your portfolio.

Portfolio Preparation and Inclusions


  • Use Times New Roman, 12-point font size, double spaced from your name line through the last line of the works cited.
  • Do not boldface text anywhere in any if the papers.
  • Each paragraph begins with a 1/2 inch indent on the first line. Press the tab key to indent 1/2 inch.
  • Insert no blank lines between paragraphs, betwen the heading and the title, between the title and the first line, or between the end of the paper and the Works Cited section.
  • All papers will begin, at the top of the first page only, with your name on the first line, Professor Dollieslager on the second line, English Fundamentals (the course title) on the third line, and the date of the final draft on the fourth line.
  • View the sample researched essay in the Little Seagull Handbook as a model. You will have to log in to view it.
List of Works Cited: Copy and paste the correct works cited models from this web page, and reformat it so that it is in Times New Roman 12-point font size, double-spaced, and in hanging indent format, just like the models in the sample researched esay from the handbook.
Folders: Get a paper folder (not plastic) with pockets to place your papers in (not tabs for hole-punched insertion).

Papers to Include


  • "Adopting the Creator Mindset"
  • "Brain Development During Learning"
  • "Reading Literacy Narrative"
  • The in-class final essay, written the week after Thanksgiving Break

A summary of George Orwell's advice to writers

Critical Thinking Journal entry on Henry Ford's quote

Preparing the papers: Run your papers through Grammarly. Listen to them using M.S. Word's "Speak" function. Folks, if you do not do these things, your likelihood of failing the portfolio review is very, very high. These are excellent editing tools. USE THEM!!

--Finals Week--

Tuesday, 12/13/16, 9:00-10:00
Portfolio and course evaluation conferences. Note: You must show up for the portfolio conference in order to pass the class. If you cannot make it at this time, I can reschedule with you for Thursday of this week.

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