English Fundamentals 2, Spring 2014
Rick Dollieslager, Thomas Nelson Community College
synaptic firing
hangar cat

Hang in here, folks. It's almost over . . .

Last Updated, 29 April, 8:40 a.m.

F2F Office Hours: Mon-Weds 9:30-12:30 & Tues-Thurs 10:00-11:00 in room 874 (my office)
Weds 1:45-3:15 in room 916

Online Office Hours: Tues-Weds 6:00-7:15 pm
Email me at
Study Resources
Class Resources
Spring 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


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.

Folks asked me on Weds. about how to get scholarships, so I did some searching and found this, a scholarship app for mobile phones.
It's called "Scholly" Read the article about it!

--Week One--

Tuesday, 1/14/14

In-class activities: Register, log in, and begin using
Aplia log in for Basic Writing Skills 1 lessons

Homework assignment for Thursday, 1/16/14:
Finish the B.W.1 tutorial lesson in Aplia.

Thursday, 1/16/14

In-class activities: 1] Register, log in, and begin using CengageBrain log in for the MindTap and the book, College Reading: The Science and Strategies of Expert Readers by Zadina, Smilkstein, Daiek and Anter. Preview the chapter. Learn the marking features, note taking features and other reading comprehension tools in MindTap. 2] Final 40 minutes, read, revise, update and approve the course syllabus

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 1/21/14:
Read College Reading (MindTap) through section 1.5
Work the lessons assigned in Basic Writing 1

--Week Two--

Tuesday, 1/21/14
In-class activities: Lecture/discussion on
how the brain grows and develops during learning.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 1/23/14:
Review the NHLP Power Point and these supplemental pages on the NHLP
Read the rest of Chapter 1 in College Reading (MindTap login)

Thursday, 1/23/14

In-class activities: 1] Sink or swim together--correcting the colleagues quizzes (30 mins.) 2] Preparing for writing--note-taking on the brain videos and reviewing brain development during learning; outline and begin drafting the paragraph. Let's view Anatomy of a Neuron (note, "synaptic cleft" = "synaptic gap") 2:11 min. & Neurons: How They Work 4:56 min. (50 mins.) 3] Discuss application of knowledge, in re: "Emotions affect earning." Focus--concrete examples of when this has happened, how you will address it differently. Assign/discuss paragraph on this topic. (20 mins.)

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 1/28/14:
1] Finish drafting a paragraph begun in class, topic--how synaptic firing causes dendrite growth and how emotions effect that process. (This is about biology, folks, not about your experiences or about common sense.) Refer to the videos on brain development and the NHLP web pages to reinforce your class notes.Type them and save the to your jump drive. You MUST have the paragraphs with you in class on Tuesday.
2] Compose another paragraph, this one describing a specific time when you now know that stress caused you to perform poorly in a learning situation and discussing speficially what you will do differently the next time such a situation arises; now that you know that norepinephrine is the reason. Save this to your jump drive after typing is an also send it to your self in Thomas Nelson email as an attachment.
3] Work the activated Basic Writing 1 lessons which are due by Sunday.

--Week Three--

Tuesday, 1/28/14

In-class activities: 1] Turn in the two paragraphs which were assigned last Thursday. 2] Preview Chapter 2 and the note-taking functions of MindTap. 3] Read Chapter 2 and meet with Mr. D. for writing conferences during class.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 1/30/14:
1] Read, anotate and mark Chapter 2

Thursday, 1/30/14--Snow day, classes are cancelled

In-class activities: Go shovel some snow!

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 2/4:
1] Read, anotate and mark Chapter 2

--Week Four--

Tuesday, 2/4/14

In-class activities: 1] View a summary-writing video and take notes on how and why we write summaries. 2] Discuss Smilkstein's description of the NHLP. 3] Refer to these brief instructions for writing summaries. 4] Draft a summary of Smilkstein's description of the NHLP (about 150 to 200 words). 5] Chapter 2 mark-up review and brain paragraph mini-conferences with Mr. D. during class.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 2/6/14:
Finish composing the NHLP summary paragraph. Then spell check it, proofread it, correct it and print it out before class on Thursday.

Thursday, 2/6/14

In-class activities: 1] Turn in NHLP summary paragraphs. 2] Take the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) test.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 2/11/14:
Aplia B.W.1 Lesson: Diagnostic Assessment, which times out Sunday evening
View the following videos:

Read (from the online the Guide to Grammar and Writing)

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."

--Week Five--

Tuesday, 2/11/14
In-class activities: 1] Document the source for the NHLP paragraph. 2] Chapter Two mark-up review during class. 3] Preview Chap. 3 and begin reading and marking it. 4] Meet with Mr. D. for mini-conferences on your brain paragraphs.

Resources for Documenting Our Sources

From the research handbook, select MLA Style, Electronic Sources for samples or different works cited entries, and use the Son of Citation Machine citation generator as a tool. Citation generators are merely TOOLS, for helping us know what information we should put into citations in general. Their output is NOT always exactly correct. It is OUR responsibility as writers to ensure that the citations we use match the sample for the comparative source which is listed in the Norton Field Guide to Writing or in another acceptable, up-to-date college writing handbook, using MLA style. Citation generators such as this one, and Easy Bib, and the citation formatter built into M.S. Word are all good tools, but they are all imperfect because they can't think. You can think. (Yes you caaan.)

It should look something like this in the end:

Works Cited

Zadina, Janet, Rita Smilkstein, Deborah Daiek, Nancy Anter. College Reading: The Science and Strategies of Expert Readers. 1-3 and 1-4. N. A.: Cengage Learning, 2013. eBook

Thursday, 2/13/14
In-class activity: Read and mark up Chapter 3. I will break in on your reading to look at your mark up of Chapter 2.

--Week Six--

Tuesday, 2/18/14
In-class activities: 1] Purposes of punctuation, "Dear John" 2] Write or type an answer to the following prompt and leave it on the homework table before exiting today. Do not put your name on the paper: What is your assessment of the College Reading eBook after reading three chapters? What do you like or dislike about it; and why are you not reading it if you have not read all three Chapters that have been assigned?

Homework assignment for Thursday, 2/20/14:
Read Chapter 4 in College Reading: The Science and Strategies of Expert Readers. Log in to MindTap.

Thursday, 2/20/14
In-class activities: 1a] Preview "The Least You Need to Know . . . " 1b] Determine which editing skills you need to focus on the most. 1c] Go to Aplia and begin working those lessons in the practice mode. 2] Read and mark Chapter 4. 3] Miniconference with Mr. D. in re: the paragraphs you have already turned in.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 2/25/14:
Read and mark Chapters 4 and 5 in College Reading: The Science and Strategies of Expert Readers. (MindTap login)
Work the Basic Writing 1 lessons (in the practice mode) which you need to learn in order to pass the portfolio review at the end of the semester. That is "The Least You Need to Know . . . "

--Week Seven--

Tuesday, 2/25/14
In-class activities: Mid-Term benchmarks--Are we there yet? Five chapters in the eBook have been assigned, 18 lessons from B.W.1 have been assigned, and three paragraphs have been collected. How are YOU doing? Let's catch up this week!

Homework assignment for Thursday, 2/26/14:
Add three vocabulary cards to each of the first five chapters of College Reading
Work the three B.W.1 lessons with the skills that you MOST need to develop at this point in the semester.

Thursday, 2/27/14
In-class activities: But WHY do we need to be good readers and writers? Let's find out if we do!

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 3/11/14:
Type, proofread and save your paragraphs on communication skills in your profession
Bring your typed paragraph to class with you
Read and mark Chapters 1-5 and add at least 3 vocab. flash cards to each chapter. I am going to grade you on the marks and flash cards.
I will give a comprehensive test on Chapters 1-5 in the week following Spring Break.

--Week Eight--

Tuesday, 3/11/14
In-class activities: Begin mid-term "test" on the Zadina book.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 3/13/14:
Work the Chapter lessons in the MindTap/College Reading eBook, Chapters 1-5 lessons due by Sunday 5 p.m at 80% success rate.

Thursday, 3/13/14
In-class activities: Discuss revision of brain paragraphs into a brain development essay. Let's use some proofreading aids before turning in papers and paragraphs, folks. Paper Rater. Natural Reader. And of course, the spell checker and grammar checker on MS Word.

Additional resources for reviewing the content of this essay: The NHLP Power Point and these supplemental pages on the NHLP

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 3/18/14:
Finish the brain development essay per the instructions posted above. Turn it in at the start of class on Tuesday.
Work the Chapter lessons in the MindTap/College Reading eBook, Chapters 1-5 lessons due by Monday 5 p.m. at 80% success rate.

--Week Nine--

Tuesday, 3/18/14
In-class activities: 1] Peer review the brain development essay using the evaluation rubric. 2] Make any last revisions and edits, and print out the corrected copy.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 3/20/14:
1] Late
brain development essays are due at the start of class on Thursday, no exceptions, no extensions, no excuses. We wrote these essays over a span of several weeks, one paragraph at a time, so there is no excuse for them not being complete in the 9th week of the semester. Any brain development essays not turned in by Thursday will not be included in your final essay portfolio, which means that portfolio will fail because it lacks the requisite number of papers.
2] Begin to preview, read, mark/annotate Chapter 6

Mr. D's Week Nine Pledge: I will say no more about late papers or assignments. They simply won't be accepted or counted toward completion of the course objectives.

Thursday, 3/20/14--Overcoming resistance to writing and to reading by practice, practice, practice
In-class activities: 1] Turn in brain development essays. 2] Log in to MindTap and go to Chapter 6. Create an Evernote account by clicking on "my notes." Do the following activities and save them in your Evernote account. These notes will be submitted for your Chapter 6 reading grade next week.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 3/24/14:
Annotate and answer the following page and activity prompts. I will collect your Evernote annotations and answers in class electronically on Tuesday, by having you save them to my Dropbox.
Following are the pages and activities to compete: Page 6-2 and Activities 6A through 6N, yes, all of those activities.

--Week Ten--

Tuesday, 3/26/14
In-class activities: Using Evernote to collect chapter notes. Evernote instructions.

Thursday, 3/27/14
In-class activities: Popcorn reading
and discussion of "Succeeding Against the Odds"

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 4/1/14:
Draft a "one-pager" about someone you know who, by your definition, has succeeded in life or at some specific activity in life, while facing difficulit circumstances.

--Week Eleven--

Tuesday, 4/1/14 In-class activities:

  1. Place your drafts about a successful person on the homework table.
  2. Read and take notes on making good thesis statements.
  3. Read about thesis statements from the Guide to Grammar and Writing, and write answers to the five "Points to Ponder."
  4. Download this document, and open it in MS Word to answer the questions about "The Sacred Grove of Oshogbo."
  5. On that same page, read Twain's essay called "My Watch" and answer the questions on the "Points to Ponder" about it.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 4/3/14:
Finish the reading and responding activities we began in class in re: thesis statements, and analysis of the Twain and Taylor essays. Watch for an email from me about Thursday's class.

Thursday, 4/3/14: Cyber Thursday!!
In-class activities: I am on my way to Richmond this morning for a meeting at the System Office HQ so we will not have face-to-face class; instead use your class time to work on the assignment posted above: "Git 'er dun."

--Week Twelve--

Tuesday, 4/8/14
In-class activities: Discuss "telling" language and "showing" language, read and give feedback on your colleague's paragaphs, and discuss how to complete the successful person essays.

Thursday 4/10 We do not meet in the classroom today.
Work on your successful person essay today. It is due at the start of class next next Tuesday.

--Week Thirteen--

Tuesday, 4/15/14
In-class activities: 1] Turn in your successful person essays. 2] Begin preparing your essays for portfolio evaluation. We have plenty of resources!

Thursday, 4/17/14
In-class activities: Lessons on comma purposes and uses.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 4/22/14: Do the reactivated Basic Writing 1 lessons on commas, fragment and run-ons (comma splices are types of run-ons)

--Week Fourteen--

Tuesday, 4/22/14
In-class activities: 1] Take the DRP post-semester test. 2] Edit/prepare essays for the portfolio. Format them according to
MLA criteria. With headsets, you may view a video on MLA essay formatting. Your portfolio should be a folder with pockets. Please do not fasten your papers into a tabbed folder because the readers will not be able to read the words along the left margin and will be irritated by that.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 4/24/14:

  1. Work all of the interactive "quiz" lessons (bottom of each page) on sentence fragments and run-on/comma-spliced sentences from the Guide to Grammar and Writing.
  2. Proofread and edit your essays. I cannot do that for you and allow you to put them in your portfolio because they have to reflect your writing skills and not my editing skills. You can't be graded on the work that I do.
  3. Read each sentence of your essays aloud, starting with the final sentence, then the next to last, then the one before that, etc., so that you can hear sentence fragments and run-ons. That is the only way you will be able to identify fragments and run-ons. Then listen to the whole paper read back to you using Natural Reader.

Thursday, 4/24/14
In-class activities: 1] Late make-ups of the DRP post-semester test. 2] Edit/prepare essays for the portfolio. Format them according to MLA criteria. Your portfolio should be a folder with pockets. Please do not fasten your papers into a tabbed folder.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 4/29/14:
Work lessons on editing skills that you are not strongest on to perpare for writing the in-classs essay next week.
Edit, revise, prepare your essays for inclusion in your portfolio.
Work sentence combining lessons from About.com. There are tons of additional links located lower on the page. Combine sentences in a variety of ways to focus on two primary editing skills: sentence boundaries (overcoming fragments and run-ons) and comma use.

Portfolios will include the following papers.
Original due dates:
One page paper (a paragraph or two) describing the communication skills you will need in order to be successful in your future profession, summarized from the O.O.H.
The NHLP and brain development essay
The successful person essay
In-class final essay, to be written in week 15.
Portfolios to be turned in at 9:30 on 5/1/14
4/29/14 & 5/1/14

--Week Fifteen--

Tuesday, 4/29/14
In-class activities: Begin the in-class essay. Do not save your first draft and take it with you. Instead, copy and paste it into an email document and mail it to me at 9:35 this morning. Delete it from your sent folder. Sounds weird, but I must ensure that you write the whole thing in class. Turn in your portfolio

Homework assignment for Thursday, 5/1/14:
Submit your porftolio at 9:35 on Thursday, including the essays listed above formatted according to
MLA criteria. Additionally:

  • Write the self-evaluation about your reading and writing skills.
  • Write just your name on the top of the 3 evaluation sheets and the placment sheet.
  • Write your course evalutions, located in your VCCS student email. This is very important to your instructors and the evaluations time out on Thursday, so do it ASAP.

Thursday 5/1
Finish the in-class essay and submit your portfolio. Come to class on the day of your final for portfolio outcomes conferences so that you know what course(s) to take next semester.

--Week Sixteen--

Thursday, 5/8/14
Mandatory!! Portfolio outcomes conferences between 8 a.m.-10 a.m.



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