English Fundamentals 1 & 2, Fall 2017
Rick Dollieslager, Thomas Nelson Community College

Ladies and gentlemen, meet your BRAIN!

Last Updated, 21 August 2017, 10:00 a.m.

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Mon & Weds Office Hours 10 AM – 12:30 Library Tutoring Zone
Tues & Thurs AM Office Hours 9:30-10:00, room 233
Tues & Thurs PM Office Hours 12:00 – 2:00, room 207B

Email me at dollier@tncc.edu

Editing & Study Resources
Class Resources
Class Schedule & MLA documentation
  • The five-paragraph theme
  • Introductory paragraphs video (4 min.)
  • Thesis statements video (4 min.)
  • Editing and Revising checklists to assess your own papers before relying on feedback from others
  • James Madison University's Learning Toolbox. This website includes tools to help you improve in the eight academic areas of Math, Organization, Study Skills,
    Test Taking Skills, Note Taking, Reading, Writing, and
    Advanced Thinking.
  • 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!
  9. Understanding & Preventing Plagiarism, an excellent web resource on why and how to document sources
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 One--

Monday, 8/21/17 & Tuesday 8/22/17

In-class activities: 1] Preparing to take the Degrees of Reading Power test by identifying main ideas and supporting details in researched writing. 2] Process: First, highlight and copy the title, author's name and text of an article into an M.S. Word document. Then skim through the article to get an impression of what it is about and to get an overview of what sort of support is included and where the supporting details tend to be located.
Next, background highlight the main ideas/topic sentences in light blue, and in yellow highlight all the details that support THAT main idea before moving on to the next. When finished highlith the conclusion in light grey, and then--after having read the whole article--go back and highlight the thesis statement in pink. 3] The readings:

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 1/17/17:

Week Two

Tuesday 1/17/17

In-class activities: Degrees of Reading Power testing

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 1/23/17:

Thursday 1/19/17


Week Three

Tuesday 1/24/17

In-class activities: 1] Upload Reading Literacy Pre-Semester paper to BlackBoard Assignments. 2] Access the works cited models for the four articles on cell phone use and type them to begin an annotated bibliography of those four readings. 3] Begin mark-up of Dr. Downing's excerpt: 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 (capital C and V), he describes their behaviors. After reading and marking the selection, write down what you think Dr. Downing's definition of a Creator (capital C) is and what you think his definition of a Victim (capital V) is. 4] Discuss "Flipping the Classroom"

Homework assignment for Thursday, 1/23/17:

Thursday 1/26/17

In-class activities: 1] Register with Remind.com. 2] Discuss the excerpt from Dr. Downing's book and the videos, and come to an agreement about Dr. Downing's definitions of "Creator" and "Victim." 3] Paired activity: marking and summarizing Prof. David Mirman's blog article.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 1/31/17:

Week Four

Tuesday 1/31/17

In-class activities: 1] Discuss the summary of Mirman's article and finish writing it. 2] Discuss a specific time or situation in which YOU played the Victim role, and write a paragraph describing specifically what happened.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 2/2/17:

Thursday 2/2/17

In-class activities: 1] Discuss
Speechnotes voice-to-text tool--it only works on Chrome on the computer, but it works on Safari on a cell phone and there is also an app for cell phones. 2] Discuss paragraph 2: A time when I played the Victim role. 3] Finish drafting paragraph 2 and begin paragraph 3

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 2/7/17:

Week Five

Tuesday 2/7/17
In-class activities: 1] Discuss completing the essay "Adopting the Creator's Mindset"
using the grading rubric as an outline. 2] Begin Inquizitive lessons on sentence boundary errors (i.e., sentence fragraments; and run-ons and comma spliced sentences). Also begin working the lessons on comma use.

Homework assignment for Thursday, 2/9/17:

Thursday 2/9/17
In-class activities: 1] Complete Inquizitive lessons on sentence boundary errors: comma splices, fused sentences

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 2/14/17:

Week Six

Tuesday 2/14/17
In-class activities: 1] Print and submit the essay, "Adopting the Creator Mindset." 2] Work the
InQuizitive lesson "Editing the Errors that Matter."

Homework assignment for Thursday, 2/16/17:

Thursday 2/16/17 In-class activities: 1] Notetaking--formats and techniques 2] The NHLP: an introduction to the Natural Human Learning Process.

Week Seven

Tuesday 2/21/17
In-class activities: Begin the learning unit on
The NHLP and Brain Development During Learning. Take good notes in Cornell format because there will be a test on this material next week, and we will be writing some pararaphs from our notes on this material as well.

Homework and resources for Thursday

Thursday 2/23/17
In-class activities: Finish the learning unit on
The NHLP and Brain Development During Learning. Take good notes in Cornell format because there will be a test on this material next week, and we will be writing some pararaphs from our notes on this material as well.

Week Eight

Tuesday 2/2817
In-class activities: Research and then compose a paragraph (or two) in which you discuss how you will employ specific strategies from these two resources,
JMU's Learning Toolbox and The Study Guides and Strategies web site, to overcome the difficulty which you described in the previous paragraph (test anxiety, speech anxiety, overwhelm due to time management or procrastination, etc.), or similar such situations in which stress prevented you from achieving your desired learning outcomes. Choose a strategy from the Learning Toolbox and a strategy from the Study Guides and Strategies web site which are applicable. State what the strategies are called on the web sites, describe them, and describe how each will work to help you to overcome that particular stressor now and in the future.

Thursday 3/2/17
In-class activities: 1] Compose introductory and concluding paragaphs for the NHLP essay to finish it. 2] Add the Works Cited section 3] Print and submit the draft of the NHLP essay.

  • Introductory paragraphs
  • Set the hook
  • Narrow the focus/provide needed background info
  • Clearly state the thesis
  • A thesis statement is NOT an announcement of intention
  • States the subject matter
  • Is unified
  • Clearly indicates the writer’s opinion
  • Contain the “key words” if possible

Body paragraph 1 describes the NHLP, according to Smilkstein, and describes how you went through each of the six stages when you learned ________.

Body paragraph 2 discusses how emotions affect learning, and describes a specific situation in which stress (noradrenalin) interfered with your successful learning outcomes.

Body paragraph 3 describes two strategies, from your research, which will enable you to overcome that learning difficulty hereafter.

Concluding paragraph

Must bring closure

Can paraphrase your main points

Can comment again on the subject matter

Can call for action on the part of the reader

Week Nine

Tuesday, 3/14/17 Group activity: Getting more familiar with your Little Seagull Handbook through the Grammar Crossword activity. Learning is fun!!


  1. Use pencil, not ink.
  2. Complete the Grammar Crossword. Where you don't know an answer, be a resourceful researcher to ascertain it.
  3. Once it's complete, find the sections of the Little Seagull Handbook which correspond to the grammar or punctuation convention listed in the clue answers below, and pencil in those section numbers next to the clue number on the puzzle, for example S-3, P-2c, etc.
  4. 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:

Homework and resources for Thursday: Complete the Grammar Crossword project per the instructions posted above.

Week Ten

Tuesday, 3/21/17 1] In-class mini-conferences on the Creator's Mindset essays with Prof. D.

Homework and resources for Thursday: Make revisions and edits to the Creator's Mindset essay per conference with Prof. D.

Thursday, 3/23/17 Workshop: In-class mini-conferences on the NHLP essays with Prof. D.

Homework and resources for Tuesday, 3/28: Make revisions and edits to the NHLP essay per conference with Prof. D.

Week Eleven

Tuesday, 3/28/17 1] Fix the works cited section for the Creators Mindset essay. Copy and paste the text below onto the end of your essay and delete my instructions, which display inside parentheses.

Works Cited (Center this line in your paper)

(Use flush left margins and hanging indents for the works cited entries, below. DO NOT CENTER the works cited entries.)

Downing, Skip. On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life. 7th ed. Wadsworth: Boston, 2014.

Mirman, David. "Do You Think Like a Creator or a Victim?" You Are the Prime Mover. 2 Jan. 2012. Web. 28 March 2017. <http://youaretheprimemover.com/2012/do-you-think-like-a-victim-or-a-creator>.

2] Paraphrasing--putting information into my own words.

3] Summarizing--identifying main ideas and supporting details of the whole paragraph or article: video, written instructions

4]Discuss and begin Critical Thinking Journal #1 using the SQ4R note-taking method. First, previewing: What do we already know about Henry Ford? Let's find a good source and skim it for questions to write in the "Cues" column of our Cornell notes. As we read the source, we will recite the answers to our cues column aloud so that we are paraphrasing as we go along. Then we will record our paraphrases in the "Main Notes" section of the Cornell foratted note paper. If we didn't write "cues" for all of the important details and main ideas, then we will add these notes as we read and recite from the source because the main ideas and them most important supporting details will be needed in our summary of the article about Henry Ford. After we have finished recording our paraphrased answers to our "Cues" column questions, at the bottom of each page of notes, we will review by summarizing in writing what is on the page. Voila! You have made a summary of a short biographical article about Henry Ford.

Homework for Tuesday 4/4 : Complete your summary of the Henry Ford biography and complete the rest of the Critical Thinking Journal, per the posted instructions. It will be three paragraphs in length.

Thusday, 3/30/17 No class today. I am at an English Professor's conference.

Week Twelve

Tuesday, 4/4/17 Reading Workshop: Making meaning from context cues usgin the story crossword.

Thursday, 4/6/17 Reading Workshop. First, let's listen to this: "Struggle for Smarts? How Eastern and Western Cultures Tackle Learning" (audio file from NPR) 8:37 min. Next, now that we know that strugging is a good thing, let's do a group activity by finishing the story crossword together.

Week Thirteen

Tuesday, 4/11/17 Writing Workshop: 1] Finish the Critical Thinking Journal entry on Henry Ford's quote. 2] Mini-conferences to go over the Creator's Mindset essay and the NHLP essay.

Thursday, 4/13/17 Reading Workshop: Review what we have learned and practiced this semester to develop good acadmic reading skills. Take copious notes because you will be writing about this in your final essay, which will be to complete the reading literacy narrative you began in week one.

Homework assignment for Tuesday, 4/18/17:

Review: What have I learned about academic reading in English class?
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:

Sample Reading Literacy Narratives: Kaytlyn Evans, Spring 2016; Josh Colonna, Fall 2016; Amanda Gentry, Fall 2016; Christina Villanueva, Spring 2016

This will be the third of four essays to include in your portfolio. You will write your final in-class essay in week 15. The other two are the Creators Mindset essay and the NHLP essay.

Week Fourteen

Tuesday, 4/18/17 Writing Workshop: Mini-conferences to prepare the your three essays and critical thinking journal for your portfolio. Prepare your essays for the portfolio sing assistive technology:

Thursday, 4/20/17 Reading Test: Post-semester DRP.

Week Fifteen

Tuesday, 4/25/17 Writing Workshop: Begin the in-class final essay.

Thursday, 4/27/17 Writing Wokshop: Finish the in-class final essay, and submit your portfolio including the in-class final essay, the Creator's Mindset essay, the NHLP essay, the Reading Literacy Narrative essay, and the Critical Thinking Journal entry about Henry Ford's famous quote.

Week Sixteen: 5/2/17, 10:45-1:15

Tuesday, 5/2/17 Portfolio conferences: We will discuss the outcomes of your portfolio evaluation and your recommended placement for next semester.

Return to Mr. D's index page

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