English 1: Computer-Mediated Preparing for College Writing I,
On Course Community of Learners, Spring 2012
Rick Dollieslager, Thomas Nelson Community College


This guy is clueless. Are you clueless about punctuation and grammar? Then let's get it right!

Last Updated, 16 April 2012, 9:40 a.m.

Office Hours (click it) . . . . . / . . . . . . Email: dollier@tncc.edu

English 1 course syllabus

Class Resources

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 Three

Monday, 1/23/12
In-class Activity:
Power Writing Workshop

Assignments for Wednesday 1/25/12:
1] Revise
your Power Write paragraph 3, which we drafted in class, about three qualities of a friend or friends. In your revision, make sure that you [a] include transitions (also called the "signal words"), and [b] add a Power 4 sentence per the handout instructions to bring closure to your paragraph.
2] Read these two articles about [a] why it is important to understand and use conventional academic and professional prose, and [b] how to speak in more professional ways.
3. Write one Power paragraph in the 1-2-2-2 pattern, giving three reasons that Eve Carmichael thinks it is important to speak and write with good grammar
Write a second Power paragraph in the 1-2-2-2-2 pattern, giving the four best ways (in your view) to practice speaking "proper" English, based on the suggestions made by Sarah Metzger Erdemir in her article (link posted above).
4. Purchase Aplia access from the bookstore, or go on line and purchase it. If you are not on financial aid you may purchase Aplia from Cengage.com on line and save yourself $4.00. Use the following ISBN (the electronic "book number") to purchase the correct version of the Aplia Basic English program: 9781428275737

Wednesday, 1/25/12
In-class Activities: 1] Turn in your three Power Write paragraphs. 2] Discuss speaking and writing as a professional. Discussion focus: How can/will we help each other to accomplish these goals? 3] Finish the course syllabus. 4] Start the Aplia assignments for next week.

Assignments for Monday 1/30/12:
1] Read
the Course Rules for Success section of the syllabus. (It includes "Classroom Deportment," "Success Habits Outside of Class," and "Expectations of Instructor.") We will finish the syllabus on Monday, so make a list of your expectations of the instructor, and we will talk about which of these to include in the syllabus.
2] Aplia lessons due before Saturday: Intro to Aplia, Diagnostic Assessment, Subjects and Verbs
3] Aplia lessons due before next Wednesday's class: Avoiding Sentence Fragments, Present Tense, Past Tense

Week Four

Monday, 1/30/12
1] Begin Cornell lecture notes, and 2] learn about the
Natural Human Learning Process.

Assignments for Wednesday 2/1/12:
Review the information on the NHLP and brain development during learning.
I am going to ask you some questions about how the brain functions during learning, why it is important to know that process, and how you can control it.

Wednesday, 2/1/12
1] Words have power. The right words have much more power. 2] Finish "the brain" lesson, and 3] Power write a paragraph following this pattern: 1-2-3-2-3-2-3-2-3-2-3-2-3 The topic sentence will state that according to Dr. Rita Smilkstein there are six stages in the Natural Human Learning Process. The Power 2 sentences will describe Smilkstein's six stages, and these will be followed by the Power 3 sentences, which will give an example of what YOU did in this stage of learning the skill or activity that you discussed in class.

Assignments for Monday2/6/12:
1] Compose the NHLP Power Write paragraph
per the instructions posted above and discussed in class.
2] Do the assigned Aplia lessons

Week Five

Monday, 2/6/12
1] Share some of your NHLP paragraphs to discuss the Power Writing patterns, and 2] begin composing the next paragraph, on how neurons are similar in structure to trees.

Assignments for Wednesday 2/8/12:
Draft two paragraphs
and be prepared to describe the Power Writing pattern you used to develop them. The topic of one is how synaptic firing is similar to a spark plug firing. (You may want to think of the number of ways in which that analogy is ture when you write your Power 1 sentence for this paragraph.) Then draft a pragraph discussing how emotions affect synaptic firing.

Wednesday, 2/8/12
1] Turn in your four paragraphs: NHLP, neurons are like trees, synaptic firing is like spark plugs firing, emotions affect learning. 2] Read about thesis
thesis statements and the topic sentences for body paragraphs. 3] Reconstruct the quintessential five-paragraph theme, Bertrand Rusell's "What I Have Lived For."

Assignments for Monday 2/13/12:
Draft the brain development essay
following the instuctions I handed out in class today. The draft of the essay will be due at the start of class on Monday. Further instructions and resources are linked below.

Resources for completing the essay:

  • an introductory paragraph with a good, unifying thesis statement
  • a topic sentence for each body paragraph (it is the Power 1 sentence if you have Power Written the paragraphs)
    • Body paragraph 1 topic, Smilkstein's and your own NHLP
    • Body paragraph 2 topic, how neurons are similar to trees
    • Body paragraph 3 topic, how synaptic firing is like a spark plug firing
    • Body paragraph 4 topic, how emotions affect learning ("Tell" it but also "show" it with examples from your own experience as a student, and "apply" it by describing how you will use this information to optimize learning in specific classes and specific situations this semester. Note: this may be two paragraphs, one which "tells" and "shows" and the other which "applies" the knowledge.).
  • a good concluding paragraph describing how it is useful to you to know this information about how the brain functions during learning.
  • Revision and editing checklist. Apply these criteria to your own essay once you have finished drafting it.
Week Six

Monday, 2/13/12
Discuss what information should go into each of the body paragraphs of the brain development esssay and successful strategies for introducing and concluding the essay. It should have an introductory paragraph, four or five body paragraphs and a good concluding paragraph.

Assignments for Wednesday 2/15/12:
of the entire brain development essay is due at the start of class.
Self evaluate the completed draft of your essay based on class notes from today and the
Revision and Editing Checklist from the Guide to Grammar and Writing. Make it as good as you can make it before bringing it to class on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 2/15/12 Peer reviewing brain development essays using the handout I will give you in class (developed from the one I gave you last week for developing the content of the paper) and also the Revision and Editing Checklist from the Guide to Grammar and Writing

Assignments for Monday 2/20/12:
Turn in
the entire brain development essay at the start of class
Listen to "Conjunction Junction" and "Get Your Adverbs" from Schoolhouse Rock
Do Aplia
lessons (posted in week 6 on Aplia): Coordination, Subordination, Avoiding run-ons, Semicolons and Conjunctive Adverbs.

Week Seven

Monday, 2/20/12
In-class Activity: Identifying the
thesis statement and the "showing" details (Power 3 sentences) in the essay, "Succeeding Against the Odds."

  • The marked copy should look something like this one, where the concrete desctriptive details are highlighted in yellow and the eplanatory text is in white.

Video resources (somewhat) related to our study of neuronal development during learning:

Assignments for Wednesday 2/22/12 due at the start of class:
Draft a one-pager (at least)
telling about someone you know personally or have known personally who, by your definition, has succeeded against difficulties. This person could be YOU!

Wednesday, 2/22/12 1] Due at the start of class: Brain development essay, if you did not submit the essay on Monday. 2] Peer feed back on the successful person draft one-pager.

Note about due dates: The brain development essay is due today. It won't be accepted after Friday of this week, which means I will give no feedback on it. By the end of next week (mid-semester), you will have been assigned to finish your third essay, and we will begin editing all three of them earnestly. We will write two more essays this semester, for a total of five. I won't submit a portfolio unless 80% of all the work for the semester has been completed sucessfully, including essays, paragraph assignments, Aplia and Perfect Copy lessons, and any quizzes. One essay, alone, equals nearly 80% of the total for the semester, so missing one essay almost assures failure. Get 'em done, folks!

Assignments for Monday 2/27/12:
Finish drafting the essay about a successful person
, two to three pages in length when typed, doublespaced, Times New Roman font (appx. 600-750 words). Due at the start of class on monday.

Resources for completing the successful person essay:
little engine that can't

Week Eight: Mid-semester evaluation time

Monday, 2/27/12
In-class Activity: 1] Return diagnostic essay and brain development essay. 2] Discuss revisions: Follow the instructions with the brain development essay!!

Assignments for Wednesday 2/29/12:
the diagnostic essay and the brain development essay, per my written comments and our class disscusion. Both are due at the start of class on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 2/29/12
In-class Activity: 1] Begin the
sentence editing skills exercise to help prepare for editing your Eng. 1 portfolios. Base groups, help each other out if anyone gets stuck or can't answer questions. 2] Mid-semester mini-conferences on how you are doing in Eng. 1.

Resources for completing the punctuation patterns exercise:

Assignments for Monday 3/12/12:
Finish the
sentence editing exercise we started in class
Do the assigned Aplia lessons: "ing" modifiers and relative pronouns

Week Nine

Monday, 3/12/12
In-class Activity: Working out problems or questions on the
sentence editing skills exercise to help prepare for editing your Eng. 1 portfolios.

Assignment for Wednesday 3/14/12:
Finish the
sentence editing exercise. Due at the start of class on Weds.
Assignment for Wednesday 3/21/12:
the previously unassigned Aplia lessons: Adjectives & Adverbs, Consistent Tense, Consistent Person

Aplia lessons have been reset!
Use the mid-term Aplia scores document I gave you to determine which lessons on which you scored below 80%, and rework those lessons by 4/16/12.

Wednesday, 3/14/12
In-class: Editing workshop. 1] Begin revising, editing, and preparing your succcessful person essay for your portfolio. 2] Mini-conferences with Mr. D. during class workshop.

Assignment for Monday 3/26/12:
of the successful person essay due at the start of class. Turn the new version in along with the previous draft that I have already read and made revision and editing suggestion on. Resources for editing and revision:

Assignment for Wednesday 4/16/12:
any Aplia lessons on which you scored below 80%. Use the mid-term Aplia grades document I gave you to ascertain the 80% figures.

Week Ten: New Horizons Week (for Mr. D. & Prof. Hayden)
Editing Week for YOU!

Monday, 3/19/12
In-class: Editing workshop. Whole class consults with Mr. D. on editing, and preparing the successful person essay; we will use the Net Ops interface to display your computer screen to all for discussion of the papers, and problems in editing, especially. 2] Mini-conferences with Mr. D. during class on Aplia lessons to re-do those related to edting your essay.

Wednesday, 3/21/12
Mr. D. and Prof. Hayden are in Roanoke for a conference this week, so you may do your class work anywhere that you have access to a computer. Work on the Aplia lessons that you need to RE-do, and work together with each other on revising and editing if you wish to get together with colleagues. Our classroom won't be opened today. Email me if you encounter any problems. I will be logged in to help you via email during your assigned class time, since I know that you have no other commitments then. Dollier@tncc.edu (Copy and paste it into an email "To:" line if email does not open when you click the link.)

Assignment for Monday 3/26/12:
of the successful person essay due at the start of class. Turn the new version in along with the previous draft that I have already read and made revision and editing suggestion on.
Assignment for Wednesday 4/16/12:
any Aplia lessons on which you scored below 80%. Use the mid-term Aplia grades document I gave you to ascertain the 80% figures.

Week Eleven

Monday, 3/26/12
In-class Activity: Introduction to Perfect Copy lessons. When you use Perfect Copy to help you to edit your essays for the portfolios, you will follow this process:

  1. Determine your most recurrent pattern of error from the Norton Field Guide's coding marks, which I've made on your returned essay.
  2. Go to Perfect Copy and access the "A" list of lessons in the "Series 2" column for your most frequently marked editing error, for instance, "commas."
  3. Work two "A2" lessons on that specific editing error, using the handbook help as I instructed you to do in class, whenever it is needed.
  4. After working two lessons, go back to your essays and edit for ONLY that one type of error so that you are focussing on and learning to correct just one problem at a time.
  5. Once you have identified and made all of those corrections, determine the second most frequent error (again from my error-coding marks on your essay), and repeat the procedure.
  6. By following this process, not only will you edit your papers so that there are very few errors, but you will also learn these editing skills so that you don't keep repeating those errors as you draft your next essays.
Assignment for Wednesday 3/28/12:
of either the successful person essay or the diagnositic essay (if you have it and I don't) due at the start of class. Turn the new version in along with the previous draft that I have already read and made revision and editing suggestion on.

Week Twelve

Monday, 4/2/12
In-class Activity: Hit me with your best shot! Write out three questions about your most difficult editing problems. What are they? How can I help you to "get it"?

Assignment for Wednesday 4/4/12:
your most difficult paragraph in all of your essays with regard to editing. Your colleagues will discuss and help you edit it in class.

Wednesday, 4/4/12
In-class Activity: Let's fix the editing problems in the very toughest paragraph you have written. Open it on your computer and we will have at it!

Assignment for Monday 4/9/12:
1] Revise and edit
your Eng. 109 Mid-Term essay (from Prof. Hayden's class). We will include those papers in your Eng. 1 portfolios.
2] Using
"The Least You Need to Know about Editing" web page links as resources,

  • (A) define "sentence fragment," "comma splice" and "run-on sentence" in your own words--not copied and pasted or retyped from ANY source, but stated in your own words;
  • (B) describe three ways to correct each of those three types of sentence errors;
  • (C) and describe the proof-reading technique we discussed in class for identifying run-ons, comma splices and fragments in your own writing.

Week Thirteen

Monday, 4/9/12
In-class Activity: 1] Turn in 13 sentences in answer to "The Least You Need to Know Questions" assigned on Wednesday 4/4/12. 2] Test what we know and win some big money playing
Grammar Jeopardy!

Wednesday, 4/11/12
In-class Editing Workshop: In consultation with Mr. D. and your colleagues, revise, edit, and perfect your essays for your portfolio. Class discussion first on

Week Fourteen

Monday, 4/16/12
In-class Activity: Portfolio prep. workshop. Edit, revise, correctly format all your papers; consult with your colleagues and Mr. D. on questions, concerns, sticky issues.

Resources for editing and revision:

Wednesday, 4/18/12
In-class Activity: 1] Portfolio prep. workshop. Edit, revise, correctly format all your papers; consult with your colleagues and Mr. D. on questions, concerns, sticky issues. 2] Prepare for the in-class essay. Note: The advice provided on the eHow article at the previous link suggests times for a one-hour essay. Adjust your time plans accordingly: you have about two and a half hours.

Week Fifteen

Monday, 4/23/12
In-class Activity: Begin in-class final essay. Try to get your essay completely drafted today, just the first draft of it.

Wednesday, 4/18/12
In-class Activity: Finish in-class essay. Edit, revise, correctly format your final paper.

DUE NOW: Turn in your Eng. 1 portfolio for end-of-semester evaluation.

Week Sixteen

Monday, 4/30/12
In-class Activity: 1] Portfolio conferences. I will meet with everyone today, individually, to discuss your portfolio evaluations, give a semester's end assessment of your progress, and answer any questions you have about next semester in English. 2] Write
the course evaluation.


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