R. Dollieslager's English 03:
Computer-Mediated Preparation for College Writing II,
Fall 2008, Thomas Nelson Community College

the universe genie

Edit my papers, I can.

Last Updated, 8 December 2008, 6:20 a.m.

A poem by Gwendolyn Brooks (1917 - )

We Real Cool

The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.

We real cool. We
Left School. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

Class Resources

English 03 Syllabus

"OWL" links OWL stands for Online Writing Labs. These are links to handbooks, workbooks, and even help desks to aid you in answering those sticky questions or finding help with any sort of writing problem.  Our primary on-line "textbook" is linked here.  It is the Guide to Grammar and Writing.

Professional Communication Skills "Why do we have to take these %*#@$&!!! English and speech classes, anyways?" Let some of your peers answer that question for you. Find out what reading, writing, speaking, listening, researching and computing skills are needed in order to obtain a job and to advance in your chosen profession. These essays were researched and written by TNCC students.

Wrules for Writers   When in doubt, check this style sheet. (But don't take it too seriously.)

Use these checklists to assess your own papers before relying on feedback from others.

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, 8/25/08
1] Discuss qualities of successful students, 2] Work a Perfect Copy lesson

Wednesday, 8/27/08
1] Discuss how to reach your goals for Eng. 03, for TNCC, for your career; 2] Write "a letter to myself"

Friday, 8/29/08
In class: Work four Perfect Copy lessons from the "series 2" column, in areas of your biggest editing weaknesses.

Week Two

Monday, 9/1/08
Labor Day: No classes!

Wednesday, 9/3/08

In-class: Popcorn reading of this essay about succeeding as a student. Discuss the structure of the essay and discuss people we know who have succeeded against the odds. Focus on these questions:

Friday, 9/5/08
1] Discuss the essay about Patrick and share examples of people we know who have been successful despite very difficult circumstances.
2] Write one well developed paragraph of aproximately 100-150 words in length about one person you know whom you think has been successful in overcoming the difficult circumstances he or she has faced in life. Below are links to essays students have written about people who have succeeded against the odds. Read them. They might give you some ideas or remind you of someone that you know who has faced similar life situations and has succeeded anyway. Maybe that describes you.

Here are examples of some of those stories:

Homework assignment for Monday:
Due at the start of class, one paragraph describing a successful person that you know personally. Hereafter we will call this the "summary paragraph" of your successful person essay. This paragraph will be a way of starting an essay about a successful person you know.

Week Three

Monday, 9/8/08
Due: Paragraph #1 about a successful person that you know who has overcome difficult circumstances in order to acheive his or her success in life.

In-class: In triads (groups of three) we will share our paragraphs about a person whose success at overcoming difficult circumstances of life inspires us. Focus of group discussion: 1] Topic sentences, 2] What is the one thing that you would most like to know more about in the life of the person your colleagues have written about? That will be the topic of paragraph #2 about your inspirational person.

Homework assignment for Wednesday 9/10:
Due at the start of class, a second "body paragraph" of the essay we are writing about a person we know who has succdeeded in the face of major difficulties. This paragraph topic should derive from your in-class, small-group discussion after sharing your paragraphs.

Wednesday, 9/10/08
Due: Paragraph #2 about a successful person. So far you should have draftede at least the 1st paragraph (we will call it the summary paragraph) and a second body paragraph, so that you have about half of the essay written.

In-class: Reform into your triads from Monday. One at a time, read your new paragraph to your colleagues.

Homework assignment for Friday 9/12:
Due at the start of class, a least one more "body paragraph"for the essay about a successful person. On Friday, we revise the individual paragraphs into a unified first draft of an essay.

Friday, 9/12/08
In class: Today, we focus on unifying the paragraphs into a good, coherent essay. At this point you should have written three to five paragraphs about a person you know who is successful by whatever definition of success you may hold. Reform into your group from Monday and Wednesday. Each member of the group will read your own paper aloud to your colleagues. When you reach the end of each paragraph, say "next paragraph" to alert your audience that you are shifting topic. Colleagues, as the writer is reading, you are to write down what you understand the topic of each paragraph to be. If it is well written, you should be able to identify the topic sentence of each paragraph. At the end, both listeners should have written down the same paragraph topic or, better, the same topic sentence. If that is not the case, then that paragraph either needs to be rewritten so that it sticks to one topic, or maybe you just need to include a topic sentence to unify the paragraph's details. Consult with your group members about that. At the end of class, I want everyone to place an informal topic outline of your essay in my mail box in room 852. It should list your thesis statement and the topic or the topic sentence of each paragraph. That is how I will take attendance as I will not be in class on Friday. But, really, you don't need me anyway: You have each other!

Homework assignment for Monday 9/15:
Write: Due at the start of class, a first draft of an essay about a successful person with a good introductory paragraph, three to five supporting (body) paragraphs developed with concrete details, and a strong conclusion.
Think: Do you feel lucky? Are you a lucky person? We're going to discuss luck on Monday, so I want you to think about yourself and be ready to share with us whether you feel you are a lucky person or not.

Week Four

Monday, 9/15/08
Due: A completed first draft of your first essay, about a successful person. Now we begin to edit.

Discussion: Do you feel lucky?

Wednesday 9/17/08
In class: Begin watching The Secret

Ha ha!! I had a lucky unexpected thing happen to me this afternoon! Ask me about it! Mr. D.

Friday 9/19/08
In class: Finish watching The Secret

Week Five

Monday, 9/22/08
Due: A completed first draft of your first essay, about a successful person. Now we begin to edit.
Discuss topics for essay #2, which we will start writing on or before Wednesday. In other words, when you come to class on Wednesday, you will have already started the essay or you will pitch your topic to me.

Wednesday, 9/24/08
In class: Approve topics and your plan for developing the topic and begin drafting essay #2.

Food for thought. I encourage you to view this film and think about it in the context of what you learned from the video The Secret: Attend the movie Darfur Now and take Cornell notes on the film. Turn in your notes for 5 points of extra credit. This can make up for a missed assignment, or can just add some points to your total.

Week Seven

Friday, 10/3/08
Due: A completed first draft of your second essay (and your first if I have not yet met with you about that paper) will be placed in my mailbox in room 852 of Templin Hall today.

Week Eight

Monday, 10/6/08

In class: I have a group project for y'all to start as I am checking your drafts of the first two essays. It will be a good learning experience, which will demonstrate how well you can work cooperatively with your colleagues, and it will prepare your brain for activities we will do later this week. You, additionally, will increase your retention of the material because, sometime next week, you will be teaching the rest of the class what your group learned. If you look at the learning pyramid to the right, you will see why this is such a powerful way to reinforce anything that you learn. Ninety percent of the material you learn is retained in memory when you learn it well enough to teach others. Wow!

So take the following link: It describes the project and the steps in the process.

The Learning Pyramid

Wednesday, 10/8/08
In class: Demonstrate and discuss a how the brain works: the natural human learning process.

Friday, 10/10/08
In class: Discuss brain physiology: why we learn the way we learn; how the brain actually functions

Homework for Monday, 10/13:
Grammar project: I] Using sentence patterns 1-6 on the Punctuation Pattern Sheet handout, identify which pattern is a simple sentence, which patterns are compound sentences, and which patterns are complex sentences. II] Write an original sample sentence for each of the patterns, 1-6 on the handout. Look at your essays from English 03 and use sentences for your paper which follow these models or patterns. After all, you have already written those sentences, right?

Week Nine

Monday, 10/13/08
Due: Discuss sentence patterns exercise.

Homework for Wednesday, 10/15:
Grammar project: Following sentence patterns 1-6 from the handout, identify sentences from the essays you have already drafted which fit the patterns, and give an example of each pattern from the sentences you have written in your essays. If you have not used one (or more than one) of those sentence patterns, then identify two simple sentences that are positioned next to each other in one of your essays, and recast them to fit the patterns. Incorportate the revised sentences back into your essays. I will be looking for them when I read the edited draft of your papers.

Wednesday, 10/15/08
In class: Identify and discuss a variety of basic sentence patterns.

Friday, 10/17/08
In class: What do we already know about sentence boundaries, and what do we need to learn?

Homework for Monday, 10/20:
Bring drafts of both of your essays. We will begin to edit for sentence boundaries, using "aural editing" techniques.

Week Ten

Monday, 10/20/08
Begin editing: We will begin to edit for sentence boundaries, using "aural editing" techniques. I will pair you up with a partner, and you will read your partner's paper to him or her, from the last sentence to the first, one sentence at a time, listening for errors in sentence boundaries. Let's first review the sentence boundary errors we wish to identify, fragments, run-ons and comma splices:

Friday, 10/24/08
Creating sentences by combining prepositional phrases: Let's try these.

Homework for Monday, 10/27:
Drafts of both of your essays have been revised to eliminate all sentence boundary errors (i.e., no fragments, run-ons, or comma splices). Retype or reprint them (or rewrite them if you have drafted by hand) so that you have clean copy. I will check them for sentence boundary errors, but I won't look at slop, so make them neat.

Week Eleven

Monday, 10/27/08
Due: Revised drafts of essays 1 and 2. I will read them looking for sentence boundary errors and will STOP reading at my first encounter with a fragment, run-on or comma splice.

In class: Let's understand our learning styles using the V.A.R.K questionnaire and web site.

Wednesday, 10/29/08
In-class writing assignment: Write one paragraph of 120-150 words in length describing what the VARK is and how its website is useful. Do not include anything about your own VARK profile (the questionnaire results); that information will be the topic of the next paragraph, so none of that information should go into the first one.

Friday, 10/31/08
Writing assignment: Write one paragraph of 120-150 words in length describing your VARK profile and what you learned about your own VARK learning preferences. Include examples that show that you do learn in these ways and also some example of how you can apply this knowledge about your preferred modes of learning in the classes you are taking now or will take in the future.

Week Twelve

Monday, 11/3/08
Writing assignment: How will you, or how DO you, adapt your learning styles to professors whose teaching style is incompatible with your VARK learning profile? For instance, you have a math professor who fills the entire 75 minute class by writing equations on the board as quickly as possible, explaining how to work them, but will not take questions during class. By using the information on the VARK website, HOW do you adapt your learning methods to those teaching methods? Write a paragraph of 120 to 150 words explaining how you HAVE done this in the past (or are doing it this semester) or how you will do so in the future.

have now written three paragraphs: onw is about the VARK questionairre and website, the second is about about your VARK learning styles, and the third is about adapting your learning abilites to a variety of teaching styles of methods. These should be the first three paragraphs of an essay. Now you need only to write a conclusing to make your paragraphs into a unified essay. So do it!

Homework for Friday, 11/7:
The VARK essay is completely drafted by the start of class. You now will have three essays written this semester, and we ill spend exactly two weeks editing them to improve punctuation, grammar and sentence structure and prepare the essays for the protfolios.

Friday, 11/7/08
Review editing conventions: Let's prepare our three essays for the portfolio by focussing on punctuation and grammar. The primary thing the readers will look for in these area are:

Week Thirteen

Monday, 11/10/08
Editing workshop: Self-evauation using the "Editing Checklist" from the Guide to Grammar and Writing

Wednesday, 11/12/08
Editing workshop: 1] Preparing the essays for the portfolio. Use the "Editing Checklist" from the Guide to Grammar and Writing 2] Mini-conferences during class

Note: I will have a therapy dog in class today.
She is a safe, friendly, trained therapy dog at Eastern State Hospital.

Friday, 11/14/08
Editing workshop: 1] Correctly formatting the essays 2] Editing the essays for the portfolio. Use the "Editing Checklist" from the Guide to Grammar and Writing

Your portfolios will include three essays you have written outside of classes and one in-class essay. The portfolios MUST have these four essays in them in order to be evaluated by the readers Portfolios are due at noon on Monday, December 1st.

Week Fourteen

Monday, 11/17/08
Editing workshop: 1] Preparing the essays for the portfolio. Use the "Editing Checklist" from the Guide to Grammar and Writing 2] Mini-conferences during class

How the Brain Learns I used this PowerPoint when I discussed how the brain works and how it grows dendrites and networks of dendrites in order to enable learning. You may want to review this slide show inconjunction with your development of the VARK learning analysis essay.

Wednesday, 11/19/08
Editing workshop: 1] Preparing the essays for the portfolio. Use the "Editing Checklist" from the Guide to Grammar and Writing 2] Mini-conferences during class

Friday, 11/21/08
Two-hour option for the in-class essay: You will have the choice of writing the in-class essay during our scheduled classes on Monday 11/24 and Monday 12/1 (classes are scheduled for only Monday during Thanksgiving week), OR you may write the entire essay in two hours today. If you choose option two, I will collect the in-class essay at 1 p.m. Your portfolio with the other three essays will be due on December 1st at 12 noon.

Week Fifteen.1

Monday, 11/24/08
Begin the in-class essay You have 100 minutes to write the in-class essay, so you may begin it today and finish it on Monday 12/1, a week from today if you did not already write the essay on Friday 11/21.

Tuesday 11/25-Friday 11/28 Thanksgiving Break

Week Fifteen.2

Monday, 12/1/08
Finish the in-class essay You have 100 minutes to write the in-class essay, so you may finish them today and turn them in with the other three papers in your portfolio.

Portfolios are due at noon on Monday, December 1st. No extensions, no exceptions, no excuses!

Wednesday, 12/3/08
Portfolio review week: You may come to the classroom, but I have no specific agenda for classes for this week. I will be reading portfolios from a total of six classes, so please be quiet in the classroom so that I am able to concentrate on my evaluations.

Friday, 12/5/08
Portfolio review week: You may come to the classroom, but I have no specific agenda for classes for this week. I will be reading portfolios from a total of six classes, so please be quiet in the classroom so that I am able to concentrate on my evaluations.

Week Sixteen: Finals week

Monday, 12/8/08
This is a regularly scheduled class day. I do NOT have the portfolios back form the other readers yet, so show up for your conference with me on the day and time scheduled for your final class. (Weds. for the 10 a.m. class; Fri. for the 11 a.m. class.)

Wednesday, 12/10/08
10 a.m. class meets from 10-11:45 for portfolio conferences

Friday, 12/12/08
11 a.m. class meets from 11-12:45 for portfolio conferences


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