English 03: Computer-Mediated Preparing for College Writing II

Rick Dollieslager, Thomas Nelson Community College

Punctuation Tree

Ah, fun with punctuation and grammar!

Last Updated, 22 April 2009, 9:25 a.m.

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.

Schoolhouse Rock. No, seriously: Music is a very brain-compatible way to learn.

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, 1/12/09
In-class: 1] Discuss habits and behaviors of successful students, 2] finish expectations section of syllabus, 3] begin drafting your one-page motivator (below)

Homework assignment for Wednesday:
Write one full page describing why you are in college (how college will help you to achieve your dreams), how communication classes will help you to achieve your academic and professional goals, what your specific goals for English 03 are this semester, how you will achieve these goals, and everyone to whom your success is important or who supports you in your goals. Bring this one-pager with you to class on Wednesday. It is just a draft, so it does not have to be perfect; just get it written before class begins.

Wednesday, 1/14/09
DUE at the start of class: One-page motivator
In-class: 1] Uncovering the Natural Human Learning Process; and 2] understanding how the brain works when we learn: fascinating brain development research

Week Two

Monday, 1/19/09
Celebrating Dr. King's life by NOT holding classes?!? Umm . . . okay.

Wednesday, 1/21/09

In-class assignment:
1] Complete discusion of how the brain functions 2] Finish the Classroom Deportment section and the Expectations of Professor section of the Eng 03 course syllabus 3] Popcorn reading of this essay about succeeding as a student. 4] Discuss people we know personally who have succeeded against the odds.

Homework assignment for Monday 1/26/09
Growing the dendrites: 1] Think about people you 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 personally 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 for you to read as models. 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:

Week Three

Monday, 1/26/09
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.
3] Begin drafting a paragraph that shows one admirable quality of your successful person or that describes one thing this person has done which makes you say he or she is successful.

Homework assignment for Wednesday, 1/28/09:
Finish composing the second paragraph about your succesful person. It is due at the start of class.

Wednesday, 1/28/09
DUE at the start of class:
Second paragraph about your successful person.
In class assignment:
1] Case study, "The Late Paper" 2] Share the second paragraph about your successful person, showing one admirable quality or thing that he or she did that makes that person a success. Growing the dendrites: 3] Play the graduation game and discuss how to accomplish large projects. 4] 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: Topic sentences.

Homework assignment for Monday 2/2:
Write paragraph three about your sucessful person, describing a second success quality or giving a second example that shows this person succeeding against difficulties.
Read about introductions and thesis statements.
Bring two folders for English 03, one for notes and hondouts and one for your portfolio

Week Four: Starting Grammar Week! Yea!!!

Monday, 2/2/09
DUE at the start of class: The third paragraph about your successful person.
In class: 1] Discuss the qualities of good introductory paragraphs and good thesis statements. Growing the dendrites: 2] Using cuisenairre rods, pipe cleaners, MS Paint, or Post -Its, visually represent the organization of your individual paragraphs into an essay about this person whom you know who has succeeded against the odds. 3] Draft a thesis statement and begin composing an introductory paragraph for your "succesful person" essay.

Homework assignment for Wednesday, 2/4/09:
1] Finish composing the introductory paragraph and a good thesis statement, which will unify the three body paragaphs into an essay. Underline your thesis statement. 2] Organize the body paragraphs according to your visual outline, and underline the topic sentences of each paragraph. 3] Draft a concluding paragraph to complete the first draft of the entire essay.

Wednesday, 2/4/09
DUE at the start of class: Essay one about a successful person is fully drafted.
In class: 1]
Growing the dendrites: "Where are the books?" 2] Recognizing prepositions and identifying prepositional phrases in your essay. We may need to review what we know about nouns and pronouns and connectors. It may help to review this list of prepositions, or this other list of prepositions. :-)

Homework assignment for Monday, 2/9/09:
1] Essay 1 is completely drafted

Week Five: Grammar

Monday, 2/9/09
Finish marking all prepositional phrases in your essay.

Wednesday, 2/11/09
Introduction to Perfect Copy. Edit two Perfect Copy articles in the All Skills database as a diagnostic editing skills assessment.

Homework assignment for Monday, 2/16/09:
Read: 1] GGW, subjects. Take the quiz at the bottom and record your score. 2] Read GGW, verbs. After you review the verb information, write an explanation of how you can identify verbs in a sentence. 3] Read GGW, predicates. "Predicates" can seem to be a needlessly complicated notion about how the sentence is constructed, so as you are reading this section of the GGW handbook, think of "predicates" as the verb and all the other stuff in the sentence that completes the thought--aside from the subject and the subject's modifiers.

Week Six

Monday, 2/16/09
In class: Let's understand our learning styles using the V.A.R.K questionnaire and web site.

Homework assignment for Wednesday, 2/18/09:
Draft: One well developed paragraph of appx. 150 words that describes the VARK and demonstrates how you have learned specific things through your VARK learning preferences. The paragraph will need to tell your readers what the VARK is (I wrote that on the board), who created it and what it is used for (including the web site that accompanies it). You will also describe things that you have learned (you wrote about them in class) and, from the "Helpsheets" section of the web site, you will describe HOW you learned them.

Wednesday, 2/18/09
Self-assessment of your paragraph about the VARK. Use the journalist's heuristic for writing news stories, the "5 W's": Who, What, Why, Where, When and How (yes, "how": is an "H," not a "W," but it is always tossed in with the "5 W's.")

Homework assignment for Monday, 2/23/09:

  1. Finish drafting: One well developed paragraph of appx. 150 words about the VARK quiz and website, which answers the Journalist's 6 questions listed above.
  2. Finish marking all of the prepositional phrases on your first essay (parentheses around the phrase), P over the preposition, OP over the object of the preposition, C over the connectors of the compound objects of the preposition (i.e., the "fanboys": for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), and M over any of the modifiers in the phrases, including articles (a, an, the) and adjectives and adverbs.
  3. Review your notes on brain development from the lecture and our discussion of the brain in weeks one and two, and also review the first 17 slides of the Power Point presentation on brain development which we used in class.

Week Seven

Monday, 2/23/09
In class: 1] Turn in essay one with prepostional phrases marked throughout the paper, per the instructions posted above. 2] Draft a paragraph of appx. 150 words in length describing how the the Natural Human Learning Process works and how the brain functions during learning.

Wednesday, 2/25/09
I will be at a conference today. You may work in the classroom if you wish, or you may work elsewhere during class time today, if you wish. In either case the paragraph about brain development and the NHLP is due today. You may either place hard copy of the paragraph in my mailbox in room 852 (1st floor, Templin Hall), or you may send it to me as an email attachment in MS Word or RTF format.

Homework assignment for Monday, 3/9/09:
Handbook review of nouns and verbs; and subjects and predicates. Know how to identify these parts of speech and parts of the sentence because you will be marking them on the draft of the learning analysis essay you are currently composing--once I give you the instructions for HOW to mark them.

Mar 2-6 is Spring Break Week. Hooray!!

Week Eight

Monday, 3/9/09
In class: 1] "20 minutes, 20 verbs, 20 nouns," a contest. 2] Identifying the parts of sentences: Prepositional phrases, subjects and predicates.

Wednesday, 3/11/09
Bring clean copy of the two paragraphs you wrote before Break, one about the VARK and one about brain development (and the NHLP). We are going to mark these in class.

In class: Draft another body paragraph of the learning analysis essay, showing that you do, indeed, learn successfully thorugh the modalities indicated in your VARK profile. You may want to show how you have adapted your learning preference and methods of learning to a teaching style which was not compatible with your learning style.

Homework assignment for Monday, 3/16/09:
1] Write an introduction and a conclusion to your learning analysis essay. Your conclusion should, in some way, confirm that even though you have a learning preference profile.
2] Research answers to the following questions and be ready to answer them in your own words:

Due: Answers to the questions posted above (in your own words)

Week Nine

Monday, 3/16/09
In class: 1] Discuss the purpose of punctuation. 2] See if you can figure this out: "Dear John" 3] Start your editing presentation project, explained below.

In class: You did good work with the Dear John letter (at least one version of it), so I have a group project for y'all to do. It will be a good learning experience, which will demonstrate how well you can work cooperatively with your colleagues and learn from each other. A very important life skill, it is called positive interdependence (in other words, working successfully in groups). You, additionally, will increase your retention of the material because, sometime in the next couple of weeks, 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

Week Ten

Monday, 3/23/09
In class: 1] Research at least one paper handbook and at least one web site to answer the questions about your punctuation or grammar convention. 2] Save information about your resources to informally document the sources for your presentation. 3] Discuss with your group your plan for how you will teach this to your colleagues.

Wednesday, 3/25/09
In class: Develop your presentation for your colleagues and make some sort of permanent supplement to use. The supplement can be a Power Point presentation, a web page, a MS Word document, a poster to hang on the walls, a brochure or flier or "cheat sheet" of some sort. Be creative. Be resourceful. Your presentation supplement is due at the end of class on Wednesday.

Week Eleven

Monday, 3/30/09
In class: 1] Test what you have learned about your editing convention or practice: form into groups and follow the instructions on the white board. 2] Begin presentations to your colleagues, teaching the rest of the class what your group has learned about your punctuation or grammar convention. Here is the GGW.

Wednesday, 4/1/09
Travel Day for Mr. D. I will be at the VCCS New Horizons conference in Roanoke the rest of this week. As you know, I cannot cancel classes when I am traveling, so I will make your "in-class" assignment, which you may work from any Internet accessible computer which is available to you, since the classroom will not be unlocked during your class on Wednesday.

Homework assignment for Monday, 4/6/09:
Using the Purdue University OWL web site, review the construction patterns of simple, compound, and complex sentences. Then find three examples of each of the eight sentence patterns from your own first two essays and werite them as a model. If you do NOT have three sentences constructed in each of the 8 patterns, then recast some of your senetences from your essay and revise them in the paper itself so that you have variety of sentence constructions, a strong element of writing style.

Due at the start of class on Monday: Twenty four sentences from your essays modeling the eight construction patterns posted above.

Week Twelve

Monday, 4/6/09
Due at the start of class: Twenty four sentences from your essays modeling the eight construction patterns posted above.

In class: Discussion of your sample sentences.

Homework assignment for Wednesday, 4/8/09:
Write one well developed paragraph of 100- to 150 words in length describing what you have learned about the punctuation or grammar convention which you have been researching with your group. Your paragraph should define or describe the convention, it should tell readers how to identify the convention, how to identify when it is in error, and how to correct the errors in the use of this convention. If you have too much material for a 150-word paragraph, condense it by focussing on the most important information about this editing problem.

Wednesday, 4/8/09
Workshops: From this point, our classes will be workshops in which we will edit essays one and two and the punctuation and grammar paragraphs, of which you will write three outside of class.
Portfolio Preparation Conferences: I want to meet with each of you individually to go over your essays. I will schedule three meetings during each class session, but I will need to meet with most of you outside of class during my office hours. Please email me, call me only during my office hours, stop past my office to make an appointment (I'll put a sign up sheet on my door), or make an appointment with me during class.Office Hours: M, T, Th. 11-2; W 11-noon p.m. Also by other arrangement if your schedule is not compatible with mine.

Homework assignment for Monday, 4/13/09:
The paragraph you wrote for today's assignment will be one paragraph of your third essay. Your introductory paragraph will discuss the purpose of punctuation and why we need good editing skills. The first body paragroph will be the one you have written for today's assignment. The second body paragraph will focus on your second biggest editing problem, whatever that may be. You will draft these three paragraphs before class on Monday. During class on Monday, you will revise your paragraphs based on information that we learn from each other when your goups present.

Week Thirteen

Monday, 4/13/09
Due at the start of class: Three paragraphs of an essay about the importance of editing skills which focuses on what you have learned about at least two main editing skills (comma use, verb use, sentence boundaries).

In class: Group presentations on punctuation and grammar conventions.

Homework assignment for this week:
Make an appointmet with me to have a conference to go over all three of your essays to prepare them for portfolio evaluation. See me in class, or I have a sign up sheet on my door. If you pencil in your name on the sign up sheet, also send me an email immediately letting me know that so that I won't schedule anyone else to conflict with your time.

Week Fourteen

Monday, 4/20/09
In class: "Hey, can you help me with this sentence?" Go through each of your essays reading from the last sentence to the first. Write down EVERY sentence that you are concerned about, and write down the reason for your concern. Consult with the experts in your class on whatever you think the problem may be with your sentences (comma use, verb use, sentence boundaries, colons and semicolons).

Wednesday, 4/22/09
In class: "Hey, can you help me with this sentence?" Go through each of your essays reading from the last sentence to the first. Write down EVERY sentence that you are concerned about, and write down the reason for your concern. Consult with the experts in your class on whatever you think the problem may be with your sentences (comma use, verb use, sentence boundaries, colons and semicolons).

Portfolio Preparation Conferences: If you have not met with me to review your portfolio and help you to prepare it for the panel evaluation, you are running out of time. Do it!

Week Fifteen

Monday, 4/27/09
In class: Begin the in-class final essay

Wednesday, 4/29/09
In class: Complete the in-class final essay.

Portfolios are due at 9:15 today. No extensions, no excuses, no exceptions.

Week Sixteen

Monday, 5/4/09
In class: Portfolio conferences. You must be present for your portfolio conference or I cannot turn in a passing grade.

Wednesday, 5/6/09
In class: Finish portfolio conferences if we did not finish them on Monday. (You must be present for your portfolio conference or I cannot turn in a passing grade.)

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