23 April 2008

prompt for monday april 28

Rather than taking a final exam for your final evaluative experience, this assignment asks that you demonstrate your knowledge of the rhetorical situation. Specifically, this assignment asks you to write about how you will revise your argument in Essay 4 for a different medium and audience. How would you express this position if you were making a commercial, designing a billboard, making a blog, or creating a magazine ad? After choosing a specific audience for your message and the new medium in which you want to state that message, make every effort to present your message in this new medium (the visual representation will be the new medium). Your new visual will be designed for the presentation (during finals week); this blog prompt is asking you to analyze the rhetorical choices you made in shifting your argument for this new medium. [Note: the post is due before the presentation; your visual does not need to be complete for you to write the blog post, but you’ll want to have a plan/sketch of it to write about it.]

Write a blog post in which you explain how you revised your argument essay for this new audience and medium and what you learned from doing so. In this post, you want to accomplish the following things:
  • remind readers of the context and give an overview of your argument for Essay 4
  • describe what medium you have chosen for the rhetorical revision
  • explain in detail the choices you made in turning this into a visual ad for mainstream culture (as opposed to a more academic setting)
  • what you learned about the rhetorical process (issues of audience—including location, form, visual appeals, etc.) from making these changes

02 April 2008

prompt for friday, april 4

Welcome back to blogging! We've taken a break of a month or so while working on ethnographic essays, but it's time to write about your topic for the LAST essay of the semester, the Argument Essay. As we discussed in class, narrower and more localized topics are usually some of the most effective and easiest to write. In your blog, please also address the five bulleted items on pp. 291-292 of your text:
  • interest
  • brevity
  • disagreement
  • information
  • question

03 March 2008

prompt for wednesday, march 5

The main part of this blog assignment is choosing a topic for your Ethnographic Essay. Use Ballenger's suggestions from page 394 to help you ensure that you can research your subculture in time to write the essay. First, make sure your subculture meets the following qualifications
  • it is accessible to you
  • its members gather at places you can visit
  • it interests you in some way
  • it is something you can research online or at the library if you get stuck
  • you are not a member of the subculture
Also, you have to ensure that your group meets the definition of a subculture as we discussed in class. In order for it to be considered a subculture, the answers to the following questions need to be yes:
  • Group Identity: Does the group you want to study feel, at least implicitly, a sense of identification with each other as members? (This doesn't necessarily mean that they all like each other or always get along.)
  • Rituals: Do group members share certain behaviors, outlooks, beliefs, or motivations for belonging?
  • Language: Do they share a common language? Do they tend to describe things in similar ways, or use words or phrases that have special significance to the group?
  • Artifacts: Do they share an interest in certain objects or artifacts? Do they invest these things with similar significance?
For Wednesday, write a blog about how your chosen subculture. Describe the subculture, why you chose it, and how it meets the above qualifications (in both sets of questions).

24 February 2008

audio version of a research essay

As I was listening to NPR last week, I heard a program on technology and online reputations. In the audio recording at the link below, Julie Siple presents "Repairing a Bad Online Reputation," which is essentially an spoken version of a research essay. She incorporates her personal experience with her online reputation and research about a person who helps people repair their online reputations. For some of you, this may be an interesting audio example of the work we're doing on the research essay; for others, it may offer a useful source (or idea for sources) for the topics you're writing about.

Click here to visit the NPR page and to listen to the program.

22 February 2008

prompt for monday, february 25

Once you have completed the glossing of your entire draft that we began in class, look over your outline, and write a blog in which you freewrite responses to some or all of the following questions. (Don't simply write one-word answers. Remember, the idea behind freewriting is to think through writing; you can't do this if you don't write for at least a couple of minutes.)
  • What themes seem to recur and in what ways?
  • What themes or ideas in the draft surprise you? If so, why were you surprised? Are these themes developed enough or should you do more? How can you do this?
  • Do any of the issues or themes you've noticed not seem to fit with the rest of the draft? Why not? Are there possible connections here worth pursuing? If so, how would you develop these issues? If not, do you need these ideas in the next draft of this paper?
  • Think about how you have organized the information in this paper. Do you move from personal experience to public information? Or vice versa? Or back and forth? Is there information that you tell later that would be more helpful to your audience if told earlier, or vice versa? Would any other method of organization work better?
  • Finally, is there any repetition that needs to be eliminated? Ideas or transitions between ideas that are missing?

13 February 2008

prompt for friday, february 15

For class on Friday, I've asked you to bring your first three sources that you have discovered by searching in the same resources that we did in class today. Remember that you can find details on all of the sources I showed you today on eCollege.

For your blog, just write a paragraph reflecting on your experience researching. You might answer questions like: What was easy? What was difficult? Did you have to change your search to find relevant sources? Did you have to narrow down to be able to manage the sources? or broaden to find enough sources? What advice would you give your classmates or other researchers working in these databases or search engines? Or anything else you want to reflect on.

See you on Friday!

11 February 2008

prompt for wednesday, february 13

As we discussed in class on Monday, you'll be starting your research process with a topic, question, and rationale. For Wednesday, write a blog (as long as it needs to be to cover the prompt) that introduces your TQR.
  • Topic - Remember that the topic needs to be related to technology in some way. In your blog, briefly describe your topic.
  • Question - Follow the qualifications listed on pp. 456-57 to ensure your question is researchable. In your blog, share your question and why you think it is a researchable question.
  • Rationale - Think about why you are interested in this topic. In your blog, reflect on why you want to research this topic (or answer this question), what you hope/want to get out of your research, and how your question matters.

25 January 2008

prompt for monday 28 january

For Monday, your only homework is to select a topic for your own Personal Essay. You can use the writings you have done for this class over the past two weeks, including
  • the room from your childhood
  • your collection of items for your writerly roles
  • the experience of stereotyping
  • the object you brought to class
  • the list of potential topics,
...or something entirely different you've thought about outside of class. If you have trouble thinking of topics, you can use some of the activities on pp. 110-114 for ideas. Also, remember the suggestions we discussed from the textbook about what makes an effective topic.

Once you've chosen a topic, you'll compose a blog posting reflecting on your choice of topic. In it, please cover the following:
  • what your topic is
  • how you came to decide on that topic
  • what questions do you have about the topic that you expect to work through in your writing (or, what do you want to understand about this topic that you don't fully understand now?) - remember that you don't need to have a perfectly neat 'thesis' at this stage in the process
Keep in mind that blog posts are expected to be written in paragraph form but can have a casual, conversational tone. These are more for you as a writer to practice writing and to learn to discover what you think by writing.

We'll begin to brainstorm and start drafting on Monday. Have a great weekend!

16 January 2008

prompt for friday 18 january

As I mentioned in class today, your prompt for Friday is to write about the concept Ballenger mentions on page 8 of Chapter One: "One belief, though, undergirds them all: the most important thing that influences a writer's growth is believing that he or she can learn to write well."

So, you will begin your post of 250-500 words with: "I believe that I can learn to write well..." and develop from there. Like our in-class writing, your blogs are meant to be fast-writing and they can certainly include some 'bad writing.' The point is to just be writing because the only way to get better at anything is to practice it. And hopefully, as you're writing this blog, you'll begin to gain confidence in the potential for learning to write well (or if you already write well, better than well).

14 January 2008

welcome & first assignment

Welcome to our class blog for English 10803! You'll use this page to see announcements related to the class and to access prompts for posts on your own blog. Once you've each created a blog for this course and emailed me the URL, there will be a list of links, so that you can easily find each other's blogs to read and comment. Your first assignment for this class is to actually create your own blog using Blogger and to write your first post. Here are the instructions:

[1] Set up your blog: To do so, go to www.blogger.com, and follow the on-screen directions for setting up a free blog. Please take some time to personalize your blog. This is a way for both me and your classmates to get to know you, so feel free to include a photo, links to other sites you enjoy, etc. Please make sure that your name (first/preferred name and last initial) is clear on your blog. As I mentioned in the syllabus, I know that some/many of you already have a blog where you write posts; however, for the purposes of this class, you will need a separate blog that is focused on reflecting about your reading. Feel free to provide a link to your other blog if you would like to share that with your classmates as well. Keep in mind that I will post your blog address on the course website, so your class members will have access to your blog. You can restrict general public access to your blog, however, under “Settings” by marking “no” for the question “Add your blog to our listings?”

[2] Write your first entry: Write a letter of introduction about yourself. In addition to the basics—where you are from, what year you are at TCU, what major you are considering, etc—I want to know a few things related to your participation in this course. Here is a series of questions to think about as you write (you are not expected to answer all of these, of course; pick a few from the list that you would find beneficial to describe given your own history as a writer):
  • Why are you interested in taking this writing course? If your answer is simply that it’s required, then what would you like to get out of it?
  • What types of writing do you primarily do now (think beyond traditional school papers to other kinds of writing and technologies, like email, texting, etc.)? How do you feel about your writing? Why?
  • What type of writing would you like to do if you had the time? Why?
  • What type of writing have you always liked? Why?
  • What type of writing have you always disliked? Why?
  • What types of texts (autobiographies, histories, essays, short stories, poems, plays, reviews, editorials, something applicable to your major, etc.) do you most enjoy writing? Why?
  • Who has had a great influence on how you write?
  • What strategies do you use when you write and where did you learn them? Do you use the same strategies for every piece you write, or do they differ according to the context? What are these differences?
  • What themes or issues attract you most in your writing?
  • What do you find most difficult about writing? What makes writing easy (or at least less difficult for you?
  • Why do you find writing important—or not—in your life?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself as a writer, what would it be?
  • Overall, how would you assess your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?
  • What areas do you hope to improve upon as a writer this semester?
At the end of your letter to me (it should be around 500 words), please write a final statement letting me know that you have read, understand, and agree to the terms of the course syllabus, which I see as a contract for our course. Also let me know if you have any questions regarding the syllabus or anything discussed in our first meeting of the course. Remember that all of your blog entries should be in paragraph form.

[3] Follow up: Email me at april.patrick@tcu.edu with your blog address (http://____.blogspot.com), so that I can add it to the list on our course page.