1302 MW Class Announcement Page -- 1302 Home

Class Announcement 5/3/17


Turning in Essay #4

  1. Do a final Editing
    -- PRINT your paper and do one final EDIT following the steps found in this Editing Checklist
    (have the electronic copy of your paper open, follow steps, MARK changes on your PRINT copy)
  2. Turn in BOTH PRINT copies of
    --the in-class marked final copy of your Essay
    --the Sentence Work 3 Edited copy of your Essay
  3. Turn in your Final Draft to Canvas

Return to class by 10:05

Homework: Do the E4-3 Writing Review before Friday.

Final Exam

Monday 5/8 9:00 - 11:00 AM

This final exam is cumulative, so review our ENTIRE semester's worth of work in preparation.

The Final Exam is a "critical essay" written over a short story plus one scholarly article. Details about the Final Exam will be discussed in-class. These involve what short story we will be read, the essay topics, and the scholarly article to be read.

IF you miss class today, you must contact me in person to find out this information. Also, Essay #4 is also due unless I hear from you otherwise.


Class Announcement 5/1/17

Our focus today will be on doing peer response. Your goal is to do THREE peer responses with a fourth counted as extra-credit. What is not finished in class is due by the end of the day.

Characteristics of a Critical Essay
Critical Essay Grading Rubric
--example Critical Essay (scroll down to see color-coded version)

Quick Review
Before we dive into peer response, I want to review the nature of evidence. The principle behind the "art of integrating quotes" is about using quotes for evidence and meaning in your paper, about always connecting your evidence to your claim.

But what does that mean? Let's go back to our guide on Effective Writing and the Art of Inferences. Also review our guide: Coming to Conclusions Based from Evidence.

Understanding inferences is crucial to effective development of most essays, particularly argumentation. A GOOD WRITER SHOWS, NOT JUST TELLS. That is, he or she clearly establishes the basis (details, facts, examples, descriptions) for any conclusion (thesis, topic sentence) offered in an essay. For any claim, the reader must be shown the grounds upon which that claim rests. Most readers prefer to see for themselves, rather than being merely told what to believe.

In a sense an essay is thus an attempt to get the readers to make the same inferences the writer has made. Your readers are like a jury in a court of law; they will accept your claim (conclusion, thesis) only if you present sufficient evidence (basis, grounds).

Examine your own essay in light of the checklist at the end of this inferences guide. Have you supplied the grounds or basis for your inferences?

As you present evidence from the text, have you effectively "sandwiched" your quotes? (See the guides in the previous

The Final Draft of Essay #4 is due next class. Be sure that you fit your essay into the required 500-750 words. It needs to be in MLA Manuscript form and document sources following MLA Documentation Style. Please come to class with the PRINT copy as well as the Electronic copy to turn into Canvas.

Do Sentence Work 3: Study the additional example of the Paramedic Method at work to help you EDIT and cut the length of your final draft:
--example text
--example text edited
PRINT a copy of your final draft, and then DO THE PARAMEDIC METHOD of editing on your draft. It should have circled prepositions and to be verbs and marked up sentences as you recast sentences. Also, edit to correct any other issues you see. Bring this edited version of your paper to class.

For those still struggling with punctuation and run-ons, review these guides before you edit:
--Punctuation guide
--Run-ons guide (from LEO)

Please be sure to bring your textbook to class next time. I will be reviewing the short story we will read for the final. NOTE: I will only be providing information on the Final Exam in-class (not here in the Class Announcements), so it will be doublely important to come to class next time.


Class Announcement 4/26/17

Today we will do two things mainly:

1) Review out answers to the first set of practice sentences learning the Paramedic Method

Learning About the Paramedic Method

What is the Paramedic Method?--an excerpt from Revising Prose
Writing Guide on Revising Sentences (with short version of the method)

Practice Sentences

2) Review Using Quotes and Coherence and get Essay #3s back
--Using Quotes guide and the "Sandwich Principle" of using quotes.

The Art of Integrating Quotes
--more on integrating quotes
--yet more on integrating quotes

3) Work on the Logical Structure of our draft Critical Essays by viewing and discussing mini-outlines
--Guide illustrating logical structure and single fully developed Body paragraph

We should have time to work on evidence sheets as well.

Homework for next class:

1) Review the characteristics of a Critical Essay. I strongly urge you to work on your evidence sheets first. Then draft.
Review examples of Parts of a Critical Essay--see what works and what doesn't.
Review example of going from Evidence Sheet to Body Paragraph
2) Write your 2nd draft of Essay #4. Be sure that your draft if posted into Canvas by class time for it to be counted as "on-time" and not lose -5 pts. for a late draft. Since this is a second draft, don't worry about grammar, format, or documentation at this point.

Class Announcement 4/24/17

Today we will have class in three Acts

Act I: Learning about the Paramedic Method

Learning About the Paramedic Method

What is the Paramedic Method?--an excerpt from Revising Prose
Writing Guide on Revising Sentences (with short version of the method)

Practice Sentences

Act II: Reviewing Characteristics of a Critical Essay

Please review the Characteristics of a Critical Essay
--review the example critical essay on Hamlet and the EXAMPLE Critical Essay with Research
Pay special attention to how the essays "build a case from evidence."

The Logical Structure of a Critical Essay and Coherence
--Guide illustrating logical structure and single fully developed Body paragraph
--Guide to Coherence

Review Using Quotes
--Using Quotes guide and the "Sandwich Principle" of using quotes.

Review examples of Parts of a Critical Essay--see what works and what doesn't.

Act III: Working with Draft #1 and Brainstorming for Reasons

After this review, we will be working on your first draft of Essay #4.
We will BRAINSTORM FOR REASONS and craft the Mini-Outline for your essay.
--Brainstorming for Reasons Guide

Homework for next time:
1) Refine your E4 Mini-Outline and post to Canvas

2) Work on finding support for EACH of your reasons. Create your own "evidence sheets" for each reason. Bring these to class.

3) REVIEW the guides related to writing a Critical Essay that we reviewed today.

4) Edit the Practice sentences by using the Paramedic Method
--bring your sheet with your edits to class next time

Conference Reminder: If you have not competed your second conference with me or the Writing Center, you need to have this conference before we turn in Essay #4 (which is next week!)


Class Announcement 4/19/17

We turn in Essay #3s today!

Be sure that you turn in BOTH the PRINT copy of your Essay and the Electronic copy into Turnitin.

We will have a class celebration of these intellectual milestones.

If you missed class today, I will expect to see your Essay posted in Canvas. Please bring the print copy next class.


Then, we look together at the Essay #4 Topic sheet and talk some about the novel and writing about the novel. We will work together to determine writing topics for this assignment. These will be posted in the Essay #4 Writing Topics forum in Canvas.
--generating topics for literary analysis essays and patterns for thesis statements

Helpful resource on the novel:
Plot synopsis from Steinbeck in the Schools, San Jose State


  1. Complete the E3-3 Writing Review
  2. Review our topic selections, the novel, your heart, and decide on an Essay Question to address for this essay.
  3. Write your "1st Draft" of Essay #4. This draft will be a modified Think Piece following this sequence. Bring the PRINT copy of this draft to class on Monday.

    Guidance for Draft #1 of Essay #4

    I: Identify the Essay Question
    --just state it

    II: Clarify the Issue/Question
    --What is the nature of this question? What is at stake? What is it really asking? What is its relative importantce to the text? What is this question asking me to find out?

    III. Identify Multiple Suggestions or Theories of Meaning
    Identify at least THREE possible interpretations that seem reasonably to explain or answer this question. Just NAME or identify the three different possible interpretations that could be answers to the Essay Question. (This section should be short--just name or label these different interpretations.

    IV: Test/Evaluate the Multiple Suggestions or Interpretations
    Do a short investigation and evaluation of whether EACH interpretation is reasonable and has textual support or not. Clarify the grounds or evidence in the text for each "suggestion" by pointing to (and even quoting) the text. You should write 100 words on each interpretation.

    V: Accept/Reject Different Interpretations--Finding What is Most Plausible
    State which interpretation you believe is strongest based upon your evaluation of each theory. You should discuss why you believe the other theories are not as strong and why you reject them.

    It is suggested that you take a break at this point, and that you re-read parts of the novel with your theory of meaning in mind. Continue to think.

    VI. Writing on MY Idea
    Start by writing your Essay Question. Skip a line and write your "answer" (or Thesis) to this Essay Question. Skip another line and write the clear question: "WHY do I believe this interpretation is true?

    Then write, in a freewriting fashion from what is in your head, answering this question. Keep coming back to that WHY question and throwing out other possible reasons for why you believe your thesis. Write for 20-30 minutes or as long as you need. You should get around 400 words.

    This means your ENTIRE "draft" should be in the range of 800 words.


    Example for last "Writing on MY Idea" part:

    Essay Question: What is the significance of the Golden Carp in the novel?

    Answer/Thesis: I believe the Golden Carp represents __________ .

    WHY do I believe the Golden Carp represents ____________.

    Well, I think that the Golden Carp represents X because ..... Keep writing on your interpretation for 20-30 minutes, just write quickly, no need to worry about essay form or grammar or even using quotes. Refer to places in the text, certainly, but try to write with flow and when you reach a stopping point don't stop writing just keep writing your thoughts and why you stopped and questions you have and what else you need to consider or find out more about to help you better find the answer you are looking for or back up your ideas. Just keep writing and keep returning to your question and exploring different REASONS for why you believe your interpretation. ...continue

Class Announcements 4/17/17

Today we will be focused on doing peer response on our second drafts of Essay #3.

We will begin with a quick review of
--the logical flow of an essay as it appears in a Topic Sentence Outline (using complete Topic/Transition/Linking sentences)
--and the development of support and handling of quotes for one body paragraph
--Developing Secondary Support Guide

Post your draft in the E3-3 forum and be sure to put a brief "Draft Letter" at the top of your draft.

What is a draft letter?
A Draft Letter is a brief note to you reader preparing for them to read your paper and asking for specific feedback. Be sure to ask for feedback on some question you have about your own paper that will genuinely be helpful for you. Be specific. Post this draft letter quickly.

Your goal is to do TWO peer responses and a third can be for extra-credit. Whatever is not completed in class must be finished by the end of class.

IF you are absent today, I will still expect to see your draft and the peer response completed today unless I hear from you otherwise. Be sure to bring your Evidence Sheets with you when you return.

Homework for next class:
1) Our Final Draft of Essay Test #3 is due next time. You will also turn in your Evidence Sheets, so be sure to bring
--the PRINT copy of your final draft as well as the PRINT copies of your Evidence Sheets
--Also have the electronic version of your paper to turn into Canvas as well

Notes on completing the Final Draft
--Be sure that you are meeting the minimum requirements for the Essay. Review the Essay #3 Topic Sheet.
--Be sure that you are writing a Critical Essay that has all the features of a Critical Essay that we have been reviewing.
--Complete the CONTENT of your essay first.
--Then EDIT. Print a copy of your essay, and mark it up! Read it aloud. Go in for a tutoring session in the Writing Center. Conference with me.
--Make any edits and fixes from your EDITING and be sure that your MLA Documentation and Format is correct.

Try the "Ping-Pong Method of Editing"
It's simple:

1. Finish the essay as best as you can. Edit and proofread the essay to the best of your ability.
2. Take the print copy of your paper to a knowledgeable friend or tutor at the writing center or me
3. Ask them just to circle any thing in the paper that doesn't look right (circle, not fix).
4. You focus on the circles trying to fix each one (beware and trust your own judgment whether something truly is an error or not). Consult with them, if you can, on circles you can't figure out.
5. Fix up your paper. Print a clean copy.
6. Repeat the process--ping and pong.

Important Content You Are Being Tested on in This Essay

  • Including the features and Characteristics of a Critical Essay . These features of a critical essay include specific things to do
    • for introductions
    • for essay form and organization
    • for development of support
    • for handling quotes for evidence and meaning
    • for coherence
    • Your Final Draft should look like this one. (Links in the Characteristic of a Critical Essay guide provide more detail and examples of these features.)
  • Producing a finished writing product with few errors, particularly with punctuation (see our Punctuation Guide)
  • Producing a finished paper that uses MLA Documentation Style correctly

See the evaluation rubric your essay will be evaluated based upon.

2) Complete The Grapes of Wrath by class time next class. We will hit the ground running on Essay #4, so having the novel finished will be very important.


Class Announcement 4/12/17

NOTE: All Critical Summaries should be posted already. These summaries are resources for everyone as they research about their story.

We will start by doing an exercise to discuss Development and Coherence--how do you present your ideas and support so that your reader can follow them.

--Example paragraph from Critical Essay w/ Research (see full example essay)

Examine this paragraph and identify all the ways that this writer is helping you follow his idea(s)--specifically, how is he keeping you on track with developing support for his argument?

Primary Support
Secondary Support

Discussion *

Key #1: Clear Topic/Transition/ Linking Sentences--guide on coherence
Additional Resources to Review on your own
--creating a Sentence Outline
--more examples of trouble-shooting sentence outlines

Key #2: Internal transitions setting up Secondary Support

Key #3: Using Quotes Guide following the Sandwich Principle and the Art of Integrating Quotes
--also Verbs of Attribution signal that you are citing anothers words

See this example of a logical skeleton of a critical essay and an example of ONE fully developed Body paragraph--Developing Support in a Critical Essay

See it all in action in this EXAMPLE Critical Essay with Research


So HOW DO YOU get to a good to a good, fully developed Critical Essay?


Work on your EVIDENCE SHEETS. Then draft.

We will review about collecting evidence and using Evidence Sheets
--Strategies for Developing Support

Then have in-class time for your to do some data collection

1) Review what we did in class today showing how your essay will be build and crafted in terms of Coherence and Development. Review the characteristics of a critical essay as needed. See last class' Class Announcement. Our Essay Test #3 will cover these materials, so you better study them and use them in your essay.

2) Draft #2 of Essay Test #3 is due next time (in electronic form for posting into Canvas). It is a "Critical Essay," so review the elements of a critical essay. Late drafts lose -5 points off the final draft grade.

You are at or near ready to build your draft. Keep researching, reading, annotating, taking notes-- USE YOUR EVIDENCE SHEETS. Try to get your Evidence Sheets as complete as you can. Then begin drafting your second draft. Bring your Evidence Sheets to class with you next time for a grade.

Note: This draft should be "complete," but it can definitely be rough and can have gaps. Also, don't worry about having your documentation correct at this time. Don't worry about grammar at this point.

Key features of a Critical Essay should be built into your Essay Test #3-draft #2:

    1. Your Introduction should state your Essay Question clearly and place your Thesis Statement (your answer to the essay question) in the last sentence of the introduction.

    2. Organize the Body of your paper by "dividing up the proof" and presenting ONE Primary Support (Reason) per Body paragraph. Your essay should present at least three Primary Supports to back up the Thesis.

    3. Seek to have at least three textual supports from both research sources (secondary sources) AND the story (the primary source) to support each Body paragraph's Primary Support.

    4. Each Body paragraph should begin with a clear Topic-Transition-Linking sentence

    5. Quotes from reseach and the story should be properly "sandwiched"

Note: A reminder on the source requirements.

For this essay you are required to include information (in the form of quotes) from at least TWO research sources that come from our SAC online databases (i.e. you didn't get them from the web but they came from JSTOR or from Literature Resource Center) or from books. ONLY academic sources will be accepted (i.e. something from a scholarly journal or book). If you are going for an "A," you need at least THREE of these secondary sources.

This number of research sources is in addition to your story.

Class Announcement 4/10/17


Essay #3 Assignment and Writing Topics

Doing Draft E3-1 in-class of Essay #3

  1. Get out the story and your notes from the articles you've read. Glance over the story and your notes.
  2. After this five-minute review, put these notes aside.
  3. Write your Essay Question at the top of the page.
  4. Then start writing your answer(s) to this question.
    --write without consulting the text or stopping to include quotes. Just write what you really think. Write out questions you have. Write without worrying about essay form, grammar, or anything that is "essay-like." Write what you think.
    --write for a full 25 minutes

(Did you miss class? You need to do this draft on your own and bring it to class when you return.)

Processing the Draft
Work with a partner and share your draft. Talk together and work on which essay question you are truly interested in and what your ANSWER/THESIS to that question is (at this point).
--you should generate a tenative thesis statement (your answer to the Essay Question)

Then we are going to brainstorm for REASONS (or Primary Supports)
--start by thinking of at least five to eight REASONS you believe your thesis is true
--begin each REASON with the word "because"
--list quickly for 10 minutes
--it is ok to brainstorm predominantly in support of your thesis (and not worry about opposing reasons)
--working with our partner, we will refine our list down to three or four reasons

Come back to this list of REASONS and continue to rethink and refine it as needed.

My Essay Question: ______________________
My Thesis/Answer: _______________________

Why do I believe my thesis is true or valid?
... (continue to generate five to eight because statements)

(miss class? you need to do this brainstorming for reasons on your own and bring this sheet to class)

Finally, we will talk about collecting evidence and using Evidence Sheets to generate Secondary Support
--Strategies for Developing Support
--We will hand make three or four Evidence Sheets
--We will get started with ONE of your Evidence Sheets

SHOOT for four to six bits of evidence, if possible, for EACH Reason!


See example of Textual Evidence Sheet -- Open MS Word Template of evidence sheet

REASON # ___

My Essay Question: ______________________
My Thesis/Answer: _______________________+ REASON because statement

Text evidence/instance #1 How or why this evidence supports your thesis/reason?
Text evidence/instance #2 How or why this evidence supports your thesis/reason?
Text evidence/instance #3 How or why this evidence supports your thesis/reason?
Text evidence/instance #4 How or why this evidence supports your thesis/reason?

Homework for next time:

1) Review AGAIN what a Critical Essay is like and its features.
2) Review what we did today in terms of seeking to nail down your THESIS (as your ANSWER to the ESSAY QUESTION) and your PRIMARY SUPPORTS (your REASONS in support of your Thesis).
--rethink and revise this logical skeleton of your paper
3) Work, then, on filling out at least THREE Evidence sheets developing SECONDARY SUPPORTS for your PRIMARY SUPPORTS
--review the guide Strategies for Developing Support
--seek four to six textual supports for each reason

You should include evidence from BOTH your primary text (the short story) and the secondary text (the articles)

You may need to do more research regarding your topic!
--For this essay, ONLY articles found from Literature Resource Center, JSTOR, or a book from our library will count as a secondary source for this essay.


4) You can do a Critical Summary on a third article found from the library databases (listed above) for extra-credit. Post it into the Critical Summary #2 forum by class time next time.

5) If you went to see the Grapes of Wrath play, your extra-credit response to the play is due today or next class. Please staple the ticket to the response.

Class Announcement 4/5/17

Today, we will have a class in three Acts:

ACT I: Review Argumentative Moves: Illustrating, Authorizing, and Countering
The following resources we have looked at before review these moves:
--examples of three argumentative moves
--our model "Connecting Claims to Evidence" piece

ACT II: Learning About What a Critical Essay is Like
Characteristics of a Critical Essay
--as we review each characteristic, we will also talk about and look at the links that go into more depth for each feature. You will want to come back and review these links more.
--then we will look at the model critical essays
Sample Critical Essay -- Second Sample Critical Essay

Follow-up in homework: Read the article "What is Academic Writing?"

ACT III: Researching for a Second (or Third) Article
We will go to the computer classroom and search in the online database "Literature Resource Center" to look for articles. JSTOR is another possible database to use.
--If you are absent, you can access these databases from home from the SAC library

Your job is to find a good article connected to what you are writing about, print it, and begin reading it (and annotating it).
Follow-up in homework: You will write another Critical Summary of this article.


A. Review the Characteristics of a Critical Essay and read the article "What is Academic Writing" to learn about the features of a critical essay.
--really study the features by looking again at the links and at the example essays that model these features

B. Read your second article and write your Critical Summary #2 and post it into Canvas.
--How to write a "Critical Summary" (with example)

C. Re-read/ reskim your story with your Essay Question specifically in mind.
--begin to take notes on important points from the story and your readings related to your Essay Question and emerging thoughts on what your answer to that question is (i.e. begin building a note sheet!)

D. Keep Reading Grapes of Wrath (finish by 4/18!--two weeks from now!!!
--see the play at SAC this weekend for extra-credit

NOTE: We will write draft Draft #1 of Essay #3 in-class next time. Doing a good job on this homework will prepare you for a productive first draft.

Class Announcement 4/3/17


Today we will start by discussing Grapes of Wrath together, and then we will discuss "Young Goodman Brown" in small groups. We will explore the idea of this story as a story of initiation and how it fits the hero journey.

Then we will discuss the Essay #3 Assignment and Writing Topics

Homework for next time:

  1. Re-read your story with your Essay Question specifically in mind.
  2. Read the "Overview" article for your story
    --Overview of "Battle Royal"
    --Overview of "Young Goodman Brown"
  3. Write a "Critical Summary" of your overview article
    --How to write a "Critical Summary" (with example)
    This summary needs to be turned into the "Critical Summary #1" forum inside our Canvas class by class time.
  4. Keep reading Grapes of Wrath!

Extra-Credit opportunity!
Attend the play The Grapes of Wrath playing this weekend and next here at SAC.
--go to the play, write a one to two page general response and reaction to the play, and attach your play ticket.
--turn in for this extra-credit

Class Announcement 3/29/17

Today we will start with some discussion about The Grapes of Wrath.

Then we will discuss "Battle Royal" in terms of point of view, character, plot (to include conflict), and theme

1) Please read "Young Goodman Brown" in our textbook by Nathanial Hawthorne (pg. 342)

2) NO "Think Piece #3" is due next time. Just read. Read closely, critically, and interactively.

3) Keep reading Grapes of Wrath. Dig in. You should be finished with the novel by 4/18!
--pace yourself. Measure how quickly you are reading (how many pages per hour) then allot enough time to complete the novel.

4) Extra-Credit to go to the play The Grapes of Wrath playing this weekend and next here at SAC.
--go to the play, write a one to two page general response and reaction to the play, and attach your play ticket.
--turn in for this extra-credit

Class Announcement 3/27/17

Today we have our Essay #2s due.

Turnin in your essay turn in your essay THREE ways

a) turn in your final draft in Canvas (be sure it is in MLA Manuscript format and uses MLA Documentation Style with a Works Cited page that is on a separate page)

b) PRINT a copy of your paper and turn it in to me

c) EMAIL your Op-Ed to the Express-News.
First, trim out your heading and Works Cited page. Make it single-spaced.

Email to: Editorial / Commentary Editorial Page Editor
Bruce Davidson

You must include your full name, place of residence, and phone number.
cc: me as well at lirvin@alamo.edu

For the draft to be "on-time" all three of these methods of turning it in need to be completed.

Once you post, you can do your Essay #2-3 Writing Review.

IF you miss class today, the essay is still due today unless I hear from you otherwise. Late essays lost -10 points and must be completed within a week or the grade is a zero.

Grapes of Wrath investigations: some links related to the novel
--wikipedia entry for Grapes of Wrath
--National Geographic site on Grapes of Wrath (pics and maps)
--Woody Guthrie's "Tom Joad" Part 1 and 2 (lyrics to song)


Homework for next class:

1) Please read "Battle Royal" in our textbook by Ralph Ellison (pg. 268)

2) Write a "Response Piece" to this short story. (Response Piece #5.) You can write it as a pure response piece, but you might also write about how you see this story as a kind of initiation rite of passage. What is he being initiated into?

3) Do the E2-3 Writing Review found in Canvas

4) Please bring your Grapes of Wrath Novel novel next time again. We will take a bit of time to discuss the novel further. Keep reading it! You should be finished with the novel by 4/12.

Class Announcement 3/22/17

Good morning!

Today we will devote the majority of today's class to doing peer response.

Please do THREE peer responses, and a fourth counts as extra-credit. Copy and paste the response questions into each one of your responses and use them to guide your feedback. Whatever peer response is not finished in class is due by midnight (this holds true if you missed class today as well, unless I hear from you and we communicate about an extension).

It's important for you to be a reader and prospective audience for your peers and provide honest feedback on how their message is getting across to you and how it might better get across.

Notes on Revising for the Final Draft

  • 650 words max
    Work hard to keep your piece within our 650 word cap. Your piece should be no less than 500 words and no more than 650. This requirement may call on you to make important choices and rephrasings and trimmings.

  • Using evidence from FOUR different sources--two quotes at least
    I know I have harped upon my preference for using quotes, but the more I read op-ed pieces the more I see how they depend much more on paraphrasing. It will be OK to paraphrase some information, but you should still include at least two quotes. (Even when you paraphrase, though, you will need to authorize the source as you set up the paraphrased information and then provide commentary after the paraphrase to connect this evidence to your claim.)
    We will look at an example Op-Ed and how it uses and documents information.

  • Use our argumentative moves of Illustrating, Authorizing, and Countering
    You have good handouts on these argumentative moves, so you should use them more confidently in this piece. --the three argumentative moves of Illustrating, Authorizing, and Countering.
    --our model "Connecting Claims to Evidence" piece illustrating the use of these moves
    I want to say a word about Illustrating: you may find the goal of writing two sentences, at least, after each use of evidence bloats your length. The most important thing is to connect this evidence to your claim by explaining why or how it works to support your claim. Connecting the dots is an extension that adds a lot. It will be ok if you don't connect the dots with each use of illustrating, but I will look for you to do it at least twice.

  • Documenting your Final Draft according to MLA Documentation Style
    Be sure as you present information or a quote from a source that you "authorize" the source which will also accomplish the need to "document" your source in-text. Then create a Works Cited page.
    --you can go to the Purdue OWL for guidance on MLA Documentation (here is its page on documenting electronic sources)
    --you can use the tool Son of Citation machine to help you properly format your entries

  • EDIT your piece carefully and closely for errors and particularly for punctuation issues. Double-check that you are using quotes correctly also. PRINT a copy of your final draft, and edit the print copy. Then transfer changes to the computer version.

The final draft is due next class. Please bring in your final draft in MLA Manuscript Format in both print and electronic format. We will be reformatting our pieces to submit to the Express-News!!! Remember, not meeting minimum requirements means I can't give you higher than a 70. Also, remember your second conference is due by when our final draft is due or you lose ten points off the grade

Class Announcement 3/20/17

Today we will start by doing a different form of peer response. I will guide us in doing this feedback!

IF you don't have your Planning Sheet and Draft, please don't engage in the peer response and work RIGHT NOW on completing your Planning Sheet. I will try to check in with each of you.


Peer Response Protocol working in Groups of THREE drafts

  1. Author reads draft aloud (passes planner)

  2. After reading, peer consider silently

    What are your impressions of the writer's plan and the expression of the claim?
    --What can you praise at this point?
    --What do you have questions about at this point?
    --What do you suggest could be polished or improved at this point?

  3. Share in rounds: Round 1 Praise, Round 2 Questions; Round 3 Polish. AUTHOR IS SILENT and records discussion.

  4. Author enters discussion seeking clarification

We will look at an example Op-Ed and how it uses and documents information.

After we complete our peer response, we will take some time to review The Guide for Using Quotes.
--study and learn everything on this guide.

Then, we will practice using quotes. Be sure to "authorize" your source as you set it up.

Homework for next time:

1) Most importantly, have a safe, restful and restorative Spring Break.

2) Draft #2 of our Op-Ed is due next time. As you do your draft, follow this sequence:

A. Before doing your second draft, review your feedback and consider your plan. Revise it in any way necessary, thinking of what each paragraph will be doing in forwarding your argument and what evidence you will use in your paragraphs. (The opening and closing might not use evidence.)

Consider that you need to use evidence from FOUR different sources in your paper.

B. Fill out the Comprehensive Argument Planner Connecting Evidence to a Claim for all the evidence you plan to use. --get print copy if absent.

C. Then write your full draft of the Op-Ed following your plan and argument planner. Seek to AUTHORIZE sources when you use them, connect your evidence to your claim as you ILLUSTRATE, and do the three moves of countering when you COUNTER.

D. Double-check that you are using quotes correctly.

NOTE: This draft should be roughly the length of our final draft--around 600 words. This means you need to be efficient and direct in your opinion piece. It is ok at this point if the op-ed is long, but not too long (maybe 800 max). Don't worry about grammar, documentation or format at this point.


This draft is due in electronic format posted in Canvas when we return on Tuesday March 21st at the beginning of class.

REMINDER: This is a perfect time to set up a conference or tutoring appointment to get feedback on your draft in process. Remember that you need this first conference completed by the time we turn in Essay #2 or it counts off -10 points on your grade.

3. Keep reading Grapes of Wrath. Shoot for completing the book by 4/12.

Class Announcement 3/8/17


Good morning!

Today we will...

Review a sample OpEd essay and look at how it was structured
--sample Op Ed with outline
--Scott Le Vine article that is outlined

Then we will go to the computer classroom and work on brainstorming for our claim.
We will
--write for 25 minutes
--then offer feedback to our peers' draft claim

Then we will talk about the homework and creating our own line of reasoning and plan for our OpEd
--see Line of Reasoning and Planning Sheet (with example)

Essay #3 Topic Sheet

1) Review your response and the replies you received on your "Brainstorming for MY Claim"

--think about what the ISSUE is you are writing on; what is the question at the heart of this ISSUE
--make sure your claim works as YOUR answer to the question at the heart of the ISSUE
--if you have a "yes-no; either-or" claim, can you nuance it possibly?
(review the lesson we had on nuanced claims if need be)

2) Use the Line of Reasoning and Planning Sheet to identify your strongest evidence and plan the organization of your op-ed.
--Line of Reasoning and Planning Sheet
--common moves Op-Eds do

3) Then, using only this planning sheet, freewrite your first draft
--don't stop to fit in quotes: just summarize them at this point
--write fairly quickly without stopping as much as possible; let it flow (where it doesn't flow, skip and move forward)
--definitely paragraph, following your plan

Bring BOTH your plan and your first draft to class next time. The first draft can be typed or handwritten. The plan should be done within the planning sheet.

Spring Break Note!

Have a good, safe and restful Spring Break.

I recommend that you get your plan and draft done before Spring Break if possible.

Also, keep reading The Grapes of Wrath. I hope you are enjoying the story!


Class Announcement 3/6/17

Today we will start by reviewing the three argumentative moves of illustrating, authorizing and countering
--more examples of three argumentative moves
--review your own Connecting Claims to Evidence piece and how you did on these moves. See what you need to work on.

Next, we will look at our example Op-Eds and see if we can identify common features and characteristics of Op-Eds

Example "Another View" Op-Ed pieces

--TR 8 o'clock class collaborative list of features
--TR 9:25 class collaborative list of features
--MW class collaborative space analyzing the features of the op-eds

**Some common moves Op-Eds do

Then, we will talk about the Read-to-Write process and the first two steps

  1. Close reading and annotating of sources (focused on your ISSUE)
  2. First Level Notes from Readings
    --listing and recording important information from ALL your sources on notesheets
    SEE example of these first two steps

We will have time in class for you to begin this process of collecting relevant information on your issue from your sources into one location.

1) IF you don't have your "text set" put together yet, finish your researching to find your set of four (at least) articles with good information about your issue. You need PRINT copies of each source.

2) Read each source closely, annotating to identify key words and important information relevant to your issue.

3) Create your First Level Notes from Readings
--gather on notesheets important information from EACH reading relevant to your issue
--identify for your own purposes (so you can find the information later if you use it) where this information came from

Bring your textset and notesheets to class next time.

Class Announcement 3/1/17

Good morning!

LUNCH with Dr. Irvin today! noon in the Honor's Academy. Enter the drawing!

Tomorrow 11 AM in the Honor's Academy--Meet the other Dr. Irvin (the pediatrician) talking about her profession and how she became a pediatrician.

We will hold today's class in three Acts!

Act I: Reviewing the Essay #3 Topic
IMPORTANT TASK CONSTRAINT!--each team uses the same "base" op-ed from "Another View," though each individual will write his or her own argument on the issue within that base article.
--Essay #3 Topic Sheet

Act II: Sharing Articles from Research on the Base Article
--start by reviewing your team's base op-ed together

For your Team's base article IDENTIFY
a) The SUBJECT of the op-ed
b) The ISSUE or QUESTION it deals with
(state it as a question!)
c) This writers CLAIM or position on this issue
(this claim works as this writer's answer to the question the op-ed deals with)
Next use the Jig-Saw Note-Catcher to share information from the articles you found from research
a) Take turns, each person discussing his or her article
b) Peers take notes on the article


Act III: Studying the Genre of Op-Eds

Using these two "Another View" Op-Ed pieces as examples to generalize what op-eds are like, we will do some class activities to identify common features and characteristics of op-eds.

--in-class reading activity
--TR MW class collaborative space analyzing the features of the op-eds

Homework for next time:
1) Read and research to assemble your "text set" on your issue
--you should have a clear sense of what your ISSUE is from your base article
--you need print copies for four article (in addition to the base article)
--read and annotate these articles for information that relates to your ISSUE

2) Review our class' collabortive list of features of op-eds. Pull together your own condensed version what these features are. Bring this personal description of the features and characteristics of an op-ed to class.

3) Review and study the three argumentative moves of Illustrating, Authorizing, and Countering.

4) Keep reading The Grapes of Wrath!


Class Announcement 2/27/17

Today we will start by turning in our Connecting Claims to Evidence pieces

Put together your work:

  1. The PRINT copy of your final draft of the assignment
  2. Your Argument Planner sheets
  3. Your copy of the textset on Biometrics

Then, turn in the electronic copy of your final Connecting Claims to Evidence piece (if you have not done so already).

We then will do some sharing and discussion of these pieces before turning them in!

Next we will work on finding groups for our next project writing an Op-Ed piece.

Please go to the E2 Topics forum and review what is there. See who else is interested in writing on what you are interested in writing on (write down their names)
--you might have open the Newsbank database so you could explore some of these potential subjects more

Searching for a "My Turn" Op-Ed to Respond to

Then begin calling out to find people who are picking subjects you are interested in. The goal is to form teams of three around common topics. Each person will write an individual op-ed piece, but you will work collaboratively to research.

IF YOU MISSED CLASS TODAY, please check your Canvas mail where I will send you a message regarding your team. I will try to team you up on a subject that fits for you, but no guarantee. Please communicate with me about this subject choice.

Once we have formed teams, I will discuss researching on your topic.

Rather than start with a general google search, I recommend that you search these places first:

  • Try these databases from the General subject databases in our library
    --General OneFile or TOPICsearch. Lexis Nexus Academic also is a good database to get current periodical publications (but it is global).
    --the Access World News database (where we found our op-eds) has a section on "Current Events" and "Special Reports" and you might find your topic there.
    --You can search for other "Another View" pieces from the Express-News as well.
  • Try going to the New York Times or the Washington Post and typing in your subject and see what comes up.
    --warning, after a reading a few articles it will limit access

Your goal is to find TWO articles on your subject that are ideally current (no older than one to three years). Your goal is to find articles that are not too short and not too long and that provide good information about your subject, ideally on multiple sides of the issue. You and your team are going to "build" good arguments on this subject, so you want articles that provide good "stuff" (i.e. evidence) to build this argument with.

Be choosy. Take some time to find just the right articles that fit the above parameters.


Homework for next time:

1) Research and find the two articles on your subject. PRINT copies of these articles for all your team members. (IF you need to copy and paste the articles into a Word file so they are not too long, do it.) Make sure to include all reference information about the source (author, title, publishing information).

Bring these copies of your two articles to class.

2) READ one of your two articles closely, critically, and interactively. You will report to your team about this article next class, so read it well so you know what to share with your team

3) Reading Op-Eds
Read these two "Another View" Op-Ed pieces, for next time. We are using these as "anchor" texts to identify characteristics of op-ed pieces to help inform what we should do in our own op-eds. We will try to build on what you did in Response Piece #4.

Class Announcement 2/22/17

Today we will continue to work on our draft of Connecting Claims to Evidence by adding two additional argumentative moves: Authorizing and Countering.
--the articles on the issue of biometrics

You will be EDITING your draft of Connecting Claims to Evidence in the discussion forum inside Canvas.


Authorizing involves establishing the authority and credibility of your source before you use it in your text.
--NPR story on the importance of evaluating information
--three ways writers use sources to develop arguments
--the CRAAP Test

Get our your Argument Planner
--then look up and record information about the credibility of the sources of evidence you use in your draft in the planner. Apply the CRAAP Test to this evidence too.

Finally, go into your draft and "authorize" your use of sources by revising how you set up your quotes to include this authorizing information.

Example: (for Claim “I support banning junk food marketing in schools”)

Margo Wootan who is the nutrition policy director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of the country’s most well-respected consumer advocates on nutrition, states: “Given the high rates of childhood obesity and children’s poor diets, it doesn’t make sense to advertise and market unhealthy food to children at all much less in schools.” To actively promote junk food in school would only make a big problem even worse. A ban on the promotion of junk food in schools would help reduce this problem and lead students to eat a better diet.

Author introduces and authorizes the source before the quote

Textual evidence in support of the claim

Commentary after the quote connecting the evidence to the claim.



Countering involves pushing back against an argument in some way. It also involves acknowledging opposing views and then countering them. By acknowledging an opposing view, you can make your argument stronger.
--Point-Counterpoint or Concession-Refutation
--three ways writers use sources to develop arguments

Now review your Argument Planner, and find a piece of evidence you wish to push back against to forward your argument. Do a quick authorizing check of the author of this evidence (perhaps the source is not credible which will be a way to push against it?)

Then, draft a new paragraph in which you practice the "moves" of countering (see our handout)

1. Introduce the opposing view
2. Include the textual evidence of this opposing view either as a quote or paraphrase.
3. Then COUNTER this view point
4. Present countering evidence in the form of a quote or paraphrase from our sources
5. Connect this evidence to your claim and connect the dots to possible outcomes (like we have done with the evidence in the two previous paragraphs


1) ) Revise your Connecting Claims to Evidence Piece--DUE 2/23 (by midnight)

--craft a more complete Introduction if you need to (be sure the CLAIM is in the last sentence)
--revise what you need to in terms of improving how you illustrate, authorize, and counter in this draft
(review our materials on what these argumentative moves are and try your best to do them well)
--add a conclusion paragraph

Final Draft of Connecting Claims to Evidence is due by the end of the day Thursday 2/23
--turn it into the Connecting Claims to Evidence: Mini-Unit Assignment

2) Continue to find possible topics for our Op-Ed essay. Post your three possible topics with summaries of the original op-ed piece in the E2 Topics forum. See our last class announcement for how to research and find these pieces.

3) Response Piece #4
For one of the three "Another View" Op-Ed pieces over topics you are interested in, I would like you to write an informal analysis.

Imagine that you are like a biologist who is coming across a new species of animal or insect like Darwin discovering a butterfly. Read and re-read your Op-Ed piece carefully. Then try to describe its features, properties, and characteristics as a type of writing. What sort of language, tone, attitude, approach to the topic and audience, structure and moves it uses. What do you notice it does.

I suggest you do a careful outline and charting out of what the piece does, paragraph by paragraph, and then begin to make your general statements about this "genre."

This response piece can be handwritten and should be 1-2 pages in length (250-500 words).

Class Announcement 2/20/17

Today we will start by working with a partner to get some feedback on our argument planners and how we have done at connecting evidence to our claim. We will use this PQP protocol for response:

  • PRAISE: Point out a place where the writer did a good job connecting his evidence to the claim.  I noticed how well you used the fact about ______ to support your claim. What worked was _____. One thing I really liked is… Something you did well is…

  • QUESTION: Point out at least one place where you had a question or some confusion about the connection between a piece of evidence and the claim. I was confused in paragraph 3 when you talked about ____. When I read the article, I had a different understanding. I thought it meant _____. How does _____ connect to the claim? One thing I wanted to know more about was…  Something I don’t understand is …

  • POLISH: Point out at least one thing that could make the connection of evidence to the claim better. Be positive and be sure to give some examples of how you think the connections could be improved. I wonder if you could use this ___ other quote to support the claim. Something you might want to reword is ___ because ___. What might make the argument stronger is …

Work with a partner
--pass your argument planners to your partner
--read and review your partner's argument planner
--write your PQP responses on a separate sheet of paper
--share your responses with your partner

We will review what a "claim" is an about making a "nuanced claim"

Look again at your claim and see if you can revise it (and perhaps make it more nuanced)


Next we will go to the computer class room and DRAFT some of our argument.

I. Write a brief opening in which you introduce the subject (biometrics) and the issue (are they worth the security risk?) and then declare your CLAIM.

II. Write at least two paragraphs where you use at least one (but preferrably two) pieces of evidence to support your claim. Follow our Guide for Drafting from the Argument Planner as you compose.

You will write this draft in our Canvas assignment "Drafting Connecting Claims to Evidence"


1) Complete your short draft of your argument you started in class (if you did not finish it)

2) Preparing for Essay #2--finding a topic that makes you want to stand up and do something about it!

Searching for a "Another View " Op-Ed to Respond to

  • Go to our Library webpage for online databases
  • Select the Access World News Research Collection
    --if you are off campus, it will ask you to provide your ACES username and banner id to access
  • Once you are in, click the "San Antonio Express-News"
  • Then do a search
    --keep it for "All Text" and in the next search box type in "Another View"
  • Scroll through the op-eds and find three articles that you find interesting and would like to write about
    --please try to get a topic written about in the last three months. The furthest back you can go is one year. Let's get recent topics if at all possible.
  • Write a short summary of each article in electronic format to share in class. Include the title.
To find topics to write an Op-Editorial about
We will work in teams of three, so we want to be able to recruit each other to topics we care about. Next class, we will share these topics and try to form groups.

Class Announcement 2/15/17

We will start today by discussing The Grapes of Wrath.

Then we will begin our mini-unit on Connecting Claims to Evidence

--discuss the articles on the issue of biometrics

Orienting Toward an Argument/Persuasion Topic--staking an initial claim or position

Discuss Argumentative Moves--Forwarding and Illustrating


--using the Argument Planner to connect claims to evidence



1) Use you Argument Planner to find evidence from the four articles to support your claim.
--try to fill out two to three bits of textual evidence from EACH article. You use ONE argument planner sheet per article. Fill in all three columns for each bit of textual evidence.
**IF you miss class, you will need to download the argument planner and make four copies, one for each article. Then do the homework.

2) Review your thinking on the issue and if your claim is truly what you believe.

3) This is a relatively light homework time--a good time to read the novel!*

Class Announcement 2/13/17

Today our Final Drafts of Essay #1 are due!!!

Before turning your essay in we will review punctuation a bit
--Sentence Structure and Punctuation Guide
--Doing Punctuation
--check your answers to the remainder of punctuation exercise #1 and review our punctuation guide

In-Class Proofreading/Editing Instructions
--Get your PRINT copy of your paper
--MARK corrections directly on your own paper
(Look especially to fix errors related to punctuation, but you can fix anything you see.)
--check to make sure you are following the "Tips to Keep in Mind" on page for of the topic sheet regarding handling quotes from poetry

IF you have issues of MLA Format or Documentation to correct
--get your paper properly set up FIRST
--PRINT it
--THEN do your proofreading/editing on the PRINT copy of your paper


  1. When you complete the proofreading of your PRINT copy, turn that in (with your marks) to me.
  2. Then post your electronic copy (as is) into the Essay #1 Final Draft Assignment inside Canvas

ALL Drafts must be turned in by no later than 50 minutes into class.

[Missed class today?--Your essay is still due today at the least inside Canvas (unless you contact me with issues that affect your turning it in today).Bring the PRINT copy of your essay next class.]

Congratulations on getting Essay #1 finished!!!!

The remainder of the class we will devote to beginning our unit on Connecting Claims to Evidence
Is Biometric Technology Worth the Security Risk?

Homework for next time:

  1. Complete your Essay #1 Final Draft Writing Review (in Canvas) by next class.

  2. Readf the readings on biometrics. Read them closely, critically, and actively. That means be sure to ANNOTATE them. (If you missed class, you will need to print these articles so that you can read and annotate them. Bring your print copies to class.)
    --particularly annotate them for arguments and evidence surrounding the key question: Is biometric technology worth the security risk?
    --Review this Annotation Guide before you read and annotate the articles.

  3. We will have our first discussion about the The Grapes of Wrath. Bring your book, and you should have started the novel by this point.
Class Announcements 2/8/17

Today, we will work on peer response on our drafts #2s of Essay #1.

Post your second draft into the Canvas forum for E1-2 and do TWO peer responses (a third counts as extra-credit). What is not finished in class is due by the end of today.
--Guidelines for Doing Peer Response
(If you are absent today, I expect you to turn in your essay and do peer response by the end of the day, unless I hear from you otherwise.)

The last part of class will be reserved to review punctuation
--Punctuation and Sentence Structure
--review exercise (we will do page 2 in-class; you do page 1 on your own)
I expect you to take time to study and learn these FIVE functions or things punctuation helps you do in your writing.

Guidance for Writing Your Final Draft

Look over your peer response and think about them (re-examine your own paper)

Review the Essay #1 Assignment sheet carefully to make sure you are following all the directions and requirements for the assignment.

Check out this example Explications with commentary
Each essay is a second draft in need of revision, so it shows the kinds of changes that you might need to make on your own second draft. Read the poem. Read the essay. Read the commentary. See if you can relate what you learn about writing an Explication Essay from these drafts to your own essay.

Work on your interpretation FIRST
--review your interpretation and where your understanding of the poem needs to or has evolved. Do more analysis or get help with analysis if you need it.
--work on your support and presentation of evidence by first reviewing our guide on "Effective Writing and Inferences." In particular, see that you follow this statement: "In a sense an essay is thus an attempt to get the readers to make the same inferences the writer has made. Your readers are like a jury in a court of law; they will accept your claim (conclusion, thesis) only if you present sufficient evidence (basis, grounds)."
--review our guides on reflective thinking and evidence and see if you can dig more deeply in your analysis.
Be sure that your final draft represents your development in thinking--it should change to match your change in thinking.

--see if the way you have structured your paragraphs mirrors the structure you see in the poem. Have one paragraph for each "part" you see in the poem.
--check to see that your "flow" through the poem is easy to follow in your essay (i.e sign post your explication, signally as you move part to part)
--check your development in terms of textual support and elaboration
--in particular, check that you are actually using literary terms and following the particular approaches for analysis that each term may require. For instance, a focus on diction may have you talking about how general or abstract the term is or its denotation and connotation. Use the language of literary analysis.

THEN (and only then) focus on editing and proofreading your paper
--review it, of course, for any error, but particularly check the punctuation in the paper.
--review the "Tips to Keep in Mind" on last page of the Essay #1 assignment sheet on the conventions for quoting
--I strongly recommend that you do your editing on a print copy of your essay
--make sure it is in MLA Manuscript format and uses MLA Documentation Style
(Hint: If you look in our text at some example student essays, you will see the format for a Works Cited entry from a work from our anthology.)

Final Drafts of Essay #1 are due next class at the beginning of class!!! Bring BOTH a print copy of your final draft as well as the electronic copy for turning in to Canvas.

(Also, do try doing the punctuation practice we didn't get to in class.)

Class Announcement 2/6/17

Good morning!

Draft E1-1 Peer Response

Find a partner. Move your chairs next to each other. Each of you pull our your draft, the copy of your poem, and the Essay 1 Topic sheet and begin right away. Take turns. 20 min. for each writer.

  1. Read the poem ALOUD (with both of you looking at it)
  2. Writer reads their paraphrase of the poem
  3. Writer shares his or her initial statement of what the overall message or meaning or significance of the poem is
  4. Then DISCUSS the poem together using the following prompts to guide you:


1. SAY BACK what you hear the writer saying is the central message or meaning of the poem and the key conflict.

2. POINT to one place where you felt like the writer expressed an important insight into the poem (one that you think is important too).

3. QUESTIONS--What questions do you have for the author and his or her interpretation of the poem? What was not clear to you about the poem from their discussion? What questions do you have about the poem (that they don't seem to address)?

REMEMBER--understanding the literal level of meaning is the springboard for jumping to figurative (inferencial/metaphoric) meanings.

Writing a draft of your opening right here right now:

The first lines of the explication should

  • describe the dramatic situation of the speaker and declare the central subject of the poem
  • identify the most significant conflict(s) or tension(s) surrounding this subject, and
  • present your interpretation of the overall message or theme of the poem.
    (the next line should begin discussing the title and/or first lines in terms of this interpretation)

The poem "Acquainted with the Night" by Robert Frost portrays a speaker tormented with their own experience of depression. Through the speaker's night journey, we see metaphorically the struggle this person has had with this disease.
Line 1 repeats the title, and the most significant word is "acquainted." An acquaintance implies a passing rather distant knowledge--someone you know but are not intimate with. However, maybe the speaker is being ironic because even this passing knowledge with depression has a great impact upon him. ...

See the example introduction in the Essay #1 Topic Sheet as well.

Go ahead and write out an opening for your essay that includes
1) the opening materials listed above
2) your explication of the opening line or lines of the poem

But Dr. Irvin--How do I structure the essay?

Let these two guides determine your structure
a) structure your discussion to start with line one and end with the last line(s). Don't skip around.
b) your poem will break into parts or sections that make sense to group together in terms of the meaning of the poem--let each part have its own paragraph.

Don't forget--you still need a conclusion.


 The last part of class will be reserved to review punctuation
--Punctuation and Sentence Structure
--review exercise (we will do page 2 in-class; you do page 1 on your own)
I expect you to take time to study and learn these FIVE functions or things punctuation helps you do in your writing.

Homework for next class:
1) Review the punctuation guide and complete your review exercise we started in class.

2) Write a "Development Draft" of your Explication Essay. This means you will try to "shape" and "develop" your explication fully, but do not worry about grammar or documentation or correctness.

Be sure that you follow carefully the guidance for writing the Explication found in the assignment sheet. It is worth it to take more time to analyze your poem (again, following the guidance of the assignment sheet) before writing this draft.
--Turn this draft into our Canvas class by class time on Tues. You will copy and paste the draft into the "Essay #1-draft#2" forum.

3) This is a PERFECT time to come in to see me for a conference over your story or to go to the Writing Center for a tutoring session. Remember, you MUST have one conference done before you turn in the final draft of Essay #2.

Dr. Irvin has a sign up sheet for conferences outside his door.

Office Hours: M-R 11-12:30, R until 2:30. (Wednesdays will be held in the Honor's Academy CAC 122). GH 223-D

Writing Center is in GH 203, 486-1433

NOTE: ALL homework is due at the beginning of class, unless otherwise specified by me here. Do not go by the Canvas' deadline for due time.

Late first and second drafts of essays result in -5 pts. off the final grade for the essay for each late draft.

Class Announcements 2/1/17
IF you miss class today, the homework is still due in Canvas by the end of the day.


FIRST--On Reading and Analyzing Poetry

  1. We will discuss your Think Pieces on "Acquainted with the Night"
  2. Next we will review The Elements of Poetry handout
    --this handout is a shorthand summary of what you will look for as you analyze your poem for Essay #1. It summarizes the reading you were assigned out of our textbook (chapters 12-17). Review this handout as you reskim these chapters in your textbook.

SECOND--Review on Thinking and Evidence

    1. Then we will discuss a bit more of Dewey's ideas on how reflective thinking works and the nature of evidence:
      Coming to Conclusions Based from Evidence
      --this handout pulls together discussions about "thinking" we have about Dewey's ideas, inference, and metaphor. Please study it. Think about it.

THIRD--Starting Essay #1:

  1. We will read through our Essay #1 Topic Sheet carefully.

Homework for next class:

  1. Read chapter 11 in our textbook "Meeting Poetry: An Overview"
    --particularly "how to read a poem" pg. 540
    --skip/skim Studying poetry
    -- Writing a paraphrase and Writing an Explication (essay length) 561-570.
    (We will be writing an Explication, so you will want to look at this type of essay.)
    --Review our Elements of Poetry handout

  2. Pick your poem
    You will be writing an "explication" of a poem that you choose from our text book. This poem should be
    --at least 14 lines long (sonnet) and I don't recommend doing a poem longer than 35 or so lines.

    SUGGESTION: Our text is packed with many good sonnets (14 lines). I recommend that you try doing this assignment on a sonnet. (Don't do "Acquainted with the Night" since we have already worked with it. Also, don't do "My Papa's Waltz" or "The Silken Tent")

    DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES RESEARCH YOUR POEM ON THE INTERNET OR IN THE LIBRARY. This project is entirely your work--just you and the poem. Evidence that you have used a spark notes or smoops site to think for you will result in the loss of credit on this project.

  3. Read your poem "closely, interactively, and critically." Be sure to annotate!

  4. Analyze the poem you have picked following the guidance for analysis found in the Essay #1 Topic Sheet on the bottom half of page 1 and top half of page 2. Follow the instructions found in sections "Preparing to Write the Explication," "Analyze the large issues," and "Analyze you poem in terms of the elements of poetry."

    Do this analysis on scratch sheets of paper. I anticipate that your analysis notes might take up two to four pages of notes and thoughts on the poem.
    --for those who may have 50% or a zero on a previous assignment so far: do these two preparing to write activities and show me, and I will return credit to you for this previous assignment.

  5. FOURTH--Write Your "First Draft"

    Draft #1 for Essay #1 will be an initial response to the poem (NOT a formal "essay"):

    Write a 1-2 page (250-500 words) initial response on your chosen poem following the "How to Read a Poem" prompts on pages 540-541. This initial response is actually your first draft of your essay, so the late policy on drafts holds true for this piece of writing(i.e. -5 points off final essay grade).

    This draft must be brought to class (can be handwritten or typed). Your response should have three sections:

    a) Your initial response and thoughts about your poem and what you are noticing about the poem and your efforts trying to make sense of it.

    b) Include a paraphrase of your poem. What is a paraphrase? It is a restatement of the poem, capturing its meaning in your own words. Here is a guide on paraphrasing if you need it.

    c) Include a concluding section where you make your initial statement of what the overall message or meaning or significance of the poem is. This represents your best current "reading" or interpretation of the poem. (Hopefully, it will be the result of some good "reflective thinking.") A possible sentence stem to help you make this statement of the poem's overall meaning could be:

    This poem is about _____ and says ________ .

    The overall meaning expressed by this poem is that _______ .


NOTE: Our first discussion of The Grapes of Wrath will be 2/14, so you should have the novel by the end of this week if you do not already have it. Then start reading it. You should be to about page 50 by our discussion 2/14.

Contact me with questions about this work. I recommend that you go to The Writing Center to work with a tutor on your poetry analysis if you need assistance or set up a conference to meet with me.

Class Announcement 1/30/17

Today, we will do three things:

I. Tour of the Writing Center
--website for Writing Center in GH 203
REMINDER: You need two conferences either with me or the SAC Writing Center, the first one before you turn in Essay #2

II. Wrapping Up Our Initial Exploration of Reading and Thinking
--Points about reading from our workshops last week
--discuss response pieces #2 and #3
--Handout on "Writing and the Art of Inferences"
--Dewey How We Think

What is Reflective Thinking? --handout
"Active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in light of the grounds that support it, and the further conclusions to which it tends, constitutes reflective thought" (6).

Response Piece #3--Example I wrote illustrating an everyday example of reflective thinking I did recently.
Next we will Review an Example of a Think Piece and how it illustrates "reflective thinking"

III. Discussing Metaphor
We next will turn our attention to Metaphor and reading figurative langauge by looking at the poem "Metaphors" by Sylvia Plath (pg. 876) as well as Robert Frost's poem "The Silken Tent" (pg 848).

What is a metaphor?
--a direct comparison in which one thing is described as if it were the other. Much "figurative language" in poetry and literature is metaphoric in nature. A simile will describe someone as being "as tall as a giraffe or he is like a giraffe" but a metaphor will say, "he is a giraffe."

Two Parts of a Metaphor: Tenor and Vehicle

A metaphor expresses the unfamiliar (the tenor) in terms of the familiar (the vehicle). When Neil Young sings, "Love is a rose," "rose" is the vehicle for "love," the tenor. Putting it in terms of "inference," the vehicle is the concrete, specific "thing" or fact, and the vehicle is the inferred meaning or belief about something unknown. The concept, idea or emotion (tenor) is given meaning through the characteristics of the specific thing or image (vehicle).

When examining metaphors, always start with the "known"--the vehicle--and see what qualities and characteristics of this known and concrete item apply to the tenor (the infered meaning created by the metaphor).

Basically, metaphors work inferentially. They have a basis (the known factors) and a conclusion (the educated guess or theorized meaning). To dig into the metaphoric level of meaning of a text, you must practice inferential thinking.

Homework for next class
1) Read the first parts of chapters in our textbook on what we will call the "Elements of Poetry" (just the sections where they define what these different elements mean; you can read further, of course):
--chpt 12: Words (Diction)
--chpt. 13 Imagery
--chpt. 14 Figures of Speech
--chpt. 15 Tone
--chpt. 16 Form
--chpt. 17 Symbolism
There are six elements. Read these closely and study these elements because you will be using them in your first essay. Also, re-skim our handout on close reading before you engage in reading the poem for the next Think Piece.

2) Write "Think Piece #2" on the poem "Acquainted with the Night" by Robert Frost (pp. 848 in your textbook).
You will need to read this poem interactively, closely, and critically. For this Think Piece, I am once again giving you the central "question" or problem to use.

Focus your Think Piece on the meaning of the the central metaphor of "night." (Use the following question word for word for your Part II of the Think Piece.

Part II: Identify an Issue or Question:
What does the metaphor of "night" mean in the poem?

This Think Piece must be typed in MLA Manuscript format. Bring the print copy to class. Be sure to label the different parts (like in my example).
BRING your textbook to class as well.
--see this example of a Think Piece and this second example of a well-done Think Piece.

Reminder about class policies on late work:
ALL Daily work is due in class on the date it is due. You are responsible for having this work when it is due. If you are absent, you are responsible for having any past work that is due when you return. Sometimes this work may still be due on the date it is due electronically. Late daily work gets no credit.

Reminder: IF you have not gotten the novel yet, The Grapes of Wrath, you should get it by the end of next week (and start reading it).

Some extra guidance for the Think Piece #2

A) If you are struggling with the reflective thinking sequence, I urge you to re-read Dewey's Chpt. 6. He has a separate section explaining each step in the "con-sequential" sequence of a complete act of reflective thinking. Review the handout I gave you as well.

B) If you are struggling with what a Think Piece is and looks like and how you might write one, look at the examples
--see this example of a Think Piece and this second example of a well-done Think Piece. You don't have to format it in a two-column format (that is only done to clarify the parts).

C) If you are struggling with the metaphoric analysis, remember that a metaphor is a comparison between

(the TENOR)
"Love is a rose."
"He's a cheetah on the track."
A Rose (known) to describe Love (unknown or undefined)
A cheetah to describe the way he runs on the track

Now think about the poem "Acquainted with the Night"

I have been one acquainted with the night.

Night to describe whatever it is he has been acquainted with

So the qualities and characteristics of the "vehicle"--in this case, night--are carried over to help describe and characterize the "tenor"--in this case, whatever he is acqainted with. What is he acquainted with?

Night has MANY associations and meanings
--blindness, madness, depression, death, sickness, sin, evil, and I bet you can think of even more.

So we could rephrase Frost's line,

I have been acquainted with death
or, I have been acquainted with evil (and so on with the other possible meanings of night)

Your job, then, in this metaphoric analysis and Think Piece of Frost's poem, is to answer this question:

What does the metaphor of night mean?

As we have seen, it could mean many things! Decide on TWO (or three) possible meanings for night that work best for YOU. Then, examine the rest of the poem to see how well all the rest of the action and imagery following that particular metaphor work for you.

For instance, if you thought the metaphoric meaning of night is death

If night means death, what does it mean metaphorically to walk "out in rain--and back in rain?"
What does the rain represent as its own metaphor in terms of the larger controlling metaphor that night means death? Does rain represent tears? Does rain represent the beating down of grief, including its tears?

What might "outwalking the furthest city light" represent if night is death? Does that mean something about isolation and the desire to get away from society when you are dealing with a death?

EVERYTHING in the poem should be read metaphorically. The lane is not just a lane, the watchman is not just a watchman, the luminary clock is not just a clock. Night is not just night.

Each one is a comparison used to describe something else. The KEY--I repeat--the key to unlocking this comparison is a close examination of the "vehicle" to see what qualities and characteristics it has, and we use these qualities to make an inference about what the "tenor" means.

"I have passed the watchman on his beat."

OK. What are the qualities and characteristics of a watchman on his beat?
--he is guarding something
--he keeps watch, observes closely
--he is a policeman or security guard
--this person is vigilant
--he is a night figure who has a set route he takes in his patrol to keep watch

If night metaphorically means death, then what might this night watchman figure represent? (And why does our narrator drop his eyes and not explain something to this figure? What is it he does not explain?)

WARNING: Be sure that one of your two possible meanings of night is not that night means night. That's not metaphoric analysis!

Class Announcements 1/25/17
Reading and following the directions carefully for assignments listed in this Class Announcements page is very important for this class!


Dr. Irvin's Office Hours

MW 11-12:30 (Wed. in the Honor's Academy CAC122)
T 11-12:30, R 11-2:30


Class Plan for Today!

  1. Discussion of reading Dewey and a review of our guide for Close, Critical, Interactive Reading
  2. Then we will do one more experiment in reading: Reading Workshop #3.
  3. Then we will talk about Dewey's definition of "reflective thinking"

--take NOTES!
--Keep everything in your notebook (handouts, notes, class work): date everything.

Handout describing both "Response Pieces" and "Think Pieces."

Handout on "Writing and the Art of Inferences"

Homework for Mon. 1/30: (you will have to do these assignments in order...)

1) Read Dewey How We Think Chpt. 6 "The Analysis of a Complete Act of Thought" and part of Chapter 7 (pp. 68-84). I also suggest that you re-read pp. 1-13 to reinforce what Dewey is talking about when he talks about "thinking" or "reflective thinking." You will need, especially, to make note of the five step "con-sequential" logical sequence he outlines on pg. 72. He then goes on the explain each step in pages 72-78. Read these pages closely and carefully.

2) Write "Response Piece #3."

Part 1: Pick one of his three examples of a "complete act of thought" in chapter six or his one illustration on pages 82-83 and list the sequence of thinking he describes in this example. It should following the sequence he outlines on the top of page 72 (five steps, i-v). (A "tumbler" is a kind of glass you might drink out of. He is washing dishes in example #3.) See if you also can label the "double movement" between inductive and deductive thinking going on.

Part 2: Then think of some instance in the last day or two where you went through this sequence of reflective thinking to resolve some "perplexity." List again roughly your process of thinking this question or problem through to some resolution of the perplexity. See this example I wrote illustrating an everyday example of reflective thinking I did involving a household perplexity.

Part 3: After you create these two lists, write your understanding of reflective thinking. Re-read pages 9-13 on the "Elements of Reflective Thinking" and discuss what is making sense right now for you and what is not.

--should be 250-500 words (can be handwritten or typed, bring to class to hand in)

3) Write a "Think Piece" on "My Papa's Waltz" (pg. 706)

All Think Pieces center around a question or problem of interpretation. For this Think Piece, I am going to give you the question. Use this question for Part II of the Think Piece: Is this poem a warm, happy memory of this father or a picture of abuse?

Part II: Identify an Issue or Question:
Is this poem a warm, happy memory of this father or a picture of abuse?

Be sure to number and label each part following the handout on Think Pieces. (There are SIX parts!) The poem can be found on page 706 of our textbook. It is also found in Reading Workshop #3.

  • This Think Piece needs to be 250-500 words and typed in MLA Manuscript Format (don't worry with MLA Documentation, i.e. a Works Cited page).
  • Bring the print copy to class. See this example of a well-done Think Piece.
  • Notice how the example follows the Think Piece handout and its requirements exactly. This example also gives you a good model to see how much and what you write in each part.
  • The LONGEST section should be Part V: Test/Evaluate the Varying Suggestions or Interpretations. Part IV should be short--all you do is name or label the two or more interpretations you are evaluating.
Class Announcement Mon. 1/23/17

Welcome Back to English 1302!!

Class Plan for the 2nd Day of English 1302:
Today we will start by sharing and turning in our Eveline pieces. Congratulations on getting this first piece done. It will serve as a kind of diagnostic essay for me. I will be holding on to them, but I am happy to conference with you over this piece if you want some feedback.

Next we will review our class policies.
--Course home page

Then we will do another experiment in reading:
--Reading Workshop #1
--Workshop #2

Homework for Wed. 1/25:

1) Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing pp. 3-18. (IF you don't have your textbook yet, you can go to the Writing Center in GH203 and read the chapter there.)
2) Read from chapters 1-2 of How We Think by John Dewey--all of chpt. 1 and the end of chpt. 2 (Section "4. Regulation Transforms Inference into Proof").--pp. 1-14, 26-28.
Really apply your principles of Close, Critical, Interactive Reading as you read this fairly difficult text. Look up words in a dictionary as you read!

3) Do another reading strategy!--write an outline of the sections I ask you to read. This does not have to be extremely detailed but should record the structure of the chapter and its main points. (This can be handwritten or typed, but bring in the text copy to turn in.)

4) Response Piece #2 Topic: Dewey and Reflective Thinking
Dewey in his first chapter seeks to define different kinds of thought and to focus on one kind--reflective thought--as more important and "truly educative in value" (2). After you have read and outlined the chapter, please write on these topics (answering each question):

  • Piece together a statement of your understanding of what reflective thought is: in other words, write your version of what you think Dewey defines "reflective thinking" as. What makes this kind of thought (reflective thinking) different from "bad" thinking? What characterizes reflective thought? What is difficult about it?
  • What does Dewey say in chpt. 2 is important about inferences?
  • Finally, what are your impressions about Dewey's ideas about thinking?

    --250-500 words (can by typed or handwritten--bring this print copy to class to turn in)

    What is a "Response Piece?"
    --A Response Piece is an informal, exploratory response to a reading. I have a general guide for doing Response Pieces, but often these responses have topics I provide with things I want you to address. You will be graded on the effort and engagement you put forth into this response (measured in part by your close following of the response topic and directions).
Class Announcement Wed. 1/18

Welcome to English 1302


Class Plan:
1) Course Overview
--Course home page


Our Novel:

The Grapes of Wrath

You will need to get this novel by the end of week three. Copies will be at the bookstore or you can get it elsewhere.

2) Writing and Reading Process Activity

Discussion about "Close, Interactive, Critical Reading"

3) Read "Eveline" by James Joyce.( "Eveline" )

1st Day Homework (due next class)

1) Get your textbooks ASAP if you don’t have them already.
2) Read through the ENTIRE syllabus
3) Write a response to the story "Eveline." BEFORE you begin writing, however, I want you to read and re-read the short story "closely, interactively, and critically" following the strategies discussed in our handout. As you annotate the story more, I want you to use a different colored pen or pencil to distinguish your first reading annotations from your second reading annotations.

Then write 1-2 pages in an informal response to this question: Should Eveline have run away with Frank? Or did she make the right decision in staying?

Structure your response following this sequence:

  • First, discuss why she should have run away with Frank.
  • Then, explore why she was correct in staying—in not going away with Frank.
  • Finally, put yourself in Eveline’s shoes—what would you have done and why?

Bring to class your copy of the story (with your annotations) as well as your 1-2 page response. Final drafts must be typed and in MLA Manuscript Format. What is that, you ask? Visit this website or view this video-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYC6U75hrFU

(This assignment will serve as a diagnostic for me, so it is not an "essay" for a major grade.)

1302 Home