Monday, December 5, 2016

Extra credit project for the break

Good morning, all,

Apologies for the delay in posting. Following our final discussions of the semester, about global warming, I invite you to do an extra credit project in which you find ways to combat global warming on a local level. (For example, you might think of ways to use less plastic in your or your family's daily life.)

You will write about your efforts, and your thoughts on this and any related issues, in the form of journal entries. Include dates, and write in your most grammatical English.

You may be aware of the recent victory by Native Americans against the oil pipeline. There is hope for making a difference if we focus on fixing things on a small scale, and at the same time thinking big.

Please let me know if you have questions.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Final exam

Good afternoon, everyone,

As a reminder, since our final exam is on Wednesday during class time, you will not want to arrive late.

Please keep in mind that you will need to bring with you:

* Paper and pen/pencil
* A copy of the essay without markings/notes

Not permitted:

* Phones
* Computers
* Notes of any kind

Optional:

* A hard copy of a dictionary

If you are a student who receives special accommodations, I will collect your essay at the end of class, and then we will work out a convenient time for you to finish writing.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Abraham Lincoln, "Address at the Dedication..." (response due by 1 pm on Sunday, 11/20)

For this response, imagine that you are the governor of Puerto Rico, or the president of the US. Write 2–3 paragraphs describing the problems you see around you, and how you will solve them.

(15 points)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Chief Seattle, "My People" (response due by 1 pm on Tuesday, November 15)

This response will be worth 15 points.

For this response, write 2–3 paragraphs in the style of Chief Seattle in which you address those in power (in Puerto Rico, the US as a whole, or both).

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nicholas Carr, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" (response due by 1 pm on Tuesday, November 8)

This detailed response will be worth 20 points.

1. Choose 6 quotes, one from each long page of the essay, that caught your attention. Cite them using a signal phrase (more on signal phrases here) and ending with a page number. For example,

Carr points out that "[w]hen the mechanical clock arrived, people began thinking of their brains as operating 'like clockwork.' Today, in the age of software, we have come to think of them operating 'like computers'" (865).'

2. What do you think is Carr's main idea, or his "thesis"?

3. Dscribe your own interaction with virtual technology today in a short narrative. That is, write a brief account or "story" that describes how you used your phone, computer, etc. today. (1-2 paragraphs)

4. On the basis of what you have written, do you agree with Carr's thesis? Why or why not? (2-4 sentences)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"The Thesis Machine"


Unfortunately I'm not able to link to the document online, and I can't repost it because it's in PDF form, but if you're interested, look up "Thesis Machine Will Roberts" and you'll find the material I mentioned in class yesterday.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Your revised thesis statement (due by 1 pm on Tuesday, November 1)

Your final essay for this semester will be a revision of your work on Essay #1. In this second essay, you will develop your argument into a 5-page essay. To do so, you will develop your thesis statement so that it becomes somewhat more complex or well articulated, or simply more fully developed. 

Rework the thesis statement in your first essay accordingly and post it to the blog. Post only your revised thesis statement. As you rework it, keep in mind the following.

Effective thesis statements:

1. Are not questions or statements of purpose (such as, "In this essay I will explore..."), but instead answer an interesting, specific, even provocative question

2. Focus specifically on the text(s) and theme(s) at hand--they are not broad generalizations

3. Are unusual, unique, surprising--not obvious

4. Explain why your point is important

5. Can be supported in the number of pages given for the assignment

6. Are "debatable"--that is, an intelligent, informed and/or educated person might disagree with what you are saying