Lesson/Handout: Information Literacy Scavenger Hunt

  This lesson/handout is designed to help students begin to navigate the UAF library’s sources for research. The library has a great tutorial online and in this lesson, students use that tutorial to actually begin their own research. Go to the Library Information Literacy Tutorial. Watch the videos and take the self-check tests. Go to […]

Lesson: (Re)Search Parties

Contributed by Whittier Strong Summary: Send your class on a rhetorical scavenger hunt in the library! Students research a text by splitting into teams, each assigned a component of the text’s rhetorical situation to investigate. Later, they report their findings to the rest of the class.   Detailed Description: How I did it: A week […]

Prompt: Goal-Setting Essay

  The purpose of this essay is for you to explore your relationship with writing and how it fits into the larger picture of your life.   What are your expectations of English 111x? What do you expect to learn and do this semester? What are your goals for this course and for this semester? […]

Lesson: The Mind as Place

  The Mind as Place “The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.’ —Paradise Lost, Book I Though he’s the devil, Milton’s Satan makes a keen point–our perceptions are the governing principle in how we process where we go and where we’ve been. It’s […]

Lesson: Choices and Directions

Context In Alaska, I once had a tourist complain to me that “You guys give crazy directions, like  ‘turn right at the boulder.’ Don’t you guys have maps?” This tourist was from Southern California, like me, where Thomas Guides and Freeway directions are an indispensable part of life. But here, because of the vastness, because […]

Syllabus Writing Guide

Section 1: What is the philosophy behind or importance of having an intentional, well-written syllabus that accurately reflects the instructor and the course? Section 2: Required components of the syllabus (Syllabus Checklist from the UAF Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee) Section 3: Other necessary or suggested components of the syllabus Section 4: Hot tips from current […]

Lesson: Imitation Exercise

    This is an exercise that I did with my class to talk about style and learn more about writing effective descriptions. First, I split the class up into groups and gave each group a paragraph to work with from one of the essays we had recently read and discussed. They had to look […]

Sample Guidelines for Group Projects

Groups: You will be assigned to a group by the instructor.You will not be able to change groups. Your group is your “home” in this course. You will work in groups frequently. 10% of your final mark is based on your work in your group and will be evaluated by fellow group members. One half […]

Prompt: Journal Assignment

    You are free to choose a notebook of any kind for your journal, however, please keep the notebook exclusive of coursework from other classes. In class we will discuss various pieces of literature as well as approaches to academic writing about the literature. The journal assignment is intended to be a place for […]

Sample Course Sequence: Autoethnography

Definition: Autoethnography is a blending of autobiography and ethnography. Autoethnographers describe and analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. This genre acknowledges subjectivity, emotionality, and the researcher’s influence on research — rather than ignoring these matters or claiming to be objective. The genre demonstrates that cultural research does not have to come from […]

Prompt: Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is one that collects your thoughts on a subject — writing the essay is just a way of thinking back on what you learned. This should be a very personal piece of writing: it is more about you and what you learned. It should highlight the problems you faced, how you feel […]

Final Portfolio Assignment

  During one the pro-development workshops this year, we talked about student assessment and portfolios. This is something I have been experimenting with in my class, as part of their final project. I thought it might be helpful to post what I’ve been doing and why as just one possible (work-in-progress) way of approaching this. […]

Lesson: Sensory Stations

1. Sight Station ∙ Look at the following six images by Christoph Niemann. ∙ Can you describe them using visual language? ∙ In what ways is the artist playing with metaphor? Sight Station (1)     Name: ____________________________ Date: ______/_______/ 2012 Group # ____ Sight Station ∙ What do you see here? Sound Station ∙ […]

Prompt: Research Wikis

    Research Wikis (300 Points) Research plan post (10 points) due: Thursday 3/31/11 on blog Research paper prospectus (40 points) due: 4/5/11 and 4/7/11 in conferences Rough draft (50 points) due: Thursday, 4/14/11, in class for peer review session Final draft (200 points) due: Tuesday, 4/26/11 in class  (turn in all drafts, research plan, […]

Lesson: How to Analyze a Text

  Group 1: Discuss the author’s attitude toward the subject or theme. Explain what type of essay it is – argumentative, persuasive, exploratory, narrative, or otherwise. Define what the subject or theme of the essay is. * Try to sum up the subject/theme in one word or one sentence. Cite specific sentences or paragraphs where […]

Prompt: Documentary Review

  This assignment can be a nice way of practicing “good research.” Students are required to look critically at the research and presentation of a documentary, and will hopefully incorporate those lessons into their own research writing. THE COVE — CRITICAL REVIEW PURPOSE: To provide a critical review of the documentary, “The Cove.’ INSTRUCTIONS: Watch […]

Handout: Evaluating Sources

The first step in evaluating a source is determining the authority of the author who produced the material. To determine authority, you’ll want to evaluate the trustworthiness (credentials, education, experience, etc.) of the author. To determine credibility, ask these questions: Is the author formally educated in the subject? Does the author work for a university […]

Garden Gnome Liberation Mini-Project

  What I’d like to offer here is an example of how you can take a similar concept–a seemingly silly non-academic topic–and use it in a classroom on a smaller scale. In my class, before launching the zombie project, we spent several class periods working with garden gnome liberation, and my students had the option […]

Prompt: Engaging in Inquiry

  Assignment: Write a 5-7 page researched essay that identifies and explores an important question related to a contemporary social controversy. Your paper should be followed by a Works Cited page in correct MLA style. Purpose: In Unit 1 we looked at contrasting ideas (they Say / I Say) on a given topic from a […]

Synthesis Unit Plan: The Zombie Project

This is a fairly large-scale project that builds upon itself and is meant to take up the entire unit, culminating in one final research paper. The project includes many smaller elements besides the final paper, including free-writing, blogging, interviews, reviews, and collaborative work with peers. It’s a bit complicated to explain, so here’s the basic […]

Lesson: Research Interviews

(this is designed for two class periods) Research interviews! I required my students to interview “an expert’ for their synthesis/research projects. In addition to actually doing the interview, this required them to identify what sort of expertise was needed for their projects, reach out to the interviewee, and create appropriate interview questions — all important […]

Lesson: Pockets Actvity

  I used this activity as an ice breaker, entry into a discussion of texts, as well as an introduction to the observation unit. This activity also presented an opportunity to engage the students’ lives with what they brought into the classroom. I didn’t add anything to the contents of my pockets before the class, […]

Handout: Scholarly Sources

  Yeah, but is it scholarly? And should I care? Yes, you should care! If you’re going to write a paper on a topic, and you’re seeking out other people’s opinions and research, don’t you want to find the most accurate research out there? Why bother reading something if you can’t be sure it’s accurate, […]