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: Museum of the North and Representations of the Sublime

    Contributed by Jen Schell   The Museum of the North and  Representations of the Sublime Many Alaskan artists–poets, painters, sculptors, photographers–have attempted to capture the sublime in their work. Put more simply, they have tried to represent in an artistic form the special and awe-inspiring qualities of life in Alaska. Other artists prefer […]

Prompt: Up-Close Analysis

Contributed by Jen Schell Analysis of Edmund Burke’s Enquiry Into the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) The selections from Enquiry Into the Sublime and Beautiful that you are about to read are quite difficult.  Part of the problem is that you are dealing with a philosophical book written in the eighteenth-century.  Another issue is that Burke’s […]

Lesson: Letter to the Editor

Contributed by Whittier Strong, 2015   Summary: Connect the classroom to the larger world by having students write a letter to the editor regarding  a class subject. The letter challenges students to consider tone, brevity, audience, and authorial  intent. It also encourages students to consider how their writing can change the world around  them. Detailed […]

Lesson: Entering the Conversation

  Entering the Conversation Activity I. In class discussion, we choose a sample “hot’ controversial research topic, such as abortion (easy to demonstrate), and then brainstorm terms to use for searching for sources. Then, we look at common terms that come up during a simple Google search of “abortion.’ Motherhood, person, moral, freedom, murder, etc. […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

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: Short, Prep Essay

Assignment: Write a 1-2 page typed response to the following questions Purpose: To help you expand your Essay 2 paper by looking into a specific topic that relates to your theme combining the two texts we have read in this class. Process: Step #1: Choose a theme and a question that intrigues you and relates […]

Analysis Unit Plan: Transfer Station Sub-unit

Many of the composition teachers at UAF take their classes to the local transfer station, often early in the semester as part of the Observation Unit. This semester I taught a week-long dumpster diving unit, as part of my Analysis Unit. I thought others might be interested in seeing how else you might incorporate the […]

Lesson: Print Ad Analysis

Print Ad Analysis For this exercise, I like to bring in some goofy or bizarre advertisement or PSA For the last few semesters, I have used a PSA from PETA that I found at this URL: https://www.mediapeta.com/peta/Images/Main/Sections/MediaCenter/PrintAds/DiegoLunaHR.pdf Here is a citation: “Diego Luna: Safe Sex.” PETA.org. PETA. n.d. Web. 20 Jun. 2011. I like using […]

Lesson: Sentence and Context

This activity asks students to look closely at sentences and challenges them to create and change meaning through a variety of techniques. The goal is to get students thinking carefully about how they construct meaning, at a sentence level. It’s also FUN – there’s lots of room here to play around. I’ve never gotten through […]

Lesson: Vampire Games

(Like Reindeer Games, But Bloodier and Less Festive) A serum has been invented which has the power to turn everyone on the earth into a vampire. All of earth’s inhabitants have elected to take the serum, thereby effectively changing 100% of the human race into vampire-kind. The Pope, your grandparents, your former swim coach. Synthetic […]

Lesson: Battle of the Sentences

Bringing the Sentence Workshop (Macro in the Micro) To a New Extreme I used this for my unit on Analysis. It took about 15 minutes. This can be done with student produced sentences, or sentences between texts you wish to compare. For my exercise, I chose Deborah Tannen’s “There is No Unmarked Woman” and Lennard […]

Prompt: Narrative Fan Fiction

PAPER #1: NARRATIVE ESSAY – Fan Fiction REQUIREMENTS: 4-5 pages typed (or more), double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman Font MLA heading and page numbers Rough draft must be edited and signed by a Writing Center tutor. EXPLANATION: For those of you who don’t already know, fan fiction is just what it sounds like: fictional […]

Lesson: Textual Analysis

Goal for Lesson Series:   Moving towards analytical thinking and ultimately ending in an essay centered on textual analysis. Secondary Skills: Considering context, interpreting and paraphrasing a text, writing with the idea of an audience in mind. Prior Homework Assignment: Read Mark Doty’s poem “A Display of Mackerel” (p95) and write a few sentences on […]

Lesson: Museum Activity

This activity has been very helpful in showing students the differences between observational writing and analysis/synthesis. It is separated like a lab report so that it shows students what types of writing go into which fields. Activity: Today we will be going to the Museum. After reading the Hoshino piece for Tuesday, you have seen […]