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: In-class Essay

Contributed by Jen Schell In-Class Essay on Michel Foucault’s “Of Other Spaces’  and Joe McGinniss’ Going to Extremes Take the entire class period to formulate an essay around one or more of the following questions. The essay should be approximately three handwritten pages (single spaced) or as long as it takes to adequately answer the […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

Sample Syllabus: ENGL 211, Depictions of Violence in Narrative

Academic Writing About Literature: Depictions of Violence in Narrative ENGL 211x Instructor: Eric Notaro TR 3:40-5:10pm; Gruening 203 Office Hours: TR 2:30-3:30pm and by appointment. Prerequisites: ENGL 111x or its equivalent. Recommended: Sophomore Standing. Please note that this document is subject to change as deemed necessary by the instructor. Course Description This section of 21 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]