Reading HW due Wed. 10/30 by 7:49 AM

Please read “Researching and Making Claims: Introduction” (p. 157) and “The Research Process” (p. 160) in your reader, and respond to the prompt in the comments section below.

What is one aspect of writing a research paper that intimidates or frustrates you? What did you learn from these readings that makes the task feel a bit more manageable? If nothing, what did you learn about the research process that seems daunting?

Implicit Bias Test

Hi Everyone,

Here is a link to Harvard’s Implicit Bias test, which we talked about today in class.

It’s really interesting to explore, and I hope you all have the chance to try one or two.


Paul Bloom “Others” due Wednesday, 10/16

Hi Everyone,

Here is a link to the Paul Bloom reading, a chapter titled “Others” from his book Just Babies.  Please read and answer the questions I’ve distributed in hard copy in class on Monday, 10/7. If you need access to the questions, please comment below or shoot me an email and I’ll send them over to you ASAP. All of this is due at the start of class on Wednesday, 10/16.


Please be aware that you will be using these questions to lead the class discussion yourselves!

Writing Personal Essays–Due Monday, 10/7 , 7:49 AM

Below is a link to Philip Lopate’s essay “Turning Oneself into a Character.” After you read it, respond to the questions below in the Comments section.

Writing Personal Essays – Turning Oneself into a Character

  1. After reading this essay, what do you think is one of the most crucial steps in creating a compelling narrator/character in a personal essay?
  2. Name one character–from a book, movie, TV show, etc.–that you particularly like, then assess and what about this character is so appealing to you.

Literacy Narrative: Due Sunday, 10/27 at 5PM

Literacy Narrative

  • 1,500-1,800 words / ~ 5-6 double-spaced pages
  • 20% of course grade

Important Dates

  • Wednesday, October 2: Introduction to essay, free write, brainstorm
  • Monday, October 7: In-class Writing Workshop: personal drafting and writing group consult time (please bring outlines, papers, ideas, etc. to class in order to make the best use of this time)
  • Wednesday, October 16: First drafts due in hard copy: one for me, sections for your writing group to review
  • Sunday, October 20: EMAIL ME one complete paragraph that you’re comfortable sharing by 5 PM for review in tomorrow’s line editing workshop
  • Monday, October 21: Line Editing Workshop
  • Sunday, October 27: FINAL DRAFT DUE in writing folder BY 5 PM

A literacy narrative doesn’t have to be about reading, writing, or formal education. Becoming literate means becoming knowledgeable and proficient in a subject area, and that subject is up to you! The only real “requirement” is that it is a narrative that illustrates some sort of journey toward greater knowledge or understanding—of yourself, of the world around you. Once you decide on a topic, check in with me. I’ll make sure it’s appropriate while honoring your creativity and ideas.

As you can see from the timeline above, we will be building this piece of writing together, from the ground up. It will be a collaborative effort, so please make sure you choose a topic that you are comfortable sharing with others.

Remember: even though this is a more creative piece, your essay needs to have a consistent focus, and you need to develop your ideas and push yourself to think critically. Think of it as another critical analysis essay, but this time, instead of analyzing a text, you’re analyzing yourself, or a meaningful life experience. Keep asking yourself WHY you’re writing about your topic. Question your ideas, let them evolve. Surprise yourself!

HW due Wednesday, 10/2 by 7:49 AM

As we move toward writing literacy narratives, you have two reading assignments in your reader:

  1. “Defining My Identity Through Language” by Kim Liao on page 61
  2. “Caught Between Two Worlds” by Lucia Ku on page 100

After reading both, please respond to the following questions in the Comments section below:

  1. In your own words, describe the 3 types of literacy narratives Liao writes about.
  2. What category does Ku’s essay fall into? Why?
  3. What type of literacy narrative do you think you MIGHT want to write for class? Why?


Analysis Essay Due Sunday 9/29 11:59 PM

Just a reminder that I’ve extended the deadline for your critical analysis paper to Sunday night! Please keep in mind the following:

  1. Drop your paper in your Personal Writing Folder (I emailed you the link).
  2.  Don’t submit a PDF–Google Docs or MS Word are preferred so I can comment directly on your paper.
  3. Feel free to email me if you have any questions as you revise.

“The Maker’s Eye” due Wed., 9/25

Read “The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts” on page 36 of the Reader and respond to the prompt below by 7:49 AM on Wednesday, 9/25.

Donald Murray names several different elements writers can focus on when revising their work. Choose one of these element and use it as a lens to assess your own analysis essay. In the comments below, state what element you’ve chosen, and how you can apply it to improve your own work. Be specific!