Composition I – 1:00 MW

ENG101, §02 MW 1:00-2:20, CT-121 • First-day handout

Due: Assignment:
8/17 Registration and move-in
8/18  Orientation
Due: Assignment:
8/21 NO CLASSES — Solar Eclipse Seminar
8/23 First day of classes
Introduction and first-day handout
Due: Assignment:
8/28 There’s much to do before class, so get an early start!
• (9-22) “Critical Reading” — includes Reading Closely; “Disability” by Nancy Mairs; Developing an Understanding; Analyzing an Essay
• (22-26) “Thinking Critically About Visual Images”
• Study one of the links under “MLAQS (MLA Quick Start)” in the right sidebar. Choose the link for the word processing program you use. (If you use a different one, ask me about it.)

  • While reading the instructions, open your word processor and run all the way through the steps to make sure you’ve learned how to create a proper MLA-format front page, a short paragraph of body text, and a Works Cited (just make up a source for now).  If you find errors in the instructions, help me correct them: make notes and bring them to class for me.
  • Save the file under your own name where you can find it later, then print it and bring it to class.
  • In class we’ll discuss them and you’ll make correction notes. (For the next session you’ll correct your file and attach it to an email to,)

• Bring an image to work with in class, just for practice. It won’t be the one you write Major Paper 1 about. You will be discussing it with one or two classmates.

  • Don’t choose a photo of you, or one you took, or something you painted or drew. Choose something that you don’t know the “backstory” for.
  • It can be a drawing, painting, or photograph.
  • It may be published or unpublished.
  • It must be interesting and thought-provoking to you.
  • It should have plenty of significant visual features. Before class, list some of the visual details you like about it, and make notes about what meaning those details have. It could be colors, textures, objects or people, or other features, even what seems to be missing from the image. Bring those notes. If you can’t find much to point to that’s meaningful, then you need to find a different picture.
  • Also bring all the information about where you found the image, how you can find it again, who made it and when, and so on. You will need this to document your source in your paper.
8/30 • Before class time, email your corrected MLAQS as an attachment to
• Study these links in the right sidebar. By “study” I mean read them carefully, notice the new vocabulary they introduce, make notes on what you understand, write down questions on what you don’t, and bring your notes to class:

  • the parts of an essay
  • paragraph vs. essay comparison

• Bring the image you brought for practice. I’ll look at the notes you’re making and possibly suggest some visual details or other things to consider. We’ll be talking in class about the importance of description and visual imagery in writing.
• We will also create a Works Cited for the image you have, so whatever information you do have about where it can be found, bring it. If you don’t know this information, don’t panic! Just bring what you know, and we’ll work from there.

Due: Assignment:
9/4 NO CLASSES — Labor Day
9/6 • Bring a typed one-paragraph composition about the most important visual aspect of the image you chose: describe that visual aspect graphically, and discuss what that aspect means to you. After the paragraph, put a Works Cited for the image. Attach your handwritten notes and the image itself.
• (361) “The Capricious Camera” by Laila Ayad. Take notes. (Always take notes on everything.) Bring your notes to class so you’ll have some ideas to contribute to the class discussion.
• In class we’ll discuss how your paragraph could have been made into an essay.
Due: Assignment:
9/11 Major paper 1: in-class essay analyzing an image. I’ll bring an image and we’ll study it on the projector for a few minutes. I’ll leave the image on the screen after I turn on the lights, but I’ll also have a few copies to spread around the classroom for you to look at while you work. Your job is to plan and write a critical essay: make notes, contemplate meanings, plan and write your essay, cite the image, and hand it in with your notes by the end of class.  Because this is a major paper, you will be given the opportunity to revise it for a higher grade after I hand it back.
• If you revise, here is a link →[1:00 p.m.]← to examine the picture as you work. You can zoom in for detail.
Due: Assignment:
9/18 • Before class, read (97-98) “Scene Versus Summary” (it’s what I sometimes call “focus versus summary”).
• (104) “Champion of the World” by Maya Angelou. In your notes, identify any motifs that you see operating. I define motif in any art as a pattern repeated for artistic effect. What ideas recur in a significant way?
• Next session you’ll start working on Major Paper 2. It should be about an event in which you were involved, or which you witnessed, and that somehow raised your awareness. Bring the topic idea and we’ll begin planning it in class.
9/20 • (156) “Arm Wrestling with My Father” by Brad Manning. After reading, go back and contemplate these ideas, and make some notes: Identify passages where Manning creates the most intense interest with his narrative.  How does he do this?
• (110) “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan. Make notes on the author’s choices in how to tell the story.
• See “Dialog conventions” in the right sidebar. This gives some tips on using conversations in your personal essay.
• Bring to class your notes and other preparatory work for your narrative essay, Major Paper 2. You now have a summary of the whole event.
• In class we’ll select a few moments of focus (“scenes”) and start drafting them. We’ll also plot the beginning and the end of your narrative.
Due: Assignment:
9/25 • Bring your personal narrative as drafted — still handwritten, but complete, with a focused beginning, the moments of focus blended with the summary, leading to a focused ending. Bring questions about problems you encountered in your draft.
• Study the examples of active and passive voice in this Purdue OWL lesson.
• Study this discussion of concise style at the Purdue OWL.
9/27 Major Paper 2: personal narrative due at the start of class (typed, MLA page format)
• Optional revisions to Major Paper 1 (analyzing an image) may be turned in anytime today.
• Tomorrow night (Thurs. 9/28) 6:30 pm in MS-1: The Current Topics/Critical Discussion Movie Series presents Exam, starring Colin Salmon, Natalie Cox, Luke Mably (2009). You may earn up to 10 points of extra credit for attending one of these events and writing a summary and response. See details above in the tab “Special Events.”
• We’ll take a look at this in class.
Due: Assignment:
10/2 • Find an interesting article on the subject of “academic integrity,” print it out, read it and mark it up, and bring it to class, prepared to share with the class something useful or interesting you found in it. I will give credit only for a marked-up article. “Marked up” doesn’t mean just underlining or highlighting things, but actually responding to the ideas in the article by making notes in the margins: comparisons, judgments, relevant questions, useful paraphrases, and so on.
• in-class exercise in note-taking and writing a summary
• In class I’ll introduce you to the next project, concerning paraphrase.
• Tonight at 6:30 in MS-1, Monday, October 2, 6:30 pm in MS-1: Spoken Word Poet Jen Harris will be offering a public poetry reading/presentation. This is another opportunity, if you haven’t already, to earn up to 10 points extra credit in the “Assignments” category this semester.  See details above in the tab “Special Events.”
10/4 • Bring to class a 100-word (approximately) passage of prose, along with its documentation, to use in class for a paraphrase & MLA workshop and assignment. Note: NOT SOMETHING YOU WROTE, but an explanation you find in an article, textbook, or other source. This must be expository prose, which means an explanation of something. (Not poetry, not a story.) Textbooks and news articles are good sources of expository prose. Limit your selection to about 100 words. Please do not look up “100-word prose” on the Internet, because the examples there do not work well for this exercise. They’re too poetic to paraphrase. Find a short explanation of an idea or an event that is very informative, and that you understand.
Due: Assignment:
10/9 • in-class work on the paraphrase exercise, crafting the Works Cited.
10/11 • paraphrase & MLA assignment is due may be handed in through NOON FRIDAY — we’ll finish working on it in class.
• in-class group exercise in Works Cited format
• Tomorrow night (Thursday, Oct. 12) at 6:30 pm in MS-1: the Poet Laureate of Kansas, Kevin Rabas, will be giving a public poetry reading/presentation called “Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.” This is another opportunity, if you haven’t already, to earn up to 10 points extra credit in the “Assignments” category this semester.  See details above in the tab “Special Events.”
(FRIDAY is the last day to drop with a “W”)
Due: Assignment:
10/16 • in-class exercise on close reading (rhetorical analysis)
10/18 Major Paper 3: in-class essay, close reading of a short passage (rhetorical analysis)
Due: Assignment:
10/23 • (476) “The Meanings of a Word” by Gloria Naylor. After you read, go back and make note of the variety of rhetorical modes she uses. Come to class ready to remark on that.
• In class we’ll work on methods of critical thinking.
Spring enrollment opens
10/25 • (handout & link) “Pride” by Dagoberto Gilb. The link is from California State University/Dominguez Hills, but in your notes you should respond to the questions at the end anyway. They’ll be good preparation for Major Paper 4.
• working on rhetorical modes exercise 1
• Tomorrow night (Thursday, October 26) at 6:30 in MS-1: The Current Topics/Critical Discussion Movie Series presents  Get Out, starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, and Bradley Whitford. This is another opportunity, if you haven’t already, to earn up to 10 points extra credit in the “Assignments” category this semester.  See details above in the tab “Special Events.”
Due: Assignment:
10/30 • rhetorical modes exercise 1 due — this counts in the Major Papers category
• working on rhetorical modes exercise 2
• working on methods of critical thinking
11/1 • rhetorical modes exercise 2 due — this counts in the Major Papers category
• working on rhetorical modes exercise 3
• working on methods of critical thinking
Due: Assignment:
11/6 • rhetorical modes exercise 3 due — this counts in the Major Papers category
• In class we’ll have a short question-and-answer on the assignment you’re handing in, reviewing what you’ve written and looking for ways to improve it.
• reading together and discussing the first few paragraphs of [handout] “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” by Peter Singer
11/8 • before class, finish reading on your own [handout] “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” by Peter Singer
• optional revisions due for Major Paper 3, rhetorical analysis. They won’t be accepted after today unless emailed by midnight. Attach your revision to the graded original when you hand it in. Mark the changes in the revision.
ALL late rhetorical modes paragraphs must be turned in ↓Friday↓. I’ve decided to accept them emailed till midnight, and you can bring a hardcopy Monday. They won’t be accepted any later. After this we return to the first-day policy of 5 points off for each weekday late.
Due: Assignment:
11/13 • We’ll watch this video in class: Heffernan, Margaret. “Dare To Disagree” (12:55). TED Talks, 6 Aug. 2012,, accessed 6 Nov. 2017.
11/15 • finish reading the article”No Cell Phones Allowed…”
• read the “12 cognitive biases”
• think about how you may have encountered these ideas in your own experiences or observations
• in-class practice for Final Exam part 1: MLA and other questions
• in class video introduction to the Civil Rights Movement: excerpts from “Eyes on the Prize” (PBS documentary)
Due: Assignment:
11/20 NO CLASSES — Thanksgiving Break
11/22 NO CLASSES — Thanksgiving Break
Due: Assignment:
11/27 • Introducing “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. We will study this historic essay as a touchstone to illustrate all the features of effective persuasion. (The following links can be read online but some may not print out. I’ll give you a printed handout in class so you can mark it up.)
• Before class, read this introduction to the events of the “Birmingham campaign,” the historical and social context of King’s letter
• Also read the clergymen’s letter, “A Call for Unity,” to which King was responding
• Also read the first 25 paragraphs of (handout) “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” In the handout, that takes you to the middle of the first column on page 5. (In the link, it takes you to the end of the first paragraph on page 5.) Mark up your copy, making notes of his use of the qualities of persuasion, rhetorical methods he uses to good effect, and other rhetorical choices or devices that shape his message and give it power.
11/29 • Read to the end of (handout) “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Mark up your copy, again making notes of his use of the qualities of persuasion, rhetorical methods he uses to good effect, and other rhetorical choices or devices that shape his message and give it power.
• Tomorrow night (Thursday, November 30) at 6:30: The Current Topics/Critical Discussion Movie Series presents Pulp Fiction, starring Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Bruce Willis. This is another opportunity, if you haven’t already, to earn up to 10 points extra credit in the “Assignments” category this semester. by attending the event and the discussion and writing a short response paper.  See details above in the tab “Special Events.”
Due: Assignment:
12/4 Major Paper 4 due: evaluation of an interview over a disagreement. Mark changes in the revision and attach it to the graded original when you hand it in.
• Optional revisions to the three “rhetorical mode exercises” are due today. The original, graded exercise must by attached to the revision. Mark changes in the revision and attach it to the graded original when you hand it in.
Due: Assignment:
12/11 Final Exam part 1: MLA and other questions
12/12 Finals begin. Here is the Finals Schedule.
 12/15 1:00 – Section 02 final exam
7:00 pm – Graduation