Composition I – 1:00 MW

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

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8/17 Registration and move-in
8/18  Orientation
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8/21 NO CLASSES — Solar Eclipse Seminar
8/23 First day of classes
Introduction and first-day handout
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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  • It may be published or unpublished.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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.”
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10/2 • 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.”
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10/11 • 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”)
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10/23 Spring enrollment opens
10/25 • Tomorrow night (Thursday, October 26) at 6:30 in MS-1: The Current Topics/Critical Discussion Movie Series presents…(to be announced). 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.”
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11/20 NO CLASSES — Thanksgiving Break
11/22 NO CLASSES — Thanksgiving Break
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11/29 • Tomorrow night (Thursday, November 30) at 6:30: The Current Topics/Critical Discussion Movie Series presents… (to be announced). 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.”
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12/12 Finals begin. Here is the Finals Schedule.
8:00 –
11:00 –
2:00 –
 12/13 8:00 –
10:00 –
12:00 –
2:00 –
12/14 9:30 –
12:30 –
 12/15 9:00 –
11:00 –
1:00 –
7:00 pm – Graduation