Blog Entry #13: Strategies for Sentence Variation

Apr 9th, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |

dependendent clauses













For your final blog entry, I would like to revisit the importance of using sentence-variety and rhythm in writing.

To practice this, please take a moment to review the links “Sentence Types” and “Strategies for Variation.” (We’ve reviewed these resources in class before, so they will look familiar.)

Next, select two passages from your personal ethnography and paste these passages into your blog response. Then do the following:


  • Rewrite these passages using the tips provided on the strategies for variation link.


  • Next, discuss the changes you made and why you chose to make these edits.


As you continue to revise your essay (as well as other drafts for the final portfolio), keep these editing tips in mind; this will help you produce a more thoughtfully written essay that has rhythm and sentence-variety!


Due: Thursday, April 18th


Image from: Useful Websites for Composition and Rhetoric Classes



Blog Entry #12: A Moment of Reflection

Apr 2nd, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |









For this blog entry, please share with us the following:


  • What are some of the major and minor concerns you have about your personal ethnography?  Feel free to discuss organization, voice, grammar, interviewing techniques, etc. Afterward, share with us 2-3 aspects of the essay you are enjoying writing/researching so far.


  • Next, please paste the introduction to your ethnography into your response and briefly explain how and why you crafted it the way you did.


  • Finally, visit at least 2 other students’ blogs and comment on their posts. You might offer suggestions for revision on their introductions, advice on how to address ethnography-related concerns, ask questions, etc.


Due: Tuesday, April 9


Image by Learn Logic


Blog Entry #11: Interview Questions

Mar 26th, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |










Take a moment to compose 10-15 interview questions you would like to ask your interviewee during your ethnographic research. (Note:  Remember that you will include a transcript of your questions/responses with your final essay.) Afterward, please share with us three of the questions you composed and then answer the following:


  • How do you plan on conducting your interview (phone, email, or in person) and who will you conduct it with?


  • In what ways do you think your questions will help you gain insight into your interviewee? Into your possible major?


  • Are your questions closed or open-ended or a combination of the two? Do you think you may need to add more variety to your questions?  Why or why not?


  • Finally, visit 2-3 other students’ blogs and review their interview questions and blog responses. Based on what you read, do you think you need to revise your interview questions?  Why or why not?


I look forward to reading your responses!


Due: Tuesday, April 2nd



Blog Entry #10: A Technological Journey

Mar 18th, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |












For this blog entry, I’d like you to read about scholar Claire Lauer’s “technological journey” as she remediated a digital project. You’ll quickly see from her piece that the process of revising or remediating her webtext was long and arduous.

Your remediation, fortunately, won’t be so intense. That said, I still want you think about the process or “technological journey” you’re going through as a writer and creator. Some of you may be thinking “Hey, I’m not using technology for my project!” but my guess is that—in one way or another—you are. If you’re building something, for instance, think about the technology behind the tools you’re using to construct your project. Consider the role the internet played in helping you research your persuasive essay. Recognize that almost everything we do is in some way rooted in technology and that all the compositions we create reflect those technologies.

To get started, please visit the following webtext by Claire Lauer. Once there, look on the left hand side of the page. Next, click the header “A technological journey.” After you finish reading the piece, consider the following:


  • What did you learn from Claire Lauer’s piece about the process of composing and re-composing a text?


  • Is there anything you can take from Lauer’s piece that can help you with your own project? With creating your Statement of Goals & Choices or timeline?


  • Is this example (or any of the student examples available to you on Angel) useful in helping you think about your own project? What has your technological journey been like so far?


  • As always, feel free to chat about anything else that interests you!


Due: March 26th


Image from Megan’s blog.



Blog Entry #9: Take a Break!

Mar 6th, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |














Please note that you do not need to post a blog entry #9. Instead, use this time to either take a break or to think about how you want to remediate your research-based persuasive essay.


Image by Cathy Wilcox


Blog Entry #8: Understanding Remediation

Feb 27th, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |












(Prior to completing this post, please review the Assignment #3 handout.)

Now is a good time to begin thinking about our next project, which is a remediation or remix of your research-based persuasive essay.  With this in mind, please review this website which offers an overview of remediation and examples of remediated or remixed projects.  After reviewing the website, discuss the following:

  • According to the website, what is a remediation or remix?


  • Review some of the examples provided on the website.  What do you think of these examples?  Are they useful in helping demonstrate how projects/research/ideas can be remediated?


  • From a rhetorical standpoint, how might remediating your research-based persuasive essay ask you to rethink your project’s audience, strategies you use to persuade them, and the general presentation of your ideas?


  • Finally, feel free to ask  questions or make comments regarding your thoughts on remediation or this project.


Due: March 5th (Please note that the due date for this blog entry has been extended. You may ignore the due date posted on the course schedule.)


Blog Entry #7: An Interview with Sonia Sotomayor

Feb 21st, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |

Official Portrait of Justice Sonia Sotomayor










Take a moment to watch a video excerpt from the following interview with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.  Please watch the first minute or so of the interview  to orient yourself.  Next, review the video from minutes 13:00-19:00 (feel free to watch more if you wish).  Afterward, chat with us about the following:

  • Why do you think Sotomayor values writing skill in both students and prospective lawyers?


  • What do you think of her statement that a writer can “persuade by legal reason”?  In your opinion, does legal writing—or any type of writing—need to be persuasive?


  • Why do you think Sotomayor believes in a liberal arts education?  Do you think taking a variety of classes in your college career will make you a better student, critical thinker, or world citizen?  Why or why not?


  • Finally, feel free to discuss any other aspect of the interview that interests you!


Note:  The video may need to run for a minute or “buffer” before you can fast-forward.


Due: Feb. 26th


Blog Entry #6: A Moment of Reflection…

Feb 14th, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |











As you know, one of the most helpful aspects of the writing process is taking time to reflect on what you’ve written.  With this in mind, please address the following questions:

  • How is your writing process going so far?  What are some concerns, worries, or questions you have?


  • How is your research process coming along?  Are you finding (or not finding) useful sources for your persuasive essay?


  • Finally, what did you learn from Zinsser’s article that you can apply to your writing process for this paper?


Due: Feb. 19th

Image from WRIT1122


Blog Entry #5: Why Do We Do Academic Research?

Feb 6th, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |










For this blog entry, I’d like to reflect on the question of “Why do we do academic research?”  Assigning research-based essays, after all, seems to be the cruel specialty of university professors, but surely there’s some rationale behind these assignments.

To get you started, here are some thoughts and questions you might consider:


  • In what ways is academic research relevant to our lives?


  • How might research help you in your academic field or major?  Why types of research might you engage in once you enter your discipline?  (If you don’t yet have a major–that’s fine!  Answer this question to the best of your ability.)


  • Afterward, please post on your blog an image, link, or video that best describes your attitude towards or relationship with academic research.  Do you love it, hate it, or are you indifferent?


Due: Feb. 12th


Blog Entry #4: Are Human Beings Really After Truth?

Jan 30th, 2013 Posted in Blog Entries |
Photo by Andrew Malone on Flickr

Photo by Andrew Malone on Flickr


Please take a moment to read this article from the New York Times on Reason and Argumentation.  Then respond to the following:


  • Do you agree with the assertion that “Reasoning doesn’t have this function of helping us to get better beliefs and make better decisions….It was a purely social phenomenon. It evolved to help us convince others and to be careful when others try to convince us. Truth and accuracy were beside the point.”  Why or why not?


  • Why might understanding how we evolved to becoming argumentative thinkers, speakers, and writers influence your understanding of how to use argumentation in academic writing?  In your personal writing?


  • Please choose one other point from the article you found interesting to share with us.


Image by Andrew Malone.