Class, Tues, 11/01

Beginning a Research-Based Essay

In groups of three: Read the first two ¶s of the essays in the Arak Journal by Samantha DiUbaldi and Ryan McNulty. As a group, formulate some answers to these questions:

  • Where does the writer say what their essay is about? (Topic)
  • How do they suggest what questions or ideas they have about their topic? (Project)
  • How do they suggest how their essay will develop? (Map)

Fastwrite: Write  a possible first ¶ (or two) of your final essay. Try to state the topic you’re writing about, the questions or ideas you have about this topic, and how you will develop your essay.

Writing Geek

The singular they is the 2016 word of the year. When you want to talk about what a writer has to say in his or her text, don’t feel like you have to bend over backwards to describe what he or she is arguing. And definitely what not he says. Or one says. It is okay to write “where does the writer say what their essay is about”.  For backup, see

To Do

  1. Thurs, 11/03, class: I will ask you to begin to write the first full draft of your second essay. So, if you compose on a keyboard, come with a laptop with your e2d1 and e2d2 loaded on it. If you write with pen and paper, come with print copies of your e2d and e2d2, and paper to write on.
  2. Mon, 11/07, 4:00 pm: Email e2d3 to your GTA and me.
  3. Tues, 11/08: Election Day! No class! Vote!
  4. Wed, 11/09, Thurs, 11/10, or Fri, 11/11: Conferences with your GTA and me, based on your annotated print version of e2d3. (Your annotations will count as p3.)
  5. Tues, 11/15, class: Bring a print copy of e2d3.9 to class. You will work on it.
  6. Wed, 11/16, 4:00 pm: Email e2d4, the final version of your second essay, to your GTA and me.

Class, Tues, 10/25

Reading for Stance and Tone in a Research-Based Essay

  • With a partner: Read through Lia Dawson’s “How Celebrities Affect What We See on YouTube“. Mark where Dawson is primarily describing the topic of her essay (the subject she is writing about), and where she is articulating her stance toward that topic (what she wants to argue). If you see a passage where she is doing something other than describing her topic or stance, then note that too.
  • In GTA groups: See if you can come to some sort of agreement about the moments where Dawson articulates her stance as a writer. List those passages so you can look at them in outline form. (You might want to use Google Docs to do this.) What does this list show you about the strengths and possible weaknesses of Dawson’s argument?

Developing Your Description of a Project of Repair

In workshop groups: Read your e2d1s. Try to suggest to each writer what they might add to their description of

  • The problem: What’s broken or in need of repair?
  • The characters: Who is doing the repairing? Who is being helped or fixed?
  • The setting: Where is all this happening? How does the setting effect what the characters do?
  • Possible connections to Spelman

As a group, select one piece that you find especially effective and would like to discuss in class on Thursday. Send an email to your GTA and me telling us which piece you’ve selected.

To Do

  1. Thurs, 10/27, class: Read the Arak essays by Samantha DiUbaldi and Ryan McNulty for stance and tone. Be ready to talk about how each author develops and argument about their subject.
  2. Thurs, 10/27, class: Identify at least three specific passages in Spelman’s Repair that you might connect your project of repair to.


Class, Thurs, 10/20

Developing a Thick Description of a Project of Repair

Workshop Groups

Please read your beginning drafts aloud and get feedback from your group members. At the end of this session, I will ask you add at least 200 words to your description.

At this point the key question for each of you as a writer is: How do I move from 500 to 1000 words? I want you think about doing this not through adding examples but rather by saying more about each example you’re writing about. And so I’d like readers to consider:

  • How fully and well does this writer describe the thing that is being repaired?
  • How fully and well do they describe the person doing the repair?
  • What particular problems or challenges in repair do they describe?

Note what the writer does well and where you’d like to hear more.


Add 200 words to your current description.

Writing Geek6a0115710fc794970c014e890c16c3970d-320wi

Punctuating Quotations: Logical Punctuation vs. American Style.



To Do

  1. Mon, 10/24, 4:00 pm: Post e2d1, a 1,000-word description of a project of repair, to your group Google Drive folder. Title your document “lastname e2d1.docx”.
  2. Tues, 10/25, class: Read your group members’ e2d1s before class. I will ask each group to choose one piece to be presented to the class as a whole on Thursday.
  3. Tues, 10/25, class: Read the first three essays (Dawson, DiUbialdi, McNulty) in the 2016 issue of Arak Journal. Be read to talk about (a) how the writer describes a particular topic they want to write about, and (b) the stance they take toward that topic.