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    WR121 - English Composition Online
    Terrance Millet

    In Greek legend, the goddess of wisdom, Athena, was born fully formed from the head of Zeus. Unfortunately, this is the only recorded instance of instant wisdom. (U. Vic)


    Lane

    Website

    Hello, and welcome to WR 121 Online, LBCC's Freshman Comp on the net.  

    Over the coming term, we'll be learning how to obtain reliable information that gives credibility to our opinions.  We'll use this information to write effective essays that inform and persuade our readers that what we say is reasonable, believable, and backed up by reliable data.

    Online courses differ from classroom courses in several important ways:  

    • The course material is online, on our website, and this requires you to be internet and computer-savvy
    • We do not meet, so success in the course depends largely on your own self-monitoring
    • Because we do not use a hard-copy textbook, all the instructions are posted for you here, on the website.  

    This means:

      1. You should read the material carefully, just as you would a textbook
      2. The webpages may seem to contain a great deal of writing, which may lead you to feel discouraged.  Don't be–it is far, far less than what a textbook holds, so be patient with yourself

    .
    Here are some very helpful links for you:  

    Read these before you go any further.  Then relax, take some time to let the information sink in, and, when you are ready, continue with the reading here.

    But first:

    • Since we have a number of students waitlisted for the course, in fairness to all, and to allow these students a chance to register, we'll have to drop those students who have not logged in to the course in Week 1 and completed the assignments by the due time Friday.  It's important to keep seats open to active participants in the course.

    Now, let's get started...

  • Welcome

    Hello again, and welcome to WR121.  This class covers the process and fundamentals of writing expository essays, including structure, organization and development, diction and style, revision and editing.

    Your assignment topics, quizzes, templates, and helpful resources are always given at the bottom of each week's page.  Scroll down and use the links.

    But First, view this Moodle Orientation video to get you started in this class. 

    Second, email me a note at milletl@linnbenton.edu to say hello and give a little information about yourself.  This is your introduction to me.  It will do two things:
      1. Help me know a little about you
      2. Allow me to add your email address to my contact list
    Then, Sign in to the forum at the bottom of this page and introduce yourselves to one another.  Use the forum to ask questions, help one another, and collaborate.

    ~Help!  Why is there so much material here on the website?       

    Well, because there is no textbook to buy and read, the course material here takes its place.  Everything you need is on our website–or linked to it with a short flight to take us there.  Therefore, we have a fair amount of material in this first section.  Read it over slowly and carefully.  Relax, and remember:

      • Don't panic.  
      • Don't tackle it all at once: take it in bits, and make notes on the items that seem important to you.
     
    We'll start Week 1 with some basics in:
    1. Navigating the web
    2. Moodle,
    3. The course content.

    Take the time needed to familiarize yourself with the layout and expectations of the course, and learn how to use Moodle efficiently.

    • We will need Internet skills in order to succeed in this class.  We will also need to know how to use a word processor in order to paginate, insert headers, and insert footnotes correctly.  
    • Take this week to review and practice these skills.

    Email me at milletl@linnbenton.edu if you have questions at any time during the term.  I'll get back to you as soon as possible.  Please use the subject line of your email to give me a sense of what it's about and how urgent it is. 


    Please don't email me through the Moodle site: that's for your conversations among yourselves.

     
    Are there any crucial "musts" to do well in this online course?           
     
    Yes, there are.
    Here are some basic "musts" for success in the course:
    1. Use the links provided and read the material for an adequate understanding of the skill sets required in this course.
    2. Practice to master the basic grammar skills covered in your online handbook resources.  The handbook provides additional guidance for understanding and writing your particular assignments.
    3. Upload your assignments using the assignment links that are posted in each week's section.
    4. AND– sign into the course shell to complete this week's electronically submitted assignments by the due date this Friday @ 5pm.  Hard copy for those students taking the classroom version of the course is best submitted in Thursdays' class period.
      • WHY? Because online students who do not log in to classes in week one (non-attendance) are dropped from the course in order to comply with Financial Aid status Monday morning.

    One again, since there is no classroom orientation for these WEB courses, it is up to you to cover the introductory and explanatory materials provided here.  The protocols are covered here.  Pay attention to the details on sending e-mails—attaching documents, subject lines, and page set-up for your submitted writing.  Remember, your writing for this course must meet academic standards.

    Now, let's move on to this week's work...but first, here's one of a number of virtual library tours...

    • What Should I Know?


      We do have some prerequisites for this online course.  

      Here they are (besides having logged into the course and completed the week's assignments by due times):

      1. Prerequisite : WR115.  You must have passed this course to enroll in WR121.
      2. Involvement in this website: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/5/ .
        1. All the information you need to understand, write, and evaluate college-level essays is posted here.  Read it thoroughly, and look at the sample student writing.   It is your grammar handbook resource. .  The Purdue OWL.     How do you get there quickly?  By hitching a ride with our own owl.                            

         

      press me

      • We have a number of students waitlisted for the course, so in fairness to all, and to allow these students a chance to register, we'll have to drop those students who have not logged in to the course in Week 1 and completed the assignments.  It's important to keep seats open to active participants in the course.

      ~

      When is our work due?        

      All our assignments are due to be uploaded using the links in our Moodle shell by the times indicated on this Moodle site.  

      Then the course window for the following week will be opened for you.

      Our course assignments are listed below.  

       
      Here are our class assignments for the term:
      1. One quiz on editing and revising college work.  The material and quiz are on the Moodle website, Week 1.
      2. Three quizzes on the topics we cover.  The quizzes are on the Moodle website.
      3. Three Information Literacy Assignments, one on each of your essays, using the Information Literacy template (50 points each).  The templates for these are on our Moodle website, and they are included at the end of this syllabus.
      4. Three Essay Outlines (10 points each).  These outlines, one per essay, will help you transition your data from the Information Literacy research data to a essayistic structure.
      5. Three essays (100 points) @ 750+ words each.  The topics are given on the website.  These essays are to be uploaded to the Moodle website, using the Chicago Manual of Style (see page 14 below) format.
      6. A Final Exam, worth 30% of the course grade, written Monday night at 6pm (18:00) of Finals Week.  You will take this exam at your home, online.

      .
      Here are some skills that you should master for this 121 Course:
      1. Reading at the college-level 
      2. Mastering standard conventions: grammar, punctuation, spelling, diction, and syntax 
      3. Formatting academic papers 
      4. Developing paragraphs  
      5. Writing and editing papers using word processing programs 
      6. Writing thesis statements 
      7. Citing sources and documenting correctly 
      8. Formulating, articulating, and defending your point of view

      Grading Policy and Academic Expectations for College-Level Writing.

      We want your writing skills to reflect college-level writing.  This means that the writing standards you use in your essays should reflect care and rigor. Here are areas to master that will increase your grade"

      1. Title page
      2. Pagination
      3. Double-spaced, 12-Point Courier
      4. Correct headers
      5. Proper margins (just use default margins and you’ll probably be fine)
      6. Correct citations

      Write carefully and follow the guidelines given here and on the OWL resources.

      Onward!

      Terrance

      Virtual library tour of the Old Main Library of Cincinnati  

      Virtual tour of the Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library

    • Week 1

      UNIT ONE
      Documented Essay
       

      First, review the folder above outlining all the resources this course has for you.  Once you've done that, let's continue.

       

      This week, we begin the course by writing up the Information Literacy assignment, using the template provide below.  Only the Information Literacy assignment part of the essay is due this week.  The outline is due next week, and the essay itself is due the week after that.

      It's broken down like this:

      • Week 1:  Information Literacy
        • Week 2:  Outline or Rhetorical Analysis of the essay
          • Week 3:  The finished Essay

      This is week 1, so only the Information Literacy part of the essay is due;  download the template and fill it in.

      We do have other smaller assignments, and they are listed below.

      Remember that all assignments have due dates and times.  After that time, the upload link will deactivate.

       

      Shall we get started?   Here are this week's assignments:

      MONDAY

      1. Login and sign in to the Forum
      2. Your signed acknowledgement that you have read and understood the terms and conditions set out in the syllabus for this course.
        1. ONLINE students who do not complete these tasks today are at risk of being dropped from the course to allow for waitlisted students, so be present and stay prompt.

      TUESDAY

      1. Read the material posted on Documentation Essays and take the quiz on that material.  This must be completed with a 100% score before you can proceed with the course.
        1. ONLINE students who have not signed in and do not complete this task today may be dropped from the course.

      WEDNESDAY

      1.  Open the folders named “Week One Welcome” and “What Should I Know?”, read the material there, and complete a very brief quiz on the contents.
      2. Read the material posted on Revision  and take the quiz on that material.  This must be completed with a 100% score before you can proceed with the course.
        1. ONLINE students who do not complete these tasks today can be dropped from the course.

      THURSDAY   (the main assignment)

      1. Information Literacy assignment#1 to be uploaded. (use the link below)   Remember, this is due Thursday by 5pm.
        • Type, paste in, or upload (uploading a file is best) your work into the Moodle window, and check if your formatting gets lost in the process
          • ONLINE students who do not complete this task on time will be dropped from the course.

       

        What are the TOPICS for the information Literacy Assignments?  .  The topic for the Information Literacy assignments and the Essays is the same.

            

      These assignments average from 4-8 pages of your own writing.  Part of the task is for students to pick out and determine the Thesis Statement of the articleThis skill is taught in WR115. Use your handbook.

      In turn, the student must create her own thesis statement for her essay and information literacy assignment.  Look up what a thesis statement is in the OWL handbook.

      Write this assignment using the Information Literacy template. Don't write to the page numbers: write to the amount of detail you think covers the topics adequately. Let the length be determined by that.

      Then:

      1. Upload your work into the correct assignment link.
      2. Do not send your work in the body of your email.

       .

      A HELPFUL TIP:

      Do not repeat the instructions on the info lit template in your assignment.

      Use only the number and a brief line as a heading, in bold , followed by your answers.

      • Headings will indicate what the subject area is for a particular section. 
      • Structure your assignments so that they are clear, easily followed, coherent, and easily read.


      This procedure will be the same for all three essays and Info Lit assignments.  Our topics are given in the .pdf file posted for you to download at the bottom of each week's window.  The Information Literacy assignment gets you started on the assigned topic.

      But...Why are we doing this??                  

      Well, the Information Literacy piece is the research aspect of your essay.  The sources and citations you use here will be the ones you include in your essay.

      Here's the reasoning behind it:

      • The Information Literacy part gets you involved in researching the topic and sources for your essay.  It guides you in researching and assembling your data. It gets you thinking and gives you depth in the week before the essay is due. It guides you in citing sources. We want your essay to be thoughtful and well written.
      • Essentially, this approach gives you two weeks to assemble your final draft. That should be plenty of time to produce your best work. Therefore, your submitted work should be virtually error-free in terms of grammar, formatting, and proof-editing.

      Complete this week's assignments and  move forward.

      Oh No!  I didn't get to look at the weekly assignment in time because......I was busy with other things.  Now I don't have time to finish it on time.  What shall I do?     伤心

      ~

      ˜˜\_(‘-‘)_/˜˜     Hmmm...At college, you are in charge of yourself.  You must plan effectively, look ahead to see what's due and when, and discipline yourself to keep current.

      And remember, Monday of Week 2 is the last day for you to drop classes and receive a refund.  

      Virtual Tour of the Trinity College Library Long Room in Dublin
    • Week 2

      ESSAY OUTLINE #1

      Your outline for the essay is due this week.  ONLY the outline is due.  Use the template provide for you at the bottom of this page.

       
      Is there a "Best" Way To Organize My Essay?            

      Yes, there is.  Follow the outline template and then:

        1. Begin with your second-strongest point as Key Term 1.
        2. Use your weakest point in the middle of your essay as Key Term 2.
        3. Finish with your strongest point as Key Term 3.

      Then, press the OWL link and research Thesis Statements:        

      come away with me

      Shall we get started?   Here are this week's assignments:

      MONDAY:

      1. Watch the Thesis Statement video by 12am, midnight Monday, and indicate that you have done so.

      TUESDAY

      1. Complete your definition of a thesis statement and upload it by midnight, Tuesday.  Maximum one half page.

      THURSDAY:

      1. Outline #1 to be uploaded. (use the link below)   Remember, this is due Thursday by 5pm.
        • Upload  your work (no Zip files, please) into the Moodle window.



             What is a Thesis Statement?       

      A Word on Theses Statements


      Begin your essay with a strong thesis statement that declares what you are going to write about and what you are going to say about that topic ( a “what” and a “so what”).  Then state what aspects of the subject you are going to write about and prove.  Underline or highlight what you believe your thesis statement to be.  Here's a very helpful link to a page on developing your thesis.  Again, thesis statements in an essay consist of two components: a topic and a point—a “what” and a “so what”.  Be sure to have both.

      In other words, when you are writing an essay on any topic, you are about to say something...about a topic. It’s not the “topic” that is at issue or to be argued—it’s the “Saying”, or the claims (points, argument) you are about to present about it.  That’s your point of view, and that’s what you must back up with proof or citations.  Those citations are where your knowledge, your expertise, and your authority come from, and it is that source work that others might  argue against with their own sources.
      So you begin by saying, in essence, “I’m going to talk about this subject, and I’m going to say this about it, and I think this claim-though controversial-is true and I'll show that by discussing three aspects of it: 1;2;3.

      Here's that helpful link again:  

      We are focusing on the data in this assignment, so remember to address these issues:

      • Are Domhoff's sources reliable?  
      • Does he have good data?

      In other words, we can say such things as "The evidence seems to support (or not) the claims of the author."  Then show it.  Do not say the author is right or wrong.


      You will find some sources that are more credible than others.  The more credible your source in this case, the stronger your evidence.  A Federal Census carries more weight than a survey by People's magazine or a ideologically skewed (right or left) publication.  

      Our task for this assignment is to remain objective and impartial–there is no point in getting mad at facts.  
      And remember to include these in your outlines:

      •  Title page
      •  Pagination
      • Double-spaced, 12-Point Courier
      • Headers with the page number, your name, and the title
      • Correct margins (just use default margins and you’ll probably be fine)
      • Correct citations (Chicago Manual of Style)

      Are there any more secrets to writing an "A"-level research paper?

      Yes, there are.  For one,  be sure to effectively use SIGNAL PHRASES when incorporating quotations in your essays.  

      And there are other important tools to achieve first class papers.  You can find some of them here...bring back whatever treasure you can carry.

       
      Finally, upload your work into the Moodle shell using the Upload link directly below. 
      Complete this week's assignments and move forward.

      Let's shed some light on the history of books--past, present, and future.
    • Week 3

      ESSAY ONE

      "According to the Roman writer Pliny, a bear's whelp was born a shapeless mass, and the mother had literally to lick it into shape. Now that you have a mass of print before you, your task is to lick it into something resembling an essay. Your principal concerns are these: clarity, coherence and unity." UVic 

      ~

      This week, Essay 1 is due by Thursday at 5pm.   

      No late submissions, please.

      Please go to the bottom section of this page for instructions on how to use Turnitin when uploading your essay.

      The essay is a result of the work you did over the previous two weeks when you

        • Researched your data using the information literacy form in week 1, and
        • Organized the layout of your essay using the outline template in week 2.
      ~
      Keep in mind that this is a research and citation essay.  
      • It is not an argument or opinion paper.
      • There are a minimum number of citations expected as part of this essay—two or three per page.
      • Do not argue your ideology this paper, and do not dispute opinions.
        • Limit your writing to focusing on the data: you will be showing the degree to which it is consistent (or not) with the author's, and assessing credibility. 
      Maximize your grade & remember to

      Format your work using the Chicago Style of conventions with a title page, headers, page numbers, and footnotes. See your handbook for the details. This is a required skill set for WR121, so learn the details and pay attention to them.

      I've provided a template in the Chicago Style below to help you.  Please download and use it.

      Remember to structure your essay thoughtfully for maximum effect.      < click it

      Remember to limit your writing to verifying or refuting the accuracy of the author's data.
      • You can say such things as "The evidence seems to support (or not) the claims of the author."
      • Do not say the author is right or wrong.  Stay objective.
      • Say, instead, that the evidence you have "supports or does not support his argument and his facts", then give your evidence.
      • You will find some sources that are more credible than others.  Use the best.
      • The more credible your source in this case, the stronger your claim.
      • If you feel the need to make more personal statements, do so in a footnote. That's what they are for.

      Footnotes?  Citation?  Huh?               


      We're using the Chicago Style in this course, so use footnotes for in-text citations.  Here's a helpful shortcut:

      • Press Command/Option/F on Macs or Control/Alt/F on PC's to automatically insert a footnote using Microsoft Word. Look up this citation style in your handbook.
      • Be sure to include signal phrases to lead in to your citations.
      • Be sure to effectively use transitions, and remember that transitional sentences and signal phrases are not the same thing.

      Shall we get started?   Here are this week's assignments:

      MONDAY:

      1. Complete the Structuring Your Essay video activity by 5pm.

      TUESDAY

      1.  Read the material posted here on signal Phrases and upload a definition in your own words.

      THURSDAY:

      1. ESSAY   #1 to be uploaded. (use the link below)   Remember, this is due Thursday by 5pm.
        • Upload (uploading a file is best) your work into the Moodle window, and check if your formatting gets lost in the process


       

      Here is some more help for you.


      Once you’ve stated your subject and your claims (or arguments) about the subject–the “whatand theso what of your paper–in your thesis paragraph, it’s time to develop your arguments.

      If you make three main points, or three Key Terms, as aspects of your presentation, each of these Key Points will have its own paragraph or section. Focus on one thing at a time, and transition between these sections with phrases such as “secondly”, “next”, “finally”, and so on.  Remember to use signal phrases effectively.

      1. Develop each section with a claim, and proof of that claim.  The proof is the citation part. Use quotation marks and citation to show where you found the evidence.
        1. Develop these sections first, and completely, consulting your bibliography and sources, and, when you are finished, decide which argument or section is most compelling, second in strength, and least compelling.  Rank them in terms of strength as 1, 2, and 3.
      2. Then place the second most compelling section (2) in the beginning, place the weakest in the middle, and finish the body of your essay with the strongest section (1).
        1. Some studies indicate that this order brings in the highest evaluations even though the points remain identical.
      3. Finally, recap your essay in the conclusion, mentioning the main points and your arguments, and finish with a reference to the thesis statement.  
        1. This will refresh the reader’s memory of your paper and its intent, and closes the loop, so to speak, of the essay.

      There are variations on this approach, of course, but this is a simple, fundamental basis on which to build your essay, and it works for most essay forms: the argument, the research paper, the process narration, the comparison, and even the descriptive essay.  Once you’ve created this basis, and are confident in its strength and in its coherency, you can experiment with variations in form and approach.


      You "pre-wrote" your essay last week and had the chance to have  it peer-reviewed.  This week, your finished, polished version should represent your best work.

      Remember, this is not an opinion paper: leave your politics at the door.

      Remember to:

      • Format your work in the Chicago Style with a title page, headers, page numbers, and footnotes. See your handbook for the details
      • Use the template in the Chicago Style provided below for your convenience
      • Upload your work using the Turnitin link provided

      Here are some common problems in writing essays. <— Check your work against this list.

      Virtual Library Tour: Indianapolis Public Library


    • Week 4

      UNIT TWO
      (Process Essay)

      Information Literacy Assignment #2

      “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.” Gandhi .

       

      This week, we have the following assignments due:

      1. Information Literacy #2
      2. A Quiz, which is posted at the bottom of this page

      Once again, here is the order of assignments for Essay 2, over the next three weeks:

      • Week 4:  Information Literacy #2
        • Week 5: Outline #2 of the essay
          • Week 6: the  finished Essay #2

      This week, we write up the Information Literacy assignment #2, using the template provide below.  Only the Information Literacy assignment part of the essay is due at this point.  

      Now, Let's Get Started:

      Wait!!  What is a Process Essay?                

      It is is essentially a "how-to" essay that

      1. Describes the steps involved in reaching a particular goal.
      2. Covers procedures ranging from tuning an engine,  baking a cake, or achieving a stable orbit for a space station.

       What matters here is the sequencing of the steps and the completeness of the instructions.  

      Your reader should have  clear and complete understanding of how to get through the process your are describing.

      Here's a link with more detail.  

      .
      What's the topic for this essay?        
      In this essay, we'll be looking at  what one student can do to help make the world a more peaceful place to live.   The topic is fully outlined in the .pdf file posted for you at the bottom of this page.
      We still need a set of instructions here, be they focused on the family, the locale, or the world.  Talk your reader through the steps to achieving the goal as you set it up.
      Look at the file below for more details on this topic and how to structure your essay around it.
      .
      TIP:
      • Don't be tempted to write "about" the topic.  That would be an "Analysis" essay.  
      • Instead, outline the steps necessary to achieve the desired outcome.  Your paper should clearly pave the way for the reader to follow your directions and reach an understanding of the process.  
      Good recipes make for good cookies.  
      Feel free to collaborate with your classmates online and in the forums that Moodle provides.

      Here is a Process piece of writing for you (i.e. the steps leading you through the process below):  
      Steps in Writing the Information Literacy Assignment forYour Process Essay
      I  Downloading Material
      • Your essay topic is contained on the document (.pdf file) below. Download it and follow the instructions carefully.
      • Download the Information Literacy template posted below on this web site and follow its instructions.
      II  Writing The Information Literacy Component For Your Essay
      • Use the Information Literacy template.   The topic for the Information Literacy assignment and the essay is the same.
        • Don't repeat the instructions on the template in your assignment. Just use the number and a brief line as a heading, in bold , followed by your answers.  Remember to structure your assignments so that they are clear, easily followed, coherent, and easily read.
      • Feel free to collaborate with your classmates online and in the forums that Moodle provides.
      • These assignments average from 4-8 pages of your own writing.  
        • Don't write to the page numbers: write to the amount of detail you think covers the topics adequately. Let the length be determined by that.
      III  Uploading Your Work
      • Upload your work through the Moodle link below.   This link will accept file uploads.  Remember to click the submit button to complete the upload.
      Are there any steps missing here?  What are they?

      This procedure will be the same for all three essays and Info Lit assignments.  Your topics are given in the .pdf file posted for you to download.  The Information Literacy assignment gets you started on the assigned topic.

                .      

         Why are we doing these information literacy assignments?

      The Information Literacy piece is the research aspect of your essay.  The sources and citations you use here will be the ones you include in your essay.

      In fact, the information literacy piece should contain everything you need to write your essay quickly and thoroughly.  That means that the information literacy assignment needs to be thorough as well.  Do not hand in one or two pages and expect a passing score.  Many students find they need up to five pages or more, and these set the standard.

      Here's the reasoning behind it: the Information Literacy part gets you involved in researching the topic and sources for your essay.  It guides you in researching and assembling your data.  It gets you thinking and gives you depth in the week before the essay is due.  It guides you in citing sources.

      We want your essay to be thoughtful and well written.

      Essentially, this approach gives you two weeks to assemble your final draft.  That should be plenty of time to produce your best work.  Therefore, your submitted work should be virtually error-free in terms of grammar, formatting, and proof-editing.


      Complete this week's assignments and  move forward.
      Good luck!

      Virtual Tour of the Elephant House, a coffee house frequented by J.K. Rowling
       
    • Week 5

      OUTLINE  #2
      .
      This week, our outlines for Essay #2 are due. 

      • We will upload our essay outlines using the templates provided below.  Feel free to share feedback and help with your classmates.
      • Use the template posted below.
      • Upload your outlines by Friday, 1pm. 


      Remember to f
      ormat your work in the Chicago Style (or MLA, APA) of conventions with a title page, headers, page numbers, and footnotes.  See your OWL resource for the details.  Maximize your grades by using the correct format.

      • Upload your work to Moodle.
      • Be sure you have completed this week's assignments and be prepared to move forward.

      Stay Current:  If you have extenuating circumstances, talk to me about them.

      • You will have an opportunity in week 9 to revise an essay of your choice, or to make up for a missing assignment.
      • In the meantime, stay on topic and keep up to date.

      Our writing should meet academic standards and grammar competency.   WR 121 teaches how to effectively master the grammar conventions.  OWL is our resource for grammatical fluency and correctness.  Since college work is graded on how well we use these conventions, remember to read the material and refer to it when you write, edit, revise, and proof your work.

       

      Complete this week's assignments and be ready to move forward.
      Good luck!

    • Week 6

      ESSAY  TWO

      This week, Essay 2 is due by 5pm Thursday.  

      No late submissions, please.

      This essay should clearly outline the procedure (or the steps) involved in obtaining a goal. This is a Process-Narration essay (750 word minimum), which means that in it you outline specific steps to attain a stated destination–a little like a recipe or technical manual.  

      • Be sure to include what these steps will be in your Thesis Statement.  
      • Essays with no Thesis Statement are problematic: it's important to pay attention to this  component of your writing assignments.
      • Be sure to use signal phrases.


      We "pre-wrote" our essays last week and structured an outline.  This week, we submit our finished, polished version.  It should represent our best work.



      Maximize your grade & remember to

      Follow the conventions carefully and proof read your work.  Your grade will improve if you do.xWe're using the Chicago Style in this course, so remember to use footnotes for in-text citations (press Command-Option to automatically insert a footnote).  Look up this citation style if you have any questions.

      • There is a Chicago Style essay template posted for you on the first section of our Moodle course.  Since you can download this fully formatted template and use it, there is no reason for your assignments to be incorrectly formatted.
      • Remember to cite your sources with footnotes.  Try for two or three footnotes per page.

      Is there a "Best" Way To Organize My Essay?    

         Yes, there is.  Follow the outline template and then:

          1. Begin with your second-strongest point as Key Term 1.
          2. Use your weakest point in the middle of your essay as Key Term 2.
          3. Finish with your strongest point as Key Term 3.

      Then, check your work with the OWL link.      -->  

       

      Let's go!

      This is a tremendously helpful link for some common problems in writing essays.  These tips will help you get the "A" papers you want.

      Remember to strive for  academic standards and grammar competency.  Refer to the section on grammatical fluency and correctness.

      And, as always, proof your work.

      Then:

      • Upload your work to our Moodle site.
      • Complete this week's assignments and move forward.

      Good luck!

      Virtual Tour of the Jewish Theological Seminary Library

    • Week 7

      UNIT THREE
      Argumentative Essay
       

      The topic  for this final assignment is found in this document : http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/opinion/18kristof.html?emc=eta1

      .

      Shall we get started?   Here are this week's assignments:

      MONDAY

      1. Complete the quiz on argument essays at 100% by midnight Monday.

      TUESDAY

      1. Review the material (and video) on Thesis Statements from Week 1 and complete the affirmation that you have done so below by midnight Tuesday.

      THURSDAY   (the main assignment)

      1. Information Literacy Assignment #3 to be uploaded. (use the link below)   Remember, this is due Thursday by 5pm.

      "What is an Argument Essay anyway?  Can't I just say what I think?"      

          Well, no, you can't.  Not for college-level writing.  You have to base your position on facts, on the research that you have done, and then present your position in an effective manner.  The OWL  knows...


      Here's another helpful link to information and tips for writing a first-rate argument essay:

      Argument and Persuasion   <–  Or use this link and then read the sections on
        • Supporting evidence
        • Thesis
        • Outlines
       
      At the beginning of your essay, write out what you think to be the author's thesis statement.  It's usually contained in the title.  Justify your choice, and state what your thesis statement will be.
      Watch the video on thesis statements again, posted in Week 2.
       
      Without this component, your Thesis Statement, may be vague and can mislead you.  Worse, you may stray from the focus of the assignment.  Stay on topic.  Be specific and concentrate on the topic as set up in your thesis statement which should concretely outline your subject and a point about it–a "what" and a "so what."  That topic sentence should also accurately reflect the nature and direction of the assignment.

      Hint: To find the central thesis in an article, ask yourself the following:
      1. What point or claim is awarded the greatest space and weight in the essay?  Define that term (it is not a clothing store), and assess why the author is bringing it to our attention.
      2. Does the title offer a clue to the central position?

      Read and understand the information on writing argument papers outlined on the OWL website The information there will guide you in constructing your arguments, and these skill sets will contribute to raising the quality of your essay–and your grade.



      Unclear on what Kristoff's real argument is?
       Look in the resources below.        

       

      But...But this essay is so much like Essay 1.  Isn't it the same?     
             Well, it may seem like that at first, but no, it isn't.

      What is the difference between essay three and essay one?

      The first essay is supposed to be a focused research essay–just comparing the data, making no arguments, giving no opinions–objective, unbiased.  Your findings should be uninfluenced by your personal position on the matter–liberal or conservative.  Facts are facts.

       A conservative or a liberal should come up with the same findings and be in agreement in such an exercise.
      The 3rd essay is meant to be an argument essay in which you make a case, take a positions, and argue, using data (facts), to convince your audience of your position.
       
      There is a big difference between the two, and the purpose of the exercises is to learn the difference.  The 1st essay actually gets our research and data done.  We can use that to help back up our position for the 3rd essay.
       
      More research on what Kristoff says (his background, for example) is what we can add to the information literacy.
       
      Some of us may have had difficulty keeping our personal opinions out of the 1st essay.  Again, that's one lesson we're learning.  For example, the sun is 93 million miles from earth (common knowledge so no citation is needed).  The details of what it is and where has nothing to do with whether or not we "like" the sun or wish to see more or less of it, whether we want it to rise earlier or set later.  Opinions on raw data are pretty much moot.
       
      FACT: "The sun is the central body of the solar system.  It provides the light and energy that sustains life on earth, and its position relative to the earth's axis determines the terrestrial seasons.  The sun is a star of a type known as a G2 dwarf, a sphere of hydrogen and helium 870,000 miles (1.4 million km) in diameter that obtains its energy from nuclear fusion reactions in its interior, where the temperature is about 15 million°C.  The surface is a little under 6,000°C."1 (a direct quote, so use quotation marks and name the source using a footnote)
       
      Those are data, those are the facts.  We're not going to fight about them.  They just are.  We  can look at sources to see if they are accurate or not, but we don't take personal positions on the facts (essay 1).  We CAN  argue on what we should do with the energy of such a celestial body, and so on: leave it alone, send radioactive waste into it, weaponize it, and so on (essay 3).
       
      Does that help?

       

      .                                                                                                                     
      1.The footnote would go here, at the bottom of the page, naming the source from which you obtained the data.
    • Week 8

      RHETORICAL ANALYSIS

      .

      MONDAY

      1. Complete the assignment on thesis statements by watching the video and summarizing the material on it (20 points).  Upload it below by midnight Monday.

      THURSDAY

      1. Upload your completed Rhetorical Analsuis on Kristoff's article, using the template provided below.  This is due by 5pm Thursday.

      This week, we have the RHETORICAL ANALSYSIS for Essay 3 due (NO Outline).  It is worth 50 points and is due by 5pm on THURSDAY.  

       Review what OWL tells us about this.  Your thesis statement declares what you are going to write about and what you are going to say about that topic.  It also states what aspects of the subject you are going to write about and prove.   

      OWL  has a helpful section on this:

      This way to Thesis Statements

      Strong argument essays often have a counterargument in the second paragraph.  Having a counterargument in your outline will strengthen it and increase it's grade.

      Oh–And here's that international link to thesis statements from Week 2 again:  

      Here's another very useful page on this topic.  It's from the Harvard College Writing Center.  This is the link to that url–it's a rich resource that can make a real improvement in your writing.


      It's also helpful to think of your points as "claims" that you back up with facts–not merely "opinions" that you want accepted because they're yours.


      When you have completed the assignment, upload it into the window provided with the link below.

      Good luck!

      Virtual Library Tour: The Forgotten Libraries of the Sahara

    • Week 9


      ESSAY THREE

       

      Essay 3 is due this week.

      It is due by 5pm on Thursday.


      Remember that this is an argument essay, so you should:

      1. Articulate your points clearly, and support all your claims with citations—proof that your points are backed by data
      2. Be objective and not opinionated. An argument paper is not a rant. 
      3. Consequently, it helps to maintain a reasonable tone and include some counterarguments: a respectful nod to the points the opposition makes.
      4. Read the sections on argumentative essays in your online "handbook" resources.

       

          A word on appropriate language in your essays:  Academic Standards.

      College essays should be formal in tone.  Do not use chummy or colloquial language.  If you are unsure what this entails, follow the OWL.   

      Shall we...?

      Remember these Writing Conventions:

      • Format your work using the Chicago Style of conventions with a title page, headers, page numbers, and footnotes. See your online "handbook" resources for the details. 

      Your final exam will be graded on these skills, so focus now and learn how to use them

      And remember to include

      1. A title page
      2. The correct pagination
      3. Double-spaced, 12-point courier font
      4. Effective paragraphing

      Then proof-read your work to catch typos.

       

      This is our final essay for the term.  Consequently, it should be your best work and reflect everything that we've learned in the course.  Remember to strive for  academic standards and grammar competency. 

      As always, proof your work.

      Then:

      • Upload your work to our Moodle site.
      • Complete this week's assignments and move forward.

      Good luck!

      Virtual Library Tour: Admont Abbey Library.