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English 111 Q Message of the Day
Important class announcements, notes, comments, and suggestions will be made in-class and via email. Please be sure to check your email regularly for messages of the day. Messages will have "[English 111]" in the subject line. MOTDs will also be archived here from newest to oldest.
December 4, 2006: Final Week Reminders
1) Please come to class tomorrow, Tuesday, with your whole portfolio -- short and major papers -- we'll be spending part of the time workshopping paper selection. Please also come with a printed out draft of your cover letter -- bring THREE copies if possible -- we'll be workshopping the cover letter, too.
2) I have posted on the class blog the sign-up list for snacks and stuff for the last day of class. Please go to the blog and volunteer, if you would like.
3) This is just a reminder that my last *office hours* of the quarter will be this Wednesday, 12/6, from 9:30-11:00 AM.
4) And Thursday, 12/7, will be the last official Collegial Hour of the quarter from 4:00-5:30 PM in Suzzallo Espresso. If you haven't made one and can, you should stop by!
5) Finally, your finished, polished portfolios are DUE on Monday, 12/11, from 10-12 AM at Suzzallo Espresso. Feel free to stop in, grab a coffee, and hang out (we can pretend its the last, last collegial hour). Again, that's Suzzallo Espresso -- please make a note of it on your Portfolio assignment sheet.
November 19, 2006: Pre-Turkey Day Reminders
1) Since this week is cut short by the TD holiday, I will not be having office hours this Wednesday. HOWEVER, given that many people have expressed wanting to talk to me, I will hold office hours MONDAY, tomorrow, November 20 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM in Padelford B33.
2) Remember that your second major paper draft is due Tuesday, November 21. We will be in the computer lab this Tuesday (I switched with the class that's usually in there). Bring an e-copy of your draft or make sure you email yourself a copy (or both) to work on in peer review.
3) Your second major paper is due the Tuesday we get back from TD break, Tuesday, November 28 at the start of class.
4) Remember that you should keep up with the blog. over break and in the last few weeks of class. I will be putting up a Blogging Point this week about online responsibility and online hate to which you can respond and discuss. That will be a sort of capstone for our conversation about cyberspace.
5) Gather up ALL of your work this quarter, try to organize it chronologically (by sequence), and put it in a two-pocket folder (of some memorable design or color or decoration). We'll be working with your portfolio of work in the final sequence. Remember, a portfolio missing work is considered incomplete and inadequate and will seriously jeopardize your grade. As I reminded last week, if you are missing assignments that have not yet been checked off by my, you MUST pass them before my eyes PRIOR to turning in the portfolio.
6) See you in class and have a great Turkey Day!
November 12, 2006: NOTES on the RE-VISION & CLOSE READING OF DIBBELL
It's that time again: here are my overall notes and comments and concerns about Short Paper 2.1: Autobiography Re-Vision and Short Paper 2.2: Close Reading of Dibbell. As always, please maintain your running list of my comments; add these to your notes for the other papers. If you have any questions about the assignments or my notes, please raise them in class, by email, or via the class blog. Here goes:
RE-VISION: For the most part, the autobiography re-visions were very interesting, creative, and expressive. A number of re-visions showed time and effort and attention to detail. Who knew you all were so crafty? There was some question raised about what the MySpace Autobiography and in this case teh Re-Vision had to do with the overall goals of the class (or how these assignments related to the other assignments). First, the autobiography assignments allowed you to introduce yourself to me and the class and let me learn a little bit about you (and your interest or lack of interest in cyberspace). Second, the autobiographies point up the way you construct yourself, identify yourself, write about yourself, and how you create an identity through different kinds of technology (e.g. through writing, image, computers). These are key issues that we have been talking about all quarter. Finally, the re-vision had you practice several key skills and outcomes for the course: writing for a different audience, working in a different genre, using different kinds of evidence, and revising and reworking a previous assignment. So, though the assignments may not have been directly connected to your close readings or your major paper, they did employ and practice ideas, concepts, and skills that all of your work uses and addresses.
As far as my comments and critiques, I think most worked within the spirit and intent of the assignment. Some more successfully than others. However, keep in mind the following expections of the assignment: to rework your autobiography as if it were to be designed as a MySpace or web page (and what considerations would you need to make), to interrogate or complicate a specific identity, stereoptype, or culture, and to address an audience and genre different than the first autobiography. Moreover, the re-vision is literally a re-imagining, a re-creating, a re-designing -- so some attention needs to be paid to how the 3 pages are laid out, constructed, what images are used, how is the text going to be used, how much of each is needed, and so on. Consider these concerns if you plan to use the re-vision as part of your final portfolio.
CLOSE READING: Where the re-vision showed effort and enthusiasm, the close reading was lacking. There are only a few general comments I have for the close reading of the Dibbell essay "A Rape in Cyberspace." Most of my concerns are twofold: first, many, many errors and lapses of editing, revision, and attention to the assignment are occuring this late in the quarter, which are unacceptable, and becoming bad writing habits; and second, the close readings do not adequately engage the text at hand in a deep or analytical way, which is becoming a bad reading habit.
QUOTES & MECHANICS: Please go back to your handout on using quotations, citing quotations, and MLA format. Use the Lunsford book or any other good usage book for further details on quotations. If you are unclear about how to quote, how to choose an appropriate quote, how to use quotation marks, how to set-up or frame or introduce quotes, or how to use MLA parenthetical documentation, you need ask such questions immediately and follow-up with the materials I have given you. Furthermore, the number of mechanical and proofreading errors is INCREASING per assignment. I find this lack of effort and carelessness completely unacceptable considering the technology you are using allows for at minimum a spellchecking of your text. Punctuation is off. Sentence fragments abound. Titles of essays or books or films is sloppy. Manuscript format has gone wayward. Spelling writers' names wrong. What is going on? These problems have been addressed, the correct mechanics have been modeled, you have access to me not to mention style books. Continued and conspicuous lack of attention to these concerns will automatically demote a paper to inadequate and I will stop commenting on the paper and return it to you.
SUMMARIZING: Again, as with other close reading assignments, you are very good at summarizing. That is a necessary and much needed skill. However, a close reading asks you to do more than just summarize plot or detail or demonstrate that you can pull together a variety of quotes. Close reading requires you to analyze, to identify key arguments or points, and to demonstrate your understanding of the text through direct quotation and explication of said quotes.
Even if you do not fully understand a text (see my comments about Reading for Writing in the Comments on the Sequence One Major Paper), you still can find something, find some kernels, find parts that speak to you, that interest you, that spark your attention and understanding. Even a close reading that identifies difficult concepts and tries to write through, puzzle through, and work through those difficult concepts is more useful than a close reading that is just a poor, generalised summary.
The assignment clearly identified concepts or ideas you could address if you were lacking in direction. However, many simply made mention of the words or concepts, tacked on a dropped quote, and then blandly restated the obvious. Dibbell's piece really wrangles with ideas about the differences and ambiguosness of virtual reality and real life, with the difficult question and concept and action of virtual "rape", with issues of text versus action and free speech versus verbal harassment, with communities forming online, with how online communities govern themselves or try to think about democracy, and with what gender and sex and bodies and self means in a virtual world. Dibbell's arguments need to be rendered out of these texts and supported with evidence. Many papers simply reiterated or regurgitated snippets of in-class discussion, unrelated ideas from previous papers, or solely personal opinion. All of these wells of knowledge are vital to your analysis and learning, but they need to be carefully outlined, given clear subclaims, organized well, and clearly written. Don't know what this means? You have to ask.
5-PARAGRAPH ESSAY: Symptomatic of all of the things I've said above is the return to the five paragraph essay. I really want to say that I understand the challenge of these readings and the unfamiliarity of these assignments. So in the face of difficulty, it is easy to return to what is easy, automatic. The five paragraph essay is a useful frame, but with such a short response paper, I told you that just getting to the point and really working through your explication and analysis is what you should do. If the body of the essay were strong, then have at the five paragraph format. But the vague, generalized introductions and the weak, summary-only conclusions really do little for your overall argument.
I realize that a lot of this will come across as pretty harsh. (Just imagine me in front of the class room rumbling and grumbling and gesticulating. Pretty funny, no?) But I decided I would much rather be clear, blunt, and hopefully kickstart the latter part of the class. Please respond. Please ask questions. Please do your best. I can only work with what I have to go on and with what data I know -- your assignments, the blog, and discussion. All of you are bright and have demonstrated engagement. Let's rally and have fun and get things done well.
November 8, 2006: NOTES on the SEQUENCE ONE MAJOR PAPER
Your first major paper have been returned to you. As with your other assignments, take some time to go over my comments on the paper. Really go over them (and even refer to previous paper comments). Since this is your first major assignment, it should reflect all of the skills, concepts, and analytical concerns raised by the class. Re-read the assignment sheet and consider the grading rubric and the course outcomes for English 131, which are located in your course policies.
Overall, I really think everyone understood the basics and basis of the assignment and the spirit of the readings for the first sequence. All of the choices of texts and their intertextuality -- some more provocative than others -- sparked some interesting inquiry, critique, analysis, and explication. You also showed that you had important things to say about what you read, what you thought about 'cyberspace', and what you thought your writers were 'doing'. And I also think the conferences helped you formulate ideas and points of entry into the assignment.
However, I am also noticing a lot of the same mistakes, a lot of the same issues, many of which could have been resolved or explicated with a little more effort, close reading, and outside help from me or from a writing center. Things are still cropping up that have been commented on since the first short papers. Below is a list of things I saw, commented on (often), and corrected across a number of papers. As with previous comments, please keep a running list of my notes to you. Print these out and add them to your collection. The same errors and issues should not crop up again in further assignments. Take a look at the following:
SATISFY THE ASSIGNMENT: One significant problem (be it in class, in lab, or on the job) is making sure that you satisfy the task set before you. The assignment sheet and our discussion in class (and via the blog) are crucial to understanding what your paper should do, include, address. A very articulate and well-written essay that does not answer the assignment's questions is technically incomplete (at best) and a failure (at worst). Make sure that you refer to the assignment sheet during your writing and revision process. For this paper, I was looking for an engagement with at least two of our readings, I was looking for a close-reading of these readings in an intertextual way (more than just compare and contrast), and I was looking for /your/ analysis and distillation of how the readings, of how the writers imagined and defined cyberspace. Ultimately, the assignment was looking for why that imagination, why that definition was important (to the text, to the writers, and to you).
In the same regard, as I have commented before, paper length is a factor in satisfying the task at hand. Paper length is not hard and fast, but it is a way to measure whether you can control your argument. Papers that are conspicuously short or long, particularly if they are not up to par, are not acceptable work. Papers that are too short may be considered incomplete and ineligible for the portfolio.
CLAIMS: Writing complex, exigent, and critical (academic) claims is difficult and requires practice, attention to detail, insistence on elaboration, and conscious consideration and interrogation of style, intent, assumptions, and personal opinion. That said, your first stabs at a full claim is definitely on the right track. Many of you get to the brink of expressing or articulating a great idea, a great critique, a great intervention into your subject, but then back off too early, don't follow through, or simply resort to over-reduction or banality.
Look back at the class blog and the threads about the first major paper's claims. A majority of you rightly thought about how cyberspace and the material world are connected (it is a thematic, a metaphor, an analytic that runs through all of our readings). However, you fail to adequately take that thought, that description, that fact and churn it up, complicate it, ground it in a concern, an issue, or a larger question. Some of you attempted to answer the pesky "so what?" question by attributing important social or emotional or political or personal consequences to the connection between cyberspace and the "real world." However, just saying there are consequences is not enough. Just saying people may suffer or may be liberated is not enough. Try to locate something specific or concrete to write about (that you can see in your text, in your writers). In other words, consider this rubric: the concept may be global, may be generalized, but the consequences and the population it affects is local, specific.
ALL-OR-NOTHING: Arguments that claim something is all-or-nothing do not allow for any complexity, for any layers, or for any possibilities. Your argument should be rigorous, focused, and specific /yes/ but be careful of claims that say things like "Cyberspace is totally free" or "Gibson argues that the future is in ruin" or "America will never change and racism will stay because people are people." These kinds of arguments are closed, foreclosed. Claims need a little room for argument and exploration. Nuance, nuance, nuance.
TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM: A significant thread in our readings (and in your papers) is about the relationship between culture and technology and whether the two are mutually constitutive, separate, or does one have domination over the other. In my critique of all-or-nothing claims, I want to also include any arguments about technology as determinist -- I don't believe that is true, nor do I think our readings come down hard as so. In other words, technology is not the sole savior of the human race nor is it the metal devil forever damning and controlling humanity. Our stories and our essays do not argue for this kind of determinism. I invite you to think through your position carefully and contingently. What are the consequences of a technologically determined world? What does that do to agency? Or choice? On the other hand, what are the consequences of a totally culturally determined world? These are vital questions that may not be answered completely by our class, but they are central to your life here at the university and on this planet.
TRUE SELF/TRUE IDENTITY/TRUE PERSONALITY: What the heck does that mean? Substitute "real" for true. What the does that mean, too? I don't mean to be cavalier, but these terms are in nearly everyone's essays without any adequate explanation or contextualization. You treat these terms as givens, completely natural, and obvious. However, philosophers and scientists and politicians and lovers have all been wrangling with this notion for thousands of years. Why? Because they are abstractions, metaphors, possibilities. Are they useful terms? Maybe. But for our purposes, I want you to interrogate these terms with as much vigor and tenacity as your interrogation of cyberspace. Again, there is no binary between true self and virtual self -- all of our texts show how that binary starts falling apart, falling into itself. The ambivalence and ambiguity are crucial to understanding things like identity, race, gender, sex, sexuality, class, politics, self, other, reason, feeling, material, though, body, mind, soul, and the list goes on. Is it easy work? No, of course not. But it's important work.
BANAL CLAIM: Just say no. I have already told you that banal claims are too general, too empty, too automatic. Statements like "Throughout the history of mankind..." or "Throughout American society, we have strived for a diverse society where discrimination does not exist" or "Cyberspace is all around us and allows us to transcend our true selves..." says absolutely nothing useful. Be concrete. Get into the specifics of your argument. Begin with a solid claim rather than a banal claim.
HYPERBOLE: In some rhetorical situations, the use of hyperbole is warranted. But be careful of being too over the top. To claim that something is "very" or "completely" or "totally" anything seems to be too generalizing, too inaccurate. Moreover, watch out for categorical words such as 'always' or 'never' or 'omnipresent' or 'obvious' or 'inevitably'. Be careful when you claim something is so (and just hedging a little may not be any better). This is related to the caution against /all-or-nothing/ logic.
PERSONAL OPINION/NARRATION: The use of first person, personal opinion, personal anecdotes are usually not part of the academic genre. Remember that personal opinion is not a good basis for a strong academic claim. Your personal interest and investment in a topic is important to your overall exigence, but to incorporate yourself anecdotally into your paper is unnecessary and lacks academic rigor.
For example, writing statements like "I believe that cyberspace is a scary place" or "When I was sitting in the HUB flipping through magazines, I found an advertisement that reminded me of Gibson's story" or "My belief is that Benedikt is right" are personal opinion statements. Instead, generate more academic statements that refer directly to the argument, to the analysis. (Again, remember that academic does not mean "high style" or "over written.") In other words, maintain third person for this particular kind of writing (or make sure you frame your opinion very, very carefully).
ARGUE, ANALYZE, ARTICULATE: Many of you are spending a great deal of time developing a lot of description in your close readings of your artifacts or your readings. Describing what you see is not enough. You need to make sure you frame what you see, what you notice, what you think in terms of an arguable claim, a solid argumentative thesis or topic statement or subclaim. In other words, don't just start a paragraph saying, "Gibson's story is about how technology has affected people's bodies and lives. This means that the bodies can be changed." Again, /that/ you notice something is not necessary for you to point out, but /what/ and /why it's important/ that you notice something is what you want to highlight. Therefore, "Gibson's 'Johnny Mnemonic' reveals a world full of bodies and minds that have been forever altered by technology. Bodies and minds are enhanced, changed, plugged in, tricked out resulting in unstable and modifiable identities. Gibson's story demonstrates how technology can allow for a space where identity need not be limited, where identity can be freed from the usual tropes of race, gender, and class."
Again, paragraphs are generally begun with some sort of topic sentence; in your case, a subclaim. The subclaim teases out, adds to, complicates, analyzes, or deepens your overall claim. Most of the time your subclaims are buried in the paragraph as conclusions or analyses. Move them to the top of the paragraph and see how the argument flows and changes.
ASSUMPTIONS: In Toulmin's construction of an argument (you can take a look at the Toulmin model via the handout on the class website in the Readings section), one of the most important things to keep in mind are the warrants, the assumptions that you make as you argue for something. Make sure that you do not make the same kinds of critical mistakes that you are seeing in your artifacts. If you believe your text is stereotyping a particular group or identity or culture, then make sure you don't resort to using (the same) assumptions to support your claims. Sometimes as you are writing you don't realize the warrants you have in the back of your mind as you put words to paper. You must take some /time/ to go through, edit, and think about your arguments and their assumptions. Some assumptions are inevitable, but you have to make sure that the assumptions you make are not so flawed, so generalized, so problematic to weaken your argument or to put off your audience. Assumptions can take the form of simple, innocuous words like "natural" or "true" or "perfect" or "American" or "democratic" or "free." Be sure that you don't deploy these words without thinking through what they mean and without identifying how you are using them in your argument. See the above discussion about all-or-nothing claims.
SUPPOSITION IS NOT FACT: To suppose something does not necessarily mean that what you suppose is factual, actual, or obvious. Be careful of writing statements that presume an answer, particularly if the answer is necessary for your argument. Build your argument on solid reasoning. Start with a claim. Develop a clear analysis. Use solid examples and evidence. Then conclude. Do not jump from claim to conclusion. To assume the connection is faulty reasoning and weak writing. To assume that the reader will automatically make the connection in the way you want does not make for strong argumentation.
QUOTES: Remember, remember, remember that all quotes and paraphrases need attribution and citation. Quotes should be introduced in some way. "A quote that just sits by itself in the middle of a paragraph (like this) is a dropped quote." Quotes need a speaker and that speaker must be introduced. Give us enough information about the speaker so we can identify their credibility. Dr. John Q. Public, professor of writing at Yale University, writes about the need for "strong attribution and citation" (32) for quotations in academic papers. Starting a quote's introduction with a word or two is not enough. Frame your quotes.
Also remember that quotes are not /your/ arguments. You need to establish a claim or subclaim first. Then use quotes and evidence and examples to support what /you/ are arguing. Instead, many people are just using quotes to stand in for their claims -- you just introduce the quote and the point to it and say "hey, look, this guy says it better than me." That's not strong argumentative writing. That's writing a summary of other people's ideas. Finally, make sure quotes are /relevant/ to your point or your paragraph or your main argument. Several papers simply invoked quotes from the readings without paying attention to how the quote fit the paragraph and whether what the quote was referring to was appropriate or even properly set up. Reading the paragraph through with quote will help catch problems. Never use a quote just to use a quote or to fill up space.
READING FOR WRITING'S SAKE: Part of the key goals for the assignment and for English 111 (this would be Outcome Two) is to read, use, and draw from the texts used in class and from your outside research. You must learn to find the ideas and language you understand from the texts to deploy in your own argument. You need not understand all of Gibson's stories or Benedikt's definitions of cyberspace or Nakamura's work on race. You need to understand their main ideas, and you need to use those ideas as support for your claims and subclaims. Consider the work you did for the close readings, our class discussions, and the exercises we did via the class message board -- all of these things should be in your notes and should be a means for you to gather quotes and concepts that should find their way into your argument.
TITLES: Again, make sure that your titles are appropriate to /your/ project and not some broad abstraction or reference to something other than your critique. A good title is brief, expresses some key idea of your essay, and engaging to the reader.
THIS/THAT/WHICH: I really dislike starting sentences (all the time) with pointing pronouns. 'This' statements can be effective once in a while, but don't depend on them all of the time. Furthermore, consider how you are using 'that' and 'which' again. Look at The Everyday Writer for the difference.
Basically, 'that' usually signals a restrictive clause: The club let in all men and women that were twenty-one years or older. (Meaning the club ONLY let in those men and women that were 21 or older. Everyone below 21 were not let in.)
And 'which' usually signals a non-restrictive clause: The club let in all men and women, which were twenty-one years or older. (Meaning the club let in everyone, including those who were 21 or older. Note that 'which' requires a comma and 'that' does not.)
MECHANICS: Spelling, punctuation, citation, bibliographic, manuscript format, and grammar should be the last thing your reader should have to worry about. However, when there are many mechanical errors -- most of which can be caught simply by reading your paper over -- they become a distraction and hurt your ethos as a writer and an arguer. Papers are still making the same mistakes from the MySpace Autobiography (on up). Please edit carefully. Please consult your usage manual. Please ask questions about mechanics in class or via the blog. Simple errors like the confusion of its/it's or spelling an author (or my name) wrong or missing a title page or a sentence that ends mid thought should not happen at all.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: A handful of papers had perfect bibliographies -- correctly arranged, formatted, punctuated. All of the bibliographic information is located in your usage book or via online. Make sure you are using MLA format and the correct entry mechanics for a particular kind of source. Make sure they include enough sources.
READ OUT LOUD: You have been advised since the start of the quarter to read your papers out loud. Full voice. Slowly. Read and listen. Have someone else read while you listen. Reading your papers out loud is a surefire way to catch problems, unclear areas, awkward wording, and mechanical problems. Do it.
SIMPLE AND ELEGANT: Academic writing need not be 'high style' or 'Intellectual' or full of jargon, big words, confusing philosophizing. Obviously, some writers take particular stances, styles, and theoretical languages and use them in very specific rhetorical ways. But, for here and now, for our class, you are encouraged first to make sure the message and meaning are both clear, simple, elegant before you can attach any bells and whistles and mudflaps. Remember that simple does not mean simplistic or infantile or 'see spot run'. Simple means concrete, articulate, using everyday language. Imagine yourself in the back of a taxi with your grandmother and you have to explain these arguments to her. You wouldn't try to out-intellectualize your grandmother (unless of course she was an academic but even then...). Another way to think about this is "write like you speak" (simply and elegantly) but not "how you speak" (which tends to be fragmented, too informal). Ultimately, this is about /clarity/ and /precision/. Choose language to express exactly what you mean. Don't get too fancy. And make sure the language is appropriate to audience, to the purpose of your paper, and to the ear. Try these lines on for size (drawn from past papers):
"Not only does it cause most women to seek that change to become beautiful, as they are often times don't develop to be much taller than a car, but it causes them to ingrain the stereotypical ideal of what it means to be beautiful, based on the value system brought by the advertisers."
Or: "Although they are not ambitious and don't try hard their lack of wealth or prestige prohibits them from going straight to college, but making a pit stop in the military for aid is the way to go."
Or: "As Abercrombie & Fitch's website continues to advertise without supporting racial diversity through visual language, the stereotyped ideal that physically attractive Caucasian men and women are the ideal, perfect person is becoming more common."
To statements like those above, I write: "Huh?" I understand what you are trying to say, but they could be so much cleaner, so much clearer, so much more elegant and telling.
October 30, 2006: Screening of The Matrix
One of the texts we will be working with in the Second Sequence is the film The Matrix (1999). You will be responsible for screening the film at least once in the second sequence, either on your own or with the class as a whole. We will be covering clips of The Matrix in class, but will not be watching the whole thing.
Therefore, our class and two other sections (ENGL131) will be holding a group screening next Monday, November 6, from 4-7 PM, in the Allen Auditorium (first floor of Allen Library, Suzzallo side). The screening will include a short Q&A and discussion afterward. Please, if you are able, attend the screening -- it will be a great opportunity to see the film, talk about it, and to meet other students working on the film and its ideas.
October 26, 2006: Writing Center Visit Reminder
Just a friendly reminder that one of the requirements for the first sequence is that you visit one of the writing centers on campus. The Sequence One Writing Center Visit worksheet needs to be filled out, signed by a writing center consultant, and turned in no later than next Tuesday, October 31 (when you turn in your final paper, but separately). Some of you already have done the required visit; some need to really take this opportunity to use the writing centers to work on your drafts. Remember to go into your consultations with clear goals, clear questions, and clear issues (they are not an editing service).
October 18, 2006: NOTES on the ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Here are my notes for Short Paper 1.4: Annotated Bibliography. Please keep a running list of my comments; add these to your notes for the other papers. Because this assignment was more formal, more academic, my attention will be on those aspects of the paper. If you have any questions about the Annotated Bibliography, please raise them in class, by email, or by the class blog.
MLA: Most of you either got the bibliographic formatting right or managed a pretty close approximation. MLA bibliographic format has very specific rules and mechanics and punctuation for different sources, different kinds of texts and materials. Other disciplines, such as the social sciences or hard sciences, use different bibliographic format; the other most common style is APA style. In our class, because it is an English class, MLA rules. Please refer to your style handbook (e.g. Lunsford's The Everyday Writer) for formatting and mechanical guidelines. If you do not own a usage and style guide, the library has a website full of web guides: http://lib.washington.edu/research/wri.html. Also see the example bibliography on our class website (http://staff.washington.edu/changed/reading_bibsample.pdf) for the general look and feel of an annotated bibliography.
Each entry requires at base: author, title of work, source of work, date or year, and page numbers. Punctuation is very important because it helps a reader to scan the entry. Pay attention to capitalization, especially of titles. Make sure your web sources have accurate URLs (sources drawn from a database need only refer to the overall database and not the particular web address, which often is very very long and specific to your particular search and client instantiation).
ALPHABETICAL: Sources are alphabetized in any bibliography. Alphabetize by last name of the writer (or the first writer if there are more than one). If there is no author, alphabetize by the first major word in the title. If you have more than one work by the same author, alphabetize by title as well.
CREDIBLE: Make sure that your sources are reliable, are relevant to your project, and overall from a credible person, place, or organization. This is most important for web sources and for sources like pamplets or flyers. The library offers a webpage on how to evaluate your sources -- check it out: http://lib.washington.edu/uwill/research101/eval00.htm.
TIMELY: Part of a source's credibility is whether it is relevant now, whether it is timely, whether it's exigence is still rigorous. Sources that are too old may contain obsolete data, ideas, and evidence. Research and scholarship, like most productions, must stay current in order to be engaging and useful.
LENGTH: Sources come in a variety of forms, form a variety of places, and in a variety of lengths. As I told you in class, for a short paper especially, sources that are book-length are not practical for you. Do you have time to read an entire book? Most research will depend on article length sources. Furthermore, articles and essays from collections, journals, newspapers, and websites are usually more up to date and specific; you can find articles relevant to your topic at hand.
DIVERSITY: Diversify your sources. Don't rely on just one particular kind of source, one particular author, one particular medium, one particular analytical question. Different sources provide different kinds of evidence and provide different kinds of authority. A newspaper article is different than a scholarly journal article than a personal website than a television documentary. Consider well what sources you are relying on, whether you are picking the same kinds of sources, and whether your sources all say the same thing. If your sources seem too homogenous, then explore other possibilities and evidence.
ANALYSIS: Most of your annotations are good at summarizing the texts. Most of you included pertinent or useful quotes. However, most annotations lack enough critique or analysis of the sources. Don't just say, "This source will be very useful for me and my paper on William Gibson." That doesn't say much at all. How is the source useful? Why? What specifically will help your claims or your goals?
TITLE: Your annotated bibliography should have some sort of title that tells the reader what your research is about, what your focus is, and what your overall topic or goal might be.
Take a look at your annotated bibliography. Make sure that you correct any mechanical or formatting problems. Make sure that the bibliography satisfies the assignment at hand. Then consider whether any of these sources will be useful for your sequence one major paper. Your research may help you narrow your claim or may provide you an opportunity to go a different direction.
October 13, 2006: Samples
October 12, 2006: NOTES on the CLOSE READING OF
Here are my notes on "Short Paper 1.2: Close-Reading Of" assignment. Again, you should pint out and save for further reference. Look back on your notes about close reading, look back at the assignment sheet's rubric for close reading, and look back at the text you chose for the assignment. Most of you are 'getting' the idea of what a close reading is like, but need to work on zeroing in on exactly what you want to write about. As I've said before, in 2-3 pages, there is NO time to spend trying to set up a fancy introduction or conclusion; you should use the space allotted to get to the core of your explication and analysis.
Please add these to your running list of comments (and do your best NOT to repeat similar mistakes or problems):
TITLES OF: Again, titles of books, magazines, journals, films, and albums are italicised or underlined. Titles of articles, essays, short stories, poems, and songs are put in quotation marks.
BANAL CLAIMS: No more broad, generalised, banal claims. Phrases like "Throughout the world there are times and places where different cultures..." or "The dictionary defines..." or "Since the beginning of time..." If you're having difficulting 'getting things started', then by all means write what you need but CUT it afterward. As I say, banal language doesn't add anything telling to your writing. It's automatic writing of the worst kind and serves only to demonstrate that you are not certain of your goals, ideas, arguments (even though the rest of your paper might be well-written).
ETC: I think I've talked about this before -- avoid using etc. when possible. If you want to indicate that the list could go on, use a phrase like "and so on." Generally, though, such phrases indicate a lack of detail or automatic writing, which should be avoided.
TOPIC STATEMENTS: Develop solid topic statements (subclaims) for each paragraph. The subclaims are in service of your larger claim, your larger goals for the paper. A subclaim, in a sense, takes up a part, a piece, an aspect of the larger claim and provides additional argument, evidence, support for your larger claim.
TRANSITIONS: Always consider how you are moving from one idea to the next, one paragraph to the next, one sentence to the next. In most cases, you should be able to follow your language, your ideas, and your argument without a lot of "transition phrases" or "transition words." Ideas should connect logically. However, if there is need, usually borne out of shifting gears or digression or moving to another main point, a more overt transition is called for. Consider transition words or signals like "Moreover" or "Also" or "Next" or "on the first hand" or "on the other hand." Use them sparingly and tactically. (I do however hate when writers end a paragraph with a sentence that signals what the first sentence in their next paragraph will be about. It is way too contrived and leads the reader by the nose.)
I THINK: In academic writing, depending solely personal opinion is generally considered to be the weakest of arguments, the weakest of support. However, this does not mean that you cannot use first person or include personal anecdotes. Just keep in mind the rhetorical situation and your overall goal for the essay. Remember to try to locate /your/ authority in the writing, in the argument. Try to avoid statements that begin with "I think" or "I believe" or "In my opinion." There is a big rhetorical difference between saying "In my opinion, I think Gibson's 'Burning Chrome' is about isolation" and writing "William Gibson's 'Burning Chrome' is about isoluation."
CLARITY: Clarity and precision still needs to be worked on, engaged. For example, why write "Gibson introduces many ideas about cyberspace..." when you can write far stronger language like "Gibson articulates and imagines cyberspace to be a void, a digital space filled with 'bright geometries', and a deadly place where programs and lives battle for life and death..."? For the most part, imprecise language and generalised statements are the result of "thinking as you write" or "writing on the fly" when you are trying to work out what you are saying and trying to fill up page space. GOING BACK and revising a little will help focus your writing. Be telling. Be specific.
SUMMARY: Many of you are very good at summarizing. You are good about identifying key points, major events in plots, describing characterization, and noticing main ideas. However, close readings are more than summary, more than just noticing things, more than just making generalised statements about the text. Close reading is more than just filling your paper with quotes. You need to make sure that you pick out particulars, focus on the main points you think are important, and then explicate and analyze why they are important for your reader. See Analysis.
ANALYSIS: In other words, don't just describe. Work on the analysis. Description is as follows: "Cyberspace is not a real place. This is described by Benedikt when he says..." (Note: Avoid those 'this' statements when and where possible.) 'To be' or 'Is' verbs usually denote describing. Make sure you think about how your language reflections analysis, activity, in-depth thought. Analysis is as follows: "By beginning his essay with a list of different definitions of cyberspace, Benedikt argues that cyberspace is a complex constellation of ideas, functions, hopes, and fears. For example... Benedikt argues these multiple definitions are important because..." Furthermore, when you identify a main idea or key argument and support it with quotes from the text, you must then follow up the quotes with your explication and analysis.
I hope people are reading their papers out loud very carefully. I am still noticing awkward areas or mistakes that would have been easily corrected if you had read the draft out loud. Moreover, I want to address many people characterising our short stories as "unrealistic" but not really working to unpack or explain that term; just critiquing "Burning Chrome" as unrealistic doesn't tell us anything -- it IS unrealistic because it's fiction, it's speculative, but that doesn't mean it can't attempt to address very real possibilities, situations, feelings, arguments. Finally, many papers still need appropriate titles.
If you have any questions (clearly you are not paying attention to the details), please bring them up in class, via email, or via the class blog. Take these comments and my marginal comments seriously. Look for patterns. Look for places that work. And attempt to rethink, rewrite, and reconsider places that need attention.
October 11, 2006: Week Three Reminders
1) If I wasn't perfectly clear on Tuesday, let me be so now: course discussion and participation are one third of your grade. Participation comes in many different forms. I want to stress that participation on the class blog is not option -- it's required -- and when there is specific direction to complete an assignment or reading or question on the blog that too is required. (Only Blogging Points are optional -- they are opportunities for those of you who don't know what to post to respond to a provided question).
2) I'm detecting "something" in our discussions of the readings. I'm not sure exactly what that "something" is yet because there has been little feedback. But only about 5-6 people are talking regularly in-class. That has to change. Soon. If you do not understanding the reading, ask questions about it. Highlight specific passages you enjoyed, thought provoking, want clarification on, or thinks fits into the flow of the conversation. Make sure you do the reading -- preferably more than just a quick scan -- and annotate your texts. Looking around the room, I am seeing very blank pages. Again, this is meant to be more an encouragement than chastisement. But that too can change. Soon.
3) We are ramping up to the first sequence's major paper. You have the assignment sheet. You have the "big question" that you need to think through, work through, read for, and generate a claim for. For Thursday's class, you need to come in with some idea about what you will write about, what texts you plan on using, and what you think your claim will be. All of you are very good about summarizing, about noticing things about our stories and our essays, but you need to carry those realizations and perceptions into claim, into an argument. For example, if you want to write about how Gibson defines and imagines cyberspace as a very cold, dangerous, and dark place -- what examples can you pull from the text *and* more importantly so what? What does this definition and imagination tell us about cyberspace and about the world that depends on it?
4) Make sure you read "The Hacker Manifesto" and the Gibson & Sterling speeches. Please read the two extra readings -- "I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation Destroyed by Google" and "A Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace" -- if you have the time. Bring Johnny Mnemonic back with comments and questions and ideas.
If you have any further questions, feel free to bring them up in class or via the course blog. Don't forget that I am available during office hours on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 11:30 AM and by appointment. Finally, I do hold virtual office hours via AOL Instant Messenger (add 'EDagogy' to your chat list). Several students have already taken advantage of the opportunity, and I hope more people use the technology to help them. Again, if I'm signed on, I'm more than willing to chat with you about class, the readings, or school.
There will be a Collegial Hour this Thursday in Suzzallo Espresso from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. Thanks to the brave souls that came out to chat last week. I hope you found it engaging and useful.
October 7, 2006: NOTES on the MYSPACE AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Your first paper draft, the MySpace Autobiography, has been commented upon and returned to you. Take 15-20 minutes to go over the comments on the paper, and to look at what you have written with a pair of refreshed eyes. Consider the grading rubric and the course outcomes for English 111, which are located in your course policies. Please take into account the marginal comments as well as the overall end comments when you sit down to work on your next paper (or when you work on your revision). Consult your your notes for the assignment as well.
Overall, I admire everyone's enthusiasm for the assignment, the varied and illuminating photos you chose, and the effort to try to make the assignment your own. You already demonstrate some mastery over writing about something you know -- yourself -- and you should translate that kind of authority into all of the writing you do (since you will become experts through close-reading, research, and experience).
Over the course of the quarter, I will offer additional comments on your writing to supplement the specific marginal and end comments per person. Here is a list of things I saw and corrected across a number of papers. Please keep a running list of my notes to you. Print this email out for your records. The goal is that same errors and issues should not crop up again in further assignments. In the future, I will simply circle repeated problems or mistakes or difficulties, and you will have these lists as a legend to determine what needs attention and why.
Take a look at the following:
HOMOPHONES: Careful of easy but careless mistakes such as the difference between they're/their or it's/its; watch out for other homophones or near words like affect/effect, accept/except, there/their. If in doubt, look it up in your usage book or in a dictionary.
NUMBERS: Generally, spell out numbers under a hundred. Never start a sentence with numerals (e.g. "6 days ago, I went to the store."). Depending on the style manual you're using, the rules for numbers will vary. See Lunsford's The Everyday Writer.
TITLES OF: Titles of newspapers and books and movies are underlined OR italicised. Titles of songs or poems or articles are in quotations. See Lunsford's The Everyday Writer.
ETC: Avoid using etc. when possible. If you want to indicate that the list could go on, use a phrase like "and so on." Generally, though, such phrases indicate a lack of detail or automatic writing, which should be avoided.
PRONOUNS: Watch pronouns (like a hawk). Particularly watch 'it' statements. Pronouns are very useful, but they can become confusing when their antecedent gets lost. For example, "The duck and the dog went to the park. They wanted to play near the pond. He was very excited" -- who is the 'he' in the last sentence?
THIS: Avoid "this" statements, particularly starting sentences with "this." Pointing pronouns can become confusing particularly if what you're pointing at is lost in a sea of nouns. It's usually a weak way of writing. Use it sparingly or when necessity requires it.
THAT AND WHICH: Same with "which" statements, which incidentally requires a comma beforehand. For more information about "that" and "which" statements, restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, see Lunsford's The Everyday Writer.
TYPOGRAPHY: be sparing (very sparing) in your use of boldface, underlining, all-caps, and italics. Remember that your papers should be in the conventional 12-point Times Roman font.
FRAGMENTS: Watch sentence fragments (e.g. "Which is what led them to change the law." is not a complete sentence or thought). Sometimes sentence fragments can be very useful, dramatic, and create emphasis. They must be used with care and artfully, not accidentally.
RUN-ONS: On the other hand, watch run on sentences.
COMMA SPLICES: Be careful of comma splices. For example, "John went to the store, he bought bread, cheese, hamburger, and a gossip magazine." To correct a comma splice, make each sentence separate or use a conjunction. Such as "John went to the store. He bought bread, cheese, hamburger, and a gossip magazine." Or "John went to the store, and he bought bread, cheese, hamburger, and a gossip magazine." Depending on whether you want two shorter sentences or a long sentence will determine which method you'll use.
COMMAS: Generally, fewer commas are better than commapalooza. See Lunsford's The Everyday Writer.
DASHES: Be careful of hypens (-) and m-dashes (--). Remember, a hypen connects words (e.g. ninety-four) and an m-dash connects parts of sentences, usually serves as a pause right before an important point or piece of information (e.g. "Johnny was very, very, very hungry--like a rabid wolf."). Usually, people have been using semi-colons (;) to signal a long pause and this is not correct. Either form two complete sentences or use an m-dash. Like most spices, m-dashes should be used sparingly, for emphasis.
SEMI-COLONS: Be sparing with semi-colons (;). See Lunsford's The Everyday Writer.
SLASHES: Avoid slashes (/). Usually, using the conjunction is much clearer and better looking. For example, I dislike the construction "and/or" or "he/she."
QUOTES: Remember that all quotes and paraphrases need attribution and citation. Quotes should be introduced in some way. "A quote that just sits by itself in the middle of a paragraph (like this) is a dropped quote." Quotes need a speaker and that speaker must be introduced. Give us enough information about the speaker so we can identify their credibility. Dr. John Q. Public, professor of writing at Yale University, writes about the need for "strong attribution and citation" (32) for quotations in academic papers. Starting a quote's introduction with a word or two is not enough. Frame your quotes. We will do a more formal discussion of quoting and MLA style later in the sequence. See Lunsford's The Everyday Writer.
Also remember that quotes are not /your/ arguments. You need to establish a claim or subclaim first. Then use quotes and evidence and examples to support what /you/ are arguing. Instead, many people are just using quotes to stand in for their claims -- you just introduce the quote and the point to it and say "hey, look, this guy says it better than me." That's not strong argumentative writing. That's writing a summary of other people's ideas.
OVERWRITING: Avoid what I call overwriting or purple prose. When you inflate your language, use fify-cent words, complicate and convolute the language to sound prettier, more intellectual, or "academic" (in a negative way), you're not writing effectively. Formality has a place in writing, particularly in scholarship and professional writing, but that does not mean it needs to be stiff, choked with jargon, or indecipherable. Be simple and elegant. You prove your a smart writer if it's readable, if it sounds natural, if it makes clear points, and provides sound support or reasoning.
HALLMARK CARD: Akin to overwriting is what I call "hallmark card" writing, writing that is overly sentimental, effusive, and full of cliched emotions. This is a problem especially when you are writing about your personal life, about your friends and family. See cliches. Try to find a new, concrete, and specific way of talking about feelings and desires that do not slip into general, banal language. This is a kind of automatic writing, which is easy but not very helpful or useful.
CLICHES: Related to above, avoid cliche words like "unique" or "nice" or "interesting" when you are trying to be descriptive. Use better words, active words, compelling adjectives instead. But make them appropriate to whatever it is you are doing. In other words, don't become a thesaurus-aholic. Avoid cliche phrases like "a picture is worth a thousand words," unless you are deploying it in a new and critical way. Cliches are also a kind of automatic writing.
FORMALITY: I dislike the use of "thus" or "hence" or "often times" since they are overly formal to my ear. Use them sparingly, if at all. Avoid the pronoun "one" as well, particularly since this essay is so personal. Again, much of this depends on the rhetorical situation and the needs of your argument.
SENTENCE LENGTH: Mix up your sentence length. If you tend to write really long sentences, try a few short ones. If you tend to write really short sentences, try some compound sentences. Furthermore, vary how your sentences are constructed. Realize that your language does have a pace, a rhythm, as well as a voice. You want to modulate so it isn't too monotone and predictable.
ORGANIZATION: Watch organization of ideas. If you have difficulty mapping out where your ideas are going, outline before writing AND outline after. Generating an outline from your finished paper (write down what each paragraph's main argument and subarguments and evidence are) can show you if you jump from topic to topic without clear transition. A good rule is that each paragraph should contain one main idea or one piece of information. Each paragraph should have a clear topic statement or argument. More specifically, be careful of chronology -- the order of things over time -- especially when you are narrating from the past to the present; jumping around in time without clear transitions makes it difficult to understand your points.
GENERALIZATIONS & BANAL CLAIMS: Avoid unnecessarily or overly nonspecific philosophizing or esoterics. Avoid banal claims, broad generalizations, useless generalizations, cliched generalizations, circular logic, and tautologies. Statements like: "The problem of war has plagued mankind for thousands of years" or "Since the beginning of time..." or "The problem can only be solved when the world comes together in harmony, peace, and understanding" don't really say very much to the reader and sound trite. It's automatic writing. Don't do it.
PAPER TITLES: Make sure that your titles are appropriate to /your/ project and not some broad abstraction or reference to something other than your critique. A good title is brief, expresses some key idea of your essay, and engaging to the reader.
LENGTH: Remember that paper length is an important consideration. Assignments must meet certain criteria. Your grade will be negatively affected if the paper is too short or too long. Part of the rationale behind length is to force you to consider how to focus or expand your argument, how to include or what to exclude in your writing, and to edit conscientiously. Your ability to control length demonstrates control over your argument, your ideas, and the organization and elocution of those ideas.
DETAIL: Be telling. Be specific. Be detailed. Too many papers began ideas and failed to follow through with enough relevant detail, enough support, enough exemplification. Also keep in mind that your audience, if it is a general one, does not necessarily know everything you know. When you mention specific places, towns, programs, items, you may need just a couple of words or phrases of set-up. If it is a particularly complicated or obscure reference, you might need more. Purposefully obscure or irrelevant references may ultimately detract from the paper.
Related to the topic of detail, some papers depended on lists of details. Lists can be very useful, very effective ways of building support and copia. However, if you just offer a list of details without giving the reader an explanation or why the list is important to your argument, then the list is simply a list. Make sure your details do rhetorical and persuasive work.
SATISFY THE ASSIGNMENT: One issue (be it in class, in lab, or on the job) is making sure that you satisfy the task set before you. The assignment sheet and our discussion in class (and via the blog) are crucial to understanding what your paper should do, include, address. A very articulate and well-written essay that does not answer the assignment's questions is technically incomplete (at best) and a failure (at worst). Make sure that you refer to the assignment sheet during your writing and revision process.
Overall, I noticed general organizational, rhetorical, and mechanical errors that could have been corrected very easily if the paper had been read through once. There really is no excuse for not catching spelling mistakes or fragments or formatting errors. If I have to stop reading in your first sentence because there is a glaring error or problem, then you're already in the hole. Finally, read your papers out loud. Have someone read your papers to you. Let your ears catch things your eyes might not catch. Also, budget adequate time for you to work on your paper and then come back to it for revision.
October 6, 2006: Reminders & Explanations
First, thank you for a more lively conversation and discussion this past class. I hope you are getting the gist of the central questions asked by the course and by our readings: What is cyberspace? How is it defined? How is it imagined? (And of course why that is important?)
Second, I apologize for the rushed second half of the class. I was intending to give you much more time with the Benedikt and the small group discussion. Therefore, as part of your weekly participation on the class blog, I would like each group to complete their discussion this weekend, preferably by the end of Saturday or no later than Sunday. Post your ideas, difficulties, favorite quotes, discussion notes, and questions about your section. Use the blog as a way to talk about what you have read. Respond to each other's posts. Then, the whole class should read through each group's threads in order to be prepared to talk about Benedikt in class. (I will participate in the threads as well.)
Third, everyone needs to generate one question about Benedikt and answer their own question and post both to the blog thread "Q&A: Benedikt's 'Cyberspace: First Steps.'"
Fourth, take a solid look at the next assignment "1.3 Cyberspatiagraph." The directions are pretty straight forward. But I wanted to give you some explanation and clarification. This is the first of our "non-traditional" assignments. I think it is important that you get a chance to develop ideas and think through things in ways that are not just through writing (but complemented by writing nonetheless). You are to develop two pages. The first page will be your visual representation of what you think cyberspace is, looks like, acts like, works like. You are welcome to draw it, use an illustration program, create a meaningful collage. Really think about what you imagine cyberspace to be. The second page is a brief analysis of your first page; do not just describe your drawing or image (since it will be included). Explain the reasons, the choices, the rationale, and the exigence behind your representation. Please draw on your readings and the stories if they help your execution of this assignment; in other words, how is your "Cyberspatiagraph" in conversation with the readings and the other representations you have seen so far.
Fifth, if you have a chance, please just peruse, explore the online site for "An Atlas of Cyberspace:" http://www.cybergeography.org/atlas/atlas.html. The website might be helpful for your "Cyberspatiagraph."
Sixth, make sure you close-read Gibson's "Johnny Mnemonic." Keep the course questions in mind.
I told you that the front part of the course is pretty jam-packed. The rest of the sequence will relax a little more (before the next sequence). Please make sure that you ask questions, actively engage the readings and the class discussions, and start thinking about the kinds of ideas, concepts, and issues that you might want to write about down the line. (Finally, again make sure you are committed to the course and if another English class might better suit you, you should make that schedule adjustment as soon as possible.)
October 1, 2006: Class Blog & Blog Etiquette
Remember, part of your class participation grade is determined by your use of and engagement with the class blog. You are expected to check the blog at least twice a week and post at least once a week. You can respond to current posts, current blogging points, or generate your own threads. Please make sure you try to keep posts relevant to class or to the classroom community or to the university in general. Keep threads neat. And don't forget to follow the blog etiquette:
--Do participate. Do post topics relevant to the class, to class discussions, to the assignments. Do comment thoughtfully to posts. Do ask questions about class, assignments, problems, details.
--Do think before you write. Do consider ideas in a deep way. Do practice responsibility, accountability, and a certain amount of scholarliness. Do react, respond, and reply. Do consider other people's feelings, points of view, and differences.
Do use punctuation. Do use complete sentences or thoughts. Do consider your audience and realize that your classmates may have expectations different from yours. Do remember the blog is a public forum. Do treat the blog with the same respect, honesty, generosity, and efficacy as you would treat me, the classroom, and your classmates.
Don't be afraid to state your opinion, but don't make claims without some support. Don't be silent. Don't dismiss without at least consideration. Don't be afraid to post. Don't abuse your rights to authorship. Don't hate, don't spam, don't despair.
Remember also these points:
--the blog IS an extension of the classroom; the rhetorical, cultural, and social context should dictate what you say, how you say it, and why you say it; do participate and enjoy the process and the experience, but don't do anything you would not do in person, in class.
--take ownership and responsibility for your words and actions online be it on the blog or in an email or IM; everyone should sign their comments with their full name.
--be encouraging and supportive of one another; the blog is a community and more importantly it is a safe space; everyone should feel like they have a voice, an opportunity to share, and a stake in the class and the blog.
--stay on topic, be relevant to the class; REPLY to the appropriate message/subject/contributor; try to include the name of the person you are replying to as well (e.g. "Ed, I saw your message and thought I'd answer...").
--lastly, remember that participation on the blog is part of your overall class participation grade; negative participation will negatively affect your grade and will not be tolerated and may result in the revocation of posting rights (which in turn will hurt your participation).
Don't forget to keep up with the current posts and the comments to past posts.
September 23, 2006: Course Mail "engl111q_au06@u"
I have created a course reflector list, an email address designated for our class. Periodic announcements will be made via this list (and mirrored here on the course website). Sending an email to engl111q_au06 @ u.washington.edu will send your message to the whole class. Please treat the course reflector list with the same rules and respect as the blog.
September 22, 2006: Welcome
Welcome to English 111! I just wanted to extend a hearty, fall welcome to the class! Hopefully, had a good summer and is making a smooth, happy transition to the start of the school year. Here's to a productive, fun, challenging (in a good way), and interesting autumn quarter! If you have any questions or concerns or comments, feel free to talk to or email me.