Some Sentences I Admire

Shannon Brown: The original focus for the documentary was to commemorate the death of a human, but as she peeled back the layers of lies she discovered that the real story was how we have created the killer.

Kody Clark: The society in Bradbury’s novel has devolved to new savagery, a fully censored society that has no point but to provide the people with instant satisfaction.

Lindsey Cohen: I am standing on the knot in a tug-of-war game.

Cassidy Crawford: How can you defy society’s beauty standards if you cast a woman who is a professional actress, educated and former spokesperson for multiple beauty and cosmetic companies, and has previously modeled before—a woman who meets each and every unrealistic standard of society’s so-called perfection?

Sarah Ripley Forsyth: My interpretation of her idea of capitalism revolves around her references to “the men of the mind.” The men of the mind are those who view work as an act of philosophy, productive efforts as a standard means of their moral values.

Kaylynn Hanna: What is important to me while I read the books is not whether Severus Snape said something “maliciously” or “spitefully” but rather the story line, and the fact that even though I know the story line by heart, when I get to a particularly exciting part, my heart still races and I read the pages with ferocious speed, unable to wait for the outcome. In actuality, I believe that improving the level of writing would most likely have lessened the book’s appeal.

Jihad Holmes: To conclude, when you sit down and read a poem, some thinking must be done.

Alexandria Miller: I taught myself to read in Kindergarten and tried to gain a new personal record every summer for the amount of books I read. My personal record currently rests at 105 books in one summer. I was ten.

Marissa Norris: The governess is in a constant battle for a sense of self belonging; she fits in nowhere, not with the wealthy house owners, not with the lower class servants.

Jaclyn Romano: They are playing way too safely and need to take a bigger “risk” (I put quotes around the word risk because it should not be considered a risk to use an everyday woman as a model) and use a representation of the many kinds of women in this world to really make a stand for body positivity.

Sofia Romero: Through mirroring, we as readers are able to witness the ways in which the characters and Shelley struggled with their imperfections.

Rachel Rosen: Standing naked in a body of water during her death scene, Chopin makes a connection between birth and death, creating a full cycle that the author makes feel pure and beautiful.

Justin Rosenberg: Even as reviewers tried not to like the themes, the characters, or the style of this story, it seems to be one that hooks the reader. I know it hooked me.

Caila Scarpitti: A common phenomenon that swept across the world was a lack of enjoyment for reading anything after the Harry Potter novels, a side-effect that I still suffer from (much to my book-loving mother’s dismay). If you simply Google ‘what to read after Harry Potter’ you find a plethora of articles that are practically self-help guides.

Joe Schwab: As a respondent to a message it is important to acknowledge and answer in an equally proportional manner to the original text.

Tiffany Sewell: Whether critics have used the quotation marks to suggest that the information is not factual or that the information is presented as propaganda does not change that the movie contains facts: Tilikum was an accomplice in the death of Keltie Byrne (SeaWorld of Hurt), Dawn Brancheau was a trainer at SeaWorld Orland who was killed by Tilikum on February 24, 2010 (Fox News), OSHA did sue SeaWorld Orlando after her death (Department of Labor); the list of facts continues.

Laura Statts: However, looking at the popularity of Lovecraftian plots in widely consumed media, it is obvious that his stories are as easily absorbed as Barker’s when the false mask of unfamiliar sentence structure falls away.

Casey Stum: The image of a dying sheep wrapped in a man’s arms, beaten and bloody, resonated with millions of people worldwide — or at least until their eyes lowered to the logo in the bottom right-hand corner: PETA.

Liam Sullivan: He is surprisingly more educated on the topic of religion than many of the people who follow it, “like an ex-smoker who grows to loathe the habit more than those who have not tasted nicotine” (Riddell).

Toan Tran: The battlefield in Saving Private Ryan was filled with blood, guts, bodies, body parts, flesh—just anything within the body of a human being—all over the field.


Class, Tues, 5/17



  • Sentences I Admire
  • Essays on Medium
  • Arcade: View the work your classmates have posted. Note at least three cool things people have done in digitizing their essays.

To Do

  1. Submit your best piece to Arak!

Class, Thurs, 5/12

p8: Digitizing Essay Two

Using Digital Affordances: Some Examples

Posting to Medium

Digitizing Essay Two

Trade essays with a partner. Read through your partner’s piece looking for points where she or he might “digitize” their essay through adding a:

  • Hyperlink
  • Image
  • Video clip
  • Audio clip

Mark these possible additions in the margin or on another piece of paper. Try to make it as clear as you can what you think the author might do. (For instance, “add image from the ad campaign here”, or “insert link to critic’s essay here”.) Try to suggest at least five items the author might add to her or his essay.

Once you get your essay back, open up your laptop and do some googling to see if you can make the additions your reader has suggested.

To Do

  1. Tues, 5/17, class: Post your digitized Essay Two to Medium. Email me the link. Bring your laptop with you for our arcade..

Class,Tues, 5/10

Essay Two (e2d3): Finishing Work

Stage One: Copy-Editing

Exchange drafts with the person next to you. Read your partner’s draft closely, pen in hand,  ready to make corrections, offer suggestions, or otherwise point to work that needs to be done. In particular, I’d like you to look closely at:

  • First Page: Name, Date, Assignment (e2d3), Title (e2d3)
  • Following Pages: Running Head with short title and page numbers
  • Paragraphs: These should be indented or separated by an extra space
  • Quotations: All direct quotes must be clearly identified. Quotes running more than a sentence should be blocked (BLQ).
  • In-Text Citations
    • Underline the titles of works as you encounter them in the text. Check to see if they also appear in the list of references. If they do, put a check by the title in both the main text and references. If they don’t, circle the name or title and write “Ref?” in the margin.
    • Titles: Italics for long works; “Quotes” for short ones.
    • Page citations: Every quote should be followed by a page number (or time marker). If  you don’t see one, circle the end of the quote and write  “Page #?” in the margin
  • References
    • Alphabetical?
    • Author, date, title, publisher/place.
    • Links should be live.

Please also correct any typos, misspellings, missing words, or other errors you may come across. If you’re not sure how to fix a certain mistake, circle it and write “?” in the margin.

Sign your name when you are done. This will remind the writer to thank you in their acknowledgments.

Stage Two: Back Matter

  • References: Check to see these are complete and correct. Make any needed changes.
  • Author’s Note: Write.
  • Acknowledgments: Write.

To Do

  1. Thurs, 5/12, class: Bring a print copy of your final essay and your laptop. We will work in class on digitizing your pieces.
  2. Tues, 5/17, class: Bring your laptop. We will present your digitized essays (r10) in class.

Conferences, Tues, 5/04, & Thurs, 5/05

Please write a few hundred words in which you respond to the following questions about your essay:

  • What is the critical conversation you are entering?
  • What stance do you take in that conversation?
  • What have you done to engage your readers?

And, of course, please also be ready to ask any other questions you may have about your piece. I will begin our meeting by reading and responding to what you’ve written.


Class, Tues, 5/03

Opening a Critical Essay

Read these opening pages to three essays written in a previous version of E110. Jot down some notes in response to the following questions:

  • How does the writer define the critical conversation they want to enter?
  • How do they give you a sense of where the essay is headed, of the stance or position they are going to take in that conversation?
  • How do they try to engage you as a reader, to make you interested in reading on?

Conferences e2d2 (Wed, 5/04, and Thurs, 5/05)

Please write a few hundred words or so in which you address the same questions I posed above.  That is,

  • What is the critical conversation you are entering?
  • What stance do you take in that conversation?
  • What have you done to engage your readers?

The only difference is that I’d like you to write about your essay as a whole, not just its opening. And, of course, please also be ready to ask any other questions you may have about your piece. I will begin our meeting by reading what you’ve written, and we will move from there.

To Do

  1. Wed, 5/04, and Thurs, 5/05: Conferences with me in 134 Memorial. No class on thursday.
  2. Tues, 5/10, class: Bring  a print copy of e3d3 that is as close to finished and perfect as you can make. We will spend part of the class copy-editing it even more closely.
  3. Wed, 5/11, 11:00: Post e3d3 to your Google Drive folder.
  4. Thurs, 5/12, class: Bring a print version of e2d3 with you, along with your laptop. We will work on digitizing your essay.




Class, Tues, 4/26

Why Do Academics Stink at Writing?


The question Steven Pinker asks is: Why is so much academic writing so bad? That is, why do professors and researchers so often write badly? Why do college students so often write badly?

Let’s for the moment assume that the answer to this question Is not simply that these people are dumb or lazy. Instead let’s assume that, like you and I, most academic writers, either students or professors, are reasonably good with words and know what they want to say about their subject. So what goes wrong? Why is so much academic writing so boring?

Pinker has some theories: Metadiscourse, nominalizations, the curse of knowledge. . . . Perhaps you agree, perhaps you have another explanation. In any case, please write a ¶ or two in which you respond to the following, slightly different question:

Why does it seem so hard to write in a clear and interesting way about academic subjects?

Please refer to at least one specific example of writing gone wrong—either something you’ve read, or something you’ve observed, or a problem you’ve experienced in trying to write for your courses. But don’t just complain in general; point to a particular problem you’ve noticed.

New Schedule for Essay Two

  1. Thurs, 4/28, class: Draft 1.9
  2. Mon, 5/02, 11:00 am: E2d2
  3. Tues, 5/03, and Wed, 5/04: Conferences
  4. Mon, 5/09, 11:00 am: E2d3 (final)