Week one (August 28 - September 1):
Chapter 1, "Writing: A First Look," pp. 4-10
1) Post response (in Nicenet) to the following question relating to the material in Chapter 1:
Re-read the student paragraph on page 6. Suggest two ways that the paragraph could be revised to have a specific purpose to entertain an audience.
2) Read "Momma's Encounter," pp. 420-424
3)Read "The Perfect Picture," pp. 416-417
4) Read website link on "Engfish" - in your writing links for this paper - Post your answer to the question on Engfish in Nicenet
5) E-mail your working thesis and one or two pre-writing paragraphs, lists, etc. to me by September 1 (it's okay if you're still a little unsure about your topic).
Week two (Sept 4 - Sept 8)
1) Read Chapter 2, "Planning and Drafting Your Paper," pp. 12-32
Post a response to each of the following questions (post your answers to Nicenet):
a - By giving a clear example, explain which of the six strategies for finding a topic ("tapping your personal resources," "keeping a journal," "sorting out a subject," "asking questions," "freewriting," or "brainstorming") would probably work best for you.
b - In your own words, explain in one paragraph to someone who has never written an essay before what the four characteristics of a good thesis are; you may not use the following words: thesis, statement, one, focus, central, point, issue, scope, forecast, precise, or organization. Consider using an analogy.
2) Read "In the Jungle" by Annie Dillard, pp. 430-433
3) E-mail by attachment your first version (not "draft") of Paper no. 1 by Sept. 8; if
you're having problems with the paper, call me, email me, or arrange
an appointment. Remember, your revised paper (due Sep. 19) will
count for more than the first paper.
Week three and first half of Week four (Sept. 11 - Sept 19)
1) Work on revising the personal essay
2) Go over the link on description, and then write one paragraph describing
an object, e.g., a peanut, a pencil, a tennis ball, (whatever) and try to
appeal to as many senses as possible. This is an exercise in "seeing"; Annie
Dillard explains in A Writing Life that writing involves a very conscious "seeing" and
her ability to describe and "see" is evident in the essay you read ("In the Jungle").
Post your description to Nicenet. (due Sept. 12).
3) Read "Watching the Sky" by Diane Ackerman, pp. 434-437. Post a response to
one of the six questions listed on page 437 (post your response to Nicenet - due
4) If you're concerned about your revision, e-mail me with details about how you plan to revise your personal essay. Send your finished paper by attachment on or before Sept. 19.