Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Author: Jill Belli (Page 1 of 5)

Unit 4: Final Portfolio & Reflection

In this Writing Workshop, we’ll be exploring & scaffolding the Unit 4: Final Portfolio & Reflection assignment together. As with the Writing Workshops for Units 1-3, I’ll be rolling out content periodically here over a few weeks, as we advance to each stage of the assignment (each week’s content is separated & labeled below).

Week 16

As you know from reading the Unit 4: Final Portfolio & Reflection assignment, this final project focuses on revision & reflection. These are two things that we’ve been focusing on all semester, so you’re very prepared to be successful on Unit 4. Think of all the revision you’ve done, both on informal and formal assignments and through peer review, as well as the significant reflective writing you’ve produced with the Cover Letters for Units 1 & 2 and the Artist Statement from Unit 3. Unit 4 builds on these skills … you got this everyone!

Final Portfolio

The Final Portfolio is mandatory, with required revisions for both Unit 1 and Unit 2 (revisions for Unit 3 are optional). The good news — I fully expect everyone to strengthen this previous work through their revisions! Keep in mind that when you submitted your Education Narrative (Unit 1) back in September, you had just started college and the course. Think of all you’ve learned over the past few months, and how much you’ve grown as a writer and how much confidence and how many skills you’ve acquired. Now you get to re-visit that previous writing from this new (stronger!) place, and make it even better!


This Final Reflection is also mandatory. It is a cumulative, holistic reflection on your experiences in the course this semester, including your struggles, triumphs, and growth as a reader, writer, thinker, and student. There is no “right” way to do this, though your reflection should be a thorough and thoughtful piece of writing that that critically reflects on your growth in the course and how this semester and our work together has shaped this growth.

Below are some types on content + organization:

Although this is a personal reflection, it is not “anything goes”; it requires a significant amount of brainstorming / drafting / revision. The assignment requires you to turn a critical eye on the course (which requires you engage with it, even if you did not enjoy all aspects of it!), your experiences, and, most significantly, yourself. You will be evaluated on the completeness, complexity, specifics, and thoughtfulness of your reflections as well as the quality of your writing (e.g., organization, topic sentences, transitions, sentence-level style & correctness).

  • You should write this reflective essay in the first person.
  • This final assignment is reflective but it should also be driven by critical thinking and analysis (subsequent claims and evidence). Remember that the purpose of this reflection is not to merely summarize (simply report what we’ve done in class or what the texts we read are about) or to write about some idea (e.g., growth) in general, but to critically consider how your encounter with the course has influenced you.
  • Keep in mind that, as in your blog posts, Perusall annotations, Class Discussions, peer review … you can’t discuss everything. Spend time choosing and focusing your ideas before you start drafting your Final Reflection.
  • This Final Reflection extends the thinking and writing you have already done in class and in your blogging. Therefore, while you should of course feel free to build on what you have already written this semester in blogs or other informal writing (or what we have discussed in class), do not simply repeat what you have previously stated elsewhere.
  • This Final Reflection builds from your close reading of your experiences and writing in dialogue with the course. Any discussion should stay grounded in the core reflection/discussion of your experiences this semester. As always, choose specific quotes and examples from your own writing (or other course content) that are relevant to your claims and use them in the service of supporting these ideas. Remember that each quote / example should be not only relevant but also introduced, explained and analyzed, relevant, and cited.
  • Structure the Final Reflection according to your argument, avoiding mere summary, on the one hand, and the five-paragraph essay, on the other. When critically discussing your experiences in the courses, you should structure your essay according to your thesis (your argument about your growth in this class), not necessarily according to the order of the experiences or course content themselves. You can describe but you must also analyze and provide argument (make meaning out of those descriptions and analyses).
  • Your Final Reflection should include: a focused Introduction paragraph; body paragraphs that provide additional claims (topic sentences) and specific, concrete details and examples in support of both these claims and your overall thesis (do not keep repeating the same idea over and over again in different ideas); logical connections / transitions among sentences, paragraphs, and ideas (claims); a concluding paragraph.
  • Follow the Assignments: Formatting, Guidelines, and Submission expectations, and the helpful tips/strategies provided below and the materials under Writing Resources.

Grading + Deadlines

First, I want to be super-duper (duper!) clear about the deadline. It is on Tuesday, December 20th (by 11:59pm), and it is a hard deadline. I know I’ve been able to offer you extensions in the past on Units 1-3, but I don’t have that luxury this time around. Faculty have to submit grades to the college just a few days after the semester ends, so 12/20 is non-negotiable. If you do not submit by the deadline to the Dropbox link on the Schedule, you will receive no credit for the work. Late assignments will not be accepted.

A few words on grading, to clarify how Unit 4 factors into your overall course grade. This Final Reflection takes the place of a final exam, and asks you to synthesize and critically describe / evaluate your experiences, efforts, and growth in the course. It counts as 10% of your overall course grade.

As for the Final Portfolio, the super-duper (duper!) good news is that if you earn a better grade on your revision (which I anticipate you will, if you put in the time, effort, and care to revise well), that is the grade that sticks. So, for example, if you earned a B- on your Unit 1 final draft, but your Unit 1 revision for this assignment earns an A, then you get the A. It completely overrides the previous grade. That means that you can significantly increase your course grade by 40% (because Unit 1 & 2 were each worth 20%). This is my way of rewarding those of you who worked consistently this semester — I told you to trust in and commit to the process … it really works!

Of course, the flip side of this is true too: if you don’t submit a revision or completely blow it off and only change a few typos, your grade can go down too (and that is the grade that sticks).

*Note: revisions are only accepted for previously submitted work. So if you missed an assignment, you can’t revise it at this point. The Final Portfolio showcases revision, process, and progress (not last-minute submissions of long overdue work). trusted in and committed to the process.

If you missed one of these assignments (Unit 1 or Unit 2), please see me ASAP in my Office Hours to discuss your situation and options for moving forward. Please note that if you missed two major assignments (Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3) it will not be possible to pass the course at this point.

Engage & Receive Support

Once you’ve read through this week’s Writing Workshop content, drop a comment below with any questions or comments, and to share how your plan for working on Unit 4 through early next week (this is required by 12pm on F 12/9).

Friendly reminder that I’ve pushed back the first draft of the Final Reflection to mid-next week (you’re welcome!) to give you more time to review all your previous work and to draft new content, but that means you should be making good use of this weekend to make significant progress (there is only one more weekend after this one before the deadline!).

As always, I’m here to help and support you with your portfolios & reflection. If you would like to discuss your revisions or reflection draft, drop in to one of my Office Hours (I’ll be offering a few additional Pop-Up options before the end of the semester too, to give you more options to come see me). It’s been so lovely to have so many of you come to see me this semester to conference — I welcome you to continue doing so as we move through this final push of the semester 🙂

Week 16: Monday, December 5 – Sunday, December 11

Hi everyone, and happy Monday!

First, my apologies for today’s announcement coming out slightly later than expected … I had technical difficulties this morning, but thankfully it’s all been sorted out!

Second, thanks to all who submitted their Unit 3 final drafts by the deadline last night. I was excited to see them all roll in, and am especially enjoying checking out your new genre compositions!

Third, we’re in the serious home stretch of the semester now, with just a few weeks left. This week launches our final unit (Unit 4), which takes a holistic approach to the work we’ve done together this semester. It also prioritizes deep and meaningful revision & reflection.

We kick off this week with some new readings and resources on revision, as well as a review of work we’ve done in that area all that semester. On Wednesday, we’ll do a deep-dive into Unit 4 and begin drafting work for that final project. Links to the Unit 4 assignment, writing workshop, and draft will go live on Wednesday.

As always, I’m available to provide additional support to you on this final project. Comment below with any questions, or send me an email.

Please note that, in addition to my regular weekly Office Hours on Thursday (12/8) 11:30am-12:30pm, I’m offering a pop-up office hour this week on Wednesday, (12/7) 3:00-4:00pm. Feel free to come by either day (or both days!) to discuss your Unit 4 plans, revisions of previous work, or anything else related to your work in the course.

I welcome (and strongly encourage) everyone, as always, to come conference with me in my Office Hours. We can cover so much ground in just a few minutes there, and it’s always a joy to connect with you all individually and to discuss your writing.

And speaking of joy …

It was so very lovely to see your “joy” comments from last week — thank you for sharing!

As I mentioned last week, I know that this time of the year (and semester) can be quite difficult: feelings of stress, burnout, & overwhelm all creep in. In times like these, it’s crucial to take care of ourselves so that we can stay healthy, grounded, and happy. Let’s get ahead of things by sharing tips for self-care with this week’s low-stakes discussion.

Do you practice self-care? If so, what are your self-care routines? What is one new thing you’d like to try to promote your self-care? When can you incorporate this new self-care practice this week? (make sure you choose something that’s do-able, since next week you’re going to report back on what you did & how it went)

As always, everyone should comment at least once, by EOD (end of day) today, Monday, 12/5.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

Unit 3 Peer Review

Thank you to those of you who submitted your first drafts of the Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre assignment. Just as we did with Units 1 and 2, we’re going to use peer review to get feedback and guide revision for the final draft. Feedback on your peers’ work is due by noon (12pm) on Friday, 12/2. 

Thank you for sticking to this deadline, so that everyone has sufficient time to work on revisions over the weekend.

After reading & annotating this post, please go back to review the Unit 1 Peer Review Writing Workshop, which has important information about Peer Review (purpose, expectation, grading, Peer Review worksheet, etc.) that also applies to this and future peer review assignments. Make sure, also, to review the Unit 3 Assignment (especially the Artist Statement Guidelines), and the Unit 3 Writing Workshop (including the student work examples I provided). When reviewing your peers’ work, pay attention to the following:

  • Is the new genre piece effective for the intended audience, genre, & publication?
  • Does the new genre piece follow (apply) the conventions of the chosen genre?
  • Is the research incorporated effectively / accurately (including integration of quotations and citations)?
  • Does the Artist’s Statement have all the required components?
  • Is the work organized effectively / cohesively? Pay attention to things such as the order of paragraphs, topic sentences, transitions … reverse outline will be helpful!
  • What was your experience reading the project?
  • What did you learn? What were you confused by?

One of the best things about peer review is that as we become more skilled readers of others’ writing, we also can turn that critical eye to our on writing. So after you peer review your group members’ writing, go back and do the peer review on yourself. You’ll be amazed at the progress / revisions you can make!

Just like before, Peer Review will be happening in Perusall. I have created “Assignments” for each of the first drafts, so go to the two essays you are assigned to, and complete the work from there.

There is also a new “folder” in the Perusall Library, entitled “Student Work: Writing in a New Genre First Drafts” (look within the “Unit 3″ folder): each students who submitted work has two files there. Make sure to review & peer review both files (the new genre piece & the accompanying Artist’s Statement).

As always, you can view all submitted first drafts, but you are each only responsible for peer-reviewing two projects (see below for your assigned groups).

*Note: If you did not submit a first draft by the deadline (W 11/30 by 12pm), you will not get the benefit of peer review. However, you are still part of a peer review group, and are responsible for reading and commenting on your two assigned essays. Peer Review groups are listed below.

[Submitted Unit 3: Writing in a New Genre projects, which will be peer-reviewed]


The following students should peer-review Brandon’s Unit 3 work:

  • Tahani
  • Logan
  • Neal
  • Jamani
  • Khandoker
  • Syed Abbas
  • McKayla
  • Aniyla
  • Zavier


The following students should peer-review Henry’s Unit 3 work:

  • Neal
  • Brandon
  • Holaly
  • Jamani
  • Destiny
  • Syed Ali
  • Sebastian
  • David
  • Jeffrey


The following students should peer-review Neal’s Unit 3 work:

  • Brandon
  • Henry
  • Holaly
  • Tahani
  • Destiny
  • Syed Ali
  • McKayla
  • Jeffrey


The following students should peer-review Tahani’s Unit 3 work:

  • Khandoker
  • Henry
  • Brandon
  • Logan
  • Syed Abbas
  • Sebastian
  • David
  • Zavier
  • Aniyla

Week 15: Monday, November 28 – December 4

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! I hope that you all are coming back from the long weekend feeling a bit more restored.

It’s hard to believe, but the end of this week is December!! That means we’re in the final push of the semester, with just under 4 weeks left. I’ll be sharing the work / plans for the final portion of the semester next week, but for now, we’re going to focus entirely on finishing up your Unit 3 projects.

Full first drafts of Unit 3 (both your New Genre piece & your Artist’s Statement) are due Wednesday at noon (12pm). The rest of the week will be devoted to Peer Review of this work and revision of drafts. I want you to be as successful as possible in your revision and turn in the most polished final drafts you can, so I’m extending the deadline for Unit 3 final drafts to Sunday, 12/4 at 11:59pm. The Schedule has been updated accordingly.

It’s important that you submit your work (both first and final drafts, as well as feedback for your peers) by the stated deadlines. If you have any questions about how to submit your Unit 3 projects via Dropbox (the Schedule provides instructions, but you may want additional clarification since it involves two files this time around), make sure to ask well in advance of the deadlines.

I’m available to provide additional support to you as you work on finalizing your Unit 3 projects through Friday afternoon. Comment below with any questions, or send me an email. I’m also back to my regularly weekly Office Hours this week, and you’re all welcome there on Thursday (11:30am-12:30pm) to discuss your Unit 3 projects or anything else related to your work in the course.

A friendly reminder, also that, re-visiting the available resources for this Unit will be helpful: the Unit 3 assignment, Unit 3 Writing Workshop, Time Management Class Discussion, and the Know-Your-Publication and Know-Your-Mentor Text Writing Workshops. I encourage you to also make use of previous material from the semester (e.g., integrating quotations, reverse outlining, citing, revision, plagiarism, etc.) — you can simply scroll back on the Schedule and look through previous Weeks’ content and also visit the “Resources” menu on our OpenLab course site.

Finally, it was lovely to see your gratitude comments from last week — thank you for sharing!

I know that this time of the year (and semester) can be quite difficult: feelings of stress, burnout, & overwhelm all creep in. In times like these, it’s important to connect with the positive emotions and experiences that sustain us and that help to buffer against these more challenging emotions. With that in mind, for this week’s low-stakes discussion, we’ll be exploring joy.

Drop a comment to share something that brings you joy, & why. It can be anything, big or small, as long as it’s something that fills you with joy. I encourage you to add media (images, videos, audio, artwork, etc.) to your comment to better communicate your joy.

As always, everyone should comment at least once, by EOD (end of day) today, Monday, 11/28.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

Week 14: Monday, November 21 – Sunday, November 27

Hi everyone, and happy Monday!

First up, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page re: calendar / logistics. This week is an abridged week for us, since the College is closed (with no classes scheduled) starting Thursday due to the holiday. That means that we only have one work deadline for this week (instead of the usual two): Wednesday (11/23) at noon.

Your primary focus this week is continuing to draft your Unit 3 projects. To support you, there is new content in the Unit 3 Writing Workshop and a new Class Discussion exploring “mentor texts” (both require student participation).

I know it can be tempting to just put off this work, but don’t let the deadline creep up on you: complete drafts (the new genre piece + your Artist’s Statement) will be due the week we return from Thanksgiving break so that we have time to peer review that work. If you need inspiration and tips for staying on track, re-visit last week’s Time Management Workshop.

Since the College is closed on Thursday, I won’t be holding my regular Office Hours that day. If you have any questions or need anything, comment below or reach out via email as soon as possible. I’ll be checking in / replying to students through Wednesday afternoon, and then will reply to any messages again the following Monday after we return from break.

Speaking of break, wishing you all lovely long weekend: may you use the break (Thursday – Sunday) to rest, recharge, and catch up on any work as needed.

This is a week that many people celebrate thanks-giving (they give thanks for the things in their life). So for this week’s low-stakes discussion, we’ll be exploring gratitude (another critical component of self-care). Research has consistently shown that regularly practicing gratitude is strongly correlated with increased well-being.

Drop a comment to share something you’re grateful for, & why. It can be anything, big or small, as long as it’s something for which you are authentically thankful.

As always, everyone should comment at least once, by EOD (end of day) today, Monday, 11/21.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

Know Your Mentor Text

This is a follow-up exercise to the “Know Your Publication” activity we did last week. This week’s exercise involves studying a “mentor text,” or a particular source (in a particular genre, for a particular publication) that uses a similar style that you’re working on for your Unit 3 piece.

With the “Know Your Publication” activity, you looked at publications and online forums where you might want to publish or present your work. Now, let’s look a little closer. Go back to this site (magazine, webpage, YouTube channel, etc.) and find a specific source that you like. This source should not be about your topic — that’s now what we’re looking at it for at this point. You’re just looking at what features (conventions) make this text fit this publication (and this genre!)  This can be an article, TED Talk, YouTube video, etc.

*Remember: You’re not looking for any old text. You’re looking for an article that can be published in the magazine you want your work to be published in, or a YouTube video that fits on the channel you want your video to go on, etc. This should be a source you want to emulate.

Once you find your “mentor text,” answer the following questions:

  • What tone/ type of language does this example use?
  • How does this source use research? (e.g., do they quote from outside sources, use a lot of statistics, etc.)
  • What can you tell us about this source visually (and auditorily, if applicable)? Does it use a lot of imagery and color? Is the layout very clean? Is there a soundtrack?
  • How long is it? (words, pages, minutes)
  • Who do you think is the audience of this source? What makes you think that?
  • What aspects of this source would you like to emulate in your own writing? Why? How might you do that?
  • What aspects of this source would you like to avoid in your own writing? Why? How will you do that?

Share your answers with the class by leaving them as a comment on this post by W 11/23 at 12pm (noon). Don’t forget to state, at the beginning of your comment:

  • what your topic is
  • who your intended audience is
  • what genre you’re using for Unit 3
  • what publication/forum you’ve looked at (provide a link too!)
  • the mentor text (don’t forget the link!)

Extra Credit Opportunity: TEDxCUNY Student Speaker Competition

I know I mentioned Ted Talks as one of the possible genres for Unit 3, and … guess what showed up in my inbox today?! A CUNY-wide student TEDx Talk competition!!

I encourage all of you to apply, and to share your voice and ideas (and new genre composing skills!) more broadly.

And, to sweeten the deal, I’ll offer extra credit to anyone who creates & shares a video pitch here on our OpenLab site. Don’t forget to explore & learn the “TED Talks” genre conventions (and TEDxCUNY audience needs/expectations) so that you can tailor your pitch in the most appropriate / effective way!

The only caveat is that you’ll have to post your pitch by the last day of classes (W 12/21) so that I’ll have time to see it and give you the grade boost! Of course, if you post earlier, you can get some great feedback from me & your peers before submitting to the competition. And if it turns out you ultimately decide to not submit to the competition formally, that’s OK too — at least you went through the creation process and learned something along the way! [Categorize as “TEDxCUNY” and make sure to title your post with the–hopefully catchy!!–title of your planned TEDxCUNY Talk]

Below is the information I’ve received from City Tech Communications about the competition. You can learn more about TedxCUNY (the host of the competition) here:

TEDxCUNY is hosting a Student Speaker Competition open to all CUNY students. The competition is an opportunity for students to speak on the TEDxCUNY stage, share their passion, ideas, work, or any valuable lessons with the CUNY community.

Students interested in applying should submit a 2-minute video introducing themselves and pitching their TEDxCUNY Talk idea. The video can be emailed to with the subject line “2023 Student Speaker Pitch.”

Please share with any students who may be interested.

The deadline to apply is December 30th, 2022.

For more information, visit

Know Your Publication

We’ve spent a while now thinking about who needs to hear your research (the ideal audience) and the best genre to present that research. Now we’re going to layer on, with an activity that will help you to identify places your writing could be published (or posted).

There are a whole range of different publication sites (e.g., an online magazine, like Teen Vogue, a forum like TED Talks, or The New York Times “Opinion” section). Take some time to explore possible publication forums for your particular genre piece (paying particular attention to the rhetorical situation, such as your intent / purpose, audience, message, etc). Then identify one particular publication forum you think is ideal for your Unit 3 piece.

Your goal, as always, is to be intentional & specific — target your efforts for particular project. If you’re writing a short story, look at a collection of short stories. If you’re writing an article for an online magazine, consider your audience and think about which is best and why (e.g., Teen Vogue is not the same as The Atlantic). If you’re writing an OpEd, look for the OpEd section of a major newspaper (such as The New York Times). If you’re making a YouTube video, look at a particular channel that produces similar content and reaches a similar audience. And so on.

*If you have a particular genre you want to write in, but you haven’t been able to find a forum where it would be published or posted, don’t immediately switch genres! Talk to me first &/or ask your classmates for help … I’m sure we can find something.

On your own, answer the following “Know Your Publication” questions for that publication or forum.

Know Your Publication Questions:

  • What kinds of articles/ stories/ media (and ads and videos for that matter!) are on that site?
  • What does that tell you about who they think their audience is? How do you draw that conclusion?
  • How long are the pieces usually? (pages, words, minutes)
  • What is the tone, usually? (e.g., funny, serious, casual)
  • What kind of diction is usually used? (e.g., casual, formal, academic)
  • How do they usually use evidence / support (such as data, quotations, interviews)?
  • What can you tell us about their visual presentation? Is it all black and white text? Video with lots of graphics? A mix? Something else altogether?
  • Do you think this would be a good publication or forum to reach your intended audience? Why or why not?

Share your answers with the class by leaving a comment on this post by 12pm (noon) on Friday, 11/18.

Make sure to include, at the beginning of your comment:

1) what your topic is
2) who your audience is
3) what your genre is
4) what publication/forum you’ve looked at (don’t forget to cite/link to it!)

Thanks all! Together we’ll review & discuss your content in this Class Discussion at the end of the week … can’t wait to see what you come up with here 🙂

Time Management

It’s a super-busy point of the semester, and many of you have expressed that you are burnt out and having difficulty keeping up with all-the-things. I feel you. Time Management is, unfortunately, something that we all struggle with …

The reality is that we each have tons of responsibilities, seemingly endless to-dos, & competing priorities, and there are only so many hours in a day and so much energy, brainpower, & motivation at our disposal during those hours.

When we are under a deadline or feel the pressure of a time crunch, we tend to procrastinate (which ends up causing even more of a time crunch!). And whether we are consciously aware of it or not, procrastination is deeply connected to a whole range of emotions that start bubbling up: we feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, frustrated, angry, scared, hopeless, depressed. We become stretched too thin, more reactive, less able to productively meet our goals and to be the best versions of ourselves. Then we feel shame, guilt, regret, exhaustion. And all of these emotions can start to chip away at our physical health. Of course, if we get sick, we fall more behind, and the more we fall behind the more stressed we get, which makes us sicker … and round and round we go.

Just because time management is hard, though, doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. An important part of both student success & self-care is to learn how to effectively manage your time. That takes becoming more aware of your own patterns and habits in relation to time management, learning skills and techniques to improve your time management, and then mindfully and diligently working to make the progress.

If you know that you struggle at certain times and in certain circumstances, don’t beat yourself up for that — but do seek out the skills & support you need. This workshop will help!

Complete the Time Management Inventory, the Time Management Reflection Reflection, and then watch + annotated the Time Management and SMART Goals video. All of these links are from the UNC at Chapel Hill Learning Center’s Tips & Tools website, which has a whole range of amazing resources for student success. I strongly encourage you to check them out (especially the ones on procrastination!) and use them as resources going forward.

After you’ve read + annotated this workshop & the above texts, share your thoughts on time management. You can approach any way you’d like, but I encourage you to consider the following:

  • What are some of the emotions that come up for you when you’re struggling with time management? What about when you more successfully manage your time?
  • What are your default habits when you have a big deadline?
  • What are some strategies you have used to manage your time? How effective are they?
  • What new things did you learn from this workshop?
  • Do some of your own research (it can just be googling around) on time management, & share what you’ve learned with the class (don’t forget to cite!).
  • If you had to give your peers one piece of advice on time management, what would it be, & why?

Comments (& at least a few replies to others’ comments) are due by 12pm (noon) on Friday, 11/18. Looking forward to a great conversation here!

Week 13: Monday, November 14 – Sunday, November 20

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! I hope you all have lovely, restorative weekends.

Thanks to all of you for your work last week: annotations in Perusall on “Annoying Ways People Use Sources” & your blogs in response as well as your Unit 3 Writing Workshop comments & proposals.

This week we’re working to clarify (with as much specificity as possible) the particular audience & genre of your Unit 3 piece, better under publication venues, and then make some real progress on planning & drafting that piece.

The first half of this week is focused on peer reviewing one another’s posts from last week, and using this discussion to further revise & focus your Unit 3 projects. There is also new content (and comments required) in the Unit 3 Writing Workshop.

I’ve enjoyed reading your Week 12 work, and I’m looking forward to continuing the conversations around integrating sources effectively and clarifying your Unit 3 audience & genre. The Week 13 Schedule offers detailed guidance on the Unit 3 Proposals Peer Review, but here I want to offer some additional thoughts on integrating sources to help guide you through your peer review of the Stedman response blogs (which included a paragraph integrating your quotable from Unit 2). I’ll also be pinging the Perusall discussion of the Stedman piece over the next few days, to further discuss it there.

In “Annoying Ways People Use Sources,” Stedman discusses readers’ “pickiness” (243) and, as a writer, your need to anticipate and accommodate that. He reminds us that “the conventions of writing have a fundamentally rhetorical nature. [. . .]. One of the fundamental ideas of rhetoric is that speakers/writers/composers shape what they say/write/create based on what they want it to do, where they’re publishing it, and what they know about their audience/readers” (244). In essence, he’s highlighting awareness of the rhetorical situation: your audience and the appropriateness of your delivery and message.

He offers a variety of common pitfalls and then “fixes” for how to address them. For example, he share useful strategies such as signaling the quote, identifying the author, and showing your reader how to interpret the quote (255). Throughout the piece, Stedman argues that we should be intentional about when/why/what/how we quote, and make those intentions clear in our writing.

Of course, this isn’t our first time thinking about quotations. We spent a lot of time already, especially in Unit 2, thinking about how to identify and then integrate quotations effectively into our research (remember the “quote sandwich” and the Perusall reading, “The Art of Quoting”?). We’ve discussed the importance of not doing a drive-by with your quote, throwing it in and then moving on. Again, the quote needs to have a reason for being in your writing, and it’s your responsibility as a writer to make clear what that reason is (throughout introducing, analyzing, explaining, and citing it).

It’s been wonderful to see you all level-up your quoting game these past few months, and to more seamlessly and skillfully weave together your ideas with those presented in other sources. Use this Peer Review to continue to hone your quoting skills!

Later in the week, there is another Writing Workshop on exploring publication venues for various genres, individual work on drafting you new genre piece, and a post due that shares your progress & plan for successfully completing the Unit 3 assignment over the next few weeks.

We’re in the home stretch of the semester (when things can start to feel really overwhelming!), so it’s going to be equally important to prioritize both time management and self-care going forward. We’ll be addressing the first of these (time management) in a Class Discussion later this week, and then next week more explicitly exploring self-care (though I’d argue that effectively managing your time is a form of self-care!). I’m looking forward to sharing and receiving advice in these spaces over the next few weeks, and to finding additional ways to support one another.

As always, all details about all the work are posted on the Schedule page.

If you have questions, drop a comment below, send me an email, &/or come to see me in my Office Hours.

I welcome all of you to come discuss your Unit 3 projects (& anything else!) with me individually. My next regular Office Hour is this Thursday, 11/17 11:30am-12:30pm, but you can always email me to set up an alternate time to meet if you have a conflict.

Last but not least … this week’s low-stakes class discussion!

In the spirit of stepping out of our comfort zones & composing in new genres, I’m mixing it up: this week we’ll all going to experiment with writing haikus (me too!).

A haiku is a (very short) Japanese poetry form that has strict formal requirements: three lines composed of 17 total syllabus (the syllable pattern is 5/7/5). [You can learn more about haikus & find examples at]

Don’t be fooled! Haikus are deceptively simple but often intricate & profound. Just because they are short doesn’t mean they are easy to write … but they can be really fun & really beautiful.

Allow yourself to play around with words & immerse yourself in the loveliness of language! Poetry is not just about what is said (the content), but how it sounds, so as you compose / revise, read your haiku aloud to yourself.

Post a comment here by Tuesday (11/15) to share your haiku with the class. In the comment, make sure to include:

  • the haiku (as written text)
  • an audio file of yourself reading the haiku (no fancy A/V skills needed — you can use your phone to record the few-second clip)

I’m excited to see / hear your creations! Thanks all, and have a wonderful week 🙂

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