English Composition II

Hi! Welcome to the first day of class!

Day One HW: 

Now that we’re getting a tiny bit more comfortable online — and sharing our fears about this whole distance learning thing —  let’s get to know each other a little better. 

First, watch “(un)Learning my Name” by Mohamed Hassan and read Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring us to Prayer”  by Hanif Abdurraqib

Second, write a new post responding to these two pieces (the video and the article). You can do it in whatever way you want! You can talk about how your name or your language makes you who you are, or gives people “permission” to treat you a certain way even though that’s so wrong! You can talk about how school has made you the writer or thinker or student or professional you’re becoming. You can talk about your family’s influence on your literacy — your education, your goals, your belief in yourself, your attitude toward the world. You can also think through how a group has helped define you. As part of it, you can add images or links to videos… whatever you think will help us get to know you and your experiences better. You can even add a link to a video. Or record an audio file and link to it. Or draw something and upload the image. Whatever you want. Remember: we’re all about composing in the 21st century, so feel free to do what you think would be interesting for us to see/hear/learn about. The idea is to get you thinking about how those issues affect you. How they’ve helped shape who you are and who you’re becoming. 

Third, Read the course syllabus.

Day Two HW:

Comment: Comment on at least three of your peers’ name posts.  This is just meant to be a conversation, so what did you learn about this person? Can you relate? Is there something they wrote you are curious about or moved by? 

Read and Annotate: “How to Read Like a Writer” by Mike Bunn. 

In this article, Bunn says that his students suggests that the advice they would give to future students is that they  “write yourself notes and summaries both during and after reading.” So I’d like you to do that. Please take out a piece of paper and a pen (or pencil) and have it beside you as you read.  Just write down whatever stands out to you from the text– jot down a few key words.  Doodle! Write a summary. Write a question. There are no right or wrong answers here.  


Write:  On the website, write a post of at least 300 words discussing the following questions. You can also post the picture of your notes from the reading in this same post: 

  • In his article, Mike Bunn writes “You are already an author.” He’s talking to you.  What do you think he means by this? What are some of the things you write already?  (Hint: “Nothing” is not an acceptable answer.) Think of all of the ways you already use words in your everyday life.  That’s authorship! How will that existing expertise help you in your college reading and writing career?
  • Was there anything you noticed in Bunn’s article that you would like to try to do in your own writing? What, in particular? Please be specific!



  1. Allan Yunayev

    Where do we post the homeworks? Do we post it here.

    • Prof. Edelson

      This is great but please cut and paste it into a NEW post and categorize it as a “weekly assignment”

    • Prof. Edelson

      You post it using the + sign and then categorize it as a weekly assignment and it will post in the proper place.

  2. Rouba Ali Al Saeedi

    Day One HW:
    My name is Rouba, I’m Muslim and I speak Arabic. People can tell that I’m Muslim without knowing my name or hearing me speaking Arabic based on my appearance since I’m wearing the hijab. Still, my name is one of the things that symbolize me as an Arab although it is not a really familiar Arabic name. Back in high school, people didn’t find it hard to pronounce, although some might call me “Rawba” instead of “Ruba.” It wasn’t a big deal. I feel really connected to my name since it’s one of the things that represent me. Since I spent my childhood in Iraq, I spoke Arabic back then, but my mom would also try to teach me a little English before I started school because it’s a universal language. For my goals, my mom would always encourage me to do what I love, such as telling me to choose the future career that I want so that I don’t regret it later, she tells me not to care about what people think is a better career, but to care about the career I have passion for, a career that I’d be happy to practice for the rest of my life.

    Here’s a link for an image that would display one of my experiences. It basically displays a photo of a school in Iraq and in the US, since I went to schools in both countries.


  3. Johana

    Day One HW:
    After reading and watching both the video and article, I found it interesting that a person’s name and where they’re from has more meaning than we think. In the video, Mohamed Hassan explained his name and how other people always misjudged him for being white since he has blue eyes and the complexion of his skin. He felt joy when being mistaken as a white man but when asked for his name it was like he felt disappointment. After learning his name and the importance of it including his background and religion, he now appreciates who he is and his name and pronounces his name the way his mother calls him. In the article, Hanif Willis Abdurraqib explains how difficult it is to balance out American life and Arabic life as a teen here in America. He used Zayn Malik, the pop star from One Direction as a role model. Hanif relates to Zayn in terms of having two different realities. I believe it is difficult to balance out the world you live in and the world that’s in your home. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York but both my parents are from Honduras. I can relate to Hanif and Mohamed in a way because growing up I always found it annoying when people did not know how to pronounce my name correctly when they would see how it’s spelled. My name is Johana, not with two N’s but with one and with an H. I usually get called “Jo-Hannah” but my name is pronounced, “Jo-Ana.” I also hated the way people thought my name was spelled. There was even a time when a teacher told me my name is supposed to be spelled “Johanna.” After listening to a podcast about our names being our identity, I learned that it is okay to correct others when pronouncing your name wrong and even spelling it wrong. Your name belongs to you and you have the right to correct others. I felt like that was truly important.

    1. In his article, Mike Bunn writes “You are already an author.” He is talking about me and I think he means when writing I have the power to write whatever I want and I can choose the words I want in a sentence, so therefore I’m considered the author. The way I write and my choice of words is in my hands so that’s authorship. One of the things I already write is journaling and there I get to talk about my feelings, my decisions, my life, my goals, my family, etc. I have control of what to write so I’m considered an author. This existing expertise can help me now in college reading and writing because like Bunn said “Reading in a particular way could also make me a better writer.” Understanding what I’m reading is important because that way I develop my questions and conclusions and like Bunn said I can understand what the author meant when writing. If someone else read my journal I would want them to be able to understand what I wrote and want my audience to feel my emotions.
    2. In Bunn’s article, I realized that he used headings when transitioning to other aspects of his writing. Furthermore, he had sections like “What does it mean to read like a writer?” “How is RLW different from “normal” writing?” “Why learn to read like a writer?” etc. I would like to do this in my writing because I feel like it’s very neat and in order so that’ll also help my audience get a gist and better understanding of what I’m trying to say.

    • Prof. Edelson

      This is great but please cut and paste it into a NEW post and categorize it as a “weekly assignment”

  4. Rouba Ali Al Saeedi

    Day Two HW:

    When Mike Bunn wrote, “You are already an author” he basically meant that writing a lot makes you an author. I have experience in writing which makes me an author. Examples of things I wrote would be the multiple essays I wrote every school year in my English classes. Or even other classes that required writing essays or paragraphs, for example, history class, although these classes would focus more on the information than your way of writing, this would still give you experience. Also, text messages and emails, seems like a simple daily activity, phrases and paragraphs read or written by you contain different ways of writing. This existing expertise would help me in my college reading and writing career by giving me previous knowledge of reading and writing techniques. Having previously written essays makes you an author, which in the end makes you read and think like an author. Also having previous experience can add to your ideas and choices of writing.

    One of the things I noticed in Bunn’s article that I would like to try to do in my own writing is that he started the article with a personal story that explains what led to his realization before going deeper into the topic. Second, start my essay with a quote. In his article, Bunn mentioned an example of an essay that started with President Obama’s quote. Bunn then asked the audience “Would you want to try this technique in your own writing?” I thought about it and then I was like, yes, I would because it can make the essay more powerful and appealing to the audience. Adding a quote before starting the essay might also create a little more understanding of the topic to your audience before they actually start to read your essay or article. Third is something that I already used to do, but after reading the article, decided to focus on which is word choice. As Bunn mentioned how he used “antiquated” instead of “old”, using unique words makes your writing more powerful.

    Notes from the reading:

    • Prof. Edelson

      This is great but please cut and paste it into a NEW post and categorize it as a “weekly assignment”

  5. Ivan

    Professor for each assignment we have to make individual posts called week assignments?

    • Prof. Edelson

      Yes that is correct. Thanks for asking!

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