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This is an archived site

As of Spring 2018, this site has been retired. It serves as an archive for previous years.

To go to the current site, please visit

–Robert Leston, Director First Year Writing, Fall 2018


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Final Exams, Final Grades, and eClass Folders

SUBJECT:     Final Exams, Final Grades, and eClass Folders

DATE:            December 5, 2017

TO:                  First Year Writing (FYW) Faculty

FROM:           Johannah Rodgers, Director of First Year Writing


Final Exams
You are strongly encouraged to use a performance rubric for grading these exams.  If you find that the final exam performance rubric available on the FYW@City Tech website is too cumbersome, you may want to consider creating your own, condensed rubric, using the department one as a model.  Once graded, final exams shouldbe placed in the folder in which they were distributed to you and returned toLily in N512.  These exams are kept on file and are consulted in the case of any grade disputes.


Final Grades
Final grades, which are due by midnight, December 27, 2017, need to be reported in two ways: first, in CUNY First, and second, in the eClassFolder.  If anyone has any questions about CUNYFirst, please feel free to contact me via email: I will do my best to respond and to your query quickly.  Regarding the eClass Folder, which is really now a “sheet” and not a “folder,” you will need to submit this via your CityTech e-mail account to Lily Lam: You will submit the file as an attachment to your e-mail to Lily and YOU MUST SAVE AND NAME the file according to the following guidelines:  CourseNumber Section Number Instructor Name Semester Code.  For Professor Rodgers’ Fall 2017 ENG1101/HD69course, the file will be named as follows:    ENG1101HD69Rodgers1179.  More information about eClass Folders can be accessed here:

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FYW Make-Up Final Exams Fall, 2017

If a student misses the final exam for your FYW course, the department will be offering a makeup opportunity on January 9th at 2:30 pm. Please let Lily know if you have such students and she will give you more information.

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2017 City Tech Science Fiction Symposium

City Tech is honored to be welcoming Samuel Delany as the keynote speaker for the 2017 City Tech Science Fiction Symposium, which will be taking place on December 6 from 9am to 6pm in N119.  As many are aware, Mr. Delany is not only a well known science fiction writer but also a gifted literary critic, and he will be giving the keynote address for the symposium from 4pm-5pm on Wednesday, December 6.

For students or faculty who would like to do some reading before the lecture to further acquaint themselves with Mr. Delany’s writings, included below are links to three texts:  one short story and two essays.

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Sample Student Essays

For an example of student writing in response to a specific assignment, please click here for Prof. Miller’s assignment on The Hero’s Journey.  Here is a student paper in response to the prompt, shared here with permission from the author.  For context, here is the syllabus for this course, which includes a lab component.

To access the collections of student essays published in City Tech Writer, please click here.

To view a collection of ENG1101 research essays from Professor Rudden’s Spring 2012 course, you can visit this web site:

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Structuring and Facilitating Group Work in FYW Courses

Structuring and Facilitating Group Work

Group work can be a powerful learning tool, but the teams need to be facilitated correctly. If teams don’t function well, they can be a source of frustration and anxiety for students and instructors. Below are a few suggestions:

  1. Create small teams: Assign a small number of students (four or five) to a team to help ensure cohesiveness and the ability to communicate readily. One option is to assign teams based on the mix of student abilities and/or interests in the course.
  2. Facilitate a team atmosphere: Often there is a lack of informal interaction online, so you’ll want to create opportunities for students to get to know each other – perhaps with an ice-breaker activity. Ideally, students will have some knowledge of each other due to participation in an “introduction” discussion site during the first week of the course.
  3. Provide sufficient time: Realize that it will take longer for online teams to develop cohesion and reach the point of critical thinking, due to the asynchronous format. Build in extra time accordingly for your online team assignment or project.
  4. Provide detailed, explicit instructions: Give your students explicit guidelines and specific objectives for their assignment so the level of confusion is minimized. You might also want to provide specific team roles descriptions, depending on the level of your students’ experience.
  5. Set short-term deadlines: Break a large assignment into several small stages (milestones) to allow yourself the ability to check on team progress and keep teams on track. It’s a good idea to require team members to share outlines and drafts in the group workspace, where you and other team members can review the material.
  6. Remind students of available tools: Whether you are using only group discussions, or the full range of group-aware tools in your learning management system, be sure you make students aware of what tools are available to them and where to find these tools.

Source: Rutgers Continuing Education Instructional Design:

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Visible Pedagogy: A Teach@ CUNY Project

Visible Pedagogy is a blog dedicated to advancing and expanding conversations about teaching and learning at CUNY. It is edited by TLC Assistant Director Elizabeth Alsop, and collaboratively authored by the staff of theTeaching & Learning Center, our Contributing Writers, and by CUNY faculty, staff, and students.

We are interested in  both the theory and practice of teaching and learning. In our Reflective Practice series, you’ll find more of the former: CUNY instructors—including our five Contributing Writers—reflecting critically  on ideas, issues, or challenges they’ve encountered in their teaching careers and their classrooms, in the context of brief essays of around 750 words.

The Teach@CUNY series focuses on pedagogy in action, and spotlights actual assignments, activities, and approaches being used by instructors at CUNY.  We will put out regular calls for contributors to the series — each on a single topic or theme —and those interested in contributing can submit short, 200-300-word descriptive posts along with an illustrative artifact; selected responses will be published sequentially over a period of 1-2 weeks.  Our aim is to solicit and curate contributions that represent the diversity of the CUNY teaching body: both full- and part-time instructors, from 2- and 4-year colleges, and from a range of disciplines.

If you have an idea or subject you would like to explore, including those that do not fit in the categories above, pitch us at tlc at or check out our Contributors’ Guidelines. Let us hear from you!

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Language Transfer: Tip Sheets for Ten Languages by Ann Raimes

Language Transfer: Tip Sheets for Ten Languages 

Research shows that transfer from the native language is not the most common cause of error, at least in written English. However, when it occurs, it is often the most baffling to readers and the most intractable for writing instructors. It is interesting both for student writers and their instructors to consider the linguistic complexities that writing in English demands of ESL students.

For each of the ten languages discussed in detail (Arabic, Chinese languages, Farsi, French and Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese), significant features of difference from English are noted. An additional section lists some key features of Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Portuguese, and Tagalog. Examples, marked with an asterisk (*) show the types of error that can result in English because of language transfer, and section numbers provide a cross-reference to the handbook. Please be aware that this is a highly selective list, not an exhaustive one. The list derives from my more than thirty years of teaching experience, but it does not claim to cover every linguistic difference. I’d be grateful if you would let me know of any other features or languages you think I need to include.

Tip Sheet Index

  1. Arabic
  2. The Chinese Languages
  3. Farsi (Persian)
  4. French (and Haitian Creole)
  5. Japanese
  6. Korean
  7. Russian
  8. Spanish
  9. Thai
  10. Vietnamese
  11. Some Other Language Differences

Source:  Raimes, Ann.  Keys for Writers.  Cengage, 2001.

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City Tech Library Resources for FYW Research Projects

The City Tech Library has recently centralized their Research Process Tutorials.  You can access these tutorials here:

A Guide for Understanding and Writing an Annotated Bibliography is also available:

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