Monthly Archives: February 2015

Wednesday, February 25th – Homework

Read Rules of Thumb, pages 90-92
You may also want to review pages 98-100 if you had issues with formatting.

Rewrite your narrative essay to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday.

Monday, February 23rd – Homework

For class on Wednesday, I want you to have an outline of a descriptive essay completed. Your outline should answer these criteria:


Audience (NOT your teacher or classmates, be specific):

Dominant details:

How it will be organized:

What descriptive words or figurative language you might use (show don’t tell):

Purpose of writing on this topic:

Do not write out a whole essay. Bring this outline to class on Wednesday.

Below is the example we did in class. Do not write on this topic and do not think you have to match this example exactly. It is only here for a guide.

Packing for a big trip

Audience (NOT your teacher or classmates, be specific):
Anyone taking a big trip who doesn’t travel often

Dominant details:
Asses your space
Saving space
Assess your needs
– What’s the climate?
Decide when to pack

How it will be organized:
Decide what you need
– Check the climate, weather
Assess your space
– How much can you reasonably bring
Space saving techniques
Pack at the right time
– Not too early, not too late

What descriptive words or figurative language you might use (show don’t tell):
Fresh clothes, smell of laundry
Packing can be like a race or like a leisurely stroll (simile)
Sounds: Alarm clock the day off, wheels of luggage rolling,
Feeling: The weight of the bag
Emotion: Anxiety, excitement

Purpose of writing on this topic:
Helping people get the most enjoyment out of their trips as possible (packing the right things is the first and a very important step in enjoying a stress free trip)


Wednesday, February 18th – Homework

Read “When You Camp Out, Do it Right” by Ernest Hemingway (pgs 121-125 in The River Reader).  Be prepared to discuss this on Monday.

In class on Wednesday, we went over page 3 of The River Reader and practiced answering the questions asked in the bullet points there. For the second part of your homework, answer those questions in the bullet points about “When You Camp Out, Do it Right,” and be prepared to turn them in on Monday.

Finally, as a comment on this post, write a short response to “When You Camp Out, Do it Right,” as suggested in the introduction of your book. Read back over page 2 where it says “Step 3” and explains what things you may want to focus on in a response if you need ideas or explanation.

NOTE: If you did not turn in your essay today, you will lose a letter grade for each day it is late. E-mail me a copy ASAP in order to lose as few points as possible, but you are still required to turn in a hard (printed) copy on Monday if you did not turn one in today. You will stop losing points for lateness as soon as I receive a readable copy of your work in an e-mail.

Wednesday, February 11th – Homework

Write a narrative essay based on what we worked on in class. Remember the structure we discussed and look at “Learning to Swim” as an example if you need. This essay is due Wednesday at the beginning of class. Late essays will lose a letter grade for each day they are late.

Your essay should be typed. Page 98 in Rules of Thumb explains how to format your paper. Pages 93-97 can help you with shortcuts and tips.

Read “My Daily Dives in the Dumpster” by Lars Eighner on page 114 of The River Reader and be prepared to discuss in class Wednesday.


Monday, Feb 9th – Homework

Come up with a narrative essay topic, make a brief plan of what you will write, and determine what your thesis/moral will be. Come to class prepared with all these things on Wednesday.

Additionally, read Rules of Thumb pages 75-77 before class Wednesday.

“Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell

Read “Shooting and Elephant” by George Orwell (pgs 80-90) and respond to this post by answering these questions before class on Monday:

What do you think the elephant and the shooting of the elephant represent in Orwell’s story? He says, “I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.” How does this relate to the main character and his action of killing the elephant (symbolically and actually)?


There are three things you need to do for homework before class on Wednesday.

Please be sure to read all directions and complete the assignments on time.

1. Buy the books:

  • The River Reader, 11th ed
    By: Joseph F. Trimmer
    ISBN: 978-1-133-31031-0
  • Rules of Thumb, a Guide for Writers, 9th ed
    By: Silverman, Hughes, Wienbroer
    ISBN: 987-0-07-340596

2. Join the OpenLab:

  • is the OpenLab website. is our class website. (That’s where we are right now.)
  • Simply follow the second link above and look in the top right corner. There, you will see the option to sign up or log in. Click “sign up” and it will bring you to the OpenLab area to set up an account.
  • From there, you have to fill out some information about yourself. Please use your actual name as your display name.
    NOTE: Adding me as a friend on OpenLab is not the same as joining the course. Be sure, once you are at my profile, to click the link for the course and click to join the course underneath the photo of the wood and leaves. You do need to join the course; it is a requirement of the class.

3. Comment on this post:

  • Look through the contents pages of The River Reader and comment on this post with your name comment naming which of the stories or poems in this book you would most like to read and why.
  • To make a comment, simply click the words “leave a comment” directly below this post.