Hall 1121 Spring 2021

Writing for the Public

Remember– your final portfolios are due on May 20th (Thursday) by 6 pm!!

Hi everyone! Remember that you need to revise 2 units and turn in your portfolio by 6 pm on Thursday! This is a hard deadline– meaning I really need it by that time (that date has been on the syllabus since day one!) Your portfolio is worth 70% of your grade!

Your final portfolio should be ONE DOCUMENT that includes:

  1. A revised version of Unit One
  2. A revised version of Unit Two
  3. Information about where your Unit Three project is. Please upload a link to this document. If you sent it to me via email, and make a note saying so in your final portfolio
  4. Your final reflection

For information about all units– including more about the final portfolio– see “final portfolio and reflection”

Note: some people may want to revise Unit Three, but generally speaking you will revise units one and two.  You need to revise at least two major units.

This slideshow on final portfolios may be useful!

Use category: Portfolio and Reflection

For Tuesday

yikes ! This didn’t post correctly on Thursday. Sorry!

As we talked about in class last week, your homework for Tuesday is to write a rough draft of your final reflection (post to open lab). Please see the description  in the final portfolio assignment sheet HERE. You can use the paragraph you wrote for homework last week as a starting place if that is useful.

Don’t forget– you’ll need to find quotes from your own writing to use in this final reflection! THIS SLIDESHOW might also help you get started. (About the 6th slide, I start to talk about the reflection piece)

Use category:Portfolio and reflection


For Thursday, May 6


READ/ LOOK AT: Go back to what you wrote in response to the Mike Bunn article in Week Two about reading like a writer (you can find this under the¬† “Intro”¬† tab of “Discussions”. Think about where you were then as an author.

WRITE:  write a little note to your beginning-of-the semester self who wrote that response.  What have you learned since then about writing and about yourself as a reader/writer? What surprises have you encountered along the way? How do you think what you’ve learned might help you in future classes or in your professional lives? (You certainly don’t have to answer all of these questions, by the wayРthese are just ideas to get you started.) Hopefully this will be a good starting point for your Final Reflection. think about your final reflection and what you have learned this semester. So start working on a Shi&&y First Draft of that.

Post this to Open Lab. Category:  Portfolio and Reflection 

Homework for Tuesday, May 3

Unit 3 is due.¬† Post to Open Lab. Remember, this unit is worth 20% of your grade!¬† Review Unit Three assignment sheet for details (I have added the grading criteria we went over in class). If you’re late, your grade will go down and you will also not have the opportunity to revise this unit in your final portfolio.

Please give yourself enough time to allow for technical glitches and difficulties, because it is likely there will be some!

Use category: Unit 3 Final! 



Homework for Tues– and our comic

Hi everyoneРfor Tuesday, post an update (and some work, if possible) on your Unit 3 project. If you did not post your homework for today please do that as well.  Also, here is the comic we made together in class!

Remember, I showed you this just so we could think about design and so I could show you Canva, especially since many people are doing comics.¬† I’m equally excited about all your projects– from podcasts to videos to comics, etc!!


Homework for Thursday


First of all, keep working on Unit 3. Also:

  1. Read THIS handout on how to write a plan for revision. Now, re-read your own Unit One (Portrait of a Word) essay and look at my comments on that essay.
  2. Write a plan for revision (at least 3-4 bullet points, according to the “good revision plan” from the handout) for how you plan to revise Unit One for your final portfolio.¬† You will not have to do this for a couple of weeks, but it’s good to think ahead! Use category: Unit One Final Paper!!¬†

Homework for Thursday, April 15 (8 am)

Hi everyone!  for Thursday, please:

  1. Find an example of the genre of piece you would like to make for Unit Three.¬† This is your mentor text.¬† That is, if you would like to make a podcast, find a podcast you like. If you want to make a comic, find a short comic you like, etc.. THIS DOES NOT NEED TO BE (and probably should not be) ON YOUR TOPIC– it just has to be something you like.¬† You are just looking at this for tips about the ingredients of a good podcast, or a good photo essay, a good TED Talk, a good video, etc… To find examples, look at the resources in the UNIT THREE ASSIGNMENT SHEET¬† (end of the page). You can look elsewhere as well! This is just a starting place
  2. Write a brief analysis of this mentor text (250 words or so). Here are some things to consider:
      • Language/Vocabulary: Examine why certain words and phrases were used to make specific points.
      • Tone: How does the author express his/her attitude through writing/speaking? Sarcastic, humorous, inquisitive, anxious, critical, etc.?
      • Organization/Structure: What does the author includes in the beginning, middle, and end. Why do you think it is organized in this way?
      • Audience: What techniques does the author use to draw in the audience‚Äôs attention?
      • Development: What methods does the writer use to develop his/her ideas? Narration, description, definition, comparison, analogy, cause and effect, example, etc.?
      • Research: How does this writer use research (if at all)?

For Tuesday, April 13– Don’t forget LAF and extra credit!

Hi everyone! Before I list the homework, I want to remind you of the Literary Arts Festival on Tuesday– your one and only chance to get extra credit in this class!¬† And how can you GET that credit? Just write a 150 word paragraph (posted on OL) about what you saw (liked, didn’t like, thought, learned, whatever) at the festival!¬† HERE is the link to register for the event.

Remember that the student writers will be writing about life during the Covid era, which may help you with Unit 3. Also, HERE is the link to the poem we watched in class.

Now, for Tuesday’s Homework (due by 8 am, natch)

If you haven’t already, please post the in-class writing we did on Thursday.¬† An uploaded photo is fine

WRITE: some ideas for Unit 3.  You’ll need to answer all of the following questions:

  1. The prompt for this unit asks you to answer one or both of the following questions: ‚ÄúHow has the past year challenged or changed you?‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúWhat have you learned in the past year that you would like to share with others?‚Ä̬† But remember, you may have learned something surprising and not at all covid-related!¬† What do you think you would like to write about in this unit?
  2. The assignment also asks you to be specificРto talk about a particular aspect of the year that only you can talk about (or to tweak it in your own particular way!) How do you intend to get specific? 
  3.  What kind of document are you thinking about  making? A video essay with interviews? A video of you reciting a poem? A series of infographics? A comic book? Look at the Unit Three assignment for ideas, but you can branch out from there if you like.  Remember, the requirement is that you use words and images  OR words and sounds OR words, images and sounds.
  4. What are your concerns about this assignment?¬† That is, maybe you want to make a podcast, but you really have no idea how to do that (see THIS handout– maybe it will help). Or you want to do a comic but you can’t draw (THIS might help)

Post on open lab!  Category: Unit 3

For Thursday, April 8 (by 8 am, of course!)


More time to “tidy up” your Unit Two article. You will definitely want to make sure you have a compelling intro that hooks the reader.¬† Click on the image above to get to the slideshow we watched in class on Tuesday for help in writing intros and linking them to the nutshell paragraph.

You can update your Unit Two Final draft by simply clicking “edit” at the bottom of the blog post (info how to do this HERE)– or you can resubmit a new Word or PDF doc.¬† (Please make sure you are using the category: Unit 2 Final Draft. Otherwise your paper might get lost!)¬†

You will also want to proofread and check your citations.  I suggest the following steps:

  • Write a new introduction, using the slideshow as your guide.¬† You might try a couple of these intro strategies and pick the one you like best. You’re welcome to keep the intro you already have if you prefer, but make sure you have one!
  • Go through your essay and proofread it. By this, I mean, look for sentence-level issues. If you know you have a problem with run-ons, look for ONLY that issue. (And run spell-check!)¬†
  • After you have proofread once, read your essay out loud! Really! Do it with a pen or pencil in your hand and mark sentences that sound strange. Go back and fix them! Take out words that sound extra or “fluffy” (meaning they are just there to add to the word count.) The word count is there so your article has enough meaning, not so it has just a bunch of words! At this point, forget about the word count. Just make it sound good and mean something.
  • Now, go back and make sure you have done your citations. Remember, you may either hyperlink or use MLA.
  • Make sure you have done a bibliography. I suggest using Easybib.com
  • If you want, add a few images– or a better title.¬† Think about the things that draw you to an article when you’re reading.



Unit Two Essay Due April 6–by 8 AM!!


Your essay (with Works Cited page) is due online by 8 am on April 6. PLEASE USE CATEGORY: UNIT TWO FINAL DRAFT! 

I will be available for office hours ONE DAY over Spring Break– April 1 (not a joke!) To sign up, click THIS LINK . I will also email you some comments on your rough draft if you submitted it on time.

Resources for writing your final draft:


If you are struggling with this paper, including  having enough to say to get to the word count, I very much suggest you look at

  1. Your mentor text– how did they make a long article? How did they find enough to say? Look to the mentor published author (and the outline you created) for tips! This can also help you with transitions, organizations and how to integrate research.
  2. THIS PARAGRAPH SLIDESHOW.  In the world of publishing and upper-level academia (junior and senior years), 1400 words is a pretty short article.  My guess is if your article is too short, you are lacking either Information, or most likely: explanation.  Look to this slide show for how to expand. This is also helpful if you are struggling with organization.
  3. On that same note, take a look at this  QUOTE SANDWICH HANDOUT  Sandwiches, pie, what do they have in common? They ask you to explain!! If your paper is too short, it is most likely because you are not summarizing and explaining your sources!  Also handy for everyone to review!
  4. The CITY TECH WRITING CENTER.  These folks are great.  They can help you with any of your strugglesРbut make sure to make an appointment in advance!

You have two options for citing sources. In both cases you will need to make a bibliography. You can use EasyBib.org for this.  The bibliography does NOT count toward your word count!:

  1. The first option is to use hyperlinks. This is how modern online journalists cite sources.¬† That is, when they use an outside source, they link to it directly (as I have done above, although please do not use all caps!) Look to published articles to see how this is done, but it’s very simple.¬† They might say: “In a 1999 study on dieting, researchers found that more is, in fact less. That is, according to researcher Bob Dobbs, ‘the more meals you eat a day, the less weight you gain.” The part I’ve put in bold (the first mention of the study) is where I would hyperlink the original article.¬† You notice that I also still mention the researcher by name.¬† If you use this method, you have to make sure your links work. You still need a bibliography.
  2. The second option is MLA format. This HANDOUT ON IN-TEXT CITATION  may be useful. Please note: the reason you can use hyperlinks here is because you are writing an online article, and that is the citation format for online articles. Many of your professors will insist on MLA formatting, so this may be helpful to you.  It also has good info about what to cite no matter what format you use.  You still need a bibliography.

Some other helpful resources:



Grading Criteria

  • Genre & Audience Awareness. Have you written in a genre that will effectively reach your intended audience?¬† Does your article seem like a good fit for the publication you’ve chosen? Have you paid attention to your mentor article to find the features of this style of writing?
  • Completion and use of research.¬† Did you dig deep in your research and find relevant and credible sources? Does your research reflect a thorough understanding of the problem you are trying to impact? How were you able to integrate this research into your own article and argument?¬†
  • Organization and analysis: Is the piece well-organized, with clear, thought-out points that are backed up by information and explanation?
  • Is it convincing? The goal was to convince your audience to begin making a particular change to benefit your community.¬† Does your article convince them to do so?
  • At least 1400 Words


Due Thursday March 25 by 8 am

For Thursday, please write a “nutshell paragraph” for your own article and post it to Open Lab.¬† I also strongly suggest you add this paragraph to your rough draft for Thursday’s class, We will be discussing the rough drafts and I think this will help!

For those of you who missed class, you can see the slideshow HERE.

It was adapted from THIS New York Times article, which may be helpful.

If you have not submitted a rough draft, I very strongly suggest you do so.¬† I’ve decided¬† that I will look over any RD’s submitted by Thursday 8 AM and will make some brief comments on them to help with your revision. I’ll do this over Spring break.¬†

Category: Unit 2

How do I write a Nutshell Paragraph? 

Step One:

Step back from whatever topic you‚Äôre writing about and focus on why it is important. Try answering these questions first so that when you get to the point in your piece where you might include a kind of ‚Äúnut‚ÄĚ paragraph of your own, you‚Äôre prepared with ideas:

  • Why is this topic worth writing about?
  • What is the wider context for this? Why might it help to explain to show why this is an important topic? How is it relevant in the world today?
  • Whom or what does it affect? Why? How?
  • What makes what you’re saying new, unique or timely?

Step Two: 

You don’t want to write a paragraph that is just a bullet point list of those questions or answers; you want it to sound good and capture the reader’s attention. To do this, look at the examples of nutshell paragraphs in the slideshow above, as well as in your mentor texts to see how they’ve done it.¬† Almost all articles have them!

When you put a “nutshell” paragraph in your article, think closely about where is the best place to put it.¬† You can look to your mentor texts, or these articles we’ve read in class for help!¬†¬†

Due Tuesday March 23 by 8 am: Rough Drafts!

Hi everyone!  Your rough draft for Unit Two is due on Tuesday.  Remember that you are writing a magazine (or perhaps newspaper feature) about a problem you care about for an audience of your choosing.

I strongly suggest you use the outline you wrote from your mentor article (Marriage, Coronavirus, USAA, Teen Activism etc) for guidance.¬† That is, look to it for tips!¬† If the introduction starts with a personal story, maybe you want to try to do the same.¬† If it leads into a study about your topic, maybe you want to try that.¬† This suggestion is meant to be helpful.¬†If it’s making it difficult for you to write, you don’t need to follow the mentor text.

Rough drafts should be at least 1100 words. Completion of your RD (on time) counts toward your final Unit 2 gradeРbut you get the points just for doing it! So do it!  

If you have questions, look at the assignment sheet under “Major Assignments.” You can also feel free to email me.

Please use category: Unit 2 RD

Homework for Thursday, March 18, by 8 am!

First things first: remember, your topic needs to be in question form.¬† Something like “women’s rights” is too broad, but “How are young women defining feminism (and womanhood) differently than their mothers and grandmothers did?” If you’re having trouble with this, send me an email!

Second things second: You will need at least three (but probably more) sources.¬† We’ve found a few in class, but you’ll also need to find some on your own. Remember, interviews count as sources too!¬† You could interview your mother or your best friend about women’s rights (or about corruption in the Dominican Republic or Haiti!)¬† You need SOME print sources, but don’t be afraid to use interviews, YouTube videos, songs, etc…¬† You are writing a magazine article.

HERE is the link to the library page for help with sources

HERE is the link to sign up for meetings with me if you have any questions

Okay, now the homework: 

For Thursday:

Write a summary of at least one source that relates to your essay (this can be the source you found in class on Tuesday).¬† The summary should be at least 250 words.¬† Tell us what the article says, how it relates to your research question, whether you agree with the author and why the source is useful to you.¬† Please note: you don’t have to agree with the author for the source to be useful!

Also (this doesn’t count toward word count) pick out 2 or so quotes from this article you find particularly interesting or useful.¬† You don’t have to comment on them.

I suggest you start working on your rough drafts.¬† They’re due on March 23!


Homework for Tuesday, March 16 by 8 am!

HERE is a calendar to sign up for one-on-one conferences with me (we will use our Zoom link). Please sign up if I told you you needed to or if you have any questions about Unit One, Unit Two or the course in general!

Hi guys, the homework for Tuesday, March 16 is:

  1. Finish the “reverse outline” that you started on your mentor articles last week (Marriage, NCAA, Coronavirus or Activism). Remember to focus on what the article DOES (“In this paragraph, the author uses their own experience to draw the reader in” or “in this paragraph, the author brings in an outside source and explains it in relatable language so regular people can understand”) instead of what is SAYS (“the author tells us he was a football player and is now a senator”).¬† We are trying to get to a kind of generic outline that you can use as a guide– for writing form only– if you want!

As an example, HERE is the one we did in class!  You may have to revise the part you did already to make it about what the article DOES (not says)

Post to Open Lab

2. Finish the “quote sandwich” paragraph we started in class on Thursday.¬† In this paragraph, you will take a quote from an article about your research topic (you do not need to agree with this quote– but you might!) Use the guidelines in THIS POSTER.¬† That is, introduce the quote (and author,)¬†¬†summarize the quote in your own words, and then¬†analyze (explain)¬†the quote by telling the reader what you think about it, why it is important and/ or how it relates to your central question!

Also post this to OL.  Please post these two assignments separately! 

Homework for Thursday, March 11

Your homework for Thursday will be to start annotating an article like we did in class on Tuesday, outlining the rhetorical moves the writer makes in every paragraph.  We will spend the week on this.  This is a huge part of Unit Two and will count toward your final paper grade (not your homework grade,) though all you have to do to get these points is complete the assignment.

As an example, HERE is the example of the document we annotated together in class.

You will be using these articles as guides to help us learn how to write an articleРfor tips on style.  You will use this knowledge when you write your own article! You should not be looking for an article that is on the same topic as you are writing on, but one whose tone you likeРor might best fit your topic.

We will NOT be doing this on Perusall.¬† Please use the documents below.¬† Choose ONE.¬† You will notice that three of these are the articles we already read last week. You don’t need to choose the one you chose before, but you may.

You will download this document as a word or google docs document and edit on that document, then post that document on Open Lab. You can also cut and paste the whole thing as a blog post to Open Lab, but that will be very long!

YOU NEED TO DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT TO EDIT IT– and you’ll need to edit it to do the assignment. HERE is a short video about how to download if you get stuck.¬†¬†






Homework for Tuesday, March 9

I sent everyone an email about the essay topics from the form you filled out in class.¬† If you didn’t hear from me, or if you have questions, please send an email (chall@citytech.cuny.edu )¬† If you missed class or did not finish the form, please complete it HERE and then send me an email to tell me you finished it and I will send you comments.¬† Remember, your topic must be approved by me by next week!

  1. Write a 2-3 sentence proposal for your topic for unit 2 (again, please see the assignment sheet under “Major Assignments”) and post to Open Lab
  2. Please ALSO attach a source you might use for your research to this post– that is, an article or a youtube video, etc…¬† You can do this either by using the “Add Media” button or by adding a link.¬† ¬† Make sure this is a good source– something you think is going to be useful to you. Please read (or watch) this source!

Use category: Unit Two 

Below is a video that might be helpful for finding articles (there is a link to our own library on the right side of this web page.)  Also, see below the video for instructions for accessing a free subscription to the New York Times, if you would like to use this resource!

To register for a free subscription to the NYT using your CUNY email address:

  1. Click¬†on¬†“Register”¬†to¬†create¬†a¬†NYTimes.comaccount¬†using¬†your¬†CUNY e-mail¬†address.
  2. At the¬†bottom¬†of¬†the¬†Welcome¬†page,¬†click¬†“Continue.”
  3. If¬†your¬†email address¬†is¬†from¬†an¬†eligible school,¬†you¬†will then see¬†“Check¬†your¬†email.”¬†Look¬†for¬†a ‚ÄúConfirm¬†Your¬†Email¬†Address‚ÄĚ message,¬†which¬†should¬†arrive¬†to your CUNY e-mail¬†within¬†15¬†minutes.
  4. Click on the link in our confirmation email. This will simultaneously verify your eligibility and

grant your Academic Pass, which will provide access to NYTimes.com for your campus designated period.

  1. If you don’t get our confirmation email, check your spam filter.  If you still do not receive it, send an email from your school email account to edu@nytimes.com

Homework for Thursday, March 4 (by 8 am)

WRITE: Write a blog post (at least 400 words) in which you describe 2 or 3 possible problems/issues that you want to research and write an article on for your Unit 2 project. Make sure to double check the Unit 2 assignment sheet (under Major Assignments) if you’re confused.

You‚Äôll narrow it down to just one topic, but for now you‚Äôre brainstorming ideas. Think about things you disagree with or want to change other people‚Äôs minds about. Explain why each is important to you and your community. For instance, you can discuss who the problem impacts, why it is important to address now, and/or who you can appeal to so as to help implement change.¬† Don’t try to think of solutions yet!

End by discussing which problem you will most likely choose and why. You may perform Internet research as you go about brainstorming topics.

Category: Unit 2

Homework for March (already?) 2nd– by 8 AM!

For the record, after this week, I’m going to stop writing by 8 AM, but it’s always due by 8AM.

  1. READ for Tuesday is to pick ONE of the articles below (they’re all on Perusall) and read and annotate it.¬† I have included (both here and on Perusall) some key quotes that may help you decide which article you want to read. Instructions are on Perusall, but please note that I’d really like us to start talking with each other in the Perusall comments this time around!¬† Read each other’s annotations and comment on them.¬† You can do this by commenting below, but you can also use the “@” icon and their name to ping them directly.
  2. WRITE: Write a blog post (at least 300 words) in which you respond to your article.   What did you learn from reading this article? How did this author use research? How do they use personal experience?

You may also want to write about what made you choose this article in the first place.  Did it live up to your expectations?

Category: Unit 2!!

Here is an overview of the articles (again, they are all on Perusall). The boxes contain short quotes from the articles to help you choose which one you’re most interested in:

Option 1: Vox ‚ÄúThe Year We Gave up on Privacy‚ÄĚ (How the Covid-19 Virus Affected Our Privacy)

As a digital privacy reporter, I try to avoid sites and services that invade my privacy, collect my data, and track my actions. Then the pandemic came, and I threw most of that out the window. You probably did, too.

Option 2: The Atlantic: ‚ÄúI‚Äôm Not Black I‚Äôm Kanye‚ÄĚ

And he was destroyed. It happened right before us. God was destroyed, and we could not stop him, though we did love him, we could not stop him, because who can really stop a black god dying to be white?

Option 3: Science News: ‚ÄúHow Coronavirus Stress May Scramble Our Brains‚ÄĚ

Scientists recognize the pandemic as an opportunity for a massive, real-time experiment on stress. COVID-19 foisted on us a heavy mix of health, economic and social stressors. And the end date is nowhere in sight.

Option 4: The Cut: ‚ÄúIs Marriage Obsolete?‚ÄĚ

Forty-five percent of all Americans 18 and older are now single, and more than half of Americans surveyed said that getting married wasn’t an important part of becoming an adult.

Option 5: Sports Illustrated: ‚ÄúWhy I‚Äôm Behind the Athletes‚Äô Bill of Rights‚ÄĚ

College sports is a $14 billion industry that is significantly generated by the unpaid work of young people. While I came from a family able to support me during my college years, many athletes do not, and they struggle to meet the costs of going to school that are beyond what a scholarship covers.

Unit One is Due on Thursday by 8 AM

For all criteria, please see the Unit One assignment sheet under “Major Assignments”¬†

Use Category: Unit1 Final Paper.¬† Please also label your paper clearly so that I know this is your final essay.¬† That said, I would like you to give this essay a title that is a real (meaning: interesting) title, not “essay #1.”¬† What is something you would want to read?

Please note this paper is worth 20% of your final grade for this course. 

If you are having an issue with the paper, please discuss it with me with plenty of time BEFORE that essay is due. Remember, discussing with me is actually hearing back from me, not emailing me at 3 AM the night before the paper is due.

You can upload it as text to the OpenLab (as a blog post) or as a doc or pdf by using the “add media” function, which I discussed in Tuesdays class. (note: the upload function has been fixed. If you’re confused about how to upload, I’ve made a little video HERE)

Again, if you have questions, please contact me at chall@citytech.cuny.edu

Click on the box below if you want to see the slideshow we watched in class on Tuesday about P-I-E paragraphs:


For Tuesday, Feb 23: ROUGH DRAFTS DUE!! (By 8 AM!)

Hi everyone!  The rough drafts for Unit One are due on Tuesday by 8 AM.  Please upload to OpenLab. Category: Unit One. Please double-check the category.

Look at the Unit One assignment sheet (under Major Assignments)  for guidelines.

The Rough draft should be at least 800 words.  The final draft (at least 1000 words) will be due Thursday, so it will help to write as much as you can over the weekend.

Remember, it’s important here to just get started.¬† You can use the scenes we wrote in class on Thursday if you like, but you do not have to.¬† The most important thing now is getting anything down on the page!¬† If you have questions, feel free to contact me at chall@citytech.cuny.edu.¬† If you would like to meet with a writing tutor, contact Juanita But, Writing Center Director, at jbut@citytech.cuny.edu

Here is the reading we read in class on Thursday, in case you want to review how to start SH$%ty First Drafts! 



Homework for Thursday, February 18 by 8 AM

  1. Read and Annotate “Tell ‘Em All to Come Get Me” on Perusall.com
  2. Read and Annotate “Who You Callin’ Bitch?” on Perusall.com

Directions for both are on Perusall!

3.Come to Thursday’s class with an idea of the word or phrase you will want to write about for Unit One. ¬†Remember that you want to write about a word that is important and specific to your discourse community, an “insider” word– not something generic like “love,” or “family.” ¬†You’ll notice that the word “alright” (which Abdurraqib writes about) is used by a lot of groups, but the WAY people use it includes them in a certain group!

For more information, see the assignment sheet for Unit One under “Major Assignments” (It’s also linked here!)

Homework for Tuesday, February 16– by 8 am!

Hi everyone, your homework for Tuesday is to read and annotate “Understanding Discourse Communities” on Perusall.¬† I have asked a number of questions this time which I would like you to answer.¬† This is your entire homework assignment (no OpenLab post!)

Remember, all readings for this course will be found on Perusall.com.¬† You will need to log in to find them! Almost everyone is doing this, but a few people haven’t done any assignments on Perusall– and you need to make sure you know what’s going on over there because that’s at least half of the homework for this class! If you’re confused, please contact me at chall@citytech.cuny.edu and we’ll sort it out.

If you would like, sign up for our Slack channel here: https://join.slack.com/t/citytech-xmy9732/shared_invite/zt-m14dumt3-vMD2SehdY2Ny_ekZQ48PrgThis isn’t required, but is a way for us to have chats (or for you to have chats with each other without me– you can do it without me seeing.) I can also send you reminders about upcoming deadlines and so forth.¬† It’s an app for your computer or phone.¬† I’m learning it too– but I’m told it’s a good way to keep in touch.¬† You can use whichever email you like (it doesn’t have to be Citytech)

Homework for Thursday, Feb 11 (by 8 am)

READ and ANNOTATE : For Thursday, you will read an excerpt from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao¬†about something called a “Fuku.” You can find this reading on our Perusall site.¬† The instructions are in Perusall.¬† Remember to read the footnotes (the small print at the bottom of the page)

WRITE: Write a post of at least 200 words about  a particular passage in this text that you found difficult. Explain specifically where you got caught up and why.   I get it.  This seems like a really strange thing to doРbut there’s a point to it!  The places you have difficulty are where you’re doing your best thinking.  The places you struggle are the places PhD students struggle too.  Difficulties aren’t walls to stop you but obstacles that you can (and will) overcome!

This can be one of the passages you annotated (it probably will be) and you can write about whatever crosses your mind.  You do not have to figure it out!  But if one of your peers responded to your question, you can write about that.

Category: Unit One

UPLOAD: Change your Zoom profile picture to… something! Anything!¬† You might use the avatar we created in class, or you might use a picture of your choosing.¬† Whatever it is, get something up there besides just a blank square with your name.¬† Remember this will show up in all your classes!

Homework for Tuesday, Feb 9 (by 8 am)

If you are having trouble signing in to Perusall or Open Lab, talk to me ASAP!!!

  1. Read and Annotate: ‚ÄúHow to Read Like a Writer‚ÄĚ by Mike Bunn: On perusall.com, read ‚ÄúHow to Read Like a Writer.‚ÄĚ (under assignments) please write at least 3-4 annotations (comments) of your own‚ÄĒjust things that stand out to you‚ÄĒthat you agree with, disagree with, are confused by, or would like to do in your own reading or writing. Feel free to also respond to what your peers have written‚ÄĒrespectfully, of course.
  2. Write:  On Open Lab, 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 ‚ÄúYou are already an author.‚ÄĚ He‚Äôs talking to What do you think he means by this? What are some of the things you write already?¬† (Hint: ‚ÄúNothing‚ÄĚ is not an acceptable answer.) Think of all of the ways you already use words in your everyday life.¬† That‚Äôs authorship! How will that existing expertise help you in your college reading and writing career?
    • Was there anything you noticed in Bunn‚Äôs article that you would like to try to do in your own writing? What, in particular? Please be specific!
    • Category: Intro¬†

Homework for Thursday, Feb 4

HW Due by 8 am Thursday (after Tuesday’s class, in preparation for Thursday’s class!)

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, read Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring us to Prayer‚ÄĚ ¬†by Hanif Abdurraqib

Second, write a new post on Open Lab¬† responding to Abdurraqib and the video we watched in class (unlearning my name.)¬† Basically, what I’m asking is that you write about who you are and where you are from– about 300 words.¬†

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 make 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.¬†

See the resources tab for info on how to write a blog post if you are confused about how to post on OpenLab. You will use the category: intro

Third, make sure you have joined this site and Perusall– instructions for both are above!¬† If you have any questions, email me at chall@citytech.cuny.edu or come visit me during my office hours, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays right after this class.¬† I’ll use the same Zoom Link.

In this course (starting next week) all of our course readings will be found on a program called ‚ÄúPerusall.‚ÄĚ To sign up, go to¬†‚Äúgetting started‚Ä̬†and create an account. You will need a link to access our course. The course link is: HALL-TZCYQ



Welcome, Everyone!

Please take some time to explore this OpenLab course site. Use the top menu bar to explore the course information, activities, and help. Scroll through the sidebar to find additional information about the materials shared here. As the course progresses, you will be adding your own work to the student work section. We will be using Zoom for this class– I can’t put the info here, because of Zoom bombers (it’s happened to me and it’s… not pleasant) but if you need the Zoom link, email me at: chall@citytech.cuny.edu

Join this Course

You should all be signed in for this course, but if not–

Login to your OpenLab account and follow these instructions to join this course.

If you’re new to the OpenLab, follow these instructions to create an account and then join the course.

Join Perusall

In this course (starting next week) all of our course readings will be found on a program called “Perusall.” To sign up, go to “getting started” and create an account. You will need a link to access our course. The course link is: HALL-TZCYQ


If you have any questions, reach out via email or in Office Hours. If you need help on the OpenLab, you can consult OpenLab Help or contact the OpenLab Community Team.

Liberal Arts Festival Paragraph

To start, I love the way she entered the scenery. She had her home clothes on, with her hair just being crazy like but it looks good. Then she got her friend in the background and it’s all going as if it was natural as if we were her friends. As she talks on, I become so intrigued to listen to what she has to say. It’s just a vibe to even talk to her I wonder. As she speaks about her poem she brings in this extreme personality. Staceyann Chin surprised me when she cussed with aggression as if she was fighting somebody but in a poem battle. What caught me off guard was when Chin started moving the camera like it was a movie lol. She showed us so much action through her words and her tone. However, I didn’t like how she kept being interrupted and the zoom kept freezing sometimes. It really killed the mood. Although it would’ve been better to be in-person to really feel the vibration from the sound of her voice, it still was an amazing festival.

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