Table of Contents

Wednesday December 21

I was disappointed that NO one came to class for our Writing Celebration.  This has never happened before.  Every semester students come to share their best works and I had even brought cookies to celebrate the end of our semester.  I am disappointed that none of you came.  

I have submitted final course grades to CUNY First.

Students who receive grades of A, B, C, D pass the course and move on to take ENG 1121.  (As I explained in class, some majors will require you to have a C grade or above in ENG 1101.)

Tuesday December 20

I am now reading and grading your Final Writing Portfolios.  Kudos to those of you who met the deadline!  You allow me to meet my deadline.

Here is the Grading Criteria for Final Writing Portfolio

  • Truly and thoughtfully revised at least TWO Assignments
    • (knowing the difference between revising and proofreading)
    • Used teacher comments in revision
  • Revision Intention Paragraph at top of each Assignment
  • Good clear presentation: organized and structured as instructed in the Assignment
  • Carefully proofread with attention to grammar, sentence structure, punctuation.
  • Submitted on time
  • Worked with Writing Tutor

Tomorrow is our last day.  Rememver that your participation in our Writing Celebration is required.  You will be presenting your favorite writing assignment or a favorite reading assignment to the class.  I am looking forward to celebrating all we have accomplished this semester.  

Sunday December 18, 2022

Dear Class:

It’s been a difficult semester. There is no other way to describe it. Some of you have risen to the occasion with dedication and resilience.  I am so proud of you. Some of you have a ways to go. So maybe it takes a little longer. Being a college student requires maturity. If you really want to achieve your goals here at City Tech, with some reflection and modifications, you will get there.  The upcoming spring semester will be a chance for a new beginning 

As a teacher, I too learn from you as students.  Undoubtedly, I will teach ENG 1101 CO again, so I appreciate your feedback on what worked well for you this semester and what needs adjustment for the future. 

As the Final Reflection, you will work in the genre of a letter:  You will write a letter to me (Start with Dear Professor Wu,) reflecting back on the semester as a whole and evaluating our course from your perspective.  This Reflection Letter is absolutely required to receive a Final Grade for the course and is part of the Final Portfolio Grade.  You should feel free to be frank and constructive and compassionate and add any additional comments and insights you may have.  I look forward to reading your letter.

Good luck on all your finals and have a restful holiday! 

Best Wishes,
Prof. Wu

Tomorrow we meet to go over the Final Course Reflection.  Please see the Assignment page to preview the writing Qs.  We will work on this in class as an inclass writing assignment and you will finish up at home in time to submit as the 4th and last item in your Final Writing Portfolio due Monday December 19 by midnight.  

We will discuss the Final Writing Celebration which will be on Wednesday 12/21 — our last day of class.  Every one will participate by choosing a favorite writing you did this semester (or you may choose a favorite reading) and we will each present to the group.  Your participation is required for finishing the course.

Sunday December 11, 2022

You should be working on your revisions for your Final Writing Porfolio and meeting with your Tutors. Remember TWO revisions are required.

We have three classes left and here is our schedule:

Monday December 12 

  • Review again the Final Writing Portfolio
  • Continue to work on your Revisions

Wednesday December 14 is the college’s Reading Day – no class

Monday December 19

  • Review the Final Course Reflection in class. In groups we will pre-write this Reflection.
  • Final Writing Portfolio with Final Course Reflection Due by midnight to Google Drive and Blackboard.

Wednesday December 21

  • Final Writing CELEBRATION!  Participation is required.  Everyone is welcome!  (even if you have not been coming to class recently – everyone may participate.)  This will be a celebration of our writing work together this semester.  It will be upbeat and fun. 

Friday December 9

Some students have NOT submitted the Artist Statement to the Google Drive Unit 3 Folder.  Please do so now.  It is past due now.

Thursday December 8

  1. I have graded the Unit 3 Genre Projects.  Grades are in Blackboard.  Comments are in the Google Drive.  Many of you submitted in formats that were not Word; this created a problem for me.  I could not comment easily and I could not add the Teacher End Note at the bottom of your Google doc as I usually do.  Please please for the final portfolio NO PDF.  You must upload to the Google Drive as a Word document.  The only reason you should be submitting in something other than Word is if you have made a podcast or video (submit as link), or you have created a poster using Canva. 

2. You should now be working on revisions.  You have the option to revise all three major unit assignments:  your Education Narrative, your RAB, or your Genre Project.  You must revise at least TWO assignments.  I suggest that you download from the Google Drive where I have commented and then work on it in MS Word, considering my comments and working with the tutor. 

3. Next week we will review how to assemble the entire Final Writing Portfolio as a single MS Word document with clear labeling and starting each Unit on a new page.  Next week we will also review the Final Course Reflection.

4. I am firm about the requirement to work with the tutors THREE times this semester.  Once for each project.  You cannot pass the class without having done the tutoring requirement.  Ask your tutor to email me to confirm your work.


Tuesday December 6, 2022

Remember that your Genre Project Artist Statement is due tonight in the Google Drive.  I passed out the guiding questions in class on Monday.  If you need them again please go the Unit 3 Assignment sheet.

We will not begin working on the Final Portfolio which is due December 19 Monday.  

Friday December 1, 2022

  1. Kudos to Jemel who did a great job on the Unit 2 RAB project! We looked at his RAB in class on Wednesday.  I hope you all got ideas on what you can do to improve your own RAB. 
  2. The Genre Project Unit 3 is due before class on Monday December 5. Remember that you should be working with the tutors.   Please email me and tell me the name of the tutor you worked with.  So far I have tutoring confirmations for only Jemel and Faustina. 
  3. You will post in TWO places again: Google Drive and Blackboard.  If your project is in MP3 or MP4 format then, submit as a link.
  4. Title your file:  First Name Last Name Genre Project FD#1.     So for example:  Jessica Castro Genre Project FD#1
  5. Finally, we will write the Artist Statement which will be due Tuesday night December 6.  Then we will be done with Unit 3 Genre Project and we will move on to the Final Writing Portfolio.  Here we will be revising our Units 1 and 2 and if possible Unit 3 and assembling everything into our Final Writing Porfolio.  We will be learning what a Portfolio is and how to put it together.  

November 30 Wednesday

If Ruth Bader Ginsberg were a student in our class, here is the example of an outline she could submit for HW 3: 

For example, if I was Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I was planning to write an op-ed piece about advice I have for young women who want to enter the legal profession, I might start by creating the following outline. (Above I would use the Title:  Outline Op-Ed Project — Ruth Bader Ginsberg)

I.  Introduction

  • A. HOOK: Open with a Question
  • B. HISTORY of women in law progress — SHOWING RESEARCH
  1. Struggling Women
  2. Then / Now
  3. Change
  4. Use of statistics and facts as evidence

II.  Personal narrative – education journey – PERSONAL aspect

  • A. My mother encouraged me.
  • B. Important teachers in my educational journey
  1. Prof. Vlad Nabokov
  2. Prof. Gunther

III. ADVICE that helped me further my life and career.

  • A. Advice for marriage and work world from my mother-in-law
  • B. Mentor quote from my father-in-law: “Ruth…no one will think less of you. But if you really want to study law, you will stop worrying and find a way to manage child and school.”

IV Work-Life Balance – A WOMEN’s Issue

  • A.  Having a child actually helped me manage my time.
  • B. The importance of a good partnership, good husband.


  • A.  I love my job.  I have had it for 23 years!
  • B.  Describe the job of a Supreme Court Judge

V. CLOSURE/CONCLUSION: My message is to encourage women in their chosen careers to be the leaders who will bring about future change.  I will end by restating the progress women have made, and I will stress that we must continue to work to create equality for all people in society.

November 27 Sunday

I have posted grades for the RAB in Blackboard.  I have commented in the Google Drive.  

I am still grading the Mentor Text HW 2.  Many people have not done this HW.  This is a problem as we move toward the end of Unit 3.  Remember Unit 3 will be due Monday December 5, a week from now.

Open Lab HW#3 due Tuesday night November 29.

  • TItle:  Outline (Put your chosen genre here) — Your Name
  • Category:  Outline Genre Project
  • Then, comment on two student peers.

Now you will show me your plan for whatever genre you  are writing or creating.

Write an outline o/r upload a px of a story board o/r show me the questions you have created for your interview.  This doesn’t have to be perfect, but you must start by planning.  Show me what you plan to do and describe the parts of your piece.  If you are doing a multi-modal piece with elements of video, visual, audio, graphs, you can also tell me what programs you are thinking to use.  (Look in the Genre Project Resources page.)

Wednesday Nov 23 pre-class

Next, we will study and analyze mentor texts. These are called “mentor” because they are intended to teach.  

HW#2 Due November Saturday November 26 midnight.

  • Title: Mentor Text Analysis —YOUR NAME
  • Category: Mentor Text
  • Comment on 2 student peers.  

Now that you have written a proposal and chosen a genre to work in, you will analyze one of the mentor texts in the Unit 3 Assignment sheet.  Doing this will give you an idea how to put your project together.  As you study your mentor text, think about how much you are learning from this text.  That is what your goal is in your Genre Project.  You will teach something to your audience!

  • GO to the Unit Three Assignment
  • LOOK at the mentor texts for your chosen genre (letter, op-ed, tedtalk/speech, news article, photo essay, podcast, video essay, video interview) you have chosen.
  • Choose ONE mentor text in the list I provided and read/view/listen to it. (For example, if you are choosing to write an Op-Ed, scroll down to the option to write an op-ed and choose one of the op-ed mentor texts.  Read it.)
  • Then analyze its structure (NOT content). Use the questions below for your analysis.
  • WRITE one paragraph.

*(If you have chosen a genre that I have okayed, then you will supply and show me a mentor text and use the same questions below.)

Use these Questions to write your Mentor Text Analysis.

  • How does the text HOOK the audience? INTRO.
  • Where does the text incorporate research? How does it use research? Does it quote outside sources, use statistics, use experts, refer to history?
  • How does the text incorporate storytelling (or narrative)?
  • What do you notice about the text visually (imagery, color, layout)?
  • If the text has audio, what do you notice about the text auditorily (music, background sounds, voice-over)?
  • Length: How long is the text – words, pages, minutes?
  • Who is the audience? What makes you think this? (Consider language, music, visuals, content.)
  • How does the text come to an end? CLOSURE.
  • What do you think the message is?
  • What aspects will you emulate (look up the word) in your project? How will you do this?
  • What aspects will you avoid in your project? How will you do this?

Next week we will create support groups of people who are working in the same genre: video, podcast, graphics, news article, op-ed, letter etc.

Here is  Prof. Blain’s presentation on Multi-Modal Genres with how-to information on video essays, photo essays, and podcasts:



Tuesday Morning Nov 22

  1. Yesterday we began Unit 3:  The Genre Project.  Please study the Unit 3 Assignment, by reading and clicking on the links in the assignment.  PRINTOUT and bring to class.  ALSO explore the links on the Genre Project Resources page where you can get ideas from previous student projects.

HW #1 DUE tonight Tuesday Nov 22 by midnight:  Genre Project Proposal.  This proposal should  consist of: 

    • Tell me what your Research Question is.
    • Your Message: Give a 2-sentence statement of what you want to teach your audience.  This should come out of your Unit 2 Research but should not be a summary of your research.  Remember you already did that in Unit 2.
    • Audience: What is the audience you are trying to reach. Get as specific as you can here. You cannot say everyone is your audience!
    • Genre: What genre will you use to create your message and why do you choose this genre?
    • Your plan — how do you intend to get started?
    • Your worries: Is there anything you are worried about.  What are your concerns about finishing this project?
    • Can you think of a possible title for your project?
REMINDER:  You MUST comment on TWO student peer proposals.  This has been a homework requirement all semester long but few of you have done this.  Again this will negatively impact your Final Course Participation Grade.


  •  Please email me to tell me which tutor you worked with on the RAB.  If I do not hear from you by today, I will mark that you have NOT worked with the tutors, and you have NOT met this REQUIREMENT.  ALSO, a few of you have NOT submitted to the TWO places Blackboard AND Google Drive.  If you do not upload to the correct TWO places, your RAB has NOT been turned in!  I cannot grade it.  
  • In addition, many of you turned in RAB assignments without following the WRITING PROCESS.  This was a REQUIREMENT.   You cannot receive a passing grade for the RAB if you did not do the Open Lab HWs on time and get the necessary feedback.  DO YOUR HW ON TIME — should be your take away.
  • Many of you still coming to class late.  This is part of the Participation Grade which is 30% of your final grade.  Your final grade is severely and negatively impacted.  




Monday Nov 21 pre-class

  1. Many of you have NOT submitted the RAB to the two places:  Blackboard and Google Drive.  If your paper is not submitted correctly it is LATE.  Please fix this NOW ASAP TODAY!

2.  I have a tutoring confirmation for Faustina ONLY.   AGAIN the tutoring was a REQUIREMENT for the RAB — as was following the WRITING PROCESS as described in the RAB Checklist.  Your RAB grade will reflect this non-fulfillment of these requirements.   Remember also that you must turn in a PASSING assignment for each of the 3 major unit assignments.  You cannot the class pass otherwise. 

3. I will now begin to grade and comment on your submitted RABs.

4. We move on to Unit 3.  Please printout the Unit 3 Genre Multi-Media Project Assignment.  Unit 3 will be due in TWO WEEKS: December 5.

Saturday Nov 19

Unit Two RAB is due tomorrow Sunday November 20 by midnight.  THIS IS A FIRM DEADLINE. 

Remember you must submit your final draft to TWO places:

  1. Google Drive:  Title your Word Doc/file: Jessica Castro FD #1    NO PDFiles
  2. Blackboard:  Submit on the Content page

Remember also that you are REQUIRED to work with the Writing Tutors on the RAB.  Pls tell your tutor to email me.  So far I have tutoring confirmation for Faustina ONLY. 

See the uploaded examples of RAB in the GDrive Unit Two folder. 

I copy here the checklist which is on the bottom of the  Unit Two RAB Assignment:  

RAB Review Checklist

Your assignment should include the following:

Yes/No? Parts/components What to include?
  Your research question/topic Place your research question on top of your document
  Introduction You need a general introduction for the entire document. Introduce your question, explain why this question intrigues you, and say what you expect to find in your research (approx. 250 words).



Part 1 MLA citation

MLA citations for three sources (listed separately, with summary, rhetorical analysis.response,and quotations following each citation)
  Part 2 Summary For each source, write a brief summary stating the main point of the text.
  Part 3A Reflection Write about your opinion your thoughts on the source.
  Part 3B Rhetorical analysis After the summary, write a brief analysis of the author’s writing style: for example, what is the tone and choice of genre? You should also look at the purpose along with the author’s credentials (address why you think the author is credible).
  Part 4 Important quotes Include at least 3 important quotes from each source

Write a conclusion for the entire document.

What did you learn about your topic? How did your thinking change? Why is the research you found important? Which community do you think would benefit from your research? Why and how would this community benefit from this information? (around 250 words)

  Note: Each of these three sources will need to be a different genre. For example, you can’t have three magazine articles or three YouTube videos. Examples of genres and media you might include are: newspaper articles, TED Talks, podcasts, personal essays, documentaries, magazine articles, scholarly articles, museum websites, interviews, video, songs, etc.


RAB Document — What you’ll be graded on:

  • Content: Is it readable and informative? Does it teach us about the topic? Did you write a GOOD SUMMARY:  If you wrote a good summary, there should be no reason for me to actually read the actual source; your summary should tell me everything I need to know!  Did you write a GOOD REFLECTION?  Is your reflection thoughtful and insightful?  Can I see your own original thinking on what you learned from your source?
  • Research: Did you dig deep? Were you open to being surprised and contradicted? Did you look further than the first three hits on Google?
  • Genre: Remember that your three sources must be different genres. And you must have a personal interview.
  • Presentation: The RAB is a huge document.  Good presentation is important.  Basically, can someone who is not you make sense of this visually? Did you use clear labels and subheads for each part (or make other formatting choices) to help a reader make sense of your document?
  • Citation: If you quote something in your introduction or conclusion that’s from one or more of your sources, be sure to cite it.
  • Grammar, sentence structure, punctuation.
  • The Writing Process:  Did you follow the guided steps?  Did you post the HWs on time?  Did you revise along the way using teacher comments?  


Wednesday November 16 pre-class

  1. I have commented on those who did HW 6 on time.  Reminder: If late HW receives no credit and no teacher feedback/comments.  Also reminder that part of your HW is to comment on 2 student peers for each HW.   This is part of your participation grade for this class.  

2. Today we will look at examples of Source 3, your audio/visual/creative/MULTI-MEDIA source.

3. We are going to finish Unit 2 RAB this week.  That means three source entries need to be finished by this weekend, and the entire RAB (with 3 source entries and a conclusion, and of course the introduction) will be due on Sunday November 20 by 6pm.  Uploaded to the GDrive and to Blackboard.  This is a firm due date, this time, no exceptions.  WE MUST KEEP TO A REASONABLE SCHEDULE IN ORDER TO FINISH ALL THREE UNITS and THE FINAL PORTFOLIO.   The end of the semester is less than a month away.  We have no time to waste.

4. Remember that you must make a writing tutor visit for this Unit Two project. Work with tutors on summary writing!  THREE TUTORING VISITS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS CLASS.  I am waiting to get tutoring confirmations.  Some of you canceled on the Writing Tutors and that is a huge problem which the Writing Center reported to me.   

On Monday we must move on to Unit 3, Genre Awareness project. 

Monday November 14 post-class

Kudos to Jemel and Joshua for posting the entire Source Entry 1 for the news source!   

Now we move on to Source 2, an opinion editorial article

HW#6 Due before class on Wednesday, post to the Open Lab RAB Source Entry 2, the citation and the summary. 

  • Title: RAB Source Entry 2 Citation and Summary – Your Name
  • Category: RAB Source Entry 2 Citation and Summary
  • Comment on two student peers
  • See my example on Student Works page: RAB Source Entry 2 Citation and Summary – Lisa

Sunday Nov 13

  1. I extended the deadline for HW#5 and I am still waiting for your entire Source Entry 1 (all four parts) which was due at 6pm today. 

2. You were required to work with a Writing Tutor, and I am awaiting confirmation that you followed through.

3. Tomorrow, printout your Source Entry 1 for your News Article and bring this hard copy to class.  It should be the same as what you posted for HW#5.

4. ALSO bring to class a print-out of Source #2, an Op-Ed article.

Wednesday Nov 9 post-class

  1. I am posting again here the link for tomorrow Thursday’s 1:00 PM Extra Credit Event:  Many Years After: City Tech’s Asian American Stories
Time: Nov 10, 2022 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 898 4662 2104
Passcode: 992301
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,89846622104#,,,,*992301# US (New York)
+16469313860,,89846622104#,,,,*992301# US

2. Extension of HW 5 DUE date:  Post by Sunday 6pm November 13:  COMPLETE RAB Source Entry 1 (news article).

  • Title:  RAB Source Entry 1 – Your Name
  • Category:  RAB Source Entry 1
  • Comment on 2 student peers
  • See my example post RAB Source Entry 1 – Lisa
  • ALSO YOU WILL BRING A PRINTED OUT VERSION OF YOUR HW 5 RAB SOURCE ENTRY 1 to class on Monday.  This should be a word document printed out.  Look in Student Works to see my example: RAB Source Entry 1 — Lisa
IN ORDER FOR ME TO ACCEPT THIS LATE HW 5, YOU MUST WORK WITH A WRITING TUTOR.  Tell your tutor to email me to confirm that you have worked on the HW 5 Complete RAB Source Entry 1 together.

3. I suggest that you go ahead and post the LATE HWs 1,2,3,4 so that you understand the -step-by-step writing process.  We are building this large RAB Unit Two assignment in a step-by-step fashion.  I did comment on the LATE HWs, so please read my comments and use it to revise your RAB work NOW.

4. For Monday, bring a printed out copy of Source 2, the op-ed article you have chosen for your Research Question.

Wednesday Nov 10 pre-class

I see that you are posting HWs that are late.  At least you are trying.  That’s good.  HOWEVER you must, absolutely must use the correct Title and Category.  We are on HW 5 the complete RAB Source Entry1 , so if you are posting old HWs they are coming in to the Student Works page all jumbled together with all different HWs from all different students.  This is too confusing for me.  YOU MUST USE THE CORRECT TITLE AND CATEGORY, or I do not know what HW you are trying to turn in.

  • Again, late HWs will be penalized and receive low grades. 
  • In addition, I do not comment on Late HWs and that is a disadvantage because you will not have my comments in order to revise. 
  • Without my comments on your un-timely HWs, you may not be doing the RAB correctly.  I strongly urge you to work with the tutors to help you.  
  • The solution is to do the HWs on time, and use my comments to revise as we go along.  The entire RAB will be due before you realize it.

We are now moving to Step 3 RAB Source Entry2 on your chosen op-ed article.  

Scroll down to what you must print out for class today.  

Monday November 7 post-class

Here is the zoom link for Thursday’s presentation: Many Years After: City Tech’s Asian American Stories.  Extra credit for attending.  This is a preview of what is possible for Unit 3.
Time: Nov 10, 2022 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 898 4662 2104
Passcode: 992301
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,89846622104#,,,,*992301# US (New York)
+16469313860,,89846622104#,,,,*992301# US
  1. Remember to create your RAB as a MS Word document and keep on your computer and build your RAB there.  Follow the Steps in the RAB Writing Process that I am guiding you.  For Open Lab HWs, copy and paste from your Word doc.  Do not create your RAB in the Open Lab.

2. HW #5 Due tomorrow night, Tuesday November 8 by midnight:  COMPLETE RAB Source Entry 1 (news article).

  • Title:  RAB Source Entry 1 – Your Name
  • Category:  RAB Source Entry 1
  • Comment on 2 student peers
  • See my example post RAB Source Entry 1 — Lisa

3. On Wednesday, bring to class your printed out Source 2 which should be an Opinion Editorial article from the New York Times.   We will be on Step 3: creating your second RAB Source Entry. 

4.  We will consider what is the different between these two genres: News Article and Opinion Editorial Article?

5.  Also printout and bring to class an Op-Ed Article by Andrew Yang: AYang op ed Wash Post April 1 (article alone).  As an example, we will study this op-ed that I used in my Research Question and work on all Four Parts:  Citation and Summary, then Reflection and Quotables.    Then  you will do the same for your Source 2 Op-Ed Article.

6.  Late HWs are penalized and receive low grades. 

Sunday November 6, 2022

Tomorrow we will finish Source Entry 1 for your News Article.  You should have already finished

  • Part 1 MLA Citation
  • Part 2 Summary

Now we will work on writing

  • Part 3 Reflection and Genre Analysis
  • Part 4 Notable Quotables

I copy here from the RAB Assignment sheet which you should be studying.  Tomorrow Monday, we will work on:

Part 3: Reflection and Rhetorical/Genre Analysis

  1. In the third part of your entry, you will write a reflection. This part is perhaps the most important part, so don’t skimp here! This is where you respond to the text you’ve read:
  • Do you agree or disagree with the information that the author presents? Why or why not? Be specific!
  • Find a significant quote.
  • What questions do you have about what the author is saying? What don’t you understand?
  • What other information do you need to look up to better understand this topic?
  • If you could say something to this author, what would you say?
  • What does this document tell you about your research question?
  1. Also consider rhetorical factors here like the genre, writing style, purpose, and author’s credentials:
  • Describe the author’s writing style?
  • What is the author’s intended audience and purpose (reason for writing)?
  • What is the genre? Is the genre effective? Does the choice of genre make sense for what the author wants to accomplish?
  • How do you know this is a credible author and document?

Part 3 will be 1-2 paragraphs.

Part 4: Notable Quotables

Quotations: Make a note of at least two direct quotes from each source that you feel really exemplifies the document’s claims or interpretations or that you feel is important or useful in some way. Be sure to put the quote in quotation marks and note the page number.

“Put the quoted words here” (Smith 45).

For Monday, again — bring your printed out and annotated News Article.  Print out the following from the Research Project Resources page:

Then we will be finished and you will post the ENTIRE Source Entry 1 for your News Article on the Open Lab as HW 5.

Looking ahead to Wednesday, you will bring your Source #2 which will be an Opinion Editorial (op-ed, and a different genre from the News Article) to class and we will begin work on the Source Entry #2.

Thursday November 3

  1. We are now moving on to Step 2 writing the first RAB Source Entry. 

2. On Wednesday, we practiced writing a summary for “Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked:  Chinese Americans Fear for their Safety” which was my Source 1.  We used three handouts: 

  • Graphic Organizer for Summary
  • How to Write a Summary 
  • LWu RAB Source Entry for NYT news article “Spit On” with Graphic Organizer
  • You can find these on the Research Project Resources page and print them out!

3. HW #4 Due Saturday Nov 5 by midnight. 

  • Title: RAB Source Entry #1 (Citation and Summary) — Your Name
  • Category:  RAB Source Entry #1 (Citation and Summary)
  • Comment on two student peers 

READ READ READ your Source 1 (news article) carefully so that you can write a good summary.  It takes a good 3 times to understand the article well enough to write a good summary.

Use the RAB Source Entry 1 INSTRUCTIONS (citation and summary).

How do I write an entry?

Part 1: MLA Citation

The first part of your entry will be the MLA style bibliographic citation for your source. The citation gives the publication information, author, date, title, and so forth. Use the citation machine in the Research Project Resources page. Here is one example of a citation:

Tavernise, Sabrina, and Richard A. Oppel.  “Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked:  Chinese-Americans Fear for Their Safety.” The New York Times 23 Mar 2020. The New York Times. Web. 29 Mar 2020.

Part 2: Summary

For the second part of your entry (right beneath the citation), you will write a summary. This will be useful for remembering what you read. The summary should convey what the author states in the article and not your opinions. Write what you think the main point is, but also what you think the most important points are (these aren’t always the same.) This is also a good time to make note of what data, facts, and evidence the author uses to support his/her claims, and how s/he uses this evidence to arrive at conclusions.

Part 2 Summary will be approximately a paragraph long.
  • Remember to use GRAPHIC ORGANIZER and the points you found as Main Idea (MI) and Suporting Details (SD) into your summary!
  • Remember the 3 things that go in the first sentence of your Summary: Author Title MI
  • See my example post in the Student Works page: RAB Source Entry 1 (citation and summary) — Lisa

Wednesday November 2

I am announcing an extra credit opportunity.  Next week on Thursday November 10 at 1PM, our English Department will have a showing of the short film, “City Tech’s Asian American Stories.”  Your teacher, ME, is one of the featured voices in the film.

Tuesday November 1, 2022

Sorry I had to miss Monday’s class.

You should have revised your RAB Proposal.  AND — You should have posted a picture of your annotated page for Source 1 (News Article).  This concludes STEP ONE for the RAB.

Next we will work on MLA Citation and Writing a Summary for Source 1 which is your News Article.  Essay-2-RAB-Source-Entry-1-INSTRUCTIONS

Bring your printed out and annotated News Article (your Source #1) to class tomorrow.

Here is HW #3 using your News Article (your Source #1 for your RAB):

Use the citation machine.  Find it on the Research Project Resources page; scroll down to MLA source – citation machine.  Plug in your article information and do your best to get the MLA Citation.  Post this citation to Open Lab as HW#3. 

  • Title: RAB Source #1 Citation – Your Name.  
  • Category: RAB Source #1 Citation
  • Comment on two student peers.
  • DUE 11/1 tonight at midnight. 

I have posted examples of HW 1 RAB Proposal and HW 2 Annotated Page Picture and now I have posted HW 3 RAB Citation for Source 1.   

The RAB Unit 2 Project is a very difficult project with many parts.  I will lead you step by step, but if you fall behind, you will have only yourself to blame!

Friday October 28, 2022

Midterm grades are posted in Blackboard.  Here are the factors used to determine your grade:

  • Attendance (including being on time, not late)
  • Education Narrative Grade
    • Revision of RD into FD
    • RD and FD turned in on time
    • PLEASE READ THE TEACHER END NOTE in your Google Doc.  Use this to revise and move your essay forward!
  • HW Grades (There were 8 HWs in Unit One and 1 HW in Unit Two so far.)
  • Tutoring
  • Quizzes
  • Peer Review Commenting 
  • Class Discussion Participation

There’s still time to turn this around, but you need to make a BIG EFFORT and TAKE ACTION NOW.  What will you do differently now? 

Kudos to Faustina, who has done well at midterm!  Maybe in our next class, she can share the strategies she has implemented for being successful in this class.  

For Monday,

  1. Revise your RAB Proposal.  Do it now because this proposal will become your introduction to your RAB.  This will keep you up to date as we move through the WRITING PROCESS for the RAB.  Use the comments I gave you and the source leads I gave you on your HW1 Open Lab post.  If you turned in on time, I have given you a lot of feedback.  Remember also to comment on TWO student posts!

2. Do research to find that best news article that addresses your RQ (Research Question).   Remember that your first source will be in the genre of news or factual report.  Printout, read and annotate your article.  Look up new words.  Bring your chosen news article to class.  Remember you will use reliable journalism including The New York Times (free subscription with your CUNY email – we signed up at the beginning of semester). The Washington Post, The Economist, The Guardian. 

3. For HW 2, You will post a picture of your annotated page of news article. This HW2 will be due Sunday October 31 by 6pm.  Use the Title: Annotated Page Source 1 — Your Name — and Category:  Annotated Source 1 Picture

Finally the computer lab we visited on Wednesday in the Atrium Learning Center Ground floor is open 9-5:00 pm M-Friday.  You all discovered that it was a good place to work, so use it!

Wednesday October 26 pre-class

Remember we have a quiz on the Unit Two RAB Assignment Sheet today at the beginning of class.  If you are late, you cannot make this up – DO NOT BE LATE!

  • You should have printed out and studied the UNIT TWO RAB assignment.
  • You should have fine-tuned and focused your RQ to be as specific as possible.

Kudos to everyone who posted HW 1 RAB Proposal:  Joshua, Diogo, Faustina, Abdullah, Ali, Ike, Jemel — Yayy!  Getting Started — as described in the Assignment — is the thing!  Congrats for keep up.   I have given grades (1-4: 4 is best and 1 or 2 means you have a lot of revising to do) and commented in Open Lab and also given a few NYT research source leads.  Some of you need to revise that proposal.  Remember that it will go into your Final Project as the introduction, so do it now!

OK we are moving on to getting a first source.  Please do not fall behind. 


Midterm grades will be posted in the Blackboard tomorrow! 

It’s time to really turn your performance around or to re-evaluate how committed you are to this class.

Monday October 24

All of you should have gotten a good jumpstart on the Unit Two Reflective Annotated Bibliography (RAB) assignment today in our Library Research class.  Thanks to Professor Jones!

This Unit Two RAB Assignment has many parts and is a difficult assignment.  In order to understand it, you must PRINT OUT and study the Unit Two RAB Assignment carefully.

Wednesday we will have a QUIZ on the Unit Two Assignment.  Repeat:  Be sure you have printed it out, read it and studied it carefully.  Bring it to class! 

The Proposal Paragraph is due TONIGHT BY MIDNIGHT.  This is already an extension, so you must post by TONIGHT.  If you already posted, then you may choose to edit / refine / or change your Research Question (RQ) and Proposal. 


For Unit 2 Research Project you will choose one (ONLY ONE) aspect of life or society and examine how the corona virus pandemic has impacted and changed that aspect of life.  In the Assignment, I make some suggestions, but you should come up with a question you are REALLY interested in researching because you will do a lot of independent reading on this topic.

Look at the example post by Student Lisa in the Student Works RAB Proposal Paragraph.  

Step One:  Write a proposal paragraph – This paragraph is your proposal which will later become your RAB introduction.  Address the following questions:

  • What is the topic that interests you? Why does it interest you personally?
  • What do you already know about it?
  • What do you want to explore further and find out?

YOU MUST Use this example paragraph starter as a template for your RAB Proposal:

My research question is: How has the CV pandemic impacted and changed ______? This topic interests me because ___. (good solid explanation, should be personal – 3 more sentences)  I already know that ______.  (3 more sentences). Some points that I plan to explore and find out more about are _________ (3 points).

THEN PUT LINK HERE (one article that you found as possible source). FOCUS ON FINDING NYTimes and WSJ (Wall Street Journal) Sources.  You have free CUNY subscriptions to both of these.  

NOTICE:  Your proposal should explain a personal reasoning and connection to your RQ. Why are YOU personally interested in this RQ?  Your proposal is just that a proposal, therefore it is written BEFORE you do the research!  Your proposal should not have researching-sounding-speak.  Instead show your passion and curiosity.

Post to the Open Lab  HW #1 Your RAB Proposal Paragraph.  Use the Title: RAB Proposal Paragraph – Your Name.  Use the Category: RAB Proposal Paragraph. 

  1. You are not bound to your topic now.  You are just brainstorming and planning.
  2. Then let’s help and learn from each other: Comment on two of your classmate’s proposal paragraph.  (Go to Student Work Open Lab to find Proposal).
  3. Find at least one article (or more) that looks good for your research question and add the link at the bottom of your post.
  1. We will work on refining our RQ; research question This is very important.   I urge students to meet one-to-one with the Research Librarians to work on refining your RQ.  Remember the librarians told you how to do this!

Midterm grades coming on Thursday in the Blackboard.

Sunday October 23

NEWSFLASH:  Tomorrow Monday, we will meet at 11:25 infront of the library on the fourth floor.  Library Professor Jones will work with us to get started on the Research Project. 

Good job for those who did the Proposal paragraph due earlier today.   I have given comments in Open Lab.  REMEMBER YOU STILL HAVE TO READ AND COMMENT ON TWO STUDENT POSTS — or you will not get full credit.  Those who did not turn it in are behind because we are moving on.

Wednesday October 19

We in Unit TWO now!  Study the Assignment sheet which you should have printed out. Read this New York Times article:  “One Year In A Pandemic”  (NYTimes free CUNY student subscription info on 10/13 scroll down)

HW #1:  RAB Proposal Paragraph.

  • DUE Sunday 10/23 by 12noon. 
  • Use the title RAB Proposal — Your Name
  • Use the category RAB Proposal Paragraph
  • Comment on TWO student peer posts.  THIS IS REQUIRED
  • I will comment on those who turn it in on time AND those who comment on two peer posts.  Otherwise — NO COMMENTS = NO HELP!
  • See example post by Student Lisa in the Student Works page Unit Two.

Write a paragraph – This paragraph is your proposal which will later become your RAB introduction.  Address the following questions:

  • What is the topic that interests you? Why does it interest you?
  • What do you already know about it?
  • What do you want to explore further and find out?

Example paragraph starter:

My research question is: How has the CV pandemic impacted and changed ______? This topic interests me because ___. (good solid explanation – 3 more sentences – give a personal connection to your topic – Why are YOU personally interested in this topic?)  I already know that ______.  (3 more sentences). Some points that I plan to explore and find out more about are _________ (3 points).

PUT LINK HERE (article that you found as possible source).

  1. POST your paragraph to OPEN LAB for teacher comments with feedback and suggestions about your proposal. You are not bound to your topic now.  You are just brainstorming and planning.
  2. Then let’s help and learn from each other: Comment on two of your classmate’s proprosal paragraph.  (Go to Student Work Open Lab to find Proposal).
  3. Find at least one New York Times article that looks good for your research question and add the link at the bottom of your post.

Monday October 17

  1. To prepare for Unit TWO, Read this New York Times article:  “One Year In A Pandemic”  (NYTimes free CUNY student subscription info on 10/13 scroll down)
  2.  PRINTOUT Unit Two RAB Assignment and bring to class.  Wednesday we will meet in NAMM 922 computer lab.  Please be on time.  Professor Berger, a research library professor will be presenting on the Unit Two Reflective Annotated Bibliography RAB Assignment.  Many of you have been absent or late.  This class is crucial to understanding the Unit Two Assignment.  Do not be late or absent.
  3. We have now finished Unit One.  Those who did not complete all 8 HW assignments, those HWs are now past due and there is no making up those lost HW points.  Please take that lesson forward to Unit TWO and do not fall behind.  As you can see, there is a Writing Process; you must do each step on time in order to complete the entire project.  

Sunday October 16, 2022

  1. I have graded the Education Narrative Unit One Assignment. You should have read the Announcements information carefully.  For those who submitted correctly to both Google Drive (GDrive) and Blackboard, you will find:
  • The comments in your Final Draft GDrive document.
  • The grade in Blackboard.

Review the Education Narrative Peer Review Checklist which details the required elements of this assignment.   

Remember that you may consider these grades as temporary.  You have the opportunity now to revise it for the Final Writing Portfolio. 

If your essay was not in the Final Draft folder and not in Blackboard; you are failing.  If you did not read and answer the email I sent last week asking why your paper was not submitted, then you are getting a zero for this first major assignment and you are failing.  AND you have NO option to revise for the Final Portfolio.  Remember that all Major Assignments must be turned in on time, as stated on the syllabus.

  1. Writing Workshop: For tomorrow’s class, you must download your Final Draft (FD) from the GDrive with my comments and with my teacher end note.  Download into a Word File and print it out and bring to class.  We will work on starting the revisions.
  3. We are also beginning Unit Two, a research project called the Reflective Annotated Bibliography or RAB. Print out the Unit Two Reflective Annotated Bibliography Assignment from the Assignment page.  Bring to class.  Scroll down to read details of RAB Assignment below in previous Announcement of Thursday October 13. 

This is the hardest assignment of all of our three major assignments.  I will be guiding you through the WRITING PROCESS for this difficult research project.  DO NOT FALL BEHIND.  It will be impossible to catch up. 

Thursday October 13

  1.  I was really proud of everyone in our class discussion of the Obama reading.  You guys can really do good work when you put your mind to it!  🙂  🙂

2. I gave an extension to Wednesday night, so that all of you could get in your HW#8 on Obama and you could use your classwork to jumpstart this HW.  You should also comment on two student peer HWs in order to get full HW credit.  Not many have done HW#8.  I am disappointed.  🙁   🙁  Continuing to be late with HWs and even to ignore the assignments is going to hurt you.  Midterm grades are coming, and these grades will come as a SHOCK.  MANY of you are already in the quicksand with no way out.   

3. I am still waiting for a few students to submit the Final Draft to the GDrive and to Blackboard (remember you were instructed to submit to TWO places).  I do not accept late Major Assignments, so you must email me to explain.

4. We will begin Unit TWO next week. 

FOR Monday,  Printout the Unit Two Assignment:  Reflective Annotated Bibliography (RAB) and bring to class.   This Assignment is a research project. It is the most difficult assignment of our three major assignments.  I advise you to be up to date and keep up with all Unit TWO HWs.  THere is absolutely NO WAY you will be able to catch up if you fall behind.  Every semester, many students end up failing because they could fell behind in the Writing Process for The Unit TWO research project.  

You will need to have your New York Times subscription up and running for the research project, so if you didn’t register at the beginning of the term, do so now:

IMPORTANT:  On Wednesday next week, 10/19, we will have a zoom presentation by Library Professor Berger.  She will introduce the Research Project.  DO NOT MISS THIS CLASS!   If you do, you will be in the river with no lifejacket.  I have reserved a computer room for Wednesday’s Library Research Class.  We will meet in Namm 922 Computer Lab.  DO NOT BE LATE!  

5. I am still grading the Education Narratives.  I plan to be finished this weekend.  For Monday, you should download your Google Drive Final Draft with my comments and Teacher End Note to your computer’s Word file.  AND PRINT IT OUT — BRING IT TO CLASS! We will devote some time on Monday to begin the revision of the Education Narrative.  If you wish to work on your computer, than by all means bring it to class.  

Tuesday October 11, 2022

For Wednesday’s class read Obama’s chapter four from Dreams from My Father:  Obama, Chapter Four (also posted on readings page.   We can consider Chapter Four Obama’s Education Narrative.  Complete HW#8 on Open Lab (instructions below in Oct 10 and Due before Wed’s class), and be prepared to discuss.  This will prepare you for a reading quiz on Obama!   If you can’t complete all of HW#8 before class, at least take good notes on all the five scenes mentioned (and complete HW by Wednesday night). 

For those who submitted your Final Draft #1 on time, I am still making comments on the copy you submitted to Google Drive (GDrive).  Wonderful work!  I’m so proud of you.  I offer bubble comments and an end letter, just as you should have done for peer review.  At this point, don’t make any more changes to your final draft.  You’ll have the occasion to revise again for your Final Portfolio at the end of the semester. (You will do this by downloading the Final Draft with my feedback and working on your own Word File – Please do not work in the GDrive.) Some of you may want to revise sooner than that while the narrative is still fresh on your mind.  In either case, I ask you to meet with me to review my comments.

I’ll post grades on Blackboard soon.

To everyone:  after submitting your Final Draft #1, be sure you uploaded the very same document or file, clearly labeled (JCastro FD1, for example), to Blackboard (as a Word document, No PDFs) and to the Unit One Final Draft folder on Google Drive (no PDFs).  I make comments on your Google Document, but I enter the grade via Blackboard.  That means, you must submit to those two places.

Haven’t submitted your Final Draft #1 yet?  Do so now.  Then email me and let me know what’s going on with you. 

Haven’t submitted your Rough Draft #1 either? These are two major required assignments, and you need to make some hard decisions about the course. 

You need to ask yourself:  “Do I have the necessary time to put into this class?” 

Monday October 10

We will continue to study what makes a good Education Narrative.  Now that you have done a final draft of your own story, you should be alert to elements that could make your draft better.  Remember you will revise it one more time and turn in your Education Narrative in the end all overall Final Portfolio for this class. 

Read and annotate carefully Barack Obama’s Chapter 4, Dreams from My Father.  PRINT IT OUT!   Obama, Chapter Four

Let’s RLW (What does that mean?  You should know by now!) Obama is very good at writing scenes.  Study the way he creates theatre of the mind for the reader.  He takes his reader on his journey; he is the hero learning about himself, about who he is.  In Chapter 4 he shows us his high school years with friends and transformative events with his peer group. We could call this chapter Obama’s Education Narrative.

As you read, take note and clarify for yourself:

  • Ray is ___ (what race?).
  • Jeff and Scott (basketball friends) are ____.
  • Obama’s grandparents are___.
  • Frank is ____.                       In these scenes, race matters.

Notice how Obama writes about the TWO different worlds he navigates between.  What are these two worlds?

Open Lab HW #8.  Write three paragraphs. 
  • Use the title: Reading Response Obama — YOUR NAME 
  • Use the category: Reading Response Obama. 
  • DUE Tuesday 10/11 by midnight (that’s tomorrow.)
  • As usual, also Post Comments to TWO of your peers in the Open Lab.   

Pay attention to the following scenes.

  • The opening scene with high school friend Ray (pages 72-73)
  • Obama’s mental note of the “ledger of slights” he experiences daily (80-81)
  • Party at Ray’s (starts bottom of page 83-85)
  • Connection to Malcolm X’s autobiography (86-87)
  • Grandparents’ argument (87-89)
  • Visit to grandfather’s friend Frank (89-91)

Choose ONE of the above scenes.   Then you will write 3 paragraphs for HW #8.

  1. In your own words, summarize the scene you have chosen. Write one paragraph of 5-7 sentences.
  2. Select a significant quotation from the scene. Explain in your own words.  One paragraph 5-7 sentences.
  3. In this scene, what does Obama learn about himself and about the world? One paragraph of 5-7 sentences.

Saturday October 8

Kudos to Joami, Ali, Abdullah, Jason, Faustina for turning in the Final Drafts to the GDrive on time — Good follow through! 

I will now begin to make comments on your Final Draft on Google Drive.  This is a work in progress, so wait a few days before reading them.   I’ll announce when I’ve finished.  At this point, don’t make any changes to your draft.  You’ll have the occasion to revise again for your Final Portfolio at the end of the semester. 

If you were unable to submit to the Blackboard, please do so now.  Remember you must submit your final draft to TWO places:

  1. Google Drive:  Title your Word Doc/file: Jessica Castro, FD #1    NO PDFiles
  2. Blackboard:  Submit on the Content page

I am still waiting for the rest of you to submit.  It was due LAST NIGHT!  Remember if you turn in your Education Narrative (even if it’s not the best version you can write), you will get a grade.  Between now and the end of the term, you will have the option revise it for a better grade in the Final Portofolio.  

However, if you do not submit the Education Narrative as a Rough Draft and you do not submit as a Final Draft by the due dates, you will NOT have this option.  I must remind you that the class policy (it’s on the syllabus) is that the Major Unit Assignments must be turned in ON TIME.   Student who do not submit are then failing because ALL THREE Major Unit Assignments must be completed on time to pass the course. 

If you intend to continue in the course and your paper is late, you must now email me to explain.  If you have decided that being in the class is too much for you at this time in your life, I totally understand.  Sometimes there are forces beyond your control.  However, you should email to let me know that you plan to withdraw.  

Remember that in this class, tutoring is REQUIRED. Here is the tutoring link:  (link also on Student Resources page under tutoring). If you were not able to get an appointment before you turned in the Final Draft, then WORK ON IT ASAP with the tutors.  I have been communicating with the Writing Tutors.  Some of you have not worked with the tutors; they are waiting to work with you!

Our reading for next class (Wed 10/12) is Barack Obama Chapter 4 of Dreams From My Father Obama, Chapter Four  (10 pages). 

Printout, read, annotate.  I will post HW 8 on this reading very soon here on Announcements.  This will be our last  Open Lab HW for Unit One. 

Note that any late Open Lab HWs for Unit 1 need to be posted NOW.  Once we move on to Unit Two, I will not accept any Unit 1 HWs.  Remember also that Late HWs receive no feedback and significantly  lower grades, but by completing any outstanding HWs you will be marked as completed Unit 1 HWs.

Monday October 3 post-class

  1. NO classes this Tuesday and Wednesday 10/4 and 10/5. NO classes Monday 10/10. Writing Center is open! Our next class is Wednesday 10/12. 

2.  Today, we worked in our Groups* using CHECKLIST Education Narrative Peer Review Sheet.  Each student is required to do two peer reviews for two other group members. Complete two peer reviews on two student drafts by tonight. It’s required!

      • Five meaningful bubble comments
      • An end letter of one fully developed paragraph (7-9 sentences)

See Peer Review Checklist for ideas on how to comment. If you were not able to complete two Peer Reviews in class, you will do it in the Google Drive (following instructions at the top of the Peer Review Checklist). 

3. Between now and Friday (10/7)’s due date for Final Draft #1, you have the opportunity to move your Rough Draft forward by leaps and bounds. 

  • Study the CHECKLIST Education Narrative Peer Review Sheet to revise your RD.  
  • By tonight you should have two student peer reviews of your RD #1 (Rough Draft). 
  • Download the RD Google Drive document back to MS Word and work on your revision in Word (Do NOT revise in the Google Drive). 
  • Leave the RD in its original version (as it is now) on the Google Drive.   
  • On Friday, you will upload a NEW REVISED VERSION, your Final Draft (FD), to the Google Drive in the Final Draft Folder. 
  • I should be able to look in the Google Drive at your RD and FD to see the difference between the two and the revision work you did to improve.  
  • For the FD, you will add an OUTLINE at the beginning of your essay.  

I am excited and looking forward to reading your revised and improved Education Narrative Final Drafts!

4. Meet with a tutor this week.  It’s required.  City Tech Writing Center You must first register for an account. 

5. No late papers are accepted for any of the Major Unit Assignments. 

On Friday 10/7, you will submit your Final Draft to TWO places:

  1. Google Drive:  Title your Word Doc/file: Jessica Castro, FD #1    NO PDFiles
  2. Blackboard:  Submit on the Content page

Submit your Rough Draft if you have not yet done so. Your peer members are counting on you!  No rough draft? Missing or underdeveloped peer review? Result:  Your grade on your Final Draft #1 is lowered by one full letter grade.

Need help writing dialogue?  Study one of the Student Example Education Narratives or read the first three pages of Barack Obama’s chapter. 

Our reading for next class (Wed 10/12) is Barack Obama Chapter 4 of Dreams From My Father Obama, Chapter Four  (10 pages).

*Group 1: Jason, Joami, Joshua, Rafael
*Group 2: Diogo, Felix, Faustina, Jayden
*Group 3: Abdullah, Ali, Divine, Michael
*Group 4: Jemel, Ike, Yocelin

Sunday October 2

I am still waiting for most of you to turn in the Rough Draft to the Google Drive. 

Tomorrow BRING TWO PRINTED OUT HARD COPIES of your Education Narrative Rough Draft to class. 

Here is the peer review check list which we will work on in class. CHECKLIST Education Narrative Peer Review Sheet.  Remember that you must make a connection to one of the readings.  Here is How to make a connection to the readings.  Both of these work sheets are posted on the Grammar / Writing Skills page.  We will also learn the difference between REVISION and proofreading: Revision vs Proofreading

Remember that I expect you to use the teacher comments I gave you in your Open Lab for the HW 5, 6, or 7 (whichever one you chose) to write your Rough Draft Education Narrative Essay.  I will be looking into the Open Lab as I grade your essays to see that these comments were incorporated into your Rough Draft and your Final Draft.

Final Draft is due Friday October 7.  You MUST work with the Writing Tutor this week on turning your Rough Draft into your Final Draft (due 10/7) If you do not turn in the Rough Draft on time or the Final Draft on time, you are FAILING.  No late papers are accepted for any of the Major Unit Assignments.  

You are REQUIRED to work with the Writing Tutors on turning the Rough Draft into the Final Draft.   Professor Margo Goldstein visited our class last week to explain how to register with the Writing Center (also posted under Student Resources page under Tutoring).  You must do this now, so you can get an appointment THIS WEEK.  

Thursday Sept 29 post-class

  1. Today we studied the Assignment Unit One Education Narrative.  Print it out so you can study the instructions on what to do.

2. Kudos to Jayden who helped with his great editing skills as we reviewed Ike’s and Jemel’s HW posts.  Thanks to Ike and Jemel for volunteering to share their works! We all learn from each other.  We worked on paragraph breaks, finding places to insert dialogue and develop a scene.  We looked at Malcolm X’s scene of the night guards and at Amy Tan’s scene of pretending to be her mother and then going to the NYC stockbroker’s office.  

3. Get those points by commenting meaningfully on 2 Student Posts for each of the HW 5, 6, 7.  Do this by Friday so your classmates can use your comments as they write their Rough Draft.  You will also get ideas for your own writing from reading other people’s work.  Use ARMS (scroll down where ARMS is explained) to make meaningful comments. No one-liners! WE are past that stage.  

4. Rough Draft Due:  Sunday October 3 by 6pm, two full pages, typed, double spaced, 12-point font, Times, one-inch margins.  (Two full pages is minimum.  You can write more).  Note that with a Sunday deadline, I am giving you maximum time; I expect good work!

  • Submit your Rough Draft to Google Drive, to the Unit One /Rough Draft Folder
  • Title your Word Doc/file: Jessica Castro, RD #1    NO PDFiles

Remember to:

  • Develop your ideas with rich details, description, quotes, further explanation.
  • Incorporate at least one relevant reference to one of the education pieces we read for class.
  • Create at least TWO well developed scenes with setting and dialogue
  • THREE required visits with Writing Center tutors. Register and make your appointment NOW.  Scroll down Wed Sept 28 for Writing Center Link.
  • Study the example Education Narrative Essays by Adrian, Amadou, and Fan which I uploaded to the Google Drive.
  • Use the teacher comments I gave you in your Open Lab HWs.  
  • Note: your goal is to show how an event or memory (or set of events/memories) transformed you and shaped you in your educational journey to become the person you are today.

5.  For Monday October 3, bring two printed out hard copies of your Rough Draft to class. 

Wednesday Sept 28

  1. Excellent job done by Jemel’s (Jemel, Yocelin, Rafael) Group for Vocabulary Work on Colin Powell’s My American Journey!  
  2.  THREE HW posts are important and MUST BE DONE BY TONITE Wed 12 midnight
  • HW 5 Mentor Quote
  • HW 6 Between Two Worlds
  • HW 7 Saved (assigned today)

You may use today to update any of these HWs if you wish.  Just change your title to say Mentor Quote — Lisa (updated), then I will know to read and grade this updated HW again.  ALSO Use today to catch up on commenting on TWO student peers for the HW5,6,7. Use ARMS (below) to make meaningful comments.

3. Thx to Prof. Margo Goldstein who visited our class to tell us about Tutoring and the Writing Center.  Register NOW and get an appointment to work on the Education Narrative Assignment.    Here is the link to register for Tutoring:  

From the Writing Center:  Students who make appointments and then do not show up will be barred from making another appointment. 

4. HW 7 Due tonight Wednesday at 12 midnight.

  • Title: Saved – YOUR NAME
  • Category: Saved
  • 2 Complete Paragraphs
  • Comment on 2 student peers. Use the ARMS to make meaningful comments.  See below for ARMS. 

Each of our writers attempts in some way to “save” himself: Malcolm X by improving his vocabulary, competing with his fellow inmates, and reading at all costs deep into the night; Frederick Douglass by learning to read and write; Jose Olivarez was feeling torn between his Mexican and American identities and not fitting in at school.  This changed when he joined the school’s slam poetry club and found his people.  Colin Powell saved himself at college when he joined ROTC. He reveals that he was no star student and that he floundered without direction until he joined the ROTC student group. In the military he found comradery, purpose, and discovered leadership qualities that he didn’t know he had.  The ROTC led him to a successful army career; he become a US general and eventually to the high office of the United States Secretary of State under President Bush. 

Describe a difficult moment in your educational journey.  What experience or activity or school club has saved you and gave meaning and purpose to your school life?  Describe this activity and how you became involved.  What did you like best about this activity? How did this activity change you?  How did this activity effect your academics or change your attitude towards school?  What qualities about yourself did you discover in this process?  What important mentors or friends did you have in that community?  What skills did you learn from that activity that translate to your school performance?


Describe an action you took that saved you during a difficult period in your school life? 

*For some of you, this difficult moment could be your struggle with online learning either in high school or now in college.  Your difficult moment may also be the “loss” of your senior year of high school. How did you attempt to “save” yourself from the isolation and frustration of online learning or from the sadness of a senior year that was so much less than what you expected? What strategies did you use? Do you believe your decision/actions saved you? If so, how? If not, why not? What qualities about yourself did you discover in this process? What new skills and how did you apply these skills to your school life?

5. Go to Assignments page and printout the Assignment: Unit One Education Narrative Essay. 

6. Bring flash drive to class tomorrow Thursday.  Yes we meet tomorrow because it is a Monday schedule.  We will have a writing workshop day.  

7.Many of you continue to lose points on your HW posts because you don’t read or follow the instructions and because you don’t comment on two peers’ posts.  Do so now!

When you comment,  I’m expecting more just a one-sentence comment!

Use ARMS to make meaningful suggestions to your peers:

A = ADD, tell the writer what you are curious to hear more about, tell them to ADD if parts are missing information or don’t make sense. 

R = REMOVE, tell the writer if some words / sentences / parts do not fit or are repetitive.

M = MOVE, tell the writer if you see a way that words / sentences / parts can be moved around to help the flow of the essay.

S = SUBSTITUTE, tell the writer if they use weak words and/or weak sentences, suggest a better vocabulary, suggest a better way to say something.

Before submitting, read your own work out loud.  I am not the proofreader, YOU ARE!  Remember to work on your own computer Word document and then paste onto Open Lab.

Tuesday Sept 27

I am still waiting for most of you to post HW 6, now past due.  Scroll down to see instructions for this HW if you have forgotten.

Remember our reading for tomorrow’s class is Colin Powell’s My American Journey.  Scroll down back through Announcements to find the link.  Be ready for a quiz at the beginning of class.  Jemels’ Group should have uploaded the Vocabulary Work to the Google Drive in Classwork folder. 

Make an appointment with the Writing Tutors.  THREE VISITS ARE REQUIRED! Scroll down to find link OR go to Student Resources and find it there. 

Read and study the Unit One Education Narrative Essay NOW.  It’s on the Assignment page.  PRINTOUT IT OUT!  The entire first draft (building on HW 5 or 6 or 7 – your choice) will be due on this Friday, Sept 30.

Many many of you are absent, late, not doing HWs, not doing HWs correctly, not reading Announcements, not reading the assigned texts. Remember it’s almost impossible to pull yourself out of the quicksand at this point.  There are consequences for your actions; this is NOT high school.  You chose to be a college student and I will treat you as an adult who has free will and agency.  There is only so much a teacher can do; it’s really up to you.  Need I say more?

Sunday Sept 25

Reminder:  We do not meet tomorrow.  We do, however, meet on Wednesday (9/28) and Thursday (9/29).  Monday and Tuesday are Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashana).  Thursday, Sept. 29, follows a Monday class. That means, Thursday you will attend any class you usually have on Monday.

While there are no classes, the college is still open. Library is open, if you wish to come in for a quiet place to work or study or use the computers. However, computer labs in the Learning Center, G600 and V217 will be closed.

 A firm reminder:  Use what is normally our class time tomorrow as a study hall to catch up. 

HW#6, “Between Two Worlds” was due today.  Many of you need to complete that post.  Others of you need to complete HW #5 and before.  These posts are required and graded. 

Many of you continue to lose points on your HW posts because you don’t read or follow the instructions and because you don’t comment on two peers’ posts.  Do so now!

When you comment,  I’m expecting more just a one-sentence comment!

Use ARMS to make meaningful suggestions to your peers:

A = ADD, tell the writer what you are curious to hear more about, tell them to ADD if parts are missing information or don’t make sense. 

R = REMOVE, tell the writer if some words / sentences / parts do not fit or are repetitive.

M = MOVE, tell the writer if you see a way that words / sentences / parts can be moved around to help the flow of the essay.

S = SUBSTITUTE, tell the writer if they use weak words and/or weak sentences, suggest a better vocabulary, suggest a better way to say something.

Before submitting, read your own work out loud.  I am not the proofreader, YOU ARE!  Remember to work on your own computer Word document and then paste onto Open Lab.

Struggling for ideas?  Have several ideas you want to bat around? Talk it out with a friend or family member. 

I’m in the process of commenting on HW #5, and I’ve commented on all earlier HWs submitted on timeeven some of those submitted late.  Return now and read my comments, as well as those of your peers.

Please look ahead now to the Major Unit One Assignment, The Education Narrative, which is on the Assignments page.   You will be choosing one of your HWs (Mentor Quote, or Between Two Worlds, or Saved—which will be HW7) to develop fully into your Education Narrative.  The Rough Draft will be due on Friday 9/30.  We will talk about this when we meet on Wednesday.  You should be making appointments with the Writing Tutors to work on your Rough Draft. 

Friday Sept 23

  1.  I just posted an example of Between Two Worlds HW from my student last term Amadou.  

I also posted an example of Mentor Quote HW from my student last term Adrian.

Please take a look at these examples above. 

2.   Remember your HW 6 Between Two Worlds is due Sunday by noon.  See below for the instructions for HW 6; read carefully to make sure you do all that is required.  HW 5 Mentor Quote is past due now.

3.  Schedule a one-on-one session with City Tech Writing Center.  Remember 3 sessions are REQUIRED.  Plus you will get individualized attention on your writing.  All tutors are great and have taught the Freshman Comp course.  So they are familiar with the assignments.

Here is the booking site where students can make appointments with our team of tutors (  

To make an appointment, writers will need to register for a WCOnline account at that link above. Instructions on how to do that can be found on our new website ( Currently, we are working with writers through online, synchronous tutoring. Before a session, they should expect an email from the tutor with instructions and a link to a video chat platform. 

This information is also posted on the Student Resources page.  Scroll down to Writing Center. 

Wednesday Sept 21 post-class

  1. NO CLASS on MONDAY Sept 26.  Next Week we meet on Wednesday and Thursday Sept 28 and 29.
  2. Remember Extra Credit Opportunity NYC Poets Event: NYC From the Inside.  Thursday (tomorrow) 4-6pm. New Academic Building Room A 105.  Many of you need the extra credit.  I expect to see you at the event!
  • Extra credit: Write one paragraph explaining what was your favorite part of the event and why it was your favorite.  Upload to Google Drive under Extra Credit Folder.  Use file name:  NYC Poets – Your name.
  • 3. We are now actively working on the first Major Assignment. Please go to the Assignments page and study the Major Unit One Assignment. 
  • 4. For next time Wed September 28:  Colin Powell, “My American Journey” (starts on page 90 The Place Where We Dwell CH03[1].   Read, printout, annotate, bring to class and BE READY FOR QUIZ at the beginning of class — Get to class on time!. Group Members Jemel, Yocelin, Rafael will do Vocabulary work for this reading.  

I was very disappointed today.  Only ONE person — Kudos to Jayden! — passed today’s quiz on Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue.”  Very few students participated in the discussion.  All this tells me that you need a QUIZ to make you do the reading, so we will definitely have a quiz on the Colin Powell text. 

5. Open Lab HW Post #6 Between Two Worlds, due Sunday 9/25 at 12 Noon.   NOTE CHANGE TO NOON DUE TIME. 

  • Title: Writing Task Between Two Worlds – your name.
  • Category: Writing Task Between Two Worlds
  • Two paragraphs, 6-7 sentences each. 
  • Reply to two fellow students’ posts.

We have read educational journeys of people who felt they were navigating between two different worlds:

  • Frederick Douglass feels so conflicted when he learns the hard facts of slavery that it puts him it at odds with his fellow slaves, “In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity” (238).  He agonizes over which world is better existing in a state of knowledge or being in a state of ignorance.
  • In prison Malcolm X learns to speak a new language–proper English–because he can’t connect with his mentor, the Honorable Elijah Muhammed, using street slang.  He must learn the language of the educated world in America, yet he speaks the language of the street.
  • Esmeralda Santiago arrives from Puerto Rico and enters an American school only to be placed in a learning-disabled class instead of the standard 8th Grade class although she is a bright student. She must navigate between her eighth grade class of outcasts and the English-speaking teachers and students at her school feeling out of place in both groups.
  • Amy Tan shows us how she navigates her way in different worlds, each characterized by the different Englishes she uses in each of these worlds.  She believes that her family’s imperfect English language limited her own opportunities and that her Chinese background shaped how teachers and employers saw her and what they expected her to be.
  • __________________________________

Here is the Writing Prompt:

Have you had the experience of living between two different worlds, perhaps each with its own language or traditions or values?  In your own life how have “ambiguous” feelings or internal  conflicted feelings–about language, identity, injustice, or opportunities that put distance between you and your family–affected your own educational journey?  Have you had the experience of living “between two different worlds” or we might say of having two differing identities?  In your own life how have “ambiguous” feelings or internal conflicted feelings–about language, identity, injustice, or opportunities that affected your own educational journey? — OR –Do you feel a conflict between two parts of your identity.  Has society or mentors typecast you in a certain profile, putting pressure on you to conform to what others expect of you?  Then, are you battling with another part of yourself that seeks to be free to reach the dreams that you keep hidden in your heart, that only you can see in yourself?  What actions have you taken to address the conflict?  Or, how have you learned to live with it?  

Be sure to name for your reader exactly what the two worlds or two identities are. You might be bi-lingual or bi-cultural, but you may also consider other world besides nationality–race, class, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, education, or other.

Wed Sept 21 pre-class

Extra Credit Opportunity this Thursday tomorrow.  Many of you need this, so I expect to see many at this event.

NYC From Inside Flyer (1)

Poetry and Music at City Tech in the New Academic Building.  Room A 105 at 4pm to 6pm.

Monday Sept 19 post-class

HW#5 will be due Tuesday night by 12 midnight.  This is an extension, but — DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. Read below for the instructions on HW 5. You must follow instructions carefully.

For Wednesday, our reading is “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan.  This is a difficult reading.  DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.   Printout, annotate, do vocab work.  THERE WLL BE A QUIZ on the reading.

Group for Vocab Work on “Mother Tongue”: Ikechukwu, Abdullah, Jayden, Jason.  Group will upload the file to the Google Drive by Tuesday night.  (at least 15 words with parts of speech).


Many of you are way behind on HWs and accumulating absences.  Remember that falling into the quicksand is a real thing.

Thursday Sept 15

  1. You all did excellent work in class reading, annotating and discussing the text, “Prison Studies or Saved” by Malcolm X.  I was really happy to see everyone working hard and concentrating and making annotations.   I hope you are beginning to see that if you put in the effort, you can do it!  

2. Join the Instagram Group for our class which Ali (Asghar) has kindly stepped up to organize:  Look for this username:  official__akhan47    If you need help, reach out to one of our class members.  Most likely if you have a question, someone else is wondering the same thing.  And someone in the group might have the answer!  Please build community and help each other.  

3. I am in the process of grading Open Lab HW posts.  Please read the comments and grade I have given your HW. I have graded all HW posts that were turned in on time.  Please look at my comments by going to the Student Works page.  I am sad to realize that some people have plagiarized their answers.  A few students have resorted to cheating.  I sent a message to those of you who are in the hot seat.  Please read carefully what I have responded and take this as a warning not to plagiarize again lest harsher consequences result.  NOTE: STUDENTS HAVE FAILED FOR THE ENTIRE COURSE IN PAST SEMESTERS FOR PLAGIARIZING.  THIS IS A WARNING TO STOP YOURSELF NOW.

Your own original thinking, your own original writing even with imperfections will be valued far higher than slick sounding words that do not match up with your previous writing.

In my class I value honesty above all.

4. Group 2 (Faustina, Jayden, Felix, Diogo) I am still waiting to see your uploaded Google Doc for VOcabulary Work on Malcolm X “Prison Studies, or Saved” — PLEASE UPLOAD ASAP!.   

5.  For Monday: Printout, read, annotate, look up new words and be ready to discuss: Esmeralda Santiago, “When I was Puerto Rican” (page 101 The Place Where We Dwell) link:  CH03[1].  Be ready for a QUIZ on the reading.

Group 3 (Abdullah, Ali, Divine, Michael) will prepare vocabulary work and upload to Google Drive. Due BEFORE CLASS ON MONDAY.

6.. WE ARE NOW ON HW 5!  This is a very important HW and will form the basis for your Major Unit Assignment.  You will soon be writing your own Education Narrative. YOU MUST DO THIS HW POST, or you risk not being able to start the Major Assignment.

Open Lab HW#5: Writing Task Mentor Quote.  Post by September 17 Saturday night 6pm. 

  • Title: Writing Task Mentor Quote — your name
  • Category: Writing Task Mentor Quote
  • Comment on two student posts
  • Write two fully developed paragraphs, 6-7 sentences each (plus quotation of at least two sentences).  

    Here is the prompt for the Writing Task:

At the start of “Saved,” Chapter 11 of his autobiography, Malcolm X remembers the “electrical effect” the words of his mentor Elijah Muhammad had on him in prison.  He then expresses his frustration at not being able to use proper English in writing reply letters back to him. Malcolm’s desire to address his mentor respectfully using standard English inspires him to start his “homemade education.”

At the beginning of her essay “When I was Puerto Rican,” Esmeraldo Santiago writes of her first day at school in America. The principal Mr. Grant sends her back a grade with these words: “You don’t speak English,” he said. “You have to go to the seventh grade while you’re learning.”  Consider ways the words from Mr. Grant affected the young Esmeralda.

NOW — Think of a time a mentor or authority figure gave you an encouraging word that moved you forward in your educational journey.  What were the precise words––and on what occasion did your mentor tell you these words?  What was the actual scene?  How did they help you move forward?  Start your piece with this quotation.  In what ways did your relationship with your mentor conform with or go against (“dismantle”) traditional hierarchies?  How do the lessons from this figure continue to impact you in college?

Conversely, think of a time when a mentor or authority figure spoke to you using negative language that caused you pain.  Starting with the words themselves–give a quotation–how did these damaging words affect your educational journey? Start with the mentor’s own words–that is, with a quotation–as Professor Hellman does in her essay.  She gives a quotation from Governor Cuomo before starting her essay.  

Your choice: positive encouraging quote OR a negative damaging quote.  Do not do both. 

Remember to start your story (narrative) with the mentor’s own words–that is, with a quotation–as Professor Caroline Hellman does in her essay and as I do in my student work post (Student Lisa).   If the person is speaking in another language, consider using that home language.

Also remember you are a story-teller:  make it interesting!

CREATE THEATRE OF THE MIND — In the first paragraph of this free write, after giving the mentor’s quotation, be sure to set your piece in a particular place –- the principal’s office? your living room? a classroom?  Also indicate the bigger setting, which country?  And indicate the time-line?  present day?  when you were ten?  a junior in high school?

Refer to:

  • My example post (by Lisa) with quote from my father.  Find my example by going to Student Works page and scrolling to find it.  Alternatively, you can go to any page of our site and see the Right Hand Side Search Bars.  You will see About, Site Content, Tag Cloud, Categories.  In the Category Search Bar, select the pull-down category “Writing Task Mentor Quote.”  Then you will see my instruction post and my example post and other student posts who have already done the Mentor Quote HW post.
  • Prof Caroline Hellman’s quote of Cuomo
  • Leylah Fernandez (US Open Tennis Finalist)’s quote from teacher who told her to quit (NYTimes par 22).
US Open Tennis finalist Leylah Fernandez, 19 years old, of Canada said she had faced many doubts in her early career about her potential. She remembered a teacher in Canada telling her to stop playing tennis and just focus on her studies because she would “never make it.”

“Now I’m laughing,” she said. “I’m just glad that she told me that because every day I have that phrase in my head saying that I’m going to keep going. I’m going to push through, and I’m going to prove to her everything that I’ve dreamed of, I’m going to achieve.”

Wednesday Sept 14 pre-class

We will have a QUIZ on the 2-part reading. Be ready.  Make sure you bring your printed out annotated copy of:

Remember HW4 deadline before class today.

Monday September 12, post-class

  1. It’s time to make our class Open Lab site private.  WE are getting “bombed” by outsiders.  I have kept it as a public site so that all students can join as members.  SO — If you have not joined as a member you need to do it NOW.  I am going to change the setting from public to private today.


3.  Today, all the groups did a great job reading and discussing “How to Read Like A Writer” by Mike Bunn.  I am really proud of how everyone was thinking and paying attention as we read and discussed.  This was a super-hard article and you understood it!  Now let’s practice RLW as we move forward.

4. Shout-out to Jayden and Ikechukwu for insightful contributions to our class discussion today!  Also thx to them for reading the Q and A parts in the New York Times interview with actor Laurence Fishbourne on the Theatre of the Mind.  Remember that phrase.  We will be working to create Theatre of the Mind with our writing.  You want to write with vivid details and capitivating dialogue so that your readers can see and hear your writing come alive just as if they were sitting in a theatre.

5. For Wednesday we move on to Malcolm X. You need to print out, annotate, read, and be ready to discuss:

  • Malcolm X Chapter 11 “Saved” beginning paragraphs
  • Malcolm X, “Prison Studies: or Saved
  • Group 2 will post the Vocabulary Work to the Google Drive.  YES I FIXED IT! You should be able to upload files. Again see the vocabulary work example for In Defense of The Classroom done by group from last semester.  Use this as model for your group’s vocabulary work.  Kudos to Joshua who uploaded the vocabulary work for Douglass’s Learning To Read and Write.  I recommend that everyone print out all the vocabulary lists for all the readings after each group uploads, then you will know all the new words.

6. DUE Wednesday BEFORE class HW Open Lab HW #4 Reading Response Malcolm X.  Note: I posted an example (by Lisa) in Student Works.  Printout and annotate the reading (2 parts), Malcolm X, Ch11 beginning paragraphs and “Prison Studies: or Saved.Part A Picture:  Show me your annotated page.  Take a picture of your annotated page (any page from your printout of the MX 2 texts) and upload. Part B Reading Response:  Choose one large block quotation that you feel is significant, meaningful, important from anywhere in the reading (5-6 sentences). Copy the quotation, enclose it in quotation marks and give the paragraph number.  Now analyze this quotation carefully, explaining each sentence in your own words.

  • Title:  Reading Response to Malcolm X — (your name).
  • Category:  Reading Response Malcolm X
  • Comment on 2 student posts.

Remember to focus on Malcolm X’s words, especially key words. I am looking for you to study Malcolm X’s exact words. You will explain each sentence in your own words and show that you understand why this quote is significant. Please title your HW correctly and choose the correct category as per the instructions I gave.  If you don’t use the correct title and correct category, I will not be able to find your HW; I won’t be able to give you credit. Please write the required length:  If I say one full paragraph 7-9 sentences or 5-6 sentences, then that is what you need to do.  You definitely need more than just one or two sentences. We are learning how to develop our ideas in a low-stakes environment.  Later when the BIG-STAKES MAJOR UNIT assignments come, you will have had practice in writing well-developed paragraphs.

7.  After grading HW#2 , where you were asked to do the same type of HW (choosing a significant quotation from the Douglass text), I have some tips for you. In Part TWO — In the FDouglass reading, you were asked to choose a quote and then analyze that quote.  Here you must use the words in the quote and explain why these words are significant.  I was looking for you to study Douglass’s exact words to explain why this quote is significant.  For example, if you chose this quote:

Nothing seemed to make her more angry than to see me with a newspaper.  She seemed to think that here lay the danger.  I have had her rush at me with a face made all up of fury, and snatch from me a newspaper, in a manner that fully revealed her apprehension.  She was an apt woman; and a little experience soon demonstrated, to her satisfaction, that education and slavery were incompatible with each other.

A good answer would be:

The mistress gets angry whenever she sees Douglass reading a newspaper.  She believes the act of his reading is dangerous.  She goes to him in a furious rage and grabs the paper from him in a way that shows her suspicion of evil. She knows that a slave must not gain knowledge.  She knows that the danger is that the slave will learn about freedom and upset the power hierarchy of society.

You should see that in my answer, I have focused on Douglass’s words, especially key words.  Then, I have explained each sentence in my own words.  In a sense I have translated the chosen quote into plain English and I have proven that I understand my chosen quote. Now do this for the Malcolm X HW#4.

Sunday September 11

We mark a solemn day today.  Today we remember the terrorist attacks of 21 years ago.  Most of you were not even born when 9.11 happened.  This event changed our lives forever, especially in NYC.  Let us remember those who lost their lives and our own courage and resilience as New Yorkers.  Here is President Biden’s address to the nation in commemoration of 9.11.  (6min speech) I am reminding you that tomorrow Monday for class, we have TWO readings.

Kudos to Jordan!  He did a great job with HW 3 Q on the Douglass text about the “curse rather than the blessing” of learning to read.  His Q3 answer is detailed and complete. He also has done a great job in catching up!

You should have already posted your HW3.  Many of you are NOT doing the HWs.  ONly 5 ppl so far have been keeping up with HWs.  I am still waiting for many of you to submit HW 3.  Furthermore, I expected you to do your best to catch up and so I extended some deadlines for HW 1 and 2.  Now that is past and HWs after one week will receive ZERO credit.  ALSO to remember that you must make comments on 2 student peers.   

Read the comments I write in reply to your HW posts.  I am showing you how to DEVELOP YOUR IDEAS MORE FULLY.  As we move into the Major Unit One Assignment, our first high stakes project, you will be learning how to dig deeper and write with more details focusing on one or two points rather than giving a superficial treatment of many points.  

So many of you are at risk already of falling into the quick sand.  THis is a super difficult class requiring your very best effort.  If you are not 200% giving your all, I am worried for you! As I commented to Diogo in his Intro, this class will be a place to practice your resilience. Look to Frederick Douglass as an example. I believe all my students can do it if they put their mind and effort to the task of doing the work required.

Wednesday Sept 7 post-class

Please continue to tour our Open Lab site to become familiar with it.  Please get in the habit of reading Announcements very carefully.  Everything is here in Announcements.  Please reach out to the Group Chat with questions and help each other.  This way we will build community! Today we also met our Peer Mentor Osaruyi.  Her email is Good job to those of you keeping up with the HWs.  You are building your writing muscles!

I do understand that learning how to operate on a new platform is hard; the Open Lab is particularly challenging.  Thus, I will give you a little time to catch up, so — Catch up by Sept 9 Friday to receive credit:  HW 1 Introduction and reply to two follow student intros (one paragraph each of 5-7 sentences!); complete HW #2.  Please re-read the HW1 and HW 2 instructions (below on the proper date for that HW).  If you have already done these HWs, you may want to edit and repost and add “updated” to your title.”  TO do this, find your HW on the Student Work page, go into it, and edit.   Then change your title to say for example, Intro—Lisa (updated), so I will know that you have worked on it again.

Today we had a good discussion on “Learning How to Read and Write” by Douglass.  Thanks to everyone who added their voices.

  • We discussed the way he introduced his essay by describing the mistress and why he might have wanted to start this way.
  • We discussed the hierarchy of power under the system of slavery.
  • We discussed strategies he used to achieve his goal of learning to read and write.
  • We focused on specific quotes from the text.
  • We analyzed why these quotes were significant.
  • GROUP ONE SHOULD HAVE POSTED THEIR VOCAB WORK ON GOOGLE DRIVE in the Class Work Folder, so you can look there for Vocabulary help.

Here are the questions we worked on in Groups:

Q2. What is the effect of Douglass’s own reading, in general, for him? Reread paragraphs 5 and 6.  In responding to this question, look carefully at how he describes his reading of both “The Columbia Orator,” and Sheridan’s speeches about Catholic emancipation.

Q3. What does Douglass mean when he says that “learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing” (paragraph 6)?  Furthermore, what does he mean when he says that “freedom...was ever present to torment me” (same paragraph)?  In other words, is there a downside to becoming literate?  What might that be?

Q4. Reread paragraph 7 and describe the process Douglass goes through to learn the word "abolition."  How does this process explain why the author's mistress found his reading newspapers so threatening?

Also, we talked about resilience which we decided means never giving up when things are tough. Let’s add that resilience also means being able to bounce back.  Douglass’s education narrative is an example of resilience.  HW#3, Writing Task Douglass and Resilience Due Sunday Sept 11 — 9/11, a day that changed NYC forever — by 6pm. Post to the Open Lab.

  • Title: Douglass and Resilience – YOUR NAME
  • Category: Reading Writing Douglass and Resilience. 
  • Total of THREE paragraphs.  One for Part A.  Two for Part B.
  • THEN Respond to two other student posts.

Part A:  Choose one of the questions from today’s class discussion (in box above) and answer in detail.  DO NOT COPY THE QUESTION.  Just put the number (ie Q2, Q3, or Q4).  Write one paragraph (6-7 sentences)

Part B:  Two paragraphs, (6-7 sentences each) We’ve studied strategies the young Frederick Douglass practices to build resilience in the face of horrific obstacles.  Now turn to your own experience. Paragraph One:  Think of ONE thing that’s been hard for you during your own educational journey. Focus on ONE specific hardship. Describe it in some detail. Paragraph Two:  Then write about one coping strategy you’ve developed to increase your resilience.   What have your learned about yourself in practicing this strategy?

*Option to apply this HW3 task to remote learning during the pandemic: Caroline Hellman’s opinion piece argues in favor of classroom learning.  Some of you may feel that the online learning experience has been difficult. What ONE aspect of remote learning has been the most challenging.  How have you coped?  What strategies have you developed to be resilient?

For Monday September 12, a switch up from what I said in class:  

*You can find all readings in Open Lab course site under Readings. For Wednesday Sept 14, we will do Malcolm X readings (there are 2 MX readings) .  Group TWO be ready to do the Vocab Work for a different Malcolm X reading.  These two readings are for Wednesday 9/14.  Group Two be ready to do the Vocab Work on to post on the Google Drive under Classwork before Wednesday’s class. You will be the Vocab experts!

Wednesday Sept 7 pre-class

I hope you had a restful and productive break.  We are off and running.  Today we move on to Unit ONE, the Education Narrative, and we will be reading Education Narratives now.

Kudos to everyone who posted the HW1 Introduction!  It’s wonderful to get to know you all.  I see that many of you have already gotten to know eachother through commenting on TWO student peers (remember this is also part of the HW)  I have read these and graded them 1-4 with 4 being the highest grade.  Please get that Intro up there if you have not done so.  It will be late, but better than never.  I am waiting for the following Intros:  Joami, Juilian, Diogo, Abdullah, Divine, Yocelin, Handi, Said, Jemel!

SUPER DUPER IMPORTANTI am stressing that you must READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY!  Please read the HW instructions carefully (maybe 2 or 3 times) to make sure you understand what to write about.  These instructions are always in the ANNOUNCEMENTS when I post the HW assignment.  Pay close attention to the title and the category I ask you to use.  That way I can find your HW when I grade or else I won’t be able to give you HW credit. Bring to class today your TWO readings:

  • “Read Like A Writer” by Bunn
  • “Learning to Read and Writer” by Douglass.

As instructed in the ANNOUNCEMENTS, you should have printed out, annotated, looked up vocab.  You should also have done the HW2 which was due yesterday Tuesday.

Group 1 (see below for names) I am still waiting for your Group Vocabulary Work on the Google drive. This is DUE before class starts so that you can be the Vocab Experts for our discussion on the Douglass reading.

NOT YET JOINED TO OUR OPEN LAB SITE:  Diogo, Julian, Handi, Santana, need to join ASAP.

Thursday September 1

Kudos to everyone who joined as a member on our site — Now you are in the game! Thanks to those of you who participated and contributed to our discussion of “In Defense of the Classroom.”

We decided that the genre of this piece is an op-ed, an opinion editorial in a newspaper.  

When we discussed it in class, I was leading you in learning how to read like a writer!  

We analyzed the use of a quotation as a beginning.  

We talked about the writer’s use of listing and details. 

These are all things you can do too as a writer!  

We analyzed the tone and decided it was nostalgic.  Jackie said, “She [Prof. Hellman] misses how things used to be.” 

We decided what the MI Main Idea is and the writer’s purpose:  to argue for in-class learning over on-line learning.

You guys were great at RLW: reading like a writer! Yesterday we also set up a Telephone Group Chat (instead of the Instagram).  Thanks to Jackie who organized that.  Please reach out to share your concerns and questions amongst yourselves. Please DO:

  1. Make sure you are joined as a member to our Open Lab site. The following people are not yet joined as members and are missing out on important Announcements!  Diogo, Shahid, Julian, Santana, Said, and Jemel need to join ASAP.
  2. Get your CTech Email working.
  3. Get your free student subscription to New York Times: free CUNY New York Times
  4. Get a folder to keep handouts.
  5. Work on your HWs in MS Word and save in your own computer hard drive and flash drive. You need the master copy of your work.

DUE date for HW#1 Introductions moved to Friday Sept 2 at 6pm.  Please also add a visual element (selfie or picture of something that relates to your intro).  I loved Faustina’s picture of her Jolof Rice!  See the HW#1 description below in Announcement for August 29 for instructions on the Intro. NO CLASS on Monday Sept 5, but please use this time wisely to get caught up.  As you can see, we are already off and running.  I encourage you to explore around our Open Lab site.  SUPER IMPORTANT:  READ ANNOUNCEMENTS DAILY!  This is where I announce the HWs and reminders. For our next class on Wednesday September 7, you have two readings.

  1. Printout, read, annotate, number the paragraphs, look up unfamiliar words, bring to class, and be ready to discuss Frederick Douglass’s “Learning to Read.” Think of how Douglass’s experience is an example of resilience. Find in our Open Lab site under Readings.  Annotate your printout and look up new words.
  2. GROUP* ONE (Jason, Joami, Joshua) :  Prepare Vocab Work for Frederick Douglass:  Look up unfamiliar words and post to the Google Drive under Class Work. See the Google Drive Vocabulary Work example for “In Defense” from last semester’s students.  Use this as a model for yours.  Give the part of speech and the definition.  You will be the class vocab experts when we discuss Douglass’s piece.
  3. I handed out a new reading: “Read Like A Writer” by Mike Bunn. Please read the checked parts.  It’s a hard article, so I have clued you in on the significant parts.  BRING TO CLASS.

HW #2 Due Tuesday September 6 at 6pm:  Two-part HW:  You must complete each part to receive credit.

  • Part A is for Mike Bunn, “How to Read Like A Writer.”
  • Part B is for FDouglass, “Learning to Read and Write.”

Part A:  In this class we are all writers and we will be learning how to read like a writer. After reading Mike Bunn’s “How to Read Like A Writer,” What is one important thing you learned about how to read like a writer?  Quote the part in the Bunn essay where you learned this and tell what the quote means in your own words. Part B:  Choose one large block quotation of your choice from anywhere in the Douglass reading. Copy the quotation, enclosing it in quotation marks and give the paragraph number.  Now analyze this quotation carefully, explaining each sentence in your own words.  I expect you to write a full paragraph, 5-6 sentences. HOW TO POST:  Go to the top menu bar. Click on the plus sign.  You will land on a writing page.  Write in the title: Reading Response RLW and FDouglass– write your first name.  Type in your writing.  When finished, go to right hand side and check on category: Reading Response RLW and Douglass .  Then scroll up and click on publish.  Please post by Tuesday September 6 by 6PM. *Groups:

  • Group 1: Jason, Joshua, Joami, Juiian
  • Group 2: Diogo, Felix, Faustina, Jayden
  • Group 3: Abdullah, Ali, Divine, Michael
  • Group 4:  Yocelin, Ike, Handi, Santana
  • Group 5: Said, Jemel, Jackie, Jordan

Monday August 29 post-class

So great to meet you guys on this first day.  I noticed that many of you have already signed up as members on our class site.  Great!

  1. Please DO:
  2. If you haven’t, please get your CTech email up and running. Get your Open Lab (OLab) account and join our class as a member (instruction links on Home page).
  3. Browse around our OLab class site and explore what’s there and how to navigate your way.  Today we looked at the Home and Syllabus and Weekly Schedule pages.  There’s a lot of material on our class site, so I won’t expect you to know everything right away; just get started and familiarize yourself.
  4. READ ANNOUNCEMENTS every day.  Sometimes I post even when there is no class, so check regularly.
  5. Join the Instagram Group for our class which Ali (Asghar) has kindly stepped up to organize:  Look for this username:  official__akhan47
For Wednesday:
  • In Defense of the Classroom” by Caroline Hellman
  • Read and Print Out and Annotate (write comments, notes, explanation, questions on the printout).
  • What are some of the main ideas (MI)? Underline MI or take notes in your physical notebook.
  • Vocab Work:  Underline and look up new words.
  1. DUE WED before class Open Lab HW (homework) Post #1 Introduction Post on OLab introducing yourself.TWO FULL PARAGRAPHS PLEASE plus selfie or visual. (To get some ideas re-view “[un]Learning My Name: Spoken Word poem.” Also look at my example post on the Student Works page, My Name Intro – Lisa.)  You can write about anything you would like the class to know about you.  You can write about your name, your cultural heritage or your family’s influence on your education, your goals, your belief in yourself, your attitude toward the world. You can write about your interests or hobbies or major at City Tech.  You can write about your college goals.  Please add a visual element (I did).  Remember — make yourself the interesting person that everyone wants to meet at the party!

HOW TO POST:  Go to the top menu bar. Click on the plus sign.  You will land on a writing page.  Write in the title:  My Name Intro – write your first name.  Type in your writing.  When finished, go to right hand side and check on category: Introductions.  Then scroll up and click on publish.  Please post by Wed before class.  NOTE: You will be writing your own post. Do not write your post as a reply to my example post.

  1. Connect to our fellow classmates! Read TWO classmates’s introductions and respond.  Write one FULL paragraph for each classmate. Suggestions:  You can choose a student who has a similarity with you.  You can ask questions.   You can share an observation.

We had a great first meeting.  Thanks to everyone who participated and those who shared helpful hints.  I know there is a lot to do.  As the weeks go on, I hope we will all be kind and helpful and we will all get through the semester learning together. Note:  If you are on campus and need to find computer, there are computer labs in the following spaces:

  • Learning Center (Library Building Ground Floor) – LG18
  • General Building – G600: 10:00am – 6:00pm Monday through Friday
  • Vorhees 217
  • Inside the Library
  • SEEK Students can use Seek Midway Computer Lab 405

Students with their own laptops can find a quiet place on campus, perhaps an empty classroom or empty seating area. Another option is one of the study rooms in the library, typically allocated to students first come, first served, by checking out a key at the Borrow & Return Desk.

Friday August 26, 2022

Dear Students, Greetings, and welcome to ENG 1101 CO at City Tech. I am Professor Lisa Wu, and I look forward to working with you this semester.   Our first day will be Monday August 29.  Our class is in person, which means that we have regular weekly meetings Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:30 to 2:00 at the City Tech campus.  Our classroom is Room 1020 on the tenth floor of Namm Building.  I am asking everyone to arrive five (5) minutes early, by 11{25AM, so we can check in with each other and I can start taking attendance. We will be using the Open Lab, the NYCCT open access digital community.  Our homework, class readings, and announcements will be posted on our Open Lab course website. It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with our course website. This is where you will find the class syllabus, weekly schedule, class readings, assignments, and this is where you will post your homework as well as the three major unit projects.  I have also posted valuable student resources on our course website. Please check in on our Open Lab website daily! You are responsible for being up-to-date and knowing what is on our course site.  If you can join our Open Lab course site as a member now, please do so.  Please read the Syllabus and Home pages.  (Click on Open Lab course site link; you will land on the Home Page; then go to Let’s Get Started.)   Both Blackboard and Open Lab are now available to students. You are also responsible for checking your CityTech email daily. Get your City Tech Email up and running! I suspect many of you are tech-savvy and know much about using technology. That’s great! You will be my teachers in this arena!  We will all learn the technology and the reading and writing together this semester. As a class, we will build a community and offer each other support in developing resilience as we continue to forge through these uncertain times. I am also asking you to please wear a mask in consideration of the health of everyone in our class. Some of us have lost loved ones in this pandemic; this attests to the seriousness of co-vid and to what we can do and must do to minimize the spread.  Some students may not feel comfortable to announce their own health issues or the health issues of family members with whom they live.  I, myself, am dealing with a health issue, so I am asking you to be considerate to me. I am looking forward to working with you.  If you have any questions or concerns, you may email me at Best Wishes, Professor Wu