Table of Contents

Friday May 26, 2023

 Dear Class:

I just submitted Final Course Grades.  To save time, I decided not to input in Blackboard and went directly to CUNY FIRST official grade submission.  You will find your Final Course Grade on CUNY FIRST.

To those who consistently kept up with the work all semester long and followed the writing process for each assignment, your final course grade reflects this.  Some of you shined on the revision work and some of you really shined in the final Genre Project.

A few words of wisdom as you go forth:

  1. Continue to make a habit of reading your own work out loud.  And certainly, you want to make it your mission to build your vocabulary. The best way to do this is, like Malcolm X, to READ voraciously for pleasure.  Start a reading program over the summer.  Pledge to read something of interest every day for thirty minutes.  Keep up your reading of the New York Times. Try to do it at the same time every day, so it becomes an enjoyable ritual.

2. Continue next semester to work on Patterns of Error:

  • Beware of TMI sentences!
  • Study how to form compound and complex sentences.
  • Watch for run-on sentences.  Place a period at the end of every sentence.
  • Study how to form possessives (with an apostrophe) vs. plural nouns.
  • Make references to pronouns(he, she, they, it) clear.
  • Make clear paragraph breaks and avoid huge, long blocks of text.
  1. Carefully read assignment instructions.  Make sure you understand the requirements. Then follow the directions.
  2. Keep up with the work (low stakes and high) and do not let yourself fall into the quicksand!
  3. Continue to go to tutoring center.
  4. Finally — Chat GPT.  I regret that we did not have in-depth discussion of this newly emerging technology.  Understand that using ChatGPT or any other form of Artificial Intelligence to do your writing without acknowledgement is a form of plagiarism.  If you use AI in any way – to give you ideas, to write an email – you must cite it in your bibliography like any other source.  If you’re quoting word-for-word, use quotation marks. Do not use Chat GPT for direct communications like email or for personal essays.  Why not?  You don’t want a machine to interfere with building trust in relationships with peers and professors or to interfere with your unique writing voice.

Thanks for all your work this semester.

Have a great summer!



Monday May 22

  1. I am announcing a change:  For the Final Course Reflection, you will also upload to Blackboard.  Please upload by midnight tonight!  You should have already uploaded to the Google Drive.

2. As I am in the final grading process, I want to remind you again to be mindful of the Final Grading Breakdown (here copied from the Syllabus page):

Grading Breakdown

  • Unit 1                                                                                             20%
  • Unit 2                                                                                             20%
  • Unit 3                                                                                             20%
  • Final Reflection & Revisions                                                    10%
  • Participation                                                                                   30%

(Contributions to discussion, including reading aloud activities, Open Lab HW Posts, Rough Drafts, attendance for the FULL-ENTIRE CLASS period, submitting Open Lab HW assignments on time, being prepared with readings, extra-credit, tutoring attendance, Final Day Reading Celebration)

3. As I work my way through your portfolios, I want to remind you again what revision means (here copied from the Final Writing Portfolio Assignment):

REMEMBER: revision includes re-thinking, re-writing, more research, proofreading, understanding your patterns of error and editing (working to correct errors and make changes at the sentence level). Note that while editing is part of revising, simply doing editing changes is NOT revising and is NOT what I am looking for!

Sunday May 21 again

Order for presentations at our Writing Celebration tomorrow:

  1. Anthony Clare
  2. Esha
  3. Angel
  4. Anthony Clement
  5. Amy
  6. Wendbenedo
  7. Ana
  8. Nick
  9. Ahsan
  10. Balthazar

Sunday May 21, 2023

We are at the finish line (well I am not because I am still grading!) – so it’s time to celebrate!

Tomorrow is our Writing Celebration of Unit 3 presentations.  Everyone will present and it is required for your final grade.

Also remember that you Final Course Reflection is due in the Google Drive and that is required for your final grade as well.  Title your file:  First Name Last Name — Final Course Reflection

For our Celebration, while it’s not required, feel free to bring any food items you want to share.

I am working on the order of presentations for tomorrow’s event.  Try to keep your presentation between 5 and 10 minutes.  If your piece lasts longer than 10 minutes, find a way to present the best parts so that you are under 10 minutes.  

PLEASE BE ON TIME, so we can start on time.

 Looking forward to our celebration!

Tuesday May 16

Tomorrow let’s meet in the classroom first for any questions, clarifications, and announcements (not many really).  Then let’s move together over to the Computer Lab.

Monday pre-class May 15, 2023

1. In this class I have been emphasizing the importance of reading instructions and following instructions.

Remember that you are NOT to do your revisions on the Google Drive.  Those submitted Final Drafts should remain preserved as they are.  I have advised you to download the graded commented Final Drafts into a MSWord document and to revise there on your own computer saving this master copy for yourself.  Then on Wednesday when Final Writing Portfolio is due, you will submit and load to the Google Drive as ONE COMPLETE FILE.  We have been talking about this and I will again go over in class today. 

2. I am looking forward to see everyone’s projects and learning from you, but I have seen very few HW 6 Project Updates from the class, so I am concerned for you.  We will meet today it the classroom for any announcements questions sharing concerns.

3. Here is our timeline as we make the home stretch toward the finish line:

  • Final Writing Portfolio due Wednesday May 17 midnight.  Look at the Assignment for how to title your file and submission details (GDrive and BB).
  • Final Course Reflection due Monday May 22 before class.  Look at the Assignment for how to title your file and submission details (GDrive).
  • Writing Celebration will be Monday May 22, our last day of class.  Please be prepared!  Everyone will present from their Unit 3 Genre Project.  YOUR PARTICIPATION IS REQUIRED.


  • Wednesday May 17 at 1pm How to Write Course Reflection.  After you finish your Final Portfolio, everyone will write a Course Reflection.  So Prof. Margo is hosting a zoom workshop on exactly this topic!

4. I will share some good news that may motivate some of you.  My student Sangay Dolma was chosen to be published in City Tech Writer and here is the latest edition where her Education Narrative “Embracing the Crisis” appears.  Kudos to Sangay!

Here is the new edition of the website for volume 18 of City Tech Writer, a publication highlighting the best student writings and creations!

Saturday May 13, 2023

  1. HW5 Progress Report DUE Monday May 15 before class:  Write a paragraph telling me how your project is going. Use the questions below.  Title: Genre Project Progress Report – Your Name.  Category:  Project Report
  • What parts/tasks have you completed?
  • What do you still have to do to get it done?
  • What obstacles are you encountering?
  • What’s your timeline to meet the deadline?
  • How do you feel about your project so far?
  • Have you started work on the CREATOR’S STATEMENT? (remember this is part of the assignment too)
  • Where do you think you could seek publication for your finished piece?

I am looking forward to see everyone’s projects and learning from you!

2. Final Writing Portfolio due May 17 FIRM DEADLINE. 

  • Unit 1- Education Narrative (revised)
  • Unit 2-RAB (revised)
  • Unit 3-Genre Project (first-time-submission)
        • with Creator’s Statement and transcript if required

We previewed and will continue to discuss the Final Writing Portfolio (on Assignments page) and how to put it together this week in class.

3. Reminders:

  • TWO tutoring visits required.
  • Study the Unit 3 Assignment carefully (there are how-tos) and use the Genre Resources page.
  • Writing Celebration on Monday May 22.  Everyone is required to attend this last day event.
  • May 16 Tuesday is the last date to withdraw.  Please take notice.  How to Drop A Class and   Another Link on How to Drop A Class and another How to Drop A Class on Schedule Builder.
  • Wednesday May 17 at 1pm ZOOM workshop on How to Write Course Reflection by Prof. Margo.
  • Remember you will also write a Final Course Reflection and it will be explained on Wednesday and due on Monday May 22 last day of class in the GDrive.  You can preview it now on the Assignments page.

4.  Here is a student example Final Writing Portfolio for you to study.   I will also upload to the Final Writing Portfolio in the Google Drive for easy access.  Remember that this student example file is for reading only, so do not disturb/touch it in the GDrive.

Amadou Diallo-Final Writing Portfolio

5.  Finally, kudos to those of you who have faithfully been coming to class, submitting all HWs on time, and keeping up.  In contrast, some students have been missing class and not submitting HWs.  These actions will have dire consequences on your Final Grade.  Let us be mindful of the Final Grading Breakdown. Here I copy from the Syllabus page:

Grading Breakdown

  • Unit 1                                                                                             20%
  • Unit 2                                                                                             20%
  • Unit 3                                                                                             20%
  • Final Reflection & Revisions                                                    10%
  • Participation                                                                                   30%

(Contributions to discussion, including reading aloud activities, Open Lab HW Posts, Rough Drafts, attendance for the FULL-ENTIRE CLASS period, submitting Open Lab HW assignments on time, being prepared with readings, extra-credit, tutoring attendance, Final Day Reading Celebration)

Wednesday May 10 

A couple of Writing Center events (all extra credit events) 

  • Today Wednesday May 10th from 1pm-3pm in L-632 (Tutoring Room): End of Year Writing Showcase. Drop in at any time and share from the best thing you wrote or read this year!  Refreshments provided!
  •  Tomorrow Thursday May 11 at 1pm: Revisions Zoom Workshop.  This sounds like something all of you should attend.  You will learn how to work to revise for the final portfolio. This workshop will help you approach old work with fresh eyes and take your writing to the next level!  Here’s the registration link.
  • Wednesday May 17 at 1pm How to Write Course Reflection.  After you finish your Final Portfolio, everyone will write a Course Reflection.  So Prof. Margo is hosting a workshop on exactly this topic!

TUESDAY May 9, 2023

If you did not do HW 4 Mentor Text Analysis for your chosen genre, then you must still do it.   HW 4 is absolutely necessary to help you understand the conventions — or rules and elements for — your chosen genre.

The last day for a student to officially withdraw from a class is next Tuesday, May 16. There is a silver lining here: Once a student has completed more than 60% of the semester, they have "earned" and are entitled to receive 100% (all) of their federal financial aid for that semester.

Since each of you has chosen your own genre project, you are each working independently.  Therefore, you should avail yourself of any resources I have provided in the Unit 3 Assignment.  Look at the How-To’s and the many mentor texts I provided.  You should also explore the Genre Project Resources page where I have posted student examples from previous semesters, and you should scroll down to the very end where you will find podcast audio how-to’s and video how to’s.

Tomorrow we will meet in the classroom and –

  • Share with each other in small groups our plans and progress on our Genre Projects.
  • Preview the Creator’s Statement for the Genre Project.
  • Learn how to put together the Final Portfolio.
  • If there is time, then we will move over to computer lab (600G).

You are also working on your revisions of Unit 1 Ed Narrative and Unit 2 RAB.  Remember everything is due in your Final Portfolio on May 17 – one week away – NO EXCEPTIONS!  Manage your time well and plan accordingly to meet that deadline.

And — Remember that your participation is REQUIRED for the Writing Celebration on May 22, our last day of class.  Everyone will present their Genre Projects to the class.  On this day I will also explain how your final grades determine what course you are eligible for next semester.

As you can see there is still lots to do.  Let’s keep up the momentum as we move toward the finish line!

Sunday May 7

  1.  I have finished grading and commenting on HW5 Outline for Genre Project.  Kudos to everyone who is keeping up.  We are almost at the finish line.  Keep it up!

Shoutout to Balthazar! He made a very detailed and clear outline.  Please take a look at his HW 5.

Remember that you are supposed to comment on TWO student peers’work for this homework, so go back and do this now and make meaningful comments.

2. GET GOING AND START YOUR GENRE PROJECT, NOW!  It’s due in the Final Portfolio as a first time submission (everything else must be a revised version).  The Final Portfolio due date is MAY 17: NO EXCEPTIONS.  (Next week we will discuss how to assemble the Final Portfolio.)

We will be working in computer lab a lot in the coming days.  Come prepared.  Tomorrow we meet first in the classroom for some general talk and then move to computer lab.

3.  There is a big problem if you skipped doing the Mentor Text Analysis Of Your Chosen Genre which was HW 4.   This HW was your opportunity to study what makes a successful podcast or photo essay or interview or whatever genre you are choosing to work in.  How will you know how to make your genre if you have not analyzed a good text in your genre?  SO IF YOU DID NOT DO HW 4, THEN GO BACK AND DO THIS HW 4, scrolling down to May 4 when it was announced.   

Remember in every Major Unit Assignment there has been a WRITING PROCESS .  If you have not done the HWs or you have skipped some of the HWs then you will be lost or confused at how to proceed.

4.  Now is a good time to print out and study some of the HOW-TOs that I put into the Assignment under whatever genre option you have chosen.  There is alot of help that I built into the Assignment.  Because you are working independently and everyone is making their own genre choices, you must study the Assignment sheet carefully using all the helps that are given there.

5.  ALSO you can now start browsing some of the previous student genre projects which are in the Genre Project Resources page.  This will show you the successful outcomes from other students who were working in the same genre as you have chosen for Unit 3.

6. GET TO THE TUTORING CENTER.  REMEMBER TWO VISITS REQUIRED!  Extra Credit for more than 2 visits.  Have you been working on the revisions for Ed Narrative and for RAB?  You absolutely should be doing that.

Friday May 5

I have read and commented on HW 4 Mentor Text Analysis of My Chosen Genre.  I am sorry if my messaging has been confusing.  I also think that one problem is that many of you have been skipping class.  It ‘s not easy to understand the steps in the WRITING PROCESS FOR THE GENRE PROJECT, if you have been absent.

Please read carefully instructions for HW 4 (scroll down to HW 4 when it was Announced on May 4).  You should have all done a SECOND Mentor Text Analysis.  This time you are analyzing one of the mentor texts under your chosen genre in the Unit 3 Assignment.  So if you are choosing to do an op-ed, this will actually be a second analysis of an op-ed.  (And actually this is a good thing because you will get another example to study how to do an op-ed.)  And this time, you are analyzing independently without my help.  Remember for HW 2, I went over the Mentor Text Analysis in class for the William Siu op-ed “I Made Video Games” and for the Adam Conover podcast on “good” billionaires.  I helped you with answering the questions. (If you missed class, then you missed getting help on how to do a mentor text analysis!).  So this time for HW 4, you are doing a Mentor Text Analysis independently.

In your Mentor Text Analysis:

  • Pay attention to the title that the author/creator chose.  Evaluate if the title is effective and why.
  • Pay attention to the structure of the piece.  How did the author/creator organize his information? W
  • Pay attention to the message and the audience.   You should be able to state clearly what the creator’s message and who the targetted audience is.

By paying attention you will also get ideas on how to make your title, your structure, your message and your audience clear in your own Genre Project.

Kudos to Student Bithiah from my other class who did very good Mentor Text Analyses of their chosen genre.  Bithiah analyzed a photo essay.  Notice that she analyzed the FORM NOT the CONTENT.  That is what the guiding questions asked you to do.

HW 4 is already past due.  But you must do it regardless!

AND HW 5 your Outline for Genre Project is due tomorrow Saturday by 12 noon as described below.

Remember if you are missing class, then there are consequences for your actions.  You choose your actions.  You are an adult. 

Wednesday May 3

SO FAR THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE DONE:  You have written a proposal and chosen a genre to work in, you have analyzed one of the mentor texts in the Unit 3 Assignment sheet.  Doing this should have given you an idea how to put your project together. Think about how much you learned from your mentor text.  That is what your goal is in your Genre Project.  You will teach something to your audience!

Now you will create a working outline for your Genre Project:

HW 5 Outline For Genre Project  DUE Saturday May 6 by 12noon

  • Title:  Outline (Put your chosen genre here) — Your Name
  • Category: Outline for my Genre Project
  • Comment on TWO student peers

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.)

This is an example:  For example, if I was Ruth Bader Ginsburg (remember we watched a trailer video and learned that RBG was a supreme court judge and an important person in the feminist movement.) 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 HW Title:  Outline Op-Ed Project — Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 


GENRE: op-ed

WORKING TITLE FOR MY OP-ED:  Advice for Living


  • 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 (Research)



  • A. My mother encouraged me. (use Q again)
  • 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.” PERSONAL NARRATIVE / STORY-TELLING


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


VI.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.

Here are a few examples of student outlines from previous students:

Student examples for outline of genre project

Monday May 1:

  1. Now you will do a mentor text analysis for the mentor text you have chosen in the Genre you have chosen.
    • 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 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.)

Remember that if you are doing a TED talk, then you should have chosen a mentor text from the TedTalk Mentor Texts in the Unit 3 Assignment.  Like wise if you are creating a podcast, then you should have chosen a mentor text from the Mentor Texts I listed under Option to Create a Podcast.  This should be clear to you now since we talked about this in class.

HW 4 due Tuesday May 4 TOMORROW.  Use

  • Title: Mentor Text Analysis of ______ — Your Name (Fill in the blank:  an op-ed OR a podcast OR a TEDtalk OR WHATEVER GENRE YOU ARE CHOOSING) 
  • Category:  Mentor Text Analysis of my chosen genre
  • No need to comment on peers.

Use these Questions to write your Mentor Text Analysis.  You are doing an analysis of its structure (NOT CONTENT).  Write ONE paragraph.


  • 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 how the text incorporates visuals (imagery, color, layout, subheads, or signs)?
  • If the text has audio, what do you notice about the text auditorily (music, background sounds, voice-over)?
  • How is this text structured?  Describe the organization or structure or parts?  THINK OUTLINE.
  • Length: How long is the text – words, pages, minutes?
  • Who is the primary 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 creator’s 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?
  1. Get to the extra credit events this week:
  • Citations Workshop with Tutor Francis tomorrow Tuesday at 12 noon(you need to register to get the zoom-link, so open this below)

Frances Margo Workshops WC

  • Using Rhetorical Analysis Workshop with Margo:   Thursday at 1 PM in G 608
  • AAPI Asian American Pacific Islander Documentary Film screening:  Thursday at 3 PM in the New Academic Building Auditorium.

SUNDAY April 31

  1. I am very disappointed in reading the Proposals for Genre Project.  First off, very few people did this HW.  Second, many of you just wrote down any old thing with very little serious thought. It looks like you just wanted to get it done. 
  2. Remember the semester is NOT over!  The Final Portfolio is 70% of your grade.  And participation (including HWs and class attendance with discussion contributions and Final Presentation at Writing Celebration) is 30%.  Many of you are not doing thoughtful HW and some of you are not even coming to class.  There are consequences for these types of actions. 

I am proud of those of you who are keeping up and doing good thoughtful work.  I would like to see more people join that small group. 

ONE BIG THING IS:  In the proposal, I asked you to state your message clearly.  You have already done the research, so now you should have some answers as you move into Unit 3.  For your message, you cannot say something vague. GO back and see what you wrote for your message.  Most of you wrote something that sounded wishy-washy as if you had not done any research and you are in the same state of not knowing much about your RQ as you were before you started the RAB project!

You should be able to state your message LOUD AND CLEAR now that you have done the research!


  • My message is that Puerto Rico should become the 51ststate of the USA.
  • My message is that Putin is leading a war because of his own out-dated ideas of territorial sovereignty and possibly leading the entire world into World War III.
  • My message is that young black people in America are being held back from reaching their true potential and even being killed because of prejudicial views and stereotype thinking.
  • My message is that we must get microplastics out of our environment and here are three ways we can do it.

2. Tomorrow– We will meet first in the classroom to talk and then we will go to the computer lab.  Bring your own computers if you wish, or be prepared to work on the computers in the lab.  If you use the lab computer, then you should bring your flashdrive or have some way to save your work so you can continue at home.  We are moving on to doing a Mentor Text for the mentor text (chosen from the list of MENTOR TEXTS in the Unit 3 Assignment sheet).  THEN you will create an outline for your project and get it going.  This will all be due by Friday!  

3. Another extra credit event:  May is Asian American Pacific Islander AAPI Month!  THIS THURSDAY May 4 at 3:00 – 4:00 in the new building at 285 Jay Street in the Auditorium, come for a screening of the Asian American documentary, “Not your Model Minority.”

Shout out to those of you who came to the Literary Arts Festival and had the opportunity to meet the author and had your book signed by the author Akwaeke Emezi — Exciting!

Thursday April 27

I hope to see some of you at the Literary Arts Festival later today!

HW 3 Due Saturday April 29.  Proposal for Genre Project.  POST on OpenLab.  Write a proposal of at least 200 words outlining what you plan to do for Unit 3. You must have your proposal approved by me.

  • Use the Title: Project Proposal — Your Name
  • Category: Project Proposal
  • Then comment on two peer posts.

This proposal should explain: 

  • What your Research Question is.
  • Your Message:  A 1-2 sentence statement of what you want to teach your audience (the most important thing you learned in Unit 2).  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.
  • The audience you are targeting or trying to reach. Get as specific as you can here. Everyone is not an audience!
  • The genre you are considering and why you chose it. If you are trying to decide between 2 genres, you can say what those two are — and why each one night work for your project.
  • plan — how do you intend to get started?
  • Anything you might be worried about.  What are your concerns about finishing this project?
  • What mentor text you will be using?  Choose a mentor text from inside the Unit 3 Genre Project Assignment.  Go to the Option for the Genre you are choosing and see the list of Mentor Texts.  Choose one.

NOTICE THAT I CREATED A PAGE called Genre Project Resources.  There you will find resources for working with elements of video, audio, music, visuals, and others.  You will also find genre projects from previous students.

Wednesday April 26

I am announcing due dates:

Final Portfolio will be due May 17.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

  1. Ed Narrative revision
  2. RAB revision
  3. Genre Project with CREATOR STATEMENT as a first time submission
  4. Final Course Reflection

We will go over this and I will explain how to put together the Final Portfolio later, but for now I just want to get the dates out to you.  For now your focus is on Genre Project.

Final Writing Celebration where you will present your Unit 3 Genre projects to the class will be last day of class May 22.  EVERYONE MUST PARTICIPATE. IT IS REQUIRED AND PART OF YOUR FINAL GRADE.  NO EXCEPTIONS. 

You must meet these due dates.  If you do not submit on time; then I will not be able to meet my deadline.  Final grading is a intensive HW for me, so please respect that.  Plan accordingly and manage your time. 

Extra credit event THURSDAY!

Literary Arts Festival takes place this Thursday, April 27, 4-6 pm, New Academic Complex Theater.   Free and open to the public!  Bring family and friends!  Bring your book!  

Here is NIgerian author Akwaeke Emezi interview on The Trevor Noah show.  Pay attention to how she talks about genre and love of books.

You should also be revising your RAB work.  GO BACK to the Research Project Resources page and the many worksheets posted there.  GO BACK to the Assignment and study it carefully.  WORK WITH THE TUTORS! 

Sunday April 23

I have finished grading the Unit 2 RAB.  Comments are in Google Drive; grades are in Blackboard.  Kudos to everyone who completed the RAB!  This was a difficult project.  You will find that if you have done good RAB writing for all the parts, you will have a smoother transition into working on the last project, the Genre Project Unit 3. 

You must be revising the RAB now before you get into Unit 3 Genre Project.  You should already be scheduling your appointments with the tutors!

Heads Up!  You should have already revised your Education Narrative and NOW you should be revising your RAB.  Both of these assignments will be submitted in the Final Portfolio as revised versions.   The Final Portfolio will be due mid-May (exact date TBD).

You should be studying the Unit 3 Genre project and exploring the different options and reading the mentor texts.  You are doing all this inorder to make a good decision on which genre to express your newly gained knowledge on your RQ.  Remember Unit 2 leads to Unit 3. 

Tomorrow we will continue our work on Mentor Texts for the different genres.  Make sure your HW 1 and HW2 are posted.  Do not fall behind. 

Looking ahead to the plan: 

  • This week you will write a Genre Project Proposal.
  • You will choose one Mentor Text in your chosen genre from the Unit 3 Assignment and do a Mentor Text Analysis (like you just did for HW2.)
  • Then you will start creating your Genre Project.

Thursday April 20, 2023

I heard from Prof. Margo Goldstein that my students were awesome participants at the Rhetorical Analysis Workshop today.  Thx to Odalys, Bithiah and Isabell for attending!

HW 2 Due Sunday April 23 by noon.  

  • Title: Mentor Text Analysis – Your Name.
  • Category: Mentor Text Analysis
  • No need to peer-comment this time.

Most of you have not posted HW1 telling me what genres you are considering. (You will find the work harder because you are NOT following the writing process – your actions will have consequences – and quicksand is a REAL thing!) I will just go ahead based on what I heard in class.  For this assignment you will focus on the genre, op-ed OR podcast.

So I am giving you an option here:  You can do a mentor text analysis for the op-ed OR for the podcast.  Choose ONE — not both!

If you choose the op-ed, then read I Make Video Games. I won’t Let My Daughter Play Them by William Siu

If you choose the podcast, then view/listen to the video-podcast Why There’s No Such Thing As A Good Billionaire by Adam Conover

Use these Guiding Questions to write your Mentor Text Analysis.  You are doing an analysis of its form (NOT CONTENT).  Write ONE paragraph.


  • Consider the TITLE.  Is it an efffective title?  Why or why not?
  • 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 how the text incorporates visuals (imagery, color, layout, subheads, or signs)?
  • If the text has audio, what do you notice about the text auditorily (music, background sounds, voice-over)?
  • How is this text structured?  Describe the organization or structure or parts?  THINK OUTLINE.
  • What rhetorical appeals are used (ethos, pathos, logos)?  Is this effective?  Why or Why not?
  • Length: How long is the text – words, pages, minutes?
  • Who is the primary 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 creator’s message is?  You should be able to state clearly what the creator’s 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?

Wednesday April 19 post-class

TWO EVENTS COMING UP — both are extra-credit events:

  1. Tomorrow THURSDAY at 1PM in G608: This workshop will help you as your revise your RAB and as you study the mentor texts for Unit 3 Genre Project. 

2. Next week on THURSDAY April 27                  LAF-Poster-PDF

Please let me know if any of you would like a free copy of Emezi’s book Freshwater.  I have connections and can get you a copy — Send me an email now!

Please join us at the 2023 City Tech Literary Arts Festival on Thursday, April 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Academic Complex Theater, 285 Jay Street, Brooklyn.
This year’s event features acclaimed multidisciplinary artist, writer, and a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree Akwaeke Emezi, author of Freshwater and the bestsellers You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty and The Death of Vivek Oji.Please register here now!
The first thirty City Tech students who register to attend will receive a free copy of Freshwater by LAF featured writer Akwaeke Emezi at the event!There is also a limited virtual option to join by Zoom available to City Tech students, faculty & staff. Please choose the virtual option when registering for the event and the link will be sent two days before the event.For more information, see


3.  I will post HW 2 tomorrow so please look back here soon.  For now, you are studying and exploring the Unit 3 Assignment 

Monday April 17 post-class

  1. Prof Margo Goldstein came to announce that she is presenting a workshop on How to Write the Rhetorical Analysis on Thursday April 20 in General Building Room 608 (the computer center in one of the back classrooms) at 1:00.  Extra-Credit for attending!

2. Read and Study and EXPLORE the Unit 3 Genre ProjectExplore the different genre options in the Assignment (there are 13 options).  Under each genre option, click on the links and look at the Mentor Texts to get ideas.

3. HW 1 Due Tuesday night April 19.  Write your RQ at the top of your HW post to remind me what your RQ is.  THEN — Write a paragraph listing three genres that you are considering.  Explain (just a few sentences) why you think each of these three top choices will work for communicating your message.  If you have narrowed it down to two, ok write about why each of these two would work for your message.  For now I want you to explore the different genre options and think about a few (two or three) that you believe could work for your message.

  • Title:  Possible Genres — Your Name
  • Category:  Possible Genres
  • Short comment on two student peers

I would like to direct you to the genre options: Open Letter, Feature Article, Op-ed, TEDtalk, Podcast, Interview (video or podcast).

4. If you have not already done so, get HW 7 from Unit Two (scroll down to see it) Final Revision Ideas for Education Narrative which was due last week — get it done NOW!

Sunday April 16

Welcome back!  Here is a picture from my visit to Southern California.   I went on a hike in a canyon where I came upon this field of cactus — and TWO rattlesnakes.  I did not stop to take that picture, deciding instead to start running!

I hope you had a restful and fun break, as I did.  We have a little more than one month to go, so we need to keep motivated and keep the momentum going.

  1. I am working on grading your RAB projects now.  I am not done yet, but I plan to be finished after this coming weekend. Apologies for my late homework!
  2. Please make sure that you have also submitted RAB to the BlackBoard where I will post your grade.  Remember the comments will be in Google Drive; the grades will be in BB when I finish grading.  There are a few of you who have not posted to BB; how you will you know your grade?
  3. I am disappointed that most of you did NOT work with the Writing Tutors.  As I have been constantly reminding you TWO visits are required (anything over two visists is extra credit) and I expected you to make a visit for Unit One and for Unit Two.  EVERYONE should now get to the tutors as you work on revisions of Ed Narrative and RAB.
  4. Looking ahead – As soon as you get back my comments and your RAB grade, you will all be revising the RAB for the Final Portfolio.  Do not work on your revision in the Google Doc.  I need to keep your First Drafts as they are in Google Drive for my own grading purposes.  Instead you will:  Download it as a MSWord file onto your computer and work on it there.  My comments will transfer over in the download – so no worries.  Later you will submit it again as a revised version in the Final Portfolio.
  5. I notice that only a few of you did the most recent OLab HWs.  Please post your revisions plans for the Ed Narrative and start revising this piece now.  This will save you invaluable time and stress and give you a head-start on the Final Portfolio due approximately mid-May.

6. We will start Unit 3, The Genre Project.   Please read through the Assignment now.

I notice many of you did not include in your RAB Conclusion a statement saying what genre you plan to work on to present your newly gained knowledge from your RAB project.  What genre will you work in?  We will be previewing Unit 3, so you should be thinking about this question now.

Sunday April 9, 2023

Happy Easter, Passover, and Ramadan!

  1. As you wrap up your RAB, here is the final checklist and what you will be graded on:

I hope you have been studying the examples RAB Project Complete from previous students which are on the Research Projects Resources page.


  • For the Google Drive, name your file:  First Name Last Name – RAB FD 1.
  • So for example:  Jessica Castro – RAB FD 1
  • For Blackboard use the same file name.
  • Remember that presentation counts.  Use proper labelling as we discussed in class.
  • Use the proper header in the top left hand corner of your RAB first page

Jessica Castro

Prof. Wu

ENG 1101 Section 025

Unit Two RAB

April 10, 2023

Remember that you should have worked with the Writing Tutors.  Please ask your tutor to email me, so I can give you tutoring credit.  

3. ALSO now is a good time to work on the revision of Unit 1 Education Narrative.  DUE Wednesday April 12, HW#7 on the Open Lab:

Final Revision Ideas for Education Narrative (one paragraph, 5-7 sentences).  Title:  Final Revisions Ideas Ed Narrative–Your Name  Category:  Final Revision Ideas Ed Narrative

How, exactly, will you thoroughly revise your Education Narrative for your Final Portfolio?

  • Return to your Unit 1 Education Narrative Google file and study my comments on FD #1.  Name two revision strategies that you plan to use. Refer to “Development Writing Strategies” handout (posted on Grammar/Writing Skills page).
  • Remember, “fixing” grammar and clarifying wording are important, but if that’s all you do (or if that’s all you talk about for HW#6), you haven’t completed the assignment; true revision takes in the big picture: development and organization.

You could write, for example,

After studying Professor Wu’s end comments on my FD 1, I plan to develop two more scenes at key points in my story, in P. 4 and P. 6.  Also, I plan to break up large blocks of dialogue by adding descriptive phrases.  I’ll experiment with starting my story at a more dramatic point and weaving some of the original material into the body of the story. I’ll meet with a tutor at the Writing Center to study complex and compound sentences (could be everybody here!) 

Sunday April 2

  1. Tomorrow we meet in the classroom.  Please be on time.  We have a lot to cover and I want to make sure you are ready to work on your own finishing up your RAB.  It is our last class before break.  We don’t meet again until April 17 Monday.


  • We will go over the Source Entries you wrote for HW5.
  • We will look at how to do the Source Entry for the third source, the non-print multimedia source.
  • We will look at the Assignment to see how to write the CONCLUSION for the entire RAB.  RAB Final Step INSTRUCTIONS Conclusion Paragraph for Entire RAB Document. (Also on Research Project Resources page)
  • We will preview a few of your own multimedia sources. I will ask some of you to share your video, podcast, documentary.  Say a few words of summary and show us your source.

2. Congrats to everyone who got their first Source Entry done and turned in on time.  I am pleased.!  After all the hard work, I can see that you are beginning to get it.  This RAB is a tough project, but we have been immersing ourselves for weeks now and it is paying off.  You will now revise using your peer comments and my teacher comments and PUT THIS SOURCE ENTRY 1 INTO  your RAB.  Remember you are “building” your RAB in your own MS Word doc.  Later you will upload this file into the Google Drive (and Blackboard).

3. I am making the due date for the final complete RAB entire project due on Monday April 10.   So you and I will divide up our Spring Break.  You will work on writing the RAB the first half and I will work grading it the second half. On Monday April 10, you will turn in to Google Drive and Blackboard.  TWO places, remember!  I will be sending Announcements to remind you.  Use the RAB checklist as you finalize your RAB project.  RAB Review Checklist (also on Research Project Resources page)

4.. Here are some global comments I have for everyone on HW 5 Source Entry 1.

On Reflection Writing: I want to push you to write more interesting Reflections.

  • What do you think now that you have read this article?
  • After you read the article, share it with your mom or dad or a friend or tell them a brief summary.  Then have a conversation.  Can you add some interesting ideas you got from your conversation?
  • Can you add a personal connection?
  • After reading the article, you should have some new ideas. The article should make you think – otherwise why did you chose it?  The more original ideas you have — the more you have to say on your RQ — the more material you will have to jumpstart Unit 3 Genre Project.  Remember these two units are connected.  So the more original thinking you do now — the more ideas you will have to work with when you start Unit 3.

On Summary writing:   

  • HINT – If an article has subheadings, use the subheads to find one main point in each subhead section.  Then gather those points together to become your summary.
  • When I read your summary, I should know what the article is about.  I should NOT have to read the article myself!  SO — If you have written a good summary, there will be NO need to for me to read the article.
  • OF course you CANNOT put every single thing into the SUMMARY.  It is your job to select the MIs judiciously (using good judgement).

On Rhetorical Analysis

  • Add the date of the article to your analysis.  This will help you decide if the information is current or not.  This makes sense especially in the case of choosing a news article that is dated from a few years back. 


The writing needs to be clearly written. READ your writing out loud to yourself, to your mom, to a friend.  Read exactly what you have written.  You will hear the errors in your writing.  You will hear the words you left out.  You will hear what sounds off.

  • WORK WITH THE TUTORS. They are ready to work with you during the break in online individual sessions.  Remember a total of TWO visits are required for this class.


Thursday March 30

I am looking forward to reading your Source Entry 1 due tomorrow.

  1. Here I gather for your convenience all the handouts and worksheets we used in our writing process for Source Entry for “Schools Kill Curiosity.”

2.  I put together the best parts from the student writings to create a complete Source Entry for “Schools Kill Curiosity.”  Thanks to Bithiah and Wendbenedo who wrote the best parts!  Here it is for you to study: StudtEx RAB Source Entry SchKilCur

3.  Here are my own RAB writing that I shared with you this week:

Here is my example: LWu RAB Source Entry NYT SpitYell-hi-lited

Here is my example: LWu-RAB-RevisedExample-for-SourceEntry-AYang-Op-Ed (2)

Wednesday March 29


Due Friday March 31 by midnight:  HW 5 Complete Source Entry for one print source – either news or feature or op-ed (all five parts properly labeled).  You are building your RAB in MSWord.  You will cut and paste the source entry into the Open Lab.  (You keep the original in your master copy on your computer, and you continue working on your other source entries there.)

  • Title: RAB Source Entry 1 – Your Name
  • Category: RAB Source Entry 1

YOU MUST COMMENT ON TWO STUDENT PEERS. You MUST MAKE meaningful comments.  After you do this and only after you do this, I will comment on your work and give you a grade.  If you do not participate in the student peer activity, you will get no feedback, no grade, no credit.  Peer commenting is part of your grade, as described in the class syllabus.  NO meaningless comments.  Use the RAB handouts to come up with your on-point, constructive, and targeted peer comments.



Due Saturday April 1 by midnight:  HW 6 Source #3. Give the MLA citation for your non-print source. Use the citation machine (Research Project Resources page).  If you cannot do this, then for now you can show me the link.  You will also give short brief summary (just a few sentences — does not have to be the final version of your summary) of this video, or TEDtalk, or podcast, or whatever genre your Source 3 is.

Remember that your Source #3 should be in the form of a non-print genre such as a TEDtalk, podcast, interview, documentary, video, or creative source (art, photography, music video, poem).

  • Title: Source 3 – Your Name
  • Category: Source 3
  • FOR THIS HW NO NEED TO Comment on two student peers.

Tuesday March 28

You should be finishing your Source Entry 1 and starting your Source Entry 2.  I want to see your printed-out physical annotated articles for Source 1 and Source 2.  YOU MUST HAVE THESE PRINTOUTS and YOU MUST HAVE THEM ANNOTATED!

  1. Thx to Amy and Wendbenedo who came to the Genre Workshop today.
  2. 2. Tomorrow we meet in the Computer Lab.

3. Please read the Andrew Yang op-ed article that I used for my Source #2 (link below scroll down).  We will discuss the genre of Op-ed (How do you know it’s an Opinion Editorial?) and how to write the Part 4 Rhetorical Analysis using the Rhetorical Analysis Worksheet  RhetoricalGenreAnalysisWorksheet .

4. Please view the SlideShow RAB Source Analysis (scroll down for link)

Monday March 27, 2023 post-class

  1. Please view Prof. Blain’s Slide Show which is an overview of the RAB Source Entry.  RAB Source Analysis Slideshow from Prof. Blain.  This is what we are working on RIGHT NOW, so viewing this will give you more insight into the RAB Project.  It helps to see something from a different angle.  Notice that the terminology is slightly different.  She calls it a Source Analysis; I call it a Source Entry — same thing.  Click on the links inside the Slides to study the student examples.  In this slide show Prof. Blain focuses on explaining the Rhetorical Analysis part.

2. Today we reviewed and studied student examples of the Part 3 Reflection.  Shout-out to Wendbenedo and Anthony Clement who wrote good Reflections on “Schools Kill Curiosity.”  We reviewed the Research Project Resources page.  Please use these resources; print them out for easy reference.

3. We will meet in the computer lab again on Wednesday.  You should be finishing your Source Entry 1 and starting your Source Entry 2.  I want to see your printed-out physical annotated articles for Source 1 and Source 2.  YOU MUST HAVE THESE PRINTOUTS and YOU MUST HAVE THEM ANNOTATED!


4.  Here I share with you (copied from the Research Project Resources page):


5. This is a busy week — Heads up:

  • Friday I will ask you to post one of your first two complete Source Entries – just one – your choice. All five parts!
  • Saturday I will ask you to show me what your third source will be. You should have found it by now. All you will do is post the link for the source (you do NOT have to have the third source entry written), so I can check it out and approve it.

6. Remember the Zoom Writing Workshop on Unit 3 Genre Project at 1:00 pm tomorrow.  Prof. Cheung will present her own Genre Project on K-Pop.  Extra-credit for attending.  Scroll down to find the poster with zoom-link.

7.  We are discussing a possible extension of the RAB deadline.  Originally it is due this coming Monday before the Spring Break.  GET TO WORK!

Sunday March 26

  1. Kudos to those of you who are keeping up and submitting the HWs!  You have now written all five parts for a Source Entry on “Schools Kill Curiosity.”  Some of you need to comment on peer work. Remember that commenting meaningfully is part of your grade, so please do that now, if you forgot.

2. Many students did not submit the HW 4 Reflection and Rhetorical Analysis and Quotes for “Schools Kill Curiosity.”  Some did not submit the HW3 Citation and Summary on the practice article.  THIS IS A PROBLEM as you are not getting practice and guidance on how to write a Source Entry.

At this point we are still heading for a deadline of next Monday April 3 for the RAB complete.  You should be working independently on your first two source entries. You will continue this work tomorrow in the computer lab.

2. Tomorrow we will meet in the computer lab downstairs on the Ground Floor. 

  • We will have a short lesson reviewing Reflection and Rhetorical Analysis using student examples.  Here is classroom activity:  StudEx Reflection SchKillin
  • Then we will work independently on our own RAB projects.  You will be able to show me your RAB writing work-in-progress.  Bring your computer, or your flash drive, or whatever you need to work in the computer lab.  You will be able to printout important RAB handouts that we have been using in class.

3.  You should be studying the Student Example Complete RABs on the Research Project Resources page!    

4. Work with the Writing Tutors!

5. Tuesday March 28 at 1 pm, the Writing Center will host a zoom workshop on Unit 3 Genre Project.  I encourage you to attend and get heads-up on Unit 3 which is coming up after the break.  Extra-credit for attending.

Friday March 24

Note change to HW 4:  I have added Part 5 Notable Quotables.  Please scroll down and read HW 4 instructions again to see the change.

Then you will have worked your way through a complete Source Entry for “Schools Kill Curiosity,” writing all five parts for “Schools Kill Curiosity.”

Thursday March 23

Some of you have yet to post a picture of annotated Source 1 and give me the two sources that will be your News / Feature article Source 1 and your Opinion Editorial Source 2.  This was HW 2 and it is past due.

Some of you have not finalized and revised and updated your RAB Proposal.  Some of you have not yet updated your RQ to become a clearly stated and finalized RQ.  This was HW 1 and it is long past due.  

This is a problem because I have not approved your RQ — or — I have not approved your first two sources.

If you are working on a RQ or using sources that are not approved, then you may be starting your RAB work only to find that your RQ and your sources are not acceptable.  Then you will have start over again.

Please resolve this now!

Wednesday March 22 post-class

  1. Today we looked student summaries of “Schools Kill Curiosity” and used the Summary Checklist (on the How to Write Summary handout) to evaluate each summary.  Here is classroom activity: Student Examples Practice Summ SchKillC.  Look at Example 6 for a good summary on “Schools Kill Curiosity.”

2. For our HWs in Open Lab, we are continuing to use our practice article “Schools Kill Curiosity.” Notice that I am guiding you in writing an entire Source Entry on our practice article.  In HW3, you already did Parts 1 and 2 of Source Entry for “Schools Kill Curiosity.”

We reviewed the FIVE parts of an RAB Source Entry:

              • Part 1 MLA Citation
              • Part 2 Summary
              • Part 3 Reflection
              • Part 4 Rhetorical Analysis
              • Part 5 Notable Quotables

HW 4:  Now you will do Parts 3 and 4 and 5 for “Schools Kill Curiosity” – Due Saturday March 25 by 12 Noon.

  • Title: Practice Reflection and Rhetorical Analysis and Quotes – Your Name
  • Category: Practice Reflection and Rhetorical Analysis
  • COMMENT on two student peers. Your comments must be targeted, meaningful, and helpful.

For HW4, you will write a Reflection (Part 3) and a Rhetorical Analysis (Part 4) for “Schools Kill Curiosity.”  You will comment on two student peers making meaningful helpful comments. (NO MORE pointless, meaningless “This is great!” comments.) 

(This is all copied from the Assignment sheet, so you have it on your print-out.)

Part 3 Reflection. The Reflection is perhaps the most important part, so don’t skimp here! I want to see your own original thoughts on “Schools Kill Curiosity.”  This is where you respond to the article and give your opinion. Choose any from this list of questions  to generate ideas for one paragraph of 4-5 sentences (your choice, no need to answer all):

* Do you agree or disagree with the information that the author presents? Why or why not? Be specific!
* What did you learn from the text?
* Reflect on the new information you learned and ADD your own thinking. What further ideas, questions, thoughts do you have?
* Find a significant quote and discuss it.
* 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 source tell you about your research question?
* Why did you select this source?

Part 4:  Rhetorical Analysis.  Here you will consider genre, writing style, purpose, and author’s credentials.   Write one paragraph of 4-5 sentences. Use this Rhetorical Analysis Worksheet  RhetoricalGenreAnalysisWorksheet (also on Research Project Resources page)

* Describe the author’s writing style, tone, attitude.

* 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?

* Credibility: Is the author credible? Is the source (newspaper/magazine/organization) credible?  Explain why author and source are reliable.  Google the newspaper/magazine/organization and the author to find background facts.

Part 5 Notable Quotables

Quotations: Make a note of at least THREE  direct quotes from the 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 author name.

“Put the quoted words here” (Smith).


­­­­­­­­­­­­­3. Remember my example RQ  by Student Lisa:  How has the corona virus pandemic exacerbated Anti-Asian racism?

For you to study– Here is my RAB Source Entry 1 for my Source 1: New York Times article Spit on Yelled at, Attacked:  Chinese Americans Fear for Their Safety:  LWu RAB Source Entry NYT SpitYell-hi-lited(on the Research Project Resources page)


4. By now, you should have your first TWO print sources.  NOW start looking for your third non-print source.  Be ready to share in class some of the non-print sources you are finding.  Read the Assignment sheet to review.

The Research Project Resources page is an invaluable collection of reference material to use as you “build” your RAB.  Please use it!  In class today we looked at student example complete RABs on the Research Project Resources page.  Study the examples. PRINT OUT anything you want to have as easy reference.  

This weekend, you will begin to write your RAB.  Start a new document in a MS Word on your computer.  Apply what you are learning in the HWs to your own RAB work.  How to use the citation machine; how to write a summary; how to write a reflection; how to write a rhetorical analysis.

  • By now, you should have a solid RQ (Research Question) that I have approved.
  • You should have revised your proposal paragraph and edited it, following the paragraph template for the proposal.
  • Now the proposal will become your Introduction. Put the Introduction up front.
  • Begin work on your Source Entry #1 for your Source 1. This is the news or feature article that you have been printed out and read and annotated.
  • Work on Part 1 MLA Citation and Part 2 Summary. We have had lessons on how to use the citation machine and how to write a good summary.
  • Be ready to work on your RAB in the computer lab next week.  Bring flash, computer, send yourself the file, or however you are working on it at home.

 5. Make an appointment with the Writing Tutors to get help as you write summaries or reflections or rhetorical analysis, any part of the RAB that you need help on. Remember at least two visits required, more than two will count as extra-credit! 

Monday March 20 post-class

  1. For practice on summary writing, we are all reading the article, “Schools are Killing Curiosity.”  This week I am guiding you all on writing a complete Source Entry on this article (Remember the five parts of the Source Entry are MLA Citation, Summary, REflection, Rhetorical Analysis, and Quotables).   We decided “Schools are Killing Curiosity”  is a feature piece, not a news piece and not an opinion-editorial.  We read, annotated, and practiced finding Main Ideas (MIs) and Supporting Details.  We used the handouts on How to Write a Summary and the GRAPHIC ORGANIZER FOR SUMMARY(both on the Research Project Resources page).

DUE Tuesday night March 21 by midnight.  Now using the work you did in class, you will write a summary on this piece “Schools are Killing Curiosity” for HW 3.  ALSO you will use the citation machine (on Research Project Resources page) to create the MLA Citation and put this upfront of the summary.  So you are doing Parts 1 and 2 for a Source Entry on “Schools are Killing Curiosity.” 

  • Title:  Summary Practice – Your Name
  • Category: Summary Practice
  • NO need to comment on two students posts for this HW.
    Part 1 MLA Citation
    (put your citation here)
    Part 2 Summary
    (put your summary here)

2. You are revising and refining your RAB Proposals.  Put (updated) in the title if you revise.

3.  You are continuing to search and read through possible articles.   You will likely read though many different articles to find the best ones for your RQ.  Do not just pick the first one you find.  If you are having a hard time finding articles that give you good current information then consider if you want to change your RQ.  Then, update your RAB.  Remember this UNIT 2 RAB is due before the Spring Break, so if you are changing your RQ do it now!

4. Remember you need to do HW 2 (instructions below) posting your Annotated Page from your Source 1.

5. Work with the Writing Tutors on your RAB and on your Ed Narrative.  Get an Appointment now.


I have posted midterm grades to Blackboard.  Good job to everyone who is keeping-up and passing at Midterm!  I considered:

  • Education Narrative grade
  • Grade and completion of 10 HWs in Unit 1 (including peer review/commenting)
  • Participation
  • Attendance
  • Participation
  • HW #1 RAB Proposal in Unit 2
  • Remember that you must make TWO visits to the Writing Tutors.

We are fully into UNIT 2 NOW. Do not fall behind; you will be in the quicksand!

Remember you should be reading through many different possible sources to narrow it down to the best Feature article or best News article (this will be Source 1) that answers your RQ. 

Today your HW 2 is due and I am looking forward to seeing the sources that you plan to use.

Remember that you must printout, read and annotate your Source 1 (news or feature article preferably a NYT article) and bring to class tomorrow.  Be ready to write the MLA citation and the summary in class tomorrow using your printout. 

Wednesday March 15 post-class 

We had a great class in the library computer lab with Prof. Almeida.  Thanks to those who participated.

I have now graded the RAB proposals.  I also shared some articles that I found for many of your RQs.  You can still revise your RQ, but you should do that RIGHT AWAY!  We are on a schedule and if you fall behind, you will be in the quicksand.  If you do revise your RAB, then put (updated) in parenthesis after your HW title, so RAB PROPOSAL PARAGRAPH (updated) – Lisa.  Remember if it’s late – no credit, no comments! Some of you did not post RAB proposals and that will become a huge problem, as you will soon see.

If you need to see the example RAB Proposal by Student Lisa, here is the link to the post on Student Works

Over the weekend, you will search for the TWO print sources on your RQ.  You will likely find a lot of different possible sources.  Choose the two best articles:  ONE is a news article or feature article and the SECOND is an Opinion Editorial.  You will print these out and read and annotate these articles.

  1. News article or Feature article
  2. Opinion Editorial (Op-Ed) article

For HW2, we will start with the News or Feature article which will be Source 1.

You will include:

  • the MLA citation (use  for the News or Feature Article. (if you cannot do the Citation then for now give the link)
  • a picture of your annotated page for your News Article or Feature Article to show me that you have printed it out and that you have read and annotated it. 
  • then tell me what will be your Op-Ed for your Source #2 by giving MLA citation for your second source.  
  • That’s a lot to do, so I am giving you until Sunday night:

DUE Sunday March 19 by midnight:  HW 2

  • Title:  Annotated Source 1
  • Category: Annotated Source 1
  • No need to comment on two peers for this HW – Yayy!

So to repeat, your News or Feature article will be your Source 1.  We will start writing the first Source Entry.  Monday we will  do the MLA Citation and write the summary, so you must have your PRINTED-OUT Source 1 on Monday.  That is why HW2 is to post a picture of your annotated page of the news or the feature article.

See my example post of this HW2 by Student Lisa on Student Works page.

We will do the Op-Ed, which will be your Source 2, the following week.

Remember that you will REVISE your EDUCATION NARRATIVE for the Final Portfolio which will be due somewhere in the second week of May. A good idea is to get started on the revision now while it is fresh on your mind.  Get to the WRiting TUtors!

Tuesday night March 14

Tomorrow we will meet at 12noon in front of the library, 4th floor at the library entrance.  Prof. Almeida will make a presentation on researching skills.

SO — everyone should have revised and refined their RAB Proposal on Open Lab.  Go into your RAB Proposal on Open Lab and use the edit feature to edit it.  Also add one or two links of possible sources from your preliminary search.

Heads up — Over the weekend, you will search for TWO sources on your RQ.  You will likely find a lot of different possible sources.  Then choose the two best articles:  ONE is a news article or feature article and the SECOND is an Opinion Editorial.  You will print these out and read and annotate these articles.  Next week we will right the first Source Entry:  Citation, Summary, Reflection, Rhetorical Analysis, Quotes.  These are the 5 parts of each Source Entry.

  1. News article or Feature article — -don’t know what this is, Let’s ask Prof.
  2. Opinion Editorial article — ——Almeida, tomorrow!

Remember that you should printout the RAB assignment for easy reference.  You will need it as a guide as you work through the different parts.

Monday morning March 13

As you look at the grade and comments on your Education Narrative, I want to remind you what the Assignment was.  Many of you must learn to read carefully the Assignment sheet:  I copy here from the Unit One Education Narrative Assignment sheet:

Your goal is to show how a particular aspect of your educational experience shaped you to become who you are today.   Choose a single transformative event or memory or a set of transformative events or memories that influenced you; do not try to cover too much material.  To do so, thoughtfully revise one of your HW Writing Tasks to explore a compelling aspect of your educational journey.

SUNDAY March 12

I have finished grading Education Narrative.  Grades are posted in Blackboard.  Comments are in your Google drive FD.

A few students DID NOT POST to the Blackboard, so I cannot upload your grade.  Pls FIX THIS NOW!  This is a clear sign that you are NOT reading Announcements or Assignments carefully. 

WE meet tomorrow to go over your RAB proposals; this was HW1, our first HW in Unit Two.  Pls make sure you have posted your HW 1 RAB Proposal.

Heads up about Wednesday’s class;  WEDNESDAY MARCH 15 we will meet in the Library, right at the Library entrance on the 4th floor Atrium Building.  Professor Almeida will be giving us a lecture on finding sources for your Research Question.

Thursday March 9

We in Unit TWO now!  Make sure you have your free New York Times and free Wall Street Journal digital subscriptions as a CUNY student:  link also found on our Home page.

Yesterday we previewed the Unit Two Reflective Annotated Bibliography RAB Assignment.  Please print out this assignment sheet!  Annotate it!  You will be referring to it constantly.  The RAB is a difficult document with many moving parts, so use the printed out Assignment sheet as your guide. 

Then we worked on refining a Research Question. We started with a big topic, then found subtopics, then added some dimensions like demographics, location, time, cause and effect to come up with possible RQs.

To narrow down your RQ watch this video form our City Tech librarians:

Let’s Get Started — Write a Proposal.

Due Sunday March 12 by 12 NOON time Post to the Open Lab  HW #1 Your RAB Proposal Paragraph.  Use the Title: RAB Proposal Paragraph – Your Name.  Use the Category: RAB Proposal.  Then comment on TWO student peers.

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: ______? 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 or WSJournal articles

  1. 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.
  2. You are not bound to your topic now.  You are just brainstorming and planning.
  3. Help and learn from each other: Comment on two of your classmate’s proprosal paragraph. DO NOT JUST WRITE “Great idea” – this does not help.  Please make meaningful comments.  You may make suggestions on a certain angle of the Research Question.  You may add a point about a subtopic or make a pointed question to add another dimension to the student’s RQ.  Please give targeted thoughtful commentary.  If you can’t, then choose another student peer to comment on.
  4. Find one New York Times or Wall Street Journal article that looks good for your research question and add the link at the bottom of your post.  You are not obligated to use this article.  You are just doing a quick preliminary search to see if sources on your topic exist.  Try googling “_____ your RQ and NYT” and see what comes up. (NYT = New York Times)
  1. See example post by Student Lisa in the Student Works.

Monday March 6 post-class

  1.  A number of students spoke up and said they want another chance to write the Peer Review.  So I will extend until TONIGHT Monday by midnight for you to COMMMENT and write a PEER REVIEW END LETTER for TWO group members’s FINAL DRAFT.  Use the Peer Review sheet / checklist to come up with your comments.

Then students may make revisions and upload to Google Drive/Final Draft folder as a second Final Draft, FD#2.  Student will title the file First Name Last Name FD #2 and upload by Wednesday 7AM.  Remember TO PRESERVE THE FD#1 in the Google Drive as it was originally and to download and revise — working on this FD#2 in your own master file.

ALSO remember, you must upload this FD#2 to both Google Drive and BlackBoard by Wednesday at 7 AM.

2.  WEDNESDAY we move on to Unit 2 which you will find in the Assignments page.  Start looking at the RAB Reflective Annotated Bibliography assignment which is Unit 2.

3. Shout out to Ludovic, Ahsan for acting today —  We really saw Theatre of the Mind thx to your great performances.  Thanks also to Balthazar and Anthony Clement for narrating.

Sunday night March 5

REMINDER:  For tomorrow Monday’s class, read and bring to class a printed out copy of the Obama reading.  No HW on this reading, but please read it ahead of class.  Obama, Chapter Four   (This is just Chapter Four, 10 pages.)

Education Narrative due tonight on the Google Drive in the Final Draft and in your Group’s folder.

Tomorrow we will also upload the Final Draft to the Blackboard.  I will go over this tomorrow.

Saturday night March 4

BIG PROBLEM:  I see NO peer reviews on the Rough Drafts in the Google Drive.  In class last Wednesday, we used the Peer Review Checklist to give group members our comments and to write an end-letter.  Each of you should have entered your comments and written an end letter to TWO other group members. 

You were then instructed to use the peer review comments to transform your Rough Draft (RD) into a Final Draft (FD).

If you have no Peer Review, how will you revise your RD and turn it into a FD?  We are following a Writing Process and at each step of the way, your essay should be revised:  Open Lab HW to RD to FD.  If your RD is not revised and is the exact same when you turn in the FD, then you have NOT followed the Writing Process.  I will be looking for evidence of revision in this Writing Process.

Following instructions is a big part of this course.  I gave instructions on the Peer Review activity in Wednesday’s class and printed out and handed out the Peer Review Checklist and you got a start on this activity in class.  So as of now everyone of you has NOT fulfilled one of the REQUIREMENTS for the Unit One Assignment!

To resolve this problem, get up on the Google Drive NOW ASAP and do the peer review for TWO group members’ RD.

THIS IS A REQUIREMENT, and not doing it will result in a letter grade deduction on your Education Narrative grade.  

In addition, going to work with the Writing Tutors is a Requirement.  SO if you have NOT done this, your grade will suffer. 


As you move to the Final Draft (due tomorrow Sunday night), please remember:

  • Write an outline and place it upfront before your essay.
  • Make a connection to one of the readings. Use the Making a Connection to the Reading handout (also on the Assignment sheet and in the Grammar Writing Skills page).

 I fear that many of you have effectively failed yourself out of this course! 


Thursday March 2

  1. Remember you should have used my comments on your HW 5 6 or 7 to develop your RD Rough Draft! 

I see that many of you have ignored my comments in your HWs for Mentor Quote, Resilience, Saved and Between Two Worlds.  Remember build your RD off of those HWs and my comments.  There is a WRITING PROCESS here and I will be looking to see that you started your WRITING Process with the HW 5 6 or 7 and my comments given there.  I will be looking to see that you incorporated my HW comments in your RD and to further develop into a FD Final Draft!

2. WHERE are the student letter peer reviews?  Yesterday we had a peer review sessions.  Today — In each student RD, I should be able to see TWO student peer review letters and comments from TWO student peers.  THIS peer review is part of our writing process.   If you have not participated and done TWO student peer reviews, your paper will receive a letter grade drop in your essay grade.

Wednesday night March 1

Many of you have NOT uploaded your Rough Drafts to the Google Drive.  Esha, Nick, Mo, Amy, Kissary, Nate, Angel, Itzel you are late!  You have until midnight tonight.  THE ROUGH DRAFT IS REQUIRED and PEER REVIEW of TWO PEERS IS REQUIRED.

Group 3:  I do see that Balthazar uploaded his Rough Draft although he was not in class today.  This means that Group 3 has enough people to for each member to peer review two other student peers in their group.

If you missed class today, you are still responsible for the Peer Review activity.  You can find the Checklist Peer Review sheet inside the Unit One Assignment, as well as on the Grammar Writing Skills page under “More.”


Wednesday March 1 post class

Shout out to Ahsan who volunteered his Rough Draft to be commented on and improved by the whole class and by me today.  We all benefit when we are willing to share our writing as a community, so thanks Ahsan!  I hope you all noticed how we developed his opening scene to have more CSD and more dialogue.  This is what you ALL must now do.

  1. I did not have time to look at your rough drafts before class since the turnaround time would have been too much for me.  However I have now had a quick look at a few papers.  Most of you have a LOT of work to do to turn your Rough Draft into a good Final Draft (due Sunday night March 6 to the Google Drive).   The good news is that there is still time.  Here — I make a few comments after having a quick look.
  • Remember that this is an EDUCATION narrative and the majority of the story should be SHOWING me scenes from your educational life.
  • If the majority of your essay is dealing with an injury, or a parent’s illness, or an immigrant family story then this event MUST be connected to your EDUCATION.  If there is NO connection between the injury and your education, then what you have written is NOT an EDUCATION NARRATIVE.
  • If you are doing a lot of telling, then you are on the WRONG TRACK.  You must be SHOWING me a few well chosen scenes from your educational life.  We are learning to write with CSD and rich details!  You need at least TWO scenes and at least ONE scene with dialogue.  Remember how Colin Powell described his first day at City College (the weather, the buildings, the bus ride, the bagel man — so many rich details).  Remember how Malcolm X described his late night reading (the guards, the dim light, the feigning of sleep, the 57 minutes — so many rich details.). I can remember those scenes even now as I write this.  You too must create scenes like that — scenes that create THEATER OF THE MIND for you reader, me.
  • Study the five example Education Narratives that I posted in the Assignments page (Click on Unit One and see the left side tab Education Narrative Resources.  I have posted five example Education Narratives.)
  • Study the Unit One Assignment again:  read it and annotate it.
  • Get to the Writing Center to work with a Tutor.
  • GO back and look at the comments I gave you on your Open Lab HW 5, 6, 7.

2. YOU MUST PEER REVIEW TWO STUDENT PEER ESSAYS — THIS IS A REQUIREMENT!  BY tonight, Wednesday night, comment on TWO student peers in the Google Drive (5 comments minimum). You must write an end comment letter to TWO student peers (add this at the end of their Google Doc).  If you did NOT have enough group members in class today, then get on the Google Drive and comment on a student paper that is not in your group.

3. For the next version of your Ed Narrative which is your FINAL DRAFT, do NOT work on it in the Google Drive.  I want to preserve your Rough Draft as it is when you turned it in.  So you should download the Google doc as a MS Word doc (.docx) with the peer comments.  Then in MS Word, you will work on your revisions, turning your Rough Draft into a Final Draft.  When you are ready on Sunday night, you will upload your new version, which is your Final Draft, to the Google drive in the Final Draft folder in your Group folder.

3. For Monday’s class, bring to class a printed out copy of the Obama reading.  No HW on this reading, but please read it ahead of class.  Reading the Obama’s education narrative at the same time as working on your own education narrative will make many of the things I am talking about more clear to you. Obama, Chapter Four   (This is just Chapter Four, 10 pages.)

Wednesday March 1

YOU MUST FOLLOW CORRECT WAY TO TITLE YOUR FILE IN THE GOOGLE DRIVE.  I will be very confused and unable to find your correct rough and correct final draft if you do not follow  instructions.  Please read the assignment sheet carefully and TITLE your file to upload to the Google Drive:  Jessica Castro, RD#1

In addition,  some of you have uploaded up Rough Draft to the wrong place!  Put your rough draft in the correct folder:  Unit One, then find Rough Draft, then find your GROUP!


Sunday night Feb 26

  1. I have now finished commenting on those of you who submitted the writing task HW7 Between Two Worlds. Not many of you did that HW although it was required as described below.  By doing HW7 you got another chance to practice your writing in a low stakes environment.  You also had an opportunity to try out some of the writing strategies we are learning such as:
  • creating scenes with rich details and description and dialogue
  • using CSD concrete specific details
  • 5 things to remember for quotation format: 1) comma, 2) beginning quote, 3) capital……4) ending punctuation, 5) end quote.

In HW 7, I read interesting stories about your family backgrounds and your home language.  For those of you who did all the HWs, I am really getting to know you and having the teacher know you — is an advantage!

  • HW 5 Mentor Quote or Resilience
  • HW 6 Saved
  • HW 7 Between Two Worlds

HW 5, 6, and 7 are the most important HWs you have done so far.  If you have done them ALL in a thoughtful manner, you now have a jumpstart on the Education Narrative.  What’s more, you are practicing storytelling. Every single one of you has an interesting story inside of you.

The Education Narrative is an assignment that gives you a chance to explore deeply a part of your backstory:  How did you get here to be a student at City Tech?  What events make you the student you are today?  The assignment asks you to get personal.  So this is an opportunity to learn and explore your own story.  It might be painful; it might be difficult; but I hope you will discover that being true to yourself and true to your story will give you confidence that your story matters.  Remember that Adichie said in her TEDtalk, “Power is the ability not just to tell the stor yof another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.”  You have the  power to tell your definitive story in your Ed Narrative.

  1. Thanks to all who participated in the Group Master Vocabulary List class work. Most of the Master Vocab Lists were well done and clearly presented.  Kudos to those who did the good work!

3. We will be workshopping your Ed Narrative in class tomorrow, so bring your working draft to class whether on computer or on paper or be ready to write additional parts in your notebook.

4. TWO things to share in advance of tomorrow’s class:


Key to Correction Symbols

Both of these are posted on the Writing/Grammar Skills page.

5. You should be making appointments with the Writing Tutors to work on your Rough Draft.

Friday Feb 24

Remember you are in TURBO MODE now: Rough Draft due Tuesday night Feb 28; Final Draft due Saturday night March 4.

PRINTOUT and study the Assignment Unit One Education Narrative to be found on the Assignments page.

Kudos to everyone who has been keeping up with the Writing Tasks and doing the readings.  Hopefully you are beginning to RLW and see how you can write a successful Education Narrative.

I am done commenting on the HW 6 Saved writing tasks.  You should now have at least TWO writing tasks you can choose to develop into your Education Narrative.   I am waiting for your HW 7 Between Two Worlds writing task.  I will comment and grade those ppl first who tell me that they plan to use the Between Two Worlds prompt as their jumpstart.  As soon as you decide which writing prompt you will develop into your Ed Narrative, then start elaborating, expanding, developing.

  1. Best way to work on developing your Open Lab HW 5, 6, or 7 is to:
  • COPY from Open Lab with my comments — to — a Microsoft Word program.
  • Then write it in MS Word saving it on your own computer and flash drive.
  • Then upload to the Google Drive on Tuesday night.
  • DO NOT WORK ON IT IN OPEN LAB. Work on it in your own MS Word and save as a MS Word File.  I won’t be accepting PDFs, so please please follow through.
  • Bring your working draft to class on Monday.
  1. Remember TWO tutoring visits are REQUIRED in this course. So — Here is the link for the Writing Center Tutoring (also on Student Resources page on our site.)  You need to register first then make an appointment.

DO THIS NOW, so you can get an appointment while you are working on the Education Narrative before it’s due.

Tutors can meet with you either on-line with Zoom OR in-person in G-608.  Room G-608 is in the General Building.  Here is how to get there:  Starting from Namm Building 6th floor, then walk through/across the Atrium building to the other side and you will be in the  General Building.  You will find the Computer Lab on the 6th floor.  Just ask at the sign-in desk for the Writing Center, and they will direct you to a room right there in the Computer Lab.

3. Here is a list of the City Tech computer labs and the hours where you can write in quiet and print out stuff.  Computer lab hours Spring 2023

Wednesday Feb 22 post-class

Big Thx to those of you who contributed to a spirited discussions of our readings today!  Shout out to Wendbenedo and Ahsan who shared meaningful personal connections to Adichie’s “Danger of a Single Story.”  I was proud of all of you today when our visitor came.  Prof. Harris was very impressed with our class discussion.   And thx to Itzel, Carlos, and Ana who made theater of the mind come alive in our reading of Santiago’s When I was Puerto Rican beginning scene.

HW 7 Due Saturday morning by 7AM.  Everyone must do this Between Two Worlds HW7, even if you have already decided that you will be expanding a different Writing Prompt choice.

When you post this Between Two Worlds HW, write me a note at the top of this HW to say that you HAVE CHOSEN — OR — that you HAVE NOT CHOSEN this Writing Prompt to develop into the Major Unit One Assignment.  If you are choosing this Between Two Worlds Writing Prompt as your jumpstart piece, then I will grade your HW first, so that you have something to start working on.  I will grade it by Monday morning (or sooner) so you can get started on revising/expanding/developing into your Rough Draft which is due for everyone on Tuesday night Feb 28.  

If you already know that you are choosing on of the other HW Writing Prompts (Resilience, Mentor Quote, or Saved) then you should get started right away on the Rough Draft.  Use my feedback/comments.  Get to the Writing Tutors.  The registration information is on the Student Resources page; click on Tutoring.  Two visits are required and good timing would be next week while you work on Rough and Final Drafts.  Make the appointment NOW.

Remember we are in TURBO mode, you are doing a lot of writing work from now until the due date for the Final Draft March 4 Saturday.

You must still do the HW 7 Between Two Worlds even if you are choosing another writing prompt.  This is because the writing practice is an important part of improving your writing and because I want to learn more about each of you!  Just write at the top that you will NOT be choosing this one to develop further.

Printout and study carefully the Unit One Education Narrative Assignment (on Assignments page).  Study the Student Example Education Narratives which are posted in the Unit One Assignment tab to the left hand side.

Here is HW 7 Between Two Different Worlds

  • Title Between Two Worlds — Your Name
  • Category: Writing Task Between Two Worlds
  • Comment in a MEANINGFUL way on two student peers

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 8th 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. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the power and the danger of a single story in her lecture.  One story can lead to a series of assumptions about a place or a people. She points to the imbalance of power that prevents more stories from being told.  In her lecture Adichie, shows us how she learned to rethink her own ideas that had limited herself to a single image.  She learns the value and the possibility of writing stories about the diverse identities that are part of our global world, including stores about her own Nigerian culture.

How has this experience of being between two worlds shaped your educational journey?

 Be sure to explain to 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 worlds besides nationality–race, class, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, education, etc. 

  • Have you had the experience of living “between two different worlds” or we might say of having two different identities?  In your own life how have “ambiguous” feelings or internal conflicted feelings–about language, culture, identity, gender, injustice, religion, or opportunities that affected your own educational journey?  In your educational life, have you had experiences of others stereotyping you based on any of the above?  What actions have you taken to address the conflict?  Or, how have you learned to live with it?
  • You may choose to focus on language or culture: Is there an event in your life when when you noticed language (either your own or someone else’s) that was formative? Have you had an experience around language that led you to become the person you are today? Have you had the experience of someone at school seeing you as a single story?  How did you handle this?  How did you solve this problem?  What have you learned and — Did you have a chance to educate others about the danger of a single story?

Wednesday Feb 22

Today, we will discuss When I was Puerto Rican and The Danger of a Single Story.  Be ready for a quiz.

I have just posted on the ASSIGNMENTS page, the Education Narrative Assignment, our first major unit assignment that is a high stakes assignment.  There is a printable version as well.  I suggest you print it out to study and annotate.  This is assignment is not easy and has many requirements.  Please read and study it.  Notice also the menu tab to the left side of Assignment One.  There you will find example student Education Narratives written in previous terms.  IT would do you much good to read and study what other students have done that resulted in excellent essays.

The rough draft is due next week Tuesday night Feb 28.  You will bring TWO hard copies printed out for Wednesday’s class March 1 by 12noon ON MY DESK.  ORGANIZE YOUR TIME WISELY, so that you have time to finish it and print it out.  You must have this hard copy on my desk at the start of class.

The FINAL DRAFT is due March 4, Saturday.

FOR our last HW which is a preparatory HW for the Ed Narrative you will write a Between Two Worlds HW post #7.  This is the last HW that can be developed into your Ed Narrative.  We have now written at least 3 free-writes on Educational Journey. These HWs have been a major jumpstart for your Ed Narrative.  You MUST use the HW and the COMMENTS I gave you in Open Lab as the basis for the Ed Narrative which you will expand and develop for the Rough Draft DUE Tuesday night Feb 28.

LEARN TO BE A GOOD FRIEND AND GOOD EDITOR.  I am also making a change regarding your HW peer comments.  Study the type of comments I am giving back to student HW posts on Mentor Quote, Resilience, Saved, and Between Two Worlds.  You must now start to give meaningful feedback to your peers in your comments (for two peers again).  You can give ideas about places that are confusing, places that could be developed into a good scene, places where student can give dialogue, paragraph break suggestions.  This will serve you will as you go forward and write your own Ed Narrative.

WE ARE NOW IN TURBO MODE.  You must be working actively on your Education Narrative.  TUTORING is REQUIRED, so make your appointment today.   See the TUTORING drop down on STUDENT RESOURCES page.

Sunday Feb 19

We will cover  both”Mother Tongue” and “When I was Puerto Rican” on Tuesday.  We will cover “The Danger of a Single Story” on Wednesday.  Remember to be ready for a quiz on the readings.  

HW 6B Due Tuesday 2/21 by 7am: on “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan and “When I was Puerto Rican” by Esmeralda Santiago.  Choose a significant quote, one that leads to deeper meaning, not a quote that is obvious. 

  • Title: Mother Tongue and When I was PR – Your Name
  • Category: Reading Response Mother Tongue/When I was PR
  • Comment on two student peers

Part 1 on “Mother Tongue”:  Find a significant quote. (a quote that leads to deeper analysis and that is more than 1 sentence, but not more than 4 sentences.)  Copy the quote.  Then — Explain why this part is important and explain what it tells us about the writer.  Write one paragraph of explanation (about 5 sentences).

ALSO for Mother Tongue: List 3 new vocabulary words you learned.  COPY THE SENTENCE IT APPEARS IN.  THEN — Give the part of speech and meaning that fits the context of how this word is used in the reading.

Part 2:  Then do the same for “When I was Puerto Rican.”

ALSO do the same for 3 new vocabulary words you learned in “When I was Puerto Rican.”  

THursday Feb 16

Reminder again — next week we meet on Tuesday 2/21 and Wednesday 2/22. 

You have HW 6 due Saturday and HW 6B due Monday.

We have THREE readings for next week.  There will be a quiz on the readings to stress the importance of everyone being prepared to participate in a good class discussion.

Group 4 and Group 5 please post Master Vocabulary List by Monday night.  See changes to the Groups 4 and 5 (listed below).

For one of our discussions next week, we will also have special performance by someone famous that I am related to!

These HWs now are super important.  If you are not doing them, or not doing them well, then you will have nothing to jumpstart the Education Narrative, our first major unit assignment DUE FEB 28, our first high stakes assignment.  Know that there are consequences to your actions. 

  1. HW 6 Due Saturday night 2/18.  TWO paragraphs.
  • Title: Saved – Your Name
  • Category: Writing Task Saved (pick only one category!)
  • Comment on student peers

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; 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.  In coming up with ideas, consider:  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?

2. HW 6B will be due on Monday night Feb 20. HW 6B will be on the three (!) readings for next week.  I will announced it here by Saturday – STAY TUNED!

For now, get started on the readings. Do not wait til the last minute.  Remember we will have a quiz on Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue,” Esmeralda Santiago’s “When I was Puerto Rican,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichei’s TEDtalk with Transcript “The Danger of a Single Story.”

Wednesday Feb 15 post-class

Next NO Class on Monday but we will meet on TUESDAY Feb21  and WEDNESDAY Feb 22.

PREPARE FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK TU/W — THREE READINGS to printout and be ready to discuss:

Making a group change here for Group 4 and Group 5:

  • Group 1: Carlos, Anamaria, Angel, Itzel
  • Group 2: Nate, Chen Jie, Anthony Clare, Balthazar, Anthony Clement
  • Group 3: Esha, Nick, Matt, Steven Hidalgo, Anthony Clement (moved to here)
  • Group 4: Mo, Ahsan, Itzel, Dominic, Steven Rosado — When I was PR and Danger
  • Group 5: Wendbenedo, Ludovic, Kissary, Amy — Mother Tongue

FOR next week’s readings:

  • Group 5 will do Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”. 
  • Group 4 will do “When I was Puerto Rican” and Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story.”

Wednesday Feb 15

I hope everyone had a good day off and got caught up.  And Happy Valentine’s Day yesterday.  And good job Kansas City Chiefs! Wow lots to celebrate and lots to keep up with including —

Today we discuss Colin Powell’s My American Journey. Have your hard copy in class today.  Also to bring Malcolm X and I want to go over a few points there.  Thx to everyone posting HW 4B on the Colin Powell reading on time!

Kudos to those of you doing the HW 5 on time.  Some of you did a great job!  Remember the grades are 1-4 with 4 being the best. I have commented on these, so please have a look.  Some of you may choose to develop this piece further for your Education Narrative.  If you did not submit, then you are in big trouble, because you may have nothing top build off of for the Ed Narrative.   Faling behind has consequences.  And the due date for the Education Narrative is not far off.  In fact it is – Feb 28th.  Stay tuned for more.

Friday February 10, 2023

Since we don’t have class on Monday, I want to give you more time to get HW 4B and HW 5 done.  So:

  • HW 5 (mentor quote OR resilience) due this Sunday 2/12 midnight
  • HW 4B (on Colin Powell reading) due Monday 2/13 midnight
  • We’ll meet on Wednesday 2/15 and we will be discussing Colin Powell reading. Also pls bring Malcolm X reading to finish up.
  • Group 3 (Esha, NIck, Matt, Stephen Hidalgo, and Anthony Clement-newly added) will post Master Vocabulary list by Monday midnight 2/13.

HW 5 is super important.  We are starting our work on the Education Narrative with this writing task.  SO PLEASE DO NOT BE LATE WITH THIS HW and do it well!

I posted another example HW5 post by Student Adrian for the Mentor Q choice on the Student Works page.

Thursday Feb 9– read carefully because there is a lot here.

Note:  There is NO class on Monday Feb 13.  Next week we meet on Wednesday alone.  So use this time to get organized and caught up. 

Kudos to those of you keeping up on the homeworks.  I know I am expecting a lot of you and you are showing me you can do it!  Some of you are not keeping up.  I need to remind you about the quicksand metaphor.   Don’t fall into the quicksand!  

  1. I am encouraging more of you to share your ideas in class to liven up our discussions.

Here is the link to outline for FDouglass narrative essay (Discuss Q Douglass) Douglass we studied in class (This link is also in Discussion Qs on the READINGS page under Unit 1 Readings).

2. For Wednesday, printout, read, and be ready to discuss Colin Powell:  “My American Journey” Find in Open Lab course site under Readings (page 90-97).  Group THREE: Prepare Vocab work.  Scroll down to Jan 30 for Group names.

3. There are TWO homeworks this weekend. You will do HW 4B and HW 5.  BOTH are DUE Saturday night 2/11.   

HW 4B   Reading Response Colin Powell

  • Title: Reading Response Colin Powell — Your Name.
  • Category:  Reading Response Colin Powell
  • Comment on two student peers

Focus on the parts where Powell writes about his CUNY experience and his ROTC experience.  Find any quote that you feel is significant. (Choose a quote that is more than 1 sentence, but not more than 4 sentences.)  Copy the Powell quote.  Then — Explain why this part is important and explain what it tells us about Powell.  Write one paragraph (about 5 sentences).

Note:  Here I am NOT asking you to translate each sentence into your own words like you did for Douglass and Malcolm X HW.

HW 5 Choose ONE from either of the following two writing prompts below.  Write two paragraphs for the prompt you choose.  Use descriptive language.  Use proper grammar and sentence structure.  See my example posts for HW 5 as Student Lisa on the Student Works page.  Note:  I posted examples for both writing prompts, but you will only do one HW 5 writing prompt, your choice. 

HW 5  Writing Task:  Resilience — OR– Mentor Quote

  • Title:  Resilience OR Mentor Quote — Your Name
  • Category:  Writing Task Resilience OR Mentor Quote
  • Comment on two student peers
  1. Resilience: 
    Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X faced extreme adversity, yet they struggled and persevered to achieve an education and to advance their lives -- and eventually the lives of others.  Both taught themselves to read and write while being enslaved or being imprisoned.  They write in descriptive language of their desire and motivation to learn and the clever ways that they outsmarted their betters to achieve their goal to be literate.  You could not keep them down!  That’s resilience. 
    But they did not stop there.  Both men rose to become leaders in the fight for freedom and equal rights that did not exist for their people. Think about the battle for abolition of slavery in the 1830’s and the battle for civil rights in the 1960’s.  Both Douglass and Malcolm X devoted their lives to fight for change that disrupted the power hierarchy of their time. 
    Focus on a single BIG struggle/hardship/challenge that you were facing during a difficult period in your school life.  What exactly was this struggle?  Try to define this struggle in clear language.  Did you persevere? How did you do it? What strategies did you use?  Do you believe your decision/actions pushed you forward? 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?  To other avenues of your life? 
    Examples of hardships might be:  you or a loved one was diagnosed with a difficult disease; you were bullied in middle school; your parents divorced when you were in the tenth grade; your move from middle to high school was traumatic because _______; you were mocked because of your accent or your style of dress when you arrived in the USA in third grade; the pandemic online learning year; or a less-than-what-you-expected-senior-year because of the pandemic.

OR — You may choose

    1. Mentor Quotation:  
      At the start of Chapter 11 of his autobiography, Malcolm X remembers the "electrical effect" the words of his mentor Elijah Muhammad had on him in prison.  He is shocked into action, writing letters to everyone he knows and even people he doesn’t.  He ia frustrated at his inadequacy in using proper English.  As a result, Malcolm begins his "homemade education."  
      Think of a time a mentor or authority figure gave you an encouraging word that moved you forward in your educational journey.  You can also consider words that made you realize something fundamental about your educational path.  Think back into your memory.  What was that conversation like?  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?  
      Another option for Mentor Quote:  Conversely, think of a time when a mentor or authority figure spoke to you using negative language that caused you pain or told a joke that you didn't find funny.  Starting with the words themselves -- give the quotation -- how did these damaging words affect your educational journey?
      How do the lessons from this mentor continue to impact you in college? What actions or changes have you made since these words resonated with you?
      Start your piece with the mentor quotation.  Remember to start your story 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.  If the person is speaking in another language, consider using that home language. So for example, from my example post, start with:  
      “Lisa, you are a very good student. You can study anything–even if you don’t like it.” 

Wednesday Feb 8 post-class

A few quick things after class (I will post HW5 tomorrow):

  1. Group Three is responsible for the Master Vocabulary List for our next reading, Colin Powell’s “My American Journey.” I added a few new people to this group so here it is:  Group 3:  Esha, Nick, Matt, Steven Hidalgo, Anthony Clement (newly added).  The Vocabulary List is due to the Google Drive by Saturday night 2/11.
  2. Sorry, I am not able to share the outline for FDouglass reading because of some strange formatting here on Open Lab.  You can find it on the READINGS PAGE and scroll down to Unit 1 Readings to the Discussion Qs part.  There you can access the Discussion Questions for each of our readings and in the one for Malcolm X you can find the outline. It’s important to see the structure in a piece of writing. A good piece of writing follows an organized structure.

Wednesday Feb 8 pre-class

Thx to Group One for the Master Vocab List for Malcolm X readings!  Look for comments and grades at the end of the Google Doc at Teacher End Notes.  Everyone should printout these Master Lists and bring to class if you have time.

Kudos to everyone who posted HW 4 on Malcolm X by this morning’s deadlines.  We’ve been learning why meeting deadlines is important.  By doing your HW on time, you will be prepared to engage in today’s discussion on Malcolm X.  Some people are still NOT posting HWs on time, and this is a problem.  We are on the 4th HW now and we are into our third week of class.  Everyone should be up to speed.  I have made our OLab class site private now, so everyone should be joined and everyone should know how to post the HWs.

Late registration students or late comers who just joined our class last time — need to see me after class:  Itzel, Amrit, Alexis.

Monday Feb 6 post-class

  1. Reminder to 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 run-down of many points.


2. 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 Douglass 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 Douglass used to achieve his goal of learning to read and write.
  • We highlighted (with our highlight pens) and focused on specific quotes from the text.
  • We analyzed why these quotes were significant.

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

By Wednesday 7 AM, Group 2 will post the Vocabulary Work to the Google Drive (go to Class Work Follder and then Master Vocabulary Folder.  Again see the vocab work for In Defense of The Classroom done by group from last semester and Group One’s work on the Douglass text.  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.

  1. DUE Wednesday 7AM 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 Malcolm X two-part reading (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 Malcolm X two-part text) 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. We talked about how to do this in class today.  I am asking you to translate the writer’s words — sentence by sentence into 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 this quote.

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.

MOnday Feb 7 pre-class

Kudos to Group One members — Carlos, Angel, and Anamaria — who put up a great master vocab list for our reading on Monday, Douglass’s Learning to Read and Write!  Print out for your own reference of all the words you are learning.


  • Please read my comments on your OLab HWs. I have given you feedback.  I will show you in class how to do find your HWs on the OLab. 
  • ALSO remember the Late policy – HW that is LATE receives NO credit, NO comments, NO grade.
  • Following the instructions is of utmost importance and one skill I am stressing in this course.


Saturday Feb 4 2023

  1. I am still waiting for Group One’s work on the Master Vocabulary List for Douglass’s Learning to Read and Write, our reading for Monday’s class.   Group One you are LATE!  Remember that in this class, deadlines are super important and will effect your overall grade.

2. I am already seeing some of you posting the HW 2 on Douglass and Resilience in advance of tonight’s midnight deadline – good!  However, some of your are NOT reading the instructions carefully enough.  SUPER IMPORTANT TO READ DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY IN THIS CLASS!  Please please read again.  In Part B you are to write about YOUR OWN example of resiience, not Douglass’s.

And for Part A the best way is to first copy the block that is the quote.  Then make your interpretation paragraph by simply translating what Douglass’s paragraph would be IN YOUR OWN WORDS.   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 (par 2).

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.

3. I am assigning a new HW that I did not mention during class, so I’ll explain it here.

Open Lab HW 3B:  Use the Title:  Success Tips – Your Name.  Use the Category:  College Success.  It’s due before class, so post by 7AM on Feb 6 Monday morning.   Comment on two student peers. 

Watch this presentation/slideshow on Tips for College Success.  Don’t worry it’s not long, but what it is, is an invaluable list of nine (9) tips to help you do well this semester!  

Choose TWO tips that you will start using.  Explain why this tip is significant personally or why it speaks to you personally.  How will you use this tip in this class?  What will you do differently now?  You may want to explain what you used to do that you now realize needs changing.  Then do the same for your second chosen tip. Write one paragraph of 6-7 sentences for each of your TWO tips.

Present your HW clearly by designating:

Tip 1:

Tip 2:

Thursday Feb 2 2023

Please use this weekend to familiarize yourself with our Open Lab site.  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.  In this way we will build community.

Looking back at HW 2:  In this HW I was looking for a clearly written response in your own words.  Some of you got caught up in copying Bunn’s words and were not clear in your writing.  CLARITY is very important.  Please go to Student Work and see a good student example for this HW; we can all learn from students who are doing good work!

We have started Unit One.  We will be reading a variety of Education Narratives and you will soon be writing your own Education Narrative.

For Monday’s class, our reading is Frederick Douglass’s “Learning to Read.”  Printout, read, annotate, number the paragraphs, look up unfamiliar words, bring to class, and be ready to discuss. Find in our Open Lab site under Readings.

Group One to post the Master Vocab List on the Google Drive under Class works by Friday night.  See below Monday Jan 30 post-class Announcement for groups and the exact instructions for the Vocabulary Group Assignment.  See example doc in the Class Works folder.  Make sure to give group member names. Reminder that Group One still must do the HW 3; when you do the group vocab work, you are not off the hook for the HW!

HW#3 Due Saturday Feb 4 by midnight to Open Lab and comment on TWO student peers. Use title:  Douglass and Resilience – Your First Name and category:  Douglass and Resilience.

This HW should be a total 3 paragraphs plus the quoted passage for Part A.  Present your HW clearly by designating:

Part A: —

Part B: —

Part A:  Choose a passage – a passage that is a good size, more than 1 sentence but not more than 6 — that stood out to you as meaningful, significant, important.  You may choose from anywhere in the Douglass reading. Copy the quotation, enclosing it in quotation marks and give the paragraph number from which it appears.  Now analyze this quotation carefully, explaining each sentence of Douglass’s in your own words.  I expect you to write a full paragraph.  In this way, you are showing that you know what this passage means.

Part B:  Two paragraphs, (5-6 sentences each) Think of how Douglass’s experience is an example of resilience (look up the word).  As a young man, he practices certain strategies to build resilience in the face of horrendous obstacles.  Now turn to your own experience. Paragraph One:  Think of ONE thing that has 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 agree and feel that the online learning experience was difficult. What ONE aspect of remote learning was the most challenging.  How did you cope?  What strategies did you develop to be resilient?

Wed Feb 1 pre-class

I am checking the HW 2 and finding that not many of you have posted this HW.  Please do the work and do it on time.  ALSO many of you need to fix your HW title for the HW 1 Intro.  When students use the correct title, this allows me to have a quick look to see WHO DID THE HW.  Remember a good part of your grade is DOING THE HW and DOING IT ON TME.

Some of the late-joining members are joining the WRONG class.  Pls look back through Announcements to where I printed the link. Always, always read backwards through Announcements if you have missed something.  You cannot assume that simply reading the present day’s Announcement is good enough when you have missed class!  You must MUST join the CORRECT class site.

Monday January 30 post-class

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.”

Let's recap: 
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: RLW!   

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.   

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!

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! Chen Jie, Steven Hidalgo, Dominic, Kissary need to join ASAP.

  1. Get your CTech Email working.
  2. Get your free student subscription to New York Times: free CUNY New York Times
  3. Get a folder to keep reading printouts and other handouts.
  4. 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.

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 Feb 1, printout/read/annotate/ printout/bring to class and be ready to discuss Mike Bunn’s “How to Read Like A Writer.”

Then for HW#2:  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.

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 – write your first name.  Type in your writing.  When finished, go to right hand side and check on category: Reading Response RLW.  Then scroll up and click on publishPlease post your HW#2 AND comment on TWO student peers before Wednesday’s class.

ALSO on Wednesday, bring to class your printed out reading, Frederick Douglass’s “Learning to Read.”  If time permits, we will get started on this reading.   This is an EDUCATION NARRATIVE and our first reading for Unit One.

GROUP ONE VOCABULARY WORK:  Due Friday Feb 3 to the Google Drive in the Class Work Folder: Vocabulary Work for Frederick Douglass’s “Learning to Read. ” GROUP* ONE (Edwin, Saif, Chris, Bithiah).  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.

*Groups for Vocabulary Work:

  • Group 1: Carlos, Anamaria, Angel, Itzel
  • Group 2: Nate, Chen Jie, Anthony Clare, Balthazar, Anthony Clement
  • Group 3: Esha, Nick, Matt, Steven Hidalgo, Anthony Clement (moved to here)
  • Group 4: Mo, Ahsan, Wendbenedo, Ludovic, Itzel (moved to here)
  • Group 5: Kissary, Dominic, Amy, Steven Rosado

Thursday January 26, 2023

So good to meet you all yesterday.  I noticed that many of you have already signed up as members on our class site.  Great!

We are off and running.  Please DO:

  1. 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).
  2. Browse around our OLab class site and explore what’s there and how to navigate your way.  In class yesterday, we looked at the Home and Syllabus and Weekly Schedule pages.  Please print out the Weekly Schedule, and keep it with the Syllabus as hard copies so you can easily find what we are doing.  There’s a lot of material on our class site.  I won’t expect you to know everything right away but get started now and familiarize yourself.
  3. READ ANNOUNCEMENTS every day.  Sometimes I post even when there is no class, so check regularly.
  4. Join the WhatsApp Group which Amy has kindly agreed to set up.
  5. Get your New York Times digital subscription and your Microsoft Office Suite — both free as a CUNY students. Links on the Syllabus.

Due Friday 1/27 HW Post#1 by midnight Introduction on OLab.  Aim for TWO full paragraphs plus picture/visual.  To get some ideas re-view “[un]Learning My Name: Spoken Word Visual poem.” Also look at my example post on the Student Works page, Intro – Lisa. (At times, I will write student example posts as Lisa on the Student Works page.)  Write about anything you would like the class to know about you.  You can write about your name or tell us which name you prefer to be called.  You can write about your cultural heritage or your identity 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, or your college goals. You can add a surprising fact, as I did in my Intro.  Please add a visual element (photo).  Remember — make yourself the interesting person that everyone wants to get to know at the party!

HOW TO POST:  Go to the top menu bar. Click on the plus sign, then on post.  You will land on a writing page.  Write in the Title:  Intro – your first name.  Type in your writing where it says “Type.”  Use the Plus sign in the space to add a picture.  When finished, go to right hand sidebar and check on Category: Introductions.  Then scroll up and click on Publish.  If you need to edit, you can go to the Student Works page and find your post; then click on the edit option next to your post.  Please post by Friday by midnight.  NOTE: You will be writing your own post. Some students confusedly posted as a reply to my example post; this is NOT correct.

Again I encourage you to start by writing on your own MS Word or GDrive and to keep a master copy of all your HWs.  Then to copy and paste into the OLab.

COMMENT ON YOUR PEERS WORK:  Let’s get to know each other! Read TWO classmates’ 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.

A LOT TO DO FOR NEXT WEEK, so after you have posted HW#1 Introduction, prepare over the weekend.

For Monday:

  • The assigned reading is “In Defense of the Classroom” by Caroline Hellman
  • Print Out/Read/Annotate.  Practice Active Reading: 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.

For Wednesday: 

Over the weekend, please printout ahead of time and bring to class on Monday, Read Like A Writer” by Mike Bunn. This is the assigned reading for Wednesday, February 1. It is a difficult essay and 15 pages long!  But don’t worry, on Monday I will clue you in on the significant parts and you can mark where you need to read.  SO you must have it on Monday and bring it to class along with Monday’s assigned reading “In Defense of the Classroom.”


Wednesday January 18, 2023

Dear Students,

Greetings from Professor Lisa Wu, and welcome to ENG 1101 Section D 448 at City Tech!  I am your professor and I look forward to working with you this semester.

Our first day will be Wednesday January 25. We meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:00 to 1:40 in Namm Building Room 523-A.  If you can, please come ten minutes early at 11:50 AM.

I suspect many of you are tech-savvy. That’s great! If you are still getting used to our technology, not to worry — we will build community and help each other.  In this class, we will be using Open Lab, the City Tech digital community platform.  Homework, class readings, announcements and other important items will be posted on our Open Lab course website. It will be your responsibility to check the announcements daily.

Please get started and familiarize yourself with our course website.

If you can join our Open Lab course site as a member now, please do!Click on Open Lab course site link.  You will land on the Home Page; read this page.  Then go to Let’s Get Started. Please read the Announcements page and also read through the Syllabus. Both Blackboard and Open Lab are now available to students.  In addition to checking Open Lab Announcements page, you are also responsible for checking your City Tech email daily.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may email me at

Best Wishes,
Professor Wu