Table of Contents

Thursday May 23

Grades are posted in Open Lab Gradebook and in CUNY First.  Please scroll down to grading breakdown which also appears in the Syllabus page.   You will find a Teacher End Letter at the end of your Final Course Reflection in your Portfolio.

Have a good summer!

Monday May 20

Wow — we had some amazing Unit 3 Genre Project presentations!

We will re-convene on Wednesday to finish up.  I expect EVERYONE TO ATTEND (we need to support everyone in our class and on Wednesday you will be the audience they were for you).  You must be in attendance on both days to receive full credit for your Genre Unit 3 project grade.

Saturday May 18

I look forward to receiving your Final Portfolio and to learning from your presentations on Monday.

Please make sure you have put yourself on the sign-up sheet (in GDrive) for Monday’s Celebration and presentation of Genre Projects.  Your participation is REQUIRED!  Here is the rating sheet we will be using for the presentations:  Genre-Project-Rating-Sheet


ALSO now is a good time to review the grading breakdown.  I copy here from the Syllabus page.

Grading Breakdown

  • Unit 1                                                                                             20%
  • Unit 2                                                                                             20%
  • Unit 3                                                                                             20%
  • Final Course Reflection & Revisions                                     10%
  • Participation                                                                                   30%
Participation = Contributions to discussion, including reading aloud activities, Open Lab HW Posts, Rough Drafts, following the writing process for each and every Major Unit Assignment, attendance for the FULL-ENTIRE CLASS period, submitting Major Unit Assignments and Open Lab HW assignments ON TIME, being prepared with readings, extra-credit, tutoring attendance, Final Day Celebration.

Sunday May 12, 2024

We will work in computer lab on the Creator’s Statement, finishing Genre Project, and Final Portfolio — whatever you are working on.  Please pay attention to deadlines.  Final Portfolio is due this Friday May 17.

I will also cover the Final Course Reflection (written in genre of a Letter), which is the final piece for your Portfolio.

Please study the Assignments on the Assignments page — EVERYTHING IS THERE.

PLEASE PLEASE FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS — this is an important skill I am emphasizing in this class.

FINAL DAY CELEBRATION sign up sheet is in the Google Drive already, so be ready to sign up for our presentations next Monday May 20.

Sunday May 5, 2024

I have given ample time for people to post their HW 3 and HW 4.  Very few people have done these HWs (due more than one week and two weeks ago).  I cannot wait any longer for late HWs. I do NOT know what most of you are planning for Unit3.  In addition, few people are making it to class.  As we head toward the finish line, I fear that it is not looking good for many of you.  You cannot understand what the Unit 3 requires or what the Final Portfolio requires without coming to class.  Remember that our class is NOT a virtual class; it is NOT an asynchronous class.  It is an IN-PERSON CLASS!

We meet tomorrow in the classroom.  I want to hear a progress report from each of you and then you will post a progress report as HW5.

HW5 Progress Report DUE Monday May 6 after 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 — scroll down for instructions.)

In class today, I will also go over the Creator’s Statement part of Unit 3 project.

Remember that your Unit 3 project will consist of:

  • actual project
  • outline (something written could be script for your podcast/TEDtalk — OR — planning outline for your video essay or photo essay or poem — OR — story board plan for your comic)
  • creator’s statement

We will then go to computer lab.  Please get to class on time, as I will walk us over to computer lab in General Building  and this is a different lab than we usually work in. 

Remember that our due date for the entire portfolio (all three units) is May 17.

I will discuss the Final Portfolio on Wednesday.  You are also working on revision of either Unit 1 or Unit 2 (or both if you wish) to be submitted in the Final Portfolio.  Get to the tutors!

Tuesday April 30, 2024

I realize not everyone did the HWs over break.  It’s ok!  I understand.  We all tried to relax during the break.

So — let’s work hard starting now and get to the finish line (coming soon)!

PLEASE COME TO CLASS ON TIME! – bring your laptops

Tomorrow we will meet in the classroom to get into groups based on your chosen genres.  (I will announce the groups in class.)  BE PREPARED TO share/show/tell the group what you are working on and discuss any problems.  Then you can share strategies and resources and programs you are using.  After this, I hope to take us to the computer lab where you will sit at computers in your working groups.

FINALLY — EXTRA CREDIT EVENT — this Thursday May 2 in New Academic Building across the street 2:00-8pm and there will be FREE FOOD!

Wednesday April 23

NOw is also the time to work on revision of Unit One or Unit TWO!

Final Portfolio is due May 17 — we will talk about this when we get back.

HW 4 Outline For Genre Project. — DUE Saturday April 27

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

Now you will show me your plan / outline (we have been studying outlines this whole semester — now you write one!)  for whatever genre you  are writing or creating.    Even if you have started creating, it’s  a good idea to plan out where you are going.

Write an outline o/r upload a px of a story board panel rough drafts or description of panels 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 a _______.  (What genre are you planning? TELL ME HERE).

  1. The Intro (if you are planning a video or TEDtalk or Podcast I suggest that you write out the INTRO and OUTRO portions):

Write out the entire paragraph of what you will be saying – word for word.  Include the What Who Why (THINK the 5 Ws).  Say the title of your project!  Yes, you need a title; we have been emphasizing this all semester.  Writing out the intro will help, so you won’t freeze up at the start of recording.  You want to feel confidant at the outset, so knowing exactly what you will be saying will help.  If you are planning to use sounds at the outset, then write:  Sounds of morning alarm going off, sound of coffee machine, family sounds in the background, voice-over saying ___.  Be specific!  If you are planning to drop in some important facts, write it here. If you plan to bring in an interviewee or two, write out WHO they are here and establish their credibility as a source on your subject/topic.  Remember that early on, you need to make the subject/topic of your (whatever genre) clear, so write that somewhere in your intro.

  1. The Middle Part.   (NO need to write it out, instead give the bullet points.)

Here you will build on themes or ideas introduced in the beginning and aim to keep your audience’s attention. You can plan out the bullet points for research or background information. You can plan out bullet points for any narrative story that you will tell, guiding you as you speak out your narrative.  You can plan out the Qs or talking points that will guide your interview or conversation with your interviewee.

If this will be an informational video or podcast or TEDtalk, pull out the research points from your research project.  If you will tell personal story in some part, plan out the talking points that will move your story forward. This is similar to your education narrative; you need to have specific events that tell your story and move it forward.  If you are planning an interview or conversation, use the Effective Questions handout (in Option to Create Podcast from the Assignment).  Be ready to ask follow-up questions. Try to get the person to open up and tell interesting perspective or stories.  Have a good conversation and learn from your interviewer.  However, be careful of letting the conversation stray from the topic; remember you are the guide; you are in control.  If you are writing a creative fictional podcast, have fun and write a short story or radio play that entertains and makes a point about your topic/subject.

Give your 5 or 6 bullet points / interview Qs / talking points







III.   The Outro:

If you are doing a podcast or tedtalk again my suggestion is that you — Write out the entire paragraph of what you will be saying at the close – word for word.

What is the message that you want the audience to take away? You might plan a CTA Call to Action, a Challenge, a Final Question or something else.  If you plan to use sounds to signal closure, then write this in here.

Here are some examples of student outlines for you to get an idea (click on):  Student Example Outline for Genre Project

Remember that there is also a Creator’s Statement part of the Genre Project which you will do once your are finished with this project.

Wednesday April 17 post-class

Have a good break!  Stay posted for explanation of next HW which you will do over break.

Please update your Genre Project Proposals if you have made changes! (use the edit function)

HW 3 Mentor Text Analysis Due Friday April 19.

  • Title: Mentor Text Analysis
  • Category: Mentor Text Analysis

State clearly what you are using as your Mentor Text.  Give the title and the link.  Remember first choice is to find one from inside the Unit 3 Assignment from the list of Mentor Texts under your chosen genre.  So if you plan to make a TEDtalk, then go to the Option to create a TEDtalk and choose one of the Mentor Texts listed there.

If you have gone outside and found a different mentor text that is not on my list, and if I approved this in class today (Wednesday), then provide me with the title and link.

Remember you CANNOT use a student-example as your mentor text.

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

My Mentor Text is: ____________ (give link)

  • 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 youavoid in your project? How will you do this?

Monday April 15 post-class

Here is HW 2 Due Tuesday April 16

Proposal for Genre Project.  POST on OpenLab.  Write a proposal of at least 200 words outlining what you plan to do for Unit 3. Post to website.  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.  IF AND ONLY IF YOU CANNOT FIND A MENTOR TEXT FROM THE ONES I GAVE YOU — THEN YOU CAN SEARCH FOR YOUR OWN.  YOU MUST OK YOUR MENTOR TEXT WITH ME. 

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 project examples from previous students.

Monday April 15, 2024 pre-class

I am working hard to finish grading the RAB Unit 2 Assignment.  I am commenting in Google Drive.

PLEASE REMEMBER – do not disturb your Google Doc file submission.  Preserve the comments and your Final Draft just as you submitted it.  Download with my comments to your own computer and work on revisions there.  I need to see the changes if you submit a revision, so PLEASE LEAVE THE GOOGLE DOC FINAL DRAFT SUBMISSION ALONE. This is the same as what I asked you to do in Unit ONE Education Narrative. 

Soon- later today, I plan to upload the grades to Gradebook (you will access from Dashboard of your Open Lab).

Generally you have all done well because you have been coming to class and following the Writing Process that I have been guiding you through – Kudos to you!

Here are some global comments as I evaluate your RAB Final Drafts:

  1. Did you understand your sources well enough to write good summaries? Remember I do not want to have to read your source material and I should not have to if you have written solid summaries.
  2. I am looking for continuity throughout your Sources. They should all address your RQ.  If there is some deviation, then you should explain this in your Reflection/Conclusion.
  3. In the Reflection/Conclusion I am looking for original deep insightful thinking from your own brain. Please review the lesson on How to Write the Reflection/Conclusion with example writings (everything is on Research Project Resources page) — and the guiding questions from the Assignment itself.
  4. I am looking to learn from your RAB! Did you write well enough to engage my interest as your reader?  Did you gather good sources that sparked your interest and did you spread that interest and passion to me through your writing?
Today in class we will write the Genre Project Proposal.

Wednesday April 10

Read and Study and EXPLORE the Unit 3 Genre Project — Explore the different genre options in the Assignment (there are many options).  Under each genre option, click on the links and look at the Mentor Texts to get ideas.  You can also start looking at example student genre projects from previous semesters on the Genre Project Resources page.  This page also has programs you will be using to create your genre project (I-Movie, Audacity, DaVinci and more).

NOTE:  Some genres are not being used this semester.  You are not working on Opinion or Open Letter. NO genre projects that are written-only. You must create in a genre that has elements of video or audio or visual or a combination.

HW 1 Due Sunday night April 14. 

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

Tuesday April 9

Final Draft of your RAB COMPLETE due today in Google Drive.

Title your file:  Your name — RAB FD

Monday April 8

Here is RAB-Review-Checklist-1JBut-RAB-Review-Checklist-1 (7)


RAB Grading Criteria: Essay-2-RAB-What-youll-be-graded-on (6)

Sunday April 7

I received too many requests from students who want me to preview your RAB.  I am sorry, but this is not possible; that is why I required you to all work with the Writing Tutors.  I also did comment and give feedback on your Source Entry 1!  AND I gave brief comments on Open Lab to your Source Entry 2.  That is for all who turned work in on time.

TOMORROW:  We will meet in the computer lab and you will all finalize your RAB Complete.  I will help as I can.  We will move on to Unit 3 on Wednesday.  Having a good RAB will enable you to move to Unit 3 seamlessly!

Here are some documents that will help you.  These are all on the Research Project Resources page.

  1. NOW — Use this template to organize and label all parts of your RAB:


2. You will also find student examples of COMPLETE RAB on the Research Project Resources page.  LOOK AT THEM NOW!

THE RAB COMPLETE WILL BE DUE TUESDAY April 9 to the Google Drive.   I will make a folder soon.


Wednesday April 3 pre-class

  1. We will discuss how to write the Reflection / Conclusion.  ALSO we will have time to work on your writing.  Bring your laptop computers to class.

2. From the Research Project Resources page:  Example RAB Reflection / Conclusion with Guiding Questions

LWu Reflection / Conclusion on Anti-Asian Hate Co-Vid plus other student examples

3. AS always ALL our handouts and examples can be found on the REsearch Project Resources page.  

Monday April 1 post-class

You are in TURBO mode!   The complete RAB assignment Unit Two is due next week!  

  1. Post your RAB RQ
  2. Links for your 3 sources (Remember 1. news/or/feature piece, 2. opinion piece, 3. non-print source)
  • Title your HW: My 3 Sources
  • Category: My 3 Sources

See my example HW 6 post on Student Works page.

Open Lab HW 7:  Due Tomorrow Tuesday

You are revising your Source Entry 1, using my comments.  With my comments you will understand better how to write the Source Entries, and you will use this knowledge to write your Source Entry 2.  Post your Source Entry 2 into the Open Lab for HW 7.

Post your RAB Source Entry 2 (for your opinion piece Source 1) ALL FOUR PARTS properly labeled.

  • TItle: RAB Source Entry 2
  • Category RAB Source Entry 2

Saturday March 30

Kudos to everyone who submitted HW 5!  I have almost finished grading and commenting.

Please provide me with a print-out of your Source 1 if you did not already do so.  AND looking ahead, give me a print-out of your Source 2. 

GO ON to work on your Source Entry 2 on your Opinion piece.  It will be due on Tuesday!  This time on the Open Lab.

MONDAY we discuss Source 3 the non-print source.   You are searching for a TED talk, video, podcast, interview, documentary, creative art, video news clip — something that communicates in visual, audio, or other media different than a written piece.

REmember again the due date for the ENTIRE COMPLETE RAB with 3 source entries and conclusion is APRIL 8.  STUDY the ASSIGNMENT — it is your roadmap to this assignment!  YOU should have printed it out. 

Wednesday March 27

HW 5 Source Entry 1 (Rough Draft) due tomorrow Thursday 3/28.

Title your file: Your Name RD Source Entry 1

JUST FOR THIS HW, you will upload to the Google Drive.  This is the only Unit 2 HW that is on the Google Drive (all others — proposal, practice source entry writing on “Schools” — were all turned in on Open Lab).   I am asking for Source Entry 1 Rough Draft this time on Google Drive, so that I can give you comments to help you on your first Source Entry.  Then you will have a better idea how to proceed with writing of Source Entry 2 (opinion piece / opinion editorial) and 3 (non-print source).

Use the examples I passed out on Source Entry for “We are Not the Virus” and Source Entry for “Schools Killing Curiosity” as models for your Source Entry.  Label all four parts clearly as shown in the examples.

Monday we meet in classroom to learn about Source 3.  I will show some examples of what I found for my Source 3 on my RQ:  How has the pandemic exacerbated anti-Asian hostility?

Tuesday March 26

Tomorrow — We meet in the computer lab on ground floor of Atrium Building.

Monday March 25 post-class

  2. PLEASE PRINT OUT THE RAB UNIT TWO ASSIGNMENT on the Assignments page.  I will give you a chance to show me your printout again on Wednesday.
  3. Revise and update your RAB PROPOSAL by editing in your own master document on your own computer.  Then put that as the new edited version on your Open Lab HW #1.  You should now know that your proposal will become your introduction.  So revise now.
  4. Remember to look in Resource Leads sidebar to see what I share for each of your RQs.
  5. Get to the tutors!
In class, we have been studying examples of the Source Entry (all four parts).

Today we went over another complete Source Entry for my own RQ:  How has the pandemic exacerbated Anti-Asian hostility?  I showed your my Source Entry for my Source 2 the opinion-editorialby Andrew Yang “We Are Not the Virus.”  If you were not in class, you missed a valuable lesson.   You can find this Source Entry on the Research Project Resources page.

Last week we studied an example Source Entry for the “Schools” practice article.  It is a feature piece.  You will find a feature or news article for your Source 1.  If you missed this class you are missing out on important information.  Go to the Research Project Resources page to find this example.  There are consequences for missing class.

ALSO in the last few sessions we used handouts for:

  • How to write a Summary
  • Graphic organizer with boxes for MI and SD for preparing to write a Summary
  • Rhetorical Analysis worksheet by Prof. Blaine

Today I handed out another important handout on Rhetorical Analysis.  Again if you missed any of these handouts, you will have to look on Research Project Resources page and print out for yourself.

Wednesday we meet in the computer center.  You will work on your Source Entry 1 and it will be due Thursday 3/28 (giving you a few more days).

You are also searching for your Source 2 — printing out, annotating, and preparing for Source Entry 2 writing.

Next week I will show examples from my own search for Source 3: opinion-documentary, video, podcast, TED talk, photo essay, or another non-print source.  That is what your Source 3 should be.  Remember we are finding different genres to serve as your three sources as explained in the Assignment.

Thursday March 21

  1. RAB ASSIGNMENT UNIT TWO COMPLETE will be due on April 8.  I announced this in class yesterday.

You MUST PRINTOUT and ANNOTATE your own RAB source articles!  You are now annotating and reading carefully.  You will make two copies of each of your source articles: one for you and one for me.   You will turn this in with your RAB COMPLETE on April 8.


  1. HW 4
  • Update me by giving your final RQ (some of you have made changes; here you will update)
  • Then – give the MLA citation for your Source 1, news or feature piece for your own RAB.  Use the citation machine!
  • Then — Post a picture of your annotated page, printed out, of your Source 1, your news or feature piece for your own RAB. You MUST PRINTOUT and ANNOTATE your own RAB source articles! 


  • Title: Annotated Source 1 Picture – Your Name
  • Category:  Annotated Source 1 Picture

Here is Annotated Source 1 Picture my example HW post

  1. PRINTOUT THE UNIT TWO RAB ASSIGNMENT ASAP.  Many of you have not been following the instructions for each part.
  • RAB Proposal must follow the paragraph template given in the Assignment.
  • For RAB Source Entry writing, you must use the Assignment instructions for how to write the Summary and the guiding questions for the Rhetorical Analysis. SUPER IMPORTANT.
  • Use the handouts on Summary writing and Rhetorical Analysis and the example Source Entry that I printed and passed out to you in class!
  1. Monday — We will discuss what is an opinion piece. Read for Monday: “We are Not the Virus But We Are Part of the Cure” by Andrew Yang

This is source that I used for Source 2 for my own RQ:  How has the CV pandemic exacerbated xenophobia focusing especially on Anti-Asian hostility?

  1. Midterm grades will be posted later today in Gradebook of Open Lab. Use the dashboard feature to access Gradebook.
I considered Unit One Ed Narrative, attendance, class participation, HWs done (remember LATE HWs get no credit/no comment), peer review participation, tutor attendance, ability to follow instructions.  Some of you did well on Ed Narrative Unit One.  But you are not following through on Unit Two RAB work.  There is still time to do better!  
  1. Get to the tutors to work on your own Summary writing and Rhetorical analysis! IT is required for this assignment.
  2. You are working on your own RAB source 1: All four parts will be due next week on Tuesday.

Tuesday March 19

  1. Tomorrow we will go over the Part 3 Rhetorical Analysis and Part 4 Notable Quotable parts for our Practice Source Entry writing on “Schools.”  PLEASE POST YOUR HW 3 NOW!
  2. Then I plan to take us to the Computer Lab on the Ground Floor to work on your RAB. Bring your ID to enter the Computer Lab.  We are starting your RAB!  Due in approximately 2 weeks!
  3. You should have revised your RAB Proposal Paragraph using comments in Open Lab.
  4. You should have printed out and read and annotated your Source 1 (news or feature piece) and at least chosen your Source 2 (an opinion piece).  Your sources MUST BE PRINTED OUT!  If you have not printed out, you can print in the computer lab tomorrow.
  5. You will be “building” your RAB in MS word on your own computer file.  If you wish to work on your own computer, bring it.  Otherwise bring a flashdrive or email your work-in-progress to yourself, so you can work on it in Computer Lab.
  6. Please make sure you have registered for Access to Computer Lab. I gave out the handout a week ago.  Here it is again: Computer Log IN for CompLab

Monday March 18

HW 3:  Now you will do Parts 3 and 4 for “Schools Kill Curiosity” – Due tomorrow Tuesday March 19.  Then you will have written a complete Source Entry — all four parts — for our practice article “Schools Kill Curiosity.”

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

For HW3, you will write Part 3 Rhetorical Analysis for “Schools Kill Curiosity” and choose three significant quotes from “Schools” for Part 4 Notable Quotables.  Please LABEL all parts!

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

Part 3:  Rhetorical Analysis.  Here you will consider genre, writing style, purpose, and author’s credentials.   Write one paragraph.  Print out and use this Rhetorical Analysis Worksheet  RhetoricalGenreAnalysisWorksheet (also on Research Project Resources page)

  • What is the genre?
  • Who is the author?  Is the author credible?
  • Describe the author’s writing style, tone, attitude.
  • Consider the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, logos and show where the author used these or this appeal.
  • What is the author’s intended audience and purpose (reason for writing)?  Who do you think is the author targets as his/her primary audience?  What message does the author want the reader to take away?
  • Occasion:  Is there some significant event happening that is the cause for this source to be written now?  Upon what occasion is this being written now?
  • Source Credibility: Are the author and 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.
  • Currency: Is this information current? Does the time it was written matter?

Part 4 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 page number.

“Put the quoted words here” (Berliner par 4).

Sunday March 17

  1. I have finished grading Education Narrative Unit One Assignment.  Grades are posted in Gradebook section of your Open Lab.  Comments are in your Google drive FD.

Overall most of you did well on this first major assignment! I am very proud of you!

As you review your Ed Narrative, look at the Assignment and the Checklist / Peer Review sheet. Some essays did not meet the requirements.  It is your responsibility to read the Assignment carefully and follow instructions.  It is an important skill to learn.  You will be revising your Ed Narratives for the Final Portfolio.  (Please remember to do the revision in your own master file NOT IN THE GOOGLE DOC.  I need to preserve your original submissions, so I can see the process of your revision work!)

Remember that ALL MAJOR UNIT ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE SUBMITTED ON TIME AS WRITTEN ON THE SYLLABUS AND EXPLAINED IN CLASS.  You must turn in major unit assignments ON TIME in order to pass the class.  As written in the syllabus, you cannot fail any major unit assignments.  NOT submitting a major unit assignments means you cannot pass the class.
  1. I will post my example of HW 2 Practice Citation and Summary on “Schools Are Killing Curiosity.” READ THE ARTICLE AGAIN — Study my example. Use the handouts.

Please revise your summaries (go back into your original HW post and use the “edit” function). THINK about the outline we put on the board.  Be clearer in your writing and use the main points that we found in our outline we put on the board. Since the writer referred to research about curiosity and learning.  You should include at last one MI that tells what the research shows.  LOOK and see what Berliner did at the end of the article.  Use the anecdote about the experiment at the nursery school in Bristol; or use the quote from Prof. Paul Howard Jones.  Your last sentence of your summary can explain how Berliner ends with one of these MI points.

  1. For your RAB Proposal: Make sure you are using the Proposal Paragraph template. READ INSTRUCTIONS and follow carefully.  The Proposal Paragraph template is in announcements and on the Unit Two RAB Assignment.
  2. Everyone needs to comment on TWO peer RAB proposals!

Get your sources!  Find your first source:  Feature article or News article.  We will begin writing your own RAB next week.  PRINT OUT SOURCES AND BRING TO CLASS ON Monday.  If you have a few different choices, that’s fine — you may printout and bring to class to decide upon which to use.

  1. Monday we will write the Part 3 Rhetorical Analysis and Part 4 Quotables part of the Source Entry for “Schools Are Killing.”
  2. You should have printed out the Unit TWO RAB ASSIGNMENT.  Scroll down to the part on on how to write the Rhetorical Analysis, a difficult writing.  I have given you guiding questions in the Assignment.  

I will not be in class on Monday but Prof.  Gertzog will cover for me.  You will like her — She’s fun!

7. NOW — Register for access to the computers at the computer lab. We will try to work in computer lab next week:  Here again is the handout that I passed out in class last week.Computer Log IN for CompLab


Wednesday March 13

Reminder:  By Saturday, you should comment on TWO student peers HW 1 RAB Proposal.  I am letting you off the hook for the comment on Summary HW 2 of "Schools Killing Curiosity."

Commenting is part of your overall HW grade, so those of you not participating in the peer commenting need to get started!

You are working on TWO HWs:  THE RAB PROPOSAL and THE SUMMARY (and citation) of "Schools" practice article.
  1. For practice on summary writing, we are all reading the article, “Schools are Killing Curiosity.”  I am guiding you all on writing a complete Source Entry on this article (Remember the four parts of the Source Entry are MLA Citation, Summary, 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).

2. Now using the work you did in class, you will write a summary on this piece “Schools are Killing Curiosity” for HW 2 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:  RAB Practice Citation and Summary – Your Name — DUE on FRIDAY 3/15
  • 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)


3. We are fully immersed in Unit TWO Reflective Annotated Bibliography RAB now!

You should be posting your RAB proposal. (HW1 — scroll down to where this is announced).  IT IS DUE NOW!

Please do not skip class.  I will be demonstrating and showing example RAB writings.  These presentations will help you understand what you will be writing.   The RAB is a difficult assignment with many moving parts.  If you fall behind or miss class, you will fall into the quicksand and there may be no way to pull yourself out.

Make sure you have your free New York Times and free Wall Street Journal digital subscriptions as a CUNYstudent:  — link also found on our Home page.

We are learning about the FOUR parts of an RAB Source Entry:

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

4. You are looking for Source 1 for your own RQ — which should be a news or feature piece. 

NEXT WEEK we will start writing your RAB, so solidify your Proposal and get your sources!   You may start searching for Source 2 which should be an opinion piece.  REMEMBER TO USE NEW YORK TIMES or other reliable journalism sources AS INSTRUCTED IN THE ASSIGNMENT.

As you search for sources, let’s review the genres we are working to find:

A feature article is an in-depth article written to give information on topical events, people or issues of interest.  Written by an expert or a journalist, these texts provide background information on a newsworthy topic.  A feature article may show the writer’s personal slant or experience.

A news article is an article that covers a current affair or current event. It is an objective report on events that are happening right now in the world.

An opinion piece is an article that reflects the author’s opinion about a subject.  It is often persuasive and trying to convince the reader of the writer’s own perspective.

5.  On Monday next week — We will write PART 3 The Rhetorical Analysis part for your Source Entry of our practice article “Schools Kill Curiosity.”

6.  I will soon be posting grades for the Education Narrative Unit One.  Stay tuned!

Monday March 11

Look at the Assignment Unit Two Sidebar — Research Source Leads where I have listed all topics and RQs from the class.  If you are still searching for a good topic, I have listed other topics that might make good research projects from happiness to fashion on the Research Source Leads Sidebar.  Go Look! I will continue to add resource leads.

HW #1 Your RAB Proposal Paragraph for your RQ. (If you have already posted it, you may revise it for clarity.)

  • Title: RAB Proposal Paragraph – Your Name.
  • Category: RAB Proposal.
  • You can start posting this HW now.  But definitely by Wednesday everyone should have a clearly written proposal following the instructions on the Assignment.  Use the paragraph template!
  • Due by Friday 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 — should be a news article or a feature piece). 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. 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.
  3. 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.  This should be a news article or a feature article.  Try googling “_____ your RQ and NYT” and see what comes up. (NYT = New York Times)See my example proposal on the Research Project Resources page: LWU Proposal RAB
  4. See my example proposal on the Research Project Resources page: LWU Proposal RAB

Sunday March 10

I am in the process of reading the Final Draft of your Education Narratives, and I am enjoying your stories!  I notice that those students who took their essays through many revisions submitted strong papers: well-developed and interesting stories.  This revision work was done through peer reviewing and working with Writing Center Tutors at the Rough Draft stage.  Remember those were TWO REQUIREMENTS of Unit One assignment.

We are now in Unit TWO:  As you work on finding a RQ (research question) I want to share Library Professor Lasky’s presentation on how to come up with a good RQ:  How to Narrow Down a Research Question.

You can also find this video on our Research Project Resources page.  Check it out!  This is a page with which you will become very familiar in the weeks to come.


  1. Kudos to everyone who turned their Unit One Education Narratives on time!  Being on time is one of the goals of this class.  I am looking forward to reading your stories.

2. We are now in UNIT TWO RAB:  Reflective Annotated Bibliography.

  • It’s reflective because at the end you will write a Reflection as your Conclusion to the entire RAB.
  • It’s annotated because you will be annotating, writing notes about each of your sources (three sources), and keeping track of what you are learning on your Research Question (RQ).
  • It’s a bibliography because you are creating a LIST of sources for your research.
The RAB is a very difficult assignment with many moving parts.  Missing class or falling behind will result in falling into the quicksand.  You may not be able to pull yourself out!  I am using figurative language here, but you get the picture!

3. We had an introduction to the research process on Wednesday with Professor Lasky in the library.  Now you should be:

  • Deciding on and — Narrowing down an RQ (Research Question) for Unit TWO. We started this in the Library class.
  • Studying the Unit TWO assignment. I have just revised the Assignment and you should print it out.  (Yes, I revise too!)
  • CHANGE-UP: I am not asking for the Proposal yet, but you should be studying how you will write the Proposal.  Scroll down in the Assignment to “Getting Started.”
  • Looking around on Google and Research sites from the Library website for possible sources. Do some reading to get ideas of what your RQ could be.  Eventually, you will need THREE sources.  (Read the Unit TWO Assignment; it’s all explained there!
  • 1. One source must be a feature or news article.
  • 2. A second source must be an opinion-editorial.
  • 3. A third source will be a non-print source such as a podcast or tedtalk or video news clip.)
  • Explore the Unit TWO side bar where I am starting a list of possible RQs from class members. As I walked around the room, I gathered ideas from all of you and I share them here in the Unit Two side bar.

4. For Monday please read this feature article “Schools Kill Curiosity” from The Guardian, a United Kingdom newspaper.

  • A feature article reports on a topic — but unlike a news report which relies heavily on straightforward facts — a feature article is written in an interesting human way that might make you laugh or cry. It often uses pictures and captions as visual elements.
  • We will start Unit TWO by practicing how to write a Source Entry (all four parts). Our practice source is the feature article: “How Schools are Killing Curiosity.”

Friday March 8, 2024

  1. I have opened the Final Draft folder in the Google Drive.


  • Go to Unit One Education Narrative / Final Draft (there are NO group folders this time)
  • Title your file:  Your First Name Last Name, FD
  • Please use the Checklist to check your work!
  • NO PDFs.  Microsoft Word file only.
  • No late papers accepted for Major Unit Assignments! It is due this Friday.


  1. See you in front of the library for class today. Be there on time.  We meet with Prof. Lasky for our library orientation and introduction to Unit Two research project.

Tuesday March 5

  1. Remember that Wednesday we meet in front of the Library on the 4th floor Atrium Building.


2. The Final Draft of the Education Narrative is due on Friday.  NO LATE PAPERS ACCEPTED! 

Please review the Education Narrative Checklist. 

  1. We are moving on to Unit Two. Start previewing the Assignment Reflective Annotated Bibliography.  It is a research project.

Sunday March 3, 2024

  1. Bring TWO hard copies of your latest draft to class tomorrow.
  2. I have been checking in with the Writing Center Tutors. Please have your tutor email me to confirm that you worked together.  If you have not worked with a tutor, do this ASAP.
  3. Some groups did very well on the peer reviewing assignment. Other groups need to complete this ASAP.  Please review the instructions below.  You must do TWO peer reviews on the Google Drive.
  4. Now we are continuing to REVISE and move toward the Final Draft due this Friday.

THINK – ARMS. Are there places you can…?

Add words or sentences or parts where information is missing or lacking development.  Add a scene or dialogue.

Remove words or sentences or parts that do not fit or are repetitive

Move words or sentences or parts around to help the flow of the essay

Substitute weak words and/or sentences with more specific vocabulary

You will receive advice and feedback from your peer reviewers, from your professor, and from your tutor.  Do consider these various pieces of advice.  However, remember that ultimately you are the writer; you are the boss, and you will make the writerly decisions in the end.

5. REVISION and PROOFREADING are not the same thing!

True Revision takes place over days and weeks and is about RE-THINKING your ideas.  RE-vison is to re-think, re-see, re-organize, re-order, RE-Structure —- RE-WRITING

  • Does not mean just fixing up the verbs, punctuation, sentence errors TMI
  • Does not mean adding just one sentence or adding one paragraph at the end.
  • DOES MEAN to consider feedback you are getting.
  • DOES MEAN to consider our workshop activities on Scene Building and Dialogue and to make sure you have two scenes (one with dialogue) in your essay.
  • DOES MEAN to study the Education Narrative Checklist.

Proofreading (“fixing” mistakes) comes at the end stages of writing. Fixing errors in grammar, spelling, sentence structure, verb forms/tenses is the very last stage.

Wednesday Feb 27 post-class

  1.  Good job to everyone who has been working hard on the Rough Draft.  I hope you are realizing that writing is a process, and not a one-off.


2.  Two peer-reviews are due by this Friday March 1. 

Now let’s help each other to revise these Rough Drafts.  In the Google Drive, go to your group’s folder for the Rough Draft.  You will each peer review TWO student group members.  Please make sure that in your group, each student Rough Draft receives two peer reviews.  Use the Checklist to come up with your comments and to write an end letter to the student writer.

Here are the instructions:

Peer Review Feedback to be completed by Friday March 1:

  1. Comment fully on two group members’ Rough Drafts #1 (RD#2 for some student papers, latest version). Spend at least 30 minutes on each paper. 
  2. In the Google Drive, use comment bubbles on the side to comment. At least FIVE thoughtful comments.  Use the Checklist to come up with your comments.
  3. In the Google Drive of student paper you are reviewing, you will also write end comments to the writer in the form of a letter.

Dear Jessica,

THEN one full paragraph, 7-9 sentences.


Your Name

  • If your peer comments are mindfully and well done, I will give you extra credit. Penalty if peer comments are underdeveloped, late, or missing (at least one-half letter grade on your Final Draft)
  • If you are missing a paper in your group, reach out to your group member and request he/she expedite submission.
  • If your group does not have enough papers, you may go to another group folder that similarly has not enough papers, and you may peer-review a Rough Draft that has received only one or no peer reviews.


3.  Then over the weekend you will start working on revising your own Rough Draft and taking it to the final stage, the Final Draft.

On Monday bring your working Final Draft — at whatever stage you are at — as a hard copy (printed out) to class.  TWO copies.

We will spend one more day in class working on our Ed Narratives at the Proofreading stage.


4.  I announced today that I am extending the due date for the Final Draft to Friday March 1. 

This is to give you ample time to work with the Writing Tutors and to do your best work. Remember you have the power to write your own story!  I have seen good progress as I circulate around the room to sit with each group during this week’s workshop sessions.  I am looking forward to reading your final essay.


Monday Feb 25 pos-class

Everyone did good work today on the peer reviewing activity!  I hope you feel that you are able to move your story forward.

A couple of points:

You should have some ideas on what to do with your Rough Draft after today’s class.  You should be reviewing the Checklist and thinking critically on your own work, as you start revising to move your RDraft forward to a Final Draft.

DO NOT disturb the Rough Draft you submitted on Google Drive.  This is so I have a record of the original Rough Draft and I will be able to see the difference between the Rough Draft and the Final Draft which you will submit on Sunday night.

As you revise, you should be working on your own MS Word File – OR — your own Google doc in your own private Google Drive.

If –- only if — you do substantial revising work between now and Wednesday’s class, you may upload a second file to Your Group Folder and title this RD #2.  This is not required, but it is an option.

For Wednesday, will continue to work in class using the Checklist I handed out today and continue to do peer review helping your group members.  You may also work on the actual writing and revising in class on Wednesday, so bring your computers, if you wish.

Please continue to bring your hard copies to class again on Wednesday.  If you did not bring hard copy today, then do so for Wednesday.  If you have done substantial revising, you may bring your latest hard copy RD #2 to class.


BIG QUESTION:  WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF YOUR ED NARRATIVE?  Can you put it into one sentence?  What is your hero’s journey?  (We will watch a video on the hero’s journey in class.) For example:
  • My story focuses on dropping out of medical school and finding my way to Literature Studies.
  • My story focuses on the struggles I faced being a Black student in an Arabic private school.
  • My story focuses on dropping out of CalTech and finding my way back to college at CUNY.
  • My story focuses on my struggle with depression and smoking marijuana in high school.
  • My story focuses on my negative reception from the online computer modeling community.

Then you should have events that move your story forward.  Did you do the Outline?  You may change the outline as you work, but you need a few events planned in your head as you write.

TONIGHT Sunday Feb 25:  Rough Drafts due to the Google Drive.  [NOTE: Your RD Rough Draft does not need to be perfect, but it must be submitted on time!]  Go to Unit One Folder.  Go to Rough Draft Folder.  Go to your Group Folder and find your name. 


SEE THE ASSIGNMENT for instructions on how to submit to the Google Drive.

ROUGH DRAFT DUE:  Sunday February 25 by midnight, two full pages, typed, double spaced, 12-point font, Times, one-inch margins.

Two full pages (top to bottom) is minimum.  You can write more.

  • Submit your Rough Draft to Google drive
  • Title your Word Doc/file: Jessica Castro, RD #1    NO PDFiles


  • You should have your ASSIGNMENT PRINTED OUT and be studying it!
  • We will discuss how to make a connection to the readings.
  • You should continue to study the example student essays.
  • Look at the Ed Narrative side bar for Writing Resources on this Assignment.
  • You should be incorporating my teacher comments and use your tutor feedback to complete your Rough Draft and Final Draft.
  • DO the handout exercises on Sentence Structure.

Bring your laptops to class if you want to write on computer during class time.

BRING YOUR OBAMA PRINTOUT TO CLASS.  We have studied his opening scene. We will also look at a few other scenes to study how he creates scenes with good description and good dialogue.  We are RLW — Reading Like a Writer.Remember your Ed Narrative must have TWO scenes and one must use dialogue.

FINAL DRAFT DUE: Sunday March 3.  THREE full pages (top to bottom) minimum. 


Finally, you must get to class on time.  We will be reviewing the grading rubric for this assignment.  If you are not in class on time with your hard copies you cannot participate in this important lesson.  Plan you arrival accordingly.  In fact, many of you have been absent or late consistently. This must change if you expect to pass this.

Friday Feb 23

Everyone made an appointment with the Writing Center Tutors in class yesterday.  If you did not do this, you must do this now.  Get an appointment for next week at the latest.  This tutoring work is REQUIRED! 

The Final Draft Ed Narrative is due the following week Sunday night March 3.

You should be in turbo-mode and writing hard!

  1. By Sunday night you will submit your Rough Draft and Monday you will bring TWO hard copies to class.  Instructions will be given in the next Announcement.  Look for it on Sunday morning. 

2.  For TODAY: Read the student example Ed Narrative by Fan Zhou (on Assignments page go to left hard sidebar next to Assignment Unit One).

Notice how Fan’s story is an in-depth description of TWO scenes and how his story is in TWO parts.

  • Part One is a dramatic scene of being teased and tagged with sticky notes when he was in his 6th grade ESOL class in middle school.
  • Part Two is a dramatic scene 10 years later when he is in a Language Immersion program and failing the final exam.

IN each part, notice how he focuses on one specific event and SHOWS CSD.

Notice how he DOES NOT tell me boring items.  Without boring-telling-words, I understand from his dramatic scenes that he was lost in his English school environment.  He was friendless and bullied.  He does not need to tell me this; instead he SHOWS me all this and more.  Fan writes with CSD; he uses vivid description; and he creates Theatre of the Mind for his reader.

HW 5:  Due TONIGHT FRIDAY in OPENLAB:   SHOW me one scene that you have written for your Ed Narrative.  This can be from any place in your story.  You can show me a scene with or without dialogue. 

  • Title: One Scene – Your Name
  • Category: One Scene

If you are writing dialogue, try to format the quotes properly.

  • Indent and start a new paragraph for new speaker.
  • And using the five points:
  1. Comma
  2. Opening quotation mark
  3. Capital letter starts the quoted words
  4. Ending Punctuation goes inside
  5. Closing quotation mark

Here is a quoted line from Fan’s paper with these FIVE points:

Uncle Li said,(1) “(2) I(3)f you can’t totally understand the language of a country that you are living in, what is the difference between people who are deaf, blind, and you?(4) “(5)

 Thursday Feb 22

Thx to those of you who joined me at the Mother Language Celebration Day!  You got to see me perform a Chinese nursery song!


We will continue to read the Obama text.

Be ready to work on your Education Narrative.  Your rough draft will be due next week on Monday in class.  So you should be visiting with the WRiting Center Tutors and working hard.

Study the Assignment and the student example Education Narratives.

Sunday Feb 18

Kudos to those who got their HW 4 in on time!

  1. No class tomorrow Monday — but get started reading the Obama! Be ready to discuss Wednesday.

·      Printout, Read, Annotate, and Vocabulary (look up new words).

·      Group FOUR: Prepare Master Vocabulary for the Obama reading pages 72-85.

·      Group FIVE: Prepare Master Vocabulary for the Obama reading pages 85 – 92.

Barack Obama, Chapter 4 Dreams from My Father. Obama, Chapter Four   (20 pages—long read, get started early).

Look at how he makes his story interesting with scenes, dialogue, and CSD.  He is a really a good writer.  THINK how you might make your story come alive!  How does he SHOW us the TWO different worlds in which he lives?  The story is also about his search for identity as a young black man in America.

2. We will also be writing in class on Wednesday, so bring what you need to work on your Education Narrative in the classroom.

As I read your HW4 I have this comment to everyone: Remember that in your outline, you need one or two specific EVENTS that move your story forward.  Many of you have outlines that have NO events.  THINK about Colin Powell’s narrative events:

  1. first day at City College
  2. joining ROTC
  3. (other events we did not discuss in class… ending with…)
  4. graduation day
  5. overall message is that public college education can take you as far as private college.

Examine what you wrote for HW 4.  Ask yourself:  Do I have specific important events that move my story forward?  If not, RE-THINK! and RE-DO your outline!

Please study the student example papers on the left hand sidebar of the Unit One Assignment.  You will be able to see what other students did with this same assignment!

Wednesday Feb 14 post-class

Happy Valentine’s Day!

HW 4 Outline and Opening Due Friday Feb 16

Use the title:  Outline and Opening – Your Name

Use the category:  Outline and Opening

By Saturday, please comment on TWO student peers.  MEANINGFUL COMMENTS ONLY! 

Study and printout the Unit One Education Narrative Assignment on the Assignment page.  CAREFULLY READ the choices of different writing prompts.  Then, choose one.

  1. Tell me what your chosen writing prompt will be.
  2. In one sentence, try your best to articulate what the main idea (MI) or the focus of your essay will be.
  3. Write an outline for your essay, include events that will move your story forward.
  4. Then TWO paragraphs of your opening for the essay.

So you might write:

HW 4 Outline and Opening Paragraph – Lisa

  1. I will use the Mentor Quote prompt. I might also use Between Two Worlds.
  2. The Main Idea of my education narrative will be showing that I was always an obedient Chinese daughter and followed my father’s wishes to become a doctor until I dropped out of medical school.


I.     Intro: (opening) Mentor Quote from my father telling me that I am a good student and can study anything.

II.   Event 1. In college, I majored in Chemistry/Pre-med.

III. Event 2. In medical school, I lasted only one semester before dropping out.

IV.  Event 3. I came to NYC and got a job in the magazine publishing world. I discovered I liked writing and went to graduate school for literature.  I became a teacher.

V.  Conclusion:  Conversation/Dialogue with my dad always asking me, “When are you going back?” — every year for about 10 years!  He had a hard time accepting my educational journey.

VI.  Overall Message: I have discovered the importance of finding what you really want to do and not to allow others to determine your path/your journey.


  1. Opening for my essay (TWO paragraphs):

“Lisa, you are a very good student. You can study anything–even if you don’t like it.”

I will always remember these words spoken to me by my father.  We were sitting at the dining room table. Just my dad and me, no one else. My mom was in the kitchen and I can smell the cha sha pork, but it wasn’t making me feel better. This was supposed to be an important conversation because I was 17, a junior in high school, and I knew we were talking about my college future.

I knew my dad’s words were meant as a compliment but I felt the impact of his compliment as a mixture of insult and motivation.  In my mind what I thought was:  My dad thinks my brothers are smarter than me. He thinks the only thing I do well is study. Well, true, I was kind of a nerdy kid. I took all the AP classes.  I always did my homework on time, even ahead of time.  I spent my lunch time in the library.  I belonged to the smart-but-definitely-not-popular group.

Next Week:

  • Look on the Weekly Schedule.
  • Remember that Monday Feb 19 is a no-school day.
  • For Wednesday Feb 21 the reading will be Barack Obama, Chapter 4 Dreams from My Father. Obama, Chapter Four   (20 pages—long read, get started early). PRINTOUT NOW!
  • Groups 4 and 5 will do the Master Vocabulary Lists for Obama reading.  See Weekly Schedule for exact pages.
Get an appointment now with the Writing Center tutors.  Remember you MUST make TWO visits:  One for Unit One Ed Narrative and ONE visit for Unit Two RAB.

Go to Student Resources page and click on Tutoring.

Sunday Feb 11

Please make sure you are annotating your pages for “When I was Puerto Rican” and also for “Mother Tongue.”  I will ask to see your annotated pages in class on Wednesday! That is the HW for this weekend.  Enjoy your Monday off!

Wednesday Feb 7 post-class

Kudos to those of you posting Open Lab HWs on time.  You are off to a fabulous start! 

Others you are falling behind and late on HWs.  Please get your work in on time.  SUPER IMPORTANT!  I will soon be instigating my LATE HW policies which is no credit and no feedback on LATE work.

Tutoring center is open now.  Remember two visits are required for this class.

DUE Friday Feb 9:  HW #3 Your Choice between Mentor Quote — OR — Saved. This HW post will be graded, 1-4.  4 means well-developed.  1 means underdeveloped.

  • Title Writing Task Between Two Worlds — Your Name
  • —OR —-
  • Title Writing Task Saved – Your Name
  • Use the title that fits your writing choice
  • THEN—Pick the category that fits your writing choice
  • By Saturday — Comment in a MEANINGFUL way on two student peers
And — Due 2/10 Saturday by midnight: Comment two other students’ posts, one paragraph each. You can start by commenting on something this student did well.  ALSO give some meaningful helpful comments.  Is there a part that is unclear?  Can you suggest a part that could be turned into a scene -- like theatre so we can SEE what happened?  Are there concrete specific details CSD that are missing?  

TWO choices here — Choose one — WRITE TWO PARAGRAPHS — this is just the “seed” of what you think will become your story. 


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 then expresses his frustration at not being able to use proper English in writing letters back to him. Malcolm’s desire to learn standard English inspires him to start his “homemade education.”

Think of a time a mentor or authority figure gave you positive encouraging words that moved you forward in your educational journey.  What were the precise words––and on what occasion did your mentor tell you these words?  What was the actual scene?  How did these words help you move forward?  Start your piece with this quotation.  How do the lessons from this figure continue to impact you in college?

Remember to start your story (narrative) with the mentor’s own words–that is, with a quotation — as I do in my student work post (Student Lisa).

Refer to:

US Open Tennis finalist Leylah Fernandez, 19 years old, of Canada said she had faced many doubts in her early career about her potential. She remembered a teacher in Canada telling her to stop playing tennis and just focus on her studies because she would “never make it.” 

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


Choice 2 SAVED:

Malcolm X saves himself by doing independent study to learn to read.  He is determined and works deep into the night risking being caught by night guards (great scene!).  He is transformed by the new worlds that open to him.  Colin Powell saved himself at college when he joined ROTC.  Even though he was just an average C student, joining ROTC transformed him.  He found a sense of purpose and new skills he never knew he had.

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.   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?

Remember you are a story-teller:  Make it interesting!  CREATE THEATRE OF THE MIND.  Give Concrete Specific Details CSD as we have been analyzing in the texts we are discussing.


2. Pls organize yourself and printout ahead of time.  Look at the Weekly Schedule. Print out now the readings for the UPCOMING WEEK.

Monday  2/12  is a no-class day.  However I am assigning a short reading for HW due Monday 2/12.  I will announce HW for this reading on Friday.  WATCH ANNOUNCEMENTS!

  • ESantiago  “When I was Puerto Rican” (page 101 The Place Where We Dwell)  CH03[1]
  • Printout, Read, Annotate, and Vocabulary.

For next Wednesday 2/14, the class reading will be Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” – be ready to discuss, print it out now, ahead of time.

  • Amy Tan Mother Tongue
  • Printout, Read, Annotate, and Vocabulary (look up new words).
  • Group THREE: Prepare Master Vocabulary for the reading. Due on the Google Drive by Tuesday 2/13 night (group member names are in Announcement for August 30 Thursday).
  • Kudos to Group One members Evelyn and Jeffery for an excellent Master Vocabulary List for Malcolm X readings. Please use their work as an example for your group. 

Monday Feb 5 post-class

  1. For Wednesday — Bring to class and be ready to discuss:

Colin Powell:  “My American Journey” Find in Open Lab course site under Readings (page 90-97)

  • Printout, Read, Annotate, and Vocabulary (look up new words).
  • Group TWO: Prepare Master Vocabulary for the reading. Due on the Google Drive by Tuesday night.  (You can look at Group One’s work and a previous semester group work as examples in the GDrive. Group member names are in Announcement for January 31 Wednesday)
  • We will look at the writer’s use of details and descriptive language to SHOW and not just tell.
  • We will continue our study of scene building.
  1. I see some students have not yet successfully joined our class site. Everyone needs to be on the open lab and joined as a member to our class site.  Please make sure you are joined now while the class is still open and public.  Soon, I am going to switch our class settings to make it private.

Sunday Feb 4

Please make sure you use the correct category when you post Open Lab HWs.  If you don’t, I may be unable to find yours when I pull up the HWs from the teacher end of Open Lab.

Please have your Malcolm X printouts and be ready to discuss tomorrow.

Group One, you should have uploaded Vocabulary List to the Google Drive.

Wednesday Jan 31 post-post-class

(pls see the other Wednesday Announcement below)

REMINDER:  DO PRINTOUT NOW OF THE MALCOLM X READINGS FOR MONDAY. Use the computer centers while you are on campus.

ALSO:  You can find everything we are doing on the Weekly Schedule and even look ahead to the next day’s lessons. 

  1. Remember HW 1 Introduction — announced below scroll down —  is due Friday and your comments to two student peers due Saturday. All on the Open Lab.

Great to those of you who have already done your Intros and to those of you already commenting and meeting each other online.  We are building community in this way.  I am looking forward to reading your introductions and finding out what interesting people we have in our class!

  1. Now I am announcing HW 2 on Tips for College Success due Sunday night 2/4.

Open Lab HW 2: 

  • Use the Title:  Success Tips – Your Name. 
  • Use the Category:  College Success (remember always to click on only one category).
  • Due Sunday 2/4 by midnight.   

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:

  1. Looking ahead to Monday 2/5, prepare the Readings on Malcolm X.
  • Printout, Read, Annotate, and Vocabulary (look up new words).
  • Group ONE: Prepare Master Vocabulary for the Malcolm X readings.* Due to the Google Drive by Sunday 2/4.

Everyone is responsible for bringing to class and being ready to discuss:

  1. Malcolm X’s Chapter 11 of Autobiography of Malcolm X.  Chapter 11 is presented in two parts here:
  1. NYT interview with LFishbourne (make sure you have your NYT account)

Malcolm X, Laurence Fishbourne and the Theater of Your Mind (NYT interview)


* Each group will do a Master Vocabulary list for an assigned Unit One reading.  You will be the experts for any word we do not know for that reading.

  • Organize and collaborate with your group members.
  • Upload one file to the Google Drive/Unit One/ Classwork/Master Vocabulary List.
  • Look in the Google Drive to find an example Master Vocabulary List for “In Defense of the Classroom.” Use this as a model for your group work.

Here are the groups:

  • Group 1:  Jeffrey, Evelyn, Joshua, Andrew
  • Group 2: Amber, Ademar, Adan, Matthew
  • Group 3: Kayla, Marc, Ilham, Brianna
  • Group 4: Terrence, Raul, Eddy, Michael, Diana
  • Group 5: Luis, David, Arturo, Junior, Ethan

Wednesday Jan 31 post-class

Good job to everyone for participating today and getting through the difficult theoretical essay How to Read Like A Writer!

If you have not done so, please scroll down and do the Email HW, using the proper email etiquette.

Here is HW#1 Introductions which is due on Friday Feb 2.  Soon, I will announce HW2 on Tips for College Success which is due on Sunday night and remind you of the reading due for Monday (2/5).  I will also give you the Group member breakdowns and remind Group One of the Master Vocabulary List that they are creating for Wednesday’s Malcolm X readings.

Due Friday 2/2 HW#1 by midnight: Introduction on OLab.

  • Aim for TWO full paragraphs plus picture/visual.
  • To get some ideas, think abou the ice-breaker questions we used on the first day to introduce our group members to the class.
  • 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).  If your photo is not self-explanatory, then give a sentence to explain your photo.
  • Remember — make yourself the interesting person that everyone wants to get to know at the party!

HOW TO POST:  (You can always find these instructions on the Student Resources page under “Open Lab Support”)

  • 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.  (please always choose only ONE category).
  • 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.

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 your own GDrive and to keep a master copy of all your HWs.  Then to copy and paste into the OLab.

By Saturday 2/3 you should also — 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.

Monday January 29 post-class

So good to meet all of you today and introduce ourselves to each other.  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 City Tech 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 Open Lab (OLab) class site and explore what’s there and how to navigate your way. Pay attention to Home and Syllabus and Weekly Schedule pages.
  3. There’s a lot of material on our Open Lab class site. I won’t expect you to know everything right away but get started now and familiarize yourself.
  4. READ ANNOUNCEMENTS every day. Sometimes I post even when there is no class, so check regularly.
  5. Join the Instagram account (thx to Brianna!) for the class.
  6. Get your New York Times digital subscription and your Microsoft Office Suite — both free as a CUNY students. Links on the Syllabus.

Look at the Weekly Schedule and you will see —

For Wednesday:

  • The assigned reading is “Read Like A Writer” by Mike Bunn. Printout and bring to class. Usually you will read and annotate and do vocabulary work ahead of class. However for this first reading, just printout and bring to class.  It is a difficult essay and 15 pages long!  But don’t worry, on Wednesday I will clue you in on the significant parts and we will go over the MI (main ideas) together.  SO you must have it and bring it to class.
  • ALSO printout and bring to class the excerpt from Lynn Kilpatrick Decisions Dilemmas Decisions On Genre excerpt Lynn Kilpatrick

HW before Wednesday’s class:  Please read the syllabus.  Then, to practice proper email etiquette (you should have read about this in the syllabus,so I will be looking for the proper email format!) send me an email to inform me that you have successfully read through the entire syllabus.

Friday January 26

Dear Students,

Greetings from Professor Wu, and welcome to Spring Semester 2024 ENG 1101 Section D885 at City Tech!  I am your professor and I look forward to working with you this semester.

Our first day will be Monday January 29. We meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:00 to 11:40 in Namm Building Room 816.  If you can, please come five minutes early at 9:55 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.  In addition to checking Open Lab Announcements page, start now checking your City Tech email daily.  It’s very important to have your email up and running.

For help on all of these points go to the Student Resources page of this website.  Here I copy from Student Resources page:

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

Best Wishes,
Professor Wu