Table of Contents

Monday Dec 20 pre-class

Wow — We made it to the finish line!  Thanks to all who submitted the Final Writing Portfolio and Final Course Reflection on time and to the correct places.  I appreciate your dedication and hard work.  Good job guys!

Now I still need you to post what you will be reading in our WRITING CELEBRATION TODAY. So if you have not told me what you will be reading today, please post now HW 7 as instructed below.

I am reading through your Portfolios and I see some very good revision work!

Wednesday Dec 15 post-class

I have kindly agreed to give you more time.

Final Writing Portfolio is due Saturday Dec 18 at 12 noon.

Final Course Reflection is due Sunday Dec 19 12 noon.

With the extra time you now have, I am expecting excellent work.  Now take advantage of the time and GET TO WORK!

We will have Writing Celebration on Monday Dec 20. Please post the the Open Lab HW#7 just one sentence telling me what you will share for our celebration.  Use the title and the category:  Writing Celebration.

Wednesday Dec 15 pre-class

Please post your HW#6 Final Revision Ideas to the Open Lab.  I have not seen any ideas yet posted. Please do not wait to do the Porfolio revision work at the last minute.  For many of you a great portfolio with excellent revisions can make the difference between a C grade and a B grade OR even a B grade and an A grade.

Today we will study the Final Course Reflection Assignment due this Friday Dec 17th.  This is the same date as the Final Writing Portfolio is due.  These are your two final assignments.  You can find them on the Assignments page.   Please study carefully so you know what to include and how to present these two last and final works.  

Reminder to review the due dates below.

Friday Dec 10

 Dear Class – we are in the home stretch!

  1. You should be finishing your Letter Unit 3 Genre Assignment. 

    You need to include an outline for your letter.  You can do it before or after or even as you are writing the Letter.  This outline is your gurantee that your letter has an organized structure.

In class Wednesday we looked at Gary’s outline for his letter:



  1. Salutation to American Culinary Federation Student Club
  2. Identify myself as a fellow restaurant worker
  3. Message: to inform culinary students about the possible downside of the restaurant industry
  4. Message is important because these students need a backup plan.


  1. Explain how the CV disrupted the Restaurant Industry
  2. Refer to my research and show the positive aspects
  3. Innovations in the Restaurant Industry
  4. Turn to the negative aspects which are the effect on the workers.
  5. Also refer to new research.
  6. Personal narrative: I will tell my story about losing the job/lack of job security because of the corona virus.


  1. Provide a solution
  2. Refer back to the message: I advising culinary students to have a back up plan and to know that the industry is not as stable as they think.
  1. You should be thinking, planning, and revising your Ed. Narrative and/or your RAB.

For HW#6 due Sunday 12noon:  Post to the Open Lab your ideas for revision.  Use the Title: Final Revision Ideas — YOUR NAME and the Category:  Final Revision Ideas.  Here is an example of one student’s plan for revising:

Revision on Education Narrative

After studying Prof. Wu’s comments on my essay, I plan to develop two more scenes at key points in my story, in P. 4 and P. 6.  I plan to break up large blocks of dialogue.

Revision on RAB

After studying Prof. Wu's comments, I plan to improve my summary writing for Source Entry 1 and 2. I will also revise my reflection parts to include more of my own original thinking and my opinions on the source article or video. I see now that I did a lot of summarizing in the reflection and that wasn't correct. I will reorganize the entire RAB so the presentation is structured. I will label all parts of the RAB clearly.

3. Here are upcoming dates to remember:

Dec 17 Friday 12 noon Final Writing Portfolio is due to BB and GDrive.

Dec 17 Friday 12 noon Final Course Reflection is due to BB and GDrive.  We will go over this in class.  Not to worry now – focus on your Revision work for Portfolio.

Writing Celebration:  On Monday, Dec. 20, our last class together, each of you will read out loud a favorite piece of your writing from the semester (two paragraphs, a page, a scene). Choose from one of your personal essays– Education Narrative OR any part of the Reflective Annotated Bibliography OR Letter Genre Assignment OR any one of your Open Lab HW posts.

This will be a celebration of our work together, and your participation is required to pass the course.  A required party?  Well, yes.  Make sure your microphone works on that day! Your participation counts toward your Final Portfolio grade.  Even if you have not attended class for some time, you are welcome to participate!

4. If you have not already done the Student Evaluation, please do so now.  Read below for how to do the Evaluation.

Wednesday Dec 8

We will do Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) first thing today.

Finally, you have the opportunity to evaluate me!

So important to arrive early today, by 2:15.

At the start of class, you will evaluate the course.

Be prepared:  in advance of class, search your City Tech email for a reminder about Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) for our class, English 1101 Co, 0240.

You should have received that email on Nov. 22

Emails will be sent from Scantron to your campus email address.

Emails will be sent from:

Sender Name: NYC College of Technology Course Evaluations


Monday December 6 post-class

Finish the Letter Unit 3 DRAFT and OUTLINE.

We are moving on to work on the Final Portfolio Assignment.

Monday December 6, 2021

Kudos to those who posted Draft of Letter with Outline as HW 5.  Here are some general comments:


  1. Need to address a REAL organization or group — choose an on campus OR if you choose another organization or group (you must prove to me that this is a group that really exists).
  4. Needs a clear conclusion or closing for your last part of letter. You need a stronger call to action or solution or SOMETHING that makes a more definite purpose in your closing paragraph.
  5. WHERE IS THE VISUAL element — you are required to provide a visual — look at the assignment! Write a caption or explanation of the visual/graphic.
  6. You need to refer to research you did in your RAB. This letter should show evidence of the knowledge you gained in your research.  I should be able to see that you have relied on your research to write this letter.

Tuesday December 1

  1. Thanks to Ngozi for the presentation yesterday about CTech organizations.

Here is the Presence platform to learn about on-campus organizations:

Now you have some ideas for audience and even some contacts.  It would be great just to do an email to one of the leaders of a club and get out some questions.  This person might give you some ideas and clarification on angles of your topic you have not thought about before.  I highly encourage you to reach out and engage in a conversation to give yourself some direction on your message and who your letter will “speak” to.

  1. We analyzed the mentor text Letter on Affordable Housing by Cindy Ashley in class. Reminder to print-out and study How to write a Letter (a walk thru).  Study the parts of the Letter:  Intro, Body, Conclusion.  And study the mentor texts.

Now you will write the complete rough draft for your Unit 3 Letter.

HW#5 DUE this Saturday Dec 4 at 12noon to the Open Lab.  Use the title Draft for Letter and category Draft for Letter.

  • A complete Draft for your Letter.
  • ALSO include a complete Outline for your Letter.

Then, comment on 2 student peer posts.

November 30 Tuesday

  1. Grades have been posted for the RAB assignment in BB.  Comments are in Google Drive.

2. After talking to you all, I am suggesting that all of you choose option to Write a Letter.  I think this will make Unit 3 easier for all of you.

We will hear a presentation from Ngozi on Wed about different campus organizations and from there you can decide who your audience will be.

Read and study this walk-through on how to work in the genre of THE LETTER:  How to Write A Letter (a walk-through): How to write a Letter (a walk thru)

DUE Wed Dec 1 by 12noon:  Open Lab HW4 work on an outline and a lead paragraph for your letter.  Post to the Open Lab. 

  • Use title:  Letter Outline — YOUR NAME
  • Use category Letter Outline

Then comment on 2 student peer posts. 

Friday November 26

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!  Now back to work!  There are TWO HW tasks that you will post to the Open Lab.

  1. Reminder: Unit Two RAB Project was due November 20, almost one week ago. Late submissions will be penalized with lowered grades.  If you do not turn it in now you lose the option to revise for the Final Portfolio.  I will NOT accept first time submissions of any major assignment (Unit 1 or Unit 2) in the Final Portfolio.  In other words, if you did not turn it in when it was due, you cannot submit it for the first time in the Final Portfolio.  I will only accept revisions in the Final Portfolio.  I have spoken about this earlier in the semester and it is my policy as described in the Course Syllabus.  You must complete all three Unit Major Assignments to pass the course.


  1. Late Open Lab HWs: Many of you are continuing to post your Open Lab HWs late.  Let me remind you that this lateness is detrimental to your grade.


  1. You should be studying and exploring the ENTIRE Unit Three Assignment.


  1. Due Saturday November 27 at 12noon. Post to the Open Lab HW 2. Write a proposal of at least 200 words outlining what you plan to do for Unit 3. As usual, then comment on 2 peer proposals. Use the Title:  Project Proposal – YOUR NAME.  Use the Category:  Project Proposal.

This proposal should consist of:

  • Your Message: Give a 2-sentence statement of what you want to teach your audience.  This should come out of your Unit 2 Research but should not be a summary of your research.  Remember you already did that in Unit 2.   Instead, explain how your message connects to your research.  Explain how your message comes out of your research.  
  • Audience: What is the audience you are trying to reach. Get as specific as you can here. You cannot say everyone is your audience!
  • Genre: What genre will you use to create your message and why do you choose this genre?
  • Your plan — how do you intend to get started?
  • Your worries: Is there anything you are worried about.  What are your concerns about finishing this project?
  • Can you think of a possible title for your project?
  1. For Monday read and annotate “Love and Black Lives” by Annie Correal. This is a NYT article in the genre of a photo essay.  It will be the basis for our Learning Communities Project and for your Final Project in Black Theatre class.

Due Monday 11/29 at 12noon.  Post to the Open Lab HW#3.  You will write an analysis the structure of the article “Love and Black Lives.”  Comment on 2 peer posts.  Use the Title:  Photo Essay Analysis – YOUR NAME.  Category:  Photo Essay Analysis.

  • How does the text HOOK the audience? Intro.
  • Where does the text incorporate research? How does it use research? Does it quote outside sources, use statistics, use experts, refer to history?
  • What do you notice about the text visually (imagery, color, layout)
  • Length: How long is the text – words, pages, minutes?
  • Who is the audience? What makes you think this? (Consider language, music, visuals, content.)
  • How does the text come to an end? Closure.
  • What do you think the message is?
  • What aspects will you emulate in your project? How will you do this?
  • What aspects will you avoid in your project?

Monday November 22

Continue to study the Unit Three Assignment so you understand what we are doing for Unit 3.

Today we looked at the entire Assignment.  We analyzed the letter mentor text that I wrote.

Now you will analyze one of the podcast mentor texts.

Open Lab HW 1:  In the Unit Three Assignment look at podcast mentor texts.  You will scroll down to the VI Option to create a podcast.  Choose one of the podcasts.  Use the following questions to analyze it for structure (NOT for content) to give you an idea how to put your project together if you choose to do a podcast.  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?
  • What do you notice about the text visually (imagery, color, layout)
  • What do you notice about the text auditorily (music, background sounds, voice-over)
  • Length: How long is the text – words, pages, minutes?
  • Who is the audience? What makes you think this? (Consider language, music, visuals, content.)
  • How does the text come to an end? Closure.
  • What do you think the message is?
  • What aspects will you emulate in your project? How will you do this?
  • What aspects will you avoid in your project?

HW #1 DUE Wednesday November 24 at 12noon.  Write a paragraph that analyzes the podcast and post to OLab.  THEN, Comment on 2 peer posts. 

  • Use the Title: Podcast Analysis – Your Name.
  • Use the Category: Podcast Mentor Text Analysis.

Monday November 22

Kudos to those of you who turned your RAB Unit TWO project on time and to the correct places.

Today we move on to UNIT THREE.

Go now to Assignments page and read, study, and print out the Unit Three Genre Assignment.

Friday November 19

 UNIT TWO RAB Final Project due tomorrow 11/20 Saturday by 12noon.  

As I said in class, this is a very large project, so it must be organized as outlined in the Unit Two Assignment instructions.  All parts must be clearly labeled.  If your presentation is disorganized, you will receive a lower grade.  Here is the RAB Review Checklist which I showed you in class.  You can find this Checklist at the end of the Unit Two Assignment; the Checklist is also in the Research Project Resources page; and I have also put the Checklist in the Unit Two Google Drive.

As usual — Submit your Final Draft to TWO places:

  1. To our Google Drive as Word or Google document to the Final Draft folder and in your proper group.

Label your file clearly:  James Carter FD #1 (for example)

Clear labeling is crucial!


  1. In class:  To Blackboard (BB) as a Word Document, NOT PDF!

Find Unit Two RAB on BB under “Content.”  Click on Unit Two RAB, scroll down to “Browse My Computer.” Click there, find your document, click on it, and then press “Submit.”

Tuesday November 16


As I reminded you in class — Due tomorrow Wednesday by 12 noon HW6 the interview.  Post to the Open Lab.  Use the title RAB Source Entry #3 – YOUR NAME.  Use the category RAB Source Entry #3.  Comment on two student peer posts. 

I have posted my example to the Student Works page and it also appears below in Announcements and on the Research Project Resources page.


We will do the last step tomorrow Wednesday.  The conclusion.  Then we will be done with Unit TWO and starting Unit Three.

Monday November 15

  1.  Remember TOMORROW TUESDAY at 1PM the extra credit opportunity on SoHo Memory Keeper NYT article and film.  This is a zoom event.  We will meet the film makers who are City Tech alums and it should be a super fun and interesting event!  Details below in Wednesday Nov 10 post-class announcement.  Remember there is an extra credit opportunity!  Some of you have missing HWs and late HWs, and this could help.  Here is the zoom link,  announcement flyer, and extra-credit assignment:

2. We are almost finished with UNIT TWO RAB Reflective Annotated Bibliography assignment.   Kudos to those of you who have been keeping up and revising your work along the way.  That is the only way to do this difficult RAB assignment!

  • Please review the assignment posted under Assignments page (You should have printed this out weeks ago) so you can review the entire assignment instructions and to make sure you have followed the step by step process we have been using to “build” this very difficult research assignment.  VERY IMPORTANT:  Study the Template that is given at the end of the Assignment.  This will show you what your entire RAB should look like and how it should be organized.  It is exactly what I have been guiding you through in our step-by-step proecess.  This is why I cautioned all of you that it is so important to do everything with me following my steps.
  • You should also be looking and learning from the examples I posted by Student Lisa and your fellow students’ work.  Read Like A Writer – read the examples and learn what you can do to improve your own writing.

3. I have graded OLab HW#5 for those that turned in their work on time which was Saturday 11/13.  This HW was the complete RAB Source Entry 2.  Please look at my comments and revise NOW because this entire Unit Two RAB Assignment will be due at the end of this week November 18. 

Reminder that each of your RAB Source Entries must be clearly organized and clearly labeled with ALL PARTS:

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

Many of you need to improve your summary writing skillsREAD READ READ YOUR SOURCE MANY TIMES.  WATCH WATCH WATCH YOUR VIDEO MANY TIMES.  LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN TO YOUR PODCAST MANY TIMES.  THERE IS NO SHORT WAY AROUND THIS.  Take notes and annotate. You must have the specific MI and SD in your summary.  You must put it in your own words.  You cannot just copy — THIS IS PLAGIARISM.  If you have written a good summary, I should be able to read your summary and know what that article or video or podcast is about.  We have been working on this in class, but it is really up to you to apply the class lessons to your own work.  I cannot do the work for you!  How to Write Summary is posted under Writing/Grammar Skills page as well as on the Research Project Resources page.

I just posted another example of a third RAB Source Entry by LWu.  You can find it on the Research Project Resources page.  I also copy it here:  RAB Source Entry example for Spit On with Graphic Org.  You now have 3 examples of the RAB Source Entry that I myself wrote for you!  I have been working hard to provide you with examples and clear instructions — Please read what I worked hard on to show you what you need to do!

4. Working with the tutors is not only a requirement, but in your best interest!  I need everyone to continue to ask your tutors to email me so that I con confirm that you are working with the tutors. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE REQUIRED TO WORK WITH THE WRITING TUTORS 3 TIMES.

5.  Today we will be moving on to RAB Source Entry #3, the interview.  Everyone should have found their interviewee.  I have been announcing this for more than a week now.  I copy here from the UNIT TWO ASSIGNMENT as posted under Assignments page.  You should be reviewing this entire Assignment document/instructions as I said above in this announcement.

Your fourth source entry is a little different because it is an original interview. This is your chance to gather first-hand experience from a relative or friend who is experiencing changes in travel, education, sports, racism, or media disinformation — whatever your topic is — right now in this time of crisis.  Think about what you really want to know. Create a list of questions or talking points to guide your talk. 

Ideas:  You may want to ask about their experience of whatever your topic is now during Co-Vid.  Do they have any stories to relate to you? Their positive or negative experiences?   How have they been dealing with this issue?  What are their frustrations?  What do they hope will change about ______ (your research topic)? 

You must do the interview in person, by phone, by zoom, or by email.  Devote one paragraph to it in your RAB Paper.  You do not need to record the interview.  Just get the person to open up so you can learn something from him or her.  Enjoy your conversation and take notes on interesting things and stories the person shares with you.  Have a good conversation and learn from your interviewer.

Write one paragraph (250 words) word report on the main findings of your conversation with the interviewee.  OR write a transcript of the questions and answers.  Establish who your person is and why s/he is a credible source of information.  Consider if the genre of the interview is an effective way to get information.  Explain why or why not the interview form works for this situation. 

MLA Works Cited example for interview with a lawyer who was the interviewee for a student's research project on immigration:

Johnson, Abbie [immigration layer]. Personal Interview. Brooklyn, NY. 22 Nov 2013.

Here is my example of RAB Source Entry #3 RAB Source Entry Interview with Aunt Cathy (Also now posted on the Research Project Resources page.)

Friday Nov 12

DUE Saturday November 13, FINISH RAB Source Entry #2. Post to Open Lab.  Comment on two peers. And find your interviewee for the interview RAB Source Entry #3.

Wednesday Nov. 10 post-class

Please join us Tuesday 11/16 1-2pm for “Preserving and Telling a New York Story,” a discussion of City Tech’s award-winning SoHo Memory Project documentary, featuring Prof. Josh Kapusinski (COMD, Moving Pixels Club Advisor), Jonathan Baez (City Tech alum and cinematographer), and Or Szyflingier (alum and director). EXTRA CREDIT OFFERED for attending and writing a 1-paragraph response to the event, below. If you’re unable to attend you can watch the event afterwards (I will share video) and still receive the EC for your response. Everyone– faculty, students, staff, alums,  folks outside the college– is most welcome. Thx to Evelyn Ng, Faculty Commons Intern for the Wonderful Poster!

  •   Read:  NYT article: Kyle Spencer, “The Memory-Keeper of SoHo” (2015)  Class Google Doc Annotation
  •   Watch: Documentary (14 min):  Or Szyflingier and Jonathan Baez, “The SoHo Memory Project” (2020)
  • Comment:
    • 1. Write a 1-paragraph response to the article and the film. You may focus on anything that interests you– ideas from either work that you found compelling, connections you can make to your own neighborhood or experience of New York or another place,  something you noticed about the writing or filmmaking, images from the film that you found important, how different genres (newspaper profile of Yuki Ohta vs. documentary) affect our understanding of a story, or any other focus.
    • 2. Think about your Unit 3 project.  Re-read the assignment (under MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS). What is your topic, and what genre have you chosen?  Why? Has your thinking changed about what genre you’d like to work in for your project, after our discussion of genre as it pertains to the SoHo Memory Project and other works we’ve studied together?
Event ZOOMPreserving and Telling a New York Story Nov 16, 2021 1-2pm
Meeting ID: 870 4022 8416
Passcode: 175967
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+16465588656,,87040228416#,,,,*175967# US (New York)
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Wednesday Nov 10 pre-class

I am not seeing the HWs posted in Open Lab.  Please post your HW in Open Lab and participate in the peer commenting.

When I look in Open Lab I should see your RAB Source Entry #1 complete now.  And you should be revising RAB Source Entry #1 using our lessons on how to write a summary.  In class, we have been reviewing and looking at student summary writing together.  You should be revising using my comments and your classmates comments.  Everyone should be revising and finishing the complete RAB Source Entry #1.

The same goes for RAB Proposal Paragraph.  When I look in Open Lab at your RAB Proposal Paragraph,  this should be revised and complete now.

Today you should have RAB Source Entry #2 Part 1 (MLA Citation) and Part 2 (summary).  Your second summary should be even better than your summary for Entry 1 because you are practicing the art of Summary Writing.

By Saturday November 13, you will be assigned to FINISH RAB Source Entry #2.  And find your interviewee for the interview RAB Source Entry #3.  We will talk about this in class.


Monday Nov 8 post-class

I hope you are realizing how UNIT TWO really builds step by step.  I am really happy with those of you who are keeping up.  We are almost half way done with the RAB and you are doing a good job on a difficult project!  If you are behind, I am not sure what to say.

My comments to your HWs are on the Open Lab and that is where you are posting your HWs.

Today —

  • We reviewed how to write a summary.
  • We looked at student examples of summary writing.
  • We also looked at multi-modal sources for your second source entry.
  • Thanks to Omar for sharing an excellent video clip from Good Morning America that he will use as Source #2! 
  • We also looked way back at the proposal paragraph and discussed how the research question could be revised and refined to be more targetted.

Due Wednesday by 12 noon:  HW #4 RAB Source Entry #2 using a multi-modal source or if you can’t find one then you can use another written journalism source (another NYT article).  See my example of RAB Source Entry #2 using a video:  I am not the Virus. I am a Human Being.  It is also posted in Student Works page.  You may have to scroll back to find it.  Also I posted my Source Entry #2 on the Research Project Resources page.

For Wednesday, you only have to do the MLA Citation and the Summary (Parts I and 2).  Review how to write a summary as suggested below.  By the end of this week I will assign you to do HW #5 which will be to finish the entire RAB Source Entry #2.

Monday Nov 8 pre class

Some tips on your RAB work:

  1. IF you are still struggling with writing a good summary, here’s another method (also now posted on the Writing Grammar Skills page:

Summary-Two Methods_Sample

2.  Again you must have a targeted Research Question, one that is more specific, not wide ranging.  I addressed this in Open Lab commments for HW1 Proposal Paragraph.  If you have not you need to use those comments to revise your proposal.

3. Do enough research so that you can choose the BEST sources that answer your research Q!  Some of you have sources that do not address your research.

Wednesday Nov 3 post-class

  1. Today we finished Step 3. for our first RAB Source Entry!

DUE Saturday 11/6 by 12 noon.  HW#3 Finish your RAB Source Entry #1 and POST TO THE OPEN LAB If you have been doing your HWs on time, you will find your Open Lab Post on the Student Works page and “edit” it and now add:

  • Part 3A Reflection
  • Part 3B Rhetorical Analysis
  • Part 4 Notable Quotables

Then comment TWO student peer postings.  

All instructions and examples are below (scroll down) and also on the Research Project Resources page.

2.  For Monday bring to class a source from a different genre other than a written article. Here I share some examples of different genre sources that I found for my Research Q on Anti-Asian prejudice during the pandemic.

Wednesday Nov 3 pre-class

1.Here is information on PLAN week Nov 1 – 5 to help you register for next semester classes: City Tech PLAN Week.

2. Today we will work on Step Three:  RAB-Source-Entry-1-INSTRUCTIONS-Reflection-Rhet-Genre-Analysis-1.  All step-by-step RAB instructions are posted on the Research Project Resouces page.  So today we will write:

  • Part 3A Reflection, 3B Rhetorical Analysis
  • Part 4 Notable Quotables——all for your RAB Source Entry #1.  Then you will have finished your first RAB source entry.  Remember we are working toward a total of 4 sources, so 4 RAB Source Entries will make up your RAB Project. 

3. Example RABs to study.  These are posted on the Research Project Resources.

Tuesday November 2

  1. Review and remember the 3 pages on Open Lab that serve as your guide to this Unit TWO Reflective Annotated Bibiliography RAB Project.
  • Unit 2 Reflective Annotated Bibliography Assignment (under Assignments)
  • Research Source Leads (click on the left of Unit 2 tab)
  • Research Project Resources:

You should have finished Step One:  The Proposal Paragraph (which will become the introduction for your RAB)

2. You are now moving on to Step Two: RAB Source Entry.  Here are instructions:   Essay-2-RAB-Source-Entry-1-INSTRUCTIONS. (You may want to use the graphic organizer chart to help you organize and find the MI and 3 Supporting Details.  You should have at least 4 important points in your one-paragraph-summary.

Here is my Example of RAB Source Entry:  RAB Source Entry A Yang with Graphic Org

For Wednesday, you are writing

  • Part 1 the MLA Citation
  • Part 2 the Summary —–all for your RAB Source Entry #1

DUE Wednesday 12 noon HW#2 MLA Citation and Summary (one paragraph).  Use the Title RAB Source Entry #1 — Your Name.  Use the Category RAB Source Entry #1

In our next class we will move on to Step Three, writing

  • Part 3A Reflection, 3B Rhetorical / Genre Analysis
  • Part 4 Notable Quotables——all for your RAB Source Entry #1

SO — By the end of this week you will have completed Source Entry #1 for one of your sources!

Monday NOVEMBER 1 pre-class

You should have printed out the entire RAB assignment.  This is a super difficult project with many moving parts.  If you do not have the assignment instructions printed out and if you are not studying it, you will be lost.  ALSO for today, you should have printed out at least ONE of your sources.

THREE Open Lab pages are super important:

  • Unit 2 Reflective Annotated Bibliography Assignment (under Assignments) and Research Source Leads (click on the left of Unit 2 tab)
  • Research Project Resources: Here you will find the RAB assignment broken down into STEPS.  Step One was the Proposal Paragraph.  We are now on Step Two Source Entry Citation and Summary.

Friday October 29

  1. I have now posted Midterm Grades on BB.  I considered your Unit One Essay Grade and your participation (you can find this on the Course Syllabus page).  The possible grades are U for unsatisfactory, BL for borderline, P for passing.

Kudos to those who got P grades!  I gave only a few P grades because very few of you are doing all that is required.  I copy here from the Course Syllabus page what constitutes participation.

Contributions to discussion, reading aloud activities, OLab HW Posts (7 HWs in Unit One), peer commentary, Rough Drafts, Final Drafts, attendance for the FULL-ENTIRE CLASS period, ON-TIME submission of Open Lab HWs and Rough Draft and Final Draft, being prepared with readings, and at least one tutoring attendance. (Pls let your tutor know that s/he needs to send me an email to verify that you came and what you worked on.  Remember three (3) total visits are required.)

Let this be a wake-up call!  A majority of you need it.  This is an intense course and requires a huge amount of work.  Please take an honest look at your performance in this class so far and make a change for the better.

Those students who did not turn in Unit One Education Narrative Essay are Failing because they have not turned in this first Major Essay on time.   All three Major Unit Assignments must be completed to pass the class.   All three Major Unit Assignments must be submitted on time.  Please know in advance that students cannot make up missed work in the final weeks of the semester.  And students cannot expect to pass the class with excessive absences.  This is all stated on the Class Syllabus page.

2. We are now finished with Unit One and we are fully launched into Unit TWO.

DUE today you should have posted your RAB Proposal to the OLab with 3 possible sources, preferably NYT articles.  Don’t forget to peer comment on 2 ppl’s post.  Bring your chosen source printed out to class on Monday.  See below for instructions.

Shout out to Omar and Emely!  They did a great job on their RAB Proposal.  Their proposals are thoughtful and well-developed.   Pls read Omar’s RAB Proposal and Emely’s RAB Proposal on Student Work page.  You can also read my example: Lisa’s RAB proposal.  

Wednesday October 27 post-class

  1. Today we refined our RAB Proposal Paragraph.  Also we searched for articles during our group work.  I have now added these articles we found together to the Research Source Leads section attached to the Assignment Unit Two Reflective Annotated Bibliography on Assignments page.  GO and look!

Study the student example RAB proposals by Emely and Lisa on the Student Work page.

For people who turned in a proposal ontime today,  I have made Open Lab comments/feedback.  You now get the opportunity to revise and make it better.

2. NOTE:  Many of you are merely copying another student’s research question.  This is not a good idea.  You need to formulate your own question out of your own interests.  GO back and look at possible topics we brainstormed in the Google Drive.  After class I noted that FIVE of you are now all doing travel;  FOUR of you are now doing education.  Do your own topic!  Do not just follow other students.  There are many good topics.  You cannot all use the same research question.  

3. Due Friday October 29:  your RAB Proposal to the Open Lab as HW #1 (note that this is an extension from today’s original due date–instructions below Mon 10/25 post-class).  This concludes STEP ONE .  Remember to use the paragraph starter template (scroll down). Now you will show links for 3 possible sources at the end of your proposal paragraph.  You should read these 3 sources and choose one to printout and read and annotate carefully.  Bring this printed out, annotated, source to class on Monday. 

WARNING!  If you do not have the above done you will be lost and unable to move ahead.  Do not let this happen.  The RAB Unit 2 Project is a very difficult project with many parts.  I wil lead you step by step, but if you fall behind, you will have only yourself to blame!

4. Monday, we will move on to STEP TWO — Writing your first RAB Source Entry (at the end of UNIT TWO, you will have a total of4 RAB Source Entries).  We will work next on MLA Citation and Writing a Summary.  Essay-2-RAB-Source-Entry-1-INSTRUCTIONS

5. Writing Center WORKSHOP tomorrow Thursday.  As announced earlier, I will offer Extra Credit for attendance! Take notes and send a picture of your notes to me in an email.

Monday October 25 post-class

I will submit Midterm Grades to Blackboard on Wednesday.  The grades are P, BL, U.  Passing, Borderline and Unsatisfactory.  Look at Course Syllabus to review what we discussed today about how the Midterm Grades are determined.

We are starting Unit Two Reflective Annotated Bibliography RAB.  PRINT IT OUT!

Post to the Open Lab (NOT google drive — that was only for in-class activity) HW #1 due Wednesday October 27 by 12 noon:  Your RAB Proposal Paragraph.  Use the Title: RAB Proposal Paragraph – Your Name.  Use the Category: RAB Proposal Paragraph.  As usual, comment on TWO student peers in Open Lab. 

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

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

Example paragraph starter:

My research question is: How has the CV pandemic impacted and changed ______? This topic interests me because ___. (good solid explanation, 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).

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

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

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

Wednesday October 20 post-class

  1. You have until Friday midnight to post the HW 7 on Obama.  Scroll down to Friday October 15 to find the assignment instructions.

2. Here are the Writing Center READ Workshops Fall 2021.  I will offer Extra Credit for attendance! Take notes and send a picture of your notes to me in an email.

3. Study the Unit Two Assignment: Reflective Annotated Bibliography RAB.  If you can, PRINT IT OUT.  For Monday’s class, come up with a few choices of questions you may want to research.  I make some suggestions, but you should come up with a question you are REALLY interested in researching because you will do a lot of independent reading on this topic.


For Unit 2 Research Project you will choose one (ONLY ONE) aspect of life or society and examine how the CV has impacted and changed that aspect of life.

You will formulate one question to investigate:  How has the Corona Virus pandemic changed _______ ?

For example:

  • How has the CV pandemic changed the way people socialize?
  • How has the CV pandemic changed classroom education?
  • How has the CV pandemic changed the world of medicine?
  • How has the CV pandemic exacerbated Anti-Asian racism?

October 19 Tuesday

  1. Grades have been posted to the BlackBoard.  I read and commented and wrote a letter in your Google Drive Final Draft document, but I posted the grade in BB, as this is a private place, for your eyes only.
  2. Please post your HW #7.  I have made comments on your Google Drive Group work for Obama Activity.  Look there and make corrections.  THen post to OLab as HW #7.
  3. Read and print out the Assignment for Unit Two.

October 18 Monday post-class

  1. Here is a schedule of Writing Center Workshops. I will offer Extra Credit for attendance!

2. Please finish today’s Google Drive Group Obama Activity. You may post your group’s answer as your Open Lab HW #7 However you should proofread and finalize it yourself before you use it as your HW #7.  OR — You can choose to keep the HW #7 as the original task I assigned below on Oct 15 Friday.

October 15 Friday

  1. Some of you still have to submit the Final Draft to the TWO places:  Google Drive AND to the Blackboard.  Please do that ASAP.   Don’t wait until your paper is perfect. Submit what you have. Your Education Narrative is a major assignment and counts 20% of your overall grade, so it’s important to hand in ON TIME.

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

Obama is very good at writing scenes.  Study the way he creates theatre of the mind for the reader.  He takes his reader on his journey; he is the hero learning about himself, about who he is.  In Chapter 4 he shows us his high school years with friends and transformative events with his peer group. We could call this chapter Obama’s Education Narrative.

As you read, take note and clarify for yourself:

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

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

Open Lab HW #7.  Write three paragraphs.  Use the title: Reading Response Obama — YOUR NAME and the Category: Reading Response Obama.  DUE Sunday night October 17.
As usual, also Post Comments to TWO of your peers in the Open Lab.   

Pay attention to the following scenes.

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

Choose ONE of the above scenes.   Then you will write 3 paragraphs for HW #7.

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

OCTOBER 13 Wednesday post-class

YOU WILL SUBMIT THE SAME FINAL DRAFT IN TWO DIFFERENT PLACES. Final Draft of Education Narrative Unit 1 due tonight to the Blackboard AND to Google Drive. We went over how to submit in class.  In our BB site, go to Content, and find Unit 1 Education Narrative.  Submit your file as a Word document (NOT PDF).

  1. Here is today’s work on HOW TO MAKE A CONNECTION TO THE READINGS.  I have also posted it in the Grammar/Writing Skills page.

2. Your name as Google Drive commenter must be recognizable to me, OR I cannot give you credit!

3. WHO went to tutoring? Send me an email with dates and tutor names, so I can verify and give you credit.  OR ask your tutor to send me an email.

4. Please don’t delete comments from your Rough Draft. (You can delete them on your Final Draft.) I need to know who is doing the peer comment, so I can give credit to these students.  You, the student writer, need to consider all comments given to your Rough Draft.

5.  For Monday’s class, read Obama, Chapter Four from his book Dreams From My Father.  I will soon post an Open Lab Reading Response HW here on the Announcements page.

  • RLW (Read Like a Writer).  As a writer, you are studying mentor texts.  These texts are your mentors.  As you read, think to yourself, “Can I write that way?”
  • Notice:
  • Obama does NOT summarize. He is NOT telling.  He is SHOWING.
  • Obama creates scenes with dialogue.  He pulls out the most important interesting conversations from his life (NOT My grandfather said, “Hi how are you?”  I said, “Good.”  That would be boring!)
  • He takes us on his journey.
  • His narrative has a STORY ARC with a beginning, middle, and end.  He shows us events and moments that have transformed his life.  He shows us his struggles, challenges, mentors and books that helped him along the way, important self-realizations, growth, feelings.  He shows us HIS SEARCH FOR HIMSELF.  And he makes it interesting.
  • He reads Macolm X’s Autobiography and he makes a connection.



OCTOBER 13 Wednesday pre-class

As usual, we will gather early at 2:15 for any questions.  We will also have presentation by Library Professor Berger about our Unit TWO research project.  Yes we are starting Unit Two today.

Final Draft #1 Due today:  Wednesday, October 13, three full pages, typed, double spaced.  Three full pages is minimum.  You can write more.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you tell a story with an arc, a beginning, middle, and end?
  • Have you included two fullydeveloped scenes with concrete setting and dialogue?
  • Have you made one connection with one of our readings?  (I notice that some of you forgot this requirement.)
  • Have you given your paper a title, one that packs a punch?
  • Have you devoted at least 3-6 hours to revising your rough draft?
  • Have your proofread your paper–read it slowly out loud–before submitting it?

Submit your Final Draft #1 to TWO places:

  1. Before class:  To our Google Drive in as Word or Google document to the Final Draft folder and in your proper group.

Label file clearly:  James Carter FD #1 (for example)

Clear labeling is crucial!

If you can’t figure out how to submit by google drive, send me your Final Draft, clearly labeled (as a Word or google doc) and I will submit for you. 


  1. In class:  To Blackboard (BB) as a Word Document, NOT PDF!  We’ll review how to do this in class.

Find Essay #1 on BB under “Content.”  Click on Essay #1, scroll down to “Browse My Computer.” Click there, find your document, click on it, and then press “Submit.”

October 12 Tuesday

  1. DO NOT BE LATE:  We have a very important presentation by Prof. Berger from the Library who will introduce us to the Unit TWO Research Project which we begin tomorrow.  Yes Unit TWO begins tomorrow.

2. Many of you are understandably concerned about grades.  Below are strategies practiced by students with high GPAs.

  • Meet deadlines:  Your FD 1 is due tomorrow–uploaded your Final Draft #1 as a separate Word or google document, clearly labeled, to your google drive.
  • Put in time outside class:  Devote at least 3-5 hours for revision work.  Study my comments and your peers’ comments as you revise your paper.
  • Regularly review expectations of assignments:  A good practice before tomorrow:  study again the peer review sheet, the Essay Assignment #1, and the “Development Writing Strategies” handout.
  • Fulfill all requirements of the assignment:  For example, you must write an end letter–remember to sign it!–as part of your peer review on your google group members’ drafts.   I expect a full paragraph of 7-9 sentences, as well as at least five bubble comments.  It’s not too late to fulfill this task although you will be counted late.  Please do not delete your peers’ comments on your Rough Draft.  You may “resolve” them on your Final draft.
  • Study strong model work:  Study the strong sample essays of Unit One Education Narrative
  • Print out and study assignment requirements:
  • A reminder:  peer review counts positively toward your grade on  the FD #1.  Use the Peer Review Sheet to comment.  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 #1).

October 11 Monday

  1. Today is holiday and we have NO class.  We meet again on Wed. Oct. 13.  That is the due date of your Final Draft #1. 

2. I have finished commenting for Rough Drafts in the Google Drive that were submitted on time.  Please read my comments and those of your peers and use them to take your paper through a “true” revision.

Please don’t delete comments from your Rough Draft.  (You can delete them on your Final Draft.)

3.  Everyone should be working with the Writing Tutors.  Remember 3 tutoring sessions are required!

4. A few of you need to catch up in order to receive a grade on FD #1.  You are at risk:

  • Complete peer review comments on your two peers’ drafts. Remember:  Use the points from the Peer Review sheet for making your comments.  UNLIKE the OLab HW peer comments, you should be applying the Development Writing Strategies to help your peers improve their drafts! 
  • Submit Rough Draft #1. The Rough Draft is important.   I will not grade your FD #1 until you have completed peer review and submitted your rough draft.

5. Submission of the Final Draft (FD):

  • FD #1, three fullpages (you can write more), typed, double spaced, 12-point font, Times or Times New Roman
  • Develop two fully developed scenes with dialogue.
  • Use the Development Writing Strategies handout. Use the Peer Review sheet.
  • Give your paper a meaningful title.
  • Upload as a separate, new document to the Google Drive: Unit One >> Final Draft >> your Group.  Label your file clearly (First Name Last Name FD#1, for example).  If you have trouble, contact Peer Mentor Ngozi.
  • On the first page of your essay, top left, use the header:

Your Full Name

Oct. 13, 2021

English 1101 CO LC 44

FD #1

6. Why do we do peer review?

  • We are learning to Read like a Writer:  Read what works well for your peers; you can try the same writing strategy in your essay.
  • We are building our community of writers.

I am looking for a TRUE REVISION from Rough to Final.  Any paper that does not do this will be a C or D or F paper! 

October 7 Thursday

  1. ASAP Finish TWO (2) peer student rough draft commentaries.  This is past due now — and — This is required! Remember at least 5 thoughtful comments and an end letter.  PRINT OUT AND USE THE PEER REVIEW SHEET:  Peer Review Sheet Education Narrative
  2. ALSO PRINTOUT the Writing Development Strategies sheet: Writing Strategies
  3. You should have already printed out and should be studying The Unit One Assignment Education Narrative (on Assignments page)

4. DUE Wednesday 10/13 at 12 noon:  Final Draft of Education Narrative

  • You are now working on revising your rough draft into a final draft (should be THREE full pages — Look at The Assignment!) I suggest downloading from the google drive into MS Word doc and revising in MS Word.
  • Then upload this as a file to the Final Draft Folder in Google Drive.  Label your file:  First Name Last Name Final Draft 1.  Remember Word or Google Documents only. 

True Revision takes place over days and weeks and is about RE-THINKING your ideas. YOU NOW HAVE one WEEK to do this!  That is a good amount of time.  I expect to see major changes from your Rough to your FINAL.

RE-vison means to re-think, re-see, re-organize, re-order, re-structure —- RE-WRITE!

  • 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.
  • Yes—Does mean creating TWO extended scenes. THINK THEATRE OF THE MIND.  Create drama, tension, build suspense.   USE DIALOGUE.

I am looking for a TRUE REVISION from Rough to Final.  Any paper that does not do this will be a C or D or F paper!

October 6 Wednesday

  1. Please make sure you have read and commented on your group member’s rough drafts.  Some of you still have to finish, pls do so!  You can help each other this way and build community.

2. We will talk about this today:

Revision vs Proofreading

3. Also we will be reviewing again the Peer Review Sheet points for you to comment on class mates’ rough drafts and for you to mindfully work on your own revision for the final draft.

Peer Review Sheet Education Narrative

We will work on Paragraphing and Scene Development today.

4. Please keep the appointments you make!  It’s super important and shows that you respect your teacher, peer mentor, and tutor.  We are here to help you but you must be respectful, responsible, and mindful when you make appointments.  SHOW UP!

October 5 Tuesday

Please do the peer review for your group membersIt must be done by Wednesday, tomorrow. 

The tutoring center has informed me that students have made appointments and then not shown up.  You must make your appointment mindfully and keep your appointment.  If you cannot come, you must cancel and re-schedule.  As a serious college student you must act responsibly.  You are required to work with the tutors 3 times.  This is REQUIRED and not following through can result in your failing this class.  Pls ask the tutor to email me to verify your attendance and that you worked together.  Please also act responsibly when you make appointments with Ngozi and with me.

October 4 Monday post-class

  1. Read and study Student Essay by Abdullah Sarfraz “American Egyptian” in Sample Student Essay file in the Google Drive.

2. Peer Review Feedback for your group members to be completed before class Wednesday, Oct. 6.  Use the Peer Review Sheet (scroll below) which you should have printed out.

  • Comment fully on the three other group members’ Rough Drafts #1. Spend at least 30 minutes on each paper.  You should get a good start on the first draft in class today (Monday, Oct. 4).
  • In the google drive, use comment bubbles on the side to comment. At least 5 thoughtful comments.
  • Write end comments to the writer in the form of a letter.
Dear Michael,

     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 #1)

If you are missing a paper in your group, reach out to your group member and request he/she expedite submission.

October 4 Monday pre-class

Please study and printout this peer review sheet in advance of our class today:

Peer Review Sheet Education Narrative

October 3 Sunday night

I am still waiting for some students to submit their Rough Draft to the Google Drive.  If you have not submitted, your work is now PAST DUE.  Tomorrow we will be doing peer review in class, so everyone’s rough drafts must be on the Google Drive.  Reminder:  Rough drafts are required.  You cannot submit the Final Essay without doing the Rough Draft. 

October 1 Friday

  1. I am extending the deadline for Unit One Education Narrative Essay. Rough Draft, originally due today Friday, is now due Sunday, October 3 by 12 noon. I hope this relieves some stress. You’re welcome to keep to the original deadline.
  2. Label your file:  First Name Last Name RD 1 
  1. Upload to the Google Drive as MS Word file or Google Doc. We covered this in class, but if you still need help, our peer Mentor Ngozi has agreed to help out.

  1. On your document (on your essay first page) use this Header in the Top Right:
  • Your Full Name
  • ENG 1101CO LC44
  • October XX, 2021
  • Rough Draft Education Narrative
  1. Remember: you are to tell a story that includes one or more transformative events in your Educational Journey.  Think of the Hero’s Journey video we viewed. Give your essay a title.  Develop two extended scenes with dialogue.


  1. You should all be working with the Writing Tutors.  I have given my roster to the tutors, so I’ll be able to give you credit.  Remember 3 visits are required; you may go more!


  1. Print out and study the assignment description/instructions for this essay. It’s on the Assignment page.  I also uploaded it to the Google Drive.  Look at all the requirements for this assignment.


  1. Use your HW OLab posts as the building block of your essay. I expect to see those post writings as the skeleton of your Rough Draft.  Look carefully at the comments you have received from me and from classmates.  Proceed from there.


  1. Look at the sample essays I uploaded to the Google Drive. There are five essays you can use as models.   JUST READ – DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING ON ANYONE ELSE’S ESSAY.

September 29 Wednesday pre-class

You should read / scroll back through the past few days of our lessons here to understand all that is on your plate, because there’s a lot happening.  Breathe deeply.  If you have been keeping up — YOU CAN DO THIS!

  1. Please make sure you have printed out and studied:
  • The Unit One Assignment Education Narrative (on Assignments page)
  • Writing Development Strategies (on Grammar/Writing Skills page)

2. We will be looking at your Open Lab HW posts and discussing how you will turn them into Rough Draft (DUE this Friday on Google Drive).

3.  View the TED Lesson on Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell:  Note the JOURNEY, the HERO, the QUEST.  Take your reader on your Educational Journey.  You are the Hero!  Show me your adventure!

September 28 Tuesday night

  1. Tomorrow’s class is crucial:  Please arrive by 2:15 pm. We’ll discuss the “nitty gritty” of submitting your Rough Draft, due Friday, on Google Drive.  Bring your questions!  If you miss class, you’re up a creek without a paddle. We’ll also discuss OLab student HW posts and that will help everyone with moving from OLab post to Rough Draft.
  2. Would you like us to discuss your HW #5 or HW #6in class?  It’s an excellent way to receive extra feedback. Volunteer your HW to be discussed in class.
  3. Sample Student Education Narratives will be on the Google Drive.
  4. You should have read Esmeralda Santiago “When I was Puerto Rican.
  • Printout, annotate (be ready to show your annotated page in a HW post)
  • Look up 5 new words
  • Notice how Santiago develops scenes and uses dialogue
  • Notice the Between Two Worlds aspect of her story


  • All students should have a tutoring appointment set up for working on your Education Narrative.
  • HW #5 and HW #6:  Please read your comments from your peers and me.
  • Reply thoughtfully to two student posts, for HW #5 and HW #6.  This is required for you to receive credit on your own.   I record a “0” if you have not commented on two fellow students’ workbut will change that as soon as you do.

Essay #1 (rough draft) is due Friday, October 1 Decide which HW post you’d like to pursue as your topic:  HW #5 or #6  (or, in rare case, both threaded together as two parts of one narrative).  (Or you may also choose prompt 3 on Essay #1, which you have not yet written about as a HW post.)  Begin planning out your essay.  You’ll need to copy one of your HW post and paste it onto a Microsoft Word document.  I suggest copying the version that has the teacher comments.

September 27 Monday pre-class

Pls have your camera on your your picture up.  As I grade these assignments, I am having a hard time knowing who I am “commenting to.”  I am having a hard time distinguishing one student from the next.  Please help me to help you.  

As we move forward to Unit One Essay on Educational Journey, keep in mind that 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.

You need to write an actual story–a story with conflict and a true beginning, middle, and end.  Mine your memory (yes, like digging for gold!) for one significant event or a significant set of related events that has been important in your Educational Journey and that has shaped who you are today.  Be selective and choose the best memories!  Do not try to cover too much material!  A good piece of writing focuses on one or two events and goes deep.

Read like a Writer:  Read back on the scenes in Malcolm X and think if you can do the same kind of writing that creates drama as he outsmarts the prison guards to continue his studies in his prison cell.  Read the scene with the dialogue of Amy Tan’s mother and herself talking on the phone to the NYC bank manger.  Also read Tan’s description of her mother’s monologue in broken English describing the gangster who came to her wedding. Consider how Tan shows us the power of language vividly.  Try to do the same thing in your writing.  These writers we are reading are YOUR MENTORS.

Do not forget to comment on two (2) student posts. THIS IS PART OF YOU HW!  YOu will learn and get ideas from other students and we will learn about each other too.

Going Forward, you will choose one Writing Task #5 or #6 to develop for Essay #1, Rough Draft due this Friday October 1.  Copy the version with my suggestions [in brackets] into MS Word document and then revise from there.

  • Develop at least two extended scenes(as we’ve noticed in Malcolm X), one with dialogue.  10 new sentences of development here, 5 sentences for each scene.
  • Experiment with languages other than English, if it makes sense for your story.
  • Then, choose one other strategy we’ve discussed (review the “Development Strategies” handout and develop it as part of your revision. For example, experiment with use of list.
  • Read out loud and make other changes–development and organization.
  • Read out loud again to proofread.

September 26 Sunday

I am still grading the HW #6 posts.  I hope to get them done by class time tomorrow.  Good job for everyone who got this HW done on time!  Please read the feedback I give you in the Student Works page in the comments section of your post.  This should help with your Rough Draft.

Yes — we are now actively working on the first major high stakes assignment which is Unit 1 Essay on Educational Narrative.  Find it on the Assignments page.  I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO PRINT OUT THIS ASSIGNMENT AND STUDY IT CAREFULLY.  The rough draft is due this Friday October 1.


  • Be ready with the reading Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue.”  You should have read, annotated it, answered the questions in your notebook, and be ready for a quiz on the reading.
  • We will be studying how Tan uses dialogue to create vivid sound of the language she speaks with her mother.
  • We will notice how Tan navigates her way in different worlds, each characterized by the different Englishes she uses in each of these worlds.  She believes that her mother’s imperfect English language limited her own opportunities and that her immigrant Chinese background shaped how teachers and employers saw her and what they expected her to be.

Be ready with your printed out copy of the Development Writing Strategies handout (posted now under Grammar/Writing Skills Resources, as the first item under More.)

Remember the THREE required visits to the Writing Tutors.  I will require one visit to work on Unit 1 Essay, so make that appointment now if you have not already done so.

September 23 Thursday

I am willing to hold a special office hour this Friday (tomorrow at 2:30) in our regular Zoom Classroom.  If you would like to come, please send me an email.  I must hear from you if you would like to meet, so I can be there.  Let me know!

Please read this entire message.  You’ll find guidance about our first major assignment Unit 1 Essay (on the Assignments page) AND Monday’s reading. 

OLab HW post #6 is now past due.  Please complete any missing work, but start first with HW #5 and 6. Keep in mind that for late works, I will not be able to comment or give feedback.  Also know that your HWs and being on time are counted toward Participation (30% of the overall final grade)

HW #5 Mentor Quote and HW #6 Between Two Worlds are higher stakes HWs and will be graded.  These HWs are important because they will jumpstart your work on Essay 1 Educational Narrative (see under the Assignments page).  This is our first major essay.

Major Unit Essay #1 (rough draft) will be due Friday, October 1.  Start deciding which OLab HW post you’d like to pursue as your topic:  HW Post #5 or #6.  (Or you may also choose prompt 3 on Essay #1, which you have not yet written about as a HW post.)  Some of you may want to use this weekend to begin planning out your essay.  At some point you will copy one of your HW posts (5 or 6) and paste it onto a Microsoft Word document.  I suggest copying the version that has my feedback/comments.  I will comment on HW #6 as quickly as possible but may not get to all of them until Sunday.

Recap of this week’s class discussions on Jose Olivarez (poem and essay):

We discussed Olivarez’s use of the word “diverse,” focusing on the meaning and tone he brings to the word “diverse” in his poem (angry, frustrated, sarcastic).  We discussed how words may change meaning depending on who uses them.  We noted that he questions the concept of “diversity” in America.

Turning to Olivarez’s essay, we discussed three “transformative events” in his educational journey:  his first day at pre-school, his trip to Mexico as a teenager, and his attending a poetry slam.  After his transformation he became an active questioner of his high school curriculum.  In his mentorship relationships as an adult he seeks to “dismantle” hierarchies of power.

We asked the question:  in what specific ways do Malcolm X or Frederick Douglass “dismantle” hierarchies of power?  Wow!

For Monday, Sept. 27:  Read, printout, and annotate carefully:

  1. Development Writing Strategies handout (posted now under Grammar/Writing Skills Resources, under More.  The handout is the first item under More)

2. Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue

In your physical pen to paper notebook:  Consider (1) the term “mother tongue” (2) the different Englishes Amy Tan speaks (3) how her mother is viewed by Americans based on her spoken English.   Also we will look at her use of dialogue and scene-building.  These are development writing strategies we will learn to use in our own writing.

For Wednesday. Sept. 29:  Read, printout, and annotate carefully:

Esmeralda Santiago: “When I was Puerto Rican.” 

In your physical pen to paper notebook:  Block off every time Santiago uses dialogue.    Choose one major dialogue and read out loud with a partner.  What makes the dialogue effective? or not?


You are REQUIRED to have 3 tutoring visits this semester.  Sign up for tutoring at CTech Writing Center.  Scroll below to Sept 22 Wednesday pre-class for all tutoring options.  

September 22 Wednesday post-class

If you have not done HW #5 Mentor Quote or HW #6 Between Two Worlds and would like an extension, then send me an email explaining why you are late and when you will get it done / posted to the OLab.  These HWs will be graded.  They are very important as they will jumpstart your work on Essay 1 Educational Narrative (see under the Assignments page).  This is our first major essay.

For Monday be ready to discuss  Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue.”  Annotate your pages.  Look up five (5) new words.  Be ready for a QUIZ on the reading!

September 22 Wednesday pre-class

  1. Remember to please have your picture posted for your Zoom box or be ON CAMERA!

2. Nine students were required to set up an appointment with Tutor ASAP.  Did you follow through?

TUTORING:  Three sessions required FOR EVERYBODY.   Go to our Resources page and click on Tutoring.

  • Writing Center:  I encourage you to choose Super Tutor Margo Goldstein.
  • Seek Tutoring
  • ESOL Tutoring Center
  • Student Support Tutoring

3. More Resources:

Need Counseling?  Don’t keep it to yourself.

Need an advisor to help choose a major?   Email Julian Williams,    If you wish, I’ll introduce you to him by email.

Need to confer with your peer mentor?  Go to Resources page and find her contact:

4. Want Extra CreditWatch this week on PBS:  Muhammad Ali, PBS, Channel 13, all this week (Sun.-Wed.),  8 pm -10 pm and again 10-midnight.  Write two-page response paper; email it to me within one week.

5. I did not announce previously but I am clarifying now that HW post #6 on Between Two Worlds (like HW #5 Mentor Quote) is also a higher stakes HW assignment and will be graded on score of 1-4 with 4 being the highest score.  These Writing Tasks now are directly related to our first major unit assignment Your Educational Narrative Essay.  See the Assignments page!

FOR TODAY’s CLASS continuing on Jose Olivarez

Slam Poetry:  What is the genre of Slam Poetry?

Class discussion of Olivarez’s poem “Disambiguation”

  1. What does the word DISAMBIGUATION mean?  What is the meaning of the title?
  2. Underline words that are labels for identity.
  3. What is he saying about America and the American Dream?


SEPTEMBER 20 Monday post-class

Nine students need to make a tutoring appointment by the end of this week:  Fahad, Emely, Bethany, Brian, Fanta, Ryan, Christian, Asa, Farhana.

Extra Credit Opp:   Tune in to PBS Channel 13 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights to watch four-part Mohammad Ali documentary 8pm.  You don’t have to watch all four parts, but you certainly can.  Ken Burns is an amazing documentarian and there is so much history to learn!  You can watch just one night / one part.  Then Write 2-page paper.  Email the paper to me.  DUE Monday Sept 27.  You may write on any of the following:

  • Write about your favorite part (s) of the documentary and explain.
  • What touched you?
  • What resonated with you?
  • What was true?
  • Explain three new things that you learned?
  • Is there a part of the documentary that connects to you, to your life?
  • Is there something that you now want to research and learn more about?

Open Lab HW Post #6  Between Two Worlds Between Two Worlds, Due on Wednesday, Sept. 22 (before class by 12 noon).  Two paragraphs, 6-7 sentences each.  Reply to two fellow students’ posts.

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

  • José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants.  He tells us that when he entered the local preschool in suburban Chicago, he was too Mexican, and that when he visited Mexico for the first time at age sixteen, he wasn’t Mexican enough. Throughout his difficult educational journey through public school, he writes of a double or “ambiguous” identity that has made it hard for him to feel at home anywhere–ni de aqui, ni de alla–in either the U.S. or Mexico.  He is“constantly fighting” with the different parts of his identity.
  • Frederick Douglass feels so conflicted when he learns the hard facts of slavery that it puts him it at odds with his fellow slaves, “In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity” (238).  He agonizes over which world is better existing in a state of knowledge or being in a state of ignorance.
  • In prison Malcolm X learns to speak a new language–proper English–because he can’t connect with his mentor, the Honorable Elijah Muhammed, using street slang.  He must learn the language of the educated world in America, yet he speaks the language of the street.
  • Esmeralda Santiago arrives from Puerto Rico and enters an American school only to be placed in a learning-disabled class instead of the standard 8th Grade class although she is a bright student. She must navigate between her eighth grade class of outcasts and the English-speaking teachers and students at her school feeling out of place in both groups.
  •  Amy Tan shows us how she navigates her way in different worlds, each characterized by the different Englishes she uses in each of these worlds.  She believes that her family’s imperfect English language limited her own opportunities and that her Chinese background shaped how teachers and employers saw her and what they expected her to be..__________________________________

Here is the Writing Prompt:

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

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

For next class Wednesday, be ready to discuss:

  • José Olivarez,  Poem “Mexican American Disambiguation” (2018)  Find in Open Lab course site under Readings.  Also view Oliveraz video 1 and video 2   Notice how he uses the word “diverse.”  Notice his tone, repetition, delivery in the performance.
  • Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue” Find in Open Lab course site under Readings.
  • Consider (1) the term “mother tongue” (2) the different Englishes Amy Tan speaks (3) how her mother is viewed by Americans based on her spoken English.


September 20 Monday pre-class:

REMINDER:  TODAY IF you choose not to turn on your camera, then you must have a picture in your zoom name box, or you will be counted ABSENT.

Be ready with the Jose Olivarez poem and essay for today.

See you soon!

September 19 Sunday

Our readings for this upcoming week:

Kudos to the students who are commenting on each other works! (Remember this too is part of your HW responsibility and if you have not started to do this, you can start now.)  It makes me smile to read what positive support and encouragement you offer each other.  What a wonderful community of readers and writers and peers we are building with each other!

I have commented on the HW#5 Mentor Quote posts.  Please read the feedback I gave you.

ONLY 8 students turned in on time HW#5 Mentor Quote. Kudos to the 8 of you!  The rest of you — this is a problem.  I will no longer offer feedback on late HWs, and after one week HWs will not receive credit.

I have added to the Resources / Tutoring Page information on Seek and ESOL tutoring.   Remenber you are REQUIRED to make 3 tutoring visits for the semester.

I have added to the Resources / Open Lab page information on how to post HW on the Open Lab.

September 14 Tuesday

Tomorrow Wednesday we DO NOT have class.  However, I will hold a special office hour starting at 2:30 in our regular Zoom Classroom.  Please stop by and feel free to discuss anything.

September 13 Monday post-class

  1. No class on Wednesday this week (Sept 15) for Jewish holiday.

2. If you would like to meet me in special office hour from 2:30 -3:30 on Wednesday Sept 15, please send me an email.  I need to know you are coming, so I can be there.

3. IMPORTANT:  Friday September 17 is the last day to submit HWs #1 – 4. 

4.  REMINDER:  IF you choose not to turn on your camera, then you must have a picture in your zoom name box by Monday, or you will be counted ABSENT.

5. Our course is now private and closed.


DUE Wednesday Sept 15 Open Lab HW #5 Writing Task Mentor Quote.  This HW post will be a higher-stakes HW assignment and will be graded, 1-4.  4 means well developed.  1 means underdeveloped.  

Write two fully developed paragraphs, 6-7 sentences each (plus quotation of at least two sentences).  Use the title Writing Task Mentor Quote – Your First Name.  Check on the category Writing Task Mentor Quote.  After you write your post, reply to two fellow students’ posts.     Refer to:

Here is the prompt for the Writing Task:

At the start of "Saved," Chapter 11 of his autobiography, Malcolm X remembers the "electrical effect" the words of his mentor Elijah Muhammad had on him in prison.  He then expresses his frustration at not being able to use proper English in writing letters back to him. Malcolm's desire to address his mentor respectfully using 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 they help you move forward?  Start your piece with this quotation.  In what ways did your relationship with your mentor conform with or go against (“dismantle”) traditional hierarchies?  How do the lessons from this figure continue to impact you in college?

Conversely, think of a time when a mentor or authority figure spoke to you using negative language that caused you pain.  Starting with the words themselves–give a quotation–how did these damaging words affect your educational journey?

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

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

7. Sign up for NYTimes: your free CUNY New York Times account.


Looking ahead to next week Monday 9/20, our readings will be:

September 13 Monday pre-class

  1. This is our third week of class now, and since late August, I have been encouraging all students to let me get to know you through our Introductions HW post and through “seeing” your bright eager-to-learn faces!  Some of you are still just a name on my roster.  If I cannot picture you, I cannot remember or know you.  This is a very difficult teaching environment for me!  Please HELP ME, so I can be the best teacher I can for you!  The very best way to make sure the teacher knows you and remembers you is to turn your camera on.  If I know you, I will more easily learn about your distinct strengths (so I can give you proper credit for your participation) and weaknesses (so I can offer you indificualized help).  If you are not able to turn on your camera, please NOW  put up a picture of yourself for your Zoom Box..

2. Please check in at 2:15 using the class zoom link. Remember this is the same zoom link for every single class.  You can find it on the Home page of our OLab site.

Meeting ID: 831 9329 8728               Passcode: 839886

3. Our readings for today.  Also, please have your physical real notebooks ready for writing.

4. REMINDER:  HW posts 1-4 should be done and posted.  After this week late HWs will be penalized and after one week HWs will not be accepted. 

5. REMINDER:  This is Week Three now.  Ouc class will now be private and outsiders will be locked out.  This is for keeping all of our writings private and only for our class members.  THOSE WHO HAVE NOT BECOME MEMBERS TO OUR OPEN LAB CLASS SITE WILL BE LOCKED OUT. 

6. Sign up for NYTimes: your free CUNY New York Times account

September 12 Sunday night

We meet tomorrow at our regular time in our regular zoom classroom.

Please make sure you have read and prepared the two readings for tomorrow’s class (posted below for Wednesday Sept 8).  Please make sure you have posted OLab HW Post #4 on Malcolm X which was due this past Friday Sept 10.

I am so pleased with those of you who have been keeping up with our HW assignments!  I am very worried about those who have not kept up.

IMPORTANT:  Tomorrow I will announce the deadline for ALL past due HWs.  I will also be making our class private: after this date those who are not yet members WILL BE UNABLE TO JOIN.   We will review Class Policies on HW from the Syllabus which I copy here:

A lot of informal writing is required of you, mostly through the Open Lab HW Postings.  These postings are low stakes assignments.  You will have roughly 15 posts due over the course of the semester, and doing all of the HW posts is essential.  This counts toward your Participation Grade which is 30% of your overall grade for the course.  Another reason to keep up with the HW posts is that these writings will get you started on the Major Unit Assignments. NOTE: If you do not do all the homework posts, or if you hand them in LATE, this is a problem.  Your participation grade will suffer.  

Homework must be posted by the next class date.  If you post your HW after one week, it will be considered late and will not receive feedback.  HW that is later than one week WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

September 9 Thursday

I have spent the morning catching up on reading and responding to all your HW posts. Kudos to those who have kept up with all the work!  I am so proud of you, and I am getting to know you through reading your HW posts.  I realize that on-boarding to Open Lab is not easy, figuring out how to post HWs, keeping up with the Annoucements — but some of you have done it!  And you are ready for the weeks to come.

However I am not seeing HWs from many of the class members.  I woudl say that about two-thirds of the class is MIA — This is a problem!  WHERE ARE YOU?  I am super-worried that the more you delay figuring out how to get on-board, the more you will fall behind.  And catching up will not be easy.  Since we did not meet at all this week, you had all this time to catch up.  I am hoping more of you will follow through on the catching up you already have to do before we are back in full force on Monday.


Please scroll down and read through these Annoucements to get caught up and please get yourself on the Open Lab and posting the HWs.

September 8 Wednesday

TWO Readings for Monday September 13

  1. DUE Friday Sept 10 HW Open Lab HW Post #4 Reading Response Malcolm X Prison Studies: or Saved.  Note: I posted an example (by Lisa) in Student Works. 

Printout and annotate the reading, Malcolm X, “Prison Studies: or Saved.

Part One Picture: take a picture of your annotated page and upload OR of your written notes in your notebook and upload.

Part Two Reading Response:  Choose one large block quotation that you feel is significant, meaningful, important from anywhere in the reading (5-6 sentences). Copy the quotation, enclose it in quotation marks and give the paragraph number.  Now analyze this quotation carefully, explaining each sentence in your own words.

Title your post:  Reading Response to Malcolm X — (your name).  Use Category Reading Response Malcolm X — (your name).

Remember to focus on Malcolm X’s words, especially key words. I am looking for you to study Malcolm X’s exact words. You will explain each sentence in your own words and show that you understand why this quote is significant.

Please scroll down to Announcement Sept 1 Wednesday post-class to see an example of a good answer for this same HW assignment that I gave you last week for the FDouglass reading.  You should see that in this answer, I have focused on Douglass’s words, especially key words.  Then, I have explained each sentence in my own words.  In a sense I have translated the chosen quote into plain English and I have proven that I understand the quote.


WRITING CENTER WORKSHOPS — 10 Excellent Workshops on topics from Active Reading to Using Your Professor’s Feedback.  All happen on Thursdays from 1-2:00.  Extra credit for attending and taking notes.


Please remember to read and comment on TWO peer posts.  In order to receive credit for the HW, you must do this in addition to writing your own post for HW #1 Intro and HW #3 Pandemic Resilience / Online Learning.



September 7 Tuesday night

I spent today reading your introductions, many of which are just lovely!  I’m glad to have you all in the class.  I’m super-pleased with those who have kept up with the 3 Open Lab HW posts so far, but I am super-worried for those of you who have not.

I must confess that like some of you, I am pushing myself to get caught up.  Tomorrow I will be playing catch up all day and reading the rest of your HW OLab posts. So I know — it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking this week is a throwback to summer vacation – but NO it’s not.

Right now, I understand that people are still learning the Open Lab and learning how to post the work.  I understand that this takes time.  However, I do expect that you are doing everything you can to get up to speed.  Soon I will put my course policies into effect:  Late HW posts will be penalized and after one week I won’t accept them.  Remember that these HWs are low-stakes assignments — more or less – just do it and you will get credit as long as you write the required length and follow the instructions.  Please scroll down and read on below to review all HW assignments and due dates.  Let’s use this week to catch up!  Also I urge you to use this time to familiarize yourself with our OLab site and where everything is – remember it’s all there on our OLab class site.

Tomorrow Wednesday I will post OLab HW Post #4 on our next reading, an excerpt from Malcolm X’s autobiography entitled “Prison Studies: or Saved.”   It will be due on Friday Sept 10.  So please start reading and please catch up.

I have seven people who have not yet signed up as members:  Ahmed, Fahad, Christian, Emely, Omar, Bethany, and Syed.  If you need help, please contact our Peer Mentor Ngozi whom we met last Wednesday in class (her email is given below and is also on our Resources page).  She can help with CTech email and with OLab registration.  These instructions are in fact on our Open Lab site on Home page and you should be looking there to get started if you have not done so yet. Again if you keep falling behind, as you are now, it will be very hard to catch up – do not let this happen!

Ngozi gave me this update about the delay some of you experience with your CTech email:

Student emails take up to 2 weeks after registration to be created and assigned. Once the City Tech email is created, City Tech will send a notification with the login information to their personal emails. If the student registered for classes within the last 2 weeks, their email has not yet been created and they will not be able to find it in the system or log in. If the student registered for classes over 2 weeks ago, and still does not have access to their email, they should send an email to the student helpdesk and someone will help them.

Also remember:

  • NO CLASSES:   Wed. Sept. 8 (Rosh Hashana).
  • Classes DO meet on Thursday, Sept. 9
  • We meet again on Monday, Sept. 13.

Scroll down to past Announcenments from the beginning of our semester and review homework PAST DUE, starting with:

  • OLab HW #3 A or B on Pandemic Resilience or Online Learning (due Friday Sept 3)
  • OLab HW #2 Frederick Douglass (due Wed Sept 1)
  • OLab HW #1 Introductions (due Fri Aug 27)

September 1 Wednesday post-class


  1. I have been reading and grading your HW #2 on Reading Response FDouglass. HERE ARE GLOBAL COMMENTS (my larger comment addressing everyone’s work)

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 TWO full paragraphs 7-9 sentences or 5-6 sentences for each paragraph, then that is what you need to do.  If I say ONE paragraph, you need more than just one or two sentences.  I talked about this in class.  We are learning how to develop our ideas in a low-stakes environment.  Later when the BIG-STAKES MAJOR UNIT assignments come, you will have had practice in writing well-developed paragraphs.

In Part TWO — In the FDouglass reading, you are asked to choose a quote and then analyze that quote.  Here you must use the words in the quote and explain why these words are significant.  I am looking for you to study Douglass’s exact words to explain why this quote is significant.  For example, if you choose this quote:

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

A good answer would be:

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

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

  1. DUE Friday Sept 3 Open Lab HW (homework) Post #3 Writing Task Pandemic Resilience OR Online Learning

Choice between A or B.  TWO full paragraphs.  Then reply to two other students’ posts! (one paragraph each).  Have fun with this!  This is a great way to get to know each other and improve your writing skills at the same time.

OLab HW Post #3A Pandemic Resilience

Two paragraphs (6-7 sentences each).  We’ve studied strategies the young Douglass practices to build resilience in the face of horrific obstacles.  Now turn to your own experience.

Paragraph One:  Think of one thing that’s been hard for you during the pandemic. Describe it in some detail.

Paragraph Two:  Then write about one particular coping strategy you’ve developed to increase your resilience.   What have your learned about yourself in practicing this strategy?


Olab HW Post #3B Online Learning

Two paragraphs (6-7 sentences each).  What is your view about online learning? What is its value? What are its disadvantages? Give specific examples from our class. or another college class, or a high school class.  Many of you have lamented missing out on high school graduation rituals. It’s OK to be emotional.

You’ll recognize that we touched upon this in class discussion. This is your opportunity to expand your views.

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: Writing Task Resilience / Online – write your first name.  Type in your writing.  When finished, go to right hand side and check on category: Writing Task Resilience/Online.  Then scroll up and click on publish.  Post by Friday Sept 3.

  1. How to reach Margo, our Super Tutor

  1. How to reach Ngozi, our Peer Mentor

5. Next week, we do NOT meet.  However, you do have work for our class.

  • You will read Malcolm X, “Prison Studies: or Saved” and you will have a HW Post #4 on this reading due on Wednesday Sept 8. Stay tuned here to the Announcements page where I will post this HW assignment next week.
  • You will get caught up on HWs you have not done.
  • You will get caught up with your connectivity issues: CTech emails, OLab account registration and membership to our OLab class site, how to post HW to the OLab, explore around our class site so you know where to find everything.
  • You will gain the courage to show up to class with your camera on OR you will put up a picture/avatar for your zoom box, so I do not have to stare at a boring name box and so I can get to know you better. Hint: Students do better when the teacher knows them!

August 30 Monday post-class

We had a great discussion today on FDouglass.  Thx to everyone who participated!

  1. I contacted our Peer Mentor Ngozi Okonkwo. You will meet her tomorrow in Prof. Foster’s class.  I told her that some students need help with their CTech email accounts, so I hope she can address this problem and do some troubleshooting with you.


  1. DUE Wednesday Sept 1 by 12noon Open Lab HW (homework) Post #2 Reading Response

This HW post is a response to FDouglass “Learning to Read and Write.”  This HW has two parts.  You must complete each part to receive credit.

Part One:  Choose One of the Reading Response Questions.   Answer the question in one fully developed paragraph (5-6 sentences).

Part Two:  Choose one large block quotation of your choice from anywhere in the reading (5-6 sentences, something like the passage we worked on in class today starting with “Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me . . ..”). Copy the quotation, enclosing it in quotation marks and giving the Paragraph number.  Now analyze this quotation carefully, explaining each sentence in your own words.  I expect you to write a full paragraph, 5-6 sentences.


Here are the Reading Response Qs for Part One (choose one):

  1.  After the young Douglass loses his mistress as his teacher, what strategies does he practice to continue learning to read?  Who does he turn to for help?  How does he persuade them to help him?
  2. What is the effect of Douglass’s own reading, in general, for him?  Read Paragaphs 5 and 6.  In responding to this question, look carefully at how he describes his reading of both “The Columbia Orator,” and Sheridan’s speeches about Catholic emancipation.
  3. What does Douglass mean when he says that “learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing” (paragraph 5)?  Furthermore, what does he mean when he says that “freedom…was ever present to torment me” (same paragraph)?  In other words, is there a downside to becoming literate?  What might that be?
  4. Reread paragraph 7 and describe the process Douglass goes through to learn the word “abolition.”  How does this process explain why the author’s mistress found his reading newspapers so threatening?
  5. Look carefully at the various strategies Douglass used to learn how to write (final paragraphs). What are these?

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 FDouglass– write your first name.  Type in your writing.  When finished, go to right hand side and check on category: Reading Response FDouglass .  Then scroll up and click on publish.  Please post by Wednesday 12 noon.

August 29 Sunday

I will see you tomorrow.  Please check in at 2:15 using the class zoom link. Remember this is the same zoom link for every single class.  You can find it on the Home page of our OLab site.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 831 9329 8728

Passcode: 839886

  1. Kudos to everyone who posted the HW introductions in the Open Lab!

Please scroll down to see Aug 25 Wednesday’s Open Lab HW Post #1 Introductions which was due on Friday — and if you did not do it, catch up now. I can’t wait to read what you have to say, and I don’t want you to fall behind.

So for those of you still figuring it out:  Scroll down to my Announcement for August 25 Wed post-class, you’ll see the assignment. You will also see instructions for how to post.  Take a deep breath.  Try reading it again carefully and following the instructions slowly.  Don’t get frustrated.  Don’t worry.  It can be confusing the first couple times to post to the Open Lab.  I too have a hard time doing these online tasks and it’s taken me a long time to learn.  However, patience and resilience does pay off, and I can attest to that!

Again my suggestion to everyone is to write in MS Word (in fact: keep a Word file going of all your HW posts; it will be easy to edit, to copy, to paste, and just to have it all in one place for future reference.) and then copy and paste into the Open Lab.

If you emailed me your introduction, pls copy this intro into the Open Lab.

We will go over how to post in the OLab during class, but I want everyone to try to post in the OLab now.  I cannot give you credit if your HW is not in the proper place which is the Open Lab.

In addition, don’t forget that you still need to reply to two fellow students.  You must do this in order to receive full credit for the assignment.  I suggest replying to the students have not received many comments yet.  Also, do read the comments you receive.  Remember we are building community.   You may want to continue the thread by replying to those comments.

  1. For tomorrow August 30. Read two articles before class.

We will get to the Douglass article first:

  • Read and Print Out and Annotate (write comments, notes, explanation, questions on the printout – or – in your physical notebook).
  • What are some of the main ideas (MI)? Underline MI or take notes in your physical notebook.
  • What is resilience and how is Douglass’s essay an example of resilience?
  • Vocabulary Work:  Underline and look up new words.
  1. Remember, you should already have done the following.
  • Get your Open Lab account and sign on to our class site as a member.
  • Get your CTech email working.
  • Familiarize yourself with our Open Lab class site.
  • Join the class Instagram group.

August 25 Wednesday post-class

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

Thanks to all students who supported and helped other classmates.  As the weeks go on, I hope we will all be kind and helpful and we will all get through this new way of learning together.

Thanks also to those of you who were brave enough to go on camera today.  Going forward, I would like to encourage more of you to turn on your cameras, so we can get to know each other more quickly. It will help us build community and make our class more enjoyable. It’s SO hard to talk to a puzzle of black squares.  I noticed that if I was able to see your faces, I learned your names and I feel as if I know you already.  Believe me it’s good thing if a teacher knows you – hint, hint!

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. There’s a lot of material there, so I won’t expect you to know everything right away; just get started and familiarize yourself.
  3. Join the Instagram student group for the class.


DUE Friday August 27 Open Lab HW (homework) Post #1 Introduction

  1. Post on OLab introducing yourself. TWO FULL PARAGRAPHS PLEASE. (To get some ideas re-view “[un]Learning My Name: Spoken Word poem” and Teacher Vuong on student names (tiktok video) and the notes you took in class. Also look at my example post My Name Intro – Lisa.)  You can write about anything you would like the class to know about you.  You can write about your name, your cultural heritage or your family’s influence on your education, your goals, your belief in yourself, your attitude toward the world. You can write about your interests or hobbies or City Tech goals.  Also consider adding an image or link to videos — whatever you think will help us get to know you.  Remember — make yourself the interesting person that everyone wants to meet at the party!

HOW TO POST:  Go to the top menu bar. Click on the plus sign.  You will land on a writing page.  Write in the title:  My Name Intro – write your first name.  Type in your writing.  When finished, go to right hand side and check on category: Introductions.  Then scroll up and click on publish.  Please post by Friday 6pm.  NOTE: You will be writing your own post. Do not write your post as a reply to my example post

  1. Connect to our fellow classmates! Read TWO classmates’s introductions and respondWrite 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.

For Monday August 30.

Read two articles before class.

We will get to the Douglass article first:

  • Read and Print Out and Annotate (write comments, notes, explanation, questions on the printout).
  • What are some of the main ideas (MI)? Underline MI or take notes in your physical notebook.
  • What is resilience and how is Douglass’s essay an example of resilience?
  • Vocab Work:  Underline and look up new words.

August 23

Dear Students,

Welcome to Fall 2021 at City Tech!

This is Professor Lisa Wu, your instructor for ENG 1101 Freshman Composition with Co-Requisite LC 44, which meets via zoom Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 5 pm. I wanted to reach out to you prior to class on Wednesday to welcome you to the course.  I’m looking forward to working together with you.

We are what is called a “synchronous” class, meaning we do have “class meetings” just like in the pre-pandemic days.  Remember, you are required to meet on zoom for the entirety of our scheduled class time until 5pm. If you think that a twice-weekly meeting schedule is going to be impossible due to limitations of Internet and/or dedicated computer, or due to work or family constraints, please let me know as soon as you can.

I am adding a survey below, and I would like you to email me with your answers as soon as you can. Here is my email address:

On Day One, Wednesday, Aug. 25, we will meet on  zoom.  Our class officially begins at 2:30 pm, but I ask everyone to arrive early, by 2:15 pm, so we can check in with each other and I can take attendance.  I am giving you the zoom invitation for the course below.  This zoom link will be the same link for every single class.  I will also place the link on the home page of our Open Lab course site.   (Press on that link by 2:15 pm on Wednesday to join the class.)

I also send a short reading assignment to prepare for our first class.  Please read this before Wednesday’s class.

Items to have open on your desktop in preparation for Wednesday’s class:

  1. Our class’s Blackboard and Open Lab site — If you can join our Open Lab course site as a member now, please do so. (Click on Open Lab course site link; you will land on the Home Page; then go to Let’s Get Started.) If not, we will register and join in Wednesday’s first day class.  Both Blackboard and Open Lab are now available to students.
  2. your zoom page
  3. our first day’s reading “In Defense of the Classroom” (link below).

I suspect many of you are tech-savvy and know much about using technology. That’s great! You will be my teachers in this arena!  We will all learn the technology and the reading and writing together this semester. As a class, we will build a community and offer each other support in developing resilience as we continue to forge through these uncertain times.

I hope you’ll consider turning on your camera; I, myself, will be present with my camera on.  It’s so much more enjoyable to build community when we can see each other’s faces!

I am looking forward to “seeing” you virtually on Wednesday, August 25.

Best Wishes,

Professor Wu


  1. Zoom Invitation for Class:

ENG1101CO Zoom Class Meeting

Meeting ID: 831 9329 8728

Passcode: 839886


  1. Open Lab Course Site (this will be our main site):

ENG1101CO Eng Comp Coreq, FA2021

  1. Blackboard Course Site (this will be a secondary site):

Fall 2021 English Composition Corequisite ENG 1101CO LC44

  1. Our First Day Reading (pls read before Wednesday’s class):

“In Defense of the Classroom” by Caroline Hellman


  1. Student Technology + Working Space Survey:

Please send me an email ( with your answers to these 9 questions, ASAP.


Please tell me about the technology and working space that you have available to complete your coursework.  Feel free to share any additional information in the last question box. Some of you who have difficult access to internet connection and difficult access to dedicated computer use may have to switch out to an asynchronous section, so please let me know away the answers to these 9 questions.  Please number the questions, write the question out in full, and include your full answer.  Thank you!


  • 1. Do you have a smartphone?*

o          Yes, with a data plan

o          Yes, no data plan

o          No

  • 2.  Do you have consistent, reliable access to a laptop or desktop computer at your home or another off-campus location? (Required)*

o          Yes

o          No

  • 3.  Do you have consistent, reliable access to a tablet or iPadat your home or another off-campus location?*

o          Yes

o          No

  • 4. Do you have broadband (not smartphone) internetaccess at your home?*

o          Yes

o          No

  • 5.  Do you have an appropriate space to do your coursework at your home or another off-campus location?*

o    Yes

o    No


  1. Do you have access to the following browsers:  Firefox or Chrome?  If no, what browser do you use?


  1. Are you able to attend our synchronous class every Monday and Wednesday for the full duration of the class, from 2:30 to 5 pm?


  1. Do you have access to a printer at home or elsewhere (at an outside site like Staples)?


  1. Is there anything else you want to tell me about your situation regarding coursework, workspace, or Internet access?  (optional)