HW for Thu 11/7 // Library Database Links

  1. Post the title, author, and publication of an article you found using a library database.  Also tell us which database you used (see below for links).
  2. Re-read Lauren Duca’s “The Viral Virus” (Packet I).  Look up any words you need to know in order to understand this article and to write well about it.
Below are some Databases to Play With (for most of these, you need an activated City Tech ID/library card)
REFERENCE SOURCES (a good place to begin: big-picture info on a word/topic):
Gale Virtual Reference Library (encyclopedia/tertiary sources)
Google Trends (search usage of key terms in Google searches, from 2004–present)
Google Books Ngram Viewer (search usage of key terms in books, from 1500-2008)
RESOURCES FOR GENERAL/NON-SCHOLARLY ARTICLES (step 2: use non-scholarly sources for deepening your understanding of a topic)
CUNY OneSearch (search everything in CUNY’s library system)
Opposing Viewpoints (tertiary source on debates; especially good for topics in politics and news)
RESOURCES FOR SCHOLARLY ARTICLES (step 3: here is where you will find the most detailed, rigorous (challenging-to-read) academic work on a topic)
Google Scholar (general array of scholarly texts; not discipline specific)
Project Muse (humanities and social science articles; theory)
Academic OneFile (general academic articles; not discipline specific)
Applied Science & Tech Database (science & tech sources)
Academic Search Complete (general database of scholarly and non-scholarly articles)
Kanopy (full-length films and documentaries)
Underground & Independent Comics (comics and graphic novels)
JSTOR (literary criticism & theory)
MLA Bibliography (literary sources)

HW for 11/5 (library day–meet there!)

1) Finish the online library orientation (see link in assignment for 10/29).  

2) Write a paragraph consisting only of questions about your Essay 2 topic.  These can be all sorts of questions—both questions you think you can answer (and want to answer) using research and also questions that are rhetorical or which you have no intent of answering.  

    Post this series of questions here and bring it with you to the Library on Tuesday.  This is where our class will be held—meet us outside the library on the (4th floor of the Atrium (glass roofed) building.  


EX: Why do some people think that violent video games make people more violent in real life?  Do they think gamers identify too much with the characters and roles they play when gaming? What other theories might there be of how a violent video game could make someone more violent in reality?  Are there theories that propose the opposite—that violent video games might make people LESS violent in real life? What do psychologists say about violent video games? Is there psychoanalytic theory that might help explain the effects of violent video games?  Do computer scientists and game designers have answers to any of these questions? What role does mental illness play in the video-game-violence question? What role does mental illness play in the gaming community more broadly? Is gaming itself a kind of therapy—or could it also be a kind of illness in itself?

HW for Thu 10/31

Read Duca’s “The Viral Virus” in Packet I.  Complete the library orientation if you haven’t already (see links in HW for Tue 10/29).  Finish revising your Essay 2 article summary and post it here.  See the attached example of a creative & critical summary for help.  Make sure your summary includes:
—-at least 2 different signal verbs
—-1 quotation.
—-a creative response to the article
—-a critical response or question about the article

HW for Tue 10/29

  1. Write (and post below) a critical summary of 1 article you are discussing in your Essay 2.  Use Christopher Lane’s critical summaries of Bittman’s and Block’s articles as a model/inspiration for how you write your summary.  (Remember to include both descriptions of the author’s points as well as your own responses to them)

2. In preparation for our library session in a week and a half, review the Library Orientation page and complete the library orientation quiz.

HW for Thu (10/24)

Read Block’s “Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction” and Lane’s “Addicted to Addiction” (handouts).  While reading, underline and/or make notes on the following:

–Key Points for Summarizing Block’s View.  What do you think Block’s main points about internet addiction are?

–Key Points in Lane’s Critical Summary of Block’s View.  In Lane’s response article (“Addicted to Addiction”), which of Block’s points does the author address?  How does Lane respond? Does he agree with Block? What is his thesis?

HW for Tue 10/22

Read Griffiths et al., “The Evolution of Internet Addiction” in Packet I (p. 89).  While reading, look up any unfamiliar words or concepts.  Bring in a list of these words to discuss in class.  Also make notes in the margins that respond to the author’s points.  Come to class prepared to discuss the authors’ thesis and your thoughts about it.
Lastly, consider the question of what makes this article scholarly.  How is it different from the articles we’ve read so far?

HW for Thu 10/17

Read Jerry Salz’ “Art at Arm’s Length” in Packet I (p. 1).  As you read, underline and make notes that will help you answer the following:
–what is Salz’ thesis about the selfie?
–what are 1-2 arguments regarding the selfie that Salz discusses but doesn’t necessarily agree with?

HW for Tue 10/15

1. Find an image related to an argument/thesis you’re thinking of writing about for your Essay 2.  Post this image (or a link to it) to the blog along with a paragraph or more of description, including the following:
–the “context” in which you found the image: the way you searched, the website you found it through, the person who took/created it and/or posted it
–the “idea” or “message” expressed by the image and its significance (why this idea or message matters–and to whom)
–the “action” represented in the image and how it connects to the “idea” or “message”: where this action is taking place, who the characters of this action are, what they look like, what they are doing, what they might be feeling/thinking/etc. (Note: if your image has no “characters,” that’s fine–just describe the details of the image and the actions/ideas represented in it as best you can)
2.    If you want a provisional letter grade for your Essay 1 by the midterm, e-mail me a *revised* version of it by Tuesday.

HW for Thu, 10/10

A lot to catch up on, my apologies!
–If you haven’t yet, complete the make-up assignment from last week, as it will count as your “attendance” for both classes last Thursday.
–If your draft of Essay 2 is due on Wednesday, work on that!
–If you’d like me to give you a provisional letter grade (not a final grade) for your Essay 1, please send me a *significantly revised* version of that essay by Tuesday, 10/15.  See my separate post on Midterm and Essay grading.
–Read Mirene Arsanios’ “April-May-June” in Packet I (pp. 32-7).  Focus on: how does Arsanios move between narrative (action) and her own analysis (reflection)?  How does she reflect on the significance of the events she’s experienced without and turning her experience into an “epiphany” (a “look-how-much-I-learned-about-the-hidden-secrets-of-life moment”)?  Where and how does she bring in secondary sources—text or ideas by other writers that she has found through research and reading?
–Read Adrian Chen’s “Don’t Be A Stranger” in Packet I (pp. 62-6).  Focus on: what is Chen’s thesis/argument?  Where and how does she discuss research that supports her thesis?

Midterm & Essay Grades

Midterm scores will let you know 3 things:
–your blog/participation score (30% of final grade)
–your Essay 1 status (whether or not it has been handed in)
–your overall Midterm Grade (P = passing / BL = borderline / U = unsatisfactory)
Essays will be scored as follows*:
A = significantly and effectively revised from first draft; fully engaging to read for a college-level reading audience; few to no sentence-level issues that interfere with the reader’s understanding
B = significantly and effectively revised from first draft; moderately engaging to read for a college-level reading audience; some sentence-level issues that interfere with the reader’s understanding
C = minimally revised from first draft; some sentence-level issues that interfere with the reader’s understanding
D = minimally revised from first draft; repeating sentence-level issues that interfere with the reader’s understanding
F = not revised since draft one
* = while it is only required that you submit your *revised* essays at the end of the semester, you have the option of submitting Essay 1 for a provisional (not final) grade by Thu 10/10.

Feedback for Triston Brown (including Monroe’s feedback)

Monroe’s feedback


Nice first draft.  There’s several conflicts here, the first of which is balancing sports and academics; and then the second, more fundamental, challenge is struggling with “laziness and procrastination” (as you put it).  I’ve made some notes above where you could expand this draft.  But also consider expanding this essay so that it shows us more about WHY you think you were “lazy” and “procrastinating” too much.  If you were bored in class, SHOW us how/why.  If you were more excited by hanging out with friends, SHOW us how/why.  If you were more excited by football, the internet, whatever, SHOW us more of this so that we can understand better how you found yourself in such a difficult position in high school



Feedback for Clemson Brown (including Monroe’s feedback)

My feedback:

Nice draft, Clemson. Some of your language is movingly poetic. As far as your narrative goes, this seems to be an essay about a couple different—although related—issues right now. There is your own experience of depression, which you introduce in the beginning. Then there is your experience of loss which takes place when two celebrities (or well-known people) who you care for take their own lives. I wonder if it’s possible to go back over the essay and do some re-writing so that it’s intentionally focused on one of these issues. If you choose to focus on your own experience of depression, you might want to include more details about how you found yourself feeling so down. I get that the losses of Chester and Etika have something to do with this, but you might want to consider other experiences you had that are relevant as well.

Thanks for this brave work about a very important topic.


Class Cancelled Tomorrow / Make-up Assignment (incl. HW for next Thu)

Hi all,
I apologize but something has come up, and I will be unable to make it to class tomorrow.
In lieu of class, I’d like you to post the following pieces of writing to the blog—just respond to this post.
1. Write a (brief) theory as to why Renee Gladman might have suggested in “Calamities” (starting on p. 49 in packet 1) that she be referred to as an “Eastern-European African-American.”  OR, if you don’t want to do this, write about something else you found interesting in Gladman’s “Calamities.” 🙂
2. 5 vocabulary words from Gladman’s “Calamaties.”  For each word, write your own sentence that shows its meaning.
3. Gladman’s text comes from a book of short prose pieces—some of which are basically short short stories.  All of these pieces begin with the phrase “I began the day…”  This writing strategy—of using a repeating phrase to begin a series of sentences, paragraphs, or sections—is called anaphora.  I want you to try this strategy by writing a paragraph in which all of your sentences begin with the same phrase—a phrase that you want to emphasize.  Your paragraph can be about your Essay 1 topic or something else.
4. In the “Essay 1 Feedback” section, write and post your feedback for Clemson Brown, Triston Brown, and Nazarah Celestine.  These essays should all have been emailed to you.  However, e-mail me if you need an extra copy e-mailed to you.  Come to class prepared to discuss your feedback for these 3 essays. co Write Feedback
HW for next Thursday (no class on Tue 10/1): Read Denis Johnson’s The Largesse of the Sea Maiden (excerpts, p. 41 in Packet 1).  Come to class prepared to discuss how you think Johnson uses voice/tone to create interesting characters (including his first person narrator).  We’ll be talking a bit about developing voice and dialogue in your essays, and Johnson’s work is a great model for how to work with voice and character.
See you next Thursday (10/3),