Category Archives: Announcements

Final announcements

As you prepare any last assignments and participate in our last discussion, I wanted to check in with you about tomorrow’s final exam:

  • there’s a poll in the left sidebar asking you to choose the one topic you’re hoping will be on the exam. Please participate in that poll!
  • Part 1 of the exam will be just like Part 1 of the midterm, but with different passages and somewhat different elements of fiction to choose from. But just the same you will have a choice of which to answer, and you will identify
    • title
    • author
    • element of fiction
    • how this element of fiction is exemplified in this passage (not just how you define the element of fiction).
  • Part 2 of the final will be different from the midterm in that you won’t write the whole essay. Instead, you’ll write:
    • the thesis statement that encapsulates your argument. This would be the last sentence in your introductory paragraph if you were writing the full essay,
    • a paragraph that uses the five-step method for incorporating quotations as evidence, based on a quotation from a text we read after the midterm, which you will bring with you on your quotation sheet (Homework #15 is to make a quotation sheet),
    • another paragraph that puts in comparison another passage from a text we read at any point in the semester, also using the five-step method.
    • that’s it. To clarify, the quotation can be made of a few lines pieced together, rather than one solid block of quotation. The paragraph, if it feels too long, could be split for the sake of clarity.
  • I’m happy to answer any questions. For the sake of organization, please add them to our Week 15 Discussion.
  • To review: Five-Step Method for Incorporating Quotations
    (adapted from Prof. Rebecca Devers’s IQIAA Method)

    • Within a paragraph, build your argument around the textual evidence:
    • 1-Introduce: Use transitional phrases to inform your readers that you’re about to use someone else’s words.
    • 2-Quote: This should not be its own sentence, but should be incorporated into another sentence. There is no restriction on quotation length per se, but it should be long enough to serve your argument while not too long to be treated properly in your paragraph. When you quote something or someone, you are obligated to represent the words accurately. This means avoiding typos and mistakes, and it means providing accurate citations that tell your reader what source provided the words or images.
    • 3-Interpret: If a quotation can stand on its own without interpretation, then your readers don’t need to read your project or essay. Your job is to tell your readers what to understand about it so you read it the same way. After including a quotation, explain it to your readers. Put that quotation into your own words, or into a language or discourse that your audience can better understand. To get comfortable doing this, consider starting sentences after quotations with phrases like, “In other words, . . . .”
    • 4-Analyze: Interpretation translates the original author’s words into a language your audience will understand. Analysis tells your readers why that quotation is so important. It highlights the significance of an author’s word choice, argument, example, or logic. Analysis goes beyond the obvious, telling the reader what they may have missed if they didn’t read as carefully as you are.
    • 5-Apply: Each time you use a quotation, make it clear to your reader how it supports your argument. You can do that by applying your analysis to your thesis statement. Remind your readers of your purpose for writing, and tell them how this quotation, and your analysis of it, helps you support your argument.
    • As you follow this method to construct a paragraph (or to write your broken-apart paragraph here), you may want to “quote the quote,” pointing to specific words or phrases within the quoted passage that carry meaning or deserve attention.


All the Announcements

Homework: As  you probably noticed, I didn’t assign homework this week as you prepare the final version of Project #2. Instead, I ask for the following as you submit your project by the end of Wednesday, 5/6:

  • Write one post with Part 1:
    • give it a title that reflects your work
    • choose the category Project #2
    • add any tags you think apply
  • Write another post with Part 2:
    • include the image/video/text of your creative work
    • include the curatorial comment (200-300 words)
    • choose the categories Project #2 and Gallery
    • add any tags you think apply
  • Write a third post that serves as your cover letter (this is what will count as this week’s homework):
    • It must address, in any order:
      • what are you most proud of in each part of the project?
      • what did you find most challenging in each part of the project?
      • what new skills do you have or tools did you acquire through this project?
      • if you could change any part of your project, what would it be?
      • if you could change any part of the Project #2 assignment, what would it be?
      • is there anything you would like me to know about you as a writer in general or about your work for this project?
    • It must include links to Part 1’s post and Part 2’s post.
    • Choose the category Project #2.
    • Tag it Cover Letter and any other tags you want.
    • If you do not want to share the cover letter with the whole class and everyone who finds our OpenLab site, you can make it private:
      • in the sidebar menu called Publish, look for the eye icon. It should say Visibility.
      • the default is Public. Click Edit, and choose Private instead.
      • click Publish, as usual
      • now only the posts’s author (that’s you) and the site administrator (that’s me) can read the post.

Presentations: The presentation guidelines are now available. Please read them and come to class ready to answer any questions about them. Presentations are due 5/18.

Glossary: At the beginning of the semester, I announced our semester-long glossary project that required each student in our course to gloss 15 words and blog about them according to assignment guidelines to crowd-source the effort of building a course glossary to improve our vocabulary and our understanding of the course texts. Included in that assignment is a final glossary reflection, with a due date TBD. That due date is 5/17. Please refer to the assignment and follow all steps to successfully complete your glossary assignment for the semester.

**If you have been neglecting your glossary work this semester, I strongly encourage you to take the time remaining to work on catching up. I will not look kindly on 15 consecutive glossary entries submitted at the end of the semester.**

Extra Credit: In last week’s in-person class, we talked about the opportunity to make up missed work by participating in and blogging on our site (according to our course’s blogging guidelines) about the “Presenting Yourself Online” OpenLab workshop. I want to extend the offer for a couple of other upcoming events:

The Research Mixer: every semester, the Coordination of Undergraduate Research committee sponsors an event that’s both informational and social to promote research opportunities for City Tech students. This Research Mixer is on Wednesday from 3:00-5:00pm in N119.

The Student Research Poster Session: The Research Mixer is held each semester during the poster session that showcases the fantastic research students do at City Tech through a variety of sponsored programs. The posters are up in the Atrium on the first and ground floors from Wednesday at 11:00am until approximately 3:00pm on Thursday, though you’ll only find students there to talk about their work from 11:00-4:00 on Wednesday and 10:00-3:00 on Thursday, with an awards ceremony on Thursday during Club Hour in N119.



Student Workshop: Avoiding Plagiarism and Citing Sources

The WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum) program presents its second major workshop just for students!

Join us this Tuesday, March 10, for

Avoiding Plagiarism and Citing Sources

When: 1:00-2:15pm, Tuesday March 10, 2015
Where: Atrium Amphitheater

Is rewriting someone else’s ideas in your own words plagiarism? Can you use ideas from class discussion in a paper without citing them? Do you know what plagiarism, citation, and paraphrase really mean? This workshop is designed to help students understand how to use sources correctly, how City Tech defines plagiarism, how best to avoid plagiarism using proper citation and good paraphrasing.

Visit our website:

A Second Chance: Blog revisions and corrections


As you know, blog posts and comments are an important component of our course and, as you would expect, of the course grade. Each week, there are three main contributions you should make to our course site:

  1. Discussion: contribute to our weekly discussion by commenting on the discussion post I have written. You can find that post for the week at the top of the page (note: this post’s title appears in a black box. When you click on it, you can read the whole post and reply to it or to a comment someone else made on it). If you want, you can also click on Discussion in the top menu bar just below our La Fiction et La Réalité fish to see all of the discussion posts. I have not specified a number, but your work–reading the post and comments, plus writing and responding–should approximate the 75-minute class. This work counts as your attendance for the Monday class session.
  2. One homework assignment while you’re reading: contribute to our course’s glossary by writing one post per week (or more if you choose) in which you find a word that you need to better understand, follow the glossary instructions (also available in the top menu as a drop-down under Assignments), and write a post that has the word as the title of the post, Glossary as the category, tags you find relevant, and all the things in the post it’s supposed to have. By the end of the semester, you will have learned at least 15 words of your own choosing plus others your classmates have glossed for you (4th definition). This is due at any point in the week, but by Tuesday night at the latest.
  3. One homework assignment in which you reflect on the work of the week: You can think about this post and start writing it on your own, but I will wait to see what the discussion has been, what has not been addressed, etc, and write a post with suggested topics on Monday. In this post, you will choose a passage or passages to focus on so that we’re always bringing our discussion back to the text, to the details, and to our analysis of the text. Please follow the blogging guidelines for these posts (also available in the top menu as a drop-down under Assignments). This is due by Tuesday night at the latest.

I would like to offer everyone the chance to revise any post before I grade them. Some things to consider:

  • did you join the wrong course? If so, I will not see your posts, no matter how brilliant they are. Please join this site and add your work.
  • did you start a discussion forum rather than writing a blog post? If so, I will not read it as part of your course work. Please follow the instructions for posting and add your work there.
  • did you forget to choose a category, or choose the wrong category? If so, I will not see your work when I’m grading that particular week’s work, and you will not get credit for it.
  • did you comment when you were supposed to post, or post when you were supposed to comment? Please add your work wherever it belongs.
  • did you not follow the instructions for that given post? Revise your work to meet the goals of the assignment.

I realize this is short notice, but I would ask you to have these revisions made by the time you contribute to the discussion on Sunday night. I will review your changes then.

If you have any questions, please ask them by replying to this post, or if it is of a more personal nature, by emailing me.



Welcome to ENG 2001: Introduction to Fiction. Although this OpenLab course site is currently under construction, feel free to browse through and get familiar with its structure and functionality, and with the materials currently available. Use the top navigation bar to explore different course materials. As the course progresses, we will add new material throughout the site, making it a rich resource for the study of fiction.

Many of our course readings are readily available online, so feel free to start reading them now, and to share them with friends and family who might enjoy these texts as well.

If you have questions about the OpenLab, or want to learn more about it, familiarize yourself with the Help section. If you need more help, you can contact the OpenLab Community Team.