Congratulations, Class. By now, all your work is done and your Final Portfolio has been uploaded to OpenLab in either WORD or pdf format according to the guide I distributed in class (you can also see it here: 1121 UNIT 5 formula).

Grades are posted on OpenLab by midnight of May 28th.


Pick your favorite recipe (which you wrote earlier in the semester), clean it up for type-o’s and errors, and print out 27 copies of it. (Make sure your name is on it.) We will create a Recipe Book in class. Yes, very low tech. With staples. Each person gets one copy. : )

On to Unit 4: Multi-Modal. To put it simply: the Multi-Modal Project basically takes your Research and presents it in a digital genre. A video essay? A video PSA? A podcast? Your choice. Your Project doesn’t have to be polished or anywhere near perfect. Share what you’ve got in progress next week. _If you have technical skills and are willing to help others in the class, we would be very grateful.

We will continue to discuss the format for UNIT 5 — the Final Portfolio — next class.


For the first day back from break (Apr 29) the following assignment is due for a grade. It will finish out our UNIT 2: Genre.

Printed out, in hard copy, I need:

+A hard copy example of the genre you chose to write in, clearly labeled.

+A short but clear analysis of this genre that includes at minimum, the following information: who wrote it/the speaker; the audience; the kind of community that is invested in or impacted by this writing; the purpose of this writing; some key vocabulary or language terms you might find (if any) that are common in this form of writing; the sorts of ways that people try to write effectively in this genre (feel free to go into logos, pathos, ethos here if you can or wish).

+And, finally, your writing about your topic (skill, interest) in this genre. Yes, you should already have posted these to OpenLab.They will now be graded, so: Feel free to augment or edit them in any way you feel will make them better. : ).

No recipes, please. Thank you.

Make sure your example and all the three elements are properly labeled so I can understand them. This includes your name, section #, and the like.  I would much appreciate their being stapled and fastened.

-Updates on your research project format to come. Please check back over break….

OK. Update In. Please look at the front of our website. (Direct link here). You will find a post for all sections of my 1121 classes on your upcoming Research Project. One of the WORKSHEETS is due the day we get back from Spring Break (Apr 29).


Go out into the world (Online, personal interviews/discussions, the Library…) and find what Other people who are invested in your topic say about it.

You are, and have been inquiring: what problems or issues surround this topic? What arguments or intense discussions have arisen around it? For Monday: Find a number of sources (at least three) who have opinions on this topic. Bring them to class and be prepared to work with them.


Post your second genre writing assignment about something you do well to OpenLab. Use Category UNIT 2 Assignment 2

Write and post about that same topic in yet ANOTHER genre (also of your choice) and post it to OpenLab. Use Category UNIT 2 Assignment 2

Bring in an example of one of the genres in which you have already written (not a recipe; we’ve already done that). It might be a hard copy of a ticket, for instance, or a receipt, or directions on a map, or a horoscope, or a birthday card — whatever genre you chose. Have it for next class (Monday Apr 7)


Vocabulary: Don’t forget to use the three new words you learned/acquired in class in conversation and or text with people you know. Be sure to note their reactions and how it went and tell us next class (March 28).

Also on March 28: Be prepared to share your Inner-Outer Dialogue listening writing.

We will try to make time to discuss your genre writing assignment in class, so be ready with questions or concerns. You will need to post the assignment by the end of the week.


Hi Class. This is due for next class (Wed. Mar 20): While you are on the subway or bus (if you don’t commute, then just sit in any public place) listen to the sounds and dialogue you hear around you and write them down. Also, for this assignment, you may listen to what you hear inside your head and write it down. Again, this is handwritten, and due on Mar 20. You may write as long as you wish.

Extension: We didn’t have time to discuss our genre list on Monday, so your next genre assignment (mentioned below) won’t be due until Monday, Mar 25.


Hi Class. You received your reading homework, which due Mon 18, in hard copy in class. If you were not in class, the reading is also available Online here:

Donald Murray: Internal Revision: A Process of Discovery

*(Please speak with someone who was in class whenever you miss a day!) Come to class prepared to discuss this reading and your annotations.

On to your writing assignments. 1 and 2 are due next class. 1.) Write a “recipe” for how to have and otherwise successfully sustain a relationship (love, marriage, good friend — try to pick something truly close to you and your heart).  This is due in handwritten draft for next class, Mon 18.

2.) Post the recipe you already wrote about something you do well to OpenLab. When you post, choose Category Unit 2 Assignment 2. Due: Mon. 18

3.) Not for Monday, but by Wed 20, you will have another piece of writing to do. Here are its parameters: You will write about a skill/interest/something you do well (just like RECIPE 1). This time you won’t write it as a recipe, but in a genre you encounter in your everyday life but in which you rarely write. I will give you a few examples, below, to get you thinking and brainstorming:

A TripAdvisor entry  (example here)
A poem that rhymes
A Yelp review (examples here)
A WikiHow entry (example here)
A letter to a friend via snail mail on actual paper
A rap or spoken word piece

….what do you suggest we add to the list? What do you encounter every day? We will discuss this genre list and your assignment further on Monday.


Hi Class. This is due next class, Wed. March 13: Write a “recipe” of something you do well: a sport, a hobby, anything. Be as creative as you wish. This is due in handwritten form by next class. Remember: class participation is 15% of your grade.

+Were you not in class? Are you confused? We discussed the genre of the recipe in class — its basic components (a list of materials/ingredients/necessary objects; a set of tasks or actions that are performed and how), its general format (clear, concise, step-by-step), its general purpose (to show someone. how to do something well, in a way that anyone can understand). Recipes are easily found Online. Feel free to look them up. If you want an example of what you can do, well, I just wrote a Recipe on Teaching. You can see it here:


Hi class. You have two readings for Monday, March 3.

Reading 1 is the Chapter called “Shitty First Drafts” in author Annie Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird. Below is a free pdf of the entire book, and you can click on the appropriate chapter:

After completing Reading 1 please answer the following and post your responses in OpenLab. 1) How many drafts do you typically make of a paper/piece of writing? Do you write a “down draft,” an “up draft,” and a “dental draft” like Lamott says? Were you surprised at her chapter’s title? Do you think you will have to change the way you write a lot if you decide to write a “shitty first draft”?

Your responses for Reading 1 should be posted to OpenLab under the category UNIT 2: Assignment 1.

Reading 2 is an article called “Navigating Genres” by a professor named Kerry Dirk. The link is here: Navigating Genres.

After completing Reading 2, please answer the following in writing. You can write in your notebooks for now, but be ready to post your responses to OpenLab under the same category soon after our next class:

1) This article (though somewhat old) mentions Facebook posts as a kind of genre. Can you briefly describe how comfortable you feel composing a piece of writing in this genre? Do you feel more comfortable than someone much older than you — your Grandmother, for instance? Why do you think this older person might not write as well in Facebook as you do? What are some of the mistakes they might make? 2) Dirk gives a few examples of titles in The Onion (a newspaper that was founded in 1988 at a college, btw). What was your favorite title? 3) On page 258, Dirk describes the rules we carry around in our head before we start writing in a particular genre. What are some of the rules you carry around in your head? Is there a particular genre in which you struggle to write?


Giving you an extension on the “Freedom”/Malcolm X paper: Mar. 1. See you in the Library on Wed. 27.


Quick announcement — On Wednesday, Feb 27, we will meet outside the Library for our Library Instruction Hour. Do not come to the classroom that day.

Please check this page regularly for other updates. Now, on to our work…

Assignments due Mon. Feb 25: Write a short summary/ reaction to  both the articles you read (by Laura Carroll and Nelson Graff) — why you liked or didn’t like them. What you learned. Particularly, in the Carroll article, what TERMS or other vocabulary concerning writing did you learn? Had you known them before? Please Post them to OpenLab under the category MID PROCESS REFLECTION — REFLECTION UNIT 1

Links below:

Laura Carroll theory essay: Backpacks vs. Briefcases

Teaching Rhetorical Analysis by Nelson Graff


For Mon 19: Here is your first formal essay assignment. It has a reading component and a set of notes and lots of information, so please download it here: CUNY 1121 D439 UNIT 1 ASSIGNMENT 2 2019

It would be great if you could familiarize yourself with the assignment and possibly do the reading, which is short, so that I can address any questions next class. Hope you had a good break!


For Wed., Feb 13: Write a short summary/ reaction to  both the articles you read — why you liked or didn’t like them. What you learned. Particularly, in the Carroll article, what TERMS or other vocabulary concerning writing did you learn? Had you known them before?

Also: You must read/watch/listen to one Influence from another person in your group.


Your next tasks for class, Monday (Feb 11) are as follows: 1.) Make your list of main influences (books, movies, songs, et al) as we described in class. We will discuss it; keep an electronic copy of this list for yourself as you will be adding to it. (Be prepared to post it, or elements from it, to OpenLab by Wednesday.) 2.) Be prepared to share what you wrote in your Reflection on Unit 1. We will post these to OpenLab shortly. 3.) Be prepared to discuss the readings by Laura Carroll and Nelson Graff. You may be asked to write about them during class time.

REMINDER: There is no school Feb 18.


Your next tasks for Wednesday (Feb 6) are: 1. Post your “fear” and “cure” writing to OpenLab.* Please choose Category: Assignment 1 Unit 1 when you do so. 2. Please complete the following reflection, which you can download: CUNY UNIT 1 Main Reflection Spring 2019. You should be able to discuss it in class on Wednesday. 3. Begin  two Theoretical Readings, which you must complete by next Monday. If time permits, I would like to discuss them on Wednesday. You can find them under READINGS on this website. They are the articles by Laura Carroll and Nelson Graff.

*I know a number of you are having difficulty logging in, posting, et al. If another student can’t help you, please consult with an OpenLab person directly —  You can see my previous post with their Office Hours here.