Final Blog Post (due Wed, 5/22)

Hi everyone,

For your final blog post, you have the choice of

A) revising one of your previous blog posts


B) writing a response to the article that the final exam is on (a PDF of which is in the Essay Assignments folder)so as to prepare for writing the actual exam.

If you choose B), I will be looking for the following items regarding the final exam article  in your post:

Title, Author, Main Idea, Thesis, Your Response, 1-2 ideas from the article, 1-2 ideas about the main idea taken from at least 1 article you find online

Thanks‚ÄĒand best of luck studying!








HW for Friday (1p)

Hi all,
Instead of meeting in person on Wednesday (5/15), please work through the below exercise to prepare for taking the final exam next Wednesday.¬† The article I want you to practice with is once again “Hello, Stranger” (pp. 90-2 in Packet II), but the methods practiced should help you with reading and responding to the article that the real final exam will be on.

A PDF of the actual final exam article can be found in the Assignments folder; you are encouraged to read and research about this article before the exam, but I’m not allowed to discuss it with you, which is why I’m working instead with you on the “Hello, Stranger” practice exam.

Note there will be one final blog assignment, due next Monday 5/20; all essays and blog entries will be due the day of the final exam, next Wed 5/22.¬† Below are the additional prompts on “Hello, Stranger” I’d like you to do.

I. Reading the article (“Hello Stranger,” p. 90-1) for the basics. Fill in the below info.
Title, Author(s):
Topic/Main Idea:
Thesis (this is often different than the topic):
II. Reading the prompts (p. 92).  Fill in the below info for each prompt (A and B).
Topic/Main Idea:
Thesis (yours; also think of how this responds to the author’s):
Content you must include:
Content you can include:
III. Researching to prepare and generate content for your response essay.¬† Using a web or library search, find at least one piece of media (text, image, video, etc.) that can add something new to your discussion of the main topic of “Hello, Stranger.”¬† Include a link and a brief note on the article you find below.

HW for Next Week

Read Dunn & Norton’s “Hello, Stranger” (the last reading in Packet II), including the essay prompts (this is a sample final exam to prepare you to take the actual final exam).¬† Continue to write, re-write, and revise Essays 1, 2, and 3.¬† Prepare to present if you haven’t yet.

Note: In addition to the writing prompt below, there will be an additional writing prompt next week, due by Friday at 1p.  Then, there will be 1 additional writing prompt to respond to by the following Monday (5/20) at 1p.

Writing Prompt (3 parts; due Monday 5/13 by 1p):

  1. What is Dunn & Norton’s thesis?¬† Describe it in your own words.
  2. Paraphrase in your own words what each of the two essay prompts (on p. 92) are asking for.  In other words, describe what the key points you would focus on in each of the two essays that the two prompts call for.
  3. Choose one of the prompts and write 1-2 sentences that outline the essay you would write in response to it.

HW for Mon 5/6

HW: 1. Ensure you are ready to present your group’s Essay 2.
2. Read Gloria Naylor’s essay in Packet 2.
3.  A reminder that your revised Essay 1s are due at the final.  Grades will be based on how significantly you have revised (simply correcting small typos and grammar mistakes is not an example of significant revision; rewriting and reorganizing paragraphs IS an example of significant revision).

Writing prompt on Naylor’s text (2 parts‚ÄĒdo both!; due Monday 1 pm):

A.) In “A Word’s Meaning Can Often Depend on Who Says It,” author Gloria Naylor explains several of the many different meanings of the “n-word.”¬† Identify at least 2 of these different meanings and explain them in your own words.¬† Then connect Naylor’s essay to a story from your own life experience having to do with the “n-word.”

B.) In her essay, Naylor chooses to write out the “n-word” as “nigger.”¬† Do you find this offensive?¬† Why or why not?¬† For you, what are the differences between these three versions of the same word: “n-word,” “nigger,” “nigga”?

HW for Wed, 5/1

HW: ¬†If you haven’t already presented, make sure your Essay 2 presentation is ready to go live on Wed. ¬†

Also: Read the sample student Essay 2 on pp. 25-32 of Packet 2.  This essay didn’t receive an A; so what I want you to do is make notes on how this essay could be improved to receive a higher grade.  Pay special attention to transitions: the connections between paragraphs. Also highlight any boring or repeating information that you think could be removed or rewritten.

HW for Mon 4/15

Reading & Research:¬†Finish reading Imp Kerr’s “Feasts Under the Bridge.” ¬†With your Essay 2 group, find one more article you will look for quotes on your Essay 2 word in. ¬†Arrive in class next week prepared to discuss quotes from this article.


  1. In Imp Kerr’s “Feasts Under the Bridge,” find and quote one sentence where Imp Kerr uses the word “troll” (or “trolling” or some other variant of this word) in a way that gives you a new understanding of this term. ¬†Introduce this quotation, paraphrase it in your own words, and explain how it gives you a new way of understanding what “trolling” is.
  2. Copy and paste into your response below an old blog post you wrote as well as feedback on it that you received.  Below it, write a revised version of this blog post using the suggestions in the feedback.

HW for Mon 4/8

HW:¬†Finish reading Crawford’s “The Anxieties of Big Data.” ¬†Read Caraminica’s “Drake: Rapper, Actor, Meme.”
With your Essay 2 group: search for new articles on your Essay 2 word, make a list of them, decide on 1 of them to read.  Read this article and arrive in class next week prepared to write about 2+ quotations from it that feature your Essay 2 word.  

Writing Prompt (2 parts)
.¬†Building connections between words and texts.¬† First, spend a few sentences explaining what the word “normcore” means. ¬†Ground your explanation in a quotation from K-Hole’s text “YOUTH MODE.” ¬†Second,¬†explain what the word “surveillant anxiety” means when Kate Crawford uses it in her text, “The Anxieties of Big Data” (which starts on p. 46).
¬†Third, explain why you think Crawford discusses “normcore” on p. 48. ¬†What is the connection made here between data anxiety and the trend known as “normcore”?¬†

2. Post article info (author, title, publication, link) for the new text your Essay 2 group has found and will be reading this week.

HW for Mon 4/1

HW: Finish typing your midterm summary into your group’s Google Doc. ¬†Read “Youth Mode” by K-Hole as well as Michelle Nijhuis’ “The Pocket Guide to Bullshit Prevention” (both in Packet 2).

Working with your Essay 2 group, create a new Google Doc for your essay.  Make sure to share the document with everyone in the group as well as with me (
Once the Google Doc is created and shared, I want each of you to type a revised version of your midterm summary in the group’s document. ¬†Please paste a link your Google Doc below by Monday at 1p.

HW/Prompt for Mon 3/25

Read the first part of Geert Lovink‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Social Media Ideology‚ÄĚ (pp. 15-29 in Packet II). ¬†Skim ‚ÄúEXAMPLE ESSAY 2‚ÄĚ (pp. 25-32) and ‚ÄúExplaining Quotations‚ÄĚ (pp. 32-4).
A) Reflecting on Online Feedback from Classmates (& Me). ¬†Read back through all of your blog posts and the feedback you received on them from classmates. ¬†Then, write a paragraph summarizing the comments you received and/or what you noticed about your writing. ¬†As we pass through the midpoint of the semester, what do you think the strengths of your writing are? ¬†What do you‚ÄĒand the classmates commenting on your work‚ÄĒthink could be improved in your writing? ¬†Be as specific as you can.
B) Explaining Quotations with Key Words.¬† Read the first half of Lovink’s “On the Social Media Ideology” and locate a passage where he discusses the word “ideology.” ¬†In the first part of your response, introduce and write out this passage as a quotation. ¬†Then use one of the “Templates for Explaining Quotations” (on p. 32) to explain what it means. ¬†As part of your explanation, you can include questions about anything that is unclear in the quotation, but I also want you to spend at least 2 sentences speculating about what you think the meaning of the word “ideology” is‚ÄĒas well as how Lovink is using the term in the passage you’ve selected.

HW for Mon 3/18

HW: Work with your Essay 2 group to choose a word or phrase to focus your research on.¬† (You can change your mind later if you’re not pleased with your research results.) ¬†Working individually: search for, find, and print a text dealing with your¬†word/phrase that you want to read. ¬†Bring this in next class. ¬†In Packet 2, read “Intro to Summary Writing” and “MLA Citation Quick Guide.” ¬†Reminder: a revised¬†Essay 1 is due at the Midterm exam next Wed.
Prompt for Mon:¬†In the text you’ve found for Essay 2, find five sentences that show interesting or important points the author is making. ¬†Write out these sentences exactly as the author has written them. ¬†At the beginning of each quote, introduce it using the title, the author’s name, and a signal verb. ¬†At the end of each quotation, include an MLA-formatted in-text citation. ¬†An example for you to follow is below: the introduction and MLA citation are color-coded.
In “The Viral Virus,” Lauren Duca points out that “Identity-bait listicles invite readers to indulge a kind of cyberchondria for attention, a like-driven version of Munchausen syndrome” (Duca 95).

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor

Is this photograph of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (by Richard Avedon) a selfie?

How would you describe the look on the faces of these two subjects? ¬†What might have happened (in the “backstory” of this image) to make them look the way they do? (You can use your imagination here.)

Richard Avedon (the photographer) is famous for talking to his subjects as he takes their photo.  What might he have be talking to the Duke and Duchess about at the moment this photo was taken?

Online Research Resource Quick Links

Publication titles to add to your Google search: E-flux, The New Inquiry, N+1.
Below are some Databases to Play With (for most of these, you need an activated City Tech ID/library card)
Gale Virtual Reference Library (encyclopedia/tertiary sources)
Academic Search Complete (a spectrum of news & scholarly sources)
MLA Bibliography (literary sources)
CUNY OneSearch (search everything in CUNY’s library system)
Google Scholar (general array of scholarly texts; not discipline specific)
Google Trends (search usage of key terms in Google searches, from 2004‚Äďpresent)
Google Books Ngram Viewer (search usage of key terms in books, from 1500-2008)
Kanopy (full-length films and documentaries)
Underground & Independent Comics (comics and graphic novels)
JSTOR (literary criticism & theory)
Project Muse (humanities and social science articles; theory)
Opposing Viewpoints (tertiary source on debates; especially good for topics in politics and news)
Academic OneFile (general academic articles; not discipline specific)
Applied Science & Tech Database (science & tech sources)
NexisUni (LexusNexus) (general)

HW for Mon (3/11)

Hi everyone,

Quickly: a reminder to activate your ID/library card.  You need an activated card to do research on Essay 2 from home/off-campus. 

…and the reading for Monday: Read Graf, “Yes, No, OK, but‚Ķ” ¬†If you haven’t yet, read Griffiths’ and Martin’s texts that were assigned for this week. ¬†Also: continue revising Essay 1.

…and your blog assignment (2 parts to this one, respond as a “reply” to this thread, thanks!):

Reading Response Prompt
Re-read the opening of Dawn Lundry Martin’s “When a Person Goes Missing” and respond briefly to the following reading response questions before moving on to the “Writing Prompt” below.
Notice how Martin opens the essay with a brief, but provocative “scene.”
–What is it exactly that makes this a “scene”? ¬†In the opening paragraphs, what are some of the images and actions that Martin shows us?
–What does the essay as a whole seem to be about? ¬†How does its opening scene “show us” (and lead us into) what the essay is going to be about? ¬†What is the effect on you (as a reader) of Martin’s decision to begin the essay with a “scene”?
Writing Prompt: Beginning with a Scene/Image
Look back over your essay and think of a “scene” and/or image you could begin with. ¬†Start writing a new opening section (2+ paragraphs) of your essay, beginning with this scene/image.
E-mail me if you need help!

HW for Mon (3/4)

HW for Mon: Begin revising your Essay 1 and complete any missing blog posts. ¬†Read¬†Dawn Lundry Martin’s “When a Person Goes Missing” (available online here).

BLOG POST UPDATE: Enjoy the snow‚ÄĒno new writing due on the blog for Monday! ¬†Please take some time to make up any blog post assignments you haven’t yet completed (recall that this includes commenting each week on another student’s post in addition to writing your own)¬†.

Remember: I cannot pass you if you do not participate fully in the online component of the course. ¬†Each week of missed blog work counts as an “absence” and more than two of these jeopardizes a student’s final grade.

As a courtesy, I am granting credit for any past blog posts you are able to complete by the end of this week.  Going forward, we will follow the original policy and late blog posts will not receive full credit.

See you Wednesday at the library (4th fl Atrium)‚ÄĒ


HW for Wed (2/27)

Hi all,
An update on the assignment for Wednesday. ¬†Several things…
Please remember to bring 2 print copies of Essay 1 to class.  In addition, please submit your draft online as a Google Doc.
Lastly, please complete a brief blog post on the film, following the prompt below.
Watch Kriegman and Steinberg’s Weiner (2016). ¬†( <– This is a download link that will only work for 7 days; the film can be streamed‚ÄĒfor a fee‚ÄĒhere.) ¬†Make notes during the film and, at the end, write a paragraph about something in it that connects to something you‚Äôre writing about in your Essay 1.
On Wed, I will continue checking in with students wanting help with essays or other work assigned this semester.

HW for Monday

1. Inverse outlining an essay to see connections within its many ideas. Re-read Adrian Chen’s “Don’t Be a Stranger” (pp. 61-66). Make a numbered list of notes describing the main idea in each of the essay’s 29 paragraphs. Each of your notes needn’t be longer than a phrase.
When finished, look over your list. What do you notice about the overall form of this essay? What is the main topic it seems to be about? Where and how is the main topic introduced? Where and how does the essay meander away from this main idea?
Post your list and a couple sentences responding to 1 or more of these questions.

2. Finish a rough draft of Essay 1 and bring in 2 hard copies of it next week. By Monday night, please turn in a digital copy of your draft as a Google Doc (instructions for how to do so are here).

Blog Prompt Due Mon 2/11

HW for Wed: 1. Edit your “Media Analysis” posts: make sure they are tagged/categorized as “Media Analysis.” ¬†Revise/add to your questions so that they focus on the way the image is constructed: i.e., the relationships between objects in it, the framing (what is in the image, what is not), foreground vs. background, etc.
2. Read Gladman, Calamities¬†(excerpts) and Serpell, “Triptych: Texas Pool Party.”

OK, so by Monday at 1pm, please do/respond to the following.

  1. MEDIA ANALYSIS:¬†In a separate post (i.e., don’t reply to this post for #1; create your own post): post a piece of media and 2 discussion questions about a conflict, contradiction, or enigma in this media. ¬†The instructions for this post (which we reviewed in class) are here.
  2. Choose between the following prompts on the assigned reading by Denis Johnson and respond in 75-100 words.  (Only do 2a or 2b.)
    2a. Developing¬†Conflict/Enigma with key details & events. After reading the narrative titled “Silences” (pp 41-44), what do you think the main conflict or enigma of this narrative is? ¬†Explain why you think this. ¬†Then, describe how Johnson leads us into this conflict/enigma on the first two pages. ¬†What are 2 key details or events that you notice in the first 2 pages that are important for building up to this conflict/enigma? ¬†Explain.2b. Transitions.¬†After reading “Silences” and “Accomplices,” what do you notice about the way many of the paragraphs begin? ¬†How do many of the paragraph-opening sentences work to connect the ideas in the paragraphs together? ¬†Lastly, I want you to think about the content of the two stories (“Silences” and “Accomplices”): briefly, what is each story about? ¬†Do they seem similar or related? ¬†How does the sentence which begins “Accomplices” help build a connection between the two narratives (even if you don’t think there is much of a connection)?
  3. Write 150-200 words on a conflict, contradiction, or enigma based in your own life.  This could be something you began brainstorming about on Wednesday or something different.  The conflict, contradiction, or enigma might have to do with technology in some way, or it might not.