Homework 4.1

Part 1

  1. Revise either your Unit 1 or Unit 2 assignment
  2. Print and bring to class:
    • Your revised Unit assignment
    • Your previous draft with professor comments*

*Note: you can (and should) remove the grade from the comments before printing the draft with my comments — we will be doing a peer review of your revisions.

Part 2

Write a very rough partial draft of your Final Reflection, using as a starting point your response to the first homework prompt for this class and the revision of your Unit assignment (Part 1 above).

Post to OpenLab.

Make sure to review the Final Portfolio Reflection sheet

Category: Portfolio and Reflection



Unit 3 Proposal and Homework 3.1

Please post the proposal and HW 3.1 as separate posts using the designated categories.

(For those of you who were unable to attend the Zoom meeting, you can find the recording here.)

Unit 3 Proposal

In this unit, you’ll be writing about the topic you researched in Unit 2 for an audience of your choosing– so now it’s time to think about what genre you think will best reach your audience!

WRITE:  You will need to write a proposal of at least 200 words outlining what you plan to do for Unit 3. This proposal should tell us: 

  • A 1-2 sentence statement of what you want to teach your audience (the most important thing you learned in Unit 2) 
  • The audience you are trying to reach
  • The genre you are planning to write in and why you chose it (see this incomplete list of genres you could potentially work with)
  • A plan — how do you intend to get started? What will be your FIRST STEP?
  • Anything you might be worried about.  What are your concerns about finishing this project?

CATEGORY: Unit 3 Proposals

HW 3.1 

READ (and comment): Read at least two of your colleagues’ Unit 3 proposals, and comment on them. Comments should be at least 100 words. Please do not simply say “sounds great!” because that is not helpful! Think about the kind of things that might be helpful to you as you embark on this project. Here are some ideas: 

  • A specific publication or website you think the author could write for
  • A question or comment to help narrow down the audience: “You say you want young people to watch this video essay, but there’s no publication that all young people watch. Are you actually trying to reach New Yorkers?”
  • A question or comment to help narrow down the genre: “There are a lot of different kinds of articles in the world. You could be writing for a newspaper like the New York Times or a website like Buzzfeed, and the writing is totally different for both. Can you be more specific?”
  • You can also just talk about things in the proposal you find especially cool or exciting. 

WRITE: Answer the “Know Your Publication” Questions we looked at in class for the hypothetical publication YOU would like to publish in.

WRITE: Write a plan for Unit 3 – New Genre piece.  What are your goals for working/ thinking/ brainstorming/ gathering material? Write a schedule.



Unit 2 RAB / Submissions / Google Drive Folder

Please post your Unit 2 Assignment to the appropriate Google Drive folder as ONE document (preferably a Google Doc, but if you used a canva template, a link or PDF is fine.)

Due Tuesday 11/14 by the start of class.

To clarify, your completed Reflective Annotated Bibliography will include, in one document:

  • Intro 
  • Source Entry 1
  • Source Entry 2 
  • Source Entry 3 
  • Conclusion 

Peer Review Tomorrow

Hi everyone–

Just a reminder that tomorrow’s class will be a peer review.

Please come to class prepared, with your annotated bibliography compiled, accessible in some form, and ready to offer feedback to your peers.

Please also bring a tablet or laptop if you have the means to do so, in order to access the peer review worksheets and to more seamlessly offer feedback to your peers . You may also consider printing out the peer review worksheet and/or your annotated bibliographies.

Take care and see you tomorrow!

p.s. please check your gmail/google drive — I’ve returned your Unit 1 assignments with feedback and grades — I also emailed your city tech emails about this.



Final Source Entry, Conclusion, and Compilation

WRITE: Final Source entry 

WRITE: Conclusion (at least 400 words). For your conclusion: 

  • You will summarize what you found in your research
  • You will tell readers what surprised you, or how your understanding of your question deepened or changed. (Spoiler: if the answer is “not at all”, you did not do enough research.) 
  • You will explain why what you learned is important
  • You will explain who you think needs to know about it and why (Another spoiler: be specific!  The answer can not be “everyone.”  That is too big of an audience.  Narrow it down to who needs to hear about it first!)

Compile and Post your bibliography. Put everything together into a single document. If you’d like, you can select a report template from Canva and fill it out with the material you’ve written for this assignment. Post rough draft of annotated bibliography on the website.


Source Entries 1 and 2

Category: Unit 2

Part 1

WRITE: First source entry!  Post on openlab. Make sure you have at least one “quote sandwich” in there. Remember to introduce, explain and analyze your quote!

Part 2

READ AND ANNOTATE: Graff & Birkenstein, “Chapter 3: As He Himself Puts It – The Art of Quoting”

WRITE:  Your second “Source Entry” Draft. Post on openlab. Try to include all five steps of the IQIAA method for at least one quotation.

Review the report templates on www.canva.com and select a couple that you like.

Category: Unit 2


Research Question Proposal

Category: Unit 2

WRITE: Write a blog post (approx. 400 words) in which you introduce your research question. You may find your topic anywhere– from Unit One to the blog posts we wrote last week, to your peers’ blog posts! (It’s really okay if two people write about the same topic– I promise you.) 

What is important here– and I can’t stress this enough– is that you research something you want to know more about, not something you think you already know the answer to.  You may be curious to know why there are so few African American ballerinas in major companies, or you may want to know how much “housing projects” have changed in New York since James Baldwin wrote “A Talk to Teachers” in 1963, or you may want to know what we really learn from playing computer games.  Just be curious. REMEMBER YOU MUST GET YOUR TOPIC APPROVED BY ME! 

Write it in question form (it can’t be a yes-or-no question, though) You must cover all of the questions in bold:

  • Why are you interested in this question?  (Feel free to talk about your own personal experience with the topic, or to tell an anecdote about your experience with this subject matter) 
  • What do you expect to find in your research? (Why do you expect to find this?) Remember that it’s okay to be wrong– you might find a completely different answer than the one you intended to find. You won’t get marked down for that! 

Spend some time on this– because this will serve as the first draft of the introduction for your annotated bibliography!

Category: Unit 2


Homework 2.1

Category: Unit 2

Part 1

READ AND ANNOTATE: “A Talk to Teachers” by James Baldwin. 

 WRITE:  Blog Post (at least 300 words) In “A Talk to Teachers,” James Baldwin writes:  

I would try to make [the student] know that just as American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it, so is the world larger, more daring, more beautiful and more terrible, but principally larger – and that it belongs to him. I would teach him that he doesn’t have to be bound by the expediencies of any given administration, any given policy, any given morality; that he has the right and the necessity to examine everything. 

First of all, what do you think of what James Baldwin was saying? What do you think he means when he says “the world is larger?”

Secondly, what do you think you have the “necessity” to examine, or the obligation to learn more about? To put it another way: what do you wish had been taught to you in school that wasn’t? Why do you want to know about these topics? 


Part 2

READ AND ANNOTATE: “Research Starts with a Thesis Statement” from Bad Ideas about Writing

READ AND ANNOTATE:Schools are Killing Curiosity” from The Guardian 

WRITE: Blog Post (at least 300 words): 

What is something you were interested in when you were a kid? Are you still interested in that topic? How did asking questions help you learn more about that topic?

If so, how has your curiosity changed and grown over the years? And what role did the educational system play in your curiosity (good or bad)? 

If you are not interested in this topic anymore, what do you think happened to that interest? Do you remember the specific time you LOST interest?  What did you become interested in instead (and why?) 

THINK: Start thinking about a topic you are interested in, something you might want to know more about.  This can be something heavy, like police brutality, or it can be something that seems on the surface more light-hearted, like ballet.  The only criteria is that you are actually curious about it.  

This may seem like strange advice, but it can be helpful to go for a walk and think about topics you’d like to write about. Come home and jot down a few notes. By our next class you will be expected to have some idea of a topic you’d like to research, even if it’s a bit vague.

Category: Unit 2


HW d.2 (Difficulty Paper)


WRITE: Using your plan for re-reading as a guide, re-read (and annotate in a different color than the first time) “Later.” When you’re done, write another 300 words about what you learned from rereading. Again, be specific, quoting from the text! You don’t need to submit this as a post. Instead, follow the instructions below and include in your difficulty paper.

The difficulty paper is 3 parts:

1. 300 words on what you found difficult or confusing (HW d.1)

2. Plan for rereading, which you did today during class, and

3. 300-word reflection after rereading (the prompt above).

Remember the difficulty paper is worth 5% of your grade. You just have to turn all three parts in (by the start of our next meeting) to get those points. Please put all 3 parts together in one document and submit them as a google doc or PDF to the difficulty paper submission folder in the shared Google Drive folder.


Homework d.1

Category: Difficulty Paper

Part 1

Continue work on your Unit 1 assignment! No post necessary for this part of the homework assignment.

Remember, the Unit 1 assignment is not officially due until October 3rd (10/3) by the start of class, but you will probably want to get your narratives in pretty good shape before we start the next mini-unit.

When you’re ready to submit your Unit 1 assignments, go to the Google Drive tab on the Openlab menu bar, and select Unit 1 Assignment Submission Folder. I’ll remind you of how to submit over the next couple of weeks as well.

Part 2

READ and ANNOTATE: “Later”  (in the Later Library on the Procrastination Station– www.yourprocrastinationstation.com).  

WRITE: After reading and annotating “Later,” write an Open Lab post of approximately 300 words in which you reflect upon the article. What, particularly, did you find confusing, irritating, boring or otherwise difficult? 

Please note: I want you to BE SPECIFIC. Quote from the text directly. That is, if you were particularly dumbfounded by a particular passage—quote that passage, and explain WHY you found it confusing. If the vocabulary was difficult, quote a particularly difficult passage, and try to figure out what the author might have been trying to say. Explain WHY you found their particular word choices difficult. Dig deeply! 

My point in asking you to do this is that usually the places you struggle the most are the places you are doing your best thinking. I want you to stay there a while, even if it’s to explain to me why you don’t understand!

Category: Difficulty Paper


Homework 1.4

Category: Unit 1

Part 1

Many times, students don’t know the rules when it comes to writing emails to professors. This isn’t their fault! There are so many rules, how could a person keep track? That’s why I want you to practice this extremely important genre of writing. First, watch this slide show about emailing a professor, and then write me an email either: 

  1. Asking me a question about Unit 1. This can be a question you have about the assignment or about your essay in particular or
  2. Explaining to me how your essay is going. 

If you have something else you want to talk about, feel free to write about that. These topics are really just there to give you ideas. Do your best to follow all the guidelines given in the handout! If you don’t get it right, that’s okay, but give it a shot.  


Part 2

READ AND ANNOTATE: Shitty First Drafts, Anne Lamott 

WRITE: A Less Shitty First Draft of UNIT ONE. At least 800 words. Pay attention to your paragraphs! Remember that you can use anything we have already written in this unit if you want. All low-stakes assignments are to help you write the major papers!

PRINT: Print your draft and bring to class for Peer Review.

Category: Unit 1


Homework 1.3

Category: Unit 1

Part 1

READ AND ANNOTATE : Olivarez, “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing”  (or else, this PDF version)

READ AND ANNOTATE: “The Fourth of July” by Audre Lorde 

WRITE: (250 Words)  So far in this unit, we have read three examples from the genre of the “education narrative.”  Your first essay assignment in this class will be to write in this genre yourself.  So in this discussion forum, I’d like us to have a conversation about what the features of this genre are. Please discuss some of the following:

  • What, from what you’ve seen so far, are the “ingredients” (also known as “conventions”) of the education narrative genre?
  • What do you think might be a place to get started with your own education narrative?
  • What are your questions or concerns about writing an education narrative of your own?
  • If you like, you can also feel free to share an educational experience you had and ask for feedback from your colleagues (and me) to see if we think that might be a solid place to begin writing.

Part 2

  • THINK: Think of one specific incident that changed your views on education. Picture the scene 
  • REVIEW : Please review the slideshow we watched in class about what paragraphs are. You can find it HERE
  • WRITE: a blog post of at least two distinct paragraphs describing one specific incident that changed your views on education using Concrete, Significant detail. The incident you described in class will be a great place to start.

Category: Unit 1


Homework 1.2

Category: Unit 1

READ: “How to Read Like a Writer” by Mike Bunn

WRITE (>300 words):  On the website, write a post of at least 300 words discussing the following questions. You can also post the picture of your notes from the reading in this same post: 

  • In his article, Mike Bunn writes “You are already an author.” He’s talking to you.  What do you think he means by this? What are some of the things you write already?  (Hint: “Nothing” is not an acceptable answer.) Think of all of the ways you already use words in your everyday life. That’s authorship! How will that existing expertise help you in your college reading and writing career?
  • Was there anything you noticed in Bunn’s article that you would like to try to do in your own writing? What, in particular? Please be specific!

Category: Unit 1

Part 2

Print and Bring to Class: Amy Tan’s essay “Mother Tongue”


Homework 1.1

Category: Intro

Being a student can be intimidating, confusing, and just plain difficult! 

So for these first few days, you get to vent about it! No kidding. Share your concerns with each other. Maybe give each other some advice or just a good old bit of support. Believe me — instructors have many of the same worries you do, even if we’ve been teaching for a while. I also promise not to hijack the conversations, either! 

Here’s what you’ll do:

    1. PLAY with the website. You can’t break it. Honestly. I’ve tried. Click around on all the tabs. See what’s there! We’ll be doing a great deal of work here this semester, so make yourself familiar with the sit
    2. READ/ WATCH:
    3. WRITE A NEW POST: Start with one word that describes how you’re feeling about this course and college in general as we get started. No need to explain, but you can if you want to. 
      • Talk about your study skills. What works for you and what doesn’t? What do you need to learn how to do better?
      • Talk about your worries, concerns, reactions to the readings and/or to being a college student… whatever you want to. No censoring… except keep it kind of clean, please ;-). And
      • Add a picture that means something to you, and explain why you chose it — why does it mean something to you?
      • Make sure the post category is INTRO
    4.  Check back in and comment on your peers’ work!
    • Category: Intro

Partial rough draft of final reflection.

A common occurrence takes place whenever I am asked by a doctor or therapist if a certain condition has improved. I have no idea how I felt in the past compared to how I feel now. Sure, I can definitely discern between feeling generally good vs. feeling generally bad but that is about it. The same happens when I try to think about my growth this semester. Yes, I feel confident in my ability to write… but is it more than before completing this course? Looking back at my previous assignments, I can definitely see aspects that I would have done differently now. However, I probably would have felt the same if I had written them months before taking this class, and was assigned to revise in the beginning of the semester. Additionally, comparing assignments from the beginning of the semester to those done at the end would probably not prove to be helpful. Having such distinct genres, with corresponding writing styles- they are hardly comparable. Even if my general writing has not improved, I have become more proficient in certain tactics such as proofreading and research. Very clearly, my writing has progressed a lot; throughout my life, not just this course. It is difficult for me to pinpoint when and how improvements have been made. Measuring that would be like asking a child when they grew taller. It happens slowly every day, and is hardly noticeable to the person doing the growing.

Growing up with google at my fingertips, I never really had the need to delve deep into research to find the best answers. I could just search a question, and boom the answer was right at the top of my screen. Whenever I had a debate with my parents or friends about a topic that required more in-depth research I would often give up. I didn’t know how to properly conduct my research. This class helped me learn where to look, and how to properly learn from my sources- taking only the most prominent/ useful information. 

I also learnt what it meant to read like a writer. I learnt to analyze why the author made certain choices, and how that changed the outcome of their writing. While that alone is helpful, taking that tactic and utilizing it on other subjects really makes a big difference for me. Prior to this class, I would analyze how peoples clothing was constructed to gain knowledge on how to make similar pieces. Now, implementing the ‘how to read like a writer’ method, I can go even further. I now know to discern the docices the designer and producers made, why they made them, and how other choices would change the outcome. 

My favorite assignment was the Personal Narrative. I wrote about my experiences going to a Montessori school, and then transferring to a public school. The time I spent attending the Montessori School was a common discussion point when it came to my mental development and often came with a lot of criticism. This assignment allowed me to lay my experiences out in front of me and re-evaluate what it all meant. By explaining the differences in education, and overall experiences, I gained a greater knowledge of myself; who I am, what works best for me, and how I can improve my day to day life and interactions with others. 

Regarding the design of my assignments, only one really comes to mind. That is the final unit 3 assignment where I chose to present my project in the form of a blog. While I believe that on its own a blog could be a suitable genre, that is not my primary reason for choosing it. I wanted to design the assignment in a way in which I would actually be learning about my subject. While the execution certainly didn’t come out as intended, I still learnt a lot. More so than if I had just written a paper or article about my findings. I wanted to demonstrate what its like to build a business and blog about it; I learnt that doing so is almost impossible in such a short period of time. Just learning that is just as valuable a lesson as any. 

Artist statement draft

A few months ago, my class was introduced to this project. We were told to create a research project, and that we had the freedom to choose essentially whatever topic we wanted. Immediately my thoughts became focused on everything that I am mentally lacking. Knowledge that has the potential to drastically improve my life. ‘I am being given the motivation to actually achieve some level of understanding. So what will my focus be?’ Few answers came to mind. The most prominent being: How to build a business/ company. I have known for a very long time that there is absolutely zero interest in my heart, soul; entire being to be an employee; make money for someone else (at least in the  long term). That’s all great, but to achieve that I need to be able to make it for myself. What better way than to just make the company? This project is the perfect way to start learning, and therefore became my topic. Obviously, ‘how to build a business’ is a loaded topic, and I needed to narrow it down. Therefore, implementing the second thing I have known for a very long time: I want to work in fashion; be a designer. Perfect! I can research how to create a fashion brand I can design for. The second aspect of this project was to present my findings in the genre of my choosing. To make that choice, I considered how I can both provide the necessary information, while still learning in the process. In my opinion, the best way to learn is to do. I initially decided to attempt founding a business and blog about all the steps I take, along with outcomes and challenges. As I was just writing about my experience, the readers could see me as a very credible source. I was not trying to make claims about what I thought I knew. It was solely supposed to be personal observations. As I began, and the days went by, it became increasingly clear that time would be a huge issue. Surprise! Surprise! Building a business takes an extremely long time. I don’t know what I thought I would accomplish in the weeks that I worked on this project. However, it certainly was not enough to create sufficient content for my blog. Each little thing was extremely tedious, time consuming, and generally uninteresting. I decided to change course. Because it was unrealistic to accomplish enough to blog about, I began providing general information on the steps I would be taking, if I had sufficient time. Instead of a step by step guide, I ended up providing key insights into each broader phase. Because I was no longer narrating my journey and therefore was not a reliable narrator, I switched to providing the most logical information. I first did what I could in the time I had, and then proceeded to expand on what I would do in the future, based on my research. Each blog post, after my introduction, discussed one general phase in the growth process and contained specific details and insights. While people who may be completely lost want a universal step by step guide; it may not exist. Before coming to that conclusion, my nerves ran high out of the possibility that I may not be able to accomplish this task. With each aspect being so interchangeable, my blog may actually be equally helpful to those looking for guidance in building their own businesses. While for what it is, I did a good job, I would have made different choices if I had more time. I really liked the idea of me starting my business and taking my readers with me for the ride. I could have had the time to wait for everything to be processed. I could have taken time to intricately go through every aspect; make mistakes, and learn how to correct them. In my opinion, that would have made for a superior blog. It was difficult to let go of that prospect, but I eventually had to accept that it wasn’t possible, and make the best out of it. All that being said, I am happy with the result. Looking back, I probably should have chosen a less time consuming genre, or a more easily digestible topic.