Unit 2 Assignments Returned w/ Comments

Hi everyone — I’ve shared your graded Unit 2 assignments via Google Drive. If you did not receive your assignment with comments and a grade, that likely means I did not receive it in the first place. So, if you haven’t received grades on Unit 1 or Unit 2, then you must send me those assignments as soon as you can. Take care and see you on Tuesday.


For Tuesday, 11/29

In lieu of an assignment over Thanksgiving break, I’d like to give you the opportunity to catch up. So, by Tuesday, 11/29, you should have decided on:

  • the genre of your Unit 3 assignment
  • the specific audience you are trying to reach
  • the publication site/venue where you would publish your text
  • a mentor text*
  • a plan and a schedule for executing your Unit 3 project*
    *see the previous post for specific instructions regarding the in-class writing for mentor texts and making a schedule.

**I also expect that you will have begun composing, however minimally, your Unit 3 text**

Furthermore, if you haven’t already done so, please submit your Unit 1 and/or Unit 2 assignments to the appropriate Google Docs folder. If it’s not there, I won’t see it, and if I don’t see it, that means you don’t receive a grade on it.

If you have any questions at all for me over the short break, feel free to reach out. I likely won’t be available by email from Thursday-Sunday, but will respond on Sunday to any emails you send.

Otherwise, rest up, have a great break, eat some good food, and I’ll see you next week!


In-Class Work: Unit 3 Plan/Schedule and Finding a Mentor-Text

Part 1

Write a plan and schedule for your Unit 3 Assignment. Give yourself specific deadlines (dates and times) by which to complete aspects of your Unit 3 assignment. This will include (but is not limited to) any additional research you may need to do, finding a mentor-text, learning how to use a particular software and/or application, and composing your Unit 3 assignment. For each deadline, you should lay out a brief plan that details what you expect you will need to complete by that date/time.

Part 2

Sometimes, if we are trying to write in a particular genre, or for a particular publication, we study a particular source that fits that category so we can write in that same style. We call this a “mentor text.”

Last week, we looked at publications and online forums where you might want to publish or present your work. Now, let’s look a little closer. Go back to this site (magazine, webpage, youtube channel etc) and find a SPECIFIC source that you like. It SHOULD NOT be about your topic. You’re not looking at it for that! You’re just looking at what features make this text fit this publication (and this genre!) This can be an article, TED Talk, You Tube Video, etc…

Remember: You’re not looking for any old article. You’re looking for an article that can be published in the magazine you want your work to be published in, or a youtube video that fits on the channel you want your video to go on… get it? This should be something that you want to emulate.

Once you’ve found your mentor text, answer the following questions:

  • What tone/ type of language does this example use?
  • How does this source use research? Do they quote from outside sources, use a lot of statistics, etc…
  • What can you tell us about this source visually (and auditorily, if applicable)? Does it use a lot of imagery and color? Is the layout very clean? Is there a soundtrack?
  • How long is it? (Words, pages, minutes)
  • Who do you think is the audience of this source? What makes you think that?
  • What aspects of this source would you like to emulate in your own writing? How might you do that?
  • What aspects of this source would you like to avoid in your own writing? How will you do that?

**Include a link to your mentor text (or upload the file)**

Post your answers (and link/file) to the openlab under the category “In-Class Writing”. Whatever you do not complete today you can finish at home. 



Part 1

Look for places your writing could be published (or posted) and answer these questions for that publication forum.  Remember, this doesn’t have to be a magazine (though it can be!) but you should start getting a little specific! If you’re writing a short story, look at a collection of short stories.  If you’re making a YouTube video, look at a particular channel, etc… 

  • What kinds of articles/ stories/ media  (and ads and videos for that matter) are on that site?  
  • What does that tell you about who they think their audience is? How do you draw that conclusion?
  • How long are the pieces usually? (pages, words, minutes)?
  • What is the tone, usually? (funny, serious, casual)
  • What kind of diction is usually used? (casual, formal, academic, etc.) 
  • How do they usually use evidence/ support (such as data, quotations, interviews, etc)?
  • What can you tell us about their visual presentation?  Is it all black and white text? Video with lots of graphics? 
  • Do you think this would be a good publication or forum to reach your intended audience?  Why or why not? 

If you have a particular genre you want to write in, but you haven’t been able to find a forum where it would be published or posted, don’t immediately switch genres! Talk to me first– I’m sure we can find something. 

Part 2

WRITE: Write a plan for Unit 3 – New Genre piece.  What are your goals for working/ thinking/ brainstorming/ gathering material? Make a schedule for yourself in which you map out the different steps you need to complete and when you need to complete them by.

Post your answers to the Openlab under the category Discussions>Unit 3


Unit 3 Proposal

Due this Thursday, 11/17, before the start of class

WRITE a proposal of at least 200 words outlining what you plan to do for Unit 3, then
POST it to the website under the category Unit 3 Proposals.

This proposal should be in paragraph form and must include: 

    • 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
    • Where you would hypothetically publish or present this text and why did you choose that site/venue/publication?
    • A plan – how do you intend to get started?
    • Anything you might be worried about.  What are your concerns about finishing this project?

Reminder: RAB Peer Review today

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder: we will peer review Annotated Bibliographies today.

Please bring 2 printed copies of your Annotated Bibliography.

If you do not have the draft of your Annotated Bibliography today and/or are not prepared for the peer review, you’ll be marked absent, receive a zero for participation today, and will have points deducted from your final draft.

See you soon.


THURSDAY Meeting: Peer Review of RAB Rough Draft

Hi everyone,

Too few people showed up for the Peer Review today, so I cancelled class.

We will now be doing the peer review for the rough draft of your Reflective Annotated Bibliographies on Thursday.

If you do not attend class on Thursday and do not communicate to me a legitimate reason for your absence, I will deduct from the total amount of points you can receive on your Unit 2 Assignment.


      1. Please bring TWO (2) printed copies of your complete annotated bibliography to class on Tuesday. The RAB includes:
          • An Introduction
          • Three (3) Source Entries
          • A Conclusion

**Again, keep in mind: as you work on your remaining source entries, focus on proper quote integration. Read through Graff & Birkenstein, “The Art of Quoting” or look at the Quote Sandwich presentation to understand what it means to properly quote a source.**

Take care and see you then.


No Class Today // Instructions for Thursday

Hi everyone–

I apologize for the late notice, but I won’t be able to come in today. I have a very bad cough and I need to make sure it’s not COVID. I’d really rather not have to miss another class, but I think it’s the best decision all things considered.

There will be a discussion board post due on Thursday, which I will post later today, so please check the OpenLab for that. And assuming it’s not covid, we will have class on Thursday in person. 

Also, if I have not yet approved your Research Question proposal, please email me with your question.

Thanks in advance for understanding and I’ll hopefully see you on Thursday.


Post due Thursday 10/27 (Before Class)

For Thursday (10/27) – To be completed BEFORE class


VIEW/CLOSELY READ the following slideshow on rhetorical analysis: Source Entry Slides _RAB


FIND/CHOOSE one source from your research and
POST the following using the Category “UNIT 2” ONLY

      1. WRITE a summary of the source (1 long paragraph or 2 shorter paragraphs)
      2. PASTE 2-3 of the most important quotes from the source
      3. COMPLETE a Rhetorical/Genre Analysis Worksheet for your source and then
        WRITE 2-3 paragraphs of rhetorical analysis of the source based on your answers to the worksheet

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Homework for Tomorrow

Bring 1 Source from your research to class tomorrow. If it is a written article, I recommend printing it. If it is a video or audio source, bring headphones (and if it’s a video, something to watch it on).

In class, we will work on writing source entries, and look at a few different ways of “reading” sources. If you come to class tomorrow with one of your sources, you will be marked absent for the day.

Until then, take it easy and see you soon.


Research Question Proposal


WRITE: Write a blog post (at least 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?)
  • What will you do if you find information that goes completely against what you had expected to find? (Will you throw it out? Will you write about it anyway? Will you challenge your own assumptions?) 

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



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 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.   



  1. What topic would you like to know more about?  This can be in question form if you like.
  2. K- KNOW: Set your timer for five minutes.  Write that whole time.  It is important that you don’t pause here, so if you are stuck, write “I’m stuck!” But just keep typing.  Write down everything you can about what you KNOW about this topic or question

  3. W-WANT:  Set your timer for another five minutes.  Same thing– you’ll write that whole time.  This time, write what you WANT to know about the topic.

    Here is where you do a little bit of research.  Again, time yourself– spend 10-15 minutes on the Internet looking up your topic.
  4. L-LEARNED: Another five minutes.  Again, write the whole time.  Write what you LEARNED from your 10-15 minutes of internet research.

+-STILL WANT TO KNOW: This is the most important question (but we had to do all of the above to get there!) After doing very basic internet research, what are some questions about your topic that you still want to know? It’s okay if your question has changed a little bit.  Try to come up with questions that you will be able to research for a few weeks! (Hint: NO yes or no questions)


In-Class Writing Exercise, 10/11

  1. 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?
  2. 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)?
  3. 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?)

HW due 10/11, before class

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

 WRITE:  Blog Post (at least 250 words) responding to the prompt below.

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?

Category: Unit 2


Checking In Before Class Tomorrow

Hey everyone,

Hope you enjoyed the long hiatus. I just wanted to check in before we meet tomorrow.

Since we’ve had a little breather, I expect everyone to come to class tomorrow having read over the Unit 2 assignment. We will go over the assignment and discuss any questions you may have. We will also be doing some in-class writing, so (as you always should) bring a pen/pencil and your notebooks.

Take care and see you tomorrow!


Where to Submit your Unit 1 Assignment

Hi everyone–

Here’s the link to the Google Drive folder: Unit 1 Assignment Submission Folder

Please submit your essays in .docx format.

You can also find this folder through the main navigation menu on the course site. Click on “Google Drive Folder”, then scroll down and click on “Unit 1 Assignment Submission Folder”.

Please submit your essays in .docx format.

Best of luck and have a great long weekend!


No Meeting Today

Hey everyone: pasting an email I just sent out below.

I’m sorry for the late notice, but I won’t be able to make it to class today. A few things to keep in mind:

    • HW for Tuesday: I will post our homework for Tuesday on the OpenLab later today or tomorrow– the homework will ask you to email me (in a “professional” manner) regarding the progress you’ve made on your personal/education narrative (Unit 1 assignment), but more details on that soon.
    • Unit 1 drafts: Continue (or start) working on your narratives – a rough draft will be due next Thursday and, as I said above, you’ll need to have started your narrative in order to do the homework for Tuesday.

Take care, have a good weekend, and talk to you soon!


Homework due by 9/20: Emailing Professors

–due 9/20 by the start of class–

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. First, watch this slide show about emailing a professor (OR if slideshows aren’t your thing, read this blogpost by another 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. 

**Keep in mind that, while I don’t require you to address me as “Professor Stone”, many of your teachers will. Also, I’m pretty good with names. Still, you should use this as an opportunity to practice employing the different conventions of the ‘academic email’ genre.

Category: Unit 1


HW for 9/15: Write paragraph with Concrete, Significant Detail

  • THINK: Think of one specific incident that changed your views on education. Picture the scene.
  • REVIEW : Please review your notes (or the slideshow we talked about in class) regarding paragraph structure. You can find the slideshow on the OpenLab under Course Resources>Slideshows.
  • 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, but feel free to choose another event/incident if you’ve thought of something you’d rather write about since then.

HW for 9/8

READ AND ANNOTATE : “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing” 

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

WRITE: (250 Words)  So far in this unit, we have read (and heard) 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.

Category: Unit 1


HW for Tuesday 9/6

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

WRITE:  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


In Class Exercise 1 – 8/30

Beginning-of-Term Reflection


CORE VALUES: being creative / artistic • family •  friendships • political engagement • independence • learning and gaining knowledge • athletic ability • community • culture • music • spiritual or religious values • sense of humor

Write for at least one paragraph about one of your core values (some examples are given in the box above.) What does the importance of this value in your life say about you and your future goals? 

Write for at least one paragraph, using concrete examples, about how improving your writing and communication skills will help you achieve these goals.




Intro: Homework #2

WRITE: Make a message to your end-of-the-semester self. In this time capsule, I want you to send a message to your end-of-the semester self about your goals, your hopes for the year, and maybe some pitfalls you feel you might be up against.  Please also think about how writing will help you achieve your future goals– not just for the end of the semester, but beyond.  

One catch: it can’t be just writing– there have to be some images or sounds in there!  Whatever you think will help us get to know you and your experiences better. You can even make a video. Or record an audio file and link to it. Or draw something and upload the image. Whatever you want. Remember: we’re all about composing in the 21st century, so feel free to do what you think would be interesting for us to see/hear/learn about.


Hi! And welcome to our first day of class!

Being a student can be intimidating, confusing, and difficult.

With this in mind, for these first few days, you get to vent about school! 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 room. 
  2. READ/ WATCH: these two short “Tips” pieces
  1. WRITE: a new post: Start with one word that describes how you’re feeling about this course as we get started. No need to explain, but you can if you want to. 
  • Talk about your worries, concerns, reactions to the readings and/or to being an online student… whatever you want to. No censoring… except keep it kind of clean, please ;-).


  • Add a picture that means something to you, and explain why you chose it — why does it mean something to you?
  • Check back in and comment on your peers’ work!

Welcome, Students!

Please take some time to explore this OpenLab course site. Use the top menu bar to explore the course information, activities, and help. Scroll through the sidebar to find additional information about the materials shared here. As the course progresses, you will be adding your own work to the student work section.

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Unite 3 Assignment

Christiana Awode 

Prof stone.

Eng 1101 

December 22

     Structural racism has been affecting people of color for many years, because of this they have no opportunities with education, jobs, wealth, taxes, voting, healthcare, and housing treatment. This exists because of white supremacy, white people placing themselves on the top and putting black and other minorities at the bottom. 

No matter how many protests about racism nothing is done to help people of color Racism can be stopped, and laws can be put into place but the U.S and the government choose not to so “everyone has an opportunity”. My main focus on the audience is the congress. I’m targeting representatives, they can introduce solutions, offers, and amendments. Bowman might have some sort of power to alter or put in a law to protect people of color from structural racism. 


    Over the years, I see structural racism is real. I became interested because I’m coming to an age where I will be an adult soon. I want to succeed in life and be able to reach high class, but structural racism is taking any opportunity I have. I’m worried racism might affect me the way it’s affecting adults.  In my letter I will be targeting one specific audience. Jamaal Bowman is a United States Presentative, a democratic, he served in the house from 2011 till now. My letter would consist of a congress of the united states title up top, below the date, the name of the representative I am trying to target. Under the state, the district, and party, and time he served. I will be explaining to Jamaal Bowman how racism is affecting people of color, and their communities. I’ll be trying to convince him to make changes since he is still serving in the house. I will be incorporating some people of color we lost because of racism, and white privilege. This letter would be a short, personal, and  direct speech to Jamaal. 

     Jamaal might have been convinced, bringing my personal thoughts and how it would affect not only me but the kids in this generation might have opened his eyes a little bit. Maybe instead of targeting one audience from the congress I should have targeted a group, they may all read my letter, have a meeting about it and at least talk about that being the first step. This was kind of easy in a way it’s a real thing happening everywhere in society. Having this as a college project was a good thing, I wanted to get the people in charge of making these laws to at least notice how it’s affecting people of color. All the protests have not been working so maybe expressing how it will affect kids might give them a little sympathy.