Wrapping Up the Semester


Can you believe it?? This coming week is the final week of class! Below is everything you need to know about what needs to happen between now and the last day of the semester.

Office Hours
If you need to see me for anything, my last days of office hours until the start of the Spring 2015 semester are Tu 12/16 (11:15am-12:15pm + by appointment) and W 12/17 (2-3pm + by appointment).


Final Draft of Research Essay
Your final draft (with 1-2 page Reflective Cover Letter, on entire Research Project Process) is due at the start of class on Tuesday, 12/16. I look forward to seeing how the research projects turned out! For more details about the assignment, please visit the Research Project page (scroll to the very bottom, Part 3, for information about the Research Essay, & Part 4, for the Reflective Cover Letter).

*As discussed in class, in addition to the individualized written feedback I provided on your first drafts, I also wrote up some helpful notes for revision that apply to everyone. You can read/download/print them here. Happy revising!


End-of-the-Semester Party
On Tuesday (12/16), we will be reviewing for the final exam, but also celebrating the end of the semester. I encourage you to bring in snacks to share with the class and we can enjoy refreshments during the review (I will bring in some goodies as well). Please leave a “reply” to this post letting us know what you will bring, so we have a good mix of refreshment (things like cups, paper plates, and napkins are also important items to bring). Looking forward to your presentations next week :)

Final Exam
As you know, your final exam will consist of actively reading a short article at home, writing a summary paragraph of that article (optional) at home, and then crafting an essay in response during class. The actual final exam (writing a response essay to the article) will take place in class on Thursday, 12/18.

I encourage you, if you have not done so already, to review the “Strategies for Summarizing” post I made earlier this semester on on course site and the Final Exam Review post I made recently.

Remember, for the response essay, while you should use your own experience (and the first person), you have to place that personal experience in dialogue with the text/article you are given (you must show connections between the article’s points–use details/quotes from the article–and your experiences/evidence).

All of the skills you practiced this semester (creating an Introduction, developing a thesis statement, paragraph development, creating strong topic sentences, critical reading, analysis, incorporating/citing sources, providing claims/evidence) apply here, so as long as you review those strategies, take the practice final exams I provide, and pay attention/take notes during our in-class final exam reviews, you should be all set for the exam.

*You may bring a dictionary (an actual, printed dictionary) to class to use on the day of the exam (but you will not be allowed to use your phone, tablet, or computer in class to look up words).

The final exam is worth 10% of your overall course grade, and you must pass it to pass the course.

Please remember to arrive to class on time both days this week, as we will begin the exam promptly at the start of class on Thursday (and the final exam review promptly at the start of class on Tuesday) and will end exactly at the end of class. If you arrive late, you will not be given extra time to complete the exam.

Final Course Reflections
Your Individual Final Course Reflection is due in class on Th 12/18 (this is a mandatory–not optional–assignment). Please visit the Final Course Reflection page on our site for more details on this assignment.

Final Course Grades

The deadline for professors to submit final course grades for the Fall 2014 semester is M 12/29 (though I plan to submit that much sooner than that). Please wait to view your course grade online through CUNYfirst (I will not be giving out final course grades via e-mail). Once you see your final grade posted online, you should feel free to e-mail me for your final exam grade (you will have all of your other grades already).

Final grades are non-negotiable, though I am always more than happy to discuss them/your work with you at any point in person. If you would like to discuss any of your grades/receive additional feedback on the final assignments/exams, you should e-mail me to schedule an appointment to discuss your work when we return to campus at the end of January when the new semester starts up.

Thank you, & stay in touch!
Finally, it was a pleasure to work with you all this semester. I wish you the best of luck wrapping up the semester and on your final exams, and in your future endeavors at City Tech and beyond. You all worked incredibly hard this semester, and I really appreciate your consistent effort and good cheer day in and day out (especially for a 10am class all the way up on the 10th floor!). I hope you enjoyed yourselves and learned a lot about happiness/well-being, the writing process, reflection, collaboration/peer review, critical thinking, reading, and writing. Have a wonderful winter break, & don’t hesitate to be in touch in future semesters to discuss your work in this course/beyond, and/or to just say hi  :)

Final Exam Review

Hi everyone:

I hope that your Research Essay revisions are going well. Now it’s time to start thinking about the final exam (which, as we discussed, will take place in class on Th 12/18). As promised, here are some sample final exams for you to take to practice:There are three sample exams, and you should take all of them before midnight on Monday (12/15):

Sample Exam 1
Sample Exam 2
Sample Exam 3

1. Print out the article and the instructions.

2. Actively read the article, annotating it, reverse outlining it, and taking notes (you may use a dictionary to look up words you don’t know). Take as long as you need for this part of the exam (doesn’t have to be done in one sitting).3 (optional, but strongly encouraged!) Complete Part I (the summary) for the article. You may take as long as you need for this part. You will not have to write a summary for the actual final exam (you only will be handing in an essay), but this is good practice in reading comprehension/understanding the article.

4. When you feel comfortable with the reading, sit down to work on Part II, the essay. This essay must be handwritten, done without any help from others (or from aids, like a dictionary or your phone), and in one 75 minute session. Make sure you go to a quiet place where you won’t have any interruptions, set a timer on your phone, and get to work. It must be written in one continuous session. Once the time is up, don’t make any further changes/revisions, even if you didn’t finish.

5. Practice Exams HW due by 5pm, Monday, 12/15. To submit your work, either:
  • Drop off your handwritten essays/marked up articles/summaries in my mailbox in N512 (open 9am-1pm & 2-5pm, M-F), and I will scan them myself, OR
  • Scan them in using a phone (there are many free scanning apps such as CamScanner and GeniusScan) or scanner and e-mail them to me, clearly labeled (three separate files, one for each practice exam).

I need to have your work, so that we can project it in class together to discuss it and brainstorm successful strategies for the exam.

Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me or come see me with any questions. And if you would like additional individualized feedback on your practice final exams (beyond our in-class writing workshops on them), please e-mail me schedule an appointment to see me during my office hours on Tuesday, 12/16. Good luck!

Professor Belli

Class notes 12/09/14

Professor Belli started the class with some reminders:
→ Submit Cover letters for First Draft of Research Essay. This will be useful for Professor Belli to know what she can help you with.
→ No Final Drafts will be accepted without Works Cited or Cover letter (1-2 pages)
→ FINAL Draft of Research Essay will be December 16th at 10:00 am. LATE WORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Followed by these reminders, Professor Belli asked us to re-read our first draft of the research essay and do some free writing. We had to write about what are the major issues do we have in our essays, what are the next steps that we need to take to finish it and what is it that is blocking us from completing this task.

Some suggestions from Professor Belli for us to fix in our essays:
Transitions/topic sentence
Incorporation of research
Signal/introduce quotes.

After the suggestions above, Professor Belli made us rip out three pieces of paper and write in each one of them one thing that is being an issue in our essay, a next step we will take to fix our essay and something that is blocking us from completing the essay. After that, three people collected the pieces of paper, went in front of the class and read out loud each paper meanwhile Professor Belli wrote on the board what each of the small papers said. The results:

Writing the essay
Orden of ideas
Topic sentences
English Class
Incorporating sources
Write research
Works cited

Next Steps:
More Research
Finish topic/send for feedback
re-read/ proofread
Add more
Finish revision
Writing it
Incorporating feedback
Topic sentences

Time management
Negative thoughts
Fear of failure
Personal life
Lack of time
Feeling stuffed
Lack of concentration
Professor Belli

Some TIPS of how to make your research essay be successful:
Integration: integrate your sources effectively and ethically.
Synthesis: bring the essay together, connecting with each other the facts that you find and your argument.
Analysis: break down the information you provide for your readers.

Introducing quotes:
Make sure you don’t just throw in quotes without introducing them, citing them or analyzing them appropriately. Also, REMEMBER to contextualize your sources, meaning that you need to include in your paragraphs what is it that makes credible the person who you acquired the information from.

*When you paraphrase make sure that you also give credit to the source you got the information from.

Look at Signal Phrases (Links are in the schedule)
Signal phrases are to introduce your source.
Indicate where source material comes from.
Shapes your reader’s response to a source through appropriate word choice.

Good luck to everyone finishing their essay!

This Week: Library End-of-Term Drop-in Workshops

Hi everyone:

I know a lot of you are still doing more research for your final essays, so I just wanted to let you know about this opportunity for additional workshops in the City Tech library this week. Of course, you can always go to the library and discuss your individual research project with a reference librarian at the reference desk.

Good luck researching/revising!

Professor Belli

Students who are looking for research help with that final paper or assignment of the semester can be directed to the Ursula C. Schwerin Library on these dates for our special drop-in workshops. All sessions are in room A441. No rsvp required.

Monday  December 8            12:30pm – 2:30pm     

Tuesday December 9             4:00pm – 6:00pm       

Wednesday December 10      12:30pm – 2:30pm

Thursday December 11          4:00pm – 6:00pm

Friday December 12              12:30pm – 2:30pm

Class notes 12/4/14


First Draft

– Essays we’ll be returned with comments on Tuesday

– Work without a work cited page will not be graded
Background Paragraph

– Most research intensive
– Broad overview of the topic
– Most in text citations
– You should be gathering your ideas and facts
– State what is relevant to you

*Narrow down and make your topic clear

****The back ground paragraph is not about the topic it’s focused on the argument

The sources you use in your final draft are not limited to the ones submitted on the annotated bibliography

When writing your essay look back at the introduction and background paragraph of your first draft and gather ideas from both to make a better final background paragraph.

It is important to review your work and maybe do some more peer reviewing over the next week.

December 2: Class notes

• Final Draft of research proposal and annotated bibliographies due in portfolio

• First Draft of research essay due

Speaking on the remainder of the semester: a lot of the work is bulked up and left for the ending of the course so that we have the opportunity to produce better work because of the progress we’ve made. There are also a lot of chances to bring up your grade. If feeling stressed/overwhelmed see Professor Belli.

• What’s left of our semester

– 12/4: Peer review comments (might get comments from prof. Belli)

– 12/9: Writing workshop (all comments from prof. Belli will be recieved)

-12/11: Writing workshop

-12/16: Final draft of research essay. Party. Review on finals & practice for the final exam.

Final 10%   Essay 20%   Proposal/Annotations 10%

You can use the rest of this time to go to prof. Belli during her office hours and check on updated work or visit learning center.

If you don’t turn in a first draft to the research essay, you will not be able to receive feedback from Prof. Belli nor your peers. You can still come in to ask about the project but no direct feedback.

• Getting into peer review groups

Group 1

Lily, Dominique and Indira

Group 2

Marie, Jocelyn and Tinika

Group 3

Kelsey, Jack and Arlene

Group 4

Mirna, Carina, Greys and Jacob

Group 5

Tanaye, Lucy, Dulce and Natasha

• Discussion on peer review

Peer review is very important. If you don’t do it completely and thoughtfully you will get a grade lower. If you come come late or don’t show up at all, you also get a grade lower. 

* Do not skip final comment! Most important part where you share what your thoughts were. Also make sure to have a works cited page.

Final grades are non-negotiable.

IF you truly believe there is an error, then email the professor.

Final exams are not returned, the school keeps them.

Final drafts are returned to you on thursday 12/18 with a letter grade, if you want to discuss the grade and how you got it, see professor Belli.

At the end of the course we will be writing a reflection of the course.

Prof. Belli: What were somethings you struggled with during this essay?

Class: Focused/narrowed down, defining terms, research, 3rd person, not all facts and citations.

Your research should continue even though the annotated bibliographies have been turned in.

* Experiences aren’t supposed to be incorporated but if you really wish to include one, speak to the professor.

Color coding: everything that sounds the same is highlighted so that they can be grouped together.

Often peoples ideas are jumbled together, so if it is color coded it can help the person put the same ideas together and regroup them. (could also do this on your own papers while doing peer review) Think about how to expand your own papers and ideas.

11/25/14 Class notes

Peer review of research essay pre-drafts

  1. Introduction: key terms, focus/ limit topic, arguement
  2. Background info: relevant? complete?
  3. Body paragraphs: topic sentences/claims; incorporation of sources/ transitions
  4. in text citations/ works cited
  • bring ideas from articles to incorporate into paragraphs
  • final draft of proposal should be precise with essay intro
  • background info: info readers need to understand essay
  • background info should really be focused in last draft
  • research should help to be well rounded expertise

vocabulary                                                                                                                       orient- sense of whats going on

  • orient reader to topic
  • cant assume readers understand topic
  • decide what info is absolutely important

intro- introduction to entire essay and topic

Everyone try to make second paragraph of first full draft to be background

  • set stage
  • give readers info to understand topic
  • clarification of key terms

introduce and signal quotes (analyze or support claim) no comma between name and date. Introduce and define topic. last sentence is thesis statement.

repetition in body paragraphs

  • make sure main idea isn’t the same in each paragraph
  • your argument is the way you connect
  • analyze sources


  • work cited pg
  • in text citations

Happily Ever After?

            Love, that four letter word that seems to be the hardest thing to achieve but at the same time the answer to all our problems. Everyone wants love, that special someone to ride off into the sunset with or to save them from the evil dragon and be the hero. People are getting these ideas of a certain kind of love from how it is presented in movies such as Disney movies like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella etc… The views of love shown in these movies can give someone unrealistic expectations about love and relationships. They may see Sleeping Beauty getting awakened from her nap with a kiss from a handsome prince and want that too. It could be anything that attracts that person. After one has watched and has decided that’s the love they want, they may wait forever for their prince charming. What if prince charming never comes in the way they want? Or if their Prince Charming ever comes at all? The love that is wanted may not be the love one gets. Love has its pros and cons but it does not come easy. Movies are ruining the way people view love, the kind of love they want and how they want it.

For starters in these Disney films they show ways of love that are very unrealistic. In almost every fairytale the women is doing everything she can to land her Prince Charming. That is the female’s main focus throughout the film. These films are telling us that in order for a woman to be happy she must find her prince. This can lead to a woman believing the only way to achieve true happiness is by having a man in her life. In the article, “How Disney ruined me for the real world” by Saba Khalid explains a number of ways in which Disney movies ruined her for the real world. One of those ways is, “The only reason Disney princesses breathe, eat, swim, sing, grow their hair, wear ridiculous clothing and shoes, is so that they will one day find themselves a good-looking prince. And once they do, all their problems in life are solved. That means if you don’t find a prince, or if yours happens to be on the ugly or on the less charming side, you’ll still be struggling all your life” (Khalid, 1) This is very true and is a terrible message to tell people. If a woman doesn’t find her prince she’s basically doomed.

These Disney films were not originally made out to be this way in the first place. The original stories are very different from the fairytales we know today. The stories that are based on the ones we know now were actually intended to warn children about the tough road ahead. These movies are based on those stories but were completely changed and made them into these happy fairytales that we know today. These movies that we have today display an unrealistic view of love. In the article by “How Walt Disney Ruined Our Love Lives” by Robert Epstein explains the unrealistic expectations these films give us about love and what these movies are actually based on that are completely different than the ones we know today. “Disney, you see, contributed to the failure of many marriages around the world. He did this by glamorizing and magnifying fairy tales that cause us — women, especially — to have unrealistic expectations about how successful romantic relationships are made and maintained” (Epstein, 1) This statement explains how these fairytales have given people an unrealistic view on love and how it works.

The after story of these fairytales never seem to be shown. We know it says they live happily ever after but is that it? What happens after that happily ever after? No one really know because no one is willing to tell it because it would ruin the idea of the story ending happily ever after. Also how the women are usually the ones taking all the risks in order to get Prince Charming while the male just sits around being rich, handsome and charming.

Work Citied/Annonated Bibliography

Khalid, Saba. “How Disney ruined me for the real world”. The Express Tribune with the International New York Times. 2 October 2012.


Various ways of what Disney films have taught us and how unrealistic it is. Some ways include the women must find a prince in order to be happy and have a fulfilling life and how old women and all things ugly are seen as bad or evil. I manly focused on how unrealistic the lessons learned from this article is. How can one follow these lessons learned from Disney despite how unrealistic they are.


Epstein, Robert. “How Walt Disney Ruined Our Lives”. Brandeis Magazine. Summer 2014.


The fairytales we know today are based on other stories that were taken and remade into something completely different. The true fairytales are no fairtytales at all they were actually intended to help girl through the tough road that lies ahead. Disney had other ideas when these stories were taken and turned into something else.


Kim, Jen. “What happens after happily ever after? Psychology Today. 22 February 2010.

No one really ever wonders what happens after they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. This article shows images and share stories of what a photographer did as to what happened after their happily ever afters. Also shows how all the men in the movies have the same goal to be handsome, rich and charming while the females have way more going on.

research essay pre-draft

Kelsey Melendez
English 1101

Children all over the United States are forced into foster care. Without no say in the matter.
Forced to live in a house with other people whom they don’t know at all. Around adults and children
who they have no connection to. No longer having their mother and father, rather complete strangers
who would be paid by the government to take care of them. Children in foster care are subjected to
abuse. Whether it is mental, physical, or verbal abuse. A child’s life can be changed traumatically by
these events happening. Since abuse has such an impact on the lives of foster children, then it will also
have an effect on the happiness of those in foster care. A child’s well-being can be affected negatively
depending on whether they have been abused or not.

Abuse put on a young child, it doesn’t matter if they are in foster care or not. This has a huge
effect on the well-being of a child. Children are who they are based on the environment they were
exposed to. Environment has everything to do with a child’s well-being. A child should not be exposed to
negative environments where they are exposed to abuse by those who are supposed to take care of
them. But instead hurt them. A child’s environment being unstable it negative. Foster care is puts
children in positions where the people they are put to live with have a choice whether or not they want
to stay with them or have them put in a other home. A child being passed around from one house to
another makes then very unstable as a person. Environments that the children are placed in have effect
of the child’s life in general. They can have trust issues with other people, because they have never had
a stable environment. Most children in foster care are put in homes that are unstable, but it also said
that even though a child is in foster care if they are in a stable environment the child will benefit from it,
since they are in a stable environment.
Children in Children in foster care are found to have mental issues. Although these mental issues can be
solved or kept from increasing worst. Those who are in foster care and also have mental health issues
will have an increase in these issues. This is because while in foster care they are being neglected by not
being given medicine nor being given the treatment they may need. So instead of them getting better
they will get worst. This may not be considered a type of abuse it is because a child is being neglected
and the child is being putting at risk. Children in foster care are put with people who have not been
evaluated or even given background checks to make sure that they don’t have any pass issues or any
mental health issues. This is being neglectful towards those children in foster care because they are not
being given the max amount of care that they should be given.

Children in foster care that have been subjected to abuse have had changed in their life. For
example their behavior. The child may act different towards interaction with other because they are
scared of what that other person may do to them due to pass abuse. School can be affected by a child
being abused. They will figure why care about school? They will tend to act out and may have anger
management issues. Abuse at a young age can also cause the child to go through so many emotions
including depression. Which at a young age a child should not be going through. Feelings of anxiety and
stress are things that child shouldn’t be forced to feel. They shouldn’t be exposed to these things at such
a young age. Making their lives a mess before they have really started. Which can make it harder to
happy and at piece at a later time in their life due to the traumatic events that they were put though at
young ages.

Father Figure Wanted: the effect of absence of a father in a woman’s love relationships.

Growing up without a parent can negatively affect a child’s ability to achieve happiness in their lives. There are many reasons for parents not to be present in a child’s growth, whether its due to death, an illness, divorce, or lack of time due to their jobs. All of these reasons have their own effects on children. The effects occur in the children’s personality, which could often be negative such as having: low self-esteem, lack of ability to socialize, inability to maintain relationships and so on. When the children’s personality is affected negatively, their ability to achieve happiness diminishes. This is the case with women who grew up with the emotional absence of their father. Research shows that women are specifically damaged in their ability to have healthy love relationships due to the absence of their father at some point in their life. Women are likely to have unhealthy love relationships due to insecurity: caused by the emotional absence of a father throughout childhood.

The benefits that a woman misses by the emotional absence of a father in her childhood are management of emotions, encouragement of risk taking, competition and more. According to the article “Growing Up Without A Father: The Impact On Girls and Women.” By Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya. Fathers are essential for girls in their child development because they provide with a different type of nurturing. They focus more on teamwork and competitiveness. This different type of focus has an effect on the girl’s ability to manage emotions, intelligence and academic achievement. Fathers also are essential to provide with a sense of what self-control and teaches it to girls. Therefore if a girl does not receive this during her childhood development, when she grows older she will have difficulties with her personality by being insecure, having low self- esteem and being unable to recognize her self-worth.

Girls need to be taught by their father about men so when they grow up to women, they would be able to acquire healthy relationships. A blog that was posted in website “Love-Life Learning Center” created by Dr. Tom Jordan and his wife whose professions are in the field of psychology: states that fathers need to nurture their daughters in order for them to have a secure sense of themselves as individuals and as desirable women. However, if fathers do not provide with this type of nurturing then the daughters will have grief and will search for the missing father’s love somewhere else. A father also has the responsibility of advising their daughters about how men are, what they value, how they get to respect women and so on. This is how a daughter would have information in order to be able to look for their ideal man in the future. Although, if daughters cannot acquire this information and nurturing from their fathers due to their absence then they will fail to cultivate healthy relationships leading them to develop negative characteristics.

Not receiving the adequate nurturing and information of a father will lead a daughter to grow into an insecure woman. According to a paper named “ Fatherless Women: What Happens to the Adult Woman who was Raised Without her Father” By Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D. She confirms that a girl sees her self-worth reflected in a father’s behavior towards her. Therefore a woman who was raised having a positive relationship with her father will be self-confident. However, the woman who lacked of someone to assure her self-worth will have a low self-esteem. Hence, making it more difficult for the woman with low self-esteem to overcome obstacles throughout her life. Moreover, Kortosch explains three types of love relationships that adult women would have if they experienced the emotional absence of a father. The first one is called “The multi-faceted arena of relationships” this is the type of relationships where women who don’t have a sense of validation for themselves tend to look for it by having sex with men until they think they found the “right” one that makes them feel accepted. The second one is “Marrying “Daddy” which is the type of relationship where women seek for older men wanting to find the father figure they never had. If the lover recognizes that the woman is going to go through a transformation that will make her into her own older woman, from daughter to woman then their relationship will be successful. However, if the man doesn’t recognize this transformation or doesn’t want to then he will respond negatively to the woman and make her feel silly and even more less confident about herself. That would show that he just wanted to take advantage of the naïve, young woman he married to. The third type of relationships is “Avoiding engaging emotions” which is where women just avoid getting involved their emotions with men and so they decide to focus instead on their careers, taking care of others by serving them, serving to god, to their sister’s sons and daughters and so on. Also prostitutes who involve their body with men but not necessarily involving their feelings at all. Last but not least the woman who ends up having relationships with those who are married and which is convenient to her because she never really wants to commit either anyway.

Works Cited
Akinsanya, Brevada G. “Insight News.” Insight News RSS. N.p., 03 Nov. 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.

Jordan, Tom. “Absent Father & His Daughter’s Love-Life.” LoveLife Learning Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.

Kortsch, Gabriella. “Fatherless Women: What Happens to the Adult Woman Who Was Raised Without Her Father?” Trans4mind. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.