We're here to learn as much as we can about the kinds of writing we do for an academic audience. So we'll develop and practice our skills of observation, analysis, and exposition.
Though we'll attend to the conventions of research writing such as summary, paraphrase, quotation, and formatting, our main focus at all times will be the actual WRITING WE DO. Sentences, paragraphing, organizing our thoughts, search and research skills.
Dr. M. L. Stapleton
Office: LA 233 Hours: please contact me
email: email@example.com phone: 481.6841 (message)
Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Open source textbook
Yes, feel free, but please use their powers for Good only
13100 has a set of prescribed course outcomes!
12, 17, 19, 24, 26, 31 January, 2 February
Paper Roulette 24 January: bring hard copy to class
Lab: 26, 31 January, 2 February (LA 42)
Due date: Friday, 3 February, 11:59 pm on Brightspace
The purpose of the assignment is to exercise your powers of visual analysis and to translate your insights to expository written form. Your subject will be an advertisement that is provocative. Your paragraphs should be devoted to the details of the image, and your focus should be at all times on what these details are DOING and how they contribute to the overall effect of the ad.
Assume that your audience is yourself: someone who understands media but might not always grasp the significance of what she or he sees. Ultimately, what you seek is not what it's simply “selling” —we take that for granted—but what elements are significant, manipulative and exploitative.
If you keep this principle in mind, it will help you generate an arguable thesis, i.e., something debatable.
Choose something that you care about and that will allow you to discuss elements other people might not notice. It doesn't have to be an item you use or necessarily aimed at you. As you write, you might ask yourself why the thing advertised disguises its real intent, if this is the case. Is the thing important to you? Is it important to the culture at large?
Since your job is to be objective, make sure that you choose something that will not trigger your own biases. If you identify strongly with the subject, you might have trouble subjecting your ad to rigorous, disinterested analysis. Also: make sure you don't choose a parody or a PSA.
First: send me a copy of an ad you might use, plus a possible argument. Please upload as a Word .docx rather than just typing your work into the Brightspace box. This is due by Wednesday, 18 January, by 11.59 p.m. via Brightspace A failure to turn this in: one letter grade off your final paper for this assignment.
Second: the paper itself: 3-4 pp.
Attach your paper as a Word document when you send it in Brightspace. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR AD, EITHER IN AN ATTACHMENT OR INSERTED INTO THE ESSAY
Due Friday, 3 February, 11:59 pm on Brightspace
Please keep in mind that you may revise this paper as often as you like, as long as you meet with me to discuss it in person in my office after you have turned it in the first time. Revisions are due on or before the due date for the fourth essay, Wednesday, 3 May, at 11:59 pm
2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23 February
Paper Roulette 16 February: bring hard copy to class
Lab: 21, 23 February (LA 42)
Due date: Friday, 26 February, 11:59 pm via Brightspace
We’ll build on our previous assignment in which we determined the possible cultural significance of an advertisement by visual analysis. Here, we’ll sharpen our analytical powers further by examining the language of a professional writer on a controversial subject from 18 years ago, 2004.
We'll write about an article that you choose from the links below. As you’ll see, however, simply because these media are highbrow and aimed at a sophisticated readership does not mean that they’re free from ideology or political agendas.
When you choose your article, you'll need to analyze its language, tone, diction, perspective, intended audience, or anything else that would help you determine what the author's point of view might be. In addition, I'd like you to look up words you don't understand and create a section at the end of the essay in which you define each one of them.
Organize your paper by topic, devoting each paragraph to a single element.
Use significant words and phrases from your source to make your points.
Consult the Writing page on Analytical Writing and Lead-ins and Quotations.
Consult the Purdue OWL on paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing.
We'll use MLA Works Cited style. There are Purdue OWL examples for that, too.
Here's a handout for a shorter version.
The finished product itself: 4 pp.
Attach your paper as a Word document in Brightspace. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf
Due Sunday, 26 February, 11:59 pm via Brightspace
Please keep in mind that you may revise this paper as often as you like, to discuss it either in person in my office or on ZOOM after you have turned it in the first time. Revisions are due on or before the due date for the fourth essay, Wednesday, 3 May, 11:59 pm
(note: these are all from the same two publications from different issues. I've keyed each essay in its proper MLA format so that it will be easier to follow the format.)
Katz, Justin. "One Man's Marriage Trap." National Review, vol. 56, is. 25., 31 December 2004, pp. 31-33.
O'Sullivan, John. "Tearing up the Country." National Review, vol. 56, is. 2, 9 February 2004, pp. 33-35.
Frank, Nathaniel. “Perverted.” New Republic, vol. 230, is. 16, 3 May 2004, pp. 20–21.
York, Byron. "In Vietnam." National Review, vol. 56 , is. 17, 13 September 2004, pp. 41.45.
Reinhartz, Adele. “Jesus of Hollywood.” New Republic, vol. 230, is 8, 8, Mar. 2004, pp. 26–29.
Wieseltier, Leon. “The Worship of Blood.” New Republic, vol. 230, is. 8, 8 Mar. 2004, pp. 19–21.
Coffin, Shannen. "The Abortion Distortion." National Review, vol56, is. 13. 12 July 2004, pp. 22-23.
Zengerle, Jason. “False Dawn.” New Republic, vol. 231, is. 19, 8 Nov. 2004, pp. 16–18.
Zengerle, Jason. “Lost Cause.” New Republic, vol. 231, is. 5, 2 Aug. 2004, pp. 14–19.
28 February; 2, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 March
Paper Roulette 21 March: bring hard copy to class
Lab 23, 28 March (LA 42)
Due date: Friday, 31 March, by 11.59 p.m. via Brightspace.
NO CLASS 7, 9, 30 MARCH
This is a skill-set assignment that is supposed to be fun. No arguments or brilliant insights are required. All we're going to do is learn or review the basics: finding information, making it work in a paper assignment, paraphrasing and quoting, documenting information, avoiding plagiarism, and formatting Works Cited pages. And we're going to choose an old, somewhat obscure movie to do it.
Choose a feature film from Internet Archive. It does not need to be a famous monument of cinema. However, you should write your essay in a way that is either neutral or shows the film in its best light.
Your final product should consist of these elements:
1) a paragraph introducing your film.
2) a detailed and accurate plot summary.
3) an account of the main actors in the film
4) an account of the film director
5) an account of the film's reception when it was made and now. The reviews should be regular essays in publications, not user reviews on Amazon or IMDb.
6) Your review of the film. Please avoid merely affective comments and generalizations, e.g., "I liked / hated x." What about the film worked, technically or artistically?
Use at least four (4) secondary sources: book chapters, journal articles, credible online materials. Textbooks are fine. Wikipedia might be a good place to start, but don't use it as a source for your paper. Sources should include reviews as well as biographical or critical material about the actors, director, or the film itself.
When citing a feature film in MLA style:
Title, Italicized. Directed by x, performances by main actors, Studio, year.
Speed Racer. Directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, performances by Emile Hirsch,
Nicholas Elia, Susan Sarandon, Ariel Winter, and John Goodman, Warner Brothers, 2008.
Make sure you like the movie you're writing about, whatever it might be. If you don't care about it, you will not do a good job on the assignment.
Here are two good models from reputable writing programs for writing an essay on film:
Russell Sharman's Moving Pictures, a Creative Commons book
First: send me a 1-page summary of your paper topic and a model Works Cited page with four sources you might use, in proper MLA format. This is due Monday, 20 March, by 11.59 p.m. via Brightspace.
THOSE WHO FAIL TO TURN THIS SUMMARY IN WILL LOSE AN ENTIRE LETTER GRADE FROM THE FINAL VERSION OF THE PAPER.
Second: the thing itself: 4 pp.
Attach your paper as a Word document and send it in Brightspace. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf
MLA style, Works Cited page
Due Friday, 31 March, 11:59 pm via Brightspace
Please keep in mind that you may revise this paper as often as you like, as long as you meet with me in my office or on ZOOM to discuss it after you have turned it in the first time. Revisions are due on or before the due date for the fourth essay, Wednesday, 3 May, 11:59 pm via Brightspace
TIMEFRAME FOR PRESENTERS: 4 days
(T) 4 April: Doc
(R) 6 April: Evan, Chase
(T) 11 April: Charlie, Mason, Chloe
(R) 13 April: Rohil, Andrew
(T) 18 April: Bowie, Keyonna, Lilly
Due date: Wednesday, 3 May, at 11:59 via Brightspace
18 April will be our final day of class. However, please note that I'd be happy to discuss your papers with you for revision purposes between the 27th of April and the 3rd of May.
This assignment should tell us something about you that you want to share with the class. Its only parameters are that it shouldn't be too personal, because then telling us about it would be awkward. If you can write about it for 4-5 pages, put it easily into a PowerPoint (or equivalent) presentation, make yourself understood about it, and treat it with relative academic gravitas, that would be best. If your idea fails any of these four elements, I'd strongly suggest you choose another topic.
PLEASE NOTE: your paper does not need to be a finished product on your presentation day. It can be a series of notes.
YOUR PRESENTATION SHOULD BE AT LEAST 10 MINUTES LONG
hobby, passion, non-religious belief, non-cliché ethical position, art, reading, sport, relationship.
Attach your paper as a Word document when you send it in Brightspace. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf
Any source material should be MLA formatted.
10 minute presentation with at least one visual aid.
Due Wednesday, 3 May, at 11:59 via Brightspace
PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST TURN IN THE PAPER AND GIVE A PRESENTATION.
A FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN AN F FOR THE ASSIGNMENT.
You are interesting!
As a PFW student, you are entitled to free software, which you'll need. If you follow this link, you can dowload your own copy of Office 365 from IT services.
Everything in your regular papers should be double-spaced. There are no extra spaces between paragraphs, and block quotations are double-spaced. Go into your copy of Word, find the Paragraph menu, and make sure that it looks like the picture to the left.
Note: paragraphs for minor presentations can be single-spaced. Doesn't matter there.
It can be on the left or the right side
On the next line after the heading, center a title for the paper.
Begin your text on the next line after that title.
You'll compose your papers and shorter assignments in Word and email them to me, so there is nothing in hard copy. Attach your paper as a Word document to your email. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf.
You are allowed five (5) absences for any reason you choose. Students who miss more than this will fail the course, unless they provide me with a valid medical excuse that is COVID-19 related. I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences, nor am I responsible for material that you miss because you are absent. Students who miss the attendance call (the first five minutes of class) will be marked absent; students who get up and leave in the middle of class will be marked absent.
NOTE: if you signed up for the class, it is understood that you can attend it regardless of family or employment obligations. If you have emergencies, this is why you have absences allowed. Doctors's notes, team travel letters, and other personal effects do not entitle students to extra absences. If circumstances prevent you from observing the attendance policy, drop the course.
Your papers are due on the scheduled non-class dates via Brightspace at 11.59 pm.. Late papers = 0. You may revise all your papers (with the exception of the last) after meeting with the instructor in his office at our mutual convenience. Your revisions are due on the day your last project is due, 14 December by 11.59 pm,
it should go without saying that students are also expected to do their own work; indebtedness to secondary materials (either printed or electronic) must be clearly indicated so as to avoid plagiarism:
THERE IS NO NEED TO PLAGIARIZE IN HERE! NONE WHATSOEVER! AVAUNT, YE CHEATERS!
Your course grade is determined by a rough averaging together of your four paper grades, including your revisions. Each paper uses the 100 pt. scale: 90s = A, 80s = B, 70s = C, 60s = D, 50s and below = F.
PLEASE NOTE: YOUR FAILURE TO TURN IN ALL FOUR OF YOUR MAIN ASSIGNMENTS WILL RESULT IN AN F GRADE FOR THE COURSE.
Feel free to communicate with me at any time via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will usually get back to you sooner than you expect.
© Copyright M. L. Stapleton 1998-2024. All rights reserved.
good for nothing else, be wise. --Rochester