Monday, April 30, 2007


Cause and Effect Essay Questions

This essay is due be tomorrow at midnight. Refer to Chapter 7 in WWT for examples of the writing strategy. You evidence is from the text. Homework is to read up to Chapter 19, page 146.

Oh, the cyber-essay is due that Monday, May 7.

Don't forget to email your final drafts of the research essay to yourself along with all the attachments: Initial Planning Sheet, introduction and conclusion paragraphs, bibliography and works cited pages and any other pre-writing activities you want considered, like peer reviews.

Choose 1 question and respond in a 250 word essay. Post in the comment section. Include your email address so I can send you the grade.

1. Why is the monster in pain and who is responsible?

2. Why doesn't Mary Shelley name the monster and how does this anonymity effect his character's development in the story?

3. What is the result of Dr. Frankenstein not taking responsibility for for his creation?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Monday, April 30, we will discuss the chapter 7 in WWT on Cause and Effect, and look at a video on revision strategies. We will write a C/E essay in class using themes from Frankenstein developed in class. We are up to page 124.

For those interested in a very well-researched and presented article on Don Imus, read

We will analyze it in class Wednesday during the first hour. Ishmael Reed, noted author and Bay Area resident scholar, (he's a retired UC Berkeley English professor), provides a thorough analysis of Imus' recent comments as a symptom of a problem this country has yet to face: the bigotry and racism within American media reflects the bigotry and racism within American society.

It is a long article with a lot of references you probably are unfamiliar with. Look at it in advance, even if you choose not to read it.

Re: Day without Immigrants, Tuesday, May 1. If you decide to attend the protest march and write about it, you can have extra credit.

Other announcements:
I added a response by noted hip hop scholar Davey D to the 60 Minutes broadcast last Sunday on the Stop Snitching phenomenon. It is posted in the comment section. I also put a link to a discussion on Stop Snitchin' on Hard Knock Radio KPFA 94.1 FM that aired this week. The link is just below the CBS link on the 4/23 post.

Wednesday, May 2 is "An Evening with Spike Lee," recipient of the Film society's Directing Award, conversation at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro street, (near Market) in San Francisco. BART and the street car (also located in the BART stations) is an easy way to get there. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $25, $20 for Festival members. Visit or call (925) 866-9559 for tickets and information.

Also on Wednesday, May 2, at the Commonwealth Club of Northern California is Granta's Best: Best of Young American Novelists 2: Judy Budnitz, Anthony Doerr, Yiyun Li, Maile Meloy, ZZ Packer, and Paul Yamazaki, 5:30 reception followed by the program from 6-7. There is a book signing afterwards. The club is at 595 Market Street (at Second), in San Francisco. The cost is $12 for members, $18 for non-members. For reservations call (415) 597-6705.

Other assignments
I will go over the portfolio guidelines with you next week also and give you the questions by Monday, May 7, so you will have adequate time to prepare. The final in this class is a presentation of your paper to your peers and the portfolio. You do not read your paper to us. The presentation is given on the day of the final. Check your syllabus for the date or the schedule of classes, Spring 2007.

Monday, April 23, 2007


April 23

In English 201 10-12 students read each other's papers and shared feedback on the drafts. Both Erick and Sarah are nearly finished with their research essays. We talked about the Virginia Tech incident and used "school shootings" as a topic for exploring topical invention questioning techniques to develop thesis sentences that answer the question: What caused it? Did it cause? Will it cause?

We then read two essays: Falling into Space and Why We Crave Horror Movies. For each essay, we looked at the thesis, the argument and the evidence which supported it.

In the afternoon class we met in the lab and after talking about the Social Entrepreneur assignment, went into the lab and watched the "60 Minutes" program on the ghetto code: "Stop Snitching." Students responded to the program at the CBS program blog and then copied it here. If you are interested in viewing the program visit

Listen to the debate at
(Interview starts 7:25 minutes into stream)

Homework is to finish your research essay and read the essays: "The Best Years of My Life" (210) and if you like "Think Like a Mountain" (217).

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Cyber Essay 4

In consideration of the shooting at Virginia Tech, should the federal government pass more stringent handgun laws? Respond in 250 word minimum essay by Monday, May 7, midnight. Please include your name and e-mail address.

The form should be the 3-part essay where you consider the thesis or pro-argument, the antithesis or con-argument and the synthesis or conclusion, the argument where the two sides meet. This argument should be 4 paragraphs.

Include your name, works cited (2-3 sources) and an e-mail address.


Homework due Monday, April 23

Yesterday we watched the Muhammad Yunus video from the New Heroes Series. I passed out two articles, one's an interview about Yunus. The article is a good model of hos to write a profile about your entrepreneur. I told students that the problem/solution organizing pattern is a good way to proceed. The assignment sheet lists the questions I'd like answered in the essay.

If you choose an entrepreneur you had the additional task of convincing me that there were no social entrepreneurs which interested you that's why you chose lets say, Bill Gates as opposed to someone here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some students have compelling reasons, others are just for want of a better word, lazy. These essays which are not fulfilling the assignment are already at a disadvantage and will be scrutinized more closely. If you read the assignment. I had a reason for phasing the assignment the way I did. The purpose is missed entirely if you do not follow it to the letter.

In WWT read pp. 193-197, and 198-205. Answer all questions. We reviewed topical invention and answered questions in the 1-3 p.m. class about Muhammad Yunus: What was the problem? What was his solution? Assess its success.

The final draft is due Wednesday, May 2. You will e-mail them to me by 10 a.m. or
1 p.m. (It depends on what time your section meets.) Bring the drafts in so I can see them that day and check them off. Late papers will be marked down an entire grade. A late paper is one submitted after 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Between drafts 2-3 go to the Writing Center (L-234) and have a graduate student tutor or teacher review your essay. There are no exceptions. Show them the assignment and prepare a list of 3-5 questions for them to respond to.

Here are some suggestions:
1.Is my thesis strong and well-developed?

2 Do I clearly state the problem?

3.Are you clear on what spurred my subject to start the project, who the target population is and what the measurable or tangible results were?

4.Is my evidence sufficient and clear?

5.Are there any areas of my essay where the grammatical error interfere with the meaning?

Monday, April 16, 2007


Research Essay

Today in class students shared their Initial Planning Sheets (old homework) and their introductions and conclusions. I suggest everyone develop a schedule for their research essays with due dates. See Hacker page 370 for a sample. Bring your schedule in completed on Wednesday, April 18.

In WWT we read 12 Steps to Quit Smoking and discussed at length the use of irony in an essay, also hyperbole as a effective strategy depending on the topic, the purpose and the audience. Homework is to read the the Garrison Keillor essay, pp. 143-146. This includes the questions and the section: What about Your Writing. Answer all the questions.

Students were encouraged to use the research guide and go to the college library and get assistance from the librarian to make certain they we on task. The assignment is posted on the website, make certain you print out a copy for yourself, there as due dates you need to note on your schedule.

In Frankenstein we looked at nature vs. nurture and how much of his actions reflect the personality of Dr. Frankenstein. We used the text to list the doctor's characteristics and then put stars next to those shared by his child, the monster.

Erick offered an insightful comment on the reason why he'd make his creature so frightful. He said: "Dr. Frankenstein was incapable of creating something of beauty because he was monstrous or ugly inside. He had an ugly spirit."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Example Essay

For your Example Essay use this controversy as the topic: Did Imus go too far in exercising his right to freedom of speech? Watch the press conference for the Rutgers Women's Basketball team. It was conducted yesterday and you can watch it here. There are two parts. If you need to see Imus' comments, there is a link to it once you get to the press conference. The essay is due today by midnight. Be certain to check it for grammatical correctness and include your email address so I can send you your grade. The essay should be 250 words long. Post here.

Watch this recent interview with Imus and Rev. Al Sharpton. The two men do not agree:

I found some really interesting responses to Imus' comments and what should happen to him. Rev. Sharpton said the girls could forgive him, but forgiveness doesn't mean there are no consequences. Rev. Sharpton's analogy to his being stabbed by someone when he was protesting for civil rights, did not mean he didn't expect the man to do prison time was a great example of one accepting the consequences for one's actions, good or bad. If Imus didn't want to eventually lose his job he shouldn't have made these type of comments about black women not once, twice, but at least four times, according to the Leheur News Hour interview with journalist Clarence Page on Monday, April 9.

The question I want you to answer is: What is the temperature of the nation around comments like the newscasters. Should he resign or get fired? Why or why not?

By the way, this week is the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's integration of the baseball league.

Other homework
Continue working on your social entrepreneur essay. Visit the (Frontline) site for video clips of other social entrepreneurs profiled.

Read up to Chapter 17 in Frankenstein.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Welcome Back

This Easter Monday in class we had a lively discussion in the early class about Frankenstein. The classroom was cold so we met in L-235 and shared passages from the novel that showed the creature as a sympathetic character. Homework is to show Dr. Frankenstein as culpable for the wayward actions of his creation. Cited were the sections on pages: 86-87, 98-103. In the latter we looked at how the story of Felix's family was similar to that of Frankenstein and his creature--the characteristic one would associate with a human being those associated more with the creature than Dr. Frankenstein who like the Turk was more monster-like.

Turk, Frankenstein, monster characteristics: ingratitude, duplicity, deceit, harshness, gluttony, mean, selfish, envy, cruel, conniving, backstabbing

Human kindness as expressed by Felix, Safie, and the creature toward his adopted family: compassion, kindness, generosity, selflessness, thoughtfulness, observant, attached, emotional, joyful, loving

In WWT we discussed Couple Lies and Darkness at Noon, discussed the questions then read How to Speak of Animals (115). Students had trouble stating the thesis. I shared mine.

Homework is to answer the questions on the Eco essay and read Fruitful Questions (112) and answer all the questions. For What I've Learning from Men (118) look up the vocabulary and be prepared to read the essay in class Wednesday.

In Frankenstein read up to Chapter 16 (124). Don't forget, for each chapter you should have a log which should include any words you don't understand or concepts you need to clarify.

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