Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I am trying to leave and at 4:45 I am still here (smile). Today we touched on a lot of topics: Topical Invention, Revision Strategies, (both handouts), the Book Report Essay plan due on Monday, Be-Verb Essays, and the Be-Verb Quiz. We also reviewed the rest of the questions in the Writing with a Thesis handout up to the example of thesis sentences in driving directions. Bring this handout to class as well, along with your completed Library Research Guide. At this point students should know who their social entrepreneur is. If you need help, let me know.

Students did really well on the Be-Verb Quiz.

Many students are have not completed their books, but students seem to be further along than Monday. Even if you have a few pages or chapters left, bring in an Initial Planning Sheet and tentative outline Monday. Students should also bring in their books reviews and any support materials.

Topical Invention

We began by looking at themes in the two titles: Sula and The Kite Runner. We then as a freewrite developed sentences that responded to questions: what is it/what was it; what is it like or unlike; what caused it, did it cause, will it cause; what does an authority say about it, to develop definitions, analogies, consequences, and testimony.

Bring in your sentences developed using Topical Invention Monday and today: analogies, definitions, consequences and testimony. Use one of these sentences as your thesis and the others as topic sentences in your outline.

The Be-Verb essay should be emailed to me by Monday or sooner. Keep working through Pidd. The next three essays will be written in class. Two are exams, the last essay, Subject-Verb, we will just write here to ease the pressure on you (smile). So just prepare the templates, type and email to yourself.

Next week we will start Possessives.

Revision Narratives

For the revisions to the Half the Sky essays, you have one week to return the revised essay. Also, please include with the essay a narrative explaining what changed between the drafts, what you did to merit my reading it again.

If a student makes more than three errors, depending on what they are, the writer might have to write a correction essay.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scroll down for Mimi Silbert Cyber-Assignment


Frontline World: Engaged Citizenry Cyber-Assignment

Frontline World Cyber-Assignment Post(s)

Respond to 3 stories from Wednesday, March 23 to April 18. Bring in headphones for the computer. Post your Frontline World Responses (3) on the blog.

Answer the following questions in your response to the program.


1.Who is the social entrepreneur profiled?
2.What problem did the person profiled identify?
3.What is the name of the organization they started?
4.Describe their relationship to the community that they serve?
5 Why did the person decide to address this issue?
6.What is the local component?
7.How does the community own the process?


Social Entrepreneur Essay Assignment

Assignment: Social Entrepreneurs: Engaged Citizenry

Open with the problem statement. Be descriptive.

The thesis sentence names your social entrepreneur as a person who is addressing the problem identified in the introduction.

Define "social," "entrepreneur," and "philanthropy." This should be a part of your introduction. A philanthropist gives money to worthy causes. A entrepreneur is a business person. A social entrepreneur is a business person whose business creates social good and economic development in a community where poverty was a barrier to its financial growth. Use the library handout to flush out the difference between the two and to assist you in your research process tomorrow.

Body paragraphs
Background on the social entrepreneur and what brings them to the work. You can cite statistics here to illustrate the problem

Introduce the organization or business venture. Does the work grow out of the community? How do the SE and the community interact?

Are there any partnerships with other organizations and/or government?

Are there any peer reviews or industry reports?

What are the measurable results for the community? Share a story here.

What are the measurable results for the SE. You could quote the SE here.

Your essay needs to answer all of these questions; you can structure it like a typical problem/solution essay or cause and effect.

The person has to be a woman. Try to find someone local, who is living in the San Francisco Bay Area or in California. The person has to have been doing this work for 5-10 years (the length of time is negotiable; see me).

You need to locate 5 sources on your subject to form a bibliography; you only have to cite three (3). The sources can be published or broadcast interviews, books, articles, and films. You can also interview the subject yourself. The person cannot be a relative. You can work in groups and share data. In fact, I encourage it.

You will have three citations: 1 in-text citation, one paraphrase, and one block quote in the essay. The rest of the writing has to be your own. The essay should be 4 pages (English 1A); 3 pages English 201. This does not include the works cited page or bibliography.

English 201 Social Entrepreneur Due Dates:

Essay: Planning Sheet, Outline, Thesis due Monday, April 25 __________
First Draft Wednesday, April 27 (peer reviews)__________
Second Peer Review, Monday, May 2 __________
Final Draft due via email, May 4, (during class time: appointments with professor to check off essay______________

Presentations: May 9

Supplementary Assignments

On-line Frontline World (on-line responses 3) Start Wednesday, March 23-finish by April 18 _______

Library Research sheet: Monday, March 21-Monday, March 28_______________
Website Evaluation completed (worksheet) April 13 (in-class) _____________
List of sources (5) minimum in MLA format due Monday, April 25 (share in class)


Book Report Assignment

Published Book Review Cyber-Assignment

Bring in a published book review for your book Wednesday, March 23, to share with your group. The cyber-assignment will be to post a summary here, after class. If anyone wants to post the assignment early, this is fine as well. If the review or interview with an author is on NPR, they transcribe their broadcast interviews.


Book Report Essay Assignment

The theme is friendship. How does each story define and defend the notion of friendship: its responsibilities and its benefits.

Usually I let students chose their own books, this time I gave students a choice between three titles: The Pact, The Kite Runner, and Sula.

For each essay, students need to find two articles from one of the three: a published book review or analysis, and for the author, see if there is something on the author in Literary Criticism, (on-line in the Library Database and in COA library (public libraries as well) or third, an article that addresses one of the themes in the book. Include both sources in your works cited page, which means the writer has to cite the text in a direct quote or paraphrase.

The essay will be 3-4 pages and in it you will summarize your book’s major themes and analyze them. If the book is an autobiography or a memoir tell us how the author came to write it and if this is his or her first book.


The presentation is weighted heavily here, so prepare well, and please include an abstract which includes the title of the book, the key points you plan to make and any arguments you’d like us to consider. Bring in copies for each student. If you would like the college to make copies, give me a copy of the abstract Monday, April 4, 2011. We will meet in A-205 on Monday, April 4. Make sure your essay and all support documents (planning) are digitized.

Book Report

Planning Sheet, Outline, Thesis April 4___________
First Draft April 6___________
Final Draft due April 11 via email____________
Presentations: Wednesday, April 6 & Monday, April 11___________

The presentation is a quarter of the grade for this assignment


Essay 3 Social Entrepreneur Cyber-Assignment

Today we reviewed Point of View from SPHE Essay 3. Two students came to class with completed exercises. They completed POV Grammar Quiz, everyone else will have an opportunity to complete the quiz on Wednesday.

We also reviewed the Pidd essay. Homework is to complete the essay for Wednesday. Bring it in.

We then watched one of the programs from The New Heroes. See

Mimi Silbert, Delancy Street, is the program we watched. Afterward we examined what we knew about her and the organization in relationship to what we defined as social entrepreneur per Robert Redford, program series host. At the series website there is a brief description of the program and a bio on Mimi Silbert. If students are interested in Delancy Street Foundation, visit the foundation website.

Write a three paragraph response to the episode in response to the question: what is a social entrepreneur and how does Mimi Silbert, Delancy Street Foundation, exemplify this?

Start doing your research re: the person you want to profile in an essay on a social entrepreneur. I will give students a copy of the assignment Wednesday, March 23, 2011.

Students were asked to bring their books to class on Wednesday and to read the first 3-4 chapters in The Pact and The Kite Runner. Only one person said she was reading Sula. There needs to be at least two people reading a book. If anyone besides Dina is reading Sula, let us know, otherwise Dina, choose one of the other books to read. Post your selection here.

On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, bring earphones. We are going to watch a Frontline World program on Social Entrepreneurs.

We closed with a couple of poems from the collection: The poems I read were: Speaking: The Hero by Felix Pollak and NO by Joy Harjo, Honolulu, HI, 2003

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Other Announcement: Free Medical Check-ups

April 1-4 in Sacramento
April 9-12 at the Oakland Coliseum

Free medical, dental and vision services. Details on-line at RAM website:

Remote Active Medical, an organization that provides free services to the unemployed, under served, uninsured, under insured, and those who cannot afford to pay for these services.

Arrive at 3:30 AM to get a number.

Patients will be seen from 5 AM to late afternoon, early evening. The organization can also use volunteers.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Today we completed Essay Exam 1: Pronoun Case and the 50 questions, Grammar Exam 1.

I hope to get them back to you by Wednesday. Students should not make any mistakes in their papers we've gone over in Pidd. If you do, you might find yourself writing an essay about the errors (smile).

Students who didn't complete the Essay Exam need to make arrangement with me to do so. We had an emergency drill. Half the class was gone before we found out it was a drill, that there was no real threat. I think our time was good.

Some students were working on their essays when the alarm went off. Of those students, you left before you received the Initial Planning Sheet and the essay assignment, which is posted on the blog.

Bring in a completed essay and definitely a completed IPS and outline for Wednesday. We will have a peer review using Microsoft Comment. The final draft is due Monday, March 21, 2011.

The Initial Planning Sheet asks these questions:

1. What is the subject of your paper?
2. Is your purpose primarily to inform, explain, explore, evaluate, describe a problem and propose a solution, or argue a point?
3. What audience will you write for?
4. What question do you want your essay to answer?
5. What is the main writing strategy will you use: Description, process or causal analysis, compare/contrast, problem/solution, classification, evaluation or argument are some of the possibilities.

Ask for a handout which includes a completed example.

Next Assignment
Bring the book you plan to read for the book report essay to class on Monday, March 21. You have three to choose from: The Pact, Sula and The Kite Runner. The theme is friendship.

While you are reading the book, we will be talking about the Social Entrepreneur essay. We will also read a play, Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, and complete a collection of poetry, with the theme of war. We also from time to time read from We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For by Alice Walker.

Oh and we can't forget Pidd. I will return your essays tomorrow with grades. Keep working on the next essay; it is Point of View.

Homework is to bring in a completed essay with the Initial Planning Sheet completed and an outline. Keep working in SPHE. Do the exercises.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Read Everything


Students are not posting the character profiles and essay assignments connected to these profiles in the right place. The character profiles are to be posted February 28, 2011, blog comment. No one posted their two profiles here.

The 3-paragraph essay is posted in the right place. Post the homework for today (another 3-paragraph essay) there as well.

I have posted five (5) comments this afternoon; scroll to the end and read forward (or up).

Some students left before I could return your Pidd essays. I can email your grades to you if I have your email addresses which I have for most of you. If I am missing an address I will call you. Since I don't have an office I can't leave the essays anywhere for you to pick them up. I am on campus Thursday if you want to call me an get the graded work.

Essay Assignment 1: Half the Sky
English 201 Spring 2011
W. Sabir

Each question needs to look at Half the Sky as a resource, of course, and then use one article or other media (like a film) outside the book to support the movement (thinking) of these issues outward. Students could also try to find a local or western or first world nation connection in your search for related materials. Use the library database where possible. Students do not have to cite the source in-text, just read it.

The essay will be between 3-5 typed pages long. This includes a works cited page. Each essay will include 3-5 citations (1 per page); one of the 3-5 citations, 1 should be a block quote and another, a free paraphrase. Students will also have to use ellipses in their block quote or in-text citation.

NOTE: The 3 page essay can only have 3 citations. 1 citation per page. English 201 students need only write a 500-750 word essay. In package include Half the Sky freewrites, also include reading logs. Turn all of this in with essay. Students can email me the essay and print me a copy as well.

Questions (Choose 1)

1. Identify three women who prove the authors’ thesis or purpose for writing the book. Be sure to state that thesis in your argument.

2. How do WuDunn and Kristof define empowerment using the lives of women in their book, Half the Sky?

3. Choose one or more of the successful interventions in women and girls lives that save and improve lives WuDunn and Kristof cite in Half the Sky. Use profiles of women cited by the authors to prove your point.

4. Though Half the Sky is a book that is uplifting and oppressing at the same time. This is one of the criticisms students have cited in the past when critiquing the text. Talk about the authors use of emotional appeals to convince. Do you ever feel manipulated and if so, where in the text is this more evident than elsewhere? Is manipulation ever fair to an audience? Why or why not?

Half the Sky DUE DATES:

Homework is to finish reading Half the Sky and think about which question you'd like to write your essay on. The first draft of the essay will be due, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 with planning sheet and outline. The final draft will be due by Monday, March 21 with notes.

In the Half the Sky package include freewrites and reading logs. Turn all of this in with essay. Students can email me the essay and print a copy of the essay for me as well.


Synthetica or Pronoun AGR

Check your sentences against the errors recap:

1. ". . . Ditch wanted to come with Camper and I . . ." (1).

2. "the General attacked two of the hill divers, Camper and
I . . ." (1).

3. ". . . Ditch was smarter than Camper and me . . ." (1).

4. "Me and Camper laughed . . ." (2).

5. "It was me . . . " (2).

6. "you are almost as pretty as her" (2).

7."[I]f the Pidd men, Sid and me, can do a little camping . . . (2).


Watch Films By Women in the Muslim World These films reinforce themes in Half the Sky. If you want to use any of these films as evidence to support your claims feel free to do so. We'd have to talk about how to cite multimedia sources.



Today in class we reviewed Pronoun Case or Synthetica. Students who had not completed the exercises, worked on those during class. We all tried our hands at the Pronoun Agreement Quiz. Most students did well.

Homework is to email three completed templates to oneself and paste the same. Make sure there is a heading and a header. We'll meet in A-205 and complete the essay exam and Grammar Exam 1.

Keep working in Pidd. The next essay is Point of View.

Homework is to finish reading Half the Sky and think about which question you'd like to write your essay on. I will post the questions in a separate link. The first draft of the essay will be due, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 with planning sheet and outline. The final draft will be due by Monday, March 21 with notes.

Other homework is to write another 3-paragraph essay and post at the link for Monday. Profile a different woman. The question is the same.

Independent Reading Project on Friendship
If you want to purchase your book from the COA bookstore, they are returning them this week: The Pact and Kite Runner. I guess the store didn't purchase Sula. The next assignment is the silent reading and book report.

Due Dates: This assignment or essay will be due April 11 with Planning Sheet & Outline; Second peer review April 13. Final draft due April 13-15.

Social Entrepreneur Essay
Social Entrepreneur Essay is due May 2, 2011 with Planning Sheet & Outline. Second Peer Review due May 4. Final draft due May 5-9. Presentations Monday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 11. Portfolios workshops May 16 & 18 (last day of class).

Portfolios due via e-mail by May 27, 12 noon. You can submit them anytime May 23-27, 2011 to Make sure you always paste and attach the documents.

Monday, March 07, 2011


Recap and Cyber Assignments

There are assignments posted here that students have not responded to. Take for example the Library Assignment which most students attended about two weeks ago. Only one student posted a reflection.

Only a few students gave Professor David Sparks the completed research assignment. Turn it in to him, it is going to be counted.

Character Profiles
The character profiles started last week are not posted. Students were to complete two. Post those profiles. Today in class we reviewed "ellipsis marks," "pronoun case" and "quotation marks."

Students took two quizzes, Pronoun AGR and Ellipsis Marks and Quotation Marks. Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the plan is to complete the Pronoun Case Quiz and Essay Exam 1 or Synthetica. Next week students will take Grammar Exam 1.

Come on time Wednesday. Essay Exam 1 is your midterm.

Half the Sky & Women's History Month Skit
Wednesday we will also look at a few more of the women profiled in Half the Sky. International Women's Day is tomorrow, so to celebrate IWD, on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, students will write skits to perform in class based on Half the Sky.

We will discuss writing the essay for the book on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, as well.

Today in class as individuals and in pairs, students wrote three paragraph essays based on one of the women profiled. The exercise is how to integrate citations into one's text.

Each paragraph is to have a citation. The first paragraph which is to introduce the character. Tell us about the woman. Where is she from? What is her level of education? How is her health? And what events precipitate her troubles?

Paragraph two (2) is where you go into details about the problem.

Paragraph three (3) is where you indicate what event triggers the woman's decision to change the situation so that she is no longer a victim. Describe this moment and how she takes charge. You also can show how this stance benefits not just the woman but her family or community. Also indicate the long term systemic changes, if any. What are the consequences -- short and long term results of this action?

Feel free to use terms like "brave" and "courageous," "selfless" and "fearless."

After you have written the three paragraphs or your outline, look in the book for examples from the text that prove your point more eloquently than you could write it yourself. A lot of time, a great citation or quote is letting the subject speak for herself.

I told students five (5) sentences per paragraph or four original sentences and a citation per paragraph. Don't forget the in-text parenthetical citations. Also, don't forget to mention the authors and the book Half the Sky in your introduction.

Use 1 paraphrase, 1 short citation, and one long citation (5+ lines or a block quote. Pay attention to the signal phrase, that is, how you introduce the quote. Look at the authors in half the Sky; notice how smoothly they integrate other voices into their writing. It is seamless--the citations never jar or interrupt the flow of the narrative.

Post your three paragraphs here sometime Tuesday before 8 PM.

SPHE Pronoun AGR Essay
Make sure you email Pronoun AGR before 8 PM as well Tuesday, March 8, 2011.

We are behind, but the train is not stopping (smile). Catch up, especially on the reading. Bring your notes to class. Wednesday, we will not have a lot of time to spend on Half the Sky.

Students will have seven templates to complete in Pidd on the Pronoun Case or Synthetica Essay, plus write the essay.

I am going to give students the first hour to complete all the templates and 30 minutes to write the essay exam. Come on time. We will then have 15-20 minutes to discuss Half the Sky essays which are due the following week.

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