Daily Notes

Monday, March 21

Welcome Back! I hope you all had a restful break and are happy (or at least prepared) to get back to work.

 Today your group will need to create, test, and (time permitting) revise your primary research materials.  Other groups will be creating their materials, so feel free to trade those materials with another group in class to do some usability testing and figure out if your research materials are going to be effective.

I responded to your group proposals over break (look in the group proposal folder and save a copy of this to your group and individual folders). You may want to read through these before you design your research materials.

I will also be returning your unit 3 folders at the end of class today.

Homework: Finish revising your research materials.

Friday, March 1

Look over your research materials. Will they help you to achieve your research and persuasive or informative purpose? If not, what do you need to change so that you gather the information you need for this project? Record this information in your Research Log.

 Complete any work your group has assigned.  On Wednesday you will have another full work day, so come to class prepared to use that time productively.

Spring Break Begins!

But first things first.  Today you will work with your group to complete the work you have agreed to do today. Please read these daily notes through quickly so that you know what is due today, but also so that you know what information is available when you/your group need it.

Group Proposal Due Today

Your group will submit an extended version of the "proposal" you emailed to me on Wednesday. Click here to see the proposal format.  I will need this proposal (which should take only about 15 minutes to complete) no later than noon today.  Please save your group's proposal in three places today: the proposal folder, your own group folder, and your own student folder.

Usability Testing Required for Your Research Materials

Before you begin surveying, interviewing, or questioning, please perform a usability test, which is also described here. And consult the links below for information regarding these different approaches to research.

Unit and Individual Folders Must Contain...

Click here to see what these folders must contain.

Class Timeline Posted

Click here to see the timeline for this project. Note that I have extended the deadline for Unit 4, giving you an extra day of in-class work, and some extra time while we work on Unit 5 to complete this project. Information you must complete on/by certain days is highlighted.

 Let me know if you need any help today or just want to chat about your work.

Types of Primary Research

  • A questionnaire is a document that you pass out and hope is returned.
  • A survey is a document you use to ask questions of a number of different people either in person or over the phone.
  • An interview involves questioning one person.
  • A focus group involves questioning several people at the same time/under the same circumstances.
  • An ethnography is an extended observation (typically over the course of several years) where the researcher gets involved in the community being observed, learns their customs, and talks to the members at length. It is possible to do mini-ethnographies of groups as well. These differ from observations because the researchers often do not know in advance what they are looking for.
  • An observation may be conducted over the course of many days, but the researcher knows what he/she is looking for.


A Great Tutorial for Designing Questionnaires—click on "download" to get a MSWord version. Includes information on how to write questions, but also some useful tips.

How to Design a Survey

How to Interview

How to Conduct a Focus Group

Have a Great Break! You've Earned It!

Wednesday, March 9

Today I want to go over your next unit very briefly, offering some possible approaches you may take as a group. But I would like to leave the majority of class time to your group work and strategizing.  Of course, I'll be around to chat if you want to discuss your group's topic and research approach.

So, after my brief discussion of this unit (longer one can be found in the assignment description), you should discuss your topic as a group; talk about what research you will need to gather, conduct, and analyze as a group; and talk about who your audience will be for this paper (the Redbird Reader is one option, but you might also consider writing a feature piece for either the Vidette, Pantagraph, or indie)... audiences beyond the university might also be interested in the opinions of mid-western university students on important political and social issues (think the New York Times or Time magazine type readers) OR you might decide to write this to our state reps and senators. Then work out who will be responsible for what, when you will do your research, and what kind of a timeline you will work on as a group.

I want you to peer review your work with one other group in the class, but as far as I'm concerned, for the next two weeks your group will create the schedule... I will write daily notes only to provide you with some reminders and the homework assignments, but your group will set your own agenda for the day.  I will also, obviously, record your attendance and be in class every day to work with you.

Note: I've never tried this with a 101 class before, but I really hope that you'll be able to keep yourselves and your group on task in and outside of class. If things get crazy, let me know and we'll go to plan B. But see if your group can work out a timeline, homework assignments, and deadlines on your own.

Why research?

(With the last unit we talked about how writers use research, now let's look at the meta-reasons for research)

Persuasion: you conduct research because you have an argument to make with a specific group of people, and you need to discover the kinds of information those people will respect and the kinds of information that will persuade them to change their minds.

Analysis: you are a curious person by nature, so you have all of these questions you want answered. You conduct research to find the answers and share those answers (in a rhetorically appropriate way with a specific audience) with other curious people. You attempt to analyze that information for them, but you don't know until that information is in front of you what your analysis might be.

The difference involves how you approach research. In the first instance, you know what kinds of answers you are looking for (which doesn't mean you skew the research or mis-represent your findings). In the second instance, you have no idea what the answers might be, so you're going to fish around to find those answers and then present them to your readers with some analysis of what those answers might imply.

In the first instance, I might try to discover how much students on this campus know about the war in Iraq, how many students voted in the last election, how many read the newspaper everyday, and how many saw/heard/read the recent proposals discussed by the national press for a new military draft. I'm doing this research because I want to suggest that any laws passed allowing a new military draft may go through without any resistance from uninformed college students.  Or something like that. My ultimate argument, then would be that students on this campus and around the country need to get informed, BUT QUICK!

In the second instance, I might wonder how students feel about the war in Iraq, how much they know about it, what they know, what kind of mis-information they have.  My purpose for doing this might eventually lead me to argue that students need to get informed or, by contrast, that politicians shouldn't assume college students aren't paying attention, but I begin just wondering what the answers might be before I figure out what those answers really imply about this community.

Both types of research and writing are perfectly appropriate for this unit. Ask yourself... what do you really want to know about your peers? Or what kind of argument might you enjoy making using primary research as its focus?


Do whatever work you are assigned by your group.

On Friday I'll post some information about writing questionnaires, surveys, and interview questions. I'll also post some information about the ethical treatment of research subjects. You will need to read and discuss this information before you begin your primary research, but when you—as a group—decide to do this is entirely up to you.

Monday, March 7

Today you will begin a group project that involves primary research. But before you do anything else, please give a careful read to the following information about my response policy for students with excessive (or habitual) absences. I don't want there to be any surprises when grades go out, so make certain you understand how absences negatively impact your grade in this class.

Group Work

Let's face it, group work is difficult, messy, and sometimes infuriating. Unfortunately, it's also the only way work gets done in the "real world." Most documents created by businesses are collaboratively researched, written, and edited. Most major projects are collaborative as well. So in the interest of giving you some early experience navigating the difficult terrain of collaborative work, EN 101 requires/encourages a group paper.

Using this unit, which will demand a great deal of primary research (and some secondary research as well), as your group project will make a lot of sense to you as you begin to collect, compile, and analyze your data.

We'll begin by discussing how your groups will be formed.

From there, I would like you to do the following:

  • Answer these questions for your group mates. Save these to a group folder (create one for your group to use together) and to your own folder.
  • Talk about your answers and about what they might suggest about a possible group structure, organization, or plan for this project.
  • Next, take the Jung-Meyers-Briggs personality test online. Click here, read the instructions, and take the test. The key here is to answer quickly, choosing the answer that seems to describe you as quickly as possible.
  • Talk about what the personality test says about you with your group. Discuss how your personalities might affect the work you are doing together. Figure out how to capitalize on and really take advantage of everyone's strengths, while finding a way to cover individual weaknesses as well.
  • Talk about what will happen if one of you decides to slack off, misses classes, misses meetings, misses deadlines, etc. How can you make certain that everyone is pulling his/her own weight and that no one person is doing all of the work (getting angry, feeling resentful, heading for a meltdown)?
  • Finally, as a group read through the assignment description for Unit 4 and discuss what approach you might take to this assignment. Time permitting, map out a strategy for your group and for how you will use class time and what in-class work you will do on Wednesday. While I provide you with some possible topics for your project, you should discuss other options as well, brainstorming topics until you reach something resembling consensus.


In your Research Log, answer the following questions. What kind of secondary information do you need (from books, magazines, online sources, journals, etc)? What kind of primary research will your group need to conduct? Who will you get this information from and how? What possibly unethical things will you need to prevent as you research? How will you protect your research subjects (those you survey, interview, etc) from possible public, professional, or personal embarrassment? How will you let them know that you are protecting them from this danger? What other kinds of dangers might your research present to the subjects of that research? How can you inform your subjects of this and work to protect them from these dangers?

Bring in your completed Unit 3 folder to turn in at the beginning of class.

For the next couple of weeks, you will want to sit in close proximity to your group mates so that you can discuss, share drafts, etc. without a lot of hassle.

Friday, March 4

Today you will do a quick peer review and then continue revising your paper, writing your unit analysis, documenting your sources, researching, etc. If you would like to meet with me for 5 minute paper conferences, flag me down.

Your homework is to finalize (including copyediting) your "final-for-now" draft, revise your unit analysis, and prepare your unit 3 folder. You should have at least three peer reviews of your paper (and peer reviews that you did for three of your peers) and one response from me.

This unit is due at the beginning of class on Wednesday.

Here are some links to sites that will help you document your sources.

Wednesday, March 2

Click here to read about Mid-semester (APA) grades for this class.

Today we'll talk about incorporating your sources into your text, so this is where your careful note taking pays off.

Let's begin with a little competitive group work. In your groups, read over the sample APA and MLA texts here. Then list as many differences between the two styles as you can come up with. The group who finds the most will get a prize.

Why are we doing it this way? I could easily stand in front of you and drone on about how to cite sources in your text and how to create your works cited pages. This would be suitably boring and nonproductive for all of us. Then to add to the horror of this presentation, you could take a quiz to see if you remember everything I told you. But this would be silly, really, because we have handbooks to show us how to do this stuff... why memorize something someone has already written down for you? Handbooks are designed specifically because you don't need to memorize this stuff: you just need to know where to find the information when you need it.

Instead, I think it's more important—and more interesting—that you recognize that people who use these styles actually value very different things in research. They have very different expectations as readers, so you should learn, instead, to recognize what those expectations are by analyzing different types of academic discourse. Knowing that there are ideological or epistemological differences between people who use APA and MLA and getting some idea of how those differences are reflected in the way they use and cite research is much more important than memorizing the typographical and stylistic differences between the two.

When we have finished this exercise, you will look through your Course Guide at the two citation methods presented (MLA and APA). Choose the one you like best and that you think your audience will expect and create a works cited page in accordance with this style. You will want to cite any interviews you conducted, web materials that informed your paper, and any other sources you used (TV, radio, newspaper, etc).

Next you will need to determine how quotes and paraphrased material is cited within your text.

Work on this at your own pace, but if you have a question, put that question to your peer or to me.


Your homework is to continue working on/revising your paper and to begin a draft of your unit analysis. We will do an additional peer review on Friday.

Look over a couple of your classmates' analyses. While there were many fine analyses with the first unit, these two writers, Alexei and Maribeth, agreed to share their excellent work with the class

In your research log, answer one cluster of questions below:

  • Internet sources: What is your research question? What terms did you use to search the web? After you got a list of web sources, how did you go about trying to find relevant sources and information? What sources did you decide to use and to what purpose?
  • Article sources: What is your research question? Which databases did you choose to search for relevant articles? Why? What search terms did you use? What articles did you decide to use and to what purpose?
  • Book sources: What is your research question? What search terms did you use to find books in the online catalog? What books did you decide to use and to what purpose?

Monday, February 28

Greetings happy researchers. I read through and responded to your drafts this weekend, so take a moment to go into the folder labeled "Lori's responses to Unit 3, draft 1" and open up my response to your draft, read it, and save as "Lori's response" in your own unit 3 folder.

While reading my response, I hope you'll get ideas about what questions you might ask of your peers in today's review.

We're going to do this one in groups of three so that you will respond to and get responses from two classmates. I will put you into groups according to topics since we have a few people working on similar topics or in similar areas. Once you've found your group, open up your draft and write your questions for your peers. Then change chairs with your peers and when you've finished responding, change chairs again. Make certain you save this file in both your peer's and your own folders.

When the written review is finished, you can talk about what you wrote and brainstorm together or begin revising your own paper based on the comments you got from me and from your peer.


In your research log: Describe your research process for this paper up to this point. What things have you researched and what's next? What sources do you have that will be especially persuasive for your audience and what ones will seem less authoritative for your readers? Why? What does the research you use suggest about your ethos in this paper? Do you appear knowledgable? Why? Do you appear trustworthy? Why?

Revise your paper using your peer's and my comments. And continue gathering the information and sources you need for this paper.

It goes without saying, of course, but make certain you have your Course Guide with you on Wednesday.

P.S. if I didn't get a chance to before class, I will be revising the schedule to include research logs more closely tied to your own research... rather than to the essays you're reading the textbooks. But you can always trust the daily notes to contain the up-to-date assignments.

Friday, February 25

Drafting Unit 3

Today you will use class time to start a draft for unit 3. I will respond to these over the weekend and you will revise them for a peer review on Monday.

If you want to talk about your paper, let me know.

Save a copy of your draft (at the end of class today) to your folder labeled "Unit 3—first draft" and a copy of that draft in the new folder I created (folder labeled "First draft of Unit 3 for Lori's response"). Save that draft as "Your name—unit 3." I'm going to be shifting this folder to a jump drive at the end of class so that I can respond to your work over the weekend.


Prepare a draft of your unit 3 paper for peer review on Monday.

Write in your research log: What is your current topic or your current argument? What kinds of information will you need to make your argument? Why/how will this information strengthen your work? Where will you look for this information?

Wednesday, February 23

RESEARCH BEGINS! And Unit 2 "ends," so your unit folders are due at the beginning of class

Once again, welcome Pat Meckstroth to our classroom. Today she's going to give you a quick review of some of the databases you learned about in FOI, but most of the class will involve you researching on your own. We'll both be around to help out, but obviously I bow to Pat's greater knowledge in this area.

If you still haven't settled on a topic, we can brainstorm together, and if you aren't sure how to approach your topic or audience, we can talk about that as well.

Save any writing you do in class for your topic to a new folder titled "Unit 3."

On Friday we'll have an in-class drafting day and you'll save your first draft to your Unit 3 folder for me to read and respond to over the weekend.


Find one secondary source that will/may need to use in your unit 3.

Write in your Research Log. Why might this article/research be relevant to the audience you have chosen for your third paper? How will your audience interpret this source's ethos? What specifically will this source do in your paper, where do you anticipate using this information, what specific points will it help you to make? What points will this research not help you to make? What other information do you need to find?

Read in the RR, section on "Avoiding Plagiarism," pages 47-48 and Section IV, Introduction, page 73 and one essay of your choice.

Monday, February 21

Today is a divided work day. First you will have twenty minutes to copyedit one person's paper. Make the changes directly in the text, but let them know you are doing this by using the "track changes" feature in word.

Go to "Tools" and click on "Track Changes" The changes you make will be visible to your peer. Those changes will look something like this. Although the color may be different. You may also use the "Insert" "Comment" feature if you feel the need to explain those changes!.

Save this file in only your peer's folder (you won't need a copy of this at all) as "copyedited by Your Name"

If you remember drifting into a state of coma-like boredom during grammar exercises and need some reminding about these trifling things, let me know.

BUT! Keep in mind that the writer has a specific audience in mind here. If you find yourself correcting errors that their readers either wouldn't consider errors at all, stop yourself. A fragment is sometimes exactly what is needed for a particular audience and very much intentional, and while exclamation points drive me nuts!!!!!!!!! especially when there's more than one, if you're writing to teen girls, they'll be fine with that!!! In other words, don't think of yourself as helping the writer to "dot every i," particuarilyparticularly if their readers like an i dotted with a heart.

Try to distinguish between "errors" that are intentional and perfectly appropriate for the audience and "errors" that the writer may have unintentionally missed.

Your peer will then do the following:

Save this file again as "final-for-now" draft. If the changes remain visible on the page, move your cursor over them, right click, and click on "accept". The text should go back to looking regular. Save this as your "final-for-now" draft. Adjust how the page looks by going to the top tool bar and clicking on the bar that probably says "Final showing markup." Change this to "final," and your paper should appear in a regular format on the page.

You can also accept all of the changes at once by going up to the tool bar, right clicking, clicking on "Reviewing." You'll get an additional tool bar & if you scroll over this bar you'll find a button that says "Accept Change"...click on it to bring up the menu and click on "Accept all Changes." Then save the document.

If you don't quite figure this out the first time, don't sweat it... we'll do one of these with every unit, so you will eventually get used to using some of these editing features in word.

Next you will work in groups of three or four to brainstorm as many campus issues as you can think of for your next unit papers. You'll have ten minutes to do this, and then every group will share their list with the class.


Read in the MR, "Researching Papers," pages 54-63
Read in the CG the section on Research, pages 141-158.
Write in your Research Log: freewrite about your paper topic. Use this space as a dumping ground for everything you already believe, intuit, sense, and know about your topic. Explain the purpose of your paper and why your audience needs to know this information.
Come to class with this freewrite (outline, web, whatever). Our class librarian (how cool is that?), Pat Meckstroth, will be here Wednesday to introduce some library resources and work one-on-one with you to research your topic.
Unit 2 is due at the beginning of class on Wednesday. Click here to see what goes into your unit folder.

Friday, February 18

Commenting in Word

First of all, thank your for your honesty during Wednesday's Q & A. I usually try to do one of those a semester, but I typically wait until about mid-semester because I think people are more likely to be honest once they're more comfortable with a classroom situation. But you all did a great job asking questions and registering complaints (and of course, any praise for me or the course was very welcome). I anticipated almost all of the questions and complaints (your frustrations are pretty much what every 101 student is experiencing at this point in the semester), but two of the questions surprised me: one about how this class differs from other English classes and the other about where this class came from. It was fun responding to all of the questions, complaints, and praise, but these two questions were probably more fun for me than for you.

So I transcribed your questions that I couldn't get to on Wednesday exactly and answered them to the best of my ability, but let me know if you need more answers or have other questions. There are a few questions (I highlighted them in red) which proposed a dangerous theory about how to pass the class without doing the work, dangerous cause it is a really just a charming little recipe for failure in the class, with no exceptions.

There's some repetition with the questions, etc, but I didn't want to pick and choose which comments or complaints I published as representative... go here to read them this weekend, but I'll also post them to the web page.

Your homework (and I'll update the weekly schedule next) is to spend the weekend revising your paper so that we can do some copyediting on Monday, first thing. If you'll recall, Unit 2 will now be due on Wednesday, not Monday. You will also be responsible for writing the unit analysis outside of class time.

Also, ask your friends (faculty, coaches, teachers, staff, etc) what issues they think need to be addressed on/about this campus, what things they'd like to see changed, etc. For example, maybe they think there should be more vegetarian options in the dining halls... Ask about five people to think for a while and give you two possible topics for Unit 3 (a research paper dealing with a campus issue). Have these ready for a brainstorming session on Monday.

Pat Meckstroth (librarian) will be in class with us during this research unit.

Go here to see what will be included in your unit folder on Wednesday.

Okay, so let's get back to work now:

Pull up a copy of your peer's paper and save it to your folder as "My response to Name here"

To insert comments into your peer's text, do the following.

Highlight a specific piece of text where you think the comment goes. Do this by running the cursor across the text while holding down the left button on the mouse. Drag.

Once you have highlighted the text, go to "Insert"?"comment"

A dialogue box will open up in the margin or at the bottom of the page. Write your comment there. Do this for every comment you wish to make.

When you have finished, save this copy and save an additional copy to your peer's folder as "Your name response"

Sample response to Abe Lincoln's draft does not come through correctly online.

Wednesday, February 16

Was revised to make room for a Q & A and discussion about the course, issues, complaints, assignments, etc.

Monday, February 14

Happy Valentines' Day! I hope your time here today is just as romantic as you imagined First-Year Composition could be.

Today you should read over your peer's comments and my comments on your draft and use your research log to map out a strategy for your next revision using those comments. What comments will you use and why? How will you use these comments to improve your paper and/or your address to your audience? What comments will you ignore and why?

If you have a question or just want to chat, I'll be available for 5-minute conferences during class.

Use class time to your advantage today, getting as much of your draft filled in as possible. We will have a second peer review and a work day on Wednesday and a copyediting day on Friday when you will get a chance to copyedit a peer's paper and have your paper cleaned up. This way, you will be ready to hand in a clean copy of your final-for-now draft along with your unit analysis and other documents on Monday.


Continue working on your paper, getting it ready for a second peer review on Wednesday.

Write in your Research Log how your paper meets one or more of the grading standards in the CG. Be specific and provide specific examples from your work that illustrate where you have met specific standards. Note: do not discuss how your paper meets the more mundane sentence-level standards.

Please note that I have made changes to the schedule for this unit, eliminating one reading assignment and adding an additional peer review into the schedule. This also pushes the due date for this paper back, giving you an additional weekend to work on the paper and your unit analysis.

Lori O

Friday, February 11

For those of you who felt last weekend ended too quickly, you've got a second chance. But before you depart for your weekend adventures, you have a little work to do helping your peer get an A in this class.

Peer Review

Remember that you are acting like an expert source for your classmate's paper. Offer him/her generous and helpful answers to his/her questions and provide a little extra help as well. If you see a point where your peer is doing something that his/her chosen audience might not appreciate, let him/her know. If you feel the topic or purpose should be directed to a different audience (note the folly of selling teenagers on the benefits of starting a retirement account or convincing senior citizens that they should try skakeboarding, for example), let the writer know and suggest a better audience for the topic. If he/she is using language that seems inappropriate for the audience (stilted academic prose for an article addressed to teens or slang for an article addressed to academics, for example), let him/her know.

In addition to answering your peer's questions, answer this one for him/her:

What should the writer do, find, think about, write next? (ie: help the writer expand this paper)

When you have finished the peer review, copy and paste your own paper into a new file and save this document as "Unit 2, Draft 2." You will make any post-peer review revisions to this text.

Unit 2—Expanding the Table of Contents

(Thanks to Alexei for pointing out that I forgot to tell ya'll to do this on Wednesday)

You will need to create a second section for your table of contents page. This section will be titled "Unit 2," and you should begin linking all of the documents you've written associated with this unit: audience analysis, draft 1, peer review, my review of peer, draft 2, research log...

Unit 2 Research Log

Use your Research Log to record what changes you will make to paper 2 as a result of your peer's comments. What comments will you chose to ignore and why, what did your peer see (besides grammar) that you did not? If you do not complete this work today, it will be your homework for the weekend. Meanwhile, I'm eliminating the reading assignment for this weekend so that you have more time to revise your papers. I will put short responses to your drafts into your unit 2 folders for you to read on Monday.

Have a nice, well-earned, weekend.

Lori O

Wednesday, February 9

Happy Wednesday! I hope you've all recovered your Monday blahs and are excited to get started on this next unit.

Today is a work day. You have to complete your audience analysis (it's a part of the unit 2 description) by the time you leave here today. I just didn't have the heart to assign it as homework after you all looked so overworked on Monday and after those great presentations. After that you should use the remaining class time to discuss your paper with a friend, freewrite, brainstorm, draft, sketch, or whatever you need to do to get started writing unit 2.

I'll be wandering the room as usual, so if you want to talk about your paper or your audience analysis, just yell.

Cheers gang,
Lori O


Continue revising and expanding upon your paper. Review the goals for this paper and the description of the assignment online, and look over the grading standards for a single unit in the CG, page 205.

Have a draft ready (1 hard copy, 1 electronic copy) for a peer review on Friday and to hand in to me. You should have at least 2 pages drafted by Friday. Use your Research Log to write two questions for your peer and instructor readers.

Monday, February 7

Good morning. Please pass your unit 1 folders to the front. I will endeavor to return these to you within a week, but occasionally it may take as much as two weeks for me to read and respond to all of your work.

Ad Presentations and Analyses

We will begin today, happily, with your advertising presentations. Remember that you are the advertising people who are trying to sell us, the class, on your three ad designs. Tell us which magazine your ad is for, describe the audience, and tell us how your ad fits with the values and expectations of that audience.

For each of these the class will engage in an analysis of your ad, telling you what works with that ad and what doesn't work. Central to these analyses will be the question of whether or not your ad is appropriate for and persuasive to the audience you have chosen.

Brainstorming Unit 2

When that is finished, you will stay in your groups to discuss possible topics you wish to write about for paper two and possible readers to write your paper to.

Audience Analysis for Unit 2

Then return to your computers to begin writing this second paper by writing an audience analysis and discussing how your paper will meet the expectations of the audience you have chosen. Use the questions in the Unit 2 description to sketch your audience analysis.

Save these as "Audience Analysis" in your unit 2 folder. I will read through them tonight and comment only if I think you may run into trouble addressing your audience with your particular topic and purpose.

In future you will put the following at the top of every draft you write:


These will help your readers and me when we review your paper. Using these three descriptors, we will be able to tell you what works and what doesn't work in your approach to the topic, audience, and purpose of your paper. Note that if you do not include these with every draft, we may not be able to respond appropriately and helpfully to your work... if at all.

Later in the semester we will add a fourth descriptor, "Forum."


Begin drafting Unit 2. In your Research Log, expand upon your audience analysis by explaining why your topic is relevant to and important to the audience you have chosen. How does this audience feel/think about your topic now and what do you hope they feel/think after reading your work? What does your audience already know about this topic? What purpose will your work serve with this audience? Be specific.

Friday, February 4

Happy Friday! On Monday you will turn in your first unit packet for this class, which is no small feat.

Today we're going to begin discussing the next paper by examining how to target your writing to a specific audience. This Second Unit will involve you finding another topic that interests you (from your original list, from class reading assignments, from conversations or things you've seen on television, from the newspaper, from issues on campus or in your hometown communities, etc). But the essay you write will need to be tailored in every way to a specific audience.

So let's play around with the notion of audience. I've been watching "The Apprentice" lately... can't help myself, really, so I thought it might be fun for you all to undertake a task very similar to something the contestants on that show might have to do. You will work as a group to design an ad campaign (three magazine ads) selling a single product to three very different audiences.

So, click here to see the complete assignment description. You will have all of class today to strategize and design, the weekend to finalize your designs, and Monday's class to pitch your ad campaign to the company executives.


Finish up the ad you are designing for your group and think about how you might convince the executives that your design is perfect for the magazine it will appear in.

Read in the RR, "The Impact of Audience" and one essay from that section. Write a summary of the essay for your Research Log, for Unit 2. explaining where the writer succeeded in addressing his/her chosen audience.

Read online: in the Standard Schedule, read the description of Unit 2

Finalize your unit 1 draft and unit folder. Remove and fill out the "Single Unit Submission Form" at the back of the CG, remove the "Grading Standards" for a Single Unit and include these with your Unit Folder.

Read about Portfolios online

February 2

In the home stretch

Unit Analysis

Today we will begin working on the unit analysis for unit 1. You will include a 2-3 page analysis with every unit packet you turn in this semester. These analyses are designed to accomplish two main purposes (and one bonus). The first is they will help you to become more familiar with your own writing process and discover what approaches and techniques work best for you in each new writing situation you encounter this semester. They will also help you to analyze your current draft and discover what things you might change about that draft when you return to it at the end of the semester. Second, they provide me with a window into your writing process and an idea about your intentions with this draft and about your plans for it. Bonus: you will need to write a 5-7 page portfolio analysis that examines all of the work you have done this semester, so these unit analyses will help you to write that final analysis.

Begin by visiting the description of the unit analysis and answering as many of the questions as you can as completely as you can. Then re-trace your steps throughout this paper and try to remember what decisions you made along the way. Include information from your research log, and use examples from your drafts to illustrate the points you are making in your analysis. Read over the sample unit analyses in the Course Guide.

Research Log

Add to your Research Log by writing about the difficulties you've encountered with this paper and any lingering questions you have about the topic you are writing about. Then make some predictions about what you still need to do for this paper when you globally revise it at the end of the semester (note: you may include some of this information in your unit analysis as well).

When you have finished a working draft or rough draft of your analysis and completed the research log above, you may use the rest of class time to work on your paper, peer review with a classmate, or conference with me.


Read online about "What to Include with Your Unit Folder"
Revise your unit analysis and your unit draft.

Compile all of the drafts, peer and instructor comments you received, research logs, and peer comments you gave into a Unit Folder.

January 31, 2005

Welcome back. I hope you had a lovely weekend. I did—I spent the weekend reading and responding to your drafts. You should have received my response via email on Saturday or Sunday, but if you didn't, let me know. I also put a copy into your student folder.

Today we have to do some of the work I'd planned for last Friday. I've never had a class take the full time to peer review the first paper, so congrats on surprising me. I'm also delighted that you all took so much time to offer suggestions to your classmates—this bodes well for the rest of the semester. In fact, I'm so impressed with your first drafts and with your work in the class that I've extended the deadline for this paper. It will be do next Monday rather than this Friday. You will be working on your next paper over the weekend as well, but I thought you might like the weekend to work as well.

Okay, so begin by spending 10 minutes on the research log. Then you have the rest of class time to revise your draft (name it draft 2), do a five-minute conference with me, OR do another peer review with a classmate. The choice is yours.

Research Log (10 minute blab)

Create a new document titled "Research Log, Unit 1." With future papers this log will become more involved, acting as a place where you will document and analyze your primary and secondary research, but for now we are looking at peer review as another form of research that writers engage in. What information did your peer give you? Were there any new leads in that information that you need to follow? What were they and how might those new leads affect your paper (besides the obvious: making it better/stronger)? What leads did your peer reader offer that you won't be following, and why not? Save this file in your unit 1 folder and link to it from your table of contents.


Copy your draft and paste it into a new document. You will title this document "Draft 2, Unit 1." Begin revising your paper using your peer's comments as a guide for your revision, save this draft.

On Wednesday we will begin talking about the unit analysis document you will need to write.

Lori O ?


Read: in the MR "Revision," pages 29-46. Continue Revising your Paper

Friday, January 28, 2005

Happy Friday everyone! Remember that we're using this first paper mostly to become familiar with the technology, with the process, and with one another. Today we're going to be covering each of those areas, and there will be a lot of annoying saving of documents to do. It's all necessary, though, as at the end of the semester you will need to turn in a portfolio containing and illustrating all of the work you did in this class, so we need to get in the habit of documenting that work right away.

Today we will:

Peer Review

Discuss how to write effective questions for your readers. You will learn how to ask questions that will basically force your peer reader to provide you with terrific feedback and lots of information you can actually use in your paper and as a guide to help you revise your paper.

Write two questions for your peer reader (on the electronic copy you brought in) and two questions for Lori (on the hard copy you brought in).

Read a peer's paper and respond (at length) to their questions, providing what will undoubtedly be the best feedback that writer has ever received on his/her work. You should view your job as someone who is collaborating on this paper with the writer. Provide some specific praise, some specific guidance, and lots of information.

Have a discussion with the person you peer reviewed with about what more they can do to improve their work and what more you can do to improve your work. Copy your response to their paper into a new document, title that document "Peer Review of name's paper," and save it to your unit 1 folder. You will also copy the peer review they did of your paper and save it as "name's peer review of my paper."

Research Log

Create a new document titled "Research Log, Unit 1." With future papers this log will become more involved, acting as a place where you will document and analyze your primary and secondary research, but for now we are looking at peer review as another form of research that writers engage in. What information did your peer give you? Were there any new leads in that information that you need to follow? What were they and how might those new leads affect your paper (besides the obvious: making it better/stronger)? What leads did your peer reader offer that you won't be following, and why not? Write about any problems you are experiencing with this draft so far, what successes have you had so far, what help do you need to complete this paper, what do you still need to do? Save this file in your unit 1 folder and link to it from your table of contents.


Copy your draft and paste it into a new document. You will title this document "Draft 2, Unit 1." Begin revising your paper using your peer's comments as a guide for your revision, save this draft.

Give your paper to Lori.

Have a lovely weekend.


Use your peer's comments and your Research Log to continue revising your paper. On Monday you will have an in-class work day, but you will choose how to make this in-class work day productive (so you may work on your draft, ask a peer to do another peer review with you, conference with Lori, or do some combination of these three).

January 26

Good Morning:

Today we will begin a Table of Contents page for the final portfolio. To do this, open a new file and copy in the following:

Table of Contents


Unit 1

Brainstorming Topics
First Draft for peer review
Research Log

To create a link, highlight "BWA" then go to "Insert" ? "Hyperlink" and find the BWA you wrote in your student folder.

Do this again for your list of possible topics. You should now have a table of contents page that you can save as "Table of Contents" to your student folder (do not save it to your Unit 1 folder), and that you can use to access any/all of the documents you create in this class. Note: when you complete your portfolio at the end of the semester, you may choose a different organization for this table of contents, one that better reflects how you view the class or your work or the themes you covered or the learning you did. For now, though, you have a basic sort of TOC to work with.

Next you should read through the Unit 1 assignment description to get a better feel for the goals of this first unit. Note that most of the goals involve you becoming comfortable with the writing process, with the technology, and with each other.

When you have finished reading the Unit 1 assignment description, spend 10 minutes "freewriting" about your paper. This means that you will write non-stop for 10 minutes without any concern for punctuation, spelling, typos, or what a reader might think. This document is to help you generate as much information, as much material, as many ideas for your first paper as possible. To help you begin this freewrite, ask yourself what do you want your readers to learn and what do you hope they will do, feel, think after reading your paper? Save this in your Unit 1 folder as "freewrite."

Next, you may begin putting together your collage. The collage should be a visual representation of your paper. It should help your classmates learn what it is you are writing about, but it should also help you to figure out some aspects of your paper. You may draw or color on these collages as well.

When you have finished with this visual exercise, please let me know so that I can pair you up with a classmate. You will use the remaining class time to explain your collage and your paper to your partner. Time permitting, you may begin drafting your paper.


Continue working on your first paper. Have a hard copy (2-3 pages double-spaced) ready to turn in to Lori on Friday and an electronic copy ready to trade with a classmate for a peer review.
Read: Grading Standards in the Course Guide. Bring your Course Guide to class with you.

January 24

Good morning. I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

We'll begin today by re-introducing ourselves with the option of telling us either your most embarrassing moment or your favorite family meal.

Next you're going to generate a list of possible topics that you can turn to all semester long when you are stumped for an idea for a paper or don't like the unit plan I've designed. You will also be required to take one of your Com 110 speeches and turn it into a paper, so consider that an option for each new paper you write.

To generate this list, throw out as many ideas as you can for each of the following prompts:

  • clubs or organizations you belong to
  • subcultures you are a part of (skateboarders, video gamers, punks, etc)
  • jobs (paid or volunteer) you've worked or those you'd like to work
  • places you've visited
  • issues in your communities at home, in the dorms, or in Normal that affect you
  • events that have shaped your life or the way you look at life (personal, communal, political, spiritual—just try to stay away from big events like 9/11)
  • subjects you've studied in school, projects you've completed, research you've done on your own
  • hobbies, sports, or special talents you have
  • problems you see with the world
  • issues, strengths, weaknesses, etc that make your generation unique
  • future directions for social issues, political issues, television programming, music, video games, the internet

When you have finished filling in this list of items, add a few of your own.

Be prepared to share your list with a small group and, eventually, with the whole class. Remember that anything you write in this class is public.

Next, time permitting, you will choose one of the topics you or a classmate came up with and... well... just begin writing.

As with any paper you write this semester, you may choose to collaborate with a classmate and write the paper together. Just let me know that's what you plan to do, so that we can discuss the requirements for collaborative work.

Homework: fill out the research log and email it to yourself for use in class. Cut out pictures and words from magazines, brochures, newspapers, flyers; bring in photos (ones that you don't mind messing up); or download and print up words and images from the internet that relate somehow to your topic for this first paper. Bring these images and words to class on Wednesday. You will make a collage that represents the work you intend to do on this first paper.

Friday, January 21

Today you will take the Baseline Writing Assessment. This "test" helps the writing program assess how it is doing in educating first-year students. While I will read these and you will include them in your final portfolio for the class, you will not receive a grade for this work.

Please go to the file in my instructor folder marked "Baseline Writing Assessment" and follow the directions for the test.

When you have finished, save your work in the BWA folder in my instructor folder. Name this file with the letters BWA, your initials, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. (Thus, my BWA file would be named: BWALAO4255.) Save another copy to your own Student folder. Name this version simply "BWA"

Please review the weekly schedule for your homework.

January 19

Welcome to English 101, Composition and Critical Inquiry!

We have a busy semester ahead of us, and I hope it will be both productive and fun.

For today we have a few bits of housekeeping to do, but then we're going to jump right into the work ahead of us.

Today you will:

1. Get a quick overview of the class, the texts we will be using, and the course materials available here and online at http://www.ilstu.edu/~laoster/101newhome.htm

2. Create a student folder for yourself where you will keep all of the drafts, peer reviews, research logs, analyses, and other documents you write in this class. You will also want to save this information to your H-drive space and, possibly, either to a jump drive, disc, or send it as an email attachment to yourself. But more on that later.

To create your student folder, go to the desktop icon "250 Instructor Folders"
Click on my name, "Ostergaard, Lori"
Click on the folder marked "Student Folders"
Go to File- New- Folder-
Click on the folder you created (once) and put your full name (last name, first name) in the dialogue box that appears.

3. Create a document to save to this folder by opening Microsoft Word and spending 5 minutes listing all of the types of writing you have done every day, every week, every year of your life. Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote? What was the most recent thing you've written? Include everything from IMs to shopping lists, research papers to personal journals. Next you will save this file by going to File- Save as- Desktop- 250 Instructor Folders- Ostergaard, Lori- Student Folders -Your personal folder. This will seem like a lot of trouble at first, but you'll probably get the hang of it very quickly. Name this file "First Class"

4. Get to know your classmates by telling us your name (and any nicknames you prefer), your major if you have one, where you are from, and either a guilty pleasure (one of mine is Mystery Science Theatre 3000 re-runs) or the best or worst gift you got for Christmas. We'll do introductions like this for several class periods: you'll be relying on your classmates quite a bit this semester, so the sooner you get to know one another, the better.

5. Homework: assignments are posted on the weekly schedule. On Friday you will need to bring in your Mercury Reader and be prepared to take the Baseline Writing Assessment. On Monday we will begin working on the first paper of the semester.

6. To access your student folder from home, follow the directions at this Website. Note: if you don't live on campus, you will first need to download the VPN client from the technology Web page and get a recent copy of I-tools. You will also want to make certain that the login name and password for your computer are the same as your ulid and password here. To do this, click on "My Computer" on the desktop, click on "Control Panel," then on "User Accounts," "Change User Account," and change your account there. You will need to update your personal computer's password every time you change your ISU password. All sounds very complicated at first, but once it works, it'll make your life so much easier!

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Creative Commons License
These course materials
are licensed by Lori Ostergaard under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.