Thursday, October 12, 2017

Leading up to Week 8

  • Continue bringing Elements of Argument to class.  Essay 2 is due at next class, following guidelines in syllabus as before.
  • Scores for Essay 1 are posted on There is a gradebook feature in turnitin that will show your score as well as feedback.
  • It's important that Essay #2 reflect a thorough familiarity with the text and its details. Essays that look like they could have been written without having the read the novel won't get satisfactory scores.
  • Office hours on October 16 and October 30 only will be changed to 4-6 pm
On Oct 17-18, everyone was placed into a group for the purposes of the Honora Parker Murder presentation. The groups are listed below. If you were absent please tell me at promptly the way you want your group to contact you (email or phone). And indicate your permission for me to give that info to your group. Also, see the syllabus for Essay #4 under the timeline section -- you will see that an annotated bibliography is due as hard copy at the next class. Yes, in addition to that being the Essay 2 deadline. Read the instructions in the syllabus and google "what is an annotated bibliography" to see what to do. How many sources do you need? As many as you can reasonably find and contribute to your group.

If you were in class but had an absent member in your group, I will send you contact info for that person via whatever email address you supplied to No need to contact me.


Juliet's Mom (Axis of Evil)

Juliet's Dad (Legion of Doom)

Pauline's Mom (Zany Abusers)

Pauline's Dad (Combustible Pandas)

Juliet (Spambots Unleashed)
Stephanie R
Stephanie N

Pauline (Disenfranchised Ghouls of the Hard Rock Cafe)


Juliet's Mom (Axis of Evil)

Juliet's Dad (Legion of Doom)

Pauline's Dad (Raiders of the Lost Arf)

Juliet (Combustible Pandas)

Pauline (Disenfranchised Wraiths of the Hard Rock Cafe)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Preparing for Week 7

It's extremely important to finish reading Notes on a Scandal before the deadline listed in class and to bring the book to class that week. No participation credit will be given that day to anyone without a text. This is our only day to lay a groundwork for writing the essay, so better preparation means better discussion, which means better essays.

We viewed the film Notes on a Scandal in class. If you were absent, you must view it on your own. It is not on Netflix streaming unfortunately, but it can be rented for streaming for $2.99 at Amazon Instant Video. It is also available on DVD from Netflix, and can be purchased on DVD for one cent plus shipping at Amazon. It can also be borrowed from many local public libraries.

In addition to bringing the novel Notes on a Scandal to class, continue to bring Elements of Argument as well.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Prepare for Week 6

Recall that you must have completed reading Notes on a Scandal by the beginning of class on October 10 (Tuesday class) / October 11 (Wednesday class). Expect a 0 in participation for that day if you haven't. You must bring the book with you on that day.

If you are not in class this upcoming week (October 3-4), you will need to view the film of Notes on a Scandal on your own.  It is available for streaming from various platforms including Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. It can also be purchased easily on DVD or found in most public libraries.

Finally, remember that there are small reading assignments in Elements of Argument over the next few weeks. Check the syllabus for those page numbers.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Preparing for Week 5 -- DUI Ad assignment

For the upcoming class of Sept 26 (Tues class) / Sept 27 (Weds class), you have been asked to bring to class an advertisement warning against drunk driving. The advertisement must be a visual still image (a photo, not a video).

You will "bring" the ad to class by submitting a link to the ad as a Comment on the turnitin discussion board. You will not be uploading the actual picture, just providing the link. No hard copy is necessary.

You must also be prepared to present it to the class and provide an analysis. Some questions to consider in this analysis: What makes it effective? How does each specific element of the ad (text, image, placement, color, facial expressions, body language, clothing, symbolism, and double meanings) contribute to the overall effect? To whom is this meant to appeal? Why would or wouldn't it achieve its objective?

Separately, I recommend you begin reading Notes on a Scandal by now since we will discuss the entire novel on Oct 10 (Tues class) / Oct 11 (Weds class), and you will lose a considerable number of participation points if you aren't prepared on that date.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Preparing for Week 4

Remember that it's required to bring the textbook Elements of Argument to class every week. You cannot expect to receive any participation credit if you are locked out of all discussion by not having the text. I realize books are expensive, but they are requirements of this course.

Be sure to review the requirements for how to turn in your essay this coming week. They are in the syllabus. You must follow the directions exactly for your paper to be considered "on time."

You should probably start reading Notes on a Scandal by now to finish on time.

Check the syllabus, as always, for next week's reading assignment.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Change in Monday Office Hour for Rest of Semester

For the rest of the semester, my office hours on Monday will be 11 AM - 1 PM. They will no longer be held from 6 PM - 8 PM.

Other hours are the same as in the printed syllabus.

As always, it's recommended to email in advance to save a time slot.

Please see below for notes related to the upcoming week of class.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Leading up to Week 3

For those trying to add the class, I have already given away all the spots that are available. I regret to say that if you did not receive an add code last week, there is no more room to add.
I have made a new prompt for Option 1 of Essay #1. If you are in the Tuesday class and already began work on the original Option 1 and/or want to stick with the original Option 1, that's fine. You can alternatively use the prompt I am about to describe. If you are in the Wednesday class, you need to use the prompt below instead of the original Option 1. Both classes are also free to write on Option 2 (search/spyders) or Option 3 (uber/airbnb) instead.

Guy travels to a home in the middle of the night believing that he will find there a fifteen-year-old child who contacted him online for sexual relations. In fact, the child does not exist and the invitation came from an undercover police officer who arrests Guy when he arrives. He's charged with Attempted Sexual Assault.

Salle, an otherwise mentally competent adult woman, sincerely believes that she can kill her neighbor by lining the threshold of her doorway with salt. Hating her, Salle lines the threshold of her doorway with salt. A police officer discovers her intentions and she is charged with Attempted Murder.

Write an essay in which you formulate a definition of an Attempt crime. Use your definition to argue that one of the above individuals is guilty while the other is not. If your definition is too broad, it will catch both Guy and Salle. If it's too narrow it will catch neither.

In addition, present two other cases of attempted crimes to use as comparison points to help argue why Guy or Salle is guilty and the other not. These other cases can be from the news, a researched court case, or a fictional case from literature, film, or television. Cite all sources.
Remember to bring the textbook, Elements of Argument, 11th edition, to class next week and every week for the rest of the semester. You will not be able to successfully participate without the book.

For the upcoming class, print, read, and bring the online short story, "A Flock of Lawn Flamingos."

Remember also that you must create your turnitin account if you did not already do so. Make sure you can upload a "fake essay" to the Sample assignment before the due date for Essay 1 comes around, so that you will not be caught off guard by inability to upload when the essay is due. Directions are in the syllabus.

Essay 1 must be turned in on time to (no hard copy required). There are only two kinds of essays: on-time and not on-time. The circumstances (emergencies, technical problems, absence, confusion) do not change this outcome.

See the syllabus for other requirements regarding the essay. See below for a link to a transcript of Minority Report which you can use if you like to help you with facts for your essay.

For those who missed class
We watched a portion of the film Minority Report. You can view the film either by a) streaming it on Amazon Instant Video (about $4 to rent); b) borrowing the DVD from a public library; or c) employing some other method.

As a very last resort, use a transcript of the movie from the Internet. The scenes we watched are the opening scene (roughly the first 14 minutes, in the transcript from the beginning to "[he finally goes limp]." and the scene where Spyders are used to search a building (for about 10 minutes starting at 1:17:00 in the film, in the transcript starting with "[As Evanna, unaware that Anderton is in the building]" and ending with "[All eight spyders come under the bottom of Anderton's door and start back down the hallway.]"). You can use CTRL-F to find those phrases and know where to stop/start.