April 25, 2008

Week 13 update

Next week we'll continue work on this last argumentative assignment. You'll need to turn in a 1st draft of your script (written only--no audio) to your revision group for Tuesday's class. We'll actually be giving feedback in revision groups during that class time, so come with something posted to share. I'll also be handing out microphones during that class and we'll try to figure out a system where everyone will have a chance to record.

On Thursday, we'll talk a bit about your final reflection, which will be due the Monday of finals week. But you'll have most of the class time to work on your own--either editing your script or working with the audio you've already created. Hopefully you'll find that time helpful.

I've blocked out some times next week where I'll have a room and equipment for you to record if we can't figure out a way for everyone to do that on our own. That will include some of Wednesday afternoon as well as times on Thursday morning and Friday afternoon. I'll have a sign up for those times on Tuesday if they're needed.

Hopefully you're finding this a fun and interesting assignment to end the semester. I enjoyed hearing your creations last Thursday and look forward to seeing/hearing what you come up with.

April 18, 2008

Week 12 update

Three weeks to go! Next Tuesday the most painful part of the semester is over--you submit the final draft of your third paper. In addition to a printed copy of the paper, you'll need two examples of feedback you gave and copies of most of your sources. An electronic copy of your final draft should be submitted to as well.

Also on Tuesday, you have a short listening assignment before class. Pick one of the four NPR Editorials listed in the Essay 4 folder. Listen to it (only 3 minutes or so) and then post in the appropriate Reading Discussions topic. We'll talk about the structure and argument of those pieces in class.

Thursday will be a day to begin working with audio files. We'll spend most of class time becoming comfortable with Audacity.

April 11, 2008

Week 11 update

Only five more weeks to go! May seem like a lot right now, but it will go fast.

Next week will be a bit of a transition. On Tuesday, we'll continue to work on the second drafts. We'll look at a draft as a whole class. We'll also submit your drafts online to, a plagiarism detection service. Lastly, we'll revisit grammar issues again.

On Thursday, you'll meet in revision groups. In addition to that, we'll begin talking about your last assignment, the audio commentary. We'll go over the assignment, listen to a few brief examples, and begin brainstorming in class.

April 4, 2008

Week 10 Update

Next week we'll continue work on your third paper. On Tuesday, your first draft is due. We'll use that class time to go over a draft as a class, as well as talk a bit about wordiness and citing. On Thursday, you'll have revision groups to share feedback. Thursday's class will end by noon in order to make time for a few more conferences, which will be held in 276 Appleby.

March 28, 2008

Week 9 Update

Next week we'll continue work on these literature reviews. It's probably tempting to procrastinate on these, since the first draft isn't due for another week. Don't. This isn't the kind of project that comes together overnight--you need time to go down some wrong paths and to think about how you want the puzzle piece (your sources) to fit together. There's no class next Thursday, since we'll be doing conferences. I'll expect you to come to that conference with a fairly clear topic idea and at least a couple credible sources you might use.

On Tuesday, you should definitely come to class with a topic in mind--I'll be asking you to share those. We'll also look over a sample literature review in class. The last 20 minutes or so will be work time, letting you keep going on your research while I can float around to answer questions or concerns. So come prepared to use that time productively.

March 14, 2008

Happy break update

We interrupt this break for a brief update on the course. The week after break will be focused on getting started with your next assignment. We did some brainstorming for that on Thursday. We did some brief brainstorming on possible topics, and I placed a link to that list on WebVista. Try to come to class on Tuesday with a broad topic in mind for this next project--something you'd like to research further.

Your second paper is due the Tuesday after break. Remember that you'll also need to include one example of feedback you gave with that paper. We'll spend the rest of that week talking about your research topic and working on research strategies. On Thursday, we'll walk over to Wilson Library together to see what's available there.

Have a good break!

March 7, 2008

Week 8 update

Next week we'll be working on your draft. On Tuesday, your first draft is due. Sign up for a revision group under the "Essay 2" folder in WebVista if you haven't already done so. Post your drafts there by class time. We'll revise a draft in class that day and continue to talk about organization. We may also review citing.

On Thursday, we'll do some revision group work--bring comments with you to class. We'll also begin brainstorming for the next paper topics as well.

Here's the conference schedule for Monday:

Monday, March 10:

11:15: Grant G.
11:25 Jonathan F.
11:40 Gwen R.
11:50 Bryant S.
12:00 Nick D.
12:15 Doug B.

1:00 Anna B.
1:15 Frankie A.
1:40 Jason Z.
2:30 Abe G.

February 29, 2008

Week 6 notes

Next week the rubber really begins to hit the road with essay 2. Your research plans are due Monday by noon on WebVista--see the link on the homepage for where to turn those in. No need to submit an attachment--just copy and paste your plan into the submission box.

On Tuesday, we'll talk a bit about how to structure this draft. We'll also go over the research plans you submitted on WebVista and do some peer review/workshop. Thursday's class is cancelled, but I will be scheduling conferences--sign for those will be in class on Tuesday. They are required, and we'll be talking about how your research has gone thus far. Come having already done some research to talk about.

For the many of you who missed class yesterday, be sure to read the blog summarizing the changes we made in the class then. Most importantly, the Wednesday research time next week has been cancelled--you're on your own to do research at a time you see fit. Please email me with any questions about that.

February 22, 2008

Week 5 update

Next week we'll be laying the groundwork for this fieldwork project. On Tuesday, we'll be talking about observation, using the reading "Learning How to Look" as a guide for that. You'll actually be doing some observation on campus for this class, fyi. You'll also begin brainstorming research questions and a plan for what to do during the research time. On Thursday, we'll talk a little more about interviewing, again using a reading: "Researching People." We'll practice with that a bit in class and also get to know the digital recorders I'll loan you for the research time.

Not everyone was in class on Thursday, but we assigned people to research sites on that day. I might need to create one more group to fit everyone, which we can talk about on Tuesday.

One last note--I'm in conferences with my other two sections next week, which includes all my office hours. If you'd like to get together to talk, send me an email and we'll set up a time.

February 15, 2008

Week 4 update

Just a short blog this week. Next week we begin transitioning to the next essay assignment. Your final draft is due on Tuesday--print that out and include two copies of feedback you gave. I highly recommend purchasing a pocket folder for this and your other assignments this semester. We'll continue brainstorming for the first assignment during this time and talk about our collaboration with North High. We meet with North High students on Wednesday next week from 3-5--see details on the course schedule. On Thursday we'll begin talking about doing ethnographic observation by reading "Stepping In and Stepping Out" and begin developing your research strategy.

February 8, 2008

Week 3 update

Next week we'll continue revising drafts. We'll go over another person's draft on Tuesday, as well as doing some work on grammar and style and debriefing the first round of revision groups. On Thursday, it's revision groups again. We'll also begin seriously thinking about the next project. You've got a reading for that day (listed on the schedule) and we'll also practice observation by looking at a couple of movie cityscapes. Remember to post in Reading Discussions before this class.

A couple of other brief notes on your drafts--remember to put your names on your drafts. It gets confusing otherwise. Also, remember that I require a works cited on all drafts--you'll be penalized if it's not there.

Let me know if you have any questions about things as we go. Have a good weekend!

February 1, 2008

Week 2 Update

Next week marks a change of direction for us. Your first draft is due on Tuesday and should be posted on WebVista--all the links for that are in the Essay 1 folder. You have to sign up for a group in your section before being able to post your draft, so if you missed Thursday's class be sure to do that. Let me know ASAP if you have problems and try to be specific about what's not working. Remember that those drafts should be in Word 2003 (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf).

In class next week, we'll work on revising these drafts. On Tuesday we'll talk about peer revision and go over someone's draft in class as well as talking about the revision process more broadly. On Thursday, you will share comments on your classmates' drafts (which you should have read and written on prior to class time) and talk some about formal style. We may also look at some media representations of urban life during that class. Other than reading classmates' drafts, we're done with reading assignments for a few weeks (yay!).

If you're looking for a sample paper,

One other important note: We had an issue come up in our collaboration with North High School for the second project that has required some schedule changes. That mainly affects the 3-4 weeks before spring break. I've made a revised schedule that's now posted on WebVista. I'll also have copies of that revised schedule in class on Tuesday. Dates for that second assignment will change as will the dates we'll be meeting on Wednesday afternoons--now 2/20, 3/5, and 3/26. Let me know if that causes a problem for anyone.

January 25, 2008

Week 1 update

I'll try to post notes here each Friday about what's coming up in the next week. In this case, we're continuing to do the reading for the first paper. On Tuesday, you have two pieces: "The City After Oil" and "Fantasy Cities." Both are on E-Reserve, but I posed a copy of Fantasy Cities also on the WebVista home page if you have trouble for some reason. We'll also talk about citing and including sources during that class time. Remember to post to the Reading Discussions topic before class time.

On Thursday, we'll read the last piece--chapter 2 of Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol. We'll also look at a sample paper during class and begin brainstorming for your essay.

Have a great weekend!