December 7, 2004

Blogging for Dollars?

Business Week wonders....
When does selling become selling out?

Posted by tgus at 1:55 PM · Linked Articles

Cartoon Skeleton Art

This isn't an article but an artist's gallery:
But is it anatomy? ;)

Posted by tgus at 12:16 PM · Linked Articles

December 2, 2004

Class in Anderson 170

Class will meet in Anderson 170 again next Tuesday and Thursday, December 7th and 9th.

Watch for an e-mail over the weekend--I will ask you to bring a brief reflection on your blogging experience so far.

Please continue to post and comment.

Posted by tgus at 3:25 PM · Announcements

December 1, 2004

The word "blog" in the news

Here's A story on "blog" as Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year
from Reuters via Yahoo News.

Unfortunately, the author gives a fairly narrow, somewhat patronizing definition of blogs. But of course, he writes for the mainstream media (it's telling that Web-based news is now considered mainstream) and under the "Oddly Enough" category....

Posted by tgus at 4:03 PM · Linked Articles

November 30, 2004

Blog URLs

People's blogs are now listed on the bottom right, under "Links."

Posted by tgus at 5:32 PM · Announcements

Blogging Preliminaries

1. Be aware that anything you publish on your blog can potentially be read by anyone with Internet access. Don't publish personal information if you don't want others to know it.

2. The University Libraries archives all blogs that are not deleted.

3. Anything obscene, threatening, or in violation of the Student Conduct Code will be considered outside the bounds of the assignment.

4. Now, let's get going.

Posted by tgus at 11:40 AM · Assignments

Getting Your Blog Started

1. Go to

2. Click on “Start Your Own Blog” in the upper left

3. Follow Steps 1 and 2

4. Make your first post your Purpose Statement. Click on Manage Weblog

5. Click “New Entry” on the left side

6. In the Title Field type “Purpose Statement”

7. Under “Primary Category,” Pull the drop down menu to “Add New Category;” Type the name of your new category (About this Blog) amd click "Add
8. In the Entry Body field, type your Purpose Statement

9. Check to see that your post status is set at “Publish,” Allow Comments is set to “Open,” and Text Formatting is set to “Convert Line Breaks

10. Then click “Preview”

11. Read your posting; if you want to make changes, click “Re-edit this entry.” If it’s good to go, click “Save This Entry’

12. Click on “View Site” on the top menu bar to see how it looks

Posted by tgus at 10:59 AM · Announcements

Next Steps

Pick a look for your blog:

1. Click on the "Templates" icon on the left.

2. Click on the button that says "Try the new UThink Template Changer Beta! "

3. Pick a look, click on it, and then clikc on "rebuild."

Posted by tgus at 10:10 AM · Announcements

November 29, 2004

Portfolio 4

Portfolio Assignment 4

This will be a different kind of Portfolio: you will create your own blog, make various postings to it, and comment on classmates’ blog entries.

To help this happen, class will meet in the Anderson 170 computer lab on Tuesday November 30th and Thursday, December 2nd. On those days, you will have the opportunity in class to set up your blog and make initial posts, as well as read and comment on each other’s blog entries.

By the start of class on Tuesday November 30th, please decide on the following:

1. The purpose of your blog: Is it your public journal, your reflections on the stresses and strains of the end of the semester, a site for social or political commentary, a place to propose ideas about how to improve the undergraduate experience at the U of M, a “filter” site where you select and comment on various stories that you link to on the Web, a movie review site, a sports opinion blog, or something else that you care enough about to write on?

2. The intended audience (perhaps our class, perhaps our class plus a different audience).

3. A name for your blog.

Continue reading "Portfolio 4"
Posted by tgus at 11:18 AM · Assignments

November 23, 2004

Class Meets in Anderson 170 on 11/30, 12/2

On Tuesday, November 30th, and Thursday, December 2nd, we will not meet in Folwell 114; instead, we will meet in the computer classroom, 170 Anderson Hall on the West Bank, in order to get going on our blogs.

Posted by tgus at 1:49 PM

November 22, 2004

Weblogs: A History and Perspective

Here is a history of blogs from 1997-2000
by Rebecca Blood.

Posted by tgus at 8:11 AM · Linked Articles

November 18, 2004

"Dear Blog...U Gives Space for Online Journals"

Here's a brief and breezy introduction to blogging at the U of M
from The Wake

Posted by tgus at 12:37 PM · Linked Articles

November 10, 2004

Portfolio 3

Portfolio Assignment #3 - EngC 1021--Fall 2004

A brief topic proposal and list of sources is due Nov. 4th.
The Workshop draft is due Tuesday, Nov.16th.
The Revised Draft is due Thursday, Nov. 18th (note change from syllabus)
The Polished draft is due Tuesday, Nov. 23rd.

Continue reading "Portfolio 3"
Posted by tgus at 11:52 AM · Assignments

October 22, 2004

Library Links

Here are some of the links we used in class yesterday:

U of M libraries Lumina homepage

Articles and More: Electronic Indexes
to locate popular or scholarly articles.

And from this page,
you can find two of the full-text, general indexes that we used: Academic Search Premier, and Lexis-Nexis.Academic

Finally, you can use the alphabetical Topic categories on the Research Quickstart page
to help you find the most useful indexes for your topic (note that there is a category for "Current Issues").

Posted by tgus at 1:49 PM · Announcements

October 15, 2004

Class meets in Anderson 170 on 10/21, 10/28

On Thursday, October 21st, and Thursday, October 28th, we will not meet in Folwell 114; instead, we will meet in a computer classroom, 170 Anderson Hall on the West Bank.

Click "view image" to see a map.

View image

Posted by tgus at 10:06 AM · Announcements

T.S. Eliot

"In the end is my beginning."

Posted by tgus at 9:48 AM · Writers on Writing

October 7, 2004

Working the Other Way

B. Working the Other Way, for fun and insight:

The nursery rhyme “Little Jack Horner,” in the bureaucratic high style, might read thus:

While seated in one of the corners of the room, Little Jack Horner
(Concurrently, a Christmas dessert was in the process of being consumed
by him)
Inserted his thumb into approximately the mid-section of said dessert and succeeded in removing a plum,
And was heard to congratulate himself thus: “What an ethical lad am I.”

Rewrite one of the following nursery rhymes in the bureaucratic high style, and post it on the Comments section of this blog entry (look for opportunities to use forms of the verb "be," nominalizations, prepositional phrases, and slow start-ups, all as examples of how NOT to write clearly and concisely):

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

Posted by tgus at 3:54 PM · Exercises

October 5, 2004

Overview of Advertising

For Thursday, please read this brief historical overveiw of advertising

Bring to class a two-to-three sentence summary of the piece.

Posted by tgus at 1:15 PM · Assignments

October 1, 2004

Portfolio Assignment 2

Portfolio Assignment #2 Gustafson
Fall 2004

Choose a print advertisement from a national magazine which uses claims and/or appeals similar to one of the old ads distributed on Tuesday. You will work with both ads.

First, you will carefully analyze the two ads.
1) Note the magazine they come from, and the intended audience.
2) Make two lists: one of the various claims (in the words) and another of the appeals (in words and pictures) that are at work.
3) Make another list of the details of the ads' design: color; balance; perspective; point of view; special effects; balance; how many people there are, where they're looking, what seems to be going on with them, their gender; and the tone (sincere, humorous, ironic, hip, formal…).

These lists and preliminary writing will be due on October 5th. We will work on and with these in class.

Second, you will take this analytical prewriting, and develop it into a three-to-four page essay that uses comparison/contrast to analyze the claims and appeals in these ads. We will discuss the comparison/contrast mode in class. This essay will need to carefully describe the ads as it analyzes them, all in support of a clear, precise, and significant thesis, a thesis with some tension.

This will be due as the Workshop Draft on Oct. 12th.
The Revised Draft will be due on Oct. 19th.
The Polished Draft of this will be due on Oct. 26th. Include the ads, or copies with your portfolio.

Continue reading "Portfolio Assignment 2"
Posted by tgus at 3:40 PM · Assignments

September 28, 2004

Links to ads

Here are links to the ads that I handed out in class, so that you can see them in color (fast connection [broadband] recommended to download images). They come from a site called Ad*Access
at Duke University.

(Click on the ad to get a larger image):

Hertz: More Fun for the Whole Family...

Hertz: Men Who Are Going Places...

Timber Toiletries for Gentlemen: For Men at the Top...

Courtley Men's Toiletries: Magnificently Masculine

Burma Shave: Those Who Click...

Barbasol: For Best Results:...

Barbasol: Be Athletic, But... Sweetheart Soap: Beauty is My Business

Pepsodent: Women Men Want

Palmolive Soap: Doctors Prove...

Posted by tgus at 4:08 PM · Assignments

September 27, 2004

Robert Frost

"Sentences are not different enough to hold the attention unless they are dramatic. No ingenuity of varying structure will do. All that can save them is the speaking tone of voice somehow entangled in the words and fastened to the page for the ear of the imagination."

Quoted in John H. Tirimble, Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing, Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall, 1975, 69.

Posted by tgus at 3:50 PM · Writers on Writing

September 23, 2004

How to Say Nothing in 500 Words

Please read this essay.
(It's been around for a while, as you'll notice by the reference to a typewriter, among other things).

Once you've read it, please post a brief comment, responding to some particular part of the essay's recommendations about writing. You might agree, disagree, question, expand on, or make a connection to your experience, among other things).

Posted by tgus at 11:45 AM · Linked Articles

September 17, 2004

Employers Urge Workers to Improve Writing

I've added another new category of entries for this blog: links to Internet content.

Here's a recent story on workplace literacy

Any comments, either on what this article says or how it says it?
How about what it doesn't say?
In terms of yesterday's workshop, and how I'm asking you to complicate the topic of your literacy autobiography: Does the article raise further questions (that is, are there any implicit or explicit "counterbalances?") If so, what are they?

Posted by tgus at 12:43 PM · Linked Articles

Albert Einstein

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

Quoted in
Joseph Williams, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 4th ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1994, 88.

Posted by tgus at 12:30 PM · Writers on Writing

James Adams

"One must allow the unconscious to struggle with problems. Incubation is important in problem-solving. It is poor planning not to allow adequate time for incubation in the solution of an important problem."

Quoted in
Karin Mack and Eric Skjei, Overcoming Writing Blocks, Los Angeles: J. B. Tarcher, 1979, 41.

Posted by tgus at 12:23 PM · Writers on Writing

September 16, 2004

New Category

I've added a new category: Five Minute Freewriting Exercises. The first one is in the entry below. Since we talked about Voice in class today, it's an exericse writing in someone else's voice. Give it a try using the comment feature.

A relative's story

Try this exercise (use the comment feature) in imitating a familiar voice:

Write down a story one of your relatives tells or could tell, using his or her words as much as possible.

Patricia Cumming, "Getting Started: Writing Suggestions," A Writer's Home Companion, New York: Henry Holt, 1997.)

September 15, 2004

John Updike

"Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what one is saying."

Quoted in John Trimble, Writing With Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1975.

Posted by tgus at 8:27 AM · Writers on Writing

September 14, 2004


"Reading aloud to others my first...draft helped to enlighten me."

The Writer's Companion, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991.

Posted by tgus at 1:19 PM · Writers on Writing

September 13, 2004

Tim's Literacy Autobiography Freewrite

I've posted below my own focused freewriting (written this morning) on the topic of my literacy autobiography. Tim

The first things that come to mind: Coming home from grade school every day for lunch. Grandma made lunch, Mom came home from work. I’d sit at the table, reading Peanuts cartoons out of the many Peanuts books I’d collected. Must have been 4th, 5th grade. Mom and grandma would comment on my lack of conversation as I read an re-read those cartoons. Now my kids read those same books (now yellowing and falling apart), although at not at the table. But my son’s real obsession is Calvin and Hobbes, the 80’s era comic strip that left the scene much too soon, while my daughter’s was, of course, the Harry Potter series....

Continue reading "Tim's Literacy Autobiography Freewrite"
Posted by tgus at 11:53 AM · Tim's Reflections

Richard Marius

"Writing requires an astonishing array of complex mental and physical acts, many going on simultaneously as the writer writes. Mysteriously and wonderfully, we learn to write, coordinating many impulses and motions much as we do when we dance or sing or talk or play baseball or ride a bicycle."

The Writer's Companion, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991.

Posted by tgus at 7:26 AM · Writers on Writing

September 10, 2004

Natalie Goldberg

"This is the practice school of writing. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don't want to run and you resist every step of the three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don't wait around for inspiration and a deep desire to run....You just do it. And in the middle of the run, you love it. When you come to the end, you never want to stop. And you stop, hungry for the next time.

"That's how writing is, too. Once you're deep into it, you wonder what took you so long to finally settle down at the desk. Through practice you actually do get better.

Continue reading "Natalie Goldberg"
Posted by tgus at 12:07 PM · Writers on Writing

Portfolio 1

Portfolio Assignment #1 - EngC 1021W--Fall 2004

Workshop draft due: Thursday, September 16
Revised Draft due: Sept. 23
Polished Draft due: Sept. 28

Think in writing (two-three pages) about your personal literacy history: significant events, books, people, or moments related to literacy.

Some possible things to “think with”:

Continue reading "Portfolio 1"
Posted by tgus at 9:06 AM · Assignments

Neil Simon

" Rewriting is when playwriting really gets to be fun.... In baseball, you only get three [strikes] and you're out. In rewriting, you get almost as many swings as you want, and you know, sooner or later, you'll hit the ball."

Quoted in
Karin Mack and Eric Skjei, Overcoming Writing Blocks, Los Angeles: J. B. Tarcher, 1979. 148.

Posted by tgus at 9:04 AM · Writers on Writing

E. M. Forster

"How do I know what I think until I see what I say?"

Quoted in
Karin Mack and Eric Skjei, Overcoming Writing Blocks, Los Angeles: J. B. Tarcher, 1979. 26.

Posted by tgus at 9:03 AM · Writers on Writing

September 9, 2004

Indeterminate Expository Writing

As I began planning for this course, I found myself calling it Indeterminate Expository Writing, because I wasn't sure what "Intermediate" meant. In the currculum it means that it's somewhere between Freshman Composition, and Advanced Expository Writing. But precisely how that vast intermediate area might be defined, I wasn't sure.

I realized that any definition depended on who the students were who would enroll in the class, and that until I met them, I wouldn't have a very clear idea of the ways in which they were intermediate expository writers--so I would want to get some....

Continue reading "Indeterminate Expository Writing"
Posted by tgus at 8:40 AM · Tim's Reflections

September 6, 2004

Purpose Statement

This is a blog for EngC 1021-W-001, Intermediate Expository Writing, a composition course at the University of Minnesota in the fall semester of 2004.

Posted by tgus at 10:40 AM · Announcements