Weekly Schedule



AUG 18th week 1


class 1:


attendance and meet & greet

brief syllabus overview

then, self-introductions








class 2:


attendance & meet and greet

Rhetorical Situation, here







Aug 25 Week2


class 1:



Thinking about genre differences: Opinion vs News Journalism


Talking about Ferguson 




Some Grammar: 

Defining parts of writing:

a CLAUSE (a group of words that contain a subject and a verb) (from here)

- an INDEPENDENT CLAUSE (sometimes called a main clause) has a subject and a verb, AND expresses a complete thought.

- an INDEPENDENT CLAUSE can stand alone as a simple sentence.



self-introductions continued









class 2:


pop quiz:


More CLAUSES (from here)



1) Brad ate all the pizza in the world.  Inspired millions to love pizza.

2) Brad, a writing instructor, who decided to give pizza instead of an exam.

3) Brad, a fan of pizza, ate it all because he couldn't stop.

4) Because Brad kept talking about pizza.  All the students cried.  

5) Brad promised not to mention pizza again.  Even though he was still eating some.

6) My favorite days are during summer. Drinking soda. Eating tons of pizza.



continuing Michael Brown / Ferguson police conversation.

Discussing the Arthur Chu article




ESSAY 1 Assignment: Narrative Writing







class 1:


Flash Review from last class

- what is a sentence fragment?

- can you join a dependent clause to an independent clause effectively?

- can you use BOTH a coordinating conjunction and a subordinate conjunction in a single sentence?

Narration review, from Chapter 9 of textbook

 - what is narration?

-  what's the purpose of narration?


some in-class notes about what makes shitty stories

(and common narrative devices we use to tell stories), here and here


Also, quick HW info (how I am grading your summaries):



discussing Ferguson as a class 

discuss the James Baldwin text in relation to the Chu article




discussing essay 1, free-writing 




Essay 1 grading rubric, here







SEPT 8/9 class 1:


class overview


Description: SHOWING vs Telling


discussing narrative and description, formal elements, from our assigned reading (Chu, Baldwin, Anzaldua)



passage without description, here

REVISION exercise:







SEPT 10/11 class 2:


on MODIFIERS, here


Looking at Baldwin and Anzaldua texts as descriptive narratives




Essay 1 Peer Review



ESSAY 1 Assignment: Narrative Writing



Basic Checklist for getting started if you haven't written anything yet:







SEPT 15/16 class 1:


Self-Assessment, WHAT DID YOU DO?!

  1. Describe 2 specific moments or features of your work that demonstrate a strength or an achievement. Explain. 
  2. Describe 2 specific moments or features of your writing that you think are least effective/need work. Explain.
  3. Describe something you learned or an interesting problem you confronted about NARRATIVE or DESCRIPTIVE WRITING in working through this assignment.
  4. If you had another week with the paper, what would you do with another revision session?  (alternate)


Fast Modifier quiz:




In-Class practice with three appeals.

+ Point and support structure:






Sept 17/18 Class 2:


Looking at elements of Chapter 1


recalling the Rhetorical Situation, with help here



the 3 Rhetorical Appeals (definitions here )

  1. Ethos
  2. Pathos
  3. Logos


How does Anzaldua and Baldwin establish ethos? where? how does it work?

How does each appeal to Pathos? where? and what values/emotions specifically?




Looking at the Housework debate.






Sept 22/23 class 1:


Looking at the articles on Housework:


Recognizing Kinds of arguments (Stasis Theory):

  1. Cause & Effect
    1. how did something happen?
    2. what causes something?
    3. What's the effect of that?
    4. why does something exist or continue to happen?
    5. x causes y, y is caused by x
  2. Definition & Classification
    1. what is it?
    2. is it or is it not an example of this thing?
    3. what kind of thing is it?
    4. x is y, x is a kind of y
  3. Compare & Contrast
    1. What is it like?
    2. How is it different or similar? 
    3. x is like y, z is not like x , x is more z than y
  4. Evaluation
    1. Is it good or bad? positive or negative? better or worse?
    2. x is bad, y is not so good, z is awesome
  5. Proposal 
    1. what should be done?
    2. how should something be accomplished?
    3. we should do y, y should be achieved by x and z.


Rhetorical Analysis:



Essay 2 pre-writing, using the articles you selected:




Stasis Argument








Sept 24/25 class 2:


Intro to Essay 2: Rhetorical Analysis and Comparison Paper


Talking about Comparisons



Looking over the homework, let's make some comparative and evaluative claims:






Turning notes into draft material. Creating paragraphs.



Quoting text:

All quotes need three parts:

  1. a lead-in, something that introduces the quote
    1. ex. Sandra Kim, author of "The Pizza Box," claims,  
  2. the quoted material, inside quotation marks 
    1. ex. "This pizza is Delicious"
  3. a parenthetical citation, the author's name and page number inside parentheses, followed by a punctuation mark.
    1. ex. (Kim 12)


Some rules:







Week7  - essay 2 rough draft due


Sept 29/30 class 1:

Expanding our Rhetorical Toolbox (devices):

what's already in:

what's new:




Watching/listening to Pres. Obama addressing the United Nations, here



Operations in our rhetorical analysis body paragraphs:



Template Example of a paragraph moving through the first three operations, here 



Let's look at the student example using the color-coded operations, here




Revision Exercises (choose one):







Oct1/2, class 2:


reviewing fallacies,


Looking once more at the color-coded student example, here


Quick reminder about Rhetorical Situation



mid-term review







Week8 – Mid-Term /In-Class Essay  (will be during class two: Wed/Thurs)



purpose/thesis consideration, here

peer review, here

mid-term review




class 2: MIDTERM (good luck)




Week9 - – Essay 2 due

Turning in Final Essay 2 papers.


Essay 3 Argument Paper preview: Film Analysis or Review


Looking at an example, THE EXPENDABLES III

Review of The Expendables III, here

  1. What is Henderson's overall attitude toward the movie? How do you know?
  2. What are the REASONS he offers for this overall attitude?
  3. Label each sentence in the first paragraph correctly (simple, compound, complex).
  4. What modifier do you recognize in paragraph 3? Quote and name the modifier.
  5. In which paragraph (or paragraphs) do you find the movie synopsis? 
  6. BONUS GUESS: how many stars, out of four (including half stars), do you think Henderson gave this film, judging from his review? 







Comparing and Contrasting Genres: Film Review vs Film Analysis



Thinking about Gender, Feminism, and Film





Writing a micro-review (only one page!):











Intro to Essay 3: Argument Paper & (Feminist) Film Review/Analysis











Comparing and Contrasting Genres: Film Review vs Film Analysis


consider everything from overall organization, intros/conclusions, thesis, tone/language, how evidence (parts of the movie) are used.

FIRST: comparing the two reviews:

describe in as much specificity as possible how the two reviews

are similar. The more specific you can be the better. Begin a list

of specific observations with the following statement “You can tell

these are two film reviews because they both … “ - try to identify




SECOND: comparing and contrasting reviews to the analysis

In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different and

not comparable? Begin a list of detailed observations with the

following prompt “The film analysis genre has different

expectations/requirements. For instance, it… “

          THIRD: in what paragraphs, AND what percentage of the total text (take

                    a guess), does the author consider issues related to gender?


          FOURTH: Notice how the review combines many of our earlier lessons:

            varied sentence structures, modifiers, descriptive writing, figures of

            speech, quotation, stasis arguments (logos), audience



movie talk



Thinking about Gender, Feminism, and Film

why think about or consider gender at all?


Anita Sarkeesian, feminist youTube celebrity / cultural critic

the Bechdel Test for movies, here

the Smurfette Principal, here   (and feel free to check out her other videos. she has a lot)

speaking of Anita Sarkeesian and feminism, this just happened yesterday (!)

so yes, there is an immediate real-world need/context for the kind of thinking we will be engaging with for this paper  


What is Feminism?

how would you define it? What do you know about it?

feminist bell hooks offers a definition, here

defining SEXISM

wikipedia article, here

a feminism 101 blog, here  


further brain-storming

free write on movie details / memories

what two scenes would you really need to watch again for considering gender? why? what caught your eye and what are you now wondering or looking for? 






What is Feminism?


what IS gender, exactly?

         gender vs sex vs sexuality, read more here 

gender signifiers

signifiers are signs that point to something. (a literal sign. a word. a logo/image)

gender signifiers, and social constructs

a good question, when did girls start wearing pink? 

gender roles/stereotypes 

feminine/masculine binary (associative binary list) 

nature/culture (tech), passive/assertive, private (domestic) / public, rational / emotional, competitive / caring 


Feminist Film Theory

Wikipedia with a simplistic definition, here 

Feminist Film Theory has historically developed with several important splits or dual tendencies

1) to critique mainstream (patriarchal) cinema 

but also to advocate for alternative representations

2) to expose how films exclude or distort representations of women

but also to examine ways these films unintentionally allow contradictions, gaps, or tensions within patriarchal logic 


Active viewing:


Practicing active viewing one a Hunger Games clip, here

after viewing, in full sentences



 Strengthening paragraph development for a moment of gender consideration:








class 1:


Paragraph  Workshop



Practicing active viewing on a Hunger Games clip, here

after viewing, in full sentences


 Strengthening paragraph development for a moment of gender consideration:


Working your own material





class 2:



To avoid repetitive and flat review sentences, we are aiming for expressive, creative, playful ways of wording our observations and judgments. One way to do this is by:

Peer Review:


  1. Describe your peer's overall attitude with specificity. 
    1. Beneath your paraphrase, list the points of evaluation you are able to detect.  
    2. Beside each point, write a number ranking each point in terms of how much space your peer has devoted to discussing that point
      1. 1 would indicate the point your peer spends the MOST text discussing, 2 would indicate the point your peer spends the next most attention on, etc
  2. put an asterisk beside the two sentences you think are the most expressive/creative/playful.
  3. put a question mark next to TWO moments you think are least clear or lack specificity. 
  4. Rank your peer's synopsis out of 10, 10 being perfect. Give some brief but specific rationale for your grade.
    1. consider factors such as length, specificity, succinctness, spoilers, necessary vs unnecessary details for a synopsis 
  5. What part of the review is the most interesting/sharp/convincing and why?
  6. What part of the review seems the weakest or least convincing and why?
  7. Respond to TWO moments of the essay with either a question or a comment that pushes your peer to make their evaluation/commentary more complex or gets them thinking further about what they're claiming.



discussing Gender

-- what are we looking for:

-- what are you doing with those observations:




Close reading : essential for analysis, useful for review

  1. "close reading" is careful and extended examination of a scene's details that requires some interpretive commentary.
  2. Maleficent vs Expendables reviews on gender. the first offers a close reading, the second does not. The analysis is a series of close readings.


Practicing close reading a Hunger Games clip, here


after viewing/taking notes:


Tropes and Stereotypes:


some opening remarks:

  1. 6 weeks left - attendance / signing-in
  2. Essay 3 & plagiarism - synopsis / review (any plagiarism is a failable offense) 
  3. distinguishing feminism / femininity 
    1. femininity as a construction of gender 
      1. Rupaul's Drag Race, here  
      2. Catniss's curtsey 
      3. Anita Sarkeesian and the Smurfette Principal, here   
        1. other movies suffering smurfette principal? 







Week13 - no class Mon Nov 10th


Last minute considerations:


class 1:

Close reading : essential for analysis, useful for review

  1. "close reading" is careful and extended examination of a scene's details that requires some interpretive commentary.
  2. Maleficent vs Expendables reviews on gender. the first offers a close reading, the second does not. The analysis is a series of close readings.


Practicing close reading a Hunger Games clip, here






class 2:  - Essay 3 due


* Essay 3: What Did You Do?

* Introduction to Academic Research

* Popular vs Scholarly Publications/Articles

* Brainstorming Research Topics
















AB in-class goals

  1. commit to a research question
  2. locate 20-30 titles relevant to your topic to get a sense of the different emphases and angles with which researchers approach the topic
  3. fine-tune research question




  1. locate and read one academic article that seems to relate to your research question.
    1. on your computer, open a new MS Word page and add the bibliographic information for the article you read 
    2. below the bibliographic information, summarize its content in 5-7 sentences. 
    3. add to the summary an evaluative comment on how useful (or not) the article will be for your research question and why you think so.
    4. print out and bring to class


class 2:





Week15 - no class Nov 26th or 27th


class 1:







Week16 – 


class 1:



class 2:



Week17 – Essay 4 due / Last Week of class / Final Exam Prep



Final Exam Schedule


class 1: