Engl121's Blog

Archive for November 2010

Hi Class,

Here are a few announcements before we go on break. Make sure to check your HCC email and the blog periodically for announcements/reminders.

  • Workshops. If you haven’t workshopped yet, you should be reading through drafts and answering the prompts. You should also be posting your comments to the CE6 Assignments Board for full credit. If you haven’t already done so, you should post immediately for partial or late credit.
  • Second Drafts. Will be due the class we return from Thanksgiving break. I give you credit for having completed your first and second drafts on time, so make sure you’re on top of this. Furthermore, you must submit your second draft on time in order to be able to conference with me.

I think that’s all for now. See Workshop Group B tomorrow, and the rest of you after Thanksgiving!



Hello Class!

Right now you should be working on reading the drafts submitted to you and if you haven’t received any from your peers, then they will be missing out on crucial revision suggestions and more importantly, POINTS.

I  just finished my first 121 group workshop, and they did a GREAT job. Coming prepared with your peer workshop prompt answers and SPECIFIC comments helps the process go much faster and makes things much more productive. The comments exchanged today were all constructive, relevant, and insightful.

You have many drafts to look over, so if you haven’t started, do it. Bring your comments with you to class. You will each be giving your comments so if you are unprepared, it will be evident.

See you TOMORROW, group A: Dhrupal, Andrew D., Andrew C., Shannon, and Jessica B!

I was going to write long, drawn-out suggestions to help you with conclusions, replete with examples and diagrams, but decided to  post this link on conclusions instead, which says everything I wanted to say in a much more concise fashion.

There aren’t any real student examples, but we can use your drafts as the examples during our workshops. Don’t forget: bring FOUR copies of your drafts to class with you Tuesday. Bring them prior to class; don’t rely on our class printer because Murphy’s law will state that the printer will break down on you! And you’ll be draftless and won’t get the points.


The syllabus asks you to bring FOUR hard copies of your draft with you to class Tuesday, so please do that. Don’t worry about the SafeAssign directions. Just bring your draft and the copies to class Tuesday.

DO NOT rely on the printers in the classroom to print out your drafts; they often break and if they do, you will NOT BE ABLE TO TURN YOUR DRAFT IN LATE.


Hey All,

As you compose your introductions, here are some useful tips to consider in conjunction with the class notes you took earlier in the semester about introduction paragraphs.

In the beginning of the semester, we talked about styles and parts of introductions (ex: Funnel style, with an anecdotal lead-in, that logically leads us to the thesis).

Composing the opening section of an argument essay will work in a similar way, except that the decisions you make about the information to include will depend heavily on your subject and your audience. If your subject is not well-known to your audience, you might need to supply some background information. If it is well-known, you might have to try and grab the audience’s attention and make them focus on your argument in a specific way. Furthermore, you might want to emphasize the gravity (or seriousness) of your topic; this is especially important when addressing an audience that is opposed to your claim.

Here are some ways to go about it:

Occasional Opening: Often uses a current or recent event as the springboard or platform to launch into the reason (or occasion) for the essay. Ex: “In light of the recent mining accident that occurred in Chile…”

Startling Opening: Is basically the same as the startling lead-in we discussed earlier in the semester. Ex: “While you are reading this sentence, one child will have died from starvation.”

Anecdotal Opening: Is basically the same as an anecdotal style introduction we discussed in class.  It uses a brief story to engage the reader. Ex: An essay arguing that most toxins are found in the home might open up with a story of a child whose mother finds him about to drink a bottle of nailpolish remover.

Analytical Opening: Usually gets straight into the essay by–you guessed it–analyzing some critical aspect of the topic itself.  Ex: An essay beginning with a breakdown of alcohol’s harmful physical effects on the liver might be arguing the harmful physical effects of alcohol.

-adapted from The Well-Crafted Argument

Again, as we saw in class earlier in the semester, you can often match up types of intros with different lead-ins. Likewise, you might be able to use an analytical style introduction with a startling statement lead-in, or you could use a question lead-in with an occasional style introduction.

We will discuss these links together in class.


Looks like most of you voted to extend the due date for the Extended Outline and Intro!

The new due date for both will be THURSDAY. This also means that you may or may not receive the outlines back before you already begin work on your draft.

See you tomorrow!

Here is a useful update on my Induction/Deduction visual. Keep in mind that this is a BASIC visual of these types of reasoning. Both induction and deduction can be very complex, depending on the subject:

INDUCTION: Building a hypothesis or coming to a conclusion based on your observations of certain phenomena.

Example:  My nephew Calvin has observed several incidents of cats meowing. As a result, he has come to the conclusion that all cats meow. He is engaging in inductive reasoning.

Do you think that these examples are sufficient to make the “inductive leap” to the conclusion that all cats meow?  At some point, Calvin decided that he had seen enough to draw a valid conclusion. The same goes for you.

A few weeks later, I took my nephew to the zoo, and this is what happened:

And there you have it. Basic inductive reasoning. If a 2-year-old could do it, so can you.

Next up…DEDUCTION (once I figure out how to create that visual)!

One advantage to keeping the due date on Tuesday is that I will be able to look over your outlines & introductions an return them before you turn in your drafts; otherwise, I will not be able to return them until the day your drafts are due.

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