WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS, English 221, Fall 2014 Last revised: 04 November, 2014 09:47:32 AM.

[The most frequently referenced journal title abbreviations used below: CE (College English), CCC (College Composition and Communication), and RTE (Research in the Teaching of English).  Articles available online can be read from journals indexed in JSTOR by means of hyperlinks from the syllabus's parenthetical bibliographic information, like this: (available via JSTOR, from CCC,  1981).  You will have to use EbscoHost, yourself, to access Genesee ("Brain Research") in ERIC for Week 5.]

Week 1

Monday, 8/25: As soon as you can, buy the anthologies edited by Perl and Podis & Podis, read Elizabeth Faerm's tutoring article, "Tutoring Anne" (WLN, 1992, page 8) available online at https://writinglabnewsletter.org/archives/v16/16-7.pdf  and read Janet Emig's review essay on twentieth-century research methods and findings, "The Composing Process: Review of the Literature" (In Perl, 1-22). Think about how strange "language" is, how it is linked to seeing and hearing and speaking, to the rest of our senses, and to memory. Also, if you have not already done so, learn how to navigate Blackboard and this web site, and make sure you can send and receive emails with attached files. These will be useful techniques, and are more easily learned early in the semester than when they're absolutely needed.

        In the writing due for this week before the class meets on Monday, we will be introducing ourselves to each other by describing how we write before the class meets.  Post your "How Do I Write" description to the "Theories of Composing..." GoucherLearn course's "Weekly Reading Responses" discussion forum by two days before our first class.  After you have read your colleagues' descriptions of their composing processes, if you have time, talk to some other members of the class (see "Who we are 2014").   In class, we will divide our time between talking about the similarities and differences you observed in your colleagues' "How do I write?" essays, the approaches to researching writing which Emig describes, and the tutoring experience you will encounter in Faerm's article.

Monday, 9/1: Labor Day Holiday--no class meeting.  Conferences Tuesday?

Writing Due: by Friday (9/5), posted to the "Theories of Composing..." GoucherLearn course's "Weekly Reading Responses" discussion forum, a 1- to 2-page analytical response to Graves, Gilmartin and Turk.  See the "Required Texts and Graded Work" page or talk to me for advice about the responses.

Week 2: What do we do when we write?--What do tutors do when performing tuition?

Monday, 9/8, Read Graves, "An Examination of the Writing Processes of Seven-Year-Old Children" (In Perl, 23-38).   "Introduction"; Gilmartin, "Working at the Drop-In Center"; Turk, "'Tutoring' Beyond the Writing Center: Peer Consulting in the Classroom" (In Podis & Podis, 13-32).  If you're wondering what I think about these readings, click here for some guidance.  This will give you some idea where I would take a discussion, but the more important question is where you want to take the discussion.  Web page for today's class.  If you have 50 minutes to spare in this crazy early part of the semester, watch the video of Tom Newkirk's description of Graves' research and the clip from Graves' original videotapes of the kids in the classroom, a talk delivered at the University of New Hampshire, where Graves worked.  It will help you appreciate the enormous changes Graves' research helped begin in the teaching of composition and the methods by which it was studied.  More interestingly, Newkirk is still studying Graves' original tapes to develop new ways of understanding what we see there.

Writing Due: by Friday, to the "Theories of Composing..." GoucherLearn course's "Weekly Reading Responses" discussion forum, response to Flower and Hayes, Koundakjian, and Brand.

Week 3: Minds/Brains/Symbols--Cognitive process theory and emotion.

Monday, 9/15, Flower and Hayes, "A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing" (available via JSTOR from CCC, 1981); Koundakjian, "Speaking the Written Voice" (in Podis & Podis, 33-38); and Brand, "The Why of Cognition: Emotion and the Writing Process" (available via JSTOR, from CCC, 1987).  Useful background reading if you want to pursue this further:  Antonio Damasio, Decartes' Error; Non-invasive alternative evidence sources re: writers' mental activities.

Writing Due: by Friday, to the "Theories of Composing..." GoucherLearn course's "Weekly Reading Responses" discussion forum, response to Faigley, Elbow, and Schambelan, and first annotated bibliography entry to the to the "Theories of Composing..." GoucherLearn course's "Annotated Bibliographies" discussion forum.  See the "What Makes a Bibliographic Annotation Useful" page or talk to me for advice about how to structure your annotation.

Writing Center In-Service Tutor Training Begins (1-HOUR/WEEK): First, just visit the Writing Center to talk with tutors about their work and writing (if there are no tutoring sessions scheduled) or to observe tutoring sessions.  Watch the tutor-writer interaction as if it were a business negotiation, a courtship, an interrogation, a therapy session, or a friendly conversation.  What is going on at the surface level (body language, who holds the paper?, who leads the conversation?) and beneath the surface (are the participants comfortable or uncomfortable and why?; what long-term writing process functions seem to be at issue in the writer's process?; how does the tutor "play" the session?; what issues does this raise for the readings so far and in the future?).  Feel free to refer to these sessions in your weekly responses and to let them guide your remaining bibliographic annotations.  Please refer to the tutors and writers anonymously (e.g., as "the tutor" or "the writer" vs. "Arnie" and "Raskolnikov").  After Mid-Semester Break, you should be ready to try tutoring yourself, with an experienced tutor observing the session to help you better understand what happened.  These sessions are crucial to the development of your thinking about the course. 

Week 4: Cognitive Process Theory and Its Critics

Monday, 9/22 [9/24, is National Punctuation Day!]  Lester Faigley, "Competing Theories of Process" (available via JSTOR, from CE, 1986).  Peter Elbow, "Closing My Eyes as I Speak: An Argument for Ignoring Audience" (available via JSTOR, from CE, 1987).  Schambelan, "Defining a Persona" (P&P, 263-8).  For an additional reading about theory and semantics by C. S. Lewis, click here!

Writing Due: by Friday, collaborative response to Hudson, High, and Al Otaiba, to Brueggemann et al., and to Ryan, and second annotated bibliography entry to the "Theories of Composing..." GoucherLearn course's discussion forums.

Week 5 :Function and Dysfunction at the Junction: the Writer's Brain

Monday, 9/29:  "Brain Structures and their Functions."   Start with the Bryn Mawr web page linked to "Brain Structures" (left) and teach yourself a little functional anatomy so that you can understand how reading and writing, and their sub-skills, seeing, hearing, speaking and touch, are distributed.  How much of the brain and which parts are typically devoted to spoken/heard language, and how much of it and which parts are typically devoted to written/read language?  What does this tell us about the relationship between spoken and written language, and what might it mean for writers, tutors, and teachers?  Then see what Krulwich, Hudson et al., Brueggemann et al., and Wewers can tell us about how to help writers whose brains are atypically organized.   Robert Krulwich, "The Writer Who Couldn't Read" (NPR Morning Edition, 21 June 2010) [because this is a radio story which also was turned into an animated short film, you have the choice to listen to it, read it, watch and listen to the video, or all three--your choice will change your sense of what it means to use language]; Hudson, Roxanne F.; High, Leslie; Al Otaiba, Stephanie. "Dyslexia and the Brain: What Does Current Research Tell Us?," Reading Teacher, Mar2007, 60:6, 506-515 (available from EbscoHost at http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=24286603&site=ehost-live; Brenda Jo Brueggemann, Linda Feldmeier White, Patricia A. Dunn, Barbara A. Heifferon and Johnson Cheu, "Becoming Visible: Lessons in Disability,"  College Composition and Communication,  52: 3 (Feb., 2001) 368-398 (available from JSTOR at http://www.jstor.org/stable/358624); Ryan, "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the Writing Process" (P&P, 289-300).  The Krulwich artlcle for NPR may lead some of you to the Orton-Gillingham Institute for Multisensory Education, which is mentioned in several of the online listeners' comments at the bottom of the story.  Web pages for today's discussion.

Writing Due: by Friday, collaborative response to Perl, Sommers, and Harris--BIB. Holiday, no annotation due.  Click on the hyperlink for advice about how to create a collaborative reading response.

Week 6 : Skilled and Unskilled Processes; Authority and Dialect

Monday, 10/6: Perl, "Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers" (Perl 39-61) and Sommers, "Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers" (Perl 75-84 and available via JSTOR, from CCC, 1980); Harris, "Composing Behaviors of One- and Multi-Draft Writers" (available via JSTOR, from CE, 1989).  Web page for today's class.

Writing Due: by Friday,  collaborative response to North, McCarthy, and Pryor; third annotated bibliography entry to the "Theories of Composing..." GoucherLearn course's discussion forums..

Week 7: Why the Writing Center Matters, Part 1

Monday, 10/13: North, "The Idea of the Writing Center" (available via JSTOR from CE, 1984); McCarthy, "A Stranger in Strange Lands" (available via JSTOR from RTE, 1987); Pryor, "Writing in Academia" (P&P, 221-27).  Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching ("The Way and its Power"), Chapter LXXVII.  Web page for today.

Writing Due: no formal or graded response to next week's readings is due this week, but by Sunday (10/19) noon, send me an email containing any and all questions you have about grammar, i.e., syntax (word order), usage (word choice), document format, or any other "technical" things you are worried that you do not know.  The Bibliography Project is on holiday.  Take advantage of the break in writing to re-read some of your colleagues' annotated bibliography entries and postings to the public folder.  Look for people with interests you share already or who can help you discover an interest you didn't know you had.  Those people might be good to work with on your collaborative research project.  Click here for "Tips for Getting Started in Collaborative Research."third annotated bibliography entry to the "Theories of Composing..." GoucherLearn course's discussion forums.  Please do not turn in the last two bibliographies late unless you have a serious academic or personal conflict.  These last two are crucial for your increasing focus as we begin to form research groups.

Friday 10/17-Sunday 10/19: Mid-Semester Holiday--think deep thoughts about what you might research for your final project, and perhaps read ahead in North, McCarthy, and Pryor.  They are extraordinarily good.  Remember to send me your questions about grammar, usage, rhetoric, or anything else you might be worried that you could not explain if a writer asked you about it. 

Week 8: Grammar, Syntax, and Usage; Writers' Isolation & Two Styles of Composing--Beginning this week, your one-hour visits to the Writing Center should include some practice tutoring with an experienced tutor's assistance.

Monday, 10/20: Read Hartwell, "Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar" (available via JSTOR from College English, 1985) and  Dilin Liu, “Making Grammar Instruction More Empowering: An Exploratory Case Study of Corpus Use in the Learning/Teaching of Grammar.”  Research in the Teaching of English 45:4 (May 2011) 353-77 (available via ProQuest from RTE at http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=2345983061&sid=1&Fmt=2&clientId=42889&RQT=309&VName=PQD). Web addresses to help you explore Liu's suggested "corpora" for grammar and usage rule testing are linked to this sentence.  Get ready to bare your soul (anonymously if you choose) about what you know, don't know, love, hate, fear, and wonder about the English language.  We want to make sure all of us leave this class feeling like competent users of formal grammar for practical purposes, able to explain sentence structure and spelling conventions, and equipped with an enhanced sensitivity to style. Refreshments will be served.  For some historical background on how punctuation evolved to its current exalted state, click here.  For links to online grammar tutorial sites, click here.

Writing Due: by Friday, collaborative response to Brufee, Dyehouse, Howey, and Axel-Lute.  THIS IS THE END OF THE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ASSIGNMENTS.   BY THIS TIME, YOU SHOULD HAVE BEGUN TO FORM FINAL PROJECT GROUPS (USUALLY 2-3 PERSONS PER GROUP), AND PLAN PROJECTS (proposal due 11/19, written project reports due 12/13).  Click here for "Tips for Getting Started in Collaborative Research."

Week 9: Why the Writing Center Matters, Part 2

Monday, 10/27: Brufee, "Peer Tutoring and the Conversation of Mankind" (available online at Peer Tutoring and the "Conversation of Mankind"); Dyehouse, "Peer Tutors and Institutional Authority" (P&P, 53-57); Howey, "No Answers: Interrogating 'Truth' in Writing" (P&P, 117-221); Axel-Lute, "Consciousness, Frustration, and Power" (P&P, 151-68).

Writing Due: no formal graded writing is due, but please post a brief note in the GL discussion forum after you have read Haas, et al., and the excerpts from Agee and AltarribaI believe you will find their work thought provoking as you think about each year's more digitally-textualized first-year students coming to the Writing Center.  What should we expect and how should we prepare for it?

Week 10: Writing in the new digital era / Research Group Formation--

      Because we have two other important things to discuss, namely the influence of new writing media on Goucher students' writing processes and the formation of potential research project groups, you will need to arrive ready to get right to work.  We will spend roughly one hour on each of those topics.  Note that next week there is no seminar meeting.  Instead, your group will meet with me to discuss your project.  Let's get smart!

Monday, 11/3: Christina Haas and Pamela Takayoshi, with Brandon Carr, Kimberly Hudson, and Ross Pollock.  “Young People’s Everyday Literacies: The Language Features of Instant Messaging.”  Research in the Teaching of English 45:4 (May 2011) 378-404.  Available from Goucher's Library Databases if you search the MLA Blbliography for the title and click on the ProQuest link, or this should also work:

http://search.proquest.com.goucher.idm.oclc.org/docview/866305796?accountid=11164   How many of the features Hass et al. tag as "IM English" do you see occurring in Goucher students' academic prose?  Do you see additional examples of these features when texting or Tweeting, and has anything new been introduced?  Would you like to study the slow infiltration of these features into the prose we see in Writing Placement Essays?  What other changes will we see in students' prose writing as a result of the new digital literacy replacing print?  Click here for excerpts and paraphrased findings from Jane Agee and Jeanette Altarriba, "Changing Conceptions and Use of Computer Technologies in the Everyday Literacy Practices of Sixth and Seventh Graders," Research in Teaching English 43:4 (May 2009) 363-96.

For contrast, check out a major cursive handwriting system taught in American K-12 schools until the late twentieth century: http://palmermethod.com/introductory

        After we have talked about IM English and its descendents, our attention will turn to collaborative research strategies.  I will describe some ways to organize collaborative research and problem solving techniques that have proven useful to previous groups.  I will pay special attention to inventive ways to divide the workload, and to stage your research process, so that the remaining three weeks of the course produce the maximum productivity from your group, and as little wasted time as possible.  If you have questions before we meet and if you have not already consulted "A Few Words About Collaborative Research," please read that web page.  By the end of class, you should have some idea of which groups you might be involved with, and by next week, you will know for sure.

Writing Due: by Friday, a posting to GoucherLearn identifying, tentatively, the collaborative research groups and their general topics.  Read other groups' descriptions and look for points at which your projects might help each other, perhaps even share resources (scholarly articles, data, etc.).  Post about these sharing opportunities when you see them. 

Research Project Research Conferences at the Library: You should be discussing possible research groups based on ideas that are mutually interesting and compatible.  Please feel free to schedule group or individual conferences with me if you need help getting started, organizing yourselves, finding sources, focusing the project, or anything else that helps.  To make sure you have the best possible research assistance, and to help you guide other writers you are tutoring who need research help beyond what you can give them, please go to the Library Website and schedule a group appointment with the library's bibliographic research staff.  Pamela Flinton and Jim Huff will be your most likely contacts, and either can help you get the most out of your search strategies.  If you cannot navigate the Library home page, you will find the appointment scheduler at this Web address: http://www.goucher.edu/the-library/research-help/research-consultation-form  In addition to the M-F 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM hours for regular appointments, Pamela Flinton also will be available on the weekend.  Contact her directly for her schedule. 

Week 11: Research Project Conferences (In VM 141, project groups): our regularly scheduled seminar meeting is cancelled this week, and in its place, your collaborative research group will meet with me for approximately 1/2 hour to 45 minutes in order to brainstorm your project, locate sources, identify potential difficulties and solutions, smooth out the logistics of your collaboration, etc.  (See below.)

By appointment at VM 141 on Monday 11/10 (11:00-1:00 and 2:45-6:00), and if necessary by appointment on Tuesday 11/11, or Thursday 11/12: Research project tutoring sessions.   Bring me your ideas, photocopied and original sources, preliminary data, and anything else you would bring to a Writing Center conference for help constructing your project.  Our goal is to solve problems in your collaborative distribution of tasks and information, and to help you acquire information and expertise to help your group finish the project on schedule.  Be prepared to adjust your project's focus a bit in the interests of practicality, remembering always that English 221 research projects often evolve into Independent Study courses or Senior Honors Theses.  You don't have to do it all this semester, and the current project can take the form of a gathering of resources for a proposal to do a bigger project later.  See the home page for a link to the schedule.

Week 12: Research Project Proposal Day

Monday, 11/17: Read for your projects and share what you read with your group, and with groups working on related topics.   Writing Due: 3-PAGE PROPOSALS FOR FINAL COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS DUE IN CLASS. Bring enough copies for each class member plus one for me.  These should be descriptions of the problem you're trying to understand, with a description of the method you might use to learn about it and a guess as to how you'll divide the work among yourselves.  The page count is negotiable--they can be shorter or longer.  One member of your group should be designated to read the proposal aloud to help us consider carefully what you are proposing to do.  I would be delighted to read and respond to earlier drafts of your proposals before class.   Click here for a description of what should be in a well-constructed proposal.  Click here for a description of what a well-prepared proposal audience should be doing while listening to the proposals.

        Add to your proposal's text your current bibliography or Works Cited list of resources, and be prepared to give us an update on where your project has gone so far, what you are currently doing, and what help you could use.  As you listen to other groups, be prepared to offer suggestions, including research strategies or sources you have come across.  If your group receives significant assistance from members of another group, please remember to give them credit in an endnote or footnote (depending on which format you choose to follow).  In the last class meeting, your group will present a preliminary report of your findings in the last class meeting, and a final report on the project is due after classes are over.

Week 14: Monday, 11/24: Research Project Group Tutoring.  I will match groups together for a first round of tutoring before the break, and then switch tutor-group pairs after break, so that each research group will have had a chance to explain to at least two other groups what they are trying to do, what problems they have encountered, and what assistance they need.  Remember that groups whose assistance is acknowledged by another group in a suitably documented form in that group's report will get extra credit on their project. 

Wednesday 11/26 through Sunday 11/30--THANKSGIVING VACATION. 

Week 15: Monday, 12/1: Research Project Preliminary Reports.  In a short presentation, summarize your main conclusions and their implications for our work this semester and/or the Writing Program, the Writing Center, tutoring, writing, teaching and learning at Goucher College.  (Have I left anything out?) 

Please remember to fill out the online course evaluation for English 221!  Thanks.

RESEARCH PROJECT REPORTS DUE Monday, 12/8, or soon thereafter, by negotiated agreement posted to the GoucherLearn course discussion board.  Please remember to indicate whether you wish to retain the copyright to your work (which I recommend), and whether you are willing to give me permission to post it to this web site for future English 221 students to read (which I request).  Either choice will have no bearing on the grade.  Also make clear to me whether you all want to share a cumulative grade or you want to assign credit for separate aspects or parts of the project to individual contributors.