Thursday, July 29, 2010

Assignments for Monday, August 2, 2010

  • Turn in literary criticism essay (see topics below)
  • Vocabulary (Please learn definitions before reading linked article)
- anti-Semitism
- atrocity
- Auschwitz (know historical significance of this place)
- catalyst
- coerce
- cognition
- conscript
- crematorium
- genocide
- latent
- pogrom
- propaganda

Topics for final essay

Choose one of the topics below for a 500-word essay due Monday, August 2, 2010.

  • What life lessons does "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" suggest to the reader? Use specific examples from the story to make your points.
  • Demonstrate how the duke's character is progressively revealed in "My Last Duchess" and evaluate how the speaker's voice is different from the poet's.
Your essay doesn't have to be a research paper, but referencing one or two critical works could well make your paper stronger.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reading for Wednesday, July 28, 2010

OK, scholars, here's your assignment for Wednesday. Please remember, this story is for you to read before coming to class. It won't do you much good (either for your quiz grade or for your understanding) if you try to read it for the first time on the screen while we discuss it Wednesday morning.

"The Jilting of Granny Weatherall"

Also, please have some idea of what the story is saying and what's really going on. "Jilting" has been around long enough that a simple Google search will give you more than enough critical writing on the story. Here's a good plan: read the story first, come up with your best interpretation, and then check your theory against some of what's been written online. Whatever you do, don't come to class with an "I have no idea" attitude.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Research paper extension

Scholars, as I'm reading the essays on the progress of your research, I've come to realize that some of you would benefit from reading my comments before turning in your research papers. Therefore, when we meet on Monday I'll return your process essays, and your research papers won't be due till Wednesday.

Friday, July 23, 2010

This coming week

Dear scholars, I hope you're getting along well with your research paper. I have to attend a funeral Tuesday morning, and we won't be having class that day. So, in addition to turning in your paper, it will be doubly important to be in class Monday to plan ahead for the time we'll be missing. Happy writing, and I look forward to seeing you Monday. AMS

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Article to evaluate in class Thursday, July 22, 2010

We'll be looking over the following article to bring together a number of the skills we've been discussing for research and writing:

"Doomsday: How BP Gulf Disaster May Have Triggered a 'World-Killing Event."

Although this essay won't be on the quiz Thursday, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with it.

Assignments for Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scholars, I apologize for being about 45 minutes overdue on posting your assignments.
  • Vocabulary words on p. 355, Patterns for College Writing (please understand meanings before doing the following reading)
  • "Guns and Grief," Patterns for College Writing, pp. 350-53
  • "Gun Control's Twisted Outcome"

Source for space exploration essay

If you're doing the space exploration subject for your research paper, you might like this movie:

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Create a Works Cited entry, in proper MLA format, for the linked article:

Assignments for Monday, July 19, 2010

Process essay topic

In a 500-word essay, describe the process you have used so far in preparing your research paper, along with the process that still remains to be done.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In-class MLA exercise

For each item create a quote or paraphrase and Works Cited entry in MLA format.

1. Source:
Quote: There's also the decline in parental prestige over generations. My mother reports that when she was a newlywed (she was married in 1959) you weren't seen as fully a member of the adult world until you had kids.

2. Source:
Quote: Here is something else to consider: As far as I've been able to determine, no polygamous society has ever been a true liberal democracy, in anything like the modern sense. As societies move away from hierarchy and toward equal opportunity, they leave polygamy behind. They monogamize as they modernize. That may be a coincidence, but it seems more likely to be a logical outgrowth of the arithmetic of polygamy.

3. Source:
Paraphrase: Yes, that’s right, “redneck” is a slur. Some folks in the 21st century, including myself, embrace it as a symbolic term of endearment for the hard-working everyman.

4. Source:
Paraphrase: Experts believe the blow-out preventer (BOP) must have partially triggered otherwise the flow of oil to the surface would be more extreme than it is.

5. Source:
Quote: And now we have a videotape metaphor for all the public's fears: that clip we see every day, on every news show, of the well gushing black oil into the Gulf of Mexico and toward our shore. You actually don't get deadlier as a metaphor for the moment than that, the monster that lives deep beneath the sea.

6. Source:
Quote: Obama's reaction to that resistance made things worse. Obama fancies himself tribune of the people, spokesman for the grass roots, harbinger of a new kind of politics from below that would upset the established lobbyist special-interest order of Washington. Yet faced with protests from a real grass-roots movement, his party and his supporters called it a mob -- misinformed, misled, irrational, angry, unhinged, bordering on racist. All this while the administration was cutting backroom deals with every manner of special interest -- from drug companies to auto unions to doctors -- in which favors worth billions were quietly and opaquely exchanged.

7. Source:
Quote: The New Horizons probe was due to be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, last night but strong winds led to its postponement for a day.

8. Source:
Paraphrase: The old cap had been diverting about 15,000 barrels a day (630,000 gallons) to a ship. BP still is recovering an additional 8,000 to 9,000 barrels a day (336,000 to 378,000 gallons) through a line connected to another vessel, the Q4000.

9. Source:
Quote: Estimated release rate of oil from Deepwater Horizon at 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day.

10. Source:
Paraphrase: In a rare divergence from administration policy, President Obama used the term "radical Islam" to describe the African-based terror group that took credit Monday for killing 74 people in Uganda during an interview Tuesday with the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

11. Source:
Paraphrase: White House economists praised the government’s $787 billion stimulus program as a success on Wednesday, saying it had saved or created 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs since it was signed a year ago.

12. Source:
Quote: Obama is increasingly turning to former President Clinton to help win over voters and the business community.

13. Source:
Quote: Obama reportedly expressed support for the 2002 Saudi Initiative upon winning the presidential election in November of 2008.

14. Source:
Paraphrase: Sure enough, Fox News, the Drudge Report, and conservative bloggers have focused on another example of President Obama bowing to another foreign leader, in this case Chinese President Hu Jintao.

15. Source:
Quote: Jones, who specialized in environmentally friendly "green jobs" with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the Sept. 11 attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.

16. Source:
Paraphrase: Health reform will make health care more affordable, make health insurers more accountable, expand health coverage to all Americans, and make the health system sustainable, stabilizing family budgets, the Federal budget, and the economy

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Assignments for Thursday, July 15, 2010

  • Vocablulary: aura, diminution, exemplary, forgo, maternal, paternal, subsidy
  • "The Parent Trap"
  • LBH 611-25 (will be on quiz)
  • LBH 626-35 (your grade depends on it)

Readings for Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Have you sent me an electronic copy?

Remember, it's required only if you want to receive a grade for your work.

Assignments for Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Instructions for plagiarism essay

If you scored less than 80 on the plagiarism exam (or missed the exam entirely), you can find instructions here for writing the make-up essay.

Questions to ask in evaluating web sources

  • Who is the author of the article?
  • Is the author writing as an advocate of a particular position or ostensibly writing as an impartial reporter?
  • Is the author expressing only his or her opinions or that of an organization, publication, or website?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic at hand?
  • Does the author have known biases?
  • Does the author have a reputation for telling the truth?
  • What is the parent website?
  • What organization is behind the website? Who funds it?
  • Does that organization take an official position on the issue at hand?
  • If so, what is that position?
  • Whatever the organization’s position or values, is its work reputable and trustworthy?
  • If the website is the work of a single author, is that author a legitimate authority in the field under consideration?
  • Is the article in question a primary or secondary source?
  • Does the article cite sources for information?
  • If so, do these sources appear to be valid for the subject at hand?
  • If the article purports to be an unbiased treatment, are both sides of the issue treated fairly?
  • If the article takes a position on an issue, does it acknowledge and interact fairly with opposing views?
  • Does the article deal with a broad enough subject to be of more than anecdotal value?

In-class exercise: evaluating web sources

BP oil mess
Obama's performance
Space exploration
Gender disparity in higher education

Assignments for Monday, 7/12/10

1. Turn in 500-word persuasive essay on a topic of your choice
2. Know the following vocabulary words (For best results, please be familiar with these words before reading the article linked below).
(be sure you know this one; it doesn't mean what you probably think it does).

3. Read "Ruining Kids in Order to Save Them"
4. Complete second page of logical fallacies worksheet

Keeping track of sources

Every time you use a source for your research paper, make sure to keep track of the following information for future reference:
  • 1. Name of the author
  • 2. Title of the article
  • 3. Title of the larger work in which it appears
  • 4. Date published
  • 5. Date accessed
  • 6. URL.
We'll come back later and study how to put this information into MLA format. In case you're interested in doing that now, you can find information on MLA format in section 46 of LBH.

Update: 3.a. Person or organization publishing the larger work.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Assignments for Thursday

  • Prepare for plagiarism exam
  • "The Tyranny of Science" (link below)
  • "Social Harmony" (old men should be dangerous) (link below)
  • Vocabulary: exemplar, incongruous, dogma, predatory, recidivism, skepticism, divination

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pay attention to the sticky posts

Immediately to the right of this posting (at least today) are four "sticky posts" that might help you all through the (very short, hurried) semester. I especially recommend the site on finding information about current events.

What makes a good persuasive essay

As we discussed in class today, here are a few points to consider in evaluating a persuasive essay (yours or someone else's):

  1. Does the writer take a firm, clear stand on a debatable issue?
  2. Does the writer employ adequate evidence to support that stand?
  3. Does the writer consider his or her audience?
  4. Are main arguments based on logic but employ emotion effectively?
  5. Does the argument take into account and refute counter-arguments?

This post is one worth coming back to throughout the semester.

Upcoming readings

"Excitement Deprives Children of Happiness"

"Really Bad Ideas: The Tyranny of Science"

"Social Harmony" (Old men should be dangerous)
Please be careful in printing this essay--the web page prints out as about 60 pages.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Class 'motto'

Accept it; you're all right a lot.

Research paper topics

Your five- to six-page research paper is due three weeks from today. Please have your topic selected no later than the end of this week. You must select one of the following topics for your research paper.
  • The current Gulf oil leak is one of the greatest disasters of the past fifty years
  • In context the damage from the current Gulf oil leak is being greatly exaggerated
  • Barack Obama is well on his way toward becoming one of the the greatest presidents in United States history
  • Barack Obama is well on his way toward becoming one of the worst presidents in United States history
  • The United States is poised to enter the next golden age of space exploration and development
  • Gender disparity in higher education is a problem and needs to be remedied
Yes, I will require that you write your paper on one of these topics. In past semesters I've found that opening up the list of topics presents three problems: students wavering too long on choosing a topic, unscrupulous students recycling essays from high school or other courses, and even more unscrupulous students downloading ready-made essays from the net. So you do have flexibility in choosing a topic, but only from the list on this page.



Monday--Thursday 7:30-9:40 a.m.

Instructor: Milton Stanley, M.F.A.W., M.Div.
Office hours: Monday-Thursday 1:00-4:00 p.m. and by appointment

Required Materials
Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide, Eleventh Edition
The Little, Brown Handbook, Eleventh Edition
College dictionary
Notebook for freewriting, written responses, and quizzes

Course Description

English 1020 builds upon the basic skills covered in ENGL 1010. This course is designed to help you enhance and build your critical thinking skills through an emphasis on argumentation essays, literary analysis, and the completion of a research paper. For a comprehensive list of course goals and objectives, see the ENGL 1020 Weblog (http://mscc﷓engl﷓

Class Requirements
  • Do all assigned readings in time for quizzes and class discussions.
  • Always come to class ready to write.
  • Participate in class discussions.
  • Complete and turn in all writing assignments on time.
  • Do all in-class assignments in dark ink on wide-ruled paper.
  • Turn in both printed and electronic copies of out-of-class assignments (please talk to me if you do not have access to word processing and printing services).
Essay Papers
To complete this course, you’ll write four formal essays:
  • Essay 1 Brief argumentative essay
  • Essay 2 Brief descriptive
  • Essay 3 Research paper (long argumentative essay)
  • Essay 4 Literary analysis
You will also do in-class writing every day, graded pass-fail.

Grades in this course will be assigned according to the following scale:
  • A = 90-100
  • B = 80-89
  • C = 70-79
  • D = 60-69
  • F = 0-59
Remember that, according to academic convention, a C is an average grade. The grade of B indicates above-average work, and an A is given only for outstanding performance. I want you to make the best grade you honestly can. I’m willing to work individually with you through the semester to help you improve your grade. I urge you also to take advantage of a wide range of services offered by Motlow State. Late-term begging, however, is a very bad idea.

Your final grade will be determined according to the following formula:
  • Research paper -- 30%
  • Other formal essays -- 25%
  • Exams -- 15%
  • Quizzes -- 15%
  • In-class writing -- 10%
  • Class participation -- 5%
In short, 45 percent of your final grade is determined by what you do in class. No matter what your other averages may be, however, you must have an average of D or better on your formal essays to pass this course.

Essay Format
For all out-of-class papers, use a 12-point standard font. Double space your essays on plain white paper with one-inch margins. See
The Little, Brown Handbook for manuscript guidelines. Please follow MLA format.

Major Error Policy
During this course you’ll be reminded how to eliminate these major grammatical errors:
  • Fused sentence (FS)
  • Dangling modifier (DM)
  • Comma splice (CS)
  • Lack of subject-verb agreement (SVA)
  • Sentence fragment (Frag)
Each instance of one of these errors in an essay will result in a one-half letter grade penalty.

Attendance Policy
You are expected to attend classes regularly, and attendance is sometimes critical for mastering the skills developed in this class. Please remember that quizzes and in-class writing assignments will be given every day and cannot be made up.

Classroom Deportment
Please keep in mind we’re all adults here. Texting, talking on the telephone, web browsing during class, or getting up to leave before class is over is simply rude and shows disrespect to your teacher, your fellow students, and yourself.

Plagiarism is copying someone else's work without giving proper credit to the author. It's cheating, and a single instance of flagrant plagiarism will cause you to fail the course if you're caught. Even inadvertent plagiarism, such as failing to cite a source, is a serious academic offense. Make sure you avoid plagiarism with everything you write. If you're not sure what plagiarism is or how to avoid it, review your
Little, Brown Handbook. Use other resources as well, such as the Writing Center and the Turnitin online service. I am available to help you in person or by e-mail, provided you come to me before turning in your paper.

Assignments, helpful information, and special notices will be posted each day on the course weblog: Be sure to check the site frequently for important information about the course. Please see me if regular Internet access is a problem for you.

Writing Centers and SmarThinking
You can get one-on-one help with your writing at one of the MSCC writing centers. You also have the benefit of online tutorial help from the SmarThinking service at Please take advantage of both.

Other Information

I accept late work only in unusual circumstances. In no circumstance will I give make-ups for daily quizzes or in-class writing assignments. Late work will be lowered at least one letter grade. I do not accept very late work (e.g., saving all your essays till the end of the semester).

In most cases, in-class essays will be graded pass/fail. For the in-class average, every passing essay will be averaged as a grade of 100 and every failing essay as a 50. A missed assignment is averaged as a 0. That said, the vicissitudes of life are sometimes outside our control, so I'll cut you some slack. I will drop your three lowest quiz grades and your three lowest in-class essay grades. You will also be given the option of rewriting one out-of-class paper. For rewrites, I will accept only papers that have already been graded and returned.

Please see me if you need special accommodations in keeping with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

You’ve paid money for this course, and I want you to get what you’ve paid for. Should the McMinnville campus be closed due to unforeseen circumstances, we will, if possible, soldier on using the course weblog and other online resources.

Special Note on Summer Short-Burn Courses
The pace of a summer short-term course is intense and unforgiving. In this course we will cover a full week or more of material every day. Falling behind for even a few days could have catastrophic consequences on your performance and grade. If you’ve signed up for this course, make sure you set aside adequate time to do the work. I want you to do well in this course, but you have to do the work to make the grade.

This syllabus hits only the high points and cannot include everything you need to know during the semester. Stay tuned for more.

A Final Note
Don't let all these dos and don'ts get you down. If you've made it this far, you probably have what it takes to make it through this course. I want you to do as well as you can, and I'll do my best to help you. But remember that you're the one in charge of your education, so take the initiative in doing the work, asking questions, and seeking help when you need it.

About your instructor

I'm honored to be your teacher this semester. In case you're interested, you can find out more about me here:

Curriculum vitae
Short essays
Full list of publications
Shorter list of publications

Once again, I look forward to working with you in this very brief summer term.


This weblog is for Motlow State Community College students in Milton Stanley's ENGL 1020 class, meeting in McMinnville. Be sure to check back here daily for important course information. Please keep in touch, and may your work this semester be fruitful, rewarding, and enriching.