Thursday, February 24, 2011

Assignments for Tuesday, March 1, 2011

  • Turn in process essay
  • Learn vocabulary in PCW, p. 355
  • Read "Guns and Grief," PCW, pp. 350-53
  • Be prepared for quiz we were originally supposed to have Thursday, February 24, 2011 [Yes, I'm relenting on my original intention of having three quizzes on Thursday. Instead we'll have two quizzes on Thursday, February 24 (2/17's and 2/22's), and two on Tuesday, March 1st (2/24's and 3/1's)].

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Assignments for Thursday, February 24, 2011

Updated update: OK, three quizzes is a little much, so we'll have today's quiz next Tuesday. We'll still be having the two we missed earlier, however, so please be prepared.

: Well scholars, I don't know exactly why our Tuesday class was cancelled, but I do know we don't have the luxury of simply skipping a day of work. That means your Thursday assignment will still be due on Thursday, and we'll have three quizzes when we meet. That means almost half the class will be given over to the quizzes we were supposed to have this Thursday, the previous Tuesday, and the previous Thursday; please be prepared. The good news is that you also have a couple of extra days to do Tuesday's reading and work cited assignment.
  • Vocabulary: credentialed, default (financial sense), dumbfounded, exploitative, fortitude, incomparable, mediocre, rigor, unscathed
  • Read "The Terms of Child Neglect Have Changed"
  • Read "Many Students Learn Little to Nothing in College. Surprise?"
  • Create a Works Cited page in MLA format for these two articles
  • Begin work on a 500-word process essay on the following topic: Describe the process you are using to craft your research paper. Your process essay is due Tuesday, March 1, 2011
  • Bring your prewriting (at least the opening paragraph and rough outline) for your process essay to class on Thursday

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Assignments for Thursday, February 17, 2011

  • Finish evaluating all web sources (if we don't finish in class)
  • Learn the following vocabulary words: cite, demographic, fascist, indifference, maternal, paternal, procreation, subsidy, unwitting
  • Read over LBH Ch. 46 (pp. 644-90). Make sure you understand the general idea of citing sources by the MLA format and be prepared to format a few example sources in an open-book quiz
  • Read "The Parent Trap"
  • Writing assignment: Answer each of the following questions with one to three sentences. I’ll take up your responses at the beginning of class:
    1. What is the main idea of "The Parent Trap"?
    2. Why are children no longer an economic boost to families?
    3. Who is Vladamir Putin?
    4. What are some of the “social costs” of parenting in the U.S.?
    5. What is evidence that parenting has declined in prestige in recent decades?
    6. What recommendations does Reynolds suggest to remedy the parent trap?

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

Current economic crisis
Tea party movement

Global Warming

Terrorism & Freedom

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Instructions for plagiarism essay

If you scored less than 80 on the plagiarism exam, you're required to write a 300- to 500-word essay as a make-up. The grade on your essay will replace your exam grade. Your essay must include the following information:
  • Definition of plagiarism and why it's considered a serious academic offense,
  • Standards in this course for determining sloppy and flagrant plagiarism,
  • The penalties in this course for either sloppy or flagrant plagiarism,
  • Difference between a direct and indirect quote and what is required to keep each from being plagiarism,
  • Specific information on exactly when quotation marks or indentations are required in referencing a source.
In addition to providing good information on plagiarism, please pay careful attention to spelling, punctuation, and grammar, as they will be factored into your essay grade. It should go without saying that if you reference any source (including this blog post) in writing your paper, you must attribute that source properly (in MLA format, as best you're able to decipher it from LBH, Section 46). Please keep in mind that the purpose of this essay is to show you understand the rules of plagiarism and how to avoid it; don't worry about whether or not the essay is especially entertaining.

Your essay is due no later than Thursday, February 24, 2011. Please see me before then if you hit any snags or need any assistance in writing your essay.

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. Organization or person publishing the larger work
  • 5. Library database in which article found (if applicable)
  • 6. Date published
  • 7. Date accessed
  • 8. 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.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Research paper topics

  1. The U.S. economy desperately needs to create more jobs, and here’s how.
  2. Global warming is perhaps the most critical issue facing the world today, and action needs to be taken now to reduce its risks.
  3. The issue of so-called global warming has been greatly exaggerated.
  4. The tea party movement is one of the most positive political movements in recent decades.
  5. The tea party movement is one of the most dangerous political movements in recent decades.
  6. The threat of terrorism requires the curtailment of some civil liberties in exchange for safety and security.
  7. If we allow our civil liberties to be sacrificed in pursuit of safety from terrorism, then the terrorists have already won.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Assignments for Tuesday, February 8, 2011

  • Read LBH, Chapter 42
  • Vocabulary: acquiescence, authoritarian, copious, deprivation, egalitarian, evangelical, hierarchy, infanticide, polyamory, polyandry, polygamy, polygyny, regime, scarcity (Please remember: it helps to learn these words before doing your online reading)
  • Read “One Man, Many Wives, Big Problems
  • Be prepared for plagiarism exam in the second half of class (As we discussed in class Tuesday, if you don't make at least an 80 on the exam you will be required to write an essay about plagiarism)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Assignments for Thursday, February 3, 2011

We've got a lot to cover between now and Thursday, but when we're finished we should have caught up from the missed day at the beginning of the semester.
  1. How, according to Glover, do some writers from other regions use the word “redneck” inappropriately?
  2. What kind of bias does the college student’s essay describe?
  3. Do you agree that “For whatever reason, it remains perfectly acceptable to insult a large swath of the U.S. population—the common folk who live in ‘flyover country’—as ‘bitter’ or ‘racist’ or ‘redneck’”? Have you ever encountered this kind of bias? Write two or three sentences on your thoughts and feelings about this idea.
Be prepared to discuss in class your answers to both the worksheet items and reading questions.

Argumentation essay -- prewriting checklist

1. Main idea or thesis statement

— Is the main idea clear and concise?

— Does the main idea narrow the topic sufficiently for a 500-word essay?

— Is the main idea on the well-worn and off-limits topics of abortion, gun control, or capital punishment?

— Is the main idea truly the thesis of an argumentation essay? Is it a debatable point?

— Can the writer readily find supporting evidence for this topic?

— Does the author take a stand on the issue?

2. Paragraph outlines

— Is it clear what the main idea of each paragraph will be?

— Does the outline include an introductory paragraph? A concluding paragraph?

— Does the outline include three or more supporting paragraphs?

— Does the main idea of each supporting paragraph actually support the main idea of the whole essay?

— Does the main idea of each paragraph appear to be supportable with evidence?

— Do you see obstacles to fleshing out any of the supporting paragraphs?

3. Supporting evidence

— Has the writer included any supporting evidence in the outline?

— If so, is supporting information from other sources clearly marked so as to avoid plagiarism?

— Is bibliographic information included for any supporting information?

— If he or she has not already found sources, what is the writer’s plan to find three good sources for supporting information?

— What precautions is the writer taking to avoid plagiarism?