Saturday, November 21, 2009

Revising for Style

After reading the last chapter of Booth, Revising for Style, post here as a reply two of your sentences from your essay. Next, revise these two sentences based on your reading of this Booth chapter. Explain why you made the changes you did in relation to Booth's Revising for Style.

Monday, October 19, 2009


You've been writing introductions and conclusions for many years in your papers. After this chapter, however, explain how you used to think of intros and conclusions and how you think of them now. Next, read back over one of the intros to one of the sample essays we've read this semester from Signs of Life in the USA-- break down its introduction using Booth's three elements.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Booth pages 173-229

These chapters in Booth discuss planning, drafting, and organizing the research essay. Words like "planning," "drafting," and "organizing," I would suspect, are very common to you from high school English classes as well as 1001 here at LSU. Yet, what seems to be different in the way Booth discusses these three elements of writing? And list at least four-five topics from these chapters that you believe will be helpful to you in the coming couple of weeks, explaining why they will be helpful to you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Revising Claims

If you have not discussed your claim in class this past week, post your claim here. Then, each student should respond at least once to every student who posts.

Booth Chapters 10-11

Using the most recent essay we've read, "Revolution is US," analyze parts of the essay based on 1. Chapter 10: How well does the writer acknowledge and then respond to his audience? Can you point to places in the text where he does so? How does it work or not work for the essay?
2. Chapter 11: Does the writer have a warrant in this essay? More than one? Pick out a warrant and analyze it based on this Booth chapter. If he doesn't have any warrants, discuss how or why that hurts or works well for the essay.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Booth Ch. 7-9

These chapters from Booth are an overview of how to make a good argument. Return to one of the early essays we've read in class: South Park, Superhero Worship, So You Wanna Be a Gangsta?, and in about 200 words, break down the essay's argument using these chapters from Booth.

Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes

Study a popular magazine such as Elle, Rolling Stone, or Maxim for advertisements depicting men and women interacting with each other. In about 150 words, interpret the body postures of the models, using Devor's essay as the framework for your analysis. How do males and females typically stand? To what extent do the models enact stereotypically masculine or feminine stances?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Booth-- Chapters 5 & 6

List 5 tips that the writers gave you for locating sources and engaging sources that you found helpful and that you didn't know about before. Explain for each why you find that particular tip helpful.

Next, skim the following two sources:'s%20Rights-Discourse%20in%20the%20War%20on%20Terror.pdf

For each source, in about 100 words, evaluate the sources using pages 76-79.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So You Wanna Be a Gangsta?

Explaining in detail, perhaps even using as evidence a couple of films the essay did not mention, do you agree that Hollywood exploits the black community in making gang films? Why or why not? Also, consider other films featuring African Americans that Boyd does not discuss, such as Waiting to Exhale, Dream Girls, or Diary of Mad Black Woman-- how do you think gender plays an important role in film analysis?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Booth, Chapter 4: Thinking about Research Problems

Evaluate the research problems below in terms of the research problem it presents, using Booth's ideas from Chapter 4. Does the statement suggest a good research problem? Why or why not? Take your time with this blog response, really think about how you would help these student writers revise their research problems.

1. I'm studying shoes because I want to find out why shoes are so expensive in order to help my reader understand all the hidden costs involved in shoe-making.

2. I am studying alternative medicine in order to find out why people don't choose alternative medical treatments over traditional medical treatments. I want my readers to understand that there are alternatives to traditional medicine.

3. I am studying MTV because I want to show how MTV influences popular music.

4. I am studying horror films because I want to understand the role of horror films in the history of film-making in order to help my reader learn how horror films have changed the landscape of movies and have influenced Hollywood.

5. I am studying SUVs because I want to prove that SUVs are bad for the environment.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Superhero Worship

For her essay, Postrel interviewed a random fan of Superman about this enthusiasm for this superhero. Borrowing her methodology, interview at least three fans of superheros, asking about the reasons for their responses to these characters. To what extent do they illustrated Postrel's argument about glamour? Use your results to argue yourself what you think the appeal of the superhero character is.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Booth, pages 31-50

Have you ever done research in the steps like the ones the writers in Booth propse in these pages? If so, how did it go and what was particularly frustrating or exciting about the steps and why? If you have never explored a topic in depth and/or moved from a topic to question, do you believe that these steps would have improved a research essay you wrote in the past; if so, describe briefly what happened in that research writing and how the steps in Booth would have helped/improved the essay you wrote. If you don't think they would have helped, discuss why not.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Craft of Research, pp. 3-27

Have you ever thought of research the way the writers of The Craft of Research are describing it in these pages? What have been some of your myths/misconceptions about research in the past? Why do you think you held those myths/misconceptions? After reading these pages, how do you think of research now? Are your opinions the same or are they changed? Why or why not?

South Park and the Open Society

Over the weekend, watch an episode of South Park, either via YouTube, etc. or on Comedy Central when it plays. Analyze the episode-- does it make the sort of political statements that Curtis and Erion suggest? And, do you agree with their assumption that South Park does offer "more than crude animation and tasteless jokes expressed with a juvenile and offensive vulgarity" (par.1)? Does the humor and vulgarity undercut the possiblity of any such political message? Explain.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Education as the Practice of Freedom: responding to bell hooks

How would you summarize, in your own words, what bell hooks means by "The Education as the Practice of Freedom"? hooks discusses her time in high school as "education that merely strives to reinforce domination." Discuss your own experiences with these two different types of educational experiences-- have you experienced education that works to reinforce domination? Have you experienced education that practices freedom? Describe your experiences briefly and how they were those types of educational practices that hooks describes. And don't forget to also respond back to your fellow classmates and talk to one another.

Picking Essays from Signs of Life

For Friday, I'd like you all to skim/scan, etc. the Table of Contents in Signs of Life in the USA. We're going to be reading five essays from this text as sample academic essays. But, since this is your class, not mine, I'm not going to pick the essays. I want you all to pick them as a class. Of course, you can't read all the essays in order to decide which ones we'd like to study and discuss as a class. However, read the titles in the Table of Contents, and when one looks interesting to you, go to the page where the essay starts because each essay has a short italicized blurb before the essay starts that gives information about the author and what the essay will be about. Next, here on the blog, list five essays that you think you'd like to read. Number them 1-5, 1 being the essay that you would MOST like to read. From your responses, I'll then begin seeing what topics/themes etc. emerge that the class as a whole seems to care about the most and we'll decide on the essays from there.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome to Ms. McCray's English 2000!

For Wednesday's class, after you've read through and reviewed the syllabus and daily schedule, please comment on the following (at least 100 words):

What concerns or questions do you have about English 2000? What are you particularly excited about after reading and reviewing the course information? What strengths do you feel you could bring to our learning community, and what do you believe may be one or two of your weaknesses?

Please read through the blog comments to this post first and respond also in your comment to your fellow classmates.