Advanced Composition – Resources & Homework


Copies of handouts will be posted here as they are given to you during the term. All text files are in PDF format, and you can open it with either the Adobe Acrobat Reader, or with the alternative PDF reader Foxit (download it here).

Freewriting worksheet. (March 9, 2006)

Idea Bubble Network (Mind Map) handout/worksheet. (March 16, 2006)

Essay Outline Format example handout. (March 23, 2006)

Essay Outline Filling Out handout. (March 28, 2006)

Introductions & Conclusions handout & Exercise. (March 30, 2006)

Here are the paragraphs we used in class (on April 11, 2006) to work through the following two skills:

  • arranging paragraphs in the body of an essay, and
  • fine-tuning the beginnings and endings of sentences to improve the flow of the essay.

Creating Flow in the Body of an Essay handout. (April 13th, 2006)

Midterm exam practice sheet (April 17th, 2006)

Citation and Works Cited Reference Page (May 18th, 2006), and a reference site for more on MLA format.

Homework: Your homework will be added to this page as I assign each task to you. The Assigned date shows when I gave the homework, and the Due date shows when the homework is supposed to be ready for presentation.1. First Goals.Assigned 2nd March 2006. Due 7th March 2006.Students are supposed to:

  • Buy a notebook and a nice pen, and a dictionary of some sort.
  • Make sure that they have an English-language capable wordprocessor with spell-check function. (OpenOffice is a free option.)
  • Read over the syllabus carefully.
  • Decide on a personal goal for the course.

2. Goal & Freewriting: Assigned 7th March, 2006. Due 9th March 2006.
Students should perform one free-writing exercise of ten minutes in their notebooks. Students will also prepare a sentence expressing their Goal for the course, and write it in two places: in the front of their notebooks, and on a piece of paper to be submitted to me on March 9th.

3. Assignment #3: Assigned March 9th. Due March 14th.

  • those who have not yet submitted a goal should have a goal ready to submit to me for the next class.
  • students will create a 50-word vocabulary list for the topic that their discussion group selected as the most interesting.
  • students will do one (ten-minute) free-writing exercise on the topic of the subject that their group selected
  • students will read the handout text on killer bees.

Assignment #4: Assigned March 16. Due March 23, 2006.

Students will create a “mind map” or “idea bubble network” for the reading handout on “Killer Bees” received last week. There should be at least 2 or 3 “unknowns” (question marks) added to the map in areas that aren’t covered well in the article. This assignment can be handwritten/drawn on paper, but please be neat. Feel free to the Idea Bubble Network (Mind Map) handout/worksheet for a good example of what I’m looking for.
A REMINDER: Students should also be regularly using the class blog now (login here!). Thank you.

Assignment #5: Outline Sections. Assigned 23 March 2006. Due 28 March 2006.
Students have been assigned groups, and have worked together to plan various sections for an essay on comic books. Students have also decided on an Audience, such as teeangers, or Superman-fans, or Literature Professors who hate comic books. Each student has drafted a Topic Sentence for his or her section of the essay.

Now, using the Essay Outline Model handout as a reference, students should prepare an outline for their section of the “Comic Book Essay” for their group. Each student is responsible for the outline of one paragraph from the body of the essay, including both specific points that need to be mentioned in explanation or support of the topic sentence for the paragraph as well as any examples that are necessary for those supporting points.

Here’s an example of what each student should produce, in terms of formatting:

TOPIC SENTENCE: Although many people don’t realize it, smoking in public is
actually a very rude behaviour.

i. other people don’t like the smell, or get sick from smoke
ii. smoke spreads out/affects others, especially in cases of

(a) asthma
(b) emphysema
(c) pregnancy
(d) (?)

iii. inconsiderate behaviour

Students should be prepared to combine their own plans with the plans of their group’s members to create an outline for the body of an essay on Tuesday Thursday evening.

Assignment #6: Assigned 30 March 2006. Due 6 April 2006.

Students will create an outline for an essay on a topic of their choice, using the format demonstrated in the outline handout distributed on 23 March. The outline should contain some examples and details, not just specific points for each paragraph in the essay.

Blogging Homework: Assigned 30 March 2006. To be completed within the following week or so.

In class on 30 March, we experimented with different strategies for writing concluding paragraphs to an essay on the harmful effects that television has on children. For blogging homework, please post three conclusion paragraphs to the blog sometime in week follow class; these posts should be the next three posts you make after you’ve finished the previous blogging homework assignment.

Your First Completed Essay: Due 18 April 2006.

You will hand in your completed outline and first essay in class on this date. After midterm exams, we will have one-on-one conferences and discuss revision strategies for this essay.

Midterm Exam: On April 20th, 2006.

The midterm will be carried out as discussed in class.

Conferences: On May 4th, 2006

Conferences regarding the First Major Essay and the topic for the Second Major essay were held with most students on Thursday, May 4th. If for some reason you did not attend the conference time for which you signed up, make sure to drop by my office during office hours, and be sure to bring your outline and essay from your first essay; try to be ready to discuss your idea for your next essay, as well.

Due Dates For the Rest of Semester:

C.P. Snow essay paraphrase: Due Tuesday, 16 May, 2006.

Second Major Essay: Due Tuesday, 23 May, 2006.

This should be an essay of 2-3 pages double-spaced.

Conferences: On 30 May/1 June

(A sign-up sheet will be passed around during classes the week before.)

Blogging Ends: At the end of week 13, which finishes on the 4th of June. At this time, you will be graded on the number of posts you have made out of an expected 33 posts.

Revised/Expanded Second Major Essay (final “project”): Due Wednesday, 7 June, 7pm in my mailbox.

This should be an expanded version of the Second Major Essay, and should be 4-5 pages in length, not including a Works Cited page.

Final portfolio: Due Wednesday, 7 June, 7pm, in my mailbox.

It will be accompanied by an envelope with your mailing address on it and sufficient postage for all contents, including your final essay, to be returned to you. You will receive a copy of your final essay, with comments, and I will retain the original for my records.

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