EL 110 | Writing 1 (Popular Music)

(Fall 2013)

This section of 110 is built around a topic—Popular Music—that will give us a number of opportunities to explore the increasingly important intersection of visual, verbal, and written communication in the 21st century. Not only will you think about visual communication alongside written communication, you will create both visual and text-based compositions, and you will compose in some new kinds of electronic spaces, too.

English 110 is not “English class” in the way you may have learned to think about English classes up to this point because this course has a more specific focus. 110 looks at thinking and composing and sending messages—at how you think and how you write and how you communicate, and also at how you understand, interpret, and work with the thinking, writing, and communications of others. The course is designed to help you find strategies for approaching intellectual problems—for asking and answering questions, organizing your thoughts, and turning your organized thoughts into clear messages. In some ways, 110 is the Swiss Army Knife of college courses, and we hope the tools and strategies you explore in this course will be useful to you throughout your time at Whitworth and throughout your career.

My goals include not only helping you to improve your grammar and paragraph structure, as you probably expect, but also helping you to think about how you think, understand writing as a process you can refine and personalize, and begin approaching problems with the mental habits of a professional knowledge worker. You should think of this course as one of your last opportunities to focus specifically on the strengths and weaknesses of your writing and to have your writing professionally critiqued before you enter the post-college workforce. Whether you struggle with writing or are already a pretty confident writer, the ideas and processes we examine in 110 ought to help you improve your interpretation, composition, and communication skills.

Writing/Composing Assignments to Anticipate

---- The Schedule ----

Note that reading and viewing links may be added and altered as we go. Also, note that while I do a lot of work to keep links and linked documents up to date, the Internet is full of tricks and inconsistencies. If needed/required links are broken or documents are not available when you try to get to them, it's your responsibility to let me know that the links aren't working or the documents have disappeared. Send me an email right away if you have trouble getting to any assigned online text or document.

Week 1 (Sep. 4 and 6)

Wednesday in Class: In-Class Essay

Due Friday, Class Time: Self Intro on Wiki

Due Friday, Class Time: Sign up for an Album Review Group at the Wiki

Due Friday, Class Time: Read and Sign (In That Order) The Policy Sheet

Sunday@Midnight: Observation lists posted to your group's page on the wiki.

Some Album Reviews by the Pros
Language Warning. These aren't exact models for what you're doing (because, in part, you need to include a greater amount of specific evidence), but look at the way these writers zero in on and explain what they consider to be the key qualities of these albums.
G. Marcus: "Let it Bleed" (Rolling Stones)
L. Bangs: "Greetings from Asbury..." (Springsteen)
W. Hermes: "Bad as Me" (Tom Waits)
J. Rosen: "The 20/20 Experience" (Justin Timberlake)
H. Gleason: "The Electric Lady" (Janelle Monae)
M. Danahar: "The Silver Gymnasium" (Okkervil River)

Week 2 (Sept. 9, 11, and 13)

Due Sunday, 11:59pm: Observ. Lists Posted to Your Group's Page on the Wiki

Due Monday, 11:59pm: Partner Feedback from In-Class Discussions

Due Wednesday, Class Time: Drafts of Your Album Reviews

Due Wednesday, 11:59pm: Partner Feedback from In-Class Discussions

Due Friday at 5:00: Album Review

More on Multitasking

(Not Required Reading)

  • Day 1: Observation to Analysis Workshop 1
  • Read "Observation-to-Analysis," Part 2, in preparation for in-class work.
  • Due: Observ. Lists on Wiki (Sunday 11:59pm) + 5 Printouts for Class
    Due After Class: Feedback to Partners (by Monday, 11:59 pm)
  • Day 2: Observation to Analysis Workshop 2
  • Due: Album Review Draft
    Due After Class: Partner Feedback by 11:59 pm
  • Day 3: Rhetoric of Photography and Cinematography 1
  • Album Groups Bring: A laptop, a digital camera, and a means to get images from the camera to the laptop. (One of each per group.)
  • Read, Quickly: Kodak's Top 10 TipsGuidelines for Photo Composition
    Note: If the Kodak link doesn't work, here's a backup.
    View: 2 Cinematography Videos (Available in Bb, "Docs/Assignments") 
  • Note: The reading for this day is not very long or complicated, but if you haven't looked at it before class, you'll be at a disadvantage.
  • Due Friday @5:00: Album Review
Suggested Photo Essay Work Timeline

Job Number One (Today/Now)
  • Thoroughly Read the Assignment. (Bb/Handout)
  • Examine the Scott McCloud/Comics Handout (Bb/Handout)
  • Examine the "Simple Rhetorical Strategies" Sheet (Bb/Handout)
  • Start thinking about ways to represent your chosen musician/band. Don't stop!
Flickr or Slideshare Setup Tasks (By Wednesday)

If you're using Flickr, check out the site, sign up for an account, and figure out how to post a picture.

For PowerPoint/Keynote users: Make sure you understand how to get you images onto individual slides, add text, and save. Also, go set up your Slideshare.net account, where you'll post your slides.

Photography Tasks (Before Saturday Night)
  • Keeping in mind that you're doing a new version of this assignment, take a look at old examples linked at the course wiki.
  • Take @least 30 potential photos for photo essay (and probably many more).
  • Be sure to take some photos you could use to create McCloud-like transitions. And remember it's a good idea to take lots of extra photos at this point, even if you don't upload them all.
Photo Uploading Tasks (Before Sunday Night)

Flickr Users: Post Your 20-30 (Or More) Best Photos to Your Flickr Account. Make sure you make your photos public, so others can see them.

Slideshare users: Prep your slides in PowerPoint or Keynote, as explained on the assignment sheet.
Supplemental (Non-Required) Links, Week 3
David Byrne summarizes his TED slides.

Week 3 (Sept. 16, 18, and 20)

Due Sunday the 22rd, Before 11:59pm: Flickr.com or Slideshare.net site should be created and linked at the proper spot on the wiki.

NOTE: Due NEXT Monday, Class Time: Images Uploaded to Flickr or prepped on PowerPoint/Keynote

Supplemental (Non-Required) Links, Week 4

Here's a Spotify Playlist
with music related to
It Might Get Loud and Sound City.

Laurence Lessig's "Creative Commons" site, expanding on the ideas from his TED Talk.

"Record Labels Pick Copyright Fight—with the Wrong Guy" (NPR covers Lessig Counter-Suing a Record Company, 2013)

Eric Faden's "A Fair(y) Use Tale," using Disney snippets to explain the idea of "Fair Use."

The site of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, devoted to digital-era rights (related to sharing and remixing music).

Week 4 (Sept. 23, 25, and 27)

Due Monday, Class Time: Photos Prepped for Class

Due Monday, 5:00: Respond to Screening Surveys: Get Loud and Sound City

DO: Watch It Might Get Loud Before Class on Friday

Due Friday, Class Time: It Might Get Loud Screening Notes

Due Friday at 5:00: Photo Essays, Completed/Posted Online (Link Posted at Wiki)

  • Day 1: Photo Essay Workshop Day
  • Due: Be ready to work with your photos in Flickr or on PowerPoint/Keynote.
    Bring: Bring a laptop, if you can. (Let me know ahead of time if you can't.)
  • Day 2: On Critical Reading, Claims and Reasons, Stasis Questions
  • Read Offline: Corbett/Eberly, Chapter 1 (pp 16-18 ONLY) and Corbett/Eberly, Chapter 2 (pp 26-37 ONLY) (@Bb)
  • View: "Laws That Choke Creativity" (TED/Larry Lessig)
  • Ask yourself: What "stasis" questions are at issue in the Lessig video? What reasons does Lessig offer in support of his claims? And also: How is he effectively using images, including using what we've called "anchorage" and "relay"?
  • Day 3: It Might Get Loud
  • Watch: It Might Get Loud Before Class (May be watched @Amazon for a fee, or at a TBA scheduled screening.) (Also, until about a week from now, it appears to be streaming for free @Crackle.)
    Due: Screening Notes

Week 5 (Sept. 30; Oct. 2 and 4)

DO: Watch Sound City Before Class on Wednesday

Due Wednesday, Class Time: Sound City Screening Notes

Due Friday, Class Time: Assigned Prewriting

  • Day 1: Enthymemes and Binary Oppositions
  • Read Offline: Corbett/Eberly Chapter 2 (pp 37-43 ONLY)
    Read: "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants" (Prensky) (PDF)
  • Day 2: Sound City
  • Watch: Sound City Before Class
    Due: Screening Notes
  • Day 3: Evidence Workshop
  • Due: Assigned Prewriting
    Recommended: Read this on freewriting as a concept and this on how to do it.

Week 6 (Oct. 7, 9, and 11)

Due Monday, Class Time: "Bad Draft" of Critical Analysis

Due Monday, 11:59pm: Partner Feedback and Chore List

Due Wednesday, 11:59pm: 2-Track Audio Snippet, with Audacity or Garageband

Due Friday, 5:00: Critical Analysis, with Prewriting, Chore List, and "Bad Draft"

Due Sunday (10/13), Midnight: Sign Up for Conference Time at Wiki

Some Excellent Audio

  • Day 1: Bad Draft Day
  • Due: "Bad Draft" of Your Critical Analysis
    Due After Class: Partner Feedback + Copy of Personal Chore List
  • Not Required, but useful help thinking about revisions:
    Praxis, Chapter 6, "Revising Rhetorically" (Bb)
  • Day 2: Audio Day
  • Read: Slideware Project Assignment Sheet
  • Download and Experiment With Audacity (PCs or Macs) Before Class OR (Mac Users) Open and Experiment with Garageband Before Class
  • Bring a laptop with Audacity (PC or Macs) or Garageband (Macs) on it.
  • Listen: "Making the Hippo Dance" (RadioLab, 30 min.)
  • Due at 11:59pm: A Two-Track Audio Experiment, Created with Audacity (PCs or Macs) or Garageband (Macs)
  • Day 3: Introduction to Research, Library, MLA
  • Due Friday at 5:00: Critical Analysis + Prewriting, Chore List, and "Bad Draft"
  • Due Sunday (10/13), 11:59pm: Sign Up for Conference Time at Wiki

Week 7 (Oct. 14, 16, and 18)

ON MONDAY: No Regular Class BUT You MUST Come to Your Conference Time

Everyday: Advance your research a little every single day.

Due Friday by 5:00: Research Update 1 w/Screenr

  • Day 1: 1x3 Conferences **No Regular Class**
  • --Sign up for a research conference time at wiki.
    --Do the assigned conference prep work (available via Bb).
    --Read this on freewriting as a concept and this on how to do it.
    --Watch "Plagiarism Explained by CommonCraft."
    --For some additional library orientation/help, click the blue "tab" buttons to the left.
  • Day 2: Support Groups: Meet at Library
  • Meet with your research and tech help group or duo. It may work best for you to meet at your scheduled class time. You'll need about an hour and a half to finish up.
  • You have four jobs: (1) Work together to figure out how Screenr works. (2) Explain your research subject to your partner(s), along with your ideas about how your research is going to get started. (3) Spend about an hour researching at the library, then compare notes, at the end end, about how you found your best material. (4) Email me a snapshot of your duo or group in the library together, holding up some kind of evidence of your time spent working.
  • Day 3: Catch Up: Discussion of Research and Upcoming Slideware Work
  • Due Friday at Class Time Sunday at Noon: Research Update 1, Using Screenr

Week 8 (Oct. 21, 23, and 25)

Due Monday, Class Time: Printed List of Ten Promising Sources + Explanations

Every Day: Advance your research a little every single day.

Due Friday by 5:00 (at Latest): Research Update 2 w/Screenr

  • Day 1: Slideware and Visual Design, Day 1
  • Read: "Organization and Preparation Tips," "Top Ten Slide Tips," and "What Is Good PowerPoint Design?" (All these links are from Garr Reynolds)
  • Day 2: Slideware and Visual Design, Day 2: Graphic Design Basics
  • View: An Exemplary Slide-Backed Presentation: Scott McCloud's "The Visual Magic of Comics" << The content is interesting, but pay attention especially to the style here--McCloud's use of simple images to elevate and enhance his complicated talk. That's your goal!
  • Due: List of Ten Promising Sources in MLA Format, with Brief Explanations (Moved from Monday!). (Do your best on MLA style, based on the handbook and on my handout. See also, for help, the Purdue OWL's MLA section.)
  • Due: "Bad" drafts of at least five potential slides for your slideware project. Print a copy to turn in to me, and have your a copy of your "bad" slides, either on a screen or as a printout for yourself. Draft these a bit after you watch McCloud, or maybe pause McCloud now and then so you can work out a slide design for yourself.
  • Day 3: No Class (FALL BREAK). But keep working on your research.
  • Due: Research Update 2 w/Screenr is due Friday, in case you need until then to get it done, but you can post it as early as Wednesday evening, if you’d like to get it done before Fall Break.

Week 9 (Oct. 28 and 30; Nov. 1)

Due NEXT Monday at 5:00: Slideware Project; Accepted as Early as Friday

Every Day: Advance your research a little every single day.

  • Day 1: No Class (FALL BREAK). But keep working on your research.
  • Day 2 : Slide Design Conferences 1
  • Due: A "Bad Draft" of your slideware presentation (the visuals, with notes about  your ideas for the content of your audio/talk). Uploaded to your Slideshare.net account and linked at the wiki. Don't forget that you can consult the exemplary visual-backed presentations posted above for inspiration and ideas. Also, see the PDFs of the in-class design sessions posted on Blackboard for you, if you need reminders about what we discussed in class. Give yourself enough time to seriously begin the process of planning out what you'll say and in what order. I don't expect polished work, but I do want to see that you've begun to think hard about the beginning, middle, and end of your presentation.
  • Have in Class: Have some kind of viewable version of your drafted slides, whether it's on screen or on a printout.
  • Day 3: Slide Design Conferences 2, Details TBA + Meet with Tech Help Groups
  • Due: You should have a draft of your audio recorded before this class meeting. It doesn't have to be perfect. It should represent your first effort at getting everything said within the time limit.
  • VIew: Garr Reynolds, "Sample Sides" (These Show Slide Revisions.)

Week 10 (Nov. 4, 6, and 8)

Due Monday at 5:00: Slideware Project

  • Day 1: Intro to “Texts in Conversation”
  • Bring your research materials with you to class.
  • Due Monday at 5:00: Slideware Project
  • Day 2: Evaluating Sources
  • Read Damned Lies and Statistics (excerpt) (Bb)
  • Progress: Make some progress on your “Texts in Conversation” essay. Work at least an hour.
  • Day 3: TBA
  • But Seriously: You should be making major progress on your “Texts in Conversation” essay before this class period.

Week 11 (Nov. 11, 13, and 15)

Due Monday WEDNESDAY at 5:00: Texts in Conversation Project

Everyday: Advance your researched argument a little every single day.

  • Day 1: Persuasion and Some Television + Intro to Research-Based Argument Assignment
  • Read: Research-Based Argument Assignment
  • Due Monday at 5:00: Texts in Conversation
  • Day 2: More Persuasion and Television
  • Due Wednesday at 5:00: Texts in Conversation
  • Due: Enthymeme/Explanation
  • Day 3: TBA
  • Read: Envision, Chap. 2 (Bb)
  • Due: Enthymeme/Explanation
  • And Seriously: You should be making serious progress on your Research Based Argument essay.

Week 12 (Nov. 18, 20, and 22)

Due Wednesday: Bad Draft of Your Research Based Argument

Due Wednesday at 11:59pm: Partner feedback.

  • Day 1: (Rhetorical Strategies Workshop)
  • Read: Envision, Chap. 2 (Bb)
  • Day 2: Research Based Argument "Bad Draft" Day
  • Due: "Bad Draft" of Your Persuasive Essay
    Due After Class: Partner feedback by 11:59pm.
  • Day 3: TBA + Intro to Handout Project

Week 13 (Nov. 25, 27, and 29)

Due Monday@5:00: Research-Based Argument

(Deadline Extended to the First Blush of Dawn on Thanksgiving Day)

  • Due: Research-Based Argument
  • Day 2: No Class: Thanksgiving Break

    Day 3: No Class: Thanksgiving Break

Week 14 (Dec. 2, 4, and 6)

Due at the Time of Your Presentation: Handout

Looking Forward: "Final" Essay Due at the Time of Your Scheduled Final, or Earlier

  • Day 1: Handout Work Day + Intro to Final Essay
  • Bring: Laptop + any materials you need to work on your handout.
  • Day 2: Class Mini-Conference (Informal Presentations, Handout Due at Your Presentation Time)
  • Day 3: Class Mini-Conference (Informal Presentations, Handout Due at Your Presentation Time)

Week 15 (Dec. 9 + Final)

Due at the Time of Your Presentation: Handout

"Final" Essay Due at the Time of Your Scheduled Final, or Earlier

  • Day 1: Class Mini-Conference (Informal Presentations, Handout Due at Your Presentation Time)
  • Finals Week
  • 9:05 Class Final: Tuesday, December 10, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • 12:50 Class Final: Thursday, December 12, 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

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