April 27

Your half-draft is due. Bring a copy to class. If you want me to glance through your half draft, bring a second copy. If you want me to give your work a longer review than during class, set up a time to meet with me one-on-one.

Your final reading report will be due on May 2 in class.

Your final paper will be due on May 4.

Remember, as we discussed today, your paper needs 1) one paragraph answering a reader objection, and 2) a strong intro & conclusion. Let me know if you have questions.

April 20

Come ready to write your paper for at least 30-40 minutes.

Ask 3-4 people about their rituals (preferably embodied, physical ones) that they use to grow closer to God; write these down somewhere you’ll remember and bring this back to class for discussion.

April 18

View the short video “How to Write an Outline,” available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp0MWYbLUFU

In your homework notebook, tell how this video goes along with and/or adds onto what you learned in class. What are some things it teaches you about how to write an outline that we discussed & practiced? What are some new things it teaches you?

Also, complete your fourth reading report on You Are What You Love and bring it to class.


April 11

We will be creating an outline of your ideas in class.

Before class, please find one quotation to support every point you’re going to make in the paper (refer to the handwritten outline you & I created in your proposal conference to know what points you’re making). Record your quotations somewhere, like a Word document, so you can find them easily.

When you come to class, please bring

  • the outline we created in class
  • the quotations supporting each point
  • something to write/type with, either pen & paper or a fully charged laptop


March 28

Finish your definition paper, print it off, and turn it in at the start of class, with your box number written on it and your rubric.

Read Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, under the “Readings” tab when you mouse over English Composition. Write a short paragraph that tells how you think this way of structuring papers will work for your “Issues in Ministry” paper.

March 23

Your third reading report on You Are What You Love is due in class. Come ready to discuss!

In addition, please bring a fully charged laptop computer or pen & paper, as you’ll have time to do some in-class writing on your definition paper.

March 21

Continue research for Paper #2. This is important and should take a not insignificant part of your time.

Decide what term or terms in your topic you want to define. Write them down in your notes; I’m not going to collect them, but writing them down helps you commit more fully to a decision.

Finally, please read the two sample definition papers: one that I created, and another written by a student in my class last semester. Select one term that the writer defines in EACH definition paper, for a total of two terms. For each term, identify 1) what class or group each writer says the term belongs to, and 2) its distinctive characteristics.

As you read, consider what else, besides placing an item in a class & listing its distinctive qualities, the writers say about their terms in order to define them clearly. Briefly describe at least two things the writers say about their terms. Please use complete sentences.

March 16

Read the essay, “Definition” (You have received this via email). When you are finished writing, answer these two questions in your homework notebook:

  • When we define words, we usually go to the dictionary; in fact, most of you have probably started an essay at some point by quoting the dictionary! What are the problems with a dictionary definition? How can writing your own definition solve these problems?
  • Describe at least two things that you can do when you define your terms. In other words, what are some ways to help readers understand what you mean by a particular word?

Also, you need to have finished the reading for Chapter 3 of You Are What You Love, so we can discuss it in class. Please bring your book with you to class.

Due March 14

On Tuesday, March 14, we’ll have Mrs. Arjona speak to us about how to use the library databases for research. To prepare for class, please watch this video here, and also this video. When you’re done watching the videos, please list in your homework book at least three ways that using a database is different than using Google.

Also, please bring a laptop computer to class; we’ll be searching for your topic during class.

Due March 2

Think some more about your topic for Paper #2. You could choose one of the topics posted on the course website over the weekend, one that we discussed in class on Tuesday, or a completely new one. You may want to brainstorm further by asking your friends & mentors what they see as the big concerns in the church today.

Whichever topic you choose, make sure it’s 1) research-able and 2) significant. For example, writing about how emails go out in the church or how the bulletins are folded is not going to be an effective topic!

By Thursday at noon, email me your top two topic choices. This allows me to read your ideas before class and then provide appropriate guidance in class.