Due October 19

Reach out to your interviewee to set up a meeting.

Write at minimum five research questions (there is no maximum). Ideally, this will be questions all about one of your topics, as it’s time to pick. 🙂 Bring them to class, along with a computer for in-class research.


Due October 17

There are three things to do, to help you get started:

First, read the assignment directions (published under “Course Documents”).

Second, describe two or three potential topics that you’re interested in. With each one, briefly tell what you think makes it a workable topic, using the standards we discussed, and why you’re interested in it.

Third, read the sample paper (stored under Course Documents; it’s about short-term missions) and write out your answers to the following questions:

  • What exactly is the problem? Sum up the problem in your own words, and list several concerns that the writer gives, related to the problem. (in the first 2-3 pages). What does this tell you about the kind of information you should give your audience, about the problem your paper tackles?
  • What solution does the writer suggest? What reasons does she give her audience, to convince them that this is a good solution? What does this tell you about how you could convince your readers to adopt the solution you propose?
  • List at least five sources, or places where the writer gets her information. Based on this, what are some places where you can get your information?
  • Do you have any questions about the project, or is there anything important you noticed about it?

Publish your answers on your course blog.

The Power Point from class today is here: Oct 12-Comp 2017

Due October 12

Your second reading report on You Are What You Love is due. Download the report from the “Course Documents” page.

Ask your friends (aim for five!) about cool/frustrating things that their church and/or Christian buddies do. Make a list. Also, what cool/frustrating things do your church and/or Christian buddies do? Add this to your list. Post at least one original idea (don’t repeat what your classmates say!) on the blog by Wednesday at midnight! (Reply to this post; don’t post on your own site, which your classmates cannot find.) Bring all of your ideas to class.


Due October 5

Come to your half-draft meeting with me. Bring all the required paperwork.

Your paper is due October 10.

Also, remember that your second reading of You Are What You Love is due October 12; plan ahead and start reading now! See the reading report posted under “Course Documents” on the website.

Due October 3

Decide on four with & against the grain points (two with, two against).

  • Reply to this post, on my blog, with one of your points, either with or against the grain; include the URL to a source that supports it. Sharing your ideas on this blog will give your classmates ideas about what they can include in their own post. Please put this up, if possible, by the end of the day on Friday, September 29.
  • Also, write down all four of your points and bring them to class. Make sure you include at least one quotation with every point. You won’t turn them in, but we will use them for an activity.

Last, read the handout on “Paragraphing: the MEAL Plan” (you’ll find this in an email I sent to you on Thursday, Sept 28). You probably learned about topic sentences in high school; on your blog, write a short post explaining how the MEAL structure is similar to and/or different from using topic sentences to structure your paper.

Due September 26

Your second research report is due. I’d encourage you to research a question you haven’t researched yet.

Interested in some of what we’ve been saying about reliable sources? Check out these links:

  • What popular newspapers are out there? Here’s a list of the 10 most-read newspapers. You can use these for sources.
  • How do I know if a source is bad? Check out this list of untrustworthy news sources: a Google doc created by a journalist. This is not an exhaustive list because the Internet is (nearly) infinite, but it also opens with some good tips for recognizing misleading sources. One of the best tips is that some websites will mimic reliable ones; the washingtonpost.com, for instance, is super-reliable, but washingtonpost.com.co is not at all reliable (that .co indicates it’s a different website altogether and is masquerading as the Washington Post).
  • Do people really think joke websites (the Onion) are real? All the time.
  • What happens when your view changes? I love podcasts & I highly recommend this episode of This American Lifeabout a man living in a small Alaskan community and wrestling with (mis)information about immigration.


Due September 21

Write your first research report, about a source you have found (or will find) about your topic. Print out the research report and turn it in.

The research report directions are under Course Documents, when you mouse over English Composition.

Not sure how the research report fits together? You can watch this video here: https://youtu.be/1yNw4qajASA

Interested in the idea of how we tend to read stuff we already agree with? Try this TED talk here, about filter bubbles on the Internet. Highly recommended:


Due September 19

Read “Evaluating Internet Research Sources”, available on the “Readings” tab of the course website. (Mouse over “English Composition” to see the “Readings” tab).

Also, use your research questions to find at least two potentially helpful sources (as in, they answer one of the research questions we developed).

When you’re done with this, write a blog post (on your homework blog) that gives at least two reasons why your source is or is not reliable (or a little bit of both), based on “Evaluating Internet Research Sources.” Quote “Evaluating Internet Research Sources” at least once in your post.

Have your sources handy in class. This could mean that you print them, that you save them to your laptop, or that you save them to some kind of mobile device.

All of this is allowable under the terms of the media fast, as long as you don’t check Instagram while you’re doing it! 🙂