Friday, January 4, 2013

Assignment #10: Effective Composition Blog

Literature Analysis Blog: Due by Friday, January 11, 2013.

First: For your title, state the name of the book and the author.

Second: You will write a six paragraph literature analysis.Each of the following topic areas are required in your “blog” analysis.Write at least one paragraph on each of the topics:

  • Plot Summary
  • Characterization
  • Setting
  • Conflict
  • Theme
  • Point of View and Style
Finally:For full credit and after submitting your blog, read at least one other person’s analysis and make a two to three sentence comment. You are expected to use good grammar and spelling, so maybe type it in Microsoft Word before pasting and publishing it to the blog.

Note: If your blog is over 4500 characters,
you will have to split it into two blogs, part one and part two.

Here is a break down on each topic:

Plot summary: The plot is a brief but thorough summary of the story. You should exhibit knowledge of the five stages of the plot in your summary (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution).

Characterization: The characters in the story are the people or animals that author uses to represent various events and actions. When discussing the characters, please, identify their physical traits and personality attributes and explain how each of them interrelates amongst one another in the story.

Setting: The setting of a story is usually represented by its depiction of time and place. While the author may state the original settings in the story, it is important that readers know that there could be various settings in the story as well. The expressions of events and actions do change from place to place and time to time.

Conflict: The conflicts that occur in a literary work are usually expressed as internal or external. Conflicts are the problems that the characters have as they interrelate amongst one another, and as they express their inner thoughts and feelings in a story. Please, make sure that you identify the internal and external conflicts in your story analysis; and make sure that you use references from the story to support your points.

Theme: What is the universal meaning that the story provides you? How do you explain the fact that you have gotten the message in the story? A theme is usually the universal message or idea that is identified by the reader or audience. In stating the theme of a story, you should be able to express how much meaning and impact that the story had on you. A story may have as many themes as possible; however, you should choose one theme that you can fully discuss, using evidence from the story.
The following two topics can be combined into one paragraph:

Point of view: The point of view of a story is usually the angle from which the author tells his or her story. It is usually expressed in either the first person, second person, or third person.
  • In the first person point of view, the author or narrator tells his or her story; it is mostly used in autobiographical or eyewitness reports.
  • The second person point of view is rarely used in narratives.
  • The third person point of view can be expressed in either third person limited or omniscient.
    • In the third person limited, the narrator is usually not included as a character in the story. He or she is detached from the story; however, he or she is able to narrate the story based on what can be determined from one character in the story.
    • In the third person omniscient, the character is fully involved in the story. He or she is able to see everything that is going on in the minds of the characters and is able to tell the movement of the characters as they progress from stage to stage.
Style: The manner in which an author expresses himself or herself in writing.
  • The language that the authors use to convey their thoughts. What kinds of words are used? Do you find them too lofty and difficult to understand? Do you find them easy to read? How are the words arranged?
  • Figurative language. Is there lots of imagery? Is there flashback and foreshadowing used? Are there lots of literary devices used?
  • What are the structure and organization of writing? Is it in letter form, does it have paragraphs separating main ideas? Are there lots of dialogues or just one long straight narrative? What does the title of the story tell you about what to expect?
  • What Kind of grammar is used? What punctuation style do the authors use?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Assignment #9: Effective Composition Blog

Argument Strategies

First, read pages 131-151 (Planning, Collecting Evidence, Opposition, Distortion, Slanting, Quoting, Drafting, Analyzing the Audience, Arranging the Evidence, Appeals, Eliminating Fallacies)

Secondly, summarize in one to two paragraphs the main points under each category.  

Next, in an additional paragraph, do the exercise on page 141.  This exercise is based upon the example in the chapter.  Examine the list.  Identify readers who might belong to more than one group.  Then discuss how each group of readers might see the issue.  

Finally, for full credit, respond to at least one other student’s blog answer.

This blog is due Monday, December 9, 2012 at 9 AM.

Assignment #8: Effective Composition Blog

Developing a Thesis and Outline

First, read pages 57-70 (Scratch Outline, Drafting a Hypothesis, Descriptive Outline, Effective Thesis, Formal Outline)

Secondly, summarize in one to two paragraphs the main points under each category.  

Next, in an additional paragraph, do the exercise on page 67.  Explain your reasons for rejecting those that are unacceptable.

Finally, for full credit, respond to at least one other student’s blog answer.

This blog is due Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 9 AM.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Assignment #7: Effective Communication Blog

Argument Essay Samples

First, read four examples of argumentation essays: "The Penalty of Death" (p. 154), "Execution" (p. 156), "Fighting for Our Lives" (p.158), "Crypto-Security and a Strange Thing Called Key Recovery." (p. 164).

Next, answer two of the following questions on the blog:

1)     Examine your emotional response to H. L. Mencken's argument for capital punishment.  How do various features of his tone and language encourage you to accept or reject his argument?  What personal experiences or beliefs make you more likely to agree or disagree with his position?  Present your analysis in progress; that is, trace your emotional reactions as you read through each section of Menken’s essay. How did you feel when he said X?  What did you think when he said Y? 

2)     Analyze the types of evidence that Anna Quindlen uses in her essay, “Execution.”  Identify what are fact, judgment, eyewitness testimony, and expert testimony. Sort out the kinds of evidence that make it difficult for Quindlen to decide where she stands on the issue.  Then analyze which argument – H.L., Menken’s or Quindlen’s – is more effective.  Explain the reasons for your decision. 

3)     Evaluate Jamie Miles’s THREE drafts (found on pages 137, 147, 162). Then write him a blog to convince him which of the three drafts he should place in his writing portfolio for final assessment.  Your purpose is to convince him to submit his “best” essay.  Your problem is to determine which of these essays has the “best” argument.  Be sure to give reasons with evidence from the best essay.

Finally, for full credit, respond to at least one other student’s blog answer.

This assignment is due by Friday, November 30, 2012 by 9 AM.

PROJECT:  Read the Purdue University website on how to write a cover letter.  Follow one of the samples.  Remember you are applying to a college.  The site is at  Your Cover Letter is due Monday, December 3, 2012.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Assignment #6: Effective Composition Blog

Resume Workshop


This week, you will be going through an on-line resume workshop created by Palomar College Career Center of San Marcos, CA.  You will need to read through every section of the workshop including

  1. The Introduction,
  2. Preparing The Resume,
  3. Resume Clinic,
  4. Online Resume,
  5. Cover Letter, and
  6. Resume Samples. 
After you have read each section (#1 through #5) you will make a two sentence comment on the blog sharing at least one thing you felt was the most important information to you for that section.  You will have 5 separate comments (one for each workshop section) for this part of the assignment.

Next, you will then look at the sample resumes (section #6) and choose the layout you are most interested in.  Simply leave a 6th blog stating which sample you intend to follow (for example: “I will be using the chronological format under Kelly – preschool”). 
Finally, you will then begin creating your own resume using the format you chose.   
  • Your SIX TOTAL BLOGS are due by Friday, November 16, 2012. 
  • Your resume must be e-mailed to Mr. Dawursk at by Tuesday, November 20, 2012.
The workshop is located on the internet at:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Assignment #5: Effective Composition Blog

My Reflections on Resumes and Cover Letters

  • For the past week you have been working with your group on a specific topic about resumes and your group was to prepare a 10 minimum slide presentation for class by Tuesday 11/6.  Please summarize in your own words what you learned about your topic (groups 1 & 4: Resume Strategies;  groups 2 & 5: Cover Letter Strategies; groups 3 & 6: the History of  Resumes). 
  • Include what strategy or information was the most enlightening to you and why.   After you have submitted your minimum one paragraph blog, then respond to at least one other student's blog for full credit. 
  • This blog assignment is due by Monday, November 12 at 9 AM.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Assignment #4: Effective Composition Blog

Causal Analysis / Literature Analysis
So far, we have explored the keyhole template for essay writing, have worked on sentence and paragraph development, grammar issues (dangling modifiers, parallelism, inference use, etc), have wrote personal expository essays, an informational (teaching) essay, a professional narrative paragraph, weekly blogs and daily journals. Our next project paper is a Literary Analysis Report/Essay.  For this essay, you will use the library book you have been reading every Friday and develop a paper around it.  Using the criteria discussed in class, you will develop an essay which analyzes at least two elements of the story.  While this is not a full blown “persuasive essay,” a literary analysis does use some persuasive techniques to convince the reader about your perspective on the elements you are exploring in your paper.  This is sometimes also referred to as a “causal analysis.”

    ·        Read in your textbook (Writing with a Purpose) pages 459 to 468.

    ·     Pick one of the following questions to answer for this week’s blog:

    1) How do Judith S. Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee
demonstrate that the "trickle down"
 is not relevant to parent-child relationships?
    2) How do the authors illustrate some of the effects of divorce on children (e.g., fear, rejection, anger, loneliness, guilt, and grief)?
    3) How do the authors use the metaphor of "tapestry of many threads" to suggests the complex, long-term effects of the postdivorce period on children?

·    Also, for full credit, respond to at least one other student’s blog. 

·    This is due by Wednesday, October 24, 2012.