Blog Prompt 12/8

Drawing on your knowledge of professional emails, rhetorical strategies, and persuasive writing, carefully craft an email to your classmates requesting extra credit. Convince us that you deserve this extra credit in a respectful way.

  • Your blog should be crafted as an email with a subject line, greeting, sign off, and all components addressed in class.
  • If you are stuck, look back through the emails I have sent the class.  

Commenters: leave a comment on the post that you think should receive extra credit and explain why.

English 110: My Extra Credit Appeal.

Dear all,

I am grateful for the opportunity to have you all decide on this assignment. Over the course of the semester my grades have faltered; however, I have used all of my free time rewriting essays for this class. I spent countless hours in the writing lab, for help with my writing, only to make new mistakes on the next attempt. And I am a little lazy and forgetful, but I have not given up since the start of the semester. We have less than a week before this class ends which means that I still have time for some corrective measures. I hope that you consider me in your final decision.

Yours humbly,

EC Does It

My dear class,

How goes the end of your semester? I hope that it goes well and that you are staying warm now that it’s getting cold out again. I write to you in need of a favor. I was wondering if you could award me a with little bit of extra credit. I searched through every link on our blog, checked our syllabus, reread every text from the semester, but cannot seem to find any. I even asked my mom to help me look around the house for some and, for the first time ever, she cannot find it either! Finally, after asking Professor Savonick, she informed me that if I composed this formal email addressed to you all, my beloved classmates, that I might be able to achieve the little bit of extra credit that I need to pass this class. I rest my case, I am forever indebted to all of you for your time, regardless of whether you grant my wish or not. If I have learned one thing about the purpose of education this semester, it is that a student must be ready to give and receive help when it is necessary. My best wishes go out to you and your families at the beginning of this break from school.

Yours truly,


My Extra Credit Plea

Friends and Fellow Students,

Hope all is well on your fronts and Thank You kindly for your time.
I am sending this email in hope that you will chose me as the student who deserves the extra credit. The reason I’m in this position at all is that I decided against doing my first blog, not because I was lazy, but because I didn’t want to burden you with yet another blog post to wade through.
I know and respect all the time you guys put into this class and again, I would like to thank you for using a few of your precious moments to read this email. Please, if you find it in your heart, vote for me in this coming election.
I would like to finish with a poem I have composed:
Extra credit is on the line, I didn’t do the first blog to save you guys some time.
So vote for me as winter is coming, or before class I’ll eat some dairy and forget about plumbing.
Thank you all so much and best regards,
Leopold “Butters” Stotch

Makeup assignment

Hello, fellow classmates,

Thank you for reading this, I hope you are doing well today. I am writing to ask you, could you please review this as a make-up assignment and consider giving me credit for it? You make be wondering to yourself: ”why should we give you credit for this?” Well first of all, I am not doing so well in Professor Savonick’s English 110 class, so I could use a small boost in my grade and I hope you can assist me with this. Furthermore, I have been doubling my work efforts in since the second part of this semester trying to keep my grade from sinking anymore than it already has. I really do hope you consider this email as make-up for the blog posts I have missed, and I thank you for your time and patience.



The analysis of American life and sustainablity

The world is constantly being regarded as existing currently in a state of environmental emergency. Alarmist and factual claims of an inevitable and irreversible deterioration of our environment and wildlife all add to a massive wave of panic among the population. We live on a planet that is entirely dependent on “dirty” methods of energy production, methods which also have a finite availability of resources. Furthermore, we are expected to continue the exponential growth prediction of our world population within the next century with great concerns of sustaining this much life.

This assignment is designed to enable critical and efficient research among students who will ultimately decide what the effects are of the worlds current ways of supporting life, if there are any. Students are free to claim whatever they feel is the right opinion, however they must substantially back their claims with credible and persuasive evidence. This course is not only intended for the enhancement of research habits, but it is also intended to teach the art of persuasion.

Important aspects to consider in research include:

  • Diets around the world and their related environmental footprint
  • Affluence of nations and their pollution levels
  • Industrial practices and their sustainability
  • Current pending issues pertaining to agriculture
  • Population growth
  • Displacement, migration, “urban sprawl”

Students will ultimately put together a thesis which looks at all aspects of sustainability and methods which will allow for the support of the next century of population growth. Any methods researched should include a comprehensive analysis of practicality, pros, cons, and implementation time. This thesis should be thoroughly research based, but also must focus heavily on being argumentative to convince readers. Refrain from being opinionated without evidential claims to support statements.

Research is certainly going to need to be accredited. Refrain from using websites which are speculative with no real evidence to support their argument (“pseudo-science”). The best sources for research will certainly be credible scholarly articles, scientific journals, and professional studies conducted by universities/ research organizations/ government bureaus.

Students will have one month to produce a quality, convincing thesis paper which will take a look at all aspects of the sustainability crisis the world is currently facing. Students can either choose to work in groups or work alone, the primary graded component will be the credibility and power of persuasive writing conventions.

The bulk of the work will be done outside of class, however several days within the month-long period will be designated towards revision among peers and also with the help of me.

Sources to begin research include:

“World Population Projected to Reach 9.7 Billion by 2050” by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

“Renewable Energy Can Provide 80% of U.S Electricity by 2050” by the Union of Concerned Scientists


Ethnographic Portrait

Welcome to English 110 of the Fall Semester!

As a final assignment, students will work in groups to produce an ethnographic portrait.

Throughout the development of American society, culture norms have been created to keep a structured system of race, gender and class among people. In specific, examples of the experience that immigrants undergo after migrating to the United States emphasizes societal pressure on everyone besides Americans to conform and categorize themselves into any American norm but their own. In order to be considered American, immigrants are expected to fit society’s standards.

In this project, students are provided with the opportunity to interview, research, and collaboratively work on a first-hand experience of an immigrant who underwent various amount of cultural hardships when arriving to the United States. Students will be speaking out for immigrants who are minorities in the United States facing institutional racism and the cultural construction of gender as they attempt to obtain the American dream.

The following articles will be provided for students to go through:

“Gender Stereotypes And The Relationship Between Masculinity And Femininity: A Developmental Analysis” by Monica Biernat.


“Immigrant West Indian Families And Their Struggles With Racism In America” by Dadrene Hine-St. Hilaire

Students will work in groups of 3 to complete the assignment. Both at home and in class, students will be conducting the interviews, research on databases, and writing an ethnographic portrait on someone who is an immigrant after the age of 10.

In order to assure that students succeed on this assignment, I will already have graduate students who have agreed to be interviewed on their immigrant experience.

The assignment will be evaluated not on the content of the final project (every story matters!), but the way information was collected and worked on throughout the group. Collaboration is a must for an individual passing grade.

Good luck everyone!

environmental science assignment

Hi guys, here is your newest assignment.

We all know that environmental science is related to everyone. Human’s activities bring up so many problems like the water pollution, and the soil contaminants to the natural environment. And all of them cause the environment issues like the global warming, the greenhouse gas and so on.

The purpose of this assignment is to help you become better able to understand the environmental science and better the earth’s environment. So in this assignment, I want you guys to do some researches about the issues below, write down your thinking and analyzes. And at the end of this class, we will have a debate based the reports you did before, the question you will address is: “should nuclear energy be promoted on a fast-track in order to reduce the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere?”

  • Do some researches by yourself at home.

In this section, you will individually analyze your consumption and life activity patterns to calculate your ecological footprint using an internet-based ecological footprint calculator.

Go to http://www.earthday.org/take-action/footprint-calculator/ to get your ecological footprint and get your individual carbon footprint (to answer all questions on the website might spent you hale an hour).

  • Discuss with your classmates during class

Share your individual carbon footprints with your classmate and see what they got. Think about what did you learn about your ecological footprint and that of the average American? What about the average your group members? What can you do to reduce your ecological and carbon footprint?

Write a brief conclusion about them.

  • Watch a debate video on TED


We have known for decades that increasing atmospheric CO2 can to lead to global warming, but we have not reduces the rate of growth in CO2 emissions. In fact, CO2 emissions have increased year-by-year. Scientists are looking for some better resources that can replace the fossil fuel, and nuclear energy is one of their choices.

After this part, write down what was your opinion before you watched this video? What is your current opinion?

  • I want you guys have a debate at the end of this class, and you should

develop your own points of view and participate in the debate. Remember the topic is, “should nuclear energy be promoted on a fast-track in order to reduce the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere?”

The debate is going on revolves around two issues. First, nuclear power releases very little CO2 and could be used to replace much of our fossil fuel use. The second issue is that nuclear power holds real dangers.

(Notes, there are some other points to bring into the debate, but overall, society needs to evaluate the relative dangers, the risk, of these two issues. And you might find out some reading materials related to this topic on e-Reserve in the QC library. You are encouraged to do additional research on this section.)

As a conclusion, summarize this whole assignment by giving your own opinion. What fact or information did you find most important in developing your opinion? Which sources of information were most influential to you?


Assignment 5 – Prison Break

Hi students of English 110,

Welcome to your newest assignment!

There are over 2 million fellow American citizens incarcerated at the present time. Our current assignment is a study of the prison system and to explore the lives of the inmates before, during and after their incarceration. Many of those incarcerated in our prisons are stereotyped as hard criminals and cruel human beings. We are going to investigate and discover the nature of many of these inmates. We will look into their backgrounds and upbringings. What are the factors that contributed to their present situations? What are their feelings now? What are the ramifications of their being in prison? How will they act once released from prison? What will happen to their families while they are locked up? What effect does incarceration have on their lives and on the lives of those close to them?

We will be writing a research paper about the lives of these individuals based on our findings and research.

To answer some of these questions, the first stage of our three week project will consist of some background research by going through some readings, listening to podcasts or watching videos. We will spend three days working in computer labs searching for and gathering this information.  Some of the media available will shed light on the plights of current and past inmates and how their incarceration played out in their lives. Radiolab’s Dear Hector sheds light on one inmate’s personal story throughout his life and how he got to where he is. MSNBC’s “Lock Up” series explores life in prison from many different perspectives of both the prisoners and the staff. Some readings to consider are the New York Times article “Prison and the Poverty Trap” by John Tierney or Craig Haney’s Psychological Impact of Incarceration. Feel free to search for any relevant media that you think will contribute to your paper.

During the second week of the project we will visit two prisons in the tri-state area, one of which is a maximum security facility, where we will have the opportunity to speak with a few of the inmates and staff there. When speaking with them we will be splitting into groups of three so that everyone will have the opportunity to ask questions. These questions will be focused mostly on the individual stories of the inmates. These questions may be personal (obviously within limits) – what got them into prison, how their families or communities reacted, how they foresee their future etc.

Our goal here is to discover the feelings and sentiments of both the inmates and their families. Some of the families who live close by will be coming to our campus during that second week to speak with us as well. We will be able to ask them their perspective on how the incarceration affected them and how they perceive their spouse/sibling/son/daughter etc. now after what has happened? Were they to blame? What’s in store for them after they get released?

We will be taking notes during our interviews with the inmates and staff and as we get tours of the facilities. Take notice of are how they are treated in prison and how they get along with each other. How does this affect their well being and overall health? As we research and jot down notes during this two week period, we will begin to start forming outlines and writing rough drafts of what our paper will look like and what we hope to accomplish with it.

During the final week of this assignment we will be writing our papers and describing what we learned about the inmates and their families. We will compare how we had thought about incarceration before and after we undertook this task.  The final week will be spent working individually both at home and in computer labs on campus. Towards the end of the week we will have a session of peer review to get feedback on our writing and how we can improve or add to it.

Finally, by sharing our writing with the inmates, their families and the world at large we will present incarceration and its ramifications as we see it.

Blog Prompt 12/6

After spending the past three months reading and writing about effective teaching and learning methods, now it is your turn to put what you have learned into practice. Below are the learning objectives for our course. In your blog post design an assignment that will help students to achieve one (or several) of these. Your post should include both the assignment itself and a reflection on the pedagogy (your reasoning) behind it. If you are stuck, use the assignments from this class and other classes for guidance.

Some things to consider:

  • What readings, newspaper articles, video screenings, podcasts, etc. will you assign to help students complete the assignment?
  • How long will students have to complete the assignment?
  • Will students work on this during class, at home, or both?
  • Will students be working individually or in groups?
  • Will students have different options for how to complete the assignment?
  • What will you as an instructor do to help ensure that students succeed on this assignment?
  • How will this assignment be evaluated?

Learning goals
In this course, you will learn

  • To practice writing as a process of thinking, rethinking, editing, and revising
  • To read critically and creatively and draw connections among a wide variety of texts
  • To make persuasive arguments that are organized and supported by sufficient evidence
  • To develop revision skills in looking at one’s own writing and that of peers and professionals
  • To communicate with different audiences and in different contexts, with an emphasis on digital and public publishing
  • To collaborate effectively, for the maximum benefit of everyone in the group