Instructions for work-to-be-done before class time, as well as tentative in-class activities and any work due

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English 120 Schedule
Nichols, Fall 2015

After each date below, you will see instructions for work-to-be-done before class time, as well as tentative in-class activities and any work due.

If you should miss a class, please do NOT contact me first, asking, “What did we do?” You should first check this schedule, review and/or watch any new Power Point presentations, and request notes from a couple classmates. Then let me know if you have specific questions.

Wed. Aug. 26—

Introduction to course. “Describe this Class.”
Fri. Aug. 28—
Before Class

  • Explore all links in Bb, especially the Homepage.

  • Read Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
    Also: save this piece on your laptop or print out a copy for use throughout term.

In Class

  • Always bring your laptop to class.

  • Review course aims, textbooks, etc.

  • Overview of recent race issues. Confederate flag; Black Lives Matter campaign; police brutality. YouTube assignment.

  • Summary of “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

Mon. Aug. 31—

Before Class
Browse through these YouTube videos and other resources which relate to the King letter you read recently.
Archival footage of Dr. King and police with nonviolent protesters


Sandra Bland


Here’s the same incident with commentary:



Eric Gardner


With commentary:


Walter Scott


      • With commentary:


Photos of Dylann Roof, accused of murdering 9 African Americans in a historic black church:


Arrest of Dylann Roof (compare to how African Americans are seen to be arrested):


Young girl slammed into ground, cop pulls gun on teens


And some news items:

Black churches burning:

In Class

  • Finish King summary, if necessary.

  • Share YouTube observations.

  • Intro to argument.

  • Begin work on King rhetorical analysis (worksheet).

Wed. Sept. 2—

Before Class
In Class

    • RETURN WRITING TODAY IF YOU HAVE THE WRONG EDITION. We are using the BRIEF 3rd, not the regular 3rd.

    • If you DID already purchase the regular 3rd, you need to return in BY TODAY, then order the Brief version online through the bookstore. They will contact you when it is in.

    • Groups complete King rhetorical analysis worksheet.

Fri. Sept 4—

  • We will not meet today.

Mon. Sept. 7—Labor Day Holiday


Before Class

  • Take a look at article on North Dakota high school dress codes!:

  • Read “Describe This Class”: Class Descriptions Sp 15.docx. Also print this out or have it available on your laptop.

  • Read John Holt, “School Is Bad For Children”: School is Bad for Children.docx

  • Read Greta Gao, “Why School Should Be less Fun”: Anti Fun.docx

  • Rent or buy Dangerous Minds (1:39). You can try, Netflix, or YouTube, etc. (Amazon has it on Instant Video.)

  • Watch film. Print out and jot notes on this question sheet

as you watch the film!: You don’t have to turn in the completed sheet; simply use it to take notes as you watch the film. SAVE YOUR WORK.

  • Read critical essay on Dangerous Minds: Analysis Dangerous Minds.docx
In Class

  • Finish work with King, if necessary: go over the summaries you wrote, then your rhetorical analyses.

  • Begin work with Project #1: rhetorical analysis of a popular film about education.

  • Class descriptions and perspectives wheel.

  • Discuss arguments by Holt and Gao (possibly delay)

  • Begin discussion of Dangerous Minds.

Fri. Sept. 11—

In Class

  • Be sure to have watched Dangerous Minds by today!

  • Exploring messages in pop culture and how to rhetorically analyze cultural documents, including fictional film.

  • Continue discussion of Dangerous Minds and look at scenes from Whiplash.

  • Preview of visual argument fundamentals.

Mon. Sept. 14—

In Class

  • Continue work with visual argument etc.

  • Assignment for Project #1: Rhetorical Analysis of Popular Media: Films about Education:

Wed. Sept. 16—
Before Class

  • Write draft for first project.

In Class

  • Draft #1, Project #1 due. BRING TWO COPIES.

  • Peer critiques.

Fri. Sept. 18— Conference week. No regular class. Your second draft is due at the time of your scheduled meeting. No re-scheduling. Groups should meet once over the conference period to critique second drafts.

Mon. Sept. 21— Conferences. Same as for Sept. 14th.
Wed. Sept. 23— Conferences. Same as for 14th.

Fri. Sept. 25— Conferences. Same as for 14th.

Mon. Sept. 28—
Before Class

  • Work on 3rd draft of Project #1.

In Class

  • Style and mechanics review.

*Wed. Sept. 30 —

  • Finished version Project #1 due in Bb. Finished version of Project #1 due. Include 2nd draft with instructor comments, and completed film worksheet questions. STAPLE ALL MATERIALS.

  • Ranking songs. Discovering and developing personal criteria for art/music.

  • Art perspectives wheel.

Fri. Oct. 2—

In Class

  • .

Mon. Oct. 5—

Before Class

  • Look at Assignment for Project #2

Wed. Oct. 7—

Before Class

  • Be thinking about what kind of art you’d like to review.


In Class

  • Discuss sample reviews.

  • Informal reviews of Dangerous Minds and Whiplash.

  • “Sneaking into the Movies.”

  • Brief look at research strategy and Writing Today assignment. (For this project, you will need to 1) explore some basic information about the type of art you are examining and the specific work you will review; 2) examine reviews already written on your subject, looking especially for opposing or contrasting reviews; 3) actually experience the work of art you’ve chosen.)

  • Discuss how to work effectively in groups and Group Member Peer Evaluation.

  • Groups assembled.

  • Groups select work of art to review

Fri. Oct. 9—

Before Class

  • Read, in Writing Today,

  • Each group member should complete research on reviews written about the group’s topic, then write up a brief report about what you found: what sorts of reviews did you find? Were they favorable or unfavorable, and why? What was each reviewer’s main claim, and how did they support it?

  • Send your point person your research materials before our next class meeting.

    • Experience your art form: watch the film, go to the concert, visit the art gallery, listen to the CD, etc

    • Look at Project Steps sheet.

    • Look at Researching Background Questions on Art Forms.

    • Start-up research and “Go Experience It”: groups divide research tasks and questions. Make plans to attend/watch/hear events.

In Class

  • Send your point person your research materials by class time.

  • Explore ways to outline a review.

  • Groups compile and discuss research notes.

  • Reach consensus on thesis: thumbs up or down?

  • Plan written or web review.

  • Divide up writing segments.

  • Each group member should email the point person any new material by class time.

  • Look at “Sneaking into the Movies.” What makes a review “good”?

  • Discuss visual component of current assignment. Reviews in HPR, Ebert’s site,

  • Continue work with projects: transitions between segments, feedback to each group member on the individual segments, review Power Point presentation Thinking about Art. This includes very important material.

  • If groups get a chance, be thinking about visual layout. Maybe appoint 1-2 people to this?

Mon. Oct. 12—

Before Class

In Class

  • Watch the Power Point presentation Visual Design and Visual Rhetoric: Fundamental Principles.

  • Continue work with visual component of project.

  • See, Roger Ebert’s site, Rotten Tomatoes

  • Groups compile, examine, and discuss work to be done.

  • Continue work on projects.

Wed. Oct. 14—

Before Class
In Class

  • Writing for the web.

  • Fundamentals of visual design.

  • Draft #1, Project #2 due. Conference with groups

Fri. Oct. 16—

Before Class

In Class

  • Groups write Draft #2.

  • Take a look at How to Document Images.

  • Preparatory remarks on novel.

Mon. Oct. 19—

  • Draft #2, Project #1 due. Check rubric before handing this in:

  • Peer critiques.

  • Revisit MLK Jr. letter for style tips. HAVE THIS AVAILABLE IN CLASS, EITHER AS A PRINT-OUT OR ON A LAPTOP. Style: revisiting Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter. Read, in Writing Today, “Style,” pp. 817-821.

  • Conferences with groups.

Wed. Oct. 21—

Before Class

  • Be editing and proofreading your portions of review

In Class

  • Check Rubric for Project #2 to be sure you are covering all bases.

  • Review rules of plagiarism.

  • Read Bone, Remember that I’ve issued a “reader discretion advised” and offered a modified copy of the book for anyone who cares for it,

  • Mechanics and editing review. Groups will share this task.

Fri. Oct. 23—

  • Humanities Retreat.

Mon. Oct. 26—

In Class

  • Finished version of project #2 due. Post this as a Reply to your group’s thread in our Class Library/File Cabinet.

  • Also post your group’s process narrative.

  • Turn in (hardcopy) your completed group member evaluation sheet.

  • Begin work with novel. BRING BOOK TO CLASS.

  • Discuss final genre: literary analysis.

  • Continue work with novel.

Wed. Oct. 28—

  • Continue work with novel.

Fri. Oct. 30—

In Class

  • Continue work with novel.

Mon. Nov. 2—

In Class

  • Continue work with novel.

Wed. Nov. 4—

In Class

  • Continue work with novel.

Fri. Nov. 6—

In Class

  • Finish discussion of novel. Examine final essay project. Brainstorming foci, outlining.

  • Look over assignment for Project #3.

  • Begin work on drafts.

  • Begin conference sign-up.

Mon. Nov. 9— First draft, Project #3 due.

Wed. Nov. 11—Vet’s Day Holiday
Fri. Nov. 13—

  • Conference week. No regular class. Your second draft is due at the time of your scheduled meeting. No re-scheduling. Groups should meet once over the conference period to critique second drafts. CLICK HERE. for critique form.

Mon. Nov. 16—

  • Conferences.

Wed. Nov. 18—

  • Conferences.

Fri. Nov. 20—

  • Conferences.

Mon. Nov. 23

  • Project #3 due.

In Class

  • Course review.

Wed. Nov. 25—

  • Course review.

Fri. Nov. 27—Thanksgiving Holiday

Mon. Nov. 30

  • Begin work with Portfolios and Reflective Letter. See PORTFOLIO assignment for full details

  • Discuss how to do a course evaluation, drawing on education discussions early in term and review genre. Review notes from first segment of semester.

  • Review summaries, rhet analysis, identifying lousy arguments.

  • Portfolios.

Wed. Dec. 2

  • Work on Portfolios and Letter.

Fri. Dec. 4

  • Work on Portfolios. Review summaries, rhet analyses etc.

  • Work on review review.

Mon. Dec. 7—

  • Final class.

  • Final materials due. Portfolios due in class. No grace period. No late items accepted without documented evidence of serious hardship

Wed. Dec. 9—Special office hours.

Fri. Dec. 11—No class.
Mon. Dec. 14-Fri. Dec. 18 FINALS WEEK
We will not meet over finals week.

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