English Composition 121

Inside the Classroom

Find an outline of expected discussions and assignments for Professor Walia’s face to face English Composition course.

Date In-class Assignments
8/28 Blog: review course page; annotate using hypothes.is
Discuss: Why writing about writing?
Apply: Mapping and connecting all of our writing selves
Read Chee’s “Annie Dillard and the Writing Life”


8/30 Blog: Review requirements of final research project.Post a reflection.
Discuss: hooks picture book and the paragraph
Apply: write a paragraph
Read “Sponsors of Literacy” by Deborah Brandt and watch Harriet the Spy


9/4 Blog: Who is your literacy sponsor?
Discuss: Harriet the SpySponsors, and summaries
Apply: write a summary of Harriet the Spy
Read your assigned children’s book and Rose’s “Rigid Rules”
9/6 Blog: Rewrite a concept or a lesson taken from Rose’s essay for a children’s book.
Discuss: Analysis and the angle
Apply: Compose an analysis of your children’s book. Be sure your analysis includes a clear angle
Read “Draw me a word, write me a picture” by Thomas Newkirk
9/13 Blog: Using what you’ve learned from Newkirk’s article, perform an analysis of the assigned child’s drawing
Discuss: Newkirk’s article, literacy narrative and reflection
Apply: Pre-writing towards literacy narrative assignment
Read “Past Experiences” by Petersen and complete outline


9/20 Discuss: Petersen’s article
Writing: Using the outline, begin writing towards your literacy narrative
Keep writing your literacy narrative, final draft due next class!



9/25 Read: “What’s the Question?”
Discuss: what is data? (define: trends, surveys, questionnaires)
Activity: craft a questionnaire/survey that you believe will tell you something about literacy, writing, or college; share this survey with the entire class 
Review results of your survey, come to class with five trends. 

Try your best to create quantitative statements using the results: X% of students said Y.

Read “Writing for their Lives”

9/27 Blog: Report on a trend you’ve uncovered through your questionnaire. What makes this trend so powerful? What problem/solution does this trend reveal? What more research might you conduct given the results?
Discuss: “Writing for their Lives” and synthesis
Apply: Comment on a colleagues’ questionnaire post. Indicate what connections their trends have with yours.
Read excerpt from Locomotion and “The Need for Care”
10/2 Blog: Craft a paragraph that synthesizes the assigned readings.
Discuss: Elbow and Locomotion and integrating quotes
Apply: Craft a paragraph in which you integrate a quote from any of the assigned readings
Finish reading Locomotion
10/4 Blog: Letter to Lonnie
Discussion: Evidence: history, testimony, observations
Apply: With your groupmates, post links to pieces of evidence about your given literacy movement.
10/9 Virtual work: work towards your literacy campaign project


10/11 Virtual work: work towards your literacy campaign project


10/16 Blog: Comment on another group’s literacy campaign project
Read: “Why is NY Condoning Illiteracy” and “Investing in Adult Literacy”Discuss: Finding a point of synthesis in readings
Read Greene’s “Argument” article
10/18 Blog: Pick an argument happening right now either in politics, popular culture, or elsewhere. What does this conversation look like? Who is talking? What are the major points? If you could join in on the conversation, what might you say?
Discuss: Rhetoric and thesis statementApply: Identify three “texts” that you “read” on a daily basis. Describe each “text” in terms of the rhetorical reading strategies you use.
Read “Intertextuality and the Discourse Community” by James E. Porter


10/23 Blog: How is plagiarism different from Porter’s ideas of intertextuality? Why do you think plagiarism is such a pervasive issue in academia given what Porter says about “original” ideas?

Discussion: APA and Porter; The Argument: Logos, Pathos, Ethos

Apply: X is the best musical artist of all time. OR Y is the best borough in NYC. Pick one of the arguments above and convince your reader by using logos, pathos, and ethos.

Read your colleagues’ blog posts. Comment on at least one with three reasons you either agree or disagree with their argument. (Don’t repeat reasons they’ve already given)



10/25 Read: Getting on the Right Side of it by Kynard

Let’s Argue: Is the Research Paper a valuable assignment for college students?


Read Hyland’s “From Disciplinary Discourses” and “The House that Hova Built”
10/30 Blog: What genre of writing is Smith’s article? If you were to describe the rules of this genre using only Smith’s article, what would they include?

Discuss: Conventions of writing, HOVA article, conventions of the “diss track”

Read Lamont Hill’s “Stakes is High” and bring in a piece of writing you’re interested in using for your Disciplinary Writing Project


11/1 Discuss: Hill’s article

In-class writing: Work on Disciplinary Writing Project

Keep working on your disciplinary writing project, it is due next class!
11/6 Read: “If Black English isn’t a language, then tell me, what is?”

Let’s Argue: What’s the value of Standard American English? 

Read excerpt of Matilda


11/8 Blog: Analyze Matilda using a writing concept we’ve discussed in class

Discuss: MatildaAuto-ethnography

Read excerpt of Matilda and sample auto-ethnography #1 by Penzato


11/13 Discuss: MatildaPenzato

Writing: Write towards auto-ethnography

Read excerpt of Matilda and sample auto ethnography #2 by Perry
11/15 Discuss: MatildaPerry

Writing: Write towards auto- ethnography


Read excerpt of Matilda and Sondra Perl’s “Composing”


11/20 Discuss: Matilda

Writing: Write towards auto-ethnography

Read excerpt of Matilda
11/27 Discuss: Matilda

Writing: Write towards auto-ethnography

Read excerpt of Matilda
11/29 Discuss: Matilda

Writing: Write towards auto-ethnography

Finish your auto-ethnography before meeting with Professor Walia for conferences
12/4 Conferences
12/6 Conferences
12/11 Final blog post and goodbyes…
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