Summer 2012 Session 2 Syllabus

Section RWR2.
Meeting times: Monday-Thursday, July 23 – August 9 1:30-4 pm
Location: 275 Shepard Hall

See the “Staff” page for contact info

Required Texts (supplied by college):

SEEK Coursepack
Twenty-Five Great Essays. Robert DiYanni. Third Edition, Penguin Academics.
Webster’s Pocket Dictionary.

You should bring a notebook with pages that are easy to remove and a folder to hold completed assignments and readings that will be given out.

A note on electronic gadgets:

Please TURN OFF CELL PHONE RINGERS before class. Calls during class time are disrespectful and distract the rest of the class. iPods have no place here either, as they distract you from what’s going on and the sound distracts your classmates. Smart Phones, iPads, Netbooks, etc are allowed provided that they are used for note-taking and/or access to online dictionaries ONLY. If you are caught checking Facebook, playing games, etc. during classtime, I will ask you to leave the class.

Course Description:

The objective of this class is to introduce you to college level work while by intensive practice in ways of analysis, questioning, close reading, writing, and research that are expected in college level work. We’ll do this by interpreting short reading assignments, audio, and possibly films. Expect several in class writing assignments of varying length per week, and some to be completed at home. You’ll also be expected to discuss readings, films, etc. with classmates. Much of our work will be done online or using web tools. By extensive practice reading and writing, you will become more familiar with the skills required for college courses and gain additional familiarity with web 2.0 tools and an intro to the WordPress platform, which is one of the most popular blogging and website creation platforms. There will also be occasional quizzes to keep you sharp and a final research paper.

We’ll also review some grammar and similar necessary English stuff. This will be on an “as needed” basis, as I find that grammar and writing rules are similar to Opera and arsenic: too much can be fatal, but a little bit do no harm.

Course Requirements:

* Regular attendance. More than 1 absence (excused or not) will get you dropped from the course. If you anticipate problems making it to class, you should enroll in a different section.
* Participation in class discussions and timely completion of written and reading assignments
* An online writing journal done as a WordPress blog
* One short (5-10 minute) oral presentation on your research project with PowerPoint slides
* Completion of a 900-word research paper
* A 1-2 paragraph writing piece for publication in a class journal
* A current New York Public Library card. The closest branch is the Hamilton Grange at 503 W. 145th St. in Manhattan. 212-926-2147.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is mandatory, though you are allowed one excused absence during the course of the class. 3 latenesses will count as an absence. You are expected to be here on time. If you get sick or have some unforeseen emergency, it is considered polite to send an e-mail letting me know that you won’t be here.


Will be on the scale of A-F for research and formal assignments with a final grade for the course. Final course grades will be based on the following criteria: Attendance (10%), quizzes (30%), blog posts/journal (30%), final research paper (30%).


Much of the course material will be online at our class website here which you should check daily. I suggest bookmarking it on your phone and computer. You will also set up blogs of your own and link them. E-mail is the best way to contact me and I check it several times a day. I will not answer course-related questions via Facebook.

Note that a key course objective is building college and life skills. For this reason, you must have a professional, adult-sounding e-mail address. If you must, set up a different address for use with professors and/or potential employers. Also, you should proofread and spellcheck e-mail, blog posts, and all other communication with me. “LOL-speak” is not acceptable and reflects poorly on your ability to do college and other forms of work.

• Class text message list: Send a message to (608) 467-1300 with the message “@seekcr” to subscribe. This service is powered by Remind 101. I’ll send important reminders/ announcements out when needed. Expect at most a couple per week. The list will be deactivated after the class ends: there is no need to cancel. To unsubscribe, simply reply with the word “stop”.

Course Schedule note: separate assignment sheets will be distributed for all formal assignments and will be posted online. Detailed homework assignments will be posted online daily. See posts on the What’s New page for updates.


Week 1: Course introduction and intro to Critical Inquiry

Day 1: Monday, July 23: Course Introduction and biographies, Explanation of course requirements, Handout and explanation of final research assignment.

Day 2: Tuesday, July 24: Presentation of Visual bios, Critical Reading strategies: annotation, interpretation, evaluation, and questioning. Trip to SEEK computer lab to set up individual WordPress blogs.

Day 3: Wednesday, July 25:

Day 4: Thursday, July 26: Presentation by NY Historical Society on historical research strategies. Writing structure and analysis strategies, Critical Inquiry and Essay Development.

Week 2: Research Strategies

Day 5: Monday, July 30: Trip to NYPL Hamilton Grange Branch for research instruction.

Day 6: Tuesday, July 31: Library research session at CCNY Cohen Library

Day 7: Wednesday, August 1: Workshop on MLA citation format.

Day 8: Thursday, August 2: Trip to New York Historical Society for hands-on research.
*Class meets at NYHS: 170 Central Park West, corner of 77th St. at 1:15 pm

Week 3: Presentation of research and critical analysis

Day 9: Monday, August 6: Paper revision workshop. Class meets in SEEK Computer lab: NAC 7/301.

Day 10: Tuesday, August 7: Workshop on presentations.

Day 11: Wednesday, August 8: student presentations of research assignments.

Day 12: Thursday, August 9 (Final day of class): student presentations of research assignments. Evaluation and wrap-up.

Further info will be placed on the course website

Key dates

• Trip to Hamilton Grange branch of NY Public Library: Monday, July 30th
• Tuesday, August 7: research papers due
• Wednesday August 8th and Thursday August 9th: in-class presentations of research topics


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