Summer 2013 session 1

Summer 2013 session 1: July 1-18.

Download the syllabus here: (coming soon)
or see old syllabi <a href="; title="Summer 2012 Session 1 (old)"here

Course meets Mondays – Thursdays from 9:30- 12:30 in NAC 6/328
*Class does not meet on Thursday, July 4th
*Class meets Friday, July 5th. This is the only Friday meeting.

Texts (supplied by college):

• SEEK Coursepack
• The Norton Field Guide to Writing. Richard Bullock. Third Edition, 2013.
• The Norton Sampler: Short Essays for Composition. Thomas Cooley, editor. Eighth Edition.
• The Seagull Reader.
American Heritage Pocket Dictionary. (Note: the iOS and Android Webster’s or American Heritage Dictionary apps are acceptable substitutes.)

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 RINGERS ON CELL PHONES 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. 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
 Completion of a short research paper
 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.


• A-F for the research paper and final presentation.
• Will be Pass/Fail for the course
• To pass the course, you will need passing grades on the formal assignments, attendance meeting the course requirements, and completion of homework assignments


Most of the course material will be online at our class website which you should check daily. I suggest bookmarking it on your phone and computer. (See the QR code to the right, which will guide you there if you have an app on your phone for it.) 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”. 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 at


Week 1: Course introduction and intro to Critical Inquiry

Day 1: Monday, July 1: Introduction and biographies, Explanation of course requirements, Critical Reading strategies: annotation, interpretation, evaluation, and questioning.

Day 2: Tuesday, July 2: Presentation of Visual bios, Handout and explanation of final research assignment. Trip to SEEK computer lab to set up individual WordPress blogs.

Day 3: Wednesday, July 3: Analytical methods for critical essays.

Thursday, July 4: Holiday: class does not meet

Day 4: Friday, July 5: Presentation by NY Historical Society on historical research strategies. Writing structure and analysis strategies, Critical Inquiry and Essay Development. This is our ONLY Friday meeting. Class meets at the SEEK computer lab: NAC 7/301.

Week 2: Research Strategies

Day 5: Monday, July 8: Trip to New York Historical Society for hands-on research.
*Class meets at NYHS: 170 Central Park West, bet. 76-77th St @ 9:45 AM.

Day 6: Tuesday, July 9: (Tentative) Trip to NYPL Hamilton Grange Branch.

Day 7: Wednesday, July 10: Workshop on MLA format; (Tentative) Library research session at CCNY Cohen Library

Day 8: Thursday, July 11:

Week 3: Presentation of research and critical analysis

Day 9: Monday, July 15: Paper revision workshop.
*Class meets at SEEK Computer lab: NAC 7/301

Day 10: Tuesday, July 16: Workshop on presentations

Day 11: Wednesday, July 17: In-class presentations of research assignments.

Day 12: Thursday, July 18 (Final day of class): In-class presentations of research assignments. Evaluation and wrap-up. Reflections.

Further info will be placed on the course website

Other key dates

• Trip to Hamilton Grange branch of NY Public Library: Monday, July 9th
• Tuesday, August 16: research papers due
• Wednesday July 18th and Thursday July 19th: in-class presentations of research topics


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