This website, English Compost, provides notes on much of the material I cover in class. (Although it certainly does not substitute for attending class.) Please click on the tabs above to review a particular topic. A good starting place is The History of English. Do add comments to the pages–I always appreciate your input!
Luckily we’ve had a rather cool Summer Session B so far. Please be sure to click on and read the tabs for History of English, History of Thought, and The Writing Process. Later, as we move through the course, you’ll want to review Rhetoric, Argument, Collaborative Writing, and others. It’s also not too early to think about your final paper topic–so be sure to check out the tab on Research Paper Topics. Welcome and have a good summer!
ENG28 Students: Welcome to English Compost! The tabs long the top of the page provide access to several of our course topics. You’ll want to peruse History of Thought, History of English, and The Writing Process to begin with. Plus, if you scroll down through the blog posts in this column, you’ll find some interesting items as well as sample paragraphs of the types that we’ll be writing in this course. Also–if you make a post in response to any of the pages or blog posts on this site, you’ll be awarded one hour credit toward your external activity! (Make sure it’s evident who you are to get credit.)
Having trouble distinguishing a claim from a warrant? Backing from evidence? This comprehensive tutorial might help you better understand the British philosopher’s model. If you’re still confused, this brief tutorial provides a relatively easy method for identifying Toulmin’s components in a simple argument.
ENG28 Students: Your descriptive paragraph should “present a picture” of your room or a piece of furniture. Be as objective as possible, using specific, detailed, concrete language instead of vague or subjective terms. See the sample below for more guidance.
January 4, 2010
The desk is an old-fashioned Dutch school table. It stands three-and-a-half feet high, it is four feet long, and it is two-and-a-half feet deep. The desk is made of a hard wood, possibly oak or cherry. It is stained a medium reddish brown. The desk has four square cross-section legs that are braced at about four inches high along the back and two sides. There are also two small top drawers on either side of the front. Each drawer has a simple brass clamshell handle. The drawers are about a foot wide and three inches high. The drawers are the same depth as the desk: two-and-a-half feet. There is a semi-circular cutout along the front top panel between the two drawers which permits someone to sit close to the desk. The desk has a very smooth, glossy finish. There are some natural imperfections like knots, but there are also some signs of wear like dents in the desk surface.
ENG28: Welcome to my English Compost website. The tabs above provide online versions of my lecture notes. You’ll especially want to check out History of English and History of Thought.
What follows is a sample of an article summary. The full article can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/nyregion/18semicolon.html?scp=1&sq=semicolon%20in%20unlikely%20places&st=cse. Remember, though, that your topic is different: You must summarize a 1-2 page news article on autism.
A Summary of a Semicolon Sighting
Sam Roberts begins the New York Times article “Celebrating the Semicolon in a Most Unlikely Location” with the sighting of a semicolon used on a city transit placard. He then explains that the semicolon is a rarely employed, and when it is, it is often used incorrectly. He buttresses his claim with quotes from author Lynn Truss, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg, and even intellectual Noam Chomsky. Roberts also provides evidence of how semicolon misuse has resulted in loss of money and stature. Finally, Roberts notes how the semicolon might just live on through the use of emoticons. ;-)
Two additional final paper topics have been submitted by your classmates and approved:
Issue 4: On Saturday, October 5, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a set of state bills addressing undocumented immigrants. A piece by NPR provides in-depth coverage, including an explanation of the political environment that spawned the legislation. More coverage is provided here by the Washington Post. Be sure to address the warrants behind both sides of the general immigration debate as well as the logistical, judicial, and political issues surrounding the California legislation, sometimes referred to by its key component, the “Trust Act.”
Issue 5: In 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled that video games are effectively “art” and are deserving of the same protections as other forms of art. The New York Times covers the issue here and the actual court opinion provides even more stimulation for the litigious. Again, be sure to address all relevant warrants including the First Amendment and public safety.