Link to University of Washington
Information for Current and Prospective Students
Puget Sound Writing Project
Course Portfolios
London Theatre and Concert Tour
About Me
Contact Information


English 108 J, Early Fall Start 2013

Assignments and Updates

See also: Blackboard

This page has the most up-to-date information available on this website. Please check this page frequently throughout the quarter!!

(Information on this page will be listed in reverse chronological order--beware!)

For help with grammar and mechanics for ELL/ESL students, try:

or our own OWRC's page:


Thursday, September 19:

Reading: None--you have completed ALL OF THE READING for the course.

Writing: Two things. First, (to be submitted along with your portfolio):

The Conference Reflection and Analysis Paper

You now have gone through a complex process to participate in our academic conference, most of which had to be new to you.  You worked as a member of a research team, navigated a UW Libraries database, read various sources to find something you could use for your presentation, and found a way to organize your thoughts into a two-minute chunk, and then you actually performed it as well.  That is a lot of steps, few of which, if any, were familiar or easy.  

With the conference complete, we would like you to write a 3-4 page paper in two parts. In part one (2-3 pp), we want you to tell the story of your conference experience (what happened as you began the project, how did you and your group function, what was hard to do, and what turned out to be less challenging than you thought?). Then in Part 2 we want you to analyze and evaluate one of the presentations you attended. We want you: 1) to summarize the presentation, because I may not have seen it! And 2) explain what about the presentation made it special to you. (e.g., How did the subject of the presentation connect to your own learning experiences or to questions you have about being a successful UW student?)

Format: 3-4 pages, Double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman Font (PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO FORMAT! Some of you still haven't figured out proper formatting!)

And second, your Portfolio. (For the assignment, click here). Note that you have only a table of contents to write for the Portfolio. You will write the Self-Reflective Essay the assignment describes in class on Thursday, Sept 19.

Wednesday, September 18:

Reading: None!

Writing: No paper due. Portfolio and Conference reflection due on Thursday.

Tuesday, September 17:

Reading: None! Today is Conference Day--what is due is your presentation for the Annual English 108 Research Conference!!

Writing: None! Just a couple of minutes of speaking.... I am much looking forward to hearing you present!

Monday, September 16:

Reading: Various abstracts and articles as you explore learning topics you might like to learn more about.

Writing: The PowerPoint for your Group's Presentation. We will be doing a run-through.

Thursday, September 12:

Reading: Various abstracts and articles as you explore learning topics you might like to learn more about.

Writing: Two things. First, your revised, final draft of your "My Learning Profile" paper. Please bring two copies, and please also bring your early draft with my comments to hand in with the final version.

And second, your group research proposal, as follows:

Your Group Proposal--

Your job for Thursday is to go from the preliminary steps of looking for material to a plan of action. Not a full campaign, but a proposal based on what you have learned to that point in your research.

Because audiences usually find themselves more engaged by an interesting question and answer than by a report, I want you to focus what you are learning around a research question.

So how can you get this research question focus? It's not too hard. Suppose you are researching resistance to learning. Your question could be: How can knowing about different kinds of resistances to learning make you a better student? Or more narrowly (supposing you select just one kind of resistance): How can knowing about passive resistance to learning make you a better student?

The proposal should be 1-2 pages, and make plain the following:

  1. The question you are researching, and why you are inquiring into it.
  2. What you now see to be the main points of what you want to say (this may change!)
  3. Why other 108 students would find your inquiry interesting/relevant
  4. A list of sources you have consulted and will consult.

This is a group assignment—you’ll need just one proposal per group—to be turned in Thursday am. I will then discuss the proposals with each group in class.

Wednesday, September 11:

Reading: Various abstracts and articles as you explore learning topics you might like to learn more about.

Writing: Work towards your revision of My Learning Profile by writing a (solid!) paragraph explaining your Revision Plan for your Learning Profile paper. (The revision will be due on Thursday, September 12, at 9:30am.)

Tuesday, September 10:

Reading: Various abstracts and articles as you explore learning topics you might like to learn more about.

Writing: Responses to various abstracts and articles as you explore learning topics you might like to learn more about.

Monday, September 9:

Reading: As we begin the Getting to the Inside (or Research!) Project, your job for this weekend is to explore the library search mechanisms looking for articles or books to read that can help you in your presentation. The first job is to find some sources you can use to refine and limit your search. You all have what are fairly broad subjects.

So by Monday, I'd like you to have begun thinking together about the focus of your research, and to have made a good start on the project of locating and reading possible sources. You should also read the assignment carefully--it is posted here. I'll spend a few minutes Monday with each group to see where you are in the overall process.

Writing: As you do your searches, you should start making notes about your search processes. You will have two writing assignments to work on during the week. The first is a summary of the each of the two main sources you find (so, 8 total for the group). These will be on the order, approximately, of 100 words each, and will be due along with your Conference Reflection and Analysis paper on Thursday the 19th (the last day of class!).

And the second is the Research Question and Explanation assignment. That is something you will as a group submit on Thursday, and you as a group and I together will talk about in class that day.

Friday, September 6:

Reading: None.

Writing: First Edition of My Learning Profile due.

Thursday, September 5:

Reading: Second half of the Meyer and Land: Troublesome Knowledge. (pp. 5-12)

Writing: A page that is annotated carefully. I showed examples of my annotations in class today; I will ask you to show examples of YOUR annotation tomorrow!

(And if you want to watch the Dan Pink TED Talk again, you can find it by searching for "Dan Pink TED." You can select different languages if you'd like a translation.)

Wednesday, September 4 :

Reading: Meyer and Land, "Threshold Concepts." Read the first half: pp 1-4 1/2.

Writing: Tell me the story of reading this first half of the Meyer and Land essay.  What did you do physically and mentally as you worked your way through?  1-2 pages.

This is another in the series of metacognitive exercises through which I want you to be building habits of self-reflection, self-assessment, critical thinking, and problem solving. 

Tuesday, September 3:

Reading: Two things to read: "Learning About Learning," my introduction to the principal concepts connected to learning (available here), and Ramirez and Beilock, "Writing About Testing Worries Boosts Exam Performance in the Classroom."

Writing: Three things, all in early preparation for writing "My Learning Profile" (click here):

1. A "snapshot" of yourself as a learner. This is a repeat of the Snapshot you wrote at the end of the first day of class, except instead of writing a vignette of yourself in a writing situation, you'll be writing about yourself in a learning situation. 1-2 pp typed.

2. Having read R&B, write a One Pararaph summary of what you think the point of the article is, and what R&B give as reasons to support their claim. (50 to 100 words, typed)

3. Having read Learning About Learning, both the first and the second parts, pick three to four of the learning terms in the glossary that seem important to you as you think about your learning habits, and then explain why you pick them. 1-2pp typed.

Friday, August 30:

Reading: None.

Writing: The full draft of My Writing Life (see assignment here)

Thursday, August 29:

Reading: The sample papers for the grade norming exercise tomorrow.

Writing: give each paper a set of Criteria scores, and write a sentence for each explaining your reasons.

Wednesday, August 28:

Reading: First, READ THE FULL SYLLABUS! Come to class with questions and ready for a "Syllabus Quiz."

Then read the first thirteen pages of the Herb Kohl essay, and write out responses to part B below. (Type and print!)

Writing: A. Get started on Assignment 1. Be ready for a classroom conversation about your pre-writing.

B. Having read Kohl, answer 5 of the 7 questions handed out in class on Tuesday.