A Sample Blog for our English 1101 Students

Salutations!

Yes!  We are finally reaching the end of our semester, which I am sure is causing you to breathe a sigh of relief.  You only have one more project to do for Dr. G., so don’t give up! What follows here is a sample blog post for your class to look at.  It is not perfect, nor is this the only type of blog post that is acceptable for this project. Please look at the post to gain an idea of the approximate length of writing expected for an individual’s contribution to this project.

wearealmostdone

This last project is intended to encourage you to begin thinking about how writing – any writing – can be used as a tool for communicating with the community around you.  Your project must be connected in some way to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but you and your group members may choose your own topic and medium.

Your writing must be an informational outreach to a community.  This includes topics such as providing health warnings or information, social issues and concerns, and historical information that still relates to today’s issues.  This covers a broad range of possible topics, so make sure you pick a topic that interests you.  If you are interested in the topic, the enthusiasm will be reflected in your writing and make it more appealing to your target audience!

connect3

You have several choices in how you will present this information to the class and to the community.  Please choose a mode/medium and make a note of how many people you are allowed to work with.

Mode/Medium Choices:

  1. Blog (1-2 people)
  2. Brochure (1-2 people)
  3. Speech (Individual)
  4. Video with a script (2-3 people)

Once you have chosen your mode/medium and grabbed a partner or two, also note the following writing requirements:

  • 1 person: around 750 words
  • 2 people: around 1,300 words
  • 3 people: around 1,800 words

Also include:

  • Works Cited Page (Is not included in your word count)
  • 1/2 page explanation of how your project connects to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, what kind of community outreach your project is fulfilling, and who wrote which sections (also not included in your word count).
    • This last part is important because we want every member of the group contributing to the writing portion of this project.  This is an English class, after all.

Please begin thinking about your target audience.  Who are you trying to reach?

Consider the target audience’s:

  • Age Range
  • Gender
  • Socio-Economic Status
  • Interests/historical issues

Please be ready to give an oral presentation of your project on Monday, November 24th or on Monday, December 1st.  This means we DO have class on Monday, November 24th, AND on Monday December 1st. You also must be present in order to give peer feedback on other presentations.

dontforget

Your final product is due on Wednesday, December 3rd.  Do not forget to turn in your project to D2L for submission to Turnitin.com.

This is a basic blog format.  Feel free to play around with the different tools available.  You may wish to split your writing requirements up into several different blog posts instead of doing one longer post.  You may also want to include pictures and images in order to increase the target audience’s comprehension or interest.  Remember, however, that if you are utilizing someone else’s intellectual property – which includes photographs – you must give credit to the person(s) who created it.

If you would like to include definitions, you may also wish to include hyperlinks to webpages with more information on the topic.You may wish to include charts, pictures, graphics, or even videos.  You may even ask community members to interact with your blog by creating a survey or a poll that they can answer.

Please make your blog, brochure, speech, or video as creative as possible.  Just remember that you are using your written words to communicate with members of the community.  Anything you write is available to the public, therefore, please remember to proofread.  During the drafting stages of writing, remember to take any feedback you receive from your peers and community members seriously.

amazement

We want your final product to look amazing!!  We want you to get a good grade, obviously, but we also would like you to truly begin exploring how the words you write can impact the world around you and change people’s lives.

I hope this sample blog has given you a few ideas.  I wish you the best of luck in your writing endeavors!

Thank you for your time,

JET

Frustration

It’s never a good feeling when something a teacher does or says irks you and it keeps buzzing around in your brain. (Yes, I do tend to dwell on things just a bit.)

It is never a good thing when a teacher answers a student’s questions with a careless attitude, or makes the student think the question is not relevant.  The student has a reason for asking that question.  Do not treat the student as if they are insane for asking something that you have not considered before.

Warning

So here is a little bit of background information you might want for the situation:

1)      The professor has a doctorate in world literature.

2)      The professor has taught many different genres and eras of literature in several different countries.

3)      Our class is reading 19th Century British Literature and applying knowledge of the Victorian culture and the advancements of the time period to the literature.

4)      For this particular class period, we read Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1887).

5)      The class period was supposed to be broken up into an hour presentation on Darwinism and the effect that the Theory of Evolution had on Victorians, followed by an hour and a half discussion of Dr. Jekyll.

Now I will be the first to tell you that I write questions and notations in the margins of my book as I read.  And most of the time, I try to look up the answers in order to make connections between events and provide answers to myself.  This week, I ended up leaving several of my questions unanswered. (it happens sometimes)

So when we got to the discussion part of our class, I wanted to ask the professor and my fellow students their opinions and bounce ideas around… BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT A DISCUSSION SHOULD BE.

Questions

Our “discussion” consisted of our professor taking about five minutes to see what we found interesting in the text, lecturing for about 15 minutes on the themes of Dr. Jekyll, and about 10 minutes of students asking the professor questions.

That’s right.  Our hour and a half discussion was shortened to 30 minutes.  And I don’t feel like it was a real discussion, either.

I think I spoke up only three or four times in class… which is very little in a class of 12.

I spoke up when the professor was speaking about Darwinism shaking the foundations of religion and the literary device of poetic justice.  I asked if this was when literature began to illustrate more realistic endings such as the villains getting away with crimes. (Yes)

The professor lectured a little bit about the Victorian fascination with the idea of the Duality of Human Nature.  So I also asked if the Victorian Era was when scientists started using a dichotomy system to identify plants.  (The term that I couldn’t remember in class was Binomial Nomenclature)    I was greeted with silence and a brief Google of the term dichotomy… which yielded not much of anything useful.

I wanted to know if that fascination with the twin sides of nature was perhaps influenced by the scientific advancements of the time.  Binomial Nomenclature was a term that came into use in 1875-1880s, during the Victorian Era.  (So, yes)

Later on in class I asked when the Opium Wars occurred.

Strange question, right?

My professor looked at me like I was odd in the head.

“Your questions are always so… interesting” is what he said, but the look on his face and his tone said otherwise.

Is it a strange question? Is it a stupid question? No.

When you look at the way that Dr. Jekyll’s life fell apart due to his addiction to the pleasures he experienced after letting go of his inhibitions, imbibing a certain potion, and “freeing” Mr. Hyde.  He even exhibits the classic growing tolerance for the drug, the addiction costing him money, and suspicion falling on his good name as he continues to be influenced by his addiction.

Opiates were one of the more readily available drugs of choice for the British populace due to the Empire’s influence in India, the poppy fields they grew, and the trade routes to China where opium was extremely profitable for the Empire for some time.

Turns out both Opium Wars occurred in the Victorian Era.  The First was from 1839 to 1842, while Queen Victoria was still relatively new to the throne.  The Second occurred from 1856 to 1860.

 

At first they may seem like odd questions or random question, but they have relevance to the lesson at hand.

Professors, if I am paying your college several thousand dollars to attend your courses, don’t shorten my class and make me wonder why I’m paying you money for something I can look up on the internet at home.

Teachers, Professors, please do not look at your students like they are insane for wanting to make a connection across curriculum.  Science and History are applicable in an English class.

Please, Please, Please do not treat a student’s questions as if they are unimportant, or a waste of class time.

Please

Thank you for listening,

Ms. Turner