Grissom's Grammar and Composition

This blog is for any student writing papers for college, for current and former students in my Communications Cluster at Lindenwood University, and my students at St. Charles Community College.

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I write for myself, for the web, and for everyone who gets me. I've been on a fasting liquid diet, traveled to Europe, and raised 2 kids. And I'm directionally challenged - I get lost a lot.

Friday, March 30, 2007

First Saturday Class and First Monday Assignments

Always read the assigned pages before you come to the class date they are listed on, and be prepared for discussion. This schedule is subject to change according to the needs of the class. It is your responsibility to stay informed about these changes by contacting me or another student for notes when necessary. You are responsible for the work listed if you are absent. There will be additional assignments and readings as necessary.(S/S refers to the book Subjects and Strategies)

March 31 Class Orientation and Overview
Journal 1: Answer the question “What do you want to learn from this class?”

Introduction Activity/ Read S/S p.1-44

Reading: A Writer’s Reference, Sections G and P- as needed with on-line exercises

Next week start the online interactive grammar exercises under the headings Basic Grammar and Grammatical Sentences (skip sentence types) by the second Monday class.

Click on Writer's Reference Website under "Helpful Writing Links."

April 2 First Monday Class

Journal 2: Use this journal to brainstorm for Short Paper 1 using the listing technique. You will turn this in with your first four journals at a later due date.

Reading: Finish reading listed for the Saturday class and read about Writing Methods:

Narration S/S p. 157-170; 186-189
Description S/S p. 105-118; 151-152
Definition S/S P. 382-398; 420-422
Review Revising and Editing S/S p. 33-37
Short Paper 1 Draft Due

5 Tips for Starting the Communications Cluster

1. Fear Not
Many of you have been out of school for years or even decades. This is not necessarily a disadvantage. You are here to learn how to write papers. So if you aren't sure how to do that, you are in exactly the right place.

2. Polish Your Skills
Some of you are already effective writers, but even the best writers can stand to review the rules once in awhile. So if you have a basic understanding of writing for college, use this class as an opportunity to make your writing even better and more polished.

3. Stock Up
You will need at least four folders: Two for turning in assignments, one for class handouts, and one for storing research paper sources/info. You will also want a notebook for notes and plenty of pens.

4. Take Notes
Part of your participation is taking notes and staying informed on deadlines and other class details. Because you are allowed to use notes on our tests, clear and comprehensive notes can be a big advantage. When you start taking notes, put the class date at the top of the page and mark important/major points with stars or underlining to help keep them organized.

5. Read the Instructions
Many of the questions you might have can be answered by the handouts you get in class. I absolutely do not mind answering questions, but why wait for a response from me on an assignment if you already have it at your fingertips in a handout?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Featured Poet Lars


To each their own,
as long as it doesn’t
negatively affect me.

Keep what is yours
unless it benefits
me without my involvement.

I will keep mine
only I know my own
possessions of existence.

We know our own
keeping our valuables
to never share anything.

Lars P.

I like the way the stanza's parallel each other in length, and the timeless quality of the theme. Nice Work.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Final Class and Test Review

Tomorrow we will take our final exam for Literature. You are still allowed your book or your notes, so be sure to bring them to class.

Test Review

1. Be able to explain the elements of short fiction in detail.

2. Be able to extensively explain three ways poets construct their poems. (Information is in the chapter on a poet's means) Give examples.

3. Know the elements of drama and how drama differs from short fiction and poetry.

All papers must be turned in the last class unless you have an approved incomplete.

Students who have revised failing papers should include the first paper graded and a note on the changes that have been made.

Bring a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want your papers back after class concludes. Put your address as the return address on the envelope.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Featured Poet Christopher

Oh why, why, why, must I learn poetry?
I swear it will be the death of me!
Each time I learn
An obscure term
It adds to my confusery!

By Christopher H.

I love the title. I think it's about his love of poetry - I'm not sure though; you know how hard it is to understand some of this stuff. :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Poets Claimed for Oral Presentations

The following poets have been claimed for the Oral Presentations on a Poet.

Seamus Haney
Lanston Hughes
Ann Sexton

If I missed any, let me know and I will add them.

Please remember to make copies of any poems you discuss that are not in our book, and plan to read the poem as part of your presentation. This presentation is worth 100 pts.

Journal 12 Instructions

Your last journal is a review of the play we attended. Your Journals 9-12 or your Literature Paper is due next week - your choice.

Just a quick review on what I'm looking for in Journal 12:

In your journal about the play, review the following like a movie reviewer.

Plot - What is the overall story and does it make sense?

Characters - Are they realistic and interesting?

Dialogue - Does the dialogue seem authentic and help explain the plot?

Staging - Does the staging add to or detract from the meaning of the play?

Theme - What is the overall message of the play? Tell me what you think of each and give examples to support your judgments.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Online Resources for Researching and Writing About Literature

For research, first check out Lindenwood’s Literature databases. You will need to sign in to access them. They are listed under the heading Humanities.

Next you can go to the companion site for our Literature book. It has study guides for each piece of literature. The names of the authors are alphabetized in groups, so you have to click on a group of names to find study questions on the stories. So to find questions for Kate Chopin, you have to click on Alexie-Erdrich because her name is located alphabetically between theirs, much like an encyclopedia. Most features don’t require registration, but for the quizzes and some other material you will need to register.

One section of the site explains the elements of short fiction and provides examples. This would be good to look at before our final exam.

Another part of the website explains different approaches to looking at literature – feminist, reader response, Marxist, and more.

Context explores how the life and times of the author influence their work. Examples are provided on the site for Young Goodman Brown, Girl, and The Story of an Hour.

Our book's website also has LitLinks, a list of web links related to specfic authors. Click on the author's name and you will find sites specific to that author.

Purdue’s Owl explains how to write about Literature, including choosing a topic for a paper and using MLA to document research

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Class Reminder: Due for March 6th

This week turn in:

Journals #5-8

Listed Readings
A Literature Paper First Draft

I'll also be asking for poet choices. Get them while you can - only one person can present on a specific poet. Check out our book's website for more on the lives of poets.