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.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Online Resources for Literature Research

For research, first check out Lindenwood’s Literature databases. You will need to sign in for access to the databases. 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.

Other:
Jack Lynch of the University of Pennsylvania has a list of other Literature Resources you might want to check out for both your oral presentation on a poet and the literature paper.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Research Papers Need to Be Submitted to Turnitin.com

Many of you have not yet submitted your research paper to Turnitin.com. The deadline expired yesterday, but I have extended it. If you haven't submitted your paper by class time, I won't be able to return your graded research paper to you. Be sure you submit your paper as soon as possible.

A fresher on submitting:
FYI If your security settings are too high, you may have trouble turning in your paper. Please direct all tech support questions to their website - I can't help you there.

Class Numbers
Westport Monday Night Class Number: 2141634
Westport Wednesday Night Class Number: 2141638

The password is the first eight letters of my email address as listed on the syllabus.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Due This Week February 18, 2008

Read the instructions in the Major Assignments Handout for turning in the Research Paper and the assignments leading up to it. Have them in a folder and ready to turn in at the start of class.

Tonight we'll take the Skills Assessment for Communications II and start discussing Literature.

If you need to make up an oral presentation, please remind me as soon as we complete the test. Remember to submit your paper to turnitin.com. I won't be returning a graded paper to you unless you have submitted it.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Still Having Trouble With Grammar Issues?

Take a look at Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips. She has great info on frequently confused words, hyphens, and ending sentences with prepositions (you can do that now). So if you forget your grammar in a later paper, check out her website for a quick refresher.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Our Class is Cancelled for Tonight: Monday, February 11th at Westport

I've been keeping an eye on weather conditions, and since the forecast is looking pretty dire, I'm going to cancel class for tonight.

All Monday students need to come to my Wednesday class this week to make up for the cancellation. The same assignments will be due - your oral presentation and 2nd draft.

The Wednesday class is in a different room, inside the main office where the computers are. It's directly to the right of the site coordinator's office.

Please email me to let me know you've seen this notice at tgrissom@lindenwood.edu. I'll follow up with phone calls for anyone who does not email to be sure everyone gets the notice.

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Due This Week - Oral Presentation and 2nd Draft

This week the oral presentation and 2nd draft of the research paper are due. Be sure to finish your Works Cited to include with the second draft. Bring any research paper questions you have to our conference.

We will hear the oral presentations and then edit the 2nd draft of the Research Paper. I will conference with each of you during the peer editing.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

How to Create an Outline for Your Paper

Remember your outline and first draft are due this week. Be sure to bring two copies of your first draft to class - one for me to collect and one for you to get comments on and continue working.

Below are some tips on building an outline.

Answer the Following questions before you construct your outline.

1. What is my main point/thesis about this subject?
2. What are the main reasons I believe my thesis is true?
3. What details and evidence do I have to support each of these reasons?

With these answers in mind, write your thesis first, then organize your main points under it.

Example: Answers to Questions

1. My Thesis: Star Trek's Captain Kirk is a more likable starship captain than the next generation Star Trek's Captain Picard.

2.
Roman Numeral I. Kirk shows more conflict in moral dilemas while Picard considers following orders more important.

Roman Numeral II. Kirk makes mistakes, like other human beings, while Picard only makes minor errors.

Roman Numeral III. Kirk agonizes over the death of any crew member while Picard only cares if the officers closest to him are killed.

3. Supporting evidence for point I.

A. episode where Kirk is used as a disease carrier to help kill off people on an overpopulated planet. Dialogue from specific scenes shows his conflict.

B. Captain Picard is faced with several situations where he would have followed the prime directive and let humans/aliens die if not for the intervention of other crew members. Dialogue shows his obesession with "the right way to do things"Then the resulting outline would start like this:

Thesis: Star Trek's Captain Kirk is a more likable starship captain than the Next Generation Star Trek's Captain Picard.

I. Kirk shows more conflict during moral dilemas while Captain Picard considers following orders more important than anything else.

A. In one episode Kirk is used as a disease carrier to help kill off people on an overpopulated planet. His reaction to this shows his humanity.

1. Dialogue with Spock shows his conflict.
2. His scene with the girl from the planet shows his remorse.

B. Captain Picard is faced with several situations where he would have followed the prime directive and let humans/aliens die if not for the intervention of other crew members.

1. A planet is about the explode, but Picard doesn't try to help until Data contacts a little girl on the planet.
2. Wesley rebels agains the captain in an episode about the Prime Directive.

You get the idea. You may not have all your evidence yet; that's o.k. Just show me you know what your major reasons are and what evidence you can use to support them.My spacing is off because of blogger's formatting, so be sure you indent supporting information. Follow the spacing example on page 14 in our Writer's Reference book. Microsoft word also has an outline template that does the spacing for you.

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