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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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Four Questions to Help You Find a Paper Topic

Sometimes students are so anxious to start a writing assignment, they don’t take the time to choose a subject that works well for them.

It may take a few more minutes to come up with a topic you like, but that time will be more than made up in how much easier it is to write about something you care about. It's much harder to write on subjects you aren’t interested in. Here are some questions that lead to topic ideas that work.

1) What Do You Do Every Day?
Explore your daily activities for topics to write about. If your job is to wait tables at a restaurant, you are an expert in those skills. Classify the customers you wait on according to their personalities, or explain the steps the restaurant uses to fill orders quickly. List the subjects you have up close and personal knowledge of, and share your expertise in various papers.

Caution: If you don't like any of these subjects, then don't use them! But consider taking a humorous angle and you might find something you want to write about.

2) What Are You Passionate About?
Make a list of all the subjects you love to think, read, and talk about. Music, comic books, reality television, animals – whatever you are passionate about. Then explore what attracts you to the subject. Do you love saltwater aquariums? Why does this topic fascinate you? Sharing what makes it appealing to you, makes the paper interesting to us.

3) What are Your Pet Peeves?
The things that annoy you in your world can be opportunities to explore the issues and come up with real solutions to make your world better. Don't offend your audience with attacks on your opposition, but calmly explain your view. Did your health insurance company refuse to pay for a family member's medical treatment? Turn your outrage into a research paper on managed care.

4) Who are You?
Among other things, I am a wife, mother, sister, granddaughter, employee, teacher, Star Trek fan, writer, reader, American, driver, sleeper, dieter, and volunteer. Focusing on issues related to any of these areas gives me several potential topics to write about. As a Star Trek fan, I could do a comparison and contrast of the old generation’s Captain Kirk to the new generation’s Captain Picard. Figure out all the labels that apply to you, and investigate connected issues that you can write about.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Charles's Poem

How could I not love this? I'm a Star Wars fan through and through.

The Gold Bikini
By Charles Akers

Her porcelain bosom in the hot desert sun;
A princess in peril as the battle begun.
It’s not at her actions or words that I care,
But the gold bikini she happens to wear.
Its blinding reflection shifts with her haste,
As she departed the Hutt away from this place.
I’m sure she is smart and has beautiful eyes,
But I am distracted by her curves and thighs.
I wish it was me she held tight as I swept her free
But her brother was there and she kissed HIM again,
So for all the ladies who want to please their man,
Go get a gold bikini as soon as you can.


Neno's Poem

I like Neno's poem because it has that universal truth element - no matter how much human beings have, something else always looks better.

why is it that we crave what we cannot have

that the grass is greener on the other side of street

we don't appreciate us, and everything is hell

everyday we vow, this is enough - we gonna quit

why do we want the happiness of others

is it just jealousy or a legitimate goal

why do we care for pets more than brothers

pretending we're busy, with no answer when they call

why do we force our children to succeed

to become famous or insanely rich

on the other side of river we see the elite

so we use our children to build us a bridge

why do we compare our troubles to the hell

when most of us live in paradise - and we know it well


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Erica's Poem

Thanks to everyone sending me copies of their poem. The one below is Erica's poem from the Monday night class. Get me your poems Wednesday class!

I relate to the line about it being easier to tell someone what to do, instead of them figure it out for themselves. I'm a little bossy that way :)


For as long I can remember
You’ve been the pest that crowds my space
With your wants
Taking advantage of my kindness as
I enable you to become dependent upon me cuz
They say we gotta stick togetha.

And as we grow older, it grows worse,
Consistent, and second nature.

And it pisses me off to
know I’ve created the very monster I sometimes
try to kill.
And as your role model, mind you
I never volunteered for that position but I guess
I was destined for the title.

Cuz of my maternal instincts, I’d rather take
Care of you than to guide you with decision making.

And now I’m paying for it
Cuz you’re damn near grown and leaving the
Nest, leaving me
With no one to take care of but myself.

For the monster is gone.
I don’t have to kill you now.