ENG 4U: Becoming a Better Writer

Over the next few days, we will focus on individual skills. While we haven’t completely decided on the form of assessment (videos, perhaps?) we know that each of you will address a particular issue present in your writing.  The goal is for each of you to become a better writer, correct? So choose wisely. Choosing…

ENG 4U: Organizing the Mundane

An organizing principle is a basic idea or strategy we use to organize our world. Think of it this way: all of the methods you can use to sort your MP3s—by artist, by song title, or by date—are organizing principles. Your choice shapes the way you can access the files. In a similar way, writers…

ENG 4U: Logical Fallacies

Ladies and gents, we have been together for 2 days. So far, I’d say that things are going rather well, wouldn’t you?  Thus, I feel comfortable broaching this rather awkward topic much earlier than I have in the past.  You may want to sit down for this. Oh. Right. You are sitting. Ready? Here we…

ENG 4U: Day 1!

About this Course A few years ago, a brave student stuck a note next to my room number. She turned room 221 into room 221B, as in: Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker St, Marylebone, London Bit cheeky, huh? But here’s the thing. This student’s joke is a brilliant metaphor for what a classroom can be: a…

ENG 4U: The Comparative Essay

Ladies and Gents, We will dedicate this week to writing comparative essays. A few things: You should already have a copy of the  comparative essay infographic Still, I have attached one just in case.   Carefully review this 4U comparative essay rubric; note that the entire Application section deals with sourcing and MLA.b I will ask you…

ENG 4U: You Are a Famous Poet

Congratulations! You and your shoulder partner have finally been given credit for the incredible poetry that you wrote under those pseudonyms. What were they? Shakespeare? Dickinson? Donne? It doesn’t really matter. Finally, you can leave these fake names behind, and embrace your talent for verse. Still, don’t expect everyone to instantly believe you.  On Friday,  you will…

ENG 4U: Logical Fallacies

Ladies and gents, we have been together for 3 days. So far, I’d say that things are going rather well, wouldn’t you?  Thus, I feel comfortable broaching this rather awkward topic much earlier than I have in the past.  You may want to sit down for this. Oh. Right. You are sitting. Ready? Here we…

ENG 4U: Virtual Worlds

Yesterday, we had a spirited discussion about a very controversial video game. Today, we will expand this conversation to include virtual worlds like Second Life. While I will show you roughly 1/2 hour of footage, I hope the majority of time will be dedicated to the same kind of discussion we had yesterday. Here are…

ENG 4U: The Luck of the Draw

We need to decide the order of presentations for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  We will do this by pulling pieces of paper out of a Centurion helmet. Fitting, yes? I cannot change the date of presentations. If you wish to change your date, you must find someone in the class who is willing to switch with…

ENG 4U: Where Do Get Our Ideas/Values?

We are going to continue our discussion of hegemony today. While hegemony has several meanings, one common definition is the dominance of one group by another with consent. I like to think about this as an exchange:  a group surrenders some of its autonomy to get something–usually value messages–from someone in power. Ultimately, I’d like us to…

ENG 4U: Preparing for the End

We have eight days of classes left, not including review days. Three of those days are dedicated to the final component of your Culminating Activity, a 5 minute presentation done in a walkabout format; this means that you will present only to a small group of  your peers at a time, and that you will…

ENG 4U: Preparing Your Essay

We need to move from general comparisons/contrasts to specific subtopics that will help us construct an outline.  Think back to our experiment with figures from other works we have studied. We tried to create topic sentences for our comparisons that would connect directly to our thesis. We want to replicate this approach today. First, if…