Category Archives: Lectures

The ROBUST VERBS Exercise Modeled

One of your classmates has submitted a set of revisions for the “Robust Verbs” paragraph. It contains some good work, but also neglects a substantial number of available improvements. Consider this post an example of the sort of advice you … Continue reading

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Open Strong: A Model

Travel Deprivation in a Pandemic Instructor’s Note: What follows is a perfectly fine Open Strong paragraph for an essay devoted to exploring the harm done to our psychologies by depriving us of even the promise of traveling any time soon. The … Continue reading

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If / Whether

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Hypothesis Proved?

Follow that? If ants truly gauge the distance they’ve traveled from the nest (and therefore the distance back to the nest) by counting their steps, then returning to the nest with longer legs means they would travel farther with each … Continue reading

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Rhetoric Workshop

Workshop Example WED APR 07 As you read the following paragraph, ask the important questions about Rhetoric. Does the paragraph use precise language to emphasize its ideas? Does it make clear claims? Does the paragraph ask readers to accept a … Continue reading

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On Being Specific: Beware of IT and THIS

A student last semester wrote this Purposeful Summary. His name was Wazoo. As you read Wazoo’s comment, see if you can answer this essential question: What’s He Talking About? It seems counterintuitive that we buy iphones and use them knowing … Continue reading

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Portfolio Verification Day

WED MAY 01 We’ll be double-checking your Portfolio for completeness and compliance on the last day of class, WED MAY 01. Consider it your Final Exam, essential to passing the course. Once we’ve verified your Portfolio complete, I’ll confirm your … Continue reading

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Why the Challenger Exploded

What do we mean by “Why”? Donald Barthelme’s short story, “Views of My Father Weeping” begins with two little sections. An aristocrat was riding down the street in his carriage. He ran over my father. . After the ceremony I … Continue reading

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Draft Causal Argument—Username

9/11 Made America More Racist It seems that racism has been around since before the dawn of time itself. It has thrived in the best and worst of times and in every corner of the earth, doing particularly well in … Continue reading

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Counterintuitivity

Counterintuitive Thinking In case I forget to ask you later, somewhere in your Notes today, please tell me what specific example in the lecture provided you with the clearest understanding of what I mean by counterintuitive, and why. Before we begin … Continue reading

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