Feedback on Web Projects

Please be sure to have posted a draft of all the pages of your web project before Sunday. Then, please be sure to send feedback via email to each member of your writing group, suggesting possible revisions for his or her web project–by Monday at midnight. Please copy me on these emails.

Here are some questions to consider when reading your peers’ web projects and sending feedback:

1. Does the writer establish a  motive and articulate a thesis that is clear and will be accessible to curious readers?

2. Does each “chunk” have a coherent focus, or identity? Does the writer introduce that focus and elaborate on it in an interesting way?

3. Which of Harvey’s elements is the writer handling most successfully? Which elements need work?

4. Has the writer used multimedia materials–images, video, links, audio, etc.–to communicate in ways that would not be possible in a traditional essay? Do you have any suggestions for improving or adding to these multimedia elements?

5. Are technical and formatting details in order? Is there anything about the formatting or the appearance of the pages that will be an impediment for readers?

 

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Charlene’s Banner Proposal

 

 

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Writing Groups Shuffled

Hi everybody. Because of a scheduling conflict, I had to shuffle the writing groups a little. I tried to keep the changes minimal, because your familiarity with your peers’ projects will be useful as you adapt your essays and give each other feedback. Just be sure to note whether your group membership has changed.

Adrian , Chris, Jennifer: Main Page

Charlene,  Shahana, Danielle: Neurodiversity

Nishant, Sadia, Sam: Theories of Mind

Shannon, Tracy, Anthony: Brain, Self, & Environment

Ariel, Debra, Robert: The Senses

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Adapting Your Seminar Essay for the Web

When you adapt your seminar project for the web, you’ll need to think about how to translate your ideas for a new context and audience. That will mean the following:

  • Devising a structure that works well for the web, probably including main page and a series of main pages–or including a single page with a table of contents built of live links that take you to various sections on that page and subheadings for each of those sections. See U Mass Dartmouth’s suggestions for “Writing for the Web.”
  • Adapting your prose style so that it captures complex and nuanced ideas in ways that will be easy for online readers to digest.
  • Including some combination of video, images, links, and sound files–with the intent that these will do new kinds of rhetorical work, that they will help you communicate in ways that you couldn’t in a traditional essay.
  • Considering questions about copyright and fair use when it comes to images, video, and sound files. See the “Copyright and Fair” use links on the right side of this page for discussion of these questions. For links to material in the public domain or made available through a Creative Commons license, see The Educators Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons.
  • Deciding whether to stick with the motive and thesis that govern your essay or to revise these somewhat for the new format.

As you know, we’ll be using the Goodspace theme to build our site. We’ll come up with a title together. You will propose titles for the menus that represent the categories that structure the site. Each writing group will be responsible for the contents of one of these categories. You will propose suggestions for design and layout–though we don’t have infinite flexibility with these. Here’s the link to the front page for our site: http://brainstories.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/.

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Draft Cover Letters & Draft Response Letters

When you submit your essay draft to your writing group and to me, you’ll include a cover letter. After you read, the drafts written by members of your writing groups, send them letters in response (before class on Tuesday). Here are the guidelines for both letters.

Draft Cover Letters

1. Explain your goals for the essay. What do you hope to accomplish? What do you want readers to learn?

2. Which of Harvey’s “Elements” do you think are strongest in your current draft?

3. Which of Harvey’s “Elements” need the most work when you revise?

4. What particular questions or concerns do you have about your draft? What do you want to know from your writing group and from me?

5. If you already have some ideas about how you want to revise, let us know that.

Draft Response Letters

Address the following in your response:

1. How well has the writer achieved his or her stated goals? Have you learned what s/he hoped you would?

2. Which of Harvey’s “Elements” does the writer employ most effectively? Which of these elements need the most work?

3. What ideas or details intrigued you the most? What do you want to know more about?

4. Describe your reading experience? Is the prose graceful and clear? Is it ever wordy or confusing? How might the prose be polished so that the writer expresses his or her ideas as effectively as possible?

5. Answer any questions the writer asked in his or her cover letter–and feel free to bring up any other questions or issues that you think will help the writer make the most of the revising process.

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Siri Hustvedt’s article in the journal Seizure

Hi everybody. In case you’re curious, here’s a link to the article Siri Hustvedt published recently in the journal Seizure, entitled Philosophy Matters in Brain Matters. From the abstract:

“Although most neuroscientists and physicians would argue against Cartesian dualism, Descartes’s version of the psyche/soma divide, which has been controversial since he proposed it in the seventeenth century, continues to haunt contemporary neurological diagnoses through terms such as functionalorganic, and psychogenic. Drawing on my own experiences as a person with medically unexplained seizures, I ask what this language actually means if all human experience has an organic basis.”

 

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Annotated Bibliographies

The next phase of your research projects will be to compile an annotated bibliography–a list of sources you plan to cite, with a short explanation of what roles they’ll play in your essay.

Cornell University’s library offers a good overview of the genre of the annotated bibliography. It’s worth checking out.

For your annotated bibliographies, you should do the following:

1. Create a full list of works you will cite, in alphabetical order, following MLA Guidelines.

2. Write a few, concise sentences that explain how and why these sources will help you make your argument. For example, a source might help you establish motive or illustrate a point; it might provide background information or a counter-argument you want to address. Describe the source’s content as well as its functions in your essay. It may or may not be relevant to offer some details about the author (field of study, previous works, status, etc.).

3. Identify the discipline or genre the source represents and offer a brief description of its methodology–and, if possible, name this methodology.

4. Conclude each entry by listing which of Mark Gaipa’s “8 Ways to Engage Sources” seem relevant for the source at hand. Feel free also to devise your own categories if none of Gaipa’s seems to apply.

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Lowboy or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Please use post a comment to let us all know if you will be reading John Wray’s Lowboy or Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Thanks.

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curious-incident

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Siri Hustvedt Reading: Tuesday, April 9 (6:30)

MFA_Hustvedt_Reading

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Guidelines for Feedback on Proposals

Write each member of your writing group a letter in response to his or her proposal draft. Be sure to address the following questions in your letter:

1. Has the writer included four paragraphs, addressing the four prompts included in the assignment?

2. Which of the four paragraphs is strongest? Which is weakest?

3. Is the writer’s sentence-level prose clear and readable? Is it free of typos and errors with regard to punctuation and grammar?

4. Does the project seem manageable? Can the writer accomplish the aims s/he articulates?

5. Can you suggest any sources, ideas, or questions that might be helpful to the writer?

6. Imagine you are me: What revision does the proposal need before I’ll be ready to pass it and give the writer the okay to move forward with the project. (Note: Be tough here. You’ll all get more out of this process if you are rigorous with each other. Remember, these are drafts, so there’s no expectation that they’ll be perfect or ready to go at this stage.)

 

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