Discussion board | English homework help


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Prior to this class, what have you learned about the writing and/or reading process that you think might be valuable for other students to know?  In answering this question you can draw from your experience in English 1301, but need not be limited to that.  For instance, you might have learned something in high school that has proven helpful to you in college.  Or you might have learned something in a class other than English.  Or you might have discovered your own method for writing essays or any other type of writing.  For instance, if you write songs, you might discuss your songwriting methods.

In your initial post, write informally and try to present your experience in the form of a story or series of examples.  Be sure to explain not only what you have learned, but how it has proved useful to you–and how you think it might benefit your peers in this class.  

Before submitting your posts, practice good proofreading by reading aloud to catch missing words, missing punctuation, obvious grammar mistakes–and anything that would distract your readers.

Length of initial post = 250 words


or this Discussion Board, choose a writer, speaker, musician, actor, or anyone else you like for his or her voice.  Your choice should be someone at least a few students in the class might know.  So choose Christopher Walken instead of your Uncle Harry, or Barack Obama instead of the dogcatcher in your small town.  Let me go back to my examples to clarify what I mean by voice.  I don’t literally mean the audible sound of the person’s voice (although Christopher Walken’s is wonderfully weird).  I mean instead the way your chosen person uses language–word choice, style, sentences–all the things that contribute to the attitude the voice conveys..  So a favorite singer/songwriter might be a great choice.  Or a poet.  Or even an actor who does commercials and portrays a character.  If you do choose an actor, specify the role or type of roles.  If you choose an author, which literary work or works do you like best?

Begin your inital post by identifying your choice.  Who is he or she?  Identify the person so those in the class who don’t know them will be introduced to them. Then try to put into words what the quality of the person’s voice is that you admire.  What does the voice project or portray?  Who does the character appear to be as a personality?  Why is he or she one of your favorites?  If you could sit down and have a conversation with him or her, what would you talk about?

Next give a direct quotation from your choice.  The quote doesn’t have to be long, but it should give the quality of the person’s voice–the quality you like. 

After the quote, analyze the elements that you hear in the voice.  You can look back at the lesson on voice for some ideas for adjectives, for instance.  Going beyond the adjectives, is there a metaphor or other figure of speech that you could use to describe the person’s voice?  Think especially about the emotional tone of the voice.  What does the person seem to convey on the level of feelings?  

Your initial post should be at 250 words. 


There are three parts to your initial post for this Discussion Board.  They form a sequence, so be sure to do them in order.  You could write Part One as a 7-minute writing.  Just set a timer and try to keep writing until the timer goes off.  Don’t worry about grammar or organization.  Just brainstorm.

Label the three parts of the assignment so other students and I can see them separately.

Part One.  Before you start writing, look carefully at the cartoon below for a few minutes.  Then write a “first response”–timed or not.  Just write about what you see–or what you think is going on.  Try not to edit this response, so it stays fresh–just as you wrote it.

Part Two.  Make a list of 5 details in the cartoon that you think were put there for a reason, or that contribute to the overall meaning of the cartoon.

Part Three.  Using your vast powers of inference* make a guess as to the cartoonist’s purpose in creating the cartoon.

*Inference = A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.  When writers or artists produce texts, they may say what they mean, but often they don’t.  Instead, they ask their audience to participate in the artistic process by “decoding” the text.  The main cognitive skill we use for this decoding is inference.  (What we conclude is also called an inference).

In your two responses, comment on what other students wrote about the cartoon, agreeing or disagreeing–or both.  (Our little textbook loves it when you both agree and disagree.  Such “both” positions often represent critical thinking.)

Length:  Initial post = 250 minimum


As an effective argument, King’s letter uses the rhetorical strategies of ethos, logos, and pathos.  Find the best example of each of the three in the letter.  Using specific references and quotations from the text of the letter, write three short paragraphs in your initial post.  Each should be at least 100 words.  In each paragraph, identify the rhetorical strategy by its Greek name (ethos, etc.) describe its context in the letter, and explain how it works to convince King’s intended audience.  If you think that King is speaking to an audience that represents various points of view, show how the strategy he uses is intended to reach either a particular segment of his reading audience–or all of it.  (Remember how effectively the Earl of Spencer addressed his speech to a variety of audiences, depending on what he was talking about at a particular point in the speech.)

Please don’t decline to think on your own on this assignment and run to the internet before trying to complete your initial post.  Have confidence that you understand rhetoric well enough to do a great job on your own. If you struggle a bit, it will be worth the effort. 250 word

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