Friday, May 30, 2008

I stole this from Tom Flynn's blog. It's well worth watching.

(in 4 parts)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Please rate your workshop peers on a scale of 1-10; base your scores on evidence of effort and quality of comments.

Astedt, Katelyn J

Begeman, Laura B

Eccles, Erin L

Franz, Tiffany M

Friesen, Jasmine L

Henkelman, Ellen M

Hoffman, Christopher P

Kang, Saerom

Kim, Hyeju

Kosek, Sabrina J

Kratochwill, Chad W

Miller, Jeremiah J

Randall, Jutin A

Schelling, Bronson A

Schermerhorn, Lucille R

Tohal, Jacquelin A

Clayton, James

Abdulla, Abeleraziz

Friday, May 23, 2008

Personal Narrative

The following questions will serve as criteria for your personal narrative essay. You will choose the topic of your paper from one of four in-class prompts, based on the assigned reading. Essays should be 5–7 doubled-spaced, typed pages.

· Does the writer narrate a single event, or a series of events? How does the writer handle the use of anecdote?

· Does the writer use concrete, specific details and description?

· Does the writer make a point?

· Does the writer reflect (i.e. is the question, “so what?” answered)?

· Do all of the examples (details, images, word choice) point to the essay’s primary focus?

· Does the introduction hook the reader?

· Does the conclusion end abruptly or trail off?

· Does the essay have a logical organization?

· Are the transitions from paragraph to paragraph clear?

· Does the writer maintain a consistent tone?

· Is the level of diction appropriate for the audience, the ethos, and the essay’s point?

· Is the prose readable?

· Does the writer use correct grammar/mechanics?

· Does the writer vary sentence length and structure?

· Is the text free from distracting surface errors?

Monday, May 19, 2008

English 101-Composition Syllabus, Summer 2008

Professor Diana Joseph Office: Armstrong 201L

Interns: Dan DeWolf Office Hours: MW 12:30-1:30

Kaitlyn Flynn E-Office Hours: TTH 8:00-10:00

Office Phone: 389-5144


On-line Syllabus:

English 101--Composition

In this class, you’ll practice strategies for generating and developing ideas, locating and analyzing information, analyzing audience, drafting, writing sentences and paragraphs, evaluating drafts, revising, and editing in essays of varying lengths. You’ll also become experienced in computer-assisted writing and research.

The goal of this course is to develop writers who use the English language effectively and who read and write critically. By the end of the class, you will be able to:
a.) demonstrate and practice strategies for idea generation, audience analysis, organization of texts, drafting, evaluation of drafts, revision, and editing;
b.) write papers of varying lengths that demonstrate effective explanation, analysis, and argumentation;
c.) become experienced in computer-assisted writing and research;
d.) locate and evaluate material, using PALS, the Internet, and other sources;
e.) analyze and synthesize source material, making appropriate use of paraphrase, summary, quotation, and citation conventions;
f.) employ syntax and usage appropriate to academic writing and the professional world.

Making Sense: A Real-World Rhetorical Reader, ed. Cheryl Glenn, 2nd edition

Approximately $20 for copying expenses


1. Essays

You’ll write 3 formal essays:

Personal Narrative = 25% of final grade

Exemplification Essay = 25%

Summary/Response Essay = 25%

Each essay will be generated by a prompt/exercise assigned in class; at least one of these will go through a large group workshop. TWO COPIES of each essay is due in hard copy (not emailed) at the beginning of class on the assigned date. You’ll receive a criteria sheet for each essay that details its specific requirements.

2. Quizzes on assigned readings = 15%

Expect daily quizzes on the assigned readings and occasional quizzes on workshop material. I’ll drop your three lowest scores.

3. Participation = 10%

I define participation as your active engagement with the class, demonstrated through evidence of preparedness, and thoughtful contributions to discussions and workshops. Each of you will offer an assessment of your peers’ workshop responses; I will take this into consideration when determining participation grades.


A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F 59-0

You’ll receive an assigned day for a large group workshop. As a workshop writer, you need to bring enough copies of your draft for everyone in the class on the day BEFORE your workshop. We’ll read your essay with an interest in what your piece is about, and in how it’s told. As a workshop participant, you must read the drafts up for workshop. You’re expected to write feedback, positive and critical, on the manuscript(s), and you should have suggestions in mind for class discussion. Expect to be called on.

Workshops are a give-and-take experience. If someone fails to provide evidence of reading and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your draft, then you’re not obligated to give that individual much feedback, either. But if someone gives a reading that shows time, effort, and thought – whether or not you agree with the comments – then you owe that person equal consideration. Workshops are about giving what you get. Finally, workshops are not about egos – fragile, super, or otherwise. Workshops are not about being defensive, nor are they about hurling insults. Workshops are about the text, locating its strengths and weaknesses, and finding ways to make it stronger. Be critical, but be constructive.

Class Policies
Each absence over 3 will lower your final grade by 5%. I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absence.
If you fail to turn in workshop material on the day it’s due, you lose your workshop spot—and participation credit. If you don’t come to class on the day of your workshop, it won’t be rescheduled—and you lose participation credit. Frequent tardiness will affect your participation grade.
All coursework must be completed to pass this class.
Writing done for this class is considered public text.
Assignments are tentative and subject to change.
Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated; it may result in failure of the class.
I’m available for help outside class during my office hours or by appointment.

I encourage you to take advantage of the services offered by MSU’s Center for Academic Success located in Memorial Library. Services include tutoring sessions in nearly all subject areas, including composition.

Center for Academic Success: Memorial Library 125
CAS Phone: 507-389-1791 CAS Website:

Any student who qualifies for accommodation for any type of disability should see me.

Due Dates

Monday, May 19 First Day of Class

Tuesday, May 20 Orlean, 68

Wednesday, May 21 Sedaris, 157

Thursday, May 22 Soto, 190

Friday, May 23 Drayer, 169

Monday, May 26 Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 27 Personal Narrative Workshop

Wednesday, May 28 Personal Narrative Workshop

Thursday, May 29 Personal Narrative Workshop


Monday, June 2 Stacey, 237

Tuesday, June 3 Stepp, 310

Wednesday, June 4 Ehrlich, 223

Thursday, June 5 Costas, 383

Friday, June 6 Exemplification Workshop

Monday, June 9 Exemplification Workshop

Tuesday, June 10 Exemplification Workshop


Thursday, June 12 Banjo, 605

Friday, June 13 Sylves, 509

Monday, June 16 Hatfield, 388

Tuesday, June 17 Summary/ Response Workshop

Wednesday, June 18 Summary/Response Workshop

Thursday, June 19 Summary/Response Workshop


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Making the study of literature relevant again: click here.
To see pictures from graduation and Cinco de Mayo, click here.

Friday, May 9, 2008

For an article about how memoirs, in spite of scandal, continue to thrive, click here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'd love to be in workshop with her.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A profile of Richard Ford: click here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Official MySpace Page for I'M SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY.
Dzanc Prize 2008

This just in from Dzanc Books:

Dzanc Books is pleased to announce the opening for submissions to the 2008 Dzanc Prize.

The Dzanc Prize provides monetary aid in the sum of $5,000, to a writer of literary fiction. All writers applying for the Dzanc Prize must have a work-in-progress they can submit for review, and present the judges with a Community Service Program they can facilitate. Such programs may include anything deemed "educational" in relation to writing. Examples would include: working with HIV patients to help them write their stories; doing a series of workshops at a drop-in youth homeless center; running writing programs in inner-city schools; or working with older citizens looking to write their memoirs. All community programs under the Dzanc Prize must run for a full year.

Last year, Dzanc Books awarded the inaugural Dzanc Prize to Laura van den Berg. Laura is currently in the middle of a series of workshops she’s running in the New England prison system. At the end of Laura's year, an anthology of work by the prisoners she is teaching will be compiled and published by Dzanc. Laura's story collection, What the World Will Look Like When All of the Water is Gone, will also be published by Dzanc Books in fall 2009.

Eligibility: The author must be working on literary fiction, and the community service must occur within the United States of America. All applicants must demonstrate that they are able to do the community service they are suggesting, and are not otherwise offering would-be ideas for consideration. Judging shall give equal weight to the caliber of writing and the Community Service. .

Timing: The Inaugural Dzanc Prize will be issued for the 2009 calendar year. We will accept submissions from authors from now through November 1, 2008. The announcement of the winning author will be made during the month of December 2008. The announcement will be made via email to the author, on the Dzanc website, as well as sent to trade (P&W, Publisher’s Weekly, Galleycat, etc.).

Submissions: Authors please send your current cv, a description of your Work in Progress, along with a ten page excerpt, and your planned Literary Community Service. These should be sent as MS Word Attachments in an email to

Dzanc Books will be selecting the author who will receive this $5,000 Prize based on a combination of the Work in Progress, and the intended Literary Community Service. It would probably benefit authors who are submitting to become familiar with Dzanc Books and the types of authors we publish, as well as the Educational Programs Dzanc Books sets up and runs.

The winner of the Dzanc Prize will receive a check for $2500 in the month of January 2009. The remaining $2500 will be paid once the Literary Community Service has been completed.

Dzanc Books will make no claims towards the winner and their Work in Progress. If at the time the author has completed the work, they wish to submit it to Dzanc Books, we will be delighted to have a look. Their manuscript will go through the same reading process every other submission goes through.

The submissions for the Dzanc Prize will be reviewed by, and the prize will be awarded by a panel of Steve Gillis, Dan Wickett, Steven Seighman, and Keith Taylor. All writers, including friends and associates of the panel, are eligible for the prize. The integrity and objectivity of Dzanc Books will not be compromised and, given our vast connections to so many great writers, exclusion of any kind would be impossible.

Any questions can be submitted to

The above information can also be found at: