Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Quiz on Subject-verb Agreement and the Possessive

Here is the paragraph you were quizzed on. All 22 errors are highlighted!

(Source: Reeve Hamilton, “A New Way to Tackle College Algebra.” NYT. Sep. 6, 2012. You can access the whole article here.)


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When submitting your first essay, please make sure to staple your final draft to the rough draft that has my comments on it; the final draft should be on top. The first paragraph revisions which you are preparing for this coming Friday should be stapled, as well, in between the two items: from the oldest to the newest. All of these should be typed and prepared according to MLA citation guidelines.

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For Next Friday, September 28

In addition to working on revision, you are asked to type up and submit your revised introduction. Follow these three steps: (1) copy the original introduction paragraph; (2) revise and rewrite this paragraph; and (3) explain why you made those changes (“because you corrected it” does not constitute a legitimate reason). You will have three paragraphs in total. You must have these with you in class because we are going to be working on them. The full revision will be due the following week, Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on which section you are in.


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Revision for Essay 1

I have compiled general comments about Essay 1 which will be useful to you as you revise. We will talk more about this tomorrow!

This is a very important handout on revision:

A very helpful handout on MLA citation:

There is even a video that guides you through the whole process of formatting a paper! Formatting a paper

For more help with citation, go to the BMCC Writing Center webpage:

You can also find other writing resources on this site, including a quick guide on how to email your professors…


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This Week (9/17-9/21)

The College is closed this coming Tuesday (9/18), so the Tuesday/Friday section will only meet on Friday.

The Wednesday/Friday section, however, will meet twice this week, as usual.

Both sections will take a brief quiz on the use of the apostophe and subject-verb agreement this Friday. You may want to review your grammar handouts.

The Wednesday section will be responsible for reading Horace Miner’s “Nacirema” and Yoko Tawada’s “Talisman” by Wednesday;  the other short story, Tawada’s “Canned Foreign,” should be read by Friday.

The Tuesday section will also be responsible for reading Horace Miner’s “Nacirema” and Yoko Tawada’s “Canned Foreign” and “Talisman” by Friday.

Because we have fallen a bit behind, there will be no response paper due this Friday. The response paper on defining a word (please see the earlier post concerning this assignment) will be due, instead, Tuesday 10/2/12 and Wednesday 10/3/12, depending on which section you are in.

In addition to the quiz and the articles on description, this Friday we will also talk about revision. There is a handout on that in the supplementary writing resources. It is a good idea to start reading up on that, as well.  Your revision of Essay 1 will be due a week from Friday, 9/28/12.

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Final Exam Readings

I am uploading the two texts on which your final exam essay will be based. It is very early in the semester, of course, but perhaps you’d like to start looking at these. I will also be passing out hard copies in the next week or two.

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The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online: Defining Abstract Terms

For October 2 or 3 (depending on which section you are in), you will be asked to submit an informal paper defining an abstract term. A great place to look up words is the Oxford English Dictionary; BMCC should have access to the entire database through the college library. In the meantime, you can start familiarizing yourself with the abridged OED available online. On this site (click the link to your left), you can also sign up for “The Word of the Day.” This is a fun and effective way to expand your vocabulary. Today’s word is, for example, “shazam.” Do you know what it means and where it comes from (its etymology)?

Looking ahead to the informal 1-page response: you will be asked to choose one abstract term. You will write down the full definition as well as the etymology (1). Then, in your own words, you will explain what this term means (2) and provide an example (3). The latter could come from your reading or course work, or from your personal experience. It can be fictional or real.


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