Advanced Writing Class agenda Oct. 7, 2010

Link to the online WiZiQ feed:

Dear Scholars,

The PBS special on Mark Twain broadcast Sunday and about which I sent a notification to the class turned out not to be the one described in the guide. It had nothing to do with Peter Ustinov, but was instead a Ken Burns documentary. It was nonetheless excellent as all Burns’ documentaries seem to be. I hope you all get a chance to see it.  If you missed it Sunday, it is all on youtube.  Please watch PBS Ken Burns’ Mark Twain a wonderful chronicle of Mark Twain’s development as an author.

Some excellent papers have been submitted. It is time to create a “ready for publication repository.” Please think of a pseudonym, a pen name you would like to use.

A new Ready for Publication Forum has been created in our online classroom. This forum is a repository for papers ready for publication. After your paper is corrected and polished, please post it here with your pseudonymous byline and any other comments about publication you would like to make.

An Op-Ed piece of mine, “The Student as Teacher,” has been posted. The CHN Editor wanted it trimmed down to 1000 words from its original 1600 words before printing it in the fall issue. That’s a lot to cut. This is the final version. Does it work? Comments? Suggestions?

Editing examples:

Snowboarding is an extreme and intense winter sport with a considerable chance of injuries [that can result from incidents] ranging from innocent little slips to high impact crashes [slips and crashes are not in themselves injuries].

There is nothing like exploring caves and crevices in the hot day and sitting, watching, listening, to the stillness in the night [This parallel doesn’t really work:

sitting to the stillness
watching to the stillness
listening to the stillness

On the other hand, this one does work, but not if you use a comma

listening to the stillness (without the comma)]

A strange vibrating in the rock aroused me; I sat up confused as one does when awoken suddenly, trying to remember where I was and what I was doing there. As I gained my bearings and opened my eyes, a blinding blue-white light rose up from the ground a few miles away. It started rising slowly, then picked up speed travelling [“traveling”, are you using a British spell checker?] up into the night sky.


It used bulletproof plastic and stainless steel plates to cover the outer shell of the vehicle. The inner workings of the automobile had gears, tubes, tanks, motors, batteries, and other energy-efficient tools. The windshield was [“constructed” might be better. “Devised of” doesn’t really work.] devised of bulletproof glass and the interior of the car contained a GPS, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a cup holder, a built-in compact water cooler, solar panels on the car roof, a touchscreen media player, four Blu-ray disc players, a built-in digital clock (attached to the ceiling), a twenty-point-five megapixel camera for video calling and chatting, misty air conditioning, cotton cushion seats; non-leather (or any other animal skin for that matter), an Internet-enabled hologram, and other favorable features. [Fascinating visionary picture!]

“Yes Bob! I do understand that the democratic evaluations of the austere community will defuse the discernment, which, lies within the political distribution. However, by using the incentive solution, which defies connections to the government’s bank, I may withdraw my own fidelities’ assumption of credits, without using more than ten percent of the Senate’s monthly interest. Therefore, it would be foolish to criticize me, without even thinking about the tax we would establish if we were to gain money from the US Treasury,” I explained. [Superb. Probably not particularly meaningful but certainly an insight into character.]


It was so beautiful! [one sentence here would be best. Otherwise this is a fragment:] So different from the world Shaneka had known as a young girl. There was a swirl of rainbow colors around her as their “three-person” submersible descended through the Mesopelagic [!] twilight zone, surrounded by various bioluminescent creatures as the majority of illuminating light from the surface slowly became non-existent.


I was alone on a ship full of droids and sith [] . I had to get off but I couldn’t find a way. Every possible way is [Do not switch tenses. It started in past tense. Stay there.] blocked hangers, escape pods, and the emergency hatches [–] all of them.

How team members with different levels of domain knowledge jointly accomplished the activities of knowledge co-construction was also discussed. [The ways in which team members with different levels of domain knowledge jointly engaged in the activities and achieved knowledge co-construction is also discussed.]

Homework for next week
Think of a pseudonym for yourself.

Prepare and post finished essays that you feel are deserving in the new Ready for Publication Forum in our online classroom together with your pseudonymous byline and any other comments about publication you would like to make.

Serialized narratives may be submitted an episode at a time, but, once submitted, you are committed to completing them.  Project credit is granted to published pieces, even if they have already received credit.

Please read and post any comments or suggestions you have on “The Student as Teacher.” It has been submitted and accepted already, but I would appreciate the input.

Please watch PBS Ken Burns’ Mark Twain a wonderful chronicle of Mark Twain’s development as an author.

May we have a volunteer to do an oral presentation to the class next week?  Think about topics you would like to cover.

Do we have one or more volunteers to serve on the editorial staff of our EIE periodical.  Let me know.

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