Friday, February 24, 2006

The Big Question:

What does all of this (the arguments presented by Orwell) really mean to you, to us, and to society as a whole?
Don't be shy. Let us know what you think.

A Work Cited Entry for Orwell

I will give you the information for the Orwell essay "Politics and the English Language" and then you let you craft the MLA citation. So, here is the information:
George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language," is an essay from an anthology of essays entitled In Depth: Essayists For Our Time, edited by Carl Klaus, published in 1993 by Heinle in Boston. The essay is found on pages 540-550.

That should be all the information you need.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Faculty Email is Down

I'm not able to send or receive any emails I have't already responded to. The server won't even allow me to log in. So, I'll just see all of you in class today. I hope things went well. I will bring the MLA Style guide as well as my book, and you might want to bring your book too. We're going to practice MLA citations and workshop.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Quoting Material from within Material

Sara asks this question:
How does one go about citing a source within a source? In "Pc or Not
Pc? That is the Question" written by Michael Major he cites William
Luta. How do I cite William Luta? The first time I cite would it be
William Luta cited in "Pc or Not Pc? That is the Question" by Michael
Major? And then what would it be the following times?

Well, essentially what we do is this: Introduce the original source (Michael Major) and explain to the reader that the original source is quoting from a source (Luta) that they (Major) have cited within their own text. It's a little daunting at first, but if you think about it, it's not that hard. I'll post an example from one of my own papers:
Ragan paraphrases Fredrick Asals, explaining that “her ‘prophetic vision’ is one of stark extremes: ‘all of her protagonists come to one variety or another of that agonizing crux, ‘Jesus or you’” (388).

Here you see that I have noted that Ragan is paraphrasing Fredrick Asals, and then I go about using the quote as it would be cited from Ragan's paper. But, there's another way to go about it. Note this:
Well, as O’Connor points out in Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose:
I have found that violence is strangely capable of returning my characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace. (qtd. in Ragen 387)

Here you can see that rather than explain that Ragen is quoting another source, I went straight to the bibliography Ragen offers at the end of his own essay, and stripped that information, using it as a source in the paper. But, if you notice I put (qtd. in Ragen 387) at the end of the source, signifying that the quote was found in the Ragen essay.

So, either you can explain to the reader that the original author is quoting/paraphrasing another source, and then cite that source as if the reader knows that I'm still talking about Ragen. Or, you can introduce the source being quoted from by the original author as if you actually had that source in hand, and then make a note in the parenthetical citation explaining that this was actually quoted from your original source.

I hope that helps. Sara noted that she was going to post this on the blog as a question, but didn't know how to post directly to the blog without using the comment section. The answer to this riddle is: you can't, unless I have all of you create blogs and then I could add you as contributors to this particular blog. In which case, you could then post directly to the blog without using the comment section. Seeing as how that would be the biggest pain in the ass ever conceived (some of my collegues have spent weeks trying to get their students to make blogs and then sign up for their blog), we should instead use the comment section.

I hope this helps. If not, feel free to leave some questions in the comment section.

The Thesis Statement

Imagine the thesis statement as the heart of your essay, or the backbone, rather. From a thesis statement is presented the opportunity to reveal your sentiment about the topic at hand, and the chance to reveal your argument to the reader. So what is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement is sometimes one, sometimes several sentences which explain to the reader both your opinion on and how you intend to approach the matter. For example, after a brief introduction to the Topic (Orwell's Argument in Relation to Society Today), one might offer this as a final word in the introduction of the essay:

Nevertheless, it is plainly obvious that with the changes in information technology today, Orwell's original argument has entirely different implications, both for society and the individual today.

Though this statement is itself a bit vague, it does open up for the writer, a chance to explicate further, two subjects: the implication of Orwells argument for contemporary society, and the implication of Orwells argument for the individual--both of which can be approached from the angle that the information age changes Orwell's arguments a bit. (Those things we talked about on Tuesday).

I think this would be the perfect opportunity for some of you to (comment) post what YOU think is your thesis statement and open the discussion up to whether or not they are advantageous for you as a writer.

Well, Well...

Our upstairs neighbor and his drunk girlfriend blasted some of that great 60's music (while singing along with it) until 3 am. So, I'm sitting here at 9:00 blasting some Leftover Crack, the most raucous punk I could find in my collection. And while I'm at it, I thought I'd go ahead and clarify some stuff here:

People are still emailing me with proposals, and that's fine. I'm guessing the reason people are having such a problem with this assignment is its openness. Really what I was doing with this was asking you to craft your own essay assignment using Orwell's ideas as a basis. His ideas are there. They are important. What can we do with them to show people something unique about language today?

I'll get to posting about a thesis statement in a little while. This music is so loud I can hardly hear myself think.

Monday, February 20, 2006

That's not me.

Nevermind the hippy in the top-right corner.

Essay #1 Draft Due Thursday

Seeing how this is the first post I'll make on the blog, I figured it would be wise to let you all know that I'll be assigning a working draft of your Orwell essay for Thursday the 23rd of February.

Just some basic rules for this blog thing:
  1. No bad words. Usage of bad words is strictly my priviledge.
  2. No calling people stupid, or implying that they're not as intelligent as you. That's my job.
  3. No posting assignments here, or posting of anything not related to class--unless it's something you think your academic peers would appreciate.
That's about it for rules. Please use the comment section at the bottom of each post to add, well, questions or comments. Feel free to add links to certain items you think are worthy of being linked to, but not without an explanation of what you're linking to.

Test Trial Run Thing

Just testing this out to make sure it'sa working.